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Civil War Harper's Weekly, December 6, 1862

Welcome to our archive of Harper's Weekly newspapers. This collection allows you to study source material formerly only available to professional historians and researchers. We hope you find this information useful.

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


General Banks

General Banks

French Mediation Proposal

Habeas Corpus

Habeas Corpus Cartoon

Aquia Creek

Aquia Creek

Richmond Map

Richmond Map

General Banks Biography

General Banks Biography



Confederate Cartoon

Confederate Cartoon

The Passaic

The "Passaic"

Iron Clad Interior

Iron Clad Interior

Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales


Fredericksburg, Virginia



DECEMBER 6, 1862.]



(Previous Page) such an hour and in such a place? Have you ever reflected that a man is honorably upon his good behavior always? Would it not suit you just as well to close your door instead of banging it, and to lay your boots quietly at your door instead of dashing them down?

It is at least worth thinking of. Believe me, it is such little cares that make life smooth and easy. Have you ever observed that if a man does a purely generous and courteous action, and departs from that great brazen rule of conduct, "Every man for himself and the de'il for the hindmost," he has often a half-ashamed air, as if he were "green" or had been taken in? What a pitiful comment it is upon our daily intercourse! You and I are strangers. I never saw you, nor you me; nor shall we ever know that the other was his neighbor last night. But I am addressing the lodger in the opposite room. I think it was No. 48. If you are he, this letter is meant for you. If you are he, let me urge you not to make yourself a nuisance in every hotel neighborhood into which you may venture. It is easy to be courteous in manners if your soul is courteous. I shall believe that yours is so, but that you have unconsciously formed a bad habit. Conquer it. Respect your neighbors in the hotel. Don't scold and swear like a northeaster. Don't bang your door. Don't slam your boots. Don't steal the sleep for which your neighbors have paid, but be the gentleman you wish to be. Good-morning, neighbor.

Your faithful friend,



THE young gentlemen at Cambridge University in England have been lately debating in their club the question whether the cause of the North is or is not the cause of Human Progress. One hundred and seventeen young gentlemen, including the oldest son of Lord Russell, voted against thirty-three that it was not.

If now the people of Scotland should secede from the union with England in order to open the slave-trade and extend the beneficent area of slave labor, it would be the cause of human progress, and budding young British statesmen would decide by heavy votes in their Debating Clubs that the British Government was tyrannical and the foe of human welfare in resisting the effort. Or if not, why not?

Of course the Cambridge Debating Club has already declared that the cause of Ireland in rebelling against Great Britain was that of human progress. Or if not, why not?

Naturally also the legislators of Cambridge saw in the revolt of the Sepoys a vindication of the rights of human nature against tyranny. Or if not, why not?

When Mr. Fagin helps himself to his neighbor's handkerchief in the Strand and takes to his heels, he illustrates the great cause of human progress. And policeman X, who pursues him, is an overbearing bully trying to show his greater strength by knocking over the gallant and chivalric Fagin. So votes the Cambridge conclave of young English gentlemen. Or if not, why not?

The enforcement of laws made by common consent is hopeless and wicked despotism:

The use of constitutional powers by the President makes him rather worse than Bomba of Naples:

Stealing forts and arms, robbing the treasury, and firing upon the flag of your country and your fellow-citizens defending it, and all confessedly for no other purpose than to secure immunity in stealing other people, and making them work without wages and raise children for somebody else to sell, are the acts of a heroic people, of a race of gentlemen, of natural lords of the soil:

These are some of the excellent doctrines affirmed by the Debating Society of young gentlemen at Cambridge, England. At Oxford they cheer for that great and good man, Jefferson Davis. The other benefactors and heroes, Jonathan Wild, William Kidd, Benedict Arnold, and Richard Turpin, are either in the gallery of English University heroes, or in Madame Tussaud's Exhibition, we for-get which. Mr. and Mrs. Manning are also there.

Hatred of the United States is an epidemic which rages with frightful violence all over England. The nation is demented. It foams at the word Union. It laughs at Liberty. It cheers a man whose only distinction is that he tried to destroy the best of governments for the basest of purposes. It extols a rebellion which has no solitary excuse to urge for its atrocities. And the hatred is futile. It is utterly impotent. England—always excepting the truly generous and noble names that we all know by heart—glares at us in a rage it can not gratify, hoping that the ruin it can not inflict may overwhelm us. We feed its spindles and its people. If we absolutely stopped both cotton and grain England would wail and die. She is livid with jealousy. The rot has struck even to her heart, and young Englishmen, babbling a lesson they have heard and do not understand, cheerfully vote that the cause of human slavery is the cause of human progress.

If a more ludicrous and pitiable spectacle was ever seen at Cambridge University it is not recorded. Oxford refused to make Mr. Edward Everett an LL.D. because he had been a Unitarian clergyman. But that was merely the dull, regulation bigotry of a British Institution. This is disloyalty to man, and to the great cause whose defense is the sole glory of England hitherto—the cause of civil liberty under law.


THE King of Greece has retired from business, but not by his own choice. He and his Queen left Athens for a short tour in the country. Some of the provinces rose in revolt, not attacking him, but abstractly protesting against his Government. The people of Athens immediately began to move. The peasants of Attica crowded into the city. The soldiers were put on guard at the palace, in which

a poor old duenna, or royal housekeeper, Madame Pulsky, had been left in charge. The people appeared before it, and the soldiers joined them. Poor old Madame Pulsky was taken to the house of the British Minister. The King and Queen arrived in a steamer at the Pireus, the port of Athens, but did not land ; and his royal Majesty, at that safe distance, heroically declared that he would not resign his crown—unless all the people wanted him to do so. All the people did want it, and King Otho abdicated, and sailed away from his kingdom. The revolution was accomplished, and not a life was lost.

A Provisional Government was formed, supported by the army and the people, for in Greece, as elsewhere, they are two separate powers. The formation of this Government was probably the act of a clique of leaders, although the fact does not appear. In such a commotion the names of well-known citizens were doubtless suggested to the crowd as fit members of a Government, and rudely ratified by the popular assent. The members immediately published an address, in which they say that they maintain the constitutional monarchical government — that Greece is eternally grateful to the three Great Powers of Europe—that they will enforce the laws and convoke the National Assembly. A more peaceful revolution was never wrought.

The next step is the agreement of the three dry-nurses of Greece upon a king. Otho was a son of King Louis of Bavaria, Lola Montez's Louis. There is some talk of offering the crown to an English Prince; but Russia would hardly care to see Greece erected into a British dependency. It is easy to begin a revolution, but not so easy to make it do exactly what you wish. You may guide the stream to your mill, but whether it will run smoothly in your race and turn the wheel for your grist, or sweep wheel and race and mill itself to destruction, is a profoundly interesting inquiry.

But what a commentary upon modern monarchical systems! What king seated by a revolution in our time feels secure in his seat? Enthroned by a popular tumult, he is always accountable to it. He may escape the reckoning either by governing well or by enforcing acquiescence by an army. But since the popular will is the real source of his power, the part of wisdom is to regulate the expression of that will by a fundamental law. A king by popular election is conceivable. But a monarchy—or chance hereditary succession of kings—by popular consent, is gradually becoming impossible.


THE landlord of a hotel at Brighton entered in angry mood the sleeping apartment of a boarder, and said, "Now, Sir, I want you to pay your bill, and you must. I have asked you often enough; and I'll tell you that you don't leave my house till you pay it!" "Good," said the lodger, "just put that in writing—make a regular agreement of it; I'll stay with you as long as I live!"

"Do I believe in second love? Humph! If a man buys a pound of sugar, isn't it sweet? and when it's gone don't he want another pound, and isn't that sweet too? Troth, Murphy, I believe in second love."

"Adelaide, you must spend your money more prudently, because by-and-by, when you are grown up, you will have need of it." "Perhaps I shall, but if I should die young, as a great many do, I should lose the good of the money. I think I had much better spend it now, and make use of it."

WHAT THE WIND'S LIKE.—Charles Bannister, the inveterate punster, going into a coffee-room one stormy night, said, "I never saw such a wind in my life." "Saw a wind!" says a friend. "I never heard of such a thing as seeing a wind; and, pray what is it like?" "Like!" answered Charley, "like to have blown my head off."

Why is a dinner like spring?—Because a single swallow never makes it.

SHAMELESS PARODY.—Every one has admired Parthenia's definition of love to Ingomar:

"What love is, if thou wouldst be taught, Thy heart must teach alone

Two souls with but a single thought,

Two hearts that beat as one."

Some profane cynic, having no fear of Cupid before his eyes, perpetrates the following villainous parody:

"Love is a nightmare with one foot;
Two children with one bun;
Two turnips with a single root;
Two cabbage-heads as one."

A man of quality who had a very little nose joked a soldier whose nose was very large. "My body!" said the soldier, "why are you as angry at my nose? Do you think it was made at the expense of yours?"

"Mr. Smith," said a little fellow, the other evening, to his sister's beau, "I wish you wouldn't praise our Ann Maria's eyes any more. You've made her so proud now that she won't speak to cousin Laura, nor help mother the least bit."

Mrs. Partington, hearing that a young man had set up for himself, "Poor fellow!" said she, "has he no friend that will set up for him part of the time?" And she sighed to be young again.

General Howard's right arm was shattered by a ball during the recent battles, and was amputated above the elbow. While being borne on a litter he met General Kearney, who had lost his left arm in Mexico. "I want to make a bargain with you, General," said Howard, "that hereafter we buy our gloves together."

It is a bad sign to see a man with his hat off at midnight explaining the theory and principles of true politeness to his shoes.

"Man," says Adam Smith, "is an animal that makes bargains. No other animal does this—no dog exchanges bones with another."

Many persons seem to be of Franklin's opinion, "that time is money;" they take so much of it to pay their debts.



ON November 21 General Sumner, commanding the Right Grand Division of the Army of the Potomac, formally demanded the surrender of Fredericksburg. The demand was conveyed by General Patrick to the Mayor and Council of the city under a flag of truce. General Sumner's communication complained that the troops under his command had been fired upon from the city; that the mills and factories there were supplying aid to the rebels, and the railroads running from the city were forwarding provisions to the rebel army. He declared that this must terminate, demanded the surrender of the city, and gave sixteen hours—from five o'clock P.M. on Saturday— for women and children and the sick to be removed. The civic authorities, in their interview with General Patrick, offered to remedy the evil, as far as firing upon our troops and furnishing supplies to the rebel army was concerned; but they refused to surrender the city, and complained of the short time allowed to remove the sick and the women and children.

After the interview with the civil authorities, General Sumner informed them that if they had any further communication to present, General Patrick would meet them again the next morning. On 22d, accordingly, the Mayor and Councils came over, accompanied by General Kershaw, Colonel Bland, and Captain King, of Georgia. The officers claimed that the civil authorities could make no proposition, unless the same was approved by them. General Patrick declined to receive these officers. Subsequently, however, General Burnside assented to their reception, and the parties returned. The civil authorities asked for an extension of the time allowed for the removal of the women and children, alleging that the trains had been frightened off by our artillery, and that it would be impossible for a train to leave before night. The city being absolutely destitute of other means of transportation their request was complied with, and the time extended until eleven o'clock A.M. on 23d (Sunday). No attack was made on Sunday or Monday.


General McClernand's expedition down the Mississippi River is now being organized at Columbus, Kentucky. It is designed to open the whole river as far as New Orleans, and will consist of a force of 40,000. The gun-boat fleet of Commodore Porter will participate in the movement. The fleet consists of ten gun-boats, carrying 121 guns. Vicksburg will probably be the most important point of attack; but with such a force, and Admiral Farragut, with his fleet of gun-boats below that city to cooperate with

Porter and McClernand, the defenses at Vicksburg will not present any very formidable obstacles.


In the Banks' expedition New York will certainly have five regiments, Connecticut five regiments, Maine three regiments, and Massachusetts eight regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and three batteries of artillery.


Our pickets were driven in at Suffolk on 19th, but General Peck immediately sent out a force which drove all the rebels clear over the Blackwater River. The bridges across the river and the adjoining creeks are being rapidly constructed by our troops. At latest accounts every thing was quiet in that direction.


The two officers of General McClellan's staff who had been recently arrested and sent to Washington—Lieutenant-Colonel Colburn and Captain Duane—have been released from an arrest, which appears to have been merely technical, and are ordered to report for duty; the latter to General Brannan, in South Carolina, and the former, Colonel Colburn, takes charge of an important bureau in the Adjutant-General's office.


The estimates for the expenses of our army for the ensuing year are set down at four hundred and twenty-eight millions of dollars. The requisitions upon the Paymaster's Department still unpaid amount to forty-eight millions. According to the reports in the Adjutant-General's office, the number of soldiers on the sick list at this moment amounts to nearly one-sixth of the entire army in the service of the United States—namely, one hundred and six thousand men.


An important order was issued by the War Department on 23d, which releases from custody all those now held upon charges of discouraging enlistments, opposing the draft, etc. This order will empty Forts Lafayette and Warren, and the other military prisons of many of their inmates.


A change has taken place in the rebel Cabinet. General Randolph has been removed from, or has resigned, the position of Secretary of War; and James A. Seddon, of Virginia, appointed in his place.


A series of orders have recently been issued by General Butler, which serve as additional proof that no difficulty can arise in his Department which he is not able to grasp. The property within the District recently possessed by our forces under General Weitzel, to be known as the Lafourche District, is declared sequestered, and all sales or transfers of it are forbidden. This District comprises all the Territory of Louisiana lying west of the Mississippi, excepting the parishes of Plaquemine and Jefferson. A Commission is appointed to take possession of the District, and the sugar plantations are to be worked by them where they are not worked by their owners, and negro or white labor may be employed at discretion. All property belonging to disloyal persons is to be inventoried and sold for the benefit of the Government, under the provisions of the Confiscation Act. Another order suppresses distilleries and other manufactories of strong drink. Another one announces that any officer found drinking intoxicating liquors in any public drinking-place will be recommended to the President for dismissal from the service. Another one suppresses the newspaper known as the National Advocate for an improper publication. Still another prohibits the arrest of any slave unless the person arresting knows that such slave is owned by a loyal citizen. General Shepley, as Military Governor of the State, has also issued two important orders. One directs an election of two members of Congress from the First and Second Congressional Districts of the State. The election is appointed for the 3d of December, and is to fill vacancies in the Thirty-seventh Congress. The other exempts household goods from seizure to the amount of $300.


General Pemberton, the successor of General Van Dorn in the command of the rebel troops in the Southwest, made a speech on assuming command in which he said: In regard to the question of interference by Europe, we want no interference in our private quarrel. [Great applause.] We must settle the question ourselves, or fail entirely. The moment England interferes, she will find us a united people, and she will have to meet with the armies of the South as well as of the North. [Cheers, and cries of "Yes, yes, yes!" from every quarter. "No interference." "Let us settle it between us."] I am glad to see you thus united on this question; and with a reliance on ourselves, and a firm trust in the God of Battles, in a few days your General will again fling your banners to the breeze and march forward to retrieve the recent disasters we have suffered in this Department.


Cotton is now coming into Memphis freely, and in large quantities, from points along the line of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, as far out as Corinth. The steamer Platte Valley brought up a load of nine hundred bales of cotton to Cairo a few days ago, which is the largest single load that has arrived since the breaking out of the rebellion. This was all she could carry at the present stage of water, and she was compelled to leave a large amount on the Memphis levee, awaiting shipment. The impression prevails at Memphis that cotton will now come in there as rapidly as steamers can be found to bring it away. West Tennessee is now about free both from the regular armies of the rebels and guerrilla bands. The last vestige of the latter were routed and driven in confusion across the Tennessee, near Fort Henry, a few days ago, by General Ransom.




The London Gazette publishes Earl Russell's official reply, dated November 13.

It recapitulates the circular of Drouyu de l'Huys proposing mediation. It recognizes the humane views and benevolent intentions of the Emperor; observes that the concurrence of Russia would be expressly desirable; but that up to the present time the Russian Government had not agreed to actively co-operate, although it may support the endeavors of England and France. The question for consideration was, "Whether the end proposed is attainable at the present time?"

Earl Russell then commends the decision of her Majesty's Government as follows:

After weighing all information received from America, the Government is led to conclude that there is no ground at the present moment to hope that the Federal Government would accept the proposal suggested, and a refusal from Washington at the present time would prevent any speedy renewal of the offer of the Government; therefore he thinks it 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, any change, this Government may then avail themselves of such change to offer their friendly counsel with a greater prospect than now exists of its being accepted by the contending parties.

Her Majesty's Government will communicate to the French Government any intelligence they may receive from Washington or Richmond bearing on this important subject.



M. DE PERSIGNY, in a circular to the French prefects, declares that M. Thouvenel's dismissal, and M. Drouyn de l'Huys' appointment to the office of Minister of Foreign Affairs, indicate no change in Napoleon's Italian policy. The Emperor has always intended "neither to sacrifice the Pope to Italy, nor Italy to the Pope."


FIRST CITIZEN.—So they've been after suspending Habeas Corpus, have they? An' what fur did they do that?"

SECOND CITIZEN.—"Oh just nothing, only he wus a poor man had no friends, I suppose."

Suspending Habeas Corpus




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