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Civil War Harper's Weekly, June 4, 1864

This site features an online archive of the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. The papers come from our extensive private collection of original Civil War documents. We have made them available online to facilitate your study and research of the Civil War.

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



General Sherman

Army Morale

General Kautz's Raid

Sedgwick Death

Sedgwick's Death and Last Words

Wilderness Fires

Fires in the Battle of the Wilderness

Dug Gap

Battle of Dug Gap

Albemarle Sound

Battle of Albemarle Sound

Joseph Howard

Joseph Howard


Wilderness Battle


Jeff Davis Cartoon

Jeff Davis Cartoon







[JUNE 4, 1864.



WE give on the preceding page a portrait of Major-General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, commanding the Department of the Mississippi, just now prominently before the country in connection with the Federal victories in Georgia. General SHERMAN is forty-six years of age, and is regarded as one of the ablest officers in the service. A sketch of his life was published in No. 376 of the Weekly, March 12, 1864.


0 TOUCH them tenderly; they fell In the harsh storm of shot and shell; When, like a vast Plutonian bell,

Rang the responding air To artillerean thunder-strokes, Shivering a chained nation's yokes, The steepling pines and spreading oaks

Fell with the soldiers there.

Touch tenderly these sons of Mars;

Wrap SEDGWICK in the flag of stars;

Sponge the brave blood from WADSWORTH'S scars, Through which his spirit fled

From honor here to glory where

The banner blue in fields of air

Is bright with stars forever fair,

Without the stripes of red.

Touch tenderly the living braves : Blessed be the gentle hand that saves A hero ! while our banner waves

The loyal heart will beat

With quicker pulses where they tread. Bind softly the poor wounds that bled Where the wild-flowers their odors shed,

Making the free air sweet.

Touch tenderly the gallant men

Who smile at their red wounds, and then Ask to be ordered back again,

To join the fight anew;

To go where GRANT and HANCOCK lead; To follow BUTLER, BURNSIDE, MEADE;

To watch and march and charge and bleed Where waves the starry blue.

Touch tenderly the man whose life Is dear to mother, sweet-heart, wife, Whose blood was poured out in the strife

Of liberty with crime;

For braver than the Spartan band

Are the defenders of the land,

Who like a living bulwark stand,

Each crowned with deeds sublime.



THE readers of HARPER'S WEEKLY will find it for their advantage to preserve for constant reference the two elaborate and complete Maps of the Seat of War published in the last Number. Every important place and position is so carefully laid down in these Maps that the reader can trace upon them, from day to day, the movements of our armies under GRANT in Virginia and under SHERMAN in Georgia, and those of the enemy under LEE and JOHNSTON, opposed to them. They can thus gain a clear and intelligent view of the design and effect of the various movements and counter-movements of the belligerents.  


THE papers which were lately suspended in this city profess an overpowering regard for the Government and the Union. They will not deny that the war for the maintenance of both has reached a most important crisis. They will agree that it is the duty of all good citizens who wish, as well as profess to wish, that the rebellion may be conquered forever, to make every allowance for the exercise at such a time of that supreme discretion which necessarily belongs to every Government. They will be disposed to view the acts of the Government, even when irritating and ill judged, as not leveled at the liberties of the citizen but at the crimes of rebels. They will concede that at a moment like this the publication of a forged proclamation of the President to the effect that the struggle is going disastrously against us is an offense of the gravest kind, whose tendency is to strike a fatal blow at the cause for which hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens are fighting and falling in the field. They can not seriously plead that it is only " a hoax," nor mean soberly to excuse themselves by saying that they had left their columns without any responsible supervision. Their columns, by their own confessed negligence, have been made the vehicle of a damaging blow at the Union and Government to which they so zealously profess their devotion, and however sincerely they may deplore the order by which they were suspended, they will honorably allow that, under the circumstances, they ought to suffer some kind of penalty, and will believe that the suppression, however mistaken an act, came from patriotic zeal rather than from despotic tyranny.

Now let every candid man decide whether, granting that the suppression of those papers was ill judged, their comments upon the act show a sincere desire to forbear with the Government, or whether they are not intended to do exactly what the forged proclamation they

published was meant to do—namely, to perplex the Government of the United States, dishearten the loyal armies, encourage the rebels, and invite foreign interference ?

It is strange, of course, that journals which, by their own account, are so devoted to the salvation of the country, should put the worst conceivable interpretation upon every act of the Government; should stimulate opposition to the raising of soldiers by draft; should resist with an acrimony that might, except for that professed devotion, be called partisan the whole policy of the Government; very strange indeed that papers so zealously loyal in profession should constantly denounce the Government so much more fiercely than the rebellion that they are universally considered as virtual friends of the rebels. But such is the perversity of man. And there are probably people to be found at this moment, and intelligent and loyal people too, who sincerely believe that both of those journals, if they were swindled, hoped that the proclamation might begenuine ; people who think that it is not a hearty loyalty to the Government which makes them daily depict the Government as the real enemy of our liberties ; people, in fine, who believe that neither of the journals, so professedly loyal, would be very sorely grieved if the Government of the United States should be overthrown by a compromise with rebels. It is our firm faith that such people could be found. And if it were indeed so, how well might the papers in question exclaim, "Of what avail then are the loudest professions of loyalty !"


WE have lately had two glimpses of JEFFERSON DAVIS, sad and gloomy enough. About a month ago a little son of his fell from a balcony and was killed, and on the Sunday afternoon after the funeral, which was the day subsequent to the battle of the Wilderness, DAVIS is described sitting alone in his pew in church, clad in deep black, a figure of utter grief and woe. The second glimpse is at the funeral of the rebel General J. E. B. STUART. It took place at a late hour in the afternoon. The scene was most dreary. " The short service was read "as if there must be no time lost. The guns that threatened Richmond with justice roared beyond the city. No military escort accompanied the procession to the grave; but chief of all during the burial service at the church, JEFFERSON DAVIS is seen sitting near the front "with a look of grief upon his care worn face."

Care worn his face may well be at a soldier's funeral, for he has caused more funerals, more agonized heart breaks, more comfortless sorrow, than any man the sun now looks upon. Not is there probably a more wretched being in the world. Baffled in his ambitious and long plotted schemes, unsupported by those upon whom he counted in the North, deserted and disdained by the British Government, sick and sad in mind and body, his huge crime is unrelieved by a solitary ray of extenuation or excuse. That his theory of the National Government might honestly differ from ours may be admitted ; but that he should assert a mere theory, without the least excuse of oppression, at such cost of blood and sorrow, is itself an atrocity. While to assert it, as he and his fellows have done, for the basest and most odious of purposes, is an unspeakable wickedness. Even could he succeed, and his Confederacy acquire a position among recognized states, the infamy of its origin could no more be forgotten than the source of a fortune which sprang from the slave trade.

Even could the effort to destroy the Union and divide the country prosper, the object of the destruction would be forever remembered. Grant the success; concede that the rebellion triumphs; do you think JEFFERSON DAVIS would rank in history with MILTIADES, with CURTIUS, With ALNOLD VON WINCKLEREID, with WILLIAM TELL, with WASHINGTON, with BOLIVAR, with GARIBALDI? Would his name he hailed with love and enthusiasm as a friend of humanity ? No. His epitaph would have no higher heroic strain than this : " He destroyed a great, powerful and prosperous nation because it refused to be degraded, and because he wished to whip women and sell babies unchallenged." In American history the crime of BENEDICT ARNOLD disappears before that of JEFFERSON DAVIS. The gloom that shrouded him in these two glimpses in the church will never pass away from his figure as it is seen in history--the gloom of unrelieved infamy.


IF any body is troubled by the fact that there are skulkers from our armies, let him remember that it is so every where, and in all armies. When General SIDNEY JOHNSON was in the rebel command in Tennessee he issued an order, the details of which we take from the Richmond Examiner of that time, by which every captain was to call the roll of his company before going into action, and again upon coming out, when every man who was not dead, wounded, or absent upon leave, was to be court martialed for cowardice. Carrying the wounded from the field during action was prohibited, and every

man going to the rear upon any pretense was to be shot by the file officers.

There are doubtless some skulkers in our armies ; but the spirit of the Union soldiers as a mass is unsurpassed and insuperable. An eye witness tells us that the Army of the Potomac began with faith in General GRANT, but that the first week's fighting so endeared him to them that the faith has become a kind of worship, and the army moves and fights under that inspiration as one hero. The same spirit seizes them every where ; and we know of one of the best cavalry regiments in the service, on duty elsewhere, which, notwithstanding the preference of all cavalry for its own branch, has asked to be dismounted and sent to the front as infantry to fight under GRANT.

We do not wonder the eye witness declares that he and the army have no more doubt of success than of the sun's rising.


THE Richmond Examiner, of May 12, exclaims : " Heaven and earth now call upon the Government to bring up all the troops at its command ;" and the Sentinel, of May 19, says : "If we can conquer now—and God is giving us the promise of it—our work will be done." Both these papers forget what the Virginian, THOMAS JEFFERSON, said long ago : " The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest." The contest which JEFFERSON contemplated was exactly that which the rebellion is waging, an attempt to remove the" only firm basis" of the liberties of a nation; namely, " a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God, that they are not to be violated but with his wrath."


THIS noble old ship of a Power which has steadily befriended us during our great struggle, torn and shattered by the tempest in which she was long supposed to have been lost, arrived at Naples about the first of May. She took from New York one passenger only, the guest of Commodore ISOLA, and from him we have received an interesting letter, from which we make the following extracts :

" The journal I send (Il Pungolo, Naples, May 5) can not give you an idea of the joy that pervades the whole country. Forty thousand people shouting for joy is a spectacle not often seen or heard ; while more substantial tokens of the general interest felt in the Re Galantuomo are not wanting. A grand banquet is to be given to all, even the crew, and the city is to be illuminated   Commodore ISOLA was as courteous and solicitous for the welfare of his solitary guest amidst all the trouble and anxiety of our fearful storm as in the first bright days out of New York, and the pleasant sail from the Azores to Gibraltar, and thence to Naples. The officers are simply heroes. Their courage, brave endurance, and straightforward duty doing when all hope had gone (for we were without hope for three days), is something not to be forgotten. And yet, withal, so unostentatious and quiet. I shall love Italy and the Italians while I live. What a noble thing it was those frigates searching for us ! They should know how heartily it is appreciated. The formal acknowledgments and decorations and honors of the Italian Government do not tell half the warm gratitude all on board the Re Galantuomo feel toward them."

The journal Il Pungolo describes at length, and with enthusiasm, the festal reception of the good ship in Naples ; and after a vivid account of the storm, during which only two men were injured, and all were heroes, as our correspondent writes, the editor exclaims, with natural pride, " With sailors like these Italy may certainly soon become one of the great maritime powers of the world." The circumstances connected with the Re Galantuomo have served to bind this country only the more closely to the land of CAVOUR, of GARIBALDI, and of VICTOR EMANUEL. Viva GARIBALDI ! Viva il Re Galantuomo !


WHILE all our minds are so intent upon the fierce Virginia fights, and of speculation upon their probable consequences, it will be useful to remember the facts of other great historic battles.

The details of the old Greek and Persian and Roman contests are of course more or less fanciful, but they doubtless indicate the relative forces. At Marathon the Athenians are said to have had 10,000 ; the Persians 110,000. The Athenians lost 192 ; the Persians 6400, and were defeated. Then came XERXES with his fabulous army, which is given in detail, horse and foot, fleet, army, and followers, at 2,500,000. Against this invasion 7000 Greeks held the Pass of Thermopylae, and upon the marble lion of LEONIDAS was the inscription : "Here 4000 Peloponnesians fought with 3,000,000 of foes." HERODOTUS, who loves a generous measure, says there were 5 000,000. At Arbela the tradition makes ALEXANDER THE GREAT with 47,000 horse and foot defeat 1,040,000 Persians. At Cannae HANNIBAL had 50,000, and of the 80,000 Romans destroyed 50,000, so that only fragments of the Roman force escaped. At Pharsalia Julius CESAR with 22,000 routed POMPEY with 52,000.

In later times GUSTAVUS VASA at Lutzen with 18,500 foot and horse defeated WALLESTEIN with 15,000. At Blenheim, one of the pivotal battles in European history, the final check to Louis THE FOURTEENTH'S ambition, the French and Bavarians under TALLARD were 60,000 with 61 guns ; the Allies under MARLBOROUGH and Prince EUGENE were 56,000 with 52 guns. The battle wavered at intervals during the day, but at last, with a loss of 5000 killed and 8000 wounded, MARLBOROUGH almost destroyed the French army, which lost 12,000 killed, 14,000 prisoners, all its guns, with its General and 1200 officers. Not more than 20, 000 of its effective men ever reassembled. At Pultowa CHARLES THE TWELFTH with 24, 000 men fought nearly 60,000 Russians. CHARLES was defeated, and lost nearly half of his army.

The NAPOLEON campaigns are the story of the most sanguinary battles. Yet in Egypt, at the famous battle of the Pyramids at the beginning of his career, NAPOLEON, with 10,000 French under KLEBER, routed 80,000 Egyptians and destroyed the Mamelukes; and the French loss, according to PATON, the latest authority, after nineteen hours of severe exertion, was no more than 10 killed and 30 wounded. At Marengo NAPOLEON, with 28,000, defeated 31,000 Austrians, killing 7000 and capturing 3000, with artillery and standards, and losing about 7000. At Austerlitz the Allies were 75,000 strong, NAPOLEON 80,000. The Allies were overwhelmed, losing 10,000 killed, 20,000 prisoners, 185 guns, 400 caissons, and 45 standards. At Wagram NAPOLEON had a magnificent army of 150,000 foot, 30,000 cavalry, and 750 guns. The Allies brought into action more than 140,000. The battle was indecisive. The loss on each side was about 25,000, and the French captured a few guns. At Borodino the French counted 125,000, the Russians 130,000. The latter lost 52,000, the former 30,000. In the whole Russian campaign, of an army which is roundly reckoned at 500,000, NAPOLEON lost 125,000 killed, 193,000 captured, and 132,000 dead of hunger, disease, and exposure. Yet the next year he crossed the Rhine again with an army of 350,000. At Leipsic, with 175,000 men and 750 guns, he was defeated by the Allies with nearly 300,000 men and more than 1300 guns. The battle raged for three days, and was one of the most fiercely contested ever known. The French lost more than 60,000, the Allies more than 40,000. The tough old Tory ALISON says that it was this battle which "delivered Europe from French bondage." But NAPOLEON made one more and final effort. He began the four days' campaign of Waterloo with 130,000 men. Upon the actual field the best authorities give the English 49,608 foot, 12,402 horse, 5645 artillery, with 156 guns ; in all, 67,655, of which about 24,000 were British. The French had 48,950 foot, 15,765 horse, 7232 artillery, with 246 guns ; in all, 71,947. The battle lasted for eight hours. The British loss was 15,000 killed and wounded. The French army was virtually destroyed, and NAPOLEON BONAPARTE with it.

The battles of our Revolution were hardly more than skirmishes. On Long Island the Americans had about 5000 men, of which they lost 2000. The British had 15,000 men, with 40 guns. Their loss was about 400. At Trenton we had about 2400 engaged with 1500 Hessians. They lost 36 and we 4. At Monmouth the forces were about 12,000 on each side. The Americans lost 200 killed and wounded, the British about 300. In the battle of the Brandywine WASHINGTON had about 11,000 effective men, Lord HOWE about 18,000. The British lost about 600 killed and wounded. The American loss was greater, but no exact returns were ever made. At Saratoga, perhaps the most decisive battle of the Revolution, our force was 12,000, militia and regulars, and BURGOYNE'S not more than 6000. At Camden CORNWALLIS, with a little more than 2000 regulars, routed our miscellaneous force of 6000. We lost 900 killed and as many prisoners ; the British lost in all 325. In the Revolutionary siege of Yorktown the Americans and French were 16,000, the British 8000. During the siege our loss was about 300 killed and wounded, the British about 550.

Of all these contests those of Marathon, Arbela, Pultowa, Blenheim, Waterloo, and Saratoga are ranked by Professor CREASY as among "the decisive battles of the world." If the great campaign of the spring in this country shall result in a full triumph of the national arms, it will not be the least of those decisive battles.


Mr. W. H. Beard:

DEAR SIR,—In the Tribune of May 21 you address a letter to me, justly assuming that I wrote an article entitled " Art-Criticism" in Harper's Weekly of May 7. That article was suggested by time rejoinders to the Tribune criticisms upon pictures, which, so far as I had heard or read them, consisted of personal vituperation and even menace of the critic. I therefore wrote the article to which you allude, in which I assert the right of every man to express his opinion of pictures however unsound his philosophy, distasteful his style, or erroneous his conclusions, or gross his ignorance may appear to any one else, provided always that he does not personally asperse the artist. The criticisms in question, sweeping, severe, ignorant, and arrogant as they have been called, did not seem to me to be properly described as personal attacks upon the artists criticised; and in my zeal I wrote that the most exasperated artist dared not call them so. You reply that you "not only dare but do" say that they are little else than personal attacks, and that in your own case especially the " criticism" is not so much an attack upon your art as upon your moral character.

I have read the articles again, as you suggest, but I still can not agree with you that they are personal attacks. The remarks upon your Dance of Silenus are certainly a wholesale condemnation of that picture. It is described as " low," with other epithets that I need not repeat, and as tending to the corruption of youth. But that you are " low," (Next Page)




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