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Civil War Harper's Weekly, January 2, 1864

Harper's Weekly was published during the Civil War to keep the country informed on the critical events of the War. It contained fascinating first person reports of the battles and stunning illustrations drawn by eye-witnesses to the battles. Today, these newspapers serve as an incredible resource for those interested in this period of history.

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

 

Weekawkin

Weekawkin

McClellan's Presidential Prospects

McClellan's Presidential Prospects

Buford

Death of General Buford

Flying Machines

Flying Machines

Christmas Story

Christmas Story

Germania Ford

Germania Ford

Balloons

History of Flying Machines

Mine Run

Battle of Mine Run

Missionary Ridge

Battle of Missionary Ridge

Mine Run

Mine Run Battle

New Years

New Years Day

Fisk Hatch

Fisk & Hatch

 

 

 

JANUARY 2, 1864.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

7

(Previous Page) that a marriage between Ada and his brother must, if it were practicable, be ruinous to both of them. If this were so, would not it be better for all parties that there should be another arrangement made? North and South were as far divided now as the two poles. All Ada's hopes and feelings were with the North. Could he allow her to be taken as a bride among perishing slaves and ruined whites?

But when the moment for his sudden departure came he knew that it would be better that he should go without seeing her. His brother Tom had made his way to her through cold, and wet, and hunger, and through infinite perils of a kind sterner even than these. Her heart now would be full of softness toward him. So Frank Reckenthorpe left the house without seeing any one but his mother.

Of course General Tom was a hero in the house for the few days that he remained there, and of course the step he had taken was the very one to strengthen for him the affection of the girl whom he had come to see.

Ada Forster and her aunt were passionately Northern, while the feelings of the old man had gradually turned themselves to that division in the nation to which he naturally belonged. For months past the matter on which they were all thinking—the subject which filled their minds morning, noon, and night—was banished from their lips because it could not be discussed without the bitterness of hostility. But, nevertheless, there was no word of bitterness between Tom Reckenthorpe and Ada Forster. While these few short days lasted it was all love. Where is the woman whom one touch of romance will not soften, though she be ever so impervious to argument? Tom could sit up stairs with his mother and his betrothed, and tell them stories of the gallantry of the South, of the sacrifices women were making, and of the deeds men were doing, and they would listen and smile and caress his hand, and all for a while would be pleasant; while the old Major did not dare to speak before them of his Southern hopes. But down in the parlor, during the two or three long nights which General Tom passed in Frankfort, open secession was discussed between the two men. The old man now had given away altogether. The Yankees, he said, were too bitter for him. "I wish I had died first; that is all," he said. "I wish I had died first. Life is wretched now to a man who can do nothing." His son tried to comfort him, saying that secession would certainly be accomplished in twelve months, and that every Slave State would certainly be included in the Southern Confederacy. But the Major shook his head. "Nothing good can come in my time," he said; "not in my time—not in my time."

In the middle of the fourth night General Tom took his departure. An old slave arrived with his horse a little before midnight, and he started on his journey. "Whatever turns up, Ada," he said, "you will be true to me."

"I will; though you are a rebel, all the same for that."

"So was Washington."

"Washington made a nation; you are destroying one."

"We are making another, dear; that's all. But I won't talk secesh to you out here in the cold. Go in, and be good to my father; and remember this, Ada, I'll be here again next Christmas-eve, if I'm alive."

So he went, and made his journey back to his own camp in safety. He slept at a friend's house during the following day, and on the next night again made his way through the Northern lines back into Virginia.

After that came a year of fighting, and General Tom Reckenthorpe remained during that time in Virginia, and was attached to that corps of General Lee's army which was commanded by Stonewall Jackson. It was not probable, therefore, that he would be left without active employment. During the whole year he was fighting, assisting in the wonderful raids that were made by that man whose loss was worse to the Confederates than the loss of Vicksburg or of New Orleans. And General Tom gained for himself mark, name, and glory—but it was the glory of a soldier rather than of a general. No one looked upon him as the future commander of an army; but men said that if there was a rapid stroke to be stricken, under orders from some more thoughtful head, General Tom was the hand to strike it. Thus he went on making wonderful rides by night, appearing like a warrior ghost leading warrior ghosts in some quiet valley of the Federals, seizing supplies and cutting off cattle, till his name came to be great in the State of Kentucky, and Ada Forster, Yankee though she was, was proud of her rebel lover.

And Frank Reckenthorpe, the other general, made progress also, though it was progress of a different kind. Men did not talk of him so much as they did of Tom; but the War Office at Washington knew that he was useful—and used him. He remained for a long time attached to the Western army, having been removed from Kentucky to St. Louis, in Missouri, and was there when his brother last heard of him. "I am fighting day and night," he once said to one who was with him from his own State, "and, as far as I can learn, Frank is writing day and night. Upon my word, I think that I have the best of it."

It was but a couple of days after this, the time then being about the latter end of September, that he found himself on horseback at the head of three regiments of cavalry near the foot of one of those valleys which lead up into the Blue Mountain ridge of Virginia. He was about six miles in advance of Jackson's army, and had pushed forward with the view of intercepting certain Federal supplies which he and others had hoped might be within his reach. He had expected that there would be fighting, but he had hardly expected so much fighting as came that day in his way. He got no supplies. Indeed, he got nothing but blows, and though on that day the Confederates would not admit that they had been worsted, neither could they claim to have done more than hold their own. But General Tom's fighting was in that day brought to an end.

It must be understood that there was no great battle fought on this occasion. General Reckenthorpe, with about 1500 troopers, had found himself suddenly compelled to attack about double that number of Federal infantry. He did so once, and then a second time, but on each occasion without breaking the lines to which he was opposed; and toward the close of the day he found himself unhorsed, but still unwounded, with no weapon in his hand but his pistol, immediately surrounded by about a dozen of his own men, but so far in advance of the body of his troops as to make it almost impossible that he should find his way back to them. As the smoke cleared away and he could look about him, he saw that he was close to an uneven, irregular line of Federal soldiers. But there was still a chance, and he had turned for a rush, with his pistol ready for use in his hand, when he found himself confronted by a Federal officer. The pistol was already raised, and his finger was on the trigger, when he saw that the man before him was his brother.

"Your time has come," said Frank, standing his ground very calmly. He was quite unarmed, and had been separated from his men and ridden over; but hitherto he had not been hurt.

"Frank!" said Tom, dropping his pistol-arm, "is that you?"

"And you are not going to do it, then?" said Frank.

"Do what?" said Tom, whose calmness was altogether gone. But he had forgotten that threat as soon as it had been uttered, and did not even know to what his brother was alluding.

But Tom Reckenthorpe, in his confusion at meeting his brother, had lost whatever chance there remained to him of escaping. He stood for a moment or two, looking at Frank, and wondering at the coincidence which had brought them together, before he turned to run. Then it was too late. In the hurry and scurry of the affair all but two of his own men had left him, and he saw that a rush of Federal soldiers was coming up around him. Nevertheless he resolved to start for a run. "Give me a chance, Frank," he said, and prepared to run. But as he went—or rather, before he had left the ground on which he was standing before his brother—a shot struck him, and he was disabled. In a minute he was as though he were stunned; then he smiled faintly, and slowly sunk upon the ground. "It's all up, Frank," he said, "and you are in at the death."

Frank Reckenthorpe was soon kneeling beside his brother amidst a crowd of his own men. "Spurrell," he said, to a young officer who was close to him, "it is my own brother." "What! General Tom?" said Spurrell. "Not dangerously, I hope?"

By this time the wounded man had been able, as it were, to feel himself and to ascertain the amount of the damage done him. "It's my right leg," he said; "just on the knee. If you'll believe me, Frank, I thought it was my heart at first. I don't think much of the wound, but I suppose you won't let me go."

Of course they wouldn't let him go, and, indeed, if they had been minded so to do, he could not have gone. The wound was not fatal, as he had at first thought; but neither was it a matter of little consequence as he afterward asserted. His fighting was over, unless he could fight with a leg amputated between the knee and hip.

Before nightfall General Tom found himself in his brother's quarters, a prisoner on parole, with his leg all but condemned by the surgeon. The third day after that saw the leg amputated. For three weeks the two brothers remained together, and after that the elder was taken to Alexandria as a prisoner, there to wait his chance of exchange. At first the intercourse between the two brothers was cold, guarded, and uncomfortable; but after a while it became more kindly than it had been for many a day. Whether it were cold or kindly, its nature, we may be sure, was such as the younger brother made it. Tom was ready enough to forget all personal animosity as soon as his brother would himself be willing to do so; though he was willing enough also to quarrel—to quarrel bitterly as ever—if Frank should give him occasion. As to that threat of the pistol, it had passed away from Tom Reckenthorpe, as all his angry words passed from him. It was clean forgotten. It was not simply that he had not wished to kill his brother, but that such a deed was impossible to him. The threat had been like a curse that means nothing, which is used by passion as its readiest weapon when passion is impotent. But with Frank Reckenthorpe words meant what they were intended to mean. The threat had rankled in his bosom from the time of its utterance to that moment, when a strange coincidence had given the threatener the power of executing it. The remembrance of it was then strong upon him, and he had expected that his brother would have been as bad as his word. But his brother had spared him; and now, slowly, by degrees, he began to remember that also.

"What are your plans, Tom?" he said, as he sat one day by his brother's bed before the removal of the prisoner to Alexandria.

"Plans," said Tom. "How should a poor fellow like me have plans? To eat bread and water in prison at Alexandria, I suppose."

"They'll let you up to Washington on your parole, I should think. Of course I can say a word for you."

"Well, then, do say it. I'd have done as much for you, though I don't like your Yankee politics."

"Never mind my politics now, Tom."

"I never did mind them. But at any rate, you see I can't run away."

It should have been mentioned a little way back in this story that the poor old Major had been gathered to his fathers during the past year. As he had said himself, it would be better for him that he should die. He had lived to see the glory of his country, and had gloried in it. If further glory or even further gain were to come out of this terrible war—as great gains to men and nations do come from contests which are very terrible while they last—he at least would not live to see it. So when

he was left by his sons, he turned his face to the wall and died.

"I suppose you will get home?" said Frank, after musing a while, "and look after my mother and Ada?"

"If I can I shall, of course. What else can I do with one leg?"

"Nothing in this war, Tom, of course." Then there was another pause between them. "And, what will Ada do?" said Frank.

"What will Ada do? Stay at home with my mother."

"Ah, yes. But she will not remain always as Ada Forster."

"Do you mean to ask whether I shall marry her; because of my one leg? If she will have me, I certainly shall."

"And will she? Ought you to ask her?"

"If I found her seamed all over with small-pox, with her limbs broken, blind, disfigured by any misfortune which could have visited her, I would take her as my wife all the same. If she were penniless it would make no difference. She shall judge for herself; but I shall expect her to act by me as I would have acted by her." Then there was another pause. "Look here, Frank," continued General Tom; "if you mean that I am to give her up as a reward to you for being sent home, I will have nothing to do with the bargain."

"I had intended no such bargain," said Frank, gloomily.

"Very well; then you can do as you please. If Ada will take me, I shall marry her as soon as she will let me. If my being sent home depends upon that, you will know how to act now."

Nevertheless he was sent home. There was not another word spoken between the two brothers about Ada Forster. Whether Frank thought that he might still have a chance through want of firmness on the part of the girl; or whether he considered that in keeping his brother away from home he could, at least, do himself no good; or whether, again, he resolved that he would act by his brother as a brother should act, without reference to Ada Forster, I will not attempt to say. For a day or two after the above conversation he was somewhat sullen, and did not talk freely with his brother. After that he brightened up once more, and before long the two parted on friendly terms. General Frank remained with his command, and General Tom was sent to the hospital at Alexandria, or to such hospitalities as he might be able to enjoy at Washington in his mutilated state, till that affair of his exchange had been arranged.

In spite of his brother's influence at head-quarters this could not be done in a day; nor could permission be obtained for him to go home to Kentucky till such exchange had been effected. In this way he was kept in terrible suspense for something over two months, and mid-winter was upon him before the joyful news arrived that he was free to go where he liked.

Disturbed as was the state of the country, nevertheless railways ran from Washington to Baltimore, from Baltimore to Pittsburg, from Pittsburg to Cincinnati, and from Cincinnati to Frankfort. So that General Tom's journey home, though with but one leg, was made much faster, and with less difficulty, than that last journey by which he reached the old family house. And again he presented himself on Christmas-eve. Ada declared that he remained purposely at Washington, so that he might make good his last promise to the letter; but I am inclined to think that he allowed no such romantic idea as that to detain him among the amenities of Washington.

He arrived again after dark, but on this occasion did not come knocking at the back door. He had fought his fight, had done his share of the battle, and now had reason to be afraid of no one. But again it was Ada who opened the door for him. "Oh, Tom! oh, my own one!" There never was a word of question between them as to whether that unseemly crutch and still unhealed wound was to make any difference between them. General Tom found before three hours were over that he lacked the courage to suggest that he might not be acceptable to her as a lover with one leg. There are times in which girls throw off all their coyness, and are as bold in their loves as men. Such a time was this with Ada Forster. In the course of another month the elder General simply sent word to the younger that they intended to be married in May, if the war did not prevent them; and the younger General simply sent back word that his duties at Head-quarters would prevent his being present at the ceremony.

And they were married in May, though the din of war was going on around them on every side. And from that time to this the din of war is still going on, and they are in the thick of it.

THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.

OUR correspondent with this army furnishes us with a series of illustrations of the recent operations of the Army of the Potomac, which we reproduce on pages 12 and 13. They require only a few words of explanation. The centre illustration on page 12 shows the rebel earth-works at Germania Ford, which were abandoned on the approach of Meade. The illustration at the bottom of page 12 shows Warren's troops attacking and carrying Robertson's Tavern, an old Virginia hostelry. The illustration at the top of page 12 shows the rebel line in front of Sedgwick at Mine Run. The illustrations on page 13 show the positions on Mine Run. At the top is the centre of both armies, Arnold's battery on the left; in the centre is Roe's Farm, with the Pennsylvania batteries F and G in the fore-ground; Clark Mountain in the distance at the right; this being the strong point in the enemy's position. The bottom cut on page 13 shows the cutting on the railroad opposite Warren's last position on our extreme left. The centre cut on page 13 shows the passage at Germania Ford on our return from this expedition. The remnants of the bridge on the plank road appear in the sketch.

HUMORS OF THE DAY.

POPPING THE QUESTION.—One evenin', as I was a sittin' by Hetty, and had worked myself up to the sticking pie, sez I, "Hetty, if a feller was to ask you to marry him, what wud you say?" Then she laughed, and sez she, "That would depend on who asked me." Then sez I, "Suppose it was Ned Willis?" Sez she, "I'd tell Ned Willis, but not you." That kinder staggered me; but I was too cute to lose the opportunity, and so sez I agen, "Suppose it was me?" And then you orter see her pout up her lip, and sez she, "I don't take no supposes." Well now, you see there was nothin' for me to do but touch the gun off. So bang it went. Sez I, "Lor, Hefty, it's me. Won't you say yes?" And then there was such a hullaballoo in my head, I don't know 'xactly what tuk place, but I thought I heard a yes whisperin' somewhere out of the skirmish.

An old Scotch parson, who was not only a preacher but a parson, and who on week days returned the visits which his people made to him at the kirk on Sundays, once came to the house of a parishioner, where his gentle knocking could not be heard for the noise within. Upon this he lifted the latch and walked in, saying, in a majestical way. "I should like to know who is the head of this house?" "Weel, Sir," said Sandie, "if ye bide a wee we'll maybe be able to tell ye, for Janet and I are just trying to settle that point."

Foote, sitting at table next to a gentleman who had helped himself to a very large piece of bread, took it up, intending to cut a slice from it. "Sir," said the gentleman, "that is my bread." "I beg a thousand pardons, Sir," replied Foote; "I protest I took it for the loaf."

WE THINK THEY MAY.—May not "sweet children" of Hebrew parentage be appropriately called little Jew-jubes?

SWEET BREAD.—Loaf sugar.

A young Cambridge student once contended with Johnson, whom he met at Boswell's, that prosaic poetry and poetical prose must be equally good. "No, Sir," replied the Doctor; "a man may like brandy in his tea, though not tea in his brandy." The student was asked afterward what the thought of Dr. Johnson, "I think," said he, "that he is the great bear of conversation—his diction is all contradiction."

Oh!—May a large fee given to a physician be looked upon as a medical haul?

One of the fair daughters of Northampton was recently singing a fashionable air at a high pitch of voice, when an Irishman, who was passing by, rushed in with a look of astonishment, and exclaimed, "Sure, and I thought some one was being murthered!"

A TOUGH QUESTION AND A LUCID ANSWER.

Question. If your mother's mother was my mother's sister's aunt, what relation would your great-grandfather's uncle's nephew be to my older brother's first cousin's son-in-law?

Answer. As your mother's mother is to my elder brother's first cousin's son-in-law, so is my mother's sister's aunt to your great-grandfather's uncle's nephew. Divide your mother's mother by my elder brother's first cousin's son-in-law, and multiply my mother's sister's aunt by your great-grandfather's uncle's nephew, and either add or substract—we forget which—and you will have the answer—"in the spring."

The Baptist Chronicle says: At an examination of girls for the rite of confirmation, in the Episcopal Church, in answer to the question, "What is the outward and visible sign and form in baptism?" the reply of a bright little theologian was, "The baby, Sir!"

"WOULD ANY GENTLEMAN oblige A LADY?"—Certainly not; he would endeavor to persuade her.

A GHOST WE SHOULD LIKE EXCESSIVELY TO SEE.—The Ghost of Crinoline.

Kansas City is a gay place, and they have queer specimens of humanity down there. If you don't believe it, read the following from the Journal, about a woman of doubtful loyalty, who was recently before the Provost Marshal: "She gave as an evidence of her loyalty that her husband had been killed in the One Hundred and Sixth Illinois Regiment. 'When did your husband go to Illinois?' 'About three years ago.' 'That was before the war, was it not?' 'Yes.' 'Why did you not go with him?' 'Well, I didn't like to go off so far with a man I wasn't much acquainted with.' 'You don't mean to say that your husband was so much of a stranger that you did not like to go with him?' 'Yes, I do. I had only been married to him about a year, and I wasn't going to leave my folks and go off to Illinois with a man I didn't know more about.' " What could he do but discharge her?

A thief having stolen a cup from a tavern was pursued and a great mob was raised around him. A bystander was asked what was the matter. "Nothing," was the reply; "only a poor fellow has taken a cup too much."

A ONE-DROUS PUZZLE.—Why is Big Ben an hour after noon like a startling fact?—Because it strikes one.

A Purr-VERSE CREATURE,—A stubborn cat.

The principal of a public school has been sending circulars to the parents, asking for a written authority to "inflict such punishment, corporal or otherwise," as may in his judgment be proper. The following answer proves that one of the parents, at least, was pleased with the idea: "Dear Sir,—Your flogging cirklar is duly receaved. I hopes, as to my sun John, you will flog him jus so often as you like. Hees a bad boy is John. Although I've been in the habit of teaching him miself, it seems to me he will never larn anithink—his spellin is speshally ottragusly deficient. Wallop him well, Sur, and you will receive my hearty thanks.—Yours, Moses Walker.—P. S. Wat accounts for John being sich a bad scoller is that he's my sun by my wife's first husband."

People often make use of the expression, "where last year's snow is." After mature consideration we have come to the conclusion that its nowhere!

A SEEMING CONTRADICTION.—A suitable name for a man of no energy and fickle mind would be Mr, Percy Veer—Mr. Persevere.

The Christian Advocate says: Meeting with a sick man the other day, we asked him what was the matter. "I've got the miasma." "Ah, indeed! And what are you taking for it?" "Oh, nothing but Cherry's Pictorial."—The man had the asthma and was using Cherry Pectoral; but Mrs. Partington herself could not have hit upon happier words to tell the disease and the remedy.

A gentleman who took the occasion on Sabbath last to doctor some cider, so as to keep it sweet, was taken to task by his good wife for laboring on the Sabbath. His reply was that no good Christian ought to find fault with his work on that day, as he had been doing his best to prevent his cider from working.

When Lord Lauderdale laughed at one of Sheridan's jests, and promised to repeat it, Sheridan begged him to refrain from doing so; "for," said he, a joke in your mouth is no laughing matter."

Dr. Johnson was in company with a very loquacious lady, of whom he took but very little notice, and in pique she said to him, "Why, Doctor, I believe you are not very fond of the company of ladies." "You are mistaken, Madam," he replied; "I like their delicacy, I like their vivacity, and I like their silence."


 

 

  

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