Friday Oct 11 1861
FEDERAL FORCES FIND FURTHER FIGHTS
Miscellaneous personnel changes and reassignments were made today as
the first summer of the war was evaluated. Gen. William T. Sherman
took over the Department of the Cumberland from Gen. Robert
Anderson, who had never really recovered after the surrender of Ft.
Sumter, finally suffering a nervous breakdown. Gen. William S.
Rosecrans was appointed head of the Department of Western Virginia.
This was of tremendous political importance as the area was
overwhelmingly Union in support, and would eventually secede from
the Secessionists in Richmond. Finally, Gen. O. M. Mitchel was
assigned to lead an expedition into the Unionist area of eastern
Tennessee. Mitchel was not much of a military man: his previous
occupations had been astronomer and popular lecturer on science.
Saturday Oct. 11 1862
MEDIA MAKES MILITARY MESSGES MOBILE
Captain Raphael Semmes, Confederate terror of the seas, took yet
another prize out in the North Atlantic today. The CSS Alabama took
on the Manchester off the coast of Nova Scotia, and in a competition
between an armed warship and an unarmed cargo vessel, the outcome
was pretty much as you would suspect. Interestingly, Captain Semmes
noted in his log the fact that his victim was carrying fresh
newspapers out of New York. “I learned from them where all the
enemy’s gun boats were, and what they were doing,” he said. “Perhaps
this was the only war in which the newspapers ever explained,
beforehand, all the movements of armies and fleets, to the enemy.”
It would not be the last such war.
Sunday Oct. 11 1863
POLITICAL PROSPECTS PROVE PROBLEMATICAL
There were a large number of election contests decided today, and
they were watched with at least as much attention in the South as
the North. The off-year races were for governorships of the great
industrial states, and in most the contests were clearly between
“peace” candidates and those who supported fighting to restore the
Union. In state after state the peace candidates went down to
defeat. Clement Vallandigham lost to War Democrat John Brough in
Ohio, although Vallandigham had the added handicap of having to
campaign from Canada, since he had been exiled from the US for his
antiwar views. Another winner was Andrew Curtin in Pennsylvania, a
staunch Union supporter. Those in the South who had hoped for a wave
of anti-war sentiment to sweep the North were bitterly disappointed.
Tuesday Oct. 11 1864
POLITICAL PROBLEMS PROCEDING PROMPTLY
Surely, they thought in Richmond, surely this would be the year it
would sink in to the voters of the North. After Manassas, after
Chancellorsville, after Gettysburg....after all the blood and
slaughter and disease and death, surely they would decide that it
was not worth fighting any longer to keep a part of the country that
wanted to leave. Actually Lincoln in Washington was deeply afraid
that the voters might think exactly that way. The elections were
today for some governorships as well as the House and one-third of
the Senate. Lincoln stayed half the night in the telegraph room of
the War Department waiting for the results to come in. Again, the
last hope of the South was dashed: support for Republicans was far
stronger than had been expected, as Oliver Morton won the governor’s
office in Indiana, and Republican gains were made in the House and
Senate both. The war would not end by negotiation.
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