In recognition of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, "Civil War-Era Memories" features excerpts from The Memphis Daily Appeal of 150 years ago. The Appeal is publishing from Grenada, Miss.
Nov. 5, 1862
SUPERABUNDANCE OF MEN. There is, according to the census, an excess of 733,258 males over females in the United States. That fact is noteworthy and ought to quiet the apprehensions of those who feared the war would cause an undue preponderance of women after peace was declared. (Fact check: The usual figure cited for total deaths in Civil war is 620,000. Recently, however, prominent historians have suggested that the figure should be closer to 750,000. That gender balance appears to have been shakier than we knew!)
Nov. 6, 1862
The Federals at Memphis, we are informed, have been lately reinforced to a considerable extent, and they are in constant fear of attack. In the event of one being made, and their inability to hold the city, they are free in declaring their intention of destroying it.
Nov. 7, 1862
It seems that General Sherman has issued another tyrannical order in Memphis, which is a twin brother in that regarding the expulsion of families. The substance of it, as we have been informed, is that the head of that family nearest whose residence the body of a murdered Federal is found shall be held responsible for the killing. (Logical, isn't it, even if somewhat unfair Who else would you blame?)
The Federals do not love Mississippians, and if they ever succeed in getting a foothold in our State, they will show us no mercy. It is their purpose, as they have been repeatedly heard to say in Memphis, to come "with the sword in one hand and a torch in the other." Let us then be prepared, in every respect, to give them a cordial welcome, "with bloody hands to hospitable grave." (Uh, doesn't occupying both Memphis and Nashville count as a "foothold?)
Nov. 8, 1862
We learn that St. Agnes Academy, heretofore popular Memphis institution, continues to enjoy public favor. The list of pupils is large and the same excellent attention is bestowed as formerly to secure health and advance the mental culture of all who are consigned to the care of the worthy sisters of St. Agnes. (Note: St. Agnes is still going strong. I met a teacher from there at my book signing in Charleston over the weekend.)
CAST AWAY GLOOM AND DESPONDENCY. We must reasonably expect to meet with reverses, amounting sometimes to serious disasters, and again, we will be cheered with brilliant victories. No war of the magnitude of this, ever occurred in which there were not alternate victories and defeats. Moderation in victory and a resolute determination in the hour of defeat, should be cultivated by us all.
Nov. 9, 1862
From persons recently from Memphis we learn that the Federals there do not disguise their plans for the invasion of Mississippi this winter. Their programme is to move in three columns, one from Memphis, one from LaGrange or Holly Springs, and one from Corinth.
Nov. 10, 1862
Reliable sources insist it is true that General Buell boxed Andy Johnson's ears publicly at Nashville a few weeks ago. The altercation occurred after Lincoln's representative in Tennessee called the general a traitor. (This might have been fun to watch!)