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. More excerpts at commercialappeal.com.
(The Confederates evacuated Corinth on June 4; Fort Pillow and Fort Randolph, just north of Memphis on the Mississippi River, were abandoned the same day, which set the stage for the capture of Memphis on June 6.)
June 4, 1862
Quiet prevailed again in Memphis yesterday although news of the Confederate victories in Virginia caused some satisfaction but did not raise the people's spirits to the bubbling point. Except among the office-seekers themselves no one in Memphis seems concerned about the city election to be held in about three weeks.
June 6, 1862
From the Avalanche -- The city yesterday was quite lively ... The common mode of salutation on Main Street was, "When do you think the Federals will be here?" ... The prospect is very good for a grand naval engagement, which shall eclipse anything ever seen before.
Having done our whole duty and made the last sacrifice in our power to offer, let us await coming events with composure and dignity. We are completely defenseless ... If it be our inexorable fate to submit to the desecration of our streets by the foot-prints of the invader, let us bear it as a gallant people who have done all in their power to avert the calamity, endure it as patiently as possible, looking hopefully for a speedy deliverance in the final triumph of our cause.
(This editorial was written for the last issue printed in Memphis. Editor John McClanahan watched the naval battle on June 6 from the wharf, witnessed the city's surrender, then moved on to Grenada, Miss. The next issue appeared on June 9.)
June 9, 1862
GRENADA, Miss. -- Memphis has fallen. But it is a source of pride to us in this our first issue from another theater of operations, to record the fact, that she fell honorably ... The city is conquered, but her people are not crushed or converted to Lincolnism ... To their honor be it recorded!!