[The end of the previous entry, at the top of this page, has not been transcribed. Please refer to the page image. Also, view page images to see editorial additions such as underlined words and parentheses. As these were not done by the author originally, they do not appear in the transcription of the text below.]

21st [August 1862 ]At the war-meeting on the mall; flags
flying under the rich shadows of the elms in
the slanting sun; "The Star-Spangled Banner"
and "Hail Columbia" making the afternoon
breezes musical: the speeches were chiefly
appeals to the people in memory of the past,
and hope for the future; considerable brag
about "this ancient town of Newburyport,"
which, it seems, claims to have burnt the
first tea of the Revolution, to have raised
the first Revolutionary flag, to have shed
the first blood in naval Revolutionary
warfare. There was not much to stir
the soul; – too much of the holiday oration
style about it: the people were told that
they could go to war and have a pretty
easy time, – that they would be well taken
care of, if sent to the hospitals, and that
it was the duty of some of them to
stay at home and take care of those who
were left. Nobody spoke who meant to
go to the war; one Irishman who had

been captured at Bull Run spoke after I
came away; that was said to be better
than all else. said .– Give us some great,
eternal principle to make our Country seem
worth fighting for, and men and women will
return to their first enthusiasm. But when
human liberty, the release of our brethren form
bondage is spoken of as one of the "side-issues"
to be settled by and by, the wisdom of all
these wise speakers sounds like foolishness
which must be "set at naught."

The new army has been raised by means of
bounties of one, two, three, and four hundred
dollars. The talk of drafting has created
a host of diseases among men formerly "able-
bodied," it is said. Some rich men from
this patriotic town have gone a-fishing for
the season, to escape the draft – mariners
being exempt. – One man in Worcester
enlisted, received his bounty, then went
home and cut off three of his fingers; but
his superiors decided that he must go
to the war still, if only to be "a hewer of
wood and a drawer of water."

22nd [August 1862] That ridiculous editorial regarding
"four eminent bards rusticating at Salisbury
Beach," my name included, is sent back to me in
two other papers! 'Tis too silly to be vexed at, but

If I were anything "eminent" or "distinguished"
I should not put myself in the way of
any "chiel a' takin' notes," who did not
know a little something of good sense and
good taste. – All editors are not made
of the same material; that is one comfort.

23rd [August 1862] I am not going to Amesbury to-day,
as I expected: instead, I am watching
a wonderful sunset, clouds dusky-brown
and black, swollen with windy rage, hay
fringed with blood-red fleece from north
to south, thence roll off eastward, leaving
the sky clear for the comet and the
Northern lights. I watched this strange
freak of the sky, – it was all at once,
pomp and serenity, many-hued passion
and still blue tenderness, – I watched it
from the house–top until the intense light and heat
had changed into the darkness of one of
our chilliest nights, such as will come
sometimes in August. —

There is a newspaper talk that the
President is beginning to favor immediate
emancipation, but that Mr. Seward
and the Cabinet oppose. I believe
the colored people themselves do not approve,
as they are to be colonized in Central
America, – a scheme which may be

carried out partly, before long; but it looks
to me as if the blacks would have their
choice of a dwelling-place on this Continent,
and as if they had a right to choose.

McClellan's star is no longer in the
ascendant; his admirers acknowledge
that he has accomplished nothing as yet.
Whether Halleck will be equal to the
emergencies of the time, remains to be
seen. Pope has retreated; – this, some say,
will result in fearful sufferings to
those whom he has required to take the
oath of allegiance, –when the rebels resume
their sway.

[The next entry, at the bottom of this page, has not been transcribed. Please refer to the page image.]