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Civil War Harper's Weekly, March 7, 1863

We have posted our entire collection of Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers online for your research and enjoyment. These old newspapers contain fascinating images and stories of the key elements of the War, and offer unique insights into this conflict.

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



Nicholas Longworth

Jewish Persecution

Jewish Persecution

Queen of the West

Capture of the Queen of the West

Paying Teamsters

Paying Teamsters

Free People, Long War

How Free People Conduct a Long War

Battle of Vicksburg

Battle of Vicksburg


Madisonville, Louisiana

New Orleans

Poor of New Orleans



Vicksburg Blockade Runner

Running the Blockade at Vicksburg

Vicksburg Battle

Picture of the Battle of Vicksburg

Vicksburg Map

Map of Vicksburg

Napoleon Cartoon

Napoleon Cartoon



MARCH 7, 1863.]




OUR special correspondent, Mr. Hamilton, keeps us supplied with illustrations of affairs in General Banks's Department. We reproduce some of them herewith. The cuts on the opposite page illustrate the


Mr. Hamilton writes:

After about half an hour's ride, by railway, from New Orleans, we arrived at Port Hickok, on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain, where the Lake House is situated, at the end of the famous shell-road, the "Bloomingdale" of New Orleans. The scene presented here was really very striking and beautiful. The day was bright and lovely; hundreds of people—a large proportion of them gayly-dressed ladies—had collected there, some to leave for Dixie, and others to say farewell to those who were going. The J. D. Brown was there, rolling out its dense volumes of smoke, and an immense array of vehicles of all sorts were congregated. In the balconies, on the bridge, and in the large white space in front of the Lake House, the whole place was swarming.

This was the second trip of the kind, and, owing to its having been discovered that the first had been used as a means for smuggling goods into Secessia, the authorities had caused it to be published in the papers that every body—ladies included—would undergo a rigid search. This caused no little flutter and excitement among the crinoline.

They were ushered into a separate room, where ladies of high respectability were employed to conduct the necessary investigation. I saw many a pretty pair of rosy lips emerge, pouting dreadfully at having been obliged to prove whether her plump little figure owed all its sweetness to the gifts of nature, or to sundry packages of bitter quinine stuffed artfully about her; and whether in that cunning little envelope, so stealthily concealed in her bosom, the balls alluded to meant fancy balls or cannon-balls. I heard some very angry comments made upon their searching "even the stockings of children;" but this was very natural, for a vast amount of knowledge about infantry can be conveyed by a small slip of paper in a baby's stocking.

When we had all got on board the T. D. Brown, at about 10 A. M., and she began to move off, the scene was really picturesque and exciting. Such a waving of handkerchiefs, red and white scarfs, and other secesh emblems—such adieux and kissing of hands—I never saw before. I noticed some few weeping on the shore; but the general feeling, both on board and on land, was one wild, open, defiant outburst of disloyalty, in which no check whatever was put upon expressions for the rebel Government, though in the hearing of our own officers.

"Feel humiliated?" shouted one female from the shore.

"No, indeed!" scornfully replied a fair one near me at the bulwarks.

"That's right, dear; never say that word."

"I've seen him, dear: you'll be comfortable enough," screams another in the crowd.

"Who?" asks the lady on board so addressed.

"Colonel Clark,* to be sure. Who else did you think?"

"Give my love to all our friends, Mary," cries an old lady.

"Yes, ma; I'm going to give my love to every body and every

thing I meet."

So they went on, running along a steep slip of land to keep pace with the boat, about a hundred of them, ladies and all, scrambling through the mud, until the land coming to an abrupt stop, they could go no farther; and they gave a parting cheer as we got out of the basin on the broad surface of the lake.

We steered due north, right across Lake Pontchartrain, and, entering the small Chefunctee River or Bayou, got up to the little village called Madisonville about noon. Here we saw the Stars and Bars flying, and the place in command of Lieutenant M. Cassetty. Madisonville is very picturesque, the shore being covered with fine live-oak trees, whose enormous gnarled trunks and twisted roots look as if they have been defying the storms of centuries.

The enthusiasm and excitement of friends and relatives meeting were, of course, only a counterpart of what we had just seen at starting. We went ashore, but did not remain more than an hour. There was little information of any value to be obtained, beyond the fact that they were suffering much for many of the necessaries of life. Still, on the surface, there was no outward show of wretchedness.

On this page we give an illustration of


There are few questions of greater importance at present engaging the attention of General Banks than how to find food and employment for the 30,000 poor of New Orleans.

Previous to the change of administration in that city, General Butler had adopted a very simple and summary mode of overcoming this difficulty, which he often said outweighed all the other duties of his administration. He merely levied a per-centage upon the contributions which the rich secessionists of New Orleans had subscribed toward the rebellion, thus compelling them to alleviate the very misery they had caused.

Having thus raised the necessary funds, he issued his famous Special Order No. 244, authorizing the City Surveyor, Colonel T. B. Thorpe, to employ not less than 1000 workmen upon the streets, levees, canals, etc., married men with families to be always preferred, and each one to have the oath of allegiance in his pocket. By this admirable process, 30,000 people were weekly relieved, at an average cost (for labor and rations) of $23,000 per week; $10,000 for labor only, and $13,000 for provisions. Out of this large number of people only 1400 were really residents of the North; the remainder being foreigners or citizens of Louisiana and other Southern States, and over 5000 of these were women (old and young) who had openly acknowledged themselves to be the mothers and wives of Confederate soldiers in actual war against us!

As soon as General Banks arrived this policy was changed; the works on the streets were immediately suspended, the following week on canals, and by the commencement of February the whole had ceased.

The result of this was immediately felt. Hundreds of men of all ages and conditions collected every day round the City Hall, from morning till night, vainly imploring employment. In the interior of the building the scene was no less painful. Then the crowds perpetually besieged the powerless City Surveyor, and it was in vain he assured them that he had no longer the means of giving them aid or employment. Mothers came there with babes in their arms, tottering old men were there also, and also many a poor lady who—until this dreadful war broke out—had homes of comfort if not of luxury. It is one of these scenes in the City Surveyor's office which our artist has made the subject of his illustration.

We are glad to find, however, by our latest advices from New Orleans, that this serious state of affairs, if not completely removed, is now undergoing a change. The poor workmen, unable to hold out any longer, petitioned General Banks, who received them very kindly and promised to do all he could to assist them. He has taken steps to have 1400 men employed upon the Government works—a measure that will go far toward removing a source of evil that was really becoming quite alarming.


*General Banks's Chief of Staff, who was on board, and represented in the fore-ground of our sketch.—Ed.

Poor of New Orleans




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