- 19 Nov 2019 13:08
November 19, Tuesday
In the pre-dawn hours this morning Julia Ward Howe writes the lyrics to “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Staying at the Willard Hotel in Washington, she will later write: “I went to bed that night as usual, and slept, according to my wont, quite soundly. I awoke in the gray of the morning twilight; and as I lay waiting for the dawn, the long lines of the desired poem began to twine themselves in my mind. Having thought out all the stanzas, I said to myself, ‘I must get up and write these verses down, lest I fall asleep again and forget them.’ So, with a sudden effort, I sprang out of bed, and found in the dimness an old stump of a pencil which I remembered to have used the day before. I scrawled the verses almost without looking at the paper.”
“Liberty is always won where there exists the unconquerable will to be free”—so Jefferson Davis informs the Confederate Congress in his presidential message read to the new session. In a generally optimistic report the President says in retrospect the year “is such as should fill the hearts of our people with gratitude to Providence.” Crops were good, military operations were moderately satisfactory, an army was created in the midst of war, and the financial situation is hopeful. There are problems in coping with numerous Federal military operations, and a need for a more satisfactory transportation system and a husbanding of means and resources. The President inveighs against the “barbarous” hostilities of the North, citing several incidents.
Major General Henry W. Halleck assumes command of the Department of the Missouri in St. Louis, taking over from temporary commander David Hunter, who in turn goes to the Department of Kansas. A new regime has begun reorganization of the war in the West and in general its first steps are successful—a vast improvement over the rule of Fremont. Brigadier General George Wright is formally assigned to command the Federal Department of the Pacific although he is already in charge. For the Confederates, Lucius Q.C. Lamar is appointed a special agent to Russia.
General Albert Sidney Johnston calls for all militia and volunteer forces in Tennessee to be armed if possible.
There is fighting at Round Mountain, Indian Territory, where Creek Amerinds fleeing to Kansas hold off pro-Southern Cherokees and Texans.
The Confederate raider Nashville captures and burns the clipper ship Harvey Birch in the Atlantic, one of numerous seizures by Southern cruisers this fall.
Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don’t allow our enemies to have guns, why should we allow them to have ideas?
To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.