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Civil War Harper's Weekly, September 3, 1864

Welcome to our archive of original Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. These papers are full of interesting stories, dramatic illustrations, and thoughtful analysis of the war . . . all created by people who were there at the time. It is an incredible resource for increasing your understanding of the war.

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1864 Democratic Convention

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SEPTEMBER 3, 1864.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

563

(Previous Page) "Democrat"—that every man who counsels the surrender of the Government by making terms with citizens who are trying to overthrow it is a " Democrat"—considering that there is no man, party, or measure which is now or ever has been working in the interest of the rebellion, and consequently for disunion, which is not " Democratic," we submit that the Maine "Democracy" perpetrate a tragical joke when they solemnly resolve that the "Democratic party," of which JEFFERSON Davis, FRANKLIN PIERCE, SLIDELL, VALLANDIGHAM, MASON, WIGFALL, and FERNANDO WOOD are accredited leaders, and which excommunicates BUTLER, STANTON, DICKINSON, LOGAN, and GRANT, is and ever has been the true Union party of the country.

THE "PEACE" APOSTLE AND
THE MAJOR-GENERALS.

WE had supposed that Mr. VALLANDIGHAM was sent to Chicago by his political friends ; but he tells us at Dayton : " I expect speedily, by the grace of God—and I ask no higher authority—to be at Chicago." This effectually disposes of the authority of the Convention that sent him. But would he kindly inform an inquiring public, in case he had been dissatisfied with the authority he asserts, to what " higher authority" he would have appealed ?

In the midst of his speech the worthy orator paused to ask this most puzzling question : " What shall I say, as an honest man ?" What, indeed ! That question may be called, in the language of the rude street boy, " a sockdologer."

But recovering toward the close of his address, he proclaims his purpose " to remain forever ' God's noblest work, an honest man.' " It is a most commendable resolution. The delegate who holds his office as the old kings claimed to hold theirs, "by the grace of God," doubtless remembers what Othello says to Emilia of her husband Iago :

"An honest man he is, and hates the slime That sticks on filthy deeds."

But being an honest man, why does the immaculate orator proceed to asperse the honesty of the soldiers. "I do not look for personal aggrandizement. If I did I should have been a Major-General long ago, and had millions of money laid by as the spoils of any part in the war." This is the plain assertion that the commission of a Major-General is the result of a desire of personal aggrandizement, and that Major-Generals lay by " spoils" to the amount of millions of dollars. Mr. VALLANDIGHAM should remember that he is a "peace" man, and not a good authority upon soldiers ; who as they read such words will be apt to exclaim, as he remembers Othello did, with a peculiar emphasis, when his mind awakened to the truth, "Honest, honest Iago !"

TWO NATIONS ON THE SOIL
OF ONE.

THE question is often asked whether England did not declare in our Revolution, as we do in this rebellion, that to yield to the demands of the colonial rebels would be to connive at the humiliation of the Government ; and whether, after all, England was ruined by the separation of the Colonies. This is another form of the favorite remark of rebel sympathizers, that the secessionists are doing only what our fathers did.

The British Government was unquestionably humiliated by the separation of the Colonies, and the English have always borne us the grudge which they are now gratifying. But the Government was not overthrown, simply because the Colonies were subjects of a country three thousand miles off, and because the bond between them was not like ours. In a word, the cases are not alike, because they are altogether different. Thus, our fathers did not say that, because government justly exists by the consent of the governed, therefore any number of people any where, at any time, and under any circumstances, have the right to overthrow the Government by force, with all the inevitable and melancholy consequences of war. They said only that, when the consent of a people is permanently and injuriously disregarded by the Government, and experience shows peaceful redress to be hopeless, and the consequences of submission are more calamitous than war, then, rehearsing their wrongs to mankind, and appealing to human sympathy and divine justice, those people may forcibly overthrow that Government.

That is what the American colonists did in 1776. Is that what the American rebels are doing in 1864 ?

The Government, so far as the Colonies was concerned, was destroyed, but the consequences ended there. But if the British monarchy had been a Union like ours, if the counties of Kent and Sussex had been parts of the whole in the same way and by the same bond that the colonies of Virginia and Massachusetts were, then the whole bond would have been loosened. But even then it would not necessarily have plunged the island of Great Britain into anarchy, for the revolted section of the empire was separated from it by an ocean.

But if thirteen English counties on the soil

of the island, separated from the rest by no natural barriers of any kind whatever, had risen in insurrection, and after a war of four years the British Government had asked them upon what terms they would submit, or had agreed that they should form an independent power upon the English soil, how long would the majesty and force of the British Government last? Should we have heard the London Times complacently asserting that there was plenty of room for two monarchies in England ; or would the London Times perceive, what all the world would know, that the British monarchy was at an end?

There are such things as nations and a national life. There is an American nation and an American people, exactly as there is an English or a French nation and people. And the American nation proposes to continue its existence.

GENERAL SHERMAN AND HIS
SOLDIERS.

A PRIVATE soldier in the First Illinois Artillery lately sent to General SHERMAN a bridle and collar which he had worked in camp, " as a slight token," he said, "of the high regard and esteem which all the soldiers entertain toward you as our commander." The General, with that hearty recognition of valor and character, which is ennobling to every man and sure to endear him to others, in acknowledging the present, says :

"I have always borne testimony to the peculiar intelligence, good conduct, and gentlemanly deportment of the young men who comprise your battery, and, when the war does close, if I survive it, I will make it my study to give full honor and credit to the soldiers in the ranks, who, though in humble capacity, have been the working hands by which the nation's honor and manhood have been vindicated.

"As Battery A was one of the first to fire a hostile shot in the war in the great valley of the Mississippi, I hope it will be one of the last, and that its thunder tones will in due time proclaim the peace resulting from a war we could not avoid, but which called all true men from the fancied security of a long and deceitful peace."

The final sentence shows General SHERMAN'S just appreciation of the nature of the war. The reader will observe that he differs from Mr. DON CARLOS BUELL, late a Major-General in the United States army.

"COMPROMISE WITH THE
SOUTH."

THE powerful picture of Mr. NAST'S, which we print this week, shows at a glance the condition which compromise presupposes. Those who urge it represent the friends of the Union as in the condition of the Northern soldier in the picture, utterly defeated, crippled, and crushed ; while by letters in their papers and by the mouths of their orators they depict the Rebellion as rather more stalwart, vigorous, and victorious than ever. And again, when compromise shall come, the consequence to the North will be the total prostration represented in the picture. For compromise with armed rebellion is abject submission.

When the free and independent citizens of the United States are completely overwhelmed and conquered, like the Union soldier in this picture, as Copperheads now believe them to be—when they are ready to send back into slavery the brave black boys who have fought for their flag—when they forget the massacres of Lawrence and Fort Pillow, and the burning of Chambersburg, and the long, long story of the hanging and torture of Southern Union men at home and of Union prisoners in rebel hands—when the people forget the meditated shot fired contemptuously at the American flag, and the thousands of true and brave men who have been slaughtered defending it—and when they forget their betrayed and deluded fellow-citizens at the South forced into the service of the rebellion, and are ready to renounce honor, self respect, and all that makes man noble or a nation imperial—when they are a pack of cowards, and no longer a sovereign people—then, and not until then, will they make the picture true, and agree to relinquish by compromise the authority of the Government their fathers founded, and the Union for which their sons and brothers have died.

LITERARY.

" OUR Burden and our Strength" (from the steam presses of the Daily Times, Troy, New York), by DAVID A. WELLS, A.M., one of the highest statistical authorities in the country, is, as the subtitle of his most timely and valuable pamphlet asserts, a comprehensive and popular examination of the debt and resources of our country, present and prospective. The importance and clearness of Mr. WELLS'S statement are already so well appreciated that its substance has been issued as a "broadside" by the New England Loyal Publication Society, and a cheap popular edition will be published under equally loyal auspices in New York ; while the newspapers have not failed to appreciate it, so that we may confidently expect every voter in the land to understand that a large debt is not for this country necessarily ruinous. The title of the pamphlet explains its purpose. It must be seen by all who care to know the truth ; and we can assure our friends that Mr. WELLS is justified in saying, is he does at the end: "Enough of statistics (which no partisan zeal can wrest from their true meaning) have been given to satisfy our readers that the country can not be destroyed or even crippled by any probable future debt ; and to induce every loyal man, as he reflects upon our resources as a nation, to 'thank God, and take courage. ' "

" The Destiny of our Country" (A. D. F. RANDOLPH, New York) is the title of Judge CHARLES P. KIRKLAND'S address originally prepared for the alumni of Hamilton College, and now enlarged for

publication. It is an ample and accurate statement of the origin, course, and probable consequences of the war, made with judicial calmness and patriotic earnestness. The cause of the rebellion the Judge finds in the aristocratic ambition of a certain class in the Southern States ; an ambition nurtured by the social and industrial system of the South—that is, Slavery—and essentially at war with the spirit and natural development of our popular republican government. The right of Nullification and the Slavery agitation he considers, with General JACKSON, to be mere pretenses for insurrection. The real object sought is the salvation of the aristocracy, to which a slave system is essential. Although an opponent of the present Administration at the time of its election, Judge KIRKLAND justifies its official conduct upon the highest patriotic ground. He evidently does not love the word abolitionist, although he thinks slavery is doomed by the war. But he is too good a scholar not to know that the one thing that is never harmless until it is stone dead is the exclusive principle in human affairs. The fathers in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 thought that slavery was dead. But eighty years afterward it is still lustily kicking. While it lasts war, open or hidden, will last in this country.

"The Gospel of Peace," Part 3, has been published for a few weeks, but, as usual, has received little attention from the press. It is remarkable that the most popular brochure of the war should have made its way into universal recognition without newspaper assistance of any kind. Nor is it less remarkable that a literary secret of the kind should have been so long and faithfully kept. A great many persons are sure that they know the author, but their assertions are still inquisitive. Whoever he may be, he may congratulate himself that he has reached and enlightened many a mind that would otherwise have been ignorant, indifferent, or confused in the great struggle. The broad humor, the felicitous allusion, the trenchant truth telling, and the familiarity with all the curvatures of the New York " ring" are as striking in this part as in the others.

"Not Dead Yet" is the last novel of J. C. JEAFFRESON (HARPERS), whose name is already known among the most popular of current novelists. It is a story which begins " not far away in the past" —emphatically it is a tale of today. It is a story of love and crime, told with that peculiar intensity of style which characterizes the author, and winding up, as all well regulated novels should, with the passing away of the " subtle, selfish, clever, false Rupert," and the happy marriage bells of " Kitty and Nat," of " Edward and Flo'."

The HARPERS publish "Willson's Larger Speller," one of their School and Family series. The peculiar value of Mr. WILLSON'S school-books is already widely acknowledged, and every parent or teacher who can speak of them from experience speak most highly of their simple and comprehensive method. Primers, reading books, and spellers, they make the painful path as pleasant as it can be made without shirking the inevitable difficulties or helping the child to shirk.

DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.

THE MILITARY SITUATION.

GENERAL GRANT evidently does not intend to leave Sheridan, Farragut, and Sherman unsupported. He will not allow General Lee to dispose of the rebel army in Virginia at his own option entirely; if the latter chooses to send reinforcements to Maury, or Hood, or Early, the last few days' operations north of the James and in the vicinity of the Weldon Road will certainly teach him that he can not deplete his army with impunity. In last week's record we gave the details of the engagement near Dutch Gap, August 14. After the battle the Confederates took up a stronger position further back. On the 18th our line extended from Curl's Neck on the James to White Oak Swamp. While the rebel line was drawn out thus extensively to confront our right, other operations were undertaken south of Petersburg with a view of gaining possession of the Weldon Road. At 4 o'clock on the morning of the 18th the Fifth Corps, which had been for some days held in reserve, started for Reams Station with four days' rations. The event proved a surprise to the enemy, who gave way, leaving the Fifth in possession. This was at 7 A.M. Four or five hours were spent in tearing up the track, when the enemy made his appearance marching down the railroad. The Second Division held the road, supported by the Third and Fourth on the right, and on the left by the First. The rebel force, a portion of Hill's Corps, after a fight of two hours, was repulsed. The next day the rebels attacked again, and succeeded in breaking between the Fifth Corps and another, said to be a portion of the Sixth, which had come up to its support. About 1500 of the Fifth Corps are reported to have been taken prisoners. The general assault, however, failed, and the road was still held by the Federal troops, the Ninth Corps having come up in time to regain all the ground which had been lost. On Sunday, the 21st, the rebels attacked again, and were again repulsed with great loss in killed and wounded, besides 500 captured. Grant still holds the road. The Second Corps recrossed the James Saturday night.

In the Valley Early has been quite heavily reinforced by General Longstreet, and has taken a strong position south of Strasburg. This, together with a partial defeat at Berryville on the 14th, in which Sheridan's wagontrain was as completely destroyed as to embarrass his operations, has led the latter to fall back upon Winchester. The details of Sheridan's movement down the Valley are as follows : On the 8th August Sheridan assumed command, his force consisting of the Sixth, Eighth, and Nineteenth Corps, together with Crook's, Averill's, and Kelly's commands. On the 9th he started in pursuit of the rebels, who had two days before been beaten by Averill and Kelly. On the 10th Early's rear was overtaken ten miles north of Winchester, and a slight engagement followed with trifling results. The pursuit was continued to Strasburg. On the 14th Mosby attacked Sheridan's rear at Berryville, and owing to the weakness of the force dispatched against him, gained an important success. Two days later Early was reinforced through Thoroughfare Gap. On Sunday, the 21st, Sheridan was attacked near Charlestown, in the Valley. Charlestown is on the line of railroad from Winchester to Harper's Ferry, and six or seven miles southwest of the latter. Sheridan's line in the morning had its front at Summit Point, Its left stretching out toward Berryville, and its right across the Martinsburg Pike. At 8 o'clock A.M., General Wilson's cavalry holding the advance at Summit Point, was attacked and forced back to Charlestown. Mackintosh's brigade lost 300 men. A feint attack was then made on the Federal left, held by the Nineteenth Corps, but the main assault fell on the Sixth, which held the right. There was a severe battle, and in regard to the result we only know that Sheridan fell back two or three miles on the railroad, to the heights about Halltown.

Turning to the West we find no material alteration in the position held by Sherman's army.

On the 14th of August the rebel General Wheeler advanced with a force estimated at between two and five thousand men against Dalton, which was defended by Colonel Seibold with four hundred men. General Wheeler demanded the surrender of the place in the following terms: " To prevent the effusion of blood, I have the honor to demand the immediate and unconditional surrender of the forces under your command at this garrison." To which Colonel Seibold replied: " I have been placed here to defend the post, but not to surrender it." An attack was then made by the enemy, but Seibold succeeded in holding his position until the arrival of General Stedman with reinforcements from Chattanooga on the 15th ; the rebels were then forced to retreat.

The information in regard to the raids made by Sherman's cavalry under M'Cook and Stoneman on the Macon road is yet very unsatisfactory. Stoneman passed around Sherman's left near Stone Mountain and M'Cook around his right. From Stoneman nothing has been heard. M'Cook accomplished his purpose against the road, but when near the Chattahoochee on his return he found himself nearly surrounded by the enemy. M'Cook's force consisted of his own Division, the First Brigade containing the Fourth Kentucky, First East Tennessee, and Eighth Iowa, commanded by Colonel Croxton, and the Second Brigade, containing the First Wisconsin, Second Indiana, and Fourth Indiana, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Terry. Four regiments, the Eighth Indiana, Second Kentucky, Fourth Tennessee, and Fifth Iowa, which participated in Rousseau's raid, went along as a reserve. The Ninth Ohio, also one of Rousseau's raiding regiments, was to be left to guard the pontoon across the Chattahoochee, where the raiding party crossed, also four pieces of Lilly's Indiana Battery. The other two pieces accompanied the raiders—the only artillery along. One ambulance to each regiment was allowed, and a few pack mules.

The entire column was not over 2500 strong, many of every regiment being left behind. Picked men and picked horses were only admitted to the expedition, though, eventually, some of the former were left on account of an :ability to mount them properly. Some of the regiments were armed throughout with the Spencer rifle, the most formidable and effective repeating arm known.

The expedition started on the 27th, crossing the Chattahoochee to the north side, several miles below the railroad bridge, and marched down the river to Turner's Ferry, ten miles below Campbellstown. Here M'Cook crossed the river, and leaving the Ninth Ohio Cavalry with four guns to guard his pontoon bridge, moved eastward to Palmetto station on the railroad from Atlanta to West Point. Palmetto station is twenty-five miles from Atlanta. The road was torn up for five miles, and the depot building, full of commissary stores, was burned. Moving on, the night of the 29th, the command, after a march of nine miles through a drenching rain, came upon the skirts of Fayetteville, and upon a train of rebel wagons. Themselves taken for rebels, they easily surprised and captured the train of nearly a thousand wagons, containing all the baggage of the rebel army at Atlanta. Then Fayetteville (forty miles south of Atlanta) was occupied. At nine A.M., on the 30th, M'Cook struck the Macon road three miles south of Fayetteville; a depot was burned and six miles of the road destroyed. At two P.M. the column began its return march, passing through Newman toward the fords of the Chattahoochee. At night, before recrossing Whitewater Creek northward, a heavy force of rebel cavalry attacked M'Cook's rear under Harrison, driving the latter. Harrison was then supported by the Second and Fourth Indiana, and the enemy was repulsed. The command then halted for the night, and the next morning reached Newman, forty miles from Atlanta, and twelve from the Chattahoochee on the West Point road. Here M'Cook encountered a heavy force of rebel infantry. He fell back and crossed the road 2 1/2 miles below Newman. Shortly afterward the advance-guard—the Fourth Indiana and Second Kentucky—were cut off from the main body and had to fight their way out. Not more than half succeeded in reaching Atlanta. On August 3 General M'Cook returned with 1200 men. His loss in killed, wounded, and missing can not have been less than 1000. It was intended that M'Cook's and Stoneman's commands should effect a junction on the Macon road. Stoneman appears to have met with a determined opposition. Savannah papers announce his arrival with 500 men as prisoners of war at Macon, Georgia.

General Kilpatrick has just returned from a raid on the Macon Road. The details of the expedition are not yet given; it is only known that about a dozen miles of the road have been injured, and that the command has returned uninjured.

From Mobile there is no important intelligence later than that given in last week's record. On pages 568 and 569 we illustrate Admiral Farragut's entrance to Mobile Bay, August 5, giving the disposition of the Federal and Confederate fleets and the situation of the forts and obstructions. At the mouth of the Bay is Dauphin Island, separated from the main land on either side by a strait. It is impossible for a fleet to navigate the western channel, which has only five feet of water. Forts Morgan and Gaines command the eastern channel--Morgan four miles from the island, Gaines upon it. Fort Powell is a mile above Gaines on the island. The only part of the channel free from obstructions and torpedoes was about 1500 yards in front of Fort Morgan. It was through this gateway that Farragut, steaming up so close to the fort as to command its guns, effected his entrance on the morning of the 5th,, breakfasting inside the Bay as he told his men he should.

While Farragut was passing the forts Gaines was invested by General Granger by land. After taking Gaines and Powell Farragut and Granger entered upon their operations against Fort Morgan, a formidable fort with a garrison of 1000 men.

ITEMS.

Generals Hovey and Hughes lately encountered the rebel Colonel Adam Johnson's forces at Morganfield, Kentucky, and completely routed them, capturing nineteen prisoners and recapturing a large amount of Government property which had been taken by these guerrillas.

The guerrilla Woodward died at Hopkinsville, Tennessee, August 19. His command is scattered in all directions.

The faculty and trustees of Williams College at its last commencement conferred upon General Benjamin F. Butler the title of Doctor of Laws. This honor from a Massachusetts college to one of the most distinguished and patriotic of Massachusetts citizens will certainly appear to no one inappropriate or unmerited.

FOREIGN NEWS.

EUROPE.

ALL the occasions which a few months since suggested an extensive European war seen now to have disappeared. The Polish insurrection has been quelled ; France has been allowed in peace to take possession of Mexico; and the Dano-German difficulties have been definitely settled.

The preliminaries of peace agreed upon between Denmark and the German Allies are the following:

King Christian relinquishes his rights over Schleswig Holstein and Lauenburg, agreeing to whatever disposition Austria and Russia may make of those provinces; with Schleswig are surrendered all the islands belonging to that Duchy. Denmark also cedes the Jutland possessions south of the District of Ribe, for which Denmark receives an equivalent portion of Schleswig.

The debts contracted on account of Denmark proper, or the Duchies, will be borne respectively by either of them. The debts contracted on account of the monarchy will be proportionately divided between Denmark proper and the Duchies, with the exception of the loan contracted in England in 1863, which will be paid by Denmark, and the war expenses of the great German Powers, which will be borne by the Duchies.

Both parties agree to an armistice until September 15, contributions no longer being levied on Jutland. The two armies to remain as at present until the treaty is concluded.

Prisoners of war are to be set at liberty on giving their paroles.


 

 

  

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