Troops in the US Treasury Building


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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 below will take you to a specific 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.





(Previous Page) permission to accompany the men, but no orders to do so. Well, we were all ready. It was the night of the 12th of April. George, with cutlass and pistol—I, with tourniquets, bandages, and lint, and all necessaries stowed in my pockets. At my side hung my tremendous sabre. " Boat ready, Sir." " Very good." "Here, Purser, take this letter, and if I don't return give it to my wife. I've a month's pay due, have not I?" " All right, Doctor." Every one was in the boat. I could hear the hum of the men's voices as I stepped over the ship's side: but the night was too dark for me to see. "Look out, Docther!" said Private Walsh's voice—"look out, Sir, as ye come down, for the last batten's not there, Sir." " All right," said I; "I hope your bayonets are not fixed men, for I'm going to drop among you." " Niver a bagnet, Sir. Dhrap an me, Docther, I'm the fleshiest." "Who are you?" " Big Walsh, Sir." "Here goes," said I, and fell, partly on Walsh, partly on Corporal Murphy, the full weight of my body being received by a pile of knapsacks and the barrel of a musket, which got between my legs. " Och! bud they're cruel sharp, yer bones is, Sir! They're nigh as sharp as is bagnets, Sir. It's the bones you sets on I manes, Sir," said Carey. "By the powers!" said he—he had been feeling around my coat-tails—"I axes yere pardon, Sir ; it's niver yere bones at all, Sir, but wan of thim sharp docther's things ye've in ye're pockets—bad 'cess to the same!" " Don't say that, my man," said I, " for who knows but it will save your life before morning?" " Thar now, Pandrig," said he; "thrue fur ye. Does it be hurtin' much when it's an, Docther?" I could not reply, for the muzzle of a musket was poked in my eye. " Kape yere musket off the Docther's face, will ye now, Brennan?" said Carey. "Who knows bud it'll go aff, and we

may be wantin' his brains before we're done wid him?" " Sure there's niver no cap an it," said Brennan. "Kape it aff his face, I tell ye; I've knowed muskits to go aff, an' niver no cap near 'em," said Carey. " Where shall I spit," said I, "in all this crowd?" for I was chewing the weed, as is my wont. "Spit ony wheres, Docther dear; sure we'll not be mindin' it from you, av ye spit an uz —here, Sir, spit down Jerry Brennan's muskit, Sir ; 'twas him shoved it in yere face for that same, Sir." Well, I used Brennan's musket-barrel, though it was by no means convenient.

We had shoved off, and were struggling hard against the tide to reach the steam-frigate which was to tow us in. At length we reached her, and I seized the man-ropes to climb her steep sides: "Sure and that's a cruel climb, Docther, and you wid yere sthiff ould legs." " Watch 'till she rises," said the coxswain ; " now's your time, Sir." I hauled my rheumatic limbs painfully up, trusting to my hands, and reached the deck. Here artillery-men and marines were assembled; and on deck I left them to go below, where cigars, coffee, and chat awaited me, and in which I indulged until the steamer came to anchor, and I was summoned to repair to another and smaller steam-vessel which was to tow us in farther. It was two o'clock in the morning as we got aboard the small steamer, and ran in toward the shore of Santa Rosa. The first detachment of boats must have landed its party under cover of the obscurity; for the young moon had long since gone down, leaving the sentinel stars to give us a faint light. On we steamed, and by-and-by came to and dropped anchor at least two miles from Fort Pickens. " Come, men, bear a hand—no time to lose !" said my Captain ; and down the steamer's side tumbled the men into the boats. A

senior surgeon and I jumped into the Captain's gig, into which he followed, and away we went—two long miles tc pull against a tideway. "Lively stroke, lads, give way !" The oars bent, and every blade shone as it flashed through the phosphorescent water. On, on, on! How long those miles seemed! We conversed gravely, occasionally looking aft to see whether the boats were keeping way with us. We conversed gravely, for I suppose we were all speculating on what might be the manner of our return. I take no shame to myself in confessing that I did not hold a very cheerful view of the expedition. The first detachment of boats was returning as we started. Night had favored them, while we—! "Rather bright to the east-ward," said I. "Yes," said the Captain, "we'll have morning on us directly; strike out men!" Morning, thought I, and we not more than half way! The men pulled like good fellows, we keeping near the shore to avoid the strength of the current. Near, yet just without easy rifle range; for the chaparral afforded excellent cover for riflemen. It was so light now that I could see my hands, and morning was coming on more rapidly than I ever knew it to break before. " Give way, lads !—whose oar is that out of water?" " Smith's, Sir ; he's a haulin' off his pea-jacket, Sir." "Give way!" The Captain had been searching with his glass for the fort. At length he said, "Ah, there it is!" An opaline light by this time pervaded the eastern sky, revealing our boats to any watchful eye. I was gazing into the distance to catch a glimpse of the fort. I soon made out its dark outline, and almost at the same moment I, Bob Harding, saw another sight, which to me was of particular interest. It was the white mass of the hostile Fort M'Rae, on the side of the harbor opposite to Pickens, and, like Pickens, commanding the

entrance. That white mass of masonry, dotted regularly with dark embrasures, occupied my attention exceedingly as our boats pulled right for it; for our Captain had, it seems, determined to land in front of Pickens, on a beach that M'Rae might have swept with a storm of shot and shell. It was quite light enough by this time for the enemy to distinguish every boat, nay, every man. "Give way!" As we rounded a sandy point right under the hostile guns I kept my eyes fixed on four embrasures in M'Rea. By Jove! how big and black they seemed! I watched them; for I felt assured that before we should have pulled much farther one or more sheets of red flame would burst forth, and then those who lived would be swimming for it. No one spoke. Bright, brighter, grew the east. The oars buckled and the waters hissed as we dashed toward the beach. Soon the boats found bottom. Out jumped the men and marines ; and we officers, mounted on the shoulders of some of the boat's crew, landed, the surf overtaking and wetting us all. The men drew up on the beach. Surely, thought I, now M'Rae will open upon us. Now's their chance. We started to lead the men across the sand to the sally-port of the fortress. Bang! "Who fired that musket?" said the Captain, at whose side I stood. "It's the ould Docther, Sir," said Private Brennan; " he's filled my muskit wid tebacky ends, an' I'm afther emptyin' it, Sir. Och! bud he's a powerful man wid the tebacky, ony way." "Keep silence there!" said the Captain. "Come on, men! Here you are! Tumble in! Sailor men, back to the boats!" Into the fort went the marines, led by my friend the Surgeon, while the Captain and I made for the boats, and started to return to our ships with the lieutenant, who had staid on the beach to guard our flotilla. (Continued Next Page)


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