Before Richmond


This Site:

Civil War

Civil War Overview

Civil War 1861

Civil War 1862

Civil War 1863

Civil War 1864

Civil War 1865

Civil War Battles

Confederate Generals

Union Generals

Confederate History

Robert E. Lee

Civil War Medicine

Lincoln Assassination


Site Search

Civil War Links


Civil War Art

Mexican War

Republic of Texas


Winslow Homer

Thomas Nast

Mathew Brady

Western Art

Civil War Gifts

Robert E. Lee Portrait

Civil War Harper's Weekly, July 5, 1862

This site contains an online archive of all Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. These newspapers will allow you to develop unique insights into the events that made up the Civil War. The illustrations present eye-witness records of this important period in American History.

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


Cumberland Gap

Cumberland Gap

Before Richmond

Before Richmond

Emancipation Bill

Emancipation Bill

Memphis Post Office

Memphis Post Office

Joe Hooker

General Joe Hooker

Memphis, Tennessee

Affairs in Memphis Tennessee

Silas Casey

General Silas Casey

Fairoaks Battle

Fairoaks Battle Description





Cavalry Charge

Cavalry Charge


Charleston Approach

Charleston Approach

Captain Clitheroe

Captain Clitheroe

Negro Cartoon

Negro Cartoon









[JULY 5, 1862.





IN all human probability the decisive battle of the war will be fought before Richmond before this paper reaches our subscribers. On Friday last, 20th, General McClellan was ready. He had his works complete, and his artillery massed. He was prepared at any moment to open an artillery fire upon the rebels which they could not stand. Every soldier in the army of the Potomac knew well that day that the battle was only a few hours distant.

Most of the correspondents appear calmly confident of the result. The army is in such splendid condition, it is led by a general who inspires such unbounded confidence, it is accompanied by so enormous a force of artillery, and it is so thoroughly impressed with belief in its own success, that officers, men, and newspaper-writers all predict a triumph—bloody, it may be, but decisive. We need not say that we most earnestly and prayerfully trust these hopeful presages may be fulfilled.

In the event of success before Richmond, the war on the Atlantic, like the war on the Mississippi, will virtually be over. There will still remain small armies to be dispersed here and there, forts to be taken, guerrillas to be shot. But the critical question of the division of the Union will have been determined.

For there is no section of country south of Virginia and Tennessee in which the rebels can subsist such an army as could hope to resist the Union forces. Davis and Lee, retreating into North Carolina or the Gulf States, will perish in a given period of time from want of animal food, just as Beauregard's army is scattering in Mississippi from the same cause. Before evacuating Corinth Beauregard contracted for the delivery to his army in Mississippi of 200,000 head of cattle and sheep from the States lying west of the Mississippi. It is in order to transport these cattle across the river that Vicksburg is so resolutely holding out. By this time Farragut has probably given a good account of that obstinate city, and not another head of cattle will cross the river.

The result will be the same if the rebels should evacuate instead of fighting before Richmond. If they are going to carry on this war, they must retain possession of enough grazing country and wheat country to subsist a large army. This involves, as a necessity, a continued and undisturbed rebel occupation of the plains and valleys of Virginia.


WE have obtained information of a very important political movement which has lately taken place in this city, and which is likely to exercise no small influence upon the destinies of this State and the Union. It seems that, a few evenings since, a select party of bankers, shipping-merchants, politicians, lawyers, and editors met in a private room at one of our hotels, and resolved to organize a new party, to be known as THE ANTEDILUVIANS.

A PROMINENT MERCHANT observed that, in his opinion, things had been going from bad to worse for many years. The encroachments of the executive were becoming intolerable: witness the execution of the martyr Gordon! For his part, he believed in leaving trade entirely free, and if a man chose to import negroes from Africa he saw no objection; it was notorious that the spiritual condition of the slaves in South Carolina was far superior to that of the negroes in Ashantee or Dahomey. He went in for saving souls where he could. He thought the legislation of the United States rotten, and advised a recurrence to the old colonial laws, under which his ancestors in Rhode Island had done uncommonly well for several generations.

AN EDITOR, in rising, wished to say that he was in favor of the prosecution of the war. But he wished it prosecuted with some regard to humanity. He was opposed to the shedding of blood, especially of the blood of our brethren in the Slave States. He could wish that General McClellan should be directed to fire several volleys with blank cartridge in the direction of Richmond, after which a deputation should be sent to Jeff Davis to offer him the reversion of the Presidency on condition of peace. His blood boiled when he thought of the number of slaves who had escaped from their masters during the present war. He understood that General Lee, whom he was proud to call his friend, had lost two valuable slaves. Why were they not returned? Was the Government a common thief? He was not a church-member himself, but he had a friend who went regularly to meeting and who informed him that in Deuteronomy—

Here the Speaker was interrupted by a boy, who came in with a list of our killed and wounded at Fairoaks, which the Editor began to copy for his paper.

A LAWYER remarked that the authors of the war were the people of New England, and that they were the real disunionists. A popular impression existed that it was the people of South Carolina who fired the first gun in the war. This was a mistake. It was Massachusetts which sought a severance of the Union, not South Carolina. He was bound to admit that the former had sent a few

troops to support the President, while the latter had dispatched her volunteers against Washington. But appearances were often deceitful. The South Carolinians were a whole-souled people, incapable of dishonest dealing; whereas he knew from experience that the New Englanders were rogues. He had a case—

Here he was called to order by THE CHAIRMAN, who remarked, that while he was glad to hear that their friend the Lawyer had got a case at last, it had nothing to do with the object of the meeting. They had met there to see if something could not be done to stem the tide of human progress and civilization, which was sweeping before it the time-honored prejudices, abuses, and wrongs to which they all naturally clung. He would call upon his neighbor, the Banker, to ventilate his opinions.

THE BANKER remarked that the great trouble in this country was the want of an established aristocracy. His friend, Lord Thingumbob, had told him so when he met him in Pall Mall, and he was convinced of the fact. At the South, now, the large slave-owners constituted an aristocracy; not so solid as might be wished, he confessed, as many of the young men at the South were apt to gamble away their niXXers: he had himself won a yellow girl at poker, and sold her six weeks afterward for $2500 (ha! ha!); but still the South had an aristocracy, and this was the secret of the superiority of Southern men to Northerners. He was decidedly in favor of the organization of a new party at the North based on sound feudal principles. He thought the United States required a hereditary aristocracy selected from the....bankers, merchants....bankers, lawyers....bankers, men of property, and so forth. If a plank to this effect were inserted in the platform of the new party they might count him in.

A POLITICIAN congratulated the meeting upon the soundness of the views expressed by the speakers, and the firm front they proposed to present to the pernicious heresies of the day. In the present disastrous crisis of the country he had taken his side some time since, and proposed to stand by it. He was in favor of the war. But after the war, he wanted the statu quo ante bellum absolutely restored. He hoped to see his friend Senator (now General) Toombs, of Georgia, in his place in the Senate; his friend and correspondent Senator Mason, now absent in Europe, at the head of the Senate Committee on foreign relations; his old acquaintance, Mr. Jefferson Davis, restored to the control of the Committee on Military Affairs, which his experience during the present war will so admirably fit him to wield; and Brother Ben appointed United States Commissioner of Lotteries, with a large percentage on the sale of policies. He agreed with his friend the Lawyer in the opinion that the North was at least as largely responsible for the war as the South. He could see no difference himself between an Abolitionist and a Secessionist—a friend of freedom and a friend of slavery—a defender of the Government and a traitor. They were all one to him. With these few remarks he would move the following resolutions:

Whereas, the rascally and diabolical conduct of the Northern States, and especially Massachusetts, Vermont, and Wisconsin, have plunged this country into a fratricidal war; and whereas the blood-thirsty representatives from these States refused persistently to avert the war by adopting the advice of such pure patriots as Breckinridge, Vallandigham, and Hunter, and giving up every thing demanded by the Southern people:

And whereas, The Southerners have already proved their valor, and the utter impossibility of subjugating them by force of arms:

Be it resolved; 1. That the times call for the establishment of a new Northern party consisting of all the virtue and worth, and most of the modesty of the North, to crush out and keep down the rascally, Jacobinical, radical faction.

2. That the cardinal principle of this party be THE RESTORATION OF THE UNION AS IT WAS, with Mason, Slidell, Breckinridge, Davis, and Hunter, in the Senate, Pryor, Stephens, and Barksdale in the House, the fugitive slave law in full operation throughout the North, and slavery in all the Territories present and future.

3. That with a view to conciliate our Southern brethren, the officers of the Southern army should be admitted into the United States army with the rank they now hold, and that the supreme command be given to General Beauregard, who should be appointed Lieutenant-General by Congress.

4. That Major-General Lovell be invited to resume his position as Street-Inspector in this city.

5. That Senator Sumner be tried for treason, and, if possible, hanged.

6. That a monument be raised in the city of Boston to the memory of the late Preston Brooks, whose Christian behavior was so beautiful a prototype of the conduct of his Southern friends during the present war.

7. That Robert Smalls, the niXXer who ran away from his owners in Charleston with a valuable steamboat, be returned under a flag of truce, and Commodore Dupont, who abetted him in the theft of himself and boat, be dismissed from the service.

8. That the negro who gave Colonel Kenly information of the approach of the enemy at Front Royal receive one hundred lashes for escaping from his owner without a regular pass.

9. That the true object of the establishment of the Government of the United States was the protection and maintenance of slavery and the discouragement of freedom: wherefore a law of Congress should render it penal, forever hereafter, to speak commendingly, in any public discourse, of freedom or liberty, or of the rights of man, and an orator should be appointed by Congress, on each Fourth of July, to explain to the people the beauties of slavery, the charm of the whipping-post, the advantage of the iron collar, the merits of the blood-hound, the virtues of slave-traders, and the general common sense of making people work without wages.

10. That Russia having commenced the emancipation of the serfs, diplomatic relations be broken off with her; that Spain be warned that if she cries out the project of her leading statesmen for the emancipation of the negroes in Cuba and Porto Rico, the United States will consider it a casus belli; and that new and close treaties of friendship and amity be concluded with the Emperor of Brazil, the King of Dahomey, and the Sultan of Turkey.

11. That it being the deliberate sense of the members of this party that the world is going headlong to ruin —that civilization is a mistake and progress a delusion—we tale the name and title of THE ANTEDILUVIANS.

These resolutions, having been put to the vote,

were carried nem. con.; and the meeting separates in high good-humor.



SINCE the battle of Fairoaks there has been a lull. It may be broken at any moment, and we may occupy Richmond either by the evacuation of the enemy or by a bloody engagement.

Yet one thing is now so clear that it should be included in every estimate of the future. It is that we are dealing not with an organized power, or state, or government, which, when it has lost its capital and is universally defeated, proposes terms of submission, but with a vast horde of banditti. Practically they are that. They are some two hundred thousand men in arms. If they are driven from one point, as at Corinth, they reappear, either together or separately, elsewhere. At this very moment it would not be surprising to hear that a large force threatens New Orleans, or has reinforced Charleston, or Richmond, or Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley. If they retire from Richmond they may secretly and rapidly withdraw to the Valley and drive Fremont before them as Jackson drove Banks. How do we know that fifty thousand men have not been sent to Jackson while the remainder hold the attention of McClellan? At any moment we should not be surprised at a rebel foray, or an attempted foray, at any point of our lines.

We are engaged with a foe to whom every thing is fair. He frankly preaches assassination, and it will not be forgotten that it was proposed to assassinate President Lincoln as the opening movement of the insurrection. If it is said that this infamy can not be charged upon the leaders, the simple reply is the question whether Marshal Kane, of Baltimore, was not probably a confidant of the leaders, and whether he did not know perfectly well that there was to be a riot in Baltimore upon occasion of the President's passage? And there could be but one intention in such a riot.

It will not be in the least surprising to hear that attempts have been made to murder Governor Johnson or General Butler; because, however absurdly causeless the revolt of the rebels may be, they are doubtless quite as desperate in their hatred of the United States Government as any people ever were in hating actual oppressors. If it comforts any tender soul to call them misguided brothers, by all means let him call them so. But by no means let him forget that these misguided brothers hate us with deadly hate, and are trying to kill us with poison and powder and every infernal device, and that they will try to do so until they are taught by fear that it is not safe for them to try it longer.


THE Mexican question may easily lead to a very serious complication. Louis Napoleon has interfered for the aristocratic church-party in Mexico with the evident intention of destroying the present Liberal Juarez Government, and of necessarily remaining Protector of whatever government may follow. Should he succeed in establishing himself there, what will inevitably be his first wish? Clearly that his precarious colony should have no large and powerful neighbor, and especially not that powerful neighbor whose policy has always been to forbid Europe to put foot upon the continent. What will be the obvious method to avoid such a neighbor? Clearly, to secure its division. When Louis Napoleon is established in Mexico he will have a vital interest in the success of the insurrection in this country.

There is another view. Suppose him successful in Mexico, and that our rebellion is suppressed before he can have had a fair chance to intervene. Then our revolted section will be silent and sullen. It will be held by military power—conquered, not converted. Louis Napoleon will not fail to see that our policy toward him must necessarily be modified by that condition of affairs. The moment we strike at him he unites with the waiting rebels, and we have the rebellion revived plus the French alliance.

That Louis Napoleon has political designs upon this Continent is unquestionable. Their execution must depend greatly upon the position of the United States. They would never have been entertained but for our civil war. They may be so directed as to prolong and perplex that war and imperil the Government. Last September Mr. Adams wrote to Mr. Seward that Lord Russell told him that the proposition to open the Mexican matter to the United States to see if some settlement could not be made, was accepted by Spain as an alternative for a short time, and that France concurred, though not without hesitation. In January of this year he writes that the French military occupation will go on, and will not stop with the limits first assigned. "It is not difficult," says Mr. Adams, "to understand the nature of the fulcrum thus obtained for operations in a new and a different quarter should the occasion be made to use it. The expedition to the city of Mexico may not stop until it shows itself in the heart of the Louisiana purchase."

When the nature of our offer was understood, which was to guarantee the payment of interest upon the Mexican foreign debt with certain contingent securities, it was "wholly declined" by France. M. Thouvenel said to Mr. Dayton that, so far as the "extinction" of Mexico was concerned, the chief danger of that result had hitherto been from the United States. A palpable hit! Mr. Dayton, like a sensible statesman, is "constrained to say" that he made no very satisfactory reply, but reminded M. Thouvenel that it was now a question of the future, not of the past. On the 13th February he writes to Mr. Seward, that if France meets with resistance in Mexico she will send a larger force, and that it is understood that her views conflict with those of Spain.

Our interest in the Mexican question is of the gravest kind. For if, united and at peace, we felt

the danger of foreign presence upon this continent to be so vital that it was necessary to promulgate the Monroe doctrine, how infinitely more vital is that danger when we are convulsed with desperate civil war! The peace of the world hangs upon the turning of Louis Napoleon's hand. Our interest in his decision is conspicuous. Great Britain is already a party. While Spain and all Spanish America clasped hands at the Prim Banquet, and the Spanish General and the Spanish Minister declared that it was the mission of their country to defend the independence of their step-children, the Spanish American Governments.

It is a moment of the profoundest political interest.


MR. SOULE has been arrested and imprisoned as a dangerous enemy to the nation; and it is natural to ask what his career has been. He is the son of a French Lieutenant-General of the Republic. Pierre was studying to be a Jesuit priest at Bordeaux, and took part in a plot against the Bourbons just after the restoration. He escaped, but was afterward allowed to return. Going to Paris he became an advocate and the editor of an ultra-liberal paper. He attacked the Government in his paper; was tried, convicted, sentenced to pay 10,000 francs and to be imprisoned. He made his escape to America in 1825; settled in New Orleans; rose rapidly in his profession; was elected Senator in 1847 for two years, and for a full term in 1849. In Congress he was a vehement slavery agitator, defending slavery in America as zealously as he had defended liberty in France. In 1853 Mr. Pierce sent him as Minister to Spain.

In Madrid he shot the French Embassador in a duel; helped the insurrection of August, 1854; went to Ostend, and prepared the manifesto which his tools, Buchanan and Mason, signed—and the scope of which was to justify stealing Cuba from Spain, if it could not be bought, in order to secure the dominance of the slaveholding interest in the government of this country. Meantime, lest the American people should feel kindly toward Spain, and be unwilling to commit so infamous an injustice even for the advantage of the Southern aristocracy, Mr. Soule concealed from the State Department a reciprocity treaty of trade between the United States and Cuba which, during the absence of the Minister, the Secretary—ad interim Charge d'Affaires—had negotiated with the Spanish Government. In 1855 Mr. Soule returned. When the rebellion broke out he was said to be opposed to the secession of Louisiana. But upon the capture of New Orleans he was found to be a chief of the rebels.

Mr. Soule must be nearly sixty years old.


WHILE we are fighting the rebels let us fight as fiercely as we can. When we have conquered them we may be as lenient as we will. The nation may intend to hang only the leaders and to forgive the rank and file; but that is no reason, while it is still fighting for success, that it should not seize and use every house, animal, and field of every individual rebel which it may need.

The letters from the army before Richmond have teemed with accounts of the properties of men who openly and scornfully announced their treason and hatred carefully protected by our army while our soldiers lay dying in agony upon the roads and fields from wounds received front the friends of such owners, if not from the owners themselves. If these stories are true it is a sad business. It is well to be clement, but it is very ill to be imbecile. The presence of the National army teaches such a property-holder only contempt for the Government. In what way is he made to feel the danger of rebellion? Yes, and in what way is it dangerous to him? Nobody can doubt that, if the army had occupied every house upon the road and put the owners under the strictest surveillance, the main communication of McClellan with his supplies would not have been almost cut off. If the rebels are not taught to fear us in war, they certainly will not respect us in peace. Ravages from their own men they forgive from sympathy with the cause. Our scrupulous tenderness seems to them, and is, fear. Do you think another kind of treatment would "exasperate" them? Well: suppose they were exasperated, would they, or could they, wage a more desperate and ferocious war than they are waging now?

When they are conquered, you may do what you will. But you can not conquer them so long as they despise you. If a case requires the use of fire-arms at all, it requires that they shall be loaded with ball and aimed at the heart. No soldier who means to aim ever fires over the head of his enemy. In Winchester, when a Union lady was carefully nursing one of the rebels in the hospital, she asked him if he did not think the rebel wounded in our hands were not well treated. He replied fiercely, "Of course, you don't dare to treat us otherwise."

The wounded and sick, whether loyal or false can not be too carefully treated. But why should lusty rebels, who are well to do and whose money goes straight to the support of the rebel army, have their houses carefully protected and their clover fields scrupulously respected?


DURING the early spring, just after we had occupied Nashville, a Union man from the Border States was talking in a circle of persons of secession sympathies in a hotel in the city. "Very well," said he, "I am glad we have got so far; but I don't think our Generals understand how to develop Union sentiment. I know an infallible method."

The secesh turned their inquiring eyes upon the speaker, and one of them asked the recipe. (Next Page)




Site Copyright 2003-2018 Son of the South.  For Questions or comments about this collection, contact

Privacy Policy

Are you Scared and Confused? Read My Snake Story, a story of hope and encouragement, to help you face your fears.