Sherman's Attack on Atlanta


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, October 1, 1864

This site features our extensive collection of original Harper's Weekly newspapers from the Civil War. These newspapers contain incredible descriptions of the important events of the war, and illustrations of the battles created by war correspondents embedded with the troops.

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General Warren's Lines

General Warren's Lines

Discussion of 1864 Presidential Election

Sherman's Atlanta Campaign

Sherman's Atlanta Campaign

American Flag

American Flag

Douglas Monument

Senator Douglas Monument

Sherman Burning Georgia Railroads

Sherman Burning Georgia Railroads

Sherman's March Georgia

Sherman's Georgia March

Sherman Atlanta

Sherman's Attack of Atlanta


The Halt




Political Cartoon







[OCTOBER 1, 1864.


(Previous Page) what lay along their front and capsizing it with a crash sidelong into the ditch. In this manner several miles were thrown over in the course of two hours. The ties and rails were then separated, the ties piled up, and the rails laid crosswise upon the pile. Fire was then applied, and soon the whole track, as far as one could see, became one mass of seething, crackling, smoking pyramids of fire. Marching down the track General HASCALL'S Division, under his own personal supervision, continued the work until there was nothing more left to be done or desired in the way of destruction. In the afternoon the Twenty-third Corps reached the army in front of Jonesborough."

Hardly had the contest been decided at Jonesborough before Hood made preparations to evacuate Atlanta. The immense destruction of property which preceded the evacuation of the city is illustrated on page 637, especially the destruction of nearly a hundred cars loaded with fixed ammunition which were set on fire, on the Augusta Railroad, one mile from the city. The scene is thus described in the correspondence above quoted :

" The detonation of the bursting shells shook the city to its foundations, and filled the air continually for the space of several hours with fragments and the debris of the general wreck. The explosions were heard twenty-five miles from the city. Visiting this spot, I saw the naked trunks and axles of cars for near a half mile in extent, the ground for a long distance on both sides of the track covered over with the evidences of the terrible agents which had been at work. A large locomotive had been thrown off the track at one end by the explosions. Three locomotives are said to have been captured in running order. Four field-guns were lying near the track in one place, and four 32-pounders in another place. The latter had but recently been brought up for siege guns. A considerable number of guns which the rebels could not take away in their hurried flight from the city were buried, and head boards with lying epitaphs placed above them to personate graves of old soldiers. General Sherman states the number of guns captured as 27 ; and 7 locomotives."

Another sketch on page 629 gives a view of the rebel prisoners as they appeared returning to Atlanta as prisoners of war. The party was under the care of the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Illinois regiment, in command of Lieutenant-Colonel LANGLEY. Among the prisoners was Brigadier-General GOVAN and several colonels, and other commissioned officers, mostly Kentuckians. They filled the road for a mile, and as they marched back to the city which they had so long defended they appeared to excite in those living near the city much curiosity and commiseration. These people came out in troops to see the procession, and not unfrequently offered them water and refreshments.

On page 637 we give portraits of Brigadier-Generals CARLIN and MORGAN, who have taken part in the honors and hardships of SHERMAN'S victorious campaign. Brigadier-General WILLIAM P. CARLIN, a native of Illinois, entered the military academy at West Point in 1846, and graduated in 1850 with the rank of Brevet Second Lieutenant. He entered the war as Colonel of the Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteers. When JEFF THOMPSON was advancing into the interior of Missouri in October, 1861, Colonel CARLIN had command of three regiments, the Twenty-first, Thirty-third, and Thirty-eighth Illinois. In the battle of Fredericktown, fought October 21, this force was prominently engaged. General CARLIN commands the First division of JEFF C. DAVIS'S Corps, and was in the advance in the recent attack on Jonesborough. General MORGAN commands the Second division of the same Corps, and was also prominently engaged in the battle of Jonesborough.


THE wife in the cot is lonely

Since the fisher went away,

And the sun-burnt child it has not smiled This many and many a day,

And the schools of mackerel come unscared To the rocks of the inner bay.

The boat lies bottom upward

On the edge of the crawling tide,

And the tangled net is green and wet In the slime and drift beside,

And grass through the alder hurdle shoots, Where the salted fish was dried.

The autumn brings no bounty

And freight from the misty Banks,

Though the fishers come to their winter home With a thousand well-filled tanks; And every unladen, luckless craft

Has a golden cause for thanks.

The fisher said one spring-time,

" Good wife, I have set my sail

These twenty years for the northern meres Of the iceberg, mist, and gale,

And my country has paid the shot, good wife, Whenever I chanced to fail

" Paid for my sailor knowledge,

And the skill of my ready hand,

And blue on my arm as a sacred charm

Is the flag that guards the land.

The time has come to pay up the debt,

Though my life it may demand."

And bravely the loyal fisher

Sailed to the southern sea.
Never a hook or a bait he took

For the deathly fishery ;

But the stanchest man at the straining rope

in the Northerner was he.

On the bloody deck of the Hartford


Last month the fisher lay;

The azure charm pricked on his arm

Was striped with red that day ;

And the debt of twenty years was paid

With a life in Mobile Bay.



THE sun was setting behind the hills of Maldon one June evening in the year 1845, when an acrobat with his wife was seen plodding along the road to-ward the next market-town.

They were weary and sad. The acrobat himself was a man about thirty, of dark complexion, with raven black hair curling over his forehead. His eyes were black and piercing, and there was some-thing in his look which bespoke a nature above that of a mountebank.

His wife was some years younger, and carried an infant child at her breast. She, too, had the appearance of a person superior to her lot, and her face was comely to look upon.

Their life was a hard one, but they bore it well. Nor, as yet, had all the hardships which poverty had brought into their door sent love, as the pro-verb has it, flying out of the window.

They were now journeying to the market-town of Maldon, and, as to-morrow would be market-day, Duval thought he might come in for a portion of the money that would be changing hands. But as it was very desirable that he and his wife should have supper after their long day's journey, and a place to sleep in, he was anxious to earn a few pence either in the town or before reaching it, and presently an opportunity arose by which, as he thought, he might do so.

Almost opposite to him, at two or three hundred yards distance, was the lodge and noble gateway of a gentleman's park. As Duval approached it he heard voices sounding high and mirthful in the air —the voices of children making merry, with their light young hearts and their clear ringing laughter.

As he came nearer and looked through the gate he saw between twenty and thirty children, in holiday attire, playing upon the lawn before an old and spacious mansion which had belonged to the Windus family for many generations, and was now in the possession of Sir William Windus, the tenth baron-et, and it was the birthday of his little daughter which the children were celebrating.

The acrobat's eyes kindled as he looked in at the bevy of holiday-makers. Here was a grand chance for him. Surely it would delight the children to see him flash his golden balls in the air, whirling them up and up, like the ever-springing stream of a fountain. Surely all the other wonderful things he could do would be the very thing for them. Surely the great and wealthy parents would pay handsomely for the amusement of the little ladies and the little gentlemen. He paused for a moment, then slowly pushed open the gate, and walked in toward the lawn, followed by his wife.

Had there been any one there whose permission he could have asked he would have done so. But there was no one but the children themselves ; and, therefore, addressing one of the oldest, he asked her if they would like to see some of his feats. The girl smilingly replied that they would ; and all the little faces, with their great eyes, were turned upon the actors and the wonderful box which he took from his shoulders and laid upon the ground.

And now the eyes of wonder opened as wide as they could go. And so intent was the little audience in watching the acrobat, and so intent was Duval in catching his brass balls, that none of them perceived that Sir William Windus was approaching with his game-keeper. He came forward with rapid strides, and when within a few paces of Duval he called out to him, in a voice of thunder,

"Vagabond ! how dared you enter here ?"

For a moment Duval stood astounded and dumb at this sudden interruption. He saw before him a gentleman much taller than himself, in shooting coat and boots, with a felt hat ; narrow-shouldered fair, with shaven lip and chin, but bushy whiskers of deep tawny hue ; his eyes of a bluish gray, large and bright; and his bearing that of an aristocrat, with a strong dash of the bully.

" Come, pack up your trumpery, and begone!" said the baronet, seeing that Duval stood looking at him. But the acrobat had recovered his self possession, and now said, with a firm voice :

"'I meant no offense, your Honor; nor to harm any one or any tiling belonging to you. I saw the children and made bold to enter, thinking it would please them to see my—"

" Oh, that's a very old story," said the baronet. " When thieves and gipsies prowl about gentlemen's parks we all know that their intentions are perfectly innocent !"

" Do you call vie a thief, Sir ?" demanded Duval, his dark cheek coloring and his eyes flashing fire.

" Scoundrel !" exclaimed Sir William, his blood rushing into his face, and making it in a moment red with rage; "do you think I would chat logic with a strolling vagabond like you ? I told you to pack up and be off! Do so at once." And as the baronet uttered this command he raised the hand in which he held his whip, as if about to strike the acrobat.

Duval looked at him with a savage glare of his keen dark eyes, and slowly, in a deep voice, trembling with suppressed rage, said

" You had better not !"

"Duval!" said his wife, gently pulling him by the sleeve, and in a tone of mingled pathos and humility, " never mind the gentleman. We shouldn't have come in without his leave. We humbly ask your pardon, Sir ; come, Duval, let us go."

" Take your wife's advice, my man," said the game-keeper, " and don't come into gentlemen's parks no more till such times as you're specially invited. There, now, gather up your toggery and get out."

While Martha and the game-keeper had been speaking, Duval's eyes remained riveted on Sir William's. The baronet had dared to threaten him with a blow ; with a blow of that whip with which he was wont to chastise his dogs. Duval would have died sooner than endure such a degradation, and he felt half-inclined to spring upon Sir William as it was, and show him that when it come; to close fighting between man and man wealth and . rank make no difference in pride of manhood of

strength of limb. Sir William saw the fierce spirit that was struggling in the acrobat's breast. He felt that he could not bear the steady gaze he fixed on him, and that his proud and overbearing nature had met its match. His blood boiled with rage.

" Impudent villain !" he at last exclaimed, stamping on the ground, "do you dare to beard me, to browbeat me with your insolent look? Take that!" And lifting his arm he brought down his whip with a thud upon the acrobat's back that could be heard as far off as the lodge.

Mad with rage, frenzied with insult, Duval, with a tiger-spring, rushed at the baronet; and dearly would Sir William have paid for his rash act if the acrobat could only have had one blow at him, de-livered with the prodigious strength of his muscular arm and broad, athletic shoulders. But as Duval rushed forward, Leo, one of the noblest hounds in Sir William's kennel, which had for some time watched the parley between his master and Duval with grave, sedate face, sprang upon the acrobat and intercepted his attack. Meanwhile two undergame keepers had arrived. And Lady Windus from her bedroom casement saw the struggle between the man and the dog, and wondered what it all could be about.

" Down, Leo, down !" cried Sir William, and the dog sprang away from the man and sat down by his master's side.

"Now put him out," said the baronet, as he turned away and walked off toward the hall.

" It's no use making any more fuss about it," said the good-natured game-keeper, as Duval sprang upon his feet, his face and hands covered with dust and blood. "You were wrong in the beginning. Be advised and go your way quietly."

And Duval was advised ; the more easily because of the appealing look his wife gave him as she gently wiped the blood from his face. He slung his box once more over his shoulders, and walked slowly toward the gate ; he passed through it, closed it, and then pausing, he clenched his hand, and lifting it toward Heaven, cried out, in the agony of his heart,

"My God ! I ask only this favor of thee--that I may one day be revenged !"

So he and his wife resumed their journey.

Presently a pony-chaise, driven by a lady, was heard behind them ; when it came close to them the lady drew up ; asked them, with slight agitation, the way to Natwich ; then asked Martha whether the infant she carried was a boy or girl; looked at it, kissed it, dropped a sovereign into Martha's hands, and drove on. It was Lady Windus.


Two years passed, and a beautiful lady lay re-dined upon a sofa in the large and richly furnished drawing-room of a country mansion, every thing 1 about which betokened the great wealth of its proprietor, who sat by the window patting the head of a noble mastiff, which every now and then looked up at his master, and gave a bark as if to ask what he could do for him. There was not much that dog or man could do for the wealthy owner of Windus Park ; for time had lavished on him all her favors—ancient descent, great wealth, a beautiful wife, and two promising children. Well might Sir William be a proud man.

Suddenly the luxurious silence of the room was disturbed by a loud clamor in the hall, in which questions were heard rapidly put by some one in an agitated voice—" Where is my lady ? Where is Sir William ?" and the next moment Emily Carter, Miss Joan's maid, rushed into the drawing-room.

Sir William and Lady Windus started up.

" What is the matter ?" demanded the baronet.

" Oh, Sir William ! oh, my lady !—oh, my dear good lady—"

And then Emily shrieked three or four times running, and, turning white as death, fell back into a chair in a fit.

" Heavens on earth !" exclaimed Sir William ; "what is the meaning of all this ? Chambers, do you know ?"

" Only, Sir William," said Chambers, very slowly, and selecting her words with a precision which showed that she was resolved neither to under nor over state what she had heard from. Emily ; " only, Sir William, this much. Emily Carter came to the door, as I were looking out on the lawn, and with a awful countenance, and every one knows what Emily's countenance is when Emily's in one of her—"

"Confound it, woman ! come to the point !" cried Sir William.

" So, Sir, she says to me," Chambers suddenly quickening her pace; " `the children,' says she, `the boat,' says she; `where's Sir William?' says she; 'where's my lady ?' And when I told her, Sir, where you and my lady was, she rushes in, and as my name's Sarah Chambers that's all as Emily Car-ter said to me."

Though Chambers's information was neither copious nor distinct, it conveyed forcibly enough that the children were in danger, and that the boat had something to do with it.

It is impossible to describe the ghastly hue which spread over Sir William's face, as the thought flashed across his mind that his children had been drown-ed. But he had hardly time to realize the possibility of such a calamity when in stole the curate, with a soft step and a smiling face.

"There is no imminent danger," he said, at once. "There is yet half an hour, during which it is quite possible to save them. But lose not a moment in sending a messenger on horseback to the nearest fisherman, and bid him bring round his boat directly. If you'll lend me one of your horses, I'll go myself."

Orders were given for the immediate saddling of a horse, and meanwhile Sir William learned from Mr. Ling that Master William had run his boat upon a sunken rock ; that she had filled and gone down; and that the boy, with his sister, were now upon a point of rock a quarter of a mile from. the shore, from which they were cut off by the flowing tide. In half an hour the point on which they stood would be a foot below water, and unless a boat could he procured by that time, they would be in peril.

In a few seconds more the saddled horse stood at the door. Mr. Ling mounted it and rode off. By this time, however, Lady Windus was on her way down to the shore. The moment she heard of the boat she guessed all the rest.

The truth, however, was that Emily and Miss Joan had been sent out in the pony phaeton, under the charge of the page, for a drive ; that William, seeing the equipage, ran his boat inshore ; and that, as Emily declined to venture on account of her tendency to bile, and her dislike of sharks, he took his sister, of his own lordly will and authority, under his protection. The boat struck, filled, and went down ; and, by the greatest good fortune, William, with Joan in his arms, was able to reach the point of rock on which he now stood.

What were the feelings of Lady Windus when she reached the shore, and beheld her children on a small spot of rock, with the sea all round them—smooth almost as glass it is true—but with the tide flowing, and every minute covering a fresh portion of the rock on which her babes were standing.

But in vain did her mother's heart swell within her till it was nigh bursting, as she saw the little dimpled hands of her Joan stretched out toward her, and her brave boy took off his cap and waved it cheeringly to her with a manly courage, which he drew from her own generous blood much more than from his sire's.

But could nothing be done ?

Sir William now appeared on the road which ran along the shore. He was followed by the old game-keeper ; by Emily Carter, who had recovered; by Sarah Chambers, who wished to see with her own eyes what the precise extent of the danger was ; by the housekeeper, the stable-boy, and a rat-catcher who happened to be passing along the road at the time, and was drawn to the beach by that love of the terrible which kings, philosophers, high damsels and low, noble marquises, baronets, and rat-catchers, share equally among them.

Well, was there no one there who could swim ?

Unhappily Sir William could not, nor the game-keeper. Sarah Chambers said, if there was no one who could make the attempt, she herself would try it ; but, when questioned on her powers as a swimmer, she replied that she could only float ; and that even that feat she had never performed out of her depth.

The rat-catcher being applied to by Emily Car-ter, looked at that young person solemnly for several seconds, and than quietly closed his eyes, and thus addressed her:

" Young woman, do you see this here rat in this here cage ?"

"Well?" demanded Emily, with much dignity.

"Then, unless some on you can swim furderer nor me, or unless a boat comes up, or unless somethink else happens, which I sees no promising sign on, I wouldn't give the life of this here rat for the life of them two childer."

And the tide was rising. Smooth as glass—smooth, specious, and smiling as a lying hypocrite it was rising, and Lady Windus could see that already it was licking the feet of her children.

Look, look, William !" she exclaimed, at the same time directing her husband's attention to the rock ; "he lifts her up. The water is at their feet! My God ! can we do nothing ?"

Yes, it was true. The water was at their feet. William had raised Joan in his arms ; and as he saw his mother direct the baronet's attention to them, he called out, though she couldn't hear him

"All right, mamma; there's plenty of time yet."

Plenty of time ! The sea was flowing in. Often as the party on the shore turned their eyes in the direction in which Mr. Ling had ridden to procure a boat, there was nothing in sight.

Lady Windus had fainted. Sir William stood the picture of agony, looking at his children. Sarah Chambers, Emily, and the stable-boy were grouped round the old game-keeper, who assisted them in shedding a great many tears, but had nothing bet-ter to offer his young master and Miss Joan, though he avowed, and perhaps truly, that he was ready to die for then.

The rat-catcher had seated himself on a stone.

"Are those your children?" asked a man who stood at Sir William's side, but whose approach had not been noticed.

The baronet did not turn to look at the speaker. It was some seconds, indeed, before he recognized that any one had addressed him ; but when he did so, he replied, in a deep whisper of despair

" They are."

The man's gaze was fixed upon the children. Sir William's was fixed upon him. He thought he re-membered him, and so he did, for it was the acrobat.

It was Duval!—Duval, who had prayed for vengeance as the sole favor for which he would trouble Heaven. It was Duval, at whose door, if he could be said ever to have had one, all the miseries of life had knocked, and at whose hearth they had seated themselves. For did not she, whom he had loved more than himself—Martha—did not she lie in her cold grave, with her baby by her side, in the same pauper's coffin? And now—what was left to Duval ?—only to wait for death.

Nay, something more—to live for revenge !

For no boat made its appearance, the tide had risen six inches more, and now they saw the boy kneel down in the water, and look up as if he were praying. And only Duval could save him and his sister—only Duval. He alone, of all who stood there, could breast the flood to the rock and back with the girl—to the rock and back again with the boy.

Why not tell Sir William so? Why not, in-deed? Is not revenge sweet?

And still the tide was rising. Lady Windus, restored for a moment to consciousness, opened her eyes; but •no sooner realized her position than she relapsed into insensibility.

" Sir William," said Duval ; " I see you remember me ! Once I thirsted for revenge upon you ! For two long years I thirsted for it, and prayed for it. Heaven has sent it to me !"

A bright light shot from his eyes as he said this, . and then he slowly walked down to within a few




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