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ached commands. The same relief was sent to Henry and Donelson, and men and artillery were also drawn from Columbus to their aid. On the 20th of January General Johnston detached 8,000 men, Floyd's brigade and part of Buckner's, from his army at Bowling Green. The infantry, artillery, and baggage, were sent to Russellville by rail, the cavalry and artillery horses moving by land. General Johnston's army at Bowling Green had numbered, December 8th, 18,000 men, including 5,000 sick. December 24th, his effective force had increased to 17,000; December 30th, to 19,000; and January 8th, by reenforcements-Bowen's brigade from Polk, and Floyd's brigade sent from Western Virginia by the War Department-his army attained the greatest strength it ever had, 23,000 effective troops. On January 20th it had fallen off to 22,000 from camp-diseases, and these numbers were again reduced, by the detachment above named, to 14,000. With this force he faced Buell's army, estimated at 80,000 men, f
ounds of this kind, there would be precious few soldiers married. Bullet wounds are common enough; but the hand-to-hand encounters, knightly contests of swords, the cleaving of headpieces and shattering of spears, are not incidents of modern warfare. The long rain has completely saturated the ground. The floor of my tent is muddy; but my bed will be dry, and as I have not had my clothes off for three days, I look forward to a comfortable night's rest. The picture in Harper, of Christmas eve, will bring tears to the eyes of many a poor fellow shivering over the camp-fire in this winter season. The children in the crib, the stockings in which Santa Claus deposits his treasures, recall the pleasantest night of the year. Speaking of Christmas reminds me of the mistletoe bough. Mistletoe abounds here. Old, leafless trees are covered and green with it. It was in blossom a week or two ago, if we may call its white wax-like berries blossoms. They are known as Christmas blos
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., Virginia scenes in 1861. (search)
e gathered there of a large family circle. The woods about were despoiled of Confederate battle-flag. See page 167. Vaucluse--a Virginia homestead. holly and spruce, pine and cedar, to deck the walls and wreathe the picture-frames. On Christmas Eve we had a grand rally of youths and boys belonging to the clan, as they loved to call it, to roll in a yule log, which was deposited upon a glowing bed of coals in the big red-parlor fire-place, and sit about it afterward, welcoming the Christhere shall we be a year hence? some one asked at a pause in the merry chat; and, in the brief silence that followed, arose a sudden spectral thought of war. All felt its presence; no one cared to speak first of its grim possibilities. On Christmas Eve of the following year the old house lay in ruins, a sacrifice by Union troops to military necessity; the forest giants that kept watch around her walls had been cut down and made to serve as breastworks for a fort erected on the Vaucluse prop
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), The First attack on Fort Fisher (search)
aiting for the navy, was, by the advice of the Admiral, seventy miles from the scene of action. Butler and Porter made arrangements to renew the attack the next morning at eight o'clock. Orders were given for us all to breakfast at six. Preparations for the next day's serious work were completed at an early hour, and the young staff officers, who generally kept the deck merry with songs and jokes and conundrums until midnight, retired soberly at nine o'clock on that, to them, momentous Christmas eve. The morning dawned brightly. It was the Christian Sabbath and the recurring birthday of the Prince of Peace. The fleet was not ready before ten o'clock, when the conflict was begun by light-draft gunboats shelling batteries on the shore, to clear the way for landing troops on the beach. Very soon the larger vessels began to hurl heavy missiles upon the. main works. For several hours the bombardment continued without intermission. At a little past noon the transports were moved
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Army Life in a Black Regiment, chapter 2 (search)
e last night and told me his story; and he showed all his white teeth as he added, Dey tink de Lord meant for say de Yankees. Last night, at dress-parade, the adjutant read General Saxton's Proclamation for the New Year's Celebration. I think they understood it, for there was cheering in all the company-streets afterwards. Christmas is the great festival of the year for this people; but, with New Year's coming after, we could have no adequate programme for to-day, and so celebrated Christmas Eve with pattern simplicity. We omitted, namely, the mystic curfew which we call taps, and let them sit up and burn their fires, and have their little prayer-meetings as late as they desired; and all night, as I waked at intervals, I could hear them praying and shouting and clattering with hands and heels. It seemed to make them very happy, and appeared to be at least an innocent Christmas dissipation, as compared with some of the convivialities of the superior race hereabouts. December
J. B. Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary, chapter 10 (search)
the event of a war between the United States and Great Britain, and our recognition by the former, it might be good policy for us to stand neutral. The war would certainly be waged on our account, and it would not be consistent with Southern honor and chivalry to retire from the field and leave the friend who interfered in our behalf to fight it out alone. The principal members of our government should possess the highest stamp of character, for never did there exist a purer people. December 24 I am at work on the resolution passed by Congress. The Secretary sent it to me, with an order to prepare the list of names, and saying that he would explain the grounds upon which they were permitted to depart. I can only give the number registered in this office. December 25 Mr. Ely, the Yankee member of Congress, who has been in confinement here since the battle of Manassas, has been exchanged for Mr. Faulkner, late Minister to France, who was captured on his return from Eu
J. B. Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary, chapter 22 (search)
he basis of uti possidetis ante bellum! Bethel, Leesburg, and Fredericksburg are victories memorable for our great success when fighting in advantageous positions. They teach a lesson to generals; and it will be apparent that no necessity exists for so great an expenditure of life in the prosecution of this war. The disparity of numbers should be considered by our generals. I fear the flower of our chivalry mostly perished in storming batteries. It is true a prestige was gained. December 24 The Louisville Journal says the defeat of Burnside is sickening, and that this sad condition of affairs cannot be borne long. It is said that Confederate bonds are bringing quite as much in New York as in Richmond; and that the bonds of Southern men are freely discounted in the North. These, if true, are indications of approaching peace. Cotton at 50 cents per pound, and our capacity to produce five million bales per annum, must dazzle the calculating Yankees. A single crop wort
J. B. Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary, XXXIII. December, 1863 (search)
There are fifty-one quartermasters and assistant quartermasters stationed in this city! Pound cakes, size of a small Dutch oven, sell at $100. Turkeys, from $10 to $40. December 23 Nothing further from the West. But we have reliable information of the burning (accidentally, I suppose) of the enemy's magazine at Yorktown, destroying all the houses, etc. I learn to-day that the Secretary of War revoked the order confiscating blockade goods brought from the enemy's country. December 24 Another interposition of Providence in behalf of my family. The bookseller who purchased the edition of the first volume of my Wild Western scenes-new series, since Mr. Malsby's departure from the country, paid me $300 to-day, copyright, and promises more very soon. I immediately bought a load of coal, $31.50, and a half cord of wood for $19. I must now secure some food for next month. Among the papers sent in by the President, to-day, was one from Gen. Whiting,who, from informat
J. B. Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary, chapter 46 (search)
s command. All, all are to be dragged out in this bitter cold weather for defense, except the speculators, the extortioners, the land and slave owners, who really have something tangible to defend, and these have exemptions or soft places. December 24 Christmas eve! Clear and cold. A dispatch from Hon. J. L. Orr and H. V. Johnson (on their way home) informs the Secretary that from the delay in the transportation of troops over the Piedmont Railroad, there must be either criminal negChristmas eve! Clear and cold. A dispatch from Hon. J. L. Orr and H. V. Johnson (on their way home) informs the Secretary that from the delay in the transportation of troops over the Piedmont Railroad, there must be either criminal neglect or treachery concerned in it. Again it is rumored that Savannah has been evacuated. There is something in the air that causes agitation in official circles. Mr. Secretary Seddon's room was locked nearly all day yesterday. If troops cannot be transported expeditiously over the Piedmont Road, fears may be entertained for Wilmington, when, the gale subsiding, the enemy's fleet has reappeared. There is a rumor on the street that the government is to be removed to Lynchburg. G
ng, red and yellow berries gathered in the fall from the berry-bearing trees in the forest, oranges, apples, lemons, and every variety of bright-colored chenille and knitting-yarn. If the tree was in a home, every member of the family, on Christmas Eve, brought to the home their gifts, all wrapped up and marked for the persons for whom they were intended. Early Christmas morning, every one interested, including the servants, assembled. The oldest man in the family was dressed up in cottonFor months good cheer and happiness seemed to follow such fitting observance of the anniversary of the birth of our Saviour. A round of sleighing-parties, balls, candy-pullings, dinner-parties, and merrymaking consumed the whole time from Christmas Eve until January 2. Christmas Day was set apart for religious service, when the churches were decorated with evergreens and all the flowers possible to obtain. Among the vicious or lawless people it was a season of debauchery; tramping about ov
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