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Civil War Harper's Weekly, May 28, 1864

Welcome to our online collection of Harper's Weekly newspapers. We have posted over 2,000 pages of this incredible newspapers. Studying these pages will enable you to gain new insights into the war. This is the most extensive collection readily available on the internet.

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General Hancock

General Hancock

Dead Heroes

Dead Heroes


Battle of the Wilderness

General U.S. Grant




Crossing Rapidan


General Sedgwick

Paris Fashion

Paris Fashion

Battle Wilderness

Battle of the Wilderness


Sleeping Soldiers


Georgia Map







[MAY 28, 1864.



PILE on the rails ! Come, comrades, all, We'll sing a song to-night;

To-morrow, when the bugles call,

Be ready for the fight.

Be ready then with loud hurrah

To battle or to die;

When Grant shall yield, the Northern star Will fade from out the sky.

Hurrah ! hurrah ! hurrah !

Before us lies the rebel host,

Their watch-fires we can see;

We laugh to hear the traitor boast

Of Southern victory.

Three cheers for Grant, and one more cheer, Until the woods ring back !

Ah, well the rebel chief may fear

The blood-hound on his track.

Hurrah ! hurrah ! hurrah !

In Freedom's cause our blades were drawn ;

The traitor yet shall feel

Before the day of Peace shall dawn

How strong is Northern steel.

Three cheers for Grant, my gallant men,

Give three loud, roaring cheers ! Until the foe within his den

Shall tremble while he hears.

Hurrah ! hurrah ! hurrah !

Thus far we've come through fire and flood, Still further on we'll press,

Although the way be red with blood As through the wilderness.

Then cheer, brave comrades, let the night Ring with your loud hurrahs,

For Grant, who knows so well to fight, And for the Stripes and Stars.

Hurrah ! hurrah ! hurrah !

Our longing eyes shall yet behold Proud Richmond's slender spires;

Our children's children will be told
How fought their valiant sires.

Look well to cap and cartridge, too; And as we onward press

We'll cheer for Grant, who brought us through The bloody wilderness.

Hurrah ! hurrah ! hurrah !

Brave soldiers of the Lord are we, In solid ranks we come !

The Southern traitors yet shall see

How fight the "Northern scum." Be ready, then, with loud hurrah,

To battle or to die;

When Grant shall yield, the Northern star Will drop from out the sky. Hurrah ! hurrah ! hurrah !


SATURDAY, MAY 28, 1864.


THE history of the last fortnight is the story of a tremendous battle between the armies of the Union and of the rebellion. No man will complain that we are not now making war in earnest. The rebels fight with valor and tenacity, and their own papers no longer deride the loyal army as the scum of creation, but confess that it fights with nerve and desperation. The face of General GRANT, of whom we publish a portrait today, is itself a victory. Its fixed resolution is terrible. And his career is the commentary upon it. At the West, and conspicuously at Vicksburg, when foiled in one way he tried another. He did every thing but doubt or despond, and always carried his point at last.

At the end of May, last year, GRANT made his brilliant march inland from the Mississippi. At once our papers announced the fall of Vicksburg. It was a premature exultation, and was followed by a corresponding doubt and depression. But on the 4th of July he finished his work, and Vicksburg fell. There has been the same eagerness now, and the same impatient hurrah. If the morning papers did not record a new victory there was a general inclination toward the same doubt. Yet every body knew that GRANT had entered upon a campaign which would be long and must be bloody. Every body knew that LEE had expected the assault and had prepared himself for it, and would contest the ground inch by inch. At the end of ten days the advantage unquestionably remained with us. "But he has not taken Richmond !" whispered the desponding. No, for he aimed at LEE. LEE was Richmond. When LEE is driven, Richmond totters. When LEE is over come, Richmond falls.

And what blows he has dealt ! How grand the spectacle of the Potomac army, officers and men, inspired by one sublime purpose, and all worthy of each other ! " Turn my face to the enemy," said the dying General RICE, and every living soldier said the same thing in his heart, and kept and keeps his face turned there. Every soldier trusts his commander, and every commander the General-in-Chief. There is a unity which that army has never known, a confidence which is unprecedented. It is based not merely upon the prestige of success which surrounds

the Lieutenant-General, but upon the result of his operations. If at the end of ten days GRANT had not outfought LEE, certainly LEE had not outgeneraled GRANT. The rebel was forced by arts as well as arms from two chosen positions. The strong hand of the Union army obeys irresistibly its clear head, and whatever the immediate result of this campaign may be, the army of LEE has been terribly shattered and its prestige is destroyed forever.

THE ARMY OF THE CUMBERLAND ALTHOUGH so much nearer to Virginia than to Georgia that we have had daily more copious details of military movements from MEADE than from SHERMAN, our friends of the Western army must not suppose that their course has not been followed with a sympathy and interest proportioned to the importance of their struggle. The crowds which have gathered at morning and evening around the bulletin boards have beheld with the same joy and pride the big black letters which announced Sherman's successful progress; the withdrawal from Dalton ; the evacuation of Resaca ; the capture of prisoners, guns, and trains. The public confidence in the quality of the Army of the West has never been shaken by any event ; nor will it be disturbed by any result. The names of SHERMAN, of THOMAS, of McPHERSON, and the rest, are names of heroes and soldiers. Remembered in the same prayers with their brethren of the Potomac, the same national confidence in the final triumph of liberty and law over anarchy follows from day to day the men of the Cumberland. Upon the green hills through which they press the roses already bloom ; and beautiful upon those mountains will be their feet of victory !


THE friends of the heroes who have fallen in the late battles in the East and West need no assurance of the universal sympathy with which the whole nation mourns with them, for they see and hear every where the tokens of a common sorrow. Death for the country makes the citizen especially the country's child, and it is not a private but a public grief which now solemnizes the land. Every one of those brave men, officers and soldiers, died that all our homes may be happy and all our liberties secure. Smitten by a foe who took arms not because any right or liberty of his had been endangered, but only that he might endanger the rights and liberties of others, the dead of these battles of ours have a sweet and holy memory; for they have saved more than their country, they have befriended human nature. "Wherefore," says PERICLES in his discourse over the Peloponnesian dead, " to the parents of the dead, as many of them as are here among you, I will not offer condolence so much as consolation......For while collectively they gave the country their lives, individually they received that renown which never grows old, and the most distinguished tomb they could have ; not so much that in which they are laid as that in which their glory is left behind them, to be everlastingly recorded on every occasion for doing so, either by word or deed, that may from time to time present itself."

But this universal public and private grief sees something else than blood and suffering in the great field of national glory. It will leave to those who burn orphan asylums ; who ferociously slaughter the most innocent men, women, and children ; who have no tear for the living death of millions, and no sigh for the awful massacres of Pillow and Wagner, to call themselves "peace" men, and to affect regret at the horrors of war. Why they should deplore the loss of life, who would willingly sell all that makes life honorable, will be always a question. Vultures and snakes will take one view of a field on which the battle of national regeneration has been fought ; God and good men another.

On the 17th of June, 1775, JOSEPH WARREN, a young man who had every thing to live for, who might have had ease and quiet and "peace," if he had only counseled submission and compromise with the great British empire instead of advising a silly struggle of Yankee farmers with the trained troops of Great Britain, " after discharging his duty in the Committee of Safety resolved to take part in the battle. He was entreated by ELBRIDGE GERRY," says BANCROFT, " not thus to expose his life. ' It is pleasant and becoming to die for one's country,' was his answer." At two o'clock he crossed Bunker Hill alone with a musket in his hand. The foolish farmers were fighting instead of sending commissioners to the enemy to propose compromise. They fought until they had spent all their ammunition. They fought until they were forced back. They lost 145 killed and 304 wounded ; and "just at the moment of the retreat fell JOSEPH WARREN, the last in the trenches." Did he die as the fool dieth ? No, no ; he died as all our brave and dear ones in the late battles, East and West, and in all the battles of this war, have died. " Sorrow could now no more come nigh him, and he went to dwell in men's memories with HAMPDEN." It

is true of WARREN. It is true of every faithful ' brother of his who has now fallen ; and it is not his wounds, his blood, his suffering, that we see, but his immortal heroism and the cause which it helps to secure.

What the President said upon the field of Gettysburg in that speech, whose rare felicity not PERICLES nor any orator ever equaled, is said by every faithful American heart as it contemplates the battle-fields of the last fortnight in Virginia and Georgia : " It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."


DURING our present occupation of Fredericksburg one of our correspondents discovered in the office of the Fredericksburg News in that city a large number of letters written during the maturing of the great conspiracy against the Union. From these we select for present publication the two following, written by that infinite charlatan, M. F. MAURY, who, finding his efforts to " stir up" the British Government against us futile, has now returned to the head-quarters of rebellion at Richmond for further orders. The letters were addressed to ALEXANDER LITTLE, who was at that time the editor and proprietor of the News. They show three things: first, that the rebellion was long and carefully plotted; second, that its object was to secure the ascendency of slavery; and third, that it counted upon Northern assistance, especially from New Jersey. That little State, by the favor of Heaven and her good citizens, has kept herself unstained from all complicity in the stupendous crime. These letters show only more clearly the deadly peril which this country has escaped ; and reveal the true character of those arch criminals against their country and human nature whom the Copperheads are now anxious to propitiate after they have desolated the land with the blood of her noblest children, by conceding the very conditions which the rebels prescribed before they began the war. The man who would consent now to compromise would have heartily worked with MAURY and his masters three years ago.

How far MAURY and his fellow conspirators were justified in their hopes of seducing New Jersey into the rebellion, may be gathered from the correspondence that took place in the spring of 1861 between Ex-Governor PRICE of New Jersey, who was one of the representatives from that State in the Peace Congress, and L. W. BURNET, Esq., of Newark. Mr. PRICE, in answering the question what ought New Jersey to do, says: "I believe the Southern Confederation permanent. The proceeding has been taken with forethought and deliberation—it is no hurried impulse, but an irrevocable act, based upon the sacred, as was supposed, ' equality of the States ;' and in my opinion every Slave State will in a short period of time be found
   united in one Confederacy   Before that event happens we can not act, however much we may. suffer in our material interests. It is in that contingency, then, that I answer the second part of your question--' What position for New Jersey will best accord with her interests, honor, and the patriotic instincts of her people ?' I say emphatically she should go with the South from every wise, prudential, and patriotic reason." Ex-Governor PRICE proceeds to say that he is confident the States of Pennsylvania and New York will " choose also to cast their lot with the South," and after them the Western and Northwestern State.



" DEAR SANDY,—FRANK MINOR tells me that the BISHOP OTEY letter has been published. Of course you will see it, and there is no occasion for my sending you my copy. See the inclosed from BRODIE HERNDON. Doesn't BRODIE know—please make him understand—that those meetings at the North who are sending Commissioners down South are, the moment they adjourn, like Macbeth's witches, thin air ; that what we want is to get into communication with the people of the South in their sovereign capacity ; and there is no way of doing this except by getting the State of New Jersey and her people to go down there in their sovereign capacity, and in the person of their Commissioners ask them for their proposition? I have written to Dr. CABELL to stir up ALEXANDER: you write to him as if on your own hook, and get a town-meeting to encourage New Jersey to act. She has got clean hands : we'll welcome her.

   " In haste, yours truly,   M. F. MAURY. " ALEXANDER LITTLE, Esq., Fredericksburg, Va." ("PRIVATE.]

" OBSERVATORY, Jan. 18, 1861.

" DEAR SANDY,--The OTEY letter is out of date, and the New Jersey plan is ' no go,' I reckon. Too much politician.

" But we must change plans as circumstances change. See my Tennessee letter, and do with it any thing you please.

" If Virginia accept the CRITTENDEN proposition, without any power of veto against sectional majorities, you and she will be in honor bound, if the North say so, to shoulder your musket and go down South to fight South Carolina and other seceding States back into the Union. Does not the North claim the power to coerce under the Constitution ? Will not the North have the power to make the laws, and to make you help execute them?

"Where is the 'courageous wisdom' of Virginia now ? With the CRITTENDEN and PRICE proposisition alone the South is at the mercy of the North; and such a settlement can't stand.

" Don't you see, SANDY?--Suppose you make all south of 36° 30' a Slave State, won't the North have the entire control, through Congress, of the public lands there ? Won't the North give them away to poor white settlers from Europe? and then you'll have a Slave State in name only. She will send to Congress worse men than Missouri and Maryland have sent.

" No, Sir. We can have, and ought to have, no settlement that is not based on the fact that the country is divided, and the Union is to be made up of two sections—two peoples—as antagonistic as two nations ; and if you put one section at the mercy of the other, we are obliged to have another blow up.

" Yours,   M. F. MAURY. A. LITTLE, Esq., Fredericksburg, Virginia."


DURING the absorbing interest in the domestic events of the last two or three weeks, a sign of friendly regard from Denmark to this country may have been overlooked. Struggling like ourselves for national existence, and attacked by Austria and Prussia because of her declared policy of a free constitutional government, the ancient and valiant little Denmark, at the request of our Government, has permitted the Bremen and Hamburg steamers plying to New York to pass free of seizure by her cruisers, although they are the ships and the ports of an enemy. This is a most unusual act of amity, and is done by Denmark, as her Government expressly states, from her friendly feeling for this country. Nor is it likely to be soon forgotten.

The exigency of our own affairs has prevented that general attention to the Danish question, and clear apprehension of it, which in a time of peace it would certainly have received from us. But it is enough to determine our sympathies to know that liberal Denmark is attackea by reactionary and despotic Austria and Prussia. The cry of " nationality" is one by which the absolutist rulers of Germany lead the German people to a war upon free institutions ; and we have now the melancholy and absurd spectacle of liberal Germans cheering an Austro-Prussian army in destroying the hope of constitutional government upon the Continent. Doubly cordial, therefore, is the grasp of the hand of friendship which Denmark stretches to us out of her cloud of war. Her fate is almost sure. The impending extinction of that old kingdom can hardly be averted. But, in some form, the spirit of Danish constitutionalism will survive and be felt in European affairs. Meanwhile the people of the United States will remember, with a gratitude which may one day be serviceable, an act so friendly in the midst of their great struggle.


WE mentioned a few weeks since the beautiful book of facsimile autographs prepared by JOHN P. KENNEDY and Lieutenant-Colonel ALEXANDER BLISS for the Baltimore Fair. Since then it has appeared, and it is certainly one of the most unique and interesting collections possible. Every noted American author is represented by some perfectly faithful specimen of his writing, and in almost every instance by some poem, a page or pages from a familiar work. It is not often that the promise of such a book is so fully and faithfully kept, and the six dollars for which it is sold goes straight to help the soldiers. It is published, our readers will remember, for the benefit of our great national charity, the Sanitary Commission, and copies, may yet be had upon application to CUSHINGS & BAILEY, Baltimore.



SENATE.—May 11. The Rev. Mr. Bowman, Methodist, was elected Chaplain. A resolution was introduced by Mr. Lane calling for an investigation, by the Committee on the Conduct of the War, into the causes of the late reverses on the Red River. Amended so as to comprehend Banks's entire administration.—A resolution was passed appropriating $30,000 for the relief of the commander, officers, and crew of the Mississippi River gun-boat Essex, which destroyed the rebel ram Arkansas, and which was commanded at that time by the late Commodore William D. Porter.—The bill to equalize the grades of naval officers was passed; as were also the bills making an appropriation for the relief of the friendly Sioux; allowing Surgeon Sharp, of the United States Army, to receive a testimonial from the English Government; providing for the better organization of the Quarter-master's Department of the army; and granting lands to Iowa for railroad purposes. The Judiciary Committee asked to be relieved front further consideration of the joint resolution to repeal the resolution which was adopted in March, 1861, to the effect that no amendment for the abolition of slavery shall be made to the Constitution.—A preamble and resolution condemning the President's action in the cases of Generals Blair and Schenck were introduced by Mr. Davis, of Kentucky, but were not disposed of.—A joint resolution providing relief for the machinery contractors of the double-ender gun-boats was adopted.—The Conference Committee's report in reference to volunteer naval officers, requiring their confirmation by the Senate, was agreed to. Without transacting further business the Senate adjourned. --May 12. Mr. Wilson reported in favor of the bill to facilitate communication between the several States.—Mr. Wilson submitted the joint resolution calling for informa- (Next Page)




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