The Commercial Appeal

Civil War-era Memories

From The Memphis Daily Appeal

- Compiled by Rosemary Nelms and Jan Smith, The Commercial Appeal News Library

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.

June 26, 1863

The Ladies of Vicksburg — Among the heroic defenders of Vicksburg, none merit more honorable mention than those of the gentler sex who dwell in that fire-girdled city. We are told that most of them have excavated caves in the hillsides where they repose with their children safe from the bursting shells of the enemy, and all day long they toil for the soldiers, taking care of the sick and wounded, cooking for the well and providing as far as possible for their comfort.

June 27, 1863

Federal View of Affairs in Memphis — The city is reeking with all manner of uncleannes­s, literally and metaphoric­ally, and but for the loyal few, richly deserves the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. The eyes of pure women are offended by the placards of bawdy-house fortune tellers and quack doctors on every street corner, and their ears are insulted by the drunken imprecatio­ns of a filthy rabble in the broad light of day. It is little wonder then, that General Grant said, just before entering upon his active campaign, that he regretted the place was not burned when it was captured a year ago, and that he did not know but what he would be compelled to destroy it yet ... A great want in Memphis is the publicatio­n of a politicall­y sound, loyal newspaper — a journal that will infuse a spirit of confidence in the Administra­tion and the Government.

(Editorial) How to Reinforce Gen. Johnston — It may well be questioned if a blunder has not been committed in sending a portion of General Lee’s army into Pennsylvan­ia, instead of sending it to the relief of beleaguere­d Vicksburg; for while it is agreeable to our feelings to see the enemy’s country invaded, and the people of the North made to feel some of the real horrors of war as they have made us feel them, yet we can but doubt the policy of the movement, more especially as their armies are in the heart of our own country, devastatin­g our homes and fields, and destroying our substance.

June 29, 1863

River Guerrillas — The success of Gen. Chalmers in sinking several transports below Memphis, proves what we said some time since — that even if Vicksburg and Port Hudson should both be captured, the Mississipp­i can never be considered open for trade as long as a hostile population inhabits a portion of the territory lying upon its banks.

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