Robert E. Lee Order # 116


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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.

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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



OCTOBER 25, 1862.]



(Previous Page) speech at a Paris breakfast, he made our cause a little ridiculous. But when, in his speech at Brooklyn, he said that he wished the President had suspended the writ of habeas corpus by hanging traitors, and that the lives of thousands of good men would have been saved if Mr. Seymour and Fernando Wood had been hung, he means, of course, only a rhetorical period, but the rhetoric does not help the cause.

That traitors duly convicted shall be executed, the law provides; but the law also decides who traitors are. That men of treasonable sympathies or patriotic indifference should be hung, no law provides, and common sense smiles at the suggestion. If Mr. Seymour still believes what he has constantly said, he is of opinion that the rebels are really justified and the Government is imbecile and tyrannical. He would gladly effect a surrender of the Government under the name of settlement. And he is not known to have helped the nation with money any more than with sympathy. His election would be the moral defeat of the Union and the Government. It would be the first step not to a vigorous or any other prosecution of the war, but to peace upon dishonorable terms to the country.

But while all this is true, it does not follow that he ought to be hung; because hostile opinions and indifference are not treason. If the expression of those opinions in time of war be so vehement and influential as to be clearly injurious to the Government, it is Constitutionally competent to the Government to suppress that expression; and when Mr. Seymour reaches that point, of course he will be silenced, but certainly not hung. When the Government is engaged in a fierce war to maintain the fundamental guarantee of Life, Liberty, and Property, it must, by the very necessity of the case, peremptorily take as much of the Life, Liberty, and Property of its enemies as it thinks necessary. It is making war, and that is the condition of war. It takes life to preserve life; liberty to insure liberty; and property to secure property. No rational man seriously contests its right and its power to do all this. For if it may make war, it may do all that is necessary to make war effective.


"LINCOLN the fiend.—let history take hold of him, and let the civilized world fling its scorpion lash upon him! cries the Richmond Enquirer.

Who is it that says this? Who call aloud for the sympathy of mankind? People who deny to others every human right, and doom them and their posterity forever to the condition of brute beasts. Who steal, buy, sell, starve, whip, roast, and hang other perfectly innocent men and women, if they refuse to work for nothing, and to be degraded below humanity—who outrage every sentiment of human honor and decent social relation, profiting by their own lust, and abolishing the sanctity and fidelity of marriage among those whom they hold in hopeless and helpless submission—who degrade manhood, dishonor womanhood, and who, to pay their own debts, sell other people and their children into eternal separation and anguish—who, pursued by the contempt of Christendom, and stung to madness by fierce hatred of human liberty and the equal rights of all men, are now seeking to smother in blood a great nation of which they are a sworn part, and without any other pretense than that their system of barbarism and infamy can not be infinitely extended.

And who is "Lincoln the fiend?" He is the man who, speaking for his country, is putting an end to all this lamb-like business.

Upon the question of "fiends" the civilized world is not likely to have two opinions at heart, whatever its lips may say.


THE Richmond Dispatch of September 27 had two most instructive articles. They both tell a great deal of truth. One says, "If the North ultimately fails in this war, she will fall as fast and far as Lucifer in his descent from heaven." The North, it says, clings to the Union as the mariner "to the last plank that lies between him and the fathomless depths of eternity." The rhetoric is bad, but the truth is solid and solemn. Even so, when the North fails she falls utterly, for she sinks into the slough of a slave-despotism.

The same article says that "there is scarcely an abolitionist to be found" in the Union armies; but the next one asserts that "the Federal invasion has thus far been a John Brown raid on a grand scale. Wherever the Federal armies have advanced the negroes have been swept off as clean as the Eastern locusts sweep a field of grain."

But if this be the result while, as the Dispatch declares, the war is carried on "by the conservative classes," what would happen if those frightful fellows the abolitionists had any thing to do with it? If the only "friends of the South" at the North were the "Conservatives," and they are doing the abolition work, and the war is, in the nature of things, a war of desperation upon the part of the North, what is the prospect for the South?

But there is still further improvement to be derived from the Dispatch. We have been frequently told of the extreme fitness of the Africans for slavery: they are better off as slaves; they are happy as slaves; the relation of master and slave is truly touching and patriarchal; the master is all anxiety for the welfare of his "servant;" and the slave is all tenderness and fidelity toward the generous being to whom Providence has committed him, etc., etc., etc. Now steps in the Dispatch, and says, oh! disillusion, disenchantment! "The neighborhood of a Yankee army creates as complete a stampede among negroes as the approach of a locomotive among cattle. There are thousands of masters who continue to believe that their servants will not run under similar temptations, and foolishly to expose them to temptation. It is clear, therefore, that there is no security for the negro property of the State, unless the Legislature

makes the removal of the negroes from districts exposed to invasion compulsory."

If the faithful and affectionate chattels behaved in this way before the President's Proclamation called universal attention to the law fleeing all slaves who reached our lines, what will be their feelings when the hope which, despite our cruel usage of them, the advance of our armies has always been, is formally confirmed by the promise and guarantee of the Government? To suppose the Proclamation a brutum fulmen is to disregard the most essential qualities of human nature.


A WAG upon visiting a medical museum was shown some dwarfs, and other specimens of mortality, all preserved in alcohol. "Well," said he, "I never thought the dead could be in such spirits."

In narrating the circumstances of a recent suicide, the papers say that besides being deaf, dumb, and an old bachelor, the unfortunate man had exhibited symptoms of insanity.

VERY POETIC.—"What," said Margarita to Cecilia, "what, dearest, do you think is really the food of Cupid?" And Cecilia answered, "Arrowroot."

CURIOUS FACT IN NATURAL HISTORY.—The Hottentots stand heat better than Coolies.

To PRESERVE APPLES FROM ROTTING.—Put them into a dry cellar, of easy access to a large family or children.

CAUTIOUS.—"Now, mind you," whispered a servant-girl to her neighbor, "I don't say as how missus drinks; but between you and I the decanter don't keep full all day."

A young doctor, on being asked to contribute toward inclosing and ornamenting a cemetery, very coolly replied that in filling it he thought he should do his part.

THE MOST DIRECT METHOD OF DETERMINING HORSEPOWER. —Stand behind and tickle his hind-legs with a brier.

A man is the healthiest and the happiest when he thinks the least of either health or happiness.

UNEASY.—"I'm particularly uneasy on this point," as the fly said when the boy stuck him on the end of a needle.

Why are a pin and a poker like a blind man?—Because they have a head and no eyes.

AN ABSTRACT DEED.—Having your tooth drawn.

A TEASER.—When was beef-tea first made in England? —When Henry the Eighth dissolved the Pope's bull.

Is a soldier supposed to be raw until he has been exposed to fire ?

The entire assets of a recent bankrupt were nine children. The creditors acted magnanimously, and let him keep them.

One of our country correspondents, who has read about sailers "heaving up" anchors, wants to know if it is seasickness that makes 'em do it!

FRESH FROM ERIN.—"Well, Patrick," asked the doctor, "how do you feel to-day?" "Och, doctor dear, I enjoy very poor health intirely. The rumatics are very distressin' indade; when I go to slape I lay awake all night, and my toes is swiled as big as a goose hen's egg, so whin I stand up I fall down immediately."

A runaway couple having been married at Gretna Green, Vulcan demanded five guineas for his services. "How is this?" said the bridegroom; "the gentleman you last married assured me he only gave you a guinea." "True," said the smith; "but he was an Irishman, and I have married him six times. He is a customer, you know; but you I may never see again."

"Pin not your faith on any man's sleeve" is a good maxim; but Amoretta says she can't help it when the thing is round her neck with her lover's arm in it.

Daniel says that he thinks that boarders who are obliged to eat sausages three times a day during dog-days are justified in growling at their tare.

Why will Americans have more cause to remember the letter S than any other in the alphabet? Because it is the beginning of secession and the end of Jeff Davis.

THE BEST CURE FOR VANITY.—Be photographed.

A clergyman being much pressed by a lady of his acquaintance to preach a sermon the first Sunday after her marriage, complied, and chose the following passage in the Psalms as his text: "And there shall be abundance of peace—while the moon endureth."

An eminent conchologist has made a calculation that it takes sixteen days and fourteen hours for a "moderately-fast snail" to accomplish a mile.

A general on the point of death, opening his eyes and seeing a consultation of three physicians who were standing close by his bedside, faintly exclaimed, "Gentlemen, if you fire by platoons it is all over with me!" and instantly expired.

"This snow-storm the boys regard as a joke," said one to Dr. S—, during a late storm. "Yes," replied the doctor, "and it is a joke that any one can see the drift of."

MEDICAL DOMESTIC ECONOMY.—Stale dry bread is a very effectual check to juvenile consumption.

Make your son wise, and noble, and grand, and he will be your grandson.

SHIP-SHAPE.—Why is a fashionable lady's dress like an iron-clad ship? Because it is heavily plaited.

It isn't enough that men and women should be of the true metal; they should also be well-tempered.

Of all the vanities and fopperies, the vanity of high birth is the greatest. True nobility is derived from virtue, not from birth. Titles, indeed, may be purchased; but virtue is the only coin that makes the bargain valid.

HAD HIM THERE. — A waggish curate overheard the schoolmaster giving lessons in grammar. "You can not place a, the singular article," said the preceptor, "before plural nouns. No one can say a pigs, a women, a—" "Nonsense," cried the curate, "the Prayer-book knows better than you, I should think, or it wouldn't teach me to say a-men."

A boy who had stolen some apples was forgiven for the rather ingenious manner in which he excused himself. The schoolmaster asking him what he had to say for himself, the urchin replied, "The apples were Tom's; I don't know how he got them; and now they're mine, and he don't know how I got them."

"Well, Mary, are you going to the new place?" "Sure, no, ma'am! the lady couldn't give a satisfactory reference from her last cook."

Jones (heartless fellow!) says the only parting that ever troubled him is the parting of his back hair.



The following is official:


VIA BARDSTOWN, Oct. 10, 1862.

To Major-General Halleck, General-in-Chief:

I have already advised you of the movements of the army under my command from Louisville. More or less skirmishing has occurred daily with the enemy's cavalry. Since then it was supposed the enemy would give battle at Bardstown. My troops reached that point on the 4th inst., driving out the enemy's rear-guard of cavalry and artillery. The main body retired toward Springfield, whither the pursuit was continued. The centre corps, under General Gilbert, moved on the direct road from Springfield to Perryville, and arrived on the 7th inst. within two miles of the town, where the enemy was found to be in force. The left column, under General McCook, came upon the Nashville road about ten o'clock yesterday (the 8th inst.). It was ordered into position to attack, and a strong reconnoissance directed. At four o'clock I received a request from General McCook for reinforcements, and learned that the left had been severely engaged for several hours, and that the right and left of that corps were being turned and severely pressed. Reinforcements were immediately sent forward from the centre. Orders were also sent to the right column, under General Crittenden, which was advancing by the Lebanon road, to push forward and attack the enemy's left, but it was impossible for it to get in position in time to produce any decisive result. The action continued until dark. Some fighting also occurred on the centre. The enemy were every where repulsed, but not without some momentary advantage on the left. The several corps were put in position during the night, and moved to the attack at six o'clock this morning. Some skirmishing occurred with the enemy's rear-guard. The main body had fallen back in the direction of Harrodsburg. I have no accurate report of our loss yet. It is probably pretty heavy, including valuable officers. Generals Jackson and Terril, I regret to say, are among the killed.   D. C. BUELL,

Major-General Commanding.


Another brilliant victory in Kentucky was reported on 12th. Dispatches received from Lebanon state that there was a great battle fought on Saturday 11th, between Harrodsburg and Danville, heavier and more severe than that of 8th at Perryville. Colonel Woolford, of the Kentucky Union cavalry, captured one hundred and sixty wagons and a thousand prisoners. The rebels, at last accounts, were retreating to Camp Dick Robinson.



HEAD-QUARTERS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, CAMP NEAR SHARPSBURG, MARYLAND, Oct. 7, 1862. The attention of the officers and soldiers of the Army of the Potomac is called to General Orders No. 139, War Department, September 24, 1862, publishing to the army the President's proclamation of September 22.

A proclamation of such grave moment to the nation, officially communicated to the army, affords to the general commanding an opportunity of defining specifically to the officers and soldiers under his command the relation borne by all persons in the military service of the United States toward the civil authorities of the Government. The Constitution confides to the civil authorities, legislative, judicial, and executive, the power and duty of making, expounding, and executing the Federal laws. Armed forces are raised and supported simply to sustain the civil authorities, and are to be held in strict subordination thereto in all respects. This fundamental rule of our political system is essential to the security of our republican institutions, and should be thoroughly understood and observed by every soldier. The principle upon which, and the objects for which, armies shall be employed in suppressing the rebellion, must be determined and declared by time civil authorities, and the chief Executive, who is charged with the administration of the national affairs, is time proper and only source through which the views and orders of the Government can be made known to the armies of the nation.

Discussion by officers and soldiers concerning public measures determined upon and declared by the Government, when carried at all beyond the ordinary temperate and respectful expression of opinion, tend greatly to impair and destroy the discipline and efficiency of troops by substituting the spirit of political faction for that firm, steady, and earnest support of the authority of the Government which is he highest duty of the American soldier. The remedy for political errors, if any are committed, is to be found only in the action of the people at the polls.

In thus calling the attention of this army to time true relation between the soldiers and the Government, the general commanding merely adverts to an evil against which it has been thought advisable during our whole history to guard the armies of the republic, and in so doing he will not be considered by any right-minded person as casting any reflection upon that loyalty and good conduct which has been so fully illustrated upon so many battle-fields. In carrying out all measures of public policy this army will, of course, be guided by the same rules of mercy and Christianity that have ever controlled its conduct toward the defenseless.

By command of MAJOR-GENERAL McCLELLAN. JAMES A. HARDEE, Lieutenant-Colonel, Aid-de-Camp and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.



HEAD-QUARTERS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, CAMP NEAR SHARPSBURG, MARYLAND, Oct. 3, 1862. The Commanding General extends his congratulations to the army under his command for the victories achieved by their bravery at the passes of the South Mountain and upon the Antietam Creek.

The brilliant conduct of Reno's and Hooker's corps, under Burnside, at Turner's Gap, and of Franklin's corps at Crampton's Pass, in which, in the face of ten enemy strong in position and resisting with obstinacy, they carried the mountain, and prepared the way for the advance of the army, won for them the admiration of their brethren in arms.

In the memorable battle of Antietam we defeated a numerous and powerful army of the enemy in an action desperately fought and remarkable for its duration and for the destruction of life which attended it. The obstinate bravery of the troops of Hooker, Mansfield, and Sumner; the dashing gallantry of those of Franklin on the right; the steady valor of those of Burnside on the left, and time vigorous support of Porter and Pleasanton, present a brilliant spectacle to our countrymen which will swell their hearts with pride and exultation.

Fourteen guns, thirty-nine colors, fifteen thousand five hundred stand of arms, and nearly six thousand prisoners, taken from the enemy, are evidences of the completeness of our triumph.

A grateful country will thank the noble army for achievements which have rescued the loyal States of the East from the ravages of the invader, and have driven him from their borders.

While rejoicing at the victories which, under God's blessing, have crowned our exertions, let us cherish the memory of our brave comrades who have laid down their lives upon the battle-field, martyrs in their country's cause. Their names will be enshrined in the hearts of the people.





October 2, 1862.

In reviewing the achievements of the army during the present campaign, the Commanding General can not withhold the expression of his admiration of the indomitable courage it has displayed in battle, and its cheerful endurance of privation and hardship on the march.

Since your great victories around Richmond you have defeated the enemy at Cedar Mountain, expelled him from the Rappahannock, and, after a conflict of three days, utterly repulsed him on the plains of Manassas, and forced him to take shelter within the fortifications around his capital.

Without halting for repose, you crossed the Potomac, stormed the heights of Harper's Ferry, made prisoners of more than eleven thousand men, and captured upward of seventy pieces of artillery, all their small-arms and other munitions of war.

While one corps of the army was thus engaged, the other insured its success by arresting at Boonsborough the combined armies of the enemy, advancing under their favorite General to the relief of their beleaguered comrades.

On the field of Sharpsburg, with less than one-third his numbers, you resisted from daylight until dark the whole army of the enemy, and repulsed every attack along his entire front of more than four miles in extent.

The whole of the following day you stood prepared to resume the conflict on the same ground, and retired next morning without molestation across the Potomac.

Two attempts subsequently made by the enemy to follow you across the river have resulted in his complete discomfiture and being driven back with loss.

Achievements such as these demanded much valor and patriotism. History records few examples of greater fortitude and endurance than this army has exhibited; and I am commissioned by the President to thank you in the name of the Confederate States for the undying fame you have won for their arms.

Much as you have done, much more remains to be accomplished. The enemy again threatens us with invasion, and to your tried valor and patriotism the country looks with confidence for deliverance and safety; your past exploits give assurance that this confidence is not misplaced.

R. E. LEE, General Commanding.


A force of two or three thousand rebels, under the renowned Stuart, crossed the Potomac at a point far above the right wing of General McClellan's army, and pushed rapidly on through Mercersburg to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, reaching there at six o'clock on Friday evening, 10th. About eight hundred entered the town, the remainder remaining a mile away. They helped themselves to boots, shoes, and clothing, giving Confederate paper in some cases for pay. On Saturday morning they burned the Cumberland Valley Railroad Depot, and two warehouses containing a small quantity of Government stores. Then they rejoined their main body, and moved off toward Gettysburg. They borrowed or exchanged horses wherever they could, and seem to have been entirely successful in getting such articles as they most needed. No violence was done to individuals, and no resistance was made by the people, at least not until they had gone from Chambersburg. Near Gettysburg some farmers entrapped one of the moss-troopers, and that was all the resistance experienced. There is a rumor that they had a fight when they crossed the Potomac, on Friday morning, but it is doubtful; indeed, the place of their crossing is in doubt— some accounts say at Hancock, and others at Dam No. 5, several miles below. A special dispatch from Monocacy Bridge (on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, about four miles south of Frederick City) says that the rebel cavalry passed eight miles below Monocacy, on Saturday night, and took breakfast at Urbanna, four miles from Monocacy, on Sunday morning. Heavy firing had been heard in the direction of Noland's Ferry (on the Potomac). Seven prisoners, captured at Urbanna, had just come in. All this indicates that the rebels were pretty surely safe over the Potomac, and probably in or beyond Leesburg, before night on Sunday, 12th.



To Major-General Halleck, General-in-Chief:

Generals Ord and Hurlbut, came upon the enemy yesterday, and General Hurlbut having driven in small bodies of the rebels the day before, after seven hours' hard fighting drove the enemy five miles back across the Hatchie toward Corinth, capturing two batteries, about three hundred prisoners, and many small-arms.

I immediately apprised General Rosecrans of these facts, and directed him to urge on the good work. The following dispatch has just been received from him:

CHEVALLA, Oct. 6, 1862. To Major-General Grant:

The enemy are totally routed, throwing every thing away. We are following sharply.

W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-General. Under previous instructions General Hurlbut is also following. General McPherson is in the lead of General Rosecrans's column.

The rebel General Martin is said to be killed.

U. S. GRANT, Major-General Commanding.


Later news from Corinth still further confirms the report of a splendid victory. We captured two thousand prisoners, including one hundred officers. The rebels lost one thousand killed and a large number wounded Our loss was only three hundred and fifty killed and one thousand three hundred wounded The rebels abandoned and spiked eleven guns, destroyed three caissons, and lost most of their ammunition and trains. General Rosecrans, after pursuing the enemy until the 9th instant, returned to Corinth at the command of General Grant. He reports the rebel army dispersed, demoralized, and incapable of further mischief. He would gladly have followed them up, under the conviction that this is the acceptable time to destroy them utterly, but for the orders of his superior to return.


A battle took place on 3d inst. in the vicinity of Suffolk at Franklin, on the Blackwater River, which appears to be of considerable importance. The rebels were at least five thousand strong at that point, and were commanded by General Gustavus W. Smith (ex-Street Commissioner). The rebels were pretty badly used by our troops, who were commanded by Colonel S. P. Spear, of the Eleventh Pennsylvania cavalry, having lost fully two hundred killed and wounded, while our loss was only three in all. The attack was planned by General Dix, to drive back the advancing pickets of the enemy, and it was intended that the gun-boats should co-operate with the land forces by way of Chowan Creek, from Albemarle Sound; but owing to some mistake they did not participate in the action. Our forces numbered about two thousand. The object of the attack was fully attained.


Our news from New Orleans relative to the effect of General Butler's Order No. 76 is very interesting. The demand of General Butler that all citizens should take the oath of allegiance and give a return of their property has created quite a panic among the secession sympathizers, and thousands were flocking to the places appointed to take the oath, some in terror and many with sullen unwillingness.




WE have important news of the operations of the rebel steamer Alabama, known as "No. 290." The Cairngorm, an English vessel, lately arrived at Gravesend, from Sydney. She reports that when at Flores, Western Islands, three whale-boats' crews from the Alabama came alongside and reported that their ship, the Ocmulgee, of Edgartown, Massachusetts, had been burned by the Alabama, under command of Captain Semmes, late of the Sumter. The Ocmulgee had two hundred and fifty barrels of oil, and her crew (thirty-four men) were made prisoners The Alabama had already burned four whalers. She also captured an American schooner (name unknown) in sight of the Cairngorm. The United States sailing sloop of war St. Louis left Lisbon to search, as was supposed, for the rebel privateer "No. 290" off the Azores, in consequence of her raid on American whalers.



Distinguished men from almost every country in Europe, who were lately assembled in a scientific Congress at Brussels, had prepared and signed a peace address to President Lincoln.




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