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Civil War Harper's Weekly, May 4, 1861

This original issue of the Harper's Weekly Civil War newspaper features a variety of intriguing images and stories. Topics include a picture an report on the Attack on Fort Sumter, and the First casualty of the Civil war at the Battle of Baltimore. Also of interest is material on Regiments on the way to war, and the officers at Fort Sumter.

 

   

Charleston

Charleston During the Attack on Ft. Sumter

Early News of the Civil War

Affairs in Baltimore

Virginia Battle Map

Civil War Battle Map of Virginia

News of the Beginning of Hostilities

Massachusetts Volunteers

Massachusetts Volunteers

New York Militia

The New York Militia

Fort Sumter officers

Fort Sumter Officers

Union Square in New York

Union Square in New York City

Seventh Regiment

The Seventh Regiment Soldiers Marching

First Blood

First Blood: The Battle of Baltimore

Governor's Island

Governor's Island

 
 

 

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

[MAY 4, 1861.

274

PUBLISHERS' NOTICE.

THE proprietors of Harper's Weekly beg to inform the public that they have dispatched an artist to the SOUTH, in company with Mr. RUSSELL, the correspondent of the London Times. Another of their special artists is traveling with the SEVENTH REGIMENT ; a third is now in BALTIMORE ; and a fourth is with the Southern Army in VIRGINIA. They are making other important changes in Harper's Weekly, involving considerable expense. The present number contains many MORE PICTURES than any heretofore issued; succeeding numbers will be still richer in illustrations. In addition, the next number of Harper's Weekly will be published on better paper than has ever been used by any newspaper in this country. These improvements, it is believed, will render Harper's Weekly the BEST ILLUSTRATED NEWSPAPER IN THE WORLD.

In consequence of the additional expense which they will involve, the proprietors beg to announce that the price of Harper's Weekly is raised from FIVE to SIX CENTS for single copies. The subscription price remains the same. The advertisement of terms, etc., will be found on the last page.

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

SATURDAY, MAY 4, 1861.

THE WAR.

THE WAR has now begun in earnest. The secession of Virginia, and the attempts of rebels to seize the Arsenal at Harper's Ferry and the Navyyard at Norfolk ; the bombardment of Fort Sumter; the investment of Fort Pickens; the seizure of the Star of the West by a Southern privateer ; the threatened seizure of the Federal Capital by the rebels ; the murder of Massachusetts men in Baltimore, and the refusal of Maryland to permit Northern troops to pass through that city to defend the capital--these facts explain the situation without further comment.

It is not now a question of slavery or anti-slavery. It is not even a question of Union or disunion. The question simply is whether Northern men will fight. Southerners have rebelled and dragged our flag in the dirt, in the belief that, because we won't fight duels or engage in street brawls, therefore we are cowards. The question now is whether or no they are right.

If they are wrong, and if Abraham Lincoln is equal to the position he fills, this war will be over by January, 1862.

At the time we write, after less than a fortnight's notice, nearly 20,000 Northern men have left their homes to defend Washington. In the course of another week as many more will have gone forward from New England, New York, and Pennsylvania. By 15th May, 100,000 Northern men will be in arms for the defense of the capital. By 15th June, this number can be increased, if need be, to 250,000. Any amount of money is at the service of the Government. The whole Northern people are of one mind on the subject; party divisions are obliterated ; twenty millions of people place at the service of the Administration their lives and their money.

With such support, and such resources, if this war be not brought to a speedy close, and the supremacy of the Government forcibly asserted throughout the country, it will be the fault of ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

We do not propose to reecho the censure which the Administration has already incurred at the hands of its friends for its want of energy. We hope that in the future it will be energetic enough to satisfy every body. But Mr. Lincoln must remember that this is no time for trifling. The rebels have appealed to the sword, and by the sword they must be punished.

Baltimore should instantly be seized and occupied. Governor Hicks and Mayor Brown mean very well, no doubt. But it is evident they can not control the blackguards who are known as "Blood-tubs and Plug Uglies," and it is necessary that Baltimore should be held by people who can. Two columns—one from New York and. Philadephia, the other from Harrisburg—should move on Baltimore, and hold it under martial law. In case of resistance, the city should be shelled. The more severe the methods the surer and more humane the regimen. Mr. Lincoln must remember that if we can not hold Baltimore we must evacuate Washington.

Baltimore secured—either as a city or as a ruin—the Government should operate on Virginia, on a base line from Fort Monroe to Washington City. Both shores of the Potomac must be secured; and this done, a column should move on Richmond. Richmond is important, first as the capital of Virginia, and secondly as the greatest depot of arms and flour in the Southern States. The entire rebel force is armed and fed, at this moment, by Richmond.

It should be in the possession of the Government before 1st June.

A similar course should be pursued in the West. St Louis, Missouri, Louisville, Kentucky, and Memphis, Tennessee, should be occupied by Northwestern troops, and the strong points on the river fortified. At least fifty thousand men should be scattered along the shore of the Mississippi, south of St. Louis, with a home reserve of an equal number to fill vacancies after battles. Kentucky and Missouri, we notice, evince a tardy sense of their national obligations. This is very good, as far as it goes. But Kentucky may as well understand at once that she can not occupy an attitude of neutrality in the present contest. If she is not for us, she is against us; and really, in the present temper of the North, people don't seem to care much which way she goes. If she is for us, we expect her riflemen in our ranks. If she is against us, in a few months Ohio will probably be arming 50,000 negroes who will have fled from slavery in Kentucky. It is hard to say which event would be best for the North.

It will probably take the whole summer to consummate these operations. But they can be consummated, if Mr. Lincoln and his advisers have energy enough, by 1st November. And by that time, the North, holding the continent from Richmond, Virginia., to Memphis, Tennessee, will be ready to commence operations against the Gulf rebels.

These should not be begun before November. It would be fatal to send troops South in the summer. A few frigates should cruise all summer in Southern waters to pick up privateers, and compel the Southern rebels to keep their forts fully garrisoned. In case of neglect, landings might be effected on healthy points, and fortifications erected. But the main operations should be deferred till November.

Then, two armies should move—one in transports from New York, the other down the Mississippi. The one should retake every fort, arsenal, custom-house, and post-office in the Southern States on the Atlantic ; the other should move directly on Baton Rouge and New Orleans. With proper energy and suitable commanders, both armies would perform their work by New Year. The work would be sharp, but it could and should be done.

We desire, in conclusion, to present three considerations :

The war has now begun, and the trade of the year is as thoroughly ruined as it can be. We shall do no mischief by prosecuting the war vigorously. By prosecuting it vigorously we shall secure peace and a fair trade next year. By pursuing a lax, half-and-half policy, we shall probably involve the country in a ten years' war. Furthermore, this war, which wise men have foreseen for three or four years, should be settled now, for two reasons : first, because, if it is not, we of the North are stamped cowards beyond redemption ; and, secondly, because we owe it to our children not to bequeath to them a quarrel which we had a fair chance to adjust.

As to slavery. This is a matter which concerns the Southern States exclusively. We of the North have never liked slavery. But the bulk of us have believed that it was not our business to interfere with it where it existed. The Government troops will not march into the Southern States under an Abolition banner. But if the South expect that our gallant volunteers are going to hunt the slaves who may run away as they approach, they labor under a delusion. If they expect that we are going to assist blood-hounds to catch runaway slaves, they are mistaken. Wherever the United States Army goes, local, municipal, and State laws will be superseded by martial law; and the Fugitive Slave Act is not to be found in the Army Regulations. Whatever may be the intentions of the Government, the practical effect of a war in the Southern States, waged by Northern against Southern men, must be to liberate the slaves. This should be well understood.

Lastly, we desire to caution Northern people against the fatal error of underrating Southerners. The Southern States, combined, constitute a powerful nation. Southern men are accustomed to the use of arms. The South is able to raise a great army ; the men will all be found brave, and at least as highly skilled in military tactics as our Northern men ; they have officers fully as able as we can muster. They have as much money as they need for the present. There are twenty-five millions of dollars at least in specie in the Southern States, and in case of need, Southern troops would take pay in bonds or shinplasters, however depreciated. They can raise plenty of corn, pork, and vegetables for their subsistence. They commence the war with a capital of thirty or forty millions of repudiated Northern debts. They are thoroughly persuaded that they are right, and that their cause is the cause of God and of independence. Some Northern people suppose that negro slavery is a source of weakness to the South. This is only conditionally true. A grate, scientifically filled with paper, dry kindling-wood, and good coal, is quite likely to blaze into a flame if a match be applied beneath. But until the match is applied it is as dead as a wet log. Who has asked the Southern slaves to look out for themselves?

The Lounger

THE TALK OF RIGHT OF REVOLUTION.

Do you, then, deny the right of revolution ? reiterate some who have as yet no adequate conception of what is taking place in the country.

No, and again no, you exasperating but possibly honest persons, nobody denies the right of revolution. But do you believe in a revolution without cause? Is it enough that some people think they would prefer a different Government to justify them in trying to dissolve that which already exists ? Do the people of this country owe no duties to each other ? Mr. Wendell Phillips says : "Standing with the principles of '76 behind us, who can deny them the right ?" Why, what are the principles of '76? Simply that when a Government oppresses and refuses redress the oppressed have before God and men a right to seize their arms and redress themselves, eyed at the cost of destroying that Government.

But the principles of '76 are any thing but a resort to revolution until all legal redress fails. Of course the discontented must themselves be the judge when they are oppressed; but if they refuse to take the lawful, peaceful, sanctioned methods of remedy and appeal to battle, they are the deadly foes of all mankind.

If the people of South Carolina or Georgia felt aggrieved by any thing in the lawful and regular operation of our Government, why did they not invite a convention to deliberate upon redress? Does Mr. Phillips forget that James Otis constantly declared that the remedy for the colonies was in the English Constitution, which had been violated? And he did this although all representation was denied to the colonies. But in our case the Constitution prescribes the very form of remedy, and each State had and has nothing to do but follow it. If that appeal had been made and had failed, there would have been a little better excuse for the effort to plunge the land into anarchy, and the orator would have been somewhat more justified in defending the rebellion.

But the great truth is, that under our system revolution must be considered always and utterly unjustifiable; because there is scarcely any conceivable harm which the Government could do which would not be preferable to the consequences of triumphant anarchy. And therefore it is that this insurrection is a rebellion against the people. It is the onset of a skilled and desperate faction, despotic and aristocratic in its very nature, against the peace and the will of the people of the United States.

No ; nobody denies the right of revolution. But a pirate can not plead the principles of '76. A thief can not plead them. A burglar can not point his pistol and accuse us of breaking the peace, if we move to save wife and child and he shoots us. No; when every remedy which the peaceful course of law provides has been exhausted, then, but not till then, may you begin to talk of revolution and the principles of '76. Until then you are the mortal foe of all honest citizens, and, if you are many and dangerous, the continuance of society demands that you be put down at every cost, even that of your extermination.

THE FIRST GREAT VICTORY.

THE great rebellion had counted upon the division of loyal citizens. Jeff Davis supposed that this war was to be fought and finished in the streets of the chief Northern cities. New York he considered his especial and trusty ally ; and the moment his guns opened upon Sumter he believed that his course would triumph at the North.

He fired his shot, and lo! the echo from the North! He kindled the fort; but he lit every loyal heart in the land into a blaze ! He took Sumter-seven thousand men took seventy. And at the same instant the great cause of civilization and Constitutional liberty took twenty millions of heroic hearts, and is this moment marshaling them for battle. The rebellion was sure that the men and money of New York would go for anarchy. But the men and money of New York have responded in tones that will wither the very heart-strings of treason. "Anarchy is no remedy for political disappointment. While you were true to the laws which are vitally essential to the welfare of all, we were true to you; but when you put down the laws, then by the grace of God we will put you down at every cost."

This was the chorus which the city of New York intoned on the 20th of April, and which is ringing through all the loyal States. Jeff Davis and his rebellious crew forgot that the New York merchants were the first to declare non-intercourse with Great Britain in the old revolutionary day, and that their sons were worthy of them. The rebels have made the same mistake at home that they have made abroad. As they believed that England would at once recognize the rebellion in order to secure a supply of cotton, so they supposed that the trade of New York would countenance rebellion to preserve peace. Did they think that a man builds his house upon a volcano that it may be stable? There can be no peace without civil law and order. The first necessity of New York is permanent quiet, and it knows that quiet can be obtained only by the most unflinching reliance upon law.

The rebellion, therefore, deprived of its chief hope, must strike out desperately and at once. If they had known this in Charleston, said a Southerner in the streets of New York when the Seventh Regiment marched to the field, things would not have gone so far. Without money, without ships, without a cause—except that which every pirate has—and with four millions of servile population which knows that the struggle springs indirectly from their condition, what can the rebellion do but plunge forward ferociously, and try to carry by terror a victory which it can not compel by force? Meanwhile the rebels know that, as surely as the

sun rises, the honor of the country's flag will presently be vindicated.

WAR!

THE great triumph of these days is that the American people outside of the rebels are not in the least demoralized, and that they are united in heart and hand in this struggle for the very existence of civil society. The guilt of the leaders of the rebellion is unparalleled in history. For their own selfish and base purpose the hearts of thousands are to be wrung and the blood of thousands more to be poured out like water. Our best and bravest have marched away, with cheerful hearts and smiling faces. They will return to us victors or not at all, for they are heroes. But for the vast blight and desolation which now curses the land there are a few men responsible — a few men directing this colossal treason, by whose side Benedict Arnold shines white as a saint. At this moment—it may be passed when the writing becomes print—the fear is the capture of Washington. By the treason of Virginia, which is the meanest treason of the whole, and the defection of Maryland, our chief point is far within the lines of the enemy and communication well-nigh cut off. The great hope of the rebellion is a sudden blow. If it can fall upon Washington successfully, it will more triumphantly across Maryland, and give battle to the patriots along the Pennsylvania line.

Meanwhile we are to remember that this is War. The rebels have appealed to arms. They seek to smother us in our own blood. Let us all understand, therefore, that war it is to be. Every loyal State should make it death to hold the least commerce with traitors. The coast of the South should be sternly blockaded, and as the rebellious army presses northward, it should be recalled by the destruction of Southern cities. You can not pat with one hand and strike with the other. War they have invoked; war let them have; and God be the judge between us

THE FLAG A SYMBOL.

Nobody openly defends the rebellion, because it is not safe to do so. But if any man secretly sympathizes with it, not from treachery, but from ignorance and thoughtlessness, let him remember this—that the flag of the United States is the symbol of the Government which secures and protects him in all his rights and interests; and when he excuses the crime, he invites anarchy and the universal destruction not only of all property, but of all the guarantees of civil society.

Does any body seriously think that a man is absolved from his allegiance to this Government simply because he says that he is so ? Is a thief, caught in the theft, to plead successfully that he does not acknowledge the law, that he has thrown off his allegiance? Is it unjust or unkind or cruel to defend the flag of our country against every insult and assault ? Is it noble and magnanimous to spring to avenge it when some pirate nation in a remote sea insults it, and base to defend it when the men who have grown and prospered under it more than any nation in the world strike their hands at the flag and their fangs at the peaceful and happy system which it symbolizes?

A man so totally devoid of love of country as such a feeling indicates is a moral monster. He is a lump of inhuman selfishness. He has no more conception of civil society than a Hottentot or a Digger Indian. To him Thermopylae and Marathon and Salamis—to him Naseby and Worcester—to him Lexington and Saratoga and King's Mountain, Lake Erie and Chippewa, are names without music or meaning. The heroic names of history, that shine all along from the beginning to our time, beacons of human hope and progress, are merely names to him and nothing more. He is incapable of that glowing emotion of patriotism which fuses all his thoughts and hopes into one burning passion of loyalty to his native land. And when the cause of that land is the cause of liberty and law and human welfare, such a being is not a man but a fish.

GO, OR KEEP STILL.

IN a struggle so vital as this for the maintenance of law and the fibre of human society, there is no half ground. Every man is a friend or foe. Every man who, by word or deed, sympathizes with rebellion should be marked and watched, not for mischief, but to see that he does no mischief. One enemy within the camp is as bad as fifty outside. And at a time when the best citizens send their husbands, and sons, and brothers, and lovers to the war in which their blood will flow, whoever at home supports the traitors who shed that blood should be made painfully conspicuous, that his power to help the blood-shedders may be paralyzed.

At the same time mob-law of every kind should be sharply and suddenly and hopelessly repressed. It is not a war of vengeance, but of the maintenance of liberty. The calm and regular course of law, essential to human freedom and the equal rights of the citizens, has been withstood; and armed, irresponsible factions and furious men assume to be higher than the law, and wiser than the tried system of eighty years. Since, then, we are engaged in a holy war for rights and liberty and law, it must be our first duty and vow to show how loyal we ourselves are to law. Let every attack upon private property or upon individuals be as sternly discountenanced as treason and traitors. But if any man openly gives aid and comfort to the enemy, he must remember that the Constitution declares just that business to be treason.

There were plenty of men in the old Revolution, when the people of this country established the Government they are now defending and maintaining, who said that they thought the Americans wrong. Such gentry were known as Tories—and as such they are stigmatized in our history. But they went off. They went to Halifax, to the West Indies, to England, or they held their tongues. They were wise men, and those who resemble them


 

 

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