Battle of Droop Mountain


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, November 21, 1863

We have brought our passion for old newspapers to this WEB site by posting our entire collection of Harper's Weekly to this site. You can browse this collection, and gain new perspective on the war. The papers include pictures and reports created by the people who watched the events happen.

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Russian Ball

Russian Ball

Marching Song

Marching Song

Droop Mountain

Battle of Droop Mountain


Rebel Guerrillas

East Tennessee

War in East Tennessee

Rush Street Bridge

Rush Street Bridge Accident

Under Fire

First Time Under Fire

Soldier's Story - Gettysburg


War in Tennessee

Blood Hounds

Hunting Men with Blood Hounds


Ballroom Dancing



William Hammond

William Hammond

Baldness Cure

Illinois Central

Illinois Central Railroad



NOVEMBER 21, 1863.]



(Previous Page) interested. Rather than that I much prefer my personal freedom of thought and action at home.

Very honestly and respectfully yours, etc.,


We advise every voter in Richmond, Queens, and Suffolk counties to cut out that letter and keep it, against the time when the district is looking for an able and faithful public servant.


THERE are six steam rams building in France for the rebels. It will be interesting to see what becomes of them. But whether they sail, or whether they are detained, they will certainly render us one service; they will enable us to see more distinctly than we have been willing to admit, that Louis Napoleon's France is quite as hostile to us as the British governing class. There seems to be no reason to suppose that Louis Napoleon will do differently from his ally. If it is worth while for England to stop the rams, it will hardly seem to Napoleon, upon general grounds, desirable to let them slip. But if he be resolved to remain in Mexico, the probability is that he will not detain them. Because to stay in Mexico securely he must do all that he can to keep this country distracted and divided. He will, of course, consider the risk of war and reprisals. But he has a trained army in Mexico—probably of not less than fifty thousand men—a fleet cruising in the Gulf and on the coast, and the six rams will be practically his ships. He will, therefore, have capital enough already here to begin the war upon. His army in Mexico will not be followed if he chooses to order it across the frontier, and it would be a weighty reinforcement to the rebels.

Would England call him to account? That is a question which Louis Napoleon will gravely ponder before he resolves. But all his plans—the Mexican conquest, the rams, and the possible aid to the rebels—hang together. If his Mexican policy be at all determined, it includes and modifies all the rest, and is an American policy. Our military situation, and the elections of the year, pronouncing unanimously for the Government and the war, can not but have great influence upon his decision, and it is not impossible that he may believe a restoration of the Union by military force might tax the resources of the nation for so long a time that he may, without fear of interference from us, establish and consolidate his power in Mexico. In that case he will detain the rams, avoiding any immediate occasion for war and relying upon the chances of the future.


You say that you are for the Union of course; but oh dear! the Union is gone. You declare that you are for the fighting it out; but oh dear! how comfortable things were four or five years ago. You insist that all the money should be supplied to the Government; but oh dear what reactions, and panics, and poverty are coming by-and-by. You will stand by the Government, of course, but oh dear! the age of statesmen has gone by.

How fortunate that Washington was not a dyspeptic, nor William of Orange, nor Lord Nelson. Fancy Nelson sailing in to the bay of Aboukir to engage the French fleet, and whining upon the quarter-deck, "I go for my country, of course, but oh dear! what has England to hope for? I shall fight it out, but oh dear! how nice it was when I was comfortably on shore. England expects every man to do his duty; but oh dear! how many legs and arms are going to be shot off. I stand by England, of course, but there's nobody fit to govern her." Wouldn't this have been inspiring? Wouldn't De Bruys have trembled had be heard it? Wouldn't the hearts of oak and the wooden walls of England have felt themselves become like iron under such an impetus?

You are but a dead drag upon the spirit with which alone this or any great war can be prosecuted. You give as much groaning as gold to the war, and while the gold furnishes arms to the soldier, the groan draws the charge. Why should any brave fellow fight for such a whining fellow-citizen as you? A nation of such whimperers and wan cynics would drive the earth off its axis. When men go into battle, good friend, they do not march to the dead march in Saul, but to Yankee Doodle, or Mourir pour la patrie!


THAT the soldiers may know how many and how constant are the works of patriotic women in their behalf, the Lounger prints an extract from a note lately received; "Can you find room in your columns for a notice of our little journal, its aims and objects? They are briefly expressed in the title—The Soldier's Aid.' We feel that our armies are fighting for us, for our lives, our safety, and our freedom; and all we ask is the privilege to work for and help those who suffer in our behalf, until the rebellion is crushed and the cause of order and freedom is victorious."

The little paper is issued by the Young Ladies' Aid Society of Rochester, and although the copy promised him has not reached the Lounger, he knows in advance, and gladly says, that its object and spirit are most timely and generous.


A RECENT Richmond Examiner contains a very important statement, which we wonder has not been made public by authority at Washington. "The Yanked Commissioner Meredith" said to Commissioner Robert Ould that Secretary Stanton had been opposed to any exchange of prisoners during the war, and that his policy had come to be the policy of his Government. Had it been earlier the practice of his Government it is pretty clear that the rebel army would be much weaker than it is, for there is no question that the paroled prisoners of the enemy are mustered into the rebel ranks. It is not surprising. It is but another proof of the curious dishonor of their conduct. It

is not surprising, for an insurrection headed by Davis, Mason, Toombs, and the rest, who did not hesitate to receive the money of the government they were plotting to overthrow, must be tainted throughout with their dishonor. The only way to meet the conduct of the rebels in arming our paroled prisoners against us is to refuse to parole them. It is hard for those of our army who are captured, but best soldiers whom we have heard speak of the policy approve it most heartily.


AMONG new and beautiful things we have seen nothing more delicate and interesting than the album pictures made by L. Prang in Boston. They are of the usual card-photograph size, and represent birds, flowers, autumn leaves, mosses, butterflies, and moths, humming birds, little landscapes, and figures of children. A friend of the Lounger's, and an expert in all such dainty matters of printing, says that in his opinion, and he is master of the subject, "They are the best specimens of color-printing ever done in this country upon so small a scale." It is easy to believe it, and to believe also that a man who has done so well will, as Mr. Prang says of himself, do better as fast as his machinery improves. The prints are neatly enveloped, are not dear, and the Lounger sincerely commends them as a most charming series for the album.


"Our Old Home" (Ticknor and Fields) is a collection of Mr. Hawthorne's delightful papers upon England. Their pure, sinewy, racy, idiomatic style is unsurpassed by the greatest masters of English literature. Their contemplative and subtle humor is delightful. Their sincerity is startling. The author unveils his mind with the confiding naivete of Charles Lamb. But the tone of doubt and indifference, occasionally insinuated, as to the tremendous struggle of civilization and barbarism which convulses his country, is so painful, that the reader is in danger of being invincibly repelled, as a man would be by the most charming companion who should prove to have no objection to infanticide. That the great English authors should cant and misrepresent our war is intelligible upon the assumption of their ignorance; but that one of the most gifted and fascinating of American writers should fail to see, or to care for, the very point of our contest is monstrous.

"The Social Condition and Education of the People in England," by Joseph Kay, M.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge, England (Harpers), is a book written by a most careful observer, himself an Englishman, at which John Bull may well stare aghast. We have already spoken of it; but it is a work of permanent instruction, which should be pondered by every man who is deeply interested in the progress of civilization. It is a curious companion to "Our Old Home" of Hawthorne or Irving's "Sketch Book."



'TIS only a short little poem,

Yet tender and threaded with woe;

And my heart knows the hand that hath summoned

These mem'ries from years long ago.


Oh! hand lying cold on the bosom,

One clasp of forgiveness I crave;

Too late Fate has heaped up relentless

Thy wrongs with the sod on thy grave.


But this, oh! how like an echo

It springs from the cavern of years;

The wail of a young life crushed, burdened

By hopeless repinings and tears.


He died like his hopes. 'Twas at Charleston,

He fought with his men brave and well;

He was earnest and true to his country

As he had been to me, but he fell.


His comrades—a few were beside him,

Companions in earlier time—

They heard as his lips last faint accents

With prayer breathed a name—it was mine!


They knew not his whole heart's sad story

Until, when they laid him to rest,

'Twas told in the death-grasp that fastened

My picture close over his breast.


The picture was old, worn and faded

By time, and well blistered with tears;

But the love of the heart it had covered

Could change not nor alter by years.


Oh! hero in Life and in Battle,

Fame may not thy glory record;

But ONE knew thy great heart's life-struggle,

And He shall give thee thy reward.


Oh, blest one! made perfect through suffering

And purified, thou canst behold,

Unblinded by wrong and by falsehood,

The truths that here could not be told.


Oh, spirit so patient and loving!

Oh, heart beating strong in the breast,

Oh, life worn with struggles and doubtings!

All, all is now ended in rest.


MARSHAL FOREY and his staff arrived at this port on 6th, on board the French frigate Panama, bound for France. The Marshal led the French troops at the taking of Puebla, and marched with his victorious army into Mexico.

Captain JOHN RODGERS has been ordered to the command of the iron-clad steamer Dictator, and Commander NICHOLSON to that of the steamer State of Georgia.

Commander COLLINS has been ordered to the command of the Wachusett, and Commander CLARY to the Dacotah. The Secretary of the Sanitary Commission acknowledges the receipt of $8267, the proceeds of entertainments in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, under the inspiration of Miss CHARLOTTE CUSHMAND, the celebrated actress.

It is rumored that General BURNSIDE'S resignation has been accepted, and it is probable that General FOSTER will succeed him in command of the Army of East Tennessee.

Lieutenant-Colonel LOOMIS, of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, at Germantown, Tennessee, was fatally shot by Major HERROD, of the same regiment, on the 2d inst., in the course of an altercation at the supper-table. The indignation of the soldiers against HERROD was so great that with difficulty they were prevented lynching him.

Captain JOHN M. WILSON, United States Corps of Engineers, a young officer distinguished for gallantry and skill in the Peninsular campaign, and latterly on the staff of Major-General GRANT, is now in charge of the defenses of Vicksburg.

Captain RICHARD H. LEE, late of the Sixth New Jersey Volunteers, has been appointed Postmaster for Camden, in that State.

Major EDWARD L. GAUL, of the One Hundred and Fifty-ninth New York Volunteers, for some time past upon detached service, commanding the Albany barracks post, has been relieved from duty and ordered to join his regiment in the field. Major GAUL is a fine soldier, and has evinced signal executive ability in administering the affairs of that difficult and exacting post.

Major-General WOOL, U.S.A., is at present enjoying renewed health at his private mansion in Troy. In conversation with a gentleman a few days since, who remarked to the old hero, "General, you should be in the field at this particular juncture of the war," the General replied sternly, giving ample evidence of his ancient vigor, "They don't want me. They think me too old."

Surgeon JAMES BRYAN, of Philadelphia, now on a short sick leave, is rapidly convalescing from a severe attack of bilious remittent fever contracted during the memorable siege of Vicksburg. Dr. B. was on duty on Gen. GRANT'S staff from April to September, including the sickly season of the Lower Mississippi, and expects to be able to return to service in a short time in a Northern department.

Colonel JOHN ADAIR M'DOWELL, of Iowa, late of General GRANT'S army, has been appointed commercial agent of the Treasury Department at New Orleans.

THOMAS FRANCIS MEAGHER has been reinstated in the rank of Brigadier-General, with permission to recruit to its complement his old Irish Brigade.

Captain HALSTEAD, formerly Assistant Adjutant-General on the staff of Major-General DOUBLEDAY, has been appointed a member of the Board of Examination of which General CASEY is President.

Colonel RICHARD H. RUSH, Assistant Provost Marshal, has been relieved from charge of the Invalid Corps Bureau. Lieutenant-Colonel CAHILL, his assistant, is left temporarily in charge.

Major FREDERICK TOWNSEND, Eighteenth United States Infantry, has been assigned to duty as Superintendent of Volunteer Recruiting Service at Albany, New York, and Major WALLACE, Sixth United States Infantry, the late Superintendent, has been ordered to join his regiment in the field.

The amount of work now progressing at the Brooklyn Navy-yard is immense. Something like 40 vessels are in the stream and on the stocks, preparing for sea as rapidly as possible. There are nearly 6000 men on the pay-rolls of the different departments, and their monthly wages can not fall much short of $200,000.

Lieutenant E. F. DAVENPORT has been ordered to duty at the Naval Academy.

Lieutenant BYRON WILSON has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander in the Navy.

Major-General BUTLER, accompanied by his wife, Colonel SHAFFER, and Captains HAGGERTY and PUFFER, left Washington for Fortress Monroe on 10th to relieve General FOSTER.

GEORGE VANDALL and JAMES WALES, of the Eighth Connecticut Volunteers, were executed on 9th for desertion near Portsmouth, Virginia.

Captain JORDAN, Second Pennsylvania heavy artillery, was found dead in his bed last week, having retired the previous night in apparently perfect health.

Lieutenant JOSEPH M. FISH, commanding the howitzer section of the Twelfth New York Cavalry at Camp Palmer, near Newborn, North Carolina, was recently presented, at dress parade, with a handsome sabre and equipments.

Major-General B. M. PRENTISS, who, while a Brigadier-General, was surprised and captured, with his whole force, at Shiloh, and who, after his return from captivity, formed one of the FITZ JOHN PORTER court-martial—obtaining a promotion to a Major-Generalship soon after the rendering of the decision of that court—has tendered his resignation to the War Department, and it has been accepted.

Lieutenant-Colonel TOWERS, Provost Marshal of Alexandria, has been relieved of his command by an order from the War Department, and Captain GWYNN, Medical Inspector on General SLOUGH'S Staff, has been appointed to the office.

General CLARK, who was recently elected Governor of Mississippi, is the same who was so seriously wounded and taken prisoner in the battle at Baton Rouge some months ago. He was formerly an Old Line Whig.

Lieutenant-Commander WATMOUGH has been detached from the Philadelphia Navy-yard as ordnance officer, and assigned to the command of the steamer Kansas.

Lieutenant-Commander PAUL SHIRLEY has been prometed to the grade of Commander.


THE Army of the Potomac, after a long period of ease, has commenced a forward movement, and its advance has been heralded with victory. The divisions of Generals French and Sedgwick met the enemy on the banks of the Rappahannock—the former at Kelly's Ford and the latter at Rappahannock railroad crossing—on 7th, and drove them across the river, capturing eighteen hundred of the rebels, four battle flags, and two redoubts with a number of guns. The loss of the enemy in killed and wounded is reported by prisoners to be over five hundred. Our loss in all—killed, wounded, and missing—is set down at from three hundred and fifty to four hundred. The Union troops pursued the enemy.

Upon the lifting of the fog on the morning of the 8th, our forces commenced crossing the river, and found little or no opposition. At four P.M. Sedgwick's advance had reached Brandy Station. General Buford's cavalry crossed at Sulphur Springs to cover the right flank several miles above Rappahannock Station, and Generals Gregg and Kilpatrick crossed below Kelly's Ford to cover the left flank. Advices from the front are to the effect that General Kilpatrick occupied the city and heights of Fredericksburg on 7th, and was in position to hold them until the infantry could reach him.



Saturday Nov. 7—9.30 P.M.

Major-General Sedgwick advanced to the railroad crossing, where he drove the enemy to the river, assaulted and captured two redoubts with artillery, on this side, taking a number of prisoners.

Major-General French advanced to Kelly's Ford, driving the enemy in small force across the river, and captured several hundred prisoners at the Ford.


Major-General Commanding.



Saturday Nov. 7—10 P.M.

General Sedgwick reports capturing this P.M. in his operations, four colonels, three lieutenant-colonels, many other officers, and over 900 men, together with four battle-flags.

General French captured over 400 prisoners, officers and men.


Major-General Commanding.


General Lee, is seems, declines to take up the gauge of battle which General Meade has urgently pressed upon his acceptance. The Army of Virginia, excepting its rear-

guard, have again ensconced themselves within their strong fortifications on the south bank of the Rapidan, or are making swift time toward Richmond. The Army of the Potomac, therefore, must bear with what grace it may the disappointment of its desire to bring about a decisive engagement.


The firing of Sumter is being continued both from Forts Gregg and Wagner and the Monitors. The bombardment is described by the Richmond Examiner as furious and incessant. The flag-staff on Sumter was shot away several times, and replaced; but the old flag was so cut to pieces that the battle-flag of the Twelfth Georgia regiment w as raised instead. On 31st ult., at four o'clock A. M., a portion of the sea-wall fell in, burying in the ruins thirteen of the garrison. Over one thousand two hundred shots, many of them from rifled guns, were fired at the fort on 31st.


The rebel papers report that our advance has reached. Florence, and that our forces are committing terrible depredations near Huntsville. The telegrams admit that we have gained important advantages, and that, unless the movements of our troops are counteracted, the question of subsisting the Union army at Chattanooga will be placed beyond doubt.


A dispatch from Chattanooga, of 10th instant, says that refugees front the rebel army report General Bragg to be evacuating his position in front of Chattanooga, and falling back to Rome or Atlanta. General Longstreet was said to be organizing a force for a raid on our line of communication at Bridgeport.


A dispatch from Knoxville, dated the 4th instant, says that East Tennessee is once more clear of rebels, with the reception of guerrillas, who hover around our wagon trains and infest our mail routes above. The fight at Roan Spring resulted in the rout of the rebels. We lost seventeen killed and fifty-two wounded. Colonel Garrard pursued the rebels beyond Kingsport.


The Star of this city says:

"We hear that General Grant has telegraphed hither that two of the most advanced positions of General Burnside have been assailed and captured by the rebels, who made prisoners of half of two regiments that were holding them at the time."


Late advices from Arkansas state that General Steele now occupies Arkadelphia, the recent head-quarters of the rebel General Price, and over seven hundred Arkansians from Yell County have offered themselves as volunteers to General Steele.


Dispatches from Leavenworth, Kansas, say that the rebels under Cooper and Shelby, having escaped from our troops, crossed the Arkansas River with a force of nine thousand men, and were their marching on General Blunt, who had only a force of one thousand eight hundred cavalry, who were acting as an escort to a heavy supply train bound for Fort Smith. General Blunt had reduced the number of his train, and was putting his force in a position to resist the enemy.


At the Union meeting held at Little Rock, Arkansas, on the 30th ultimo, resolutions were passed expressive of cordial support and loyalty to the United States, and pledging the utmost support to uphold the supremacy of the Government. A number of spirited and loyal addresses were made, and a committee was appointed to draft a constitution and by-laws for the Central Union Club.


CLARKSBURG, Nov. 8, 1863.

To Governor Boreman:

General Averill attacked Jackson's forces at Mill Point, Pocahontas County, on the 5th inst., and drove him from his position with trifling loss. Jackson fell back to the summit of Droop Mountain, when he was reinforced by General Echols with Patten's brigade and one regiment from Jenkins's command. The position is naturally a strong one, and was strengthened by breast-works commanding the road. General Averill turned the enemy's left with his infantry, and attacked him in front with cavalry dismounted.

The victory was decisive, and the enemy's retreat became a total rout, his forces throwing away their arms and scattering in every direction.

The cavalry pursued till dark, capturing many prisoners and a large quantity of arms, ammunition, etc.

The enemy's wounded have all fallen into our hands. Our loss in killed and wounded is about one hundred.

B. F. KELLEY, Brigadier-General.


An active campaign is now in progress in the Department of the Gulf. The naval expedition under General Banks was at Southwest Pass on the 26th ult., with the Commanding General on board the flag-ship McClellan. The fleet consists of sixteen steamships, and a large number of schooners and brigs as tenders. Three ships of war —the Monongahela, Owasco, and Virginia—accompany the squadron.


Mr. Bohanan, who was captured in the vicinity of Occoquan last Christmas, and lately returned to his home in Alexandria, has, among other things, stated that Castle Thunder is the only prison in Richmond where prisoners are allowed to purchase any thing. Shortly after the battle of Chickamauga about two hundred wounded prisoners arrived at Richmond from the field. They were almost all in a famishing and starving condition. They were three days on the road between the two points, and all they had to eat during that time was four hard crackers each. On their arrival at Richmond they were taken to the Libey prison, where they lay two drays longer without having their wounds dressed, and during all which time they had not a mouthful to eat. Some of them, who were fortunate enough to have a little money, offered as high as five dollars for a loaf of bread, but the officer in charge would not let it be carried them.




A DISPATCH from Washington, authorized by the Secretary of State, announces that the iron-clad vessels now building at Nantes and Bordeaux, it is presumed for the rebels, have been promptly arrested by the French Government, at the intercession of Minister Dayton.


The Paris Moniteur reports the reception of the Mexican deputation by Napoleon. The Emperor did not allude to Maximilian in any manner. It was thought the French Legislature would refute the guarantees demanded by Maximilian.



The accession of General Burgevine, with his American legion, to the cause of the Chinese rebel leader, is treated by the British papers as an event fraught with serious consequences to the cause of the Emperor and the future government of the empire.



Accounts from Hakodadi, Japan, to the 6th ult., state that the Chief Minister of State, and three other Cabinet officers, had been dismissed because they were in favor of peace with Christian nations. All foreigners were ordered to have Nagasaki, but refused to do so, whereupon the "Japanese government resigned."




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