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) Great Britain was at war with France, there were clubs formed
in London which preached doctrines considered dangerous by the Government. Mr.
Pitt, the Prime Minister, said that "in times of apprehended rebellion" it had
been usual to suspend the habeas corpus act, and he introduced, and Parliament
passed, a bill to secure and detain all who were suspected of designs against
the Government without the relief of the habeas corpus. Lord Palmerston will
concede that that was a rather vigorous measure.
In the year 1795 Great Britain
had been three years at war with France. The British people were tired and
discontented. London swarmed with "declamatory lecturers," as they were called,
who told their audiences that courts and ministers made wars that they might
wallow in luxury while the people were starved and enslaved. At one meeting of
this kind in London fifty thousand people were present. The excitement grew, and
the King was stoned as he went to Parliament. Thereupon, as Lord Palmerston,
speaking of legal rigors, will remember, a bill was passed making any act
"tending" to the harm of the King or his heirs high treason, and making the
incitement of dislike to the Government, by word or deed, a high misdemeanor.
There was also a bill passed to prevent seditious meetings—that is, meetings to
discuss in a hostile spirit the policy of the Government. Any house opened for
any political discussion without a license was to be fined a hundred pounds.
Lord Palmerston thinks our Government intolerably despotic in time of war; but
we have not quite reached the British point, have we, Honorable Vallandigharh
and ditto Wood?
So in 1798, also during a foreign
war, the alien bill was revived, which obliged those who let lodgings to give
accounts regularly to the Government of the foreigners in their houses, and
which enabled the Government to detain foreigners, and prevent aliens at its
discretion from landing in England. The bill for detaining suspected persons was
also renewed; and in 1817, in the happy days of the ever-glorious Prince Regent,
all these acts were revived and the habeas corpus suspended, in expectation of
domestic trouble, and when there was no war.
These little facts have not
escaped history, although Lord Palmerston omits to remember them; and when he
thanks God that Englishmen are not as other men are in the matter of mob law and
arbitrary acts of Government, and especially not like this Republican country,
he does no credit to his historical training. We refer to the facts merely as
illustrations of the British practice of arbitrary laws. And the radical
difference between all such measures here and in every other country is, that
here they are the acts of the people themselves for the security of their
liberties, and elsewhere, as was the ease in England, they are the acts of a
governing class to subdue the people.
IN describing, last week, a visit
to the United States Military Hospital at West Philadelphia, the Lounger
mentioned the pretty little paper, the West Philadelphia Hospital Register,
published there by and for the soldiers. It is edited as a labor of love by Dr.
F. V. Hayden, whose name is familiar to every scientific scholar in the country
as one of our most distinguished geologists, and who is now a surgeon in the
United States service. The contributions are mainly written by the patients, and
the type-setting and printing are all done by them in the hospital. Only some
half dozen weekly numbers have been issued, and six hundred subscribers at a
dollar will insure its continuance for a year and the supply of each patient
with a copy. The visiting and resident surgeons take the warmest interest in the
undertaking, and more than one of them is gravely suspected of surreptitiously
sending communications for its columns. Thus we quoted last week a touching poem
"mi bak is stif and sore."
And in the same number there were
some "Lines on an Autopsical Examination," of which the "subject" revealed the
surgical artist. In like manner, in the third number, "The Anatomist's Ode to
his Mistress" is a pathetic illustration of the conflict of physiology with
poetry, of which the result is a drawn battle. We quote it at the end of this
Battle of Williamsburg" is a vivid chapter in the history of the
Peninsular campaign, told by a soldier of the Second New Hampshire, in ward M;
while "How Uncle Phineas arranged a Lawsuit," and "A Swim in the Mud," will be
as pleasant prescriptions for the invalid soldier as he is like to get from the
Nothing partisan and no personal
discussions will be admitted into the Register. The little paper is a kindly
effort to alleviate pains earned in our service. Gentle reader, don't you wish
it well one dollar's worth? If you do, eat your cake and have it. Send your
dollar to the West Philadelphia U. S. Hospital Register.
Here is the poem. Mark how
learnedly they make love in hospitals!
ANATOMIST'S ODE TO HIS MISTRESS.
I list as thy heart and ascending
Their volumes of valvular harmony
And my soul from that muscular
music has caught a New life 'mid its dry anatomical lore.
O rare is the sound when thy
In a systolic symphony measured
While the auricles answer with
As they murmur a melody
O thy cornea, love, has the
Of the sparkle that laughs in the
And thy crystalline lens, like a
Through the quivering frame of
thine iris is seen!
And thy retina, spreading its
lustre of pearl,
Like a far away nebula, distantly
From a vault of black cellular
mirrors that hurl
From their hexagon angles the
Ah! the flash of those orbs is
enslaving me still,
As they roll 'neath the palpebrae,
Obeying, in silence, the magical
Of the oculo-motor—pathetic—abducent.
O sweet is thy voice, as it
From thy daintily quivering
chordae vocales, Or rings in clear tones through the echoing cells
Of the antrum, the ethmoid, and
And stately the heave of thy
As the swell of the billow swift
yelling to land; And as soft the vesicular sigh in thy chest
As the moan of the ripple that
ebbs o'er the sand.
But, alas! 'tis with many
I pen Anatomical verses thy
beauty to praise,
For I fear me my studies will
Bring the solace they had in my
Thou hast stolen the charm from
my studio dim—
From dissection I turn with
Thou host stepped betwixt me and
my skeletons grim—
Ah, lady! fair lady! why crossed
ye my path!
ABOUT once a week there is a
meeting of the Vallandigham club in the city of New York, which is addressed by
Copperhead orators; at which resistance to the laws is inculcated; the President
is hissed, and those who favor an unconditional suppression of the rebellion are
denounced as niXXer-heads, fanatics, or by any other name that the speakers
think most likely to inflame parisan hatred in favor of Jeff Davis and the men
who are murdering our soldiers and trying to overthrow the Government.
At a recent meeting of the club
Mr. Voorhees, a representative in Congress, made a speech, the point of which is
in these words: "When the Government went outside of the limits of law, then
force should be met by force." Such words have but one meaning and intention.
They mean simply: "When the authorities do any thing which you do not like,
then, my friends, arm and resist them. Jeff Davis is falling to fasting and
praying. He has no longer any hope but in civil war at the North. The entire
course of the Administration is unconstitutional and illegal. Therefore, good
Copperheads, strike home."
But lest there should be any
doubt what Mr. Voorhees means,
Mr. Fernando Wood explains. He said on the same
evening at Stamford, in Connecticut, that "the Conscription Act is
unconstitutional, and if he were elected Governor of Connecticut not a man
should be forced from the State by the act without walking over his dead body."
The New York Herald of the next
morning vigorously set forth the exact consequences and character of this
proposition of Mr. Voorhees as explained by Fernando Wood. Let every man who is
in favor of the Union, of the national supremacy, and of obedience to law,
"When such reckless, bigoted, and
narrow-sighted and brawling demagogues as Vallandigham and Pendleton of Ohio,
Ben Wood, Booby Brooks, and their confederates, begin to preach the doctrine of
President Lincoln and the doctrine of
submission to Jeff Davis, it is at least due to the community that the
tendencies of their absurd and dangerous instructions should be exposed. They
counsel resistance to the laws. Let us suppose that here and there these
Copperhead apostles of mob law succeed in securing a body of adherents resolved
upon resistance to the conscription. The Government undertakes to enforce the
law; a bloody collision ensues; the contagion of resistance spreads throughout
the ranks of the party infected, and civil war, with all its fearful
consequences, is inaugurated at our own doors. Under such a state of things what
citizen's property, home, or life would be secure? What family would be safe
from night to night against the intrusion of a gang of hungry ruffians and a
wholesale spoliation? And with the loyal States in this horrible condition, how
would it be possible to prevent the breaking up of our armies in the field, the
occupation of the national capital by Jeff Davis, and the absolute destruction
of the Government of the United States?"
GENTLEMEN who, in denouncing the
bill relating to the habeas corpus, declaim about Charles First losing his head
for disregarding the writ, etc., should be very sure of their history before
beginning their orations. The revolution that killed Charles and banished his
son James was completed by the coronation of William Third as King of England,
and the law of England respecting the suspension of the habeas corpus was
settled by a precedent in the first year of William's reign. In 1689, when
Ireland was in open rebellion, a conspiracy against the King was discovered in
England, and the leaders were arrested by order of William. He then at once
applied to Parliament for advice, thereby acknowledging that the act must be
approved by them. The House thanked him, empowered him to arrest for a limited
time all persons whom he should have just cause to suspect, and rejected an
amendment that it should never be made a precedent.
Thus the English law is that the
privilege of the writ is to be suspended by the consent of the whole Government,
executive and legislative. Or, as Blackstone states it: "It is Parliament only,
or legislative power, that, whenever it sees proper, can authorize the Crown, by
suspending the habeas corpus act for a short and limited time, to imprison
suspected persons without giving any reason for so doing .......The nation parts
with its liberty for a while in order to preserve it forever."
The English practice has been
that in the absence of Parliament, or even while it was in session, when the
case demanded instant action, the ministers have suspended the privilege of the
writ, and then asked the consent of Parliament, whose authority upon the subject
is conceded to be supreme, and whose sanction is retrospective in its operation.
Mr. Lincoln's action has
conformed exactly to the English precedent and to the tradition of
constitutional liberty. In the absence of Congress, and in the extreme peril of
the country, with the plain provision of the Constitution before him which
allows the suspension without naming the suspending power, he did exactly what
William Third, what any clear-sighted and honest supreme executive officer,
would instinctively have done. At the same time he summoned Congress, and
directly upon its assembling laid the case before
them in a few words of simple
good sense, which we reproduce here as most timely and most wise, and indicative
of that candor and sagacity which are not less remarkable in the President than
his unswerving fidelity not only to the laws, but also, what is to us an
unaccustomed spectacle in the administration of the presidential office, to the
spirit of the laws.
"The whole of the laws which were
required to be faithfully executed were being resisted, and failing of execution
in nearly one-third of the States. Must they be allowed to finally fail of
execution even had it been perfectly clear that, by the use of the means
necessary to their execution, some single law, made in such extreme tenderness
of the citizen's liberty, that practically it relieves more of the guilty than
the innocent, should, to a very limited extent, be violated? To state the
question more directly, are all the laws but one to go unexecuted, and the
Government itself go to pieces lest that one be violated? Even in such a case
would not the official oath be broken, if the Government should be overthrown,
when it was believed that disregarding the single law would tend to preserve it?
But it was not believed that this question was presented. It was not believed
that any law was violated. The provision of the Constitution that 'the privilege
of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless when, in cases of
rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it,' is equivalent to a
provision—is a provision—that such privilege may be suspended when, in cases of
rebellion or invasion, the public safety does require it. It was decided that we
have a case of rebellion, and that the public safety does require the qualified
suspension of the writ which was authorized to be made. Now it is insisted that
Congress, and not the Executive, is vested with this power. But the Constitution
itself is silent as to which, or who, is to exercise the power; and as the
provision was plainly made for a dangerous emergency, it can not be believed
that the framers of the instrument intended that, in every case, the danger
should run its course until Congress could be called together; the very
assembling of which might be prevented, as was intended in this case, by the
He then submits all necessary
legislation upon the subject to "the better judgment" of Congress, and Congress
has responded by the act which patriots of the Marshal Kane school declare to be
subversive of all the liberties of the citizen. It does most emphatically
subvert the liberty of the citizen to conspire against the unity and existence
of the nation.
The whole question is most
thoroughly and exhaustively discussed in Mr. Fisher's "Trial of the
HUMORS OF THE DAY.
A SAILOR about being married,
could not find change enough for the parson's fees. The reverend gentleman,
unwilling to tie the couple without the accustomed fee, demurred. Jack, placing
his hand in his pocket, drew out a few shillings, saying, "Never mind, brother,
marry us as far as it will go."
A colonel was boasting that he
had sprung from a high family in Ireland. "Yes," said a by-stander, "I have seen
some of the family so high that their feet could not touch the ground."
An old Dutchman undertook to
wallop his son, but Jake turned upon him and walloped him. The old man consoled
himself for his defeat by rejoicing at his son's manhood. He said, "Vell, Jake
ish a shmart fellow; he can vip his own taddy."
What is that which belongs to
yourself yet is used by every body?—Your name.
Some unknown cholera reporter
states that a lady who had died of cholera in Sandusky City, and was laid out by
her friends, was found the night following standing at the cupboard eating
cucumber pickles, or in other words,
"They left her 'a laying in'
Prepared for the grave's quiet
But they found her the very same
A laying in pickled cucumbers."
"Where is the East?" inquired a
tutor one day of a very little pupil. "Where the morning comes from," was the
prompt and pleasant answer.
Hearing something said the other
day about a "mosquito fleet," our youngest jester remarked that "he supposed the
grappling-irons aboard the fleet were called the galley-nippers."
A Frenchman once saw a gentleman
walk up to an open snuff-box in the hands of another, and take a pinch of snuff,
having prefaced the act with the words, "May I take the liberty?" On the next
day the Frenchman went into a tobacco shop and asked for half a pound of
A son of the Emerald Isle,
telling his adventures in America, said, "The first feathered bird I ever saw in
Ameriky was a forkentine. I treed him under a haystack, and shot him with a
barn-shovel; the first time I shot him I missed him, and the second time I hit
him where I missed him before."
The nearest a certain man in this
city ever approached to luck was to find a counterfeit note on a broken bank. He
thinks that if any body else had found it it would have been a gold piece.
The young man who, goaded by the
memory of his wrongs, and saddled with a load of debt, gave the reins to his
evil passions, has been collared by a policeman, and will soon be brought to the
There are pretended patriots who
will hold any thing except their tongues; keep any thing except their word; and
lose nothing patiently except their character.
"I think," said Mr. Thackeray, "I
would rather have had a potato and a friendly word from Goldsmith than have been
beholden to Dean Swift for a guinea and a dinner."
What is the difference between
forms and ceremonies? —You sit upon forms and stand upon ceremonies.
If I kiss you by mistake,
What war weapon do I make?—A
What nations will always be
cannibals?—The Manchew Tartars.
Why is a schoolmaster like an
engine-driver?—One trains the mind, and the other minds the train.
What is the most indigestible
supper?—To bolt the street door just before going to bed.
The man who moved an amendment
injured his spine by the operation.
"I'll let you off easy this
time," as the horse said when he threw his rider into the mud.
The more we help others to bear
their burdens the lighter our own will be.
The man under the gallows, about
to be swung off, would like to have ''the last tie" severed.
"No more at present," as the
extinguisher said to the candle.
DO YOU GIVE IT UP? My first is
irrational, My second is rational, My third mechanical, And my whole scientific.
Why is your nose in the middle of
your face? Because it is the centre (scenter).
Why is it dangerous to go into a
Because there is a great cannon
(canon) in the desk, a minor cannon (canon) in the stall, and the bishop is
charging the congregation.
One word of four letters:
If you transpose what lasses
'Twill plainly show what bad ones
Again, if you transpose the same,
You'll see an ancient Hebrew
Change it again, and it will show
What all on earth desire to do;
Transpose the letters yet again,
What bad men are you'll then
What trade is like the sun?
Why should you be wide awake on
Because the train goes over
THE extra session of the Senate
closed on 14th. A large number of nominations were confirmed, but no other
public business was done.
INUNDATION IN THE WEST.
General McClernand's troops have been compelled
to embark for Milliken's Bend, sixteen miles above Vicksburg, owing to high
water. Recent operations at
Lake Providence and elsewhere resulted in
inundating more than one hundred miles of Louisiana territory, destroying
millions of dollars' worth of property. The
rebel guerrillas suffered fearfully by the
flood. In fact, they were completely driven out.
GENERAL HUNTER ABOUT TO MOVE.
General Hunter's army at Port Royal is about to
move on some important expedition, if we can judge from the order just issued by
the Commanding General to his soldiers; in which he says that after long and
weary delays, due to causes over which no one in his department had control,
they have at length the cheering prospect of active and very important service.
REBEL PROPOSAL FOR PEACE.
A resolution was offered on the
11th instant in the Congress of the Confederacy by Mr. Conrad, proposing terms
of peace, and was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. In effect it
provides that "the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States
do therefore resolve that they will cordially co-operate with the Executive in
any measures it may adopt, consistent with the honor, the dignity, and
independence of these States, tending to a speedy restoration of peace with all
or with any of the States of the Federal Union."
Governor Cannon, of Delaware, has
just issued an important proclamation on the subject of "illegal arrests,"
ignoring State rights altogether, and placing the Federal above them. The
proclamation is called forth by the passage of an act in the Assembly to prevent
illegal arrests in that State, and the Governor says: "I enjoin upon the good
people of this State that they hold true allegiance to the Government of the
United States as paramount to the State of Delaware, and that they obey the
constituted authorities thereof before the Legislature of the State of Delaware
or any other human authority whatsoever."
PRIVATEER ON THE PACIFIC.
A fast schooner was boarded in
San Francisco harbor on 15th by the United States authorities, and detained as a
privateer. About twenty Secessionists were found on board, well armed, together
with six brass
Dahlgren guns, with carriages suitable for use
on shipboard. Correspondence found on the persons of the prisoners will lead to
SOUTHERN CONFEDERACY IN PARLIAMENT.
ON 24th ult., in the House of
Earl Russell alluded to the question of the
recognition of the Southern Confederacy, and requested Lord Strathenden to
postpone until the 2d inst. a motion which he had given notice, of for the
production of copies of all dispatches from
Mr. Mason to her Majesty's Government on the
claim of the Southern Confederacy to be acknowledged as an independent power by
Great Britain, to which request Lord Stratheden acceded. Lord Palmerston, in the
House of Commons, in reply to a question as to whether there was any
correspondence between her Majesty's Government and the Emperor of the French
relative to the offer of mediation between the Federal and Confederate States,
and if so, whether there was any objection to lay it on the table of the
House—and also if the Government was aware that any replies on the subject had
been received by the Emperor of the French from the Federal Government—answered
that the only official document on the subject was a dispatch from Lord Russell
on the 13th of November to Lord Cowley, in a reply to a verbal communication
from the Frenclu Embassador. That document was already on the table of the
regard to any reply that might
have been received by the Emperor of the French, that would be a matter between
the American Government and the French Minister at Washington, and he did not
see how he could answer the question.
THE FOOD SHIPS.
The arrival of the American food
ships Achilles and Griswold was the cause of a great demonstration in
Manchester. A large meeting was held, and an address of thanks adopted to the
captain and officers of the Griswold. The speeches expressed the fullest
sympathy with the North. The captain of the British frigate Majestic also
entertained the officers of the Griswold at a grand banquet on board his vessel
in the Mersey. Captain Inglefield, of the Majestic, proposed the health of the
President, and said that he did so not only because the President was the chief
of a great nation, but because of his undaunted perseverance in prosecuting the
war with the object of establishing a constitutional government.
The Polish insurrection is
exciting great attention in the Cabinets of the leading Powers. It is announced
from Cracow that the Russians had been defeated by the Poles alter an engagement
which lasted five hours. The town of Malagoszee, near which the battle took
place, has been reduced to ruins. The insurgents appear to be carrying on
operations with great activity and enterprise.