Camp Defiance, Cairo Illinois


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, June 1, 1861

This Harper's Weekly newspaper features General Butler on the cover. It also has a nice full page illustration of the entire Confederate Cabinet. It also has a nice story on the first Soldier to die in the Civil War, and various other news of the War.

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


General Butler

General Butler

Civil War Editorial

Charleston Blockade

Luther Ladd

First Soldier to Die in Civil War

Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski


Civil War Artillery

Jefferson Davis and the Confederate Cabinet

Confederate Cabinet

Troops in the Patent Office

Troops in the US Patent Office

Albany Armory

The Armory at Albany

St. Louis

Saint Louis Battle

Camp Defiance

Camp Defiance

Slaves in Montgomery

Slaves in Montgomery, Alabama








[JUNE 1, 1861.



THE accompanying plan of the CAMP OF THE UNITED STATES VOLUNTEERS AT CAIRO, ILLINOIS at the Junction of the Ohio and the Mississippi Rivers, will enable our readers to realize the change which has lately taken place in that well known spot. Two camps have been established near the junction of the rivers—Camp Defiance, near the river bank ; and Camp Smith, a short distance further north.

A correspondent writes us concerning Camp Defiance:

The Camp is now in an unfinished condition. Improvements are, however, rapidly going on; and in the course of a week or so it will present a good and comfortable appearance. A line of sentries are posted along the Levee, on the Mississippi side, some twenty miles up the Levee. All boats are stopped, and a strict search made, and all articles destined for the Confederacy are overhauled and "halted." There are four regiments stationed here now, with about thirty or forty pieces of artillery. Six forty-pounders arrived this A.M. Colonel B. M. Prentiss was yesterday elected Brigadier-General, and Is already in command of the camp.

We think that, with the present force, this point can be held against all that can be brought against it. A secessionist has been arrested, and is now in the guardhouse. He was acting the part of spy, and will probably be hung. In haste, yours truly,   C. D. IRVUS.


The Chicago Tribune says :

At the present time fully five thousand men are concentrated in and about Cairo. They are constantly drilled and instructed in the duties of a soldier's life, and have already attained an efficiency which is truly astonishing. On Friday last, General Prentiss had the different regiments drawn up in line for review, and required them to be put through a long series of military evolutions. The manner in which the whole force acquitted itself would have reflected no discredit upon veterans.

In addition to the large body of infantry stationed at this point, there is also a strong and efficient corps posted along the banks of the Ohio and Mississippi, and having, in addition, the mouth of the Ohio under the fire of their guns. Several pieces of very heavy ordnance were lately sent from Pittsburgh, and by this time have been placed in position. The artillery, in point of efficiency, are quite up to the infantry. They are hourly practiced with their guns, and many of them have already become expert marksmen.

General Prentiss, who is in command of the forces, is an officer of much experience, and well qualified for the position he fills. He is a cool, prudent, unostentatious gentleman: not likely to undertake any thing rash, nor to fail in any thing that he does undertake. He commands the full confidence of the troops, and we doubt very much if a better choice could have been made.

The troops are all in good health, and in the best of spirits. The most thorough discipline is cheerfully submitted to. Comfortable quarters are being provided, and each day brings large supplies to minister to their wants and happiness. Out of so large a force, but twenty-three men are reported upon the sick list. Suitable buildings for hospital accommodations have been erected under the superintendence of Dr. Sim, Brigade Surgeon, who, with his assistant, Dr. Haven, also of Chicago, is unremitting in his attention upon the invalids.

The military editor of the Chicago Post tells us :

Cairo can only be attacked in three ways. First, by steam-vessels approaching on the river, which could be sent to the bottom in thirty seconds apiece by the guns now here. This mode of attack, therefore, is the least probable. Second, by batteries from the Kentucky and Missouri shores. The Kentucky shore for some distance from the river is very low and swampy, rendering battery operations difficult. The Missouri shore is different. Batteries could be advanced to the water's edge at Bird's Point, and the camp could be shelled, and rifled cannon would soon cut away the present levee sufficiently to flood the camp and the town. This latter danger is to be provided against by rendering the outer face of the levee proof against shot of all kinds. And it is altogether probable that the rebels would find the erection of batteries under the fire of shot and shells from this point not very agreeable occupation.

The third and only other mode of attack would be to land troops, from the rivers above this point, cut off the railway communication in the rear and besiege the place by land. But all such troops would have to come down the Mississippi or the Ohio, as they could never pass here in their way up, and it is exceedingly improbable that any force, unless aided by traitorous citizens, could succeed in such a movement. Prudential motives, nevertheless, suggest that the means of communication in the rear of Cairo should be guarded with great vigilance, and strict watch should be kept upon all who are known or suspected to be traitors. This is at present and doubtless will continue to be done. The Illinois Central Railway, the only means of transit through the almost impenetrable swamp that environs this place, will be protected from traitors wherever they may reside. With this open, fifty thousand men, if needed, may be thrown into Cairo within twenty-four hours after the place is menaced.




Splendidly Illustrated by John McLenan.

WHY should I pause to ask how much of my shrinking from Provis might be traced to Estella ? Why should I loiter on my road, to compare the state of mind in which I had tried to rid myself of the stain of the prison before meeting her at the coach-office, with the state of mind in which I now reflected on the abyss between Estella in her pride and beauty, and the re-turned transport whom I harbored ? The road would be none the smoother for it ; the end would be none the better for it : he would not be helped, nor I extenuated.

A new fear had been engendered in my mind by his narrative ; or, rather, his narrative had given form and purpose to the fear that was al-ready there. If Compey were alive and should discover his return, I could hardly doubt the consequence. That Compey stood in mortal fear of him, neither of the two could know much better than I; and that any such man as that man had been described to be would hesitate to release himself for good from a dreaded enemy, by the safe means of becoming an informer, was scarcely to be imagined.

Never had I breathed, and never would I breathe—or so I resolved—a word of Estella to Provis. But I said to Herbert that, before I could go abroad, I must see both Estella and Miss Havisham. This was when we were left alone on the night of the day when Provis told us his story. I resolved to go out to Richmond next day, and I went.

On my presenting myself at Mrs. Brandley's, Estella's maid was called to tell me that Estella had gone into the country. Where ? To Satis House, as usual. Not as usual, I said, for she had never yet gone there without me ; when was she coming back? There was an air of reservation in the answer which increased my perplexity, and the answer was that her maid believed she was only coming back at all for a little while. I could make nothing of this, except that it was meant that I should make no-thing of it, and I went home again in complete discomfiture.

Another night-consultation with Herbert after Provis was gone home (I always took him home, and always looked well about me), led us to the conclusion that nothing should be said about going abroad until I came back from Miss Havisham's. In the mean time, Herbert and I were to consider separately what it would be best to say—whether we should devise any pretense of being afraid that he was under suspicious observation; or whether I, who had never yet been abroad, should propose an expedition. We both knew that I had but to propose any thing, and he would consent. We agreed that his remaining many days in his present hazard was not to be thought of.

Next day I had the meanness to feign that I was under a binding promise to go down to Joe; but I was capable of almost any meanness toward Joe or his name. Provis was to be strictly careful while I was gone, and Herbert was to take the charge of him that I had taken, was to be absent only one night, and, on my return, the gratification of his impatience for my starting as a gentleman on a greater scale was to be begun. It occurred to me then, and as I afterward found to Herbert also, that he might be best got away across the water on that pretense—as, to make purchases, or the like.

Having thus cleared the way for my expedition to Miss Havisham's, I set off by the early morning coach before it was yet light, and was

out on the open country-road when the day came creeping on, halting and whimpering and shivering, and wrapped in patches of cloud and rags of mist, like a beggar. When we drove up to the Blue Boar after a drizzly ride, whom should I see come out under the gate-way, tooth-pick in hand, to look at the coach, but Bentley Drummle !

As he pretended not to see me, I pretended not to see him. It was a very lame pretense on both sides ; the lamer, because we both went into the coffee-room, where he had just finished his breakfast and where I ordered mine. It was poisonous to me to see him in the town, for I very well knew why he had come there.

Pretending to read a smeary newspaper long out of date, which had nothing half so legible in its local news as the foreign matter of coffee, pickles, fish sauces, gravy, melted butter, and wine, with which it was sprinkled all over, as if it had taken the measles in a highly irregular form, I sat at my table while he stood before the fire. By degrees it became an enormous injury to me that he stood before the fire, and I got up, determined to have my share of it. I had to put my hand behind his legs for the poker when I went up to the fire-place to stir the fire, but still pretended not to know him.

" Is this a cut ?" said Mr. Drummle.

" Oh !" said I, poker in hand ; " it's you, is it ? How do you do? I was wondering who it was who kept the fire off."

With that I poked tremendously, and having done so, planted myself side by side with Mr. Drummle, my shoulders squared and my back to the fire.

" You have just come down ?" said Mr. Drummle, edging me a little away with his shoulder.

" Yes," said I, edging him a little away with my shoulder.

" Beastly place," said Drummle. " Your part of the country, I think?"

" Yes," I assented. " I am told it's very like Shropshire."

Not in the least like it," said Drummle. Here Mr. Drummle looked at his boots, and I looked at mine ; and then Mr. Drummle looked at my boots, and I looked at his.

"Have you been here long ?" I asked, determined not to yield an inch of the fire.

"Long enough to be tired of it," returned Drummle, pretending to yawn, but equally determined.

" Do you stay here long ?"

"Can't say," answered Mr. Drummle. "Do you ?"

" Can't say," said I.

I felt here, through a tingling in my blood, that if Mr. Drummle's shoulder had claimed another hair's-breadth of room, I should have jerked him into the window ; equally, that if my own shoulder had urged a similar claim, Mr. Drummle would have jerked me into the nearest box. He whistled a little. So did I.

" Large tract of marshes about here, I believe ?" said Drummle.

Yes. What of that ?" said I.

Mr. Drummle looked at me, and then at my boots, and then said, " Oh !" and laughed. " Are you amused, Mr. Drummle ?"

"No," said he, "not particularly. I am going out for a ride in the saddle. I mean to explore those marshes for amusement. Out-of-the-way villages there, they tell me. Curious little public houses—and smithies--and that. Waiter !"

"Yes, Sir."

" Is that horse of mine ready ?"

"Brought round to the door, Sir."

"I say. Look here, you Sir. The lady won't ride to-day ; the weather won't do."

" Very good, Sir."

" And I don't dine, because I'm going to dine at the lady's."

" Very good, Sir."

Then Drummle glanced at me, with an insolent triumph on his great jowled face that cut me to the heart, dull as he was, and so exasperated me that I felt inclined to take him in my arms as the robber in the story-book is said to have taken the old lady, and seat him on the fire.

One thing was manifest to both of us, and that was, that until relief came neither of us could relinquish the fire. There we stood, well squared up before it, shoulder to shoulder, and foot to toot, with our hands behind us, not budging an inch. The horse was visible outside in the drizzle at the door, my breakfast was put on table, Drummle's was cleared away, the weather invited me to begin, I nodded, we both stood our ground.

Have you been to the Grove since ?" said Drummle.

"No," said I, "I had quite enough of the Finches the last time I was there."

" Was that when we had a difference of opinion ?"

" Yes," I replied, very shortly.

" Come, come ! They let you off easily enough," sneered Drummle. " You shouldn't have lost your temper."

"Mr. Drummle," said I, "you are not competent to give advice on that subject. When I lose my temper (not that I admit having done so on that occasion) I don't throw glasses."

" I do," said Drummle.

After glancing at him once or twice in an in-creased state of smouldering ferocity, I said :

"Mr. Drummle, I did not seek this conversation, and I don't think it an agreeable one."

"I am sure it's not," said he, superciliously, over his shoulder ; " I don't think any thing about it."

" And therefore," I went on, "with your leave, I will suggest that we hold no kind of conversation in future."

" Quite my opinion," said Drummle, " and what I should have suggested myself, or done—more likely—without suggesting. But don't lose your temper. Haven't you lost enough without that ?"

"What do you mean, Sir?"

"Waiter!" said Drummle, by way of answering me.

The waiter reappeared.

Look here, you Sir. You quite understand that the young lady don't ride to-day, and that I dine at the young lady's?"

"Quite so, Sir."

When the waiter had felt my fast-cooling tea-pot with the palm of his hand, and had looked imploringly at me, and had gone out, Drummle, careful not to move the shoulder next me, took a cigar from his pocket and bit the end off, but showed no sign of stirring. Choking and boiling as I was, I felt that we could not go a word fur ther without introducing Estella's name, which

could not endure to hear him utter ; and there-fore I looked stonily at the opposite wall, as if there were no one present, and forced myself to silence. How long we might have remained in this ridiculous position it is impossible to say, but for the incursion of three thriving farmers—laid on by the waiter, I am inclined to think—who came into the coffee-room unbuttoning their great-coats and rubbing their hands, and before whom, as they charged at the fire, we were obliged to give way.

I saw him through the window, seizing his horse's mane, and mounting in his blundering brutal manner, and sidling and backing away. I thought he was gone when he came bask, calling for a light for the cigar in his mouth, which he had forgotten. A man in a dust-colored


Camp Defiance
Great Expectations Illustration



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