Second Battle of Bull Run


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, September 13, 1862

Welcome to our collection of online Harper's Weekly newspapers. We feature all issues published during the Civil War. These newspapers offer a rich opportunity to gain more insight into the people and places of the Civil War.

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General Pope

General Pope

President's Emancipation Policy

Lincoln's Emancipation Policy

Second Battle of Bull Run

Second Battle of Bull Run


Warrenton, Virginia



War in Virginia

War in Virginia

New Iron Clad Navy

New Iron Clad Navy

Camp Curtin

Camp Curtin

Manassas Junction

Manassas Junction

Camp Morton

Camp Morton

Civil War Iron Clads

Civil War Iron Clads

Scenes in Tennessee

Scenes in Tennessee

Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty



SEPTEMBER 13, 1862.]



(Previous Page) earnestly who does not sympathize more sincerely with the rebel, than with the national, Congress. He does not openly denounce the Government, for he has learned that that is not a safe business, but he angrily denounces all who are for maintaining it at every cost. The real enemies of the Union, he insists, are those who are resolved to save it. Let us hang those, he cries, who are for preserving the Union any how, and all will be serene.

So it will; perfectly serene for the men who assert that they are our natural masters: who murder our bravest and best, and torture those whom they do not kill; who are bent upon destroying our peace and prosperity if they can not use us for their own purposes. Let the people who are struggling for all that is precious to men or nations spew out these politicians, who are trying to do the dirty work of the rebellion in the very heart of our camp. Let them be made to understand that the people of this country mean to save their Government at any cost, and if that cost shall include justice to an outraged class, they will be only the more religiously resolved.

And whether Jeff Davis remembers his friends or not after the desperate and terrible war is over and every household in the land sits among its ruins and counts its loved and honored and lost, the people of this country will remember in that hour with dreadful distinctness the men who now, in the midst of peril and upon the very battle-field, are trying to stab their country and help its enemies.


IT is most creditable to Generals Sickles, Meagher, and Corcoran—all of whom have proved themselves brave soldiers—that in their speeches for the war they heartily denounce the attempt to dissuade enlistments by the cry of abolitionism. They say distinctly, what for their future it is to be hoped they see as clearly, that at this moment there are no parties whatever except true men and traitors. There is the party for the war, and the party against it. Those who are constantly shouting that the abolitionists ought to be hung belong to the party that Jeff Davis loves. General Corcoran puts it well when he says that he does not ask whether the man at his side is an abolitionist or a pro-slavery man, so long as he stands firmly shoulder to shoulder, and strikes straight for the Union,

Let us settle that we have a Union, and then determine what party we belong to. And to that settlement let nothing impede our way. Neither of the Generals that we name are "abolitionists," as the word has been used, and they are not known as anti-slavery men. They may even believe it practicable to save the Union and leave slavery unharmed. But that they would let the Union slide rather than slavery we do not believe; and that they will presently see that effectually to end the war the slave system must be suppressed we do not doubt.

General Cochrane and General Busteed have already said what they think of the question. The latter, with acute humor, declares that he does not see that if his blood is not too good and precious to be shed for the Government why a black man's is. He does not believe that the lives of colored people are any more valuable than those of other people; nor does he see why white men should go as substitutes for black ones.

General Sickles, in his Brooklyn speech and elsewhere, mentions the folly of supposing that the liberation of slaves would bring them to the North. He says, what every sensible person sees to be true, that it would be the very thing to keep them at home, because then they would have a fair chance.

General Spinola declares that he thinks white men better fight and colored men dig. But he says that if the rebels lose their slaves they have only themselves to thank for it.

If, then, we can help our brave fellows in the field, and at once shorten their service and the war by disorganizing the labor, the lines, and the life, of the rebels, we do not believe one of these Generals would insist upon keeping them strengthened. For they are Generals not only because they wish to serve their country, but because they are shrewd men and understand the necessities of things,


GENERAL HALLECK does not show himself less worthy the public confidence because he forbids correspondents in camp. While we are compelled to make war let us do it in a warlike way. Let us have secrecy of movement, and if it can not be absolute, let us be as secret as we can. General Halleck is said to be a man who does not care for any body's criticism or opposition. Such a statement is probably an extravagant manner of expressing a most desirable quality of character.

One thing, of course, he will not forget. The people have a right to know the current course of affairs, and the authorities have no right to change or cook the truth. When, therefore, the Government undertakes to supply us with information, it must do it. After Ball's Bluff the Government was apparently guilty of tampering with the nation: that is to say, it had control of the telegraph and it did not tell the truth. We had been bitterly and simply routed, and the news came to us as a success even, then a masterly falling back. If the authorities were themselves misinformed, there was no offense on their part, but they should never have been again misinformed by those officers at least.

So the retreat of McClellan upon the Peninsula was first announced as a great movement which was sure to secure Richmond. Exactly what that movement was is now evident to the blindest prejudice. If it were represented to the Government as other than a retreat, the Government should take care never to be deceived by the same persons again.

Some newspapers assume that the Government stops correspondence, from the conviction that the people are children and cowards who can not bear

to hear the truth. On the contrary, the Government treats us like men who understand that war has the most rigid necessities, and who can wait until the issue of a movement before we hear all the details. We greatly mistake General Halleck if he is going to suffer any falsehoods or glosses to be telegraphed. He alone, if the Generals in the field are faithful, knows, from hour to hour, the fortune of the day. He alone can tell us at the earliest moment the comprehensive result. It would be the height of folly in him to excite the public with every account he receives. On the other hand, it would be downright madness to conceal any important event.

But why should we presuppose him to be a fool? He is a citizen precisely as we are. He understands the peculiar impatience and the actual rights of the public quite as accurately as we. Let us candidly try him. Let us see if he is demented by his position. Thus far he certainly does not seem to be. When he does, let us not hold our tongues.


THE Legislature of Rhode Island lately debated a proposition not to exempt Quakers from military duty. The ground of those who wished that they should serve like other citizens was that the Quakers enjoyed all the benefits of the Government, sued in the courts, and shared a protection which rested at last upon the bayonet; and that consequently to release them from the duty of supporting that Government, in the last resort, was to be guilty of class legislation.

The reply to this was, that non-resistance was a tenet of the sect, and that to compel them to fight was to interfere with that religious liberty and equal respect of sects which the fundamental law guarantees.

The proposition was lost by a heavy majority. Yet the ground of the defense seems to be unsound. To excuse the Quakers, as a religious sect, from duties which are imposed upon all other sects, is evidently a very unequal respect for sects. The only true ground of excuse should be not that a man is a Quaker, but that he is a non-resistant. For by what just law can a non-resistant Quaker be excused from military service, and a non-resistant Baptist or Methodist compelled to serve? Suppose that a new sect should appear with a new tenet of non-resistance, to the effect that governments should be supported by voluntary contributions, should the members of the sect be excused from taxation? And if the members of the sect, then why not all citizens who hold similar opinions?

Unless, therefore, all persons who conscientiously object to fighting are to be released from military duty, there is no good reason why any of them should be.

The law in regard to the exemption of Quakers is of no great importance in itself, because they are not a large class, and because many of them practically disregard it, and are as gallant soldiers as any in the field. But the principle of the law is very important. It favors one sect. It discriminates between equal citizens. It is really a law of privilege, and ought to be repealed. Then if it shall be thought wise to excuse all citizens who have true conscientious scruples against fighting, let a law be made to secure their release.


ALL men are kings by birth, for no man is born without a crown to his head.

SENTIMENTAL YOUTH. "My dear girl, will you share my lot for life?"

PRACTICAL GIRL. "How many acres is your lot, Sir?"

"Jones has a reverence for truth," said Brown. "So I perceive," was Smith's reply, "for he always keeps a respectable distance from it."

Why is a milkman like Pharaoh's daughter?—Because he takes a little profit out of the water.

What is the most daring theft a man can be guilty of?—Taking the chair at a public meeting.

What is the most wonderful of acrobatic feats?—For a man to revolve in his mind.

Why is a young lady like a bill of exchange?—Because she ought to be "settled" when she arrives at maturity.

If a man marry a shrew, are we to suppose he is shrewd?

"I wish you would not give me such short weight for my money," said a customer to a grocer who had an outstanding bill against him. "And I wish you wouldn't give me such long wait for mine," replied the grocer.

An Irishman being asked at breakfast how he came by " that black eye," said "he slept on his fist."

What is that which by adding something to it will become smaller, but if you add nothing will grow larger? —A hole in a stocking.

He is a first-rate collector who can, upon all occasions, collect his wits.

"The ugliest trades," said Jerrold, "have their moments of pleasure. Now if I were a grave-digger, or even a hangman, there are some people I could work for with a great deal of enjoyment."

Some one blamed Dr. Marsh for changing his mind. "Well," said he, "that is the difference between a man and a jackass; the jackass can't change his mind and the man can—it's a human privilege."

The young lady who burst into tears has been put together again, and is now wearing hoops to prevent the recurrence of the accident.

"Caught in her own net," as the man said when he saw one of the fair sex hitched in her crinoline.

We are told to have hope and trust, but what's a poor fellow to do when he can no longer get trust?

An Irish stationer, after advertising a variety of articles, gives the following nota bene: "To regular customers I sell wafers gratis."

A girl recently stole a pair of gloves, giving as a reason that she only wished to keep her hand in.

LADIES' SKINS —A furrier wishing to inform the public that he would make up furs in a fashionable manner, out of old furs which ladies have at home, appended the following to one of his advertisements: "N.B.—Capes, victorines, etc., made up for ladies in fashionable styles, out of their own skins!"

THE LARGEST ROOM IN THE WORLD.—The "Room for Improvement."



ON the evening of 26th the enemy's cavalry appeared at Manassas Station. The troops engaged numbered, according to all accounts, nearly two thousand men, and were a portion of Colonel Fitzhugh Lee's forces, which made the attack on Catlett's Station a few days previous. The attack appears to have been first made on a train of cars at Bristow, about four and a half miles west of Manassas; but the train, putting on extra speed, escaped. The rebel cavalry then made a dash on Manassas, where they were partially checked by the Eleventh New York battery. The resistance, though gallant, was ineffectual, and the rebels destroyed every thing within their reach—the railroad track, the cars, the telegraph wires, and all the Government stores and buildings. The place appeared to have been undefended, save by three or four companies of infantry and the single battery of undisciplined troops, who were unable to make any defense.


The following dispatch from General Pope explains the course he pursued:


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

As soon as I discovered that a large force of the enemy was turning our right, toward Manassas, and that the division I had ordered to take post there two days before had not yet arrived from Alexandria, I immediately broke up my camp at Warrenton Junction and Warrenton, and marched rapidly back in three columns.

I directed McDowell, with his own and Sigel's corps, to march upon Gainesville by the Warrenton and Alexandria pike; Reno and one division of Heintzelman to march on Greenwich; and, with Porter's corps and Hooker's division, I marched back to Manassas Junction.

McDowell was ordered to interpose between the forces of the enemy which had passed down to Manassas, through Gainesville, and his main body, moving down from White Plains through Thoroughfare Gap. This was completely accomplished, Longstreet, who had passed through the Gap, being driven back to the west side.

The forces to Greenwich were designed to support McDowell in case he met too large a force of the enemy. The division of Hooker, marching toward Manassas, came upon the enemy near Kettle Run on the afternoon of the 27th, and, after a sharp action, routed them completely, killing and wounding three hundred, capturing camps and baggage and many stand of arms.

This morning the command pushed rapidly to Manassas Junction, which Jackson had evacuated three hours in advance. He retreated by Centreville, and took the turnpike toward Warrenton. He was met six miles west of Centreville by McDowell and Sigel late this afternoon. A severe fight took place, which was terminated by darkness. The enemy was driven back at all points, and thus the affair rests.

Heintzelman's corps will move on him at daylight from Centreville, and I do not see how the enemy is to escape without heavy loss. We have captured one thousand prisoners, many arms, and one piece of artillery.

JOHN POPE, Major-General.


The following dispatch explains itself:

HEADQUARTERS, FIELD OF BATTLE, GROVETON, NEAR GAINESVILLE, August 30, 1862. To Major-General Halleck, Commander-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:

We fought a terrific battle here yesterday with the combined forces of the enemy, which lasted with continuous fury from daylight until after dark, by which time the enemy was driven from the field, which we now occupy.

Our troops are too much exhausted to push matters; but I shall do so in the course of the morning, as soon as Fitz John Porter's corps comes up from Manassas.

The enemy is still in our front, but badly used up.

We have lost not less than 8000 men killed and wounded, and, from the appearance of the field, the enemy have lost at least two to our one. He stood strictly on the defensive, and every attack was made by ourselves.

Our troops have behaved splendidly.

The battle was fought on the identical battle-field of Bull Run, which greatly increased the enthusiasm of our men.

The news just reaches us from the front that the enemy is retreating toward the mountains. I go forward at once to see.

We have made great captures; but I am not able yet to form an idea of their extent.   JOHN POPE,

   Major-General Commanding.


The fighting was renewed on Saturday between General Pope and the enemy, who had been considerably reinforced. The battle was a severe one, the rebels gaining the advantage and compelling General Pope to fall back to Centreville, which he did in good order. Franklin's corps reached him at this point on Saturday evening, and General Sumner's division was rapidly marching up to join him. He was expected to make another assault on the enemy on 31st, with the fresh troops thus added to his army, but there was very little fighting on that day, not more than an occasional skirmish. The army was in fine condition and good spirits. The position of General Pope is represented as the strongest in the vicinity of Washington. Rebel scouts have penetrated as far as Langley's station, in the vicinity of the Chain Bridge; but it is said that all necessary precautions have been taken to prevent a surprise of the capital in that direction.


At the time we write (noon on September 2), the Army of Virginia, reinforced by the bulk of the Army of the Potomac and other troops in considerable numbers, lies intrenched on the heights of Centreville. General Banks is understood to be at Manassas Junction. The rebels made no attack on 31st August or 1st September, and appear to be waiting for Pope to make the next move in the game. McClellan is at Alexandria, in command of some remains of his army. Burnside is at Aquia Creek, having just evacuated Fredericksburg. Troops are pouring into Washington at the rate of several thousand a day.


The rebel rendezvous at City Point was completely demolished on Thursday last by the gun-boats of Commodore Wilkes. It appears that for some time past the enemy had been harassing our transports, and Commodore Wilkes sent them word that if they did not desist he would shell then out. The response to this threat was a further reinforcement of riflemen and cannon and a more brisk fire upon our flotilla. The gun-boats then proceeded to carry out Commodore Wilkes's announcement, and finally demolished every building at City Point and drove the rebels clear out of their strong-hold.


The rebels, 1800 strong, under Morgan, came into collision with General Johnson, near Gallatin, on the 21st, and compelled his force of 700 men to surrender. General Johnson and staff were kindly treated by the rebel chief, and released on parole. The Union loss was twenty-six killed, including Lieutenant Wynkoop, of the Seventh Pennsylvania cavalry, and two other officers, and thirty-three wounded. The rebel loss, including several officers, was thirteen killed and fifty wounded.


The following telegram is published:

      CINCINNATI, August 31, 1862.

On Friday afternoon the rebels beyond Richmond, Kentucky, drove in our cavalry. General Manson, with the

Sixty-ninth and Seventy-first Indiana, moved up, and after throwing a few shells the enemy retreated rapidly beyond Rogersville, leaving one gun behind. Manson bivouacked for the night, and on Saturday morning advanced with two regiments and four guns, and coming up with the enemy, an artillery fight began, with heavy loss on both sides. The enemy attempted to turn our left flank, when sharp fighting occurred between the skirmishers. The Sixty-ninth Indiana advanced through a dense fire of shot and shell to the relief of our skirmishers, and behaved like old soldiers; but the rebels finally turned our left flank and advanced in full force on our column. General Munson ordered a retreat, fell back three miles, and re-formed in line of battle on high hills, with artillery in position on the right and left flanks.

The firing by artillery was recommenced and kept up by both sides very briskly. After fighting about two hours the enemy advanced on our right flank, under cover of the woods, and after severe fighting succeeded in turning it. Retreat immediately took place to the original camping ground. Here General Nelson came up, and, after great efforts, succeeded in rallying the men, and formed another line of battle. Our artillery ammunition was nearly exhausted, and some of the guns were left without a man to work them, all having been killed or wounded.

General Nelson was wounded at about three P.M., when the men again fell back, retreating to Lexington. The enemy's forces numbered 15,000 or 20,000. The Union forces engaged were the Ninty-fifth Ohio, Twelfth, Sixteenth, Sixty-sixth, Sixty-ninth, and Seventy-first Indiana, Mundy's and Metcalf 's cavalry. The loss in killed and wounded is heavy on both sides. The number is not yet known.

Lieutenant-Colonel Topping and Major Kunkle, of the Seventy-first Indiana, were killed. General Wright left this morning to take the field. General Wallace leaves tonight to join him. A large number of regiments are en route to Lexington.

A battle took place on Saturday near Richmond, Kentucky, lasting from morning till four in the afternoon, resulting in our troops being driven back with serious loss. No particulars are received.

General Nelson, wounded, arrived here to-night.

Lexington has been evacuated, and the State archives removed to Louisville. The entire male population of Kentucky has been called to arms.


Fort Donelson has been attacked by the rebels, who were defeated. They numbered 450 infantry, 335 cavalry, and two field-pieces, and were commanded by Colonel Woodward. The fort was gallantly defended by Major Hart, with four companies of the Seventy-first Ohio Regiment.


The question of the command of the armies operating in Virginia is definitely settled by an official bulletin. General Burnside commands his own corps, except those which have been temporarily detached and assigned to General Pope. General McClellan commands that portion of the Army of the Potomac which has not been sent forward to General Pope's command. General Pope commands the Army of Virginia, and all the forces temporarily attached to it, and General Halleck commands the whole.


About a thousand rebel prisoners reached Washington on 31st from the great battle-field, representing, the correspondents say, nearly all the rebel States.


Commander Davis telegraphs to the Secretary of the Navy, from Helena, Arkansas, that a naval and military expedition down the river succeeded in capturing a rebel steamer, loaded with Enfield rifles and ammunition; burned a railroad depot and telegraph station, thus cutting off all communication between Vicksburg and Little Rock; and then, entering the Yazoo River, destroyed a rebel battery and broke up several camps of the enemy.


A special order from the rebel War Department declares Generals Hunter and Phelps outlaws, who, if captured, will meet the death of felons.


Our forces are preparing to evacuate Baton Rouge, and to establish the State Government at New Orleans, under Governor Shepley. Enthusiastic Union meetings have taken place in the latter city.






SIR,—I have left hitherto unanswered and unnoticed the dispatch of Mr. Seward, which Mr. Adams delivered more than a month ago. I have done so partly because the military events referred to in it were, in the opinion of her Majesty's Government, far from being decisive, and partly because there was no proposal in it upon which her Majesty's Government were called upon to come to any conclusion.

Events subsequent to the date of Mr. Seward's letter have shown that her Majesty's Government, in their opinion upon the first of these points, were not mistaken.

Victories have been gained and reverses have followed; positions have been reached in the near neighborhood of the capital of the Confederates, and these positions have been again abandoned.

These events have been accompanied by great loss of life in battle and in the hospitsl, while such measures as the Confiscation bill have passed through both Houses of Congress, and, with the proclamation of General Butler at New Orleans, bear evidence of the increasing bitterness of the strife.

The approach of a servile war, so much insisted upon by Mr. Seward in his dispatch, only forewarns us that another element of destruction may be added to the loss of property and waste of industry which already afflict a country so lately prosperous and tranquil.

Nor, on the other point I have adverted to, have I any thing new to say. From the moment that intelligence fiat reached this country that nine States and several millions of inhabitants of the great American Union had seceded, and had made war on the Government of President Lincoln, down to the present time, her Majesty's Government have pursued a friendly, open, and consistent course. They have been neutral between the two parties to a civil war.

Neither the loss of raw materiel of manufacture, so necessary to a great portion of our people, nor insults constantly heaped upon the British name in speeches and newspapers; nor a rigor, beyond the usual practice of nations, with which the Queen's subjects, attempting to break loose from the blockade of the Southern ports, have been treated, have induced her Majesty's government to swerve an inch from an impartial neutrality.

At this moment they have nothing more at heart than to see that consumation which the President speaks of in his answer to the Governors of eighteen States—namely, "the bringing of this unnecessary and injurious civil war to a speedy and satisfactory conclusion.

As to the course of opinion in this country, the President is aware that perfect freedom to comment upon all public events is, in this country, the invariable practice sanctioned by law and approved by the universal sense of the nation. I am, etc.,   RUSSEL.



At latest dates Garibaldi was still moving in the path of revolution. He had made a descent on Catania, in Sicily, in opposition to the wishes of the Italian Government. The subject having been brought up in the Senate, the Prime Minister of Italy said they considered Garibaldi "in rebellion," and that his operations would be checked by the King's troops and navy. Napoleon had expressdd his disapproval of the acts of this "liberator," but hinted that Victor Emanuel encourages him.




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