Evacuation of Harper's Ferry


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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, 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 at Cairo, Illinois

The Army of the Potomac

The Army of the Potomac

The Privateer Savannah

The Privateer Savannah

Negro Cartoon



JUNE 29, 1861.]



(Previous Page) prompt, courageous, and of great executive skill. These are excellent gifts, but they can not take the place of scientific knowledge. They must be combined with military science before they can fit a man to be a general or a colonel. Just as the same traits must be united with legal knowledge before a man can be a lawyer.

Of course in such an emergency as this many a civilian will prove to be an able officer. Thank God for it. But don't assume it. A man may have grown gray as Brigadier-General of State militia. The chance is that he can sit safely on his horse at a parade, if the horse has been trained to it. But don't send him into the field with the flower of the youth and heroism of the army at his command until he has shown his ability. Send any regularly trained lieutenant, if the general be not proved. Who does not know that if Greble had been in command our history would not have been darkened by the deplorable day at Great Bethel ?


How many faithful citizens of the United States, intelligent, industrious, honorable, who gladly give their fortunes and lives to the defense of the Government, must be butchered in this war before the Government stops palavering with traitors and hangs them ? They are caught in the act., as at Fairfax Court House. Loyal citizens are shot by them, as at Great Bethel. The progress of the country is paralyzed, and its position among nations put in doubt, and after swearing to be loyal the traitors are allowed to return to their treason, and carry information to make that treason more fatally effective. In the Public Departments it is openly asserted that officers are retained who serve the country which pays them, and which they have sworn to uphold, by giving information to the enemy. In Baltimore and Missouri men are arrested as traitors and allowed to go upon bail, although treason is a capital crime. A privateer is taken and brought into port, and every body knows that the officers and crew will escape. Every infernal art of massacre is employed by the rebels. The citizens among them who are faithful to their country are at the mercy of a barbarous mob. The flower of the youth, and heroism, and patriotism of the country, in the persons of Ellsworth, of Greble, of Winthrop, of the Massachusetts martyrs at Baltimore and elsewhere, and all the heroes from all the States, fall under the murderous hand of the traitors, and still it is only necessary that a rebel should tell a lie, and his life is safe.

Has it occurred to the authorities at Washington who perform this melancholy farce of administering an oath to traitors taken in arms, that a man who would gladly shoot his neighbor because he is a patriot would cheerfully tell a lie to save himself? If Jefferson Davis should ride into Washington some pleasant morning, and say that he was very sorry, and would like to forget and forgive, would he be arrested, tried, and hung, or politely invited to dinner?

The correspondent of the Commercial Advertiser, one of the ablest and most loyal of journals, writes from Washington on the 14th of June : " An agent of Governor Wise, who came to the city two days ago from Richmond, and left for there yesterday by way of Manassas Junction, informs me," etc.

Will this correspondent explain how he justifies himself in not causing the arrest of this agent? The correspondent says in the same letter that Wise employs men to visit the city, and report to him and Davis. " After making themselves fully acquainted with what is going on here, they obtain a pass from the authorities which enables them to pass beyond our pickets and to the Confederate camp."

The story is probably false. And yet is there any thing in the treatment of traitors taken in the act which makes it very improbable ? Since Washington is a camp, why is not martial law proclaimed?


IF there were several enterprising newspapers in Richmond, and every morning they contained detailed accounts of all that had been done the day before and was to be done on the morrow, and the papers were sent to us publicly, as long as the mails would carry them, and privately afterward, we should all feel that we had most valuable allies in Richmond, and that the newspapers, at least, were loyal to the Union, proving it by revealing the movements and plan of the enemy.

It is just as true the other way ; up to the first of June, when the mails stopped, the Northern papers paid agents for collecting news for the rebels, and the Government carefully transmitted it to

them. At the present time Jefferson Davis has his spies and agents in all the Northern cities, and all the facts in regard to the intentions of the Government which any reporter of any paper can discover, is promptly sent to him.

The Government is very properly annoyed by all this, and will doubtless take measures to keep its own secrets. The reporters, on the other hand, are indignant, and sneer at the feeling of the Government. The Tribune says that any gentlemanly reporter who was asked not to convey important intelligence would obey the request. Probably; but the Government can not stop to ask Tom, Dick, and Harry not to telegraph this or that thing, and, besides, there might be such a personage as an ungentlemanly reporter. Does the Tribune suppose, for instance, that his excellency the minister of the United States to Portugal would hesitate to tell what he had discovered whether asked to hold his tongue or not ?

Every great invention has its disadvantages. It is the law of compensation. It is a fine thing to have all the news and more. It is undoubtedly the business of newspapers to furnish the news. But it is also the business of newspapers not to help the enemy; and if one of the sacrifices we must make at this time is giving up the knowledge of what is going to be done for the knowledge of what is done, it is not the severest sacrifice that can be made.




SWEET hangel, whom I met last heve

Hat Mrs. Harthur's 'op,

I 'ope that you will give me leave

A question now to pop.

I mind me 'ow when in the 'all

Your carriage was hannounced,

You hasked me to hadjust your shawl, Hon which with 'aste I pounced.

Then heager to your Ma you ran,

She anxious to be gone, I 'eard 'er call you Mary-Hann, Or helse 'twas Mari-hon.

Now, Mary-Hann's a name I 'ate Has much as Betsy-Jane,

I could not bear to link my fate With such a 'orrid name;

But Mari-hon I like as well
As hany name I know;

Then, hangel, I implore thee tell, Dost spell it with a Ho?

THE ADVANTAGE OF STUTTERING—A young author (we will not mention names) has the lining of his hat completely blackened with ink. The wonder was how the spots could have got there, because authors do not generally carry their inkstands inside their hats, when a wag present, who stuttered (and if he hadn't stuttered, he could not have made the joke) suggested that " probably it might be the result of th'-th'-inking ?"

IT'S JUST LIKE THEIR CONCEIT!— "Women," says a literary Hermit, "might have some reason to be proud of being the more beautiful half of the human race, if the other half wasn't so confoundedly ugly."


FASHIONABLE OBSTRUCTION—The enormous amplitude which female dresses have attained to is productive of peculiar inconvenience to pedestrians in haste, walking through fields and lanes. Owing to the present width of skirts, it takes a little woman five minutes to get through a great gate.

THREE DEGREES OF COMPARISON.—Bet, Better, Best left alone.

Hot weather frequently has the effect of making many good-tempared persons extremely choleric, for which 'due allowance should be made: for is it not natural that a person who has been for hours exposed to a broiling hot sun should evince the strongest desire at the first opportunity to take umbrage?

[From Punch.]

"We feel," says President Jefferson Davis, in his Message to the Secessional Congress, "that our cause is just and holy." Could not the negroes of the Southern States, if they rose against their masters, say just as much, with at least equal justice, for their own insurrection? The less Mr. Davis says about justice and holiness the better, if he does not want to preach a dangerous doctrine, besides being considered a humbug. "Dash holiness, and justice' be blanked!" is the consistent language for Mr. Jefferson Davis. "Might is right; we expect to thrash the Northerners ; and the Institution of Slavery forever!"

A woman may speak as many tongues as she will, but don't let her do it with too long a one of her own.

Mrs. Robinson (the widow of the eminent professor of natural philosophy) invited a gentleman to dinner, who accepted, with the observation, " If I am spared."—" Weel, weel, if ye're dead, I'll no expect ye," replied the widow.

The following anecdote is going the rounds of the French papers. The actors are a lady and a physician, the celebrated Professor Pierry, well known to medical men all over the world. The doctor was recently summoned to the mansion of a duchess, and hastened to obey the call, which was of an immediate nature. He was forthwith introduced to the boudoir of the lady, who, with tears in her eyes, pointed to a hideous little monkey, decked with costly laces, and writhing in great apparent pain, upon an elegant velvet cushion. The doctor, at first hurt and humiliated by the insult offered to him, soon regained his equanimity, and gravely proceeded to fulfill his professional duty. After a momentary examination, the doctor divined the cause of the animal's distress; then, noticing a child of the duchess crawling upon the floor, he took it up, felt its poise, and coolly said to the lady, " Madame, your two sons are laboring under indigestion. Give them tea to drink, and restrict them for a few days to a simple diet. No other prescription is necessary." And, making a polite bow to the duchess, Pierry departed, leaving the duchess in a state of stupefied amazement and rage, easy to imagine, but utterly impossible to describe.



THE rebels have evacuated Harper's Ferry. They burned down the bridge across the Potomac, about a mile above the Ferry, and the bridges crossing at Martinsburg and Sheppardstown were also set on fire. The Government buildings were in conflagration at last accounts, the machinery having been removed into the interior a few days ago. All the batteries and troops have been withdrawn from the Maryland side. Fearing a sudden attack the rebels threw eight car loads of provisions into the river. The garrison, to the number of between ten and twelve thousand, marched to Leesburg and Winchester, thus indicating that their destination is probably Manassas Junction, where, no doubt, a grand stand will be made. The Ferry is now occupied by United States troops. General Patterson's division and Colonel Stone's command are both at or near it.


Latest advices from Fort Monroe state that the rebels are landing in considerable force at a point some seven miles above Newport News, on the same side of the river, and an attack from that quarter is looked for daily. A skirmish is reported as having taken place on Sunday morning, between three companies sent out from Newport News to capture some cattle belonging to the rebels. The men were fired upon by a company of Virginia light horse, and three of them were wounded, but they succeeded, nevertheless, in the undertaking, and brought the cattle to camp. The most important item of intelligence, however, is in reference to the experiment with Sawyer's American rifled cannon, mounted at the Rip Raps. The trial of this tremendous engine of destruction was attended with the most complete success, and must have slightly astonished the rebels at Sewall's Point, which was found to be clearly within range. Several shells were thrown within a short distance of the rebel camp there, and one of them exploded immediately over their intrenchments. There has been no further fighting at or near Great Bethel.


Fortress Monroe and its vicinity continue to be strengthened by the arrival of additional troops. Fifteen additional regiments are expected there, among which are an efficient corps of artillery from Fort McHenry, and a regiment of mounted riflemen, whose services will be found highly valuable to act against the Virginia light cavalry. When these regiments arrive at the fortress the lines will be extended several miles farther from that point.


Governor Jackson, of Missouri, last week issued a proclamation which fully exhibits his desire to precipitate that State into secession, if any doubts of that fact had previously existed. After reciting various facts of the Federal authorities nullifying the legislation of the State, such as taking State troop, prisoners, and putting an embargo on Southern commerce, and reciting the agreement between General Harney and ex-Governor Sterling Price, with the subsequent removal of Harney, and his own recent interview with General Lyon, etc., Governor Jackson calls for 50,000 men, to be enrolled as State troops, to repel the invasion of their soil by the United States troops, and drive them out of the State. He admits that Missouri is still a member of the United States, and that it is not for him to disturb that relation; that a Convention would, at the proper time, express the sovereign will of the people in relation to it; that in the mean time it was the duty of the people to obey the constitutional requirements of the United States Government; but he advises them that their first allegiance is due to the State.


After assuming this proclamation Governor Jackson and staff, together with all the disunionist troops, left Jefferson City, it is supposed for Boonesville or some point in that locality, burning two railroad bridges behind them.

At last accounts the Governor was still on the run, with no certainty where he would end his race, particularly as a few Federal troops were close at his heels. When the Governor left St. Louis he gave his word of honor to the President of the Pacific Railroad that the property of the road should not be harmed; but before he had been twelve hours gone he ordered the Gasconade and Osage bridges burned, thus destroying the usefulness of the road and giving a severe blow to the trade of St. Louis.


The Federal troops, under General Lyon, in Missouri, meanwhile, moved toward the western part of that State. Several companies took up positions along the line of the Pacific Railroad. General Lyon and staff, with 1500 men, two sections of light artillery, horses and camp equipage, apparently intended for a long march, left St. Louis in a steamboat and occupied Jefferson City.


A strange and unfortunate affair occurred at St. Louis on 17th. A regiment of troops was passing through the city, when one company suddenly fired at the windows of a court-room, killing four men and wounding two others. The cause of the firing is not clear. One account says that a shot was fired from the court-room upon the troops, but the truth is not known.


Another of those brilliant skirmishes which have marked the progress of the war so far has just taken place at Romney, a village twenty-two miles from Chambersburg. Colonel Lewis Wallace, with a portion of the Eleventh Indiana Regiment, left Cumberland for Romney on Tuesday, where some portion of the rebel forces were known to be posted. He surprised a body of 500 men, and after a hot fight routed them, killing two, wounding one, and taking several prisoners, together with a quantity of excellent camp equipage, provisions, and medical stores.


The unconditional Union majority in Maryland over the peace party, the neutrality faction, the State rights supporters, the secessionists, the rebels, rowdies, and rioters, all combined, will exceed fifty thousand, or nearly five to one.


Important action was taken on 17th in the Wheeling Convention. The declaration recently presented by Mr. Dorsey, providing for the establishment of a Provisional Government, and, of course, deposing the traitors at Richmond, and their abettors, filling the offices throughout the State, was passed to a third reading, and adopted by a unanimous vote. An ordinance was also reported by Mr. Carlisle, from the Committee on Business, which provides for a reorganization of the Financial Bureau of the State.


On 20th the special election for ten members of Congress will be held in Kentucky. The anti-secessionists are confident that at least nine good and true Union men will be

chosen, and are hopeful that the entire delegation will be supporters of the stars and stripes.


A convention of delegates from the different banks of the seceded States met at Atlanta, Georgia, on the 3d inst. Resolutions were adopted recommending the banks to receive and pay out the bogus confederacy treasury notes; recommending all the railroad companies to do the same; advising the Legislatures of the different States to enact laws authorizing tax collectors to receive said notes, and recommending " all States, cities, and corporations, having coupons payable in the city of New York or elsewhere in the enemy's country," to appoint some place of payment in the Confederate States. The Convention will meet again in Richmond, on the 24th of July.


Col. Kelly, who led the brilliant attack at Philippi, in Western Virginia, a few days ago, is improving rapidly, and in a few weeks hopes to be able to take command of his troop again.

Col. Anderson is to be appointed a Brigadier-General. A great Union meeting was held in Dover, Del., last week, over which Chancellor Harrington presided. A resolution was unanimously adopted calling on Senator Bayard to resign.

Andrew T. M'Reynolds is to command Carl Schurz's regiment. He served with honor in the Mexican War, being a captain in the 3d Dragoons, the body-guard of Scott.

Gen. Beauregard has issued a characteristic proclamation to the people of Manassas. Like all the rebel crew, his strong point is lying. He lies about the National troops, lies about their actions, lies about their motives, and crowns the whole by charging the monstrous falsehood that their war-cry is Beauty and Booty.

O. H. Browning has been appointed to fill the vacancy in the Illinois Senatorial Delegation caused by the death of Mr. Douglas.

Captain Tyler of the Second Dragoons, Lieutenants Rundell, Andrew Jackson, Patterson, Rice, and Campbell have been stricken from the Army rolls for misconduct.

It is said that Mr. Burlingame will be sent as Minister to China, and Mr. Winter Davis probably to Austria. Captain Ball and his secession cavalry, captured at Alexdria three weeks ago, were for some time confined at the Washington Navy-yard, and then released on their taking the oath of allegiance. When they returned to Virginia they were at once ordered to leave the State.

It is said that Governor Sprague, of Rhode Island, is to be offered a Major-Generalship.

It is stated that Senator Douglas died entirely destitute, and an appeal has been made by some prominent citizens of Chicago to raise sufficient funds to secure a suitable home for his widow and children.



IN the House of Commons, on the 3d of June, Mr. W. E. Forster asked the Secretary for Foreign Affairs whether her Majesty's Government would exercise the discretion which by the law of nations they possess, to prevent privateers sailing under the as yet unrecognized flag of the so-called Southern Confederacy from bringing their prizes into any port of Her Majesty's dominions. He added that he did not ask this question with regard to privateers sailing under the flag of the United States, simply because he had no expectation that any letters of marque would be issued by the United States Government.

LORD JOHN RUSSELL : My answer must be rather wider in extent than the question which has been put to me. The whole natter has been considered by Her Majesty's Government, and it has been determined, after consulting the law officers of the Crown, that orders should be given to interdict the ships of war and privateers of both parties from entering the ports and harbors of the United Kingdom, or of the colonies or dependencies of Her Majesty, with prizes. In order to make the matter more clear the House will perhaps allow me to read an extract from the dispatch which has been sent to the India Office and to the Governors of the colonies:

"Her Majesty's Government are, as you are aware, desirous of observing the strictest neutrality in the contest between the United States and the so-styled Confederate States of North America. With the view more thoroughly to carry out that principle, we propose to interdict the armed ships, and also the privateers, of both parties from carrying prizes made by them into tine ports, harbors, roadsteads, or waters of the United Kingdom or any of her Majesty's colonies or possessions abroad."

[Hear, hear.] The orders went out to the colonies on Saturday last, and they have gone to India to-day. I may also state that we have during the past week been in communication with the French Government upon this subject. I stated to the French Embassador the view taken by her Majesty's Government, and asked him what course the Government of France intended to pursue with regard to this subject. The French Embassador has informed me that the French Government propose to act in conformity with the existing law of France. That existing law is founded upon an ordinance passed in the year 1681; and the rule is that in case of a war in which France is neutral no privateers are allowed to bring their prizes into the ports or harbors of France or its dependencies for a longer period than twenty-four hours. They are not allowed to sell the cargoes, or in any way to dispose of the prized which they have taken; and after the twenty-four hours have expired they are obliged to leave the port. Therefore the course pursued by France is not very different from that which we intend to adopt.


In the House of Commons, on this 3d of June,

SIR J. PAKINGTON said,-I see that it is stated in the newspapers of to-day that the Government of the United States have expressed their intention to recognize the declaration of Paris of 1856. I wish to ask the noble lord at the head of the Foreign Office whether her Majesty's Government have received any such intimation from the Government of the United States; and, if to, what effect that will have upon the policy which her Majesty's Government have announced that it is their intention to pursue with regard to the belligerent rights of the Southern States?

LORD J. RUSSEL,—The only answer which I can give to the right honorable gentleman is that propositions have been sent to America founded upon the declaration of Paris. Those propositions were made in concert with the French Government, and are restricted in concert with that Government. We have not as yet received any answer to those propositions. They have been gone, I should think, a fortnight, and I expect soon to receive some reply to then). Until that answer is received, I can not pledge the Government as to the course which they will pursue.


The screw steamship Canadian, belonging to the Montreal Steamship Company, running between Liverpool and Quebec, on the 4th inst., while outward-bound, run upon a field of sunken ice, eight miles south of Belle Isle, and sunk in about half an hour, causing the loss of from twenty to thirty lives. There were about two hundred people on board, including the crew, and one hundred and eighty were saved in boats, and have arrived at St. Johns, Newfoundland. Although the vessel was divided into three compartments, she struck the ice in such a manner as to open them all. She was a fine new steamer, 2000 tons register, built at Greenock, Scotland, in 1860, of iron.



The death of the minister who, in the space of nine years, has carried the prostrate monarchy of Piedmont to the rank of a first-class European power, is one of those events which, even in the pressure of our own critical circumstances, commands us to pause and pay our tribute of respect. Count Cavour died at Turin on the 6th instant, of congestion of the brain, arising from intense occupation, want of bodily exercise, and either too strong an appetite or else excessive indulgence in the pleasures of his well-appointed table. He had been bled six times before his death.


Civil War Cartoon



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