October 19

Cloudy, dismal day; took Cousin Pert and Hattie Glover out to Cousin David Smith's in the afternoon, and visited at Ann Martin's in the evening; returned to David's for the night; very dark with blinding rain and snow, but got home safe; have enjoyed the day.

October Nineteenth

Float out, oh flag, from Freedom's burnished lance.
Float out, oh flag, in Red and White and Blue!
The Union's colors and the hues of France
Commingled on the view!
James Barron Hope

 

Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown, 1781

Burning of the “Peggy Stewart” at Annapolis, 1774

 

 

Monday, October 19th.—Rouen, 9 p.m. Got here late last night, and all the wounded were taken off straight away to the two general hospitals here.

One has 1300 cases, and has kept two people operating day and night. A great many deaths from tetanus.

Seen General French's 2nd despatch (of September) to-day in 'Daily Mail.' No mail in, alas! Had a regular debauch in cathedrals and baths to-day. This is the most glorious old city, two cathedrals of surpassing beauty, lovely old streets, broad river, hills, and lovely hot baths and hair shampooing. What with two cathedrals, a happy hour in a hot bath, a shampoo, and delicious tea in the town, we've had a happy day. The train stays here to-night and we are off to-morrow? for ——?

October 19

October 19, 1869.--An admirable article by Edmond Scherer on Sainte-Beuve in the Temps. He makes him the prince of French critics and the last representative of the epoch of literary taste, the future belonging to the bookmakers and the chatterers, to mediocrity and to violence. The article breathes a certain manly melancholy, befitting a funeral oration over one who was a master in the things of the mind. The fact is, that Sainte-Beuve leaves a greater void behind him than either Béranger or Lamartine; their greatness was already distant, historical; he was still helping us to think. The true critic acts as a fulcrum for all the world. He represents the public judgment, that is to say the public reason, the touchstone, the scales, the refining rod, which tests the value of every one and the merit of every work. Infallibility of judgment is perhaps rarer than anything else, so fine a balance of qualities does it demand--qualities both natural and acquired, qualities of mind and heart. What years of labor, what study and comparison, are needed to bring the critical judgment to maturity! Like Plato's sage, it is only at fifty that the critic rises to the true height of his literary priesthood, or, to put it less pompously, of his social function. By then only can he hope for insight into all the modes of being, and for mastery of all possible shades of appreciation. And Sainte-Beuve joined to this infinitely refined culture a prodigious memory, and an incredible multitude of facts and anecdotes stored up for the service of his thought.

69. John Adams

19 October, 1775.

It is some time since I wrote you, and I have nothing now to write but repetitions of respect and affection. I am anxious to hear from you. I hope the family is better; that your grief for the great loss we have all sustained is somewhat abated. I hope your father and sister Betsey are well, though they must be greatly afflicted. Give my love to Betsey, and let her know that I feel most intimately for her, as well as for myself and the rest. I consider the stroke must fall heavier upon her, as it was nearer to her. Her prosperity is near my heart. I wish her every blessing which she can possibly wish for herself.

Really, it is very painful to be four hundred miles from one's family and friends, when we know they are in affliction. It seems as if it would be a joy to me to fly home, even to share with you your burdens and misfortunes. Surely, if I were with you, it would be my study to allay your griefs, to mitigate your pains, and to divert your melancholy thoughts. When I shall come home, I know not. We have so much to do, and it is so difficult to do it right, that we must learn patience. Upon my word, I think, if ever I were to come here again, I must bring you with me. I could live here pleasantly, if I had you with me. Will you come and have the small-pox [105]here? I wish I could remove all the family, our little daughter and sons, and all go through the distemper here. What if we should? Let me please myself with the thought, however.

Congress has appointed Mr. Wythe, Mr. Deane, and me a committee to collect an account of the hostilities committed by the troops and ships, with proper evidence of the number and value of the houses and other buildings destroyed or damaged, the vessels captivated, and the cattle, sheep, hogs, etc., taken. We are about writing to all the General Assemblies of New England, and to many private gentlemen in each colony, to assist us in making the collections. The gentlemen with me are able men. Deane's character you know. He is a very ingenious man and an able politician. Wythe is a new member from Virginia, a lawyer of the highest eminence in that province, a learned and very laborious man; so that we may hope this commission will be well executed. A tale of woe it will be! Such a scene of distress and destruction, and so patiently and magnanimously borne! Such a scene of cruelty and barbarity, so unfeelingly committed! I mention this to you, my dear, that you may look up, and transmit to me, a paper which Colonel Palmer lent me, containing a relation of the Charlestown battle, which was transmitted to England by the Committee of Safety. This paper I must have, or a copy of it.

I wish I could collect, from the people of Boston or others, a proper set of paintings of the scenes of distress and misery brought upon that town from the commencement of the Port Bill. Posterity must hear a story that shall make their ears to tingle.

Yours, yours, yours.

Footnotes:

[105]By inoculation, which was then the practice.

October 19, 1863

Monday. We were up early and found the dance still going on. These creatures have danced all night, and eaten up a good portion of the rations, in spite of the fact that they knew a hard tramp lay before them to-day. How they will get through, or what we will do if they give out on the way, is the next thing for us to think of. They don't care. Someone has always thought for them and will have to think for them for some time to come.

The quartermaster and Reynolds started off in good season but I was kept back for instructions until they were out of sight, and I did not overtake them until they had reached Vermillion Bayou. A drove of men, women and children, the families of the men we were taking away, had followed them until now. We had to wait for a wagon train to get off the bridge and this gave time for them to get through with the good-byes, and most of them turned back. A half dozen or more of the younger women kept on and went all the way through. The day was warm, and the road was dusty, but we went through without accident or adventure, other than might be expected when all things are considered. For several days the men had been in a state of great excitement over their new prospects. They had wound up by dancing all night, and eating up the provisions intended for us on this hard tramp. As the day wore on the excitement wore off and they found themselves very tired and very hungry. Such few things as they had beside those on their backs was in a cart drawn by a mule, and driven by three wenches. When a man gave out we turned out a wench and put the man in her place. Finally all three wenches were on foot, and their places in the cart taken by as many men. Before long others gave out and the cart was loaded until that broke down. Then we held a council. We were outside the picket lines and night was coming on, and staying there in the road was not to be thought of. Three revolvers were the only weapons of defense we could muster in case of attack by a guerrilla squad. Capture meant death. We explained the situation to such as could understand us, and they made it so plain to the others that they were all ready to hustle. We patched up the cart so the extras could be dragged along and away we went. The quartermaster rode on to find a place to stay at, and something to eat. I let one who was worst off ride my horse, and with Reynolds at the front to coax, and I at the rear to drive, we got up such a gait I had to do my best to keep up. The road had been graded for a railroad, and was wide and level as a floor. At dusk I saw the steeple of a church, and knew we were near our journey's end. Now that the end was in sight, the weariness all seemed to disappear. We passed the picket line and were soon in the town.

The quartermaster had got a schoolhouse for a stay over and had rations from the commissary. We made short work of these and expected to settle right down for the night. The men and women filled the schoolhouse full, and after being in there a few minutes, we three made up our minds the air was better outside, so we each took a board shutter from the windows and were soon settled down as comfortable as the circumstances would allow. Before we were asleep we heard a fiddle tuning up and in a little while a dance was started and was in full blast when I fell asleep. How long it lasted I don't know, but when I awoke about sunrise the inmates of the schoolhouse were sleeping like the dead.