Project

So I have continued to research my project and make the corrections to my original draft. I had to research more in-depth Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. The Archives was only able to give me the editions from 1864 six months to a whole year after the battle took place. So i have added those two articles to my paper. I know that they are way out my 5 day timeline but they certainly will help describe use of the magazine. Here is my paper so far with some of the corrections done. I have highlighted my argument in the first paragraph. Let me know what you guys think and if it needs to be changed what I should change it to. I am struggling a bit coming up with a good argument wording wise.

The Battle of Gettysburg was one of the biggest and bloodiest battles in American history. As the battle escalated reporters kept appearing to report on the situation and conflict. The newspapers were people’s source of all this information. The newspaper people read was their lifeline to the world. The newspaper a person read was the key to how well informed they were and depending how far they lived away from Gettysburg depended on how long it would take them to receive information on the battle. If a person lived in New York City they read The New York Herald, if they lived in Rochester, NY they read The New York Herald as well, if they lived in Boston, MA they read the Boston Daily Advertiser, and if the lived in Lowell, MA they read the Lowell Daily Citizen and News.[1] 

            After the battle ended people all over the country were rushing and waiting with anxiety to see what the repot was from Gettysburg. Reporters crammed the telegraph lines with reports from the battlefield. With all this information to report the Associated Press was born. The Associated Press was created because of how many reporters were present in Gettysburg. With only maybe one or two telegraph available to the reporters they had combine messages to their editors. So when people were reading the paper they would see and article and at the end of it read “as seen in the United States Gazette and Philadelphia North American.”[2] The New York Herald was probably the most popular or at least one of the most popular papers of the day. While the battle ended on Friday July 3, 1863 the paper really did not start covering the news of the battle until Monday July 6. What the paper reported on July 6 was the retreat of Lee’s army[3] and the victory. Also reported in this edition were the casualty reports from the battlefield for people in the New York area but mostly more prominent members of the Union Army. Also in the news was the injury report on General Sickles[4] and how he was progressing as well as his unit. [Sickles article information here]. Also in this day’s paper was a report from General Meade[5]. He spoke of the great things that Union army accomplished and was even compared to the Duke of Wellington “Meade resisted the impetuous onsets of the Southern troops with all the obstinacy of Wellington at Waterloo, and with the same fearful losses to the enemy and himself”[6]. Most of the information that the readers saw in this would come from other newspapers or would appear in similar wording in other papers. One common newspaper that The New York Herald typically used information from was the United States Gazette and Philadelphia North American. As the days dragged on though the news of the battle began to dwindle. On Thursday July 9th the news that appeared was less than normal on the battle. The articles in The Herald took up some of the first page and covered the aftermath of the battle and movements of troops for both armies. All the reports of joy and celebrations are gone. People all over celebrated the victory and the Fourth of July with great pride and patriotism. Reporters who were covering the scenes in the streets said “In this city especially the day was observed with patriotic enthusiasm Crowds of people left the city upon steamboat excursions and picnics in the country; but crowds came to the city from all the towns and villages for miles around, and the streets were thronged as ever.”[7] Starting on Friday July 10th the reports really begin to dwindle and become less informative. The most informative piece that made headlines that day was a report of an engagement at Boonsboro.[8] By Saturday July 11th The New York Herald had moved on in their reports on Gettysburg and the citizens of New York City have moved away from interest in Gettysburg and any information that keeps coming from the battlefield.  

            The people in Rochester, New York were either readers of The New York Herald or the magazine Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.[9] The citizens of Rochester had to pay more attention to The New York Herald for the first few days because their local paper could not receive the information as fast as the bigger papers could. While researching Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper I was not able to find any information about the battle right after it’s conclusion.[10] What I found was in an edition written six months after its conclusion. On January 2, 1864 the magazine ran an edition that included a story from Gettysburg. The story was titled Reminiscence of Gettysburg: The Last Though of a Dying Father.[11] The other story that appeared in Frank Leslie’s was about Jack Dayton and titled Jack Dayton: An Episode of lee’s Raid in Pennsylvania.[12] The story explains the task of the 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry and the death of Dayton after a firefight.

Granted while New York had a lot of divisions and individuals taking part in the battle Massachusetts was slightly different. Being so far from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts did not have many divisions take part in the battle. However, some were. The units that served in the First Corp Second Division were the 12th and 13th Massachusetts. The units that served in the Second Army Corp First and Second Division were the 28th, 15th, 19th, and 20th Massachusetts. Finally serving in the Third Corp Second Division were the 1st, 11th, and 16th Massachusetts. [13]The citizens of towns like Boston and Lowell[14] were certainly interested in the result from Gettysburg. Lowell would be most interested due to the fact that they since they had more cotton looms in one city then all the Confederate States combined and were responsible for weaving the cotton for the confederacy[15] they would certainly be interested in who won the battle. The biggest paper in Massachusetts at this time was the Boston Daily Advertiser.[16] The newspaper gave their citizens a lot of in-depth information about the battle that would have appeared in any other major newspaper. The information most important to any person who read this paper was what was the result of the battle and what, if any, division fought at the battle and how did they fair. Also they were certainly interested in the casualty list from the New England area. An example of an individual who died and who could have been prominent members of Boston were Lieutenant Summer Paine who served in the 20th Massachusetts and was a sophomore at Harvard University and son of Charles C. Paine.[17]               

            The citizens of Lowell did receive the Advertiser but that did not carry information that they would be interested in if someone from their area was involved in the fighting. Again we see a big city versus a smaller city/town. They wanted the news that the bigger papers delivered but also wanted the news that would captivate their attention. Papers back then had allegiance to political parties and certain individuals. If a private from Lowell was killed the Advertiser would probably not mention him in their list of casualties but the Lowell Daily Citizen and News[18] would because the people would want to know. Some of the articles that did appear in this paper were also articles that appeared in the Advertiser. The article appeared on the morning of July 10, 1863 for the citizens of Lowell was a short and just brief overview of what had taken place the last few days. It really gives their citizens no information on what really took place at Gettysburg and the effects had been. It does share with them the death total and the retreat of General Lee. It does also give the reason why Lee got away so easily “Lee retreated in better order and losing less artillery than has been represented. The reason is, that the Federal troops fought the Battle of Gettysburg entirely on the defensive and did not pursue the enemy beyond the contested ground.”[19]  So while this type of article was informative to the people of Lowell it was nowhere near the in depth analysis of the Advertiser. Granted a lot of the information in this article had been reported a few days ago in the other papers.

            People who received papers such as The New York Herald and Boston Daily Advertiser where people who would have a much better connection with the outside world because of the depth and quality of information given to them. Smaller towns that received papers such as the Lowell Daily Citizen and News were getting news but it wasn’t the same quality as the bigger papers. The news was just a watered down version of what appeared in the bigger papers. Also the news that would appear in smaller papers was most likely reported a day before or even earlier. These examples of papers really showed the difference between living in a big city and smaller town. Second the difference between being closer to the action and further away. Finally the difference between reading a big time paper and a smaller paper. You can a see a tremendous gap in reporting and information given by each newspaper. You can also see favoritism by each paper depending on the political party they were loyal to and what audience they were writing for.       


[1] The New York Herald was first published in 1835 and run by James Gordon Bennett Sr. By 1845 it was the most popular paper in the United States. It was a staunch supporter of the Democratic Party throughout the Civil War. Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper was created in 1855 by English immigrant Frank Leslie in New York City, New York. Is regarded with a lot of historical value because of the illustrations that were added to it from battlefields during the Civil War. It survived until 1922. The Boston Daily Advertiser was founded in 1813 and run by Nathan Hale. It overtook the Boston Patriot and then The Boston Gazette. The Lowell Daily Citizen and News was founded in 1856 and ended its publication on 1876. The Publishers of this newspaper were Brown and Morey.     

[2] Talked about later in the paragraph.

[3] Lee’s Army was referred to as the Army of Northern Virginia. The army began a retreat on July 4th that took place on a rainy Saturday morning and continued long into the night.

[4] General Sickles was a commander of Union forces at Gettysburg who injured on the second day of battle. His unit was supposed to protect the area near the Round Tops but he advanced his unit forward into the Peach orchard where they were slaughtered by General Longstreet’s advance. He would be wounded and loose his right leg but awarded the Medal of Honor for his valiant services.

[5] General Meade was the commander who took of the Union Army after the firing of Hooker. He was altered of this promotion right before the battle took place and had to ride immediately to Gettysburg. He arrived the night of July 1st after the first day of fighting. He would go on to lead the Unions to victory and turn around the Union’s chances for winning the war.

[6] New York Herald, “General George Meade, the Commander of the Army of the Potomac” pg. 1 Col. 3 and 4 Monday July 6, 1863.

[7] New York Herald, “The Celebration of the Fourth of July- The Effect of the War News” pg. 1 Col. 4 Monday July 6, 1863.

[8] Boonsboro is located in Maryland and at the base of South Mountain in Washington County. It is located right in between Hagerstown and Frederick, Maryland. It was founded in 1792 by George and William Boone cousins of Daniel Boone and is a rural little town. As lee’s Army retreated from Gettysburg they based through Boonsboro but clashed with Union forces, which led to minor skirmishes.   

[9] Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper was a local paper in Rochester, New York. Look to footnote 1.

[10] Our archives did not have an edition available before the year 1864. They will continue to look for it and if found they will let me know. I will continue to look at our online collection and see what I come across.

[11] The story is about a father who dies from a mortal and is found clutching a picture of his three children. Since he was widowed and only knew that he was from New York Newspaper ran the story to try and find his children and tell them what had happened. It is one of the more touching stories from the battle.

[12] Jack Dayton was a member of the 16th Pennsylvania cavalry who had volunteered during the war in Mexico. He rejoined them again during the Civil War. As they are pursuing Lee’s army they clash with confederate forces under Fitzhugh Lee’s and Jenkins command. Dayton is injured during the battle and dies in the early morning hours the following day.

[13] These are just a few of the units from Massachusetts that actually were present at the Battle of Gettysburg. These were the most probable regiments who actually saw battle being in the higher corps. The other corps were mostly filled with reserves. As a side note the 1st Company of Massachusetts Sharpshooters were unattached to the 106th Pennsylvania. Information was found at www.michiganinthewar.org.

[14] Boston was the capital city of Massachusetts and is famous for sending divisions to aid the Union cause. Units such as the 54th Massachusetts are among these famous regiments. Lowell was one of the larger cities in Massachusetts at this time. It was the major producer of textile and manufacturing city in Massachusetts. Located just Northeast of Boston and located on the Merrimack River.

[15] Information found on www.lowellma.gov. November 15, 2010. Website designed 2010 City of Lowell, MA.

[16] Boston Daily Advertiser was located in Boston Massachusetts. Look to footnote 1.

[17] Boston Daily Advertiser, “Died” Friday July 10, 1863.

[18] Lowell Daily Citizen and News was the local newspaper for the city of Lowell. Look to footnote 1.

[19] Lowell Daily Citizen and News, “The Situation on the Potomac” Col. A, July 10, 1863.

Here is my updated conclusion

This is still a little rough but getting much better —

While countless southern women dreadfully suffered from Union invasions between the years 1861 to 1865, very few northern women were exposed to encounters with the rebel army. In addition to the town of Carlisle, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania was the only other Federal town that uprooted by the Confederate army. Margaret and Mary Murray and Sarah Meyers serve as crucial witness to rebel bombardment as they were apart of the small handful of women who not only encountered the Confederate army, but also lived to tell their experiences through their letters. The common and overlapping fears of Margaret Murray, Marry Murray, and Sarah Meyers provides telling details that reveal the strong connection that women felt towards their homes and their loved ones. It can thus be concluded that the experiences of the three Carlisle women are distinctively symbolic and noteworthy as they reflect the experiences of a minute number of Union women who came into distinct contact with rebel forces. Their words are not only pertinent in furthering our understanding of the personal reactions of female citizens but more simply provide contextual evidence that provides us with  historical details of the shelling.

Adams Co. Historical Society

I have set up an appointment to meet with Wayne Motts, the director of the Adams County Historical Society, to view some documents on and discuss the 1st Maryland Regiments. The Society houses the Bachelder Papers that I have been trying to track down for sometime now, along with some other relevant documents concerning the fighting on Culp’s Hill. Given the value of the Papers and the success I have had with Mr. Motts on past projects, I anticipate that this will be a very beneficial meeting.

I am set to go down there on Wednesday afternoon, so there will be more to say then. Hope everyone had a good break.

Captain Whitmoyer was a Republican!!

I found a book written in 1950 published online called The History of Platte County, Nebraska by Margaret Curry.  The book mentions that Michael Whitmoyer was an active Republican who was a delegate to the 1872 national convention.  The book mentions Whitmoyer’s military service in PA during the Civil War, confirming that he is the same Michael Whitmoyer mentioned in my two letters.  This piece of information will allow me to argue that the signatories wanted a fellow Republican appointed in Ent’s place.

Captain Whitmoyer

I am looking to see if I can find out if Captain Michael Whitmoyer, who two of the four letters urged Curtin to appoint in Ent’s place was a Republican or a Democrat.  I found on Ancestry that he was born in 1836 in Columbia County, served in Company E of the 132nd PA infantry from 1862-1863.  Sometime after the war, he moved to Platte County, Nebraska, where he died in 1919.

The John Bachelder Papers

I have identified a source of documents that I believe will be incredibly helpful for my project. John Bachelder, the leading historian on the Battle of Gettysburg, was contracted by congress to compile a comprehensive history of the events. He amounted a collection of 2,081 pages of letters from the officers and men of both armies to the official historian of Gettysburg. All written in an effort to fix correctly the details of the battle. This mass of correspondence between John Bachelder and the participants of the battle, both Union and Confederate, is arranged in chronological order from 1863-1894.

Unfortunately, this collection has proven very difficult to track down. It is not available in our library and is currently out of print so I cannot order a copy. It looks like my best chance is to hope my siblings old student ID’s work at the Gettysburg College Library where they have a copy in their Special Civil War Collections.

Let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions.

research 3

A final strange statistic is the amount that have been killed or wounded. Thus far, merely fifteen percent of the men became victims of the confederacy. Now, I expect this figure to rise as I find more of these soldiers’ fates, but for the time being, this is still considerably lower than I estimated. This could also be related to the amount of soldiers who pushed through the ranks. In order to avoid dying for something they did not sign up for, these men pushed through the ranks and found ways to live. However, this is not set in concrete, and could simply be a result of the amount of information I have gathered about these men. As I find more soldiers, the data will become clear enough to establish an argument. For the moment, this could also be a result of the nature of data collection. Clearly, higher ranking officers will be much easier to find than a private who deserted or was killed relatively early on in the war, which could skew my data at the moment.h

research pt 2

Another trend in my research is the advancement of the draftees. One predicts that a soldier who is drafted will not fight or work nearly as hard as a volunteer, considering they are forced to be there. However, my bates research indicates otherwise. Roughly a third of all the conscripted soldiers advanced through the ranks in some way, with only one simply being a corporal. These are much higher rates than one would anticipate, considering the situation these soldiers are placed in. This does make sense however, since the higher up in the ranks you move, the less likely you are to become a part of Grant’s front lines.

research pt.1

To my surprise I have been discovering that there is a significant amount of soldiers who are making the best of a bad situation , and toughing out their service, rather than deserting from the Union. Thus far, about 90 % of the men have not deserted, despite the thought that many men would have deserted if they were forced to join. After combing bates, I have found that even my false leads (soldiers which had the same name but came from a different part of the state) had generally served through their services. I believe this is a result of the state militia system. The militias were formed by men from the same region, so some of them most likely knew each other. Messages of cowardice would return back to their homes, discouraging one from fleeing service.

More primary sources

i was able to find a few more sources from diaries that have been transcribed online

This is a letter from a military official writing to Pres. Lincoln after a Union loss explianing how he needs a commander to be removed. He goes on to bad mouth him and blame most of the destruction on him http://valley.lib.virginia.edu/papers/F1…

This is a years’ worth of a soldiers diary/journal which will be helpful for getting a sense of what the troops felt about promotions and how it may have effected moral http://valley.lib.virginia.edu/papers/FD…

rough draft

Jason DeBlanco
Professor Osborne
Historical Methodology
November 15, 2010

Examination of John C. Brock amongst other ranking black NCO’s

The Negro soldier during the civil war represents a monumentous triumph in the most direct and immediate way possible for them. These soldiers had to prove not only their merit on the battlefield, but  also the fight against the ideologies stating they were in some way inferior to the white man, that for some reason they needed to remain in slavery to serve as appeasement for the fate of the union.  Fighting a mental and physical war takes a great toll. These men had to rise to a high caliber and prove their mettle, but as General Nathaniel P. Banks observed, “Whatever doubt may have existed heretofore as to the efficiency of organizations of this character, the history of this day proves conclusively to those who were in a condition to observe the conduct of these regiments, that the Government will find in this class of troops effective supporters and defenders. The severe test to which they were subjected, and the determined manner in which they encountered the enemy, leaves upon my mind no doubt of their ultimate success [1]” With this positive feedback and fierce determination to defend their inherent liberties, many soldiers actually came to rise up in ranks as high as possible for a colored NCO. One such distinguished soldier was Quartermaster Sergeant John C. Brock.

John C. Brock was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania on April 12, 1843 to parents William and Elizabeth Donaldson Brock [2]. The Brock Family worshipped at the local Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Pomfret Street here in Carlisle in which the children were enrolled as well into the Sabbath School. By 1863, Brock worked as a secretary for the same church [3]. It was around this time that the United States was deciding on whether to allow African Americans to formally and legally enlist in regiments of their own to serve in the fight against the confederates. However after Congress passed the Second Confiscation Act [4] and the Militia Act on July 17, 1862 [5], and After Lincoln enacted the Emancipation Proclamation, African Americans could finally officially enlist. It was after these acts of legislation that Brock was mustered into to Camp William Penn on April 5, 1864 [6].

For blacks troops, Camp William Penn was the place where ordinary men were turned into soldiers. Oliver Wilcox Norton, Officer of the 8th regiment at Camp, commented on his arrival to Camp William Penn by noting, “I can scarcely realize my feelings at my first sight of colored soldiers. It was all new to me. Everywhere dusky faces were flitting about and they looked so black. The little shelter tents were alive with negroes in army blue. They could not be called soldiers, but they were the raw material, and the great question of the hour was, can this material be worked up to the condition of efficient soldiery. We who had it to work were enthusiastic in our faith as to its success, but yet it was all theory. A year of trial has proved the soundness of our belief, and to-day after a year’s experience I prefer, infinitely almost, black soldiers to white. I had some doubts at first, but they were soon swept away, and to-day the practicability of employing the negro race as soldiers is no longer an experiment but a fact, and a fact recognized by the very men who most vehemently opposed the experiment [7].” It was under Norton’s direct observation that black soldiers abilities and performance were above those of white soldiers recognized, in his mind as a fact.

It was impressions like these (insert newspaper quotes) and Brock’s pre-war education that most likely led to his being promoted to commissary sergeant only a week later after he entered camp and subsequently 9 months later to Quartermaster sergeant. Both these positions required…


[1] War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Ser. 1, Vol. XXVI, Pt. i, p. 45.

[2] Birth certificate of John C. Brock. Obituary of John C. Brock, West Chester Village Record, August 22, 1901.

[3] United States Census of 1860, Pennsylvania, Cumberland County, Carlisle, microfilm 432, roll 773, frame 379, Pennsylvania State Archives

[4] The Second Confiscation act essentially stated that any slaves captured during the war by Union forces or who fled to the north would be considered property of war and free from servitude for life (U.S., Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations of the United States of America, vol. 12 (Boston, 1863), pp. 589–92.)

[5] The Militia act stated that African Americans were allowed to perform common duties and services on camp for the war effort, but did not explicitly state they could fight in the war for the Union (U.S., Statutes at Large, Treaties
and Proclamations of the United States of America
, vol. 12 (Boston, 1863), pp. 597–600. )

[6] History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1865 Pennsylvania GAR: Journal of the Annual Encampment.

[7] Memoir of Oliver Wilcox Norton, in Army Letters, 1861-1865 : Being Extracts from Private Letters to Relatives and Friends from a Soldier in the Field during the Late Civil War, with an Appendix Containing Copies of Some Official Documents, Papers and Addresses of Later Date. Chicago, IL: O.L. Deming, 1903, pp. 355

Project

So I after completing the rough draft I had some more research to do. I still have to look up information on Frank Leslie’s newspaper and search for the General Sickles article. So far the Gen. Sickles article has proven to be somewhat hard to track down but I do know what newspaper it is. I also need to research information on the newspaper or magazine as it really is. Our archives does have some copies so I will look into them tomorrow and certainly after the break. Hope all your projects are going well.

First Rough Draft

this is a rough draft that I have right now. I am still in the process of placing my recently found letters/articles into context and trying to figure out who the authors truly were through ancestry.com, ect but here is what I have at this point

mind you, some things still need to be cited correctly…

As in all times of war, the importance of one’s public image became heightened during the civil war as tensions rose throughout the country. Promotions and appointments in particular became the subject of heated debates and dictated personal self-worth. On July 6, 1861, Everard Bierer wrote a letter to Eli Slifer regarding the promotion of Second Lieutenant John W. DeFord to the position first Lieutenant. As he explains in his letter, “…And if so must a new Election for 1st Lieutenant be had or will my 2nd Lieutenant John W. DeFord become 1st by promotion?…I write you sir Confidentially and frankly for information and advice in this matter feeling it my duty to do so.”1 As seen in this excerpt, these letters regarding promotions were an influential part of how the ranks of the respective armed forces were determined. In Everard Bierer’s case, he had a relationship with Governor Curtain and Eli Slifer because of the power his family had accumulated following their immigration from Germany.2 Simple troop assignments often necessitated involvement from federal officials within the company’s home state. However inefficient this process may have been, it shed light onto why so much time was spent on these decisions. This process showcased how pivotal rank, and the resulting public image that went with it, were to the soldiers and the community at large.
There are numerous examples from both personal letters and local newspapers of the period that present evidence concerning these pivotal promotions. Letters from military officials contain overly zealous and supportive language for some candidates, while others contain slanderous language in an attempt to derail a pending appointment. Evidence of the magnitude that was felt by these promotions can also be seen in the local newspapers of multiple cities and towns. News of appointments was published with an either positive of negative commentary of the decision. This commentary, usually by the editor, again used language at both ends of the spectrum to announce the feelings of the common people in the area. Whether they were in support or not, these documents used highly charged language which further showed the importance of promotions in the eyes of the community at large.
Everard Bierer was born in Uniontown, PA to Everhardt and Catherine Margaretta in 1827. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar Association in 1848 but left his law firm to join the Union Army on April 23, 1861. He recruited for the 11th Pennsylvania Reserves and eventually became the captain of F Company. On July sixth, he wrote a letter to Eli Slifer regarding the recent reassignment of Peter A. Johns, F Company’s First Lieutenant, to be a staff sergeant. Captain Bierer voiced his concern about his current Second Lieutenant as he explained,
“Will his [Peter A. Johns] appointment vacate or make it necessary for him to Resign his Lieutenancy? And if so must a new Election for 1st Lieutenant be had or will my 2nd Lieutenant John W. DeFord become 1st by promotion? I hope not. Johns is a good man & I wish him to Remain 1st Lieutenant whilst Deford [second lieutenant at the time of the letter] is Exceedingly insubordinate and troublesome to me. Besides I have not confidence in him. His wife is a southern lady and he is said to have two or three Brother in Laws in the southern or Confederate Army. He has lived most of the time for 3 or four years past in the south and his heart and feelings seem to be more with the south than I should like for my 1st Lieutenant to have.”3
This excerpt of Captain Bierer’s letter to Eli Sliffer gives evidence to how important promotions proved to be in the Civil War to both soldiers and the public. Captain Bierer made it extremely clear in his letter that he did not support the advancement of Second Lieutenant Deford due to an insubordination issue. Just a few lines later in the letter, Bierer added to this claim of insubordination to accuse Deford of possessing ties to the Southern objectives in the War. Captain Bierer went on to state that Deford had been living in a southern state and continued to house his family there. A presumably even worse accusation was the claim that Deford’s brothers were actively serving in the Confederate Army. These accusations were brought forward by Captain Bierer in an obvious attempt to derail the promotion of 2nd Lieutenant Dedford. However, Bierer went beyond simply attempting to stop the promotion from occurring and proceeded to tarnish Dedford’s reputation as a whole. As expected, accusations of Confederate ties, during a war between the two divided halves of the country, otherwise referred to as being a ‘Copperhead’, was the epitome of an insult. This would have tarnished anyone’s reputation and would have ruined a person’s career, especially in the military. It was obvious that Captain Bierrer felt strongly about Dedford’s promotion and felt that he needed to do everything he could to stop this.

1 Bierer, Everard, Camp Wright to Eli Slifer, Harrisburg, 6 July 1861. In Their Own Words, Archives and Special Collections, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.

2 Browndorf, Margaret. “About the Author: Everard Bierer (1827-1910)” In Their Own Words

3 Bierer, Everard, Camp Wright to Eli Slifer, Harrisburg, 6 July 1861. In Their Own Words, Archives and Special Collections, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.

tweaking my thesis

So over the past few weeks I have been trying to mold a thesis out of what looked like a huge topic with limited information about specific regiments/geographical areas.

My original letter concerned information about a promotion that Captain Bierer did not want to occur because he thought the soldier in question had southern ties. I wanted to take this idea and turn it into a thesis about how traitors in the Union Army were treated when it came to promotions/appointments but was not able to find any solid sources. I followed Prof. Osborne’s advice to try and find information about the formation of the ranks and analyze the conflicts that came up due to the fact that Civil War Companies were recruited by geographic area. During my searching in the last week, I began to find newspaper articles and personal letters that were written concerning promotions in the Union Armed Forces. More interesting though, was that these letters contained very emotional language from both sides of support (some seemed to be trying to ruin entire careers while other letters contained praises for people that were over the top). Therefore, I am going to attempt to write my paper about how, considering these letters concerning promotions were such an influential part of the process, they were written with parts that were stretched and language that would have sent up red flags immediately (ie. Southerner, Copperhead, traitor, ect). Furthermore, I am planning on analyzing newspaper articles from the period that use similar language in reporting recent promotions to the public. I have recently found articles that even lobby for certain soldiers that were up for promotion by praising their good deeds and making it known the “northern” background they come from.

rough draft to follow

Cousins

Some good stuff I’ve found:

The Union 1st Maryland Eastern Shore faced the Confederate 1st Maryland Battalion faced each other on Culp’s Hill at Gettysburg. Color Sergeant Robert Ross of the Union regiment was a cousin to Color Sergeant P.M. Moore of the Confederate battalion, who was wounded several times and captured by his neighbors.

Colonel Wallace of the Union 1st Maryland wrote, “The 1st Maryland Confederate Regiment met us and were cut to pieces. We sorrowfully gathered up many of our old friends and acquaintances and had them carefully and tenderly cared for.” Included among these dead was the battalion’s mascot, Grace. Union General Thomas Kane recalled, “He licked someone’s hand, they said, after he was perfectly riddled.” Kane ordered the dog given decent burial “as the only Christian minded being on either side.”

More to come…

Rough Draft

I need to edit some of the footnotes and I’m still waiting to hear back about some additional primary sources that I think would make my argument a little stronger, but this is the first draft of my report.

The Lynchburg Ladies’ Relief Hospital and the Role of Southern Women in Civil War Hospitals

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, men on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line rushed to sign up for military service. Women were also eager to volunteer their time and services to their cause. Northern and Southern women alike organized relief societies and signed up to work in hospitals. Women faced prejudices that made it hard for them to be accepted as nurses in hospitals. Southern women especially, found they could not overcome certain social standards and many were turned away from volunteer work in medical institutions. Prejudice against Southern female nurses led a group of women, headed by Lucy Otey, in Lynchburg, Virginia, to establish their own hospital in 1862 for wounded Confederate soldiers. [1]

Strict social regulations made it hard for Southern women to volunteer their time as nurses. Young women especially were discouraged from working with wounded soldiers, out of concern for their reputations. Families objected to their young daughters or sisters compromising their reputations by dealing directly with possible male nudity and crude behavior. Northern women also faced difficulties in being accepted as nurses, however, in the North, there were fewer limitations and in general, greater acceptance from the public regarding women’s work. Class and social structure in the South were of such importance, that women would not often want to challenge public expectations on how women were supposed to act. [2]

In addition to moral concerns, women were also rejected from hospital work on issues of what they were believed capable of. Many surgeons regarded the presence of women as an annoyance, believing most women would disregard hospital rules and create more problems in the hospital. Public opinion was such at the time that it was believed that young, unmarried women would actually go to the hospitals to flirt with the soldiers, rather than care for them.[3] Despite the soldiers’ preference for female nurses, doctors tended to employ male ward attendants and nurses. Prejudiced doctors did all that they could to keep women out of hospitals, or at least to keep their presence at a minimum. [4]

For the concerns and prejudices against women, the formation of Ladies’ Relief Societies was encouraged. In these societies, what hospital work women did included rolling bandages, sewing soldiers’ clothes, or visiting with the patients under supervised conditions. Most of the work of ladies’ societies was completed at the homes of the women. Time was spent sewing or soliciting donations from the townspeople for the hospitals.[5]

Before the establishment of the Ladies’ Relief Hospital, Otey and about 500 women of Lynchburg organized the Ladies’ Relief Society in 1861.[6] Their duties included traveling to local hospitals to prepare and deliver food to the wounded, make bandages or mend clothing and assist the surgeons in any way possible. Women would also write letters for soldiers to relatives and see that the patients were kept comfortable.[7] However, the ladies of Lynchburg wanted to do more for their men and tried to volunteer as nurses in the local hospitals.

Upon arriving to a hospital one morning, a sentinel, under order of Dr. W. O. Owen, the head of Lynchburg military hospitals, denied entrance to Mrs. Otey. Dr. Owen ordered the removal of Otey and all women from the hospitals by stating, ‘no more women or flies were to be admitted.’[8] Lucy Otey and her organization of women in Lynchburg faced typical problems of Southern women. However, their solution was unlike many of their contemporaries. When Mrs. Otey was turned away from work in Lynchburg hospitals, she founded her own medical institution in the Old Union Hotel on the corner of 6th and Main Streets in Lynchburg. When Dr. Owen had turned the women away from the Lynchburg hospitals, Mrs. Otey immediately traveled to Richmond to talk to President Jefferson Davis to get his personal permission to found her own hospital, run entirely by female nurses. Davis agreed and issued her a surgeon, Dr. Thomas L. Walker.8

Southern hospitals lacked central organization during the Civil War. Several types of buildings were converted to take in wounded soldiers. Untrained civilians would often run these temporary facilities. Private hospitals were also common. Corruption and mismanagement became a frequent issue in Confederate hospitals. The Confederate government eventually ordered the shutdown of all medical institutions that were not under direct government control. If a hospital was not headed by a commissioned officer, who had a rank of at least a captain, than the soldier had to be moved to an institution where such a figure existed. In order to keep her hospital running, Mrs. Otey was named a Captain in the Confederate Army by President Jefferson Davis. Only one other woman received a commission in the Confederate Army. This other woman was Sallie Tompkins, who ran a hospital in Richmond, Virginia, one of the few other women who ran their own hospitals during the Civil War.[9] The fact that these two women received commissions in the Confederate Army is very surprising given the role of Southern women during the war. Because only two of these women were given rank to keep their hospitals running, it shows not only the extremely rare exception to the role of women, but also how few hospitals existed that were run by women.

The 500 women for the Relief Society made up the Ladies’ Relief Hospital. Lucy Otey was elected as president. The following women made up her staff: the first Vice President, Mrs. John M. Speed; second Vice President, Mrs. Commodore Rudd; Secretary and Treasurer, Mrs. C.J.M. Jordan; and Matron, Mrs. Phoebe Feazle.[10]

Letters written by Lucy Otey were reproduced in an 1895 Southern Literary Messenger. In these letters, dated from early 1864, written to an unnamed friend, Mrs. Otey describes some of the duties and responsibilities of the women nurses from the Ladies’ Relief Hospital. As head of the hospital, it was Otey’s duty to oversee the food supply for the institution. Otey had to respond to contributors by sending letters and checks. Otey also had to make sure that workers, including slaves, were taken care of. In one letter, Otey expressed concern about running out of money for food for both the workers and the injured soldiers. Another source from Otey lists names of contributors and what they donated to the hospital. The most common kinds of donations included cash, fruits and vegetables. Otey thanks contributors and pleads for donations of bandages. She applied both to the people of Lynchburg and nearby counties.[11]

The women who staffed the hospital cared for the soldiers by performing several of the duties performed by relief societies, as well as more hands-on duties, including the dressing of wounds and assisting with surgeries. The Ladies’ Relief Hospital had room for 100 patients at a time, in terms of the number of beds that were at the institution, but oftentimes, the hospital had more men to care for. One scholar claims that the hospital at times exceeded capacity by fifty percent. The ladies’ hospital had a high success rate. The institution became so well known that severely wounded soldiers were sent to Otey’s hospital for treatment.[12] The United Daughters of the Confederacy magazine reprinted memoirs of women who had worked at the Ladies’ Hospital. One woman, Mrs. Fosberg, wrote “it became an unwritten law during the war to send the worst wounded men to the Ladies’ Hospital” (Bjelovucic, 21). Mrs. Fosberg recalls how 120 men were brought in on stretchers after the Battle of the Wilderness in May of 1864. She recounts the goods that were donated to the hospital to care for the soldiers. “Ladies all over town sent food… officers who survived and went home sent groceries and pure liquor” (22).[13] The women differed from male nurses in other hospitals by making sure that soldiers were comfortable, in ways that soldiers were not taken care of in military hospitals. Patients who died were dressed properly for burial, and the mothers of the dead soldiers were sent a lock of the patient’s hair. This Lynchburg hospital was unique in its care of soldiers because it was run entirely by female nurses.12

Doctor Owen, who had kicked women volunteers out of Lynchburg hospitals, continued to work against the local women of the Ladies’ Relief Hospital. However, Otey and her staff did not have to report to Dr. Owen as other Lynchburg hospitals had to. The Ladies’ Relief Hospital reported to Richmond with their success rates and statistics.12

By the end of the war, the Ladies’ Relief Hospital felt a great stress as to the amount of patients arriving and the lack of supplies. Mrs. Fosberg’s memoir states that, “as the war drew to a close, improvisation was the operative word” (Bjelovucic, 22). Nurses had to make fake coffee, make their own soap from boiled lye and hog fat, get quinine from willow bark, make their own lamp wicks, and create lamp oil from pork remains.13 As Union troops occupied the town of Lynchburg, just before the end of the war, troops did not disturb the Ladies’ Relief Hospital. Mrs. Otey kept the hospital running until the last patient was cared for. At this time, Otey turned the building over to another owner, and the hospital was shut down.11

Mrs. Otey’s Ladies’ Relief Hospital in Lynchburg, Virginia as a Civil War hospital run entirely by female nurses was extremely rare for its time. Southern women faced certain prejudices that made it difficult for them to volunteer as nurses in military hospitals. These prejudices forced women out of Lynchburg hospitals and required them to found their own hospital in 1862. The Ladies’ Relief Hospital was a very unique institution both in his makeup and its treatment of soldiers. The women of Lynchburg faced problems typical of all women during the war, yet their reaction was one that is rarely seen in the history of the Civil War.

Works Cited

Bacot, Ada W. A Confederate Nurse: the Diary of Ada W. Bacot, 1860-1863. Ed. Jean V. Berlin. Columbia: University of South Carolina, 1994.

Bjelovucic, Harriet T. “Lucy Mina Otey: 1801-1866.” Ed. Dorothy Edgar. The United Daughters of the Confederacy LVI.3 (1993).

Buck, A. Trueheart, ed. “Mrs. Lucy Mina Otey.” The Southern Literary Messenger 1, no. 3 (1895): 15- 18.

Denny, Robert E., “The Distaff Civil War.” Ed. Victoria B.C. (Trafford, 2001), 65.

Holzman, Robert S. “Sally Tompkins: Captain, Confederate Army.” American Mercury, March 1959, 127-130.

Janney, Caroline E. Burying the Dead But Not the Past: Ladies’ Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008.

“Lynchburg’s Confederate Women.” The News: Lynchburg VA, February 14, 1960, p. B-2.

Massey, Mary Elizabeth. Women in the Civil War. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1966.

Ott, Victoria E. Confederate Daughters: Coming of Age during the Civil War. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2008.

Schultz, Jane E. Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

University of Virginia Library.  “Lynchburg Hospital Association.” Hearts at Home: War Work (1997). http://www2.lib.virginia.edu/exhibits/hearts/warwork.html.


[1] Buck, A. Trueheart, ed. “Mrs. Lucy Mina Otey.” The Southern Literary Messenger 1, no. 3 (1895): 15- 18.

[2] Schultz, Jane E. Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

[3] Massey, Mary Elizabeth. Women in the Civil War. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1966.

[4] Bacot, Ada W. A Confederate Nurse: the Diary of Ada W. Bacot, 1860-1863. Ed. Jean V. Berlin. Columbia: University of South Carolina, 1994.

[5] Ott, Victoria E. Confederate Daughters: Coming of Age during the Civil War. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2008.

[6] “Lynchburg’s Confederate Women.” The News: Lynchburg VA, February 14, 1960, p. B-2.

[7] University of Virginia Library.  “Lynchburg Hospital Association.” Hearts at Home: War Work (1997). http://www2.lib.virginia.edu/exhibits/hearts/warwork.html.

[8] Janney, Caroline E. Burying the Dead But Not the Past: Ladies’ Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008.

[9] Holzman, Robert S. “Sally Tompkins: Captain, Confederate Army.” American Mercury, March 1959, 127-130.

[10] Buck, A. Trueheart, ed. “Mrs. Lucy Mina Otey.” The Southern Literary Messenger 1, no. 3 (1895): 15- 18.

[11] Buck, A. Trueheart, ed. “Mrs. Lucy Mina Otey.” The Southern Literary Messenger 1, no. 3 (1895): 15- 18.

[12] Denny, Robert E., “The Distaff Civil War.” Ed. Victoria B.C. (Trafford, 2001), 65.

[13] Bjelovucic, Harriet T. “Lucy Mina Otey: 1801-1866.” Ed. Dorothy Edgar. The United Daughters of the Confederacy LVI.3 (1993).

interesting study

As I was researching the specific military ranking system during the civil war and trying to get some semblance of what it took in order to rank up, I came across a study that analyzed a segment of 8,000 colored soldiers from several different states during the civil war. Using the soldiers complexion, height and previous experience in labor as criteria, it cross analyzed these characteristics and analyzed the percentages of privates say for example who where shorter than average and had lighter skin complexion vs. those with the same characteristics but were NCO’s.  It also took into account those of above average height, and sub categories of NCO’s for example, NCO’s who were appointed officers upon arriving into the service and those who were promoted from private whilst in the service. The language used by the study was a bit confusing at times but I guess it concluded that White officers were most likely prejudiced toward darker skin soldiers in consideration for raising their rank those of a lighter skin tone.

draft 1

there’s a handful of kinks that still need to be ironed out and some of the language isn’t the best, but here’s my first draft

Brian Sperling

November 19th, 2010

Professor Osborne

History 204

Final Paper

Know-Nothing Dominance in the 1854 Pennsylvania Elections

The political spectrum in America changed greatly during the 1850s.  Established political parties, such as the Democratic Party underwent sweeping changes that would permanently shape them, while other once powerful parties, such as the Whig Party would not be able to survive the decade as a result of internal strife and external pressures.  All the while, smaller parties were able to infiltrate the political sphere and bring about great reform.  Notable parties that would not survive but would leave their mark included the Know-Nothing, or American Party, which will be the subject of this paper, and the Free-soil party, which would eventually help to form the Republican Party.  This paper will address the impact of the Know-Nothing party, in terms of its impact on other political parties.  Although they were an organized group, their activities were kept highly secretive, so little is known about them, but what is known is that the Know-Nothings were able to infiltrate the Whigs, Democrats, and Republicans so as to support their own candidate[1].  This paper will assert that as a result of the subversive the actions of the Know-Nothing party, politics in Pennsylvania were greatly impacted.

From their inception as the “Order of United Americans” in 1848 and their official organization in the 1854, the Know-Nothings were very prominent in politics in Pennsylvania, even though they tried very hard to avoid drawing attention to themselves and making themselves noticeable[2].  The infiltration in some instances went as high as the governor.  In October of 1854, James Pollock, then a candidate for governor who would go on to win election, was present and spoke at a council of Know-Nothings[3].  The know-nothings of Pennsylvania pledged their support for Pollock on the grounds that his opponent, William Bigler’s parents were German, unlike those of Pollock, who were Scotch-Irish, but were born in America.[4] Pollock’s election as governor was widely recognized to be a result of the know-nothing vote[5].  The know-nothing vote greatly affected every election in which it was counted.  The Know-Nothings had strong enough numbers, that when combined with the party of the candidate that they were backing, they were almost unstoppable.  In 1854, the Democratic party of Pennsylvania asserted that the Democrats stood very little chance in elections because, “on all questions of importance the Whig and Native American members of course out vote them”[6].  In the election, the Democrats were only able to secure less than 45% of the vote, falling by a wide margin to the combined vote of the Whigs and Know-Nothings who combined for 55% of the total vote, with the remaining one percent being distributed to other candidates[7].  The know-nothings generally made a point not to nominate their own candidate, and instead opted to support whichever candidate from another party best represented their views.  Typically, the candidate being supported by the know-nothings did not know that were supported by the know-nothing delegation[8].

One of the keys to the success of the Know-Nothings in infiltrating politics was the way they dispersed.  Many similar organizations were spread out across the country, btu the know-nothings were centralized in cities.  They were able to first focus on gaining local leadership and winning local elections.  As they became established in the cities, they were then better able to extend to extend their influence over the major population centers, which of course led to the ability to dictate the course of larger elections[9].

The know-nothings were a relatively large group in comparison to the other parties of the time both nationally and locally[10].  In Pennsylvania, the Know-Nothing order had more members and supporters than the Whig party, and almost as many as the Democratic Party with roughly 120,000 members, as opposed to only 83,000 Whigs and 167,000 Democrats.  They were however, very well dispersed and drew members from many parties.  The know-nothings were not a political party per se, but rather an amalgamation of malcontent members of other political parties.  In addition to outright joining the know-nothing order, members of anti-Nebraska, Temperance, Whig, and anti-slavery movements all felt a “natural sympathy” towards the know-nothings and their movement[11].  During the 1850s the Whig party was in a sharp downward spiral, and as it begin to disintegrate, the Know-Nothings were quick to step in and fill the gaps in the Whig party.  In essence, the collapse of the Whig party provided a medium for the Know-Nothing movement to flourish[12].  Although the Whigs denied it so as to distance themselves from the movement, the Know-Nothings drew close to three-fifths of their membership from the Whig party, and because of this, they were able to extend their reach far into the inner workings of the party and impact the person that would be nominated to run for office.  Of these three-fifths, two-thirds of the members were identified as silver-greys[13].  The Know-Nothings also attracted former members of the Democratic party who had grown discontent with their party’s platform.  In stead of joining the Whig party, which was viewed as very weak and decaying by many at the time, the defectors instead opted to join the know-nothing movement[14].

With substantial amounts of members and sympathizers operating within the Whig party, the know-nothings were able to determine who the Whigs would put up for nomination, and in many instances, were able to shoot down the nomination of once prominent Whigs in favor of a Nativist sympathizer, especially a Kansas-Nebraska supporter. In the 1854 elections in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, this happened in several notable instances.  In the Philadelphia mayoral election of 1854, Gilpin was favored to receive nomination, however, as a result of know-nothing influence within the Whig party, Judge Robert T. Conrad was instead given the nomination.  The same goes for William M Meredith, a prominent and popular Whig who had previously held the position of Secretary of the Treasury, was defeated for nomination by the Know-Nothing delegation of the Whig party.  John Yarrow and Joseph R. Chandler were also denied nomination by their own party in favor of candidates more favorable to the nativist movement[15].  Chandler had previously been popular amongst Whigs, however, the Know-Nothings within the party managed to deny him nomination for reelection on the grounds that he was a catholic, and when he decided to run as an independent without the support of the Know-Nothings, he was easily defeated, while the nominees who were backed by the Know-Nothings were able to win handily. Conrad was able to win the position of Mayor in June of 1854 by a margin of over 8,428 votes in an election that proved to be a prelude to the gubernatorial election held in October, where James Pollock easily defeated the incumbent Democrat, William Bigler[16].  In Lancaster, the Know-Nothing influence was obvious in the elections.  In 1854, Lancaster was dominated by Democrats, and at election, the Democrats were expected to win heavily, which they did, with the lone exceptions being the three democratic candidates who were not born in the United States.  In Chambersburg, the Know-Nothings were able to claim a surprising victory over the Whigs, who dominated the area to the point that the Democrats did not even field a ticket.  Despite the Whig domination, the Know-Nothings secretly submitted their own candidates and managed to steal the election from the Whigs[17].

The Know-Nothings staunchly opposed the Kansas-Nebraska act and opposed any legislation or candidate who would work to support it.  It was their opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska legislation that motivated many of their activities in Pennsylvania.  The order knew that they held substantial political pull in the state and decided to use it to only support candidates who it knew to be in opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska act. In the 1854 congressional election, of the twenty-five men elected to office, twenty-one were pro-Kansas-Nebraska act and were thus backed by the Know-nothings, leaving the Democrats with only four representatives from a state that was once a haven for democrats[18].  The 1854 Philadelphia elections were among the first of the Know-Nothing victories, and they were victories that made the other parties, especially the democrats pay attention.[19]

Surprise Know-Nothing victories were not limited to Philadelphia.  In Pennsylvania, the Know-Nothings were successful in getting their candidates elected municipal elections of 1854 held in Lancaster, Chambersburg, Allegheny, and Washington[20].  After the elections in 1854, the Pennsylvania State Legislature was comprised of 33 Know-Nothings or Know-Nothing backed candidates, against 25 Democrats and 36 Whigs[21].  When considering these numbers it is important to remember that the Know-Nothings never organized as a party and did not submit their own candidate for nomination.  Know-Nothings were also successful outside of Pennsylvania.  Know-Nothing backed candidates were able to walk away with sweeping victories in Massachusetts, Delaware, New York, and were generally successful throughout New England and the Ohio Valley[22].

The Know-Nothings dealt mostly with the Whig party, however they also held substantial pull in the Democratic Party.  The Know-Nothings operated within each party to nominate candidates.  The order knew that their vote would be a deciding factor in elections, and because of that, they knew that they could extort the major parties into nominating their candidates.  In the election of 1854, the Know-Nothings were able to make demands in terms of candidates in exchange for the support of the order[23].

The Know-Nothing order quickly arose during the 1850s, but as quickly as it came to be, it was gone.  It was a short-lived party, but its actions would reverberate throughout Pennsylvania and the United States for years to come.  The Know-Nothings were able to draw members from other political parties and used these members to infiltrate a decaying Whig party and a Democratic Party that was in disarray.  They were able to take advantage of the political turmoil and weakness at the time in way that they were able to dictate the course of politics and government in the 1850s.  The Know-Nothings were able to force the Whig and Democratic parties to nominate men who were favored by the Know-Nothing order.  As a result of their numbers, the Know-Nothings were very successful in getting candidates elected.  In almost every instance that the Know-Nothings pledged their support for a candidate, that candidate went on to win election.  The most impressive aspect of the reign of Know-Nothings over politics was the secrecy in which they were able to operate.

Bibliography

A Few Words to the Thinking and Judicious Voters of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania:             Democratic Party(?), 1854

Anbinder, Tyler. Nativism and Slavery: The Northern Know Nothings and the Politics of             the 1850’s.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Coleman, John F.  The Disruption of the Pennsylvania Democracy, 1848-1860

Harrisburg: The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1975.

Desmond, Humphrey J. The Know-Nothing Party. Washington: New Century Press,             1904

Gienapp, William E. “Nebraska, Nativism, and Rum: The Failure of Fusion in             Pennsylvania, 1854”  The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 109,             no. 4, (1985): 425-471.

Hewitt, Warren F. “The Know Nothing Party in Pennsylvania”. Pennsylvania History 2,             2, (1935): 6-85.

Holt, Michael F. The Political Crisis of the 1850s. New York: Norton, 1983.

Huston, James L. “The Demise of the Pennsylvania American Party, 1854-1858”.             Pennsylvania Magazine of History & Biography 109, 4, (1985): 473-498

James Pollock, LL.D. Governor of Pennsylvania 1854-1857

“Know-Nothing Victory in Wilmington, Del.” New York Times. 4 October 1854.

Mueller, Henry Richard. The Whig Party in Pennsylvania.  New York: Columbia

University, 1922.

Nevins, Allan. Ordeal of the Union, V. 2. New York: Scribner, 1947.

“Pennsylvania Politics.” New York Times. 6 October 1854.

“The Know-Nothing Convention- Proceedins of the Second Days Session- Political             Nomination.” New York Times. 6 October 1854.

“The Know-Nothings- Meeting of the State Council.” New York Times. 5 October 1854.

“The Society of Know-Nothings- its Principles and its Purposes.” New York Times. 10             October 1854.

Whitney, Thomas R. A Defense of the American Policy. New York: DeWitt and             Davenport Publishers, 1856


[1] Humprey Desmond, The Know-Nothing Party (Washington: New Century Press, 1904), 51; Thomas R. Whitney, A Defense of the American Policy. (New York: DeWitt and Davenport Publishers, 1856), 284; Henry Richard Mueller, The Whig Party in Pennsylvania (New York: Columbia University, 1922), 213-214

[2] Whitney 272

[3] “Pennsylvania Politics.” New York Times. 6 October 1854; “The Know-Nothing Convention- Proceedins of the Second Days Session- Political Nomination.” New York Times. 6 October 1854. Both articles are referring to the same meeting.

[4] Mueller 209, James Pollock, LL.D. Governor of Pennsylvania 1854-1857, 10

[5]Pollock, LL.D., 21-22; the chapter also includes excerpts from several newspapers that assert that Pollock was supported by the know-nothing vote.

[6] A Few Words to the Thinking and Judicious Voters of Pennsylvania. (Pennsylvania, Democratic Party, 1854), 24

[7] from Snulls Legislative Handbook (1919), 720, as cited by Mueller, 215

[8] “The Society of Know-Nothings- its Principles and its Purposes.” New York Times. 10 October 1854.

[9] ibid

[10] most contemporary estimates claim that the order had between 800,000 and 1.5 million members nationally (Michael F. Holt,  The Political Crisis of the 1850s. (New York: Norton, 1983), 157).  Thomas Whitney asserted that the Know-Nothings had at least 1.5 million registered voters (Whitney, 285).

[11] Allan Nevins, Ordeal of the Union, V. 2. (New York: Scribner, 1947), 329

[12] John F. Coleman, The Disruption of the Pennsylvania Democracy, 1848-1860 (Harrisburg: The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1975), 66

[13] Mueller, 214; “Society Of Know-Nothings: Its Principles And Its Purposes”

[14] Coleman, 77

[15] To the Thinking Voter, 26; Mueller, 214

[16] Mueller 212, election results from Keystone (Harrisburg), 6/14/1854, as cited in Coleman, 67. Conrad defeated Richard Vaux (Democrat) 29,421 to 20,993

[17] Tyler Abinder, Nativism and Slavery: The Northern Know Nothings and the Politics of the 1850’s.  (New York, Oxford University Press, 1992.), 53

[18] Whinety, 368; Mueller 214-125

[19] Nevins, 326

[20] Hewitt, Warren F. “The Know Nothing Party in Pennsylvania”. Pennsylvania History 2.2 (1935), 75

[21] Mueller, 216

[22]“Know-Nothing Victory in Wilmington, Del.” New York Times. 4 October 1854.;  Nevins, 341-344.

[23] Hewitt, 76

Here is my rough draft

***Some of these sources are not cited correctly and I’m still working on making this more fluid.

Kristina Niedermayer

November 1, 2010

Professor Osborne

History 204

Final Paper

War is often most traumatic for the innocent civilians such as women and children who become engulfed by its unyielding course.  The American Civil War was no exception to this unfortunate truth. However, the majority of fighting occurred on confederate soil and it was the southerners who were more directly affected by the brutality of warfare. The shelling of Carlisle Pennsylvania, during the confederate Gettysburg Campaign of 1863, was one of the unique exceptions when Union women and children were caught in the crossfire of bombardment.  Though Carlisle was never occupied, the shelling of the town proved profoundly traumatic to Carlisle’s citizens who feared for their lives, their loved ones and their homes. Three upper-middle class Carlisle natives depicted their experiences during the event through written letters. Margaret Fleming Murray and Marry Murray were two teenagers who wrote to their brother Harmer Denny explicitly detailing the confederate bombardment. [1]Sarah Meyers, and elderly widow living by herself, wrote a thank you letter to General Smith’s wife in the aftermath of the shelling.[2] The Murray sisters and Sarah Meyers were from different age groups, and their letters concerned different elements of the event. Additionally, the letters were written at different points of the shelling. While the Murray sisters wrote during the few days following the battle and depicted certain specific details, Sarah Meyer’s letter was written a few days later and offers a reflection.  Regardless of these minor differences, all three women present the common themes of fear for their homes, and gratitude for General Smith’s bravery. Their writing offers small but precise personal incite into the traumatic shelling. More importantly, the women’s depictions of first-hand contact with the confederate army are incredibly unique as very few Union women were exposed to confederate bombardment during the war.

Though the Gettysburg campaign sought to pursue Maryland and Pennsylvania, the confederates were unsuccessful in their attempt of taking the town of Carlisle.  It was General J.E.B Stuart who headed to Carlisle after leaving General Hampton’s Brigade in Dillsburg only to find 3,000 Pennsylvania and New York Militia. Stuart made several calls for Union surrender, but the Union General, William F. Smith refused Stuarts’s requests. Stuart responded with by shelling the town and burning the Carlisle Barracks on July 1, 1863. General Smith defended the small Pennsylvania town and Stuart and his men retreated to Gettysburg.[3] Though the town was not profoundly physically damaged, the civilians who were present during the attack were emotionally disturbed by the events of the shelling.

Margaret Fleming Murray and Mary Denny Murray were only young teenagers during the shelling of the town of Carlisle. The two girls were the daughters of William Boyd Murray and Margaret Parker Fleming.[4] Margaret, the eldest of the two sisters, was

born in November of 1841.[5] Her younger sister Mary was born in November 1846. [6] Neither of the two was ever married, and they seem to have moved to Allegheny, Pennsylvania in the later years of their lives. Throughout the Civil War, the two wrote letters to their brother Harmar Denny Murray, who was living in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. In the aftermath of the war, Harmar became involved in the glass business in Pittsburg.[7] The two sisters wrote to their brother during the few days following the shelling of their The letters written by the two sisters reveal vivid details of the event and the actions taken on the part of native residents. Undoubtedly, the girls were frightened for their safety and the well being of their homes as well as the well being of their brother.

Margaret Flemming, the younger of the two sisters was the first to write a letter detailing the events of the shelling. Margaret’s letter was written on July 3,1863.She recalls the event as being both “inhumane” and “barbarous” because it disregarded the fact that there were innocent women and children civilians who were affected. Margaret’s writing depicts her personal experience of the events of the shelling and thus provides a source for understanding both the events that occurred as well as the personal reactions that ensued. Margaret’s letter reveals her panic for the safety of her home and her well being. Margaret recalls the attack coming as a blatant surprise to the people of Carlisle whom she recalls ran in a state of panic. She writes, “Such a stampede of women and children you never saw in your life. You cannot imagine the confusion that ensued. It was a disagreeable surprise.” She continues in her recollection of the traumatic event during which she feared for her life. Margaret depicts the horridness of hearing the shells ricashaeing off of town buildings and homes. She exclaims, “The shot and shell were coming tick and fast, and we all retreated to the cellar for our safety, the sound of the shells as they came over the house and exploded near by was terrific.” Margaret continues by emphasizing the perpetual noise and explains, “I cannot use a more significant expression that to say they had an infernal sound. I liked the booming of the cannon but the whizzing of those shells, I hope to never hear again.” Margaret goes on to exhibit her fear for the safety of her home when she writes, “we thought it best to go out of the town, as a great many were leaving and our houses were just in the rage of the guns. (Besides we did not know but the town would be completely shelled before morning).” Margaret’s words specifically emphasize her uncertainty of the situation and her fear for her personal safety as well as the security of her home.[8]

Mary Murray, the elder Murray sister, wrote a letter to her brother in the aftermath of the battle on July 23, 1963. Her writing exhibits her fear for her brothers escaping conscription as well as focuses on the physical state of Carlisle in the aftermath of the shelling.  Throughout the letter, her tone reflects the personal impact that the damage had on her and her family. As she commences her letter, Mary mostly concentrates on the fact that her brother had not yet been drafted. She exhibits profound relief that he is still living safely in Pittsburg. Mary highlights her relief when she writes, “You have been remarkably fortunate in escaping the Draft, Harmar, and feel very much relieved I assure you.” Mary seems to also be supportive of his paying in order to avoid being drafted when she notes that a family friend will surely pay the three hundred dollars if he is to be conscripted in the future. Mary’s concentration on the subject of her brother’s drafting clearly emphasizes her fear for his safety and security. Her fear of his being drafted was undoubtedly a fear shared by many women at this time who were frightened by the notion of potentially losing loved one in wartime conflict. In her description of the damaged town, she reveals her disdain for the destructive actions of the confederates when she explains, “but the other buildings have all been destroyed, the bare and smoked walls alone are standing; monuments of rebel barbarism.” [9] Mary’s letter, though not as distinctly descriptive as her sisters, reveals her intense fearfulness concerning her brother’s involvement in the war as well as her personal response to the damaged town. Though Mary’s fear is demonstrated in a different way than her sisters, it is evident that she too was living in a state of perpetual fear concerning her loved one.

Sarah Meyers, a woman who was not originally from Carlisle, but who had come to Carlisle from her native Wilmington Delaware with her physician husband Theodore Myers, wrote another telling letter. Her letter presents similar the theme of fear that was presented in both letters written by the Murray sisters.  Sarah Meyers was a graduate of the Moravian Seminary as well as a talented musician who studied art at the Philadelphia Academy. She was born in a Scots-Irish household and was very familiar with German. She translated several books from German and supported herself my giving music lessons and painting. When her husband died at the age of 36, she supported herself by giving music lessons in Carlisle. She resided on 127 West High Street.[10] Meyer’s response to the bombing was a very personal one. Meyers wrote a thank you letter to General Smith’s wife whom she thought was in New York though in reality was residing in Vermont. Though the letter was returned to her and never conveyed to Mrs. Smith, the letter serves as crucial evidence in revealing Meyer’s personal response to the bombardment. While the Murray sisters wrote during the few days following the battle and depicted certain specific details, Sarah Meyer’s letter was written a few days later and offers a reflection. Her words offer distinct gratitude for her undamaged home and for the bravery of General Smith – the person she viewed most responsible for saving her town and her home.  Upon reflection on leaving her home during the attack, she recalls the sadness and fear she felt when leaving her home and recalls,” I although a great invalid wished also to do my part and in my own way. I left my home where I have lived for thirty years – twenty-five as a widow- with everything in it to the mercy of the rebels, never expecting to see it again.” However, Meyer’s fears were put to rest when she returned after the battle to find her home “saved although somewhat injured.” Meyer’s letter continues and addresses her unwavering gratitude and admiration for the bravery exhibited by General Smith and his soldiers whom she considers personally responsible for the safety of her home. She writes, “on my return my first feeling was that of gratitude, for I am assured that under Providence, I am indebted to the exertions of Gen. Smith and his brave soldiers – I wish I could do something for each of them – that I still have a home.” Sarah Meyer’s letter is brief, but her words contain important incite into a personal encounter with the brutality of war violence. Throughout her letter, she most clearly emphasizes her attachment to her home and her admiration for those who were able to protect it. It is safe to assume that her fears were similar if not identical to the fears of other women who experienced first-hand encounters with enemy forces. [11]

While countless southern women suffered dreadfully from Union invasions between the years 1861 to 1865, only a few northern women were exposed to encounters with the rebel army. In addition to the town of Carlisle, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania was the only other Federal town that uprooted by the Confederate army. Margaret and Mary Murray and Sarah Meyers serve as crucial witness to the rebel bombardment as they were apart of the small handful of women who not only encountered the confederate army, but also lived to tell their experiences through their letters. The women’s writing reveal simply a tiny incite into the shelling of Carlisle and their unique encounter with rebel forces. The overlapping fears of Margaret Murray, Marry Murray, and Sarah Meyers serve as telling details that reveal the connection that women felt towards their homes. It can thus be concluded that the experiences of the three Carlisle women are symbolic as they reflect the experiences of a minute number of Union women who came into distinct contact with rebel forces.

Appendix I:

Carlisle, July 3, 1863

Dear Harmer –

I wrote to you Tuesday morning, after the Rebs had nearly all left; but on account of there being no mail, either to or from Harrisburg, I could not send it until yesterday, when I gave it to a gentleman to post it in the Harrisburg P.O. We have not seen a newspaper for a week, — the cars made their appearance at the edge of town today, the first time since yesterday week; it was a freight train, bringing commissary stores for the soldiers quartered here, and also timber to build the bridge. They can’t come farther that the Fas House- or rather where the Gas House Stood, it having been burned by the Rebs. We will have to do  without gas for some time to come, as we thought the Rebs had taken their final departure, my last letter was written in rather a hopeful strain, and we never dreamed that the very evening the Rebel demons would attend (?) to shell the town, and that too, without giving the usual warning.  A number of regiments N. York, Philadelphia, and others from the country, amassed here on foot from Harrisburg, stopped here to rest themselves and partake of refreshments provided by the citizens which were sent to the Market house for their use. They were on their way out the Baltimore Pike after the Rebs and did not expect to stop here longer than necessary. A great many citizens-ladies ad gentlemen- were down at the Square looking at them, and talking with them, Mary and I among the number. We were having a very nice time, when the cry “the Rebels are coming” was raised, Syre enough it was true; the Rebs were in sight- just bellow the ramains of the Gas House; they had come in the Trindle Spring road and as we had not sent the Scouts out in that direction owing to the fleet that they ( the Rebs) were out towards Holly, and our scouts were in every direction, but the one in which the Rebels came. Such a stampede of women and children you never saw in your life. You cannot imagine the confusion that ensued. It was a disagreeable surprise. Officers calling to their men, who were scattered in all directions, some eating, others worn out with their long march, fast asleep on the square and on the pavements; soldiers loading their pieces; the gunners away from their armour and no where to be seen; the excitement was intense, Uncle Joe and Pappers( ?) helped to draw one of the guns out and place it in proper position. Mary and the rest of us ran up the 1st Church alley, as far as the Senseman’s (?) stable, and I proposed we should go onto Main St. to see if it was really true that the Rebs were in sight, and our men drawn up in line of battle. We go as far as Mr. Mile’s store, and were gazing down Main St. when a shell came whizzing over the town, right above us; we all rushed into the house, but as we were two squares from home I could not stay there. We got out the back way, tore up the alley like wild people, then accross to Maine St, then home. The shot and shell were coming tick and fast, and we all retreated to the cellar for our safety, the sound of the shells as they came over the house and exploaded near by was terrific. I cannot use a more significant expression that to say they had an infernal sound. I liked the booming of the cannon but the whizzing of those shells, I hope to never hear again. The firing commenced about ____? and lasted until 11; there was a short cessation about 11 we thought it best to go out of the town, as a great many were leaving and our houses were just in the rage of the guns. (Besides we did not know but the town would be completely shelled before morning). We took a few valuables with us and went out to the ——. Mr. —-?—. where we met a great many citizens who had left the town; we stayed all night and next day went to the Meeting House Springs and then game home this morning. A few shots were fired after we left town and the enemy retreated after burning the Barracks and Gas house. Several houses in town were damaged by the shells, but not to a very great extent. I think the attack was the most inhuman and barbarous I ever heard of, attempting to destroy a town with the women and children in it. Fitzhugh Lee was the commander of the Rebs: it just shows what they would do if they had the opportunity…We have a great many soldiers in town, and many more are expected – they are coming as fast as they can. Henderson’s warehouse is used by them for a depot for provisions. The College West is used for a hospital, where the wounded were taken after the engagement, we had not more that 15 or 20 wounded and none killed. There were 42 Rebel prisoners brought into town this evening captured by Capt. Boyd’s cavalry, near Shippensburg. They will be taken to Harrisburg. It is late and I will close for tonight. Saturday Morn, July 4. I hear the drum and fife this morning and understand 8 or 10 thousand men have just passed out the Baltimore Pike to the mountain to the Gaps. Everything tells us we are in the midst of the war–that this state–Pennsylvania is a battleground now. We were afraid you might be anxious about us and come home, but Mother says stay where you are; we are perfectly safe and if Carlisle should be attacked we can leave the town. If you have been getting late papers containing an account of the engagement here, save them for us, and sent them when the main is regularly established again. Write us soon and as often as you can. I hear we are to have mail today, and will close in time for it.

Your sister,

Maggie

N.B We have not yet receive and word from you since the Rebs were here; June 22 was the date of the last one. All mail matter to Harrisburg, from East to West was sent to Philadelphia but we expect it to be sent back, and we in Carlisle look for ours today; your letter will probably arrive today. It is now 9 o’clock, and the news from Adams county is very cheering; there has been heavy fighting for the last tow days near Gettysburg and Cashtown, the Army of the Potomac has been driving them back towards Benderville: ot os saod tjh(?) are slaughtered terribly- the division that stopped in Carlisle is among those who suffered most – I rejoice to hear it. I mentioned Costa’s bill in my last, but for fear you have not received it, I will remind you of it again; attend to it, if it is possible to do so. We need all the money we can get.

Maggie

Appendix II:

Carlisle July 23, 1863

Dear Harmer,

Your long looked for letter arrived safely Thursday afternoon, we are glad that you have got back to the usual time of writing – the beginning of the week, which sums to come more material to receive your letters than the later part of the week.  You also directed your letters rightly, as it was my turn to receive one. We were glad to hear that you enjoyed the cake from home, but you did not mention the sweet and “sour ball or the beautiful engraving of the bombardment of Carlisle which you could not fail to recognize. The way we came to sent those articles, Maggie happened to  —-?—on the street on Thursday evening. He said he was going to Pittsburg on Wednesday, and very kindly offered to take any packages to you, that we might have to send. We embraced the opportunity, and sent the package on Wednesday morning, thinking that of course he had a trunk but found otherwise, however we thought we would send the package any how. You have been remarkably fortunate in escaping the Draft, Harmar, and feel very much relieved I assure you. In looking over the “Pittsburg Chronicle” I see the names of some young men who were drafted in two or three different wards, how you escaped seemed very strange. But Mrs. V says if you had been drafted, Mrs. L would certainly have paid the three hundred dollars, in order to keep you in the establishment. I see by the paper, Mr. Hailman is Drafted, the gentleman who owns that handsome riodimer, Miss Plalks about. The Draft has not yet come off here and the young men are feeling very anxious as to  who will be the “lucky ones.” Monday I believe is the day appointed for Draft. I am glad we have anxiety on that score. Carlisle is beginning to wear it’s a old appearance again. The College yard looks beautiful, the late heavy rains having washed away all braces of the rebs. The grass has grown so rank and luxuriant, we can scarcely tell where the rebel camp fires were no other damage having  been done to this yard, not even a tree cut down. The College is now used as a hospital for our sick and wounded. The stores are all opened again, the store keepers having bought back their goods again. The warehouses are doing business and altogether the town wears a lively appearance. Mr. Henderson’s warehouses is still used as a depot for commissary stores. Poor Nonmaker lost a little by his southern friends. They stole his (——-?) which he feels very much provoked about. Made nice camp kettles & —– this morning the two burden trains came down the usual time the first time they have made their appearance for five weeks. We were really glad to see them although they were small trains. Nonemakers cars have not yet been brought back from Baltimore. Master Abe is growing fast and seems to be growing in mischief as well as in size. Altogether he is too “many” for miss Maggie. He says he would like very much to see Harmar. In answer to your inquiry about the firm of —- Flemming, I will inform you that it is not our John, but “cousin Brawford” Flemming who is in partnership with Charly Halbert. Our John has gone to Philadelphia. Last Saturday evening Papa, Mother and myself walked out to the garrison to see the Garrison to see the ruins. It’s really a desolate looking place. The old magazing was not destroyed, neither was Samson’s house, (the bakery I suppose) situated at the western part of the Garrison ground, but the other buildings have all been destroyed, the bare and smoked walls alone are standing; monuments of rebel barbarism, but our flag is again waving from the flag-staff and looks more beautiful than ever. The regulars are back, and are —- in tents  on the open green around the flag staff. How have you a

(Still Finishing Transcription which is not important for my paper due to the fact that it addresses personal matters with Harmar.)

Appendx III:

Dear Madam,

When the ladies of Carlisle resolved on presenting a memorial to General Smith for his gallant defense of our town on the night of July 1st, I although a great invalid wished also to do my part and in my own way. I left my home where I have lived for thirty years – twenty-five as a widow- with everything in it to the mercy of the rebels, never expecting to see it again. But it was saved although somewhat injured. On my return my first feeling was that of gratitude, for I am assured that under Providence, I am indebted to the exertions of Gen. Smith and his brave soldiers – I wish I could do something for each of them – that I still have a home.

Will you therefore accept the accompanying picture which is my own work, as a pledge of my appreciating of his important service in Carlisle. I offer it not on account of its worth as a painting or ivorytype, for you may have many better, but because of the spirit in which it is offered. For ‘A grateful mind

By owing owes not, but still

Payes at once

Indebted and discharged’

The frame is no the kind I wished or intended, but it is the best that coupd be procured in time to send the picture as it was feared you might leave new york and in such case that delay might cause the loss of the box.

Very Respectfully Yours,

Sarah A. Myers

Mrs. General Smith 9 Street New York

List of Works Cited

Jeremiah Zeamer. Biography Annals of Cumberland County Pennsylvania. Maryland:The Genealogical Publishing Co., 1905.

Murray, Margaret, to Harmar Denny, Pittsburg, Carlisle, 3 July 1863. Record Group 1838-1910, Papers of Harmar Denny Murray, Collection of the Cumberland County Historical Society, Carlisle PA.

Murray, Mary, to Harmar Denny, Pittsburg, Carlisle, 23 July 1863. Record Group 1838-1910, Papers of Harmar Denny Murray, Collection of the Cumberland County Historical Society, Carlisle, PA.

United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the Unites States, 1900. Washington D.C: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900.

United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration 1900. Allegheny Ward 2, Allegheny, Pennsylvania.

Wittenberg, Eric J. The Shelling of Carlisle.” Blue and Gray 25, no. 2(2007):41-45.

Zeamer, Jeremiah. Biographical Annals of Cumberland County. New York: The Genealogical Publishing Co., 1905, PAGE

(ADD SARAH MEYERS SOURCE)


[1] The two letters written by the Murray sisters that are referred to in this paper are located at the Carlisle Historical Society in Carlisle Pennsylvania. Murray, Margaret, Carlisle, 3 July 1863. Record Group 1838-1910, Papers of Harmar Denny Murray, Collection of the Cumberland County Historical Society, Carlisle PA. Murray, Mary, Carlilse, 23 July 1863. Record Group 1838-1910, Papers of Harmar Denny Murray, Collection of the Cumberland County Historical Society, Carlisle, PA.

[2] Sarah Meyers to Mrs. Smith, Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections

[3] Eric J Wittenberg. “The Shelling of Carlisle.” Blue and Gray 25. 2(2007):41-45.

[4] Jearemiah Zeamer, Biographical Annals of Cumberland County. (New York: The Genealogical Publishing Co., 1905), PAGE

[5] “Carlisle, Penssylviania, Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900.” Prepared by the National Archives (Washington D.C, 1900).

[6] “Allegheny, Pennsylvainia, Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900.” Prepared by the National Archives (Washington, DC: 1900): 2.

[7] Jeremiah Zeamer, Biography Annals of Cumberland County Pennsylvania. (Maryland: The Genealogical Publishing Co., 1905). PAGE

[8] Murray, Margaret, Carlisle, 3 July 1863. Record Group 1838-1910, Papers of Harmar Denny Murray, Collection of the Cumberland County Historical Society, Carlisle PA. For full text see appendix I.

[9] Murray, Mary, Carlisle, 23 July 1863. Record Group 1838-1910, Papers of Harmar Denny Murray, Collection of the Cumberland County Historical Society, Carlisle, PA. For full text see Appendix II.

[10] Cumberland County ————

[11] Meyers, Sarah.  For full text see appendix III.

Historical Society

I have reached out to Wayne Motts of the Adams County Historical Society and Bill Copeley of the New Hampshire Historical Society for help with this project. Motts would be a help for obvious reasons, but Copeley has possession of the John Bachelder Papers. Bachelder (1825-94), was appointed by Congress the official historian of the Battle of Gettysburg. These writings contain a great deal of material that would be very helpful on my search, including many writings from James Wallace, the Dickinson grad and Colonel of the 1st Maryland Regiment, USA.

Unfortunately, neither of these individuals have been able to respond to my inquiries. I do remain hopeful, however, that these contacts will eventually pay off.

FIRST DRAFT.

Bradford Meisel

Final Project

Historical Methodology 204- Professor Osborne

Opposition to the Appointment of Col. Wellington H. Ent as a Commissioner for the Voting of

Pennsylvania Soldiers in the 1864 Election: Fear of Copperhead Treachery or Politics as Usual?

            On September 28, 1864, Republican Governor of Pennsylvania Andrew G. Curtin appointed Col. Wellington H. Ent of Scott, Columbia County, Pennsylvania as a commissioner for the voting of Pennsylvania soldiers in the upcoming elections.  In this capacity, he was responsible for delivering and distributing ballots to soldiers in the field.  Ent was a former officer in Company A of the 35th Pennsylvania Infantry and the commander of the 6th Regiment of Pennsylvania Reserves.  Despite the fact that Columbia County was heavily Democratic during the Civil War and the 1850s, Ent’s appointment was met with vocal opposition from local citizens aware of his political affiliation.  Immediately after news of the appointment broke, four letters signed by groups of four to thirty-three Columbia County residents were written to Governor Curtin opposing his decision.  The letters state in various terms that Ent’s political biases and sympathy for the enemy would prevent him from executing his duties honestly and impartially.  One letter refers to Ent as an “ardent Copperhead” (Rufs et. al. 1).  Another cautions the Governor that he “acts and cooperates with our enemies” (Crotz et. al. 1).  The vocal opposition to Ent’s appointment, documented by the letters to Governor Curtin, leads one to question whether the signatories legitimately feared the influence of Copperhead traitors or they expected the governor to adhere to the custom of patronage and appoint a fellow Republican to the position. 

            Prior to the Civil War, few military and civilian voters had the opportunity to cast absentee ballots if they were outside their home precinct on Election Day.  According to historian Jonathan W. White, “only one state allowed soldiers to vote outside their election districts” at the beginning of the war (White 1).  By the time the 1864 Presidential Election was held, “nineteen northern states had passed legislation permitting soldiers in the field to vote” (1).  According to historian Frederick Dyer, the Civil War saw a record number of Americans serving in the military, with well over 2.5 million Union soldiers serving throughout the conflict (Dyer 750).  As a result, the question of whether or not to permit absentee voting by soldiers stationed outside their home precincts became a source of contention as the 1864 Presidential Election approached. 

            Throughout the Union, this debate was dominated by partisanship.  In 1864, the Democrats nominated George McClellan, the former Commander of the Army of the Potomac, to run against Republican President Abraham Lincoln, who dismissed him two years earlier.  According to historian Charles R. Wilson, McClellan initially opposed the platform of Peace Democrats or Copperheads, yet their influence in the Democratic Party forced him to “take a position on the middle ground” by leaving the door open to “peace with honor” (Wilson 504).  McClellan’s lack of a firm position against peace with the Confederacy led soldiers to overwhelmingly support Lincoln and the Republicans.  Therefore, “soldier voting bills were uniformly supported by the Republicans and uniformly opposed by the Democrats” across the Union” (Waugh 340).  Although faced with protracted political battles, most Union states passed bills permitting soldiers to vote by proxy prior to the 1864 elections. 

            Between 1862 and 1864, this struggle played out prominently in Pennsylvania.  In 1861, the state’s soldiers were permitted to vote by proxy.  According to historian Josiah Henry Benton, the Republicans enjoyed “a majority of 8,178” votes out of 14,525 ballots cast by soldiers that year (Benton 203).  In 1862, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which was dominated by Democrats, “barred voting” by soldiers stationed outside their home precincts in the case of Chase v. Miller, ostensibly on the grounds that it would lead to widespread ballot fraud (Crofts 372).  In 1863, as he was campaigning for his own reelection, Governor Curtin advocated for an amendment to the state’s constitution allowing soldiers to vote by proxy.  In order for it to be ratified, it was required to pass the legislature twice and be voted on by the state’s electorate.  Despite having “no support from the Democratic Party, it passed in 1863 and 1864 and was ratified “by the voters of Pennsylvania” in the summer of 1864 (McClure 58).

            With the passage of the soldier voting amendment, a system was implemented for distributing and collecting the absentee ballots of Pennsylvania soldiers.  Governor Curtin appointed “civilian commissioners” to deliver the ballots to the troops (Crofts 371).  These commissioners delivered absentee ballots in October for state elections and in November for the Presidential Election.  Once the soldiers cast their ballots, the commissioners returned them to their home precincts in Pennsylvania.  On September 28, 1864, Governor Curtin made the announcement of Col. Ent’s appointment as one such commissioner, which was reported in the Pennsylvania Telegraph that morning (Crotz et. al 1). 

Ent, born in 1834, served as a military officer throughout the Civil War.  His father, Peter Ent, served as a Democratic state representative from Columbia County from 1856 to 1858 (Freeze 115).  Col. Ent “was admitted to the bar of” Columbia County in 1860 (Beers 426).  He became an officer in Company A of the 35th Pennsylvania infantry in April of 1861, and was promoted to Colonel in July of 1863.  After mustering out in June of 1864, he was placed in charge of the 6th Regiment of Pennsylvania Reserves.  At the conclusion of the Civil War, he returned to Columbia County where he became active in the Democratic Party.  In July of 1868, he served as a Vice President of the convention which elected Pennsylvania’s delegates to the 1868 Democratic National Convention (North American and United States Gazette 1).  “In 1869, he was elected” principle clerk of the Columbia County court, a position he held until his death in 1871 (Beers 427). 

            In the days following the announcement of Ent’s appointment, Governor Curtin received the four petition style letters vociferously urging him to reconsider.  One letter was sent by the Union League of Bloomsburg, Columbia County.  According to historian Robert M. Sandow, Union Leagues were partisan Republican organizations which were founded in many northern communities during the Civil War for the purpose of supporting “the administration and its vigorous prosecution of the war against the rebels” (Sandow 82).  The letter protested “against the appointment” and requested that the Governor replace him with Captain Michael Whitmoyer (Knapp et. al. 1).  A letter signed by eleven Bloomsburg residents warned the Governor of Col. Ent’s political leanings and urged him to rescind the appointment.  It claimed that he took “the open position that soldiers who go to fight have no business to vote,” and “acts and cooperates with our enemies” (Crotz et. al. 1).  It also recommended that he be replaced with Captain Whitmoyer (1).  A similar letter asking the Governor to withdraw the appointment was signed by thirty-three residents of Espy, Columbia County.  They argued that “Col. Ent is strongly opposed to the policy of” the Lincoln administration and supported the Democratic Party’s “Chicago Platform” which endorsed a peaceful settlement with the Confederacy (Fowler et. al. 1).  The strongest language is found in a letter signed by five men from Galavasson, Columbia County, who claimed that Col. Ent “was an ardent Copperhead” who had been “recommended by the Copperheads in the county” for the Democratic nomination for Congress (Rufs et. al. 1).

While the letters to Governor Curtin suggest to varying degrees that Col. Ent was a Copperhead and a traitor, these concerns were most likely not the primarily catalysts of the vocal opposition to his appointment.  The 1863 Draft Riots in New York City as well as growing opposition to the war led many Republicans “to be vigilant for disloyal behavior in their communities” (Sandow 83).  Therefore, Col. Ent’s appointment would have sparked far greater outrage than it appears to have caused if he was, in fact, a Copperhead. 

            Although the contemporary arguments against Col. Ent’s appointment emphasize his potential disloyalty to the Union cause, they were most likely motivated by the longstanding custom of political patronage.  In the nineteenth century, “patronage was used to organize campaigns and to fill appointed offices” (Fishback 373).  Government employees “did not have job tenure and would be removed routinely after elections in which their political benefactors were defeated” and replaced with loyal supporters of the new officeholder’s party and campaign (370).  This system provided people with a greater incentive to actively support candidates for state and federal office.  According to historian William L. Burton, the Civil War “opened up a vast political patronage system” in which military appointments were often “used more for political than military purposes” (Burton 455). 

            Governor Curtin, like most nineteenth century government officials, sought to secure government jobs for his loyal supporters.  During his first gubernatorial campaign in 1860, he wrote a letter to Republican Pennsylvania Senator Simon Cameron on behalf of a campaign supporter seeking a job.  He impressed on Senator Cameron that the supporter “can be of great service to our party and we must take care of him” in order to ensure his support (Curtin 1). 

            While the use of patronage to fill government positions was customary in Pennsylvania and the nation during the Curtin administration, the political controversies surrounding absentee soldier voting in 1864 forced the governor to place partisanship aside.  During the Civil War, voter fraud was a legitimate concern in the Union, which is evidenced by the fact that instances of voter “intimidation occurred” relatively frequently (Campbell 56).  After Governor Curtin defied the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and enabled soldiers to vote in the 1864 elections, a Republican victory would have likely resulted in widespread allegations of fraud by Democrats.  In order to avoid such controversy, he decided “to appoint a number of Democrats among the state commissioners” to create the perception of impartiality (McClure 130).  Curtin ultimately was able to convince a handful of Democrats “to accept these commissions with the full knowledge that they would perform no official duties besides distributing and delivering election papers” and that they were chosen “to give some semblance of fairness to the elections” (130).  Col. Ent was almost certainly one such individual. 

            Although the letters opposing Col. Ent’s appointment imply that he was disloyal to the Union cause, they were most likely written because Republicans in Columbia County expected Governor Curtin to appoint staunch Republican supporters to all government offices.  At a time in which political patronage dominated state and federal government, the appointment of a Democrat by a Republican governor was potentially unheard of.  Although the context of this election potentially necessitated such appointments, Republicans who supported the governor likely viewed them as violations of their trust.  The fact that the letters call for the revocation of the appointment implies that the signatories sought to have a fellow Republican receive the position as a result of his support of the party and the governor. 

These letters demonstrate the conflict between the seemingly ironclad custom of political patronage and the need to avoid the perception of fraud in arguably the most critical and complex election in American history.  In order to achieve the desired result of soldiers casting their absentee ballots without casting a shadow of doubt on the election results, Governor Curtin violated the unwritten rule of appointing his supporters to public positions.  As a result, Pennsylvania soldiers cast “39,061” ballots in the 1864 Presidential Election, 68% of which were for President Lincoln, contributing to his victory in the state and the nation (Benton 203).  In essence, the appointment of Democratic Col. Wellington Ent as a commissioner of soldier voting by Governor Andrew Curtin demonstrates the willingness of a prominent Republican Union governor to place his political obligations aside in order to ensure President Lincoln’s reelection and the Union’s ultimate victory. 

Appendix A

Galavasson Sept 28th, 1864

His Excellence, Andrew G. Curtin

            Your friends in this county learn to their great surprise that you have nominated to the responsible office of commissioner of elections among the soldiers of the Army of the Potomac, an ardent Copperhead like Col. Ent.

            As proof of his faction he was recommended by the Copperheads in the county as the Democratic nominee for Congress and had it not been for a split in their party, he could have been their regular nominee.

            We hope if possible you will put some loyal man in his place.

            Your friends here have no hopes that the election will be conducted fairly under his management.

  If you need any further proof, they can forward to you by the hundred.

Sam Rufts

Geo. S. Gelbert President Council 1494, Union League at Calanesia

James S. Momel, A. Hoffon

S.D. Rinard

J.M.

Appendix B

Bloomsburg, Pa Sept 28, 1864

To his Excellency Andrew G. Curtin,

                                                Sir- we see by this morning’s Telegraph that you have appointed Col. Wellington H. Ent as a Commissioner to hold the elections in the Army.  Now we the undersigned, your friends and the friends of the soldiers in the field from this county, most earnestly enter our protest against this appointment.  Against Col. Ent personally we have no objection.  Indeed he is our friend; and that he was a good soldier we also admit; but he not only acts and cooperates with our enemies here, but did so in the August Canvas, taking the open position that soldiers who go to fight have no business to vote!  This fact is so well known that our friends in this county write in the opinion that as a man with such sentiments- is not a proper person to send down to hold this election.  We therefore ask that you revoke the appointment of Col. Ent and submit the name of Capt. M. Whitmoyer in his stead.

John K. Crotz               Respectfully-

William Peacock         Rob Heathcart             Thomas Keley

H.G. Hartman              A. H. Hartman             P. John

A. Hartman                                                     Robert F. Lelank

Ephraim P. Lutz                                               J.M. Chamberlain

Appendix C

Bloomsburg, Pa. 28 Sept, 1864

To His Excellency A.G. Curtin:

                                                Sir- At a meeting of the Union League of this place held this evening the protest against the appointment of Col. W.H. Ent as Commissioner was read and sent your Excellency today was read and endorsed and a resolution was unanimously adopted authorizing in the name of the League to protest against the appointment to ask you to rewrite it and appoint Captain M. Whitmoyer in his place.

C.F. Knapp, President

William Peacock, V.P.

Attest D.A. Beckley, Sect.                                                                                John Pensman A.V.P

Appendix D

                We the loyal union citizens of Espy, Columbia County beg levee respectfully, but firmly a protest against the appointment of Wellington H. Ent (late Col. In the Army of the United States) as one of the Commissioners for taking the soldiers votes for this county.  We base our protest on the ground that Col. Ent is strongly opposed to the policy of the administration and will support the dictions of the Chicago Platform on the pending state and general elections and chiefly upon the ground of his stern and persistent efforts to defeat the amendment which secured the right of suffrage to our noble soldiers- and we ask of the Governor the immediate revocation of the appointment.

Chas S. Fowler             A.P. Fowler

Thos. W. Edgar            Wm. H. Shuman

W.A. Barton                Clark Kressler

Isaac N. Hamey           John East

Andrew Grover           Wesley Kuckel

Jas. G. Marchank        Thomas E. Pleasant

Thos. Greuling Jr.        John Miller

Elias Rees                    H. Trmebley

Samuel Knefeles         Philip T. Hacker

Jackson Garrison         James F. Trump

James McNeal                        T.E. Bornlory

Jefferson Moyer          Samuel Bobnelenson

Thos S. Fowler             W. Chustonson

Jeff M. Handy              G.S. Patterson

John K. Gerton             William Giberson

Wm. Sepeklerly           E.S. Fowler

                                    W.E. Gearhart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Rufs, Sam et. al. Galavasson, PA, to Andrew G. Curtin, Harrisburg, PA, 28 September 1864.  Slifer Collection, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.

Crotz, John K. et. al. Bloomsburg, PA, to Andrew G. Curtin, Harrisburg, PA, 28 September 1864.  Slifer Collection, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.

White, Jonathan W. “Canvassing the Troops: The Federal Government and Soldiers’ Right to Vote.” Civil War History 50, no. 3 (2004): 291-316. 

Dyer, Frederick H. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion. Des Moines, IA: Dyer Publishing, 1908. 

Waugh, John C. Reelecting Lincoln: The Battle for the 1864 Presidency. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books Group, 1997.

Waugh, John C. Reelecting Lincoln: The Battle for the 1864 Presidency. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books Group, 1997.

Benton, Josiah Henry. Voting in the Field: A Forgotten Chapter of the Civil War. Norwood, MA: The Plimpton Press, 1915. 

Crofts, Daniel W. “Notes and Documents: Soldiers Voting in 1864: The David McKelvy Diary.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 115, no. 3 (1991): 371-413. 

McClure, Alexander Kelly. Old Time Notes of Pennsylvania: Volume II. Philadelphia: The John C. Winston Company, 1905.

Freeze, John G. History of Columbia County, Pennsylvania from the Earliest Times. Bloomsburg, PA: Ewell & Bittenbender Publishers, 1883.

Beers, J.H. Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania. Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co., 1915. 

“City Affairs.” North American and United States Gazette (Philadelphia). 3 July, 1868, 1.

Sandow, Robert M. Deserter Country: Civil War Opposition in the Pennsylvania Appalachians. New York: Fordham University Press, 2009. 

Knapp, C.F. et. al. Bloomsburg, PA, to Andrew G. Curtin, Harrisburg, PA, 28 September 1864.  Slifer Collection, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.

Fowler, Chas S. et. al., Espy, PA, to Andrew G. Curtin, Harrisburg, PA, undated.  Slifer Collection, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.

Fishback, Prince Van Meter, ed. Government and the American Economy: A New History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007. 

Burton, William L. “’Title Deed to America’ Union Ethnic Regiments in the Civil War.” Proceeding: American Philosophical Society 124, no. 6 (1980): 455-463.

Curtin, Andrew G. Bellfonte, PA, to Simon Cameron, Franklin County, PA, 14 March 1860. The Valley of the Shadow Project, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.

Campbell, Tracy. Deliver the Vote: A History of Election Fraud, An American Political Tradition- 1742-2004. New York: Carroll & Graff Publishers, 2005.

Bibliography

Beers, J.H. Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania. Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co., 1915.

Benton, Josiah Henry. Voting in the Field: A Forgotten Chapter of the Civil War. Norwood, MA: The Plimpton Press, 1915. 

Bureau of the Census, 1860 United States Federal Census, 1860.

Burton, William L. “’Title Deed to America’ Union Ethnic Regiments in the Civil War.” Proceeding: American Philosophical Society 124, no. 6 (1980): 455-463.

Campbell, Tracy. Deliver the Vote: A History of Election Fraud, An American Political Tradition- 1742-2004. New York: Carroll & Graff Publishers, 2005.

Crofts, Daniel W. “Notes and Documents: Soldiers Voting in 1864: The David McKelvy Diary.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 115, no. 3 (1991): 371-413. 

Crotz, John K. et. al. Bloomsburg, PA, to Andrew G. Curtin, Harrisburg, PA, 28 September 1864.  Slifer Collection, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.

Curtin, Andrew G. Bellfonte, PA, to Simon Cameron, Franklin County, PA, 14 March 1860. The Valley of the Shadow Project, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.

Dudley, Harold M. “The Election of 1864.” Mississippi Valley Historical Review 18, no. 4 (1932): 500-518.

Dyer, Frederick H. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion. Des Moines, IA: Dyer Publishing, 1908. 

Fowler, Chas S. et. al., Espy, PA, to Andrew G. Curtin, Harrisburg, PA, undated.  Slifer Collection, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.

Freeze, John G. History of Columbia County, Pennsylvania from the Earliest Times. Bloomsburg, PA: Ewell & Bittenbender Publishers, 1883.

Knapp, C.F. et. al. Bloomsburg, PA, to Andrew G. Curtin, Harrisburg, PA, 28 September 1864.  Slifer Collection, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.

McClure, Alexander Kelly. Old Time Notes of Pennsylvania: Volume II. Philadelphia: The John C. Winston Company, 1905.

“City Affairs.” North American and United States Gazette (Philadelphia). 3 July, 1868, 1.

Rufs, Sam et. al. Galavasson, PA, to Andrew G. Curtin, Harrisburg, PA, 28 September 1864.  Slifer Collection, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.

Sandow, Robert M. Deserter Country: Civil War Opposition in the Pennsylvania Appalachians. New York: Fordham University Press, 2009. 

United States Department of War, Registrar of the United States Army, 1864.

Waugh, John C. Reelecting Lincoln: The Battle for the 1864 Presidency. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books Group, 1997.

Waugh, John C. Reelecting Lincoln: The Battle for the 1864 Presidency. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books Group, 1997.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project

So far my paper is taking to take shape and look like its supposed to. At least in my opinion. I have gotten about three and a half solid pages of information. I still have information that I am researching and trying to figure out to add to my paper that will make it even better. Some the information is much harder to find because of the detail I do need to go in to. I think that the information I have been able to track down so far has been extremely helpful to add to my paper to give it some richness. Hope all of you guys are making progress on yours. I’ll post my paper on here so you guys can take a look at it and give me any criticisms or ideas that you guys have. 

The Battle of Gettysburg was one of the biggest and bloodiest battles in American history. It captivated peoples attention and when it was finally over on July 3, 1863 people wanted to hear the results and what occurred directly after it. The newspapers were people’s source of all this information. However depending on the newspaper people received and the distance people lived form the battlefield people may have been more out of touch with the information then they actually thought.  If a person lived in New York City they read The New York Herald, if they lived in Rochester, NY they read either The New York Herald or Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, if they lived in Boston, MA they read the Boston Daily Advertiser, and if the lived in Lowell, MA they read the Lowell Daily Citizen and News.[1] 

            After the battle ended people all over the country were rushing and waiting with anxiety to see what the repot was from Gettysburg. Reporters crammed the telegraph lines with reports from the battlefield. With all this information to report the Associated Press was born. The New York Herald was probably the most popular or at least one of the most popular papers of the day. While the battle ended on Friday July 3rd the paper really didn’t start covering the news of the battle until Monday July 6th. What the paper reported on July 6th was the retreat of Lee’s army[2] and the victory. Also reported in this edition were the casualty reports from the battlefield for people in the New York area but mostly more prominent members of the Union Army. Also in the news was the injury report on General Sickles[3] and how he was progressing as well as his unit. [Sickles article information here]. Also in this day’s paper was a report from General Meade[4]. [Insert information from his report]. Most of the information that you saw in this would come from other newspapers or would appear in similar wording on other papers. One common newspaper that The New York Herald typically used information from was the United States Gazette and Philadelphia North American. As the days dragged on though the news of the battle began to dwindle. On Thursday July 9th the news that appeared was less than normal on the battle. The articles took up some of the first page and covered the aftermath of the battle and movements of troops for both armies. All the reports of joy and celebrations are gone. [Examples of reports]. Starting on Friday July 10th the reports really begin to dwindle and become less informative. The most informative piece that made headlines that day was a report of an engagement at Boonsboro.[5] By Saturday July 11th The New York Herald had moved on in their reports on Gettysburg and the citizens of New York City have moved away from interest in Gettysburg and any information that keeps coming from the battlefield.  

            The people in Rochester, New York were either readers of The New York Herald or their own local newspaper Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.[6] The citizens of Rochester had to pay more attention to The New York Herald for the first few days because their local paper could not receive the information as fast as the bigger papers could. By Saturday July 11th Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper ran its first and only pieces of news on The Battle of Gettysburg eight day’s after its conclusion. The paper talked about the invasion by the Confederates and what took place at Gettysburg. They gave their citizens updates on the military activities by the Union forces in the Southern States. Other than that the paper too much of it’s information from the Herald and just recited for it’s readers. [Examples]. This newspaper was informative however for it’s readers. Since New York was such a big state the Herald could not cover everyone’s death from smaller cities such as Rochester. Leslie’s would have to do this, especially the people from their own town. [List some of the dead and other articles referring to this].

            Granted while New York had a lot of divisions and individuals taking part in the battle Massachusetts was slightly different. Being so far from PA Massachusetts did not have many divisions take part in the battle. However, some were present at the battle. The units that served in the First Corp Second Division were the 12th and 13th Massachusetts. The units that served in the Second Army Corp First and Second Division were the 28th, 15th, 19th, and 20th Massachusetts. Finally serving in the Third Corp Second Division were the 1st, 11th, and 16th Massachusetts. [7]The citizens of towns like Boston and Lowell[8] were certainly interested in the result from Gettysburg. Lowell would be most interested due to the fact that they since they had more cotton looms in one city then all the Confederate States combined and were responsible for weaving the cotton for the confederacy[9] they would certainly be interested in who won the battle. The biggest paper in Massachusetts at this time was the Boston Daily Advertiser.[10] The newspaper gave their citizens a lot of in-depth information about the battle that would have appeared in any other major newspaper. The information most important to any person who read this paper was what was the result of the battle and what, if any, division fought at the battle and how did they fair. Also they were certainly interested in the casualty list from the New England area. [Examples and actual names].

            The citizens of Lowell did receive the Advertiser but that did not carry information that they would be interested in if someone from their area was involved in the fighting. Again we see a big city versus a smaller city/town. They wanted the news that the bigger papers delivered but also wanted the news that would captivate their attention. Papers back then had alegions to political parties and certain individuals. If a private from Lowell was killed the Advertiser would probably not mention him in their list of casualties but the Lowell Daily Citizen and News[11] would because the people would want to know. Some of the articles that did appear in this paper were also articles that appeared in the Advertiser.   


[1] All these newspapers have been viewed on the 19th Century Newspapers link on the Library’s website. The New York Herald was first published in 1835 and run by James Gordon Bennett Sr. By 1845 it was the most popular paper in the United States. It was a staunch supporter of the Democratic Party throughout the Civil War. Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper was created in 1855 by English immigrant Frank Leslie in Rochester, New York. Is regarded with a lot of historical value because of the illustrations that were added to it from battlefields during the Civil War. It survived until 1922. The Boston Daily Advertiser was founded in 1813 and run by Nathan Hale. It overtook the Boston Patriot and then The Boston Gazette. The Lowell Daily Citizen and News was founded in 1856 and ended its publication on 1876. The Publishers of this newspaper were Brown and Morey.     

[2] Lee’s Army was referred to as the Army of the Potomac. The army began a retreat on July 4th that took place on a rainy Saturday morning and continued long into the night.

[3] General Sickles was a commander of Union forces at Gettysburg who injured on the second day of battle. His unit was supposed to protect the area near the Round Tops but he advanced his unit forward into the Peach orchard where they were slaughtered by General Longstreets advance. He would be wounded and loose his right leg but awarded the Medal of Honor for his valiant services.

[4] General Meade was the commander who took of the Union Army after the firing of Hooker. He was altered of this promotion right before the battle took place and had to ride immediately to Gettysburg. He arrived the night of July 1st after the first day of fighting. He would go on to lead the Unions to victory and turn around the Union’s chances for winning the war.

[5] Boonsboro is located in Maryland and at the base of South Mountain in Washington County. It is located right in between Hagerstown and Frederick, Maryland. It was founded in 1792 by George and William Boone cousins of Daniel Boone and is a rural little town. As lee’s Army retreated from Gettysburg they based through Boonsboro but clashed with Union forces, which led to minor skirmishes.   

[6] Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper was a local paper in Rochester, New York. Look to footnote 1.

[7] These are just a few of the units from Massachusetts that actually were present at the Battle of Gettysburg. These were the most probable regiments who actually saw battle being in the higher corps. The other corps were mostly filled with reserves. As a side note the 1st Company of Massachusetts Sharpshooters were unattached to the 106th Pennsylvania. Information was found at www.michiganinthewar.org.

[8] Boston was the capital city of Massachusetts and is famous for sending divisions to aid the Union cause. Units such as the 54th Massachusetts are among these famous regiments. Lowell was one of the larger cities in Massachusetts at this time. It was the major producer of textile and manufacturing city in Massachusetts. Located just Northeast of Boston and located on the Merrimack River.

[9] Information found on www.lowellma.gov. November 15, 2010. Website designed 2010 City of Lowell, MA.

[10] Boston Daily Advertiser was located in Boston Massachusetts. Look to footnote 1.

[11] Lowell Daily Citizen and News was the local newspaper for the city of Lowell. Look to footnote 1.

Here is my VERY ROUGH conclusion

Is it too shallow?

The writings of Margaret and Mary Murray and Sarah Meyers reveal simply a tiny incite into some women’s experience during the war. In addition to the town of Carlisle, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania was a uprooted by the Confederate army. Countless women were forever affected by their unexpected personal confrontations with the Confederate Army.  These Union women undoubtedly faced similar fears for their loved ones and their homes.  The overlapping fears of Margaret Murray, Marry Murray, and Sarah Meyers serve as telling details that reveal the connection that women felt towards their homes. It can thus be concluded that the experiences of the three Carlisle women are symbolic as they reflect the experiences of countless Union women who came into distinct contact with rebel forces.

ready to write

i finally got all of my sources together and am starting to write my paper.  as it turns out, several of the sources that i cited in my letter editing and my bibliography have come in handy, especially an interesting pamphlet [a few words to the thinking and judicious voters, if you’re interested] of pennsylvania that i found in the archives.  when i first saw it doing the letter editing, i didn’t think much of it because i thought i had i enough information, but while researching for this, i kept seeing it show up in footnotes, so i decided to go back and check it out.  turns out it has a know-nothing initiation ceremony transcribed in it, and part of the initiation involves the swearing to uphold nativist values, secrecy, etc. very interesting stuff. Still, my useful source has been the new york times. they have such a great collection of articles that it was easy to find relative articles just by browsing.

I’m going to start typing it up tonight, and i’ll post updates as i go, but be warned, odds are it will all be a very rough draft up until thursday night/friday morning. right now i’m focusing more on what i’m saying rather than how i’m saying it, but i’ll go back and pretty up before its all said and done.

Margaret Murray

Here is my paragraph on Margaret Murray:

Margaret Fleming Murray and Mary Denny Murray were only young teenagers during the shelling of the town of Carlisle. The two girls were the daughters of William Boyd Murray and Margaret Parker Fleming.[1] Margaret, the eldest of the two sisters, was

born in November of 1841.[2] Her younger sister Mary was born in November 1846. [3] Neither of the two was ever married, and they seem to have moved to Allegheny, Pennsylvania in the later years of their lives. Throughout the Civil War, the two wrote letters to their brother Harmar Denny Murray, who was living in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. In the aftermath of the war, Harmar became involved in the glass business in Pittsburg.[4] The two sisters wrote to their brother during the few days following the shelling of their The letters written by the two sisters reveal vivid details of the event and the actions taken on the part of native residents. Undoubtedly, the girls were frightened for their safety and the well being of their homes as well as the well being of their brother.

Margaret Flemming, the younger of the two sisters was the first to write a letter detailing the events of the shelling. Margaret’s letter was written on July 3,1863.She recalls the event as being both “inhumane” and “barbarous” because it disregarded the fact that there were innocent women and children civilians who were affected. Margaret’s writing depicts her personal experience of the events of the shelling and thus provides a source for understanding both the events that occurred as well as the personal reactions that ensued. Margaret’s letter reveals her panic for the safety of her home and her well being. Margaret recalls the attack coming as a blatant surprise to the people of Carlisle whom she recalls ran in a state of panic. She writes, “Such a stampede of women and children you never saw in your life. You cannot imagine the confusion that ensued. It was a disagreeable surprise.” She continues in her recollection of the traumatic event during which she feared for her life. Margaret depicts the horridness of hearing the shells ricashaeing off of town buildings and homes. She exclaims, “The shot and shell were coming tick and fast, and we all retreated to the cellar for our safety, the sound of the shells as they came over the house and exploded near by was terrific.” Margaret continues by emphasizing the perpetual noise and explains, “I cannot use a more significant expression that to say they had an infernal sound. I liked the booming of the cannon but the whizzing of those shells, I hope to never hear again.” Margaret goes on to exhibit her fear for the safety of her home when she writes, “we thought it best to go out of the town, as a great many were leaving and our houses were just in the rage of the guns. (Besides we did not know but the town would be completely shelled before morning).” Margaret’s words specifically emphasize her uncertainty of the situation and her fear for her personal safety as well as the security of her home.[5]


[1] Jearemiah Zeamer, Biographical Annals of Cumberland County. (New York: The Genealogical Publishing Co., 1905), PAGE

[2] United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the Unites States, 1900. Washington D.C: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900.

[3] United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration 1900. Allegheny Ward 2, Allegheny, Pennsylvania.

[4] Jeremiah Zeamer, Biography Annals of Cumberland County Pennsylvania. (——-:The Genealogical Publishing Co., 1905). PAGE

[5] Murray, Margaret, Carlisle, 3 July 1863. Record Group 1838-1910, Papers of Harmar Denny Murray, Collection of the Cumberland County Historical Society, Carlisle PA. For full text see appendix I.

Rough intro paragraph

The Negro soldier during the civil war represents a monumentous triumph in the most direct and immediate way possible for them. These soldiers had to prove not only their merit on the battlefield, but were also fighting against the ideologies stating they were in some way inferior to the white man, that for some reason they needed to remain in slavery to serve as appeasement for the fate of the union.  Fighting a mental and physical war takes a great toll. These men had to rise to a high caliber and prove their mettle, but as General Nathaniel P. Banks observed, “Whatever doubt may have existed heretofore as to the efficiency of organizations of this character, the history of this day proves conclusively to those who were in a condition to observe the conduct of these regiments, that the Government will find in this class of troops effective supporters and defenders. The severe test to which they were subjected, and the determined manner in which they encountered the enemy, leaves upon my mind no doubt of their ultimate success.” [1] With this positive feedback and fierce determination to defend their inherent liberties, many soldiers actually came to rise up in ranks as high as possible for a colored NCO. In my examination, I am going to focus my attention on Quartermaster Sergeant John C. Brock compared to other higher ranking black NCO’s and profile their experience and character and see what constitutes a colored ranking soldier in the USCT.

[1] War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Ser. 1, Vol. XXVI, Pt. i, p. 45.

 

Beginnings

Its been helpful to look at peoples rough drafts of their opening paragraphs to give me some sparks of ignition to starting my own paper. I still need to do a lot more specific research into my topic but what I have been noticing is that alot of the higher ranked black NCO’s come from a church oriented background. This background gave them the ability to read and relay their experiences back to several african american newspapers such as the Liberator and Anglo-African. I hope to coincide my research with more pages as the week progresses as I have not been able to post anything yet of significant substance.

Introduction

The following is my introductory paragraph:

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, men on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line rushed to sign up for military service. Women were also eager to volunteer their time and services to their cause. Northern and Southern women alike organized relief societies and signed up to work in hospitals. Women faced prejudices that made it hard for them to be accepted as nurses in hospitals. Southern women especially, found they could not overcome certain social standards and many were turned away from volunteer work in medical institutions. Prejudice against Southern female nurses led a group of women, headed by Lucy Otey, in Lynchburg, Virginia, to establish their own hospital in 1862 for wounded Confederate soldiers. [1]


[1] Buck, A. Trueheart, ed. “Mrs. Lucy Mina Otey.” The Southern Literary Messenger 1, no. 3 (1895): 15- 18.

Question

I don’t know if this will be helpful to anyone but I figured I would post it in case it applies to anyone else. In my introduction I have cited the letters I am addressing in footnotes. Should I footnote each letter every time I refer to it? Or is it enough that I cited it in the begining?

Also, I have split each letter into separate paragraphs. If I do in fact need to footnote each letter every time I refer to it, can I just put one footnote at the end of the paragraph if all of my quotations come from the same letter?

Project

I have begun writing my paper and it is coming to together slowly but surely. I have formed an opening paragraph and working together on the second paragraph and forming a constructive argument to make the paper flow. I will be working on it all throughout this week and will be posting my updated paper as the week goes on. If you guys would like to look at it and maybe point out any observations you guys have on it and I would be glad to do the same for anyone else. Hope you guys are making progress on your projects as well.

This past week I’ve been finishing up my research and starting to write my paper. I found another place that has some primary sources about the hospital. I’m getting in touch with the archives but I don’t think I will have them in time for the first draft due Friday. I think I will have enough for my paper, but these new sources might strengthen my message.

Paper Update

I think my paper is coming along. I am almost finished the writing aspect – although I will obviously need to do significant editing in the future.  Here is my current contextual paragraph. The information comes from an article writen by Eric J. Wittenberg.

Though the Gettysburg campaign sought to pursue Maryland and Pennsylvania, the confederates were unsuccessful in their attempt of taking the town of Carlisle.  It was General J.E.B Stuart who headed to Carlisle after leaving General Hampton’s Brigade in Dillsburg only to find 3,000 Pennsylvania and New York Militia. Stuart made several calls for Union surrender, but the Union General, William F. Smith refused Stuarts’s requests. Stuart responded with by shelling the town and burning the Carlisle Barracks on July 1, 1863. General Smith defended the small Pennsylvania town and Stuart and his men retreated to Gettysburg.[1] Though the town was not profoundly physically damaged, the civilians who were present during the attack were emotionally disturbed by the events of the shelling.


[1] The Shelling of Carlisle by Eric J. Wittenberg