Tuesday, March 18 1862
CONFEDERATE CABINET CHANGES CHARTED
Very nearly all the high cabinet positions in the Confederate
government changed hands today. Judah Benjamin, who had been
criticized frequently for his handling of the War Department, was
shifted to Secretary of State. The criticism followed him to his new
job, even though he performed brilliantly; the fact of the matter
was that many Southerners were uncomfortable with a Jew in a
position of such authority. The newly appointed head of the
Department of War was George W. Randolph of Virginia. Gen. Thomas
Bragg was replaced by Thomas Watts. The party who started the whole
shuffle, ex Secretary of State R. M. T. Hunter, departed for the
Wednesday, March 18 1863
INTERESTING INVESTMENT INVOLVES INSTABILITY
The financial markets of Paris were presented with a new investment
opportunity today as the financiers House of Erlanger offered to
buyers three million British pounds’ worth of Confederate bonds. The
instruments were to be repaid over a period of twenty years.
Although they became at the time prime examples of why investments
involve risk, the holder’s descendants have reason to be happy--the
bonds themselves are worth a great deal in the antiquities market
today. The bonds were indeed quickly subscribed and purchased,
giving not only much-needed revenue to the Richmond government but
increasing hopes that recognition by European governments must
surely follow soon.
Friday, March 18 1864
LINCOLN LAUDS LADIES’ LABORS
A number of groups, collectively called the Sanitary Commission was,
during the war years, the closest thing the United States had to a
department of public health. They supplied clothing, blankets,
wholesome food, and care for the sick. Although the leadership of
these commissions (and the related but separate Christian
Commission) was of course primarily male, most of the workers were
women. Like any charitable private group their biggest problem was
often fundraising. They held “Sanitary Fairs”, often featuring
prominent speakers. President Lincoln said at one today “if all that
has been said...since the creation of the world in praise of women
applied to the women of America, it would not do them justice for
their conduct during the war."
Saturday, March 18 1865
BEASTLY BENTONVILLE BATTLE BEGINS
The final movement of Sherman’s symphony in the south was close to
beginning today near Bentonville, N.C. The left wing under Gen.
Slocum was preceded by Kilpatrick’s cavalry. Facing him was Gen.
Wade Hampton, famous horseman in his own right. The two began with a
skirmish at Benton’s Cross Roads. Johnston began maneuvering his
20,000 Confederates to oppose Slocum’s 30,000 Federals. The full
Union army opposing him numbered nearly 100,000.
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