Civil War Overview
Civil War 1861
Civil War 1862
Civil War 1863
Civil War 1864
Civil War 1865
Civil War Battles
Robert E. Lee
Civil War Medicine
Civil War Links
Civil War Art
Republic of Texas
Civil War Gifts
Robert E. Lee Portrait
Page) Petersburg, the same party would exult in the rebel triumph,
and see in the national humiliation and disgrace the grounds of hope for their
candidates. On the other hand, if Richmond should fall before November, would
there be much doubt of the election of the Union candidates ?
Facts like these tell the whole
story. The cause and the candidates which are helped by the victories of
and SHERIDAN, of
FARRAGUT, are the cause and candidates of the
country. But the party whose prospects improve with the defeat of American
soldiers and sailors is not the party that any loyal American heart supports.
WAYS OF HEARING GOOD
IN the midst of a heroic and
successful war to maintain the Government against traitors in arms a
Major-General of the United States army accepts the nomination for the
Presidency, offered him by a Convention in which every enemy of that Government
was represented, and the leaders of which were fresh from interviews with
foreign agents and rebel emissaries in Canada. This Major-General accepts the
nomination of a Convention which, on the eve of the fall of Atlanta, calls for
an immediate cessation of hostilities, and just as SHERIDAN in the Shenandoah
lifts his hand to strike declares the war to be a failure. The Major-General
accepts, and has not a word of censure for such craven and un-American
sentiments as these, but has plenty to say of conciliation and statesmanship.
Yet on the very day when the
electrified land thrilled with the glad tidings from SHERIDAN, when every loyal
heart was devoutly thanking God for victory, and overflowing in gratitude to the
brave soldiers who had given it to us, this Major-General is called upon by a
number of his fellow-citizens. There is scarcely a civilian in the land whose
joy in the victory would not have leaped from his lips in exulting strains; but
this Major-General, who had been formerly very fond of speaking of " my own
army," and of " sharing the fate" of his soldiers, did not utter a solitary word
of sympathy or admiration of the army of the Shenandoah, and did not make the
least allusion to the great victory.
Why did he not ? Because the
crowd were his political supporters, and he knew that such news was not welcome
But there was another General
that heard the news, and he—Lieutenant-General GRANT sent his hearty
congratulations to SHERIDAN and his men, and ordered a salute of a hundred
shotted guns to be fired against the enemy's lines in honor of the Shenandoah
And there was another crowd that
heard the same news. It was the army before Petersburg. And they hailed the
tidings from their comrades with such jubilant shows that they were heard in
Petersburg, and conveyed to the rebels the first news of their defeat.
Which was the Union crowd? Which
means the Union at all hazards ?
IT is pleasant to know that our
paper goes to the army, and that its sentiments are approved at the front. We
can not be far wrong if the men who are periling their lives for the cause send
us back a cheer. We receive many letters of recognition, which have always a
hearty welcome if we can not find room to print them. But here is one which is
sure to interest our readers. It is from a cavalry private:
"NEAR PETERSBURG, VA., September,
" Editor Harper's Weekly:
" SIR,—I am a soldier this last
three years, and intend to be during the war. I read your paper, and as a
soldier I sincerely thank you for the manly, patriotic tone it bears.
" During the last two months I
stood picket every alternate day within 400 yards of the rebels, and have very
frequently exchanged your Weekly for the Richmond journals. During that time I
have read at least two every day of their papers, and am conversant with their
views of the war and of peace. During the same time I have conversed with at
least 100 of their men representing different States, while we met between the
lines. As a whole, they place little reliance on their own journals, and look to
ours for the news, and, I must here say, sympathy. They have told me that they
do not expect to whip us themselves, but expect their friends the Copperheads—i.
e., Democrats—to decide the contest in their favor at the right moment. I expect
they mean next election.
" The Virginians are by far our
strongest opponents. They rule the Confederacy; their Generals lead the armies.
They are the men we want to catch. They think they are able to whip the whole
North alone. Their State has been completely devastated by our armies, and in
consequence they have lost every thing, so they are very defiant.
" North Carolina is a
Conservative, lukewarm State, and wishes they were out of the war.
" South Carolinians are appalled
at our resources, and think it is all up with them; still, as they were first
in, they can't very well back out. If Atlanta and Mobile are taken the Georgians
will not have much to say any way. Alabama ditto. Mississippi same. Now what is
left that is formidable ? Nothing but
LEE and his army.
" We soldiers are for no peace
while a rebel lives. No compromise, no armistice; but we are for subjugation,
confiscation, emancipation, and annihilation.
"The blood of the best of our
land calls for this. Their children must and shall have a home in the land of
I shall cast my first vote this
election, and it will be for an honest man,
" The Chicago nominee, whoever he
will be, will be either a traitor or will be governed by traitors.
" If SEYMOUR is a Democrat so is
JEFF DAVIS; so were all the Southern statesmen; so are all the rebel Generals ;
was the man who shot my best
friend. A Copperhead would say ANDREW JACKSON was a Democrat; but ANDREW was down on all seceders
or rebels of any name; and if he was President he would have put the Governor of
the mighty State of New York in Fort Lafayette, not so bad a place, Messrs.
Chicago Conventionists, as
Belle Isle with crows picking at you.
"I sha'n't say much of
The rebels think too much of him for me.
" We will vote for old ABE, and
we are in earnest. If you were here at this moment and heard the shells bursting
over us you would think so too.
" Persevere, Mr. Editor. You will
win, and we will. Then we will have a meeting—a peace meeting."
WE are glad to know that the
pictures published in the Weekly are felt to be helpers in the good cause. From
among the letters from all parts of the country approving them, we select this
hearty one from a Captain in the Michigan Cavalry :
" MR. EDITOR,—Allow me to suggest
that those two excellent designs of Mr. NAST—'
Compromise with the South,' and '
Blessings of Victory'—published in your Weekly, be offered to the public on
durable paper, that they may be framed and hung up in every hotel, railroad
depot, and other places of general resort throughout the North, as being the
most truthful and powerful explanations of the issues to be settled by our
armies and by the November election.
"I am here recovering from a
wound received before Atlanta, and when I return to my regiment I shall carry
with me those pictures to show to my boys, though your truly loyal and superior
paper circulates so generally in the army that they may see them before my
return ; but I shall make sure of it."
A LETTER from an officer in
SHERMAN'S army shows how firmly fixed its heart is upon unconditional surrender,
and how it despises the peace that is to be bought by national dishonor and
" ATLANTA, GEORGIA, September 14,
" Thanks for the picture in
Harper's Weekly in honor of the nameless heroes dead. It only remains now to
give us one commemorative of the living heroes laying down their arms, and
humbly suing pardon of JEFF Davis and his cohorts for the pain and grief caused
them by our most unjustifiable and uncalled for invasion of their 'rights.'
Can't we have it?
" Let the long procession begin
with the President of the United States reading backward all his declarations in
favor of the Union, all his warnings to the insurgents, all his words of hope
and encouragement to the enslaved, every good and true sentiment which he has
spoken as the head of a great nation. Let the Lieutenant-General commending the
armies recross and erase all the lines of battle on which he has fought it out
thus far, and return a dishonored waster of human life to his little place at
Galena. Let SHERMAN, and THOMAS, and FARRAGUT, and all the rest lay down their
swords, tear off their coats of blue, and their badges of rank, and, clad in
dingy butternut or dirty gray, receive at the hands of the triumphant arch
conspirator new commissions of a rank befitting those who have spent profitless
years in an unholy war, and accept service under the orders of those chivalric
men who have striven with superhuman energy to build up a black despotism on the
ruins of the republic. Let the long procession close with the countless
multitudes of those brave men who have risked all the storms and dangers of the
battle field, returning cowed and despairing, and ragged and unpaid, to their
homes—scarce home any more—their banners dragged in the dust, the scorn and
derision of the cowards and knaves who had enriched themselves by the peace
which these soldiers had kept at the North by forming the living wall against
the desolation of hostile armies.
" I can not but think that it is
to just such an entertainment as this that our Chicago friends, if they succeed,
have invited us. The Dunciad doesn't contain a sadder picture. Really that which
has wakened the most anxiety in our minds in the latter days or this campaign,
now so happily ended, has not been the enemy in our front but that in our rear.
It was not so much the bullets of Hood's army which gave us apprehension as the
feeling that while we were all trying, so many, too, at the sacrifice of life
it-self, to save the nation, even to the extremity of new-creating it, if so be
we must, so large a number, that they boasted themselves a majority of people
belonging to the nation of which we too are a part, should be doing all they
could to alienate that nation from us. I wonder if these men really knew what
they were doing? Is it possible that they want, now in the hour of our
approaching triumph, to turn their backs on this glorious history, and treat us
as if we did not exist?
"This army is a unit, and means
that the nation shall be also. For the utterances at Chicago, so full of
discord, and lacking every thing in which any true American can take pride, it
has nothing but contempt. I do not know but we shall yet be called upon to give
the greatest proof yet of the devotion of the army to the Union in again and
again risking the lives of these brave men on the battlefield to save to these
demented people the blessings which they spurn from them. I thought, at the
outbreak of the war, that we should only have to do that for our Southern
enemies ; and now I begin to think we must do it for the North likewise Pray do
not let any thing like apathy, or indifference, or failure to say and do the
right thing, lose us the great object of all our struggles, and so imperil the
future of the country and of humanity."
WESTERN ILLINOIS SANITARY
WHILE the army and navy are
pressing on in front, the soldiers and sailors are remembered at home. The
Sanitary Fairs, which have already carried so much consolation and assistance to
the field, are not yet at an end--nor, we hope, will they be while one soldier
is exposed to wounds and sickness and danger. The Western Illinois Sanitary Fair
will open on the 11th of October, at Quincy, Illinois, and appeals now to the
sympathy and aid of all the generous and patriotic hearts in the land. Illinois
has contributed nearly 200,000 men to the army and navy, and, as the circular
truly says :
" From Belmont to Mission Ridge,
throughout the long list of battles and victories which have immortalized the
career of that Great Captain whom our State has furnished to the chief command
of the Army; from Resaca to Atlanta, along the route of the great Georgia
campaign, which stands unrivaled in all the chronicles of war, and in the
remoter conflicts in Virginia and the States along the coast, the soldiers of
Illinois have ever been among the first to hurl hack the legions of the enemy
and secure victory to our arms."
Illinois soldiers stand by the
Union ; let the
Union stand by the Illinois
soldiers. The address of the General Agent, to whom contributions may be sent,
is Colonel JAMES T. TUCKER, office of Miner's Central Railroad, 31 Nassau
Street, New York.
In speaking, a few weeks since,
of General SEYMOUR'S admirable letter after his return from
implied that his sympathies had been rather with "the South" than against it. We
have received a letter from a friend of the General's, dated " In the field,
near Petersburg," for which we can not find room entirely, but most gladly
insert what we can :
"EDITOR OF ' HARPER'S
WEEKLY,'-You unintentionally do injustice to General SEYMOUR in your last
editorial. You say, after referring to his capture and imprisonment, ' and could
not be suspected of any peculiar prejudice against the rebels, for he had no
political sympathies against them.' How is this? General SEYMOUR has the same
prejudices, if you call them such, against the rebels that all high minded,
chivalrous soldiers of the Union have, and he certainly never has had any
political sympathies with them. Great injustice has been done to General SEYMOUR
in accusing him of proslaveryism, and all that sort of thing. Because he bears
the same name with a couple of public men whose loyalty, to say the least, is of
a very mild type, he has been supposed to be of the same politics, and one
journal at least has asserted that he is their cousin. General SEYMOUR'S father
is a venerable Methodist clergyman, of the Troy Conference, and the General has
never been recreant to the anti-slavery principles taught him in his boyhood.
" True it is that, in common with
most West Point officers, he has not believed that officers of the regular army
should be politicians, at least violent partisans ; but never has he uttered a
word to indicate sympathy with the cause of the South. When in Charleston,
before the rebellion (he had spent seven years there altogether), they used to
call him an Abolitionist—or at least some did.
" It is true that he is opposed
to the idea that an officer should secure promotion merely by his political
opinions, believing that merit as a soldier should be the sole ground.
"I know what efforts he made to
arouse the Government in 1860, foreseeing, as he did, that the rebels meant
fight. He foresaw the war long before, and refused the Presidency of the North
Carolina Military Institute to which he had been elected, chiefly on that
account. He comprehended the war at the very beginning. The day after he arrived
from Fort Sumter he said that the President should at once call out 500,000 men,
for we were going to have a great war
"His letter has struck a chord
responsive in every loyal heart in the army. We are neither going to submit to
peace-men at home nor yield to Southern rebels. We intend to fight it out, and
compel all rebels every where to obey the laws of the land.
" We shall vote for Mr.
LINCOLN—not because we care a fig about him personally, and some things in his
administration we especially dislike—his large assortment of political Brigadier
and Major Generals, for instance—but because we believe he is necessary to the
Union. To lay him aside would be to ignominiously give up the contest. We find
fault with him because, while we have been shedding our blood in defending the
country against traitors, he has allowed men at home to talk treason and publish
it, and hinder the draft and discourage enlistments, and encourage the rebels to
continued resistance. But we are not on this account going to throw ourselves
into the arms of those who take traitors into their counsels, and honor them and
adopt their speeches as their party platform. God forbid that we should so
stultify ourselves ! God for-bid that we should to dishonor the memories of the
illustrious dead, whose blood poured out here has made the soil sacred
indeed—consecrated it to liberty and law forever!"
Our correspondent speaks warmly
of the injustice which he believes has been done to General SEYMOUR by not
promoting him. We hope sincerely that his merit may be properly recognized; but
meanwhile we can assure his friend who writes us that the General has promoted
himself to the honorable admiration and respect of every loyal American.
WE learn from the circular of
Messrs. FISK and HATCH, bankers in New York, that this patriotic loan, of which
we have already spoken at length, is being rapidly taken. Its advantages are
briefly that it pays a certain rate of interest, unaffected by the fluctuations
in gold and larger than upon ordinary investments ; it is convertible in three
years into bonds precisely like the Five-Twenties now in such immense demand ;
it directly aids the Government, and consequently enhances the value of all
Government securities. There can be no investment safer or more promising. The
notes are issued in denominations of $50, $100, $500, $1000, $5000.
SHERIDAN'S important victories in
the Shenandoah Valley have very much simplified General Grant's combinations for
the defeat of General Lee's army and the capture of the rebel capital. The
campaign in the West had hardly been sealed with victory before the roar of
Sheridan's cannon was heard in Early's rear. The first step taken by General
Grant, in the execution of his grand campaign last May, was an attempt to put
his army between Lee and Richmond. In this he failed of success. He then
attempted to take Petersburg by assault, and thus cut Lee off from his Southern
communications. In this also he failed. He then placed his left wing firmly on
the Weldon Railroad. This was the first decisive success of the Virginia
campaign. In order to appreciate the position of the two armies after the
occupation of the Weldon Road we need to glance at the other communications
which connect Lee's army with the Confederacy. Of the four railroads which enter
Richmond, two, viz., the Fredericksburg and the York River railroads, are of no
account ; they drain a country already exhausted. But the Gordonsville Road,
connecting Richmond with the fertile valley of the Shenandoah, was of great
importance. But it was not of sufficient importance to justify Lee in keeping a
strong force in the Valley. It was, indeed, a part of Early's mission to guard
this communication; but a more important part of that mission was to cover the
approach to Lynchburg. It was evident to Lee that one of the first things which
Grant would attempt would be an advance on Lynchburg, and the same army would,
in its advance, also completely destroy the Gordonsville used. After the
occupation of the Weldon Road the safety of Lynchburg became absolutely
essential to the maintenance by Lee of any defensive position in Virginia. For
Lynchburg was then the key to all the communications left to the rebel army.
by the Federal forces and made a
military station, it could be held by a small army, and made the centre of a new
system of operations on the west side of Richmond. The investment of the rebel
capital would then be as complete as was that of Atlanta when Sherman
transferred his army to a position on the Macon Road. There would then be but a
single alternative to the evacuation of Richmond, and consequently of Virginia,
viz., a pitched battle. To await the result of a siege would be fatal to Lee's
army. To defend Lynchburg, then, is to defend Richmond.
Sheridan's victories, therefore,
occurring at just this time, simplify the system of operations against the
These victories have put out of
combat more than one half of Early's command, and have demoralized and paralyzed
the other half. If Early is not heavily reinforced Lynchburg will certainly be
captured. But to reinforce Early is to weaken Lee's own army. He may, indeed,
succeed in saving Lynchburg, but it will take so many men to effect this that it
will he at the risk of losing Richmond. An army on the defensive, strongly
fortified, and holding an interior position, has great advantages; but in
addition it must have strength of numbers when it becomes necessary to resist
approaches made from so many points and at such distances from each other
Richmond and Petersburg are over twenty miles apart. The line confronting Grant
from Deep Bottom to a point west of the Weldon Road is over twenty miles long.
Grant threatens Richmond from the north side of the James, and takes the Weldon
Road. Lee's army, weak in numbers as compared with Grant's, dissipates its
strength and weakens its advantage of position by these long lines of defense.
There can be no doubt, in view of all these considerations, that the crisis of
the war in Virginia is now come, and is indeed already nearly past.
After driving Early's columns
through Winchester, September 19, Sheridan continued the pursuit. Three miles
beyond Strasburg, at Fisher's Hill, Early made a stand, and on Thursday, the
22d, was attacked by Sheridan. At half past 3 o'clock Crook's command attacked
the rebel left, throwing one of his divisions in their rear. At the same time
the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps attacked in front. Crook's magnificent charge
threw the enemy's left wing into disorder, and the position, which was
considered almost impregnable, was abandoned together with twenty guns. Between
one and two thousand prisoners were taken. The routed army pushed on down the
Valley, the road behind them strewn with caissons, small arms, haversacks, and
every other impediment to flight. Our loss was estimated at less than a thousand
men. Kershaw's division of Longstreet's corps, which Early had detached to guard
his communications, came up in time to take part in the battle, but too late to
be of any use. On Friday morning, the 23d, Sheridan had reached Woodstock,
having pursued the enemy all night.
Early was driven beyond Jackson
Mountain without further resistance, and on Saturday night Sheridan had reached
a point six miles south of New Market.
GOVERNOR BROWN'S PROCLAMATION.
The following proclamation by
Governor Brown, of Georgia, tells its own story :
MILLEDGEVILLE, Sept. 10, 1864.
General J. B. Hood, Commanding
Army of Tennessee: GENERAL,—As the militia of the State were called out for the
defense of Atlanta during the campaign against it which has terminated by the
fall of the city into the hands of the enemy, and as many of them left their
homes with out preparation, expecting to be gone but a few weeks, who have
remained in service over three months (most of the time in the trenches),
justice requires that they be permitted, while the enemy are preparing for the
winter campaign, to return to their homes and look, for a time, after important
interests, and prepare themselves for such service as may be required when
another campaign commences against other important points in the State. I
therefore hereby withdraw said organization from your command, in the hope that
I shall be able to return it, with greater numbers and equal efficiency, when
the interests of the public service requires it. In this connection, I beg leave
to tender to you, General, my sincere thanks for your impartiality to the State
troops, and for your uniform courtesy and kindness to me individually. With
assurances of my high consideration and esteem,
I am, very respectfully, your
humble servant, JOSEPH E. BROWN.
RETIREMENT OF FREMONT AND
COCHRANE. September 22 General Fremont, in a letter to Messrs. George L. Stearns
and others, publicly withdrew his name from the political contest for the sake
of securing harmony in the Union party. The day before Cochrane had adopted a
similar course. It will be remembered that
Fremont and Cochrane were the
nominees of the Cleveland Convention for President and Vice-President.
NEWS FOR LORD PAM. LORD PALMERSTON, in his attitude toward the Southern Independence Association and the numerous abettors of secession in England, although he has steadfastly resisted
the policy of recognizing the Confederacy, has yet invariably expressed the
hope that the time would yet come for
the adoption of that policy. This hope was expressed in
very sanguine terms in a speech lately delivered at Tiverton. The following
illustration represents the manner
in which the noble lord will sink into his boots on receipt
of the news of Sherman's,
Farragut's, and Sheridan's victories, which will doubtless convince the
honorable gentleman that not only has his time not yet come, but that it is long