South Reacts to Emancipation Proclamation


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, October 18, 1862

This Site features online versions of all the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. This archive serves as a valuable resource for those wishing to develop a more in depth understanding of the important events of the Civil War.

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Franz Sigel

General Sigel

Southern Reaction to Emancipation Proclamation

Southern Reaction to Emancipation Proclamation

South Reacts to Emancipation proclamation

South Reacts to Emancipation Proclamation


Shelbyville, Tennessee


Williamsport, Maryland

Antietam Aftermath

Battle of Antietam Aftermath

General Nelson

General Nelson

Murder of General Nelson

Murder of General Nelson

Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Blockade Runners

Captured Blockade Runners

Antietam Pictures

Pictures of the Battle of Antietam





OCTOBER 18, 1862.]



(Previous Page) God there are no free schools nor printing, and I hope we shall not have these hundred years; for learning has brought disobedience and heresy and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them and libels against the best government: God keep us from both!"

What state of society is that in which schools and railroads are nuisances? It appears from the Virginian papers that these are "Yankeeizing" institutions. Yankeeizing is therefore another name for introducing intelligence, skill, enterprise, and thrift. The great Northwest, for instance. has been Yankeeized; and it is a tolerably flattering specimen of the results of this process. This war is the Yankeeization of the great South. It is to be shaken up, renewed, developed into full civilization and the use and benefit of its magnificent resources. It is to be made to come to itself, as in the parable the prodigal son, after eating husks and lying with swine, "came to himself"—to his real powers and consciousness and conscience. From a sot he became a man.

Yankeeization is but another and awkward and spiteful word for civilization. And that is the inconceivable benefit which Virginia and the other rebellious States are to derive from this war. Poor Virginia has always labored under the terrible misfortune of its original settlement by people who were called "gentlemen," and others defined in the petition of the Virginia Company as "vagabonds and condemned men." It was a sorry beginning; but let the poor State which, notwithstanding this drawback, produced glorious men a century ago take heart. Despite the present and recent crops of Masons, Letchers, Tylers, and Pryors, it shall be Yankeeized into peace, prosperity, and an honorable regard for human rights.


THE simplest way is usually the shortest and best. When the Government found it necessary to issue paper change, a plain shin-plaster was evidently the thing required. The unnecessary complication of the postage stamp upon the bills justly provoked the question of an intelligent foreigner: "Can the Yankee genius, in straits for a circulating medium, devise nothing simpler than this?"

Whether postage stamps are currency or not, is a question practically answered every moment. You get your change in stamps, and you make your purchases with them. They are the meanest and most inconvenient of all substitutes for coin; but the Government, of course, has received what it considers good money for them. But now we are informed that "soiled" stamps will not be received upon letters, and that letters not posted with clean stamps will be sent to the Dead-Letter Office.

By what right does the Government repudiate its promises? What is a postage stamp but a certificate of payment for mail service to be performed by the Government? The Government has made that contract with the nation, and it is a breach of trust to refuse to honor the certificate. Undoubtedly the order is made in the hope of throwing the stamps out of circulation as a medium. But whose fault is it that they have not already dropped out? And how can the fact that they are used as a convenience for exchange, or that they have become soiled, possibly affect the other fact that the Government has received due value for them?

The whole business is a botch and a disgrace. If a convenient medium had been immediately, or with reasonable rapidity, furnished to the people, there would have been little trouble about postage stamps.


IN his admirable speech at Syracuse Mr. Tremain spoke one truth which ought to be thoroughly and universally comprehended. "Will words—words indulged in as freely by the South as the North—afford justification for untold murders and the rankest treason? If not, how is the North the author of this mischief?"

This remark is in reply to Mr. Seymour's accusation of the North as the real author of the rebellion. "Who," asks Mr. Seymour, "stained our land with blood? Who caused ruin and distress? All these things are within your own knowledge. Are their authors the leaders to rescue us from our calamities? They shrink back appalled from the mischief they have wrought, and tell you it is an irrepressible conflict."

Freed from the rhetoric in which the orator finds it convenient to wrap it, this statement is simply that the rebellion is justified because slavery was discussed at the North. It is another form of the remark, "The abolitionists are guilty of the war." Mr. Tremain's reply is exactly to the point and conclusive. Words, the right of free speech, of the amplest discussion of every question that affects the welfare of the people, is the most sacred and precious of the rights of the people. Under the Constitution of the United States, in the time of peace, there is no question whatever that may not be debated with the most absolute freedom. It is the Constitution of a republic, but it allows and protects the expression of a preference for a monarchy or for a despotism. It is a Constitution of compromises upon certain points; but its spirit solicits and its letter defends the most radical discussion of the wisdom or the folly of those compromises. There is no such thing as a free popular government without the most perfect liberty of discussion; and the only spirit in this country which has ever questioned it, which has ever practically denied it by mobs and Lynch law, is the spirit of slavery, purely exceptional to our system and now seeking its overthrow—a spirit which worked its will in the Free States of the country through the agency of those who are the fastest friends of Mr. Seymour.

Under the Constitution of the United States a man has the most absolute right, and has always had, to discuss slavery in whatever terms he thought fit, just as he has to discuss school systems, tariffs, forms of election, banks, laws of divorce, or any other subject which interested him.

If he slanders any person, he is amenable to the law of libel. If he decries and accuses the Government, or charges the majority of his fellow-citizens with the guilt of a bloody civil war, or stealthily suggests to them the most dishonorable and destructive betrayal of the national integrity—as Mr. Seymour does in his speech—he is amenable under the Constitution neither to mobs nor to courts but simply to public opinion. Mr. Seymour charges the blood of the rebellion upon those at the North who thought and said that slavery was wrong and impolitic. But which is the graver offense, to say that and to hold in good faith to the Government and Constitution, or to say what Mr. Seymour himself says? If he is justly protected by the Constitution in saying at this time what he says in this speech, surely he has little reason to complain of what Mr. Seward (whose famous phrase he repeats) and other orators said in honorable political debate in a time of perfect peace.

To charge upon the expression of any opinion of public questions whatever the responsibility of a war is to flout the Constitution, which guarantees full liberty of speech. And to the eternal glory of the American people be it said, that while the advocates of slavery were dubbed "national," and were patiently heard from Maine to Texas, there were Americans who were resolved that Freedom should sometimes have a word at least in the Free States. No, no, Mr. Seymour, slavery struck at discussion because it knew that discussion was fatal to it. And when discussion, under the plain guarantee of the Constitution, opened the eyes of the people to the encroaching despotism which they were tolerating, slavery struck at the Government whose control it had lost forever.

Great is the fall of slavery, Mr. Seymour, but not more final and fatal than that of those who declare that the exercise of any right under the Constitution justifies rebellion. In our popular system what can not be discussed will not be tolerated; and discussion will surely expose also what is not tolerable. Judge Tremain spoke most truly. Words do not justify untold murders and the rankest treasons.


WHEN may a chair be said to dislike you?—When it can't bear you.

A horse-dealer, in showing off a spirited nag to a customer, received a kick in his ribs, and although smarting under the pain, made up the best face he could, and exclaimed, "Pretty playful creature!"

"Yes, Mrs. Johnson, my poor husband died with the cholera, he did." "Ah! that was a pity, Mrs. Smith. But then we must have got rid of the cholera; that is, according to your story." "How can you make that out?" "You said, Mrs. Smith, that he died with the cholera. Well, if he did, they must have both died together!"

A few days ago a gent in the neighborhood of Cardiff went out with his dog and gun. The dog (a pointer) came to "a point," when the "sporting gent" walking up, deliberately kicked the sagacious animal, saying, "You lazy brute, are you knocked up already?"

A gentleman at a public dinner-table lately asked the person next him if he would please to pass the mustard. "Sir," said the man, "do you mistake me for a waiter?" "Oh no, Sir," was the reply; "I mistook you for a gentleman."

Francis I. being desirous to raise one of the most learned men of the time to the highest dignities of the Church, asked him if he was of noble descent. "Your Majesty," answered the abbot, "there were three brothers in Noah's Ark, but I can not tell positively from which of them I am descended."

"When I was quite a boy," says Smith, "my father ordered a coat for me from an Israelite, and when the garment came home it was large enough for two or three of my size. The perplexed Jew, after vainly trying to gather up the fullness in the back with his hand, so that the front might set tight, declared at length, boldly, the coat was 'goot,' it was no fault 'of te coat, te coat fit coot enough, but te poy was too slim.' "

A man that catches his handsome wife scolding her servants is apt to be reminded that the peacock, with all its beauty, has the harshest voice in the world.

A juvenile sporter belonging to a primary school, boasted to his play-fellow the other day that he would by-and-by become the fortunate possessor of an important article of youthful aspiration. "My father," said he, "has gone to the war, and if he gets killed I am going to have his fish-line."

"I wants to schipp in the Lucilla," said a Dutchman to a clerk in a shipping-office. "Well," said the clerk, pen in hand, "what's your name?" "It is Hans Vanas Mananderdaunsevaneymendeym-iteheitenschupfeylds-msdteschupyortinromp!" said the Dutchman, gravely. "Zounds!" cried the clerk; "do you know what it is in English?" "Yaw, ich does," said the Dutchman; " it ish Von Smidt."

An organist of Bangor was very peculiar as to the nature of his meals, and having gone to church one Sunday without leaving his usual directions, the anxious wife sent her little boy for instructions. When the boy reached the church, he found they had just commenced the Te Deum, and fearing to wait until it was finished, he crept up to his father and commenced singing in his ear, in the treble voice (sotto voce)

"Mother's got a hind-quarter of lamb,

What shall she do with it?"

The organist was rather astonished, but promptly replied, in base,

"Roast the loin and boil the leg,

And make a pudding of the suet."

With which message the young genius instantly decamped.

PEBBLY BEACH PHILOSOPHY.—"Women," remarked the Contemplative Man, at Margate, "are deep as the blue waters of that bay." "Ay, Sir," rejoined the Disappointed Man, "and as full of craft!"

"We frequently see it stated," said Mr. Oddfish, "that such and such men started from extreme poverty, coming into town in the first place without a farthing of money, and rising by their own exertions. When I first came I had to borrow money to get here, and I've been borrowing money ever since. It is a great thing at sixty to have established such a wonderful credit."

A DUTIFUL SON.—"How old are ye?" said Major Kipling to a dwarfish young man. "Twenty." "I wonder you aren't right down ashamed of being no bigger—you look like a boy of ten." "All comes of being a dutiful child." "How so?" "When I was ten, father put his hand on my head, and said, 'Stop there!' and he then ran away. I've never seen him since; and I didn't think it right in me to go on growing without his leave."

Put a good face anon every thing, unless you are so ugly that you can't.



NEAR SHARPSBURG, September 29—1.30 P.M.

Major-General H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief of the United States Army:

GENERAL,—I have the honor to report the following as some of the results of the battles of South Mountain and Antietam:

At South Mountain our loss was 413 dead, 1806 wounded, and 76 missing. Total, 2,325.

At Antietam our loss was 2010 killed, 9416 wounded, and 1043 missing. Total, 12,469.

Total loss in the two battles, 14,794.

The loss of the rebels in the two battles, as near as can be ascertained from the number of their dead found upon the field, and from other data, will not fall short of the following estimate:

Major Davis, Assistant Inspector-General, who superintended the burial of the dead, reports about three thousand rebels buried upon the field of Antietam by our troops.

Previous to this, however, the rebels had buried many of their own dead upon the distant portion of the battle-field, which they occupied after the battle—probably at least five hundred.

The loss of the rebels at South Mountain can not be ascertained with accuracy; but as our troops continually drove them from the commencement of the action, and as a much greater number of their dead were seen on the field than of our own, it is not unreasonable to suppose that their loss was greater than ours. Estimating their killed at five hundred, the total rebels killed in the two battles would be four thousand. According to the ratio of our own killed and wounded, this would make their loss in wounded eighteen thousand seven hundred and forty-two.

As nearly as can be determined at this time, the number of prisoners taken by our troops in the two battles will, at the lowest estimate, amount to 5000. The full returns will no doubt show a larger number. Of these about 1200 are wounded.

This gives us a rebel loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners of 25,542. It will be observed that this does not include their stragglers, the number of whom is said by citizens here to be large.

It may be safely concluded, therefore, that the rebel army lost at least 30,000 of their best troops.

From the time our troops first encountered the enemy in Maryland, until he was driven back into Virginia, we captured 13 guns, 7 caissons, 9 limbers, 2 field forges, 2 caisson bodies, 39 colors, and 1 signal flag. We have not lost a single gun or a color.

On the battlefield of Antietam 14,000 small-arms were collected, besides the large number carried off by citizens and those distributed on the ground to recruits and other unarmed men arriving immediately after the battle.

At South Mountain no collection of small-arms was made; but owing to the haste of the pursuit from that point, 400 were taken on the opposite side of the Potomac.


Major-General Commanding.


   WASHINGTON, D. C., Sept. 30, 1862.

Major-General McClellan, commanding, etc.: GENERAL,—Your report of yesterday, giving the results of the battles of South Mountain and Antietam, has been received and submitted to the President. They were not only hard-fought battles, but well-earned and decided victories.

The valor and endurance of your army in the several conflicts which terminated in the expulsion of the enemy from the loyal State of Maryland, are creditable alike to the troops and to the officers who commanded them.

A grateful country, while mourning the lamented dead, will not be unmindful of the honors due to the living.

H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.


The news of President Lincoln's emancipation proclamation has fallen like a fire-brand into rebeldom. In the rebel Senate, on the 29th ult., Mr. Semmes, of Louisiana, submitted a joint resolution on the proclamation, and said, it was "a gross outrage on the rights of private property and an invitation to servile war, and therefore should be held up to the execration of mankind and counteracted by such severe retaliatory measures as, in the judgment of the President, may be best calculated to secure its withdrawal or arrest its execution." The subject stirred up the ire of the rebels; they gave vent to their rage in severe bombast, threats of annihilation, black flags, etc., ad infinitum. The Richmond Dispatch thinks "that the proclamation itself does not in the least alter the character of the war, as it has been an abolition contest from the beginning: the Yankees have stolen and set free all the negroes who were willing to go wherever their soldiers had possession of the country." The Richmond Enquirer has a rabid editorial on the proclamation. It says that document "ordaining servile insurrection, has not been for a moment misunderstood North or South." It styles President Lincoln "a savage" and a "fiend," and "the very ignorance which drives him to his own destruction stimulates him to the darkest excesses." It then compares the scenes to be enacted under the proclamation with the Nat Turner massacre in 1831. The Enquirer says: "It is one of the means which the most callous highwayman should shudder to employ." The article closes: "The hellish new programme will, necessarily, destroy all terms between us. The next campaign will be a tremendous one, both for the character and magnitude of the hostility. Let our authorities prepare the whole strength of our people for a tremendous shock."


On 1st October Mr. Semmes introduced into the rebel Congress resolutions of a very savage retaliatory nature, declaring that after the 1st of January, 1863, all officers and non-commissioned officers found invading the Confederate States should be treated as criminals, and put to hard labor until the end of the war, or the repeal of the Confiscation act. All such officers as may command or train negroes or mulattoes for military service against the Confederacy, or incite them to rebellion, shall suffer death. Other pains and penalties are prescribed for different acts of our officers, and a war of extermination, in which the rules of civilized warfare are to be ignored, is proclaimed. These resolutions were read in the Senate, and not yet voted upon.

In the House the spirit evinced was still more bitter, Mr. Lyons, of Virginia, introducing a resolution exhorting the people of the Confederacy to kill every officer, soldier, and sailor of the enemy found within their borders, unless a regular prisoner of war; declaring that after the lst of January, 1863, no officer of the enemy ought to be captured alive, or if recaptured should be immediately hung; and offering a bounty of twenty dollars, and an annuity of twenty dollars for life, to every slave and free negro who shall, after the 1st of January, 1863, kill one of the enemy. The Virginia Legislature resolved to grant immunity to any person who may kill any parties found on the sacred soil, armed or unarmed, aiding to carry out the "fiendish purposes" of the proclamation.


The Union feeling in North Carolina appears to be dominant. The President's emancipation proclamation has been received there with great enthusiasm by the non-slaveholders. They are to hold a great Union mass-meeting at Beaufort in honor of the event, in which all the counties in the two neighboring Congressional districts are to be largely represented. All the candidates for Congress in both districts are to be present and address the people on the occasion.


The President, accompanied by General McClellan, had a grand review of the Army of the Upper Potomac on 3d October. His reception and that of General McClellan was intensely enthusiastic. The President commenced with General Burnside's corps, and proceeded to those of Generals Porter, Reynolds, and Franklin, and the division of General Richardson, taking in the whole ground from the mouth of Antietam Creek to Bakersville.

The President returned to Washington from his visit to the army on Saturday night, 4th, and immediately had an

interview with Mr. Stanton. The enthusiastic reception of the President at Frederick, and the loyalty displayed by the Marylanders on the occasion, will have a most excellent effect upon the prospects of the war.


The forces of General Rosecrans had a terrible battle with the rebels under General Price, Van Dorn, and Lovell, at Corinth, lasting from Saturday, 4th, until three o'clock P.M. on 5th. General Price attacked our army with forty thousand men, but was gallantly met by General Rosecrans, assisted by General Grant, and, after two days' desperate fighting, the rebels were repulsed with great slaughter, leaving their dead and wounded behind, and were hotly pursued by the Union army. The loss on both sides is said to be heavy. General Hackleman was killed at the head of his men. The firing was distinctly heard at Bethel station, twenty miles from Corinth, up to three o'clock on 5th.

We took between 700 and 1000 prisoners. General Oglesby was dangerously wounded, and Colonels Smith, Gilbert, and Mower slightly. General Rosecrans started on 5th after the enemy. Price was said to be in the forks of the Hatchie River, between the armies of Generals Rosecrans and Hulburt. The latter was endeavoring to cut him off.





To Major-General H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief, United States Army:

Yesterday the rebels, under Price, Van Dorn, and Lovell, were repulsed from their attack on Corinth with great slaughter. The enemy are in full retreat, leaving their dead and wounded on the field. Rosecrans telegraphs that the loss is serious on our side, particularly in officers, but bears no comparison with that of the enemy. General Hackleman fell while gallantly leading his brigade. General Oglesby is dangerously wounded. General McPherson, with his command, reached Corinth yesterday. General Rosecrans pursued the retreating enemy this morning, and should they attempt to move toward Bolivar, will follow to that place. General Hurlbut is at the Hatchie River with five or six thousand men, and is no doubt with the pursuing column. From seven hundred to a thousand prisoners, besides the wounded, are left in our hands.

U. S. GRANT, Major-General Commanding.



JACKSON, TENNESSEE, October 5, 1862.

To Major-General H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief United States Army:

General Ord, who followed General Hurlbut, met the enemy to-day on the south side of the Hatchie, as I understand from a dispatch, and drove them across the stream and got possession of the heights with our troops.

General Ord took two batteries and about two hundred prisoners,

A large portion of General Rosecrans's forces were at Chevalla.

At this distance every thing looks most favorable, and I can not see how the enemy are to escape without losing every thing but their small-arms.

I have strained every thing to take into the fight an adequate force, and to get them to the right place.

U. S. GRANT, Major-General Commanding.


On Friday, 3d, the rebels had a force of nearly thirty-five thousand men within a circle of eight miles diameter round Bardstown, while the advance of our army was within four miles of that town. There had been considerable skirmishing with the rebels, who were driven in, and six hundred prisoners taken. On Saturday, 4th, the rebels discovered that they could not hold the place, and evacuated it at ten o'clock. General Van Cleve entered Bardstown at six o'clock the same evening. Kirby Smith, with ten thousand rebels, is reported at Frankfort. Bragg and Buckner are on their way to Lexington. Bragg, swears that he will send every man who refuses to join his army to the north of the Ohio. On 4th the rebels evacuated Frankfort, after having inaugurated a Mr. Hawes governor. Our pickets are near Frankfort.


General Morgan has arrived at Greenupsburg, Kentucky, on the Ohio River, fifteen miles above Portsmouth. He evacuated Cumberland Gap on the night of the 17th ult., with General Stevenson's army three miles in his front, with Bragg and Marshall on his flanks, and Kirby Smith in his rear. He kept on the defense during the march, the cavalry of General Stevenson and the guerrilla Morgan constantly harassing him. He marched one day twenty-four consecutive hours, and on three successive days, driving John Morgan's men from their suppers. For three days his force were on a limited supply of water.


General Buell was temporarily deprived of his command last week, and General Thomas appointed in his place. General Buell was, however, almost immediately reinstated at the request of General Thomas himself and all the Major-Generals in the Army of Ohio.


The rebel guerrilla, John Morgan, with 1000 men, made an attack upon the Carter County Home Guards, at Olive Hill, on 3d, and after a fight of several hours was totally repulsed. The rebel chief then retreated toward the Licking River, burning thirty-five houses on his way. Next night Morgan returned to Olive Hill.


The War Department has issued an order transferring the Western gun-boat fleet to the Navy Department, and returns thanks to all the officers of the Navy and Army, and to the civilians who aided them, for their valor, skill, and patriotism exhibited in the service on the Western rivers during the past campaign.


The New Orleans journals state that the operation of civil law has been restored in that city; that the Sheriff was to open six district courts in proper form, and the usual law proceedings were to go on.


The address to the President by the Governors of the loyal States who assembled recently at Altoona has been published. It is signed by twelve Governors, and pledges them to a cordial support of the President in the prosecution of the war for the restoration of the Union. They recommend that a reserve army of 100,000 men for one year's service should be called forth. They indorse to emancipation proclamation of Mr. Lincoln, and pay a full tribute to the valor of the army in the field.



THE American Consul at Vienna wrote to Garibaldi, asking, as he had failed in his patriotic efforts in Italy, if he would other his valiant arm in the American struggle for liberty and unity, promising him an enthusiastic reception. Garibaldi, under date of September 14, replied: "I am a prisoner and dangerously wounded. It is consequently impossible for me to dispose of myself. However, as soon as I am restored to liberty, and my wounds are healed, I shall take the first favorable opportunity to satisfy my desire to serve the great American republic, of which I am a citizen, and which is now fighting for universal liberty." The above correspondence appears in the Wonder, of Vienna. The London Times and Post have already commenced to sneer at the idea of Garibaldi taking service under the United States Government to fight the South, where "nine millions of people are fighting for the right to govern themselves."




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