Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Friday, March 21, 1862

Started the boxes to the Sanitary Commission at Cincinnati by railroad.  Kate and Nancy went to town.  She brought down a letter from Ephraim who is "Up the Tennessee".  The expedition led by the gunboat Tyler consists of eighty steamers and must have from 50 to 80,000 troops aboard, -- a fine splendid fleet.  He is on board the Anglo Saxon, and in fine health and spirits.  There are only two brigades in front of him.  He is under Gen. W. T. Sherman of Ohio.  I have no partiality for this General and doubt both his competency and courage.  But God reigns and we must leave our dear ones in His hand.  
A letter also from Rufus.  His Colonel is now acting brigadier general and commands his brigade.  Rufus is at Centerville and says that those officers who have examined the rebel fortifications say that their strength and magnitude have not been over-estimated.  He sent a Secesh letter picked up in the old rebel quarters, evidently written by an intelligent traitor, which shows how they feel on several points. He is particularly bitter toward our German troops whom he calls "Lincoln's Hessian Allies," and says no quarter should be given them both before and after capture.  The letter has been partially burned but was written probably late in fall.  He deplores the loss of Hatteras inlet as being so necessary to their privateers.  Says he had been very solicitous to have European powers recognize them, but was now becoming indifferent.  He thought they would get on without it, &c.  It is a curious document.

Peggy's comments:
Ephraim Dawes, Julia's nephew, was serving with the 53rd Ohio.

General William Tecumsuh Sherman had not shown stellar accomplishments at this point.  He had been put in charge of troops in Kentucky and had complained that he could not defend Kentucky without many more troops.  The press picked up on his need for an "insane" number of troops and soon people started to doubt Sherman's sanity.  It was said that he had a nervous breakdown, but it was also said that he was of great help to U. S. Grant.

Rufus was in Centreville, Virginia, a place of strategic importance because of its railroads.

There were several regiments of German immigrants who fought for the Union.  Many were from Cincinnati.

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