July 4

July Fourth

General Lee, according to the testimony of Colonel Walter H. Taylor, Colonel C. S. Venable, and General A. L. Long, who were present when the order was given, ordered Longstreet to make the attack on the last day, with the three divisions of his corps, and two divisions of A. P. Hill's corps, and that instead of doing so he sent fourteen thousand men to assail Meade's army in his strong position, and heavily intrenched.

General John B. Gordon

 

Lee awaits the attack of Meade at Gettysburg throughout the fourth day, 1863

Vicksburg surrenders, 1863

Thomas Jefferson dies, 1826

 

 

Again another Fourth of July has come and, not as usual for the past three years, all is quiet. Who could have anticipated it with such conditions? It's very warm and dusty. Lieutenant Hill and I have been down to the Division hospital to see Lieutenant H. W. Kingsley. It has been the quietest time in camp to-day we have had in two months; have enjoyed it greatly. Colonel Henry Powell—a good soldier—formerly First Sergeant of Company F, Tenth Vermont, but promoted Colonel of U. S. C. T.[1] called to-day. I don't think he has a very exalted opinion of colored troops and he may be right; he's a man of good sense and judgment.

[1]United States Colored Troops.

July 4, 1863

Saturday. Company K lost another man by sickness to-day. There are a good many sick. The health of the 128th has, up to a very recent time, been good. We have had hard usage but seemed to thrive under it until this terrible hot weather came on. Two of Company B go to the hospital to-day, and several others are grunting. Out of the eleven hundred we set out with we have only three hundred and fifty now, and the other regiments can tell the same sort of a story, and some of them even a worse one.

Being a sort of jack-at-all-trades, I help out in any way I can, for so many being laid off, makes double duty for some others. I have been filling out the last two months' pay and muster rolls to-day and that gives me a chance to know about my own company and regiment. So far as we know, General Banks did not take Port Hudson to-day. If I were he I wouldn't set any more dates. It has been a very quiet Fourth of July. Have heard a bigger noise at the "City" many a time.

July 4

July 4, 1880. (Sunday, half-past eight in the morning ).--The sun has come out after heavy rain. May one take it as an omen on this solemn day? The great voice of Clémence has just been sounding in our ears. The bell's deep vibrations went to my heart. For a quarter of an hour the pathetic appeal went on--"Geneva, Geneva, remember! I am called Clémence --I am the voice of church and of country. People of Geneva, serve God and be at peace together." [Footnote: A law to bring about separation between Church and State, adopted by the Great Council, was on this day submitted to the vote of the Genevese people. It was rejected by a large majority (9,306 against 4,044).--[S.]]

Seven o'clock in the evening.--Clémence has been ringing again, during the last half-hour of the scrutin. Now that she has stopped, the silence has a terrible seriousness, like that which weighs upon a crowd when it is waiting for the return of the judge and the delivery of the death sentence. The fate of the Genevese church and country is now in the voting box.

Eleven o'clock in the evening.--Victory along the whole line. The Ayes have carried little more than two-sevenths of the vote. At my friend----'s house I found them all full of excitement, gratitude, and joy.

Cuttack, July 4, 1844

SALT-MANUFACTURE.

I have mentioned the manner in which Europeans are apt to alienate the affections of the natives; I will now give you an instance of the way in which the Government seek to conciliate them. It must be remembered that salt is a Government monopoly, that is, no person is allowed to prepare or sell it except by the appointment of Government. The cost to them is about eight annas, or one shilling, per maund of eighty pounds; they sell it for four rupees, or eight shillings, for the same quantity; and yet so necessary is it to the natives, that, if any man does not buy the usual quantity of Government, which is, I believe, about half a seer, or one pound, a-month, for each individual, he is brought by the police before a magistrate and sent to gaol, on the presumption that, as he does not purchase salt, he must smuggle it.

Now the salt-manufacturers receive a portion of their pay beforehand, and the remainder when the salt is ready. They belong mostly to the poorest classes, and their mode of working is very simple, merely collecting the sea-water, and then suffering it to evaporate in the sun. When they receive the first portion of their pay, they are told how much they will receive per maund, for the price varies slightly in different years. Last year they were promised a certain sum; I am not exactly sure how much, but say eight annas per maund; and when they came to the salt-agent for their money, they found that an order had arrived from Government reducing the promised pay to six and a half annas per maund. Of course they were excessively angry, and utterly astonished; for one strong idea with the natives is, that an Englishman will never tell an untruth. I happened to be present at the time; it occurred at Pooree, in the neighbourhood of which are some of the principal salt-works, if I may use so dignified a term.

The proper course for these poor people to have taken would have been, to have brought an action against Government for breach of contract; but this they could not possibly afford. However, the magistrates of Pooree sent a strong remonstrance to Government, and the consequence was, that they authorized the salt-agent this year to renew the contracts at the higher price, much to the delight of the poor salt-manufacturers, who still lost a part of the promised price of last year; yet it is scarcely to be credited that, before the time for the second payment arrived, another order was sent down, reducing the price as they did last year, and thus again defrauding the poor wretches of part of their small pittance, for defrauding it is in the truest sense of the word. All these things are managed by four or five men, who compose what is called the Salt Board.[6] I may mention that the salt-workers have been sadly disturbed this year by the number of tigers. The natives sometimes keep the claws of those which they are so fortunate as to kill, to make charms to keep off mischief.

RELIGION OF THE BRAHMINS—JUGGERNAT'H.

And now I must describe Juggernat'h. To the temple are attached about four thousand  priests and servants. Of these one set are called Pundahs. In the autumn of every year they start on a journey through India, preaching in every town and village the advantages of a pilgrimage to Juggernat'h; after which they conduct to Pooree large bodies of pilgrims for the Rath Justra, or Car Festival, which takes place in May or June—the precise time depends on the moon, as does the time of our Easter. This is the principal festival, and the number of devotees varies from about 80,000 to 150,000. About five years ago there were present, on one occasion, not less than 250,000; but that numerous meeting was owing to some peculiar sanctity which is supposed to be diffused once in 200 years. But I ought to have commenced with some account of Juggernat'h himself. He represents the ninth incarnation of Vishnoo. I have often wondered whether the Hindu religion may not, in some portions, be taken remotely from the Christian. One name of Vishnoo is Chrishna; one appellation of Juggernat'h is Sri Teo. This Teo, as Chrishna, became incarnate whilst very young; he was sought after by a king to put

him to death. Many children were killed, but he was removed from place to place in safety. He was born amongst the shepherds. The Hindus look for a tenth incarnation, when he shall unite all the world in one religion, and himself reign over them. I believe I am correct in giving these as points of faith amongst the Brahmins; and when we consider that the Hindu religion was probably established long after St. Thomas and St. Bartholomew had visited India, it certainly seems allowable to suppose that some portion of the Christian teaching became mingled with the doctrines of the Hindus. There is one objection to this supposition, namely, that Vishnoo is represented to have lived a very wicked and immoral life while on earth.

No European, Mussulman, or low-caste Hindu is admitted into the temple; we can, therefore, only speak on hearsay of what goes on inside. The idol itself is renewed every twelve years; it consists of a mere block of sacred wood, in the centre of which is said to be concealed a fragment of the original idol, which was fashioned by Vishnoo himself. The features and all the external parts are formed of a mixture of mud and cowdung painted. Every morning the idol undergoes his ablutions; but as the cowdung and paint would not stand the washing, the priests adopt a very ingenious plan—they hold a mirror in front of the image, and wash his reflection. Every evening he is put to bed; but as the idol is very unwieldy, they place the bedstead in front of him; on that they lay a small image, lock the door, and leave him to come down himself, if he can.

Offerings are made to him, by pilgrims and others, of rice, money, jewels, elephants, &c.; the Rajah of Knoudah and the priests being his joint treasurers. About twelve days before the Rath Justra, Juggernat'h goes to bathe; whilst doing so, he is supposed to be bitten by a snake, which causes him to be sick until the day of the festival. During his illness the priests take off his paint and cowdung, and give quite a new coat; so that at the end of the time he appears quite healthy and strong.

On the grand day the three cars, which, I should say, were fifty or sixty feet in height, are brought to the gate of the temple; the idols are then taken out by the priests—Juggernat'h having golden arms and diamond eyes for that one day—and by means of pulleys are hauled up and placed in their respective carriages; to these enormous ropes are attached, and the assembled thousands, with loud shouts, proceed to drag the idols to Juggernat'h's country-house, a small temple at about a mile distant. This occupies several days, and the idols, having rusticated for some time, are brought back to their regular station. The Hindus believe that every person who aids in dragging the cars receives pardon for all his past sins; every pilgrim who dies within five miles of Pooree will be greatly blessed in his next life; and every person who swims out to sea, so far as to see the top of the temple from the surface of the water, secures great blessings in another life for himself, his father and mother, his grandparents, and the three next generations descended from himself! This last experiment, however, is very rarely tried; there are too many sharks to make it pleasant. One man was drowned last year in attempting it. As to the people throwing themselves under the wheels of the car, that I believe to be altogether a European invention. Some occasionally fall accidentally, and are thus killed; but I imagine that self-immolation in this way neither is nor ever was at all a common thing.

I have very little doubt that great wickedness prevails within the temple. In two cases, lately, it is known that murder has been committed there; yet we, who have held the country so long, are not allowed to enter the building. It is said that if we attempted it we should be driven from the district; this I do not believe. Some years ago the priests declared that the god would not leave his country-house until all the English were driven from the province. The officer commanding at Cuttack directly sent word that, if the idol was not brought back on the usual day, he would come and blow both it and the temple to pieces. Juggernat'h immediately came to his senses, and was back in his temple one day before his regular time.

During the period the pilgrims remain at Pooree they are not allowed to eat anything but what has been offered to the idol, and that they have to buy at a very high price from the priests. This food is often very bad, and from that, combined with other causes, the cholera makes sad ravages amongst these poor people.

NUMEROUS DEATHS—EVIL OMEN.

At the festival that is just past it is calculated that there were about 130,000 pilgrims. The cholera this year was very mild; but not less than 650 died at Pooree, or between that place and Cuttack. Their bodies are generally thrown out to be devoured by the dogs, vultures, and jackals. One Sunday morning, in coming home from church, we found that three bodies had been thrown out in front of our house; two of them were rapidly disappearing in the jaws of these animals, the other was tossing about in the surf. However, I sent to the magistrate, and he had them removed and burnt. A vast proportion of the pilgrims are widows. In India a widow is not permitted to marry again, but must be supported by her late husband's relations; and it is said that many of those poor women are sent down to Pooree in hope of getting rid of them, and no doubt this purpose frequently succeeds. And to support this system our Government pays 6000 l. a-year; equal to the salaries of ten chaplains of our Church. This year an event occurred which the Hindus consider to be very ominous of evil. As they were bringing the god out, one of the chief priests was seized with cholera, and was sick all over the idol. The necessary purifications occupied so long a time, that the procession was not able to start that day.

I have just had a sad misfortune: all my cloth clothes, cloaks, &c., with two or three dozen shirts, flannels, waistcoats, drawers, &c. &c.—in short, everything but what was in actual use—were put away in a large chest. Whilst we were at Pooree my stupid man never once looked at them. When I returned I wanted something out of the chest, opened it, and found that every individual thing had been almost entirely destroyed by white ants—coats, shirts, flannels, were eaten through in all directions; and I think there was, at least, 50 l. worth destroyed. I have fined my man two months' pay for his carelessness; but, as that is only 22 s., it is a very poor consolation to me.

[6]We can scarcely imagine that the Supreme Government would lend itself to such a transaction; we think it far more likely that it occurred through the culpability or negligence of some of the inferior agents, who may have misrepresented the case to Government.

Independence Day

Sunday, 4.

And the republic now begins to look sweet and beautiful again, as if men and patriotic citizens might walk upright without shame or apologies of any sort. Having managed for a century or more to keep the black man under foot, provoked a war to this end, and, in our straits, availed of his life to spare ours, let us cherish the faith that we are bent honestly now on securing him the rights which his courage and loyalty have won for him and his while the republic stands. Was this slaughter of men and expenditure of treasure, with the possible woes to come, necessary to make us just? And shall we not be careful hereafter that political parties play not false as before the war; the cry for union and reconstruction but a specious phrase for reinstating the old issues under new names? Admitted into the Union, the once rebellious States may break out into new atrocities for recovering their fallen fortunes. It behooves the friends of freedom and human rights to know their friends, and trust those, and only those, who have proved themselves faithful in the dire struggle,—

"Who faithful in insane sedition keep,

With silver and with ruddy gold may vie."

In democratic times like ours, when Power is stealing the world over from the few to the many, and with an impetus unprecedented in the world's history, the rightful depositories of Power, the People, should make sure that their representatives are fitted alike and disposed to administer affairs honorably; the rule being that of the Best by the Best,—an aristocracy in essence as in name; since no calamity can befall a people like the want of good heads to give it stability and self-respect in its own, or consideration in the eyes of foreign beholders. Ideas are the royal Presidents; States and peoples intelligent and prosperous as they are loyal to these Potentates. Liberty is the highest of trusts committed to man by his Creator, and in the enjoyment of which man becomes himself a creator,—a trust at once the most sacred and most difficult to hold inviolate. "Power is a fillet that presses so hard the temples that few can take it up safely." Right is the royal ruler alone, and he who rules with least restraint comes nearest to empire.

And one of the most hopeful aspects of our national affairs is the coming into importance and power of plain, sensible men, like Grant and Boutwell,—men owing their places to their honesty and useful services,—the one in the field, the other in the state. Our village, also, is honored by the elevation of one of its distinguished citizens for his eminent legal attainments and personal integrity. This change for the better in our politics, it seems, came in with President Lincoln, himself the plainest of the plain, one of the most American of American men; is (after his successor's lamentable career) now reinstated in our present chief magistrate, whose popularity is scarcely secondary to any of his predecessors in the Presidential Chair. Our national politics have obviously improved in these respects upon later administrations, and we may reasonably hope for the prevalence of peace and prosperity, such as the country has not enjoyed since the times of Washington and Franklin. The reign of principle appears to have returned into the administration of affairs, honorable men taking the lead, softening, in large measure, the asperities and feuds of parties. Great questions affecting the welfare of the community, and for the solution of which the ablest heads are requisite, are coming into discussion, and are to be settled for the benefit, we trust, of all concerned. Reform in capital and labor, temperance, woman's social and political condition, popular education, powers of corporations, international communication,—these and the new issues which their settlement will effect, must interest and occupy the active forces of the country to plant the republic, upon stable foundations.

"An early, good education," says Gray, in his notes on Plato's Republic, "is the best means of turning the eyes of the mind from the darkness and uncertainty of popular opinion, to the clear light of truth. It is the interest of the public neither to suffer unlettered and unphilosophical minds to meddle with government, nor to allow men of knowledge to give themselves up for the whole of life to contemplation; as the first will lack principle to guide them, and others want practice and inclination to business." One might also commend to senators and representatives this sentence from Tacitus: "I speak," he says, "of popular eloquence, the genuine offspring of that licentiousness to which fools and designing men have given the name of liberty. I speak of that bold and turbulent oratory, that inflamer of the people, and constant companion of sedition, that fierce incendiary that knows no compliance, and scorns to temporize,—busy, rash, and arrogant, but, in quiet and well-regulated governments, utterly unknown." Yet I cannot say that I should have written, with my present notion of political or religious obligation, what follows: "Upon the whole, since no man can enjoy a state of calm tranquillity, and, at the same time, raise a great and splendid reputation; to be content with the benefits of the age in which we live, without detracting from our ancestors, is the virtue that best becomes us." The sentiment has a patriotic sound, but conceals the cardinal truth, dear to a patriot, certainly in our times and republic, that a calm tranquillity is hardly compatible with a life of heroic action, and that true progress, so far from detracting from the glory of our ancestors, carries forward that for which they battled and bled, to clothe them and their descendants with a fresher and more enduring fame. Not in imitation of such inflamers of the people, but in the spirit of liberty and loyalty, have Sumner and Phillips won great and splendid reputations, if not silenced the fools and designing men whose bold and turbulent oratory, the genuine offspring of licentiousness, once sounded in our national halls, and came near the separation of our Union.

Whom did the people trust?

Not those, the false confederates of State,

Who laid their country's fortunes desolate;

Plucked her fair ensigns down to seal the black man's fate;

Not these secured their trust.

But they, the generous and the just,

Who, nobly free and truly great,

Served steadfast still the servant race

As masters in the menial's place;

By their dark brothers strove to stand

Till owners these of mind and hand,

And freedom's banners waved o'er an enfranchised land.

These were the nation's trust,—

The patriots brave and just.

Phillips

"Some men such rare parts have that they can swim

If favor nor occasion help not them."

Phillips stands conspicuous above most of his time, as the advocate of human rights, the defender of the oppressed. By happy fortune, he enjoys the privilege denied to senators, of speaking unencumbered by convention or caucus. His speeches have the highest qualities of an orator. In range of thought, clearness of statement, keen satire, brilliant wit, personal anecdote, wholesome moral sentiment, the Puritan spirit, they are unmatched by any of the great orators of his time. They have, besides, the rare merit, and one in which our public men have been painfully deficient, of straightforwardness and truth to the hour. They are addressed to the conscience of the country, are spoken in the interest of humanity. Many a soldier in the field during the late war, many a citizen owes his loyalty to hearing his eloquent words.

Above party, unless it be the honorable and ancient party of mankind, they embody the temper and drift of the times. How many public men are here to survive in the pillory of his indignant invectives! The history of the last thirty years cannot be accurately written without his facts and anecdotes. There is no great interest of philanthropy in which he has not been, and still is, active. His words are to be taken as those of an earnest mind intent on furthering the ends of justice,interpreted not by their rhetoric, but strict adherence to principle. Certainly the country has at times hung in the balance of his argument; cabinets and councils hesitating to do or undo without some regard to his words, well knowing the better constituency which he better represents and speaks for,—the people, namely, whose breath can unmake as it has made.

An earnest, truthful man, he has not shared with other statesmen of his time in their indifferency nor their despair; and if by some esteemed a demagogue and disorganizer, such is not his estimate of the part taken by him in the great issues of the past, political and social. The friend of progress, he early threw himself into the conflict, addressed himself to the issues as they rose, rose with them and rode the wave bravely; sometimes hastening, oftentimes provoking the crisis. What States would not adventure upon as policy, he espoused as policy and humanity both. Addressing himself from the first to the great middle class, whose principles are less corrupted by party politics, in whom the free destiny of peoples is lodged, he is gathering the elements of power and authority which, becoming formidable in ability if not in numbers, must secure the country's confidence, and in due time have political dictation and rule.

Then, of the new instrumentalities for agitation and reform, the free Platform derives largely its popularity and efficiency from his genius. Consider the freedom of speech it invites and maintains, free as the freest can make it, a stand whereon every one who will gains a hearing; every opinion its widest scope of entertainment,—the widest hospitality consistent with the decorum of debate. Hither comes any one breathing a sentiment of progress, any daring to dissent against dissent, against progress itself. Here the sexes meet on fair terms. Here, as not elsewhere, is intimated, if not spoken fittingly, the popular spirit and tendency. Here come the most effective speakers by preference to address a free constituency, a constituency to be theirs, if not already, their words leaping into type from their lips, to be spread forthwith to the four winds by the reporting press. 'Tis a school of debate, for oratory, for thought, for practice; has the remarkable merit of freshness, originality; questions affecting the public welfare being here anticipated, first deliberated upon by the people themselves; systems of agitation organized and set on foot for creating a wholesome popular sentiment; in short, for giving inspiration, a culture, to the country, which the universities cannot; training the reason and moral sense by direct dealing with principles and persons as occasion requires; a school from whence have graduated not a few of our popular speakers,—the Orator himself, whose speeches furnish passages for collegiate declamation, from which politicians plume their rhetoric to win a borrowed fame. Cato said, "An orator was a good man skilled in the art of speaking."

More than any lecturer, unless it be Emerson, he has made the lecture a New-England, if not an American institution; is always heard with profit and pleasure by the unprejudiced auditor,—any course in the cities and towns being thought incomplete without his. Nor is it easy to estimate the debt of the free States to his speeches before associations, conventions, in pulpits, the humblest places where his words could be secured. He has already taken his place beside Garrison, has linked his name with the Liberator's, to be on men's lips while the word slave  has significance.

If there be any one to whom the country is more largely indebted than another for eminent services in his day, it must be Garrison; unless a doubt may arise in the minds of some, if the hero of Harper's Ferry be not entitled to like honors, since to these illustrious men must be attributed the merit of having struck the most effective blows for the overthrow of slavery, the one inaugurating the era of emancipation, and the other consummating it.

"The just man's like a rock, that turns the wroth

Of all the raging waters into a froth."

The agitation and outside pressure which they were chiefly instrumental in furthering to its rightful issues, were the most powerful auxiliaries, if not the power itself, which emancipated the mind of the country from its subserviency to the slave dominion. They were the creators of the sentiment that freed the negro at last from his bonds and cleared the way for a true Republican State. Some power superior to the Constitution was required to revise it, and free the whole people from this Arachne's coil that had bound them so long; was especially needed to extricate the rulers themselves from its meshes, and to rescue the rights thus imperilled by unscrupulous placemen who shrunk from the task. These could not help them, caught in the same snare that bound the nation. "Neither the law, nor the Constitution, nor the whole system of American institutions," they were told, "ever had contemplated a case as likely to arise under our system in which a resort would be necessary to provide outside of the law and Constitution for amending the Constitution." The case arose, nevertheless, and was provided for by these powerful agitators, and by the progress of events. The late civil outbreak compelled the necessary amendments, sweeping the compromises, the slave Congress and territory from the statute books and the country itself.

"Principles like fountains flow round forever,

Being in a state of perpetual agitation."

"To all new truths, all renovations of old truths," says Coleridge, "it must be as in the ark between the destroyed and the about-to-be-renovated world. The raven must be sent out before the dove, and ominous controversy must precede peace and the olive wreath."

Greeley

Of political editors, next to Garrison, perhaps Horace Greeley was the most efficient in furthering this national result; and by his eminent services in various departments of activity comes nearest to being the people's man, the best representative of character indigenous to New England, or more properly America—like Beecher and Phillips. His power appears to lie in his strong understanding, abundant information, plain statement of his facts, freed from all rhetorical embellishment. A rustic Franklin in his direct way of putting his things before his auditor, he makes plain his meaning in spite of his utter want of all graces of person, or of oratory, handling his subject as a rude farmer his axe and crowbar. There is about him a homely charm of good-nature, a child-like candor, that have all the effect of eloquence, elevating him for the time into the subject he treats. In the statistics of things, practical and political, he is a kind of living encyclopedia of information, and as his chief distinction has made the newspaper a power it had not been before.

May we not credit New England with giving the country these new Instrumentalities for Progress, viz.:—

Greeley, the Newspaper;

Garrison, a free Platform;

Phillips, a free Convention;

Beecher, a free Pulpit;

Emerson, the Lecture?

The Conversation awaits being added to the list.