Isaac Murphy


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, April 2, 1864

This site features our entire collection of Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil war. The collection is an excellent resource for students and researchers interested in the Civil War. The collection presents unique insights into the war, and incredible illustrations created within hours of the events depicted.

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


Gettysburg Monument

Gettysburg Monument

Isaac Murphey

Governor Isaac Murphy

Lincoln on Labor

Lincoln's Position on the Labor Question

General Schofield

General Schofield


General Davies

European Ironclads

European Ironclads

Fort Powell

Bombardment of Fort Powell

Lever Watch Advertisement

Sherman's March

Sherman's March

April Fool's Day, 1864








[APRIL 2, 1864.



THE night was dark, and the fire-fly's spark

Glowed red in the reeds by the river,

And the fitful breeze in the weird pine-trees

Made their dusky branches shiver.

By the ruddy light of our camp-fires bright,

Which blazed in the trench before us,

We sat and sang till the wild woods rang

With the echo of our chorus.

Beyond the stream we could see the gleam

Of the fires that the foe had lighted,

And here and there in the flickering glare

Their forms we dimly sighted.

The night wind sighed as our chorus died,

And we thought of the coming morrow,

When the morn should wake, and the gray dawn break,

With its awful weight of sorrow.

I sit to-night by the camp-fire's light,

While the dismal rain is falling,

And in my breast beats a heart oppressed

By a sense of gloom appalling.

The river flows, and the firelight glows

On our sad and pallid faces,

And over the ground, with a weary sound,

The sentinel slowly paces.

The earth is red with the blood of the dead,

Which to-day flowed free as water,

Till the night came down with a sullen frown

And put an end to the slaughter.

By the turnpike wide, on the steep hill-side,

In field and wood they are lying;

And the air is sown with the feeble moan

Of the wounded and the dying.

And seated here on this night so drear,

As I gaze on the embers burning,

To that other night by the camp-fire's light

My thoughts are forever turning.

I think of one, now the fight is done,

Whom death from my side has parted,

I know that for him sweet eyes will be dim,

And a maiden broken-hearted.



LET her lie upon your breast while she faints,

Where she slept such a short time ago.

O! she's young to be crowned with the saints:

Hold her fast, mother; do not let her go!

The roses are not dead on her cheeks—

There is but a passing chill on their bloom;

It will go when she smiles—when she speaks—

Hush! was not that her voice in the room?

She is looking like a babe, as she lies

With her ringlets swept aside and apart;

Ah, mother, keep the tears in your eyes—

If they fall upon her face she may start.

Did some one break her heart with a word,

Having grasped it at first as a prize?

Did she flutter from his hand like a bird,

Which goes a little way and then dies?

He remembers the joy of her face,

The love in her smile and the light,

When, shrinking, she met his embrace—

Bring him here; let him look at her to-night!

O! first came the wonder and the doubt,

And the pale hope fading day by day;

So wistfully she wandered about,

Like a lost child asking its way.

And then came the silence and despair,

And the sighing after wings like a dove,

And the proud heart bleeding into prayer,

But hiding all its wounds from our love.

It is over, and the tale is all told,

And the white lamb lies dead in the frost:

We may cover up its limbs from the cold,

But we can not find a life that is lost.

Yet we thought that she moved; but her cheek

Was but stirred by the breast where it lay

Heaving a little, while we speak,

With the mute sobs forcing their way.

Let them come, poor mother! let them come;

You must turn, when your tears are all done,

To a blank in the sweet talk at home,

And a name on a little gray stone.



GENERAL FREMONT has been formally presented as a Union candidate for the Presidency, upon a platform which describes him as "the true representative of the instincts of the hour," and characterizes the policy of the Administration as "irresolute and feeble." The resolutions of the meeting declare that FREMONT is nominated as its candidate, but no reference was made to the action of a National Convention.

Mr. GREELEY, who was present, corrected this omission in his remarks. He did not say for whose nomination he should work, except so far as his adherence to the one-term tenure implied that it would not be for Mr. LINCOLN. But he said frankly that he intended to give his enthusiastic and hearty support to the candidate of the Convention. That was an honorable and timely assertion.

With him we are the friends of all the gentlemen named for the Union candidacy. But we have a preference among them, which does not in the least involve our personal respect and regard

for them. We are very profoundly convinced that it is better for the good cause that Mr. LINCOLN be retained. But should the people in their Convention decide otherwise, we shall, with all loyal men, acquiesce.

All that we ask of those who favor General FREMONT, or General BUTLER, or General GRANT, or any other candidate, is that they shall openly declare their submission to the final verdict of the people in that Convention; and we complain that many of the friends of General FREMONT present his name as a candidate in any case, and that they wage war upon an Administration which they helped to bring into power, and which has carried out their own general policy—not always, indeed, in the precise way nor exactly as fast as they wished—with a ferocity which no Copperhead surpasses. They speak of Mr. LINCOLN very much as they spoke of Mr. BUCHANAN. Is such conduct fair, or is it wise? Does any sane Union man propose, by an exasperating quarrel in our own camp, to give the Presidency of the United States to Mr. Amos KENDALL, Judge WOODWARD, and the SEYMOURS, in the person of General McCLELLAN? Are we to insist that our own candidate shall be nominated by the Convention or we will bolt?

We wish indeed that the Union men could be spared a contest for the nomination. But since that is impossible, let the claims of every candidate be fully considered—but considered as among friends, not enemies. There can be no more conspicuous folly than for Union men to declare that they will not vote for this or that candidate; for if the one whom they renounce should be nominated, they must either eat humble pie, which is never pleasant, or they must, by running a third ticket, give the election to the Copperheads, which at this juncture is the ruin of the Government and a crime against mankind.

If the Union men, whatever their personal preferences for the nomination may be, are true to the country and the cause, the candidate of their Convention will be the next President. But if they are untrue—if the conflict of preference shall throw them out of power, the result will be not only the practical success of the rebellion; it will be much worse than that; it will be the proof that in a republic, even in the agony of civil war, party-spirit is stronger than patriotism. Not only our Government will be destroyed, but its principle will be discredited forever.


THE visitors to the great Metropolitan Sanitary Fair ought not to forget that its interest will be very much in the details, which will require time and close examination. Thus the foreign contributions, which will be many, are often of this kind, and they are already beginning to arrive. Indeed the foreign interest in the Fair is very marked and active. In Liverpool a meeting has been held for the purpose of organizing the details of collecting and forwarding. From Paris forty-four cases of paintings and various fancy articles have just been received. Mr. JAMES PHALEN sends a copy of a true portrait of OLIVER CROMWELL. From Frankfort-on-the-Main Germany sends money and boxes of books.

From Switzerland also considerable contributions are promised. In the Consular district of Zurich the money subscriptions have already reached the sum of four thousand francs, and were still pouring in at the last accounts. The monks of Einsiedeln have sent two large and superb volumes of the choicest engravings. Mrs. MARY GESSNER FASI, the grand-daughter of LAVATER, has given one of her grandfather's manuscript sermons in LAVATER'S own hand-writing. The sermon was preached in Zurich, November, 1782, and closes with a short original hymn. The sermon has never been published. Mr. FASI GESSNER has contributed some original water-colored flower pictures; and several authors have given copies of their works. Many of the ladies of Zurich are still at work preparing fancy articles for the Fair. Among the minor gifts received by the Zurich Committee is a bead purse from a little girl who has a brother in the Union army, and whose young heart, no doubt, has found a deep joy in contributing her mite to the great Fund out of which her absent brother, and all absent brothers, are cared for and relieved in the sad days of hospital and camp suffering.

Italy organizes by a meeting in Rome, at which Rev. Dr. M'CLINTOCK, who from the beginning has done the good cause such valuable service in Europe, made an eloquent address. Two thousand scudi, or dollars, were subscribed for the Roman table at the Fair, which will be under the superintendence of Mrs. BLATCHFORD, wife of our late Minister to Rome. The money will be expended in characteristic Roman articles. Mr. TILTON, the painter, gives his picture of Torcello, near Venice. Mr. IVES, the sculptor, gives his bust of Secretary SEWARD at cost price to the Committee; and other sculptors are forwarding their gifts.

Among the foreign contributions we notice especially a noble one of coffee from Costa Rica, the most flourishing of all the States of Central America.

The "Old Curiosity Shop" will contain not a few interesting things, prominent among which will be a small collection of some relics from the Sir JOHN FRANKLIN expedition, exhibited by Captain PARKER SNOW, himself an Arctic explorer. They are mostly taken from the boat found on the west coast of King William's Island in May, 1859. In the boat were two skeletons. One was found with the head leaning upon the hand, and in the hand a prayer-book open to the service for the burial of the dead at sea. The stained pages of that service are in this collection. There are also a rusty razor, a bit of Windsor soap, shreds of cloth and buttons, parts of a stocking, a knot of rope, an Esquimaux pipe, etc. They are all very small, and the collection is in a case which can be easily lifted. There is also some, sugar in a glass vial from the "Jury" beach stores, left in 1825, and some sugar as packed for the sledges of traveling parties. A profoundly sad interest invests all of them.

At home, too, the interest in the Fair grows with every day, and the amount of money subscribed by the dry-goods dealers alone already reaches a hundred thousand dollars. The third year of the war opens with the magnificent proof, afforded by all these Sanitary Fairs, of the sympathy of the people with their brothers in arms. May a kind Heaven grant that such aid for such a purpose may not be long necessary!


IT has been stated in many quarters that Mr. LINCOLN, in his inaugural address, pledged himself to one term only; and one of the orators at the meeting of General FREMONT'S friends, said that the President ought to understand that this pledge would be rigidly exacted of him. But it is a curious and interesting fact that Mr. LINCOLN made no such pledge in his inaugural speech. He alluded to the point but twice.

Speaking of his predecessors and their administration of the government he said: "I now enter upon the same task, for the brief Constitutional term of four years, under great and peculiar difficulties."

And toward the close of the address he said that the people had given their public servants but little power for mischief, and had with equal wisdom "provided for the return of that little to their own hands at very short intervals;" and that while the people retain their virtue and vigilance no administration "can very seriously injure the Government in the short space of four years."

This is all Mr. LINCOLN said in his inaugural address in regard to the term of the Presidency. How is it possible to torture from such words a "pledge" to serve one term only? And what is meant by "rigidly exacting" the performance of his pledge?


ON the 29th July, 1835, a mob broke into the Post-office in Charleston, South Carolina, and destroyed some anti-slavery publications which they found in the mails. Mr. AMOS KENDALL, Postmaster-General, was asked by-the Post-officers in Charleston for instructions. He replied that he "had no legal authority to exclude newspapers from the mail, nor to prohibit their carriage or delivery on account of their character or tendency, real or supposed." We should rather think he had not. "BUT," says this faithful tool of Despotism, "I am not prepared to direct you to forward or deliver the papers of which you speak !" In other words, I have no authority to rob the mails, but I authorize you to rob them. And why? What is the reason which this present stickler for Constitutional rights alleges for the crime at which he winks? "We owe an obligation to the laws," says the Presidential sponsor of General McCLELLAN, "but a higher one to the communities in which we live; and if the former be permitted to destroy the latter, it is patriotism to disregard them." In those dark days the higher law might be invoked to help slavery, but when it was called to aid liberty it was an infamy, and Mr. AMOS KENDALL and his kind held up pious hands of horror.

To secure the unquestioned domination of slavery in this country, by destroying the very cardinal principle of our Government, the right of free debate, Mr. AMOS KENDALL connived at the robbery of the United States mails. That is his sole claim to the remembrance of the American people. And when that despotism, strengthened by the acts of Mr. KENDALL and his associates, springs at the throat of the nation, and the Government in struggling for its life uses its war powers more gently and generously than any Government ever before used them, Mr. AMOS KENDALL cries out—Heaven save the mark!—against violations of personal right, and hopes we shall be very "kind" to his old masters, who are stabbing the Government whose powers he prostituted and whose name he disgraced.

This is the man who offers General M'CLELLAN to the people of this country as a candidate for the Presidency, and General M'CLELLAN must not complain if he is judged by his sponsors and his correspondents. The man whom

AMOST KENDALL nominates, and who wrote a letter in favor of the election of Judge WOODWARD in Pennsylvania, can not be the chief magistrate of a people fighting for their lives and liberties against a despotism which AMOST KENDALL and Judge WOODWARD have always faithfully served.


THE case of ISAAC MURPHY, who, by the verdict of the people, is now Governor of Arkansas, affords another illustration of the maxim that time brings its rewards as well as its revenges. No man's course has in it more of romantic interest than his. In the State Convention which voted Arkansas out of the Union Mr. MURPHY'S voice was the only voice raised boldly in denunciation of the final and decisive vote. Others had opposed secession down to that critical moment, but one by one they had yielded to the pressure, and given in their adhesion to the madness of the hour; so that when the final vote upon the secession ordinance was called MURPHY'S name alone was registered in opposition to it. The presiding officer announced that the vote would be repeated, as it was hoped and desired that the declaration of the Convention might be a unanimous one; and Mr. MURPHY was appealed to with the strongest persuasions to desert the old flag, and fall in with the current. But as well might the traitors have attempted to beat down the White Hills with persuasive rhetoric. Judge MURPHY remained firm and immovable. When the vote was retaken his voice again uttered an indignant negative. The conspirators, shamed perhaps by his steadfast loyalty, could not brook this added defiance. "Kill him! kill him!" came from all parts of the hall; and but for the gray hairs of the brave old patriot, he would doubtless have been sacrificed upon the spot. Perhaps his own firmness also had something to do with his escape. The violence with which he was threatened did not for a moment appall him. "You may run the cold steel through my heart, but I will never, never vote for any damnable act of secession!" were his still unflinching words, as he turned his back upon the Convention, and walked away with unfaltering steps.

From that day until the occupation of Arkansas by our forces Judge MURPHY was a fugitive from his home. When our army advanced to Little Rock, the State Convention, held shortly after, out of appreciation of his noble qualities, chose him Provisional Governor. Now the people have at the polls ratified that act of the Convention, and ISAAC MURPHY becomes the first Union Governor of Arkansas after her restoration, and the purging away from her life of the curse which was corrupting and destroying her. So, doubtless, out of the tribulations and distresses of these times, some just compensation shall flow for all who suffer for the nation's sake!


WE hope that Congress will very seriously revise the Revenue Act, and by a more direct, copious, and skillful taxation compel private economy. Let us have the money for the Government and the war that is now paid for French wines and foreign silks. We need money more than over, and we are wasting it beyond precedent. The extravagance of living is a menacing sign of the times. The war is proving us all. It is trying our quality. If we are not individually brave enough to retrench, we are not collectively heroic enough to endure the war and fight it to the end. The masses of the rebel States, the deluded and betrayed men who are struggling against their own liberties and interests, are yet tough enough to submit to extreme privation. Their women and children share the sacrifice. If the fight is more earnest and real to them than to us they will surely win. And if we idly squander the money, without which the war can not continue, what right have we to suppose ourselves equal to the task we have undertaken?

Let every man and woman take home the appeal. In the thousand nameless expenses of every day let the check be applied. Every thing costs immensely more than it did, and the national expenses are infinitely increased, and yet there is really no more money than there was. Let us bear these facts in mind; hold it to be a duty to waste as little money as we can, and the day of settlement will not be a day to be dreaded.


SOME two or three years ago two Parsee merchants came to this country and traveled leisurely through it as far as the Mississippi River, carefully informing themselves of our character and condition. They were very accomplished and interesting men, and preserved in all its purity the Parsee devotion to their land and faith. Temperate, truthful, and charitable, the Parsees are also among the most peaceful of men; and the agreeable impression made by these two merchants has been lately deepened by an evidence of their interest and sympathy in our country and its struggles.

Mr. RUSSEL STURGIS, of Baring Brothers & Co., London, writes to his brother, Mr. H. P. STURGIS, of Boston, that five of the Parsee firms in London have contributed five hundred pounds sterling "for the support," as Mr. M. H. CAMA, one of the Parsees, expresses it, "of the poor negroes who are emancipated in America from bondage by the be- (Next Page)




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