Spanish Squadron


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, July 16, 1864

Harper's Weekly was the most read newspaper of the Civil War era. It was popular across the country for its fabulous wood cut illustrations created by war artists deployed with the troops at the front lines. Today, it is popular as a valuable source of original information on the way.

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



General Grant

Alabama is Sunk

Battle Kenesaw Mountain

Pine Mountain

Sherman Advance

General Sherman's Advance on Georgia

Spanish Squadron

Spanish Squadron

Lincoln Cartoon

Lincoln Cartoon

Alabama Sinking

Alabama Sinking

Fourth of July

Fourth of July


Rebel Deserters



JULY 16, 1864.]




THE sketch which we give on page 460 represents a scene of daily occurrence both in the Eastern and Western campaigns. Desertions from the rebel army are, however, more frequent in the West, for the reason that the region from which they were originally drawn is in a fat less degree actuated by a feeling of hatred against the North. The animus of the rebellion is not in Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi, but in Virginia and South Carolina. A great proportion of those who come within our lines in Virginia are men who have been conscripted in North Carolina. These deserters are of great use to our Generals in giving important information in regard to the disposition and numbers of the enemy. Not unfrequently they become invaluable as scouts. If the secret history of our campaigns could be written, it would be found that not a few of our victories, particularly in the West, have been due to the faithful and oftentimes romantic adventures of these scouts.

A few days ago there came into General SHERMAN'S lines a portion of TRIGG'S Fifty-fourth Virginia Regiment—the same which was in HUMPHREY MARSHALL'S army at Middle Creek whin that fat Colonel was defeated by GARFIELD; Donelson, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, and other national victories, have told upon these soldiers' first lave for secession.


PUBLIC attention has been of late especially directed to the Guano Islands, the occupation of which. by a Spanish squadron we illustrate on this page. The CHINCHA ISLANDS are situated in the Pacific, on the west coast of Peru, to which country they belong. They are three in number, inconsiderable as to size, and about ten miles distant from the port of Pisco. These desolate solitudes are solely important by reason of the guano which through a series of years has accumulated from the excrements of various marine birds, forming beds, sometimes of a brown and sometimes of a rose color, which in certain places rise to the height of 120 feet. The huts of the inhabitants are built on the guano itself. The means of subsistence on these islands, even to water, have to be drawn from the main land. This makes the cost of living very great. A hotel has been established there, offering to travelers comfortable accommodation. The majority of the inhabitants are workmen who are continually employed in transporting the hard guano to depots for exportation.

The Spanish authorities having disclaimed all connection with Admiral Pinzon's seizure of the Chincha Islands, and having withdrawn their fleet, there is no apprehension of farther difficulty.


NOT long ago I was presented by a circle of admiring friends with a service of plate.

I use the term admiring in a figurative sense, mind; not that I am incapable of exciting admiration in the opposite sex, but because this particular circle of friends was composed entirely of men, with the weaknesses of men, including envy, jealousy, etc., and because I have been made painfully aware since that some of them entertained feelings toward me bordering on dislike, which necessarily precludes sentiments of admiration.

I am what angry tax-payers call a public servant; an upper servant, however, being at the head of one of the bureaus in a certain department of the Federal Government.

It is customary every year in this department for one of the chief clerks to receive, and the underlings to present, a testimonial, in the shape generally of a silver service, procured by voluntary subscriptions from all the employes. As these presentations are confined to the chief' clerks, a few, in fact many, of the underlings, with the pettiness inherent in our fallen natures, are mean enough to regard these voluntary subscriptions in the light of forced contributions, and to class them with the monthly levy on our salaries for party purposes, which really is odious and tyrannical, hut to which we are compelled to submit by the uncertain tenure of political positions.

Last year it was Van Ricketts the First Auditor's turn to receive ; the year before Sweetser the Cashier accepted ; and this year Palafox Primrose, your most obedient, was honored with, as I premised, a service of plate.

Yes, honored ! to my great regret and misfortune, as I will shortly make apparent.

The gift is invariably made on Christmas-eve; and it is etiquette for the designated recipient, although aware of the intended honor months before, to affect profound ignorance of what is going to take place; to be blind to the subscription-list passing under his nose; and, moreover, to be unusually bland and amiable to all in the office : this last circumstance exposing him to the designs of any unscrupulous employe who may take advantage of the complacent mood of his superior to "hedge" the amount of his subscription by borrowing. This happened to me, who, although not a lending man, was obliged—yes obliged—to give (for it were a mockery to call it lending) sundry sums, amounting in the aggregate to eighty-two dollars, the week preceding my reception of the plate. Of course it is impossible to refuse; the meanest miser alive couldn't be guilty of that at a moment when his fellow-citizens are bestirring themselves to offer him a proof of their love and esteem in an elegant, costly, and substantial shape. Of course a man feels flattered—highly so—and can't help telling his wife about it beforehand, as I did, rather incautiously, as it chanced ; for she naturally confided the important information to other ladies, who in turn confided it to their husbands ; so that, in the natural confusion of tenses incidental to the verbal transmission of news, it was spread abroad and believed that I actually was in possession of the testimonial a week before the presentation, much to my

Spanish Squadron




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