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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.

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

 

Russian Ball

Russian Ball

Marching Song

Marching Song

Droop Mountain

Battle of Droop Mountain

Rebels

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

Tennessee

War in Tennessee

Blood Hounds

Hunting Men with Blood Hounds

Dancing

Ballroom Dancing

 

 

William Hammond

William Hammond

Baldness Cure

Illinois Central

Illinois Central Railroad

         
 

 

HARPER'S WEEKLY

[NOVEMBER 21, 1863.

738

SOLDIERS' MARCHING SONG.

 

STEADILY we march along,

Join we in the marching song,

Hand to hand, and heart to heart,

Bearing each a soldier's part;

Come what will beneath the sun,

We are soldiers marching on;

'Neath the old flag, flying free,

Marching on to victory,

 

Steadily we march along,

Timing step to marching song;

What though roads be wet or dry,

Though be bright or dark the sky,

We are soldiers bound to win,

Marching on through thick and thin;

'Neath our banners, flying free,

Marching on to victory,

 

Steadily we march along,

Ringing out the marching song:

What though rough be soldiers' fare,

We are all our country's care—

All its hope and all its love;

And its flag is bright above,

Flying stainless, flying free,

As we march to victory.

 

Steadily we march along

To the soldiers' marching song:

Little care we, nothing fear,

If our country's foe be near;

We are ready for the fight,

For the battle of the right,

'Neath the old flag fly ing free,

Starry sign of victory.

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 1863.

A QUESTION OF ENDURANCE.

THE war has now reached a point at which the continued resistance of the rebels is a mere question of endurance. They are suffering privations as severe as were ever borne by a belligerent people, Their currency is depreciated in the ratio of 12 to 1, and while the soldiers and civil employes of Government are paid in this depreciated currency on the scale which was fair when that currency was at or near par, provisions, clothing, and all the necessaries of life have adjusted themselves to the depreciation, so that it takes a soldier's wages for a month to support his family for a day. Of manufactured articles—boots, shoes, dry goods, hardware of all kinds, agricultural implements, etc. —the stock has fallen so low that fabulous prices are asked and obtained by its fortunate possessors. The capture of Morris Island has nearly closed the port of Charleston, and within a month the blockade of Wilmington—the only port at which any considerable blockade running is now done—will also be sealed. When this happens, no more foreign goods will enter the Confederacy till the peace. On the other hand, the loss of the Mississippi Valley has cut off the chief supply of beef, as the advance of Burnside has curtailed the supply of cereals, and the occupation of Chattanooga has deprived the rebel foundries of the coal which was essential to their existence. Famine is so imminent at Richmond that the rebel journals confess their inability to feed the Union prisoners, and it is seriously proposed that our Government should send them beef and bread from Washington. The Governor of Georgia admits that the stock of provisions in that once opulent State is insufficient for the wants of the population; and General Bragg proposes a general seizure of all the lands in the Confederacy with a view to their being exclusively used to raise food for the army.

This picture is not exaggerated. Yet it is hardly possible to conceive a more complete aggregate of wretchedness. Without food, without clothes, without coal, without hope of succor from abroad, and with the ever-present Federal anaconda tightening its grip round them week by week and month by month, sometimes moving fast, sometimes slowly, but never losing an inch of ground once occupied, can it be possible to conceive a people in more cruel straits than the rebels? Hew long can they endure such a complication of miseries? To which side shall they look for relief?

Not to Europe, for there the rebel rams have just been seized, and public opinion seems to be once more turning against them. Not to General Lee, for his second attempt to invade the North and menace Washington has proved only less disastrous than his first, and he is now barely able to cover Richmond by making more fertile acres in Virginia a barren desert. Not to Bragg, for he, notwithstanding the victory of Chickamauga, has been unable to wrest the key of the Southwest—Chattanooga—from the grasp of Grant, and he knows full well that the next move in the game will be a resistless "unconditional surrender" movement on Atlanta. Not to cavalry raids and guerrillas, for they—though annoying to us—do no good to the rebels, and, on the whole, are probably more troublesome to Southern planters than to Northern armies. Not to the Peace Democrats of the North, for

the fall elections have squelched them out pretty thoroughly. There is not a man, or a principle, or a point in the horizon to which these despairing rebels can look with the least hope of aid, comfort, or succor in their hour of misery.

They may burn a few trains, "gobble up" a few commissaries, surprise a few helpless detachments of Union troops—nay, even win a pitched battle or two here or there; but what then? In the truthful language of the Richmond Examiner, "Our [rebel] victories are somehow always fruitless and unproductive of results; they leave the great question of the war where they found it." How long will the rebels continue to struggle under such privations, against such odds, in so hopeless a cause?

The time has not come yet for an honest Northerner to express his opinion of the courage and fortitude which the rebels have displayed in this wretched contest. So long as the red hand of battle is uplifted they are our enemies, whom it is our duty to destroy—nothing more. When the time does come—as come it must—that failure and disappointment and privation and despair compel these poor people to abandon the struggle into which a blind and brutal oligarchy precipitated them, they may rely upon it that, in the words of that great and good man, Henry Ward Beecher, they will find the fatted calf ready for them throughout the North, and none more ready to relieve their wants than the very soldiers who are now crushing in the sides of the pasteboard Confederacy.

THE RUSSIAN BALL.

THE Ball is over, the music is hushed, the dances ended, the wine drunk, the costly laces and diamonds put back into their places. And now that the sounds of the revel are dying out it recurs to us that we have a headache, and we are saying wisely to each other that the ball was not, after all, so very sensible a thing; and that, when our brothers and our sons are dying on battle-fields, and thousands of brave Union soldiers, prisoners at Richmond, are being starved to death by the Southern chivalry, it is hardly decent for us here to be dancing, and making merry, and throwing away fortunes on diamonds. There is something in the idea. Should this number of Harper's Weekly fall into the hands of some poor wounded fellow at Chattanooga, or some half-starved Union prisoner at Richmond, the contrast between his own condition and that of the scented and perfumed dancers who figure in the ball picture may not improve his temper. "They are fiddling while I am dying," is the remark which would not unnaturally occur to him, and it would leave a bitter taste behind.

"What then?" says Shoddy. "Are we all to put on sackcloth and ashes for the war? Are Mrs. and the Misses Shoddy not to have an opportunity of displaying their beauty—to say nothing of the splendid dresses and the magnificent diamonds which I bought them with the proceeds of paper-money—simply because we are engaged in a war? The notion is monstrous! I pay for the war: taxes on my income, taxes on my clothing, taxes on my house, horses, carriages, silver, and every thing that I've got; I send my blood relations to the war to fight and die; I give money for bounties and money to the Sanitary Commission; I vote to support the Government. Having done all this, I submit that my duty is fulfilled, and that I may, if I choose, get up balls for Mrs. and the Misses Shoddy, and that they may enjoy them as becomes their age, their means, and their spirits. Dancing and balls are not bad things by any means. It is good that young people should enjoy themselves while they can. They will all find sorrow enough in life by-and-by. Besides, our Russian Ball had a political significance, and may render good aid to the Union cause."

Thus much Shoddy. And though his reasoning is likely to seem very shallow and very selfish to the brave suffering men on Belle Isle or in Castle Thunder, it must fairly be admitted that, in past time, balls and battles have often jostled each other, and the dying sounds of the dance have often mingled with the blast of the bugle. "There was a sound of revelry by night" within a few hours of the battle of Waterloo, and the dance was never more popular in Europe than during the Napoleonic wars. The Preacher gives the key to the apparent paradox when he says, "Let us eat, drink, and be merry; for to-morrow we die."

And now—good Shoddy, fair Mrs. Shoddy, and sweet daughters of the Shoddy house—that you have had your dance, and flirted with your Cossack, and flashed your diamonds in a thousand envious eyes; now that you have spent—so they say—over a million of dollars for one night's enjoyment; have you time and do you care to think of a suggestion by which your pleasure and our suffering heroes' needs may both be satisfied?"

There was a time, not many years ago, when a commercial crisis precipitated the poor of New York into great suffering. At that time large-minded men and women gave their thoughts to the subject, and while soup-kitchens were established by A. T. Stewart and others, fashionable ladies gave a series of calico balls, the rule of which was that every lady present donated the dress she wore to the poor. By this means thousands

of poor girls and women, who would otherwise have gone half clad that bitter winter, were furnished with clothing. What say you now, ladies, to a

DIAMOND BALL,

the jewels worn to be given after the ball to the Sanitary Commission, which has our wounded soldiers in charge?

If, as is stated, a million of dollars' worth of diamonds were worn at the Russian Ball, a million of dollars might be procured by such a Diamond Ball as we suggest—enough money to secure every comfort required by our wounded soldiers, and probably to save hundreds of lives which are now sacrificed for want of suitable attendance, clothing, and food. Could the jewels be put to a nobler use? Would not their radiance, in such a case, flash not only from wall to wall of the ball-room, but down through the vale of time to the most distant age, lighting the fame of New York women, and proving that they were worthy wives and daughters of the brave men who are dying for their country?

THE SANITARY FAIRS.

THE work of the Sanitary Commission is the great episode of the war. It is not a less remarkable popular rising and persistence than the armies and the fighting. When you think of the hands and brains and hearts all over the land that are working, thinking, and feeling all day long and every day for this great work, you feel only more profoundly than ever that any task whatever to which an intelligent people addressed itself, as the Free States have given themselves to this war, is sure of its triumph.

Behind the army in the field there is this supporting army twenty times larger. It is the vast reserve, constantly indicating its presence and co-operation. It is no reflection upon the sanitary zeal or method of the regular service, but it is a necessary supplement to the regular system. So sudden and tremendous a war, calling for armies to he improvised, called also for a sanitary care which should be as voluntary and extensive. And it has had it. The details of the operations of the Commission are amazing. Nor does the work cease or pause. Its organization is admirable. Its managers are zealous. Its hold upon the heart and purse of the country is firm. If any body has any thing to give for the relief or comfort of the soldiers, however small, it is received with thanks, and the facilities of the Commission cause it to be put exactly where it is most wanted.

The new event in its career is the fairs which are held all over the country. We hear of a most successful one in Portland, Maine, while that of the Northwest at Chicago is truly Northwestern in its scope, duration, and results. The whole country has contributed; and among its treasures is the paper which is only of secondary interest to the manuscript of the Declaration of Independence—the Emancipation Proclamation. The President's letter accompanying it to the Committee is one of the simple and earnest touches that have so deeply endeared him to the heart of the American people. It will be deposited in the archives of some Historical Society, richer by that sole possession than all the others in the country.

Meanwhile New England does not falter. For many months in all New England homes the busy preparation has been going on, and in December, we believe, the great Sanitary Fair will begin in Boston. Nobler work has not been done by any city than by Boston; and that no proof of its fidelity should be wanting, it has this year put its foot upon a false "democracy," and given its hand to that true Democrat, Governor Andrew. Boston fairs (for who dare speak of the Boston fair?) are famous. The Blind Fair and the Anti-Slavery fairs were the most successful ever known in the country. The fair of the Sanitary Commission will doubtless surpass them all.

TRUMPET-BLOWING.

IT is interesting to see that we can still blow our own trumpet, notwithstanding the war. One of the patriotic reporters of the Russian ball mentions the pleasing fact that, upon being told that all the decorations in the Academy had been put up since the close of the performance on the previous evening, the polite Admiral remarked that "only a people like the American could do that." It was very courteous in the Admiral, and there was really nothing else for him to say. But if we soberly suppose that we can make imposing fetes in that way we ought to undeceive ourselves.

We take our pleasure sadly, as old Froissart described our ancestors. We are a grave people, not a gay; but it is the gay who make fetes. Paris is transformed in a few hours, and restored again. On the Emperor's last fete day, the 15th August, the decorations of the city were superb, and every trace of them had vanished by noon of the next day. And the brilliant draperies hung from balcony and window in Rome, or in any Italian city, have a picturesque effect for which we are not yet bold enough, Then, too, there are the marvelous fire-works, the festal pyrotechny of Italy and France. Whoever has seen St. Peter's outlined in fire against the night sky will be grateful for our own displays; but he will hardly select them in comparison a heights upon which to crow the national Yankee-doodle-doo. It is not in that way that our genius most naturally or happily expresses itself. We spend plenty of money, and we employ all the taste we can. But a pretty and imposing festival of any kind results from the co-operation of a population, each individual of which has a taste for the picturesque.

We like to make money stand for every thing.

But there are so many things that money will not buy. "All the ladies had diamonds on," says one enthusiastic reporter. But if a Roman woman, a Trasteveran, with her Junonine head and shoulders, and the glittering pin, fastened in her coal-black hair, had entered the theatre, or a woman in Rachel's Thisbe costume, the broad, splendid effect would have been memorable. Picturesqueness, for instance, can not be bought easily.

We are a very great and good people undoubtedly, but there are some things we have not yet acquired. An ancient history, for example; or a great school of art—statues, pictures, cathedrals; and also a taste for the picturesque. We can fight, talk, make money, educate our children, go to church, spend money nobly and profusely, appreciate whatever is good, and hopeful, and true; but we can not make so pretty a fete as some other people who have not half the reasons for contentment and happiness that we have. Meanwhile we do the best we can, and neither Shakespeare nor Napoleon did more.

THE BALL.

THE strictly Lounging event of the week, of course, was the Russian ball at the Academy, which was as brilliant as the most ardent votary of the dance could desire. The theatre was resplendent, the toilets gorgeous, the crowd immense, the supper profuse, the music delightful; and the very crush, of which every body complained, gave every body a profounder sense of the great success in which they were sharing. It was a finer fete than that to the Japanese and to the Prince of Wales; but it had no profounder political significance than those glittering evenings. As to the crowd, it is always unavoidable upon such occasions. Choker, that remarkable young man, who has danced at every court and with all the princesses in the world, assures the Lounger upon his honor that he has been at balls at Willis's Rooms in London, "Almack's, you know—very cream of very cream—where you saw all the family jewels in England hung across the broad bosoms of ladies of historic name; and, 'pon my honor, you had to stand in one spot with your partner and merely jump up and down. Depend upon it, at a public ball where there is room to dance there is a sense of failure and desolation."

If any body wishes to appeal from that decision, he may. But the Lounger is content with it, and doubtless so also were the Russian officers. Whether in the fact that the menu, or, in the vulgar, bill of fare, was printed upon satin slips representing partly the American and partly the Russian flags, the officers detected a shadowy suggestion of an Americo-Russian alliance, who shall say? Yet he was doubtless the wiser man who read upon it only the fine French names for pies, cakes, and oysters. Cousin John over the water will, of course, have another explosion of sneers at the affection of the two great powers lying under the ban of civilization. But Cousin John has been hospitable to Russians in his time too. Why, here, in the very last English paper we chanced to be reading, of so late a date as October 25, are these very extraordinary words: "When Nicholas, Czar of all the Russians, was in London, a heart-and-soul tyrant, and the born enemy of all useful intellectual progress in the world, he was fondled by duchesses and countesses as the man among men. His victims were rotting in Siberian mines—the noble, the just, and the innocent; and he was waltzing in the honored palaces of the British aristocracy." Did ever a poor fellow with an unhappy disposition to throw stones live in such a brittle glass house as Cousin John Bull?

London was courteous to Nicholas, and New York is courteous to the Russian admiral. London may have had reason; New Yolk certainly has. For Russia as a power has been positively friendly to us in our trouble. Has Cousin John, as a power, been so? Let him be reasonable. We have given the Japanese Princes, the Prince of Wales, and the Russian officers a pretty ball. Good-night, and joy be wi' ye a'! May we never be compelled to give either of them any other kind of ball than the Terpsichorean!

TO H. S., JERSEY CITY.

THE best investment for a working-man who has three or four thousand dollars for the purpose, and who must leave the country for a certain time, is in the United States five-twenties, the interest at 6 per cent., payable in gold, and the principal at the discretion of the Government. Deposit your money at the Sub-Treasury, where, in a few days, you will receive bonds and coupons. Deposit these with a Trust Company, and make the interest payable to any order you may choose.

HONESTY IN POLITICS.

AT a time when one of the most disagreeably notorious men in the country says that he must have a Judge in the city of New York, and has him, it is pleasant to find an instance of manly dignity and self-respect in a political candidate. Every honest voter will enjoy, as we do, the following letter written upon the eve of the late election by William Nicoll, candidate for State Senator in the First District. He was defeated, but the people of the district are not likely to forget him:

HUNTINGTON, LONG ISLAND, October 31, 1863.

DEAR SIR,—Yours of 27th inst. is just received. My answer can be of little service to you now, but yet I cheerfully give it.

If elected to the Senate, I shall go there entirely free to act for the best interests of the inhabitants of the district, and under no pledge or promise to any man, or association of men, to carry out or advocate any measures which shall appear to me, on full investigation, prejudicial to the public interests.

If your bill is right, and the best which can be, I should go for it. Unquestionably I should be in favor of giving to the people of Staten Island all the increased ferry facilities for which they ask; but I must know what they want before I can promise to aid them.

Certainly I shall make no promise, and imply no pledge, for the sake of securing the votes of any man who may be (Next Page)


 

 

 

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