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Civil War Harper's Weekly, May 18, 1861

This edition of Harper's Weekly has a number of important stories and illustrations. Of particular note are the full page illustrations of Union Soldiers and Wilson's Fighting Brigade. These are nice examples of period uniforms and equipment. There is also a nice Full page illustration of some Confederate Soldiers under the Rebel Flag.

(Scroll down to see entire page, Newspaper Thumbnails will take you to the page of interest)


The lady Davis

The Washington Arsenal

Editorial on Jeff Davis

Virginia Joins Civil War

Virginia Joins the Civil War

Union Soldiers

Union Soldiers

Civil War Riot

Civil War Riot

War Ship Brooklyn

Warship Brooklyn


The Virginian

Ohio Soldiers

Ohio Soldiers

Wilson's fighting Brigade

Wilson's Fighting Brigade

Rebel Soldiers

Confederate Soldiers

Ft. Pickens

Reinforcement of Fort Pickens

Cotton on a Riverboat

The Long Bridge Over the Potomac

Treasury Grounds



MAY 18, 1861.]




WE publish herewith a view of the BATTERY AT CHARLESTON DURING THE BOMBARDMENT OF SUMTER, and a picture of the famous RIFLED GUN which is said to have done so much injury to Fort Sumter on that occasion. On page 301 we also give a picture of the " LADY DAVIS," the first regular man-of-war of the Southern Confederacy. She is a little steamer, armed with two boat howitzers, and does not look as though she would capture the Brooklyn or the Niagara. All these pictures are from sketches sent us from Charleston by our special artist, now traveling with Mr. Russell, the correspondent of the London Times. Of the scene on the Battery, the Herald Charleston correspondent wrote :

" In one of the windows Governor Pickens, a portion of his council and staff, maintained their position during the day, availing themselves of a very powerful telescope, which carried them, as it were, into the very midst of the fight. General Beauregard, the Commander-in-chief, remained at his head-quarters in the city."

The rifled cannon was sent from Europe by a South Carolinian now residing there. It bears the inscription: " Presented to the Sovereign State of South Carolina by one of her sons residing abroad, in commemoration of 20th December, 1860." This was the gun a ball from which knocked down the flag-staff at Fort Sumter. It was then at the iron battery ; now it is on Morris Island, and commands the ship-channel. In the foreground will be seen a couple of the balls. The point is of iron, but the base a softer metal, which expands and fills the grooves in the piece when discharged. General Beauregard has seen the sketch from which our picture is made, and pronounces it extremely accurate.


WE illustrate herewith a singular occurrence which is said to have taken place at Richmond, Virginia, on the passage of the Secession Ordinance. A telegram to the New York Times states that the people celebrated the passage of the ordinance by placing a negro astride of the celebrated statue of Washington, by Houdon, which stands in the capitol at Richmond. Richmond, it will be remembered, is the only place in the United States where the Prince of Wales was treated with discourtesy.


ON page 308 we publish a picture of the uniforms of COL. ELLSWORTH'S FIRE ZOUAVES, now stationed in Washington.

 This gallant regiment has been entirely recruited from the ranks of the New York firemen ; it is officered by Colonel Ellsworth of Chicago, whose portrait we gave last week. They are armed with Sharpe's rifles, and bowie-knives which may be used as bayonets at the end of the rifles ; many of them carry revolvers besides. When they left New York, they were presented with a stand of colors by the Fire Department, on whose behalf Mr. Wickham thus addressed them :

"COLONEL ELLSWORTH,—The Board of Representatives of the New York Fire Department of this city have caused to be prepared this stand of colors to present to your regiment, composed of the firemen of New York and our associates.

 As President of the Fire Department, I now perform that duty. Take them, place them in the midst of your gallant band, and wherever the fight is the thickest and the bullets fly the fastest let these banners be borne, and may you and your comrades, in the hour of trial and battle, remember the proud motto emblazoned upon them : The Star Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave.'

" Let this be your war-cry as you rush to the onset. Let it nerve your arms and fire your ranks. Wave it in triumph only ; and do you bring it back, Sir, though it be tattered and torn in the fight.

" Old associates, remember, on every battlefield and in every trial, that the thousands here around you have placed in your hands a mighty charge. Go forth from this hour, and swear by that flag to live, for that flag to die."

Mrs. John Jacob Astor, Jun., also presented a stand of colors, with the following letter:

"COLONEL ELLSWORTH : Sir,—I have the honor of presenting the accompanying colors to the First Regiment New York Zouaves. In delivering the ensign of our nation into the charge of the brave men under your command, I am happy in the confidence that I intrust it to men whose hands are moved by a generous patriotism to defend it, and whose hearts feel now more deeply than they have ever done that the honor of their country's flag is sacred and precious to them as their own.

"Accustomed as we are to think of them in the discharge of their ordinary duties with grateful sympathy and a well-founded pride, these feelings grow stronger the solemn moment when they are going from us to engage in a new and still more perilous service. I pray, Sir, that Heaven's gracious protection may be over you and over these, to preserve and bring you back in safety those whose hearts will follow you each day with prayer, and with a hopeful expectation of being gladdened through your success.

"Believe me yours, with much respect and true regard,   AUGUSTA ASTOR."

Colonel Ellsworth made a suitable reply.


ON page 309 will be found a group of WILSON'S FIGHTING ZOUAVES. We gave a portrait and sketch of Colonel Wilson in our last number. This regiment has been recruited from the roughs and b'hoys of New York city. Their uniform is a gray shirt, gray pants, brown felt hat, belt, and brogans: their arms are the Minie rifle, a bowie-knife, and in many cases a revolver. The Herald thus described the ceremony of swearing them in :

" All the men being ranged against the walls, Colonel Wilson, with a drawn sabre in one hand and the American flag in the other, stood forth uncovered, and addressed his men amidst deafening cheers.

" After a short adjuration to the flag, for which he declared his devotion, he called upon all to kneel and swear with him. Waving the banner and flourishing his sabre, he knelt on one knee. All present knelt with him and repeated the oath which he put to them to support the flag, and never flinch from its path through blood or death. He said he would lead them to Baltimore, and they would march through it or die; at which they all arose with a tremendous yell, flung up their hats and brandished their glittering knives amidst prolonged and frantic cheers. He then denounced death to the Baltimore traitor secessionists and Plug Uglies, and said they would leave a monument of their bones in the streets of Baltimore. Amidst yells of 'Death to the Plug Uglies,' he illustrated with his sword how they should hew their way, and said though he should be the first man slain, he had but one thing to ask, which was that each of his followers should secure his man and avenge his blood. That they would do this, he again called upon them to swear, and marching around the hall, holding up the flag and the sword, and accompanied by two officers, the one on his right bearing a banner inscribed;


The other officer on his left holding up in both hands a bowie-knife and revolver, Wilson shouted to them to swear, and they responded with shouts of 'Blood !' ' blood ' blood !' ' We swear,' etc.

" The band then struck in with the ' Star Spangled Banner,' which they all sang in chorus, as well as also 'Dixies Land.' "




Richmond Riot
Civil War Cannon



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