A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Monday 17th

17 August 1863

Wednesday 19th

19 August 1863
18 August 1863
Tuesday 18th

These figures remind me that I am this day fifty six years old. This is well on the way to the end. I no longer face the sun in my march. It is now throwing my shadow before me towards my grave, at every step. Well, I feel very indifferently about it now from what I did a few years since. The ambition I had to make myself a position not unworthy of my name and race has been gratified. All the common conditions of man’s life have been fulfilled. My children may now rise to take my place. What ever may be the remnant of my existence will be in excess of the ordinary requisite of a career. I have the deepest cause to be grateful to the Divine providence for the support given me thus far, in spite of my errors and failings many and grave Let me pray that it be still extended to me for the rest of the way, and that I may have the will to do my duty still in the full measure of my little ability, so far as I may be permitted to go. This morning we were up and off at an early hour. Taking a kindly leave of our hosts we drove pretty fast in order to get to Invergarry in time to pat me on board of the Steamer going to Inverness. My play time is out and I must go to London. Never before shall I have been absent from my official labors so long. As we passed the half way house, we found the boys who got back last evening from Skye. At Invergarry I had time only to greet our friends before I was called to get into a boat to intercept the Steamer. Mr Duncan was going too, so that we kept company. The day proved fine. The captain learning who I was hung out a great flag of the United States at the stern. I thanked him for the compliment, which must have cost him an effort, as he afterwards incidentally betrayed his leanings towards the rebel cause. He was however courteous to me throughout. Mr Duncan and I walked the interval of the lochs from Fort Augustus. Our fellow passengers all tourists from the South of Scotland and Manchester. As the fall of Foyer’s, a delay of an hour was made to enable us to go to see it. I went. The fall is pretty high with a fair Volume of Water, about as it would be at Catskill after the spring thaw. We then went on. Dinner was called440 and I had eaten nothing since my light and early breakfast. I determined to take it. It was not finished before Mr Duncan came to let me know that some accident had befallen the machinery, and we are at a stand still. This was at a distance of ten miles from Inverness. The prospect of assistance to get us out of our trouble not being very bright Mr Duncan proposed to me to get the captain to lead us in a boat, and then to walk. To this I consented. The Captain was very courteous, and the distance being small we were ashore and on the road in five minutes. His servants remained in charge of his luggage and my trunk. The day had become clear and warm. The road was very fine, bording the loch Lochy nearly all the way and I had no impediment but a light surtout on my arm and an umbrella. Mr Duncan had counted on finding a vehicle on the way, to take us in, but the region is little inhabited or travelled. The first four miles we did on an average rate of eighteen minutes per mile, and the whole distance we accomplished in about three hours an a half. Considering that I was not fresh, having walked at least four miles previously in the day, I think this is pretty well for 56. Mr Duncan is a sportsman and hence used to active exercise. We went to the Station Hotel, and obtained lodgings and dinner before our fellow passengers arrived. Vehicles had been sent and brought them back. I was rather fatigued, so instead of looking at Inverness, I went to bed to be ready for an early start in the morning.

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=DCA63d230