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Civil War Harper's Weekly, July 30, 1864

This site features an online archive of our extensive collection of original Harper's Weekly newspapers. These papers are full of incredible content, including eye-witness drawings of the key elements of the War. Reading these newspapers will give you a better appreciation of this important period of American History.

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William Fessenden


Drought Poem

Rebel Poetry

Rebel Poetry

Rebel Raid

Rebel Raid



Great Fire

The Great Brooklyn Fire



John Bull

John Bull Cartoon


Battle of Marietta

Destroying Railroad







JULY 30, 1864.]



(Previous Page) minute-men, who ordered breakfast, maltreated his servants, and forced $200 from him."

Take this fact as a specimen, put it with the innumerable instances of the actions of Vigilance Committees in lonely country districts throughout the South—the mock trials, tortures, and executions of men whom any ruffian for any purpose chose to denounce—and what an appalling picture we have of the necessary condition of a society in which almost half the population were regarded as chattels, and in which a few great proprietors, owning the land and the laborers, kept their white fellow-citizens ignorant and debased in order that they might submit without repining to their own poverty and wretchedness, and to the slavery of the blacks ! Of course, as in the case mentioned in the letter, the consequences of such a state of things sometimes recoil upon the authors, and the victims of the tyranny play the tyrant.

Many of these wretched victims are in arms against us. But we are fighting for them. The war for the Union and the rights secured by the Constitution is a war for their social and political salvation, and our victory is their deliverance. As the guns of GRANT and SHERMAN shake down their idols and clear the air, these men, and deluded fellow-citizens of ours, will see that in this country whatever degrades labor injures every laboring man, and that equal rights before the law is the only possible foundation of permanent peace and union. It is not against the people of those States, it is against the leaders and the system which have deprived them of their fair chances as American citizens, that this holy war is waged. God send them and us a good deliverance !


THERE is a person in England by the name of REUTER who has the supervision of the telegrams to the London press. He announced Mr. LINCOLN'S nomination as follows : "Mr. Lincoln has accepted the nomination of the Baltimore Convention, and opposes the amendment to the Constitution prohibiting Slavery." In view of the fact that the acceptance thus telegraphed was the response to the interview with the Committee, in which the President read a written and unqualified approval of that amendment, this is very well for REUTER. We wonder whether that worthy purveyor of news announced that the Alabama had sunk the Kearsarge. Judging from the past, however the mistake occurred, the telegram said precisely what REUTER and the English friends of the rebels wished might be true. For he knows instinctively that the sympathy of the working-people of England, which controls the action of the Government, would desert our cause if they could only be made to believe that we had ourselves betrayed it.


A DASHING, smashing novel is " Captain Brand, of the Centipede, a Pirate of Eminence in the West Indies, his Loves and Exploits," by HARRY GRINGO. (HARPERS.) It is crowded with the exciting incident which, in these days of the Alabama and Kearserge, is most timely; and in this summer weather it is pleasant to hear the roar of the surf and feel the breath of the gale that sounds throughout the story. It is melodramatic, of course. Pirates and the Gulf can not be otherwise. But the hearty welcome of " Captain Brand" in London, where it has been already published, shows that HARRY GRINGO'S hand has not lost its old cunning; and the readers of "Los Gringos" and " Scampavias" will not willingly lay down this last and most important work of the author.

The author of "Guy Livingstone" will always be sure of his audience. So eminent a preacher of muscular Christianity, in the proportion of a ton of muscle to a grain of Christianity, has a fascination for a very large diocese. " Maurice Dering" is his new story, just published by the HARPERS. It is not very long, and is a tale of passion and revenge. The book is a curious study of the author's mind, which is peculiarly English, although not in the best sense. Like " Guy Livingstone," it reveals a certain brutishness of nature, a Berserkir quality, which explains much British history.

The third part of " Our Mutual Friend" is published in Harper's Monthly for August. DICKENS is all himself in it. Tile profuse, rollicking humor of the portraiture of the Boffin family is in his most excellent vein, and the extravagance is in the direction in which he is always best. This story is read, perhaps, better serially than in any other way, because it is more fully read. So pleasant a monthly morsel we are sure to turn and taste all over. Boffin is one of the grotesque masks with which DICKENS delights to cover a simple, faithful, genial human heart, and which reminds us of the variety of our common humanity.

In the same number of the Magazine we may also mention the, graphic and touching sketch of THEODOSIA BURR and the interesting account of the Shakespearian Tercentenary at Stratford.


THE poetic muse still lingers in the Southern land. The rebel rhymsters are not all conscripts, nor the rebel women all utterly forlorn. There is, after all, a great deal of vitality in the rebels, and although the half of them are fighting, and half of the other half starving, it seems that among the remaining quarter some yet affect to be poets; and

complaisant editors of dingy, half sheet, rebel newspapers encourage their "fine phrensy" by printing their effusions in small type in obscure corners of their journals.

By favor of friends in Nassau—which portion of the British possessions every body knows to be the. "neutral" head-quarters of the blockade-running interest—we have come into possession of late files of Southern newspapers, containing numerous specimens of fresh poetical contributions. These rhymes are of all sorts, and written in every kind of metre. The elegiac, lyric, sentimental, amatory, and patriotic are all represented; and although their order of merit is not of the highest, their value as literary curiosities is not of the lowest.

A New York publisher has recently issued a compilation of Rebel Rhymes and Rhapsodies," collected from the Southern journals during the first year or two of the rebellion, and this volume is an interesting and valuable addition to the war literature of the time ; but since the date of its publication there have been various occurrences calculated, as Mr. Yancey observed, to " fire the Southern heart," and especially to stimulate the Southern muse—such, for instance, as the death of the rebel General J. E. B. Stuart (commonly called "Jeb" Stuart) in battle, during the present campaign of General Grant. Stuart was killed by a rifle-shot in one of the early fights in May ; and having been buried in Richmond, with such military honors as the meagre means of that harassed capital afforded, elegiac poets came to cast their bays upon his tomb. One of these effusions, published in a Richmond paper, is entitled " The Dead Cavalier," and bears the signature of one J. Marshall Haines. It opens thus

The drums came back muffled that, beating aloud, Went out in the morning all thrill to the fight; For the hero lies dead in his battle-flag shroud,

And his steed is led groomed without rider to-night. Then beat the drums muffled, and play the fife low, And march on the cortege to cadences slow.

Then the poet bids the beholder "stand by the corse," and

---Look down on that face;

Mark where the bullet burst its way through

and proceeds to tell of

---The story he wrote with the point of his sword; How it thrilled through the cities, how it stirred up the land.

In a better vein than this is another—" In Memoriam"—on the same subject, purposting to be written by H. C. Alexander. It has a melodious ring:

Ten thousand scabbards ring with joy To avenge the honored gore;

Ten thousand sabres flash in air,

Ten thousand heaving breasts are bare, Though Stuart is no more !

No more! and is it then too true? Does Bayard live no more? Nor yet again that flowing crest Shall we behold with girlish zest Confront the battle's roar?

No more upon the battle's front Shall Stuart lead the van—Asleep the rare Virginian lies, Nor reeks he 'tis the foe that flies, While scowls the grim Redan.

Thou of the soldier's mien and brow, Mourn'st thou dead Jackson's charge? Mourn for the knighted Stuart slain, Who brought you Jackson back again, By Rappahannock's marge!

Nor is this elegiast inclined to relinquish hope, even though "the flowing crest" lies low, for he adds:

The royal blood is not extinct,

Though Rupert stains the sod;

Though Stuart falls, the Cavaliers

Their bugles wind amid their tears,

And put their trust in God!

One more specimen of this elegiac poetry catches the eye. It is indited by Miss Margarita J. Cavedo in memory of Mrs. Beauregard, the wife of the rebel General. This piece of verse appears in the Mobile Register of May 6, 1864. We copy its concluding stanzas—the passionate utterance of a Southern woman:

Upon our country's altar still we lay

With bleeding hearts our precious sacrifice; Accept it, God! with pallid lips we pray, Of Southern Liberty the sacred price.

0 women of the South! in darkest hour How have ye meekly stood, an angel band; How by your brave endurance earned the dower Of freedom for our suffering, struggling land.

Turning from these sombre pieces to the gayer efforts of the Muse, we find in the Mobile Sunday Tribune the following choice malediction upon the President of the United States—evidently the production of some jovial rebel who determined to try what he could do;


May Heaven's curses, dark and dire, Commingled with Almighty fire,

Fall on your head and press you down With dreadful torture to the ground!

May peace forever from you fly, Pleasures fleet when they seem nigh, And in their place may gnawing pain Seize and rack your burning brain!

May sleep ne'er bless your weary eyes, Nor guardian angels from the skies Around your bed their vigils keep,

To guard you well should e'er you sleep!

May friends forsake you in distress, And no kind hand assist or bless, But all the world to you be foes,

And crush your life with bitterest woes!

May loathsome sights appall your eyes, And wasting age and maladies

So mar your life that thou shalt rave For final refuge in the grave!

On you may hell put forth its might, And shroud your soul in endless night; May this e'er be thy resting place, And that of all your cursed race!

And if there be a curse more dire

Than hell with all its liquid fire,

Oh, may it in your soul e'en creep,

And hellish fiends their nightly orgies keep? TOASTER

In this case " Toaster" must be a misprint for " Roaster." No anathema marenatha of indignant Pontiff was ever more hearty and precise. So far

as we can learn, however, Mr. Lincoln still sleeps o' nights, just as if " Toaster" hadn't cursed him so heavily.

The sentimental mood inspires "Fireside Musings" in the mind of another Mobilian, who writes four plaintive verses, one of which is as follows :

And my child upon me smiling,

From my heart all grief beguiling,

Seems an angel sent to cheer me in this dark and troublous hour;

Like link 'twixt earth and heaven,

Like a solace to me given,

Bearing me above the tempest and the clouds that o'er us lower.

It would be impertinent to hint that this resembles Poe. It is only the utterance of a Poet. Two new war songs appear among this collection. One of them is given below, according to the original ; and it is certainly a unique production :


1 Ime called to camp to leave my home my wife and Childrin too

and there await my awfull doom as many other doo

2 I march in to the battle field

and thare to risk my life

thare men there bloody weapons yeeld for battle ware and strife

3 all those to me hoo are so deer they weep they greave and mourn they live in dred of Death and fear that I mite nere return

4 but so it is I must submit what ere my fate may be

to bare the tryels I have to meet

my God to strengthin me

5 should this not fill a human beset and bare upon the minde

I can not help but feel distrest for these I left behinde

6 the sad effects of war I feel for sin my Just reward yet if it be my Makers will my life may still be spard

7 Lord be with all of mine I pray and all of my concerns

and make us wise from day to day thy richis Lord to lern

8 it may be that this war will end and prisners all set free

and volunteers returning home and shouting victore

9 if Ime called home whilst I am gone shed not a tear for me

but tell to all my friends a round I Died for liberty

10 thare our Widows are left to mourn for Husbands once so Dear

hoo fell upon the battle ground and never made to fear

11 now I must say farewell to you and sad it is to me

to think that I my love no more perhaps on earth shall see

12 but if I never more see you
I hope youl pray for me

while I am roveing ore the hills for the sake of liberty

"The Contraband's Return" is a beatific vision of the happy time when the runaway slave will trot home to a "master," and pray for the privilege of being once more sold and beaten. The writer puts these words into the mouth of this impossible African


Don't you know me, Massa William? Don't yon know me, Missus dear? Don't you know old Aunt Rebecca, Who went away from you last year, With Peter, Phil, and little Judy, To join the wicked Yankee crew ?

But I've come back, my dear old Missus,   

To live and die with you!   

I never knew the old plantation

Was half so dear a place to me

As when among that Yankee nation

The robbers told me I was free!

But when I looked around for freedom,

(We thought it something bright and fair) Hunger, misery, and starvation

Was all that met us there.

O, Massa William, see use kneeling! O, missus, say one word for me !

You'll let me stay ? Oh ! thank you, massa ; Now I'm happy ! now I'm free ! I've seen enough of Yankee freedom, I've had enough of Yankee love ! As they have treated the poor negro, Be't done to them above.

Hero is a little prose poem of a peculiar style :

As long as the Union was faithful to her trust like friends and like brothers we were loving and were just but now that Northern treachery attempts our rights to mar but we'll hoist on high the bonnie blue flag that bears the single star. Chorus—hurra hurra.

Then cheer boys cheer Raise on high the Joyous shout for Arkansas and North Carolina has both went out then let another Rousing cheer for tennesse Be given for the single Star of the bonnie Blue flag has grown to be eleven. Chorus—hurra hurra.

There are many more of these curious productions--elegiac, lyric, sentimental, didactic, and patriotic—but we conclude with the following very creditable specimen of the rebel amatory style, " written for the Mobile Tribune."


Our Jessie is pretty and fair, Our Jessie is marry and true, I'm half dying with love, I could eat up her glove,

And drink my Champagne from her shoe.

Oh Jessie, My Lady, My Love, Oh Jessie, so pretty and wise, What good'neath the sun,

Can I ever have done,

To merit the light of thine eyes ?

For Jessie, for Jessie, my life,

For Jessie, through darkness and rain, I'd go at her beck,

Though a cord for my neck Should await me, returning again.

Oh Jessie, My Darling, My Dear, I would that I were a bee,

I'd seek only thy lip,

And there I would sip,

(What an object of envy I'd be !)

Oh Jessie, you dear little duck,

Can such another one be ?

Why an angel would blush,

Look pleased, and say hush,

If I kindly compared her to thee.

Guess Who.



GENERAL GRANT'S army still confronts the rebel lines at Petersburg. There is no new development in the investiture of Richmond; is portion of Grant's force, a very small portion, was recalled to Washington at the time of the raid, but they will return, their places being supplied by the militia regiments lately recruited. Our cavalry force will also be relieved by the retreat of the rebels, and will soon renew their efforts to interrupt Lee's communications. The long-continued drought is very oppressive.

It is reported that General Sherman has crossed the Chattahoochee; but he has not, it seems, very closely pursued the rebels beyond the river. How far his plans may be affected by interruptions in his rear has become a serious question. His communications must be protected; it is a long line to protect even if he had a hundred thousand men to spare for that specific purpose. He has found it necessary to issue an order prohibiting wastefulness in the distribution of rations. The Chattahoochee River rises in the Appalachian range in Habersham County, Georgia; flowing southwest, it reaches the border of Alabama at Miller's Bend, from which it flows nearly south, forming for 200 miles the boundary between Georgia and Alabama to its junction with Flint River, with which it unites, forming the Apalachicola. It is navigable for steamboats 225 miles above this junction. The latest advices report Sherman's army five miles south of the river. Johnston, not choosing to defend the line of the Chattahoochee, has withdrawn behind the fortifications at Atlanta.

The rebels appear to be inaugurating a series of offensive operations on a small scale, the object of which is to interrupt the main campaigns in the East and West. This line of operations begun with Early's raid into Maryland. We now hear of an invasion of Kentucky by a large body of rebels moving into that State through Pound Gap.


The events of the late rebel raid may be summed up as follows: After the engagement at Lynchburg, June 18, Hunter, pressed by far superior numbers, found no ways of escape so convenient as through the Blue Ridge to Gauley. This left the way open for Early to move up the valley. He did so, accompanied by a cavalry force under Ransom, and reached the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, July 3, at a point just above Harper's Ferry, threatening Martinsburg. Sigel, holding the latter place, fell back toward Sharpsburg. The rebels immediately occupied Martinsburg, where they captured valuable stores belonging to the Commissary and Ordnance departments, and forced into the ranks every man between sixteen and sixty. The same day a fight occurred at Leetown, south of the railroad, in which General Mulligan, covering Sigel's retreat, was finally forced back to Sharpsburg, where he joined Sigel, and another engagement occurred. The Federal forces being overpowered, fell hack to Maryland Heights. Max Weber, evacuating Harper's Ferry, joined Sigel. In the mean time General E. B. Tyler, protecting the railroad from Baltimore to the Monocacy, prepared for resisting the rebels and to reinforce Sigel. Lew Wallace joined him on the afternoon of the 3d.

After crossing the Potomac the rebels in detached forces engaged in plunder; but on Saturday, July 9, they disappeared from Greencastle, Hagerstown, and from other points threatened; but this was only for the purpose of concentration. Our forces had evacuated Frederick the previous night, and fallen back to Monocacy Junction. Here a fight took place between Lew Wallace and the combined rebel forces; the result was unfavorable; we were again overpowered and driven back on Monrovia, on the road to Baltimore. General Tyler was taken prisoner. The rebels then appear to have separated again, turning up here and there at unexpected points, and doing considerable injury to private property. On the 11th they cut the telegraph between Philadelphia and Baltimore. At Magnolia, eighteen miles south of Havre de Grace and less than that distance from Baltimore, a rebel force of about 200 succeeded in capturing the 8.30 A.M. passenger train from Baltimore. The 10 o'clock train was also captured. In one of these trains Major-General Franklin was taken prisoner. Gunpowder River Bridge was burned. The residences of Governor Bradford, Francis Blair, and General Cadwallader were destroyed.

On the 12th the rebels appeared at Bladensburg and Beltsville on the railroad seven and twelve miles north of Washington, interrupting all communication with Baltimore. The rebels appeared before Fort Stevens, on the Seventh Street road, but were repulsed. Hunter, in the mean time, with his column, crossed the mountains of West Virginia to the Ohio River and reached Martinsburg, where he established communication with Sigel, who had regained possession of Harper's Ferry. General Grant gave early information to the authorities at Washington of the movements and designs of the rebels, and that every possible preparation was made to meet them. A part of the Sixth Corps was sent on from before Petersburg, and a part of the Nineteenth from Fortress Monroe. On Wednesday, July 13, the rebels began to disappear across the Potomac fords, carrying their plunder with them. Generals Tyler and Franklin both escaped.


An expedition under the command of General Foster, having for its object the seizure of James Island and other approaches to the city, was partially successful, the lower end of the island having been captured. Subsequently an expedition under Colonel Gurney of the One hundred and Twenty-seventh New York, fitted out for the purpose, of capturing Fort Johnson by a night attack, signally failed; a portion of the force, about 132, were landed, but not being supported in time, were captured by the rebels.


President Lincoln, on Monday, July 18, issued his long expected proclamation calling out 50,000 men, in accordance with the provisions of the Enrollment Act as lately amended by Congress, which are, in breif, the following: The President may call for men at his discretion for one, two, or three years; the volunteers to receive one, two, or three hundred dollars for those times respectively; if the quota is not filled by volunteering within fifty days a draft may be ordered conscripting men for one year; the loyal may recruit from the rebel States; all men hitherto enlisted in the naval service, and not hitherto credited, are to be credited to the quota of the district in which they reside. The fifty days given for volunteering under the present call expire September 5.


THE vote of censure on the British Ministry which Disraeli and his associates have been trying to get through Parliament has been passed in the house of Lords by a majority of nine, and defeated in the House of Commons by a majority of eighteen. Among the supporters of the Ministry in this House of Commons Gladstone, Cobden, and Kinglake stand prominent,.

The details of the capture of Alsen are the following: The Germans were prepared, the moment hostilities were reopened, to strike a vigorous blow. On the night of the 28th of June, between one and two o'clock, they threw three bridges across the Strait opposite Kjver (1000 yards wide), and soon had on the Alsen side a force of 26,000 men, with cavalry and artillery. The Danes had only, about 8,000 men on the island. This force was compelled to fall back; it was drawn up in a line about a mile long, to keep in check the overwhelming masses of the enemy; a sharp engagement occurred, with a somewhat heavy loss on both sides. The Danish army endeavored to escape to the Isthmus, with what success is uncertain.


The Emperor Maximilian has sent invitations to the late President Juarez, and other leading liberal chiefs, to come to the city of Mexico, and there consult together on a plan of restoration, guaranteeing them full protection. This invitation was indignantly rejected.

The Peruvian authorities are making great military and naval preparations, as if expecting a war with Spain on the Chincha Islands difficulty.




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