Monday, September 12, 2011

Thursday Sept. 12

I do not remember whether I have noticed in my journal the proclamation of Gen. Fremont in Missouri confiscating the property of rebels and declaring their slaves freemen.  It has made quite a sensation.  The opponents of slavery are much pleased with it as a movement in the right direction.  Some reports say that the government at Washington will sustain Fremont's action, others that they are displeased with it.  
Gen. M'Clellan's proclamation enforcing the observance of the holy Sabbath by the army under his command is hailed gladly by the Christian public as an omen for good, as it is a welcome relief to the soldiers from fatiguing labors.
The city of Philadelphia by its council has caused to be prepared an elegant sword ornamented with amethysts and diamonds to be presented to Gen. Robert Anderson with this inscription, "The City of Philadelphia to Robert Anderson U.S.A., May 22, 1861, A loyal city to a loyal soldier, the hero of Fort Sumpter".  The city council have also ordered for Gen. M'Clellan a strait sword set with diamonds and pearls, on the handle will be the figure of an American eagle attacking a serpent, the representation of secession.  The two swords will cost about $1100.
Ephe received today letters from Lt. Col. Fulton and Quarter Master J. Fulton of the 53'" regiment O.V.M. tendering their influence to appoint him Adjutant of that regiment and asking him to come at once to Portsmouth.  This he cannot do on account of William's dangerous illness.  It is a disappointment to Ephe but I hope all will end well.

Peggy's comments:

U. S. General Fremont found great disorder in Missouri.  On August 31, 1861, he declared martial law and also declared that the slaves of all secessionists were free men.  An article in the NY Times the next day hailed this proclamation as "the first great step. . .taken to show the world that we are in earnest in our attempts to crush the rebellion."

General McClellan's Proclamation was published in newspapers (see the following reference from Harper's Weekly, September 21, 1861):
The following order has been promulgated:
The Major-General Commanding desires and requests that in future there may be a more perfect respect for the Sabbath on the part of his command. We are fighting in a holy cause, and should endeavor to deserve the benign favor of the Creator. Unless in the case of an attack by the enemy, or some other extreme military necessity, it is commended to commanding officers that all work shall be suspended on the Sabbath; that no unnecessary movements shall be made on that day; that the men shall, as far as possible, be permitted to rest from their labors ; that they shall attend Divine service after the customary morning inspection, and that officers and men alike use their influence to insure the utmost decorum and quiet on that day. The General Commanding regards this as no idle form. One day's rest is necessary for man and animals. More than this, the observance of the holy day of the God of Mercy and of Battles is our sacred duty.
Geo. B. McCLELLAN, Major-General Commanding.
S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General

Many other cities and states gave gifts of appreciation to General Robert Anderson, the United States commander at Fort Sumter when it was attacked by southern forces.  Here is a picture of the sword that Julia describes from A Pictorial History of the Civil War in the United States by Benson J. Lossing.

Ephraim Dawes, William's nephew, was eager to be of greater use in service to his country but would not enlist until after William recovered from typhoid.

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