1861 Military Campaign


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, September 28, 1861

We have posted our collection of original Civil War Harper's Weekly newspaper on the WEB to assist you in your studies and research of the war. These newspapers allow you to see the war unfold, and read the reactions of the people who were there at the time. We hope this effort serves as a valuable resource for your studies.

(Scroll Down to see entire page, or Newspaper Thumbnails will take you to the page of interest.)



Wisconsin Volunteers


Military Campaign

Slave Liberation

Lincoln Orders: "Don't Free Slaves"

General Johnston

General Albert S. Johnston

Navy Battle

Fernandina Naval Battle

Supply Train

Supply Train

Fort Snelling Minnesota

Fort Snelling

Fishing North Carolina

North Carolina Fisheries


Gun-Boat "Winona"

James River

The James River

White Plains, Virginia

White Plains

Free Negros Fishing

Free Negros

Lytton's Strange Story

Walt Whitman Poem

Walt Whitman Poem











[SEPTEMBER 28, 1861.



THE scene depicted in the spirited illustration on the preceding page is described in the following letter :

WASHINGTON, September 10, 1861.

To the Editor of Harper's Weekly:

I herewith forward you an excellent photograph of Captain William E. Strong, Company F (Belle City Rifles), Second Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, taken by Mr. John Golden, Whitehurst's Gallery, this city.

While on duty extending our line of pickets, three miles northwest of Chain Bridge, on Friday last, Captain Strong was taken prisoner. As he neared the river he left three men while, according to the orders of Major Larrubee, he reconnoitred, preparatory to assigning them positions. Having proceeded about a quarter of a mile without discovering the slightest trace of the enemy, he returned by a slightly different route to avoid the rough road he had passed over, when he suddenly was surrounded by six rebel pickets—two cavalry and four infantry. The Captain surrendered; and while they marched him about twenty rods, amused themselves by applying the choicest epithets, and promising themselves the pleasure of a hanging bee. The Captain wondered they did not disarm him, but still did not see any way of escape until one of them, noticing his splendid pair of revolvers, said they would relieve him of them. "Certainly, gentlemen," said the Captain, drawing them from his belt behind him, and cocking them silently; "here they are!" As he said the words he fired each, and two men fell dead at his feet, while he wheeled and secured cover in some thick bushes, eluding the immediate pursuit of all except two bullets, one of which pierced his canteen, the other, a small round pistol ball, passing through his left cheek and coming out of his mouth, without injuring a single tooth, but slightly cutting his tongue !

Emerging from the cover of the thicket, he was headed off by one of the mounted men, who presented his carbine close to the Captain's breast. Here the young man's presence of mind (or natural shrinking) saved him; for as the horseman fired he suddenly wheeled, the charge penetrating his coat, vest, and shirt (discoloring the buttons), and slightly grazing his body. The rider's horse bounding forward at this moment, Captain Strong returned the compliment, putting a bullet in the rebel's shoulder, and had the satisfaction of seeing him fall from his horse, one foot remaining in the stirrup, his head striking the ground and stumps every time the affrighted horse jumped. In a moment more he was met by some of the picket, who heard the firing, completely exhausted from the uneven contest and the loss of blood from his wound.

I have learned the following particulars of Captain Strong. He was born in Granville, New York, and was but twenty years of age on the 10th day of last August. For many years he has resided at Racine, Wisconsin, where his father died about four weeks since. Two years since he was spending a few days at Andover with his uncle before entering the Cambridge Law School. Here, while walking a rope at the gymnasium, he fell, breaking all his ribs on the left side, and his right arm near the wrist. From this he has never fully recovered. Without entering at Cambridge he returned to Racine as soon as able, prosecuting his law studies in the office of Messrs. Strong & Fuller, and on the memorable 16th of April was admitted to the bar of Racine County. On the 17th, hearing of the fall of Sumter, he opened an enlisting office, and on the same day his company—the "Belle City Rifles"—was full. At Bull Run he fought bravely, and narrowly escaped from being killed, one ball carrying off his cap, another cutting his sword-belt; and though remaining at the head of his men until the retreat, from exposure, mortification, and pain from his old internal injuries, he had to be carried from the field more dead than alive.

Captain Strong is reckoned one of the best shots in the West—as the records of the " Chicago Audubon Club" will show, and as many of his regiment who saw him shoot while in camp at Madison will attest—for they say he carefully laid his double-barreled gun on the ground about ten paces in front of him, threw two pigeons up in the air, turned a "hand-spring," seized his piece, and brought down both birds!

I can not close this narrative without paying a tribute due to the virtue of temperance. Like our lamented Ellsworth, Captain Strong never drinks intoxicating liquors.

Truly yours,   S. WHITELEY.



WE believe we may say that the Plan of the autumn and winter campaign has been determined, and that the leading generals are apprised of the parts they are to play in it. It involves operations of so extensive a character as to be without parallel in history, and to be morally certain of effecting their object—namely, the suppression of the rebellion before next spring.

The Plan presumes that the rebels will remain inactive at their present posts. Should General Beauregard attack Washington, a change in the programme might be the result, as it is confidently anticipated that he would meet with an overwhelming defeat, which would probably precipitate matters. Again, should General Johnston undertake an aggressive movement against Cairo, the Mississippi expedition might proceed to work more speedily than is now intended. It is not believed, however, that either of these contingencies will occur. At Washington as at Cairo, an attacking force would fight at such enormous disadvantage that it is not supposed the experienced leaders of the rebel army would wantonly run the risk of a forward movement.

Assuming, then, that the rebels pursue the wisest course, and wait to be attacked in their intrenchments, we have reason to believe that, in the first or second week of October, the campaign will be simultaneously commenced on the coast, in the vicinity of Fortress Monroe, at Manassas, at Harper's Ferry, in Kentucky, on the Mississippi, and in the western portion of Missouri.

We believe that three naval expeditions are being fitted out in New England and New York. The camps at Hempstead and Scarsdale are to furnish men for two of them ; the third will recruit 10,000 volunteers in New England. We presume we shall not be far wrong if we predict that these expeditions will be commanded by Generals Butler, Burnside, and Lander. Two of them will probably operate on different points of the Southern coast, with a view of distracting the attention of the enemy from the line of

the Potomac : one, for instance, may effect a landing at or near Port Royal, South Carolina, while the other, reinforced by the garrison of Fort Pickens, may reopen the excellent harbor of Pensacola to the commerce of the world. It is likely that the third, which will consist of at least 10,000 men, and will be commanded by General Burnside, will operate in the Chesapeake, landing so as, on one side, to flank the rebel army on the Potomac ; and, on the other, to take Norfolk in the rear, in case the rebels should fall back from Manassas. All of these expeditions will be provided with ample artillery, and the landings will be effected under cover of heavy naval batteries. Ships, steamers, gun-boats, and launches are, we believe, being actively prepared for this service.

Simultaneously with the departure of these expeditions, we look for a forward movement on the part of General Banks. A glance at the map will show how General McClellan will cooperate with him. If the enemy resist him in force, McClellan will naturally attack Manassas at once. If he moves on without opposition, the attack will be deferred until he is in a position to take part in it by flanking the enemy. We have an intimation that simultaneously with General Banks's movement, General Sickles will cross the Potomac some twenty miles below Washington, with a view to gain a position between Manassas and Richmond. These details, however, are of course as yet undetermined; and the intimation is merely a shrewd guess. The main point—that Manassas will be threatened on three sides simultaneously, while a column under General Burnside advances to cut off the retreat of the enemy—may be regarded as pretty certain.

Meanwhile, further West, General Anderson may be expected, by 10th October, to have raised such an army of Kentuckians and East Tennesseeans as to keep Tennessee effectually in check, and to co-operate efficiently with General Fremont, who by that time will probably have mustered an army sufficient to beat the rebels in the neighborhood of Springfield, Missouri, and to man a powerful expedition for the descent of the Mississippi. We do not look for naval operations of the first importance on the Mississippi. The fortified points on that river will naturally be assailed by land. Corps d'armee will converge upon them from either shore, and reduce them as Hatteras was reduced, or, when the thing is practicable, with the bayonet. The gun-boats will be useful as auxiliaries, and the river will prove valuable for the transportation of supplies. But the fighting in the West will be done on land. If the campaign in that region is to keep pace with that in the East, the rebel forces under Price, or McCulloch, or whoever has succeeded them, which are now in possession of Springfield, Missouri, and the vicinity, must be defeated and driven into Arkansas, or scattered altogether, before October 15. Whether this can be achieved depends upon considerations which are only known to Major-General Fremont.

Thus, if our information be correct, the battle will have begun along the whole line, from the Atlantic to Kansas; by the middle of October, and at least two points on the coast will be either in possession of or under bombardment by our forces. It is believed that the whole force employed will be not less than 350,000 men, exclusive of reserves and of home guards in Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri; so that at every point attacked we shall probably outnumber the enemy. Our armies will be well supplied, well provisioned, well drilled, well equipped, and well commanded. Under such circumstances, it is not extravagant to expect success.

It is not reasonable to believe that the rebel troops from the Gulf States will remain patiently under arms in Virginia, while their homes are being assailed by expeditions from the North. Nor is it probable that troops deficient in equipment, clothing, shoes, arms, medicines, and supplies of all kinds—as the rebel troops are—will contend on equal terms with a force provided with these necessaries in profusion. Lastly, as it was proved at Bull Run, that wherever Northerners and Southerners met in a fair field, the former were the better men, it is not likely that an inferior Southern force will any where stand against a superior Northern force.

We therefore say that the Plan of the campaign renders success morally certain ; for it must be remembered we are not fighting to subjugate the South, to abolish Slavery, or to conquer territory. Our object is merely to defeat and disperse the rebel armies which are now overrunning the Southern States. This done; our work is achieved. Wherever we defeat and disperse the rebel armies the people will be invited to exercise their privilege of electing members of Congress ; the postal facilities will be restored to them ; they will be protected from further spoliation by the rebel banditti, and restored to all the privileges of sovereign citizens of the United States. The recent elections in Mary-land and Kentucky, and the late demonstrations in North Carolina, show how gladly the change will be welcomed. There will not be a Southern State in which a rebel ticket will stand any chance at the polls after Jeff Davis's armies are defeated in the field.



MR. JEFFERSON DAVIS, in his message of the 29th April, says, that by the treaty with Great Britain after the Revolution "the several States were each by name recognized to be independent." The famous ninth resolution of the New York Democratic Convention echoes the statement by way of aiding and comforting the eminent traitor. "In the treaty of peace which the States conquered from Great Britain, the independence, not of the nation, but of each separate State was acknowledged." In like manner, a newspaper which supports that resolution as good patriotic doctrine undertakes to rap the Evening Post over the knuckles for saying that the Constitution was not adopted by the States but by the people of the United States. The Evening Post is quite able to fight its own battles, but the question involved is interesting to all of us.

Mr. Everett and Mr. Motley, among the later authorities upon this subject, are quite sufficient to satisfy the most persistent skeptic.

The first justly remarks that the States were enumerated in the treaty for convenience; to designate what colonies upon this continent were acknowledged to be independent. He then proceeds to show that the Declaration of Independence calls the people of the colonies "one people," and quotes Charles Cotesworth Pinckney that "the separate independence and individual sovereignty of the several States were never thought of" by the men who made the Declaration.

But even conceding to Mr. Davis and his friends of the Democratic Convention that the several States were recognized as so many separate sovereign powers, what then ? How does that help secession? Granting that they were absolutely sovereign when the Constitution was adopted, by the terms of that instrument the people of the States abdicated the sovereignty of the State so far as the General Government was concerned. The question, as Mr. Everett most cogently says, is not what was the form of a government in any State before the Constitution was adopted, but what are the provisions of the Constitution in regard to its own supremacy.

The whole subject is so admirably treated in Mr. Everett's address that no one should fail to make himself familiar with it.

But "the Federal Constitution was adopted by the States and was binding only on those that accepted it," says the ninth resolution; and the newspaper defends the statement by quoting the seventh article of the instrument : "The ratification of the Convention of nine States shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the States ratifying the same."

But it is matter of history that it was not adopted by the States, as such, but by the people of the States, who thereby subordinated the States to the General Government. Moreover, to destroy the State theory completely, the Constitution was not binding upon the people of any one State, however unanimous the ratification, until the consent of the people of nine had been obtained. That constituted a sufficient majority of the people of all the States to warrant the organization and operation of the national Government.

"It appears," Mr. Everett says of the Constitution, "not to have been entered into by the States, but to have been ordained and established by the people of the United States, for themselves and posterity. The States are not named in it, nearly all the characteristic powers of sovereignty are expressly granted to the General Government, and expressly prohibited to the States," etc., etc.

Mr. Motley still more pointedly declares : "The Constitution was not drawn up by the States : it was not promulgated in the name of the States : it was not ratified by the States. The States never acceded to it, and possess no power to secede from it. It was ordained and established over the States by a power superior to the States—by the people of the whole land in their aggregate capacity, acting through conventions of delegates expressly chosen for the purpose within each State, independently of the State Governments, after the project had been framed."

The point is, that the Constitution of the United States was framed by a Convention of the people from all the States: it was submitted to the vote of the people of all the States : and it was declared operative only when the people of nine States had accepted it. But when they had accepted it, it was not a compact between them as States, like the old Confederation—it was a supreme Government, which ignored States, and acted directly upon the people. The expression "between the States" is interpreted by the words of the instrument itself. It does not and can not express a dissoluble compact. It expresses that the people living in so many States have established a supreme law, and when you explore the terms of that law, you find that the States have and can have, as States, no power over it whatsoever.

The object of Mr. Davis, of the ninth resolution, and of the newspapers that support it, is to inculcate the idea that the Constitution is a compact between States, and not a supreme law of the people living in different States, and to be modified only as itself provides. This is the question which the war will forever settle. When that is over, we shall either be a nation or something less than a nation. The latter will be our fate if Jefferson Davis and the ninth resolution carry the day.


Two or three weeks ago we were speaking of slave insurrections as one of the natural "Consequences" of the rebellion of the masters, and alluded to the proverb "Happy as a slave of Gallifet," which occurs in the history of the San Domingo revolt, and is generally used to show that, while slavery may smother for a time the outbreak of the

manhood it degrades, yet, when the pressure is removed, the revenge of that degradation is frightful.

This, indeed, furnishes one of the most hopeless and heart-sickening arguments to those who insist that slavery is irremediable. "If you free them they will rise and cut every body's throat ; look at San Domingo!" Yes; but why not look at Jamaica? In San Domingo it was the effort to enslave those already freed which occasioned the outbreak. In Jamaica, where eight hundred thousand were freed, the result was effected more peacefully than that of a ward election in New York; as tranquilly, in fact, as an act of worship, which indeed to most of them it was. For the African blood is not fierce. It is a mild, patient race, although like all men they may be stung to vengeance.

But is it I who am guilty when I strike the hand that would sell my child or dishonor My wife ? The difficulty in emancipation was never yet the slave, but always the master. You may say that Jamaica does not grow so much cotton as she did with slavery. But if that mere fact were any argument, which of course it is not, you may set it off with the other fact that Barbadoes grows twice as much sugar without slavery. In Jamaica it was not the slaves, but the masters, who would not adapt themselves in good faith to the new system.

If servile insurrections are really so frightful as we are used to say and believe, there is always an easier way than the halter and powder and shot to repress them, and that is emancipation. If any body prefers the San Domingo method to the Jamaica method, let him hold fast to the system. It is only because the black is a mild, forbearing, broken race that it has not risen behind the rebellious army, and swept the land with fiery wrath from the Gulf to the Roanoke. Yet mild and patient as it is, when it does rise, it rises with desperation. And then it is likely to forget the charity which gave a pair of shoes and took away every right of' human nature. Why should we be fools? God made them men ; and our calling them things does not make them so. The very fear of their frightful revenge of wrongs shows that we feel them to be men, and know what we would do if we were they.

This is a long introduction to the remark that the usual acceptation of the proverb '' Happy as a slave of Gallifet" is entirely incorrect. The argument based upon the proverb is, "No matter how kindly you treat them, even to a proverb of kindness, they will roast you alive, for all that. Therefore, at any price, suppress their rising." The use made of it by the Lounger was to refute the inference of the contentment of slaves front their affection for their masters. But the truth has been pointed out to him by a friend who refers to a communication of Mr. C. K. Whipple to the Boston Atlas and Bee, in January, 1860, in which, apropos of a speech of Mr. Everett's, who had also referred to the proverb as usually understood, Mr. Whipple shows from a pamphlet before him, "The Colonial System Unveiled," printed at Cape Henry, San Domingo, in October, 1814, and written by the Baron de Vastey, that the treatment of slaves upon the Gallifet plantation was so atrocious that the proverb was only a terrible sarcasm, as a hanging halter is called a necklace; so that to say that a man was "as happy as a slave of Gallifet" was to call him the most miserable of men. Mr. Whipple quotes some of the sickening details which gave rise to the saying.

It is a curious and most interesting correction of a very serious misapprehension.


DURING the last fortnight there have been a great many loungers at Syracuse, if one might judge front the crowds hanging around hotel doors and swarming through the street, and especially if he looked into that handsome hall, which has seldom been so thronged with such eager and earnest people. At one moment, indeed, it seemed as if one lounger from Albany might hang out of the window. For in a Union Patriotic Convention, while the crowd was humming and the Albany person was trying to speak, some one quietly said : "This Mr. Murphy spoke a fortnight ago at a 'peace' meeting in my neighborhood, and tried to raise a white flag."

That was an extremely doubtful moment for Mr. Murphy. The Convention rose tumultuously, like an angry man. Mr. Murphy stepped from the floor upon a seat, while the excited crowd pressed upon him. The President in vain hammered and hammered. He came to the front of the platform, and raised both hands imploringly and menacingly. But so King Canute ordered the sea to retire. The sea of people rose around Mr. Murphy. Mr. Murphy, after shaking his finger at the one who had mentioned the white flag, as if he were giving him the lie, stood quietly up, occasionally bending to try to make somebody hear. For full five moments there was wild confusion. But it was clear enough that no harm would befall the man. The Convention was not composed of the kind that make riots or delight in then ; and after the President—one of the best possible presiding officers—had skillfully suggested that he had heard no motion that the gentleman should not be allowed to speak, such a motion was heard front a hundred lips, and the gentleman had leave to retire.

There was another gentleman who had walked straight out of Dickens. Whatever motion was made or resolution offered, this gentleman rose and gravely moved that it lie upon the table. His idea of a deliberative body evidently was that it was a body which laid things away to keep. He was incessantly running with a stone to block the wheels, but he dropped his block in front and stopped all progress. The Convention at length grew tired of his layings upon the table. But his courage and tenacity were equal to the task, and he would move that it lie upon the table.

There had been a Committee sent out. Another  (Next Page)



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