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Civil War Harper's Weekly, August 6, 1864

Welcome to our online archive of Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. These papers give a unique view of the war, created by the people who lived it. It is full of stories and illustrations created by correspondents deployed to the front lines. They lived with the Soldiers, and experienced the war first hand.

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




Peace Movement

Peace Movement

Rousseau Expedition

Rousseau Expedition

Sherman March Atlanta

Sherman's March on Atlanta

Petersburg Trenches


General J.E.B. Stuart

Stuart Death

Death of JEB Stuart

Penny Shortage

Penny Shortage

Marietta Georgia

Marietta, Georgia

Peterburg Siege

Trenches at the Siege of Petersburg

Cavalry Raid

Cavalry Raid





VOL. VIII.—No. 397.]




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the Year 1864, by Harper & Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.

For a company from the town came up ten miles with music and gun—It seemed his country claimed him then—as well as his mother her son.

But Joseph is yonder with Grant to-day, a thousand miles or near, And only the bees are abroad at work with me in the clover here.

Was it a murmur of thunder I heard that humm'd again in the air?

Yet, may be, the cannon are sounding now their "Onward to Richmond" there.

But under the beech by the orchard, at noon, I sat an hour it would seem—It may be I slept a minute, too, or wavered into a dream.

For I saw my boys, across the field, by the flashes as they went,

Tramping a steady tramp as of old with the strength in their arms unspent :

Tramping a steady tramp they moved like soldiers that march to the beat Of music that seems, a part of themselves, to rise and fall with their feet;

Tramping a steady tramp, they came with flashes of silver that shone, Every step, from their scythes that rang as if they needed the stone

(The field is wide and heavy with grass)—and, coming toward me they beamed With a shine of light in their faces at once, and—surely I must have dreamed!

For I sat alone in the clover-field, the bees were working ahead;

There were three in my vision—remember, old man : and—what if Joseph were dead!

But I hope that he and Grant (the flag above them both, to boot) Will go into Richmond together, no matter which is ahead or afoot!

Meantime alone at the mowing here—an old man somewhat gray—I must stay at home as long as I can, making myself the hay.

And so another round—the quail in the orchard whistles blithe—But first I'll drink at the spring below, and whet again my scythe.


THE bees in the clover are making honey, and I am making my hay : The air is fresh, I seem to draw a young man's breath today.

The bees and I are alone in the grass : the air is so very still I hear the dam, so loud, that shines beyond the sullen mill.

Yes, the air is so still that I hear almost the sounds I can not hear That, when no other sound is plain, ring in my empty ear:

The chime of striking scythes, the fall of the heavy swaths they sweep--They ring about me, resting, when I waver half asleep ;

So still I am not sure if a cloud, low down, unseen there be,

Or if something brings a rumor home of the cannon so far from me

Far away in Virginia where Joseph and Grant, I know,

Will tell them what I meant when first I had my mowers go.

Joseph he is my eldest one, the only boy of my three

Whose shadow can darken my door again, and lighten my heart for me.

Joseph he is my eldest—how his scythe was striking ahead! William was better at shorter heats, but Jo in the long-run led.

William he was my youngest; John, between them, I somehow see, When my eyes are shut, with a little board at his head in Tennessee.

But William came home one morning early, from Gettysburg, last July (The mowing was over already, although the only mower was I) :

William, my captain, came home for good to his mother; and I'll be bound We were proud and cried to see the flag that wrapt his coffin around;

Ohio Mower

We acquired this leaf for the purpose of digitally preserving it for your research and enjoyment.  If you would like to acquire the original 140+ year old Harper's Weekly leaf we used to create this page, it is available for a price of $165.  Your purchase allows us to continue to archive more original material. For more information, contact




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