The Battle of Philippi


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, July 6, 1861

This Harper's Weekly newspaper from the Civil War shows pictures of Winchester Virginia, and Harper's Ferry. The paper has stories on several skirmishes, and news of the day.

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JULY 6, 1861.]




WE illustrate on this page THE BATTLE OF PHILIPPI, which took place on 3d June. We published an account of this brilliant little affair in a recent number; and here we will only add, that a few companies of Indiana, Ohio, and Virginia volunteers entirely demolished a large force of secessionists assembled at Philippi, under the command of Colonel Porterfield, driving them out of the place, with the loss of all their baggage and most of their arms. Our artist writes:

The scene shown in the picture is the principal street in Philippi. The large building on the left is the Court-house of Barbour County, Virginia, now occupied as the head-quarters of the Federal troops. The roof of the hotel just beyond the Court-house shows plainly the effects of a cannon-ball. I was told that it carried away a secession flag. The Union flag is now floating in its place. The road between the Court-house and hotel is the one by which Colonel Kelly entered the town. The intention was for him to have come in by the road which you see turning to the right at the extreme end of the picture. About a stone's-throw beyond this turn is where Colonel Kelly fell.


WE publish on page 428 a view of HARPER'S FERRY AFTER THE EVACUATION by the rebel troops, and on page 429 an illustration of the BURNING OF THE RAILROAD BRIDGE at that point, as seen from the trestle-work platform. Both are from sketches by a regular correspondent. A special agent of the press visited Harper's Ferry on 13th, and reported as follows :

The Confederate army has left the place. The route of the main body was by turnpikes leading to Charlestown and Shepardstown. At five o'clock this morning the great bridge of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad over the Potomac was fired, and soon after a tremendous report was heard, caused by an explosion of a mine under the centre span. In one hour the entire structure was in ruins and fell into the water. This was a noble piece of work, it being one thousand feet long, and was built by Engineer Latrobe but ten years since in the most scientific manner. It has six spans, and cost considerable. The damage to property is not ended here, but the Railroad Company and the United States have suffered further loses of valuable works. The body of the trestling on which the road was supported from the bridge to the end of the Government property, about half a mile in extent, is nearly all destroyed, as well as the upper bridge, of one hundred and twenty feet in length, over the Government canal. The telegraph station buildings and the other railroad works are also demolished. The long range of substantial buildings formerly occupied as the Government armory is burned to the ground, with the exception of two at the west end, near the Shenandoah. Fire has been raging all day, and when we left it was just breaking out in the rear quarters. The rifle-works on the Shenandoah were fired in the afternoon.


WE publish on page 426 a picture representing a regiment of TENNESSEAN RIFLEMEN PASSING THROUGH WINCHESTER en route for Harper's Ferry. The Tennesseans are soldierly looking fellows enough ; it is sad to think they are engaged in so bad a cause. The artist says : My picture represents the Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia Riflemen entering Winchester, on their way to Harper's Ferry. This regiment came up from Richmond to Strasburg by way of the Manassas Gap Railroad, and marched from thence to Winchester, a distance of 22 miles, in one day. They are mostly hunters and men used to outdoor life, and are all, besides their rifles, armed with tomahawk, bowie-knife, and revolver.


ON page 429 we illustrate, from a sketch by our special correspondent, on General Williams's staff, THE CROSSING OF THE POTOMAC BY UNITED STATES VOLUNTEERS, on 16th instant. A correspondent of the Herald writes under date of 16th from Hagerstown, Maryland:

Well, the everlasting delay in the movement of this carps d'armee is somewhat broken in upon. A real genuine forward movement has begun, notwithstanding the monotonous red-tape circumlocutionism of the commanding General. Two brigades, the First and Fourth, have actually passed the Potomac, General Cadwallader leading the advance, consisting of five companies of cavalry—four of the Second cavalry, and the First Philadelphia troop; battalion of artillery and infantry, Captain Doubleday; Rhode Island regiment and battery; Sixth, Twenty-first, and Twenty-third Pennsylvania volunteers; Fourth brigade, Colonel D. S. Miles ; United States infantry, two companies of Second infantry, five companies of the Third infantry; Ninth, Thirteenth, and Sixteenth Pennsylvania volunteers.

Precisely at twelve o'clock to-day, the United States infantry heading, the Fourth brigade took the water, and took it as if it was their native element. The Volunteers followed. Both marched four abreast as they started, but the ranks were somewhat broken by the depth and stiffness of the current. But right bravely they went wading in water, some places full four feet deep, over a river of remarkable volume and force three hundred and fifty yards wide. It was a stirring sight to see the young volunteers marching with the steadiness and precision of veterans, singing, with the happiest indifference, in one company, "I'll be gay and happy still ;" another, "Let the wild world wag as it will ;" a third, "Red, white, and blue;" a fourth, shouting with wild refrain the chorus of the " Star-spangled Banner," until whole regiments would catch and join in its round swelling cadences. The effect was strikingly grand.

The other side of the picture, the ludicrous, was also vividly presented. Volunteer after volunteer, while waiting to enter, would doff his nether integuments and enter the water with that portion of his person in puris naturalibus, declaring that Uncle Sam's dry goods were too preciously scarce to have them wetted.


WE publish on page 423, from a drawing by a member of our 12th Regiment, a view of the ENCAMPMENT AT ROACH'S SPRINGS, VIRGINIA. The artist writes :

Roach's Springs, Virginia, is situated about two miles north of Alexandria, on the west side of the Potomac, and was the farthest point of advance in that direction by the Federal forces on the 25th of last May. It is reported that their approach drove two hundred secessionists from the old mills where they were quartered. The 12th Regiment, N. Y. S. M., took possession of the buildings and encamped there, being kept in constant readiness for an attack. The 12th was relieved on the 2d inst. by the 1st Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, which still holds the position.

The Battle of Philippi



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