Sinking of the "Keokuk"


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, May 2, 1863

This site features all the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. These newspapers are full of incredible illustrations and news reports on the War, created within hours of the events depicted.

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


Working Cotton

Slaves Working Cotton

Ironclad Warfare

Ironclad Warfare

Shooting of Kimball

Shooting of Colonel Kimball


Suffolk, Virginia

Keokuk Sinking

Sinking of the "Keokuk"

Army Review

Review of the Army of the Potomac

Confiscation of Cotton

Yankee Doodle

Yankee Doodle Cartoon

Lincln on a Horse

Abraham Lincoln on Horseback

Defenses Around Charleston

Charleston Defenses

Attack on Fort Sumter

Attack of Fort Sumter

President Lincoln Reviews Troops

President Lincoln Reviews the Army of the Potomac



MAY 2, 1863.]



"Why, my dear, that phrase about the sea does not mean any thing. I shall have you believing that Mr. So-and-So, a novelist, can 'wither fashionable folly,' and that 'a painful incident' to one shopkeeper has 'thrown a gloom' over a whole market-town, and so on. Nowadays every third phrase is of this character; a starling's note. Once, it appears, there was an age of gold, and then came one of iron, and then of brass. All these are gone, and the age of 'jargon' has succeeded."

She sighed, and Sampson took a "tremendous header" off the sea-side novel into the sea of fiction. He rechristened that joyous art Feckshin, and lashed its living professors. "You devour their three volumes greedily," said he, "but after your meal you feel as empty as a drrum; there is no leading idea in 'um; now, there always is in Moliere: and he comprehended the midicine of his age. But what fundamental truth d'our novelists iver convey? All they can do is pile incidents. Their customers dictate th' article: unideaed melodrama for unideaed girls. The writers and their feckshins belong to one species, and that's 'the non-vertebrated animals;' and their midicine is Bosh; why they bleed still for falls and fevers; and niver mention vital chronometry. Then they don't look straight at Nature, but see with their ears, and repeat one another twelve deep. Now, listen me! there are the cracters for an 'ideaed feckshin' in Barkington, and I'd write it, too, only I haven't time, ye know."

At this, Julia, forgetting her resolution, broke out, "Romantic characters in Barkington? Who? who?"

"Who should they be, but my pashints? Ay, ye may lauch, Miss Julee, but wait till ye see them." He was then seized with a fit of candor, and admitted that some, even of his pashints, were colorless; indeed, not to mince the matter, six or seven of that sacred band were nullity in person. "I can compare the beggars to nothing," said he, "but the globules of the Do-Nothings; dee—d insipid, and nothing in 'em. But the others make up. Man alive, I've got 'a rosy checked miser,' and an 'ill-used attorney,' and an 'honest Screw,' he is a gardener, with a hid like a cart-horse."

"Mamma! mamma! that is Mr. Maxley," cried Julia, clapping her hands, and thawing in her own despite.

"Then there's my virgin martyr, and my puppy; they are brother and sister; and there's their father, but he is an impenetrable dog—won't unbosom. Howiver, he sairves to draw chicks for the other two, and so keep 'em goen. By-the-by, you know my puppy."

"We have not that honor. Do we know Dr. Sampson's puppy, love?" inquired Mrs. Dodd, rather languidly.

"Mamma!— I — I — know no one of that name."

"Don't tell me! Why it was he sent me here: told me where you lived, and I was to make haste, for Miss Dodd was very ill: it is young Hardie, the banker's son, you know."

Mrs. Dodd said, good-humoredly, but with a very slight touch of irony, that really they were very much flattered by the interest Mr. Alfred Hardie had shown; especially as her daughter had never exchanged ten words with him. Julia colored at this statement, the accuracy of which she had good reason to doubt; and the poor girl felt as if an icicle passed swiftly along her back. And then, for the first time in her life, she thought her mother hardly gracious; and she wanted to say she was obliged to Mr. Alfred Hardie, but dared not, and despised herself for not daring. Her composure was further attacked by Mrs. Dodd looking full at her, and saying, interrogatively, "I wonder how that young gentleman could know about your being ill?"

At this Julia eyed her plate very attentively, and murmured, "I believe it is all over the town: and seriously too, so Mrs. Maxley says; for she tells me that, in Barkington, if more than one doctor is sent for, that bodes ill for the patient."

"Deevelich ill," cried Sampson, heartily:

"For two physicians, like a pair of oars,

Conduck him faster to the Styjjin shores."*

Julia looked him in the face, and coldly ignored this perversion of Mrs. Maxley's meaning; and Mrs. Dodd returned pertinaciously to the previous topic. "Mr. Alfred Hardie interests me: he was good to Edward. I am curious to know why you call him a puppy?"

"Only because he is one, ma'am. And that is no reason at all with 'the Six.' He is a juveneel pidant, and a puppy, and contradicts ivery new truth, bekase it isn't in Aristotle and th' Eton grammar; and he's such a chatter-box, ye can't get in a word idgeways; and he and his sister —that's my virgin martyr—are a farce. He keeps sneerin' at her relijjin, and that puts her in such a rage, she thritens 't' intercede for him at the Throne.' "

"Jargon," sighed Mrs. Dodd, and just shrugged her lovely shoulders. "We breathe it—we float in an atmosphere of it. My love?" And she floated out of the room, and Julia floated after.

"You look flushed, love," was Mrs. Dodd's first word in the drawing-room. "Lie on the sofa a minute, and compose yourself."

Sampson made grog and sipped it, meditating on the gullibility of man in matters medical. This favorite speculation detained him late, and almost his first word on entering the drawing-room was, "Good-night, little girl."

Julia colored at this broad hint, drew herself up, and lighted a bed-candle. She went to Mrs. Dodd, kissed her, and whispered in her ear, "I hate him!" and, as she retired, her whole elegant person launched lady-like defiance; under which brave exterior no little uneasiness was



hidden. "O, what will become of me!" thought she, "if he has gone and told him about Henley."

"Let's see the prescriptions, ma'am," said Dr. Sampson.

Delighted at this concession, Mrs. Dodd took them out of her desk and spread them earnestly. He ran his eye over them, and pointed out that the mucous membrane man and the nerve man had prescribed the same medicine, on irreconcilable grounds; and a medicine, moreover, whose effect on the nerves was nil, and on the mucous membrane was not to soothe it, but plow it and harrow it; "and did not that open her eyes?" He then reminded her that all these doctors in consultation would have contrived to agree. "But you," said he, "have baffled the collusive swindle by which Dox arrived at a sham uniformity—honest uniformity can never exist till scientific principles obtain." Then, with a sudden start, he compared her to Daniel. He was very fond of comparisons. "Danle," said he, "questioned those two elderly blaggrds apart, and thin they couldn't agree in a lie, ye know, all for want of a 'consultashin.' So says you, 'Well done, Danle, my lad.' "

"My dear friend, I am not so familiar—with giants—as you do me the honor to imagine."

"Whist! Whist! and you said, 'I'll do a bit o' Danle."'

"Oh, quelle horreur!" cried Mrs. Dodd, in unfeigned disgust.

"Listme! All four, been Danled, told y' a different lie; and disn't that open your eyes? Sceince, indeed! Put an easy question t' any real sceince; will it sing ye four songs as wide apart as the four winds of Hiven? Take a pashint and his case to four lawyers, the most abused of all Sceince's sons; will they fling him four impident guesses a thousand miles wide of each other; and ten thousand from the truth?"

Mrs. Dodd seemed dazzled by this observation, and bowed her head in reluctant assent.

"Ye begin to see through 'em? Now then, post nubila Phoebus: that is not donkey Latin, ma'am, but the real article, and means, 'After four muddlehids see one Sampsin work.' To begin, is the pashint in love?"

The doctor put this query in just the same tone in which they inquire, "any expectoration?" But Mrs. Dodd, in reply, was less dry and business-like. She started and looked aghast. This possibility had once, for a moment, occurred to her, but only to be rejected, the evidence being all against it.

"In love?" said she. "That child, and I not know it!"

He said he had never supposed that. "But I thought I'd just ask ye; because she has no bodily ailment, and the paassions are all counterfeit diseases; they are connected, like all diseases, with cerebral instability, have their heats and chills, like all diseases, and their paroxysms and remissions, like all diseases. Nlistme! You have detected the sighs of a slight cerebral instability; I have ascertained th' absence of all physical cause: then why make this healthy pashint's buddy a test-tube for poisons? Sovereign drugs (I deal with no other, I leave the nullities to the noodles) are either counterpoisons, or poisons, and here there is nothing to counterpoison at prisent. So I'm for caushin, and working on the safe side th' hidge, and that's the mintal; till we are less in the dark. Mind ye, young women at her age are kittle cattle; they have gusts o' this, and gusts o' that, th' unreasonable imps. D'ye see these two pieces pasteboard? They are tickets for a ball,

In Barkton town-hall."

"Yes, of course I see them," said Mrs. Dodd, dolefully.

"Well, I prescribe 'em. And when they have been taken,

And the pashint well shaken,

perhaps we shall see whether we are on the right system: and if so, we'll dose her with youthful soceity in a more irrashinal forrm; conversaziones, cookeyshines, et citera. And if we find ourselves on the wrong tack, why then we'll hark back.

Stick blindly to 'a course,' the dockers cry.

But it does me harm! Then 'twill do good by-an-by.

Where lairned ye that, Echoes of Echoes, say!

The killer plows 'a course,' the healer 'FEELS HIS WAY.' "

So mysterious are the operations of the human mind, that, when we have exploded in verse meritorious as the above, we lapse into triumph instead of penitence. Not that doggrel meets with reverence here below—the statues to it are few, and not in marble, but in the material itself—but then an impromptu! A moment ago, our Posy was not: and now is. With the speed, if not the brilliancy, of lightning, we have added a handful to the intellectual dust-heap of an oppressed nation. From this bad eminence Sampson then looked down complacently, and saw Mrs. Dodd's face as long as his arm. She was one that held current opinions; and the world does not believe Poetry can sing the Practical; verse and useful knowledge pass for incompatibles; and though Doggrel is not Poetry, yet it has a lumbering proclivity that way, and so forfeits the confidence of grave, sensible people. This versification, and this impalpable and unprecedented prescription she had waited for so long, seemed all of a piece to poor mamma; wild, unpractical, and—oh, horror!—eccentric.

Sampson read her sorrowful face after his fashion. "Oh, I see, ma'am," cried he. "Cure is not welcome unless it comes in the form consecrated by cinturies of slaughter. Well, then, give me a sheet!" He took the paper and rent it asunder, and wrote this on the larger fragment:

R. Die Mercur. circa x. hor: vespert:

eat in musca ad Proetorium.

Saltet cum xiii canicul:

proesertim meo. Dom: reddita,

6 hora matutin: dormiat ad prand

Repetat stultit: pro re nata.

He handed this with a sort of spiteful twinkle to Mrs. Dodd, and her countenance lightened again. Her sex will generally compound with whoever can give as well as take. Now she had extracted a real, grave, prescription, she acquiesced in the ball, though not a county one; "to satisfy your whim, my good kind friend, to whom I owe so much."

Sampson called on his way back to town, and, in course of conversation, praised Nature for her beautiful instincts, one of which, he said, had inspired Miss Juice, at a credulous age, not to swallow "the didly drastics o' the tinkerin dox."

Mrs. Dodd smiled, and requested permission to contradict him; her daughter had taken the several prescriptions.

Sampson inquired brusquely if she took him for a fool.

She replied calmly: "No; for a very clever, but rather opinionated personage."

"Opininated? So is ivory man who has grounds for his opinin. D'ye think, because Dockers Short, an' Bist, an' Kinyon, an' Cuckoo, an' Jackdaw, an' Starling, an' Co., don't know the dire effecks of calomel an' drastics on the buddy, I don't know't? Her eye, her tongue, her skin, her voice, her elastic walk, all tell me she has not been robbed of her vital resources. Why, if she had taken that genteel old thief Short's rimidies alone, the girl's gums would be sore,

And herself at Dith's door."

Mrs. Dodd was amused. "Julia, this is so like the gentlemen; they are in love with Argument. They go on till they reason themselves out of their Reason. Why beat about the bush; when there she sits?"

"What, go t' a wumman for the truth, when I can go t' infallible Inference?"

"You may always go to my David's daughter for the truth," said Mrs. Dodd, with dignity. She then looked the inquiry; and Julia replied to her look as follows: first, she colored very high; then, she hid her face in both her hands; then, rose and turning her neck swiftly, darted a glance of fiery indignation and bitter reproach on Dr. Meddlesome, and left the apartment mighty stag-like.

"Maircy on us!" cried Sampson. "Did ye see that, ma'am? Yon's just a bonny basilisk. Another such thunder-bolt as she dispinsed, and ye'll be ringing for the maid to sweep up the good physician's ashes."

Julia did not return till the good physician was gone back to London. Then she came in with a rush, and, demonstrative toad, embraced Mrs. Dodd's knees, and owned she had cultivated her geraniums with all those medicines, liquid and solid; and only one geranium had died of them.

There is a fascinating age, when an intelligent virgin is said to fluctuate between childhood and womanhood. Let me add that these seeming fluctuations depend much on the company she is in; the budding virgin is princess of chameleons: and, to confine ourselves to her two most piquant contrasts, by her mother's side she is always more or less childlike: but, let a nice young fellow engage her apart, and, hey presto! she shall be every inch a woman; perhaps at no period of her life are the purely mental characteristics of her sex so supreme in her: so her type, the rose-bud, excels in essence of rosehood the rose itself.

My reader has seen Julia Dodd play both parts; but it is her child's face she has now been turning for several pages; so it may be prudent to remind him she has shone on Alfred Hardie in but one light; a young, but Juno-like, woman. Had she shown "my puppy" her childish qualities, he would have despised her; he had left that department himself so recently. But Nature guarded the budding fair from such a disaster.

We left Alfred Hardie standing in the moonlight gazing at her lodging. Sudden! But, let slow coaches deny it as loudly as they like, fast coaches exist; and Love is a passion, which like Hate, Envy, Avarice, etc., has risen to a great height in a single day. Not that Alfred's was "Love at first sight," for he had seen her beauty in the full blaze of day with no deeper feeling than admiration; but in the moonlight he came under more sovereign spells than a fair face: among these were her virtues and her voice. The narrative of their meeting has indicated the first, and, as to the latter, Julia was not one of those whose beauty goes out with a candle. Her voice was that rich, mellow, moving organ, which belongs to no rank nor station; is born, not made, and, flow it from the lips of dairy-maid or countess, touches every heart, gentle or simple, that is truly male. And this divine contralto, full, yet penetrating, Dame Nature had inspired her to lower when she was moved or excited, instead of raising it; and then she was enchanting. All unconsciously she cast this crowning spell on Alfred, and he adored her. In a word, he caught a child-woman away from its mother; his fluttering captive turned, put on composure, and bewitched him.

She left him, and the moonlight night seemed to blacken. But within his young breast all was light, new light. He leaned opposite her window in an Elysian reverie, and let the hours go by. He seemed to have vegetated till then, and lo! true life had dawned. He thought he should love to die for her. And, when he was calmer, he felt he was to live for her, and welcomed his destiny with rapture. He passed the rest of the Oxford term in a soft ecstasy; called often on Edward, and took a sudden and prodigious interest in him; and counted the days glide by and the happy time draw near, when he should be four months in the same town with his enchantress. This one did not trouble the doctors; he glowed with a steady fire; no heats and chills,

and sad misgivings; for one thing he was not a woman, a being tied to that stake, Suspense, and compelled to wait, and wait, for others' actions. As the inveterate Sampson would say:

He had the luck to be a male,

So, like a rat without a tail,

Could do, could do, could do.

Meantime, life's path seemed paved with roses, and himself to march it in eternal sunshine, buoyed by perfumed wings.

He came to Barkington to try for the lovely prize. Then first he had to come down from love's sky, and realize how hard it is here below to court a young lady—who is guarded by a mother — without an introduction in the usual form. The obvious course was to call on Edward. Having parted from him so lately he forced himself to wait a few days, and then set out for Albion Villa.

As he went along, he arranged the coming dialogue for all the parties; Edward was to introduce him, Mrs. Dodd to recognize his friendship for her son, he was to say he was the gainer by it; Julia, silent at first, was to hazard a timid observation, and he to answer gracefully, and draw her out, and find how he stood in her opinion. The sprightly affair should end by his inviting Edward to dinner. That should lead to their inviting him in turn, and then he should get a word with Julia, and find out what houses she visited, and get introduced to their proprietors; arrived at this point, his mind went over hedge and ditch faster than my poor pen can follow. As the crow flies, so flew he, and had reached the church-porch under a rain of nosegays with Julia—in imagination—by then he arrived at Albion Villa in the body. Yet he knocked timidly; his heart beat almost as hard as his hand.

Sarah, the black-eyed house-maid, "answered the door."


ON page 285 we publish an illustration of the BOMBARDMENT OF FORT SUMTER by the iron-clads under Admiral Du Pont, on 7th April, and on page 276 an illustration of the


on the following morning. We gave in our last number an account of the affair, but will make room here for an extract from the graphic letter of the Times correspondent. After describing how the Ironsides was disabled by the current, he adds:

In this plight it only remained for Admiral Du Pont to signal to the fleet to disregard the movements of the flag-ship. This he did, and the ships then assumed such positions as were available and they could gain, the whole number being at the mouth of the harbor, between Cumming's Point and Sullivan's Island, and opposite the northeast and eastern face of Fort Sumter, at distances of from six hundred to a thousand yards. While the manoeuvres rapidly indicated in these paragraphs are going on, you must not suppose the enemy is inactive. The powerful work on Cumming's Point, named Battery B, opens; the long range rifle ordnance of Fort Beauregard join in; Moultrie hurls its heavy metal; the fifty guns that lino the Redan swell the fire; and the tremendous armament of Sumter vomits forth its fiery hail.

There now ensues a period of not more than thirty minutes, which forms the climax and white heat of the fight; for though from the time when fire was opened on the head of the approaching line to the time when the retiring fleet passed out of the enemy's range there was an interval of two hours and a half (from half past two till five), yet the essence of the fight was shut up in those thirty tremendous minutes.

The best resources of the descriptive art, I care not in whose hand, are feeble to paint so terrific and awful a reality. Such a fire, or any thing even approaching it, was simply never seen before. The mailed ships are in the focus of a concentric fire of the five powerful works already indicated, from which they are removed only from five to eight hundred yards, and which in all could not have mounted less than three hundred guns; and, understand, these not the lighter ordnance, such as 32 or 42 pounders, which form the ordinary armament of forts, but of the very heaviest calibre—the finest and largest guns from the spoils of the Norfolk Navy-yard, the splendid and heavy 10 and 11 inch gnus cast at the Tredegar Works, and the most approved English rifled guns (Whitworth and others) of the largest calibre made.

There was something almost pathetic in the spectacle of those little floating circular towers, exposed to the crushing weight of those tons of metal, hurled against them with the terrific force of modern projectiles, and with such charges of powder as were never before dreamed of in artillery firing. During the climax of the fire a hundred and sixty shots were counted in a single minute! Some of the commanders of the iron-clads afterward told me that the shot struck their vessels as fast as the ticking of a watch; and not less than 3500 rounds could have been fired by the rebels during the brief engagement.

It was less of the character of an ordinary artillery duel, and more of the proportions of a war of the Titans in the elder mythologies.

While the fleet is receiving the fire from the forts, what, iu the mean time, are the iron-clads doing in return?

On the order being given to disregard the movements of the flag-ship, the brilliantly-audacious Rhind ran his vessel, the Keokuk, up through the others, and laid it seemingly under the very walls of Sumter, and within a little more than five hundred yards from it. Close behind him, within six hundred yards of the fort, is the Catskill, commanded by George Pogers, a soul of courage all compact; and to both of them one could not help applying the exclamation of Nelson at Trafalgar, "See how Coilingwood, that noble fellow, carries his ship into the fight!"

Close by is the Montauk, commanded by the heroic Worden; while not far removed are the Passaic, the Patapsco, the Nahant, the Nantucket, the Weehawken, and the Ironsides.

The whole fleet is devoting itself mainly to the face of Fort Sumter presented to it, with the exception of the Ironsides, which, from its position, can do better work oa Fort Moultrie, and is pouring forth its terrific broadside from its seven 10-inch guns on that work.

Of the sinking of the Keokuk the Tribune correspondent says:

Almost my first look from the spar-deck this morning fell upon a sad sight. The Keokuk was sinking. She had anchored on the bar during the night. Her crew had been busy ever since last evening trying to keep her afloat by plugging the holes at her water-line. But at daybreak a stiff breeze set the sea rolling, rendering their attempts futile. Captain Rhind hoisted a signal of distress at about 7, but it remained unnoticed until nearly 8, when the tug Dandelion came alongside the sinking craft. Through the strenuous efforts of her captain, Acting Master Barrymore, every soul on board was saved, with a loss, however, of all they had.

The rebels came down to the beach in crowds and watched the operation. They were only five hundred yards' distance, but did not open fire on our people, and were not molested by the gun-boats.




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