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Civil War Harper's Weekly, October 3, 1863

Welcome to our archive of original Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. Browse through these papers and read incredible details and view impressive illustrations, all created by eye-witnesses to the events. These details are simply not available anywhere else.

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



Battle of Charleston



Battle of Chattanooga

Fort Wagner

Assault on Fort Wagner

Explosion at Fort Moultrie

Harbor Obstruction

Harbor Obstruction


Georgia Battle Map

Battle at Raccoon Ford

Sword Presentation to General Meade

Sword Presentation to General Meade


Russian Frigate Osliaba

Britannia Cartoon

Britannia Cartoon

Battle of Raccoon Ford

Battle of Raccoon Ford





[OCTOBER 3, 1863.



BY the Rappahannock's moonlit waves Thousands are lying in quiet graves

But under its ever-throbbing breast

Are two that never shall taste of rest.


They stood at night on the opposite banks,

Deathly foes in the hostile ranks,

And challenged each by the moon's wan light

To meet in the stream in mortal fight.


Naked they swam through the water cold, That shuddered with horror as it rolled;

And the gleam of their white limbs through the tide

Struck the faces pale that watched beside.


They met where the stream is still and deep,

Where the river-spirits float asleep

With faces turned to the moon's cold beams,

And the ocean rocking through their dreams.


A cry went up through the shuddering air

As they wildly closed in the death-fight there,

And the flashing waters shrank with dread

From the scattered foam that was tinged with red.


Then stillness fell on the air and stream,

While under the waters a spectral gleam

Sunk with their white forms sinking slow

In a knotted clash to the depths below.


And now and ever, night after night,

They close again in a ghostly fight:

Two white wraiths gleam through the throbbing flood,

And the foam around has the hue of blood.


Forever they close in the death-fight grim,

Though their cry is faint and their forms are dim;

And the sentinel knows 'neath the river's breast

Are two that never shall taste of rest.




OUR foreign friends, unable any longer to deny the successes of the Union arms, now take refuge in the general assertion that, whip them as we may, the rebels will not submit. The cry is re-echoed by the Copperhead organs North; they are satisfied that the more we beat the enemy the stronger will grow his aversion for us and for the Union. And the same song is sung by the ragged rebel officers whom we are lodging at Fort Delaware, Johnson's Island, and other places of detention for prisoners of war. They have stopped bellowing about the last ditch. It is now the last man who is to die before the stars and bars sink into oblivion. They may be beaten, decimated, driven from house and home, but they will never submit.

It would be easy to show that this is the invariable talk of angry belligerents. The British were never going to submit to the independence of the colonies; so said the King and a dozen of his ministers. The French were never going to submit to be ruled by a Bourbon again; yet Louis XVIII. was crowned quite quietly, and ate himself to death in peace. Austria was never going to submit to the loss of Lombardy; yet she gets on very well now with the re galantuomo. Russia was never going to submit to the loss of Sebastopol; still she bore the event with fortitude when the time came. The "last ditch and last man" talk is almost always indulged in by the leaders of a belligerent army up to a certain point, mainly for the sake of keeping up the spirits of their followers. But it is never carried into practice. The most ardent and the most obstinate combatant will surrender when he can't do any thing else. There are no more obstinate men in the South than George the Third was, and certainly no more bitter pill can well be offered to any one than the one that monarch gulped when he received Mr. Adams as United States Minister Plenipotentiary: yet he swallowed it with a grimace.

To careful observers there are not a few indications already, both of the preparations of the South for submission, and of the manner in which they propose to submit. These are especially noticeable along the Mississippi River. When the war broke out the rebels held the river from within twenty miles of Cairo to the mouth, and it is fair to presume that, with a few isolated exceptions here and there, the inhabitants of the Valley sympathized with the rebel cause. We have now conquered the Valley, and driven off or scattered the insurgent armies. The rebels have resorted to their only remaining resource—guerrilla warfare. But it is obvious at a glance that the victims of this warfare are not the Northern people or the Northern armies, but the few remaining Southern planters and their families. A guerrilla band, with whatever purposes it may originally be organized, becomes of necessity a mere band of robbers. To live, it must plunder. To plunder safely, it must attack, not military posts or regiments, but isolated houses and defenseless non-combatants. Plunder leads naturally to murder, rape, and arson, and thus the establishment of a system of guerrilla warfare, such as the rebel chiefs have authorized in the Mississippi Valley, simply inflicts upon their own people, in their own country, the most horrible sufferings, without injuring us in the least. What is the result? We have seen within a week a letter from the largest

slaveholder in the State of Mississippi, stating that the outrages of the guerrillas are intolerable, and that "if President Lincoln would only recall the decree of emancipation, and annul the Confiscation Act," the people of that region would return to their allegiance en masse. Newspaper correspondents all tell the same story. The country is devastated, the people frantic; only let them have their slaves, they say, and they will become our best friends. It is pretty clear that after a few months or weeks more discipline under the regime they created, they will say no more about conditions, but will beg for protection.

Further south, in Louisiana, the same result is being reached by a different process. In that State the guerrillas have not gained much headway. But several enterprising Northern men have "squatted" on abandoned plantations, hired negro labor, and, though exposed to repeated attacks from the rebels, and drafts upon their laboring force by the Union generals, have done exceedingly well. We hear of one young man who has made $50,000 in a single season; of others who have realized $20,000, $25,000, and $30,000. The soil will yield as handsome harvests of cotton or sugar to a squatter as to the owner of the fee. This sort of thing naturally extends itself. There are plenty of Southerners who will become Union men for the sake of a fat plantation, even if the original owner will not. And to us of the North it matters very little who owns the land, so long as he behaves himself loyally.

The best guide, however, to the change of sentiment which is going on at the South may be found in Missouri and Kentucky. In those States, though they never actually seceded, the Pro-slavery sentiment was as dominant at the outbreak of the war as in Tennessee and Arkansas; and the difference between pro-slaveryism and rebellion is only one of degree. In those days an Abolitionist was about as safe at Richmond or Charleston as in Kentucky or Missouri. Now mark the difference. The Missouri papers are full of appeals for mercy from the remnant of the pro-slavery men. It is they who are down now, and the foot of the anti-slavery men presses pretty heavily on their necks. The slave-owners of Western Missouri are being protected against the bloody vengeance of the opponents of slavery by regiments of Kansas troops, recruited from the Free State men, whom, five years ago, these very Missouri border-ruffians did their best to exterminate. In Kentucky it is becoming quite respectable to be an Abolitionist, and the slave-owners are rapidly becoming afraid of their position, and nervous if our generals do not leave troops near them. A leading Kentuckian assured a gentleman in this city within a few days that, if the Union party had imagined they could elect Bramlette by 50,000 majority, they would have run straight-out Emancipationists, and would have elected them. At the next election in Kentucky slavery will receive its death-blow. We say that this change of sentiment in Missouri and Kentucky supplies the key to the way in which the rebels of the further South will submit; because it is evident at a glance that if you remove slavery, you abolish the only substantial ground of difference between us and the rebels, and it then becomes more their interest than ours to restore the Union.

We must not delude ourselves about the end of the war. It has not come yet, and we have hard work before us still—reverses as well as victories, long marches, cruel privations, disappointments, and trials of patience. The rebels have still powerful and veteran armies, which must be beaten and scattered before our work can be pronounced complete. But we have made great, glorious progress since the spring, and, however distant the end may be, it is much more certain than it ever was.


LAIRD'S AngIo-Rebel rams are not going to sea without a struggle. On 8th September Earl Russell informed Mr. Adams that the Government would take the responsibility of detaining them, and would send the case into the courts. Public opinion, it seems, had at last compelled the tricksters in the British Government to make a show, at all events, of enforcing their laws.

We must not be too precipitate, however, in assuming that the rams will not get to sea. The latest Anglo-Rebel pirate—the Georgia—was also arrested by the Government and held for trial. She was, however, suffered to escape, and her armament was supplied her by another British vessel, which met her off the coast of France. In that case, the presumption and the evidence as to the destination of the vessel were as strong as they will probably be in the case of the iron-clads. Every body concerned in the trial knew perfectly well what the Japan, alias Georgia, was intended for. Yet she escaped—simply because British officials were unanimous in their wish to see our commerce destroyed for the benefit of that of Great Britain.

The fate of the iron-clad rams will depend, not on the evidence adduced on the trial, but on the probable capacity and readiness of this country to punish England if they are permitted to

go to sea. If we seem willing and prepared to make England responsible for these rams, they will be detained, with or without evidence. But if the progress of the war appears to foreshadow rebel successes, and a probable unwillingness or incapacity on our part to try conclusions with a foreign power, the rams will be released, after going through the form of a trial. It is impossible to read the English papers without discovering that it was the astonishing capture of the Atlanta by the Weehawken, after fifteen minutes' fight, that created that public opinion in England to which alone we owe the present detention of Laird's ships.



THE Copperhead journals try to plume themselves upon Governor Bramlette's election in Kentucky, and have plenty to say of Kentucky conservatism. Now as Mr. Wickliffe was the candidate of the anti-war and anti-administration party, and was hopelessly defeated, it is pretty clear that Kentucky decides for the war. How vigorously she wishes the war waged, Governor Bramlette's message shows—a paper which has not been very widely circulated in Copperhead circles. It may be cited as an exposition of the present Border State policy.

Upon the great question of the war itself the Governor says "We will not sanction acts violative of constitutional right, but we will not therefore neglect the use of every necessary means to protect and defend the Constitution against rebel efforts to destroy it, merely because somebody does not understand or regard its provisions as we do. ...Because we furnish the means we do not commit ourselves in favor of the mode of applying them...It is ous duty to supply the means; the duty of others to apply them....Our objection (to arming negroes) is not to the power, 'but to the policy.' For this, as well as other evils resulting from the rebellion, we will.... appeal to the ballot-box as the corrective."

All this is intelligible, and not less so is the following paragraph in which Governor Bramlette shows just how far he sympathizes with Copperheads. "We can not too strongly condemn the factious opposition of those who assail, not to correct, but for the purpose of weakening the loyalty of the citizen, and fettering the movements of the Government. We condemn, as treasonable, the efforts of those who attempt to organize, under pretense of opposition to obnoxious war measures, a party whose real purpose is not to correct the evils complained of, but use them as a pretense for withholding the necessary supplies and aid for our defense, and thus aid and assist the rebellion."

Two years ago the Border State policy was to be let alone. Now it is an overwhelming support of the war against rebellion by every means, and objecting to the black regiments merely as a matter of expediency not of right. Two years hence, or sooner, it will be emancipation.


IF the Seymour ticket in the New York election, the ticket for which he spoke, and which his friends nominated, the ticket which every shade of Copperhead supports, and whose success every rebel chief ardently desires—if this ticket, which Fernando and Benjamin sustain, because, although not what they wanted, it is the best they could get —is a "war ticket," why is it that its great advocate, Governor Seymour, and his friends have always been such indifferent friends of the soldiers?

Last winter the citizen voters of this State who are in arms for their country were deprived of their votes by Governor Seymour and his friends.

On the 4th of July, when it was known that at Vicksburg, Port Hudson, and Gettysburg the soldiers were fighting and falling in the most sacred cause, the friends of the Governor held a meeting at the Academy of Music, and the Governor himself smilingly sneered at our military operations; and while he defamed the Government and the loyal Staten and deliberately hinted at a mob, had not a single word of sympathy for his fellow-citizens in the field.

A little later, when the rebellion was sorely smitten, and our own forces were returning in such numbers as to make an immediate increase of the army most desirable for us, in order to follow up the blows we had struck, and when, for the same reason, an appearance of hearty unity and resolution at the North would have been of itself a finishing blow, Governor Seymour and his friends were coquetting with a brutal, sanguinary mob, and by every means delaying the advance of reinforcements.

The friends of the soldiers smile as Governor Seymour and his "friends" ask their votes for the "Seymour war ticket." A Seymour war, they have learned, is not waged against rebels, but against the Government.


LOUIS NAPOLEON is called a shrewd man. Let us see. He sends an army to Mexico. The General declares that his only object is to protect the people in choosing a Government to please themselves. Having beaten the Mexican armies and bombarded the Mexican cities, he appoints a commission of persons whom Mexico distrusts, and this commission names a triumvirate of men whom the Mexicans hate. This authority, appointed and sustained by French arms, changes the government to an empire, and offers the crown to an Austrian Prince, and, if he declines, to Louis Napoleon as trustee. In this state of things Louis Napoleon's Parisian organ inquires what the United States will probably say; and answers its own question by remarking, "Unless he would deny to the Mexicans the right of managing their own affairs the

Washington Secretary of State would be obliged to accept as legitimate the return of Mexico to Monarchy."

Let us now put the boot upon the other foot. If the United States should send an army to Italy, and having defeated the Italians in the field, should install Mazzini as Dictator, and he should decree a Republic, unless the French Emperor would deny to the Italians the right of managing their own affairs, he would be obliged to accept as legitimate the establishment of the Republic in Italy.

If Louis Napoleon is a shrewd man, he is certainly not very shrewdly defended.


THE most manly, frank, fair, and honorable of New York newspapers, in the same way that Benedict Arnold was the most patriotic of our Revolutionary heroes, asks whether Andrews, the rioter, was not "sent on here to get up a riot, in order to have a pretext for declaring martial law in New York?" Of course he was; and it was only another instance of "Gorilla Lincoln's" utter disregard of the Constitution. It was part of the nefarious plot by which he called all the militia regiments out of the city in order that Andrews might have full swing. It belongs to the same scheme by which Lincoln procured the escape of Lee's army in order to have a fresh excuse for invading Virginia and shooting our innocent brethren of "the South." In fact, it is equally notorious with his getting up the riots that Old Abe put Jeff Davis up to rebellion in order to have an excuse for raising an army and navy to exterminate every vestige of Constitutional right and trample upon all the liberties of every citizen; and then to found an Oriental despotism upon our ruin, change his name from Abe to Tamerlane, and grind our bones to make his bread.


GOLDWIN SMITH, Professor of History at Oxford, and one of the noblest and most faithful of our friends in England, made a speech last April urging the British Government to prevent the sailing of pirates from British ports. The London Times denounced the meeting and the speeches, and branded as "traitors" those who demanded that the duties of neutrality should be more strictly performed.

Mr. Smith has now written a letter recalling these facts, quoting the spirit of the speeches and the comments of the Times, and then citing extracts from the late articles of that paper upon the subject in which his own conclusions are urged, although upon meaner grounds, and he concludes: "After this, Sir, I think we are entitled to ask, who are the 'traitors' to the honor of England, those who in April last counseled her to listen to the voice of justice, or those who, having at that time counseled her to be deaf to the voice of justice, now counsel her to listen to the voice of fear?"

Goldwin Smith is one of the English names which will be very precious to us hereafter.

England of Bright and Cobden, Cairns and Mill, You are the England of John Milton still.


A COPPERHEAD authority complains that Vice-President Hamlin lately addressed "small political gatherings at the cross-roads and in the taverns of the rural districts of Maine." The critic claims, of course, to be peculiarly Democratic. But he has yet to learn that at just such cross-road, and district school-room, and tavern-parlor meetings the public opinion is educated and formed which governs the country. And it is the glory of our system that no office exalts a man beyond his duties as a citizen, one of the first of which is the instruction and enlightenment of his neighbors. When John Quincy Adams, having been President, goes to Congress as a Representative, he illustrates perfectly the truly democratic character of our institutions. And when Mr. Hamlin, being Vice-President, confers with his fellow-citizens upon their public duty in a time of great national peril, it is a signal example which every faithful American will emulate. It is not those who cry "Lord, Lord," who are most religious. Nor is it those who call themselves "Democrats" who are most democratic. It would be hard to find in our history two men more simply, honestly, and entirely democratic than Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin.


"THE Bivouac and the Battle-Field," by Captain G. F. Noyes (Harpers), is one of the personal memoirs upon which the historian of the war will depend for his most picturesque and animating passages. It is a record of the personal experience of one of General Doubleday's first staff in Virginia, told so simply, nimbly, and graphically, that the reader who gives up in despair the elaborate and scientific accounts of military life and movement will at once comprehend the daily routine of a soldier in active service. It is full of anecdote, of incident, and of striking descriptions, and is a most delightful and instructive volume.

"Revised United States Army Regulations of 1861," with an appendix containing the changes and laws affecting army regulations and Articles of War to June 25, 1863. (G. W. Childs, Philadelphia.) This seems to be a complete body of military details. The duties of officers and men, volunteers and drafted soldiers, proceedings in civil courts and instructions in cases of army claims, encampments, marches, guards, military law, subsistence, equipments, are all explained; and every subject is accessible by the most carefully elaborated and comprehensive index. A military authority declares the work to be essential "to every officer, every office, and as many of our intelligent soldiers as possible," the old copy being obsolete. And if essential to military men, it is at this time a most interesting book for civilians to consult.




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