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Civil War Harper's Weekly, January 25, 1862

This WEB site features the Harper's Weekly newspapers that were published during the Civil War. These newspapers are a great source of original Civil War illustrations, and incredible stories on the key battles and people of the War. We hope that you find this collection useful. Check back often as we add new material each day.

 

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

 

General George B. McClellan

Slavery Question

The Slavery Question

The Battle of Blue's Gap

Pamlico and Albemarle

Pamlico and Albemarle

Mississippi Expedition

Mississippi Expedition

Civil War Execution

Civil War Execution

Mississippi Civil War Map

Mississippi Civil War Map

Ads

Civil War Ads

British Cartoon

British Cartoon

Fort Holt

Fort Holt

Fortress Monroe

Fortress Monroe

Bowling Green

Bowling Green, Kentucky

President Lincoln's White House Reception

White House Reception

 
 

 

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

[JANUARY 25, 1862.

62

knock together at the one door of heaven, which opens to thanksgiving and prayer, and thanksgiving and prayer sends us back, calm and hopeful, to the tasks that each morrow renews."

I looked up as the old man paused, and in the limpid clearness of the Australian atmosphere I saw the child he thus praised standing by the garden-gate, looking toward us, and, though still distant, she seemed near. I felt wroth with her. My heart so cherished my harmless, defenseless Lilian, that I was jealous of the praise taken from her to be bestowed on another.

" Each of us," said I, coldly, " has his or her own nature, and the uses harmonious to that nature's idiosyncrasy. The world, I grant, would get on very ill if women were not, more or less, actively useful and quietly good, like your Amy. But the world would lose standards that exalt and refine if no woman were permitted to gain, through the indulgence .of fancy, thoughts exquisite as those which my Lilian conceived, while thought, alas, flowed out of fancy. I do not wound you by citing your Amy as a type of the mediocre. I do not claim for Lilian the rank we accord to the type of genius. But both are alike to such types in this : viz., that the uses of mediocrity are for everyday life, and the uses of genius, amidst a thousand mistakes which mediocrity never commits, are to suggest and perpetuate ideas which raise the standard of the mediocre to a nobler level. There would be fewer Amys in life if there were no Lilian, as there would be far fewer good men of sense if there were no erring dreamer of genius!"

"You say well, Allen Fenwick. And who should be so indulgent to the vagaries of the imagination as the philosophers who taught your youth to doubt every thing in the Maker's plan of creation which could not be mathematically proved. ' The human mind,' said Luther, ' is like a drunkard on horseback ; prop it on one side, and it falls on the other.' So the man who is much too enlightened to believe in a peasant's religion, is always sure to set up some inane superstition of his own. Open biographical volumes wherever you please, and the man who has no faith in religion, is a man who has faith in a nightmare. See that type of the elegant skeptics—Lord Herbert, of Cherbury. He is writing a book against Revelation; he asks a sign from heaven to tell him if his book is approved by his Maker, and the man who can not believe in the miracles performed by his Saviour, gravely tells us of a miracle vouchsafed to himself. Take the hardest and strongest intellect which the hardest and strongest race of mankind ever schooled and accomplished. See the greatest of great men, the great Julius Caesar ! Publicly he asserts in the Senate that the immortality of the soul is a vain chimera. He professes the creed which Roman voluptuaries deduced from Epicurus, and denies all divine interference in the affairs of the earth. A great authority for the materialists—they have none greater ! They can show on their side no intellect equal to Caesar's ; and yet this magnificent free-thinker, rejecting a soul and a Deity, habitually entered his chariot in muttering a charm ; crawled on

his knees up the steps of a temple to propitiate the abstraction called ' Nemesis ;' and did not cross the Rubicon till he had consulted the omens. What does all this prove ? A very simple truth. Man has some instincts with the brutes; for instance, hunger and sexual love. Man has one instinct peculiar to himself, found universally (or with alleged exceptions in savage states so rare that they do not affect the general law*)—an instinct of an invisible power without this earth, and of a life beyond the grave, which that power vouchsafes to his spirit. But the best of us can not violate an instinct with impunity. Resist hunger as long as you can, and, rather than die of starvation, your instinct will make you a cannibal; resist love when youth and nature impel to it, and what pathologist does not track one broad path into madness or crime ? So with the noblest instinct of all. Reject the internal conviction by which the grandest thinkers have sanctioned the hope of the humblest Christian, and you are servile at once to some faith inconceivably more hard to believe. The imagination will not be withheld from its yearning for vistas beyond the walls of the flesh and the span of the present hour. Philosophy itself, in rejecting the healthful creeds by which man finds his safeguards in sober prayer, and his guide through the wilderness of visionary doubt, invents systems compared to which the mysteries of theology are simple. Suppose any man of strong, plain understanding had never heard of a Deity like Him whom we Christians adore, then ask this man which he can the better comprehend in his mind, and accept as a natural faith, the simple Christianity of his shepherd or the pantheism of Spinoza ? Place before an accomplished critic (who comes with a perfectly unprejudiced mind to either inquiry), first, the arguments of David Hume against the Gospel miracles, and then the metaphysical crotchets of David Hume himself. This subtle philosopher, not content, with Berkeley, to get rid of matter—not content, with Condillac, to get rid of spirit or mind-proceeds to a miracle greater than any his Maker has yet vouchsafed to reveal. He, being then alive and in the act of writing, gets rid of himself altogether. Nay, he confesses he can not reason with any one who is stupid enough to think he has a self. His words are : ' What we call a mind is nothing but a heap or collection of different perceptions or objects united together by certain relations, and supposed, though falsely, to be endowed with perfect simplicity and identity. If any one upon

*It seems extremely doubtful whether the very few instances in which it has been asserted that a savage race had been found without recognition of a Deity and a future state would bear searching examination. It is set forth, for example, in most of the popular works on Australia, that the Australian savages have no notion of a Deity or a Hereafter, that they only worship a devil, or evil spirit. This assumption, though made more peremptorily, and by a greater number of writers than any similar one regarding other savages, is altogether erroneous, and has no other foundation than the ignorance of the writers. The Australian savages recognize a Deity, but He is too august for a name in their own language; in English they call Him The Great Master—an expression synonymous with "The Great Lord." They believe in a hereafter of eternal joy, and place it among the stars.—See Strzelecki's Physical Description of New South Wales.

serious and candid reflection thinks he has a different notion of himself, I must confess I can reason with him no longer.' Certainly I would rather believe all the ghost-stories upon record than believe that I am not even a ghost, distinct and apart from the perceptions conveyed to me, no matter how-just as I am distinct and apart from the furniture in my room, no matter whether I found it there or whether I bought it. If some old cosmogonist asked you to believe that the primitive cause of the solar system was not to be traced to a Divine Intelligence, but to a nebulosity, originally so diffuse that its existence can with difficulty be conceived, and that the origin of the present system of organized beings equally dispensed with the agency of a creative mind, and could be referred to molecules formed in the water by the power of attraction, till, by modifications of cellular tissue in the gradual lapse of ages, one monad became an oyster and another a Man—would you not say this cosmogony could scarcely have misled the human understanding even in the earliest dawn of speculative inquiry ? Yet such are the hypotheses to which the desire to philosophize away that simple proposition of a Divine First Cause, which every child can comprehend, led two of the greatest geniuses and profoundest reasoners of modern times, La Place and La Marck.* Certainly, the more you examine those arch phantasmagorists, the philosophers, who would leave nothing in the universe but their own delusions, the more your intellectual pride may be humbled. The wildest phenomena which have startled you, are not more extravagant than the grave explanations which intellectual presumption adventures on the elements of our own organism and the relations between the world of matter and the world of ideas."

Here our conversation stopped, for Amy had now joined us, and, looking up to reply, I saw the child's innocent face between me and the furrowed brow of the old man.

BOWLING GREEN AND THE
VICINITY.

ON page 61 we publish a birds-eye view of that part of Kentucky now occupied by our own and the rebel forces, showing the course of the Green River, Mumfordsville, Bowling Green, etc. A correspondent of the Journal of Commerce writes as follows regarding this region of country:

The Federal forces advancing on Bowling Green are now detained at Green River for repairs of the railroad bridge. This bridge was an iron one, and said to have been destroyed two or three months ago, contrary to the instructions of General Buckner at the time. It is over 200 feet span. The whole country west of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, for 50 or 60 miles to the Ohio River, is rough, hilly, and broken, and literally without any thing that would be entitled to the name of roads, and but sparsely inhabited. The distance from Green River to Bowling Green is 41 miles. There are no villages on the route of the turnpike or railroad. The largest place is at Prent's Knob, with some dozen houses. There is a high range of hills on the west of the road, extending from near Green River almost to Bowling Green. At several points

* See the observations on La Place and La Marck in the Introduction to Kirby's Bridgewater Treatise.

these hills would command the railroad and turnpike. Preut's Knob is a point of great strength. The roads passing between the hills and knobs, which are here some 200 feet high, and, except the open country to the east, that would render it possible to turn the flank of an army posted within the pass of these hills, I should consider this the strongest natural position on the line of road between Louisville and Nashviile. This is some twelve miles from Green River, and if the rebels make a stand this side of Bowling Green it will doubtless be here.

Glasgow Junction Wells, the old point for stage to Mammoth Cave is also another strong point, and may be defended by Buckner's army. The turnpike from Green River to this point is but a common dirt road, and in winter very bad; but from this point to Bowling Green is a fine Macadamized road, and our forces will not likely meet with any obstruction for the 23 miles to Bowling Green.

The greatest strength of Bowling Green for defense is in the great difficulty our troops will have to turn either flank of the enemy, which probably can not be done without great labor and preparation. Either above or below the country is rough and rugged; there are no roads running parallel with the railroad.

The country between Green River and Bowling Green is very peculiar in its formation, being cavernous. There is not a stream of water on the whole route, and, save a few small springs, there is no water that is not artificially obtained. The whole of this country may be compared to bowls with a hole in the bottom, of all sizes from a few rods in extent to 50 or 100 acres. These holes or sinks carry off the surplus water after rains into the caves or underground streams. By the natural supply of water 500 horsemen could not have found the means of subsisting themselves and horses in a body between Green and Barren rivers, within several miles of the railroad. But the country is now a fine farming one, and abundance of water is obtained by cisterns, and by stopping the holes in the sinks, forming little ponds from the surface drainage, every farmer having one or more of these ponds. Should the rebels choose to do so, and they wish to annoy our forces, they could open these sink-holes, and drain the ponds along the whole line of forty miles in a single day, which would render it impossible for an army to subsist on the route until the holes could be stopped and the rains again fill the ponds with water.

We give also on this page a map of a portion of Tennessee and Kentucky, being the theatre of the operations of Commodore Foote, General Halleck, and General Buell.

EXECUTION OF A PRIVATE
SOLDIER.

ON page 60 we illustrate THE EXECUTION OF PRIVATE LANAHAN, of the regular army, who was hung for murder at Washington on 6th January. The following extracts from the Herald correspondence contain the history of the affair:

Lanahan had for some time entertained a grudge against Sergeant Brennan, and when the homicide occurred he was reprimanded by the Sergeant for being absent from his post at guard mounting. Lanahan replied to the Sergeant impudently, and when Brennan turned quickly and asked what he said, Lanahan leveled his musket and fired, killing the Sergeant instantly. The culprit was tried by court-martial, and sentenced to be hung. Major-General McClellan, upon a careful review of the record, which disclosed facts that would have convicted him of murder in the first degree before any impartial jury, signed the death-warrant. Brennan was an officer much respected, and his murder was the subject of much comment at the time.

This morning, at ten o'clock, Lanahan was taken from the central guard-house, and, accompanied by his spiritual adviser, Father Walter, of St. Patrick's Church, placed in a carriage, guarded by a file of regulars, conveyed by way of Ninth Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, and thence to Franklin Square. Lanahan was dressed in his regular uniform, and, with the exception of an unnatural paleness, looked as usual. He was short in stature, and dark-complexioned.

At eleven o'clock an escort., composed of five detachments from regiments of United States Infantry, took the prisoner through Fourteenth Street and Vermont Avenue to the place of execution, a vacant space between O and P streets. Here was a gallows, which had been erected during the morning, and around this the troops were ranged in a hollow square. The prisoner was taken from the carriage at a quarter pest eleven o'clock, and, with a single armed guard, approached the scaffold, accompanied by Father Walter. He mounted the scaffold with a firm step and looked around upon the soldiery without flinching. General Devereaux, Assistant Adjutant-General, read in a clear voice the order for the execution, to which the prisoner calmly listened, occasionally looking around for the last time at his comrades upon the field. Three or four hundred spectators only had gathered around the military to witness the impressive spectacle.

The troops were brought to a parade rest, and the prisoner requested that his arms, which had been pinioned behind him, might be loosened, as he desired to meet his fate like a man. The request was complied with, and Father Walter put on his sacerdotal robes, and knelt for a few minutes to offer up the last petition for him who was soon to expiate his crime. Lanahan looked around when the priest had concluded his prayer, and said, in a cheerful and audible voice, as he looked around upon the military cordon, "Good-by, soldiers, good-by! " The black cap was drawn over his face, and he stepped firmly upon the trap, where he placed himself in the position of the soldier, with his arms by his side. All things being ready, Corporal Brown, at half past eleven o'clock, placed his foot upon the spring, and Lanahan, who had not been unnerved for an instant, fell, and his life was over.

There were a few muscular contractions of the body, but the spinal cord was broken, and in a few minutes then surgeons examined the body, and pronounced life extinct. The corpse was placed in an army wagon, and conveyed by comrades of the deceased to the Catholic Cemetery for burial.

Within half an hour after the execution the scaffold was removed, and persons living a square distant hardly knew that such an affair had taken place in their neighborhood,

THE BURNSIDE EXPEDITION.

WE publish on page 60 an engraving of the EMBARKATION OF TROOPS FOR THE BURNSIDE EXPEDITION on board the Hussar. The expedition will have sailed before these lines reach the public eye. The Tribune correspondent at Fortress Monroe wrote on 9th :

Throughout the day yesterday transports, gun-boats, and other craft, constituting the principal portion of the Burnside Expedition, were passing through the Chesapeake, in sight of the Fortress, on their way to their place of rendezvous. In the afternoon the fleet of gun-boats that have rendezvoused here for some time also commenced leaving, and by sundown all but two or three, which are to act in the double capacity of gun-boats and transports, such as the Hunchback and Southfield, were showing their heels in the waters of the Chesapeake. But a small number of vessels will come here, the final arrangements of the Expeditions having been nearly perfected at Annapolis.

Flag-Officer Goldsborough will be chief officer in command of the expedition—of the land as well as the naval forces. Experience has proved the impracticability of a dual command—nominally a united, but really a divided one. Hence Flag-Officer Goldsborough, as the senior officer, with the rank of Major-General as well as Commodore, will be supreme, and direct the entire forces. I understand that this has the entire approval of General Burnside, who enjoys to the fullest the confidence of the Flag-Officer, and who only in the event of an extreme contingency will be abridged of any of his powers as commander of the land forces. (Next Page)

WAR MAP, SHOWING THE THEATRE OF OPERATIONS OF THE MISSISSIPPI EXPEDITION AND GENERAL BUELL'S ARMY.

Mississippi War Map

 

 

  

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