September 5

Saturday, September 5th.—Had a perfect voyage—getting in to Nantes to-night—after that no one knows. Shouldn't be surprised if we are sent home.

Was aroused this morning at 4 o'clock by the Vermont brigade. It moved round on to our right in the night and built works to protect our right flank; rained hard last night; got very wet; was relieved from picket by the Fourteenth New Jersey; no skirmishing to-day. The enemy has evidently fallen back to Winchester. It's quite cloudy.

September 5, 1862

Still in Hudson. Was routed out twice last night, for no particular reason as far as I can discover, unless it was to make a miserable night still more miserable. After forming in line and standing there, half asleep, for a while, the order, "Break Ranks" would come and we would go back to our bunks, and so the night wore away. At 4.30 we were called again, marched out for our morning ablutions, and then marched back again, wide awake, but pretty cross and ugly. We signed receipts for one month's pay in advance, and then had breakfast. We did nothing more until dinner time and were then told to take our haversacks and canteens with us. After dinner we were each given a day's supply of bread and a canteen full of coffee, and told to be ready to march at any minute.

September Fifth

If slavery were an unutterably evil institution, with no alleviating features, how are we to account for the fact that when the Confederate soldiers were at the front fighting, as they thought, for their independence, the negroes on the plantations took care of the women and children and old people, and nothing like an act of violence was ever known among them?... Is it not perfectly evident that there was a great rebellion, but that the rebels were the Northerners and that those who defended the Constitution as it was were the Southerners; but they defended State rights and slavery, which were distinctly intrenched within the Constitution?

Charles E. Stowe
(A Northern view in the light of fifty years of history )



September 5, 1863

Saturday. Our boarding place at 184 Gravier Street has not proved to be all we hoped for, that is, the sleeping accommodations are not quite as desirable as we would like. In the first place the room is close and hot. The mosquito bars shut out what air there might be, but still have holes enough to let through the hungry varmints by the dozen. Then there were bed bugs that act as if they had been starving all summer, and could never get blood enough. The rooms were alive with cockroaches, but these we didn't mind so much, for they did nothing worse than make a noise running across the floor. But on the whole we concluded to move and are in much better quarters at a house on Carondalet Street. I told Sol, as we had nothing to do but scratch and as our play spell might end any day, we should not be so particular, but he was decided and we went.

September 5, 1862

SIX  p. m. On board the steamship Oregon, bound for New York City. We had a busy time getting off. Crowds upon crowds of people lined the way from the camp ground to the steamboat landing. The windows and the house tops were also full. I don't see where so many people came from. Men, women and children were waving flags, handkerchiefs or anything else that would wave. They cheered us until hoarse. Bands played, every steam whistle in Hudson was blowing, in fact every thing that could make a noise did so. Through it all we marched, reaching out every little while for a final handshake, and a last good-bye. Everyone seemed to know everybody else. I presume I shook hands with a hundred that I never saw before and may never see again. But the heartiness of it all, and the sincerity showed so plainly, that by the time the landing was reached the tears were washing the dust from our faces. I am glad it is over. No matter what comes next, it cannot be more trying than that march through Hudson.

Later. The sail down the Hudson is glorious. It is all new to me. As soon as we were clear from the dock I got into the quietest place I could find and told my diary about it. I wish I could better describe the doings about me. This will do to remind me of it all, if I ever see these scribblings again, and if not those that do see them may turn their imagination loose, feeling sure that it cannot overdraw the picture. But there is no use trying to write any more. Confusion reigns, and I am going to put away my diary and take a hand in it.

136. John Adams

Philadelphia, 5 September, 1776.

Mr. Bass arrived this day with the joyful news that you were all well. By this opportunity I shall send you a canister of green tea by Mr. Hare. Before Mr. Gerry went away from hence, I asked Mrs. Yard to send a pound of green tea to you. She readily agreed. When I came home at night I was told Mr. G. was gone. I asked Mrs. Y. if she had sent the canister. She said, yes, and that Mr. G. undertook to deliver it with a great deal of pleasure. From that time I flattered myself you would have the poor relief of a dish of good tea, under all your fatigues with the children, and under all the disagreeable circumstances attending the small-pox, and I never conceived a single doubt that you had received it, until Mr. Gerry's return. I asked him, accidentally, whether he delivered it, and he said, "Yes, to Mr. Samuel Adams's lady."[157] I was astonished. He misunderstood Mrs. Yard entirely; for upon inquiry she affirms she told him it was for Mrs. J. A. I was so vexed at this that I have ordered another canister, and Mr. Hare has been kind enough to undertake to deliver it. How the dispute will be settled I don't know. You must send a card to Mrs. S. A., and let her know that the canister was intended for you, and she may send it you, if she chooses, as it was charged to me. It is amazingly dear; nothing less than forty shillings, lawful money, a pound.

I am rejoiced that my horses are come. I shall now be able to take a ride. But it is uncertain when I shall set off for home. I will not go at present. Affairs are too delicate and critical. The panic may seize [158] whom it will. It shall not seize me. I will stay here until the public countenance is better, or much worse. It must and will be better. I think it is not now bad. Lies by the million will be told you. Don't believe any of them. There is no danger of the communication being cut off between the northern and southern colonies. I can go home when I please, in spite of all the fleet and army of Great Britain.


[157]This mistake in the delivery of the tea is frequently alluded to in the letters of the period, and caused much amusement.

[158]On account of the defeat on Long Island.