25 June 1864: “I believe we shall find in the end that our re-enlistment was not legal. I do not care, anyhow.”

Item description: Letter, dated 25 June 1864, from George Hovey Cadman, a soldier in the 39th Ohio Infantry Regiment, to his wife Esther.

[Item transcription available below images.]




Item citation: From folder 10 in George Hovey Cadman Papers (#122), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Saturday, June 25.

A great change has taken place on our front. Night before last the rebels moved all their cannon from our front and during the whole of yesterday nothing was visible but a strong line of skirmishers. Col. Noyes was anxious to make a charge up the mountain, but Gen. Fuller feared some trick. Some of the flanking skirmishers reported that they gained a position whence they had a view of a part of the area of the mountain, and reported the rebels as thick as flies on a sugar barrel. They had withdrawn out of sight, hoping we might make a charge, when, on account of the nature of the position, they could destroy us in detail, for we never could form till we got to the top, if we ever got there. The general impression now is that we must either flank them out or siege them out.

There is another stir in camp about the veteran business. There has been another order from the War Department on the subject, and I believe we shall find in the end that our re-enlistment was not legal. I do not care, anyhow. One thing is certain: in that case I have not much over a year to serve, as I shall never enlist for I do not think my constitution would stand it. Another thing: I am gradually getting a dislike for it and long for the comforts of home.

I have no news for today, and must close till tomorrow. Give my love to the children, and when you write, send me all the news. Two or three letters back, I asked you to send me a little money in 10c shinplasters. Don’t know whether you received it.

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24 June 1864: “…and as to taking off one’s shoes, that’s not to be dreamed of.”

Item description: Letter, dated 24 June 1864, from George Hovey Cadman, a soldier in the 39th Ohio Infantry Regiment, to his wife Esther.

[Item transcription available below images.]

18640624_01 18640624_02

Item citation: From folder 10 in George Hovey Cadman Papers (#122), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

In the field, Kennesaw Mountain, Ga.
Friday, June 24, 1864.

My dear Wife:

Again I sit down to my daily pleasure of writing a few lines to you. Let me know when you write how you like this style of letter. It is the most convenient way for me as I can often find five minutes to spare where I could not get an hour. Besides we have very little notice of when the mail is going away but this way I am always ready for it.

After I had sent yesterday’s letter we had another artillery fight, and a heavy one; such a noise as one can imagine but can’t describe. To the roar of cannon and roll of musketry which beats any thunderstorm I ever heard, add the shouting of men, the whistling of round shot, the shrieking and bursting of shell, and the hissing of rifle balls, and you have such a pandemonium as Milton never dreamed of.

After the artillery I was detailed on Head Quarters Guard, but just as I had my traps all ready to start with the squad for Hd. Qrs. the Greybacks mad a charge on our skirmish line. Of course we had to get into our breastworks to be ready for an assault. They drove back part of the line to our right, but on our front everything stood firm, and after half an hour’s hard fighting they simmered down. One of our Co. A boys was wounded and did not live through the night.

Last night Head Quarters Guard, the night before before Color Line Guard, and if I am relieved soon enough this evening, I shall be on picket. I tell you, Esther, that’s coming it pretty heavy. It’s enough to wear any man out. I shall be glad when we get away from here. A fellow has no chance to look about. Thick woods on flank and rear, and a mountain in front with cannon on the top and Johnny Reb behind the cannon don’t form a very inviting prospect. Besides this, being in front to have to wear our cartridge boxes both day and night, eating, drinking and sleeping, and as to taking off one’s shoes, that’s not to be dreamed of. But it’s hard on the men. They say a man can get used to anything, and so he may, if he doesn’t die in the seasoning. Numbers of our men who were stout and healthy when we started are worn completely out. Sam Giffin stands it well; nothing seems to hurt him. Jem Myers seems to be picking up now. When we get into a stationary campaign, and can wash our clothes and be clean once more, it will seem almost like home to us.

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23 June 1864: “How strange it is that where there is most danger there should be most wickedness, but so it is.”

Item description: Letter, dated 23 June 1864, from George Hovey Cadman, a soldier in the 39th Ohio Infantry Regiment, to his wife Esther.

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Item citation: From folder 10 in George Hovey Cadman Papers (#122), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

June 23rd.

The general impression now is that this is the last day of fighting here and that the enemy’s display of force yesterday was made merely to cover his retreat. If they leave, I suppose our division will go to the rear and get a little rest. I am sure the men need it.

Last night was a lovely night. The moon and stars shone brightly, and I enjoyed myself very much, lying on the ground talking with my friend George R. Gear on religious subjects. Oh, Esther, I often fear that my thoughts and feelings on these subjects may vanish! I pray God they may prove lasting. I have been much happier since I have been under their influence, but the army is a poor school. How strange it is that where there is most danger there should be most wickedness, but so it is.

I hope, my dear, that you are getting my letters regularly. It must be a comfort to you to know that I am safe so far. I forgot to tell you that with all their cannonading yesterday, not a man was hurt by it in our regiment.

12 at noon, June 23.

We have just been having an artillery duel. Early this morning the bugles ordered our skirmishers to advance. They did so and are now I believe, some three hundred yards up the mountain. The Rebs thought to play a trick on them and sneaked down a few men at a time till they had fully a regiment, with the kind intention of taking some of our men in out of the wet. All this time they kept up a cannonading at one of our forts to draw attention from their design. But they had been close watched and just as their men were ready to fall on ours, some twelve or fourteen guns opened with shell full upon them. You should have seen the Johnnies go up the hill at double quick. This made them mad and they trailed one of their guns on our regiment, which lay in full sight. The first shell burst over our heads and we all thought it was caused by cutting the fuse too short, but the next came closer and we found they had us in fair range. Our officers sent us into the rifle pits to keep us out of harm’s way as much as possible. I had made some beef soup and was getting my dinner, so I stuck in out till I had done eating. Some of their shot were well aimed, but in consequence of our earthworks, no damage was done except breaking two rifles for Uncle Sam, hitting Gen. Dodge’s saddle, and making a hole through the blanket of a Company A. boy. I was not sorry when they tired of their sport at last, for it was too hot to lie crowded in the trenches.

Notice has just been given to send mail in to Head Quarters, so I must close.

Believe me, my dearest love, 

Your affectionate husband,

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22 June 1864: “Now people are terribly in earnest. They want the truth. They want nothing more and nothing less.”

Item Description: “Journalism—Misrepresentations of Facts—Appeals to Prejudices among Soldiers, &c., &c.” (editorial), The Daily Journal (Wilmington, N. C.), 22 June 1864.







Journalism—Misrepresentations of Facts—Appeals to Prejudices among Soldiers, &c., &c.

A FRIEND recently remarked to us upon the terrible sameness of the newspapers. From the first to the last column the topic was war.  And he was right.  It is war.  War is in all men’s thoughts and in all men’s mouths.  If any one enquires the news, it is news of the war that he means.  The first part of a paper that is read, is the telegraphic column with dispatches from the battle-field. At the beginning men loved the excitement—they delighted in rumours.  Now people are terribly in earnest.  They want the truth.  They want nothing more and nothing less.  Under those circumstances it appears to us to be the duty of the press to seek that first.  Reports it must give, for the telegraph will bring reports, and rumours, more or less reliable will be received from other quarters.  To sift these rumours, to weigh testimony and to give an intelligent and intelligible resume of occurrences, and of the existing position of affairs, is perhaps the most acceptable service that a journal can render to its readers.

As in matters of news, so in matter of opinion, men seek or ought to seek reality, plain speaking, coolness and candor.  This is no time tor “pitching in,” or pitching out–for making partizan appeals for this man or against that man.  It is no time for appealing to any prejudice, nor for addressing any particular class or calling of men.  A paper is published for the whole community.  Its existence depends upon the supposition that it is so, and that its aim is the public good, for upon no other ground could the exemption of even the few persons engaged in carrying it on be asked for or justified.  Most honestly do we doubt the moral right of Congress to exempt any parties for the purpose of carrying on mere personal organs, engaged almost wholly in the advocacy of personal claims.

These remarks, as applying to such organs in this State, may seem harsh.  But are they correct?—Of course we apply them to the organs, not to the individuals engaged in their manipulation. Different persons may have different ideas of duty, and we concede to others the same right we claim for ourselves.—Still we can not reconcile with our notions of the duty of a journalist the constant effort to present every fact in a partizan light, or to bring forward every circumstance with a direct reference to its bearing upon the political fortunes of some particular individual or candidate.  The public has primary claims upon the press.  It has a right to all the information the press can properly communicate, without coloring or evasion.

Articles addressed to particular interest, appeals to men according to certain assumed classifications, we have always regarded as dangerous in their tendency, and not unfrequently insulting to those they are designed to flatter or cajole.  Freemen in our country may be tall or short, fat or lean, strong or weak, without being any the less freemen. So may they differ in worldly circumstances, and still be equally freemen.  It would be as absurd, as much opposed to the spirit of our institutions, to array the poor against the rich or the rich against the poor, as it would be to array the long men against the short men, or the fat men against the lean men. These are accidents of stature or or worldly circumstances, which in nowise effect the real matter.  What is true and right in itself is true and right by whomsoever it is read and heard, and it would be none the less so were all the world to refuse either to read it or to listen to it. Broad plain truths are useful and wholesome and good for all.  Appeals to classes or sections are dangerous and unpatriotic.—Nay they are insulting, as suggesting the existence of a real or supposed difference and half hinted inferiority, where none such is fairly presumeable.

A good many soldiers—or, speaking more accurately, a good many citizens now in military service, take our paper.  Would that we could publish it at prices that it would render it convenient for more to do so.  Some of our army subscribers are officers ; others, and the large majority, are not.  They are all citizens.  What is for the good of the country is for their good ; what is opposed to the good of the country is opposed to their good.  And, indeed, the converse of this proposition may be regarded as pretty applicable;—the good of the soldiers is the good of the country and the evil of the soldiers is the evil of the country, since the best blood of the whole country is in the army.  Is an army constituted like that of the Confederacy to be regarded or addressed as in any way differing from the country at large of which it forms so important a part?  We think not. We certainly have never supposed so, and have never thought of writing appeals to soldiers as such, upon political matters, and we have regretted to see such appeals coming from any quarter.  Especially have we regretted to see any appeals calculated to awaken prejudices or create antagonisms between citizens holding commissions and citizens not holding commissions.  We all know that all cannot be officers, as we also know that the brunt of battle must fall upon the rank and file, while at the same time the history of the war shows how freely the officers have exposed themselves and offered up their lives for their country upon every occasion. Perfect harmony between officers and men is very essential to the efficiency and well-being of the army, and is, of course, of vital importance to the success of the cause which all are battling for. That anything tending to weaken this harmony, or to create distrusts between persons occupying different positions in the service, can only be productive of evil, every man of common sense will see for himself.

Now, we regret to notice that there is an effort to create such distrust in the ranks of our army—to set the soldiers against the officers and the officers against those who are not officers—to hold out the idea that one candidate for Governor is the friend of the soldier—the private—and that the other is not.  To insinuate that because A. B., who happens to be an officer, chooses to support Gov. VANCE, therefore C. D., who happens to be a private, should waive his own private judgment, and out of blind spite against his officer support Mr. HOLDEN.  We think that the worse than folly of this thing requires only to be pointed out to be condemned.  We will not insult the common sense of any of our readers in or out of the army, whether officers or privates, by arguing such a thing.  Yet such a course of electioneering is carried on, directly and indirectly ; and, we regret to say, not without its effect.— Mr. HOLDEN is represented as the exclusive friend of the private soldier, and a prejudice as between soldiers and officers is sought to be evoked in his behalf. If as package of Standards or Progresses does not reach it destination, it is charged to the tyranny of the officers or the Confederate Government, or some such thing; and this in face of the fact that every paper in the State and out of it receives from its subscribers in the army, and, for that matter out of the army, the same kind of complaints.

We are making no appeal for Governor VANCE nor against Mr. HOLDEN. We are simply objecting to this style of electioneering. It is wrong. It is unjust. It is unpatriotic. It ought not to be resorted to.  We would condemn it, no matter by which side it might happen to be used. It is uncandid.  Both these aspirants for public favor are desirous of the votes of the soldiers and of all others. Let them seek such votes on fair grounds. We will not argue that Governor VANCE is the exclusive friend of the private soldier, although be himself was a private soldier and entered the army as such, and his competitor never did. We will not call in question, Mr. HOLDEN’S reasons for not doing so.  No doubt they were satisfactory to himself.  But in the course of the two men, there is nothing to show that Governor VANCE has neglected the interests of the soldiers, but much to show that he has remembered them.  If Mr. HOLDEN has made any record in this respect, it has been confined to words, and some of these words have appeared to us to be dangerous and unpatriotic.

We have from time to time expressed our preference for Gov. VANCE, and given our reasons for this preference. If these reasons have any force they derive it from considerations apart from anything like appeals to the prejudice of any class, section or party. They are based upon grounds of a public and general character, in which all officers, soldiers and civilians are alike interested. We are sick of appeals and demagogueism.  We should think that the people would also be by this time.  Now, at least, men and measures, candidates and their acts, should be looked at with clear eyes and unwarped judgments.

Item Citation: Journalism—Misrepresentations of Facts—Appeals to Prejudices among Soldiers, &c., &c.” (editorial), The Daily Journal (Wilmington, N.C.), 22 June 1864, page 2, columns 1 and 2. Call number C071 W74j, North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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21 June 1864: “. . . the hardest fighting of the war may yet be looked for within sight and sound of the Cockade City.”

Item Description: “Petersburg” (editorial), The Daily Journal (Wilmington, N. C.), 21 June 1864.




It may be that while we write shot and shell are busy around the devoted city of Petersburg, for Grant has commenced a new campaign against Richmond on the Southside of the James River, and has transferred the bulk of his forces to this side. The attack on Petersburg will probably be made from City Point, as that is on the same side of the Appomattox with Petersburg, namely, the lower or Southeastern side.—Grant probably thinks that Petersburg is the key to Richmond, and with his accustomed activity his blows will fall thick and fast, with a view to the capture of that city.

Rapidity of movement is one element of military success that Grant evidently possesses in a large degree. With what other elements it may be combined, rendering it rather a source of weakness than of strength, we do not now propose to consider. One thing is certain: Unless opposed by more than usual ability, Grant is a dangerous man, and the very audacity of his movements may snatch victory almost by accident.

To say that he found Petersburg weak, is to give no information to the enemy. He has measured the strength of our works, for he has been in part of them and found them wanting. For this no blame can attach to General Beauregard, for he has been in command there too short a time to enable him to make any due preparation in the way of permanent works. The works defending Petersbnrg on its City Point approaches, do not seem to have amounted to much. The enemy certainly has gotten within shelling distance of a portion of the city and has shelled it, with more or less destruction to property and danger to life. We do not think he can maintain himself, but the hardest fighting of the war may yet be looked for within sight and sound of the Cockade City. Grant, keeping his eye on Richmond, will leave nothing undone to capture Petersburg, since to fail at the weaker place would be to confess the folly of attacking the stronger.

We are happy to know that Petersburg still stands, and is likely to stand. We suppose the “new campaign” on the Southside will last until Grant has exhausted all the resources of his strategy and realized the failure of them all. Who shall say what may next occur? Why, Grant may fly off at a tangent, if his own official head has not already fallen, and make a dash at both Wilmington and Charleston. That, however, is a remote contingency. An admitted failure at Richmond ends the military career of Lieutenant General Grant, hence his impatient flying around to conceal anything that might be construed into such admission.

We have been permitted to see a letter from an officer in the 51st N. C. T., written on the 17th.  In the action on the night of the 16th, as well as on the morning of the 17th, the casualties in the regiment were very few; not over ten or twelve. On that occasion Hancock’s corps attacked the line held by Hoke’s division, but were easily repulsed. There had been no regular fighting on the morning of the 17th up to the time when the letter was written. Only skirmishing. No one from this immediate section is mentioned among the hurl.

About 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon, we heard a report that Col. Devane, of the 61st, had been mortally wounded in a fight then going on. We trust not. We will soon hear more.

Item Citation: “Petersburg” (editorial), The Daily Journal (Wilmington, N.C.), 21 June 1864, page 2, column 1. Call number C071 W74j, North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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20 June 1864: “I have written in the breastworks, in a broiling tropical sun; pardon errors if you please.”

Item Description: letter by C. G. Wright, dated 6 June 1864, published by The Daily Journal (Wilmington, N. C.), on 20 June 1864.





The following letter has been received from Major Wright, by a gentleman in this town, and as it contains many matters of interest, has been kindly placed by him in our hands, with permission for its publication :—

Camp 66th Regiment
Battle-field near Gaines’ Mill,
9 miles from Richmond, Va.
June 6th, 1864.

— — —— Esq.,
Wilmington, N. C.

My Dear Sir : I know the interest you felt in the welfare and reputation of the late Alex D. Moore, Colonel of this regiment—not merely as a connection of your family, but his qualities as a soldier. Cognizant, perhaps more than all others of the particulars of his death, I have thought it appropriate to furnish them to you and to his deeply afflicted family, with whom I communicated at once by the telegraph.

Friday morning at daylight, June the 3rd, the enemy opened his fire upon us from his right to his left. —We soon ascertained that it was not a mere demonstration upon any particular point of supposed weakness, but the actual carrying out of a well digested, well-considered plan of attack.  The fire ran down our lines from left to right like the keys of a piano, and to the sharp crack of our rifles was added the roar of artillery as it joined in the wild music of the hour—the carnival of death.  The — battalion of Lt. Col. Eglison’s Virginia Infantry, immediately on our right, gave way and yielded with scarcely more than a show of resistance, and their flag was captured, as also a piece of artillery in their rear. Our right flank was thus exposed, but fortunately Finnegan’s Florida troops were immediately in reserve and they dashed up in gallant style, retook the battery, and aided by the flank fire of the right wing of the 66th regiment, captured and slaughtered the whole charging force.  They were Virginia Pierpont troops under an Ohio Colonel.  They came up in better spirit than that which seemed to an imate the bosoms of those who were put there to oppose them, and but for the prompt response of the reserve, and the deadly fire of this regiment, serious results might have followed;—as it was, they fell before us like autumn leaves, and the crest of the hill is now darkened with the Yankee dead.  Before the 17th regiment, the enemy met a similar repulse and there they still lie festering in their wounds.

The prisoners captured by the 17th N. C., say that theirs was the only one of 16 regiments that could be forced to the charge, the others incontinently flying or refusing to be led to the slaughter. That Grant had charged them so much to the death music of our Confederate rifles, that their prestige was gone and they were demoralized. They were glad they were prisoners, &c.

This was our status, our situation, every thing quiet along the lines, save the congratulations which follow success, when Col. Moore came to my wing and commenced one of those gay, pleasant conference which characterized our daily intercourse.  We were talking and laughing together, when he changed his position to give an order or take an observation, his breast just above the parapet, whet he reeled heavily and fell expiring into my arms from the remorseless bullet of a Yankee sharp shooter.  He turned his eyes upon me; they spoke, though his lips moved not, and I knew from that look which I can never forget, that death had done his work, and in less than one minute, the soul of the brave, generous, chivalrous Moore had sprung from the service of his country to his God.  He was much my junior–I never knew him till the organization of this regiment—but since Aug. 3rd, 1863, we nave been daily thrown, together and our confidences and social relations have been both pleasant and unreserved.  His was a military education, and to the energies of a strong and well ordered mind, he added the love and enthusiasms for his profession, and there were precious few men in whose judgment I would more readily confide. Being his senior, he was daily in the habit of consulting or rather confering with me upon matters for the good and esprit du corps of our command, and this gave me opportunities to know whereof I speak.  I have never been long deceived in my estimates of my associates, and in the retrospect which this sad event, this calamity calls up, I can say I never knew a braver, more chivalrous man.  Of delicate and refined sensibilities himself, he accorded them to others, and to the stern quality of the soldier, he brought the charm of social converse, heightened as it was by education and a love of a chaste and enobling literature.  I never knew him to utter a profane word or enjoy an impure sentiment coming from any one, however intimate.  He had endeared himself to this regiment, and when I announced his death, there was sorrow in all our lines—and when I felt the warm pressure of his hand as he struggled with the grim monster Death, wiped the death damp gathering on his brow, and closed his eyes in death, I could without undue weakness or unmanly emotion join in the heart-moving sympathy of David for the loss of his friend—”I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan, very pleasant hast thou been unto me.”  He was not merely brave, but he was even gay in battle. I never saw but one like him in this regard, and that is Adolphos Munroe, of Blades County, his Sergt. Major, whom the Col. thought as brave a lad as he ever saw, and who, in a night assault the next evening, was shut in the head by a minnie ball, lodging in his jaw and inflicting a most painful, if not dangerous wound.

You heard of the assault of Thursday night on the 8th N. C. regiment, commanded by the brave, amiable and intrepid Lt. Col. Jno. R. Murchison, of Cumberland County.  I have never gotten the particulars, only that from a gap or interval on his left, his flank was turned and his regiment, weakened by long and arduous services, could not withstand the shock, and in rallying his broken line, amid the roar of artillery, he too yielded up his brave life ‘to his country and his soul to God.

The soil of the Old Dominion is enriched with North Carolina blood. Her battle-fields have been rendered as classic as Salamis, Thermopylae, Mantinea or Leuctra. We have lost our Meares, Wrights, Davis, Woosters, Branches, Gordons, Campbells, Huskes, Lutterlobs, our Purdys and Gordons, our privates, brave and enduring, by the thousand, who sleep, many of them around me, while others both East and West, among the hills or on her plains, sleep quietly, profoundly to the music of the purling brook or soft sighing pines of their own beloved State. One by one they have returned ; the casket you receive but its genial LIFE is gone.

But my friend, I fear the above rather sombre reflections, which take color from my present surroundings, socially considered, will mislead you.  I am bouyant, more so than ever of our prospects.  The enemy are demoralized, they know to charge no is to them certain, inexorable, remorseless death.  We are here backing up every message, every public official act of our President for PEACE—every gun we fire, whether it is heard in the sharp crack of our rifles, or the thunder of our artillery, it is the same—it is all for PEACE. The gathering of all this immense, mighty host around this national centre but enforces an appeal for Peace which our enemies will not hearken to.  But my friend, before this battle month of June ends or autumn comes, there will, I believe, be peace wrung from the hands of defeat, and with God’s good help, in his good time, it will come and come, I believe, quickly.  We are passing through the identical toils which illustrated the lives and ennobled the hearts of your ancestors and mine.  History is repeating itself, and we will surely, in my deliberate, well considered judgment, attain the same ends—the same longed for goal. Let us all be cheerful, what is more, patriotic; let us forget ourselves, in the magnitude of public interests, and whether your son or I myself live to see it or not, it will come, and we will only have testified our devotion to a cause we all love and a State we will never dishonor.

I have written in the breastworks, in a broiling tropical sun; pardon errors if you please.

Hastily your friend,


Citation: letter written by C. G. Wright (6 June 1864), The Daily Journal (Wilmington, N. C.), 20 June 1864, page 2, columns 2 and 3.  Call number C071 W74j, North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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19 June 1864: “This has been an awful day; fighting, and cannonading and a dreadful thunderstorm.”

Item description: In this 19 June 1864 letter, George Hovey Cadman, a soldier in the 39th Ohio Infantry Regiment, wrote from the Marietta, Ga., area to his wife about a momentary truce between his company’s skirmishers and the “Johnnies” on the 17th. Under the influence of good weather, Union and Confederate soldiers traded coffee, tobacco, and song with each other. By the 19th, all that good will was gone as there was fighting, cannonading, and a “dreadful thunderstorm.”



Item citation: folder 10 in George Hovey Cadman Papers (#122), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Sunday, 11 a.m., June 19/64

In the Field, seventy miles from Marietta, Georgia.

My dear Wife:

I last wrote on the 17th, and on the evening of the same day we were relieved from duty at the front, and moved back to the rear about three hundred yards. It was a lovely night, and even the combatants seemed under its influence. Our skirmishers and the Johnnies made a truce, and agreed not to fire at each other. Papers were exchanged and coffee was traded for tobacco, and the best of feeling existed between the parites. First Johnny would sing a song, and then one of our men would reply. Each side had agreed not to fire any during the night, and they kept their word.

About 3:30 yesterday (Saturday) morning, it began to rain, and continued all day. Last night was very cold, wet and gloomy, and this morning we found the rebels had taken advantage of the night to move from our front.

One of the 76th Ohio was badly wounded yesterday in an odd manner. A shell that had been fired without exploding had gone under an old log. Some of the boys built a fire against the log without seeing the shell, and when the fire reached it, it burst, and hence the wounded man.

The rebel batteries and our own are shelling each other at about two miles distance, but whether the rebels are in force or are only a rear guard left to bother us we do not know.

5 p.m.

This has been an awful day; fighting, and cannonading and a dreadful thunderstorm. Fortunately for us, as our division had been in front for several days, we had been relieved, and the second division took our place and gave us some rest. But we do not know, one minute from another, when we may have to go in again.

So far every thing has been favorable, and our artillery is performing admirably. God help the poor fellows who are engaged.

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18 June 1864: “It is noticeable that during the present campaigns few battles take place on Sundays.”

Item Description: “An Improvement,” (editorial), The Daily Journal (Wilmington, N. C.), 18 June 1864.



An Improvement.

It is noticeable that during the present campaigns few battles take place on Sunday.  The enemy has been thrashed into some respect for the day, and we think that General Lee is anxious to avoid any violation of its solemn stillness and repose.  At any rate the announcement most generally made in regard to the movements on Sunday is that all is quiet at the front.

It is hardly respect for the day that actuates our enemies, but most probably repeated disasters on that day have led them to regard it as unlucky.  Such we think is the sentiment with the private soldiers, whatever feelings the officers may have upon the subject.  But whatever causes them to keep quiet on Sunday, it is well that they do so. War is bad enough at the best, and, less than any other occupation, can afford to dispense with the one day’s rest in seven.  Even in a moral point of view, that rest may do good and can hardly do harm.

Item Citation: “An Improvement,” (editorial), The Daily Journal (Wilmington, N.C.), 18 June 1864, page 2, column 1. Call number C071 W74j, North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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17 June 1864: “By hook or by crook, Abraham Lincoln is bound to be re-elected President of the Northern States.”

Item Description: Editorial, The Daily Journal (Wilmington, N. C.), 17 June 1864.



By hook or by crook, Abraham Lincoln is bound to be re-elected President of the Northern States.—That, like his nomination at Baltimore, is a foregone conclusion.  He is far from being a great man, but whatever else may be thought about him, he has shown himself to be a “smart” man in his own way.  He has out-jockeyed all his competitors so far, and will do so a again, we think, although the experiment be is trying  is a dangerous one; but the danger lies away in the distance, beyond Mr. Lincoln’s ken and beyond his care.

At the Convention that re-nominated him, undoubted Southern States were fictitiously represented, and, in the electoral college that will choose the President, we should not wonder if the vote of North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana and other Southern States should be counted for Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. One man out of ten is authorized, according to the Lincoln programme, to cast the vote for any of the “rebel” States. Who knows but that there may be a sufficient number of runaway negroes, Buffaloes and white Yankee soldiers in North Carolina, to muster up ten thousand votes in November next?  Or, if there is not, who will say that there, will not be Lincoln agents sufficiently accommodating to return them as having voted, and, of course, voted for the present incumbent? That thing will be easily arranged. So much, we think is certain.

The New York Herald undertook to predict that Lincoln could not be nominated, and that Grant would be.  The result shows how far the Herald was mistaken. The same paper takes upon itself to say that Lincoln will not be elected.  In this prediction it is almost as certain to be mistaken as it was in its prediction about the nomination.  Lincoln plays with loaded dice, and unless his election is prevented by force it will certainly be accomplished by fraud.

The great State of New York may feel insulted by having its vote offset by electoral delegations presuming to represent North or South Carolina, Alabama or Arkansas, Louisiana or Texas or Florida.  New York may fully understand the fraud, but it will be unable to right itself without having a resort to open force, and we doubt if it will have that resort.  For the time, at least, Lincoln will probably be master of the situation.  He will carry his point.  Away in the future will loom up dangers and difficulties.  The seeds of distraction and suspicion will be planted, and they will be certain to bear bitter fruit.  But that will be in the future, beyond the ken or the care of men like Mr. Lincoln, who are merely “smart” and not wise—who arc politicians but not statesmen,—who are fanatics and not patriots.

Why Hamblin was thrown overboard we can hardly tell.  Hamblin was as black a Republican as anybody.  There has been nothing white about him, not even his complexion, since it is shrewdly questioned whether he is a full-blooded white man himself.  But he has been thrown over board to make room for Andrew Johnson, perhaps because Johnson hails from one of those Southern States from which a bogus delegation is expected to cast a counterfeit vote for Lincoln.

Item Citation: Editorial, The Daily Journal (Wilmington, N.C.), 17 June 1864, page 2, column 1. Call number C071 W74j, North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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16 June 1864: “This is only about twenty miles from Atlanta, while it is rumored that Hooker has crossed the river to our right, and is probably trying to get between them and Atlanta with a large force.”

Item description: Letter, dated 16 June 1864, from Robert Stuart Finley to his fiancee, Mary A. Cabeen. Finley was a member of the 30th Illinois Infantry, serving in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia.

[Item transcription available below images.]

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Item citation: From the Robert Stuart Finley papers #3685-zSouthern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Camp near Big Shanty Sta. June 16th 1864

Miss M.A.C.

Dear friend,

Your kind letter of June 4th came to hand yesterday and was quite welcome. Situated as we are on the battle field amid the crowded throng of thousands of soldiers, the almost continual clicking of musketry and occasional roar of Artillery, it is quite a relief to receive and read a kind letter from a friend.

I realized this pleasure on yesterday, for while reading your letter the Artillery was firing vigorously and with an almost deafening roar about fifty rods in front of us, and the infantry were making a charge upon the rebels a little to the left of our batteries; while the deadly music of the musketry mingled with battle cry of the brave boys rushing upon their deadly foes. How strangely conflicting scenes seem to commingle upon the battle field. Just before the battle all is joy & mirth – the greeting of friends – in a moment the meeting of foes – the deadly conflict and then the shout of victory or the wail of suffering and the agony of death. O! kind disposer of events hasten the glad day when such scenes shall be forever ended in our land.

We left Huntsville the next day after I wrote to you last, and after a long and severe march with wet weather and bad roads we arrived at the Hd. Qrs. Of Gen. Sherman near Acworth on the 8th of this month.

On the 10th the whole army advanced to this place and found Johnsons army occupying a strongly fortified position around the base of Pine and Lost Mountains. When we came here it was raining and continued raining almost incessantly for four days so that very little was done except skirmishing.

Yesterday the weather cleared up and some fighting was done. Our lines were advanced the 4th Div. of our Corps making a charge on our left driving back the enemy and capturing about 400 prisoners. One Regt. (the 31st Ala.) of about 100 men was taken with its officers. Our Regt. was not engaged although they were moved up to occupy an advanced position and to support a regt. holding our rifle pits.

During the engagement yesterday Lieut. Greenough (of Co. F. 30th Ills. and Aid de Camp to Genl. Force comd’g our Brig.) was shot by a rebel sharpshooter and died instantly. He was standing near one of our batteries looking through a field glass at the advancing line of skirmishers when he was shot. There was a large crowd around and among them several Generals, none of whom had any business there except to see what was going on, but as soon as he fell the crowd was soon dispersed. Lieut. Greenough was the one of the best and bravest officers in our Division his death was a severe loss & deeply regretted by all who knew him. His body was sent to his home in Marshall Ills. to  day in charge of his friend, Noyes Barber.

All has been quiet in our front to day except an hour or two this afternoon there was some brisk cannonading. This is only about twenty miles from Atlanta, while it is rumored that Hooker has crossed the river to our right, and is probably trying to get between them and Atlanta with a large force. If he accomplishes this and causes them to evacuate their works here Shermans victory is complete.

Our losses in the fight yesterday were comparatively light & Sherman I think has been doing well when we consider that he has sent north of prisoners and deserters together, then hundred and forty of Johnsons Army during the last six days.

I hope that the next 4th of July may be like the last, and much more, a day in which the north together with the army in the field, shall celebrate signal victories for the federal arms. But while we rejoice over our success we are called to mourn and drop the tear of sympathy for brave and loved boys who have nobly fallen upon the battle field to secure for us these successes. The living heroes of this struggle for our countries honor, the nation will ever delight to welcome and reward but, -

“The hearts adoration shall still be for those
Who know naught of the triumph that blesses the close;
Who from the dark battle field never returned,
To hear the warm praises so gallantly earned;”

You have my warmest sympathy in the loss of your loved brother. The ways of providence are mysterious yet I trust you mourn not as those who have no hope. His country demanded the sacrifice and it is a sweet consolation to know that he died nobly and in a good cause.

(continued 1st Page)(crossways)

I thought I had taken a large enough sheet of paper to write all I wanted but I have filled it up with much that I expect will not be interesting to you and hope you will pardon me for writing so much, but you need not read it if you get tired before you get through, especially this page. But I want to answer some things in your last letter.

You have a poor opinion of your own photo. I haven’t taken it for a cigar lighter yet and do not expect to very soon. If M.F.W. is going to send me one of her, she is a long time about it for it hasn’t come to hand yet. Perhaps your information was mistaken about her intentions. I haven’t heard a word about her since I was at home and do not know where she is. And if she should think proper to send me her photo it would have to be much better looking than the original to even compare with yours, so you need not fear the fate of yours.

The boys in the 30th are generally well they are now occupying rifle pits only four or five of the Regt. have been slightly wounded since we came here. They have been quite fortunate thus far. The 102nd are several miles out to our right in Hookers Corps and I have not seen any of them yet. I believe I am but little acquainted with any one in that Regt. I have met some old acquaintances in Ohio Regts. And in the 9th Ills. I must close as it is nearly mail time and take this to the Office. The cars run to this station now and we get the mail through direct. Please excuse this cross writing as I do not believe in it as a general thing. Direct as before and write as soon as convenient. I remain as ever.

Your sympathizing friend,

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