The Army of the Potomac at Yorktown


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, September 6, 1862

Welcome to our online archive or original Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. We feel confident that this collection will be a valuable resource for your study and research. This information is simply not available anywhere else!

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Iron Clad

Iron Clad

Slave Colonization Plan

Lincoln's Slave Colonization Plan

Letter from Lincoln to Horrace Greeley

Lincoln's Letter to Horace Greeley


Women in the Civil War

Battle of Baton Rouge

The Battle of Baton Rouge


Reconnaissance Balloon

Army of the Potomac at Yorktown

Army of the Potomac at Yorktown

Rebel Cartoon

Rebel Cartoon

Battle of Baton Rouge

Battle of Baton Rouge


The "Essex"


The Army of the Potomac at Yorktown

Civil War Women

Civil War Women



SEPTEMBER 6, 1862.]



"Plenty of ways," said the captain. "Here is the first that occurs to me. Leave the blind down over the window of your room up stairs before he comes. I will go out on the beach and wait there within sight of the house. When I see him come out again I will look at the window. If he has said nothing, leave the blind down. If he has made you an offer, draw the blind up. The signal is simplicity itself; we can't misunderstand each other. Look your best to-morrow! Make sure of him, my dear girl—make sure of him, if you possibly can."

He had spoken loud enough to feel certain that she had heard him, but no answering word came from her. The dead silence was only disturbed by the rustling of her dress, which told him she had risen from her chair. Her shadowy presence crossed the room again; the door shut softly—she was gone. He rang the bell hurriedly for the lights. The servant found him standing close at the window, looking less self-possessed than usual. He told her he felt a little poorly, and sent her to the cupboard for the brandy.

At a few minutes before twelve the next day Captain Wragge withdrew to his post of observation, concealing himself behind a fishing-boat drawn up on the beach. Punctually as the hour struck he saw Mr. Noel Vanstone approach North Shingles, and open the garden - gate. When the house-door had closed on the visitor Captain Wragge settled himself comfortably against the side of the boat and lit his cigar.

He smoked for half an hour—for ten minutes over the half hour—by his watch. He finished the cigar down to the last morsel of it that he could hold in his lips. Just as he had thrown away the end the door opened again, and Noel Vanstone came out.

The captain looked up instantly at Magdalen's window. In the absorbing excitement of the moment he counted the seconds. She might get from the parlor to her own room in less than a minute. He counted to thirty—and nothing happened. He counted to fifty—and nothing happened. He gave up counting, and left the boat impatiently to return to the house.

As he took his first step forward he saw the signal.

The blind was drawn up!

Cautiously ascending the eminence of the beach, Captain Wragge looked toward Sea-View Cottage before he showed himself on the parade. Mr. Noel Vanstone had reached home again: he was just entering his own door.

"If all your money was offered me to stand in your shoes"—said the captain, looking after him —"rich as you are, I wouldn't take it!"


ON page 572 we illustrate the recent march of the Army of the Potomac through Yorktown from Williamsburg, en route for other fields of action. The correspondent of the Herald gives the following sketch of the march of this great army:

Some days before the advanced divisions moved on their splendid march the heavy siege guns—of which, it should be borne in mind, not one has yet been lost—were sent away on vessels. The division of Pennsylvania reserve troops, commanded by McCall, a portion of our cavalry, and a number of ambulances, were subsequently sent by the same means of transportation. The men were required to march in the lightest possible order. Hence their knapsacks were carried in wagons to the landing and stored on barges, which were towed down the river by the steamers. Officers were instructed to reduce their baggage to such quantity as could be put into a small traveling-bag or valise, and to dispense with extra tents, for the wagons were wanted to convey forage and provisions. The extra tents and baggage were also brought to the landing and placed in the transport vessels. For several days, also, the hospital steamers, with their little crimson flags flying from the masts, were at the upper dock, receiving sick soldiers from the general hospital at the Harrison House and the lesser hospitals throughout the various encampments of the army. All the sick were sent away on steamers. A large number of them were rapidly convalescing, so that they walked from the hospitals to the steamers. It was a touching and sympathetic sight. With forms and faces indicative of disease, some with fans, and most with staffs in their hands, they slowly walked along, like pilgrims to the promised land. The contrabands in camp were sent away in barges. They presented a picturesque spectacle, men, women, and children, in their curious costumes, sitting by the landing or walking down the gangway to the boats. At length, however, all the baggage, all the contrabands, and all our sick soldiers were shipped, and in the mean time the advanced divisions, with the reserve artillery, had commenced the march toward the Chickahominy and down the picturesque peninsula.

For a distance of many miles there was only one road to travel on; but before reaching the Chickahominy Heintzelman's corps took an outside road, over Jones's bridge, to cover the passage of the other troops and trains over a pontoon bridge which had been thrown across near the mouth of the Chickahominy where it empties into the wide waters of the James. The train of the reserve artillery corps accompanied that of the first division, and in the subsequent movement of the several corps the trains of each division, escorted by an advance-guard, preceded the troops of the division, arranged in the proper order of march. Each quarter-master and his assistants was required to keep with his train, to take it at the proper time to its appropriate place in the vast moving column, and to keep it in its proper position on the march, so that his wagons would not check the progress of troops and trains following in his rear. The trains of the batteries attached to divisions accompanied those of the divisions in the order of march. No accident whatever, such as the breaking down of a wagon or the balking of a team, was, on any consideration, allowed to delay the wagons in the rear of the one specially affected; but in the few instances where such accidents occurred an escort was left with the wagon to attend to it, while the trains moved on. Quartermasters were also required to see that their horses were well watered before starting each day, as no stoppage was permitted to be made for the purpose of watering while on the road. With all the arrangements perfected, and the men in the best of spirits considering the trials and vicissitudes they have experienced, the grand Army of the Potomac, covered with dust and glory, was marching down the peninsula in the direction of Fortress Monroe. The head of the column had crossed the river and proceeded many miles beyond before the last division had left its line of fortifications. If the whole were seen in one continuous column it would make a line of almost incredible extent. The wagon-trains alone were about twenty-six miles long, and, added to these the miles of artillery, the miles of ambulances, and the many miles of troops, the whole grand Army of the Potomac would present a splendid column of eighty miles in length.

General Sumner's corps and Pleasanton's cavalry brought up the rear and covered the retirement of the army. They had moved out on Friday and had taken up an eligible position near Charles City Court house, while on Saturday evening several of Franklin's corps, the last to leave the works, passed through their bivouac, and thus left Sumner's corps to bring up the rear. Near Charles City Court House there is a small stream which crosses the road, and then rugged and ascending ground over which it was difficult for the trains to pass. General McClellan, with his staff, having been among the last to leave the banks of the James River, on Saturday, when arriving at this point, he sent a portion of them on to the place of encampment for the night, while he dismounted from his horse, and, attended by half a dozen aids and a dozen orderlies, used his personal influence to wonderful advantage in pushing the wagons past that important point. He stood for hours in the water, hurrying through the trains. It seemed to be a matter of great importance that they should be safely past that place before the Sabbath morning dawned. He felt the importance of it, and it was wonderful to see the effect his personal presence and exertions produced. The teams and the artillery went swiftly past, while his voice was heard urging them along. He remained there till eleven o'clock at night, and did not leave the spot till every wagon had safely passed that dangerous point.


So my old friend recollects me, though the tide of time hath cast

Many a long wild wave between us, since we hailed each other last;

Yet I glory in the feeling that your love is not estranged, That the boy-heart beats through manhood with an ardor all unchanged;

Dwelling in the giant city 'mid its shocks of worldly war, And its roaring stream of traffic bridged by ancient Temple-bar;

Turning from the siren pleasures, from the sorrow and the strife,

Still your memory loves to wander on the morning hills of life,

Gaining glimpses of the glory that has burned to pass away,

As the dawn's wild hectic beauty melts into sober day.

And your thoughts are often with me, though you can not well divine

How the scorching blasts of trial may have rudely shaken mine;

But my friend is unforgotten. Can he deem affection less Where it bends a guardian spirit in the savage wilderness?

Where it reigns all undisputed, feeling naught of earth's alloy,

Like a free wild thing of nature, full of light and full of joy?

No! the friendship of our boyhood hath no change nor turning known,

But still burns strong within me, leaping up to meet your own.

Could you see me here at noonday, half a satyr, half a clown,

For my hands are hard with labor, and my cheek is darkly brown;

Not the slender youth you knew me, when on shining English sands

We watched the ships together, and discoursed of foreign lands,

When our aims were undecided, and the golden future seemed

All that young Imagination in her heyday ever dreamed.

You may strive for fame and win it, I can only hope to share

Such poor toil and such poor triumph as the nameless exiles bear,

Fell the oak and rear the shanty, die amid the solitude, Where the sword-bright river flashes from its sheath of sombre wood.

Yet I know not who is better—you with dreams of fame to come,

Or myself, whose aspirations in this awful bush are dumb, For the dial-shadow pointeth to the grave when all is past, And our toils, though high or humble, only seek for rest

at last.



CASEY'S NEW INFANTRY TACTICS, for the instruction, exercise, and maneuvers of the Soldier, a company, line of skirmishers, battalion, brigade, or corps d'armee, by Brig.-Gen. SILAS CASEY, U.S.A. 3 vols. 24mo, half roan, lithographed plates, $2.50.

KELTON'S BAYONET EXERCISE, by Col. J. C. KELTON, U.S.A. 12mo, cloth, fully illustrated, $1.75. WILCOX RIFLES AND RIFLE PRACTICE, by Capt. C. it. WILCOX, U.S.A. 12mo, cloth, $1.75. CRAIGHILL'S ARMY OFFICERS' COMPANION, designed principally for staff-officers in the field, by Lieut. W. P. CRAIGHILL, U. S. Corps of Engineers. 18mo, roan, $1.50.

BENENT'S MILITARY LAW AND COURTS-MARTIAL, the text-book at the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, by Capt. S. V. BENET, U. S. Ordnance. 8vo, sheep, $3.

BENTON'S ORDNANCE AND GUNNERY, the textbook at West Point, by Capt. J. G. BENTON, U. S. Ordnance. 8vo,. half roan, $4.

DUANE'S MANUAL FOR ENGINEER TROOPS, by Capt. J. C. DUANE, Corps of Engineers, U. S .A. 12mo, half roan, plates, $2.

COMPANY AND SKIRMISHERS' DRILL, by Col. J. MONROE, 22d Regiment, N. Y. S. M. 24mo, cloth, 50 cts. MANUAL OF HEAVY ARTILLERY. 12mo, cloth, 75c.


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A sure Cure for these distressing complaints is now made known in a "TREATISE ON FOREIGN AND NATIVE HERBAL PREPARATIONS," published by DR. O. PHELPS BROWN. The prescription furnished him has cured everybody who has taken it, never having failed in a single case. It is equally sure in cases of Fits as of Dyspepsia; and the ingredients may be found in any drug store. Those who are afflicted with Consumption, Bronchitis, or Asthma, may also be cured by the use of my Herbal Preparations. I will send this valuable prescription free to any person on receipt of their name. Address, DR. O. PHELPS BROWN, No. 19 Grand Street, Jersey City, N. J.

Ballard's Patent Breech-Loading Rifle.

This anus is entirely new, and is universally acknowledged to be the nearest to perfection of any Breech-Loading Rifle ever made. Length of barrel 24 inches, weight of Rifle 7 pounds. Size of Calibre adapted to Nos. 32, 38, and 44 copper water-proof Cartridges, Also,

Prescott's Cartridge Revolvers

The 8in., or Navy Size, carries a Ball weighing 38 to the lb., and the No. 32, or 4in. Revolver, a Ball 80 to the lb. By recent experiments made in the Army, these Revolvers were pronounced the best and most effective weapons in use. For particulars call or send for a Circular to

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No. 262 Broadway, N. Y.


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BEAUTY.—Hunt's Bloom of Roses, a charming and perfectly natural color for the cheeks, or lips. Will not wash off, but remains durable for years. Can only be removed with vinegar, and warranted not to injure the skin.. Used by the celebrated Court Beauties of Europe exclusively. Mailed free from observation for one dollar.

HUNT & CO., Perfumers, 133 S. Seventh St., Philad.

For September, 1862.

The conclusion of Mr. THACKERAY'S "Adventures of Philip" appears in this Number of the Magazine. The serial Tales, "Romola," by Miss EVANS, "Mistress and Maid," by Miss MULOCK, and "Orley Farm," by Mr. TROLLOPE, will, by special arrangement with the Authors, be issued in HARPER'S MAGAZINE, simultaneously with their publication in England.

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