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Civil War Harper's Weekly, November 28, 1863

This site features online versions of the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. This archive serves as an important source of eye-witnesses accounts and illustrations of the war. Harper's was the most popular newspaper of the day, and still serves as an important resource for researchers today.

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


Brazon Santiago

Brazos Santiago

Texas Expedition

Texas Expedition

Pay for Negro Soldiers

Negro Soldier Pay

Hazen's Brigade

Hazen's Brigade at Lookout Mountain


General Washburne

President Lincoln Cartoon

President Lincoln Cartoon

Lookout Valley

Battle of Lookout Valley

Battle on the Rappahannock

Battle on the Rappahannock

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee




[NOVEMBER 28, 1863.



MEN, the time draws on to action—

Draws, with sternest-voiced demand;

Who would bear its strain and traction

Must be strong in heart and hand:

Who shall grapple double-handed

With it shall have manhood's name;

Who shall falter shall be branded

With unchanging mark of shame.


Toil, oh! Forgeman, damp and sooty,

At the shapes that, one by one,

Grow, wherewith the iron duty

Of the season shall be done:

Toil; the time is loud with clamor,

And it striketh palm with thee,

In the ringing of thy hammer,

For the good that is to be.


Speed, oh! Plowman; let not thistles

Prick out from the loaded wain:

On full many a field there bristles

Crop of steel instead of grain:

Speed; the soldier's orphan children,

Who in mercy shall not see

Where their father's grave is filled in,

Turn their hungry eyes to thee.


Strike, oh! Soldier, once and ever

For the right that grows apace;

Every blow of thine endeavor

Brings a glory to thy face:

It shall be a newer birth-right

If the death-bolts hurtle by;

It shall brighten though the earth-light

Fade before it from thine eye.


Sing, oh! Poet: be thy minor

Holy-sweet to match the wreath

Of the cypress, grown diviner

Now upon the brow of death:

And thy major's revelation—

Let it upward rise and roll

To the heights of aspiration

Of a nation's lifted soul.


Pray, oh! Christian: God is nearer

In the storm than in the sun;

And His will is growing clearer:

Pray His waiting will be done—

Done triumphant, as when Moses

Walked through night and death to see

Far in Sharon's vale the roses

Waiting ages for the free.


Toil, fight, sing, pray, men unshrinking,

With a high, heroic will;

And the good the time is thinking

To the perfect orb shall fill—

Orb of life for feet uplifted,

While calm brows are yet above

In new sunlight round them drifted

By the winds of broader love.


WE publish on page 753 an illustration of the LANDING OF GENERAL BANKS'S EXPEDITION ON BRAZOS SANTIAGO, TEXAS, on 2d November, from a sketch by a staff officer. The expedition is destined to restore Texas to the Union, and put an end to the contraband trade which has been carried on at Matamoras. The Herald correspondent, writing on 2d November, says:

At an early hour this morning the bar was examined, and casks laid down as buoys. Nine feet of water was found upon the bar, and once over, navigation was easy.

We accordingly commenced preparing to enter the harbor, and the light-draught steamer General Banks, with the Nineteenth Iowa on board, got under way, and was soon rising and falling amidst the foam of the huge breakers; but as she steamed gallantly on and crossed the bar an safety, the soldiers on board gave three hearty cheers, which were heard on the flag-ship and answered by the waving of hats and handkerchiefs.

She crossed the bar at precisely twelve o'clock noon, and from that moment Texas was ours. The General's dispatch-boat—the little steamer Drew—followed, and she went capering along like a frisky young coquette of sixteen, bounding over the bar like a cork.

The Clinton, with the Thirteenth and Fifteenth Maine regiments on board, was the third to cross, and it was her good fortune to be the first to disembark her troops, the soldiers of the Fifteenth Maine first touching Texan soil. The next moment, the flag of this regiment, followed by that of the Nineteenth Iowa, was raised.

Thus the men from the extreme northern point of the Union were the first to raise the flag of America over the soil of the extreme southern point, and finish the work so gloriously begun, of planting the banner of freedom in the last State in rebellion, over which the Stars and Stripes have not waved for some time.

On landing on Brazos Island, the Fifteenth Maine, Colonel Dwyer, accompanied by Major Von Hermann, of General Banks's staff, started for Boca Chica, took possession of the Pass, and encamped there, throwing out pickets.

No resistance whatever was offered, and no human beings have yet been seen on the island or elsewhere, if I except the repulse of two companies of cavalry by the guns of the T. A. Scott, Captain O'Brien, which anchored off the mouth of Boca Chica this morning, and opened upon the rebels who hard attempted to cross.

The same transport the night previous anchored off the mouth of the Rio Grande, and amused herself by keeping up an almost constant fire upon the Mexican vessels crossing and recrossing the river.

The old salt was a few miles wrong in his reckoning; for he afterward stated that he "thought he was peppering away at the damned rebels in Boca Chico instead of the harmless Mexicans on the Rio Grande;" so that we shall probably have to make an apology for the slight mistake of firing upon their vessels while engaged in a contraband trade with the rebels on the Texan shore.

Those of your readers who have ever visited Ship Island can have a good idea of this barren, inhospitable shore.

Brazos, as well as all the islands along the Texan coast, is a sandy desert. One house (deserted) stands to our right, and a mile or so farther toward the interior are two light-houses, one on each side.

Charred ruins show that three dwellings were destroyed by fire some time ago. Nothing but the chimneys remain standing.

The foundations of the buildings used by General Taylor for stores can yet be seen; but no other vestige remains. Sand and sand-hills meet the eye in every direction; and for miles there is no covering from the rays of

the burning sun by day, nor the heavy chilly dews by night.

Four wells were discovered by our soldiers; but the water is brackish and unpalatable. Around these were collected from thirty to forty head of poor cattle. They were suffering terribly from thirst, and drank with avidity the miserable water that our men gave out to them from the wells.

The few inhabitants who lived on this desert probably fled as soon as our fleet anchored off the shore; for, as I have before stated, not a human being was to be seen.





IN accordance with the Customs and Laws of this State, I, HORATIO SEYMOUR, Governor of the State of New York, do hereby designate Thursday, the 26th instant, to be a day of Thanksgiving and Prayer, and I hereby declare the same to be a Legal Holiday.

In the midst of calamities, brought upon our country by the wickedness, folly, and crimes of men, we have reason to be thankful to Almighty God for abundant Harvests, for exemption from Pestilence, and for the preservation of our State from the devastations of War which afflict other sections of our land. Let us offer fervent prayers that Rebellion may be put down, our Union saved, our Liberties preserved, and our Constitution and Government upheld. As a becoming proof of thankfulness to God, and as a proper evidence of our gratitude to the Armies and Navy, I urge our citizens to make contributions, on that day, for the comfort and support of the destitute families of those who have lost their lives or have become disabled in the service of their country. In the midst of our abundance, let us remember charity to those who are in want, and in the hour set apart for social and religious thanksgiving and praise within the limits of our State, let us encourage those who are engaged on distant and dangerous fields of duty, by showing sympathy and kindness toward their families who need our aid and support.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the Privy Seal of the State, at the City of Albany, this tenth day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three.   HORATIO SEYMOUR.

By the Governor.

DANIEL F. TYLER, Private Secretary.


OUR armies seem once more at a stand-still. The November mud appears to have driven both Meade and Lee into winter-quarters; and cavalry raids and guerrilla and outpost skirmishes are likely to be the only movements of consequence on the Potomac for some weeks to come. At Chattanooga all is quiet, and our correspondents write that no active operations are expected in that army for some time. Grant will have enough to do to hold and secure his communications, and feed his army at Chattanooga; while, on the other hand, Bragg will have his hands full in preparing for the inevitable movement on Atlanta and Rome. Gilmore continues to thunder away at Fort Sumter and the other outer defenses of Charleston. But thus far he seems to be making but little impression, and the belief gains ground that Charleston can only be reduced by a land attack, and regular approaches against Moultrie. In East Tennessee Foster, who succeeds Burnside, will probably be able to hold Knoxville, but can not do much more, except in the way of cavalry raids. In the Southwest all is comparatively quiet. Away down South, on the Mexican frontier, General Banks has landed an army, with designs which can only be conjectured. So enterprising and sagacious a man, however, would not, we may be certain, have embarked in a fruitless enterprise; and there may be more promise in an invasion of Texas than can now and here be discerned.

But altogether the prospect is that our armies will not see much fighting, at all events, on this side of Christmas. With the early spring Meade may move, Grant is sure to move, and Gilmore may pursue his victorious career; but till then we may not have much exciting news to chronicle.

Meanwhile it devolves upon the country to devote its whole energies to the work of recruiting the army. Three hundred thousand more men are wanted by New-year: if they are not obtained by volunteering, they will be procured by the draft. Congress, when it reassembles next month, will probably amend the Conscription Act by striking out the $300 clause, so as to leave substitutes free to command their own price. Under these circumstances, and especially in view of the active demand for labor which exists every where, it is quite probable that the price may advance to a figure which may render it impossible for the great mass of the individuals drafted to escape service. People who do not want to run the risk of the draft had better, therefore, lose no time in stimulating a volunteer movement. In this, and one or two other localities, the injudicious haste with which cities stepped forward to relieve every one from the draft, last summer, has naturally chilled patriotic ardor, and lulled cowards into a false security. Hence, here, a new draft—peremptory and without escape—is seemingly inevitable. But there are many parts of the country where, with proper energy on the part of influential men, and suitable provisions for the families of volunteers, the quota may be filled without a draft.

There are two other important movements which are going on day by day. One is the recruiting of negro troops: the other, the colonization

and culture by free labor of abandoned plantations. Both are essential to the final completion of the work we have in hand. The promise we have made to the negroes, which, in the President's words, "must be kept," can only be secured by giving men of color the power to protect themselves. They must be made the armed guardians both of their own liberty and of the dominion of the United States, All the Southern forts and military lines which, throughout the lifetime of the present generation, it will be necessary to garrison must be garrisoned by negro troops. And all the plantations which the Southern chivalry have abandoned or forfeited must be worked by free labor. It devolves upon us to show to the world that the negro will work as well for the hope of reward as from the dread of punishment, and that sugar and cotton can be raised as profitably at the South without slave-drivers as they ever were with them. The reports of the commission which has in charge the letting of Government plantations are very encouraging. This year, the profits realized by parties who hired from Government abandoned estates, and worked them with free labor, have been in many instances enormous. We must line the Mississippi Valley with a new race of settlers, nurtured in the wholesome air of freedom; and then, but not till then, will that glorious country be firmly secured to the Union, and in a condition to yield the fruits which it was God's ordinance it should produce.


ONE leading cause of the bitter feeling against England which has pervaded all classes in this country since the war broke out has been the ceaseless stream of abuse and misrepresentation which has been poured upon us and our cause by the British journals. Not only has the Times steadily traduced us and falsified our aims and prospects, but almost every minor journal, whether published in London or in the rural districts of England, has thrown its handful of mud, till it appeared to an American observer that the British public were almost universally our enemies.

This impression may have been erroneous. The small papers may have spoken merely for themselves, not for the public. We remember a letter which was published a year or more since in the Mobile Register, condemning the Confederate Government for the selection it had made of subordinate agents in Europe, and stating that it was far simpler and surer to hire Englishmen to write up the rebels than to employ Southerners to do the work. This letter tended to create the impression that the articles abusive of this country with which the minor British press was filled were merely "paid puffs" of the, rebel cause—reclames, as the French call them, expressing no man's opinion. This impression is confirmed by the publication of the intercepted letters of M. de Leon, rebel agent in Paris, to Jeff Davis and his Secretary Benjamin. He alludes more than once to his successful efforts to create public opinion in England by the aid of the press. After drawing attention to Earl Russell's speech at Blairgowrie, he observes, in a letter to Mr. Benjamin:

"The sympathy of the British people for us is growing stronger every day, and in the same ratio as their antipathy for the Yankees. To foster and increase these favorable dispositions I have caused various publications to be made in England on the topics of cotton, slavery, the oath of allegiance, Federal fabrications, and kept up a running fire through the English press. Some of these publications shall be sent you by the first opportunity which presents for sending packages."

So it seems it is to Monsieur de Leon, of South Carolina, and not to any Englishman, that we are indebted for the vituperation we find in so many British papers. The discovery will not raise the character of British journalism in American opinion. But it will render us much less sensitive to what these upright journalists may say of us hereafter.



A LATE London Spectator denounces the conduct of Mr. Laird in building the rams and refusing to prevent their departure so that the Government is obliged to station war ships for that purpose, as a most unprecedented resolution upon the part of a British subject to plunge his country into war merely to gratify his own cupidity. In the same vein "Historicus," Mr. Vernon Harcourt, shows in the London Times that the rebels are trying to make England the base of their hostile operations against a friendly power, and have therefore rendered themselves responsible to Great Britain. "Historicus" suggests that Mason left England because he knew, in case the rams escaped, that he would be in a very doubtful position toward the Government. Add to this that the Governor-General of Canada and Lord Lyons hastened to apprise our authorities of the Lake plot, and it is pretty clear that Great Britain means to avoid all occasion of trouble with this country.

We need not be in haste to ascribe this conduct to any profounder admiration of our system, nor to suppose that she has any romantic friendship for us, as we certainly have not for her. But at least it should modify that indignation which the general tone of the British press and the sneers of the officers of the Government during the first

years of the war naturally produced; nor ought any fair Englishman who read the stuff that Mackay wrote from New York for the Times, and who was familiar with the leaders and speeches of men and papers in England, to be surprised that we were indignant. We can each rejoice that the sky is clearer, and each resolve to keep it so.


GOVERNOR GAMBLE, of Missouri, has lately expelled from the State two officers of the United States army, holding commissions from Adjutant-General Thomas to recruit colored soldiers. They were expelled for that reason, and not for misconduct. This may be very conservative, but it is radically wrong. It is part of that remarkable policy which in Missouri has withstood the policy of the National Government, and which the President has not yet rebuked. The difficulty in Missouri is very simple. It is that the influence of the National Government is thrown upon the side agreeable to the rebels. Here, in New York, it was reason enough for voting against the "friends" of Governor Seymour, that the rebels wanted them to be elected. Ought it not to be enough in Missouri that to favor the Gamble policy is to please the enemy?

Certainly many of the loyal Missourians feel so strongly that they are betrayed into saying what they certainly do not mean. When the speaker at the Cooper Institute declared that he would not submit to the constitutional election of Vallandigham, for instance, as President, there is no doubt that the words did not express his thought. But there is equally no doubt that such a remark harmed his cause more than he imagined. So when one of the German "radical" papers calls upon Congress to protect the Government against the Administration, it repeats the silliest Copperhead sophism. The true anti-slavery men of Missouri ought to remember that at a time like this, when we are fighting a bloody rebellion which puts forth exactly the plea of the orator, and a reaction which takes the ground of the paper—the cause of the orator and paper, so defended and stated, repels the very sympathy they invoke.

On the other hand, no sensible man will forget that the faithful men of Missouri have been tried by fire and blood. A few expletives and superlatives may be pardoned them. A stern, implacable determination that slavery, the monster that has spawned civil war, shall be ended and forever, is only natural to them. They feel its fangs every moment, and they can not choose fine phrases. And they are not unjust. The Missouri Democrat, the radical organ, says that President Lincoln has made a tragical mistake, but it does not accuse him of the least ill intent. That, we are sure, will presently appear. The President, by his declared policy, belongs with the radical loyal Missourians. A few months more of war will bring him to their side. A few months more will show him that Mr. Postmaster-General Blair is not a wise counselor, and does not represent a Border State policy, which, at this point of the war, is practicable.


THE dainty "bill of fare" at the Russian ball, printed in French upon colored satin, contrasts curiously with another "bill of fare" on as which that heading is boldly printed, and which has a historic interest. It is a strip of stout paper, about seven inches long and two or three broad, with the head, "Fort Lafayette." Just below follows: "Dejeuner, Wednesday, September 8, 1824. Bill of Fare." It was the collation given to General Lafayette upon his last visit to this country.

It is in the kitchen, according to some dinner philosophers, that the progress of civilization is most truly indicated. For all such, who may have preserved the bill of the Russian supper, this of the French breakfast forty years ago will be a fit companion. The two or three little errors of spelling are preserved:

"Chickens, Turkeys, Hams, Tongues, Pigeons, Ducks, Turkey a la Francaise. Snipe, Woodcock, Plover, Wild Ducks. Alamode veal and beef. Lobsters; and Langues d'Aigneau in Jelly. Anchovies, Crabs, Lobster, Tartlets, Cheese cakes, Puffs, Jellies, Blancmange, Oranges, Peaches, Pine Apples, Melons, Grapes, etc. etc. Wines; Claret, White Hermitage, Madeira, Champagne."

The present bill of fare at Fort Lafayette is understood to be different from this.


THE Richmond Enquirer says that it prefers to have Yankees rather than English as its "next-door neighbors" beyond the Potomac. There is no reason to doubt that this preference will be gratified. The reason it alleges is that the Yankees are "ignorant and semi-barbarous enemies to deal with." Here again it is not remarkable that a chivalrous people, who build their State upon the inalienable right to whip women and breed children for sale, should prefer that their "next-door neighbors" should be ignorant and semi-barbarous. The King of Dahomey would be the best conceivable neighbor for them.

But as for haying enemies "for ages" upon the north side of the Potomac—that is borrowing trouble of the future enormously. We are engaged in a war in which they will conquer us, or we shall conquer them. They are coming to the Lakes, or we are going to the Gulf. The victory on one side or the other will be radical and final. It will be a social as well as a military victory. It will be like that of the Normans in England. That has not left ages of enmity, nor will ours. The Enquirer may take heart. If the rebellion succeeds slavery will debauch the North, and retake it more than semi-barbarous—it will barbarize it as thoroughly as it has the South itself. if the Government triumphs liberty will radically reform the social system of the South, and fully civilize it. This result is in the very nature of the contest. It is shown by the bitterness of the Enquirer, as it is in every expression, and the whole conduct of the rebellion. Now has barbarism ever obliterated (Next Page)




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