Lincoln Authorizes Seizure of Southern Property


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, August 31, 1861

This 1861 newspaper has a variety of important Civil War content. The cover features a stunning image of General Lyon and the Battle of Springfield. There is a full page picture of General Scott and the Union Generals. The paper also has a full page picture of Rebel Soldiers, and their uniforms and equipment.

(Scroll Down to see full page, or Newspaper Thumbnails will take you to the page of interest.)


General Lyon

General Lyon at Battle of Springfield

Battle of Springfield

The Battle of Springfield

Lincoln Seizure of Southern Property

Lincoln Seizure of Property

Pennsylvania Avenue

Pennsylvania Avenue

Burning of Hampton Virginia

Hampton Burning

Building Gun Boats

Building Civil War Ships

Camp Dennison

Camp Dennison

General Fremont's Flotilla

Fremont's Flotilla in St. Louis

Union Generals

General Scott and the Union Generals

Bowie Knives

Confederate Bowie Knives

Football at Camp Johnson

Camp Johnson

Union Civil War Uniforms

Union Uniforms












AUGUST 31, 1861.]



(Previous Page) to suppress the rebellion. The only question of the moment is, whether the Administration is so deeply persuaded and so ably officered that it will respond to this unanimous popular energy and resource. If it does not, the cause is lost. The moment that the willing people see that the feeling, the money, the. men, the general sacrifice they offer is feebly grasped and foolishly managed, that moment they will insist upon giving up the war, whatever the consequences.

It is of no importance how you describe this war ; you may call it suppressing an insurrection, or punishing rebels, or maintaining the Government, or defending the Constitution; the fact remains the same all the while, that we are at war with a domestic enemy intrenched upon our soil and dangerously fortified by a thousand advantages that no foreign foe could ever possess. Consequently it is not war only, but war of the most desperate kind. It has been actually waged by the enemy for nine months. It has been nominally recognized by the Government for four. But no one would be so hardy as to declare that the Administration had at any time so profoundly comprehended the occasion as the great mass of the people.

The open freedom of intercourse across our lines —the reluctance to accept regiments—the free publication of details of movements—the crowd of notorious traitors who held office in the Departments and elsewhere—the inexplicable imbecility of the blockade—the universal complaint of the troops-the abominable Lobbying—the public service of Adams's Express into the disaffected section—these are all wrongs that ought to have been righted long and long ago. Many of them, indeed, are supposed to be in process of correction. But surely a Government never before moved so slowly and sadly in defense of its own existence. The one great difficulty seemed to be an unwillingness to believe that there was a war, and to remember that effective war can be made in one way only. The sole remedy for the delays and just complaints is to make it in that way.

And to that end the Departments must be in the hands of men known not only as honest men and warm partisans, but as executive officers of the most untiring and comprehensive energy and practical skill. The right man in the right place is an army. Now it is a simple fact that there is a universal public conviction that two or three important members of the present Cabinet are not armies. The practical question therefore is, whether, with the present composition of the Cabinet, it is long possible to maintain that unity and ardor of public sentiment without which success is impossible ?


WHAT shall be done with the citizens of the United States taken in arms against the Government ? This question does not concern pirates upon privateers. If the gallows is not permanently visible over them to the whole world, the whole world will presently furnish pirates as candidates for our clemency. If the Jeff Davis or the Sumter should be taken, there could be very little difference of opinion as to the proper fate of the crews upon conviction. If there were, it would show a state of the public mind which foreboded the surrender of the Government to the rebels.

But is the exchange of rebels taken in battle a recognition of the independence of the rebellious section of the country ? The question may be answered by another. Is the ransom of a friend from robbers a recognition of the right of robbery ?

Theoretically the Government of the United States is suppressing an insurrection : actually it is engaged in war. Theoretically it is dispersing an armed mob : actually it is fighting an organized enemy. The Government must, therefore, suppress the insurrection according to the rules of war. To read the riot act is not enough. The affair has passed from the hands of the Sheriff into those of the Major-General. The Government must deal with the facts, and it does so when it receives a flag of truce. Police officers surrounding a house do not receive any flag of truce. They say, "Surrender at once, whatever the circumstances; whether you have one of our number in the house or not : surrender at once, or we shoot." That is the way with the police. That is the way in putting down a street riot. The authorities do not treat with the ringleaders. They summon, and if no dispersion follows, they shoot.

The English Government held the Colonies to be in rebellion and the Continental soldiers rebels, but they did not hang all the prisoners they took. They exchanged them ; but they did not consider them any the less rebels. They did it upon the principle that a humane man buys a slave in order to free him. He does not think any better of slavery or the slave-trader because he deals with him as he would with an honest man for lawful merchandise : nor does he in the least remit his exertions against slavery.

There is a solution suggested by the Toronto Globe. It is, that all rebel prisoners shall be held until the close of the war. But that is a question of feasibility. Such action must depend upon numbers. For the present, certainly, they should be held. For the present and until the war threatens to be more permanent than it now promises to be, it would be better not to exchange. But the policy of exchanging is merely a matter of convenience. It involves no principle.


WHY is the opportunity of making capital for treason afforded in the case of the habeas corpus of the Baltimore prisoners at Fort Diamond ? The ease may be settled before the question gets into print, but it is useful to ask it for future cases.

The Constitution of the United States says distinctly : " The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it."

This being precisely that case, why is it not made

manifest to Judge Garrison that what Judge Taney could not do in Baltimore, Judge Garrison can not do in New York ? If the Government has not suspended the writ, the prisoners should be produced. If it has, the Judge who forcibly resists the Government and foments trouble should be himself dealt with as an offender.


THE following contribution from South Carolina reached no by way of California, and for the present our postal communication with that State will be by the same, or some equally convenient route: "The session of 1855, at the South Carolina Medical College, was passing away without any thing to distinguish it from its predecessors, except, perhaps, a scarcity of materiel for the dissecting room. To remedy the deficiency several prominent spirits of the college put themselves on the alert in the vicinage of the various burial-grounds, but for some time with poor success, as interments were few, and those too well guarded to allow of exhumation. Fortune smiled at last; and one dark night the writer, with several others, succeeded in exhuming the body of an individual who had died of delirium tremens. Being the corpse of a stranger and a drunkard it was accomplished without opposition, and we proceeded to refill the grave. At this moment a signal from one of our watchers notified us that persons were approaching, and operations were suspended, all observing the strictest silence and lying motionless on the ground waiting for the signal to begin again. At this moment, one of the party electrified us by saying, in his deepest tones, ' Isn't it melancholy to see so many fine young men filling a drunkard's grave !'"

A CONUNDRUM.—Why do the young ladies look so much at the moon ? Because they think there is a man in it.

An Irishman, referring to the sudden death of a relative, was asked if he lived high. " Well, I can't say as he did," said Terence, "but he died high—he was suspended."

A negro, on being examined, was asked if his master was a Christian. "No, Sir; he is a Member of Congress," was the reply.

Misery no doubt loves company, but when a young lady has her lover's company 'tis no sure sign that she is miserable.

To all men the best friend is virtue; the best companions are high endeavors and honorable sentiments.

"I say, Bob, you have been to Canton, haven't you?" " Yes." "Well, can you speak China?" " Yes, a little —that is, I speak broken China."

A speaker at a stump meeting declared that he knew no East, no West, no North, no South. " Then," said a bystander, '' you ought to go to school and learn your geography."

There is no such thing as an easy chair for a discontented man.

THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE.-It must have belonged originally to an omnibus, for it is continually " taking up" and " putting down" people.

" You want nothing, do you?" said Pat. "Bedad, an' if it's nothing you want, you'll find it in the jug where the whisky was."

The miser lives poor to die rich, and is the jailer of his own house and the turnkey of his wealth.

If you are too fat and would like to fall off, mount a vicious horse.

You can not preserve happy domestic pairs in family jars.

A man often expresses the same idea by wagging his head that a dog does by wagging his tail.

A man may very well afford to have gray hairs, when a wife is getting too blind to distinguish them.

A recent philosopher discovers a method to avoid being dunned! "How?—how?—how?" every body asks. Never run in debt.

Which is the best way of retaining a woman's affections ? —By not returning them.

We should use our cunning as we do our courage—always have it ready to defend ourselves, never to offend others.

If you are looking at a picture, you try to give it the advantage of a good light. Be as courteous to your fellow-creatures as you are to a picture.

In the game of life men most frequently play the knave, and women the deuce.

Why is life the riddle of riddles ? Because we must all give it up.

A hungry man no doubt wishes himself a horse when he hasn't for a long time had a bit in his mouth.

Every man complains of his memory, but no man complains of his judgment.

Any merchant may make his house a custom-house by attention to its duties.

Why is a selfish friend like the letter P? Because, though the first in pity, he is the last in help?

Tradesmen often lose their custom as field-sportsmen do their fingers—by high charges.

An artist is not so strong as a horse, but he can draw a larger object.

When you dispute with a fool, he is very certain to be similarly employed.

A man's want of conversation generally arises from his supposing that his mind is like Fortunatus's purse, and will always furnish him without his putting any thing into it.

" Were you ever cross-questioned ?" "Yes, when questioned by my wife, after spending the evening abroad—cross enough, in all conscience."

Though men boast of holding the reins, the women generally tell them which way they must drive.

The sense that men can least afford to dispense with is the sense of shame.

Probably the men who can boast the possession of the most varied and numerous gifts are the beggars.

The newest definition of "hard times" is sitting on a grindstone and reading a politician's speech.

Speak low, ladies, and yet always endeavor to be high-toned women.

What is that which every man can divide, but no one can see where it has been divided? Water.

Matrimonial history is a narrative of many words, but the story of love may be told in a few letters.  

KISSES BETWEEN WOMEN. —Quilp says, when he sees kisses between women it reminds him of two handsome unmatched gloves—charming things with their proper mates, but good for nothing that way !





WHEREAS, on the fifteenth day of April, the President of the United States, in view of an insurrection against the laws, Constitution, and the Government of the United States, which had broken out within the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, and in pursuance of the provisions of the act entitled an act to provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions, and to repeal the act now in force for that purpose, approved February 28, 1795, did call forth the militia to suppress said insurrection and cause the laws of the Union to be duly executed, and the insurgents have failed to disperse by the time directed by the President;

And whereas, such insurrection has since broken out and yet exists within the States of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee. and Arkansas; and whereas, the insurgents in all the said States claim to act under authority thereof, and such claim is not disclaimed or repudiated by the person exercising the functions of government in such State or States, or in part or parts thereof, in which combinations exist, nor has such insurrection been suppressed by said States ;

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, in pursuance of an act of Congress. passed July 13, 1861, do hereby declare that the inhabitants of the said States of Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas Mississippi, and Florida (except the inhabitants of that part of the State of Virginia lying west of the Alleghany Mountains, and of such other parts of that State, and the other States herein before named, as may maintain a loyal adhesion to the Union and the Constitution, or may be from time to time occupied and controlled by the forces engaged in the dispersion of said insurgents) are in a state of insurrection against the United States, and that all commercial intercourse between the same and the inhabitants thereof, with the exceptions aforesaid, and the citizens of other States and other parts of the United States is unlawful, and will remain unlawful until such insurrection shall cease or has been suppressed ; that all goods and chattels, wares and merchandise, coming from any of said States, with the exceptions aforesaid, into other parts of the United States, without the special liscence and permission of the President, through the Secretary of the Treasury, or proceeding to any of said States, with the exceptions aforesaid, by land or water, together with the vessel or vehicle conveying the same, or conveying persons to or from said States, with said exceptions, will be forfeited to the United States; and that from and after fifteen days from the issuing of this proclamation all ships and vessels belonging in whole or in part to any citizen or inhabitant of any of said States, with said exceptions, found at sea or in any port of the United States, will be forfeited to the United States.

And I hereby enjoin upon all District Attorneys, Marshals, and officers of the revenue, and of the military and naval forces of the United States, to be vigilant in the execution of said act, and in the enforcement of the penalties and forfeitures imposed or declared by it, leaving any party who may think himself aggrieved thereby to his application to the Secretary of the Treasury for the remission of any penalty, or for forfeiture, which the said Secretary is authorized by law to grant, if, in his judgment, the special circumstances of any case shall require such remission.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done in the city of Washington, this 16th day of August in the year of our Lord 1861, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-sixth.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN. By the President-

WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.


The following important order has been issued by the War Department :


WASHINGTON, August 19, 1861.

All commanders of regiments of volunteers accepted by this Department in the States of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, and Michigan will take notice of and conform promptly to the general order this day directed to the Governors of the States above named, which is as follows:


By direction of the President of the United States, you are urgently requested to forward or cause to be forwarded immediately to the city of Washington all volunteer regiments, or parts of regiments, at the expense of the United States Government, that may be now enrolled within your State, whether under immediate control or by acceptances issued direct from the War Department, whether such volunteers are armed, equipped, or uniformed or not.

The officer of each regimental organization that may not be full shall leave recruiting-officers at their several rendezvous, and adopt such other measures as may be necessary to fill up their ranks at the earliest date possible. All officers of volunteer regiments on arrival will report to the Commanding General, who will provide equipments and other supplies necessary for their comfort.

To insure the movement of troops more rapidly than might otherwise be done, you will please confer with and aid all officers of independent regiments in such manner as may be necessary to effect the object in view. All clothing belonging to or contracted for the several regiments shall be forwarded to Washington for their use, detailed reports of which shall be made to the Commanding General.   SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War.


An observation made from the dome of the seminary at Alexandria last week resulted in the discovery that a large body of rebels was marching down the Leesburg turnpike, within three miles of the Union lines.

From information received in Washington it would appear that the rebels have fallen back to Fairfax Court House, although their pickets still occupy a more advanced position. Some of them are in sight of the Chain Bridge, and it is said that two rebel regiments are at Falls Church.


The Potomac squadron continues from time to time to provoke attacks from the concealed batteries in and around Acquia Creek. The steamer Resolute was sent to Matthias Point for the purpose of reconnoitering, on Thursday after-noon. Seeing a boat filled with barrels a little below the Point, the Resolute sent a boat with a crew of six men to take possession of it, but a volley of musketry was opened upon her front the woods adjacent, and three of the crew were killed and one wounded. With great difficulty the unharmed men brought back the boat to the Resolute. The steamer opened a fire of canister and shell into the houses, which probably did some damage. The Reliance came up at the same time and joined in the fire. The rebels were seen to fly from their ambuscade in small parties.

On Friday night, near Acquia Creek, the Pocahontas was fired upon, though without doing her any damage, and it is said was obliged to retire in consequence of her inability to make any effective return of the fire. These batteries should be dislodged, or the navigation of the lower Potomac will soon be obstructed.


Several meetings of the Bank officers, to take measures concerning the National loan, were held last week at the American Exchange Bank, when a plan was adopted. The chief point in the plan was an agreement by the banks of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia to take $50,000,000 of 7 3-10 Treasury Notes at par immediately, with the privilege of taking the like amount on the 15th of October and the 15th of December.


An order has been issued from the State Department directing that, until further notice, no person shall be allowed to leave a port of the United States without a passport

from the Department, or one countersigned by the Secretary of State. No person shall be allowed to land here without a passport from his Government, if a foreigner, the same to be countersigned by a Minister or Consul of the United States; if a citizen, he must have a passport from such Minister or Consul.


The rebel privateer Sumter arrived at Curacoa on the 17th of July, but her flag not being recognized at the fort there, she was not permitted to enter; but upon Lieutenant Semmes, her commander, sending a boat ashore and representing her position to the Governor as a war vessel of the Confederate States, he was permitted to enter and refit. She went to sea on the 24th ult., steering to the eastward. There were one hundred and fifty men on the Sumter. The vessel took no provision on board at Curacoa, one of the officers stating that they had taken enough out of one of the last prizes to keep the crew for some weeks. She was armed with four thirty-two and two sixty-four pounders. Those officers who had been in the United States Navy wore their old uniforms, with the United States Navy button. The general feeling among the merchants at the port was against admitting the privateer. There was a Dutch man-of-war in the harbor, and the officers refused to associate with the officers of the privateer, and went on shore without their uniforms while the Sumter was in the harbor. Later dates report her capture by a United States frigate.


A difficulty occurred last week with the Seventy-ninth New York Highland Regiment at Washington, and was settled by the prompt, energetic, and soldierly action of General McClellan. The leading disaffected soldiers have been put in irons, and are in confinement. A court-martial has been ordered to try then for insubordination in refusing to march into Virginia when ordered. Upon learning of the mutiny General M'Clellan ordered the Provost-Marshal, Colonel Porter, to surround the Seventy-ninth with a force of cavalry, infantry, and artillery, which was promptly done. General M'Clellan then issued the following proclamation, which worked like a charm on the discontented members: " The General Commanding has heard with the deepest pain of the acts of insubordination on the part of the Seventy-ninth Regiment. Without attempting to enter into a discussion of the causes, it is sufficient to say that they are frivolous and groundless ; that these acts have thrown disgrace upon the regiment and the service, and taking place at this time, they give rise to the strongest suspicions of the most abject cowardice. The regiment have forced upon the Commanding General an issue which he is prepared to meet. The men are ordered to lay down their arms and return to duty. All these refusing to do so will be fired upon immediately. If they comply with the order the ringleaders only will be punished. The colors of the regiment are taken from them, and will be returned only when their conduct in camp shall have proved that they understand the first duty of a soldier—obedience; and when, on the field of battle, they shall have proved their bravery. The names of the leaders in this revolt will be sent to the Governor of New York, to he placed in the archives of the State."


A very important arrest of an agent of the rebel, was made in this city last week. A passenger from Liverpool by the Persia, named Serrell, who, it appears, boasted while on the voyage that he was the bearer of a large sum of money for the use of the rebel government, was arrested by the United States Custom-house officers, on information received from the other passengers, and upon searching his baggage the sum of $200,000 in Bank of England notes was found therein. He was taken to the District Attorney's office, and admitted to bail in the sun' of $40,000 to appear for examination.


Another Disunion paper in New England has received a severe blow at the hands of an irritated crowd. The Bangor Democrat was lately visited, its office destroyed, and the furniture of the establishment burned. One of the men connected with the paper was rudely treated, and finally locked in jail for safe keeping.


It appears that the capture of Sir. Nelson, member of Congress from Tennessee, was effected through the treachery of a man of whom, in Virginia, he inquired his way. He was taken by a party of forty horsemen.

Ex-Minister Faulkner is still in confinement at Washington, his examination having, apparently, not yet taken place.




QUEEN VICTORIA, in her Speech at the prorogation of Parliament, said the dissensions which arose some months ago in the United States have unfortunately assumed the character of open war. Her Majesty deeply lamenting this result, has determined, in common with the other powers of Europe, to observe a strict neutrality between the contending parties.

On the last day of the session Lord Palmerston stated his views on the question of blockade. He said, to effect, if the blockading force should allow any one vessel to enter a blockaded port by the payment of duties, the blockade from that moment is raised. A belligerent may seal up a port, but if he lets one vessel in his right is gone. It follows, therefore, that when a Federal cruiser willingly allows a ship to pass a blockaded port upon payment of customs, the blockade will be at an end.


News of the battle of Bull Run was received in England on Sunday, 4th of August.

It caused a profound sensation.

Northern Americans were much depressed, and the Southerners correspondingly elated. There was almost a collision in the Liverpool News Room.

Mr, Russell's letter to the London Times was confined to graphic details of the rout of the Northern Army. He calls it a cowardly rout, a miserable, causeless panic, and disgraceful to men in uniform not soldiers.

The London Times editorial says the victory was a cornplete one. The Union army lost all, even their military honor, and wishes it could find something in it to congratulate either victors or vanquished, but sees nothing but what must stimulate the evil passions of both combatants. The London News denounces the Times' criticism, but says nothing has happened which was not anticipated as possible. All journals think the event has closed the door of compromise, and must imbitter and prolong the struggle.

The London Times has another (a second) article, 'bitterly sarcastic, on the battle at Bull Run. It says there must rise a gathering doubt that the Southern nut is too hard to crack, and that the military line, as a matter of business, does not answer. The same article ridicules and laughs at the threats of a prominent New York journal against England's going into the ports. It fears the question of the blockade in America may involve England in some difficult complication. It remarks that there is a little cloud which, although only as large as a man's hand, may come to overshadow the whole sky.

An anonymous advertisement appears in the Liverpool Post, inviting a shilling subscription for a testimonial to General Beauregard in admiration of his skillful generalship.


In the House of Commons, on the 29th of July, Mr. Gregory asked whether the First Lord of the Treasury had received any information that goods contraband of war, among other thing, a battery of artillery, had been conveyed from this country to New York in the steamship Kangaroo, and that a loan for the United States Government had been offered upon the Stock Exchange? If so, was this in accordance with our principles of non-intervention ?

Lord Palmerston replied that he was not personally cognizant of the matters to which the honorable member referred, but that, should they arise, they would, of course, be dealt with by the Government.



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