Item description: Diary entry, 16 February 1862 , of David Schenck (1835-1902). Entry discusses military events in Tennessee and plans for intervention by England and France.
Item citation: From folder 4 (volume 3) of the David Schenck Papers #652, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Feby 16th 1862
Events crowd rapidly upon us and every moment seems full of history—The enemy are pressing us at every point and the crisis is also hard. Fort Henry on the Tennessee River has fallen and the enemy steamed down to Florence in Alabama destroying the shipping as they went—Fort Donnelson the key to Nashville has been invested and the fight still progresses with terrific slaughter. Genl Pillow has repulsed them thrice and still holds out.
It will soon be known whether we are able to beat back the invader or not—if Fort Donnelson falls, Bowling Green goes with it and Nashville is gone. Yankee gunboats can travel where land forces are locked by mud and rain and these rivers are highways for them to get in our rear—it seems that it is almost impossible to resist these attacks by water.
Our people are trembling with anxiety—for the result in Tennessee—The situation at present is very threatening—
England and France stand aloof and instead of discussing blockade and recognition of our government, They speak of an armed interference to “command the peace” on such terms as they may dictate. This is very unfavorable to us, for the Yankees will be glad to have a peace dictated which will secure to them Maryland and Kentucky, probably Missouri—This might be well for us as they would be abolitionized anyhow and soon secede from our Confederacy—Let “Time and chance determine.”