Lewis Wallace Biography


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 12, 1862

For students and researchers interested in a more in depth examination of the Civil War, we have posted all the original Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. Harper's Weekly was the most popular newspaper of the day, and this online collection can provide incredible details not available elsewhere.

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


Lew Wallace

Lew Wallace

Cotton Shortage

Cotton Shortage


Battle of Mechanicsville


Hampton, Virginia

Lewis Wallace

Lewis Wallace Biography

General Butler

General Butler

General Pope

General Pope

New Orleans Cartoon

New Orleans Cartoon


Civil War Surgeon


View of Richmond

Bayonet Charge

Winslow Homer "Bayonet Charge"





JULY 12, 1862.]



(Previous Page) He commenced his military service as Colonel of the Twelfth Regiment Maine Volunteers. This regiment was designed from the outset to constitute a portion of General Butler's New England Division. The Report of the Adjutant-General of Maine states that, "upon the nomination of General Butler, Hon. George F. Shepley, of Portland,, long District Attorney of the United States, and whose reputation as one of the ablest and most eloquent lawyers in New England is too well known to require mention here, was appointed Colonel of this regiment. The clothing, uniforms, equipment, and complete outfit of this regiment were got up by Colonel Shepley's direction and under his constant supervision, and are equal if not superior to those of any regiment in the service."

His administration of the difficult duties of Military Commandant of New Orleans—which office may be said to include that of Mayor, District Judge, and Sheriff—has called forth the warm admiration of the people of the city, who divide the praise between the justice, impartiality, and amount of business General Shepley performs. Under his administration a crevasse above the city, supposed at the time to be irreparable, has been stopped, which saved the rear of Carrollton and New Orleans from overflow. A commission has been established to clean the city and help the poor by judicious remunerative labor. For five hours of the day, at the Mayor's office, General Shepley hears complaints, and listens with patience to the petition of citizens, corporations, and helpless people impoverished by the rebellion; and these duties he performs in addition to his military responsibilities.


MAJOR-GENERAL LEWIS WALLACE, whose portrait we reproduce on page 433, has been, we believe, a lawyer by trade, and a citizen of Indianapolis, Indiana. When the rebellion broke out, in April, 1861, he raised a regiment which was afterward known as the Eleventh Indiana Volunteers. They were Zouaves, and their friends claimed that they were more perfect in the Zouave drill than any other regiment in the service. When they were mustered in, at Indianapolis, Colonel Wallace made the whole regiment kneel before the State House and take a solemn oath to "remember Buena Vista"—Jeff Davis having, as is said, cast imputations of cowardice upon the Indiana Regiments at Buena Vista. The Eleventh Indiana saw some service during their three months' campaign. They were at the capture of Romney and other affairs in Western Virginia. At the expiration of their term of service Colonel Wallace reorganized them for the war, and they were sent to Missouri. On the increase of the army of the West, Colonel Wallace was appointed Brigadier under General P. F. Smith, and was in command for some time at Smithland, Kentucky. He made several important reconnoissances at this time, and attracted so much attention by his skill and daring that he was soon promoted to the command of a division. At the storming of Fort Donelson he distinguished himself conspicuously, and was therefore promoted to a Major-Generalship. He again did good service on the second day's fight at Pittsburg Landing. After the evacuation of Corinth his division was ordered to Memphis, which place they reached a few days since. General Wallace's first act, on assuming command at Memphis, was to put a stop to the secession gabble of the Memphis Argos. Of all the Western officers General Wallace is perhaps the most popular with his men.

Of his strictness as a disciplinarian our correspondent tells a good story, In camp near Pittsburg he met one day four of his soldiers carrying to their tent half an ox, which they had appropriated. He ordered each of the men by turns to carry the half ox on his shoulders round a tree for an hour—the performance to last a whole day in the broiling sun. He then compelled them the next day to fan the carcass, so as to keep off the flies. And on the third day he had them bury it with appropriate ceremonies. The amusement this affair caused in camp may well be imagined.


WE publish on page 433 an illustration of the BATTLE AT ST. CHARLES, on the White River, Arkansas, on 17th June. Our gun-boats ascended the river, discovered a rebel battery, and commenced to bombard it, when a shot pierced the steam-drum of the Mound City, and caused the death of most of her officers and crew. On seeing this, Colonel Fitch, who accompanied the boats with a land force, immediately stormed the rebel works. The following official reports convey an idea of the affair:

ST. CHARLES, WHITE RIVER, ARKANSAS, June 17, Via CAIRO, June 21, 1862.

To Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War:

On arriving eight miles below here last evening we ascertained that the enemy had two batteries here, supported by a force, number unknown, of infantry.

A combined attack was made at seven o'clock A.M. today. The regiment under my command (Forty-sixth Indiana) landed two and a half miles below the battery, and skirmishers were thrown out, who drove in the enemy's pickets.

The gun-boats then moved up and opened on their batteries. A rifled shot from one of the batteries penetrated the steam-drum of the Mound City, disabling, by scalding, most of her crew.

Apprehensive that some similar accident might happen to the other gun-boats, and thus leave my small force without their support, I signaled the gun-boats to cease firing, and we would storm the battery. They ceased at exactly the right moment, and my men carried the battery gallantly. The infantry were driven from the support of the guns, the gunners shot at their pests, their commanding officer, Freye (formerly of the United States Navy), wounded and captured, and eight brass and iron guns, with ammunition, captured.

The enemy's loss is unknown. We have buried seven or eight of their dead, and other dead and wounded are being brought in.

The casualties among my own command are small, the only real loss being from the escaping steam in the Mound

City. She will probably be repaired and ready to proceed with us up the river to-morrow.

A full report will be made as early as possible. Very respectfully,

      G. N. FITCH,

Colonel commanding Forty-sixth Indiana Volunteers,


Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy:

The gun-boat Conestoga, returning from the White River, reports the capture of two batteries, mounting seven guns, at St. Charles, 80 miles from the mouth of the river. The attack was commenced by Captain Kelty in the gun-boats, who silenced the first battery. The second battery was gallantly carried by Colonel G. N. Fitch, at the head of the Forty-sixth Indiana Volunteers.

A shot caused the explosion of the steam-drum of the Mound City, by which the greater part of her officers and crew were killed and wounded,

I write by today's mail.

C. H. Davis, Flag-officer.

The following, from the Tribune correspondence, relates the sufferings of the poor fellows on board the Mound City:

The gun-deck was covered with miserable, perishing wretches. Some of the officers who were in the cabins rushed out frantic with pain, to fall in writhing tortures beside some poor though fortunate fellow who had just breathed his last.

The close and burning atmosphere of the vessel was rent with cries, and prayers, and groans, and curses—a Pandemonium of torture and despair.

They suffered, writhed, and twisted like a coil of serpents over burning fagots; but many, who were less injured than others, felt even in that hour the instinct of self-preservation, and, running to the ports, leaped out into the river. The water for a while relieved them of their pain, and they struck out bravely for the shore opposite the fortifications, or for the Conestoga or Lexington, perhaps half a mile in the rear.

Then—I blush to name it, and think I am an American —while the poor, scalded fellows were struggling in the river, prompted by an involuntary instinct, when their condition would have appealed to the most barbarous of barbarians, and melted the stoniest heart, our enemies, the self-asserted types of courage and chivalry, turned the guns of the upper and lower batteries upon the unfortunates in the river, and sent more than one noble spirit to its rest.

Not satisfied with this, a detachment of sharp-shooters left the second work that the Mound City and St. Louis had been engaging, and, proceeding down to the river bank, deliberately fired again and again at the Union men.

Every few moments some poor wretch would throw up his hands as a bullet struck him, and go down, leaving a crimson hue upon the water from the wound that had let out his painful life.


WE publish on pages 440 and 441 a large drawing illustrating A BAYONET CHARGE; on page 436 an illustration of the SURGEON AT WORK at the rear during a battle; and on page 437 A BIRDS-EYE VIEW OF RICHMOND AND THE VICINITY, showing the James River, the bridges across it, the fortifications erected by the rebels, and the country over which McClellan is so steadily and surely pushing his way onward.

The two former drawings are by our artist, Mr. Winslow Homer, who spent some time with the army of the Potomac, and drew his figures from life. The Bayonet Charge is one of the most spirited pictures ever published in this country. It is notorious to military men that soldiers seldom actually cross bayonets with each other in battle. Before the regiment which is charging reaches its antagonist, the latter usually seeks safety in flight. All the strength and all the bravery in the world will not protect a man from being run through the body by a bayonet if he stands still while it approaches him end on. It is said that during the Peninsular war there was an occasion on which the British and French armies actually crossed bayonets, and at Inkerman one of the Russian Regiments is said to have stood still while it was charged by an English regiment. At Fairoaks the rebels almost invariably broke and fled before our bayonets reached them. In one or two instances, however, there were hand-to-hand tussles at particular points. One of these is realized in our picture.

The "Surgeon at Work" introduces us to the most painful scene on the battle-field. Away in the rear, under the green flag, which is always respected among civilized soldiers, the surgeon and his assistants receive the poor wounded soldiers, and swiftly minister to their needs. Arteries are tied, ligatures and tourniquets applied, flesh wounds hastily dressed, broken limbs set, and sometimes, where haste is essential, amputations performed within sight and sound of the cannon. Of all officers the surgeon is often the one who requires most nerve and most courage. The swaying tide of battle frequently makes him a prisoner, and sometimes brutal soldiers will take a flying shot at him as they pass. Upon his coolness and judgment depend the lives of a large proportion of the wounded; and if they fall into the enemy's hands, military rule requires that he should accompany them as a prisoner. An arrangement has lately been made between General Howell Cobb, of the rebel army, and Colonel Keys, of the army of the Potomac, by which surgeons are to be considered non-combatants and released from custody as soon as their wounded are in the hands of the surgeons of the enemy.


MAJOR-GENERAL, JOHN POPE, who has just been appointed to the command of the Army of Virginia, to operate in the Shenandoah Valley, was born in Kentucky, about the year 1822. He entered the Military Academy at West Point from Illinois in 1838, and graduated in 1842 as Second Lieutenant of Topographical Engineers. He was in the Mexican war, and at Monterey so distinguished himself that he obtained his First Lieutenancy. Again at Buena Vista he won laurels and the brevet rank of Captain. He was still a Captain when the rebellion broke out, and was one of the officers appointed by the War Department to escort President Lincoln to Washington. He was loyal, and was soon after the inauguration appointed to a command in Missouri. Bands of marauders were at that time overrunning the State, burning bridges, robbing Union men, and firing into army trains. General Pope inaugurated the plan of making each county

responsible for outbreaks occurring therein. An attack having subsequently been made by the rebels on a body of Union men, General Pope assessed the damage at a given sum, ordered the county to pay it on a day fixed, and, when the county officials showed a disposition to trifle with him, seized property and produce enough to pay the amount required. He was subsequently appointed by General Halleck to the command of Central Missouri, and effected several important seizures of rebel arms and supplies, which rendered it necessary for General Price to fall back. When General Curtis was sent in pursuit of Price, General Pope was dispatched to Commerce, Missouri, where he organized with remarkable dispatch a compact army of about 12,000 men, and marched through the swamp to the rear of New Madrid. He took the place by a brilliant dash, seizing a large quantity of arms and munitions of war: then, conjointly with the mortar and gun-boat fleet, laid siege to Island No. 10. The siege might have been indefinitely prolonged but for "a transverse movement" undertaken by General Pope. He cut a canal through the swamp and bayou, through which a gun-boat and transports were sent to him from above. This enabled him to cross the river, and to bag the entire rebel army at Island No. 10. General Pope was subsequently ordered to reinforce General Halleck at Corinth. His was the first corps to enter the place after the evacuation, and he pursued the flying force of Beauregard for forty miles, capturing large stores of ammunition and a large number of prisoners.

He has just arrived at Washington, and received the command of the Army of Virginia, with Fremont, Banks, and McDowell under him. We give his portrait on page 445.


ON page 444 we publish a picture illustrating the ESCAPE OF SIX CONTRABANDS from the coast of Florida to the United States bark Kingfisher, doing blockading duty. The author of the sketch thus describes it:



To the Editor of Harper's Weekly:

I beg to transmit to you, herewith inclosed, a rough sketch of contrabands escaping to this vessel (on the 17th of April), with the St. Marks River and Light-house in the distance. They were six in number, almost entirely in a nude state. They state that they ran away some months ago, and had subsisted on what wild hog they could run down, and the roots and herbs that grew around in the bush and swamp. Their sail consisted of an old flannel blanket, and the old coat at the mast-dread signified, I presume, a flag of truce. Should you deem it worthy of publication it is at your disposal.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, WILLIAM O. JUBE, Assistant-Paymaster.


DECATUR, ILLINOIS, June 19, 1862.

To the Editor of Harper's Weekly.

DEAR SIR,—A Southerner by birth, lineage, and education, a slaveholder, the son and grandson of slaveholders, having just escaped from the land of despotism and blood, I hasten to thank you for your just appreciation of the difficulties of this mortal crisis that is now upon us, and for the sound advice you give the Government. Your remarks upon Slavery attack my interests; but I am not one of those who balance their interests with the welfare of their country. I can forgive your hostility to Slavery on account of your unswerving support of the Government in the hour of its trial. You say that the United States Government must show that it is the strongest, and that it is determined. O say it again and again, and let the faltering, despairing Union men of the South take hope! You seem to think disparagingly and doubtingly of Southern Union sentiment. In this you are mistaken. You know not the doubts and fears that have strangled the hopes of Southern Union men. Remember the cowardly articles that have appeared in certain lukewarm or traitorous Northern papers; and Vallandigham—O the villain!—his speeches scattered broadcast over the South by exultant secession papers; and then the sufferings of the people of East Tennessee, and the extraordinary course of the Government in dealing with traitors—weak, irresolute, and self-doubting—allowing men boldly to refuse to swear allegiance, and then walk abroad among and taunt and threaten loyal citizens. Why, a man was actually beaten nearly to death upon the landing of the United States troops at Memphis for shouting for the Union, and that too within forty feet of the Union soldiers, who had no orders to interfere. And two old men, unable to restrain their enthusiasm upon the same occasion, were threatened with death in my hearing by blood-thirsty secessionists, standing around with Colt's repeaters in their bosoms. The Government must show itself the strongest, and that it is in earnest, and tens of thousands of Union men wilt rush to welcome its authority and take up arms for it. Did not forty men volunteer in Conway County, Arkansas, a few days ago, to General Curtis's army? The Union men of the South have been ground down to the dust, their hearts crushed so long that they are slow to hope again. If you could only know how certainly and remorselessly every expression of Union sentiment has been punished, you would no longer wonder at their hesitancy. Did you ever reflect what a tremendous engine of power Fear was? How did Robespierre hold France trembling at his feet, every one praying for his death, yet none daring to strike? And the Dictator Francia, bow did he hold Paraguay paralyzed for twenty-five years? I used to read, when a boy, of the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution; but little did I dream that I should ever witness its parallel in America. No, Sir, you are mistaken. Tens of thousands, yea, hundreds of thousands of loyal hearts unceasingly pray for the approach of the Flag of the Union, silently and tremblingly, but none the less fervently.

Do you not know that two-thirds at least of the people of the South are non-slaveholders? And can you believe that they are willing, or ever were willing, to fight a long bloody war on account of Slavery? Many were deceived by adroit and eloquent demagogues into not voting at all; some few into voting for secession: and in some States, particularly North Carolina and Tennessee, they were hurried and bullied into secession. And in Arkansas the Convention, after having been elected as pledged to the Union by an overwhelming majority, voted the State out of the Union and never submitted their action to the people. Sixty-five men, acting without authority or sanction for sixty-five thousand! Many of my intimate friends urged me to go with them. I told them no, they never could get my assistance to ruin my country. My constant reply was,

"Did you ever know a revolution to succeed that did not spring from the hearts of the people?" Remember, they only volunteered for twelve months. Did that look like zeal or sincerity? In most cases they volunteered to escape the draft with which they were constantly threatened. And their refusal to re-enlist produced the infamous conscription law. And they pray for the advance of the Union flag, for they know that nothing else can stop this bloody war and relieve them from intolerable military despotism. O, then, keep it before the people and Government of the United States, that the Government must show itself the strongest! If 500 or 1000 leading men in the South could be banished, or got out of the way, the people would return to their allegiance immediately.

Yours truly,   E. MEREDITH.  




Now she lies here dead before you,

Still and cold as any stone;

Now the dreadful grief broods o'er you,

Desolate and all alone;

Now that all of passion's past,

It is well we meet at last.


Daytime—but you would not know it—

And the summer sun is bright

As the visions of a poet—

And she only died last night !—

Ah, it is a sorry jest,

All these things are for the best.


Say you loved her, loved her truly,

With the purest faith of man,

Sacrificing all things duly,

As a noble lover can;

Yet she made you—yes, I see—

Just the thing you ought to be.


Loved her? Bah! your truth and honor

And your manhood, what were they?

Stand up here and look upon her!

'Tis a pretty piece of clay:—

Others, quite as kind and true,

Loved her quite as well as you.


But they spoke not and were wiser,

Though perchance she knew as well,

For she had an arch adviser,

One whose home is down in hell.

Oh, but she was wondrous fair:

Look, how she is sleeping there.


See, I pity you, poor dreamer;

I, whom you have hated long;

And I will not make it seem her

Guilt, that she has done you wrong:

She was heavenly—like a star—

She was what the angels are!


Hope, I say; and when you meet her

With them in the Eden Plain,

Clasp her to your soul and greet her

With a talk of splendid pain;—

Tell her, in yon starry cope,

How I told you words of hope.


Time and tide flow on forever;

Pleasure alternates with pain;

Life is restless with endeavor;

Sad with loss, and sweet with gain;

But there is no settled bliss

In this world for only this.


For around us are the curses,

And the tumult and the roar;

We are jostled in our hearses

As we always were before.

Only those surpass the strife

Who attain the higher life.


Look up bravely. Say I cheered you,

Standing here beside this corse;

Say it was her love endeared you;

Tell her of my wild remorse.

Tell her, howsoe'er you will,

Ruined, lost, I love her still!


Not for me is any morrow,

Crown of love or crown of fame:

I will tread this mighty sorrow

In the mire of sensual shame:

I will grovel in the earth,

Wasting toward a lower birth.


There is nothing makes me tremble,

Nothing that I fear to do;

But so gently I dissemble,

You would never think it true.

'Tis no matter: best be gay,

Playing out a foolish play.


Mock you? Is your heart so broken?

Was it nothing to be blest

With that very precious token

That she loved you like the rest?

Nothing, that she gave her vow?—

No, I do not mock you now.


In a world of commonplaces,

Empty hearts and shallow brains,

Flaunting fools with painted faces,

Black desires and crimson stains—

Well enough as such things go,

That sweet grief should tempt you so.


Hope, I say, till you receive her.

Hope, for we are only men.

Put her in the grave, and leave her

Just your heart to keep till then.

So—my blessing—for I knew

Just how good she was to you!




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

Privacy Policy

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