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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Sunday 20th

20 September 1863

Tuesday 22d.

22 September 1863
21 September 1863
Monday 21st

Only a single letter today. One from my son John but it covered another from his brother Charles to him which made me feel very proud of him. He has had the strong testimony of all his superior officers to his claims for promotion, but he has liberally waved them in favor of the person who has treated him with the greatest harshness whilst he was under his command. Concurrently with this he declined an offer of a commission of Lieut’ Colonel in a New Jersey cavalry Regiment, because he preferred to remain with Massachusetts. In both instances he decided as I would have had him. Would that this war were closed and he safe to do himself credit on a wider field! But this is impatience. I must train myself to submit to present anxieties, trusting that Heaven may lead him hereafter as heretofore safe through the immediate trial. The newspapers from America were very interesting. The decline of the rebel courage is growing more467 and more visible especially in the southwest were they seem to stand nowhere. Without some aid promptly given from abroad they must shortly succumb. The danger that this may happen before th emancipation question shall be settled still remains considerable. It is not impossible that the plan to arm and employ the slaves may be adopted first by themselves under a promise of freedom. This would effectually dispose of the matter. I know not bu tit may be the only way to overcome the obstacles that would otherwise be grave and permanent. I had some arrears of letters to make up Mr Harvey called and we talked a good deal, as also Mr Joseph Lyman who has completed his business and is about to return to America next week. Wrote to Mr Dayton and Mr Bigelow at Paris. In the evening Mr Parkes came in, quite full of the death of his friend and patron Mr Ellice, at Ardochy where he received us at luncheon on the 15th of last month. I little thought when he came down in his dressing gown to see us off on the 18th, that it was my last parting, and that a short month would see him in his grave. He is one of the few left of the great party of Whig reform, which practically changed the government of England. He claimed to know much of America but never could grasp the depth and breadth of the question involved in the present struggle. His views were never philosophical. Ellice was no exception. Mr Packes found it difficult to restrain his grief. He prepared the biography of him in this morning’s Times.

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=DCA63d264