As many of you know, I'm not in Memphis at the moment. (Greetings from Myrtle Beach, where it's warm but foggy this morning). But like the people from 150 years ago, I am still in touch with what's going on there. It's just a little easier now that communication is done electronically rather than by telegraph or messengers on horseback.
In recognition of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, "Civil War-Era Memories" features excerpts from The Memphis Daily Appeal of 150 years ago. Perspective from our staff is in italics. (The last Grenada issue of The Memphis Daily Appeal appeared on Nov. 29, 1862. After relocating to Jackson, Miss., The Appeal printed its first issue there on Dec. 13.)
December 13, 1862
Our Debut in Jackson — In making our bow before the citizens of Jackson, we do so with commingled feelings of pleasure and regret — regret at the necessity which has forced the movement upon us, and pleasure in contemplating the fact that though driven from home, we are not among strangers. The Appeal has ever met a generous welcome and received a cordial support at the hands of the people of Mississippi, and so long as we are privileged to remain within her borders we shall feel that we are among friends and brethren. Hoping that we have been and may yet be of some service to the state, we have a desire verging upon ambition to keep our paper alive during the war. By dint of our own energy and the blessings of good fortune we have thus far been able to keep in advance of the enemy's lines, and would fain hope that we have now made our last retrograde move. Should the enemy permit us to remain in our present location until wild war's deadly blast is blown and until gentle peace shall have assumed her benignant sway over the land, we shall rejoice at the sacrifices we have made in keeping our offices out of the clutches of the foe.
Dec. 15, 1862
Federal Outrages at Oxford — A lady who left Oxford, Miss. on Thursday last, brings the latest intelligence we have direct from the enemy in that portion of the State. She informs us that the headquarters of Gen. Grant had been established in the mansion of Col. James Brown ... The ravages of the soldiery had been complete. Business houses were robbed of their contents and dwellings despoiled of their furniture at the will of the marauders, fences and out buildings were generally torn down and used for fuel and shrubbery, etc. wantonly mutilated and destroyed. The city is described by our informant as a desolate waste.
It is announced that there will no public receptions at the White House this winter, owing to the recent death of Lincoln's son.