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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.

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


General Buell

General Buell

Kentucky Negroes

Kentucky Negroes

Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Tennessee Map

Tennessee Battle Map


Biography of General Buell

Battle of Winchester

Battle of Winchester

Battle of Hampton Roads

Battle of Hampton Roads



New Madrid, Point Pleasant

Point Pleasant and New Madrid


Newbern, NC

Picture of the Monitor

Picture of the Monitor

Battle Winchester Picture

Picture of the Battle of Winchester



APRIL 12, 1862.]



(Previous Page) was a perfectly legitimate matter of political argument and action. But there was no need of going into a dark closet to talk about it. And the moment you invited people into the closet, they said, instinctively, "Either this is a mean object, or else you wish to excite me, by the mystery of the closet, so that I shall not fairly judge. If you've any thing to say, speak out. Don't mumble and wink and make signs."

The novelty and the adroit management gave the party an apparent success. But when it was found that Americanism, minus the revision of the naturalization laws, was only opposition to foreigners, selfishness, private disappointment, ambition, and humbug, it disappeared as suddenly as it arose. It had a success of curiosity, as the French say. A great many of the worthiest citizens, who laughed at the lantern, for various reasons voted with the party. The extinction of such a party was natural, both because it evaded the real question upon which the country was divided, and because its machinery was cumbrous and repulsive. It inevitably had an air of being ashamed of itself. And so must any secret political organization have.

The Knights of the Golden Circle was also a secret political society. Its intention was the ascendancy of the aristocratic principle in the Government, and its methods were peaceable so long as Privilege held the power. It cherished designs upon Mexico and Cuba, hoping to get by piracy and massacre the increased territory which it could not secure by lawful means. Then it prepared the revolution at home which it could not achieve abroad.

That this society was secret was presumptive proof that it was treasonable and the enemy of every honest man. The form under which it survives is an association in favor of aristocracy, and the advantage of a few. It is essentially un-American, and necessarily dangerous to the peace and prosperity of the land. Its means are lawless violence: its end the ruin of the country.


THE loyal, honorable, self-respecting citizens of the stanch little State of Delaware must contemplate with profound humiliation the performances of their Senator, Saulsbury. The members for slavery in the old times were sagacious and skillful, as well as insolent and truculent, but Senator Saulsbury is only childish. It is a public shame, for the Senate is a national body. In the beginning of this session he introduced a proposition for an armistice between the rebels and the Government, which was lost in the laughter of the Senate and the derision of the nation. A few days since, when the bill for emancipation in the District was under consideration, Mr. Senator Saulsbury proposed an amendment that the liberated slaves should be divided among the Northern and Western States. There is something so silly in the suggestion that it is hard to believe that it was gravely offered in the Senate of the United States. But it was offered, and it came to a vote: and to complete the puerile and pitiful business every Senator voted against it, including Mr. Saulsbury!

We used to pity Texas when Wigfall performed. But he was at least an amusing clown. When the gravest question comes to debate, as it does now, how little Delaware must chafe when she sees who is speaking for her and putting her upon record!


DEAR MR. LOUNGER,—I read my paper faithfully every morning to know what to believe and say, but this morning I am plunged in perplexity. I want to know whether to be alarmed by the prospect of the Merrimac's coming out, and I opened my paper, but it leaves me entirely in the lurch. Please tell me what to do. I send you the extracts from my newspaper. In one column I read

"The Merrimac is about to run out of Norfolk again; and though the Navy Department assures us with a solemn nod that every thing is in readiness for her, it must be said that the previous utterances of that Department have not been so strictly verified as to afford any great confidence in its present assurances."

In the parallel column I read:

"Whatever mischief the monster is to do will be done in Hampton Roads, where, warned at last, the Navy Department has made proper arrangements to receive and handle her. There is not the most trifling ground for misapprehension."

If you will send me word whether to be frightened or not you will greatly oblige your friend and admirer,




IN pulling down an old wash-house in the garden of Mr. Smith, the workmen discovered the remains of a decayed waistcoat marked W. C. It is supposed to have belonged to William the Conqueror.

Mrs. Blobbins has arrived in town, and is residing at the Green Pig Hotel until she can suit herself with a housemaid.

We are authorized to contradict the rumor that Mr. Glugg has met with a serious accident. He merely fell over the door-mat and dislocated his spectacles.

A project is on foot for presenting a testimonial to M. Blondin, on the part of the visitors to the Crystal Palace, in proof of their admiration of his noble conduct in not tumbling off the rope and breaking his neck, as an inferior artist might have done.

By the recent census it appears that the majority of the inhabitants of Poppleby-in-the-Mire are idiots. There was reason for believing this, some years ago, when they petitioned Congress to prevent eclipses.

A wealthy inhabitant of Kensington has offered a prize of £5 for the worst poem upon the Great Exhibition of 1862. Betting is strongly in favor of the author of Proverbial Philosophy, but the author of the Victories of Love has many friends—on this occasion.

A new comedy, by the writer of As Fresh as Paint, has been read. Green Room report states that it is worse than his last piece, but this we believe to be impossible.

As Mr. Bumble, the respected landlord of the Cucumber's Arms, Wapping, was crossing the street near his own

residence the other night, he was run up against by a fiend in human form and knocked into the gutter. The police are upon the traces of the miscreant; but that such a thing could happen is a comment upon the boasted civilization of the nineteenth century.

We deeply regret to hear that the incautious use of firearms has again resulted in a melancholy catastrophe. On Tuesday night last, Mr. Timothy O'Leary, of Ireland, but lately residing at No. 3 1/2 Snitch Court, St. Giles's, hastily and in a fit of impecuniosity shot the moon, and the landlord is not likely to recover.

"Pray, Madam, what do you charge for recovering an umbrella?" said Michael O'Flaherty, from Tipperary, the other day, walking into an umbrella shop. "Let me see it," was the reply. "Ah, faith! and that's just what I want to do, for I've lost one, and I see you offer to recover them at a very small charge, so I was just thinking I would get you to recover mine." The shopkeeper was instantly immersed in a fit of the deepest speculation.

Men dying make their wills—but wives Escape a work so sad;

Why should they make what all their lives The gentle dames have had?

A debtor severely questioned as to the reason of his not paying a just debt replied, "Solomon was a very wise man, and Samson a very strong one, but neither of 'em could pay their debts without money."

A long-ago discarded lover consoles himself with the reflection that his loved one is married to a lawyer, has ten children, and the measles.

At the commencement of the sporting season the following important information was exhibited at Lord Camden's seat, near Sevenoaks: "This is to give notice that Lord Camden does not mean to shoot himself or any of his tenants till the 14th of September."

"How far is it from here to Ryde?" demanded a gentleman of a poor tired pedestrian. "I don't know how far it is to ride," answered the poor man, "but it is a precious long way to walk!"

Don't join in the rush to hold office, for generally holding office is not worth a rush.

When the purse is empty, and the kitchen cold, then is the voice of flattery no longer heard.

If sleep flies from you, don't go in hot pursuit of it; lie still, and it will probably come and kiss you.

Wanted, by an attorney, a clerk to engross other people's attention.

Barry Cornwall says, "Come, let me dive into thine eyes." If his love had "swimming eyes," very good; but, at all events, our advice to the young woman is, for divers reasons, don't let him do it. He night go over a "cataract."  

We have artificial teeth, artificial hair, eyes, calves, hips, noses, and artificial morality. We believe that some young ladies must wear artificial heads, as we read of a young lady whose "head was turned" by a young man.

A waggish speculator, one of a numerous family in the world, recently said, "Five years ago I was not worth a penny in the world; now see where I am, through my own exertions!" "Well, where are you?" "Why, a thousand pounds in debt!"

The Irish beggar who, on being refused alms, swung his crutch on the toes of the gouty gentleman whom his prayers moved not to charity, exhibited true humor when he said to the enraged owner of the suffering foot, "Bless your Honor! if your heart was as tender as your toes, you'd have given me the ten-penny!"

Why is a fool like a needle?—He has an eye, but he has got no head; and you can't see his point.

THE FALSEST OF FALSE UTTERERS—One who coins lies. When is a house not a house?—When it is a-fire.  

If a "still tongue proves a wise head," then the wisest of mortals must be dumb persons.

Husbands are probably the most ill-used of all classes of persons in the world—except wives.

STYLE!—What every coxcomb fancies he has attached to his gait.

When may a chair be said to dislike you?—When it can't bear you.

The geological character of the rock on which drunkards split is said to be quartz.

"Polly, dear," said a loving husband to his spouse, who was several years his junior, "what do you say to settling at the Cape?" "Oh, I'm delighted with the idea! You recollect when Morgan went out there he was as poor as we are, and he died in three years worth two thousand pounds!"

Any one who has lain all night upon a shelf, with an irresistible conviction that the house was dancing a polka, to the imminent danger of pitching him off, can form an idea of a first "night's rest" in the berth of an ocean steamer.

A man having been told that the price of bread had been lowered, said, "This is the first time I ever rejoiced at the fall of my best friend."

"Yes, ma'am, that's a crack article," said a shopkeeper to a lady purchaser. "Oh, mercy," cried she, "if the thing is cracked I don't want it."

The young lady who gives herself away loses her self-possession.

If a lady yawns half a dozen times in succession, young man, you may get your hat.

A little boy, a few days since, while coming down stairs was cautioned by his mother not to lose his balance. His question which followed was a puzzler: "Mother, if I should lose my balance, where would it go to?"

The man who carries all before him—the wheel-barrow-man.

"That was very greedy of you, Tommy, to eat your little sister's share of cake!" "You told me, ma, I was always to take her part," said Tommy.


FOR an account of the Battle of Winchester, see page 235.


On Tuesday, March 25, in the Senate, the bill in relation to administering the oath of allegiance to American citizens in foreign countries was reported back by the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The debate on the bill for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia was then resumed, and Senator Wilson, of Massachusetts, made a speech in favor of the proposition. Senators Saulsbury, Powell, Kennedy, and Harlan participated in the debate. Senator Saulsbury introduced an amendment that the negroes, when freed, shall be divided among the Free States. —In the House, the Senate bill providing for the settlement of the accounts of the crews of the ships-of-war Cumberland and Congress was passed. The Pacific Railroad bill was made the special order for Tuesday next. In Committee of the Whole the consideration of the Tax bill was resumed.

On Wednesday, March 25, in the Senate, at the suggestion of ex-President Pierce, Senator Latham offered a resolution, which was adopted, calling upon the Secretary of State for correspondence between Mr. Seward and President Pierce having reference to the conspiracy organized against the Government by the Knights of the Golden Circle. Senator Chandler said that to his certain knowledge the Knights had succeeded in getting a large number of the worst traitors into the Union army. A resolution of thanks to General Burnside and Commodore Rowan was referred. Debate on the resolution relative to the emancipation of slaves, and the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, occupied the remainder of the session.—In the House, the Tax bill was under consideration in Committee of the Whole.

On Thursday, March 27, in the Senate, the Naval Committee were instructed to inquire whether there was any laxity on the part of the officers of the blockading squadron on the coast, especially at Charleston, and whether there was any foundation in the statement of the British Consul at that port, that armed troop ships of the Confederate States have been allowed to go in and out of the port of Charleston, and no attempts been made to stop them. The joint resolution in favor of extending pecuniary aid to the States that may emancipate their slaves was taken up, and Senator Henderson, of Missouri, made a speech in its favor. The Naval Appropriation bill was then taken up. Senator Hale, from the Naval Committee, offered an amendment appropriating $783,294 for the completion of the Stevens floating battery. Debate ensued, but without taking the question the Senate went into executive session, and subsequently adjourned.—The House was occupied in discussing the Tax bill in Committee of the Whole. Among the amendments adopted was one taxing anthracite coal fifteen cents per ton, and cotton one cent per pound after the first of May next.

On Friday, March 28, in the Senate, Senator Wright, of Indiana, introduced a bill providing for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. A motion to take up the resolution declaring that no more brigadier-generals shall be appointed, unless for gallantry in action, was disagreed to. The Naval Appropriation bill was then taken up, the question being on an amendment appropriating $783,294 for the completion of the Stevens floating battery, which was adopted, with the condition that Mr. Stevens shall not be repaid the money he has expended on the battery unless she prove successful, and also that the appropriation is not to be used unless the Secretary of the Navy is of the opinion that it will secure to the public service an efficient steam-battery. An amendment appropriating $13,000,000 for the construction of iron-clad vessels of war was adopted; also an amendment appropriating $250,000 for casting heavy ordnance at the Washington Navy-yard. The bill was then passed, and the Senate adjourned.—In the House, the Naval Committee reported a joint resolution of thanks to Captain John Ericsson, for the enterprise, skill, energy, and tact displayed by him in constructing the iron-clad steamer Monitor, and the great service rendered by her to the country recently in Hampton Roads. The resolution was adopted. The consideration of the Tax bill was then resumed in Committee of the Whole. Both Houses adjourned till Monday.

On Monday, March 31, in the Senate, a joint resolution appointing Theodore Woolsey, of Connecticut, Regent of the Smithsonian Institution, in place of C. C. Felton, deceased, was adopted. A resolution calling on the Secretary of War to furnish the report of Brigadier-General Mansfield relative to the engagement between the floating batteries Merrimac and Monitor was also adopted. A bill providing a Territorial Government for Arizona was introduced. Senator Fessenden presented joint resolutions from the Maine Legislature in favor of extending pecuniary aid to the States for the emancipation of their slaves; also cordially approving of the President's Message, and declaring that Maine will cheerfully furnish her quota of the amount; also asking Senators to vote for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. The bill for the abolition of slavery in the District at Columbia was then taken up, and Senator Sumner, of Massachusetts, made a long speech in its favor.—In the House, the Senate bill remitting duties on arms imported by States or contractors was passed. A resolution from the Committee on Elections, declaring S. F. Beach not elected to the House from the Seventh Congressional District of Virginia, was adopted. The remainder of the session was spent in Committee of the Whole on the Tax bill.


A portion of General Sumner's division drove a large body of rebels from the Warrenton Junction on 28th. A reconnoissance made beyond the railroad junction at this point was pushed as far as the Rappahannock River, the enemy's cavalry retreating before them, and burning the bridge over the river in their flight. Our troops shelled them at the bridge, but did not prevent them from destroying it. Much more damage could have been done to the enemy while conveying their sick and wounded across the river, but humanity forbade it.


A reconnoissance was made on 17th from Newport News as far as Big Bethel, where the rebels were discovered to be posted to the number of 1500. Upon the approach of our troops they vacated the place without showing fight, and Big Bethel is now occupied by the Union soldiers.


According to intelligence received from Memphis, a large force of the rebels are concentrated at Corinth, Mississippi, where Generals Beauregard, Clark, Polk, and Cheatham, are all located. They are said to have 70,000 men there.

General Buell, who has command of his army in person, had arrived at latest accounts (29th March) within fifteen miles of Corinth, Mississippi.

The Union troops have possession of Florence and Tuscumbia, Alabama, and Iuka, Mississippi. The two latter places are on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, Tuscumbia being about midway between Chattanooga and Memphis.

General Grant, with a force not far from 40,000 men, is understood to be at Savannah, Tennessee, so that we must have near 100,000 men threatening Corinth.


Van Dorn and Price, according to the telegraph, have gathered their shattered forces, and retreated entirely across the Boston Mountains. They are now at Van Buren and Fort Smith, 35,000 strong, receiving supplies from

Memphis and Little Rock, via the Arkansas River. It is probable that Van Dorn will act in conjunction with Beauregard at Corinth to hold the line of the Cotton States. Reinforcements were slowly joining the rebels. The Union army of General Curtis had fallen back to Keitsville to secure forage, and were camped at the head of Cross Hollow, where it is plenty.


Beaufort has been taken by General Burnside, and no property whatever has been burned. Fort Macon has neither been blown up nor abandoned, but is still held by the rebels, from 300 to 500 strong; the place is invested, however, and the garrison must soon surrender.


The firing at Island No. 10 was continued on 28th with great spirit by the. rebels. It was evident that the guns were of very heavy calibre. They were observed to be cutting away the trees and mounting fresh guns, showing every indication of a protracted defense. Several rebel gun-boats, partially clad with railroad iron, were reported to be advancing down the river, but there was no expectation that they could pass the powerful batteries of General Pope.


The citizens of Jacksonville, Florida, have passed a series of resolutions, strongly repudiating the rebellion, protesting against the despotism which has crushed them down, destroyed their property, and deprived them of their rights and liberties. They hail the occupation of the Union army as a deliverance, proclaim their allegiance to the Government of the United States, and call for a reconstruction of the State Government of Florida, under the Constitution. After the capture of Fernandina by our troops, a body of the rebels went from there to Jacksonville and wantonly destroyed a number of saw-mills, warehouses, the railroad depot, a fine hotel, and several other buildings, the property in all valued at half a million of dollars.


A dispatch to the Navy Department from Commodore Dupont reports the result of an expedition from his fleet into Mosquito Inlet, Florida, by the Penguin, Lieutenant F. A. Budd, and the Henry Andrew, S. W. Mather commanding, in which both these officers were killed, together with six seamen, and seven others were wounded. The object of the expedition was to capture any vessels lying there, which were supposed to contain arms transhipped from British vessels from Nassau, and to protect from incendiarism large quantities of live-oak timber, cut and ready for shipment.

After making a survey of the inlet in their boats, the two commanders, on their return, landed in the vicinity of some abandoned earth-works near a dense grove, from which a heavy fire was unexpectedly opened upon their men, killing Lieutenant Budd and Acting Master Mathers, and the number of men above stated. The rebels who made this attack were a potion of the garrison who abandoned St. Augustine on the approach of our troops. On the following morning (the 23d ult.), upon the arrival of Commander Rodgers, the place was found to be evacuated, but the bodies of the two officers were delivered up under a flag of truce by a rebel officer, Captain Bird, who came from a camp at some distance.


A telegram from Chicago, dated March 25, says: Governor Johnson has put newspapers under military rule, and suppressed one or two. He has issued a proclamation of a conciliatory character. He says that he desires to win the people back to the Union, but shall deal rigorously with treason. Mr. Faheridge has made a speech, in which he said that slavery would be abolished, if we could not conquer them any other way. The new government was to go into operation this week. Warning has been given that any one uttering treason will be arrested. The Union feeling is gaining ground. Business is pretty much resumed. All the stores are again opened, and prices have been much reduced.


Information has reached Fortress Monroe by fugitive negroes, and some deserters from the rebel army, to the effect that the Merrimac has been brought off the dry dock at Norfolk, her crew put on board, and guns of heavier calibre than she had before have been mounted on her. The rebel steamers Jamestown and Yorktown are also said to be considerably increased in the strength of their armament, and are ready to accompany the Merrimac in her next attack on the Monitor. The former is said to have a fifteen-inch rifled gun on board, carrying 300 pound conical shot with steel points. Deserters state that she suffered terribly in the engagement with the Monitor, and returned to Norfolk in a sinking condition. It is stated as a fact, that the second time she bored her iron prow in the Cumberland she could not extricate herself, and that, fortunately for her, the prow broke off, or she would have gone down with the Cumberland.


A dispatch dated Richmond, March 23, says:

The Cabinet of President Davis has been formed.  The Senate confirmed his appointments this morning, as follows: Secretary of State-—J. P. Benjamin, of Louisiana. Secretary of War—George W. Randolph, of Virginia. Secretary of the Navy—S. R. Mallory, of Florida. Secretary of the Treasury—C. G. Memminger, of South Carolina. Attorney-General—Thomas H. Watts. Postmaster-General—Mr. Reagan, of Texas.


The Secretary of the Navy has sent a communication to the Senate Naval Committee, in which Mr. Welles goes at some length into the question of iron-clad ships, and urges on Congress the necessity of giving close and careful attention to this department of warfare. He asks for $500,000 to extend the grounds and build furnaces in the Washington Navy-yard. He also wants $30,000,000 for the construction of iron-clad vessels, heavy ordnance, plating, etc.


The Spanish Government has refused to receive the rebel Commissioner, Mr. . Rost.




A DISCUSSION took place in the British Parliament on the 17th inst. relative to the arrest of the Lieutenant of the rebel steamer Sumter, and an ex-United States Consul, at Cadiz, by the United States Consul at Tangier. Mr. . Layard, the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in reply to a question from Mr. Griffith, stated that these parties, had not been released, as he was before led to believe, and had stated to the House, but that they were placed on board the United sloop-of-war Ino, by the American Consul, contrary to the wishes of the Moorish Government and the British Consul at Tangier, and were now on their way to America as political prisoners. The British Consul, Mr. Hay, had refused to interfere directly in the matter, and his course was approved by the Government. Mr. Layard, in concluding his explanation, said, that, for the sake of justice, of humanity, of the right of affording asylum to persons accused of political offenses—a claim preferred by the weakest and recognized by the strongest Powers—he might be permitted to express an earnest hope that when the circumstances came to the knowledge of the President of the United States he would order the release of the prisoners.




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