Civil War-Era Memories from The Memphis Daily Appeal: May 20, 2012. 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
. May 14, 1862 Escaping -- Attempts to evade the unpopular conscription law are expected to be very outrageous; steps have been taken to prevent escape from the city. (The Confederate Conscription Act which went into effect May 16 drafted white men between 18 and 35 for three years' service. The law allowed for substitutions and exemptions, some of which are listed in the excerpt below:)
All engaged in carrying the mails; all ferrymen on post routes; all pilots and persons engaged in the marine service, and in actual service on river and railroad routes of transportation, telegraphic operatives and ministers of religion in the regular discharge of ministerial duties; all engaged in working iron mines, furnaces and foundries, all journeymen printers actually employed in printing newspapers, all presidents and professors of colleges and academies, and all teachers having as many as twenty scholars, superintendents of public hospitals, lunatic asylums and the regular nurses and attendants thererin . . . shall be and are hereby exempted from military service in the Confederate states.
May 15, 1862 But two days after receiving the news of the capture of New Orleans, the Yankees dispatched two large vessels from Boston for that port, loaded with ice.
A Day of Fasting and Prayer – We publish elsewhere, this morning, the proclamation of the President, appointing this day an occasion of fasting and prayer for the people of the Confederate states, whereupon our whole people are invited to unite at their several places of worship.
From the London Times / The great battle of the Tennessee seems to deserve the fame which has been claimed for it. There was a two days’ conflict between two very considerable armies. It was a drawn battle, and the first creditable encounter on either side which has taken place during the war. We have too much blood relationship with these men on both sides, although the South are more purely English than the other, not to wish that, if they will fight, they may fight well.
May 17, 1862 "BURN THE COTTON" by Estelle -- Burn the cotton! Burn the cotton! / Let the record boldly stand; / Not a bale for "filthy lucre."/ All for Freedom to our land./ Burn the cotton! Burn the cotton! / From its ashes there shall spring / Heralds of a new-born nation,/ Claiming still that "cotton's King!" (final verse of a six-stanza poem)
May 20, 1862 Morgan in Kentucky – Col. Morgan is in Central Kentucky, where he is obtaining large reinforcements. The public sentiment has been revolutionized, and the people are everywhere surrounding his standard. The Federals have sent three regiments against him. On his way Col. M. destroyed fifty three cars on the Louisville and Nashville railroad and seized fifty thousand dollars in cash.
Corinth / Gen. Butler’s public order, of the 15th, to the women of New Orleans, that here after when any female shall by word, gesture or movement insult, or show contempt, for any officer or soldier of the United States, she shall be regarded and held liable to be treated as a woman of the town, plying her avocation, has been published today to our army, by Gen. Beauregard, with an address to the men of the South, calling upon them to avenge the insult to our mothers, wives and daughters, who are treated by ruffian barbarians as common harlots
Enemy Before Corinth: Latest reports of Scouting Parties / Several of our most active and enterprising scouts . . . returned yesterday from an expedition beyond Farmington . . . They report unparalleled sickness, disaffection and despondency in the Federal army. One day last week three thousand sick were sent off from Pope’s command alone, which is supposed to number between fifteen and twenty thousand. Diarrhea, bloody flux and typhoid fever are the principal diseases. They are brought on by the use of bad water, exposure to the sun and other agencies, generated by the late extraordinary dry weather, operating upon great numbers huddled together in a country and climate to which they are strangers.
We are not at all surprised that our two city contemporaries -- the Avalanche and Argus -- should both discover editorials and correspondence in the APPEAL worthy of being inserted in their own choicely-selected columns. Our only surprise is, that their memory is of such brevity that they forget the source whence they make their selections.
Compiled by Rosemary Nelms and Jan Smith, The Commercial Appeal News Library