Battle of Pilot Knob


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, October 22, 1864

Welcome to our online archive of Harper's Weekly newspapers. These pages were published during the Civil War, and yield unique insights into the important people and events making up the war. The papers have incredible illustrations created by eye-witnesses.

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


General Butler

General Butler

Presidential Campaign

Presidential Campaign

Battle of Pilot Knob

Richmond Campaign

Grant's Richmond Campaign

Mobile Bay

Mobile Bay


Rebel Ironclad Tennessee

Peace Plan

Democrats Plan for Peace

Battle of Chapin's Farm

Fort Harrison

Battle of Fort Harrison

Peeble's Farm

Battle of Peeble's Farm

Shenandoah Valley

Sheridan's March up the Shenandoah Valley



OCTOBER 22, 1864.]



(Previous Page) who have looked death in the face too often to despond now." Even the foot-pads of Hounslow Heath used to ride gayly to the gallows with a nosegay in their button-holes. But they had merely eased travelers of their purses, This man who speaks at Macon has headed an insurrection which has saturated the land with innocent blood.

This is the man and this is the cause to which the Chicago Convention invites the American people to surrender, by voting for General MACPENDLETON. Let us stop fighting him, says the Convention. Let us exhaust the resources of statemanship, says General MACP.

Let us put down the rebellion! the American people will thunder on the 8th of November.


GENERAL Dix has written a letter to a Union meeting in Philadelphia. It speaks very plainly of men and things, and shows in the clearest light his own patriotic fidelity. He says that there is but one question before the country—the steady prosecution of the war, or an immediate cessation of hostilities. The latter course General Dix believes, in common with all thoughtful men, would lead to a direct recognition of the independence of the insurgent States. The General does not say, what, however, he doubtless knows, that this is the intention of the movement for an armistice. He adds, with inexorable logic:

"General McCLELLAN, the candidate of the Chicago Convention, by force of his position, must he deemed to approve all the declarations with which he was presented to the country, unless he distinctly disavows them. Unfortunately, he is silent on the only question in regard to which the people cared that he should speak. He does not say whether he is in favor of a cessation of hostilities —the measure announced by those who nominated him as the basis for action in case of his election—or whether he is opposed to it. He does not meet the question with manly frankness, as I am confident he would have done if he had taken counsel of his own instincts instead of yielding to the subtle suggestions of politicians. The Chicago Convention presented a distinct issue to the people. As the nominee of the Convention he was bound to accept or repudiate it. He has done neither; and whatever inference may be drawn from his silence, either the War Democrats or the Peace Democrats must be deceived."

General Dix says in the plainest words that the Chicago nomination was a juggle. For he knows, as we all do, that the nomination of Mr. PENDLETON, and the fact that McCLELLAN stands with him and by him, without a word of dissent from his known views and position, determines perfectly the character of the ticket and the intentions of those who nominated it. With the natural regret of a Democrat who remembers other days in which, as it seems to him, the party was true and not false to the national honor. he says of its Chicago platform and nominations : "In this injustice to the country, and to a great party identified with all that is honorable in our history, I can have no part. I can only mourn over the reproach which has been brought upon it by its leaders,   "

There are thousands and thousands of Conservative men like General Dix who did not vote for Mr. LINCOLN in 1860, and who, like him, can not vote for Mr. LINCOLN'S opponent in 1864. They believe with him, and mark his concluding words:

" The only hope left to us lies in the patriotism and disinterestedness of the great body of the people of all parties, who are facing the enemies of their country on the battle-field, with a heroism unsurpassed in any age, or who at home, amidst the prevailing tumult and disorder, are working out, in the quiet pursuit of their varied occupations, the momentous problem of the public prosperity and safety. When they shall send out fresh from their own ranks new men to consult together for the salvation of all that is most precious in government and society, there will be cause for hope and faith in our redemption from impending evils and dangers; bearing, in the mean time, as well as we can, the heavy burdens which have been cast upon us by a quarter of a century of political mismanagement and public misrule."


JOHN A. LOGAN, the intimate personal friend of Senator DOUGLAS, was a Democratic member of Congress in the secession winter of 1860-'61. When his political friends from the South began to talk of dividing the Union, LOGAN began to talk of maintaining it. When they said they should set up for themselves, he answered, "If you resist the Government of the United States the people of the Northwest will hew their way through the Mississippi Valley to the Gulf." The Southern leaders began the war, and JOHN A. LOGAN, like his fellow-Democrats, JOHN A. DIX and BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, went immediately into the service, and in the army, he, like them, has made a most enviable name. In all SHERMAN'S operations in Georgia there has been no more gallant and victorious soldier than JOHN A. LOGAN.

Lately a MACPENDLETON committee asked him to approve the Chicago platform. He wrote upon the back of his last order congratulating his troops upon the Union victories the words " Excuse me," and sent it by mail. General LOGAN says that at Atlanta he heard but one officer declare for MACPENDLETON; and that the private soldiers do not favor the election of a man who, according to the London Times, first discovered that his countrymen were whipped. The General is now stumping Illi-

nois for Mr. LINCOLN. He makes the most eloquent and generous appeals to his old political friends. He save to them, and to all Americans who love the honor of their country :

" There are now only two parties—those who support and encourage the rebels, and those who oppose them. Honest men may be deluded with the Opposition, but the tendency of supporting the Chicago nominations is to strengthen the rebellion."

And again this patriot, who shows his faith by his works, says

" I would as soon vote for JEFF DAVIS as PENDLETON ; and I could net hesitate a moment as between candidates pledged to the Union, the Constitution, and unrelenting war while armed rebellion confronts the Government, and candidates who demand an immediate cessation of hostilities and peace at any price."

Is General MACPENDELTON a better Democrat than General JOHN A. LOGAN ?


IF there has been a more faithful servant of the rebellion any where than Mr. LAZARUS M. POWELL, Senator from Kentucky—in Washington, not in Richmond—we have not known him. This is the gentleman who accused the Administration of arbitrarily suppressing free speech; who grew pathetic over the terrible despotism that had gagged American citizens, and, in fact, fiercely vituperated the Government which had exercised unusual, but not unconstitutional, powers in the midst of civil war. When he sat down Mr. HARLAN read from the journal of the Senate six years ago the record of a vote, by which it appeared that this gentleman, so very sensitive to the suppression of free speech in the midst of civil war intended to aid the enemy, deliberately voted against a proposition to secure free speech, in time of profound peace, to citizens of the United States!

This gentleman, of course, shudders at the enormous crimes of the Administration, and supports the Chicago principles and candidates. Mr. POWELL says, with the same frankness with which Mr. PENDLETON declares that he is a disunionist, and has never voted a, man or dollar for this abolition war :

" As a peace man who has opposed this war from the beginning, never having voted a man or a dollar to carry it on, I never will occupy the petition of one approving of the war or of the unjust nets connected with it; but I believe that General McCLELLAN, as the nominee of this Convention, should receive my support, and he will have it--my scene, hearty, zealous support."


MR. CHARLES DICKENS has been noted for a fatal foreboding faculty in his writings. The catastrophe of a falling house in one of his novels ran so closely on an actual calamity of the sort in London that carping critics declared he owed his inspiration to the "accident" columns of the papers. His disavowal on that occasion will find confirmation strong in the minds of the readers of the September number of " Our Mutual Friend." The very words which he puts into the mouth of the old woman who dreads the workhouse so strongly, so fiercely, find a living presentiment in the subsequently reported case of the unfortunate Miss Jeffreys, whose inquest has lately, we feel sure, struck a pang to the hearts of its readers. Fact is not stranger or stronger than fiction here—they are curiously at all-fours with each other, and point to the present poor-law as a blot on England in the sight of God and man.

IN the Norwegiau mines a singular and striking custom is observed in paying the weekly wages of the men there employed. They all present themselves on the Saturday evening to the inspector, who hears from each man the number of hours he has worked on the successive days of , the week past, compares the total given with his own notes on the subject, and having settled the amount, calls the miner, bids him turn round, and writes in white chalk upon his black back the sum due to him. Thus mysteriously numbered, the man has to go to the cashier, who also turns him round to look it the figures, and pays him without his having a word to say.

The method is an expeditions one—two or three strokes of chalk settle the matter; it is prudent, for the miner has no chance of altering a figure in his own favor; and economical, for a brush removes all trace of the inscription, and the same black jacket is ready for the next Saturday.

GENERAL BANKS was once a poor boy among the lofty mountains of New England. He was a common workman in a factory. He tells us that one morning, as the factory was lighted up before light in the early dawn, and just as objects could be seen out of the door, he was looking out of the window, and saw an object moving along slowly on the ice that covered the river. While watching it, suddenly the ice broke, and the dark object went down. In an instant he thought it must be a man. So, calling a companion, he ran down the stairs and out toward the object. He had the forethought to snatch up a plank, which he carried on his shoulder. When they had reached the place they found it was a colored man who had broken through the ice and was struggling for his life. They thrust out the plank. The poor fellow seized it with both hands.

" Now hold on, Tim, and we'll pull you out."

So they palled and got him almost out when of he slipped and went down again!

On his coming up they pushed the end of the plank to him again, and cried,

" Now, Tim, hold on with all your might."

"Indeed I will, Sir,"

Again they pulled, and up he came, almost out, when off he slipped, and down he went. They felt that the third time must be the turning point. It was now life or death. Poor Tim looked as it he thought so too, For the third time the plank was pushed out, when the negro cried cut-

"For God's sake, gentlemen, give me the wooden end of the plank!" They saw instantly that they had been giving him the end covered all over with ice, and no wonder he could not cling to it: They now gave him what he called the " wooden end," and drew him out in safety.

THE reason the dying never weep is because the manufactures of life have stopped forever; every gland of the system has ceased its functions. In almost all diseases the liver is the first that stops work; one by one the others follow, and all the fountains of life are at length dried up—there is no secretion any where. So the eye in death weeps not—not that all affection is dead to the heart—because there is not a tear-drop in it any more than there is moisture on the lip. It is a striking characteristic of that terrible disease, the cholera, that the patient, however suddenly seized, never sheds a tear, even though surrounded by weeping friends. The feature of the diseases

is the suspension of the secretion of the system and the most active excretory work, by which the body is drained of its fluids.

THE DOGS OF ST. BERNARD-- One of the most remarkable of these noble dogs was Barry, who is known to have saved the lives of forty individuals. Besides his cask around his neck he carried a warm garment on his back; and if he failed to arouse the traveler into some sense of life by his warm tongue and breath he would race back to the house and bring somebody to the rescue. One day Barry found a poor boy asleep and almost frozen to death in the celebrated glacier of Belsore. Barry warmed the boy, licked him, woke him up, gave him something to drink, and carried him on his back to the monastery. The joy of the poor parents who can describe ? After a life of service Barry was sent down the mountains to a warm and comfortable home, where he passed the rest of his days in honorable quiet. At his death his body was carefully buried, and his skin was stuffed, and there he may he seen in the Museum of Berne standing as large as life, with his collar and bottle round his neck, ready to start on his labors of love.

The dogs are short-lived. Many die from disease of the lungs, and others are lost in the falling of avalanches and other accidents. Neither men nor dogs can long stand the severe climate and thin air of so great a height. Both are often obliged to go down into the valley below and recruit amidst milder scenes. The leader of the pack now to named Plato, a brace, big creature, doing deeds of usefulness and valor which might put to blush the life of many a one of human understanding who never risked a thought, much less a deed, to help his fellow men.

FAMILLAR and simple as singing, or music in general, seems to be, it is, if we analyze it, one of the most wonderful phenomena. What we hear when listening to a chorus or a symphony is a commotion of elastic air, of which the wildest sea would give a very inadequate image. The lowest tone which the ear perceives is due to about thirty vibrations in one second, the highest to about four thousand. Consider then what happens in a presto, when thousands of voices and instruments are simultaneously producing waves of air, each wave crossing the other, not only like the surface waves of the water, but like spherical bodies, and, as it would seem, without any perceptible disturbance. Consider that each tone is accompanied by secondary tones; that each instrument has its peculiar timbre, due to secondary vibrations ; and lastly, let us remember that all this cross fire of waves, all this whirlpool of sound, is moderated by laws which determine what we call harmony, and by certain traditions or habits which determine what we call melody—both these elements being absent in the songs of birds. That all this must be reflected, like a microscopic photograph, on the two small organs of bearing, end there excite, not only perception, but perception followed by a new feeling even more mysterious, which we call either pleasure or pain, and it will be clear that we are surrounded on all sides by miracles, transcending all that we are accustomed to call miraculous, and yet disclosing, to the genius of a Euler or a Newton laws which admit of the most minute mathematical determination.

IN digging at the city of Modena, in Italy, and about four miles around it, when the workmen arrive at the depth of sixty-three feet they come to a bed of chalk, which they bore with an anger five feet deep. They then with draw from the pit before the anger is removed, and upon its extraction the water bursts up through the aperture with great violence, and quickly fills this new made well, which continues full, and is affected neither by rain nor droughts. But that which to most remarkable is, that at the depth of fourteen feet are found the remains of an ancient city paved streets, houses, floors, and different pieces of mosaic. Underneath is a soft earth made up chiefly of vegetable matters ; and at twenty-six feet deep large trees entire, such as walnut trees, with the walnuts still on the stein, and the leaves and branches in a perfect state of preservation. At twenty-eight feet a soft chalk is found, mixed with a vast quantity of shells ; and this bed is eleven feet hick. Under it vegetables are found again with leaves and branches of trees, as before.

THE " west shaft" at the Hoosac tunnel is now sunk about 320 feet, and the temperature at the bottom during the warmest day is 35 degrees. The depth of water in the mountain is about nine feet, and the engine employed at the shaft removes 25 gallons each revolution. The engine also works a fan by which the men are supplied with air. The number of men employed on the west side of the mountain is 350.

A SINGULAR trial lately took place at Madrid. A soldier was cited before the Police Court for having stolen a gold cup of considerable value which had been placed as a votive offering on one of the numerous altars dedicated in that city to the Virgin. The soldier at once explained that he and his family being in great distress, he had appealed to the Holy Mother for assistance, and that while engaged in prayer and contemplation of the four millions' worth of jewels displayed on her brocaded petticoat, she stooped, and, with a charming smile, handed him the golden cup. This explanation was received by the Court in profound silence, and the ease handed over to the Ecclesiastical Commission, to whom it at once occurred that, however inconvenient the admission of the miracle might be, it would he highly impolitic to dispute its possibility. They therefore gave the cup to the soldier, at the same time solemnly warning him for the future against similar favors from images of any kind, and impressing him with the conviction that the Virgin required profound silence from him as a proof of his gratitude.

A NEW attraction has been added to the London Crystal Palace in the form of a " Pneumatic Railway." The application of atmospheric gravity in a substitute for steam has long been a problem which speculative men of science have regarded as desirable for solution, and many plans have been tried which have been more or less successful. In the grounds of the Crystal Palace a tunnel has been constructed six hundred yards in length, and along this a train of carriages is hurled by the mere force of atmospheric pressure. A description of the mechanical details would be prolix, and perhaps, If it were attempted, might not be satisfactory. Suffice it to say, that in this tunnel or tube, six hundred yards in length, a heavy train can be blown Along at a good speed, and sucked back at a similar speed, and that the experiment is very interesting, and may be very valuable. Whether the result will be the supercession of steam by atmospheric pressure is a problem which time alone will show.

ROMISH miracles continue to multiply: the following is the latest: A farmer of the district of Piancastagnaio, near Florence, having openly declared that the cure of his arm from long standing disease was attributable to the miraculous influence of the Madonna, who, he asserted, had

appeared to him bodily on the window panes of his own abode, the rumor of this "miracle" attracted crowds of devout worshipers to the spot. There, facing the small dwelling, with foreheads bared to the stun, the prostrate pilgrims did not fail to see the vision of the Madonna, angels, saints, and even the Almighty himself. The police thought to dispel attention by removing the panes from the windows and substituting instead a couple of deal boards. But the visionaries saw the same sights and described the same personages even after the planks had been put up.



THE positions gained by Butler's and Meade's armies on the right and left flanks have been substantially maintained. The enemy has been compelled to assume the offensive, but in none of his attacks has he succeeded in gaining any advantage, while his loss has been greater than ours. The actions since Grant began to move may be summed up as follows:

Thursday, September 29, the Tenth and Eighteenth Corps attacked and carried the outermost intrenchments of Richmond, near Chapin's Farm and at New Market Heights. Considerable loss attended the engagements, especially in the unsuccessful attempt to carry Fort Gilmer and Laurel Hill.

0n the same day Kautz moving around to the right

and up the Darbytown or Central Road, made an important reconnoissance, which disclosed the remarkable fact that the enemy had on that road no formidable defenses until within four miles of Richmond. Indeed, Kautz, in his reconnoissance, passed even this line without resistance, and reached the toll gate only two or three miles south-east of Richmond. Terry's (First) division of the Tenth Corps was sent, while the fight at Laurel hill was going on, to the support of Kautz. At sunset this advanced column fell back again, the cavalry maintaining its position near the Central Road, on the extreme right. The extreme left also was refused, as the rebel gun boats on the dames commanded the advanced position in that direction; but all the fortifications taken were held and strengthened.

On Friday, the 30th, the enemy, strongly reinforced, attacked the position and attempted to break the Federal lines where the Tenth and Eighteenth Corps joined. Two assaults were made and repulsed. Here the rebel lose was large--not less than 1000 men. 200 rebels, including 20 officers, were captured.

On Saturday it rained, and the state of the roads prevented any operations with infantry. But Terry and Kautz, on the right, pushed out to and up the Darbytown Road on another reconnoissance—a movement which was necessary to guard against a flank movement of the enemy.

It was evident that Lee would next attack on our extreme right, and so it proved. Two divisions confronting Butler's left at Chapin's Farm were transferred to the Darbytown Road. On Friday, October 7, an attack was made at this point early in the morning, and Kautz, opposed to a force of four to five thousand men, and having less than two thousand, was compelled to fall back. In retiring he passed through swampy ground, and left behind him eight rifled guns. His loss was about 300 men. The rebels pursued, and attacked Birney's line. On the right of this line was Terry's division, two brigades of which were advanced a short distance to the right of their breast-works, where they awaited the enemy. A deliberate fire put Hoke and Field's lines in confusion, but they reformed again and made a fresh attack, and were a second time repulsed. Throwing up some intrenchments the rebels moved further round, as if to flank Birney's right. At this juncture Terry advanced upon their rear, and flanking them out of their position drove them from the field. The rebel loss, according to Butler's estimate, was 1200. The Federal loss was 400, and the eight guns. The position which had been yielded was more strongly held after the battle. The rebel papers admit the loss of General Gregg, of Texas, killed; and Brigadier-General Bratton severely wounded.

Meade advanced, September 30, and carried a fortified position at Peebles's Farm, some distance west of the Weldon Road. The enemy then fell back on his intrenchments covering the Southside Railroad. The Ninth Corps had the advance as Meade followed the enemy up to his works. An attack was made, which proved unsuccessful; and the rebels, making it counter-charge, penetrated between the Fifth and Ninth Carps, and captured a large number of prisoners.

On Saturday, October 1, an attack was made by the enemy on Ayres's division of the Fifth Corps. The rebels were severely repulsed. On the afternoon Hampton's rebel cavalry attacked Gregg, and was driven back with great less.


Not driven back by any reverse, but in subserviency to General Grant's plans against Richmond, Sheridan is returning down the Valley. On the 7th his command had reached Woodstock. Before retiring he had destroyed the grain and forage in the vicinity ; and he says that, "In moving back to that point [Woodstock] the whole country from the Blue ridge to the North Mountain has been made entirely untenable for a rebel army." We make the following extracts from his dispatch:

"I have destroyed over two thousand barns filled with wheat and hay and farming implements, over seventy mills filled with flour and wheat ; have driven in front of the army over four thousand head of stock, and have killed and issued to the troops not less than three thousand sheep.

" This destruction embraces the Luray Valley and Little Fort Valley, as well as the main Valley.

" A large number of horses have been obtained, a proper estimate of which I can not now make.

" Lieutenant John R. Meigs, my engineer officer, was murdered beyond Harrisonburg, near Dayton. For this atrocious act all the houses within an area of five miles were burned.

" Since I came into the Valley from Harper's Ferry every train, every small party, and every straggler, has been bushwhacked by the people, many of whom have protection-passes from commanders who have been hitherto in that Valley.

" The people here are getting sick of the war. Hereto-fore they have had no reason to complain, because they have been living in great abundance."

A later dispatch, dated October 9, at Strasburg, gives information of an important victory over the enemy's cavalry on the 8th. Says Sheridan :

" In coming back to this point I was not followed up until late yesterday, when a large force of cavalry appeared in my rear. I then halted my command to offer battle by attacking the enemy. I became satisfied that it was only all the rebel cavalry of the Valley, commanded by Rosser, and directed Torbert to attack at daylight this morning, and finish this ' savior of the Valley.' The attack was handsomely made. Custer, commanding the Third Cavalry Division, charged on the back road, and Merritt, commanding the First, Cavalry Division, on the Strasburg pike. Merritt captured five pieces of artillery. Custer captured six pieces of artillery with caissons, battery forge, etc. The two divisions captured forty-seven wagons, ambulances, etc. Among the wagons captured are the head-quarters wagons of Rosser, Lomax, Wickman, and Colonel Pollard. The number of prisoners will he about 330.

"The enemy after being charged by our gallant cavalry were broken and ran. They were followed by our men on the jump 26 miles through Mount Jackson, and across the north fork of the Shenandoah."


General Hood having dispatched a large force to make a detour across the Chattahoochee and on Sherman's rear, the latter sent General Thomas to attend to Forrest, taking upon himself the responsibility of attending to Hood's flank movements. Forrest has been compelled to recross the Tennessee; and an important victory was gained by Sherman over the rebels in his rear at Allatoons. The following is General Sheman's dispatch:

" I reached the Kenesaw Mountain October 6, just in time to witness at a distance the attack on Allatoona. I had anticipated this attack, and had ordered from Rome General Corse with reinforcements. The attack was met and repulsed, the enemy losing some 200 dead, and more then 1000 wounded and prisoners. Our loss was about 700 in the aggregate. The enemy captured the small garrisons at Big Shanty and Ackworth, and burned about seven miles of our railroad; but we have at Allatoona and Atlanta an abundance of provisions. Hood, observing our approach, has moved rapidly back to Dallas and Van Wert, and I am watching him in case he tries to reach Kingston or Rome. Atlanta is perfectly secure to us, and this army is better off than in camp."


Brigadier-General Ewing has arrived at Rolla. We are able to give a detailed account of his defense of Pilot Knob. He reached that post September 25, and with a garrison of 1000 men undertook to hold his ground against Price's far superior force. The position is entirely indefensible, as it is surrounded on all sides by elevations which command it. General Price attempted an advance into the valley, and was terribly beaten, but gaining the mountain sides, he compelled Ewing to evacuate. On the way to Rolla Ewing was surrounded, and came near being captured. He escaped, however, by the aid of forces sent to his assistance. On the 7th the rebels made a demonstration against Jefferson City, but this proved only a feint to occupy our forces while they crossed the Osage River. During the night they pressed westward. Price's army is estimated at 20,000 strong, with from 16 to 25 cannon. On the morning of the 8th General Pleasanton arrived, and assuming command followed the rebels with about 8000 cavalry.




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