Abraham Lincoln Asks Troops to Observe the Sabbath


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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.

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


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) the fairy king; but strong, round, muscularly firm, compact, and energetic as a young Ajax. He makes his conventional bow of obsequious sweetness to each side of the house, then touches Gabriel's shoulder and alights upon the platform. Advancing to the point over the edge of the stage he bows again; then steps rapidly along to the ladder, mounts it, and stands upon the stool in front of the balcony of the second tier.

Do you observe, then, the trapezes hanging from the high dim roof of the theatre, four of them, with the cross-pieces; and can you, through your glass, see the marvelous breadth of the child's hands? There is a little natural apprehension, as you think, of the height, and see the mattresses, suggestive of falling, and then look at the clear-eyed, handsome boy. But here is Gabriel trying each trapeze to be sure that it hangs firm and true, and now he stands facing the boy and swings toward him the first one, which the boy catches, and, grasping stoutly with both hands, faces Gabriel, who holds the second ready. He nods; he draws it back; it swings far forward. Once, and the boy sees the range. Twice, and holding his own trapeze, he launches himself upon mid air, as smoothly, noiselessly, and perfectly as a swan takes the flood when she moves from shore. He catches the second, the third, and so with effortless grace swings from end to end of the vast space, leaving upon your mind the impression of a long reach of exquisitely swaying waves. From that moment the blithe aerial game goes on. He turns back from one to another, he hangs by his feet, he folds his body over the thin bar of the trapeze; he turns a somersault in the air and alights upon the swinging bar; he vaults backward and descends upon the platform, making his conventional bow; he climbs to his place again, and once more sweeps forward into space and revolves and darts swiftly amidst the steady swaying of the ropes. You fear for him no more than for white doves tumbling and sailing in the air. The whole scene is soft, and smooth, and noiseless. It has the effect of exquisite music. It is the utmost triumph of skill.

This wonderful young acrobat is a New Yorker by birth, but from his tenderest years has been trained by Gabriel Ravel. He is a bright, sweet, well-mannered boy, whom you can not think of as devoted to this career without sympathy and compassion, but whom you can not see without the utmost admiration. For a performance so perfect that it destroys all sense of peril, while it inspires new wonder for the capacity of the human frame.


WE all have our favorites in war as in politics. We all believe that our own men are the best men, and our own way the best way. But this is a tendency which it is dangerous to indulge under the circumstances in which we are now placed. You may prefer one guide over the glaciers to the summit of Mont Blanc and I another. But we can not stop long to quarrel about them. We must do our best to get the best, then trust what we have, and push on. If you know the guide does not know the way, or is not strong enough to stand the work, you may give up the journey if you choose. But to give it up and dismiss the guide you have, because you had made a point of honor to take the other, is never to reach the top of the mountain and to stay a great fool in the valley.

Vehement partisanship about Generals is disheartening and dangerous. Have the people of this country taken up arms to exalt Buell or Fremont or Halleck or McClellan, or are they in Virginia and the West to save their government and the civil liberty of which it is the guarantee? Has the feeling for any General superseded devotion to the cause and the country? Would any man break his sword because Fremont was removed or McClellan is relieved? Then, in the name of Heaven, let him break it. Let us discover how many are of a like mind. And if there are many, and a majority, let us confess the contemptible contest in which we are engaged, and mourn over a people which prefers any man, however successful, however illustrious, however masterly he may be, to the welfare of the country and of all the citizens. And while we mourn, let us not fail to despise that people if its preference should be based not upon great and noble and conspicuous character and service, but upon party-spirit.

The dignity and spirit of General Burnside in dealing with an individual case of this kind is recorded to his lasting honor. Upon the removal of McClellan a young Rhode Island officer—and it is the first blot upon the story of that noble State in this war—said that "After this we may as well give up and acknowledge the rebels." General Burnside sent for him and charged him with the remark. The officer confessed it, and urged that he said more than he meant. "You have now an opportunity to retract it," said Burnside; "but if I were not personally acquainted with your antecedents and loyalty you would have been instantly dismissed. Neither you nor any other officer, high or low, can utter such sentiments and remain in this army." The offender made an ample apology. The General showed that he perfectly understands his position.


THE war has occasioned no more interesting work than the one to which we have hitherto alluded—"Thirteen Months in the Rebel Army." It is a short and simple story of a New Yorker who was impressed into the rebel service, and who served with his eyes and mind open. If it could be read by every man in the loyal part of the country it would inspire such resolution in the defense of the Government that the world would see what it has not yet seen—that this nation means to save its own life by the annihilation of the conspiracy against it.

There is one thing which the author mentions, and of which we have often spoken. It is an evil which increases every day, and which all faithful citizens should do their best to withstand. This

evil is the furnishing information to the enemy under the guise of giving news. The papers of yesterday and to-day, for instance, teem with important intelligence for the enemy. If the Government can not remedy the difficulty, why does not the loyalty of individual editors prevent it?

Hear what the author, who has been thirteen months within the rebel lines, says:

"I may here state that the Confederate authorities have complete control of the press, so that nothing is ever allowed to appear in print which can give information to the North or dishearten their own men. In this it appears to me that they have an unspeakable advantage over the North, with its numberless papers and hundreds of correspondents in the loyal armies. Under such a system it is an absolute impossibility to conceal the movements of the army. With what the correspondents tell and surmise, and what the Confederates find out through spies and informers of various kinds, they are able to see through many of the plans of the Union forces before they are put in execution. No more common remark did I hear than this, as officers were reading the Northern papers: 'See what fools these Yankees are! General A— has left B— for C—. We will cut him off. Why the Northern Generals or the Secretary of War tolerate this freedom of news we can not imagine.' Every daily paper I have read since coming North has contained information either by direct statement or implication which the enemy can profit by.....Sure am I that if a Southern paper would
publish such information of their movements as do the Northern of theirs, the editor's neck would not be safe an hour."

The testimony of this work to the desperate hatred of the rebellious section toward the country is most valuable:

"The force of public opinion in Selma was such that no man able to fight could remain there. The unmarried ladies were so patriotic that every able-bodied young man was constrained to enlist. Some months previous to this a gentleman was known to be engaged for an early marriage, and hence declined to volunteer. When his betrothed, a charming girl and a devoted lover, heard of his refusal, she sent him, by the hand of a slave, a package inclosing a note. The package contained a lady's skirt and crinoline, and the note these terse words: 'Wear these or volunteer.' He volunteered."

Contemplating this spirit, which is universal and not exceptional, the author vehemently exclaims:

"When will the North wake up to a true and manly patriotism in the defense of their national life, now threatened by the tiger grasp of this atrocious rebellion?......The North is asleep, and it will become the sleep of death —national death—if a new spirit be not speedily awaked."



RECORDER (to prisoner). "How do you live?"

PRISONER. "I ain't particular, as the oyster said when they asked whether he'd be roasted or fried."

RECORDER. "We don't want to hear what the oyster said. What do you follow?"

PRISONER. "Any thing that comes in my way, as the locomotive said when he run over a man."

RECORDER. "We care nothing about the locomotive. What is your business?"

PRISONER. "That's various, as the cat said when she stole the chicken."

RECORDER. "That comes nearer to the line, I suppose?" PRISONER. "Altogether in my line, as the rope said when choking the pirate."

RECORDER. "If I hear any more absurd comparisons I will give you twelve months."

PRISONER. "I'm done, as the beef steak said to the cook."

"Can you tell me how the word saloon is spelt?" was asked of a Cockney by a Philadelphian. "Certainly," said the Londoner, with a look of triumph; "there's a hess, and a hay, and a hell, and two hoes, and a hen."

A physician, in speaking of the frail constitution of the women of the present day, remarked that we ought to take great care of our grandmothers, for we should never get any more.

PIL-GRIM.—Are you fond of hymn singing? Take a note of a few. The first is the hymn we heard at chapel the last time—"Oh, take a pil, oh, take, oh, take a pil, oh, take a pil-grim home!" The hymn Brown heard—treble and soprano by the fairer portion of creation—"Oh, for a man, oh, for a man, oh, for a mansion in the skies!" The one Plunkius heard the base singer at—"Oh, send down Sal; oh, send down Sal; oh, send down Sal-vation!"

"Pray, Madam, what makes you so sedate?"—"Oh, I have taken a sedative!"

An attorney before a bench of magistrates, a short time ago, told the bench, with great gravity, "that he had two witnesses in behalf of his client, and they would be sure to speak the truth, for he had no opportunity to communicate with them."

Three boa-constrictors were recently landed at the docks, and one of the sailors of the ship which brought them from Africa says, "They are the most affectionate creatures he ever saw—always ready to embrace any body."

A good-natured fellow, who was nearly eaten out of house and home by the constant visits of his friends, felt very poor one day, and was complaining bitterly of his numerous visitors. "Shure, an' I'll tell ye how to get rid of 'em," said an Irishman. "Pray how?" "Lind money to the poor ones, and borrow money of the rich ones, and nather sort will ever trouble you again."



THE following General Order has been issued respecting the observance of the Sabbath day in the army and navy:


The President, Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy, desires and enjoins the orderly observance of the Sabbath by the officers and men in the military and naval service. The importance for man and beast of the prescribed weekly rest; the sacred rights of Christian soldiers and sailors; a becoming deference to the best sentiments of a Christian people, and a due regard for the Divine will, demand that Sunday labor in the army and navy be reduced to the measure of strict necessity. The discipline and character of the national forces should not suffer, nor the cause they defend be imperiled by the profanation of the day or the name of the Most High. At this time of public distress, adopting the words of Washington in 1776, "Men may find enough to do in the service of God and their country without abandoning themselves to vice and immorality." The first General Order issued by the Father of his Country after the Declaration of Independence indicates the spirit in which our institutions were founded, and should ever be defended: "The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier, defending the dearest rights and privileges of his country."



The Army of the Potomac is moving from its position near Warrenton toward Fredericksburg, sixty miles from Richmond. The line of march was taken up on 15th and 16th. Warrenton was evacuated on 18th, and General Burnside took up his head-quarters at Catlett's Station. The base of supplies will be at Aquia Creek, which is only nine miles from Fredericksburg, and connected with it by a railroad.


Our advices from the southwest indicate the likelihood that a battle will be fought soon between the national forces under General Grant and the rebels lately at Holly Springs, notwithstanding the retreat of the latter from that position. A dispatch, dated the 14th, states that five regiments of rebel cavalry advanced on the previous evening from Lampkin's Mills to within two miles of Holly Springs, and that skirmishing was continued for some time, during which the rebels lost six men killed and seven commissioned officers captured. The Cincinnati Gazette of the 14th says, "The fact that the rebels retreated from Holly Springs without a battle may be regarded as evidence that their force is not as large as had been represented. Advices of the 9th stated that Price had been re-enforced by Pemberton from the south, but even then they were not willing to make a stand. General Grant has a formidable and excellent army, large enough, undoubtedly, to drive the rebels. Whether he will get them 'against the wall' is a question; but he will certainly sweep through the country, carrying out the plan of this particular campaign, which is an important one, and will bring forth fruits with which the country will be satisfied."


General McClernand is now at Columbus, Kentucky, organizing his expeditionary force. The following Indiana

regiments have either arrived at or are on their way to join General McClernand's "Castor Oil Expedition" to open the Mississippi: Eighty-third, Ninety-third, Ninety-seventh, Ninety-ninth, and One Hundredth. The fifty-fourth, Colonel Mansfield, and the Sixty-third, Colonel Williams, will leave in a day or two for Columbus, and will also form part of the same expeditionary force.


The Union forces, consisting now of over seven hundred thousand men, are distributed and commanded as follows: General Burnside, with the whole Army of the Potomac, aided by Hentzelman and Sigel, is to take care of Richmond; General Cox is making a rapid march toward the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad; General Peck and General Foster are to look after the Southern communications of Richmond. General Banks and General Hunter are to look in at some of the Southern ports now held by the rebels; General Rosecrans is moving through Central Tennessee, General Granger through Kentucky, General Grant into Mississippi; General Schofield defends Missouri, and General Curtis is below him on the West side of the river; and General McClernand will soon be on his way down the Mississippi River.


We have details of the expedition under command of General Weitzel. Our forces encountered the enemy in considerable strength at a place called Labadieville, and defeated them after a brisk fight and a brilliant display of generalship on the part of General Weitzel. Upward of two hundred of the enemy were killed, wounded, and taken prisoners, and one piece of artillery was captured. The rebels were pursued in the direction of Berwick's Bay, where Governor Moore was supposed to be.


The officers of the gun-boat Connecticut report that the entire coast of Texas is now in possession of the United States forces. The effect of this occupation is seen in the recent capture of numerous vessels while attempting to run the blockade. Contraband trade, through Texan ports, is now effectually choked off.


Hon. A. J. Hamilton has been appointed Military Governor of Texas.


The Grenada Appeal in its Richmond correspondence says that General Lee is about to go into winter-quarters within a few miles of Richmond. The condition of the city is represented as frightful. We are told that "garroting, burglary, drunkenness, in spite of the Provost Marshal, and all manner of villainy are on the increase most alarmingly, and provisions are constantly advancing in price. Flour is $25 a barrel here, in sight of the largest mills in the world, and butter is difficult to obtain at $1.50 per pound; that Richmond is worse than Naples, worse than Baltimore was when Winter Davis was the Wilkes of the Plug Ugly swell mob of that lawless city. No one thinks of going into the Cimmerian streets after nightfall without arms. A large and well-organized gang of cut-throats has 'taken the town.' They lie in wait at almost every corner, well provided with slung shots, billies, brass knuckles, and all the other devilish implements of mischief which the city highwayman uses to disable his victims, and they attack every body that walks alone, oftentimes gentlemen when attended by ladies."


The correspondence between Governor Vance (Rebel) and Governor Stanly (Union), of North Carolina, relative to a friendly conference, appears to have been brought to an unfavorable termination. According to latest accounts Governor Vance declines any meeting between himself and Governor Stanly. He also declines a conference of Commissioners. He writes, in a defiant tone, that North Carolina will fight to the last drop of blood, and refers Governor Stanly, if he has any propositions to make, to treat directly with the Confederate authorities at Richmond. This, of course, settles the question of any amicable arrangement with North Carolina, as far as Governor Vance's influence bears weight.


General Bragg, in his official report to the Confederate Government, says that but 1500 Kentuckians joined him in his late raid into that State; that the people hesitated to take Confederate scrip; and that he was charged three prices for supplies.


To a crowd who waited upon him at Trenton, on 13th, General McClellan said:

"MY FRIENDS—for I feel that you are all my friends—I stand before you, not as a maker of speeches, not as a politician, but as a soldier. I came among you to seek quiet and repose, and from the moment of my arrival I have received nothing but kindness. Although I appear before you as a stranger, I am not. I am not altogether unacquainted with your history. Your gallant soldiers were with me in every battle from the siege of Yorktown to the battle of Antietam, and here I bear witness to their devotion to the cause for which we are fighting. [Here the uproar compelled the General to cease for a few moments.] I also have to speak of the ever faithful, ever true Taylor; the dashing, intrepid Kearney—men who have given their lives for the maintenance of our government. And before bidding you good-night I have this piece of advice to give you: While the army is fighting, you as citizens see that the war is prosecuted for the preservation of the Union and the Constitution, for your nationality and your rights as citizens."


Two members of General McClellan's Staff—Lieutenant-Colonels A. P. Colburn and J. C. Duane, of the Engineer Corps—were, on 13th, sent to Washington, from Trenton, under arrest. The Washington Star explains the arrest by stating that they are not members of his personal staff, and consequently had no right to leave their places in the army to accompany General McClellan to Trenton.



THE London Times of November 6 denies that any blame can attach to the English Government relative to the fitting out operations of the privateer Alabama. England, the Times says, does not furnish ships of war, but "her ship-yards are open to all," and she sells the "component parts" of war vessels "to all comers."


Mr. Cobden, M.P., has addressed an important speech to his constituents in Rochdale, in which he emphatically condemns the idea of English intervention in the American war. He said that such a movement on the part of the Cabinet would do injury instead of good, and would not bring out cotton; a war with the North was certain to ensue, and this struggle would cost Great Britain more money in six months than would feed all the distressed Lancashire operatives for ten years.


The famous debating club of Cambridge University (the Union) debated the American war subject during two evenings. The question was put thus: "That the Cause of the North is the Cause of Human Progress." The proposition was negatived by a vote of one hundred and seventeen to thirty-three—Earl Russell's eldest son speaking with the majority against it.



The Independance Belge of the 18th October, writing concerning Garibaldi, says that he has full confidence in the successful results of his medical treatment. He has decided to go to England for a short time, and thence proceed direct to America.

Several of his officers have already left for New York.


MR. GOBBLER.—"Ain't you going to eat any thing?"

MRS. GOBBLER.—"No, I ain't going to fatten myself up for other people's benefit?"

MR. GOBBLER.—"Why, you fool, you're only injuring yourself; you'll be sold for 12 cents a pound, that's all. But I see what will be the end of you—you'll be eaten in a boarding-house, that's what you'll come to."





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