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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Sunday 5th

5 June 1864

Tuesday 7th

7 June 1864
6 June 1864
Monday 6th

A lovely day, with not overmuch to do. A visit from Mr Clement Esdaile, who came for the purpose of asking my interest with the government to get him permission to pass the blockade for the sake of getting his sister away from South Carolina. Two years ago I had a similar request from his family, who then desired to send out a brother in law to communicate the news to her of several domestic bereavements that had befallen them. The privilege was obtained, and accordingly a clergyman of the Established church went out and spent six months in travelling through the South, the result of which he published in a Volume full of sympathy with slavery and slaveholdings after his return. It now appears that the sister has lost her husband, and is very anxious to get away from the favored land of Dixie, leaving the slaves and property to shift for themselves. I remarked to Mr Esdaile that the course of Mr Malet had not been calculated to conciliate any further good will to such an object. He admitted that, and gave it as a reason why he had now determined not to devolve the task on any one else. I gave him little encouragement, but agreed to forward to Mr Seward any letter embracing his application that he chose to write. He said that this was all he could ask. The Despatches came during the day, and the mail in the evening. A long letter from Charles dated the 19th of May, at Spottsylvania Court House, the day before the advance of which we get the news by this Steamer. It is very interesting, as it describes the conduct of the commanding Generals during the critical struggle in the Wilderness. The intelligence is very favorable so far as it goes. But the issue is as yet as uncertain as ever. The movement of General Sherman is perhaps most important as bearing upon the possible termination of the war. But for the unfortunate blunder of Mr Yeatman, the restoration might not have been working its way to the light. After luncheon the ladies, including Miss Dayton who comes to spend a few days, accompanied me to the Botanic gardens where was a great show of the Rhododendron and Azalea plants, all described as coming from America. The assemblage of people not so great as on the general displays, but quite enough for comfort. For a wonder the day was delicious, so that I enjoyed the relaxation much. The ladies then went to the houses of Parliament, which gave us a very late dinner.42

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=DCA64d158