General Sherman Captures Kenesaw Mountain

 

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Civil War Harper's Weekly, July 23, 1864

Welcome to our online collection of original Harper's Weekly newspapers. We have put this collection together over the last 20 years, and now make them available for your study and research online. We hope you find this resource useful, and hope you will check back often as we add new material each day.

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Alabama Sinking

Destruction of the "Alabama"

Kenesaw

Capture of Kenesaw Mountain

Port Walthall

Port Walthall

Meade

General Meade and Staff

Crash

Train Crash

Humor

Humor

Semmes Cartoon

Semmes Cartoon

Pennsylvania Map

Pennsylvania Map

Scenes Around Petersburg

Marietta

Battle Marietta Georgia

 

 

 

 

JULY 23, 1864.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

467

(Previous Page) spire that cry. It is an "infamous pandering to negrophobia ;" it is a craven wish for compromise ; it is the abjectness of submission to rebellious slaveholders ; it is lasting national disgrace, and universal civil war and anarchy; it is bloody rioting against drafts and the mad massacre of the defenseless and most unfortunate of our population which howls and roars and rages in the cry, "Down with LINCOLN!" It is folly for Mr. PHILLIPS and his friends to say that they don't mean that. It is not they who raised the cry nor who pitch it. The cry was raised and meant that long before they joined in it. Their voices merely swell the chorus. They push their skiff out upon a stream which sets fierce and resistless toward the plunge, and they can not say that they mean to go up stream and do not mean to go over.

In this perilous hour we have all a right to demand common-sense of each other. The radical Democrats talk of a union between Cleveland and Chicago. Yes—a union of the minnow and the whale—by absorption. The minnow may swell the bulk of the whale. Will the whale increase the minnow? Do these gentlemen seriously suppose that the handful of Abolitionists at Cleveland will dictate the terms of any union at Chicago? What is the party that will meet there ? It is that party which, as such, has steadily denied the right of the Government to touch Slavery in any way. It is that party whose Senators and Representatives in Congress, with four exceptions only among the latter, refused to propose an emancipation Constitutional amendment to the country. There is no sign whatever in the speeches, votes, resolutions, and journals of the Chicago party but of an unswerving allegiance to Slavery. How can any man believe that the Cleveland managers sincerely expect a union at Chicago; and yet, if there be none, how can any man of sense view the Cleveland movement but as a practical diversion in favor of the enemy?

Under the circumstances in which this country is placed, even if the President were the idler, and sluggard, and blunderer which Mr. PHILLIPS indignantly calls him, and which we as indignantly deny, there are but two results possible in the canvass—his re-election, or his defeat by a Copperhead. In this situation, therefore, while they denounce Mr. LINCOLN for pandering to the Slave power, seeking in that way to deprive him of the votes of radical Union men, Mr. PHILLIPS and his friends are doing the work of JAMES M. MASON and of ROBERT TOOMBS.

If, indeed, they believe that Mr. LINCOLN is so base a betrayer of liberty that their duty to God and man requires them to connive at the election of a Copperhead, we have no more to say. But they must not deceive themselves by supposing that they are not conniving. If they are willing, with Dr. BROWNSON, to see FERNANDO WOOD or VALLANDIGHAM defeat Mr. LINCOLN we are equally silent. Or if they think that Chicago intends to nominate FREMONT Or any one else, upon a platform of negro voting, we certainly say nothing, but we as surely deplore the total want of sagacity which such a view evinces. They undoubtedly have the right which Mr. PHILLIPS claims of agitating to make party progress possible. But he and they are certainly responsible if they agitate so as to make party progress impossible. Do they not know that the actual alternative is the election of Mr. LINCOLN and his platform, or that of the candidate and platform at Chicago ? If they don't and we can not understand how they can avoid seeing it—and they still agitate so as to aid and comfort Copperheads and divide Union men, Mr. PHILLIPS and his friends must not hope to excuse themselves by saying that they repudiate expediency, nor be surprised if from the indignant hearts and lips of the great host who seek to maintain the Union and liberty his own words come thundering back : "Heaven will not hold such guiltless of the evils unnecessarily brought on this bleeding land."

THE MILITARY SITUATION.

GENERAL GRANT shows that he understands two cardinal points of all military operations, the most rapid movement and the most patient waiting. While he lies before Petersburg he keeps LEE and his army, with the population of Richmond, consuming the supplies which our raids upon LEE'S communications cause to reach him with difficulty. At the same time, and by the same means, he prevents LEE from succoring JOHNSTON or receiving aid from him, while he rests and recruits his army from the immense work of the early campaign. GRANT is, in fact, besieging Richmond, and there is no reason to doubt that he says exactly what he thinks in declaring that all goes well.

Meanwhile the stupendous campaign of General SHERMAN triumphantly proceeds. He has yet to cross the Chattahoochee River, which is a difficult feat in the face of the enemy. But that achieved, when JOHNSTON has him once more exactly where he wants him, Atlanta can hardly long hold out, for it is by no means so susceptible of defense as many of the points which SHERMAN has already occupied ; and once in Atlanta, the whole railroad system of the Southwest is in

his hands. There is no reason to suppose that the army which has advanced steadily for more than seventy days straight into the heart of the enemy's country, and has successfully turned or carried every advantageous point, will be baffled by any thing but its own defection or the reinforcement of the enemy. One of these alternatives is impossible, the other General GRANT will make impracticable.

On the Mississippi and in the Carolinas we hold our own, wisely refraining from offensive demonstrations while the main contest is in course of decision. At sea we have just had one of the great victories, and one of the most satisfactory events of the war, in the sinking of the English pirate, the Alabama. The raid into Maryland is primarily doubtless a thieving movement for LEE'S larder, one of a kind to which we shall be always subject through the war, and which a proper militia organization would reduce in number and destroy in effectiveness. It is indeed an indication of the purpose and tenacity of the rebellion, and every where the rebels show resolution and endurance. But every where also, and steadily, the limits of the rebellion diminish. "Oh dear!" sighs some desponding soul, " we were fighting at Harper's Ferry three years ago, and we are still fighting there ! Washington and Baltimore were threatened two years ago, one year ago, and again this year! Hadn't we better give it all up, and confess that we can not do it?"

To this piteous strain there is one constant reply, " Where were we last year, and where are we now? Where were we at the battle of Bull Run three years ago, and where now? Where after POPE'S campaign, and where now?" The duration of the war proves quite as much the national purpose as the rebel pluck. If it would have been foolish to relinquish our cause before we had proved our quality, it would certainly be the height of folly to do so when that quality has been established. If it were wrong to cry for quarter before we had taken Paducah, and were not sure of St. Louis, it can hardly be right when we have one hand on Atlanta and the other on Richmond. We grant the uncertainty of war. We would always impress it upon our readers. But in three years the uncertain event of war has opened the Mississippi ; has carried us from the Ohio to the Chattahoochee ; from the Potomac to Petersburg : has built a navy ; has organized an army; as opened the eyes and strengthened the heart of the loyal mass of citizens ; has stopped the rams in British ports ; and has announced to all men that the United States are and intend to remain one of the great sovereign powers of the world.

THE LESSON OF THE RAID.

THE general consternation at the late irruption of the rebels into Maryland was not surprising, for the approach of marauding enemies upon a peaceful neighborhood can not fail to be a distressing and desolating event. A newspaper in New York can very easily laugh at a Maryland farmer driving off his stock, but a Maryland farmer, and many of them, can not very long resist a score of thousands of veteran and reckless troops. Instead of laughing at men who in a sudden emergency consider how most surely to save themselves and their property, it is wiser to indicate how such an emergency may be avoided in future.

The mere fact of a raid is unimportant. Any company of mounted men may steal over the Potomac in the night and scour a space of twenty miles, and return unmolested, just as a dozen armed men could ride through the State of New York. But there is a very obvious method of relieving public anxiety as to the consequences of a serious advance, and that is the perfect organization of the militia. Three years has taught us that we may need at any moment a large force on this side of the Potomac prepared for action ; but it has not yet persuaded us to have it ready. There is Pennsylvania, for instance, separated from Virginia and the mouth of the Shenandoah Valley merely by a narrow strip of Maryland, and when the enemy appears we hear an agonizing call from Pennsylvania to come and keep the foe back.

Now we gladly acknowledge that in this war, as in every national affair, there is no Pennsylvania and no New York. It is the lives and property of citizens of the United States which the enemy threatens and which we are summoned to defend. But the section of the country peculiarly exposed should he peculiarly prepared. If trouble menaces the city of New York the city of New York should be able to deal with it in the first instance, and await patiently the coming up of aid from Herkimer and Chautauqua. The just cause of complaint is, that neither in Maryland nor Pennsylvania does there seem to be that military preparation which is especially incumbent upon their situation. Ohio recently put forty thousand men into camp in a very few days. It was nobly done, and every State should at this juncture be able to do the same thing. Every State should be virtually under arms until this rebellion is conquered. The arm-bearing population should be enrolled and drilled every week ; and then upon occasion an army of a hundred thousand men could more to any point as promptly as a New

York regiment. Such a state of preparation is itself a bulwark, and the enemy which knows it heeds it and stays at home.

If Governors CURTIN and BRADFORD will make as urgent an appeal to the citizens of Pennsylvania and Maryland to make all future raids impossible as they have lately made to repel this last foray, and will themselves spare no effort until the militia of each of those States is really a serviceable army, they will be spared the necessity of those calls for help at the last moment, which, by their terrified apprehension, increase the excitement they are designed to allay. Let no man suppose that because the enemy may retreat now they may not return ; and let this year's experience do for us what last year's ought to have done. The authorities at Washington are often accused of not responding to the earnestness of the people. But popular earnestness shows itself not only in furnishing soldiers for the great armies in the field, but in that state of watchful preparation which makes the citizens of every county a home-guard hardly less efficient in its degree than those armies themselves.

When we are prepared to repel raids there will be very few raids to repel.

FROM MARIETTA.

A FRIEND and gallant soldier inSHERMAN'S army sends us this interesting letter:

NEAR MARIETTA, GEORGIA, June 27, 1864, I inclose with this a few words in regard to a dear friend who was killed this morning in an unsuccessful assault on the enemy's works. It falls far short of doing justice to poor HARKER'S memory, who was almost an ideal soldier, so gallant, refined, and handsome was he.

I see by the numbers of Harper which we get here that you are not unmindful of us at the East, though of course the Army of the Potomac naturally and justly absorbs the greater amount of attention. Thus far our campaign has been fully successful, with a slight repulse today for the first time since we left Chattanooga, fifty-three days ago. But that will make no difference either in the feeling or courage of the army or their confidence in ultimate success. [That very evening the army moved, and the next day occupied Marietta.] It is sad to see so many poor fellows so maimed and crippled, but nothing can be more touching than their uncomplaining cheerfulness under every adversity.   

I wish those people in the North who have such queer notions of the exalted character of the Southern Chivalry could see the real people of the South as they really are. I suppose that Georgia is the best of the Southern States, as we Northern men regard best; at least I have seen more churches, school-houses, and pretty villages than elsewhere in the same space in the South. But the people whom we meet almost without exception are ignorant, superstitious, bigoted, and uncouth; at least those who are left behind. The women chew, smoke, and drink. The men are all off in the war. By-and-by we shall see a new population here, and then it will be a country to which we can point with pride.

I am glad the Baltimore Convention has done its work so well. We shall all try to do ours equally well, and hope you will keep down any fire in the rear to thwart us in our operations. We feel any hostile sentiment in the North almost as quickly and as keenly as we do changes of temperature.

FREMONT, I see, has gone over to the enemy—a thing which kills him and does not help them.

" We shall march prospering, not with his presence."

[The President has sent a Major-General's commission to the wife of the brave Brigadier-General HARKER, who lost his life while gallantly leading his men against the enemy's works at Kenesaw Mountain. Here follows our correspondent's sketch.—ED.]

Brigadier-General CHARLES G. HARKER was killed in an assault on the enemy's works near Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia, on the 27th of June, 1864.

A graduate of the Military Academy at West Point in 1858, he was promoted to a Captaincy in the Fifteenth Infantry early in 1861, and in November of that year was appointed Colonel of the Sixty-fifth Ohio Volunteers. On joining the Army of the Ohio (now Army of the Cumberland) he was assigned by General Buell to the command of a brigade, which position he held to the day of his death without interruption or absence. Young, ardent, enthusiastic, of an almost feminine delicacy of manner, refined in speech and sentiment, full of courage and industry, he stamped his own high character upon the brigade which he may be said to have created, and which loved him almost to idolatry. In every battle in which the army was engaged this brigade bore, under his gallant leadership, an active and honorable part. At Shiloh, Corinth, Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge: in the hard and tedious East Tennessee Campaign ; and then at Pocky Face, Resaca, and in all the daily skirmishes which followed, up to the hour of his heroic death, at the head of his devoted brigade, within a few feet of the enemy's breast-works, he was always the same brave, cheerful, modest, indefatigable, faithful officer, noble man and true friend. No danger ever intimidated him, no hardship ever discouraged, no disappointment ever soured hint. Fairly winning his Brigadiership in his first battle, he did not receive his reward till a few days before his last. To the many friends who regretted the slow coming of what he had so amply earned, and who would sometimes express disappointment, if not a kind of disgust, at the delay, his answer was always at once a rebuke to their impatience and a cheerful assurance that he labored for the reward which comes from conscientious discharge of duty. Yet his almost boyish joy when at last his merits were acknowledged by the official action of the President and of Congress, showed that he was not insensible to the honor. Several times wounded, he never sought or asked any indulgence, and at the moment of his death was still suffering from injuries received at Resaca a mouth before.

In him the army loses a chivalrous soldier, the country a worthy son, and all who knew him a true friend. Mourned he will be by many, but by none more sincerely than by the little gallant surviving remnant of the noble brigade which he has so often and so skillfully led, and which will never let his memory die out of their hearts. His ringing voice they will no more hear, as often before, when he has led them to victory through the very jaws of death; but his rare powers of command, his kindliness of heart, and his soldier's death, will be the theme of many a reminiscence by the camp-fire and in the bivouac, and never without new devotion to the great cause to which he gave all that man can give.

" KEARSARGE."

PROUD mountain ! rear thy granite peak with its diadem of snow,

In the kindling sunbeams sparkling that round about thee glow.

A brighter lustre gilds thy brow, new honors dost thou bear;

Thy fame is borne across the seas, rings loudly through the air;

The ocean child that bears thy name brings laurels fresh and large

To twine around thy snowy brow, thou noble Mount Kearsarge!

Exulting in thy triumph, let " Great Monadnock" hear,

Let " Adams," " Webster," " Jefferson," call back the news of cheer;

And as their towering summits with joyous smiles are crowned,

Distant "Katandin" shines afar and hears the glorious sound;

For Victory ! ay, Victory ! hath crowned thee on the sea,

And Yankee tars have blazoned bright the banner of the free !

In vain the English weapon, and in vain the English gold;

The ship they built, the ship they manned with the deep hate of old.

The traitor flag it floated wide, naught but a craven lie

To cover England's coward guilt and England's infamy.

But vain their might and vain their wiles, thanks to our sailors brave !

The pirate Alabama lies beneath the Atlantic's wave.

Boldly the sky thou facest, majestic Mount Kearsarge,

And round thy base are gathered close thy grim trees tall and large :

So standeth forth our country, and looks on God's free heaven,

And swears that ne'er again shall close the fetters, which are riven;

While shouting glad, "Amen! Amen !" press round her sturdy sons,

And Echo brings an answering peal from thy namesake's thundering guns.

Look down, 0 mountain! on our land, though silent be thy voice,

We know that with us in our joy thou proudly dost rejoice.

Look forth upon thy forests green that toss their boughs in glee;

Be thou our witness on the land, thy god-child on the sea.

And to our children ye shall tell, in the far distant day,

How England's pet marauder sank beneath the ocean spray.   

DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.

THE MILITARY SITUATION.

THERE is no news of importance from Grant's army. In the West, however, an important movement has been made by General Sherman. Kenesaw Mountain and Marietta fell into our hands just one year after the capture of Vicksburg. At last accounts Sherman's advance was nine miles south of Marietta. The evacuation of Kenesaw was due to two things : first, the advance of our right toward the Chattahoochee, on the Sandtown Pike ; and, secondly, the occupation by our army of some knobs west of the Kenesaw, by which we were enabled to enfilade the rebel position with our fire. This was the position on June 22. On the 27th the assault was made; Blair on the east side of the mountain, Dodge on the north, and Logan on the west, while the enemy's centre was attacked by Newton's and Davis's divisions, supported on the right by Geary and Butterfield, Schofield swinging around on the extreme right. Our loss was between two and three thousand men. But although the assault on the mountain failed, our movement on the right was successful, and on July 3 the enemy abandoned the mountain defense for another line on the Chattahoochee. In the pursuit of Johnston's retreating army Sherman's left kept close to the railroads. About a thousand of Cheatham's Division—the rebel rear-guard—were captured in the pursuit.

That which has chiefly excited the public during the past week is General Early's invasion of Maryland, to illustrate which we give a map on page 471. Out of the conflicting reports which have prevailed we are unable to add any thing of substantial importance to our last week's report. The enemy were met in force on the 9th at Monocacy Junction, but General Wallace, commanding the Federal troops, was compelled to fall back on Monrovia. General Tyler was taken prisoner, but afterward escaped. Since then the rebels have been engaged in raids at unexpected points, destroying railroads, cutting telegraphy, and burning private residences in the vicinity of Baltimore and Washington. Two railroad trains from Baltimore were captured, and in one of them Major-General Franklin. At last accounts Hunter had retaken Martinsburg, and was in communication with Sigel at Harper's Ferry.

The Florida has reappeared on our coast below Cape May, where she has captured six vessels. The Government has sent gun-boats from Hampton Roads in pursuit of her.

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS. Major-Generals Gordon Granger and Hurlbut and Brigadier-General George H. Gordon have been ordered to report for duty to Major-General Canby.

Doctor M'Cormick, Medical Director of General Butler's command, has been assigned to duty as Medical Director of the armies in the field, including the Army of the Potomac.

Major-General J. J. Reynolds, who for some time past has been in command of the defenses of New Orleans, will take the field immediately as commander of the Nineteenth Corps. Brigadier-General Sherman, who had charge of the defenses before General Reynolds, will resume his old position.

FOREIGN NEWS.

THE DANO-GERMAN WAR.

THE Conference held its last sitting June 25. No result was obtained. The neutral Powers have agreed that the line of the Schlei offers a proper frontier, and that this would be a sufficient concession to Germany. Denmark consents to this, but the Germans claim both duchies. The war has recommenced, and the island of Alsen has been taken by the Prussians. A naval engagement was expected to take place soon off Heligoland.


 

 

  

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