Diary of a Yankee Engineer: The Civil War Story of John H. Westervelt, Engineer, 1st New York Volunteer Engineer Corps

By John H. Westervelt; Anita Palladino | Go to book overview

Diary of an Engineer During the
Rebellion

No. 65

Sunday 30th The church bells are ringing cheerfully and were it not for my cough I would go. I cough but very little in the day time, but as you know, when you are trying to choke it down, you cough all the more for it. There are many churches in Richmond, and services in nearly all every Sabbath. I think it is the Episcopale who in their established form of prayer have inserted a clause praying for the President of the Confederacy. This could not be allowed under Union government, and as the clergy have no right to change any of the established forms, they have to suspend services untill their Bishop or some high church authority can make the necessary change. Some might say this looked like State interfering with Church but treachery cannot be given utterance to even in prayers, and as government recognizes no such person as president of the confederate states it is clearly treachery to the U.S. to pray for one. It is reported that Jeff Davis has been captured, but is not believed. This morning was as fine as I ever saw but the afternoon has been clouded and rain drops begin to patter on my skylight. Appearances indicate a good easterly storm. I cannot help reciting here a little anecdote tending to show up the ignorant pride of these self conceited Richmondites. In conversation this morning with an apparently intelligent citizen, I happened to remark that the city was in some parts quite handsome. Yes said he, I suppose the handsomest city in the world. I gave him a look of perfect astonishment, then laughingly asked him if he had ever traveled, he replied no, well, said I, if you do not wish to be laughed at, never make that remark again in presence of a Yankee. Why, said I, in the north we would class Richmond as a third class city only. I then gave him a brief outline of N.Y. City. He looked chapfallen and offended and soon after cut my boasts short by taking his leave. The fact is that these

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