A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Saturday 20th

20 April 1861

Monday 22d

22 April 1861
21 April 1861
Sunday 21st

A fine day. Attended Divine service as usual, and heard Mr Ellis in the morning and Mr Waterston in the afternoon. Both the discourses were on the topic uppermost in the minds of all the people, the impending war. The difference in treatment was however quite marked. Whilst the first of two was mild and discriminating, indicating no more earnest feeling than he permitted himself to express, the second obviously outran his sentiment with his language. Probably every one of the clergy in this city touched on the subject, and the general tone was warlike. Yet here is civil war, the last and worst form which this inflection can take. The news was less stimulating simply because the avenues of intelligence are all cut off with Washington. The only intelligence altogether credible was that one of the Massachusetts regiments, that containing the Quincy company had reached Fortress Monroe. There were other rumors that another Massachusetts regiment and the famous seventh New York regiment had landed at Annapolis and th former had got to Washington. There was no evidence to sustain this. On the whole however the tendency of the accounts was rather to quiet uneasiness. Yet the excitement was visible in the crowd at the Music Hall to hear Mr Wendell Phillips, and at the Merchant’s Exchange to consult on the expediency of raising a new regiment of Volunteers. I try to keep myself as calm as possible, and to reflect upon the chances of a better state of things to grow out of this tribulation. In the evening we had visits from Mr J. Bassett, Mr Dexter and Miss Fanny Crowninshield. 123

Cite web page as:

Charles Francis Adams, Sr., [date of entry], diary, in Charles Francis Adams, Sr.: The Civil War Diaries (Unverified Transcriptions). Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2015. http://www.masshist.org/publications/cfa-civil-war/view?id=DCA61d111