April 18, 1864

At the Battle of Poison Spring, Confederate forces under Brigadier Generals John S. Marmaduke and Samuel B. Maxey surprise a party of Union soldiers under Colonel James M. Williams, forcing them to retreat without their supplies.

April 17, 1864

In the aftermath of the Fort Pillow massacre on April 12, Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant orders Major General Benjamin Butler, who was negotiating prisoner exchanges with the Confederacy, to demand that black prisoners had to be treated identical to whites, a demand that was later rejected.

Return of “150 Years Ago Today”

I’m aware I haven’t had a lot of “150 Years Ago Today” posts of late.  I’m going to have new 150 Years Ago Today posts starting tomorrow.  Enjoy!

“The Address” by Ken Burns on PBS

“The Address,” a 90-minute documentary by Ken Burns, airs this week on PBS.  Check your local listings, but many stations should have it Tuesday (tonight) at 9:00 pm.  The show tells the story of a school in Putney, Vermont, where each year students memorize and recite the Gettysburg Address.  For more information, see http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/the-address/home/.

Peace Monument Postcard

Peace MonumentPeace Monument postcard. Divided back postcard, date unknown, but possibly ca. 1910. The back of the card reads:

5072.—The Peace Monument, by Franklin Simmons, is “In memory of the Officers, Seamen and Marines of the United States Navy who fell in defense of the Union and Liberty of their Country, 1861–1865.” The figures are of America weeping; History with record tablet: “They died that their country might live;” Victory with laurel wreath, and Peace with Olive branch.

Beautiful Washington Quality Series.

[B. S. Reynolds Co., Washington, D. C.]

The Elements of “Democracy” Classified: Potsdam Courier-Freeman, March 30, 1864

The Elements of “Democracy” Classified

Petroleum Nasby classifies the various cliques in the democratic party as follows:

1. Them ez would nominait Mick Lellon on a war platform.

2. Them ez would nominait Mick Lellon on a peese platform.

3. Them ez would nominait Vallandygum on a peese platform.

4. Them ez would nominait Vallandygum on a war platform.

5. Them ez would favor the war if slavery cood be let alone.

6. Them ez opposed to the war in any shape.

7. Them ez in Kanady in consekens of the draft.

8. The betwixed and betweeners, who are ashamd uv our party, and ain’t sootable for any other. They air with democracy ez the Michigander is with his itch—ood like 2 git rid of it but can’t.

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, New York City

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, New York City

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, New York City. Divided back postcard. The back of the card reads:

Soldiers and Sailors Monument, New York City.

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument is situated on Riverside Drive near 89th Street. It is built of beautiful white marble, about 90 feet high. The columns in the center, of which there are 10, being 35 feet high.

Success of the Negro Labor Regulations in Louisiana: Potsdam Courier-Freeman, March 30, 1864, page 1

Success of the Negro Labor Regulations in Louisiana.

The correspondent of the N. Y. Times, writing from New Orleans on the 10th, speaks thus flatteringly of the success of Gen. Banks’ regulations for the free negroes of Louisiana:

Here, in Louisiana, wonders have been wrought. A few months ago, to find a negro who could read was a wonder; to find one who could write was a greater wonder, and to find one who understood arithmetic was a greater wonder still. Fortunately, a good Providence has seen fit to ordain better things, and how here, in this sin-cursed city, nineteen hundred colored children are reading and writing in the day schools which they attend.

One year ago Col. Hanks was feeding from the government commissariat more than 20,000 negroes. Beside this number there were quite 15,000 who hung around the camps and elsewhere, obtaining their living partly by cooking, washing, fishing and stealing; yet these were, to a large extent, no incubus upon the government.

Now all the negroes have been placed in a condition of profit to the government and to themselves. Not only does the labor system furnish employment to those within the limits of this department, but had we 10,000 more they could all be employed, without expense, but rather with great benefit to the government.

The benefits that will return to the government this year, resulting from the operation of this system of labor, will more than pay all the expense that the refugee negroes have been to it since the occupation of the State by our forces.

Facts furnish the best proof of the success of any system; and, when we compare the condition of fifty thousand negroes in this State last year with their condition now, we need hardly allude to a thousand particulars. We feed to-day at public expense fifty colored orphans, and about one hundred aged men and women.

Rev. T. W. Conway, who has been assigned to duty with Col. Hanks, the faithful Superintendent of Negro Affairs, has just visited some of the parishes of the State, with the view of perfecting a means of uniting the separated families of the colored troops, as well as the registering of all the colored persons in the department, and has ascertained, in regard to the disposition of the negroes themselves, that they are now quite happy; and with the assurance given that their children shall have the blessings of education, they feel very contented and exceedingly grateful. These people are now very jealous of their rights, and they know very well when they are wronged, and that, by reporting any injury done them by their employers to Col. Hanks, they will surely receive redress. They, consequently, feel greatly improved, and are very willing to work.

Confederate Dogs Growling over a Bone: Potsdam Courier-Freeman, March 30, 1864, page 1

Confederate Dogs Growling over a Bone.

Outrageous.—This morning the butchers of this city put up the price of beef to three dollars a pound. When will their avaricious dispositions be satisfied? How can the people stand to be thus ground down? There is no necessity or reason for the advance, and some steps should be taken to lower the figures. It can be done and should be at once.—Atlanta Appeal.

What would the Appeal say to our butchers, who this morning put the price of beef to four dollars a pound? We are an enterprising people here and are determined to keep ahead—in prices!—Wilmington Jour.

We condole with our Atlanta and Wilmington friends, but we can’t see how it could be otherwise when three-fourths of the people seem indisposed to have more money than they have got. We have no such troubles on the beef question in Raleigh, for to the best of our knowledge and belief it has been nearly a month since there was any of the article in the market. We have, however, a pretty good supply of other luxuries, such as potatoes, peas, rice, a little bacon, and so on—enough, we trust, until more is made.Raleigh Standard.