Category Archives: Cotton

October 4, 1862: Emancipation’s foreign impact

The Richmond Daily Dispatch reports with relish that Europe isn’t taken in by Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation. As the editor argues somewhat incoherently, the move a) is going to cause an insurrection bloodbath and b) should have been done earlier. And … Continue reading

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July 2, 1862: Three hundred thousand more.

The New York Times ran an collection of short items — the lead being that Lincoln had issued a call for 300,000 more volunteers to put down the rebellion. This event inspired a song by A.B. Irving, as well as … Continue reading

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June 29, 1862: Where will the cotton come from?

The New York Times editorial ponders the question: slavery is ending, but England’s factories still need cotton. Where will it be produced and how? 4:49 PM No Solution of the Cotton Question. The present war has settled many questions that … Continue reading

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June 17, 1862: War explodes myths

The New York Times editorialist holds that war has shown the world some truths. First that Cotton isn’t really king, but for most of the editorial, that bravery isn’t exclusive to the aristocratic South and absent from the “greasy mechanics” … Continue reading

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June 16, 1862: Exchanging Buckner, and refugees from Tennessee

“Pontiac”, the New York Times‘ Louisville correspondent, reports on the state of affairs in Kentucky. Simon Bolivar Buckner went south when Kentucky went for the Union, and he was in command at Fort Donelson when Grant ordered its “immediate and … Continue reading

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June 15, 1862: New Orleans subdued, and ready to sell crops

As we’ve seen before, the Confederate government ordered planters to destroy cotton that might fall into Union hands. Of course, this didn’t always happen, since that cotton represented considerable wealth. In this account from the Louisiana True Delta, reproduced in … Continue reading

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May 8, 1862: Southern planters nobly sacrifice their cotton. Maybe.

Cotton was the petroleum of the 19th century, and it was Confederate policy to burn any that might otherwise fall into Union hands, as the Union could sell it to raise money for arms, ammunition, etc. Here the Richmond Daily … Continue reading

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May 5, 1862: News from Louisiana and Tennessee

M. Jeff Thompson Baton Rouge was next to fall after New Orleans, and the Union army captured yet more valuable cotton and other products. Meanwhile, our old friend the Missouri Swamp Fox, Jeff Thompson, holds Fort Wright. From the New … Continue reading

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May 3, 1862: Planters in Purdy ask Wallace for help

Lew Wallace took Purdy, TN on May 2. He was met there by planters from Bolivar, TN, another 30 miles to the west, who wanted Wallace to save their cotton. The Confederate policy was to burn cotton in areas that … Continue reading

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April 27, 1862: Confederates order cotton destroyed

The repulse at Shiloh pushed the Confederate line entirely out of Tennessee, and the fall of Island No. 10 opposite New Madrid, MO opened the Mississippi to Union gunboats, probably south almost to Vicksburg, MS. Beauregard, via Van Dorn, ordered … Continue reading

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