Virginia Declares War


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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.]



(Previous Page) pusillanimous, if not treacherous, by eager writers, who, by an impotent defiance of danger would have secured the defeat of the good cause. Yet had he of all men given no proof of fidelity to the Government ? Was he the first to be suspected of disloyalty to our system (or doubt of its power)—he who of all statesmen in the land, from his entrance into public life thirty-six years ago, has maintained a cheerful and unshrinking faith of the mind, not of the mouth, in the principle of popular government ?

Last week we were speaking of his letter to Governor Hicks. Look at that again for one moment. The chance was, and every body knew it, that Washington would be captured. If it had been so the President and his cabinet would easily have been taken. Now if the head of the cabinet had written a truculent letter of defiance to Governor Hicks, and, as it was then fair to suppose, the capital of the country and the officers of the Government had been captured by the rebels, there is not a Government in the world that would not have felt that the Government of the United States was ludicrously ignorant of its own power and position ; and they would have been inclined to say, and justly, this rebellion is very nearly a de facto government : or will presently become so, while such amusing and blustering ignorance rules the counsels of the regular Government.

Would it have been wise in the Secretary of State to have fortified the position of the rebels so strongly as that ? And yet he and every body had good reason to believe that the curt letter which he was sneered at for not writing to Governor Hicks would have been such a fortification.

The letter he did write was written from precisely the same general policy as that which he addressed to Mr. Dayton, and which is so warmly praised. If the country sees as clearly as the Secretary of State, how to do as well as what to do, we may be more cheerful than ever.

In his last volume of the " History of England," lately published, Macaulay describes Lord Somers, the great Whig statesman of King William's day. Could there be a better portrait of the present Secretary of State ?

"Preeminent among the ministerial Whigs was one in whom admirable vigor and quickness of intellect were united to a not less admirable moderation and urbanity, one who looked on past ages with the eye of a practical statesman, and on the events which were passing before him with the eye of a philosophical historian. It was not necessary for him to name himself. He could be none but Somers."


A COMPLETE DISGUISE.—An Englishman and Roman were walking through the galleries of the Vatican, where certain statues and pictures have been slightly clothed so as not to shock the minds of purists as fastidious as the late King of Naples, when the Englishman made some allusion in the course of conversation to the " naked Truth." "Excuse me, Sir," replied the Roman, half plaintively, "the Truth is no longer allowed to go naked in Rome—good care is taken that it shall be draped by a Cardinal."

"OVER, FORK OVER."—The Times remarks that marriage is " a very highly pitched relation." Young Snobkins, who was in love with his cousin Euphemia, says that he was also a very highly pitched relation when he proposed marriage, for his indignant uncle threw him bang over the garden wall.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WIT AND HUMOR. There has been so many thousand definitions of Wit and Humor that we do not offer the slightest apology for the following attempt to explain the difference between them. We have but little doubt that it will fully come up in merit and success to its numerous predecessors, the majority of which have been egregious failures.

Humor is the art of saying happy things that have the effect of. making others happy; while Wit, and especially that grade of its that takes the form of Satire, is the art of saying smart things that are the cause of smarting in others. '

"BLESS HER DEAR SIDES."—The French have just launched another steel frigate, but our Admiralty are so slow with theirs that Britannia, in her leisure moments, will have plenty of time to sing, " Still, so gently o'er me steeling."

A NEW FASHION.—We are continually being told that " Pride will have a fall," but we never could understand it. As Pride is never ashamed of showing her features, but on the contrary is rather proud of displaying them, being generally noted for the unabashed boldness of her countenance, we do not see the necessity why she should have a Fall, when it is very clear that she does not want one. Now, if it were Prudery, instead of Pride, we could the better appreciate the force of the meaning; for the Fall would of use to Prudery, to enable her to smirk and leer, and make pretenses of blushing behind it ; and we can only say, that the sooner Prudery does have a Fall, or in other words, takes the veil, the more highly we shall be pleased, for we are sure that no one ever wants to see her ugly face again.

PRETTY PIGS.—The Pope, in his petticoats and white satin shoes, may be looked upon as somewhat of a female. There is another point of resemblance between his Holiness and the ladies. Both, on certain subjects, are alike deaf to reason. The obstinacy of the Pontiff relates to Faith, the pig-headedness of the fair sex regards Fashion. He will not concede secular Government nor surrender young Mortara; they refuse to give up Crinoline. To the demand of justice, common sense, and expediency, the Pope replies Non possumus; and when implored to relinquish a dangerous, inconvenient, and ridiculous mode of dress, so say the ladies.


In Paris Salons it is stated

Scribe did not die—but was translated.


Why is Sir Cresswell Cresswell like a railway accident? —Because he very often snaps the coupling chains, and separates the sleepers.

C''EST LA MEME CHOSE.—Among the various columns in the Census returns, filled up on the 7th instant, was one requiring each person to specify whether he was "married" or "unmarried," and another in which all "blind" persons were enumerated. The latter column appeared somewhat superfluous, for to get at the number of the blind it was surely only necessary to add up the lists of the married?—so at least says a Correspondent, signing himself " A WIDE-AWAKE BACHELOR."

THE CONTRADICTIONS OF LOVE.—Love is often very contradictory ; for instance, Lovers' Knots are frequently made all the tighter by one particular Not meaning a Yes.

A worthy clergyman was roused from his sleep at five o''clock in the morning by loud talking at the side of a fish-pond in his grounds. His reverence put his night-capped head out of the window, and saw three men standing by the side of his pond.

"What are you doing there?" said he.

"Fishing," said they.

"But you are trespassing on my land; you must go away."

"Go to bed again," was the rejoinder; " your Master was not in the habit of sending away poor fishermen." The good clergyman could, of course, only turn in again.

TWENTY-THREE YEARS.—A youth was lately leaving his aunt's house after a visit, when, finding it was beginning to rain, he caught up an umbrella that was snugly placed in a corner, and was proceeding to open it, when the old lady, who for the first time observed his movements, sprang toward him, exclaiming, " No, no, that you never shall ! I've had that umbrella twenty-three years, and it has never been wet yet ; and I'm sure it sha'n't be wetted now."

A SAILOR'S OPINION OF AN OPERA.—When the Pyne-Harrison company were performing at Liverpool, a sea captain, just arrived in port, was presented with a ticket to the opera. When the performance was over he was asked by a friend how he liked it. " Well," answered he, "I know very little about music, and can't pretend to be a judge. I liked some things pretty well; but I rather think that some of them didn't know their business. There was one woman who screeched and tore round, I thought, in an abominable way; and other folks thought so, too, for they made her do it over a second time."

NECK AND HEELS.—A young man named Neck has recently been married to Miss Heels. They are now, therefore, literally tied neck and heels together.

An eminent artist is about getting up a panorama of a lawsuit. It opens in the year 1, and closes at doomsday!

Which is the best way of retaining a woman's affections? —By not returning them.




Whereas, existing exigencies demand immediate and adequate measures for the protection of the national Constitution and the preservation of the national Union by the suppression of the insurrectionary combinations now existing in several States for opposing the laws of the Union and obstructing the execution thereof, to which end a military force in addition to that called forth by my proclamation of the fifteenth day of April in the present year, appears to be indispensably necessary, now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, and Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy thereof, and of the Militia of the several States when called into actual service, do hereby call into the service of the United States forty-two thousand and thirty-four volunteers, to serve for a period of three years unless sooner discharged, and to be mustered into service as infantry and cavalry.

The proportions of each arm and the details of enrollment and organization will be made through the Department of War ; and I also direct that the regular army of the United States be increased by the addition of eight regiments of infantry, one regiment of cavalry, and one regiment of artillery, making altogether a maximum aggregate increase of twenty-two thousand seven hundred and fourteen, officers and enlisted men, the details of which increase will also be made known through the Department of War ; and I further direct the enlistment for not less than one nor more than three years of eighteen thousand seamen, in addition to the present force, for the naval service of the United States. The details of the enlistment and organization will be made known through the Department of the Navy.

The call for volunteers, hereby made, and the direction for the increase of the regular army, and for the enlistment of seamen hereby given, together with the plan of organization adopted for the volunteers and for the regular forces hereby authorized will be submitted to Congress as soon as assembled. In the mean time I earnestly invoke the cooperation of all good citizens in the measures hereby adopted for the effectual suppression of unlawful violence, for the impartial enforcement of constitutional laws, and for the speediest possible restoration of peace and order, and, with those, of happiness and prosperity throughout the country.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the City of Washington this third day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.   

ABRAHAM LINCOLN. By the President,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.


The following is an extract from a dispatch from Governor Seward, Secretary of State, to Mr. Dayton, Minister at Paris :

"There is no difference of opinion whatever between the President and his constitutional advisers, or among those advisers themselves, concerning the policy that has been pursued, and which is now prosecuted by the Administration in regard to the unhappy disturbances existing in the country. The path of executive duty has thus far been too plainly marked out by stern necessity to be mistaken, while the solemnity of the great emergency and the responsibility it involves have extinguished in the public councils every emotion but those of loyalty and patriotism. It is not in the hands of this Administration that this Government is to come to an end at all, much less for want of harmony in devotion to the country. M. Thouvenel's declaration that the United States may rest well assured that no hasty or precipitate action will be taken on the subject of the apprehended application of the insurrectionists for a recognition of the independence of the so-called Confederate States is entirely satisfactory, although it was attended by a reservation of views concerning general principles applicable to cases that need not now be discussed.

" In the unofficial conversation, Mr. Faulkner says that he himself expressed the opinion that force would not be resorted to to coerce the so-called seceding States into submission to the Federal authority, and that the only solution of the difficulties would be found in such modifications of the Constitutional compact as would invite the seceding States back into the Union, or a peaceable acquiescence in the assertion of their claim to a separate sovereignty. The time when these questions had any pertinency or plausibility has passed away. The United States waited patiently while their authority was defied in turbulent assemblies and insidious preparations, willing to hope that mediation, offered on all sides, would conciliate and induce the disaffected parties to return to a better mind. But the case is now altogether changed. The insurgents have instituted revolution with open, flagrant, deadly war, to compel the United States to acquiesce in the dismemberment of the Union. The United States have accepted this civil war as an inevitable necessity. The Constitutional remedies for all the complaints of the insurgents are still open to them, and will remain so. But, on the other hand, the land and naval forces of the Union have been put into activity to restore the Federal authority and to save the Union from danger.

"You can not be too decided or too explicit in making known to the French government that there is not now, or has there been, nor will there be any—the least—idea existing in this Government of suffering a dissolution of this Union to take place in any way whatever. There will be here only one nation and one government, and there will be the same republic and the same constitutional Union that have already survived a dozen national changes, and changes of government in almost every other country. These will stand hereafter as they are now, objects of human wonder and human affection. You have seen on the eve of your departure the elasticity of the national spirit, the vigor of the national Government, and the lavish devotion of the national treasures to this great cause. Tell M. Thouvenel, then, with the highest consideration and good feeling, that the thought of a dissolution of this Union, peaceably or by force, has never entered into the mind of any candid statesman here, and it is high time that it be dismissed by statesmen in Europe.

" I am, Sir, respectfully your obedient servant,

"WM. H. Seward.

"To WILLIAM L. DAYTON, Esq., etc., etc., etc."


"The sovereignty of the Commonwealth of Virginia having been denied, her territorial rights assailed, her soil threatened with invasion by the authorities at Washington, and every artifice employed which could inflame the people of the Northern States and misrepresent our purposes and wishes, it becomes the solemn duty of every citizen of this State to prepare for the impending conflict.

"Those misrepresentations have been carried to such an extent that foreigners and naturalized citizens who, but a few years ago, were denounced by the North and deprived of essential rights, have now been induced to enlist into regiments for purposes of invading this State, which then vindicated those rights and effectually resisted encroachments which threatened their destruction.

"Against such a policy and against a force which the Government at Washington, relying upon its numerical strength, is now rapidly concentrating, it becomes the State of Virginia to prepare proper safeguards.

" To this end and for these purposes, and with a determination to repel invasion, I, John Letcher, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, by authority of the Convention, do hereby authorize the commanding general of the military forces of this State to call out, and to cause to be mustered into the service of Virginia, from time to time, as the public exigency may require, such additional number of volunteers as he may deem necessary.

" To facilitate this call, the annexed schedule will indicate the places of rendezvous at which the companies called for will assemble upon receiving orders for service.



The two Kentucky Regiments, under Colonels Terrell and Guthrie, have been accepted by the Government, and the people of the State have tendered the command to

Major Anderson of a Brigade, of which these Regiments will be a part.


On May 1, Governor Burton, of Delaware, issued his proclamation calling out a regiment of volunteers for the service of the United States. The companies are to rendezvous at Wilmington.


Governor Curtin, of Pennsylvania, in his Message to the Legislature in extra session, says that the present condition of Maryland is not to be tolerated; that no hostile soil can be permitted to stand between the loyal States and the Federal capital, and that the time for temporizing is past. He announces on the part of the Pennsylvania banks that they have tendered any amount of money necessary for the defense of the State and the nation; and he recommends that fifteen regiments of infantry and cavalry be raised, exclusive of those already called into service by the Government.


Connecticut is doing nobly for the war. Her Legislature has voted $2,000,000 and ten regiments of volunteers. The same proportion of men from all the Free States would give us an army 300,000 strong.

Colonel Colt, of Hartford, has offered his services to the Governor of Connecticut to raise a regiment, and has agreed to arm the men with breach-loading rifles at his own expense. These arms, which are of the latest improvement, would sell in the market for $50,000. The regiment is being rapidly raised.


The extra session of the New Jersey Legislature opened with an able Message from the Governor. He recommends a loan of $2,000,000, a State tax of $100,000, the purchase of 10,000 stand of arms, of field-pieces and munitions of war, and the raising of four regiments besides those which the General Government has called for. The bills for these measures will be passed without delay.


The Legislature of Indiana has granted half a million of dollars through both Houses for the maintenance of a volunteer army. Four regiments are already nearly ready to march from this State, and six more are rapidly organizing.


On Sunday, 5th, the Sixth Massachusetts regiment moved from the capital to Annapolis, from which they proceeded to take up position at the Relay House, and there command the railroad to Harper's Ferry. Two regiments, with the Boston Flying Artillery left Annapolis, by order of General Butler for the same point, to cut off all communication with Harper's Ferry. General Keim has possession of the Northern Central Railroad from Harrisburg ; all communication by the Susquehanna has been cut off, and General Butler has a strong force in readiness to send by fleet to Baltimore, so that that city is completely hemmed in on all sides.


Carl Schurz, United States Minister to Spain, has obtained three months' leave of absence, and will go West immediately to organize a military force in that quarter.

Charles Francis Adams, Cassius M. Clay, and Jacob S. Haldeman, United States Ministers to England, Russia, and Sweden, sailed from Boston in the steamer Niagara.

Judge Campbell, of the United States Supreme Court, who resides in Alabama, has sent in his resignation. He is a Unionist, but feels bound to adhere to the fortunes of his State.

General Dix has accepted the office of Major-General of the New York troops offered to him by Governor Morgan. General Dix served in the army for fifteen or sixteen years, beginning with the war of 1812.

John Tyler sent to Governor Pickens, of South Carolina, the following dispatch, which we copy from the Charleston Courier

RICHMOND, April 25, 3 P.M.—To Gov. Pickens; We are fellow-citizens once more by an ordinance passed this day. Virginia has adopted the Provisional Constitution of the Confederate States.   JOHN TYLER.

All the other ex-Presidents stand by the Union and the Government.



A PROSPECTUS has been issued of a Company, called the "Liverpool and New Orleans Steam Navigation Company," with the object of establishing direct steam communication between Liverpool and New Orleans. The capital is fixed at 200,000, with power to increase, and many influential men are engaged in the enterprise.



The Paris Moniteur of the 23d says : " The late events at Warsaw have been unanimously commented upon by the French Press with the traditional sympathy which the cause of Poland has always excited in the West of Europe; but these expressions of interest would ill serve the Polish cause if they had the effect of misleading the public opinion, by allowing it to be supposed that the Emperor of the French encouraged hopes which he could not satisfy. The generous ideas displayed by the Emperor Alexander, especially in the emancipation of the peasants, are a certain token of his desire to realize the ameliorations admitted by the state of things in Poland. It is only to be wished that he may not be prevented from so doing by manifestations of such a nature as to place the dignity of the political interests of the Russian Empire in antagonism with the tendencies of its Sovereign.



The Turin Gazette publishes a letter from General Cialdini to Garibaldi, recalling the friendship and admiration he had always felt for him, but declaring that his (Garibaldi's) last acts painfully affected him. Cialdini says:

"I arrive at the secret idea of your party, which aims at rendering itself master of the army and the country, threatening us, if unsuccessful, with civil war."

A letter front Garibaldi, in reply to the above, says "Strong in my conscience as an Italian soldier and citizen, I will not descend to justify myself against these accusations, as by so doing I should fail in respect to the King and the army. I know nothing of the orders said to have been given by me to Colonel Tripola. I gave orders that the Italian soldiers of the Northern Army should be received as brothers, although I knew that that army had come to put down the revolution, which, according to the words addressed by Signor Farini to Napoleon III., was personified in me.

"I believe in my quality of deputy. I have stated to the Chamber a few of the wrongs which the Southern army has sustained at the hands of the Ministry. I believe I had the right to do so. The Italian army will find in its ranks one soldier more when it has to fight against the enemy of Italy. You are well aware of this. All that others may have said of me is a calumny. It is not true that, when on the Volturno, we were in a bad condition. As far as I know, the army has applauded the free and moderate words of the soldiers' deputy, to whom the Italian honor has been an object of worship all his life.

" If any one is offended at me for speaking in my own name only, I wait calmly for satisfaction to be demanded for my words. I desire the establishment of a National Monarchy."


PRESIDENT LINCOLN. " I say, Jeff, this thing has been going on long enough. Suppose you drop those apples now and come down."

JEFF DAVIS. "Please don't shoot, Mr. Lincoln, ALL I WANT IS TO BE LET ALONE!"




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