Civil War Overview
Civil War 1861
Civil War 1862
Civil War 1863
Civil War 1864
Civil War 1865
Civil War Battles
Robert E. Lee
Civil War Medicine
Civil War Links
Civil War Art
Republic of Texas
Civil War Gifts
Robert E. Lee Portrait
THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.
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
GENERAL BURNSIDE AND HIS
WE publish on
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:
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
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
and was so pleased with his
frankness, his spirit, and the rare intelligence he evinced that he procured him
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:
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 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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
"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.