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Civil War Harper's Weekly, February 28, 1863

Welcome to our online archive of Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. We have created this online resource to help facilitate a more in depth understanding of this important period in American History. We hope you enjoy this incredible collection.

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Joe Hooker

General Hooker



Slaves Paid

Slaves to be Paid

Colored Troops

Colored Troops

Blockade Runner

Queen of the West Runs Blockade

Slave Chart

Slave Chart

Louisiana Colored Troops

Louisiana Colored Troops

Copperhead Cartoon

Copperhead Cartoon

Queen of the West

Queen of the West

Rappahannock River

Rappahannock River

Southern Map

Southern Slave Map

Army Pay-Day

Army Pay-Day




[FEBRUARY 28, 1863.



The ouner ov the steamer Princess Royal and cargo was an M.P., whu last yeer wanted Ingland tu disregard aour blockade, cawse it warn't effishent. I gess he's faound aout it's his "block-hed" thet is "innefishunt."]

WHAT d'ye think ov aour blockade naow, old feller?

Don't it make yure hed feel kind o' meller—

Soft, I meen—when yu reed

Of cute Jonathan's deed?

Took yure ship in, es the widder "took" old Weller!


We hev warned yu thet trubble was a brewin

Fur fokes thet wood du es yn was duin—

That there's menny a slip

Twixt the port and the ship—

But yu wood kum aout tu far, tu yure reuin!

I swanny it's the best joke ov the seeson! Though yu mite hev expected it, in reeson. Yu hev shown plain enuff

Yu aint quite "up to snuff"—

Takes a smarter chap then yu tu thrive on treeson!


Aour blockade is made ov paper, is't? du tell!

Guess yu've bin made the "wictim ov a sell!"

Jest keep on es yu've begun,

And aour sailors will hev fun.

Prises Johnny Bull hes furnished suit 'em well. CHARITY GRIMES.


WE publish on the preceding page a portrait of MAJOR-GENERAL JOSEPH HOOKER, who now commands the Army of the Potomac.

Major-General Joseph Hooker was born in Massachusetts about the year 1817, and is consequently about 45 years of age. He entered West Point in 1833, and graduated in 1837, standing No. 28 in a class which included Generals Benham, Williams, Sedgwick, etc., of the Union army, and Generals Bragg, Mackall, and Early of the rebel forms. At the outbreak of the war with Mexico he accompanied Brigadier-General Hamer as Aid-de-camp, and was brevetted Captain for gallant conduct in several conflicts at Monterey. In March, 1847, he was appointed Assistant Adjutant-General, with the rank of Captain. At the National Bridge he distinguished himself, and was brevetted Major; and at Chapultepec he again attracted attention by his gallant and meritorious conduct, and was brevetted Lieutenant-Colonel.

At the close of the war with Mexico he withdrew from the service, and soon afterward emigrated to California. The outbreak of the rebellion found him there, and he was one of the first of the old West Pointers who offered his services to the Government. He was one of the first batch of Brigadier-Generals of Volunteers appointed by President Lincoln on 17th May, 1861; and was, on his arrival, placed in command of a brigade of the Army of the Potomac, and subsequently of a division. From July, 1861, to February, 1862, he was stationed in Southern Maryland, on the north shore of the Potomac, his duty being to prevent the rebels crossing the river, and to amuse them with their river blockade while M'Clellan was getting his army into trim. This difficult duty he performed admirably.

When the army of the Potomac moved to the Peninsula, Hooker accompanied them in charge of a division. In the contest at Williamsburg his division bravely stood the brunt of the battle, the men of the Excelsior Brigade actually being mowed down as they stood up in line. At Fair Oaks the men again showed their valor, and the General his fighting qualities. In the various minor contests Hooker took his part, and bravely went through with his share of the seven days' fights. When McClellan's army was placed under the command of General Pope, we find the names of "Fighting Joe Hooker" and the late General Kearney mentioned together in the thickest of the struggle; and again at South Mountain and Sharpsburg he seems to have been second to no one. At the latter fight he was shot through the foot and obliged to leave the field; but for this accident, he thinks he would have driven the rebels into the Potomac.

After the battle he sent the following report to General McClellan:

CENTREVILLE, MD., Sept. 17, 1862.

Major-General McClellan:

A great battle has been fought, and we are victorious. I bad the honor to open it yesterday afternoon, and it continued until ten o'clock this morning, when I was wounded and compelled to quit the field. The battle was fought with great violence on both sides. The carnage has been awful. I only regret that I was not permitted to take part in the operations until they were concluded, for I had counted on either capturing their army or driving them into the Potomac. My wound has been painful, but is not one that will be likely to lay me up. I was shot through the foot.   J. HOOKER, Brigadier-General.

On the reorganization of the army under General Burnside, General Hooker was given the command of one of the three grand Divisions into which it was distributed. He commanded his Division at Fredericksburg, but took no active part in the fight.

The Herald gives the following memoranda of him:

In person General Hooker is very tall, erect, compactly, but not heavily built, extremely muscular, and of great physical endurance, of a light complexion, a fresh, ruddy countenance, full, clear, mild eyes, intellectual head, brown hair, slightly tinged with gray—and altogether one of the most commanding officers in his bearing and appearance in the army.

In social intercourse he is frank, unpretending, and courteous, removing embarrassment from even the humblest personage who approaches him. It is only when at the head of his command and in the storm of battle that he arrays himself in the stern and lofty aspect of the commanding military chieftain.

Perhaps it may not be uninteresting to our readers to learn how the subject of our sketch obtained the now historic name of "Fighting Joe Hooker." On one occasion, after a battle, in which General Hooker's men had distinguished themselves for their fighting qualities, thus adding to the fame of their commander, a dispatch to the New York Associated Press was received at the office of one of the principal agencies announcing the fact. One of the

copyists, wishing to show in an emphatic manner that this commander was really a fighting man, placed over the head of the manifold copies of the dispatch the words "Fighting Joe Hooker." Of course this heading went to nearly every newspaper office of the country, through the various agencies, and was readily adopted by the editors and printed in their journals. The sobriquet was also adopted by the army and by the press, and is now well known all over the world. Thus an unpretending, innocent copyist, unaware that he was making history, prefixed to this General's name a title that will live forever in the annals of the country.

But it appears that General Hooker does not like his title; for, on one occasion, when called so by a friend, he is reported to have said, "Don't call me Fighting Joe, for that name has done and is doing me incalculable injury. It makes a portion of the public think that I am a hot-headed, furious young fellow, accustomed to making furious and needless dashes at the enemy." By this remark it would appear that, although he has the characteristic of undoubted bravery and boldness, he still possesses some of that prudence and caution without which no general can be great.

General Hooker's friends in California have prepared a handsome testimonial in remembrance of his past services. It is a sword of the finest steel, with belt thickly studded with diamonds, a scabbard of solid silver, heavily and richly mounted with gold. The cost of this magnificent sword will be between $4000 and $5000. The inscriptions are as follows:


December 25, 1862. WilliamsburgFair Oaks—Glendale—Malvern Hill Bull Run—Germantown—South Mountain— Antietam.




BY the time this paper reaches its readers the financial policy of the General Government will have been determined by Congress.

It is impossible to say what alterations of detail may be made in the financial bills before they receive the sanction of the President. But it is certain that, in the main, the ways and means for the prosecution of the war will be derived as follows:

1st. By the issue of more legal-tender notes. Of these notes $300,000,000 were authorized by Acts of February and July, 1862, of which $250,000,000 have been issued. The House has voted for a further issue of $300,000,000; the Senate for a further issue of $150,000,000. If they compromise on $225,000,000, the aggregate issue will be $475,000,000, so long as the call loans now lodged with the Sub-treasurers are undisturbed, and $525,000,000 after those loans have been called in.

2d. By the issue of new legal-tender notes, bearing interest not over six per cent. per annum. Both Houses have agreed upon an issue of $400,000,000 of these notes; the Senate, however, proposes that the interest on them be payable in paper, while the House voted to pay it in coin. The Senate also proposes to make these notes absolutely a legal tender; while the House makes them exchangeable for legal tender, and therefore only indirectly a currency.

3d. By the sale of long bonds, bearing not over six per cent. interest. Both Houses have agreed to an issue of $900,000,000 of these bonds. The House proposes to make them 20-year bonds; the Senate grants to the Secretary power to issue 40-year bonds, if he deems it expedient. Both Houses agree that the interest and principal of these bonds shall be payable in coin.

4th. By the issue of fractional currency for sums less than a dollar. The House proposes to limit this issue to $50,000,000; the Senate imposes no limit on the issue.

It will become the duty of a Conference Committee to adjust the differences between the House and the Senate plans; their report will appear very shortly after these lines see the light, if it has not been made public before.

Mr. Chase, in his report, stated that he required $900,000,000 to carry on the war till July, 1864. Mr. Spalding, of the House Committee of Ways and Means, and a guide quite as safe as the Secretary himself, stated that $1,100,000,000 would be required. Assuming that the Conference Committee agree upon a further issue of United States notes to the extent of $225,000,000, the means allotted for this period will be: United States notes, $225,000,000; Treasury Notes, $400,000,000; fractional currency, say, $50,000,000; 20 or 40 year bonds, $900,000,000; total, $1,575,000,000. In other words, Mr. Chase would be compelled to negotiate $425,000,000 of long bonds, at or near par, to pay his way till July, 1864.

The Secretary's Bank bill has passed the Senate, and is said to be likely to pass the House also—though a majority of both bodies are known to be opposed to it. This measure authorizes the establishment of banks of issue, the issues of which are to be secured by deposit of United States bonds with the United States Treasury Department. The notes of these banks are to be exempt from taxation, not redeemable in coin, and receivable for all public dues. In the present condition of the country this measure is not likely to be acted upon to any general extent. Speculators and some Western wild-cat bankers may avail themselves of the opportunity of issuing irredeemable paper; but no real banks are likely to be started under the new scheme until the war ends.

The practical feature of the Administration policy will be, must be, continued inflation. Great wars can not be waged on a specie basis.

Issues of irredeemable paper are as essential to their prosecution as issues of shot and shell from Government arsenals. This is one of the great evils of war. But it is an evil necessary and inevitable; and the part of wisdom is to expect and make allowance for it—not to exclaim against it, or to try to render the Administration responsible for results over which they have no more control than the winds of heaven.


MR. CLEMENT VALLANDIGHAM, member of Congress from Ohio, made a speech last week in which he avowed himself a "Copperhead." Certain editors nearer home have likewise rejoiced in the title. It becomes interesting to inquire what it means, and how it came to be applied to a class of politicians.

A "copperhead," according to the American Cyclopedia, is "a venomous serpent ...the head is thick ... the neck contracted, and its scales smooth; there are no rattles, the tail being short ...near the flanks are rounded dark blotches ... it prefers dark and moist places ...It gives no warning of its proximity ... feeds on mice, small birds, etc., and seldom attacks man ... it is slow and clumsy in its motions, and a very slight blow suffices to kill it ...It is also called 'chunk-head,' and 'deaf-adder.' "

It can not be denied that the analogy between this loathsome creature and the mean, sneaking politicians who are now distracting the Northern mind with cries of peace is quite striking. Like the copperhead, the peace party are "venomous" in their attacks on the nation; like it, their "head" is undoubtedly "thick;" like it, their "neck" and reach are "contracted." Their "scales," too, are "smooth;" and they have no rattles to warn the honest traveler of their insidious approach. Like the copperhead, their character is "stained by dark blotches;" and, like it, they "prefer dark places" to the light of day. Like that sneaking reptile, their prey is "small, feeble creatures;" and they "seldom venture to attack a man." If we add that our political Copperheads, like their reptile type, are so "slow and clumsy in their motions" that they deserve the additional cognomina of "Chunk-heads" and "Deaf-adders," and that "a very slight blow" makes an end of them, we shall have made the analogy complete. It is creditable to the discernment of our Western fellow-citizens that they so quickly realized the resemblance between the copperhead snake and the peace politician, and baptized them by one common appellation.

We shall not waste time in arguing with the Copperheads. Men who are capable of justifying the rebels and espousing their cause when the blood of some member of almost every Northern family reddens Southern soil, and the bones of Northern soldiers are worn as ornaments by Southern women, are not likely to be convinced by argument, or to be pervious to any thing short of a bayonet thrust.

But one suggestion we will make. If Mr. Vallandigham, or any of his fellow-copperheads, will visit any large camp of loyal troops, either in the East or in the West or in the South, and will, in presence of the soldiers, express the sentiments they have uttered at Newark, New York, and elsewhere; and if, without the protection of the generals and provost-marshals, whom they so heartily abuse, they succeed, after delivering their speech, in making their escape alive, and without a coat of tar and feathers, we shall agree that Copperheads may fairly be tolerated. Our soldiers are anxious to have the challenge accepted.



THERE are people who begin to talk about mediation, negotiation, and peace; who think the war is a drawn game, and that we can never subdue the rebels. The Illinois Legislature is in labor with resolutions calling a Convention to adjust matters. The New Jersey Legislature proposes to send commissioners to ask the rebels what they will take to come back again. The Indiana philosophers wish to know why Massachusetts does not do her duty in the war. And the French and English newspapers grin across the water and exhort us to give it up.

Give it up? Buy 'em back? When the rebels have had enough of it, let them say so. Until then the duty of the Government is like that of small boys in the street when the policeman appears: it is to move on. Any proposition of armistice, negotiation, mediation, or whatever smooth name may be used, is a proposition of disgrace and ruin to the country. The Government is maintaining its authority, nothing more. Every one will agree that on the 10th of April, 1861, a National Government existed. On the 12th the authority of that Government was defied. It must, therefore, be maintained or surrendered. If that authority is overthrown at one point it falls at all points. If it is successfully defied in Charleston, it ceases in Chicago. If the French Government were obliged to acknowledge the separate independence of any Department of France, a revolution would have been accomplished which would radically change the Government. The case of colonies is different, because they are not integral parts of the national domain.

That the truth is as we state it would be seen in

this, that the moment the "Confederacy" were acknowledged, movements in various of the remaining States would begin for the purpose of effecting union with the government which had proved itself the stronger. There is, therefore, no other ground of treating with the rebels than the consciousness that they have conquered us. Then, like all other victims, we must do the best we can. If they will undertake to govern us, we must pray them to be as mild as they think we deserve. If they kick us out of the "Confederacy," we must try to crawl back to it. If they refuse us while we are united, each State must singly try to lie most abjectly in the slime, in order that the "Confederacy" may see and be satisfied not only that manliness, honor, and decency are utterly extinct in our hearts, but that we pride ourselves that they are so. The rebels, who have always claimed to be our natural lords and masters, despised us before they took up arms to chastise us, but when they have whipped us in, there will be loathing in their contempt.

This is the feast to which any kind of settlement other than a total suppression of the rebellion by military measures invites us. This is the pit which "Conservatism" of every shade is digging for the nation. Better to fight the battle out with whatever result. Better that Liberty be utterly vanquished and overthrown by Slavery than patch up a separation, an armistice, a peace. To fight it out to the death shows Liberty to be still godlike. To try to dodge and shirk shows her to be tainted by the devil with which she is struggling.

But between the two essential principles now contending there can be no truce, for whichever yields the truce confesses defeat. There can be no peace between them, because the rule of the one is the ruin of the other. There never has been any peace between them, for our whole political history is the story of the struggle under forms of law which has now flamed out into civil war. Jefferson Davis knows it, and therefore spits upon every proposal of submission. He hopes from disunion to secure a longer lease for Slavery. His course is shrewd but hopeless. There will be but one nation, but one Government, but one Union upon our domain. The condition of its peace will be absolute obedience to the lawful supreme national authority, and the moral and permanent basis of that authority will be justice and equal human rights.


Two or three years ago a noted Hebrew Rabbi delivered a discourse upon the consoling text that some people were born to be slaves. If you observe, this kind of discourse is always preached by people who consider that they do not belong to that class. There is many a fine gentleman and lady who will tell you how greatly superior the system of foreign society is to our own. They think it an admirable thing to have "the common people" kept in their place. But then they always assume that they themselves belong in another place. It is so comfortable to prove that other people were born to be damned. You may hear one of these placid gentlemen saying, "Yes, my beloved fellow-creature, you are born accursed. You are specially elected to have your children sold by another man to pay his debts. I one elected to keep mine, and buy yours if I want to." Ah me! if we could only hear the lion's story!

Well, it was amusing, as I was thinking of this worthy Rabbi, and of those of his race who doubtless hold his opinions—as, for instance, the great Hebrew bankers, the Rothschilds, to whose agents in Madrid the rebel commissioner turned over his papers upon leaving—to come upon a few facts in regard to the old Christian antipathy to the Hebrew race, which was probably the fiercest recorded in history, even worse than that of the Irish and English, or of the Spaniard and the Moor. Indeed it is an antipathy by no means extinct, although disgraceful. Will those who indulge it, or who cherish any antipathy of race, and gravely call it invincible, reflect upon these facts, which are such a pleasing commentary upon the Rabbi's sermon that some people are born to be outraged?

"Circumscribed in their rights by decrees and laws of the ecclesiastical as well as civil power; excluded from all honorable occupations; driven from place to place, from province to province; compelled to subsist almost exclusively by mercantile operations and usury; overtaxed and degraded in the cities; kept in narrow quarters, and marked in their dress with signs of contempt; plundered by lawless barons and penniless princes; an easy prey to all parties during the civil feuds; again and again robbed of their pecuniary claims; owned and sold as serfs by the Emperors; butchered by mobs and revolted peasants; chased by the monks; burnt in thousands by the Crusaders, who also burnt their brethren of Jerusalem in their synagogue; tormented by ridicule, abusive sermons, monstrous accusations and trials, threats and experiments of conversion—the Jews of England, France, and Germany offer, in their medieval history, a frightful picture of horrors and gloom."

You see that they had no rights which any Christian man was bound to respect, because they were Jews. You remember poor old Isaac of York, in Ivanhoe. He was plainly born to have his teeth wrenched out to make him tell where his gold was, because he was a Jew. In Spain, during a long drought, in 1391, they were murdered in many cities, because they were Jews; and in 1493 all the Jews in Sicily, about 20,000 families, were banished—because they were Jews. Can't you fancy a worthy Christian priest preaching to a congregation of his own faith that it was clearly the design of God that all Jews should be banished, and have their teeth pulled, and be massacred frightfully—because they were Jews? It was very inscrutable, of course; but it was clearly Providential that Jews should be sold as serfs, and robbed, and imprisoned, and degraded, and outraged — because they were Jews.

That is our logic to-day. The African race is treated with the same ignominy and injustice as the Jews. Why not? They are accursed, you (Next Page)




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