Union Defeat at Fort Craig


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, April 5, 1862

This is part of our extensive online collection of Harper's Weekly newspapers. These papers have incredible content, including dramatic drawings made by eye-witnesses to the key battles and events in the Civil War.

(Scroll Down to See Entire Page, or Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to a specific page of interest)


Blockade Runner

Blockade Runner

What to do with Freed Slaves

What to do with the Negroes

Fort Craig

Fort Craig Defeat

Island Number 10

Bombardment of Island Number Ten


War in Tennessee

Camp Douglas

Camp Douglas

Battle of Newbern

Battle of Newbern


Iron-Clad Galena

Island Number Ten (10)

Attack of Island Number Ten

Battle of Newbern

Battle of Newbern


Lieutenant Morris

Rebel Prisoners

Rebel Prisoners

Civil War Cartoons

Civil War Cartoons




APRIL 5, 1862.]



(Previous Page) slums, and of the "chivalry" that whipped women, was doubtless sincere. These "gentlemen" and this "chivalry" were composed of the most ignorant, prejudiced, and brutal people upon the continent. They honestly despised those whom they supposed to be sniveling peddlers, who would sell their souls for a copper. They are now, and forever, undeceived. Henceforth they will understand that men are not cowards even though they do not whip defenseless women; nor sordidly mean even though they do not force other people to work for them without wages.

This war, in a very grim and ghastly way, but very effectually, is destroying the ignorance of the real character of the Northern people in which the mass of Southerners have wallowed, and is making men of all parts of the country more truly acquainted. If the Southern "poor whites" learn that to be idle is not to be a gentleman, and that real worth of every kind comes from work, their descendants will not seriously regret the schooling of this war.


A FIRM in England, which owns a great deal of property in this city, wrote to its agent very minute details of the disposition he was to make of the property during the time that the mob held the city. The amused agent answered by the next mail that the city was never more quiet, and that the mob was a pure fiction. Upon which Messrs. John Bull & Co. answered with great dignity and indignation, severely reprimanding their agent, calling his attention to the previous instructions, to which he would instantly conform, and adding that they were amazed and grieved to find that he was so swept away by the sophistries of Northern demagogues as to be unable to perceive that the mob ruled in New York, and that the late Government of the country merely prolonged the appearance of existence by a reign of terror.

The French, according to Hood's traveling John Bull, are a foolish nation, who call their mothers mares, and all their daughters fillies. But there is no absurdity of fiction which English humorists can invent that John Bull does not eclipse by his actual absurdities.


IN a recent "Roundabout Paper" Mr. Thackeray has his say about us. He is a personal friend of many in this country, and a friend also of many thousands who have never seen him, but who have read and who read every word he writes, and thank him for his racy, simple, manly way of talking about the sins that so easily beset us all. Like Dickens, Thackeray has never said, nor could he say, half such hard things about other nations as he says of his own. No blue-book, no report, no statistics of any kind, however appalling their story of the misery and want and despair of the slums of London and the large towns of England could sicken and dishearten a human being more than his tragical revelations of the heartlessness and criminal frivolity of the salons. His books are the most tragic comedies in literature. When the future historian of this age consults them, as he must to know the very form and pressure of the time, do you think he will be any less aghast than we are over the earlier chronicles?

In his talk about us, he says what he feels, doubtless, that whoever has been in America "knows what good people are to be found there; how polished, how generous, how gentle, how courteous;" and then he speaks of the universal gloom of the opening year in England when war with the United States was imminent—"a hundred thousand homes in England saddened by the thought of the coming calamity."

This is fair and friendly. There were plenty of saddened hearts and homes this side the sea by reason of the same prospect. Let us not recriminate here, but pass on.

The author of the "Roundabout Paper," No. 19, devotes the remainder of his article to the threat of confiscation of British property in this country in case of war. The British nation is threatened, he says, that if they take up arms to avenge an insult of their flag their property in the United States shall be forfeited! He goes on to say that not one British gentleman has been influenced for a moment by the publication of this threat.

Softly, my dear Sir, softly. You go rushing on in the raciest vein of your sarcasm, asserting that we have always had the reputation of swindlers, and have had to pay a great deal more for our loans for that reason; that the "stone ship business is Indian warfare;" that we are "puling" because John Bull preferred to stand off—and a freshet of other stuff of the same kind. Softly, I say; and before you sing out so lustily, and cry drab and thief, let us see if you are hurt. Is the British nation threatened with confiscation of British property held here in case of war ? Is it a rod held in terrorem over those brave Britons who never, never, never will be slaves—but who, as you have so often graphically and gayly shown us, lick the very dust from the shoes of any noodle who happens to be called my lord?

Not at all; nothing of the kind. It is a simple suggestion of a single newspaper—a suggestion not echoed any where—not in the least regarded—a suggestion futile and foolish upon its face; because we all perfectly well know, that if there is any thing for which an Englishman will willingly give his money as well as his life it is the honor of his flag. My dear author of the "Roundabout," you have been firing your heaviest guns at a man of straw. They make a great noise, for your guns are Columbiads, but really there's nothing there. A mosquito hummed by your ears, perhaps: but a shrieking horde of savages, brandishing the tomahawk, and bent upon your scalp—! Why, you droll Roundabout! put your feet in hot water, and take some cooling drink.

Meanwhile, as you call us that naughty name of swindler, have you ever reflected who especially gave us that reputation? It was no other than

Mr. Jefferson Davis, whose efforts upon a larger scale of crime your country, so sensitive to honor, has sedulously favored. You find the "stone ship business" Indian warfare, do you? What do you find blowing living men from the mouths of cannon? We are "puling," because we are surprised that you have stood as aloof from our contest as you did from the war of Troy? Well, we own the surprise, as you would have owned it if we had declared Smith O'Brien and Nena Sahib equal belligerents with Great Britain.

Yes, this is recrimination; but do you not invite it? Yet let it pass. It is in the air. Hatred, or contempt, or indifference, or what that impartial sheet the London Times calls Christian forbearance toward us, is epidemic in England just now. We shall survive to show you that you ought to have understood us and sympathized with us; and we shall show it not by iron-clad Monitors and rifled guns, but by the confirmation of constitutional liberty and personal rights which, beyond all the absurdities of Englishmen, is the cause of England.


WHY not mail men as well as ships? If a suit of iron makes wood invincible, why should not the same material make men invulnerable? If a man can buy for a reasonable price a light, bullet-proof armor, and, as it were, go about the battle-field in a casemate, why should he lose his life?

This is the question which is sought to be practically answered by the bullet-proof vest, of which Messrs. Elliott, at 292 Broadway, are the agents. It is light in weight and in price, The former is from three to five pounds, the latter is five dollars for a private and seven for an officer.

Whatever saves precious lives in war incalculably strengthens the force of the army. Here is a simple sheath which can be slipped within the waistcoat upon going into action. Think of it, soldiers, who wish to fight as long as the rebels do. Think of it, wives and mothers, who wish those soldiers to return.




DANCING is all important to a girl entering life. Ce n'est que le premier pew (de danse) qui coute!

Give with discretion. It is not because it is less valuable than pure gold that women have a strong dislike to imitation jewelry, but rather because their highly sensitive nature abhors a sham.

At sixteen a woman prefers the best dancer in the room; at two-and-twenty the best talker; at thirty the richest man.

"Love me, love my dog," is old and exploded. Love me, love my milliner, is the modern version.

Accomplishments are more useful in married life than domestic qualities. The wife who sings divinely feeds the pride of her husband; whereas she who is only a hand at a light crust merely contributes to his comfort. There are wretches who ask why the hand that rattles off The Shower of Pearls should be a stranger to pastry. Conceive Norma dabbling with apple-dumplings!

The honey-moon is sober marriage tricked out in peacock feathers.

To slave, and toil, and fret is wretched woman's lot. She is ever dressing, lunching, receiving visitors, paying visits—at ball, theatre, or rout—or, hapless creature! doomed to spend an evening with her husband.

A gentleman who is courting a lady is paying his respectful addresses to her. Let the grocer's man fall in love with Betty at the area-gate and he merely "follows" her.

"Interesting events" are occasions when a nurse takes absolute possession of the house, and the husband sleeps on the sofa.

Babies are the tyrants of the world. The Emperor must tread softly—baby sleeps. Mozart must hush his nascent requiem—baby sleeps. Phidias must drop his hammer and chisel—baby sleeps. Demosthenes, be dumb—baby sleeps!

The woman who tickles a man's palate has a stronger hold on him than the sentimental creature who merely touches his heart.

The latest advertisements of an air-tight coffin is, that it protects the form from decomposition, "and can be retained in the parlor as an elegant piece of furniture without any annoyance whatever."

Men who endeavor to look fierce by cultivating profuse whiskers must be hair-em-scare-em fellows.

A soldier was sentenced to have his ears cut oft for deserting, and after undergoing the ordeal he was escorted out of the barrack-yard to the tune of the Rogue's March. When clear of the boundary he turned round, and in mock dignity addressed the band as follows: "Gentlemen, I thank you for your polite attentions, but unfortunately I have 'no ear' for music."

When Ellen Jane, the modest miss, Declares 'tis very wrong to kiss,

I really think that I see through it:

The lady, rightly understood,

Feels just as any Christian should-

She'd rather suffer wrong than do it.

A superintendent of police once made an entry in his register, from which the following is an extract: "The prisoner set upon me, called me an ass, a precious dolt, a scarecrow, a ragamuffin, and an idiot—all of which I certify to be true."

Why is a palm-tree like a chronologer?—Because it furnishes dates.


FOR a report of the victory at Newbern, and the battle at Island No. 10, see page 213. For an account of the capture of Beaufort, North Carolina, see page 210.


On Tuesday, March 18, in the Senate, a resolution was offered asking of the Secretary of the Navy information with regard to the Stevens battery. Senator Sumner introduced a bill to permit colored men to carry the mails. The joint resolution authorizing the President to assign military officers to command without regard to seniority was passed, with an amendment depriving him of the power to dismiss from the service. A proposition was introduced to furnish clothing and supplies to the rescued sailors and men of the sloop of war Cumberland. The bill for abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia was then taken up, and Senator Hale spoke in favor of it, when its further consideration was postponed til next day. The Senate then held an executive session, and afterward adjourned.—In the House, the bill to increase the efficiency of the medical department of the army was taken up, and considerable discussion ensued. It was finally laid over, and the House went into Committee of the Whole on the Tax bill. The proceeding, on this subject were confined to discussing and amending the general features of the bill, after which the Committee rose and the House adjourned.

On Wednesday, March 19, in the Senate, petitions in favor of emancipation were presented. The bill securing pay, bounty, and pensions to soldiers of the Western Department was passed. A bill to provide for the public defense, and accepting loans for that object from States, was introduced and referred. A resolution was reported from the Naval Committee authorizing the President to place in active service naval officers now on the retired list. The bill for the organization of army corps was debated and passed. The bill for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia was taken up, and Senator Doolittle proceeded to speak on the subject. The Senate held an executive session and then adjourned.—In the House, the entire day's session was taken up in considering the Tax bill. All the general provisions—forty in number—were acted upon, but no important amendments were made. A proposition was made to exempt slaves from taxation, and on this a short debate sprung up as to the question of property in slaves. The tax on spirituous liquors, ales, etc., was considered, but no progress was made on this branch of the bill, and the House adjourned.

On Thursday, March 20, a communication was received front the Secretary of the Navy replying to the resolution asking why the Naval Academy was removed from Annapolis to Newport, Rhode Island. The Judiciary Committee reported back the resolution of co-operation with the President's late special Message recommending assistance to States desiring to abolish slavery, with the recommendation that it pass. The bill for the reorganization of the Navy Department was passed. The bill to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia then came up, when Senator Willey, of Virginia, spoke at length in opposition to it. At the conclusion of his remarks the Senate held an executive session, and then adjourned.—In the House, a report on the press censorship was made, the consideration of which was postponed till the first Monday in April. The Judiciary Committee reported back the several bills and resolutions in reference to confiscation of rebel property, with a recommendation adverse thereto. The Tax bill was taken up, which consumed the remainder of the session—the tax on ales and liquors being principally discussed, and several amendments being made, after which the subject was laid over, and the House adjourned.

On Friday, March 21, in the Senate, a bill was introduced to provide for a fair settlement of the accounts of the officers and men of the frigate Congress and other naval vessels. The bill for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia was taken up; but the smoke from the army bakeries in the basement of the Capitol becoming offensive to the Senators the debate branched off from the legitimate subject to that of smoke, and in that element the debate ended for the day on the bill under consideration, A Message was received from the President recommending a vote of thanks to Commodore Dupont for his eminent services. The Senate then held an executive session, and on its conclusion adjourned.—In the House; the bill to secure pensions to all persons employed on board of gun-boats was passed. A joint resolution was adopted authorizing the Secretary of the Navy to have the steam-frigate Roanoke iron-clad and otherwise strengthened. Some debate ensued on a proposition to adjourn over till Monday, but the subject was dropped, and the Senate's amendments to the prize law were taken up and concurred in. The House then went into Committee of the Whole on the Tax bill, the range of discussion on which, though somewhat wide, did not extend beyond the spirituous liquors and ales sections. Some amendments were adopted when the Committee rose, and the House adjourned.

Both Houses adjourned over till Monday.

On Monday, March 24, in the Senate, a memorial from the Philadelphia Board of Trade, urging a reduction of taxes on manufactures, was presented; also resolutions of the Kentucky Legislature, asking a reduction of the tax on tobacco. Both were referred. The joint resolution in favor of affording pecuniary aid for the emancipation of slaves was taken up, and opposed by Senator Saulsbury, of Delaware. Senator Davis, of Kentucky, offered a substitute, declaring slavery to be exclusively within the jurisdiction of the people of the several States, yet that when any State determines to emancipate its slaves, the Federal Government shall pay a reasonable price for the slaves and the cost of colonizing them. The subject was then laid aside, and the bill to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia was taken up. The question was taken on Senator Davis's amendment, to colonize the slaves, and resulted in a tie vote. The Vice-President voted in the negative, and the amendment was rejected. A debate on the merits of the bill then ensued until the adjournment.—In the House, a resolution was offered asking why the release of Colonel Corcoran has been delayed, and urging that no further exchanges of prisoners of war be made until the Colonel is set at liberty. The resolution was laid over. A bill providing for the payment of the public debt was introduced. Resolutions tendering the thanks of Congress to Lieutenant Morris, the commander of the Cumberland during the action with the Merrimac, also to General Burnside, Commodore Rowan, and the officers and men under them, for the skill with which they carried. out the instructions of General McClellan, were referred. A bill to organize the Territory of Arizona, with the Wilmot Proviso applicable to all Territories, was reported by the Territorial Committee. A motion to lay it on the table was lost by a vote of 49 yeas to 76 nays. The Tax bill was taken up in Committee of the Whole, and several amendments were agreed to.


General Shields had a conflict with the rebels, commanded by Generals Jackson, Smith, and Longstreet, four miles below Winchester, on 23d, completely routing them, and capturing numbers of prisoners, several cannon, and a large quantity of small-arms thrown away in the flight. At last accounts our cavalry was in pursuit of the flying rebels. It appears that General Jackson was under the impression that our troops had left Winchester, and were advancing on the road from Strasburg. When within shout a mile and a half of Winchester a skirmish occurred between the advance-guard of both armies, in which General Shields was wounded in the arm by the bursting of a shell. The enemy immediately commenced a retreat; but were followed tip by the main body of General Shields's army, and an engagement took place, commencing at half past ten on the morning of 23d, and ending in the entire defeat of the rebels at dusk. The rebels had fifteen thousand men in the field, while the force of General Shields was only eight thousand. The loss on both sides was heavy—that of the rebels, however, nearly doubling that on our side.


We have the news of a brilliant little fight in the Cumberland Mountains, about 41 miles from Piketon, or Pikeville. Five thousand of the rebels were flogged by General Garfield, with a comparatively small force, in twenty minutes. The enemy fled with precipitation; General Garfield passed the night in the hostile camp, and then destroyed the tents and carried off the stores. The rebels lost seven killed; we lost none.


Our troops have had another brisk fight, and obtained another success in Arkansas. Colonel Wood, with six companies of infantry and two steel six-pounders, made an advance on Salem, in Fulton County, Arkansas, where he met with a vastly superior force of the rebels under Colonels Woodside, Coleman, and McFarland, whom he defeated, killing a hundred, including Colonel Woodside, and taking a large number of prisoners. Colonel Wood's loss was only twenty-five killed and wounded.


The whole State of Florida is restored to the Union. The capture of St. Augustine, with its defenses, at old Fort Marion, and of Jacksonville, by Commodore Dupont, brings back Florida under the folds of the Stars and Stripes. Both places were surrendered without fighting, and in the case of St. Augustine the authorities of the place raised the Union banner on the Town hall with their own hands. The official report of Commodore Dupont, detailing the whole affair, says: "The American flag is flying once more over the old city, raised by the hands of its own people, who resisted the appeals, threats, and falsehoods of their leaders, though compelled to witness the carrying off of their sons in the ranks of the flying enemy. This gives us possession of a second National fort of strength and importance." The Commodore gives full credit to the officers and men of his command for the faithful performance of their duty.


Advices from Santa Fe to the 3d inst., confirm the recent unfavorable news concerning the battle of Fort Craig, on the 21st ult. The Union loss was 62 killed and 140 wounded. Colonel Canby's command was concentrated at Fort Craig. Since the 25th ult., nothing has been heard from them, communication being cut off. As it was supposed that the rebels, after their victory at Fort Craig, would push on to Santa Fe and Fort Union, all the valuable property of the department and the whole available force were to be removed to the latter place. The fort is a strong one, and 1000 men can easily hold it against a great number. The reinforcements are going from Missouri, and we shall have more encouraging news next time.


There is nothing new to report from Savannah, Tennessee. Our troops are scouring the country all round, driving off small scouting parties of the enemy, and occasionally capturing leading rebels, General Grant commands our forces. We have three gun-boats and 100 transports. General Beauregard is said to be at Corinth, Mississippi, with an army.


The Union sentiment in Tennessee is manifesting itself in a very potent fashion since the recent successes have convinced the inhabitants of that State that the United States Government is their best friend and surest safeguard. A large body of the citizens of Gallatin (a town notoriously disloyal heretofore) met in public meeting recently, and adopted a platform for the establishment of a post-office in that place. A general feeling to return cheerfully to their allegiance pervades the people of Tennessee. The papers publish an honest and manly address of Andrew Johnson, the recently appointed Provisional Governor of the State, to his fellow-citizens of Tennessee.


Two new military departments have been constituted by the President, the first to be called the Department of the Gulf, which will comprise all the coast of the Gulf of Mexico west of Pensacola harbor, and so much of the Gulf States as may be occupied by the forces under Major-General B. F. Butler, United States Volunters. The head-quarters for the present will be movable, wherever the General Commanding may be. The other is denominated the Department of the South, comprising the States of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, with the expedition and forces now under. Brigadier-General T. W. Sherman, to be under the command of General David Hunter.


General Burnside, in his official report of the Newbern victory, says: "I beg to say to the General commanding the army that I have endeavored to carry out the very minute instructions given me by him before leaving Annapolis, and thus far events have been singularly coincident with his anticipations; I only hope that we may in future be able to carry out in detail the remaining plans of the campaign. The only thing I have to regret is the delay caused by the elements."


As an evidence of the demoralized condition of the rebel army, we have the fact that after the battle Colonel Rector, of the Arkansas militia, retreated with his regiment fourteen miles from the scene of action, and there ordered his men to stack arms and return to their horses, he being utterly disheartened and disgusted with the cause of rebellion, and his men evidently being equally to, judging from the fidelity with which they carried out his orders, for their guns, two hundred in number, were found by our troops carefully stacked and unguarded in a narrow ravine.


On 21st March Messrs. Bushnell, Griswold, Winslow, & Co., capitalists, whose funds built the Monitor, received a contract from the Government for building six additional iron-cased vessels, on the same plan as governed them in the construction of the Monitor. The new vessels are to be each thirty-five feet longer than the present Monitor, end are to carry two 15-inch Dahlgren guns. The largest proportion of the iron casing will be done at Troy.


Jeff Davis, according to reports from the South, is on his way to "the West." The Memphis Appeal announces the fact through the medium of a dispatch from Richmond, which urges the people to rally to his standard.

The Secretary of the Navy has returned thanks to Lieutenant Morris and the surviving crew of the Cumberland for their bravery in action with the Merrimac in Hampton Roads.




THE question of the efficiency or inefficiency of the Union blockade of the Southern ports has been debated in the British House of Commons on the motion of Mr. Gregory for the production of the correspondence of the Cabinet on that subject.

The speech of the Solicitor-General of England, in the Commons, was exceedingly emphatic as to the acknowledgment of the efficiency of that measure by the Cabinet, as well as of his opinion of the illegality and danger from public disapproval at home of any interference with the operations of our Government toward keeping the rebel ports closed. He stated that the present blockade was more effectual than that instituted by England against America in a former war, when five hundred American privateers went to sea in the face of it, and that it was better maintained than the British blockade of Havre in 1798.

Mr. Gregory's motion was negatived without a division.


In the House of Lords, on the 10th inst., Lord Stratheden called the attention of the peers to the blockade of the ports of the Confederate States, and moved an address for a copy of any correspondence on the subject subsequent to the papers presented to the House. He brought forward his motion, he said, for the purpose of affording Lord Russell an opportunity of explaining the policy pursued by the Government on the question of the blockade.

Lord Russell expressed his conviction that the policy pursued by the Government had obtained the approval of the country, and said that from the first the blockade of the Southern ports had occupied the attention of ministers, who had had two questions to consider—first, whether the proclamation of a blockade had been made by sufficient authority; and, secondly, whether the means employed had been sufficient to blockade so large an extent of coast.

In regard to the first point, the proclamation had been issued, as laid down by Lord Stowell, by the sovereign authority in the person of the President of the United States; and in respect to the extent of coast, England had formerly proclaimed a blockade of a coast not much inferior in extent. As to the number and size of the vessels which had eluded the blockading squadrons, much exaggeration existed, many of these vessels being only coasters of small draught running from creek to creek. He could not give the papers moved for, for the simple reason that none such existed. He hoped the North would consent to a peaceful separation of the South, which would be followed by the gradual abolition of slavery.



All the English at Vera Cruz, with the exception of about a hundred men, have embarked, and were ready to start for England via Havana and Bermuda. In connection with the expedition to Mexico, the Epoca of Madrid, of March 1, has the following: "We say it once for all, the three Powers have taken no resolution relative to the internal affairs of Mexico, and there exists no difference of opinion. If it suits the Mexicans to abandon the republican form of government, and to raise to the throne either the sister of the Queen, Prince Maximilian, the Count de Flandre, or any other prince, there will be no hindrance on the part of the governments."




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