Christ's Lutheran Church in 1864

[ Christ's Church on the Sawkill ]

Pastor William H. Emerick, 58, a gifted and fiery preacher, 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).

We have no description of what it was like in the first or second church building, but here is a reminiscence(1)

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):
[ The stove in the church ] 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 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.

[ Farm wagon ] 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.

[ Revival camp meeting ] 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.…

[ Reverend Emerick ] Pastor Emerick often held meetings 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. The church owned no parsonage. The pastor (pictured)
lived in rented rooms wherever they could be procured, sometimes several miles away.… [Pastor 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.

The Woodstock Region in 1864

According to regional historian Alf Evers(2),

Excerpted from Evers, Alf, Woodstock: History of an American Town, Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1987, pp. 263-64, 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.… [Nonetheless, many had] enlisted in Company H of the 20th Regiment known as the Ulster Guards.… Black Solomon Peters [had] enlisted and became the cook in a white artillery company. A white Woodstock man [had become] 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.… [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. 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 were showing up 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. Peter L. Shultis of "Bears Ville" was discharged because of illness he had contracted in camp and was never well again. Local boy Egbert Lewis fought in the Battles of Wapping Heights, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania. John Whitbeck Davis was captured and was imprisoned in notorious Andersonville. Aaron Newkirk Risely was captured near James City in Virginia and spent months in the horrible Libby and Belle Isle prisons.

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, clearing $1,150 ($17,560 in 2006 dollars) after paying the 3-percent wartime income tax.

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.

Daniel Drew, president of the Erie Railroad, along with New York State legislators, sold New York and Hudson River Railroad stock short on the New York Stock Exchange. The piratical-minded, foghorn-voiced shipping magnate Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt (having officially changed his name from "van Derbilt"), 70, who had the previous year gained control of the New York and Harlem Railroad. now bought up all the New York and Hudson River Railroad stock plus another 27,000 shares. Chaos developed when Drew and his partners could not deliver the stock they had sold. Vanderbilt sold them stock at $285 per share ($4,352 per share in 2006 dollars) so that they could deliver, but he retained control of his new railroad.

[ Sojourner Truth ] Former New Paltz and Hurley slave Isabella Bomefree Van Wagenen, now an abolitionist itinerant preacher residing in Washington, DC, and known as Sojourner Truth, 67, pictured here, met with President Lincoln and discussed her concerns for black soldiers in the Union Army and for the conditions of freedslaves generally. She challenged the discrimination that racially segregated the streetcars in Washington, DC.

The United States in 1864

[ Abraham Lincoln ]

Abraham Lincoln, 55 (Republican), was President. He earned a reputation for forbearance toward backbiting colleagues. At one point, for example, he replied to a talebearer:

Did [Secretary of War Edwin] Stanton say I was a damned fool? Then I dare say I must be one, for Stanton is generally right and he always says what he means.(3) Quoted in Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., and Cohen, Lizabeth, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, p. 455. (Close)

The 38th Congress was in session.

A dollar in that year would be worth $15.27 in 2006 for most consumable products. Treasury Secretary Salmon Portland Chase, 56, ordered that "In God We Trust" be engraved on each piece of U.S. currency; the motto first appeared on the U.S. 2-cent piece.

A bronze Indian-head one-cent piece was issued by the U.S. mint and remained the penny for the next 45 years.

The fraternal order Knights of Pythias was founded in Washington, DC.

Some 193,000 immigrants streamed into the United States (the Northern states)--about 53,000 from Great Britain, 64,000 from Ireland, and 57,000 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.)

Civil War

At the beginning of the year, there were 860,737 men in the Union forces (a 6% decrease from the total a year earlier); there were 481,180 men in the Confederate forces (a 7% increase over the total a year earlier). There were tens of thousands of desertions from both sides.

President Lincoln called for 500,000 men to serve for 3 years or for the duration of the war. There were three more renewals of the preceding year's Conscription Act, and each of the draft calls was very unpopular. There was an ignoble competition among districts to reduce their quotas with credits (earned by the number of volunteers, each receiving a bounty); several wealthy communities within districts escaped the draft altogether. Portions of the reconquered and occupied South were scoured for black soldiers, recruits were obtained from the poorhouses of Belgium and other slums in Europe, and federal officials were bribed to sign up criminals, cripples, and the mentally ill.

(Meanwhile, in the Confederacy, the age range for conscription was extended from 18-35 to 17-50. Other exemptions were sharply curtailed.)

In February President Lincoln, saying that the North and the South were equally responsible for slavery, proposed to his Cabinet a $400 million appropriation ($6.1 billion in 2006 dollars) for reimbursing slaveowners, provided that hostilities ceased by the beginning of April. The Cabinet unanimously voted down the proposal, and the President laid it aside--temporarily, he thought.

The President proposed a gradual enfranchisement of the freed slaves: Those who qualified for the ballot through education, property ownership, or military service (especially military service).

[ Frederick Douglass ] Black abolitionist Frederick Douglass, 46, pictured here, however, proposed something a little more sweeping and bold(4):

From "Transwiki: American History Primary Sources Reconstruction and the New South," Wikiquote (part of Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.), at _Primary_Sources_Reconstruction _and_the_New_South, accessed 7 April 2007. (Close)
It is said that the colored man is ignorant, and therefore he should not vote. In saying this, you lay down a rule for the black man that you do not apply to no other class of your citizens.… If he knows enough to be hanged, he knows enough to vote. If he knows an honest man from a thief, he knows much more than some of our white voters.… All I ask, however, in regards to blacks, is whatever rule you adopt, whether of intelligence or wealth, as the condition of voting, you should apply it equally to the black man.
Lincoln paid little heed to that advice.

[ Jefferson Davis ] The Confederate constitution, 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 Georgia Governor Joseph E. Brown, 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, 56, pictured here, was often at loggerheads with his congress and occasionally had to deal with serious talks of impeachment--for example, Barnwell Rhett of South Carolina, the original secessionist, planned a convention of the Confederate states to depose Davis.

Governor Zebulon B. Vance of North Carolina withheld his state's troops from service in the Confederate forces. He also kept all the uniforms that had been manufactured in his state for his own regiments, and he took first pickings from any supplies that entered Wilmington through the blockade. When the captain of the blockade runner CSS Tallahassee filled its bunkers with the steam coal that Governor Vance had reserved for a state-owned ship, the Governor complained that President Davis was undermining the defenses of North Carolina by fueling a national runner that had destroyed only "a few smacks." President Davis had to explain to his Congress that those "smacks" were actually 46 Union ships, 19 of them square-rigged.

On both sides, prisoners of war faced appalling conditions. The Confederate POW Camp Sumter in Andersonville, Georgia, was particularly horrible: It had been designed to hold only 10,000, but during this year it had reached a population of nearly 33,000, making it the fifth largest "city" in the Confederacy. Utterly demoralized Union POWs fought with each other, and "raiders" among them robbed and killed fellow prisoners. More than one Union prisoner out of three died of starvation or disease. Here is one account by one prisoner, John Ransom(5):

The following account of Andersonville is from Stout, Harry S., Beecher Lectures: Preaching Morality in America’s Civil War, (New Haven, CT: Yale Divinity School, 2005), "Lecture 2: Proportionality: The Soldier's Civil War" (, accessed 27 January 2007. (Close)
Raiders kill some one now every day. No restraint in the least. Men who were no doubt respectable at home, are now the worst villains in the world.
Only after the prisoners threatened to riot were they allowed to organize a police force of "Regulators," who were provided with clubs so that they could apprehend the leading raiders, try them, and sentence them. Six were sentenced to be hanged for murder, and another 86 had to "run the gauntlet" inside the stockade. Ransom reported that one condemned raider
spoke of his mother and sisters in New York, that he cared nothing as far as he himself was concerned, but the news that would be carried home to his people made him want to curse God he had ever been born.
The hangings diminished the killing, but not the dying. Each day as many as 220 died in the stockade and the camp hospital. By the end of July, Ransom could not walk and
am trouble with poor sight together with scurvy and dropsy. My teeth are all loose and it is with difficulty I can eat.
The daily presence of death and dying inured all to the decencies of life:
There is no such thing as delicacy here. Nine out of ten would as soon eat with a corpse for a table as any other way. In the middle of last night I was awakened by being kicked by a dying man. He was soon dead. In his struggles he had floundered clear into our bed. Got up and moved the body off a few feet, and again went to sleep to dream of the hideous sights. I can never get used to it as some do. Often wake most scared to death, and shuddering from head to foot. Almost dread to go to sleep on this account. I am getting worse and worse, and prison ditto.
Ransom did survive--barely--but 15,000 other Andersonville prisoners were not so fortunate.

[ Ulysses Simpson Grant ]

President Lincoln summoned General Ulysses Simpson Grant, 41, pictured right, in March to Washington, DC, and commissioned him as a Lieutenant General and gave him overall command of all the Union armies. Grant was a tenacious bulldog of a warrior whose motto was "When in doubt, fight." President Lincoln urged him to
chew and choke, as much as possible.
Grant had a masterful strategy: The scholarly, abrupt General George Gordon Meade, 49 (who had been replaced by Grant as overall commander) would command the Army of the Potomac in a move toward Richmond; General Franz Sigel, 40, would take his Army of the Shenandoah as far as Lynchburg to prevent any Confederate action in the valley; General Benjamin Franklin Butler, 46, would command the Army of the James in a move to take Petersburg and cut off Lee's communications with the lower South. Unfortunately, Confederate General John Cabell Breckenridge, 43 (the Vice President in the Buchanan administration and the southern Democratic candidate in 1860), defeated Sigel's forces in the Battle of Newmarket, and Confederate General Jubal Anderson Early, 47, was able to get his forces across the Appalachians into the valley to threaten Washington. Also, Butler's forces became "bottled up" (Grant's disparaging words) by Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant de Beauregard, 45, in Bermuda Hundred in a loop of the James River. So much for the grand strategy.

So now, without the help of the diversions, the 100,000-strong Army of the Potomac under Grant and Meade started across the Rapidan in May and invaded the Wilderness on the way to Richmond. As Grant would later explain(6):

Quoted in Morison, Samuel Eliot, The Oxford History of the American People, New York: Oxford University Press, 1965, p. 689. (Close)
I determined to hammer continuously against the armed force of the enemy and his resources, until by mere attrition, if in no other way, the military power of the rebellion was entirely broken.

[ Robert Edward Lee ]

In May, the Army of the Potomac contended with the 60,000-strong Confederate force of General Robert Edward Lee, 57, pictured left, in the inconclusive but very destructive 2-day Battle of the Wilderness near Chancellorsville, VA, in which 17,700 Union soldiers fell (and half that many Confederates).

Just a few days later the two armies again contended, in the 5-day Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, one of the earliest terrible examples of trench warfare, in which 12,227 more Union soldiers fell. One Union private recalled the following:

No one could see the fight fifty feet from him. The lines were very near each other, and from the dense underbrush and the tops of trees came puffs of smoke, the "ping" of the bullets and the yell of the enemy. It was a blind and bloody hunt to the death, in bewildering thickets, rather than a battle.(7) Quoted in Bailey et al., op. cit., p. 480. (Close)
The Union forces suffered about 50,000 casualties in the two battles, the numerically inferior Confederates suffered about as heavily in proportion.

Confederate cavalry officer Captain John Singleton Mosby, 30, led his Rangers in a "greenback raid, seizing $168,000 ($2.56 million in 2006 dollars) in Union funds and dividing up the loot to buy new equipment and uniforms.

Grant wrote the following to Secretary of War Edward McMasters Stanton, 40, pictured right: [ Edward McMasters Stanton ]

I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer.
In the early-June Battle of Cold Harbor in Virginia, just 9 miles from Richmond, Grant's forces attempted a frontal assault on an impregnable Confederate position of General Lee; the Union soldiers advanced toward almost certain death with papers pinned on their backs bearing their names and addresses. In only a few minutes, Lee's forces killed or wounded some 7,000 men. In his memoirs, Grant later confessed:
At Cold Harbor no advantage whatever was gained to compensate for the heavy losses we sustained.
In the battle as a whole, the Union suffered about 12,000 casualties, far more than sustained by the Confederates. The unattended wounded between the entrenched lines died of thirst or loss of blood. Corpses were left rotting on the ground.

Public opinion in the North was disgusted with Grant's "blood and guts" type of fighting; some critics opined that "Grant the Butcher" had gone insane and demanded that he be removed from command. Lincoln refused to consider removing Grant. Lincoln was just as determined as the persevering Grant:

We accepted this war for an object, a worthy object, and the war will end when that object is attained. Under God, I hope it never will end until that time.… This war has taken three years; it was begun or accepted upon the line of restoring the national authority over the whole national domain, and for the American people; as far as my knowledge enables me to speak, I say we are going through on this line if it takes three years more.(8) Quoted in Morison, op. cit., p. 691. (Close)

Grant's forces now began to besiege Petersburg, VA. Both armies constructed complex lines of trenches and breastworks extending for miles. During the siege, a mine was exploded under the Confederate fort; Union forces fell back, with 2,864 killed or wounded, 929 missing.

A 15,000-veteran Confederate force under General Early marched northward through the Shenandoah Valley, reaching Winchester in early July, crossing the Potomac, looting Hagerstown and Frederick, passing through Silver Spring, and reaching Fort Stevens in the District of Columbia by July 11. Union General Lew (Lewis) Wallace, 37, held Early up for 2 days at the Monocacy River within 5 miles of the capital, which was visible to the rebel troops. Wallace lost the battle but saved Washington by gaining time for General Grant to come to the rescue. President Lincoln watched the engagement from the parapet of Fort Stevens. Early's force was driven back and escaped to the Shenandoah with loot and provisions.

Early's nearly successful sack of Washington as well as Grant's being held up at Petersburg provided fuel for the move to oust Lincoln from the Presidency among "Peace" Democrats and the Copperheads. Countering advice that the administration declare an emergency and postpone or cancel the Presidential Election, Lincoln said:

We cannot have free government without elections; and if the rebellion would force us to forgo or postpone a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us.(9) Quoted in ibid., p. 692. (Close)
Here is the full story of the presidential campaign of 1864.

Admiral David Dixon Porter, 51, maneuvered his gunboats up the Red River to Shreveport, LA, to enable the Union "Army of the Mississippi" under General Nathaniel Prentice Banks, 48, to march into Texas. Unfortunately for these plans, the Confederate forces of General Edmund Kirby-Smith, 40, which included several thousand Indians, severely defeated Banks in the Battle of Pleasant Hill. An entire regiment of New York Zouaves, red pants and all, was captured in the battle by the Texans of Majorß General Richard Taylor, 38, who expressed disgust and swore that they had not enlisted to fight women!

Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, 43, led 7,000 troopers in a cavalry raid on western Tennessee and Kentucky in an effort to demolish Union posts and capture prisoners and supplies. In the Battle of Paducah, for example, Forrest's "Cavalry Department of West Tennessee and North Mississippi" inflicted considerable damage to the town. Still needing horses and other supplies, Forrest determined to move on Fort Pillow, near Henning, TN, which was garrisoned by about 600 Union soldiers, half of them black, mostly former slaves now under the command of Major Lionel F. Booth. (The white soldiers were commanded by Major William F. Bradford.)

Early in the ensuing Battle of Fort Pillow, Major Booth was killed by a sharpshooter's bullet, and Major Bradford assumed overall command of the entire Union garrison. In only a matter of hours, the Confederates had captured two rows of barracks and were subjecting the garrison to withering fire. Forrest demanded their surrender:

I now demanding unconditional surrender of your forces, at the same time assuring you that you will be treated as prisoners of war.… I have received a new supply of ammunition and can take your works by assault, and if compelled to do so you must take the consequences.
Bradford ultimately refused to surrender, and Forrest began the final furious assault. Many of the Union soldiers tried to flee toward the river but were shot down; many who reached the river drowned or were picked off in the water by Confederate marksmen from the bluff. Others surrendered, only to be shot or bayoneted by the attackers, who were shouting "No quarter! No quarter!" Several Union wounded were burned to death in their barracks or buried alive.

In the aftermath of the massacre, President Lincoln demanded that Confederates treat captured black Union soldiers as prisoners of war, even if they happened to be runaway slaves. This demand was refused. As a result, prisoner exchanges in general came to a halt. In subsequent battles, vengeful black units cried

Remember Fort Pillow!
as they rushed into battle, vowing to take no prisoners.

As Union forces moved into and out of various locations, many blacks found themselves emancipated and then re-enlsaved. One slave in North Carolina claimed that he had celebrated freedom 12 times. Slaveowners in one Texas county attacked runaway slaves who were fleeing to a liberated county across a river; trees along the riverbank displayed their swinging corpses the next day as a grisly example to any other potential runaways. In other parts of Union-reconquered territory, slaveowners resisted emancipation unless their state legislatures or the Supreme Court ordered them to free their slaves. Sometimes the slaves themselves, out of loyalty to the plantation, resisted emancipation. On the other hand, there is at least one instance in Virginia of a group of newly freed slaves laying twenty lashes on the back of their former master.

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(10):

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, 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.… Whatever the reputation of black women for promiscuity, [however,] sexual submissions frequently had to be obtained by force.

While on picket guard I witnessed misdeeds that made me ashamed of America,
a soldier wrote from South Carolina; he had recently observed a group of his comrades rape a nine-year-old black girl. Not only did some Union soldiers sexually assault any woman they found in a slave cabin but they had no compunctions about committing the act in the presence of her family.
The father and grandfather dared offer no resistance,
two witnesses reported from Virginia. In some such instances, the husband or children of the intended victim had to be forcibly restrained from coming to her assistance. Beyond the exploitation of sexual assault, black women could be subjected to further brutality and sadism, as was most graphically illustrated in an incident involving some Connecticut soldiers stationed in Virginia. After seizing two "niger wenches," they
turned them upon their heads, & put tobacco, chips, stocks, lighted cigars & and sand into their behinds.
Without explanation, some Union soldiers in Hanover County Virginia, stopped five young black women and cut their arms, legs, and backs with razors. "Dis was new to us," one of the victims recalled,
cause Mr. Tinsley [her master] didn' ever beat or hurt us.
Most Union soldiers would have found these practices reprehensible. But they occurred with sufficient frequency to induce a northern journalist in South Carolina to write that Union troops had engaged in
some of the vilest and meanest exhibitions of human depravity
he had ever witnessed. If such incidents were rare, moreover, the racial ideology that encouraged them had widespread acceptance, even among those who deplored the excesses.

Union naval forces under Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, 63, defied Confederate "torpedoes" (mines) in the narrow entrance to Mobile Bay in Alabama, ordering to his subordinate on his flagship, the USS Hartford, the following:

Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton, go ahead!
Farragut's forces prevailed in the Battle of Mobile Bay, overwhelming the hitherto-formidable CSS Tennessee capturing Confederate Admiral Franklin Buchanan, 64, seizing Fort Morgan, and sealing off Mobile. Confederate blockade running was thenceforward stifled in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Union forces under General Philip Henry Sheridan, 33, defeated Confederate cavalry forces of General Early in the Battle of Winchester, but with severe casualties: 697 Union killed, 3,983 wounded, and 338 missing, compared with 276 Confederate dead, 1,827 wounded, and 1,818 missing. Sheridan again defeated Early in the Battle of Fisher's Hill and the Battle of Cedar Creek, clearing Confederate troops out of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the "breadbasket of the South." With his 50,000 troops, Sheridan was determined to

eat out Virginia clear and clean.… Leave nothing to invite the enemy to return. Destroy whatever cannot be consumed. Let the valley be left so that crows flying over it for the balance of this season will have to carry their provender with them.(11) 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. 517; Davidson et al., op. cit., p. 475. (Close)

The Confederacy was suffering wild inflation as $1 billion ($15.27 billion in 2006 dollars) in blue-backed paper currency was circulated; the gold value of the paper dollar fell in the first quarter to 46 cents. By now a good officer's coat cost $2,000 in Confederate currency, cigars were $10 each, butter was $25 per pound, and flour was $275 per barrel. Such imported items as coffee could not be purchased anywhere. Even salt was scarce--the price per sack was $20 (an astronomical increase from 65 cents).

(In the North, the gold value of the greenback actually fell to 39 cents by July.)

The Confederate government in Richmond increased taxes sharply and imposed a 10% levy on farm produce, measures fiercely resisted by the Southern citizens. The Confederate commissary department impressed supplies for the army whenever Southern farmers refused to sell for near-worthless Confederate money. By now there were severe shortages all through the South.

Railroad transportation in the South had collapsed. Southerners were pulling up rails form less-used lines to repair the main lines. Window weights were being melted down into bullets. Pins were extremely scarce.

[ William Tecumseh Sherman ]

Red-haired and red-bearded, ruthless and grim-faced, General William Tecumseh Sherman, 44, pictured left, replaced General Grant as commander of the Army of Tennessee and then captured and occupied Meridian, MS. Later, Sherman's forces were defeated in the Battle of Kenesaw Mountain in Georgia, sustaining some 2,000 casualties, compared with 270 for the Confederates under General Joseph E. Johnston.

After a 5-week siege of Atlanta, Union forces under General Sherman defeated Confederate forces of General John Bell Hood, 33, augmented by boys of 17 and men older than 45, in the Battle of Atlanta. In a second battle for the city, the Battle of Ezra Church at the end of July, General Hood sustained 10,000 casualties (General Sherman sustained about the same amount). Sherman wrote the following to his wife:

We have devoured the land and our animals eat up the wheat and cornfields close. All the people retire before us and desolation is behind. To realize what war is one should follow our tracks.(12) Quoted in Garraty, John A., The American Nation: A History of the United States, New York: Harper and Row, 1966, p. 423; and Morison, op. cit., p. 688. (Close)
The Union forces captured and burned the city in the autumn. President Davis assured his subjects that sooner or later Sherman would have to retreat from Atlanta
and when that day comes the fate that befell the army of the French empire on its retreat from Moscow will be re-acted.(13) Quoted in Morison, op. cit., p. 695. (Close)
General Hood tried to take the offensive by pushing northward into Tennessee, possibly with plans to harass a northward-retreating Sherman like the Russians harassed Napoleon. Sherman did not pursue him, however, because he had other plans, total-war plans, devastating for the plantation South.

Daringly, leaving only two army corps to deal with Hood and essentially abandoning his Atlanta supply base as well as his supply and communications with Chattanooga, General Sherman led his 62,000-strong force with its 2,500 six-mule teams laden with supplies on a 250-mile "march to the sea" through Georgia, "the garden spot of the Confederacy," toward Savannah, cutting a swath several miles wide, destroying everything along the way--stores of provisions, standing crops and cattle, mills and cotton gins, and railroads beyond any hope of repair--leaving only blackened chimneys ("Sherman's Sentinels") and twisted railroad rails ("iron doughnuts" and "Sherman's hairpins"). Stragglers from both sides, called "bummers," as well as the forces of Joe Wheeler's Confederate cavalry (which hung on Sherman's flanks), looted private homes, too. According to the rousing Yankee song "Marching through Georgia":

"Sherman's dashing Yankee boys will never reach the coast!"
So the saucy rebels said--and 'twas a handsome boast.
Sherman's hated "Blue Bellies" bayoneted family portraits and stole whatever they wanted. Sherman, determined to "make Georgia howl," commented:
War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it.
Another of his famous quotes is:
War… is all hell.
He summed up his scorched-earth strategy this way:
I suppose Jeff Davis will now have to feed the people of Georgia instead of collecting provisions of them to feed his armies.(14) Quoted in Garraty, op. cit., p. 424. (Close)
W. F. Saylor, a Union soldier from Wisconsin, described the March in a letter to his father(15): Quoted in Taylor, op. cit., citing Kutler, Stanley I., Looking for America: The People's History, Vol. I (New York: W. W. Norton, 1979), pp. 430-32, taken from, accessed 31 January 2007. (Close)
In the field near Savannah Geo.
Dec. 18th, 1864

My Dear Father:

At 10 a.m. Monday the 14th [Nov.] we started on the march towards Atlanta, having previously set fire to our comfortable winter quarters. The main road was blocked up with teams so we were obliged to go round by an old ford road making us 5 miles extra travel.… The whole army intended for this Campaign was now in and around the City and ready to start the next morning. It comprised 73,000 Infantry, 5500 cavelry [sic], and 70 pieces of Artillery, making nearly 80,000 men under the command of Major. Gen. W.T. Sherman.

Tuesday morning Nov. 15th. The Army moved out on four different roads. The right wing towards Macon, the left wing towards Augusta. A small force was left behind to burn the city [Atlanta] after the troops got out. And they did their work well, burning everything but a few private dwellings and the Churches. The proud city of Atlanta is now a heap of Ashes, without inhabitants or public communication.

Nov. 22. Left Camp at 10 a.m. The Weather is now cold and cloudy, with a few flakes of snow. We travel fast and get to Camp in Milledgeville the Capitol of Geo. at 5 p.m. having traveled 10 miles.… This is a very pretty place and contains some beautiful buildings. The Legislature had been in session but on hearing of our approach they adjourned and fled in confusion.… We burned the State Prison and arsenal and other public buildings and pillaged an plundered the town generally. It was an awful looking place when we got through.

Nov 28.… found Ex-Gov. Johnston's house about 5 to 7 miles from the road we were on. The Ex Gov of course had gone, but had left some of his old darkies. The foragers got lots of stuff to eat here but not finding the usual amount of finery in the house they suspected that it was hid some where. The Officer in charge persuaded an aged darkey by threatening to hang him (rather persuasive argument) to tell him where the stuff was. The Ex Gov took up a bed of cabbages in his garden then dug holes and deposited his goods in boxes and barrels in said holes, and then set the cabbages out nicely again. But it wouldn't work. The boys unearthed the stuff.

Dec. 10th.… You can form no idea of the amount of property destroyed by us on this raid. All the Roads in the state are torn up and the whole tract of country over which we passed is little better than wilderness. I can't… think of what the people that are left there are to live on. We have all their Cattle, Horses, Mules, Sheep, Hogs, Sweet Potatoes and Molasses and nearly everything else. We burnt all the Cotton we men which was millions of pounds.… A tornado 60 miles in width from Chattanooga to this place 290 miles could not have done half the damage we did.

A Georgia girl documented Sherman's march in her journal and expressed the intense hatred the war had generated among Southerners for the Yankees(16): Quoted in ibid., citing Current, Richard, American History: A Survey (New York: Knopf, 1961), p. 399, taken from, accessed 31 January 2007. (Close)
If all the words of hatred in every language under heaven were lumped together into one huge epithet of detestation, they could not tell how I hate Yankees.… Now that they have invaded our country and killed so many of our men and desecrated so many homes, I can't believe that when Christ said, "Love your enemies," He meant Yankees.… Of course I don't want their souls to be lost, for that would be wicked, but as they are not being punished in this world, I don't see how else they are going to get their deserts.

This was, indeed, total war, whose objective was not to destroy an opposing army as much as to annihilate the South's morale and resolve to continue the war. By waging such a pillaging war on Confederate homes, "Sherman's bummers" (as Southerners referred to them) caused increasing desertions of Confederate soldiers on fronts far away.

When his forces occupied Savannah just before Christmas, "Sherman the Brute" (as he was known to Southerners) sent the following dispatch to President Lincoln:

I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah.
Then Sherman's forces veered northward into South Carolina, the place Union soldiers considered the "hell-hole of secession," for even more vicious destruction.

Union forces under General John McAllister Schofield, 33, defeated the desperately charging Confederates under General Hood south of Nashville, TN, in the Battle of Franklin, inflicting terrible casualties on Hood: 1,750 dead, including six general officers, 3,800 wounded, compared with 189 Union dead and 1,033 wounded. Union forces under General George Thomas again cut up Hood's forces in the Battle of Nashville, using the hand-cranked Gatling gun. Thomas's forces captured more than 10,000 men and 72 artillery pieces.

To stop the Confederate ironclad Albemarle from punching through the blockade, Union Lieutenant William Barker Cushing, 22, commanded a 30-foot steam launch fitted with a torpedo (mine) at the end of a spar, sped through a protective log beam in the Roanoke River, and deposited the torpedo under the Albemarle in Plymouth, NC, blowing it and his launch to bits. Union gunboats were then able to capture Plymouth.

Historian Karen Frisch tells of what it was like for a Confederate soldier(17):

Frisch, Karen, "Your Confederate Ancestors in the Civil War," featured in ("Ancestry Daily News") of Inc. (© Copyright 1998-2002 by Inc. and its subsidiaries). (Close)
Confederate soldiers who fell ill often relied on medical home remedies from native plants. Burns were treated with cucumber, colds with wild cherry or watermelon sugar, diarrhea with rose geranium, and pneumonia with a mixture of opium, quinine, and brandy. If the wounded had to be treated at Union hospitals, their injuries were taken in the order of severity. Frequently the timeliness of treatment depended upon the degree of sympathy the surgeon felt. While a competent surgeon could amputate an arm or leg in under fifteen minutes, patients were often forced to bite on a bullet, a comfort that was always more available than anesthesia. The risks from infection were great since medical instruments were wiped and used again. Many in the deep South also died from malaria, smallpox, and diphtheria.

The densely wooded forests, dusty roads, and cold trenches where he fought summer and winter were a testament to his determination. But while the Confederate soldier acted out of conviction and courage, his cause continually led to defeat and low morale, especially as the war dragged on. It must have been difficult to remain optimistic toward the end of the war. The Confederacy's early euphoria and air of invincibility disappeared after the decisive defeat at Gettysburg [the preceding year], leaving the soldiers exhausted and discouraged. From then on they were in a defensive position rather than attacking.

Southern women buoyed up their menfolk. Some women proposed cutting off their long hair and selling it abroad, but the tight blockade made that plan not feasible.

Privates in either army were paid a monthly salary of $27 ($412 in 2006 dollars).

Presidential election of 1864

To be reelected, President Lincoln needed to retain precarious support from his own Republican Party and at the same time overwhelm the serious threat from Peace Democrats and the bitterly antiwar Copperheads. The Republican Party, fearing defeat, joined with the War Democrats into a new coalition: the Union Party, and that was the ticket that Lincoln was determined to run under.

[ Horace Greeley ] There was a serious question as to whether the Union Party would renominate their incumbent President, however. One formidable faction wanted to "ditch" homely "Old Abe," replacing him with the handsome Treasury Secretary, Salmon Portland Chase, 56 (who resigned from the cabinet); they denounced Lincoln for not having won the war, for being generally ineffective, and for being boorish. One journal called Lincoln the "Prince of Jesters," castigating his ill-timed and earthy jokes. Lincoln prevailed, however, and was renominated in June.

Still, the move to reverse the renomination and oust him continued. New York Senator Roscoe Conkling, 35, General Butler, and the petulant and dogmatic Horace Greeley, 53, pictured here, editor and publisher of the New York Tribune, joined in the ousting effort. Greeley expected the Confederacy to be won back by diplomacy once Lincoln was out of the way. Lincoln wrote the following to Greeley in July(18):

Quoted in Morison, op. cit., p. 693. (Close)
If you can find any person anywhere professing to have any proposition of Jefferson Davis, in writing, for peace, embracing the restoration of the Union and abandonment of slavery, say to him he may come to me.
Greeley actually went to Canada and met two men claiming to have a peace offer, but he discovered that they were charlatans. He still maintained hope for negotiation, however.

There was also a serious breach between the President and the "Radical" Republicans in the 38th Congress concerning reconstructing the Union after the war. Lincoln, asserting that the Southern states had never withdrawn from the Union legally, had proclaimed the preceding year 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.

The radicals, however, fearing any restoration of the planter aristocracy to power in the South and the possible re-enslavement of the blacks, had sharply condemned the President's "10-percent" proclamation. Insisting that the seceders had indeed left the Union--that they had "committed suicide" as republican states, that they would now be "conquered provinces"--Senator Ben Wade of Ohio and Congressman Henry Winter Davis of Maryland issued a manifesto that accused the President of the basest of personal ambition and of a

studied outrage on the legislative authority of the people.
They rammed the Wade-Davis Bill through Congress, requiring 50% of a state's voters to take the oath of allegiance, disfranchising and barring from political office anyone who had "voluntarily borne arms against the United States," demanding stronger emancipation safeguards, and repudiating all Confederate debts.

Lincoln refused to sign the bill after Congress adjourned, thereby "pocket-vetoing" it and outraging the radicals. Radical Republican Senator Zachariah T. Chandler, 51, of Michigan, fearing that the pocket veto would damage Republican chances in the Old Northwest in the ensuing Presidential Election, approached President Lincoln and demanded an explanation. The President insisted that Congress had no authority to enact emancipation. Chandler, referring to the Emancipation Proclamation, exclaimed:

It is no more than you have done yourself.
But Lincoln proclaimed his extensive war powers and responded:
I conceive that I may in an emergency do things on military grounds which cannot be done constitutionally by Congress.

(When reconquered Louisiana reorganized its government in accordance with Lincoln's proposal, it sent delegates to Washington, DC, but the reconvened Congress refused to seat them.)

Greeley published the Wade-Davis manifesto in early August, and he joined the radicals to "call" for a new Republican convention to nominate General Butler, or anyone but Lincoln. Meanwhile, the Republican executive committee implored Lincoln to make peace overtures to Jefferson Davis.

In August, Lincoln expressed his forebodings in a paper not to be opened until after the election(19):

Quoted in ibid. (Close)
It seems exceedingly probable that this administration will not be re-elected. Then it will be my duty to so co-operate with the President-elect as to save the Union between the election and the inauguration, as he will have secured his election on such ground that he cannot possibly save it afterward.

To "sew up" the election by attracting votes from the War Democrats and the border states, the Union Party nominated an ex-tailor War Democrat from Tennessee who had been a small slaveowner: Andrew Johnson, 56. Opponents of the Union Party--including the Copperheads and, of course, Southerners--mocked the candidates as two third-rate, ignorant, boorish, backwoods hicks born in log cabins--essentially, according to the New York World, "an insult to the common sense of the people."

In order to harvest 3 more electoral votes for President Lincoln, Republicans pushed through legislation to admit still scantily populated Nevada, the "child of the Comstock Lode," into the Union as the 36th state.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis, certain that his cause was invincible, responded to a volunteer peacemaker as follows(20):

Quoted in ibid., pp. 693-94. (Close)
Say to Mr. Lincoln from me that I shall at any time be pleased to receive proposals for peace on the basis of our Independence. It will be useless to approach me with any other.
This statement was published in late August, shortly before the Democratic national convention.

[ George Brinton McClellan ] The Peace Democrats and the Copperheads, still tainted with their association with the seceders, were still divided among themselves--even after the War Democrats had bolted to the Union Party. The Copperheads had been openly obstructing the war effort through attacks against the draft and against emancipation, condemning the "Nigger War," and calling for a negotiated settlement with the Confederacy. At the Chicago Democratic Convention, Clement Laird Vallandigham of Ohio, 44, the acknowledged leader of the Copperheads, wrote the "peace plank" of the platform declaring the war a failure and demanding an immediate end of hostilities(21):

Quoted in ibid., p. 694. (Close)
After four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war… justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities… to the end that, at the earliest practicable moment, peace may be restored on the basis of the federal Union of the States.
Vallandigham was unable to block the nomination for President of the overcautious, deposed General George Brinton McClellan, 37, pictured here, who supported prosecuting the war. Ohio Congressman "Gentleman George" Pendleton, who had been consistently vilifying Lincoln since the beginning of the war, was nominated for Vice President. In a weird and ironic self-contradiction, the Democrats included Vallandigham on the ticket as the proposed Secretary of War.

The campaign was nasty and silly. The Democrats shouted:

Old Abe removed McClellan. We'll now remove Old Abe.
Mac Will Win the Union Back!
The Union supporters countered with:
Uncle Abe and Andy!
Vote as you shot.
The most effective Union Party slogan was a remark by President Lincoln when he addressed a delegation from the National Union League:
Don't swap horses in the middle of the river.
and that proved to be the most effective slogan in the campaign.

With the war going badly, anti-Lincoln Republicans continued their movement to "dump" Lincoln in favor of someone else. But then news came of Admiral Farragut's capture of Mobile and his defiant shout of damning the torpedoes. And then came news of General Sherman seizing Atlanta and General Sheridan wasting the Shenandoah Valley. The war seemed winnable, after all.

President Lincoln made sure that many Union soldiers were furloughed home to support him at the polls. One veteran soldier from Pennsylvania voted 49 times--once for himself and once for each absent member of his company. Many soldiers cast their ballots at the front.

Bolstered by the "bayonet vote," Lincoln won 55 percent of the popular vote (2,206,938 to 1,803,787), winning 212 electoral votes to 21 for McClellan, losing only Kentucky, Delaware, and New Jersey. (Lincoln's margin of victory in the pivotal states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio was only 86,400, however.) Andrew Johnson was duly elected Vice President.

The 39th Congress was also elected, to begin serving the coming year.

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 to a mere 8 cents per hour ($1.22 per hour in 2006 dollars).

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.

The railroads were operating at close to capacity, and with increased efficiency.

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.

Here are the foundations of personal fortunes that were laid during the war: Armour (meat packing), Havemeyer (sugar), Weyerhaeuser (lumber), Huntington (merchandise and railroads), Remington (firearms), Rockefeller (oil), Carnegie (iron and steel), Borden (milk), Marshall Field (merchandise), and Stillman (contraband cotton).

Cotton in New England by this time was worth $1.90 per pound ($29 per pound in 2006 dollars), whereas it was selling for only 20 cents a pound ($3.05 per pound) in the South. Of course, it was illegal to traffic in staples across the lines, but the temptation was just too great for several unscrupulous operators, who were able to reap huge profits.

The 38th Congress again increased the federal income tax that had been enacted in 1861 to meet the expenses of the war.

Bates College was founded in Lewiston, ME.

The 6-year-old Boston publishing firm E. P. Dutton & Co., directed by Edward Payton Dutton, 23, purchased the 32-year-old renowned publishing house Ticknor & Fields, which was publishing not only the Atlantic Monthly but also works of Holmes, Emerson, Hawthorne, Lowell, Longfellow, Thoreau, Whittier, and English authors and poets Browning, De Quincey, Leigh Hunt, and Tennyson.

Henry Oscar Houghton, 41, publisher for the preceding 12 years of Riverside Press in Cambridge, MA, became a partner in the new Hurd & Houghton Publishing Company in Boston.

A Baptist administrative and social union composed entirely of business laymen was established in Tremont Temple in Boston.

Milton Bradley, 27, encouraged by the success of his "The Checkered Game of Life" board game that he had introduced 4 years earlier, founded the Milton Bradley & Company firm in Springfield, MA, to produce school materials and games.

A salmon hatchery opened in New York City.

Confederate agents set the Barnum Museum and Astor House afire in an attempt to burn down New York City.

The New York Guarantee and Indemnity Company was founded in New York City with a capital of $100,000 ($1.53 million in 2006 dollars).

The Wall Street banking house Jay Cooke & Company of Jay Cooke, 43, "earned" a commission of three-eighths of 1 percent on all sales of federal Treasury bonds used to finance the war.

German immigrant financier Joseph Seligman, 45, established the banking house of J. & W. Seligman in New York City and helped the Union cause by marketing U.S. Treasury bonds abroad. He soon had branch offices in San Francisco, New Orleans, London, Paris, and Frankfurt am Main.

A croquet club was established in Brooklyn, NY.

In spite of the war, social functions were held as usual in the cities during the winter--and in Saratoga Springs, Long Island, and Newport (RI) during the summer.

The Travers Stakes was established at the first racetrack in Saratoga Springs, NY.

New York State Senator Andrew Jackson White, 31, helped codify the state's school laws and created a system of training schools for teachers.

Because of the war stimulus, an annual average of 60 new factories sprang up in Philadelphia during the 3-year period just ending.

The Pennsylvania Railroad began using steel for its rails. Steel was safer and more economical than regular iron, because it could bear a heavier load.

Workers in the U.S. organized the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the Iron Moulders' International, and the Cigar Makers' National Union.

Abolitionist James Mott, 76, was among the benefactors who founded Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, PA.

A two-train collision near Shohala, PA, killed 65 people.

The increase in U.S. literacy was spurring a demand for more lighting.(22)

Distilled from Trager, op. cit., p. 490; and from Garraty, op. cit., pp. 505-6. (Close) The petroleum derivative kerosene was now 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 5 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. During this year, a "finder," using a witch-hazel twig divining rod, discovered oil at Pithole Creek in Pennsylvania; the well pumped 250 barrels of oil per day by the end of the year.

George Mortimer Pullman, 33, and Ben Field of Chicago patented the "Pullman Car," a railway sleeping car with folding upper berths, the first comfortable railroad sleeping car.

Lincoln Park in Chicago was created from a 120-acre cemetery, with most of its graves removed. It would be expanded to embrace more than 1,000 acres of woodlands, bridle paths, playgrounds, golf courses, yacht basins, gardens, and museums.

Bearded and rotund Chicago preacher Dwight Lyman Moody, 27, weighing nearly 300 pounds, 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 as well as the Illinois Street Church, later known as the Moody Church, with a seating capacity of 1,500. He held huge audiences spellbound.

The 9-year-old Chicago, St. Paul and Fond du Lac Railroad combined with the 16-year-old Galena & Chicago Union Railroad to form the Chicago North Western Railway Co.

Commission merchant Philip Danforth Armour, 32, and John Plankinton established a pork-packing firm in Milwaukee, WI, which would become the Armour Packing Company. Armour traveled to New York City, observed that pork was selling at $40 per barrel, realized that the Union Army was winning the war, and sold pork shares short at more than $33 per barrel while covering his sales at $18 per barrel ($611, $504, and $275, respectively, per barrel in 2006 dollars), and made a fortune.

German immigrant brewer Frederick Pabst, 28, and an associate gained control of the Empire Brewery in Milwaukee, which produced 4,895 barrels of beer annually.

The Pacific Railway Act, passed by Congress 2 years earlier, 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 3 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 23 years.

(During this year the government granted to the railroad barons who promised to build the Northern Pacific Railroad 40 alternate sections on each side of the track. Homesteaders were to be barred from an area 100 miles wide all the way from Lake Superior to the Pacific Ocean.)

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 ($244,000, $488,000, and $733,000, 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 had been broken only the year before at Omaha, and the line was now stretching westward toward Kansas City, MO.

The Kansas State Legislature accepted a federal land grant for railroad development and voted to allow railroads to select additional land within 20 miles of their lines in lieu of lands already held by settlers through preemption; counties were allowed to vote subsidies of up to $200,000 ($3.1 million in 2006 dollars) to railroads. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad was a principal beneficiary.

The University of Kansas was founded in Lawrence, KS.

The 2-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 ($152.70 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 ($19.09 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. Europeans poured into the U.S. to fill farm and factory jobs left vacant by Union Army draftees and by Americans gone West to claim free land (and to avoid the draft).

Wheat prices climbed to $4 per bushel ($61.08 per bushel in 2006 dollars); much of the wheat was shipped to Europe.

A grasshopper plague in the Great Plains wiped out the wheat crop there.

The University of Denver was founded in Colorado Territory.

Sand Creek Massacre

Conflict between the Native Americans (the Cheyenne and the Arapaho) and white gold miners had been brewing for a decade in the foothills on the eastern slope of the Rockies in Colorado Territory (which had been the western part of Kansas Territory). "Dog Soldiers," those Indians convinced that there could never be any successful negotiations with whites, had been making wagon travel extremely dangerous across Colorado's plains. Territorial governor John Evans, 50, sent Colonel John Milton Chivington, 43, to quiet the Indians at the head of a locally raised militia. After a few skirmishes, some 800 of the Cheyennes and Arapahos, led by Chief Black Kettle, were ready for peace and traveled to Fort Lyon on the eastern plains, at last willing to abide by the stipulations of the 3-year-old Fort Wise Treaty, wherein some Cheyenne and Arapaho chiefs had ceded all Indian lands to the United States and had agreed to move to the Indian reservation to the south of Sand Creek, demarcated by a line to be run due north from a point on the northern boundary of New Mexico, 15 miles west of Purgatory River and extending to the Sandy Fork of the Arkansas River.

Black Kettle and his band, none of them "Dog Soldiers," reported to Fort Lyon, there declaring peace, and then camped at Sand Creek, less than 40 miles north. Assured by the U.S. government's promises of peace, he sent out most of his warriors to hunt. Colonel Chivington and his 800 troops of the First Colorado Cavalry, Third Colorado Cavalry, and a company of First New Mexico Volunteers marched to Sand Creek in order to attack the Indians. A young lieutenant told Colonel Chivington that to attack the Indians would be a violation of pledges.

His reply was, bringing his fist down close to my face.
Damn any man who sympathizes with Indians.
I told him what pledges were given the Indians. He replied that he
had come to kill Indians, and believed to be honorable to kill Indians under any and all circumstances.(23) Quoted in Bailey et al., op. cit., p. 601. (Close)
On the morning of November 29, Chivington instructed his troops:
Kill and scalp all, big and little; nits make lice. (24) Much of this description, including the resulting scandal, has been excerpted from the Wikipedia Foundation, at, accessed 10 January 2007; and Garraty, op. cit., p. 478. (Close)
His forces then attacked the village and during the ensuing massacre, only 9 or 10 soldiers were killed and about 35 wounded. But almost all of the village's inhabitants, some 400 of them, who thought they had been promised immunity, were brutally massacred in cold blood--and most were women, children, and elderly men. Women were shot praying for mercy, and braves were tortured, scalped, and unspeakably mutilated. Here is part of the report of a white observer:
They were scalped, their brains knocked out: the men used their knives, ripped open women, clubbed little children, knocked them in the head with their guns, beat their brains out, mutilated their bodies in every sense of the word.
Later, in Denver's Apollo Theater, Colonel Chivington and his men displayed scalps and other body parts, including human fetuses and genitalia.

The attack was initially reported in the press as a victory against a brave opponent. Within weeks, however, a controversy was raised about a possible massacre. Several investigations were conducted, two by the military; and one by the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, who declared:

As to Colonel Chivington, your committee can hardly find fitting terms to describe his conduct. Wearing the uniform of the United States, which should be the emblem of justice and humanity; holding the important position of commander of a military district, and therefore having the honor of the government to that extent in his keeping, he deliberately planned and executed a foul and dastardly massacre which would have disgraced the verist [sic] savage among those who were the victims of his cruelty. Having full knowledge of their friendly character, having himself been instrumental to some extent in placing them in their position of fancied security, he took advantage of their in-apprehension and defenceless [sic] condition to gratify the worst passions that ever cursed the heart of man.

Whatever influence this may have had upon Colonel Chivington, the truth is that he surprised and murdered, in cold blood, the unsuspecting men, women, and children on Sand creek, who had every reason to believe they were under the protection of the United States authorities, and then returned to Denver and boasted of the brave deed he and the men under his command had performed.

In conclusion, your committee are of the opinion that for the purpose of vindicating the cause of justice and upholding the honor of the nation, prompt and energetic measures should be at once taken to remove from office those who have thus disgraced the government by whom they are employed, and to punish, as their crimes deserve, those who have been guilty of these brutal and cowardly acts.

Statements were taken by Major Edward Wynkoop and his adjutant, which substantiated the later accounts of survivors. These statements were filed with his reports and can be found in the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, and copies of which were submitted as evidence in the Joint Committee of the Conduct of the War, and in separate hearings conducted by the military in Denver.

Numerous witnesses came forward during these investigations, offering damning testimony, almost all of which was substantiated by other witnesses. At least one of those witnesses was murdered in Denver just weeks after offering his testimony.

Despite the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the Wars' recommendation, justice was never served on those responsible for the massacre. General Nelson A. Miles later called the massacre the

foulest and most unjustifiable crime in the annals of America.
Unfortunately, the incident was not unusual; on several other notorious occasions, innocent Indians were killed for outrages committed by their fellow tribesmen; sometimes they were shot just for "sport."

After the Sand Creek Massacre, many more Indian men joined the Dog Soldiers, and they massacred settlers throughout the Platte valley, killing as many as 200 civilians.

Christopher "Kit" Carson, 55, and federal troops terrorized Navajos and marched them 300 miles in the "Long Walk" to the Bosque Redondo concentration camp at Fort Sumner in New Mexico Territory. By December the camp contained 8,354 Navajo plus 405 Mescalero Apache, and hundreds were dying of disease and starvation.

Chiracahua Apache Chief Cochise, 52, continued to lead his warriors out of his hideout in the Dragoon Mountains of Arizona in raids against white settlers.

As prospectors flocked to the gold fields of Virginia City in eastern Idaho Territory, that part of the territory became Montana Territory. Historian John Garraty has summarized the miners' point of view(25):

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.

Author and humorist Samuel Langhorne Clemens ("Mark Twain"), 28, moved to San Francisco from Virginia City, Nevada, and began working for the San Francisco Call and to write short stories.

The directors of the 3-year-old Central Pacific Railroad who were known as the "Big Four"--portly Leland Stanford, 40, president; Collis Potter Huntington, 43, vice president; Mark Hopkins, 51, an officer; and Charles Crocker, 42, director of construction--were chartered with the same princely federal subsidies to build their portion of the proposed transcontinental rail link eastward from Sacramento, CA. Crocker had contracted the Chinese Six Companies to recruit workers at $35 per head ($534 per head in 2006 dollars) from California and from the disintegrating Chinese Empire, getting 90% 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. Laying track through the formidable Sierra Nevada was a great challenge; sometimes the workers could tunnel through only inches of the solid rock per day. They had to build snow sheds to keep the tracks clear.

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).

Through the urging of architect Frederick Law Olmsted, 42, Congress passed a bill protecting the Yosemite Valley in California as a national scenic reserve "for public use, resort, and recreation."

Andrew S. Hapgood, George W. Hume, and William Hume founded the salmon cannery Hapgood, Hume & Co. at Washington, in Yolo County on California's Sacramento River.

New Yorker Darius Ogden Mills, 39, was among the merchants and bankers who founded the Bank of California in San Francisco.

Americans now bathed an average of once a week.

[ Ambrose Everett Burnside ] 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.

Science and technology in America: Specifics

Thomas Doughty invented the periscope; and Massachusetts engineer William R. Durfee produced Bessemer-like steel with the Kelly process.

While on his diplomatic mission to Italy, Vermont pioneer ecologist George Perkins Marsh, 63, published Man and Nature, including the following dire prediction, warned that

the ravages committed by man subvert the relations and destroy the balance which nature had established… and she avenges herself upon the intruder by letting loose her destructive energies.… When the forest is gone, the great reservoir of moisture stored up in its vegetable mould is evaporated.… There are parts of Asia Minor, of Northern Africa, of Greece, and even of Alpine Europe, where the operation of causes set in action by man has brought the face of the earth to a desolation almost as complete as that of the moon.… The earth is fast becoming an unfit home for its noblest inhabitants.…(26) Quoted in Trager, op. cit. (Close)
He warned that deforestation was making "the face of the earth… no longer a sponge, but a dust heap." Very few of his countrymen, or his fellow earthlings, paid any heed.

Arts and culture in America: Specifics

Sculptor John Quincy Adams Ward unveiled his Indian Hunter, which was installed in New York City's Central Park; photographer Mathew B. Brady, 40, traveled through the war-torn South with a wagonful of equipment to record scenes of the war; poet William Cullen Bryant, 70, published Thirty Poems; and poet John Greenleaf Whittier, 56, published In War Time, including the poem "Barbara Fretchie," including the lines
"Shoot, if you must, this old gray head,
But spare your country's flag," she said.
Whittier was invited to visit the Army of the Potomac by Brigadier General James C. Rice, who commented:
Your loyal verse has made us all your friends, lightening the wearisomeness of our march, brightening our lonely campfires, and cheering our hearts in battle when the flags of war like storm-birds fly.(27) Quoted in Morison, op. cit., pp. 670-71. (Close)
Confederate novelist Augusta Jane Wilson published Macaria, or Altars of Sacrifice, offering an idealized picture of antebellum Virginia society. Cape Cod by the late Henry David Thoreau was published posthumously. Novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne died at the age of 60.

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 Boys of America, Harper's Monthly, Yale Literary Magazine, Knickerbocker Magazine, Phunny Fellow, National Police Gazette, Illustrated Police News, and Scientific American.

Such illustrated weeklies as Harper's Weekly (edited by George William Curtis) and Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper published hundreds of sketches and drawings of Civil War battles, sieges, and bombardments.

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" was popular among Union troops (but mocked by the Confederates). "Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!" (also known as "The Prisoner's Hope") by George Frederick Root was a Union marching song about a trooper writing home from his prisoner of war camp. 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,
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!
Other war-related songs included "All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight" by John Hill Hewitt, 63, and Lamar Tontain; "Tenting on the Old Camp Ground" by Walter Kittredge, 31; and "When the War Is Over, Mary" by John Rogers Thomas and George Cooper. Other popular songs included "Where, O Where Has My Little Dog Gone?" "Clementine (Down by the River Lived a Maiden)," "Aura Lea," "Beautiful Dreamer," "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." "Come Home, Father" by Henry Clay Work was a significant song for the temperance movement. Songwriter Stephen Collins Foster died at the age of 38.

The World at Large in 1864

The year-old worldwide cholera epidemic continued.

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. Confederate raiders, organized by Confederate agent and former Alabama Senator Clement C. Clay, rode from Montreal into St. Albans, VT, and announced the annexation of St. Albans into the Confederate States of America. The raiders plundered three local banks, stealing some $200,000 in greenbacks ($1.5 million in 2006 dollars) and killing one American citizen in the process. After attempting to burn the town, they retired back to Canada, hotly pursued by a sheriff's posse. All but five of the raiders were captured and turned over to Canadian authorities. Union General John A. Dix ordered his troops to pursue any future such raiders into Canada "and destroy them"; the order aroused considerable indignation in Canada. After the Montreal police released the St. Albans raiders, Americans were themselves indignant. President Lincoln, however, countermanded Dix, and Canada stiffened her frontier guard and rearrested five of the raiders (the rest escaped).

Continuing to ignore the Monroe Doctrine (with the government of the United States preoccupied with its Civil War), the French puppet Emperor of Mexico, the Austrian archduke Maximilian, 32 (brother of Austrian Emperor Franz Josef, 34), captured Mexico City and drove President Benito Pablo Juárez García, 58, across the northern border into the United States. Maximilian accepted the Mexican crown, and he and his wife, Carlotta, were made Emperor and Empress of Mexico. The United States government refused to recognize Maximilian's regime.

Also continuing to ignore the Monroe Doctrine, Spain continued to govern the Dominican Republic, ostensibly to protect it from an attack by Haiti. Even though the ministry of Spanish General Don Leopold O'Donnell (Duke of Tetuan) had been overthrown the preceding year by a republican eruption, Spain still held her garrison there.

[ Queen Victoria ] Queen Victoria, 45, pictured here, still mourning the death of her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861, at last ended her withdrawal from the public. She would wear black, however, for the rest of her life (the next 37 years).

Theologian Cardinal John Henry Newman published Apologia pro vita sua, a history of how his religious ideas developed.

Confederate commerce raiders, which could sink Yankee ships, continued being built in British shipyards, thereby making Great Britain the chief naval base for the Confederacy. The United Kingdom had been claiming 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 had sunk scores of Yankee merchant ships from Europe to the Far East. The Union Navy had been forced to divert naval strength from its blockade to go on wild goose chases. In June, the Union cruiser U.S.S. Kearsarge, under Captain John S. Winslow, sunk the Alabama off the coast of Cherbourg, France. 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.

Many European aristocrats had been openly sympathetic to the South, with its semifeudal social order. Workers in England and France, however, 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, had all along been counting on this hard economic need.

Unfortunately for the Confederacy, by the time that huge cotton inventories in the British warehouses had begun 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. According to one boast in the London Times very early in the year:

We are as busy, as rich, and as fortunate in our trade as if the American war had never broken out, and our trade with the States had never been disturbed. Cotton was no King, notwithstanding the prerogatives which had been loudly claimed for him.(29) Quoted in ibid. (Close)

Finally, the British armaments industry was booming, employing thousands of British workers and supplying deadly weapons to both sides.

The year-old epidemic of cattle disease (the "epizootic") in Great Britain, affecting mostly the Dutch milking cows, continued to boost meat prices; there was a boom in imported tinned meats from Australia. British dairymen made wider and more efficient use of milk trains, and they began to develop water coolers on farms and at milk depots and began transporting milk in tinned-steel churns.

German Socialist Karl Marx, 46, founded the First International Workingmen's Association in London, with a chapter in New York City.

Octavia Hill began reforms of tenement dwellings in London.

The Metropolitan Railway opened in London, as did Charing Cross Station.

The French Line paddle-wheeler Washington crossed the Atlantic and arrived in New York City, inaugurating the transatlantic service of the Compagnie Genéral Transatlantique.

French Emperor Napoleon III, 56, acknowledged the right to strike and ended the ban on workers' associations.

Responding to the urging of Swiss philanthropist Jean Henri Dunant 2 years earlier, an international delegation meeting for the past year in Geneva at the Palais de l'Athenée formally established the Red Cross, stipulating the neutrality of battlefield medical facilities. The Italian Red Cross was founded in Rome, and the French Red Cross had its beginnings in a new Société Française de Secours aux blesse militaires.

Dutch brewer Gerard Adrian Heineken acquired the 272-year-old De Hooiberg brewery and developed a special yeast to give a distinctive taste to his beer.

Austria and Prussia sent an ultimatum to Denmark, and when the ultimatum was ignored, they declared war and invaded Schleswig, defeated the Danes in the Battle of Düppel, and then invaded Denmark itself. A London conference tried in vain to solve the Scheswig-Holstein question. Austria and Prussia easily defeated Denmark, which in the Peace of Vienna was forced to cede Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenburg.

King Maximilian II of Bavaria died and was succeeded by Ludwig II.

The Neue Freie Presse began publication in Vienna.

Italy renounced its claims to Rome. Florence was made the capital of Italy in place of Turin.

Pope Pius IX, 72, issued Syllabus Errorum, condemning Liberalism, Socialism, and Rationalism.

The United Kingdom turned the Ionian Islands over to Greece.

January Revolution

The Russians in May crushed with great severity the 17-month Polish insurrection that had spread to Lithuania and White Russia (Belarus) and began "Russification" programs in Poland. The Russian language was made obligatory in Polish schools and Roman Catholic clergymen were suppressed. Relations with the Vatican were severed. The Russian authorities did recognize the need for agrarian reform, however, and reaffirmed the results of the revolt by granting Polish peasants the land they cultivated and granting the proprietors compensation from state funds.

Russia established a system of zemstvos (local assemblies, or government boards) of landowners, townspeople, and peasants (with no single class to have the upper hand) that could levy taxes for education, public health, road building, and so on. Russia also reformed its judiciary, abolishing class courts and establishing new courts modeled on the French system that could provide jury trials for criminal offenses and provide justices of the peace to deal with minor civil suits.

A cyclone destroyed most of Calcutta, India, killing some 70,000 people.

T'ai P'ing Rebellion

Kwangsi Province mystic Hung Hsiu-ch'uan, 52, proclaiming himself the younger brother of Jesus Christ as well as the T'in-wang ("Heavenly Prince," effectively the Emperor of China) of the so-called T'ai P'ing ("Great Peace") dynasty, continued his rebellion, 14 years old so far, against the government of China's Manchu dynasty. The rebels had been suppressed near Shanhai and Ningpo 2 years earlier, and now Manchu government forces under Tseng Kuo-fan, helped by the "Ever Victorious Army" of British General Charles George "Chinese" Gordon, 31, crushed the rest of the rebellion, recapturing and sacking Nanking. Hung Hsiu-ch'uan took poison while 100,000 of his supporters and innocent civilians were slaughtered.

Because imperial troops had withdrawn from Anhuei, North Kiangsu, and Shantung provinces in order to cope with the T'ai P'ing rebels, bandits there under the name Nien Fei continued their campaign of plunder, now 11 years old.

An allied expedition of British, Dutch, French, and U.S. warships bombarded and silenced Choshu forts at Shimonoseki, thereby halting the anti-foreign movement in Japan.

English explorer Sir Samuel White Baker, 43, discovered Lake Albert, a source of the Nile in central Africa.

King Kamehemeha IV of Hawaii sold the 12-mile-long. 46,000-acre island of Niihau for $10,000 ($152,700 in 2006 dollars) to the Robinson family of New Zealand for raising sheep and longhorn cattle.

World science and technology

German chemist Adolf von Baeyer, 29, synthesized barbituric acid; Britons B. J. Sayce, 27, and William Blanchard Bolton, 16, described the preparation of an emulsion of silver bromide in collodion to enable the development of a photograph.

English inventor James Slater patented the drive chain; German botanist Julius von Sachs, 32, discovered that starch was the first visible product of photosynthesis; and French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur, 42, pasteurized wine.

French mathematician Joseph Louis François Bertrand, 42, began drafting Treatise on Differential and Integral Calculus, which would take another 6 years to complete; and English physicist James Clerk Maxwell, 33, published A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field, refuting the notion of a luminiferous ether and suggesting that electromagnetic waves traveled at the speed of light.

World philosophy and religion

English philosopher Herbert Spencer, 44, published Principles of Biology, presenting the theories of his friend Charles Darwin, introducing the phrase "survival of the fittest," and justifying cutthroat social practices. Italian philosopher Cesare Lombroso, 28, published Genius and Madness. German political activist Ferdinand Lassalle died at the age of 39.

Arts and culture in the British Isles

English novelist Anthony Trollope, 49, published The Small House at Allington and Can You Forgive Her?; novelist Charles (John Huffman) Dickens, 49, published Our Mutual Friend, with illustrations by Marcus Stone; and poet and dramatist Robert Browning, 52, published Dramatis Personae, including the poem "Rabbi Ben Ezra," which included the lines
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made.
English novelist Walter Savage Landor died at the age of 89, and cartoonist John Leech died at the age of 47.

World arts and culture

French painter (Ignace) Henri (Joseph Theodore) Fantin-Latour, 28, unveiled Homage a Delecroix; French painter Jean-Babtiste-Camille Corot, 68, unveiled Souvenir de Mortefontaine; and French Impressionist artist Édouard Manet, 32, unveiled The Dead Toreador. German architect Leo von Klenze died at the age of 80.

German-French comic opérette composer Jacques Offenbach (Jacob Eberst), 45, produced the opera La Belle Helène in Paris; and Austrian composer Anton Bruckner, 40, produced Symphony in D Minor ("Die Nullte") and Mass No. 1 in D Minor. German composer Giacomo Meyerbeer died at the age of 73.

German novelist Wilhelm Raabe, 33, published Der Hungerpastor; Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen, 36, produced The Crown Pretenders; Russian ex-pat novelist Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, 44, published Zapiski zi podpolya ("Notes from the Underground"); French writer Jules-alfred Huot De Goncourt, 34, published Renée Mauperin; and French science fiction writer Jules Verne, 36, published Voyage au Centre de la Terre ("Journey to the Center of the Earth").


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