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Civil War Harper's Weekly, April 26, 1862

This site presents online editions of all the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. These newspapers are available for your perusal and study. The information on these pages is simply not available anywhere else!

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General Halleck


Before Yorktown


Pittsburg Landing

Battle of Pittsburg Landing

Pittsburg Landing

Pittsburg Landing Battle


The Nagatuck

Island No. 10

Island No. 10



Big Bethel

Big Bethel


Battle of Yorktown

Pittsburg Landing

Pittsburg Landing

Confederate Cartoon

Confederate Cartoon




APRIL 26, 1862.]



(Previous Page) ago, and the rebel writers say: "An attack on the Administration and its men, by one of the most eminent men of the times, in Congress, is delayed until this great event fails or succeeds." Is the impending event the national annihilation upon the Yorktown peninsula, and the capture of Fortress Monroe?

So in a debate in the "Confederate Congress," "Boyce" said—is "Boyce" one of the most eminent men of the times?—"This Congress will have devolved upon it a great mission. It may be that, in the progress of this revolution, they may be compelled to save the country at all hazards and by the most startling measures." He feared that if the representatives increased their salaries—for this was the question that engaged them while their "Confederacy" was falling about their ears —they would diminish the influence which they must necessarily have in order to work out this great mission.

This implies possible depositions, dictatorships, dangers, and death. A population like that of the rebel section, ignorant, passionate, and fanatical, could be easily managed by a skillful leader, who should inflame them by insisting that it was the sloth or treachery of the Administration that had overwhelmed the hopes of human freedom and happiness which the "Confederacy" holds out to mankind. Jefferson Davis, if he has any eye to spare from Grant, Foote, Halleck, McClellan, Heintzelman, Fremont, Banks, and Buell, should fasten it upon "Boyce" and the other "most eminent men of the times" in his neighborhood. He and his friends must consider what answer they mean to make to the terrible question of their followers, "Why did you drag us into this scrape?"


WHEN you go to Augsburg, where the Emperor Charles V. held the Diet, they show you the house of Anton Fugger. He was a merchant who entertained the Emperor imperially at his own house. You may see the splendid room in which he slept. There were two Fugger brothers at that time, Raimond and Anton. They lent the Emperor money when he was pressed, and he gave them the right of coining, and made them Princes of the empire. These men came of a family of famous merchants which sprang from a weaver. Their great success and consequent wealth made them powers in the state for more than two centuries. They founded at Augsburg a cabinet of antiquities, a gallery of paintings, and a botanical garden. They built a church; they bought pictures of Titian; and collected the two largest libraries of the time in Germany. Their descendants have married into. and are merged in princely houses, and the name of Fugger, the German merchants, lives in history.

Of Lorenzo di Medici, the Florentine merchant, the history of his country and time is full. An English merchant, Mr. Roscoe, has made his own name famous by commemorating that of Lorenzo, and his book is still one of the most charming chapters of early modern history.

An earlier English merchant was Sir Thomas Gresham, the financial friend of Queen Elizabeth, who often made him, at his country-house, one of those famous visits which cost the host so dearly. Gresham was very rich, founded the first Royal Exchange and Gresham College, which still sustains seven courses of lectures.

Stephen Girard was an American merchant born in Bordeaux, France. He was the son of a sailor, and by thrift and skill rose to great wealth. In the war of 1812, when the Treasury wanted a loan of $5,000,000, and only $20,000 could be negotiated, Mr. Girard took the whole. When he died he left $2,000,000 to found the Girard college. The chief building is a copy of the Parthenon modified by modern exigencies. It is an institution for the benefit of white male orphans. Unluckily the fund was larger than the mind which endowed it, and no great public charity probably ever excited less interest and sympathy.

John Jacob Astor was an American merchant born in Germany, the son of a poor peasant. He came to this country just after the Revolution at the age of twenty. He accumulated the largest fortune in the country, estimated at $20,000,000, and his will gave $50,000 to the poor of Waldorf in Germany, his native village. He devoted also $400,000 for the establishment of a public library in the city of New York—nor have four hundred thousand dollars ever been more wisely expended.

These are but a few names of rich men who have erected enduring monuments to their names by making their fellow-men partners of their success. The roll is now increased by one who is not less a public benefactor than the greatest of them. Twenty-five years ago George Peabody, an American merchant born in Danvers, began business in London, and during all that time no resident of that city has been more truly respected than he. In many ways be was an American representative; and few travelers during that time but recall with pleasure the banquets and festivities with which he delighted to honor his friends and countrymen. Now, at the close of his active business career, having already founded a Library and Institute in his native Danvers, and a larger Institute and Library in Baltimore, where he lived for twenty years, the munificent American merchant devotes seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the benefit of the poor of London.

The conditions of the gift are so wise and liberal that the reader of his letter is not surprised to meet the admirable suggestion in regard to its disposition, that a portion of the fund, if not the whole, shall be applied to the building of improved lodging-houses for the poor.

Such a gift, too, comes with peculiar grace at a moment when England so causelessly and ruthlessly reviles us for not suffering our national life to be snuffed out by treason. It may be taken as the earnest of an American practically acquainted with England, that the foolish whims and jealousies which have controlled English opinion of us for a

year past are essentially transitory. Let us at least accept the omen. We are not the friends we thought we were, but we need not be enemies.


THE Richmond correspondent of the Charleston Mercury writes, in the middle of March: "At last accounts Jackson was falling back to Mount Jackson, forty miles from Winchester. The Yankees in the Kanawha Valley are building plank roads as fast as the enemy penetrates the country. Timber is plenty, and the Yankees fetch along plenty of portable steam saw-mills. Meantime our own roads are nearly impassable."

That is typical of the result of the war. The civilization of intelligence, skill, and steam saw-mills is conquering that of sloth, ignorance, and decay. Fifty years hence, when Virginia is taking the place which belongs to a region so peculiarly favored by climate, soil, natural irrigation, and variety of surface, and New York looks delighted upon her sister and rival, the sons and grandsons of Jackson's soldiers will look back to this year with incredulity, and confess, what Jackson and his troops deny, that Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and George Mason were wiser men and better Virginians than James M. Mason, John Letcher, Roger Pryor, and Henry A. Wise.


IN the presence of recent events Mr. Yancey's speech at New Orleans must be a little disheartening to his friends. "The sentiment of Europe is anti-slavery; .....and they will never recognize our independence until our conquering swords hang dripping over the prostrate heads of the North." The recognition must then be considered indefinitely postponed.

He also said, "It is an error to say that Cotton is King. It is not." Mr. Yancey has been a year in England, and he knows.

He added, "The chosen and the choosers [of the rebel Government] are in the same boat. The storm is raging, the wind is howling, and the waves are beating upon our bark. We have placed them [?!] at the helm. They may commit errors; but all history teaches that when there is mutiny in the crew the bark must go down." The moral is, that the only way to save New Orleans is to surrender by unanimous consent.

Having shown that the rebellion is hopeless, Mr. Yancey closed by expressing the strongest confidence in its success. It was the best course allowed by the circumstances.


A SMALL shareholder in a small railway that yields but small returns, had his half-yearly dividend remitted to him the other day in the shape of postage-stamps. He sent back a verbal message to the secretary, stating that they were of no use to him, as he could not write; and requesting that in future the payment should be made in tobacco, as, although he could not write, he could smoke.

A lover sees his sweet-heart in every thing he looks at, just as a man bitten by a mad dog sees dogs in his meat, dogs in his drink, dogs all round him.

A contemporary has been studying phonotypy. Here is a specimen: " Wat kant be qrd must b ndurd."

Lord Cockburne, the proprietor of Bonally, was sitting on a hill-side with a shepherd, and observing the sheep reposing in the coldest situation, he observed to him, "John, if I were a sheep, I would lie on the other side of the hill." The shepherd answered, "Ay, my lord; but if ye had been a sheep ye would has had mair sense."

"Now do take this medicine, wife, and I'll be hanged if it doesn't cure you." "Oh, I will take it then, by all means, for it is sure to do good one way or the other."

A gentleman who had a snuff-box that played "Drops of Brandy" and "The glasses Sparkle on the Board," went to dine with a friend a few miles out of town one Sunday, taking his box in his pocket. He accompanied the fancily to church, and by some accidental pressure he, about the middle of the sermon, touched the spring of the box, which struck up "Drops of Brandy." Every eye and ear was directed toward the spot, to the great dismay of the gentleman, who endeavored to stop the box, but, in doing so, only caused it to change the tune; on which he hastened out of church, the box rattling away as he hurried along the aisle.

AN OLD BACHELOR'S MAXIM.—As people sprinkle the floors before they sweep them, so some ladies sprinkle their husbands with tears in order to sweep the cash out of their pockets.

When the Government is afflicted, the political doctors generally apply leeches to its chest.

The Persians have a saying that "Ten measures of talk were sent down upon the earth, and the women took nine.

A country carpenter, nailing up a board to forbid vagrants trespassing, placed it with the inscription upsidedown. "Beggars are accustomed to reverses," observed a passenger. 

Horne Tooke returned his income at sixty pounds a year; the commissioners said they were not satisfied. Horne Tooke, in reply, stated that he had much more reason to be dissatisfied with the smallness of his income than they had.

Many persons who have a raging war-fever before going into battle are apt to get the ague afterward.


FOR an account of the BATTLE OF PITTSBURG LANDING and the ADVANCE UPON YORKTOWN see page 262.


On Tuesday, April 8, in the Senate, several petitions in favor of the passage of a uniform bankrupt law were presented and referred. The consideration of the bill confiscating the property of rebels was resumed, when Senator Henderson, of Missouri, made a speech in opposition to the proposition. Bills regulating the pay of the navy, and confirming the act of the President in accepting the services of certain volunteer engineer corps, were introduced and referred. After an executive session the Senate adjourned.—In the House, a resolution that Congress adjourn on the third Monday in May was referred to the Ways and Means Committee. The consideration of the National Tax bill was than resumed, and, all the amendments having been acted on, the bill was passed by a vote of 125 yeas to 13 nays. A joint resolution extending to officers and men in all the military departments the provisions

of the act securing to officers and men in the Missouri or Western Military Department their pay, bounty, and pensions, was adopted. A bill to punish and prevent the practice of polygamy was referred to the Committee on Territories.

On Wednesday, April 9, in the Senate, petitions in favor of emancipation, and the establishment of a national armory and military department in Wisconsin, were presented and referred. The bill allowing the Attorney-General and Secretary of the interior to fix the salaries of District Attorneys, was passed. After an executive session the Senate adjourned.—In the House, the bill to increase the efficiency of the Medical Department of the army. A bill making additional appropriations for the civil expenses of the Government was reported, and nearly all the Senate's amendments to the Post-office Appropriation bill were agreed to. The bill to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia came up on its second reading, to which Mr. Vallandigham objected. The question then recurred under the rule, "Shall the bill be rejected?" which was decided in the negative, 45 against 93. The bill was referred to the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union. The Pacific Railroad bill was taken up, and Mr. Phelps, of California, spoke in its favor.

On Thursday, April 10, in the Senate, resolutions of the Massachusetts Legislature, approving of the joint resolution recommended by the President, in favor of extending pecuniary aid to States desirous of emancipating their slaves, were presented. Notice was given of a bill amending the Fugitive Slave law. The bill establishing a line of steamships between San Francisco and Shanghai was taken up, and Senator Latham explained its objects. The consideration of the bill confiscating rebel property was then resumed. Senator Willey, of Virginia, offered an amendment, appropriating $5,000,000 for the colonization of negroes made free by the bill. This created a lively discussion, but no action was taken on the subject. A bill incorporating the North Pacific Railroad Company was introduced, and the Senate then went into executive session.—In the House, a resolution expressing gratitude to Almighty God for the glorious triumph of the Union arms at Island No. 10 and Pittsburg Landing, and thanking the officers, soldiers, and sailors for their gallantry and devotion in those contests, was presented by Mr. Arnold, of Illinois, and referred to the Military Committee in order that the names of all the commanding officers may be mentioned therein, as is customary in such cases. The Senate's amendments to the Naval Appropriation bill were reported back by the Ways and Means Committee. The amendments appropriating $13,000,000 for iron-clad steam vessels of war, and $788,000 for the completion of the Stevens floating battery, were agreed to. A resolution that, if the Senate concur, Congress will adjourn sine die on the third Monday in May, was adopted. In Committee of the Whole the bill regulating the franking privilege, the bill abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia, and the resolution of the Committee on Foreign Affairs relative to neutral maritime rights, were discussed.

On Friday, April 11, in the Senate, Senator Wilson, of Massachusetts, introduced a bill amending the Fugitive Slave Law. The bill reproving all disabilities for color in carrying the mails, was passed by a vote of 24 to 11. The debate on the bill confiscating rebel property was then resumed and continued till the adjournment.—In the House, the bill abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia was passed by a vote of 93 to 39. The bill has now passed both Houses by a two-thirds vote.

On Monday, April 14, in the Senate, Senator Hale announced his resignation of the Chairmanship of the Committee on Naval Affairs. The bill confiscating the property of rebels was taken up, and Senator Harris, of New York, made a speech in support of it. A resolution directing inquiry as to the expediency of providing by law for an exchange of the products of the United States with foreign countries, through our diplomatic and commercial agents, was adopted. After an executive session the Senate adjourned.—In the House, the Speaker announced the
following named members as a special committee to devise a plan for the gradual emancipation of slaves, namely: Albert S. White of Indiana, Francis P. Blair of Missouri, George P. Fisher of Delaware, William E. Lehman of Pennsylvania, Cornelius L. L. Leary of Maryland, William V. Whaley of Virginia, damn; F. Wilson of Iowa, Samuel L. Casey of Kentucky, and Andrew J. Clements of Tennessee. The Committee on Foreign Affairs asked to be discharged from further consideration of petitions in favor of the abrogation of the Canadian Reciprocity treaty. A resolution, calling for information respecting the alleged destruction of property in Missouri by United States troops from Kansas, was referred to the Military Committee. The consideration of the bill establishing a uniform bankrupt law was postponed till December next. The Senate resolution transferring the superintendency of the Capitol extension from the War to the Interior Department was adopted. A bill providing for the construction of a ship canal from the Mississippi River to Lake Michigan, for the transportation of war munitions, etc., and also the enlargement of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, was reported by the Military Committee.


At the time we close this record there is no stirring news from Yorktown. Every thing is progressing well and quietly there.

The latest news from Fortress Monroe represents every thing quiet there. The Merrimac has made no further movement.


The rebel steam-ram Merrimac came out on 11th from her moorings off Craney Island, accompanied by her consorts, the Jamestown, Yorktown, and her convoy of tugs. She proceeded as far as a point between Newport News and Sewall's point, and made toward the Monitor and the small Stevens iron battery. The Merrimac fired only one shot, but the little Stevens battery returned with four or five, upon which the Merrimac and her companions returned to Craney Island. The Yorktown captured two brigs and a schooner which were lying near Newport News, and steamed off with them.


Our troops have pushed as far south as Huntsville, Alabama, under General Mitchell. They took possession of that place without much resistance, and captured two hundred prisoners, fifteen locomotives, and a large amount of rolling stock. Huntsville is an important point, being situated on the main trunk line of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, which connects Richmond with Memphis and the other cities of the Southwest. Our possession of Huntsville cuts off all connection between the Southern Atlantic States and the West.

On the morning of 12th two expeditions were started from Huntsville by railroad. One, under Colonel Sill, of the Thirty-third Ohio, went east to Stevenson, the junction of the Chattanooga with the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, which point they seized, two thousand of the enemy retreating without firing a shot. Colonel Sill captured five locomotives and a large amount of rolling stock. The other expedition, under Colonel Turchin, of the Nineteenth Illinois, went west, and arrived at Decatur in tine to save the railroad bridge, which was then in flames.

General Mitchell now holds one hundred miles of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad—this securing our position at Huntsville and its vicinity.


The Union troops shelled Pass Christian on the 4th inst., and landed 2400 men and twelve 4-pound howitzers. Pass Christian is situated near St. Louis Bay, within 50 miles of New Orleans. It is a port village of Harrison County, Mississippi, 13 miles from Mississippi City.


The Savannah Republican of the 12th announces the unconditional surrender of Fort Pulaski on the previous day. Seven large breaches were made in the walls by our batteries of Parrott guns at King's Landing, and all the barbette guns on that side and three casemate guns were dismounted. Three balls entered the magazine. Colonel Olmstead, the rebel commander, signaled, the day previous to the surrender, that our fire was so terrible that no human being could stand upon the parapet for even a moment.


The Richmond Whig publishes news from Fort Mexico, received by way of New Orleans, which professes to show

that Fort Craig has fallen into the hands of rebels; Colonel Canby and his command having been compelled to make an unconditional surrender. No dates are given.


The prisoners and property captured by General Pope and Commodore Foote, at and in the vicinity of Island No. 10, are summed up as follows:

Major-General    1 Privates    5500

Brigadier-Generals    3 Cannon    125

Colonels    10 Arms    10,000

Lieutenant - Colonels and   Steamboats    10

Majors    15 Floating battery    1

Captains    56 Horses and mules    2000

Lieutenants    64 Wagons    1000

Second Lieutenants   84

—besides forty thousand dollars' worth of provisions, and ammunition unestimated.


A copy of the Richmond Whig of the 8th contains the following dispatches in reference to the battles in Tennessee, all bearing date on the 6th, and giving an account of the Sunday fight only:



General S. Cooper, Adjutant-General,—We have this morning attacked the enemy in strong position in front of Pittsburg, and after a severe battle of ten hours, thanks to Almighty God, gained a complete victory, driving the enemy from every position.

The loss on both sides is heavy, including our Commander-in-chief, General Albert Sydney Johnston, who fell gallantly leading his troops into the thickest of the fight.

G. T. BEAUREGARD, General Commanding


The Norfolk Day Book contains the following dispatch from General Beauregard of the second day's fight at Pittsburg:

   CORINTH, TUESDAY, April 8, 1862.

To the Secretary of War, Richmond:

We have gained a great and glorious victory. Eight to ten thousand prisoners and thirty-six pieces of cannon. Buell reinforced Grant, and we retired to our intrenchments at Corinth, which we can hold. Loss heavy on both sides.   BEAUREGARD.

WASHINGTON, April 14, 1862.

In reference to Beauregard's dispatch, given above, inquiries have been made at the War Department, and we are authorized to say that the reports from Pittsburg Landing already given to the public contradict the report in the Norfolk papers. All reports received at the War Department confirm the statements that the enemy were routed and pursued as far as the previous orders of General Grant would permit, and the enemy are now shut up in Corinth.


The following is an account of the capture of a rebel battery at Island No. 10, illustrated on page 268:

Wednesday night five launches, one from each gun-boat, and carrying in all fifty seamen and soldiers, armed to the teeth, "might have been seen" a little after dark pushing out from the various gun-boats, and gathering under the shadows of the willows that fringe the Kentucky shore. Each boat had an officer in command, and the whole were in charge of Lieutenant-Colonel Roberts, of the Forty-second Illinois infantry.

The strictest silence was observed—not a whisper nor even the splash of an oar broke the stillness. At length every thing was ready, and giving themselves to the current the boats started down the stream, the oarsmen quietly giving each boat sufficient motion only to enable the steersman to it to keep close within the shadows. In this mysterious manner they departed, and speedily disappeared in the darkness.

An hour later and the solitary rebel sentry who, musket in hand, paced forward and backward along the parapet of the upper battery, had his thoughts disturbed by a remarkable appearance. He had just entered the depths of a cogitation, the main features of which probably were that Yankees were vulgar, base, low-born mud-sills; that Southerners are chivalrous, noble, knightly, superior; and that one of the latter is just an equal match for from five to twenty-five of the former, when suddenly happening to glance toward the river, his eyes caught sight of numberless black objects drifting slowly toward him, and above these dark masses were luminous points and flashes, which seemed to envelop them like a net-work of ghostly phosphorescent flame. He rubbed his eyes, looked again at these mysterious phenomena, and was about to conclude that something was abroad, when suddenly a voice was heard, "Give way:" fifty oars dropped in the water, and the dark-looking objects, with the swiftness of thought, shot straight for his position. He had only time to see that the supernatural light was the gleam of bayonets, and then to his disordered vision there appeared do be coming at ]tint a hundred boats, each carrying a thousand Yankees. With a yell of horror he pulled off his piece in the air, and fled with the darkness, no more to be seen.

He had no more than left when the five boats struck the bank, their contents poured ashore and took possession of the battery, and guards were posted around, and their rat-tail files and sledge-hammers were brought into requisition with a success that, in the course of half an hour, effectually spiked every gun—there were seven—in the battery.

The party remained in the works about an hour, and then, without hearing a word from the enemy, returned to the fleet. The very audacity of the thing seems to have so paralyzed the rebels that they offered no opposition; or possibly the fears of the frightened sentry so magnified the Federal force that they were induced to believe that an army had effected a landing at the battery; and hence, instead of assuming the offensive, they busied themselves in preparations to repel an attack. The circumstance of the battery being entirely surrounded by water, with the exception of the gun-platforms and narrow parapet, which alone connected them with the higher banks below, prevented the rebels from keeping a large force at this place, and consequently they were in no condition to offer any effective defense.


The steamship Baltic arrived at this port on 13th from a cruise in search of the United States ship Vermont. The Baltic came by way of Bermuda on the 8th inst., and there learned that the Vermont was in good condition, and had proceeded on her way to Port Royal. The steamers Bermuda and Herald were loading at Bermuda for Nassau, or with the view of running the blockade at some Southern port.



MR. GEORGE PEABODY'S letter, vesting the sum of $750,000 in the hands of trustees, as a free gift, to be employed in ameliorating the condition of the poor of London, with the reply of the trustees, has been published. The Lord Meyer of London was advised to call a meeting in order to offer the thanks of the city to Mr. George Peabody for his donation to its poor.


A man named Henry Hotze writes to the London Times; announcing himself as the sole commercial agent of the rebel States England. He pledges himself not to assume or counterfeit consular functions till the Confederacy is officially dealt with by the British Government; but he is prepared to give every information to all comers. It thus appears that the Mason embassadorial mission has dwindled down to a commercial agency.


The British press and Parliament are busily engaged in discussing the question of iron-clad floating batteries and the heavy ordnance of the Americans. It is understood that orders have been issued to suspend work on wooden vessels.




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