Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

October 29.—Major-General George H. Thomas sent the following dispatch to the headquarters of the United States army, from his camp at Chattanooga, Tenn.:

“In the fight last night the enemy attacked General Geary’s division, posted at Wauhatchie, on three different sides, and broke into his camp at one point, but was driven back in most gallant style by a part of his force, the remainder being held in reserve. General Howard, whilst marching to Geary’s relief, was attacked in flank. The enemy occupying in force two commanding hills on the left of the road, he immediately threw forward two of his regiments and took both of them at the point of the bayonet, driving the enemy from his breastworks and across Lookout Creek. In this brilliant success over their old adversary, the conduct of the officers and men of the Eleventh and Twelfth corps is entitled to the highest praise.”—(Doc. 211.)

—The flag of truce boat arrived at Annapolis, Md., from City Point, Va., with one hundred and eighty-one paroled men, eight having died on the passage from actual starvation. A correspondent says:

“Never, in the whole course of my life, have I ever seen such a scene as these men presented; they were living skeletons; every man of them had to be sent to the hospitals, and the surgeon’s opinion is, that more than one third of them must die, being beyond the reach of nourishment or medicine.

“I questioned several of them, and all state that their condition has been brought on by the treatment they have received at the hands of the rebels. They have been kept without food, and exposed a large portion of the time without shelter of any kind. To look at these men, and hear their tales of woe and how they have been treated, one would not suppose they had fallen into the hands of the Southern chivalry, but rather into the hands of savage barbarians, destitute of all humanity or feeling. If human means cannot be brought to punish such treatment to prisoners, God, in his justice, will launch his judgments upon the heads of any people who will so far forget the treatment due to humanity.

“It seems to be the policy of the South to keep the Union prisoners until they are so far worn out as ever to be unfit for service again, and then send them off to die; while the men captured by the Nationals are returned to them well clothed and well fed, ready to go into the field the moment they arrive within their lines.”

—Jefferson Davis sent the following letter to Lieutenant-General Polk, who had been relieved of his command, upon a charge of mismanagement at the battle of Chickamauga:

“After an examination into the causes and circumstances attending your being relieved from command with the army commanded by General Bragg, I have arrived at the conclusion that there is nothing to justify a court-martial or court of inquiry, and I therefore dismiss the application.

“Your appointment to a new field of duty, alike important and difficult, is the best evidence of my appreciation of your past services and expectation of your future career.”

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