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Civil War Harper's Weekly, September 5, 1863

Harper's Weekly was the most read newspaper of the Civil War era. To help you develop a better understanding of the War, we have posted our complete collection of the paper to this WEB site. We are hopeful that you find this resource useful in your research and study.

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


Mosby's Raiders

Mosby Raid

Copperhead Poem

Sioux War

Sioux Indian War

Morris Island

Pictures of Morris Island

Lawrence Atrocities

Quantrill's Atrocities in Lawrence Kansas

Mosby's Guerrillas

Mosby's Guerrillas

Draft Resumes in New York

Draft Resumes

Resumption of the Draft

William Quantrill's Raid of Lawrence Kansas

Cavalry Skirmish

Cavalry Skirmish

Attack on Fort Wagner

Attack on Fort Wagner

Draft Riot Cartoon

Draft Riot Cartoon




SEPTEMBER 5, 1863.]



(Previous Page) there is very general resignation. The loyal people of this country do not, as the poet Simms lately sings, "hate" the city of Charleston; but as they do not hate the ancient Sodomites, yet regard the fate of the city of Sodom with equanimity, so the destruction of the city of Charleston would be so symbolical that they would contemplate its smoking ruins as a just judgment.

But it is a symbol which we should not make for our own satisfaction, despite the lyric assertions of the poet Simms, and our Gascon friends the enemy have given us no reason to suppose that they will keep their valorous word. Why did they not blow up New Orleans, or Nashville, or Newbern, or any of the cities which old Abe's minions have ruthlessly invaded and occupied? Simply because they knew it would be an extremely foolish and even perilous thing to do. It is possible that they may make an exception of Charleston, the fostering head of secession. But it is not probable. He is doubtless a wise prophet who writes—"The rebels will not surrender either Charleston or Savannah to the Union forces, but will commit them to the flames and destruction, precisely as they have done in the cases of Vicksburg and Port Hudson."


WE can not too constantly bear in mind the real sympathies of public men at this time, and a little repetition is of the utmost service. Thus it is instructive to know the precise position occupied by the worthy Mr. Seymour, and a side-light of great brilliancy is occasionally thrown upon it, as recently by Mr. S. S. Cox of Ohio, familiarly known as Sunset Cox. Mr. Cox is the special friend of Mr. Vallandigham, whose position has the merit of being perfectly well defined; and in urging the election of his friend as Governor of Ohio he said that if, after his election, Governor Vallandigham did not appear, Lieutenant-Governor Pugh would march at the head of the militia, a hundred and fifty thousand strong, to the Canada frontier, and bring home the patriot to his chair, "and none will dare to hinder him." "Then," continued the fervid orator, "with McClellan or Seymour in 1864, we will put the Government again upon an honorable footing." He meant, of course, under an honorable footing, namely, the feet of Davis and Company.

It appears, then, that the next friend of Mr. Vallandigham for Governor is also the advocate of Mr. Seymour for President—a fact which is more instructive than interesting.


IT is stated that the troops of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts regiment decline to receive wages of ten dollars a month when other soldiers are paid thirteen. It seems that there is some interpretation of some law by which these men are held not to be soldiers but "contrabands," or some kind of something which is not to be paid full wages for its services.

That this absurdity will continue is, of course, impossible. That the Government means honorably to the soldiers of every kind and color, we know; and that some snarl of red tape must be untied before we can act simply and honestly in this matter is very possible. But the matter is very plain. If we gravely propose to pay such soldiers as assaulted Port Hudson and Fort Wagner, and charged upon the rebels at Milliken's Bend, less than other soldiers, we propose to insult them and to dishonor ourselves. It is idle to suppose that such men are to be humbugged. They know quite as well as we whether their fighting is worth as much as that of other soldiers or not. If it is, and they are not paid as much, they will naturally object.

The thing to be done is to remove immediately every impediment to their fair payment. The greater thing to be done is to show the men who so bravely dare and die for us, that we are worth fighting for, that we do cordially acknowledge their services, and that whatever the difference of our complexion and capacity may be, our manhood is equal to theirs. The slowness, the reluctance, the bitterness with which we have accepted the assistance of such soldiers will be recorded with wonder and sorrow hereafter. "The question," said General Mitchell, just before he went to Charleston, "is not so much whether we should call upon these people, as whether they will believe we mean honestly by them when we do call." The least we can do is to pay fairly for fair work.


THE authorship of the new "Gospel of Peace," one of the cleverest political squibs of the war, is a well-kept secret. It is a broad, popular, humorous burlesque upon the Copperhead faith and practice, as exemplified in the career of Phernandiwud and the followers of that Brummagem Prince of Peace. It is done so well that nobody can escape the point; and is one of the very few satires which address themselves to the universal public. A Pahdee can enjoy it as fully as a cultivated scholar, and it is consequently of the greatest service to the good cause. The authorship is attributed to many well-known literary gentlemen, as "the Lorgnette" was at the time of its appearance; and the writer most take care that his laurels are not disputed to the end. The amusing controversy as to the authorship of "Nothing to Wear" is yet freshly remembered, and long after Mr. Putnam, the publisher, had negotiated with the gentleman whom be supposed to have written "The Potiphar Papers," he received a very urgent and persistent claim from the literary executor of a gentleman in Buffalo, who declared that he had found the manuscript among the papers of his deceased friend, and insisted that the reputed author must be an impostor.

Public rumor points most persistently to a well-known and accomplished scholar, whose reputation has been made in quite other directions, as the author

of the new "Gospel of Peace." He may be congratulated upon a signal success, and the public upon a capital and timely satire.


A CORRESPONDENT, "Nux," asks, "What has become of Wigfall?" His last public performance to our knowledge was waving his white handkerchief to Major Anderson on the day of the rebel bombardment of Sumter, entering the fort, drinking a glass of liquid which, when he had entirely engulfed, the surgeon of the fort politely, but in pure jest, informed him was rank poison, then entreating piteously to have the stomach pump applied, to which the surgeon generously assented. History takes leave of Wigfall at an unprecedented moment in his career—when something was coming out of his mouth instead of going into it. The appearance, performance, and disappearance of Wigfall upon the scene of public affairs in this country are all equally absurd. In the Senate of the United States he was a fierce mountebank. In the rebel councils and army he has made no mark whatever. Like many of the other leaders of this ill-starred and bloody plot, such as Yancey, Pryor, Floyd, Wise, Spratt, Rhett, Keitt, and Orr, he has been practically obliterated by its development. The admirers of the statesman Wigfall, however, may console themselves by reflecting that he has made himself even more contemptible than infamous.


"IN this great crisis of the country's history," says a newspaper which is anxious that the policy of the war shall be abandoned, and the rebels be permitted to return unconditionally to their plotting in the Union, "he is the best patriot, and best serves the republic, who is most free from the taint of selfishness." Therefore, it argues, let us make Fernando Wood Speaker.

The grounds are three-fold: first, his patriotism; second, his service to the country; and, third, his freedom from the taint of selfishness. Not to put too fine a point upon it, if these are the reasons for electing him, how soon is he likely to be elected? The truth is, if Jefferson Davis has taught us in these bloody years nothing more than to confide in Fernando Wood, we deserve to have him for Speaker.


GENERAL JOE JOHNSTON, on a recent visit to Mobile, declared it to be "the most defensible sea-port position in the Confederate States," and that "Mobile is to be defended to the last."

From the Southwest we hear that the mountains and Northern Alabama are filled with deserters from the armies of BRAGG and JOHNSTON. West Tennessee is entirely cleared of guerrillas.

Colonel CATHERWOOD, commanding a Missouri regiment of artillery, telegraphs to head-quarters at St. Louis, from Pineville, M'Donald County, that he was attacked by the rebel Colonel COFFEE August 16, and that the rebels were severely handled. COFFEE'S force was completely routed, with the loss of thirty or forty killed and a number wounded.

A considerable number of rebel conscripts have recently reported at Corinth for duty in the National army. This is a cheap way for Uncle Sam to recruit his forces.

A messenger from General GRANT has reached Washington, with dispatches regarding trade regulations in the Mississippi. The General is said to favor the opening of the cotton trade to all loyal citizens, under proper restrictions, and to recommend the authorities to adopt this policy, which would, no doubt, bring out thousands of bales now hidden away.

A small squad of rebels made a dash into Poolesville, in Maryland, August 14, and captured the telegraph operator and his instruments, and did some damage to the wires. They proceeded to rob some of the stores, when the operator made his escape. The robbers, it is believed, did not come from Virginia, but belong in Maryland, and do not live far from Poolesville. They move about as citizens in the day time, and practice midnight robberies under the plea that they belong to the rebel army, On the 16th a number of MOSEBY'S guerrillas attempted to attack one of the Government farms at Fall's Church, for the purpose of stealing some horses, but being fired upon by the guard, they ingloriously skedaddled. The rebels were commanded by MOSEBY in person.

A dispatch to the Chicago Times, dated Winchester, Tennessee, August 15, says that the rebels on their late hurried retreat over the Tennessee River fired the magnificent bridge at Bridgeport, but succeeded in destroying only two spans on this side of the river. Discovering that preparations were making to repair the damage, a strong force advanced, on the night of August 14, and destroyed the remainder.

General HOOKER is expected soon to resume active service, either in a separate command or as commander of a corps in the Army of the Potomac. He has of late been busily engaged in the preparation of his report of his operations as the commander of the Army of the Potomac.

A Court of Inquiry is to meet at Montgomery to investigate the rebel campaign in Mississippi and Louisiana in May, June, and July, and especially to inquire into the surrender of Vicksburg and Port Hudson.

Advices were received at head-quarters in St. Louis on the 20th to the effect that the National forces, under General DAVIDSON had crossed the White River at Clarendon, Arkansas, and were moving toward Little Rock—having already arrived in sight of "Daddy" PRICE'S rebel pickets.

A successful raid into North Carolina was made by the First New York Mounted Rifles and two companies of the Eleventh Pennsylvania cavalry, under command of General ONDERDONK. A party of guerrillas were encountered between Pasquatank and Hartford, of whom a considerable number were killed. The expedition returned to Portsmouth, Virginia, on the 20th.

Friday, the 14th, was the day set for hanging the two Union prisoners in Richmond, Captains SAWYER and FLYNN, in retaliation for the act of General BURNSIDE in hanging two rebel officers caught in disguise within his lines, and, therefore, liable to punishment as spies under military law. It is safe to say that they were not hung.

A communication from BEAUREGARD'S Chief-of-Staff, published in the Charleston Mercury, announces that the negroes in arms captured on Morris Island are held subject to the order of the Governor of South Carolina, in accordance with the act of the rebel Congress directing the delivery of such captured negroes to the Governors of the States in which the captures might be made.

General HURLBURT, a few weeks ago, sent an expedition into Central Mississippi, which returned to Lagrange, Tennessee, on the 20th ult., after accomplishing many important results. Hearing that there was a large amount of railroad stores at Grenada, he sent a portion of his command to destroy it, under Lieutenant-Colonel PHILLIPS, of the Ninth Illinois Mounted infantry. This force reached Grenada on the 17th, drove out 2000 rebels, under General SLIMMER, and destroyed fifty-seven locomotives, upward of four hundred cars, the depot building, machine and blacksmiths' shops, and a large quantity of ordnance and

commissary stores, besides capturing about fifty railroad men and a number of other prisoners. After this work was accomplished, Colonel PHILLIPS was joined by Colonel WINSLOW, with a detachment from General GRANT'S forces, which had been sent out to divert the enemy's attention, and the whole force returned in safety. This loss of rolling stock will most seriously cripple the rebels in their railroading operations.

Four hundred more rebels, captured at Falling Waters and incarcerated in a prison in Baltimore, left that city the other day for Point Lookout. This makes nine hundred prisoners, now at Point Lookout, captured at the battle of Falling Waters, which LEE says was never fought!

Three privates from Rhode Island, who had just arrived at the army of tile Potomac, were shot while in the act of deserting by their escort. Eleven recruits leaped from the cars on the road to Warrenton, and succeeded for a time in making their escape. A party was dispatched in pursuit. Comparatively few of these kind of soldiers manage to get away beyond our military lines, as scouts are out in all directions to intercept them. The order of Major-General MEADE, approving the sentences of death in such cases, will, it is believed, effectually check further desertions.

At Chattanooga contrabands report that General JOE JOHNSTON arrived with two trains of troops on the 20th, superseding General BRAGG, who has retired to Atlanta. This statement is corroborated by citizens.

The pirate Florida has turned up on the track of the Liverpool and New York packets. The ship Francis B. Cutting, which arrived at this port on the 24th, reports having been overhauled by her on the 6th inst., in lat. 42° 10', long. 44° 20'. After considerable negotiation, the Cutting having on board 230 passengers, the pirate agreed to bond her in the sum of $40,000.

By an act of December 21, 1861, a medal of honor is to be bestowed upon "such petty officers, seamen, and marines as shall most distinguish themselves by gallantry in action and other seamanlike qualities during the war." The Secretary of the Navy recommends that this medal shall be awarded to the following persons, upon grounds which are given at length in his General Order, No. 17: GEORGE BELL, Captain of After Guard, 13. S. frigate Santee; WILLIAM THOMPSON, Signal Quarter-master, U. S. steamer Mohican; JOHN WILLIAMS, Boatswain's Mate, U. S. steamer Mohican; MATTHEW ARTHUR, Signal Quarter-master, U. S. steamer Carondelet; JOHN MACKIE, Corporal of Marines, U. S. steamer Galena; MATTHEW M'CLELLAND, JOSEPH E. VANTINE, JOHN RUSH, JOHN HICKMAN, Firemen, U. S. steamer Richmond; ROBERT ANDERSON, Quarter-master, U, S. steamers Crusader and Keokuk: PETER HOWARD, Boatswain's Mate, ANDREW BRINN, Seaman, P. R. VAUGHAN, Sergeant of Marines, U. S. steamer Mississippi; SAMUEL WOODS, and HENRY THIELBERG, Seamen, ROBERT B. WOODS and ROBERT JOURDAN, Cockswains, U. S. steamer Minnesota, temporarily on board U. S. steamer Mount Washington; Thomas W. HAMILTON and FRANK BOIS, Quarter-masters, Thomas JENKINS and MARTIN M'HUGH, Seamen, THOMAS E. CORCORAN, Landsman, HENRY DOW, Boatswain's Mate, U. S. steamer Cincinnati: JOHN WOON, Boatswain's Mate, U. S. steamer Pittsburg; CHRISTOPHER BRENNAN, U. S. steamers Mississippi and Colorado; EDWARD RINGOLD, Cockswain, U. S. steamer Wabash.

A Mass Convention of the "War Democrats" of Indiana was held at Indianapolis August 20. The proceedings were marked by the utmost unanimity, and every speech breathed a determination to uphold the Government, irrespective of party, at all hazards and through every trial. It was hoped that the veteran LEWIS CASS would be present, but the committee appointed to wait upon him reported that he was utterly unable to leave his house. Much as he wanted to raise his voice in behalf of the good cause, he did not believe that he could survive the journey from Detroit to Indianapolis. A dispatch was received from Hon. DANIEL S. DICKINSON in these words. "Strive to rescue the country from rebellion, and the Democratic name from disgrace."



FROM Charleston our direct intelligence comes down to August 21. The formal attack on Fort Sumter was opened on the morning of the 17th by General Gilmore, the navy, co-operating mainly by a bombardment of Fort Wagner and Battery Gregg, bestowing little attention upon Sumter. The details of the naval action of the first day will be found in Admiral Dahlgren's dispatch on page 567. On the evening of the 21st the entire top of the fort was gone, every parapet gun dismounted, and the south side demolished almost to its base, presenting nothing but a heap of ruins. By way of the Richmond papers we have telegraphic advices four days later.

The dispatch of the 22d says: "The fire of the enemy's land batteries has been kept upon Sumter, and more guns are disabled. There was only one casualty to-day. There was also a heavy fire kept up on Battery Wagner, both from the fleet and the land, and also upon Battery Gregg. The casualties at Fort Wagner were one officer and four privates. General Gilmore's demand for the surrender of Fort Sumter and Morris Island, with a threat to shell Charleston in four hours from the delivery of the paper at Fort Wagner, was received and returned at seven o'clock this morning. General Beauregard, in his reply, charges inhumanity and violation of the laws of war against General Gilmore, and affirms that if the offense be repeated he will employ stringent measures of retaliation. Up to this time the threat to shell the city has not been executed."

The dispatch of the 23d says: "On Saturday six hundred and four shots were fired at Sumter, of which four hundred and nineteen struck inside and outside. The east wall is much scaled and battered in, and the parapet undermined. The northwest wall, with the arches, etc., has fallen in. The guns are all dismounted. One private killed. On Saturday the land batteries opened from south to north, and the Monitors from east to west, coming close up. The fire was very damaging. The east wall was cracked and breached, and the shot swept through the fort. The fort is now a ruin. Colonel Rhett is ordered to hold his outpost, even as a forlorn hope, until he is relieved or the place taken. General Gilmore sent a communication at eleven o'clock on Sunday, giving notice that at eleven o'clock to-morrow [Monday, 24th inst.] he would open fire on Charleston, and in the mean time non-combatants could go out of the city."

The dispatch of the 26th says, briefly: "Last night, at 12 o'clock, the enemy opened fire on the city, firing fifteen 8-inch Parrott shells. Non-combatants are leaving the city in a continuous stream."


Has advanced from Tullahoma upon the rebel strong-hold of Chattanooga. The region which he has traversed is shown in the map on page 567. He appeared before Chattanooga on the 21st, and opened fire on the rebel works at 10 o'clock A.M. with good effect. The rebels replied, but generally with small guns, which did very little damage. The works were found to be very strong. Two steamers were moored at the wharf, one of which was sunk and the other disabled by our fire. There was also is pontoon-bridge across the river, protected by rebel sharp-shooters. It was ascertained that there were two divisions of rebel troops at Chattanooga, while Hill's corps (late Hardee's) were disposed along the railroad in the direction of Bridgeport—General Joe Johnston being in command of the whole, he having superseded Bragg. On the night of the 22d General Wilder crossed the Tennessee River, and burned a small railroad bridge near Shellmound, thus severing communication between the right and left wings of the rebel army, and recrossed the river in safety. Deserters and citizens confirm the repeated reports of great demoralization among the rebel troops, not only at Chattanooga, but every where in the Southwest. The Richmond papers say that on the 22d Rosecrans commenced shelling the town of Chattanooga.


Had advanced toward Knoxville on the 17th. It was expected that this point would be reached in about two weeks.


The position and movements of General Meade's army are kept a profound secret; the location of the head-quarters even not being suffered to be made public. Conflicting accounts are given of the strength, position, and designs of Lee's army. According to some reports he has 100,000 men, and is preparing for another expedition against Washington; according to other he is in full retreat upon Richmond. The most probable accounts give him a force of 70,000 men, located on the general line of the Rappahannock.


Generals Grant and Rosecrans have issued orders in relation to guerrillas to the same general purport. They announce that as all regularly organized bodies of the enemy have been driven from their respective departments, the most rigorous penalties will be inflicted upon all irregular bodies of cavalry not mustered and paid by the Confederate authorities—upon all conscript officers and all those who aid them—and upon all persons detected in firing upon unarmed transports. It is not contemplated that this order shall affect the treatment due to prisoners of war captured within the districts named, when they are members of legally organized companies, and when their acts are in accordance with the usages of civilized warfare.


This bloody transaction is described on page 564. Later accounts represent that Quantrill's whole force amounted to only 300 men gathered from the border counties of Missouri. Having accomplished their work of destruction they separated into small squads and endeavored to regain their homes. They were pursued by the people of Kansas, gathered into small bands, and some forty or fifty have been killed, and a considerable amount of plunder recaptured; but the greater number, being mounted on fresh horses which they had stolen, probably made good their escape.


General Sibley, in command of the expedition against the Sioux, advanced in pursuit of the Indians into the Territory of Dacotah, and toward the close of July had several sharp encounters with the enemy. On the 28th his advancing column was suddenly beset by 2000 savage warriors, who came on apparently determined to carry every thing before them; but they were soon checked and put to flight, crossing the Missouri River in haste, leaving behind them all their stores and provisions, and the rude machinery used in the preparation of their pemmican. Their loss in killed and wounded was about 125 warriors, besides many women and children drowned in crossing the river. Our loss was only six killed and two wounded. Among these was Lieutenant Beever, an Englishman of fortune, who was acting as aid-de-camp to General Sibley. He had served on Lord Raglan's staff during the Crimean war. Little Crow, the leader in the terrible massacre of last year, was killed some time since while trying to steal horses. After driving the Indians beyond the Missouri, General Sibley's expedition, finding their horses and mules fast giving out, and their provisions almost exhausted, commenced their return. The object of the expedition was only partially accomplished.

The correspondent of the New York Times says: "There is no reason why these same Indians should not recross the Missouri, and fall again upon our frontier settlements. The loss of a few hundred men will not intimidate them, and the fact of our giving up the pursuit, no matter from what cause, will only embolden them. Their necessities are now greater than ever before. We have captured and burned up all provisions and their machinery for putting up dried meat or pemmican. There are no buffalo in their region now, and they will not starve if they can help it. They can reach the settlements before our column, as they are not cumbered with transportation. Undoubtedly another campaign will be made against them, but it is too late this season. Our crusade against the red devils has already cost nearly fifteen millions of dollars."


On the 22d a boat was picked up at sea, in latitude 37°, longitude 74°, containing a colored seaman named Smith, who stated that on the previous day the United States frigate Bainbridge had foundered during a violent gale, and that all hands had perished on board except himself and the cook, who had got off in the boat, and that the latter becoming crazy, had jumped overboard. The Bainbridge, Acting-Master Dwyer commander, sailed from New York on the 18th of August for Port Royal, with a crew numbering about 100.—The steamier Madison was loading with ammunition at Vicksburg, a negro who was carrying a percussion shell let it fall, when it exploded, setting fire to the ammunition, and blowig the steamer to pieces. Of 160 men on board only four are knower to have escaped.


The draft, which was temporarily suspended in consequence of the riots of July, was resumed, in spite of the opposition of Governor Seymour, on the 19th of August, and completed during the ensuing week. Ample preparations had been made to put down any attempt at riot. The militia regiments were underarms, and regiments of Vermont and Massachusetts volunteers fresh from the battle-fields of Virginia were at hand, occupying the public squares. The whole passed off perfectly quietly, and except for the unusual presence of soldiers in the streets, and the camp-like aspect of the squares, no one would have supposed that any thing unusual was going on. The Common Council of the city passed an ordinance appropriating $3,000,000 for the purpose of paying the $300 required for exempting a conscript from service. The ordinance makes it the "duty of the Comptroller to pay, upon the order of said Committee, to every citizen and to every person who shall have declared his intention to became a citizen in the manner provided by law, who shall be ordered into the military service of the United States in pursuance of the provisions of the act of Congress known as the Conscription Act, and whose liability to serve shall have become fixed by the action of the Board of Enrollment of the District in which he is drafted, in case the said Committee shall certify that the person so drafted is in indigent circumstances, or is a member of the Fire Department, the sum of three hundred dollars for the relief of the families of the said persons so drafted. This ordinance was vetoed by the Mayor; but the Board of Councilmen, by a vote of 23 to 1, pledged themselves to pass the ordinance over the Mayor's veto, at the expiration of the legal period of ten days.—Nearly 2000 claims, amounting in all to more than a million and a half of dollars, have been presented for damages during the late riots.


APART from the Polish question—which is still the subject of interminable diplomatic correspondence, with no apparent approximation to any definite result, and the rumors that the Archduke Maximilian, of Austria, would accept the Imperial crown of Mexico, provided the new Empire shall be taken under the protection of the Great Powers of Europe—our foreign advices for the week present little of special interest. The most important item relates to the fitting out in England of


Of these the correspondent of the Herald says, under date of August 10: "The first of these is now in the graving-dock at Liverpool, completely plated, with her masts and boilers in and on board, and also a large part of her machinery. It is expected to have her ready for sea by the 18th of August. Her consort was launched on the 2d of August, as well as one at Glasgow, and both will be ready to sail late August or the 1st of September. The speed of these vessels will be greater than any of your iron-clads. It is generally supposed that the blockading squadrons will be their first prey. This is not impossible, but my own impression is that a dash at New York will be made; and I have no hesitation in saying, that with these three iron-clads, in broad daylight, they could enter New York harbor by way of Sandy hook, and burn and destroy all your ships of war on the stocks and afloat, and dock-yards, and then pass out by way of the Sound, without receiving any material damage."—We have made this statement and opinion a subject of special comment in another column.




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