General Grant's Richmond Campaign


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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.



WE give this week a number of sketches illustrating General GRANT'S recent movements against the rebel capital. These movements are but a repetition on a more extended scale of the strategy hitherto employed by the Lieutenant-General. General GRANT is confident of final success. Yet he appears never to expect success as the certain consequence of any individual movement. When he pushed out both of his flanks a few weeks ago he intended either to get an important position on the north bank of the James, or to obtain possession of the Weldon Road. He succeeded then in the latter of these two objects, while he failed in the former. When SHERIDAN had beaten EARLY in the Valley, and it became certain that LEE would strengthen the latter, then it was GRANT'S opportunity to advance again. As before, he sent one portion of his army to attack the rebel left, and at the same time pushed out westwardly against the rebel right.

General BUTLER'S army was dispatched to the north side of the James. The position first attacked by this army was the rebel line of works at Chapin's Farm, forming the outermost or third line of the defenses of Richmond. The first work of any considerable importance encountered on this line was Fort Harrison. On page 676 we illustrate the capture of this fort by the Eighteenth Corps. General ORD, crossing at Aiken's Landing, advanced through a wooded country on the Varina Road, and having driven in the rebel pickets from their outposts attacked the fort. The position attacked was one of considerable strength, and mounted with heavy artillery. It was situated just below Fort Darling and was built on elevated ground, but was not very strongly supported. During the attack reinforcements were arriving from Richmond, but they came too late to be of any assistance at this point, though they aided in resisting ORD'S further advance, thus preventing the capture of Fort Gilmer. Two or three hundred prisoners and sixteen guns were taken at Fort Harrison. General ORD was slightly wounded in the attack, and General BURNHAM was killed.

The Sketch on page 677 illustrates the battle of the 30th, in which General LEE attempted the recapture of Fort Harrison. Both the Eighteenth and Tenth Corps were engaged. The rebels attempted to break through between the two corps, but were repulsed with heavy loss. Two assaults were made : the first was made awkwardly ; the

second without promptness; and both were disastrous to the assailants.

The illustration on our first page represents General BUTLER bivouacking at the junction of the Varina and New Market Road, after the important victory of the 29th. As a suggestion of his triumph, his tent is decorated with battle-flags captured from the enemy in battle.

On this page we give a portrait of General GODFREY WEITZEL, who succeeded General ORD in the command of the Eighteenth Corps. This officer distinguished himself above all others in the campaign on the Lower Mississippi under Generals BUTLER and BANKS. He received a military education at West Point, where he graduated in 1855 with the rank of Second Lieutenant of Engineers. He is a native of Ohio. He was Chief Engineer in the Department of the Gulf in 1862. After the battle at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in August of that year, he was appointed Brigadier-General. General WEITZEL is distinguished for the same kind of talent which characterized McPHERSON.

The illustrations given below and on page 680 relate to the operations of General WARREN'S Corps against the rebel right. This movement was one day later than that north of the James. LEE had ordered a good portion of his army to the left, to retake the positions occupied by General BUTLER. Thus his right was weakened ; and taking advantage of this, portions of the Fifth and Ninth Corps were advanced toward the Poplar Grove. Poplar Grove is on the South Side Railroad, fifteen miles from the Weldon Road. The first attack, which is the one illustrated on page 680, was made about noon, on a rebel redoubt three miles from the Weldon Road, at Peebles's Farm. This work was carried, and four guns captured. The rebels were driven back to their inner lines. We illustrate below two incidents which occurred in connection with the battle on the 30th. While it was being fought a large number of new recruits arrived on the field from the North. This, as our artist remarks, gave great encouragement to the soldiers, assuring them that they were not left alone to fight their country's battles. The other incident to which we allude is one which excites much admiration and comment in the army. When the First Division of the Fifth Corps charged the rebel battery, Colonel WELCH, commanding the Sixteenth Michigan Volunteers, led his men up to the work, leaped into the fort, sword in band, and charged the rebels at their guns. He was killed shortly afterward, but his men will never forget that leap.




General Weitzel
Peeble's Farm
Colonel Welch




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