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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) can make it the interest of four millions of persons among ten million enemies to be your friends rather than indifferent to you, you have taken a very short road to defeating them. It is not the actual military aid of the freedmen themselves, but the inevitable effect upon the mind and the army of the rebellion, and the effect upon the great body of loyal men, the immense majority, who wish to feel that they are not only saving their country but slaying its enemy, which is the conclusive argument for the liberating policy.

We have not all of us always been of this opinion. So long as it seemed to be quite certain that the insurrection would be suppressed by the army in the field the question was inevitably postponed. But now that the exigency demands the most stringent measures, it inevitably reappears.

We debate it and insist upon debating it, because in this country public opinion governs, and when you have persuaded that, you have inaugurated a policy. To refrain from the attempt to influence public opinion for the reason that you differ from it is only to say that you mustn't try to change it because it is not changed—which is not a wise thing to say. Nobody wishes to go faster than the general public sentiment approves, because in this country, where public opinion is educated and intelligent, whoever outruns it overshoots the mark of useful action. But meanwhile there is no duty so solemn as the enlightenment and elevation of public opinion; and to that end a frank and full discussion is always essential.

To suppose that such questions can be left to the "course of events," as if there were any course of events independent of human agency, is futile. What is the course of events but a series of actions inspired and controlled by the wishes and the will of men? When the people of this country heartily desire a certain result the course of events will secure that result. Your duty, meanwhile, is to try to make them desire what you believe to be essential to their security. And you don't try so long as you hold your tongue.


IT can not be denied that the nation is disposed to give a fair trial to every chief military adviser whom the President summons. When General Scott retired and General McClellan was called to succeed him, there was a universal expression of confidence and satisfaction. We instantly extolled the untried chief—untried as the leader of hundreds of thousands of men—as if we knew him to be what Napoleon was after his long experience. It was in vain that he modestly held his tongue, or modestly said, when a sword was given him in Philadelphia, "I have done nothing to deserve it." Pooh, pooh! we replied; it is useless to deny that Julius Caesar and Hannibal were charlatans compared with you.

A year has passed, and General Halleck is called to the chief command. He too is received with willing confidence. There are many who think that his order No. 3 cut him off from the surest sources of information. There are many who wonder about Beauregard's retreat from Corinth. There are some who ask whether the plan of the Western campaign must not be abandoned, and the troops which have been so scattered concentrated at a few commanding points. But whatever the questions and criticisms, there are probably very few persons in the country who do not concede to him great military knowledge and a general sagacity, which is the ablest ally of special science.

He finds a willing people, who believe in their cause and are fully capable of maintaining it, and who ask only that they may be led with vigor and comprehensive intelligence. No man had ever a finer chance. The nation waits for its victory and for its regeneration. It asks that no blood shall be considered too precious to be shed for it, that no means shall be spared to secure it. If it feels and sees that General Halleck's policy is of this kind, that it is neither timid nor vacillating, it will believe that he fully understands the crisis, and will give him all the hands and hearts he wants.


THERE was recently an extraordinary statement, that the President of the United States had sent in a Message recommending his subordinates to employ persons of African descent as laborers.

That the President wishes, with every honorable man in the country, that every honest, capable, industrious, loyal person shall have plenty of work, and plenty of pay for it, we have no doubt. But the President is eminently a man of good practical sense, and that he has especially recommended the employment of some loyal men to the exclusion of others, as this story implies, we have very serious doubts.

The whole weight of practical difficulty in dealing with the slavery question as connected with the war is the Irish jealousy of colored men. Mr. Fernando Wood and the sympathizers with secession are constantly pulling this wire. "Yes," they say, "that's it. The negro is to be exalted at the expense of the Irishman"—or white man, as they more broadly put it. This is the steady talk of some papers, while others are established for the very purpose of cherishing this prejudice.

But the very cardinal principle of the Government is its impartiality. It recognizes men as men, and proposes ultimately to treat them as such without favor to any class. No man more truly comprehends the essential character and intent of that Government than the President, and there must be some mistake in the report, which we hope may be corrected before these lines are read.

Now will any reasonable man, whether he be an Irishman or not, just consider this: that the slaves are born in the South, and have a very strong attachment to their native region; that there is much more room there than here; that the climate suits them exactly; that they understand the work of the South; that they are not in the least a migratory people; and that the only reason why they

come North at all is that they are kept as slaves instead of being hired as laborers at home. When they are free there will not be a single reason why they should wish to leave the South. While they are slaves, of course they will run away whenever they can, and will become the direct rival of Northern laborers. When they are free they will stay where they were born, and where they prefer to live.

A very little common sense goes a great way in considering this question.


THE war ought to teach us all one lesson, and that is, forbearance in criticism of leaders. We really know so very little. Yet we all talk vehemently of plans and purposes, of successes and failures which we do not fully understand, because we have no means of knowing the truth. Common sense, we say, and we say truly, is as good in war as it is in every thing else. But the remark may remain true, and yet not very closely affect the particular point we are discussing.

Take our peninsular campaign as an illustration. All we know is, says some zealous patriot, that a splendid army went there superbly equipped, and that it is half gone and in deadly peril. Common sense settles that easily enough.

Yes, so it does if it knows the facts. If it knows whether the peninsular campaign was carried out as it was conceived; if it knows why it was undertaken; if it knows the difficulties and dangers of other plans, then common sense may settle it. But common sense will certainly agree that Phocion was no fool when he advised against the battle which was fought and won. When they reproached him he answered, "Yes, but my counsel was correct."

Every story comes to us so beclouded with rumors, so broadly and extravagantly stated, that it is only common charity to wait a while until the fog lifts. A general may not be so great as Marshal Turenne, but it does not follow, therefore, that he is an idiot, a traitor, or a charlatan.

Our natural disappointment at results delayed, or at positive defeat, makes us very savage upon somebody. "Off with his head; so much for Buckingham!" is vigorous, but wonderfully unjust when Buckingham is a faithful, skillful servant who has done his best.


BACHELOR'S HALL.—An architect proposes to build a Bachelors' hall, which will differ from most houses, in having no Eves.

The following advertisement appeared lately in an Irish paper: "To Let—the upper part of a cellar—to a small family, rent low. P.S. Privilege on the pavement for a pig."

A lady who had a silk gown spoiled in being re-colored, brought an action against the establishment, and summoned several of the workmen to give their dying testimony.

If a man bumped his head against the top of a room, what article of stationery would he be supplied with?—Ceiling whacks.

"I can not bear children," said Miss Prim, disdainfully. Mrs. Partington looked at her over her spectacles, mildly, before she replied—"Perhaps if you could you would like them better."

IMPORTANT INQUIRY.—Are all the victuals mixed together when the soldiers have a mess?

A public speaker should never lose sight of the thread of his discourse: like a busy needle, he should always have the thread in his eye.

The last case of indolence is that of a man named John Hole, who was so lazy that, in signing his name, he simply used the letter J, and then punched a hole in the paper.

HOOPS.—Woman has found her true "sphere" at last; it is about twenty-seven feet round, made of hoops.

The man whom you saved from drowning, and the man who never pays what he owes, you may consider as alike indebted to you for life.

A woman may be indifferent to courts, courtiers, and courtesy, but not to courtship.

Why are military officers the most unlucky of men?—Because they are always in some mess or another.

Generally speaking, the beggars most ashamed of begging are those that have to beg pardon.

A pretty female artist can draw the men equally with a brush and a blush.

A sham-fight, like certain high tones in vocal music, is a false-set-to.

Rob a man of his life, and you'll be hung; rob him of his living, and you may be applauded.

Peace can do a good deal toward making a gentleman, but war is more likely to finish him.

What fruit does a newly-married couple mostly resemble?—A green pear.

A quaint quibbler says that the world was first governed by canons, and then by cannons—by mitre and then by nitre—by Saint Peter, and then by Salt Petre.

A NATURAL CONSEQUENCE.—The young lady who took the gentleman's fancy has returned it with thanks.

The importance of spelling correctly is seen by the following, especially the necessity of spelling lager beer as it should be. Mr. Todd, wishing a supply of Fourth-of-July beverage, wrote as follows:

"Messrs. Blotch & Drinker sen me up as soon as posibal a cask of Brandy and one Large Bear for forth of juli sen the Bear by express, in Haist.

The answer comes as follows:

"MR. TODD—Dear Sir: We send you to-day one cask of brandy and the bear, by express, as requested. You must feed him on raw meat, and be very careful that he does not escape, as he is very savage. He cost $400, and we let you have him for the same. Please forward payment.

Yours, respectfully, BLOTCH & DRINKER."

The consternation of Reuben Todd was complete when the furious animal was landed at his shop door, with a half-scared curious crowd around it, and it was only by a sacrifice of the cask of brandy for a keeper, and a couple of trips to New York, that he got rid of his ugly property and learned how to spell lager beer.

"Mamma, may I go a-fishing?" "Yes, sonny, but don't go near the water. And recollect, if you're drowned I shall skin you as sure as you are alive."

Don't confide your secrets to an inordinate laugher—he might "split."

It is easy to live well among good people; but show us the man who can preserve his virtues in spite of strong temptation and universal example.

If a young woman's disposition is gunpowder, the sparks should be kept away from her.

A young lady who was accused of breaking a young man's heart has been bound over in the bonds of matrimony to keep the pieces.

He who makes an idol of his interests makes a martyr of his integrity.

INQUISITIVE QUESTIONS BY LANDSMAN.—"Is sailors' grog kept in the port-holes?—When a ship answers her helm what does she say ?—And does a ship's captain drive his lady round the deck in the gig?"

A poor seamstress finds it hard work to thread her way through life's wilderness.

Who is the laziest man? The furniture dealer; because he keeps chairs and lounges about the place.

HOW TO CURE THE TOOTHACHE.—It is said that toothache may always be cured by holding in the hand a certain root—that of the tooth.

Why is a person who never lays a wager as bad as a regular gambler?—Because he is no better.

An inventive Yankee has produced an apparatus which, he says, is a cure for snoring. He fastens upon the mouth a gutta-percha tube, leading to the tympanum of the ear. Whenever the person snores he himself receives the first impression, finds how disagreeable it is, and of course reforms.

James Ferguson and his wife led a cat-and-dog life, and she is not once alluded to in the philosopher's autobiography. About the year 1750, one evening, while he was delivering to a London audience a lecture on astronomy, his wife entered the room in a passion, and maliciously overturned several pieces of the apparatus, when all the notice Ferguson took of the matter was the observation to the audience, "Ladies and gentlemen, I have the misfortune to be married to this woman."

A person boasting of being able to sing alto, tenor, or bass—Tom turned on his heel and said, "Yes, I know you can sing very high, very low, and very middling."


Which is the most extravagant of all coats? A waste coat (waistcoat).

Why is a blind man like a water-pipe? Because he is generally led (lead).

Why did the accession of Victoria throw a greater damp over England than the death of King William? Because the King was only mist (missed), but the Queen was raining (reigning).

My first is of illustrious line,

Of beauteous form and face divine;

Which when my second does assail,

Both form and beauty then do fail;

My whole's an arduous task to do,

With wives who naughty ways pursue. Man-age.

Who is the greatest dandy of the ocean? The swell of the sea.

Why does a sculptor die a horrible death? Because he makes faces and busts (bursts).



THE following order, calling for militia from the several States, has just been issued:


WASHINGTON, August 4, 1862.

Ordered, First—That a draft of three hundred thousand militia be immediately called into the service of the United States, to serve for nine months, unless sooner discharged. The Secretary of War will assign the quotas to the States, and establish regulations for the draft.

Second—That if any State shall not by the 15th of August furnish its quota of the additional three hundred thousand volunteers authorized by law, the deficiency of volunteers in that State will also be made up by a special draft from the militia. The Secretary of War will establish regulations for this purpose.

Third—Regulations will be prepared by the War Department, and presented to the President, with the object of securing the promotion of officers of the army and volunteers for meritorious and distinguished services, and of preventing the nomination and appointment in the military service of incompetent or unworthy officers. The regulations will also provide for ridding the service of such incompetent persons as now hold commissions.

By order of THE PRESIDENT.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.


The rebel batteries on the south side of the James River opened fire at midnight on 31st ult., upon the mail-boat landing at the head-quarters of Colonel Ingalls, at Westover, killing four of our men and wounding five. Colonel Ingalls returned the fire with 32-pounders, and soon silenced the enemy's guns. A few of our vessels were struck by stray shots, but were not injured.

On 1st August General McClellan threw 600 men across the river, who destroyed woods, houses, and every thing which could afford shelter to the enemy. The expedition sent across the river accomplished its purpose without the loss of a man. At last accounts our gun-boats were shelling the houses and the entire shore, within range, down the river.

The army is in fine spirits. General McClellan is busy reviewing the different corps every day. A reconnoissance of a body of cavalry and infantry was made on 1st, down the Chickahominy as far as Williamsburg, when they met our pickets. None of the enemy were seen in the course of their advance.


Our troops occupying the south shore of the James River made a reconnoissance to within fourteen miles of Petersburg on Sunday. At Cox's Mills, five miles back, they met the Thirteenth Virginia Cavalry in line. Our men charged on them, when they broke and ran. They drove them to their encampment at Sycamore church, two and a half miles further, where they again formed, but were put to flight, leaving behind all their tents, camp equipage, and commissary stores, which our troops gathered together and burned. The rebels had two horses killed, six men wounded, and two taken prisoners. Our loss was one horse killed. After scouring the country a short distance further they returned to the river.


General McClellan, in a letter to Governor Washburne of Maine, dated July 15, says: "New enlistments should be made to fill up old regiments, rather than to raise new ones. I would prefer fifty thousand recruits for my old regiments to one hundred thousand men organized in new regiments."


General Halleck, according to the Washington correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette, has recently defined his position with regard to certain matters of importance.

He stated to certain prominent citizens of Ohio, and authorized them to make use of the statement as they chose, that be was and had been in favor of a thorough confiscation of all the property of rebels, slaves, etc., included. He explained that order No. 3 was intended, in spirit, to apply to any body, blacks or whites; that his theory was that no men not having military business with the army should be allowed to be about it, and that it was with the sole purpose of keeping military operations as secret as possible that the order was issued. He stated that he had issued orders to McClellan to impress and use all the negroes he could get in any way in which he can make them useful, and that he was to pay no attention as to whether they were slaves or free, or whether the slaves of Union or rebel masters. These questions belong to the civil law; but as the rebels had brought on the war, military men had no business with and would not consider them.


General Pope took the command of his army on 29th ult. Intelligence from his advance states that no enemy in force has been discovered between Culpepper and Gordonsville; but it is supposed that strong intrenchments are being constructed at the latter place by the rebels. Our troops are represented to be in the highest spirits, and confident of complete success when they shall meet the foe. The secessionists appeared to be considerably exercised upon his arrival, but it is said are not disposed to take the oath of allegiance. Several of them are being escorted outside our lines.


Major-General Pope has pushed a reconnoitring column as far as Orange Court House and defeated two cavalry regiments of the enemy, under General Robertson. In his official dispatch he describes the affair in these words: "The reconnoitring column, under General Crawford, crossed the Rapidan and pushed forward to Orange Court House yesterday and took possession of the town, which was occupied by two regiments of the enemy's cavalry, under General Robertson. Eleven of the enemy were killed and fifty-two taken prisoners; among the latter are one major, two captains, and two lieutenants. Our loss was two killed and three wounded. The enemy retired in such haste as to leave their wounded in our hands. The railroad and telegraph line between Orange Court House and Gordonsville were destroyed."


Intelligence from General Pope's head-quarters, partially confirmed by reports prevalent and believed in Washington, states that the rebels are really evacuating Richmond and taking up their position on the south bank of the James River. The cause of the movement is said to be the appearance of a pestilence at Richmond.


A special dispatch from Vicksburg, on the 23d, recounts the gallant but unsuccessful attempt to capture the rebel ram Arkansas. It appears that, according to agreement between Commodores Davis and Farragut, the fleet from below was to engage the lower batteries, and the fleet above would engage the upper ones, while the gun-boats Essex and Queen were in the mean time to attack the Arkansas and tow her out. In consequence of a misunderstanding only a few shells were fired from the mortars below, and had no other effect than to divert the fire from the Essex, which attempted to run into the Arkansas and jam her against the levee, but the latter swung round and the Essex grazed her side. As she passed she gave the rebel craft three eleven-inch shot from her bow guns. Upon finding herself unsupported she dropped down the river. The Queen, coming to her aid, ran into the Arkansas, making her tremble from stem to stern. Recovering herself, the Queen ran on her again, but so forcibly as to strain her own works badly. Both boats then returned up the river.


From Vicksburg it is reported that the steamer Star of the West, captured some time ago off Galveston by the rebels, is up the Yazoo River, and armed with twenty-two guns. She is iron-plated to a considerable extent. The W. H. Webb, a powerful ocean tow-boat, is also up that river, and has been plated something in the style of the Sumter. She is constructed as a ram. In addition to these the Mobile and thirty other steamers are said to be up there. The Star of the West and the Webb came up from New Orleans when that city was captured, bringing, among other rebel plunder, 108 guns. At Liverpool, sixty-five miles up the river, the rebels have an ingeniously contrived raft, which is a perfect lock against ascending boats. They have also a powerful battery on shore at that point.


On the 31st the United State, gun-boat Magnolia made the British steamship Memphis, Captain Cruikshank, from Charleston, South Carolina, bound to Europe with a cargo of cotton, she having run the blockade on the evening of July 27, and put a prize crew on board, and accompanied her to this port. The Memphis is a fine propeller of about 800 tons burden. Her cargo consists of 1575 bales of Sea-Island cotton, worth half a million dollars.


A refugee from Richmond states that it was asserted in the Richmond Examiner office in his presence that "General Lee had 220,000 men in the late battles, and 40,000 in Richmond as a reserve. Even the rebels accorded to McClellan the greatest praise for his masterly retreat. On the 2d of July the Examiner announced that that he was surrounded, driven into a swamp, and his stores, ammunition, artillery, and wagons captured. Jackson, it was said, was in his rear, Huger on his left, Hill and Longstreet on his front, and Magruder on his right, and the next day it was confidently expected he would be escorted through the streets in a cage. Next day, however, the tune had changed, and the Examiner began its display head to the news with this line—"The bird has flown." The rebels were out-generaled, and McClellan all right.


Four hundred and eighteen rebel church bells, which had been sent to New Orleans in response to the call of General Beauregard, and captured in that city, were gold in Boston on the 30th ult. They weighed together upward of one hundred thousand pounds, and brought about twenty-four thousand dollars.


It is stated that between four and five hundred of the rebel prisoners confined in Fort Delaware have voluntarily taken the oath of allegiance. The Louisiana Tigers were the most anxious to return to their loyalty.




AN important debate in the British House of Commons took place on the 18th, on the question of mediation in America. Mr. Lindsay made the motion for mediation, but after a very full discussion, in which Gregory and Whiteside took part on behalf of the rebels, and Mr. Forster and others on the part of the North, Lord Palmerston overwhelmed him in a very thorough and statesmanlike speech, and he withdrew his motion.


A canard, purporting to have come by the Glasgow, announcing the utter defeat of General M'Clellan, and the probable capitulation of his army, had been circulated in London on the day of the debate, and was generally credited.



The office of the St. Croix Herald, published at St. Stephens, New Brunswick, was mobbed on Monday night, and the materials in it almost entirely destroyed, because the paper has advocated the Union cause.




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