POLK Letters: January 18, 1864
1864, Jan. 18
Bishop Elliott, to Bishop Polk, re: wishes for the New Year; his feeling that the War has culminated, believing that he has seen signs that indicate a gradual dying out of bloodshed, relating his reasons for that belief. 4 pp. (1 mss. original, and 1 typed copy).
Sav. Jan 18, 1864
My Dear Bishop
Most heartily do I wish you through this New Year all the blessings which belong to the Children of God. May you & yours be watched over & protected in every way during its Course
It promises to be a very eventful one - my own opinion is that the war has culminated & that we have seen the worst of it- there are signs which, in my opinion, indicate a gradual dying out of bloodshed & slaughter. Here I will state to you.
In a first place, the Roman Catholic Church has set its face
against the War most decidedly & Emphatically - The Pope has instructed Archbishops & Bishops to oppose it in every way & that Church, a mighty power to have, has just kept a Novana, in which increasing prayer has been offered for peace- this must produce a very great effect upon the Irish, who have constituted a large share of a fighting population of the Northern armies.
In a second place, it is very event that Lincoln is finding it very hard to enlarge his armiesThe necessity of reinforcing Rosecrans from Meade on, a very significant fact- their inability to advance in every direction is another meaningful fact - the failure of their draft, the enrolment of Negroes, their
evacuation of much of the territory which they once occupied are all pointers in the same direction - Upon the back of all this comes the expiration of time of the 3 year men which expires early next summer. I feel no doubt that the enemy will make great efforts but that the result will be "Montes parturient, nascetur ridiculus mus"
Another point is that, at last, the interruption of the cotton supply is producing its effect - The whole British trade with India and China has been carried on by means of cotton goods - this or bullion & Oriental demand - the large stock of Manufactured goods which are on hand in England is now failing & Bullion
is pouring out of England & France - This may act upon the United States & produce a drain of gold & a great depreciation of their currency if not a financial crash.
We must of course be prepared for them & must presume that they will come with great power - but I do not think they can for the reasons given above & I hope to see you as Lieut. Genl. & command the opening the Mississippi & re-uniting us with Louisiana, Texas & Arkansas-
My family continues wellWe have been made very happy by a marriage of my son Robert to his Cousin, Miss Caroline Elliott. They were married on [7th inst?]
Will you remember me very fondly to your wife, if she is with you and to Sally, if she is still in the [bush?]