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Robert E. Lee Portrait
Page) either great ability or comprehension of the emergency. He has
made several noncommittal speeches he has written a letter urging the election
in Pennsylvania of the candidate for whose success the rebels were praying ; and
he has delivered an oration at West Point, remarkable only for its commonplace
platitudes, and for declaring that the war should be prosecuted for the
restoration of the Union. He has also published a Defense of his Chickahominy
Campaign, the object of which is to show that he was not responsible for its
disasters and catastrophes—a point upon which he differs with many leading
military men in the country. General McCLELLAN also gained an advantage at
Antietam, but did not call up his reserve to secure it, and by giving
LEE a day's truce enabled him to withdraw and
save his army, thus showing himself to be an eminent disciple of the
BUELL school of war.
These are his services. But
whether the President be entreated to recall him to the field, or the country be
solicited to make him President and Commander-in-chief, he is still but a
puppet. Behind him, and controlling his words and acts, are men who are doing
and have done what they can to delay the suppression of the rebellion by
discouraging the national hope and paralyzing the national endeavors.
General McCLELLAN is to be judged by the
"cause" and the party which he represents; and whoever urges his recall to
service urges the Administration to open Pandora's box.
THERE can be nothing more pitiful
than the malevolent eagerness with which certain newspapers deride the colored
troops for being no braver than the white troops at
Petersburg. Did the unhappy
Bull Run, three years ago, prove that white men were cowards ? Did the
misfortune of the noble Second Corps, five or six weeks since, which
HANCOCK announced must be retrieved, show that they were poor soldiers ? Or did
every sensible man say at once that the reputation of that brave corps was not
to be lost by a mishap which might occur to the best corps of the best army in
the world ? Upon occasion of the late disaster to General McCOOK'S
cavalry—caused by the fact, as reported, that the men were drunk with
whisky--is. it sneeringly asserted that if the Government chooses to employ
white cavalry, nothing is to be expected but that they will get drunk and be
whipped on every occasion ?
Of course not. When we read of
McCOOK'S misfortune we remember
SHERIDAN'S, and KAUTZ'S, and GRIERSON'S, and
AVERILL'S daring and victorious excursions, and we acknowledge with pride and
gratitude the valor of our cavalry while we regret every mischance that befalls
them. When we heard that the Second Corps had been flanked and had lost
prisoners, we recalled their dauntless conduct at Spottsylvania and in the
Wilderness, and chafed with them over the temporary shadow that obscured their
name. And every sensible and true American citizen, when he reads of the
faltering and retreat of the colored troops at Petersburg, recollects Fort
Wagner, Olustee, Milliken's Bend, and BALDY SMITH'S charge upon the same ground
at Petersburg, and knows that the failure is not the proof of cowardice or incompetency, but is one of the painful events from which the record of no corps
and no army can be entirely free.
We have always insisted that
colored men should have the same chance of fighting in this war that white men
have; and we have always believed that,
battle for battle, they would show the
same spirit and pluck. Nor has the history of the war, the last assault at
Petersburg included, belied our belief. And we may fairly ask whether any class
of men—white, black, red, or yellow—whose services had been so grudgingly
received and so reluctantly rewarded; who knew that their capture was equivalent
to torture, massacre, or slavery, and for whose wrongs retaliation so loudly
promised was as yet not inflicted ; who were so maligned, rebuffed, and insulted
as the colored men in this country are—we may fairly ask whether any soldiers
would have fought more steadfastly and bravely and willingly than the colored
troops in the Union army?
The mental and moral condition of
those who begrudge fair play to the most unfortunate, but by no means the least
meritorious class of our population, is one of the most melancholy phenomena of
the times. The want of that fair play has produced the war, and until we concede
it the war under some form will continue. The most brutal part of our
population, deluded by " Conservative" demagogues, incessantly declare that "
niggers are only fit for slaves." The most intelligent American citizens, and
the conscience of all Christian civilization, rejects the foul injustice. It is
the conflict of that enlightened sense of equity and right with the ferocious
determination of class privilege and prejudice which is reddening our soil every
where. Who ever panders to that injustice prolongs the war. Whoever cherishes it
postpones the peace which can be permanently established upon Justice only.
The more thoughtful among those
who are committed by party-spirit and jealousy to foster
ing the unmanly refusal to allow
the black race fair play in this country must sometimes clearly see the
hopelessness of their cause. They know as well as we that their profession of
seeking the real interest of that race is a self-delusion. They know that the
word slavery expresses some form of injustice, disguise it as they may and they
are consequently aware that they are fighting against the human heart, against
the instinct of civilization, and against the peace of the world. In such a
contest, however they may prolong it, they are doomed to defeat and ignominy.
They know, as we all do, that General GREENE in commending the valor of the
colored troops in the revolutionary battle of Rhode Island is a more humane and
ennobling figure to our imaginations than he would have been had he sneered at
them as unfit for soldiers because they were "niggers." For that is not the
spirit which makes honorable men or great nations. We, too, are passing into
history. And in our children's eyes which will seem nobler, the men who died
bravely fighting upon the slopes of Wagner and Petersburg, and on the plains of
Olustee and Milliken's Bend, or those who contemptuously cried as they read the
story of the last Petersburg assault, "Pshaw ! niggers never will make
WE gave last week in these
columns a perfectly simple description of the new loan and its advantages. Yet
to many plain people all over the country all financial matters are mysteries,
yet mysteries which a little explanation will readily remove. We suggest,
therefore, to our friends every where, and especially in remote and quiet
country districts, that they call meetings of the neighborhood to talk over the
loan, to show its direct and vital importance, to point out its peculiar value
as an investment, and to explain to every man what to do in order that the
United States may get his fifty or five hundred dollars. There are thousands and
thousands of people every where who would gladly lend to the Government if they
only knew how. The active men in every village and hamlet and country
neighborhood, who are, used to practical financial details, might form
themselves into committees to secure the subscriptions. At least the matter is
worthy of their consideration.
The rebel sympathizers, foreign
and domestic, already assert that the debt will be repudiated. That the
disciples, allies, and well-wishers of the famous Mississippi repudiator,
JEFFERSON DAVIS, and of a " Confederacy" which has repudiated all Northern
debts, should say so is not strange. But loyal citizens will easily see that the
debt is simply the pledge of the people to themselves of all their property.
Every citizen is consequently interested in the payment of the debt—first, in
his honor as a debtor ; and then in his interest as a creditor.
Loans and arms are the right and
left hands of the nation in this war ; and while every body can not bear arms,
there are very few who can not lend money. To subscribe to the loan or to go to
the field are therefore equally patriotic services ; and the former is a service
which many a woman who has laid by her earnings can and would willingly render.
THE WESTERN ARMY.
WE have received a letter from
"D," in the Western army, inclosing the lines upon McPHERSON death, of which the
writer says, "they have the merit of being felt if nothing more," He kindly adds
in another part of his letter, " Allow me to congratulate you upon the wide and
healthy influence you are exerting through the columns of the Weekly in our
army. No reading matter that comes to us 'cords' so completely with our feelings
in these days of battle as your ringing editorials. We fight from belief in such
a thing as patriotism and love of country and if our leaders at home shape the
institutions of the country so as to make it more worthy of loving, they will
increase our devotion in fighting for it."
Our correspondent subjoins the
following authentic particulars in regard to General McPHERSON'S death :
The morning of July 22d the Army
of the Tennessee was in line of battle two miles east of Atlanta, crossing the
Augusta Railroad, facing west, with the Seventeenth Corps on the extreme left.
Anticipating an attack upon his left flank, General McPHERSON ordered the
Sixteenth Corps, under General DODGE, to form on the left of the Seventeenth,
running the line southeast. While this movement was being executed the rebels
made their first assault. The right of the Sixteenth Corps had not been
completed to connect with the left of the Seventeenth, and a column of the enemy
penetrated to our rear.
General McPHERSON, in riding
along the line of the Sixteenth Corps, was vociferously cheered by all the
troops, and particularly by the Second Brigade, Second Division. He bowed his
acknowledgments with his usual genial smile. A few moments afterward, in
crossing to the line of the Seventeenth Corps, he came upon the force that had
turned their left flank, and receiving a volley of musketry, he was struck by a
bullet, which passed through his right lung, shattered the spine, and produced
almost instant death. The Second Brigade was ordered to charge, recapture a
battery of the Seventeenth Corps, and recover the General's body.
Lieutenant-Colonel CLARK, General McPHERSON'S Adjutant-General, rode forward
with the brigade, and excited the men to a frenzy by his appeals to them to
avenge McPHERSON. They rushed forward with a low cry, swept the rebels from the
field like chaff, recaptured the guns, while Lieutenant-Colonel STRONG and
Captain BUELL, of General McPHERSON staff, went forward with an ambulance, under
the guidance of Private REYNOLDS, of the Fifteenth Iowa Regiment, and brought
off the body.
The following is a copy of the
Order issued by General' BLAIR, complimenting Private REYNOLDS:
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY
CORPS, DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
BEFORE ATLANTA, GEORGIA, July 26,
GENERAL ORDER.—No. 8.
During the bloody battle of the
22d inst., in which this corps was engaged, Private GEORGE J. REYNOLDS, D
Company, Fifteenth Iowa Infantry Volunteers, was, while in the performance of
his duty on the skirmish line, severely wounded in the arm. In attempting to
evade capture he came to the spot where the late beloved and gallant commander
of the army, Major-General M'PHERSON, was lying mortally wounded. Forgetting all
considerations of self, Private REYNOLDS clung to his old commander, and amidst
the roar of battle and storm of bullets, administered to the wants of his
gallant chief, quenching his dying thirst, and affording him such comfort as lay
in his power. After General M'PHERSON had breathed his last, Private REYNOLDS
was chiefly instrumental in recovering his body, going with two of his staff
officers, pointing out the body, and assisting in putting it in an ambulance
under a heavy fire from the enemy, while his wound was still uncared for.
The noble and devoted conduct of
this soldier can not be too highly praised, and is commended to the
consideration of the officers and men of this command.
In consideration of this
gallantry, and noble, unselfish devotion, the "Gold Medal of Honor" will be
conferred upon Private GEORGE J. REYNOLDS, Company D, Fifteenth Iowa Infantry
Volunteers, in front of his command.
This order will be read at the
head of every Regiment, Battery, and Detachment of this corps.
By Command of Major-General FRANK
P. BLAIR. (Signed) Lieutenant-Colonel J. ALEXANDER, Assistant Adjutant-General.
SINCE the assault made against
the enemy's lines before Petersburg, July 30, nothing of importance has
General Grant's army. A truce was allowed by the rebels August 3,
to bring off our wounded and dead. The portion of the rebel defenses assaulted
on the 30th was assigned to General Mahone. The injury done by the explosion of
the mine has been repaired. The exact number of our losses in the assault is set
at 5640. On the 6th inst. the rebels exploded a mine in front of the Eighteenth
Corps. It was followed by an assault in the afternoon, which was repulsed.
Colonel Steadman, commanding Second Brigade, Second Division, Eighteenth Corps,
was killed by a stray shot from his own comrades in the confusion which followed
the explosion in the morning.
General Sherman there is
little additional news. The three battles fought on the 20th, 22d, and 28th of
July it is estimated have cost Hood's army 25,000 men, while our own loss has
been not half of that. The Atlanta Appeal of July 24 says that at the rate of
fighting since Hood took command the rebel army would be annihilated in just
three weeks. This was before the battle of the 28th, in which the rebels lost
five or six thousand mien. Major-General O. O. Howard has succeeded M'Pherson in
the command of the Army of the Tennessee. This appointment has unfortunately led
to the resignation of
Hooker, who has come to the East.
We have the details of the battle
of the 28th. On the 22d the Army of the Tennessee, consisting of the three corps
lately under McPherson, threatened Atlanta from the east at Decatur. On the
morning of the 28th this army was transferred from this position to the extreme
right, moving to within a short distance of the Macon road on the west of the
city, the only railroad communication then left to the rebels. While this was
transpiring Schofield, then holding the left, was attacked, having orders to
refuse. A general skirmish was kept up along Sherman's lines, however, and the
commanding officers had orders to take advantage of any weak point which offered
in the enemy's position. In the movement from Decatur Logan's (Fifteenth) Corps
had the advance, taking up a position between the railroad leading to Macon and
that to Chattanooga. Dodge's (Sixteenth) followed on his left, then Blair's
Seventeenth. On Logan's extreme right Jeff C. Davis's division of the Fourteenth
Corps was to take its position, but by mistaken orders failed to do as, As soon
as Howard's army got into position, and had built temporary breast-works,
Stewart's rebel corps, numbering 20,000 attacked him furiously with infantry and
artillery. Loring's division of this rebel force, with a brigade of cavalry
under Martin, attempted to flank Howard, by dashing across an open field into a
patch of woods on his right, and almost succeeded. This rebel column was,
however, repulsed by Logan. This was at two o'clock P.M.. The battle lasted till
five, no artillery being used by Howard, and very little by Stewart. Our forces
had the advantage, as the enemy was wholly unprotected.
Logan lost about 1500 men.
Sherman's position at last
advices was such that he invested the city on the north and west especially,
having it in his power to throw a large force forward to the west or east as he
might choose. The Fourteenth Corps rested on the Chattanooga Railroad, three
miles north of the city.
On the 26th of July
General Stoneman, with between three and four thousand men, commanded by General M'Cook,
set out on an expedition against the Macon Road. Eighteen miles of the road were
destroyed, and a large wagon-train going from Atlanta was captured. M'Cook's
men, partaking too freely
of whisky taken on the train, were attacked on their
return by a superior force under General Ransom, and more than half of the
entire command was captured, Gen. Stoneman included. M'Cook made his escape.
Many large fires have recently taken place in Atlanta.
General Hunter has been
General Sheridan in the Department of Washington and the
Shenandoah. The rebels have appeared in large force at various points along the
Potomac, and it has seemed to many that Early was contemplating a movement on
Wheeling, and thence into Ohio. What seems most probable is that all the
movements for the past few weeks have been diversions to cover their main
object, which is to secure the harvests of the Shenandoah. This is no evidence,
however, that they will not in future, and perhaps very soon, attempt an
invasion of the Northern States in greater force than hitherto. General Grant
visited Hunter at his head-quarters near Monocacy Junction July 5. General
Averill had, at the latest reports, fought M'Causland and Bradley Johnson at
Moorfield, defeating them and taking 500 prisoners.
The prisoners on both sides which
have been held under fire at
Charleston were exchanged on the 4th inst. An
effort is being made by the rebel authorities to make Charleston the future
exchange point for all prisoners of war.
The United States steamer Fulton
arrived at this port, August 9, from Port Royal, having on board the fifty-five
released officers whom the rebels had held imprisoned in Charleston under our
fire. The retaliatory measure adopted by the Government was perfectly
successful. The exchange was carried on in the most satisfactory manner. The
rebel officers, fifty in number, never having been fairly exposed to the fire
from the rebel forts, were on the 3d conveyed in the Cosmopolitan to a point off
Sullivan's Island, where they were met by another vessel, the Chesterfield,
having on board the Federal officers. Having crossed the bar in the Cosmopolitan
on their return, the Federal officers were invited to dine with Major-General
Sickles on board the Admiral, an invitation which most of them accepted. We
shall give next week a very interesting sketch of the head-quarters assigned to
our officers during their stay in Charleston. It will convey to our readers some
idea of the desolation which has visited that once proud and prosperous city.
The most cheering news of the
week is that which comes to us from the Gulf. On Friday, August 5,
Admiral Farragut with his fleet attacked the defenses of Mobile and the rebel fleet in
Mobile Bay. The report is from the rebel General Maury. He states that on the
5th Admiral Farragut with seventeen vessels—fourteen gun-boats and three
Monitors—passed Fort Morgan. The Monitor Tecumseh was sunk by the guns of the
fort. The rebel ram Tennessee surrendered after a desperate engagement, in which
Admiral Buchanan lost his leg and was taken prisoner. Another rebel steamer, the
Selma, was captured. Still another, the Gaines, was beached. The Federal fleet
had approached the city. We give herewith a MAP showing Mobile Bay, the City,
and its defenses. The numbers on the map indicate the depth of water in various
parts of the channel.
It is believed that there are
over 3000 bushwhackers on the north side of the Missouri River. If this be true,
the task of killing or expelling such a formidable body of thieves and murderers
will be a huge one. The last heard of Anderson's gang, who are reported to have
done the damage on the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad, they were at Middle
Grove, Monroe County, and were supposed to be pushing on toward Charlton County.
Five hundred Federal cavalry are in pursuit of them.
IT appears from advices which
have been coming by every mail from Havana lately that Maximilian's empire is
not peacefully recognized by the Liberals. Thus by the news of the 23d of July
we hear that the Imperialists have been attacked about three miles from San
Martin by a force of about 500 Juarists. Maximilian has granted an amnesty to
all prisoners whose offenses were strictly political; this, however, does not
extend to parties in armed opposition.
On July 18 a deputation of
factory operatives representing Manchester, Stockport, Preston, Oldham,
Macclesfield, and other English manufacturing towns, waited by appointment upon
Earl Russell at the Foreign Office for the purpose of presenting to his lordship
a petition for the intervention of the British Government in the American war,
signed by 'upward of 90,000 persons engaged in the cotton manufacture. The plea
was made to rest, first, on the suffering of the petitioners from the war; and,
secondly, the hopelessness of the attempt on the part of the North to subdue the
Southern States. Moreover, the deputation begged to submit "that in the opinion
of the vast majority of the people of the cotton districts, the Southern States,
as well by superior force of arms as by the manifestation of the highest
capacity for self-government, had entitled themselves to recognition as an
After listening to the
deputation, his lordship expressed his admiration at the conduct of the
operatives, his sympathy with them in their unavoidable sufferings, and his
earnest desire that the time would speedily arrive when the Government might,
with good effect, offer to mediate between the contending parties.
A meeting composed of eminent men
of all parties was held at Geneva July 9. Enthusiastic speeches were made,
giving moral support and encouragement to the American Union in its war against
slavery. An address was drawn up to be sent to the people of the United States.
This address recognizes a federal unity as at the basis of the American
Constitution. It refers back to similar periods of intestine strife in her
Helvetian history, and it concludes with the following sentiment: " The struggle
has commenced between the two principles--Liberty and Slavery. The consignee of
victory must be the abolition of slavery forever and every where. Hail Liberty!
Hail Republic of the United States!" To this address Secretary Seward has made
an appropriate reply.
MAP OF MOBILE BAY AND THE DEFENSES OF THE CITY.