General Wright Biography


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, June 11, 1864

The Civil War was the bloodiest conflict in American History, and nothing can explain the important events of the war better than original newspapers printed during the war. We have made our extensive collection of these historical documents available online on this site.

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General Warren

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Baltimore Convention

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Radical Republican

Radical Republican Convention

Belle Plain

Bell Plain, Virginia

Lincoln and Secretaries

President Lincoln with Secretaries

General Wright Biography

General Wright Biography

Civil War Wounded


Spotsylvania Court House


Battle of Salient


Battle of Resaca


Salient Battle Description

Lee Cartoon

Robert E. Lee Cartoon






[JUNE 11, 1864.



"Holm there, courier, what news from the front? Go not so fast on your galloping way! Have the armies met, has a battle been fought? Tell us which side has won the day,

And who is living, and who lie low;

We all have friends in the ranks, you know."

" The armies met but a few days since, And a terrible battle has been fought; We are the victors, thank the Lord!

But the victory, oh, it was dearly bought,

For the ground is littered with Union dead,

And the trampled grass with their blood is red."

" Tell me, courier, say if you can

How it has fared with my own brave boy? He was the last of five gallant sons,

His mother's only remaining joy."

Thus spoke a woman wrinkled and gray, As the courier paused a while by the way.

"Your boy, good woman ? Alas ! he is killed; In the front of battle I saw him fall, With his face to the enemy he lay,

Shot through the heart by a rifleman's ball; But tell me, mother, was your boy's life

More dear than our cause in this deadly strife?"

"Courier, I have already said

He was the child of my later years; I have given five to our noble cause

And the Lord will wipe away these tears ; 'Tis hard with one's flesh and blood to part,

But I yield them all with a willing heart."

" Courier," said a young wife then,

"Is my husband living, and is he well?" "My Captain, lady, was wounded at first, Close by my side in the fight he fell ;

And asked that this token to you I'd give, For he knew himself that he could not live."

"O God, he is dead! 'tis my picture this; I bade him wear it on every field Close to his heart, where I placed it then, Praying his precious life it might shield;

And I strove to keep the tears from my eyes

When I gave him to God a sacrifice!"

" And, courier, what of Walter Holt?

Pray tell me if of him you know aught"-

This from the lips of a fair young girl.

"I know how bravely and well he fought, And I know as well that he lost an arm, But otherwise he is safe from harm."

"Oh, courier, tell him when you return

How that of one thing he may be sure: That I am his whenever he will ;

And 'though he has lost an arm, and is poor, Bid him remember that I have two,

And will prove what a Yankee girl can do."

Then the courier spurred his foaming steed, Thinking aloud as he rode away:

" Oh, when will the night of battle clear, And show us the dawn of a brighter day,

When these groans of anguish and grief shall cease

In the golden sunrise of perfect peace?"


GARIBALDI'S HYMN.—Nonsense ! Speak grammatically, and say Garibaldi''s He.

Why is the top of a bald man's head like the North Pole?—Because it is a great bear (bare) place.

PUTTING YOUR FOOT IN IT.—" Putting your foot in it,"

it seems, is a term of legitimate origin. According to the " Asiatic Researches," a very curious mode of trying the title to land is practiced in Hindostan. Two holes are dug in the disputed spot, in each of which the lawyer on either side put one of their legs, and there remain until one of them is tired, or complains of being stung by in-sects ; in which case his client is defeated. In our country it is generally the client, and not the lawyer, who "puts his foot in it."

When is a woman like a watch ?—When she is capp'd and jeweled.

THE GIRL I LOVE.—Oyster Patty.

Dr. Mead, calling one day on a gentleman who had been severely afflicted with the gout, found, to his surprise, the disease gone and the patient rejoicing on his recovery over a bottle of wine. "Come along, doctor," exclaimed he, "you are just in time to taste this bottle of Madeira; it is the first of a pipe that has just been broached." "Ah !" replete the doctor, shaking his head, "these pipes of Madeira are the cause of all your suffering." " Well, then," rejoined the gay incurable, "fill your glass; for now we have found out the cause, the sooner we get rid of it the better."

TURNIPS.—A farmer, by chance a companion in a coach with Sydney Smith, kept boring him to death with questions, in the jargon of agriculturists, about crops. At length he put a poser: "And pray, Sir, how are turnips t'year?" " Why, that, Sir," stammered out Smith, "will depend upon the boiled legs of mutton."

A drunken fellow, sitting on the steps of St. Paul's church, the cold wind blowing chillingly round the corner, thus soliloquized, "If Heaven (hic) tempers the Wind to the (hic) shorn lamb, I wish the lamb (hic) was on this corner."

There is an anecdote of an honest Irishman, whose mingled sense of the duty of gratitude and the awkwardness of obligation found vent in the characteristic aspiration, " Oh, that I could see your honor knocked down in a fight! Sure, and wouldn't I bring a faction to the rescue!"

A vendor of hoops was recently extolling his wares in presence of a customer's husband. "No lady should be without one of these beautiful skirts," said the vendor.

Well, of course not," dryly remarked the husband," she should be within them."

A countryman was shown Gainsborough's celebrated picture of " The Pigs." " To be sure," said he, " they be deadly like pigs; but there is one fault—nobody ever saw three pigs feeding together but what one on 'em had a foot in the trough."

A few days since a dunner called on a young gentleman and presented him a bill, when he was somewhat taken aback by the gent taking him aside and blandly saying: "My dear Sir, call next Thursday, and I'll tell you when to call again."

The late Lord Petersham, a great dandy, possessed a collar of snuff, arranged in jars, said to have been worth three thousand pounds. He had the finest collection of boxes in England, and had a box for every day in the year. On a beautiful old light blue Sevres box being particularIv he would lisp out affectedly, " Yes, it's a nice summer box ; but it doesn't do for winter wear."

Partly fulfilling a promise is like breaking your word and offering some of the bits.

A. neglected wife declares that she and her husband are like two mile-stones, because she may say that he and she are never seen together.

People who have never been in Italy form very macaronious ideas about it.

Why is a vine like a soldier?—Because it is 'listed and trained, and has ten-drills and shoots.

"It's all stuff," as the lady said to her husband, who was complaining of dyspepsia after a public dinner.

An eminent divine preached one Sunday morning from the text, "Ye are the children of the devil," and in the afternoon, by funny coincidence, from the words, "Children, obey your parents."

A northern English rector used to think it polite not to begin service before the arrival of the squire. A little while ago he forgot his manners, and began, "When the wicked man—" "Stop, Sir!" called out the clerk, "he ain't come yet."

A young gentleman from the "rooral districts," who advertised for a wife through the newspapers, received answers from eighteen husbands, informing him that he could have theirs.

THE ANCIENTS OUTDONE.—Talk of Daedalus and Icarus ! A man made wings to his house, and had a fly in it!

VERBUM SAP.---Time is never in a hurry, but never idles.

Were a second deluge to occur the best place to retreat to would, of course, be New-ark.


GENERAL HORATIO GATES WRIGHT, of whom we give a portrait on our first page, now commanding the Sixth Corps of the Army of the Potomac, entered West Point from Connecticut in the year 1837. In July, 1841, he was appointed Second Lieutenant of Engineers, and in January, 1842, became Acting Assistant Professor of Engineering in the Military Academy, holding the position to August of the following year. In July, 1844, he was appointed Assistant Professor, and in the spring of 1848 was made a First Lieutenant, becoming subsequently Captain, in the Engineer Corps. In 1861 he was promoted to Major, and in September of the same year was made Brigadier-General of Volunteers, and placed in command of the Third Brigade of SHERMAN'S forces, which participated in the Port Royal expedition. When the Army of the South was reorganized, under General HUNTER, General WRIGHT was, on the 23d of May, 1862, placed in command of the Third Brigade of General BENHAM'S First Division. Subsequently he was ordered North with his brigade, and participated in McCLELLAN'S Peninsular Campaign. In July, 1862, he was appointed a Major-General of Volunteers, and ordered to the Military Department of the Ohio, with head-quarters at Cincinnati. He held this command during the advance of BRAGG'S army through East Tennessee and Kentucky to the Ohio River, and by his ability aided in organizing forces for the protection of Cincinnati. He retained this position until March 26, 1863, when, in consequence of the Senate refusing to confirm his appointment of Major-General, he was relieved by General BURNSIDE, and ordered to report to head-quarters for assignment.

For a short time General WRIGHT was kept unemployed, but was at last assigned to the command of the First Division of the Sixth Corps. During the passage of the Rappahannock in November, 1863, General WRIGHT was placed in command of the Sixth Corps, which was attached to General SEDGWICK'S right wing of that army. At the storming of the works the command of General WRIGHT particularly distinguished itself, and General MEADE, in his general order of November 9, 1863, complimented not only General WRIGHT as corps commander, but particularly mentioned the division so recently under his charge.

When the Army of the Potomac was reorganized; during March, 1864, under General MEADE, for the present campaign, General WRIGHT was assigned to the command of the First Division of the Sixth Army Corps. Upon General SEDGWICK'S death he succeeded to the command of the corps, and has just been renominated as a Major-General.


I HAD lost sight of my old college chum, Fred Pepper, for several years, till I accepted an invitation from him last autumn to stay a week with him at his home in one of the midland counties. According to arrangement, he met me at Wallington Junction, a station about twenty miles from his house, the remainder of the journey having to be performed on a branch line of railway.

"You will have to take a fresh ticket here," said Fred, after I had alighted from the train, and we had greeted each other with a hearty shake of the hand. "You will find the booking-office at the upper end of the platform."

I went to the window indicated by my friend, and obtained the needful ticket ; nothing at the same time that I was waited upon by a young woman—rather an unusual case in England, I believe, though not so unfrequent in Scotland ; quite a mite of a young woman, so slenderly proportioned was she, so slight of figure ; with large, shy, brown eyes, and brown hair ; with small, pale, clearly cut features ; hardly to be called pretty, but with an expression of candor and good temper that was infinitely pleasing. Whatever touches of adornment the otherwise dingy office had received were due to her busy little fingers; to her evidently belonged the three pots of scarlet geraniums, and the box of mignonnette in the window ; the canary, lively and loud voiced, in its circular wire cage ; the elaborate piece of embroidery on the desk ; and a green backed volume of poems.

"Are all your booking-clerks in this part of the country as charming as the one who has just waited on me ?" inquired I of Fred.

"Ah, you have seen little Madge Carliston, I suppose," said he ; " but you must not expect to find another like her. Have you never heard of her before ? Well, then, I must relate to you a little circumstance which happened three or four years ago, and which made Madge quite a heroine in these parts. Let us secure a compartment to ourselves, and then you shall have it."

My friend was well known on the line, and the guard civilly locked the door at his bidding, and secured us from intrusion. Having fixed ourselves, therefore, comfortably in opposite corners, Fred proceeded to favor me with the following narrative :

" Two years ago," commenced he, " old David Carliston, the father of Madge, was station-master at Birkwood, a little road-side place about fifteen miles from Wallington Junction. David had been j a soldier in his younger days, could show two or three medals, and had probably obtained his post on the line through the interest of some friendly director, rather than from any particular aptitude he himself displayed. He had been a widower for many years, and his small household was managed by his daughter Margaret, or Madge, as she was generally called by her father and every one else.

"There was very little traffic, either goods or passenger, at Birkwood; so that the life led by David and his daughter was a very lonely one ; the village of Birkwood itself, which contained only about a couple of hundred inhabitants, lying a mile and a half away down the main road.

" It thus fell out that Madge, having much leisure time on her hands, gradually initiated herself into the duties of a clerk at a small station ; being, indeed, very nimble with her pen, and in that respect the reverse of David. His duties were over by eight o'clock in the evening, there being no train which stopped at Birkwood between that hour and seven in the morning ; and having seen that his night-signals were all right, the old soldier would, if the weather were fine, generally trudge down into the village, to smoke his pipe and drink an evening glass at the Farriers' Arms, at which place, by virtue of his military experiences and his two medals, he was looked upon as a hero whose dictum was in no case to be disputed. These nightly visits to the Farriers' Arms were a source of no small disquietude to Madge, for it not unfrequently happened that David, rendered forgetful by the excitement of congenial company, and by the rude but genuine applause which always greeted his stories of war-like adventure, would imbibe more of the Farriers' heady home-brewed than he could conveniently carry, and would reach home at a late hour in a state which permitted no recollection next morning of how he got there.

" It was hardly likely that such a girl as Madge Carliston could have reached the age of seventeen, even in a remote place like Birkwood, without having suitors for her hand. Of the unfortunate rejected ones who had been sent about their business, with no measure of hard words, but with a gentle refusal, uttered half reluctantly, as though she were unwilling to inflict so much pain, the only one known to me by name was young Will Ferguson, a guard on the line. Will had tried his fortune, and had been rejected, like others before him ; but whether there was something in Madge's soft refusal which would not permit him to despair of success, or whether it was owing to the constancy and true nature of his affection, he still went on loving as before, and would by no means take his rejection as final. ` It's a woman's privilege to change her mind,' he would say ; `and who knows but that Madge may change hers !'

" Will's most formidable rival was handsome black-eyed Dick Carradus, son of Lord Alfreton's bailiff—a village scapegrace, who had been turned out of doors by his father some years before; had then gone to Australia, and had come back, after being five years away, quite as poor as he went, and was now living at home on sufferance, till something should turn up likely to suit his lazy abilities.

" Dick had not been back long before he singled out little Madge Carliston as the object of his attentions. He began by paying court to her father, and would lounge up to the station of a morning, having no work of his own to engage him, and smoke and chat with the old man between trains, listen with respectful attention to his long-winded stories, retail the latest village news, and give him now and then a helping-hand with his garden; so that, after a time, the morning seemed long and dull which was not enlivened by a visit from laughing, good-tempered Dick. To Madge he made no open profession of his love, being quick enough to perceive that she was one of those who are not to be won in a day ; but he let her see in twenty different ways how constantly she dwelt in his thoughts. To what extent he succeeded in winning her affections no one ever knew, but that she was inclined to favor his suit seems certain; indeed it would have been strange if a girl of her limited experience and slight knowledge of the world, without any previous liking for another, had remained insensible to the manifold attractions of Dick.

" Matters had progressed thus for some months without seeming to progress at all, when, one autumn forenoon, Dick lounged up to the station accompanied by a stranger, whom he presented to David as his friend Mr. Kulp, from Australia. Madge, who was looking on unseen from behind the blind that shaded the open window, thought she had never seen a more sinister and ill-looking visage than that of Mr. Kulp. He was dressed in a new, shiny suit of black, in which he looked very awkward and ill at ease, his great horny hands being especially difficult to dispose of, and wandering incessantly into his pockets and out of them again; he would evidently have felt more at home in the red shirt and highlows of a digger. His face and neck were the color of a brick, and his shaggy red hair and long red beard, rudely trimmed by some country barber, did not add to the attractiveness of his appearance. His features were bold and sufficiently well-shaped ; but the expression of his eyes was so thoroughly bad, that it was impossible to be

mistaken as to the nature of the soul that gazed loweringly out of their treacherous depths. Madge could not help wondering to herself how it happened that laughing, careless Dick had come to choose such a man as this Kulp for his companion.

"David went into the house, and presently re-turned with a jug of ale and some glasses; and Mr. Kulp having produced some cigars, the three sat down on one of' the benches outside the station, and proceeded to enjoy themselves after their own fashion.

" We had Lord Alfreton's family here yesterday afternoon,' said David, after a while. `There was three truck-load of luggage and things, besides eight horses, and a lot of dogs ; and a rare lot of money it came to. Fact is,' continued the old soldier, `I never was so busy since I came here as I've been this morning ; for Baylis, the cattle-drover, sent me word a week ago to get him twenty wagons ready by this morning ; and sure enough, by five o'clock he was here with a lot of staring, half-mad bullocks; and rare and cold it was too at that hour ; but we got them all safe into the trucks, and the engine fetched them at eight o'clock—quite a little train of themselves. And then Baylis came into the house, and had a bit of breakfast with me, and paid me for the carriage of the cattle. Why, lads, I shall have over a hundred and fifty pounds to send to bank in the morning. I'll warrant such a thing never happened before since Birkwood was a station ;' and the old man chuckled to himself as he emptied his glass, and seemed to look upon the whole matter as an excellent joke.

"Shortly afterward Dick and Mr. Kulp took their leave, the former depositing on the window-sill a little bunch of' flowers for Madge, who still kept resolutely within doors. The two walked slowly down the road, conversing earnestly together, Mr. Kulp apparently endeavoring to impress some important point on the attention of the half-reluctant Dick; and in a few minutes the latter came hastily back, and going up to David, who was busy digging in his garden by this time, said:

"`You'll be down at the Farriers' to-night, won't you, governor? There's to be a bit of a dahlia-show among the villagers, and they'll be sure to want you to act as one of the judges.'

"`I'll drop down, had, after the eight o'clock train has gone, and that's as soon as I can leave ; not that I know much about dahlias, but I can give my opinion, I dare say, as well as another man.'

"So, with a renewed good-morning, Dick finally departed, and having rejoined Mr. Kulp, who was lounging over a gate waiting the ,return of his friend, the two went on their way together, and were quickly lost to view.

" All these proceedings had been witnessed by Madge from her eyrie, but she had been too far away to hear the conversation between Dick and her father in the garden. When she was certain that the two were finally gone she stole down stairs, and taking possession of the flowers, kissed them and put them carefully into water. Then she went about her work, humming an old song to herself; but she could not get rid of the idea that the malignant eyes of Mr. Kulp were furtively watching her wherever she went.

" When David had attended to the eight o'clock train he went into the house and changed his bat and coat, telling Madge that he was going down into the village, but that he should not be late home. Madge was too much accustomed to her father's evening absences to think any thing of this, and had learned from experience that when he announced his intention of being home at an early hour he was pretty sure to be later than corn-men. Having arranged his neck-tie to her satisfaction, and given him a parting kiss, she made up the fire, lighted the candle, and sat down to her sewing, quite content to pass the long evening all alone in the solitary station-house.

"Having sewn till she was tired, she put her work away, and then got out her hymn-book, and marked one or two hymns to be sung by her scholars at school on the following Sunday; then she read a while; and then, all unconsciously to her-self, her eyes softly closed, and she knew nothing more.

"She was roused by the clock close above her head striking eleven, and at the moment she opened her eyes she was startled by seeing, or believing that she saw, the handle of' the door on the opposite side of the room slowly and noiselessly turned, as though some one were trying to open it from the outside. The door in question led on to the plat-form, but fortunately she had shot the bolt into its place after seeing her father down the road. The blood thrilled through her heart as she gazed with a sort of horrible fascination on the revolving handle, and in a moment she was as thoroughly awake as ever she had been in her life. She listened, with all her senses on the alert, but the silence remained unbroken save by the ticking of the clock and the faint singing of the telegraph wires in the breeze outside. She kept her eyes fixed intently on the door for what seemed to her an intolerably long time, but there was no movement, nor any sign of life other than her own beating heart; so, with a sigh of relief, she at length wrenched her eyes away, and persuaded herself that, in the confusion of that first waking moment, her senses must have misled her. The hour was late, and her father could not be long now ; so she would just make every thing secure below stairs, and then go and lie down on her bed without undressing, in readiness to run down at his first knock.

"It was hardly pleasant going about the house after seeing that strange movement of the door-handle ; but she nerved herself to the effort; al-though the eyes of Mr. Kulp seemed to stare out at her with baleful intensity from every dusky- corner, and to lie in wait for her behind every doer. But the task, after all, was only a short ono; and when she had seen that all the doors and windows were properly secured, and that there was nothing to be feared from the lire, she took up her candle, and walked slowly and steadily up the short flight of stairs which led to her own and her father's bed-rooms on the upper floor. After glancing into the




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