Jefferson Davis Seizes Confederate Gold


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, April 1, 1865

This WEB site features an online archive of all the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. These newspapers have in depth news reports, and illustrations created by eye-witnesses. This resource allows the serious student of the war to create a more in depth understanding of the important people and events of the war.

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


Sherman's March

Sherman's March Through South Carolina

Jefferson Davis Dictator

Jefferson Davis Dictator Power

Confederate Gold

Jefferson Davis Seizes Confederate Gold

Sherman Carolinas

Sherman's March Through Carolinas

Carolinas in the Civil War

Cavalry Raid

General Kilpatrick's Cavalry Raid

Rebel Cartoon

Rebel Cartoon



Columbia, South Carolina

Hilton Head

Hilton Head







APRIL 1, 1865.]



(Previous Page) But if, by any chance, the fate of the rebellion should be left to LEE, he would contemplate the situation as a soldier and not as a fire eating braggart. Confronted by irresistible combinations and overpowering force he would hardly chatter about the last ditch, but would surrender to save useless suffering. Even should he do otherwise, if the rebel army retreat to the mountains, the apathy of the sea board and interior population will gradually succumb to the necessity of the case. Men must live : and to live they must work. As industry revives under a new order, those who have accepted failure may retain a romantic sympathy with those who still contend ; but it will be only romance, like the feeling and the toasts of comfortable London Jacobites to the Pretender skirmishing in the Scotch Highlands, The end of the rebellion will be gradual. There will be no day when " peace is declared." The embers will long smoulder after the flames are extinguished. But even those who welcomed the fire, when they have rebuilt their houses and begun to plant again, will not wish it to be kindled anew.


THE order of General GRANT prohibiting all commercial transactions with the rebels is an act of the plainest common sense. Nothing certainly could well be more absurd for a General in earnest than to suffer SHERMAN and SHERIDAN to destroy property and resources in Virginia and Carolina, while he supplied the enemy with money in Louisiana or Georgia. It is a subject upon which faithful Union men have differed. It has been the opinion of some that for every million of dollars the rebels received in exchange for cotton, the Union cause gained five millions of advantage. But a million to the rebels is more valuable than twenty millions to us ; and even if it were theoretically probable that those who received the greenbacks would hoard them or invest them beyond the control of the rebellion, it was still practically true that we could never be sure of such a disposition, and that we know how unsparing the rebel scrutiny and impressment is.

Nor is the necessary demoralization of such a course to be overlooked. Surely it was a ludicrous illustration of Yankee enterprise to forbid the world to supply rebels against the Government with food and arms, in order that we might monopolize the profits of such a trade. Why should we be angry that we were not believed to be in earnest when we insisted upon trifling ? Or why should we expect fidelity or bravery in an army before the enemy, when the soldiers knew that we had supplied the means to procure the arms with which the enemy was to destroy them? The most shameful and humiliating event in the whole war was the Red River expedition. Is there any body in the country so dull as not to know that it was a trading and not a military expedition?

General GRANT is willing and able to fight the enemy, but not to feed him and furnish him with arms and ammunition. The expedition to Fredericksburg and the seizure and destruction of the tobacco was as legitimate a military operation as the battle of Chancellorville. But in the latter case the rebels won a victory ; in the former we prevented their winning one. And General BANKS declares that the misrepresentations of his career in Louisiana sprang originally from traders, whose transactions he would not tolerate. The deadly injury that this trade has already done, by the aid it has rendered to the rebellion, is incalculable, and General GRANT adds to his claims to national gratitude by peremptorily stopping it.


ON the 11th of March, 1861, the Constitution of " the Confederate States of America" was adopted at Montgomery. It began by setting forth the doctrine of State sovereignty as the foundation of the Confederacy. " We, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character," etc., etc. Here was a deliberate renunciation of the principle of national union of which our Government is the first example in history. It was a recurrence to that modified union, that ghost of nationality, that hopeless shift of divided sovereignty against which our old confederation and the universal experience of man kind protested. But supreme State sovereignty the rebel chiefs would have, and they gravely began to build their fire upon the back of the whale. " That is no island," cried history; " we have tried it, and it is only a fish's back." "Pooh !" retorted the gallant gentlemen, " do you pretend to teach us who have had CALHOUN for our master !" And they made the fire hot-ter and hotter. Suddenly the whale dived, and they are left wallowing.

They have learned by their own experience what they refused to learn from that of the world, that fire burns, that when each State acts in its sovereign and independent character there is no nation, and the league is just as strong as the weakest State, and no stronger.

This is the unpleasant but unhesitating confession made by the Richmond Enquirer, the chief rebel paper, just four years after the sol

emn proclamation of the absurdity at Montgomery : " Has not State sovereignty been the weakness of the cause ? If, during the life and death struggle, with the compress of a common danger to bind and hold together these States, this principle of State sovereignty was continually obtruding itself, delaying and preventing the legislation necessary to the common defense, impairing that authority intrusted with the general welfare, and impeding the execution of laws necessary and proper to the success of the cause, is it to be supposed that, when peace returns, this principle of State sovereignty will permit the Confederacy to exist one year ?   The conduct of certain States, in their opposition to the laws passed for the organization of the army and the preservation of discipline, has caused many men to reconsider their long cherished doctrine of State sovereignty, and to come to the conclusion that, while in theory it is beautiful and true, in fact and practice it is utterly defective."

This was exactly what WASHINGTON and HAMILTON said eighty years ago, and the American people, believing them, utterly and forever renounced the insane whim of State sovereignty, and established National sovereignty. If our fathers had not been a great deal wiser than their recreant children at the South, this Government could never have mastered a rebellion which would have conquered any other Government in the world. We have proved the inestimable value and the triumphant strength of union. The rebels have illustrated the weakness and folly of federation. State sovereignty is nearly as dead as slavery.


THE name of JOHN McLENAN, who recently died at the age of thirty nine, was familiar to all lovers of American humorous and characteristic illustration, and especially so to the readers of Harper's Weekly, in which many of the most amusing and satiric cuts were from his pencil. With great facility of fancy and a shrewd eye for comedy, Mr. McLENAN united a sincere love of his art and a generous ambition to excel. Many of his illustrations in WILKIE COLLINS'S "Woman in White" were full of character and spirit, that of Count Fosco, especially, accurately reproducing the intention of the author. His humor was well shown in " Sam Dale" and " Fisher's River Sketches," and it is in the multitude of such works that his name will be pleasantly remembered.


THE London Review, in a recent notice of ARTEMUS WARD'S book, gravely remarks : " At the present time he is lecturing at New York; and WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT, the poet, writes of him in the New York Evening Post : ARTEMUS has a style of his own, which no lecturer has yet discovered. He says so many funny things that the audience some-times let a " goak" [joke] slip by unnoticed, and then ARTEMUS will pause for a moment with a down cast expression, till a sudden guffaw tells him that somebody has seen the point.' This is a mode of enforcing witticisms which is certainly new to us." We do not know how it may be in London, but in this country an entire journal is not written by one hand. It may be interesting to the London Review to know that Mr. BRYANT does not write all the advertisements, nor commercial articles, nor theatrical and musical and literary and scientific reviews, nor all reports of lectures, speeches, and sermons, which appear in the Evening Post. We understand that many of the faithful readers of the Tribune in the rural districts suppose that the caustic criticisms upon pictures which occasionally appear in that journal are written by Mr. GREELEY. The ground of the supposition is that the Tribune is " GREELEY'S paper." But we assure our British and rural friends who cherish this idea, that every leading journal has a full and well appointed " staff" of writers, and that Mr. BRYANT does not write all the " letters from the people" which appear in the Post, nor Mr. GREELEY the novels of CHARLES READE and THACKERAY which have been published in the Weekly Tribune.


THE London papers are full of Louis NAPOLEON'S " History of Julius Caesar," which, from many circumstances, will be one of the most notable books of the time. The HARPERS have bought the early sheets, and it is now passing rapidly through the press, and will be issued immediately in a handsome form. The English notices treat the work as a significant political manifesto. It is in fact, as the preface already published here shows, a defense of imperialism by an Emperor. Caesarism is identical with the Napoleonic idea, and the Napoleonic idea is that might is right. The historical value of the book is undoubtedly great, for it has unquestionably had the scrutiny and approval of the most accomplished scholars in France. Even the Emperor could not dare to be an inaccurate author. The work has had in the preparation all the advantages that unlimited expense could secure, and is issued with corresponding pomp of typography.


SECRETARY STANTON has at length submitted his report. He has been waiting, he says, for the Lieutenant-General's report, which has not been received for the simple reason that that officer has too much work to do to make reports. We make the following extracts :

" The military events of the past year have been officially published by this department from time to time as they transpired, and are fully known in every branch of this Government and throughout the civilized world.

They constitute a series of successful marches, sieges, and battles, attesting the endurance and courage of the soldiers of the United States, and the gallantry and military skill of their commanders, unrivaled in the history of nations.

" The campaign of the Army of the Potomac, and the operations on the James River, the Appomattox, and around Richmond and Petersburg; the masterly operations of our army in Georgia, resulting in the capture of Atlanta, Savannah, and other important military posts in that State; the reduction of the forts in the harbor of Mobile ; the hard fought battles at Franklin and around Nashville, resulting in the rout of the rebel army in Tennessee; the succession of brilliant victories won by the Army of the Shenandoah ; the successful storming of Fort Fisher; the capture of Wilmington, Columbia, and Charleston, and other achievements of less note, all contributing to the triumph of the Union cause and the suppression of the rebellion, will be more appropriately detailed upon the coming in of the report of the Lieutenant-General.

"Over two hundred flags, captured from the rebels, have been received, properly labeled, and deposited for safe keeping.

The work of preparing official reports of battles, etc., for printing, in compliance with the resolution of Congress of May 19, 1864, is progressing as rapidly as possible, and all officers from whom such reports are due have been called upon for them.

" The ordnance supplies furnished to the military service during the fiscal year include 1141 pieces of ordnance, 1896 artillery carriages and caissons, 455,910 small-arms, 502,044 sets of accoutrements and harness, 1,913,753 projectiles for cannon, 7,624,685 pounds of bullets and lead, 464,549 rounds of artillery ammunition, 152,061 sets of horse equipments, 112,087,553 cartridges for small-arms, 7,544,044 pounds of gunpowder. These supplies were in addition to large quantities of parts provided for repairs in the field.

"The Commissary-General of Subsistence reports that the supplies of subsistence stores have been mostly purchased in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Cincinnati, Louisville, Chicago, and St. Louis. Beef cattle were furnished by contracts of short duration at most convenient places, and driven from the places of purchase to the field. Most of the stores were purchased by advertising, accepting the lowest bids offered for suitable articles at cash prices. Attempts have in some cases been made by individuals and associations to monopolize and control the prices of articles required by the Subsistence Bureau, thereby creating much difficulty.

The armies have been supplied with good and whole-some food, and large numbers of prisoners and suffering Union families have been furnished with subsistence. Generally the contractors and others have faithfully complied with their obligations. Officers employed in this branch of the service, with but few exceptions, have per-,formed their duties with promptness in the field and at depots. During the year ending June 30, 1864, fifty-two thousand four hundred and eighty-two quarterly or monthly accounts have been examined and referred to the Treasury Department.

" The mobility of the armies has increased. The opinion, held by some officers of rank in the earlier history of the rebellion, that an army could not be maintained except within reach of a navigable river or railroad has been dispersed by such marches as those of General Sherman from Vicksburg, east of Meridian, and back to Vicksburg, from Memphis to Knoxville, and back to Decatur, at a time when the railroads were not in operation; that of General Burnside from Cincinnati and Louisville, through Southeast Kentucky, to Knoxville ; that of Lieutenant-General Grant from Washington to Petersburg, and the march of General Sherman from Atlanta toward the coast."


On the 25th of February General Palmer, in command of the district of Newbern, left Wilmington with orders from General Schofield for an advance on Kinston, North Carolina. Kinston is on the Neuse, about 20 miles below Goldsborough. Between Kinston and Newborn the road passes through difficult morasses. The enemy was disposed to make a stubborn defense at Kinston, and for that purpose had dispatched Bragg's command with a corps from Lee's army to that point. This force is estimated as about 15,000. General Cox arrived on the 6th and took command of the Federal column advancing from Newbern.   

The next day was occupied in skirmishing, chiefly with artillery. On the 8th the enemy succeeded in flanking lox's advance line, and taking over a thousand prisoners from the Fifteenth Connecticut and Twenty - seventh Massachusetts. Three guns also were captured. This occurred about four miles from Kinston. Later in the day the rebels attacked and were repulsed with heavy loss. The attack was repeated with a like result on the 10th, and Kinston was abandoned, the enemy falling back on Goldsborough. The loss on both sides in these battles was nearly equal. General Schofield occupied Kinston on the 13th.


General Sheridan, after his extensive raid up the Valley and along the James, not being able to cross that river, continued his destruction of the roads north of Richmond, and at last accounts had nearly succeeded in joining Grant's right by way of the White House.

The rebel Congress, on the 18th inst., among its very last acts passed the bill empowering Jeff Davis to seize the gold in the banks for the purchase of supplies. This uses up every thing in the State of Virginia, and will put into Davis's hands about two millions of gold equivalent to one hundred and fifty millions of rebel currency.

The rebel Congress also passed the act suspending the writ of habeas corpus, the Senate having reconsidered its previous action, by which the bill was defeated. Thus, nearly all of Jeff Davis's requirements, as set forth in his last message, have been complied with.

An important general order from General Pope is published, which is the first step toward giving practical effect to the views of his recent letter to the Governor of Missouri. It directs that as soon as information shall be received from Governor Fletcher of the re-establishment of the courts and civil authority in any county or district, the promiscuous exercise of martial law there shall cease; Provost Marshals will be immediately released from all duties except those strictly military.

M. De Montholon has been appointed French Minister at Washington, and M. Dane Minister at Mexico. The Pall Mall Gazette says that, in conformity with public opinion in France, the Emperor Napoleon will leave Mexico to her destiny as soon as the French troops have returned.   -

A new ministry has been formed in Portugal, with the Duke de Soule as President of the Council and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Marquis de Sa Da Bandiera as Minister of War.



(Quotation from a certain Shakspearian Play, Act I. Scene 2., "Who is it in the Press?"—Julius Caesar.

THE AMERICAN FLAG RE-QUARTERED.—Whether the South be recognized or not, as a consequence of the War, it is clear that the Negro will. When the Stars shine again, the Stripes will have disappeared.

An eloquent "reverend" gentleman, who says eccentric things in his sermons, recently pointed out to his "audience" that efforts at respectability made people extravagant and worldly, forgetting religion, and he therefore concluded by a prayer that his audience might never become respectable.

The Gas Companies' Lawyer—COKE.

COLLECTING THE RENTS.—A. Roman Catholic clergyman residing near Limerick has the benevolent fancy of carrying about needles and thread with him, and either getting the tattered to sew up their clothes, or in cases of obstinacy doing it himself:


A HISTORICAL PARALLEL.--Some people object to the parallel which the Imperial author of the Life of Julius evidently intends to draw between biographer and subject. The likeness will be more clearly seen, if the name be written as it should be—" Seizer."


"This long word comes only from parler, to speak, As best etymologists trace;

So you see all is parle, and nothing is meant; Too often the truth of the case."

A THOUGHT IN THE PARK.--What an aggravating reminder to meet your most pressing creditor driving a pair of dun ponies.

HISTORY EPITOMIZED (by LOUIS NAPOLEON).—" Caesar and Boney very much alike : specially Boney !"

The difference between the married and divorced is exceedingly slight, consisting merely of the exchange of a couple of letters, the married being united, and the di vorced untied.

WRIT& OF ERROR—Marriage contracts.

A DRAMATIC QUESTION.—Why is a short-hand writer like the husband of Imogen ?--Because he's a-symbolin' (Cymbeline).

At an auction at Cork, recently, a lady and gentleman, who were so placed that they could not see each other, kept up the bidding for an article after all the other competitors had given in. What was his surprise when the gentleman discovered he was bidding against his wife !

MODEL FOR A PAINTER—A man of color.

WHAT RELIGION Is A MUTE ?—He is a Sadducee (sad-you-see).


POST-OFFICE QUERY.—How many letters would a fellow have to put into the post before he may be said to have "put in a word?"

"Dennis, my boy," said an English schoolmaster to his Hibernian pupil, "I fear I shall make nothing of you; you've no application." "An', sure enough, Sir," said the quick-witted lad, " isn't it myself that's always being tould there's no occasion for it ? Don't I see every day in the newspapers that no Irish need apply,' at all, at all ?"

OUTRAGEOUS.—An old bachelor being asked by a pert young miss if he could account for the application of the term belle to handsome young ladies, promptly replied that it was owing to the goodly proportion of brass in their composition.

" William, what part of speech is the word 'egg?' " " It is a Noun, Sir." " What is its gender?" "Can't tell, Sir." "Is it masculine, feminine, or neuter?" "Can't say, Sir, till it's hatched." "Well, then, my lad, you can tell me the case ?" '' Oh yes, the shell, Sir."


Love is a comical thing,

And gives itself numerous airs;

'Twill make a man whistle and sing

When he ought to be saying his prayers,

Love is a comical thing,

The root of all evil, I'm told ; Gray hairs it will frequently bring Prematurely, before we are old.

Love is a comical thing,

It induces a fellow to spoon;

And oft silly verses to sing,

When he can't get one cadence in tune,

Love is a comical thing,

And it comes on one all unawares; From the laboring man to the king All rest and repose it impairs.

Love is a comical thing,

And so frequently ends in a knot, That I jollily, carelessly sing,

If I marry just yet I'll be shot!

ART ANECDOTE.—One of those intimates whose secure footing allows them to mention the foibles of friends, remarked one day to Frith that " he didn't shine in convert sation. "No," said the prosperous painter, "I'm like Addison in that respect ; I've little ready cash in my pocket, but I can draw for thousands."

WHAT IS MATRIMONY?—A long engagement in which two persons often fight for the mastery the woman being generally the ring leader.


A RENT IN THE CLOUDS.—Two dollars per week for lodgings in a top garret with a sky light.

SWIFT DESTRUCTION.—The rapidity with which firemen " go to blazes !"

A CHROMATIC CONUNDRUM.—What is the color of a scream ?—Yell-ho, of course !

DEAR STALKERS.—Those ladies who will come out in the fashion.

An elderly maiden, meeting a newly married man, who had once been her servant, carrying home a cradle, exclaimed, "Ali, John, these are the fruits of marriage!" "No, madam," replied John, "this be only the fruit basket."

LAY ON.—A retired actor, with a fondness for poultry, was asked why he named it favorite lien "Macduff ?" He replied that it was because he wanted her to " lay on."

What tune would a person whistle who had been stealing milk? "Robin Adair," eh? (Robbin' a dairy!!!)

LIGHT INFANTRY MOVEMENT.—Agitating a cradle with a baby in it. This kind of movement is principally practiced in the rock-it brigade.

"THE GENTLEMEN OF THE LONG ROBE."—Baby-boys before they are shortened.

The public lecturer who dwelt upon a topic has changed his residence.

Wanted for chemical purposes-a lady "dissolved in tears."

The climax of human indifference has arrived when a woman does not care how she looks.   -

A bird that always faces the storm—The weather-cock.

AN IRISHMAN'S TELESCOPE. A gentleman remarked one day to an Irishman that the science of optics was now brought to such perfection that by the aid of a telescope, which he had just purchased, he could discern objects at an incredible distance. "My dear fellow," replied the Irishman, " I have one at my house in the County of Wexford that will be a match for it ; it brought the Church of Enniscorthy so near to my view that I could hear the whole congregation singing psalms."

"Heaven bless the wives they fill our hives With little bees and honey!

They ease life's shocks, they mend our socks, But—don't they spend the money ?"




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