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Civil War Harper's Weekly, December 20, 1862

This site features a digital archive of the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. Harper's Weekly was the most popular illustrated newspaper of the day, and serves as a valuable resource for researchers today.

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

 

Minnesota Indian Massacre

Minnesota Indian Massacre

General Butler in New Orleans

Morgan's Tennessee Raid

Minnesota Sioux Indian Murder

Sioux Indian Massacre in Minnesota

Emancipation Cartoon

Emancipation Proclamation Cartoon

 

La Grange

La Grange

Belle Plains

Belle Plains

Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg, Virginia

 

 

DECEMBER 20, 1862.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

803

(Previous Page) off his hat; puts on his slippers, and sits before his fire, his duty for that day and that evening happily accomplished.

In this country the earnestness of our feeling about the war does not affect this kind of entertainment. The lecture must be more than a lecture. The most popular of all our lecturers is Mr. Gough, whose discourses are dramatic monologues, but with the advantage of a special moral, which always pleases the American mind. The dramatic readings of Mr. Vandenhoff and of several ladies are received in lecture courses with the utmost favor; while Mr. De Cordova has established a series of winter evening entertainments which are really humorous lectures: "Mrs. Smith's Surprise Party," or "A Summer's Day at Long Branch," and with such success that his increasing audience has driven him from Clinton Hall to Niblo's Saloon.

In all these successes, however, two exceptional gifts are essential, dramatic power and popular humor. It seems easy enough for an author to read his own books aloud; but not to say that Mrs. Browning declares that true poets never read "their own verses to their worth," it is very clear that it is not the mere fact of Dickens the author reading Dickens the work which continues to attract and delight, but Dickens with incomparable dramatic power, giving body and color and wonderfully enhanced raciness to the printed outlines of his imaginative and humorous creations. Thackeray's stories read by Thackeray, unless from the manuscript, would be hardly better than our own private reading. Bulwer's would probably be a great deal worse: for to hear an ancient coxcomb sighing out slipslop sentimentality could not be very edifying.

Therefore all the writers of stories must not at once suppose that by putting on their hats and crossing the street with the little book under their arms they would necessarily find either the brilliant crowd in the hall or the pile of dollars at the door. It would be a good rule to remember, that when they can write like Dickens they can read like him. But every man who has the necessary gifts of dramatic humor and literary skill may be very sure that success awaits the proper application of his powers. The Lyceum is only another of the many avenues which are opened to ability of every kind. Like the Church, it is Catholic. It embraces cardinals in gold and beggars in rags. It welcomes actors and orators and readers, and why not singers? Why should not the Lyceum in every minor town (if there are any such in the country) make itself the alma mater of every thing that is excellent in this way?

A DEMOCRATIC COLONEL SPEAKING TO THE QUESTION.

THE Union Meeting in New Orleans is one of the most interesting events of the last few weeks, because, although it may be said that it is not difficult for a General to hold a meeting of any kind under the guns of his army, yet the remarks of the speakers have a peculiar significance coming from men who stand in a hostile region and with their lives in their hands. The orators in New Orleans were not in the least mealy-mouthed. They did not complain of the suppression of free speech because a man is not permitted to say that the war was caused by those upon whom war was made, and that the makers were in the right. They did not demand that every privilege shall be allowed in war which is a matter of course in peace. They did not say that they were willing to see the country ruined, and the government destroyed, and the hope of equal and progressive civil liberty smothered if the wayward sisters wanted it. On the contrary, the speakers were also soldiers who were there for the express purpose of preventing the wayward sisters from doing what they chose, and compelling them to submit to law.

What they did not say is the staple of all speeches at secession meetings in the North. But the secession orators at the North are not soldiers, except on condition that they may go as major-generals and leave when they wish—they are merely politicians struggling to revive a party by embarrassing the Government and helping rebellion. And as slavery is the strength of the insurrection, they are forever bawling that black men are inferior to white men—that the war is a conspiracy to bring black men to the North to take the bread out of white men's mouths; and they echo it, and re-echo it, for the purpose of securing slavery intact. "Would you like to marry your daughter to a negro?" demand these noble fellows. "Probably not," is doubtless the reply of the perceptive audience—"nor to you; nor to any mean, drunken, ignorant, degraded man of any nation or of any color. There is a choice in husbands."

But while this is the lofty and patriotic discourse of disunion orators here, the strain of Union orators in Dixie, who belonged lately to the same party organization, is significantly different. Colonel Deming, for instance, was late Democratic Mayor of Hartford in Connecticut. He is now the chief of a volunteer regiment from that State. He is noted as an orator, and he spoke at the New Orleans Union Meeting. Let us in the intervals of hearing the question whether we think black people as good as we are, and whether we are anxious for black sons-in-law, listen to what the Colonel is saying, in that brilliant house, to that enthusiastic crowd, and in the presence of General Butler, "Breckinridge democrat" of two years ago.

"The rebellion has not secured an augmented domain or everlasting prosperity to the institution of Slavery. On the contrary, as the only security for the existence of such a monstrous anomaly to the civilization of the age was in the compromises of the Constitution, so the only way in which the monster could be seriously imperiled was by their overthrow. There is scarcely a prominent man in the New England division here but has spent the vigor of his manhood and sacrificed all his hopes of political advancement by vindicating the constitutional rights of the South upon this very Slavery question; but when you withdrew the thing we hated morally but

defended politically, from beneath the wings of Constitutional compromise, and immediately placed it outside the Constitution, it absolved me and every other Northern Democrat from being any longer its apologist or defender."

Here are manliness, frankness, and common sense. And while the Administration may count upon such Democrats as Deming, Andy Johnson, Butler, and Holt, it will hardly be troubled by such as Vallandigham, Schnabel, and Saulsbury.

RETALIATION.

IN a letter to a hesitating friend last week we spoke of the execution of the ten rebels by McNeil as if it were a justifiable severity. But the illustration was not well chosen, for the whole affair was between banditti. There are two bands, apparently like the Skinners and Cowboys in the Revolution, who are really lawless marauders in Missouri, and McNeil is not a military officer of the United States. The rebel Porter, who is the head of the opposing band, but whether with a formal commission from the rebel chiefs at Richmond does not appear. Porter was believed to have caused the disappearance of Allsman, a Union man. Some of his banditti, who were concerned in the affair, fell into McNeil's hands. He demanded Allsman of Porter, under the threat that if he were not presently given up ten of Porter's band should be shot. The man was not surrendered, and McNeil kept his word.

For this proceeding Davis orders that the first ten officers who fall into the hands of the rebel commander in that region shall be put to death. It is a retaliation upon the Government for an unauthorized act of an irresponsible partisan leader. Should it be effected it will not make an easier reckoning for the rebels. That it will be effected, we have no right to doubt; for the rebels are certainly in earnest, and are not afraid of making war inhumanly.

HUMORS OF THE DAY.

SURE to HARROW UP THE SOLE.—Peg-ends inside one's boots.

To be called a fool is bad enough; but a stutterer makes the thing worse by calling you a foo-foo-fool.

Every rose has its thorn. We never helped to shawl the Rose of a ball-room without being convinced, by painful evidence, that she had a pin about her.

The poet whose soul was "wrapped in gloom" had the wrapper taken off lately. He is doing as well as could be expected.

A man has got so deep in debt that not one of his creditors has been able to see him for months.

What is the best kind of shooting in winter?—To have coals shot into your cellar.

A remarkable case of conscience was lately developed in a proceeding before a French court. A man was before the court on a charge of stealing some candles, and the prosecutor was examining witnesses who had bought from him. One of them said, "Though he suspected the candles had been stolen, he bought a sou's worth, but that, in order not to encourage robbery, he had paid for them with a bad sou."

Nearly every evil has its compensation. If a man has but one foot he never treads on his own toes.

The world doesn't know a fool's infirmities half so well as a wise man knows his own.

"One might have heard a pin fall," is a proverbial expression of silence; but it has been eclipsed by the French phrase, "You might have heard the unfolding of a lady's pocket handkerchief."

GROUND RENTS.—The chasms left by an earthquake.

When prosperity was well mounted she let go the bridle, and soon came tumbling out of the saddle.

It is a paradox that loose habits generally stick tighter to a man than any other kind.

A patient is undoubtedly in a bad way when his disease is acute and his doctor isn't.

It is easy to say grace, but not half so easy to possess it.

A CRYING EVIL.—The Sunday news-boy.

Why is a field of grass like a person older than yourself? —Because it is past-ur-age.

DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.

CONGRESS.

ON Wednesday, December 3, in the Senate, the standing committee were appointed. An inquiry was ordered into the expediency of indemnifying citizens of Minnesota for losses by the Indian outbreak. On motion of Senator Sumner, a call was made on the Secretary of War for information relative to the seizure and sale of free blacks by the rebels, and what steps have been taken in the matter. Senator Hale gave notice of a bill repealing the act passed in July last, establishing and equalizing the grades of naval officers. The Senate then went into executive session, and afterward adjourned.—In the House, a motion was adopted directing a pretty thorough overhauling of the accounts of the Agricultural Department.

On Thursday, 4th, in the Senate, Senator Clark offered a joint resolution, which was laid over, approving of the policy of the President's emancipation proclamation. A bill repealing the act establishing and equalizing the grade of naval officers was introduced and appropriately referred.—In the House, Mr. Stevens offered resolutions declaring that the Union must be and remain one and indivisible forever, and denouncing as guilty of high crime any executive or legislative department that shall propose or advise any acceptance of peace on any other basis than the integrity and entire unity of the United States as they existed at the time the rebellion commenced. The 16th was, on motion of Mr. Stevens, assigned for the consideration of this subject. Mr. Wickliffe, of Kentucky, offered a resolution directing inquiry respecting the Military Governor of the District of Columbia—under what law he derives his power, his compensation, the expenses of his office, and whether he has obstructed the civil tribunals in the administration of justice. A motion to lay the subject on the table was adopted by a vote of eighty-five against forty-six. A resolution abolishing the West Point Military Academy and aiding in the establishment of military schools in the States was rejected by a decisive vote.

On Friday, 5th, in the Senate, the House bill requiring payments in gold and silver for all judgments recovered by the United States was referred to the Finance Committee. The resolution calling for all documents relating to the operations of the Army of the Potomac and the surrender of Harper's Ferry was adopted. Senator Powell's resolution respecting the illegal arrest of citizens of Kentucky was adopted. A bill repealing the provision of law

limiting the number of major-generals was reported and referred, as was also a bill concerning appointments in the navy. A resolution calling on the President for all the information in his possession touching the Indian for outbreak in Minnesota was agreed to. An executive session was held, and afterward the Senate adjourned.—In the House, Mr. Stevens introduced a bill indemnifying and protecting the President and other public officers from arrest, imprisonment, and other consequences growing out of the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. Owing to a slight informality Mr. Stevens withdrew the bill for the present. Mr. Morrill offered a resolution declaring "that at no time since the existence of the rebellion have the forces and material in the hands of the Executive of the Government been so ample to and abundant for the speedy termination of the war as at the present moment; and that it is the duty of all loyal American citizens, regardless of minor differences of opinion, and especially is it the duty of every officer and soldier, and of those in every branch of the Government, including the legislative, cordially to strike the assassins at once who have conspired to destroy our existence, prosperity, and freedom, of which we are justly proud at home and abroad, and which we stand pledged to perpetuate forever." This was adopted, but one member voting in the negative. An inquiry into the causes of the Indian outbreak in the Northwest was ordered, and a call was made for all correspondence on the present condition of Mexican affairs. Mr. Allen, of Illinois, asked, but failed to obtain leave, to offer a resolution instructing the Committee on the Judiciary to inquire into the alleged right of the Federal Government to set at defiance the Constitution, laws, and sentiments of the people of Illinois, in importing negroes into that State, and to consider what action is necessary to bring about the deportation of said negroes. Both Houses adjourned till Monday.

On Monday, 8th, in the Senate, the Bankrupt bill was taken up and made the special order for Thursday, the 18th inst. The House bill requiring payment in gold and silver for satisfaction of judgments in certain suits brought by the United States was passed. A bill providing for the development of the mineral resources of the public domain was introduced by Senator Latham, and referred. Resolutions calling on the Secretary of War for the number of Major and Brigadier Generals in the service, and where and how they are employed, also the number and rank of aids-de-camp, were adopted. Senator Saulsbury called up the resolution relating to arrests in Delaware, but objection was made to its consideration, and after some conversation the subject was dropped. Senator Davis introduced a joint resolution proposing amendments to the Constitution in reference to the mode of electing the President and Vice-President.—In the House, the Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means introduced a new financial plan for the Government. It provides for the redemption and cancelation of the 5.20 and 7.30 bonds, the redemption of the temporary deposits, and an issue of $1,000,000,000 bonds and $500,000,000 legal tender notes. It also assesses a heavy tax on bank circulation. The Bankrupt bill was made the special order for the 18th inst. The Standing Committees were announced. Mr. Stevens introduced a bill to indemnify the President and other persons for suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and for all acts done in pursuance thereof, and after some manoeuvring the previous question was ordered, and the bill passed by a vote of 90 against 45. Mr. Van Wyck introduced a bill to provide for the immediate payment of clothing lost in service by soldiers of the United States army; also a bill increasing the pay of privates, non-commissioned officers, and musicians. Both bills were referred to the Committee on Military Affairs. Mr. Wickliffe introduced a bill for the protection and relief of persons in loyal States whose property has been seized or stolen by United States officers. It was referred to the Judiciary Committee. On motion of Mr. McKnight the Committee of Ways and Means was instructed to inquire into the expediency of modifying the Tax law so as to dispense with the tax on advertisements.

On Tuesday, 9th, in the Senate, a communication was received from the Secretary of War, in answer to a resolution calling for information in relation to the alleged sale of free negroes captured by the rebels, in which he states that the War Department has no information in regard to the subject in its possession. The resolutions calling for information relative to the arbitrary arrest of citizens of Delaware were taken up and discussed at considerable length; but the Senate adjourned without taking final action on the subject.—In the House, the morning hour was devoted to the consideration of the Senate bill for the admission of Western Virginia into the Union as a State. The special order, a bill authorizing collectors and assessors of taxes to administer oaths, was taken up and passed. The debate on the question of the admission of Western Virginia into the Union was then resumed, and continued until the adjournment.

WINCHESTER REOCCUPIED.

General Geary marched upon Winchester on the 3d inst. and demanded its surrender, which was complied with, the people exhibiting many signs of joy at his arrival. His command consisted of 3300 chosen infantry from all the regiments in his division, two sections of artillery from Knapp's battery, two from McGilery's battery, and two from Hampton's battery, making altogether twelve guns, and fifty cavalry of the First Maryland.

GENERAL GRANT AT ABBEVILLE.

General Grant telegraphs from Abbeville, Mississippi, to General Halleck that his troops are in possession of that place. The rebels abandoned their fortifications there on the 2d inst., destroying all the stores they could not carry. The streams were so high that only a portion of our cavalry could cross by swimming; but the enemy was pursued to Oxford, where, after a skirmish of two hours, sixty of their number were captured. General Grant says that the roads are too bad to get supplies for a long chase.

THE PURSUIT.

Dispatches from Cairo state that the main body of the rebel army passed through Oxford, Mississippi, forty thousand strong, going South, on 3d, under command of General Jackson (of the West). His rear-guard had a skirmish next morning with a portion of the Union forces near Oxford, the result of which is not stated. Another dispatch from Chicago says that intelligence was received from Oxford, dated the 7th, to the effect that a two hours' fight had taken place on 5th, near Coffeeville, between the Union cavalry under Colonel Dickey, and a rebel force of five thousand infantry, cavalry, and artillery. Our troops lost five killed, fifty wounded, and sixty missing. The rebels, it is said, lost three hundred killed and wounded.

GENERAL HOVEY AT HELENA.

General Hovey's expedition, twenty thousand strong, which left Helena, Arkansas, some days ago, landed at Friar's Point, fifteen or twenty miles below, marched to Grenada, Mississippi, and took possession of that place on 1st. A large number of the citizens fled on the approach of our troops. The proprietor of the Appeal had to make another skedaddle. He has now fled to Marietta, Georgia, with his paper.

DISASTER IN TENNESSEE.

At Hartsville, Tennessee, on December 6, the rebel guerrilla Morgan made an attack upon the brigade commanded by General Moore at that place, which consisted of the 104th Illinois, Colonel Moore commanding brigade; 106th Ohio, Colonel Lafel; 108th Ohio, Colonel Limberg; Nicklen's battery, and a small detachment of the 2d Indiana cavalry. After fighting an hour and a quarter our forces surrendered, and the enemy burned our camp, capturing nearly all the brigade, train, and teams, and burning what they could not carry away. Two guns of Nicklen's battery were also captured. Our loss was between 50 and 60 killed and wounded, who were left on the field. The rebel loss is not reported. Morgan's force consisted of three regiments of cavalry and two of infantry. It was said that Morgan made another attack upon General Fry's position at Gallatin the same afternoon, but met with a serious repulse. General Fry was speedily reinforced, and pursued the enemy. It would appear that in the attack at Hartsville some of our troops behaved badly, while others fought gallantly to the last.

DESPERATE BATTLE IN ARKANSAS.

A desperate fight and a brilliant victory for the Union forces occurred in Arkansas on 7th. While General Herron, with a force of about seven thousand men was hastening to reinforce General Blunt, at Cane Hill, the enemy,

twenty-four thousand strong, in four divisions, under Generals Parsons, Marmaduke, Frost, and Rains, all commanded by General Hindman, having flanked General Blunt's position, made a desperate attack on General Herron, at Crawford's Prairie, to prevent his junction with Blunt. Herron fought them gallantly with his Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Indiana troops, from ten o'clock in the morning until dark, keeping them at bay and driving them from two strong positions with his artillery during the day. The 20th Wisconsin captured a rebel battery; but were forced, by the fire of the enemy, to abandon it. The 19th Iowa took the same battery, but were also obliged to surrender it. Affairs were going hard with our troops. At four o'clock in the afternoon, however, General Blunt arrived in the enemy's rear, with five thousand men, and fell upon them. The fight then became one of desperation. Though superior in numbers, and maintaining their ground throughout the day, the rebels, now between two hostile forces, made fierce efforts to capture the batteries which General Blunt brought to bear upon them, but without success. They could not extricate themselves from the difficulty, and were repulsed with great slaughter. At nine o'clock, when darkness fell upon the scene of battle, they were flying over the Boston mountains in confusion, and our victorious army held the whole field. Our loss was six hundred killed and wounded. The rebels admit the loss of fifteen hundred, including several field officers.

THE TREASURY REPORT.

The following are the estimates of the Secretary of the Treasury:

Mr. Chase recommends that the deficiency for the current year be raised by loans, and that no more legal tender notes be issued.

A COTTON CURRENCY.

General W. T. Sherman, who is the military commander at Memphis, recommends that, instead of shinplasters— which the Common Council of that city proposes to issue —five, ten, twenty-five, and fifty cent packages of raw cotton be done up and passed as currency—the cotton to be of the standard value of half a dollar a pound.

NORFOLK TO ELECT A MEMBER OF CONGRESS.

From Fortress Monroe we learn that General Viele has issued a proclamation as Military Governor of Norfolk and a writ of election for another member of Congress from Southeastern Virginia, comprising in the district the city of Norfolk, together with the counties of Princess Anne, Nansemond, Isle of Wight, and the city of Portsmouth. It is supposed that the people will eagerly accede to the proclamation, and elect a member, for the sake of preserving their slave property front the effects of the emancipation proclamation of the President, as the Hon. Mr. Segar, who was previously elected for another district, is believed to have secured his constituents from the operations of that proclamation.

ARREST OF A UNITED STATES MARSHAL.

The Grand Jury of Hunterdon county, New Jersey, have indicted a Deputy United States Marshal and other parties, for the arrest, without process of law, of Messrs. Wright & Kugler on a charge of interfering with enlistments. The Marshal has accordingly been arrested. It is said that the United States District Attorney authorized the arrests of these gentlemen.

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