Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Friday, July 4, 1862

The late news from McClellan and the uncertainty which hangs over the result of last week's fight makes loyal hearts sad.  Oh!  what an anniversary is this of Independence Day.  Probably a million of Americans in arms fighting for or against the government.  Thousands clad in sable for those dear ones who will return no more and thousands more with anxious dread awaiting tidings from the battlefield.  How dreadful is the scourge of war!  But more dreadful still is that degradation which will yield the right and truth rather than fight for it.  It must surely have been for times like these, that the apostle meant this injunction to 'pray always' and to "pray without ceasing".  For ourselves that our hearts may be right with God, for our friends in peril that may be kept from evil, for the oppressed that God will plead their cause and maintain their right, for our Government that it may be established in righteousness; that our enemies at home may be discomfitted and subdued; and those abroad may be held back by God's almighty hand, that our Country though sorely chastened may not be destroyed, that the authority of God may be every where acknowledged, and "peace return again to our borders and prosperity to our palaces."
Rufus is twenty four years old today.  God bless and keep him.
George finished harvesting the wheat.  Mr. and Mrs. W. D. Bailey and the children came down and took tea with us under the trees in the garden after which Lizzie played and sang some patriotic songs, when Mr. Bailey let off some rockets and other fire works much to the amusement of the children.

Peggy's comments:
Julia's nephew, Rufus R. Dawes, was a Major in the 6th Wisconsin with the Army of the Potomac under General Pope.  At this time, he was camped near Fredericksburg, Maryland.  On July 10 he wrote:

I am not near Richmond, nor likely to be.  General Pope is charged with the same old duty of guarding Washington.  So unless the rebels move on Washington, our future presents a peaceful aspect.

Rufus, who mustered into service May 2, 1861, had only been engaged in minor skirmishes up to this point.  In late August 1862,  however, his "peaceful aspect" would end and he would participate in many fierce battles.

Rufus R. Dawes, 1862

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