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Civil War Harper's Weekly, May 25, 1861

This edition of Harper's Weekly featured a number of popular images. The issue includes a dramatic picture of the Fire at Willard's Hotel in Washington. The issue also contains news of the opening days of the Civil War. There is a nice picture of loading ships in preparation for war.

(Newspaper Thumbnails will take you to the page of interest. Scroll Down to See Full Page)


Fire Zouaves

The Fire Zouaves

Warning to South

Jeff Davis Cartoon

The Occupation of Baltimore

Civil War Parade

Treasury Building

Troops at the US Treasury Building


Dubuque Iowa

Camp Cameron

Camp Cameron, Georgetown


Loading a Civil War Ship


The Highlanders

Pennsylvania Soldiers

Pennsylvania Soldiers

Steam Gun

Winans Steam Gun

Troops in Capitol

Civil War Troops Housed in Congress

Map Civil War

Civil War Map




MAY 25, 1861.]




WE publish on page 328, from sketches sent us from Fort Pickens, a picture of the SECOND REINFORCEMENT of that work on 16th ult., and herewith a view of the INTERIOR OF THE FORT, showing the troops drawn up to hear the account of the evacuation of Fort Sumter by Major Anderson.

The second reinforcement was thus described by the purser of the Atlantic;

On Tuesday, the 16th, at 6 1/4 p.m., we anchored off Santa Rosa Island (Fort Pickens being on its western extremity), four miles from shore, close by the frigate Sabine, the flag-ship of the squadron, Com. Adams. After communicating with the commander and the naval captains present, we took in tow the boats of the fleet, some twenty in number, and after dark weighed anchor and stood in shore, all lights being extinguished, and came to anchor with-in a mile of Fort Pickens, and in direct range of the guns of Fort M'Rae and the water-batteries, and three-quarters of a mile from the beach, in four fathoms of water. At 9 1/4 the first boat pushed off for the beach, with Colonel Brown and Captain Meigs, who were the first to meet and surprise the intrepid Slemmer and his command. During the embarkation of the troops in the boats the signal from Fort Pickens for an apprehended attack was made by the sending up of rockets. This signal was repeated, and hastened the operations. Captain Vogdes and other officers in the fort were astonished at the rapidity of the reinforcement. Before midnight the majority of officers and soldiers were safely in the fort.

Early in the morning of the 11th the remaining troops were landed, excepting the artillery men of Captain Barry's Company, who remained to land with their horses. At 8 A.M. we again weighed anchor and stood to the eastward, and anchored about 3 1/2 miles from Fort Pickens, and half a mile from the beach. This point was selected as the best place for landing the horses. This difficult work was commenced in the afternoon, continued during the night, and finished on the morning of the 18th.

The Illinois, with reinforcements, arrived at midnight on Friday the 19th, and her troops were landed the next morning.

Seven of the horses were lost—four died on the passage ; one was drowned alongside ; one had his neck broken in the surf, and one died from exhaustion on reaching the shore. The forage and light artillery were landed simultaneously with the horses. On the 18th the landing of the general cargo of heavy and light ordnance, ammunition, provisions, etc., etc., was fairly commenced, and continued, with but partial interruption, until the forenoon of Tuesday 23d, when she was finally discharged, to the great gratification of all concerned.

The position of the Powhatan and Brooklyn was such that their guns could sweep Santa Rosa Island and prevent a landing from the main land, and at the same time shielded the hull of the Atlantic.

Our regular correspondent in the Fort thus writes us concerning the second picture :


On the evening of April 30 the command was drawn up in the manner represented in the engraving, and the first authentic news of Major Anderson's defense was read out to them in the form of an order, which at the same time exhorted us to " emulate the example of our gallant comrades at Sumter." In publishing this order to his command, Colonel Brown instilled, if possible, a new enthusiasm—at least the loud cheering that heralded it was the indication of a feeling that days and nights of toil could not obliterate. Events, since the landing on the 13th of April of the first reinforcement, have succeeded each other too rapidly to give now a connected and detailed account of them. The men have worked hard and cheerfully. No despondency, no feeling like lead creeps over them; no idea that the Government is going to pieces ; and nothing but a steady, firm reliance on the beautiful flag that for years they have fought under sustains them. Sometimes, it is true, the sad feeling creeps over one that there are dear ones at home whose heart-strings are strained at the perhaps-to-be long separation; but then comes the thought that the harder we work the quicker will end this sad struggle between brothers.

The parade-ground is littered up with little shelters made of staves inclined against guns, blankets stretched on poles, sides of pent-houses broken off and held up by sticks. All of these little huts are so small that the men just creep into them, and have not room to sit up. It does look more like a miniature Babel, with the little huts, big guns and mortars, and prancing horses, officers, soldiers, marines, and sailors, citizen carpenters, negroes, camp-women and children; and when the clear bugle rings out at tattoo how suddenly this wild confusion all ceases !

We have been permitted to print the following graphic account of the first reinforcement of Pickens which we illustrated last week:


The immediate cause of the reinforcement was this: You know of that obstinate fellow, Lieutenant Slemmer, who would not be persuaded that he had been posted in this part of Florida by the Government for any other purpose than to preserve to the nation the property committed to his honorable care. This gallant Slemmer, with a handful of men to garrison an extensive fortification, having for some time suspected that the enemy was tampering with his men, intercepted a couple of letters which had been smuggled into Pickens and addressed to a sergeant. The writer offered this man a sum of two thousand dollars, a commission, which would make him the companion of the gentlemen of the South who are in arms; and, as an inducement to the faithful fellows who for so long have held these stone walls against thousands, five hundred dollars were promised for every private who at that price would become a traitor to the United States, The men, true soldiers as they are, remained steadfast to their colors—those glorious Stripes and Stars, that carry the hope of freedom to the oppressed of every land ! The sergeant was forthwith sent a prisoner, to the commander of the naval force lying off the harbor, and by him was transferred to a steam frigate, where he remains in durance. This foul play, bad enough in time of actual war, and unpardonable during a truce, would perhaps have stimulated the naval commander to reinforce the fortress ; and had he decided to do so it would have been a happy idea, for that very day arrived a messenger from Washington, bringing a verbal order making the reinforcement imperative. This messenger had been captured, but had destroyed his dispatches, the contents of which luckily he knew. Well, the order was passed to throw into Pickens all the artillery, soldiers, and marines in the squadron. Ninety artillerymen, and a hundred and ten marines, led by men who never—well, I won't say how they were led, for you know what sort of men your husbands, and brothers, and sons are, and what they will do when the time comes for them to act. Every preparation was made. We awaited night—I say we, for I was one of them. I had no notion of going until an hour or two before our party left the ship. I need not have gone; for the usage of the service required me, the only medical officer of the ship, to remain with the majority of our men, and none but our marines were to go. While I was sitting at the mess-table, leaning on my elbows, and while I looked at the little lieutenant who was to land our party, I unconsciously began repeating the lines, " How sleep the brave who sink to rest." Suddenly I thought of the marines! Poor fellows ! if that ugly Fort M'Crae opens on the boats, or on the men as they stand upon the beach, there will be lots of bloody noses and broken legs, and a cry of " Where's the docther?" Well, I determined to go, if my Captain would let me. So I said to the young hero who was buckling on his revolver as pleasantly as if he were going to make an evening call on his sweet-heart, " George," said I, "how would you like me to keep you company ?" "First rate," said he. "Well," said I, "ask the Captain, and if he consents I'll get ready ; it won't take me long." George saw the Captain, and soon returned, saying, "The Captain says you may go If you want to." It did not occur to me at the time, but it struck me when I was in the boat, that if I got a shot intended for a combatant, Maud might have whistled for a pension, for I had (Next Page)




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