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Civil War Harper's Weekly, July 19, 1862

This Section of the WEB site allows the serious student of the Civil War to develop a more detailed understanding of the key people and events of the Civil War. This archive includes all the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. This information is simply not available anywhere else.

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

 

John Porter

Fitz-John Porter

The Seven Days Battle

The Seven Days Battle

Lincoln Calls for Troops

Lincoln Calls for More Troops

General Burnside in Newbern

General Burnside in Newbern

Fitz-John Porter

Fitz-John Porter Biography

Chickahominy Swamp

The Chickahominy Swamp

Harrison's Landing

Harrison's Landing

Gaines's Mills

Gaines's Mills Battle Description

Gaines's Mills

The Battle of Gaines's Mills

Battle of Fairoaks

Battle of Fairoaks

Gaines's Mills

Gaines's Mills

Harrison's Landing

Description of Harrison's Landing

Richmond Cartoon

 

 

JULY 19, 1862.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

451

(Previous Page) square miles of fertile soil, will not starve immediately. If a piece of brown paper, by common consent, buys a loaf of bread, it is as good as gold. Disaffection, disappointment, disgust there may be in individual cases, and in the perhaps intentionally exaggerated rumors of designing stragglers. But after fifteen months of war the rebels stand today bitter, defiant, desperate; not hoping, of course, to subdue and overrun us, but expecting to hold out fiercely until Europe interposes.

Let no one mistake what we are saying. There is not the least reason for doubt in any loyal heart. But there is every reason for keeping our eyes steadily open upon the facts. A man is not depressed or gloomy because he thinks a huge and radical civil war is not a picnic, to be ended by an order of the day. If you expect to stand on the top of the mountain you must climb, and slip, and sweat, and fall, and bruise your shins, and up again, and up, and up. The job is difficult, so is this rebellion. But it is not in Yankee nature to be foiled. The tougher the resistance, the more resolutely, with grim good-humor, it settles itself to the task.

WHO DID IT?

INEVITABLY, after such severe work as our soldiers have seen before Richmond, every body raises his head from the details, and asks, Who did it? Who is responsible for it? Who shall be the scapegoat?

We are all responsible. It is very easy, after any event has occurred, to see and to say how a different combination might have produced different results. Suppose a storm had not scattered the Spanish armada. Suppose Hampden and Cromwell had come to New England. Suppose Julius Caesar had never crossed the Rubicon. Suppose Alexander the Great had died of measles in his fourth year. Suppose the deluge had never dried up. Suppose any thing you please as a premise, and you may suppose what you choose as a logical conclusion. A month ago we all thought and said, " 'Tis only a question of time. We shall have Richmond before the harvest." Even those who did not like McClellan's politics, and those who did not have great faith in his military genius, cried, "Of course. He must take Richmond. He can't help it."

Let us hope before these lines are read that he may have it. But let us also not be too sure. And when we read of the fighting and the carnage of the 28th, 29th, and 30th June, let us remember that, pitiful as the story may be, all had doubtless been done in preparation that the circumstances and the honesty of the leaders allowed. It would have been better doubtless to have had an army of fifty thousand men in the Shenandoah, and another of two hundred thousand in an airy and healthy and impregnable position before Richmond, and another of fifty thousand upon the Rappahannock, and a hundred thousand veterans around Washington. All this would have been better without question. But the general conviction of the country and of the Administration has been that there were men enough to do the work. Senator Wilson is as earnest a friend of ample and vigorous measures as there is in the country, but he thought and said long ago that we had plenty of men. It must never be forgotten that we are learning to make war by experience. When it is the universal conviction that half a million of volunteers are enough, a call for a million, upon the plea that the more men the surer the result, would fall heavily upon the public ear.

Let us all be our own scape-goats. We can not blame McClellan that he is not in Richmond (if he is not), nor the President, nor Mr. Stanton, nor the Cabinet, nor any individual. Suppose that General McClellan asked for more troops. The President would say, " I've none to send you."

"But I must have them."

"I haven't got them."

"But, my dear Sir, it is a military necessity, of which you are no judge."

"Very likely, my dear General, but I am nevertheless, and unluckily, if you choose, Commander-in-Chief. I wish I could see as you do, but I can not. I have no right to relinquish my own judgment. In this case I do not feel that I ought to. I wish I had fifty thousand troops to send you. I can call for them, if you say you must retire without them; but there are not too many in the Shenandoah, nor before Washington, and the West wants all it has."

"Very well, I understand; and I will do the best I can."

Clearly neither of the two is to be blamed. The difficulty is that there are not more men. That there ought to be more is very evident, but that is a fact which the public just perceives. Our delay before Richmond is as little any body's fault, and as much every body's misfortune, as can well be.

"THE UNION AT ANY PRICE."

FOR a year we have been saving that we wanted to save the Union at any cost. We are now called upon to show that we mean what we say. We have perhaps thought that half a million of armed men would suffice, that it was not necessary to employ any other means. But as parents ask children "How much do you love me? A dollar's worth? Twenty dollars? An apple?"—so we have now to ask ourselves how much do we love our Government and the cause of civil liberty and human freedom. The question is perfectly simple. If we can say truly that we love our country so strongly that we hold nothing dearer, except justice and honor, then we are safe. If not, we are already lost, and every one of our soldiers whom we henceforth allow to fall we murder. Let us see, then, how much we do love it, and at what cost we are willing to save it.

Mr. Ten Eyck, a Republican Senator from New Jersey, says that he doubts whether his fellow-citizens would fight for their country side by side with colored men. That is to say, their prejudice against the colored race is dearer to them than the Union.

Another Senator says that confiscating the property of rebels in arms is not to be thought of. A man may be slaughtering our brothers, sons, and fathers, but we must respect his property. Men who take this view are more unwilling to confiscate by proceedings in rem than they are to see the country divided and lost.

Another party say that it is frightful to think of General Hunter's regiment of colored men. If you ask them whether they would not save the Union upon the very principle of the Union, namely, the liberty of innocent men, they shake their heads. They would rather the Government should be ruined and the nation lost than that those who have been enslaved, in defiance of every human instinct and divine law, should be liberated.

These represent classes that have been hitherto very large in the country. But they are classes that diminish every day. It is gradually becoming plain to the blindest eyes that this country can be saved only by the heroic effort of all her children. The authorities are willing, but the people are the Government. The authorities must be stimulated and supported by public opinion, and every man must help to make that. If the world sees that we are trying with one hand to put down rebellion and with the other to save rebels, it is idle to expect its assent to the continuance of a war in which it has so much at stake. If, on the other hand, it sees that we have learned what we are not to be reproached for not having earlier admitted, that the extremest and most radical measures are not to be spared in the suppression of this insurrection, the world will pause, for it will see a purpose too dangerous and sincere to be trifled with.

The moral is radiantly clear. If we value the Union more than the claim of the rebels to their slaves and their property, we shall save it. If not, it is already lost. If we do not believe that we can constitutionally take any step short of dishonor, which is necessary for national self-preservation, then our salvation is constitutionally impossible.

DOUBLING THE CAPE.

IN the question of foreign meddling there is one point which should be remembered. There is no doubt that Mr. Yancey, upon the part of the rebels, offered as an inducement for foreign recognition the emancipation of the slaves. When, therefore, it is thought by Europe that the time has come to acknowledge the independence of the rebel section, England will insist upon some scheme of emancipation as a condition. It will do this because abolition is the traditional British policy, and because the English know perfectly well that the supply of cotton which depends upon slave-labor is necessarily an uncertain supply, because of the precarious condition of any slave society. Some scheme of emancipation will therefore be required, and it will be gladly granted by the rebels. Then what?

Then in fighting, as we have hitherto been, the Government will be fighting for slavery under the Union; but Europe and the South will be fighting not only for Southern independence, but for universal Liberty. Is it not worth while for us to secure that advantage? Is not almost time for the President to call upon all loyal men in the land to rally to the support of the Government?

A NEW NOVEL.

"THE MORGESONS," the novel by Mrs. Stoddard, wife of the poet, is a very striking story of a certain aspect of New England life. With curious power and a kind of remorseless skill the author invests the homely details of Yankee shore-life with the tragical gloom of Greek fate. The detailed delineation of character and events, and the quiet reliance upon the essential interest of the subject, are admirable. Indeed, there is an intensity of reality in this story which will make the reader instinctively wonder whether the author has not strictly followed Sir Philip Sidney's charge, "Look into thine own heart, and write." Among the new novels "The Morgesons" is worthy the attention of every reader who seeks a remarkable story, or who is interested in American literature.

HUMORS OF THE DAY.

IT is not always a mark of frankness to possess an open countenance. An alligator is a deceitful creature, and yet it possesses an open countenance when it is in the very act of taking you in.

"How d'ye, broder?" "So se, me tank ye; how you bin dis long time?" "Quite well, tank you. How you pass your time now, broder?" Oh! me no pass me time at all, broder; me cock up me foot so let time pass himself."

EPITAPH AT NESTON ST. NICHOLAS.

"Here lies a certain Elizabeth Mann,

She lived an old maid and she died an old Mann."

GENT ON HORSEBACK. "Get out of the way, boy,

get out of the way! My horse don't like donkeys!"

Boy ON DONKEY. "Doan't he? Then why doan't he kick thee orf?"

"Mr. Brown, I owe you a grudge, remember that!" "I shall not be frightened, then, for I never knew you to pay any thing that you owed."

Did you ever know a young lady who was too weak to stand up at church who could not dance all night without being tired at all?

The most infallible way of preventing a kitchen door from creaking is said to be to engage a servant girl whose sweet-heart comes to the house to see her.

"With all thy faults I love thee still," as the man said to his wife when she was giving him a curtain lecture.

A COUPLE OF SHAMS.—A sham count and a sham Abbe being in a company together, the count hearing the word Abbe always bandying about was piqued, and asked the Abbe where his abbey lay? The Abbe replied, "Bless me! do you not know it? It is in your county!

"Mother," said Ike Partington, "did you know that the 'Iron Horse' has but one ear?" "One ear! merciful gracious, child, what do you mean?" "Why, the engin-ear, of course."

McCLELLAN TO HIS SOLDIERS.

The following stirring appeal to the Army of the Potomac was issued on the Fourth:

   HEAD-QUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

   CAMP NEAR HARRISON'S LANDING, July 4, 1862.

GEORGE B. McCLELLAN.

SIX BATTLES IN A WEEK.

We give below the names of the localities of the various battles which were fought by the contending armies before Richmond, during the week ending July 1:

Thursday, June 26—Battle of Mechanicsville.

Friday, June 27—Battle of Gaines's Mills.

Saturday, June 28—Battle of the Chickahominy.

Sunday, June 29—Battle of Peach Orchard; battle of Savage's Station.

Monday, June 30—Battle of White Oak Swamp; battle of White Oak Creek; battle of Charles City Cross Roads.

Tuesday, July 1—Battle of Turkey Bend.

REBEL LOSSES THEREIN.

The rebel accounts of the late battles, published in the Richmond papers, admit a heavy loss on the side of the enemy, and would imply that they suffered terribly—far more so in dead than we did. The Richmond Examiner, for instance, states that out of one division of rebels engaged in Sunday's fight, only six thousand could be mustered, when fourteen thousand went into action. This exceeds by far any amount of loss which our records show, in the same number of men,

ANOTHER FIGHT.

General McClellan's army had another skirmish with the enemy on Friday last on our left wing, which resulted in the total defeat of the rebels, and the capture of one thousand of their men and three batteries. Our cavalry followed up the enemy through the White Oak Swamp.

A CALL FOR MORE TROOPS.

A document was presented to the President on 1st July, signed by the Governors of eighteen States—namely: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Michigan, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the "President of the Military Board" of Kentucky, stating that they were of one accord in the hearty desire that the recent successes of the Federal arms may be followed up by measures which must insure the speedy restoration of the Union; and believing that, in view of the important military movements now in progress, and the reduced condition of our effective forces in the field, the time has arrived for prompt and vigorous measures to be adopted by the people in support of the great interests of the country, they request that he shall call upon the several States for such numbers of men as may be required to fill up all military organizations now in the field, and add to the army such additional number of men as may be necessary to garrison and hold all of the numerous cities and military positions that have been captured by our armies, and to speedily crush the rebellion that still exists in several of the Southern States, thus practically restoring to the civilized world our great and good government.

To this appeal the President replied that he decides upon calling for 300,000 more troops, chiefly infantry; that he hopes they will be raised without delay, and that an order fixing the quota required from each State will be issued by the War Department at once.

CAPTURE OF VICKSBURG.

It is started by the daily papers that after a bombardment Vicksburg has been captured by Com. Farragut's fleet. He ran by the batteries on Wednesday, receiving a raking fire as his boats passed, but without suffering any damage. Commodore Farragut, from below, and Captain Davis, from above, on the Mississippi River, are now in communication, and therefore the whole river, from Cairo to New Orleans, is in possession of our troops. Vicksburg was nearly destroyed by the shells from our gunboats, and it is said that General Butler is cutting a canal across the bend on which Vicksburg stands, which will change the channel of the Mississippi entirely at that point.

BRILLIANT AFFAIR AT CORINTH.

A brilliant affair has recently taken place at Booneville, below Corinth, between a party of Colonel Sheridan's Michigan cavalry and a superior body of the rebels. Colonel Sheridan, it appears, had only 728 men under his command, and although opposed to a force of 4700 rebels, succeeded in defeating the latter after a desperate fight, which lasted seven hours. The loss on our side was only forty-one killed, wounded, and missing. That of the enemy could not be ascertained, but it must have been heavy, because sixty-five dead were found upon the field. Major-General Halleck, in officially announcing this magnificent encounter, very properly recommends Colonel Sheridan for promotion.

FOREIGN NEWS

ENGLAND.

ANOTHER SECESH GROAN.

IN the British House of Commons, on the 19th of June, Mr. Lindsay, in postponing his notice on the subject of England's relations with America until Friday, 11th of July, expressed a hope that, the Government in the mean time would see the necessity of recognizing the "independence" of the Confederate States, and of taking the matter out of the hands of private numbers, as it was "perfectly clear the Confederate States were now able to assert their independence."

FRANCE.

THE MEXICAN AFFAIR.

The Emperor of France has determined to send such an army to Mexico as will force its way to the capital against all obstacles. Admiral la Graviere is to take the command of a large concentrated naval force of France in the waters of America, the Paris Patrie saying that such a step is justified by events which "may arise out of the American war and Mexican affairs."

DEBATE IN THE CHAMBER.

In the French Chamber of Deputies, M. Jules es Favre censured the expedition to Mexico, and demanded an explanation of its purport. He argued that the honor of France required that she should treat with Mexico and withdraw. M. Billault, in reply, said that France had insults to avenge upon the Juarez Government. He declared that the Emperor would leave the people entirely free, when the French flag floats over the capitol of Mexico, to vote for whatever government they might choose.

A gentleman who was rather impatient at table declared he wished he could manage without servants, as they were a greater "plague than profit." "Why not have a dumb waiter?" suggested a friend. "Oh no," returned the other, "I have tried them—they don't answer."

A celebrated engineer being examined at a trial, made use of the expression "the creative power of a machine," upon which the judge somewhat offensively asked him what he meant by the phrase. "I mean, my lord," said the engineer, "that power which enables a man to convert a goat's tail into a judge's wig."

DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.

CONGRESS.

ON Monday, June 30, in the Senate, a bill was introduced to punish persons giving or offering to give members of Congress or officers of the government any consideration for procuring contracts, office, or place under the United States Government. The bill providing that vessels and goods belonging to loyal citizens, which have been captured by the rebels, when retaken by the United States, shall be delivered to the owners without salvage, was passed. The bill prescribing an additional oath of office was also passed, as also the bill establishing certain national arsenals. An executive session was held, and the Senate adjourned.—In the House, the case of the New York Tribune, with regard to the lntelligencer printing, was transferred from the Judiciary Committee to a select committee for investigation. The remainder of the session was devoted to debate upon the bill for the construction of a ship-canal from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi. A motion to postpone the subject till the first Monday in January was negatived by one majority, and the House adjourned.

On Tuesday, July 1, in the Senate, the bill for the admission of Western Virginia into the Union as a State was discussed at considerable length, the question being on the amendment offered by Senator Sumner, prohibiting slavery in the territory after the 4th of July, 1863. Without taking a vote on the proposition, the bill was laid aside, and the Army Appropriation bill was taken up. The amendment limiting the number of the rank and file of the army to 750,000 was stricken out, and an amendment limiting the number of Major-Generals at forty, and the Brigadier-Generals to two hundred was adopted. Several other amendments were adopted, and the bill was then laid aside. A resolution, calling on the President for information as to whether Mr. Fulton, the editor of the Baltimore American, has been arrested, upon what charge, and for what reason, etc., was laid over. Some other business of no general interest was transacted, and the Senate adjourned.—In the House, the consideration of the Tariff bill was resumed in Committee of the Whole, various amendments were adopted, and the bill passed. The bill providing for the enlargement of the locks of the Illinois canal so as to admit of the passage of naval vessels, with the amendment for the enlargement of the locks of the Erie and Oswego canals, was laid on the table by two majority. Notice was given of a motion to reconsider the vote, with the view of postponing the subject till December next.

On Wednesday, July 2, in the Senate, Senator Powell, from the Judiciary Committee, reported back the bill to punish persons giving or offering to give consideration to members of Congress for procuring Government contracts, etc, Senator Wright, of Indiana, offered a resolution that, by the report of the Secretary of War of June 21, 1862, it appearing that Senator J. F. Simmons, of Rhode Island, used his official influence to procure a contract from the Government for one C. B. Schuberth, for which it was agreed that he (Mr. Simmons) should receive $50,000, therefore the said James F. Simmons be expelled from his seat in the Senate. The resolution was laid over. The bill changing the grade of line officers of the navy, creating admirals and commanders in addition to the present grades, was discussed. The bill authorizing an additional issue of Treasury Notes was then taken up, several important amendments adopted, and the bill passed, when the Senate adjourned.—In the House, a resolution calling upon the Secretary of War to communicate any information received by the Government from General McClellan relative to the operations at White House was adopted. The motion to reconsider the vote whereby the bill for the enlargement of the Illinois and New York canal-locks was laid on the table was called up. A motion to lay the motion on the table was negatived—56 against 71. Pending a call for the yeas and nays on the main question, the subject was laid aside. A number of bills and resolutions relative to naval affairs were then passed, and the House adjourned.

On Thursday, July 3, in the Senate, a joint resolution adjourning Congress on the 10th inst. was laid over. An executive session was held, and the Senate adjourned.—In the House, Mr. Dunlap, of Kentucky, asked, but did not obtain, leave to introduce a resolution declaring the sentiments contained in Major-General Hunter's letter relative to arming of the slaves (read his the house on 2d) are eminently unjust to an American Congress—an insult to the American people and to our brave soldiers—and justly merit the consideration of this body. The Senate amendments to the Treasury Note bill were reported to the Committee of Ways and Means. A bill providing for the trial or discharge of State prisoners was introduced and ordered to be printed. The Confiscation bill, as returned from the Senate, was taken up, and the House non-concurred in the amendment substituting Mr. Clark's bill for that of the House.

On Friday, July 4, in the Senate no business of public importance was transacted.—The House was not in session.

On Saturday, July 5, the Senate adopted a resolution calling for Colonel Canby's reports of operations in New Mexico. The General Pension bill was taken up, several amendments agreed to, and the Senate adjourned.—In the House the Senate's amendments to the Treasury Note bill were non-concurred in, and a committee of conference ordered. The Senate's joint resolution fixing upon the first Tuesday in September as the time of meeting at Chicago of the Pacific Railroad corporators was adopted. A joint resolution was adopted authorizing the Secretary of War to furnish clothing to wounded and sick soldiers as a substitute for that lost by the casualties of war. A resolution was adopted calling on the Secretary of War for information whether any member of Congress has been interested in contracts since the 1st of April last. The remainder of the session was devoted to discussing the report of General Hunter on the subject of arming negroes.

On Monday, July 7, in the Senate, the Finance Committee reported back the Tariff bill with amendments. Senator Chandler offered a resolution, which lies over, calling on the Secretary of War for copies of all orders of the Executive to General McClellan relative to the advance of the Army of the Potomac on Richmond, and all the correspondence between the said General McClellan and the Executive from the date of the order of the 22d of February to the advance on Manassas up to May 1; also a statement of the numerical force of the Army of the Potomac, as shown by the roll in November, 1861, and in January, February, and March, 1862; also the number of troops General McClellan took from Fortress Monroe, the number at the fortress, and the reinforcements sent to him up to June 1, 1862. A Committee of Conference was ordered on the Treasury Note bill, and afterward the bill was passed. The general Pension bill was also passed. The bill to provide provisional governments in certain cases was then taken up, and a long and interesting debate ensued. Without taking action on the bill the Senate adjourned.—In the House, Mr. Diven, of New York, asked the House to excuse his colleagues, Messrs. Van Valkenburg and Pomeroy, and himself, from service for the remainder of the session, as they desired to return to their respective districts to aid in raising troops. The request was granted. The Senate bill establishing arsenals at Columbus, Ohio, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Rock Island, Illinois, for the deposit and repair of arms, etc., was passed. The Senate bill to carry into effect the treaty with Great Britain for the suppression of the African slave-trade was passed.


 

 

  

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