April 18

April 18, 1863

Saturday. The regiment has gone and I am left. When will I get clear from the hospital? One of the hospital cooks, E. Furguson, died to-day. There are hardly enough men in camp to bury him, only the sick and convalescent being left.

It has been very comfortable on picket to-day without any fire. The officer of the day has been at my post to-day for the first time. Generals Grant, Meade and Sedgwick, are reviewing the Sixth Corps to-day; regret not being present. One of the bough houses caught fire this evening and burned up; otherwise all's quiet.

April Eighteenth

Tennessee will not furnish a single man for coercion, but 50,000 if necessary for the defense of our rights or those of our Southern brothers.

Governor Harris


I say emphatically that Kentucky will furnish no troops for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister States.

Governor Magoffin



April 18, 1864

Monday. For pastime to-day. Lieutenant Dillon and I borrowed a skiff from one of the boats and explored the country along the river above here. We went ashore and looked for something to vary our diet of hard-tack and coffee. After dinner we moved our tents back into the woods, where we will have shade all the day long. Our duties are so laborious it is necessary to have a cool spot to work in. For exercise we run, jump, box, or do anything we can think of to keep up circulation. We have made the acquaintance of a stray mule and take turns letting him tumble us off over his head in the sand. He is gentle as can be, and lets us do anything with him except riding him beyond a certain distance. When he has gone far enough he gives a quick jump, stands on his head, and the thing is done.

97. John Adams to John Q. Adams

Philadelphia, 18 April, 1776.

I thank you for your agreeable letter of the 24th of March. I rejoice with you that our friends are once more in possession of the town of Boston; am glad to hear that so little damage is done to our house.

I hope you and your sister and brothers will take proper notice of these great events, and remember under whose wise and kind Providence they are all conducted. Not a sparrow falls, nor a hair is lost, but by the direction of infinite wisdom. Much less are cities conquered and evacuated. I hope that you will all remember how many losses, dangers, and inconveniences have been borne by your parents, and the inhabitants of Boston in general, for the sake of preserving freedom for you and yours, and I hope you will all follow the virtuous example, if, in any future time, your country's liberties shall be in danger, and suffer every human evil rather than give them up. My love to your mamma, your sister and brothers, and all the family. I am your affectionate father.

Sunday, April 18th, 9.30 p.m.—It has been another dazzling day. A major of one of the Indian regiments came in this evening. He said the Boches are throwing stones across to our men wrapped in paper with messages like this written on them, "Why don't you stop the War? We want to get home to our wives these beautiful days, and so do you, so why do you go on fighting?" The sudden beauty of the spring and the sun has made it all glaringly incongruous, and every one feels it.

One badly wounded officer got it going out of his dug-out to attend to a man of his company who was hit by a sniper in an exposed place, one of his subalterns told me. His own account, of course, was a rambling story leaving that part entirely out.

This next shows how the Germans had left nothing to chance. They have about twelve machine-guns to every battalion, and are said to have had 12,000 when the War began. Passing through villages they pack ten of them into an innocent-looking cart with a false bottom. We captured some of these empty carts, and some time afterwards found them full of machine-guns!

Gold hats and red hats have been dropping in all day. They do on Sundays especially after Church Parade.

98. Abigail Adams

18 April, 1776.

I cannot omit so good an opportunity as offers by Mr. Church of telling you that we are all well. I wrote you two letters last week, which I sent to Watertown. In those I said everything that occurred to my mind. Nothing since of any importance has taken place. The 19th of April, ever memorable for America as the Ides of March to Rome and to Cæsar, is fixed upon for the examination of the Tories by a committee from the General Court. I could have wished that some other persons in the room of one or two might have been chosen. It is so dangerous mentioning names that I refer you to Mr. Church for the names of the committee, and then you will easily guess who I mean.

I wish I could tell you that business in the fortification way went on briskly; but a western member of the General Court, who has great influence there, has got it into his head that Fort Hill and Noddle's Island are sufficient, and though a man possessed of a very good heart, is sometimes obstinately wrong.

The Court of Sessions sat yesterday, and went on with business very smoothly.

We hear that Congress has declared a free trade; and I give you joy of the success of Admiral Hopkins, not only in his expedition, but in his success upon his return. Great Britain, I think, is not quite omnipotent at sea any more than upon the land.

You promised to come and see me in May or June. Shall I expect you, or do you determine to stay out the year? I very well remember when the eastern circuits of the courts, which lasted a month, were thought an age, and an absence of three months intolerable. But we are carried from step to step, and from one degree to another, to endure that which at first we think impossible.

But I assure you I am obliged to make use of reason and philosophy in addition to custom, to feel patient. Be assured I always remember you as I ought, that is, with the kindest affection.