Monday, December 31, 2012

Wednesday, Dec. 31, 1862

Kate and I went up to the church, as soon as we had taken breakfast, with our buggy filled with evergreens and whatever we needed to fasten up the decorations, George going along to help us.  Found no one there but two boys making a fire.  Soon, however, Mrs. W. D. Bailey, Mrs. Geo. W. Bailey, Mrs. Hart, Emeline McClure and Mrs. W. D. McClure, Miss Louise Carpenter and Miss Mary Ainsworth came.  G. W. Bailey and George Cutter helped nearly all day.  A. S. Bailey and Maggie Voris came a while in the afternoon.  We made arched cornices over the windows and doors with cedar, also a beautiful arch over the pulpit against the wall, on which was fastened the figures 1863.  Wreaths of cedar were hung between the windows and at intervals on the wall around the house.  A large and handsome engraved portrait of Washington was hung above the choir surrounded with an evergreen wreath.  The lamps were tastefully trimmed with cedar and myrtle.  The hemlock tied to ropes formed graceful festoons upon the two iron rods which cross the house.  Trees of pine were placed in the corners of the room.  The effect of the whole was beautiful -- much better than we had dared to hope.  We then swept the house and the men having shook the carpet it was nailed down and we departed well satisfied with the labors of the day.  We got home about four o'clock and having decided upon placing the words Glory to God in the Highest on the wall over against the pulpit above the portrait of Washington, I went to work to cut out the letters and Kate and Lizzie to making them of arbor vitae.  It was a tedious process and was not completed until near midnight.
William came home from Chillicothe tonight.  The Board passed a resolution to pay interest on the Union R. R. bonds.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tuesday, Dec. 30, 1862

A rainy disagreeable day.  George and Call brought us a quantity of hemlock from Hocking to use at the church tomorrow.  I cut out of stiff paper the figures 1863 about a foot long and Kate and Lizzie covered them with arbor vitae, also made wreaths of cedar on hoops.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Monday, Dec. 29, 1862

William went to Chillicothe to attend a meeting of the Board of Directors of the M. & C. R. R.  Kate went on horseback to see what was to be done about the festival.  She called at Mrs. Blackinton's, Mrs. Dickey's, Mrs. Hart's and saw Mrs. Goff, Mrs. Deming, &c.  All seem willing to help.  The house is to be decorated with evergreens.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Friday, Dec. 26, 1862

This is the day appointed for the execution of the condemned Sioux.  300 were sentenced.  The president pardons the rest.  More than one thousand whites were massacred and many more maimed for life.  I am afraid the trouble is not yet over.

Peggy's comments:
Julia refers to the Sioux who were captured after the Indian uprising in Minnesota in August.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thursday, Dec. 25, 1862. Christmas.

Rose early "Kriss Kringle had covered the table in the sitting room with books, toys, &c. for the younger members of the family.  Kate unable to sit up during the forenoon with sick headache.  About noon brother William landed from the Bostona.  He comes to spend the holidays at home, Congress having taken a recess until the Monday after New Year's.  He is in good health and very glad to be at home again.  He brought Annie and Sarah each a pretty fan.  He thinks Cabinet matters will be arranged, but regards Seward a drag upon the government.  He has seen Rufus since the battle of Fredericksburg and heard his experiences.  He is in very good health.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Wednesday, Dec. 24, 1862

I wrote to Jane.  We have not heard from her since her letter written in July when she was in feeble health.  We are anxious about her, and also about Ephraim whose last letter was written at Holly when he was expecting to go from that place on foot to join his regiment, some 30 or 40 miles distant.  Since that time Holly Springs has fallen into the hands of the rebels.  Van Dorn with 5 or 6000 men has possession of the Railroad and thus cuts Gen. Grant off from his supplies.  There is no end to disasters in this war!
Lizzie Poage here to stay all night.  Put up new curtains in the parlor.

Peggy's comments:
Jane is Julia's niece, Jane Dawes Shedd, who has been some years in Persia serving as a missionary with her husband.  Ephraim, Jane's brother, is Ephraim Dawes who is serving with the 53rd Ohio Volunteers.
Lizzie Poage lived with Mrs. Burgess (Lizzie Cutler's mother) and is Lizzie Cutler's niece.

Holly Springs is in Mississippi and on Dec. 20, Confederate General Van Dorn attacked and raided the Union supply depot there causing Grant to withdraw his troops from Mississippi.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tuesday, Dec. 23, 1862

Kate went to Marietta and returned this evening.  Seward and Chase have withdrawn their resignations and for the present cabinet difficulties are bridged over.  Lizzie and I went up to see Mrs. Burgess.  She is better.

Peggy's Comments:
Abraham Lincoln wrote to Seward and Chase (Secretaries of State and Treasury) and refused to accept their resignations.  See his letter here.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Monday, Dec. 22, 1862

Kate and Lizzie went up to see Mrs. Burgess who has been sick since yesterday.  Today's paper states that Seward and Chase have resigned their places in the cabinet and that the probabililities are that the cabinet will be entirely changed.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Friday, Dec. 19, 1862

This morning with thankful hearts we received from William this dispatch, "Dec. 16 Rufus was safe Sunday after battle."
Sarah and Lucy came on evening train.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thursday, Dec. 18, 1862

I read the paper to Mr. Burgess.  I went to female prayer meeting.  Mrs. G. W. Bailey only there.  Met at Mrs. Burgess'.  Kate, Annie and Maggie got home tonight.  Kate bought green damask curtains and fixings for parlor windows - 34 dollars,    stand of cruets - 12 dollars, herself a cloak 18, me a brown silk dress, corded, $20.25, Lucy a china tea set for 16 dollars and a few smaller items.  I think she has performed her commissions admirably.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 1862

This morning Daniel took leave of us to return by way of Rutland to his home in Kansas.  I have enjoyed his visit greatly.
Maggie, Kate and little Annie went down to Cincinnati today.  The weather has turned cold again.  Lizzie went to A. S. Bailey's to a dinner party.

Peggy's comments:
On this day, William Cutler in Congress at Washington noted in his memorandum book:
This is a day of darkness and peril to the country.  -- The great trouble is the loss of confidence in the management of the army.  Under McClellan nothing was accomplished.  Now Burnside fails on the first trial.  McClellan's friends chuckle and secretly rejoice over the result. -- The Democrats cry peace and compromise, clamor for McClellan, denounce the radicals, do everything to embarrass the government.  Judge (W. D. ) Kelly of Pennsylvania, made a capital speech in the House to-day, in favor of the Proclamation*, which is now being attacked by the Democrats, in hopes the President will not enforce it.

*The Emancipation Proclamation which was to be in force January 1, 1863.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Monday, Dec. 15, 1862

Today's Gazette gives an account of the desperate battle between Burnside and the rebels at Fredericksburg.  Franklin's division fought desperately and drove the enemy a mile.  Rufus belongs to this division and thus again is compelled to take part in these dreadful scenes.  I know he will do his duty but he is tired of bloodshed.  I tremble when I think he may be cold and dead upon the battle field or wounded and suffering with none to care for him, but I will hope in God's mercy for him, His hand has kept and will, I trust, keep him still.  
George took Daniel to Parkersburg to take a boat for Pomeroy but no boat was expected until Wednesday.  So he returned here to go by railroad.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sabbath, Dec. 14, 1862

Daniel is still here.  Mr. Wakefield preached an excellent practical sermon.  "I will set the Lord always before me."

Peggy's comments:
Meanwhile, at Fredericksburg, Virginia, General Burnside was preparing to retreat across the Rappahannock.  He had recently replaced the always-hesitating-to-act General McClellan, but Burnside's first attempt was so unsuccessful that he would soon be replaced.

Here's a link to an animated map of the battle:
Rufus Dawes was in Doubleday's division.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Saturday, Dec. 13, 1862

Last night Lucy and Betty Gates came down and are spending the day here.

Peggy's notes:
Rufus Dawes continues his description of the battle of Fredericksburgh (Service with the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers):
About daylight of the 13th, the troops were formed for the advance upon the enemy.  The battle field was covered by an exceedingly dense fog and nothing could be seen.  The brigade was formed in grand column by regiments, our regiment being second line from the front.  Thus we moved through the fog in four lines of battle.  The artillery of the enemy was firing vigorously at us and the shot and shell whistled and shrieked around us, but, owing to the fog, none struck in our columns.  The divisions of Generals Meade and Gibbon, belonging to Franklin's grand division, soon became heavily engaged.  We heard the crash of their musketry, and braced ourselves for the conflict we believed to be before us. But, after moving a considerable distance and no enemy having been encountered, the fog cleared away and we found ourselves on a great open plain, facing toward the Massaponax river on the extreme left flank of the army.  We were without shelter of any kind and during the entire day were exposed to a fire of the rebel artillery, posted on a hill near Hamilton's crossing.  The rebel cavalry under General J. E. B. Stuart, formed to charge the left flank of our army.  Diagonal squares were formed by the regiments of our brigade to receive a charge of cavalry, while a heavy fire of artillery was directed upon us.  Our squares were as formidable as those of Napoleon at the Pyramids.  The rebel cavalry wisely refrained from charging upon these squares, and I have always felt that the "Iron Brigade" was in the right place at Fredericksburgh.  It was the manifest purpose of General Lee to attack the left flank of our army with this heavy column of cavalry.
Late in the afternoon, the enemy opened upon us the concentrated fire of all his artillery on Hamilton's Heights, forty or fifty guns.  Our men lay flat upon the ground and took it with wonderful courage and patience.  I have never known a more severe trial of nerve upon the battle field, than this hour under that infernal fire.  With nothing to do but crouch close to the ground, our eyes were riveted upon the cannon on the hill firing point blank at us.  They seemed endowed with life in their tremendous and spiteful energy.  There would be a swift outburst of snow white smoke, out of which flashed a tongue of fire, followed the thundering report, in the midst of which the missile fired at us would plow deep into the ground, scattering a spray of dirt and bound high over us or burst in the air sending fragments with a heavy thud into the ground around us.  Like fiends who stirred infernal fires, the rebel artillerymen could be seen working around their guns.  Several times I saw the awful plowing of the earth in the very midst of our battle lines of men lying upon the ground.  There was instant death in the track of it.  We were relieved from this fire only by the darkness of the night, and our regiment was moved forward to the Bowling Green road.  Hearing this movement, the enemy began firing upon us with canister.  We could hear the sharp rattle of shot upon the ground.  As the night was very dark, the firing was necessarily at random, and the danger not great, but the sound of the shot striking the ground was frightful.  
This night was intensely cold.  We formed long lines of officers and men together, who would lie down on their oil cloths, spoon fashion to keep each other warm.  We would soon get so cold on the side next to the ground, that we would have to turn over.  The command, "About face," would be given, and the whole line of men would roll over together to lie a few moments on the other side.  At short intervals the rebel battery would blaze away with its horrible shot rattling on the frozen ground.  The shot seemed to fly about one foot above us, so that, while one was freezing as he lay down, he was tortured with the fear of being torn to pieces if he ventured to stand up or walk around. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Friday, Dec. 12, 1862

A letter from William of Dec. 6 says "I learn today from what appears to me to be good authority that Burnside is crossing over the Rappahanock at a point down below Stafford, called "Tappahanock" and that Banks with his division is to come up York river to a point directly between Tappahanock and Richmond, and then disembark his forces on the south side of the Pamunky and thus unite with Burnside in an attack upon the rebel army.  The above named points on the Rappahanock and the Pamunky are accessible to gunboats.  This all looks very well and I hope and trust will be successful."
We were invited to dine at Mr. Burgess' with Mrs. Campbell (sister of late Mrs. Newton) Mrs. Clark, &c. but could not go as Mr. & Mrs. Joel Deming and Mrs. Converse dined here, also Mr. Plumly and brother Daniel.

Peggy's notes:
On December 10, Julia's nephew Rufus Dawes was encamped near Fredericksburg, Virginia, and wrote the following in a letter to his sister:
The country is clamoring for General Burnside to drive his army to butchery at Fredericksburgh.  What we think of the probability of Burnside's attacking Fredericksburgh is best shown in the fact that we are building winter quarters.  Not by order, oh, no!  No general would dare give such an order, as the country would demand his head immediately.  But if General Burnside allows himself to be pushed into a battle here, against the enemy's works, the country will mourn thousands slain, and the Rappahannock will run red with blood expended in fruitless slaughter. 

Rufus recounts later:
On the early morning of December 12th, 1862, in the midst of a dense fog, a heavy bombardment of artillery was opened on the town of Fredericksburgh.  A crossing of the Rappahannock in pontoon boats was forced later in the day.  Our brigade lay quietly on the heights opposite Fredericksburgh until about four o'clock in the afternoon of this day, when we moved toward a pontoon bridge about a mile below the town.  From the Stafford Heights we had a fine view of the broad open plain on the south side of the river, upon which long lines of battle were being formed by our troops.  General Franklin's grand  division was assigned to duty on the left flank of the army.  After crossing the bridge, our march was directed down the south bank of the river for nearly two miles.  Our column was in plain view of the rebel artillerists, posted on the hills at about the distance of one mile.  Battery after battery opened fire upon us, as we moved along.  Owing to the distance and their bad practice, no damage was inflicted.  The shell whistled over us, and a panic took place among our colored servants, who were following the regiment.  They were loaded down with coffee pots, frying pans and officers' rations, and they fled hastily over the river bank, tumbling from top to bottom, and scattering our officers' provisions.  The brigade reached a stone house, known as Bernard's, at dark.  We bivouacked that night in a fine grove of trees around the house.  The night was very cold.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thursday, Dec. 11, 1862

Today the circle met at Mrs. Hart's. Quite a large number were present.  Mr. Curtis was there.  The entertainment was abundant and very nice.  The weather is delightful, frosty nights and mild sunny days.
Our circle was instituted with a two fold aim.  First to aid our soldiers in such manner as may be practicable or to promote any other benevolent object.  Second, to promote social intercourse.  We meet once in two weeks on Thursday afternoon and work for the soldiers paying quarterly at the rate of one cent a week.  Each family take with them cake, canned fruit or whatever they please as their contribution to the supper.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 1862

Miss Mary Ainsworth and Mrs. G. W. Bailey and children spent the afternoon here and Mr. Bailey came to tea.  Gen Cox' body guard and their wagon train consisting of twenty wagons drawn by four horse or six mule teams passed up today nearly all driven by darkies.  One of the men, who stopped here for apples, said that the company was raised in Cincinnati.  All except four were Germans.  All provided their own horses, had been 19 months in service and were at South Mountain and Antietans [sic].  He expressed his satisfaction at being in Ohio once more.  Their Commander is Capt. Smith.  They expect to go into winter quarters at Marietta.  Gen. Cox and his staff arrived in Marietta last Monday and took rooms at the National House.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tuesday, Dec. 9, 1862

Sister Sarah is spending the day here visiting with Daniel.  Mr. Burgess here most of the afternoon.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Monday, Dec. 8, 1862

Lizzie went up to Marietta with Lucy and Mr. Burgess who came down and took breakfast here.  They are going to attend Mrs. John Newton's funeral.  Mrs. Dawes came home with Lizzie to see brother Daniel.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sabbath, Dec. 7, 1862

Mr. Curtis preached to the Sabbath School children.  A very cold morning and day - the coldest of the season, the mercury at 12 degrees above zero.  The ice is drifting in the river and fears are entertained that at its present low stage it may freeze over.  The steam paddles go crushing through the ice.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Saturday, Dec. 6, 1862

A very cold morning.  Mrs. Burgess and Maggie went to Marietta on the morning train.  Lucy came down this evening to stay till Monday.  Brother Daniel who resides in Kansas arrived here this evening.  

Peggy's comments:
Brother Daniel Converse Cutler was Julia's half brother.  He was the youngest child of Ephraim Cutler and Leah Atwood.  After Leah Atwood Cutler died, Ephraim married Sally Parker who had 5 children:  Sarah, Manasseh, William, Julia, and Clara.  Sarah is the mother of Rufus and Ephraim Dawes who are fighting for the Union, and Kate Dawes who lives with the Cutlers, and Lucy Dawes who taught school in Marietta.  Manasseh died in childhood.  William and Julia continued to live in the Old Stone House where they were born.  Clara married and moved to Pana, Illinois.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Friday, Dec. 5, 1862

Maggie came down just at sunset to tell us of the death of Mrs. John Newton this morning at eight o'clock of apoplexy at her home in Marietta.  She was a worthy and amiable lady, and will be sincerely lamented.  She leaves two sons of her former husband, Mr. James Means, brother of Mrs. Burgess.  Thus within a few months our county has lost three very excellent, influential and wealthy Christian women --  Mrs. Winchester Dana, Mrs. Douglas Putnam and Mrs. John Newton.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Thursday, Dec. 4, 1862

Lizzie and I went to prayer meeting at Mrs. Burgess'.  Mr. Burgess read a chapter and prayed and then withdrew and we continued the meeting.  Mrs. Burgess, Maggie, Julia Greenwood, Mrs. Joel Deming, Grosvenor Converse, Mrs. B. C. Bailey, Mrs. W. D. Bailey, Lizzie and myself were present.  Lizzie staid all night at her mother's.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Wednesday, Dec. 3, 1862

Kate and Nancy have been busy all day papering Lizzie's bedroom which they finished and John and George nailed down the carpet in the evening.  The room looks nicely.  Maggie brought little Sarah home and staid to dinner which I prepared and which she pronounced very good.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 1862

Pleasant day.  Mrs. W. D. Bailey called.  Maggie came and took little Sarah up to spend the night there.  Kate went to town and returned again today.  Sherman's division has left Memphis.  Ephe has gone back to his regiment.  There are predictions of a great battle in that region.  I had hoped that Ephe might be spared from further scenes of bloodshed.
Kate took dinner with Mr. John Newton.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Monday, Dec. 1st, 1862

All the family rose between three and four o'clock to see William off.  We had prayers and an early breakfast together when he started to Marietta in a drizzling rain, before daylight, going in a two horse buggy with George to drive, expecting to take the Wheeling boat and arrive in Washington tomorrow.  He feels reluctant to leave home this winter and does not have very pleasant anticipations of life in Washington.

Peggy's comments:
William Cutler, Julia's brother, was returning to Congress as a Representative from Ohio.  He had not been reelected, however, so he was a "lame-duck".