Civil War Overview
Civil War 1861
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Robert E. Lee
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Robert E. Lee Portrait
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
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
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
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.
HUMORS OF THE DAY.
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.
"Yes, yes; you bid on the lot,"
"Me? hang me if I did," insisted
"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
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
"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
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
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.
DO YOU GIVE IT UP?
Why is a naughty boy like a penny
Because he is licked and put in
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
BATTLE NEAR CULPEPPER.
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.
WAS A VICTORY FOR US.
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,
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."
DESTRUCTION OF THE "ARKANSAS."
The following is from the
Petersburg Daily Express of 7th:
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.
GUERRILLAS BEATEN IN THE WEST.
A dispatch from Brigadier-General
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
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
TRAITORS AT THE NORTH.
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 WEST HAS DONE FOR THE WAR.
The following table shows what
the West has done for the war in the way of furnishing men:
REBEL SYMPATHIZERS SNUBBED.
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.
CANADA SNEERED AT.
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.
"TUSCARORA" AT WORK.
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.