The 1863 Emancipation Proclamation


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, January 17, 1863

You are viewing an original Civil War Harper's Weekly newspaper. We have posted our entire collection of newspapers to this WEB site for your research and study. These old newspapers have incredible illustrations of the key events of the day.

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Negroes Fighting

Fighting Negroes

1863 Emancipation Proclamation

1863 Emancipation Proclamation

General Butler Letter

General Butler's Letter to New Orleans

Indian Murderers

Execution of Indian Murderers

Minnesota Indian Execution

Minnesota Indian Execution

General John McNeil

General John McNeil

Mississippi Map

Map of Mississippi

General Blunt

General Blunt

Rebel Trenches

Winslow Homer's Shell in Rebel Trenches

Butler Departs New Orleans

General Butler Departs New Orleans

Border States

War in the Border States

General Blunt Biography

General Blunt Biography

Emancipated Negro

Emancipated Negro




[JANUARY 17, 1863.



WE continue in this number our illustrations of the Army of the Potomac, from sketches by our special artists in the field.

Mr. Davis has sent us a sketch of the LOG-HUTS in which the troops proceeded to make themselves comfortable after the Battle of Fredericksburg. We reproduce it on page 33. These rude shanties, built of rough logs, with tall wooden chimneys, unthatched roofs and leaky walls, present few claims to architectural merit. But they are a good deal more comfortable than shelter tents, and they can be built in a few hours. Some Colonels, who take proper care of their men, will have a whole regiment comfortably hutted in a couple of days.

The TEAMSTERS' DUEL, from a sketch by Mr. Waud, on page 33, is one of the humorous scenes in which our camps abound. When a quarrel arises between two colored teamsters a challenge passes, and the combatants lash each other with their long whips until one of them confesses that he can endure no more, and "throws up the sponge." The other is pronounced the victor, and very frequently admonishes his vanquished foe of the necessity of better behavior in future, amidst the roars and laughter of the white spectators.

The SHELL IN THE REBEL TRENCHES, drawn by Mr, Homer, is an event of not uncommon occurrence. The secesh chivalry generally place their negroes in the post of danger; and when our gunners get the range of their works and drop a well-aimed shell into them, the skedaddle which ensues is such as Mr. Homer has depicted.

By the President of the United States of


WHEREAS, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a Proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

"That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforth, and forever free, and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons or any of them in any effort they may make for their actual freedom.

"That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people therein respectively shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State or the people thereof shall on that day be in good faith represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the people thereof are not then in rebellion against the United States."

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy of the United States, in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days from the day of the first above-mentioned order, and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively are this day in rebellion against the United States the following, to wit: Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana—except the parishes of St. Bernard, Placquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension, Assumption, Terre Bonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the city of New Orleans—Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia—except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkeley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth, and which excepted parts are, for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States and parts of States are and henceforward shall be free; and that the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people no declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defense; and I recommend to them that in all cases, when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known that such persons, of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States, to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the city of Washington, this first day of January,

in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.


By the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.




THEY say at Washington that we have some thirty-eight to forty Major-Generals, and nearly three hundred Brigadiers; and now the question is, have we one man who can fairly be called a first-class General in the proper meaning of the term?

Before this war broke out, it was the prevailing opinion in military circles—more or less inspired by General SCOTT—that "BOB LEE," now Commander-in-Chief of the rebel army, was the ablest strategist in our service. He had been chief of staff to the Conqueror of Mexico. Next to him, Albert S. JOHNSTON, who commanded our expedition to Utah, and was killed on the battle-field of Shiloh, was understood to rank in point of military capacity. But it was doubted by General SCOTT whether either of these two men, or any other officer in the service, was capable of manoeuvring 50,000 men.

When the rebellion occurred, and SCOTT, with his rare sagacity, foresaw the nature of the struggle, and that we must have a HOCHE or a WOLFE to lead our army, himself being too old for the work, the question arose—who should be the man? LEE and JOHNSTON were with the enemy. HARNEY was not trusted. Between SCOTT and WOOL a deadly feud reigned. TWIGGS had played traitor. PATTERSON, like SCOTT, was superannuated. After much consultation the choice of Government fell upon IRWIN McDOWELL, a soldier of fair repute, who had been employed for many years in the bureaux at Washington. The recent court-martials have effectually silenced the calumnies which at one time obscured General McDOWELL'S fair fame; no blot now rests upon his honor. But his original appointment was probably due to political influence, and his subsequent record at Bull Run, and in the campaign of 1862, showed that, while his abilities were respectable, he had no claim to the first place among Generals.

To him succeeded McCLELLAN, whom every one pronounced the coming man. Such opportunities as he enjoyed have seldom been vouchsafed to any one in any country at any time. And it is still an open question whether or no he made the most of them. For though his delays were exasperating, it is not sure that greater haste would have been safe: though his peninsular campaign was a failure, it is not sure that this was not caused exclusively by the refusal of the Government at the last hour to allow McDOWELL to cooperate with him: though he wasted a precious month in inaction after Antietam, and refused to move at the command of the President, it is not sure that if he had moved he would not have met his Fredericksburg. It is certain that he possesses some of the qualities of a first-rate General. As a strategist, he is admitted to be perfect. His plans are comprehensive, far-reaching, and safe. He never neglects "lines of retreat." He knows the value of earth-works, and is aware that cannon-shot hit hard. He has made an army, and, more than that, he has won their love, as Napoleon won the love of his vieille garde. But, on the other hand, it is doubted by his critics whether he has the dash and daring which are essential to the making of a first-class General. He is said never to have made an attack upon the enemy, but always to have waited to be attacked. In him caution is said to preponderate over enterprise: he is always prone rather to exaggerate than to underrate an enemy's strength: a man, it is even said, of more science than genius. Such a soldier would be admirable and perfect in command of a fortress, but could not aspire to the first rank among Generals.

BURNSIDE'S place among soldiers is undetermined. He has hitherto given proof of the very qualities which McCLELLAN is said to lack, viz., energy and daring. His attack upon the rebel batteries at Roanoke and Newbern, and the attempt to storm LEE'S intrenchments at Frcdericksburg, were not at all in the McCLELLAN style. They remind one more of NAPOLEON'S method. He resembles McCLELLAN in his perseverance and in his popularity with his men. It remains to be seen whether he possesses the other great qualities of that eminent commander—his coolness, his power of combination, his foresight, and his rapidity of conception. If he does, he will prove the General for the crisis.

The West has been prolific of Generals of fair merit. LYON, had he lived, would probably have stood high. General POPE, who at one time enjoyed a repute second to none, struck his name off the list of competitors for fame by the disastrous campaign ending at Centreville. ULYSSES GRANT has given evidence of enterprise, determination, and personal gallantry which have stood him in good stead. He was very fortunate at Fort Donelson. Whether his record at Shiloh—where he would have been destroyed but for accidents beyond his control—will bear the test of inquiry, is a question yet undetermined. However, he has still opportunities of vindicating his claim to the confidence reposed in him by General HALLECK. General W. T. SHERMAN is making his record at Vicksburg; hitherto he has been known as a capable officer and a far-seeing man. General CURTIS did extremely well on the frontier of Missouri, and showed such adminstrative ability that, when General HALLECK was called East, he succeeded him at St. Louis. General BLUNT has lately won laurels in Arkansas; his march to Van Buren is one of the finest exploits of the war, and if his expedition terminates successfully he will rank high among our heroes.

At the present moment, however, the most promising of our soldiers is WILLIAM S. ROSECRANS. This officer was selected by General McCLELLAN at the outbreak of the war, and served under him in Western Virginia. He, like McCLELLAN, had served in the army, resigned, and engaged in scientific and business pursuits. When McCLELLAN was ordered to Washington ROSECRANS succeeded him, and thoroughly accomplished his work. He drove the rebels out of Western Virginia, and enabled the people of that State to organize a State government in peace. But for an accident he would have "bagged" FLOYD and his army. After a period of idleness, he was sent to Corinth, where he spent some weeks in necessary preparations, knowing that the enemy

must attack him if he remained still. The attack came, and resulted not only in the repulse, but in the destruction of the rebel army, and enabled General GRANT to move forward to Oxford. Promoted then to the command of the Army of the Ohio, he spent six weeks at Nashville in concentrating his forces, and accumulating equipments and supplies for the campaign. He moved on 29th December, and after five days' desperate fighting, completely defeated, and "drove" the rebel army under Bragg, which, according to the Richmond papers, was "to repossess Nashville within a week." As a strategist ROSECRANS has proved himself second to none. In Western Virginia his combinations were most ingenious, and his foresight wonderful. So at Corinth, where he alone or his officers foresaw the battle, and how it would end. His wonderful mathematical ability, which was remarked at West Point, stood him in good stead. At Murfreesboro he seems to have developed personal gallantry of the GRANT order. Twice, at least, in the course of those five days' battles, he saved the day, and repelled the enemy, by galloping into the thick of the fight, and reanimating his troops by the spectacle of his courage. He is a man of enthusiasm, as well as a man of calculation: when his army fights, he is with them. If he pursues the enemy as briskly as he attacked them, none of our Generals will stand higher than ROSECRANS.

General BANKS'S record as a soldier has thus far only been illustrated in his successful retreat up the Shenandoah Valley, and in the battle of Cedar Mountain. Both operations were correct, and showed that he understood his new calling. Those who know General BANKS expect more of him, and believe that before this war ends he will take a high place among its heroes. West Point has furnished the country with but few generals-in-chief. Not that a military education naturally unfits a man for being a great soldier. But war being an art, not a science, a man can no more be made a first-class general than a first-class painter, or a great poet, by professors and text-books; he must be born with the genius of war in his breast. Very few such men are born in a century, and the chances are rather that they will be found among the millions of the outside people than in the select circle who are educated at West Point.



THE Italian Opera is again open, under the management of Mr. Grau, and the customary winter season of the Academy is not suspended even by the war. The season begins with a prima dogma of the sweet and pleasing voice and refined action, Clara Louise Kellogg, who is about leaving to fulfill her engagement at Her Majesty's Theatre in London. Brignoli, for whom the operatic public across the sea is sighing, will be the tenor. We are to have Miss Kellogg in Poliuto, Trovatore, Roberto il Diavolo, and the new opera, Giovanna d' Arco, of which the manager declares that "the New York public will have the priority of representation." Of other works there are promised, Les Vespres Sicilien, Belisario, Un Ballo in Maschera, and Dinorah, as well as Martha and La Somnambula. It is a brilliant promise.

The German Opera also still keeps open its hospitable doors, spreading a feast within such as we have never had in New York. The true enjoyment of opera is not so much a brilliant occasional performance of a few familiar works as the constant presentation of a certain school in all its varieties. In a proper metropolis there would be the opera of each nationality, German, French, and Italian. With us the Italian is spasmodic. The German is less frequent, but, when it is occasionally tried, it is persistent; and the present enterprise is one which has been so successful that we hope it may become permanent. If all the singers are not the best conceivable, there is an admirable prima donna, and the music is most conscientiously performed. In fact, a German audience is much more exigent than any other, as exact musical science is more common in that people.

We ought indeed to be glad that in the hot stress of the war there can be such recreation as truly fine music affords. However painfully interested we may be in the struggle, it is impossible for the public mind to sustain so strict a tension as exclusive devotion to the war would imply. A proper recreation becomes, under such circumstances, a tonic. It is not idling to hear music, and to look at noble pictures, and to read good books, even while our brave boys are encamped and ready every moment to march and fight. Even they are wise enough to amuse themselves, as was seen in our late issue, showing the Christmas sports of the Army of the Potomac. And here we have before us a copy of The New South, a neat paper, published, written, and edited by our soldiers at Port Royal, South Carolina. It is a very different sheet from the fuming, feverish Charleston Mercury. It is, in fact, altogether a more wholesome newspaper than has been published in our Southern latitudes for many a day. Its comely columns are devoted to the news of the camp, of the whole army, and of things in general, and its editorial columns are moral rather than political.

But to the especial point of our remarks. This number contains an account of the Thanksgiving amusements of the army at Hilton Head. By day there were foot-races, rowing matches, target practice, hurdle and wheel-barrow races, and meal feats, with the greased pole and greased pig's tail. In the evening there were dramatic performances by a part of the Third Rhode Island, and a fete by the

officers of the Forty-eighth New York and Company G of the Third Rhode Island. The later holiday amusements were not less cheerful.

While thus the soldiers smile in the very face of exposure and danger we need not feel it necessary to look gloomy or to forswear a wholesome diversion. There is no fear that our minds and hearts will forget them or the great work before us; while a wise recreation will fit us all the better to help them and to do the work.


THE exploits of the Alabama are very annoying, but the accusation of imbecility against the Government for nut capturing and destroying her off hand is childish. A privateer, or any single ship, always has the advantage of a squadron. She roams the boundless ocean at her will, and defies capture, as a solitary incendiary may for months baffle the police of a great city. The feats of the Alabama are like the cavalry raids of the rebels. Nothing is easier for a few daring horsemen than to skirt the flanks of an invading army. With a perfect knowledge of the country they can pierce the open points of a line which can not be effectively maintained from the Chesapeake to the Mississippi, taking the risk of a safe escape. Such raids upon the land and saucy privateering upon the sea are most annoying; but we need not suppose that the nation is gone because Stuart dashes into Maryland or Morgan upon a lonely railroad station, or because Raphael Semmes captures the Ariel and eludes pursuit for months.

The performances of the Alabama are nothing compared with those of the Essex, under David Porter, in the war of 1812. A few days after the declaration of war Porter sailed from New York in the Essex, a frigate of 32 guns. In a very short cruise he took a large number of British merchantmen. He took one of a fleet of transports convoyed by a frigate and bomb vessel; so if we hear that our California treasure ships have fallen a prey to Semmes, spite of armed guardians, it will not be an act without precedent. Presently Porter captured in an action of eight minutes the English ship-of-war Alert. By-and-by a British Government packet, with fifty thousand dollars in specie, fell into his hands. Then he sailed into the Pacific ocean to prey upon the British whale-fishery. Here, having learned that Peru had sent out ships against our commerce, he captured a Peruvian privateer which had taken two American whale-ships. For ten months the Essex cruised in the Pacific protecting our commerce, capturing twelve British ships, taking four hundred prisoners, and for the time destroying the British fishery.

During all this time Porter lived upon the enemy. In February, 1814, he arrived at Valparaiso, and a week later the British frigate Phoebe, of 36 guns, and the sloop Cherub, of 20, entered the port and anchored near the Essex. They were a part of the force which the British Government had sent to scour every sea in search of the Essex. They had ships in the China seas, off New Zealand, Timor, and New Holland; and a frigate was off the river La Plata. After getting supplies the Phoebe cruised off Valparaiso for six weeks, and the Essex tried to engage her alone. But the Phoebe was too wary. On the 28th March the Essex attempted to get to sea, but in doubling a headland she was struck by a squall which carried away her main-topmast and destroyed several men. Thus crippled, she anchored three miles from the town and a pistol-shot from the shore, and was here attacked by the Phoebe and Cherub. The Essex junior, which was a tender of her namesake, could be of no service with her 18-pound carronades, and after a fierce fight of two hours and a half the Essex surrendered, with a loss of 58 killed, 66 wounded, and 31 missing. The British loss was trifling—5 killed and 10 wounded.

There is no reason for surprise if the Anglo-rebel pirate Alabama continues for some time longer her predatory career. Happily, as yet, Semmes has not added murder to robbery. Indeed the fascinated passengers of the Ariel report the marvelous "politeness" which is traditional in the manner of pirates who, as every boarding-school knows, are the most "gentlemanly" of men. The fact of his crime remains unchanged, that, without the warrant of any recognized power in the world, ho is waging war upon American commerce.


A VETERAN editor suggests that it might have been better if the newspapers had been suppressed during the war; upon which another editor of experience remarks that every newspaper would have done whatever the Government required, but that when the Government undertook the censorship it virtually allowed the publication of every thing it suffered to pass the wires.

But there is certainly a duty beyond this devolving upon editors. There is the one fact, conceded by every body, that the statements in the newspapers were never so untrustworthy as they have been during the war. Here, for instance, are two papers taken at random. One is last evening's, the other this morning's. The evening paper says that another paper has a special dispatch which is believed to be trust-worthy, that General Stuart has made a raid into Maryland, but that "plans are completed for the capture of the whole rebel force," The morning paper says that the rebels have not made a raid into Maryland; and in another place states that a previous positive statement, greatly to the injury of a distinguished General, "we are now satisfied was wholly erroneous."

It is no reply to such things to say that correspondents are not infallible, and that mistakes will be sometimes made. Is it not the truth that mistakes have been so habitually made, that whenever there is a very positive personal statement every sensible reader instantly disbelieves it, until it is proved to be true? Why should not editors take it common-sense view as readers do? For instance, Stuart is said to be in Maryland. Very well, that is possible. But when it is said that ample arrangements are made to bag him, why does not the (Next Page)




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