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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.

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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

 

 

 

[DECEMBER 13, 1862.

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

787

A SOLDIER'S SONG BOOK.

THERE was some innocent jesting last year upon the proposals for a National Hymn. But the feeling which called for the songs seems to have been sufficiently satisfied with "John Brown's body," which is hummed, and whistled, and ground, and played all over the loyal land; while the national regimental bands have taught it to every dismayed echo in the Blue Ridge. But for singing in the camp, on the march, at the mess, there should be endless songs. Every German student knows how important a part such songs play in the college and camp life of Germany, and that some of our most familiar and charming airs are the melodies of those songs. If we could have them fitted to timely English words how cheering they might be to the soldiers! There is no need that they should be great solemn national hymns. In fact, that is exactly what they should not be. But simple, homely, hearty strains, full of fire and love and humor and tenderness, so that every varying emotion should flow out in rhyme.

That is just what the songs in a little book just prepared in Cambridge are. It is a small collection of original songs, "by various hands," set to easy and striking tunes, and printed with the music for the voice, in the style of the German song books. Many an old favorite of every circle of young men is here, with words which have the same significance for him that other words had for other youth in other lands and times. Indeed one chief interest in the little book is the sense of a hearty earnestness of patriotism which is implied in every line. The book is sold at the price of making, and when known will win its own welcome. It can be very readily enlarged, and from time to time, doubtless, new editions will contain new songs.

One of the quaintest airs and rhymes is this, to the tune of "The Frankfort Apprentice's Song:"

THE WHY AND WHEREFORE.

"Where, where, where, and where, and where are you bound, young man?

Where, where, where, and where, and where are you bound, young man?"

"I'm off to the war, with the good men and true,

And hadn't you better come along too?

I speak my mind quite freely,

Now ree'ly."

"Why, why, why, and why, and why to the war, young man?

Why, why, why, and why, and why to the war, young man?"

"Did a man ever fight for a holier cause

Than for Freedom and Flag and for Equal Laws?
Just speak your mind quite freely,

Now ree'ly."

"Which, which, which, and which, and which is the Flag of the Free?

Which, which, which, and which, and which is the Flag of the Free?"

"Oh, Washington's Flag, with the stripes and the stars,

Will you give such a name to the thing with the bars?

   I speak my mind quite freely,

Now ree'ly."

"Who, who, who, and who, and who goes with you to the war?

Who, who, who, and who, and who goes with you to the war?"

"Ten thousand brave lads, and if they should stay here

The girls would cry shame, and they'd volunteer!

   They speak their mind quite freely,

Now ree'ly."

"When, when, when, and when, and when do you mean to come back?

When, when, when, and when, and when do you mean to come back?"

"When Rebellion is crushed, and the Union restored,

And Freedom is safe—yes, then, please the Lord!

   I speak my mind quite freely,

Now ree'ly."

"What, what, what, and what, and what will you gain by that?

What, what, what, and what, and what will you gain by that?"

"Oh I've gained enough, whatever the cost,

If a Free Land, the hope of the world, isn't lost.

   I speak my mind quite freely,

Now ree'ly."

EXPECTATION.

ALL eyes and minds are turned with intense anxiety to Virginia—to the army under General Burnside. If the army of Lee is defeated the most serious obstacle to our success is removed. With the overthrow of that army; the descent of the Mississippi by Porter; the capture of Charleston, Mobile, and Savannah; and the advance of Grant and Rosecrans in the West, the rebels would begin the winter gloomily.

There is an old argument against the continuance of the rebellion which is now disused. It was and is good in itself, but its use was untimely. The general impression at the North was that the rebels could not feed themselves, and must at last be starved out. They have not been starved out yet, however. They have seemed to thrive upon privation. For the fact of privation, and that serious, can hardly be doubted. And the argument will become more and more pinching.

If Mr. Bunch's estimate of the cotton crop for the last year be correct, there has not been an adequate preparation for food at the South. The forays into Kentucky and Maryland were brilliant and advantageous to the rebels, but they were also necessary. If the fall campaign expels them virtually from Kentucky and Tennessee and from Virginia, and the Mississippi is held by us, and great ports occupied, while Texas is cut off, there can be no question that a very serious and threatening scarcity will ensue. The angry tone of the rebel press, defiantly thanking England for nothing, and the intimations of trouble under the surface of the Richmond despotism, signify internal disquiet. The rebels are earnest, united, desperate; but the most furious men yield to prolonged pressure. Stonewall Jackson says that he prefers to have his men a little starved when they go into battle. But no wise ruler wishes his people to be hungry.

The probability ought not, however, to be overstated.

If we could count upon an indefinite time for the war, it might be that privation would become an effective ally. But to wait for a single day, because it might be possible to starve them out hereafter, would be courting disaster. The rebellion is to be ended by mighty military blows rapidly struck. Disaster upon disaster must overwhelm the enemy. Their trained and determined soldiers must be outnumbered as well as outfought. The success of to-day must make that of to-morrow possible and easy. To fight for a day and then stand still for six weeks; to win, or seem to win, a victory and gain no advantage; to occupy with pomp posts from which the foe has retired; are not the ways in which desperate rebels are crushed. They are courses that deaden and destroy a nation.

HUMORS OF THE DAY.

MISS FANTADLING says the first time she locked arms with a young man, she felt like Hope leaning on her anchor. Poetic young woman that.

About half a century ago there was a very popular preacher in Aberdeen named Kidd. On the arrival there of the news of the assassination of Spencer Perceval, an old woman said to her crony, "Eh, Tibby! d'ye hear this? they've shot the Prime Minister." "Bless us!" exclaimed Tibby, "hae they shot Dr. Kidd?"

Speed and Stow, the two most distinguished historians of the sixteenth century, were both tailors, which led Sir Henry Spelman to say, "We are beholden to Mr. Speed and Mr. Stow for stitching for us our English history."

"When I goes a shopping," said an old lady, "I allers asks for what I wants, and if they have it, and it's suitable, and I feel inclined to take it, and it's cheap, and it can't be got at any place for less, I almost allers take it, without chaffering about it all day, as most people do."

A trifling sort of a fellow in one of our neighboring counties, not long since, won the affections of the daughter of a bluff, honest Dutchman of some wealth. On asking the old man for her, he opened with a romantic speech about his being a "poor young man," etc. "Ya, ya," said the old man, "I knows all apout it; but you is a little too poor—you has neider money nor character."

A notorious tippler was one day walking along in his usual inebriated state, when he stepped upon a grating, which was inadvertently out of place. The result was that he and the grating disappeared into the cellar. After picking himself up, the fellow looked round to take a survey of the place, when he espied the grating, which he took hold of, with the remark, "Well, I have made a gridiron by the performance any how!"

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

An old sailor finding a corked bottle floating on the sea, opened it, with the soliloquy, "Rum, I hope; gin, I think; tracts, by jingo!" and then threw it back into the water.

A GOOD RECOMMENDATION.—"Och, an' what's yer honor agoin' to give me, seein' as it's mysilf that saved yer honor's house from turnin' to ashes intirely?" "How so, Pat?" "An' sure, when it cotched afire, wasn't I the sicond one that hollered fire first?"

In British Columbia Captain Barret-Lennard presented a chieftain with a pair of trowsers. He returned them as "vain and foolish inventions," but took care to cut off all the buttons.

A new nut-cracker has just been patented; it is so contrived as to crack jokes along with the nuts. A very liberal discount will be allowed to extremely depressed persons ordering large quantities.

Zeno, the philosopher, believed in an inevitable destiny. His servant availed himself of this doctrine while being beaten for a theft by exclaiming, "Was I not destined to rob?" "Yes," replied Zeno, "and to be corrected also."

If you think there isn't an honest man living, you had better, for appearance's sake, put off saying it till you are dead yourself.

A dentist in this city advertises that he will "spare no pains" in extracting people's molars. Surprising candor!

The happiest man is the benevolent one, for he owns stock in the happiness of all mankind.

"It's a shame, husband, that I have to sit here mending your old clothes!" "Don't say a word about it, wife; the least said the soonest mended."

"Didn't you guarantee, Sir, that this horse would not shy before the fire of an enemy?" "No more he won't. 'Tisn't till after the fire that he shies."

DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.

CONGRESS.

BOTH Houses met on 1st December. In the Senate, after prayer by Dr. Sutherland, the usual message was sent to the House, to say that a quorum was present. The Message was shortly afterward received and read.—In the House, after prayer by Chaplain Stockton, Mr. Roscoe Conkling offered a resolution, which was adopted, instructing the Committee on Naval Affairs to report the cheapest, most expeditious, and most reliable mode of placing vessels of war on Lake Ontario. A resolution, offered by Mr. Vallandigham, directing the Judiciary Committee to report by what authority the Postmaster-General excludes newspapers from the mails, was adopted. Mr. Cox offered a preamble and resolutions relating to arbitrary political arrests, condemning them, and directing that they shall not be hereafter made. They were laid on the table, by a vote of 80 to 40. Mr. Richardson, of Illinois, offered a resolution requesting the President to inform the House what citizens of Illinois are now confined as political prisoners, and what are the charges against them. A motion to lay it on the table failed, and it was passed, 74 to 40. Soon afterward the President's Message was received and read. The document is reviewed in the leader in another column.

On Tuesday, December 2, in the Senate, Senator Powell, of Kentucky, offered a resolution calling on the President for information in regard to arrests of citizens of Kentucky by the military authorities; also a preamble and resolution declaring that many citizens of the United States have been arrested and imprisoned without any charges being preferred against them whatever, and that all such arrests are unauthorized by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and are usurpations of the power delegated by the people to the President; and that all such arrests are hereby condemned and declared palpable violations of the Constitution of the United States; and it is hereby demanded that all such arrests shall cease hereafter, and that all persons so arrested shall have a prompt and speedy trial, "according to the provisions of the Constitution," or be immediately released. These resolutions were laid over. Senator Davis, of Kentucky, offered a joint resolution declaring that it is hereby recommended that all the States choose delegates, to meet in convention at Louisville, on the first Monday of April next, to take into consideration the present condition of the country and the proper means to be pursued for restoring the Union, and that the Legislatures of the different States take such action as they may deem fit for this purpose at the earliest possible date. This was also laid over, and the Senate adjourned.—In the House, a bill was passed providing for the payment in gold and silver of all judgments recovered by the United States. The Military Committee were instructed to inquire into the propriety of increasing the pay of soldiers to fifteen dollars per month, and making reductions in the pay of officers not actively engaged. The Committee of Ways and Means were instructed to inquire and report as to the propriety of admitting cotton brought from foreign countries free of duty. A bill was introduced for the relief of the sufferers by the Indian outbreak in Minnesota; also to abrogate all treaties between the Government and the Sioux Indians. A bill to reduce the tax on whisky was brought forward, but objection was made to its introduction, whereupon the House adjourned.

THE REPORT OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT.

The Secretary of War in his Report states that that portion of the United States which is now, or has been during the last year the scene of military operations is confined within ten military departments; that the armies operating in those departments, according to recent official returns, constitute a force of seven hundred and seventy-five thousand three hundred and thirty-six officers and privates, fully armed and equipped; that since the date of the returns this number has been increased to over eight hundred thousand; that when the quotas are filled up it will number a million of men; and that the valor of our troops has been displayed on many occasions, and the skill and gallantry of their officers have been distinguished at Yorktown, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Gaines's Mill, Malvern Hill, Cross Keys, Cedar Mountain, Chantilly, and other places.

The Report is accompanied by a report and documents from General Halleck, Commander-in-Chief.

THE NAVY REPORT.

The Report or Secretary Welles is very long. When he assumed charge of the Navy Department in March, 1861, there were but 42 vessels then in commission, and most of them abroad. There were only 7600 seamen then in the pay of the Government, and on the 10th of March only 207 in all the ports and receiving-ships of the Atlantic coast, to man our ships and protect the Navy-yards and depots, and aid in suppressing the rising insurrection. At the

present time, by purchase and by construction, the Government has afloat, or progressing to completion, a naval force of 427 vessels, and carrying 3268 guns. So sudden and so vast a naval armament has not been witnessed in modern times. Of the 427 vessels in service 104 only are sailing vessels, 323 are steam vessels, and 123 of these latter have been added by construction. These new vessels of war are of no mean capacity and calibre, as the following description of them will show:

THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.

The rebels are actively engaged in erecting earth-works around Fredericksburg. General Burnside has not crossed the Rappahannock; his army is still at and around Falmouth. The railroad from Falmouth to Aquia Creek is in working order. A dash of the enemy's cavalry in large force was made across the Rappahannock on 28th ult. a short distance above the head-quarters of our army, and nearly two companies of the Third Pennsylvania cavalry, of General Averill's brigade, were captured.

BURNSIDE AT WASHINGTON.

General Burnside paid a hasty visit to Washington on Friday night, and had an interview with the President and General Halleck.

THE ARMY OF THE WEST IN MOTION.

The army, according to a dispatch from Cairo, is all in motion. General Sherman, it is said, left Memphis on 26th, and General Grant commenced to move on 28th along the road to Holly Springs. The rebels, meantime, are falling back toward Granada, tearing up the track as they go. They carry off the rails, burn the bridges, and destroy the ties as they retreat. It is reported that the rebels are removing all their valuables from Jackson, Mississippi.

DEPARTURE OF GENERAL BANKS.

A portion of General Banks's expedition left this port on 2d for "the South." The vessels consisted of the United States transports New Brunswick, Illinois, Northern Light, North Star, J. S. Green, Haze, Salvor, and others, with troops and provisions. The flotilla will probably rendezvous at Fortress Monroe.

THE NEGROES IN THE FIELD.

An expedition of the colored regiment, South Carolina Volunteers, under Lieutenant-Colonel Beard, made quite a successful attack at Doboy Sound upon the enemy, in which the negroes behaved very commendably. It is rumored that General Beauregard has pronounced Charleston indefensible, and that the inhabitants are moving their property from the city.

ATTACK ON NEWBERN.

A party of 4000 rebels, under General Martin, made an attack on Newbern, North Carolina, on 27th, but they were driven back with heavy loss by our troops, commanded by Colonel Kurtz, of the Massachusetts Twenty-fourth.

THE PIRATE "ALABAMA."

The Navy Department has information that the pirate Alabama was expected in the vicinity of the Azores early in November. She was to receive supplies, ammunition, and seamen from the steamer Bahama. The Turkish steamer Shasigest was taking dispatches to that place for Captain Semmes. Several United States vessels are in that neighborhood. The Vanderbilt returned on 30th, without having seen her.

RELEASE OF STATE PRISONERS.

The release of the State prisoners from Fort Warren, in Boston Harbor, was unconditional, as appears by the following order:

"Col. J. Dimick, U. S. Army, Fort Warren, Boston:

"The Secretary of War directs that you release all the Maryland State prisoners; also, any other State prisoners that may be in your custody, and report to this office.

"E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General."

FOREIGN NEWS.

FRANCE.

THE FRENCH OFFER TO MEDIATE.

WE have the text of the dispatch of M. Drouyn de l'Huys respecting mediation. He says:

"From the commencement of the war an armed force was set on foot by the belligerents, which since then has been almost constantly kept up. After so much bloodshed they are now, in that respect, nearly in the same position, nothing authorizing the presumption that more decisive military operations will shortly occur, according to the last news received in Europe. The two armies, on the contrary, were in a condition that would not allow either party to hope within a brief delay for any decided advantage to turn the balance and accelerate the conclusion of a peace. All these circumstances, taken together, point to the opportunity of an armistice, to which, moreover, under the present circumstances, no strategical objection can be made. The favorable dispositions toward peace which are beginning to manifest themselves in the North as well as the South might, on the other hand, second steps that might be made to recommend the idea of truce. The Emperor has therefore thought that the occasion has presented itself of offering to the belligerents the support of the good offices of the maritime Powers, and his Majesty has charged me to make the proposition of this Government to her Britannic Majesty, as well as to the Court of Russia. The three Cabinets would exert their influence at Washington, as well as with the Confederates, to obtain an armistice for six months, during which every act of war, direct or indirect, should provisionally cease, on sea as well as on land, and it might be, if necessary, ulteriorally prolonged.

"The overtures, I need not say, Sir, would not imply, on our part, any judgment on the origin or issue of the struggle, nor any pressure upon the negotiations which might, it is to be hoped, ensue in favor of an armistice. Our task would consist solely in smoothing down obstacles, and in interfering only in a measure determined upon by the two parties."

THE BRITISH REPLY.

Lord John Russell, in his reply, says: "After weighing all the information which has been received from America, her Majesty's Government are led to the conclusion that there is no ground at the present moment to hope that the Federal Government would accept the proposals suggested, and a refusal from Washington at the present time would prevent any speedy renewal of the offer. Her Majesty's Government think, therefore that it would be better to watch carefully the progress of opinion in America, and if, as there appears reason to hope, it may be found to have undergone, or may undergo hereafter, any change, the three courts might then avail themselves of such change to offer their friendly counsel with a greater prospect than now exists of its being accepted by the two contending parties."

RUSSIA.

RUSSIA WILL NOT INTERFERE.

After recalling the constant efforts of Russia in favor of conciliation, Prince Gortchakoff says that it is requisite, above all things, to avoid the appearance of any pressure whatever capable of chilling public opinion in America, or of exercising the susceptibility of that nation. We believe that a combined measure of the three great Powers, however conciliatory, if presented in an official or officious character, would be the cause of arriving at a result opposed to pacification. If, however, France should persist in her intention of mediation, and England should acquiesce in her course, instructions shall be sent to Baron Stoeckl, at Washington, to lend to both his colleagues there (the French and English Ministers), if not official aid, at least moral support.

A FAIR ARRANGEMENT.

ALDERMAN (just elected).—"Now, Sonny, you go and do the fighting, and me and the Judge will look after the Government and the Contracts."

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