how about this

A blog of Nineteenth Century history, focusing, but not exclusively, on the American Civil War seen through the prism of personal accounts, newspaper stories, administrative records and global history.
A thousand tales. A miscellany. A maze of historical tangents.

A Capitol View

A Capitol View
Images of 1861 juxtaposed- Union Square, New York vs. Capitol Square, Richmond

Friday, October 10, 2014

Dashing Damsels

Emma Cummings and Mollie Woods, dashing damsels, fair but frail, impregnated the court atmosphere with musk and shook up the dull silence with rustling of silks as they glided to the front of the Mayor's seat, Emma to answer the charge of threatening personal violence to Mollie, and vowing to mark her beautiful face for her as long as she lived the first time she met her on a fair field. The dispute was about the return of some bed sheets and linen belonging to each and held by the other.
The Mayor held Emma to bail in the sum of fifty dollars to keep the peace towards Mollie.

-The Daily Examiner, October 13, 1864

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Where Lies the Truth- Part Two

TO THE PUBLIC- In the Richmond Examiner of the 20th instant, Mr. JOHN B. ANDERSON has dragged my name before the public with no conceivable motive but gratify his malevolence and vanity. Mr. Anderson was, I regret to say my partner in business. A chancery suit, entered by himself, is now pending for the settlement of the only real controversy between us. His attempt thus to bring before the public the private issues, is unmanly, and is a course which the public never fails to condemn. That he was an unfaithful and improvidant partner, bitter experience has taught me, but I have no desire to prove it through the newspapers. Having voted against the Virginia ordinance of Secession, he, in the month of of March last, left his business without any notice whatever to me, and was gone for five months. I believed and still believe that he was with the Yankees, and expressed my belief. His charges that I endeavoured to have his property confiscated because of his disloyalty, have no foundation in fact, and can only proceed from the imagination of a suspicious and guilty conscience.
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-The Richmond Examiner, September 28, 1864

Saturday, September 20, 2014

150 Years Ago in the Examiner- Where Lies the Truth

TO THE PUBLIC- Having learned beyond question, that MR. PETER COSBY, my late partner, during my recent and somewhat protracted absence from the city, had availed himself of the occasion to asperse my character among the people who know me, by representing that I had fled to the Federal side; that I had mismanaged the books and funds of the concern; that I had squandered it's and my property, and other equally harsh slanders, I hereby, after satisfying myself that he did not actually thus do, and after fully preparing myself to disprove every such statement, do hereby pronounce these statements to be utterly false, malicious, and slanderous.
Moreover, having had heard on my return, that the said Mr. Cosby had attempted to have my property confiscated during my absence, and having inquired of him, in the presence of witnesses, whether such was the truth, and having received from him the most solemn assurances that he had not done so, I hereby inform the public that I have now proof of the highest and most authentic character, that the said Cosby to the meaness of giving such false statements to the officers of the Confederate government to work my injury, did add the folly and the guilt of solemnly denying that he has ever done son when demand was made upon him. I am prepared to sustain every assertion I have herein made by proof.
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-The Daily Examiner, September 20, 1864

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Double Wedding, 1860- Part 1

In New Kent county, on the 7th instant, by the Rev. Mr. Caroway, Mr. Chas. E Yeatman, of Gloucester, and Miss Harriet R. Royster, of the former place.
At the same time and place, by the Rev. T.V. Moore, Mr. Robert P. Southall, of Richmond, and Miss Ellen Royster, of New Kent.

-The Daily Dispatch: November 8, 1860.  

More to come . . .

Friday, September 12, 2014

"Carelessly Shooting his Musket at Some Ducks" - 1863

Say shot.
--About three o'clock on Saturday evening, a lad named Patrick Kearney, who was standing on the basin bank, under the shed in front of Messrs Crenshaw's commission house was shot by some person unknown, the ball passing between the breast bone and rib, and going through his body. The lad was taken up and carried to his father's house where he now lies in a critical condition. It was at first thought, from the fact that there were a number of ducks in the basin, and the quarters of the City Battalion are in close proximity to the southern bank, that one of the men had thoughtlessly discharged the load of his musket at the ducks, and that the ball, striking the water obliquely, had glanced, inflicting the on the lad alluded to above. The officers on being notified of the occurrence made the most right enquiry into the affair, but could learn nothing tending to show that the act had been committed by any of the men belonging to the Battalion.

-The Daily Dispatch: January 12, 1863

Arrested on a serious charge.
--A man named J. R. McCune was take in custody and lodged in the case yesterday by officer B. M. Morris for feloniously shooting Patrick Kearney. This is the same lad who was shot by a glancing ball discharged at some came ducks sailing on the Saturday evening last by some person than unknown.

-The Daily Dispatch: January 14, 1863

Court proceedings.
John E. McCune was partially examined on the charge of causing Pat Kearney's death by carelessly shooting his musket at some ducks on the basin.--The case was continued.

-The Daily Dispatch: January 16, 1863

 Court proceedings.
Mayor's Court, Saturday, January 17th.

--Daniel B. Corbin, Thomas Coon, C. S. Wharsen, J. R. McCune, Wm. W. Southall, E. C. Puryear, and John Wilkeson members of Capt. Potts's company, City Battalion, were brought up for examination on suspicion that one or the other of them might have been the person who shot at some ducks on the basic Saturday week, and who hit and killed Patrick Kearney instead of the ducks aimed at. The examination did not result in a satisfactory solution of the question, and the parties were admitted to bail for their appearance on next Thursday.

-The Daily Dispatch: January 19, 1863

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Cost of Doing Business

"On mature reflection it can scarcely be considered extravagant to say that the average cost of operations this year are ten fold what they were before the war when as appears by the annexed table taken from the Report of the General Superintendent that the prices of many leading articles of expense have increased since the year 1860 from thirty to fifty fold and when it appears by the vouchers of the Company that the cost of a single barrel of oil this year exceeds by upwards of $600 the whole cost of Oil Tallow Lard and Grease for the year 1862 .

COMPARISON OF PRICES                 1860               1864
Clothing and Subsistence of a negro     $60.00            1,870.00
Iron castings and wrought iron                   .04             1.00
Brass ditto                                              .34             4.60
Car wheels each                                   15.00           500.00
Oil and tallow per gallon                            .90             50.00
Coal for shops per bushel                          .12              2.60
Lumber per 1000 feet                             12.50          100.00
Shovels per dozen                                  10.00          300.00 t

In 1862
oil used                    1,227 gallons
do tallow used          1,984 pounds
do lard used             4.586 pounds
do grease used         7,488 pounds

Cost of a bbl of oil 42 gallons at present price $100 per gal $4,260 00
 Cost of barrel 10.00
4,200 00
Cost of oil tallow lard and grease used during the year 1862   3,054.48

-Annual Report ...Virginia Central Railroad Company
Publisher    H.K. Ellyson, 1864

Friday, September 5, 2014

Running Goods to Richmond- 1863

 A piece on the contraband/smuggling trade from New Kent County History . . .

When the train from Richmond on the York River railroad neared the site of the White House, on the Pamunkey, yesterday morning, it was fired into by small body of Yankee cavalry, perhaps seventy-five or a hundred in number, who had visited that point as an escort of a gunboat. The train was at once backed off and returned to this city.
The only damage known to have been done by the marauders was the destruction by the gunboat of two oyster pungies, which were lying at the White House wharf. On of these pungies was the property of Mr. WILLIAM BROWN, a fishmonger of this city.

-The Richmond Examiner, January 9, 1863

THE CONTRABAND TRADE- AN INCIDENT.- The visit of the Yankees to the White House last Wednesday night, and their destruction of the oyster craft then lying in the Pamunkey River have already been mentioned. But no notice has been made of the most important capture effected by them on that occasion.
On the morning of Thursday, January 8th, Mr. _____, of Baltimore, a well known blockade runner, having with him four wagons loaded with assorted merchandise, was in the county of King William, making his way to the White House, from which point he designed to ship his goods to Richmond by the York River railroad. When within three miles of the White House, being chilled by the night air, Mr.____ got out of the wagon in which he had been riding and walked ahead of the train. He had walked but a short distance when he was met by a horseman, who, reining his horse to the side of the road, halted to survey the wagons. Mr.____, not liking the appearance of this apparition and presuming him to be a soldier, enquired of the man to what regiment he belonged. Without making any reply the unknown wheeled his horse round and rode quickly off in the direction from which he had come. This conduct excited the worst apprehensions in Mr.____, and he at once began to revolve in his mind what it was best for him to do, but before he could come to any conclusion his fears were realized by hearing someone in the road twenty yards in front of him, say in a voice of command, "Bring these wagons in front of the troops." The word troops satisfied him that he had fallen into the hands of the Yankees, as one which they invariably use in speaking of their voices great or small: Thinking the he might possibly save himself if not his property, Mr.____, without a moment's hesitation, crept over a fence by the road side, and throwing himself into a ditch drew a blanket carefully over his head. In this position, fearing every moment to be pounced upon he heard his wagons driven off, and a few moments after the road scoured by Yankee horsemen, who he felt certain were in search of himself. In the course of an hour everything having become quiet, he ventured to peep forth from his hiding place. It was then broad daylight and at first there seemed to be no enemy in the neighborhood; but on approaching the road carefully and looking up and down, he discovered a villainous blue coated cavalryman half concealed in the skirt of wood not fifty yards distant. Dropping back on his hands and knees he crawled to a neighboring thicket and started for Richmond. After a terrible tramp through swamp and woods he reached the York River railroad just as the train was retreating from the White House.
Mr.____ estimates his loss by this adventure at forty thousand dollars. He had many goods which are needed by the government, beside others which were bought on private orders. This is the third time since he embarked in smuggling that this gentleman has lost his goods and himself barely escaped capture. The profits of the business are so great, however, that there is no reason to believe that the dangers attending it will ever lead to an abandonment of the business.

-The Richmond Examiner, January 12, 1863