Sherman Captures Atlanta


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, September 24, 1864

Harper's Weekly was the most popular newspaper of the Civil War period. These newspapers have analyses of the war created by people watching it unfold at the time it was happening. The illustrations were created by eye-witnesses to the historic events.

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


John Morgan

John Morgan

Peace Through Victory

Peace Through Victory

Democratic Presidential Candidate

1864 Democratic Presidential Candidate

Sherman Atlanta

Sherman Captures Atlanta

Mobile Bay

Battle Mobile Bay

Reuben Fenton

Reuben Fenton

Dress in the 1800's

Dress in the 1800's

Miles O'Rielly

Miles O'Reilly

Trench Warfare

Trench Warfare

Strange Bedfellows

Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows








SEPTEMBER 24, 1864.]




GENERAL McCLELLAN, in accepting the nomination of a Convention which says that the war has failed and that there must be an immediate cessation of hostilities to arrange a peace, declares, with a fine flourish, that the Union must be preserved at all hazards. His friend, HORATIO SEYMOUR, the President of the Convention, differs from him. Mr, SEYMOUR says that if the Union can be preserved only by emancipation, then to save Slavery the Union must go.

Yet Mr. SEYMOUR, will vote for General McCLELLAN. Does not that fact, give us a glimpse behind the scenes ?

Mr. SEYMOUR further says that the candidate is the representative of principles. Of what principles ? Clearly of those who nominated him.

Will every Union man weigh these things?


IN his dispatch to Commodore PALMER, at New Orleans, Admiral FARRAGUT says " Congratulate the General commanding, . . . Nothing could have been more harmonious than our combined operations. We had no ambition to excel each other but in the destruction of the enemy's works.”

Are not these timely words for dissatisfied Union men to ponder? Ought we to have any other object than. the destruction of the enemy's works at Chicago and elsewhere, and the defeat of all their Generals commanding?


THE great service that the President has done for this country and for civilization has been often considered in these columns. But we commend to the careful attention of our readers the following thoughtful little essay, which foretells what we believe will be the verdict of history

When a ship, after a long and tedious voyage, is met by head-winds and unfavorable currents as she slowly approaches her destined haven, a feeling of disappointment and despondency takes possession of the passengers and the crew, and each one attributes to the officer of the ship the inevitable and necessary delays and discouragements to which they are subjected. Instead of looking forward to the near and certain land to which they are bound they turn their eyes resolutely backward, and persuade themselves that all the troubles in the past are to be gone over anew, and that the momentary delay from which they are suffering could have been avoided had a different course been pursued in some previous part of the voyage. A few days, however, generally suffice to change all this. The long wished for land is sighted, certainty takes the place of disappointed hopes, and they feel with mortification and regret how unjust they have been to the officer whose every hour and thought has been devoted to their welfare. and who has at length brought them with safety, and with a prosperous voyage, to the end of their journey, Long after every other incident of the voyage has faded from their minds they remember and long to recall the unreasonable and unjust accusations that a moment of impatience caused them to utter toward one to whom their safe return home was in is large a measure due.

In just such a situation do we find ourselves at the present time. The voyage is nearly over ; we can almost feel the land breeze wafting over the waters, and see the land birds fluttering around us; our charts and our observations all give us assurance that we are near the end of our journey; but because we can not see the land and put our feet upon it, we are disposed to be anxious and captious, and to lay blame on our faithful and vigilant leader. Let us be more manly and more just. Let us remember how upright and courageous our President has been in the dark and anxious days we have passed through. How manfully and persistently he has met disaster and defeat, always hopeful and always calm in the midst of the greatest dangers and trials.

It is not of so great importance to Mr. LINCOLN'S future fame that he should or should not be elected President for another term. His great record is written, and can never be effaced. In a few short months we may be at the end of our great troubles, and, let us hope, free forever from the anxieties that now beset us. But when that time comes, when history and tradition repeat beside every fireside in the land the trials and the dangers and the heroism of each most faithful and noble veteran, then it will be said " And he, too, never faltered: he marched with us side by side: he believed in us when so many desponded: he risked all to support and sustain and reinforce us. We and he worked together with one heart to remove the dark stain of Slavery from our national honor ; and if we deserve any credit for what we have done in restoring our land to unity end peace and justice, he with us shall ever receive a common share."

This is a time which no station or absence of station can add to or diminish. His work, like that of the most obscure soldier whose body lies buried under the sod of Gettysburg or Antietam, has been done, and faithfully done, and no act of others can destroy or weaken or increase its honor. Faithful and consecrated to the service of his country, his memory, though it were as nameless as that of any private in our armies or any nurse in our hospitals, will, like theirs, be sweet in the heart of every true American is long as the humblest hamlet remains to keep up the tradition of a good citizen. So manly and modest a character, so faithful to every duty, so forgiving and so generous, with a sagacity so eminent, and exercised with so much intelligence and such an absence of guile that his strongest enemies and those of our country have no so ardent wish as to see him replaced in the position of influence he occupies by some other, any other, man. The discontinuance of power does not imply with him cessation of influence. To his successor, whoever he may be or whenever he may come, we can only say, "Walk as nearly in his steps as you can, and you can not, end you will not in the end, fail of the support of all loyal hearts. Think as much of the humblest soldier as of the most distinguished general ; be as just to the interests of the poorest citizen as to these of the most importunate suitor; be slow to come to a decision, and slower to change from it; dare to be unpopular in the performance of imperative duty; set an e ample of calm confidence and religious trust in the hour of gloom and despondency; and you, like him, shall have it written on your tombstone and on the hearts of your fellow-countrymen, ' He, too, was worthy to be an American citizen.'"

It is not our desire in these lines to urge the merits of party considerations or of partisan success. Our appeal is to higher and nobler motives, Let us strive to recall

and to cherish the remembrance of his long and faithful efforts at co-operation with all the highest and best purposes which have actuated our country in the great and earnest struggle in which we are engaged. Let us aim to imitate his unfaltering tenacity of purpose in the attainment for our country of a permanent Union and liberty, worthy of the traditions into which we were born ; then, indeed, the question of who is to be our next President will be one which we need not consider with solicitude; while by such thoughts and such purposes we shall have paid the highest tribute which a free people are able to bestow upon one who has earned so great a claim upon our respect and our gratitude.   G. C. W.


ANOTHER friend writes "The party that went for peace at Chicago has gone to pieces at Atlanta. But the want of practical good sense on the part of some of our friends pains me. The real question at issue is so simple, and the importance of solving it correctly so immense, that I am surprised alike at the confusion of mind and the failure of appreciation of the stake among those who are most deeply interested in the result. Even if Mr. LINCOLN were not, as I believe, the best candidate, he is now the only possible one for the Union party and surely, such being the case, personal preferences should be sunk in consideration of the unspeakable evil to which their indulgence may lead."


GENERAL Dix has written the following letter to Mr. WARD HUNT, who had asked to be allowed to use the General's name as a candidate for Governor of New York :

NEW YORK CITY, Sept. 5, 1864.

"MY DEAR SIR—I have just received yours of the 3d instant, and thank you for your kind suggestion. I could not, however, accept the nomination for Governor it it were tendered to me. I am not, for that reason, the less earnest in my desire to do all in my power to sustain the Government in its efforts to put down the rebellion—an object to be effected, in my judgment, by a steady and unwavering prosecution of the war.

"I am, my dear Sir, truly yours,

"JOHN A. Dix."

General DIX favors " a steady and unwavering prosecution of the war, not "an immediate cessation of hostilities."


HON. ISAAC N. ARNOLD, for the last four years representative in Congress from the Chicago District, recently withdrew as a candidate for re-election in consequence of a sharp contest among the Union men. He writes a dignified and manly letter, concluding as follows, in words and in a spirit which we commend to all those in the Union ranks who are disposed to indulge their personal griefs:

"In my judgment the next ninety days will decide the fate of our country. Disguised and covered up as it may be, it will really be a contest between war for liberty and the Union and a humiliating peace. It will be a contest between patriotic, self sacrifice and narrow selfishness, as well as between heroic loyalty and sympathy with traitors. I need scarcely add that my efforts for the re-election of Mr. LINCOLN will not be lessened, and that I shall labor, as heretofore, for the utter destruction of Slavery and the restoration of the Union on the basis of liberty to all."



THE armies of the Union have never at any period of the war been so favorably situated as they are today. With Hood's army driven out of Atlanta, and with Lee's army rendered, by the judicious disposition of the Federal forces in Virginia, incapable of assuming the offensive, with reinforcements poured every day by thousands into the Federal armies, while every day witnesses the diminution of the rebel armies both by desertion and the inevitable attrition of war, the victory of our national Government over this shameful rebellion can not be far distant. According to our Lieutenant-General's estimate the rebel desertions amount to one regiment per day. Every rebel reverse like the fall of Atlanta multiplies in a continually increasing ratio the number of these desertions. General Grant, in order to encourage rebels to come into our lines, has issued a proclamation assuring them that they would not be compelled to enter the Federal army, but would receive free transportation to any point within our lines, The sole circumstance affording courage to armed rebels is the disposition on the part of the Chicago Democratic party to sue to the rebel authorities for peace.


There is no important intelligence from the Army of the James. There is every reason to believe that Lee's army behind his intrenchments at Petersburg was reduced to the lowest possible limit in order to render Early master of the situation in the Shenandoah Valley. Grant, taking advantage of this depletion in his immediate front, seized upon the Weldon Road, and has held it with his accustomed tenacity. At the same time the Federal army in the Valley was reorganized and reinforced, and Early was obliged to take the defensive. At one time we have a rumor that Lee is reinforcing Early, and then again that Early is reinforcing Lee ; but in neither case is there any certainty, Since the engagement at Berryville on the 3d there has been no action of importance in the Valley. On the 4th Mosby captured one of Sheridan's ambulance trains of 35 wagons, filled with wounded.


The following letter from General Sherman gives the details of the capture of Atlanta:

"ATLANTA, September 7.

"On the 25th of August, pursuant to a plan of which the War Department had been fully advised, I left the Twentieth Corps at the Chattahoochee Bridge, and with the balance of the army I drew off from the siege, and using seine considerable artifice to mislead the enemy.

"I moved rapidly south, reached the West Point Railroad near Fairborn on the 27th, and broke up twelve miles of it. When moving east my right approached the Macon Railroad near Jonesborough, and my left near Rough and Ready. The enemy attacked the right wing of the Army of the Tennessee, and were completely beaten.

" On the 31st, and during the combat, I pushed the left of the centre rapidly to the railroad above, between Rough and Ready and Jonesborough.

" On the 1st of September we broke up about eight miles of the Macon Read, and turned on the enemy at Jonesborough, assaulted him and his lines, and carried them, capturing Brigadier-General Gorman and about 2000 prisoners, with eight guns and much plunder. Night alone prevented our capturing all of Hardee's corps, which escaped south that night.

"That same night, Hood, in Atlanta, finding all his railroads broken and in our possession, blew up his ammunition, seven locomotives and eighty cars, and evacuated Atlanta, which, on the next day, September 2, was occupied by the corps left for that purpose, Major-General Slocum commanding, we following the retreating rebel army to near Lovejoy's station, thirty miles south of Atlanta, where, finding him strongly intrenched, I concluded it would not 'pay' to assault as we already had the great object of the campaign, viz., Atlanta. Accordingly the army gradually and leisurely returned to Atlanta ; and it is now encamped eight miles south of the city, and tomorrow will move to the camps appointed. I am now writing in Atlanta, so I could not be uneasy in regard to our situation.

"We have as the result of this quick, and, as I think, well executed movement, 27 guns, over 3000 prisoners, and have buried over 400 rebel dead, and left as many wounded ; they could not be removed.

"The rebels have lost, besides the important city of Atlanta and stores, at least 500 dead, 2500 wounded, and 3000 prisoners, whereas our aggregate loss will not foot 1500,

"If that is not success, I don't know what is.

(Signed) "SHERMAN, Major-General." It was Hardee's corps, together with General S. L. Lee's and Cleburne's commands, which fought the battle of Jonesborough on the rebel side. The rebel Generals Anderson, Patten, and Cummings were wounded. The capture of Atlanta renders useless any of the rebel attempts on Sherman's communications.


During the siege of Mobile, and up to the surrender of Fort Morgan, August 24, our loss in all was one ship sunk by a torpedo, one burned through infraction of orders, and 330 men killed and wounded, half of whom were killed by drowning or the fire of the enemy. On the other hand, we took from 1700 to 1800 prisoners, captured the two best vessels of the enemy, forced them to burn the gun-boat Gaines, and drove the rest of their fleet beyond the obstructions. Three torts, with one hundred guns of heavy calibre, with all their material, were unconditionally surrendered to us.

The rebel gun-boat Morgan escaped to Mobile, and the gun-boat Powell was blown up to prevent her falling into our hands. The United States steamer Oneida suffered more than any other vessel; Commander J. R. Muianey lost his left arm, The second day after the surrender of Fort Morgan a torpedo was accidentally exploded in the breach, killing five and wounding four men of the Seminole, killed two of General Granger's men, and took off both arms of one of the Metacomet's men.

The pilot of the Hartford was wounded. Admiral Buchanan was doing well and would not lose his leg. Commander Murphy of the Selma was wounded and doing well. Commander J. D. Johnston of the rebel ram Tennessee was in the hospital at Pensacola. The executive officer of the Tennessee, W. L. Bradford, is a prisoner on the United States frigate Potomac.


The Union State Convention met at Syracuse on the 7th of September. Hon. Reuben E. Fenton was nominated as candidate for Governor, and Thomas G. Alvord for Lieutenant-Governor. Horace Greeley and Preston King were appointed Presidential Electors at large.


The election in Maine September 12 resulted in the choice of Samuel Cony, the Union candidate, for Governor. The Union majority is 20,000, a large gain upon that of last year.


Brigadier-General J. E. Mower has been promoted to a Major-Generalship.

The Government has no apprehensions of difficulty with England on account of the seizure of the pirate Georgia, notwithstanding she had been sold to Portugal. It is a well settled principle of English maritime law, that belligerent's vessels shall not he transferred from neutral ports during hostilities between the belligerent parties.

At the municipal election in Baltimore, September 6, the Union men carried the city by 450 majority, electing every candidate in every Ward.

The Democratic State Convention of Illinois was held in Springfield September 6. Hon. James C. Robinson was nominated for Governor, and S. Corning Judd for Lieutenant-Governor.

Colonel Thomas Egan, Fourteenth New York, has been appointed Brigadier-General for bravery in the field, on General Grant's recommendation.


THE OLD STYLE AND THE NEW.--The year used to be reckoned to contain 365 days 6 hours; but, strictly speaking, the year only contains 365 days, 48 minutes, 48 sec ends. In 1752 there were eleven days over, and by Act of Parliament, the 2d was called the 13th, and the reckoning and the true motion made to agree. The new style is called the Gregorian style, because it was introduced by Pope Gregory, who, at Rome, introduced it as early as the year 1582, when the vernal equinox fell on the 11th instead of the 21st, and ten days were dropped. The Romans added the day on leap-year on the 6th of the calends of March, making two sixths, or bis sextus, and hence the expression Bissextile year, or leap-year. A leap-year is the year that divides evenly by four, and, consequently, the present year is a leap-year, when any ladies who feel so disposed have, according to an old saying, the right to "pop the question." In England, until 1752, we began the year at the vernal equinox, and to make dates agree with those of other nations, between January and Lady-Day, our writers used to put two dates thus, February 7,

1708/1709 the bottom date being that from January the 1st,

and the upper that from the previous Lady-Day. The Russians still adhere to the old style.

Joy is of itself worth something, if only that it crowds out something worse before one lays down his heavy head and sinks into nothingness,

How much authors change their opinions of their own works according to their time of life is illustrated by the following anecdote. Baron Haller was in his youth devoted to poetry. His house was on fire, and to rescue his poems he rushed through the flames; he contrived to rescue his manuscripts, but ten years after he condemned to the flames the very poems which he had risked his life to preserve.

THE following anecdote furnishes a good suggestion to ministers and lecturers who are troubled with inattentive audiences: At a public meeting held at Antwerp a few days since, one of the speakers, M. Van Ryswick, was received with such clamor by some of the persons that he could not obtain a hearing. He accordingly sat down, produced a pack of cards. and asked one of his neighbors to join him in a game of piquet till the noise should cease. This humorous expedient had the effect of instantaneously silencing his opponents.

THE Montreal Herald describes horrible scene which was recently witnessed in Canada. The courthouse and prison of St. Scholastique caught fire, the flames spreading with great rapidity. The prison contained six prisonors—three men and three women. The men were with difficulty rescued. The women could not be reached. One of them appeared at a window and piteously implored "Mon Dieu, sanvez nous ! sauvez nous !" To relieve her was now beyond the power of man. Men, women, and children who were spectators of this scene fell on their knees, praying the Almighty to pity her.

On the topmost step of a fragile ladder were the feet of the Rev. M. Barnabe, with hands clasping the iron bars, imploring the poor creature to prepare to meet her God. Here, at the risk of his life, be gave the dying creature the last consolation of his Church. Ere it was completed the black smoke became red, and in it the poor girl fell back to be neither heard nor seen again. Her mother and sister were victims with her, but neither of them here seen or heard from the outside; suffocation, no doubt, came early over them. These three women had been confined for destroying a newly-born infant.

TOBACCO became fashionable through Sir Walter Raleigh, but by the caution he took in smoking it privately it is clear he did not wish to have the custom imitated. But sitting one day with a pipe in his month, he inadvertently called for some small-beer. The fellow coming into the room threw all the liquor into his master's face, and running down stairs called out, "Help! help! Sir Walter has studied till his head is on fire, and the smoke bursts out at his mouth and nose."

ABSOLUTE, peremptory facts are bullies, and those who keep company with them are apt to get a bullying habit of mind.

YOUNGER, in his "River Angling," gives the following hint to persons who are too tenderly inclined to go a-fishing; "On the falling in of a flood the trout soon perceives, and sets out on his foray, first on the easy eddies, and sucks in the small flies in thousands, filling his stomach on dainties to repletion. Cut up a trout of a pound weight in such a time, and see in his throat and stomach ten thousand blue midge flies going into a mash among six or eight pars and minnows, and find that he has also been on greedy as to take your fly or minnow over all ; and then don't be sorry for having nabbed him, and saved a million more of flies and small fish, each life as precious as his. From the stomach of a trout of about the above weight I have cut out six small trouts, pars, or smelts, averaging five inches long: the one first swallowed digested nearly to the bones, the last, whole and entire, still stuck in the gullet for lack of capacity in the stomach equal to the voracity of its nature. This trout took my imitation fly over and above this gorged bellyful, by which it was caught."

He says also: " I have known two fishers, each of whom has, at periods more than twenty years apart, met with the self same occurrence in the very some place. The fish took the bait, and was run some time from near the head to the foot of the stream, when, by some accident, the line was broken, or cut on a rock, within a foot or two of his mouth, when the fisher coolly put on a new tackle and bait, went up and began again at the end of the cast, and exactly on the same spot, hooked him again with much less ceremony than at the first, as the fish seized it this last time with great eagerness, and was run and landed with the first bait—hooks, gut, worms, and all—hanging in his throat."

THE murder of Mr. Briggs on the Great Northern Railway in England appears to have rendered the English people over nervous. A few days ago a Duke was traveling by rail, and the sole occupant of a first class carriage, when at an intervening station another passenger got in in a hurry. No sooner did he perceive that there was but one passenger in the carriage than he called out pretty lustily, " Guard, guard, let me out !" The train, however, started immediately, and the stranger dropped into his seat, looking exceedingly nervous, and ventured at length to say, "It's rather an awkward thing traveling with only one man nowadays." The Duke, whose frank and open countenance might satisfy the most suspicious, appreciated the joke, but did not take the advantage of it he fairly might, and replied, good-naturedly, "Well, if you are not afraid of me I am not afraid of you."

MOST lives, though their stream is loaded with sand and turbid with alluvial waste, drop a few golden grains of wisdom as they flow along.

THE latest discovery in portraiture is an invention styled by the patentee the " Casket or Crystal Cube Miniature," by which a solid image of your head is, by some development of the photographic art, seen looking, with a strange, living reality, from out of the centre of a small cube of crystal, every feature standing out in as perfect relief as though chiseled by the hands of fairy sculptors.

WE have frequently beard of the power of the imagination, but the following instance, which lately occurred in France, affords a novel illustration A respectably dressed man of about fifty called on a man at St. Etienne, and said, "I am a builder by trade, and in making my contracts am sometimes obliged to drink rather to freely. Finding myself lately indisposed in consequence of these excesses I was advised to apply to M. X---, of Caux, who had, I was told, a secret of sovereign efficacy in such cases. I followed the recommendation and took the remedy, which consisted of a white powder done up in small packets; but instead of being cured I find I am poisoned, and I have been told this morning that the remedy is arsenic. Yes, Sir," continued the speaker, with great violence, ' I am poisoned, and already today I have had one violent attack." While speaking his countenance changed, his breathing became heavy, and throwing himself back in a chair he exclaimed, "I am going to have another—I am dying—help! help!" The doctor went toward him and found that he was dead. A postmortem examination proved that the man died from paralysis of the pectoral "muscles, brought on by violent emotion produced by a diseased imagination. No trace of poison existed. The white powder was analyzed, and turned out to be not arsenic, but simply sugar of milk, a completely harmless substance.

THE poet Milton's house in Barbican, England, is to be removed for railway purposes. Mr. Dunn, foreman of the works, writes: "It may be interesting to antiquaries to know, previous to the demolition of Milton's house in Barbican, that there are relics there in course of removal which deserve a better fate than to be carried away as rubbish. The old schoolroom and study were almost entire, but is now partly taken down. The oak around these apartments is still on the ground. Only forty panes of glass from the original windows are there. There may be more to interest collectors of objects of this kind than I am aware of; but, previous to the utter removal of every atom from the premises, I shall be happy to admit any party having an interest in the memoir' of Milton."

A CORRESPONDENT of the London Athenoeum, writing from Naples, gives the following items in regard to discoveries lately made in Pompeii: "Just two years ago I communicated to you my good fortune in witnessing, during a visit to Pompeii, the disinterment of a baker's oven, with its full batch of loaves untouched since the moment, eighteen hundred years ago, when they were there deposited by the unforeboding baker, for the sales on that morrow which he was fated never to see. In my present visit I find myself close upon the track of the discovery, hardly less curious, of another of the elements of human life—that of an ancient well, with its wavers still as fresh and sparkling as when, on the day of the great catastrophe, the aquarius of the house to which it belongs drew from it the supply for the last meal of the doomed family. The well is in the cellar of a house which has been very recently excavated, and in which have been discovered many objects of interest, especially a small but beautiful statue, of which I shall have occasion to speak later. The well in about sixty-five feet in depth, and still retains about fifteen feet of water.

"Among the relics of a bakery preserved in the local museum is one which throws a curious light on the domestic arrangements of the Pompeian baker, being no other than one of the dishes which were actually in process of preparation for dinner on the very day of the catastrophe! Upon the cooking stove in the kitchen was found a stew pan half filled with ashes, and in the bottom appeared an indurated mass, which Signor Fiorelli rightly conjectured to have been produced by some of the viands which lay within the pan, and which, although long since decomposed, had left their impress on the now consolidated ashes. Acting upon this happy thought, be applied in this instance the same ingenious process which was so successfully adopted in reproducing that painfully life like group of human figures described with such terrible fidelity in one of your former numbers; and the result has fully justified his anticipations, being an exact fac-simile in bronze of a young pig, which was being stewed for the family dinner at the very moment when they were surprised by the stroke of doom.

"In connection with this curious relic I may mention the discovery of the skeleton of a horse, which, together with two other skeletons of horses found many year's ago, has, through the anatomical skill of one of the Members of the Academy, been carefully put together, and placed in one of the rooms. I have had the curiosity to examine the 'tooth-marks' of the most recent of these skeletons, and find that the animal was just five years old at the time of the destruction of the city. All these horses were small-sized, but of good shape, and of a type still common in Southern Italy."




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