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Civil War Harper's Weekly, October 31, 1863

Welcome to our extensive collection of Harper's Weekly newspapers. These papers are available online. Reading about the war on the pages of these old papers allows you to watch the events of the war unfold in real time. The papers have interesting insight and perspective not available elsewhere.

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


Army of the Cumberland

Rosecrans Removed from Command

Bristoe Station

Battle of Bristoe Station

White Stone Hill

Battle of White Stone Hill

Siege of Charleston

Siege of Charleston

Quack Medicine

Quack Medicine



Cavarly Battle

Cavalry Battle


Sioux War

Fort Moultrie

Fort Moultrie

Battle of Chickamauga

Battle of Chickamauga



OCTOBER 31, 1863.]




GOVERNOR SEYMOUR, who declares that he had rather see the Union destroyed than Slavery, and who insists that we had no business to discuss subjects which were disagreeable to our Southern masters, who are now trying to whip us in to obedience, last winter vetoed the bill for allowing the soldiers to vote. Why? Because his instinct was just. Because he knew that the soldiers would inevitably vote for the Government to support which they were fighting. Their fire and their vote are equally true to their country and the Union. How correct he was the late military vote in Ohio shows. There are so few votes against the Union and the war for it that they are not worth counting. Seymour knows that his "friends" are not in the army fighting the rebels. They stay at home to burn orphan asylums and murder innocent and helpless men and children. Perhaps some one would like to insist that the rank and file of the army are Copperheads. It is as true as the other story that the Amy of the Potomac will fight under nobody but McClellan.


IN the great debate in the British Parliament last April upon the duty of England under her neutrality law, Lord Palmerston in his most jaunty tone declared, amidst the applause of the House, that no menace would induce the Government "to come down to this House and propose a change of the law." In his late speech at Blairgowrie, Lord Russell said that the Government were prepared to do every thing that the duty of neutrality required, even if it should be necessary "that the sanction of Parliament should be asked to further measures."

Lord Palmerston spoke when the rebellion seemed to be sure of success; Lord Russell, when it is pretty surely defeated. The two speeches are a fair representation of what the Government of Great Britain understands by neutrality. Its obligation to ask a change of the law last April was exactly what it is now. That one party in the war is more or less successful can not alter the attitude of a neutral power. War with England will doubtless be avoided by her action. But let us not deceive ourselves as to the occasion of her action. It is not a change of heart—Vicksburg, Port Hudson, Gettysburg, Charleston, these have been the "eye-openers" of Great Britain.


"A CONSTANT READER" writes that, having occasion recently to apply for a book at the Mercantile Library (in what city is not stated), he was requested, almost inaudibly, to write his name, address, etc., upon a slip of paper, and, upon inquiry, was "curtly answered" that communication between the librarian and the reader was to be held by signs that there might be no noise of conversation. "Why, then, dear Lounger," asks the writer, "did the Lord give us voice and language, if it was intended we should transact all the business of this world by signs?" And he further remarks: "If this system is to be permanent, I would simply suggest that the library hire persons who are really deaf and dumb for librarians; in which case we should all be content, and it would be giving employment to a class who do not often have the chance of making a living, and who could hand us the slips of paper and get us our books as well as those now in charge."

"A Constant Reader" is perhaps not aware that the slip of paper is a receipt for the book, is of great convenience for reference in case of loss, and saves murmuring in the library, where many students may be reading. And although, as he suggests, it is fair to presume that persons who have taste and culture enough to wish to visit a library will have sufficiently good manners not to disturb others, yet experience unfortunately shows that libraries are a favorite resort of young and heedless persons who do not know the value of silence. Meanwhile, because that is true of libraries, we do not understand that it is proposed to transact all the business of the world by signs or by slips of paper. It does not exactly follow because the tide is high at four o'clock that there will be a deluge at six. Does it?


ON the 7th of September the Richmond Inquirer said: "The success of the Democratic [Copperhead] party would be no longer doubtful should General Lee once more advance upon Meade. Let him drive Meade into Washington, and he will again raise the spirits of the Democrats [Copperheads], confirm their timid, and give confidence to their wavering." In conformity with this plait General Lee did move upon Meade, but did not happen to "drive" him. At the same moment, and for the same purpose of raising the spirits of the Copperheads, General McClellan moved against the Government in concert with Lee. But the combined movement of Generals Lee and McClellan neither defeated the Government in the field nor at the polls. Neither chief can be classed among the successful Generals.


THE Lyceum all over the country begins to arrange its winter course of lectures. The demand for good lecturers was never greater, and some of the most eminent and popular, such as Mr. Beecher, Mr. Chapin, Mr. Bayard Taylor, return from their European absence refreshed and inspired. Inevitably and happily, the profound interest of the time will hardly suffer any speaker to wander far from some aspect of the condition of the country. Parties have disappeared. Politics are not now a question of partisan ascendency, but of national salvation. And as there never was a time when the fullest public intelligence was more desirable, so there was never a better opportunity for the vigorous and frank discussion of the great fundamental

social questions, to which our attention must be for a long time turned, than the Lyceum.

There will be a desire of variety, certainly, in the general range of topics, although there is no fear that the same subject will be treated in the same way by any of the chief lecturers. It is the treatment, no less than the topic, which is of the utmost importance. But for Lyceums which wish to leave the current of public interests altogether, Mr. Tasistro's and Mr. Vandenhoff's readings, Professor Youman's and Richard's scientific lectures, and the illustrated lectures of Mr. Oscanyan upon Turkish life, will be most attractive. The series of card-photographs illustrative of Mr. Oscanyan's lectures are extremely interesting. They are valuable studies of Oriental costume, and Mr. Oscanyan is so fluent in the English language, with which he is entirely familiar, that his lectures, with their tableaux, will be a most agreeable variety.


"MARTIN POLE" is the last issue in the Harper's Library of Select Novels. It is by John Saunders, the author of "Abel Drake's Wife," a writer who is fast acquiring great reputation for his vigorous and powerful stories of modern domestic life.

The Harpers also issue "The Ring of Amasis," a tale "edited" by Owen Meredith, which is the pseudonym of Robert Bulwer Lytton, son of the novelist, and a poet of some repute. This story is grotesque and fanciful; a love story which will not fail to interest those who like the peculiarly intense poetry of the author.

"Does the Bible sanction American Slavery?" is the title of the latest essay of Goldwin Smith, Professor of History at Oxford, England, republished by Severs and Francis of Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is a brief, clear, and masterly exposition of the whole subject. And if the men at the South, who muddle their brains about the "Christianity" of slavery, could read and understand this short and trenchant work of a most accomplished scholar and noble Englishman, they would not fire another shot for the "divine" institution. This pamphlet of Professor Smith's we especially commend to our readers, because Bishop Hopkins of Vermont, in a letter to Bishop Potter of Pennsylvania, announces that he shall, within a few months, publish "a full demonstration of the truth wherein I stand"—namely, that it is a highly Christian business to breed babies for sale. A pleasing truth for a Bishop to stand upon! Let the Bishop comprehend the full scope of his work. He proposes to show that the Christian Church has always justified slavery, and his conclusion will be that Slavery is therefore a Christian institution. Does he know the little work called "Slavery in Christendom," by Patrice Larroque, formerly rector of the Academy of Lyons in France? Larroque, with perhaps as profound and extensive a scholarship as the Bishop of Vermont, also declares that the Christian Church has always approved slavery. But his conclusion is very different front the Bishop's. It is that it is not a true Church! He declares that slavery and "dogmatic Christianity" rise and fall together. And while he says plainly that Christ habitually taught a humanity which is the utter condemnation of slavery, he asserts that those principles have never been practiced by the Church! It will be seen that the Bishop thus enters upon a tolerably wide field. But to every simple Christian heart, which is more anxious to hear what Christ said than what men say that he said, Goldwin Smith's little pamphlet is conclusive.

"The Union Generals," a work which G. W. Childs is preparing, will be the natural companion of every history of the war. It will be written by distinguished literary gentlemen, most of whom have made the rebellion as subject of special study. With its descriptive battle-pictures in the text, and its steel-plate portraits of the heroes, with maps, plans, and wood-cuts, it must be a very important addition to the history of the times. The publisher, Mr. Childs, would be very glad to receive any facts or verified incidents relative to the Generals or to the battles and sieges in which they may have been engaged.

"The Student's Repository" is the title of a modest periodical published at Spartanburg, Indiana, which is written and conducted by the students and friends of the Union Literary Institute, a society of colored persons. It is to be issued quarterly at fifty cents a year; and is worthy the interest of all Americans who wish that all men in this country should have fair play. Many of the articles in the first number are naturally crude and experimental, but the tone of the work is earnest and manly. A brief paper by the editor, "What shall be done with the Negro?" written in 1860, is a very simple and conclusive statement of the wisdom of doing the best rather than the worst with him. In the opening article a few remarks show a quiet good sense, which is worthy the careful consideration of every colored man. "If we as a race ever become educated, elevated, and respected, we have got to do the work ourselves. No one else can do it for us. We must prove to the white man that we are as susceptible of improvement as he is."


LIEUTENANT-COLONEL LLOYD D. WADDELL, of the Eleventh Regiment Illinois Volunteers, who served with distinction at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, and Vicksburg, and was for a long time Chief of Staff for Major-General McPHERSON, has been officially announced as Provost Marshal of the Post of Vicksburg.

Brigadier-General RUFUS KING has been reappointed Minister Resident at Rome, and accepts the appointment, his acceptance to take effect immediately. The mission becomes vacant by the return and resignation of the Hon. M. BLATCHFORD, of New York, the recent incumbent. General KING turned the command of his division in the Army of the Potomac over to General MICHAEL CORCORAN.

Major J. W. ABERT, of the Engineer corps, has been announced upon the staff of Major-General GILMORE. He will have the department of records and topographical surveys under his control. Major ABERT is an old army officer, and served for a long time upon the staff of Major-General BANKS.

The well-earned star has been conferred upon Colonel J. W. TURNER. That officer is now is Brigadier-General, continuing, however, to serve as Chief of the Staff and Chief of Artillery.

Colonel DICKINSON, formerly Assistant Adjutant-General on General HOOKER'S staff, has been assigned to the command of the convalescent camp, vice Colonel GREENE, relieved.

Lieutenant DISOSWAY, Provost Marshal of Williamsburg, Virginia, was shot on 14th October by Private BOYLE, of the First New York Mounted Rifles; and a day or two before Private BLAKE stabbed Private REDSON, both of the same organization.

Colonel FAIRCHILD, of the Second Wisconsin Regiment, arrived in Washington last week, having recovered from the effects of his wound, received at Gettysburg, by which he lost an arm. He is now about to resign his commission and assume the duties of Secretary of State of Wisconsin, for which he is a candidate as a War Democrat.

Colonel CONRAD BAKER, First Indiana Cavalry, and Colonel E. A. PARROTT, First Ohio Volunteers, have been detailed to superintend the volunteer recruiting service in their respective States. Hitherto none but officers of the regular army have been assigned to this duty.

Colonel LUCIUS FAIRCHILD, of the Second Wisconsin regiment, has been made a Brigadier-General, for gallantry in the battle of Gettysburg.

The friends of Surgeon-General HAMMOND say that there is no doubt that he will, on his return from his tour of inspection to New Orleans, and perhaps other points in the West, resume his place at the head of the bureau.

Captains CUTTING and BENKARD, of General AUGUR'S staff, have arrived in Washington and resumed their duties. The remainder of the General's staff are at New Orleans. General HEINTZELMAN'S staff, however, will remain on duty for the present.

Major-General DOUBLEDAY, who was recently ordered to the Department of the Gulf, remains in Washington awaiting further instructions. It is rumored that he is to be assigned to a different field.

A court-martial, composed of thirteen officers, under medical treatment, but who are capable of performing this comparatively light duty, has been appointed for the trial of military officers. Colonel STONE, of the One Hundred and Forty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers, is President of the court. A similar court, of which Colonel WARNER, of the Tenth Pennsylvania Reserves, is President, has been appointed from the Invalid Corps.

The proceedings of the court-martial in the case of Lieutenant-Colonel RUFF, Third United States Cavalry, have been sent in, and are awaiting the action of the War Department. In the mean time Colonel RUFF has obtained permission to return to Philadelphia to perfect his accounts as mustering and disbursing officer.

General SPINOLA, though still suffering from his wound, reported for duty on 14th, desiring to rejoin the Third corps; but the military authorities declined to send him to the front, believing that he is not yet physically capable of active service. He will, however, be ordered to New York, with authority to recruit an infantry corps.

Last week Major-General AUGUR assumed command of the Department of Washington. It is reported that this change is only a temporary one, caused by the illness of General HEINTZELMAN, and that the latter will resume command as soon as his health will permit. His stiff remain in the performance of their duties at head-quarters.

Lieutenants O'DONAVAN and LAUN, of Colonel BAKER'S Cavalry regiment, have been dismissed the service for drunkenness on duty.

Five officers were arrested at Washington on 17th for remaining in the city without authority, after their regiment had left for the front, and ordered to report under arrest to the Provost Marshal General of the Army of the Potomac. To show the expedition with which such matters are attended to, these officers were arrested in less than an hour after the telegram informing against them was received.

Lieutenant-Commander BEARDSLEE has been detached from special duty in New York, and ordered to the Wachussett.



THERE has been since our last number went to press a great deal of manoeuvring, marching and countermarching, by the hostile armies of the Potomac, and one small battle. It seems that Lee crossed the Rapidan, and endeavored to get between our army and Washington, but was foiled by Meade's strategy. Meade fell back to and across the Rappahannock, and was followed by Lee. On 14th a brisk action took place at Bristoe Station, in which the enemy were roughly handled—as described in the official report below. Meade finally halted at or near Centreville. On 16th a courier is said to have reached Lee informing him that Burnside, at the head of a powerful column of cavalry, was moving in the direction of Lynchburg, Lee's base of supplies. He was reported to be near Abingdon, Virginia, one hundred and seventy-five miles from Lynchburg, and to have destroyed the railroad for a distance of over forty miles. The news reached General Lee by courier on the 16th, and on the following day his retrograde movement toward Lynchburg commenced. The troops in advance, under General Hill, were carried by an immense train of cars from Culpepper southward, the rest of the main army following by way of Warrenton and Greenwich. Meade is now in pursuit.



The Major-General commanding announces to the army that the rear-guard, consisting of the Second corps, was attacked yesterday, while marching by the flank. The enemy after a spirited contest was repulsed, losing a battery of five guns, two colors, and 450 prisoners. The skill and promptitude of Major-General Warren, and the gallantry and bearing of the officers and soldiers of the second corps, are entitled to high commendation. By command of MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE.

S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.


General Burnside is reported by the rebels to be advancing into Western Virginia with fourteen thousand cavalry, for the purpose of making a raid on the East Tennessee Railroad, and doubtless also intending the destruction of the great salt-works near Abingdon. They acknowledge that he had engaged and driven their forces, with a loss of 300 killed and wounded, from Bible Ridge to Greencastle, and thence was advancing on Abingdon. He is also said to have organized three regiments of Tennessee "renegades," and that 4000 refugees were following his army.


The following has been received at the head-quarters of the army:

Major-General H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief:

CHATTANOOGA, Oct. 18, 1863.

The following dispatch has just been received from Brigadier-General George Crook, commanding the Second Cavalry division, dated Rogerville, Alabama, October 10, 1863.

"I have the honor to inform you that I have had three fights with the enemy since I left the Sequatchie Valley, whipping him very badly each time. The last battle ended at Farmington, Tennessee, where I fought Wheeler's entire command with only two brigades. I cut his force in two, scattering a large part of it, capturing four pieces of artillery, 1000 stand of cavalry arms, and 240 prisoners,

besides the wounded. As I pushed on after the enemy immediately, I have not been able to ascertain the number of their killed and wounded, but it was very heavy. They were scattered over a distance of fifteen miles from this, and their retreat was a perfect rout, their men deserting and straggling over the country. I pursued them with great vigor, but their horses being better than mine, I was only able to come up with a couple of regiments at Sugar Creek, left to detain me. I made a charge on them, capturing some fifty of them, and scattering the remainder in the mountains. When within eight miles of the river I struck the gallop, but when I reached the river I found they had all crossed at a ford some three miles above Samp's Ferry, where they commenced to cross twelve abreast. I never saw troops more demoralized than they were. I am satisfied that their loss in his raid was not less than 2000. No fears need be entertained of their making another raid soon. Signed George Crook, Brigadier-General commanding."

W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-General.


General Rosecrans has been relieved from the command of the Army of the Cumberland; and Major-General Ulysses S. Grant takes command of that Department and of the Army of the Tennessee (Grant's old army), the Army of the Cumberland (Rosecrans's late army), and the Army of Kentucky (Burnside's). General Thomas, who fought so splendidly at Chickamauga, takes the immediate command vacated by General Rosecrans.


Complete official returns from the infantry engaged in the battles of Chicamauga have been received, showing a total loss of 955 officers and 14,891 men. The losses of the cavalry will swell the grand total to about 16,000. Of 4,685 missing, 2,500 were wounded. Thirty-six pieces of artillery were lost and a few wagons.


      ST. LOUIS, October 14, 1863.

Major-General H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief:

General Brown brought the rebels under Shelby to a decisive engagement yesterday. The fight was obstinate, and lasted five hours. The rebels were finally completely routed and scattered in all directions, with the loss of all their artillery and baggage and a large number of small-arms and prisoners.

The enemy's loss in killed and wounded is very large. Our troops are still pursuing the flying rebels.

J. M. SCHOFIELD, Major-General.


Lieutenant-Colonel Broderick, of the First New Jersey Cavalry, who was wounded and taken prisoner by the enemy in the cavalry fight on the Rappahannock last June, arrived at Washington on 19th from Richmond. His statements concerning the condition of the Union prisoners are of the most remarkable character, and should induce the Government to initiate at once prompt measures for their relief. There are now confined at Richmond at least nine hundred officers and over ten thousand enlisted men. Many of the latter are utterly destitute of shirts, pantaloons, and coats, and sickness prevails to a fearful extent. Numbers die daily, and the mostality is still increasing, insufficiency of food and lack of clothing having prostrated hundreds of the most hardy men. The enlisted men are actually starved, and an officer who gave some portion of his food to some privates in the room below, by passing it through the floor, has been confined in a dungeon. Great indignation has since been excited among our troops by the apparent neglect, on the part of the Government, of our prisoners in the South. We have a large balance in our favor, and, if an exchange can not be effected, our officers and men claim that rebel prisoners should be subjected to the same privations until the rebel authorities cease to treat our men as brutes.


Jeff Davis has taken umbrage at the action of the British Consuls in reference to foreigners enlisted in the array of the rebel service, and has dismissed them all from the Confederacy. The Southern papers rejoice greatly at this event. Some of them attribute the dismissal of her Britannic Majesty's representatives to a broader reason—namely, the treatment which Mr. Mason received at the Court of St. James, which required his withdrawal from the diplomatic mission by order of Mr. Davis. Intense disgust of the late action of the British Government toward the Confederacy—as exemplified in Lord Russell's speech—is manifested in the tone of all the Southern journals, and a firmer confidence in the friendly interference of France is exhibited.


Loyal papers are now published in Vicksburg, Mississippi; Knoxville, Tennessee; Natchez, Mississippi, and Little Rock, Arkansas.


Under date of Chattanooga, October 14, General J. A. Garfield sends the following to the Ohio State Journal: "Returns thus far of the Ohio volunteer infantry in this army give 9424 for Brough and 252 for Vallandigham. Seven regiments of infantry and eight batteries not yet heard from. Over four regiments of cavalry did not vote; they were absent, writing history with their sabres on the heads of Vallandigham's friends. Ohio lost 5000 Union votes at Chicamauga. We that are left greet John Brough again. Give us the news from home."




THE "Southern Club" of England and the "Central Association for the Recognition of the Southern States" have been formally amalgamated at Manchester into one society under the title of "The Southern Independence Association." Lord Wharncliffe, the President, delivered a strong speech in favor of the recognition of the rebel States by England.


England has again been visited by an earthquake. It took place on Tuesday, October 6, between 4 and 5 o'clock in the morning, and was felt very generally. From Liverpool, Hereford, and numerous other places, we have accounts of its having shaken the houses. There seems to have been an upheaving of the earth from west to east, followed by an immediate subsidence, after which a loud, rumbling noise was heard.


The King of the Greeks has arrived in England from St. Petersburg. Having visited Queen Victoria he was to go to Paris, and proceed from the Tuileries to Athens.



The Mexican deputation reached Miramar, the seat of the Archduke Maximilian, in great state from Vienna. Senor de Estrada made the tender of the crown to the Emperor elect in a lengthy address. He also presented the roll of the votes of the Chamber of Notables of Mexico, splendidly engrossed and inclosed in the brad of a sceptre of solid gold, manufactured by Mexican artists. The Archduke replied in a speech in which he formally set forth the conditions on which he will accept the crown, declaring that a monarchy could not be satisfactorily re-established in Mexico without the spontaneous consent of the whole nation. Having regard also to certain "dangers" which threaten the integrity and independence of the country, it was essential to obtain "guarantees," and if both these conditions are fulfilled the Archduke intimates that he will accept the proffered crown, subject to the approval of his brother, the Emperor of Austria. In the event of becoming monarch, the Archduke would "open the path of progress" by giving "a constitution" to the country of his adoption. He paid a compliment to the Emperor Napoleon.




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