Browsing "Lincoln’s Patriots"
Jan 2, 2015 - Lincoln's Patriots    No Comments

Money to Fill New York Regiments

Americans in the South fought primarily for family, hearth and State, in sharp contrast to those in the North who required strong financial incentives after casualties mounted. From the time of the Northern draft of 1863 to the conclusion of the war, the Northern States, counties, cities and towns paid over $286 million; the Northern government itself paid out more than $300 million – and with substitute fees paid the total of all would be at least $750 million.  This would have paid for the emancipation of every slave several times over, and saved the lives of a million Americans.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.circa1865.org

 

Money to Fill New York Regiments:

“At the outbreak of the war, New York had four million people, and during the course of the war it furnished the equivalent of 400,000 three-year enlistments to the armed forces. This represented about seventeen per cent of the total northern enlistment and was in proportion to the state population.

Before the war ended, 40,000 New Yorker’s gave their lives to the enterprise. It is interesting to keep in mind that thirty per cent of New York enlistees were foreign-born:  40,000 came from Ireland, 41,000 from Germany, over 12,000 from England, 12,000 were Canadian, 3600 from France, 2000 from Wales, and 2000 from Switzerland. On top of this, 5000 Negroes were in New York regiments.”

In the conscription activity of 1863, the Republican-organ Oswego (New York) Times emphasized the material benefits which would accrue to those possessing the “lucky draft numbers.” A US Bounty of $102, State Bounty of $100, City Bounty of $300 (if offered as the Mayor suggested); Total of $502.00.  Then one year at $13. per month, one year’s service totaling $156.  “$658 or almost $2. per day! Soldiering will be the best business for the future.”

On August 4 [1863] the draft came to Oswego. While most draftees accepted the [conscription] law . . . the Times reported that some were applying to the British Vice Consul for papers giving them protection as aliens. A few were said to be “skedaddling” across the Canadian border.  The Times noted also, that the draft had developed an extraordinary number of sharks in the area. “Several half-starved lawyers, who don’t often get any business, have been taking advantage of the anxiety of drafted men to become exempt, to charge the most exorbitant rates for their services in making out the necessary papers.”

A year later a second draft stared Oswegonians in the face. It might be avoided, of course, if the quota could be raised by enlistment; but for a time the latter lagged. Groping for a solution an imaginative group of twenty-five men sent the local recruiting agents, E.B. Burt and A.B. Getty to Newport News, Virginia, in a military district occupied by Federal troops under General Benjamin Butler, for the purpose of procuring substitutes among the freedmen; expecting, it is assumed, that they could be hired cheaply.

The agents wrote that they found a few substitutes, though the place was filled with bounty-jumpers, but that General Butler had issued an order prohibiting the removal of freedmen from the district; that they would therefore try to enlist them [freedmen] as part of the Oswego quota, provided the city would pay the bounties required.  The City Council quickly voted bounties up to $300, including the agents’ fees, but the project fizzled and the agents returned home empty handed.

The Times writer considered this scheme quite ingenious until he discovered that Jefferson County [New York] was trying the same experiment.   As has been seen, when enlistments lagged, bounties served as a stimulant. As early as July 1862, the State was offering $50 and the County [Oswego] an additional $50, By January 1864, the County was paying $300 bounties, and by December, 1864, the sum was increased to $300 for one year, $500 for two years, and $700 for three years.

Meanwhile, the Federal government had increased its offer to $300. Thus a volunteer might pick up $1000 if he had patience to wait for the installments; this, when laborers wages were about one dollar per day! To those who remained hesitant, the Mexico [New York] Independent offered the happy thought that the war would not last long, and they might never fire a gun or draw a sword.”

(New York State in the Civil War, Robert J. Rayback, New York State Historical Association, 1961, pp. 69-70; Oswego Counties Response to the Civil War, Charles M. Snyder, New York State Historical Association, 1961, pp. 81-84)

Jan 2, 2015 - Lincoln's Patriots    No Comments

Millions for Bounties But Not Emancipation

The  Northern States were quite willing to raise millions of dollars for bounty-enriched mercenaries to subdue the American South, but never advanced a compensated emancipation plan to free the slaves — assuming that emancipation was the desired result.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.circa1865.org

 

Millions for Bounties But Not Emancipation

“It is very well known that the Northern people were so averse to military service that enlistments were, in most cases, procured by high bounties. When the Central Government began to draw imperative requisitions of men on the States, the local authorities, instead of simply drafting the required numbers from among their own militia, almost universally made arrangements for purchasing mercenaries to supply their “quotas;” thus relieving their own citizens from the dreaded service.

The price usually paid, towards the end for the human cattle for Confederate shambles, was not less than fifteen hundred dollars each. A sorry commentary by the way, upon the courage and patriotism of that people, that so large a bribe was needed to persuade them to “save the nation.” But thus it came to pass that not only the States, but cities, counties, country towns, and even the rural subdivisions called, among the people, townships, raised loans. Laws were passed to authorize them to make such loans, and to levy taxes necessary to provide for their interest.

The aggregate of these bounty-debts cannot be estimated by us from any evidences in our reach; but some data will be given to enable the reader to approximate it. The city of Philadelphia alone, it is believed, owes a debt of forty-four millions ($44,000,000) chiefly for bounties. It was a very “loyal” city. It claims about six hundred thousand (600,000) souls. The State of New York admits a bounty-debt of its own of $26 millions. But cities, counties and townships, within the State have also their own little debts for this and similar objects in addition.

A few other items may aid in our approximation. The federal Secretary of War informs us that in the latter part of the war there were 136,000 re-enlistments of the veterans honorably discharged. It is well known that these usually received the highest bounties. If we place them at fifteen hundred dollars ($1500) each, these cost the Northern people two hundred four millions ($204,000,000). The system of bounties was general from May 1863 until the end of the war.

The government itself fixed the minimum price of a man at $300 by appointing that sum as the cost of an exemption from the draft. But it is well known that few substitutes were purchased at so cheap a rate. The Secretary of War informs us that after May 1, 1863, there were one million six hundred thirty four thousand (1,634,000) enlistments. Placing the cost of each of these enlistments at three hundred dollars ($300), which is far below the average bounty, somebody had to pay for them four hundred ninety millions ($490,000,000).

The “bounty jumpers” as it is well known perpetrated immense frauds; and the number of bounties paid to them was far larger than that of the enlistments. The interest and principal of it (the debt) must be paid by the same people who have the federal debt to pay. If the policy pursued by the Government as to the local obligations incurred in the war of the Revolution is again to prevail, all these bounty-debts should be assumed and funded by the United States. Already this claim is heard in many quarters.

The recognized State and federal debts as we have seen, amount to three billion, four hundred forty three million dollars ($3,443,195,000).  It is most manifest, that the total mass of public debt now resting on the American people (nearly the whole incurred in the late war) for the payment of which provision must be made by taxation, must be at least four billions of dollars ($4,000,000,000).

Mr. Andrew Johnson, late president of the United States and an ardent advocate for the war, always affirmed constantly that the total cost of the war to the taxpayers would prove to be five billions ($5,000,000,000). He, of course, is good authority. And the interest on this debt is from 5 to 7 and one-fifth per centum!”

(Robert L. Dabney, Discussions, Volume IV, Secular, C.R. Vaughn, editor, Sprinkle Publications, 1897/1994, pp. 143-145)

Jan 2, 2015 - Lincoln's Patriots    No Comments

Bounty-Furnished Patriotism

Often concealed in Northern versions of the war is the immense amount of money paid in bounties for recruits, usually called volunteers, who would not have stepped forward if no money was proffered. Villages, towns, cities, counties and State’s paid lavishly into funds in order to buy exemptions and substitutes for residents, with the promise of additional bounties upon mustering. State agents were sent into the Northern-occupied South to capture and enlist black slaves, counted toward the State quota of troops and relieving white citizens from duty.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.circa1865.org

 

Bounty-Furnished Patriotism

“The Union army was meeting with defeat and loss of men. The President made a call for three hundred thousand more. The smothered fire of patriotism that was burning in the hearts of the young men in Perry [New York] burst forth, and fathers’ commands, mothers’ warnings, nor sweethearts’ pleadings and caresses could avail aught in trying to subdue the flame.

On the 22nd of August [1862], Mr. George S. Hastings received authority to raise recruits to join the organization called Captain Lee’s Battery, then stationed at Newport Barracks [North Carolina]. In one week fifty men had volunteered; another week increased the number to sixty.

The citizens of the town where they enlisted, encouraged them with kinds acts and words. Generous bounties were offered and paid. To many volunteers this was useful in the final settlement of their pecuniary matters. To the families of others it left a competence for a short time. To all it was acceptable; but to few, if any, was money a motive power to volunteering.

They arrived at Buffalo at ten o’clock, and forming into line at the depot, marched directly to the examining surgeon’s office . . . the surgeon was quick and skillful . . . He remarked several times it was one of the finest companies he had examined [with] manly bearing.

Town Bounty Fund. – The following is a correct list of the contributors to this fund for the town of Perry. The subscribers are requested to pay immediately to G.C. Chapin or C.W. Hendee, at Smith’s Bank, who will pass it to the credit of G.C. Chapin, treasurer. It is designed to pay this bounty to volunteers to-morrow or Monday [List of 163 individual contributors of $10, $15, $25 and $50 follows].

The men recruited by Geo. S. Hastings for Company B, Rocket Battalion, Captain J.E. Lee, took their final departure for the seat of the war, Wednesday. The citizens turned out early in the morning, to bid a last “good bye” to the boys. Forming into a line at the depot (preceded by Alpin’s Band, who kindly volunteered for the occasion), they marched to the Arcade, where a number of new recruits were mustered in, and then proceeded to Roth’s Hall, on Batavia Street, and took dinner.

Expecting to leave for Albany the same night, at four o’clock they returned to the mustering office to receive the Government bounty . . . The procession attracted much attention, and many flattering remarks were made by citizens along the route, complimentary both to the men and the band. We noticed a number of the boys had bouquets, showing that if they had left home, they were still among friends.

After a few days’ stay at a German hotel in Batavia street, Buffalo, where we were initiated into rations of Dutch bread, Bologna sausage and lager beer, furnished by the United States at thirty cents per diem, we were sent to Albany.

In this city we were quartered at the Asylum Barracks, and underwent another examination. I cannot conceive for what purpose, unless it was to put fees into the pockets of the post-surgeon.”

(Records of the 24th Independent Battery, New York Light Artillery, USV, J.W. Merrill, Ladies Cemetery Association of Perry, NY, 1870, pp. 162-169)

 

Jan 2, 2015 - Lincoln's Patriots    No Comments

Bounties for Northern Soldiers

Dwindling enlistments after crushing losses at Fredericksburg and around Richmond forced the US Congress to offer men $300 bounty for three-years’ service, later extended to conscripts who agreed to longer terms. Altogether, the Northern government paid some $300 million in bounties during the war, with State and local governments paying about an equal amount – totaling $600 millions to find men to fight to maintain a territorial union. Below, Colonel Lafayette Baker describes the common bounty-jumping schemes.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.circa1865.org

 

Bounties For Northern Soldiers

“The great demand for [Northern] recruits during the war, the large bounties offered for them, and the manifold facilities for fraudulent transactions, presented temptations of great power, even to reputable citizens, to evade the plain letter of the law, and traffic in substitutes, or, by bribery and deception, personally to keep out of the hands of the recruiting officer.

I had been told that soldiers would receive the bounty, re-enlist the same day, be sent to the Island, and repeat the process the day following. I was greatly amused while listening to the exploits of [bounty-jumpers]…One related, that in a certain period he left New York, and having enlisted in Albany, Troy, Utica, Buffalo, and Chicago, returned via Elmira, at which place he likewise enlisted.

Another had enlisted at every rendezvous from New York to Portland, Maine; while a third boasted of amounts he had received, and mentioned those paid to recruiting officers, surgeons, brokers and detective.”

(The Blue and the Gray, Henry Steele Commager, editor, Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1950, pp. 728-732)

Black Soldiers on Both Sides

The first black unit, including black line officers, in the War Between the States was the Louisiana Native Guards of New Orleans, accepted into State service by Governor Thomas D. Moore on May 2, 1861. The Daily Crescent assured its readers that “They will fight the Black Republicans with as much determination and gallantry as any body of white men in the service of the Confederate States.”  The author below illustrates that black men served on both sides.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.circa1865.org

 

Black Soldiers on Both Sides

“Chapter XX: In Which is Recalled the Fact Negroes Served on Both Sides In That War and Yankee Recruiters Fished a Long Way From Home and Hardly Got Their Bait Back.

The Civil War wasn’t entirely a white man’s fight. Negroes served in both the Federal and Confederate forces. Soon after Edmund Ruffin pulled the trigger at Charleston, Negroes tried to enlist in both the Northern and Southern armies but their services, as was the case in the Revolution, were at first declined.

This attitude changed rather quickly in the North. The Federal Congress, in July of 1862, passed a law permitting the enlistment of Negro troops. Their pay at first was fixed at $10 a month compared to $16.50 for white troops. Fred Douglas protested to Lincoln and Old Abe told him that if he were a Negro he’d be glad to fight for his freedom free of charge. Douglas and the other Negro leaders continued to protest and the pay differential was wiped out.

Negro troops were used in the main by the North for garrison duty and labor forces and, after Appomattox, for occupation duty in the South; but they saw action in 250 battles and skirmishes, including the Battle of the Crater at Petersburg in which Negro troops were scheduled to have led the charge after that mine was exploded. They missed the assignment due to a foul-up in orders.

Northern governors sent 1,405 agents into captured areas of the South in an attempt to recruit Negro slaves to help fill their State draft quotas but business was mighty poor. They worked for several months but got only 5,052 recruits. When the war ended there were 178,975 Negroes in the Yankee armies, comprising 116 regiments.

In the South, free Negroes came forward at first in large numbers to offer their services to the Confederacy. Richard Kennard of Petersburg gave $100. Jordan Chase, of Vicksburg, gave a horse and authorized the government to draw on him for $500. Down in New Orleans, Thomy Lafon gave $500. An Alabama Negro gave 100 bushels of sweet potatoes. At Charleston a little Negro girl gave twenty-five cents. Confederate war bonds found many Negro subscribers (The Negro in the Civil War, Quarles).

Negroes by the thousands were employed in Southern war factories. Free Negroes were paid the prevailing wage. Slaves impressed into service were given food, shelter and clothing and their owners paid $25 a month. If a slave ran away or died, the owner was paid $354.

Negroes in the South rendered their greatest service to the Confederacy by tilling the farms and taking care of the folks at home while the white men were at the front. The slaves could have ended the War overnight had they chosen to rise in rebellion. Southern armies would have headed back home en masse at even the rumor of such a development.

As the War dragged on, the need for men became finally so desperate the Confederate Congress, acting on the recommendation of General Lee and the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi, passed a law in March of 1865 authorizing enlistment of Negroes, both slave and free.

They were to be paid the same as white troops; and slaves, if they remained loyal through the War, were to be set free. President Davis signed the law on March 13. It was less than a month before Lee’s surrender.”

(Then My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night!, W.E. Debnam, The Graphic Press, 1955, pp. 49-50)

Black Men in Blue Under Fire

Little used for combat, black soldiers in Northern armies were more often utilized for labor and servant duties rather than fighting for emancipation, though the primary attraction was enlistment bounty money. If used for offensive operations at all, black soldiers were usually assigned the task of encouraging slaves to abandon their plantations to deny labor and food to the Southern war effort.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.circa1865.org

 

Black Men in Blue Under Fire:

“About 43 percent of the 6th [US Colored Infantry] Regiment had volunteered for military service. Another 31 percent were drafted, and over one-quarter of the regiment were listed as “substitute.” A conscriptee could avoid military service if he furnished an able-bodied substitute to take his place. Most substitutes in this regiment were young, usually in their twenties. A youth might well agree to be a substitute; he might likely be drafted anyway; better to join and accept a substantial cash payment for taking someone’s place.

The soldiers hailed from twenty-three different State, both North and South, as well as the District of Columbia. The most common State of birth was Pennsylvania. Of those whose birthplace is listed, over 36 percent of the men of the 6th Regiment claimed Pennsylvania as their birth place. Delaware and Maryland claimed 16 and 15 percent respectively, and Virginia, another 12 percent. Canada, providing twenty-two soldiers, stood as the most frequent birthplace of any foreign nation. Like most black units, the 6th Regiment would be assigned to an unusually amount of physical labor particularly at building fortifications.

From the time blacks had first been recruited it generally had been understood that they were to serve as laborers, and they were used disproportionately often in that role. Their work at Dutch Gap [Virginia] would have been physically demanding under the best of circumstances, but this assignment included a complication that made it especially difficult and dangerous – they would have to do the [canal digging] work within range of Confederate artillery.

They burrowed into the steep walls of the canal to make caves for shelter [but the] mortar shells were deadly. They were fired high into the air “and then fell by their own weight, with no warning scream, and, dropping in the midst of busy groups, burst into raged fragments of iron, which maimed and killed.”

Union artillery was brought in to silence those mortars, but its task was nearly impossible . . . [as] they would try to direct their fire at [mortar positions] . . . Confederate sharpshooters stationed in hiding near the riverbank would open fire on the artillery crews and distract them from their task.”

(Strike the Blow for Freedom, The 6th US Colored Infantry in the Civil War, James M. Paradis, White Mane Books, 1998, pp. 34-35, 61-64)

Bitter Road to Forced Reunion

A very popular book in the North, Sherman’s (1875) Memoirs went far to further exacerbate sectional hatred as he condemned the South and “took an almost lustful pride in describing the tremendous power his hand had wielded in spreading terror and destruction.”

Bernhard Thuersam, wwwcirca1865.org

 

Bitter Road to Forced Reunion

“If the [Southern] prisons constituted a Northern grievance the South likewise had its hurtful memories [of the war]. While Northerners blamed the evil genius of slavery for the war, Southerners [like Major T.G. Barker speaking in Charleston in 1870:] pointed the finger of responsibility to “those men who preached the irrepressible conflict to the Northern people” and “helped to bring on that unlawful and unholy invasion of the South.”

The South felt that it had been betrayed. [The Southern Review in 1867 said:] “Assuredly the subjected portions of this imperial republic (so called), with the bitter experience they have of outraged honour, justice, and humanity, on the part of those once their associates and friends, can never again by any possibility trust that vast engine of tyranny, a consolidated popular Union, nor derive from it one ray of hope for their own welfare, or for the happiness of mankind.”

It was to this “deep spirit of hate and oppression toward the Southern people,” and not to the necessities of war, that the South attributed the vast destruction of its property.

The ineradicable sense of injury felt by the South took concrete form in condemning the ravages committed by General Sherman’s army in Georgia and South Carolina. “No tongue will ever tell, no pen can record the horrors of that march,” wrote an intimate associate of General Joseph E. Johnston whose surrender to Sherman is sometimes pictured as a love feast.

“Ten generations of women will transmit, in whispers to their daughters, traditions of unspeakable things.” The hurt was accentuated by Northern pride in the achievement. The South resented the arrogant and jeering tone of the song, “Marching Through Georgia,” and bridled when Northern orators described Sherman’s army going through the conquered land “lie a plow of God.” Sherman personified all that the South had suffered.

The most contentious bone . . . was the destruction of Columbia. Sherman’s own defense was to blame General Wade Hampton . . . [and] the charge was made deliberately in Sherman’s official report. “I did it,” he later wrote, “to shake the faith of his people in him, for he was, in my opinion, a braggart, and professed to be the special champion of South Carolina.”

[The South] cherished a hateful image of the martyred Lincoln . . . who carried out in action his prophesy of war and destruction. He and his Cabinet, wrote the Southern Review, had a “perfect comprehension of the passions, prejudices, susceptibilities, vices and virtues . . . of the people upon whom they had to practice. They knew every quiver of the popular pulse . . . They were masters of every artifice that could mystify and mislead, and of every trick that could excite hope, or confidence, or rage . . . They filled their armies, established their financial system, controlled the press, and silenced opposition, by the same ingenious and bold imposture.”

The South sneered at a North which observed the Fourth of July and “at the same time denounced as damnable heresy the doctrines of the Declaration of Independence.” When Chicago was destroyed by fire in 1871 it was considered . . . [a] demonstration of Divine vengeance,” because it had been in Chicago that “the rowdy Lincoln, the prime agent of our woes, was nominated.” [After the death of] General Custer in the massacre of 1876, it was remembered in Virginia that the gallant martyr of the Little Big Horn was also the Custer who had executed seven captured Confederates of Mosby’s command without treating them as prisoners of war.”

(The Road to Reunion, Paul Buck, Little, Brown and Company, 1937, pp. 48-49; 52-55)

Bayonets Secure the Ballot Box

Lincoln’s re-election in 1864 “was closer than either the popular or electoral votes” indicated, and without the soldier vote in six crucial States, Lincoln would have lost to George B. McClellan. The slim margins of Republican victory in most States “were probably due largely to the presence of soldiers as guards and as voters at the polls,” and had Illinois, Indiana Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New York’s votes gone to McClellan, “he would have had a majority in the electoral college despite Lincoln’s popular plurality.

Bernhard Thuersam, Circa1865

 

Bayonets Secure the Ballot Box

“Throughout the summer [of 1864] the Union prospects were in a decline. Grant’s armies, despite repeated reinforcements, made no headway, and the casualty lists from the Wilderness to Cold Harbor mounted alarmingly. Sherman, maneuvering in the mountains of Georgia, seemed totally useless. July and August saw Republican hopes at rock bottom.

Early in July . . . The [Republican] Pennsylvania Governor [Curtin] was “down on things generally,” and on the War Department in particular. Already Curtin had told Lincoln that he would not consider himself responsible for raising troops or for carrying elections. Pennsylvania was 80,000 men behind [its quota] in troops and the Governor believed the draft would meet general opposition from Republicans as well as from Democrats.

At the same time [Massachusetts Governor] John Andrew was disgusted with the situation and was hoping to find some means of getting both Lincoln and [John] Fremont to withdraw in favor of a third [Republican] candidate. The consensus seemed to be that the war languished and Lincoln would not or could not bring peace. War-weariness and a desire for peace was everywhere.

[New York Times editor Henry J.] Raymond asked [Simon] Cameron’s advice . . . let Lincoln propose to Jeff Davis that both sides disband their armies and stop the war “on the basis of recognizing the supremacy of the constitution” and refer all disputed questions to a convention of all the States! Raymond went to Washington to lay the proposal before the President, but Lincoln did not accept it.

Sherman’s victory before Atlanta reinvigorated the Republican campaign. The President wrote to Sherman to let Indiana’s soldiers, “or any part of them, go home to vote at the State election.” This was, Lincoln explained, in no sense an order. Sherman understood that it was a command. He sent soldiers home, and on election day in October the soldiers gathered at the Indiana polls. The Nineteenth Regiment of Vermont Volunteers voted in Indiana that day, but many a Democrat found his vote challenged. When the votes were counted, [Republican Governor Oliver P.] Morton had been elected by a majority of 22,000.

On that same day the need for Lincoln’s aid was illustrated in Pennsylvania. There it was thought not necessary to send the soldiers home. [Governor] Curtin . . . determined to appoint some Democratic commissioners to collect the soldiers’ votes. As the commissioners passed through Washington, however, the Democrats among them disappeared, under [Secretary of War Edwin M.] Stanton’s orders, into the Old Capitol Prison.

Lincoln conferred with Cameron and [Alexander] McClure and asked [Generals] Meade and Sherman to send 5,000 men to Pennsylvania for the November election. The generals sent 10,000, and Lincoln carried the State by nearly a 6,000 majority, while the soldiers in the field added 14,000 more.

[Illinois Governor Richard Yates] appealed to Lincoln to send troops to vote. It was essential to elect a [Republican] State Senate, three congressional districts depended on the soldiers, and even the Presidential and the State tickets were unsafe without the uniformed voters. Defeat [for the Republicans] in Illinois, added the Governor, would be worse than defeat in the field. Under such pleas the soldiers came, and Lincoln carried his home State by 189,496 to McClellan’s 158,730.

[Many] soldiers voted Democratic in their camps only to have their votes switched in the post offices. Without the soldiers New York would have remained in the Democratic column. Maryland’s vote was clearly the product of federal bayonets. Ohio was safe for Lincoln, and the election clerks at home merely guessed at the distribution of the army’s vote.”

(Lincoln and the War Governors, William B. Hesseltine, Alfred A. Knopf, 1955, pp. 376-382)

Northern Recruiting Efforts in Florida

The number of black troops in Northern forces numbered about 186,000 with many attracted by cash bonuses like many Canadian blacks were, conscripted, threatened with bodily harm should they refuse enlistment, or simply impressed. Disease caused the death of some 68,000 black troops; less than 2800 black soldiers died in combat.

Bernhard Thuersam, Circa1865

 

Northern Recruiting Efforts in Florida

“[Confederate Brigadier-General Joseph] Finegan’s estimate of the emergency was made clear in a proclamation he circulated throughout East Florida informing the people that:

“ . . . our unscrupulous enemy has landed a large force of Negroes, under command of white officers, at Jacksonville, under cover of gunboats. He is attempting to fortify the place as to make it secure against attacks. The purpose of this movement is obvious and need not be mentioned in direct terms. I therefore call on such of the citizens as can possibly leave their homes to arm and organize themselves into companies without delay and to report to me. Ammunition, subsistence, and transportation will be furnished then while they remain in service.

With the blessing of the Almighty, the zealous support of the people and the government, I doubt not that the detestable foe will soon be driven from their cover.”

On March 16, after fighting an exhausting series of skirmishes with Yankee troops, [Winston] Stephens wrote to warn his wife of the black troops in Jacksonville, and of the grave danger that Yankee raiders might come upriver to Welaka. “Get the slaves ready to run to the woods on a moment’s notice,” he wrote his wife, adding that “the Negroes in arms will promise them fair prospects, but they will suffer the same fate those did in town that we killed, and the Yankees say they will hang them if they don’t fight.”

(Jacksonville’s Ordeal by Fire, Martin & Schafer, Florida Publishing Company, 1984, page 145)

Nov 13, 2014 - Lincoln's Patriots    No Comments

Addditional Pay for Volunteers

The following letter from Mrs. Louis T. Wigfall of Texas to her daughter in early 1861 relates the Sumter affair in which Senator Wigfall obtained the surrender of Anderson, and his low opinion of Northern patriotism.

Bernhard Thuersam, Circa1865

 

Additional Pay for Volunteers:

“Montgomery, April 26 [1861].

“The people here are all in fine spirits . . . No one doubts our success . . . I suppose the chief fighting will be in Maryland and Virginia . . .

April 29: You allude to reports given in the Northern papers of the Fort Sumter affair. It is only what might have been expected of them, that they would garble and misrepresent the truth; but I must confess that Major Anderson’s silence, and the disingenuous bulletin he sent to Cameron have surprised me.

He takes care not to tell the whole truth, and any one to read his statement would suppose he had only come out on those conditions, whereas, he surrendered unconditionally – the US flag was lowered without salute while your father was in the fort. This was seen, not only by your father, but by the thousands who were on the watch, and it was only owing to General Beauregard’s generosity (misplaced, it seems, now) that he was allowed to raise it again, and to salute it on coming out of the Fort, and take it with him . . . And this conduct too, after the kind and generous treatment he met with from the Carolinians.

I don’t think though that the military enthusiasm can be very high at the North as I see they are offering $20 additional pay to volunteers a month. That speaks volumes. I suppose it is to be accounted for in the anxiety to get rid of the mob population who might be troublesome at home.”

(A Southern Girl in ’61, The War-Time Memories of a Confederate Senator’s Daughter, Mrs. D. Giraud Wright, Doubleday, Page & Company, 1905, pp. 49 -51)