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Civil War Harper's Weekly, May 11, 1861

This Civil War Harper's Weekly has a variety of important stories and pictures. It shows the events unfold as they happened and are reported to eye-witnesses to the events. The paper covers the Battle of Harper's Ferry, one of the early conflicts in the war. It also has important content on the Annapolis Naval Academy and scenes of the destruction of the Norfolk Navy Yard.

 

 

Colonel Ellsworth

Colonel Ellsworth

Virginia Secession

Virginia Secession

Slave and Free States

Halltown, Virginia

Halltown Virginia

Harper's Ferry

The Battle of Harper's Ferry

Annapolis

Annapolis Naval Academy

Annapolis

Annapolis Maryland

Norfolk Navy Yard

The Destruction of the Norfolk Navy-Yard

Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Armory

New York

New York Civil War Scene

St. Louis

Saint Louis Arsenal

Harrisburg Pennsylvania

Harrisburg Pennsylvania

Steamship Boston

Steamship Boston

 

 

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

[MAY 11, 1861.

290

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. 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 page 303.

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

SATURDAY, MAY 11, 1861.

A FEW FIGURES ON SLAVE AND FREE STATES.

AT the time we write it seems likely that the Border Slave States, with the exception of Delaware and Maryland, will make common cause with the rebels against the United States Government. There is much talk about "neutrality" in Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee. In this case " neutrality" means a covert alliance with rebels, and treasonable willingness to supply them with aid and comfort. The Government will regard such "neutrals" as enemies, and will deal with them accordingly. Maryland aspires to a similar position of neutrality ; but geographical necessity will compel the Government to lay hands on her at the outset of the war, and it is therefore not worth while to estimate her among the parties to the conflict. Delaware alone, of the Border Slave States, evinces loyalty to the Union.

The war which has now begun will therefore be waged by the Free States, on one side, against thirteen Slave States on the other, to wit : Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri.

The population of the Free States, by the census of 1860, amounts to 18,950,759; the free population of the thirteen rebellious States to 7,657,395—considerably less than half that of their opponents.

In the Free States every man able to bear arms is at the service of the Government. In the rebellious States a certain number of men are required at home to keep in subjection 3,912,096 slaves. By a law of Louisiana planters are obliged to keep on their plantations a sufficient force of white men to resist a negro insurrection. Custom renders the same practice imperative in the other Slave States. Thus, from the 7,657,395 whites of the rebellious States must be deducted a large body of adult males, who are required at home to defend the women and children from the negroes. It is with the balance only that the Government will have to deal.

In modern warfare, however, success is won not so much by numbers as by money. The longest purse, in the long-run, infallibly wins the day. The comparative wealth of the two sections thus becomes a matter of the highest moment. In the Banks of the States now constituting the Southern Confederacy, there is at present about $20,000,000 in specie : in the Banks of the Border States about $5,000,000 more. With the exception of the Banks of New Orleans, all the Banks of the Gulf States, of North Carolina, and of Virginia, and many of those of Tennessee and Kentucky, are insolvent, have suspended specie payments, and issue notes which are uncurrent except at an enormous discount. In the three cities of New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, the Banks hold about $51,000,000 in specie, and the sub-treasuries and mint about $15,000,000 more. Notes of Western Banks, secured by deposits of Slave State stocks are greatly depreciated. But the currency of Pennsylvania, New York, and New England is at par. It is now well known that the attempt to negotiate $5,000,000 of Confederate Bonds, ten days ago, was a failure, notwithstanding the terrorism exercised by the rebel press. When our Government asked for $8,000,000, $34,000,000 were offered, notwithstanding the opposition of leading newspapers. The Southern Savings Banks contain so little money that the amount is not worth recording in statistical reports : in New England, New York, and Pennsylvania, the working-classes have deposited some $130,000,000 in Savings Banks. The Government of the United States can borrow, without difficulty, and at a moderate rate of interest, a hundred millions a year at New York for two or

three years, if so much be required to suppress the rebellion : the rebel Government can not borrow ten millions at home, or ten cents abroad. If, therefore, money be the sinew of war, as historians assure us, a very brief campaign must settle the question in favor of the North.

Mechanical appliances are as essential in war as men and money. In these the preeminence of the North is unquestionable. The Southern States are a purely agricultural region. Mechanical arts can not thrive side by side with slavery. There is a foundery at Richmond, Virginia, at which arms and munitions of war are manufactured, and there are one or two other small shops in other Southern States where Northern mechanics make a few guns. But, with sparse exceptions, every pistol, rifle, musket, cannon, bayonet, sword, and bowie-knife, and every pound of powder, every box of caps, every cartridge, every shell, every fuse, and every bullet or ball that is used by the Southern troops was made at the North, and can not be replaced at the South. From the hour the United States occupy the Richmond foundery, and blockade the Southern ports, the supply of arms to the rebels will be stopped. Every cartridge burned after that time will be an irretrievable loss. Nor is there any chance that founderies will be established at the South. Slaveholders dare not. The most magnificent pasture lands in America are unfilled because the Southern whites dare not trust their slaves with scythes to mow hay ; much less could they suffer armories and factories to be established where negroes might obtain powder, ball, and edged tools. In the North, on the other hand, the prospect is that every adult male will, in the course of a few weeks, be supplied with the most perfect weapons of modern warfare, and that the highest efforts of mechanical skill and modern engineering talent will be at the service of the Government.

Again, in wars between regions which have both a large coast surface, much depends on the respective tonnage of the belligerents. In this respect the power of the Government is to the power of the rebels as four hundred to one. Where they have a thousand tons the Government has four hundred thousand. All the great steamships and clipper vessels, all the fast yachts, and the bulk of the small steamers and propellers are owned at the North. New York alone can fit out, in thirty days, a fleet sufficient to capture every Southern vessel and blockade every Southern port. Mr. Jefferson Davis committed a sad blunder in organizing a system of privateering. He may tempt half a dozen pirates to seize a few of our merchant ships. But he has certainly secured the ultimate extirpation of Southern vessels from the face of the deep. In six months from this time there will not be a craft afloat that will dare to hail from any port south of the capes of the Delaware.

What, then, can the South hope from this absurd rebellion ?

NO TRUCE WITH TRAITORS.

THERE are idle reports in the papers from time to time that Mr. Pierce, of Concord, or some other noted person, has been invited by Mr. Somebody, of Somewhere, to mediate between the Government and the rebels. When that Secretary Cameron has proposed an armistice of sixty days. Then that Lord Lyons is going to mediate. Why not say at once that Jeff Davis has proposed to the President of the United States that if he will abdicate the rebels will mercifully let him off with perpetual exile from the country ?

The Government of this country was slow, and properly slow, to assert its unquestionable authority by force of arms. It endured more than any Government among civilized men ever endured before. It looked on to see rebels build batteries to batter delve the forts of the people of this country. It looked on patiently while the hospitals, navy-yards, and ships of the people were stolen. It was taunted as craven by its foes—it was almost suspected as incompetent by its friends—and at length, to put friends and foes in the wrong, the first shot from Sumter boomed across the land : its echo was an appeal from the Government to the people whose majesty it represented, and the response was the marvelous unanimity of the vast population of the Free States.

They have taken up their arms—they have kissed wife and child—they have bent under the blessing of parents—and they are not men who will parley or tolerate parleying with traitors. Inclined to peace; obedient to law; patient of injustice while still legal redress is open, they are the last men in the world to take up arms at all; but once armed, they are the very last men in the world to lay them down until every jot and tittle of the dispute has been finally settled.

No truce with traitors is their watchword; but laying down of arms by rebels—total dispersion—surrender of ringleaders, and evidence of future good behavior. No truce with traitors until the last spark of this treason, which has tainted our politics for twenty years and more, is utterly trampled out. No truce with traitors until the American flag floats over every inch of our soil, the unquestioned guarantee to every citizen of every right secured by the Constitution.

Whoever offers to treat with armed rebels is himself no loyal man. This profound and bitter struggle was none of our seeking ; but by all the precious blood that has flowed and shall yet flow, it shall not

 

end until all the wrongs which peaceful and decent citizens of the Free States have patiently and silently endured for years are thoroughly redressed. Because they believed in their Government and meant to right all wrongs by its lawful operation, the sons of the men who fought the Revolution have been spit upon as sneaking Yankee peddlers and cowardly tinkers whose noses might be pulled at pleasure. Believing still in that Government they have marshaled themselves for its maintenance. At last the great north wind is rising that shall purge our air of these sickly Southern vapors. At last, at last, the majesty of that flag shall be vindicated, and all that its bright stars mean shall be read in the regeneration of the nation. Through the blackest night the world rolls on toward morning. No truce with traitors until the spirit of treason is annihilated.

WHAT IS THE ISSUE?

A RECENT number of Once a Week. has a summary of foreign news, and it remarks: "There is a revolution in America, involving impracticable tariffs and a menace of a dearth of cotton."

England has always a magnificent ignorance of America and American affairs, but this is peculiarly dense even for England. It is like the journals of a century ago speaking of the Revolution as a trouble about a tea-tax. But patience, patience; England will presently see that this is a very vital and a very simple struggle. It is only a question of rebellion. There is an effort making to change the government of the United States into a military despotism. If it succeeds, it will be a revolution like one which should change the English system into one of Asiatic absolutism.

The people of the United States last November constitutionally expressed their will. A faction refused to submit. It believed that political sympathy in other parts of the country would negatively if not positively support its resistance. And it formed what it called a Government and took up arms. That moment the passive sympathy it had elsewhere had deserted it, and the rebellion found itself face to face with a vast people armed to maintain the supremacy of the Government they had constitutionally elected. Many of them had been bitterly opposed to the election of the actual administrators of that Government, but in defending their rights those people only maintain their own majesty in the person of a constitutional President.

" Impracticable tariffs" have as much to do with the struggle as they have with Garibaldi's war in Italy. The tariff came as an unfortunate complication before the final aspect of the treason. It has flowered out now into a formidable rebellion. Aaron Burr dreamed, but Jeff Davis acts. His future is success, a halter, or exile. He is Wat Tyler, nothing more; and if Once a Week remembers that episode in English history it can easily understand our struggle. The issue is Government or Anarchy, Mexico or America. And the result will be America.

GENERAL SCOTT.

IN our natural eagerness to have every thing done at once, we have forgotten, during the last two or three weeks, that at the head of the military movement in the country there is one of the most successful and accomplished soldiers of the age. The weight of years seems to bear lightly upon him. His letter to Floyd last autumn, before Floyd was so conspicuous a traitor as he soon afterward became, showed that General Scott's faculties were untouched by time, while his management of matters in Washington before and during the inauguration was certainly masterly. Of course every body must feel that it is to Scott that we owe the safety of the capital to the present moment.

On the day of the great meeting in New York a panic of apprehension fell upon the public mind, and there were doubtless many who expected to rise on Sunday morning to hear that Washington was captured, and probably the President and his Cabinet. The necessity of the rebels striking at once, if they meant to strike at all, was so clear to every mind that it was hard not to believe that a war-cloud was gathering about the capital which would explode before our conductors were prepared.

During those two or three doubtful days General Scott was probably the calmest man in the country, because no one could know so well as he the exact extent of the danger to be seriously apprehended. The last thing that he would have risked was a battle with Jeff Davis before he was fully prepared. Scott has fifty years of illustrious service behind him. He knows, as Shakespeare knew:

"The painful warrior, famoused for fight, After a thousand victories, once foiled, Is from the book of honor rased quite,

And all the rest forgot for which he toiled."

He knows also that the deadly hate which Jeff Davis bears him could have no sweeter satisfaction than in his defeat at the first meeting.

Had Scott, therefore, seriously supposed that there was danger of an overwhelming or even doubtful attack upon Washington before he felt himself strong enough to meet it, he would have advised the destruction of the city and retirement within the lines of the free States of the officers and archives of the Government.

When the story was told that the command of the rebel army had been offered to Scott, it was necessary to forget two things before giving it even an attentive ear. The first was that Scott's glory is that of the flag of the country. To betray it was to damn himself to inexpressible infamy, and no one knew it so well as he. The second was that the ringleader of the rebellion is Jeff Davis.

The result, thus far, has shown how wary the old soldier has been. He has had his eye and hand upon the two chief points, Washington and Cairo. Of course we all want to direct the campaign, but General Scott probably knows almost as much about it as we do.

MAY.

WHILE the land hums with gathering armies the splendor of the spring unfolds itself, and leaves and blossoms and soft sunny airs woo the mind away from the doleful images of war.

This memorable spring has been very late, as if aghast at the terrible preparations that are every where making. The delicate hands that are went at this season to be pushing aside moist dead leaves for yellow violets and the early anemone are cutting bandages and scraping lint, while the tears fall quietly in the sad wonder for whose wounds they are making ready.

Yet while the sweet-breathed spring confines our faith in the tender and beneficent Providence that tills our eyes and ears and hearts with beauty and music, let us not forget that this vast and swift movement of the people proves to us the same kind Providence in another way; for it shows us how faithful we still are to great principles.

The leaders of the rebellion secretly believed that the people of the United States were so thoroughly demoralized that they would accept any yoke rather than risk their lives or the interests of trade in the defense of their own Government. Nor let any man wonder at this monstrous infatuation. The system by which the rebellion has been bred, and under which its leaders have been educated, is one of utter demoralization. It is the most absolute and intolerant of despotisms. It makes one class of men brutally abject, and the other insanely insolent. It is incompatible with Christian civilization. There may be, there doubtless are, shining exceptions, but a system is to be measured by its general influence. The trouble in this county has always proceeded from one section of the country and from one cause. The evil passions which have now culminated in open and desperate rebellion are those which grow and rankly flourish only in an atmosphere of injustice.

The hour is solemn—the immediate future is dim ; but did any spring ever steal over the land so full of the best promise for the world as this ? These budding and blossoming trees are symbols of flowers that shall not fade, of fruit that, shall be immortal, which our children's children shall eat in plenty and peace.

OUR OWN.

HARPER'S WEEKLY has dispatched an artist for the benefit of its friends with Mr. Russell, who is to write letters about the war for the London Times. The correspondent has been in Charleston for some time receiving the hospitalities of that cheerful city. Now the condition of that kind of hospitality is, that you shall say that every thing you see and hear is the most charming thing in the world ; that civilization is unknown except in those delightful regions; and if you eat a dinner, and then say, not what the host thinks, but what you think, of what you observe around you, you are an ungrateful scoundrel— a betrayer of hospitality, a viper warmed in the bosom, and then stinging it.

If Mr. W. H. Russell should happen to write to the London Times that he does not think every thing he sees is the best possible thing, he will be hustled out of the hospitable region. If he were an American he would be hung to the next tree.

The only traveler who, having thoroughly studied Southern life in all its aspects, has then carefully and graphically recorded the results, is Mr. Olmsted. His series of volumes of home travel is among the most valuable in literature. They are even better, because racier and of a wider scope, than Arthur Young's travels in France. If Mr. Russell is not deluded, as Mr. Gregory was when he was here, by the veneer of city society—if he remembers that necessarily every thing unpleasant will be kept out of his sight—and if his natural predilections for a strong monarchical government leave his judgment unwarped, he will be of great service to the cause of civilization and human rights in this crisis by simply describing what he sees and saying what he thinks.

The Mr. Gregory who moves in the British Parliament to recognize the independence of the rebellious citizens of this country, is a young Oxford man who believes fully in the divine rights of kings and the aristocracy, and who, finding the aristocratic clement in our society strongest in the Slave States, sympathizes most with then ; believing that, a successful rebellion would restore a monarchical government to the country. He is quite right. It would do so undoubtedly. For the rebellion is only a huge effort to overthrow a free popular government and erect a military despotism upon its ruins.

Mr. Russell may or may not use this. He may or may not say it. But if he writes to the London Times that the original crack in our political edifice is about being repaired, and the building made permanently rebellion and treason proof, he will be writing history.

A WORD OF RETROSPECTION.

EVENTS pass so rapidly in these eager days that it is hard to recur to the facts of a fortnight ago. But as we are making history so fast we ought to pause a moment and reflect a little upon our judgments as we go.

For instance, there was the letter of the Secretary of State to the Governor of Maryland. It produced an outburst of fury among the marshaling hosts of the Free States. Does he mean to parley with a traitor? was the instinctive question of Tom, Dick, and Harry. Yes, he did : and so would you in the same circumstances. With a burglar's hand upon your throat you would parley, and temporize, and delay all you could.

What were the circumstances? The Capitol of the United States and the persons of the Cabinet were felt every where to be in imminent peril. Virginia on one side and Maryland on the other were in a blaze of rebellion. Communication with the loyal States was cut off. The Government was forty miles and more within the lines of the rebellion. It had summoned the loyal States, but


 

 

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