Abraham Lincoln's Suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, October 11, 1862

Welcome to our online collection of Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. These newspapers serve as an incredible research resource for the serious student of the Civil War. These papers are full of incredible illustrations and stories made by the people who saw it all happen.

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Emancipation Proclamation Discusssion

 Emancipation Proclamation Article

Lincoln Suspends Writ of Habeas Corpus


War in the Southwest

Battle of Antietam Map

Map of the Battle of Antietam


Jackson, Tennessee



Louisville Evacuation

Louisville Evacuation


Maryland Battery at Antietam

Antietam Dead and Wounded

The Dead and Wounded at Antietam



Antietam Battlefield

Antietam Battlefield

Lincoln Cartoon

Lincoln Cartoon

Antietam Battle

Antietam Battle









OCTOBER 11, 1862.]



(Previous Page) wounds him so sorely, what is he likely to think of the proclamation of the Government, enforced by all its armies and Generals? He knows, and every man in the South knows, that the news will flash like daybreak all through the world of slaves. It will be as silent but as swift. But if, in time of peace, when there is no hope of successful movement felt by the slaves, the apprehension of the community expresses itself in such laws for the suppression of disorders as fill the slave State statute-books, what will be the condition of that community now?

If slavery be the just, patriarchal, happy, comfortable, and Christian condition of things, most fitted and most delightful to the slaves and to the peace of the country, which its friends and advocates declare it to be, then the Proclamation will produce no uneasiness in the rebellious States. But if it is a wrong, and the slaves feel it to be so, every man knows, whatever he professes, exactly what its operation will be.


THESE columns, we say, are neither Democratic nor Republican; they are simply Union. Harper's Weekly has no politics; but it has the unswerving loyalty to the Government which every honest citizen and paper owes, and it has a corresponding duty of censure upon all who seek to arouse old party passions.

This effort was deliberately made by Mr. Horatio Seymour, who was lately nominated by Mr. Fernando Wood and his friends for Governor of New York. His speech of acceptance, of which Mr. Fernando Wood said that he "indorsed every word," was neither a plea for the Government, nor a denunciation of the rebellion, nor an appeal to every patriotic heart to strain yet another nerve in saving the country, nor a burning tribute to the brave and noble martyrs in the cause, but a dry, elaborate special plea and justification for the party with which he has acted. No other party, he said, is fitted to carry on the government.

Mr. Seymour provokes a very brief historical reminiscence upon the point of peculiar fitness.

Mr. Buchanan was the late Democratic President. In his Cabinet and by his connivance the rebellion was matured. Mr. Cobb— now a rebel General — was the Democratic Secretary of the Treasury. Mr. Floyd—now a rebel General—was the Democratic Secretary of War. Mr. Thompson—a conspicuous rebel instigator—was the Democratic Secretary of the Interior. Mr. Jefferson Davis, the rebel President; Mr. Toombs, his Secretary of State; Mr. Benjamin, his late Secretary of War; Slidell, the rebel emissary in Paris; Mason, the ditto in London; Wigfall, Yulee, Chestnut, and the rest, were Democratic Senators of the United States. The most conspicuous members of that party in the Cabinet and Senate, assisted by representatives of the same faith in the House, organized at the national capital the plot to overthrow the national Government, in which they were assisted by the Democratic Governors of Southern States. For seventeen months the country has, in consequence, been convulsed and desolated by a ferocious war. Every family is bereaved—every citizen is heavily taxed—the prosperity of the nation is paralyzed and its very existence menaced; and every open defender or secret sympathizer with this bloody effort to ruin the Government and the country has been identified solely with the Democratic Party.

The Republican party may be unfitted to direct the Government, but if this record proves that the Democratic party is better fitted, it can only be because words have ceased to have meaning.

The gentleman who brings the charge of unfitness has been selected in New York as the candidate of that party. He prides himself upon having urged the Government to surrender to the rebellion before a shot had been fired. His speech has ample and labored vituperation and accusation—not of the enemies of the country, but of the friends of the Administration which is maintaining the Government. Are his most vehement supporters, in or out of the Convention, the most loyal of Union men? Does he take his stand upon a purely partisan, or a purely patriotic platform? Will, or will not, Jeff Davis in Richmond, Slidell in Paris, and Mason in London, rejoice to hear of his election? and can that which pleases these men realty be serviceable to the country in this extremity?

These are not party or political questions. They are questions of the further existence of the Government unawed by rebellion, and unchanged by compromise with rebels in arms.


IT is quite time that every body concerned understood that this nation wants to know what has happened, not what might have happened, nor what somebody expected would happen. We don't want official optimism, civil or military, to be telegraphed as news. We are a serious people, engaged in a serious work, and whoever tells us lies does not help us, and hurts himself.

When a battle is fought why will not the General who reports it to the Government, the Government which tells it to the people, and the correspondents who describe it, remember that the questions asked by the people are: Did we whip? Were we whipped? Was it a drawn battle? "Glorious victory" has become as absurd a phrase as "Strategy." Nobody sees those words at the head of the column without a cold shudder as to what he is to find below.

In the late Maryland battles we were informed on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings that we had achieved great and glorious victories: that the rebel army was to be annihilated or captured, and that Lee and Jackson were to be taken by sunset. On Friday morning it appeared that after a series of battles lasting for three or four days we rested upon our arms in face of the full force of the still undefeated enemy, while Harper's Ferry, the key of the position, had been snatched from our grasp.

That we had fought magnificently was most true; that we had lost up to that time two precious lives in Reno and Mansfield; that some of our bravest and best leaders were wounded; that, as General Hooker said, "the carnage was awful;" that we had gained some important advantages; that the opening action, under Hooker and Burnside, at South Mountain was most brilliant: all this was true. But so the rebels had fought well; and while we had some advantages, they had Harper's Ferry; and after the fourth day's fighting the issue was still doubtful. Where, then, was the "glorious victory" which had been thundered in our ears all the week?

Still, the newsmongers of all stations have high authority. When the English line fell back a little at Waterloo, and the final and fatal charge of French cavalry was ordered, Napoleon sent off a courier to Paris with the news of his "glorious victory." But his messenger had hardly left the roar of the battle behind him when the day was lost to France. If we are to imitate Napoleon, however, let it be in his power, not in his weakness; in his battles, not in his bulletins; in his marvelous rapidity, concentration, and persistence, not in his deceit and grandiloquence. This is a war of the people, not of a party, or of a general, or of a clique. Let us have the naked facts, and we can supply them with the necessary rhetoric.


SINCE the war began and the only public question of moment was the maintenance of the Government and the unconditional surrender of the rebellion, we have advocated in these columns the use of every constitutional means to that end. We have urged every man to bear constantly in mind the character and scope of the struggle, and to make every act and vote of his tell in the strongest manner against the rebellion. Whether he were a Republican or a Democrat, we have assumed that he had forgotten those names for the time, and wished to be known only as a patriot. The question of the particular course the ship was to steer was lost in the question of saving the ship itself. We are still engaged in the work. All hands are called to the pumps. The question still is, not shall we sail North or South? but shall we sail at all?

In the coming elections, therefore, the test question is, what result will please the rebels most? Here are candidates for Congress, for Governor, and for other offices. Even allowing that all are equally honest, whose success do Davis, Toombs, & Co. desire?

If you can settle that question, and find those candidates, those are the men you are to vote against. The men whom the rebels most detest, the Generals they most hate, the measures they most denounce, are the men, Generals, and measures for every sincerely and wholly loyal citizen.


CUTTING off two feet from a man is making short work of him.

"I say, Jim, are there any bears in your country in the winter?" "Y-e-s; the ice bears!"

The herb doctors think that, to be healthy and vigorous, a man, like a tree, must take root.

The young lady who took the gentleman's fancy has returned it with thanks.

The man who attempted to whistle a bar of soap has injured his voice by trying to sing a stave off a barrel.

A railroad conductor, out of employment at present, wants to know when the "Equinoctial line" is to be opened, as he thinks of applying fora situation.

LOVE.—At three years of age we love our mothers; at six, our fathers; at ten, holidays; at sixteen, dress; at twenty, our sweet-hearts; at twenty-five, our wives; at forty, our children; at sixty, ourselves.

"Mr. Smith, I wish to speak to you privately. Permit use to take you apart a few moments."

SMITH (who wasn't the least frightened). "Certainly, Sir, if you'll promise to put me together again."

Mrs. Partington says she has heard of but one old woman who kissed her cow, but she knows of many thousand younger ones who have kissed very great calves.

A preacher in a funeral sermon on a lady, after summing up all her good qualities, added, "that she always reached her husband his hat without muttering."

"I repeat," said a person of questionable veracity, "that I am an honest man." "Yes," was the reply, "and how often will you have to repeat it before you believe it yourself?"

Can knocking a man down with a loaf of bread strictly be called smiting him with the "staff of life?"

THE VERY THING.—"Then I'll bring a suit for my bill," said an enraged tailor to a dandy, who refused to pay him. "Do, my dear fellow!" replied the imperturbable swell, pointing to his threadbare clothes; "that's just what I want."

Why is a man's coat larger when he pulls it out of a carpet-bag? Because he finds it in-creases.

Why is a widower like a house in a state of dilapidation? Because he should be re-paired.

"Don't want you any longer," said an employer to a very tall clerk.

"Look well before you leap," is very good advice in its way; but how can sickly-looking people follow it?

Physicians should make good sailors, they are so thoroughly used to see sickness.

"What blessings children are," as the parish-clerk said when he took the fees for christening them.

A man isn't likely to die from having his head carried away in a fight, if 'tis his legs that carry it away.

Troubles are like dogs—the smaller they are the more they annoy you.

Modesty in woman is like color on her cheeks—decidedly becoming, if not put on.

Why is it vulgar to send a telegram? Because it is making use of flash language.

REAL INDEPENDENCE.—Living at a hotel as long as you like, and going away without paying the bill.

Act upon your own conviction, or it may be the sheriff's duty to act upon your conviction before you are much older.

"You look as though you were beside yourself," said a wag to a fop standing by a donkey.

A juryman having applied to the Recorder to be excused from serving, on account of deafness, the latter asked, "Could you not hear my charge to the grand jury, Sir?" "Yes, I heard every word of it," was the reply, "but couldn't make any sense of it."

While thousands fall by clashing swords, ten thousand fall by corset boards; yet giddy females (thoughtless train!) for sake of fashion yield to pain.

A Parisian robber, who was seized in the act of stealing from the shop of a tobacconist, said, by way of excusing himself, that he had never heard of a law which forbade a man to take snuff.

A musical composer having been asked if he had done any thing lately, said, "Yes, my last work was a composition with my creditors."

A theoretically benevolent man, on being asked by a friend to lend him a sovereign, answered briskly, "With pleasure;" but suddenly added, "Dear me, how unfortunate! I've only one lending sovereign, and it is out."

A lively Hibernian exclaimed, at a party where Theodore Hook shone as the evening star, "Och, Master Theodore, but you are the hook that nobody can bate."

Robert Hall was unhappy in his courtship of Miss Steel. While he was yet smarting beneath the disappointment he went out to tea. The lady of the house said, with no very good taste, "You are dull, Mr. Hall; we have no polished steel here to entertain you." "Oh, madam, that's not the slightest consequence; you have plenty of polished brass!"

Among the expedients adopted by the sutlers to sell contraband liquor to the soldiers one is exceedingly novel. They drop a couple of peaches into a bottle of whisky, and sell the compound as "pickled peaches!" A more irreverent expedient is to have a tin can made and painted like a hymn-book, and labeled "The Bosom Companion!"

A one-legged Welsh orator, named Jones, was pretty successful in bantering an Irishman, when the latter asked him, "How did you come to lose your leg?" "Well," said Jones, " on examining my pedigree and looking up my descent, I found there was some Irish blood in me, and becoming convinced it was all settled in that left leg, I had it cut off at once." "Be the powers," said Pat, "it 'ud av been a good thing if it had only settled in yer head."

Why are indolent persons' beds too short for them? Because they are too long in them.

What port is sought by every living creature?—Support.


By the President of the United States of America:

Whereas, It has become necessary to call into service, not only volunteers, but also portions of the militia of the States by draft, in order to suppress the insurrection existing in the United States, and disloyal persons are not adequately restrained by the ordinary processes of law from hindering this measure, and from giving aid and comfort in various ways to the insurrection. Now, therefore, be it ordered, that during the existing insurrection, and as a necessary measure for suppressing the same, all rebels and insurgents, their alders and abettors within the United States, and all persons discouraging volunteer enlistments, resisting militia drafts, or guilty of any disloyal practice affording aid and comfort to the rebels against the authority of the United States, shall be subject to martial law, and liable to trial and punishment by courts-martial or military commission.

Second: That the writ of habeas corpus is suspended in respect to all persons arrested, or who are now, or hereafter during the rebellion shall be, imprisoned in any fort, camp, arsenal, military prisons, or other place of confinement, by any military authority, or by the sentence of any court-martial or military commission.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the City of Washington, this Twenty-fourth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN. By the President.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.


There is nothing new from the army of the Potomac. General M'Clellan is encamped on the Maryland side, his army stretching from Williamsport to Harper's Ferry. The rebels are believed to have fallen back in the direction of Winchester. On 26th General Griffin crossed at Blackburn's Ford and made a reconnoissance for a considerable distance without meeting any enemy in force. Several reconnoitring parties have been sent out in the direction of Centreville, but no force of the enemy could be found. A few cannon, abandoned by the rebels in the neighborhood of Manassas, were found and brought in. General Stahel proceeded as far as Brentsville, and dispersed a band of guerrillas who were lurking in that vicinity. In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the City of Washington, this Twenty-fourth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.


General Buell with the bulk of his army arrived at Louisville on 25th, having outstripped Bragg, and forced him to fall back toward the east. The two armies are still manoeuvring, and a battle is expected somewhere in the Blue Grass country. Whether General Morgan still holds Cumberland Gap, or has advanced to Richmond, Kentucky, is an undecided question. Several of the gaps in the mountains have been closed by detachments from Buell's army. General Buell's army at latest dates was at and about Shepherdsville, and Bragg's near Bardstown. The excitement at Louisville, some account of which is given on page 654, has entirely subsided.

On 22d Colonel McCook's cavalry brigade succeeded in recapturing Munfordsville, driving out the rebel cavalry, who lost a colonel and a lieutenant-colonel in the engagement. Our loss was slight.

Several small squads of rebels were captured during the march of Buell's forces.


Major-General Wm. Nelson was killed on 29th in Louisville by Brigadier-General J. C. Davis. It is said that Davis met Nelson in the hall of the Galt House, and attempted to speak with him—that Nelson refused to listen, turning away from him. That Davis followed and again addressed him, when Nelson turned and said, "Do you wish to insult me, you cowardly puppy?" and struck him over the head. Davis retired, and got a pistol from another officer, and then pushed through the crowd and shot Nelson through the breast, mortally wounding him. Nelson walked up stairs, saying that he was murdered, and died in about half an hour. From all the statements thus far at hand, it seems that General Nelson treated General Davis with unbearable insult.


From Augusta, Kentucky, we are informed that, on a date not named, the place was attacked by 640 mounted rebels, with two cannon, under the command of a brother of the guerrilla John Morgan. The Union forces, under Colonel Bradford, numbering 120 men, took refuge in houses and fired from windows, killing and wounding 90

of the rebels. Among the rebels killed were three captains,

one of them a younger brother of John Morgan. Among the rebels mortally wounded was Lieutenant-Colonel Prentice, a son of George D. Prentice, editor and proprietor of the Louisville Journal. Our loss was 9 killed and 15 wounded. The remainder of our forces were taken prisoners. Subsequently a Union force from Maysville intercepted and attacked the rebels, when they fled in a perfect panic. The result of the pursuit has not yet been learned.


The Convention of the Governors of the loyal States commenced on 25th ult. at Altoona, Pennsylvania. There were sixteen States represented in the Convention, the following Governors neither bring present themselves nor sending proxies: E. D. Morgan, Republican, of New York; William A. Buckingham, Republican, of Connecticut; William Burton, Democrat, of Delaware; Charles Robinson, Republican, of Kansas; Austin Blair, Republican, of Michigan; Alexander Ramsay, Republican, of Minnesota; John Whittaker, Democrat, of Oregon; Leland Stanford, Republican, of California. The official record of the Governors' meeting shows that they discussed, and with a single exception adopted, an address to the President setting forth the following points: First. A cordial personal and official respect for the President. Second. A determination, under all circumstances, to support and maintain the President's constitutional authority, the Governors therein speaking for themselves and the people of their respective States. Third. Pledging to the President their aid in all measures calculated to bring the war to an early termination, which should be prosecuted to ultimate

victory unless all the rebels should return to their constitutional duty and obedience. Fourth. Congratulating the President upon his Proclamation to emancipate the slaves, believing it will be productive of good as a measure of justice, humanity, and sound policy. Fifth. Referring to the wants of the soldiers who have fought our battles. This address was the whole story; no counter-propositions or amendments were offered; they proposed to bring wounded soldiers to their own homes, suggested reformation in the abuse of furloughs, and agreed that it would be good to have an army of reserve of 100,000 men for future emergencies.


Official reports of the killed and wounded in the late battle are published. The total loss of the Union army at the battle of Antietam, in killed; wounded, and missing, has been ascertained to be 10,000, and may be divided as follows:

Loss in General Sumner's corps ...........5,209

Loss in General Hooker's corps ...........2,619

Loss in General Burnside's corps .........1,600

(Estimated) in General Banks's and Franklin's corps ......................................572

Total .....................................................10,000


The Richmond Enquirer claims the battle of Antietam as a great rebel victory. It was directed by General Lee in person with 60,000 men in his command. The rebel account makes our force 150,000. General Jackson commanded the left of the rebel line, General hill the right, and General Longstreet the centre. It is admitted that our artillery was used with fearful effect, and that upon the whole the battle was the most severe of the entire campaign. Two rebel Generals were killed—Stark, of Mississippi, and Branch, of North Carolina—and six others were wounded. The Petersburg Express makes the significant admission that all hopes of Maryland uniting her destinies with the South must now be banished. The experiment to rouse her people to follow the fortunes of the rebel army is proclaimed to have been a dead failure, and the devoted adherence of the State government, the press, and the majority of the people to the Federal Government is acknowledged by the Express.


On the afternoon of the 30th the United Mates gun-boat Winona, Lieutenant Commanding Thornton, ran under the fire of Fort Morgan, which is considered the defense of Mobile, and opened fire on a rebel steamer lying inside, driving off her crew and damaging her greatly by the explosion of an 11-inch shell in her bow. Fort Morgan opened a heavy fire on the Winona, but she escaped unhurt.


A special dispatch from Helena speaks of an expedition from that place down the Mississippi as far as Napoleon, where our boats were fired upon from Prentiss, a one-horse Mississippi town on the eastern bank. We had seven killed and nine wounded. Our boats shelled the shore, but it is not known what damage was done. At another town—Randolph—on the Mississippi one of our steamers was hailed; the clerk went ashore to know what was wanted, when he was seized by ambushed guerrillas. The boat returned to Memphis for troops, with the intention of obliterating the traitors' nest now known as Randolph.


General Butler has issued an order forbidding the transfer of property, or rights of property—real, mixed, personal or incorporeal—except necessary food, medicine, and clothing, either by way of sale, gift, pledge, payment, lease or loan, by any inhabitant of the Department who has not returned to his or her allegiance to the United States—the person transferring and the person receiving to be punished by fine or imprisonment, or both. All registers of transfer of certificates of stock or shares in any incorporated or joint stock company or association, in which such person has any interest, are likewise forbidden.


Maine has filled her entire quotas under both calls for 300,000 men. Her quota under the first was 7000, and all the men have been in the field for four weeks past. Under the last call for drafted men, Maine has 9600 men ready, all raised by volunteering, and they have all been in the camps at Portland, Augusta, and Bangor since the 15th inst. They are all ready to move the moment they are uniformed and equipped. Prior to these contributions, Maine had sent over 18,000 men, and, including the 4000 seamen she has given to the navy, she has raised 40,000 men for the Union. The population of Maine is 628,000. She claims the pre-eminence of being the Banner State in raising volunteers.


Iowa has filled her quota under the call for 600,000. She has every man in the field by voluntary enlistment, and all for three years or the war.




IT is reported that the Southern rebels are having a large number of war steamers built in England; that they are

purchasing steam vessels already finished, and that a steam ram is being constructed in the River Mersey for their service.


Mr. Beresford Hope, when seeking an election to Parliament for the borough of Stoke-on-Trent, England, bases his claim to popular support chiefly on his former advocacy of the recognition of the independence of the South in the House of Commons. His arguments were heard with disfavor at first, but the electors were inclined toward his views at the conclusion of his speech. The Manchester politicians, under advice of Mr. Bright, circulated pamphlets against Mr. Hope's prospects, on account of his sympathy with the rebels, and the danger of involving England with the United States by such legislation as he advocated.



The Roman Question is keeping up a great excitement all through Europe, but no new movement of importance is announced. Garibaldi's wounds are reported to be worse; with regard to his trial, the official paper of Turin announces that justice must take its course.




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