Early Report on the Battle of Bull Run


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, August 3, 1861

This Civil War Harper's Weekly newspaper describes a number of important events of the war. It includes eye-witness illustrations of the events, and important news of the day. It also has first edition coverage of the Battle of Bull Run.

(Scroll Down to see the entire newspaper page, or Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to a specific page of interest)


Laurel Hill

The Battle of Laurel Hill



Bull Run

Early Report on Battle of Bull Run

Map Bull Run

Bull Run Battle Map

Tillman and the Waring

Tillman and the Waring


General George McClellan Biography


Rowlesburg, West Virginia

Bull Run Battle

The Battle of Bull Run

Battle of Carthage

The Battle of Carthage, Missouri

Winchester Virginia

Winchester, Virginia

Bull Run

Start of the Battle of Bull Run

Civil War Weapons

Civil War Weapons

Bull Run Cartoon

Battle of Bull Run Cartoon


Hunter's Charge at Bull Run

Hunter's Charge at the Battle of Bull Run









AUGUST 3, 1861.]



(Previous Page) parts live only in the life of the whole. He who shows this to his State does a service which no service can surpass. He who blinds her to it stabs her mortally.

Two Kentuckians have spoken. One defends the treason that, ruining the nation, would make Kentuckv contemptible. The other defends the nation, whose prermanence is the life-blood of the State.


THE war is so urgent that it is putting even the language to flight. The English tongue proves inadequate to the occasion. But is our race really so unused to fighting that it must borrow from France the words that describe armies ? The papers speak of the grande armee. Why not the great army; or, as simplicity is strength, the army ? Then what has happened to the good technical, expressive words division or column, that are suddenly unequal to the emergency, and must be superseded by corps d'armee? Why should a division or column of the army be called corps d'armee, any more than the nation should he called la Republique? War is not a peculiarly French science that its technical terms must be expressed in French.

Let us have an end of this priggish nonsense. General Scott is the chief of an army, not of a grande armee; and General McDowell and General McClellan—whose names be honored !—command divisions, not corps.


THE proper time to celebrate a victory is when the army returns victorious, not when it marches out to battle. Nobody, probably, who could be said to have any opinion, supposed that this rebellion, which had so long and strong a start of the Government, could be suppressed in a month, or without the fluctuating fortune of war. There must be many battles, victories, and defeats. Now one side will triumph, now the other. The essential point is that every body shall keep his head and heart as cool as possible; and above all, not suppose that a single battle can conclude the war.

We must rely upon our common sense. At this moment of writing, for instance, the advance of our army is checked at Manassas. Now let us suppose that the enemy is in as strong force as we: we know that they have the choice of position; that they are strongly and skillfully fortified; that they have as many cannon, and that they are as well-served; that in their ranks are many men who, under the melancholy delusion cast upon them by their leaders, seriously believe that they are opposing the irruption of a savage horde whose motto is "Beauty and booty ;" that the Rebel Congress has just assembled at Richmond, and that defeat now would be so to dishearten that body and demoralize the insurrection, that every nerve will be strained to desperation to secure success.

Bearing these facts in mind, and remembering the chance of war, it would be by no means surprising if the enemy held their position. But what then ? Did you suppose that our army was to march straight from the Potomac to the Gulf of Mexico? Did you suppose that all the transfer of so many of the best arms of the country to the rebel part of the country by that worthy patriot, John B. Floyd, was to have no result ? Above all, did you suppose that the leaders of this cruel rebellion would dare to retreat altogether? They must stand somewhere: they must fight: for it is bettor for them to run the risk of a battle with loyal citizens than meet the fatal rage of those whom they have duped into treason.

But while a great defeat at this period of the war would be the ruin of the rebellion, a defeat would be but a delay to the Government. It would deepen and intensify the struggle. It would be a victory as fatal to the rebels as that of Bunker Hill was to the British. It would open a new view of this great effort of Constitutional liberty to maintain itself; and the calmest and most reasonable of citizens would repeat the words of Senator Dixon of Connecticut, and Senator Browning of Illinois, calmest and most reasonable of Senators : " The nation must be preserved pure and inviolate, and whatever stands in the way, whether political or vested right, must go down."

It is for the rebel meeting at Richmond to determine at what cost to themselves they will compel the Government of the United States to celebrate its victory.




DAUGHTERS to sell! Daughters to sell! They cost more money than I can tell; Their education has been first-rate;

What wealthy young nobleman wants a mate? They sing like nightingales, play as well: Daughters to sell! Daughters to sell!

Here's my fine daughters, my daughters, oh! German, Italian, and French they know, Dance like Sylphides for grace and ease; Choose out your partner, whichever you please. Here's a nice wife for a rich young swell: Daughters to sell! Daughters to sell!

Beautiful daughters, dark and fair!

Each is treasure to suit a millionaire, Or fit to pair with any duke's heir

At St. George's Church by Hanover Square. Hoy! you that in lordly mansions dwell, Daughters to sell! Daughters to sell!

Say my dear daughters! Who wants a bride, That can give her a carriage, and horses to ride, Stand an opera-box for his fancy's queen,

And no end of acres of crinoline.

Ever new furniture, jewels, and plate,

All sorts of servants upon her to wait ;

Visits to Paris, Vienna, and Rome,

In short all that she's been brought up to at home. Here are girls for your money—if out you can shell. My daughters to sell! My daughters to sell!

A letter from Naples says: "Standing on Castle Elmo, I drank in the whole sweep of the bay." What a swallow the writer must have!


A fast girl fails to catch a lord and master, Because some other girls are rather faster. And ev'n a fast man fears to take a wife, If fast, who'll be bound fast to him for life.

AT IT AGAIN, YOU SEE!—The Wiscount is ever apt at an absurdity. A friend of his the other day was talking of America, and saying that to set the slaves all free without injuring their owners would be almost an act of magic. "Magic!" chirped the Wiscount. "Well, I don't see that exactly. But it might certainly be called an act of negromancy !"


What's the difference between the late Sultan, Abdul Medjid, and his successor?

Abdul Medjid is Abdul as was, but the present Sultan is Abdul Aziz.

We are told that "as a man makes his bed so he must he lie in it." It is so with a bankrupt ; for we find that, when his balance-sheet is not drawn up all straight, there is generally awful lying in it.  

INFALLIBLE RECIPE F0R HOT WEATHER.-What is the best way to prevent meat turning? Eat it straight off.

"ALL ALIVE, OH!"—Friendship, it must be confessed, is of a far more cannibalistic turn than Enmity. Men are merely bitten by their enemies, but they are eaten up by their friends.

Louis XIV. being extremely harassed by the repeated solicitations of a veteran officer for promotion, said one day, loud enough to be heard, "That gentleman is the most troublesome officer I have in my service. " That is precisely the charge," said the old man, " which your majesty's enemies bring against me."

An adjutant of a volunteer corps, being doubtful whether he had distributed muskets to all the men, cried out, "All you that are without arms, hold up your hands!"

A Bladensburg correspondent tells us of an officer in one of the volunteer regiments stationed there : Finding that offenses against good discipline were getting to be entirely too numerous, he established a court-martial for the trial and judgment of offenders, and issued the following order: "If the court-martial exonerates an offender, then the officer of the day will punish him in such manner as he may think proper—handcuffing or tying to a fence."

A great toper, who had drunk nothing stronger than brandy all his life, called for a goblet of water on his deathbed, saying, "When a man is dying he ought to make it up with his enemies."

The following letter was sent by a father to his son at college:

"MY DEAR SON,—I write to send you some new corks, which your mother has just knit by cutting down some of mine. Your mother sends you ten pounds, without my knowledge, and for fear you would not spend it wisely, I have kept back half, and only send you five. Your mother and I are well, except that your sister has got the measles, which we think would spread among the other girls if Tom had not had them before, and he is the only one left. I hope you will do honor to my teachings; if you do not, you are a donkey, and your mother and myself are your affectionate parents."

"I'm getting fat," as the thief said when he was stealing lard.

"We knew an old man who believed that ' what was to be, would be.' He lived in a region infested by very savage Indians. He always took his gun with him, but this time he found some of his family had taken it. As he would not go without it, his friends tantalized him by saying that there was no danger of the Indians; that he would not die till his time came any how. ' Yes,' says the old fellow,' suppose I was to meet an Indian, and his time had come, it wouldn't do not to have my gun."'

People generally freeze in doubling the Cape; but a lady generally doubles hers to keep her warm.

A gentleman made his wife a present of a silver drinking-cup, with an angel at the bottom, and when he filled it for her, she used to drain it to the bottom, and he asked her why she drank every drop. "Because, ducky," she said, "I long to see the dear little angel." Upon which he had the angel taken out, and had a devil engraved at the bottom, and she drank it off just the same; and he again asked her the reason. "Why," replied the wife, "because I won't leave the old devil a drop."

An anti-tobacco lecturer spoke so powerfully against the use of tobacco that several of his audience went home and burned their cigars—holding one end of them in their mouths by way of punishment.

"Good-morning, Dennis. You have at last, I perceive, displayed taste in the purchase of a hat."

"Thrue for you, Sir; sure it has a crown any how; but look at them brogues, Sir; arn't they illegant?"

To this I assented, but observed that his coat seemed to fit him "too much."

"Och!" said he, in a confidential manner, " there's nothing surprising in that; sure I wasn't there when I was measured for it."

Not long since a gentleman took his little daughter to the dentist's to have a tooth extracted. After the operation her father said to her, "Now, my dear, if you don't put your tongue where the tooth came out, you'll have a gold tooth. To which she replied, "If I should have one, father, it wouldn't be long before you would be trying to get it out."

A prudent man advised his drunken servant to put by his money for a rainy day. In a few weeks the master inquired how much of his wages he had saved. "Faith, none at all," said he, "it rained yesterday, and it all went." 

" The child is father to the man." Not invariably; we have known it to be mother of the woman,

A "Ladies' Shoemaker" advertises himself as one of the luminaries of "the Sole her System."


ON Tuesday, 16th, the Senate passed the Naval Appropriation Bill. The resolution approving the acts of the President in suppressing the rebellion was discussed by Senator Breckinridge, of Kentucky, in opposition to its adoption. An executive session was held, and subsequently the Senate adjourned.-In the House, the Committee on Commerce, in response to a resolution directing inquiry as to what measures are necessary to suppress privateering and render the blockade of the rebel ports more effectual, reported a bill authorizing the Secretary of the Navy to hire, purchase, or contract for such vessels as may be necessary for a temporary, increase of the navy, the vessels to be furnished with such ordnance, stores, and munitions of war as will enable them to render the most efficient service. The bill was referred to the Committee on Naval Affairs. A bill authorizing the President to call out the militia to suppress rebellion was passed unanimously. The bill authorizing the President to accept the services of five hundred thousand volunteers was also passed. The Senate's amendments to the Loan Bill were all concurred in. A joint resolution, conveying the thanks of Congress to Major-General George B. McClellan and the officers and soldiers under his command, for the recent brilliant victories over the rebels in Western Virginia, was unanimously adopted. The bill to promote the

efficiency of the volunteer forces, and for other purposes, was passed, and the House adjourned.

On Wednesday, 17th, the Senate passed the bill providing for a temporary increase of the navy. The bill for the better organization of the military establishment, and providing a retiring list for the army, was taken up, debated, and recommitted to the Committee on Military Affairs. A committee of conference was ordered on the House amendment to the bill authorizing the employment of volunteers. A bill to suppress insurrection and sedition was introduced and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. After an executive session the Senate adjourned.—In the House, Mr. Henry May, of Maryland, was sworn in and took his seat. A resolution was offered extending the scope of the investigations of the select committee appointed to examine into the contracts of the War Department. After considerable discussion the resolution was adopted, by a vote of 81 to 42. The Tariff bill was then taken up. The Tariff bill, levying a war tax on tea, coffee, sugar, etc., was discussed in committee, but no definite action was taken.

On Thursday, 18th, in the Senate the Secretary announced that Vice-President Hamlin would be unable to attend during the remainder of the session, when, on motion, Senator Foot, of Vermont, was elected pro tempore presiding officer. The bill providing for an Assistant Secretary of the Navy was passed; a proposed amendment, providing also for an Assistant Secretary of the Interior, being rejected. The bill for the better organization of the military establishment was reported back to the Senate from the Military Committee, with amendments. The amendment in relation to filling the vacancies in the West Point Academy was, after some discussion, stricken out. Senator Powell, of Kentucky, offered an amendment that no part of the army or navy shall be used to subjugate sovereign States or to interfere with slavery, which caused a long and spirited debate, in which several Senators participated. Finally, Senator Sherman offered a substitute for Senator Powell's amendment, to the effect that the purposes of the military establishment were to preserve the Union, to maintain its authority and the authority of the Constitution, and to defend property. This substitute of Senator Sherman's was agreed to by 33 to 4, and the bill as amended was passed. A report was made from the Committee of Conference on the bill to authorize the employment of volunteers, and the report was adopted.-In the House, a bill supplemental to the act for the punishment of piracy was reported and referred. A resolution was adopted instructing the Committee on Commerce to inquire into the expediency of closing certain ports in the rebellious States. A considerable portion of the day's session was taken up in a debate elicited by the report of the Judiciary Committee on a resolution referred to them in reference to the recent visit of Representative May, of Baltimore, to Richmond, and his alleged complicity in various ways with the rebels. Several members took part in the discussion, which was quite animated and interesting. The House afterward passed the Tariff bill. The Senate's amendments to the Naval Appropriation bill were concurred in. The bill providing for an increase of the standing army to twenty-four thousand men was then taken up, and an amendment adopted, converting those regiments into volunteer forces, when, without further action, the House adjourned.

On Friday, 19th, the Senate passed the Civil Appropriation Bill, and the bill making appropriations for the legislative, executive, and judicial expenses of the Government. A bill providing for the construction of one or more iron-cased steamships of war was referred to the Naval Committee. The resolution approving the acts of the President with reference to the suppression of the rebellion was discussed by Senator Bayard, of Delaware, who was in favor of a separation of the States rather than civil war. After an executive session the Senate adjourned.-In the House, the bill providing for the better organization of the military establishment was passed; also the Senate bill providing for a temporary increase of the navy. Mr. Crittenden, of Kentucky, asked leave to submit resolutions declaring the present civil war had been forced on us by the disunionists of the Southern States now in rebellion against the Government of the United States ; that in this national emergency, Congress, banishing all feelings of passion and resentment, will recollect only their duty to their country; that the war is not waged for conquest or subjugation, or for interfering with the rights or established institutions of these States, but to maintain and defend the supremacy of the Constitution, with the rights and equality under it unimpaired; that as soon as these objects shall be accomplished the war ought to cease. Mr. Stevens objected to the introduction of the resolutions. The Chairman of this Committee on Ways and Means announced that he had no more bills to report, and moved an adjournment till Monday, which was agreed to.

On Saturday, 20th, in the Senate, the bill respecting the construction of iron-cased ships-of-war was laid over, as was also a bill increasing the army medical corps. A resolution directing inquiry into the circumstances of the surrender of the navy-yards at Pensacola and Norfolk was referred to the Naval Committee. A bill providing for furnishing arms to loyal citizens in the rebellious States was referred to the Military Committee. The resolution approving the acts of the President in suppressing the rebellion was taken up, and discussed by Senator Latham, of California, who approved of all the acts of Mr. Lincoln, and declared, furthermore, if the President had not exercised the powers he assumed, he (Senator Lathan) would have voted to have him impeached, as unfit and unworthy of the place he occupied, and derelict in its duties. Senator Rice, of Minnesota, said he indorsed the sentiments of Senator Latham. After an executive session the Senate adjourned.

-The House was not in session, having adjourned over till Monday.

On Monday, 22d, in the Senate, the bill to provide for iron-clad ships and floating batteries was passed. A very interesting part of the Senate's proceedings was the consideration of the bill authorizing the confiscation of the property of rebels. On the taking up of this bill an amendment was offered by Senator Trumbull to include slaves in the category of confiscated property, which gave rise to a spirited debate, in which various Senators participated. The amendment was agreed to by thirty-two yeas to six nays, and the bill was passed. A bill from the Finance Committee, supplementary to the act authorizing a national loan, was passed. A resolution was introduced by Senator McDougal, of California, and referred to the Military Committee, to the effect that it is the policy of the Government to organize a regular army of one hundred and fifty thousand men. The consideration of the joint resolution approving of the acts of President Lincoln was postponed till Wednesday. A message was received from the President, when an executive session was held.—In the House, Mr. Crittenden, of Kentucky, offered resolutions to the effect that the present war has been forced on the country by the Southern disunionists, but that, nevertheless, the only object of the Government in prosecuting it is to maintain its integrity and the unity of our entire country, and that when these objects shall have been accomplished the war shall terminate. These resolutions were adopted almost unanimously. A vote of thanks was passed to the brave Massachusetts Sixth Regiment, of 19th of April fame; also to the gallant Pennsylvanians who passed through Baltimore on the 18th of April, on their way to the defense of the national capital. A resolution in reference to the disasters to the national forces at Bull's Run, declaring undiminished confidence in our ultimate success, was introduced and appropriately referred. Following this, a resolution was passed to the effect that the preservation of our glorious Union is a sacred trust, and that no disasters, however apparently overwhelming; must deter the nation or its representatives from the performance of this high duty. A resolution was adopted calling on the Secretary of War for any information which he may possess in regard to the enlistment by the rebels of Indians and negroes in their traitorous army. A hill was passed for reimbursing the Governors of States for expenses incurred in fitting out regiments for the support of the national Government in the present emergency. Several other subjects received attention, after which the House adjourned.


The grand advance movement of the Union army into Virginia took place last week. General McDowell, with his staff, left Arlington on 16th, with nearly his whole force of some 60,000 men, at half past three o'clock. The brigade of General Louis Blenker, comprising the Eighth and Twenty-ninth Regiments New York Volunteers, the Garibaldi Guard, and the Twenty-fourth Regiment Pennsylvania

Volunteers, formed the advance column of the grand army.

The rebels evacuated Fairfax Court House and Centreville as our troops advanced, falling back on Bull's Run and Manassas Gap. A reconnoissance by General Tyler of the batteries at the former place, on 19th, developed the enemy in great strength ; and on Sunday morning, 21st, General McDowell attacked them there. These batteries were taken by our troops, and the whole day was spent in hard fighting. At 2 P.M. it seemed that we had carried all the points attacked. But just then General Johnson brought up his army in support of Beauregard, a panic suddenly broke out in our army, and it retreated on Centreville, Fairfax, and lastly on Washington, with considerable loss. Jeff Davis is said to have commanded the enemy in person.


General McClellan, whose able management of the campaign in Western Virginia is worthy of all praise, has been called to Washington to take command of the Army of the Potomac. His presence there will no doubt inspire confidence in the men. General McDowell will probably resume his former position as General of brigade. Brigadier-General Rosencrans, who so gallantly won the battle of Rich Mountain, is to succeed General McClellan in command on the Upper Potomac. General William S. Rosencrans is a native of Ohio and a West Point officer, having entered the Military Academy in 1838. He was breveted Second Lieutenant of Engineers in July, 1842, and was subsequently Assistant Professor of Engineering, and of Natural and Experimental Philosophy in 1847. A few years after this he resigned his commission in the army, and in the year 1854 settled in Cincinnati as an architect and civil engineer, from which position he was called at the opening of the present war to take command of a regiment of Ohio volunteers.


General Patterson has been superseded in his command of the army of the Upper Potomac by Major-General Banks, who is ordered to take the field immediately. The headquarters of General Patterson's division, at last accounts, was at Charlestown, Virginia, or at some point between that and Winchester, which he was expected to have occupied before this time. Major-General John A. Dix takes the place of General Banks in the Department of Annapolis, with head-quarters at Baltimore.


Major-General Fremont has been summoned to Washington, probably with a view to take council with the War Department as to the government of his new district in the West.


Our latest accounts from Missouri state that both Ben McCulloch and Governor Jackson have retreated, with all. their available forces, across the Missouri line into Arkansas, for the purpose of drilling their troops. They were supposed to have a command numbering some 17,500, including the Texan Rangers and a Regiment from Mississippi. General Lyon, who was marching south to attack their force, at last accounts, had six thousand men, and expected soon to have ten or twelve thousand. He had also—which is of the utmost importance—a large park of field-artillery of various descriptions, an abundance of ammunition, and a full transportation train. Meantime, in North Missouri secession appears to his entirely crushed out. General Pope has established the National Headquarters at St. Charles, having under his control about seven thousand troops, so posted that all important points are within easy reach. During the session of the State Convention at Jefferson City the national troops and the Home Guards will encamp outside the city limits.


 An unfortunate affair has occurred near Fortress Monroe. On Friday night a volunteer scouting party, it appears, went out from Hampton without orders, and were fired upon by a party of rebels, about four o'clock in the morning, while in the woods. One of them, Dr. Rawlings, was shot dead by a rifle ball, and two others were captured.


We learn that the port of Beaufort, North Carolina, is for the most time perfectly free from blockade. There are but three Government vessels to look after the entire coast of North Carolina, and, from information we have received, it would not require a very sagacious privateer to slip in or out of any of the ports of that State.


The New Orleans True Delta of July 10 has two characteristic articles, containing bold denunciations of the duplicity and imbecility of the rebel leaders. One refers to the contemplated assembling of the Congress of the Confederate States in Richmond on 20th inst., of the future of which no very sanguine anticipations are entertained. If the State of Louisiana, it says, is to be taken as a sample of the way things have been conducted, the result shows a treasury collapsed, a great city comparatively defenseless, a people full of chivalrous feeling discouraged, and an ardent and zealous local militia disappointed and disgusted. It suggests that the provisional government should immediately organize the local military strength, under the direction of capable and intelligent military officers, to which should be temporarily attached such scattering material as may be found unemployed in adjacent States, so as to familiarize it for any duty the future may require of it. The other article shows the absurdity of the donation reliance ; states that the men who have managed to get the country into war have proved themselves utterly incapable of carrying the rebel States safely and honorably through it, and asks why should not the people awake at once to the opportunity that will soon present itself, to find other men more fit to carry them with honor, glory, and success to a triumphal termination of all their troubles? It is likely that the indignation of the people of the rebellious States will recoil upon the rebel leaders who have madly led them into this unfortunate war.


The Richmond Dispatch of Saturday says that every body in that locality is just now propounding the important question, "Where is all the specie?" Coppers, it says, are "scarce as meteors, and as for silver, the sight of a quarter or a half dollar is as a flax-seed poultice to diseased oculars."



LORD PALMERSTON stated, in reply to an anti-slavery deputation, that the Government of the United States was now doing more than ever it had done previously for the suppression of the slave traffic.



The Paris Opinion Nationale of June 26, in commenting on affairs in the United States, takes occasion to speak of the article in the Patrie which received a semi-official character from its subsequent publication in the Moniteur, and remarks, "It is a personal opinion, nothing more." But it is extremely to be regretted that the Moniteur should have reproduced that article and given it an almost official sanction. It is impossible to throw the responsibility of the reproduction by the Moniteur of the Patrie article on the government.



General Fleury, it is asserted, will go to Turin, in order to notify Victor Emanuel of the recognition of the Kingdom of Italy by France. The inhabitants of Rome have petitioned the Emperor to withdraw his army from that city Prince De Bourbino, the bearer of the petition, has been received by M. Thouvenel, the Foreign Minister, but only, it is said, as a private citizen, not as a delegate of the partitioners.



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