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Civil War Harper's Weekly, August 16, 1862

Welcome to our online archive of Harper's Weekly newspapers from the Civil War. This important archive allows you to "drill down" and study the Civil War in a level of detail never before possible. This collection documents the key events of the conflict.

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


John Morgan

John Morgan

Lincoln Institutes the Draft

Lincoln Institutes the Draft

Lincoln's Draft Order

Abraham Lincoln's Draft Order

War in Alabama

The War in Alabama

Capture of Red Bill

Capture of Red Bill

The Pirate Ship Sumter

Pirate Ship "Sumter"

Sumter's Officer Journal

Journal from Sumter Officer

On Board the Sumter

On Board the Sumter

Franklin's Corps

General Franklin's Corps

McClellan's Prayer Service

General McClellan's Prayer Service

Battle of Fairoaks

The Battle of Fairoaks

Mississippi River

Mississippi River

Slave Cartoons

Slave Cartoons











[AUGUST 16, 1862.


(Previous Page) habituated to a regular, systematic life, with ability enough to keep all surroundings subordinate to that system. It would seem as if, were she to be superseded in her kitchen, she would lose her hold on life, and the whole "darkey" appendage to the domestic establishment would be deprived of its balance-wheel.

When, therefore, on the first occupation of the premises, she was told that so long as she did right she would keep her place in the kitchen, and receive six dollars a month, the "old lady" appreciated her position at once, and from that day forth, without further trouble to her employer, was secured the proper regulation and deportment of all the servants "on the lot"—men, women, and children—and of all who visit them. Nothing ever happens among them to annoy or displease. The household is as well-ordered as if her old mistress were there to direct. In fact, appearances would lead to an inference that the old colored servant had heretofore habitually relieved her mistress of all such direction.

"Aunt Charlotte's" domestic relations are as well-ordered as the household. She has children, grand-children, and great grand-children. Her old husband—"Uncle Sam"—in propria persona—now almost superannuated, at the age of seventy-five, is General Burnside's gardener. It is touching to witness the habitual care which "Old Aunty" takes of this venerable partner of her life and her bondage. As regular as the clock the old man, with his staff, comes in at mid-afternoon from his daily employment. He invariably finds a chair set for him on the kitchen piazza, by the side of a well-scoured deal table. On this "Old Aunty" places before him a plate well filled from all the dishes which she has that day served for her employer's table. But "Aunty's" provisions go further than supplying the appetite. She shows, mayhap, her knowledge of human nature—at any rate, the value of keeping the faculties awake even after a good dinner; for, by the side of "Uncle Sam's" chair is invariably placed a small basket of corn in the ear. And after his dinner, the old man may always be seen wearing away the late hours of the afternoon in shelling off the corn for the cow's supper; for "our old cook" allows nothing "on the lot" to suffer for food.

Our sketch is a faithful everyday picture of the old lady, as she wished it taken, in an attitude showing her attendance to the duties of her sphere.

"Aunt Charlotte" has many virtues that ennoble her position. And in the industrious performance of her duties in life, and in her attention to her Christian obligations—for she is a devoted church-member, and regulates her everyday life by her simple understanding of the precepts of the Bible—she might safely be held up as an example to many who pride themselves on purer blood and a higher scale of existence.



THE President has ordered a draft of THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND MEN from the loyal States, in addition to the new levy of three hundred thousand volunteers, whose ranks, in case they are not filled by 15th inst., are likewise to be filled by draft.

The people have received the news with exultation. A few craven spirits show signs of alarm; but the immense bulk of the people, including those who are subject to draft, hail the new policy with transport, as being the shortest and the only reliable road to the restoration of the Union and the re-establishment of peace. We must have, at the present time, fully 300,000 men in the field. An additional force of 600,000 will swell our army to the enormous figure of 900,000 effective men, exclusive of negroes. This force will enable us to sweep the rebels into the Gulf of Mexico, even though they should arm every male in their country. We may, therefore, consider the Presidential order of 4th inst. as rendering the victory of the Union a mathematical certainty, beyond all contingency and peradventure.

It will be received in our camps on the Mississippi and the James River with feelings which can be more easily imagined than described. Those gallant bands of heroes, whose ranks have been thinned by the enemy's cannon and the fevers of the Chickahominy and the Tennessee, will learn with inexpressible delight that they are at last to be fully reinforced, and enabled to perform the work which they have undertaken. Our army in the West will read the order as meaning that Vicksburg is to be taken, the highwaymen who call themselves guerrillas hunted down and hung, and the navigation of the Mississippi secured beyond all possibility of accident. The Army of Virginia and the Army of the Potomac will discern in it substantial evidence that they are to receive from home the strength which they require to take Richmond, and drive the wretched, lying, swaggering slave-owners beyond Virginia into the swamps of the Carolinas, and eventually to the sands of the Gulf. A distinguished officer of the army of the Potomac, who has been here on public business for several days, could not control his feelings when he read the order, but burst into tears like a child, and, falling on his knees, cried, "Thank God! thank God! The country is saved! saved!"

And we who have staid at home, and died a hundred deaths in spirit at the news of our brave

brothers being outnumbered in every fight, and perishing miserably in swamps and torrid sand-plains, what shall we say of the news? What can we say except to echo the cry of the officer, and thank God that the country is saved at last, and that our rulers have at length learned the duty of making our superior strength tell in the war, and of leaving nothing hereafter to chance. The policy of drafting once adopted, its application becomes indefinite. The North can satisfy EIGHT more drafts of 300,000 men each, after supplying the 600,000 now called for. If the 900,000 men, who will soon be in the field, should by any accident prove insufficient to subjugate the rebels and hold them down, it will be a matter of perfect ease to call out another levy of 300,000 or 500,000. The work has got to be done, and we can and will do it.

The effect upon the rebels of our new policy will be worth observing. Those among them who have any capacity of reasoning left must realize that it deprives them of the small chance of success which they derived from the previous feebleness of our military policy, and from the division of commands. With all their skill and all their devilish energy they can not hope to cope with 900,000 Northern troops. Such a man as Jefferson Davis must perceive that the cause of the Confederacy is lost. Beauregard, Toombs, and Lovell made the discovery some time since. If the Southern leaders were wise, they would anticipate the future, and at once offer to capitulate, so that their people should escape the consequences of the Confiscation Act. But men engaged in desperate enterprises seldom preserve coolness enough to reverse their policy at critical moments. The probability is that the rebels will be spurred on by the news of the order of 4th to undertake a furious onslaught on Washington or Nashville—that they will stake every thing upon the die, and will either capture the Federal capital at a frightful loss of life, or will utterly ruin themselves in the attempt.

Meanwhile let us not rashly conclude, because the Governments of foreign nations have no present intention of interfering, that foreign intervention may never become possible. Let every iron-foundry in the country, and every ship-yard, be kept employed to its fullest capacity in the construction of the most approved kind of iron-clad ships. Until the war ends, let us never stop building. One hundred impregnable vessels would not be too much to defend so long a coast line as ours, with its bays and rivers. There is no guarantee that is absolutely reliable against foreign intervention but the certainty of being able to repel it.

The work which we have to do is immense. But our capacity is still greater. The South has already developed its full strength. Every able-bodied man is in the army. Every weapon in the rebel States is in use. The public credit is strained to the utmost. Every day increases the difficulty of feeding new levies and arming and transporting them. Of us, on the contrary, we may say, with Paul Jones, that we have only just begun to fight. We have, besides the 900,000 men who will soon be in the field, a reserve of over 2,000,000 fighting men to fall back upon. Our supply of arms of all kinds is prodigious and daily increasing. Our people are only just awaking to the fact that this is a death-struggle for them as well as for the rebels. Our means are unlimited, and our public credit stands higher than it did a year ago. After a year's blundering our military machinery is in order at last. We can now transport and feed and clothe and arm an army more easily than we could have done a regiment a year ago. After a year's playing at war, we have discovered that, in order to beat, subjugate, and keep down 5,000,000 people on their own soil, we must employ every weapon we can find, and enlist in our service every creature and every thing that can assist us—including the 3,000,000 negroes who are ready to take our side.

In the language of gallant General Burnside: "All is right; all is going right: only you must fill up the old regiments!"


THE most amusing reading of the day is the articles in the British journals on General BUTLER. In one article in a leading British paper we find our gallant General accused of "outraging nature and the law of nations," called a "shabby attorney," a "by-word and a hissing," "brutal," "licentious," "insolent," and "vulgar;" "a Yankee spy," a "pettifogger," a dealer in "ungrammatical dirt," "daily lies," "deceit, vanity, and empty boasting." Nearly all the British papers assume, as a matter of undoubted historical certainty, that General BUTLER consigned the "pure and modern maidens and matrons" of New Orleans to the "brutal licentiousness of a Northern soldiery"—the fact being, as these writers know perfectly well, that not one single lady in New Orleans has been outraged or insulted, and that no idea of outrage or insult ever existed save in the foul and prurient imaginations of these "guardians of civilization." So far from imitating the conduct of the British soldiery at Badajos, Lucknow, Delhi, Canton, etc.—where every female who could be found was brutally outraged—so far

from copying the "Booty and beauty" precedent established by the British General PAKENHAM at this very spot, nearly half a century since—the troops under the command of General BUTLER have so conducted themselves that not a single complaint of wrong has yet been made by a female, though there have been women in New Orleans so forgetful of modesty and decency as to endeavor to provoke assault by repeatedly insulting our soldiers, and even by spitting on the coffin of a dead officer of our army.

When the history of this eventful period comes to be written few actors upon the scene will win more encomium from the historian than General BUTLER. His task has been one of supereminent difficulty. He was placed in command of the commercial metropolis of rebeldom, and called upon to hold it with a force about one-third as great as that which fled at his approach. He had to govern a city nine-tenths of whose people had relatives in the rebel army, and who were savagely hostile to him. For ten years before he came New Orleans had been in the hands of organized bands of Thugs, murderers, and robbers, who had overawed the authorities, and who, under the disorderly period of rebel supremacy, had perpetrated every crime with perfect impunity. For years, the season during which he was to hold New Orleans had been so unhealthy that it was as much as a man's life was worth to spend a week in the place; yet he was to stay here with 5000 or 6000 Northern, unacclimated soldiers. On him devolved the duty of regulating the civil relations of non-combatant rebels toward the Union; of tracing out a path for the safe administration of military government in a rebel city; of securing some supplies of sugar and cotton for the North and food for the starving families of rebels; of dealing with an extremely factious, treacherous, and rascally gang of foreigners, sympathizers with the rebellion, and claiming the protection of their respective Governments as a cloak for schemes of treason.

The historian will decide that General BUTLER'S success in grappling with these unparalleled difficulties was so marked and so brilliant as to entitle him to the highest rank among statesmen. For the first time for ten years he has given to New Orleans a good and a strong government. He has put down the Thugs. He has given employment in cleaning the streets to the unemployed workmen, and has thus fed their families and kept the city healthy. He will probably demonstrate before the year is out that yellow fever, which has been the scourge of New Orleans, has been merely the fruit of native dirt, and that a little Northern cleanliness is an effectual guarantee against it. He has held the reins of government with so firm a hand that neither the traitors within nor the rebels without the city have ventured to attack him. He has reopened the port to Northern trade, and under his auspices Southern cotton and sugar are again being exchanged for Northern food. He has fought the foreign intriguers and consuls, and discomfited them at all points. He has established safe and sound precedents for the administration of military government in conquered cities which will be followed for generations. He has with soldierly promptitude rescued Northern property from the hands of Southern rogues. And at the same time he has not inflicted a single injustice upon the most rancorous of his enemies.

If we had a few more Major-Generals like BUTLER the rebellion would be crushed in short order.


AT the moment of writing the public mind is in a curious condition of suspense. It seems almost to resemble that of the great and good Wigfall in the midst of our spring victories, who said, with bitter humor, upon being asked the news, that he had heard of no new disaster since dinner.

The nation lies in a torpor or apathy. It is sound, as we sincerely believe, and heartily resolved and fully capable. It has the wish and the power to subdue the rebellion. But it must have the conviction that its efforts will be made to tell; that the power it has, and is willing to use, shall be used to the utmost. The Government which has hitherto so adequately responded to the average public sentiment, seems not to move quite in harmony with the increased rapidity of that sentiment. At this moment the truly loyal part of the nation—and that is the only portion to which the Government is to look for guidance—unquestionably demands the severest and most comprehensive measures. And it is just the doubt whether they are to come which keeps it in suspense.

It is a condition which requires some radical shock to disturb it and to rouse the national heart. Of course no one believes that the present is a victorious state of the public mind. It is not the spirit which assures success, but sullenly forecasts defeat. It is an infinite pity, let it not become a disgraceful shame, that we are in this mood. But what can give us the shock? What can rouse us?

There are but two ways in which it can come. It must be from the enemy or from ourselves.

It may come from the enemy by some desperate movement against the army of the Peninsula or upon Washington. If the rebels should advance with a heavy body of seventy or eighty thousand men through Eastern Virginia, and the nation

should see its capital actually threatened by them, if it did not spring to arms a million strong it would be because we have all been mistaken in supposing that we were a brave and patriotic people. The Government would fall, and utter anarchy succeed it.

On the other hand, the shock may come from our own Government by its frank declaration of the actual peril of the country, and by the summons to arms of every loyal and capable man in the land.

The immediate consequence at the North would be the conviction that the hour had come for the death-grapple with rebellion; every man would know that while he struck at the disease he slew also the root of the disease, and every one would be compelled to throw himself either entirely with or entirely against the Government. At the South society would be disintegrated. The leaders among the soldiers must inevitably scatter to their various homes. They know better than we how mysteriously and instantly such news circulates among the slaves. In 1812 they pleaded fear of insurrection as a reason for not contributing men to the war: the white population was too thin.

It is better that this should be done than that the nation should be destroyed. Then if done, the general levy would be regulated by the national power. All loyal persons would be invited within our lines and enabled to fight for the Government. If there were a million more than are absolutely necessary for the work who came, so much the better. The suppression of the rebellion would then be so absolute that its revival under any circumstances would be utterly hopeless; and the insurrection once put down, the disposition of the freedmen would be a question for subsequent deliberation.


MR. BRADY'S series of card photographs of characteristic and famous scenes and spots at the seat of war in Virginia is profoundly interesting. With these in hand, or in box, the strategist who conducts the campaign at home may actually see the places of which he is talking; may look far over the bare, sad plain from the heights of Centreville, or stand among the ruins of Mrs. Henry's house at Bull Run where the battle was fiercest; or muse over the soldiers' graves; or lean upon the pier of the shattered stone bridge where the flight of our army was choked and terrible slaughter followed; or sit upon the low, awkward piazza of the old Virginia house in which Johnson had his head-quarters just before the evacuation of Manassas; or gaze from Cub Run to the brow of the hill where the brave Haggerty was buried. Then descending to the Peninsula, the strategist at home may see the interior of battery No. 1, at York River, with its huge guns, or Fairhold's house close by; or he may step closer to the works and almost lay his hand upon the one and two hundred pound rifled guns; or move on to the mortar batteries beyond with groups of officers at their posts; or look out upon the broad, calm York River from the earthworks through the orchards; or chat with the contrabands in front of the old cabin which was Lafayette's head-quarters; or pass with amazement through the gateway at Yorktown; or count each pane of glass in the windows of the White House. Returning, you may pause before the slave-pen of Price, Birch, & Co., in Alexandria, and cross the Long Bridge to Washington.

The collection has an almost painful interest. The vivid reality of the pictures recalls a thousand melancholy memories, and the interest is one which will only increase with time. For long after the fortifications and earth-works have become grass-grown mounds upon which cattle graze, and long after the brave men whose valor made them famous are gone, their children will stand pensively among them, and in these magic cards see them exactly as they were when the cannon were just planted, the timber just felled and placed, the earth just heaped up; and the bravest heart grew sober and the most buoyant mind grave as they contemplated the magnitude and character of the work to be done.


"BUT why," asks an honest man, "why do you people, who insist upon saving the Government at any cost, always lurch into the slavery question? Why not let slavery take care of itself? It is doubtless scotched and killed by the war. But while honest Union people differ about it, why thrust it forward every time the war is mentioned? Do you think that slavery is such a splendid military school that the blacks would be superior soldiers?"

Here is a volley of questions, but the answers are not very difficult.

We say the Government must be saved even at the cost of slavery, because there are a great many who call themselves and think themselves faithful Union men, who say that there is one price that we have no right to pay, and that is liberating slaves.

We, too, insist upon letting slavery take care of itself when the Government shall invite every loyal man to its assistance. But those who complain of us are the very ones who insist that slavery shall not take its chances, but shall be especially protected.

We speak of it constantly because every sane man in the land knows that the war comes from slavery. If there had been no slavery there would have been no war. To say that the Abolitionists caused it does not help the matter. For what made the Abolitionists? And so long as men are men, just so long, wherever there is a Pro-slavery, there will be an Anti-slavery party. The same sane man knows not only that the war began in slavery but that its present strength is there. Sting that, and the whole rebellion writhes. That fact indicates a policy: and for that reason we hold it before the public mind.

We do not think that slavery is such a wonderful military school, but we do think that if you (Next Page)




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