The grand [Lincoln] presidential party at the White House, Washington, D.C. February 6th [1862] (Illus. in: Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, (1862 February 22), p. 216-17; LOC:  LC-USZ62-59906)

“the best building in the country”, February 1862 (Frank Leslie’s 2-22-1862)

“The buck stops here,” but President Lincoln did not seem to have any role in the following account – except that a Democrat paper put his name in the headline. Still, it was probably a tasty story for the newspaper’s partisan readers as the presidential election approached. Keep the base fired up.

From a Seneca County, New York newspaper in October 1864:

Lincoln and Stanton Refuse a Roof to the Wounded Soldiers.

In the statement of the causes which led to his removal, which has just been published by Surgeon-General Hammond, we find the startling disclosures:

After Pope’s defeat, when the wounded wero [sic] brought to Washington by the thousands, I found it necessary to extend still further the hospital accomodations. The churches and other public buildings were filled, the Patent Office was used for the sick and wounded, and the only other public buildings available were the Capitol and the Executive Mansion. The latter was not then occupied by the President, or his family, and not long before a company of soldiers had been quartered in it. I, therefore, made application for the Capitol, and for the east room in the President’s House, the latter to be used as an officers’ hospital. – When the application reached the Secretar [sic] he sent for me, and I was again the recipient of his abuse. Again I repelled it, as I always did. I knew not why the sick and wounded should not have the best building in the country; if it was necessary. – Hundreds were then lying upon the ground for want of a place to put them, and I told him so in plain language. The end of it was, that the Capitol was ordered to be turned over to me. He was afraid to refuse it, but he informed me that I should hear from him again on the subject, which however, I never did, except that he told a distinguished officer in the army that my conduct was highly presumptuous. The East Room was never turned over if he or[d?]ered it.

Bad blood between Secretary of War Stanton and Surgeon General William Alexander Hammond led to Hammond’s dismissal effective August 18, 1864.

Second day of the second battle of Bull Run, fought Saturday, August 30--the National forces commanded by Major General Pope, and the rebel troops by General Lee, Jackson and Longstreet (Illus. in: Frank Leslie's illustrated newspaper, 1862 Sept. 20, pp. 412-413; LOC: LC-USZ62-94838)

wounded source: second day of Second Bull Run (Frank Leslie’s 9-20-1862)

Posted in 150 Years Ago This Month, Lincoln Administration, Military Matters, Northern Politics During War, The election of 1864 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

big purses

The jockey's prayer (.Y. : Rae Smith, printer, c1868.; LOC:  LC-DIG-pga-03323)

“The jockey’s prayer” c.1868

Despite the manpower shortage, rotten weather, and the annoying “Yankee invasion”, 150 years ago this week residents of Richmond could look forward to horse races at a local track. Apparently jockeys were exempt from the Confederate draft.

From the Richmond Daily Dispatch October 28, 1864:

Broad Rock Races.

–The friends of the turf, despite the Yankee invasion, have determined to maintain the supremacy of “thoroughbreds,” and, to that end, will commence a fall meeting at Broad Rock to-day. As our readers will perceive, the first race is for a post stake, two-mile heats, to which there are three or more subscribers; and as the race is play or pay, each subscriber will be almost sure to start something for the $7,000 purse.

We have heard it suggested that Oakland, Conductor and Orien, will come together on this occasion; and if so, the friends of each will go their “piles” on the result, as all are sanguine of winning. If the three “strip” well, and the day and track prove good, an interesting and exciting race may be looked for.

From the Richmond Daily Dispatch October 29, 1864:

Broad Rock races.

–Because of the inclement weather, and the military annoyances around the city, the races that were to have commenced on the Broad Rock Course yesterday have been postponed till next Wednesday. Many old turfmen are here to attend the sport, and, from present indications, the meeting promises to be one of unusual interest. Let the lovers of the sport bear the change in mind and be in readiness to enjoy it at the appointed time.

Meanwhile folks up North were absorbed in another kind of horse race. Here’s another cartoon in which Republicans were trying to make hay by pointing out the incongruity of General McClellan running (or riding) on the Democrats’ peace platform (read about it at the Library of Congress):

Slow & steady wins the race (1864; LOC: LC-USZ62-92036 )

jockeying for position

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gunboat politics

The gunboat candidate at the Battle of Malvern Hill (Currier & Ives, 1864; LOC: LC-USZ62-92038)

“the story has been put to the winds”

The following Democrat article ignores the fact that President Lincoln exposed himself to rebel fire at Fort Stevens – probably imprudent, but not exactly cowardly.

From a Seneca County, New York newspaper in October 1864:

Who is in the Gunboat Now?

The Evening Journal and a host of papers of the baser sort, are filled with falsehoods about McClellan taking refuge on the gunboat Galena, in the James river. – We have shown the falsity of the imputation; and the story has been put to the winds a score of times. But unfortunately for Lincoln it revives a story as to him which is too true. The Philadelphia Age gives it:

Abraham's dream!--"Coming events cast their shadows before" (by Louis Maurer,  [New York] : Published by Currier & Ives, 152 Nassau St. N.Y., c1864; LOC: LC-DIG-ppmsca-19400)

1861 disguise coming back to haunt him?

Unfortunately for Mr. Lincoln, there are two sides to this gunboat story! It is now pretty well settled that A.L. has had some gunboat experience, not at all calculated to increase his reputation for valor. During the recent rebel invasion of Maryland, when their forces attacked the fortifications in front of Washington, the President of the United States took up his quarters on board of a gunboat lying in the Potomac, with steam up, ready to start at a moments’ warning, and remained there for the greater part of two days. The failure of the rebels to accomplish anything at Fort Stevens, and their withdrawal from Maryland, reassured the valiant Lincoln, who, after trembling for nearly forty-eight hours on board the gunboat aforesaid, again took up his quarters in the Presidential mansion, and at once recommenced his philanthropic labor in behalf of negro equality.

This was not the first time that Lincoln laced his trust in gunboats! He had one in the Potomac in 1862, during the terrible panic, which was kept with steam up for several days. A special locomotive train was engaged at the same time, and the locomotive was kept under a full head of steam day and night for a week. Whether the military cloak and Scotch cap, in the disguise of which Lincoln entered Washington, were on hand, is not known; but he was ready again and again for an unheroic flight. – Argus.

plot-kill-lincoln-1861_Pictur2 (Harper's Weekly, March 9, 1861)

” He wore a Scotch plaid Cap and a very long Military Cloak, so that he was entirely unrecognizable.”

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mail-in ballots

From a Seneca County, New York newspaper in October 1864:

SOLDIERS’ VOTES. – The votes of our soldiers are now being received in considerable numbers daily throughout the county. Those receiving them should be careful not to open the inner envelope, which bears on the outside the general oath. If this envelope is broken open the Inspectors cannot receive the vote.

Gov. Wm. Dennison (between 1855 and 1865; LOC:  LC-DIG-cwpbh-01669)

Post Office must use “utmost diligence” to deliver the soldiers’ votes

The Lincoln administration was trying to make sure those absentee ballots got counted. From The New-York Times October 24, 1864:


The following is a copy of a letter addressed to all Postmasters in the State of New-York:


SIR: To insure to the soldiers of New-York the right of voting by proxy at the approaching election, under the law of your State, you are directed to use the utmost diligence in delivering the envelopes containing the ballots to the persons addressed, and if not called for on the day of receipt, you will in each case notify the person addressed that such a package is in your office, with the request that he call for the same without delay. W. DENNISON,


You can read the verbiage on the inner envelope of the New York soldier ballots at Washington County. There might be a couple typos – for example, I think the soldiers had to affirm they were at least 21 years old, not less than 21. The pdf also supports the idea that soldiers could pretty much send their ballots to anyone at home. That person would then deliver the inner envelope to the election inspectors.

William Dennison, Jr. replaced Montgomery Blair as Postmaster General in September 1864. He was one of the first Ohioans to join the Republican party and was serving as governor of Ohio when the Civil War broke out:

Without being asked by the War Department, he sent Ohio troops under George McClellan into western Virginia, where they guarded the Wheeling Convention, which eventually led to the admission of West Virginia as a free state. He also took the initiative to seize control of Ohio’s railroads and telegraph lines early in the war to allow military usage, angering Peace Democrats in the Ohio Legislature. He denounced secession and Ohio’s “Copperheads”, established a consistent supply of arms and equipment for the new troops, and was a vocal supporter of Lincoln’s policies. During his term, he raised over 100,000 troops and organized 82 three-years regiments for the Union army.

You can read a good overview of the 1864 soldiers’ vote at Mr. Lincoln and New York

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in black and white

nyt 10-24-1864

calculating in black and white (NY Times 10-24-1864)

red all over … but a lot less than Democrats claim.

Democrat newspapers claimed the public debt would be $4 billion by the end of the war. A Republican publication calculated the debt as of September 30, 1864 as about $2 billion.

From The New-York Times October 24, 1864:


Special Dispatches to the New-York Times.

The Copperhead press, acting upon the principle, doubtless, that a lie well stuck to is as good as the truth, continue to reiterate their statements respecting the increase of the public debt, but with this difference — they have increased the amount from $3,000,000 to $4,000,000. In view of this malicious ignorance, the following data are given for their information:

The public debt on the 7th March, 1861, (the day on which Mr. CHASE entered upon the administration,) was:

Funded………………….$59,992,887 64

Treasury Notes outstanding. 16,462,411 64

Total debt 7th March, 1861.$76,455,299 28

On the 1st July, 1861………$90,867,828 68

Four months — 115 days……. 14,412,529 40

Increase per diem……… $125,330 00

Increase from 1st July, 1861, to 1st May, 1863, 22 months — 669 days……………… $876,331,899

Increase per diem………. $1,309,913

Increase from 1st May, 1863, to 26th April, 1864, 12 months — 360 days……………… $689,615,378

Increase per diem………. $1,915,598

Increase from 26th April, 1864, to 30th September, 1864, 157 days — 5 months.. $299,158,711

Increase per diem…….. $1,905,469

Increase from 1st July, 1861, to 30th September, 1864, 1,187 days — 39 months……$1,865,105,888

Average increase per diem since 1st July, 1861……. $1,571,108

Heads of the democracy (1864; LOC: LC-USZ62-91441)

“malicious ignorance”

It will be observed that in the general average of the increase of the debt, the first four months of the rebellion are not embraced; if they were thrown into the term, the effect would be to reduce the per diem increase of debt to $1,443,562, but these first 115 days are rejected because their expenditure bears no tolerable proportion to the rate of increase after the 1st July, 1861.

The long periods of 22, 12 and 5 months, are taken because they respectively represent the fairest examination of the subject. The first of these periods covers the time during which it was customary among the opponents of the Administration to put the daily expenditure at three millions a day. The two later periods of 12 and 5 months embrace the time in which they have stated the increase of debt at four millions a day. For these estimates they have no data whatever, and only a single item of conjecture — the floating debt, as it is miscalled, meaning the accruing debt, not ascertained or not brought into the department for settlement.

It is true, for instance, that on the day previous to the periodical payment to the army, so much as is then due on this account is not embraced in the official statement of the debt for that day; in like manner and for the same reason, the claims maturing for army and navy supplies of all kinds are not embraced before they are officially known. Yet so much of such claims as are ascertained, either upon settlement in the war and navy departments, or drawn for by them in advance, whether paid or not, invariably goes into the Treasury statements made public by the Secretary, and appears there either as bonds, certificates of indebtedness, or unpaid requisitions. At all events it is clear that as such claims do not stand long unsettled, those of, say our first period, must appear in the second, and those of the second in the third period, which we have taken in our statement of the average per diem increase of the debt, leaving of this unknown, unsettled or unmatured debt no more than shall have been accruing within the last period of five months, for which fifty millions would be an excessive allowance.

The total debt, thus understood, was, on the 30th of September, 1864, $1,955,973,716, or may be stated at $2,000,000,000, and no more, if made to embrace the conjectured amount not made known on that day. Of this known total the amount bearing interest was $1,487,671,814, at an average rate of 5 1/2 per cent. The amount of the debt, without interest, was as follows:

United States notes………………….$433,160,569

Fractional currency…………………. 24,502,412

Amount on which interest had ceased…. 356,970

Suspended requisitions………………. 34,641,364


which, reduced by the amount in the Treasury, $24,359,411, leaves the debt as above stated at $1,955,973,716, and the rate of interest averaged to the whole debt 4 1-5 per cent. The average rate of 5 1/2 per cent. upon the interest bearing part of the debt is thus explained.

The whole loan of $140,000,000, issued in 1861, at 7 3-10 per cent., had fallen due, and was payable or convertible into 6 per cent. bonds on the 1st of October. The new issue of 7-30s. under the act of June 30, 1864, amounted to $55,897,600. The compound interest notes, at the equivalent of 6-46 per cent. per annum, amounted to $102,329,680, and $238,697,456 was at 5 per cent., and $548,224 at only 4 per cent., the balance being at 6 per cent. — the average, as before stated, standing at 5 1/2 per cent.

The total amount of interest per annum was: Gold, $54,608,445 70; Currency, $27,170,197 42.

We have thus given the data for our calculations, and the reasons for our estimates, and submit them for the study of those who would willingly know the truth.

According to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Public Debt, “The American Civil War resulted in dramatic debt growth. The debt was just $65 million in 1860, but passed $1 billion in 1863 and had reached $2.7 billion following the war.” The same page quotes Alexander Hamilton from 1790 as saying, “The United States debt, foreign and domestic, was the price of liberty … [one of the many purposes of the public debt was] to cement more closely the Union of the States …”

It seems like the following pro-McClellan cartoon is really exaggerating the public debt – to $400 billion:

Political caricature. No. 3, The abolition catastrophe. Or the November smash-up (1864 by Bromley & Co. New York; LOC: LC-USZ62-10483)

President Lincoln on wrong track?

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“the heavy hand of power”

[I originally planned to post the following back in March, but was uncertain about the timing. The local newspaper article does seem to have been influenced by the Democrats' playbook for the 1864 election.]

I am confused about the timing of today’s piece. There was no handwritten date on the following editorial in the big notebook of Civil War clippings at the Seneca Falls, New York public library. It appeared on the same notebook page as the February 1864 article about war costs. The article referred to thousands of soldiers back home to vote, and there were local elections in New York state in March 1864. In fact, one of the questions on ballots in New York state was whether soldiers in the field should have the right to vote. That amendment passed and New York soldiers could vote in the field in November 1864. So would there still have been thousands of soldiers home to vote in the November 1864 election? I think there’s a possibility that the following was published in February or March 1864.

This Democrat editorial contrasts the Utopia that was antebellum America with the great carnage, debt, and taxation caused by the war.

From a Seneca County, New York newspaper in 1864:

The Cost of the War.

“It is not so easy to pay something as it is to pay nothing, and it is easier to pay a large sum than it is to pay a larger one.” This was the precise language used by Abraham Lincoln in his message to the Abolitionist Congress in December 1862. – That silly, trifling language to the people of the U.S., shows his shallowness of mind, and how little he appreciated the awful condition of this country. It was about equal in discretion to the idle boast in one of his ridiculous speeches about the time he was inaugurated, that he intended to show how “a party which can carry an election can also suppress a rebellion.”

Columbia demands her children! (by Joseph Baker, 1864; LOC: LC-DIG-ppmsca-15768)

“sacrificed to abolition folly”

That speech was, in his own estimation, about to be verified when he called for 75,000 volunteers to conquer 12,000,0000 men in the fifteen rebellious States. The result of such unpardonable ignorance in the Executive of the Nation, and his Abolition Proclamation, have in his opinion, made it necessary to demand twenty hundred thousand, instead of 75,000 men, and about 250,000 of whom have already been sacrificed to abolition folly; and the bloody graves of tens of thousands of fallen victims are watered by the tears of bereaved relations. This, though horrid to civilized humanity, is only the beginning of the Nation’s woes which must inevitably follow. The sword of war is still whetting for the butchery of thousands more of human beings who must fall by the base and bloody passions of exasperated men. The conflict has been urged on, too, by clergymen and others who profess to be “followers of the gospel of Peace,” and who, like the bigoted priests when they slew the Saviour, seem to be gratified with the sorrow and sufferings which their own bigotry and fanaticism have helped to bring upon a once peaceful and happy country. Those professed Puritans must answer at the bar of God for a large share of immorality, dissipation, and crime, which war will entail upon this and the next generation.

Ours was the only country on earth professing to be civilized, which guaranteed liberty and protection to States without direct taxation. The burdens of government were not felt by the people except in the slight tariff on imported goods, and that benefitted the North at the expense of the South. But now what have we fastened upon us? Instead of a light tariff which then supported our economical government, with a small army and navy, and those scarcely necessary, we are saddled with the largest army and navy on the globe, the salaried officers of which will be loth to lessen their power without a struggle, and many will naturally assimilate with corrupt party zealots to perpetuate military pensions for life, for the tendency of military power is always to perpetuate itself.

The Commander-in-Chief conciliating the soldier's votes on the battle field (1864; LOC:  LC-USZ62-89731)

funny songs at Antietam

And the National debt. This according to the recorded and undisputed statement of the leaders of the Black Republican party at the close of the war will be four thousand millions of dollars! a sum of solid silver sufficient to load ox-teams from Missouri to the eastern borders of Maine. The interest on this debt will at the lowest estimate amount to $200,000,000 which must be levied annually by taxation on the people, and that, too, for generations to come. We now begin to feel the heavy hand of power upon us in every business paper transaction, in every security given by a debtor to his creditor, in the settlement of every deceased person’s estate, whether solvent or insolvent, and in the increased price of all the necessities of life to the poor as well as to the rich. The land tax is deferred merely for the present, because the farmers would feel the crushing weight too keenly, and would enquire what corresponding benefit they derive to support recruiting agents, and furloughed regiments, who are maintained in idleness among us by thousands to vote for abolition candidates for office. But the land tax cannot in the nature of things be much longer postponed. Then the farmers and laboring classes who are always the last to be aroused will enquire, “why are we taxed to prosecute a war for the subjugation and ruin of a large portion of our own country, the utter destruction of their social laws and rights as States, the devastation of one half of our own territory, and then be compelled to garrison that same ruined territory without resources to be derived from it sufficient to pay one fourth of the cost of its occupation? Why are those people who were forced and deceived by their Rulers, to be ruthlessly slaughtered, and their natural attachment to our once glorious Union to be severed, in order to gratify the revenge of Abolition fanatics, and the whims of the ‘smutty joker?‘” These questions and others of equal importance will soon have to be met by those who now push on this suicidal war without allowing one opportunity for conciliation, and who are filling their pockets and the purses of their relatives from the sufferings of an outraged people. **

Once again this Democrat paper seemed to ignore the fact that most the Southern states actually made the decision to secede before Lincoln even took office. This paper seemed to have no objection at all to slavery.

Reference to Abraham Lincoln as the “smutty joker” can be found in the Hand-book of the Democracy 1863 & ’64. near the end of the book in the “Campaign Songs” section:

History of the Rise and Fall of the Irrepressible Conflict.

AIR — “Villikens and his Dinah.

There was an old joker in Springfield did dwell,
He wandered all over his stories to tell;
He joked irrepressibly by night and by day,
Till his smutty jokes drove decent people

(Spoken — Chorus for the smutty joker
and the Ohio clergymen. )

Ri tu ral, ri tu ral, ri tu ral li da, … [for twelve stanzas]

I’m confused again because the final stanza talks about 1864 Democrat candidate for president George B. McClellan sending the joker back to Springfield. Most of the campaign songs seem to feature General McClellan. There could have been references to the smutty joker before the campaign song was written. Democrats could have added the last stanza after the nomination. Some people might have just assumed General McClellan would be nominated. The Times link in the first paragraph of this post quotes one Democrat soldier as saying he was going to vote for the absentee voting amendment because all the soldiers were going to vote for McClellan.

At any rate, President Lincoln wanted to get the news out that New York soldiers could vote in field:

From The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Volume Seven:



New York City votes ninety-five hundred majority for allowing soldiers to vote, and the rest of the State nearly all on the same side. Tell the soldiers.


Running the "machine" (by John Cameron, [New York] : Published by Currier & Ives, 152 Nassau St. N.Y., c1864; LOC: LC-USZ62-9407)

“He joked irrepressibly by night and by day”

There are many 1864 political cartoons at the Library of Congress, where you can read the details: Columbia; Antietam; the machine

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heads game

The political "Siamese" twins, the offspring of Chicago miscegenation ([New York] : Published by Currier & Ives, 152 Nassau St. New York, c1864.; LOC: LC-USZ62-9733)

Democrats’ mixed message

From The New-York Times October 24, 1864:


Mr. PENDLETON, Democratic candidate for Vice-President, left Cincinnati incognito last Thursday, on a visit to the East. He was in Philadelphia yesterday, and to-morrow will reach New York, where Little MAC and he will put their heads together and exhaust all the resources of statesmanship to secure a Copperhead triumph.

According to the following, General McClellan might not have needed any more heads:

The Chicago platform and candidate (by Louis Maurer,  [New York] : Published by Currier & Ives, 152 Nassau St. N.Y., c1864.; LOC: LC-USZ62-21706)

General Janus

You can read the details of the anti-Democrat political cartoons at the Library of Congress: miscegenation; two-faced

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About three weeks before the U.S. presidential election the October 22, 1864 issue of Harper’s Weekly (at Son of the South) took a swipe at the peace-loving Democrats:

democrats-peace-plan (Harper's Weekly 10-22-1864)

War and Argument—Cold Steel and Cool Reason—having failed to restore the Union, it is supposed that the South may be bored into coming back.
Our Picture represents the successful operation of this exceedingly humane and ingenious device.

War, cold steel … don’t forget plundering the civilian population, as the following article implied.

From the Richmond Daily Dispatch October 22, 1864:

Best preparation for Raids.

–The very best preparation, of course, for a raid,–says the Lexington (Virginia) Gazette,–is for the people to remove all their valuables out of the reach of the enemy. This cannot always be done, but there is one article which soldiers always seek after, which is, perhaps, more abundant in this country than it ever was before, –We mean apple brandy, which, it cannot be removed, ought to be poured out by every one on the approach of the enemy. The Yankees behave had enough without liquor, but they are ten times worse when they become intoxicated. It would be much better for a man to lose a fine lot of brandy than save it for the Yankees, and lose, in other respects, ten times its value besides, to say nothing of the effect that the drinking would have on their behavior.

Posted in 150 Years Ago This Week, Confederate States of America, Military Matters, Southern Society, The election of 1864 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

men versus munitions model?

Unidentified soldier in Confederate infantry uniform with model 1842 musket and two Colt revolvers (between 1861 and 1865; LOC: LC-DIG-ppmsca-32591)

man and musket

I’ve heard about the Guns versus butter economic model. As the number of men in Confederate armies diminished, it appears that the government tried to get more soldiers in the field while still producing enough ordnance to keep shooting at Yankees. From the Richmond Daily Dispatch October 21, 1864:

Filling up the Ranks.

A late order, issued from the office of the Adjutant and Inspector-General, orders the chiefs of the Bureau of Ordnance and of the Nitre Bureau to turn over, without delay, one-fifth of all the force employed in their respective bureaux, including contractors and other employees.

This order will put into the field almost as many men, if not more, than were procured by the revocation of details of producers — the whole number of men who have been detailed as farmers on this side of the Mississippi river being four thousand four hundred and eighty five.

Spotsylvania Court House, Va., vicinity. Body of another Confederate soldier near Mrs. Alsop's house (by Timothy H. O'Sullivan, 1864 May 20; LOC: LC-DIG-cwpb-01187)

dead Confederate, Spotsylvania, 5-20-1864

The only objection to this order is that portion of it which says: “Three days are allowed for the execution of this order after its reception at any post or station of the different departments.” This time will be too short to prevent inconvenience to the public service from the sudden cessation of labor and the inability of contractors to wind up their affairs.

The same issue admired Canada for not exempting aliens from the service.

Refugees in Canada.

The following order seems to have created great excitement among the refugees from Yankeedom in Canada:

“Headquarters, Quebec,
“September21, 1864.

“Notice is hereby given to all persons from the Federal States of America who have taken refuge in Canada since the first of August, 1864, and are fit for the performance of military duty, to report immediately to Captain H. Stanhope Wilkes, of Her Majesty’s service, at his headquarters, Clifton House, Canada West, for enrollment into the military service of Her Majesty’s Government.

npscw_facts-01 (http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/facts.htm)

ebb tide

“All persons failing or refusing to comply with this order will be subject to summary arrest, fine and imprisonment.

“Refugees and exiles seeking the protection of this Government must lend their aid to strengthen the Government that gives them protection.

“By order.”

Southern refugees are said to be complying with the order, and Yankees are making for their homes.

It should cause our authorities to reflect on their leniency towards foreigners in letting them go almost entirely unscathed, while every white male citizen is required to go to the front — exemption or no exemption, detail or no detail.

We are indebted to Captain Gilbert C. Rice, of the Eighteenth Georgia battalion, for his courtesy in sending us copies of late Northern papers.

The graph is posted at the National Park Service.

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northern exposure

NY Times 10-20-2014

NY Times 10-20-2014

150 years ago yesterday St. Albans, Vermont was “raided” by a band of Confederates led by Bennett Henderson Young. The rebels entered Vermont via Canada and took rooms in St. Albans’ hotels. On the 19th they held up three banks and shot up some citizens, one of whom died.

From the Richmond Daily Dispatch October 24, 1864:

An invasion of Vermont from the Canada side — robbery of banks — panic of the citizens.

The Yankees are having a sensation nearer home than the seat of war. On Wednesday last, a band of twenty-five men from Canada “invaded” the town of St. Albans, in Vermont, and robbed the National Bank of $50,000, the St. Albans Bank of $80,000, and the Franklin County Bank of a considerable sum. Some twenty horses were also seized by the desperadoes and carried off. Several citizens who resisted were deliberately shot; two were seriously wounded, and it is feared fatally — E. J. Morrison and, a contractor, and C. H. Huntington, a jeweler. Several others are reported slightly wounded. The attack commenced about 3 P. M., and the opening is thus described by an eye-witness:

Several men appeared to be rushing about with pistols, in parties of from five to ten. One of these gangs met a Mr. Morrison and presented a weapon to him, demanding his surrender. He answered, “You are joking, boys.” They fired and he fell, weltering in his blood. Our informant saw him throw up his hands and then sink on the ground, and then he realized for the first time that the village was attacked by an organized body of men, bent on pillage and regardless of human life.

US & canada 1860 (LOC: http://www.loc.gov/item/2001623437/)

St. Albans in Green … Mountain State

Meanwhile the attack had been simultaneous on the three banks — the First National, Franklin County and St. Albans. Parties entered each. When the teller, or cashier, suspecting no evil, asked what they desired, the leader presented a pistol, with the exclamation, “You are my prisoner; if you move an inch we’ll blow you through,” Others of the gang then went to the vault and drawers and laid violent hands on all the specie, bills and other articles which they could find, and filled the side satchels, which each wore, as we before described. Of course resistance was useless, for the surprise was complete. At the Franklin County Bank the raiders pushed the cashier, Mr. Beardsley, and one of the clerks, into the vault and locked them up, and the prisoners were not released until late in the night.

Then commenced a reign of terror in the village. Plunder had been accomplished, and violence followed. The raid was brief; but the scene must have been terrible while it lasted. The thirty or more marauders rushed up and down the streets, firing their pistols in every direction. Whenever they saw a citizen or a group of men they would aim in that direction. They had magnificent arms–seven-shooters — and as fast as one weapon was unloaded they drew another, and kept up the lade.Mr. Baldwin says he can only liken the sounds to the noise of a Fourth of July morning in a large city. There was a continuous bang! bang! bang! Of course this reckless use of firearms could not continue long with nobody hurt. The sheriff of the county soon fell; Mr. Huntington was shot while resisting the robbery of his store; a woman, whose name we could not learn, fell, and — more dastardly than all — as the guerrillas were leaving the town, they saw a little girl in the street and wantonly killed her. And the bullets were flying around among the buildings in the main street — nearly all of which bear marks of lead. Windows were broken, blinds chipped and people wounded. It was a scene that beggars all description.

Of course the entire populace rushed into the streets. They had no idea of the cause of the disturbance, for they were engaged in their usual daily avocations, and the raid was “like thunder from a clear sky.” The guerrillas, as they rushed through the town, stopped all the citizens they met and gathered them in squads under guard of a few men, armed with pistols, retaining them as prisoners, on the common. Meanwhile the remainder of the banditti started to secure horses. They took two from Field’s livery stable, five from Fuller’s, several from the American and Tremont stables, and a twelve hundred dollar span from Mr. Clark, of Rutland — securing about thirty in all. Their adroitness in cutting off harness was marvellous, and the contents of the saddle-makers’ shops soon enabled the villains to become cavalry instead of footpads.

Stalbansraid (A woodcut illustration of the St. Albans Raid in St. Albans, Vermont, United States. At the bank, the raiders forced those present to take an oath of loyalty to “the Constitution of the Confederate States of America.”)

bank tellers taking the (Confederate) oath

Meanwhile their threats were terrible. “We will burn your damned town,” they said. “We will treat you as the people of Atlanta were treated.”–They also said, “We are coming back again, and will burn every town in Vermont.” Their imprecations were of a blasphemous character. They claimed to be Confederates. Our informant does not think any of the men were Canadians. They all looked like Americans, and Southerners at that. These demons continued their infernal pistol-firing, killing a man named Morse after they began to “take prisoners.”

All this was the work of twenty minutes. Conductor Baldwin says he can scarcely realize that it all happened, and that so much was done in so short a time. The guerrillas, having all secured horses and saddles, commenced their retreat. They abandoned the prisoners and rode off northward, firing their pistols as they proceeded.

After the invaders had gone the citizens turned out and pursued them, capturing the leader, with $100,000. The Governor-General of Canada is also endeavoring to arrest those who escaped into that province. As the “raiders” passed through Frewsburg, an attempt was made to stop them, and the bailiff of the town was killed. All New England is crazy over this “barbarous invasion,” and is trying to prove that the men were Confederates.

You can read a complete account at The St. Albans Raid.

Although pursued by townspeople, the rebel band eventually made it back to Canada, where they were locked up. The United States’ request for extradition failed, and the detainees were released.

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