Capture of John Morgan


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, August 8, 1863

Welcome to our Harper's Weekly online archive. Harper's was the most important illustrated newspaper of the day, and it featured incredible illustrations and first hand reports of the war. Reading these old papers will take you back in time, and yield a new understanding of the war.

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


Port Hudson

Port Hudson



John Morgan Captured

Capture of John Morgan

Opening of the Mississippi River

Opening of the Mississippi River


The Riverboat "Imperial"

Battle of Gettysburg

The Battle of Gettysburg

Battle of Fort Wagner

Battle of Fort Wagner


Gettysburg Battle Description

Capture of Port Hudson

Capture of Port Hudson

Gettysburg Battle

Gettysburg Battle

Riot Cartoon

Riot Cartoon






AUGUST 8, 1863.]



(Previous Page) disheartens the loyal, and delights the rebels and their friends. The riot checks the suppression of the rebellion, and must therefore not be itself sternly suppressed, but entreated and toyed with. "Don't shoot the citizens," says the Chief Magistrate. "Don't use guns, use clubs, they are softer than bullets," says the Chief Magistrate's newspaper. This riot is a "popular uprising," a "movement of the people," say the Governor and his newspaper. This riot is "good," it is "most excellent," echo the rebel journals in Richmond.

Obviously Mr. Seymour's role has two difficulties: the first is, so to direct the "popular uprising" that it shall have the dignity of a real revolution, and not become an orgy of rapine and massacre, having no relation whatever to the draft; the second is, when the State is formally arrayed against the nation, to persuade the citizens of New York that they ought to take part with their State against their country. The citizens of this State who compose the State militia are no less citizens of the United States. If an armed conflict of allegiance should arise, how would they fight? That is a question for the chief magistrate and for every citizen to ponder, and its solution will depend upon the quality of the Union sentiment of the State. If New York bolds to secession, it would, in such a conflict, side with Mr. Seymour and Mr. Wood. If it believed in the national Union it would not side with those gentlemen.


THE rebel papers, when swelling with success, have been very fond of applying this name to Lee, or Stonewall Jackson, or some other of their military commanders. And it has not been unfashionable, even among loyal men, to regret that the military ability seemed to be so much with the enemy.

But certainly General Lee is rather a small specimen of a "great captain." He has fought two battles at Fredericksburg, where he was in the one superbly intrenched, and in the other he fought with an army whose leader had lost his self-command. In these two battles he was the victor. Twice, also, he has marched with a great flourish of European, and rebel, and Copperhead applause across the Potomac—and twice, not to put too fine a point upon it, he has been kicked back again. While Stonewall Jackson lived, Lee may have seemed to be a "great captain." Lee was the superior in rank, but it was Stonewall Jackson who came rushing down the Shenandoah. It was Stonewall Jackson who came hurrying in upon the Peninsula. It was Stonewall Jackson who flanked Pope. And it was again Stonewall Jackson who flanked Hooker. Since Stonewall Jackson died, the history of the "great captain" Lee begins and ends at Gettysburg.

Jackson's exploits were those of an active, impetuous partisan leader. He moved his division rapidly. He appeared at unexpected points at unlooked-for times, and his appearance was always effective. But there is nothing in Jackson's career, no vast operations, no large command, no comprehensive movement, which shows the qualities of "a great captain." These qualities must be sought, and will be found among the generals of the Union.

The operations before Vicksburg, with the final movement of a flying column from one base to another through the enemy's country, the investment and capture of the city, indicate a military grasp and persistence and fertility in General Grant of which there has not been a trace in the career of any rebel soldier. The Louisiana campaign of General Banks, ending in the siege and capture of Port Hudson, is a chapter of uncheckered brilliancy, as imposing and useful as the Northern campaigns of the "great captain" Lee have been ludicrous and futile. The turning the tide of battle at Murfreesboro, and the careful preparation which won a victory without a struggle in the summer campaign of Rosecrans in Southern Tennessee, is unparalleled in the whole military history of the rebellion. Against these prodigious and vital movements the rushes of Jackson, rapid and telling as they were, are but little episodes, and the pompous performances of Lee and Beauregard are merely amusing. The liberators of the Mississippi and of Tennessee, and the victor of Lee and his horde, are thus far the "great captains" of this war.


IT is always useless and uncomfortable to wear a mask after you are discovered; and it is therefore a spectacle appealing to the liveliest sympathies of the humane, that of the pertinacity with which the Copperhead journals and orators affect concern for the safety of the Union and Government.

If it were not perfectly well known that they justified secession when it inaugurated rebellion, and when they thought the country would be obliged to submit—if it were not equally known that they hate the political party in power much more than they hate the rebellion—if they did not quite so frankly declare that the Government has violated the Constitution as flagrantly as the rebels—if they did not so plainly show that they prefer disunion rather than a restoration of the Union with emancipation—if they were not so constantly overwhelmed with admiration of the "Confederate" ability, and the dignity of the "Confederate" Government, and the valor of the "Confederate" army —if they ever had any words but the most scornful censure for our own Government, or ever sought to inspire the public mind with patriotic hope and energy and faith—if they betrayed the least love of the great doctrine of human liberty, which is the corner-stone of the American Government, or valued any clause of the Constitution but those which painfully and obscurely recognize the fact of slavery—if they did not so magnify our reverses and belittle our triumphs—it might be useful for their purpose still to wear the mask of loyalty.

But when they ruffle their plumes with so fine a show of moral indignation, and demand to know

whether American citizens are to be told by their fellows that they are not loyal without resenting it, the only difficulty with the showy performance is that every honest man in the land knows it to be a part of the game. It is the way in which they serve the rebellion. They affect a feverish solicitude for the Constitution, in order that the Constitution maybe more surely overthrown. They claim to be Union men, distinctively, that they may resist all specific measures for its salvation. They declaim against military necessity, in order that a wily and unscrupulous foe may have every advantage. They defame the Government, that it may not seem to he worth fighting for. They denounce it as a despotism, that there may be riots, blood, and war in the free States. They assume a high regard for personal liberty and rights, in order that the personal liberty and rights of the unfortunate may be annihilated. They call themselves friends of the United States Government, and every thing they say or do is hailed with joy by its enemies. They claim to be supporters of order and law, and anarchy rises and riots under their auspices. They will wear the mask still, however transparent, because some are always deceived. But if Jeff Davis should stand triumphant over the Government to-morrow, they would kneel before him, throwing down the mask no longer needed, and humbly praying for the reward they have fairly earned from him and from every other enemy of their country.


WHETHER the wolf of foreign intervention is really coming at last, after the incessant alarms of the last two years, is quite as doubtful as ever. It is not, indeed, the usual custom of nations to wait until an adversary has fully proved his strength before attacking him. Moreover, the only pretense that could be urged for recognizing the revolted part of a friendly country as an independent power is removed by the success of the Government. Unless, therefore, we suppose that England and France are confident that we mean to seize the moment of domestic settlement to declare war upon them, and that they therefore wish to begin war against us before we are fully released from our difficulties, we have no reason to suppose that we are in danger of a foreign war.

Is France in condition to enter upon the conquest of this continent? Does her situation in Europe justify a great American war? Or is England likely to join her in an Anti-American alliance? Again, does England wish a great war? Is not her present resolution to spend no more money, and did not the Crimean war so increase the weight of her taxes as to render war with us a dangerous experiment? Do not England and France know perfectly well that, in case of universal war, Russia is our ally, and that a vast popular revolution would immediately develop itself throughout Europe?

If we will destroy ourselves, John Bull will enjoy the spectacle he has long wished. But even to gratify his insolent and sullen selfishness he will hardly dare to attack us just as we have made ourselves a military nation.


AN OPTICAL ILLUSION.—A chandler having had some candles stolen, a person bid him be of good cheer, "for in a short time," said he, "I am confident they will all come to light."

"Have I not offered you every advantage?" said a doting father to his son. "Oh yes," replied the youth; "but I could not think of taking advantage of my own father."

It is as important in guarding your secrets as in protecting your treasure to keep your chest locked.

A quiet and witty man combines the qualities of two kinds of Champagne—still and sparkling.



When I regard that plumage gay,

By Nature's bounty all conferred,

I often feel disposed to say,

Would I were clothed as yonder bird!

But oh, that moulting! To appear

In dishabille until 'twas o'er,

To get a dress but once a year,

And wear one fashion evermore!

When I consider all those things,

I check the wish that seems absurd,

And sigh no more for golden wings:

I'd not be clothed like yonder bird.

MOTTOES.—A vain man's motto is, "Win gold and wear it;" a generous man's, "Win gold and share it ;" a miser's, "Win gold and spare it;" a profligate's, "Win gold and spend it;" a broker's, "Win gold and lend it;" a fool's, "Win gold and end it;" a gambler's, "Win gold and lose it;" a wise man's, "Win gold and use it."

CHANCE FOR SPECULATION.—An amateur naturalist offers a reward to the man who will furnish him a live specimen of the "brick bat."

A dandy a few mornings since accosted the carrier of Peckham as follows: "You take all sorts of trumpery in your cart, don't you?" "Yes, jump in, jump in."

QUESTION FOR ETYMOLOGISTS.—Do the "roots of words" produce "flowers of speech?"

"There, now it's done, and can't be helped," as the cook said when she had roasted and eaten her master's chicken.

"You are very pressing," as the filbert said to the nut-cracker.

The most musical county in Scotland.—The county of Fife.

A land-slide may be said to be a fine specimen of "ground tumbling."

The table which was "set in a roar" has been presented as an ornament to the lions' cage at the Regent's Park Gardens.

Wanted, by a curiosity collector, the horns of an Irish "bull."

Not long since one of the field-officers of the 1st Blanktown Volunteers rode up to head-quarters, his horse reeking with foam from hard riding, dismounted, and threw the reins to Giles, saying, "Feed him." "Is he not too warm to feed now?" inquired Giles. "No, you may feed him now with impunity." "Impunity? Quarter-master Jones has furnished the usual quantity of forage, but nary pound of impunity!"

A young lady should take heed when an admirer bends low before her. The bent beau is dangerous.

LARNING.—"Ah," said old Mrs. Roosenbury, "larning is a great thing; I've often felt the need of it. Why, would you believe it, I'm now sixty years old, and only know the names of three months in the year; and them's spring, fall, and autumn; I larnt the names of them when I was a little bit of a gal!"

A certain gentleman in the West of England being at the point of death, a neighboring brother, who had some interest with his patron, applied to him for the next presentation; upon which the former, who soon after recovered, upbraided him with a breach of friendship, and said he wanted his death. "No, no, doctor," says the other; "you quite mistake; it is your living I wanted."

THE CLIMAX.—A clergyman in Wisconsin, one Sunday, informed his hearers that he should divide his discourse into three parts—the first should be terrible, the second horrible, the third the terrible horrible. Assuming a dramatic tragic attitude, he exclaimed in a startling agonizing tone:

"What's that I see there?" Still louder, "What's that I see there?" Here a little old woman in black cried out, with shrill treble tone:

"It's nothing but my little black dog; he won't bite nobody."

All mercantile houses, where the duties are well attended to, are sure to become custom-houses.

It is easier to make up one's mind to early rising than one's body.

A reverend dean, economical of his wine, descanting on the extraordinary performance of a blind man, remarked that the poor fellow could see no more than "that bottle." "No wonder, Sir," replied a minor canon; "for I have seen no more than that bottle all the afternoon."

A fellow having been adjudged, on a conviction of perjury, to lose his ears, when the executioner came to put the sentence of the law in force, he found that he had been entirely cropped. The hangman seemed a little surprised. "What," said the criminal, with all the coolness imaginable, "am I obliged to furnish you with ears every time you are pleased to crop me?"

Mrs. Partington is delighted that Prince Alfred would have nothing to do with Foreign Greece. She says she always thought he had much better stick to his native Ile.

In the way of pointing a swell's biography it is remarked that all's well if a swell ends a swell as he began.

Conscience is a Monitor, but the Monitors in most bosoms are iron-clad.



NOTHING quite positive is known of the position of the two armies of the Potomac. It is understood, however, that while we hold the upper passes of the mountains, A. P. Hill's and Longstreet's corps have escaped through Chester and Thornton's Gap into Eastern Virginia. Our forces are said to be active, and skirmishing goes on daily. A report is current that Lee is at or near Culpepper.


We give an account elsewhere of the unsuccessful attack of General Gilmore on Fort Wagner on 18th. It would appear that the bombardment was steadily continued from that time to the 25th. The rebels say that on 25th "The bombardment of Fort Wagner was still progressing, and was answered by Fort Wagner and Fort Sumter. The National forces are said to have two batteries on Morris Island, and to have strengthened their position." On 26th the firing was heard by a passing vessel. It was heavy and continuous.


Joe Johnston evacuated Jackson on the night of the 16th, escaping across the river, and retreating east. General Sherman, however, entertains the opinion that most of his army must perish from heat, lack of water, and general discouragement. On 23d General Sherman is said to have burned and evacuated Jackson, moving with his army across the Big Black. General McPherson's corps left Vicksburg for the North on 21st—it was said for Richmond.


Morgan is captured at last—himself and the whole of his force. On the morning of 26th ult. Major Way, with 250 of the Ninth Michigan Cavalry, forced him to an engagement near Salinville, Ohio, and routed him, capturing 240 prisoners, Morgan himself, however, escaping with 300 men; but they were all subsequently captured by General Shackleford near New Lisbon. Morgan and his officers are to be held as hostages for Colonel Streight and his officers, who are in close confinement in Secessia on the charge of having armed negroes.


In the Richmond Enquirer of 26th ult. is a dispatch from Atlanta, Georgia, which expresses the belief that General Rosecrans is organizing an expedition against that place, and a raid on the Northwestern Georgia Railroad.

Rosecrans himself has been in Nashville, reviewing troops and inspecting hospitals.


General Ransom's expedition to Natchez was one of much importance, and attended with the most gratifying results. Among the captures were 5000 head of Texas cattle, a considerable number of prisoners, and a number of wagons loaded with ammunition, intended for Kirby Smith.


General Foster's official report of the results of the cavalry expedition in North Carolina has been received at the War Department. In addition to the railroad bridge at Rocky Mount, on the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, which it will take weeks to replace, and the mills, both flouring and cotton, already mentioned, our forces destroyed an engine and a train of cars, twenty-five wagons filled with stores and munitions, an armory and machine-shops; and at Tarboro, two steamboats and one iron-clad in process of construction, besides a saw-mill, a train of cars, and large quantities of subsistence and ordnance stores. About a hundred prisoners were also captured, and some three hundred horses and mules and three hundred contrabands. And all this with a loss in killed, wounded, and missing, of only about twenty-five men, though our force was skirmishing almost constantly.


There is another invasion excitement in Kentucky. A severe skirmish took place at Richmond on 28th, in which a small National force was compelled to fall back to the Kentucky River, and the report is current that the rebel force engaged was the advance-guard of Bragg's army, which is advancing on Lexington.


The St. Louis Democrat of Tuesday says

The steamer Continental, Captain Patrick Yore--the first boat to load at this port for New Orleans since the opening of the Mississippi River—is advertised to leave for below immediately. The Continental received orders to load for New Orleans with Government freight yesterday afternoon. We are not advised as to whether passengers will be carried or not. The event marks an important era, and it is hoped will speedily be followed by the departure of other steamers, and a general resumption of business between this port and the Crescent City."


On the 14th ult. a severe fight occurred at Elk Creek, fifty miles south of Fort Gibson, between the National forces under General Blunt, numbering 2400 men, with twelve pieces of artillery, and the rebels under General Cooper, numbering 5000, resulting in the complete rout of the rebels. General Blunt marched fifty miles in twenty-four hours, and attacked Cooper immediately. Two rebel guns were dismounted and captured, and the enemy briskly fled, pursued by our forces.


Jeff Davis has issued a proclamation appointing the 21st of August as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer.


Official statements show that the total public debt of the United States on the 1st July was $1,097,274,366—less by over $25,000,000 than anticipated by the Secretary of the Treasury last December.




AT the instance of Lord Palmerston, Roebuck has withdrawn his motion for the recognition of the Southern Confederacy after a lively debate.



On 10th July the Assembly of Notables, being duly assembled by a previous convocation, declared unanimously, with the exception of two votes, that the Mexican nation, through them, selected the Empire as the form of Government, and through them proclaimed the Archduke Maximilian, of Austria, Emperor of Mexico, and that, should his Highness refuse the throne thus offered him, they implored the Emperor of the French to select a person in whom he had full confidence to occupy the throne of Mexico.

The Assembly of Notables is a party of renegades and bandits got together by Forey the French General.





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