Battle of Culpepper


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, August 23, 1862

Welcome to the Civil War Harper's Weekly online newspapers. These newspapers contain rich illustrations and descriptions of the key events of the Civil War. They are a critical resource that can be used to develop an in depth understanding of the key issues of the conflict.

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


US Capitol

The US Capitol

Battle of Cedar Mountain

Battle of Cedar Mountain

The Battle of Culpepper

The Battle of Culpepper

Edmund Ruffin House Burned

Edmund Ruffin's House Burned

Ironclad Navy

Ironclad Navy



Abraham Lincoln Speech

Abraham Lincoln Speech

Edmund Ruffin House Burning

Edmund Ruffin's House Burning

Army of the Potomac at Harrison's Landing

Army of the Potomac Camp at Harrison's Landing

Heron Creek new Harrison's Landing

Heron Creek

Map of Richmond Virginia

Map of Richmond Virginia

Steinway Pianos

Steinway Pianos

Elisha Hinman

Elisha Hinman

Civil War Draft Cartoons

Draft Cartoons










AUGUST 23, 1862.]



(Previous Page) greatly prefer to live; that they naturally like the climate which is kinder, and the labor to which they are accustomed, and that the population is so thin that they are wanted where they are, every man of them, and as many more, and twice as many more. The only reason that they do not wish to stay is that they are not free men.

Why do not our laborers go to the South? Because they would not better themselves. Why do the slaves come North? Because they can better themselves by coming. But they better themselves only by getting free. If, therefore, any laboring man wants them to stay at home let him make it their interest to stay, and they won't trouble any body here at the North. If the men who cultivate the cotton-fields at the South were as free as those who cultivate the corn-fields at the North, they could not be hired to come here.

"But you don't mean to say that those fellows are equal to us?" cries an indignant somebody. Well, that is as it happens. Any man who behaves himself is a better man than he who doesn't. A man who gets drunk, and beats his wife, and curses his children, and is an ignorant, brutal sot and public pest and nuisance, is no better man because his nose is red and his cheek dirty white. Robert Smalls is a much more honorable man than Robert Toombs, however rich and flake-white the latter person may be.

And if the blacks are not equal to the whites—whatever the word equal may mean—then what? It is a universal law that the influx of the poor workman elevates the good one. The emigration of unskilled laborers from Europe to this country has promoted the native laborer to places of higher profit. If a race is inferior, a superior race need not be afraid of it. If God has made it inferior it will remain so, and you need not bother your brains about keeping it so. If it is made inferior, you may treat it with the utmost justice and charity, and still it will not become superior.

But if it is made inferior it is still a human race, with the attributes and instincts of other men; and if you treat it with infamous injustice and call it tutelage, and outrage and degrade it out of humanity and call it Christianity, it may remain silent and motionless; but God does not sleep, nor his justice slumber, and suddenly we gentlemen of the superior races will fall into the most sanguinary civil war, because injustice to any man affects all men, and because men and races, however humble, are human still.

If we want to keep the peace all round let us be just to every man. If you want the black laborer to stay at the South, do all you can to make him want to stay. Give him the same chance there that we all have here, and he will trouble us less than a good many white men that could be named.


IN his last book Gasparin warns us of probable trouble with Europe. "End your war," he says, "or you will have more war than you bargained for." Meanwhile our particular friend Palmerston seems to be in no hurry. He remembers what Napoleon used to say, "When your enemy is eating himself up, keep off, he is doing your work for you gratis." The English Government evidently thinks that we are in articulo: that a very few months will see our final decease; and that Great Britain will have nothing to do but to pick our bones clean at leisure. The learned Spence, who does the secession for the London Times, rolls up his excellent eyes, lifts his admirable hands, and exclaims "There! you see it is impossible to subdue that gallant, that heroic, that noble people!"—the gallant and noble heroes who are fighting so hard to found an open market for children and a shambles for human flesh.

Meanwhile, also, the feeling in this country toward that eminently religious citizen of the world John Bull, is, at least, ceasing to be amiable. That benign old gentleman is wonderfully portrayed by Dickens in "Little Dorrit," as the bottle-green Patriarch. The Patriarch is a fat, elderly person, with a very smooth pate, and immense hands, which he is always rubbing with an air of such complacent good-will to mankind that you would think you beheld brotherly love embodied. He wears a spotless suit of bottle-green broadcloth, and turns his great face from side to side, with what you think is a beaming expression, until you see that the bland smoothness is only the lack-lustre chaps of a moon-calf, and that the great lump of man twiddling his fingers with such ineffable regard for the human race is a heartless, soulless old hunks, who grinds the face of the poor and bloats into fatness upon the tears, and agony, and despair of the innocent and weak and unfortunate.

This country will frankly own that it has been taken in for a long time by the bald pate, and the big paunch, and the beaming smoothness of John Bull. It credited him with a hearty, if bluff and surly generosity. It believed him capable of one high emotion. It knew him to be selfish and vain, but it confided in his being sound at the core. It saw in his history the steady, though bloody and difficult, development of great principles of free government, and it supposed he understood and valued them. That country finds him hoping earnestly for its destruction; in every mean and stealthy way helping the assassins who are trying to stab it to the heart; gloating over its reverses; taunting it with an early and terrible doom; jeering, sneering, scolding, and spitting upon it; and then blandly rubbing his hands with a slight shrug of sanctimonious horror, wondering that he should be thought unfriendly.

With John Bull, as with every other bully, the question is, "Shall I gain or lose by sailing into this quarrel?" His action depends entirely upon that. Nor will he contemplate it precisely as we do. We may prove to our complete satisfaction that he has nothing to gain by it, and just as our proof is complete he may take a hand. Let us end the war, therefore, before he has a chance to join in. One at a time. Is it worth while to drag

on until we have another nation or two to fight as well as half of our own? And can we wisely afford to spare any stroke that will end it soon and triumphantly?


WHAT a pity it would be, cries a recent writer, if this epitaph should be written for the nation, that it lost its own liberty in trying to free others!

This is a current platitude, and ought to be pricked.

In the first place, if such an epitaph were written, it would be a nobler one than covers any nation in history. That of Rome reads, "Here lies a nation that lost its life in trying to steal the liberty of other people." That is not a very pleasing epitaph. Or how would the writer like to have ours read, "Here lies a people that lived and flourished by depriving other people of their rights?" It would be a good and true epitaph of Burke the murderer, or Turpin the highwayman, but it would not be a very glorious account of this nation, would it? Does the writer of whom we are speaking think that if Lafayette had died at the battle of Brandywine, where he was wounded in fighting for the liberty of another people, he would have died a fool's death or have left an inglorious memory? Could there have been a nobler, a more exquisitely Christian epitaph than this: "Here lies a Frenchman who died for the liberties of America?"

In the second place, this war is not a struggle of one people to free another. It is the effort of a nation to maintain the foundations of its own civil existence, which is the guarantee of ultimate liberty to every inhabitant of its soil.

But if, in the earnest prosecution of that war, it should, by the way and as a means of surer and speedier success, do a great act of justice which would relieve its political and social system of the incessant cause of irritation, would it be an event to be deplored? Nay, if, having done this, it were still unable to conquer, and its own civil liberties sank under the same tyranny which destroyed the personal rights of other men, would it be better that the effort had not been made?

Which is the nobler epitaph, "Here lies a people that lost its life in trying to save that of another:" or this, "Here lies a nation that died because it did not dare to save its life?" Death is not the worst catastrophe either for a man or a people. But to die of fear is inexpressibly ignominious.


COLLEGE degrees have this year acquired a new significance. The two oldest Universities in the country have complimented with the degree of Doctor of Laws the two men in Europe who have most truly and eloquently stated and defended the American question. Harvard confers the honor upon the Englishman, John Stuart Mill, and Yale upon the Frenchman, Count Gasparin. It is interesting also that the Wesleyan University at Middletown has honored in the same way the Swede, John Ericsson.

This is the recognition upon the part of the representatives of educated America of the sympathy of thoughtful Europe. All men of a certain height of culture find their chief interest in man and human development. Such men form but one party in all countries and times. They are the tribunal to which the best men instinctively appeal. In England, for instance, while Lord Palmerston has a majority, and Lord Derby a party, and the radical leaders a following, John Stuart Mill is almost alone in the tone of his philosophy of society and civilization; and yet he most faithfully represents the tendency of the best English thought, and of that ideal England which symbolizes to the imagination the perfection of Saxon development.

English civilization is to be estimated by such men as Mill, not such as Palmerston and the editors of the Times. France is to be judged by Gasparin, not by Louis Napoleon and De Morny. America, in the same way, is to be contemplated in a very few thinkers, not in the general talk of politicians, or the scurvy dribble of panderers to ignorance and prejudice. If Palmerston were the best that England could show to-day, where would England be when to-day becomes history? If the words of those who point the inevitable and glorious tendency of our present situation were forgotten, what kind of spectacle would these days of ours offer to the Future?

In the degrees conferred upon Mill, and Gasparin, and Ericsson, the United States clasp hands with the noblest spirit of the contemporary world.


SMITH, the auctioneer, is a popular man, a wit, and a gentleman. No person is offended at what he says, and many a hearty laugh has he provoked by his humorous sayings. He was recently engaged in a sale of venerable household furniture and "fixings." He had just got to "Going, going, and a half, a half, going!" when he saw a smiling countenance, upon agricultural shoulders, wink at him. A wink is always as good as a nod to a blind horse or to a keen-sighted auctioneer; so Smith winked, and the man winked, and they kept winking, and Smith kept "Going, going, going!" with a lot of glass-ware, stove-pipes, carpets, pots, and perfumery, and finally this lot was knocked down.

"To—who?" said Smith, gazing at the smiling stranger.

"Who? Golly!" said the stranger, "I don't know who."

"Why you, Sir," said Smith.

"Who? me?"

"Yes, yes; you bid on the lot," said Smith.

"Me? hang me if I did," insisted the stranger.

"Why, did you not wink, and keep winking?" "Winking! Well, I did, and so did you at me. I thought you were winking as much as to say, 'Keep dark, I'll stick somebody into that lot of stuff;' and I winked as much as to say, 'I'll be hanged if you don't, mister!' "

"Walk with the Beautiful" is the title of some verses which have been going the round of some of the papers. Old Skuddy attempted to follow the advice, and, after promenading with a pretty girl, went home, and was met by an indignant wife. He says he will not fallow the advice of a poet a second time.

Make the best of every thing, If you have the jaundice, exult that you have a golden prospect before you.

INSIDE AND OUTSIDE.-" Julius, I understand your aunt is dead." " Yes, Sam; and you heard ob her bein' rich?" "Of course." "Waal, she left me a big fortune an' my brodder too." "How did the will read?" "De well didn't read—a man read it." " I mean, what did she leave yourself and brother?" "Why she left him de inside ob de house, an' me de outside."

A man of property, whose health happened to give way under long-continued intemperance, consulted Dr. S—, who said, "I can cure you if you will do as I bid you." His patient promised obedience. "Now," said the doctor, "you must steal a horse. Yes—you must steal a horse. You will be arrested, convicted, and placed in a situation where your diet and regimen will be such that in a short time your health will be perfectly restored."

"What is your fare, coachee?" said a stout gentleman, alighting from a hackney coach.

COACHEE. "One shilling, Sir."

GENT. "One shilling! what an imposition for so short a distance!"

COACHEE. "I'll take an oath it is my proper fare." GENT. "Will you? Very well; I am a magistrate; proceed." (Coachee is sworn.) "There, that will do. The shilling I shall keep for the affidavit."

Storms generally are a mystery, but you can always see the drift of a snow-storm.

Scrutinize a lawyer when he tells you how to avoid litigation, and a doctor when he drinks your health.

The industrious old lady who walked all over town with a can in her hand to procure a quart of the "milk of human kindness," has been more successful in getting a little jam out of the door. She got the jam on her fingers.

Said an old preacher once, "Fellow-sinners, if you were told that by going to the top of those stairs yonder" (pointing to a rickety pair at one end of the church) "you might secure your eternal salvation, I really believe hardly any of you would try it. But let any man proclaim that there was five hundred dollars up there for you, and I'll be bound there would be such a getting up stairs as you never did see."

An ambitious barber advertises himself as a "professor of Decoracapillaturation and Depilacrostation."

Did you ever travel in an omnibus on a rainy day, windows and doors closed, eight on a side, limited of course to six, and among that number two women covered with musk? ''Drivare!" said a Frenchman, "let me out of ze dore—I am suffocate! You 'ave vat you call one musty rat in ze omnibus. I 'ave no parapluie, mais I preface ze rain-water to ze mauvais smell."

Some years ago, one of the guards of a Liverpool coach, seeing a steam-engine move somewhat slowly along the railroad, called out to the stoker, " I say, Jem, what's the use of your simmering along at that 'ere jog-trot? Come, can't you boil her up to a gallop?"

The youngest and prettiest girl is no chicken—if she is a goose. It is beauty's privilege to kill time, and time's privilege to kill beauty.

ANALOGY.—When is a plant like a hog? When it begins to root. When is it like a soldier? When it begins to shoot. And when is it like an editor? When it begins to blow.

The Farmers' Journal says "that there is great art in making a good cheese." Yes, a fine fresh cheese is an admirable production of Art, and a very old one is often a rare specimen of "animated nature."

Extempore preaching is like extempore fiddling—none but the most finished performers should attempt it.

A SPLENDID CLIMATE.—In California a "shower" continued about three weeks, when it "set in to rain."

The editor of a provincial paper talks about his frame of mind. A contemporary suggests that he may have the frame of one, but that is all.

AN OYSTER.—Why is an oyster asleep in his bed like Lot's wife?—'Cause he's "turned in" to salt.

To a gathering of learned friends, Adam Smith said, as he was dying, "I believe we must adjourn this meeting to another place."

A FACT.—The largest "marine stores" in the world are at the bottom of the sea.

"Elegant extract," as the dentist said when he took out two sound teeth at one pull.

TRUE.—"Short calls are best," as the fly said when he alighted upon the hot stove.

It is impossible to look at the sleepers in a church without being reminded that Sunday is a day of rest.

Poor Brown, who is married, says the only peace he ever has is a piece of his lady's mind.

The charities of a good many rich people seem altogether indispensable.


Why is a naughty boy like a penny stamp?

Because he is licked and put in the corner.

My first two letters a man,

My first three letters a woman,

My first four a great man,

And my whole a great woman.

He, her, hero, heroine (heroine).

Which is the smallest bridge in the world? The bridge of the nose.

If John the footman were to kiss Mary the house-maid, to what place of punishment would she consign him? A dungeon ("adone, John!").

Why is Westminster Abbey like the fender? Because it contains the ashes of the grate (great).

Why is a miser like a man with a short memory? Because he is always for getting (forgetting).

Why is it better to be burned to death than to be beheaded?

Because a hot stake is better than a cold chop.

If a Frenchman was to fall into a tub of grease, what English word might he utter to show his deplorable state? Indefatigable (in de fat I gabble).

My first will give a good estate, The next is but an humble fate,

My whole will something proper make To those whom faithless hearts forsake.


Which of the seven wonders of the world is a locomotive-engine like?

Colossus (coal-oases) of Rhodes (roads).



GENERAL POPE and Stonewall Jackson have met at last, and a fierce battle has been fought, apparently without any decided advantage on either side, save that our advance held its ground, which, considering the position, is equivalent to a victory. On Friday General McDowell's cavalry had the extreme advance, near the Rapidan River,

and were engaged in skirmishes all day, taking some prisoners, and ending with a slight loss. On Saturday morning, while a large rebel force was endeavoring to surround and cut him off, General Banks came up with four regiments of cavalry, and delayed the rebel advance. In the afternoon he attacked their advance force of 15,000, under Jackson and Ewell, at a place about six miles south of Culpepper Court House. At first the contest was almost entirely by artillery, but at 6 o'clock the infantry became engaged, and a determined fight began. The rebels were in the woods—our men in open fields. General Banks's right, under General Williams, suffered severely. At this time the rebels attacked in full force. At 7 1/2 o'clock P.M. General Pope arrived on the field accompanied by General McDowell and a part of his corps. The battle was then substantially over, General Banks holding his original ground. The artillery of both sides continued until nearly 12 o'clock, the night being very clear, with bright moonlight. Both Generals Pope and Banks were greatly exposed at one time, and a sudden charge of rebel cavalry was made to take them, but failed. The fire of the rebel batteries was afterward silenced. The troops were under arms and in position all night. General Banks is highly praised, both for personal gallantry and the management of his troops. The total loss is estimated at 2000 to 3000 killed, wounded, and missing on each side. Jackson and Ewell were both in the battle, and General A. P. Hill came up with 18,000 to reinforce them on Saturday night, about the time our men arrived. There was some skirmishing on Sunday morning, but the weather was hot, and the troops so much exhausted that no general engagement was expected.


On Sunday the rebels fell back two miles, and sent flag of truce for permission to bury their dead.


Secretary Stanton has issued two important orders. The stringency of these orders is in keeping with the exigencies of the times. The first forbids all those persons liable to draft from leaving the United States, or their State or county, upon pain of arrest; and in all such cases the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. The other one consigns all parties saying or doing any thing to obstruct enlistment to the nearest station-house by the hands of any United States officer, State officer, or policeman.


General Morgan, Governor of the State of New 'York, has announced the quota of the State, for the draft call, to be 59,705, of which 12,518 forms the portion allotted to the city and county of New York. General Buckingham, Assistant Adjutant-General, has officially stated that "whatever volunteer force above its ratable proportion shall be offered by a State, any time before the draft is actually made, would be accepted by the War Department and credited upon the draft as a proportionable reduction."


The following is from the Petersburg Daily Express of 7th:

      RICHMOND, August 8, 1862.

A dispatch from General Van Dorn to Secretary Mallory states that the Confederate ram Arkansas, Lieutenant Stephens commanding, had been destroyed. She left Vicksburg on Monday to co-operate in the attack on Baton Rouge. After passing Bayou Sara her machinery became disabled, and while attempting to adjust it several of the enemy's gun-boats attacked her. After a gallant resistance she was abandoned and blown up. Her officers and men reached the shore in safety.


A dispatch from Brigadier-General Schofield to General Halleck, dated at St. Louis on the 10th instant, states that Colonel McNeil, with one thousand men, had beaten Porter's forces—two thousand five hundred strong—at Kirksville, on the 7th, and again near Stockton on the 9th instant. Porter's forces were said to be terribly demoralized.


The new rebel ram Fingal is fully armed and manned at Savannah. She has been altered from the British steamer of that name which ran the blockade into Savannah last spring, and, it is said, is now quite a formidable engine of destruction. She carries two 100-pound rifle guns, six 10- inch Columbiads, four 50-pound rifle guns, and two 24-pounders for grape and canister. She is said to resemble the Merrimac in shape and form, with a massive beak at either end. Our troops are prepaning to receive her. The plan of the rebels is said to be: first, to destroy our fleet, and then to move the Fingal around to Seabrook and there cover the landing of their forces; they, meanwhile, are concentrating land forces at Bluffton, at Hardeesville, and at Grahamsville.


Some extraordinary developments of latent treason have been made in Indiana. It appears the Grand Jury for the United States District Court of that State, at Indianapolis, have just presented a secret organization called the "Knights of the Golden Circle," whose purposes are declared to be treasonable. The Grand Jury show that there are 15,000 members of an order directly in league with the secessionists of the South. They have plans to avoid or defeat legal proceedings against them, they are sworn to resist the collection of Federal taxes, and go armed to their meetings. The Indianapolis Journal states, on this latter point, that during the late Copperhead Convention no less than five hundred revolvers were sold. Sixty of these men have been indicted—sixteen of them for treason.


The following table shows what the West has done for the war in the way of furnishing men:



FORTY merchants and shipowners of Liverpool memorialized Earl Russell relative to the alleged violation of international law by the Federal cruisers in the Bahama waters, and Lord Russell replied, through Mr. Layard, justifying the proceedings of the cruisers, owing to the practice of sending vessels to the Bahamas for the purpose of running the blockade. He recommends strict attention to the Queen's neutrality proclamation, which prohibits British subjects aiding either side in our present struggle.


A debate occurred in Parliament on the 25th ult. upon the defense of Canada, in which Lord Palmerston said that England has now sent all the troops she could to Canada, and it rests with the Canadians to stake all further provision requisite to protect the colonies from invasion. Sir De Lacy Evans said that he did not think that there was any immediate danger of any invasion of Canada by the Northern States. They had no means whatever of undertaking such a project. If the population of Canada was true to itself, it could preserve its independence without the assistance of British troops. To which Mr. Roebuck replied—in terms not at all complimentary to Canada—that the Canadian people had been induced to believe that the maintenance of their independence was of the greatest importance to England, and that they ought to show them that they do not care a farthing about their adherence to England.


The United States steamer Tuscarora, which arrived at Queenstown on the 31st of July, has caused a new English trading steamer, supposed to be laden for Nassau, N. P., and had really left Queenstown with a war cargo for the rebels, to put back to Holyhead, where all her freshly shipped crew deserted her.





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