The Battle of Martinsburg


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, July 20, 1861

This Civil War newspaper shows nice eye-witness illustrations showing Harper's Ferry, The Brooklyn Navy-Yard, and Pirates. There is news of the day, as well as a description of the Battle of Martinsburg.

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



Civil War Arsenal

Theodore Davis

Theodore R. Davis

The Battle of Martinsburg

Eleventh Indiana Regiment

Eleventh Indiana Regiment

Hagerstown, Maryland

Hagerstown, Maryland

Harper's Ferry

Harper's Ferry

Camp Life

Civil War Camp Life



Brooklyn Navy Yard

The Brooklyn Navy-yard

Broadway, New York

Speaker Grow

Speaker Grow

Washington Map

Washington Map

General Patterson

General Patterson

Slavery Cartoon

Slavery Cartoon




JULY 20, 1861.]



(Previous Page) kept shouting ' Go on!' we should have stood still till the judgment-day."

It was a shrewd clergyman : "Only keep on praying long enough," said he, " and you are sure to have your prayer answered, to the infinite credit of your superior piety, or patriotism, as the case may be."


THE Government of the United States is engaged in a struggle for its own existence. The principle of that Government is the constitutional protection of the rights of men. Its army, therefore, marches to defend those rights, and among others that of free speech. Consequently, the unprecedented spectacle is shown to the world of a Government so true to its fundamental principles that it suffers itself in time of war to be most unscrupulously belied and maligned, and permits the rebellion it is crushing to be openly and unhesitatingly defended by papers which it protects from injury. And those papers which are doing all they can to overthrow the Government which secures these rights, and to establish a system of society in which freedom of speech and of the press shall be annihilated, shamelessly assert that liberty of speech is in danger among us.

Their very existence and daily issue is the refutation of their own calumny.

When the Baltimore murders of the 19th April occurred, crowds of excited men, who began to see what papers were really responsible for the rebellion, went to their offices and insisted that the stars and stripes should be raised. But the police, against which those papers had likewise loudly inveighed, protected the papers then, as the Government they denounce protects them now. No candid man will compare those transient ebullitions of popular indignation with the permanent mob-rule of the rebellious States. If any journal within those States should try to take a corresponding position to that of these papers in the Free States, the journal would be suppressed by law, the office sacked, and the editors hung at their own door by a mob.

As for the petition of Mr. Guion, he and his friends have the most undoubted right to petition for what they choose. But if other people sign the petition ignorantly, they have an equally undoubted right to call the police to help them erase their names ; and to take the petition for that purpose and hold it until that purpose is accomplished, is not to suppress a right, but to correct a fraud.

The right of the freest speech and of petition are the birth-right of every American citizen. Those rights are respected in the free, loyal States of this country, with some few and flagrant exceptions. Those rights are outraged in the slave, rebellious States of this country. If the rebellion prevails, those rights will be every where denied and destroyed.

The papers of which we have spoken claim the right of free speech for the purpose of annihilating free speech. They will be protected in the exercise of that right by the same Government of all the people, which will frustrate the end they seek.


ON the day of the last Presidential election, a protracted meeting was in successful progress at the Methodist church in the village of P—, in one of the border counties of Virginia. The minister in charge, the Rev. Mr. T—, was a Democrat, and a very warm partisan for a minister of his latitude. Evening services were far advanced when N—, who had, in the excitement consequent to the day, forgot his temperance pledge, entered the church, took a seat near the door, and soon inclined his head for a snooze. During the exhortation to the anxious to come to the altar and receive the prayers of the church, the good preacher (for he was a good man), mistaking the appearance of N—for one under the influence of the spirit (nor was he far out of it), approached him in his search for mourners, and whispered in N—'s ear, " Will you not come forward and join us?'' "N-o," was the laconic, but half-smothered, reply. " Come forward and join us," earnestly rewhispered the anxious shepherd. " N-e-v-e-r'." thundered N—, "I am an old-line Whig, and shall live and die one." This reply was received with suppressed merriment by the congregation, while the minister retraced his steps to the altar, the picture of despair, doubtless mentally ejaculating that N—was joined to his idols.

An Irishman called on a lady and gentleman, in whose employ he was, for the purpose of getting some tea and tobacco. " I had a drame last night, yer honor," said he to the gentleman. " What is it, Pat ?" " Why, I dramed that yer honor made me a present of a pound of tobaccy, and her ladyship there—Heaven bless her—gave me some tay for the good wife." "Ah, Pat, dreams go by contraries, you know," said the gentleman. "Faith, and they may that," said Pat; "so her ladyship is to give the tobaccy and his honor the tay."

MRS. PARTINGTON ON WIDOWS.—" Oh what trials a poor widow has to go through!" sighed Mrs. Partington, rocking herself in a melancholy way, and holding untasted the morsel of maccaboy between her thumb and her finger; terrible trials, and, oh! what a hardship to be executioner to an intestine estate, where enviable people are trying every way to overcome the widow's might; where it's probe it, probe it, probe it all the time, and the more you probe it the worse it seems. The poor widow never gets justice, for if she gets all she don't get half enough. I have had one trial of it, and if ever I marry again I'll make my pretended husband fabricate our will before he buys the wedding-ring__I'll take time by the forepot, as the sage says."

Barrymore happening to come late to the theatre, and having to dress for a part, was driven to the last moment, when, to heighten his perplexity, the key of his drawer was missing. "Confound it," he said, " I must have swallowed it."—" Never mind," said Jack Bannister, coolly, " if you have, It will serve to open your chest."

Two cardinals found fault with Raphael for having, in one of his pictures, given too florid a complexion to St. Peter and St. Paul. " Gentlemen," replied the artist, " don't be surprised; I paint them just as they look in heaven. They are blushing with shame to see the Church below so badly governed."

Missionary Wolff tells a story of a certain M. Preisweg, of Geneva, a good and excellent Christian, to whom a ghost appeared as he was going to bed, and said, "I am the ghost of a person who was hanged here six weeks ago." "That's no business of mine," replied Preisweg; "so, good-night."

A Scotch advocate, pleading the cause of a widow against a skinflint, the Judge recommended that the parties should "feel each other's pulses." Mr. L—n, looking earnestly at his lordship, exclaimed, " Where there is no heart there can be no pulse, my lord."

SIMILAR MISFORTUNES. — A contemporary states that "Mr. Tait was run over and killed in the Cleveland road the other day," and adds that a "similar misfortune" occurred to him about two years ago. A few more such " similar misfortunes" will be the death of him.

" India, my boy," said an Irishman to a friend on his arrival at Calcutta, " is jist the finest climate under the sun; but a lot of young fellows come out here, and they dhrink and they ate, and they ate and they dhrink, and they die; and thin they write home to their friends a pack o' lies, and say it's the climate as has killed 'em."

Some say there's nothing made in vain, While others the reverse maintain, And prove it very handy,

By citing animals like these

Mosquitoes, bedbugs, crickets, fleas, And worse than all, a dandy.

A retired schoolmaster excuses his passion for angling by saying that, from constant habit, he never feels quite himself unless he is handling the rod.

A man was suspected of stealing a horse, and was taken up. " What am I taken for?" he inquired of the constable. " I take you for a horse," was the reply; whereupon he kicked the officer over, and bolted.

" What is the reason that our wife and you always disagree?" asked one Irishman of another. " Because we are both of one mind. She wants to be master, and so do I."

"I am a great gun," said a tipsy printer, who had been on the spree for a week. "Yes," said the overseer, "you're a great gun, and half-cocked, and you can consider your-self discharged." "Well," said Typo, " then I had better go off."

A miller, in giving a testimonial to the proprietor of a powder for destroying vermin, astounds us with the assertion, " I was full of rats a fortnight since, and now I don't think I have one."

A pragmatical young fellow, sitting at table opposite Lord Eldon, when plain Jolla Scott, asked him, "What difference is there between Scott and Sot?" "Just the breadth of this table," was the reply.

An Irishman who had been but a few months in this country, and in the employ of a gentleman in a suburban town, being sent with a note, with the command to make all possible haste, found on his way a turtle, which he picked up, supposing it to he a pocket-book. Determining to be faithful to his errand, he did not stop to examine his supposed prize, but placed it in his pocket, anticipating a rich reward when his errand was finished. Before he had reached home the turtle had made its way nearly out of his pocket, and Patrick quietly reconsigned him to his pocket. On his arrival at the house he took it out, and to his great disappointment, but full of excitement, he rushed wildly into the kitchen, exclaiming to the cook, "Bessie, Bessie, did ye ever see a toad with a kiver?"



THE President, in the Message which was read on 5th before Congress, begins by sketching the condition of the country at the time he was inaugurated, and states that his policy " looked to the exhaustion of all peaceful measures before a resort to stronger ones." There being no means within his reach for the reinforcement of Major Anderson, he would have abandoned Fort Sumter but for a blunder which prevented the reinforcement of Fort Pickens. Fearful then lest his policy should be misinterpreted, the President determined to attempt to supply Sumter with food, and the fort was in consequence bombarded and taken. The President was thus driven to call out the war power of the Government, and called for troops. The call was only obeyed by the Free States and Delaware. Virginia passed an ordinance of secession, but even before its passage seized the arsenal of Harper's Ferry and the navy-yard at Gosport. Referring to the attitude of neutrality which Kentucky proposes to maintain, the President calls it '' disunion completed." The President admits that in calling for troops, and suspending the habeas corpus act, he has exceeded his constitutional powers, and looks to Congress for indemnity. He was forced to choose between breaking one law, or seeing all the others violated with impunity, and he chose the former as the least evil. What he now asks of Congress is summed up in the following sentence:

"It is now recommended that you give the legal means for making this contest a short and decisive one; that you place at the control of the Government for the work at least 400,000 amen and $400,000,000. That number of men is about one-tenth of those of proper ages, within the regions where, apparently, all are willing to engage; and the sum is less than a twenty-third part of the money-value owned by the men who seem ready to devote the whole. A debt of $600,000,000 now is a less sum per head than was the debt of our Revolution when we came out of that struggle, and the money-value in the country bears even a greater proportion to what it was then than does the population. Surely each man has as strong a motive now to preserve our liberties as each had then to establish them. A right result at this time will be worth more to the world than ten times the men and ten times the money."

The President then goes on to show that there is not and never was any such thing as State sovereignty—touches upon the case of Florida and Texas, and denies the principle of secession, which he calls one of perpetual disintegration. He affirms that the people in many of the seceded States are still in favor of the Union, and charges the seceding politicians with keeping out of view the rights of the people. Alluding to the resignations of officers of the navy and army, he says that not one private soldier or sailor has resigned. He says :

"Our popular Government has often been called an experiment. Two points in it our people have settled—the successful establishing and the successful administrating of it. One still remains. Its successful maintenance against a formidable internal attempt to overthrow it. It is now for them to demonstrate to the world that those who can fairly carry an election can also suppress a rebellion; that ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors of bullets, and that when ballots have fairly and constitutionally decided there can be no successful appeal back to bullets; that there can be no successful appeal except to ballots themselves at succeeding elections. Such will be a great lesson of peace, teaching men that what they can not take by an election neither can they take it by a war. Teaching all the folly of being the beginners of a war."

Finally, the President regrets that he has been forced into this war, but would not have betrayed the vast and sacred trust confided to him by a free people.


The Secretary of the Treasury asks for three hundred and twenty millions of dollars. He believes that $80,000,000 should be sought by taxation, to meet the ordinary demands of 1862, for which actual appropriations have been made amounting to $65,887,849.34, while interest, estimated at $9,000,000 and $5,000,000, toward the reduction and final extinguishment of the public debt, bring the figure very near the Secretary's estimate. He proposes to meet this demand by a duty of 2l cents per pound laid on brown sugar, and 3 cents per pound on clayed sugar, and 4 cents per pound on loaf and other refined sugars, of 2 1/2 cents per pound on the sirup of sugar-cane, of 6 cents per pound on candy, of 6 cents per gallon on molasses, and of 4 cents per gallon on sour molasses; and it is also proposed that a duty of 5 cents per pound be imposed on coffee, 15 cents per pound on black tea, and 20 cents per pound on green tea. The collection of internal duties on stills and distilled liquors, ale and beer, tobacco, bank-notes, spring-carriages, silver-ware and jewelry, and on legacies, is recommended—although it is suggested that, if preferred by Congress, the plan of taxation of real and personal property would achieve the same result. The use of the confiscated

property of the rebels, together with a reduction, for the time at least, of 10 per cent. upon salaries and wages paid by the Federal Government, are also advised. To raise the $240,000,000 needed for the thorough prosecution of 'the war, the Secretary proposes a national loan of not less than $100,000,000, to be issued in the form of Treasury notes, bearing a yearly interest of 7 3-10 per centum (an interest equal to one cent a day on fifty dollars, and therefore very easy of calculations, and in sums of $50, $100, $500, $1000, and $5000, books to be opened at the Treasury Office in Washington, and at various other offices throughout the States, and sums subscribed to be paid in cash. In case the national loan is insufficient, it is proposed that bonds, or certificates of debt, be issued to lenders in the country, or in any foreign country, not exceeding in the aggregate $100,000,000, to be made redeemable at the pleasure of the Government after a period not exceeding thirty years, and bearing an interest not exceeding 7 per cent. To supply the full amount required for the service of the fiscal year, it is recommended that provision be made for the issue of Treasury notes for $10 or $20 each, payable one year from date, to an amount not exceeding $50,000,000—these notes bearing interest at the rate of 3.65-100 per cent., and exchangeable at the will of the holder for Treasury notes with 7 3-10 per cent. interest, or exchequer bills.


The Secretary of War recommends that, in the enlistment of men to fill the additional regiments of the regular army, the term of enlistment be made for three years, and that a bounty of one hundred dollars shall be given to all who receive an honorable discharge at the close of their terms, and that an appropriation be made for the reconstruction and equipment of railroads, the expense of maintaining and operating them, and also for the construction of additional telegraph lines and their appurtenances; that a special appropriation be made for the reconstruction of the Long Bridge across the Potomac; that Congress consider the subject of a properly organized military tribunal, empowered to take cognizance of criminal offenses, and to punish guilty offenders; also, the enlargement of the powers of the commissariat, and the better equipment of the army; that our troops should be supplied in part from private domestic factories, instead of from abroad. The Secretary further recommends a greater distribution of improved arms among the militia of the States and Territories, and calls attention to the system of discipline pursued at West Point. He concludes with a recommendation that Congress should authorize the appointment of an Assistant Secretary of War, and the requisite additional appropriation for an extra force of clerks. The responsibilities and labors of the Department are vastly increased.


The Secretary of the Navy asks Congress to sanction the extraordinary measures which were necessarily taken to meet the difficulties treachery had thrown in the way of the Department. Purchases and contracts were made the authority for which was found in the exigencies of the times. The naval force in commission is increased to 82 vessels, carrying upward of 1100 guns, and a complement of about 13,000 men, exclusive of officers and marines. The Naval Academy, formerly at Annapolis, now removed to Newport, Rhode Island, is without its authorized number of pupils, for one-third of the districts neglect or refuse to be represented, and there is no legal way of supplying this deficiency from other districts. It is suggested that Congress provide for the deficit, and that for a period, at least, the numbers in the school should not be increased until there is a full complement of officers. The Secretary recommends an officer shall be appointed, to be known as the director of ordnance, who shall, under the Department, have the immediate supervision of the manufacture, description, and supply of ordnance for the navy, in all its details. A change or modification of the law regulating the navy ration is suggested, by which the vessels stationed along the coast may be regularly supplied with nourishing food. An increase of the number of surgeons and assistant surgeons is recommended; also, an increase of the marine corps, with, perhaps, an entire reorganization of the corps; also, the appointment of a proper and competent board to inquire into the expediency of ironclad steamers or floating batteries; also, an increase of the clerical force of the Department, together with the appointment of an Assistant Secretary of the Navy.


On Thursday, July 4, at noon, in accordance with the President's proclamation, Congress assembled in extraordinary session. In the Senate on that day thirty nine Senators appeared in their places, including Senators Breckinridge and Powell of Kentucky, Johnson of Tennessee, and Polk and Johnson of Missouri. The new members having been qualified, Senator Wilson, Chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs, gave notice of the following important bills :

1. A bill to ratify and confirm certain acts of the President for the suppression of insurrection and rebellion. 2. A bill to authorize the employment of volunteers for enforcing the laws and protecting public property. 3. A bill to increase the present military establishment of the United States. 4. A bill providing for the better organization of the military establishment. 5. A bill to promote the efficiency of the army. 6. A bill for organizing a volunteer militia force, to be called the National Guard of the United States.-In the House, one hundred and fifty-seven members answered to their names. Without delay the House proceeded to business, and on the second ballot elected Galusha A. Grow, of Pennsylvania, for Speaker, and Emerson Etheridge, of Tennessee, Clerk. Questions respecting the contested seats of certain members were passed over.

On Friday, 5th, in the Senate, Senator Chandler gave notice of a bill to confiscate the property of governors, judges, and members of Legislatures, and of all military officers above the rank of lieutenant, who aid and abet treason against the Government, and to disqualify all such persons for holding any office of honor or emolument. The President's Message was received and read.—Nothing of consequence was done in the House.

On Saturday, 6th, in the Senate, Senator Wilson presented the several bills of which he gave notice on Thursday. The bill to Promote the Efficiency of the Army was referred to a Special Committee, consisting of Senators Wilson, Hale, Latham, Sherman, Powell, Cowan, King, Kennedy, and Rowe, and the other bills were referred to the Military Committee. A Message was then received from the President, and the Senate went into executive session.—In the House, the death of Mr. Scranton, of Pennsylvania, was announced, and appropriate remarks were made by several members ; after which the House adjourned, in accordance with the usual custom on such occasions.

On Monday, 8th, nothing of consequence was done in the Senate.—In the House, the Standing Committees were announced. A resolution was adopted that the House will, during the present extraordinary session, only consider bills and resolutions concerning military and naval appropriations for the Government and financial affairs connected therewith, and that all bills of a private character, and all other bills and resolutions not directly connected with the raising of revenue, and military and naval affairs, shall be referred without debate to the appropriate committees, to be considered at the next regular session of Congress. This was subsequently amended so as to include certain questions of a judicial character. Mr. Lovejoy, of Illinois, offered a resolution declaring that it is no part of the duty of the army to capture and retain fugitive slaves; also directing inquiry as to the expediency of repealing the Fugitive Slave law. This was promptly laid on the table by a vote of 67 to 62. Bills to increase the number of cadets at the Military Academy, granting bounty lands to soldiers, to increase the pay of soldiers, and for various other objects, were presented and appropriately referred.


One of the most important episodes in the history of the war, so far, has been the action in the vicinity of Martinsburg, on July 2, between the division of General Patterson, which had previously crossed the Potomac at Williamsport, and the rebel forces under General Jackson, which resulted in the defeat and flight of the latter, leaving their camp at Back River, near Martinsburg, in the hands of General Patterson's troops. Advancing toward Martinsburg they met the rebels under Jackson, comprising a

force of five infantry and one cavalry regiments, with four pieces of cannon. The first stand was made at the farm of Porterfield, situated on the common road, near Haynesville, where the rebels offered a firm resistance to the advancing columns of the Union army; but they were ultimately driven back, leaving the field scattered over with knapsacks, canteens, and blankets, giving evidence of a hasty retreat. Their loss of course has not been definitely ascertained, but the result of the action may be gathered from the following official report of General Patterson, forwarded to head-quarters at Washington:

"BACK RIVER, NEAR MARTINSBURG, July 2, 1861. "To Colonel E. D. Townsend, Assistant Adjutant-General:

"I left Williamsport at six o'clock this morning for this place, and drove and routed the rebels, who were about 10,000 strong, and who had four guns. I now occupy their camp, with the loss, I regret to say, of three killed and ten wounded.

"R. PATTERSON, Major-General Commanding."


Since then, General Patterson has been reinforced by the arrival of Major Doubleday's battery and the Rhode Island battery at Martinsburg. Large numbers of troops from Washington, en route to the same point, passed through Baltimore on Sunday night. General Johnston, who, it is said, has been reinforced by 7000 men, is at Bunker Hill, only a few miles distant from General Patterson's head-quarters, with a body of 16,000 rebels. It is reported that he has 25,000 men and twenty-two pieces of cannon between that and Winchester. No movement on either side has taken place in this direction, but a few skirmishes between the pickets have recently occurred there and near Laurel Hill, near which place General McClellan's troops are.


An incident which may prove of some importance, and is at least invested with considerable interest, occurred at Arlington on 8th. Major Taylor, of New Orleans, arrived at the camp of the Eighth New York regiment, Colonel Lyons, from Manassas Junction, under a flag of truce. He brought dispatches from Jefferson Davis to President Lincoln, and was forwarded by order of General Scott to the head-quarters at Washington. What the nature of the document was of course has not transpired, but the greatest anxiety exists in Washington about the affair. It was thought that the dispatch arose out of the visit of Mr. May, member of Congress from Baltimore, to Richmond, where he recently proceeded on some mysterious mission under a pass from the President.


The army of General Lyon, in Missouri, is steadily advancing Southward, while the rebels from Arkansas and Tennessee are reported to be moving up to meet them. Colonel Montgomery, with his Union troops from Kansas, crossed the line into Missouri on the 27th ult. No further collision has occurred in that quarter, though the rapid concentration of troops on both sides would indicate the probability of an engagement in the southwestern portion of the State before long.


The Wilson New York Zouaves have arrived at Fort Pickens, from which point we have nothing new to report.

THE BRITISH FLEET AND OUR BLOCKADE. The special correspondent of the Times at Fort Pickens informs us that the British Admiral, Milne, Commander-in-Chief of her Majesty's naval forces in North America, has dispatched a steam-frigate to that place, which has dropped anchor among our fleet off Roses. The object of her visit is stated by her commander to be the protection of the rights of English commerce, and to see that the blockade is "such as to prevent the entrance or departure of any craft to or from any harbor of the Southcoaster, ocean trader, or tender." This is in accordance with Admiral Milne's views of an effectual blockade, as furnished to his subordinates in command for their guidance.


"One of the latest instances," says the Journal of Commerce, " of the professional skill of Dr. LIGHTHILL, of St. Mark's Place, in this city, is the complete cure of Mr. CHARLES SHELDON, of Troy, who has been deaf from infancy. The case is a remarkable one, and adds one more to the many proofs of the great success of Dr. LIGHTHILL in this specialty of his profession."

At the late Commencement of Genesee College the degree of D.D. was conferred on the Rev. John B. Hagany, pastor of St. Paul's M. E. Church, in this city ; and that of LL.D. on Peter Y. Cutler, Professor of Law in the New York University.

Asbury Dickens, who resigned the Clerkship of the United States Senate at the opening of the present session, has been Secretary of that body since 1836—a period of twenty-four years.

A position has at length been assigned to Major-General Fremont. A new military department has been created and placed under his command, consisting of the State of Illinois, and the States and Territories west of the Mississippi River and on this side of the Rocky Mountains, including New Mexico. General Fremont's head-quarters will be at St. Louis.

Vallandigham, the recreant Ohio Congressman, visited the Ohio regiments across the Potomac last week, and was received with such decided marks of disfavor that he was forced to leave for fear of violence. He was hung in effigy, and on taking his departure was pelted with onions and other missiles.

Hon. Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee, lately visited some of the troops on the Virginia side of the Potomac, and was received with the most decided demonstrations of respect and admiration. He made two speeches, which are represented to have wrought the men up to the highest pitch of enthusiasm.




LORD PALMERSTON defends the shipment of English troops to Canada against remarks made in the British House of Commons by Mr. Disraeli and other members. He declared, in a recent speech, that it was not an unusual course to pursue when hostilities existed in a neighboring nation, and denied that the fact was of itself calcuated to give offense to the United States Government.


The Right Honorable Lord Campbell, Lord Chancellor of England, died on the 23d ult. very suddenly.


A great fire has occurred in London. At latest dates it was still smouldering in many places near London Bridge, and the losses by it already were estimated at ten millions of dollars.



The official recognition of the new kingdom of Italy by Napoleon was announced in the Moniteur.



The papers publish the text of the neutrality proclamation of Queen Isabella of Spain on the subject of the American rebellion. It is similar in import to that issued by Napoleon. Privateers may have a shelter of twenty-four hours duration in Spanish ports, but no longer, except in case of urgent necessity. Spaniards are forbidden to engage on either side ; but they may, if they wish, take service and its consequences.



The Sultan of Turkey died on the 25th, and is succeeded by his brother, Abdul Aziz Khan.



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