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Civil War Harper's Weekly, August 2, 1862

This site contains online editions of the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. These newspapers contain rich content related to the war, and the people who fought it. We are hopeful you find this archive beneficial to your study and research.

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Vicksburg

Vicksburg

Vicksburg Description

Description of Vicksburg

Morgan's Kentucky Raids

General Couch

Fort Powhatan

Fort Powhatan

New Orleans

New Orleans Flag Presentation

General Dix

General Dix

California Joe

California Joe

Vicksburg

City of Vicksburg

Harrison's Landing

Harrison's Landing

Ladies of New Orleans

Ladies of New Orleans

Army Cartoon

Army Cartoon

 

 

 

 

 

AUGUST 2, 1862.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

483

(Previous Page) It has been a patriotic, faithful, earnest body. The large exceptions of men and measures we can all readily make; but the session is to be judged by its results, and by the general spirit of its deliberations. It has provided for the prosecution of the war with a wise conviction of the real causes and objects of the insurrection. It has worked diligently with the President, in whom the country confides; and with the exception of Mr. Richardson's performance toward the close of the session, and Mr. Mallory's reckless talk, its behavior has been more dignified than that of any Congress we remember.

Its memorable acts of legislation have been the Homestead bill, the Pacific Railroad bill, the Tax bill, the Currency bill, the Prohibition of Slavery in the Territories, Emancipation in the District of Columbia, and the Confiscation bill. In all these measures Congress doubtless had the substantial approval of the great bulk of citizens in the loyal States, for they were all essentially patriotic and not party measures. Many a citizen who, eighteen months ago, would have shaken his head doubtfully at them, now frankly and fully concedes their necessity and importance. Our late history has so plainly exposed the tendency and character of the domination of the Slavery interest in our politics, that men who have had no sympathy with the Republican cause, and still repudiate the Republican party, recognize that the time has come, in the interest of the country and of peace, to limit legally the expansion of the Slave power.

The complaints of this Congress come from gentlemen like Mayor Wightman, of Boston, who think that the business of a physician is not to attack the disease but to cure the patient. How the cure is to be effected without combating the disease the learned magistrate does not inform us. Mr. Vallandigham, also, and Mr. Benjamin Wood take a similar view. In their estimation Congress has winked at the invasion of Constitutional rights, and has deliberately coerced the liberty of American citizens. They are exceedingly troubled that the President of the United States had the temerity to undertake, first the defense, and then the recovery of the national property. They are of opinion that if liberty of discussion had long ago been destroyed in the free States, and a few persons of liberal sentiments had been hung as malefactors, we should have enjoyed the most profound and delightful peace. They are also inclined to believe that their worthy friends and co-laborers, Jefferson Davis and Co., have unhappily made a miscalculation.

These gentlemen think that Congress has woefully degenerated since the days of the late lamented Preston Brooks, and the chivalric Pryor, and the worthy Barksdale, and the manly Wigfall: the days when the Cabinet could boast of a Floyd, a Cobb, a Thompson, a Toucey, and a presiding genius of corresponding virtues in James Buchanan. They think that this Congress has been a nuisance. So does Davis, So do Spratt, Rhett, Keitt, Cobb, Floyd, etc. But the country has differed before with the opinions and conduct of these latter gentry, as well as with those of their friends, Mr. Vallandigham and Mr. Ben Wood. The Congress which dissatisfies them will not displease a loyal and united country.

THE GREAT MEETING.

IT is late to speak of the meeting of citizens who believe in an unflinching prosecution of the war. But the country ought to know that it was as imposing and influential as the sentiment which summoned it. Of course it had not the wild excitement of the meeting after the fall of Sumter. No other assemblage of the people could have. But it represented the real force of New York. It showed that the feeling which underlies the war is not only unexhausted, but that it is deepening and strengthening. The speeches were all in one key. The Union must and shall be preserved, cost what it may. And if some of the orators ventured to specify that probable cost more distinctly than others, it was not because there was any doubt in any mind of what that cost might be.

To say that it was a meeting at which General Fremont and Mr. Spinola both spoke, is to say of how various elements it was composed. When Dr. Vinton and Mr. Wallbridge, Mr. William Allen Butler and Mr. Coddington, Mr. Delafield Smith and Judge Daly meet and speak upon the same platform, it is clear enough that there is a central thought and purpose so absorbing and universal that all details of difference of method are swallowed up. There was much practical good sense in Judge Daly's remarks. He said that it was too late to consider the cause of the war, or to distribute the responsibility of refusing compromise when compromise was possible, for we were now engaged in a hand-to-hand struggle for our life. Either the rebellion must conquer or the Government must, and no right-minded man could hesitate which to choose. He showed that any thing short of the absolute victory of the Government would be an abortive result.

But then the orator suddenly said something that must have made a thoughtful listener wonder. Why, he asked, shall we not require of the Government to leave questions upon which we differ among ourselves and attend exclusively to saving the country? He meant why not leave off thinking of the question. Simply because when you are considering how to save the nation you can no more avoid the relation of slavery to the war than when you are trying to save a burning house you can help thinking how to throw most water upon it. The paramount question at this moment is the national safety. Consequently every method of securing that safety must be considered. To say that we will shirk the question of the help or harm that the system of slavery may do the rebels or the Government, is as idle as to say that we will shirk the question of the relative value of different guns. Every means of weakening the rebels and of subduing the rebellion is the very question of the hour.

The moral of the meeting was that of every thing that is now seen or heard—namely, that the comprehension of the extent of the insurrection is more accurate than ever before, and the resolution to conquer it is universal and unflagging.

THE QUESTION.

THERE are some who yet say with Mr. Wickliffe, of Kentucky, that if twenty millions of loyal citizens can not conquer six millions of rebels with their four millions of slaves, they had better relinquish at once the effort to save the country.

Many who think so are loyal Union men, but they have not fully and fairly considered the subject. For if this question were asked of them, whether, instead of sacrificing the lives of the choicest of our youth and spending lavishly in every way, it would not be better to suppress this insurrection entirely by black soldiers, leaving us in the loyal States quite unaffected except by the expense, they would probably allow that it might be desirable.

But the argument of numbers is only specious. If the six millions are united with a desperate subordination of every consideration to the success of the insurrection; if they draft and coerce every man into some kind of use; if every thing is planted, and tilled, and manufactured with a sole regard to the triumph of the rebellion; and every inhabitant of the region lives to fight, and feels that he fights to live; then, unless the twenty millions are animated by the same absorbing resolution, and work and fight with the same desperate unanimity, there is no reason why the smaller number should not prevail.

But what is a sure sign of that resolution upon the part of the stronger in numbers? The use of every lawful means of warfare, And when the larger number is conscious that the struggle is a death-grapple, they will not hesitate to use every means. No man is earnest in a fight so long as he does not use every lawful advantage.

And what is or can be our object in this war but the speediest restoration of the supreme authority of the nation? Do we wish to prolong it? Is there any reason why it would not have been better that it had ended ten months or a year ago? It did not, simply because we had misconceived the extent and intensity of the conspiracy. But is there any reason why it should drag on for a year or two years more? It will not if we truly comprehend the exigency. Then will any one say why every means should not at once be employed that it may be crushed? For the employment of all means will prove our earnestness, while the failure to use them will indicate languor of purpose.

If a man is fastidious as to the color, or height, or weight of the soldiers who fight and conquer the rebels, he is a ludicrous and hopeless patriot. Was not the exploit of Robert Smalls as heroic as any incident in the war? Would you have sent him and the steamer back again? Was it humiliating to be helped by a man who did not belong to the twenty millions? If there were ten thousand Robert Smalls, ought we to reject their aid because they are neither of the pure Saxon nor the pure Celtic races? These are questions that we must soberly answer; and our reply will show how true is our conception of the great contest we are waging.

HUMORS OF THE DAY.

AN Irish soldier once waited on his commanding officer with what he termed a very serious complaint: "Another man," he said, "had upbraided him that he was not married to his own wife, whom he accused of being no better than she should be, and called her many bad names besides, which he should be ashamed to mention to his Honor." "Well, my good fellow," said the Colonel, "have you any proof that you are legally married?" "Faith, your Honor, I have the best proof in the world," he replied. Here he took off his hat. or rather cap, and exhibited a broken head, saying, "Does your Honor think I'd be after taking that same abuse from any body but a wife?"

GOOD LOGIC.—"I don't believe it's any use to vaccinate for small-pox," said a backwoods Kentuckian, "for I had a child vaccinated, and in less than a week after he fell out of a window and was killed."

THE OLDEST HUSBANDRY.—Somebody says that the oldest husbandry he knows of is the marrying of a widower in clover with a widow in weeds.

There is often but a slight separation between a woman's love and her hate. Her keen teeth are very near to her sweet lips.

An old Jew, who sold exclusively for cash, said that he did it for the benefit of his neighbors. He did not wish to see them "deep in debt mit him, ven dey ish got no monish to pay mit."

The old lady who mended her husband's trowsers with a patch of grass is now smoothing her hair with the comb of a rooster.

GREAT "SALVE" CERTIFICATE.—Dear Doctor,—I will be one hundred and seventy-five years old next October. For ninety-four years I have been an invalid, unable to move except when stirred with a lever. But a year ago last Thursday I heard of the granicular sirup. I bought a bottle, smelled the cork, and found myself a new man. I can now run twelve and a half miles an hour, and throw nineteen double somersaults without stopping.

"What are wages here?" asked a laborer of a boy. "I don't know, Sir." "What does your father get on Saturday night?" "Get!" said the boy; "why he gets as tight as a brick!"

A temperance editor, in drawing attention to an article against ardent spirits in one of the inner pages of his paper, says, "For the effects of intemperance see our inside!"

ROUGH MUSIC.—The Hull girls all sing. A friend lately from there says they sang themselves to sleep at night, and he never heard any thing like it since he was benighted in a swamp in the Fens.

A newspaper, in noticing the presentation of a silver cup to a contemporary, says: "He needs no cup. He can drink from any vessel that contains liquor—whether the neck of a bottle, the mouth of a demijohn, the spile of a keg, or the bung-hole of a barrel."

A person who has no address shouldn't undertake to address audiences.

TURNIPS.—"What a nice lot of turnips you have got!" said Mrs. Brown to Mrs. Jones—the latter's children's noses being all turn-ups!

An Irish gentleman, on reading the late accounts of stealing children, observed, with great concern, that if this practice became general it would put an end to the rising generation.

What is larger for being cut at both ends? A ditch.

A citizen of Bath has taken a fancy to the head of a dog that howls in his vicinity, and offers a guinea for a sight of the head minus the body.

Spare the rod, and you'll have no fish for dinner.

A witty dentist having labored in vain to extract a decayed tooth from a lady's mouth, gave up the task with the felicitous apology—"The fact is, madam, it seems impossible for any thing bad to come out of your mouth."

A man found guilty of a felony at the Central Criminal Court the other day, entreated the court to "deal leniently with him, and give him a short imprisonment, as he was particularly anxious to see the Great Exhibition."

Cat and rat may rhyme, but they never agree.

DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.
CONGRESS.

ON Tuesday, July 15, in the Senate, the Naval Committee reported a resolution, which was adopted, relinquishing all right and title of the United States in Stevens's floating battery to the heirs of Robert L. Stevens. A bill was introduced amending the Articles of War, by providing that army officers shall furnish protection to slaves entering the Union lines, and also that if loyal citizens lose property by this order they shall be compensated. The bill relative to calling out the militia was then taken up, and Senator Sherman's amendment, limiting emancipation to those who enter the military service of the United State, and to the slaves of rebels, was adopted by a vote of 18 against 17. Senator Browning offered an amendment, which was adopted, declaring that the mother, wife, and children of negroes entering the military service shall be freed only when they belong to rebels. After some debate the bill was passed by a vote of 28 against 9. The Senate concurred in the House resolution postponing the final adjournment of Congress till Thursday, in accordance with a wish of the President. Bills making appropriations for civil expenses, imposing a tax of one cent per pound on domestic sugar, and granting pensions to masters of gun-boats, were passed.—In the House, Mr. Benjamin Wood, of New York, offered a resolution instructing the Judiciary Committee to report forthwith on the matter of said Wood's alleged misconduct. Objection was made, and the resolution laid over. At the request of the President the House agreed to extend the session till Thursday. The bill requiring shipmasters trading to foreign ports and persons prosecuting claims at the department, to take the oath of allegiance was passed. A bill explanatory of the fifth section of the Confiscation act, so that its operation may not be retroactive, was passed, and the House adjourned.

On Wednesday, July 16, in the Senate, the Military Committee reported back the bill for raising a volunteer force for the better defense of the State of Kentucky, and asked to be discharged from its further consideration. Some discussion emitted, and the bill was laid aside informally. The House resolution, explanatory of the fifth suction of the Confiscation act, so that its operation may not be retroactive, was then taken up. Senator Clark, of New Hampshire, moved an amendment, that no punishment under the bill shall work the forfeiture of real estate beyond the natural life of the person accused. He also offered another amendment, authorizing the President to restore any property confiscated under the bill if he thinks it necessary. After debate both amendments were adopted by a vote of 25 to 15, and the resolution was also adopted.—In the House, the Select Committee on Gradual Emancipation reported a bill, in accordance with the President's recommendation, providing compensation to the Border Slave States whenever either or all of those States shall emancipate their slaves. The whole amount to be paid shall not exceed one hundred and eighty millions of dollars. Twenty millions are also appropriated for colonizing the negroes. The bill was ordered to be printed and referred to the Committee of the Whole. Mr. Kellogg, of Illinois, offered a resolution empowering the President to call out a million additional troops, to serve for one year, but the House refused to suspend the rules, and the proposition lies over. The bill providing for the admission of West Virginia into the Union was postponed till December next. The bill authorizing the colonization of captured Africans in the West Indies was passed. The bill authorizing the President to call out the militia for a period not exceeding nine months, and the employment of negroes in the military service, was also passed. The House resolution explanatory of the fifth section of the Confiscation act, with the Senate's amendments thereto, was then taken up, the amendments agreed to, and the resolution adopted. The Senate propositions relative to the Tax bill were agreed to, and the House adjourned.

On Thursday, July 17, the first session of the Thirty-seventh Congress closed at two o'clock, P.M. The only subject of general importance acted on in either House was the passage of a bill, which was immediately signed by the President, making postage and other government stamp receivable for all dues of less than five dollars, and forbidding the issue of shinplasters, under a heavy penalty. The President sent in a special message, announcing his approval of the Confiscation bill and the explanatory resolution supplemental thereto, together with a message giving his objections to the bill as it stood before the adoption of the resolution referred to.

THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.

The latest news from General McClellan's army announces that every thing is quiet, and the health of the troops gradually improving. Our soldiers who were taken prisoners in the late battles are being released on parole.

THE ARMY OF VIRGINIA.

General Pope has taken possession of the town of Gordonsville, Virginia, without opposition, and has destroyed all the railroad works at that point. As the greater portion of the supplies for the rebel army at Richmond passed through this place, which is the junction of the Orange, Alexandria, and Virginia Central Railroad, this feat of General Pope's is of considerable importance. He is also said to have occupied Charlottesville. The General has issued an order to the effect that the army it hereafter to subsist upon the country in which their operations are carried on, and that for the provisions so appropriated vouchers will be given to the owners thereof, payable at the conclusion of the war, provided that the parties can prove themselves loyal citizens of the United States. Another order of General Pope holds the people residing within a certain distance of the railroads responsible for the damage done by guerrillas or other parties of marauders, and compelling such residents to repair the damages so done, and furthermore declaring that all persons detected in destroying railroads or telegraph lines shall be shot. No such acts, he says, can influence the result of the war, and they can only lead to heavy affliction for the people who practice them.

BRILLIANT CAVALRY RAID.

General Pope dispatches to the War Department that a brilliant cavalry attack, under command of General King, from his command, was made from Fredericksburg, on the 9th inst., upon the Virginia Central Railroad, at Bearer Dam Creek, with the greatest success. They destroyed the railroad and the telegraph line for several miles, burned up the depot, which contained forty thousand rounds of ammunition, one hundred barrels of flour, and much other valuable property, and brought in a captain in charge as a prisoner. It appears that the whole country was thrown into a great state of alarm by this movement. General Pope passes the highest encomiums upon the officers and men engaged.

GENERAL HALLECK IN WASHINGTON.

General Halleck has been recalled from his military post in the West, and rumor states that he has been appointed Commander-in-Chief of the armies of the United States.

THE ARMIES OF THE WEST.

Our forces south of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi are distributed substantially as follows: Buell's, army—the army of the Ohio—is east of Corinth, guarding the Memphis and Charleston Road as far as the neighborhood of Chattanooga. The army of the Mississippi—Pope's old command—is on the Mobile and Ohio Road, stretching south as far as Brownville. The array of the Tennessee (Grant's) is on the Memphis and Charleston Road east of Corinth, and that part of the Mobile and Ohio which is in Tennessee. It will be thus seen that the great force lately under command of Halleck is broken up into squads and scattered over a line more than 200 miles in extent. It is probable that events now transpiring will cause its constituent parts to be again aggregated for offensive operations.

GENERAL CURTIS'S COMMAND.

The advance of General Curtis's command reached Helena, on the Mississippi, on 12th inst., the main army being only a few hours behind it. The rebels are trying to keep up their spirits by circulating a report that General Hindman has captured General Curtis with all his army.

ANOTHER REBEL IRON-CLAD AFLOAT.

      CAIRO, July 21, 1862.

The dispatch boat, which arrived at Memphis on Saturday, brings the following:

The reported escape of the rebel plated battery Arkansas is correct. The affair took place on the morning of the 15th. That morning, in consequence of reports brought by refugees that the Arkansas was about to attempt to run the Union fleet, the gun-boats Carondelet and Tyler and ram Lancaster started up the Yazoo to reconnoitre. When eight miles from the mouth they came suddenly upon the Arkansas, lying under the bank.

As our boats rounded the bend she opened upon them with 68-pounders. Our gun-boats returned the fire, and for a short time a fierce engagement ensued. Finding that the channel of the river prevented successful manoeuvring, they gradually dropped downward toward the mouth. The Arkansas followed closely. Just as the latter was passing over the bar, the Carondelet closed with her, intending to board. She succeeded in throwing a grapple aboard and getting out a plank, when the Arkansas opened her steampipe, throwing hot water across the plank. The Carondelet replied in the same manner.

While thus engaged both vessels grounded, and the shock separated them. The Arkansas succeeded in getting off, and the Carondelet remained fast for nearly an hour. The Arkansas immediately passed down the river, the Tyler preceding her, and maintaining a running fight with her greatly superior adversary.

None of our gun-boats with the fleet had steam up, and the entire fleet was so scattered that few could fire at the Arkansas as she passed without danger of hitting our own boats. As she approached, such boats as could safely do so opened upon her, but her plating resisted most of the shots. A solid shot from Farragut's gun-boat, No. 6, struck her larboard bow, passing through and under her plating, ripping it off for a considerable distance. What further damage was done is not ascertained.

The injuries to our fleet are light. The Benton received a shot near the edge of the after-part of the larboard side, killing one man. The Tyler, which engaged the Arkansas nearly an hour and a half, had seven killed and nine wounded. Among the latter were the pilots, Messrs. Sebastian and Hiner, and Engineer Davis. The ram Lancaster received a shot under her boilers, causing an escape of hot water, scalding six men, three of them fatally.

The entire Union loss is twelve killed and fifteen wounded, five or six of whom will die. The rebel loss is not known, but believed to be considerable, as the hot water streams of the Carondelet, at the time they attempted to board, were thrown directly into her.

GUERRILLAS IN KENTUCKY AND TENNESSEE.

The guerrillas have evacuated Murfreesboro, Tennessee, carrying with them the officers of the regiments which surrendered. Prompt measures have been taken to prevent further outrages. General Nelson arrived at Nashville on Thursday, with heavy reinforcements, and assumed command there. He will make short work of the marauders in that vicinity. At Lexington, Kentucky, General Green Clay Smith is in command of the National forces, and there is every prospect that he will soon put a stop to Morgan's operations both in marauding and recruiting. The last act of the guerrillas was the occupation of the town of Henderson, Kentucky, on the Mississippi River, below Louisville. They do not appear to have done much damage there, however. Quarter-master-General Wright, by order of the Governor of Ohio, has issued as call for thirty days' volunteers, to operate against Morgan in Kentucky. The National forces raised in and around Cincinnati have, by order of the Government, been placed under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Burbank, of the Thirteenth Infantry, who has taken measures to give efficiency to the military organizations. We learn from Nashville that Colonel Owen, of the Sixty-ninth Indiana, surprised and cut to pieces five hundred guerrillas above Burksville, Kentucky, about eleven o'clock on Saturday night.

EXCHANGE OF PRISONERS.

Negotiations were commenced on the 17th, between General Dix and the rebel General Hill, with a view to a general exchange of prisoners. The negotiations were not concluded on that day, but were renewed on the 18th, when the rebel General Lee was present. The interviews between General Dix and General Hill are understood to have been highly satisfactory. Some of our wounded men, who were taken prisoners in the recent battles, have already been released on parole and are on their way North.

UNION MEETING IN NEW YORK.

A mass meeting was held on 15th, in Union Square, in behalf of the Union, and in support of the Government in efforts to suppress rebellion. It was one of the largest, and, in many respects, the most impressive popular assemblage ever gathered together in this metropolis—not alone in point of numbers, but in enthusiasm, singleness of purpose, and earnestness in the cause for which it was called.

Similar war meetings have been held in almost every city of the North.

NEW BOUNTY FOR VOLUNTEERS.

A private enlisting in this State, under the new call for volunteers, if the war should close within twelve months, would receive, besides his regular rations and clothing, the following amount of money:

FOREIGN NEWS.
ENGLAND.

BRITISH OPINION ON THE RICHMOND BATTLES.

THE English press is engaged commenting on the war news from this country. The papers speak of three days' fighting before Richmond, and are unanimous in the opinion that the Union army under General McClellan sustained a "severe reverse," and that his position was "precarios." The London Herald, organ of the aristocrats, says that the campaign is not ended, but will be prolonged until "Europe stays the uplifted swords." Some of the journals hope that a reconciliation may be effected, but the general opinion was that the siege of Richmond would be recommenced. The London Times thinks that the result of the fighting proves that the rebel army may maintain itself in Virginia for a period which may be indefinitely prolonged.

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