Civil War Daily Gazette

A Day-By-Day Accounting of the Conflict, 150 Years Later

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We’ll Be Back! (You Know… Probably)

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Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve done quite a bit of thinking about what I’d like to see happen with this blog. I’m not incredibly good at letting go, but the war is over, so…. So after some deliberation, here’s what will happen: 1) I plan on rerunning the whole blog, every single day of it, starting in November with the 155th anniversary of the elections. Each post after that will mark the 155th anniversary of the event. 2) Until November (which seems years away), I’ll do my best to feature a handful of posts on our Facebook page to commemorate the day in question. If you’re on Facebook and not following us, what are you waiting for? Now, the caveats. Ideally, all of the reruns starting in November will repost automatically to the blog as well as to Facebook. Thus far in testing, the link to Facebook hasn’t been working. This is a technical issue with the software I’m using and will hopefully be fixed by the writers of said software sometime before… Read More

Farewell, Dear Readers!

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May 30, 2015 (Saturday) On this date I bid you, dear readers, a very fond farewell. For the past (nearly) five years, I have sat myself down each day, researching and composing, detailing in writing whichever given day of the Civil War, 150 years prior. It has been a hell of a ride and, though trying, difficult and, if I’m being honest, at times incredibly weird, I do not regret a day of it. I started this project in August of 2010. Then, having an interest in the Civil War, I had convinced myself of a few common and understandable misconceptions. First, I believed that the war was not really about slavery. I believed that there could have been multitudes of black Confederates. I thought Lincoln a tyrant, and his Emancipation Proclamation meaningless. I held that while some slaves were treated poorly, that many more were not in such bad conditions as our history books tell us. I believed, in short, that the South was right. I was so very wrong. It did not take… Read More

Johnson Offers Amnesty to All Persons….

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May 29, 1865 On this date, President Andrew Johnson issued his proclamation of amnesty to (almost) all who participated in the Rebellion against the United States. There were, of course, some notable exceptions…. Whereas the President of the United States, on the 8th day of December, A.D. eighteen hundred and sixty-three, and on the 26 day of March, A.D. eighteen hundred and sixty-four, did, with the object to suppress the existing rebellion, to induce all persons to return to their loyalty, and to restore the authority of the United States, issue proclamations offering amnesty and pardon to certain persons who had directly or by implication participated in the said rebellion; and whereas many persons who had so engaged in said rebellion have, since the issuance of said proclamations, failed or neglected to take the benefits offered thereby; and whereas many persons who have been justly deprived of all claim to amnesty and pardon thereunder, by reason of their participation directly or by implication in said rebellion, and continued hostility to the government of the United… Read More

‘I Will Soon Be Home Once Again’

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May 28, 1865 (Sunday) Camp 133 Regt New York Vols Fort Meigs Md May 28 1865 Dear Sister Cate I will soon be home once again I think the Regt will leave for New York the first of next week and it will take about three weeks to get mustard out and then I will start for Michigan you may look for me about the middle of July if nothing hapens. the Rebbles are all played out so you see my occupation is gone. President Johnson has had Gov Brown of Georgia and the gov of Virginia (Reb) arrested and they are confined in prison here in Washington and we expect Gen Lee here soon to keep them company they all begin to see their mistake in having Lincoln assassinated for they will have a hard man to deal with now in Andrew Johnson we had a review of Grants and the army of the Shanandoah Vally in washing on the 23d of this month and on the 24th Shermans army was Reviewed by the… Read More

‘They Have Mustered Out Some Few’

Samuel Bassitt in the 1890s.

May 27, 1865 (Sunday) The mustering out of soldiers began almost immediately following the Grand Review. Some left as early as the 25th. For others, like sixteen year old Samuel Bassitt, who had volunteered the year previous. He had marched with Sherman’s army through Georgia and the Carolinas, but in early April, he came down with, as he put it, “the chronic diareah and I am getting rund down pretty low although I am up and around most all the time.” He found himself in a hospital in North Carolina, and was then shipped back to Ohio, where he whiled away his time at Camp Dennison until being mustered out in June. On this date, he wrote home. Camp Dennison Ohio May the 27 A.D. 65 Respected Father and Mother This being a wet and rainy morning I thought that I would engage my time in writing you a few lines to let you know that I am still on the land amonst the living and sincearly hope and trust that those few unworthy lines… Read More

The Last Great Book Sale!

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With the war winding down, I need to do two things. First, I’ve got a mess ‘o books – far more than I have shelves, really. Second, I need to raise a bit of money to keep the website up and running for the next decade or so. And that brings us to this… Below you’ll find photos of the book lots that I’m selling. I tried to keep prices as cheap as possible (few bucks a book) and have made the shipping free. All of the books are in pretty good shape – some are basically new. You’ll be getting a handful of books to read and helping me out in the process. Your support is ridiculously appreciated and helpful. So how this works is you can drop me an email or a comment and let me know what you’d like. I’ll then send a PayPal invoice via email, which can be paid via your PayPal account or credit/debit card. I can’t accept checks/money orders,etc or any non-US orders (sorry!). If you’ve got any… Read More

The Final Surrender

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May 26, 1865 (Saturday) While the surrender of Lee’s army had gone off with little trouble, and Johnston’s eventually worked out, that of Kirby Smith’s sprawling yet dwindling army west of the Mississippi was a different story. It had been coming, of course. Ever since they learned of Lee’s capitulation it was certain. There were some attempts to make such a surrender political rather than solely of the military, but any attempt at such a venture had been shut down before it even started. In all, the various Confederate leaders throughout Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas had tried four different times to come to some sort of agreement where the word “surrender” wouldn’t be bandied about so much. Those four were either shut down or came too late. Some even went as far as the assure the Federals that Kirby Smith had sent them – something which he later denied. On this date, , Generals Samuel Buckner, Sterling Price, and J.L. Brent took a steamer to New Orleans to meet with Union General Edward Canby. After… Read More

Citizenship of Former Slaves ‘Fearful to Contemplate’

South Carolinian slaves as photographed by Timothy O'Sullivan.

May 25, 1865 (Friday) Henry William Ravenel was a botanist from South Carolina. Through his studies he discovered numerous new species of fungi and is still remembered for his work. He was, however, also a slave owner. He had inherited his plantation from his father, and with this inheritance came families of slaves. As the war ended, he realized that slavery too was at an end. He despised abolitionist and Republicans, and had no idea how even the concept of emancipation might work. In his diary, on the 25th and 30th, he addressed this question, coming to no conclusions, but giving a slight glimpse into the complex relationship of the slave and slave owner. We still remain in doubt as to the emancipation policy. No official announcement except President Lincoln’s amnesty proclamation has been published… The party in power now are radical abolitionists and will do all in their power to urge it forward. Both policy and humanity would dictate that it should be gradual, so that both parties at the South may accommodate themselves… Read More

The Second and Last Day of the Great Pageant – The Grand Review of Sherman’s Armies

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May 24, 1865 (Thursday) As with the day previous, below you’ll find text pulled from the New York Times describing the second day of the Grand Review. It is accompanied by photographs taken mostly by Matthew Brady. The men who marched from the Ohio to the Tennessee under BUELL, only to march back again; who first penetrated down into Alabama under the daring and nervous MITCHELL; who fought at Perrysville under MCCOOK, and checked the advancing tide of the rebellion to again send it reeling southward, at Stone River, under the chivalrous ROSECRANS; who toiled over the rugged passes of the Cumberland Mountains and seized the great natural fortress of Chattanooga; who held the left with a tenacity that saved them from defeat at Chicamauga, under the ever-victorious THOMAS; who stormed Lookout Mountain, and fought above the clouds with HOOKER; who cut their way from Chattanooga to Atlanta, and from Atlanta to the sea; who swept the Carolinas as with a besom of destruction, and who gave the finishing blow to the great rebellion, in… Read More

Propitious Weather and a Splendid Spectacle – The Grand Review of the Army of the Potomac

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May 23, 1865 (Tuesday) Below are photos of today’s Grand Review culled from the Library of Congress. They are accompanied by selections of print from the New York Times. The Army of the Potomac has passed in review. The first day’s pageant is over, and to the correspondent falls the duty of depicting a scene almost devoid of incident, save in its grand aspiration. Every circumstance has combined to make it a complete success. The weather has been magnificent; the air, delightfully tempered by the rains of the past week, is cool and fragrant, and dust is for the time subdued. Washington has been filled as it never was filled before; the hotel-keepers assert that the pressure upon their resources never was so great, and thousands of people have been nightly turned away to seek a place of rest where best they might. At four o’clock this morning reveille was sounded in the camps of all the organizations composing this vast army, and by six o’clock breakfast had been eaten, baggage packed and loaded on… Read More

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