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Civil War Harper's Weekly, December 13, 1862

Welcome to our collection of Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. This site allows access to all the Harper's Weekly that were printed during the Civil War. These newspapers show incredible details of the war you wont find anywhere else.

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

 

Generals in the Army of the Potomac

Army of the Potomac Generals

The president's Message

The President's Message

Contrcator Cartoon

Contractor Cartoon

Banks Expedition

Banks's Expedition

Union Generals

Biographies of Union Generals

Drury's Bluff

Drury's Bluff

Drury's Bluff

Drury's Bluff

Morgan Dix

Morgan Dix

Long Island

Long Island, New York

Petersburg

Petersburg, Virginia

Fredericksburg

The Road to Fredericksburg

Brother Jonathan

Brother Jonathan

 

 

 

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

[DECEMBER 13, 1862.

794

THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.

WE devote pages 792 and 793 to illustrations of the Army of the Potomac, from sketches by our special artist, Mr. A. R. Waud. Mr. Waud thus describes his pictures:

SCENES ON THE MARCH FROM WARRENTON TO FREDERICKSBURG.

The first sketch is a little street scene in the town of Warrenton, garnished with wagons, forage, soldiers, etc., the inhabitants remaining mostly out of sight.

From Warrenton the army moved toward Catlett's Station, near which place they encamped for the night. The iron wheels and other indestructible portions of railroad cars, as well as the charred remains of various things burned up by the rebels, show traces of Stuart's visitation while Pope was falling back upon Washington.

A short distance from Catlett's is Cedar Run, over which the railroad passes on a trestle bridge, which appears to temporarily occupy the place of a once better structure destroyed at a previous period. Not much farther on is the junction of the Warrenton branch with the main line of railroad. This was quite a busy spot while the army lay to the west of it, and when the sketch was made was occupied by the Eleventh Massachusetts and other regiments, part of General Sickles's division.

After leaving Catlett's and Weaverville, a short distance from the former place, the troops crossed Cedar Run, and marched on toward Aquia and Falmouth. Burnside's head-quarters were expected to proceed to a locality called the Spotted Tavern; whether they ever got there, which I believe they did not, or even if such a place is in existence—seriously doubted by many—is uncertain. One thing, however, is certain: about half the officers got lost (in spite of much careful study devoted to the maps of the period), bringing up at all sorts of places in search of quarters till returning day should enable them to renew the search for the lost camp of head-quarters.

It is rather comical to notice the rapidity with which neighboring rail-fences are demolished when a halt is ordered. The men directly organize a rail brigade—a kind of rail-ery not at all relished by the unfortunate natives whose fences make such desirable fuel, being cut and dried for the purpose.

From Falmouth we got the first view of Fredericksburg, which I presume has been often described before. It is a deserted-looking place; the church clock, however, sounds the hour regularly — a strange, familiar sound. The rebel pickets line one bank of the river, ours the other. In the streets of the city they can be seen lounging about, although they do not seem to have that curiosity about us which we manifest toward them. On one of the houses an English flag (the cross of St. George) is flying, and in the country beyond the smoke of the camps shows that a large force is there.

UNION AND REBEL SOLDIERS ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE BURNED RAILWAY BRIDGE.

This is a favorite spot for the soldiers of either army to meet within speaking distance and exchange remarks, frequently of an uncomplimentary character. Proposals for all sorts of exchanges (impossible of accomplishment) are made—such as offers to barter coffee or tea for whisky or tobacco, gray coats for blue ones—the rebels walking about in the clothes they have taken from Uncle Sam's men prompting the proposal. The seceshers show a laudable anxiety to get New York papers for Richmond publications; a number of them have asked after their Commissary and Quarter-master (meaning Pope and M'Dowell), and they generally express a belief that they "will whack the Union army now M'Clellan is gone." To their inquiry of our men, "How do you like Bull Run?" they receive for answer, "What do you think of South Mountain?" Some witty remarks are made on both sides, but it usually ends in a general black-guarding. One of them told a Zouave that they should shortly come over to look after us. "Yes," he answered; "so you will, under a guard."

GENERAL BURNSIDE AND HIS
MARSHALS.

WE publish on page 785 a portrait of GENERAL BURNSIDE, the Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Potomac, of the Commanders of the three Grand Divisions, GENERALS HOOKER, SUMNER, and FRANKLIN; and of the Chief of the Reserve, GENERAL SIGEL. All are from portraits by Brady.

Of Major-General Burnside we published a very full biographical sketch only two weeks ago. We need only append here the following anecdote which we find in the Evening Post:

THE SECRETARY AND THE SOLDIERS.

It is about twenty years since one of the members of the present Cabinet was a member of Congress from a distant Western State. He had the usual right of designating a single candidate for admission to the West Point Military Academy. The applications made to him for a vacancy which then existed were not many, but among them was a letter from a boy of sixteen or seventeen years of age, who, without any accompanying recommendations or references, asked the appointment for himself. The member dismissed the appeal from his mind, with perhaps a passing thought of the forwardness and impudence of the stripling who could aspire to such a place on no other grounds than his own desire to get a good education at the public expense.

But happening a short time afterward to be in the little village whence the letter was mailed, the incident was recalled to his memory, and he thought he would beguile the few hours of leisure that he had by looking up the ambitious youth. He made his way, by dint of much inquiry, to a small tailor's shop on the ourskirts of the town, and when he was admitted at the door he found a lad sitting cross-legged upon the tailor's bench, mending a rent in an old pair of pantaloons. But this lad had another occupation besides his manual toil. Near by, on a small block of wood, rested a book of abstruse science, to which he turned his eyes whenever they could be transferred from the work in his hands. The member accosted him by the name given in the letter, and the lad replied "I am the person." "You wish, then, to be appointed a cadet at West Point?" "I do," he rejoined. "Why?" asked the Congressman. "Because," answered the tailor youth, "I feel that I was born for something better then mending old clothes." The member talked further with him,

and was so pleased with his frankness, his spirit, and the rare intelligence he evinced that he procured him the appointment.

The member is now Secretary Smith, of Indiana, and the youth General Burnside, Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Potomac. We should not be surprised if that boy—an excellent specimen of our Northern mud-sills—were destined to hoist the American flag to its old place on the Capitol at Richmond.

The following sketches will introduce the other Generals to the reader:

GENERAL HOOKER.

Major-General Joseph Hooker was born in Massachusetts about the year 1817, and is consequently about forty-five years of age. He entered West Point in 1833, and graduated in 1837, standing No. 28 in a class which included Generals Benham, Williams, Sedgwick, etc., of the Union army, and Generals Bragg, Mackall, and Early of the rebel forces. At the outbreak of the war with Mexico he accompanied Brigadier-General Hamer as Aid-de-camp, and was brevetted Captain for gallant conduct in several conflicts at Monterey. In March, 1847, he was appointed Assistant Adjutant-General, with the rank of Captain. At the National Bridge he distinguished himself, and was brevetted Major; and at Chapultepec he again attracted attention by his gallant and meritorious conduct, and was brevetted Lieutenant-Colonel.

At the close of the war with Mexico he withdrew from the service, and soon afterward emigrated to California. The outbreak of the rebellion found him there, and he was one of the first of the old West Pointers who offered his services to the Government. He was one of the first batch of Brigadier-Generals of Volunteers appointed by President Lincoln on 17th May, 1861; and was, on his arrival, placed in command of a brigade of the army of the Potomac, and subsequently of a division. From July, 1861, to February, 1862, he was stationed in Southern Maryland, on the north shore of the Potomac, his duty being to prevent the rebels crossing the river, and to amuse them with their river blockade while M'Clellan was getting his army into trim. This difficult duty he performed admirably.

When the army of the Potomac moved to the Peninsula, Hooker accompanied them in charge of a division. In the contest at Williamsburg his division bravely stood the brunt of the battle, the men of the Excelsior Brigade actually being mowed down as they stood up in line. At Fair Oaks the men again showed their valor, and the General his fighting qualities. In the various minor contests Hooker took his part and bravely went through with his share of the seven days' fights. When M'Clellan's army was placed under the command of General Pope, we find the names of "Fighting Joe Hooker" and the late General Kearney mentioned together in the thickest of the struggle; and at South Mountain and Sharpsburg he seems to have been second to no one. At the latter fight he was shot through the foot and obliged to leave the field; but for this accident, he thinks he would have driven the rebels into the Potomac. On his recovery he was appointed to the command of the Centre Grand Division of the army of the Potomac, and he is now in that command.

GENERAL SUMNER.

General Edwin V. Sumner, commanding the Right Grand Division of the army of the Potomac, was born in Massachusetts, about the year 1797, and was appointed to West Point, from New York, in 1815. He served in the infantry for eighteen years; in 1833 he was appointed Captain of Dragoons, and Major in 1846. He served in the Mexican war, and was brevetted Lieutenant-Colonel for gallant and meritorious conduct at Cerro Gordo; and Colonel for the same behavior at Molino del Rey. In 1848 he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the First Dragoons. When the troubles broke out in Kansas a force of cavalry was sent to preserve the peace, and Colonel Sumner was placed in command. He discharged the delicate duties of his office with skill and success. On the election of Mr. Lincoln he was one of the four officers (Generals Pope and Hunter being two of the remainder) who were appointed by the War Department to escort the President-elect to Washington. The famous night-journey through Baltimore, which was undertaken in order to frustrate a plot for the assassination of the President, was resolved upon, against his counsels and in spite of his entreaties. After the inauguration of Mr. Lincoln Colonel Sumner was appointed to supersede General Albert S. Johnson (who turned rebel) in command of our force on the Pacific. He speedily set matters straight in that section of the country, and returned home, signalizing his return by the arrest of the traitor Gwin, of California, on the way. The authorities of New Granada attempted to prevent the passage of Gwin as a prisoner through their territory; but Sumner took the responsibility, and marched him across the Isthmus with a battalion of United States troops. On his arrival at Washington General Sumner was appointed to the command, first of a division and next of a corps in General M'Clellan's army. His conduct at Williamsburg has been the subject of much criticism, but at Fair Oaks he certainly vindicated his reputation for good soldiership and gallantry.

He has lately been appointed to the command of the Right Grand Division of the army of the Potomac, and led the advance on the march toward Fredericksburg.

GENERAL FRANKLIN.

William Benjamin Franklin was born in Pennsylvania about the year 1821, and entered West Point in 1839. He graduated at the head of his class in 1843; being a classmate of Ulysses S. Grant, Reynolds, Augur, etc. On the 1st of July, 1843, he was appointed a Brevet Second Lieutenant of Topographical Engineers, and on the 21st of September, 1846, received his full commission. He served in Mexico, and was brevetted First Lieutenant for gallant and meritorious conduct at Buena Vista, dating from February 23, 1847. This brevet was awarded in May, 1848. From July 1848 to 1850 he was Acting Assistant Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy at the Military Academy at West Point. He was next placed on light-house duty, to which he was appointed in January, 1853. He received his full commission of First Lieutenant in March, 1853; and Captain on the 1st of July, 1857. In the Army Register for 1859 he was the junior captain but one in the corps, and in that of 1860 last but two. In the register for 1861 his name stands two degrees higher on the roll, there being four captains his junior. On the 14th of May, 1861, he was appointed to the colonelcy of the Twelfth United States Infantry, one of the new regular regiments organized at the commencement of the rebellion. With this rank he had charge of the first brigade of the third division of General M'Dowell's army at Bull Run.

He was appointed a Brigadier-General in July, and, on the reorganization of the army, was given the command of a division consisting of the brigades of Slocum, Kearney, and Newton, which afterward became the first division of the first army corps commanded by M'Dowell. When M'Dowell was directed to remain at Fredericksburg, Franklin was detached and sent to M'Clellan on the peninsula. No officer won higher distinction than he in the memorable contests on the march to Richmond, and as a reward for his gallantry he was appointed to the command of an army corps with the rank of Major-General of Volunteers. He won fresh laurels at the battles of South Mountain and Sharpsburg, and on the appointment of Burnside to the command of the army he was selected to command the Left Grand Division. He was considered by General M'Clellan one of his finest officers.

GENERAL SIGEL.

Major-General Franz Sigel was born at Baden, in Germany, in 1824, and is consequently thirty-eight years of age at the present time. He was educated at the military school at Carlsruhe, closed his course with honors, and obtained a high position in the army of his country. In the year 1847 he was esteemed by his brother officers the most scientific artillerist in Germany. When the rebellion broke out he took sides with the insurgents, lost his commission, and took service with the popular party. At one time he was in chief command of the popular army, and managed by a skillful retreat, in which he led away 30,000 men from a pursuing army of 89,000, and saved all his guns and trains, to elicit the warm eulogiums of the oldest soldiers in Europe. At the overthrow of the rebellion Sigel emigrated to this country.

Here he engaged in teaching, and fairly settled down to the dull life of a professor, and married the daughter of the principal of his academy. About the year 1858 he obtained

a position in a college at St. Louis, and removed thither. When the rebellion broke out he tendered his services to the Government, and was given the command of the 2d Regiment of Union Volunteers, raised in St. Louis. He was soon appointed Brigadier-General, and accompanied General Lyon on his famous campaign against Price. At the battle of Springfield, where Lyon was killed, Sigel succeeded to the command, and withdrew our little army with skill and success. He subsequently commanded a corps throughout the bloodless campaign under Fremont; and when General Curtis was detached to operate in Arkansas, Sigel led one of his divisions. It is understood that he planned and won the great battle of Pea Ridge almost against the wishes of his superior, General Curtis. After the battle some difficulty about commands arose, and Sigel was called to Washington and given the command of Harper's Ferry. On the organization of the Army of Virginia a place was created for him by the resignation of General Fremont, and he accordingly took command of his army corps. In all the terrible battles which Pope fought in order to delay the advance of Lee against Washington Sigel took an active part. At the Rappahannock his cannon incessantly thundered; and though the enemy outnumbered him by at least five to one, he held them at bay until M'Clellan's army arrived at Washington. When the Army of Virginia was merged into the Army of the Potomac Sigel was given the command of the Twelfth Army Corps, which he retained until General Burnside was appointed to command the Army of the Potomac. He was then given charge of the Reserves, and specially intrusted with the duty of watching Jackson.

A LETTER FROM THE COUNTRY.

Tu the Edditer ov Harper's Weekly:

DEER MR. EDDITER,—Here I am, seeted in my roking-cheer by the winder, a gazin aout on the face ov natchur, which is a verry plesant okkerpashun ov mine. Tu speek es a poit,

The sun is lookin red,

With his bred beems overhed,

A spreddin himself like a peekok's tale, fur skorn: And the branches ov the trees

Air a sqwingin in the breese

Like the flail ov Deekon Whipple, when he's beatin aout his korn.

And the vue frum my winder is butiful—butiful!

But tho' I am a wooman I am no less an Administratrix, and it makes me mad tu heer peeple say wimmen don't know nawthin abaout pollytiks; but I tell yeou, Mr. Edditer, es a ginerul thing, thay air a plagey site smarter then the menfokes be, and ef we kood vote I gess sum pollytishuns that I kood menshun wood hev tu kum daown aout ov thare high-heeled boots mity qwick!

Brother-in-law Stevens is wun ov 'em. He's marrid tu my sister Sophy (aour kat was named arter her), and the deer knows what she took him for! I'm shure it warn't fur his buty, fur he's es homely es a hedge-fense; nor was it his goodness, fur his temper is es kross and es krukid es an apple-tree bow.

He thinks thare aint nawthin like the Inglish. So du I, fur thet matter; fur thay're the meenest kritters under the sun, takin 'em es a nashun—but he thinks thay air perfeckshun.

It's Ingland here, and Ingland thare, till I wish tu goodness he was an Inglishmun and in his native kuntry!

What provokes me most is, Sophy awlways sides with her husband.

He was bostin the uther day abaout Ingland's "nutrality" in aour war, and haow the paper kalled Punch (a dretful intemperrit name fur a noospaper) sed a little while ago thet "Ingland was reely romantick in keepin nutral betwixt the Nawth and Saouth"—and sich like nonsensikal langwidge; and Sophy got so excited abaout it that she up and cheered fur Qween Victory!

I sot rite daown to my desk and rit the follerin effushun:

Ingland sez her nutrallity

Tu no Nawth is "romantick;"

Yu'd think sich tawk es that anuff

Tu drive a feller frantick!

Yet ef "romantick" meens tu be

Abuv awl komprehenshun,

She acks the most romantickly

Ov enny state yu'll menshun!

Steve was orful mad, and thretened tu draown my Sophy (the kat, ov kourse); jest think ov thet! But I told him planely thet ef he tutched my kat I'd give him jessie pritty middlin qwick!

He immejitly subsidid.

Thet puts me in mind when the Prince ov Wails was heer Steve and Sophy, bein strong dimmykrats, were krasy tu see him. Thay akkordingly started daown tu Bostin wun raney day, but thay didn't git a single site ov the Prince, bekawse he'd left taown the day before.

Well, Cousin Sam Bailey, whare they was visitin, is reel cute, and unbeknown tu enny wun he kut orf a lock ov his own hare, and giv it tu Sophy, awl rapped up in sentid paper, which yu kood smell harf a mile orf, marked,

"A lock ov hare frum the Prince of Wails's hed."

She was so delitid she maid her husbund buy a big brass locket to keep it in, and wore it fur a watch a yeer and a harf, till wun day Sam told her ov it when we was awl toogether, and it riled her so she haint spoke tu his fokes sense.

We hed a grate konsert the uther nite in aour taown fur the bennefit ov a yung man whu wants to volluntear fur a kommishun tu go tu the wear. He kant go es a privit, bekawse he don't kno mutch abaout milliterry tackticks, and his fokes air afrade he wood shute sumbuddy he hadn't ort tu in thet kapassity.

So in awder tu git up lots ov simpathy fur him, tu petishun the Governer, thay got up this konsert, threw the influense ov sum ov the wimmen whu belong tu the solders' Insanity Kommittee.

The proseeds is to be deployed in hiring a reetired solger to teech him haow tu put on his uniform and varius uther matters relatin tu the wur thet he aint mutch aqwainted with.

Fur a long time I stuck to it I woodn't hev nawthin tu doo with it, but when I heered Sarah Blue sed the same, I was detarmined tu let her know she warnt the only woman in Punkinsville, so I went rite the uther way.

Finully thay applied tu me tu rite a leetle poim fur the okkashun.

Arftur mulch urgin I konsentid, and rit wun tu the toon ov a well-known Sunday-skool mellody.

It was sung by the yung man himself, amid the wildist applawse, and kreeatid qwite a sensashun.

The Edditer ov aour paper sed it brot daown the haouse, but thet aint trew, fur I was thare myself, and not a timber ov it fell! It is still standin in awl its buty.

Ef yu don't mind hevin so mutch poitry in yure letters I'll rite it daown here. I kalled it

THE SONG OF THE ASPIRING MAN.

I want to be a kurnel,

With orfissers tu stand;

A kommishun in my poket,

A sord within my hand.

I'm tired ov staing raound hear,

Ambishun fills my brest—

O! I long fur a kommishun,

And I'd be a kurnel best!

My bussum's daly burnin

With pattriottick zeel,

No wurds my thorts kan utter,

Nor tell harf what I feel!

Wood I kood jine aour army,

Tu meat the rebbel foe;

O! I long to be a kurnel—

Deer Guvernur, let me go!

I long to be a kurnel,

Tho' a kaptansy I'd take:

I think I ort to be wun,

Fur my deer kuntry's sake.

My eppylets air waitin,

I si like awl possest—

O! I must hev sum kommishun,

But I'd be a kurnel best!

I haint heered wether he's got his kommishun, but I gess he'll hev it, fur aour Guvernur awlways makes it a reule tu inkurridge tallent ov awl diskripshun; and of a yung man hes Ambishun, why, fur pity's sake, help him ef yu kan!

Yours treuly,   CHARITY GRIMES.

P.S.—Fur the land's sake, Mr. Edditer, don't kall me Mrs. Grimes agin! I haint got any husband, and I don't want none till this plagey war is over. We hev fitin' enuff goin on elsewhare jest naow, and I shood dye rite orf ef I hed tu hev it tu hum.

C. G.

ALICE BANKGROVE'S SOLDIER.

THE gnarled old veteran of an apple-tree that overhung Squire Bankgrove's red brick house was tossing its boughs of pink-streaked apples to and fro in the September sunset; the level beams looked straight into the deserted robin's nest in its mossy fork; and Alice Bankgrove stood in the door-way shading her eyes with a pretty, sun-embrowned hand, and looking the while, as the western light, sifting through a canopy of moving leaves, covered her with narrow lines and zigzags of tremulous gold, like a bird peeping through the gilded wires of its cage!

"Home already, boys!" she called out, as the garden gate swung on its creaking hinges, and the hazel eyes flashed a sunny welcome down the path.

Boys, indeed! The boys whom Miss Alice apostrophized so patronizingly, were two stalwart fellows, either of whom could have picked the young lady up with one hand—handsome, olive-checked young giants, with the strength and symmetry of Hercules in their thews and sinews, as might have testified the shining heaps of newly-threshed grain they had left piled on the floor of the echoing, fragrant old barn under the hill!

"But why do you look so serious?" she added, the next minute. Ah, what curve of the lip, what quiver of the brow ever escaped a woman's quick eye? She read the two faces as if they had been open books.

"We have been talking, Alice," said the younger, a dark, open-browed young man of about twenty, leaning up against the door-way. "I am going to ask your father to get another hand to finish off this fall's work."

Alice stood in astonishment.

"What for, Harry? Irad hasn't been teasing you again, has he?"

Harry Moore bust into a great, mellow' laugh. "As if Irad's nonsense ever seriously annoyed me! No, Alice—the truth of the matter is that I feel like a fool threshing wheat here, when I ought to be standing in the ranks with a musket on my shoulder, fighting for the Stars and Stripes as my grandfather fought at Lexington and Bunker Hill!"

And as he spoke his dark eyes sparkled with inward fire, and a flush came on his sun-burned cheek.

"Hear him talk!" said Irad Curtis, shrugging his shoulders. "All moonshine, say I. Time enough to fight for the old flag when the old flag hasn't men enough to do its work, and sends word for Hal Moore and Irad Curtis to come along and lend a hand. Meanwhile, let every man mind his own business—that's my maxim!"

"I shall not wait for any such message," returned Moore, quietly. "I mean to be off, straightway—that is, Alice, if you think I'm doing right."

"I would volunteer to-morrow, if I were a man!" said Alice, instinctively clasping her hands together, and drawing a deep breath. Moore's face lighted up.

"That's enough, Alice!" said he.

Irad Curtis, standing in the shadow of the old apple-tree, quietly watched the two faces beyond with half-closed, vigilant eyes and a disagreeable curve to his lip.

"Wonder what Squire Bankgrove will say to all this," was his internal comment. "If he really means to give his daughter to a farm-hand, I don't see why my chances—with a little management—are not as good as Harry Moore's. She don't exactly like me; but if Harry really is in earnest about this volunteering business, it's the most obliging thing he could do just now. Once give me a clear field, and—"

Irad Curtis set his lips closely together as he entered the wide, cool hall where Squire Bankgrove—a hale, portly personage of about fifty, with ruddy cheeks, and locks thickly sprinkled with silver—sat in his elbow-chair, dozing over the newspaper.


 

 

  

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