General McClellan Removed from Command


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, November 22, 1862

This site has online versions of all the Harper's Weekly newspapers printed during the Civil War. These newspapers enable you to watch the events unfold week by week. These reports were created by eye-witnesses to the actual events. They serve as a great way to learn more about this war.

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Governor Horatio Seymour

Horatio Seymour

McClellan Removed From Command

McClellan Removed from Command

Burnside Takes Command

Burnside Takes Command

Loudon Valley

Loudon Valley

Catharine Wilson

Execution of Catharine Wilson

Army of the Ohio

Army of the Ohio

Rufus Ingalls

Rufus Ingalls

General Stanley

General Stanley

McClellan Fired

General McClellan Relieved of Command

Maryland Heights

Maryland Heights Sunrise


US Warship "Vanderbilt"

Gen. Thomas

General Thomas

Horace Greeley

Horace Greeley

Army of the Ohio

Army of the Ohio










[NOVEMBER 22, 1862.



WE publish on the preceding page a portrait of Hon. HORATIO SEYMOUR, Governor-elect of New York. Governor Seymour is a man of some fifty-five years of age; he once filled the Gubernatorial office before, and discharged its duties with fidelity and success. He has now been elected by a majority of some 15,000 over General Wadsworth. Governor Seymour proclaimed his position in a speech delivered at Brooklyn during the canvass, and we make the following extract:

"Now, when the men of the South made the bayonet and the sword the arbiter (they elected, and not we); when they determined to settle it by blood (and not we)—the sword, so far as the present is concerned, must be the arbiter; and in our strong right arms it shall strike vigorous and true blows for the life of our country, for its institutions, and for its flag. Now let me say this to the higher law men of the North, and to the higher law men of the South, and to the whole world that looks on witnesses to the mighty events transpiring in this country, that this Union shall never be severed, no, never......Whatever other men may say, as for the conservative people of this country and as for myself as an individual—let other men say and think what they please—as for the division of this Union, and the breaking up of that great natural alliance which is made by nature and by nature's God, I never will consent to it, no, never, as long as I have a voice to raise or a hand to fight for this our glorious land."




THE elections in the great Northern States have resulted uniformly in the defeat of the Administration candidates. New York and Pennsylvania, which supported Mr. Lincoln in 1861 and 1860 with majorities of 50,000 and 100,000, have gone decidedly in favor of the Democracy; the Democrats have carried the Republican States of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois; and the dominant Republican party has suffered severe losses in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. It had previously lost ground in Connecticut and Maine. In the Congress which will assemble for the transaction of business a year hence the Democrats will have a decided majority.

Just two considerations are suggested by these startling evidences of a change in public opinion; first, what caused the change? next, what practical effect will it have on the prosecution of the war?

A number of plausible reasons have been assigned for the sudden increase of the Democratic and decline of the Republican vote throughout the North. Mr. Greeley thinks that the Republicans have gone to the war to fight, while the Democrats have staid at home to vote. But even the Tribune will not claim the men who enlisted from this city, as, for instance, Sickles's and Meagher's brigades as Republicans; and it was the large Democratic majority in this city which carried the State for Seymour. Again, every one who has correspondents in the army knows that the rank and file, at least in the army of the Potomac, sympathized with the Democracy, and cherished the ancient Democratic prejudice against the negro to the utmost extent. We are inclined to think that if the army had voted—as did the soldiers of Iowa, Missouri, and other States — the Democratic majority in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, would rather have been increased than diminished. Another set of politicians, who sympathize more or less with the rebels, construe the recent elections as a rebuke to the men whom they call "Abolitionists," and infer that the North is ready to meet the South on the basis of some such compromise as that to which Senator Crittenden, in an unguarded moment, lent his previously-respected name. These politicians are probably equally mistaken with regard to the temper of both sections. The South is unwilling to accept any compromise, and if the successful Democracy attempt to make one, they will fail as ignominiously as they did at Charleston. So far as the Northern Democracy are concerned, they are quite as far from being prepared to admit that the Union is dissolved as the most ardent supporters of the Administration. A member here and there, hailing from this city or the West, and in his heart a partner in the guilt of the rebels, may attempt to assist their schemes; but the great bulk of the Northern Democracy are as loyal to the Union as Mr. Lincoln himself. Whatever they meant by their October and November votes, no one who knows them will believe that they meant to acquiesce in the severance of the Union.

So far as we can judge, the soundest explanation of the recent Democratic victories ascribes them to a general dissatisfaction with the results of the war. In some men this dissatisfaction took the shape of a revolt against the radical influences which have controlled the Administration from time to time. Others were dissatisfied because the President retained Generals McClellan and Buell in command. Others, again, and these probably constituted the majority, looked at the subject from no partisan point of view, but merely desired to testify their sense of disgust at the small results which have been achieved by the enormous outlay of men, money, spirit, and energy placed at the service of the Government by the loyal citizens of the United States. No nation in the world—not even France in 1790—ever placed itself, its

sons, its means, its liberties, and its life so wholly and unreservedly in the hands of its Government as we did a year ago. The people of the North asked each other—what has Mr. Lincoln done with what we gave him? and voted accordingly.

With regard to the effect of the recent elections we can not see that they are calculated to lead to any important changes. A few traitors elected here and there will try to serve the rebel cause. But they will clearly prove powerless against the overwhelming loyalty of the Northern masses. From necessity the Democratic victors will have to go for a more thorough prosecution of the war. The people of the North—by whatever political designation they are known—are unanimous and resolute against the division of the country. A few Democratic leaders may be so blind as to dream of a compromise, disgracefully ignominious to the North, and practically fatal to the South. But these schemers will soon find themselves disavowed by both sections. In time of war, when the people understand themselves, there is but one party, and that is the party who goes for putting down the enemy. Whatever the intentions of the successful Democrats may have been, when the responsibility comes to be laid upon their shoulders they will find themselves compelled to pursue the same policy as their opponents, and to rely for success with the people upon excelling the Republicans in energy and zeal for the cause.


WE record in another column the removal of GENERAL McCLELLAN from the command of the Army of the Potomac, and the appointment of GENERAL AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE to the vacant post. The President appears to have determined upon the step in the last week of October; but for reasons which can readily be conceived it was not carried into effect till the 8th inst. A dispatch from General Halleck to the Secretary of War, bearing date October 28, explains time reasons which led the President to act. After the Battle of Antietam General Halleck first urged, then ordered General McClellan to move across the Potomac. He did not move for three weeks, and, in General Halleck's opinion, no good excuse existed for his disobedience and delay.

General McClellan's friends, who are legion, will urge in his defense that a General in command of an army of 200,000 men, and responsible not only for his own success but for their lives, is the best judge of when and how he should move, and can not be bound to obey the orders of persons at a distance from the scene of action, and without direct personal responsibility in the matter. It will doubtless further be urged that, however slow General M'Clellan may have been during the first three weeks of October, he was moving with remarkable celerity when the order for his removal was handed to him. Many other good arguments may be advanced in vindication of the displaced General, but they are not likely to be much heard of just now. Both the people and the army are too intent upon the great work of suppressing the rebellion to trouble themselves about side issues. After the war there will be time to inquire into and pass judgment upon them, and then, if injustice has been done to McClellan, he will probably be elected President.

Meanwhile it is a source of unmixed satisfaction to know that the Army of the Potomac is led by a man like Burnside, a soldier who to the greatest military skill unites dash, energy, and the prestige of success, and a man of the most exalted character and the noblest heart. The country unites in the cry, GOD SPEED BURNSIDE!



REACTIONS may change events, but they can not alter principles. The Government of the United States and the Union, of which it is the supreme authority, are threatened by rebels in arms. That authority must be maintained entirely, or it is altogether overthrown. You may make never so small a hole in the side of your ship, but it will be large enough to admit the ocean, and your ship will inevitably go down. You may make the slightest concession of the threatened authority of the Government, but in making it you relinquish that authority utterly. If the city magistrates and police and militia, after endeavoring for many a day to disperse a riot, should at last say, "Very well, what is it you want?" and allow the rioters to destroy only one building or burn only one poor Irishman, that city is conquered. Is there any security for peace, for life any longer, except in the whim of the mob? It is precisely so with the war. Either the Government must be maintained in every particular of its authority, or is dishonored entirely. To change it, to allow the rebels to go, to declare that such rebellions always end in compromise, is to renounce the Government altogether, and to proclaim the intention of surrender.

The Constitution of the United States clothes the Government with authority to do what, under any circumstances, it inevitably and instinctively would do; namely, defend its own existence by

force. Whatever is necessary to this defense the Government may lawfully do; and it is, of course, itself the judge of the necessity. It may stop mouths and pens; it may seize property and liberate slaves; it may cut off supplies, and by famine and force and fear compel the refractory citizens to obedience.

All this the Government may do. Common-sense apprises us of it, even if it were not carefully provided by the Constitution that in case of rebellion and invasion the writ of habeas corpus may be suspended, and that the President, as commander-in-chief of the army and navy, shall forcibly compel submission to the law. But the Government is the people. If they disapprove what is done, it will be undone or it will be fruitless. If they are not in earnest, they will not justify earnest war. If they are in earnest, they will not tolerate trifling and delay.

In our own case the truth remains true whatever happens. If for any reason the people shall tire of the war, or the forcible compulsion of rebels to obey the law: if they shall say that they are willing to put down the insurrection if they can do it with half a million of men and five hundred millions of dollars, but not if the work requires six hundred thousand men and a thousand million of dollars: if they shall say that they are willing to use field-pieces but not gun-boats: if they say that they do not object to cutting off a supply train, but do object to touching, or even trying to touch, the source of the supplies: if they shall say that they are willing to shoot rebels in the field, but that they prefer to guard the slaves of rebels upon the plantations: if they shall declare that every body may say and do just what he pleases during the war, short of actually taking up arms against the Government: if they shall say that the rebellion was really caused by the men who are now fighting against it, and not by the rebels themselves: and, finally, if they shall say that the game is not worth the candle, and that they will no longer "imbrue their hands in fratricidal blood," they will compel the authorities to make peace with the rebels upon the best possible terms, whether of separation or compromise.

Such a result is inevitable if the people are tired of the war. That such a peace could be but a truce breaking into worse wars may be true, but that would not help the result. That such a peace would be the total destruction of the Government, the ruin of the popular system, and the betrayal of the hope of civil liberty every where, is unquestionably true; but what then? If the people are willing to betray themselves, to be forever disgraced, and to become the scorn of history, it is in vain that the authorities protest.

What then is the duty of every truly loyal man? Simply to show as plainly as he can that the welfare of each one of us depends upon the unconditional maintenance of the Government; that no civil right is secure for a moment except in this Government; and, therefore, that to maintain it the most decisive and radical measures must be adopted by the authorities and supported by the people. There have always been, there will always be, but two issues out of the war. One is absolute victory: the other is entire submission. If we are truly in earnest as the rebels are, we shall win the victory cost what it may. If we are not in earnest, we shall be conquered and disgraced.


BY the death of General Mitchell the country loses one of the fiery souls that compel victory. The purity and fervor of his patriotism were of the antique mould. From the first words he spoke at the great Union Square meeting after Sumter, through his gallant and brilliant service at the West to the commencement of his Southern campaign, his life was an act of utter self-renunciation and devotion.

Those who saw him just before he left for the Department of the South were fully aware of his convictions as to the state of the country and the prospects of the cause. He knew, as every body else did, that to send him to Hilton Head, with the handful of men there, was to send him into exile. But he made no complaint. He said that he believed he was a good soldier. "As for Generalship I do not judge," he said; "but I know that the whole duty of a soldier is to obey orders, and I believe that I can do that." He did it. He came from Alabama when he was summoned to Washington in the shortest possible time. He reported for orders. He was told to wait. He waited and waited week after week, and was finally sent to South Carolina, and went.

There were doubtless divided counsels about him at Washington. He was a fighting General; a dashing, ardent, popular leader. He believed that the war must be fought out by every means. He did not believe in waiting, nor in gently tapping the enemy, nor in tampering with treason and traitors; but in sweeping suddenly, and striking stunning blows with overwhelming power. General Mitchell's theory of the war was, that it is a mortal conflict between the spirit of despotism and that of lawful Liberty; that there could be in the nature of things no concession, no compromise; that either the nation would conquer and establish its government permanently as the defense and guarantee of Liberty, or be dismembered and ruined. Born in Kentucky, he knew the section with which we are fighting. By disposition conservative, he doubted whether the people were ready to rely upon the principle indicated by Mr. Lincoln's election, and therefore apprehended with misgiving the possible result of the war which that election was sure to provoke. But when the war came he sprang to the field with the battle-cry of America and Liberty upon his lips, and they had no other language until they were cold forever.

He had bitter enemies—but they were not among the soldiers he commanded. It was said that he covered a great deal of territory in the southwest, and that if such work made a commander he was a good one. It was sneered that his exploits resounded

in the newspapers, but were of no actual importance or military significance. It was coldly said that he was a better orator than soldier. But if any General in this war has done what he was sent to do, it is General Mitchell. His western services, within his means, do not suffer by comparison with those of any other officer who has served in that department. His inauguration of the Southern campaign was but partly successful at Pocotaligo; but not from want of skill in devising or bravery in the men. The battle was a victory as far as it went. The enemy were successively driven from the three positions they chose. Then our force withdrew, not being adequate to pushing further. But the partial successes of Generals who had every means have been hitherto, in the war, hailed by us, and reported by them, as victories.

Like all men who feel profoundly, and who occupy conspicuous positions in a civil war, General Mitchell will receive no unqualified censure or praise. There is not a man of military eminence in this war, unless it be, at the present moment, General Burnside, who is not, and who will not be, the object of intense party-feeling. Fremont, McClellan, Sigel, Halleck, Hunter, Buell are all vehemently extolled and censured. It is not a fate at which Mitchell repined. He had counted the cost, and he held every thing light when weighed with the salvation of his country. A soul of fire, he would willingly have sought by speech to kindle his fellow-citizens to the glow of his own conviction if he had not felt that his duty was with the sword. That duty is done now, and done nobly. May God rest the brave soldier, and inspire us all to speak and strike for our country with the same purity of purpose and fervor of conviction!


ANTHONY TROLLOPE'S "Orley Farm" is admitted to be the best, as it is the most elaborate, of his novels. He leaves his usual beat. He steps out of Church into Court. He turns his back upon cathedral closes, and the little quarrels and match-makings of clergymen and their wives, and paints a picture of crime and its course at law which an English authority says is much the finest picture of the legal profession in English Literature. Mr. Trollope's peculiar style, which has Thackeray's intimacy with his reader without his racy elegance, and which is often flippant rather than easy, is remarkably adapted to the story of familiar life he is so fond of telling; while Millais's illustrations are equally modern and characteristic. There is a cheerful, chirping, John Bullish good sense in all that Trollope writes—a comfortable and not disagreeable depth of insight and observation—which account for his great current popularity. The friends of "Doctor Thorne" and "Framley Parsonage" will find time same charm in "Orley Farm."

The Memoirs of Dr. Nicholas Murray, by S. Irenaeus Prime, are a brief account of the incidents in time life of a "self-made" man, as a certain class of strong-willed, self-relying people are called. Dr. Murray was a poor Irish boy who came to this country, and who, after a little while, if this paper had then been published, would have helped set the type, for he was a workman in this office; who was converted from the Romish to the Protestant Church, became a noted clergyman, and at last made his name widely known by a series of controversial letters to Bishop Hughes, under the signature of "Kirwan." These letters are most trenchant popular theological weapons. They had a great sale, and were doubtless of great service to time cause they advocated. Dr. Murray was evidently a hearty, vigorous man—of a generous nature, and a clear, positive mind. Mr. Prime's Memoir judiciously leaves "Kirwan" to tell his own story as far as practicable.

Mrs. Oliphant's Memoir of Edward Irving is the story of a very different life and work from those of Kirwan. He, too, was a clergyman, but it could hardly be said that his mind was clear. He was a noble man, and his life, in a certain way, was most romantic. No one who is at all interested in the religious history or romance of our times but will read it with the greatest interest. To many, also, the words of Thomas Carlyle, in speaking of Irving, will awaken the strongest wish to know exactly what he was. "But for Irving," says Carlyle, "I had never known what the communion of man with man means. His was the freest, brotherliest, bravest human soul mine ever came in contact with. I call him, upon the whole, the best man I have ever, after trial enough, found in this world or hope to find."

A novel, "Abel Drake's Wife," by John Saunders, is a story of a great deal of interest and power. General attention is so riveted by the great novelists that some word is essential to introduce the new aspirants. In this story there seems to us to be more real power than in such a tale as Bulwer's "Strange Story." Indeed, much of the finest talent in our literature is found in the less known novels—books like "The Collegians" or "A Lost Love."

Besides these works, there are the "Thirteen Months in time Rebel Army," an admirable interior view of the rebellion; and Mr. Beecher's "Eyes and Ears," a volume of delightful characteristic essays upon all kinds of subjects; and Mr. Marsh's "Origin and History of the English Language," a work of noble scholarship and great value.

If the war reduces the number of new books it does not injure their quality.


THERE is a remarkable fact in our current history. The President is praised on all sides, yet nobody is satisfied with the conduct of the war. The "Radicals" cry, God bless him! The "Conservatives" talk of holding up his hands. Now somebody does not mean what he says. "If we all mean to stand by the President what are we quarreling about? If we all mean to stand by the (Next Page)




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