Howard K. Beale, ed., The Diary of Edward Bates 1859-1866 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1933), 393-394.
Transcription adapted from The Diary of Edward Bates 1859-1866 (1933), edited by Howard K. Beale
Adapted by Rebecca Solnit, Dickinson College
The following transcript has been adapted from The Diary of Edward Bates 1859-1866 (1933).
Aug 4 Thrusday. This is, under the Prest’s procla[ma]tion, a day of humiliation, fasting and prayer; and surely no people ever stood more in need of self-abasement, for our persistent wickedness and perverse obstinacy in wrong. The whole scheme of individual and social morality seems to be reversed. Our men who seemed to be the best among us, seem to have lost the moral sense—argument and logic are wasted upon them, for, yielding a stupid assent to your propositions, they no longer do any thing because it is right, nor leave any thing undone because it is wrong.
The President knows as well as I do, that Genl. Butler’s proceedings to overthrow the Civil Law at Norfolk, and establish his own despotism in its stead, is unlawful and wrong, and without even a pretence of military necessity, and yet, he will not revoke the usurping orders, for fear Gel Butler will “raise a hubbub about it.” Alas! That I should live to see such abject fear—such small stolid indifference to duty—such open contempt of constitution and law—and such profound ignorance of policy and prudence!
My hear is sick, when I see the President shrink from the correction of gross and heinous wrong because he is afraid “Genl Butler will raise a hubbub about it.”
Attended Dr. Smith’s church, in the forenoon, and heard a passible good sermon, but not as st[r]ong as the occasion called for, with such right material at hand.
At night fall, Matilda returned from Wheeling, bringing with he, Ada Bates.