Civil War Overview
Civil War 1861
Civil War 1862
Civil War 1863
Civil War 1864
Civil War 1865
Civil War Battles
Robert E. Lee
Civil War Medicine
Civil War Links
Civil War Art
Republic of Texas
Civil War Gifts
Robert E. Lee Portrait
Page) sacrifice of the least obnoxious member of the
Cabinet. Senator Sumner has not improved his
record by his share in the manoeuvre; nor will the popularity of Senators
Fessenden, Collamer, and the other members of the caucus be increased by the
weakness with which they lent their aid to the conspiracy.
General Burnside's noble and generous letter
will go far to silence this outcry. Though he does not explain why the pontoon
bridges were not at
Fredericksburg by 21st November, when
General Sumner arrived there—which, after all,
is the joint of the whole controversy—he assumes the entire responsibility of
the battle, and sets at rest forever the current reports that he was ordered to
cross the river by
General Halleck or the President. For so much
let us be thankful. Had
Mr. Lincoln really ordered that movement, or
suffered General Halleck to order it, the people of the North could have had no
more confidence in their Government or their cause. It is a matter for profound
congratulation that the terrible disaster which so thrilled the heart of the
loyal North a week ago did not arise from any foolhardy recklessness of the
Washington officials, but was an ordinary
casualty of war, which does not appear to imply any want of generalship or
prudence in Burnside, any lack of courage in our troops, any superiority of the
rebels, or any thing but an adverse turn of Fortune's wheel.
By the time this paper reaches
our readers we may have intelligence of the arrival of the Banks expedition,
which, as is now known by every one, is destined to operate in the Gulf. It is
understood that the vessels are to rendezvous off
Ship Island, for operations against Mobile, but
whether the first landing will be made in the Bay of Mobile or the Bay of
Pensacola is still matter of conjecture. The presumption, among parties who are
usually well informed, is that the first landing will be made at Pensacola, from
whence a good road leads overland to Mobile, the notion being that while
Farragut assailed Fort Morgan, Fort Gaines, and
the other naval defenses of the harbor, Banks would lead a column of 30,000 men
overland to the attack of the city itself. Were such a combined attack planned
with skill and executed with vigor Mobile would inevitably fall, unless, indeed,
the rebel army in garrison there be much larger than has been supposed.
It need hardly be observed,
however, that the capture of Mobile is only one of the objects which
General Banks proposes to endeavor to
accomplish in the Gulf. It has been stated in the papers that he is to replace
General Butler at
New Orleans; and in this event he would
doubtless detach a strong column of troops to attack Port Hudson and
Baton Rouge, while the
McClernand expedition and the army of the
Southwest were assailing Vicksburg. It is reported that he will have altogether
under his command an army of 50,000 men—quite enough, in the hands of an able
General, to accomplish any thing that may be required on the shore of the Gulf.
The rumors that he is to operate
in Texas and watch the designs of the French in Mexico we believe to be without
foundation. There is not the least reason for supposing that the French
entertain any designs upon Texas or Louisiana. They have already on their hands
an elephant of the largest dimensions in Mexico, and they are not likely to
increase their stock of that breed at present. Nor is it probable that General
Banks will waste any of his strength in hunting predatory rebels over the vast
area of Texas, as their capture could not shorten, or their unmolested career
prolong, the war for a single hour. The country to which he will attend lies
north, not south of him.
A good deal of dissatisfaction
has been expressed at the East at the dispatch of so large an army as General
Banks's to the Gulf, when it might have co-operated efficiently with General
Burnside in Virginia. Had General Banks gone up the
James River, or struck at Weldon, it is said
Battle of Fredericksburg would have ended
differently, and we might be on the high-road to
Richmond. There is no little force in these
objections, and if it were clearly shown that the capture of Richmond would
prove more fatal to the rebellion than the permament opening of the Mississippi
and the liberation of 2,000,000 bales of cotton, they would be unanswerable. As
it is, however, it is by no means clear that the defeat of
Lee's army and even the fall of Richmond would
put an end to the war: whereas the complete reopening of the great river of the
West, and the restoration of peace and commerce to the Mississippi Valley, would
undoubtedly change the entire aspect of the contest. The Mississippi and its
tributaries once more securely in our possession, cotton would go forth to
silence foreign clamor, and restore the currency to a sound basis, copious
supplies of Western food would revive the loyalty of the planters of the
Southwest, and the isolation of Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas from the
Confederacy would confine the slave empire within limits too contracted for a
safe national existence. If a victory in Virginia would lead to results as
important as these, then Banks might have been sent to Weldon; otherwise not.
HUMORS OF THE DAY.
MR. NOBODY, the party really responsible for the
THE DIFFERENCE.—"Can you tell me,
Jim, where they get so much corn for the manufacture into whisky?" "Why, no,"
says Jim, "but I can tell very well where the corn comes from after the whisky
What do sailors do with the knots
the ship makes in the day?
Tongues are apt to be unruly,
for, as we can't see them, it is impossible to keep a watch on them.
When a provincial alderman named
Gill died, his wife ordered the undertaker to inform the Court of Aldermen of
the event, when he wrote to this effect: "I am desired to inform the Court of
Aldermen, Mr. Alderman Gill died last night by order of Mrs. Gill."
There are two classes of
disappointed lovers; those who are disappointed before marriage, and the more
unhappy who are disappointed after it."
The most tender-hearted man we
ever heard of was a shoemaker, who always shut his eyes and whistled when he ran
his awl into a sole.
The railing of a cross woman,
like the railing of a garden, keeps people at a distance.
A gentleman was riding with a
lady in an open carriage, "all of a summer's day," and accidentally—men's arms,
awkward things, are ever in the way—dropped an arm around her waist. No
objection was made for a while, and the arm gradually relieved the side of the
carriage of the pressure upon it. But of a sudden (whether from a late
recognition of the impropriety of the thing, or the sight of another beau
coming, never was known) the lady started with volcanic energy, and with a
flashing eye, exclaimed, "Mr. Brown, I can support myself!" "Capital!" was the
instant reply, "you are just the girl I have been looking for these five
years—will you marry me?"
He who said that the half is
often better then the whole, might have added that none at all is often better
than the half.
"Bobby,what is steamn?" "Boiling
water." "That's right, compare it." "Positive, moral; comparative, boiler;
A little girl was standing by a
window, busily examining a hair which she had just pulled from her head. "What
are you doing, my daughter?" asked her mother. "I'm looking for the number,
mamma," said the child; "the Bible says that the hairs of our head are all
numbered, and I want to see what number is on this one."
A woman has generally so much
rigging about her, that, for the most part, she is the least part of herself.
A young lady from the country
being invited to a party, was told by her city cousin to fix up and put her best
foot foremost, in order to catch a beau, "she looked so green in her country
attire." The country lass looked comically into the face of her rather faded
relative, ami replied, "Better green than withered."
In the days of the old volunteers
a respected inhabitant of Greenock commanded a company, which he duly drilled
and paraded, though his recruits were but an awkward squad. They never would
draw up in a straight line, do what he might. "Oh," he cried, one day, holding
up his hands in horror as he looked along the front rank—"oh, whet a bent row!
Just come out, lads, and look at it yourselves!"
"I say, Bill, Jim's caged for
stealing a horse!"
"Sarve him right! Why didn't he
buy one and not pay for, it, like any other gentleman?"
An anxious father had been
lecturing his dissolute son, and, after a most pathetic appeal to his feelings,
discovering no signs of contrition, he exclaimed,
"What, no relenting emotion? not
one penitent tear?"
"Ah, father," replied the
hardened hopeful, "you may as well leave off 'boring' me; you will obtain no
water, I can assure you."
"There's two ways of doing it,"
said Pat to himself, as he stood nursing and waiting for a job. "If I save two
thousand dollars I must lay up a hundred dollars a year for twenty years, or I
can put away ten dollars a year for two hundred years! Now which shall I do?"
ON Wednesday, December 17, in the
Senate, bills to forfeit the pay of officers of the army when absent from duty,
to improve tine organization of the cavalry forces, and to facilitate the
discharge of disabled soldiers and the inspection of convalescent camps and
hospitals, were reported back by the Military Committee. The consideration of
the bill providing for time discharge of State prisoners, and allowing judges of
United States courts to take bail to secure their trial, was postponed till
Monday, and the Senate adjourned.—In the House, the Chairman of the Committee of
Ways and Means reported a bill to supply deficiencies in the appropriations for
1863, which was made the special order for Tuesday. A bill was introduced,
amendatory of the
Confiscation act, so that in all cases
pending, or which may hereafter
arise, wherein any ship, vessel, or other property may be condemned, the court
rendering judgment shall, before making award, first provide for the payment of
any bona fide claim filed by any loyal citizen or friendly foreigner, where
proof of the claim shall be established. It was referred to the Judiciary
Committee. The resolution, referring the topics of the President's Message to
the various committees was taken up. Mr. Noell, of Missouri, made a strong
speech in support of the war policy of the Administration. At the conclusion of
Mr. Noell's remarks the resolution was adopted, and the House adjourned.
On Thursday, 18th, in the Senate,
a resolution was adopted directing the Committee on the Conduct of the War to
inquire into and report to the Senate the facts relative to the recent battle at
Fredericksburg, Virginia, and particularly as to what officer or officers are
responsible for the assault which was made upon the enemy's works; and also for
the delay which occurred in preparing to meet the enemy. The bill to improve the
organization of the cavalry force was passed; also the bill to facilitate the
discharge of disabled soldiers from the army and for the inspection of
convalescent camps and hospitals. The Bankrupt bill was taken up, and Senator
Foster made an effective speech in favor of its passage. The Senate then
adjourned.—In the House, the Army appropriation bill, containing in the
aggregate appropriations to the amount of $731,000,000 for the maintenance of
the army for the year ending June, 1864, was passed by a vote of 107 to 3. An
amendment to the bill was offered by Mr. Mallory, of
Kentucky, but rejected by
the House, to the effect that none of the appropriations should be used for the
benefit of runaway slaves, or for emancipating or colonizing them. The Naval
Committee were instructed to report at an early day whether letters of marque
ought not to be issued for the purpose of capturing or destroying the pirate
vessel known as the "No. 290," or
the Alabama, and other vessels of like
character, now fitting out in the ports of Great Britain for the purpose of
preying upon our merchantmen engaged in lawful commerce, and what further
legislation, if any, is necessary for that purpose. The Judiciary Committee
reported back the bill extending relief to loyal citizens for slaves wrongfully
taken or abstracted, with the recommendation that it do not pass. After
considerable debate the bill was laid on the table by a vote of 86 against 45.
The remainder of the session wad occupied with speeches and political topics.
On Friday, 19th, in the Senate, a
resolution calling on the Secretary of War for information relative to the Court
of Inquiry upon the operations of
General Buell in Kentucky was laid over. The
memorial of the War Committee of New York, asking Congress to authorize the
issue of letters of marque for the capture of the rebel cruiser Alabama, was
presented. A bill granting pecuniary aid to Missouri for emancipated
referred to the Judiciary Committee. The consideration of the resolution
providing for a joint special committee on time subject of compensating States
for the emancipation of their slaves was postponed. The bankrupt bill was then
taken up, several verbal amendments adopted, and the Senate adjourned.—In the
House, the Senate bill to facilitate the discharge of disabled soldiers and the
inspection of convalescent camps and hospitals was passed The credentials of Mr.
Flanders, the new member from Louisiana, were presented, and a motion offered
that he be qualified. Mr. Vallandiglam, however, objected, and the papers were
referred to the Committee on Elections. The bill making appropriations for
invalid and other pensions was passed. Mr. Stevens made an explanation as to the
financial scheme recently introduced by him, saying it was his own act, without
consultation with the Committee of Ways and Means or with the Secretary of the
Treasury. He was opposed to the financial scheme of
Mr. Chase. Joint resolutions
thanking Lieutenant Commanding Morris, of the Cumberland, and Lieutenant
Worden, of the
Monitor, for their gallantry in the engagement with
the Merrimac, were reported. These thanks are a necessary preliminary to the
promotion of these officers.
Both Houses adjourned till
On Monday, 22d, in the Senate,
the Vice-President laid before that body a communication in response to the
resolution of inquiry relative to the chartered vessels of the Banks expedition
which had failed to fulfill the duties for which they were engaged. Resolutions
were offered and adopted instructing the Naval Committee to inquire into the
expediency of attaching the marine corps to the army, and requesting the
Secretary of the Navy to give the Senate information in regard to captains and
commanders in the navy, and in reference to the iron-clads Housatonic and
Passaic. The resolution of inquiry relative to the alleged sending of Maryland
troops into Delaware at the last election was discussed, but not finally
disposed of, when the bill relating to the discharge of State prisoners was
taken up, and Senator Lane, of Indiana, addressed the Senate on the subject, and
was replied to by other Senators, after which the bill was postponed. The Senate
then went into executive session, and on the opening of the doors adjourned.—In
the House, the credentials of Mr. Hahn, Representative from the First
Congressional district of Louisiana, were presented and referred. A resolution
was presented and referred to the Military Committee inquiring of the Secretary
of War what number of soldiers are now in service to whom pay is due, and why
they have not been paid. A resolution looking to the of peace was offered by Mr. Vallandigham, and laid over. A resolution was offered to place upon the Journal
the protest of the thirty-six members against the bill recently passed,
indemnifying the President and others for arrests and irregular proceedings. The
resolution was tabled by 75 to 40. Bills were introduced in reference to
governments for the Western Territories. The President was requested to inform
the House, if compatible with the public interests, whether our Minister to
Mexico has been using his influence in that country in favor of the French. The
Ways and Means Committee were instructed to canvass the expediency of so
amending the Tax law that newspapers with a circulation not exceeding
twenty-five hundred shall be exempt from taxation. A bill was introduced and
referred providing for the
emancipation of slaves in the rebel States. A
resolution was offered, but tabled, asking information of the President in
reference to the alleged order of the Secretary of State warning the Fort Warren
State prisoners against employing counsel. A resolution was passed declaring it
as the opinion of Congress that the claims of soldiers and sailors should take
precedence in settlement of all others. A resolution was offered proposing to
give gold medals to the small heroic band who crossed the Rappahannock at
Fredericksburg to clear that city of rebel sharp-shooters. It was referred to
the Military Committee. The House agreed to adjourn from 23d till the first
Monday in January. Some other business was transacted, and the house then
GENERAL BURNSIDE'S REPORT.
HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY OF THE
FALMOUTH, December 19, 1862.
Major-General H. W. Halleck,
States Army, Washington:
GENERAL,—I have the honor to
offer the following reasons for moving the Army of the Potomac across the
Rappahannock sooner than was anticipated by the President, Secretary of War, or
yourself, and for crossing at a point different from the one indicated to you at
our last meeting at the President's:
During my preparations for
crossing at the place I had first selected I discovered that the enemy had
thrown a large portion of his force down the river and elsewhere, thus weakening
his defenses in front, and also thought I discovered that he did not anticipate
the crossing of our whole force at Fredericksburg; and I hoped, by rapidly
throwing the whole command over at that place, to separate, by a vigorous
attack, the forces of the enemy on the river below front the forces behind and
on time crest in the rear of the town, in which case we could fight him with
great advantage in our favor.
To do this we had to gain a
height on the extreme right of the crest, which height commanded a new road
lately made by the enemy for purposes of more rapid communication along his
lines, which point gained, his positions along the crest would have been
scarcely tenable, and he could have been driven from them easily by an attack on
his front in connection with a movement in the rear of the crest.
How near we came to accomplishing
our object future reports will show. But for the fog and unexpected and
unavoidable delay in building the bridges, which gave the enemy twenty-four
hours more to concentrate his forces in
his strong positions, we would
almost certainly have succeeded, in which case the battle would have been, in my
opinion, far more decisive than if we had crossed at the places first selected.
As it was, we came very near success.
Failing in accomplishing the main
object, we remained in order of battle two days—long enough to decide that the
enemy would not come out of his strongholds to fight us with his infantry—after
which we recrossed to this side of the river unmolested without the loss of men
As the day broke our long lines
of troops were seen marching to their different positions as if going on parade.
Not the least demoralization or disorganization existed.
To the brave officers and
soldiers who accomplished the feat of thus recrossing the river in the face of
the enemy I owe every thing.
For the failure in the attack I
am responsible, as the extreme gallantry, courage, and endurance shown by them
were never exceeded, and would have carried the points had it been possible.
To the families and friends of
the dead I can only offer my heart-felt sympathies; but for the wounded I can my
earnest prayers for their comfortable and final recovery.
The fact that I decided to move
from Warrenton on to this line, rather against the opinion of the President,
Secretary of War, and yourself, and that you left the whole movement in my
hands, without giving the orders, makes me responsible.
I will visit you very soon and
give you more definite information, and, finally, will send you my detailed
report, in which a special acknowledgment will be made of the services of the
different grand division corps and my general and staff departments of the Army
of the Potomac, to whom I am so much indebted for their support and hearty
I will add here that the movement
was made earlier than you expected; and after the President, Secretary, and
yourself requested me not to be in haste, for the retreat that we were supplied
much sooner by the different staff departments than was anticipated when I last
Our killed amounts to eleven
hundred and fifty-two; our wounded, to about nine thousand, and our prisoners to
about seven hundred, which last have been paroled and exchanged for about the
same number taken by us.
The wounded were all reproved to
this side of the river, and are being well cared for, and the dead were all
buried under a flag of truce.
surgeons report a much larger
proportion of slight wounds than usual, 1632 only being treated in hospitals.
I am glad to represent the army
at the present time in good condition.
Thanking the Government for that
entire support and confidence which I have always received from them, I remain,
General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. E. BURNSIDE,
Major-General commanding the Army
of the Potomac.
WHY GENERAL BURNSIDE RECROSSED
HEAD-QUARTERS, ARMY OF THE
Dec. 16—6 P. M. Major-General Halleck,
The Army of the Potomac was
withdrawn to this side of the Rappahannock River because I felt fully convinced
that the position in front could not be carried, and it was a military necessity
either to attack the enemy or retire. A repulse would have been disastrous to us
under existing circumstances.
The army was withdrawn at night
without the knowledge of the enemy, and without loss either of property or men.
AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE, Major-General Commanding.
THE VICTORY AT KINSTON.
The following was received on
20th at the head-quarters of the Army of the United States:
HEAD-QUARTERS, DEPARTMENT OF
NORTH CAROLINA, KINSTON, N. C., December 14,
1862. Major-General Halleck,
I have the honor to inform you
that I left Newbern for this place on the 11th instant, but that, owing to the
bad roads and consequent delays to my trains, etc., I did not reach Southwest
Creek, five miles from this town, until the afternoon of the 13th instant. The
enemy were posted there, but, by a heavy artillery fire in front and a vigorous
infantry attack on either flank, I succeeded in forcing a passage, and without
This morning I advanced on this
town, and found the enemy strongly posted at a defile through a marsh bordering
on a creek. The position was so well chosen that very little of our artillery
could be brought in play. The main attack, therefore, was made by the infantry,
assisted by a few guns pushed forward in the roads. After a five hours' hard
fight we succeeded in driving the enemy from their position. We followed them
rapidly to the river. The bridge over the Neuse at this point was prepared for
firing, and was fired in six places; but we were so close behind them that we
saved the bridge.
The enemy retreated precipitately
by the Goldsborough and Pikeville roads. Their force was about six thousand men,
with twenty pieces of artillery.
The result is, we have taken
Kinston, captured eleven pieces of artillery, taken four to five hundred
prisoners, and found a large amount of quarter-master's and commissary stores.
Our loss will probably not exceed two hundred killed and wounded. I am, with
great respect, your obedient servant, S. G. FOSTER, Major-General Commanding.
ANOTHER SOUTHWESTERN RAID.
Cairo state that
a body of rebel cavalry, variously estimated at from two thousand to eight
thousand, made a raid on the railroad, three miles from Jackson, Tennessee, on
20th. After firing into a train, they tore up the track for a considerable
distance, and burned a long trestle work. The operator at Trenton reports an
attack on that place. There has been considerable excitement at Columbus in
anticipation of a rebel visit to that place.
GENERAL BEAUREGARD INVITED TO NEW
General Beauregard's wife is now
lying dangerously sick in
New Orleans, and
General Butler has sent to General
Beauregard a kind invitation to visit her, assuring him of every protection and
courtesy during his melancholy errand of sorrow.
ANOTHER EXPLANATION FROM MR.
MR. GLADSTONE, Chancellor of the
English Exchequer, has written another letter on the subject of the American
war. He says he has not "expressed any sympathy" with the South, or "passed any
eulogium on President Davis." He says he is "a much better friend to the North
Americans than those who have encouraged and are encouraging them to persevere
in their hopeless and destructive enterprise."
RESIGNATION OF THE ITALIAN
The Ratazzi Cabinet had been
dissolved in Italy, and Victor Emanuel had failed to organize a Ministry up to
the evening of the 6th inst.
THE ELECTION OF A KING.
The people of Greece commenced
voting on the question of the election of a new king on the 4th inst. Prince
Alfred, of England, had an immense majority of the votes given on the first day,
and his election was considered certain. He had the support of the provisional
government of Greece. The tone of the London press was in favor of his accepting
the throne. The London Times says the event will annoy both France and Russia,
This seems to be a rather serious aspect of the case; for it is said that Russia
had already officially asserted that the principle of the treaty of 1830—which
provides that no member of the houses of the three protecting Powers shall be
king of the country—must be upheld.