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Civil War Harper's Weekly, June 15, 1861

This issue of Harper's Weekly has a variety of interesting stories and pictures. The cover has an illustration and story on the death of Colonel Ellsworth. The issue also has a discussion on the problem of fugitive slaves. News describes early events in the Civil War.

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


Ellsworth's Death

Colonel Ellsworth's Death


The Right of Revolution

The Fugitive Slave Question

The Fugitive Slave Question

Rebel Cavalry

Capture of Rebel Cavalry

General Bragg's Camp

General Bragg's Camp

Camp Anderson

Camp Anderson

Santa Rosa Island

Santa Rosa Island

Las Moras

Confederate Troops on the Las Moras

Civil War Camps

Civil War Camps

Rebel Steamboats

Rebel Steamboats

Arlington heights

Arlington Heights

Senator Douglas

Senator Douglas

Newport News

Newport News





JUNE 15, 1861.]




WE publish on the preceding page a picture representing the capture of two high-pressure steamboats by the United States steamers Powhatan and Brooklyn on 7th ult., from a sketch by an officer of the Brooklyn. The author of the sketch writes us as follows concerning them :

OFF PENSACOLA, May 13, 1861.

This sketch represents the capture of two high-pressure steamboats by the United States steamers Brooklyn and Powhatan, on the afternoon-of the 7th. A rigid blockade is now enforced at this point, and no vessels except those in ballast are allowed to enter or leave the harbor. On the afternoon above mentioned the smoke of two steamers was seen in the distance, and thinking they might be armed, or perhaps contain reinforcements or provisions, the Powhatan and Brooklyn immediately went to intercept them. The Powhatan having received orders first, succeeded in getting under way before us, and had captured them before we came up. They proved to be the steamers Dick Keys and Henry Lewis. The Keys tried to give us the slip. She started in toward the harbor under a very high pressure of steam. The gun-boat Oriental fired a shot at her, but she kept on. One of our guns was then brought to bear and a shot fired forward of her bows. This was unheeded; another followed, and this time nearly grazing her stern, she stopped immediately and returned alongside. The Lewis then attempted to do the same thing. She started off, but a shell from a small howitzer on board checked her course. An armed boat's crew and an officer was sent on board of each to take charge. They were then brought near the flagship. After having been overhauled, and no arms or ammunition being found on board, their cargoes consisting only of hay, oats, and flour, consigned to a private house in Pensacola, they were permitted to return to Mobile whence they came.


BORN APRIL 23, 1813. DIED JUNE 3, 1861.

AT twenty feeble, friendless, and almost penniless, seeking bread and a career in the Great West; at twenty-one admitted to the bar ; at twenty-two placed at the head of the profession in his district; at twenty-three a member of the Legislature; at twenty-five unfairly defeated for member of Congress — his only political defeat in his adopted State ; at twenty-seven Secretary of State ; at twenty-eight Judge of the Supreme Court ; at thirty a member of Congress ; at thirty-two chosen to the Senate of the United States—thenceforward the recognized leader of the great Democratic party ; at forty-three a leading candidate for the Presidential nomination ; at forty-six fairly nominated, and losing his election only through that treachery to party which was a portion of the greater treason against the nation ; at forty-seven the one to whom all eyes were turning as the head of the regenerated nation ; at forty-eight dead, with so much done, and so

The guns are made by the Whitworth Ordnance Company of Manchester, are nine feet long, load at the breech, and weigh 1100 pounds. The bore is 3 inches, and the twist such as to turn the ball three times in the gun. The ball is a double cone of iron 9 1/2 inches long, weighs 12 pounds, and has grooves cast in it which fit the twist of the gun. There is no leaden band on it. The charge of powder required to throw it five miles is 21 pounds; for three miles only ten ounces. The barrel is of wrought iron, the breech-screw and breech-cap of steel. The battery of six pieces cost $12,000, including freight, or $2000 for each gun.

When charged, the breech of the gun is closed by the breech-cap, which is screwed on. This cap works in a hoop which swings on a hinge, so as to allow it, when

unscrewed, to move back like a door. The cap is screwed and unscrewed by a handle. When unscrewed, the projectile is pushed in, and behind it is inserted a canister or cartridge shaped to fit the bore. The powder is kept in the cartridge by a wad of lubricating material. After the insertion of the cartridge, and the screwing on of the breech, an ordinary friction fuse is inserted in the vent, made, as stated, in the centre of the breech-cap, and the piece is discharged generally in less than a minute from the time of beginning to load, and that without any attempt to hurry. When the piece is discharged, there is no escape of gases from the breech; and when the cap is unscrewed and swung aside, the end of the tin cartridge case is seized by hand, or by a suitable gripping instrument, and is withdrawn from the gun. The case thus brings away all the fouling deposits, and as the barrel is completely lubricated by the lubricating wad, no sponging nor cleansing by water is required. The shots as they issue cleanse the gun.


WE publish on page 375 a picture of a REBEL ENCAMPMENT IN TEXAS, from a sketch sent us by a gentleman whose secessionist views are beyond question. He writes : After the surrender of San Antonio by General Twiggs, State troops were organized in order to take possession of the forts occupied by the U.S. Army. The above is a true picture of a portion of said State troops encamping on the Las Moras, near Fort Clark, on their way to the upper posts (Hudson, Lancaster, and Davis). The picture ought to speak for itself. We need not remind that the " U. S's" and the " Q. M. D.'s" imply their former owners; and add, furthermore, that no white man in these diggins will be astonished to see the poor Mexicans do all

the "hauling of wood and drawing of water," the Dons being engaged in smoking cigarritos, eating sardines, drinking Pat's "favorite," superintending the killing of a stray pig, etc., etc. A lineal descendant of Montezuma stands sentinel, by order No. 1 : "Put none but true Southerners on guard tonight !"


WE publish on pages 376 and 377 a VIEW OF CAIRO FROM THE CAMP, which will enable our friends throughout the country who have relatives there to realize the spot. The St. Charles Hotel, the large building on the right of the picture, is the head-quarters of General Prentiss. The latest rumor regarding Cairo is that it is to be attacked by Southern troops under the command of General Beauregard. Our picture is from a drawing by Mr. Simplot. In the last number but one of Harper's Weekly we gave a plan and description of the Camp at Cairo.


WE illustrate on pages 376 and 377 the GALLANT CHARGE OF LIEUTENANT TOMPKINS of the Second Cavalry at Fairfax Court House, on the morning of June 1. The Washington Star gives the following account of the affair :

Last night company B of the Second Cavalry, forty-seven privates, under Lieutenant Tompkins and Second Lieutenant Gordon, and three members of the New York Fifth Regiment —Quarter-master Fearing, Assistant Quarter-master Carey, and Adjutant Frank, reconnoitering within 300 yards of Fairfax Court House, by the Winchester road, were fired on by two of a picket of the Virginia troops. They took one of the two a prisoner, and the other escaped though fired at. The cavalry company then charged into the village from the north side, and were fired on from the Union Hotel, formerly kept by James Jackson who killed Colonel Ellsworth. The man firing on them was instantly shot down. The cavalry then charged down through the principal street of the village, and were fired on from many houses and from platoons behind fences. Having passed thus to the end of the village, they wheeled about and instantly charged back, and were then met by two considerable detachments with a field-piece. Turning, they cut through a third detachment in the rear, and left the village, bringing with them five prisoners, and killing throughout the engagement twenty-seven men.

Two of the United States cavalry are missing, two are killed, and Assistant Quarter-master Carey of the New York Fifth Regiment is wounded in the foot. Lieutenant Tompkins had two horses shot under him—the last one falling on his leg, injuring it slightly.

A Herald correspondent thus describes the return of the cavalry :

I was at the head-quarters of General McDowell, on Arlington Heights, when a portion of the Federal cavalry that had the skirmish at Fairfax Court House, eighteen miles west of Alexandria, at two o'clock this morning, rode up with their five prisoners and other trophies. The cavalry company that made the attack consisted of dragoons lately returned from Texas. They have seen years of hard Indian fighting on the frontier, and are reckless, dare-devil fellows, headed by Lieutenants Tompkins and Gordon. They rushed upon the rebels, who had hastily gathered in the only street of the village, upon hearing the report of the guns of the pickets, with terrific yells. The secessionists scattered in all directions before the dragoons could get a fair chance at them. The Federal loss was caused by the firing from the windows of a tavern and the Court House. The bold troopers rode right up to the windows, and discharged their Sharp's rifles and revolvers at their assailants. The Federal cavalry being hailed by a guard, just before entering the village, Lieutenant Tompkins rode up to the rebels and replied, "Cavalry," to the challenge. The sentinel then asking, "What cavalry?" the Lieutenant sung out, "United States cavalry," simultaneously bringing the rebel to the ground by a shot from his revolver.



much more that must have been done had life been prolonged. No statesman at such an early age has left so broad a mark upon our history. He was a born leader. His untiring energy, unfailing dexterity, and indomitable courage would have given him preeminence in any sphere. The youth of sixteen, looking like a boy of twelve, was in his native Green Mountain village the companion and associate of men. The stalwart men of Illinois recognized at first sight their leader and champion in the slight youth, effeminate in look, save for the massive head which crowned the feeble body, who came a stranger among them ; and they never lost an opportunity of heaping upon him every honor in their gift. He grew to the greatness of every occasion. The keen Lawyer became at once the able Judge ; the acute Politician developed with marvelous rapidity into the far-seeing Statesman; the dexterous Partisan became the bold and uncompromising Patriot. When the occasion demanded he sprang to the support of the President whose election was gained by his own defeat. It is too early for us fully to appreciate the loss which the nation has sustained by his untimely death at a moment when a nobler career was opening before him than has been presented to any American since the time of the Father of our Country. Of all these glorious possibilities we can now only say, " They might have been." The portrait which we give—the latest authentic one ever taken—is that by which he himself wished to be remembered by posterity. It presents the man, in his best mood, at the culminating point of his life, before the cares and illness of the last weary months had left their traces upon his noble face.


WE publish herewith an engraving of one of the Whitworth guns which have been presented to our Government by loyal Americans in England. Two of the guns have already arrived. The following description will enable our readers to understand this beautiful piece :

Senator Douglas
Grafton Virginia
Whitworth gun



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