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Civil War Harper's Weekly, June 14, 1862

Welcome to our online archive of Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. This archive contains all the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. Examination of these old newspapers will help you develop a better understanding of this important part of American History.

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Naval Battle

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HARPER'S WEEKLY.

[JUNE 14, 1862.

370

THE BALLAD OF THE CRESCENT
CITY,

IN the City of the Crescent, by red Mississippi's waves, Dwells the haughty Creole matron with her daughters and her slaves:

Round her throng the rebel knighthood, fierce of word and proud of crest,

Slightly redolent of julep, cocktail, cobbler, and the rest

Of those miscellaneous tipples that the Southern heart impel

To the mighty threats of prowess whose dread (?) fruits we know so well.

Round the matron and her daughters ring chivalric voices high:

Not the meanest soul among them but is sworn to do or die! "Never to the Yankee Vandal, foul and horned thing of mud,

Will they leave their maids and matrons while a single vein holds blood!

Perish every Southron sooner! Death? They crave it as a boon!"

Then each desperate knight retires—to his favorite Quadroon!

II.

In the City of the Crescent, by red Mississippi's waves,

Sits the haughty Creole matron with her daughters and

   her slaves:

But her eye no longer flashes with the fire it held of late, For, alas! the Yankee Vandals thunder at the city gate. Proud on Mississippi's waters, looming o'er the dark levee, Ride the gallant Northern war-ships, floats the Banner of

the Free!

While a calm-eyed Captain paces through a sea of scowling men

To demand the full surrender of the city there and then. Yet the haughty Creole lady's sorest sorrow lies not there: 'Tis not that the Yankee mudsills will pollute her sacred

air;

Though her delicate fibres shudder doubtless at the dreadful thought

That her soft and fragrant breathings may by Yankee lips be caught;

No! the cut of all unkindest—that which makes her heart dilate—

Is, her knights have all "skedaddled," and have left her to her fate!

Yes, no strength of smash or julep, nor the cocktail's bitterest heat,

Kept those recreant warriors steady when they saw the Yankee fleet:

All their desperate prowess vanished like a mist before the moon—

Left they Creole maid and matron, even left the dear Quadroon!

III.

In the City of the Crescent, by red Mississippi's waves, Walks the haughty Creole matron with her daughters and her slaves.

Freedom's flag is floating o'er her, Freedom's sons she passes by,

And the olden scornful fire burns rekindled in her eye. How dare Freedom thus insult her? How dare mudsills walk the pave

Whose each stone to her is hallowed by the toil-sweat of the slave?

"What! you call that rag your banner? You, Sir, hireling, hound, I mean!

Thus I spit upon your emblem! Let your churl's blood wash it clean!

Well you wear your liveried jacket, hireling bravo that you are!

Lackey, paid to rob and murder in a thin disguise of war!" Thus with many a taunting gesture, speaks she to the Northern braves

As she flaunts along the sidewalk with her daughters and her slaves!

Naught reply the Northern soldiers, smiling, though they feel the stings

Of the foul and meretricious taunts the Southern lady flings;

So she passes, while the venom from her fragrant mouth still slips

Like the loathsome toads and lizards from the enchanted maiden's lips,

And her spotless soul joys doubtless, soft her modest bosom beats,

That she so has aped the harlot in her city's public streets!

IV.

In the City of the Crescent, by red Mississippi's waves, Walks the haughty Creole lady with her daughters and her slaves;

But her eye no longer flashes with its wonted fire of hate; Her tongue is strangely silent now, and modest is her gait; With quiet mien and humble she passes soldiers by,

Nor ever on our country's flag turns a defiant eye.

What wondrous glamour so bath changed the haughty lady's mien?

The crime of her rebellious heart hath she in sorrow seen?

Or has her spotless bosom owned that Yankees there maybe Worthy of even a Creole's love? Is hers no longer free?

No; it is none of these have tamed the lady's rebel soul;

On each mudsill she, certes, still breathes inward curse and dole!

And as for love, save for her knight, no love her heart can stir,

Since o'er a julep's sugared brink he swore to die for her; For though he died not, but preferred another field to seek, 'Twas only, as she knows, because the julep was too weak! 'Twas none of these! A sterner cause for change of mien had she!

For spitting once too often at the Banner of the Free,

And once too oft through her PURE lips the venom letting loose,

The haughty Creole dame was shown into—the CALABOOSE!

HARPER'S WEEKLY

SATURDAY, JUNE 14, 1862.

THE PROGRESS OF THE WEEK.

WHEN we closed the last number of Harper's Weekly, the public mind had been rendered so uneasy by the repulse of Banks, and the alarm which it caused in Washington, that we deemed it necessary to assure our readers that all was not lost; that the entire militia of the North would not be wanted; and that, so far as we could judge, the rebels would not take Washington in the next day or two. A week has elapsed, and the aspect of affairs is certainly more cheerful. McClellan's army, after having fought two battles, is within four miles of Richmond. From the balloon in which the General directs the

operations of his army he can see the trembling leaders of the rebellion gathering in knots at street-corners in their chosen capital, wringing their hands, and bewailing their destiny. There may be another battle before Richmond, or it may be evacuated as every other place has been which the rebels had said they would hold. But whether they fight or run, Richmond will be ours in a given number of days.

Corinth, the great strong-hold of Beauregard in the Southwest, has been fortified only to be abandoned. The original design of the rebels in falling back from Corinth was probably to gain a safer position in the heart of the cotton States—such as Chattanooga, Atlanta, or Montgomery—where they might be joined by such portions of the army in Virginia as remain organized after the fall of Richmond. But fate disconcerts many well-laid plans. Colonel Elliott has put a stop to the further flight of rebels by way of the Mobile and Ohio Road; and we hear from General Halleck's army that a large number of Beauregard's troops fled westward toward Grand Junction and Memphis. Where and how can Beauregard reunite his scattered regiments? May not the rebel army of the Southwest be considered as practically dispersed and disbanded—broken up into guerrilla bands and swamp rangers?

Finally, the scene of Banks's reverse is now the scene of Union triumphs. Fremont has crossed the mountains from Franklin to Strasburg and engaged Jackson. Another Union army has reoccupied Front Royal, and driven back a rebel force with heavy loss. And Banks himself, strongly reinforced, is pushing up the valley from Martinsburg and Winchester. Unless Jackson has retreated as skillfully and as swiftly as Banks did, the army which so lately threw the North into a panic will very shortly be an army no more.

THE WORK OF RECONSTRUCTION.

BALTIMORE, Nashville, and New Orleans, are the points where the forces of the United States are experimenting on the reunion of the United States. If we restore the Union feeling there, we can do it throughout the South. If we can not succeed there, the bulk of the white people of the South will have to be exiled, or got rid of in some way, in order to reconstruct the Union and secure the safety of the North.

We are happy to refer to Baltimore. Thirteen months ago Baltimore was as thoroughly rebel as any city at the South. Our troops were assassinated in passing through its streets. Mayor, Common Council, and even the Governor, united in a protest against the transit of Union soldiers through Baltimore for the protection of Washington. All classes were saturated with disloyalty—so much so that Mr. Cameron, the Secretary of War, desired to hang all the officials of the place on the trees of the War Department; and the best men of the North would have been glad to hear that the city had been shelled to ruins. Thirteen months have elapsed, during which we have held Baltimore and Maryland under strict military rule. We have garrisoned the city and the State with loyal troops. We have built forts with guns commanding the city. We have lodged mayors, councilors, and State Legislature in prison. We have suppressed disloyal newspapers. We have shut disloyal mouths. Meanwhile we have protected Maryland from being the seat of war—as it would have been if the rebel Marylanders had had their way—and have enabled the people of that State to earn an honest living. The result of this policy is before us. Baltimore is now as violent on the side of Union as it was on the side of rebellion thirteen months ago. One of the best regiments in our service was recruited in Baltimore, and is, or was, commanded by a Baltimore man. In the terse language of the telegraphic reporter, "Wherever secessionists show their faces they are knocked down by the people." But for the interference of our troops one of them would have been hanged the other day. A meeting of Methodists, believed to be tainted with treason, created such excitement among the people that the police had to interfere and conduct the members to their homes through back streets. There where, thirteen months ago, women calling themselves ladies made a point of insulting our troops at every step, thousands of loyal banners and waving handkerchiefs welcomed the march of the Seventh last week. So far as Baltimore is concerned the work is done. In that city, if the Union sentiment did not exist originally, we have created it. And the manufactured article seems good of its kind.

In Nashville and New Orleans the experiment has not yet progressed so far. We have held Nashville two months, New Orleans one. The results, however, as far as they go, are satisfactory.

In Nashville troops have been enlisted for the Union army. Union meetings have been held, and the best people of the place have attended and indorsed Union resolutions. Confederate notes are uncurrent, and United States notes are eagerly taken. Cotton and other Southern produce have been exported, and are still coming forward. The rebel organs are silenced,

and for the first time since the slavery rebellion began, the people have a chance of ascertaining the facts. Residents say that they would unhesitatingly come forward and declare themselves for the Union but for the fear of the return of the rebels. As soon as they learn that Beauregard has fled toward the Gulf they will probably conclude that the chances of a restoration of the rebel dynasty are too slim to merit consideration. We may then expect to hear of a remarkable development of "original Unionism."

Under the vigorous administration of Major-General Butler, New Orleans is steadily returning into shape. General Butler has been more energetic and less conciliatory than General Dix and Governor Johnson: his iron hand has not been covered with a silken glove. We venture the prediction that his success will be all the more thorough and speedy. The good people of Louisiana are already complaining that they have been victimized by the rebels. And no wonder. What could be more outrageous than the destruction of cotton and sugar, while hundreds of thousands of human beings are starving to death for want of the food which could only be purchased with this cotton and sugar? To bring the people of Louisiana entirely to their senses, nothing more is needed than a plain statement of this, and we are glad to see that General Butler has stated it. When one reads of the heart-rending sufferings of the people of the Gulf States—of whole families starving, and every rich man reduced to poverty—one is tempted to regret that the civilization of the age forbids the infliction of the tortures of the Inquisition upon the miscreant authors of these atrocities. Strict Justice would require that Davis, Beauregard, and Lovell should expiate their crimes on the rack or at the stake. Meanwhile, the revival of trade, and the exemplary punishment of traitors by General' Butler, is gradually developing a Union sentiment at New Orleans as the like policy did at Baltimore. The argumentum ad ventrem is doing the work.

In order to create a Union sentiment at the South, we must satisfy the people of that section that we are stronger than they, and that we are thoroughly in earnest in our purpose of preserving the soil of the United States undivided. We must then show them that if they persevere in rebellion they can not escape hunger and misery; that they will be outcasts without property or rights of any kind; that it is a mere question of time how soon they will be hunted down; that it is simply due to our forbearance that the negroes have not been armed for insurrection; whereas, on the other hand, if they return to their loyalty, they will be received into the Union with the same rights as the people of the North, and will be assisted by a generous Government to emancipate their slaves and start afresh in a new and wholesome career of industry. When this is done, the work of reconstruction will be more than half achieved.

THE LOUNGER.

THE JEWEL IN THE TOAD'S HEAD.

SOME weeks since an order was suddenly issued by the Secretary of War for all the troops in Washington to be ready for an immediate movement. The response was perfect. The Mix cavalry, for instance, were in the saddle with forage and two days' rations within a quarter of an hour. The forces were then informed that the object of the order was to prove their condition, and that it was found to be entirely satisfactory.

The news of Banks's rapid and masterly retreat down the Shenandoah Valley was an equally sudden call upon the condition and readiness of the whole country, and the response was equally perfect. It seems almost worth while, saving the suffering of our brave troops, that the retreat should have occurred, for it has revealed to ourselves our continued energy and spirit just as the fall of Sumter revealed their existence. It was a public surprise, but not a panic. There was great indignation, but there was none of the soul-sickening consternation that immediately, but only temporarily, succeeded the dark day at Bull Run. The Stock market, that most sensitive indicator of panic, varied very slightly; and the regiments marched gayly, not solemnly away, as in the hour of conscious National peril a year ago.

The retreat has had the valuable effect of showing to the most timid and treacherous among ourselves, and to the most truculent and ferocious of the rebels, that the task this nation is summoned to achieve it will accomplish, without dismay, without fatigue, without faltering, and at whatever cost of time, and blood, and money. The patriotic Vallandigham, and Jeff Davis who wishes only to be let alone, must have sighed and groaned as they heard the murmur of joyful and instant readiness all over the loyal part of the land. All the abettors of infamous treason who try to paralyze patriotism by calling it abolitionism, must have gazed in dire dismay upon their laborious toil of a year undone in a moment. Just as they thought to stagger the country into consenting to its own destruction, by showing how expensive it is to suppress a barbarous rebellion, they see that the country would gladly double its expenditure, if it were necessary, for its salvation. The Southern rebels are fond of citing classical incidents and examples. Let them understand, then, that Sisyphus and Tantalus were idle and contented gentlemen compared with their friends at the North; and that the ladies who baled water in sieves would sooner have emptied the ocean than the allies of rebels in and

out of Congress could weaken the unanimity and fervor of the National devotion.

Was it Napoleon who stamped his foot and legions of armed men sprang from the ground? No, it was not; for Napoleon by the most remorseless conscription drew soldiers to his army. So Davis, and Floyd, and Cobb scrape the streets to swell their starved and sickened ranks of rebellion; while one whisper that more men are wanted brings thousands willing, eager, and rejoiced, to march, to fight, and to fall, if it must be, for our country—our great, generous, and glorious mother.

THE FEROCITY OF THE REBELLION.

THE cruel and incredible barbarities, treacheries, and crimes of the rebels every day accumulate in horror. "The Louisiana was set on fire and sent down on the vessels while I was engaged in drawing up a capitulation for the surrender of the forts, a flag of truce flying at the time," says Commodore Porter, at New Orleans. They cut off the heads of our dead at Manassas; they boiled the bodies to get the bones more readily; they buried our brave brothers with their faces down; they swung their heads as trophies upon their homeward march through East Tennessee; they drew Kenly and his heroic troop of Marylanders with a white flag, then unrolled the black and massacred them; they bayoneted the wounded in the Virginia valley; they blew their heads off with the muzzles of their guns held close; they hung old men and young men in Tennessee guilty of loving their country, making the father sit beneath the gallows while they strangled his son, and then with jeers and oaths hung the father beside him; they suspended corpses on trees by railroad tracks, and "slowed" the trains as they passed, while women waved handkerchiefs from the windows of the cars; they shot into our ambulances carrying the wounded and dying; women from the Winchester windows fired pistols at our retreating troops; they poisoned wells and cakes; they planted torpedoes at Yorktown and Hilton Head to blow up our soldiers. This is the spirit of secession—"a spirit of murder, of assassination, of hell!" said Parson Brownlow, and he told the truth.

This is that chivalric, refined, proud people, who are striking gallantly for their liberty against the ruthless hordes hurled upon them by the lust of power in the North. This is that gentlemanly, courteous, sensitive people, who can not associate with Yankee tinkers and peddlers. This is that "master race," as De Bow calls it, dealing with the "subject races" of the North. The ghastly story of their crimes against God and man is only heard by us as yet in tragic whispers. Dishonor and infamy of every kind; ferocity which Feejees could not emulate; superstition, ignorance, and bestiality—these are the qualities which have bred and sustained this rebellion, and these are the qualities that slavery breeds. That every rebel is inhuman no one would say. That there is no intelligence, no generosity, no honor among the rebels, is not asserted. But that the controlling spirit of the movement is one of utter ferocity, hate, ignorance, and barbarism is as palpable as its causelessness and dishonor. There is scarcely a parent who would not rather hear that his soldier son was shot dead than that he had fallen wounded into the hands of these men. He could as hopefully trust to the tender mercies of Nena Sahib as to theirs.

Why, then, do we insist upon retaining them as fellow-citizens? For the same reason that the city of New York does not recognize the independence of all its malefactors and scalliwags. Because the trouble and expense of letting them go as enemies are a thousand-fold greater than that of conquering, holding, and subduing them into decent citizens. Because if a limb is diseased it is wiser to cure it than to cut it off.

In the rebels we are dealing with blind enemies, not with friends who are mistaken. The loyal Union men in the rebel section are, of course, our friends; but they are not mistaken. Jeff Davis is not our mistaken friend, nor Judah Benjamin, nor Mason, nor Slidell, nor Cobb, nor Pierre Soule. They are more our remorseless enemies than any Englishman or Frenchman would be, if we were at war with England or France. The rank and file of their followers are indeed mistaken, because these leaders by careful falsehood have misled them. But this multitude are none the less our bitter enemies. The very ignorance upon which the leaders play makes their followers ferocious in their hate.

Among the whites in the rebel section there are but these three classes: friends, and intelligent and ignorant enemies. The former no radical and necessary measure for their relief can alienate. Is there any blow at rebellion so sharp and strong that it will dismay Brownlow or the brave Bouligny of New Orleans? "You needn't hold courts to try men for treason in East Tennessee," said a Union man there (not Brownlow) to a friend of the Lounger's—"there won't be any traitors to try; they'll be exterminated." If, then, our friends in the rebel section can not be readily alienated, neither can our enemies be "exasperated," for you can not heat iron already white hot. The question can not be tortured into one of conciliation; it is simply a question of conquest and policy. It will be decided by superior force, and then settled by superior force. Some foreign paper says that it doesn't understand how a republic can retain a half dozen millions of unwilling citizens. It has only to wait, and it will learn.

MODERATION.

MR. B. F. THOMAS, of Massachusetts, formerly a distinguished judge in that State, is the present representative in Congress from John Quincy Adams's district. He is a man of unblemished character, and of great accomplishment and ability, but hitherto little known in political life. He was nominated upon the appointment to England of his predecessor, Charles Francis Adams, and during "the great uprising" of the North after the fall of Sumter. His district is Republican. There was (Next Page)


 

 

  

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