March 30

It rained hard all night; didn't sleep a wink; got very wet; men in good spirits and everything working well in spite of the rain; have seen no officer of the day. Lieut. George P. Welch came down to see me this evening; very dark; camp quiet; looks like another storm before morning.

Tuesday, March 30th.—Ditto. This cold wind has dried up the mud everywhere, and until to-day there's been a bright sun with it.

The men clean the train and play football, and the M.O.'s take the puppy out, and everybody swears a great deal at a fate which no one can alter, and we are all craving for our week-old mails.

March Thirtieth

In discussing the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, Senator Hale warned Senator Toombs that the North would fight. The Georgian answered: “I believe nobody ever doubted that any portion of the United States would fight on a proper occasion.... There are courageous and honest men enough in both sections to fight. There is no question of courage involved. The people of both sections of the Union have illustrated their courage on too many battlefields to be questioned. They have shown their fighting qualities shoulder to shoulder whenever their country has called upon them; but that they may never come in contact with each other in a fratricidal war should be the ardent wish and earnest desire of every true man and honest patriot.”

Pleasant A. Stovall

 

Texas readmitted to the Union, 1870

 

 

March 30

March 30, 1870.--Certainly, nature is unjust and shameless, without probity, and without faith. Her only alternatives are gratuitous favor or mad aversion, and her only way of redressing an injustice is to commit another. The happiness of the few is expiated by the misery of the greater number. It is useless to accuse a blind force.

The human conscience, however, revolts against this law of nature, and to satisfy its own instinct of justice it has imagined two hypotheses, out of which it has made for itself a religion--the idea of an individual providence, and the hypothesis of another life.

In these we have a protest against nature, which is thus declared immoral and scandalous to the moral sense. Man believes in good, and that he may ground himself on justice he maintains that the injustice all around him is but an appearance, a mystery, a cheat, and that justice will be done. Fiat justitia, pereal mundus!

It is a great act of faith. And since humanity has not made itself, this protest has some chance of expressing a truth. If there is conflict between the natural world and the moral world, between reality and conscience, conscience must be right.

It is by no means necessary that the universe should exist, but it is necessary that justice should be done, and atheism is bound to explain the fixed obstinacy of conscience on this point. Nature is not just; we are the products of nature: why are we always claiming and prophesying justice? why does the effect rise up against its cause? It is a singular phenomenon. Does the protest come from any puerile blindness of human vanity? No, it is the deepest cry of our being, and it is for the honor of God that the cry is uttered. Heaven and earth may pass away, but good ought to be, and injustice ought not to be. Such is the creed of the human race. Nature will be conquered by spirit; the eternal will triumph over time.

La Madeleine March 30, 1884

... You ask a question on which I can express unexpected agreement. As long as property is the basis of representation, I think it hard to exclude female owners. There is an obvious principle in it, of course. But though obvious it is not stringent; because female influence is not excluded. We not only have no Salic Law, but we allow women to vote on matters not political, and we have attached political influence to property so closely, that rich old women, like the Duchess-Countess,[218 ] or Lady Londonderry, are dreadful powers in the land. The argument from consistency does not, therefore, make for exclusion.

At the same time, I think it an evil in many ways. Girls and widows are Tories, and channels of clerical influence, and it is not for them so much as for married women that your argument tells. If we ever have manhood suffrage—dissociating power from property altogether, it will be difficult to keep out wives. The objections to voting wives are overwhelming.

*****

You open a delightful vista of Colleges and Chapels at Cambridge. It is not so easy to answer quite definitely. If the Reform Bill, read a second time before Easter, is sent up by Whitsuntide, the division in the Lords will be early in June. My difficulty would then be that, having to come in June, I could hardly come to England in May. Supposing my Reform vote to be wanted only after Midsummer, then my probable plan would be to come to London by the middle of May; and I should be at your orders for Cambridge any time between 20th and 30th May....

Subject to these conditions, I shall be only too happy to escort you down to the Sidgwicks', to whom, please present my best thanks. If Maine is there, I dare say we can count on a luncheon there.... I am talking of myself and own plans; but all the time I am thinking of your cares and troubles, of which you say so little. If you can send me a line of good news to Rome, I shall be so glad.


[218 ] Duchess of Sutherland, Countess of Cromarty in her own right.

March 30, 1864

Wednesday. New orders already. Major Palon, with Lieutenants Bell, Dillon and Van Alstyne, is to go to Natchitoches for recruits. The Jay-hawkers say every one of the recruiting squad is known by name to General Mouton, and that he also has a pretty good description of each one. He has had this ever since we camped on his plantation last fall. If any are captured we are to be tried by the civil authorities for "nigger stealing," the penalty for which is death. How General Mouton got all this information the Jay-hawkers say they don't know, but if what I have been mean enough to hint at should be true, then it all becomes plain. It seems to me they should be watched until they prove their sincerity by their works. We begin to think we are somebody after all, to be mentioned in general orders, even if it is only to advertise us as "nigger-stealers."

We boarded the steamer Jennie Rogers at noon. I tried to get Tony to stay back, telling him the Jay-hawker story and that if he was caught in our company his fate would be as bad or worse than ours. At first he decided to stay, but as we were going on board he changed his mind and would go, saying, "If the Rebels get you, then I'm going to die wid you." We ran up to the rapids and stopped. The gunboat Ozart had got fast in the mud by going too close to the opposite bank. A big rope was run across the river to a tree and made fast, and the machinery on the Ozart went to winding up on it, thinking to pull herself loose. Next, another rope was tied to the middle of the big one, and a tugboat began pulling on it, the Ozart all the time winding up the slack. The big rope, or hawser as they call it, was finally pulled high enough so the tug could go under it, and then it went up-stream as far as the rope would let it, and then, with a full head of steam, came down under it, fetching up with a tremendous yank on the hawser, which made the water fly from it in all directions. This was done several times, but the Ozart was still there. Then a tree was cut and one end brought on board, the other resting against the bank. In some way, tackles were rigged so that the tree was made to push, and the tug giving one more pull, the Ozart came loose from the bank and seemed none the worse for the tugging she had had. The line across the river was then taken in and the Jennie Rogers went on for ten or a dozen miles and tied up for the night.