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This Week in Georgia Civil War History
Nov. 17, 1861: The Daily Federal Union of Milledgeville reprinted an article from a Charleston, SC newspaper on the defenses being prepared against the Northern forces who had occupied Port Royal. Savannah, Georgia and Robert E. Lee were mentioned in the report.
The same newspaper also announced the representatives to the Confederate Congress chosen in the recent elections.
Nov. 18, 1861: The Richmond Times Dispatch printed a report on the death of a Georgia soldier - and former U.S. District Attorney - not from battle, but from disease.
The same newspaper also printed a list of Confederate prisoners being held in Washington; eleven of them were Georgians.
There were several enlistments in the 3rd Battalion State Troops Regiment from Henry, Pike, and Carroll Counties on this day.
Staying at a hotel in Washington, Julia Ward Howe awoke with verses of a song running through her head - she quickly wrote them down - beginning with "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory..." Of course this song would become the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
Nov. 19, 1861: Georgia Governor Joseph E. Brown wrote a detailed letter to the Georgia Senate - in this letter can be seen the beginnings of the many disagreements he would have with the Confederate government as the war progressed. See November 22 for text of letter.
Nov. 20, 1861: The Daily Federal Union, in an editorial entitled "The Calm Before the Storm," warned of the fighting that would be necessary to defend Georgia from invaders then off the coast.
Ironically, on another page of the same newspaper, there was a report on General Leonidas Polk, who had been injured in the fighting in Kentucky. When the real invasion of Georgia began, from the north instead of the coast, General Polk would be one of the casualties.
Most observers - both in the North and South - thought the Civil War would be short; each side was confident of a quick victory. It soon became apparent that was not the case, and on this day the Southern Watchman of Athens acknowledged that fact - and implored its readers to all do their part in helping the "cause."
Nov. 21, 1861: The Daily Federal Union printed a report from Savannah on the movement of the Union forces at Port Royal, and the preparations Southern forces were making for them. Again, Robert E. Lee was mentioned; had been in Savannah and was traveling to Brunswick.
Most people, on both sides of the war, had confidently expected it be short, naturally with their side winning. On this day the Daily Federal Union, while still confident of victory, correctly predicted that the war was likely to be long and bloody.
Nov. 22, 1861: In a letter to the Georgia Senate published in the Daily Federal Union, Governor Joseph E. Brown detailed what he had done personally to try and assure sufficient defenses for Georgia's coast. This letter shows the beginnings of the conflicts Governor Brown would increasingly have with the Confederate government.
Meanwhile a Columbus father recorded in his journal that he wished his sons could be helping to defend the coast, instead of being stationed in Virginia.
This week's edition of Harper's Weekly had a War Songs page, including "Dixie."
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