The Battle of Bolivar


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, November 2, 1861

This site features readable versions of the original issues of Harper's Weekly newspapers from 1861-1865. You can browse these newspapers by topic, or search on a specific topic using the search box on the bottom of this page. We hope you enjoy reading these old newspapers, and gaining perspective on the important people and places of the Civil War.

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The Merrimac

The Merrimac

Closing the Potomac

Rebels Close Potomac


Battle of Bolivar


Geary's Artillery

Army of the Potomac

Army of the Potomac


Civil War Food


Tipton Missouri

The Merrimac

Description of the Merrimac


Craney Island

Civil War Funeral

Naval Expedition

The Great Naval Expedition


Civil War Submarine

Prison Richmond

The Richmond Prison

Rebel Cartoon

Rebel Cartoon










NOVEMBER 2, 1861.]



(Previous Page) These days hang so heavy with results that the man who tries to turn the mind of his audience away from the great theme that enchains us all, under the plea of diverting them, will find that his instinct has been at fault. Let him play his tune in the key which circumstances have already set. Let him take his text from the times, and improve it as a man and patriot and scholar should, wisely, earnestly, and fearlessly. Treat men as cowards, and they are so. Appeal to their heroism, and they are heroic. An audience relishes wit, humor, rhetoric, even fustian, upon occasion ; but if you look at it closely the greatest orations are those of Demosthenes, and none are so simply heroic.

Probably neither Demosthenes nor Cicero, nor Chatham nor Mirabeau, will lecture in our Lyceum this winter. But though dead, they may yet speak in the honesty and eloquence of orators who know that a nation of cowards is already moribund. It has been found necessary for the public welfare in some instances to suspend papers and restrict free speech. But in every case the papers were those which, in the normal condition of our system, had endeavored to put down free speech by brute mob law. A wise man would have been sure, at any time during the last few years, that the papers which so struck at that sacred right would instantly prove traitors in the hour of national peril. There is no wonder that they have so proved: the surprise is that we did not see it before.

Let that free speech be heard in the Lyceum this winter, used with a sacred sense of its responsibility. Let every word spoken be a blow at the heart of treason, and the cause of the country shown to be what it is, the cause of mankind. Then they who speak will be justified in opening their lips at this moment. For whoever, by a timely word, shows another man the beauty of "the good old cause," fires his heart and nerves his hand to strike for victory.



GEORGE BLUNT and WARD BEECHER while journeying to "Norridge,"

Got off at a depot to sup "railway porridge."

The latter was flat but the confab grew spicy:

First was Blunt, then was Beecher, and so " varsy vice!" Says Beecher to Blunt, " Pray, George, how would you teach

Secessionists the wrong of their 'tare' and their 'tret?'" "Quite easy," quoth Blunt, for I'd send you to preach A two-hours' sermon at Fort Lafayette!"

("Ha, ha !" says the crowd at the humorous duel.) " Yet, hold, that won't do, since 'twill be illegal," Adds Blunt; "for it would be what General Siegel Inflicted on Price, Sir—a punishment cruel.!"

"Quits! quits!" rejoins Beecher; "no more shall I carp, Your name should be changed from George Blunt to Jake Sharp!"

A KICK IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.-What is Italy to do with his old Holiness the Pope ? Surely she has had enough of him by this time. She will have no peace and quiet so long as he remains with her. Now that quarter-day has come, she had better rid her house of him. The bad company he keeps is clearly quite enough of an excuse for getting rid of him. We think the Boot of Italy could not well be put to any better use than in kicking out his Holiness Pope Pius.

THE NATION THAT TURNS OUT MOST NEGATIVES. — By the recent Census we are informed that in Paris there are no less than 23,000 persons who get their living from photography and the photographic process. An old fogey, who has never been able to get over his stupid prejudices against the French, upon being told of the above fact, exclaimed, in a tone of the greatest triumph, " Egad, it's just like 'em! I always said those French fellows were the cleverest chaps in the world for making faces !"


" The Fight over the Skein of Silk." By the Author of "The Mill on the Floss."

"Indolences of the Queen." By the Author of "Idylls of the King," etc.

"The Young Person in Pink." By the Author of "The Woman in White."

"The Tale of the Household." By the Author of " The Head of the Family."

"Wealth, Wife-Hunting, and Womancraft." By the Authoress of " Health, Husbandry, and Handicraft." " Broil Buildings." By the Author of '' Gryll Grange," etc.

"Enormous Realizations." By the Author of "Great Expectations," and other works.

80 Fleet Street, E.C.


A certain young woman in service did dwell;

The place Wolverhampton, a true tale to tell.

She was standing, one Sunday, her master's door nigh, When lo and behold a young workman came by!

He seemed a respectable sort of young man, Going after his beer, as he carried a can.

lie said unto her, "Why art thou stickin' there?" She answered, To get just a breath o' fresh air."

So after some talking and chaffing about,

She invited him in while her master was out. How many there is as will open the door To them as they never set eyes on before!

Down they went to the kitchen together straightway; And he for himself had got so much to say,

That, to his persuasion inclining her ear,

She filled up his can with her master's own beer.

Thereafter he kissed her, which she did return; And he swore what was his'n should also be her'n. Whereupon he prevailed of her desk to get hold, Containing two pound half a severing in gold.

He asked her to lend it; she answered him, "No!" To which he remarked, "You'll be forced to do so." Then her money he boned and her salts-bottle too; Which having accomplished, he bade her adieu.

Upon the next Tuesday she met him again,

And axed him to give back her property in vain. He told her 'twas spent; she would see it no more: No doubt he'd served others the same way before.

So thinking it wisest to make a clean breast,

On her master's return the girl went and confessed: He, missing his German pipe, found, to his grief, The same had been likewise purloined by the thief.

Him, being detected, they had up in Court, Of her, as a witness, the lawyers made sport: As she was required to appear 'gainst the rogue With whom she was foolish enough to collogue.

Now all you young women whose masters is out, Don't let in the first young man hanging about,

For fear it should bring you to shame and disgrace, And lose you your money, and likewise your place.


minded lady (a very light "blue") was asked what an "Educational Minute" was like? when she replied, "I have not the smallest notion, my dear, but I conjecture that every ' Hour of Progress' must be composed of nothing but Educational Minutes."

ADVICE TO MATCH-MAKING MAMMAS.—The first and only thing requisite is simply, as Mrs. Glass very wisely says, "First catch your Heir."


He's a good boysey-poysey, A pity he is so noisy;

But turbulent tongues

Show capital lungs,

So crow along, boysey-poysey.


There was a boy of thriftiness who, being wondrous wise, Put money in the savings bank—a post-office he tries—And when he found his cash was gone, with all his might

and main

He went and wrote another form and took it out again.

VERY THIN-SKINNED.—Why does a certain eminent novelist dislike Quakers?—Because he objects to any one taking off his style.

SHOCKINGLY RUDE RIDDLE.—Why is one stall of a two-stall stable like a pretty girl!—Because it is very seldom let alone.

The late Mr. Pat Lalor, who sat in Parliament for a short time as M.P. for an Irish county, was as inveterate a joker as ever took his seat in the House of Commons. When a new Parliament was elected, Mr. Pease, the Quaker, and the late Mr. Edward Baines were among the recent additions to St. Stephens. " Bedad," whispered honest Pat, in his conic brogue, to a friend on his right, " here's the agricultural interest has sent us up some new members—in the shape of Pays and Banes."

The late Mr. Nicholas Aylward Vigors, some time M.P. for Carlow, was an F.R.S. and an eminent naturalist, and for many years honorary secretary of the Zoological Society. Some five-and-twenty years ago he was ejected from the representation of that constituency by Colonel Bruen. It is related in Dr. Doyle's memoirs that a common friend remarked, a propos of the circumstance, that Vigors need not have gone very far from his favorite Zoological Gardens in the Regent's Park to see Bruin at the top of the pole.

James Smith (" Rejected Addresses") gave the following reason for the election of Gully, the boxer, for Ponte-fract: "You ask me the cause that made Pontefract sully Her fame by returning to Parliament Gully? The etymological cause, I suppose, is

His breaking the bridges of so many noses."

If you use a fire-arm, take care that in shooting off your arm you don't shoot off your hand.


Why are the bars of a convent like a blacksmith's apron? Because they keep off the sparks.

Why should a quill pen never be used for inditing secret matter?

Because it is apt to split.

When may money be said to be damp?

When it is due (dew) in the morning, and missed (mist) in the evening.

When is love deformed?

When it is all on one side.

My first is on the threshold of a door;

My second an article of food;

My third what none can do without;

My whole one of the United States? Mat-rye-money (matrimony).

Why is conscience like the check-string in a carriage? Because it is an inward pull on the outward man.

Why is a short man kissing a tall woman like an Irish-man going up Vesuvius?

He is trying to get to the mouth of the crater (creature).

Why is a four-quart measure like a side-saddle? Because it holds a gal on (a gallon).

Why is a cross old bachelor like a poem on marriage? Because he is averse (a verse) to matrimony.



INFORMATION was received on 18th that the entire rebel force lately stationed at Leesburg had been withdrawn, even to the scouts and pickets, and on Thursday night their pickets were withdrawn from Vienna and in front of Fairfax Court House. A balloon reconnaissance on 18th discovered no rebels any where this side of Fairfax, and but few there. The disposition of their line is believed to be with the right resting on the Potomac at Aquia Creek, and the left on the Blue Ridge.

A reconnaissance was made on 20th by a force of 2500 men from General Smith's division, with some of Mott's and Ayres's batteries, as far as Flint Hill, two and a half miles at this side of Fairfax Court House, where they found the rebel pickets in very large force, leading to the belief that the main body of their reserve was close by. General McClellan, together with Generals Porter, Smith, and Hancock, accompanied the expedition, which proceeded as far as Vienna and a few miles to the right of that town, on the Leesburg turnpike, without discovering any signs of the enemy in that quarter.


The Potomac appears at last to have been effectually closed by the rebels. The gun-boat Mount Vernon, which arrived at Washington from below on Wednesday night, reports that thirty or forty vessels with Government stores, besides merchant vessels with coal, oysters, and other articles, were lying at Smith's Point. Some twenty shots were fired at the Mount Vernon from the batteries at and near Shipping Point, but none of them struck her. The Pawnee and several other vessels were also fired at. There are three batteries in that locality, mounting about thirteen guns, and another has been discovered on Quantico Hill, a short distance above. It is supposed that there is still another at the mouth of Quantico Creek. Almost every vessel which passes those batteries is now fired upon, and the Pawnee was struck six times yesterday morning in passing up.

On Thursday night the Government steamboat Coeur de Leon, having the sloop Granite in tow, passed the batteries in safety, and reached the Washington Navy-yard. The tug-boats Murray and Pusey also brought up two schooners filled with Government stores, and escaped undamaged, although fired on from different points.

The rebels were on Friday reported to have stretched a chain across the channel at Pasawamsic Creek, or placed some other temporary obstruction there, as when the Resolute, with the schooners Fairfax and Lady Ann in tow, passed up on Saturday, the Fairfax broke loose and drifted toward the shore, when the rebels in boats started out and captured her, the Resolute at the same time being fired upon by the shore battery, and being unable to render any assistance to the Fairfax, which was heavily loaded with hay. The Resolute finally proceeded, with the other schooner, after remaining as a target for the batteries for upward of an hour, during which time about a hundred and fifty shot and shell were fired at her. She, as well as the Lady Ann, was struck several times, but no one on board was injured. It is difficult to imagine how a chain of sufficient strength to stop the progress of a steamer could be stretched across the river without the knowledge of some one of the flotilla. On Sunday the rebels allowed some forty-one vessels to pass up, only one of which they fired at.


A very important correspondence relative to the arrest —under the suspension of the habeas corpus—of British subjects, has just taken place between Lord Lyons and Mr. Seward in reference to the case of a Mr. Patrick, of New York, and a Mr. Rahming, who had arrived here from Nassau. Both these parties were sent to Fort Lafayette, but the former was subsequently released. Lord Lyons takes the ground that the Constitution of the United States does not sanction what he calls the arbitrary arrest of British subjects except authorized by act of Congress, and he remonstrates in the name of his Government against the "irregular proceedings" adopted in these cases, under advice from the legal advisers of her Britannic Majesty.


Mr. Seward replies that the proceedings of which the British Government complain with regard to these gentlemen were taken upon information conveyed to the President by the legal police authorities of the country, and they were not instituted until after he had suspended the habeas corpus writ, in just the same extent that, in view of the perils of the State, he deemed necessary. For the exercise of that discretion he, as well as his chief advisers, is responsible by law before the highest judicial tribunal of the republic, and amenable also to the judgment of his countrymen and the enlightened portion of the civilized world. Mr. Seward further reminds Lord Lyons that, although the United States Government does not question the learning of the legal advisers of the British Crown, or the justice of the deference which her Majesty pays to them, nevertheless, the British Government will hardly expect that the President will accept their explanations of the Constitution of the United States, especially when the Constitution thus expounded would leave upon him the sole executive responsibility of suppressing the existing insurrection, while it would transfer to Congress the most material and indispensable power to be employed for that purpose. And furthermore, that the President must be allowed to prefer to be governed by the organic national law, which, while it will enable him to exercise his great trust with complete success, receives the sanction of the highest authorities of our own country, and is sustained by the general consent of the people, for whom alone that Constitution was established.


Mr. Seward states that at the time of the arrest of Messrs. Patrick and Rahming it was not known that they were British subjects; but he infers that the knowledge of that fact would have made no difference in the matter, when he says that "the safety of the whole people has become, in the present emergency, the supreme law, and so long as the danger shall exist to all classes of society equally, the denizen and the citizen must cheerfully acquiesce in the measures which that law prescribes."


General Price is said to have been reinforced by a large body of rebels under Ben McCulloch, and their combined forces are said to be at Osceola, which they have fortified, and where they are awaiting the approach of General Fremont, who, at last accounts (Friday night), was at Warsaw engaged in crossing the Osage River, over which General Siegel's division had already crossed.


On 16th October Major White, of the First Missouri Regiment, with one hundred and fifty of his men, surprised the rebel garrison at Lexington, and recaptured the place and all the sick and wounded Union prisoners. Major White also captured two cannon, a quantity of guns, pistols, and other articles which the rebels in their flight threw away.


Early in the morning of the 16th the rebels showed themselves on Bolivar Heights, overlooking the ferry, and commenced an attack with ordnance upon three companies of the Thirteenth Massachusetts, under Major Gould, stationed on the north side of the river. The firing was kept up for about three hours, when three companies of the Third Wisconsin crossed the river, charged upon the enemy, and succeeded in capturing one of their cannon. They subsequently retreated in good order to the river, where they were reinforced by three companies of the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania, and, under command of Colonel Geary, charged again upon the enemy, driving them from their position, and recapturing the cannon—a 32-pounder Columbiad—with which they returned across the river. Our forces had but three pieces of artillery, served on the north side of the river, while the enemy had seven pieces, together with a force of infantry and five hundred cavalry. They were completely routed, and driven back some three miles. Our loss was about seven killed and wounded, while that of the enemy was not less than one hundred and fifty, including Colonel Ashby, who was in command.

Parties who arrived at Baltimore on 18th from Harper's Ferry report that the rebels had renewed their attack on the Union forces under Major Gould, on Linden and Bolivar Heights, and that the fight was still going on. Major Gould felt confident that he could maintain his ground until reinforcements arrived.


Information reached us last week from rebel sources—the Norfolk Examiner—of a naval combat between the rebel vessels off New Orleans, under command of Captain Hollins, on Friday, 11th, and the United States blockading squadron, in which Captain Hollins claims that he had dispersed and drove ashore the vessels of the squadron, and sunk the sloop of war Preble with his iron-clad vessel. Captain Hollins describes the affair in an official dispatch, and reports that the fight lasted an hour, that he drove all the United States vessels ashore, and "peppered them well."

The Petersburg (Virginia) Express publishes Captain Hollins's official dispatch, and then proceeds to give details of the action. It asserts that the rebel iron gun-boat Turtle ran against the Preble and sunk her without firing a gun. The shots from the National vessels are said to have done no injury to her iron-cased sides. She then turned on the other two vessels, and they, in their efforts to get away, went aground. The Preble, it is said, can not be raised. According to the Express a large quantity of prisoners, arms, and ammunition were taken by the Confederates. New Orleans was illuminated on the night of the 14th in honor of the presumed victory.


The steamship Nashville is reported to have run the blockade at Charleston and sailed for Europe, with James M. Mason, of Virginia, Confederate Commissioner to England, and John Slidell, of Louisiana, Commissioner to France, on board. She is commanded by Robert P. Pegram, who was a lieutenant in the United States naval service, which he entered in 1829. The Nashville is a side-wheel steamer, 1220 tons burden, and was built in this city in 1853. She is entirely owned in Charleston. Government dispatched three fast gun-boats in chase of her on 16th.

Per contra, it is stated in the Richmond Enquirer of the 15th inst. that Messrs. Slidell and Mason did not leave Charleston in the Nashville, and that that steamer is still in the port of Charleston.


Government has at last virtually, though not directly, consented to an exchange of prisoners. Fifty-seven of the rebels, in custody at Washington and in this harbor—a number corresponding with the number of those lately released at Richmond on parole, and sent home under a flag of truce by way of Fortress Monroe—have been released, on taking the oath of allegiance, or giving their parole not to take up arms again against the Government. The proportion to be released at Washington was designated by the Government; those released here were selected by the officer commanding the post.


The Secretary of War has issued an important order, addressed to Major-General Fremont, on matters connected with that officer's command in the Department of the West. In the first place, all contracts are to be made by disbursing officers, and are not to be transferred to irresponsible agents, or to those who do not hold commissions from the President, and are not under bonds. In the next place, the Secretary orders the erection of field-works around St. Louis and Jefferson City to be discontinued. The erection of barracks in the former city is also to be discontinued. The attention of General Fremont is further directed to the report that troops of General Lane's command have been committing depredations upon Union people in Western Missouri.


Secretary Seward has addressed a circular to Governor Morgan, and the other Governors of States on the seaboard, recommending that the State authorities take measures to perfect the fortifications and other harbor defenses —the expense to be reimbursed by the General Government at some future period.


A telegraphic dispatch, sent on 18th from Great Salt Lake City, the capital of the Territory of Utah, was published in the papers of 10th as received from Brigham Young by Hon. J. H. Wade, President of the Pacific Telegraph Company, in Cleveland. The great Apostle of the " Saints" announces the important fact that Utah has not seceded, but is firm for the Constitution and the laws.



CONSIDERABLE agitation existed in some of the Paris faubourgs on account of the high price of bread. Seditious placards were numerous, and some arrests had been made. Forty thousand workmen are stated to be out of employment in Lyons, and the authorities were taking measures to provide for them. The Paris money market was in a very uncertain state. A protracted Cabinet Council had been held, at which the Emperor presided, and at which grain and bread furnished the principal topics of discussion.

PRINCE NAPOLEON'S REPORT ON THIS COUNTRY. Prince Napoleon, at present on a tour of observation in this country, is said to have transmitted to the French Emperor an important State paper relating to American affairs. The character of the paper is at present unknown.


The King of Prussia has paid a two days' visit to Napoleon at Compeigne. The meeting is said to have been cordial. The King of Holland was expected in France on the 11th of October. Garibaldi has left Caprera, but his destination is unknown.



From Italy we have the assurance that the relations Of the Italian and French Governments are as satisfactory as possible, and that the delay in the settlement of the Roman question is not in consequence of any desire on the part of France for a cession of Italian territory. The Pope, at a recent Consistory, is said to have denounced compromise in the strongest terms.



Seward Cartoon



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