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Civil War Harper's Weekly, March 8, 1862

This Site features online versions of all the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. This online collection serves as a treasure trove of images and information for students and Civil War Buffs.

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


Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant

Victory Poem

Victory Poem

Willie Lincoln's Death

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The Slave Trade

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Nashville Capitol


Slave Trader

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Hand to Hand Combat

Hand to Hand Combat

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After the Battle


Nashville, Tennessee

General Grant Cartoon

General Grant Cartoon

Rebel Flags

Rebel Flags








MARCH 8, 1862.]



(previous page) the good feeling that existed in the country toward that Power, and although paper after paper was put forth by able and cautious men to show that England had always done the same thing, and therefore could not complain of our doing it—yet when the nation was reminded, what in its exultation and excitement it had forgotten, that it had a traditional policy founded in natural justice, and that it was bound in honor to abide by that policy, the whole nation willingly released its hold upon the traitors and let them go.

To say that it was only making the best of a bad situation, and that if one of our hands had not been tied we would have welcomed a war with England, is to say that Great Britain was right in 1812, to insult the memory of Perry, and to go backward fifty years from international equity. No, the people of this country know what their principle in the matter is—they know it is right, and they have character and intelligence enough as a people to do the right, when they are reminded of it, even in a moment of deep excitement. It was not the Government against the people, it was the Government quietly reminding the people of their own honor, and justly presuming their loyalty to it. Mr. Russell will not do justice to the fact, of course, for he has a theory to sustain and his own prescience to justify.

The other instance of the strength of our system is the order of the President releasing all political prisoners. It is no longer necessary to hold them, not because the rebellion is suppressed, but because the cause of the people is safe in their own hands. Public opinion can now deal with treasonable sympathy.

It is easy to see that the year which ends on May day will be the brightest in our annals.


As the various party conventions of the States meet and pass resolutions, it would be well for them to avoid the part of Dogberry. The residents of glass-houses are warned by the proverb to be cautious. Democrats are not rebels, and Republicans are not secessionists. Let that be understood at the beginning; and then the Democratic Conventions will not virtually resolve that the Republicans are the authors of the war, nor will the Republican Conventions resolve that the Democrats are secret traitors.

The Democratic meetings lay peculiar stress upon the constitutional guarantees of the rights of States, and of the rights of property, and, in general, of all constitutional rights. They are very excellent things to lay stress upon. We are all fighting as hard as we can for that very Constitution. But why such remarkable zeal of talk, as if somebody or some party, except rebels, had ever called those rights in question?

There are two points of which Republican Conventions should beware: first, of supposing the rebellion to be a Democratic Party movement; and, second, of supposing Bright, Powell, Bayard, Vallandigham, and the Hon. B. Wood to be typical representatives of the Democratic Party.

And there are two points of which Democratic meetings should be equally careful: first, of covertly calling the rebellion a consequence of any unconstitutional Republican action; and second, of supposing that the Democratic party is exclusively national and constitutional. For the enlightened members will not forget that all those who are trying to ruin the nation and destroy the Constitution were politically known as Democrats.

The Democratic and Republican parties have each their theory of the Constitution. If either assumes to be its especial guardian, it will expose itself to great ridicule. Recrimination is as useless as it is endless. For instance, a Democrat taunts a Republican by saying—"If you had not made such a row about Slavery there would have been no rebellion." And the Republican replies—"If you had not openly supported by votes and money the faction which threatens to break up the Government, if it did not succeed, there would have been no rebellion."

When the war is over and the Government restored to its supremacy parties will instantly be formed. But they will be formed under the Constitution; and they will differ upon questions of its meaning and of the policy of administration, not of the existence of the Government itself.



[SCENE—Jeff Davis in his Counting-room, reading.] J. D. reads :



To prisoners, as per bills rendered    2,125

" prisoners at Roanoke    2,500

" prisoners at Fort Donelson    15,000



By prisoners, as per bills rendered   2,760

Balance due E. E    16,865

Above you have statement of account up to February 16. We will accept your notes for balance at 30 days, with adequate security. Otherwise we shall take legal measures for collection.   LINCOLN & Co.

Per M'C.

P.S.—The Missouri account is not yet posted up. We think it will show a large balance in our favor, for which we shall demand immediate payment, or satisfactory security. L. & Co.


SIMON SAYS, Show your Hand.—" NASHVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 10. A private dispatch says Fort Donelson is safe, and can not be taken."

SIMON SAYS, Up.—"NASHVILLE, Feb. 13. We have repulsed the enemy at every point, and driven off the gun-boats. We have whipped them by land and water."

SIMON SAYS, Wiggle-waggle. —"FORT DONELSON, Feb. 13. In consideration of all the circumstances governing the present situation of affairs at this station, I propose to the commanding officer of the Federal forces the appointment of commissioners to argue upon terms of capitulation of the forces at this post under my command. In that view I suggest an armistice until 12 o'clock to-day."

SIMON SAYS, Down.—" The distribution of the forces under my command, incident to an unexpected change of

commanders, and the overwhelming force under your command, compel me, notwithstanding the brilliant success of the Confederate arms, to accept the ungenerous and unchivalrous terms which you propose."

The late storms which have prevailed hereabout, and caused such unprecedented delays on the different railroads, have given occasion to some good "sayings" on the part of the impatient but generally good-natured passengers. One of these, and not the worst, is the following, which is said to have occurred on the Hudson River Railroad, whose usual time of five hours from New York to Albany had, through the obstructions caused by the storm, been extended to nearly forty hours. A lady, accompanied by her son—a well-grown lad of about 12 or 14 years of age—was called upon by the conductor for her tickets, as they were approaching the terminus of the route, when she produced a full ticket for herself, and a halt-ticket for the boy. Whereupon the following colloquy ensued:

CONDUCTOR. "Madam, is not that lad rather large to pass on a half-ticket ?"

LADY. "He is large, I confess. I can see he has grown since we left New York."

The conductor passed. Those of the passengers who had the means smiled.

A SURE CURE FOR HYSTERICS.—Dr. March says the best cure for hysterics is to discharge the servant-girl. In his opinion, there is nothing like flying "around" to keep the nervous system from becoming unstrung. Some women think they want a physician, he says, when they only need a scrubbing brush.

MARRIAGE PORTIONS.—At the wedding of the Count d'Artois the city of Paris agreed to distribute marriage portions. A smart girl of sixteen, named Louise Noisin, having presented herself to inscribe her name on the list, was asked who was her lover. "Oh," said she, with great simplicity, "I have no lover; I thought the city was to furnish every thing!" The answer created great mirth, and a husband was soon found for her.

Mrs. Partington wants to know if the Pope sent any of his bulls to the cattle-show?

In a lesson in parsing, the sentence, "Man courting in capacity of bliss," etc., the word courting comes to a young miss of fourteen to parse. She commenced hesitatingly, but got along well enough until she was to tell what it agreed with. Here she stopped short. But as the teacher said, "Very well, what does courting agree with?" Ellen blushed, and held down her head. "Ellen, don't you know what courting agrees with?" "Ye-ye-yes, Sir." "Well, Ellen, why don't you parse that word? What does it agree with?" Blushing still more, and stammering, Ellen at last says, "It-agrees with all the girls, Sir."

"How," said a county-court judge to a witness, "do you know the plaintiff was intoxicated on the evening referred to?" "Because I saw him, a few minutes after supper, trying to pull off his trowsers with a bootjack." Verdict for the defendant.

A Welsh editor says, "If we have offended any man in the short but brilliant course of our career, let him send us a new hat and say nothing about it."

"I have millions of money," said a dashing gent to a girl about to run away with him, "but you might as well scrape up all the jewels and spare change you have got."

"Are you not alarmed at the approach of the King of Terrors?" said a clergyman to an invalid. "Oh no!" was the reply; "I have been living six-and-thirty years with the Queen of Terrors: the King can not be much worse!"

"I know well enough," said a youngster, "where fresh fish come from; but where these salt ones are catched, I'll be hanged if I can tell."

A gentleman lately heard a laborer gravely inform two comrades that a 74-pounder is a cannon that sends a pound ball exactly seventy-four miles.

Almost every young lady is public-spirited enough to be willing to have her father's house used as a court-house.

Wordsworth cautions a studious friend against "growing double," but the girls think it is the best thing a nice young man can do.

"Jim, does your mother ever whip you?" "No; but she does a precious sight worse, though." "What is that?" "Why she washes me every morning."

At a wedding the other day, one of the guests, who is often a little absent, observed, gravely, "I have remarked that there have been more women than men married this year."



ON Tuesday, February 18, in the Senate, resolutions of the Wisconsin Legislature in favor of furnishing relief to the famine-stricken people of Ireland were presented and referred. The House joint resolution, directing the illumination of the public buildings on Saturday evening, Washington's birthday, in honor of the recent victories, was adopted. The case of Senator Starke, the new member from Oregon, whose loyalty is in question, was then taken up, and a long debate ensued, but, without taking action on the subject, the Senate adjourned.—In the House, the Treasury Note bill, with the Senate's amendments and some modifications, was reported back by the Ways and Means Committee, and made the special order for Wednesday, at 1 o'clock. The Senate's joint resolution tendering the thanks of Congress to Commodore Dupont, and the officers and men under his command, for the decisive victory at Port Royal in November last, and the Senate's resolution tendering the thanks of Congress to the Army and Navy for the series of brilliant victories over the enemy, were both adopted. The Senate's amendment to the Fortification Appropriation bill was concurred in. A joint resolution directing that the public buildings be illuminated on Saturday evening, the anniversary of Washington's birthday, in honor of the recent victories, was unanimously adopted. A resolution, that, as a mark of respect for the memory of the killed, and sympathy for the wounded in the recent battles, and as a testimonial of admiration for the undaunted courage of the soldiers, sailors, and marines engaged, the House do now adjourn, was unanimously adopted, and the House accordingly adjourned.

On Wednesday, February 19, in the Senate, the bill increasing the number of naval cadets, and the resolution of thanks to Captain Wilkes, were indefinitely postponed. A joint resolution, authorizing the Secretary of War to confer the brevet rank of Lieutenant-General for eminent services, was introduced. A joint resolution, authorizing the President to present prizes and medals to enlisted soldiers, marines, and sailors who may have distinguished themselves in the war, was adopted. A petition from citizens of New York was presented, asking that the name of South Carolina be expunged from the list of States, and the territory divided between North Carolina and Georgia.—In the House, Mr. Hickman offered a preamble and resolution, the first embodying a paragraph from a Baltimore paper, which stated in effect that, upon searching the office of a journal called the South, in that city, letters were found impugning the loyalty of Senators Bayard and Saulsbury, of Delaware, and Mr. Vallandigham, of Ohio; and the second directing the Judiciary Committee to inquire into the truth of the allegations against Mr. Vallandigham, with power to send for persons and papers, and to make report thereon. Mr. Vallandigham vehemently denied the accusations, asserting that he had not written a syllable to any person south of Mason and Dixon's line since the outbreak of the rebellion. He furthermore stoutly proclaimed his undying loyalty to the

Union and the flag of the republic. The discussion which ensued was quite lively. Finally, Mr. Hickman, taking into consideration the fresh protestations of loyalty on the part of Mr. Vallandigham, withdrew the resolution. The House in committee discussed the Treasury Note bill, and considered the Senate's amendments, and reported progress. Pending the question on concurring with the Senate, the House adjourned.

On Thursday, February 20, in the Senate, resolutions in favor of the expulsion of Senator Powell, of Kentucky, who is charged with disloyalty, were referred to the Judiciary Committee. The bill providing for the establishment of a National Armory at Rock Island was discussed, and the Army Appropriation bill passed. The Treasury Note bill was received from the House, and a Committee of Conference appointed on the amendments disagreed to.—In the House, the Treasury Note bill was taken up. Several of the-Senate's amendments were rejected, and the bill is now in the hands of a joint committee of conference.

On Friday, February 21, both Houses of Congress adjourned after very short sessions, out of respect to President Lincoln and his family, in their recent affliction. The Homestead bill was briefly considered in the House, and Speaker Grow made a speech in favor of its passage. No further action was taken upon it.

On Saturday, February 22, in the Senate, a little routine business was done, when a message was received from the House that the ceremonies incident to the day were about to commence, and the members proceeded in a body to the Hall of Representatives.—In the House, the galleries set apart for the public were densely crowded. Many persons were unable even to gain admission to the Capitol. After the House was organized, Mr. Crittenden, of Kentucky, in consideration of the fact that the presentation of flags was not contemplated in the joint resolution providing for the celebration, moved that the ceremony be omitted. This gave rise to a long debate as to the propriety of the proposed presentation, which ended in the adoption of Mr. Crittenden's motion, 70 to 61. At this juncture the members of the Senate, headed by the Vice-President, entered, with the heads of Departments, the Judges of the Supreme Court, and the representatives of foreign Governments—officers of the Army and Navy, including General McClellan, coming last. The ceremonies then commenced with a prayer by Rev. Mr. Stockton, after which Colonel Forney read the Farewell Address, which was listened to with profound attention. The House then adjourned.

On Monday, February 24, in the Senate, Senator Wilmot urged speedy action on the bill abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia. The joint resolution respecting compensating railroad companies that have received grants of land for the transportation of troops was taken up.—In the House, Mr. Roscoe L. Conkling, of New York, offered a resolution declaring the thanks of Congress due to Major-Generals Halleck and Grant for "planning" the recent movements of their respective divisions. Messrs. Cox, of Ohio, and Washburne and Kellogg, of Illinois, objected to assaulting the reputation of General McClellan, and the resolution was referred to the Committee on Military Affairs. The Post-office Appropriation bill was passed. The House then went into Committee of the Whole on the Indian Appropriation bill, and Mr. Shellabarger made a speech on the subject of emancipating slaves.


We are in possession of positive intelligence that Nashville is in our hands. A dispatch from Cairo states that General Buell occupies that city; and if this statement requires any confirmation, we have it in the fact that the Richmond Enquirer, in an extra published on Saturday evening, publishes telegrams from Augusta and Savannah announcing the evacuation of Nashville. Colonel Lee, who has just been released from durance at Richmond, also states that he was confidentially informed by an official of the rebel government that Nashville had fallen into the hands of the Union army.


The details of the surrender of Clarksville, Tennessee, by the rebels, are furnished in the official dispatches of Commodore Foote to the Navy Department. It appears that on the approach of our forces two-thirds of the citizens fled in alarm. At the request of the Mayor of the city, and the Hon. Cave Johnson, formerly Postmaster-General of the United States, Commodore Foote issued a proclamation assuring all peaceable citizens that they may pursue their avocations without interruption. Commodore Foote represents that a strong Union sentiment prevails at all the points on the river which he has touched upon. The rebel armed forces retreated from Clarksville to Nashville, and destroyed the fine railroad bridge across the Cumberland River, against the remonstrances of the citizens, whose devotion to the Union is thus more strongly verified. An iron rolling mill, belonging to the Hon. John Bell, was totally destroyed by one of our gun-boats. Commodore Foote announces his intention of proceeding further up the Cumberland River with his gun-boats and six or eight mortar boats.


Dispatches from Louisville announce that Cumberland Gap and Russellville are in possession of our troops. At the former point the rebels at one time hoped to make a formidable stand, but the accumulation of our victories have demolished their expectations in that respect.


The Richmond Dispatch of Saturday publishes intelligence of the Burnside and Goldsborough expedition, from Suffolk, Virginia, and Norfolk, to the effect that our gun-boats had ascended the Chowan River, on the 20th ult., as far as Winton, North Carolina, landed the troops there, and reduced the town to ashes.


General Curtis has driven the flying rebel army from Springfield clear into Arkansas, sixty-five miles south of Springfield, and on Sunday night the Stars and Stripes were fluttering over the soil of Arkansas. General Halleck telegraphed to Washington on 18th that Brigadier-General Price, brother of the rebel chief, and several officers of his staff, were captured.

General Price, whose career has been like that of a fox before the hounds, was again overtaken across the Arkansas border by our troops on 111th, at Sugar Creek, where he made a feeble stand, in combination with Ben McCulloch's command, and was again put to flight. Several of his men and a large quantity of their arms—thrown away in the confusion—were captured by our troops. General Halleck telegraphs that General Curtis had also taken possession of Bentonville, Arkansas.


General McClellan rode across the river on 20th, for the first time in a long interval, visiting the head-quarters of the different commanders of divisions and brigades. The camps are represented to be in splendid order, both as regards health and discipline. All that the men now require is a fair chance to relieve the quietude of camp life by the activity of the battle-field.


The "permanent" rebel Congress was inagurated at Richmond on the 18th ult. Vice-President Stephens formally opened the session of the Senate. R. M. T. Hunter was elected President pro tem. of that body. In the House, Thomas S. Bocock was elected Speaker. In his speech on entering on the duties of his office he said: "The gaze of the world is fixed upon us. Nations look on, curious to see how this new system of government will move off, and what manner of men have been chosen to guide its earliest movements." In excusing the acts of himself and co-rebels Mr. Bocock alludes to the Federal Government in the following terms: "When ambition and interest seized upon it and destroyed its integrity they were not allowed to appropriate the rule altogether to themselves. Fanaticism came forward and demanded to be received as a participant of power with them, and it claimed not in vain. Beneath the sway of this unholy triumvirate justice was forgotten, intolerance was established, private morals were ruined, and public virtue perished. All feeling of constitutional restraint passed away, and all sense of the obligation of an oath was forever lost. The whole machinery of government degenerated into the absolute rule of a corrupt numerical majority. Already the weaker section was marked out for destruction by the stronger, and then came disruption and overthrow. Since then tyranny the most

absolute, and perjury the most vile, have destroyed the last vestige of soundness in the whole system."


The inauguration of Mr. Davis was not attended with any enthusiasm whatever, according to statements of parties who witnessed it, use is the installment to office of the "permanent" government received with much favor, if we can judge from such language as the following, from the Richmond Whig of the 21st, the day before the ceremony took place. That journal says: "Judging by results so far, it (the government) is the most lamentable failure in history, and suggests to the reflecting mind that the most signal service which that government can now render to the country is the surrender of the helm to abler and better hands. In view of the past, the present, and probable future, the pageant of to-morrow is a bitter mockery and a miserable compensation for the ruin of a free people. A child with a bauble, an old man with a young wife, are partial illustrations of the deplorable folly."


Dispatches from St. Louis inform us that a most important point has been gained by the destruction of the railroad bridges at Decatur, Alabama, and at Bridgeport, seventy miles below, by the Unionists in Northern Alabama, emboldened, no doubt, by the appearance of the Union gun-boats under Lieutenant Phelps, who recently proceeded as far as Florence, Alabama.


The papers announce the arrival at Indianapolis of 5000 of the rebel prisoners from Fort Donelson. They present a miserable appearance, being dressed in multi-colored rags, and using pieces of carpet for blankets. They state that they have been wretchedly fed and cared for during the last six months, and say that the rebellion is pretty well used up, as far as they can judge. The captive officers do not wear any uniform, and in appearance, it is said, do not seem much superior in social position to the mass of the privates.


General Halleck has issued an order remitting the sentence of death upon the bridge-burners to imprisonment in the military prison at Altona, in consideration of the victories recently won and the increasing demonstrations of loyalty among the citizens of Missouri; but he declares that if the rebel spies shall again attempt to destroy the railroads the original sentences shall be carried out.


On Saturday General Scott was nominated to the Senate as Minister Extraordinary to Mexico, with functions such as he exercised in the pacification of the Northwestern Boundary question. A project of a treaty, substantially assuming the Mexican debt due to England, France, and Spain, the interest on which amounts to three millions a year, was also sent to the Senate. The treaty guarantees our payment of it for five years.


The following letter is published in the New York Tribune:

"SIR,—I can not suffer undue merit to be ascribed to my official action. The glory of our recent victories belongs to the gallant officers and soldiers that fought the battles. No share of it belongs to me.

"Much has recently been said of military combinations and organizing victory. I hear such phrases with apprehension. They commenced in infidel France with the Italian campaign, and resulted in Waterloo. Who can organize victory? Who can combine the elements of success on the battle-field? We owe our recent victories to the Spirit of the Lord, that moved our soldiers to rush into battle, and filled the hearts of our enemies with terror and dismay. The inspiration that conquered in battle was in the hearts of the soldiers and from on high; and wherever there is the same inspiration there will be the same results. Patriotic spirit, with resolute courage in officers and men, is a military combination that never failed.

"We may well rejoice at the recent victories, for they teach us that battles are to be won now and by us in the same and only manner that they were ever won by any people, or in any age, since the days of Joshua, by boldly pursuing and striking the foe. What, under the blessing of Providence, I conceive to be the true organization of. victory and military combination to end this war, was declared in it few words by General Grant's message to General Buckner—'I propose to move immediately on your works!'   Yours truly,   EDWIN M. STANTON."


The President's son, William, ten years of age, was relieved of his painful illness, after a delirium of 90 hours, by death, at five o'clock on 20th ult. Mr. Lincoln feels his loss very deeply.


The British Consul at Charleston has had the assurance to send the crew of the British steamer Fingal, which ran the blockade, to Fortress Monroe, in order that they might come North. General Wool very properly sent them back the way they came.




THE British Parliament met in session on the 6th of February. The Queen's speech was read by royal commission, her Majesty being absent in consequence of the death of Prince Albert. The reference to the American question, in this State paper, must be considered as friendly. Ministers make the Queen say, "That question has been satisfactorily settled by the restoration of the passengers to British protection, and by the disavowal by the United States Government of the act of violence committed by their naval officer. The friendly relations between her Majesty and the President of the United States are therefore unimpaired." The Queen-or rather, her speech—also sets forth that the general condition of Great Britain is "sound," although "some branches of industry" have endured "pressure and privation."


The Palmerston Cabinet have submitted to Parliament voluminous State papers on the subject of England's diplomatic course, down to December last, during the American war crisis. Judging from the portions of these documents now printed, we must arrive at the conclusion that the Government had all the time a salutary dread of being involved in war with the United States, in consequence of the commission of some act—underhand or overt—of active sympathy with the Southern rebels, and that the English ministers had determined to wheedle, to prevaricate, and even endeavor to intimidate, Mr. Lincoln from time to time, hoping that eventually the "fortune of arms" would be with the rebels, and then the Queen could and would recognize them. Indeed, Earl Russell used the above very remarkable words in a conversation which he had with Messrs. Yancey, Mann, and Rost on the subject.


The news relative to the intentions of the allied European governments toward Mexico is very significant. The Archduke Maximilian, of Austria, having accepted the offer of a throne, it was immediately announced in London and Paris that the provisions of the first tripartite treaty-for the collection of debts-do not satisfy the attesting Powers, and the London Post proclaims that the armies of France and Spain, with the consent of England, are to immediately march into the city of Mexico, extinguish the republican executive in substance and form, and then present Mexico to the world as a "constitutional monarchy." England is to garrison Vera Cruz and guard the Gulf of Mexico in the mean time.


The Tuscarora left Cowes on the 6th ultimo, and held to the westward. The Nashville had forty hours' start of her. The crew of the Nashville made a great many declarations of their determination to resist capture by a Union vessel, even to the extent of blowing up their ship.




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