Volume 28, No. 10
Editor: Stephen L. Seftenberg
Baffled on how to win a beautifully framed authentic signature of Lew
Wallace author of “Ben Hur” or an actual copy of a Civil War Era
newspaper? Buy a raffle ticket at the October or November meeting. The
autograph is valued at $250.00 and the newspaper $50.00 to $75.00. The
drawing will be in November at our monthly meeting. Thank you Craig
Freis for your generous donation of these two items.
Gerridine LaRovere, President
October 14, 2015 Meeting
Our tireless Treasurer, Robert Krasner, will bring to our attention
the The Presidency of U. S. Grant and His Voyage Around the World.
Grant’s term in office was not a happy one and ended with his popularity
at an all-time low. The Round-the-World trip Grant and his wife, Julia
Dent Grant, took, between May 1877 and September 1879, in which he
visited England, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Greece,
Spain, Ireland, India, Burma, Siam, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China
and Japan, rescued Grant’s popularity and encouraged him to try
unsuccessfully for a third term.”
September 9, 2015 Meeting
“Hot Off the Press!” was the topic of the September meeting. Craig
Freis brought in over forty copies of actual Civil War Era newspapers.
They provided an interesting and fascinating program. Members were asked
to find articles about politics, famous people, social events, foreign
affairs, President Lincoln, and ads.
One of the most interesting papers were the morning editions on the day
that Lincoln was assassinated. The next day’s editions offered a stark
contrast. Even the lines separating the columns were bolded in heavy
Members read aloud articles about Seward’s wired jaw (before the Lincoln
assassination occurred), stock fraud, local election results in New
Jersey, and war news. Some of the articles were difficult to read due to
the small size of the print and the way that words were phrased at that
time. On the human interest side was the problem of “semi-detached”
wives -- women who were not giving their all in return for food and
Advertisements offered an interesting glimpse into life during the
War. In the October 28, 1861 edition of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated
Newspaper there was available for sale, “The Pictorial History of the
War of 1861.” It was touted as “invaluable to Families for in its
magnificently illustrated pages, even children can trace the course of
events, while as a Work of Reference for all classes, its value and
importance must increase with every year.”
Samples of ads:
Murray Eddy & Co. Lotteries! Authorized by the
States of Kentucky and Missouri. Draw daily in public, under the
superintendence of Sworn Commissioners. Prizes vary from $2.50 to
$100,000.Tickets from $2.50 to $20!
Three Popular Lectures, adapted to the times
 on the Poetry, Romance, and Humor of War. Park Benjamin, 24 West
Seventeenth Street, NYC.
Beadle’s Military Hand-Book. Embracing the
Official Articles of War, U.S. Army Regulations, a Dictionary of
Military Terms, Pay List, Rations, Equipments, Courtesies, etc. Price 25
Eliot’s Pocket Revolver. A most powerful
arm, which can be carried constantly about the person without
inconvenience or danger. Retail Price Plated with 100 Cartridges,
$10.00. Blued $9.50.
Tiffany & Co. Late Tiffany, Young & Ellis.
Fine Jewelry, Precious Stones, Watches, Silver Ware, Bronzes, Clocks,
Rich Porcelain Articles of Art and Luxury. No. 550 Broadway, NY
Toward the end of the War there were many ads for
artificial limbs in New York. The shops were between 400 and 600
Important Events just before, during and just after
1858 – Nationally known Sen.
Stephen A. Douglas jousted with local politician, Abraham Lincoln, in
seven debates that raised Lincoln to national prominence.
1859 – Kansas votes to ratify an anti-slavery
constitution. Radical abolitionist John Brown and 18 armed men in a
doomed raid on the Federal Arsenal in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia [now West
1860 – In a three-way campaign between Lincoln
(Republican), Douglas (Democrat) and John C. Breckinridge (Southern
Democrat), the issues are reduced to slavery and sectionalism. The
split-up of the Democratic Party guarantees Lincoln’s electoral college
victory in November despite the fact that he gets no electoral votes
from the future Confederate States of America and a minority of the
total vote. Secession comes in December.
1861 – October 3: the governor of Louisiana bans the
export of cotton to Europe to place pressure on European nations to
recognized the Confederacy. October 9: a Southern attack on Fort Pickens
on Santa Rosa Island, near Pensacola, is rebuffed. October 14: President
Lincoln orders Gen. Winfield Scott to suspend the writ of habeas corpus
from Maine to Washington. October 21: The North suffers a disastrous
defeat at Ball’s Bluff in which Col. Edward Baker (Sen. Oregon), a
friend of Lincoln, is killed. October 24, Lincoln sends orders relieving
Gen. John Frémont, who had attempted to free the slaves in the area of
his command. October 31: Gen. Scott retires and the next day, 34-year
old Gen. George B. McClellan assumes command.
1862 – Richmond, Virginia: October 1: Following
issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Richmond, Va., Whig’s
editorial says, “It is a dash of the pen to destroy four thousand
millions of our property, and is as much a bid for . . . insurrection
with the assurance of aid from the . . . United States.” October 11: The
Confederate Congress passes a controversial law exempting anyone who
owns 20 or more slaves from service, giving rise to the expression, “a
rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.” Western Theater:
October 2-5: Vicious fighting starts in Columbia, Mississippi, flows to
Corinth as the Southern forces retreat and ends at Hatchie River,
Tennessee. October 8: Although the pivotal battle of Perryville,
Kentucky, is technically a Southern victory, the end is that Gen.
Braxton Bragg (CSA) is compelled to retreat. Eastern Theater:
October 9: Near Chambersburg, Virginia, Gen. J. E. B. Stuart (CSA) and
1800 Southern cavalry ride completely around Gen. McClellan’s inactive
Army of the Potomac. November 1: Gen. Benjamin Butler frees all slaves
“not known to be the slaves of loyal owners.” Washington, D. C.:
October 25: In response to a communication from Gen. McClellan about his
army’s “sore tongued and fatigued horses,” Pres. Lincoln asked, “Will
you pardon me for asking what the horses of your army have done since
the battle of Antietam that fatigues anything?” The next day, McClellan
crosses the Potomac into Virginia. However, this does not save his
command, as he is replaced by Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside on November 5.
– Western Theater: Following the horrific Northern defeat at
Chickamauga, salvaged by George H. Thomas, “the Rock of Chickamauga,”
the Federals are cooped up in Chattanooga facing possible starvation as
Confederate cavalry cut the supply lines into Chattanooga, October 2 -
18. When Thomas replaces Gen. William S. Rosecrans, he declares, “We
will hold this town until we starve.” Gen. Grant now commands everything
West of the mountains and is ordered to Chattanooga. October 24: Grant
arrives and orders that the “cracker line” be opened, restoring the
confidence of his troops, and supplies began to trickle in. October 28:
Longstreet’s effort to cut the “cracker line” fails with heavy
casualties on both sides. October 30: The USS Chattanooga arrives in
Chattanooga with 40,000 rations and tons of feed. The siege is broken.
November 4: On Pres. Davis’ orders, Gen. Bragg sends 20,000 men,
including Longstreet’s corps and Wheeler’s cavalry to Knoxville. Grant
will not weaken his forces and plans to attack as soon as Sherman
Eastern Theater: October 10: Gen. Lee begins an advance toward
Washington. October 14: A P Hill’s attack near Bristoe Station, Virginia
fails. Southern casualties exceed 1,900 while Northern casualties are
only 548. November 7: A Northern bayonet attack near Kelly’s Ford,
Virginia, costs the South 2,023 dead and captured, forcing Lee to
retreat to the line where the so-called “Bristoe Campaign” began back on
October 10. Washington, D. C.: November 9: Pres.
Lincoln attends a play called The Marble Heart, starring John Wilkes
1864 – Eastern Theater: Siege of Petersburg: September
29, Grant captures Fort Harrison. September 30-October 2: Southern
forces fail to recapture Fort Harrison, near Petersburg, suffering 2,500
dead and wounded and 300 captured, vs. Northern losses of 2,685, and
Grant advances another three miles westward. The siege grinds on
consuming men and material. October 27: Grant’s effort to close the
supply lines to Petersburg fails, costing 1,194 killed and 564 missing.
Southern casualties are not recorded, a sign of the South’s deepening
Campaign: October 1-7 – Gen. Phil Sheridan reports to Grant
that his men have burned 2,000 barns, destroyed in excess of 700 flour
mills, driven off 4,000 head of livestock and killed over 3,000 sheep.
He adds, When we are through, the area between Winchester and Staunton
“will have little in it for manor beast.” October 9 – Custer’s cavalry
soundly thrash the Southern cavalry, capturing over 300 prisoners.
October 19 – Jubal Early launches surprise attack at Cedar Creek.
Sheridan, however, was ten miles away in Winchester, Virginia. Upon
hearing the sound of artillery fire, Sheridan raced to rejoin his
forces. He arrived just in time to rally his troops. Early’s men,
however, were suffering from hunger and began to loot the abandoned
Union camps. The actions of Sheridan (and Maj. Gen. Horatio Wright)
stopped the Union retreat and dealt a severe blow to Early’s army.
Northern casualties (5,665) are nearly double Southern casualties
(2,910), but the North can afford to bleed the South. Western
Theater: Gen. John Bell Hood continues his delusional efforts
to take Nashville and Franklin, virtually destroying his army in the
process. October 23: the North wins the Battle of Westport, Missouri,
ending the last serious threat to Northern control of Missouri.
Naval: October 7 – USS Wachusett traps and captures the CSS
Florida in a Brazilian port over futile Brazilian protests.
National: October 19 – Lt. Bennet H. Young (CSA) and escaped Confederate
prisoners loot St. Albans, Vermont, robbing $200,000 from the town’s
banks but fail to burn the town and escape back to Canada. October 20 –
Pres. Lincoln formally establishes Thanksgiving as a national holiday.
November 8 – President Lincoln, buoyed by the “soldier vote” (119,754 to
34,26) handily defeats the Democratic candidate, George McClellan,
212-21, getting 55% of the votes and losing only Delaware, Kentucky and
1865: October --President Andrew Johnson paroles Vice
President Alexander Stephens and four other top Confederate leaders and
proclaims an end to martial law in Kentucky. November – Mississippi
adopts the first of the postwar “Black Codes” by which the South moves
to restrict the opportunities of blacks. Capt. Henry Wirz (CSA),
commander of Andersonville, is hanged.
1874: October – White Southerners regain control of
Southern state governments, marking the end of Reconstruction. The U. S.
Attorney General states that “the whole public are tired of these annual
autumnal outbreaks in the South,” and refuses to call out the U. S.
troops to defend the blacks.
Last changed: 10/07/15