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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Tuesday 24th

24 May 1864

Thursday 26th

26 May 1864
25 May 1864
Wednesday 25th

Waked up an hour earlier than usual, and thought of the report of last night and of the probabilities of its resting on some foundation. On coming to breakfast I found that it rested on a miserable postcript of the correspondent of the Standard, to a letter dated two days earlier that our preceding information came down to. This is the stuff that is made important simply by those who open willing ears. Having some business to transact with Messr Baring, I went at noon to the city to see them. Saw Messr Sturgis and Baring Young. They told me that the Steamer had now arrived in reality, and bringing very different information from that expected so eagerly last evening. General Grant had struck another heavy blow at Lee, who had evacuated Spottslyvania and gone South towards Richmond, with serious losses in cannon and prisoners.28 I was not far wrong in my anticipation to Messr Milner Gibson and Villiers. There was other intelligence of the movements of the subsidiary corps of Butler and Sigel which needs later confirmation. The general result was decidedly favorable. Thus far Grant has manifested the same power which has carried him through before. The relative effect upon the two armies is above a revolution. Whilst our own attains confidence which its former experiences under a succession of commanders had lost, the other becomes shaken in its old and habitual reliance upon Lee. On this ground the latter has never before been compelled to give way. The issue, we must await with patience. I walked from here to the Board of Trade, calling on my way to look at some coins to be sold at Sotheby’s, this week. There was a meeting of Trustees of the Peabody fund at half past two. All present but Mr Morgan, who had gone with a party to the Derby races. The purpose of the meeting was to initiate another construction, on land purchased at Islington. This is a larger undertaking than the last, and contemplated four buildings on a quadrangle. There was much discussion on the disposal to be made of the open space in the centre, but it ended in the assumption on the disposal to be made of the open space in the centre, but it ended in the assumption of the architect’s project, and an order to notify builders to make tenders. At this trade, our capital will hardly hold out to cover the Estates already purchased. Thence home. Went with Mrs Adams and Mary to Fulham to dine with the Bishop of London and Mrs Tait. A large company of whom I knew only Lord and Lady Motengle and Mr Merivale. There were besides Lord Elvery and his Wife or sister, I could not make out which; and Colonel and Lady Louisa Pennant. The rest I did not catch. I omitted Count Bernstorff who of course sat at the head of the table. The Bishop and his Wife are excellent people. We left at half past ten, bring Mr Merivale with us to a reception at Lady Waldegrave’s. Two subjects of conversation predominating here The issue of the race at the Derby in favor of an unexpected victor, and the american news. As earnest as most people are to infer on small evidence great success to the rebels, they are as anxious to disbelieve what is alleged of gains to us. So it was visibly in the crowd tonight.29

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=DCA64d146