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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


British Pirates

Port Hudson Attack

Attack of Port Hudson

Yazoo Sunset

Yazoo Sunset

Army of the Cumberland

Army of the Cumberland

Vicksburg Levee

Vicksburg Levee

Map of Port Hudson

Port Hudson Map

Camp Wedding

Camp Wedding


Civil War Wedding



Plantation Slaves

Plantation Slaves

General Mitchell

General Mitchell

General Ross

General Ross

Beauregard Cartoon

Beauregard Cartoon










APRIL 4, 1863.]



and let Jane beat me at Things? never! never! never! I couldn't."

"Your friend to the death, dear; was not that your expression?"

"Oh, that was a slip of the tongue, dear mamma; I was off my guard. I generally am, bythe-way. But now I am on it, and propose an amendment. Now I second it. Now I carry it."

"And now let me hear it."

"She is my friend till death—or Eclipse; and that means until she eclipses me, of course." But Julia added softly, and with sudden gravity; "Ah! Jane Hardie has a fault, which will always prevent her from eclipsing your humble servant in this wicked world."

"What is that?"

"She is too good. Much."

"Par exemple!"

"Too religious."

"Oh, that is another matter."

"For shame, mamma! I am glad to hear it: for, I scorn a life of frivolity, but then again I should not like to give up every thing, you know."

"Mrs. Dodd looked a little staggered, too, at so vast a scheme or capitulation. But "every thing" was soon explained to mean balls, concerts, dinner-parties in general, tea-parties without exposition of Scripture, races and operas, cards, charades, and whatever else amuses society without perceptibly sanctifying it. All these, by Julia's account, Miss Hardie had renounced, and was now denouncing (with the young the latter verb treads on the very heels of the former). "And, you know, she is a district visitor!"

This climax delivered, Julia stopped short, and awaited the result.

Mrs. Dodd heard it all with quiet disapproval and cool incredulity. She had seen so many young ladies healed of so many young enthusiasms, by a wedding-ring. But while she was searching diligently in her mine of ladylike English—mine with plenty of water in it, begging her pardon—for expressions to convey inoffensively, and roundabout, her conviction that Miss Hardie was a little, furious, simpleton, the post came, and swept the subject away in a moment.

Two letters; one from Calcutta, one from Oxford.

They came quietly in upon one salver, and were opened and read with pleasurable interest, but without surprise, or misgiving; and without the slightest foretaste of their grave and singular consequences.

Rivers deep and broad start from such little springs.

David's letter was of unusual length for him. The main topics were, first, the date and manner of his return home. His ship, a very old one, had been condemned in port: and he was to sail a fine new teak-built vessel, the Agra, as far as the Cape; where her captain, just recovered from a severe illness, would come on board, and convey her and him to England. In future, Dodd was to command one of the company's large steamers to Alexandria and back.

"It is rather a come-down for a sailor, to go straight ahead like a wheel-barrow, in all weathers, with a steam-pot and a crew of coal-heavers. But then I shall not be parted from my sweet-heart such long dreary spells as I have been this twenty years, my dear love: so is it for me to complain?"

The second topic was pecuniary: the transfer of their savings from India, where interest was higher than at home, but the capital not so secure.

And the third was ardent and tender expressions of affection for the wife and children he adored. These effusions of the heart had no separate place, except in my somewhat arbitrary analysis of the honest sailor's letter; they were the under-current.

Mrs. Dodd read part of it out to Julia; in fact all but the money-matter: that concerned the heads of the family more immediately; and Cash was a topic her daughter did not understand, nor care about. And when Mrs. Dodd had read it with glistening eyes, she kissed it tenderly, and read it all over again to herself, and then put it into her bosom as naively as a milkmaid in love.

Edward's letter was short enough, and Mrs. Dodd allowed Julia to read it to her, which she did with panting breath, and glowing cheeks, and a running fire of comments.

" 'Dear Mamma, I hope you and Ju are quite well—'

"Ju," murmured Mrs. Dodd, plaintively.

" 'And that there is good news about papa coming home. As for me, I have plenty on my hands just now; all this term I have been' ('training' scratched out, and another word put in: c r—oh, I know) 'cramming.' "

"Cramming, love?"

"Yes, that is the Oxfordish for studying."

" '—For smalls.' "

Mrs. Dodd contrived to sigh interrogatively. Julia, who understood her every accent, reminded her that "smalls" was the new word for "little go."

" '—Cramming for smalls; and now I am in two races at Henley, and that rather puts the snaffle on reading and gooseberry pie' (Goodness me), 'and adds to my chance of being plowed for smalls.' "

"What does it all mean?" inquired mamma, " 'gooseberrie pie?' and 'the snaffle?' and plowed?'"

"Well, the gooseberry pie is really too deep for me: but plowed is the new Oxfordish for 'plucked.' O mamma, have you forgotten that? Plucked was vulgar, so now they are plowed.

" '—For smalls; but I hope I shall not be, to vex you and puss.' "

"Heaven forbid he should be so disgraced! But what has the cat to do with it?"

"Nothing on earth. Puss? that is me. How dare he? Did I not forbid all these nicknames, and all this Oxfordish, by proclamation, last Long."

"Last Long?"

"Hem! last protracted vacation.

" '—Dear mamma, sometimes I can not help being down in the mouth' (why it is a string of pearls) 'to think you have not got a son like Hardie.' "

At this unfortunate reflection it was Julia's turn to suffer. She deposited the letter in her lap, and fired up. "Now, have not I cause to hate, and scorn, and despise, le petit Hardie?"


"I mean to dislike with propriety, and gently to abominate Mr. Hardie, junior.

" '—Dear mamma, do come to Henley on the tenth, you and Ju. The university eights will not be there, but the best boats of the Oxford and Cambridge river will; and the Oxford head boat is Exeter, you know; and I pull six.' "

"Then I am truly sorry to hear it; my poor child will overtask his strength; and how unfair of the other young gentlemen; it seems ungenerous; unreasonable."

And I am entered for the sculls as well, and if you and "the Impetuosity" ' (Vengeance!) 'were looking on from the bank, I do think I should be lucky this time. Henley is a long way from Barkington, but it is a pretty place; all the ladies admire it, and like to see both the universities out and a stunning race—'

"Oh, well, there is an epithet. One would think thunder was going to race lightning, instead of Oxford Cambridge.

" '—If you can come, please write, and I will get you nice lodgings; I will not let you go to a noisy inn. Love to Julia and no end of kisses to my pretty mamma,

" 'from your affectionate Son,


They wrote off a cordial assent, and reached Henley in time to see the dullest town in Europe; and also to see it turn one of the gayest in an hour or two; so impetuously came both the universities pouring into it—in all known vehicles that could go their pace—by land and water.


IT was a bright hot day in June. Mrs. Dodd and Julia sat half reclining, with their parasols up, in an open carriage, by the brink of the Thames at one of its loveliest bends.

About a furlong up stream a silvery stone bridge, just mellowed by time, spanned the river with many fair arches. Through these the coming river peeped sparkling a long way above, then came meandering and shining down, loitered cool and sombre under the dark vaults, then glistening on again crookedly to the spot where sat its two fairest visitors that day; but at that very point flung off its serpentine habits, and shot straight away in a broad stream of scintillating water a mile long, down to an island in mid-stream; a little fairy island with old trees and a white temple. To curl round this fairy isle the broad current parted, and both silver streams turned purple in the shade of the grove; then winded and melted from the sight.

This noble and rare passage of the silvery Thames was the Henley race-course. The starting-place was down at the island, and the goal was up at a point in the river below the bridge, but above the bend where Mrs. Dodd and Julia sat, unruffled by the racing, and enjoying luxuriously the glorious stream, the mellow bridge crowded with carriages—whose fair occupants stretched a broad band of bright color above the dark figures clustering on the battlements—and the green meadows opposite with the motley crowd streaming up and down.

Nor was that sense, which seems especially keen and delicate in women, left unregaled in the general bounty of the time. The green meadows on the opposite bank, and the gardens at the back of our fair friends, flung their sweet fresh odors at their liquid benefactor gliding by; and the sun himself seemed to burn perfumes, and the air to scatter them, over the motley merry crowd, that bright, hot, smiling, airy day in June.

Thus tuned to gentle enjoyment, the fair mother and her lovely daughter leaned back in a delicious languor proper to their sex, and eyed with unflagging, though demure, interest, and furtive curiosity, the wealth of youth, beauty, stature, agility, gayety, and good temper, the two great universities had poured out upon those obscure banks; all dressed in neat but easy-fitting clothes, cut in the height of the fashion, or else in Jerseys, white or striped, and flannel trowsers, and straw-hats, or cloth caps of bright and various hues; betting, strolling, laughing, chaffing, larking, and whirling stunted bludgeons at Aunt Sally.

But as for the sport itself they were there to see, the centre of all these bright accessories, "The Racing," my ladies did not understand it, nor try, nor care a hook-and-eye about it. But this mild dignified indifference to the main event received a shock at two P.M.: for then the first heat for the cup came on, and Edward was in it. So then racing became all in a moment a most interesting pastime; an appendage to Loving. He left them to join his crew. And, soon after, the Exeter glided down the river before their eyes, with the beloved one rowing quietly in it: his Jersey revealed not only the working power of his arms, as sunburnt below the elbow as a gipsy's, and as corded above as a blacksmith's, but also the play of the great muscles across his broad and deeply-indented chest: his oar entered the water smoothly, gripped it severely, then came out clean, and feathered clear and tunably on the ringing row-lock, the boat jumped, and then glided, at each neat, easy, powerful stroke.

"Oh, how beautiful and strong he is," cried Julia. "I had no idea."

Presently the competitor for this heat came down, the Cambridge boat, rowed by a fine crew in broad striped Jerseys. "Oh dear!" said Julia, "they are odious and strong in this boat too. I wish I was in it—with a gimlet; he should win, poor boy."

Which cork-screw staircase to Honor being inaccessible, the race had to be decided by two unfeminine trifles called "Speed" and "Bottom."

Few things in this vale of tears are more worthy a pen of fire than an English boat-race is, as seen by the runners; and none else have ever seen one, or can paint one. But I, unhappy, have nothing to do with this race, except as it appeared to two ladies seated on the Henley side of the Thames, nearly opposite the winning-post. These fair novices then looked all down the river, and could just discern two whitish streaks on the water, one on each side the little fairy isle; and a great black patch on the Berkshire bank. The threatening streaks were the two racing boats: the black patch was about a hundred Cambridge and Oxford men, ready to run and hallo with the boats all the way, or at least till the last puff of wind should be run plus halloed out of their young bodies. Others less fleet and enduring, but equally clamorous, stood in knots at various distances, ripe for a shorter yell and run when the boats should come up to them. Of the natives and country visitors, those, who were not nailed down by bounteous Fate, ebbed and flowed up and down the bank with no settled idea, but of getting in the way as much as possible, and of getting knocked into the Thames as little as might be.

There was a long uneasy suspense.

At last a puff of smoke issued from a pistol down at the island; two oars seemed to splash into the water from each white streak; and the black patch was moving; so were the threatening streaks. Presently was heard a faint, continuous, distant murmur, and the streaks began to get larger, and larger, and larger; and the eight splashing oars looked four instead of two.

Every head was now turned down the river. Groups hung craning over it like nodding bulrushes.

Next the runners were swelled by the stragglers they picked up; so were their voices; and on came the splashing oars and roaring lungs.

Now the colors of the racing Jerseys peeped distinct. The oarsmen's heads and bodies came swinging back like one, and the oars seemed to lash the water savagely, like a connected row of swords, and the spray squirted at each vicious stroke. The boats leaped and darted side by side, and, looking at them in front, nobody could say which was ahead. On they came nearer and nearer, with hundreds of voices vociferating, "Go it Cambridge!" "Well pulled Oxford!" "You are gaining, hurrah!" "Well pulled Trinity!" "Hurrah!" "Oxford!" "Cambridge!" "Now is your time, Hardie, pick her up!" "Oh, well pulled, six!" "Well pulled, stroke!" "Up, up! lift her a bit!" "Cambridge!" "Oxford!" "Hurrah!"

At this Julia turned red and pale by turns. "Oh, mamma!" said she, clasping her hands and coloring high, "would it be very wrong if I was to pray for Oxford to win?"

Mrs. Dodd had a monitory finger; it was on her left hand; she raised it; and, that moment, as if she had given a signal, the boats, fore-shortened no longer, shot out to treble the length they had looked hitherto, and came broadside past our palpitating fair, the elastic rowers stretched like greyhounds in a chase, darting forward at each stroke so boldly, they seemed flying out of the boats, and surging back as superbly, an eightfold human wave: their nostrils all open, the lips of some pale and glutinous; their white teeth all clenched grimly, their young eyes all glowing, their supple bodies swelling, the muscles writhing beneath their Jerseys, and the sinews starting on each bare brown arm; their little shrill coxswains shouting imperiously at the young giants, and working to and fro with them, like jockeys at a finish; nine souls and bodies flung whole into each magnificent effort; water foaming and flying, row-locks ringing, crowd running, tumbling, and howling like mad; and Cambridge a boat's nose ahead.

They had scarcely passed our two spectators, when Oxford put on a furious spurt, and got fully even with the leading boat. There was a louder roar than ever from the bank. Cambridge spurted desperately in turn, and stole those few feet back; and so they went fighting every inch of water. Bang! A cannon on the bank sent its smoke over both competitors; it dispersed in a moment, and the boats were seen pulling slowly toward the bridge, Cambridge with four oars, Oxford with six, as if that gun had winged them both.

The race was over.

But who had won our party could not see, and must wait to learn.


WE are indebted to an occasional correspondent, Mr. Barrows, of the Ninety-third Ohio, for the three pictures of the Army of the Cumberland, which we publish on page 213. Mr. Barrows writes:

"General McDowell McCook's head-quarters are situated 2 1/2 miles south of Murfreesboro, a short distance from the Shelbyville turnpike. He occupies the mansion in which, a few months since, the owner, Mr. John Childress, resided. It is a commodious and tasteful building of the better class of Southern homes, such as in this part of Tennessee are few and far between. It is built of the superior

brick which the soil of this region affords. Mr. Childress, though a wealthy and influential man, never took a very prominent part in the rebellion, but he quietly acted and sympathized with the leaders of the Southern movement. He remained in quiet possession of his property during the reign of General Buell, and did not find it necessary to withdraw. But when the tide of war turned against the rebels again at Murfreesboro he gathered together his movable household property, including some thirty slaves, and fled in company with Bragg's retreating hosts, leaving his beautiful home to the tender mercies of the "Lincolnites."

The trestle-work, represented in sketch No. 2, and the stockade defending it, were built by General Mitchel. The former is now used as a foot-bridge—simply as the cars do not at present run farther south than Murfreesboro.

In the view of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, "looking south," the hill on the right is just beyond our picket-lines.


WE devote pages 209 and 212 to illustrations of our Army in the Southwest, from sketches by our special artist, Mr. Theodore R. Davis. On page 209 we publish an illustration representing the


The "mud machine" Sampson is seen hard at work digging into the dam on the upper side. Its huge iron scoop is ever in motion scooping away the earth, and demolishing the barrier which now keeps the Mississippi waters out of the bed of the canal. Since this picture was drawn the "Father of Waters" himself has taken a hand in the game.

This scene is depicted on page 209, under the title of


Owing to heavy rains and the rapid rise of the Mississippi above and opposite Vicksburg, the head of the canal gave way, and the water poured in at a tremendous rate. The force of the current, however, did not break the dam near the mouth of the canal, but caused a crevasse on the western side, through which the water flowed in such profusion as to inundate the lower part of the peninsula to the depth of four or five feet. When the fracture occurred a number of soldiers were on the levee, and were thrown into the torrent. Some swam and scrambled out; but several of them would have been drowned but for the heroic exertions of John C. Keller, one of the officers of the transport Swallow, who succeeded at great personal risk in placing them once more upon terra firma, much wetter if not wiser men.

The Times correspondent writes:

Night before last the darn at this end of the canal gave way under a pressure of ten feet of Mississippi, and in a few minutes thereafter there was a torrent roaring and boiling through in a manner that would do honor to a first-class maelstrom. Unfortunately the water above the dam that came pouring through did not come along the projected channel of the canal, but from a direction much below, the consequence of which promises to be that, before this can be corrected, another channel will be scooped out of which we can make no use. The dredging machines are hard at work night and day, and may possibly be able to correct the difficulty. Two or three days will decide the matter, and then we shall know whether the much-talked-of and long-worked-at canal will prove a failure or a success.

The Tribune correspondent, writing two days afterward, says:

Since the breaking of the dam of the canal, as I mentioned in my last letter, the water has been rushing through the cut with great force, threatening to inundate the entire lower part of the peninsula. On this account McClernand's Thirteenth Army Corps has been ordered to Miliken's Bend, 15 miles above, where the ground is higher; but his command has as yet made only a beginning of moving.

Those familiar with the country hereabout say the land above the canal will not be flooded, though the portion below the city, in the direction of Vicksburg, is already four feet under water. The dam at or near the mouth of Farragut's Ditch stands firm, but a crevasse has been made in the embankment on the west side, and through this the river is pouring at a rapid rate.

The water, it is supposed, will run along inside of the levees constructed opposite Warrenton, and thence into the swamps, which are lower than when our troops are, without interfering for some days with the encampment.

The canal itself is not likely to be injured by the destruction of its head, but will rather be benefited thereby —being deepened and widened by the rush of the current. The cut is 60 feet broad, and 2 1/2 feet below the surface of the soil inside of the levee, but about seven feet below the level of the river.

The break in the canal can not be repaired at present, and no one can determine in what the digging down here, at Providence, and the Yazoo Pass may result.

On page 212 we illustrate


Mr. Davis writes: "The little town of Warrenton, ten miles below Vicksburg, is the farthest point up the river the rebel boats care to come at this time. It was near this place that the fight between the Indianola and the rams of the rebels occurred. In my sketch I give near the town the rams Queen of the West and Grand Duke. It will be seen by the sketch how easily the levee is converted into an 'earth-work' for the reception of batteries."

The sketch by our special artist of


gives a representation of the Union gun-boats under Admiral Porter, guarding the river and waiting for the signals from the fleet that has gone through the Yazoo Pass below Helena, to begin a simultaneous attack upon Haines's Bluff, some twenty miles from the disemboguement of the stream.

The Yazoo is a peculiar, dreary, unwholesome stream, its pale-green, sickly-looking water, having their origin in swamps, and being so fatal to health that it is well named, as its origin implies, in the aboriginal tongue, the "River of Death."

The sunset scenes down the Mississippi, in spite of the dreariness of the landscape, are often splendid—gorgeous in light and shadow and variegated tints. They remind one of the sky-glances he has witnessed in Tuscany and along the Mediterranean, and which enter into his memory like a flash of imagination into an inspired soul.




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