Battle of Newbern, NC


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, April 11, 1863

We have made out extensive collection of Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers available online. This collection contains incredible details of the war not available anywhere else. They offer a new perspective on the War.

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



Dixie Bayou

European Loan

European Confederate Loan

Farragut at Port Hudson

Farragut Passes Port Hudson

Prince and Princess of Wales

Prince and Princess of Wales

Queen Victoria and Beatrice

Queen Victoria and Princess Beatrice

Royal Wedding

The Royal Wedding

Newbern, NC

Battle of Newbern, NC

Dummy Ship

Dummy Ship at Vicksburg

Battle of Newbern

Battle of Newbern, North Carolina

St. George's Chapel

St. George's Chapel

Seward Cartoon

Secretary Seward Cartoon






APRIL 11, 1863.]



all he had uttered a monosyllable; and a stinger; a thorn of speech not in her vocabulary, nor even in society's. Those might be his manners, even when not aching. Still, it seems, a feather would have turned the scale in his favor, for she whispered, "I have a great mind; if I could but catch his eye."

While feminine pity and social reserve were holding the balance so nicely, and nonsensically, about half a split straw, one of the racing four oars went down close under the Berkshire bank.

"London!" cried Hardie's adherent.

"What are you there, old fellow?" murmured Hardie, in a faint voice. "Now, that is like a friend, a real friend, to sit by me, and not make a row. Thank you! thank you!"

Presently the Cambridge four-oar passed: it was speedily followed by the Oxford; the last came down in mid-stream, and Hardie eyed it keenly as it passed. "There," he cried, "was I wrong? There is a swing for you; there is a stroke. I did not know what a treasure I had got sitting behind me."

The ladies looked, and lo! the lauded Stroke of the four-oar was their Edward.

"Sing out and tell him it is not like the sculls. He must fight for the lead, at starting, and hold it with his eyelids when he has got it."

The adherent bawled this at Edward, and Edward's reply came ringing back in a clear cheerful voice, "We mean to try all we know."

"What is the odds?" inquired the invalid, faintly.

"Even on London; two to one against Cambridge; three to one against us."

"Take all my tin and lay it on," sighed the sufferer.

"Fork it out, then. Hallo! eighteen pounds? Fancy having eighteen pounds at the end of term! I'll get the odds up at the bridge directly. Here's a lady offering you her smelling-bottle."

Hardie rose and turned round, and sure enough there were two ladies seated in their carriage at some distance; one of whom was holding him out three pretty little things enough—a little smile, a little blush, and a little cut-glass bottle with a gold cork. The last panegyric on Edward had turned the scale.

Hardie went slowly up to the side of the carriage, and took off his hat to them with a half-bewildered air. Now that he was so near, his face showed very pale; the more so that his neck was a good deal tanned; his eyelids were rather swollen, and his young eyes troubled and almost filmy with the pain. The ladies saw, and their gentle bosoms were touched: they had heard of him as a victorious young Apollo, trampling on all difficulties of mind and body; and they saw him wan, and worn, with feminine suffering: the contrast made him doubly interesting.

Arrived at the side of the carriage he almost started at Julia's beauty. It was sun-like, and so were her two lovely earnest eyes, beaming soft pity on him with an eloquence he had never seen in human eyes before; for Julia's were mirrors of herself: they did nothing by halves.

He looked at her and her mother, and blushed, and stood irresolute, awaiting their commands. This sudden contrast to his petulance with his own sex paved the way. "You have a sad headache, Sir," said Mrs. Dodd; "oblige me by trying my salts."

He thanked her in a low voice.

"And mamma," inquired Julia, "ought he to sit in the sun?"

"Certainly not. You had better sit there, Sir, and profit by our shade and our parasols."

"Yes, mamma, but you know the real place where he ought to be, is Bed."

"Oh, pray don't say that," implored the patient.

But Julia continued, with unabated severity,

"And that is where he would go this minute, if I was his mamma."

"Instead of his junior, and a stranger," said Mrs. Dodd, somewhat coldly, dwelling with a very slight monitory emphasis on the "stranger."

Julia said nothing, but drew in perceptibly, and was dead silent.

"Oh, madam!" said Hardie, eagerly, "I do not dispute her authority; nor yours. You have a right to send me where you please, after your kindness in noticing my infernal head, and doing me the honor to speak to me, and lending me this. But if I go to bed, my head will be my master. Besides, I shall throw away what little chance I have of making your acquaintance; and the race just coming off!"

"We will not usurp authority, Sir," said Mrs. Dodd, quietly; "but we know what a severe headache is, and should be glad to see you sit still in the shade, and excite yourself as little as possible."

"Yes, madam," said the youth, humbly, and sat down like a lamb. He glanced now and then at the island, and now and then peered up at the radiant young mute beside him.

The silence continued till it was broken by a fish out of water.

An under-graduate in spectacles came mooning along, all out of his element. It was Mr. Kennet, who used to rise at four every morning to his Plato, and walk up Shotover Hill every afternoon, wet or dry, to cool his eyes for his evening work. With what view he deviated to Henley has not yet been ascertained; he was blind as a bat, and did not care a button about any earthly boat-race, except the one in the AEneid, even if he could have seen one. However, nearly all the men of his college went to Henley, and perhaps some branch, hitherto unexplored, of animal magnetism, drew him after. At any rate, there was his body; and his mind at Oxford and Athens, and other venerable but irrelevant cities. He brightened at sight of his doge, and asked him warmly if he had heard the news.

"No; what? Nothing wrong, I hope?"

"Why, two of our men are plowed; that is all," said Kennet, affecting with withering irony to undervalue his intelligence.

"Confound it, Kennet, how you frightened me! I was afraid there was some screw loose with the crew."

At this very instant, the smoke of the pistol was seen to puff out from the island, and Hardie rose to his feet. "They are off!" cried he to the ladies, and, after first putting his palms together with a hypocritical look of apology, he laid one hand on an old barge that was drawn up ashore, and sprang like a mountain goat on to the bow, lighting on the very gunwale. The position was not tenable an instant, but he extended one foot very nimbly and boldly, and planted it on the other gunwale; and there he was in a moment, headache and all, in an attitude as large and inspired, as the boldest gesture antiquity has committed to marble; he had even the advantage in stature over most of the sculptured forms of Greece. But a double opera-glass at his eye "spoiled the lot," as Mr. Punch says.

I am not to repeat the particulars of a distant race coming nearer and nearer. The main features are always the same, only this time it was more exciting to our fair friends, on account of Edward's high stake in it. And then their grateful though refractory patient, an authority in their eyes, indeed all but a river-god, stood poised in air, and in excited whispers interpreted each distant and unintelligible feature down to them:

"Cambridge was off quickest."

"But not much."

"Any body's race at present, madam."

"If this lasts long we may win. None of them can stay like us."

"Come, the favorite is not so very dangerous."

"Cambridge looks best."

"I wouldn't change with either, so far."

"Now, in forty seconds more, I shall be able to pick out the winner."

Julia went up this ladder of thrills to a high state of excitement; and, indeed, they were all so tuned to racing pitch, that some metal nerve or other seemed to jar inside all three, when the piercing, grating voice of Kennet broke in suddenly with,

"How do you construe yaorpiuapyos?"

The wretch had burrowed in the intellectual ruins of Greece the moment the pistol went off, and college chat ceased. Hardie raised his opera-glass, and his first impulse was to brain the judicious Kennet, gazing up to him for an answer, with spectacles goggling like supernatural eyes of dead sophists in the sun.

"How do you construe 'Hoe age?' you incongruous dog! Hold your tongue, and mind the race!"

"There, I thought so! Where's your three to one now? The Cockneys are out of this event, any way. Go on, Universities, and order their suppers!"

"But, which is first, Sir?" asked Julia, imploringly. "Oh, which is first of all?"

"Neither. Never mind; it looks well. London is pumped; and if Cambridge can't lead him before this turn in the river, the race will be ours. Now, look out! By Jove, we are ahead!"

The leading boats came on, Oxford pulling a long, lofty, sturdy stroke, that seemed as if it never could compete with the quick action of its competitor. Yet it was undeniably ahead, and gaining at every swing.

Young Hardie writhed on his perch. He screeched at them across the Thames "Well pulled Stroke! Well pulled all! Splendidly pulled, Dodd! You are walking away from them altogether! Hurrah! Oxford forever, Hurrah!" The gun went off over the heads of the Oxford crew in advance, and even Mrs. Dodd and Julia could see the race was theirs.

"We have won at last!" cried Julia, all on fire, "and fairly; only think of that!"

Hardie turned round, grateful to beauty for siding with his university. "Yes, and the fools may thank me; or rather my man, Dodd. Dodd forever! Hurrah!"

At this climax even Mrs. Dodd took a gentle share in the youthful enthusiasm that was boiling around her, and her soft eyes sparkled, and she returned the fervid pressure of her daughter's hand; and both their faces were flushed with gratified pride and affection.

"Dodd!" broke in the incongruous dog," with a voice just like a saw's; "Dodd! Ah, that's the man who is just plowed for smalls."

Ice has its thunder-bolts.


WE publish on page 236 an illustration of "ADMIRAL PORTER'S SECOND DUMMY," from a photograph made from a sketch by him above all others who was best fitted to illustrate the craft. We need hardly explain that this second Dummy, like the first, was merely an imitation Monitor, made of a few planks and some tar barrels, and intended to frighten the Vicksburg rebels. We are permitted by a distinguished officer of the navy to copy the following extracts from a letter recently received by him from the gallant Admiral:

   "YAZOO RIVER, March 12, 1863.

"I have not sent you a sketch for some time, but make up for it by the one inclosed.

"Much as we have come to mourn over the loss of the Indianola, I don't suppose that a more ridiculous thing ever occurred than the blowing up of

this gun-boat after the rebels had her so securely in their clutches; and it will hardly be believed when the history of this war is written that a wooden dummy could have achieved so remarkable a victory.

"I must confess, however, that the dummy was a much more formidable looking vessel than the Indianola in every respect—especially her wooden gun, which was a monster.

"After passing the batteries at night, and defying all the guns in Vicksburg, she lay a whole day opposite the canal—the rebels trying in vain to sink her, and never for a moment discovering their error—when she got in the current again, and 'sailed in' on the Queen of the West (which vessel had just arrived at Warrenton), when it was amusing to see that rebel rammer clap on steam and vamose the ranche. Indeed, she never stopped until she came to the Indianola; but finding that the grim monster was after her, they applied the torch, and blew her and every thing in her to atoms. It was a great relief to all of us here, for we could imagine the damage the Indianola could have effected on the river in case she had been saved. But it was not to be; for like all the Confederate iron-clads she went up the spout or down below to 'Davy' to condole with her friends. Night before last I sent off another terrific monster—a perfect imitation of our Lafayette, which latter vessel dropped down toward the turn of the river in the afternoon, and shelled the fortifications with a few 100-pounders. At 11 o'clock at night her dummy namesake made her appearance before the batteries, belching out huge volumes of smoke through her beef-barrel chimneys, and the way the rebels peppered her was a caution to all dummies. But she drifted by unscathed, stood the fire of the Warrenton batteries, and went on her mission own the stream as calm as a clam at high-water, until the Carthage batteries, twenty miles below, pitched into her, and she still, like old Brown's soul, kept moving on. This little artillery sport must have cost the rebels a thousand charges of powder and the bursting and dismounting of five or six guns.

"The next time we try this game they will find something better than 'dummies' to practice at."


OUR special artist, Mr. Theodore R. Davis, has sent us sketches of the work of CUTTING THROUGH THE SOUTHWESTERN BAYOUS, which we reproduce on page 225. With the sketches we received the following correspondence, which is interesting:


LA., Tuesday Night, March 17, 1863.

"The present stage of water in the Mississippi has, as you are aware, partially overflowed the Louisiana peninsula opposite Vicksburg; has encroached upon the encampments of our troops, compelling one of the corps of the army to remove to Milliken's Bend; and has even trespassed upon the sacred precincts of the dead. One of the many rude burial-places down here, where the defenders of the republic who fell in battle last December, and who have since perished of disease, are now lying in eternal silence, but with glorious suggestiveness, has been inundated by the flood, and the graves are but partially visible above the surface of the broad-expanding waters.

"Melancholy, touchingly sad, looks the roughhewn cemetery when the sky is clouded and the moon beams out, ever and anon, as if in pity, upon the buried heroes whom Fortune has not spared and the elements will not respect. It would seem, to a poetic mind, as if the pale priestess of heaven were offering up a prayer in her nightly vigils for the gallant dead, whom a grateful nation's memory should embalm, as they lie in their narrow tombs so far away from their native homes, with no requiem save that the mournful Mississippi chants, and no audible lament but that the soft Southern breezes waft over this dull and dreary shore.



Thursday Evening, March 19, 1863. "Near this point, through Muddy Bayou, it is proposed to effect an entrance into Steele's Bayou, and thence into Yazoo River, some miles above Haines's Bluff, which is the right of the rebel army at Vicksburg, and one of the strongest of the enemy's positions. Our gun-boats have been in Steele's Bayou reconnoitring for two or three days, and an engagement, supported by infantry, is soon expected at the Bluff, which is strongly fortified. The country hereabout is, as you know, very flat and swampy, and the level of the Yazoo at the present stage is somewhat lower than the Mississippi; but the water in Muddy Bayou flows to and from the great parent stream.

"To reach Steele's Bayou it is necessary to construct corduroy roads and bridges, and these are being rapidly built; Stuart's division having already disembarked and begun their march into the interior. The distance to Steele's Bayou is not much over a mile, and our troops will very speedily be encamped upon the banks of the Yazoo. The road thither is naturally very difficult, as I myself experienced, and you will observe by the sketches I inclose. One is necessitated to wade, to cross logs, to build rafts, in short to convert himself into an amphibious animal.

"Two of the Union transports of small size, the Eagle and Silver Wave, have already gotten into Steele's Bayou through the Yazoo, but not without serious damage to their upper works from the thick boughs and trunks of the impeding gum, cottonwood, and cypress trees. The exertion one is compelled to make in bayou navigation down here at this season, the thermometer ranging at 90° and upward, causes a copiousness of perspiration equal to that supposed, in the popular apologue of the day, to proceed from an African endeavoring to assist at an American election. The season here is quite far advanced. The trees are green; the fruit trees and blackberry bushes all in bloom; the birds singing as merrily as if such a thing as secession had never been.

"Stuart's Division are working hard, and the General himself has doffed his coat and toils like a Trojan with his men; believing very justly that a commander's example is necessary to animate and encourage his soldiers. Stuart is emphatically, as I have styled him, a 'working general;' is energetic, patriotic, determined, and has already distinguished himself by his ability and gallantry on several hard-fought fields."


WE illustrate on page 237 the unsuccessful attempt of the rebels to take Newbern, North Carolina, on 14th ult., from a sketch by Mr. E. Forbes. The artist gives the following account of the affair:


"The quiet of this department was disturbed today at 5 o'clock P.M., while at dress parade, by the arrival of a courier from Deep Gully, stating that our outposts were driven in by the rebels, who were in force twelve miles out. In an instant all was in commotion, and at half past 5 the Forty-sixth, the Fifth, and Twenty-fifth Regiments of Infantry, with Belger's Battery of 6 guns, of Rhode Island, were on the march to the scene of conflict. Our route lay up the Trent road (if road it might be called), through a dense forest of timber, while at every step the men would sink to their knees in mud and water; yet with all these obstacles they pressed on, and at 12 o'clock had reached the outermost picket post, where it was thought best by General Palmer to halt with the main force, while Companies K, B, G, and F, of the 46th, under the charge of LieutenantColonel Walkley, took the road at the right and marched three miles to the Red House station, and there formed in line of battle. At daylight on the morning of the 15th the cavalry of that station traversed the adjoining woods, and finding no enemy returned. At this moment we heard heavy firing in the direction of Newbern, and shortly after a courier arrived with a dispatch ordering our immediate return, as Newbern was attacked by a large force from the other side of the River Neuse. The troops, much fatigued from the previous evening's march and loss of sleep, with three hearty cheers took "double-quick" on the return march. When within four miles of Newbern we could see the smoke of exploding shells as they dropped in the woods occupied by the rebels; these came from our gun-boats, which were constantly plying up and down the river. Hardly had our troops formed in line of battle on the River Neuse to protect several regiments of troops which were ordered over the river to check the advance of the rebels, when another courier arrived from the outposts that we had just left, bringing information that the rebels were driving in our pickets and rapidly advancing on the city. At this juncture of affairs the brigade of General Lee, composed of the Forty-sixth, Twenty-fifth, and Fifth Massachusetts, were again ordered back to check their advance, making the third time in the short space of twenty-four hours we had taken the same journey, without rest and with but little food to eat. During this time an incessant firing was kept up by our gun-boats, which had the effect of silencing the batteries of the enemy on the river. I herewith send you a sketch of the scene, as presented during a part of the day, March 14. Never on so short notice were troops, batteries, and all the paraphernalia of war brought into requisition in better order than on this occasion. The river presented a grand scene. For miles above and below the banks were lined with troops and citizens, while the rafts of troops, the fleet of boats, the roar of cannon, the hissing shells, all gave evidence of the horrors as well as the grandeur of war. The rebels had sworn to occupy Newbern on this day, it being the anniversary of the day on which they lost the city by the valor of our brave troops. The last three days have been eventful ones to our arms, as they have shown that our new regiments are firm, and can be relied on whenever called to act at a moment's notice and under trying circumstances. Lee's Brigade is now in pursuit of the rebels on the Trent, and as the mail closes directly I must close without giving the sequel of their proceedings. The city is safe and order is being restored."


SAD Autumn's tears were falling


Stern Winter's voice was calling


Pining for Spring, the withered leaves decayed,

Or widely flew to find the missing maid.


I knelt there in my sorrow


I thought upon the morrow


Despised, forgotten, friendless, and alone,

I knelt and wept upon that cold, cold stone.


Why did she die—the last, the

Nearest one?

Oh, for the past—the loved and

Dearest one!

Why will he not return to my lone heart?

Forget, forgive, and love me, ne'er to part?


Sister, my heart is breaking!

'Twas so true!

Can you not hear its aching

Call for you?

Tell him I'm dying—dying here alone—

Dying for grief—for you, for him, my own!


The dead leaves rustle 'neath a

Manly tread:

A whistler—on his shoulder

Rests her head.

She is forgiven—by the cold white stone.

She often kneels there now, but not alone.




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