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Civil War Harper's Weekly, December 14, 1861

This WEB site contains online readable versions of the original Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. These original documents contain a wealth of incredible content to help you develop a more full understanding of the important issues of the war. We hope you enjoy studying these priceless documents.


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Slave Map

Georgia Slave Map

Description of Slave Map



Civil War Balloon

Professor Lowe's Balloon


Urbanna, Virginia

Benham and Nelson

General Benham and General Nelson

Rat Hole Squadron

Rat Hole Squadron



Beaufort, South Carolina

Stone Fleet

The Stone Fleet

Tybee Island

Tybee Island, Georgia

Fort Pickens

Interior of Fort Pickens

Rebel Cartoons

Rebel Cartoons











[DECEMBER 14, 1861.



WE publish on the preceding page a CHART MAP OF GEORGIA, similar to the one we published of South Carolina in our Number of November 23. The tint, by its depth of shade, shows the comparative percentage of slaves to the total population in each county, that percentage being likewise stated in figures in the centre of the tint. Thus in Ware County only seven per cent of the total population are slaves, while in Chatham County the percentage is 71, or nearly three-quarters. It will be noticed that the largest slave communities are on the seashore and round the points to be occupied by our troops. Chatham County, in which Tybee is situate, contains 71 per cent. of slaves ; Glynn County, where Brunswick is situate, 86 per cent. ; Camden County, whose sea-port is Fernandina, Florida, 67 per cent. This map will be of use to the philosopher and student.



BEFORE these lines are read by the public Congress will have met. The session will be the most important in our history.

The extra session held in July last committed the country fairly to the policy of maintaining the Union by force. But it left all matters of detail to be determined afterward. The Secretary of the Treasury was authorized to borrow money almost in any way he pleased. The Secretary of War was authorized to raise any number of men from five hundred thousand to a million. The instructions to the Navy Department were of the most vague character. On the all-important question of Slavery, the action of Congress was so loose that each general has acted according to his own judgment. It will devolve upon Congress at the present session to determine all these points, and to place the policy of the nation on a precise and clear footing in regard to every exigency growing out of the war.

The Government has borrowed of the banks $150,000,000, and they have the option of taking $50,000,000 more of 7-30 Treasury Notes on 1st January. It will devolve upon Congress to provide ways and means for some $200,000,000 more. This can be done either by authorizing an issue of United States Notes, not redeemable in coin till after a certain period ; or by the establishment of a United States Bank, with power to issue irredeemable paper money during the war up to a certain amount ; or by authorizing an issue of United States six or seven per cents. to the amount required. It will be the duty of Congress to choose among these various methods. The experience of the past few weeks has proved that no foreign demand for our national securities will be developed so long as the ultimate issue of the conflict remains uncertain in the eyes of foreigners ; and that the voluntary absorption of Treasury Notes by the public at home is too slow to meet the requirements of the Government.

Congress will also have to fix a limit to the army. Six hundred thousand men ought to suffice to do the work which is to be done. Over this number of troops are already in the field, and it only remains for Congress to organize them into an army, by abolishing State distinctions, and distinctions of uniform, drill, etc. This force is enlisted for three years or the war. It is to be hoped that the war will not last three years. But if it were ended tomorrow the country would not be safe without a force of 100,000 men in active service, and a reserve of double that number at home. It will devolve upon Congress to enact the laws necessary for such a reorganization of the volunteer force, so as to relieve the President of the duty of dealing with the case in the event of the surrender of the rebels during the recess.

Fresh enactments are required to enable the Navy Department to perform its office usefully. More iron-clad ships must be built, and the instructions to the Department to provide vessels of light draft must be made imperative. At the extra session a sum of $1,200,000 was appropriated for the construction of several side-wheel steamers of about 500 tons each. Only one of these has been ordered. They should all have been afloat by this time. To be safe, we must have a navy equal to that of any Power in the world. We do not want vessels to make war on Europe, but we do want a navy which shall in case of necessity be able to defend our own coasts against the combined navies of England and France.

The policy of the Government with regard to Slavery must be authoritatively defined. Events will regulate the great question without laws. But it is subversive of good government and order for one general to pursue one policy at St. Louis, and another directly the opposite at Alexandria or Port Royal. The Confiscation Act needs amendment and extension in this regard, for it is obvious that a slave who stays on a rebel plantation and hoes corn for the rebel army, is as palpably used in supporting the rebel cause as if he were employed in throwing up intrenchments or standing sentry. Legislation is needed, too, for the case of slaves who escape from their masters and still decline to

work for our generals. At Beaufort, General Sherman finds some difficulty in procuring negro labor, though seven or eight thousand adult negroes are believed to be loose on Hilton Head and the adjacent islands. The old vagrant Acts will furnish a sound precedent for the laws required by the emergency.

Two other points of importance will naturally engage the attention of Congress. The interchange of prisoners is one, and the collection of debts due by Southern men to Northern debtors is another. Mr. Lincoln has never been willing to recognize the rebels as belligerents by exchanging prisoners with them, though he has not objected to his generals doing so, and from the first outbreak in Missouri to the present time prisoners have been regularly exchanged on the Mississippi. It seems a puerile matter —this affecting to deny that we are at war ; we presume that Congress will at once authorize an exchange. It is also probable that an act will be passed, empowering courts-martial in the rebel States to take cognizance of civil suits brought by Northern creditors against Southern debtors. As the case stands, the bulk of the Southern traders who are indebted to the North are believed to be willing to pay their honest debts, but are forbidden to do so by the oppressive ordinances of the rebel bodies called Conventions and Confederate Congresses ; while Southern rogues naturally shield themselves under such ordinances, where—as in Alexandria —they are not directly prevented from paying what they owe. A very brief act will settle this matter. Our Northern merchants are entitled to Congressional protection, and they will doubtless obtain it.

MR. OSGOOD, of Boston, writes to us to say that, though he was the correspondent of the London Critic in 1860, and is so now, yet he did not write the paragraph in the American correspondence of that journal referring to Mr. DU CHAILLU and Mr. NORDHOFF, which was noticed in our last Number.  



THIS expressive term had the following origin : A few years since, upon the anniversary of the battle of Bunker Hill, there was a celebration in Boston, and among the guests invited with special distinction was James M. Mason, then Senator from Virginia. James M. Mason was known to the country only in the most offensive manner : first, as a man whose bearing in the Senate was a perpetual insult to every body who did not think the Union was intended exclusively as a slave-pen ; and, second, as the author of the Fugitive Slave bill of 1850.

These were his credentials to national favor. As to the first, the personal manners of any man are the concern of his associates. All that can be said is, that if Sir. Mason's bearing was agreeable to the society he frequented, then it was a very remarkable society. But the second matter was a public concern. Granting that a Fugitive Slave bill is constitutional, the particular bill of 1850, prepared by James M. Mason, was exhaustively characterized by Charles Francis Adams, in his famous speech of the 21st January, 1861 : " So far from being constructed with any view to effect its object, that measure has always seemed to me to have the appearance of being made purposely offensive, in order to insure its non-execution, so that complaints against the Free States might grow out of it."

The part of the country which felt most aggrieved by the harsh severities and unquestionable unconstitutional clauses of that law was New England, of which Boston is the metropolis. What Mr. Adams further said, in his calm and cogent speech, was peculiarly applicable to his own State of Massachusetts : "A collision with a popular prejudice, however ill-founded, will annul the most beneficent law..... Thus it happens that the codes of all countries abound in obsolete laws.

Such were the..... Such was, in fact, the Fugitive Slave law of 1850; and, for different reasons, such are likewise the Personal Liberty laws. In a very large section of the Free States the former is inoperative, and always will be; and the reason is, that its harshness against innocent men runs counter to the sympathies of the people. It is no matter how many laws you make about it, the more cruel they are the less will you be likely to find them efficient. This is a law of human feeling, which every man made with a heart can readily comprehend."

It was the author of such a law that was especially invited to Boston upon the anniversary of the first great battle of our liberties, and received such peculiar social honor that an ardent young orator on the following Fourth of July felicitously branded the spirit that, at this time of day and in New England, could take pains to toady such a man, as Complimentary Flunkyism. That a Senator of the United States should be invited, was well; that a Southern Senator should be asked, was hospitable. But that the man who represented all that was most offensive in the institutions of the country should be selected as an honored guest at Bunker Hill, was a wanton insult to the conscience and the " law-abiding" tranquillity of New England. And it was but another proof to the present traitor, that when the hour for treason sounded he and his confederates would find ready and active supporters even at the base of Bunker Hill.

The 19th of April undeceived him. Commodore Wilkes opened one of his eyes ; and Colonel Dimmick,

at Fort Warren, will open the other. And yet—and yet


AND yet there are kind people in Boston who would gladly send Mason and Slidell boxes of wine and hampers of game.

It comes to this Lounger upon unquestionable authority that the men at Fort Warren who are the most guilty—not the poor ignorant soldiers taken in arms at Hatteras and elsewhere, but the great instigators and plotters and chiefs of the rebellion—are constantly receiving baskets of Champagne and other luxuries from those who are by no means disloyal, but who seem to forget, in their sympathy for prisoners, the crimes for which they are imprisoned.

A few weeks ago Boston was struck to the heart by the disaster at Ball's Bluff. Massachusetts wept her children. A cruel, utterly causeless war, waged for the meanest and most atrocious purpose, unredeemed by a solitary gleam of honor or dignity—a war begun in the most shameless fraud and waged with barbarous ferocity, involving the happiness of the country and striving to ruin the nation, had snatched these men into sudden graves. That war was deliberately planned. It had begun at Sumter on the 12th of April, and was continued in Baltimore a week after, upon the 19th, by the slaughter of Massachusetts men marching to defend the capital of the country, and the peace, unity, and prosperity of the nation. It has been maintained ever since, until every home has its heart invested in the great cause. It is a war as solemn and critical upon the part of the nation as the Revolution was. To maintain our liberty we have to fight as firmly as our fathers fought to establish it.

The first great point is to persuade the world, and ourselves, and the rebels, that we are in earnest ; that we mean what we say ; that we intend, at any cost of terrible and prolonged war, to defend the honor and maintain the integrity of the nation. And yet when we have by a just vigor made prisoners of the men who are morally responsible for the Baltimore massacre, and for all the lost lives, broken hearts, blood and ruin, and agony of this war, they are the recipients of such gifts from our friends as are only sent when we wish to mark especial regard and high consideration. Does any body suppose they believe in our sincerity? Does any body doubt that with each bottle they drink to the success of the rebellion-a success which can be achieved only by the blood, and bitter sorrow, and utter ruin of the neighbors and friends of those who thus unconsciously help to betray their own cause? While who does not see that the friends of these rebels at home will only the more deeply despise what will inevitably seem to them, as it does to us? "Ho, ho, mudsills," they contemptuously cry, " you have caught some of your masters, and your craven souls can not hold you from licking their feet! You call them traitors and rebels, and yet such is your poor, flimsy, cowed spirit that you treat them like honored guests!"

When shall we learn that the rebels have a perfectly sincere contempt for us, and that courtesy is as much lost upon them as it is upon a rhinoceros?

The motives of those who shower such attentions upon imprisoned traitors—and with us that word has an entirely new association—are not to be questioned. They do not think much about it. They have a vague feeling that the prisoners are only political prisoners, and that political prisoners are not criminals. They recall, perhaps, other days when they personally knew them and enjoyed social intercourse with them. But reflect a moment!

Many of the men who have been forced to arms to resist the machinations and foul plots of these traitors against the peace and welfare of the country are captured also and by the party of the traitors. How are they treated? Colonel Corcoran is in a felon's cell. Dr. Harris, who was taken at Bull Run, has told us his story of imprisonment at Richmond. Do you think Colonel Corcoran receives wine and game and other such assurances of sympathy ? If he did, would not the fact be trumpeted aloud as proof of the essential weakness of the rebel cause ? If Mr. Wade, or Mr. Sumner, or Marshal Murray, or Mr. Adams, or General Fremont were prisoners in rebel hands, do you think they would not be treated like the prisoners of a party which is in earnest, and is seen to be so in the conduct of every man, woman, and child? The offense for which the chief prisoners are held at Fort Warren is high treason ; levying war against the United States, adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. Is treason nothing? Is the war a joke ?

But it is said that we have no personal animosity against the rebels. True. We have not. We have no more animosity against them—making due allowance for human nature—then we had against Hicks the pirate, or any criminal who atones for the injured majesty of law. But no honorable American can feel very friendly toward men who, for the basest purpose, have compassed the death of noble men, and have dealt the present blow at the nation. Not revenge, but justice, requires that they should feel that we are not friends of the enemies of our country. It is not magnanimity, it is pusillanimity, which condemns treason and coddles traitors. Let these men be treated with perfect humanity. Let them have air, and light, and proper space, and cleanliness, and warmth, and good and sufficient food and clothing, and books, and innocent correspondence with their friends. Is that inhuman? But to treat them as we should wish to treat our own most honored and most loyal men, is that not to confound all distinctions of justice, and utterly to stultify ourselves as honorable men and patriots?

Oh, but the rebels will retaliate? Retaliate what ? Will they secure air, light, warmth, good food, clothes, books, and correspondence, to our friends in their hands ? So much the better. If

they will not, they are not our models. Their inhumanity must not make us inhuman. Though we fight Indians, we must not scalp our prisoners. If they starve Corcoran and Lee, we must still feed Slidell and Mason. Even if they roast them at a slow fire, we must only hold their emissaries fast prisoners. Then if those emissaries are found guilty of high treason, let the same humanity see that the cord is strong.

The sternest justice is compatible with the utmost humanity. Whatever their ultimate fate may be these men at Fort Warren are not meanwhile to feel—are they ?—that their imprisonment is merely a temporary personal inconvenience, soon to be forgotten in Boston bumpers. Baker, Lyon, Greble, Ward, Winthrop, Ellsworth, do these names mark temporary personal inconveniences? No : they attest the solemnity and earnestness of the war. But if the kind people in Boston who send game and wine to the state prisoners are doing right, then this war is a frightful sham, a crime upon our part, the more flagrant because frivolous and futile.


IN his speech to the Fishmongers in London—a guild which invites all kinds of lions to roar at its feasts, and which, in its cups, would cheer Mr. Wendell Phillips quite as loudly as it did Mr. Yancey—the latter gentleman made one very true remark :

"There can be no basis for negotiations, or for peace proposals or consultations, so long as the Confederates are deemed to be and are treated as rebels."

Exactly so. It suits the whole case. If they were not rebels, we either should not be at war with them, or, being at war, it would inevitably terminate by "negotiations" of some kind. But as this war is simply an armed insurrection which the National Government is suppressing, the idea of the Government's negotiating with rebels as to the terms upon which they will consent to obey the laws, or treating with them for peace upon any conditions whatever except absolute surrender and obedience, or consulting with them whether or not it is worth while to prevent the National destruction, is an idea which Mr. Yancey justly declares to be out of the question. The whole case is very simple. Either the Government can maintain itself or it can not. If it can, it maintains itself as it is. If it does not so maintain itself, it is overthrown. To offer any other terms to the rebels than simple obedience to the laws they are defying is to own an entire defeat. If in the Astor Place riot the magistrates had consented to forbid the military to fire upon condition that the mob would tear down only one side of the Opera-house, and cut off only the little finger of Macready's left hand, the authority of the law would have been as utterly overthrown as if the whole city had been sacked.

This is only an insurrection, however formidable. A rebellion is only a riot upon a large scale. If the Macready mob could have succeeded, it would have governed the city. If the Davis rebellion succeeds, it will govern the country.


WHATEVER may be the truth about the removal of General Fremont—and we confess that nothing has yet appeared that necessarily invalidates his honesty or ability—yet it is very clear that this is not the time for public " demonstrations" in his honor, of the kind which the Germans in New York lately contemplated.

His friends believe his case to be clear enough. If so, it will not fail so to appear upon the official investigation. But until it does appear, and while so many are unconvinced, and while a cloud of obscurity certainly rests upon parts of the Missouri campaign, it is premature, and therefore imperious to him, to treat the case as closed and the verdict rendered. Should that verdict be unfavorable yet evidently unjust, his friends who would have the evidence in common with the country, could not help expressing their continued regard for him and faith in him by public expressions. Should the verdict be favorable, they would naturally congratulate themselves and him. Meanwhile it is not fair to him that any prejudice should be excited against him, as it inevitably must be by "demonstrations."

There is no man who can more unhesitatingly trust the future than Fremont. The public mind is now disposed to be very just to every man. If there has been any conspiracy against him, it will somehow appear. That many of the men around him were of bad reputation may be conceded. But their executive ability must also be granted. And then the question is whether Fremont did not employ, as all great leaders have done, the most capable men, relying upon his own power to use their skill and withstand their knavish tendencies?

It is wrong to foment a factitious public opinion. Those of us who believe that General Fremont is an honest, energetic, able man, wish that the truth may appear without parade. It will so appear in a proper Court of Inquiry. And it will be only clouded and confused by every thing that previously prejudices the public mind.


AFTER Bull Run, how many were ready to give up all for lost ! After Beaufort, how many thought the war virtually over ! We can not too constantly remember that this war can not be settled by any single stroke. Even a decisive defeat of our army upon the Potomac would not break the heart of the national resolution. It would defer the day of the restoration of peace by the suppression of the rebellion ; but that is all. The rebel army might at some point press into Maryland ; some faint hearts among us would give up the ghost ; and some foreign power might declare that the rebellion held its own and had justified its action.

But such results could only combine us more closely and strengthen us more surely. The supply (Next Page)



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