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Civil War Harper's Weekly, October 12, 1861

We have posted our extensive collection of Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers on this WEB site to serve as a valuable source of original information of the War. We are hopeful that this extensive, free, online collection assists you in your research and study. These old newspaper have a wealth of eye-witness illustrations and narratives on this important part of American History. We hope you find this information useful.

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Sturgis and Price

General Sturgis

Salmon Chase

Salmon Chase Cartoon

The Battle of Lexington

Battle of Lexington

New Era

Gun-Boat "New Era"


Maysville, Kentucky


Leesburg, Virginia

Privateer Attack

Attack on Privateers

Camp Benton

Camp Benton

McClellan's Cavalry

McClellan's Cavalry

Lexington Battle

The Battle of Lexington

Union Generals

Union Generals

Confederate Cartoon

Confederate Cartoon










OCTOBER 12, 1861.]



(Previous Page) The history of the past lies open to us all. And the charm of the fast-day sermons was the expression of the various views which honest thinkers will naturally entertain.

Not the least of the benefits of the war will be that true freedom of speech which for a long time this country has not known. Our condition shows the danger of' endeavoring to suppress any discussion in times of peace. Did this swift nation think to avoid danger by plunging its head into the sand? They only are safe whose eyes are wide open. In a free country whatever can not be discussed ought not to be endured.

The fall of Lexington gave doubtless a deeper gravity to the day. Public feeling had unreasonably exalted itself for a few weeks before, as if, because we had sustained no very signal defeat, the rebellion must crumble away of its own rottenness. In fact our public feeling is, as a friend aptly described it, like the hammer of a pile-driving machine. It goes up, up, up, by rapid jerks, until suddenly some little thing touches a spring, and down it comes in one headlong, heavy, hopeless fall. Why be dismayed by the loss of Lexington? It was unavoidable that we should be beaten at first, and upon almost every point. It ought not to be disheartening, and it would not be if we carried steadily in mind just what we are doing. We are building a navy, we are collecting an army, to resist and destroy a rebellion which has been carefully organizing itself for years. When it crosses the Potomac or the Ohio—when the black flag of the mad assassins of the nation floats unchallenged or unremoved upon a single rood of land beyond the section in which this rebellion sprung—then we may justly feel as if we were a little guilty of delay.

Meantime, while unrelaxing in effort, let us all be patient of inevitable waiting, of some inevitable mismanagement, and of many an inevitable disaster. But patient only so long as we feel that all that can be done to avoid waiting, mismanagement, and disaster, has been done.


WE had some hard words from friends in Kentucky, a few months since, for suggesting that she was trying to hold an impossible position. But the history of that time in that State shows clearly enough that there is no resting-point between the doctrine of absolute State independence and that of absolute national supremacy. If a State has the right to nullify the command of the Government for a national necessity, she has the right to secede at her pleasure. She takes the position of an entirely independent sovereign power ; and that position is no more consistent with national supremacy than the total independence of a county is compatible with the supremacy of a State. The county has certain rights with which the State may not lawfully interfere ; but in all that concerns the welfare of the State, the State is herself the judge and the subordination of the county must be unconditional.

If this, which is the simple and fundamental principle of the American system, had been adequately understood by the Union men in Kentucky, that State would be to-day either occupied and defended by national troops, or by her own citizens. But the loyalty of the border States has been a conditional loyalty. Their nationality has been a modified patriotism. They have celebrated their own individual and limited glory much more than the splendor of the nation, from which all their separate distinction proceeds. Kentucky as a constituent part of this nation is an important and dignified State. Kentucky as a single independent power is utterly unimportant. And when the question was, Are we a nation or are we not ? and when the question was to be decided by arms, Kentucky held aloof and said, " I must be counted out." But when the corn is between the mill-stones, when it is a question of meal or grain, of grinding or not grinding, you can not be counted out ; you must be meal or corn.

Now the old State sees the necessity of the case, and she is rising and running to the rescue of the nation, in whose life is the blood of her own strength. The prayers and hopes of all loyal citizens go with her, but unless the citizens themselves go too. Kentucky will pay the sad penalty of her toying with treason. Breckinridge and Burnett, Magoffin and James B. Clay, have done treason all the service they could by wearing a thin mask of technical legality until this time. It was doubtless better for the rebels that the State should be paralyzed with "neutrality" until they were fully prepared to seize and hold her. They think they are so now, and the mask is dropped. Like Virginia, Kentucky is to be again a dark and bloody ground. The immediate result is perhaps hardly doubtful. No thoughtful man can doubt that the real sympathy of Kentucky is with the rebellion, while he will not be unjust toward the noble, patriotic hearts in the State that beat for the

great united fatherland of America.

But whatever the present fate of the State may be, it will share in the regeneration of the country.— Public sentiment there as elsewhere will be purged by the purifying fire. And when the war is over, and the

national honor is vindicated, that feeling of entire nationality which is to guide us in future, as it is to save us now, will inspire no State more fully than Kentucky.


THE welcome which we hoped for Hermann has been heartier than any conjuror received here. Why the vast Academy of Music has been thronged every evening and every morning when he has performed, is a question easy enough to answer if you regard only the surprising excellence of the performance, but very difficult if you reflect that Mr. Hermann was a mere name to us, and that the title, Prestidigitator, seemed such clap-trap as to be very unpromising. Think of it ; Grisi, world-renowned, never fairly filled the building when she came with Mario in the fullness of her fame. Hermann, a magician, unknown to us a month ago, begins with a crowd, and continues with an incessant crush. What is public opinion? What is the secret of public favor ? If Robert Houdin had come we could understand it. Doubtless Hermann is better than Houdin ; but why was it taken for granted ?

Certainly nothing can surpass the elegance and the perfection of Hermann's conjuring. This particular Lounger has not seen him yet, but all the other Loungers in town have, and they tell the same story. So unanimous and unquestionable is the report, that it is no more permitted to doubt that Hermann is the greatest of living conjurors, than that Dickens is the greatest of living novelists. We have all seen the same kind of thing, probably, but not this thing. We have all seen men draw ribbons from their mouths and pound watches in mortars and then take them untouched out of lovely woman's pocket handerchief. Oh yes, we have all heard Miss Pretty Dolly warble Ah non credea! at all the musical evenings. But when we hear Jenny Lind or Alboni pour out that limpid, tender, heart-breaking strain—do we believe that we ever have heard it before ?

If now we recur to the question, Why this popularity, whence these crowds, that even famous artists have not attracted, would it not be a curious answer to say Ullman? Let us suppose a case. There is an experienced manager of opera and other public amusements. The times demand a new and sharp sensation. The ingenious manager slips across the sea to Europe, and finds a magician. Presto! the walls of New York are covered with brilliant placards, the windows glow with portraits, the newspapers sparkle with paragraphs, all foretelling the advent of a Prestidigitator. The opening night arrives. The great theatre is crowded to see a conjuror hitherto unknown. Let us suppose that the ingenious manager knows by experience the mercantile value of a great crowd to a conjuror's success ; that he consequently calls in the highly respectable class known as dead-heads, and fills up his house ; and that he takes care every night that the crowd does not fall off. The result inevitably is that you and all other loungers immediately ask, " Who is this magician that four thousand people go to see every night ?" We shall all go to see. And all other people will go to see ; and the audience, under such circumstances, is not likely to diminish. If you add that the performance is marvelous and masterly, will you be longer surprised at the crowd which is so suddenly evoked by Prestidigitation ?


MISERIES OF AN AUTHOR'S WIFE.—" James ! James ! (in a louder key) I have been calling you this last half hour, and dinner is getting quite cold." " Oh, is it ? Well, you know I have just killed the cruel old uncle; his property, of course, comes to his nephew, Charles, and I am marrying him to Emily. Keep the mutton hot until the ceremony is over—there's a dear."

In a back township of Upper Canada, a magistrate, who kept a tavern, sold liquor to the people till they got drunk and fought in his house. He then issued a warrant, apprehended them, and tried them on the spot, and, besides fining them, made them treat each other to make up the quarrel.

" Was Mr. Brown a very popular man when he lived in your town ?" inquired a busy-body of his friend. " I should think he was," replied the gentleman, " as many persons endeavored to prevent his leaving; and several of them, including the sheriff's deputy, followed him for some distance."

The recent marriage of a Mr. Day with a Miss Field presents this singular anomaly, that although he gained the field she won the day.

A man the other day, on being asked his age, replied that in case there was no war he was forty-one—but if war, he was forty-six.

The latest Yankee invention is a new-fashioned traveling-bag, in which a man can stow himself upon a journey, and travel without the knowledge of such sponges as dun a man for his fare. He places himself in the bag, and, taking it in his hand, passes for baggage.

When the celebrated Beau Nash was ill, Dr. Cheyne wrote a prescription for him. The next day the Doctor coming to his patient, inquired if he had followed his prescription. "No, truly, Doctor," said Nash, "if I had I should have broken my neck, for I threw it out of a two-pair of stairs window."

"Mr. Timothy," said a learned lady, who had been showing off her wit at the expense of a dangler, "you remind me of a barometer, that is filled with nothing in the upper story." "Divine Almira," meekly replied her adorer, "in thanking you for this flattering compliment, let me remind you that you occupy my upper story entirely."

A Boston editor, alluding to the long nose of Julius Caesar, the Duke of Wellington, and other dignitaries, says that he recently saw a nose that beats them all. It was thin and straight, and snubbed at the end, and a foot long. In concluding, however, it occurs to him that " it may be as well to state that it belonged to a pair of bellows."

Marivaux, a celebrated French writer of romances, having one day met with a sturdy beggar, who asked charity of him, he replied, "My good friend, strong and stout as you are, it is a shame that you do not go to work." " Ah, master," said the beggar, " if you did but know how lazy I am!" " Well," replied Marivaux, " I see you are a candid scoundrel; here is half-a-crown for you."

A traveler who has just returned says there is a race of men at the extremity of South America of such enormous proportions that they mix their lather in a wash-tub, and shave with a scythe. We wonder what they curl their hair with—a signal-pole, in all likelihood.

In a story of the courtship of a loving couple, after all had been arranged and matters "fixed up," the narrator says: "Here their lips came together, and the report which followed was like pulling a horse's hoof out of the mire."


How many weeks are in the year?

Forty-six; the other six are only lent (Lent).

If you were my first, and I were my whole, My second might go where it pleased;

For you'd be caressed, and I should be blessed, And the rest of my life would be pleased. Bridegroom.

What religion would a woman be if she changed her sex to man?

Heathen (He then).

Why are creditors like careful pilots?

Because they are always on the look-out Why is a piano like an onion ?

Because it smell odious (it's melodious).

Safe on a fair one's arm my first may rest, And raise no tumult in a husband's breast; To those who neither creep, nor run, nor fly, The want of legs my second can supply; My whole's a rival of the fairest toast, And when I'm liked the best I suffer most.




THE whole line of the rebel army immediately in front of Washington has fallen back, nor could their exact position be ascertained on 30th. Munson's and Upton's Hills and Fall's Church have been abandoned, and are now occupied by the Union troops. The position of the rebels at these points appears to have been not very formidable. There were no signs found of guns having been mounted; their defenses were simply rifle-pits, nor were there any evidence of tents having been there, or any other protection except rudely-constructed sheds.


Another unfortunate error on the part of two divisions of the Union troops occurred on the advance of General Smith's force from Chain Bridge to Fall's Church. During the darkness of the night the Philadelphia regiment of Colonel Owens, mistaking Captain Mott's battery, General Baker's California regiment, and two other regiments for a body of the rebels, opened a tremendous volley upon them, killing and wounding several. The California regiment returned the fire with terrible effect. The guns of Mott's battery were then ordered to load with canister, and were about to pour a deadly volley upon Colonel Owens's men, when the mistake was discovered in time to avert a terrible slaughter.


Recent observations down the Potomac have just resulted in the information that no rebel batteries are visible except those at Freestone Point, but the officers employed in the reconnoissance are convinced that the rebels have erected batteries all along the river, though they are at present concealed by trees.


Another important reconnoissance took place on 25th across the Potomac. In the morning, at eight o'clock, 5000 infantry, three companies of cavalry, and three batteries, left Chain Bridge, under the command of General Smith, for the neighborhood of Lewinsville. About two o'clock in the afternoon, while our troops were at Lewinsville, a large party of rebels, consisting of about five regiments of infantry, a regiment of cavalry, and six pieces of artillery, approached from the direction of Fall's Church. They opened on our men with their battery, and their firing was immediately responded to by Captains Griffin's and Mott's guns. Thirty shots, both of shell and solid, were fired from our batteries, which silenced. the rebel cannon, and the enemy immediately retired to Fall's Church. It is not known what damage was sustained on their side. One man of ours was slightly wounded by the explosion of a shell. The object of the expedition having been accomplished, our troops fell back to their original position at the Chain Bridge, bearing with them a man representing himself as an Aid-de-Camp to Colonel Stewart, of the Virginia rebel cavalry.


General Fremont and his staff left St. Louis for Jefferson City on Friday. General Price was said to be making preparations to receive him warmly at Lexington. General Lane, with a body of Union troops, made a forced march on Osceola, and succeeded in capturing a heavy train of supplies destined for the armies of Generals Rains and Price, together with $100,000 in money. He was pushing on to make a junction with Sturgis's command at Kansas City. Some of the officers captured at Lexington arrived at Jefferson City, having been released on parole, and they state that General Price has a force there of 42,000 men. The exact whereabouts of General McCulloch appears to be a mystery.


A physician belonging to Cincinnati, who has just returned from the South, states that Mississippi City has been taken possession of by our war vessels, and that all communication between New Orleans and Mobile by water is, consequently, cut off. This is a movement which the Louisiana and Alabama rebels have been anticipating and fearing for some time, and it was understood that vigorous measures had been taken to prevent it, under the supervision of the traitor Twiggs. All the important points on the Texas coast are also stated to have fallen into our possession. The details of these operations will be looked for with unusual interest.


A letter from Captain Vogdes, one of the officers at Fort Pickens, to Captain Baily, of the Colorado, states that a "contraband" deserter from Pensacola brings information
that the utmost discontent exists among the rebels there; that they are pining for peace at any price, and that over two hundred of the troops have deserted within a few days past. Captain Vogdes expresses the opinion—and it is

curious as coming from that isolated quarter—that the rebels around Washington do not mean to attack McClellan's army, and that they have only a curtain of troops along the line there to conceal the withdrawal of their material and the main body of their army to Richmond. He states further that the Colorado expedition killed thirty of the rebels on the morning of the 14th.


The Associated Banks of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia met, through their respective Committees, on Saturday, at the Bank of Commerce in this city, and accepted from Mr. Secretary Chase, who was present, the second option of $50,000,000 of the National Loan, to date from 15th of October


Secretary Cameron has addressed a paper to the Governor of Iowa forbidding the drafting of men, and expressing the opinion that the patriotism of the people can safely be relied on for the raising of men.


Colonel F. P. Blair has been released from arrest by General Fremont and restored to his command.

Thurlow Weed promises, if a regiment or brigade of printers can be raised, that he will shoulder his musket and march away to the war along with his brethren of the craft.

Professor La Mountain, of Troy, has been ordered to report, with his balloon, to General McClellan at Washington. It is thought that he will be attached to the Commanding General's staff.

James B. Clay, who has been arrested for treason, is the oldest son of the late Henry Clay. He is the present owner of Ashland, the former residence of his father. About four years ago he tore down the old house, and sold the beams and rafters of the time-honored mansion to be manufactured into walking canes. He represented the eighth district of Kentucky in the Thirty-fifth Congress.

Ulysses C. Vannosdoff and Isaac Wilcox have been tried by court-martial in St. Louis on the charge of taking arms against the Government, and found guilty. They were sentenced to be confined at hard labor during the war, and to have their property confiscated for the benefit of the Government. The sentences were subsequently confirmed and carried into effect.

Governor Sprague, of Rhode Island, is raising three more batteries in that State, which will make eight in all. A battalion of cavalry is also to be raised.

Ross Winans has at last come to the conclusion that it is not good to be the open enemy of the Government, and has determined, if not to be its friend, at least not to do any thing which can be construed as treason, or misprision of treason. He has accordingly, as we hear from Fortress Monroe, taken the oath of allegiance, and on Monday night left the fortress for his home in Baltimore.

Three more persons have been released from their confinement in Fort Lafayette—James W. Wall, of New Jersey; George L. Bowne, of Florida; and Pierce Butler, of Pennsylvania. The first two took the regular oath of allegiance prescribed by the last Congress, and the latter pledged himself to do no act hostile to the United States, and not to visit South Carolina without a passport from the Secretary of State.

Ex-Governor Henry A. Wise and his son, Oliver Jennings Wise, have been indicted for treason by the Grand Jury of the United States District Court, at Wheeling, Virginia.


THE ATTITUDE OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT. WE read in the London Star of Sept. 11 : " We are able to contradict, in the most positive manner, the statement made by some of the New York journals, and repeated by some of the correspondents of English newspapers, that Mr. Adams, the United States Minister to this country, had written home, expressing his belief that the British Government would recognize the independence of the rebels, and that it was only a question of time and courtesy."

PRIVATEERS FITTING OUT IN ENGLAND. Intelligence has reached us that the rebel commissioners in England are endeavoring to procure privateers in that quarter. It is said that a new screw propeller had been built in Hartlepool and sailed for Plymouth, armed with six heavy guns, and fully manned. It was also reported that Mr. Yancey had purchased two steamers, with lifting screws, which are now lying in the Victoria dock at London.


Mr. Howard Paul, one of the passengers on board of the Persia, furnishes us with the following items concerning the Leviathan :

The steamship Persia, which left Liverpool on Saturday, September 11, met the Great Eastern on Monday, September 16, at eleven o'clock A.M., two hundred and twelve miles from Queenstown. On approaching her the passengers of the Persia observed that she was rolling very much, but had no idea of her condition, which a nearer view afforded. It was found that she had lost both of her paddle-wheels ; the whole of the boats (with the exception of two) on her port side were stove in or disabled; and, the rudder-head being carried away, she was steering for home with the rudder-chains. Large ropes were stretched from bulwark to bulwark for the passengers to cling to, and the rolling was so fearful that one moment the great ship revealed the whole of her decks at a most distressing angle, and the next the bilge was plainly visible. On discovering the plight of the vessel Captain Judkins hoisted a signal—"Do you require aid?" which was only replied to by a large board being displayed on the paddle-box ; but the characters thereon being so small the writing could not be deciphered. The Great Eastern still kept on her course, working with her screw, and for twenty minutes the Persia followed her in order to get an answer to her signal. The passengers of the Great Eastern were scattered over the decks (there were reported to be about four hundred on board of her), all of whom seemed straining anxiously forward to catch a view of the Persia. The ladies waved their handkerchiefs, the men their hats, and, notwithstanding the extraordinary roll of the vessel, the utmost enthusiasm seemed to be manifested by her passengers. Up to this time no answer had been given to the signal of the Persia, and as she dipped her ensign and turned her head away, another board written on was elevated from the paddle-box of the Great Eastern, with no better result. Even with the aid of the glasses of the officers the characters could not be distinguished. During this time the Great Eastern had not slackened her pace, and when the Persia got some distance from her she hoisted the signal "Come within hail;" but as Captain Judkins justly said, he had followed her for half an hour, asked her if she required aid, and receiving no reply in the usual manner, he could lose no further time by again putting back.



The announcement of the establishment of a passport system by the State Department, Paris correspondents inform us, created the greatest consternation among the Secessionists in Paris and London; but the modification determined upon by Mr. Seward, excepting the Canadian frontier from its provisions, reassured them, and travel from the South to Europe and back proceeds almost as uninterruptedly as before the stoppage of intercourse between the North and the South.



The Italie, of the 11th ult., says : At the moment of going to press we received the following from Genoa: "The American Minister at Brussels started from this place for Caprera the day before yesterday, and has not yet returned. The Dante steamer was engaged for the voyage at the price of 2500 francs. Menoth and his brother are now here, and leave to-morrow for Caprera. The health of the General is good. No one knows what his intentions are with respect to time application said to be made to him to aid the Federal Government in America."


Salmon Chase



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