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Ellen W. Randolph Coolidge to Benjamin F. Randolph, 6 Feb. 1861

I have had a little photograph taken which they tell me is not much uglier than I am myself, and I enclose one in this letter for Sally & yourself. I cannot tell you how unhappy I am in the present conflict between the North & South. The idea of Civil war makes all the blood in my body...

Extract from the Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, 15 Apr. 1861

April 15. President Lincoln called out seventy-five thousand militia to suppress the rebellion, defend the capital, and retake the forts, mints, etc., seized by the insurgents. Two thousand men have been called from Massachusetts. Immense enthusiasm here to defend the flag and the Government. The...

Extract from the Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, 19 Apr. 1861

April 19. The Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, which came from Lowell and Lawrence, was fired upon and stoned by the mob in Baltimore. The last company appears to have been the only one attacked; the report is that they had two men killed and some wounded, and shot down some ten of the assailants....

Extract from the Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, 14 May 1861

May 14. Mr. Appleton reached home, and left for Washington to take his seat in the extra session of Congress called for July fourth. Lord John Russell and the English sympathize with the South and talk of treating their pirates as belligerents, etc. The English have always been guided by their...

Francis Eppes to William E. Eppes, 9 July 1861

Since the recpt of yours conveying to us the sad news of the loss of your little innocent, I have been much hindered and so have not replied as soon as I desired to do, but I am consoled in the disappointment by the reflection that nothing that I could say, could in any wise strengthen the calm...

Extract from the Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, 22 July 1861

July 22. We went on board the old frigate “Constitution.” About ten feet are said to remain of the original vessel which took the “Guerrière” in the War of 1812. Whilst on board we were alarmed at the report of the complete overthrow of McDowell’s army at Bull Run near Manassas Gap. The fight...

Extract from the Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, 12 Oct. 1861

October 12. Left for Washington with Mr. Bartlett, William Amory, and Fred d’Hauteville. In New York called on General Burnside with Mr. Amory. He struck me as a very handsome, kind-looking man with the nostril of a race-horse,—what you call a fine fellow. At Washington, where we found Willard’s...

Extract from the Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, 16 Oct. 1861

October 16. I rode to the farthest outpost of the army at Lewinsville, where we found a captain and twenty men. About two rifle-shots from us was a wood where the enemy’s pickets were placed. On our right we could see ten or twenty men approaching the wood. The captain informed us that they were...

Extract from the Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, 4 Dec. 1861

Wednesday, December 4. We have the President’s message, a conservative, sensible document in much better English than his former one. The reports of the Secretary of the Navy and of the Army are also very interesting; the former showing that from a navy of five hundred guns, last spring much...

Extract from the Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, 13 Dec. 1861

= December 13. The rebel steamer “Nashville” is lying at Southampton waiting to be repaired. She burned on her way out the American ship “Harvey Birch,” in ballast, and brought the crew in irons to England. She has no letters of marque and I believe is not a national vessel, though Pegram, the...

Extract from the Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, 14 Dec. 1861

December 14. The English Cabinet, on hearing of the seizure of Mason and Slidell from the mail steamer “Trent,” forbade the export of saltpetre and lead, ordered arms sent to Canada, put several vessels in commission, and sent secret orders to their ambassador, Lord Lyons, as the newspapers state...

Francis Eppes to William E. Eppes, 27 Dec. 1861

I can hardly explain to myself how it has happened that I shld so long have delayed writing, but so it is, and I find there is not a very distant prospect of my entering into another year without a line sent to acknowledge yr. last kind favours. All that I can plead is that I have been unusually...

Extract from the Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, 1 Jan. 1862

January 1. This morning Mason and Slidell and attachés were put on board a tugboat and taken to Provincetown, where the British gunboat “Rinaldo” was waiting. She sailed that night at six in the face of a severe northwest gale. Mr. William Appleton is failing. He died February 15. Incendiary...

Extract from Joseph Coolidge to Cornelia J. Randolph, 6 [Jan. 1862] [Quote]

thank dear Va for her letter to me, and for that a/c of the scoundrelism of the Secy of War; which I can well believe. when I saw him about Sidney’s commission, and handed him a letter in which S. was spoken of as having your Grandfather’s blood in his veins, he (Cameron) broke in with the remark...

John Wayles [Hemings] Jefferson to Beverly [Hemings] Jefferson, 9 Mar. 1862

PATRIOT WAR CORRESPONDENCE. From the Eighth Regiment. LETTER FROM MAJOR J. W. JEFFERSON. Camp—in the Swamp, near Sikestown, Mo.}March 9, 1862. Dear Brother:—We have been in the swamp just a week to-day. We were ordered away a week ago, with two days’ rations, to Charleston, Mo. As the road was in...

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