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

Post image for Reminiscences of the Civil War by William and Adelia Lyon.

Reminiscences of the Civil War by William and Adelia Lyon.

June 19, 2013

Reminiscences of the Civil War, William and Adelia Lyon

Colonel Lyons.

Fort Donelson, June 19, 1863.—I received official communications yesterday from the rebel General Forrest, threatening to retaliate on prisoners in his hands if we did not treat Hinson and some other prisoners we have as prisoners of war. What a glorious chance to write him a spread-eagle, highfalutin letter in reply, and get into the newspaper! I finally closed my eyes to all this sensational newspaper glory and sent the communication to headquarters without replying to General Forrest at all.

Things look blue. The position of affairs at Vicksburg is full of peril. There is no hope at present in Virginia that I can see that any substantial progress will be made there. The rebels march with perfect impunity into the heart of Pennsylvania, and there is none to molest or make them afraid, and all this because Congress fooled away four months of precious time before they passed the Conscription Act, and nearly four months more have passed and no men are called out under it. Much of the time has been consumed in allowing politicians to quarrel over the appointments of officers under the law. Half a million more men could now have been in the field had Congress and the Administration done their duty, and we would today be safe at every point; but nothing has been done and disaster and defeat everywhere stare us in the face. With bloody graves yawning at our feet, we can only bow our heads and exclaim in bitterness of spirit: ‘How long, O Lord, how long!’

You will think I have the blues. Not so. I think I see disaster ahead that will lengthen the war. I have no doubt of our ultimate triumph.

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