Wilmington Blockade


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, November 7, 1863

This WEB site allows you to read the original Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. These papers contain incredible illustrations created by artists present at the battles. Harper's was the most read illustrated newspaper of the Civil War.

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


Troop Train

Troop Train

Winter Campaign

Winter Campaign

Missouri Question


Wilmington Blockade

Soldiers Gambling

Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam Cartoon



Russian Delegation

Soldier Dreaming

A Soldier's Dream



Bristoe Station

Battle of Bristoe Station



NOVEMBER 7, 1863.]



"Ah!" said Mr. La Trappe. "We tried a man named Tom Partridge for it, and he was acquitted on an alibi. He did it, of course?"

"Of course," said Lexden.

"Ah!" said Mr. La Trappe again, with perfect calmness; he has a double who went into Somerset and Devon at the same time, and worked the oracle for him?"

"Well! How did you find that out?"

"Never mind, Lexden, how I found it out.

What I want to know is—who is the double?"

"Tom Partridge's brother—old Sam, one year older nor Tom, and as like him as two peas. It was the best rig o' the sort as ever was rigged. Old Sam had been out in Ameriky all his life, and when he first came back, every one was talking about his likeness to Tom; you couldn't know 'em apart. Fiddy, the fence, thought something might be made of this, and he planned the whole job—the egg-hot, and the cream, the tins, and the horse what he bought. Tom's got that horse now, to drive in his shay-cart on Sundays, and he calls him 'Walker.' "

"Walker!" said Mr. La Trappe; "what does he call him Walker for?"

"Walker's a slang name for a postman," explained Mr. Lexden, in great delight. "Worn't it per-rime?"

"Oh!" said Mr. La Trappe, with great gravity, "I perceive. One more question, Lexden; how was the robbery effected? The interior of the portmanteau could not have been cut unless it had been unbuckled and the compartments thrown open, and they could not possibly have done all that on the top of the coach. Besides, the guard stated he had fastened it in a very peculiar manner at Dover, and that the fastenings were in exactly the same state when he opened it in London."

"Ah! That was the best game of the lot," said Mr. Lexden. "The job was done while the portmanteau was in the agent's office at Dover, and where it lay from three o'clock on Sunday arternoon till between seven and eight in the evening. Tom Partridge and his pal they opened the street door with a skeleton key, there was no one there, and they had plenty of time to work it."

"And Tom Partridge's pal was—?"

"Ah, that I can't say," said Mr. Lexden, looking straight into the air. "I never heard tell o' his name."

"Thanks, Lexden, that'll do," said Mr. La Trappe, rising. "Good-night! You've done no harm. I shall know where to find you if ever I want you again."

About a twelvemonth afterward that slap up respectable mechanic, Mr. William Lexden, was hanged for horse-stealing. Just before his execution he sent for Mr. La Trappe, and confessed that he had been Tom Partridge's accomplice in the robbery of the Dover mail. Mr. La Trappe thanked him for the information, but bore it like a man who could bear a surprise.


I'M standing by the little school,

Where I stood five long years ago—

Five years—ay, more! for then the snow

Lay gleaming in the light of yule.

The gray old church across the way

Had sunset-fires upon its panes—

The Parsonage, so bare to-day,

Was garlanded with holly-chains.


Ah! let me see, in this old room

That night there was a "fancy fair"—

Gay lights had eaten up the gloom

That lived in cobwebb'd corners there;

Gay stalls were planted on each side

Loaded with many curious things,

And Charity, the gentle-eyed,

Of course looked on with outspread wings!


I know that many a goddess seemed

That night behind the stalls to stand;

I know that while I looked I dreamed

It was the old, old fairy-land!

Though certainly it did seem strange

That goddesses should come to earth

To sell small caps for twice their worth,

And, when you paid them, give no change!


I think the object of the thing

Was the extension of a wall,

Or building on the school a wing,

To shelter and to form the small.

I know, whate'er it was, 'twas good,

And when a sweet young curate came,

And led me on to where there stood

A lady whom "I dare not name,"


And tempted me, young curate-wise,

To buy a dress—a little one:

I turned and only saw her eyes

She gave no "change"—I wanted none!

Oh! curate with the sunny hair,

And looks so wickedly demure,

You could not guess what form should wear

That little garment, I am sure.


Was it her palm's electric touch

That thrilled me as I gave the gold—

So soft and velvety—as such

Young palms are ever? Was I bold

To glide behind the little stall,

And help to sell her dainty wares?

"Without reserve" we sold them all;

The "sacrifice," of course, in shares.


And when they brought a cup of tea,

'Twas her refreshment, and 'twas mine—

I took the cup, the saucer she:

'Twas Congou (bad), it seemed like wine.

Oh! dream of other days (ah! when

Shall we not dream?)—there stands a crowd

Of babbling imps where she stood then,

And cobwebs half the window shroud.

I've said the "cause" I can not tell

For which those pretty things were made,

For which white fingers worked so well,

In mysteries of beads and braid.

I know it did not fail—the tall

Young curate said so. I, for one,

Gained, at that dear old corner stall,

Love without change—I wanted none!


WE publish on page 705 an illustration of the war in Southern Tennessee, from a sketch by Mr. Theodore R. Davis. It represents


Mr. Davis writes:

"CHATTANOOGA, October 12.

"En route for the army, I found on reaching Louisville that no pass could be obtained to reach this place; and had it not been for Colonel Thomas A. Scott, who has had charge of the late transportation of troops, and who gave me a place upon a troop train, a rather lengthy stay at Louisville would have been my lot.

"The scenery upon the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad is in many places grand. The sketch will give some idea of the magnitude of some of the cuts through rock and mountain.

"One of the regiments on board the train (the Thirty-third New Jersey) seemed to be a particularly jolly one, for as the train went slowly climbing among the mountains they sang, hurrahed, and shouted. The favorite song seemed to be, 'Oh, Rosecrans, he is the man,' etc. I think they sang it to nearly every picket on the road, the picket returning his thanks in a yell peculiar to our Western soldiers, and one to which the ears of many a rebel has tingled."


ON page 708 we reproduce an admirable photograph by Brady, representing our Russian visitors, ADMIRAL LESOFFSKI AND THE CAPTAINS OF HIS FLEET. They are all sturdy-looking men, perfect gentlemen, and as accomplished in letters and science as they are skillful in their profession. Private individuals, cities, and public bodies are vying with each other to do them honor. For the noble attitude of Russia in abstaining from interference in our war has touched the heart of every American and filled it with gratitude. Brady's photograph is, as usual, a success.


ON page 716 we give an illustration, from a sketch by Mr. Rogers, of the navy, of the REBEL BATTERIES AT NEW INLET, WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA, which is now the principal port at which the blockade is being run. Mr. Rogers writes:

October 19, 1863.

Having recently returned in the United States steam-sloop Iroquois from an eight months' blockade of New Inlet, North Carolina, I take the liberty of handing you herewith, for publication in your valued Weekly (should you deem them of sufficient interest), sketches of the rebel defenses at that point, and of the "Mound Battery" in its first and more advanced stages of construction.

The late brilliant operations of our army and navy at Charleston having turned the tide of blockade-runners from that port to Wilmington, the latter has consequently become a point of much interest in the area of the great rebellion. This interest will doubtless be considerably increased upon the capture of Charleston, when it is to be hoped the attention of Government will be directed to the reduction and occupation of Forts Caswell and Fisher, and contiguous works.

No port on the Southern coast offers better facilities and protection to the blockade-runner than that of Wilmington. The two entrances—Western Bar, to the westward, and New Inlet, to the northward of Smith's Island—give him a decided advantage in privilege of selection, and render two blockading squadrons as necessary as if there were so many widely-separated ports to guard. Though the direct distance from Fort Fisher to Fort Caswell is but seven miles, to reach one point from the other with a vessel it is necessary to traverse a distance of about sixty miles around Smith's Island and Frying-Pan Shoals. The coast for some distance on either side of New Inlet trends nearly due north and south, and presents no curve to shorten and concentrate the blockading line. The bar, which at most other points is two miles or more from the nearest batteries, is here but one mile from Fort Fisher, and within easy range of all the rebel guns. Deep water can be carried to within a few rods of the beach close to which the blockade-breakers usually run, in the shadow of the dense pine woods.

There are eight batteries at New Inlet, mounting in the aggregate about sixty guns, which completely cover the bar and its approaches. The guns are of the heaviest calibre and longest range, many of them being the celebrated Whitworth patent. In addition to the above there are several other batteries, extending at intervals for six or eight miles along the coast to the northward of Fort Fisher.

The "Mound Battery" is eighty feet high, composed of sand, bushes, and marsh mud, carried to the top in cars up an inclined railway by means of a stationary engine at the base. At the time of our departure from the Inlet, on the 24th ultimo, two heavy guns had been placed in position on the top, and preparations were going forward for mounting more. The object of this battery is evidently to throw plunging shot on the decks of attacking vessels.

Fort Fisher is a strong and extensive earth-work on the site of the old Light-house, and mounts forty guns in casemate and barbette.

The other batteries mount from two to four heavy guns each, and are composed of sand and provided with bomb-proofs.

A line of submarine obstructions, consisting of cribs of heavy timber with bars of iron projecting at an outward angle and torpedoes, stretches across the channel opposite the "Mound Battery;" while another similar line subtends Cape Fear River, on the inside of the point and just below Fort St. Philip, a strong fortification on the west bank, some four or five miles north of the Inlet.

The vessels engaged in violating the Wilmington blockade are as fast as England can produce, and generally built for the purpose. They sit low on the water, have no yards,

little or no rigging, and are provided with telescopic smoke-stacks and masts arranged with hinges, so as to lower upon the deck. They invariably select the darkest nights for running the gauntlet of the blockaders.

Until recently the blockade of Western Bar and New Inlet has been intrusted to an average of eight vessels only, whose stations were necessarily much farther apart than was desirable.

Notwithstanding the above adverse circumstances the record of the blockading fleet off Wilmington, from the early part of February last to the 24th ultimo, shows an aggregate of eight steamers and quite as many sailing-vessels either captured or destroyed while in the act of violating the blockade.

Within the last six weeks several fast and otherwise efficient steamers have been added to the fleet off Wilmington, and it is sincerely to be hoped that the consequent increased risk of capture will curtail to a great extent (if not effectually stop) a traffic that has hitherto been so profitable to neutral Englishmen, and brought so much material aid and comfort to our rebels.

I am, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,


Late Sec. of New Inlet Division of N. A. B. Squadron.


WE devote considerable space this week to illustrations of the Army of the Potomac, from sketches by our special artist, Mr. A. R. Waud. On pages 712 and 713 will be found a picture of the


Mr. Waud writes: "General Warren was attacked by the rebels, already in position on the hills on the opposite side of the railroad. The attack was made on his flank, while marching in the rear of the army. The advantage thus gained by the enemy was of little use to them. General Warren put his troops at once in the best position for a fight, the railroad embankment forming a perfect rifle-pit. On a hill in his rear Arnold's battery held a commanding position behind General Webb's brigade—seen beyond the wind-mill pump, in front of a deserted camp. In the foreground is Hazard's Battery B, Rhode Island artillery, which, though much exposed, did excellent service. The two horses in front were killed by one ball. Broad Run passes under the railroad at a point between the hill where Arnold took position and the trees this side of it. The result of the battle was the capture of five guns, two battle-flags, and 450 prisoners, and the killing and wounding of 1200 men, besides the demoralizing influence of the affair on the minds of the men, who were led to regard the capture of our train as certain. Our loss was about 200, a large proportion being wounded."

On the same pages we illustrate the BURNING OF THE BRIDGE OVER THE RAPPAHANNOCK, and the STRAGGLERS WADING THE STREAM after the bridge had been burnt. Mr. Waud writes:

"This bridge was destroyed on Tuesday, the 13th of October, to prevent the rebels bringing up supplies by railroad after we evacuated the line of the Rappahannock River. Of course it could be rebuilt, but that would take a week at least. After it was set on fire a number of stragglers came up, and had to wade over at the dam just above the bridge. It is astonishing that men will loaf in the rear of the army, and thereby risk a long and hungry march into Richmond, and a still longer and a loathsome captivity."

On page 716 will be found another illustration, which depicts the DEFENSIVE WORKS at the bridge over the Rappahannock. Mr. Waud writes:

"This point, alternately held by both armies, and the scene of many skirmishes and military movements, is again in our possession. Lee, foiled in his intended movement, has declined Meade's offer of battle, and sullenly has retired, having torn up and destroyed the railroad track, to finish the destruction which we commenced by burning the bridge. The smoke in the picture shows the position of the bridge, under the crest of the hill. The fort on the other side of the river was built to defend it from attack in that direction, the bank on this side being crowned with similar works and a line of rifle-pits for some distance up and down the river. The dark-red earth of which these field-works are made gives a gloomy aspect to them, in great contrast to the beautiful autumn foliage above which they erect their frowning crests."

Some of the more humorous scenes of camp-life are portrayed on page 717. One of them, from a sketch made before the provost marshal's arrangements were as complete as they now are, shows us a group of gamblers and thieves waylaying officers off duty. At one time it was the boast of the gamblers that they were more interested than any other class in the community in getting the troops paid off, as the bulk of the greenbacks, sooner or later, fell into their hands. The other picture is described on page 717.


WORTH TRYING. — A dashing and fashionable widow says she thinks of string some gentleman for a breach of promise, so that the world may know she is in the market.

Mathews was always sprucely dressed, and fond of a handsome umbrella. Munden was miserly in his habits. He was generally meanly dressed, and carried an old cotton parachute. After Munden had left the stage Mathews met him one day in Covent Garden.

"Ah, Munden," said Mathews, "I beg you'll let me have something of yours as a remembrances."

"Certainly, my boy," replied Joe Munden; "we'll exchange umbrellas."

Mathews was so taken by storm that Munden walked off with a new umbrella.

DROPPING THE VOICE.—During a rehearsal Braham said to Tom Cooke, who was the conductor, "Now, Tom, keep quiet piano here, because just at this part, to give effect, I intend dropping my voice." "Do you, by the powers!" said Tom; "whereabouts? for it's just the sort of voice I should like to pick up."

He who has a heart for his lesson will soon have his lesson by heart.

What is the difference between a milkmaid and a swallow?—One skins the milk, and the other skims the water.

THE RING.—Among the Romans the gift of a ring was a badge of liberation from slavery. Married people may best explain whether it is so among the moderns.

TO CURIOSITY VENDORS.—Wanted, a key to open a lock of hair; a pin to fasten the tie of friendship; a cement for repairing broken vows; and a lacquer for brightening clouded prospects.

Burton once went to a London theatre to see a new piece played for the first time, and, being "near-sighted," preferred going into the pit, so made for that portion of the "Auditorium," when to his surprise (for he thought he was nearly the first there) he discovered several persons seated in front of him occupying the most prominent seats. Shortly after the first act he went out, and seeing the money-taker in his place, said to him, "You told me I was the first who had paid!" "So you was," said the man. "Then, who are all those who were already seated in front when I went in?" added Burton. "Oh then," continued the matter-o'-fact money-taker, "they did not pay; we never charges that lot nothink—they're the 'Applause' that always goes in first!"

Jekyll was told that one his friends, a brewer, had been drowned in his own vat. "Ah!" he exclaimed, "floating on his watery bier."

In one of our Western towns they passed an ordinance forbidding taverns to sell liquors on the Sabbath to any person except travelers. The next Sunday every man in the town was seen walking about with a portmanteau in one hand and a pair of saddle-bags in the other.

A celebrated comedian arranged with his green-grocer, one Berry, to pay him quarterly; but the green-grocer sent in his account long before the quarter was done. The comedian, in great wrath, called upon the green-grocer, and, laboring under the impression that his credit was doubted, said: "I say, here's a pretty mull, Berry; you have sent in your bill, Berry, before it is due, Berry. Your father, the elder Berry, would not have been such a goose, Berry; but you need not look black, Berry, for I don't care a straw, Berry; and I sha'n't pay you till Christmas, Berry!"

Two ragged little urchins, whose parents paid more attention to the bottle than to the training of their children, were in the habit of seriously annoying their neighbors who lived close by with their noise while at play in front of their house. One day the lady of the house came to the door, and told them to be quiet or go home immediately. "Jist hear she a-orderin' we," said one of the children to the other, "when no don't belong to she!"

They say there is truth in wine; but a drunken man can't be expected to tell the sober truth.

People sometimes undertake to go ahead, and find they can't go a single foot.

QUERIES.—Somebody wants to know the name of the tune which was "played upon the feelings," and also if the "cup of sorrow" has a saucer. The same inquisitor would like to know if "the light of other days" was gas or electricity. Also if the girl who "clung to hope" had not a slippery hold, and if people do not get fatigued by "the exercise of forbearance."

Mr. Noggs, speaking of a blind wood-sawyer, says, "While none ever saw him see, thousands have seen him saw."

A lady was once declaring that she could not understand how gentlemen could smoke. "It certainly shortens their lives," said she. "I didn't know that," exclaimed a gentleman; "there's my father who smokes every blessed day, and he's now seventy years old." "Well," was the reply, "if he had never smoked he might have been eighty by this time."

This is the style in which the fair ones in some parts of England convey the hint to backward swains: "Why don't you get married?" said a young lady, the other day, to a bachelor friend, who was on a visit. "I have been trying for the last ten years to find some one who would be silly enough to have me," was the reply. "Then you haven't been down our way," was the insinuating rejoinder.

Madame Boivin for two years had vainly tried to get her pay for two dozen of cravats which Mr. L., a young fop, suspected of living a little at the expense of confiding tradesmen, had bought of her. At last she sent her bill, couched in these terms: "Mr. L., Dr. to two dozen of fancy satin gens d'armes." "What does this mean?" asked Mr. L. "What are satin gens d'armes?" "They are doubtless your cravats," was the reply, "because they take a thief by the throat every morning."

When Cromwell first coined his money, an old cavalier looking upon one of the new pieces, read this inscription on one side, "God with us;" on the other, "The Commonwealth of England." "I see," said he, "God and the Commonwealth are on different sides."

At Bristol a magistrate asked a prisoner if he were married. "No," replied the man. "Then," rejoined his worship, amidst peals of laughter, "it's a good thing for your wife."

A philosopher and a wit were crossing from Dover to Calais, when a high swell rising, the philosopher seemed under great apprehensions lest he should go to the bottom. "Why," observed the wit, "that will suit your genius to the letter; as for me, you know I am only for skimming the surface of things."

Why is the rudder of a steamboat like a public hangman?—Because it has a stern duty to perform.

A prince, rallying the fatness of a courtier, who had served him in many embassies, said he looked like an ox. "I know not," said the courtier, "what I am like; but I know that I often had the honor to represent your Majesty."

A Dutchman's heart-rending soliloquy is described thus: "She lofes Shon Mickle so petter as I, because he has cot a koople tollars more as I has."

A sick cobbler must be regarded as being well when he begins to mend.

A BACHELOR'S IDEA OF WEDLOCK.—One of the casualties of life.

SEA-SIDE NOTE.—The desire for bathing is a very wishy-washy sentiment.

There's no use in your ever taking a lazy man to task. He won't perform it if you do.

What do we often drop, yet never stoop to pick up?—A hint.

It is perfectly natural that physicians generally should have a greater horror of the sea than any body else—because they are more likely to see sickness.

"I can't reconcile differences," said Septimus Hardup. "For instance, there is nothing more regular in its coming round than dinner-time, and nothing less certain than dinner."

Johnny remarked to his grandmother that old Mrs. Cranshaw had the appearance of a person with one foot in the grave. "Well, really, upon my word," said the antique lady, "I thought I noticed she walked a leetle lame lately."

The man who imagined himself wise because he detected some typographical errors in a newspaper has been trying to get a perpendicular view of the rainbow.


THE WORST THING OUT—Out of temper.




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