The Attack of Port Hudson


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, April 4, 1863

This site makes all the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War available online. These old newspapers contain fascinating accounts of the important events and battles of the War. We hope you enjoy browsing this incredible collection.

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Vicksburg Canal

Vicksburg Canal


British Pirates

Port Hudson Attack

Attack of Port Hudson

Yazoo Sunset

Yazoo Sunset

Army of the Cumberland

Army of the Cumberland

Vicksburg Levee

Vicksburg Levee

Map of Port Hudson

Port Hudson Map

Camp Wedding

Camp Wedding


Civil War Wedding



Plantation Slaves

Plantation Slaves

General Mitchell

General Mitchell

General Ross

General Ross

Beauregard Cartoon

Beauregard Cartoon










APRIL 4, 1863.]



(Previous Page) rocky plateau, fifty miles broad, clad lightly with thin grass. This plateau is divided from the right fore-ground and depth of the scene by a deep abyss into which the lake discharges its water, that foams over jagged rocks and whirls in blue mist toward the front. In the fore-ground descends a sheer precipice, against which birds are circling in the void. The plateau above stretches, a level promontory of rock, toward the lake, the reflection of the sunlight gleaming along its glittering surface. In the extreme corner of the left fore-ground is a road along which comes a peasant leading a lama, and a tropical thicket is pierced by a bowery path in which the luminous shadow is one of the marvels of the work. A lake in the midst of a vast rocky plateau, through a rift of which it flows away—the cone of the volcano, with the heavy smoke clouds, through which the sun glares as he rises—the cliffs and plateau stained with the myriad shifting hues of lichens, and tremulous with thin, whispering grasses, a cluster of trees in a corner—is the substance of the picture.

Its power is in the impression it conveys of the resistless force of tropic nature, expending itself in apparently aimless grandeurs and useless magnificence. The sense of solitude withering in its splendor, of a torrid fierceness which seems to aim at aridity, but is baffled by unexpected and inextinguishable beauty, the superb disdain which the equator hurls at high civilization and human mastery and progress, are subtly reproduced in this painting, leaving in the spectator's mind a feeling of that profound sadness, which the sight or the story of the Tropics always inspires.

The handling is of the same character and excellence as in Mr. Church's other works. The extraordinary elaboration of detail, as seen in the trees at the left, in the rockiness of the rock, and in the variety of surface, is unsurpassed even by the Pre-Raphaelite doctors. Yet it is subordinated to a breadth of effect which is equally striking. Brilliant and masterly effects of light and color with the greatest breadth are not uncommon. Diaz achieved them wonderfully in very small pictures. But Diaz sacrificed every thing to that single point. It was often smeared upon the canvas with a pallet knife. It was the crudest pigment. But Church secures the light, the brilliancy, the telling and broad effect without slurring the least detail. You have the granulations of the bark and the broad splendor of the tree. There is no niggling. It is honest work, resulting from the most sagacious observation.

Let us hope, some happy day, to see the Heart of the Andes, the Cotopaxi, the Chimborazo, and the Andes of the Ecuador all combined in a single exhibition.

—In the ante-room of the gallery there is a proof of the engraving of the Heart of the Andes, the result of three years' labor of ten hours a day. It is an exquisite specimen of line engraving worthy the most careful and intelligent study.


THE Lounger commends the following correspondent to the Delmonico Committee as a citizen in extreme need of "sound political information:"

      KISKATOM, March 19.

DEAR LOUNGER,—Dr. Mackay, the New York correspondent of the London Times, must, from the nature of his communications, breathe in an atmosphere laden with the poison of sedition. His letter, dated January 29, says:

The beginning of the end draws near. The patience of the people is well-nigh exhausted. They have long been disgusted with the war and the Administration. The disgust has communicated itself to the army. Confidence exists nowhere.

"Even the Exterminators and the Abolitionists have begun to despair of their cause, their President, and themselves, and see before them not only the dismemberment of the Union into the North and South, but into a third republic of the West, accompanied by the utter prostration of credit, if not by a crowning act of national bankruptcy."

The first sentence is true, but not with the meaning of the correspondent of the London Times. The beginning of the end draws near; but it will be the end of this gigantic Southern rebellion, and not the dismemberment of the Union. "The patience of the people is well-nigh exhausted," writes this profound student of American politics, and self-appointed dissector of American nationality. The patience of the people can never be exhausted to a point where they would consent to national disgrace and extinction for the sake of a few years of uncertain peace. They may fume and talk; for talking is a national weakness. Congress is a safety-valve through which the surplus steam escapes. But the great heart of the American people throbs as strong and as loyal to-day as when the first bayonet glittered through Broadway. When will the "correspondent" of the London Times learn something of the nature of the American people, and something in regard to American politics? The two Woods may talk treason by the hour; but the country has taken their measure. Neither does Horace Greeley speak for the American people; for they do not believe in his doctrine of peaceable secession. From the nature of his position Dr. Mackay can not judge justly of our cause. A man must be among and of the people in order to feel of their hearts.

What does Dr. Mackay mean by the word "Exterminator?" Does he intend that it shall represent those who are for exterminating the rebellion? If he means this, then he must "count in" the great body of American citizens. Perhaps the fire of his excited imagination has conjured a people, demon-like, rushing South on a scalping expedition!

I beg the correspondent of the London Times, who is here fishing out of the by-lanes and places all the dirty stuff that he can find, to interlard his communications now and then with a little common sense. He need not be afraid of the article—it will not hurt him.

C. C. T.


A MOST timely and admirable war-song is the following "broadside," which has been widely distributed among the Union soldiers, who are now "sitting upon stumps by the road-side and in the woods of the South," and who have a tolerably clear "understanding of politics and the duties of the citizen."

N.B. Justice to the Delmonico Committee for the diffusion of Copperhead literature requires us to state that the song is not issued under their auspices.

N.B. 2. The Honorable Isaac Toucey does not sing this song at the close of his speeches for Mr. Thomas H. Seymour. Neither was he humming it when he sent off all the national ships of war to the ends of the earth, in order that the rebellion might encounter no opposition.

The writer of the song is Charles G. Leland; the air, "My love she's but a lassie yet."


O! we're not tired of fighting yet! We're not the boys to frighten yet!

While drums are drumming we'll be coming, With the ball and bayonet!

For we can hit while they can pound,

And so let's have another round!

Secesh is bound to lick the ground,

And we'll be in their pantry yet!


O! we're not tired of tramping yet—

Of soldier-life or camping yet;

And rough or level, man or devil, We are game for stamping yet.

We've lived through weather wet and dry, Through hail and fire, without a cry;

We wouldn't freeze and couldn't fry,

And haven't got through our ramping yet.


We haven't broke up the party yet;

We're rough, and tough, and hearty yet:

Who talks of going pays what's owing,

And there's a bill will smart ye yet.

So bang the doors, and lock 'em tight!

Secesh, you've got to make it right!

We'll have a little dance to-night;

You can't begin to travel yet!

O! we're not tired of fighting yet, Nor ripe for disuniting yet!

Before they do it, or get through it, There'll be some savage biting yet. Then rip hurrah for Uncle Sam,

And down with all secesh and sham! From Davis to Vallandigham,

They all shall rue their treason yet!


IT is part of the design of the Cooper Institute to furnish every season a series of popular lectures upon the most timely and permanently valuable topics, and several courses have been delivered this winter. Among them those of Professor G. W. Greene upon the American Revolution are worthy of especial notice; for they are the fruit of the extensive research and scholarship of a grandson of one of the most illustrious of Revolutionary heroes, General Greene, the friend of Washington. Professor Greene is in possession of his grandfather's private papers, which he was preparing for publication when the war began. Newer interests are now likely to postpone, if not entirely to prevent, their appearance. Meanwhile a series of discourses upon the Revolution has been prepared and delivered by Professor Greene before the Lowell Institute in Boston with the greatest success. They have been repeated, or are even now repeating, at the Cooper Institute. Professor Greene's scholarly accomplishments and hereditary interest in the great theme are the sure guarantees of the interest and value of his discourses. The Lyceum Committees of the next season might wisely bear the fact in mind.


IN reply to numerous inquiries the Lounger says, what he omitted to say in his article upon "The Trial of the Constitution," by Sidney George Fisher, that it is published by Messrs. J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia.

"Sylvia's Lovers" is the new novel by Mrs. Gaskell—a story of English life, told with the eloquent fervor and dramatic power for which the authoress of "Mary Barton" has long since established her fame. It has been greeted with great

praise by the London critics, and shows that Mrs. Gaskell is not yet to be superseded by the fresher triumphs of Mrs. Wood or the authoress of "Aurora Floyd." Indeed Mrs. Gaskell and Miss Evans, the author of "Adam Bede" and "Romola" (now publishing in Harper's Magazine), are still unrivaled among the "female novelists" of England. Published by Harper & Brothers.

In this number of the Weekly is the brilliant opening of Charles Reade's new novel, "Very Hard Cash." Mr. Tom Hughes must look to his laurels. Mr. Reade begins by a most spirited picture of boat-racing at Oxford, and places four marked characters upon the stage. The breeze blows in his stories from the very beginning. There is a staccato in the style, a brisk movement, a disdain of weariness and prosiness, that make his pages sparkle. There are no better tales to read in numbers than Reade's, for his dramatic habit leads him to finish every part like a scene upon the stage. Begin with the beginning.

The value of General Butterfield's "Outpost Duty" may be inferred from the fact of the large Government orders for the use of the army. The accomplished Chief of Staff in the Army of the Potomac has prepared a most timely and lucid manual. It is both the illustration of his own military intelligence and a friendly service to his fellow-soldiers. Published by Harper & Brothers.


"I say, Mike, what sort of potatoes are those you are planting?" "Raw ones, to be sure; yer honor wouldn't be thinking I would plant boiled ones."

"Papa, what is that picture over the mantle-piece?" The vain father answered, "Why, that's papa's arms, my darling." "Then why don't you have your legs put up too?" was the reply.

A gentleman who had lost his wife, whose maiden name was Little, addressed the following to Miss More, a lady of diminutive stature:

"I've lost the little once I had,

My heart is sad and sore,

So now I should be very glad

To have a little more."

To which the lady sent the following answer:

"I pity much the loss you've had;

The grief you must endure—

A heart by Little made so sad,

A little More won't cure."

The butler to Lord B— gave up his place because his lordship's wife was always scolding him. "Good gracious!" exclaimed his master, "ye've little to complain o'; ye may be thankfu' ye're no married to her."

A certain old lady, whenever she hires a servant-man always asks, "Can you whistle?" On being asked the reason of this curious question she says that she always makes him whistle when he goes to draw the ale until he returns, thus securing him from tasting.

The philosopher Bion said pleasantly of the King who by handfuls pulled his hair off his head for sorrow, "Does this man think that baldness is a remedy for grief?"


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

A railroad contractor recently tried to take a ride on a "train of thought," and falling off, was run over by a "passing event."

He who said that the half is often better than the whole, might have added that none at all is often better than the half.

Young ladies are like arrows—they are all in a quiver till the beaux come and can't go off without them.


What Christian name reads both ways the same? Hannah.

Why is Ireland likely to become very rich? Because its capital is always doubling (Dublin).

Why have wine and cake very bad morals?

Because one is always drunk, and the other is often tipsy.

Why is a pretty woman like a lock? Because she is a thing to a door (adore).

What is the difference between a good and a bad oyster?

One is a native and the other is a settler.

If the eyes and nose were going to run a race which would win?

The eyes, for the nose would be blown, while the eyes would run till they dropped.

What flowers are there between a lady's nose and chin? Tulips (two lips).



OUR intelligence from the Southwest is confused, disconnected, and somewhat contradictory. On 23d the Department at Washington received a dispatch from Admiral Porter stating that he has received information from Lieutenant Commander Watson Smith that on the 7th instant the whole expedition arrived in the Tallahatchie. The vessels all got through in fighting condition, excepting the Petrel, which lost her wheel.

On 19th a dispatch was received at Washington from Memphis stating that our fleet had reached the junction of the Tallahatchie and Yallabusha Rivers, and there had had a fight, on 13th, with a rebel fort, called Fort Pemberton, at or near a place called Green Wood. Later advices, without date, coming by way of Cincinnati, add that our troops had disembarked from their transports and were besieging this Fort Pemberton.

On 23d news reached St. Louis to the effect that the steamer Diligent, with the Eighth Missouri, had succeeded in entering Yazoo River, above Haines's Bluff. Her course was through Cypress Bayou, which debouches into the Yazoo opposite Johnson's plantation, and thence through Steele's Bayou into the Sunflower, which empties into the Yazoo twenty miles above Haines's Bluff. The Diligent was accompanied by a light gun-boat. As soon as it was found possible to get through, four iron-clads followed.

It is also stated that the rebels are burning the cotton wherever our troops approach; likewise that they are suffering from want of food.


Admiral Farragut, supported by General Banks, has attacked Port Hudon. Our accounts of the affair are thus far very meagre. The rebel story is thus given in the Richmond Whig of 17th:

"The bombardment commenced on Port Hudson at two o'clock on the 14th. At twelve o'clock in the night a desperate engagement took place, the enemy attempting to pass our batteries under cover of the darkness.

"The firing was terrific. One gun-boat passed in a damaged condition. The United States sloop-of-war Mississippi was burned to the water's edge in front of our batteries. One large vessel was completely riddled, a third badly crippled, and the rest were driven back.

"Our victory was complete. There were no casualties on our part. Thirty-six men and one midshipman of the Mississippi were brought in by our cavalry, several of them severely wounded.

"Farragut's flag-ship went down the river disabled." On the other hand, it is stated by Union officers from New Orleans that on 14th Admiral Farragut came into action with his fleet at Port Hudson, and after a brisk engagement with the batteries, succeeded in passing the fort with all his fleet, consisting of eight vessels, leaving the Mississippi behind, which ran aground, and was set on fire by order of the Admiral. The army is reported to be within five miles of the enemy's works. Dispatches from Southwest Pass, Louisiana, appear to confirm this statement. They are dated on the 15th, and add that heavy skirmishing was going on in the advance; that Colonel Clark, aid to General Banks, was slightly wounded, and that the army was in good spirits, and would move in a few hours.


The water was let into the canal at Lake Providence on the 16th inst. The aperture is twenty feet wide, and was opening at its mouth still wider. The greater part of the town was threatened with an overflow on the following morning.


The following has been received at the head-quarters of the army:


Major-General Halleck, General-in-Chief:

General Reynolds reports from Colonel Hall's brigade, on a scout near Milton, on the road to Liberty, that he was attacked this morning by Morgan's and Breckinridge's cavalry (about eight or ten regiments) and after a four hours' fight whipped and drove them, with a loss to us of seven killed and thirty-one wounded, including one captain.

The rebel loss was thirty or forty killed, including three commissioned officers, one hundred and forty wounded and twelve prisoners, including three commissioned officers.

   W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-General.


The Richmond papers are croaking fearfully over the want of food under which the rebel armies are now suffering. All the country around the localities where these armies are situated is completely stripped of provisions, and the only resource lies in the railroads, which are said to be giving out for want of laborers to keep them in order. The wood-work is rotting and the machinery getting out of repair. The Richmond Examiner says that "If they are allowed to fall through, from any causes, Government and people may prepare for a retreat of our armies, and the surrender of much invaluable country now in our possession."


The army of the United States and the cause of loyalty against rebellion have sustained a serious loss in the death of Major-General Edwin V. Sumner, who died at Syracuse on 21st, rather suddenly, of congestion of the lungs.


IN the House of Commons Mr. Caird asked if the Government was informed of ships preparing for the Confederates in England similar to the Alabama, and Mr. Layard said that the attention of the Government had been called to more than one vessel of the kind, but no evidence has been yet furnished to enable the Government to interfere. He said, however, that strict orders have been given for all suspected vessels to be closely watched.


Messrs. Laird, of Birkenhead, England, have launched two steamers—the Quang-tong and Tien-tsin—from their yard at that place. These vessels form part of the Anglo-Chinese fleet recently spoken of as being building in England, under that pretense, for the service of the rebels of the South.


The Princess Alexandra, of Denmark, now the wife of the Prince of Wales, had reached Windsor Castle.



The French and English Governments are quite agreed, it is said, as to their policy on the Polish question. In notes to Russia, they regret the partition of the ancient kingdom, but accept it as a fact which can not be remedied; but they speak earnestly, at the same time, of the solemn promises made of granting liberal institutions to the Poles.


"The rebel cavalry leader, STUART, has appointed to a position on his staff, with the rank of Major, a young lady residing at Fairfax Court House, who has been of great service to him in giving information," etc.—Daily Paper.

Woman Spy




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