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 Atlanta. Perspective from our staff is in italics.
Sept. 30, 1863
A Daring and Successful Adventure — John Armstrong, the former editor of the Vicksburg Whig, was taken prisoner at the surrender of Vicksburg and ordered outside the Yankee lines, where he had no means of communicating with the fair one whose beauty, accomplishments and gentle disposition had won his heart. John determined to brave all dangers rather than remain separated from his heart’s idol, and passed the Yankee pickets, . . got her consent to have her name changed and escape with him to Dixie ... John succeeded in bringing his prize away with him to the land of freedom, hoe-cake, sweet potatoes and pretty women
.Oct. 5, 1863
Memphis “Secesh” (from the Memphis Bulletin) — Notwithstanding the surveillance of Yankee detectives, etc. and the harsh rule that has so long tyrannized over them, our friends in Memphis could not repress their joy on hearing that Rosecrans had been defeated (at Chickamauga). It was dangerous but it showed itself in spite of Federal bayonets and prisons ... It was the first hour of genuine happiness enjoyed by the secesh for three months. In a stroll about 2 p.m., extending from Adams Street to Union, we marked groups at every corner and shop door, and in every recess, poring over the news.
Oct. 6, 1863
Memphis Intelligence — A proposition is now being urged in Memphis to improve Main Street by laying the Nicholson or wood pavement its entire length ... The discussions that have arisen on the this subject have brought to light the fact that the city owes at this time three hundred and seventy thousand dollars, every cent of which will be due on or before the first of January next, and for which no provision has yet been made. Also, that it is with the greatest difficulty funds can be provided to keep the schools open, pay the teachers, and defray the current expenses of the city government.