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.
Aug. 27, 1862
Editors of The Appeal, now located in Grenada, have learned that the steamer, Acacia, on her way down to Helena with a passenger and crew list of more than 150, struck a snag at Grand Cut Off, about 60 miles below Memphis, and sunk so rapidly that at least half of those on board perished.
The news previously received respecting the recapture of Clarksville and Fort Donelson, by our forces, with one million dollars worth of government property, is confirmed by the (Memphis) Bulletin of Sunday morning. (Clarksville was recaptured by Confederate forces, but not Fort Donelson.)
Aug. 29, 1862
PROGRESS OF THE WAR. It appears that the dark hours of the Confederacy have passed, and that a glorious day of successes, promising as the most ardent friend of Southern triumph and independence could desire, has broken upon us. Where was witnessed a few months ago so much despondency all is now hopeful, and it is a hope fully authorized by the facts.
Sept. 2, 1862
ARRESTED. — The editor of the bogus Memphis Appeal, the Federal organ in that city, has been arrested by the military authorities. Charge — the publication of libelous articles against General Curtis. (Gen. Sherman, who had no patience with the press, blue or gray, had the Union Appeal's editor, Samuel Sawyer, arrested for "false and libelous publication." Sawyer had been critical of some Union soldiers' conduct.)
SKIRMISH NEAR BOLIVAR. On Saturday last a sharp skirmish occurred near Bolivar, Tenn., between the Confederate cavalry force — about thirty-five hundred strong — under Gen. Armstrong, and a large Federal force, the strength of which we have been unable to learn ... after a sharp conflict the Feds were driven from the field in disorder.
GLORIOUS NEWS FROM VIRGINIA. Just as we go to press the glorious intelligence contained in our telegraphic columns came over the wires, and we have no time for comment. It will be sufficient to announce that victory has again perched upon our banners, and that the combined forces of the enemy in the Old Dominion have been routed with great loss.
My note: This is a reference to the Second Battle of Bull Run (Chantilly) fought on Sept. 1, 1862. Federal troops suffered 2100 casualties, including the death of General Isaac Stephens, who played a major role in my first two books, A Scratch with the Rebels and Beyond All Price. In comparison, Confederate casualties were 800.