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

Post image for Rutherford B. Hayes.

Rutherford B. Hayes.

March 24, 2013

Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes

Tuesday, 24.— Rain all night and this A. M.! Army movements very slow. Vicksburg the great point of interest for a month past. Things looking like fight in Rosecrans’ vicinity; Charleston also a point of attack.

In the North a reaction favorable to the war is taking place. The peace men, sympathizers with the Rebels, called Copperheads or Butternuts, are mostly of the Democratic party. They gained strength last fall by an adroit handling of the draft, the tax-law arrests, the policy favorable to the negro, and the mistakes and lack of vigor in prosecuting the war. This led to overconfidence, and a more open hostility to the war itself. The soldiers in the field considered this a “fire in the rear,” and “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.” They accordingly by addresses and resolutions made known their sentiments. Loyal Democrats like John Van Buren [and] James T. Brady begin to speak out in the same strain. A considerable reaction is observable. The late acts of Congress, the conscription, the financial measures, and [the] Habeas Corpus Act, give the Government great power and the country more confidence. If the conscription is wisely and energetically administered, there is much reason to hope for good results.

In the meantime the Rebels are certainly distressed for want of provisions. The negro policy doesn’t seem to accomplish much. A few negro troops give rise to disturbances where they come in contact with our men and do not as yet worry the enemy a great deal.

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