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Civil War Harper's Weekly, October 25, 1862

This Site features an archive of the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. This resource contains invaluable illustrations and reports written by eye-witnesses within hours of the events depicted.

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

 

Garibaldi

Garibaldi

South Mountain

South Mountain Poem

Lee's Order #116

Lee's Order # 116

Maryland Campaign

Lee's Maryland Campaign

Battle of South Mountain

Battle of South Mountain

Battle Map of Kentucky

Battle Map of Kentucky

Map of Maryland Rebel Raid

Map of Rebel Raid in Maryland

Maryland Rebel Campaign

Rebel Campaign in Maryland

Lincoln in Frederick, Maryland

Abraham Lincoln in Frederick Maryland

Rebel General Polk

General Polk

Lincoln's Speech Frederick, Maryland

Lincoln's Speech in Frederick, Maryland

General Polk Biography

General Polk Biography

Horatio Seymour

Horatio Seymour Cartoons

Antietam Battle Field

Antietam Battle Field

 
 

 

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

[OCTOBER 25, 1862.

686

THE NARROW ESCAPE.

"CARPET shoes are much needed in the hospitals." The remark was made in a city railroad car. Two ladies were conversing, and a third sat listening to what they were saying. The listener was quite young, a fair-faced girl, with soft brown eyes, whose countenance was full of interest. She was a stranger to the ladies, and therefore did not join in the conversation, but she took in every word.

At Chestnut Street she signed to the conductor, who stopped the car, and she left it, going down to the square below Ninth Street. In front of Evans's dry-goods store she paused for a moment, and then passed in. But after moving toward one of the counters a few paces, she stood still for an instant, as if in debate on some subject, and then, turning about, left the store. On regaining the street there was an apparent hesitating state of mind. She walked as far as Eighth Street, stood a little while on the corner, then retraced her steps as far as Evans's, paused there, turned toward the door as if resolved to enter; and then, as if the debate which had been going on in her mind had closed, passed up the street with a firm step and a resolved manner. A little while afterward she was in a carpet store inquiring the price of short remnants.

"For what purpose are they intended?" asked the dealer.

The fair face heightened in color with the almost timid answer—

"For carpet shoes. They are wanted in the hospitals."

"Ah!—well—in that case—let me see." The man considered for a little while. "How large a quantity did you propose getting?"

"I will lay out five dollars in this way." She spoke with regaining confidence.

"Very good. For five dollars you shall have more than ten dollars' worth. Where shall I send them?"

The address was given and the money paid.

"Back already!" As the maiden entered a plain but neat and well-furnished room she was greeted with this remark in a tone that expressed surprise. The speaker was a middle-aged woman with a calm, kind face.

"Yes. It didn't take long to get through with my shopping this morning."

"What did you buy, dear?"

"I don't know what you will think of me, Aunt Grace, but—" The young girl paused, not completing the sentence.

"But what, Edith?"

"Well, you see, Aunty dear"—and Edith leaned toward her relative, speaking in a tender, deprecating voice—"as I rode down in the cars I heard two ladies talking about the sick and wounded soldiers in our hospitals; and among other things they said that soft carpet shoes were wanted for the convalescents who were getting just strong enough to walk about in the wards. And so—now don't look soberly at me; don't say I am weak and impulsive—I spent my money for remnants of carpet instead of for gloves, ribbons, and under-sleeves. They'll be sent home in a little while, and I'm going to cut them all up into carpet shoes. Katy Dawes has a pattern—I saw her at work on some last week—and she'll show me just how to make them."

Edith paused, with her pure, earnest eyes full on her aunt's face, waiting for the answer to all this. Aunt Grace, in half surprise, mingled with pleasure, was already leaning toward her niece. Laying her hand gently on the head of Edith she said, in a voice slightly veiled with feeling,

"I have not a word of disapproval, my dear. When we obey suggestions of self-denial for the good of others we obey God. You have done well."

Tears came into Edith's eyes. She bent her head for a few silent moments; then rallying to full self-possession, she replied,

"I am glad you think I've done right. And now I'll put on my bonnet again and run around and see Katy Dawes about the pattern."

"You were just in my mind," said Katy, as her friend looked in upon her. "I've been wanting to see you all the morning. You don't know what a nice letter I've received from George! And, what do you think? He's been promoted again."

"You don't tell me so!"

"Yes, indeed! He went as a private. Not for honor nor pay, but with a brave, true heart to save his country. It was hard to let him go; but I would have loved him less if he had staid at home."

Edith sighed faintly. Her friend went on.

"He was wounded in the arm, you know, at Phillippi, and had to go to the hospital for a month. When he came out, well enough to rejoin his company, he found a second lieutenant's commission awaiting him, conferred for soldierly conduct and bravery in battle. Wasn't my heart proud! Didn't it seem for a while too large for my bosom!"

Another sigh parted the lips of Edith.

"And now he writes me that he is a first lieutenant."

"I am so pleased to hear of it," said Edith.

"Promoted again for bravery and good conduct," added Katy Dawes.

"No wonder you feel proud, dear Katy." Edith spoke in a slightly subdued voice, as if there were in her heart some drawback to the pleasure expressed.

The two young friends spent an hour together, during which time Edith acquired the art and mystery she had come to learn. From some cause she was not in the best of spirits when she returned home, and appeared disinclined to talk. At once she set about the work in hand, assisted by her aunt, and was soon fashioning the remnants of carpet into soft shoes for sick soldiers. Twilight stayed her busy fingers ere the day seemed half departed. During tea-time Edith's face wore an absorbed, almost troubled, expression, which her aunt did not fail to observe. After supper she resumed her work. Half an hour later the door-bell

rung. The sound gave Edith a start, and her aunt noticed, in the pause which followed, that her hand slightly trembled.

"Mr. Loto," said the servant, coming in a few moments afterward.

"Say that I will be down."

The servant retired. Aunt Grace hardly recognized a familiar tone in the voice that made this answer. As Edith arose and left the room, taking her work with her, a paleness was visible in her face.

The young man who met her in the parlor was about twenty-three; stout, compactly built, and in robust health. He wore a full beard; the mustache carefully cut and slightly twisted at the ends. He moved quickly across the room to meet Edith as she came in, catching her free hand in both of his, and greeting her in words of tender familiarity. He would have been blind or stupid not to have noticed a strange impassiveness, or, we might say, coldness, in her manner. Still, he affected not to perceive this altered state, and said, lightly, as he seated himself beside her on a sofa,

"And pray what is this?" at the same time taking hold of the work in her hand.

"It is for the hospitals," replied Edith.

A slightly amused expression was seen in the young man's countenance as he lifted a half-made shoe and held it out before him.

"Oh! I see." And he dropped the article. He did not manifest contempt, or ridicule, or disapproval—only indifference.

"And now, Edith," he said, speaking with the pleased ardor of one who brings welcome intelligence, "I have some good news for you."

"Ah! what is it?" She fixed her soft brown eyes on him expectantly.

"I've escaped."

"Escaped what?"

"The enrollment," replied the young man.

"The enrollment? I'm not sure that I understand you."

"You know that they've been enrolling for the draft."

"Yes."

"Well, I've been nervous about it ever since the thing was ordered. If my name got down I knew it would be all over. The draft would take me, sure. That's my luck! So I set my wits to work to escape the enrollment, and have succeeded."

"Indeed!" The soft brown eyes grew large and round, parting with much of their softness.

"Yes. And I'll tell you how it was done."

And the young man tried to get possession of one of Edith's hands; but she moved it out of his way.

"As soon as I learned that the enrolling officer was at work in our ward I got up a little breeze with my landlady—no hard matter at any time, for she has a quick temper—and under cover thereof left the house. Within an hour afterward I had my trunks removed. I take my meals at an eating-house and sleep at the store. Next week I will find a new boarding-house. I tell you all about it to relieve your mind. But don't speak of it for the world. If it gets out the marshal will order my arrest and put a musket in my hand for the war. I had a narrow escape, for the enrollment in our block was made on the day after I left."

"You are not the only one who has made a narrow escape, Mr. Loto." Edith's face was almost white; but her voice was deep and firm. She had drawn herself a little away from the young man and was looking at him sternly.

"Ah! who else has made an escape?"

"I have!"

"You?"

"I asked a week in which to consider your offer, Mr. Loto." Edith's tones did not falter. "If you had been a soldier in the field, or on the eve of marching to the defense of your imperiled country, I would have yielded this hand without an instant's hesitation. But your lack of courage or patriotism, I knew not which, made me hold back and question your fitness to be my husband. Now I know you to be unworthy. I might have looked past a natural shrinking from the hard and dangerous life of a soldier—excused you on the ground of constitutional impediments, if you will call them so—and on this plea accepted your failure to spring to the rescue when your country was assailed—still believing in your honor—still having faith in your will to do right no matter how stern the demand might be when it came clear and unmistakable. I can understand that there may be good reasons why one may hold away from the act of volunteering—and I gave you the benefit of this assumption. But when the danger becomes so imminent that an allotment has to be made for defense, only the meanest spirits seek to evade their duty. John Loto, I am speaking plainly, for I do not mean that you shall misunderstand me. Our ways part to-night never to touch again; and in parting I leave with you hard words that may do you good. Take my advice and give in your name to the enrolling officer. If drafted, go cheerfully and stand up with brave men for your country's safety. There is a worse thing than death—it is dishonor!"

He attempted, in a confused way, to reply; but Edith, who had arisen, waved her hand, saying: "Leave me, Sir! The argument is closed. Our ways have parted, and they can not meet again!"

"I have passed through a great trial, aunt!" said Edith, in reply to anxious questions. Aunt Grace had found her, not long afterward, lying on a sofa in the parlor in a state of partial stupefaction. She had not been weeping. Her face was still very pale; her eyes had parted with their tender sweetness; her lips were almost rigid. On returning fully to herself she had made this answer.

"And come out purer and stronger, I trust. Is it so, dear Edith?" replied her aunt.

"Purer and stronger, if walking through pain to duty gives purity and strength," said Edith. "Trial—pain—duty. These words include stern meanings, Edith. Mr. Loto is not here."

"And will never be here again, aunt. I have made a narrow escape."

"How?"

"The man who lacks honor, courage, and patriotism, is false to the heart's core."

"Does Mr. Loto lack them?"

"He has, on his own confession, by a mean trick evaded the enrollment."

"You fill me with surprise!"

"I was shocked. But strength and courage came to me. I rebuked him in strong, indignant language, and then told him that here and now our ways parted—parted forever. A coward and a poltroon for a husband! My whole nature rises in revolt."

The pale face grew crimson with the mounting blood, and the dull eye flashed with kindling fires.

"Poltroon is rather a coarse word for my Edith's lips," said Aunt Grace.

"Do you know its origin? Only yesterday, I read it in French, and the significance being in my mind, I could not repress the fitting term. When bows and arrows were among the chief weapons of semi-civilized European tribes and nations, it sometimes happened that a mean and cowardly fellow would cut off the forefinger or thumb of his right hand so as to unfit him for a soldier's duty. He was called, from the act, a poltroon—and the word has come into our language to express a mean-souled, cowardly fellow, who resorts to any trick or shift to escape from an unpleasant or dangerous duty. And so, under the impulse of strong feelings, I have called this man a poltroon. It is the fittingest word, in all our language, to express my present thought of him. Thank God for a narrow escape, dear aunt! I am wounded and bruised in the sudden sharp conflict through which I have passed—hurt inwardly—but not unto death. A little while, and my heart shall beat strong and evenly again. I did not love Mr. Loto for what he was, but for what I imagined him to be. The idol which I thought to be of gold, silver, and precious stones, is discovered to be of clay, and I sweep it from the pedestal of honor."

Edith laid her face down upon the bosom of her aunt. Her frame was trembling from excitement. In a little while the tremor ceased, and she grew very still—still and heavy. For nearly half an hour aunt and niece remained thus without speaking. Then Edith raised herself up slowly and wearily, and going to her own room, shut the door, and entering, alone, into her pain-stricken heart, commenced gathering up its rent fibres, and laying them back in safe places tenderly, that nature, assisted by time and repose, might heal them. For such wounds there is always balm.

AFTER THE BATTLE.

ON pages 680 and 681 we publish a large picture of a BATTLE-FIELD AFTER THE BATTLE—the rebels being left in possession. The following extract from a letter in the Times will serve to explain the picture:

Today, taking advantage of the protection afforded by a flag of truce, which was granted for the purpose of removing the wounded and burying the dead who fell in the battles of Friday and Saturday, I visited the scene of those sanguinary conflicts. Passing out of our lines upon the Centreville Road, and crossing Bull Run Creek at Blackburn's Ford, the outer picket of our army in that direction was reached about two miles from the little hamlet dignified by the name of Centreville. All beyond this barrier, for two miles, was disputed ground, occupied by neither friend nor foe, to the advance picket of the rebel camp. Entering the rebel lines but a short distance evidences of the carnage of a recent deadly strife were to be seen far and near. On either hand were wounded soldiers, just able to drag themselves along at a slow pace by the aid of a cane or a friendly hand—men who had been captured after having been disabled in battle, now paroled and started for a more congenial and friendly camp. Dead horses, broken carriages, shot and shell, and here and there the dead body of a man, shattered trees, ambulances filled with the wounded, caps, equipments, end clothing scattered about—all bore unmistakable evidence of the sanguinary battle that had been fought. Turning to the left from the main-road, and riding perhaps a mile, the dead bodies of our soldiers were visible on every hand. Near this point the strife was hottest on Friday.

In the edge of a piece of timber in close proximity to the field, numerous tents were pitched for the temporary accommodation of our wounded, and where they were cared for by soldiers of our army acting as nurses, who nobly stood to their posts in the hour of trial, while our physicians for the most part abandoned their charge, leaving the bleeding, dying patriots to the tender mercies of a demoralized foe. The medicines left for the wounded were confiscated by the enemy, who refused to permit any portion of them to be used, and many of those left upon the field died because of this inhuman conduct. In plain view of the hospital tents, not fifty yards distant, the dead bodies of seventeen of our men had been placed, side by side, by the rebel soldiery, in full view of the wounded and suffering men, as if they took a fiendish delight in making the picture as shocking as possible. On one side of this field stood two squadrons of Stuart's cavalry formed in square, and standing and lying about the vicinity were large numbers of rebel soldiers, looking curiously at the strangers(?) within their camp; many of them  concealing the brutal delight they experienced in viewing the scene before them.

A ride of a few minutes in a southeasterly direction, another field was reached, where the contest raged the fiercest on Saturday evening, and near the point where, in some unaccountable manner, our left wing gave way—by which the tide of battle was turned against us, and the day was lost, to be fought for again, it is to be hoped with far different results. This field presented a more ghastly sight, for in this vicinity it is estimated nearly two hundred of our dead were scattered about on the field and in the adjoining woods. The enemy holding the field the night after the scene of carnage had closed, aided by negroes, the officers gathered up their dead, and buried them in trenches, in some instances going so far as to cover the newly-disturbed earth with leaves and brushwood—all of which was evidently done to deceive their deluded followers, and those whom chance brought into the vicinity, as to the exact extent of their losses. The common instincts of humanity seem to have entirely left the breasts of a majority of the rebel soldiery, for they not only neglected to pay the customary attention to the brave dead of the Union army around them, but also violated the sanctity of death by robbing the lifeless bodies of coats, caps, shoes, jewelry, money, and all other valuables, and ignored the claims of the living also, who were suffering and within their power. We doubt if, of all the vast number who fell in the battles of Friday and Saturday, there was one who dead or alive, was not robbed of every thing of value. Of the hundred or more bodies to be seen above the ground, there was not one whose pockets had not been rifled, and their shoes and other articles of clothing taken away.

The writer entered the enemy's lines especially to obtain the names of the wounded and prisoners in their hands. But he was peremptorily refused this privilege, and threatened with a Richmond prison for violating the flag of truce by taking the names of a few of the dead on the field. The same officer in an imperious manner said there was a Major or a Colonel "yonder" and perhaps I

could identify him. We walked to the spot. The deceased had nothing on but pants, under-shirt, and socks; the pockets had been turned inside out, and every thing of value removed. In reply to the question, how he knew that it was a field-officer at all, our rebel companion suddenly became red in the face, and after hesitating a moment, stammered out that they supposed it was a field-officer. I told him in plain terms that the body had been robbed, and expressed my astonishment that such treatment of the gallant dead was permitted. He indignantly denied that it was permitted, but added, in a deprecating tone of voice, that the men could not be restrained.

THE PRESIDENT'S VISIT TO
McCLELLAN'S ARMY.

WE publish on page 684 an illustration of the President's visit to Frederick. His journey through Maryland was one continuous and triumphant ovation, and will have the effect not only of teaching the rebels how little they gained by their last raid upon the affections of "My Maryland," but of convincing Northern traitors that henceforth we may count her as irrevocably fixed to the Union.

A vast concourse of people had assembled at the railway station at Frederick; and the President had no sooner got away from those who rushed to shake hands with him, and reached the train, than loud cries brought him to the platform of the rear carriage, to show himself and speak to his friends. This is the moment seized upon and illustrated by our artist. The President, in a clear voice, and with that honest, good-natured manner for which he is so noted, spoke as follows:

FELLOW-CITIZENS,—I see myself surrounded by soldiers and by the citizens of this good city of Frederick, all anxious to hear something from me. Nevertheless, I can only say—as I did elsewhere five minutes ago—that it is not proper for me to make speeches in my present position. I return thanks to our gallant soldiers for the good service they have rendered, the energies they have shown, the hardships they have endured, and the blood they have so nobly shed for this dear Union of ours. And I also return thanks, not only, to the soldiers, but to the good citizens of Frederick, and to all the good men, women, and children throughout this land for their devotion to our glorious cause. And I say this without any malice in my heart toward those who have done otherwise. May our children, and our children's children, for a thousand generations, continue to enjoy the benefits conferred upon us by a united country, and have cause yet to rejoice under those glorious institutions bequeathed us by Washington and his compeers! Now, my friends—soldiers and citizens—I can only say once more—Farewell!

OUR ARMY IN FLORIDA.

WE reproduce on page 685 two pictures by a volunteer correspondent with General Mitchell's army, illustrating the recent CAPTURE OF A FORT ON ST. JOHN'S BLUFF, FLORIDA. Our correspondent writes:

HILTON HEAD, October 5, 1862.

To the Editor of Harper's Weekly:

Inclosed I send you a couple of rough sketches of scenes in the last expedition from here—Mayport Mills, the place where the laud forces disembarked, and St. John's Bluff Battery, consisting of eleven guns. The expedition started from here on 1st inst., General Brannan commanding, on board the Ben De Ford, the troops on board the Cosmopolitan, Boston, and Neptune. The navy was represented by the Paul Jones, flag-ship, Port Royal, Unacas, Semirona, Patroon, and S. B. Hale, all under command of O. E. Stedman. The troops disembarked on the 2d at the Mills, and marched for the battery, about eight miles distant, but were compelled to return owing to an unfordable creek ; while the naval squadron sailed up to the battery, and the Paul Jones opened fire on it, receiving replies occasionally; and having ascertained the calibre of their guns returned, but started again next morning; while the infantry, having again landed on the opposite side of the creek, took up their line of march, the Forty-seventh Pennsylvania, Colonel Good, taking the lead, and surprising a camp of cavalry, who made good their escape.

In the mean time the naval squadron, having arrived opposite the fort, about four P.M. opened fire upon it; but receiving no reply, a boat was sent ashore, and the fort was found to be completely abandoned, upon which the "Old Flag" was raised amidst much cheering from all hands. Upon arriving there, about 5 P.M., the Forty-seventh took possession of the late rebel stronghold..

GENERAL WADSWORTH.

ON page 685 we publish a portrait of GENERAL JAMES S. WADSWORTH, the Union candidate for Governor of New York. As there is little or no doubt of his election. we have thought our New York readers would like to see the features of their next Governor.

James S. Wadsworth is the son of James Wadsworth, of Geneseo, and is himself a resident of the same place, and the richest man there. He has never filled any public office, and once only, we believe, came before the public previously to the present war. That was during the famine in Ireland, when he sent the Irish a ship-load of food. When the war broke out he was one of those who apprehended a deficiency of supplies for the troops who were hurrying to the defense of the capital; and accordingly, without waiting for orders, authority, or money from Government, he chartered a steamer here, filled her with provisions, and sent her to Annapolis, going himself as supercargo. How much suffering this prompt action of his may have saved it is hardly possible to say. But the Government and the troops so appreciated it that General Wadsworth was at once appointed an Aid-de-camp to General McDowell, with the rank of Colonel. In that capacity he participated in the Battle of Bull Run. He was shortly afterward appointed Brigadier-General, and placed in command of Washington as Military Governor, which post he has filled with energy and judgment.

In his letter of acceptance to the Convention General Wadsworth said:

I think I can not be mistaken in assuming that the election will turn upon the necessity of sustaining our national Government in its effort to uphold itself, and maintain its territorial integrity, and especially upon the proclamation of the President, issued to that end, and referred to in the fourth resolution of the Convention.

I entirely approve of that proclamation, and commend it to the support of the electors of New York for the following reasons:

1. It is an effectual aid to the speedy and complete suppression of this rebellion.

Six or eight millions of whites, having had time to organize their government and arm their troops, fed and supported by the labor of four millions of slaves, present the most formidable rebellion recorded in history.

Strike from this rebellion the support which it derives (Next Page)


 

 

  

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