General George McClellan Biography

 

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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

Editorial

Editorial

Bull Run

Early Report on Battle of Bull Run

Map Bull Run

Bull Run Battle Map

Tillman and the Waring

Tillman and the Waring

McClellan

General George McClellan Biography

Rowlesburg

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.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

487

THE BATTLE OF
CARTHAGE.

ON page 486 we illustrate THE BATTLE OF CARTHAGE, where Colonel Siegel, of the United States Volunteers of Missouri, kept at bay and severely punished a very disproportionate force of rebels, under Generals Parsons and Rains. The St. Louis Republican gives the following account of the affair :

On Friday morning last, at five o'clock, a scouting party sent out by Colonel Siegel encountered, about two miles distant from Carthage, a picket guard of the State troops, who were attacked, and three taken prisoners. With all dispatch Colonel Siegel prepared to go forward, expecting to meet the State troops some distance west of Carthage. About half past nine o'clock the meeting took place in an open prairie seven miles beyond Carthage. Lieutenant Tosk estimates the number of the opposing army at five thousand, chiefly cavalry, but supplied with a battery of five cannon—four six-pounders and one twelve-pounder—while Colonel Siegel's command consisted of his own regiment of two battalions, and Colonel Salomon's detached regiment, with several pieces of artillery, under command of Major Backof. Colonel Siegel's regiment had six hundred men, and Colonel Salomon's five hundred. The State troops were commanded by Generals Parsons and Rains. Major Backof, under the direction

of Colonel Siegel, opened the fire, which continued briskly for nearly two hours. In less than an hour the twelve-pounder of the State troops was dismounted, and soon after the whole battery was silenced. The superior arms of the Unionists enabled them to maintain a situation of comparatively little danger. The State troops—whom, for convenience, we shall call Jackson's men—twice broke their ranks, but were rallied and held their position very well, considering the destructive discharges against them, until their guns gave out, when their column was again broken. At this juncture about fifteen hundred of the cavalry started back with the intention of cutting off Siegel's transportation train, seeing which movement a retreat was ordered, and word sent immediately for the wagons to advance as rapidly as possible. By keeping up the fire with the infantry, and bringing the artillery in range whenever practicable, Colonel Siegel managed to retard the progress of Jackson's cavalry, and eventually to fall back almost unobstructed to the baggage train, which was some three and a half miles from the scene of the first engagement.

By a skillful movement the wagons were placed in the centre of the column in such a manner that there were artillery and infantry forces both in front and rear. Jackson's troops then retreated and endeavored to surround the entire column by taking a position upon some high bluffs or hills overlooking a creek.

Major Backof ordered two of the artillery pieces in front to oblique to the left and two to the right, and at the same time a similar movement was made from Colonel Siegel's battalions. This was a manoeuvre to induce Jackson's men to believe that Siegel was seeking to pass out on the extremes of their lines, and to outflank the cavalry. It was followed by a closing up to the right and to the left by the forces on the bluffs, when, on reaching a point three hundred and fifty yards from the cavalry, the four pieces were ordered to a transverse oblique, and immediately a heavy cross-fire was opened with canister. At the same time the infantry charged at double-quick, and in ten minutes the State troops were scattered in every direction. Ten rounds of canister were fired from each of the cannon, together with several rounds by the infantry.

This was at about five o'clock in the evening,

and the engagement, with the manoeuvring, had occupied in the neighborhood of two hours. Jackson's cavalry were poorly mounted, being armed chiefly with shot guns and common rifles. They had no cannon on the bluffs or hills, and were consequently able to make little or no resistance to the attacks of Colonel Siegel. Forty-five men and eighty horses were taken belonging to Jackson's troops, and there were also captured sixty double-barreled shot guns and some revolvers and bowie-knives. Our informant states that one of the prisoners, on being asked how many had been killed on his side, estimated the loss at from two hundred and fifty to three hundred.

GRAVES OF THE OHIO VOLUNTEERS.

NINE members of the First Regiment Ohio Volunteers were killed in the affair at Vienna on the 17th of June, 1861. They were buried in the rear of their encampment near Roach's Mills, Virginia, on the 18th, and the same day the encampment was removed to a point five miles beyond, on the road to Vienna. On the evening of the 18th the Third Regiment New Jersey Militia occupied the ground vacated by the Ohio troops. Finding the graves unprotected, by direction of Lieutenant-Colonel Stephen Moore the Jersey troops built a neat fence of cedar branches around the graves. Under the mound are the bodies of eight men, and in the grave in front lies the body of the sergeant, who died after the others were buried. A few days after the burial the place was visited by some of the officers of the Ohio Regiment, and after their departure two Masonic emblems (a small gilt slipper and a triangle containing the letter " G") were found hanging on the cedar planted in the centre of the mound.

GENERAL HILL'S HEAD-QUARTERS.

ROWLESBURG, the head-quarters of General Hill in Western Virginia, is situated in a deep gorge in the Alleghanies, at a point where the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad crosses Cheat River. The scenery around it is bold, grand, and picturesque, shut in by towering mountain-walls, the dark stream

flows silently on, overshadowed with dense forests of hemlock and laurel. This region of country is wild and thinly populated, and deer and bear roam unmolested along the thickly-wooded slopes. The little village has sprung up since the opening of the railroad, and has become quite a thriving place. General Hill is at present concentrating all his troops at Rowlesburg, by older of General McClellan, for the purpose of cutting off the retreat of the Confederates lately under Garnett, at St. George. The illustration will be found on page 490.

WE publish on page 484 a portrait of MAJOR-GENERAL M'CLELLAN, U.S.A., whose brilliant victories in Western Virginia we have already illustrated. We subjoin an authentic account of General McClellen's career : He was born in Philadelphia on December 3, 1826. At the age of sixteen he entered the Military Academy at West Point, graduating with the class of 1846, with the rank of Brevet Second Lieutenant of Engineers. Until the Mexican war, however, he had no opportunity of distinguishing himself, and then, "for gallant and meritorious conduct in the battles of Contreras and Churubusco," as the orders expressed it, he was breveted First Lieutenant. " For gallant and meritorious conduct at the battle of Molino del Rey," on September 8, 1847, he was offered a Brevet Captaincy, which he declined. He was advanced to this rank, however, subsequently, "for gallant and meritorious conduct at the battle of Chapultepec," and received the command of a company of sappers, miners, and pontoneers in May, 1848. At the close of the Mexican war he returned to West Point, where he remained on duty with the sappers and miners until 1851. During this time he introduced the bayonet exercise into the army, and translated and adapted a manual which has since become a text-book for the service. During the summer and fall of 1851 he superintended the construction of Fort Delaware, and in the succeeding spring was assigned to duty, under Major R. B. Marcy, in the expedition for the exploration of the Red River. Thence he was ordered direct to Texas, as senior

engineer, on the staff of General Persifer F. Smith, and engaged for some months in surveying the rivers and harbors of that State. In 1853 he was ordered to the Pacific coast, in command of the Western division of the survey of the North Pacific Railroad route. He returned to the East in 1854, on duty connected with the Pacific survey, and was engaged also in secret service to the West Indies The next year he received a commission in the First Regiment of Cavalry, and was appointed a member of the commission which went to the seat of war in the Crimea and in Northern Russia. Colonel Richard Delafield, one of his colleagues, is now an officer in the rebel army, and Major Alfred Mordecai, the third member of the Commission, a short time ago resigned the Superintendency of the Troy Arsenal. Major McClellan's report on the "Organization of European Armies and the Operations of the War," a quarto volume, embodying the result of his observations in the Crimea, greatly enhanced his reputation as a scientific soldier. In January, 1857, weary of inaction, he resigned his position in the army to become Vice-President and Engineer of the Illinois Central Railroad, which post he held for three years, when he was offered and accepted the Presidency of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad, of which he was also General

Superintendent. When our domestic troubles assumed formidable dimensions, Major McClellan's services were at once called into requisition. Governor Curtin, of Pennsylvania, tried to secure the benefit of his experience in organizing the volunteers from that State; but the tender of the Major-Generalship of the Ohio forces reached him first, and he at once accepted it. On May 14 he received a commission as Major-General in the United States Army, and now has command of the Department of Ohio, which comprises all of the States of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, and that part of Virginia lying north of the Great Kanawha River and west of the Green Brier River and the Maryland line, with so much of Pennsylvania as lies west of a line drawn from the Maryland line to the northeast corner of M'Kean County.

PRESENTATION OF A FLAG TO
THE WEBSTER REGIMENT.

ON page 484 we illustrate the presentation of a flag by Edward Everett, on behalf of the ladies of Boston, to the Webster Regiment, at Boston, on July 18, 1861. In presenting the flag to Colonel Fletcher Webster, Mr. Everett said, among other things:

You are entering, Sir, with your patriotic associates, upon an untried field of duty, but you are descended from a stock which, in more than one generation, teaches lessons of loyal devotion. Your grandfather, Captain Ebenezer Webster, a grave and thoughtful man, was one of those brave frontier rangers who bore the brunt of the seven years' war in the wilderness which separated our then feeble settlements from Canada, and he stood with Stark at Bennington. Your noble father, in defence of the menaced Constitution of the country, led those mighty conflicts of the Senate, not less arduous, not less decisive, than the conflicts of the field. Your only brother, following the impulse of a generous ambition, left his young life on the sickly plains of Mexico. On the family record that hears these proud memories, nothing less worthy than duty faithfully performed, danger bravely met, and the country honorably served, will ever, I am confident, be inscribed in connection with your name.

GRAVES OF THE OHIO VOLUNTEERS, NEAR ROACH'S MILLS, VIRGINIA.—[SKETCHED BY AN OHIO VOLUNTEER.]

CAMP OF THE FIRST BRIGADE OF THE CONFEDERATE ARMY, ON THE FAIR GROUNDS, NEAR WINCHESTER, VIRGINIA.
[SEE PAGE 490.]

Ohio Volunteers' Graves
The Confederate first Brigade
 

 

 

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