Mississippi River Naval Battle


This Site:

Civil War

Civil War Overview

Civil War 1861

Civil War 1862

Civil War 1863

Civil War 1864

Civil War 1865

Civil War Battles

Confederate Generals

Union Generals

Confederate History

Robert E. Lee

Civil War Medicine

Lincoln Assassination


Site Search

Civil War Links


Civil War Art

Revolutionary War

Mexican War

Republic of Texas


Winslow Homer

Thomas Nast

Mathew Brady

Western Art

Civil War Gifts

Robert E. Lee Portrait

Civil War Harper's Weekly, November 9, 1861

Below is an online version of the original Harper's Weekly newspaper for November 9, 1861. This newspaper features a variety of original Civil War content. Of particular interest is a large map of the Civil War, showing the various parts of the country at this time. The paper also has news stories on the important events of the war at this time.

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


Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa Island


Poem for a Wounded Soldier

Naval Expedition

Naval Expedition

Mississippi River

Mississippi River Battle


Battle of Leesburg


Arkansas Troops

Lincoln Suspends Habeas Corpus

Lincoln Suspends Habeas Corpus

Plantation Slave

Plantation Slave Cartoon

The Battle of Edwards's Ferry

Shenandoah Valley

The Shenandoah Valley


Annapolis, Maryland

Civil War Map of Southern States




[NOVEMBER 9, 1861.


with the exception of a few legacies, of which the most important was ten thousand pounds to his ward, the whole of his property was left to Richard Strahan, on the condition that he took the name and arms of Derval within a year from the date of Sir Philip's decease. The codicil, added to the will the night before his death, increased the legacy to the young lady from ten to thirty thousand pounds, and bequeathed an annuity of one hundred pounds a year to his Albanian servant. Accompanying the will, and within the same envelope, was a sealed letter, addressed to Richard Strahan, and dated at Paris two weeks before Sir Philip's decease. Strahan brought that letter to me. It ran thus : " Richard Strahan, I advise you to pull down the house called Derval Court, and to build another on a better site, the plans of which, to be modified according to your own taste and requirements, will be found among my papers. This is a recommendation, not a command. But I strictly enjoin you entirely to demolish the more ancient part, which was chiefly occupied by myself, and to destroy by fire, without perusal, all the books and manuscripts found in the safes in my study. I have appointed you my sole executor as well as my heir, because I have no personal friends in whom I can confide as I trust I may do in the man I have never seen, simply because he will bear my name and represent my lineage. There will be found in my writing-desk, which always accompanies me in my travels, an autobiographical work, a record of my own life, comprising discoveries, or hints at discovery, in science, through means little cultivated in our age. You will not be surprised that before selecting you as my heir and executor, from a crowd of relations not more distant, I should have made inquiries in order to justify my selection. The result of those inquiries informs me that you have not yourself the peculiar knowledge nor the habits of mind that could enable you to judge of matters which demand the attainments and the practice of science ; but that you are of an honest, affectionate nature, and will regard as sacred the last injunctions of a benefactor. I enjoin you, then, to submit the aforesaid manuscript memoir to some man on whose character for humanity and honor you can place confidential reliance, and who is accustomed to the study of the positive sciences, more especially chemistry, in connection with electricity and magnetism. My desire is that he shall edit and arrange this memoir for publication ; and that, wherever he feels a conscientious doubt whether any discovery, or hint of discovery, therein contained would not prove more dangerous than useful to mankind, he shall consult with any other three men of science whose names are a guarantee for probity and knowledge, and according to the best of his judgment, after such consultation, suppress or publish the passage of which he has so doubted. I own the ambition which first directed me toward studies of a very unusual character, and which has encouraged me in their pursuit through many years of voluntary exile, in lands where they could be best facilitated or aided—the ambition of leaving behind me the renown of a bold discoverer in those recesses of nature which philosophy has hitherto abandoned to superstition. But I feel, at the moment in which I trace these lines, a fear lest, in the absorbing interest of researches which tend to increase to a marvelous degree the power of man over all matter, animate or inanimate, I may have blunted my own moral perceptions ; and that there may be much in the knowledge which I sought and acquired from the pure desire of investigating hidden truths, that could be more abused to purposes of tremendous evil than be likely to conduce to benignant good. And of this a mind disciplined to severe reasoning, and uninfluenced by the enthusiasm which has probably obscured my own judgment, should be the unprejudiced arbiter. Much as I have coveted and still do covet that fame which makes the memory of one man the common inheritance of all, I would infinitely rather that my name should pass away with my breath, than that I should transmit to my fellow-men any portion of a knowledge which the good might forbear to exercise and the bad might unscrupulously pervert. I bear about with me, wherever I wander, a certain steel casket. I received this casket, with its contents, from a man whose memory I hold in profound veneration. Should I live to find a person whom, after minute and intimate trial of his character, I should deem worthy of such confidence, it is my intention to communicate to him the secret how to prepare and how to use such of the powders and essences stored within that casket as I myself have ventured to employ. Others I have never tested, nor do I know how they could be resupplied if lost or wasted. But as the contents of this casket, in the hands of any one not duly instructed as to the mode of applying them, would either be useless, or conduce, through inadvertent and ignorant misapplication, to the most dangerous consequences ; so, if I die without having found, and in writing named, such a confidant as I have described above, I command you immediately to empty all the powders and essences found therein into any running stream of water, which will at once harmlessly dissolve them. On no account must they be cast into fire

"This letter, Richard Strahan, will only come under your eves in case the plans and the hopes which I have formed for my earthly future should be frustrated by the death on which I do not calculate, but against the chances of which this will and this letter provide. I am about to revisit England, in defiance of a warning that I shall be there subjected to some peril which I refuse to have defined, because I am unwilling that any mean apprehension of personal danger should enfeeble my nerves in the discharge of a stern and solemn duty. If I overcome that

peril, you will not be my heir ; my testament will be remodeled ; this letter will be recalled and destroyed. I shall form ties which promise me the happiness I have never hitherto found, though it is common to all men—the affections of home, the caresses of children, among whom I may find one to whom hereafter I may bequeath, in my knowledge, a far nobler heritage than my lands. In that case, however, my first care would be to assure your own fortunes. And the sum which this codicil assures to my betrothed would be transferred to yourself on my wedding-day. Do you know why, never having seen you, I thus select you for preference to all my other kindred ? Why my heart, in writing thus, warms to your image ? Richard Strahan, your only sister, many years older than yourself —you were then a child—was the object of my first love. We were to have been wedded, for her parents deceived me into the belief that she returned my affection. With a rare and noble candor she herself informed me that her heart was given to another who possessed not my worldly gifts of wealth and station. In resigning my claims to her hand, I succeeded in propitiating her parents to her own choice. I obtained for her husband the living which he held, and I settled on your sister the dower which at her death passed to you as the brother to whom she had shown a mother's love, and the interest of which has secured you a modest independence.

" If these lines ever reach you, recognize my title to reverential obedience to commands which may seem to you wild, perhaps irrational ; and repay, as if a debt due from your own lost sister, the affection I have borne to you for her sake.”

While I read this long and strange letter Strahan sat by my side, covering his face with his hands, and weeping with honest tears for the man whose death had made him powerful and rich.

"You will undertake the trust ordained to me in this letter," said he, struggling to compose himself. "You will read and edit this memoir; you are the very man he himself would have selected. Of your honor and humanity there can be no doubt, and you have studied with success the sciences which he specifies as requisite for the discharge of the task he commands."

At this request, though I could not be wholly unprepared for it, my first impulse was that of a vague terror. It seemed to me as if I were becoming more and more entangled in a mysterious and fatal web. But this impulse soon faded in the eager yearnings of an ardent and irresistible curiosity.

I promised to read the manuscript, and in order that I might fully imbue my mind with the object and wish of the deceased, I asked leave to make a copy of the letter I had just read. To this Strahan readily assented, and that copy I have transcribed in the preceding pages.

I asked Strahan if he had yet found the manuscript ; he said, " No, he had not yet had the heart to inspect the papers left by the deceased. He would now do so. He should go in a day or two to Derval Court, and reside there till the murderer was discovered, as, doubtless, he soon must be through the vigilance of the police. Not till that discovery was made should Sir Philip's remains, though already placed in their coffin, be consigned to the family vault."

Strahan seemed to have some superstitious notion that the murderer might be more secure from justice if his victim were thrust, unavenged, into the tomb.


WE continue our illustrations of the GREAT NAVAL EXPEDITION. On page 712 we give a picture of the PRESENTATION OF COLORS to the regiments of General Viele's Brigade before their departure from Annapolis. On page 713 an illustration of the FLEET AT ANNAPOLIS as they were leaving for Fortress Monroe; and on page 712 a view of PART OF THE SQUADRON at Sea, sailing to Hampton Roads.

The latter picture is from a sketch by an officer on board one of the gun-boats. It depicts the vessels as they sailed on the night of 16th October, en route for Fortress Monroe. These vessels steamed down New York Bay in single file, according to rank. In the evening, in obedience to signals from the flag-ship, the fleet formed in the shape of an inverted V, in which order they sailed through the night, the two gun-boats at the extreme ends of the lines being about five miles distant. The sketch represents the squadron as it appeared when answering the signals from the Wabash.

The other picture on page 713 is from a sketch by Mr. Thomas A. Makibbin, taken from Annapolis, looking out of the Severn River into Chesapeake Bay. Kent Island is seen in the distance, and on the left bank of the river the Severn Heights, lately fortified by General Butler. The following, from the Washington Star of 21st October, relates to the departure of the expedition :

The expedition from Annapolis sailed yesterday. Among the troops composing the portion of it that embarked there are the following, viz.:

First Brigade—General Viele commanding. New Hampshire Third, on the Atlantic; New York Forty-sixth, on the Daniel Webster; New York Forty-seventh, on the Roanoke; New York Forty-eighth, on the Empire City; Maine Eighth, on the Ariel.

Second Brigade—General Stevens commanding. Round-head Pennsylvania, five companies Pennsylvania Fiftieth, on the Ocean Queen; five companies Pennsylvania Fiftieth, Michigan Eighth, New York Seventy-ninth, on the Vanderbilt.

Third Brigade—General H. Wight commanding. New Hampshire Fourth, on the Baltic; Connecticut Sixth, on the Marion and Parkersburgh; Connecticut Seventh, on the Illinois; Maine Ninth, on the Coatzacoalcos.

Division and Staff, on the Atlantic.

In addition to these troops, we learn that quite as many more join the expedition at Old Point, having been quietly

shipped to that end at New York, Boston, and elsewhere.

Where they are to strike no one outside yet knows.

The following extract from a private letter marks the progress of the expedition and the spirit of the men :


DEAR FATHER,—We have just cast anchor here, and form one of an immense fleet destined for—where? I have just counted seventy-five vessels, large and small, and there are more than that here; but I got tired of counting. How long we will remain here, or where we are going, are mysteries which we can not solve, and with which, I suppose, we have no business ; as we must look upon ourselves only as machines. I heard a laughable illustration of this idea last night : A soldier was on sentry at a certain point of the vessel, and when she began to heave he ran considerable risk of his life; he was warned of his danger by a comrade, and his reply was, "Well, if they put me here to be killed it's their business, not mine : as, if I go, the Government will lose a first-rate soldier!" The coolness and spirit of the remark gave rise to many a hearty laugh wherever it was repeated through the ship.

I take this opportunity of writing to you, as the Lord only knows when I may have another chance, if ever. General Stevens, at a meeting of the officers yesterday, told us that we might look out for sharp work, and that we were going to do a very signal service to the Government. Well, so let it be. Wherever he leads the Seventy-ninth will follow- "do or die!"

If you can find out where the regiment is, will you be so kind as send me a paper once in a while—the Weekly, if practicable. I like to see it very much, for "auld lang syne," as its familiar face seems like a visit from an old friend.


ON page 717 we illustrate the recent ATTACK OF THE REBEL COMMODORE HOLLINS ON OUR SQUADRON at the Southwest Pass in the Mississippi River. The event, shorn of fictitious embellishments, is thus described :

An attack was made on the night of the 12th inst. on the United States fleet lying at anchor near the Southwest Pass by the rebel fleet, consisting of six gun-boats, the battering ram Manassas, and a large number of fire-ships, which filled the river from shore to shore. The United States fleet consisted of the United States steamers Richmond, Huntsville, Water Witch, sloops-of-war Preble and Vincennes, and store-ship Nightingale. The fleet when attacked were at anchor inside the Southwest Pass. The ram Manassas came down and drifted foul of the Richmond, knocking a hole in her quarter and stern, doing but little damage. To avoid the fire-ships the squadron immediately got under weigh and drifted down the river.

The Richmond, Feeble, and Vincennes got ashore on the bar (the Nightingale also went ashore), and while ashore were attacked by the rebels, but without doing any damage to the vessels in any respect; but one shot took effect, and that struck the Richmond on the quarter. The rebels were beaten off by the Vincennes with two guns, she having hove overboard the rest of her armament, with her chains, anchors, etc., to lighten her, as she was very much exposed to the rebel fire.

The squadron had no one killed or wounded. The Richmond, Preble, and Vincennes were towed off the next day by the steamship McClellan, which opportunely arrived. She received considerable damage to her stern frame in getting them off. The Nightingale remained ashore when the McClellan left. It was expected that she would be got off next day by the aid of the steamers connected with the fleet.


THE USES OF PROSPERITY.-Prosperity has its "sweet uses" as well as adversity, for no sooner does a man come into a little property than he instantly learns the number of his friends ; whereas, if he remained poor, the chances are that he would have died in perfect ignorance of the fact.

MEM BY A MISANTHROPE.—To enjoy a favor thoroughly, never curry it.

Why is the glance of a maternal parent like an Egyptian soldier?—Because it's a mamma-look.


O Vanity ! thy lust of dress

Is as the hunger of a dog.

No beast exceeds thy vast excess; No glutton, alderman, or hog.

Horse-leech more suction doth not crave: Thou art insatiate as the grave.

What bounds thy ravage can contain? Our orchards must their fruit produce, That Manchester may better stain Thy cotton trappings with their juice: So we shall have no apples left,

And of our cider be bereft.

Thou idiot Vice, whose mean delight Lies in the thought of being seen, In gay habiliments bedight,

Distended by thy Crinoline:

What is there thou wouldst not devour Just in thy hat to stick a flower?

Ah ! couldst thou, from the very grape, Squeeze out a novel purple dye

To color thy confounded crape

So as to catch the public eye,

Thou'dst spoil the true Burgundian vine Itself, and rob us of our wine.

HUMILIATING SPECTACLE.—The following remark was made by a Swell inspecting through his eye-glass a very small infant exhibited to him, at the instance of its father, by its nurse: "Welcome, little Stwangeaw ! Baby, singulaw queechaw! Of cawse, A was once a baby myself. Ought to make a fella humble—the ideaw of having evaw been sa match like a puppy !"

A SCOTCH laird, at his death, left his property in equal shares to his two sons, who continued to live very amicably together for many years. At length one said to the other, "Tam, we're getting auld now; you'll tak' a wife, and when I dee you'll get my share of the grund." "Na, John, you're the youngest and maist active, you'll tak' a wife, and when I dee you'll get my share." "Od," says John, "Tam, that's just the way wi' you when there's ony 'fash or trouble,' the de'il a thing you'll do at a'."

The man who follows the sea thinks he shall get up with it one of these days.

"Why do you wear your hair so long?" asked a student of his companion, whose locks fell over his brow. "Because I haven't time to get it cut," was the reply. "I might as well ask why is your head so bald?" " My dear fellow," said the other, " I haven't time to let mine grow."

"Douglas, dear," said a wife, appealing to her husband in a small feminine dispute, "do you think I am generally bad-tempered?" "No, my dear," says he, "I think you are particularly so."

"Jim, I believe that Sam's got no truth in him." "You don't know, nigga; dere's more truth in dat nigga dan in all de rest on de plantation." "How do you make dat?" "Why, he never lets any out."

OPPOSITES IN LOVE.—Love is made up of contraries; a fair woman, they say, best loves a dark man; a tall man generally selects a little woman for a wife; and the portly dame admires to tuck a pigmy spouse beneath her sheltering arm; the mild and timid girl turns with delight to the bold and sparkling lover; the ancient crone sighs for the blooming youth; and the wisest seek in the society of the weakest the pleasing relaxation from the austere duties of the bar, the senate, or the state.

" Does your dog take to the water?" said a gentleman to a rustic, who had a water-spaniel following him. " Why, yes, Sir, if they put meal in it," was the reply.

CANDIDATES FOR MATRIMONY.—On a recent occasion, as the marriage ceremony was about to be performed in a church, when the clergyman desired the parties wishing to be married to rise up, a large number of the ladies immediately rose.

'Tis a very ancient saying,

Time till now has proved it true:

"Do unto all your neighbors

As you would have them do to you."

But another saying now prevails,

Of an entirely different hue:

"Be sure and do your neighbors,

Or they'll certainly do you."

The boy who lost his balance on the roof found it on the

ground shortly afterward.

" Let me collect myself," as the man said when he was blown up by a powder-mill.

A ragged little urchin came to a lady's door, asking for old clothes. She brought him at vest and a pair of trowsers, which she thought would be a comfortable fit. The young scape-grace took the garments, and examined each; then, with a disconsolate look, said, "There ain't no watch-pocket!"

When is a lane very unlike an action at law?—When you can see the end from the beginning.

An experienced old stager says, if you make love to a widow who has a daughter twenty years younger than herself, begin by declaring that you thought they were sisters.

AN INSPIRING SIGHT FOR A GLAZIER.—The early dawn, when it breaks in the windows.

The value of spirituous liquors is always overrated, but every body knows that water naturally finds its level.

"Goodness me!" cried a nice old lady, the other day, "if the world does come to an end next year, what shall I do for snuff?"

"I think," said a gentleman to his footman, "I have been a moderate good master to you, John." " Very moderate, Sir," said John.

We pity the family that sits down to a broil three times a day.

A country paper says—" A cow was struck by lightning and instantly killed, belonging to the village physician, who had a beautiful calf four days old!"

A "Settler," in Australia, was taken before a justice very drunk, and instead of answering the questions put to him, he persistently spluttered out, " Your Honor is very—wise—y-y-our Honor is very wise." Being unable to get any other answer, the justice ordered him to be locked up till next day, when he was again brought up. "Why, John," said the justice, "you were as drunk as a beast yesterday. When I asked you any questions, the only answer you made was: Your Honor's very wise.'" "Did I say so?" quoth the defendant? " then I must have been drunk indeed."

Two Dutchmen, living opposite each other, who had for many years been in the habit of smoking by their door-sides in silence, at length broke forth into the following dialogue: "What sort of wedder you tink it will be today, neighbor?" The other, after two or three hasty puffs, "Well, I don't know ; what sort of wedder you tink it will be?" The first, somewhat nettled, "I tink it will be such wedder as you tink it will be." The other, acquiescingly, "Well, I tink so too."

ONE GOOD TURN DESERVES ANOTHER.—Dr. A—, physician at Newcastle, being summoned to a vestry, in order to reprimand the sexton for drunkenness, dwelt so long on the sexton's misconduct as to raise his choler so as to draw from him this expression—" Sir, I was in hopes you would have treated my feelings with more gentleness, or that you would have been the last man alive to appear against me, as I have covered so many blunders of yours."

A bad-tempered judge was annoyed by an old gentleman who had a very chronic cough, and after repeatedly desiring the crier to keep the court quiet, at length angrily told the offending gentleman that he would fine him £100 if he did not cease coughing, when he was met with the reply, "I will give your lordship £200 if you will stop it for me."

Some days ago a pretty, bright little juvenile friend, some five years of age, named Rosa, was teased a good deal by a gentleman who visits the family; he finally wound up by saying, "Rosa, I don't love you." "Ah, but you've got to love me," said the child. How so?" asked her tormentor. " Why," answered Rosa, " the Bible says you must love them that hate you, and I am

sure I hate you." 


What pupil gets most punishment?

The pupil of the eye, for it is continually under the lash.

My first denotes a brilliant place,

Where belles and jewels shine;

My next transports the merchant's stores, Or produce of the mine;

Sweet pleasures in my whole abound

Apart from worldly strife,

By nymphs and swains I'm always found The happiest part of life.


Those who have me not, do not wish for me; Those who have me, do not wish to lose me; Those who gain me, have me no longer.


Why is a laundress the greatest traveler in the world ? Because she is constantly crossing the line, and going from pole to pole.

Why is Jenny Lind like a good mutton-chop?

Because she is neither greasy (Grisi) nor all bony (Alboni).

Why are very old people necessarily prolix and tedious? Because they dilate (die late).

Where is happiness always to be found?

In the dictionary.

Why should a tailor have all sorts of filth thrown to him?

Because he is a common stover.

Why ought not people to starve in the deserts of Egypt? On account of the sandwiches (sand which is) there. But how came the sand which is there?

Because Ham was there, and his descendants mustered and bred (mustard and bread).

WORCESTER, Oct. 21, 1861. To the Editor of Harper's Weekly :

DEAR SIR,—I saw in your paper it few weeks ago the following:

"What is the difference between the Emperor of Russia and a beggar?—One issues his manifestoes, and the other manifests his toes."

That is good as far as it goes, but there is not enough of it. 'Tis this:

One issues his manifestoes, and the other manifests his toes without his shoes.   Yours, etc.,   READER.



site stats


Site Copyright 2003-2018 Son of the South. For Questions or comments about this collection,

contact: paul@sonofthesouth.net

privacy policy

Are you Scared and Confused? Read My Snake Story, a story of hope and encouragement, to help you face your fears.