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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.

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

 

Vicksburg Canal

Vicksburg Canal

Pirates

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

Wedding

Civil War Wedding

Scouts

Scouts

Plantation Slaves

Plantation Slaves

General Mitchell

General Mitchell

General Ross

General Ross

Beauregard Cartoon

Beauregard Cartoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

[APRIL 4, 1863.

210

FORWARD—MARCH!

FORWARD?  Yes, we are going!

What craven turns back?

See the blood that is flowing

To moisten the track!

Blood from loyal hearts torn

When our foes passed this way,

A red pathway has worn,

We must walk there to-day!

Forward? Yes, God be praised!

We are all of one mind,

When His standard is raised

We dare not lag behind.
Dark the world grows around,

And shall we hide our light? Trait'rous foemen abound,

What can we do but fight?

What are you, friend, or I,

While the Union's enslaved?

Who should mourn if we die,

So the nation be saved?

Oh! the earth closes tight

Where a coward finds rest,

But her green sods fall light

On the patriot's breast!

 

Yes, we're all marching on,

Sword in hand, side by side,

Bidding rebels begone

Where our flag is defied;

Till the land is united

That they've torn in twain,

And the flag they have slighted Shall triumph again!

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

SATURDAY, APRIL 4, 1863.

NOW FOR A VICTORY!

THE news from all parts of the country confirms the view we took last week of the despairing condition of the rebels, and the restoration of confidence throughout the North. Since we wrote the loyal people of the United States have been lending their money to Government for the prosecution of the war at the rate of a million and a half per day. The Assistant-Secretary of the Treasury has been obliged to come here to expedite the printing of bonds, for the engravers could not furnish them as fast as the people wanted to buy them. Gold has fallen twenty per cent., and the collapse of the currency, so much dreaded at one time, is now indefinitely postponed.

On the other hand, each arrival from the South reveals a gloomier picture than the last. Starvation reigns at Mobile, Richmond, and Charleston. Flour is $60, $80, and $100 a barrel. The rebel currency, which is the only money current in Secessia, is so depreciated that gold sells at 600 per cent. All traffic of every kind is at an end. Agriculture has been ruined by the Conscription Act. The growth of manufactures, which had commenced when the blockade was established, has been checked by the currency collapse, and those which are still working are worked by the Government. A correspondent in Richmond writes that quotations of prices are mostly fictitious, for the simple reason that no one sells any thing which he can avoid selling, and all live simply "from hand to mouth." The railways are monopolized by Government, and from want of attention to repairs are fast wearing out—thus depriving the people of the States which have been the theatre of the war of the means of obtaining provisions from other localities. As to civil rights, the poor people of the South have none at all. Bands of horse, furnished with authority from Jeff Davis and his generals, scour the country, seizing young men and impressing them, stealing property, hanging all who differ with them, burning cotton, and laying the face of the land as waste as an African desert. Such is the picture as we find it in the rebel papers and the narratives of Southern refugees. To such a condition have two years of rebellion reduced the sunny South.

It is evident that this accursed insurrection only needs the coup de grace to finish it. That the rebels, however straitened for provisions and harassed by other tribulations, will succumb before they have been beaten, we are not prepared to believe. The rebel army will feed itself, though every one else in the Confederacy starve; and pride will keep the leaders steadfast as long as it is possible to keep their armies together. But the news from the South indicates clearly that the rebels are in that state that a single defeat will destroy them utterly. Such a repulse as we met at Fredericksburg —which for sixty days plunged the North into mourning and almost despair—would be fatal to the insurgents. Their armies would melt away as the French army did after Waterloo—when a magnificent corps of some 80,000 men disappeared in a single day so thoroughly that next morning it was impossible to collect 1000 of them together. Discouragement and despair would overwhelm garrison after garrison, regiment after regiment, and we should very quickly have counter revolutionary movements in each Southern State, and

hastily organized popular demonstrations in favor of the Union. Backed by a decided victory, the argumentum ad ventrem may be relied upon to finish the work.

But a victory we must have. Who will be the General to win it? Hooker, they say, is moving more or less rapidly through the mud of the Rappahannock. Grant is not only engineering, but is getting ready to fight in the Southwest. Banks's cannon has been heard near Port Hudson. Hunter's bugle has sounded the advance at Port Royal. Rosecrans is feeling his way toward Southeastern Tennessee. Which of these Generals will be the one to enthrone himself in history as the man who put down the great slavery rebellion? There will be, we honestly think, but one more great battle. Who shall be the man to win it?

THE BRITISH PIRATES.

THE British pirate Florida bids fair to win as prominent a place in the annals of successful piracy as the other British pirate, the Alabama. The destruction of the Jacob Bell, with a cargo worth a million, has been followed by the destruction of another vessel, also, it is said, richly laden. The work goes bravely on.

When these vessels were placed on the stocks in England, the British Government was notified that they were intended to be pirates. At every step in their construction the evidence of their destination accumulated, and was carefully laid before the British Government. Minister Adams from week to week informed Earl Russell of the character of the Florida and the Alabama, and placed at his disposal the opinion of Queen's Counsel to the effect that the construction of these vessels was a violation of neutrality. The Earl was deaf to all remonstrance. "Her Majesty's Commissioners of Customs" at Liverpool and elsewhere, having probably had their pockets well lined with Southern money, discovered no evidence that either the Alabama or the Oreto, alias the Florida, were destined for the service of the Slave Confederacy. It was not until Earl Russell felt sure that the Alabama had got fairly to sea that he issued orders to detain her. Like master, like man. At Nassau and at Barbadoes the pirate Florida is a welcome visitor. Maffit is asked to Government House, and congratulated by the British colonists on the destruction of American vessels. The Alabama is feted in Jamaica; and the merchants of Kingston turn out on 'Change to give a right royal reception to the pirate Semmes. One can not help remembering that these British colonies were planted as pirates' nests, grew up on the profits of buccaneering, and are now mostly peopled by the illegitimate offspring of pirates and mulattoes.

That it has been and is still the purpose of the British authorities, from Earl Russell down to the tide-waiters in "Her Majesty's Customs," to help these pirates to get to sea, and to assist them in their work of destroying American commerce, it is impossible, in view of the diplomatic correspondence before Congress, to doubt for an instant. Only a few days ago, Mr. Layard, on behalf of the British Government, stated in Parliament that he had no information of any vessels being built for the rebels in England, though the list of their forthcoming fleet has been published in all the papers, with the names of the builders, and the sites of the dock-yards where the vessels are building. Two of the so-called "Chinese" frigates have just been launched by Mr. Laird, the builder of the Alabama.

All the indications point to a general conspiracy among persons in authority in England against our merchant navy. The gradual progress of our merchant marine, the superiority which our builders have attained over British constructors, and the general preference given by shippers in Asiatic and South American ports to American over English bottoms, have aroused the alarm of the "shop-keeping nation," and Englishmen are ready to avail themselves of the alliance of pirates to regain the carrying trade of the world. Every British official, from Earl Russell to the half-disguised traitors who officiate as consuls in our ports, is possessed with the idea that now or never is the time to drive American ships from the face of the ocean.

This is one of the inconveniences of the war in which we are engaged, and we must bear it like men. When peace comes—then will come a reckoning.

LETTER TO AN ENGLISH FRIEND.

My DEAR SIR—Although you have so clear a perception of the scope of our civil war, and so sincere a sympathy with the cause of the Government, I observe that you still conceive some sort of separation to be desirable and feasible, if not inevitable, and you add that many of our truest friends abroad are of the same opinion. If, however, you will look carefully at the facts, I am very sure that you will see, as we do, that the only alternative of the Government is the total overthrow of armed rebellion and a return to the constitutional methods of settling differences, or submission to its own ruin.

In the matter of disunion there are two points to

be considered: first, the consequences, and, second, the methods.

If we make the attempt to recognize the "Confederacy," and succeed in maintaining Northern unity, we surrender the navigation of our great rivers to a treaty settlement. We abandon Chesapeake Bay, which reaches almost to Philadelphia. We renounce all the Southern coasts and forts from the Capes of Delaware to and through the Gulf of Mexico. Those forts command the mouths of the rivers and the course of our Pacific and South American commerce. Your Thames is an inconsiderable river. Would Great Britain relinquish the control of its mouth to a foreign power for the sake of peace? What would its foreign possession be but the sign of conquest? Besides this, we must establish an internal boundary line of 1500 miles, to defend against the most hostile of enemies. The greatest wars have been the defense of such lines. Such a line with us would be always festering; for slaves will escape, and the passions of borderers who have been wrenched asunder by civil war and consequent hate are uncontrollable. Then the Northwest is the granary of the continent. The Mississippi is its natural road to market, and the Northwest must and will control it. What conceivable treaty could guarantee that control as the Union does? You will tell me that the self-interest of trade will suffice. But why should it keep a peace under a treaty which it has broken under a Union? There are other passions quite as strong as selfishness.

But when, by the supposition, we have surrendered the coasts, and the rivers, and the forts, we have done so to a power that has and can have no naval resources, and which must therefore at once seek a maritime alliance. Disunion thus immediately establishes two foreign states upon our soil. And by the line which, in case of peace accepted by us, we must adopt, the North is almost territorially divided between the lowest point of the Lakes and the highest of the Slave region. And all this renunciation of territory, navigation, coast, commerce, internal communication, national honor, safety, and importance—all this whittling down of the imperial United States to a miserable cluster of balked political communities—when made after a war waged to maintain its pristine extension and power, is simply a conquest by the enemy, and an enemy that hates us the more because he was part of us, the ever-ready ally of any European or foreign foe against us, the willing and constant aggressor of a power that he has humiliated by arms.

This is upon the supposition that we ourselves propose an armistice and settlement. If, on the other hand, the rebels ask for peace, it will be infinitely easier and safer for the Government to maintain the Union upon terms that secure peace than to intrust the chances of that peace to an angry and sullen, although for the moment defeated, foreign power.

But any conceivable method of disunion is not less disastrous than the consequences. It is often forgotten by our foreign friends that union is an instinct with the great mass of our people, because union is synonymous with nation. We perfectly understand that our union is our strength and our success. It is this feeling which has hitherto enabled the Slave Power to carry all its measures. It had but to threaten the Union, and the country fell upon its knees in abject assent. It is the same feeling which has made the word "Abolitionist," which was synonymous with Disunionist, the most odious party-name in our history.

Let us then suppose that the attempt at disunion is to be gravely made. First of all the separating line must be determined. As there is no natural division this line must be purely arbitrary. Upon what principle, then, will you establish it? Davis will claim all the Slave States as his natural domain. But Kentucky does not willingly go with him, nor Missouri, nor even Tennessee. Maryland has a strong rebellious tendency, but there is a vital Union element in the State. What is to be done? To be a Border State has been bad enough under the old system of one nation. How will it be when the border is to be that of a hostile foreign power? Who will stand in the breach? Evidently there can be but one solution. The question must be referred to the people of the States concerned. Let Maryland, for instance, decide by popular vote whether she will go with the South or the North. But if she elects the South she leaves Pennsylvania a Border State. Pennsylvania will therefore say at once, "I shall not let Maryland decide whether I am to be a Border State or not." And she, too, will demand her vote upon the question.

And so we shall immediately arrive at the practical perception of the dismal truth that by removing one stone we have loosened the whole arch. The old national system will be gone, and the national bond being snapped each free State becomes a solitary community. But by the supposition, while thus the free States fall asunder the rebel States are a close, cohesive power. Nor only that, but they have shown their ability to maintain themselves as a Confederacy against tremendous odds, and they have compassed the destruction of the old system. Is it not inevitable, then, that the remaining States must establish a new system or gravitate toward the only united national power upon our late domain? And inasmuch as Union is the most vital necessity, and the war for the maintenance of the old form of Union will then have failed, will not the combatant that remains virtual master necessarily dictate the terms of a new Union? Party- spirit is still fierce. The North, or the body of loyal citizens, are not united upon any thing but the policy of preserving the Union, and when "the war for the Union," which is the common platform of good citizens, is ended by the conceded dissolution of the Union, every citizen will revert to his party allegiance. One party will cry, "We have been fighting for the Union, not for the nigger, and having lost the game we call for a fresh deal. We like slavery, and we go for a union with the South." Another will cry, "You can't mix oil and water. Any union of slave and free States, unless slavery or freedom are put

in course of rapid extinction, will inevitably land us in another war." Intestine brawls will at once bristle all over separate States which have lost the strength and unity of a common purpose; and consequent anarchy will thus invite the forcible interference of the combined power which has compelled the separation.

When we are in a position to do what you suggest—namely, to curtail the dimensions of the rebellion, to push out the rebels from our system, and to hold them in check by a Sepoy army—we shall be masters, and our national peace, prosperity, and honor will be most wisely secured, as I said, by maintaining the Union. To offer any terms of composition until we have established that mastery is to confess our inability to do the work we have undertaken; in other words, to concede victory to the rebellion, and confess our national ruin.

As a foreigner, your view of our war is that of human welfare at large, not especially that of the existence of our Government. Yet your sympathy is with the Government, and why? Because you believe that the great cause of popular liberty requires its success. Now can any thing be more disastrous to that Government and fatal to that cause than its defeat by armed rebels upon its own domain? The parallel which is constantly drawn in Europe and by many here between the attitude of our Government toward the rebellion and that of Great Britain toward the American Colonies is radically false. The relation between Britain and the Colonies was not a union, and the geographical separation makes all the difference. If you would suppose a parallel case, it must be that of two or three counties of England, like Yorkshire and Kent, rising in rebellion, not because they had suffered the slightest injury or injustice, but because they could not extend certain local county laws repulsive to the common conscience of mankind over the whole empire. If the Imperial Government could be justly accused of gratifying a lust of dominion in aiming to reduce the rebellion by arms, so may we, but not otherwise.

You will thus see, I hope, that we are shut up to the issue of victory or ruin. The "peace movement" is simply the appeal of the most reckless and depraved of our party politicians to popular ignorance and passion, counting for its success upon the natural fatigue of a tremendous war, its necessary expense, and, above all, upon the brutal prejudice against a most unfortunate race. Could such a movement become in any manner general, and by means of such arguments and such men as support it, the cause of civil liberty would be indefinitely lost here, and faith in the capacity of men for self-government would be every where extinguished. The Union is not only the master word of our destiny, but of that of free men throughout the world.

      Faithfully yours.

THE OPERA.

AFTER all there is no manager like Maretzek. He has been familiar to us all now for many years. From the famous days of Truffi and Benedetti down to these very nights in which we hear one of the best companies that ever sung in New York. Maretzek has been the most faithful and undaunted of operatic benefactors. His management has been always skillful and enterprising, and the charge of the jarring and tumultuous interests of an opera is enough to try the stoutest heart. The success of the present company is as sure as it is deserved, and it is another obligation of the public to Maretzek.

COTOPAXI.

IT has been the happiness of Mr. Church to achieve a more popular reputation than any American painter since Alston. Cole, Durand, Kensett, and Gignoux, our other masters of landscape, have a justly won and sustained fame among the intelligent and cultivated lovers of art. So have Inman, Page, Huntington, Elliott, Gray, and Hicks, the historical and portrait painters. But the name of Church is doubtless more familiar to the general public. He alone, with the confidence of success, exhibits his single works as they are completed. No other name, perhaps, among our artists would summon such crowds as his.

The reason of this popularity, and the justice of the public preference, are questions which I do not mean to consider now. What fame is, what reputation is, what fashion is, are inquiries that lead us into a region of subtle distinctions. As a Lounger, I have only to mention that one of the pleasantest public resorts at this moment is Goupil's gallery in Broadway, where, in the spacious upper hall, hangs in solitary splendor Church's last great picture Cotopaxi. It is a pendant to the Heart of the Andes. The other pendant is Chimborazo, a work upon which he is now engaged. The three are a series. They are parts of a whole in the painter's design, which is evidently nothing less than an epic of the Tropics in color. If the artist is fortunate in the selection of a subject so suggestive, so magnificent, so effective, and practically untouched, the public is not less happy that the theme has such an interpreter. You may listen to all the objections; you may hear of the want of imagination, of the mechanical detail, of the lacquered landscape, of the false glitter, and yet, after all, as we see in the statue of the Dying Gladiator exactly what Byron saw and sung, so we shall henceforth see in our fancies of the Tropics precisely what Church sees and paints. After seeing these pictures the Tropics is no vague word, but a vivid, gorgeous image.

The Cotopaxi shows the apparently smooth, symmetrical cone of the volcano in the left distance. A vast plume of smoke floats from its point across the sky in heavy, corrugated clouds, through which the sun, just risen, shines, irradiating a lake which fills the middle distance. Beyond the cone are a few mountain peaks, and upon the right, in the depth of the picture, a group of restless hills. From the fore-ground to Cotopaxi is a stretch of (Next Page)


 

 

 

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