June 26

Another Sabbath morning has dawned, and finds us in the same uncomfortable position as yesterday, yet I will not complain of the intense heat as long as we can remain quiet. We get plenty of lemons and ice from the Sanitary Commission which alleviates our discomforts considerably. The enemy still permits us to remain quiet, but are less lenient to those on our right, as fighting was kept up all night. Burnside was attacked but held his own.

June 26

June 26, 1880.--Democracy exists; it is mere loss of time to dwell upon its absurdities and defects. Every régime has its weaknesses, and this régime is a lesser evil than others. On things its effect is unfavorable, but on the other hand men profit by it, for it develops the individual by obliging every one to take interest in a multitude of questions. It makes bad work, but it produces citizens. This is its excuse, and a more than tolerable one; in the eyes of the philanthropist, indeed, it is a serious title to respect, for, after all, social institutions are made for man, and not vice versâ.

June 26, 1863

Friday. Lieutenant Pierce is half sick yet, and ought not to be here. He wished this morning he had some blackberries, so three of us got permission to go for some. So many pickers have cleaned them up, so we found only a few here and there. We went a long way out, and made a thorough search. A shower overtook us and gave us a fine washing. Just after noon we heard the ball open again. It seemed to be all along the line from right to left. One said it was General Banks' notice to the Rebs to get ready to whip him again. We hurried back with what berries we had. The shot and shells were flying both ways. Company B was out on the skirmish line, and did not get in until morning. The firing stopped about dark, and so far as I can find out no one has been killed or wounded.

June Twenty-Sixth

A PROPHECY, 1869

The close of the Civil War found the conquering States so nearly equally divided between the Radical and Conservative parties, that if the South should be restored to her relative might in the Union, the balance would be thrown at once in favor of the Conservatives. The problem therefore assumed a mathematical form, and demanded that the South should not reinforce the Conservatives of the North. This could be prevented only in two ways, viz.; either by keeping the South out of the Union entirely or by placing the political power there in the hands of a minority. To adopt one or the other of these expedients was a party necessity. This is the whole key to Reconstruction; and fifty years hence no man living will be found to deny it.

Judge J. Fairfax McLaughlin
(In the “Southern Metropolis,” June 26, 1869 )

 

 

June 26

June 26, 1865.--One may guess the why and wherefore of a tear and yet find it too subtle to give any account of. A tear may be the poetical resumé of so many simultaneous impressions, the quintessence of so many opposing thoughts! It is like a drop of one of those precious elixirs of the East which contain the life of twenty plants fused into a single aroma. Sometimes it is the mere overflow of the soul, the running over of the cup of reverie. All that one cannot or will not say, all that one refuses to confess even to one's self--confused desires, secret trouble, suppressed grief, smothered conflict, voiceless regret, the emotions we have struggled against, the pain we have sought to hide, our superstitious fears, our vague sufferings, our restless presentiments, our unrealized dreams, the wounds inflicted upon our ideal, the dissatisfied languor, the vain hopes, the multitude of small indiscernible ills which accumulate slowly in a corner of the heart like water dropping noiselessly from the roof of a cavern--all these mysterious movements of the inner life end in an instant of emotion, and the emotion concentrates itself in a tear just visible on the edge of the eyelid.

For the rest, tears express joy as well as sadness. They are the symbol of the powerlessness of the soul to restrain its emotion and to remain mistress of itself. Speech implies analysis; when we are overcome by sensation or by feeling analysis ceases, and with it speech and liberty. Our only resource, after silence and stupor, is the language of action--pantomime. Any oppressive weight of thought carries us back to a stage anterior to humanity, to a gesture, a cry, a sob, and at last to swooning and collapse; that is to say, incapable of bearing the excessive strain of sensation as men, we fall back successively to the stage of mere animate being, and then to that of the vegetable. Dante swoons at every turn in his journey through hell, and nothing paints better the violence of his emotions and the ardor of his piety.

... And intense joy? It also withdraws into itself and is silent. To speak is to disperse and scatter. Words isolate and localize life in a single point; they touch only the circumference of being; they analyze, they treat one thing at a time. Thus they decentralize emotion, and chill it in doing so. The heart would fain brood over its feeling, cherishing and protecting it. Its happiness is silent and meditative; it listens to its own beating and feeds religiously upon itself.

113. John Adams

Philadelphia, 26 June, 1776.

I have written so seldom to you, that I am really grieved at the recollection. I wrote you a few lines June 2, and a few more June 16. These are all that I have written to you since this month began. It has been the busiest month that ever I saw. I have found time to inclose all the newspapers, which I hope you will receive in due time.

Our misfortunes in Canada are enough to melt a heart of stone. The small-pox is ten times more terrible than Britons, Canadians, and Indians, together. This was the cause of our precipitate retreat from Quebec. This the cause of our disgraces at the Cedars. I don't mean that this was all. There has been want approaching to famine, as well as pestilence. And these discouragements have so disheartened our officers that none of them seem to act with prudence and firmness. But these reverses of fortune don't discourage me. It was natural to expect them, and we ought to be prepared in our minds for greater changes and more melancholy scenes still. It is an animating cause, and brave spirits are not subdued with difficulties.

Amidst all our gloomy prospects in Canada, we receive some pleasure from Boston. I congratulate you on your victory over your enemies in the harbor. This has long lain near my heart, and it gives me great pleasure to think that what was so much wished is accomplished. I hope our people will now make the lower harbor impregnable, and never again suffer the flag of a tyrant to fly within any part of it.

The Congress have been pleased to give me more business than I am qualified for, and more than, I fear, I can go through, with safety to my health. They have established a board of war and ordnance and made me President of it, an honor to which I never aspired, a trust to which I feel myself vastly unequal. But I am determined to do as well as I can, and make industry supply, in some degree, the place of abilities and experience. The Board sits every morning and every evening. This with constant attendance in Congress will so entirely engross my time, that I fear I shall not be able to write you so often as I have. But I will steal time to write to you.

The small-pox! the small-pox! what shall we do with it? I could almost wish that an inoculating hospital was opened in every town in New England. It is some small consolation that the scoundrel savages have taken a large dose of it. They plundered the baggage and stripped off the clothes of our men who had the small-pox out full upon them at the Cedars.