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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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Virginia Wheeling Convention

Virginia Convention

Wheeling Convention

The Wheeling Convention

The Battle of Boonville

The Battle of Boonville

Map of the Mississippi River

Map of the Mississippi River

Romney

The Battle of Romney

Battle of Philippi

Battle of Philippi

Jefferson City

Jefferson City

Army Life

Civil War Army Life

Winchester, Virginia in the Civil War

Winchester, Virginia

Harpers Ferry

Harper's Ferry

Williamsport

Williamsport, Maryland

Texas Ranger

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John Bull

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McDowell's Corps

 

 

 

 

 

 

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

[JULY 6, 1861.

418

THE WHEELING CONVENTION.

ON the preceding page we illustrate the WHEELING CONVENTION, which has very properly assumed control of the destinies of Virginia, and deposed the present rebel State Government. The following memorandum will show the importance of its proceedings :

The Wheeling Convention, after occupying nearly an entire day in debating the ordinance for reorganizing the State Government, finally adopted it—73 to 3. The principal discussion was upon a proposed amendment, providing that no one who voted for secession should be allowed to hold office in the State during the war. It was rejected—66 to 10. The ordinance as passed provides for the entire reorganization of the Government—every officer to be obliged to swear allegiance anew to the United States, and to repudiate the acts of the Richmond Convention. The next business before the Convention was the choice of a new Governor and Council; and for the former FRANK PIERPONT, of Marion, was selected.

THE WAR.

FORT SUMTER taken! and its siege will fill No bloody chronicles in after-time.

It was a tame bombardment, if you will,

But in its consequences how sublime !

The first boom of the cannon sent a thrill

Not through the North alone, for every clime Where liberty is prized, struck with deep sorrow, Mourns for to-day, and fears the dread to-morrow.

The reckless man who for revenge sets fire Unto his neighbor's house alarms a town;

And they who watch the ascending sparks admire Their brilliant glare, but dread their coming down: So now all anxious Europe shows desire

That War should smooth away his angry frown; For burning Sumter spreads wide consternation—Who knows how far may sweep the conflagration?

The call to arms is answered; ne'er before,

In the world's history, answered with such will. From the Pacific to the Atlantic shore,

From Oregon to Maine, the cry is, "Still

They come!" Fearless, the hurried partings o'er, They haste to battle, innocent of drill

And discipline ; but theirs is the just cause, And stern resolve to vindicate their laws.

Their country's past incites to deeds of glory, Its present dangers nerve the arm unwilling. Of Southern treachery the shameful story,

With sorrow and dismay the great North filling, Forebodes a coming conflict, dire and gory—E'en now his weeping country feels a thrilling Horror at Ellsworth's death, which bids the fire Of passion burn to a relentless ire.

When war is kindled, every blow adds fuel Unto the flames of vengeance, as the sight Of blood drawn from a party in a duel Enrages him that suffers : 'tis but right A cruel Nemesis should find the cruel;

And they who show no mercy in their might Can not expect it in their hour of need—Swift on her course dots Retribution speed.

MONTREAL, 13th June, 1861.

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

SATURDAY, JULY 6, 1861.

A NEW SERIAL BY BULWER.

MR. CHAS. DICKENS'S admirable Tale " GREAT EXPECTATIONS" will be concluded in No. 240 of Harper's Weekly.

We have the pleasure of announcing that it will be followed by the commencement of

A NEW SERIAL TALE
BY
SIR EDWARD LYTTON BULWER,

ENTITLED

"A. STRANGE STORY," which will be continued from week to week till completed.

The unrivaled merit of the latest works of Sir Edward Lytton Bulwer justifies the assertion that his power as a Novelist is steadily on the increase, and warrants the belief that his new

Tale will be even more thrillingly interesting than " WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT?" Or " MY NOVEL"—both of which were read by at least half a million of people in this country.

See TERMS to Subscriber's on page 431.

THE EXTRA SESSION.

ON 4th of July—within a week—Congress meets at Washington in extra session. Ten States will be unrepresented, to wit: North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas. But as there is no provision in the Constitution requiring every State to send delegations to Congress—all that is required being a bare majority of members entitled to seats—the measures adopted by that body will have the same force and effect in the seceded States as if their people had availed themselves of their constitutional privilege of being represented. The first Congress passed many important laws, whose validity has never been questioned, in the absence of the delegations from several States, and with a bare quorum of members.

Virginia will be represented in both Houses. The Convention now in session at Wheeling will elect senators, and provide for the election of representatives; and the two Houses, which are the sole judges of the "elections, returns, and qualifications of their members," will doubtless admit them without debate.

No Congress that ever met will have so grave a task to perform as this one. Under the imbecile, corrupt, and traitorous Administration of Mr. Buchanan, the last Congress adjourned without legislating for the crisis ; even the Force Bill, introduced by Mr. Stanton from the Committee on Military Affairs, was defeated, mainly through the efforts of our excellent townsman, Mr. John Cochrane, who, we notice, has since repented, and now tenders a regiment to Mr. Lincoln.

The measures which will engage the attention of Congress naturally class themselves under four heads :

1. THE ARMY—An Act must be passed authorizing permanent increase of the regular army to at least the figure indicated by the President—45,000 men ; and also authorizing the acceptance of Volunteers for three years or the war. This act will doubtless pass without objection, and we will only offer two suggestions in regard to it. In the first place, Congress should place it out of the power of the War Department to confer important commands on civilians or politicians, and should insist on every regiment and brigade being commanded by men of large military experience: let our defeat at Great Bethel teach us this much at least. And, secondly, there should be no stint to the number of volunteers whom the President may accept. It is cheaper, more humane, more advantageous in every way to settle this question this year with an army of 300,000 men, than it would be to wage war for three or four years with an army of 100,000 or 150,000.

2. THE NAVY.—A bill will be introduced adding at least 18,000 men to the Navy, and authorizing the construction of vessels of war. This subject, again, will probably elicit no very warm discussion. It may be worth while to observe that between the capes of the Chesapeake and the Mexican frontier there is but one harbor—Pensacola--into which our favorite sloops of war can find admittance. There is not water enough on the bar at Charleston, Savannah, Mobile, or New Orleans for any of them to pass it. If, therefore, our blockade is to be thorough and effective, and if we are to chase and capture privateers, we want steam gun-boats, drawing from eight to twelve feet of water, and armed with two or three rifled guns. Of these we should have not less than fifty. England has some two hundred of such craft, and finds them useful and economical.

3. WAYS AND MEANS.—This is a subject

which is likely to provoke a good deal of discussion. Government will require this year, over and above the ordinary revenues, from $100,000,000 to $150,000,000. How is this money to be raised ? Various financial schemes are suggested. One is to sell government stock bearing 6 or 7 per cent. interest. The money can be raised in this way, but it will cost a heavy sum. At the present time Federal Sixes are worth about 83 1/2 cents on the dollar ; it is believed that a fresh issue of $50,000,000 would depreciate them fully 20 per cent. Perhaps, however, if the ultimate success of the Government were made palpably certain, public credit would improve. Another scheme is to issue 6 per cent. Treasury Notes for small sums—say $50 and $25. We doubt very much whether any large amount of such notes could be put in circulation without fatally injuring the public credit. To pay troops and purveyors in such Treasury Notes would amount practically to a suspension of specie payments—which would injure our credit irreparably. And it is evidently preposterous to expect the public at large to take Treasury Notes at par, when they can get government bonds bearing the same rate of interest at a heavy discount. Another scheme is to issue Treasury Notes bearing 8 or 10 per cent. interest. This, again, is paying rather high for money. And the mere mention of such exorbitant rates of interest as 8 and 10 per cent. is suggestive of bankruptcy, and would have a very bad effect abroad. Another scheme is to charter a great bank, and to borrow $50,000,000 or $100,000,000 from it, paying for the loan in 6 per cent. government stock at par. Such a bank would be authorized to issue notes for all the Government stock it held. The question with regard to this scheme is, where would such a bank find stockholders, and where would its profits come from? These and other similar projects will doubtless be fully ventilated by Congress, and one of them will be adopted. Probably the very best method of raising money would be for the General Government to authorize the issue of Federal bonds, to be indorsed afterward by the several Northern States. New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Illinois could afford at once to indorse each $10,000,000 of bonds, and the other loyal States smaller amounts; and on these terms money could probably be borrowed at a very small discount indeed. In passing a "money bill" Congress must not neglect to alter the absurd Morrill tariff, which has already—as was foretold at the time of its passage-

reduced the Customs revenue to a nominal figure, and disgusted our friends in Europe. We must now have a revenue tariff; one that will not exclude imports, but one which will bring a round sum monthly into the Treasury, and will leave the makers of wood-screws, carpets, and steel to rely on their own merits. 'Tea, coffee, and sugar should pay their share of taxes ; and foreign manufactures should be allowed to swell the national income.

4. THE SLAVERY QUESTION.

—This, without doubt, will be the most difficult problem with which Congress will have to grapple. And yet it can not be neglected. As was clearly foreseen at the outbreak of hostilities, wherever our armies march slavery disappears before them. Not that our troops are necessarily abolitionists. But the slaves run away or are abandoned as the troops approach. An old negro found at Hampton by one of our regiments, the other day, being asked if he had run away from his master, replied, "No; massa ran away from me!" It must be so throughout the revolted section of the country. As our armies advance the masters will run away from the slaves, or the slaves will run away from the masters. In either event the result will be the same. Now so long as we are on the border of Virginia, and the runaways and derelicts amount to a few hundred in number, it is easy to provide for them, and to keep books of account with their reputed owners. But when the refugees are counted by thousands and tens of thousands what is to be done with them ? This is a question which should not be left to the discretion of the Federal commanders. Men's opinions will differ : Government should have a uniform policy. The people of the North, moreover, who will be sorely taxed to provide means to put down this rebellion, have a right to know whether any part of their money will be used for the support of thousands of fugitive slaves who, after the war, are to be returned to their conquered owners. The question, we admit, is very embarrassing. Every possible solution presents grave difficulties. But it is the duty of Congress to decide it one way or another, and we trust members will go to Washington prepared to assume the responsibility.

THE LOUNGER.

THE HEALTH OF THE VOLUNTEERS.

IN a regular army four soldiers die of disease for one that falls in battle. If there are forty-five thousand volunteers in and near Washington on the first of July, it is probable that there alight not to more than twenty thousand on the first of October, even if no battle were fought. Of a Southern regiment which went into Mexico some eight hundred strong, only about one hundred and fifty returned, yet not a hundred were lost in the field. The horror of war is not the sudden shot that opens the gate of glory to the soldier, but the fever and wasting disease that slowly eats his life away. At this moment it is not IN a regular army four soldiers die of disease for one that falls in battle. If there are forty-five thousand volunteers in and near Washington on the first of July, it is probable that there alight not to more than twenty thousand on the first of October, even if no battle were fought. Of a Southern regiment which went into Mexico some eight hundred strong, only about one hundred and fifty returned, yet not a hundred were lost in the field. The horror of war is not the sudden shot that opens the gate of glory to the soldier, but the fever and wasting disease that slowly eats his life away. At this moment it is not Beauregard In a regular army four soldiers die of disease for one that falls in battle. If there are forty-five thousand volunteers in and near Washington on the first of July, it is probable that there alight not to more than twenty thousand on the first of October, even if no battle were fought. Of a Southern regiment which went into Mexico some eight hundred strong, only about one hundred and fifty returned, yet not a hundred were lost in the field. The horror of war is not the sudden shot that opens the gate of glory to the soldier, but the fever and wasting disease that slowly eats his life away. At this moment it is not , nor Davis, nor Johnson, nor Bragg, nor Lee who most dangerously threaten our soldiers ; but it is dysentery, cholera, typhus, and all forms of acute and fatal disease. These are the terrible warriors who fight against each side, and he is the masterly General who defeats them in his own camp, and leaves them to deal with the enemy in theirs.

But they are defeated not with arms, but by science and good sense; and the purpose of the Sanitary Commission for the Volunteer regiments is to fight them with these weapons. The Sanitary department which cared for our little regular army is not prepared to act adequately when that army swells in a month to hundreds of thousands. The acting Surgeon-General of the United States Army, Dr. Wood, therefore addressed a letter to time Secretary of War, a month since, requesting the appointment of a Sanitary Board of Consultation with regard to the necessary measures for the continued health of the whole force of the United States. It was to be auxiliary to the present department. .

The good sense and absolute necessity of such a Commission are too apparent to be argued. The frightful experience of the English army in the Crimea is enough to show what the regiments which daily leave us are marching to, if the proper care is not taken.

The Commission was at once named by the Secretary of War, and approved by the President. It is composed of thirteen gentlemen, seven of whom are of the medical profession ; three of whom, including the acting surgeon, belong to the army. These gentlemen have no axes to grind of any kind. They are not politicians. They are all men of known ability in various vocations in different parts of the country. They thoroughly comprehend their work; they are anxious to do it: and they do it entirely without salary, and purely for the love of the country, the citizens, and the cause. But they want money, of course, to pay permanent agents at Washington and other military centres, who will be men, not only of proper scientific education, but of practical executive efficiency in details. Traveling expenses, printing, etc., must be paid for.

For many very evident reasons the Commission prefers to appeal directly to the public and not to Congress. The Government has given it rooms in the Treasury building. The Surgeon-General of the Army has given it full authority to inspect and examine all posts, camps, and hospitals; and the Secretary of War has ordered that all persons in Government service shall assist the Commission to the utmost. And one of time most efficient administrative men in the country, Mr. Frederick

Law Olmsted, the Architect-in-chief of the Central Park, will serve as Resident Secretary and General Agent in Washington.

There is no department of service in the war that will be more beneficial than this, if it be furnished the means to work. If it is enabled to do what it can do, it will save twenty thousand out of every hundred thousand lives that are offered for the war, which would otherwise be lost from exposure and disease.

It is not a charity; it is a duty, as all great humane efforts are. Whoever wishes to do his or her share may send subscriptions or donations to the treasurer, George J. Strong, 68 Wall Street, New York.

KEEPING COOL.

WE can not too constantly remember, in this mid-summer heat of excitement, that the reports which so often discourage and dismay us are only the surmises and speculations of persons who are not likely to be intrusted with state and military secrets. Doubtless the authorities at Washington are as incessantly engaged in defending themselves from the telegraph reporters to the newspapers as in guarding the capital from rebellious assault. But the amiable reporters must say something. The paper with which they correspond must have a sensation, if a sensation is possible; and if a rumor be racy enough it flies forward at once.

Then we should remember that the comments of the papers themselves arc colored by many influences. Personal and private jealousies, not utterly unknown even to editors, play their full parts. To this paper, for instance, nothing which is done by this Secretary will ever seem wise, patriotic, or noble. It will be done from some mean motive. Some contract is to be helped ; some friend is to be served; until at length you are forced to believe that the paper would rather see the country ruined than saved by that particular Secretary. To that paper, again, the entire military movement seems slow and ineffective. It publishes leading articles containing details of the weakness of this or that position upon our side. Every thing which should be as carefully concealed from the enemy as it is promptly communicated to our military authorities, is paraded in the paper, while rebels chuckle and patriots look grave.

The position of our Government is very disagreeable, because this constant fret of captious and ill-informed criticism begets doubt and discontent in the public mind. A truly patriotic journal, appreciating the inevitable difficulties of the Government, understanding that no paper knows the actual intentions of the Administration, will help rather than hinder, and will postpone its private quarrels until the public welfare is secured.

THE FOURTH.

THE Fourth of July will this year have a significance it has never had since the year of the Declaration. For the country is now engaged in proving that the Government founded upon the principles of that instrument is more vitally strong than any other. .

The Declaration of Independence contains a new philosophy of government. It asserts that government is justly based upon the will and exists for the welfare of the people; and therefore that when it ceases to promote that welfare it may be properly changed. The will of the people is the great doctrine of the Declaration; and the will of the people is the battle-cry of this war. Neither one man nor a few men shall successfully pervert the government to their own purposes ; but every man shall submit to the law or suffer the penalty.

Some foreign critics profess that they can not understand why, under the Declaration, any number of people in this country may not refuse to obey the laws. Simply for the same reason that they may not do it in England. The Declaration says that when the people finds the government destructive of their rights, they may change the government. It does not say that government exists by the whim of the citizen. Amid '' the people" means all the people.

The English and foreign critics of the Declaration have probably no knowledge of its actual character. Even Mr. Choate, in a burst of fiery rhetoric, called it "the passionate manifesto of a revolutionary war." There could not be a more curiously untrue statement. Of all important state papers upon record, there is none more carefully considered than this. Every word is weighed. Every principle is proved. Every assertion is verified. There is nothing said in it that was not meant. It begins by declaring that all men are created equal, and it means precisely that. Otherwise the whole system of government it founds is futile. It declares no absurdity. It does not say that all men are of equal capacity any more than of equal stature. The equality of the Declaration is the equality of rights. And our struggle now is to maintain those rights, and to vindicate the will of the people.

THE NEXT QUESTION.

CAN the duty of every citizen to obey the laws of the land, or pay the penalty of disobedience, be a matter of compromise ? He may choose between obedience and the penalty, but shall he be allowed to set the laws aside by force? ?

This is the question which it is supposed Mr. Crittenden will ask the country at the extra session. And it is further supposed that he relies upon "property" to sustain him.

Every property-holder has then a very simple question to ask himself. What makes property most secure? The answer is equally simple; a strong government. Would he rather own property in England or in Mexico ? And why ?

Under the present circumstances, then, how is (Next Page)


 

 

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