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Civil War Harper's Weekly, April 12, 1862

We have posted our extensive collection of original Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers online for your study and research. This collection will allow new insights into this important period of American History.

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General Buell

General Buell

Kentucky Negroes

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Jacksonville, Florida

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Tennessee Battle Map

Buell

Biography of General Buell

Battle of Winchester

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Battle of Hampton Roads

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New Madrid, Point Pleasant

Point Pleasant and New Madrid

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Newbern, NC

Picture of the Monitor

Picture of the Monitor

Battle Winchester Picture

Picture of the Battle of Winchester

 

 

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

[APRIL 12, 1862.

234

DAYBREAK.

THE dawn is breaking, day is waking,

The sun is sending forth

Its million rays of light and beauty

To gladden all the earth;

And with each ray a surge of voices,

Like the rushing of the sea,

Is pouring forth the glorious anthem,

"God has made His people free!"

Wild echoes thunder from each hill-top,

And rumble through each rocky glen;

While lake, and stream, and rushing river

Fling back with joy the glad refrain;

And from each town and crowded city,

Wherever man may be,

Again peals forth the glorious anthem,

"God has made His people free!"

From each Southern vale and hamlet Tuneful murmurs gently roll,

Then gushes forth in tender pathos

The sweetest music of the soul;

The hearts that beat 'neath dusky bosoms

Thrill as the brightening morn they see,

And sing, like sound of rippling waters,

"De Lord hab made His people free!"

Thus the glad sound shall ever onward

Reverberate from sea to sea,

And every nation, land, and people

Shall join the exultant jubilee,

"Glory to God, for He is mighty,

Peace and good-will to man shall be;

And evermore, while time endureth,

Our God shall keep His people free!" LOWELL, April, 1862.

GENERAL BUELL.

WE publish on page 225 a portrait of General D. C. BUELL, who has been created a Major-General of Volunteers for his brilliant campaign in Kentucky and Tennessee.

General Buell is a native of Ohio, in which State he was born about the year 1818. He graduated at the Military Academy at West Point in 1837, and served as Second Lieutenant in the Third Infantry. He obtained the rank of First Lieutenant in June, 1846, and accompanied his regiment to Mexico. In September of the same year he was breveted Captain for gallant and meritorious conduct at Monterey. He accompanied General Scott's army, and again distinguished himself at Cerro Gordo, Contreras, and Churubusco; was severely wounded at the latter fight, and breveted Major for gallantry there. On his return home he was appointed Assistant Adjutant-General, and served in that capacity in various parts of the country. On the outbreak of the war Major Buell was active in organizing the army at Washington. On General McClellan's appointment to the chief command he placed General Buell in command of a division, which soon became so perfect in discipline and drill as to elicit general remark. Soon afterward it was deemed best to supersede General Sherman in the command of the army in Kentucky, and General Buell was appointed in his stead. His subsequent career is fresh in the memory of the public, and the triumphant success of his plans without the shedding of blood, the expulsion of the enemy from Kentucky, and the recovery of Tennessee, proclaim him a General of the first ability.

KIT BUTLER FROM BOONVILLE.

SOME ten years ago, when travelers in Oregon suffered very severely from attacks of Indians, I was one of a party passing through that wild and unknown State, in my way to California. After a month's ride from the Willamette Valley, we diverged westward from the great emigrant trail, and found ourselves camped one evening on the trail to Crescent City, at its intersection by Deer Creek, an offshoot of the Illinois River. Our party consisted, besides myself, of two lethargic Germans, a feeble-minded young artist lately from London, and a stark taciturn hunter from Missouri. During our long journey I had tried to be companionable with each of my fellow-travelers in turn, and at last had fallen back on Kit Butler, the Missourian, with whom I gradually established terms of a smoking, not a speaking intimacy. On the evening of our encampment on Deer Creek, supper having been eaten and the horses picketed before setting the guard, each of us betook himself to his own private relaxation. This was for the German, sleep; for the artist, self-examination by help of a small glass on a comb-handle; for Kit and me, the resolving of ourselves into a vigorous smoking committee. When we had been smoking for some little time, Kit suddenly addressed me: "Mate," he said, "this boss don't kinder fancy this har camp, he don't."

To my eyes a better camping-ground could not have been selected. It was pitched on a flat prairie, where "wood, water, and grass" were each at hand, while, at the same time, there was no cover for lurking Indians nearer than the creek-a long rifle-shot distant. But Kit, I observed, had his eye, miles and miles away, on a thin, spiral column of smoke.

"An Indian camp-fire!" I exclaimed.

"And Rogue River too near," Kit growled.

I understood him. We were camped not far from the Rogue River, and it was likely enough the fire had been lit by an outlying party of the Rogue Tribe, who had earned their sobriquet from being notoriously the most rascally Indians in all Oregon. The night, however, passed without an alarm. In the morning, the Germans' cattle, already half foundered, were found to be so badly galled by careless saddling that it was agreed we should halt for four-and-twenty hours to give the poor brutes a chance of recruiting.

Kit, who never descended to argument, made a wry face at this plan, and, catching up his rifle, prepared, as was his custom, for a hunt. I went with him, and after some hours we got within range of a herd, and shot for supper a small elk or wapiti deer. On nearing camp again we saw that our party had been joined by a young Indian lad. Equipped in a suit of dressed deerskin, with a good deal of Indian finery about him, he stood in an easy attitude by the camp fire, while our artist sketched him, and the Germans were looking on lazily. This admission of the Indian into camp was against all prairie laws, as it has been found that such visitors are invariably spies, and "trouble" is pretty sure to come of their visits. Kit, therefore, throwing down the venison, burst angrily into the group:

"I found him by the creek: I only wanted to draw him," explained the startled artist, dropping his sketching block and brush.

"Draw him!" Kit shouted, " I'll draw a bead on the young spy's carcass if he don't make tracks in less than no time. Mate!" said the ireful hunter to me, as the frightened red-skin darted across the plain, "jest fix your shooting-irons right, for we'll have 'trouble' afore long. This coon knows nought of Injuns, he don't."

Impatient to get away from our present camp, I was not sorry when the day drew to a close and we began to prepare supper. While I chopped some wood for the fire Kit cut up the carcass of the elk we had shot in the morning, and kneaded the flour for bread in the "prospecting" tin. When I had made up the fire, there was no water for the coffee. As usual, our companions had been loafing about, aiding little or nothing in the indispensable camp duties. Somewhat annoyed, I bade one of the loafers take our tin sauce-pan down to the creek to fill it. Of course there was a discussion of the lazy as to who should be at the trouble of performing this slight service. In the end, one of the Germans took the sauce-pan up, and, with an ungracious expletive, departed on his errand. My fire blazed away brightly. Kit's cake, propped up before it with a stone, was baking in the usual primitive prairie fashion, and the venison steaks, cut up into little chunks, threaded on to a peeled wand, were twirling over the embers. Still the German had not returned with the water. As, in spite of our hails, be did not emerge from the hollow of the creek, which had a steep bank considerably higher than a man, his fellow-countryman was dispatched to see what he was doing. When he in his turn had disappeared down the bank, I noticed that Kit, who sat on the ground twirling the spit, let it fall into the fire, and seemed to listen anxiously to a sound that reached only an ear quick as his. But shortly an awful shout arose. It was a heart-rending appeal for help, and I should have certainly responded to it by rushing down to the creek, but that powerful grasp of Kit, who had now risen from the ground, withheld me. Again, and this time fearfully prolonged, the cry of a man in his extremity arose, and we saw the second German struggling desperately from the creek. Even from the distance at which we stood we could perceive that during the few moments of his absence he had passed through a terrible ordeal, for his clothes, where not torn completely away, hung in strips about his person, and exposed the naked flesh, crimson with many slashes, telling that the cruel and silent knife had been at work on him. For a moment this ghastly figure extended its arms piteously toward us and uttered another cry, but fainter than before. It was his last effort. Apparently seized from behind by an unseen hand, the unfortunate man tottered for a moment, then threw up his arms, sank back, and disappeared down the creek. Kit was the first of the witnesses of this shocking tragedy to break silence. "Injuns!" he cried; but his explanation was superfluous, for as he uttered it a crowd of red-skins jumped forth from the creek, and charged down upon us with pealing whoops.

"Look to the cattle, or we'll all be rubbed out, by thunder!" shouted Kit, as we caught up our rifles. His warning was just in time. No white man's horse can brook the Indian whoop, and all those of ours that had hitherto been grazing quietly about, with their lareats dragging, galloped wildly over the prairie in full stampede, and were irrecoverably lost. Only three horses remained to us. They had luckily a short time before been hitched up to a tree near at hand. Before these terrified brutes could break away we had sprung to their heads, and effectually secured them by doubling their lassos. At first, panic-struck by the appalling sight I had just witnessed, and the critical position in which we were placed, I entertained the idea of flinging myself on to the back of one of the horses and flying for my life, but the hunter restrained me. "Do as I do, mate," he said, with an admirable coolness that completely reassured me; and in obedience to his example I took cover behind the horses, and leveled my rifle across their backs point-blank at the approaching rout of red-skins. These, who were armed chiefly with bows and arrows, observing our demonstrations, and knowing that we were not to be taken by surprise, or without a certain loss to themselves—conditions utterly opposed to all Indian ideas of warfare—gradually faltered in their pace till they came to a stand-still, and then broke and fled back to the cover of the creek in great confusion.

There being now breathing-time, I remembered the artist. Strange to say, he was nowhere to be seen; but Kit, who seemed to divine the reason of my puzzled looks, pointed up the tree beneath which we stood. I looked aloft, and dimly amidst the foliage of the cedar I descried a dangling pair of Bluchers that seemed familiar to me. They were the artist's. "Come down!" I shouted; "the Indians are gone." But my request met with no response, unless an irritable movement of the dangling boots was meant for a negative. Again I hailed them, when, as if to put an end to all further argument, they ascended higher among the branches, and were lost to sight. "Guess the scared critter's best up the cedar," said Kit, adding suddenly, as he glanced over the prairie, "Hurrah!

Now, mate, saddle up right smart." And while I rapidly equipped the horses, to my astonishment he busied himself in casting upon the fire all the property lying about the camp, with the sole exception of our own rifles and revolvers. "If yon varmint git us they'll only git mean plunder," he said, grimly contemplating his work of destruction.

"The Indians in the creek, you mean?" I asked. The hunter shook his head, and pointed southward.

Following the direction of his arm, I made out through the fast fading twilight a band of horsemen galloping right down upon us. They were mounted Indians. As doubtless they were acting in concert with those on foot in the creek, it was plain that our position was no longer tenable. I perceived that Kit was of this opinion, for he was now hastily examining our three remaining horses. They were young American cattle that I had bought on the Columbia as a speculation for the Californian market. Two of them were light, weedy-looking fillies; but the third, a powerfully-made chestnut stallion, with white feet, was by far the best of the lot.

"You will take the chestnut, he is the only horse at all up to your weight," I said to Kit, who was a seventeen stoner at least.

" Thankee, mate," he replied; "'tis kind of ye —yes, 'tis, to give up the best hose; but I wish 'twar my ole spotted mustang. Don't kinder consate them white feet, and that eye ain't clar grit, it ain't!"

A few minutes were now wasted in endeavoring to persuade the artist to descend the tree and take the third horse; but either on account of intense fear, or a conviction of the security of his "cache," he still made no sign. As the horsemen were now fast closing in upon us, and the footmen in the creek began to show themselves, as if with a design of cutting off our retreat, we were compelled unwillingly to leave this impracticable votary of "high art" to his fate. So, mounting our horses, and driving the third one before us, we put out on the back trail.

"Hold hard, friend!" said my comrade, as the fresh young filly I rode stretched out in a slashing gallop. "If 'twur only twenty mile of good pariera from this to Van Noy Ferry thut we've got to make to save our skins, we'd throw out you varmints right smart; but reck'lect this pariera gives out in six mile more, and we've as many mile over bad mountain range afore we git down to the open agin, that'll give these fine breeders goes!"

With horses well in hand we had ridden some little distance, when a loud whoop in our rear proclaimed that the Indians had reached our camp, but whether the demonstration proceeded from disappointment at the destruction of their anticipated prize, or rejoicing at the capture of our companion, the failing light did not permit us to judge. Soon we heard them again in pursuit. Darkness now set rapidly in, but riding as usual in Indian file, our horses accustomed for several weeks to follow the trail, picked it out with the greatest ease. As we came to the end of the prairie I was delighted to see a full moon rising over the mountains, so that we should now have light to guide us in our flight—a great chance in our favor. Kit had relapsed into his accustomed taciturnity, and beyond paying great attention to the sounds in the rear, by which he seemed to regulate our pace, be betrayed no interest in any thing. Knowing that all depended on our horses holding out, as we clattered up the first long mountain slope, I ranged alongside of him and examined their conditions. My own filly, though pretty heavily weighted, was as yet perfectly fresh, her stride was easy and elastic, and I felt she was warming well to her work. But an unpleasant sensation came over me as I noticed that Kit's chestnut was already bathed in a profuse sweat.

Now that we were fairly in the mountains our real troubles began. Three days since we had crossed this range, and having shortly before made the passage of the great Canon Creek, a terrific pass, the trail had not appeared more dangerous than usual. But then we had leisure and daylight to aid us; now, the white metallic light of the moon, which brought out in startling distinctness each crag and rocky point it fell upon, left many dangerous bits of our path in deep obscurity; yet we were compelled to pass over them in full career, for our pursuers now began to push us to their utmost. At intervals, above the clatter of our horses' iron-shod hoofs, the mountains behind us echoed with their whoops, and were replied to from the heights around by the peculiar cry of the white owl, proceeding, as we were aware, from red sentinels, who were able to observe each turn of the chase, and thus urged their comrades still to follow. Urged by their wild riders to the top of their speed, the hardy, unshod little mustangs of our enemies scrambled after us over the dangerous trail with a cat-like facility of foothold not possessed by our own cattle. To add to our embarrassments, our third horse now began to show a desire to stray from the trail, and forced us often to lose ground by swerving to head him back again. In fact, it was all we could do to hold our own, and, desperately as our desperate need required it, we pushed on. The steep mountain-side, the other day painfully ascended, was now dashed furiously down; the edge of the precipice, usually traversed so gingerly, was spurred fiercely over, unheeding the appeals of our terrified horses, who quivered and snorted in very fear. Without drawing bridle we spattered through the mountain torrent that ran down the deep gulches, and took flying the smaller streams. When the last weary mountain-crest was topped, and we descended again to the wooded plain beneath, I should have felt myself comparatively safe had it not been for the deplorable condition of our horses. As Kit had foreseen, the mountain-range had fearfully tried them. Though my mare, with the instinct of good blood, still answered when I made a call on her, I felt she was getting fast used up; but the chestnut was in a still worse plight; his drooping crest and laboring stride told

the extremity of his distress. We had just arrived at the ford of State Creek, a small arm of Rogue River, when Kit's chestnut suddenly staggered, and then plunged headlong to the ground. "Four white legs and a white nose, cut his throat and throw him to the crows!" exclaimed his rider, bitterly repeating the old saw as he vainly endeavored to raise him. Meanwhile I had ridden forward and caught the loose horse. Kit mounted him in silence, and together we entered the ford; but just before we reached the opposite bank he dismounted, and standing knee-deep in the water, put his rein into my hand.

"Mate," he said, "we're bound to part comp'ny, if we don't want to go under. Take both animals and make tracks for Van Noy; this coon 'll look out for hisself, somehow. Good-by t'ye!" And he set off wading down the creek.

I brought my horses to his side in a moment. "No, no, Kit," I said, deeply touched by his generous proposition;" fight or fly, whichever it is, we'll keep together."

"Don't rile me, young feller," he replied, in a voice that he vainly endeavored to render harsh, and abandoned for a tone of earnest entreaty. "I tell 'ee we must part now; it can't be fixed noways different. That thur light animal 'ud burst up under my weight long afore we made Rogue River, and yourn ain't got two mile run left in him—he ain't. Now, look h'yar, if yew want to save our skins, take both them animals—it 'll throw the Injuns off my trail—and ride hard for Van Noy. Rouse up the boys thar, and tell 'em Kit Butler from Boonville's cached in the timber by State Crick, and the red-skins are out. Guess they'll be round with their shooting-irons, and bring me in right away. Hurrah now, boy!"

A moment's reflection convinced me that Kit's plan was the only one that could possibly save us; but it was with a bitterness of heart such as I had never felt before that I shook his loyal hand—I could not speak—in token that I bade him farewell. If I acted wrongly in abandoning him, God knows that my own reflections, as I put out on my lonely trail, were almost punishment enough.

But, in reality, Kit's chances of escape were not far from being as good as my own. The plain, especially by the creek, was well wooded, so that our separation took place entirely without the knowledge of the Indians, who, though they would certainly find the foundered chestnut, would naturally conclude that its rider was away on the fresh horse. Neither would they gain any information from the hunter's tracks, for, of course, he had taken the precaution to wade some distance down the creek before he cached in the timber, and water leaves no trail. But I could not reason on all this then. I could only remember that I had left the last and best of all my comrades behind me, and that if evil came to him I should be held accountable. Deeply plunged in such maddening reflections, I had not ridden far when the report of a rifle in my rear almost caused my heart to stand still.

The Indians, then, had discovered Kit's cache. I pulled up my horses and turned round with the desperate determination of rejoining him at any hazard, when all at once I remembered, in impotent despair, that, with the exception of my bowie-knife, I was unarmed. On parting, Kit had taken possession of my rifle and revolver, remarking that, while they might be of use to him, I should ride lighter without then. All a pretext! I saw it now when too late. The noble-minded fellow had guessed that if I heard him engaged with the Indians I should return, and had thus taken measures effectually to prevent me. Utterly distraught on making this discovery, I remember little more of my ride to Van Noy Ferry. Though I rode like a madman, I must yet have acted with the soundest discretion. My horse was afterward found dead about two miles up Applegate Creek, by which the trail ran after leaving State Creek. At that point I must have mounted the second horse, and swam the creek, instead of following it up to Rogue River. Then I crossed the country in a northeasterly direction, and thus, by cutting off an angle, considerably shortened the distance. But of all this I only distinctly remember pricking along my failing horse with my bowie-knife, as the lights of the ferry came into view, till he also gave in and fell, throwing me over his head and inflicting on me no trifling injuries; and that wet, bruised, and bleeding, but still with the one fixed, irrevocable idea pervading my weakened senses, that Kit was in deadly peril for my sake, and that he must be saved, I burst into the midst of the ferry-men as they sat round their fire in their log-hut.

"Kit Butler, from Boonville!" shouted one of the rough backwoodsmen, the captain of the ferry, in reply to my wild appeal for help. "By thunder! he's jest my fust cousin; how kim yew to quit, mister, when he war in sich a tarnation fix, eh?"

"Talking won't get him out of it, man," I replied, impatiently; "either come along with me at once to help him, or give me a rifle and fresh horses and let me do what I can myself."

"We'll go—don't you fear, mister," he said, more graciously ; "you darned red-skins ain't goin' to wipe out the smartest mountain boy in all Oregon. And no 'muss' round! H'yar yew—Pete—Dave—Zack—lay hold of your shootin'-irons, boys, and git this animals out of the corral."

"Ay, ay, Cap!" was the ready response; and with astonishing quickness we were all armed and mounted on sturdy mustangs, riding hard to the rescue.

As we splashed through Applegate Creek Ford we heard a shot to the front, followed shortly by another. "hurrah, boys!" shouted our leader; "thar goes old Kit! He ain't wiped out jest yet, nohow. Guess it'll take a caution o' red-skins to whip him. He'll make 'em see snakes and black ones at that."

In a few minutes more we debouched on to the north bank of State Creek, but not an Indian was visible. The noise of our approach had effectually scared them; they had not cared to stand the brunt of a charge of half a dozen white men. As we


 

 

  

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