General James Longstreet


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, July 9, 1864

During the Civil War, people on the home front relied on Harper's Weekly for news of the War. The paper was the most popular newspaper of the day, and was distributed across the country. Today, it is popular with students and researchers seeking a better understanding of the important people and issues in the war.

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Henry Sleeper

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JULY 9, 1864.]






WE give above an illustration representing the brig Vision, which sailed on Sunday, June 26, from the Battery direct for Liverpool. Probably no vessel ever ventured to breast the Atlantic under circumstances so novel and impressive. This little brig is only fifteen feet long and four and a half feet wide, and has only a depth of two feet and ten inches. Her crew consisted of Captain JOHN C. DONOVAN, who owns the vessel, a Rhode Island sailor, and the Captain's dog Toby. The Vision was to have started on Saturday, but was delayed ; she is expected to make her trip in two months. Notwithstanding the heat on Sunday, a large number of people crowded the Battery to witness her departure on this most romantic voyage. The brig sailed out in gallant style, carrying the stars and stripes.


In our last Weekly was engraved a portrait of General LEE, and in this we give that of General LONGSTREET, who is perhaps, since the death of STONEWALL JACKSON, second only to LEE in the military reputation he has achieved by the campaigns between Washington and Richmond during the last three years. General JAMES LONGSTREET, who is a native of Alabama, was regularly educated for the profession of arms. He entered the United States army in 1838.

third United States colored troops, and on the 8th attempted to commit an outrage on a white woman at Cold Harbor. Considerable importance was given to the affair, in order that the example might be made more effective. JOHNSON confessed his guilt and was executed within the outer breast works about Petersburg, on an elevation, and in plain view of the enemy, a white flag covering the ceremony.


GENERAL FRANCIS CHINNING BARLOW, more familiarly known as General FRANK BARLOW, whose portrait appears on page 437, is already one of the most conspicuous soldiers of the war—one of its most heroic and romantic figures. Born in Brooklyn, in 1834, he passed most of his childhood and youth in New England, graduating at the head of the distinguished class at Harvard in 1855. The college traditions of that time are full of anecdotes of his humor, and that fascinating superiority which excels without an effort. Upon leaving college he studied law, and after a brief employment in the Tribine office began to practice in New York. His cool, clear head and true heart taught him the significance of public affairs, and at the best call to arms he rose from his desk and enrolled himself as a

private in the New York Twelfth Militia Regiment. The President's proclamation appeared upon Monday, the 15th of April, 1861. On Sunday, the 21st, the Twelfth Regiment marched. In three months Private BARLOW was First Lieutenant. Presently he was made Lieutenant-Colonel of the New York Sixty-first. His remarkable military capacity developed itself upon every occasion. Calm, swift, and inexorable, he mastered the theory of war, while his qualities and temperament peculiarly fitted him for active service in the field. During the siege of Yorktown he became Colonel, and was Acting-Brigadier during part of the action at Fair Oaks. In the retreat from the Chickahominy to the James his regiment rendered most important service. He returned to Washington after the terrible fighting in the second Bull Run campaign with scarcely more than a hundred men, and the New York Sixty-fourth was added to Colonel BARLOW'S command. At the battle of Antietam, on the 17th September, 1862, he captured two stands of colors and three hundred men, and was highly praised by General CALDWELL, and recommended for promotion. Colonel BARLOW received two severe wounds, and was carried off the field for dead. Two days afterward the President appointed him Brigadier-General for distinguished conduct at the battle of Fair Oaks.

General BARLOW lay for a long time prostrate with his wounds. But he gradually recovered, and was at the head of his brigade at Gettysburg.

 He was terribly wounded again in that battle, and fell into the hands of the rebels; but thinking him sure to die, they allowed him to be taken within our lines. He languished for many months, but daring the spring he was so far recovered as to look once more for active service. He said, "I ask only to go with General HANCOCK;" and when the Army of the Potomac moved, on the 3d and 4th of May, General BARLOW commanded the first division of HANCOCK'S corps.

During the present campaign no name has been more illustrious for valor and victory. With BIRNEY'S division BARLOW'S made that silent assault at daybreak upon the rebel works at Spottsylvania--silent until success broke out into a tumuli of cheers —which resulted in the capture of the rebel Generals JOHNSON and STEWART, three thousand men, eighteen cannon, and twenty-two standards. Throughout the campaign BARLOW is conspicous among the noble hand of united heroes, officers and men, in the very active front of battle. He is just thirty years old, but he has already made a name that the history of American Liberty will forever honor. The men of General BARLOW'S division would never forgive his biographer who should omit to record the unwearied service in the hospitals and among the wounded and dying Union soldiers, front the beginning of the war to this day, of his faithful and devoted wife. Never far from her heroic husband in the field, she is always an angel of mercy in his camp and among his men, and for no woman in the land do more earnest prayers ascend from suffering lips and grateful hearts than for Mrs. General BARLOW.

He was attached first to the Fourth and then to the Eighth infantry regiments. He served in all the battles of the Mexican war, and, like General LEE, was wounded at Chapultepec. He was twice brevetted for distinguished services in that war. In 1858 he obtained a post in the Paymaster's department, to which he belonged, with the rank of Major. When the civil war broke out, in 1861, he at once joined the army of the Confederate States. The brigade which he commanded at the fight of Bull Run, in July of that year was one of the first bodies of southern troops that came into actual collision with the Federals; and in the sanguinary battle of Manassas, which soon afterward ensued, General LONGSTREET led the main attack, though General BEAUREGARD was in chief command. As a General of Division, LONGSTREET acted under General LEE, throughout the Virginia campaigns of 1862 and 1863. LONGSTREET is forty-three years of age-a thick-set, determined looking man. His corps, who are devotedly attached to him, often complain that he is always with General LEE. He is in the habit of exposing himself in a careless manner, and it was perhaps in this way that he got his wound in one of the battles in the Wilderness. At Gettysburg he is said to have led a Georgian regiment in a charge against a battery, hat in hand, and in front of every body. A few hours later a Colonel found him seated on the top of a snake fence at the edge of the wood, and looking perfectly calm and unperturbed, while some of his troops passed by. The gallant Colonel, who scarcely knew what had been the result of the battle, observed to General LONGSTREET, " I wouldn't have missed this for anything." LONGSTREET replied, laughing, " The devil you wouldn't ! I should liked to have missed it very much ; we've attacked, and been repulsed; look there!"


ON this page a sketch is given representing the execution, on June 20, of WILLIAM JOHNSON, a colored soldier. He deserted from the twenty



"RALPH, I wish I had a nice little dog."

" Should think you might be satisfied with a first-class husband, baby, and puss."

"Fiddle-sticks !"

Ralph turned over a leaf of his law-book with a significant air, and the clock and sewing-machine ticked on in silence for five minutes.

" Ralph, I tell you I do want a cunning little dog."

"Yes, dear."

Clock and sewing-machine monopolize another five minutes.

"Oh, Ralph, you don't know how I

want a pretty little dog."

" Y-e-s." Four minutes, fifty-six seconds.

" Ralphie, I tell you you've no idea how I want that little doggie."

" Blast it!"

The sewing-machine paused for a moment while I rose to inflict a disciplinary cuff upon the curls over Ralph's left ear.

And that is a specimen of that gentleman's ordinary success in studying law books in the palor.

I don't blame the poor fellow. About six months ago I walked over one day to his office up town—that is, just beyond the Excelsior Hotel, which forms the centre of Schencksville. I staid some live hours, sweeping, dusting, sorting, arranging, picking up and carrying away—staid, in fact, until the establishment showed signs of civilization. Two days afterward I called, in passing, to enjoy a few minutes' quiet contemplation of the results of my labors. I have not been there since. Ralph returned to the attractions of that fascinating volume, and I to the side-seam of baby's bib. There was a window just across the sewing-table at my left, with a dielyton


General Longstreet




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