Pastor Thomas Lape, 62, replaced during this year by William H. Emerick, 57 (who had been the church's pastor a decade and a half earlier), conducting services in the third church building, which, like the second one, was known as the "Church on the Rocks," because it sat on a rocky ledge overlooking the Sawkill (about ¾ mile east of our present location--that is, north of present-day Route 212, across from the country club).
The outgoing pastor, Reverend Lape, had earned a reputation as a
clear, methodical preacher … instructive … gentle, amiable, cheerful and faithful pastor; … a humble Christian, and a sincere friend. He stood well among the Lutheran clergy of the State.(1)Pastor Emerick (pictured), in contrast, was a gifted and fiery preacher who held meetings often on the same grounds where the annual Sunday School picnics were held--that is, on the banks of the Sawkill in a shaded wood. He was always interested in bringing people into the church.
Anderson, Mark J., For All the Saints: Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, New York, 1806-2006 [Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006], draft, quoting the 1879 tribute presented by Rev. P. A. Strobel, of the Hartwick Synod obituary committee. (Close)
We have no description of what it was like in the first or second church building, but here is a reminiscence(2)
Quoted from Moseman, Magda, and Anderson, Mark, eds., Perspectives and Patterns: Christ's Lutheran Church, 1806-1976 [Woodstock, NY: self-published monograph, 1976], itself citing Nathaniel M. Nash. (Close)
about what the third was like in the 1850s (and probably in the 1860s as well):
My memory dates back fifty years, and that old church standing upon the rocks is the same in outward appearance now as it was then. The door in the center of the south end opened directly into the church, there being no vestibule or hall. The stove stood between the door and the first row of seats.… The stove was a solid cast iron stove … it took long wood and when it got hot it was awful hot. The pipe suspended by wire ran the whole length of the church to the chimney at the north end.… The seats were planed pine boards with backs and ends, and I think the hard side of the boards was up. I could not sit still on them. …The church owned no parsonage. The pastor
The church was lighted with candles, a candlestick on each end post of the pulpit and tin candle holders hanging upon the wall--just enough of them to make darkness visible. Every little while the sexton would go around with the snuffers and snuff the candles and sometimes he would snuff too low when out would go the light.
It would be a sight worth seeing today to see the vehicle on a Sunday morning that stood about the church grounds with the teams tied to the pine trees.… [F]arm wagons with long boxes on them and boards laid across for seats, and bed quilts for lap coverings in cold weather, the same kind of wagon with wooden springs with seats attached which they put inside the box (which simply emphasized the jolts); the Gondola pleasure wagon which turned up slightly at both ends with no door but with springs under it; and others of various styles. And in the winter the long sleigh, the farm bobs and … you could see any Sunday that there was sleighing … in some neighborhoods one farmer would take his team and long box wagon and gather up all that wanted to go to church and the next Sunday another would take his team and bring them. In this way those not having teams could get to church. How they all enjoyed the ride! Neither do I think they were proud, for many if not all wore the garments spun, woven, dyed and fashioned by their own mother's hands.
I well remember a revival held in the spring of the year when the frost was going out of the ground and such roads. Mud hub deep [hub deep on a wagon wheel, probably 3 or 4 feet in diameter!]. But not withstanding the state of the roads or the weather, the church was packed to the door and some nights they could not all get in. They came long distances to attend the meetings. At these meetings many of the young people of the church were converted and later joined the church.…
lived in rented rooms wherever they could be procured, sometimes several miles away.… [Reverend Emerick] lived part of the time in West Camp on [his own place], coming up on Saturday and going back on Sunday afternoon or Monday.…About this time ("in the early 60s"), the congregation purchased a cast-iron bell and placed it in the coupola.
According to regional historian Alf Evers(3),
Excerpted from Evers, Alf, Woodstock: History of an American Town, Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1987, pp. 263-65, citing Plank, Will, Banners and Bugles, Marlborough, NY, 1963, pp. 94-99. (Close)
Like the people of other Ulster County towns, Woodstock people had felt little enthusiasm for the Civil War. The seceding states were far away and had few perceptible economic or social ties with Ulster. Ulster had been a slave-holding county until 1827, and sympathy for emancipation was not great. Once the war effort began to be [organized, however,] recruiters got busy. Agents in Woodstock in… 1863 were Samuel McDaniel and John Burkitt. The two coaxed and reasoned with young men, especially those known to be chafing under the burden of farm chores and an unexciting existence. Many enlisted in Company H of the 20th Regiment known as the Ulster Guards.… Black Solomon Peters enlisted and became the cook in a white artillery company. A white Woodstock man became sutler (he ran the shop at which soldiers bought necessities and luxuries) in a black regiment. Soldiers were paid very little and were often unable to buy their basic necessities.… Woodstock's quota of men to be drafted was set at 187; by way of comparison Kingston, with its much larger population, had a quota of 1,703. Under the new system a drafted man might pay for a substitute. "Substitute brokers" made their living supplying the demand, usually with poor immigrants recently arrived in New York. Units of government paid increased bounties to men who enlisted voluntarily. The bounties varied. In Woodstock they were three hundred to three hundred fifty dollars [$5,649 to $6,590 in 2006 dollars] in 1863. A man might apply his bounty rights against the cost of a substitute.Those at home had to deal with runaway inflation; food and clothing prices doubled. Some folks had to rely on charity; some even ended up at the poorhouse. People lit their homes by means of a rag wick on a saucer of fat, and they made "crust coffee" out of dark bread crusts. With so many men gone, women did the plowing and the harvesting. Woodstock boys gathered and debarked alder stems needed in gunpowder manufacture that was done in Sawkill and High Woods, while Woodstock coopers made powder kegs.
As a result of the war and the consequent manpower shortage in the county, labor-saving and other innovative devices began to appear at home and on the farm: dog- or sheep-operated churns, apple peelers, horse-drawn harvesting and threshing machines, food preserved in tin cans.
Women organized an Auxiliary and a Ladies Relief Society to send food, warm sweaters and mittens they had knitted (children joined in the knitting), and other necessities to men at the front. These necessities might include "medicinal" syrups, made from berries gathered by local children, thought useful in treating the digestive ailments afflicting the camps. Betsy Booth MacDaniel, the local herb doctor, nurse, and midwife, who had learned her craft from an "Indian doctor" on Tinker Street and was said to have been able to cure consumption by herbal means, made cholera syrup and other remedies, shipping them to her sons at the front.
Woodstock families who had seen their sons go off as soldiers were naturally anxious, never knowing when they might receive devastating news. Of course, the men were just as likely to succumb to fevers in camp as they were to enemy bullets. Local boys Aaron Newkirk Risely and Egbert Lewis fought in the Battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg.
Smelly tanneries in the Catskill region continued converting animal hides into leather, using chips and powder from hemlock bark in the tanning (softening) process and thereby leaving millions of bark-skinned hemlocks to die while standing. During the Civil War, there was a huge demand for leather, and the tanning business was booming (and none of the large stands of hemlock was safe). One observer commented that the war was fought on boots made of leather tanned in Sullivan County, where hemlock was once plentiful. James A. Simpson and a partner from Woodstock ran the Phoenix Tannery in Phoenicia (the village named for their business), and took advantage of the boom. The huge hemlock groves in Shandaken (the very name Shandaken means "hemlock" in Algonkian) were being depleted. Orson Vandevoort rebuilt the Woodstock tannery and became rich.
The Ulster and Delaware Turnpike (present-day Route 28), leading up the Esopus Valley from Kingston and over the Pine Hill into Delaware County, floored smooth with heavy hemlock planks, was holding up well under the considerable freight of hides, leathers, and other goods.
The piratical-minded, foghorn-voiced shipping magnate Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt (van Derbilt), 69, gained control of the New York and Harlem Railroad.
Former New Paltz and Hurley slave Isabella Bomefree Van Wagenen, now an abolitionist itinerant preacher residing in Washington, DC, and known as Sojourner Truth, 66, pictured here, raised food and clothing contributions for black regiments fighting in the Union Army.
Abraham Lincoln, 54 (Republican), was President. The newly elected 38th Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $18.83 in 2006 for most consumable products.
West Virginia, the western part of old Virginia that had refused to secede from the United States in 1861, was admitted to the Union as the 35th state. Its constitution called for the gradual emancipation of slaves.
President Lincoln asked the new 38th Congress to establish a system for encouraging immigration. Some 176,000 immigrants streamed into the United States (the Northern states), nearly twice as many as each of the two preceding years--about 67,000 from Great Britain, 56,000 from Ireland, and 33,000 from Germany.
Large numbers of the immigrants were induced to enlist in the Union armies (about a fifth of the Union forces were foreign born; in some units military commands were given in four different languages). Such inducements were aided by generous bounties offered by federal, state, and local authorities, and "bounty brokers" and "substitute brokers" combed the poorhouses of the British Isles and Western Europe, offering whiskey and amazing promises. (Many of the enlisted "bounty boys" deserted and then volunteered elsewhere to net another bounty; one such "bounty jumper" replicated his reward 32 times.)
The Emancipation Proclamation, ostensibly freeing "persons held as slaves [within areas] in rebellion against the United States," took effect January 1 and technically "freed" nearly 4 million slaves in the U.S. Authorities in areas in rebellion against the U.S. actually felt little obligation to free slaves there, but whenever Union forces captured such areas, there was now a legal basis for freeing any slave found. When the proclamation was actually implemented at the end of the war, some 385,000 slaveowners would lose human property valued at $2 billion ($37.6 billion in 2006 dollars). Although half of all white families in South Carolina and Mississippi owned slaves, and 12 percent of all slaveowners had more than 20 slaves, 75 percent of all free Southerners had no direct connection with slavery.
With the Emancipation Proclamation in effect, thousands of slaves abandoned their plantations and ran to join the Union armies. (As Union armies marched in and out of various localities, many blacks found themselves emancipated and then re-enslaved.) Not only runaway slaves but also black enlistees from the North were now accepted into the military (they had previously been barred from the Army and accepted only as cooks and servants in the Navy). Eventually blacks accounted for about 10% of the total enlistments in the Union forces, on land and sea. By the end of the war, some 180,000 blacks served in the Union armies, most of them from the slave states but many from the North. As historians Bailey, Kennedy, and Cohen have pointed out,
[black] fighting men unquestionably had their hearts in the war against slavery that the Civil War had become after Lincoln proclaimed emancipation. Participating in about five hundred engagements, they received twenty-two Congressional Medals of Honor--the highest military award. Their casualties were extremely heavy; more than 38,000 died, whether from battle, sickness, or reprisals from vengeful masters. Many, when captured, were put to death as slaves in revolt.…(4)An affidavit by a Union sergeant described the fate of one group of black Union troops captured by the Confederates:
Quoted in Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., and Cohen, Lizabeth, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, pp. 470-71. (Close)
All the negroes found in blue uniform or with any outward marks of a Union soldier upon him was killed--I saw some taken into the woods and hung--Others I saw stripped of all their clothing and they stood upon the bank of the river with their faces riverwards and then they were shot--Still others were killed by having their brains beaten out by the butt end of the muskets in the hands of the Rebels.(5)The white Boston Brahmin Robert Gould Shaw led the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, consisting entirely of blacks, in a valiant but futile assault on Fort Wagner in South Carolina. Shaw was killed along with half of his men.
Quoted in ibid., p. 471. (Close)
"Facts are beginning to dispel prejudices," reported the New York Tribune.
Enemies of the Negro race, who have persistently denied the capacity and doubted the courage of the Blacks, are unanswerably confuted by the good conduct and gallant deeds of the men whom they persecute and slander. From many quarters comes evidence of the swiftly approaching success which is to crown what is still by some persons deemed to be the experiment of arming whom the Proclamation of Freedom liberates.(6)Secretary of War Edward McMasters Stanton, 39, commented that blacks
Quoted in McCutcheon, Marc, Everyday Life in the 1800s: A Guide for Writers, Students & Historians, Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books, 1993, p. 226, citing the New York Tribune, March 28, 1863. (Close)
have proved themselves among the bravest of the brave, performing deeds of daring and shedding their blood with a heroism unsurpassed by soldiers of any race.(7)In August, President Lincoln wrote to Grant that enlisting black soldiers
Quoted in Davidson, James West, and Stoff, Michael B., The American Nation, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1986, 1995, p. 465. (Close)
works doubly, weakening the enemy and strengthening us. (8)Defending his policies toward blacks in an open letter to Democrats, Lincoln stated:
Quoted in Bailey et al., op. cit., p. 472. (Close)
You say you will not fight to free negroes. Some of them seem willing to fight for you; but, no matter. Fight you, then, exclusively to save the Union. I issued the proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union.(9)In December, Lincoln announced:
Quoted in ibid., p. 470. (Close)
It is difficult to say they are not as good soldiers as any.(10)In spite of this deserved praise, however, Congress maintained for over a year the monthly pay of a black private at $7, compared with that of a white soldier at $13 ($132 and $240, respectively, in 2006 dollars).
Quoted in ibid., p. 472. (Close)
President Lincoln proposed a gradual enfranchisement of the freed slaves: Those who qualified for the ballot through education, property ownership, or military service (especially military service).
Many Union soldiers expressed disgust at the idea of fighting a war of liberation for the blacks. Historian Leon Litwack commented on the racist attitudes of many Yankees(11):
The statements here about the attitudes of Union soldiers toward blacks are excerpted from Taylor, Dr. Quintard, Jr., "History 101: Survey of the History of the United States--Manual, Chapter 4, Civil War and Reconstruction" (Seattle: University of Washington, citing Litwack, Leon, Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery (New York, 1979) pp. 127-128, taken from http://faculty.washington.edu/qtaylor/Courses/101_USH/101_manual_4.htm, accessed 31 January 2007). (Close)
That most Union soldiers should have failed to share the abolitionist commitment is hardly surprising. What mattered was how they manifested their feelings when they came into direct contact with the slaves. The evidence suggests one of the more tragic chapters in the history of this generally brutalizing and demoralizing war. The normal frustrations of military life and the usually sordid record of invading armies, when combined with long-held and deeply felt attitudes toward black people, were more than sufficient to turn some Union soldiers into the very "debils" the slaves had been warned by their masters to expect. Not only did the invaders tend to view the Negro as a primary cause of the war but even more importantly as an inferior being with few if any legitimate human emotions--at least none that had to be considered with any degree of sensitivity. Here, then, was a logical and convenient object on which disgruntled and war-weary Yankees could vent their frustrations and hatreds.…
To debauch black women, some Yankees apparently concluded, was to partake of a widely practiced and well-accepted southern pastime. The evidence was to be seen everywhere. Besides, Yankees tended to share the popular racist notion of black women as naturally promiscuous and dissolute. "Singular, but true," a Massachusetts soldier and amateur phrenologist observed,the heads of the women indicate great animal passions.Although some Union officers made no secret of their slave concubines, sharing their quarters with them, a black soldier noted that they usually mingled with "deluded freedwomen" only under the cover of darkness, while they openly consorted with white women during the day. The frequency with which common soldiers mixed with black women prompted some regimental commanders to order the ejection of such women from the camp because their presence had become "demoralizing." "I won't be unfaithful to you with a Negro wench," a Pennsylvania soldier assured his wife,though it is the case with many soldiers. Yes, men who have wives at home get entangled with these black things.Marriages between Yankees and blacks were rare, but when they did occur southern whites made the most of them.Two of the Brownfields' former negroes have married Yankees--one, a light colored mustee, and property left her by some white men whose mistress she had been--she says she passed herself off for a Spaniard and Mercier Green violated the sanctity of Grace Church by performing the ceremony--the other, a man, went north and married a Jewess--the idea is too revolting.
The Confederacy refused to enlist slaves into their armed forces, but tens of thousands of slaves were forced into labor battalions to build fortifications, supply the lines, and other military-support activities. Slaves also kept the farms going.
Responding to the slackening off of volunteering, the 38th Congress passed the Conscription Act, subjecting all married men 20 to 35 years old and unmarried men 20 to 45 years old to military service. This was the first nationwide conscription in the United States. The number actually drafted was divided among the states in proportion to their population, and subdivided among districts with credit given to previous enlistments. Every state and district had a grace period of 50 days to reduce its quota through volunteering (with each volunteer receiving a bounty, which was not given to a draftee); after that period, the balance was obtained through drawing names by lot from a list of registrees.
The provisions of the act were grossly unfair to the poor: A conscriptee could avoid actual service by paying $300 ($5,649 in 2006 dollars) for a substitute to enlist for 3 years. Such rich-boy slackers were referred to as "three-hundred-dollar men." Poor draftees complained that their government was a bandit, demanding "three hundred dollars or your life."
The Confederate government had instituted conscription the previous year. There, too, a rich man could hire a substitute or purchase an exemption (until the end of the year, when this provision was abolished and the price of a substitute had reached $600). Slaveowners or overseers with 20 slaves could claim an exemption (sneeringly known as the "twenty-nigger law"), a situation that earned the complaint of poorer soldiers that this was "a rich man's war but a poor man's fight." Confederate conscription agents avoided areas inhabited by sharp-shooting mountain whites, branding them "traitors" or "Tories" or "Yankee lovers."
In June, when nearly a third of the Confederate forces were AWOL, President Davis, contending that the South was invincible if only every white man would do his duty, proclaimed an amnesty to deserters who returned. Very few returned, and the offer was repeated after the Battle of Gettysburg.
Union forces cut the Confederacy off from its salt deposits on the Louisiana Gulf Coast and destroyed salt works in Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. (Salt from wells near Syracuse, NY, and Saginaw, MI, kept the North well supplied with salt.)
The CSS Florida, under Captain J. N. Maffitt, was able to run in and out of the blockade at Mobile and then raised havoc in the Gulf of Maine, burning several ships. Its crew converted one Gloucester fishing vessel, the Archer, into a Confederate warship (under Lieutenant C. W. Read), which entered Portland harbor and captured the federal revenue cutter Caleb Cushing and then burning it at sea after she was about to be recaptured by sidewheeler passenger boats under the mayor of Portland.
Confederate cavalry officer John Singleton Mosby, 29, led his Rangers behind Union lines in Virginia and captured Union Brigadier-General Edwin H. Stroughton and 100 of his men at the Fairfax Court House. Mosby was promoted to Captain and gained several recruits to his irregular force.
The headstrong General Joseph "Fighting Joe" Hooker, 48, pictured left, now commanded the 115,000-strong Army of the Potomac after the terrible carnage under General Burnside at Fredericksburg at the end of the preceding year. Hooker planned to trap the Confederate forces under General Robert Edward Lee, 56, pictured center, at Fredericksburg by cutting off his communications with Richmond. When Hooker's cavalry and army corps came together at Chancellorsville, Confederate General Richard H. Anderson began constructing defensive earthworks at nearby Zoan Church. Confederate reinforcements under General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson, 39, pictured right, finally arrived to stop the Union advance at the beginning of May. The 60,000-strong Confederate force had no intention of retreating, spoiling Hooker's prediction.
Though strongly outnumbered, Lee divided his army--one part remaining to guard Fredericksburg and the other racing west to meet Hooker's advance. As the Battle of Chancellorsville began with the van of Hooker's column, Hooker pulled the main part of his force back to a lone crossroads tavern known as "The Wilderness" and there took up a defensive line, hoping that Lee would carry out an uncoordinated attack through dense undergrowth.
Instead, Lee had two of his divisions focus Hooker's attention while Stonewall Jackson with 28,000 men sped in broad daylight (preceded by fleeing rabbits, foxes, and deer) across tangled countryside and attacked the exposed Union right flank (commanded by General Oliver Otis Howard, 33), which General Lee's reconnoitering nephew Fitzhugh had found to be "hanging in the air" with no defenses or natural obstacles on two sides. Jackson routed the Yankees in their camps in the late afternoon. Hooker was temporarily dazed from a near miss from a cannonball. The fighting continued after dusk fell, and Confederate forces did become confused in the brambles. As he was riding in front of his lines to reconnoiter, Stonewall Jackson was accidentally shot and seriously wounded by his own men; he had to have his left arm amputated later that night just below the shoulder. Lee lamented about this loss of Jackson:
I have lost my right arm.General James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart, 30, had to take over Jackson's forces.
The next day was the bloodiest of the battle, as Stuart aimed to reunite his forces with Lee's. Finally, Hooker ordered his troops to withdraw as the combined Confederate force converged on Chancellorsville to finish him off. But Lee was distracted by Union forces breaking through at Fredericksburg and he had to first force them back across the Rappahannock. By the time Lee returned to Chancellorsville, Hooker's surviving forces had successfully retreated from their defeat in the battle. The Union had suffered 17,000 casualties, the Confederates 14,000. Stonewall Jackson died from pneumonia and other complications of his amputation several days later, saying
Let us cross the river and rest in the shade.Here is how poet Walt Whitman, 44, described the aftermath of the Battle of Chancellorsville(12):
The night was very pleasant, at times the moon shining out full and clear, all Nature so calm in itself, the early summer grass so rich, and the foliage of the trees--yet there the battle raging, and many good fellows lying helpless, and every minute amid the rattle of muskets and cannon the red life-blood oozing out from heads or trunks or limbs upon that green and dew-cool grass. Patches of the woods take fire, and several of the wounded, unable to move, are consumed--quite large spaces are swept over, burning the dead also. Then the camps of the wounded. There they lie, from 200 to 300 poor fellows--the groans and screams, the odor of blood, mixed with the fresh scent of the night, the grass, the trees--that slaughter-house! One man is shot by a shell, both in the arm and leg--both are amputated--there lie the rejected members. Some have their legs blown off--some bullets through the breast--some indescribably horrid wounds in the face or head, all mutilated, sickening, torn, gouged out--some mere boys.
Following his victory at Chancellorsville, General Lee received approval from the Richmond government to invade the North with his 75,000-strong Army of Northern Virginia, this time through Pennsylvania. If the Confederates could strike a decisive blow there, the peace movement in the North would be strengthened and, perhaps, European powers might yet intervene. In fact, a Confederate peace delegation was already moving under a flag of truce toward the Union lines at Norfolk, VA, with the idea of arriving in Washington, DC, just as Lee's soon-to-be victorious forces from Pennsylvania would approach Washington from the north. President Lincoln refused to allow the delegation to pass through Union lines, however.
Lee reorganized his northbound army into three army corps under General James Longstreet, 42, General Richard Stoddert Ewell, 46, and General Ambrose Powell ("A. P.") Hill, 38, with a cavalry division under General Jeb Stuart; the advance troops decamped from Fredericksburg and began marching toward the Shenandoah Valley to head north.
General Hooker's 92,000-strong Union Army of the Potomac was uncertain of Lee's intentions, so Hooker ordered cavalry General Alfred Pleasonton, 39, to reconnoiter with 11,000 men. When Pleasonton encountered Jeb Stuart, the standoff Battle of Brandy Station, the largest cavalry battle of the war, occurred; now Hooker was aware of what Lee was up to.
General Ewell's Confederate force crushed a Union garrison at Winchester and captured valuable war material. Then all of Lee's entire army moved into the Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania--all except for three cavalry brigades under Jeb Stuart, which determined to harass the Union rear. The forces of Longstreet and Hill had reached Chambersburg, and Ewell's forces were preparing an assault on Harrisburg. But when Lee learned that the Union forces were already at Frederick, MD, and were moving north--and that President Lincoln had replaced Hooker with scholarly, abrupt General George Gordon Meade, 48, as head of the Union Army of the Potomac--he decided to offer battle. Both armies converged on Gettysburg to begin July at dawn with the great 3-day Battle of Gettysburg.
All the first day, the battle seesawed north of town until the Confederates under Hill and Ewell forced the Union forces under General Winfield Scott Hancock, 39, to retreat through the town to take positions on appropriately named Cemetery Ridge, where General O. O. Howard had planted his forces. Union losses were slightly more than 9,000, including some 3,000 captured; the Confederates lost approximately 6,500. During the night, the Union forces on their high ground were reinforced.
On July 2, Lee ordered Longstreet, supported by Hill, to attack the Union left flank south of town, at Little Round Top with a force of nearly 20,000 men. Lee ordered Ewell to create a diversion on the Union right flank. General Meade was well prepared for the Confederate tactics, but his Major General Daniel Edgar Sickles, 44, disregarded his orders to hold the left of the Union line and advanced west to the high ground of a peach orchard. Longstreet was able, after furious fighting, to overwhelm Sickles's position and pursue the retreating Yankees as far as Little Round Top, where his forces were finally checked. Then, as dusk fell, Ewell attacked the Union right flank but were repulsed at Culp's Hill. Each army had lost some 9,000 men on this second day. Jeb Stuart's cavalry brigades arrived late in the day; in the night Lee ordered Stuart to march east of Gettysburg, again to harass the Union rear and perhaps disrupt Meade's communications with Washington.
On July 3, General Longstreet misunderstood his orders to again attack the Union left, so Lee directed him to bombard the Union center on Cemetery Ridge with nearly 140 cannon and then, once the Union line was softened by this artillery barrage, to send some 12,000 infantry to smash the Yankees. Meanwhile, some of Meade's forces spent the morning disrupting the positions that Ewell had captured the preceding day at Culp's Hill. The early afternoon featured a gigantic 2-hour artillery duel between the two armies in their center.
As the artillery duel subsided, Longstreet sent infantry of Confederate General George Edward Pickett, 38, pictured here, with their 4,500 muskets plus 10,000 men from General Hill's command from Seminary Ridge to charge across an open plain toward the Union lines. They were cut to pieces by Union musket and artillery fire from three sides in their futile attempt to ascend the slant of Cemetery Hill. A Union soldier described the terrible scene at the crest(13):
Quoted in Davidson and Stoff, p. 474. (Close)
Men fire into each other's faces not five feet apart. There are bayonet thrusts, saber strokes, pistol shots, men going down on their hands and knees, spinning around like tops, throwing out their arms, gulping blood, falling, legless, armless, headless. There are ghastly heaps of dead men.Some 6,000 Confederates fell. One small Confederate force under General Lewis Addison Armistead, 46, was able to penetrate the Union line, but it was quickly overwhelmed. Meanwhile, Union Brigadier General David Gregg was able to neutralize Jeb Stuart's cavalry at the Union rear.
The Battle of Gettysburg was over: Union losses were approximately 23,000; Confederate losses were estimated as between 20,000 and 28,000. Lee retreated with his surviving troops into Virginia (after the flooded Potomac allowed them to cross), and Meade neglected to pursue them, much to the chagrin of President Lincoln. (His forces were actually depleted, because several of his detachments had been sent to New York City to restore order after horrific anti-draft riots there.)
Lee confessed his errors to President Davis:
No blame can be attached to the army for its failure to accomplish what was projected by me, nor should it be censured for the unreasonable expectations of the public. I am alone to blame.
Union forces had already captured much of the Mississippi River corridor in their effort to split the Confederacy; they now controlled the entire river between Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Tennessee, and they controlled upstream from the Gulf well north of New Orleans. The 150-mile stretch of the river between Vicksburg, MS, in the north and Port Hudson, LA (near Baton Rouge), in the south remained in Confederate hands, however, and herds of vitally needed cattle and other provisions flowed eastward across this stretch from Texas and Louisiana into the embattled heart of the Confederacy.
Confederate control of that section of the Mississippi River was cutting off the trade routes of the Southern-sympathetic "Butternut" region of the Ohio River Valley, and this region, suffering considerable economic pain, had plenty of agitators clamoring for making peace with the South. Some of the agitators had even been advocating a "Northwest Confederacy" that would itself secede from the Union and make a separate peace with the Confederate States of America. These sentiments were amplified by Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, since the region shared the racist notions of the Confederacy and hated the idea of an "abolition war." In January, one Congressman from southern Ohio declared:
If you of the East, who have found this war against the South, and for the negro, gratifying to your hate or profitable to your purse, will continue it… [be prepared for] eternal divorce between the West and the East.(14)A colleague in the Ohio Congressional delegation, after urgently insisting that the Mississippi be at last opened to commerce, declared:
Quoted in Bailey et al., op. cit., p. 475. (Close)
The erection of the states watered by the Mississippi and its tributaries into an independent Republic is the talk of every other western man.(15)
Quoted in ibid. (Close)
Vicksburg, sitting on a high bluff above a sharp bend in the Mississippi, was unapproachable from either the west or the north. Union General Ulysses Simpson Grant, 40, pictured here, decided to get to it from the east. From Memphis he brought his forces in the spring down the river on the east side to a few miles north of Vicksburg. He then left part of his force behind to give the impression that he intended to attack from the north; with the main part of his force he crossed the river into Louisiana at Milliken's Bend. With the help of the gunboats of Admiral David Dixon Porter, 50, Grant recrossed the river at Bruinsburg, south of Vicksburg and began engaging Confederate defenders in May, reaching Jackson in the middle of the month. He captured that city, thereby cutting off Confederate General John C. Pemberton from getting resupplied. Grant's forces defeated Pemberton's in the Battle of Champion's Hill and the Battle of Big Black River, driving them into Vicksburg, which Grant put under a long, relentless siege.
The starving Confederate garrison in beleaguered Vicksburg, as well as the civilian residents, were ultimately reduced to eating mules and rats. Finally, the city surrendered on July 4, the day after the end of the Battle of Gettysburg. Only 5 days later Port Hudson surrendered as well to the forces of General Nathaniel Prentice Banks, 47, thanks in large part to the assaults of the all-black Le Corps d'Afrique of recently freed slaves. President Lincoln remarked that the "Father of Waters" at last flowed "unvexed to the sea," and he appointed Grant commander of all federal troops west of the Appalachians. From the rebel point of view, Texas and Arkansas were cut off from the rest of the Confederacy, for all practical purposes lost.
Confederate forces defeated Union forces in the Battle of Chickamauga in Georgia at the end of the summer, driving the Yankees back into Chatanooga, TN, and then laying siege to that city. Desperate Union forces under General Grant rallied, however, and drove the Confederates from Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge; then, in late November, they defeated Confederate forces in the Battle of Chattanooga, securing Tennessee for the Union.
At the November dedication of a national cemetery at the Gettysburg battlefield, commemorating the horrendous battle that had been waged only 4 months earlier, President Lincoln was allowed to make a short dedication speech following the featured oration by former Massachusetts Congressman, Senator, and Governor (as well as Harvard University President) Edward Everett, 69, considered at that time the greatest American orator. Everett's 13,607-word address began as follows:
Standing beneath this serene sky, overlooking these broad fields now reposing from the labors of the waning year, the mighty Alleghenies dimly towering before us, the graves of our brethren beneath our feet, it is with hesitation that I raise my poor voice to break the eloquent silence of God and Nature. But the duty to which you have called me must be performed; --grant me, I pray you, your indulgence and your sympathy.…The oration ended some 2 hours later with these words:
… But they, I am sure, will join us in saying, as we bid farewell to the dust of these martyr-heroes, that wheresoever throughout the civilized world the accounts of this great warfare are read, and down to the latest period of recorded time, in the glorious annals of our common country, there will be no brighter page than that which relates the Battles of Gettysburg.Then, after a hymn composed by B. B. French, Esq., President Lincoln, with his down-home, often-mocked Kentucky accent, delivered his now-famous 2-minute Gettysburg Address:
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety, do. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here. It is rather for us the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.There was no applause at the conclusion of the speech. After a long, perhaps embarrassed silence, there was scattered, barely polite applause. Everett wrote to the President the next day, praising his eloquent and concise speech:
I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.Lincoln was glad to know his speech was not a "total failure." The ever-aristocratic London Times called the speech "ludicrous." The Democratic Chicago Times commented:
The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dishwatery utterances of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States.But the Republican New York Times was complimentary, indicating that the speech had been interrupted five times by applause and that it had been followed by "long continued applause." Like the Times, a Massachusetts paper printed the entire speech, and then followed with the comment that it was
deep in feeling, compact in thought and expression, and tasteful and elegant in every word and comma.
President Lincoln offered amnesty to all Southerners taking a loyalty oath. The President, who believed that the Southern states had never withdrawn from the Union legally, proclaimed a "10 percent" Reconstruction plan for these states once they had been brought back in: Whenever 10% of all a rebel state's voters in the 1860 Presidential Election took an oath of allegiance to the United States and agreed to abide with emancipation, that state could formally elect a new state government, which would be recognized by the federal government. Lincoln realized that any government based on such a small minority of the population would be merely
a tangible nucleus which the remainder… may rally around as fast as it can.Such a regime, he reasoned, bore the same relation to finally reconstructed states as an egg bears to a chicken:
We shall sooner have the fowl by hatching it than by smashing it.(16)"Radical" Republicans in Congress, however, fearing any restoration of the planter aristocracy to power in the South and the possible re-enslavement of the blacks, sharply condemned the "10 percent" plan.
Quoted in Garraty, John A., The American Nation: A History of the United States, New York: Harper and Row, 1966, p. 428. (Close)
The President did not shrink from overriding the very Constitution that he had sworn to uphold when he had been inaugurated, and some of his detractors accused him of being a "Simple Susan Tyrant." Lincoln offered the excuse that if he did not sometimes violate the document, there might not be a Constitution of a united United States to uphold. He said he did not believe that his exceptional authority would continue once the Union was preserved, pointing out that a man suffering from "temporary illness" would not keep taking bitter medicine for "the remainder of his healthful life."
Radical Republicans in the 38th Congress, resenting the expansion of presidential power in wartime and pressing President Lincoln zealously on more effective emancipation, continued criticizing nearly every decision of the executive branch from their 2-year-old Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War. There was, of course, plenty to criticize. The overambitious Treasury Secretary, Salmon Portland Chase, 55, headed a group that was conspicuous among the critics.
The Northern Democrats, tainted with their association with the seceders, were utterly divided. "War Democrats" patriotically supported the Lincoln administration, while tens of thousands of "Peace Democrats" despised nearly every government decision. The most extreme of the Peace Democrats were called "Copperheads," named for the poisonous snake that strikes without a warning rattle. The Copperheads, especially strong in the Ohio River Valley of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, openly obstructed the war effort through attacks against the draft and against emancipation. They denounced Lincoln as the "Illinois Ape" and condemned the "Nigger War," calling for a negotiated settlement with the Confederacy.
The Copperheads held a mass meeting in Springfield, IL, Lincoln's home town, in June, and resolved
that a further offensive prosecution of this war tends to subvert the Constitution and the Government.There was peace agitation in the Confederacy as well. Over a hundred peace meetings in North Carolina were convened after the Battle of Gettysburg, calling for negotiations for reunion. Both sides had secret societies. The "Knights of the Golden Circle" in the Midwest staged midnight raids and burned down barns; in the South the "Heroes of America" provided aid and comfort to Union forces.
Clement Laird Vallandigham, 43, was the acknowledged leader of the Copperhead Democrats in the North. As a Congressman from Ohio (turned out of office the preceding year), he had strongly opposed every military bill, leading his opponents to allege that he wanted the Confederacy to win the war. When Union General Ambrose Everett Burnside, 39, who had managed the previous year's futile slaughter of his own men in the Battle of Fredericksburg, issued General Order Number 38, declaring that
[the] habit of declaring sympathy for the enemy will not be allowed in this department [the Military District of Ohio]the tempestuous Vallandigham demanded in a major address in Columbus an end to the "wicked and cruel" war and charged that it was being fought not to save the Union but to free blacks and to enslave whites. To war supporters he declared:
Defeat, debt, taxation [and] sepulchres--these are your trophies!He called for the removal of "King Lincoln" from the presidency. As he hoped, he was arrested for violating the general order and taken under guard to Burnside's Cincinnati headquarters. His enraged followers, meanwhile, burned the offices of the Dayton [Ohio] Journal, a Republican organ.
In his trial before a military tribunal in May, Vallandigham, denied a writ of habeas corpus, was convicted of "uttering disloyal sentiments" and attempting to hinder the prosecution of the war. He was sentenced to 2 years' confinement in a military prison. A Federal circuit judge upheld Vallandigham's arrest and military trial as a valid exercise of the President's war powers (and the following February the Supreme Court confirmed that it had no power to issue a writ of habeas corpus to a military commission).
President Lincoln wrote to several Ohio Congressmen offering to release Vallandigham if they would only agree to support the administration's wartime policies. The offer was spurned. Not wishing to sustain the "wily agitator" as a martyr to the Copperhead cause, President Lincoln ordered him banished through the lines to the Confederacy. Vallandigham was taken under guard to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, there entering Confederate lines. There he assured President Davis that if the South could hold out but one more year, the Northern Democrats
would sweep the Lincoln dynasty out of political existence.Vallandigham was escorted to Wilmington, NC, where he shipped out on a blockade runner to Bermuda. From there he traveled to Canada.
Meanwhile, Ohio Democrats nominated Vallandigham for Governor in their June convention. From Niagara Falls and Windsor, Ontario, he conducted his campaign and received a steady stream of well wishers. In one speech, circulated in Ohio by his supporters, he asked,
Shall there be free speech, a free press, peaceable assemblages of the people, and a free ballot any longer in Ohio?In his platform he advocated withdrawing Ohio (and any other Northern state that wished) from the Union if President Lincoln refused to negotiate with the Confederacy. Not surprisingly, the President lent his support to the pro-Union War Democrat candidate, John Brough, claiming that a vote for Vallandigham was a "discredit to the country." Brough won the election, 288,000 to 187,000.
Vallandigham, disguised, returned to the U.S. after the election and again established his residency in Ohio.
Indiana Copperhead pirate John Clibbon Braine and 15 fellow conspirators took passage on the steamer Chesapeake during her regular run between New York City and Portland, ME; they overpowered its crew and captured the ship, intending to take her to Bermuda and refit her as a Confederate privateer. But Union patrol vessels captured her along the Nova Scotia coast (within the 3-mile limit) and towed her into Halifax harbor. Secretary of State William H. Seward, 62, pictured here, and the British ambassador to Washington handled the potentially explosive situation well, and the steamer was returned to its owner of record. Braine had debarked before the capture and went on to continue his piracies.
The Confederate constitution, meanwhile, which had been created by secession, did not deny the right of secession to the constituent states of the Confederacy. On more than one occasion the belligerent states' rights advocate Governor of Georgia, for example, threatened secession from the Richmond government with a vow to fight both the Union and the Confederacy. The owners of the horse-drawn vans in Petersburg, Virginia, prevented the sensible joining of the incoming and outgoing tracks of a militarily vital railroad, and the Confederate government was incapable of overriding such a local concern. Meanwhile, the humorless, imperious, and tense Confederate President Jefferson Davis, 55, pictured here, was often at loggerheads with his congress and occasionally had to deal with serious talks of impeachment.
Confederate Vice President Alexander Hamilton Stephens, 51, of Georgia, was an undercover opposition leader. He hated the war, hated President Davis, and hated Richmond (he was absent for a year and a half from his duty as President of the Confederate Senate). He encouraged state governors to resist the draft, and he encouraged his half-brother, Linton Stephens, a member of the Georgia house of representatives, who said that Davis was
a little conceited, hypocritical, sniveling, canting, malicious, ambitious, dogged knave and fool.Little?! Davis was more than six feet tall. Both Alexander and Linton worked with Georgia Governor Joseph E. Brown to obstruct the conscription laws.
Sutlers provided Union troops with canned meat, oysters, condensed milk, pork and beans, and vegetables, including green beans.
Lexington, KY, chef Gus Jaubert created a meat-and-vegetable stew ("burgoo") for Confederate troops, but there was widespread hunger in the South. According to historians Bailey, Kennedy, and Cohen,
[As] the war dragged on, grave shortages of shoes, uniforms, and blankets disabled the South. Even with immense stores of food on Southern farms, civilians and soldiers often went hungry because of supply problems. "Forward, men! They have cheese in their haversacks," cried one Southern officer as he attacked the Yankees. Much of the hunger was caused by a breakdown of the South's rickety transportation system, especially where the railroad tracks [had been] cut or destroyed by the Yankee invaders.(17)Historian Karen Frisch provides more insight of what it was like for a Confederate soldier:(18)
Quoted in Bailey et al., op. cit., pp. 448-49. (Close)
The Confederate soldier's life was arduous. Often he had no shoes, and his clothing was ragtag since there was no money for uniforms as there was in the Union Army. Most of the time the men were undernourished.… [The] Army of Northern Virginia's monthly rations for every 100 men were a quarter pound of bacon, 18 ounces of flour, 10 pounds of rice, and small amounts of dried fruit and peas--meager provisions that were not always available. While he was the same height as a Union soldier, the Confederate soldier averaged 10 pounds less.
There were bread riots in Richmond in April, and in Mobile in September. Confederate President Davis urged Southerners to plant corn, peas, and beans, giving priority to food crops over cotton and tobacco.
Inflation in the Confederacy, a hundred times worse than that in the North, was ruinous in its effects. The following is from a Richmond diary:
A poor woman yesterday applied to a merchant in Carey Street to purchase a barrel of flour. The price he demanded was $70. "My God!" exclaimed she, "how can I pay such prices? I have seven children; what shall I do?" "I don't know, madam," he said cooly, "unless you eat your children."(19)J.B. Jones, a clerk in the Confederate War Department, detailed in her diary the privations of the people of Richmond, caused by the rampant inflation(20):
Quoted in Bailey et al., op. cit., p. 457. (Close)
February 11th.--Some idea may be formed of the scarcity of food in this city from the fact that, while my youngest daughter was in the kitchen today, a young rat came out of its hole and seemed to beg for something to eat; she held out some bread, which it ate from her hand, and seemed grateful. Several others soon appeared and were as tame as kittens. Perhaps we shall have to eat them!Transportation was the main problem, with railroad branch lines cannibalized to keep the main lines in operation--and even those could not be maintained. During the famine in Richmond, the barns of the Shenandoah Valley were bursting with wheat. Government clerks in the Confederate capital were paying $15 for a bushel of corn, but that bushel's farmer in southwestern Georgia earned only a dollar for it. Coffee that had come through the blockade was $5 a pound in Richmond.
February 18--One or two of the regiments of General Lee's army were in the city last night. The men were pale and haggard. They have but a quarter of a pound of meat per day. But meat has been ordered from Atlanta. I hope it is abundant there.
All the necessaries of life in the city are still going up higher in price. Butter, three dollars per pound; beef, one dollar; bacon, a dollar and a quarter; sausage meat, one dollar; and even liver is selling at fifty cents per pound.
The biggest killer in the Civil War wasn't a bullet or a cannonball; it was disease.(21)
The following is quoted from McCutcheon, op. cit., pp. 225, 234, citing a private from the Twenty-second Massachusetts, as quoted in Soldiers Blue and Gray, p. 162. (Close)
While 110,000 Northern and 94,000 Confederate soldiers were mortally wounded in battle [during the war], a whopping 388,580 died from illnesses, most often from diarrhea, typhoid, typhus, malarial fevers, and pneumonia. Indeed, the condition of one's bowels sometimes became a greater source of anxiety than enemy gunfire.
You got on sich a nice new-niform, you got sich nice boots on, you ridin' sich a nice hoss, an' you look like yer bowels wuz so regularwas an actual compliment paid by a worn-out, poorly cared for Confederate soldier to a well-fed, well-tended Union soldier.… In addition to receiving poor medical treatment, the Civil War soldier, both Union and Confederate, was frequently underfed, poorly clothed, and at times unshod. After battle, his wounded limbs were hacked off with little or no anesthesia by assembly-line surgeons; gaping bullet wounds were simultaneously dressed and infected by the dirty hands of these inadequately trained physicians. Blood transfusions would have saved many, but the technique was so poorly understood that it was attempted only twice during the entire war.
A large hole was dug in the yard, about the size of a small cellar, and into this the legs and arms were thrown as they were lopped off by the surgeons, with a coolness that would be a terror to persons unaccustomed to the sights of military surgery after battle. The day was hot and sultry, and the odor of the ether used in the operations and the effluvia from the receptacle of mangled limbs, was sickening in the extreme.
Union forces under General Lew (Lewis) Wallace, 36, stopped an attempt of Confederate forces to capture Cincinnati.
Former schoolteacher and professional gambler William Clarke Quantrill, 26, led his 450 Confederate Raiders against Lawrence, KS. The Raiders--including Jesse Woodson James, 15, his brother Frank, and Thomas Coleman "Cole" Younger, 19--rode into Lawrence at dawn, killed 180 men, women, and children, sacked the town, and burned down most of the buildings.
In spite of the Confederate belief that Northern industry would collapse when it was cut off from Southern markets, the Northern economy was booming as a result of the war. Union sea power, even with the annoyance of Confederate raiders, protected most of the freight and passenger service to foreign markets. And, of course, the demands of the war economy stimulated production.
The war continued to inspire the invention of labor-saving machinery to offset the draining off of manpower to the bloody front and the diseased camps. Clattering mechanical reapers enabled farm laborers to become soldiers, helped to supply the rations for them in the field, and provided shipments of grain to Europe that could be exchanged for munitions and other war supplies. (Bad harvests in Great Britain and throughout western Europe boosted agricultural prices.)
Petroleum production was increasing 300-fold annually, and refining methods were improving so drastically that cheap glass kerosene lamps were replacing whale-oil lamps in farmhouses around the country. The Gordon McKay shoe machine, which sewed uppers to soles, accelerated that process a hundredfold. The Howe sewing machine fabricated standard-measurement uniforms (and later civilian garments as well). The machine was a curse to seamstresses, however, whose wages dropped severely.
Women took over men's jobs; in Washington, DC, some 500 "government girls" became clerks, and countless women took industrial jobs--especially sewing garments. Hundreds of women posed as men and became soldiers, and many women became nurses. Women in both the North and the South organized bazaars and fairs to raise millions of dollars for the relief of widows, orphans, and disabled soldiers.
Enjoying the tariff protections that Congress passed and the gigantic government contracts to supply war needs, industrialists, henceforth identified with the Republican Party, continued to build new factories. The wartime inflation hurt the day laborer and office worker (prices were rising nearly three times as fast as wages, severely diminishing worker purchasing power), but the businessmen, especially those involved in war contracts, joined a new class of gaudy, brassy, noisy, extravagant millionaires. Manufacturers supplied the troops not only with necessities but also with cardboard-sole shoes, disintegrating uniforms of reprocessed, or "shoddy," wool, and other worthless items. Profits were all out of proportion to any services rendered.
The railroads were operating at close to capacity, and with increased efficiency.
Congress passed the National Banking Act, authorizing a "National Banking System" as a stimulant to the sale of government bonds and to establish a standard bank-note currency to replace the depreciated "rag money," issued by unreliable bankers, that was flooding the country. Banks could obtain federal charters by joining the system, investing at least a third of their capital in government bonds and then issuing sound paper money up to 90% of the value of those bonds. Congress levied a 10% tax on the issues of the state banks, effectively driving those unreliable banknotes out of circulation.
The 38th Congress again increased the federal income tax that had been enacted in 1861 to meet the expenses of the war.
Congress established free city mail delivery.
This 38th Congress authorized the creation of a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to advise the U.S. government in scientific matters and to promote scientific research, with Alexander Bache as president. Notably, the 26th Congress, 23 years earlier, had turned down the chartering of a National Institute for the Promotion of Sciences on the grounds that establishing corporations was unconstitutional; over the intervening time most states in the North had passed general incorporation laws and corporations had come to be seen as the best way of running a business on a large scale.
President Lincoln proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving Day, setting aside the last Thursday in November for the feast, responding to the tireless efforts of Sarah Josepha Hale, 74, editor of Godey's Lady's Book, who had been campaigning for the preceding 17 years for states to observe the feast.
The dining car was introduced on some trains--just a steambox keeping precooked food warm.
Boston College was founded by Roman Catholics.
Boston merchants Caleb Chase, 32, and James S. Sanborn began selling coffee and tea.
Ebenezer Butterick of Sterling, MA, invented and began selling paper dress patterns.
Massachusetts Agricultural College was founded in Amherst, MA.
James Goodwin Batterson, 40, founded the National Traveler's Insurance Company (also called the National Life & Limb Insurance Company), the first company to sell traveler's accident insurance, in Hartford, CT.
In response to the Conscription Act, draft riots broke out in many Northern cities. The worst riot by far was in New York City, where underprivileged and antiblack Irish immigrants constituted at least a quarter of the 800,000 population. Shouting "Down with Lincoln!" and "Down with the draft!" drunken mobs attacked the 4-story Colored Orphan Asylum on Fifth Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets, which housed more than 200 children and a staff of matrons and attendants. The orphans were evacuated before they could be harmed, but blacks throughout the city were attacked and killed. Here is an eye-witness account by Dr. John Torrey of a predominantly Irish mob venting their fury on blacks(22):
Quoted in Taylor, op. cit., citing Bracey, John, et al., The Afro-Americans: Selected Documents [Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1972], pp. 230-33, taken from http://faculty.washington.edu/qtaylor/Courses/101_USH/101_manual_4.htm, accessed 31 January 2007). (Close)
New York, July 13th, 1863In all, some 1,200 people were killed and thousands were injured. In their battles with police, rioters tore up railroad tracks, sacked shops, gutted saloons, burned hotels and mansions, and lynched and tortured any blacks who fell into their clutches. When the mob could find no more blacks, they went after Chinese and Germans or anyone who was not sympathetic to their mayhem. They created general chaos amounting to more than $2 million ($37.7 million in 2006 dollars) in property damage. The riot was put down only by a merciless assault by Union forces. This was equivalent to a Confederate victory, because the Union forces of General Meade, depleted by detachments sent to New York City, were not able to resume the offensive after the Battle of Gettysburg.
We have had great riots in New York to-day & they are still in progress. They were reported to us at the Assay office about noon, but I thought they were exaggerated.… In 49 st. they [the rioters] were numerous, & made, as I was passing near the College, an attack upon one of a row of new houses in our street. The rioters were induced to go away by one or two Catholic priests, who made pacific speeches to them. I found Jane & Maggie [our black servants] a little alarmed, but not frightened. The mob had been in the College Grounds, & came to our house--wishing to know if a republican lived there, & what the College building was used for. They were going to burn Pres. King's house, as he was rich, & a decided republican. They barely desisted when addressed by the Catholic priest. The furious bareheaded & coatless men assembled under our windows & shouted aloud for Jeff Davis!
… Toward the evening the mob, furious as demons, went yelling over to the Colored-Orphan Asylum in 5th Avenue a little below where we live--& rolling a barrel of kerosine in lit, the whole structure was soon in a blaze, & is now a smoking ruin. What has become of the 300 poor innocent orphans I could not learn. They must have had some warning of what the rioters intended; & I trust the children were removed in time to escape a cruel death. Before this fire was extinguished, or rather burned out, for the wicked wretches who caused it would not permit the engines to be used, the northern sky was brilliantly illuminated, probably by the burning of the Aged Colored-woman's Home in 65th St.--or the Harlem R. Road Bridge--both of which places were threatened by the rioters.…
A friend who rode with me had seen a poor Negro hung an hour or two before. The man had, in a frenzy, shoot an Irish fireman, and they immediately strung up the unhappy African.… The worst mobs are on the 1st & 2nd and 7th Avenues.… Many have been killed. They are very hostile to the Negroes, & and scarcely one of them is to be seen. A person who called at our house this afternoon saw three of them hanging together.…
Thieves are going about in gangs, calling at houses, & demanding money--threatening the torch if denied.… A friend (Mr. Gibbons) who visits us almost every week, & is known to be an abolitionist, had his house smashed up yesterday.…
New York State, nonetheless, contributed more men to the Union Army than did any other single state.
The Wall Street banking house Jay Cooke & Company of Jay Cooke, 42, "earned" a commission of three-eighths of 1 percent on all sales of federal Treasury bonds used to finance the war.
The 4-year-old Great American Tea Company, headquartered in New York City, now had grown to six stores and began selling groceries as well as tea.
The 12-year-old I. M. Singer and Company of New York inventor Isaac Merrit Singer, 51, was incorporated as the Singer Manufacturing Company by Singer and Edward Clark, who split 4,100 of the 5,000 shares between them. The company sold each new Singer sewing machine for $100 ($1,883 in 2006 dollars), about a fifth of the average American's annual income, but people could buy the machine on an installment plan of $5 per month ($85 per month). The machine cost about $40 ($753) to make, including all overhead.
The following patent medicine ads appeared in The New York Times(23):
Quoted in Bailey et al., op. cit., pp. 165-67. (Close)
Hostetter's Celebrated Stomach Bitters. A Pure and powerful tonic, corrective and alternative of wonderful efficacy in disease of the stomach, liver and bowels.… Prevents fever and ague and bilious remittent fever: Fortifies the system against miasmas and the evil effects of unwholesome water. Invigorates the organs of digestion and the bowels: Steadies the nerves, and tends to prolong life. Cures dyspepsia, liver complaint, sick and nervous headache, general debility, nervousness, depression of the spirits, constipation, colic, intermittent fevers, seasickness, cramps and spasms, and all complaints of either sex.
The Vigor of Youth Is Restored by Dr. Powers' Essence of Life or Invigorating Elixer, and Dr. Pwers' Radical Pills.… Young man! Are you subject to that soul and body destroying disease resulting from secret habits? [Masturbation?] Dr. Powers' Invigorating Essence and Radical Pills briefly cure the very worst cases, while innocent of anything deleterious.… Prepared and sold by Dr. Powers, No. 12 Laight St. Ny. Afflicted, try them!
Pure Iodine in pure Water. A cure for Scrofula, Consumption, Rheumatism, Syphilis, Mercurial Disease, etc. Dr. H. Anders & Co., No. 428 Broadway.
Showman Phineas Taylor Barnum, 53, heavily promoted the wedding at Grace Church on Broadway at 10th Street in New York City of the midget he had been exhibiting for the preceding 21 years, Charles Sherwood Stratton ("General Tom Thumb"), now 25 years old and two foot five inches, to Lavinia Warren (Mercy Bunn), equally tiny. Huge crowds attended the ceremony, jamming the streets while the wedding party stood on a grand piano to receive guests at the Metropolitan Hotel. It took 2 hours for carriages to deliver the guests, who the New York Times described as "the elite, the creme de la creme, the upper ten, the bonton, the select few, the very FFs of the City, nay of the Country."
According to a report of the Central Park Commission of New York City:
If all the applications for the erection and maintenance of towers, houses, drinking fountains, telescopes, mineral water fountains, cottages, Eolian harps, gymnasiums, observatories, and weighing scales, for the sale of eatables, velocipedes [bicycles], perambulators [baby carriages], Indian Work, tobacco and segars [sic], iceboats, and the use of the ice for fancy dress carnivals were granted, they would occupy a large portion of the surface of the park, establish a very extensive and vary various business, and give to it the appearance of the grounds of a country fair, or of a militia training ground.(24)
Quoted in Trager, James, ed., The People's Chronology: A Year-by-Year Record of Human Events from Prehistory to the Present, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979, p. 513. (Close)
New York inventor James L. Plimpton patented the 4-boxwood-wheel roller skate, cushioned by rubber pads.
In spite of the war, social functions were held as usual in the cities during the winter--and in Saratoga Springs (where a racecourse opened for business for the first time), Long Island, and Newport (RI) during the summer.
Baseball player Eddie Cuthbert of the Philadelphia Keystones was the first to steal a base in the game against the Brooklyn Atlantics.
The first major racetrack in the U.S. for flat horse racing opened in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Dansville, NY, sanatorium operator James Caleb Jackson, 52, introduced granola, by baking graham flour dough into oven-dried bread crumbs for a cold breakfast food.
Philadelphia inventor Morris Longstreth Kern, 44, who had 9 years earlier produced low-cost paper at his mill in Roger's Ford in Chester County, PA, by boiling wood pulp in water under pressure, now founded the American Wood-Paper Company.
Because of the war stimulus, an annual average of 60 new factories sprang up in Philadelphia during the conflict.
Scots immigrant Andrew Carnegie, 27, who had 7 years earlier purchased 10 shares of Adams Express Company stock for $500 ($10,085 in 2006 dollars), was now able to reap dividends on these shares of $1,500 per year ($28,245 per year).
The Saucon Iron Company (later known as the Bethlehem Steel Company) was founded in South Bethlehem, PA, to make rails from local iron ores, and hired John Fritz of the Cambria Iron Company for making Bessemer steel.
The increase in U.S. literacy was spurring a demand for more lighting.(25)
Distilled from ibid., p. 490; and from Garraty, op. cit., pp. 505-6. (Close)
The petroleum derivative kerosene was replacing both whale oil and lard oil in lamps (the whale-oil lamps were simply discarded, or they were retrofitted for kerosene burning); the kerosene lamps were noted for their smoky, torchlike light. The discovery of petroleum gushers in western Pennsylvania 4 years earlier had led to a rush of "Fifty-Niners" to that area, giving rise to a new industry, with its "petroleum plutocracy" of "coal oil Johnnies." Hundreds of tiny kerosene refineries had been springing up in Pennsylvania, reminiscent of ramshackle hillbilly moonshiner stills, where small-scale entrepreneurs heated crude petroleum oil in large kettles, boiling off the volatile elements, condensing the kerosene in water-cooled coils, and discarding the heavier petroleum tars.
Boxer Joe Coburn defeated Mike McCoole in a 63-round match in Charleston, MD.
Architect Thomas U. Walter completed the capping of the Capitol dome in Washington, DC.
The discovery of petroleum gushers in western Pennsylvania 4 years earlier had led to a rush of "Fifty-Niners" to that area, giving rise to a new industry, with its "petroleum plutocracy" of "coal oil Johnnies." John Davison Rockefeller, 23 (who had paid the $300 to get out of the military draft), and his partner Maurice B, Clark set up a petroleum refinery in Cleveland, OH, but the two partners continued to make huge profits in his produce (and whiskey) business. Henry Morrison Flagler, 30, married to Mary, the niece of Stephen Vanderburg Harkness, 45, owner of a Bellemore. OH, distillery, a Clark & Rockefeller supplier, began to discuss with Rockefeller plans for making huge amounts of money.
Irish immigrants Samuel Pogue, 32, and his brother Henry Pogue opened the H. and S. Pogue dry-goods shop in Cincinnati that would grow to become a major department store.
New York engineer Alexander Holley, 31, purchased the American rights to the Bessemer steelmaking process. After resolution of the 6-year legal battle between English engineer Henry Bessemer, now 49, and Kentucky inventor William Kelly, now 52, Bessemer was able to license the Wyandotte Iron Works in Michigan as the only U.S. company that could use the steel-pouring process developed by Kelly, enabling Kelly to receive less than 5 percent of the royalties paid to Bessemer.
The First National Bank of Chicago opened.
Chicago preacher Dwight Lyman Moody, 26, a former shoe salesman and now the city missionary for the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), operated the largest Sunday School in the city at Kinzie Hall, reaching thousands weekly by offering prizes, free pony rides, and picnics as well as a genuine love for children. He also officiated at a church built out of a vacant saloon. He was also on battlefields on several occasions serving with the U.S. Christian Commission; at the Battle of Murfreesboro, he was under fire as he went among the wounded and dying asking, "Are you a Christian?" During this year, he raised $20,000 ($376,600 in 2006 dollars) to erect the Illinois Street Church with a seating capacity of 1,500.
The 12-year-old Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad was incorporated as the Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad.
Chief Taoyateduta (commonly known as "Chief Little Crow") of the Dakota (or Santee) Sioux, 53, had been forced to flee from the fighting about a month after the conflict began. He briefly stayed in Canada, but soon returned to the area. He was killed in July near Hutchinson, MN, while gathering raspberries with his teenage son. The pair had wandered onto the land of white settler Nathan Lamson, who shot at them hoping to collect the bounties. Little Crow's skull and scalp were removed from his body and were set on public display in St. Paul, where they so remained until 1971. In addition to the $25 bounty for the scalp ($525 per scalp in 2006 dollars), Lamson received an additional $500 reward ($10,500) for his efforts. After his capture, Little Crow's son was condemned to die, but later his sentence was commuted to a prison term.
Missouri Provisional Governor Hamilton R. Gamble proposed a plan for gradual emancipation of slaves, with the owners to receive compensation. But the radical abolitionists in the federal government overruled him, demanding immediate and unconditional emancipation.
Kansas contributed a greater percentage of its male population to the Union Army than did any other single state.
Kansas abolitionist Cyrus K. Holliday, 37, of Topeka, and Kansas State Senator S. C. Pomeroy of Atchison, along with other promoters, organized the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad, renaming the Atchison and Topeka Railroad; they lobbied for federal land grants and county bond issues.
The Pacific Railway Act, passed by Congress the year before, authorized the Union Pacific Railroad to construct a line from Omaha, Nebraska Territory, in order to meet the Central Pacific line, which had been building eastward from California for the past 2 years.
As an incentive to the private railroad companies (who otherwise might not hazard huge sums needed to lay tracks across hundreds of miles of rugged, empty country, tracks whose traffic would not yield profits for years), the government granted large swaths of public land. For each mile of track constructed, Union Pacific was granted 20 square miles, alternating in 640-acre sections on either side of the track. All told, Congress granted up to 100 million acres of right of way to Union Pacific, Central Pacific, and other transcontinental projects. (In the end, Congress would be awarding more than half again that much land, and the Western states themselves would be contributing 49 million acres more, making the total area larger than Texas.) The land was granted in broad belts along the proposed routes, within which the companies were allowed to choose the best location for the tracks; until they chose--and even long after--all the land within the belts was unavailable for settlement, remaining unavailable for another 24 years.
The builders of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific received generous federal loans as well; they were guaranteed $16,000 for each mile of track laid on the prairie plains, $32,000 for each mile laid through intermountain stretches, and $48,000 for each mile laid through the mountains ($301,000, $602,000, and $903,000, respectively, in 2006 dollars). Union Pacific was authorized to take the timber, stone, and other material needed from the public-land right of way it had been granted.
Actual construction proceeded slowly during the war years. Ground was broken during this year for the Union Pacific Railroad at Omaha in Nebraska Territory.
The directors of the 2-year-old Central Pacific Railroad who were known as the "Big Four"--portly Leland Stanford, 39, president; Collis Potter Huntington, 42, vice president; Mark Hopkins, 50, an officer; and Charles Crocker, 41, director of construction--were chartered with the same princely federal subsidies to build the western portion of the proposed transcontinental rail link. Here is a report on the groundbreaking ceremony in boomtown Sacramento, CA, which appeared in the Sacramento Union:
The skies smiled yesterday upon a ceremony of vast significance.… With rites appropriate to the occasion… ground was formally broken at noon for the commencement of the Central Pacific Railroad--the California link of the continental chain that is to unite American communities now divided by thousands of miles of trackless wilderness.(26)Crocker had contracted the Chinese Six Companies to recruit workers at $35 per head ($695 per head in 2006 dollars) from California and from the disintegrating Chinese Empire, getting 90 percent of the 10,000 workers from China. The laborers for this dangerous, backbreaking work, sweating through all the daylight hours under their basket hats, were efficient, cheap, and expendable. Premature explosions and other mishaps took hundreds of Chinese lives.
Quoted in Davidson and Stoff, op. cit., p. 510. (Close)
Thousands of Chinese immigrants were fleeing the disintegrating Chinese Empire, risking the penalty of beheading to do so, almost all from the southern district of Toishan, and coming to the United States. Most were men (the ratio was 13 males for each female). Some came with money pooled by their families back home, but most were desperately poor and in debt to Chinese middlemen, such as the Chinese Six Companies, which they would need to repay in cruel conditions of indenture for years. The indenture business was known ignominiously as "pig selling." Chinatowns were springing up in railroad towns, farming villages, and cities, where the immigrants could speak their own language and seek safety from prejudice and violence. Many organized themselves into tongs (secret societies).
The year-old Homestead Act, designed to stimulate the family farm and to encourage a rapid population growth in the West, authorized any U.S. citizen, or any alien intending to become a citizen, to take 160 acres of Western land (a quarter section) for just a $10 registration fee ($188.30 in 2006 dollars), provided that he make certain improvements and that he live on the tract for 5 years. Alternatively, the settler might acquire land after only 6 months of residence for a nominal price of $1.25 per acre ($23.54 per acre in 2006 dollars). Either way, the land acquired was to be exempt from attachment for debt. Tens of thousands of settlers applied for homesteads each year, a third of them actually receiving land. This act, along with the war-inflated farm prices and exemption from military service for foreigners, augmented immigration. The act, along with the desire to escape conscription agents, stimulated a major westward push of native-born pioneers as well.
Cattle in Texas were hit with the worst winter in years, and widespread rustling began.
The 38th Congress divided New Mexico Territory (the current states of New Mexico and Arizona) into Arizona Territory and New Mexico Territory (with its current boundaries).
Chiracahua Apache Chief Cochise, 51, continued to lead his warriors out of his hideout in the Dragoon Mountains of Arizona in raids against white settlers.
Christopher "Kit" Carson, 54, and federal troops augmented by a band of Ute tribesmen reached Fort Defiance in Arizona Territory and began to "resettle" Navajo and Apache tribespeople on a reservation at Fort Sumner in New Mexico Territory. Any captive who surrendered voluntarily was to be taken to the reservation and transformed into a farmer; any male who resisted was to be shot and his livestock and food supplies destroyed.
The Shoshone, Washoe, and other tribes in Nevada Territory were forced to sign the Ruby Valley Treaty, which gave them more than 23 million acres of land, almost all of it desert. The whites were awarded some 86 percent of the territory, with rights to build railroads across it.
German immigrant grocer and brewer Claus Spreckels, 35, founded the Bay Sugar Refining Company in San Francisco.
Blacks in California finally won the right to testify against whites in court.
Congress created the Territory of Idaho from parts of Dakota, Nebraska, Utah, and Washington.
Prospectors discovered gold at Alder Gulch in the new Idaho Territory, precipitating a new gold rush. Prospectors were also racing to eastern Idaho Territory (in present-day Montana), hoping to become millionaires overnight on rumors of precious metal strikes there. Historian John Garraty has summarized the miners' point of view(27):
Quoted in Garraty, op. cit., p. 485. (Close)
The miners enthusiastically adopted the get-rich-quick philosophy, willingly enduring privations and laboring hard, but always with the object of striking it rich. Anything that stood in the way of their ambitions they struck down. They trespassed on Indian lands without the slightest qualm and "claimed" public land with no thought of paying for it. The idea of reserving any part of the West for future generations never entered their heads. The sudden prosperity of the mining towns attracted every kind of shady character, all bent on extracting wealth from the pockets of the miners rather than from the unyielding earth. Gambling houses, dance halls, saloons, and brothels mushroomed wherever precious metal was found [or was rumored to have been found]. Around these tawdry palaces of pleasure and forgetfulness gathered thieves, confidence men, degenerates, and desperados. Crime and violence were commonplace, law enforcement was a constant problem.Eventually the "better element" in these boom towns formed "vigilante committees," which drove the outlaws out of town after a few summary hangings. Meanwhile, storekeepers in the towns charged outrageous prices, and claim holders were "salting" their worthless properties with nuggets in order to swindle gullible investors.
The Nez Perce in the Northwest were forced to sign a treaty agreeing to vacate lands coveted by whites.
Men were now cutting their hair shorter, with parts extending from the front all the way back to the nape of the neck. Some men wore pompadours. Muttonchops and beards under the chin were in vogue. Many men were wearing "sideburns" in imitation of (and named for) Union General Burnside, pictured here. Women frequently wore a bun or chignon, arranged in loops and braids, with puffs, ringlets, or coils over the ears.
Americans now bathed an average of once a week.
Author and humorist Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 27, who was working as a reporter for a newspaper in Virginia City, Nevada Territory, adopted the pen name Mark Twain from a Mississippi riverboat term.
Damn the United States! I wish I may never hear of the United States again!For this outburst, Nolan was condemned to exile on American warships and never to hear anything about the United States.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, 60, pictured here, published Boston Hymn in praise of the Emancipation Proclamation. He turned his "serene, unflinching look" on anyone who suggested "any peace restoring the old rottenness"; he concluded that
war is not the greatest calamity.Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 57, published Tales of a Wayside Inn, including "Paul Revere's Ride"; and photographer Timothy O'Sullivan, 23, displayed his Harvest of Death, depicting the Confederate dead after the Battle of Gettysburg. Confederate author John Esten Cooke published Life of Stonewall Jackson. The New Texas Primary Reader was published in Houston, declaring Texas to be "an empire of itself" and promising its "little reader" that he might someday become Governor of Texas if he is a good boy.
Popular periodicals included the Atlantic Monthly (edited by James B. Fields), Niles' Weekly Register, the American Journal of Science, American Farmer, Christian Watchman, Saturday Evening Post, National Preacher, Godey's Lady's Book, Ladies' Repository, Peterson's Ladies' National Magazine, Home Journal, Home Monthly, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, Frank Leslie's Boys of America, Harper's Weekly (edited by George William Curtis), Yale Literary Magazine, Knickerbocker Magazine, Phunny Fellow, National Police Gazette, Illustrated Police News, and Scientific American.
The song "Beautiful Dreamer," by Stephen Collins Foster, 36, was released and became popular. So did the song "Clementine (Down by the River Lived a Maiden)" by H. S. Thompson, "Weeping, Sad and Lonely, or When This Cruel War Is Over," and "Just Before the Battle, Mother" and "The Battle Cry of Freedom" by George Frederick Root. The songs "Battle Hymn of the Republic" ("John Brown's Body"), "Hang Jeff Davis to a Sour Apple Tree," and "The Old Grey Mare (Get Out of the Wilderness)" were popular among Union troops, and "I Wish I Was in Dixie's Land" (or "Dixie"), "The Rock Island Line," and "The Yellow Rose of Texas" were popular among Confederate troops. The song "When Johnny Come Marching Home" by Thomas Bishop and Louis Lambert (Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore) was popular among Union troops (but mocked by the Confederates). The haunting love ballad "Lorena" made many Confederate troops so homesick, they deserted after hearing it. "Goober Peas!" (about peanuts) was also popular among the Confederates:
Sitting by the road-side on a summer day,Other popular songs included "Aura Lea," "Old Black Joe," "Listen to the Mockingbird," "Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair," "Camptown Races," "Oh! Susanna," "Jim Crack Corn" (also known as "Blue Tail Fly"), "Turkey in the Straw," and "Amazing Grace."
Chatting with my messmates, passing time away,
Lying in the Shadow underneath the trees,
Goodness, how delicious, eating goober peas!
Peas! Peas! Peas! Peas! Eating goober peas!
Goodness, how delicious, eating goober peas!
A worldwide cholera epidemic began.
Thousands of "skedadlers" (Northern draft dodgers) as well as escaped Confederate POWs were residing in Canada. Confederate agents were active there as well, in Montreal and Quebec, plotting the destruction of Northern cities. A Confederate plot to seize the single-gun USS Michigan on Lake Erie and use it to liberate Confederate POWs in a Johnson Island camp off Sandusky, OH, was thwarted by Canadian authorities.
Continuing to ignore the Monroe Doctrine (with the government of the United States preoccupied with its Civil War), French troops, with a group of exiled Mexican leaders meeting under French auspices, adopted an imperial form of government and proclaimed as the Emperor of Mexico the French puppet Austrian archduke Maximilian, 31 (brother of Austrian Emperor Franz Josef, 33). The United States government protested (and refused to recognize the regime of this Emperor), but had no power to intervene.
Also continuing to ignore the Monroe Doctrine, Spain continued to govern the Dominican Republic, ostensibly to protect it from an attack by Haiti. Now a republican rebellion erupted, overthrowing the ministry of Spanish General Don Leopold O'Donnell (Duke of Tetuan), but Spain still held her garrison there.
New Grenada was renamed the United States of Colombia (including present-day Colombia and Panama).
Civil war broke out in Uruguay.
U.S. entrepreneur Henry "Don Enrique" Meiggs, 52, who had escaped California 3 years earlier after absconding with hundreds of thousands of dollars of San Francisco city notes, fulfilled the contract he had negotiated 2 years earlier with the Chilean government to supervise construction of the Santiago as Sur Railroad between Valparaiso and Santiago. Don Enrique earned a profit of $1.5 million ($28.2 million in 2006 dollars) and was able to repay San Francisco.
Queen Victoria, 44, mourning the death of her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861, continued her withdrawal from the public.
Her son, Edward, Prince of Wales, 22, married Princess Alexandria of Denmark.
The London Underground, the world's first subway, opened and carried 9.5 million passengers in its first year.
Scarlet fever killed more than 30,000 people in England.
An epidemic of cattle disease (the "epizootic") in Great Britain, affecting mostly the Dutch milking cows, boosted meat prices.
London merchant William Whiteley opened a dry-goods shop in Bayswater, specializing for now in drapery and haberdashery.
The Football Association (for soccer) was established in London.
The 24-year-old Cunard Line offered low rates for passengers aboard its new screw propeller transatlantic ships, augmenting further emigration from Ireland to the U.S. by peasants escaping recurring potato rot.
Many European aristocrats had been openly sympathetic to the South, with its semifeudal social order. Former U.S. Senators John Murray Mason, 65, and John Slidell, 70, more recently employed as Confederate commissioners who had been captured by the Union Navy but (to avert war been the Union and the UK) released the preceding year, were trying to sell Confederate bonds to establish a British (and French) financial interest in a Southern victory. Because of these inticements, Emperor Napoleon III, deeply involved in Mexico already and interested in setting up a French protectorate in northern Mexico (Sonora, Chihuahua, Durango, and Taumalipas), suggested that both France and the UK recognize the Confederacy; the UK was reluctant, however.
Confederate commerce raiders, which could sink Yankee ships, were being built in British shipyards, thereby making Great Britain the chief naval base for the Confederacy. The United Kingdom claimed that such construction was not a violation of official neutrality, because the shipyards were unarmed, and the new ships picked up their weapons and crew elsewhere. The prime example was the fearful Alabama, nicknamed the "British pirate," which flew the Confederate flag and was commanded by Confederate Captain Raphael Semmes and other Confederate officers, while its crew was British. This raider sank scores of Yankee merchant ships from Europe to the Far East. The Union Navy was forced to divert naval strength from its blockade to go on wild goose chases.
Under prodding from the U.S. Ambassador, Charles Francis Adams, 56, British policy makers realized that this was neutrality mocking was a precedent that might be used against them, and one of the ships being built for the South was seized. Nonetheless, Confederate commerce raiders, chiefly British built, continued to capture and destroy hundreds of Yankee ships, severely crippling the American merchant marine. Many Northerners began talking of seizing Canada once the war with the South was over.
Meanwhile, the "Laird rams," two Confederate warships under construction in the British shipyard of John Laird and Sons, designed with iron rams and large-caliber guns, were expected to be capable of sinking entire squadrons of Union blockaders and then bombarding Northern cities. Ambassador Adams warned that the U.S. would declare war on the British, implying an invasion of Canada, if the rams were released. At the last minute--in particular, after Union forces completed their conquest of the Mississippi River Valley with the captures of Vicksburg and Port Hudson--London policy makers decided to buy the two ships for the Royal Navy, disappointing the Confederates. (Those twin Union victories also influenced France to kill a deal to sell to the Confederacy 6 naval vessels to the Confederacy that it was building at Nantes and Bordeaux.)
Workers in England and France by and large had been favoring the North. On the other hand, the British textile mills, employing thousands of ordinary British workers, depended on the American South for 75% of their cotton, and if the looms were silent, the workers might agitate for intervention on the side of the Confederacy. The Confederacy policy makers, in fact, counted on this hard economic need.
Unfortunately for the Confederacy, by the time that huge cotton inventories in the British warehouses began to get thin, and British textile workers were being laid off, the "wage slaves" of England, inspired by Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, were not going to favor a war on the side of Southern slaveowners. Moreover, American philanthropists in the North were sending over cargoes of foodstuffs to alleviate hunger in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe, due to bad harvests there. The monarchs of Northern agriculture--King Wheat and King Corn--proved more potent than King Cotton: Bountiful Northern harvests, aided by McCormick's reaper, alleviated the effects of poor British harvests. Here are some lines in one Yankee journal:
Wave the stars and stripes high o'er us,
Let every freeman sing…
Old King Cotton's dead and buried;
brave young Corn is King.(28)
Quoted in Bailey et al., op. cit., p. 452. (Close)
As Union forces penetrated cotton-growing areas of the Confederacy, the North could send over cargoes of cotton to Europe, thereby alleviating the shortage of raw supplies for the textile mills. Also, cotton-growing areas of Egypt and India, responding to high prices, began to fill the demand.
Finally, the British armaments industry was booming, employing thousands of British workers and supplying deadly weapons to both sides.
The United Kingdom and France signed commercial treaties with Belgium; the River Scheldt reopened to free navigation for the first time in 215 years.
Belgian industrial chemist Ernest Solvay, 25, opened a plant in Couillet, near Charleroi, employing the "Solvay process" he and his brother had invented 2 years earlier for obtaining soda (sodium carbonate) from salt (sodium chloride) by dissolving salt in water, saturating the solution with ammonia, allowing it to trickle down a tower with perforated partitions, blowing carbon dioxide (from heating limestone to quicklime) into the result to produce sodium bicarbonate, and then heating that to produce soda (sodium carbonate), useful for making glass, paper, bleaches, water treatment, and petroleum refining.
French photographer A. F. Nadar made an ascent in his balloon Le Gèant.
Le Petit Presse began publication in Paris.
The Grand Prix de Paris was held at the Longchamp race course.
Souce Perrier began bottling calcium-and-carbon-dioxide-containing spring water bubbling up near Nimes in France.
Swiss scientist George Wander produced at the University of Berne a sweet-tasting malt extract and combined it with whole milk, whole eggs, and cocoa, creating an easily digested mixture he named "Ovomaltine," later shortened to "Ovaltine."
Responding to the previous year's urging of Swiss philanthropist Jean Henri Dunant, 36 experts and government delegates met in Geneva at the Palais de l'Athenée and formulated the fundamental principles of the International Red Cross movement to aid wounded soldiers and other victims of war.
King Frederick VII of Denmark died at the age of 55 and was succeeded by his cousin, Christian IX, 45. The duchies of Schleswig and Holstein denied Danish claims of sovereignty; Duke Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg proclaimed himself Frederick VIII there. The German Confederation demanded that Schleswig and Holstein be taken from Denmark. Saxon and Hanoverian troops entered Holstein.
Worried that the British, in case of war, might bottle the Russian navy in its ports, several Russian ships were deployed to the high seas--including the clipper Almaz, whose crew included the musician officer Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov, now 19--so they would not be bottled up by the British in case of war. The Almaz docked for several months in both New York City and San Francisco, a visit that many Yankees interpreted as support of the Union, and its crew was entertained to capacity.
George I, a Danish prince really named William, became King of Greece.
Khedive Muhammad Said of Egypt died at the age of 41 and was succeeded by his cousin Ismail Pasha, 33, who, after promising thrift in his government began a program of modernization that put Egypt hopelessly in debt by the end of the year. He increased the debt by bribing newspapers to flatter his vanity and buying jewels to adorn his harem wives.
Work continued on the Suez Canal project, now 4 years in progress, with some 30,000 Egyptian forced laborers augmented by Arab, French, Italian, and Greek workers. Now mechanical equipment was brought from Europe to dig out nearly 2 million cubic centimeters (milliliters) of dirt each month (about 45 cubic centimeters per minute on average).
When Emir Dost Muhammad of Afghanistan died at the age of 70, the country descended into civil war.
Cotton textile production began in Japan.
English explorers John Hanning Speke, 36, and James Grant traveled the Nile River to Gondokoro in central Africa. There they met English explorer Sir Samuel White Baker, 42, on his way in the opposite direction.
A state-owned railroad extended between Christchurch and Ferrymead in New Zealand.
With the disruption of sugar plantations in the American South caused by the Civil War, entrepreneurs in Hawaii began planting sugar and depended less on the declining whaling industry.
Russian psychologist Ivan Sechenov described conditioned-response behavior; Scots chemist Thomas Graham, 58, invented a process for separating gases by atmolysis; English astronomer William Huggins, 39, demonstrated with his stellar spectroscope that the Sun is similar to other stars; and English geologist Henry Clifton Sorby, 37, discovered the microstructure of steel, thereby advancing the development of the science of metallurgy.
British meteorologist Sir Francis Galton, 41, published Meterographica or Methods of Mapping the Weather.
French composer Hector Berlioz, 60, produced the opera Les Troyens in Paris; French composer Georges (Alexander César Leopold) Bizet, 25, produced the opera Les Pecheurs de perles ("The Pearl Fishers") at the Théâtre-Lyrique in Paris.
French critic and writer Théophile Gautier, 52, published Le Capitaine Fracasse; French novelist Ouida (Marie Louise de la Ramée), 24, published Held in Bondage; and French science fiction writer Jules Verne, 35, published Cinq Semaines en Ballon ("Five Weeks in a Balloon"). French poet Alfred de Vigny died at the age of 66, German dramatist Christian Friedrich Hebbel died at the age of 50, and German author and philologist Jakob Grimm died at the age of 78.