The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

Stephen Greenleaf Bulfinch, Post 25

The following excerpt is from the diary of Stephen Greenleaf Bulfinch.

Bridgewater, Tuesday, Sept 1. 1863

I have received to-day a very pleasant letter from Maria....She writes pleasant intelligence also, of my brother-in-law and former assistant, George A. Howard. He is now in beleaguered Charleston, but the seriousness of the time, or some other cause, seems to have made a very happy change in him. His nephew and mine, my godson, Cyrus Bulfinch Carter, is in the Confed service, & has been stationed at Fort Wagner, at Charleston.

With a sigh for all the miseries of this time, - of which, as of its crimes, a most awful example is given by the recent massacre of Lawrence, Kansas, - I yet rejoice at the increasing success of the Union Arms - God grant his keeping for the restoration of peace, & the progress of freedom!

Sunday, Sept. 6th

Today I went in to preach at King’s Chapel but did not, owing to some mistake. Heard a good sermon from Mr. Foote, referring touchingly to the losses by the war, - particularly the cares of Major Paul Revere and Mr. Perkins, the death of the latter having been only learned of yesterday.

Sunday, Sept. 20 1863

The war continues with varied success in individual encounters, but important gain on the whole, to the cause of Union and Freedom. The eyes of public expectation are now fixed on Charleston, - Northwestern Georgia, - the Texas expedition, - and the Rappahannock. There is anxiety about our foreign relations, but we can hardly think English statesmen will be guilty of so great a crime and folly as to force us into a war. God grant that way be spared us! Mr. Sumner’s speech, recently delivered, must, one would think, make them feel the unworthiness of their position. The danger from France seems to be passing away.

permalink | Published: Wednesday, 18 September, 2013, 1:00 AM


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