Destruction of the Rebel Steamer "Nashville"


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, March 21, 1863

This site features all the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. This collection serves as an invaluable research tool for the serious student of the Civil War, and offers a new perspective on the key elements of the conflict.

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


Union Meeting

Union Meeting

Army Hospital

US Army Hospital

Nashville Destroyed

Destruction of the Nashville

Lake Providence

Lake Providence

New Orleans Levee

Repairing the New Orleans Levee

Building Levee

Building the New Orleans Levee

Gold Panic

Gold Panic


Rappahannock River Cartoon

Wall Street

Wall Street

The "Florda"

The Pirate "Florida" Destroys the Jacob Bell

Levee in New Orleans

Picture of the New Orleans Levee





MARCH 21, 1863.]



gentleman. I don't care to sit next to an old-clo' man; but if a Jew is well-bred and intelligent, Plutus, he is as good to sit next to as any man!"

A few of us dined Colonel Roumaine and Dr. Bruno at the Club. The dinner was delightful. Roumaine told us of the condition and prospects of Hayti, and of his friend Geffrard. Afterward we played billiards, at which the Colonel is a master. I understand some of the youth who dined Bull Run Russell at the Club were amazed to hear of our party. Probably. Chacun a son gout.

This morning John Bull came into the Club. "Well!" said he, "I understand that niXXers have been dining here."

"Have they?" answered Alcibiades, quietly, making rings of his cigar smoke, apparently more interested in them than in Bull's remark.

"Yes, by Jove!" continued John, "and I should like to know how the gentlemen behaved?"

"Oh, quite decently," said Alcibiades, blowing fresh rings. "They didn't steal the spoons, nor sneer at people of a different color—no, and they didn't wear secesh badges on their coats, Bull. If they had, I, for one, would have kicked them out."

John moved on into the next room, and Alcibiades continued blowing rings.


IT is an awful thought that the citizens of the United States who are resolved to preserve their Government and country, even if slaves must be freed in the process, are to be called Abolitionists by General Beauregard at the South, and niXXer-heads by the reactionists at the North. But it is one of those overwhelming blows to which we must all submit with the best grace we can. "Woolly-head" and "Black Republican" were very fearful epithets; "Fanatic," "Radical," "One-idea Men," were also terrible terms. But "Abolitionist" and "niXXerhead" are an ingenious refinement of cruelty.

Still, let us not despair. A people which, although denounced as Woollyheads, elected, by great majorities in every Free State, a President, whose election was a sign that human decency and political consistency were to have a chance in the Government, will perhaps be able to bear up under the sneers of a party which is trying to build a Republic upon the denial of human rights. Those who do not fear rebel batteries in front will not be troubled much by reactionary blackguarding in the rear. Hard names are by no means the hardest burdens to carry. Christian, Puritan, Methodist, were all contemptuous epithets; but they are not exactly contemptible facts. So there is no gentleman in Europe who does not pride himself upon being an Abolitionist. He would as soon defend cannibalism as slavery. Every wise party catches the nicknames hurled at it like the stones at St. Stephen, and proudly binds them on its forehead, where they blaze like diamonds.

It is truly dreadful to be called an Abolitionist, of course; and to be denounced as niXXerhead might well drive the coolest man to suicide. But there is one epithet which is not merely a spirt of rage and spleen like these. It is a name which burns and brands with infamy. There is many a man who, years hence, will proudly say to his children, "I was an Abolitionist in '63." But what man, who does not wish Benedict Arnold were his ancestor, will say with pride to his children, "I was a Copperhead in '63?"


WHEN a wanton and wicked rebellion is aiming to destroy the Government, to ruin the country, to establish a political community upon the bloody denial of the rights of man, to annihilate every guarantee of civil liberty, to substitute endless and ferocious war for permanent peace, and to replace national unity, power, and prosperity by the sheerest anarchy, and a citizen of that threatened country has no word of condemnation for the effort, and expresses no fear of its consequences to the liberty of the citizen and the existence of the Government, but by all that he says, and all that he dares to do, comforts and aids that fierce assault of disorder and barbarism upon order and civilization, the indignation of every sober man and loyal citizen is kindled against him as one with all the guilt and more than the cowardice of an open rebel.

But when this man, who has not a solitary word of sympathy nor a feeling of generous forbearance toward the Government which is battling to sustain itself and save his country, declaims bitterly against any extreme but regulated measure of supreme authority necessary for that purpose as destroying all the liberties of the citizen, the feeling of indignation changes into one of utter and inexpressible contempt.

What other emotion could any faithful American citizen possibly have upon reading the Congressional speeches and the Copperhead editorials against the Conscription and Habeas Corpus acts?


MR. LOUNGER,—I read with interest the note of your correspondent Tri-Mountain last week, and I hope he will equally enjoy my anecdote.

A certain man who has long done the work of those who are now in rebellion, and has had his various rewards—a man who frankly says that if the rebellion succeeds he hopes his State will go with the rebels—meets a gentleman upon the street and says to him, jauntily:

"Well, I believe I will try Patriotism."

Quick as lightning the gentleman coolly replies: "In Dr. Johnson's sense?"

You will remember, as the person in question did, the definition given by Dr. Johnson, who was a high Tory, to the word Patriotism, which was then used as a party name: "Patriotism; the law refuge of a scoundrel."

Stung by the prompt retort, the man turned green; thought better of it; grinned a ghastly grin, and said, "Pretty good hit."

Yours, with respect,



A CORRESPONDENT in the Seventy-sixth Ohio writes: Away down here in Dixie we sometimes learn some funny things about the doings of our Southern brethren when they held the country now occupied by us. For instance: When General M'Cown (rebel) was commanding at New Madrid, he was greatly alarmed one night at the reported approach of General Pope with a large force to attack the place. At once every thing was in commotion, and the General commenced making arrangements for defense. He soon found, to his horror, that he had no percussion-caps for his field-pieces. He forthwith dispatched a steamer in hot haste bearing a letter to a Colonel, an ordnance officer at Island No. 10, directing him to bring down a supply immediately. The boat reached the island in about an hour; the Colonel was found in a state of "wild but sweet ebriety." The letter was delivered to him, and he soon came aboard with a box under his arm, and the steamer returned to New Madrid. In about fifteen minutes after she landed the Colonel returned on board, and ordered the Captain of the boat to return at once with his boat to Island No. 10. The Captain said he did not think he would go, as he had other orders from Commodore Hollins. "But," says the Colonel, "you must and shall go, for by — they sent up to me for a box of percussion-caps, and I have brought down a box of cigars!"

Again: A transport took on board at Eunice, Arkansas, a regiment of Secesh troops bound for Fort Pillow. The night before reaching their destination the bar-keeper found that a ten-gallon keg of whisky had been stolen from the bar by some one of the soldiers, and made complaint to the Colonel. The Colonel said he would try to discover the thief; and so, when the men were landed next day, ordered that every box, barrel, or package capable of containing the missing keg should be searched on its passage ashore. The search was made, but the keg could not be found.

About two weeks afterward the Colonel had occasion to take passage on the same boat. He was asked whether he had found out any thing about the keg of whisky. He replied: "Yes, I know all about it. I found the keg empty in camp the day after we landed. Suspecting a roguish whisky-loving scamp of having something to do with its theft, I called him up and said to him if he would tell me how he got the keg ashore I would let him off. 'Now,' says he, 'Colonel, if you'll be as good as your word, I'll tell you. I just put the keg in the bass-drum, headed the drum up, and carried the whisky ashore in that.' "

"Katy, have you laid the table-cloth and plates yet?" "An' sure I have, mem—every thing but the eggs; an' isn't that Biddy's work, surely?"

Old Bones is strongly opposed to exertion of any kind. In fact, he is one of the laziest men alive. Not long since he was taken ill very suddenly, and he sent in hot haste for Doctor Dobbs. The Doctor is a wiry little man, ever on the move, and rather sarcastic in his remarks. On arriving he asked Bones how he felt. "Ah, Doctor," said he, with a most wobegone visage, "it's all up with me. I feel that I can not survive long." "Bosh!" interrupted the Doctor, impatiently; "you'll never die." "Never die, Doctor! why not?" "Because you're too lazy to give the last kick."

What a noise and a fuss there has been made about changing names! Of course, all the bother has been raised by gentlemen. Now we must say in favor of the beautiful sex that we do not know a single young lady (we say advisedly, a single young lady) who would have been half so particular. On the contrary, we do not know any persons who change their names with a greater willingness and a more becoming grace than ladies. In fact, we believe that the sooner they change them the better they are pleased.

If a woman does not speak her secrets with her lips, she is sure to tell them in her letters. Her pen is certain to split."

Sydney Smith says in one of his letters, "I have seven or eight complaints, but in all other respects I am perfectly well."

A lady, walking a few days since on the promenade at Brighton, asked a sailor whom she met why a ship was called "she." The son of Neptune replied that it was "because the rigging costs so much."

When Jemima went to school she was asked why the noun "bachelor" was singular? "Because," she replied, "it is so very singular that they don't get married."

"I am burning to be at the enemy again!" as the man whose physician had advised him to give up smoking remarked when he lit a fresh cigar.

If there are sixteen nails in one yard, how is it that there ought never to be more than five nails to a foot?

TO STUDENTS IN ARITHMETIC.—If four dogs, with sixteen legs, can catch twenty-nine rabbits, with eighty-seven legs, in forty-four minutes, how many legs must the same rabbits have to get away from eight dogs, with thirty-two legs, in seventeen minutes and a half?

An old gentleman, on retiring from business, gave the following sage advice to his son and successor: "Common sense, my son, is valuable in all kinds of business—except love-making."

A musician near Eccles, in Lancashire, one George Sharp, had his name painted on his door thus—G Sharp. A wag of a painter, who knew something of music, early one morning made the following significant, undeniable addition—is A flat.

"Your Honor was right and I was wrong—as your Honor is very apt to be," said a distinguished counselor to a presiding judge.

"One half of this generation," said an old maid, "are born to be the wives of the other half, and the mothers of all the rest."

A lady complaining that her husband was dead to fashionable amusements, he replied, "But then, my dear, you make me alive to the expense."

When the thermometer falls, how often, on an average, does it break?

The Bath Times speaks of men who "worship the rising sin." True enough; prosperous sin always finds worshipers.

There's no use in your ever taking a lazy man to task. He won't perform it if you do.

The richest man on earth is but a pauper fed and clothed by the bounty of Heaven.

Mrs. Partington says that Ike has got a horse so spirituous that it always goes off in a decanter.

In a hot summer, when there is most thirst, there are fewest brooks. So of many people's charity, it is rarest when most needed.

Jones thinks that, instead of giving credit to whom credit is due, the cash had better be paid.

Little girls believe in a man in the moon; young ladies in a man in the honey-moon.


ON Wednesday, March 4, the Thirty-seventh Congress terminated at noon. Nearly all the important measures for the support of the Government which were brought before Congress passed both Houses. None of the bills designed to assist the States in effecting the emancipation of slaves were successful in passing. The bills to admit the Territories of Nebraska, Nevada, and Colorado as States failed to get through both Houses for want of time.

Soon after the adjournment of both Houses of Congress the Senate met in extraordinary session, in accordance with the President's call; but beyond the election of Senator Foot, of Vermont, as presiding officer pro tem., and the administration of the oath of office to new members, little business was transacted.

On Thursday, 5th, the Senate sat again in extra session. Mr. Thomas A. Hendricks, of Indiana, and Mr. William Sprague, of Rhode Island, were sworn in as Senators, and took their seats. The President pro tem., Senator Foot, was authorized to appoint the standing committees. A resolution was adopted, returning to President Lincoln all the military nominations which expired with the late Senate. But little other business was transacted.

On Friday, 6th, in the Senate, the standing committees were announced by the President pro tem., Senator Foot. A resolution was introduced for the printing of ten thousand copies of the mechanical part of the Patent Office report, and four thousand copies of the acts and joint resolutions of the late session of Congress. The proposed additional rule of the Senate was called up. It requires that the oath of loyalty passed by Congress in July last shall be subscribed to by members of the Senate and House of Representatives. A long debate took place on the proposition to enforce the rule; but, without doing so, the Senate went into executive session. During the day several messages were received from the President. On the conclusion of the executive session discussion was resumed on the proposal to administer to the new Senators the "loyal oath," after which Senator Foot took the oath, and all the

new Senators present followed his example. Without transacting any other business the Senate adjourned.

On Saturday, 7th, in the Senate, Senator Doolittle took the oath of loyalty prescribed by the act of July, 1862, as other newly elected Senators did on the previous day. The resolution to print ten thousand copies of the mechanical part of the Patent Office report, and four thousand copies of the acts and joint resolutions of the late session, was adopted. The Senate then went into executive session on the Presidential nominations, and, on the opening of the doors, adjourned.

On Monday, 9th, and Tuesday, 10th, the Senate confirmed some nominations and adjourned.


The President issued on 10th an important proclamation on the matter of soldiers absent from their regiments without leave. He gives a few days' grace to all such, up to the 1st of April, at which time all those who report themselves to the nearest head-quarters, as designated by a previous order of the Secretary of War, will be restored to their respective regiments without punishment; but those who do not will be arrested as deserters and dealt with as the law directs. He warns evil-disposed persons not to give aid to the rebellion by encouraging desertion, thus weakening the strength of the armies, and exposing those troops in the field to additional danger. He calls upon all good citizens to assist in preventing disaffected parties from urging the desertion of soldiers and discouraging enlistments.


The rebels, under Captain Mosely, made an attack on Fairfax Court House on the 8th, about 2 o'clock A.M., capturing General H. Stoughton, who was in command there, together with all the men detached from his brigade, 110 horses, and the patrols of the Provost Marshal. He entered the place during a violent rain storm, and took the head-quarters of the General completely by surprise. An orderly who escaped and returned to Fairfax states that the enemy were retreating, with our cavalry in close pursuit, and that they were running so hastily for their lives that they abandoned thirty of the prisoners they had previously captured.


The Richmond journals of the 6th inst. contain the extraordinary rumors that the Indianola has been blown up by the rebels, but that her armament fell into the hands of the Federals. Admiral Porter dispatched to Washington on 8th that both the Indianola and Webb were destroyed in the late engagement.

The rebel papers further state the rebel Van Dorn repulsed a Union force near Franklin on the 1st inst., and captured 2200 officers and men. An attack on Port Hudson by General Banks's forces was looked upon in Richmond as immediate.


The story of the total destruction of the rebel steamer Nashville, in the Ogeechee River, near Savannah, is confirmed by the Richmond papers, which state that she grounded on the bar before Fort McAllister on the 27th ult., and was discovered by the Union fleet, one of which opened fire on her for two hours and a half, and finally got a shell on board, which set her on fire, and left her a complete wreck. During the attack the fort kept up a fire on the Union gun-boat, and hit her twice. The gun-boat returned the shots, but, as far as known, did no damage to Fort McAllister.


Our news from Nashville reports a further renewal of the fight between our troops and the rebels under Van Dorn, at Springville, near Franklin, Tennessee, on 5th. General Van Dorn is said to have eighteen thousand men under his command, and the Union force, being very inferior in numbers, were defeated. Three regiments of infantry, under Coburn, of the Thirty-third Indiana, were entirely cut to pieces or captured. The cavalry and artillery, numbering five hundred of the former, and one battery, escaped. The men fought splendidly throughout the whole day; but the heavy fire of the enemy's batteries in front, and the movements of vastly superior numbers on their flanks, were too much for them. General Gilbert was expected to come up with reinforcements from Franklin, but he did not arrive.


The Army of the Potomac has been making a demonstration. An expedition, under Colonel Phelps, which left Belle Plain in steamers on Tuesday for Northumberland County, made a most successful thing of it, and returned to head-quarters on 6th. The troops visited Heathsville, which they found deserted by the rebels. Then, throwing out large foraging parties from that base into Lancaster County and in other directions, they succeeded in capturing one thousand bushels of corn, fifty horses and mules, a large number of fine beef cattle and quite an amount of medical stores. Two post-offices and several stores were visited, and two important rebel mails captured. The cavalry also seized a large number of horses and mules, and are now on their way overland to Fredericksburg. Some prisoners were also taken, among them Colonel Claybrook, a prominent rebel officer, and two clerks of the departments at Richmond, with a quantity of correspondence for citizens of Baltimore, and official papers addressed to parties in London, to the care of Baring Brothers. The country was quite deserted and almost barren of every thing.




THERE was a great demonstration at the Amphitheatre in Liverpool on the 19th ult., in support of President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. The Liverpool Post says that a more unanimous meeting was never witnessed on any question on which public opinion has been divided. Resolutions applauding the course of Mr. Lincoln on the slavery question, and an address to be presented to him through Mr. Adams were adopted. Some uproar and confusion occurred toward the conclusion of the meeting; but with this exception every thing passed off very happily. On the same evening a meeting was held at Carlisle, and a similar series of resolutions were carried with enthusiasm, and almost unanimously. The conduct of the Lord Mayor of London in feting Mr. Mason, the Minister of the Confederate Government, was strongly reprobated at the Carlisle gathering.


The latest reports from the Continent of Europe inform us that the rebel agents had succeeded in effecting a large loan of money based on cotton at a fixed price, or cotton at option, at seven per cent. Paris letters, dated on the 20th ult. say that the contract for the Confederate loan had been received for three millions of pounds sterling in bonds at seven per cent., exchangeable for cotton at option. The London Times, in its city article, says: "The cotton thus hypothecated will be first available for shipment to Europe," as the government—rebel it is to be presumed—possesses all the means of transport from the interior to the ports.



The papers publish the proclamation of General Forey to the Mexican people, signalizing his intended and immediate advance upon the City of the Montezumas. The fate of Mexico is therefore in the balance. Although the French General speaks with words of softness to the inhabitants of this invaded land, we must not doubt that he will fight his way furiously to the long-coveted capital. The accounts of his movements are so uncertain that we know not whether he intends to storm the heights of Puebla or endeavor to turn that formidable position. As the day for the French advance was fixed for the 21st or 22d of last month, it is evident, unless some serious obstacles interposed, that the coup de grace has already been struck. General Forey does not seem so confident of success as his partisans may be inclined to believe; but as the die is now cast, Mexico must either be lost or won.


"The Pecari, or Mexican Pig, is a very dangerous animal. There is a story related of a French traveler who climbed up a tree to escape from a drove of them; but the creatures remained around the tree until the fugitive dropped down from exhaustion, and very soon there was nothing of him left but the first letters of his name, which were L. N."—Natural History of Mexico.





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