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

Woolsey family letters during the War for the Union

Georgeanna Woolsey to Francis Bacon.

Fishkill, Aug. 6, ’63.

Mother and I were in Gettysburg when your letter came, having hurried on immediately after the battle, under the impression, due to a mistake in telegraphing, that Charley was hurt; and, being on hand, were fastened upon by Mr. Olmsted, to take charge of a feeding station and lodge for the wounded men. So there we were, looking after other people’s boys, since our own was safe, for three weeks, coming as near the actual battle field as I should ever wish to. You know all about that fighting, how desperate it was on both sides; what loss, and what misery; the communications cut, no supplies on hand, no surgeons, or so few that they were driven to despair from the sight of wretchedness they could not help,—20,000 badly wounded soldiers and only one miserable, unsafe line of railroad to bring supplies and carry men away. We were twenty-four hours in getting from Baltimore to Gettysburg, when in ordinary times we should have been four. This was the only excuse I could think of to give the wretched rebels who, two weeks after the battle, lay in the mud under shelter tents, and had their food handed them in newspapers: “I am sorry, my man; we are all distressed at it; but you have cut our communications and nothing arrives.”

Never say anything against the Army of the Potomac again, when so few of our men, after their marching and fasting, overtook and overcame Lee’s fatted twice-their-number. I saw but very few who were slightly hurt among the wounded, and we fed all the 16,000 who went away from Gettysburg. So brave as they were too, and so pleased with all that was done for them—even the rebels. We had our station with tents for a hundred, with kitchen, surgeon and “delegation,” right on the railroad line between Gettysburg and Baltimore, and twice a day the trains left with soldiers,—long trains of ambulances always arriving just too late for the cars, and no provision being made to shelter and feed them except by the Sanitary Commission. We had the full storehouse of the Commission to draw upon, and took real satisfaction in dressing and comforting all our men. No man of the 16,000 went away without a good hot meal, and none from our tents without the fresh clothes they needed. Mother put great spirit into it all, listened to all their stories, petted them, fed them, and distributed clothes, including handkerchiefs with cologne, and got herself called “Mother,”—”This way, Mother,” “Here’s the bucket, Mother,” and “Isn’t she a glorious old woman?”—while the most that I ever heard was, “She knows how; why, it would have taken our steward two hours to get round; but then she’s used to it, you see;” which, when you consider that I was distributing hot grog, and must have been taken for a barmaid, was not so complimentary! Then those rebels too, miserable fellows; we hated them so much when they were away from us, and couldn’t help being so good to them when they were in our hands. I am, or should be, angry with myself in that I felt worse when Lieutenant Rhout of the 14th South Carolina died on my hands, singing the Lutheran chants he had sung in his father’s church before they made a soldier of him, than when E. C. writes me that “Amos” was their oldest son, and that she and his father were over sixty. . . . I am glad we helped those rebels. They had just as much good hot soup, when our procession of cans and cups and soft bread and general refreshment went round from car to car, as they wanted; and I even filled the silver pap‑cup that a pretty boy from North Carolina had round his neck, though he was an officer and showed no intention to become a Unionist. “Yes, it was his baby-cup,” and “his mother gave it to him;” and he lay on the floor of the baggage car, wounded, with this most domestic and peaceful of all little relics tied round his neck. We had lovely things for the men to eat —as many potatoes and turnips as they wanted, and almost “too much cabbages”; and custard pudding, and codfish hash, and jelly an inch high on their bread, and their bread buttered” buttered on both sides,” as the men discovered, greatly to their amusement one night, considering that the final touch had been given when this followed the clean clothes and cologne,—”cologne worth a penny a sniff.” “I smell it up here,” a soldier called to me, poking his head out of the second story window, while I and my bottle stood at the door of his hospital.

If at any time you would like to swear, call your enemy a Dutch farmer—nothing can be worse, or, if he is a man of decency, make him feel more indignant. The D— farmers of Gettysburg have made themselves a name and a fame to the latest day, by charging our poor men, who crawled out of the barns and woods where they hid themselves after they were wounded, three and four dollars each for bringing all that was left of their poor bodies, after defending the contemptible D— firesides, down to the railroad. We found this out, and had a detail from the Provost Marshal to arrest the next farmer who did it, and oblige him to refund or go to prison. The day before we came away a sleepy-looking, utterly stupid Dutchman walked into camp, having heard we had “some rebels.” He lived five miles from the city and had “never seen one,” and came mooning in to stare at them, and stood with his mouth open, while the rebels and ourselves were shouting with laughter, he “pledging his word” that “he never saw a rebel afore.” “And why didn’t you take your gun and help drive them out of your town?” Mother said. “Why, a feller might a got hit;” at which the rebels, lying in double rows in the tent, shook themselves almost to pieces.

It was a satisfaction to be in Gettysburg, though I confess to a longing to shut out the sight of it all, sometimes. The dear fellows were so badly hurt, and it was so hard to bear their perfect patience; men with a right arm gone, and children at home, and no word or look of discontent.

The authorities want us to go back again, and look after the special diet in the new and fine General Hospital for 3000 men, too sick to be moved. We can’t do so, though, as Jane and I have promised to spend the winter at Point Lookout in the Hammond Hospital. Look with respect upon your correspondent; she is at the head of the Protestant half of the women’s department of that hospital. The Sisters run half the wards, and I expect to have fun with their Lady Superior and to wheedle her out of all her secrets, and get myself invited out to tea. Why shouldn’t she and I compare notes on the proper way to make soup? I will call her “Sister,” and agree to eat oysters on Friday,—(they are particularly fine on the Maryland shore).

It will be rather jolly down there, particularly as the surgeon in charge is delighted to have us come, and we shall ride over him just as much as your dear old women, black and white, do over their particular conquest. As for gardens of oranges, and flowers—well, we shall have beds of oysters, and, as it is a military station, there will be a band there to keep up our spirits; which reminds me to give the Baltimore fireman his due, who, being one of our friends at Gettysburg, secured two bands before we came away and marched them down to camp to serenade us, which they did standing at the mouth of the long tent and refreshing themselves afterwards with gingerbread and punch, unmindful of the fact that the jolly Canandaigua “delegation,” finding its fingers inconvenienced by the sugar on them, just dipped their hands in the claret and water without saying anything! It will be a long time before Gettysburg will forget the Army of the Potomac. Their houses are battered, some of them with great holes through and through them. Their streets are filled with old caps, pieces of muskets, haversacks, scraps of war everywhere, and even the children fling stones across the streets, and call to each other, “Here, you rebel, don’t you hear that shell?” and one babe of four years I found sitting on the pavement with a hammer peacefully cracking percussion caps from the little cupful he had. . . .

What a good thing the public burying of the colored Captain has been, down where you are in New Orleans. Send me some more accounts of your hospital.

Georgeanna Muirson Woolsey to her Mother.

Fishkill, August 5.

Dear Mother: Thank you for your nice note which came last night. . . . No wonder you regret Gettysburg. You will be gladder all the time that you went there and did what you did; and you will be ready to give me great praise, I hope, when I tell you that I have given up all idea of going back there, and have accepted in place of it Mrs. Gibbons’ offer of the position she is giving up at Point Lookout Hospital; securing, before I go, the month you want me to have in the country, as we need not go to the Point before September. After the intense satisfaction you have experienced at Gettysburg, you cannot, my dear and patriotic Mamma, be otherwise than delighted at the prospect before us, while you must regret that I cannot also pull the special diet of Gettysburg through. Mrs. Gibbons will, I suppose, have got all things about straight at the Point, so that with little effort we can keep them going. It will be an easy and pleasant position; better, “till this cruel war is over,” than sitting at home thinking what we might be doing. The surgeon in charge is “delighted” to think that we will come. . . . I shall hanker for our old life at Gettysburg and wish you and I were going back to run the new concern. However, there will be the satisfaction of taking the wind out of the “sisters'” sails. I dare say they will have made headway during this interval, and when I arrive with three feathers stuck in my head, “O won’t I make those ladies stare.” . . . We shall collect at home once more, Charley and all, before the winter, as you will not of course go to Brattleboro now till he arrives. . . .

Abby Howland Woolsey to Harriet Gilman.

Fishkill, July, 1863.

It took so long for letters to come from Gettysburg, and Mother and Georgy had so little time to write, that we didn’t hear often. They have come themselves at last; arrived Tuesday, midnight. . . . Georgy came up here this noon, and we have been sitting together talking over all the strange scenes in those tents by the railroad, where 16,000 men have been fed and comforted in the last three weeks. Just imagine Mother in a straw flat and heavy Gettysburg boots, standing cooking soup for 200 men at a time, and distributing it in tin cups; or giving clean shirts to ragged rebels; or sitting on a pile of grocer’s boxes, under the shadow of a string of codfish, scribbling her notes to us.

She has many a memento of that strange battle—one, of a rebel lieutenant who died in her care; and a score of palmetto buttons from rebel coats—dirty but grateful, poor wretches; etc. . . . They say that the women of Gettysburg have done all they can, given the wounded all that the rebels had not taken, and have boarded the Sanitary and Christian Commission for nothing. At one house, where Mother and G. got their dinner one day, the woman could not be induced to take money. “No, ma’am,” she said, “I would not wish to have that sin on my soul when this war is over.”

We may go to Brattleboro for a month. But if Charley holds out the hope of his coming home, it won’t be worth while to go away. . . . We have not heard anything recently from “the army,”—I mean our modest portion of it in the form of Charley. He and all of them I am sure must be mortified at this escape of Lee at Gettysburg, scot free. He lost many men, but so did we. Pennsylvania is safe from “the invader”; but, dear me, our army has begun the hateful scramble all over Virginia again. . . .

Charley wrote that “Halleck urged forced marches after the retreating rebels and an immediate attack, as he had positive information that Lee was rapidly crossing the Potomac.” Charley adds, “but we have had nothing but forced marches since we left the Rappahannock, and we know that Lee isn’t crossing and cannot cross rapidly.” [He did, though.]

Caroline Carson Woolsey to Abby Howland Woolsey.

Astoria, July 15th, 1863.

We left in such a hurry we had no time to leave directions for the servants, except to close the house early, and be very particular about fastening the doors and windows. . . . While driving out here we heard distinctly the cannon at Harlem. We have had no real trouble here from the mob, but were threatened last night and the night before. About two hundred men and boys, principally from Harlem and the upper parts of the city, were careering round the village. They went to Mr. M—’s, and made him come out and speak against the draft, and announced their intention of visiting Messrs. Wolcott, Woolsey and Howland among others. Groups of them were gathering in the afternoon as we drove through the village. Uncle Edward was a good deal excited as night came on, and had a man placed in the stable with directions to cut the horses loose should any alarm be made. Robert had his carriage, or rather his horses, harnessed and ready to pack the children in. Uncle Edward had a pile of fire-arms loaded and placed conveniently near the window. Aunt Emily put her rings on and her valuables in a safe place, and we pocketed our purses and laid Mother’s camel’s-hair shawls, which we brought with us, where we could easily seize them in case of sudden chill, caused by the draft! . . . But nothing turned up, and things have quieted down. The militia regiments are (five of them) coming home; the ryth has already arrived.

Hatty adds:—

One of the Ball & Black firm came the next morning to ask Uncle E. if he could hide some treasure on his place. He lives in 86th Street and his house had been threatened. Uncle E. said he might take his three or four trunks through the woods to the “black lodge,” but of course it was at his own risk, as no one was to be trusted on the place. They were all kept safe in Margaret’s hands, and he came back and got them in a few days. Isn’t it shameful that the fiends should have sacked Mrs. Gibbons’ house?—everything destroyed and all her little things carried off. Uncle E. is perfectly indignant and in a state of suppressed rage at the Irish, but he agrees with Aunt E. in not allowing a word said against them at table, or within reach of any of the servants’ ears.

Caroline Carson Woolsey to Abby Howland Woolsey at Fishkill.

10th St., New York, Monday, July 13, 1863.

Dear Abby: It has come—resistance to the draft! The city is in a tumult and Uncle Edward wishes us to go out to Astoria in the 6 o’clock boat. The regulars are all out and the streets are full of rioters. The gas house on 23rd Street is blown up and 10th Street full of black ashes,—our door-steps covered. They say they will blow up the powder-mill in 28th Street, where the Gilmans live, and we have told them (if they will) to come all here. Hatty G. was in a minute ago, and Mr. Prentiss. There has been a great noise in town all day. The carriage is waiting, but I was afraid you would feel anxious. We would like very much to stay, but Uncle E. insists.

Francis Bacon to Georgeanna Muirson Woolsey

July 6th, 1863.

My present experiment is trying whether I am equal to that American standard of ability “to keep a hotel,”—the St. Louis Hotel, to wit. It is a fine building over in the French quarter of the city. Chocolate-colored old gentlemen with white moustaches, much given to wearing of nankeen and seersucker and twirling of bamboo sticks, (whom tortures could not compel to speak three words of English, nor a general conflagration drive across Canal street into the American region,) prowl thereabout, and scowl French detestation at the interloping Yankee as he passes in and out of their national hotel. The rattle of dominoes, upon marble tables in cafes all about, is incessant, and on Sundays rises almost to the sublime.

The St. Louis was a good hotel, but makes a bad hospital. I remonstrated as stoutly as I could against its being taken for the purpose, but, with a fixity of will which I would have preferred to see exercised in some other direction, the order came for the St. Louis to be a hospital, and for me to be Surgeon in charge. So now, making the best of it, though my rooms are mostly small and my passages narrow, I have a superb marble entrance with two big lions, one dormant, one couchant, “to comfort me on my entablature.” .

The labor of starting the Hospital has been immense, . . . for nothing about the house that could be disordered, from the steam-engine in the cellar to the water-tanks upon the roof, was in working order. . . . On the 16th I had to receive a steamboat load of patients, all of the poor fellows wounded, from Banks’ second assault of Port Hudson; hourly, for the past week, we have been painfully expecting another such arrival from his third. . . .

Thank Heaven, the patients have done well! I am going to send as many North on furloughs as possible, convalescence is so slow and uncertain in this climate.

How wonderfully cheerful these wounded men always are! You should see one of our pets, a young fellow about twenty-one years old, from a New York regiment, Kretzler by name. Right thigh amputated, right fore-arm the same, shell wound as big as my two hands in the left thigh, ugly wound under the jaw, scratches about left hand and arm. He never complains of anything, takes all the beefsteak and porter we can give him, insisting on helping himself to the latter and drinking it from the bottle. He sits up in his bed a large part of the time, smoking his pipe with an expression of perfect serenity. When I ask him how he does, it is always “bully,” with a triumphant air. Passing near his room the other day, I heard him singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in a robust style, with the remark in conclusion, “There, guess them Rebs won’t like that much,” alluding thereby to a lot of hulking scoundrels of Texans, prisoners, wounded at Donaldsonville, and lying in a room within ear-shot of him, as well as to some female visitors of theirs, who, having no longer the salutary fear of Ben. Butler before their eyes, were making their sympathies a little too apparent. This kind of cats I pretty uniformly exclude now, and as a consequence, when they find themselves baffled, I have some highly dramatic interviews with them, almost at the risk of my eyes, I sometimes feel.

I reluctantly confess that I am subjugated and crushed by a woman who sings The Star-Spangled Banner copiously through all the wards of my hospital. . . . She weighs three hundred pounds. She comes every morning, early. She wears the Flag of our Country pinned across her heart. She comes into my room, my own office, unabashed by the fact that I am the Surgeon in charge, and that an orderly in white gloves stands at the door. She looks me in the eye with perfect calmness and intrepidity. She takes off her sunbonnet and mantilla and lays them upon my table, over my papers, as if they were rare and lovely flowers of the tropics. She knocks off three of my pens with her brown parasol, worn out in the joint, and begins to exude small parcels from every pocket. . . She nurses tenderly, and feeds and cries over the bad cases. Poor Martin Rosebush, a handsome, smooth-faced, good boy from New Hampshire, desperately wounded and delirious, would start up with a cry of joy when she came, and died with his arms around her neck, calling her his mammy.

Jerry Cammett, a peaceful giant, grown as they grow them in Maine, with pink cheeks, bright-yellow beard, and handsome blue eyes as free from guile as a baby’s, lies with his right thigh amputated. After each visit she makes him, I hear the effect it has upon Jerry in about three hours of steady quiet whistling to himself of funny, twiddling Methodist hymns.

Of course I do not encourage the visits of this creature with the Flag of our Country and the National Anthem. On the contrary, they encourage me.

So do those of “Olympe, sare, natif to ze citie.” She is a stately, sybilline old black, or rather brown woman, everything in her appearance indicating great age, except her intensely black and glittering eyes, which still show the fire of youth. She wears a most elaborate turban of Madras handkerchiefs, a dress of fine and exquisitely white muslin, handsome pearl drops in her ears, and around her wrinkled neck a string of large beads of that deep yellow, almost tawny gold, which comes with ivory and palm-oil from the African coast. She brings little parcels of extremely nice lint, small pots of jelly, and bottles of orange-flower syrup, all made, she would have me know, with her own hands in her own house; this she says with great dignity, and shows me how carefully she wraps them up so that the Confederate ladies, her neighbors, shall not know that she brings them to Union soldiers. I fancy that if one should sit down with this old lady, and, in French, talk oneself into her confidence, she would prove immensely entertaining and instructive.

Captain Charles Rockwell’s appearance was a very pleasant surprise to me. I hoped that he would be assigned to duty in the city here, but, the day after his arrival, he was ordered up to Port Hudson. . . .

July 10th.

P. S. Let us have a season of felicitation over Vicksburg and Port Hudson, from both of which we have got the good news since I stopped writing.

The rage and incredulity of the Secesh are really comical, and fill my soul with an infinite peace.

Now send us good news of what cometh to Lee of the wicked raid, and all may be well.

a copy of this original paper written by Charley June 4th:

Major General Meade, commanding 5th Corps.

General: I have the honor of transmitting to you herewith a copy of a telegram just received from the President respecting sentences of Daily, Magraffe and Harrington.

(Signed) C. W. W., A. D. C.”

and Charley had the pleasure of hurrying to Meade’s headquarters with the reprieve of these men from sentence to be shot. These are among the very few papers connected with Charley’s position at headquarters which are now in our possession, many others having been lost in the Morrell fire.

Jane Stuart Woolsey to a friend in Europe.

Washington, May 25.

We have just been spending a month in Washington, my first visit since the war, and the city certainly looks like war-time, the white tents showing out of the green of all the hills, headquarters’ flags flying above all the remaining bits of wood, and everywhere on the highish places, the long, low, dun banks of earthworks you get to detect so soon, looking like a western river levee. Then it is strange not to be able to go in the ferry-boat to Alexandria, or take an afternoon drive across the bridges into the country, without producing a document which sets forth over your names in full,—men and women,—that your purpose is pleasure visiting, and that you solemnly affirm that you will support, protect and defend the Government, etc., against all enemies, domestic or foreign, etc., any law of any State to the contrary notwithstanding, so help you God. It was odd, too, at the opera one night, to see an officer of the Provost Guard come into the theatre between the acts and accost the gentlemen in front of us: “Sorry to trouble you, Major; your pass if you please”; and so, to every pair of shoulder-straps in the house. Then there are the great Barrack hospitals and the dwelling-houses turned into hospitals, the incessant drum-beat in the streets and the going and coming of squads of foot and horse, the huge packs of army-wagons in vacant lots, the armed sentinels at the public buildings, and all the rest of it. Washington certainly shows the grim presence. It is a calumniated city in some respects. It is as bright and fresh this springtime as any town could be. The sweet, early, half-southern spring is nowhere sweeter than in the suburbs of Washington; on the Georgetown Heights, as we drove with Dr. Bacon up the river-edges to the Maryland forts or the great new arch “Union” of the new aqueduct, or down the river-edges by the horrible road, or went on a little breezy rushing voyage in a quartermaster’s tug to Mount Vernon to see Miss Tracy, the lady who lives all alone with the Great Ghost,—all these little excursions are most charming. . . . But some days of our visit were dark ones,—the three or four inevitable days of doubt and lying despatches at the time of the Chancellorsville battles; then the days when the truth came partially out (Mr. Sumner told one of our party last week that it has never yet come out); then the days when the wrecks drifted in, hospitals filled up and our hotel, being a quiet one, became almost a hospital for wounded officers. In the evening we used to hear the tugs screaming at the wharf; soon after, carriages would drive up, a servant get out with one or two pairs of crutches, then a couple of young fellows, painfully hoisted upon them, would hobble in. Some were brought on stretchers. Then one day came our friends, Frank Stevens, 1st New York, shot through the knee, and Captain Van Tuyl, shot through both legs; then Lieutenants Asch and Kirby, one, arm gone, one, leg gone; then Palmer and Best of the t6th, etc. Stevens was left on the field at Chancellorsville, taken prisoner, sadly neglected. But it is astonishing to see the cheerful courage of these young men. I went to see Captain Bailey, 5th Maine, with superfluous condolences. “In six weeks I shall be in the service again; if they can’t make me a marching leg I’ll go into a mounted corps; you don’t suppose I call that a ‘disability’!” pointing to where his right leg used to be; lying, pale and plucky, encouraging three other more or less mutilated men in the same room with him; and much more in the same strain, like the music of Carryl, “pleasant and mournful to the soul.” We saw a long train of rebel prisoners come in, not by any means, I am bound to say, ragged or gaunt or hungry-looking; dirty, of course, with queer patchwork quilts in many cases for blankets; some without shoes, some without hats, but fighting men, not starvelings, every one of them. Our friend Major Porter came up on the tug with one detachment. They opened their haversacks and ate their rations, which consisted in every case of crackers and sugar. One young fellow brought his blanket and spread it by Major Porter, to take a nap, saying, “Would you please wake me up, sir, when we pass Mount Vernon ? I’d like to take off my hat when we come to the place where Gentleman George Washington lived.” . . . None of us know much about the retreat and the “reason why.” The President was anxious and restless in those days, and went down to the tugs two or three times to see and talk with wounded officers. Georgy met him by chance one morning in the White House garden, and found him greatly changed since last summer. He was walking slowly, eating an apple, dragging “Tad” along by the hand and gazing straight before him, afar off,—older, grayer, yellower, more stooping and harassed-looking. . .

Jane’s letter, given above, happily contains also extracts from one of Charley’s, after the Battle of Chancellorsville.

He writes May 8th: “We have forced the enemy out of their works and made them fight us in the open, but instead of their ‘ignominiously flying,’ we have retired in good order to
the other side of the Rappahannock, and are in our old camp again, bitterly regretting that we pulled down our chimneys when we went forward. And why did we come back? Nobody knows. It was not the storm, for when the order was given it was fine weather. Our position was strong. Everybody thought we could hold it for any length of time. I have been on the go of course, day and night; no rest for the A.D.C. On Thursday night (April 30) I was sent to Potomac Creek to look for a missing battery; then to the bridges to report progress; was on duty the rest of the night opening despatches, and back and forth all next day with orders to Gibbon. At 11.45 Saturday night I delivered to Sedgwick General Hooker’s orders to cross the river at once, march on Fredericksburg, capture everything in it and march by the flank road to Chancellorsville. The night march began immediately. At 50.30 next morning I found Sedgwick in one of the houses in the town and gave him the General’s order to attack. He charged on the heights splendidly. Later in the day I took the order to General Gibbon to hold the town, and then went to Sedgwick, three miles beyond the town, to report progress. He was resting on the hills we have been looking at all winter. I reported to General Hooker up the river. The General said to me, ” Mr. Woolsey, you will remain with me and take in all despatches that come.” So I saw only Meade’s fight, and was favored with communitions from “Father Abraham,” (who knew very little of what was going on); from Peck, who ought to have walked into Richmond, and from corps commanders. On Tuesday night the army re-crossed about dark, the General started off suddenly and the staff scattered. He was just in time, the Rappahannock was rising, the pontoons shifting. I had to jump my horse from the last boat and wade him 20-30 feet, quite deep. The crossing of the artillery and infantry was tediously delayed. After some search I found General Hooker on the back porch of a little house high up on the river’s bank; the front rooms were filled with wounded. There were only three or four men with him; he looked very dejected and sad. The wet troops outside were toiling by in the mud and dark, in full retreat. The General and Butterfield nodded in their chairs before the fire. It was a melancholy sight. The General sent me repeatedly to report from the bridges. ‘Tell them,’ he sent word, with great solemnity, `tell them that the lives of thousands depend upon their efforts.’ All night and all the early morning the troops came slowly in. It was with great difficulty that I could stem the crowd on the bridges to get back with messages to Meade, who was covering the rear. He expected to be harassed, but I do not know of a shot being fired. We are all very much disappointed, but do not believe that we are demoralized. I have heard hard things said of Hooker. Some of the headquarters men use his name in a way that ought to be punished as rank insubordination. The congratulatory order is the subject of many sarcastic remarks. On authority I may state that this army will be filled up with conscript men, and I am disposed to think that Providence never intended the A. P. for anything but an army of observation. Let Hitchcock succeed Halleck and Dan Sickles Hooker, and I think we may all go abroad to live, with a clear conscience.”

“Headquarters Army of Potomac,

April 30.

Major General Howard: I have the honor to enclose to you the accompanying statement concerning the position and forces of the enemy.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Chas. W. Woolsey,
Lt. and A. D. C.”


Copy of telegram:

“The Major General commanding directs that General Sedgwick cross the river as soon as indications will permit, capture Fredericksburg, with everything in it, and vigorously pursue the enemy.

(Signed) Brig. Genl. VanAlen.

Per Charles W. Woolsey, A. D. C.”

April 6, President Lincoln reviewing the Army of the Potomac on Monday,  1863 19523u

President Lincoln reviewing the Army of the Potomac on Monday, April 6, 1863; artist: Edwin Forbes.

Library of Congress image.


Lincoln Reviewing the Army–April 1863 products from Exit78 at