Burnside's Movements


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, November 29, 1862

Welcome to our online collection of Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. This Civil War resource will allow you to study details of this war in a depth no possible through modern publications. We hope you find this collection of use.

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General Burnside

General Burnside

Burnside's Movements

Burnside's Movements

Abraham Lincoln Sabbath

Lincoln Requests Sabbath Observed


Warrenton, Virginia


The Passaic

McClellan's Departure

McClellan's Departure


Buchanan Cartoon


Thoroughfare Gap

Thoroughfare Gap

Civil War Thanksgiving

Winslow Home, Civil War Thanksgiving

Cavalry Battle

Cavalry Battle

McClellan's Farewell

McClellan's Farewell




[NOVEMBER 29, 1862.


(Previous Page) Porter. The eleventh corps, with such other troops as may be hereafter attached to it, is to constitute the reserve under General Sigel. This disposes of all the twelve corps of the Army of the Potomac. Dix, in Virginia, commands the seventh corps; Schenck commands the eighth corps in Maryland; Brannan, vice Mitchell, deceased, commands the tenth, in South Carolina; and the twelfth, we presume, will be left at Washington for the defense of the Capital. There is a rumor that Heintzelman with this corps may be detached on some special service. But of this the public will know nothing until the work is done.



THE severe illness of MR. WILKIE COLLINS has prevented our receiving our sheets of "NO NAME" in time for this week's paper, and we are therefore compelled to suspend its publication for one week. Our next number will contain the first chapter of the Sixth Scene.


BY the time this paper reaches its readers every one will know that General Burnside has once more set the Army of the Potomac in motion toward Richmond. The first movement toward Richmond, under McDowell, was by way of Bull Run. The second, under McClellan, was by way of the Peninsula. The third, under Burnside, will be by way of Aquia Creek and Fredericksburg.

The advantages of this road are so obvious that non-military observers have not been able to explain why it has never been at least attempted by our generals. In the first place, a railroad runs all the way from Aquia Creek to Richmond, a distance of sixty miles; and though the rebels may, and, of course, will, tear up the iron and burn the ties, they can not destroy the smooth, hard road-bed itself, and this is what is wanted for the transportation of artillery and stores. Next, there are very few creeks of any consequence between the Rappahannock and the James on the line of this road, and only two rivers, the North and South Anna, which will not prove serious obstacles to an army as well provided as ours. The country traversed by the Aquia Creek Railway has not been desolated by the war, and some supplies can be obtained by the army, especially forage for the cattle. At this season of the year Spotsylvania, Caroline, and Hanover counties, in which the campaigning will probably be done, are healthy, possessing in this respect a remarkable advantage over the counties on the river James.

When we advance on Richmond from Aquia Creek, Fredericksburg will of course be the chief depot of supplies for our army. This town is some fifty-two miles from Richmond, and it is clear at a glance that, as the main army approaches the rebel capital, our supply-trains will be exposed to cavalry raids. It is impossible even for an army as large as Burnside's to protect a line fifty miles long, and preserve at the same time an adequate operating force in front. Stuart will undoubtedly be able to ride round the army of the Potomac again. But if Burnside moves as swiftly as Napoleon would have moved, these raids will be of no more importance than the burning of whalers by the Alabama. While Stuart is burning supply-trains, Burnside will be taking Richmond. It is only an army encamped and motionless which fears cavalry raids.

The indications are, moreover, that the main attack on Richmond from the North will be assisted by demonstrations from another quarter. We notice that the Richmond papers procure Harper's Weekly by some means or other, and we are therefore unwilling to reveal any thing which may as yet be a secret. But if Jeff Davis throws the whole of his army to the north of Richmond to oppose Burnside, he may find his capital seized by a sudden coup de main from another quarter. Our enormous army is beginning to tell at last. Perhaps the auxiliary force which will be intrusted with the duty of keeping up a counter-irritation in the interest of Burnside may not be numerically inferior to the army which McClellan commanded at Harrison's Landing.

In the mean time General Sigel remains at the Blue Ridge watching Jackson. That Jackson will distinguish himself by dashing movements and daring attempts, all who know the history of that brilliant soldier will expect. But he will find his match in the cool, wary, and active officer whom the President has set against him. We have all, or nearly, the gaps in the Blue Ridge: one or two perhaps may have been purposely left unguarded in order to tempt Jackson through; but the probability is that he will detect the trap, and will either try to cross the Potomac into Maryland, or will fall back by way of Staunton. In neither case is Sigel likely to allow him to do more than give fresh proofs of unavailing valor and dash.

Time presses. More than half of November is gone. In a month we shall again begin to have our ears dinned with the sickening old cry of mud, mud, mud! Let us hope and pray that

our gallant Burnside will realize the vital urgency of the case, and will not lose a day or an hour in pushing forward at any and all hazards. Delays are now as fatal as defeats. If we do not take Richmond before Christmas the Army of the Potomac will lose more men from disease in their winter-quarters than have perished in the bloodiest battle of the war.


INTESTINE broils are always accompanied by foreign embarrassments. Nations, like corporations, are soulless and selfish; they generally take advantage of their rivals' troubles to assail them. A couple of years ago no European nation cared to join issue with this country. Now that we are in trouble France, Spain, and England are all quarreling with us.

France claims from us the liberation of one Charles Heidsieck, a Champagne maker by trade, who, after the capture of New Orleans, volunteered to act as bar-keeper on board the steamer which was permitted by General Butler to run to Mobile, and in that capacity served as a rebel spy and mail carrier; for which crime he was very properly sent to Fort Pickens by General Butler. The French further claim indemnity from the United States for punishment inflicted by General Butler upon other Frenchmen resident at New Orleans, notorious and offensive sympathizers with the rebellion.

Spain claims indemnity for the burning in Spanish waters of the Anglo-rebel steamer Blanche. In fact, the Blanche was fired by her Anglo-rebel crew, and the officers of the Montgomery are as innocent as the Queen of Spain herself. But the Spanish Government relies upon the story told by rebel sympathizers in Havana, and demands smart damages for this and other pretended outrages.

England has no grievance at the moment. But a member of the British Parliament—Laird by name—is building war-vessels for the rebels at Birkenhead; a member of the British Government—Mr. Gladstone—seeing the progress made by Mr. Laird, congratulates Jeff Davis on his having "made a navy" as well as "a nation;" the leading organs of British opinion rejoice over the destruction of American shipping by the British steamer Alabama; and the Governors of the British colonies of the Bahamas and Bermuda grant their official protection to blockade-runners and rebel privateers, and refuse coal and supplies to our vessels. To all representations of Mr. Adams the British Government replies that it is without power to carry out its own neutrality laws.

There is no use whining about the injustice involved in this state of our foreign relations. The experience of the past year has proved that Europe would be well pleased to have the powerful republic of the United States divided into two feeble, jarring, and jealous halves. And that experience further shows that until we have suppressed the rebellion we shall be in no condition to undertake a war even with the feeblest of foreign powers. Whatever mischief these foreign enemies of our country may contrive we can only, as the boys say, grin and bear it. We are a young nation, and we can afford to wait.

If, therefore, France insists on reparation for the eminently just and proper arrest of the spy Heidsieck, and for the equally righteous penalties inflicted on other French rebel sympathizers at New Orleans, we must grant it. If Spain will not listen to reason, but demands that we shall pay for the steamer which Anglo-rebels burned in Spanish waters on the coast of Havana, we must pay. And though the blood of every American boils at the scoundrelly conduct of the Englishmen who are building pirate ships to prey upon our commerce, and of those other Englishmen in high station who encourage and abet the pirates in their infamy, yet still we have no choice but to bear it all patiently. We can not fight Europe and the rebels together. We must square accounts with the latter first. Then we may have leisure to deal with foreigners.


ON 10th Mr. Chase asked the public to subscribe for $13,000,000 of 7.30 notes. On 17th the bids were opened at Washington; the total amount of bids was about double the sum called for, and the rate of premium offered by the successful bidders was over 3 per cent. We believe this negotiation to be the most successful ever made by a nation plunged into a desperate war with "varying fortunes and seemingly uncertain result." When the wretched traitor Cobb, in the last year of his employment as Secretary of the Treasury, called for a loan of ten millions he could not get it; and Mr. Chase himself, when he first assumed the management of the Department, could not negotiate a loan without strenuous exertions by patriotic bankers. Now, when he asks for money, the public offer him twice as much as he wants, and agree to take his Treasury Notes at a premium. Thus it appears that, notwithstanding all that has been said about mismanagement and the depreciation of the public credit, people have some faith yet both in the nation's solvency and the Treasury Department.

Our foreign friends will say, of course, that

the loan was taken eagerly simply because it way paid for in the "depreciated currency," which the public wanted to get rid of. The best answer to this is the simple fact that in the three cities of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, the bankers who advanced $12,000,000 on account of this loan could not scrape together that amount of the "depreciated currency," and that they had to send to almost every Northern city to procure the requisite number of notes. The currency may be depreciated, perhaps; but it is certainly very scarce.



MEN are instinctively partisans upon the right or the wrong side of every question. We may say instinctively, because all great parties are but imposing manifestations of private convictions and bent of nature. Thus a man is by nature, so to speak, Catholic or Protestant. It is not education and habit alone that make him so; but he naturally leans upon external positive authority, upon precedents, and the result of experience; or he is naturally independent of others, self-reliant, has faith in enough salt in men to save them, believes in the future, and goes hopefully to meet it. If he is of the first kind he is a Catholic in Romish countries, and conservatively orthodox in Protestant. If of the latter, he is always and every where Protestant. His hands and feet, even his mouth, may conform under pressure. But his mind and heart are stout dissenters, and hospitably entertain every thought, every movement, that promises better things for mankind.

In this way you can reason from a man's convictions upon one subject to his opinions upon another. No grave, radical question can arise, public or private, but we all know how our friends will range themselves upon it. We are naturally Whigs and Tories, conservatives and reformers. There is always a chance in change. Consequently the theory of Conservatism, or the Establishment, always is, that you had better not take the chance for fear of the consequences. The ground of Reform is, that you had better take the risk for hope of the result. It is not fair to judge either tendency by individuals. Lord Mansfield was a Conservative, and John Wilkes was a Reformer. If you look no further you will choose to rank with Mansfield. But then Jeffries was a Tory, and Lord Somers was a Whig. Will you be Whig or Tory? So in our own nomenclature to-day Fernando Wood is a "Conservative," and Joseph Holt a "Radical." Which companionship do you select?

It is not fair to judge the merits of a cause from its supporters, because men may espouse the best causes, as they may woo the noblest women, for the worst reasons. But it is still true that men have a natural sympathy with one or the other side of every question. If De Tocqueville were living to-day there would be no doubt what opinion he would hold of this rebellion. Certainly he was neither a typical Whig nor Tory. He had too much perception and too much imagination not to feel the reason and enjoy the charm of the established order. But he had too much faith and wisdom not to desire its constant modification. He blended the excellences of both dispositions, but he leaned to Reform. Macaulay, on the other hand, was a much more ardent liberal partisan than De Tocqueville. But he had less conviction, less intrinsic faith in men and justice, and he consequently leaned to conservatism. If these two men could express themselves upon our struggle, undoubtedly Macaulay would stand with Gladstone and De Tocqueville with John Stuart Mill.

This truth of natural affinity is constantly illustrated in our own experience. There is always one party in the country which is a kind of King and Lazaroni party. We all know that the great mass of the ignorant and base, of the rich and timid, of the cynical and indifferent, of the skeptical and designing, will belong to it. There will always be many and splendid exceptions. But, meeting a man of either of these classes, you may be very sure you see a man who belongs to that party. There is always another party composed mainly of neither extreme, but made up of the great middle class of intelligent, industrious men, who have much faith, much enthusiasm, much independence, and who from their very qualities must, in the long run, be the minority party of the country. There will be plenty of corrupt men acting with it for various reasons, but the principles of the party will be just, elevating, and humane. And whatever the name or present policy of the parties which at any time divide the country may be, when they all dissolve upon any emergency their particles unite with others strictly according to this law. The mean, the designing, the ignorant, the base, the cynical, the timid, the skeptical, will combine under new names for the same old purpose, while the force of the moral character of the country will be thrown against it.

Whatever, therefore, may be the personal character of individuals of any party, it must and will be judged historically by its tendency, by its conduct, by the average character of those who support it, by the principles it professes, and the arguments to which it appeals. In all history there have been really but two parties—that of equal rights and that of privilege—the party of the people or a true democracy, and that of classes and races or a true aristocracy. There were and are no others in other countries; there have been and are no others here.


IT is curious and interesting to observe how the law of which we have just spoken operates in the distribution of the sympathy of representative foreigners in our rebellion. The latest illustration is that of Richard Cobden. He is a man who compels

respect not only by his character and powers, but by his practical knowledge. He is not hood-winked by any assumptions or sophistries. He puts people in mortal terror by his facts. He clubbed Lord Palmerston in open Parliament with the most tremendous statistics; and by actual figures and extracts from French reports, showed in a trenchant pamphlet, which charged in upon Lord Palmerston's loose talk like a mailed knight upon a flock of sheep, that he had for his own purposes scared England by the fear of a French invasion which was utterly groundless. There is one man in England, at least, whom Lord Palmerston can not bully nor Lord Russell cozen.

Mr. Cobden has lately made two speeches. The first was a consideration of the present state of maritime law, and of the imperial necessity to Great Britain of some change. But the very force and truth of his argument, based upon the dependence of that Power upon others, will disincline those others to accede to any radical change. In that speech he incidentally mentions the appalling poverty into which Lancashire has already fallen, and in which the poor population must sink still lower by Christmas, at which time there will be a million paupers to be cared for, so that, in his opinion, Parliament will have to make special provision.

"Of course, then, self-defense and our horror at a wicked fratricidal war waged for power against a brave people, struggling for themselves and for the rights of man against an intolerable tyranny —a war which Mr. Commissioner Mason expressly assures us is hopeless upon the part of that tyranny — will compel us to interfere!" shouts John Bull, impatiently.

By no means, returns Mr. Cobden. It would cost England more to interfere for six months than to feed her starving workmen for ten years. And besides that, it would not bring forward cotton. Moreover, if you ask me, he says, what I think of the war, I will answer that I don't pretend to see into a millstone, as Lord Russell and Mr. Gladstone have been gravely doing. But if I did, I should not see what they do. If the war should end soon, I don't believe it would result in separation. And why, pray, are you so eager for disunion in America while you cheer so lustily for union in Italy? If it is all right to make a Union in Italy against the established Governments, why is it all wrong for an established Union to maintain itself in America?

Mr. Cobden fully understands the fact that with us Union is identical with nation. He has traveled in this country with his eyes and ears open, and he knows the necessity of Union. He doubtless perceives that that necessity is the paramount and controlling consideration of the war. He knows, as most thoughtful men here acknowledge, that every thing will go sooner than the Union; and that if there are many who hesitate about the President's Proclamation, it is because the honest among them are not yet convinced of its necessity. They think that the Union can be saved without it. But the mass of these men know perfectly well that slavery is not necessary to the Union, and when they see that, on the contrary, it is threatening its life with arms, they will cry as the Tyrolese cried when the full force of the Austrian and French army was in the narrow pass of the Inn, with precipices upon each side.—"In the name of the Holy Trinity, cut all loose!"—and down came the rocks, and trees, and avalanches of earth upon the enemy, utterly consuming them.

Mr. Cobden probably saw that, despite the educated hatred of the Southerners toward the rest of the country, the cardinal necessity of any great national existence here was the Union. That is an insight gained by actual contact. The other English orators, Palmerston, Russell, Gladstone, and the rest, speculate abstractly. They can not see why it would not be just as well for us to cover the continent with a happy family of seven by nine empires—a boundless contiguity of San Marinos. Mr. Gladstone alone, apparently, believes what was so strongly said by Mr. Seward, that the strongest instinct of the American people is for Union—stronger even than for Liberty.


THE curtain falls upon the mute and pathetic parting of Jeannette and Jeannot. The children wish it were longer. The parents hum quietly the plaintive melody of the finale and remember other days. The great audience rustles and murmurs, and the spectacle of a cheerful crowd, for which Niblo's is immemorially famous, is once more renewed. Meanwhile there is hammering and scolding and rushing and scraping behind the drop. The huge curtain itself is bulged forward. There are the sense and sound of immense preparation, and the complacent curiosity of the children becomes intense and the waiting elders impatient.

At last the criminal delay of the orchestra is atoned for by the beginning of the music. The curtain runs up and discovers a group of workmen with wooden horses of various heights, which they begin to plant along the middle aisle of the parquet and up the stage. They fit them carefully together, lay long their elastic floorings between them, and finally unroll enormous mattresses upon them covering them with dark woolen cloth; so that there is now a carpeted and mattressed platform from the balcony in front of the boxes to the rear of the stage. Then for the first time you observe a little ledge projecting from the balcony of the second tier, upon which stands a stool; and to this a ladder is raised at the end of the long platform by a liveried attendant.

Every thing is ready. The music plays on. The murmur of the audience subsides. The bright little eyes are strained toward every point of the stage; and then suddenly from the side scene emerges the stout form of Gabriel Ravel—himself an institution of New York amusement—leading by the hand a boy, ten years old, the adopted child of the Ravels, John Haslon, called "Little America." The figure of the child is that of a young athlete, not Ganymede the cup-bearer, nor Oberon (Next Page)




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