June 22

June Twenty-Second

If I could dwell
Where Israfel
Hath dwelt, and he where I,
He might not sing so wildly well
A mortal melody,
While a bolder note than this might swell
From my lyre within the sky.
Edgar Allan Poe

 

Arkansas readmitted to the Union, 1868

 

 

June 22, 1863

Monday. Another drenching shower last night made our night miserable, though the sun soon dried us off this morning. A foraging party was sent out for fresh beef to-day, and came in minus one man, who it is supposed was picked up by guerrillas. Parties of them are said to be hovering about outside of our lines. The Rebs asked our pickets to-day when that thousand men was to come and get them. They would not tell how they knew of it, but perhaps General Banks has sent them word, as he has done of every move yet. No doubt the exact time and place will be told them by some one. I am more glad than ever now, that none of Company B went. The general opinion is now that the boys that have volunteered have been sacrificed, and that if the thing was to be tried over again, few, if any, would stir a step.

All quiet to-day except now and then a gun just to keep up appearances.

It's very warm and dry and the dust is intolerable it's so sandy. We remained in our rifle pits until about 9 o'clock a. m. when we advanced and finding the enemy gone occupied their works till about 3 o'clock p. m. when we threw up another line of pits, and were then ordered to fall back to our line of last night, but finally charged through the brush about two miles and captured another line of works without resistance. There has been considerable confusion to-day. While on the skirmish line the Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania of our brigade came near being captured from the fact that for some unaccountable reason the picket line next on one of its flanks was withdrawn unknown to Colonel Schall, when the enemy crept through the opening and captured about a dozen men, but seeing what was the matter, Colonel Schall, a splendid officer, took such action as was necessary and saved his regiment. In another instance the First Division of our Corps, which had moved more slowly than ours and not as wished, found itself and its skirmish line partly a goodly distance behind our division. It was amusing to say the least, at any rate to us. We finally got things straightened out with the Second Division on our left but considerably in rear with its left refused to protect its flank. The first Division occupied a similar position on our right but a goodly distance in our rear.

46. Abigail Adams

22 June, 1775.

I received yours of June 10th,[81] for which I thank you. I want you to be more particular. Does every member feel for us? Can they realize what we suffer? And can they believe with what patience and fortitude we endure the conflict? Nor do we even tremble at the frowns of power.

You inquire of me who were at the engagement at Grape Island. I may say, with truth, all of Weymouth, Braintree, Hingham, who were able to bear arms, and hundreds from other towns within twenty, thirty, and forty miles of Weymouth. Our good friend, the Dr.,[82] is in a miserable state of health, and hardly able to go from his own house to my father's. Danger, you know, sometimes makes timid men bold. He stood that day very well, and generously attended, with drink, biscuit, flints, etc., five hundred men, without taking any pay. He has since been chosen one of the committee of correspondence for that town, and has done much service by establishing a regular method of alarm from town to town. Both your brothers were there; your younger brother, with his company, who gained honor by their good order that day. He was one of the first to venture on board a schooner to land upon the island. As to Chelsea, I cannot be so particular, as I know only in general that Colonel Putnam commanded there, and had many gentlemen volunteers. We have two companies stationed in this town: at Germantown, Captain Turner; at Squantum, Captain Vinton; in Weymouth, one; in Hingham, two, etc. I believe I shall remove your books this week to your brother's. We think it advisable. Colonel Quincy has procured his family a retreat at Deacon Holbrook's. Mr. Cranch has one at Major Bass's, in case of necessity, to which we hope not to be driven. We hear that the troops destined for New York are all expected here; but we have got to that pass that a whole legion of them would not intimidate us. I think I am very brave, upon the whole. If danger comes near my dwelling, I suppose I shall shudder. We want powder, but, with the blessing of Heaven, we fear them not. Write every opportunity you can. I am, yours,

Portia.

Footnotes:

[81]See Mr. Adams's letter, No. 40.

[82]Dr. Tufts.

June 22

June 22, 1869 (Nine A. M).--Gray and lowering weather. A fly lies dead of cold on the page of my book, in full summer! What is life? I said to myself, as I looked at the tiny dead creature. It is a loan, as movement is. The universal life is a sum total, of which the units are visible here, there, and everywhere, just as an electric wheel throws off sparks along its whole surface. Life passes through us; we do not possess it. Hirn admits three ultimate principles: [Footnote: Gustave-Adolphe Hirn, a French physicist, born near Colmar, 1815, became a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences in 1867. The book of his to which Amiel refers is no doubt Conséquences philosophiques at métaphysiques de la thermodynamique, Analyse élémentaire de l'univers (1869).] the atom, the force, the soul; the force which acts upon atoms, the soul which acts upon force. Probably he distinguishes between anonymous souls and personal souls. Then my fly would be an anonymous soul.

(Same day ).--The national churches are all up in arms against so-called Liberal Christianity; Basle and Zurich began the fight, and now Geneva has entered the lists too. Gradually it is becoming plain that historical Protestantism has no longer a raison d'être between pure liberty and pure authority. It is, in fact, a provisional stage, founded on the worship of the Bible--that is to say, on the idea of a written revelation, and of a book divinely inspired, and therefore authoritative. When once this thesis has been relegated to the rank of a fiction Protestantism crumbles away. There is nothing for it but to retire up on natural religion, or the religion of the moral consciousness. M.M. Réville, Conquerel, Fontanes, Buisson, [Footnote: The name of M. Albert Réville, the French Protestant theologian, is more or less familiar in England, especially since his delivery of the Hibbert lectures in 1884. Athanase Coquerel, born 1820, died 1876, the well-known champion of liberal ideas in the French Protestant Church, was suspended from his pastoral functions by the Consistory of Paris, on account of his review of M. Renan's "Vie de Jésus" in 1864. Ferdinand-Edouard Buisson, a liberal Protestant, originally a professor at Lausanne, was raised to the important function of Director of Primary Instruction by M. Ferry in 1879. He was denounced by Bishop Dupanloup, in the National Assembly of 1871, as the author of certain liberal pamphlets on the dangers connected with Scripture-teaching in schools, and, for the time, lost his employment under the Ministry of Education.] accept this logical outcome. They are the advance-guard of Protestantism and the laggards of free thought.

Their mistake is not seeing that all institutions rest upon a legal fiction, and that every living thing involves a logical absurdity. It may be logical to demand a church based on free examination and absolute sincerity; but to realize it is a different matter. A church lives by what is positive, and this positive element necessarily limits investigation. People confound the right of the individual, which is to be free, with the duty of the institution, which is to be something. They take the principle of science to be the same as the principle of the church, which is a mistake. They will not see that religion is different from philosophy, and that the one seeks union by faith, while the other upholds the solitary independence of thought. That the bread should be good it must have leaven; but the leaven is not the bread. Liberty is the means whereby we arrive at an enlightened faith--granted; but an assembly of people agreeing only upon this criterion and this method could not possibly found a church, for they might differ completely as to the results of the method. Suppose a newspaper the writers of which were of all possible parties--it would no doubt be a curiosity in journalism, but it would have no opinions, no faith, no creed. A drawing-room filled with refined people, carrying on polite discussion, is not a church, and a dispute, however courteous, is not worship. It is a mere confusion of kinds.