The Chain Bridge at Washington


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, August 24, 1861

This 1861 newspaper has a cover illustration of President Abraham Lincoln. In addition the paper discusses important slavery issues of the day. It has a nice picture and article of Berdan's sharpshooters, and a dramatic illustration of the Battle of Dug Spring.

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


Napoleon and Lincoln

Lincoln and Napoleon


Slavery and the Civil War

Bull Run Losses

Union Losses at Bull Run


Brooklyn Navy-Yard

Dug Springs

Battle of Dug Springs

Washington Chain Bridge

The Washington Chain Bridge

Colonel Berdan's Sharpshooters

Berdan's Sharpshooters

General Lee

Robert E. Lee

George McClellan

General McClellan and Staff

Dug Spring

The Battle of Dug Spring

Pirate Ship Battle

The St. Lawrence Pirate Battle

Soldier's Health

Soldier's Health

Cartoons and Advertisements

Cartoons and Advertisements




[AUGUST 24, 1861.




WE publish herewith pictures of two of the batteries erected at the north end of the Chain Bridge at Washington. They are planted so as to sweep the bridge in case the rebels should attempt to cross it for the attack of Washington. We understand that every ford across the Potomac, front Washington to Harper's Ferry, is similarly guarded, and that batteries of heavy cannon, well supported by infantry, protect the whole line of the river.


WE illustrate, on pages 536 and 537, the remarkable adventure which befell the Southern privateer Petrel, formerly the revenue cutter Aiken, which was seized by the Charleston rebels in December last. A correspondent of the Herald writes:

The St. Lawrence lay directly off one of the small shoal islands on the Carolina coast, on the afternoon of the 1st of August, when a trim-built, rakish vessel of war was seen coming out of Charleston harbor, making directly for the supposed merchantman. The St. Lawrence affected to crowd all sail and get out to sea, but in reality was edging close in to the stranger, and making preparations to open the ports and deluge her with shot. The pirate's deck was

seen crowded with men, and the gunners distinctly seen ramming and pointing the guns. She flew the rebel flag, and shouted twice for the merchantman to heave to and send a boat aboard. No response being made, the pirate fired three shots in quick succession—the first two ahead and the third directly over the deck of the St. Lawrence, the grape and canister whistling through the rigging and falling in dangerous proximity to some of the officers.

Then the St. Lawrence threw up her port lids, and showed in a moment the tiers of cannon with the gunners at the breech holding lighted matches. Scarcely a second intervened when a shock that shook the sea and made the ship tremble in all her timbers broke from the guns, and when the smoke cleared away the waves where the pirate stood were seen full of drift-wood and swimming men.

She had been literally cut to pieces, and one ball that knocked a hole in the bow at the water line caused her to

fill in a moment and go down, while a shell exploded in her hold.

All the boats of the St. Lawrence were put out and the seamen picked up. Five of them, either wounded or unable to swim, went down with the hulk.

It was found that the. audacious craft was the Petrel, formerly the General Aiken, a U. S. revenue cutter.

Some of the men, when fished out of the water, were at a loss to know what had happened to them. The suddenness of the St. Lawrence's reply, the deafening roar of the guns and the splinters and submerged vessel, were all incidents that happened in less time than we can take to relate them.

Nearly all the crew are Irishmen, who state that they were out of work. The pirate crew were heavily ironed. They were lodged to-night in Moyamensing prison. The St. Lawrence was slightly damaged.


Washington Chain Bridge
Chain Brdge Battery



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