The "Keokuk"


This Site:

Civil War

Civil War Overview

Civil War 1861

Civil War 1862

Civil War 1863

Civil War 1864

Civil War 1865

Civil War Battles

Confederate Generals

Union Generals

Confederate History

Robert E. Lee

Civil War Medicine

Lincoln Assassination


Site Search

Civil War Links


Civil War Art

Mexican War

Republic of Texas


Winslow Homer

Thomas Nast

Mathew Brady

Western Art

Civil War Gifts

Robert E. Lee Portrait

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.]



"You surprise me," said Mrs. Dodd. "Dr. Osmond certainly thought it was Hyperoesthesia." And she consulted her wee tablets to establish the word.

Meantime, Dr. Short's mind, to judge by his countenance, was away roaming distant space in search of Osmond. "Osmond? Osmond? I do not know that name in medicine."

"O, O, O!" cried Julia, "and they both live in the same street!" Mrs. Dodd held up her finger to this outspoken patient.

But a light seemed to break in on Dr. Short. "Ah! you mean Mr. Osmond: a surgeon. A very respectable man, a most respectable man. I do not know a more estimable person—in his grade of the profession—than my good friend Mr. Osmond. And so he gives opinions in medical cases, does he?" Dr. Short paused, apparently to realize this phenomenon in the world of Mind. He resumed in a different tone: "You may have misunderstood him. Hyperoesthesia exists, of course; since he says so. But Hyperoesthesia is not a Complaint; it is a Symptom. Of biliary derangement. My worthy friend looks at disorders from a mental point; very natural: his interest lies that way, perhaps you are aware: but profounder experience proves that mental sanity is merely one of the results of bodily health: and I am happy to assure you that, the biliary canal once cleared, and the secretions restored to the healthy habit, by these prescriptions, the Hyperoesthesia, and other concomitants of hepatic derangement, will disperse, and leave our interesting patient in the enjoyment of her natural intelligence, her friends' affectionate admiration, and above all, of a sound constitution. Ladies, I have the honor—" and the Doctor eked out this sentence by rising.

"Oh, thank you, Dr. Short," said Mrs. Dodd, rising with him; "you inspire me with confidence and gratitude." As if under the influence of these feelings only she took Dr. Short's palm, and pressed it. Of the two hands, which met for a moment then, one was soft and melting, the other a bunch of bones; but both were very white, and so equally adroit, that a double fee passed without the possibility of a by-stander suspecting it.

For the benefit of all young virgins afflicted like Julia Dodd, here are the Doctor's prescriptions:


R Pil: Hydrarg: Chlor: Co:

singul: nocte sumend:

Decoc: Aloes Co: j

omni mane.

viii. Sept. J. S.



R   Conf: Sennae.

Potass: Bitartrat.

Extr: Tarax: a a ss.

Misft: Elect: Cujus sum: j omni mane.

       xviii. Sept. J. S.


Id: Anglice reddit: per me Carol: Arundin:

The same done into English by me C. R.


1. O Jupiter aid us!! Plummer's pill to be taken every night. 1 oz. compound decoction of Aloes every morning.   8th Sept. J. S.


2. O Jupiter aid us!! with Confection of Senna, Bitartrate of Potash, extract of Dandelion, of each half an ounce, let an electuary be mixed; of which let her take 1 drachm every morning.

         18th Sept. J. S.


"Quite the courtier," said Mrs. Dodd, delighted. Julia assented: she even added, with a listless yawn, "I had no idea that a skeleton was such a gentlemanlike thing; I never saw one before."

Mrs. Dodd admitted he was very thin.

"Oh no, mamma; thin implies a little flesh. When he felt my pulse, a chill struck to my heart; Death in a black suit seemed to steal up to me, and lay a finger on my wrist: and mark me for his own."

Mrs. Dodd forbade her to give way to such gloomy ideas; and expostulated firmly with her for judging learned men by their bodies. "However," said she, "if the good, kind doctor's remedies do not answer his expectations and mine, I shall take you to London directly. I do hope papa will soon be at home."

Poor Mrs. Dodd was herself slipping into a morbid state. A mother collecting Doctors! It is a most fascinating kind of connoisseurship; grows on one like Drink; like Polemics; like Melodrama; like the Millennium; like any Thing.

Sure enough the very next week she and Julia sat patiently at the morning levee of an eminent and titled London surgeon. Full forty patients were before them: so they had to wait and wait. At last they were ushered into the presence-chamber, and Mrs. Dodd entered on the beaten ground of her daughter's symptoms. The noble surgeon stopped her civilly but promptly. "Auscultation will give us the clew," said he, and drew his stethoscope. Julia shrank, and cast an appealing look at her mother; but Mrs. Dodd persuaded her to it by taking part in the examination, and making it as delicate as possible. The young lady sat panting, with cheeks flushing shame, and eyes flashing indignation. The impassive chevalier reported on each organ in turn without moving his ear from the key-hole. "Lungs pretty sound," said he, a little plaintively: "so is the liver. Now for the—Hum? There is no kardiac insufficiency, I think, neither mitral nor tricuspid. If we find no tendency to hypertrophy we shall do very well. Ah, I have succeeded in diagnosing a slight diastolic murmur; very slight." He deposited the instrument, and said, not without a certain shade of satisfaction

that his research had not been fruitless,

"The Heart is the peccant organ."

Oh, Sir! is it serious?" said poor Mrs. Dodd.

"By no means. Try this" (he scratched a prescription which would not have misbecome the tomb of Cheops); "and come again in a month." Ting! He struck a bell. That "ting" said, "Go, live Guinea! and another come!"

"Heart disease now!" said Mrs. Dodd, sinking back in her hired carriage, and the tears were in her patient eyes.

"My own, own mamma," said Julia, earnestly, "do not distress yourself! I have no disease in the world, but my old, old, old one, of being a naughty, wayward girl. As for you, mamma, you have resigned your own judgment to your inferiors, and that is both our misfortunes. Dear, dear mamma, do take me to a doctress next time, if you have not had enough."

"To a what, love?"

"A she-doctor, then."

"A female physician, child? There is no such thing. No; assurance is becoming a characteristic of our sex: but we have not yet intruded ourselves into the learned professions; thank Heaven."

"Excuse me, mamma, there are one or two; for the newspapers say so."

"Well, dear, there are none in this country; happily."

"What, not in London?"


"Then what is the use of such a great over-grown place, all smoke, if there is nothing in it you can not find in the country? Let us go back to Barkington this very day, this minute, this instant; oh, pray, pray."

"And so you shall—to-morrow. But you must pity your poor mother's anxiety, and see Dr. Chalmers first."

"Oh, mamma, not another surgeon! He frightened me; he hurt me; I never heard of such a thing; he ought to be ashamed of himself; oh, please not another surgeon."

It is not a surgeon, dear; it is the Court Physician."

The Court Physician detected "a somewhat morbid condition of the great nervous centres." To an inquiry whether there was heart-disease, he replied, "Pooh!" On being told Sir William had announced heart-disease, he said, "Ah! that alters the case entirely." He maintained, however, that it most be trifling, and would go no further, the nervous system once restored to its healthy tone. "O, Jupiter, aid us! Blue pill and black draught."

Dr. Kenyon found the mucous membrane was irritated and required soothing. "O, Jupiter, etc. Blue pill and Seidlitz powder."

Mrs. Dodd returned home consoled and confused; Julia listless and apathetic. Tea was ordered, with two or three kinds of bread, thinnest slices of meat, and a little blanc mange, etc., their favorite repast after a journey; and, while the tea was drawing, Mrs. Dodd looked over the card-tray and enumerated the visitors that had called during their absence: "Dr. Short—Mr. Osmond—Mrs. Hetherington—Mr. Alfred Hardie—Lady Dowry—Mrs. and Miss Bosanquet. What a pity Edward was not at home, dear; Mr. Alfred Hardie's visit must have been to him."

"Oh, of course, mamma."

"A very manly young gentleman."

"Oh yes. No. He is so rude."

"Is he? Ah, he was ill just then, and pain irritates gentlemen: they are not accustomed to it, poor Things."

"That is like you, dear mamma; making excuses for one." Julia added, faintly, "but he is so impetuous."

"I have a daughter who reconciles me to impetuosity. And he must have a good heart, he was so kind to my boy."

Julia looked down smiling; but presently seemed to be seized with a spirit of contradiction; she began to pick poor Alfred to pieces; he was this, that, and the other; and then so bold, she might say impudent.

Mrs. Dodd replied calmly that he was very kind to her boy.

"Oh, mamma, you can not approve all the words he spoke."

"It is not worth while to remember all the words young gentlemen speak, nowadays; he was very kind to my boy, I remember that."

The tea was now ready, and Mrs. Dodd sat down, and patted a chair, with a smile of invitation for Julia to come and sit beside her. But Julia said, "In one minute, dear," and left the room.

When she came back, she fluttered up to her mother and kissed her vehemently, then sat down radiant. "Ah!" said Mrs. Dodd, "why, you are looking yourself once more. How do you feel now? Better?"

"How do I feel? Let me see: the world seems one e-nor-mous flower-garden, and Me the butterfly it all belongs to." She spake, and to confirm her words the airy thing went waltzing, sailing, and fluttering round the room, and sipping mamma every now and then on the wing.

In this buoyancy she remained some twenty-four hours; and then came clouds and chills, which, in their turn, gave way to exultation, duly followed by depression. Her spirits were so uncertain, that things too minute to justify narration turned the scale either way: a word from Mrs. Dodd — a new face at St. Anne's Church looking devoutly her way—a piece of town gossip distilled in her ear by Mrs. Maxley —and she was sprightly or languid, and both more than reason.

Mrs. Dodd had not the clew; and each extreme caused her anxiety; for her own constitution, and her experience of life, led her to connect health, and happiness too, with gentle, even spirits.

One drizzly afternoon they were sitting silent and saddish in the drawing-room, Mrs. Dodd correcting the mechanical errors in a drawing of Julia's, and admiring the rare dash and vigor, and Julia doggedly studying Dr. Whately's Logic, with now and then a sigh, when suddenly a trumpet seemed to articulate in the little hall: "Mestress Doedd at home?"

The lady rose from her seat, and said, with a smile of pleasure, "I hear a voice."

The door opened, and in darted a hard-featured, gray-headed man, laughing and shouting like a school-boy broke loose. He cried out, "Aha! I've found y' out at last." Mrs. Dodd glided to meet him, and put out both her hands, the palms downward, with the prettiest air of lady-like cordiality; he shook them heartily. "The vagabins said y' had left the town; but y' had only flitted from the quay to the subbubs; 'twas a pashint put me on the scint of ye. And how are y' all these years? an' how's Sawmill?"

"Sawmill! What is that?"

"It's just your husband. Isn't his name Sawmill?"

"Dear, Dear, no! Have you forgotten?—David."

"Ou, ay. I knew it was some Scripcher Petrarch or another, Daavid, or Naathan, or Sawmill. He is a fine lad any way—and how is he, and where is he?"

Mrs. Dodd replied that he was on the seas, but expect—

"Then I wish him well off 'em, confound 'em onenall! Halloa! why, this will be the little girl grown up int' a wumman while ye look round."

"Yes, my good friend; and her mother's darling."

"And she's a bonny lass, I can tell ye. But no freend to the Dockers, I see."

"Ah!" said Mrs. Dodd, sadly, "looks are deceitful; she is under medical advice at this very—"

"Well, that won't hurt her, unless she takes it." And he burst into a ringing laugh: but, in the middle of it, stopped dead short, and his face elongated. "Lordsake, mad'm," said he, impressively, "mind what y' are at, though; Barkton's just a trap for fanciful femuls: there's a n'oily ass called Osmond, and a canting cutthroat called Stephenson, and a genteel, cadaveris old assassin called Short, as long as a may-pole; they'd soon take the rose out of Miss Floree's cheek here. Why, they'd starve Cupid, an' veneseck Venus, an' blister Pomonee, the vagabins."

Mrs. Dodd looked a little confused, and exchanged speaking glances with Julia. However, she said, calmly, "I have consulted Mr. Osmond and Dr. Short, but have not relied on them alone. I have taken her to Sir William Best. And to Dr. Chalmers. And to Dr. Kenyon." And she felt invulnerable behind her phalanx of learning and reputation.

"Good Hivens!" roared the visitor, "what a gauntlet o' gables for one girl to run; and come out alive! And the picter of health. My faith, Miss Floree, y' are tougher than ye look."

"My daughter's name is Julia," observed Mrs. Dodd, a little haughtily; but instantly recovering herself, she said, "This is Dr. Sampson, love, an old friend of your mother's."

"And th' Author an' Invintor of th' great Chronothairmal Therey o' Midicine, th' Unity Perriodicity an' Remittency f' all disease," put in the visitor, with such prodigious swiftness of elocution, that the words went tumbling over one another like railway carriages out on pleasure, and the sentence was a pile of loud, indistinct syllables.

Julia's lovely eyes dilated at this clishmaclaver, and she bowed coldly. Dr. Sampson was repulsive to her: he had revealed in this short interview nearly all the characteristics of voice, speech, and manner she had been taught from infancy to shun: boisterous, gesticulatory, idiomatic; and had taken the discourse out of her mamma's mouth twice; now Albion Villa was a Red Indian hut in one respect: here nobody interrupted.

Mrs. Dodd had little personal egotism, but she had a mother's, and could not spare this opportunity of adding another Doctor to her collection: so she said, hurriedly, "Will you permit me to show you what your learned confreres have prescribed her?" Julia sighed aloud, and deprecated the subject with earnest furtive signs; Mrs. Dodd would not see them. Now, Dr. Sampson was himself afflicted with what I shall venture to call a mental ailment; to wit, a furious intolerance of other men's opinions; he had not even patience to hear them.

"Mai — dear — mad'm," said he, hastily, "when you've told me their names, that's enough. Short treats her for liver, Sir William goes in for lung disease or heart, Chalmers sis it's the nairves, and Kinyon the mukis membrin; and I say they are fools and lyres all four."

"Julia!" ejaculated Mrs. Dodd, "this is very extraordinary."

"No, it is not extraordinary," cried Dr. Sampson, defiantly: "nothing is extraordinary. And d'ye think I've known these shallow men thirty years, and not plumbed 'um?"

"Shallow, my good friend? Excuse me! they are the ablest men in your own branch of your own learned profession."

"Th' ablest?! Oh, you mean the moneymakingest: now listen me! our lairned Profession is a rascally one. It is like a barrel of beer. What rises to the top?" Here he paused for a moment, then answered himself furiously, "THE SCUM!"

This blast blown, he moderated a little. "Look see!" said he, "up to three or four thousand a year, a Docker is often an honest man, and sometimes knows something of midicine: not much, because it is not taught any where; but if he is making over five thousand, he must be a

rogue, or else a fool: either he has booed an' booed, and cript an' crawled, int' wholesale collusion with th' apothecary an' th' accoucheur—the two jockeys that drive John Bull's faemily coach—and they are sucking the pashint togither like a leash o' leeches; or else he has turned spicialist; has tacked his name to some poplar disorder, real or imaginary; it needn't exist to be poplar. Now, those four you have been to are spicialists, and that means monomaniucs—why on airth didn't ye come to me among the rest? — their buddies exspatiate in West - ind squares, but their souls dwell in a n'alley ivery man Jack of 'em: Aberford's in Stomicli Alley, Chalmers's in Nairve Court, Short's niver stirs out o' Liver Lane, Paul's is stuck fast in Kidney Close, Kinyon's in Mukis Membrin Mews, and Hibbards's in Lung Passage. Look see! nixt time y' are out of sorts, stid o' consulting three bats an' a n'owl at a guinea the piece, send direct to me, and I'll give y' all their opinions, and all their prescriptions, gratis. And deevilich dear yell find 'em at the price, if ye swallow 'm."

Mrs. Dodd thanked him coldly for the offer, but said she would be more grateful if he would show his superiority to persons of known ability, by just curing her daughter on the spot.

"Well, I will," said he, carelessly; and all his fire died out of him. "Put out your tongue! —Now your pulse!"


WE publish on page 269 an engraving of the double-turreted iron-clad "KEOKUK," which was sunk at the attack on Charleston. The following is a history and description of this vessel:

The Keokuk was designed by Mr. C. W. Whitney, of this city, and was built at the yard of J. S. Underhill and Co., Dry Dock Iron Works. She was launched in the early part of last winter, and sailed from New York on the 11th March, arriving at Port Royal on the 26th.

The Keokuk was not only a two-turreted vessel, but was also a ram. She was smaller than the Ericsson Monitors, being 159 feet 6 inches over all, including the ram, which was 5 feet long. She had a beam of 36 feet, with a depth of hold of 13 feet 6 inches, and drew 9 feet of water. Her sides sloped inward at an angle of thirty-seven degrees, to shed the enemy's shot.

She was built of iron, and her armor extended nearly four feet below the water-line. The horizontal deck was five feet above the water-line. Her propulsive power was furnished by two propellers and two engines of five hundred horse power. The hull of the vessel was constructed of half-inch rolled iron. She had three keelsons running the whole length of the vessel, and two fore and aft bulk-heads, leaving on each side a space, and forming an inner skin, which would probably keep out the water in the event of the outer skin being pierced by shot. In addition to these she had two bulk-heads—one forward and one aft—which could be filled with water, so as to settle the vessel down while in action. These could be filled in fifteen minutes and pumped out in forty minutes. In using the ram, should the vessel be wrenched so as to cause leakage, the compartment alluded to was to preserve the vessel from sinking. The vessel was submerged one foot by the appliance of these water-tanks.

The turrets were immovable, the gun revolving to the three ports placed in each turret. They weighed each 40 tons, and were built of a ground-work of half-inch rolled plates, like the hull, covered with bars of iron four inches thick, standing edgeways, placed one and a quarter inches apart, the interstices being filled with yellow pine. Over all this were three plates, each five-eighths of an inch thick—the whole structure bolted together with one and one-eighth inch bolts, with countersunk heads, one foot apart. The turrets, therefore, were six and a quarter inches thick. Each turret had three ports, with heavy shutters working in two halves—one port on each side, and one forward and aft. Each turret contained an 11-inch gun, carrying a 180-pound shot. These guns moved on revolving slides, which were placed on a floor 20 inches below the level of the deck, thus giving a greater height to the turrets, which were 20 feet in diameter at the base, 14 feet at the top—being cone-shaped—and 8 feet 8 inches high. The turrets were additionally supported within by bars of five by one inch iron, set edgeways, fifteen inches apart; and the ports were made sufficiently large to give the guns ten degrees vertical and eight degrees lateral range.

The rudder and propeller were guarded by an overhanging structure and a wrought guard on the after-part. This little vessel carried one hundred men all told, and had capacity in her two magazines for two hundred 11-inch shot, one hundred and fifty 11-inch shell, with shrapnel and canister, small ammunition and powder in proportion. She appeared admirably calculated for river work, her light draught and easy guidance, by means of two propellers, fitting her especially for intricate navigation. Her builder was confident that, though in some respects novel in construction, she would be found as shot-proof and serviceable as any and the care and completeness with which he applied every precaution, and multiplied means for offense and defense, gave hopes of a most efficient boat. Mr. Whitney was one of the earliest to urge the propriety of building a shot-proof fleet, and his studies in the question, as well as his knowledge of the qualities of iron, gave his opinions weight.

The ventilation of the vessel had been carefully attended to, and the accommodations for the officers and crew were of an excellent character.

In many points the details of this vessel were new and interesting. For instance, the entire lower portion of the sides of the turrets could be thrown open to admit light and air, and, of course, to effect the expulsion of foul air; and, there being a passage on each side of the vessel, communicating from one turret to the other, a constant circulation of air was kept up without artificial means, although such means were provided, and which would, in the opinion of many, have rendered the vessel, in point of ventilation, second to none.


ON page 269 we give a drawing and plan of the famous new weapon of naval warfare known as ERICSSON'S DEVIL. It is intended to destroy torpedoes, and had it done its work at Charleston, our iron-clads would not have been repulsed on 7th. Four of these devils were made here and sent down to Charleston. All four were lost on the way. One, however, was picked up at sea, and is now in the hands of Admiral Dupont. It seems, however, not to have been used in the attack on 7th.




Site Copyright 2003-2018 Son of the South. For Questions or comments about this collection, contact

privacy policy

Are you Scared and Confused? Read My Snake Story, a story of hope and encouragement, to help you face your fears.