Sherman's March Through Georgia

 

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Civil War Harper's Weekly, November 26, 1864

Welcome to our online collection of Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. These papers have reports and analysis not available anywhere else. The illustrations bring the war to life, and allow you to develop a more complete understanding of the war.

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Pirate Florida

Pirate Ship "Florida"

Sherman in Georgia

General Sherman's March Through Georgia

McClellan Resigns

General McClellan Resigns

Before Petersburg

Troops Before Petersburg

Reinforcements

Reinforcements

Pirate Florida

Capture of the Pirate Ship Florida

Lincoln's Home

President Lincoln's Springfield Home

Long Abe Lincoln

Long Abraham Lincoln

Blockade Runner

Blockade Runner

Civil War Map

Civil War Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

[NOVEMBER 26, 1864.

754

NOVEMBER 8, 1864.

WE breathe more freely now the struggle's done, Now that the glorious victory is won;

The grandest civil triumph which shall stand Recorded in the annals of the land.

We trusted in the causeŚwe knew that Right Must conquer Wrong, however hard the fight; That not in vain by patriots had been shed The precious blood with which our soil is red.

No, not in vain ; today the pledge we give, That by that blood the Union yet shall live; And from the strong lips of the loyal North

In thunder tones the promise now goes forth.

Faith in that promise makes my eyes to see Peace rising through the smoke of victory; And as the cloud of battle drifts away I see the white dawn of a future day.

Above the din of war I seem to hear

From tower and roof the sweet-toned bells of cheer Ring out the welcome tidings to the skies, While joyful paeans on the air arise.

I see bold Freedom with a giant's stroke

Hurl to the earth the bondman's heavy yoke; I see her strike from off his horny hands

The galling chains and fetters where he stands.

I see a temple; from its dome on high

A glorious banner greets the broad blue sky; The starry emblem of a mighty land,

Whose people all are one in heart and hand.

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 1864.
THE SITUATION.

FOUR years have not exhausted the hands or the hearts of the people. Yet we do not suppose that any expectation of an immediate end of the rebellion had a perceptible influence upon the election. That an end is hoped for and prayed for by all loyal and thoughtful men is unquestionable; but the very duration of the war has taught us the tenacity and the resources of the rebellion.

No man who is fitted by study and observation to pronounce an opinion will imagine that under any circumstances whatever the war could have been a short one. To suppose that a victory at Bull Run would have terminated the rebellion is to betray the most profound ignorance of the real condition of the country at that time. If the North had been unanimous if it had understood that the rebellion was not a riot but a revolution if it had had a vast trained army and navy, with their properly-skilled officers if it had determined once for all, and by common consent, that whatever was necessary to save the Government was constitutional, and that no hint of negotiation with armed rebels should ever be tolerated and then, having conquered at Bull Run, had pushed forward by land and sea, and occupied and possessed the rebel section, the war might sooner have ended.

But if this had been the situation it would never have begun. It was precisely because the rebel chiefs knew that the North by which term we mean the loyal citizens were very far from unanimous because they knew that there was no army and no navy, and that so many naval and military officers inclined to the rebel side because they knew that the Constitution would be constantly pleaded for the rebellion and because they believed, as they had good reason to, that the surprised country could he forced to terms by the timidity of trade, by party spirit, and by fear of bankruptcy it; was because the rebel chiefs knew that we had not the conditions or the possibility of speedily ending a war that they took up arms.

They have ever since counted upon our fatigue. They have been willing to endure any extremity themselves, in the hope of seeing us exhausted. They knew that we were rich and populous ; but they were willing to take brown paper for money, and to send every man into the field, so confident were they that we should presently be tired of the war, and insist upon ending it. The election undeceives them. They know now that we are not willing to admit the separate sovereignty of the States, or to allow that the Government of the United States is overthrown. They understand that the gage is thrown down for war to the end.

That the rebel leaders will be disappointed is beyond question. Governor BROWN, of Georgia, evidently expected a different result. We have constantly misjudged them in many respects, but not less have they misapprehended us. Governor BROWN'S error was in believing that the Chicago leaders represented the real feeling of the people. It is true that they would gladly have peace, but they will more gladly have war than a truce. The rebel leaders will be disappointed, doubtless, but they will not yield. To relax their authority in the least, to seem to waver even in their design of securing absolute independence, would he to see every thing fall from them, and to be suddenly ruined.

They have staked every thing upon the chance. They will still stand sullenly at bay. While they can persuade people to give a bushel oil corn for a piece of brown paper two inches

square, so long they will have enough to eat. They will sit down behind their earth-works, and the sternest military despotism and the melancholy suicidal pride which supports men in the last extremity, will sustain them yet for many a month, forbidding them to speak, almost to think, against the authorities over them. Their soldiers may not be paid, but they will be fed. The rebellion will resolve itself into an inert mass of resistance which must he crumbled away.

Upon this mass the disintegrating superior force of the loyal country will be thrown, and the issue, although in the nature of things sure, can not be very sudden. There is a great deal of truth in what Davis says. In a certain sense no particular spot is essential to the rebellion. Richmond may fall with Atlanta, Charleston and Mobile with New Orleans, and still the fire creep and smoulder on. The resistance will be made where men can be massed in small or large numbers. There will be no end of the war as in a treaty of peace with a foreign foe. It will ravel out. It will be extinguished as a fire is upon the prairie, which is trampled out here and there, and flames up again beyond. But when it is out it is out forever. There are no sparks, no cinders, no points in which the fire hides to leap forth again tomorrow,

This process has begun. The election does not mean that we expect perfect peace next month, but that we intend to continue the smothering. No man can be so blind as not to see the internal condition of the rebellion as revealed in all the late accounts. It does not indicate a " collapse," but it does show consumption. What we have to do is to wait patiently and steadily, putting out all our force all the time. The rebels have no reason for holding out that we have not in a hundred fold greater degree, and the 8th of November teaches them that we are fully aware of it.

SHERMAN.

FREDERICK THE GREAT'S Silesian campaigns were not more remarkable than General SHERMAN'S. A more skillful and accomplished soldier has not been known in our history ; and, compared with him and his operations, how poor sounds the old talk about the " Great Captain" LEE !

SHERMAN forced his way straight through the enemy's territory, over mountains and rivers, baffling all attacks, outwitting all hostile designs, driving the whole mass of the rebel army backward until he planted his flag where he set out to plant it, and sat down in Atlanta. The victory extorted a wail of anguish and rage from the rebel chief, for he felt the mortal wound. In utter desperation he ordered HOOD to throw his army upon SHERMAN'S rear and to threaten Tennessee. SHERMAN turned upon him, drove him from his intended line, detached General Thomas with his army to hold him in the corner of Alabama or to coax him across the Tennessee ; while now, with all his banners flying and bugles blowing, his futile enemy confounded, SHERMAN shakes out his glittering columns and advances to the sea.

There is no considerable force to oppose him. The ample breadth of Georgia lies open to him. The finest and richest tract of the rebel region is his parade ground, and ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS'S own State is about to learn the truth of his prophecy that, if it drew the sword, it would miserably perish by it.

Whether SHERMAN is moving upon Mobile, or Savannah. or Charleston, or whether he is moving at all, is not known. But whatever be his destination, he will reach it and occupy it. There Is no force and no generalship in the rebel lines which can compare with his. And the coming of his army, although it necessarily leave a path of desolation, will be the shining of a bright light in the darkness of the South. It will show rebels that the Government of the United States has irresistible power, and that it is useless to contend with the inflexible resolution of the American people that their Government shall be maintained.

The people of the rebel section have seen the progress of our arms in the last three years. They have not forgotten that they were themselves apparently successful until the Government could create and collect its forces and bring them to bear. They have seen the loyal part of the country submitting to taxes, to drafts, and to the necessary conditions of war. They have seen an angry and malignant faction arise and threaten to paralyze and divide the loyal nation. They have seen the slow and painful process by which we have ascertained who are our real military chiefs, and they see them now in command. They have seen the opening of the Mississippi, the occupation of the Southwest, the baffling at every point of their attempted invasions, their constant shrinking before the national hand, as JOHNSON shrank from SHERMAN. They have seen the hope of foreign interference expire, cotton dethroned, and their finances ruined. They have seen the defection of their army, and have heard it confirmed by DAVIS himself. And now at last they have seen the attitude of their loyal fellow citizens perfectly unchanged, and hear them in the fourth year of the war, by a unanimity which is marvelous, declare that whatever may be the

further cost of the struggle it shall go on until the authority of the mildest, fairest, and best government in the world is every where and entirely restored.

The coming of SHERMAN'S army will be the visible proof of all the things they have seen. Desperate they may be, brave and furious, but they are men still, and there is a point at which all men yield. If that point is not nearly reached, very well. We can wait, They know now that SHERMAN is the personification of the loyal country, and that the war will continue until that point is reached.

THE FEELING OF THE NORTH.

THE President's two speeches in acknowledgment of the serenades after the election are the noblest expression of the universal public sentiment. There is no personal or partisan exultation. The issue was too solemn for that. There is the sane sober joy as after a great victory or a narrow escape.

It has been customary for foreigners, and many among ourselves, to speak of Mr. LINCOLN as the rebels speak of him, and to celebrate JEFFERSON DAVIS as a gentleman and a polished intellectual statesman. Will such persons compare DAVIS'S recent speeches at Macon, Columbia, and elsewhere, or his earlier speeches in the war, with any speech of Mr. LINCOLN, and especially these two last, and then say which of them are the manlier and more honorable ? With malignant fury, which not even his trained coolness can conceal, DAVIS hisses that he would sooner fraternize with hyenas than Yankees ; or in his foolish rage speaks of the "Beast" BUTLER. Is this the style of a statesman ? Are these specimens of the intellectual superiority which distinguishes JEFFERSON Davis ? Or is it the scurrility of a baffled conspirator, and the venomous malice of a disappointed rebel?

Nothing in the history of the war is more striking than the different spirit in which it is waged by the loyal citizens and the rebels. Indeed, the murderous and wicked olive branch policy, which has so prolonged and embittered the struggle, is due to the want of proper insight and a more wholesome indignation upon the part of loyal citizens. From the beginning it was not only war, but war made upon the Government by men who had been taught to hate "the North" and "Northerners." And while rebels have been starving and slaughtering in every horrible way Union men at the South, and Union soldiers from the North, we have gone on mumbling " conciliation," until we were likely to be overthrown by our obstinate refusal to understand our enemies.

We have learned now what they are. The election plucks off the olive branches and throws them away ; and declares that conciliation is a word to be spoken to rebels when they have submitted and not before. Yet there is no personal hate mingled with this resolution. As a class the rebels are regarded by the most strenuous loyal citizens as sophisticated and deluded ; as men who must be taught by superior force to regard their obligations as citizens, of the United States, but that is all. In no official paper or speech of the Union authorities has there been any expression of malignity toward the insurgents, nor will there be. Engaged in defending their Government, which is the sole security of their peace and prosperity, the people of the United States yield to no unworthy emotion. They are faithfully represented by the man whom they have again made their President. They feel in their successes " no taint of personal triumph ;" but they are resolved, as he says, through every fortune, " to stand by free government and the rights of humanity."

PARTY AND FACTION.

WHAT is a party, and what is a faction? It is very necessary to understand the difference between them, that every honest party man may not find himself in the dishonest position of a fictionist.

In a word, then, legitimate parties in a free country represent the different policies which different citizens think the Government ought to pursue. A legitimate party presents and defends the measures by which it thinks the Government can best be sustained. If the country is at war, it brings forward its plans for its prosecution, and explains and defends them, having in view the integrity of the nation, the national honor, and the maintenance of the Government. Its attacks, if it be out of power, are directed against the method by which the war is waged, not against the war itself, especially when it is a civil war imperiling the existence of the nation. A legitimate party is of necessity patriotic ; for when it ceases to be patriotic it has become faction.

Faction, then, is the spirit which incessantly thwarts and opposes the operations of the Government for the purpose of overthrowing it. It considers the fall of the Government a smaller calamity than its own exclusion from political power. Consequently, when the. country is engaged in war, however necessary, honorable, and jest, however essential to the very existence of the nation and government, faction denounces

the war under the pretense of high humanity and religion, appeals to every base emotion, every mean and unworthy passion, seeking to paralyze the hand and chill the heart of the Government and the people.

Thus, in the last session of Congress, when certain representatives voted steadily against every measure proposed by the Government for prosecuting the war, without offering any substitute, they voted to deliver the country naked into the hands of its enemies. When some of their associates said to them, " Here we are, sworn to maintain the Government, and if our party has any measures to propose for that purpose we are ready to support them," the only answer they received was : " We are going to propose nothing. We are going to let the Administration go to the dogs in its own way." This was the reply of the most malignant faction. It was exactly the spirit of BENEDICT ARNOLD. It was the very reverse of a legitimate party opposition, for it was a blow at the life of the Government, under which alone legitimate parties exist.

At the next session the true Opposition has but one course to pursue, unless it acknowledges

a purely factious character. Its only honorable course, as a party, is to propose wiser measures for the surer and speedier victory of the nation over the rebellion than the Administration proposes. Merely to block the wheels and to cast impediments in the path, merely to snarl, and growl, and hiss, is the course of cowards and sneaks. When CHARLES JAMES Fox led the Parliamentary opposition to WILLIAM PITT, it was not when England was struggling with a foreign or domestic enemy, but when Fox and PITT differed as to the means by which war was to be avoided and the authority of the British Government maintained intact. That was a legitimate opposition. But to oppose whatever the Administration proposes during the war, merely because it proposes it, is to make the welfare of the country a football, and to deserve the contempt of all true men.

Let the Opposition learn by last winter's experience, and by the prodigious emphasis of the election, that when the Government itself is directly assailed, the only honorable party question is how most surely to save it.

GOLDWIN SMITH.

THE breakfast given by members of the Union League Club to Professor GOLDWIN SMITH was a tribute worthy of the city and of the guest. Among the names of our foreign friends, friends who have constantly and with masterly power and eloquence vindicated our cause, none is fairer than that of GOLDWIN SMITH. Professor of History at Oxford, and a close and wise student of the times and the men around him, he comprehends the exact significance of this great war of ours, and speaks to his countrymen with a historical knowledge of the career of England as a belligerent power which is most dangerous to provoke, and overwhelming when it is launched against English inconsistency.

Before he wrote or spoke of our affairs Professor SMITH was known to intelligent observers not only by the lectures from his University chair and his comprehensive, luminous, and noble little work upon Ireland, but from his sagacious practical service as a leader of the liberal thinkers who inspire the liberal party in England. He was before COBDEN in bearding the London Times. Early In 1862 he wrote : "The leading Journal has indeed waged war against ' thinkers' for a quarter of a cent my with no questionable success." And with a fine exaltation, which recalls the better days and men of his country, he adds : "I am most willing to be called a ' thinker,' or, if possible, worse names, if I can contribute in the slightest degree toward inducing however small a section of the public to exercise forecast in politics ; to study our position in the community of nations, its changes and its necessities; to mark the ways of Providence, and subdue ambition to them; and to lay, by deliberate action on intelligible principles, the solid foundations of happiness and greatness."

The opinion of foreigners upon car affairs is often compared to that of posterity ; and certainly the views of a man like GOLDWIN SMITH have the kind of equity that we attribute to those who come after us, and who are removed from the gusts of party opinion in which we live. How fully this is recognized, and how gladly our great debt to him is acknowledged, Professor SMITH'S reception in this country must have proved to him and to his companions in our vindication, COBDEN, BRIGHT, CAIRNES, NEWMAN, and the rest.

It was fortunate that AUGUSTE LANGEL, who, with GASPARIN, LABOULAYE, HENRI MARTIN, and other noble Frenchmen, have not less comprehended these events, was in the city and at the breakfast. M. LANGEL, in response to an honorary sentiment, spoke with a fluency and felicity which would have been charming in an American, but in a Frenchman expressing himself in a foreign tongue was extraordinary. And when Professor BOTTA, with his historic Italian American name and traditions, spoke in the same English tongue and with the same generous sympathy, it was impossible not to feel that the generous heart of every truly civilized na- (Next Page)


 

 

  

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