Capture of Jackson Mississippi

 

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Civil War Harper's Weekly, June 20, 1863

This site features an online archive of our extensive collection of Harper's Weekly newspapers. Harper's was the most popular illustrated newspaper of the day, and today it serves as an incredible resource for developing a more fundamental understanding of the important people and events of the war.

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

 

Cincinnati

The "Cincinnati"

Negro Troops

Negro Troops

Siege Port Hudson

Siege Port Hudson

Chicago Canal

Chicago Canal Convention

Capture of Jackson Mississippi

Puebla

Puebla

Fernando Wood

Fernando Wood Cartoon

 

Alexandria

Alexandria, Louisiana

Simmesport

Simmesport, Louisiana

Battle of Jackson

Battle of Jackson Mississippi

Champion's Hill

The Battle of Champion's Hill

Black River Bridge

Battle of Black River Bridge

Puebla, Mexico

Battle of Puebla, Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUNE 20, 1863.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

395

ability made him better than he saw himself. One who truly loved him, who had for years felt her affections drawn to that higher part of his nature, with which hers had instinctively sympathized, could not but find her heart moved by this manly humility and honest love. It was very sweet to think that she had been the instrument of good to him. And thus, when he ceased to speak, and turned his eyes from the far distance into which they had been gazing as he told the past, he saw in her eves a look of exquisite tenderness softened yet more by a slowly gathering tear. He took her hand and drew her to his heart; and from that moment each knew that that was to be no future separation, but that each would find in the other's love the strength and comfort for their life's future trials.

And now, as Lawrence Moore has ceased to be an enlisted man, and as the disposition displayed in that enlistment has been replaced by a higher one, evolved through the very circumstances which seemed to give the first the government of his life, the history of his enlistment may be considered as at an end.

OUR COLOR-SERGEANT.

I.

OUT on the slope of yon Virginian hill,

Just where those pines their cone-like shadows wave Across that clump of laurel, make the hero's grave. The pulse is throbless now; the strong heart still; Glazed the deep-sunken eye; the iron will

That hurled back scorn for scorn, and bent not save To God's, is broken, and forever. Chill

And stark in death's solemnity he lies

Silent for evermore beneath the starry skies, Wherefrom the dew-drops fall

On curse and pall

Like tears from pitying angel's eyes.

II.

Drape his cold form with the old starry flag, Storm-frayed and battle-fretted, it is now The fittest wreath for a dead soldier's brow.

For his who waved it from embattled crag, Sternly defiant of the bastard rag

That on South Mountain's side was forced to bow, And in Antietam's conflict did not lag,

Flying in fierce haste, as if to seek

Safety beyond the crimsoned creek;

While broad and fair,

Triumphant there,

The old flag wave above the battle's wreck.

III.

Sore wounded in the thick of the first fight At Fredericksburg he fell, but died not,

At least not then, nor on that sacred spot. Wounded and prone upon the awful height, Where rebel foes had massed their fearful might,

Hurling such storm of hissing shell and shot

As made the darkened air gleam sudden-bright;

He lay 'mid carnage and dark scenes of death

That made our vet'rans draw an under-breath,

As through the storm

They bore his form

And gained the Rappahannock's bank beneath,

IV.

Then came long weeks of suffering and pain;

The tardy convalescence; swift relapse;

The almost certainty of death; the dim perhaps That he might live to love and fight again;

For fight he would, and round his neck a chain Whereby a locket hung told the love-gaps

In his young heart were full. She came,

And life leaped up like sudden flame

Beneath her smile.

After a while

She went away, but going, bore his name.

V.

No prouder smile has ever wreathed man's lips Than his wore when he held her to his heart, And said farewell. He did not think to part

For life; but life is made of many slips,

And few there be who find not hope's eclipse.

Turning his eyes, feeling the tear-drops start,

He smiled as one may smile who nectar sips,

And kissed her, laughing, bidding her to pray

That he might win a shoulder-strap some day.

Then one more kiss,

Too full of bliss,

And he turned back to camp. She went her way.

VI.

Then came the word to march. With heart more light Than morning-dew on flower beneath his feet,

He trod the path, as if he thought to greet

But friends upon the way. In the dim night

We crossed the river. There lay the frowning height And trench that we must gain in battle's heat,

And at the bayonet's point. But God and Right

Were on our side, he said, and felt no fear.

Forward! we charged with shout and cheer.

They sent back grape.

Death's awful shape

Uprose before us, silent, stern, and clear.

VII.

We faltered not. Some fell, but others sprung

To fill the gaps where death had claimed his own. Shout answered shout, shell burst on shell; a groan Went up when cannon spoke with awful tongue,

And then their yielding hordes were backward flung, And on the heights stood Union troops alone.

How heaven's high arch with shouts of victory rung!

But he—our Color-Sergeant?—heart of oak?—

When rebel chaff before the whirlwind broke

He, fighting, fell

In that wild mimic hell

Of sulphurous flame and smoke.

VIII.

Yes; bury him there upon the sudden slope

Of that Virginian hill: 'twas there he fell:

His name and station let some rude board tell.

'Tis rebel soil, 'tie true, yet who can hope

A nobler grave than his? Trust heaven will ope

As quickly to his soul, that through the swell

Of battle-music sought the azure scope,

As if from chancel-aisle it fled.

Yet who shall bear the news that he is dead To her? She waits

Beside Hope's gates,

Nor knows her warrior's soul is sped.

MILDRED'S SACRIFICE.

THE vases of heliotrope in Miss Delford's dainty little parlor were distilling their sweetest fragrance in the delicious evening breeze that tossed the muslin curtains to and fro through the wide opened windows, and the cherry boughs overshadowing the piazza eaves were hung with sparkling jewel-sprays of crimson fruit. July was purpling all the horizon with amethyst light; July brooded over the hills with tender warmth; and Clara Delford, in her dark rich beauty, seemed like a typic blossom of the brightest month in all the year.

Did Captain Verner notice the changing color in her olive cheek; the blaze that glowed beneath

her jetty eyelashes, in strange, seductive brilliance? Did he observe how artistically she had posed herself on the tiny foot-stool close beside Mildred Moore's shadowy white draperies and pure, colorless features? Clara Delford understood contrast and harmony—Captain Verner did not; he only knew that the two girls were like rose and lily, fervid sunshine, and pale, white starlight!

"If I could only do something for those poor suffering soldiers," she said, breaking the momentary silence, as if in continuation of the previous conversation. "Would it not be possible for me to devote a portion of my small means to their comfort?"

Captain Verner smiled; for the heiress to speak of her "small means" seemed, even to him, like an unnecessary bit of ostentation.

"Certainly," he said; "and I can assure you the money could not be spent to better purpose."

"Will you object to acting as my treasurer?" smiled Clara, with pretty, appealing softness in her eyes.

"Not at all; there are, in my own regiment, many cases of hardship, even destitution, which it would give me great pleasure to relieve. Thank you"—as she opened the tiniest of silken purses and placed a bank-note in his hand with blushing confusion—"I know from experience how much good twenty dollars can do!"

All this time Mildred Moore had sat silent in the shadow of the cherry boughs; now she rose and quietly withdrew. Captain Verner's eyes followed her slight willowy figure with involuntary attraction.

"You mustn't misinterpret poor dear Mildred's silence," lisped Clara, as the door closed; "of course she is interested in your hospital reminiscences; but I don't think she cares very much about the poor soldiers—Milly's nature is not sympathetic, and—"

"And," added the straightforward soldier, "her means are very limited. She gives music-lessons or something, don't she?"

He had risen, and stood there, tall and handsome, in the golden July moonlight, Clara's beau-ideal of a man.

"Good-night, Miss Clara. I must stop at Harwood Grange for five minutes to tell them about their two boys who fell at Fredericksburg, and I've two or three little errands to attend to in the town. We soldiers, you know, are scarcely at our own disposal."

He held the little jeweled hand in his a moment, perhaps unconscious how closely he pressed it, and then vanished through the crimson-sprinkled branches of the cherry-trees. As he walked along, whistling softly to himself, he thought of Clara in in her strange, transcendent beauty—of her melting, liquid eyes, and her mouth, like Cupid's bow, carved in scarlet coral.

"It was generous in her to give that money," he thought. "But I can't understand—hang it! it's no business of mine, I suppose —but why couldn't Miss Mildred have expressed her sympathy in words, at least. It annoys me a little —and yet I don't, for the life of me, see why it should."

"You sent that set of onyx to my mother?" he asked, an hour or so later, as he entered the stylish little jewelry store in the main street of the town. "Yes? Then it's all right, and I may as well settle the bill."

He tossed a fifty-dollar Treasury Note on the counter as he spoke.

"I hardly like to part with that money," he laughed. "The fact is, I've kept it about me so long that it seems almost like a lucky-penny. However, there it goes—hand over your receipt."

He dashed the bit of paper into his pocket-book with the quickness that characterized all his motions, and walked out again whistling the low refrain that made a sort of company for his solitude.

It was nearly midnight, the air dewy and sultry, and the stars blazing in the violet concave of heaven, yet Captain Verner still sat in his balcony, idly looking out upon the summer night, with the faint fragrance of his cigar wreathing about him. Was he thinking of Clara Delford or—

"Half past eleven—high time I was asleep," soliloquized the Captain, at length, giving his cigar a toss into the quiet street below, and entering the room where a shaded lamp cast a circle of subdued light on heaps of disordered papers.

"Hallo—what's this?" he said, half aloud, taking up a tiny note that lay lightly on the top. "This is a new arrival in my chaos of documents, or I'm mistaken."

The direction, "Captain Verner," was in a strange handwriting—nor did the contents afford any clew. Nothing appeared further than a fifty-dollar note wrapped in a bit of paper on which was penciled these words: "For the soldiers!"

"Clara Delford again!" was Verner's first exclamation. "What a splendid creature that is!"

The next glance, however, discovered new ground of conjecture and perplexity—he held the note in the full glare of the lamp, turning it eagerly from side to side.

"I thought I couldn't be mistaken," he muttered; "it is the very note I paid at Atkinson's tonight—here are my initials "E. V." in the corner. Now, how on earth—"

He paused, apparently in deep thought.

"Very provoking that I can't find out to night," he murmured; "but I'll go to Atkinson's the first thing in the morning!"

The early dew was yet weighing down the half-blown roses in the simple town garden, when Captain Verner entered the jewelry store where he had purchased the set of onyx for his mother.

"What can I do for you this morning, Captain?" inquired the brisk little jeweler, as he came forward, rubbing his smooth white hands.

"A great deal, Mr. Atkinson: you can tell me to whom you paid out this Treasury Note last night!"

He laid the mysterious "greenback" on the glass counter; Atkinson took it up and scrutinized it closely, then referred to his books.

"Certainly I can," he said; "I purchased a very beautiful pearl ring from a lady yesterday evening, and paid for it with that very identical bill."

A pearl ring!—the simple words seemed to throw him off the scent again. The jeweler unlocked his show-case, and took out a small violet-velvet case, lined with white silk, in which glimmered a pearl of surpassing beauty, set in a plain gold circlet.

"There it is," he said. "Ten years ago I sent to New York for that very ring, ordered by Dr. Moore as a birthday gift for his little daughter, then just twelve years old."

"Dr. Moore!" repeated Verner.

"Yes. Times are sadly changed now, yet I did not suppose that Miss Mildred would ever have been induced to part with that favorite jewel—the only relic, I may venture to say, she has ever retained of wealthier days."

Captain Verner looked down at the ring through a strange unwonted mist. How different was this silent sacrifice of sweet memories and old associations to Clara Delford's ostentatious gift from her overflowing coffers! "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee." The words came to him like a revelation of Mildred Moore's nature.

Only nine o'clock, but not too early for Mildred Moore to be watering her sweet-peas and geraniums in the cottage garden. Nay, so busy was she with a tiny pink-blossom which had broken from its fastening, that she never heard approaching footsteps until Captain Verner's shadow fell across the flower border. Then she started up, with large dilated eyes, like those of a frightened fawn, and carmine burning in her usually colorless cheeks.

"Captain Verner!"

"Do not be startled, Miss Mildred," he said, with gentle, reassuring accents. "I have only called to thank you for your kind donation to the sick soldiers."

She clasped her hands over her flushed face, like a child detected in some fault.

"I beg your pardon; I did not think—I never intended—"

"Nay," he interrupted, earnestly, "I have learned the history of the ring. Your sacrifice is not unappreciated, and—"

He stopped, for she had burst into convulsive sobs and tears. It was entirely a new phase of her being. Captain Verner stood completely confounded. Had he known her all these months and yet remained ignorant of the passionate depth and emotion of her character? She was there before him no longer the fair, passionless statue, but a lovely woman, made lovelier still by tears! The citadel of his heart—undermined long ago, unconsciously to himself—surrendered at this last attack. And who could blame him?

"Don't, Mildred!" he said, caressingly. "My dearest girl, if you knew how it grieved me to see you weep—"

"Pardon me," she faltered; "I am ashamed of being so foolish, but it was all I had to give!"

"Mildred," he whispered, opening the violet-velvet casket, "I have brought back the ring: will you accept it again?"

She looked at him with startled eyes and glowing cheeks, as if some deep meaning lay hidden in his words.

"Let me place it on your finger, love. Wear it as an engagement ring." He went on: "Oh! Mildred, I never knew till now how dear you were to me! Will you trust your future to me?—will you be my cherished, treasured wife?"

What Mildred's answer was is not at all to the purpose; only Mrs. Grundy thinks it very strange "that Miss Moore should wear a pearl engagement ring when diamonds are all the fashion!"

THE MARCH ON VICKSBURG.

MR. THEODORE R. DAVIS, our artist in the Southwest, accompanied General Grant in his splendid march from Grand Gulf to Jackson and Vicksburg, and has sent us the pictures which we give on pages 392, 393, and 396. Mr. Davis writes:

CAPTURE OF JACKSON.

"HEAD-QUARTERS OF MAJOR-GENERAL McPHERSON, May 15, 1563.

"On the morning of the 14th the troops of General M'Pherson's corps moved from Clinton, upon the direct Jackson road, and in a pelting rain-storm marched rapidly toward that place, the division under the command of General Crocker being in advance. At 10 o'clock, when within three miles of Jackson, the pickets of the enemy were driven in, and the column was at once advanced in line of battle. The enemy's 'line of battle' was soon discovered posted in an excellent position to the right, but reaching across the road. The character of the country, though mostly open, offered facilities for advancing, under cover of undulations, to within a short distance of the enemy's line, with but little exposure of our troops to their fire; and, in a drenching shower, the division did so. The skirmishers of the opposing columns were within less than one hundred yards of each other. The shower had just ceased. M. Battey, First Missouri Artillery, under Lieutenant McMurray, opened fire. At the same time the order was conveyed to General Crocker to 'charge the enemy's line with his division, Holmes's brigade in the centre, Sandborne's to the right and rear, Boomer, with his brigade, to the left and rear.' The division came steadily up the slope of the hill, over and down at a double-quick. They met a severe and effective fire; but, never wavering, continued the charge with cheers up the second slope. Just at this moment the rebels broke. Flying in disorder, their exposed backs were a target for a fire until this moment reserved. At the crest of the last hill was posted the rebel reserve, who, as our men reached the line of fences and were breaking them down, opened a fire that sent to their long account too many of our gallant men. The 17th Iowa and 10th Missouri suffered principally at this point.

Here the enemy could not stand, but joined the precipitate retreat of their advance. The guns of Dillon's battery had followed our charging troops in their advance, and were here speedily unlimbered, and one after the other, as they were brought in battery, opened with canister. Just at this moment General Crocker rode along the line of his advancing men, and was greeted with cheer upon cheer.

"The division of General Logan was advanced and disposed to the left and reserve. Just at this time General Sherman, who, with his corps, was advancing, three miles distant and to our right, opened a brisk fire with his artillery.

"General McPherson now steadily advanced his force, and occupied the enemy's works. Almost at the same time General Sherman's troops entered the town through the works, at some distance to the right, the division of General Tuttle forming his advance. The rebel cavalry was just leaving as the generals, with their escorts, dashed through the storm to the Capitol, over which was being raised the colors of the 59th Indiana, by Captain Cadle, of General Crocker's staff, and Captain Martin."

DESTRUCTION OF THE RAILROAD AND REBEL STORES AT JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI.

"HEAD-QUARTERS OF MAJOR-GENERAL McPHERSON,

JACKSON, MISS., May 15, 1863.

"The Army marched this morning toward Vicksburg, leaving the brigade of General Mower to destroy the property of the 'Rebel Government' —railroad, penitentiary, etc. While sketching the scene I could not but think of the sketches that I have sent to you of the devastation of the rebels on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and the raid of Stuart into Chambersburg. At the moment we seem to have beaten the rebels at this their favorite performance."

THE BATTLE OF CHAMPION'S HILL.

"HEAD-QUARTERS OF MAJOR-GENERAL McPHERSON,

COMMANDING 17TH CORPS ARMY TENNESSEE,

NEAR BLACK RIVER, May 17, 1863.

"The division of General Hovey being in advance, discovered the enemy in force, posted in excellent position upon the crest of a hill covered with forest and undergrowth. General Hovey deployed his division, that of General Logan forming upon his right. The line advanced, preceded by a heavy line of skirmishers, and was soon heavily engaged.

"The batteries of Captains Rogers and De Solyer opened with good effect. Captain Rogers's battery, posted in a good but exposed position, was soon charged upon; the enemy being severely repulsed by three regiments of Gen. John E. Smith's brigade and the guns of De Solyer's battery.

"An attempt to check our advance and flank our right was observed by General McPherson, who sent the brigade of General Stevenson and two batteries to meet it. After a short and sharp engagement, the fight at this time being severe along the whole line, General Stevenson charged with his brigade, driving the enemy and capturing their battery. The mass of the rebel troops seemed now to have been thrown against our left, and General Hovey, being forced to retire, was at once supported by General Crocker, who sent from his division two regiments of Colonel Sandborne's brigade, and the brigades of Colonels Boomer and Holmes. These troops held the rebels in check, and shortly advanced, driving the enemy, capturing 1600 prisoners and a battery.

"A general advance, now ordered by General Grant, who had been upon the field during the entire day, many times in exposed positions, found the enemy in full retreat toward Edwards's Depot, General McPherson sending in pursuit General Stevenson's brigade, with De Solyer's battery, followed by General Carr's division. In this retreat the rebels lost General Tighlman, killed by a shell.

"The enemy lost nearly two thousand prisoners and thirteen guns."

THE FIGHT AT THE BLACK RIVER BRIDGE.

"HEAD-QUARTERS OF MAJOR-GENERAL M'PHERSON,

COMMANDING 17TH CORPS ARMY TENNESSEE,

CAMP NEAR VICKSBURG, May 18, 1863.

"We had fought the battle of Champion's Hill, and at night lain down as tired as mortals ever are; yet the next day, finding the enemy, we, before dinner, captured his works, seventeen guns, and over two thousand prisoners.

"The brigade of Colonel Lawler was ordered to advance upon the right, and the division of General A. J. Smith upon the left, which they did, as illustrated by my sketch."

GENERAL BANKS'S CAMPAIGN.

WE publish on pages 388 and 389 two illustrations of General Banks's operations in Louisiana, from sketches by our special artist, Mr. Hamilton.

One of them shows us the TRIUMPHAL ENTRY OF THE ARMY OF GENERAL BANKS INTO THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA, LOUISIANA, on 4th May, 1863. Alexandria was a very important point for the rebels to hold, being one of their depots of supplies from Texas and the Red River region, besides being the key to an important cotton and sugar raising section of country. Its fall, the immediate credit of which is due to the navy, was really occasioned by the successful operations of General Banks in the Opelousas country, and his entry into the city may therefore fairly be deemed triumphal.

No time was lost by General Banks, however, in idle glorification. Alexandria having fallen, the troops were mustered for the assault of a much more formidable point—Port Hudson. Our illustration on page 389 shows the embarkation of part of his army at Simmesport on the Atchafalaya River, Louisiana, for Port Hudson, on 21st May, 1863. The transports St. Maurice and Empire Parish are receiving the soldiers and preparing to seam off under the guidance of their negro pilots. They have since disembarked the men, and we now know that the great tussle at Port Hudson has begun, fiercely and bloodily.


 

 

 

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