A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Sunday 29th

29 March 1863

Tuesday 31st

31 March 1863
30 March 1863
Monday 30th

Variable and rainy. The letters and newspapers came by the mail. I ought to mention one from y son Charles giving a narration of an escape from what might have been a great danger of capture if not of life by reason of the extreme poltremery of a portion of a Pennsylvania Calvary regiment at Hartword church. This is the norm at the root of all our military operations. A want of discipline caused by the absence of a commanding head. At all events I returned thanks to the Divine being for his mercy to my boy, and for his ability to extricate himself from his dilemma with honor. It seems that he took two prisoners, and was I believe the only person who did. The other intelligence is not encouraging. I fear it is only the prelude to worse. I had329 a visit from General Lerman, who starts soon for Mexico. He amused me with his account of the excitement in the city on account of the capture of the Peterhof. This is one of the vessels which as been engaged in running the blockade. She appears to have been now nominally destined to Matamoras, but the General very clearly exposed the baldness of that pretension. But such are the tricks of this people that passes for honest, and boasts of its morality. A walk towards evening. I finished Helen. The plot has a good deal of power. The characters of Helen, Cecilia and Esther Clarendon are well contrasted. The plot is as good as can ordinarily be expected in a story that must be so long sustained. The dialogue is occasionally unnatural and pedantic, when the action ceases, but becomes good when it goes on. The moral is excellent, which is not common with novels. Perhaps Cecilian repentance and reformation are somewhat too strongly described, for nature is slowly bent to new forms after the period of youth and education. Especially is this tone of moral perceptions. They may grow and be developed in harder and more fixed shapes, but they seldom are planted entirely anew.

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=DCA63d089