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Civil War Harper's Weekly, June 29, 1861

This original Civil War Harper's Weekly newspaper features a cover illustration showing the important role women played in the War Effort. It also has a article on the Battle of Great Bethel, and a number of fascinating illustrations.

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

 

Women Volunteers Civil War

Women Volunteers

Civil War Piracy

Evacuation of Harper's Ferry

Martinsburg

Martinsburg, Virginia

Whipping Post

Slave Whipping Post

Vermont Regiment

Vermont Regiment

Camp Slifer

Camp Slifer

Battle of Great Bethel

The Battle of Great Bethel

Duryee's Zouaves

Colonel Duryee's Zouaves at Great Bethel

The Army at Cairo

The Union Army at Cairo, Illinois

Riverboats

Riverboats at Cairo, Illinois

The Army of the Potomac

The Army of the Potomac

The Privateer Savannah

The Privateer Savannah

Negro Cartoon

 
 

 

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

[JUNE 29, 1861.

402

THIRTEEN AND THIRTY-FOUR.

COURAGE, Sons of Freedom ! brightly

Still our Flag floats o'er the brave;

Coward hearts hold honor lightly;

Hold the trust, its fame to save!

Strike for the 34! Country and Home restore! Strike for the old 13! Unite their hearts once more! Hurrah for the old 13!

Tiger for the 34!

Soldiers, up and at their legions

Who our Union would assail,

Brother foes or foreign minions ;

strong must perish—Right prevail!

Stand by the 34! Bear all your fathers bore. Stand by the old 13! proudly midst cannons' roar, Charge for the old 13!

Salute the 34!

Patriots, ours to guard the ramparts

Of our proud inheritance !

Equal hearts—forbearance—true hearts,

Still our rock and sure defense!

Equal the 34! from lake to ocean's shore; Equal the old 13! as thrilled in days of yore! One cause the old 13;

One heart the 34!

Speed the day when pride, ambition, Party fends, intestine strife—All shall yield to the fruition Of a new-born civil life !

Glorious the 34! glorious as ne'er before !

Honored the old 13 ! as in the days of yore

Glorious the old 13! Honored the 34!

God of Truth! in gloomiest hour, When all other bulwarks fail,

Thou wilt be our Strength and Tower, 'Gainst us none can e'er prevail:

Spare us the 34! humbly we Thee implore;

Spare us the old 13! clasped forever more!

God bless the old 13 !

God bless the 34!

NAZARETH, PENNSYLVANIA, June 8, 1861.

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

SATURDAY, JUNE 29, 1861.

A TEST QUESTION FOR MR.
LINCOLN
.

THE capture of the privateer Savannah will test Mr. Lincoln's nerve. Will he have the courage to hang the pirate captain ?

In law the case is clear. The privateer was a pirate craft, and every man on board of her was guilty of piracy. It is impossible to conceive a more obviously piratical act than the seizure of the brig Joseph, which was taken into Georgetown, South Carolina, by part of the crew of the Savannah shortly before her capture. The law declares that the penalty of piracy is death. Will the President suffer the law to take its course, or will he interfere to protect the pirates ?

People are asking each other this question with no little anxiety. Merchants and shipowners, who have come forward nobly in support of the Government, are trembling in apprehension lest Mr. Lincoln should not have the nerve to carry out his policy, and crush piracy in the bud. Foreigners will decide, from Mr. Lincoln's action in this case, whether the President's proclamations are in earnest or mere bug-a-boos.

It is a question of nerve merely. The rebels threaten to retaliate upon Northern men if we hang their pirates. But they are already hanging every Northern man they can find—while we are actually liberating the scoundrels who fire upon our pickets, on condition that they swear allegiance to the United States. What worse can they do?

We incline to the belief that as the United States army advances into Virginia, the rebels will be chary of using the halter in a public way. The more sagacious among them must begin to see that by-and-by the fate of not a few of the secessionist leaders will be in the hands of the United States Government. What that fate would be, if the threatened "retaliation" were attempted, they can readily infer.

We are indebted to the Captain of the State of Georgia, transport, for favors.

We have received TROW'S City Directory, as full as usual; an indispensable work for every counting-house and store. BACHMAN's Birds-eye View of the Seat of the War in the West is an excellent sheet, and gives a very good idea of the relative positions of the rebel and United States forces.

THEODORE WINTHROP.

THE blood of the heroes who fall in this war for liberty and humanity consecrates to the work every man who remains. Our brothers who have marched before us are encamped upon the field; and we, whose turn has not yet come, are but encamped upon our hearth-stones. Yet the red hand that strikes one camp wounds the other. The soldiers fall, but the homes suffer. They suffer, but they do not shrink. They are the nurseries of that patriotism in which this wild conspiracy had no faith. They cheer their children, and send them forth with smiles in their eyes and victory in their hearts. They have counted the cost.

" We wait beneath the furnace blast The pangs of transformation; Not painlessly doth God recast And mould anew the nation."

Such homes, such soldiers, make the terrible armies; for they know what they fight for, and they fight through death to victory. They know how fearful war is; but they know also how holy, and wise, and imperative it may be. And whether after many years and long service they return old men, wounded and weary, or whether they fall in the very opening of the struggle and in the bright flush of their own youth, the same love, and glory, and honor follow them, and their names are sweet and blessed forever.

Such a soldier fell in the action at Great Bethel when Theodore Winthrop, an aid and military secretary of General Butler, sank mortally wounded. What quiet heroism, clear intelligence, steadfast faith, generous hope, thoughtful enthusiasm, tempered by singular coolness, skill, wide experience, and personal bravery, which would as surely have made his name shine in this war as they had already advanced him, are lost with hint to his country, only the friends who knew him very intimately can know. And with them only remain the knowledge and the hallowed memory of the stainless candor, ready humor, shrewd sympathy, heroic reticence, and utter unselfishness which, with his various cultivation and sagacious observation in much travel, made him so charming and beloved a companion. He had the Yankee tact which is never at fault in practical life ; and, with a romantic courage, a deep poetic refinement of nature which inspired him with literary ambition, and made him a lover of art and the friend of artists.

Those who knew hint truly counted among their friends few men so well appointed as he. But, partly from ill health, partly from temperament, a dreamy sadness overhung his life and dispirited his efforts. Glad of his friends' success, and conscious of the kindred impulse, he still wistfully delayed. Of great industry and restless endeavor; he saw success slide by, and seemed to be waiting in melancholy patience the rising of a happier star. It has risen at last, and shines upon his grave.

On the Sunday afternoon after the fall of Sumter he was walking with a friend in the woods upon Staten Island, near his home. No man could have a clearer conception of the significance of that event. An American in the noblest sense, he felt that the time had come in which our liberties could be maintained only in the same way that they were won. "Tomorrow," said his friend, " we shall have a proclamation from the President." " Then tomorrow," he answered, "I shall enlist." He did so. If he had hesitated before there could be no hesitation now. Mother, sisters, brother, farewell! It is God who calls in the voice of my country.

With his brother he marched among the first soldiers from New York in the ranks of the Seventh, dragging a howitzer. The passionate enthusiasm of that departure is best told in his own story of it ; and of all those thousand young men who marched in that April sunset with steady step, amidst a tumult of shouts and sobs and prayers and blessings, to an expected immediate battle, he is the first who has met the death which each one of them heroically awaited.

Writing from Camp Cameron early in May to the same friend, he says : " I wish to enroll myself at once in the police of the nation, and for life, if the nation will take me. I do not see that I can put myself—experience and character—to any more useful use." In this spirit he acted, and such was his evident ability that in a month he was aid and military secretary to General Butler, and held at his disposal a first lieutenancy in the army. The success of his paper in the Atlantic, and his ardor and advance in military life, indicated to his friends that his public career was opening just as he would have it. To him the cause to which he gave himself was that of mankind, and was worth all it might cost.

"Fellow-soldier," he writes again, "what do you think now of the necessity of our trade ? It seems that the world can not do without us. It is shabby that mankind will not keep the peace and be decent. Did you suppose, in the epoch gone by, that your beloved country was civilized? Did you fancy that vi et armis was obsolete ? Ah well ! perhaps—perhaps—we are now assisting at the dying agonies of Bellona."

Again he says : " As to the threatened guerrilla warfare, have no fear of it. The Virginians are not Spaniards or Swiss. They are not united, and they have their slaves always in the rear. Guerrilla warfare is nearly impossible in a country like this. There are no Pyrenees or Alps to defend. Our flankers and skirmishers will take care of all the fellows behind fences. A few burned villages, a dozen guerrillas hung, one scouring skirmish or battle will pacify a whole State. Under the discipline and esprit du corps of a regiment or an array the South may fight ; but they will not have moral conviction enough to risk their separate lives except in assassinations, and those a few sharp examples will terminate. We heard their threats at Annapolis. We heard also the pitiful plaints of the timid who believed the threats. No, if we are patient and well led, we shall do our work without much massacre."

In the same letter he adds, in the most characteristic strain: "I have fun. I get experience. I see much. It pays. Ah yes ! But in these fair days of May I miss my Staten Island. War stirs the pulse ; but it wounds a little all the time."

A few hours before the expedition left Fort Monroe he wrote: "If I do not come back, give my dearest love to all." So, also, by a sad and curious coincidence, the last words of his paper in the unpublished number of the Atlantic—words whose significance no one more fully apprehended than he—are " Good-by, every body!"

The expedition left Fort Monroe and the camps at midnight on Sunday, June 9. Adjutant Schaffner of the Seventh (volunteers) says :

" I made a reconnoissance with Major Winthrop about 12 o'clock in the day, and can testify to his bravery and daring. He was very much exhausted, having wanted for sleep, food, and water, and the day had turned out very hot. We stuck our heads out of some underbrush, and instantly

there was a perfect shower of balls rained upon us, which compelled us to withdraw a few paces. Major Winthrop laid himself behind a tree, saying if he could only sleep for five minutes he would be all right. He remarked, as lie did this, that he was going to see the inside of that intrenchment before he went back to the fortress—his manner being that of cool, ordinary conversation. He continued self-possessed and cool throughout the whole engagement, up to the time when he received his death-wound, which happened by the side of Lieutenant Herringen, Company E, who remained with him, and cared for him until life had fled. He was shot in the side."

Another says :

"The gallantry of Major Winthrop is the subject of universal admiration with both the Federal and the rebel forces. The rebel riflemen in the pits before the Bethel battery state that they several times took deliberate aim at him, as he was all the time conspicuous at the head of the advancing Federal troops, loudly cheering them on to the assault."

Eighty-six years ago, on the day on which these words are written, Joseph Warren fell, " last in the trenches," upon Bunker Hill. He gave gladly his heart's-blood to gain the peace of liberty for his country. Not less gladly fell Theodore Winthrop to secure that holy peace; nor with less honor be his name remembered. Farewell, brave heart! Farewell, manly soul! By such sharp pangs is the nation born again. In blood so costly are her sins washed away !   T

WHAT WILL CONGRESS DO?

THE next question is, What will Congress do? It is very clear what should be done. The amplest authority should be given to the Administration to carry on a vigorous and overwhelming campaign. Either that, or the Slave-conspiracy should be acknowledged.

There has been some feeble talk of what is called compromise. Compromise with what? An incendiary is trying to fire your house in which your family is sleeping, and you have him within range of your rifle. He proposes compromise. If you will let him steal quietly away with his weapons and matches, he will agree for the moment not to kindle your house. No, no. For that reckless and cruel assassin there is but one compromise. You will shoot him as he crouches, or hand him over to justice. In either case his doom is sure.

For this cruel and cowardly rebellion, which began in perjury and robbery and is continued in desperation, there can be, and there will be, no other compromise than absolute surrender, and then the course of justice.

A great nation is peacefully pursuing its career. Under a Constitution of singular wisdom and adaptability to every event, its flag is every where respected; its name is the synonym of power; its people enjoy a general wellbeing unprecedented in history ; its position secludes it from the contagion of other national troubles ; by the quiet operation of its laws it is gradually eliminating the defects of its own system; so that, in the lapse of a few years, every man should be secured in the enjoyment of every right that God gave or society can protect ; when, suddenly, without the pretense that any law or right has been violated, that any injury has been done to the person or the property of the citizens, a large body of people, led by men who, sitting in the seats of lawful authority, have conspired its overthrow, because they have lost the personal control, appear in arms against the Government. They steal its property, its ships, arsenals, mints, hospitals, navy-yards, and forts; they fire upon its flag ; they murder its loyal citizens; they send emissaries to corrupt the opinion of other nations ; they blight the national prosperity; they impoverish the individual citizen; they cover the name of the country with doubt and disgrace; they aim, by overthrowing the Government, to subvert the foundations of all peaceful society; they cruelly destroy private happiness and public peace, and intentionally plunge the land into the bitter, bloody horrors of war, and then, when the nation, springing from its paralysis of consternation and incredulity, rouses itself, obedient to the tremendous impulse which thrills from its Atlantic to its Pacific nerves, startling the whole frame into a majesty of wrath and power, raises its hand to cleave the barbarous, wanton, wicked conspiracy asunder, the leaders, both outside and inside its camp, begin to suggest compromise.

If any word justly stinks in the nostrils of this nation, it is the word Compromise. Because it is a principle of human action, founded in common sense, that we must do what we can, not what we would, it seems to be assumed that we must do nothing at all. The principle of doing what you can is perfectly correct ; and the thing we can do at present is to suppress this rebellion. And that is the thing we ought to do, in simple justice to ourselves and to posterity. For what is there to compromise? Is the obedience of the citizens of the United States to the Government a question of compromise ? The moment the Government treats with traitors it surrenders to treason and subverts itself.

And with what and whom will you compromise ? With the faction that carried the Missouri bargain under the pretense of peace ? Do you say the bargain would have kept the peace if it had not been broken ? But why was it broken ? Because there was no faith on the side which had derived all the advantage from it. And it is precisely that side—which holds, in regard to the Free States of this country, the doctrine of Philip Second toward the Netherlands, No faith with heretics—which now begins to whisper compromise.

The slave oligarchy which contends for the control of this Government against the mass of the free citizens, and which takes up arms to recapture that control when it lawfully loses it, has always carried its point under the mask of compromise. When the Missouri bill was passed, John Quincy Adams, then Secretary of State, sadly conceded that the oligarchy had conquered. William Pinkney wrote exultingly home in the same strain. The oligarchy politely bowed, and called victory compromise.

And they have always done it. Compromise,

in the history of the United States, means in the Slave States victory, and in the Free States surrender. What has been the object of this kind of compromising? To prevent the slave oligarchy from taking up arms to dissolve the Union. But they have done it. They are armed now, and moving. They have spit upon the flag. They have murdered our loyal brothers. They have been the sore spot and canker ever since we were a nation. They have humiliated us abroad. They have disgraced us at home. They now ask us to surrender again. For what? To buy them off from doing the very thing they are engaged in. To allow them to hold the threat of disunion as a permanent terror over the Government.

Is there any man in the country who wants more of this? No. The oligarchy has always threatened rebellion; and under the fear of that threat the nation was well-nigh demoralized. It has always threatened, and now it is acting. Let us settle the question at once and forever. Let its prove the scope of the threat. Let us understand whether the Government of this nation exists by the sufferance of any faction in the country, or whether it is able to crush treason and punish traitors.

ADAMS AND CALHOUN.

IN Josiah Quincy's "Memoir of John Quincy Adams" there is a great deal of most interesting detail of conversations between Calhoun and Adams which have a singular pertinence to this epoch.

One day, during the debate upon the Missouri bill, Mr. Calhoun remarked to Mr. Adams that he did not think the slave question, then pending in Congress, would produce a dissolution of the Union but if it should, the South would, from necessity, be compelled to form an alliance, offensive and defensive, with Great Britain. Mr. Adams asked if that would not be returning to the old colonial state. Calhoun said, " Yes, pretty much; but it would be forced upon them."

Mr. Adams inquired whether he thought if, by the effect of this alliance, the population of the North should be cut off from its natural outlet upon the ocean, it would fall back upon its rocks, bound hand and foot, to starve; or whether it would retain its power of locomotion to move Southward by land.

Mr. Calhoun replied that in the latter event it would be necessary for the South to make their communities all military.

Mr. Adams pressed the conversation no further, but remarked, "If the dissolution of the Union should result from the slave question, it is as obvious as any thing that can be foreseen of futurity that it must shortly afterward be followed by a universal emancipation of the slaves. A more remote, but perhaps not less certain consequence would be the extirpation of the African race on this continent by the gradually bleaching process of intermixture, where the white is already so predominant, and by the destructive process of emancipation, which, like all great religious and political reformations, is terrible in its means, though happy and glorious in its end."

ANOTHER VOICE.

IN a time like this every man who has the opportunity of speaking to the public is recreant if he does not swell the universal and indignant chorus which demands that the costly lives of American citizens shall not be sacrificed to the criminal blunders of imbecile commanders. The Government is no more justified in appointing city politicians and country lawyers to high military commands than it would be in sending lieutenants and captains of the regular army to argue abstruse legal cases before the courts. War is a science. It is not a question of personal bravery, but of strategic skill. It is a science which, like every other, is to be mastered only by devoted study; and lawyers and politicians are no more likely to be adepts in it than chemists or tailors.

Look at the case. Here is a formidable rebellion organized against the Government. It is in the hands of men who have controlled that Government for many years. It establishes, first of all, a military despotism. It silences the press. It seals every opposing mouth. It is encamped upon a vast territory, and has stolen the most valuable military property and advantages from the United States. It appoints to important commands only experienced soldiers. Brigand-General Floyd may call for arms in obscure quarters; but Beauregard and able officers direct the essential movements in critical positions. The conspiracy works silently and secretly and swiftly. Its sole hope of temporary success lies in the bold dash it may make; and instead of confronting it upon the Florida Keys or the remote Gulf shore, the Government of the United States is entrenched before its own capital, disputing its very seat upon the Potomac with the rebels.

That Government, to insure speedily the victory which it must finally achieve, requires only three conditions—and it has them all at command-

First, It wants plenty of money;

Second, Plenty of men ;

Third, Plenty of skilled leaders.

It has all of them, if it chooses. If three hundred thousand men are wanted, they are ready and anxious to march. If more money is wanted, people will be pinched, but it shall be had. And for leaders, there is not a second lieutenant in the army who would not have gone out and hung himself had he commanded at Great Bethel.

It is true that our Government depends upon volunteers. But then volunteers are our array; the army with which we must carry on war ; and war is still a science. If, therefore, the volunteer officers are unacquainted with it, skilled officers must be substituted before the men are allowed to go into action. Otherwise the army is demoralized, and defeated before the battle begins. What man hereafter could do his best under the unfortunate General Pierce ? But hereafter every inexperienced civilian is a General Pierce to his soldiers. A man may be intelligent, energetic, (Next Page)


 

 

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