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Civil War Harper's Weekly, October 24, 1863

In order to help you develop a more complete understanding of the Civil War, we have created this online archive of all the papers published during the Civil War. Reading these old papers allows you to watch the War unfold week by week. We hope you find our effort useful.

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Burnside in Knoxville

Burnside Entering Knoxville, Tennessee

Draft Riot

Draft Riot Murders

British Pirates

British Pirates

Richmond Prison

Richmond's Libey Prison

Russian Cartoon

Russian Cartoon





Civil War Spy


Civil War Contractors


Army of the Potomac on the Rapidan

Honor the Brave

Honor the Brave




[OCTOBER 24, 1863.



ON page 673 we illustrate one of the most interesting scenes of the recent campaign, namely, THE WELCOME TENDERED TO GENERAL BURNSIDE BY THE UNIONISTS OF EAST TENNESSEE when he entered Knoxville. It seems to have almost overpowered our brave troops. The Albany Evening Journal publishes the following letter from a son of Senator Harris, who was with Burnside:


TENNESSEE, Sunday, September 6, 1863.

MY DEAR FATHER,—Our troops entered this place on the 2d inst., without opposition on the part of the rebels, who fled at our approach. A rapid march of 250 miles over mountain roads, made with artillery, infantry, and cavalry, was deemed next to impossible by the rebel General Buckner, and before he was aware of it our columns were precipitating themselves down the southern slopes of the mountains, with trains of supplies following almost at a trot. It was the most beautiful march of the war. We were surprised at it—the rebels still more so—they did not know where to look for us, and as we came upon them by several different roads, they overestimated our force, magnifying it to an army of from 60,000 to 100,000 men, and, without the slightest attempt at resistance, retreated southward, crossed the Holsten River, and burned the London bridge, 1800 feet long, to prevent pursuit.

From time to time during our march I have written you about our ride through Kentucky, but it was not to be compared in interest to that which we made through East Tennessee. The country is wild and unsettled until you approach Knoxville. We marched from 25 to 30 miles a day, and slept at night sometimes under a tent, sometimes under a fly, and once we bivouacked in a rain that wet us all through. General Burnside had not so much as an over-coat, but with his saddle for a pillow he lay down and we followed suit. I was fortunate enough to have my horse-blanket and the cape of my over-coat. We were so tired that we slept like bricks, as we did every night, and the first thing I saw the next morning was the General making a fire and every one of the Staff still asleep around him.

As we approached the settled part of the country we were greeted every where with shouts for the Union, cheers for the old flag, and the most unmistakable evidences of loyalty. At every house the entire family would appear, often with buckets of fresh water and fruit for the welcome Yankees, and some of the people would scarcely ask for pay for the forage which we had seized to feed our animals, although the corn we had taken was all they had to look to for their winter's food. Sometimes the Stars and Stripes would be carried out to the gate of the door-yard by one of the girls, and the General and Staff would take off their hats, while the escort following gave three cheers. Old gray-haired men would come out and seize the General's hand, bidding him God-speed, and men would flock in at every halt to be armed and join us. The sufferings of these people have been terrible. I have seen them come from the caves of the mountains, where they have been hiding from the rebels for months.

I have seen widows and orphans whose husbands and brothers and fathers have been murdered because they were Union men—no other crime being alleged. All kinds of atrocities have been committed. Death in the most horrid forms has been visited upon every man who dared show himself, in this part of the country, unarmed in the rebel cause.

"Glory be to God, the Yankees have come!" "The Flag's come back to Tennessee!" Such were the welcomes all along the road, and as we entered Knoxville it was past all description. The people seemed frantic with joy. I never knew what the Love of Liberty was before. After two years of servitude under the most tyrannical despotism, they now hold up their heads and thank God they are free. The old flag has been hidden in mattresses and under carpets. It now floats to the breeze at every staff in East Tennessee. Ladies wear it—carry it—wave it! Little children clap their hands and kiss it.

Can you imagine the effect of this on me? Suppose you walked down street, after riding 250 miles on horseback, with a sabre on one side and a pistol on the other, and every man, woman, and child would bow to you with a glad smile of welcome, or shake hands with you and say God bless you? I could go on much longer, but I can't do justice to the subject. My heart is so full, and I am so thankful to Almighty God for this bloodless and yet glorious victory, that I will not attempt to say any more on the subject.



THE scattering returns which have thus far come in from the elections in Pennsylvania and Ohio render it probable that Governor Curtin has been re-elected over Woodward by some 10,000 to 15,000 majority, and that John Brough has been elected over Vallandigham by 50,000 to 75,000 majority. We think the full returns are rather calculated to increase than to diminish these figures.

The result is one upon which every true patriot may congratulate himself. There is no State Governor in the country whom the nation could worse spare at the present crisis than Andrew G. Curtin; and there is no man in the country or out of it whose election by a great State like Ohio to an office of power and trust, would have been so heavy a discouragement to loyal men as Clement L. Vallandigham. His defeat and Curtin's election will probably give the death-blow to Copperheadism, and will convince the ambitious demagogues of the "peace party" that they must try some other road to fortune if they desire popular favor.

An attempt was made at the last moment to relieve Judge Woodward from the charge of Copperheadism by no less a personage than Major-General George B. McClellan. That officer wrote a letter to be published on the morning of the election which contains the following paragraph:

I desire to state clearly and distinctly that, having some few days ago had a full conversation with Judge Woodward, I find that our views agree; and I regard his election as Governor of Pennsylvania called for by the interests of the nation.

I understand Judge Woodward to be in favor of the prosecution of the war with all the means at the command or the loyal States until the military power of the rebellion is destroyed. I understand him to be of the opinion that while the war is urged with all possible decision and energy, the policy directing it should be in consonance with the principles of humanity and civilization, working no injury to private rights and property, not demanded by military necessity and recognized by military law among civilized nations; and, finally, I understand him to agree with me in the opinion that the sole great objects of this

war are the restoration of the unity of the nation, the preservation of the Constitution, and the supremacy of the laws of the country.

The people would feel obliged to General McClellan if he would be more definite in his charges, and specify those portions of the policy of Government which he deems not "in consonance with the principles of humanity and civilization;" and those acts which lead him to believe that the President has other "objects" in the prosecution of the war than "the restoration of the unity of the nation, the preservation of the Constitution, and the supremacy of the laws." For, in the absence of specific charges and statements of fact, the people regard these vague insinuations as a mere veil to hide hostility to the war itself. Hence, they vote Mr. Woodward out of Court pretty decisively, notwithstanding the indorsement of his military friend.


THE papers say that every body has been growing rich out of the war. Certainly the display of wealth and fashion in the Central Park has never been equaled in this country, and compares favorably with similar scenes in the London Parks and the Champs Elysees of Paris. Houses have risen enormously in price; first-class mansions are not to be had; it is said there is not a single house in the Fifth Avenue for sale or to let. Though prices of all articles of luxury have advanced from 50 to 150 per cent. within two years, the consumption of them was never so active as it is. Ball, Black, & Co. and Tiffany never sold so many diamonds and so much rich jewelry as this season; Stewart never sold so many silk dresses and laces; the great carriage-makers never built so many carriages, or the great upholsterers so much expensive furniture. Evidences of increasing wealth and increasing extravagance meet even the most unobserving eye at every turn; and it must be true, as the papers say, that some people, at all events, are growing rich out of the war.

Nor could it be otherwise. The Government of the United States has issued $400,000,000 of legal-tender money, which is in circulation, and is preparing to issue as much more. The Banks have increased their circulation likewise from $135,000,000 to probably $175,000,000, and new Banks are being authorized under Mr. Chase's Act, which will presently issue $300,000,000 more. This is besides $150,000,000 of three-year United States notes, bearing 7.30 interest; over $200,000,000 of 6 per cent. certificates of indebtedness, maturing in twelve months; nearly $100,000,000 of twenty-year 6 per cent. bonds; about $100,000,000 of 5 and 6 per cent. certificates of deposit; and about $275,000,000 of 6 per cent. bonds payable in twenty years and redeemable in five. This latter class of securities, not being currency, can not fairly come under the head of paper-money; though, as they are really paper, deriving its value from the confidence reposed in its maker, they are in effect an addition of just so much as they sell for to the apparent wealth of the nation, and contribute perhaps not less than the actual legal-tender notes to the pending inflation, and to the general development of commerce, industry, and prosperity.

This development has not been without its drawback. Gold has risen to 156, and may go still higher. It is probable that the stock of gold in the country is being diminished by export, and it is certain that hoarding has very largely diminished the stock which is offered in market. Thus the money which people make in these days, under the influence of copious issues of paper, is not the money they used to make in the old times when gold was par, but an inferior article, now only worth 75 cents to the dollar in gold, and possibly destined to fall still lower. The memorable examples of the French assignats and our own Continental money, which became valueless, and of the Confederate currency, of which it now takes ten dollars to purchase one gold dollar in Richmond, warn us that this money which speculators are now coining so fast, and which is flowing so freely into the coffers of every merchant, manufacturer, and farmer, may, some time or other, prove a very different article from that which it is now presumed to be. There are excellent reasons—which have been heretofore mentioned in this column—for believing that the fate which overwhelmed the assignats and the Continental money will never overtake our legal tenders. Thus far, there is no more money afloat than is required for the transaction of the business of the country; and if the legal tenders were called in, commerce would of necessity be compelled to substitute in their place some other kind of paper wherewith to make exchanges. But a much larger difference than now divides gold from paper may fairly be feared—especially if the war lasts much longer. And, in this point of view, people who are making money in these days are anxiously inquiring what they shall do with it, in order to protect themselves against a heavy depreciation hereafter.

For some time past there has been throughout the country an active consumption of railway stocks and bonds. It was always possible, in the old times, for a shrewd man to buy these securities so as to get 8 or 9 per cent. on his investment.

Now it is hardly possible to buy any safe railway property which will yield over six per cent. on the investment, so thoroughly has the market been swept of the best class of bonds and stocks, and so enormous has been the amount of money seeking investment. A man who invests money in a good railway stock or bond, at the present time, must be content with six per cent. interest, that interest payable in paper-money. The same remark will apply to sound City, County, and State Bonds.

Real estate will yield still less. In the large cities houses and lots have advanced materially of late, and speculation in land has again broken out at the West. Allowing for the heavy amount of taxation which this kind of property will have to bear hereafter, it is questionable whether, on the average, real estate bought at present will yield its owner net five per cent., payable in paper-money.

There are those who put their money in gold and hoard it. These persons are sure of not losing all they have made. If, when they make $1500, they buy $1000 in gold, they are sure of having at last two-thirds of their means safe, in any event. But they are pretty sure of losing the other third, besides the interest on their money, for gold hoards yield no income. Many of these holders of gold argue that when it rises to "the right point" they will sell. That is precisely their mistake. When it does rise to "the right point" they will be more eager to buy than ever. Many persons who could not be persuaded to buy gold at 110, eighteen months ago, could not be driven to sell it last March, when it was 172, and only thought of parting with it when it dropped to 122, sixty days ago. And this is human nature. The more gold rises the more tenaciously people who hoard will cling to it; it is only when it has fallen heavily, and looks as if it would never go up again, that these misers will consent to sell. Thus the chances are very great that the gold which is being bought now at 140 and 150, and hoarded, will be held through fluctuation after fluctuation, and finally sold out somewhere in the neighborhood of par; having thus, as we said, insured to the hoarder the safety of two-thirds of his money at the cost of the other third—a pretty high premium of insurance.

There is, however, one investment now offered in this market which promises both a suitable income and perfect security, that is, United States 6 per cent. bonds. These bonds, which are offered at the United States Sub-Treasuries and at the various Government agencies at par in currency, yield 6 per cent. per annum, PAYABLE IN GOLD. There were $500,000,000 of them authorized by Congress to be issued; of these, $275,000,000 have already been sold, leaving $225,000,000 yet to be disposed of. The gold for the payment of interest on these bonds is received from customs duties. At the present time the receipts from customs at this port alone will average $55,000,000, and from all the ports together probably over $75,000,000—which is the interest, at 6 per cent, on $1,250,000,000. The customs duties will, in the nature of things, continue to increase so long as the prosperity of the country endures. Thus the purchaser of these United States bonds insures himself against the depreciation of the currency without running the risk which is assumed by the buyer of gold—namely, the risk of a loss on the future fall in gold, and the loss of interest. If gold rises, the income of a United States bondholder increases simultaneously, while that of every other bond or shareholder diminishes. If gold falls, United States bonds rise, and the holder can make money by selling out at the advance, while a fall in gold naturally depresses all property and stocks, United States securities alone excepted. In either event, therefore, the creditor of the United States is in a safer position than the creditor of a shareholder in any private corporation, or the holder of real estate or gold.

It is these considerations which have led to the absorption of the five-twenty bonds at the rate of nearly a million a day for nine months, and which probably insure the sale of the whole issue by New Year.



THE Lounger receives so many applications, in various ways, for notices in these columns, that it is only fair for him to state that he must certainly disappoint most of the applicants, for he speaks only of those books and things in general which, for some reason, especially interest him. He can not comment upon every thing sent him; nor can he explain why he speaks of one thing and not of another. He prints this little notice in the fond confidence of Sairey Gamp, who says what Miss Alcott most felicitously prefixes as a motto to her most racy and delightful "Hospital Sketches"—"which no names being mentioned, no offense could be took."


THE Russian fleet in the harbor of New York is a pretty and significant sight. The welcome to the Russian officers was a striking and memorable event. John Bull in the omnibus and at windows and on the corners of streets laughed at the "splendor" of the spectacle. But its meaning was not to be measured by the quantity of gold lace on the

military coats; it was to be apprehended by the mind's eye, John.

At this time there are also English and French ships riding at anchor in the harbor. And what the mind's eye sees as it looks is, that England and France are the quasi enemies of this country and of Russia; that England and France have recognized the belligerent rights of the rebels, and that Russia has not; that if an English pirate, like the Florida or Alabama, should appear off the bay, the English and French ships would treat her as a commissioned vessel of war, and the Russian ships would treat her as a pirate. These are little things visible to the mind's eye, whatever the excellent John Bull may think of the "splendor" of the civic reception.

John thinks that we are absurdly bamboozled by the Russian compliments, and laughs to see us deceived by the sympathy of Muscovy. If one of the Russian officers, he says, were to express in St. Petersburg a tithe of the regard for American institutions which Americans recklessly attribute to them he would soon be in Siberia. But we are not very much deceived. Americans understand that the sympathy of France in our Revolution was not from love of us, but from hatred of England. They know, as Washington long ago told them, that romantic friendship between nations is not to be expected. And if they had latterly expected it, England has utterly undeceived them. Americans do not suppose that Russia is upon the point of becoming a republic; but they observe that the English aristocracy and the French empire hate a republic quite as much as the Russian monarchy hates it; and they remark that while the French empire imports coolies into its colonies, and winks at slavery, and while the British Government cheers a political enterprise founded upon slavery, and by its chief organs defends the system, Russia emancipates her serfs.

There is not the least harm in observing these little facts. Russia, John Bull will remember, conducts herself as a friendly power. That is all. England and France have shown themselves to be unfriendly powers. And we do not forget it. Russia treats us in our civil war as we treated England in her Crimean and Indian wars. We have no "frenzy" of gratitude for it, but we have a very distinct and permanent perception of the fact. As to the gold lace and the splendor of the civic ovation, if they were inadequate, the Russians doubtless freely forgive the want of rings upon the hand in consideration of the warmth and sincerity of the pressure.


IN the middle of last July Abraham Franklin, a young man of this city, quiet and inoffensive, and a member of Zion African Church, went to his mother to see if he could do any thing for her safety. She said that if God willed she must die she was ready. The son knelt by her and prayed God's protection for his mother, and had scarcely risen from his knees when the crowd broke down the door, seized him, beat him with clubs, and then hung him in the presence of his mother. The soldiers drove the mob away and cut down his body. They passed on, and the mob returning suspended it again, cutting it to pieces while it hung.

The sister of Sergeant Simmons, of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts regiment, was at home with her children. The mob broke in, seized her boy of six or seven years old; asked him whether he preferred to be hung or have his throat cut; hung the poor child and dropped him two or three times, then ran away. The abused child lingered for a few days and died of the torture and terror.

Augustus Stuart was running to the arsenal for safety. The mob pursued him, knocked him down and beat him, and he died within a week.

In a little room in Twenty-eighth Street a poor woman lay in bed with an infant born three days before. The rioters broke through the door with pickaxes. A neighbor, who was in the room with her son, fled into the yard. Scarcely had she reached it when the little infant was thrown from the window above by the rioters, and was dashed to death. The yelling mob then poured into the yard. The mother with her son were escaping over the fence. Faint with terror she fell back into the yard. Her son besought the mob to save his mother if they killed him. "Well, we'll kill you," they answered. Two ruffians seized him and held his arms apart while a third struck him upon the head with a crow-bar, and felled him like a bullock to the ground. The boy died two days after.

And these rioters, whose prejudices and passions had been inflamed to this insane hate by the talk of Horatio Seymour and his party-papers and orators, smeared with the blood of innocent children and parents, and howling vengeance upon those who pitied and defended their victims, swarm into the Park where Horatio Seymour, solemnly sworn to execute the laws against all such ruffians, calls them "My friends," while his papers describe these crimes, for which language has no term, as "a popular uprising," "a procession of the people," etc.; and John Hughes looks at them and says, "I don't see a riotous face among you." Then Horatio Seymour and his papers turn to the citizens of the State of New York, and show to them a list of candidates for whom Seymour himself and Fernando Wood will vote, and every man who hung and felled the helpless children will vote, and all the conductors and owners of the papers that incited and excused those awful crimes will vote; and for whose success every rebel in arms and every foreign foe of this country prays, and Horatio Seymour and his mob of murderers and panders to murder commend their ticket to us as "respectable and conservative." The conservatism of Cain, and the respectability of infamy!


IN politics names are often things. The value of a name is shown in nothing more strongly than in the history of the Democratic party. For many years there has been always a party of that name, (Next Page)




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