September 15

September 15


To-day is a rustic festival; the carpenters and all other workmen have a holiday, and, daubing all their tools with red paint, cover them with flowers, and then kneel down and worship them, and beg them to work well and not to break during the next year. This is called the "poujah of tools."

September 15, 1862

Monday. Two men in the guard-house. We are improving. Baltimore whiskey got into the camp some way and these men found it. At dress parade to-night, a dispatch was read to us saying a great battle had been fought and a great victory won by McClellan. We gave three cheers that must have reached the scene of battle. It has set us up wonderfully.

It was fair until 5 o'clock p. m. when it sprinkled slightly and prevented dress parade. We had battalion drill this forenoon and Company drill this afternoon. The Commissary came up this forenoon, too, with rations. We have received a large mail. All well at home. The Second Division of the Sixth Corps and a brigade of cavalry made a reconnoissance to-day toward Opequan Creek where the Vermont Brigade skirmishers located the enemy just beyond Opequan Creek with its line facing east, its right flank resting on the Berryville pike and its left on the Martinsburg pike with Winchester in its rear. Our armies are about six miles apart.

September Fifteenth

General Jackson, after a brief dispatch to General Lee announcing the capitulation, rode up to Bolivar and down into Harper's Ferry. The curiosity of the Union Army to see him was so great that the soldiers lined the sides of the road. Many of them uncovered as he passed, and he invariably returned the salute. One man had an echo of response all about him when he said aloud: “Boys, he's not much for looks, but if we'd had him we wouldn't have been caught in this trap.”

Henry Kyd Douglas


Capture of Harper's Ferry by Jackson, 1862



Tuesday, September 15th.—The train managed to reach Le Mans at 1 a.m. this morning, and kindly shunted into a siding in the station till 6.30 a.m., so we got out our blankets and had a bit of a sleep. At 7 a motor ambulance took us up to No.— Stationary Hospital, which is a rather grimy Bishop's Palace, pretty full and busy. The Sisters there gave us tea and biscuits, and we were then sorted out by the Senior Matron, and billeted singly. I'm in a nice little house with a garden with an old French lady who hasn't a word of English, and fell on my neck when she found I could understand her, and patter glibly and atrociously back. My little room has a big window over the garden, and will, I suppose, be my headquarters for the present in between train and station duty, which I believe is to be our lot. We go to a rather dim café for meals, and shall then learn what the duty is to be. It is yet a long time coming. We haven't had a meal since the day before yesterday, so I shall be glad when 12 o'clock comes. Now for a wash.

140. Abigail Adams

15 September, 1776.

I have been so much engaged with company this week, that though I never cease to think of you I have not had leisure to write. It has been High Court week with us. Judge Cushing and lady kept here. The judges all dined with me one day and the bar another day. The Court sit till Saturday night and then are obliged to continue many causes. The people seem to be pleased and gratified at seeing justice returning into its old regular channel again.

I this week received two letters, one dated 27th and one 29th July. Where they have been these two months I cannot conceive. I hear of another by the express, but have not yet been able to find it. I write now not knowing where to direct to you; whether you are in the American Senate or on board the British fleet, is a matter of uncertainty. I hear to-day that you are one of a committee sent by Congress to hold a conference with Lord Howe. Some say to negotiate an exchange of General Sullivan. Others say you are charged with other matters.

May you be as wise as serpents. I wish to hear from you. The 28th of August was the last date. I may have letters at the post-office. The town is not yet clear of the small-pox, which makes it difficult for me to get a conveyance from there unless I send on purpose.

I only write now to let you know we are all well, anxiously longing for your return.

As this is a child of chance I do not choose to say anything more than that I am

Sincerely Yours.

September 15

September 15, 1857.--I have just finished Sismondi's journal and correspondence. Sismondi is essentially the honest man, conscientious, upright, respectable, the friend of the public good and the devoted upholder of a great cause, the amelioration of the common lot of men. Character and heart are the dominant elements in his individuality, and cordiality is the salient feature of his nature. Sismondi's is a most encouraging example. With average faculties, very little imagination, not much taste, not much talent, without subtlety of feeling, without great elevation or width or profundity of mind, he yet succeeded in achieving a career which was almost illustrious, and he has left behind him some sixty volumes, well-known and well spoken of. How was this? His love for men on the one side, and his passion for work on the other, are the two factors in his fame. In political economy, in literary or political history, in personal action, Sismondi showed no genius--scarcely talent; but in all he did there was solidity, loyalty, good sense and integrity. The poetical, artistic and philosophic sense is deficient in him, but he attracts and interests us by his moral sense. We see in him the sincere writer, a man of excellent heart, a good citizen and warm friend, worthy and honest in the widest sense of terms, not brilliant, but inspiring trust and confidence by his character, his principles and his virtues. More than this, he is the best type of good Genevese liberalism, republican but not democratic, Protestant but not Calvinist, human but not socialist, progressive but without any sympathy with violence. He was a conservative without either egotism or hypocrisy, a patriot without narrowness. In his theories he was governed by experience and observation, and in his practice by general ideas. A laborious philanthropist, the past and the present were to him but fields of study, from which useful lessons might be gleaned. Positive and reasonable in temper, his mind was set upon a high average well-being for human society, and his efforts were directed toward founding such a social science as might most readily promote it.

268. John Adams

Amsterdam, 15 September, 1780.

My dear Portia,—I wish you to write me by every opportunity to this place as well as to France. It seems as if I never should get any more letters from America. I have sent you some things by Captain Davis, but he has no arms, and I fear they will be lost by capture. I sent things by the Alliance.

The country where I am is the greatest curiosity in the world. This nation is not known anywhere, not even by its neighbors. The Dutch language is spoken by none but themselves. Therefore they converse with nobody, and nobody converses with them. The English are a great nation, and they despise the Dutch because they are smaller. The French are a greater nation still, and therefore they despise the Dutch because they are still smaller in comparison to them. But I doubt much whether there is any nation of Europe more estimable than the Dutch in proportion. Their industry and economy ought to be examples to the world. They have less ambition, I mean that of conquest and military glory, than their neighbors, but I don't perceive that they have more avarice. And they carry learning and arts, I think, to greater extent. The collections of curiosities, public and private, are innumerable.

I am told that Mr. Searle is arrived at Brest; but I have learned nothing from him as yet, nor do I know his destination. The French and Spanish fleets have made a sweep of sixty upon the English East India and West India fleets. This must have great effects. We are all well. Don't expect peace. The English have not yet forgotten the acquisition of Charleston, for which they are making the most childish exultations. The new Parliament will give ministry a run. Mark my words, you will have no peace but what you give yourselves by destroying, root and branch, all the British force in America. The English cannot bear the thought that France should dictate the terms of peace, as they call it. They say they must make a dishonorable peace now, a shameful peace, a degrading peace. This is worse than death to them, and thus they will go on, until they are forced to sue for a peace still more shameful and humiliating.