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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

Lincoln Nomination

Lincoln Nomination

Virginia Campaign

Virginia Campaign


General Hays


Grant in Virginia

Grant's Movements

Grant's Activity

Military Telegraph

General Longstreet

General Longstreet

Wilcox's Landing

Wilcox's Landing

Council of War

Council of War

Democratic Cartoon

Democrat Cartoon






JULY 9, 1864.]



(Previous Page) ahominy, that he wanted him ? for the remark has been made of each successive position. That he has him at Petersburg just where he wanted him has not yet been asserted, for in the last movement of GRANT, LEE was as utterly outgeneraled as POPE was by STONEWALL JACKSON in the summer campaign of 1862.

The generalship of LEE in this campaign consists in a timely but baffled attack upon GRANT'S advancing column at the Rapidan ; and from that day, Friday, the 6th of May, a continual falling back to intrenchments in consequence of the swiftness and surprise of GRANT'S combinations. There was indeed nothing else for him to do, but to do it shows no remarkable generalship. If LEE had advanced instead of GRANT, and had flanked GRANT from Culpepper to Warrenton, and from Warrenton to Manassas, and from Manassas, swinging round across the Potomac, were now threatening Washington from Bladensburg, we should hardly have considered that falling steadily back under such flankings was an illustrious proof of great generalship upon the part of GRANT. But if, when LEE swung along GRANT'S flank and crossed the Potomac, GRANT knew nothing of it, but prepared to meet him at Alexandria, the best possible thing for us to do when LEE turned up at Bladensburg would be to say that now GRANT had him just where he wanted him.

This was precisely the case with LEE. When GRANT disappeared from before his Chickahominy lines he did not know it. When the day broke and showed him that GRANT was gone, he sent out his skirmishers for several miles. When he had made sure of the movement of GRANT'S entire army, he hastened to meet him upon the north bank of the James, and while he was forming his line there, General GRANT, by one of the most daring and triumphant military movements in history, had crossed the James River, and lifting his army out of the deadly swamps of the Chickahominy, had planted it upon the pleasant, open country around Petersburg, resting directly upon the most accessible base, and flanked by the Union fleet. Manifestly the best thing for the rebels and their Northern friends to say, under the circumstances, is, that at last LEE has GRANT just where he wants him.

Further developments of this most exciting campaign will doubtless rapidly appear. As yet it is simply undecided. To call it a failure at this point is as foolish as to call the rebellion a success. The campaign is a failure exactly as that against Vicksburg was until Vicksburg fell ; exactly as every enterprise fails until it succeeds.


A FEW weeks since we published part of the following ode, attributed by a correspondent in New Jersey to the late Hon. THOMAS S. GRIMKE of South Carolina. It was not written by him, however, but by the late Rev. SAMUEL GILMAN of Charleston. Originally written for the Fourth of July during the rage of nullification, we gladly reproduce it, after thirty-three years, for the Fourth of July during the civil war of secession. The friend who sends it to us remarks that this ode has kept one South Carolinian, at least, true to the Union.


SUNG JULY 4, 1831. AIR—" Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled."

Hail, our Country's natal morn, Hail, our spreading kindred-born, Hail, thou banner, not yet torn,

Waving o'er the free !

While this day in festal throng Millions swell the Patriot song, Shall not we thy notes prolong,

Hallowed Jubilee ?

Who would sever Freedom's shrine? Who would draw the hateful line? Though by birth one spot be mine,

Dear is all the rest.

Dear to me the South's fair land; Dear the Central mountain-land; Dear New England's rocky strand;

Dear the prairied West.

By our altars, pure and free;
By our laws' deep-rooted tree;
By the Past's dread memory;
By our Washington;

By our common kindred tongue,

By our hopes—bright, buoyant, young; By the tie of country strong,

We will still be one !

Fathers !—have ye bled in vain? Ages!—must ye droop again? Maker!—shall we rashly stain

Blessings sent by thee?

No! Receive our solemn vow, While before thy throne we bow, Ever to maintain, as now,

Union, Liberty !"


AMONG the most important of the new books is the " Savage Africa" of Mr. W. WINWOOD READE, republished by the HARPERS. It is a most interesting addition to their library of books of discovery and adventure in Africa. BARTH, LIVINGSTONE, SPEKE, ANDERSON, BURTON, DU CHAILLU, WILSON, with CUMMING, BALDWIN, and READE, tell us all that is now known of Africa, and they are all included in the HARPER'S African series. Mr. READE makes his bow in this manner : " If I have any merit, it is that of having been the first young man about town to make a bona fide tour in Western Africa; to travel in that agreeable and salubrious country with no special object and at his own

expense ; to flaner in the virgin forest ; to flirt with pretty savages, and to smoke his cigar among cannibals." This preface the dates from " the Conservative Club ;" and his African journey was evidently made in much the same spirit as the Norwegian and Far West journeys of other clever young Englishmen, whose jeunesse doree is not satisfied with the round of London life, but feels in its blood an impulse of the old Vikings and explorers. Mr. READE writes himself a fellow of the Geographical Society of London, and a correspondent of that of Paris, which may be considered his credentials as a traveler. His course was partly that of Du CHAILLU, and was confined to the western coast. His book is extremely interesting, and his speculations, fortified by facts of observation, upon the origin, character, and capacity of the negro, for whom he has a very unnecessary and amusing contempt, are curious and sometimes new. Enterprising, quick, clear-sighted, he sees every thing that is to be seen if he does not think all that is to be thought. He holds, for instance, that a law making the slave-trade a crime is " brutal and absurd." But a clever dandy of the Conservative Club lounging through savage Africa must be allowed his little paradoxes. It is not as a thinker, or statesman, or poet that Mr. READE is to be commended, but as a traveler and a raconteur. When he forgets the Club and his manly qualities come into play, he is one of the pleasantest companions of travel. His style is flowing and lucid. He is never a bore either with philosophy or pedantry, and his addition to our knowledge of Western Africa is really substantial and valuable.

"Cousin Phillis" (HARPER & BROTHERS) is a delicate little love story, attributed by the London papers, without denial, to Miss ANNA THACKERAY, written with a simplicity of plot and purity of style not unworthy of her father's daughter. It is legibly printed, and is a charming book for the cars or for a morning by the sea.

" President Lincoln's Administration," by HENRY J. RAYMOND (DERBY & MILLER), is an admirable summary of the official career of Mr. LINCOLN. It contains his important letters and minor speeches, and is a most convenient political hand-book of the times. It is a striking vindication of the remarkable ability of the President, whom the friends of JEFFERSON DAVIS characterize as "a joker," with the same propriety that a cavalier would have contemptuously called CROMWELL a man with a wart on his nose.

Under the title of " Pulpit Ministrations," the HARPERS publish two stately volumes of sermons by Dr. GARDINER SPRING, one of the most noted of modern New York clergymen. They are discourses upon Christian doctrine and duty which will commend themselves to the hearty sympathy of the large religious communion of which the Doctor is an illustrious ornament.

Mr. PARTON'S " Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin" (MASON BROTHERS), is an elaborate work ; but the copious treatment is justified by the unparalleled charm of the subject, for the lives of few men are so constantly and variously interesting as FRANKLIN'S. Mr. PARTON'S delightful sympathy with his theme ; his good sense and mother wit, his lively and picturesque style, and his conscientious habit of saturating his mind with all accessible information, have enabled him to write what must become the standard biography of the most American of men.

The Guide-Book of the Central Railroad of New Jersey (HARPER & BROTHERS), is an illustrated hand-book of travel to the Delaware Water Gap, the Valley of Wyoming, and the picturesque coal region of New Jersey, one of the most delightful and interesting summer trips from the city. It may be accomplished in three days, or in a week, or in a longer time, at the will of the traveler. This little book shows him exactly where and how to go, and what to see. It is a trip which, if better known, would be much oftener taken.


LETTER FROM THE NAVY AGENT. To the Editor of Harper's Weekly:

SIR,—I have to ask that the public will form no opinion unfavorable, in regard to myself and my conduct of the Navy Agency at this port until, in the first place, I can find out what offenses I am accused of by the Government ; and until, in the second place, the charges which may be made against me, as well as the charge made already by Mr. SAVAGE, himself a prisoner in Fort Lafayette and charged with the commission of heinous crimes, can be submitted to judicial investigation.

In the mean time I deny most positively that I have in any way or manner wronged the Government or any private person; I assert in the most positive manner that I have discharged my duties as Navy Agent with the strictest honor, and with the utmost care and fidelity. And I entreat all men in this community to believe this until the contrary is proved. I have, I think, a right to ask this, as one who has spent years in this community as a business man, and who has in all those years maintained a character without stain or reproach.




SENATE.—June 22. The House bill authorizing negotiations with the Indian tribes of Oregon for relinquishment of certain privileges was passed.—The bill to prevent military interference in elections was passed, with an amendment allowing the presence of military in the vicinity of the polls to repel armed enemies of the United States or to preserve the peace.—The following bills were also passed: Authorizing continued transfers of men from the army to the navy; giving twenty-five thousand dollars as

compensation to the officers and crew of the gun-boat Essex for destroying the rebel ram Arkansas ; appropriating two hundred thousand dollars for the establishment of a navy yard and depot at Cairo; providing for the punishment of those who aid seamen to desert, and for the relief of officers and crews of vessels wrecked or lost in the service.—The House joint resolution releasing Captain Ericsson from part of his contract for building the iron-clads Puritan and Dictator was, after some debate, adopted without amendment.—Resolutions were also adopted calling on the President for the report of the Commissioner of Emigration and for papers relating to the exportation of arms.--June 23. The House Post Route bill and the bills remitting duties on goods imported for Sanitary Fairs and providing compensation to officers and soldiers for property sacrificed while in the discharge of their duties were passed.—The House joint resolution making provision to fill the deficiency in the appropriation for payment of soldiers in the Western departments was adopted.—The bill to repeal the Fugitive Slave Law (as passed in 1793 and reconstituted in 1850) was passed by a vote of 27 to 12. This bill having already passed the House thus becomes a law. Davis addressed the Senate at length in opposition to the measure, holding it to be contrary to a wise and well-understood provision of the Constitution. Saulsbury followed in an earnest appeal to the Senate to delay action upon this important question involving a change in the organic law of the country. The Senate, after the passage of this bill, proceeded to the consideration of the bill amendatory of the Enrollment act. The debate on it consumed the remainder of the day and the entire night session, lasting up to a late hour.—The amendment authorizing the enlistment of men for one year was adopted by 25 to 14. Mr. Wilson moved this amendment. He said that he wanted to fill our armies with true and brave men, and at the same time save manufactures and commerce. In filling our armies we should exercise our reason and not injure any interest of the country. Every thing taught him that our laws should bear as lightly as possible upon our people. He believed that in ninety days we could put five men into the field to one for three years. He hoped that after the vote in the Senate and the manifestation at the other end of the Capitol the Senate would not do what the country would consider a hard thing. Another amendment was then offered by Mr. Collamer, proposing that the price of commutation should be fixed at $500. This was rejected by a vote of 7 to 24. Nothing farther was accomplished and the Senate adjourned after midnight.—June 24. A bill was passed to increase telegraphic facilities between the Atlantic and Pacific States and Idaho.—A resolution was adopted inquiring of the President whether authority has been given by the Government to any persons to induce men to emigrate from Ireland or Canada for the purpose of entering our army or navy.---June 25. The bills providing for compensation to postmasters by salaries instead of commissions, and for the improvement of the Government insane hospital grounds, were passed.—The House $400,000,000 Loan bill was reported back from the Finance Committee and ordered to be printed.—The report of the Conference Committee appointed to adjust the disagreements of the two Houses on the Internal Revenue bill was submitted and adopted. As the report was also concurred in by the House of Representatives, the bill now only needs the President's signature to be a law.—As now finally fixed upon, the tax on whisky will be one dollar and a half per gallon after the 1st of July proximo till the 1st of February next, after which latter period it will be two dollars per gallon.—On incomes the tax is five per cent. on all over $600, and not exceeding $5000; on incomes from $5000 to $10,000, seven and a half per cent. ; exceeding 10,000, ten per cent.—June 27. The House joint resolution providing for the publication of a full Army Register to contain a roster of all field, line, and staff officers of Volunteers, who have been in the army during the war, was agreed to.—The House substitute for the bill to establish a navy-yard and depot at Cairo, namely : to appoint a Commission to examine and report upon a proper site, was also agreed to.—The House $400,000,000 Loan bill was then taken up and passed with an amendment rendering the $75,000,000 loan now in the market subject to State and municipal taxation, and giving validity to the engraved signature of the Register of the Treasury on Government notes and bonds.—The Senate also passed a bill encouraging immigration.—The Judiciary Committee made a report on the case of the Arkansas Senators, to the effect that they are not entitled to seats, and that their State can not rightfully claim representation in Congress until its citizens shall be able to maintain their State government without the support of the army of the United States.—The House joint resolution continuing the fifty per cent. increase on imports was adopted.—June 28. The bill for the relief of the officers of Indian regiments, and that amendatory of the laws relating to the commercial intercourse between loyal and insurrectionary States, were passed.

HOUSE.—June 22. A resolution to close the session on Thursday the 30th inst. was adopted.—The chief business of the day related to the bill authorizing an additional loan of $400,000,000. The section of the bill exempting the bonds issued under it from State and municipal taxation was stricken out, after a long and spirited debate, by a vote of 61 to 44.—June 23. The $400,000,000 Loan bill, which occupied the greater part of the day's session, was finally passed. It authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to borrow, from time to time, $400,000,000, for which he shall issue bonds redeemable in not less than five nor more than thirty years, or, if deemed more expedient, forty years, and to bear an interest of six per cent. per annum, payable semi-annually in coin.—June 24. Bills were passed for carrying into effect the treaty with Great Britain for the settlement of the title of the Hudson Bay and Puget Sound Agricultural Company, and to enable the New York Assay-office to make more prompt returns for deposits in bullion.—The Senate bill for a navy-yard and naval depot at Cairo was amended as as to provide for the appointment of a commission to report to the next session of Congress upon the most suitable location on Western waters for such a naval establishment.—June 25. The bill amendatory of the Enrollment act was taken up, and the speeches on it occupied the remainder of the day, but no vote was reached. Garfield and Schenck, of Ohio, advocated the repeal of the draft commutation. Mr. Fernando Wood made a speech denouncing the war and insisting that it should be immediately stopped. He became so offensive and violent in his remarks that he was hissed by members—a manifestation of disapprobation which is not remembered to have been ever before shown a Representative on the floor of the House.—June 27. The Senate's amendments to the Tariff bill were acted upon, and a large number of them adopted, the remainder being left for the adjustment of a conference committee.—The bill to carry into effect the treaty with Colombia was passed.—The Senate's amendments to the bill exempting from duties goods imported for the late Chicago Sanitary Fair were concurred in.—The bill amendatory of the Enrollment act was again the subject of a prolonged debate, the main point of discussion being, as on previous days, the proposition to repeal the $300 draft computation, which, on being put to it vote, was again defeated, but this time by only two majority.—June 28. The Senate's amendment to the Loan bill, to make the seventy-five millions of bonds recently advertised subject to State and municipal tax, was agreed to. The House then reconsidered the vote of the previous night, by which Smithers's substitute for the bill to regulate and provide for the enrolling and calling out of the national forces was rejected. The substitute was passed: it provides that no payment of money shall release a drafted man from military service; and also provides that every volunteer or substitute that may be accepted for one year shall be paid a bounty of $200, for two years $300, and for three years $400, to be paid at stated intervals ; and that in case of the death of the volunteer or substitute, the money shall be paid to his wife, children, or legal representatives. The Senate bill for the better organization of the Quarter-master's Department was then passed as amended; also the bill facilitating Admiralty cases in New York.


The situation at Petersburg remained essentially unaltered after the assaults made on Saturday, June 18, until the succeeding Wednesday, when Grant commenced an important movement on his left, for the purpose of more closely investing the city, by seizing the Weldon Railroad. Petersburg communicates with the South by means of three railroads—the Petersburg and Suffolk, the Petersburg and Weldon, and the Petersburg and Lynchburg.

Now the line which Grant's army held on Tuesday, the 21st, stretched across the Appomattox; Butler's two corps north of that river, facing Petersburg on the east, and the four corps of the Army of the Potomac on the south, fronting Petersburg in that direction. But this line crossed only one of the three railroads above mentioned, viz., the Petersburg and Suffolk.

It was now certain that Grant must do one of three things: he must recross his army to the north side of the Appomattox, and endeavor to obtain a position between the Confederate army and Richmond; or, on the other hand, move to the left, striking at the Weldon Road ; or remain where he was, and attempt to take Petersburg by assault. In the first and third case he must meet and overcome great obstacles, having to carry intrenched positions. It was so plainly his policy to move against the Weldon Road that General Lee acted on this supposition. Thus it happened that on Wednesday, the 22d, when the Second and Sixth corps left the right—their places being taken by the Eighteenth—and moved to a position near the Weldon Road, they met a rebel corps under General Hill. It was expected that the Sixth Corps would have communicated with the left of the Second (Barlow's Division), but before this had been effected the enemy had pierced the centre. This movement, as rapid and unlooked for, led Barlow to fall back, which left the Third Division (Birney's) open to a flank attack. The enemy got possession of Birney's rifle-pits and summoned the men to surrender, but the suggestion of Libey Prison not proving an inviting one, only about two thousand were captured, the others fighting their way to the rear. M'Knight's battery four guns was also captured by the enemy. The Division was soon reformed and awaited the repetition of Hill's attack, which was this time repulsed ; and the Sixth Corps coming up on the left of the Second, joined in an attack on the enemy, in which the position and many of the prisoners which had been lost were retaken. This advance of our forces on the left placed the Weldon Road within range of our artillery, rendering it useless to the Confederates. Simultaneously with this movement Wilson's division of cavalry struck the railroad by a circuitous route, and tore up the rails for some distance. Our advance to the left was met by a corresponding advance of Lee's army in the same direction, Beauregard being left to defend Petersburg. At last accounts our guns were firing into the bridge at Petersburg.

On Friday, the 24th, there was some heavy artillery fighting, in which the Fifth and Ninth corps were principally engaged. Baldy Smith opened fire on Petersburg in the morning, sustaining the attack for an hour. This was occasioned by the enemy's firing from the heights upon the Eighteenth Corps on our right. After the firing ceased the rebels made a charge against Smith's lines, which was repulsed with great loss to the enemy. The prisoners taken by our forces were many of them boys under eighteen years of age, who had nevertheless been three years in the service. Since Wednesday the 22d there has been no severe fighting.

Sheridan, who has been operating successfully on the roads north of Richmond, reached Wilcox's Lauding, where his rear was attacked on Saturday, June 25, and some of his men captured, but by the assistance of the gun-boats he effected the crossing of the James with his entire train. General Wilson, after his raid on the Weldon road, pushed on to Burkesville, where he was last heard from, at the junction of the two railroad lines leading westward from Richmond and Petersburg. Crook and Averill, together with Hunter, are still operating in the mean time upon the communications on the west and northwest of the Confederate capital. There is therefore no important railroad communication of Richmond which is not disturbed, if not destroyed, by the Federal cavalry. This fact will doubtless soon have an important bearing on the campaign, inasmuch as an army harassed in this manner must sooner or later be compelled to seek a more favorable position, or else to fight at a remarkable disadvantage. It should be added that Palmer, in a late expedition into the centre of North Carolina, cut the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad near Goldsboro.


General Sherman's army is still confronted by the Kenesaw Mountain. The rainy weather and endangered communications have proved very annoying impediments. Sherman's communications are guarded by General Rousseau's command. It was expected that after Sturgis's defeat Forrest would strike at the railroads between Nashville and Chattanooga. Between Rousseau and Smith it is probable that the attempts of the enemy in this direction will be baffled. General Rousseau has made every preparation to receive the rebels, and has placed his defenses along the railroads and in the towns of importance, in the very best conditions. The numerical force of the garrison has been increased as far as possible, and more cavalry has been asked for.

Our lines have been pressed steadily forward, and on the 19th an important position was gained by General Howard. In attempting to retake this position the enemy lost seven or eight hundred men. The rebel line was strongly fortified, and on our left was protected by a swamp. On Monday, June 27, Sherman attacked the enemy's position at Kenesaw Mountain, at the southwest end, at 8 A.M. While M'Pherson was engaged at this point Thomas attacked at a point a mile farther to the south; but the assault in both cases proved unsuccessful. M'Pherson's loss was about 500, and Thomas's 2000. General Harker and Colonel Dan M'Cook are reported mortally wounded, and Colonel Rice very seriously. Two hundred rebels were captured.

On the morning of the 18th the rebel General Wharton, with a force of 2500 men, crossed the railroad between Kingston and Dalton, capturing and burning five freight trains loaded with supplies. Two days afterward Captain Glover captured two freight trains near Resaca.

Desertions from the rebel army are quite frequent. On the 24th a camp of conscripts, about six miles from Marietta, numbering 800 men, broke for our lines. Six hundred of them got in; the rest were recaptured.


On the 22d Magruder attacked two companies of the Twelfth Iowa at the mouth of the White River; by the assistance of the gun-boat Lexington the attack was repulsed.

General Marmaduke was reported moving against Little Rock, Arkansas.

On the 25th General Pillow, surrounding Lafayette with a force of 3000 men, sent a flag of truce to Colonel Watkins who was, with 400 men, defending the town, demanding a surrender. The demand was refused, and the rebels making an assault were repulsed. Lafayette is in Georgia, 20 miles south of Chattanooga.



THERE appears to have been no progress made in settling the matters in dispute between Denmark and the allied powers. The former insists upon the line of the Schlei as its southern boundary. On the other hand, the Germanic Confederation appear equally determined that Schleswig shall not be conceded to Denmark except by the consent of the people of Schleswig. Time position of the neutral powers—the most important element in the question—is still undetermined. Earl Russell has intimated that, should the Austrian fleet proceed to the Baltic when hostilities were resumed, England would be compelled to send a fleet also.

There were rumors that the present British Ministry would be broken up by the Tories on account of the popular dissatisfaction concerning the Danish question ; but this demonstration seems to have failed, not being adequately supported by the Conservative party. The Morning Herald contends that a new Ministry under Lord Derby would obtain for the Germans the line of the Schlei for the Danish frontier, while they will not give it to Earl Russell until he has actually gone to war for it.

The same paper, in reply to the excuse that Conservatives would have done no better than the Ministry, says that they would have known their own minds, they would have determined how far it was time duty and interest of England to defend Denmark, and they would have intimated their decision in clear and unmistakable terms to Denmark herself and to Germany.




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