Jefferson Davis Prepares to Arm the Slaves


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, October 17, 1863

We have created an online archive of all Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. This archive contains incredibly rich details which are simply not available anywhere else. The material allows you to not only study details of the important events, but also see the people's reaction to the events.

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


Nevski Flagship

Nevski Flagship


Abraham Lincoln Establishes Thanksgiving Holiday

Armed Slaves

Davis to Arm the Slaves

Confederate Ships

Confederate Rams

Russian Ships

Russian Ships

Soldier's Story

A Soldier's Story

Libby Prison

Libby Prison

Libey Prison

Libey Prison


Parade on Broadway

Libey Prison in Richmond

Libey Prison in Richmond

Russian Fleet

Russian Fleet


Pirate Cartoon




OCTOBER 17, 1863.]



First-Lieutenant ARTHUR F. SMALL, Adjutant Eleventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, First-Lieutenant OSCAR H. CLEMENT, First Company Andrew's Sharp-Shooters, Massachusetts Volunteers, and Second-Lieutenant THOMAS H. REED, Ninety-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers, have been cashiered for conduct unbecoming officers and gentlemen, drunkenness, and breach of arrest.

The evidence in the case of General MILROY has been reviewed by the Judge-Advocate-General and submitted to the President for his decision, which has not yet been promulgated.

Colonel JAMES A. TAIT, First District of Columbia Volunteers, has been dismissed the service by order of the President. He was Provost Marshal General of the defenses south of Washington last winter, and was charged with neglect of duty and disobedience of orders, for which he was tried and honorably acquitted; but General HEINTZELMAN, commanding the department, disapproved the finding of the court, alleging that the evidence adduced showed that the charges were conclusively proved. The case was referred to the President, who ordered Colonel TAIT to be dismissed.

Colonel RAMSAY has been appointed Brigadier-General, and assigned to the charge of the Ordnance Bureau, which he has filled since the retirement of General RUPLEY.

Colonel DELANCEY, recently captured by the rebels, was attached to Governor PIERPONT'S staff. He was at the time sojourning at the house of a relative several miles from Alexandria.



AT last accounts both armies were confronting each other, and General Rosecrans had established three lines of defense in front of the town, while General Bragg was at the same time fortifying Missionary Ridge. General Rosecrans's reinforcements reached him on 2d, and his army is now believed to he larger than ever.

The Richmond Examiner admits that General Rosecrans's position is impregnable, and that the attempt of the rebel General Imboden to cut off the communication between Rosecrans and his reinforcements on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad had proved a failure.


The position of General Burnside's command is announced in a dispatch from Knoxville. His right wing is in communication with the army of General Rosecrans. He holds the entire country south from Knoxville to Calhoun, on the Hawassee River, and east of the former point as far as Greenville, on the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad. He also holds possession of all the passes into North Carolina.


Accounts from Nashville of 5th state that the enemy had destroyed the large railroad bridge south of Murfreesboro. They burned one portion of it, and the other portion they cut down.


Affairs remain unchanged in General Meade's army, and with the exception of some skirmishing between the pickets on either side of the Rapidan, and the firing of the rebel batteries occasionally on our foraging parties, there is nothing to disturb the repose which both Union and rebel soldiers are enjoying in the delicious weather which prevails in the vicinity of the Rapidan.


We have news from Charleston to the 1st inst. Our forces were progressing with the erection of batteries on Morris Island. The troops were in fine health and spirits. Official reports from Admiral Dahlgren have been received at the Navy Department to the effect that the land and naval forces are not idle in their operations. Our guns were making terrible havoc on Forts Sumter, Johnson, and Simpkins. The enemy's batteries on Fort Moultrie replied briskly.


Dispatches from Cairo to the 3d state that over two thousand Arkansas Unionists have joined our army at different points; that two newspapers have been revived at Little Rock, and that the railroad between Duvall's Bluff and Little Rock is in charge of Colonel Meade, brother to General Meade, of the Army of the Potomac. The steamer Robert Campbell, from St. Louis to Vicksburg, was fired by incendiaries, near Milliken's Bend, on the 29th ult. The flames spread so rapidly that the passengers were forced to jump overboard before the boat could be got to shore. Twenty-two lives were lost, including several officers of the Federal army.


There has been a brush between our gun-boats and the rebel fort at Grant's Pass, near the entrance of Mobile Bay, in which the fort is believed to have been materially damaged, as well as a rebel iron-clad that for a brief time participated in the engagement.


Several persons have been arrested and placed in irons in St. Louis, owing to a report that a conspiracy exists there to burn all the steamers in Western waters which may be of any service to the Government. An investigation is now on foot which will probably unravel the mystery of this desperate undertaking, if any such should be in contemplation.



MR. MASON'S removal from the position of rebel envoy in London is confirmed. The English journals deny that he ever enjoyed a diplomatic character. The writers say that the door of Earl Russell's official chamber was invariably closed against him in a "polite" manner, and that the Davis manoeuvre of calling him from London can not alter the neutral course of the Government, or entrap the Cabinet into a recognition, even by a "side wind."



La France says a Federal steam corvette (Kearsage) had arrived at Brest from Madeira, having been sent, with another Federal corvette, in pursuit of the Florida. The Florida leaves Brest on the 23d, completely repaired, and proceeds immediately to meet the second Federal corvette, which is at Lisbon, and attack her before she can be joined by the one at Brest, which is repairing.

La France says the Federal corvette Kearsage will be treated at Brest like the Florida. Both belligerents will enjoy the same rights and advantages.



Russia had replied to the French note on the Polish question. The State paper reiterates the determination of the Czar to deal with the subject himself. Prince Gortschakoff adds that the Emperor of Russia can not "permit" the affairs of his provinces, to which no international relations apply, being ever alluded to by the other Powers, even "incidentally" or in a "friendly" manner.



The Archduke Louis of Austria—brother of Maximilian —is to be married to the daughter, the only child of the Emperor of Brazil. The London Post regards the event of very high importance, as two thrones en this side of the Atlantic—that of Mexico and Brazil—may soon be filled by members of the house of Hapsburg, who will mutually support each other. The London Post speaks of such a royal accomplishment with favor.

(Previous Page) of the war said that France was going to impose a Government; and Juarez, who was false to his oaths, and whose administration was deplorable, was represented as the choice of the Mexicans. It was said, too, that the Emperor was too adventurous, and the first ill-success at Puebla awoke the echoes of the Palais Bourbon (Prince Napoleon's party), and endless calumnies were cast upon the project.

The war is more than justified by the wrongs of France. She aims to help the Mexicans choose a Government which pleases them. After the Puebla failure it was resolved to have force enough to secure success. Others saw only glory in the plan, but Louis Napoleon had laid down a new policy. In his instructions to Forey he says that France wishes the United States well, but does not wish to see her the sole distributor of the products of the New World. She must oppose the absorption of the Southern by the Northern American States, and also the diminution of the Latin races upon the Western continent. The interest which carries France to Mexico has already given her sympathy to secession. The French army in Mexico is but the van-guard of a great commercial immigration. Napoleon III. has long planned what he is doing, and he will push it to its completion.

The second part of the pamphlet is devoted to a survey of the soil, climate, and resources of Mexico. Why are they not turned to better account by the Mexicans? Because anarchy is fomented by the leaders, and the people are too feeble in numbers for the territory; of these people, also, the Indians and Creoles are too lazy or tyrannical. The Mexican soil demands intelligent immigration and capital. Now the tranquillity and solidity of French institutions pushes away from her soil all kinds of colonists. Give them protection, and they will go to Mexico. It is thus a national interest that takes France to Mexico; and whether Maximilian accepts or not, French influence will remain there. The French army carries to Mexico—1st, cohesion; 2d, order; 3d, industry; 4th, an army. At home the empire has utilized Socialism and conquered anarchy. It wishes to do this in Mexico; but it can not do it with profit and security until after the recognition of the Confederate States.

The third part opens by the remark that the war has shown Europe how much she was menaced by the power of the United States. At her own cost she has learned how precarious is an industry which depends upon a single source of material, with all the vicissitudes to which it is subject. England has no particular interest in ending the war. She sees with satisfaction a great power destroying itself, and she fears for Canada, which, at the end of the war, the North might seize as compensation for the lost South. While the war lasts her commerce profits and she sells arms to both sides, and is all the time developing in India the cotton culture. She will not be the first to recognize the South. Her rejection of both the overtures of France to that end shows that. But France can only look to the South for cotton, which, for quality and cheapness, is the best of all. This the Federals know, and the war is one of interest. Emancipation is a pretext to win the liberals of Europe. If victorious, the Federals would not emancipate for fear of hurting the cotton culture. In Europe we understand their coarse cry of freedom. We see what judicial liberty they have at the North, and the Governor of Minnesota offers twenty-five dollars for an Indian scalp. If the Federals conquer, the poor negroes will suffer. The European power which first recognizes the Confederacy can exact conditions favorable to the blacks. If France be the first, humanity and progress are secure. Emancipation at some time will come from the alliance between France and the Confederates. Besides, slavery need be no bar to recognition. France has cordial relations with many slaveholding nations. The Northern States saw long ago this result of emancipation from the alliance of some foreign power with the South, and the Monroe doctrine was but a policy of insurance against civilization.

The men of the North have destroyed every guarantee of liberty in order to hold the provinces which yield them a support. The model republic is gone. The men of the North would never confess the superiority of the men of the South, but the latter have furnished the great statesmen and most of the Presidents. They are mere peddlers, and lest the South by its intelligence should destroy the rampart against Europeanism, the North would even annihilate the Confederate States. It is the North which has supported Juarez in Mexico. The war in America can serve France only if it ends in separation: for, first, the Confederates will be our allies against the North; second, Mexico in our hands and the North kept off, will do all she can; third, our manufacturers will be sure of cotton.

The fourth part declares that the American question must be solved at once. There is no pence possible in the reconstruction of the Union. The North is powerless in ideas, arms, and production, and can not absorb the South. Consequently separation ends the war. While Europe believed that the North was fighting insurgents it was its duty to do nothing. But the South has made out its policy, its programme, and its rights; the peculiar interest of France conforms to it; and the moment she recognizes the Confederate States their force is increased five-fold. The secondary commercial nations will consent, and if slavery has frightened them, they will be satisfied that humanity will be cared for when France leads. Spain, which owns Cuba, will follow. Austria, if Maximilian accepts, will, of course, assent. And England will not refuse. The North will abandon the struggle, and in case of need the French military marine would support those diplomatic acts.

As a defense of French Mexican and American policy this pamphlet, of which we have given a faithful analysis, is neither brilliant nor forcible. It is merely a painful special plea for a foregone conclusion. It suggests and sounds public sentiment

in France. In no other way does it help Louis Napoleon to answer the question upon which depends the peace of the world, whether he will remain in Mexico. To stay is to imperil France. To go is to endanger himself.


IT is hinted in the Index, the rebel organ in London, and by a newspaper correspondent from Baltimore, who seems to have intimate communications with the rebel managers, that it is not impossible that Davis will in some way try the experiment of arming the negroes. In a speech delivered two years ago Mr. Wendell Phillips said that Davis would certainly do it, and he urged it as a reason for our getting the start of him. The rebels are already too late.

By such an act the entire theory of the rebellion falls. That theory is, that slavery is the true foundation of liberty; that the doctrine of the United States Government is impossible and false; and that in the Southern States no relation between whites and blacks is possible except that of slavery. Moreover, all the pretense of revolution disappears with such an act. The constitutional right of secession having been proved to be simply the constitutional right of anarchy, the only pretext left to the rebels was the right of revolution against an apprehended oppression, which was to consist in some assault upon the system of slavery. When the rebels arm and free slaves, therefore, they confess that they can not build upon the corner-stone they have so carefully quarried out of fog; and they do the very thing themselves the fear of which from others they allege as a justification of this bloody war.

Of course no considerations of logic or common sense would influence them in so momentous an act. They would do it in hopeless spite, as a savage throws his tomahawk at a victorious foe.

But how many hands can they spare from their corn-fields? How much do the slaves know of the scope of the war? How far can they be trusted with arms in their hands? How much will they believe of a promise of freedom? Which army will they suppose to be their true friend? Whose victory would they imagine would secure their liberty? In a word, will they believe Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis? These are a few of the questions which the rebel chiefs must ask themselves, and quake as they ask. They are questions which only the experiment can answer. But the slaves know now that our success is their freedom. The rebel subterfuge of emancipation would come too late.


THE peace party, which burns Orphan Asylums and murders innocent and defenseless men, women, and children, and then, by the mouth of its leader, Fernando Wood, talks about the Prince of Peace and brotherly love, has just received a blow from the rebels whose bloody treason it is trying to serve. On the 28th of September a resolution was introduced into the Virginia House of Delegates for inquiring into the tone and temper of the people of the United States upon the subject of peace. The House, by a unanimous vote, put its foot upon the resolution.

These rebel gentlemen can not make their Northern lackeys understand. They told them long ago that they were willing to use them, but in their own way. After separation, and when the cornerstone of slavery has been firmly planted, they have signified that it will still be their pleasure to trade with the North. But, as they expressly told Mr. Vallandigham, only upon condition of holding their noses. They no more wish a renewal of association with the Copperhead apostles of peace than they wish to live in their own slave-pens. Until they were ready to secede their Northern allies were, in their estimation, good enough cattle, like their other "servants," for their purposes. But having milked them dry, they have done with them. And now when the vaccine herd, breathing palm branches and fraternity, propose to share their masters' quarters, the amused and indignant masters can not kick them away.

It is not the first job which the rebel gentlemen have undertaken and could not do. But they may be consoled. The loyal people of the country will manage a spurious "peace" party as they manage an open rebellion. When a lion brays the most stupid shepherd does not fear the skin.


IN the year 1857 Bishop Hopkins, of Vermont, published a book called "The American Citizen," which we carefully read, wondered how Mr. Hopkins ever came to be Bishop in any Church of intelligent and Christian men, and laid aside to the oblivion for which we supposed it to be destined. Of the ability of this instructor of the American citizen his pupils may judge by looking at page 85 of his book, upon which he says, "I am compelled to conclude that, under the Constitution, no Romanist can have a right to the free enjoyment of his religion." And do you ask how the Bishop reaches this astonishing conclusion? Because, he says, the Constitution has made "the free exercise of religion" one of the supreme laws of the land! Of course it is incredible. But you will find it upon page 85 of the Bishop's book; and you will be very likely to say, as you read, what Mr. Squeers said when there was very little breakfast, and that very bad, "Here's richness!"

In a large part of this notable volume the Bishop explains, defends, justifies, and commends the system which whips women to force them to work without wages, and sells their children to pay the debts of the whipper. The substance of this part was published by the "Democratic State Central Committee" of Pennsylvania, and was widely circulated in that State as a Copperhead campaigning document, in company with a speech of Judge Woodward, the Copperhead candidate for Governor, in which he takes similar ground with the Bishop. The fact shows that the merits of our great

controversy are most rapidly coming to light. The friend of the rebels, for whose success they prayed, and for whom every Copperhead voted, appeared as the open advocate of slavery, supported by a Bishop. But let us not fail to mention that the Bishop of Pennsylvania and his leading clergy did not hesitate to protest, as men and Christians and citizens, against the infamous views set forth by the Vermont Diocesan. The Bishop and the Judge, working for slavery, and consequently for rebellion, encountered also another tremendous antagonist. While they were talking smoothly about the "divine sanction" and "the brotherly love" of this foul social remnant of barbarism and the dark ages, and while the Copperheads carefully spread their talk before the people of Pennsylvania, the loyal men of that State issued a pamphlet, in which the truth is told from experience, and the sophisms of the clergyman and the politician were utterly scattered and demolished.

This was done by printing a few extracts from the Bishop's letter or the Judge's speech, and then illustrating them by copious and thrilling passages from the terrible book of Mrs. Kemble,"A Residence on a Georgian Plantation." It was an argument which no man was so dull that he could not comprehend. Every farmer in every remote nook of Pennsylvania, who had been taught that Democracy consisted in "damning niXXers," and who therefore lent a willing ear to the divine and the lawyer theorizing about slavery, suddenly saw and felt to the bottom of his heart what slavery is. Let every honest man in the land see it and feel it also, and the rebellion, with its Copperhead bulwark, would be swept away like a leaf by the ocean.

The Union and Loyal Leagues of this State can do the great cause no bettor service than a universal distribution of this Pennsylvania pamphlet, or of a cheap edition of Mrs. Kemble's book. Meanwhile, if any sincere man is troubled for a moment by the argument of Bishop Hopkins, that God meant that babies should be bred for sale, let him read Goldwin Smith's conclusive reply to the question, "Does the Bible sanction American slavery?"


MAJOR-GENERAL JOHN A. LOGAN returned to his command at Vicksburg September 14, and had an enthusiastic reception.

General PRICE is reported to have been raised to the rank of Lieutenant-General in the Confederate army.

Generals M'COOK and CRITTENDEN are relieved of their commands, and ordered to report at Indianapolis. The 20th and 21st Army Corps, formerly under these Generals, are consolidated, called the 4th Army Corps, and placed under command of General GORDON GRANGER. A Court of Inquiry is to inquire into the conduct of the deposed Generals at the battle of Chickamauga.

A movement is on foot in Massachusetts to procure an elegant sword for presentation to General BANKS as a special recognition of the taking of Port Hudson.

Lieutenant A. M. BRADSHAW, Assistant-Quarter-master, has been promoted to the rank of Captain and ordered to the Department of the Gulf.

Major SIDNEY COOLIDGE, of Boston, reported to have been killed at Chattanooga, is a prisoner, supposed to be wounded. He was second in command of the regulars under Brigadier-General JOHN H. KING.

Captain MAFFIT had resigned the command of the privateer Florida in consequence of ill-health. Lieutenant BARNEY was likely to succeed him.

Brigadier-General ROBERT ANDERSON, in response to an inquiry from the War Department, has stated that the flag which he hauled down from Sumter on the occasion of its surrender to the rebels is still in his possession, and has never left his custody.

In 1856 four officers in our regular army, three of whom belonged to one regiment, imported four French sabres, exactly alike in pattern and workmanship, for their own use. Two of these officers—ROBERT E. LEE and FITZHUGH LEE—are now in the rebel army, and the other two—Colonel D. B. SACKETT and Lieutenant-Colonel A. P. PORTER —are in the army of the Union.

Major-General BARNES, the new Military Governor of Norfolk, arrived in that city on 30th ult., and entered upon the duties of his office.

Colonel ULRIC DAHLGREN arrived at Washington last week. His wound is of a very painful and complicated character. Two amputations have been performed, besides several other operations; but the surgeon is now sanguine of effecting even a more satisfactory cure than has been for some time anticipated.

General PATRICK will for the present continue his duties as Provost Marshal General of the Army of the Potomac, General MEADE finding it extremely difficult to dispense with his services.

Colonel PERCY WYNDHAM, who only a few days ago resumed command of his brigade of cavalry, has been relieved from duty in the Army of the Potomac.

Major CHARLES J. HOYT, Paymaster of Volunteers, who was summarily dismissed the service, has been reappointed, it having been ascertained that the dismissal was based upon charges made against another officer of the same name, and that Major CHARLES J. HOYT bears the highest reputation for integrity and correctness, and that his accounts are considered at the Paymaster-General's office as satisfactory and correct as those of any paymaster in the army.

A Board of Medical officers, to consist of Surgeons J. J. B. WRIGHT, E. H. ABADIE, and Assistant-Surgeon J. H. HILL, U.S.A., has been ordered to convene at New York City on the 15th inst., or as soon thereafter as practicable, for the examination of candidates for appointment as Assistant-Surgeons in the regular army, and such Assistant-Surgeons as may be brought before it for promotion as Surgeons.

Lieutenant-Colonel DELANEY, of COBB'S Georgia Legion, from Athens, Georgia, died at Washington on the 3d inst., of a wound received in a recent skirmish on the Rapidan.

Major-General SCHENCK arrived at Dayton, Ohio, on 30th ult. on a ten days' leave of absence. He left General TYLER temporarily in charge of the Maryland Department. There is no foundation for the report of his removal.

Major F. N. CLARKE, Fifth United States Artillery, is under orders to proceed to Boston, Massachusetts, and take post there as Superintendent of Recruiting Service, and Chief Mustering and Disbursing officer for the State. Major W. H. SIDELL, Fifteenth United States Infantry, goes to Louisville, Kentucky, on similar duty.

General SIGEL addressed a Union meeting in Philadelphia on 30th ult. He rapidly reviewed the events of the war and its successes, and predicted that it would not be long before all the armies of the Union would be victorious. The great principle of self-defense compelled the Government to engage in this war.

General BLUNT and staff arrived at Fort Scott on Wednesday, September 23. He will be there until the 12th of October, to finish up the recruiting business, and make final settlement of the claims of the Kansas brigade.

A St. Louis paper says that the Department of Kansas will be commanded by General M'NEIL. General CURTIS declined the honor of succeeding BLUNT, who, report says, is under arrest.




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