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Robert E. Lee Portrait
Page) was Walter G. Peter, a lieutenant in the rebel army, and
Colonel Orton's adjutant. He was a tall, handsome young man, of about
twenty-five years, that gave many signs of education and refinement.
Of his history I have been able
to gather nothing. He played but a second part. Colonel Orton was the leader,
and did all the talking and managing. Such is a succinct account of one of the
most daring enterprises that men ever engaged in. Such were the characters and
the men who played the awful tragedy.
History will hardly furnish its
parallel in the character and standing of the parties, the boldness and daring
of the enterprise, and the swiftness with which discovery and punishment were
visited upon them. They came into our camp and went all through it, minutely
inspecting our position, works, and forces, with a portion of their traitorous
insignia upon them; and the boldness of their conduct made their flimsy
subterfuges almost successful.
SATURDAY, JULY 4, 1863.
HARPER'S WEEKLY has a circulation
of OVER ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND COPIES, which are scattered over the whole country.
Every number is probably read by eight or ten persons, so that advertisements in
its pages reach the eye of more individuals than advertisements in any other
periodical. It is essentially a home paper, and is found in every country house
whose inmates take an interest in the thrilling events of the day. It is not
destroyed after being read, as daily papers are, but is kept, and in many cases
bound, placed in a library, and referred to from time to time. Advertisers who
wish to bring their business to the notice of the public at large, and
especially of the householding class, can find no medium so suitable for their
purpose as Harper's Weekly.
Advertisements on the last page
of Harper's Weekly ONE DOLLAR per line; inside SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS per line. The
space allotted to advertisements is limited, and an early application is
advisable to secure a place.
WANTED—A RESERVE FORCE.
GOVERNOR SEYMOUR has issued his
proclamation in pursuance of the recent acts of the Legislature calling for the
enrollment and organization—on a war footing—of the militia or national guard of
the State of New York. He contemplates a force of sixteen divisions; which at
the maximum would count 160,000 bayonets, but at the minimum would not exceed
40,960. Neither the acts of the Legislature nor the proclamation of the Governor
look to any other source than volunteering for the organization of this force.
As the State of New York has sent
over 150,000 men to the war, out of a population of 4,000,000, it may perhaps be
questioned whether even so small a force as 40,960 men can still be raised, and
kept in a state of efficient drill, on the voluntary principle. In this city and
some of the interior towns the old popular regiments will continue to keep up
their regimental existence, and will always have enough young men on the company
rolls to entitle them to the privileges of the Militia Act. But it is quite
doubtful whether such organizations can muster in the aggregate 20,000 men. It
must be remembered that the bulk of the fighting population have gone to the
wars, and are now in the armies of the Union, in Virginia, Tennessee,
Mississippi, or Louisiana.
In the other States, the
deficiency of militia is still more apparent. In Pennsylvania even the invasion
of the State did not bring to light a single full regiment of militia, and it
was New York troops who marched to Chambersburg to meet the invaders. This
arises not from any lack of spirit among the Pennsylvanians, but from the want
of an organized militia or home guard. In the Western States there is no such
thing as a militia except on paper. The war found the Northwestern States
entirely unprovided with military organizations; and since it broke out, they
have been so busy furnishing troops for the war that they have had no time to
organize, and no means to arm militia.
It is clear, however, that we
absolutely need a reserve force, armed, drilled, and equipped, and capable of
moving rapidly to any point at which our territory may be invaded, or fresh men
required to complete a victory by our armies. The mere organization of such a
force would compel the rebels to abandon their present projects of "carrying the
war into Africa;" and contingencies might arise which would place it in the
power of such a force to bring the war to a close by rapid action at a critical
Two points are clear in this
connection. In the first place, our reserve force should rather exceed than fall
short of half a million of men; and, secondly, it should not depend on
volunteering. It may safely be taken for granted that our fighting element
proper is already in the ranks, and that there are no young men now at home who
would prefer to be under arms. To ask the stay-at-homes to become members of
volunteer regiments is to prefer a request which will be generally disregarded.
Every man will expect his neighbor to volunteer, and will abstain himself. This
is one of the cases in which compulsion is a necessity.
We can see no reason why the
several Governments of the loyal States should not at once proceed to organize
their militia on the plan of the National Guard of France and the Landwehr of
Prussia—compelling every man between the ages of eighteen and fifty-five to
enroll himself and perform military duty. The guard should be divided into two
or more classes, after the n of the Conscription act, so that men of middle age
with families should only be called upon after the class of young, unmarried men
had been exhausted. But every man in sound
health, between eighteen and
fifty-five, should be compelled to enroll himself, to provide himself with a
uniform, to learn the manual of arms, and to perfect himself in company,
battalion, and brigade drill. An hour three times a week could be spared by
every one, and would not be too much to give for the end proposed. The effect of
such an organization would be that in the course of a few months the loyal
States would command a reserve force, armed, drilled, and equipped, of some
2,000,000 men, of whom at least 750,000 would be ready to take the field, on any
emergency, at twenty-four hours' notice, to reinforce our armies, or complete
any victory which they may win. Had we had such a force ten days ago there would
have been no rebel raids in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Had we had such a force
last fall Lee's army would never have made good its escape after the battle of
Antietam. Had we had such a force a year ago
McClellan would have entered
Richmond in July last, and the rebellion would have been over by the fall.
Such a system, once started,
would be accepted cheerfully by all parties. No one in France or Prussia deems
it a hardship to be compelled to perform his occasional day's service in the
National Guard or Landwehr; nor would any of us grudge a day or two now and then
for a similar purpose here, though when we are asked to volunteer we have all
other business on hand.
A National Guard, consisting of
all male citizens, would naturally contain within it various minor
organizations. Of these the most important would be corps of sharp-shooters. A
company of cool-headed, clear-eyed sharp-shooters is generally worth, in actual
warfare, a brigade of ordinary troops. It takes, in real war, about 200 pounds
of lead to wound an enemy. The English have realized this truth, and there are
now in Great Britain over 250,000 men enrolled in volunteer rifle companies, all
of whom can hit a mark at a reasonable distance. Were our State authorities to
resolve upon the organization of such a reserve or National Guard as we suggest,
they would naturally provide for tests of marksmanship, and would, by offering
prizes for good shots, gradually form bodies of sharp-shooters who would prove
most valuable for actual service. Major Rowland, late of Berdan's
Sharp-shooters, is already engaged in endeavoring to organize such bodies, and
deserves to meet with success.
The mistake we have made
throughout this war is underrating our enemy—fighting him with one hand, and
taking no advantage of our numerical superiority. It is time, if we wish to
enjoy peace once more, that we begin to make our numbers tell. And the best way
of doing this is by making every able-bodied man a soldier.
NATION AN ARMY.
IF there is one thing clearer
Lee has for some time designed a northward movement it is that the
hurried marching of State militia to a threatened point for thirty days, or for
six months, or for "the present emergency," will not be of permanent service.
The "present emergency" is the rebellion. It is to be met always and every
where, not in the same way, but upon the same principle of action.
We have a line of more than a
thousand miles to defend, in order to hold the Free States secure from the
ravages of war. To prevent sudden and rapid cavalry raids is, under the
circumstances, almost impossible. The border must be more or less harassed. But
we can certainly prevent any serious invasion, and make every cavalry raid an
extremely perilous enterprise. And that can be done by the organisation of all
citizens enrolled under the Conscription act, by their constant and careful
drill, and by their readiness to move as soldiers, not as raw militia, upon the
first summons, and in any direction. In every State the arm-bearing population
should be an army as soon as possible, and the national authorities should move
them as may be necessary, either into the main armies in the field, or to
special points for temporary service.
But this is converting us into a
military nation? Certainly it is. And how can a republican nation conduct such a
war as this except upon such a basis? It is not a war which is suddenly to
disappear. The soldiers are not upon some happy day to turn their backs
simultaneously upon the
battle-field and return to tilling the corn-field. The rebellion is to be
overcome, as a prairie fire is, by attacking it and trampling it out resolutely
to the last spark. You do not make terms with it. You do not negotiate. You
fight it wherever it appears, and as long as it burns.
But the war, being in its nature
a radical war—a conflict of systems—the old feud between the people and
privilege, it is necessarily a long war. Every civil war is so. And it is made
up of fluctuating fortunes. If you would know how it is going, it must be
watched, not from day to day, but from month to month, as you watch the tide,
not from minute to minute, but from hour to hour. In a falling tide there is
often a mounting wave, which makes the sea apparently rising; but an hour hence
the mounting wave falls below the point wet by the least wave now. Last
September, sighs some feeble soul, Lee was in
Pennsylvania, and now
he is there again. Very well: where were we last September along the whole line?
What is the comparative area of the rebellion then and now? Good, feeble soul,
if you break your heart over any particular defeat or aggression, it will
certainly not last you to the end of a war
which can be waged only by stout,
cheerful hearts, that no blow can shatter and no mischance appall.
If, therefore, we are not
dismayed and do not mean to be, but are really persuaded that we must fight to
avoid wars worse than this war, let the authorities make the citizens soldiers
as soon as possible: national soldiers, to march wherever the national welfare
demands, under regulations that, while they do not weigh too heavily upon any
man, yet amply secure an overpowering army.
THOSE who have been so loud in
declaring, since the
invasion of Pennsylvania, that the only hope for the
country lay in the recall of
General McClellan to the command of the Army of the
Potomac should remember that it will be very hard for the people to believe that
the national salvation depends this week upon an officer whose name was cheered
last week with that of
Jeff Davis, by a meeting which insisted that we were
"whipped," and that we must have peace at any price.
Nor will the popular confidence
in that commander be stimulated by the fact that the Common Council of New York,
a body celebrated neither for unconditional patriotism nor for unswerving
honesty, ask for his reappointment by a resolution stated to have been prepared
by a Mr. Kerrigan, who before the rebellion was declared was engaged in raising
troops apparently to aid it, and who afterward, having obtained a command in our
army, was court-martialed and cashiered.
Neither, as we have heretofore
said, can General McClellan himself be surprised by the apathy toward him of all
earnest loyal men, when he reflects that at all Copperhead Conventions his name
is hailed with the loudest applause, and that all the Copperhead papers and
orators, who are doing their utmost to paralyze the Administration and secure
the success of the rebellion, constantly commend him and his services.
Certainly it was enough to
destroy all faith in the loyalty of
Vallandigham that his name was mentioned in
the rebel section with admiration. But does any loyal man feel that there is any
less pollution in the applause of Fernando Wood's faction than in that of
Jefferson Davis? Whoever consents without protest to be commended by rebels, or
by masked sympathizers with rebellion, voluntarily shares the odium of the
company he allows to praise him.
General McClellan must see that
every loyal man necessarily asks himself, "Why do the open enemies of the war
praise McClellan? They do not praise
Burnside, nor Schofield, nor
Logan, nor Sedgwick, nor Couch, nor
Farragut. And why
not? These men are not called upon to protest—and why not? Their fame is
unsoiled by the applause of Cox, Vallandigham, Rynders, or Brooks. And why? Are
Rynders and Company the men who are to be satisfied by the appointment of a
commander of the national forces in a perilous crisis? Is it not the clear duty
of the Government to ascertain who would be most agreeable to the Copperheads,
and then to avoid him with energy?"
Such questions ask themselves. If
they do General McClellan injustice, who is to blame? If he has lost forever the
confidence of all loyal men of all parties, is it their fault?
IN the first days of the
excitement in Pennsylvania over the late invasion an urgent official appeal was
made "to the colored men of
Harrisburg" to turn out to work upon the
fortifications for "the assistance of your country and the capital of the old
Keystone State." Nothing could be more sensible. All loyal hands and hearts
should work together in the common defense. And what is the corollary? That all
loyal hands and hearts should share in the common benefit. Let us hope, then,
that every loyal white Pennsylvanian cheek will be a little colored with shame
by the reflection that the "old Keystone State" disfranchises the men whom she
thus summons to her defense. And, above all, let us hope that nobody will lose
his temper at the suggestion. For you may swear, and rail, and damn every
that was ever born to your heart's content, and be as hopelessly confused in
twaddle about races, and amalgamation, and the intention of nature as you
choose, but you will still be unable to show yourself or any body else why an
intelligent, industrious, loyal man is not a good citizen, whatever his color
In the beginning of the war there
were some who said that if we white men couldn't save the country it might go to
pieces. They did not think so last week at Harrisburg, And they would not have
been very wise men if they had. For the sneer had neither principle, philosophy,
common sense, nor common honor to recommend it. It was begotten of
thoughtlessness and prejudice. Our Government is not one of race or color. It is
not founded upon the points in which men differ, but upon the manhood in which
they are all agreed. It does not aim at social equality, which is a mere phrase.
It aims at the protection of the personal and political rights of man. The war
for its maintenance, therefore, is not that of Americans, or Germans, or
Irishmen, or of white, black, red, or brown races, but of every true man who
lives under its protection.
KEMBLE'S JOURNAL ON A GEORGIAN PLANTATION.
THIS remarkable book, which will
be issued next week by the Harpers, is just out in London. In speaking of works
which are enlightening the English mind about us and our war, Mr. Conway says:
The latest work of this kind, and
one destined to produce a sensation upon both sides of the Atlantic, is that of
Mrs. Fanny Kemble Butler, who has just published the Diary of her sojourn upon a
Georgia plantation. It is tremendous,
and many think it more telling
than 'Uncle Tom's Cabin."
The London Atheneum, in a long
and elaborate review of Mrs. Kemble's Diary, acknowledges the graphic power and
profound influence of the work, and confesses the revolting and necessarily
brutalizing condition of a society founded upon slavery as the chief
corner-stone. The book, and the Atheneum's review of it, like that of the
Spectator, will help open the eyes of people in England who, under cover of a
maudlin admiration of what they call "a gallant people striking for their
liberty," are effectively aiding the establishment of the most barbarous
despotism. Yet the reader will remember that the Atheneum itself is too British
to be a friend of ours; while it is too human not to sicken over the state of
society exposed in this book. Will the Atheneum reflect that this rebellion is
nothing but the insurrection of that society against civilization, human
liberty, and civil order?
It says of the book:
"It tells the story of a lady
who, born an Englishwoman and reared in the atmosphere of British freedom, was
in an evil day induced to marry a Southern proprietor, being at the time of her
wedding ignorant that the man whom she swore to love and honor had a vested
interest in human wretchedness and degradation. It tells how, after she had
become the mother of beautiful children, she together with her babes accompanied
her husband to Georgia just five-and-twenty years since, and made acquaintance
with the 'peculiar institution' as a fact of daily experience—not as a system
observed from a distance through the glasses of opponents and apologists,
novelists and poets. It tells how she saw the iron piercing the soul of an
oppressed race and might not raise a hand to pluck it out—how her womanly
sympathy for her wretched servants only brought them stripes from the taskmaster
and a sterner bondage. Finally, it tells how, utterly defeated in her attempts
to do good, and forbidden to weep with those whose tears she had daily to
witness--whose cries were constantly in her ears—she fled from scenes where
compassion was a crime. A more startling and fearful narrative on a well-worn
subject was never laid before readers, and the story does not lose in effect
from the fact that its teller is well known to her countrywomen and honored by
all who honor genius.
"Amidst such scenes did Mrs.
Fanny Kemble collect her facts on slavery—facts which she has put forth in a
manner that signally shows how much the cause of Abolition has lost through
idealistic treatment by romance writers. She uses plain terms, calling a spade a
spade, and we thank her for so doing. The mealy-mouthed apologists, whose
function it is to 'make things pleasant' with regard to slavery, and to whom we
could not justly refuse a hearing in answer to the exaggerations of the
novelists, have of late had it all their own way. But the time has now come for
heed to be given to the other side. For many a day we have heard enough, and
rather more than enough, about the chivalry of Southern gentlemen, the moral and
physical graces of Southern women, the patriarchal character of the peculiar
institution, the devotion of slaves to their masters, the tenderness of
overseers who with aching hearts flog their blackies mercifully, just as mothers
whip their children, to do them good, and make them upright members of society.
It is time to look at the picture front a fresh point of view, and hear its
features explained by other lecturers. But before we give heed to the author's
revelations, it is well for us to know that though she entered Georgia
'prejudiced against slavery,' as every Englishwoman must be, she went there
'prepared to find many mitigations in the practice to the general injustice and
cruelty of the system, much kindness on the part of masters, much content on
that of slaves.' It appears, however, that these moderate expectations were
disappointed. Slaves were more debased, masters more cruel, and life in every
respect more barbarous than she had anticipated.
"But Mrs. Fanny Kemble's most
valuable testimony relates to the working of slavery. Prepared to take a liberal
view of the peculiar institution, she found it not less atrocious in details
than in principle. As the negroes on her husband's plantations were treated
better than the involuntary laborers on many estates in the same region, slavery
was displayed to her under favorable circumstances, but what she saw differed
widely from what the apologists of the system had led her to look for."
RAID FROM PENNSYLVANIA.
WHILE Pennsylvania is invaded,
Pennsylvania invades. While the balls of the rebels are base, it is with
base-balls that the sons of the Keystone State advance upon New York. Still
there is a difference. It is play that the latter come for; it is in deadly
earnest that the rebels ride.
In fact, upon Monday morning,
June 15, a party of Pennsylvanians with base-balls and clubs advanced rapidly
upon the city of New York; crossed the East River to Long Island, and engaged a
party in Brooklyn; recrossed to Hoboken on the following day, and the next
morning returned to Long Island, where a contest of two days ensued. Pushing on
toward the interior, the enterprising Pennsylvanians took up a strong position
in Westchester County, at Morrisania; and by a rapid movement appeared at
Newark, in New Jersey, on the following day; and before their presence in that
State was generally known, had withdrawn in perfect safety to the banks of the
Delaware, after a week's operations, in which they had increased their own glory
and propitiated the favor and kindly remembrance of the communities through
which they had made their raid.
Let us hope that no reader is so
dull that he does not know we are speaking of the Athletic Base-Ball Club of
Philadelphia, of which Colonel Fitzgerald of that city is President. Before
their coming the Club frankly announced its intention in the following shrewd
"This bold step is not undertaken
by the Athletics in a spirit of bravado, but rather with a view to acquire all
the new points of the game—to reawaken interest in Base-Ball, and to renew
associations which they have found most delightful—the good-fellowship, the
manliness, and the hearty hospitality of the players in and around New York
having long since passed into a proverb."
The Base-Ball Club has this great
value at the present moment, that it is the "school of the soldier" in vigor,
endurance, and agility.
REV. M. D. CONWAY writes to the
Boston Commonwealth a series of interesting letters from England, chatting about
men and things in the most lively, pleasant way. His opportunities of seeing the
people in whom we are all interested are evidently (Next