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Civil War Harper's Weekly, April 25, 1863

We have created this WEB site in order to make our extensive collection of Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers available online. These fascinating papers have illustrations and reports created by eye-witnesses to the key events and battles of the War.

(Scroll Down to See Entire Page, or Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to the page of interest)


Admiral Dupont

Admiral Dupont

Attack of Charleston

Attack on Charleston

Bread Riots

Bread Riots

Map of Charleston

Charleston Map

The "Keokuk"


Approach of the "Alabama"

Quack Medicine

Quack Medicine Advertisements

Historical Advertisements

Historical Advertisements

Union Square

Union Square

Rebel Prisoners

Rebel Prisoners

Ericsson's Devil

Ericsson's Devil

Charleston Harbor

Charleston Harbor



APRIL 25, 1863.]




IT was a severe test for Johannsen, the German Prima Donna, to appear upon the very stage on which Medori is achieving her triumphs. But her performance of Fidelio at the Academy was admirable and effective. There could hardly be a wider difference than that of the music of Norma or Ione and Fidelio. The Titanic passion and grandeur of Beethoven contrasts with the elegiac tenderness of Bellini, like a thunder-cloud with the soft cirrus vapors of a June evening; and it is some time before the mind and ear that have been listening to the graceful, facile melody of the Italian can adapt themselves to the rich and combined measures of the German.

Nor is it easy to comprehend at once the music of Fidelio. It lacks the melodies which hand-organs seize and boys whistle in the street. The voices are treated like instruments. The effect is not produced by airs which are accompanied by the orchestra, but by the combination of each, so that you applaud as if you heard a symphony. Yet the profound feeling and power of the Fidelio music are such that you must hear and hear again before its full force and significance are perceived. Johannsen is no longer young, nor has she any special prestige with the public, but her thorough comprehension of the character, her mastery of the music, and her conscientious and skillful singing, must persuade every hearer that no injustice is done to the great work.

That Beethoven had not the talent which is called "lyrical" is as true as that Milton had not dramatic genius. The symphony is the natural form of his musical expression, and the music of Fidelio has all the characteristics of such a work. But it is not rash to say that, while this is generally true, there is no scene in any opera superior as a musical drama to the prison act in Fidelio.

Every sincere lover of music will be grateful to Mr. Anchutz and Madame Johannsen for the ample hearing they have given the public of a great work so seldom heard.


No reader will fail to ponder the "History of the Crimean War," by Kinglake, of which the two published volumes have just been issued in one by the Harpers. A taste of its quality was furnished in the April number of the Magazine by the publication of part of the historian's estimate of Louis Napoleon, which has produced so great an impression in Europe, and which recent circumstances have invested with peculiar interest in America. The work is hailed as a remarkable contribution to historical literature. The brilliant pictorial power of the author of "Eothen" is displayed with great effect upon its pages, and we shall return to its consideration when it shall have become familiar to our readers.


A YOUNG man now in Alexandria, Egypt, who signs himself a Citizen of the United States of America, and who is a subscriber to the Weekly, writes a letter of ardent sympathy with the national cause, "I was born in Greece," he says. "I am fellow-countryman with Themistocles, Leonidas, Miltiades, and many others; and fellow-citizen with Washington, Adams, Jefferson (but not with the ruffian Jefferson Davis, President of the Rebellion), Franklin, Fulton," etc. He adds that his father was educated in America, at "the Mount Pleasant, from 1822 to 1836, and in several other universities ....and he is now at Athens, because he was one of the commanders of the revolution. But both he and myself are citizens of the noble freedom's land."

Addressing his letter to the Editor of Harper's Weekly, Mr. Alexander C. Evangelides writes as follows:

"Every one who is a well-wisher for the prosperity of our country desires to hear that the Federal arms obtain the honor, of victory, and that the legions of the rebels are daily yielding before the star-spangled immortal banner of the Union. Since it is accompanied by justice, the frequent successes of the arms of the Union, it is to be hoped, very soon will establish peace.

"It greatly distresses me, dear Sir, to see that these persons, being our own countrymen, should be in the wrong. They too are also brave—for Americans they could not be otherwise. As often as I read the narrations of our battles, which so marvelously your elegant pen describes, I see that every soldier is a hero, and I envy the fate of those who fall in the field of honor crowned with the laurel.

"O! that the heroism of our brothers, that is so sacrificed now on the altar of civil war, and the great sums of money spent, serve shortly for the benefit of humanity; and may we soon see the stars and stripes waving over the whole continent of America!

"I am convinced that the destiny of America is to defend the liberties of all nations by the propagation of Christianity. All the world owe to pray for the happiness of that glorious land!—the land beneath whose brilliant sky were born those illustrious men who rendered their own country glorious, and enrich the rest of the other world by their wisdom—whose names are high above, adorning the heavens of America.

"Such prayers we here address to God, we who are far away from our dear country, living in the midst of nations who are still under slavery and barbarism.

"In Alexandria are many friends of America, and their sympathies are all in favor of the Federals. As a proof of it, is that Mr. 'William S. Thayer' is incomparably more beloved and more respected than his predecessor, both for his own personal worth as well his being a strict Federalist. So that we, the few Americans who reside in Alexandria, account ourselves happy having such a representative of our noble freedom's land.

"ALEXANDRIA OF EGYPT, March 2, 1863."


THE managers of a Grand Bal Masque in Portland, for the benefit of sick and wounded soldiers, have honored the Lounger with a card of invitation. He acknowledges it with pleasure, as another indication of the interest which unites all loyal American citizens in the prosecution of the war and in care for the soldiers who are fighting it. Among them, as he has reason to know, there is but one feeling and one resolution—that the

country ought to conquer, and that it shall conquer. If it was right to begin the war, of which they have no doubt, it is right to continue it and to end it for the purpose for which it was undertaken; and whatever resists that consummation must be swept away. This is an old faith, and a very simple logic. But the faith is ineradicable, and the logic irresistible.

The Portland ball is over; but we will hope sincerely that its results will relieve, in many a worthy case, the consequences of balls of a very different kind.


THE charming story of Mrs. Gaskell's which has been appearing in the Weekly for some time past, called 'A Dark Night's Wok," is just issued by the Harpers in a very legible and agreeable form. The lovers of "Sylvia's Lovers" will recognize the same earnest tone, the some vital interest, which mark all the stories of the friend and biographer of Charlotte Bronte.

A capital illustrated book for boys is Edgar's "Sea Kings and Naval Heroes," issued by the same house. It tells in the liveliest and most entertaining way the stories of Rollo, Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, Admiral Blake, Prince Rupert, Rodney, Nelson, Collingwood, and many more; and at this time when every American boy is familiar by everyday hearing with the honored names of other heroes, Dupont, Farragut, Porter, Worden, and the rest, this little book has a peculiar interest. There are very few boys who will read with dry eyes Nelson's story ending with the words that have an almost unparalleled pathos: "Now kiss me, Hardy."

The Country Parson has written another of his chatty, pleasant books, the "Every Day Philosopher," published by Ticknor & Co., who also issue a very neat library edition of John Stuart Mill's "Essay on Liberty." It is a masterly treatise, which every one must read who would know the views of so noble a thinker. His "Representative Government," published by the Harpers, is a later work of especial interest to us. His suggestions upon the representation of minorities will not escape attention as a forward movement in the Republican system.

Carleton believes in books that will create a "sensation." Of this kind is Mrs. Edwin James's "Wanderings of a Beauty," which owes its success to the name of the author, and to certain personal portraitures. He also publishes the second series of Orpheus C. Kerr's "Sketches," which, if as good as the first, are very ludicrous. The "Prisoner of State" is a book which it is a pity any loyal man should have published, because no loyal man could have written. It is intended to show under what a deplorable despotism we are living, and succeeds in proving that no great nation at war was ever so magnanimously tolerant of traitors, rebels, and pernicious citizens, as this. It is a book without interest, without talent, with nothing noticeable but feeble spite. "If I can't whip you, I can make mouths at your sister," is the spirit of this performance.


WHEN I was a little child

(It seemeth long ago)

Our school-horse stood from father's

A half a mile or so.


It seemed a long, long journey

For little ones to take;

The burning sun above me,

And pebbles 'neath my feet.


But well do I remember

A large old granite rock,

Dividing that long distance,

Beside a sparkling brook.


"The half-way rock" we called it,

And seldom passed it by;

'Twas wide enough to found a house,

And taller some than I.


I loved to climb the lowest side,

To hear the waters rush,

And see the fishes playful glide

Below the alder-bush.


And after the long summer hours,

When tired of books and fun,

Oh, how I longed to reach that spot,

And think 'twas half-way home!


I'm older now than I was then—

Can scarcely stop to rest,

Yet full half-way the path of life

My weary feet have press'd.


"Threescore and ten the years of man,"

And am I half-way home?

My soul! hast found a Rock of rest

As wearily ye roam?


Ah! I have found the Living Rock

A shelter from the heat,

A covert from earth's wildest storms

That on me fiercely beat.


And I love that pleasant symbol

That broad old granite rock,

That stands half-way from father's

Beside a sparkling brook.


AN Irishman on board a vessel, when she was on the point of foundering, being desired to come on deck, as she was going down, replied, that he had no wish to go on deck to "see himself drowned."

A TENANT WANTED.—To let, with immediate possession, a ten-roomed house, situated in the vicinity of some pyrotechnic mills. The house has been entirely rebuilt and beautifully decorated Since the last explosion, when the tenant was ejected without notice.

A young lady, who affected toward matrimony, wrote on a pane of glass some verses expressive of her determination never to enter into the holy state. A gentleman, who doubted the lady's resolve, wrote underneath:

"The fair whose vow these scratchy lines betoken,

Wrote them on glass—she knew it would be broken!"

A merchant at Berlin, having failed to obtain the hand of an opera singer, purchased two dresses and sent them to her to make her choice, saying he would call to know her decision. Shortly, however, before the hour when he had intended to set out on this errand, the merchant received from his beloved a billet-doux to the following effect: "Of the dresses you have sent I like one quite as well as the other. I will, in fact, keep both, so that you have no need to call at all!"

"You see, grandmamma, we perforate an aperture in the apex, and a corresponding aperture in the base; and by applying the egg to the lips, and forcibly inhaling the breath, the shell is entirely discharged of its contents." "Bless my soul," cried the old lady, "what wonderful improvements they do make! Now, in my younger days, we just made a hole in each end and sucked."

The orator who carried away his audience is affectionately and humanely requested to bring it back."

"Why, Sambo, how black you are!" said a gentleman, the other day, to a negro waiter at a hotel: "how in the world did you get so blacks?" "Why, look a-here, massa, the reason am dis—de day dis chile was born there was as eclipse."

Marriage must be favorable to longevity; an old maid never lives to be more than thirty.

In the reign of Henry VIII. there was struck a small silver coin, of little value, called a dandy prat, "which," observes Bishop Fleetwood, "was the origin of the term dandy, applied to worthless and contemptible persons."

A VULGAR ERROR CORRECTED.—The absurd story about the Phenix grew out of the fact that Phenixes always roosted in ash-trees, and hence when they took wing they were said to "rise from their ashes."

"Well, if this ain't mean! Here's this feller been goin' about with this here yeller chain, and when I pulls it out —there's no watch on the end of it. The conduct o' these here flashy clerks is enough to break the heart of a poor fellow like me, as has to depend on his trade tor a livin'."

Nosey.—A musician, whose nose had become distinctly colored with the red wine he was wont to imbibe, said to his little son one day at table, "You must eat bread, boy; bread makes your cheeks red." The little fellow replied, "Father, what lots of bread you must have snuffed up!"

"I say, Higgins," said a fellow to that aspiring but as yet unappreciated tragedian, "I met a rich old gentleman in the city, who declared he would give a hundred pounds to see you perform 'Hamlet.'" "You don't say so?" "Fact, I assure you; and, what's more, I'm positively sure the old chap meant it." "By Jove, then, it's a bargain!" Higgins cried; "I'll play it for my benefit. But who is he?" "Ah! to be sure, I didn't tell you. Well, he's a blind man." Higgins never spoke to the wretch again.

When at sea you look out for breakers; but on a railroad the breakers look out for you

A lady well advanced in maidenhood at her marriage requested the choir to sing the hymn commencing,

"This is the way I long have sought,

And mourned because I found it not."

Why is a cow's tail like a swan's bosom?—Because it grows down.

The following witty and satirical epitaph was proposed to be placed in Bath Cathedral:

"These walls, adorned with monumental bust,

Show how Bath wraters serve to lay the dust."

Why are railways like laundresses?—Because they have ironed all the country, and have occasionally done a little mangling.

A merchant who died suddenly left in his desk a letter written to one of his correspondents. His clerk, a son of Erin, seeing it necessary to send the letter, wrote at the bottom: "Since writing the above I have died."

A female begging impostor, importuning a gentleman to give her a "copper," the benevolent gentleman said she should have one, if she would only leave off begging and take in washing.

A country doctor announces that he has changed his residence to the neighborhood of the church-yard, which he hopes may prove a great convenience to his numerous patients.

In the olden times divines argued on "How many angels can dance on the point of a needle?" An interesting inquiry of a similar nature would be, "How many lawyers can stand on a point of law?"

A dancer once said to a Spartan, "You can not stand on one leg so long as I can." "Perhaps not," said the Spartan, "but any goose can."

An old toper, who had attended the Polytechnic, where the learned professor caused several explosions to take place from gases produced from water, said, "You don't catch me putting much water in my liquor after this. I had no idea before that water was so dangerous, though I never liked to take much of it."

The man who undertook to walk against time has given up, but time is still going ahead.

What net is the most "likely to catch a handsome but vain woman?—A coro-net.

Those who court disgrace are sure not to be jilted.


What ladies with a grace may feign,

And when you dust looks well again;

What many a man who has a wife

Submits to for a quiet life.

Any thing.

Why should people who wish to live a peaceable life never go to small evening dancing parties?

Because hops produce great bitterness.

If Cupid insists upon coming to a lady's door, how would she like him to come?

With a ring, but not without a rap.

Found long ago, yet made to-day,

I'm most in use when people sleep,

What few would with to give away,

Nor any one desire to keep.


Why is a man who carries a watch invariably too late for his appointments?

Because he is always behind time.

Where did Charles the First's executioner dine, and what did he take?

He took a chop at the King's Head.


FOR an account of the attack on Charleston see page 269.


We learn from the Richmond papers that the Union forces are being withdrawn from the peninsula, at Vicksburg, that four transports have gone up the river filled with our troops, and that the levee has been cut through by our forces and the water turned into our old camping ground. A dispatch from Jackson, Mississippi, says that Admiral Farragut is still above Port Hudson with three vessels. The Government stores of the rebels at Bayou Sara have been destroyed by the flag-ship Hartford. The same authority says that the "lower fleet"—part of Banks's expedition we presume—has opened fire upon the batteries, but that they were out of range. The Petersburg Express of the 8th indicates that some terrible preparations are being made by the rebels to destroy Farragut's ships, the Hartford and Albatross.


The ram Switzerland has been repaired of the injuries she received in passing the rebel batteries at Vicksburg, and has been sent up the Red River.


General McClernand took possession of the little town of Richmond, Mississippi, on the 30th ult., with a small force, driving the rebel cavalry from the place after two hours' sharp fighting.


We have an official account of the defeat of the rebel Van Dorn at Franklin, Tennessee, by General Granger's forces. The rebels numbered 15,000, and lost three hundred in killed and wounded. Our lots was only one hundred. General Stanley made a magnificent charge with his cavalry, capturing a battery and several prisoners, whom, however, he was unable to hold, owing to the nature of the country.


The reports front General Fosters expedition to Washington, North Carolina, are not favorable. He appears to be completely hemmed in by the enemy, and all efforts to reinforce him from Newbern have, so far, been unsuccessful. The repulse of our fleet by the batteries on Pamlico River, and the grounding of the Miami on the Swash while proceeding to Washington, rendered the arrival of assistance impossible for the time. It seems evident from all the movements of the rebel forces that the destruction of General Foster's expedition is resolved upon. News from Richmond indicate that a vast concentration of rebel forces has taken place between Petersburg and Suffolk, while the bold movements of Generals Hill and Longstreet, in threatening the latter place, points unquestionably to a settled intention on the part of the rebels to prevent reinforcements from reaching General Foster.


Letters from the Blackwater give an account of the rebel advance upon Suffolk, the capture of several of our outposts, and the flight of the women and children. The object of this attack it to prevent reinforcements from reaching General Foster in his perilous position at Washington, N. C., and to cut off our forces at Suffolk from communication with Norfolk, which latter place, no doubt, the rebels intend to invest. Intelligence reached Fortress Monroe on the 13th that the enemy had retreated four miles from Suffolk, and that the gun-boats sent to Foster's assistance had succeeded in running the rebel batteries.


The armed transport George Washington was destroyed by the rebels in Coosaw River, near Port Royal, on 8th inst. She remained behind for special service under Colonel Hawley, who was acting as post commandant at Hilton Head while the forces were away. General Saxton, who was in command at Beaufort, sent for the Washington to make a reconnoissance around the island. In company with the gun-boat Hale she went up the Coosaw River, was attacked by a rebel battery, which sent a shot through her magazine and blew her up. The crew were fired upon while attempting to escape, and several of them killed and wounded.


There have already been five bread riots in the South, all of which were instigated and participated in principally by famishing women, who were goaded on by the cries of their children for food, while husbands and fathers were in the rebel ranks. The first of these took place on the 16th ult. at Atlanta, Georgia, where all entreaties could not deter the it omen from their riotous intentions until their demands were satisfied. The next occurred at Salisbury, North Carolina, on the 18th ult., where the rioters armed themselves, and by force succeeded in accomplishing their purpose. The third was in the city of Richmond, where the operations of the mob were not fully made public, owing to a combined understanding among the Richmond paper, to suppress the details. The fourth took place at Raleigh, North Carolina; and the fifth at Petersburg, Virginia.



LORD PALMERSTON, who has just been installed as Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow, delivered two speeches in that city—one to the students and the other to an assemblage made up for the most part of working-men. He alluded briefly to the American war, and defended the policy of the English Cabinet in maintaining what he continues to term a strict neutrality toward the belligerents. He said that some Englishmen supported the cause of the North, others that of the South; but "it was not fitting or becoming that the British nation, as a nation, should take part in that contest," although the contending parties "sued them like rivals who sue a fair damsel" to do so.


The report of the seizure of the British steamship Peterhoff, by order of Admiral Wilkes, United States Navy, produced an excitement in England second in intensity only to that caused by the news of the overhauling of the Trent. A remonstrance had been addressed to Earl Russel on the subject. He stated that the matter had been referred to the law officers of the crown for immediate consideration. On the Stock Exchange, on the 27th of March, the markets closed under considerable depression, owing to reports of coming war difficulties with the United States in consequence of the capture of the Peterhoff. In the House of Commons, on the same night, Mr. Layard stated that as soon as the opinion of the crown lawyers was obtained the Government would address such representations as they might think fit to the Government of the United States.



The news from Poland is not favorable to the success of the popular movement. The papers give details of the defeat and surrender of Langiewicz. Although the English press consider the Polish insurrection virtually at an end, yet the Revolutionary Committee appeals to the Polish people to continue the struggle.


Langiewiez, the Polish leader, is still confined in the fortress of Cracow. He applied for leave to retire to England, but was refused. The latest reports say that the insurgent chiefs had given up the contest with Russia as hopeless.


The National Assembly of Greece has decreed Prince William George of Denmark King of Greece, under the name of George the First. Prince George is the third child of Prince Christian of Denmark, brother of the Princess of Wales, and nephew of the King of Denmark. He was born on the 24th of December, 1845, and is a cadet in the Danish navy.




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