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Civil War Harper's Weekly, May 3, 1862

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[MAY 3, 1862.



WE have received several sketches of the Battle of Pittsburg Landing from our artist, Mr. H. Mosler, and three of them we reproduce on page 276. One represents the LANDING AT PITTSBURG—a scene, as Mr. Mosler says, of unmitigated mud. Up the steep banks of the bluff here the troops of Buell's army toiled to join Grant, dragging their artillery with them; and down these bluffs, sad to state, the cowards in the raw regiments fled to seek shelter from shot and shell. Another picture shows us SHILOH MEETING-HOUSE, which was in front of General Sherman's division. The battle here raged with great fury, and at one time the wounded and dying of both armies sought refuge in the building. It is from this house that many propose to call the fight the battle of Shiloh. A third picture shows us GENERAL BUELL'S ARMY CROSSING DUCK RIVER AT COLUMBIA, TENNESSEE, on their way to join General Grant. The infantry crossed over a pontoon bridge; the cavalry and artillery forded the river, while the baggage crossed the great bridge. Columbia is a pretty little village of 3000 inhabitants.

On page 273 we publish a group of portraits of THE HEROES OF THE BATTLE OF PITTSBURG LANDING. The following sketches of the lives of the men will be read with interest:


MAJOR-GENERAL ULYSSES S. GRANT was born at Point Pleasant, Clairmont County, Ohio, April 27, 1822, and entered West Point Military Academy from Ohio in 1839, where he graduated with honors in 1843, and was attached as Brevet Second Lieutenant to the Fourth infantry. He was promoted Second Lieutenant at Corpus Christi in September, 1845, and served as such through Mexico, under General Taylor at Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, and Monterey; and under General Scott from Vera Cruz to the city of Mexico, and was twice promoted for his bravery. He was regimental quarter-master from April 1, 1847, and when he resigned the service on the 31st of July, 1854, he was a full Captain in the Fourth infantry of regulars. After his resignation he settled in St. Louis County, Missouri, and moved from there to Galena, Illinois, in 1860. Upon the breaking out of the present war he offered his services to Governor Yates, and was appointed Colonel of the Twenty-first regiment of Illinois Volunteers, and served with his regiment until promoted a Brigadier-General, with commission and rank from the 17th of May, 1861. He was engaged as Colonel and Acting Brigadier-General in several of the contests in Southeastern Missouri, and his course as commander of the Southeast district of Missouri has been thoroughly scrutinized; and among his most praiseworthy acts was the occupation of Paducah and stoppage of communication and supplies to the rebels via the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. The manner in which he conducted the battle of Belmont is still fresh in our readers' minds. The rest of his course, as commander there, is too well known to be repeated here, and certain it is that his action in every instance has been applauded both by his superior officers and the people. After the capture of Fort Henry a new district was created, under the denomination of the District of West Tennessee, and General Grant was assigned by General Halleck to the command of it. He was in command of the Union forces at Fort Donelson, and his noted correspondence with General Buckner gained him the sobriquet of Unconditional Surrender Grant, answering to his initials of U. S. Grant. For the success of that action he was created a Major-General; but being unavoidably absent from the field during the earlier portion of the fight, it was reported that he was temporarily deprived of his command until the matter could be investigated. After a few days he was, however, again ordered into the field, and took the command of our forces at Pittsburg Landing. From the accounts of correspondents it does not seem that he showed much generalship, though his gallantry on the Monday undoubtedly contributed to the success of the day, and will preserve his fame among the people.


GENERAL BUELL is a native of Ohio, in which State he was born about the year 1818. He graduated at the Military Academy at West Point in 1837, and served as Second Lieutenant in the Third Infantry. He obtained the rank of First Lieutenant in June, 1846, and accompanied his regiment to Mexico. In September of the same year he was brevetted Captain for gallant and meritorious conduct at Monterey. He accompanied General Scott's army, and again distinguished himself at Cerro Gordo, Contreras, and Churubusco; was severely wounded at the latter fight, and brevetted Major for gallantry there. On his return home he was appointed Assistant Adjutant-General, and served in that capacity in various parts of the country. On the outbreak of the war Major Buell was active in organizing the army at Washington. On General McClellan's appointment to the chief command he placed General Buell in command of a division, which soon became so perfect in discipline and drill as to elicit general remark. Soon afterward it was deemed best to supersede General Sherman in the command of the army in Kentucky, and General Buell was appointed in his stead. He spent the winter in organizing his troops, and in February proceeded to move. The battle of Mill Spring and the occupation of Bowling Green were the first exploits of his troops. He occupied Nashville after the fall of Donelson, and then moved southward through Tennessee. Three of his divisions arrived at Pittsburg Landing in time to save General Grant's army.


MAJOR-GENERAL JOHN A. McCLERNAND is not a soldier by trade, but is best known to the country as a Democratic politician from Illinois. He was a leader of the Douglas Democrats, and did battle for them valiantly at Charleston. At the outbreak of the war he took sides manfully for the Union, and shortly afterward was nominated a Brigadier-General of Volunteers. In the Belmont fight he manifested that he possessed very good military capacity, and during his administration of military affairs at Cairo he secured the good-will of the men under his command. In the reconnoissance in the rear of Columbus, during the advance upon Fort Henry, and at the grand battle before Fort Donelson, General McClernand manifested superior military ability. For his gallantry on these occasions he was, on the 21st of March, made by Congress a Major-General of Volunteers, and accompanied the advance up the Tennessee River toward Savannah. At the battle at Pittsburg Landing he distinguished himself exceedingly.


This gallant soldier, who fell at the battle of Pittsburg Landing, was a lawyer by trade, and a resident of Ottawa, Illinois. He first saw service in the Mexican War, in which he enlisted as a private in 1846, carrying a musket in Company I, First Regiment Illinois Volunteers, led by the lamented Hardin. A Lieutenancy and Adjutancy followed, and General Wallace was by his Colonel's side when he fell. At the outbreak of the present war he was elected Colonel of the Eleventh Illinois. For months he was Acting Brigadier and Commandant at Bird's Point, and he received his appointment and confirmation to Brigade command for gallantry at Donelson. At Pittsburg he commanded a division. He was shot on the Sunday, the ball entering below his ear and passing through his head. He was left where he fell till Monday, when he was found still living, but died shortly afterward. He has three brothers and a father-in-law in service in this war, the latter Colonel T. Lyle Dickey, of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, his law-partner, and now attached to General Wallace's division.


GENERAL PRENTISS, who was taken prisoner at Pittsburg Landing, is an old soldier of the Mexican War. When

that war broke out he volunteered as a lieutenant of the Illinois troops, and was selected by the unfortunate J. J. Hardin to act as his Adjutant. By Harden's side he fought in every battle until that gallant chieftain fell, and with his own hands he helped to dress his corpse for the last rites of humanity. During that entire campaign he was the most intimate companion of that lamented officer, and the sash which he wears now at the head of his regiment is the one which Hardin wore on that last fatal field. He is an able officer, and very popular with his men. He was a candidate for Congress in the Fifth Illinois district last year, but the Democratic majority was too much for him. At the commencement of the rebellion he stepped forth at the head of the first regiment of Illinois volunteers who volunteered for three months. The regiment was numerically known as the Tenth Illinois Volunteers, and as the Colonel was the senior officer of all the troops who occupied the depot at Cairo, he became Acting Brigadier-General and Commander of the post. He afterward had the full rank awarded to him, dating from May 17, 1861. His regiment re-enlisted for the war en masse, under Colonel Morgan. He has been engaged during the war in various parts of the State of Missouri, more recently on the Kansas border, from which post he proceeded to join the army up the Tennessee River.


GENERAL SHERMAN is a native of Ohio, brother of Senator John Sherman. He graduated at West Point in 1840, standing No. 6 in his class, in which were Generals Van Vleit, George H. Thomas, and others of the Union army, and General McCown, of the rebels, recently a commander at Island No. 10. On the 1st of July, 1840, he was promoted to a Second Lieutenancy of the Third Artillery, and on the 30th of November, 1841, was further promoted to a First Lieutenancy. He was acting as Assistant Adjutant-General in the Tenth Military Department in 1847, and was brevetted Captain for meritorious services in California during the war with Mexico. His brevet was awarded In March, 1851, and dated from May 30, 1848. He was next appointed Commissary of Subsistence, with rank of Captain, dating from September, 1850. He resigned the service an the 6th of September, 1853. On the 17th of May, 1861, he was appointed a Brigadier-General of Volunteers, and when General Anderson requested to be relieved was appointed to the command of the army in Kentucky. He was subsequently superseded by General Buell, and removed to the command of the force at Sedalia. After a short time he was again removed and placed on the non-active list. General Halleck has since recalled him into active life and ordered him to join General Grant.


GENERAL NELSON is a native of Kentucky and about forty years of age. He entered the United States Navy at manhood and served twelve years at sea. When the rebellion broke out he offered his services to Government, and was detailed to command the Ohio River fleet of gun-boats. His extensive acquaintance with the people of Kentucky, and his large relationship in that State, pointed to him as a proper person, during the bad health of General Anderson, to be sent into Kentucky to sound the loyal sentiment of that State, and to strengthen it. Accordingly, as early as April, he went thither and began the formation of a camp and the recruiting of troops at a point between Garrardsville and Danville, since known as "Camp Dick Robinson." Some time afterward, Colonel George H. Thomas, of the Second cavalry, proceeded thither, having received the appointment of Brigadier-General of Volunteers, and assumed the command. General Nelson was then ordered to form a camp at Washington, Mason County, Kentucky, for the enlistment of troops. To fine natural abilities and large experience in arms he adds great energy of character and fine judgment of men. He it was who ordered the arrest of Stanton, Casto, & Co., though they were old friends and companions. He does not recognize any relationships in life when duty demands their prostration or sacrifice. His brother, Thomas Nelson, of Indiana, is our present Minister to Chili, and his brother-in-law, J. Monroe Stockton, Postmaster at Maysville.


GENERAL CRITTENDEN is a native of Kentucky, and a son of John J. Crittenden. His brother George is a rebel, and commanded the rebel force at Mill Spring. When the rebels took up arms in Kentucky, General T. L. Crittenden was empowered to take command, and at the head of the Home Guard started for Muldraugh's Hill and effectively checked the advance of the rebels on Louisville. Since that time he has been actively engaged in the field under General Buell. His commission of Brigadier-General dates from September 27, 1861.


COLONEL SWEENY, who was wounded at the battle of Pittsburg Landing, and distingished himself, is an Irishman by birth, but came to this country when a child. He was bred a printer, but volunteered when the Mexican war broke out, and was chosen Second Lieutenant in Burnett's regiment. He was at the storming of Vera Cruz, and was with the army up to the City of Mexico. He was twice wounded in the battle of Churubusco—once so severely that he had to lose his right arm. On Colonel Sweeny's return to this city in March, 1848, he received the commission of Second Lieutenant in the Second Regiment of United States infantry, and was soon afterward ordered to California, where he performed many arduous duties. From California, he, with a portion of his regiment, was ordered to Fort Pierre, in Northern Nebraska, where he served as aid to General Harney. In June, 1851, he was promoted to a First Lieutenancy. At the commencement of the rebellion Colonel Sweeny, who was then a Captain of the Second United States infantry, having obtained that rank on the 19th of January 1861, was ordered to Newport barracks, and soon afterward to the command of the St. Louis Arsenal, previous to General Lyon taking the command. He was also second in command at the surrender of the notorious rebel Claib. Jackson, and was afterward appointed Colonel and acting Brigadier-General of the three months' Missouri volunteers. Previous to the battle of Wilson's Creek, where it was decided not to attack the rebel General Price, General Sweeny was so impressed that a retreat would be worse than a defeat that he prevailed on General Lyon to make the attack. In that battle he was again wounded, and still carries the ball in his limb.


GENERAL McCOOK, who distinguished himself at Pittsburg, comes of the fighting family of M'Cooks of Columbiana County, Ohio. He was born April 22, 1831; was appointed to West Point in 1848, and graduated in 1852. He was appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant in the Third Infantry, and ordered to the Department of New Mexico. He took an active part in all the prominent Indian campaigns in that department up to February, 1858, when he was ordered to West Point, where he served as principal assistant-instructor in infantry tactics, and also in the art of war, until the fall of Sumter. He then applied for permission to take the field, and was ordered to his native State to muster in volunteers for the three months' service. On his thirtieth birthday he was elected and commissioned Colonel of the First Ohio Volunteers. He commanded this regiment at the battle of Bull Run, where it formed part of Schenck's Brigade. He returned to Ohio with the regiment, mustered it out of the service, and recruited it again at Dayton, Ohio. He was appointed Brigadier-General of Volunteers September 3, 1861, end ordered to the Department of the Cumberland. He has since commanded a division under Buell, and arrived at Pittsburg in time to be of great service.


GENERAL ROUSSEAU, who is reported for gallantry at Pittsburg, is a Kentuckian, of Huguenot descent. His father died when he was young, leaving him to educate himself. In 1840 he removed near Louisville, and began the study of law without an instructor. Subsequently he settled in Indiana, where he was elected successively to the State Legislature and Senate. He commanded a company in the Mexican war, and fought gallantly at the battle of Buena Vista. In 1849 he returned to Louisville, and rose rapidly to distinction at a bar rich in ability. He was a member of the Kentucky State Senate at the time our present national troubles began, and immediately took a bold and decided stand in favor of the Government. In June, 1861, he resigned his seat in the Senate, and applied

for a commission to raise volunteers. Against the remonstrances and determined opposition of nearly all the prominent men of Kentucky, he succeeded in raising two splendid regiments, composed entirely of Kentuckians, called the Louisville Legion. It was those troops, aided by a battalion of Home Guards from Louisville, that saved that city from falling into the hands of the rebels. General Rousseau was soon promoted to be Brigadier-General of Volunteers, and has since served under Buell.


"IT is now over two years since I was quartered with my regiment in Vienna. Among the acquaintances which I formed there was a young nobleman who was in the Imperial Guard, the Baron Von Steingraff. He was the sole descendant of an ancient Styrian family, that had lived for centuries in an old castle not far from Saltzburg. A finer-hearted fellow could not be found in his Imperial Majesty's dominions, nor a better soldier in his army than Friederich. Frank and gay as a companion, he was a favorite with his own sex; and a good figure, to say nothing of a good property, made him not unacceptable with old mammas and young daughters. Friederich, however, seemed to be no marrying man, though he had nothing misogynistic in his nature. When our intimacy had grown into friendship, I happened to banter him upon the subject of matrimony, naming a young lady who was evidently not unfavorably disposed to him. But Friederich assured me gravely that he had resolved never to marry. 'Not,' said he, 'that I have any disinclination to the state, but that I have long felt the conviction that fate had forbidden me to enter into it.'

"Then he told me how, when a child, a Zigeunerinn, or gipsy woman from Bohemia, had met him in the wood near the Schloss, and looked into his hand, and said to him, 'Ach! jung Herr, when you go to marry a wife take heed. The way to God's altar lies through God's acre!'

" 'Well,' said I, that was a safe prophecy. A man can not well get to the church door till he walks through the church-yard.'

" 'Oh,' he replied, 'that was not the woman's meaning. If she spoke true, either I or she, whom I would make my wife, should not live for the bridal day. At all events the belief has so grown with my growth that I can not now reject it. And so I will never endanger my own life or that of one whom I could love well enough to marry. And now, my dear friend, let us never speak on this subject again.'

"Of course we never did; and the matter was soon entirely forgotten by me.

"A year passed by, and I was far away in the north of Germany, when I got a letter from the Baron Von Steingraff. It announced that he had proposed for a young lady in his own country, was accepted, and would shortly be married. 'My destiny,' he continued, 'whatever it be, I must work out; and I could not resist the attractions of my little Roeschen. So come to me as soon as you can. Who knows but your interpretation of the gipsy's prophecy may be the true one?'

"I laughed heartily as I closed the letter. The old story—old as Adam. Woman's tongue has overcome man's resolve. Pretty young Roeschen has beaten the withered old gipsy out of the field; and so saying I prepared for my journey, and was en route the following morning.

"The close of a lovely autumn day found me on the road between Salzburg and St. Gilgen, where it skirts the picturesque little lake of Mondsee, so snugly embosomed in precipitous hills clothed with the pine and the larch. Not far from this stood the Schloss of my friend, built close to the ruins of a suppressed monastery, and pleasantly sheltered by the dark forest upon which the evening sun was now glinting. Thither I worked my way, rather slowly, for the approach was steep and circuitous, so that by the time I stood at the heavy door-way the sun had set and the large mass of building was lying in gloom. My visit did not seem to be expected, for I had to knock many times and loudly upon the thick oaken portal before any one came to my summons. At last the door was opened by a man who looked more like a holzknecht or woodsman of the district than a servitor of a well-ordered establishment. He had a lamp in his hand, and appeared flurried. I stated who I was, and desired him to conduct me to his master. To this he made no reply, but shaking his head, motioned me to follow him. We crossed the great hall and entered a small chamber, where the man set down the light and disappeared. 'A strange welcome,' thought I, 'from an intended bridegroom for his best man;' and I looked around me. The room was comfortably furnished: there were cases well filled with books; guns, rods, spears, and hunting gear were hanging from the wall, and an escritoire stood near the fire-place; but no cheerful fire was glowing there—a few half burned pine logs lay upon the iron dogs on the hearth. When I had completed my survey an old serving man entered, and a few words solved the mystery. The day his master had written to me he was suddenly seized with illness, and he was now in the eighth day struggling with fever, and was delirious. The doctor of the neighboring town of St. Gilgen, who was in attendance, had just left him for a short time, declaring that the case was almost hopeless, but that the crisis, which would occur that night, would determine his fate.

"I need not say how this intelligence shocked me. I desired to be shown to the chamber of my poor friend, and announced that I would wait the issue whatever it might be. Messieurs, it is a trying thing to stand beside one whom you last saw in health and strength of mind and body, and to witness a poor shattered being, with flushed face, a burning lip, and a glazed eye, tossing and raving; whose hand does not return your clasp, whose ear does not recognize your words of love, whose eye looks vacantly upon you. I sat down overwhelmed with emotion. From time to time, through his wild raving, I could distinguish words which told how the bewildered spirit wrestled, as it were, with the horrible phantoms of his disordered brain;

with what appalling incongruity did he mingle the scenes of the charnel vault and the bridal chamber, now calling on his bride to wrap her grave-clothes around her, and in a moment after, with a wild laugh, bidding the sexton to pledge him in a skull of wine. But I must not dwell on this painful subject. When I returned to the small apartment I had first entered I found all necessary arrangements made for my comfort, but I determined to watch through the night which was to decide all. I felt, however, too nervous and agitated to remain alone, so I entreated the old butler to bear me company. By degrees we became quite familiar. The doctor had returned and sat by the bedside of his patient, who was gradually growing tranquil and lethargic. It wanted now more than an hour of midnight; old Klaus threw a fresh log on the fire, and filled my glass from the flask of Hungarian wine that he had placed beside me. I could do no less than return the compliment; and as the good old soul drank it sorrowfully to the recovery of his master the tear stood in his eye, and he fairly sobbed aloud. I spoke a word of comfort to the poor fellow.

" 'Alas! Herr Kauptmann,' said he, 'my mind misgives me sadly. I am afraid every moment that I shall hear the Geistertodenglocke—God protect us!'

" 'The Geistertodenglocke?' I asked, 'what is that, Klaus?'

" 'Ach! Herr Kauptmann, what an old fool I am. I forgot you could know nothing about it.'

"A little pressing got it all out; for grief with men of his class is talkative.

" 'I suppose, Sir,' said he, beginning his story, ' that you observed the old monastery near the castle as you came up this evening.'

" 'I did, Klaus, a fine old ruin, with the bell-tower.'

" 'Ay, a ruin now, Sir; but it was once a grand and a holy place, with its lord, abbot, and monks, and broad, rich lands. Well, Sir, a long time ago —I don't know how many hundred years since—the Baron Steingraff of that day—he lived then in the old castle higher up the hills above the Krotensee—had a quarrel with the abbot. The Baron was a fierce and a haughty man, that cared little about church or priest, and the abbot was as haughty in his own way, so the feud grew deadlier every day. At last the abbot swore on the holy relics of St. Wolfgang that he would excommunicate the Baron; and the Baron swore upon the cross of his sword-hilt that he would tear the frock off the abbot's back, and drive him and his monks out of the monastery. The abbot was as good as his word; and so, upon the feast of the blessed St. Wolfgang, he and all his monks walked in procession through the church up to the high altar, and the great book was opened and the anathemas read, and then the bell was tolled, and the lighting candles were extinguished, and so the Baron was excommunicated. Well, the bell was still tolling, and the priests were on their way back down the aisle when the shouts of the Baron and his wild men-at-arms, and jagers, and holzknechts rang at the walls, and sledges and great pine beams were battering at the gate. Short work they made of it. One mad fellow seized a splinter of pine-wood, and be lit it at the altar, and then he fired the panels and the roof, and the dry wood was all soon in a blaze. The Baron, as if possessed by an evil spirit, seized the bell-rope and rung out a wild peal of triumph; but the abbot walked up to him, dressed in all his robes, and holding up his hands, cursed him in the name of the Blessed Trinity, and the said—"As the spirit of the Evil one peals that bell now by your hands, so shall he peal it when the soul passes from the body of you, and of your son, and of your son's son, in saecula saeculorum, Amen!" So saying, the abbot called all his monks, and they went their way down to the lake of Aber; and they built a new monastery where the church of St. Wolfgang now stands. The Baron seized the monastery lands and held them too, for might was right in those days, and built the present castle hard by the ruins of the monastery, lest the abbot and his retainers should rally and seek to regain their old possessions. But they never did, for the abbot was not overloved in the country, besides the Baron was too powerful to be lightly meddled with.

" 'Time passed on, and the Baron had well-nigh forgotten that abbot or monk had ever dwelt within the old blackened walls. One wild winter's night the Baron sat with his retainers in the great hall drinking and reveling, as was their wont. The wind howled in gusts fitfully, and in the pauses a loud knocking was heard at the oaken door, the very door by which you entered this evening, Herr Kauptmann. The Thurhuter, when he opened the door, saw no one, though the moon was that moment shining through the drift of the clouds, but he felt a cold blast sweep across his face. So he shut the door again, and thought it must have been the storm that had deceived him. The next moment those in the hall saw a monk in a black habit, with his cowl drawn over his head, enter and walk up to where the Baron was sitting. Then the monk threw back his hood, and an old withered face, ghastly pale, but stern and fierce, gazed on the Baron.

" 'Tausend sakerment!' shouted the Baron, starting up in a rage; 'dog of an abbot what brings you here? Trundle out the shaveling, and set the hounds upon him.'

" 'The abbot raised his skinny arm, and said in a hollow and solemn voice, "This night twenty years you and I met last. I am on my way to the abbey, follow me."

" 'The abbot retired as he came, no one daring to hinder him.

" 'Zum henker! to the hangman with him,' cried the Baron, choking with rage, and springing after him. That moment the old bell pealed out with a wild clang from the tower. The Baron in his haste tripped over a stool and fell to the ground. When they lifted him up he was dead. 'Twas said he died of a fit. Maybe so. But that very night one of the holzknechts returning to the village




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