Sheridan's Ride to the Front


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, November 5, 1864

Welcome to our collection of Civil War newspapers. These Harper's Weekly papers were published within days of the battles and events depicted. The wood cut illustrations were created by war correspondents on the front lines, creating eye-witnesses drawings of the critical events of the war.

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


Sheridan's Ride

Sheridan's Ride to the Front


Sheridan's Ride

Battle of Cedar Creek

Battle of Cedar Creek

Adams Express

Adams Express Office

Adams Express Banking

Colonel Gardiner

Trench Warfare

Trench Warfare

Colored Regiment

Colored Regiment


Civil War Refugees












On, wanton wind ! warm, kissing, kind,

Thy zephyrs turned my Laura's tresses; Bathed lip and hand with fragrance bland,

And even fanned those deep recesses
Where love is seen, warm-couched, serene,

Asleep between two summer billows ; Oh, heedless wind! to beauty blind,

Where couldst thou find more tempting pillows ?

The lily bell, whose anthers tell

The time so well, by you set ringing ; The rival rose, wherein repose

Queen Mab, and those unto her clinging, The violet sweet, the daisy neat

Should I repeat each fragrant blossom--Oh, careless wind! could all combined So please thy mind as Laura's bosom?

Insensate still' hence, hence and fill

The idle sail of yon bright vessel !
And yet—ah, stay ! ere hence you stray

Leave me I pray, your right to nestle ; Give me to seek her damask cheek,

And whispering speak what thou ne'er dreamest ; For me to he one moment nigh

Her heart and die, were bliss supremest !


WE give on our first page a sketch of General SHERIDAN'S arrival on the field October 19. The victory gained at Cedar Creek that day surpassed in interest the victory gained precisely one month earlier at Winchester. It was a victory following upon the heels of apparent reverse, and therefore reflecting peculiar credit on the brave commander to whose timely arrival upon the field the final success of the day must be attributed.

The General was at Winchester in the early morning when the enemy attacked—fifteen miles distant from the field of operations. General WRIGHT was in command. The enemy had approached under cover of a heavy fog, and flanking the extreme right of the Federal line, held by CROOK'S Corps, and attacking in the centre, had thrown the entire line into confusion, and driven it several miles. The stragglers to the rear were fearfully numerous, and the enemy was pushing on, turning against the Federals a score of guns already captured from them.

This was the situation a little before noon when SHERIDAN came on the field, riding, says one of his staff, so that the devil himself could not have kept up. A staff-officer meeting him pronounced the situation of the army to be " awful."

'Pshaw," said SHERIDAN, "it's nothing of the sort It's all right, or we'll fix it right !"

SHERIDAN hastened to his cavalry on the extreme left. Galloping past the batteries," says the World correspondent, " to the extreme left of the line held by the cavalry , he rode to the front, took off his hat and waved it, while a cheer went up from the ranks not less hearty and enthusiastic than that which greeted him after the battle of Winchester. Generals rode out to meet him, officers waved their swords, men threw up their hats in an extremity of glee. General CUSTER, discovering SHERIDAN at the moment he arrived, rode up to him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him on the cheek. Waiting for no other parley than simply to exchange greeting, and to say, ' This retreat must be stopped ! Sheridan broke loose and began galloping down the lines, along the whole front of the army. Every where the enthusiasm caused by his appearance was the same."

The line was speedily reformed; provost marshals brought in stragglers by the scores ; the retreating army turned its face to the foe. An attack just about to be made was repulsed, and the tide of battle turned. Then SHERIDAN'S time was come. A cavalry charge was ordered against right and left flank of the enemy, and then a grand advance of the three infantry corps from left to right on the Enemy's centre. " On through Middletown," says the correspondent above quoted, " and beyond, the enemy hurried, and the Army of the Shenandoah pursued. The roar of musketry now had a gleeful, dancing sound. The guns fired shafted salutes of victory. CUSTER and MERRITT, charging in on right and left, doubled up the flanks of the foe, taking prisoners, slashing, killing, driving as they went. The march of the infantry was more majestic and more terrible. The lines of the foe swayed and broke before it every where. Beyond Middletown, on the battle-field fought over in the morning, their columns were completely overthrown and disorganised. They fled along the pike and over the fields like sheep."

Thus on through Strasburg with two brigades of calvary at their heels. Two thousand prisoners were gathered together, though there was not a sufficient guard to send them all to the rear. The guns lost in the morning were recaptured, and as many more taken, making fifty in all, and, according, to SHERIDAN'S report, the enemy reached Mount Jackson without an organized regiment.

The scene at SHERIDAN'S head-quarters at night after the battle was wildly exciting. "General CUSTER arrived about 9 o'clock. The first thing he did was to hug General SHERIDAN with all his might, lifting him in the air, whirling him around and around, with the shout : By ----, we've cleaned them out and got the guns ! ' Catching sight of General TORBERT, CUSTER went through the same proceeding with him, until TORBERT was forced to cry out : ` There, there, old fellow ; don't capture me !'"

SHELRIDAN'S ride to the front, October 19, 1864, will go down in history as one of the most important and exciting events which have ever given interest to a battle-scene ; and to this event will be attributed the victory of the day, Says General GRANT, " Turning what bid fair to be a disaster into a glorious victory stamps SHERIDAN what I have always thought him, one of the ablest of Generals."



THE call for a meeting of old Democrats who believe that we should first exhaust the rebel armies before we attempt " to exhaust all the resources of statesmanship," is one of the most remarkable signs of the times. It proceeds from old-fashioned Jacksonian Democrats, who have known no other party name or association; who voted against Mr. LINCOLN in 1860, but who see that they must vote for him in 1864, or connive at national dishonor. It comes from men who can not recognize the Chicago platform as worthy of American patriotism, nor the candidates who stand upon it as representatives of the American Union. A Major-General who accepts, without a word of dissent, the nomination of a Convention who see whole movement proceeds upon the plain declaration that the war is a failure becomes—as one of his chief supporters calls him—the " creature" of that movement , and such a Major-General can by no possibility be the candidate of men whose chief delight is to remember " the days of JACKSON," and to call themselves by his name.

The call is signed by some of the most eminent and influential Democrats in the City and State of New York and in all the loyal States. They feel that the men who are now controlling the party do not represent its true instincts, and that the policy to which these men have given the name Democratic is so cowardly and dishonorable that, in scornfully rejecting it, there is great danger that the people will always associate it with the party name it bears. This call substantially asks what future there can be for a party which is led by VALLANDIGHAM, the SEYMOURS, LONG, PENDLETON, the WOODS, and HARRIS. It further asks what sort of Jacksonian Democracy is that of which REVERDY JOHNSON, ROBERT C. WINTHROP, WASHINGTON HUNT, and HIRAM KETCHUM are doctors and expounders. It further asks what kind of a Democratic party it is which excludes JOHN A. DIX, F. B. CUTTING, MOSES TAYLOR, ALEX T. STEWART, GUSTAVUS A. CONOVER, HENRY NICHOLL, WILLIAM H. WEBB, PETER COOPER, A. VANDERPOEL, M. ALSHOEFFER, THEODORE ROOSEVELT, EDWARDS PIERREPONT, HENRY G. STEBBINS, JAMES R. WHITING, GEORGE B. BUTLER, D. S. CODDINGTON, R. B. ROOSEVELT, JAMES WADSWORTH, A. A. VALENTINE, HENRY T. INGALLS, and J. A. STEWART. If these men are not Democrats, who are?

But higher than any partisan consideration is the patriotism of this call. These are men who have always served their country as Democrats. They love their party name. But they love their country more. And, therefore, they oppose a policy which is, although falsely, called by the party name. It is another illustration of the truth that the Chicago infamy is fully understood by the people ; and that no letters, however painfully labored to obscure the position of the candidates, can possibly conceal it. McCLELLAN and PENDLETON are the candidates of compromise with rebellion, of submission, and surrender. When was that a Democratic policy ? When was cowardice an American policy? If ANDREW JACKSON had said to the South Carolina nullifiers as GEORGE B. M'CLELLAN says to the rebels now " Let us go into an ultimate convention, " or had sweetly sighed with GEORGE H. PENDLETON, " Let them depart in peace," no body of stanch and unconditional American patriots would ever have called themselves the Jacksonian Democracy.

If DOUGLAS had lived, instead of whining, " It's a very expensive war, and we're dreadfully whipped, and Slavery is so very divine : let's ask them for peace," he would have cried, with the, Union men of today--" Let's have emancipation and more uncompromising wars and he, like LINCOLN, would have carried the country.


GENERAL PHILIP SHERIDAN differs from the Chicago Convention That patriotic body, led by HORATIO SEYMOUR, pronounced the war a failure, "Do you think so?" cries SHERIDAN, as he and his brave men turn the tide of battle and win another glorious victory. It is victory won over the army of EARLY reinforced, from Richmond. It is a victory under which LEE must wince and reel, for if he can not hold the Valley he can not hold Richmond. It is a victory which infinitely increases the spirit of SHERIDAN'S army and disheartens the enemy, for it was wrung from apparent defeat. It is a victory which illustrates his military genius, for few generals have ever done what SHERIDAN did. It was not only a battle turned, but a defeat retrieved. The exulting enemy was routed, and lost his trains and guns. Such victories are won only by a general who entirely trusts his army ; and by an army which knows and loves its general, and would gladly follow him where ever he led.

Thus the national campaign of 1864 draws to a close more magnificently than any previous one, while the whole military movement of the

rebellion shows the spasmodic fury of desperation. HOOD'S march to SHERMAN'S rear, PRICE'S marauding invasion of Missouri, the raid upon St. Albans in Vermont, the guerrilla gusts that dash into our lines and are gone, the serious debate in the rebel papers upon the arming of slaves, and the loss and rout with which every rebel plunge is baffled—all these things betray the fierce and fruitless energy of despair.

And this sudden activity along the rebel lines is in concert with the Chicago movement. It is meant to vex and harass the public mind with doubts and fears, to appall the timid, and weaken the feeble. If the rebels can gain an advantage, however slight, at any point, they know, and the whole world knows, that they increase the chances of the election of PENDLETON and McCLELLAN. That alone shows that the Chicago candidates represent the policy of submission and surrender. Let the people of the United States elect General McCLELLAN for their President and they declare that the war is a failure, and that the country has no hope but in the best terms the rebels may choose to allow. They own that they are conquered, and they deliberately decide to supplant GRANT by FITZ-JOHN PORTER, who, from the days of West Point, has held a singular ascendency over General McCLELLAN; to substitute DON CARLOS BUELL for SHERMAN ; and some General PATTERSON for PHILIP SHERIDAN.

With Generals of the BUELL school in the field, with politicians like HORATIO SEYMOUR, WICKLIFFE, COX, LONG, and Company, in the Cabinet, the overthrow of the essential principle of the American Government is assured. For the policy they support is compromise with rebellion, and that is the confession that the authority of the Government can not be maintained. But while GRANT, SHERMAN, SHERIDAN, and FARRAGUT are clearly seen by the American people, those people can not mistake the issue, and will not vote for their own disgrace.


A GREAT deal of Copperhead appeal is to this point that Mr. LINCOLN is a very distasteful man to the rebels, and they will never submit so long as he is President ; but General McCLELLAN is more agreeable to them, and they will be much more disposed to succumb to him.

There are two things to be considered in this astute argument. The first is, that if citizens refusing to yield to the result of a Constitutional election because of their personal dislike of the candidate elected, are to be bribed into quiet by having that man set aside, they accomplish their rebellion and overthrow the Government. And they overthrow it upon a pretense so utterly puerile as to be absurd. In the present case the objection of the rebels to Mr. LINCOLN is that he is identified with the supremacy of the Government, which is the very reason why we ought not to displace him before the insurgents submit. They should be made to yield to the authority of the Government in the person of the man under whose administration they defied it, for then there will be no confusion in their minds. In the rebel view Mr. Lincoln is identical with the Government, and yielding while he is its representative they will understand that they are subdued. If they dictate a choice of persons, and we comply, they will feel, as they ought, that it is not they, but the people, who have yielded. To urge the defeat of Mr. LINCOLN upon such a ground as this is to show at once that your sympathy is with the rebels.

The second point is, that if General McCLELLAN is more agreeable to the rebels than Mr. LINCOLN, it is not an honorable fact for the General. For they can prefer him only because they believe him to be less inflexibly devoted to the Union and Government; or because they believe that they can coerce him to their will ; or because they are grateful for his unwillingness to hurt them. These are reasons for the rebels to pray for his success but they are not reasons for loyal citizens to vote for him.


MR. GEORGE H. PENDLETON, the Chicago candidate for Vice-President, has written a letter, in which he says that " there is no one who cherishes a greater regard for the Union, who has a higher sense of its inestimable benefits, who would more earnestly labor for its restoration by all means which will effect that end, than myself." He says also that he makes no profession of a new faith ; that he only repeats that of an old one.

This letter, like General McCLELLAN'S, is intended to confuse the public mind. Nobody ever charged that Mr. PENDLETON was opposed to the Union. But he himself frankly tells us that if any State chooses to secede, the United States Government has no right and no power to prevent it. This is his "old faith," which this letter assures us that he has not changed.

Mr. PENDLETON'S speeches and votes in Congress since the rebellion began, from his elaborate effort in the session of 1860-'61, in which he declares for the extremes CALHOUN doctrine of State sovereignty, and insists that the National Government has no authority to enforce its law, or maintain its existence---from the

[NOVEMBER 5, 1864.

time when he said of the States, " If your differences are so great that you can not or will not reconcile them, then, gentlemen, let the seceding States depart in peace," down to the moment when " he thanked God that he had not voted a man or a dollar for this abolition war," have been frank and consistent, and this letter shows it.

The New York Daily News, the leading peace organ in this country, says, with perfect truth :

"Mr. PENDLETON'S letter can take its place upon his record in perfect accord with his antecedents as a consistent and earnest leader of the Peace Democray...... Mr. PENDLETON has never been evasive or equivocal in his expressions of opinion. His political past has been of too sincere and emphatic a nature to permit of misconstruction. Therefore when he reaffirms his regard for the Union of our fathers, when he expresses his belief that the Union is the guarantee of peace, the power, the prosperity of the people,' we appreciate that he is but uttering the sentiments of peace men generally ; for we know well enough that he alludes to no constrained Union, no political companion ship enforced at the bayonet's point, no system of government upheld by armies and navies, but a Union based upon the acknowledgment of the sovereignty of the States, and dependent on the consent of the people."

Mr. PENDLETON does not praise the Union half as warmly as JEFFERSON DAVIS used to; and, like JEFFERSON DAVIS, he is very careful to avoid saying that he thinks it can be restored by force of arms. "By all means which will effect that end," says Mr. PENDLETON ; but as he thanks God that he has never favored the war, it is clear that war is not one of the means. But " an immediate cessation of hostilities" is a means; compromise is a means ; negotiation is a means. And if all such means fail, then—" let the seceding States depart in peace." This is Mr. GEORGE H. PENDLETON'S " old faith ;" and when it is the new faith of the American people he and General McCLELLAN will be President and Vice-President—but not before.


IN his Augusta speech JEFFERSON DAVIS says " We must beat SHERMAN , we must march into Tennessee—there we will draw from twenty thousand to thirty thousand to our standard."

It is to prevent these very persons from voting that the " Tennessee test oath" is proposed. The loyal citizens of that State intend that the rebels shall not regain at the polls what they lose in the field, and shall not obtain possession of the State either by arts or arms. Does any truly faithful citizen of this country object to any stringency of oath which secures that result, and defeats DAVIS'S purpose ?


AMONG the killed at the late great battle and victory in the Shenandoah Valley was Colonel CHARLES R. LOWELL, Jun., of the Second Massachusetts Cavalry, commanding one of MERRITT's brigades. Entering the service at the beginning of the war, he was commissioned Lieutenant in the Sixth regular cavalry, and soon rose to be Captain. During the Peninsula Campaign he served upon the staff of General M'CLELLAN, and his great military skill and commanding character led Governor ANDREW to appoint him Colonel of Volunteers. When his regiment was ready for the field Colonel LOWELL was intrusted with the cavalry in the District of Columbia to watch MOSBY in front of Washington. From this duty he welcomed the summons to the Valley at the opening of SHERIDAN'S campaign, during which, in his daring and victorious assaults, for which his name was mentioned with constant honor, no less than twelve horses were shot under him.

At the battle of Cedar Creek, at about eleven o'clock in the morning, Colonel LOWELL was struck by a spent ball in the breast. Removed from the saddle, but refusing the urgent request of Generals TORBERT and MERRITT that he would allow himself to be carried to the rear, he remained lying upon the field awaiting the order to charge. At three o'clock in the afternoon the order came. He caused himself to he lifted into the saddle, and although his voice was gone, so that he could whisper merely, he placed himself at the head of the column to which every whisper of their beloved leader was an inspiration. In the assault into the little town Colonel LOWELL was shot in the back, probably from an ambush, and his frame was instantly paralyzed. But his mind was perfectly clear, and he at once prepared to die. Nothing was forgotten in those last hours by the tenderest husband, the most faithful son, the truest friend. Every final disposition was calmly made, and he asked to be buried upon the field where he had fallen--a request which was overruled, and he yielded. Without pain, gradually sinking, he lingered through the night and died the next morning, as only good men and heroes die. He was in his thirtieth year.

Gentle, brave, and generous; of a rarely blended manliness and tenderness ; carefully educated at Harvard College, and thoroughly trained to practical affairs by wide travel and much experience of men ; of a singular purity and nobility of nature, and entirely devoted to the cause for which he fought, he falls like his only brother, Lieutenant JAMES LOWELL, killed upon the Peninsula, and his brother-in-law, Colonel ROBERT G. SHAW, killed at Fort Wagner (Next Page)




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