April 1863 was another very difficult month for the country. The biggest news was “affairs at or around Vicksburg.”
But Ellicott also has much to say on the assault on Charleston, the British attempts to obtain cotton, and the military occupation of Baltimore.1
April 1, 1863 Rain fell nearly all of Saturday last 28th Int. clearing away by Sunday morning with a strong N. West wind which prevailed with a pleasant Temperature during the greater part of Monday 30th Before daylight of yesterday Snow commenced to fall and ceased not until nearly Noon – It did not accumulate much depth however owing to the condition of the Earth surface, but the N. West wind prevailing for 24 Hours past has lowered the Temperature so far that the Snow lies to day frozen very firmly wherever it is exposed. Since the 27th Ulto. the Premium on Gold has advanced steadily from 41 pr.ct. on that day to 50 1/2 yesterday – the fluctuations thereof have unsettled the prices of many articles of Merchandise & trade generally. Besides the reported repulse of the Fed. expedition through the Sunflower River there is but little authentic War News – but the preparations indicate early action at many points besides the Yazoo and Vicksburg – The recent arrest and banishment to Dixie of Mrs. Mary Paire[?] because of her comments upon Genl Schenck contained in an intercepted letter from her to her friend in Virginia – has excited considerable attention in this City – Wrote to A. B. C. under date of 30th and E. Warford under date of the 31st March with Newspapers. The Premium on Gold was advanced to-day 57 1/2 the morning to 58 per cent by 3 O’clock.
April 2nd Rather hazy with a moderate Temperature this morning – The Premium on Gold has receded to day to 55 per cent. That portion of Reb. forces invading Kentucky under Genl Pegrand [?] is said to have been defeated at Somerset and 400 of them made Prisoners. The Fed. reports of affairs at & around Vicksburg are so variant that no reliance can be placed upon them. The latest advice from Europe inform us that the Confederate Loan for 3 millions £ has been opened in Paris, London, Frankfort & Liverpool ; was first op_ided [?] on the Inst. and had attracted much attention selling at a Premium of 1, 3, & up to 5 pr.ct. – By these advices we learn also that the Rebel Cruisers, Alabama and Florida have each burned 2 Valuable Vessels ; all four belonging to Boston or N. York
April 3rd “Good Friday” Is a beautiful bright day, cool and refreshing Temperature – We have confirmation of the failure of the Fed. expedition through the passes in to Sunflower River for the purpose of getting into the rear of the Vicksburg for descending that River to the Yazoo and the return [?] of Com’r Porter to Young’s Point on the Mississippi with his forces – Also the details of the fight at Port Hudson – both from Fed. and Reb. sources – showing the discomfiture of the Federal Fleet – composed of the following forces – which attempted to run by the Batteries there
Viz Sloop of War Harford 26 Guns (Flag Ship)
2 Monongahela 16 Do.
3 Richmond 26 Do.
4 Gun Boats Kinso [?] 5 Do.
6 Sloop Mississippi 22 Do.
Six powerful Vessels 100 of Heavy Calibre besides the Gunboat Essex (Iron clad) and a number of Mortar boats that laid below the Batteries within range and assisted in the attack which commenced on discovery by the Rebs of the approach of the Fleet, shortly before Midnight of the 14th March. The cannonade commenced from the Batteries at 12.10 and continued in the most manner [sic] from the Fleet also until 2.20 O’clk. by which time the Flagship Hartford had passed up the River in a damaged condition, together with the steam Tug Albatross, and the residue of the Fleet were so damaged that they were driven down the River all except the Mississippi which ran aground and was burned by her crew 64 of whom were captured or Killed by the Rebs the rest made their escape to the West or the opposite shore – the loss on the other Vessels was considerable but this account acknowledges that the only [loss] sustained by the Rebs. was one Lieut.[?] 1st Alabama Slightly, and one man 1st Tennessee severely wounded – & estimates the whole loss of the Feds. at 250 men & officers – The latest report from Vicksburg state that Four Fed Bunboats, Lancaster and Switzerland & Two others, attempted to run the Batteries there. The two others were turned back by the terrible fire of the Batteries and Escaped but the Lancaster was sunk with all on board and the Switzerland floated down the River a helpless wreck. A report states that 800 Feds. were captured at Brentwood Tenn. by Rev. Cavalry with considerable plunder. Premium on Gold 53 percent.
April 4th Wind Northerly and quite mild all day, clouding over in the afternoon with occasional Snow squalls – Steamer Canada brings European __[?] to the March by which time the subscriptions for the Loan of the Confederate Government of 2 Millions £ had been ascertained to be from 15 to 18 Millions £ in London, Paris, &c Premium on Gold to day was 55 1/2 pr. ct.
April 5 1863 Easter Sunday – The Snow Squalls of yesterday turned into a decided Storm before night and it continued to fall rapidly for some hours with a high and cold wind so that the Ground is covered this morning to a depth of 4 to 5 inches in the City and it must be much deeper outside – The power of the Sun however must soon cause it to disappear – A Correspondent of the Springfield (Mass.) Republican, from Pensacola, Florida, describes the attempt made at Ship Island La. recently to enforce the principle of military equality between Two companies of 13th Main and the 2nd Regiment Louisiana Negro Volunteers – when the white officers all refused to attend parade or to do guard duty with the Negroes, and were put under arrest – afterwards the white Soldiers refusing to do duty under the Negro Officers were all disarmed by the Negroes, under the order of their Col. Daniels, and placed in confinement. It is reported how from Memphis – Tenn. that the Iron clad Gunboat Indianola, instead of being blown to pieces by the Rebs as stated heretofore, was taken to Alexandria L.a. immediately after her capture, and thoroughly repaired by the Rebs. so that being now ready for service she may give some trouble to Com. Farrigut in company with the Ram Queen of the West – W__[?] Grand Drake &c. The 28th Maine and 18th Connecticut Regiments being ordered from Pensacola, many of the Soldiers swore they would burn the place, and for 3 days & nights it was filled with smoke and flame until all the buildings except Mallery’s and Chase’s were burned – The Officers tried to stop the work of destruction, it is said, but they seem to have had no influence with the men – even the man placed to guard the Property set it on fire & Col Dyer, commander of the Post was all most distracted [?] and gave orders to shoot persons caught setting fire to Buildings but no one executed them.
April 6th A milder Temperature with sprinkles of rain have removed nearly all the Snow from the Streets to-day. Besides the reported landing of Federal Troops on Seabrook Island at the mouth of Edisto? River 10 Miles South of Charleston S.C. we have intelligence that all the expeditions sent out to effect a rear movement on Vicksburg having failed of that purpose have returned to Young’s Point. At last advices 300 transports, from the Haines Bluff – Yazoo Pass & were lying there. It is said also that the cut-off Canal in front of Vicksburg has been abandoned by the Rebs. and the effect of another bombardment is again to be tried. The depredations of the Confed. Cruisers have had the effect of raising the rates of the Marine Insurance in New York. Under the influence of the Law recently passed in the N. York Legislature forbidding the loaning of money on Gold, the Premium on that article was 50 pr.ct. this morning, but sales were made at the Stock Board at 53 pr.ct. before closing. According to the Naval Register (just published) there are now 450 Naval Vessels connected with the service of the United States.
April 7th Cloudy, with little sprinkles of rain this morning, being dispersed before Noon by a N. West wind, and quite a cold Temperature The War News is meagre today being made up of rumors of anticipated successes and statements of further preparations to be made showing alltogether a “Vigorous Procrastination” of the War — The Premium on Gold closed at 53 1/2 per cent at the first Board today. Various detachments of Confederate Prisoners of War, numbering several Hundred each, have been passing through the City all most daily, for a week past, from Camp Chase, and other points at the West, to be taken to Fortress Monroe to be exchanged ; which is being done as rapidly as possible. – The appearance of these Rebs., generally, is that of athletic and active as well as respectable men, although many of them are sick – some of them being afflicted with the Small Pox — Why such prisoners should be sent forward or how they can be made comfortable & be Kept separated from the others it is difficult to be surmised – Some of these have died here. –
April 8th Somewhat cloudy but quite pleasant to-day – Rumors as to the repulse of Genl Forster in the vicinity of Newbern – and of Banks in the vicinity of Port Hudson are rife in the City to-day but all attention is centred upon the reported attack upon Charleston S.C. by the Fed. Army and Naval Forces, which are of such dimensions and have been preparing in every way for so long a period that they are deemed, by many, to be irresistible and that the fate of that doomed City is sealed Under this state of affairs The Premium on Gold to-day was 48 percent at the Stock Board. – By the latest accounts from Europe we have the statement of the Capture of 38 ships &c by the Confederate Steamer Alabama Since the commencement of her cruise – including the Gunboat Hatteras which was destroyed
April 9th 1863 Clear and quite cold this morning with a brisk Westerly Wind — We have circumstantial accounts of the total destruction of Jacksonville – Florida – by fire at the hands of Federal Forces – This beautiful Town was recently occupied by “The Negro Brigade” sent there by Genl Hunter to revolutionize or abolish the Slave Population of that Section. Two Regiments, one of which was 4th Connecticut and the 8th Maine Volunteers the other were sent subsequently to protect their Colored fellow Citizens from the Rebels – For some reason all of there [sic] colored Troops were ordered to evacuate the Town, but before doing so some of [the] Buildings were pillaged – especially the Catholic Chapel, or Church, and the residence of the Priest – when it was discovered that Fire had been set to various Tenements eventually the whole was in flames – It is said that the Negroes Volunteers were merely Spectators as the incendiaries appear to have been their white Brethren. The 6th Connecticut charging the act upon the 8th Maine, and these hurl the charge upon the former. The population of Jacksonville was about 2000, but few of whom awaited the Federal occupation. Several families, however, claiming to be “loyal” were brought away to Hilton Head with but little more than what they carried on their backs — The Town of Palmyra, in Montgomery County – Tennessee, was destroyed entirely by a Fed. Gunboat on Saturday last, in retaliation for a Fed. Vessel having been fired upon from the Town. It contained a population of about 1000 inhabitants who were warned to leave before the bombardment was commenced. The Fed. Gunboat Diana was captured at Pattersonville, Louisiana – Several of her Officers and men were Killed and 99 taken Prisoners & paroled by the Rebs. a few days ago. Nothing either definite or reliable from Foster, or of Banks — Premium on Gold to-day.
April 11th Clear, pleasantly seasonable weather for the past Two days. By Revel advices from Charleston we learn that the Fed. Fleet of 8 or 9 Monitors, viz Patapsco, Catskill, Nantucket, and the Ironsides Admiral Dupont’s Flag Ship had crossed the Bar of Charleston on the 6th Inst. On Tuesday 7th All of the Ironclads engaged the Battery and Forts for Two Hours — The Ship Ironsides was hit, and run ashore, as it is said, but go off and was carried out of range – [text blotted out, or too faint to read]
End of Volume 2.
No. 3 p. 101
Continuation of B. H. E’s Diary
commenced 17th February 1862
April 13th 1863 – Weather pleasant & clear for several days past. The intelligence from Charleston thro the Richmond Papers relieved the anxiety to know the state of affairs there. And today we have reports from the Fed Fleet which state that the Eight Ironclad Monitors with the Frigate Ironsides proceeded in order of battle at about Two O’clock P.M. on 7th Inst. upon a “reconnorsance” of the Harbor Defences and the Forts – The Rebs allowed them to proceed within 900 yards of Fort Sumter before they opened fire when all the Batteries and Moultrie and Sumter commenced a furious cannonade which was returned by the Fleet with all their power; Admiral Dupont having ordered their fire to be directed, and concentrated as far as was possible, upon the centre embrasures of Fort Sumter – Where within 500 yards of Fort Moultrie Two shots were fired under the bow of the Weshawken [?] the leading Vessel, when the action commenced at 2 1/2 or 3 Oclk by a torrent of shot & Shells upon the four leading Monitors. The Ironsides having become unmanageable when about 1200 yards from Sumter. The Monitors continued there way, however, replying to the Batteries vigorously, until they had passed the N. East face of Sumter when they made out Three lines of obstruction at a short distance consisting of Logs floating with torpedoes attached, stretching entirely across the channel to the Harbor, and a net work of Cables of Iron held perpendicularly by weights – Here they were under the concentric fire of Forts Moultrie and Sumter. Battery Bee_ [?] and several Batteries on Morris Island, and finding these obstructions impossible there 4 Boats turned about to return. In the meanwhile Com. Dupont, finding it difficult to __ the Ironsides from her position where she was a fixed mark for the enemy during the engagement, signaled the 4 Ironsides behind her to pass ahead to the support of the others and there they met [?] under the concentric range of the Forts and Batteries before mentioned; They advanced nevertheless to the line of obstructions but were compelled also to put back – All the Ironclads were damaged, more or less, by the terrific fire from the Fortifications – Insomuch that the ordeal through which the Ironclads passed for Two Hours has proven that their defensive power saved many of them from destruction by the terrible force of the Works, but the limitation of their offensive power took away their advantages. By 5 O’clock P.M. The fleet had withdrawn out of range towards the Bar. It was the intention of the Admiral to have recovered the Battle on the 8th Inst. but the Reports made to him showed that the Keokuk had sunk, the Passaic was disabled and the Patapses, Nantucket and Nahaut, were Exceedingly crippled, and he decided to desist and in this decision he was supported by the unanimous opinion of all the Commanders of the Ironclads – This momentous Problem has been solved conclusively as well as the safety of Charleston from any Naval attack [“and” is crossed out] The Land Forces of the Feds. that were landed under Hunter’s command were forced to await the result of this “reconnaissance” as the Land fortifications of the City were deemed to be impregnable – The casualties on board the whole Fleet are reported to be One Man Killed and 15 or 20 Officers and men wounded –
On the 26th of March Genl Foster, with a portion of Spinola’s and Price’s Brigades comprising the Pennsylvania Regiments of Cols. McKibben [?], Dyer and Aear the 12th and 157th New York and the 1st N. Carolina Volunteers, started from Newbern for Little Washington at the junction of the Tar and Pauilico [?] Rivers where they entrenched themselves. In the meantime the Rebs erected a very powerful Battery on Swan Point about 5 miles below, which commands the channel. Thus the communication with the base of supplies, Newbern, was cut off, and a large Reb. force attacking on the land side, Foster was surrounded – Since various attempts have been made, unsuccessfully to relieve him, but the Gunboats have been driven back by the Battery, and the Land forces have been attacked, and compelled to return, by the Rebs. We now have advices from Newbern to the 9th Inst. which detail these operations to the 7th, and, as the Rebs were said to have 20 Thousand men under Hill, and Two under Pettigrew, it is supposed that Foster, with his forces and the 2000 Contrabands with him at L. [Little] Washington, will be compelled by starvation, if from no other cause, to surrender –
Genl Burnside has issued an order at Cincinnati, pronouncing the penalty of death upon all persons found guilty of aiding the Rebs – Persons sympathizing with them will be arrested and tried or sent beyond the lines, and must be distinctly understood that Treason, expressed or implied, will not be tolerated in his Department. In spite of the reported absorption of over 30 Millions of Greenbacks paid into the Treasury for 5-20 Bonds (bearing 6 pr ct Int. payable in Gold by the U. States) the Premium on Gold was 57 1/2 per cent to day.
Several persons were arrested recently at Reading, Pa. charged with being members of a secret Society – Knights of the Golden Circle, and had an examination before the U. S. Commissioners at Phila If the proof there adduced is credible, there must be an association organized to resist the conscription not only in Berks County but throughout the whole Country, and numbering a million or more of Members.
The capture of several British Vessels by Com. Wilkes, as Blockade runners, has caused complaints from the British Government and their return has been demanded it is said and grave complaints are made by the U. S. against the actions of the British Government for permitting their building and Equipment and for allowing supplies to be furnished to the Rebs. Wherefor the complications between the two Governments are becoming serious Sent Letter of this date and Newspaper to A. _ [?] also Newspapers to E. W.
Detachments of the Reb. Prisoners Each numbering several Hundred Men have been passing through this City daily on their way from the Parole Camps, Prison &c. at the West to Fortress Munroe to be exchanged. Up to this time several Thousands have come on Since the 1st of this month and more are said to be coming – Many of them are Citizens of the Border States Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia &c. and so close a watch is maintained to prevent any demonstration towards or recognition of any of these prisoners by Citizens here that it is outrageous. I was told by a young man that he was on the Street viewing one of these Detachments passing on their way from Cars [railroad cars] to Steamer, when a Gentleman who was standing near to him, and who appeared to have occasion to use his HandKerchief repeatedly, because of a cold, was accosted by a Policeman, who asked him whether he was recognizing the Prisoners by waving his Hdkf answering No. the Officer directed him to put up his handKerchief –
April 15th A N. [north] East wind has prevailed for 24 Hours indicating a Storm on the coast and it is raining this morning – Advices from Charleston are to the evening of the 10th Inst up to which time all was quiet – although the Frigate Ironsides and 5 or 6 of Ironclad Gunboats were lying within the Bar, but a portion, if not the whole, of the Fed. Troops had re embarked and returned to Hilton Head. The Fed. Gunboat Washington having run aground on a — Point near to that Station on Reb. Field Battery appeared on the Beach, and opened upon her, when, a shot or shell entering her Magazine, she was blown to pieces with a part of her crew – another Gunboat was sent from Hilton Head with a large detachment of Negro Troops to take possession of Placker [?] on the St. Johns River – Fla. A portion of these Troops were allowed to land when a Reb. force of 110 men who were concealed in Rifle pits nearby fired upon them with such effect that many were killed and wounded, White Officers & Negroes, when they reembarked and quickly retreated. The Rebs are said to have made an attack on York Town 11th Inst. but were repulsed & About the same time demonstrations were made by them in force against the Feds. at Suffolk. There is no further intelligence from Genl Foster. A large Passenger Train on the R. Road below Murfreesboro and Nashville was captured by the Rebs on the 10th Inst. – Many Prisoners, including 20 Officers – Sutlers – other Passengers – Soldiers – some Confederate Prisoners under Guard and a considerable sum of money captured, and Nine Cars, Locomotive and Mail burned. The Premium on Gold to day was 53 per cent.
April 16th The rain of yesterday continued to fall with increased severity until late last night, when it abated, but it is cloudy and wet again this morning – Reports, said to be from Genl Foster’s command state that he believed on 12th Inst. that he could hold out for 3 weeks longer against all the force the Rebs. could bring against him at L. Washington. No later intelligence to day from Charleston, excepting that a Steamer form Nassau had run the Blockade and arrived there in safety and that another Blockade runner had been decried [?] on shore by Fed. Gunboats and burned by her own crew on the night of the 11th Inst.-
According to Gen’l Burnside’s Death Penalty order specifies that “all persons within the Fed. lines who commit acts for the benefit of the enemies of our country” – viz “Carries of secret Mails”- “Writers of Letters sent by secret Mails” – “Secret recruiting officers within our lines” – “Persons who have agreed to join the enemy” – “Persons concealed in our line by enemy’s service” – “All persons within our lines who harbor, feed, conceal, protect, clothe, or in any way aid the enemies of our country.” – Must die on conviction. “The habit of declaring sympathy for the enemy will no longer be tolerated.” It must be distinctly understood that Treason expressed or implicit will not be tolerated in this (his) Department.” Persons committing such offenses will be at once arrested and tried as spies or Traitors, or sent beyond our Line (to the South).
One thing I have noticed is that Benjamin Ellicott did very little commenting on the actions of others. He was much more of a reporter than a pundit. I think this was his natural tendency, and it served him well during a time when even the slightest action could be interpreted as traitorous.
Expenditures made up to this time for the capture of Charleston are put down at $150,000,000. and the damage to _unter [?] was but slight — The Fed. forces heretofore beleaguering Vicksburg appear to be withdrawing therefrom, and are said to be going to the Cumberland River & Genl Burnside is said to be at Louisville with 25 Thousand men – The Premium on Gold was 53 per cent again to day –
April 17th – Towards yesterday evening Rain commenced to fall again and continued for a great part of last night, and very considerable Freshets therefrom are reported as overflowing all the Streams in this Section. On board the Steamer North America at Portland News from Europe recently – Seventeen Captains of American Merchantmen came Passengers of these Thirteen had disposed of their Vessels abroad because of the high rate of Insurance and the great objection to shipping on board American vessels for fear of Confed. cruisers – and Four of them had been captured and their Vessels burned by the Rebs. No further advices have been received from the Vicinity of Charleston – or from Genl Foster, nor from any other quarter to-day, excepting some details of Skirmishes between the large Reb. forces, and the Feds. near to Suffolk – V-a. A Bill has passed the California Legislature requiring clients and attorneys to take the oath of Loyalty before being entitled to a hearing in the Courts. Awaiting the action of the New York Legislature which has not acted definitely as yet, upon the Bill to regulate transactions in Gold – The Premium thereupon is still 53 per cent to-day.
April 18th – It is cloudy yet although but a little rain has fallen since the night before last. The Fleet of Ironclads left Charleston, but temporarily as the Reb.s think – A considerable Fed. force is said to remain on Coles, Seabrook and Kiawah Islands, protected by Gunboats- A dispatch from Genl Palmer to Genl Dix states that Maj. Genl Foster had been reinforced. Some active movements have been made by the Fed. forces in the Southwest – but with no decisive results. An English Steamer has arrived at N. York with 2900 Bales of Cotton, from Liverpool, and a Barque from St. Domingo, with a number of returned Negro Emigrants, has also arrived there. Skirmishing between the Forces around Suffolk still continued. One Fed. Gunboat had been entirely disabled and several others were roughly handled by the Rebs. on the Nausemond. 52 per cent was the Premium on Gold to day.
April 20th – Yesterday was pleasant, and clear for the greater portion of it. This morning is dull and cloudy with occasional showers – which is not so favorable to the celebration by a grand Flag display and other ceremonies of this anniversary (19th April Mob) as contemplated by the Union Leagues organized here and elsewhere throughout the North – All citizens are requested to display the Flag from their Shipping places, of Business or Dwellings – by notice given by the Mayor of this City. — No further advices from any portion of the seat of War – Instead of Genl Foster having been reinforced at L. Washington it is now stated . . . escaped therefrom and had arrived at Newbern on board a steamer that succeeded in running the Blockade of the Reb. Batteries on the Tare River- The Premium on Gold to-day was 51 per cent.
April 21st – Without a change of the N. East wind, that has prevailed for Several days past, the clouds have broken away so that we are favored again by the rays of the bright Sun, and a pleasant temperature. The war news of to-day is so meagre that there is but little worth recording – It is said that the Gunboats on the Nausemond, assisted by Five Regiments of Fed. Troops succeed in silencing a Reb. Battery and capturing 200 Prisoners who were stationed therein – It is stated also that a Reb. force of 3000 attacked Fayetteville in Arkansas and were repulsed with loss – and that there was great excitement at Nashville from the advance of Genl Van Dorn with a considerable force thereupon.
The Flag Display of yesterday was by no means enthusiastic and far from being general –
The Mass Meeting of the Union Leagues of the City as held last Night at the Maryland Institute. Gov. Bradford being called upon to preside – After addresses made by him and other Speakers the following Preamble and Resolutions were passed. Viz “Whereas the Union Leagues of Baltimore, organized in the days of darkness which hang over the State and Country in the Spring of 1861, are now, for the first time, assembled in public mass meeting, it is proper to declare the principles, purposes and views of their Members.” Therefore Resolved. “That the existence of the American Nation is to be maintained above all local interests, opinions, and institutions, and that we declare our purpose “that though all things else should perish this country and this Union shall live.”
Resolved, “That the State of Maryland shall never be taken from under the Stars and Stripes under any circumstances, nor on any condition, if it can be prevented by the sacrifice of our lives and fortunes ; and to this declaration in the presence of Almighty God, we hereby pledge each other –
Resolved, that we declare our unconditional support of the Government in any measures it may deem to be necessary in the prosecution of the War for the supremacy of the Union, and that the War ought to be prosecuted until the authority of the Government is acknowledged and its Flag waves unassailed over every part of the national territory.”
Resolved. “That the origin and progress of the rebellion leave no room to doubt that the Institution of Slavery has become an instrument in the hands of traitors to build an oligarchy and an aristocracy on the ruins of republican liberty. That its continued existence is incompatible with the maintenance of republican forms of Government in the States in subordination to the Constitution of the United States ; and that the emancipation Proclamation of the President ought to be made law by Congress, and fact by all the power placed by Congress in the hands of the President. That traitors have no right to enforce the obedience of slaves ; and that against traitors in arms the President should use all men, white or black, in the way they can be most useful and to the extent they can be used, whether it be to handle a spade or shoulder a musket.”
Resolved. ‘That the safety and interest of the State of Maryland, and especially of her white laboring people, require that Slavery should cease to be recognized by the law of Maryland, and that the aid of the United States, as recommended by the President, ought to be asked and accepted to alleviate the public and private inconvenience incident to the change
Resolved – “That we return our heartfelt thanks to Maj. Genl Schenck, commanding this Department, for the policy he has inaugurated and pursued and that we will support him morally and physically, and that we exhort him to go on in his good course, to the utter confusion of treason and traitors.”
It may be interesting to note the Vice Presidents who assisted Gov. Bradford at this Meeting Viz. . . .
Thomas Kelso – Buthcer – Native of Ireland a resident of the City for many years where he has acquired a large fortune – Doubt 75 years of age
Enoch Pratt – Corn Merchant from Massachusetts – has resided here about 30 years and has made a large fortune
J. Albert. A Baltimorean by birth inherited a large Estate form his Father Jacob Albert.
F. Sarlett [?]
Edwin A. Abbott. Dealer in Ship Timber from Mass – has resided here about 25 years and accumulated a handsome Property.
Capt. James Frazier – Ship Master. Native of Scotland but for many years a Resident of this City – he is about 80 years of age –
Stockbridge – Lawyer from New England and in a moderate Practice of his Profession.
Stirling Sr. Prest. Savings Bank – Native of Baltimore of Scotch descent 0 inherited Property from his Father – Radical Presbyterian.
Schumacher – Merchant – Ntive of Germany has resided here about 25 to 30 years and has amassed a large fortune –
J. Blumenberg – Merchant. Native of Germany has resided here about [left blank]
John H. Lloyd – Sc’y
The Premium on Gold has fallen to 46 per cent
April 22nd – To day has been beautifully bright pleasant and bracing wind Easterly Advices are said to be in possession of the Navy Department that “Com. Porter with Seven Gunboats of his squadron ran the blockade of the Vicksburg batteries on the night of the Thursday last 16th Inst. One of the Three transports that accompanied them was set on fire, the Benton having a shot through her hull, The Forest City being temporarily disabled, one man Killed and Two or Three wounded. The Rebs are said to have retired from before Washington N.C. and abandoned their Batteries on the Tar River. There are reports of movements and skirmishes between Fed and Reb forces in Louisiana, Virginia &c. The Premium on Gold to day was 46 1/2 per cent.
April 23rd – Wind East with Rain this morning Raw and Cold temperature all day. No war news reported in a reliable form. The retirement of the Reb. forces from Washington N.C. and the running of the Vicksburg Batteries by a portion of Porters Gunboats appear to be confirmed by later advices – and these having join’d with Com. Farragut’s flotilla, the Feds now command the Mississippi between Vicksburg and Fort Hudson as well as above and below those Points – which may have a most important bearing upon the issue of the War, more so, probably, than the result of a battle between any of the Armies now in the field. The Premium on Gold to-day was 48 pr. ct.
April 24th – The rain continued to fall with but slight cessation during last night, and this forenoon, with cold wind from East & North. Such continuance of Rain forbids farming operations, as well as military movements, in the section of country where it prevails – and all the Streams are reported to be very much swollen. The Premium on Gold to-day was 51 1/2 per cent.
April 25th – The Sun set clear last evening after a rainy day, and, with a strong wind from the North West, we are favored with a clear and bright morning which has continued through out; and all day. Reports of successful Raids made by the Feds to McMinnville [?] in Tenn., where they captured 300 Prisoners, as stated, and destroyed Rail Road Bridges, Trains &c. and a considerable amount of Grain, and other Stores, besides a Cotton Factory, Flour Mill &c. and also an account of the rout of Ferguson’s Guerrillas and their pursuit for 50 miles down Dew Creek in Mississippi, where Three Millions worth of Property is said to have been either captured or destroyed by the Feds. under command of Genl Steele – are published as the war news of the day. The Premium on Gold was 52 per cent, strong to-day.
April 30th – Since the 25th Inst. the weather has been variable “as April” with a good deal of Rain – which may have delayed the military operations in all the section of Country over which it has prevailed. From the South West we have Reports of Genl Banks’ expedition 140 Miles S. W. of Baton Rouge, to the Atchafalaya country in Louisianan – In which he had been successful in beating the Reb. force opposed to him, compelling them to destroy a number of Steamers and Two Gunboats – including the Deana [?] recently taken from the Feds., and large quantities of Cotton also – The Feds are said to have captured over 1000 Prisoners – a large number of Negroes, Beef Cattle, Provisions & Munitions of War, and to have destroyed a great amount of Property throughout that fertile and wealthy region of Country. It is reported also that he had taken possession of the Opelondas Rail Road – We have statement of the running the Vicksburg Batteries by a number of Transports attached to Commodore Porters fleet – which had succeeded in joining him and Farragut’s flotilla near the mouth of Red River – Various Raids and expeditions of small moment are reported in Mississippi and Tenn. and also the advance of the Reb forces to Tullahons_ [?] indicating an early engagement between them and the Feds under Rosecranz –
Rumors of a Reb. Raid upon some portion of the Balto & this Rail Road have prevailed in the City for several days past, but either from the stoppage of Telegraphic Communication or because the Authorities interdicted any publication thereof, we have the first published statement of the position of matters in yesterday’s Papers – to the effect that a Party of about 200 Reb. Cavalry or mounted Infantry made their appearance on Thursday 23rd Inst. very suddenly at the Roulesburg Station on that Road about 40 Miles Westward from Cumberland capturing or driving off the Guard posted there, cutting the Telegraph, and taking a Locomotive and Train of burden Cars – when they disappeared in some unknown direction – About the same time Morgantown in the Monongahela River in Va about 40 Miles from the Penn’a line was taken by a force of Rebs said to number 800 or 4000 men – all mounted – On Sunday 26th Inst. Parties of Rebs are said to have made their appearance, simultaneously, at various Stations on the Western part of the Road at some of which they encountered and beat off the Military Guard Especially at Grafton where Col Mulligan with his Regiment were fighting with them for several days – In the means while a number of Rebs, indefinitely stated at 500 to 8000 men, are said to have invaded Fayette County, Penn’a, and a Bridge of the B & R. Road, 40 Miles from Wheeling, is said to have been burned or destroyed by them Much excitement, if not consternation, has been caused by this extensive Raid, increased as much by the mysterious silence of Official information to the Public as by any real cause of alarm to the Inhabitants of Wheeling, Pittsburg, and that Section of the Country – for it is not yet Known here whether the Reported Invasion of Penn’a is true.
The Premium on Gold has varied but little for several days past closing at 57 per cent at yesterday’s Board.
This being the day set apart by the President’s Proclamation for fasting and Prayer it has been observed here by a general cessation of business of all Kinds, and attendance upon religious worship in the Churches – This is the Third Fast day that has been observed by this Nation since the War, at the instance of the National Authorities.
End of April 1863.
- For previous articles on the Civil War Diary of Benjamin H. Ellicott, click on the tag in the right column for “Civil War.” These entries come from volume 2 of the Ellicott diary, pp. 96-112, from the four volumes of diaries, in the Hunterdon County Historical Society, Collection 110, Box 2. Note that I have tried to preserve both Ellicott’s spelling and his somewhat haphazard punctuation. There are several illegible words in this volume. ↩