Capture of Knoxville


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, September 19, 1863

Welcome to our online collection of Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. This collection contains a wealth of original material on the war. Reading the news that was written within hours of the battles and events can yield new insight into this important event in American History.

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


Trenton Falls

Trenton Falls

British Pirates

British Pirates

Capture of Knoxville

Charleston Siege

Quantrill's Destruction of Lawrence Kansas

Brandy Station

Battle of Brandy Station

Remington Advertisement



Siege of Charleston

Lawrence Kansas Ruins

Lawrence, Kansas Ruins

Warrenton Sulphur Springs

Warrenton Sulphur Springs, Virginia

Southern Exiles

Southern Exiles



SEPTEMBER 19, 1863.]



(Previous Page) guilt of the rebellion upon the loyal free States? Horatio Seymour's.

Whose phrase is it that the Union must fall rather than slavery? Horatio Seymour's.

Whose "friends" are the wanton burners of orphan asylums and the remorseless murderers of innocent men and children? Horatio Seymour's.

Whose opinion was it, when the rebels "seceded," that the Government could not "coerce" States? Horatio Seymour's.

Whose hope was it that, under that foolish trick of words, the Government might be overthrown? Horatio Seymour's.

Whose success does S. S. Cox declare would complete the policy to be inaugurated by Vallandigham? Horatio Seymour's.

Whose nomination for President of the United States does Jeff Davis desire? Horatio Seymour's.

Whose election would help to secure the triumph of the rebels? Horatio Seymour's.

Whose position, beside that of his old political companion General Dix, is that of a Copperhead beside a patriot? Horatio Seymour's.

Whose head was metaphorically put in chancery and punched by General Dix? Horatio Seymour's.

Whose name will hereafter be classed with Aaron Burr's? Horatio Seymour's.

Of whose name have we now had enough? Horatio Seymour's.


THE ter-centenary of Shakespeare's birth occurs on the 23d of April, 1864. England is making great preparation for the celebration. They have a National Shakespeare Committee, of which the Prince of Wales is expected to be President, and Alfred Tennyson is Vice-President. This may be considered as a formal recognition of Tennyson as the chief of living English poets. The Committee is composed of men of every pursuit; for it is Shakespeare as the representative Englishman, not Shakespeare the poet only, whose memory they propose to honor.

But Shakespeare does not belong to England only. He is larger than England, and belongs to the language. Wherever the language of Shakespeare is spoken his lovers have an equal claim upon his memory. He is ours not less than theirs. He is American not less than English. It was in his day that the influences which made America stirred society. It was soon after his death that his contemporaries and their children planted America. We ought therefore to share in the celebration. His birth is our festival also. Cordelia and Rosalind, Hamlet and Mercutio, are ours.

Let our known and special Shakespearians move in the matter and name a committee. Mr. Verplanck, Mr. Hudson, Mr. White, have each edited the great poet. There are eminent Shakespeare scholars also. Why will they not combine and consider the whole subject? It is not necessary to do it in connection with the English movement. We paid our homage to Burns independently of that of Scotland and of the rest of the world. And the attitude of many eminent English literary men during the war has certainly not inspired cordial sympathy for a united celebration. Carlyle, Bulwer, Thackeray, Kingsley, and others have sneered, and great numbers of the magazines and papers have scoffed at a cause which concerns ail liberty. But our interest is not with them, it is with Shakespeare. Let them honor him as they will. Let us also, in our own way and from our own hearts, offer our homage.


VERMONT has just elected a loyal Governor: a Senate unanimously loyal, and a House which counts only some dozen members who are opposed to the war. Vermont supports unconditionally and overwhelmingly the policy of the Government. Does any body believe that the great safe-guards of civil liberty are endangered in Vermont, because she did not elect friends of Davis and Toombs to be her Governor and legislators? Does any body believe that those safeguards will be more secure in Ohio than in Vermont, if Vallandigham should be chosen Governor of Ohio? Does any body believe that the rights of citizens or legitimate State rights are in any greater peril in Vermont, where a Copperhead is not Governor, than they are in New York where Seymour is? Are the principles of the Government and the Constitution any less safe in the State of Vermont than they are in Kentucky? If every loyal State followed the example of Vermont would a single lover of the Union and the Government regret the result?


IF there be any infamy in the word thief, it belongs to John B. Floyd. If there be any crime in purely causeless and bloody rebellion against just and equal laws, he was a criminal. If there be any thing despicable in poltroonery, he was contemptible. But he had the merit, in Copperhead eyes, of being in arms against the Government of the United States; consequently the chief Copperhead organ in the country smoothly says of him, "It has been alleged, and it has also been denied, that the treason of John B. Floyd had manifested itself while he yet held office under the United States Government, in the transfer of arms to the South to aid the cause of the rebellion."

It has also been alleged, but it has never been denied, that the treason of Copperheads manifests itself in a pretended loyalty to the Government, while all their sympathy is transferred to the South to aid and comfort the rebellion.


GENERAL HALLECK last week secured the appointment of twenty-four young soldiers, from our armies now in the field, to cadetships at West Point. The cadetships due to the Virginia Congressional districts are given to young lads who have distinguished themselves, and are otherwise qualified, in the Army of the Potomac. The cadetships

due to Western Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi, are to be conferred on General GRANT'S recommendation. So in the other departments. And General HALLECK further takes the ground that next year all appointments to West Point shall be made from young soldiers in the field, or the sons of officers who have rendered important services in this war; not that the appointments are to be taken from the various Congressmen in the Northern and other States, but that the Congressmen in their recommendations are to be restricted to these classes of nominees.

Among the recent arrivals from New Orleans is Lieutenant-Colonel J. P. FOSTER, of the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth New York Volunteers. Colonel FOSTER served under General BANKS in the Shenandoah Valley as Major, and won his promotion by his bravery at Port Hudson.

The steam sloops of war Hartford, Richmond, and Brooklyn, now at the Brooklyn Navy-yard, are to be put in order as soon as possible, and as the Niagara, at Boston, is to be ready about the same time, it is surmised that these four noble ships are destined for some special service not yet made public. Rumor says that they will go across the Atlantic to operate together as a special squadron on the coast of England and France.

Official information has been received in regard to the fate of Lieutenant-Colonel BRODERICK and Major SHELMIRE, First New Jersey Cavalry, in the cavalry fight at Brandy Station on June 9. They were both killed in the charge upon the rebel General STUART'S head-quarters. BRODERICK fell at the very entrance of General STUART'S tent.

W. B. C. DURYEE, Assistant Adjutant-General, has been assigned to duty in the Army of the Potomac.

The following navy orders have been issued: Commodore THOMAS F. CRAVEN ordered to command the Niagara.

Commander JOHN GUEST ordered to duty at Navy-yard, Washington.

Commander JAMES P. SANFORD ordered to command the Sassacus.

Commander E. T. NICHOLS ordered to command the Mendota.

Lieutenant-Commander FRANCIS M. ROE detached from ordnance duty at New York, and ordered to command the steamer Neptune.

Lieutenant-Commander WATSON SMITH ordered to command the Paul Jones.

Lieutenant-Commander JOHN S. BARNES detached from the command of the Paul Jones, and ordered to the Niagara.

Lieutenant-Commander BANCROFT GHERARDI ordered to command the Chocura.

Lieutenant-Commander DANIEL L. BRAINE detached from ordnance duty at New York, and ordered to command the steamer Vicksburg.

Lieutenant-Commander WILLIAM F. TRUXTON detached from the command of the Chocura, and waiting orders.

Lieutenant-Commander J. C. P. DE KRAFT detached from the Navy Yard at Washington, and waiting orders.

Lieutenant-Commander L. A. BEARDSLEE ordered to special duty at New York.

Lieutenant-Commander S. L. BREESE detached from the Roanoke, preparatory orders to command the Sagamore.

Captain JOHNSON, one of the personal aids of Major-General HEINTZELMAN, has been promoted to the rank of major. He will remain upon the staff of General HEINTZELMAN.

Under the new dealing with officers, justly or unjustly obnoxious, Colonel BOWMAN, Military Superintendent of West Point, has been relieved, and Brigadier-General H. G. WRIGHT put in his place.

Major-General HUNTER, at his own request, has been assigned to an important command in the West.

General JOHN A. GARFIELD ha written a letter denying many of the assertions of CLEMENT L. VALLANDIGHAM, and convicting him of uttering untruths about the sentiments of the people of the South. General GARFIELD also says that he holds himself personally responsible to MR. VALLANDIGHAM, or any of his friends, for the statements he has made.

It is understood that General RUFUS INGALLS, so long the efficient Chief Quarter-master of the Army of the Potomac, is to succeed to the Quarter-master Generalship made vacant by the removal of General MEIGS.

Lieutenant-Colonel CHARLES G. HALPINE, lately upon the staff of Major-General HUNTER, and afterward upon that of General HALLECK, has been temporarily assigned to duty on the staff of Major-General Dix.

Commander THATCHER has been ordered to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron to command the steam frigate Colorado.

Commander BOWERS has been detached from the naval rendezvous at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and ordered to command the receiving ship Vandalia.

Commander LEROY has been ordered to command the sloop of war Oneida.

Lieutenant-Commander E. P. WILLIAMS has been detached from the Powhatan and ordered to command the Huron.

Lieutenant-Commander CHARLES E. FLEMING has received preparatory orders to command the Sagamore.

Lieutenant-Commander ROBERT BOYD has been detached from the receiving ship at Boston and ordered to the Powhatan.

Lieutenant-Commander F. K. LEWIS has been detached from the command of the Itaska, and ordered to Baltimore on special duty.

Lieutenant-Commander GEORGE BROWN has been ordered to the command of the Itaska.

Lieutenant WILLIAM B. CUSHING has been detached from the command of the Shockokon, and ordered to the command of the Monticello.

The Navy Department has received information of the killing at Natchez of Acting Master R. A. TURNER, commanding the United States steamer Curlew, by Major M'KEE, the Provost Marshal of that city. A commission to investigate the matter relieved the Marshal from all blame.

Captain JOHN SAUNDERS, of the Sixty-ninth New York regiment, who was recently reported to have been court-martialed and deprived of one month's pay, for "conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman," was honorably discharged on June 12, in consequence of the consolidation of his company.

Captain JOHN L. BROOMS, of the United States flag-ship Hartford, late in command of the marines of the Gulf squadron, has been ordered to report for duty at the Marine Barracks, Brooklyn.

The soldiers of the Third Army Corps are preparing to give General SICKLES a magnificent reception on his return to his duties. Over five thousand dollars have already been subscribed for the purpose.

Brigadier-General BEAL and a number of other rebel officers passed through Cairo on 1st inst. en route to Johnson's Island, in charge of Lieutenant WRIGHT.

The Louisville Journal tells a good story at the expense of a colonel who was dismissed from the service on charges of disloyalty. The colonel appealed to President LINCOLN, and after a long talk the latter, apparently convinced of his loyalty, proposed to make him a brigadier-general, providing he would submit to a certain test. To this the officer gladly acceded, when, much to his chagrin, Mr. LINCOLN proposed to give him the command of a negro brigade. The brave colonel "didn't see it."

Colonel Commandant JOHN HARRIS, of the Marine Corps, has returned from his annual tour of inspection to the marine barracks of the different naval stations, and is now at head-quarters in this city. Captain ALLAN RAMSAY has been detached from United States sloop Richmond, and ordered to command at the Washington barracks. There are at present four vacancies in the Marine Corps, which will be filled by appointment by the Secretary of the Navy before the convening of Congress. This is a splendid service for young men of military taste and education desirous of seeing the world.

Captain LEVY, recently arrested and consigned to the Old Capitol prison, has been released, and is now making an investigation of the charges alleged against him.



OFFICIAL dispatches received in Washington state that General Burnside has captured Knoxville, East Tennessee, his cavalry having entered the place about the 4th inst. At Kingston the rebels did not show much fight but fell back, and finally retreated. There were several skirmishes on the way to Knoxville, the most severe of which was at Lodan, at which place the rebels were routed with considerable loss. General Burnside's losses during the advance have been trifling.


The monotony of the siege operations at Charleston was varied by a general engagement on the 1st inst., between the iron-clads and Forts Sumter, Wagner, and Moultrie, in which much damage was done to the forts. During the action Fleet Captain Oscar C. Badger, the successor of Captain Rodgers, had his leg broken by a shell, and it was thought that amputation would be necessary. At latest accounts four Monitors had gone up to renew the action, and were nearly abreast of Sumter. General Gilmore's land batteries, meantime, were firing night and day. The bombardment of the city had not been resumed.


We give the following, from rebel sources:

   CHARLESTON, September 5, 1863.

To-day has witnessed another furious bombardment of Forts Wagner and Gregg by the enemy's fleet and land batteries. The firing was begun at daylight, and was maintained steadily until dark. A Monitor is now firing at Fort Moultrie. Another assault on Battery Wagner is deemed not improbable to-night.

Since yesterday no further attack has been made on brick-built Sumter, which has been held twenty days against all the efforts of the enemy's great guns by land and sea. Of 7551 shots which have been fired at it 3495 have struck outside and 2130 inside. The flag has been shot away fourteen times. The orders against exposure having been rigidly enforced, our casualties were few.

CHARLESTON, September 69:30 A.M.

The bombardment of Batteries Wagner and Gregg has been incessant for the last fifty-two hours. The noise of the cannonade is tremendous.

Last night the enemy landed near Cumming's Point, in barges, and assaulted Battery Gregg. The assault was repulsed. No particulars have been received.


A dispatch from General Rosecrans's army, dated the 3d inst., states that the army was then well across the Tennessee, and occupied a strong position several miles south of the river, no resistance to the crossing having been shown by the rebels. Reconnoissances to Trenton, Georgia, had tailed to discover any rebels, and the report was that they were intrenched to the eastward of Chattanooga.


The following dispatch has been received from General Fisk:

PILOT KNOB, Wednesday. Sept. 2.

To Major-General Schofield:

A deserter from Burbridge's command reports that our forces attacked Price on the 25th at Brownsville and Bayou Metre. "Old Pap's" forces were driven back across Arkansas River on Wednesday forenoon last. The entire rebel force was in full retreat, Steele and Davidson hotly pursuing them, and shelling the fleeing rebels. Hundreds are deserting. Marmaduke's command was wholly routed and scattered. Little Rock was within the grasp of the Federal army.

The people of Arkansas, north of White River, are praising God for the prospective deliverance from the Jeff Davis despotism.   C. B. FISK, Brigadier-General.


The forces of Generals Steele and Davidson are still pursuing the rebels in the vicinity of the White River. A dispatch from Memphis on the 5th says that General Davidson drove the enemy, seven thousand strong, across the Bayou Metre bridge, on the 28th ult., killing and wounding one hundred and capturing two hundred. The rebels burned the bridge over the bayou in their retreat.


Reports from Memphis are to the effect that Generals Grant and Thomas have gone to New Orleans; that General Grant will command all the Mississippi region, and that General Banks will go to Texas.


A correspondent with the Army of the Cumberland, in a recent letter, gives additional and most interesting evidence on the subject of discontent in the South, both in and out of the rebel armies. Desertion is no longer confined to solitary individuals, but large masses of men only wait for an opportunity to quit a service which they loathe. From reliable information it would appear that 5000 men have taken refuge in the mountains of Georgia alone, successfully resisting all the force that the authorities can bring against them. As every man the Confederates can raise is needed to oppose our troops, it will be well-nigh impossible for them to disperse the refugees, whose numbers will continue to increase as the cause of the Confederacy becomes more desperate.


The utmost consternation and alarm prevail in the border counties of Missouri, in consequence of the orders of General Ewing, and the threatened invasion mom Kansas. General Ewing's order required all the inhabitants in Jackson, Cass, and Bates counties to abandon their homes, and assemble at certain specified posts by the 9th of September; and directed that all hay left in those counties should be burned. At the same time it is announced that General Lane will enter Missouri with a force on the 9th of September. There is a general conviction that Independence, the most important town be Jackson County, is to be plundered and reduced to ashes. The moneys of the bank at that place have been removed to St. Louis for safety. The records of the three counties, Jackson, Bates, and Cass, have also been removed to prevent their destruction. General Schofield, with his staff, left St. Louis on Monday for the border, to give his personal attention to affairs there, and to inaugurate energetic measures for ridding that region of the brigands under Quantrell.


Major-General Blunt, in his official report of the battle of Honey Springs, Arkansas, says the First Kansas colored regiment particularly distinguished themselves. They fought like veterans, and preserved their line unbroken throughout the engagement. Their coolness and bravery I have never seen surpassed. They were in the hottest of the fight and opposed to Texan troops twice their number, whom they completely routed. The Twentieth Texas regiment, which fought against them, went into the fight with 300 men and came out with only 60.


On 5th inst. Governor Johnson addressed a Union meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, taking strong ground in favor of immediate emancipation. He declared Slavery to be the source and cause of all our troubles, and said that he was opposed to compromise with it.


Pope Pius the Ninth has addressed an apostolic letter to Archbishop Hughes on the subject of the rebellion and war in America. He advocates peace, and calls on the Archbishop to use his most strenuous endeavors to bring about that result. The Pope advises a conference with the associate bishops of the Archbishop, and announces that he had forwarded a similar circular to the Archbishop of New Orleans, counseling him to confer with Archbishop Hughes on the subject.


The California election has resulted in the complete triumph of the Union State ticket. It is believed that Low's majority for Governor, notwithstanding the popularity of Downey, the Democratic candidate, will not fail short of 20,000.


The following nominations, for the State Ticket, were made at the Union State Convention held last week at Syracuse:

For Secretary of State- PETER A. PORTER.

For Controller -THOS. W. OLCOTT.

For Attorney-General JOHN COCHRANE.

For State Treasurer GEO. W. SCHUYLER.

For Jdg. of Appeals HENRY R. SELDEN.

For Canal Commissioner BENJ. F. BRUCE

For State Engineer - W. B. TAYLOR.

For inspector of Prisons- JAMES K. BATES.


The Herald says; "Well informed parties allege that General McClellan's report was only received at the Adjutant-General's Department three weeks ago, and that it will take one man many months to read it and its accompanying documents with the attention it deserves. It will occupy when printed three large quarto volumes, with charts, diagrams, etc. For its publication a large Congressional appropriation will be requisite. The Secretary of War has not yet had time to read it, but is about instituting a committee of officers, to be presided over by Major-General David Hunter, who will be charged with the duty of reading it, and reporting as to whether or not it shall be published as an official document."




THE rebel iron rams at Liverpool are described as of enormous strength, turreted, and furnished with every protection for the gunners. One of them was off the stocks, and had taken some guns on board. This is probably the one which was reported to have sailed. It is said, however, that one was to sail on the 27th of August. The English Government and people were becoming alarmed at the breaches of international law which they had already sanctioned in this connection.


The following extract is from the London Times of August 28:

* * * We hold and acknowledge it unlawful to equip vessels of war for the use of a belligerent, we being neutrals, and yet every cruiser in the service of the Southern States has been, as a matter of fact, sent to sea from the ports of this country. It is not the fault of the Government, as the case of the Alexandra sufficiently proved; but there must clearly be a fault somewhere, when we see the spirit of the law evaded, and things done which we would rather see left undone, and which our own national interests call upon us to stop.

We admit that the case is exceptional. It turns, in fact, upon the passionate and overriding determination with which the Federals are enforcing a prodigious blockade. To this one momentous object they have devoted their whole naval resources, and have thrown the police of the seas upon us. If their squadrons were not so busy on the sea-board of the Southern States matters would not have been managed so easily in the Mersey and the Clyde; nor would the Florida be quietly hovering about the Channel to pick up her new consorts on their coming out. As it is, this kind of trade is left undisturbed, and the Federals, instead of snapping up the would-be cruisers on their first appearance. complain of us for allowing them to appear at all. Just lately they have ordered the construction of six powerful iron steamers expressly for the purpose of patrolling the seas; and if this new squadron should not be abruptly diverted to Charleston or Norfolk we should soon hear less of the Alabama and her doings. Hitherto the Southerners have been left with this field of action entirely to themselves, and so profitable have they found it that they have recently proposed to throw their whole energies into the work. In that event we might see such an extension given to the trade in question as could hardly be tolerated.

It is a hard thing to say, perhaps, that we may sell a hundred thousand rifles or to whole cargo of gunpowder to a belligerent, and yet not ship's hull: but we can only add that some such distinction is actually recognized, and that it is not our interest to invalidate it. We ourselves have maintained it as well as the Americans. During the Crimean war we addressed a protest to the Washington Government on the subject of a vessel believed to be destined for Russian use, and the Americans listened to us. When they, again, the other day, protested on the subject of the Alexandra, we listened to them, and did our best to detect an alleged breach of law. On both sides, therefore, it is felt that neutrals should not supply belligerents with vessels of war; and yet a Confederate cruiser is said to be somewhere in British waters awaiting the appearance of her new consorts at a rendezvous. Can this be right? We think not. It is not a question of sympathy at all, but it question of law, and, we may once more add, of British interests. If we were unhappily plunged again into war we might soon find reason to wish that we had supported with greater zeal the representations of the Federals in the matter of these Southern cruisers.


The Florida had captured and burned the ship Anglo-Saxon, loaded with coal, bound from Liverpool for New York, on the 21st ult., only thirty miles southeast of Kinsale, she being in charge of a Channel pilot at the time. It was uncertain what disposition had been made of the crew.



The Richmond Government had made a pressing appeal to the Spanish Government to obtain recognition of the Confederate States, offering to guarantee to Spain the possession of Cuba and Porto Rico. The Spanish Government declined.



The Mexican question is assuming new and interesting phases. An American protest in regard to the French proceedings in Mexico, it was believed, would be presented to the French Emperor during the current week. There is a likelihood, also, that the Mexican throne may not, after all, be accepted by Maximilian. The King of the Belgians recommends him to insist upon certain conditions, which are equivalent to a refusal; and it is understood that the Imperial family at Vienna are resolved that his acceptance must be followed by a renunciation of all his political rights as a scion of the house of Austria.



The Turkish seraglio was recently burned to the ground, and an exciting scene occurred during the conflagration among the three hundred women, over one hundred eunuchs, and some hundred servants who inhabited it.



News from Japan, of a highly important character, to the 24th of July, is received by way of San Francisco. Actual hostilities between the Japanese and the Treaty Powers had commenced. On the 15th of July an English ship, bound from Nargasadi to Kanagawa by an inland passage, was fired upon by Japanese forts and vessels, which had previously fired upon the American ship Pembroke. She was much injured, and had four men killed and six wounded. Subsequently the American steamer Wyoming visited the place to punish the Japanese for firing upon the Pembroke. She blew up one Japanese steamer and sunk another, and silenced nearly all the neighboring forts. She received twenty shots, and had five amen killed and six wounded. The forts were afterward attacked by two British war-vessels, and after a bombardment a detachment of British troops were landed, who destroyed the fortifications and an adjacent village. The Japanese showed very little fight.




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