Fight at Upperville


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, July 18, 1863

We have posted our extensive collection of Harper's Weekly newspapers online for your perusal. These old newspapers give details of the war which are simply not available anywhere else. Browse these pages, and see what people thought of the conflict as it was happening.

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


Port Hudson

Battle of Port Hudson

Gettysburg First Report

First Report from Gettysburg

Fall of Vicksburg

Fall of Vicksburg

Port Hudson

Bombardment of Port Hudson

General Reynolds

General Reynolds

Northern Invasion

Robert E. Lee's Northern Invasion

Call to Arms

Call to Arms

Upperville Fight

Fight at Upperville

Gettysburg Map

Gettysburg Map

Battle of Upperville

Battle of Upperville

War in Virginia

War in Virginia

Jefferson Davis Cartoon

Jefferson Davis Cartoon





[JULY 18, 1863.



JULY 4, 1863.

WE'RE living in a glorious hour! The world scarce ever saw

A clearer right for man to fight for liberty and law.

For liberty such as God gives to nations He has bless'd,

The captive's chains to loosen, and to set free the oppress'd:

Such law as was ordained in heaven by Love's almighty pen,

By angel heralds brought to earth—"Peace, and good-will to men!"

This is the cause we plead to-day, with voice and pen and sword,

Till every foe be vanquished, and the right shall be restored!


When Sumter first was fired upon, where waved our flag on high,

When first Columbia's loyal sons awoke to Freedom's cry;

When calls for peace, for compromise, for justice, were in vain,

Scarce heard in Treason's louder call, "Rend ye the land in twain!"

O! then the hearts of freemen leaped as lightning flashes forth!

Then rushed to arms with one consent the freemen of the North:

"Now by our fathers' deeds," they swore, "and by our fathers' graves,

The work they planned for aye shall last where'er yon banner waves!"


Lo! from among the nations, fronting her foes in wroth,

Columbia stands majestic, to lead her armies forth,

With words of fierce entreaty the dullest soul might stir,

She treads the path of duty, and bids us follow her:

"Shame be to every one," she says, "confusion be his guide,

Who in this hour of tumult fears combat by my side!

Ay, shame to all upon the earth, of high or low degree,

Who league with the oppressor to stifle liberty!"


This day for years our fathers called, each from his lowly grave,

"Say, have ye wrought for freedom?—hold ye in the land no slave?"

And sadder grew each pallid brow, and deeper their distress,

As often as they asked us, and we slowly faltered, "Yes."

But now no more in sadness do our country's dead appear,

For we have wrought for freedom through all this awful year;

And a light shines on their faces to illumine our dull way,

As with eager lips we answer them—"WE HOLD NO SLAVES TO-DAY!"


Then ring the bells right merrily throughout our Northern land,

Let the booming of the cannon give an echo strange and grand!

Let the notes of freedom's joyous songs bid every true heart thrill,

And the Stars and Stripes we love stream forth from every vale and hill.

Long, long ago we kept it as a day of jubilee,

When no cloud to mar the prospects of the nation could we see.

We spoke of the old war times as of a drama past—

That pleasant time is gone. We know our fathers' deeds at last.


Oh! never more we gaze upon that starry flag o'erhead

But we seem to hear the steps of foes upon Columbia's dead!

And the booming of the cannon breaks not on our ears again

But we think how many rebels our gallant boys have slain!

Old Bunker Hill and Lexington we wonder at no more;

Our watchwords are, "Fort Sumter!" and "Remember Baltimore!"

And where one Warren with his blood crimsoned the grassy sod,

Thousands of loyal men and true have gone his way to God.


Yet, standing by Columbia's side, we're marching boldly on,

Through a dark night of treachery to greet the coming dawn.

In Senate-halls, on every side, stalks Treason stern and grim,

While looking to where Justice stands the road seems long and dim.

But not for that we falter, or seek a vain repose,

Nor hasten from the battle, leaving victory to our foes: Thank God we are no cowards! we know nor doubts

nor fears,

This war for freedom shall be won an't take a hundred years!


Then shall the Union rise again in might and majesty;

Then shall her flag victorious float over land and sea;

Her soil shall be a welcome home for all the world's oppress'd

And from the former evil her children shall find rest.

Hasten, O Time, the joyful day! Thou, Future, we implore,

Part thy veil for a moment—show us thy good gifts in store!

So shall the phantoms of the past be banished at thy breath:

Give us strength from all our weakness—give us victory from death!


MR. WAUD has sent us the sketch of this affair, which we reproduce on page 461. The Times correspondent thus describes the fight:

Arriving at Upperville, two squadrons of the First Maine were ordered to charge through the town, which they did in the most gallant manner. The rest of the First Maine and the Fourth New York acted as supports. Just beyond the town considerable force of the enemy was massed. The First Maine, Sixth Ohio, Tenth New York, Second New York, and Fourth Pennsylvania charged upon them furiously. The resistance was greater here than at any other point. Two of our regiments were in the road, and one on each side. They charged and were repulsed; the enemy charged and were likewise repulsed. Several charges were made with like results, until the two forces became jammed in together, and a regular hand-to-hand conflict took place, lasting more than twenty minutes. In the first charge the enemy placed sharp-shooters along the stone-walls at the side of the road, and our troops suffered from their fire. General Kilpatrick also arranged a similar reception for the enemy, and thus the two forces swayed to and fro under a galling cross-fire. The officers and men on both sides fought like fiends, and in the excitement many of the enemy were killed who might have been taken prisoners. General Kilpatrick nearly lost his own life in attempting to save the life of the Colonel of a North Carolina regiment. Finally the enemy yielded, and fell back, hotly pursued by General Kilpatrick's bloody brigade, until the concentrated fire from a battery warned

General Gregg that it was time to withdraw his men, The brigade of regulars which had been sent up as a support, much to the amusement of all about, wheeled and hurried out of range. The Harris Light and First Maine marched out of range as slowly and deliberately as if going upon parade. No troops in the world ever stood such a terrible fire more unflinchingly.

From Rector's Cross Roads to Upperville was almost a rout. The enemy turned at bay near Upperville. The Fourth New York charged, with General Kilpatrick at their head, and, breaking, retired, leaving General Kilpatrick a prisoner. The Fourth, however, promptly rallied, charged again, and the General was rescued. The troops, with the single exception noted, all behaved well, as did most of the officers. General Kilpatrick, commanding the centre, was always in the right place, and inspiring the men under him by his dashing example. He led several charges in person, the most dashing of all being the onset west of Upperville. Colonel Gregg, commanding the left, discharged his duties promptly and like a brave man. General Gregg commanding this division, and General Pleasanton, were near the front all day, carefully watching every movement. The former had a horse killed under him by a round shot. The conduct of Colonel Vincent, commanding the infantry, is every where spoken of in the highest terms. Captain Armstrong and Lieutenant Estes, of General Kilpatrick's staff, on two occasions, after delivering an order, led a column against the enemy under a most terrific fire, and excited the admiration of all for their gallant conduct and excellent example.


WE devote pages 449 and 452 to illustrations of the SIEGE OF PORT HUDSON, from sketches by our special artist Mr. Hamilton, and by a volunteer contributor in the United States Navy.

The picture on page 449 represents the BOMBARDMENT OF PORT HUDSON from the deck of the United States steamer Richmond. The author of the sketch writes:

"In the fore-ground our blue jackets are busy with the 100-pound Parrott rifle. We are about two miles below the rebel batteries, which extend about three miles along the east bank of the river. With this gun we can reach their centre and most formidable works with ease, while with their 10-inch Columbiads they occasionally succeed in dashing the water up about us, few of their shots taking effect among our little fleet."

The other picture by the same artist shows us a mortar schooner in action. The accompanying letter says:

"PORT HUDSON, June 14, 1863.

"There are six mortar schooners here, and since the 8th of May not a night has passed but what they have made the welkin thunder with their guns. And they have several times been subjected to pretty severe firing from the enemy, but have always come out of the scratch with flying colors.

"On the 10th ult. the rebels tried to drive them and the Essex away from their position. And during the night of the 9th, while the sconce kettles were playing upon the rebel works, they quietly placed into position about eight guns within easy range of the schooners. At daybreak they opened with a vim that was creditable, but no sooner did the brave mortar boys discover their position than they lessened the long range charge of powder which they had been using fully two-thirds, dropping their shells with the nicest precision directly among the flashes from the bushes. This seemed to astonish Secesh, as we have since heard their men remark. We got under way, steaming up quietly, enjoying the exciting scene, and throwing a 100-pound shell from our pet Parrott as often as possible. The rebels shot threw the water up in fine style about our vessels. A few of their rifled shot came whizzing through our rigging. When just above the Essex, we let them have a broadside which knocked the dust about their ears in such a style that they concluded it best to close the action. We rounded to with our guns loaded for a second broadside, but waited in vain for an intimation of the whereabouts of the enemy. The conduct of the mortar schooners on this occasion, as indeed on all others, was deserving of the greatest admiration—they fired with the coolness and precision of ordinary target practice. They had been signalized by the Essex (who exercises a motherly charge over them) to drop down if the firing became too hot—their answer was—they were not of the dropping kind."

Of the third picture, which shows us the scene of the assault on Port Hudson on 14th, the Times correspondent writes:

It was as late as 10 P.M. of Saturday, June 13, that General Augur, who had just returned from the head-quarters of General Banks, told his staff that they were to be in motion at 3 A.M. of the next day. We all immediately hurried off to snatch a few hours' rest, and when I awoke at 3 o'clock I found the General and his staff already at breakfast. In half an hour afterward they were all off to the field, whither I speedily followed them.

Before dawn the most terrific cannonading commenced along our whole line that ever stunned mortal ears. The shells bursting over Port Hudson, mingled with their own firing and that of our fleet, and the dense clouds of our

artillery, gave the place the appearance of one vast conflagration just about to burst into flame.

After two hours of this dreadful cannonading there was a comparative lull, and the sharp and continuous rattle of musketry told where the work of death was going on most furiously. This was at the right, where General Grover's division was placed, and under him those gallant and fearless soldiers, Generals Weitzel and Paine.

If Weitzel had the larger share in the work of the 27th, that duty seemed to-day to fall upon the command immediately under General Paine.

The forces of the latter consisted of the Eighth New Hampshire, Capt. Barrett, and the Fourth Wisconsin, under Capt. Moore, who were in advance as skirmishers. Behind these came five companies of the Fourth Massachusetts and the One hundred and Tenth New York, under Capt. Bartlett, followed by four companies of the Third brigade. Closely upon these came the Third brigade, under Col. Gooding, and composed of the Thirty-first Massachusetts, Lieut.-Col. Hopkins; Thirty-eighth Massachusetts, Maj. Richardson; Fifty-third Massachusetts, Col. Kimball; One Hundred and Fifty-sixth New York, Col. Sharpe, and One Hundred and Seventy-fifth New York, Col. Bryan, who was killed. Then the Second brigade, under Col. A. Fearing, and composed of the One Hundred and Thirty-third New York, Col. Currier, and the One Hundred and Seventy-third New York, Maj. Galway; the rest of this brigade being detailed as skirmishers. After the Second came the First brigade, under Col. Ferris, of the Twenty-eighth Connecticut, and composed of the Twenty-eighth Connecticut, the Fourth Massachusetts, Col. Walker, and four companies of the One Hundred and Tenth New York, under Maj. Hamilton. These were all followed up by the necessary numbers of pioneers, and Nimm's Massachusetts battery.

At 3.30 A.M. of Sunday, June 14, the column formed on the Clinton road, and commenced moving. At about 4 A.M. the skirmishers moved right up to the scene of action—

Gen. Paine being with them in advancing, and the deadly work commenced—the enemy pouring in upon them the most terrible volleys, and. our dauntless men combating their way right up to the enemy's breast-works. For hours the carnage continued furiously—our determined soldiers, in spite of their General being seriously wounded, and in spite of the fearful odds against them of fighting against men snugly screened behind their barriers, keeping up the fight with the most indomitable bravery. It was impossible for any men, under their circumstances, to show more reckless disregard of death.

But Port Hudson was destined not to be carried this time—at that point, at any rate. Owing to the horrible inequalities of the ground, and the impediments which the overwhelming slaughter of our advance had created, the whole column was not able to come up as expected, and late in the afternoon our troops had to be withdrawn. During the intensest part of the struggle, it is only fair to say that Col. Kimball, of the Fifty-third, and Col. Currier, of the One Hundred and Thirty-third New-York, advanced most gallantly with their men to reinforce those in front. 


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Surgeon-General Hammond,

By ordering Calomel and destructive minerals from the supply tables, has conferred a blessing on our sick soldiers. Let him not stop here. Let him order the discontinuance of "Bleeding," and the use of BRANDRETH'S PILLS in the place thereof. Then will commence a "new era" in the practice of Medicine, which would then become emphatically


I have for thirty years taught that no diseased action could be cured by mercury or tartar emetic. That the human body could only to "made whole" by "vegetable food"—animal feed being, in fact, condensed vegetables. BRANDRETH'S PILLS should be in every Military Hospital. These Pills cure BILIOUS DIARRHOEA, CHRONIC DIARRHOEA, CHRONIC DYSENTERY, and all Fevers and Affections of the Bowels, sooner and more suely than any medicine in the world. BRANDRETH'S PILLS in these cases should be taken night and morning. Read Directions and get new style


Dr. B. Brandreth—

New York:

SIR: I was a private in Co. F, 17th regiment, New York Vols. While at Harrison's Landing and on the Rappahannock near Falmouth, I and many of the Company were sick with bilious diarrhoea. The Army Surgeon did not cure us, and I was reduced to skin and bone. Among the Company were quite a number of members who had worked in your Laboratory at Sing Sing. They were not sick, because they used Brandreth's Pills. These men prevailed upon me and others to use the Pills, and we were all cured in from two to five days. After this our boys used Brandreth's Pills for the typhus fever, colds, and rheumatism, and in no case did they fail to restore health,

Out of gratitude to you for my good health, I send you this letter, which, if necessary, the entire Company would sign.

I am, respectfully yours,


JUNE 23, 1863.   Sing Sing. SOLD AT NO. 4 UNION SQUARE, and by all respectable dealers.



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