July 10

July Tenth

MAMMY'S FIRST EXPERIENCE AT THE 'PHONE

We heard Mammy say “Hello—H'llo!
(What meks you rattle de handle so?)
Is dat you, Miss?—wants Main twenty-free!
(I ain't gwine to have you foolin' wid me!)
I say, Main twenty——what's ailin' you?
Bizzy!' I guess I'se bizzy, too!
You gim-me dat number twenty-free,
I'se bizzier 'n you ever dared ter be!”
Mary Johnson Blackburn

 

 

July 10, 1863

PORT  Hudson, La. Friday. The rebel troops are going off by the boat-load. Guards have been placed over the sugar and molasses, also the corn. As fast as the paroles can be made out the men are going to their homes. They each swear they will not fight again until regularly exchanged. One of the Rebs has showed me how to make johnny-cake. I have made several, and while they don't taste like mother's used to, they are really very good. One fellow, after filling up on it, said "What's the use of women anyway? We cook our own victuals, wash and mend our own clothes, make up our own beds—and what more could women do?" All the same there is one woman I would awfully like to see, and I flatter myself that same woman would like to see me.

We were surprised yesterday at the small number of small arms surrendered, and wondered how they were able to stand us off so long with them. To-day the secret has come out. The best arms were buried in the ground and many of the newly-made graves in the graveyard contained rifles instead of dead Rebels. I don't know how they were discovered, but have been told that so many newly-made graves excited the suspicion of a Yankee officer and he began prodding into them and struck iron.

Oh! I'm so tired and used up I can hardly write; have been marching all day on the pike, and my feet are badly blistered, besides being so lame, sore and stiff from my wound I can hardly move without groaning and crying out with pain after being still a little while. We arrived at Ellicott's Mills, Md., about 4 o'clock p. m. where we remained about two hours and took the cars for the Relay House. The Sixty-seventh Pennsylvania is with us. The balance of the division is yet at the mills. Stragglers still continue to pour in. Our regiment was never before in such disorder, i. e. so many stragglers. The tension was so great though, having held the enemy all day with such an attenuated line, that when it did collapse, being nearly surrounded, it was every man for himself in order to keep from being captured. The stragglers report the enemy's cavalry close after them all along the retreat in order to pick up prisoners. We arrived at the Relay House at sundown with only about ninety men. But the regiment fought valiantly yesterday up to the last moment when we were obliged to fall back in disorder or be made prisoners of war, and anybody could have played checkers on my coat-tail, I know, if they could have kept up, for Libby Prison had terrors for me, and I have always looked upon it as being a disgrace to be taken prisoner by the enemy; but in this I am wrong—still  it would hurt my pride to be captured. We found no troops but a regiment of hundred days' men here, and they were greatly frightened. We are camped a short distance in rear of the hotel on a side hill in the woods.

118. John Adams

10 July.

You will see, by the newspapers which I from time to time inclose, with what rapidity the colonies proceed in their political manœuvres. How many calamities might have been avoided if these measures had been taken twelve months ago, or even no longer ago than last December?

The colonies to the south are pursuing the same maxims which have heretofore governed those to the north. In constituting their new governments, their plans are remarkably popular, more so than I could ever have imagined; even more popular than the "Thoughts on Government;" and in the choice of their rulers, capacity, spirit, and zeal in the cause supply the place of fortune, family, and every other consideration which used to have weight with mankind. My friend Archibald Bullock, Esquire, is Governor of Georgia. John Rutledge, Esquire, is Governor of South Carolina. Patrick Henry, Esquire, is Governor of Virginia, etc. Dr. Franklin will be Governor of Pennsylvania. The new members of this city are all in this taste, chosen because of their inflexible zeal for independence. All the old members left out because they opposed independence, or at least were lukewarm about it. Dickinson, Morris, Allen, all fallen, like grass before the scythe, notwithstanding all their vast advantages in point of fortune, family, and abilities. I am inclined to think, however, and to wish, that these gentlemen may be restored at a fresh election, because, although mistaken in some points, they are good characters, and their great wealth and numerous connections will contribute to strengthen America and cement her union.

I wish I were at perfect liberty to portray before you all these characters in their genuine lights, and to explain to you the course of political changes in this province. It would give you a great idea of the spirit and resolution of the people, and show you, in a striking point of view, the deep roots of American independence in all the colonies. But it is not prudent to commit to writing such free speculations in the present state of things. Time, which takes away the veil, may lay open the secret springs of this surprising revolution. But I find, although the colonies have differed in religion, laws, customs, and manners, yet in the great essentials of society and government they are all alike.

Tegernsee July 10, 1880

I am heartily glad to hear what you say of Mr. Gladstone's health and strength and spirits, and of the nook behind Hampstead,[31 ] so much better than the dull air of the Thames Valley. There must be so much to harass him besides what appears, and what he can wind up and swamp in dazzling speech. Rosebery's anxiety is shared by many thorough Liberals, and it is not, perhaps, unfortunate that the perils of the position have made themselves felt at once, that the full warning comes in time, and the remedy can be taken early.

I wonder whether, for a reason you know as well as I do, a thing we all perceive remains a mystery to the person most concerned to know it. The Liberal party is held together, not by forces within, but by a force above it. It consists, like the being that declined a chair, of two wings and a head. Without Mr. Gladstone's ascendency and the lustre of his fame, Harcourt, Argyll, and Bright would soon offend every group into insubordination and incohesion. The jealousy between the old Liberals, who are losing ground, and the usurping Radicals, and all other familiar elements of discontent, cannot be restrained by Parliamentary management alone. There remains a great sphere for direct personal influence. The men Mr. Gladstone used to look up to, Peel and Aberdeen, had not much of this, and I fancy he takes from them the belief that it is unnecessary or undignified. He has been so long without holding the threads of party: it is so natural, in one who writes and speaks so much, to suspect those who misunderstand him doing it voluntarily: it is so natural to him to underrate the effect of personal contact, that he may think that the sole legitimate method of mastering men is Parliamentary speaking, or writings addressed to mankind. But it is worth anything that people should know and see more of him, in society if possible. First, because people are flattered. Next, because they are awed. Last, because they are conciliated, and so disciplined. And this applies to three sorts especially—members, diplomatists, and journalists. I am sure all that public policy can do to strengthen the Government will be done. But I note an unhappy impatience of those inferior arts my earthy spirit relies on.

I see how willing the Times  is to be taken in hand, in spite of Walter. Sir Henry Maine, like Stephen, used to write in the Pall Mall. I don't know whether he has joined Morley. Maine's nature is to exercise power, and to find good reasons for adopted policy. Augustus or Napoleon would have made him Prime Minister. He has no strong sympathies, and is not at heart a Liberal, for he believes that Manchesterism will lose India. He considers also that the party, especially Lowe, has treated him less well than Salisbury. He is intensely nervous and sensitive. After that, I may say that I esteem him, with Mr. Gladstone, Newman, and Paget, the finest intellect in England. For some reason he is one of the men whom Lord Granville's arts do not reach. I wish you would see him....

It would be very kind of you indeed to ask the Lathburys some Tuesday or Tuesdays. I say that because he is so much my friend, but he is also an eminently useful and trustworthy man. His wife wrote much in the Saturday —I don't remember the article you speak of. When I am a little in doubt about anything I consult Lathbury, who steadies and encourages me. When I feel very sure of some conclusion I go to Maine, who always knocks it to pieces. He is much the more instructive of the two. The other is more pleasant.

With Maine, above him indeed at the India Office, is Sir Louis Mallet, a thoughtful economist, a sincere, almost passionate Liberal, but under Cobden's influence, one of those sincere Liberals least attracted by your father. He is very sound beyond the Indus, and I wish you sometimes saw him; but I ought not, perhaps, to say it, for I half suspect the Prime Minister has some ancient reason for objecting to him.

The breakfast with the archbishop,[32 ] the philosopher,[33 ] the Frenchman,[34 ] and even with G—— does not suggest hilarity. What you will do for sketches of character after the Reays leave England, I cannot imagine.

[31 ] Littleberries, rented by Lord Aberdeen.

[32 ] Trench.

[33 ] Herbert Spencer.

[34 ] M. Tachard.