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Civil War Harper's Weekly, May 3, 1862

We have made our extensive collection of original Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers available to you by posting them on this WEB site. These newspapers serve as an invaluable tool in your research into this important conflict.

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Fort Pulaski

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Island Number 10

Island Number Ten









MAY 3, 1862.]



(Previous Page) our Government, and "nearly all of them" were against slavery. Whoever, therefore, administers the Government in their spirit will be "against" it, and work against it, and take good care that the Government is kept free from its pollution. And all the more strenuously will they work when they see that the indication of a popular desire to return to the old faith and practice has been clutched as the excuse of bloody revolution.

The work is begun, and when the sun is stopped in the sky it may be stayed. The work is begun, and resting, as it does, upon the national conviction of justice and policy, it will go on to its sublime completion. A year has passed since Sumter fell: and already a treaty for the more effectual suppression of the foreign slave-trade is negotiated with England—for the first time in our history a slave-trader has been hung—by express law the disability of color is removed from mail-carriers—slavery has been abolished in the District of Columbia—and at the President's suggestion, by an overwhelming vote in Congress, the national policy of the fathers, of Washington and Jefferson, of Franklin and Jay, of Adams and Madison, is restored to the Government. Moreover, the President proposes to Congress to recognize Hayti—the officers of the army are forbidden to return slaves escaping from the civil chaos which their masters have occasioned—and the unconstitutional rigors of the Fugitive Slave Law are proposed to be ameliorated.

Let no timid soul fear rashness of action. In the President of the United States Providence has vouchsafed a leader whose moral perceptions are blinded neither by sophistry nor enthusiasm—who knows that permanent results must grow, and can not be prematurely seized—a man who, whatever he has not, has that inestimable common sense which is the last best gift of Heaven to all who are clothed with great authority.



"DEAR LOUNGER,—I am angry with you, but you must not resent it until you hear the reason and decide the merits of the cause. I am jealous of the praise you bestow upon the brave troops of every State of the Union, without ever as much as mentioning my countrymen—the Germans—or giving them credit for a single brave action, and you know the latter are not few. Let me state to you a few facts. In the first place, we come here to better our condition, and to be free; and, I think, you will acknowledge that a more law-abiding and patriotic element is not found in our country.

"When this rebellion broke out we volunteered our full quota to the ranks. Just take, as example, the State of Missouri. In St. Louis, out of a population of 160,000, 60,000 are Germans. These have furnished three-fourths of all troops raised in Missouri. Two-thirds of the principal men in St. Louis (Germans excepted) are Secessionists; but they were kept at bay by the Germans under the old flag. And through hard trials these patriots have gone. Three times were the Home Guards of St. Louis attacked by the mob, but stood their ground well. For a time no soldier in uniform could go single through the streets of the city without danger of assassination. One by one did the first Volunteers go to the Arsenal, to fill the regiments that were recruited there by Siegel, Blair, Boernstein, Osterhaus, and others, under our lamented Lyon. Nobly have they done their duty every where. Hardly an engagement but the Germans have had their representives there. Do you remember Carthage—how General Siegel, with 1500 Germans, whipped 8000 rebels? Have you forgotten Max Weber at Hatteras Inlet, Willich at Rowlett's Station, or the Ninth Ohio at Mill Spring, or Blenker's division at Bull Run, and the crowning victory at Pea Ridge, which was so largely due to our own Siegel? I think it is not right to ignore so entirely the services of an adopted population of about seven and a half millions of our twenty-three millions. I am your constant reader, and hold your views of this war as correct and most prophetic. I do sincerely believe the end will be according to your predictions; for they are just and right. If a man kicks up a fuss let him bear the consequences. The leaders in the South will have to answer for many tears shed for the loved ones who will never return from the bloody battle-field; but to the sword have they appealed, and by the sword must they be punished."

The Lounger publishes the preceding letter with the greatest pleasure. He would be a poor American indeed who did not with all his heart acknowledge the patient and successful valor of the patriot soldiers of German birth or descent. But the Lounger's correspondent will understand that in America all citizens are Americans. General Siegel, Colonel Corcoran, General Burnside, stand side by side in this war, through weal and woe, simply as what they all are, American citizens and soldiers. The effort to discriminate nationalities among citizens can have no possible good result. There is no fear but that they will be sufficiently remembered. All that the Nation asks today, as all that she ought ever to ask, is, Is this man honest and capable, and is he loyal?

The Lounger's correspondent will therefore believe that it is not through any unmindfulness of the bravery of the soldiers of German descent, but merely because as an American he knows no German, no Frenchman, no Irishman, and no Italian among his fellow-citizens, that he has not commended soldiers as German, Irish, French, or Italian. He, with the whole country, acknowledges with grateful admiration and pride that no name in this war is more illustrious than that of Franz Siegel.


ONE of the morning papers spoke lately of "the States composing the Confederacy," meaning the Union. Why not say Union, then, since the very political question that underlies the war is whether we are a Confederacy or a Union—in other words, a nation. If the United States are a Confederacy, .the war is, to say the least, expensive and unwise. That they are so, has been always the doctrine of the Southern political doctors; for, foreseeing the present conflict, they have always sought to wean the Southern mind from patriotism. The Union, in the Southern view, is a Confederacy of equal States; the Constitution is a treaty, and the system a dissoluble partnership. It is, in the Southern view, only a new form of the old Confederation.

But in civil war words are things; and for the

same reason that Mr. Lincoln would not address Jefferson Davis as His Excellency the President of the Confederate States of America, ought all loyal citizens and papers to use words which can not be misconstrued. Our political system is neither a League nor a Confederacy: it is a national Union, whose law is the law paramount of every State. It is a form new in history. It is truly a Republic, both one and many. To call it a system in which States compose a Confederacy is to misunderstand and misrepresent it.


THE Richmond Enquirer says that all "the best intellects of the Cotton States have been excluded from public affairs." On the other hand, Jefferson Davis, in his Message to his Congress congratulating them upon the retreat of their soldiers at Pittsburg Landing and the death of General Sydney Johnston, alludes to "the shining host of the great and good who now cluster around the banner of our country." Unless, therefore, there is a vital difference of opinion between Davis and the Enquirer, this greatness and goodness are of the purely moral kind, untainted with intellect.

Upon reflection, as all the leaders who cluster around that drooping and faintly-flapping banner are as good as they are great and as great as they are good, it is not easy to discriminate the purely good from the exclusively great. To which category, for instance, does Floyd, that Ajax of the shining host, belong? Or Pillow? Or Wigfall? Or Roger Pryor? Or Yancey? Or Judah Benjamin? Or Pickens? Or Pettus? Or Magoffin? Or Letcher? Or Slidell? Or Mason? Or Toombs? Or Polk? Or Keitt? Or Rhett? Or Spratt?

The question is, which of these great men are also the good men, or which of all these good men are not equally great? Can it possibly be true that the Enquirer is right, and that the best intellects have been excluded? Or are these the names of the best intellects that consent to this infamous rebellion?


A TRUE PICTURE OF DESPAIR.-A pig reaching through a hole in the fence to get a cabbage that lies a few inches beyond his reach.

If a man is murdered by his hired men, should the coroner render a verdict of killed by his own hands?

"Haven't you finished scaling that fish yet, Sam?" said a fishmonger to his boy. "No, master, it's a very large one." "Why, you have had time to scale a mountain."

The certain way to be cheated is to fancy one's self more cunning than others.

The ancient Greeks buried their dead in jars. Hence the origin of the expression, "He's gone to pot."

A dull and plausible man, like an unrifled gun, is a smooth bore.

"The dear little things!' said an old nurse, of her mistress's twin-children; "one looks so much like both, you can't tell thither from which!"

Many a man who is proud to be quarter-master has a wife at home who is whole master.

WOMAN'S GRIEF.—A stingy husband.

Woman's CROWNING GLORY.—Her bonnet.

Children are generally very noisy, but we must except the children of the brain, who do not often make so much noise in the world as their fond parents desire.

Hopeless old maidenhood or bachelorhood is matchless misery.

A dentist advertises that he inserts teeth cheaper than any body else. He might find a bull-dog who would do it still cheaper.

A poor fellow who had spent scores of pounds at the bar drinking, one day asked the landlord to trust him with a glass of liquor. "No," was the surly reply; "I never make a practice of doing such things." The man turned to a by-stander and said, "Sir. will you lend me a six-pence?" "Certainly," was the reply. The landlord with alacrity placed the glass before the man, who swallowed its contents, then, handing the money to the lender, said,

"Here, Sir, is the sixpence I owe you. I make it a point, degraded as I am, always to pay borrowed money before I pay my spirit bill."

Britannia's breast with ity swells for slaves!

Their wrongs are ne'er forgotten:

Poor maid! we fear her bosom swells

Are but the rise and fall of cotton.

"This is really the tour [tower] of Babel," as the old

bachelor said when he walked round the nursery.

It has been ascertained that the man who "held on to the last" was a shoemaker.

"I'm particularly uneasy on this point," as the fly said when the boy stuck him on the end of a needle.

The man who makes a boast of extraordinary shrewdness hasn't got a particle.

A man swallowed a set of teeth lately, and the last accounts of him stated he was experiencing, as was to be expected, a terrible gnawing at the stomach.

Some persons shame the devil, not by speaking the truth, but by outlying him.

Why are umbrellas like pancakes?—Because they are seldom seen after Lent.

A ducking in cold water destroys the temper of hot steel, but increases that of a fiery woman.

The human race, like an auctioneer's goods, are always going—going—gone.


FOR an account of the BOMBARDMENT OF FORT PULASKI see page 278.


On Tuesday, April 15, in the Senate, Senator Grimes introduced a bill prescribing the qualifications of electors in the City of Washington, which was laid over. Senator M'Dougall called up the resolution calling upon the Secretary of War for information relative to the arrest of General

Stone, and made a long speech in vindication of that officer. Senator Wade replied. The resolution finally went over. The Senate soon afterward went into executive session.—In the House, Mr. Trowbridge called up a motion, heretofore made by him, to reconsider the vote by which the House adopted a resolution asking the Secretary of War for information as to the delay in exchanging Colonel Corcoran, and directing him to stop all exchanges until Colonel Corcoran should be released. After considerable debate, the resolution was amended so as to include Colonel Wilcox and other prisoners. The bill to regulate the franking privilege was considered. On motion of Mr. Colfax, who explained that the Post-office Committee, with one exception, were all in favor of the entire abolition of the privilege, in accordance with the provisions of the bill now before the Senate, the bill was laid on the table, 58 to 48.

On Wednesday, April 16, in the Senate, Senator Hale withdrew his resignation of the chairmanship of the Naval Committee. Bills providing a Territorial government for Kanawha (Western Virginia), and for the enforcement of the laws of the United States, were referred. Senator M'Dougall continued his remarks respecting the arrest of General Stone, and opposed the adoption of the motion calling on the President for information on the subject instead of the Secretary of War. The Confiscation bill was then taken up, and Senator Powell, of Kentucky, spoke against it. The death of Mr. Cooper, representative of the Seventh district of Pennsylvania, was announced, and the customary resolutions of condolence adopted. The President sent a special message to both Houses of Congress announcing his approval of the act abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia. The President appointed ex-Mayor Berret of Washington, Hon. Samuel F. Vinton of Ohio, and Daniel R. Goodloe, formerly of North Carolina, Commissioners to determine the validity and value of the claims presented under the act of emancipation. Mr. Berret has since resigned.—In the House, a bill appropriating thirty millions of dollars to make up deficiencies in the appropriations for the pay of the army was passed by a vote of one hundred and ninety yeas to two nays—Messrs. Calvert and May, both of Maryland, voting in the negative. A resolution, reported by the Judiciary Committee, declaring that the Government should not interfere with the transmission of intelligence by telegraph, when it will not afford aid to the enemy, was adopted. The death of Mr. Cooper, of Pennsylvania, was announced, resolutions of condolence were adopted, and the House adjourned.

On Thursday, April 17, in the Senate, a joint resolution appropriating $7000 for the relief of the officers and privates of the Maine battalion, who lost their personal effects on the Port Royal expedition, was adopted. The bill requiring electors of the District of Columbia to take the oath of allegiance to the Government was passed. The House bill establishing a Bureau of Agriculture was taken up. Senator Wright offered a substitute, providing for an Agricultural, Statistical, and Commercial Bureau, and made a speech in support of it. A resolution was adopted calling on the President for the papers and testimony in the court of inquiry in the case of Lieutenant Fleming, of the navy. The bill providing for a line of steamships between San Francisco and Shanghai was called up; but without taking action on it the Senate went into executive session.—The House was occupied all day in debating the Pacific Railroad bill.

On Friday, April 18, in the Senate, the select committee appointed to inquire into the circumstances attending the surrender of the Pensacola and Norfolk navy-yards, and the armory at Harper's Ferry to the rebels, made a voluminous report, which was ordered to be printed. With regard to the Norfolk Navy-yard, the committee censure the Buchanan administration for destroying part of the property there and abandoning the remainder, as the evidence shows that the yard and the immense war material therein might easily have been saved by our forces occupying the place, who numbered one thousand men, while the rebels had only five hundred. Commodore Paulding, and Captains Pendergrast and M'Cauley are also censured by the committee. A resolution calling on the Superintendent of the Census Bureau for the names of all persons who own slaves in the District, the ages of the slaves, and other information relating to them, was adopted. The bill establishing line of mail steamers between San Francisco and Shanghai was discussed, and Senator Howard, of Michigan, made a speech in favor of the Confiscation bill.—In the House, several private bills were passed, and the Pacific Railroad bill was discussed in Committee of the Whole. Both Houses adjourned till Monday.

On Monday, April 21, in the Senate, in addition to petitions in favor of a bankrupt law, and a ship-canal from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River, and memorials in reference to the Tax bill, a petition was presented from free colored citizens of the United States, praying that territory may be acquired outside the national limits for their colonization, and suggesting Central America as a desirable locality. It was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. A resolution calling on the Secretary of State for the names of all Kentuckians who have been arrested and held as prisoners of state, and also the names of all who have been released, was offered by Senator Powell, and laid over. The consideration of the resolution in regard to the arrest of Brigadier-General Stone was then resumed, and after a long and somewhat angry discussion the resolution offered by Senator Wilson, requesting the President, if not incompatible with the public welfare, to furnish all the information in his possession relative to the arrest and imprisonment of General Stone, was adopted. The Confiscation bill was taken up, and Senator Davis, of Kentucky, obtained the floor, but the Senate went into executive session, and subsequently adjourned.—In the House, a bill making appropriations for a bounty to the widows and legal heirs of volunteers who may die or be killed, was referred to the Ways and Means Committee. The Secretary of War was requested to furnish a statement of the appointments of Brigadier-Generals from April 1, 1861, to April 1, 1862. The resolution offered by Mr. Diven, of New York, requesting the Attorney-General to take proceedings to recover from John C. Fremont and E. L. Beard the sum of money obtained from the Treasury on the order of said Fremont, payable to said Beard, as set forth in the report of the Select Committee on Government Contracts, came up, and elicited an interesting debate, which terminated in laying the resolution on the table. A resolution, directing the Judiciary Committee to report back the bill providing for the trial and punishment of military officers charged with swindling, was adopted, and the House adjourned.


General McDowell made a dashing and successful advance, with a portion of his army, from Warrenton Junction, upon Fredericksburg, on 17th, accomplishing a march of twenty miles by seven o'clock on the morning of 18th. The rebels, consisting of a regiment of infantry, one of cavalry, and a battery, intercepted their route, but were driven across the Rappahannock, and our troops occupied the suburbs of Fredericksburg, having pushed forward in spite 'of the successful efforts of the enemy to destroy the bridges, which retarded though it did not prevent the pursuit of our troops. The Ira Harris cavalry played a conspicuous part in the action, and suffered considerably. Several of the rebels were killed and wounded, but the number is not known. Falmouth, opposite Fredericksburg, was occupied by our troops at seven o'clock on the morning of 18th. The rebels, in addition to the bridge, burned the steamer St. Nicholas, which they stole in the Chesapeake Bay several months ago, together with all the other craft in the river. The municipal authorities of Fredericksburg consented to surrender the city upon a guarantee of protection to private property; and a meeting between General Augur and a committee from the City Council was to be held on the 19th. Vast amounts of grain and forage are stored at Fredericksburg.


General Banks is moving rapidly up the valley of the Shenandoah in the direction of Staunton, which place he will probably occupy in a day or two. Our latest dispatches from his advance are dated Sparta, Rockingham County, at which place it arrived on 19th, driving the enemy from an adjacent hill with artillery and charges of
the cavalry. Six thousand of Jackson's troops had passed through the town on the previous evening and encamped a short distance beyond. A skirmish took place beyond Sparta on the afternoon of 19th, in which a considerable body of rebels was dispersed by our artillery. General

Banks's progress is necessarily considerably delayed by the destruction of the bridges on the route by the rebels. General Banks reports that the rebels have left Harrisonburg for Gordonsville, and it was supposed that they were concentrating at Yorktown.


There is no further intelligence of importance from General Halleck's army. General W. T. Sherman has moved his division two miles farther toward Corinth, and on 16th had a brisk skirmish with the rebels, in which he defeated them, killing fifty or sixty, and maintained his position intact.


General Mitchell, after seizing the Memphis and Charleston Railroad from Stevenson to Decatur, marched suddenly into Mississippi, seized Iuka, 22 miles from Corinth, and burned the bridges at Decatur and Florence. At the former place he seized the telegraph, and intercepted the following message from Beauregard:

       CORINTH, April 9, 1862. To General Samuel Cooper, Richmond, Va.:

All present probabilities are that, whatever the enemy move on this position, he will do so with an overwhelming force of not less than 85,000 men. We can now muster only about 35,000 effectives. Van Dorn may possibly join us in a few days with about 15,000 more. Can we not be reinforced front Pemberton's army? If defeated here we lose the Mississippi Valley, and probably our cause. Whereas we could even afford to lose, for a while, Charleston and Savannah for the purpose of defeating Buell's army, which would not only insure us the Valley of the Mississippi but our independence.



On 18th Commodore Foote's bombardment of Fort Wright was still proceeding. The firing on the day previous had been very heavy on both sides. The enemy had done no damage to our flotilla; whether they had suffered any from our fire was not known. There appears to be no expectation of an immediate reduction of the fort, as the present high stage of the water in the Mississippi prevents co-operation on the part of General Pope's forces, which are at Oceola, Arkansas. Deserters say that the rebel batteries now mount 40 guns, and that they have 60 more which they are rapidly putting in position. Bragg, it appears, is in command, having succeeded Villipique. He is said to have about 600 troops, and has the co-operation of four gun-boats, mounting 24 guns. Fort Wright, formerly called Fort Pillow, is the first rebel fortification on the river below New Madrid. It is near the mouth of the Hatchie River, a few miles below Oceola, Arkansas, on the opposite bluff, known as the first Chickasaw Bluff, some 12 miles above Randolph, and 78 miles above Memphis.


From rebel sources we give an account of the opening of the bombardment by our troops on Fort Macon on Saturday week, and two days' hard fighting there. The Richmond Dispatch says, that the fort will, no doubt, be able to hold out against the invaders.

Four companies of the Connecticut Eighth Regiment had a skirmish on the 12th with a force of rebels of one hundred and fifty, who made a sortie from Fort Macon, the rebels driving in our pickets. After a sharp engagement the rebels were driven back to the fort. During the engagement Fort Macon fired seventy shots at the engaging forces.


The city of Apalachicola has been successfully occupied by our troops, thus giving us another important point in Florida. The capture was effected by the gun-boats Mercedita and Sagamore, with but little opposition, on the 3d inst. A few shell dispersed the rebels who were in arms there; and the non-resistant portion of the population were found in an almost starving condition. The blockade had effectually cut off supplies on the sea-board, and their resources from inland were not sufficient to maintain the ordinary comforts of life.


On 14th inst. a portion of the Potomac Flotilla passed up the Rappahannock as far as Tappahannock, about fifty miles below Fredericksburg. At Urbana our men, on attempting to land, were fired upon but without effect, when a few shells, judiciously distributed, scattered the few rebels there. Two miles from Tappahannock is Lowry's Point, where the rebels had a strong battery. This was engaged by the flotilla with such success that the rebels were speedily forced to flee, when our men landed and destroyed the rebel quarters and secured considerable booty. The fleet remained at Tappahannock until the 15th, and then returned down the river, having gained much valuable information.


The City Council of Nashville, Tennessee, at its last session (April 14th) passed the following resolutions: Resolved, That the Mayor of the city of Nashville be, and he is hereby requested and instructed to have the flag of the United States placed upon all public property belonging to this corporation.

Resolved, That we cordially thank the officers and soldiers of the United States for the unexampled kindness and courtesy hitherto extended to our fellow-citizens, and that, as men striving together with them for the re-establishment of the government of our fathers, we pledge them our most sincere and hearty co-operation.

Resolutions were also adopted directing the teachers in the public schools in the city to take the oath of allegiance or resign.


The rebel steamer Nashville arrived at Nassau, New Providence, on the 1st inst. from Charleston, and changed her colors to the British, under the name of Thomas L. Wragg. She sailed again on the 6th, having cleared for St. John's, New Brunswick, having on board a cargo of arms brought to Nassau by the British steamship Southward. She doubtless intends to run the blockade at Charleston again.



BOTH Houses of the British Parliament have been engaged in debates on the inutility of land fortifications and wooden ships for purposes of coast defense and war, as well as the necessity of an immediate reconstruction of the British navy, so as to put her in possession of an iron-armored fleet. The speeches of Lord Hardwicke, a practical seaman; the Duke of Somerset, First Lord of the Admiralty; Lord Palmerston, Sir John Pakington, and other prominent men, show that they are greatly alarmed at the position in which their country is placed by the issue of the conflict between the Merrimac and Monitor. The press re-echoes the sentiment; the London Times assuring its readers that England must not allow to "any other nation a moment's start" in obtaining the "greatest force of invulnerable vessels," and that "all other things are secondary to this."



The French iron-plated gun-boat which arrived in the Seine from Bordeaux about a year ago has been lengthened and modified in shape; she is now completed, and being wholly roofed in by a casing of iron plates, presents a remarkable appearance in the water—something like a gigantic egg. She has two very short funnels, two engines, and is propelled by two screws.



The Russian Government is determined to save every ruble possible in order to apply the money for the fitting out of an iron-plated fleet.




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