Friday, August 15, 2014

August 15, 1864: Turnips and Cannon

On this day 150 years ago, as always, Confederate war clerk John B. Jones was intently focused on food, but off in the distance he could hear the booming cannon fire from the Second Battle of Deep Bottom, which had begun the day before. The Second Battle of Deep Bottom is not well remembered today, perhaps because it was so confused and inconclusive, but at the time it posed a real threat to Richmond.
August 15th.—Cloudy, damp, and pleasant. A rain fell last night, wetting the earth to a considerable depth; and the wind being southeast, we look for copious showers—a fine season for turnips, etc.

Cannon was distinctly heard from my garden yesterday evening, and considerable fighting has been going on down the river for several days; the result (if the end is yet) has not been officially stated. It is rumored that Pemberton lost more batteries; but it is only rumor, so far. Nor have we anything definite from Early or Hood.

Bacon has fallen to $5 and $6 per pound, flour to $175 per barrel. I hope we shall get some provisions from the South this week.

Sowed turnip-seed in every available spot of my garden to-day. My tomatoes are beginning to mature—better late than never.

The following official dispatch was received on Saturday:

“Mobile, August 11th.—Nothing later from Fort Morgan. The wires are broken. Gen. Forrest drove the enemy’s advance out of Oxford last night. 

“All the particulars of the Fort Gaines surrender known, are that the commanding officer communicated with the enemy, and made terms, without authority. His fort was in good condition, the garrison having suffered little. 

“He made no reply to repeated orders and signals from Gen. Page to hold his fort, and surrendered upon conditions not known here. D. H. Maury, Major-General.”

Gen. Taylor will cross the Mississippi with 4000 on the 18th of this month. Sherman must get Atlanta quickly, or not at all.

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