Civil War Overview
Civil War 1861
Civil War 1862
Civil War 1863
Civil War 1864
Civil War 1865
Civil War Battles
Robert E. Lee
Civil War Medicine
Civil War Links
Civil War Art
Republic of Texas
Civil War Gifts
Robert E. Lee Portrait
CRIPPLE AT THE GATE.
LOOK! how the hoofs and wheels
Scatter the dust on the broad
Where Beauty, and Fashion, and
Wealth, and Pride
On saddle and cushion serenely
The very steeds have a conscious
Of pride in their elegant
Love and laughter like jewels
From the sparkling eye and the
You never would think that the
Hung on the thread of a desperate
Unless from these you should
turn, by chance,
To the Cripple at the Gate.
Weary, and footsore, and ragged,
and soiled, Through the summer glare he has slowly toiled Along the edge of the
Since the early dawn of the
His rags are flecked with the
That flew from the gilded bits
Of the champing steeds that
passed him by;
And a haggard shadow is in his
But it is not the gloom of an
He has left a limb on the
And to win his way to his distant
At my gate, a Beggar, he sits!
He tells me his tale in a simple
"I had nothing," he says, "except
And a wife and four little girls,
I sent all my money to them, you
When I lost my limb, Sir—but that
I do not complain, for, you see,
'Tis the fortune of war, and it
might be worse;
And I'd lose the other to stop
Of his terrible strife! But I
meant to say,
When I left the hospital t'other
I did think I had a kind of a
To be sent to my village free.
"Don't you think it hard
yourself, Sir? True,
There's a hundred dollars of
In three years, or when the war's
ended; but how
Long may that be—can you tell me
I did not enlist for bounty, I
My conscience I never have sold;
But how does it look for a
soldier to 'tramp,'
Begging his way like a vagabond
From the fields where he often
risked his life,
To the home where he left his
babes and wife,
In a uniform made of tatters and
Instead of the 'blue and gold?'
"Whose fault this is, Sir, I do
Said the wayworn man as he rose
"But of this, alas: I am sure—the
Of a soldeer returning in such a
To the home whence, a few short
months ago, He marched in a gallant band,
With music, and banners, and
Will dull more ears to the
And cause more bosoms with doubt
Than the secret traitor's
Don't you see yourself, Sir, it
must be so?"
And he sighed as I held out my
Lofty carriage and low coupe
Still whirl the dust on the broad
highway; Beauty, and Fashion, and Wealth, and Pride
Still through the roseate
With love, and laughter, and
As if Pleasure were all life's
But I gaze no more on the joyous
For my eye is fixed with a
On the tattered soldier's halting
Till his tall form sinks down the
Then I cry, "Thank God! he hath
now no need
To beg at the stranger's gate!"
BATTLE OF ANTIETAM.
pages 632 and 633 we publish
illustrations of the great
BATTLE OF ANTIETAM, which was fought on 17th
September. We subjoin, by way of explanation to the pictures, the following
extracts from the graphic letter of the Tribune correspondent:
The battle began with the dawn.
Morning found both armies just as they had slept, almost close enough to look
into each other's eyes. The left of
Meade's reserves and the right of Ricketts's
line became engaged at nearly the same moment, one with
artillery, the other
with infantry. A battery was almost immediately pushed forward beyond the
central woods, over a plowed field, near the top of the slope where the
corn-field began. On this open field, in the corn beyond, and in the woods,
which stretched forward into the broad fields like a promontory into the ocean,
were the hardest and deadliest struggles of the day.
For half an hour after the battle
had grown to its full strength the line of fire swayed neither way.
were fully up to their work. They saw their General every where in front, never
away from the fire, and all the troops believed in their commander, and fought
with a will. Two-thirds of them were the same men who, under
broken at Manassas.
The half hour passed, the rebels
began to give way a little, only a little, but at the first indication of a
receding fire, Forward! was the word, and on went the line with a cheer and a
rush. Back across the corn-field, leaving dead and wounded behind them, over the
fence, and across the road, and then back again into the dark woods which closed
around them, went the retreating rebels.
Meade and his Pennsylvanians
followed hard and fast—followed till they came within easy range of the woods,
among which they saw their beaten enemy disappearing—followed still, with
another cheer, and flung themselves against the cover.
But out of those gloomy woods
came suddenly and heavily terrible volleys—volleys which smote, and bent, and
broke in a moment that eager front, and hurled them swiftly back for half the
distance they had won. Not swiftly, nor in panic, any further. Closing up their
shattered lines, they came slowly away—a regiment where a brigade had been,
hardly a brigade where a whole division had been, victorious. They had met from
the woods the first volleys of musketry from fresh troops—had met them and
returned them till their line had yielded and gone down before the weight of
fire, and till their ammunition was exhausted.
In ten minutes the fortune of the
day seemed to have changed—it was the rebels now who were advancing, pouring out
of the woods in endless lines, sweeping through the corn-field from which their
comrades had just fled. Hooker sent in his nearest brigade to meet them, but it
could not do the work. He called for another. There was nothing close enough,
unless he took it from his right. His right might be in danger if it was
weakened, but his centre was already threatened with annihilation. Not
hesitating one moment, he sent to
Doubleday, "Give me your best brigade
The best brigade came down the
hill to the right on the run, went through the timber in front through a storm
of shot and bursting shell and crashing limbs, over the open field beyond, and
straight into the corn-field, passing as they went the fragments of three
brigades shattered by the rebel fire, and streaming to the rear. They passed by
Hooker, whose eyes lighted as he saw these veteran troops led by a soldier whom
he knew he could trust. "I think they will hold it," he said. .
General Hartsuff took his troops
very steadily, but now that they were under fire, not hurriedly, up the hill,
which the corn-field begins to
descend, and formed them on the crest. Not a man who was not in full view—not
one who bent before the storm. Firing at first in volleys, they fired them at
will with wonderful rapidity and effect. The whole line crowned the hill and
stood out darkly against the sky, but lighted and shrouded ever in flame and
smoke. There were the Twelfth and Thirteenth Massachusetts, and another regiment
which I can not remember—old troops all of them.
There for half an hour they held
the ridge, unyielding in purpose, exhaustless in courage. There were gaps in the
line, but it nowhere quailed. Their General was wounded badly early in the
fight, but they fought on. Their supports did not come—they determined to win
without them. They began to go down the hill and into the corn; they did not
stop to think that their ammunition was nearly gone; they were there to win that
field, and they won it. The rebel line for the second time fled through the corn
and into the woods. I can not tell how few of Hartsuff's brigade were left when
the work was done, but it was done. There was no more gallant, determined,
heroic fighting in all this desperate day. General Hartsuff is very severely
wounded, but I do not believe he counts his success too dearly purchased.
After describing the progress of
the fight, the wounding of Hooker, the command devolving upon
advance of Sedgwick, and finally the abandonment of the corn-field after a
terrible struggle, he thus describes the
SUCCESSFUL ATTACK BY FRANKLIN.
At 1 o'clock affairs on the right
had a gloomy look. Hooker's troops were greatly exhausted, and their General
away from the field.
Mansfield's were no better. Sumner's command had lost
heavily, but two of his divisions were still comparatively fresh. Artillery was
yet playing vigorously in front, though the ammunition of many of the batteries
was entirely exhausted, and they had been compelled to retire.
Doubleday held the right
inflexibly. Sumner's head-quarters were now in the narrow field where, the night
before, Hooker had begun the fight. All that had been gained in front had been
lost! The enemy's batteries, which, if advanced and served vigorously, might
have made sad work with the closely-massed troops, were fortunately either
partially disabled or short of ammunition. Sumner was confident that he could
hold his own, but another advance was out of the question. The enemy, on the
other hand, seemed to be too much exhausted to attack.
At this crisis
Franklin came up
with fresh troops and formed on the left.
Slocum, commanding one division of the
corps, was sent forward along the slopes lying under the first ranges of rebel
hills, while Smith, commanding the other division, was ordered to retake the
corn-fields and woods which all day had been so hotly contested. It was done in
the handsomest style. His Maine and Vermont regiments and the rest went forward
on the run, and, cheering as they went, swept like an avalanche through the
corn-fields, fell upon the woods, cleared them in ten minutes, and held them.
They were not again retaken.
The field and its ghastly harvest
which the reaper had gathered in those fatal hours remained finally with us.
Four times it had been lost and won. The dead are strewn so thickly that as you
ride over it you can not guide your horse's steps too carefully. Pale and bloody
faces are every where upturned. They are sad and terrible, but there is nothing
which makes one's heart beat so quickly as the imploring look of sorely wounded
men who beckon wearily for help which you can not stay to give.
Our main picture represents
BURNSIDE HOLDING THE HILL.
This the Tribune correspondent
At 4 o'clock,
simultaneous orders to
Burnside and Franklin; to the former to advance and carry
the batteries in his front at all hazards and any cost; to the latter to carry
the woods next in front of him to the right, which the rebels still held. The
order to Franklin, however, was practically countermanded, in consequence of a
message from General Sumner that if Franklin went on and was repulsed his own
corps was not yet sufficiently reorganized to be depended on as a reserve.
Burnside obeyed the order most
gallantly. Getting his troops well in hand, and sending a portion of his
artillery to the front, he advanced them with rapidity and the most determined
vigor, straight up the hill in front, on top of which the rebels had maintained
their most dangerous battery. The movement was in plain view of McClellan's
position, and as Franklin on the other side sent his batteries into the field
about the same time, the battle seemed to open in all directions with greater
activity than ever.
The fight in the ravine was in
full progress, the batteries which Porter supported were firing with new vigor,
Franklin was blazing away on the right, and every hill-top, ridge, and woods
along the whole line was crested and veiled with white clouds of smoke. All day
had been clear and bright since the early cloudy morning, and now this whole
magnificent, unequaled scene shone with the splendor of an afternoon September
sun. Four miles of battle, its glory all visible, its horrors all veiled, the
fate of the Republic hanging on the hour—could any one be insensible of its
There are two hills on the left
of the road, the furthest the lowest. The rebels have batteries on both.
Burnside is ordered to carry the nearest to him, which is the furthest from the
road. His guns opening first from this new position in front, soon entirely
controlled and silenced the enemy's artillery. The infantry came on at once,
moving rapidly and steadily up, long dark lines, and broad dark masses, being
plainly visible without a glass as they moved over the green hill-side.
The next moment the road in which
the rebel battery was planted was canopied with clouds of dust swiftly
descending into the valley. Underneath was a tumult of wagons, guns, horses, and
men flying at speed down the road. Blue flashes of smoke burst now and then
among them, a horse or a man or half dozen went down, and then the whirlwind
The hill was carried, but could
it be held? The rebel columns, before seen moving to the left, increased their
pace. The guns, on the hill above, sent an angry tempest of shell down among
Burnside's guns and men. He had formed his columns apparently in the near angles
of two fields bordering the road—high ground about them every where except in
In another moment a rebel
battle-line appears on the brow of the ridge above them, moves swiftly down in
the most perfect order, and though met by incessant discharges of musketry, of
which we plainly see the flashes, does not fire a gun. White spaces show where
men are falling, but they close up instantly, and still the line advances. The
brigades of Burnside are in heavy column; they will not give way before a
bayonet charge in line. The rebels think twice before they dash into these
There is a halt; the rebel left
gives way and scatters over the field; the rest stand fast and fire. More
infantry comes up; Burnside is outnumbered, flanked, compelled to yield the hill
he took so bravely. His position is no longer one of attack; he defends himself
with unfaltering firmness, but he sends to McClellan for help. McClellan's glass
for the last half hour has seldom been turned away from the left.
He sees clearly enough that
Burnside is pressed—needs no messenger to tell him that. His face grows darker
with anxious thought. Looking down into the valley where 15,000 troops are
lying, he turns a half-questioning look on
Fitz John Porter, who stands by his
side, gravely scanning the field. They are Porter's troops below, are fresh, and
only impatient to share in this fight. But Porter slowly shakes his head, and
one may believe that the same thought is passing through the minds of both
generals: "They are the only reserves of the army; they can not be spared."
McCLELLAN TO THE RESCUE.
McClellan remounts his horse, and
with Porter and a dozen officers of his staff rides away to the left in Burnside's direction.
Sykes meets them on the road—a good
soldier, whose opinion is worth taking. The three Generals talk briefly
together. It is easy to see that the moment has come when every thing may turn
on one order
given or withheld, when the
history of the battle is only to be written in thoughts and purposes and words
of the General.
Burnside's messenger rides up.
His message is, "I want troops and guns. If you do not send them I can not hold
my position for half an hour." McClellan's only answer for the moment is a
glance at the western sky. Then he turns and speaks very slowly: "Tell General
Burnside that this is the battle of the war. He must hold his ground till dark
at any cost. I will send him Miller's battery. I can do nothing more. I have no
infantry." Then, as the messenger was riding away, he called him back, " Tell
him if he can not hold his ground, then the bridge, to the last man!—always the
bridge! If the bridge is lost all is lost."
The sun is already down; not half
an hour of daylight is left. Till Burnside's message came it had seemed plain to
every one that the battle could not be finished today. None suspected how near
was the peril of defeat, of sudden attack on exhausted forces—how vital to the
safety of the army and the nation were those fifteen thousand waiting troops of Fitz John Porter in the hollow. But the rebels halted instead of pushing on;
their vindictive cannonade died away as the light faded. Before it was quite
dark the battle was over. Only a solitary gun of Burnside's thundered against
the enemy, and presently this also ceased, and the field was still.
THE LATE GENERAL RENO.
WE publish on
page 629 a portrait
of the late GENERAL RENO, who was killed at the Battle of South Mountain, on
14th September. The portrait is from a photograph by Brady.
Jesse L. Reno was born in
Virginia, in 1825. His family removed to Pennsylvania when he was a boy, and
from that State he was appointed to West Point in 1842. He graduated in 1845,
ranking seventh in a class which included Stonewall Jackson and many gallant
officers of the Union army, and was appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant of
During the war with Mexico,
1846-'7, he commanded a howitzer battery, and for "gallant and meritorious
conduct at the battle of Cerro Gordo" was brevetted First Lieutenant April 18,
1847. For bravery on the battle-field of Chapultepec, where he was wounded, he
was brevetted Captain September 13, 1847. When hostilities ceased he was
appointed Assistant Professor of Mathematics at West Point for six months, and
was then appointed Secretary of the Board of Artillery—a position he held about
eighteen months, during which he was engaged in testing the relative merits of
heavy ordnance and compiling a work on heavy artillery tactics. He was
subsequently connected with the Coast Survey service, and upon withdrawing went
out West with a corps of Topographical Engineers, and assisted in the
construction of a military road from Big Sioux to St. Paul. He was engaged in
this work some twelve months, and on the 3d of March, 1853, he was promoted to a
full First Lieutenancy of Ordnance. He was next (in 1854) stationed at the
Frankfort Arsenal, where he remained about three years, and then accompanied
General Johnston in the expedition to Utah as ordnance officer. Returning in
1859, he was ordered to the Mount Vernon Arsenal in Alabama, and recently was
stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. On the 1st of July, 1860, he was promoted
to a Captaincy of Ordnance, having been Senior First Lieutenant of that
department for some time. He was appointed Brigadier-General of Volunteers
November 12, 1861, and was subsequently ordered to report to General Burnside at
Annapolis, Maryland, preparatory to taking a command in the expedition to North
He commanded the second brigade
in Burnside's army, and led the attack upon Fort Barlow, on
Roanoke Island. He
subsequently displayed good generalship and gallantry in the fight at
In July he was ordered to
Newport News to reinforce the army of the Potomac; and
Fredericksburg. He was soon attached to the army of Virginia,
and took part in the series of actions which terminated at Manassas on 1st
September. When General McDowell was granted leave of absence he was appointed
to his command, with the rank of Major-General, and led his corps against the
rebels in Maryland. On the 14th inst. the rebels were attacked in their position
on South Mountain, and just at the close of the fight, when the victory was won,
he was killed by a sharp-shooter. The Herald correspondent thus describes the
manner of his death:
General Reno had been most active
all day, fearing no danger and appearing to be every where at the same time.
Safe up to seven o'clock, no one dreamed of such a disaster as was to happen.
He, with his staff, was standing a little back of the wood on a field, the rebel
forces being directly in front. A body of his troops were just before him, and
at this point the fire of the rebels was directed. A Minie-ball struck him and
went through his body. He fell, and, from the first, appeared to have a
knowledge that he could not survive the wound that he had received. He was
instantly carried with the greatest care to the rear, followed by a number of
the officers, and attended by the division surgeon, Dr. Cutter. At the foot of
the hill he was laid under a tree, and after a few moments the surgeon said he
could not live, and he died without the least movement a few minutes after.
Grief at any time is heart-rending; but such grief as was manifested by the
staff officers and those about him it has never before been my lot to witness.
The old soldier, just come from the scene of carnage with death staring him in
the face on every side, here knelt and wept like a child. No eye was dry among
those present, and many a silent and spoken resolution was made that moment that
Reno's death should be amply avenged. Thus died one of the bravest generals that
was in the service of his country; one of the bright gems in the crown of
Burnside, and a man whom all respected and loved. The country can ill afford to
lose at this trying hour such men as
Kearney, Stevens, and Reno. The
intelligence of his death was received by all with the greatest sorrow, as it
was well known that but few could take his place. The command of the corps
devolved upon General Cox, who, from that time, directed the movements of the
He was, indeed, one of the
bravest of the brave, and one of the ablest of our generals.
WE publish on
page 629, from a
photograph by Brady, a portrait of GENERAL HOOKER, who was wounded at the Battle
of Sharpsburg on 17th.
Brigadier-General Joseph Hooker
was born in Massachusetts about the year 1817, and is consequently about 45
years of age. He entered West Point in 1833, and graduated in 1837, standing No.
28 in a class which included
Generals Benham, Williams, Sedgwick, etc., of the Union army, and Generals
Bragg, Mackall, and Early of the rebel forces. At the outbreak of the war with
Mexico he accompanied Brigadier-General Hamer as Aid-de-camp, and was brevetted
Captain for gallant conduct in several conflicts at Monterey. In March, 1847, he
was appointed Assistant Adjutant-General, with the rank of Captain. At the
National Bridge he distinguished himself, and was brevetted Major; and at
Chapultepec he again attracted attention by his gallant and meritorious conduct,
and was brevetted Lieutenant-Colonel.
At the close of the war with
Mexico he withdrew from the service, and soon afterward emigrated to California.
The outbreak of the rebellion found him there, and he was one of the first of
the old West Pointers who offered his services to the Government. He was one of
the first batch of Brigadier-Generals of Volunteers appointed by President
Lincoln on 17th May, 1861; and was, on his arrival, placed in command of a
brigade of the army of the Potomac, and subsequently of a division. From July,
1861, to February, 1862, he was stationed in Southern
Maryland, on the north
shore of the Potomac, his duty being to prevent the rebels crossing the river,
and to amuse them with their river blockade while McClellan was getting his army
into trim. This difficult duty he performed admirably.
When the army of the Potomac
moved to the Peninsula, Hooker accompanied them in charge of a division. In the
contest at Williamsburg his division bravely stood the brunt of the battle, the
men of the Excelsior Brigade actually being mowed down as they stood up in line.
Fair Oaks the men again showed their valor, and the General his fighting
qualities. In the various minor contests Hooker took his part and bravely went
through with his share of the seven days' fights. When McClellan's army was
placed under the command of
General Pope, we find the names of "Fighting Joe
Hooker" and the late General Kearney mentioned together in the thickest of the
struggle; and now again at South Mountain and
Sharpsburg he seems to have been
second to no one. At the latter fight he was shot through the foot and obliged
to leave the field; but for this accident, he thinks he would have driven the
rebels into the Potomac.
"IF I were only a man!"
Kate Barclay's eyes flashed with
a splendid resolve, a fine blaze of courage.
"If you were, would you not do
just the same as now—sit still and wish something else?"
"Why do you judge me so unkindly,
The lips began to pout now, a
little temper to blend with the courage in the fine eyes.
"Because you do not do what you
can, even now. If you were not my cousin, I suppose I should not speak to you so
plainly. As it is, it vexes me when I hear you wishing, morning, noon, and
night, to be and do the impossible; and yet never trying to do what is ready to
your hand. Do you think there is no better use for the money you are wasting so
carelessly in satins and laces? How much was Madame Ferarra's bill last
"Money won't fight, and
Government pays the soldiers—better, I heard you say so yesterday, than any army
is paid in Europe."
"Yet, by giving a little more
than Government gives, I think you could hire some one, who would not go
otherwise, to fight for you."
"A man whom a little more money
would induce! A man who would go for money, and would not go without it? Why,
such a cowardly soul would get drummed out of the ranks after the first battle!"
Major Ross smiled, a calm,
meaning smile—such as always provoked his cousin, for it seemed to her like an
assertion of superiority.
"You just look at one side of
your question, Kate, and then jump at your conclusion. I know a man who told me
yesterday that he would go to war if he could afford it; a man who is neither
cold nor cowardly. He has a sister, a girl of fifteen. The two are orphans, and
his mother's dying breath gave her to his care. They were well born, but they
had fallen into poverty, and he resolved that his sister should have the
education of a lady. She is at school now. If he had the means to leave her
provided for he would enlist; but what if he should die, and that poor, pretty,
undisciplined child should be left alone in the wide world, with no means of
support, no protector, no friend? Could he answer it to his mother when he met
her in the country which souls people?"
Kate had listened with breathless
"Would he fight well?" she asked,
"No man better. There is not a
drop of coward blood in his veins. He is the very one I would choose to stand
beside me in the front of the fray."
"If he were sure his sister would
be provided for in the event of his death you think he would go?"
"I know it. His whole heart is in
the fight now. If he were sure that she could be secured from future privation,
or friendlessness, his name would be enrolled to-morrow."
Kate's face glowed with eager
"He shall be sure. I can not give
my life to my country. I ought not to shrink front giving every thing else. That
girl is an orphan like me. She shall be my sister. I will undertake her expenses
while her brother is away, and, if he dies, she shall share dollar for dollar
with me all that I possess."
Major Ross looked at his young
cousin almost reverently. He was just beginning to see below the happy, careless
surface of her nature. But he made no comment on her resolve.
"Wait here," he said, simply. "I
will bring you your soldier."
In half an hour he returned. He
brought with him a man, tall, athletic, strong, with a face brave and masterful
rather than handsome.