General Stoneman Biography


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, June 7, 1862

You are viewing part of our online archive of Harper's Weekly newspapers which were published during the Civil War. This archive serves as an invaluable tool for the serious student of the Civil War, or professional researcher. These newspapers are an incredible source of first edition reports on the war.

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General Stoneman

General Stoneman

Louisiana Tigers

Louisiana Tigers

Run Away Slave

Runaway Slave


Corinth, Mississippi

Stoneman Biography

General Stoneman Biography

Jefferson Davis Coachman

Jefferson Davis's Coachman

William Jackson

William Jackson

Woman's Beauty

A Woman's Beauty

Army in the Southwest

Army in the Southwest


Civil War Hospital

Marching Army

Marching Army

Cumberland, Virginia


Secesh Cartoon










JUNE 7, 1862.]





OUR special artist at Fortress Monroe sends us a page of sketches of the GENERAL HOSPITAL at that place. The upper sketch gives an extensive view of the building, which is the Hygeia Hotel, so celebrated and frequented only a short time ago. Mr. C. C. Willard, the proprietor, has given up the whole building excepting a very few rooms at one end for the purposes of the Hospital. The middle sketch is the immense dining-room of the hotel, now used as the surgical ward. Dr. John M. Cuyler, medical director of the Department of Virginia, is represented on the right, and Dr. R. B. Bontecou, who is in charge of this hospital, on the left of the picture. In the lower corners are shown the pleasant front portico of the building, a favorite lounging place for the convalescent, and to the left a soldier's grave. We have also a scene on the dock at the time of the arrival of a large number of wounded men from Ship Point.


WE publish on pages 356 and 357 several pictures which illustrate the state of affairs in the Army of the Southwest, under General Halleck. They are from sketches by our artists, Messrs. Mosier and Simplot. The following bits from the World correspondence may serve to shed some light on the subjects of the pictures:


The country around Corinth is of a rolling timbered land, sweeping in successive ridges and flat boggy hollows for miles in every direction. These latter make it a matter of difficulty to approach the place with artillery. The rebels have embraced a circuit of hills several miles in which they are encamped. The length of these works is estimated at nine miles, and they are reported to have several heavy siege pieces in position at the salient points. There is first an abatis of felled timber a mile from the guns, which, while it will present an obstacle to the passage of our lines, will present an admirable cover for our sharp-shooters. Beyond the timber is a rifle-trench, at a few hundred yards distance from the guns. Behind this breast-work it is thought the enemy's forces will be lodged after the place is invested. The inner line is a series of angles and bastions running from hill-top to hill-top, a heavy gun being placed to command every approach.


That we may be prepared for any untoward occurrence, such as a stampede, a reverse, or an attempt on the part of the rebels to pierce our lines, our men have been engaged busily yesterday and to-day in erecting a strong line of breast-works formed of timber and branches covered with dirt, which are again masked so as to conceal them from the view of the enemy. The most commanding positions have been seized, the first line about eight miles from Corinth. With a cleared space in front and guns placed in commanding positions the enemy can not approach our line without being subjected to a murderous fire.


But a few days since the mud was the great impediment to our progress. We are now at the other extreme. So far from being troubled with too much moisture, we have

not enough to drink, much less for other purposes. Our men are digging for water, and the result is, a thick, whitish mixture of nauseous taste is all that can be had potable. Horses are ridden a mile to a muddy, stagnant pool, and not unfrequently the soldiers are reduced to the same extremity. Lemons and liquors are in great demand to render the water palatable.


The hospital arrangements are proceeding on the scale commensurate with the expectations of a great battle. A large general hospital has been established at Monterey, in charge of the accomplished brigade surgeon, R. C. Metcalfe, of the Seventh Illinois, who is busy making ample arrangements for the reception of a great number of sufferers. Seven hundred tents, litters, stretchers, ambulances, medicines, and sanitary stores, are being collected in quantities, with a large medical staff. A competent farce of the older surgeons, who have been under fire, will accompany the forces to the field, and there, doubtless, save many lives which might be lost by an hour's neglect. The most ample arrangements have been made for obtaining the names of the sufferers in the anticipated battle, and if the friends of such are disappointed, they must attribute the causes not to any want of attention on the part of journalists, but to the officers of the army, who are bound, like dull scholars, within the volume of army regulations, to the very great inconvenience of an anxious public.


Tuesday, May 13.

The cry is still we come, O Corinth! We went back, picked up bag and baggage, swept off leftward, and now occupy a superb spot for camping four miles in direct line from Corinth. The swamp in front is an immense one; they can not cross it, or we, with artillery, except by the great corduroy highway that we have built—a thundering piece of architecture. Could hardly believe my eyes yesterday as I sauntered to the right of it. We occupy Farmington—pickets just beyond it. Rebel pickets and ours a half mile apart.

General Buell's batteries have seen probably less service than any others, but they contain some very superior guns; among them we saw the long Rodman guns, calculated to throw shells at least three miles. Besides these, the five heavy siege guns, which were of so much use in staying the advance of the rebels at Pittsburg, commanded by Captain Madison, have been moved forward by a team composed of six yokes of oxen attached to each.


WE reproduce, on pages 353, 360, and 361, several sketches by our artist, Mr. A. R. Waud, illustrating the fortunes of the Army of the Potomac. One of them shows us THE UNION TROOPS GOING DOWN INTO THE TRENCHES WITH THEIR SHOVELS TO CONSTRUCT PARALLELS BEFORE YORKTOWN. McClellan, as General Scott has told us, is at home in the work of "trenching." He did so well at it that in one month he had pushed his parallels against Yorktown as far forward as the Allies pushed theirs before Sebastopol after eleven months labor. When the rebels "skedaddled" the last parallel was almost completed, and the assault was at hand.

Another picture shows us the famous BATTERY No. 1, composed of one and two hundred pound Parrott guns, the effect of whose practice scared the rebels so thoroughly. On the morning of 2d May this battery opened on a rebel battery situated on the heights of Yorktown, and very quickly

silenced it. The-rebels had never seen any thing like the 200-pounder projectiles from the Parrott gun, and asked their officers indignantly "if they were expected to stand such shots as that?"

A third picture shows us the ENCAMPMENT OF THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC at Cumberland, on the Pamunky River. It is a beautiful scene. A correspondent thus describes the agreeable surprise of our wearied troops as they approached it on their march from Williamsburg:

Just as I was preparing to give up the ghost from sheer exhaustion, and the troops were trudging along under their packs of baggage, beneath a scorching sun and amidst clouds of dust, which at times threatened to put an end to the march by destroying our powers of respiration, we reached the brow of a hill, and below us, upon a plain upon the banks of the river, lay spread before us a sight as beautiful as it was warlike. Two brigades lay in the field upon their arms, and long trains of wagons were finding their way along the serpentine road to the camp ground, and a perfect fleet of shipping lay moored in the stream, where twenty-four hours since floated the "rag of Secessia." The gun-boats had opened the way, and thus enabled our grand army to receive supplies which would have taken weeks to transport by land.

Another correspondent says:

The scenery all along the Pamunky, from its junction with the York River to the point to which the gun-boats ascended, is magnificent. Indeed I have seldom, if ever, seen any thing to equal it. The banks are usually high. In some places, quite frequently, too, these banks form bluffs from fifty to one hundred feet high. In others they slope gradually down to the water's edge. The river is comparatively narrow, yet wide enough and deep enough for the passage of any of our vessels. Its banks are beautified with innumerable cottages and buildings of more ambitious pretensions, each one surrounded by lawns and grounds beautifully laid out, and each one, doubtless, inhabited by people of comparative refinement, who must have sense enough to deplore the infatuation which has brought the scourge of war to their doors.

All along the banks of the river were seen herds of cattle and sheep, which had been collected by the rebels and driven thus far in their retreat from Yorktown.

The results of reconnoissances show that the road and water approaches to Richmond are open to within twelve or fifteen miles of that city, and that the enemy is in force beyond those points. The state of the roads is such that it will require some days to get the army up to those points. Ever since last Monday, now a week ago, the army has been moving from the neighborhood of West Point to this place, a distance of only about twenty miles. Yet steady progress has been made on each day. The nature of the soil is such that it is found necessary to construct military roads nearly the entire distance in order to transport the artillery and baggage-wagons. This work has been admirably performed by the engineer corps of General Daniel P. Woodbury, whose labors have been incessant. There are some spots in the roads, over swamps and ravines, where a mile a day is considered good progress. Let those who feel impatient at our slow progress toward Richmond remember this and be content.

On page 365 we give a fac-simile of the CROSS-BELT PLATE of a private of the Massachusetts First indented by a Minie ball at the battle of Williamsburg. The ball penetrated the plate, but did not go through it, fortunately for the soldier.


whose portrait we publish on page 353, was born in this State in the year 1825. He graduated at West Point in July, 1846, and entered the First Dragoons as Second Lieutenant. He rose steadily in his profession, and when the war broke out was Captain. The resignation of Southern traitors facilitated his advancement, and in May, 1861, he became Major of the Fourth Cavalry. General McClellan realized his merit, and in September, 1861, he was appointed Brigadier-General of Volunteers, and given the command of all the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac. In the advance upon Richmond from Yorktown he has commanded the vanguard of the army, and conducted his column with judgment and vigor.

General Stoneman married last year a Baltimore belle.

On this page we reproduce a sketch by our artist, Mr. Homer, showing one of our OUTLYING PICKETS ON A DARK NIGHT; and on page 361 we publish a vivid picture from a sketch by Mr. Meyer, showing THE MARCH OF OUR ARMY THROUGH MUD AND THICKET FROM WILLIAMSBURG TOWARD CUMBERLAND. Both these pictures explain themselves.


LOVE, perched one day On an orange-spray, Saw Beauty whiling The time away,

In a bower of his own red roses,

"Ah!" chuckles he, "Here's work for me!"

As he flies where the maid reposes.

"How dare you stare,"

Quoth the lady fair,

"Strutting, and bridling,

And ogling there?

None of your pranks on me!

I'm up to your tricks and your plots, Sir, now! And I won't believe your strongest vow,

So let by-gones by-gones be."

"Oh!" whimpered he, "But you used to be To my sacred rites Such a devotee,

To all my lures a friend." "Well, well," said she; "Yes, that may be,

But it's 'never too late to mend.'"

Then aloft he flew,

And his bright bow drew,

And the silver arrow

Went whistling true

To the roguish maiden's breast;

While she, blushing, laughed, with a well-feigned sigh, "Come, it's no use fighting with Destiny,

And 'second thoughts are best!'"





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