Who was Turner anyway?

Who was Turner anyway?

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A Turner Bugler, 2004

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News of 150 Years Ago–November and December 1863

NEWS OF 150 YEARS AGO

November and December 1863

The dedication of the Soldiers’ Cemetery on the field at Gettysburg was national news in November 1863. The DEMOCRAT printed the full text of Edward Everett’s two-hour speech in five full columns of small, dense type. (Read the text here or here.) This accompanying article covered the whole ceremony, including the full text of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, although it was transcribed slightly differently from the version we are familiar with today.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, November 23, 1863.

BY TELEGRAPH.

REGULAR AFTERNOON DISPATCHES.

FROM GETTYSBURG.

Consecration of the Soldiers’ Cemetery.

IMMENSE GATHERING OF PEOPLE.

Interesting Account of the Proceedings.

A BEAUTIFUL POEM.

SPEECH OF PRESIDENT LINCOLN.

ETC., ETC., ETC.

[Special Dispatch to the Missouri Democrat.]

GETTYSBURG, Nov. 19. – This has been a great day for the nation. The burial place of her glorious defenders on the crisis of the national safety was splendidly dedicated to valor, to patriotism and to freedom. The people have been coming all the week, and some days since the town was overflowing so that the hosts who arrived yesterday and last night were compelled to sleep on the floors of private houses. The demonstrations of military, of high officials, secretaries, and citizens, was superior to anything of the kind ever witnessed in this country….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

After the fall of Vicksburg, Union Major General William T. Sherman camped his Army of the Tennessee by the Big Black outside of the town. His wife and children came to visit him in mid-August. His nine-year-old son Willy followed his father around the camps and was adopted by the 13th U.S. Regulars, who made him a sergeant. In September, as Sherman accompanied his family north to Memphis on a steamboat, Willy fell ill with typhoid fever. Twenty-four hours after reaching Memphis, he died. Sherman was devastated. Willy’s grave is near his father’s in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis.

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, November 4, 1863.

A Touching Letter.

A Captain in the 13th Regulars sends us the following expressive letter from Major General Sherman. It is a sad episode in a soldier’s life:

GAYOSO HOUSE, MEMPHIS, TENN.,
October 4 – Midnight.

Capt. C. C. Smith, commanding Battalion 13th Regulars:

MY DEAR FRIEND: I can not sleep to-night till I record an expression of the deep feelings of my heart to you, and to the officers and soldiers of the battalion, for their kind behavior to my poor child. I realize that you all feel for my family the attachment of kindred, and I assure you all of the reciprocity. Consistent with a sense of duty to my profession in office, I could not leave my post, and sent for my family to come to me in that fatal climate, and in that sickly period of the year, and behold the result!…

Click here to read the complete article.

 

After opening supply lines to the besieged Union Army of the Cumberland in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant took command and, with reinforcements from the West, took the offensive against Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee, with spectacular results.

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, November 25, 1863.

FROM CHATTANOOGA.

GEN. THOMAS’S RECONNAISSANCE.

Splendid Success of the Movement.

Full Particulars of the Operations.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 24. – The Star of this afternoon contains the following account of the brilliant preliminary movements of General Thomas:

CATTANOOGA, Nov. 23 – the reconnaissance in force made by General Thomas has been completed in the most brilliant and successful manner.

The troops employed were the divisions of General Wood and Sheridan, of the 4th Corps, under the immediate direction of General Granger. The object of the movement was not only to ascertain the strength of the enemy, but to occupy and hold the knolls in front of our left, half way between our lines and Missionary Ridge….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, November 25, 1863.

BY TELEGRAPH.

REGULAR AFTERNOON DISPATCHES.

FROM CHATTANOOGA.

Cannonading Still Heard at Knoxville.

A Battle between Grant and Bragg Expected To-day.

Rebels Said to be Falling Back – A Reconnaissance – We Hold all the High Ground this Side of Missionary Ridge, Etc., Etc.

CINCINNATI, Nov. 24. – There is nothing additional from Burnside. Cannonading is still heard. The battle is anticipated between Grant and Bragg to-day.

A special to the Commercial, from Chattanooga, 23d, says deserters last night reported the rebels falling back to Chickamauga Station. Their artillery has been withdrawn from our front, and their army, apparently, is in retreat. Reconnaissance this afternoon revealed the enemy apparently in force between us and Missionary Ridge….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, November 26, 1863.

THE LATEST NEWS.

BY TELEGRAPH.

FROM CHATTANOOGA.

GRANT’S OPERATIONS IN THE SOUTHWEST.

Assault on Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge.

BOTH POINTS SUCCESSFULLY CARRIED

Cheering from Burnside.

HE BATTLES EVERY ATTEMPT TO DISLODGE HIM.

The Rebels Completely Routed.

5,000 PRISONERS CAPTURED.

Thirty Pieces of Artillery Taken.

FULL PARTICULARS OF THE THREE DAY’S FIGHTING

PARTIAL LIST OF CASUALTIES.

Gens. Matthias and Corse Wounded

ETC., ETC., ETC.

[Special Dispatch to the Missouri Democrat.]

CHATTANOOGA, Nov. 25. – The success of our arms to-day was very brilliant. The enemy were driven from every position. All portions of our army fought splendidly, but the piercing of the enemy’s centre by Woods, Sheridan and Baird’s divisions, and their occupation of Missionary Ridge, is regarded as one of the grandest exploits of the war….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

From The Missouri Democrat, Saturday, November 28, 1863.

LATEST FROM GENERAL GRANT.

PURSUIT OF BRAGG’S ARMY.

Ten Thousand Prisoners Captured.

Particulars of Friday’s Operations.

[Special dispatch to the New York Tribune.]

WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 12:30 P. M. – Advices received this morning by the War Department from Grant, state the pursuit of the rebels was continued yesterday by Hooker and Thomas. Bragg attempted to make a stand of Chickamauga Station, but was again forced back.

The rebels are in full retreat on Dalton. There is nothing later from Burnside….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

From The Missouri Democrat, Saturday, November 28, 1863.

BY TELEGRAPH.

REGULAR AFTERNOON DISPATCHES.

FROM WASHINGTON.

BRAVERY OF OUR TROOPS.

They Charge Where no Commander Thought it Possible.

Duplicity of the Rebel Authorities.

Provisions and Clothing for Union Prisoners Appropriated by the Rebels.

ETC., ETC., ETC.

[Special dispatch to the Missouri Democrat.]

WASHINGTON, Nov. 26. – Dispatches from Chattanooga speak in most glorious terms of the conduct of that part of Howard’s corps which stormed Missionary Ridge, and subsequently pursued their advantage by attacking other positions held by the enemy.

Sheridan’s and Wood’s divisions under Hooker went over ground which was deemed perfectly impenetrable, and climbed precipices where no commander would have thought of ordering his troops led. They acted under no orders from superior officers, but after taking Missionary Ridge swept on in one resistless wave of attack….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

We here in Missouri know David Murphy as one of the heroes of the 1864 Battle of Pilot Knob. Early in the war, he had been a successful volunteer artillery officer, until he resigned his commission after the conclusion of the Vicksburg campaign. In late 1863, he returned home to Franklin County and became embroiled in a controversy so trying that his friends were impelled to come to his aid. Those friends described his plight in the following article.

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, November 11, 1863.

THE CASE OF MAJ. MURPHY.

The Persecution of the Gallant Soldier on Account of His Radicalism.

The Conservative Rule in Missouri.

A Matter for Investigation.

Among the gallant men whom Missouri has given to help fight the battles of the Union – the bravest of the brave – few are more widely and favorably known than Major David Murphy, a Franklin county, formerly commanding the 1st Missouri artillery. Franklin County, in proportion to her population, has poured out more of her blood for the Union than any other county in Missouri. Out of a population of between fifteen and sixteen thousand whites, she has furnished eighteen hundred soldiers, one thousand of whom have given their lives for their country. This patriotic devotion on the part of a community in close proximity to others largely impregnated with disloyalty, is not a little owing to the heroic Unionism of the subject of this article….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

Pro-Southern organizations existed throughout the North during the war. Their activities ranged from anti-administration political activity, to discouraging enlistments and encouraging resistance to the draft, to apparently more active opposition. The Knights of the Golden Circle were particularly suspected of plotting against the war effort.
From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, November 2, 1863.

FROM CINCINNATI.

THE K.G.C. ORGANIZATION.

TREASONABLE PLOT DISCOVERED.

A DESIGN TO OVERTHROW THE STATE GOVERNMENT.

The Rebel Prisoners at Camp Chase to be Released.

Duplicity of the Rebel Authorities.

The State Arsenal and Penitentiary to be Seized.

How the Plotters Were Detected.

CINCINNATI, Nov. 1,. – An extraordinary case of treason has recently came to light, implicating several persons in the city, Columbus, Covington and Newport in the conspiracy, to release the rebel prisoners from Camp Chase and overthrow the State Government.

The conspiracy was brought to light by United States detectives, who were supposed by the parties implicated to be spies from the rebel army, and were treated with full confidence….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

Union soldiers in the Western Theater were always recognized as a different breed from their comrades in the East. This article describes what distinguished them.

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, November 3, 1863.

WESTERN SOLDIERS.

Their Self Reliance – Illustrative Incidents – Making Camp “Improvements” – Striking Tents – Taking Coffee – Downy Pillows – Life in Canvas Cities, Etc., Etc.

[Correspondence of the Chicago Evening Journal.]

ARMY OF THE CUMBERLAND, Oct. 21.

If there are men in the world gifted with the most thorough self-reliance, Western soldiers are the men. To fight in the grand anger of battle seems to me to require less manly fortitude, after all, then to bear without murmuring the swarm of little troubles that vex camp and march. No matter where or when you halt them they are at once at home. They know precisely what to do first and they do it. I have seen them march into a strange region at dark, and almost as soon as fires would show well, they were twinkling all over the field, the Sibley cones rising like the work of enchantment everywhere, and the little dog tents lying snug to the ground, as if, like the mushrooms, they had grown there, and the aroma of coffee and tortured bacon, suggesting comforts, and the whole economy of a life in canvass [sic] cities moving as steadily on as if it had never intermitted….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

Emancipation had split the Republican Party in Missouri into a Radical faction, popularly called the “Charcoals”, and the Conservative faction, known as the “Claybanks”. The Radicals made a strong showing in 1863, but their ability to elect two Radical U.S. Senators in the state legislature was in doubt.

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, November 4, 1863.

OUR VICTORY.

Never have we derived as great satisfaction in recording triumph at the ballot box, as in the one which yesterday crowned the labors of the Radical Unionists of St. Louis. The victory is of no ordinary significance. It is, in fact, a double success. It is a victory over open enemies and pretended but treacherous friends. The defeat is that of a coalition of most extraordinary character—a coalition in which representatives of the National Government and open mouthed advocates of the rebel Confederacy joined hands under the common name of Conservatives. It is the overthrow of an enemy which entered the contest boastful, insolent, defiant, and utterly reckless of the agencies it employed for success. That foe is to-day utterly routed and humbled in the chief city of the West—never more to raise its head in intimidation of loyal and freedom-loving men.

Click here to read the complete article.

 

From The Missouri Democrat, Saturday, November 14, 1863.

THE LATEST NEWS.

BY TELEGRAPH.

FROM JEFFERSON CITY.

ELECTION OF U. S. SENATORS.

GREAT TRIUMPH OF RADICALISM

B. GRATZ BROWN AND JOHN B. HENDERSON ELECTED.

Henderson Says he is as Radical as Brown.

THE COPPERHEAD AND CLAY BANK COALITION DEFEATED

Condition of the Defeated Candidates.

THE RADICALS HARMONIOUS AND JUBILANT.

A New Convention Bill to be Passed.

[Special dispatch to the Missouri Democrat.]

JEFFERSON CITY, November 13. – We have attained a “cosmos!” “We are the revolution!” “John Brown’s soul is marching on!”

The election of B. Gratz Brown was a glorious triumph for humanity and freedom. Henderson says that Brown is radical as –-, and that he is as radical as Brown….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

The immigrant German population of St. Louis and the surrounding region played an important role in 1861 in keeping the city and the state in the Union. This earned them the animosity of the pro-Southern inhabitants. By the middle of the war, the Germans strong support of emancipation proved essential in the Radical Republicans’ electoral victories over the Conservative faction in 1863.

From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, November 5, 1863.

THE GERMANS OF MISSOURI.

The history of the war will accord to that portion of our population above-named a high position. Beyond all question they saved Missouri to the Union in the first stages of the rebellion. They were the first to detect the indications of the approaching storm, and the first to prepare for it. When treason raised its head in our midst, it found the Germans arms to receive it, and from that day to this they have stood as a wall between it and the object of its machinations. It has neither been able to intimidate them by force, to deceive them by fraud, nor to seduce them by fair words. When the enemies of the Union changed their mode of warfare, from the open attack in the field to the covert attack through the ballot-box, they found the Germans just as ready to meet and thwart them as they had proved themselves before….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

The employment of African-American volunteers by the Union Army was met with outrage by the Confederate government, which decreed that captured African-American soldiers would be returned to slavery and their white officers tried for inciting slave insurrection. In practice, Confederates often just did not take even surrendering African-American troops prisoner, as at Fort Pillow. This led to the end of the prisoner exchange program.

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, November 24, 1863.

THE COLORED SOLDIERS.

OBLIGATION OF THE GOVERNMENT TOWARDS THEM.

NO FURTHER EXCHANGES TO BE MADE UNTIL MADE GENERAL.

NEW YORK, Nov. 23. – The Washington correspondent of the Evening Post says an article said to have been inspired at the War Department, says that in determining on the employment of colored troops this Government became bound by the highest moral obligations as well as those appertaining to the well-being of the service to give our soldiers of this description every guarantee that they should be protected, cared for, and treated in all respects like other troops in the service….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

With the end of prisoner exchanges, the prisoner-of-war camps of both sides grew rapidly while conditions deteriorated. Reports of conditions at Confederate prisoner-of-war camps were of great interest in the North.

From The Missouri Democrat, Saturday, November 28, 1863.

Union Prisoners at Richmond – A Narrative of their Privations and Sufferings – Statement of Rev. Jho. Hussey, L. L. D., a Released Prisoner.

Rev. John Hussey, pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Lockland, Hamilton county, Ohio, and a member of the Christian Commission, was captured by the rebels on the field of Chickamauga, on the day succeeding the battle, and conveyed, through a tedious route, to Richmond, where he remained in durance until 9th of the present month, less than a fortnight since, when he was fortunate enough to be released. The reverend gentleman has very kindly furnished us with a statement of what he was compelled to witness, and to endure, while in captivity, and, although it does not materially differ from the experience of others, who were equally unfortunate, it yet embraces many particulars of interest. At the present time, indeed, when the whole North is roused to sympathy and indignation at the recital of the sufferings of the Union prisoners in Richmond jails, any intelligence throwing light upon their actual condition must awaken a feeling of painful interest in the community….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

In 1863, President Lincoln issued his first proclamation of a National Thanksgiving Day. It has been an annual tradition in the United States every year since.

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, November 25, 1863.

THE NATIONAL THANKSGIVING DAY.

A Proclamation by the President of the United States.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to invite and to provoke the aggressions of foreign States, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

This was not the only proclamation by the President during this period. Reconstruction was also on his mind.

From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, December 10, 1863.

IMPORTANT PROCLAMATION.

BY PRESIDENT LINCOLN.

Pardon and Amnesty to the Rebels on Certain Conditions.

RESTORATION OF STATE AND PERSONAL RIGHTS.

The Oath Which is to be Taken.

WHO ARE EXCLUDED.

The Reconstruction of States.

THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION IRREVOCABLE.

ETC., ETC., ETC.

The following proclamation is appended to the message:

WHEREAS, On and by the Constitution of the United States, it is provided that the President shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States except in cases of impeachment; and

WHEREAS, a rebellion now exists, whereby the loyal States and Governments of several States have for a long time been subverted, and many persons have committed and are now guilty of treason against the United States; and…

Click here to read the complete article.

 

The exploits of Confederate commerce raiders like the C.S.S. Alabama, built in British shipyards, were widely reported by the press of both sides. The U.S. government sought by diplomatic means to prevent further British-built ships from entering Confederate service. In 1863, they finally succeeded. The DEMOCRAT reprinted a London article explaining the decision.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, November 2, 1863.

THE LAIRD RAMS.

Does the Present Seizure Ensure Their Permanent Detention!

[From the London Times, Oct. 13.]

The protracted controversy respecting the iron-clads in the Mersey has at length been put in the way of definite solution. The broad arrow, we are told, has now been marked on one of these steamers, and the suspected vessels, therefore, can only be cleared of the attachment by course of law. In what decision that course may terminate it is not now for us to conjecture. All that is yet certain is that the case will be tried, and the whole question argued on its proper merits. Enough, however, appears to have been established in the recent discussions to make the matter intelligible, and to define the positions occupied by the several parties to the transaction….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

Not surprisingly, the Southern press was dismayed with the British action.

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, November 4, 1863.

THE SOUTHERN PRESS.

What is Said of the Seizure of Laird’s Rams—The Removal of Rosecrans—The Military Situation and Lincoln’s Last Proclamation.

[From the Richmond Dispatch, October 26.]

SEIZURE OF THE RAMS AT LIVERPOOL.

As we suspected, Russell has at last found law enough to authorize the seizure of the rams. He told us himself that if he could not find it he meant to have it made. So the rams were to be seized at any rate, and we are not disappointed.

The London Telegraph, whose expose we publish in another column, very justly concludes that the Yankees will consider this act as dictated by their threats. They will be sure to take that view of the matter, and they will be right….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

News of international naval and ordnance developments were commonly reprinted in the pages of the DEMOCRAT.

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, November 3, 1863.

THE IRON NAVY OF FRANCE.

Experimental Examination at and off Cherbourg – The Great Vessels not Fit for Ocean Service – Fearful Rolling, Pitching and Sea-Shipping of the Monsters.

[Paris (Oct. 8,) Correspondence of London Army and Navy Gazette.]

One must not always judge of French performance by French accounts, for the Government, being jealous of success, does not look with a favorable eye on those who register disaster or failure. French ships, French plates and French guns, and indeed, all French inventions under the patronage of authorities, succeed and are perfect. Instead of “the king can do no wrong,” here the judicial proverb is, “Government can not fail.” However, private accounts now and then get a broad, which impeach the fallibility of those in power, and show that there is no exception to the general rule, as laid down in the three words humanum est errare….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, November 11, 1863.

Armstrong Guns Ridiculed.

[From the Scientific American.]

We recently gave (page 233, current volume, Scientific American) an account of the vast sums – amounting to more than ten millions of dollars – which the British Government had expended on Armstrong guns, and that they had at last been condemned. On the subject the Examiner (London) indulges in the following amusing piece of criticism:

“It is a perfect anomaly to send our armor-clad fleet to sail around our islands and visit our ports without an effective gun on board any of them which could make a hole in the side of its neighbor….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, December 7, 1863.

England’s Artillery Deficiencies.

[From the London Daily News, November 7.]

Day by day, the evidence is accumulating of the perilous position in which we stand because of our want of an efficient rifled gun for use on board the ships which are to cope with the iron-clad navies of other powers. Beside our inferiority in this respect to the Americans, to which we have already called attention, we now learn that our inferiority to both the Russians and French is even more positively certain….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, December 11, 1863.

A MONSTER GUN.

Trial of Sir Wm. Armstrong’s Six Hundred-Pounder.

[From the Manchester Examiner, Nov. 21.]

This monster gun, which weighs about 22 tons, is 15 feet long over all, and has a bore of 18½ inches, was submitted to a trial at Shoeburyness on Thursday. It carries a conical cast-iron hollow-headed shot weighing 600 pounds, and capable of containing a bursting charge of no less than 40 pounds of powder. The charge used on Thursday with shot was 70 pounds, with shell 60 pounds. By the time every thing was ready the interest of the spectators had reached the highest pitch; and it was amid exclamations of surprise and wonder from even veteran artillerists, that the men serving the gun put into it and rammed home first the powder, looking like a terrible bolster, and next the conical cast-iron hollow-headed shot, measuring nearly 30 inches in length, by 18.3 inches in diameter….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

Coverage of American ordnance developments was not neglected.

From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, December 3, 1863.

How the Three-Hundred-Pounder Parrotts are Worked.

A correspondent on Morris Island writes:

As there is no manual laid down for the 300-pounder Parrott, I subjoin that in use. The piece is on its carriage and “from battery,” implements, no two to be in the same place and no one in its proper place. The instructor gives the command “load her up!” At this command the gunner says, “Some of you fellers bring a shell,” and “John, bring a cartridge.” Some of the “fellers” take a small hand-barrow and bring a shell….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

Despite coverage of the war and politics, the DEMOCRAT still had space available to cover less serious news.

From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, November 26, 1863.

THE LINDELL HOTEL BALL.

Immense Concourse, &c.

The great Lindell Ball is over. The immense palace on Washington avenue looks down on the world this morning as tranquilly as if its magnificent halls were not, last night the exciting scene of “the event of the season” in St. Louis. Yet it is our duty to congratulate the proprietors, the managers, and the public, on the successful consummation of the ball. It is ended, though scarcely, in hundreds of dreamy minds for whose imagination still protracts the inspiring music, the exhilarating dance, the gorgeous light, the patriotic colors, and the jubilant crowds….

Click here to read the complete article.