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Civil War Harper's Weekly, April 8, 1865

This site features our online version of the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. These papers have a wealth of incredible details on the conflict, including news reports and illustrations created by eye-witnesses to the historic events depicted. We hope you enjoy browsing this online resource.

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Columbia, South Carolina



Fort Steadman

Battle of Fort Steadman

General Barnum

General Barnum

Navy Yard

Ruins of Norfolk Navy Yard


Spring Freshets

Rochester Flood

Rochester Flood


Civil War Bounties

Battle of the Salkehatchie

Columbia, South Carolina

Sherman Burning Columbia, South Carolina


Montevideo, Uruguay






[APRIL 8, 1865.


(Previous Page) seeking places of safety, some removing goods, and others carrying food to their families."

In Rochester alone the loss is estimated in millions. Very curiously this freshet was predicted by a citizen, LYMAN B. LANGWORTHY, in 1850. He said that the Genesee, in consequence of the encroachments upon its right of way to the Lake, would at some time inundate the central and lower portions of the city ; and under the corner stone of the Court house there was deposited a memorandum of his prediction. We are indebted to E. DARROW & BROTHER for promptly furnishing us the photographs which we reproduce relative to the flood at Rochester. One of these gives a view of the river, the other is a view in the city from the south side of Buffalo Street.

On the same page we give two illustrations of the flood at Mound City, Illinois one of Main Street and the other of Happy Hollow in the suburbs. Says our correspondent, writing after the flood: " It is amusing to watch the innumerable small boats, canoes, and rafts paddling through the city. Yesterday, while sailing through the principal street, out of curiosity I counted the small boats, and could at one time see forty-three of these diminutive vessels rowing back and forth, crossing and recrossing, in the one street alone."

In addition to the instances which we have given there are many others which we must omit. It is probable that the oil regions in Pennsylvania have suffered more serious loss than any other district. Tanks and machinery have been destroyed, and thousands of barrels of petroleum have floated down the river.


A LITTLE longer yet, a little longer,

Shall violets bloom for thee, and sweet birds sing, And the lime branches, where soft winds are blowing, Shall murmur the sweet promise of the Spring.

A little longer yet, a little longer,

Thou shalt behold the quiet of the morn, While tender grasses and awakening flowers Send up a golden tint to greet the dawn.

A little longer yet, a little longer,

The tenderness of twilight shalt be thine, The rosy clouds that float o'er dying daylight, To fade till trembling stars begin to shine.

A. little longer yet, a little longer,

Shall starry night be beautiful to thee,

And the cold moon shall look through the blue silence Flooding her silver path upon the sea.

A little longer yet, a little longer,

Life shall be thins ; life with its power to will ; Life with its strength to bear, to love, to conquer, Bringing its thousand joys thy heart to fill.

A little longer still, and Heaven awaits thee, And fills thy spirit with a great delight; Then our pale joys will seem a dream forgotten, Our sun a darkness and our day a night.

A little longer, and thy heart, beloved, Shall beat forever with a love divine; And joy so pure, so mighty, so eternal,

No mortal knows and lives, shall then be thine.

A little longer yet, and angel voices

Shall sing in heavenly chant upon thine ear; Angels and saints await thee, and God needs thee; Beloved, can we bid thee linger here?


"I DECLARE, Susan, I believe something is the matter with me. My mouth tastes this morning as if I had slept all night with it full of cents."

" That must be a funny sensation, dear," said my wife.

"Yes; 'tis queer."

" Sense in your mouth, you know."


" You don't often have sense there, do you, James ?"

" I didn't say I had," said I, in blissful unconsciousness that there was a pun any where about; " I said it tasted as if I had. Bitter, you know. Ugh ! I believe I'm getting dyspeptic."

" Dreadful," said Mrs. Dobb, with much calmness.

I was standing before the glass in our bedchamber brushing my hair. My wife was doing some-thing with her hoop-skirt.

"I need exercise," said I. "Dumb-bells and things. I'm going to join a gymnasium."

Mrs. Dobb laughed outright. "What a figure you would be in tights and spangles, whirling round a trap—what do they call it?—like a partridge on a spit !"

Pooh ! pooh !" said I, a little nettled at this allusion to my figure—which might be pronounced dumpy, I dare say, by some envious raw-boned person ; " you don't know what you're talking about, Mrs. Dobb. I don't mean that kind of thing. Haven't you heard of the new gymnastics? It's dumb-bells mostly, I believe. A very genteel and proper thing, I assure you."

"Expensive?" queried my wife.

" Mrs. Dobb," said I, sternly, pausing with a brush in each hand, and bending a piercing eve upon her through the looking-glass; "don't talk about expense at such a time as this ! If your husband's health and strength are fading away, his digestion suffering, his tongue getting furry, his eyes losing their native lustre, it matters very little what expense is incurred that may serve to check the fell destroyer before his ravages have accomplished their work."

" That isn't original," said Mrs. Dobb.

" , What isn't ?"

" I saw it in a medical almanac the other day. Somebody's pills."

I resumed a vigorous brushing of my hair. I was determined, however, on having the coveted exercise. At the breakfast-table the subject was resumed.

" I don't know," said I, "whether the gymnasium would be the best thing to do or not. I might try the virtues of a course of bowling."


"In an alley, you know. Ten-pins, they used to call it. Very healthy. Very popular, too. I know several of the first men in town who bowl. And something, I repeat, I must do."

" Yes, dear, I do think you shut yourself up in your studio too closely; that is, you keep too still there. I was going to suggest something myself, by which you could have more exercise."

I looked up from my carving to see if my wife was joking. But she was tying Fred's napkin with a perfectly sober face.

" What is it?" I asked.

" Why, I was thinking, that if you were to paint a picture that would cover a great big canvas—something in the style of Church's Niagara, for in-stance, or Bierstadt's Rocky Mountains—instead of sitting all day over those little portraits, it wou'd give you fine exercise running about from one side of the picture to the other, and climbing up step-ladders to the sky, and so on."

" How absurd you are, Susan !"

"I don't see any thing absurd about it ! I should think it would be good fun. I should like to look in and see you at work. Oh dear !"

" I'm afraid that wouldn't save much expense, wife."

" Why? You could exhibit it afterward, and finally sell it for a hundred times as much as you get for a portrait, I shouldn't wonder."

" Ah, Susan, if I was a Church myself— But I'm not. I think the bells would be cheaper in the end."

" Up 'n a steeple, papa?" put in Fred, at ran-

dom, anxious to have a word in the conversation. " No, my son, not in a steeple; your mother

wouldn't consent to any thing that was so high." " James !"

"I was only complimenting your economy, my dear."

" I'll tell you what you can do," said Mrs. Dobb, brightening. "You can get a cord of wood and saw it up ! That would be splendid !"

I treated this proposition with contemptuous silence, sipping my coffee and glancing over the morning paper.

" The very thing !" I suddenly cried.

" What !—the wood !" said Mrs. Dobb.

" Oh, bother the wood T. No ! In the paper here—an advertisement. A row-boat for sale. I'lI buy it."

" Why, my dear, " said Mrs. Dobb, a little alarmed, " you know nothing about managing a boat."

"I know it, Susan ; but I can learn—any body can learn to row. It'll be glorious exercise—bring out my muscle—expand my chest. Nothing like it. Why, look at Tom Ten Eyck ; he's as strong as a horse—got great cushions of muscle on his .breast, and measures I don't know how many feet across his shoulders. He told me boat-rowing was what hid it."

"Tom Ten Eyck," said Mrs. Dobb, " is a sort of a giant. No wonder he's broad-breasted. You don't suppose you would ever look like him, do you?"

" No, my clear, I hope not. But I shall buy that boat."

I bought it. It was what I called a regular bar-gain. The man who owned it was going to Idaho, and said he had got to sell that boat that day "any how." Boats were selling then (this was last summer) at prodigious prices, and I had calculated on paying fifty dollars at the very lowest.

" She isn't what you would call a beautiful boat, I should say," I remarked ; "but, then, she looks serviceable. Does she go fast?"

" Ah, Sir ! she'll swim like a duck. Ain't a waste bit o' wood about her. I built her myself, for my own use ; and if I wasn't goin' t' Eye-dyho I wouldn't part with her no way. She's a prize, if I do say it."

" Carry a big load ?"

" You can take six in her easy," said the man ; "four on them stern-seats an' two forrerd." " No danger of upsetting, I suppose ?"

"0 Lord! not the least. Why, you can't cap-size a boat built the way that boat is. Flat bottom, you see ; no careen to her."

I paid him thirty-five dollars for the paragon of boats, and took her away.

" Tell you what, Susan," said I that night at tea,

" I've made a good bargain for once in my life." "The first time, I guess," said Mrs. Dobb.

"I got that boat dirt-cheap. You can't guess

what I paid for it."

"Oh, I don't know any thing about what such things cost, James. What did you give?"

"No—you guess," said I, rubbing my hands briskly in anticipation of her astonishment when I should name the paltry figure ; " guess once."

"Well, to please you," said my wife. "Was it —ten dollars?"

"Ten dragons!" I exclaimed, in astonishment. " Are you crazy?"

" There !" said Mrs. Dobb. "I told you I didn't know any thing about what boats cost. You needn't get angry about it."

" Angry? Oh no; I wouldn't get angry at a thing like that, you know, dear. But t-e-n d-o-l—Ha, ha, ha! By George! it's the best joke— Why, Susan, you can't get a row-boat of the commonest description for less than seventy-five dollars now."

" And what did you pay for yours ?"

" Why, I got mine at a bargain, as I told you. The man had to leave town to-night, and he sold it to me for thirty-five dollars."

" Where is the boat ?"

" Oh, I've hired a place for it, in care of a German that sells fish on the shore. right down here, not fifteen minutes' walk from our house. I rowed it up myself. Ah, you've no idea what a delicious sensation it is to row a boat; you seem to accomplish so much with so little effort. And how beautiful it was to swim over the waves so easily, just dipping the oars in the cool water ! Talk about its being hard work to row a boat—it was nothing but fun. I felt like a blithe young sailor-boy, and I actually began to sing a song I've heard somewhere--

" ' Lightly row, lightly row,

O'er the glassy waves we go!'

Something out of Scott's poems, I think ; isn't it clear ?"

"I don't know, I'm sure," said my wife; "it sounds familiar to me."

"I know where the song is," said my oldest daughter, the blooming Nellie—the one with a lit. erary turn of mind.

" Ah, Nellie," I said, gratified with this opportunity to test my daughter's culture. " Well, we shall be glad to hear."

" It's in our school song-book," said she. "] can sing it. The rest of that verse is,

"' Smoothly glide, smoothly glide

O'er the silent tide!'"

" Well, as I was telling you, Susan," I went on, "I was so pleased with my purchase that I rode some distance above my German's place of business, and I don't know but I should have kept on up stream till now if I hadn't noticed my feet were getting damp a little."

" What !" cried Mrs. Dobb," does your boat leak, James ?"

"Why, certainly, my dear, it leaks a little ; all boats do. Didn't you know that? It don't hurt any thing. She didn't leak more than two or three pailfuls all the time I was out, and I dare say half of that spattered over the sides."

" James," said Mrs. Dobb, "you will certainly be drowned."

" Fudge ! Don't interrupt my story, dear. So I turned around to come back. But, curiously enough, I didn't get ahead so well after I turned round. It never struck me before that it could be harder to row down stream than it was to row up ; but the fact was, don't you see, wind and tide were both up stream. Ha, ha ! So I've learned some-thing the very first day. I might have lived on land all my life and never thought about that."

" But you got back safe."

" Yes, but I didn't row back. You see my back began to ache a little and my hands to smart ; so I went ashore and paid a boy a quarter to row me back to the German's."

The next day I didn't go to my boat at all ; the Water Bird I had christened her. For in the morning I found, very much to my regret, that there were three or four great blisters on the palms of my hands. So I employed an hour or two of the day in procuring a suitable outfit. You can't row very comfortably in a broadcloth coat with long tails. They get wet. I bought me a blue flannel shirt, a tarpaulin hat, and a pair of big water-proof boots that came above my knees. Then I bought me a pair of thick buckskin gloves ; I thought it would be a good idea to have them to protect my hands.

I made my appearance at the German's next morning in my new suit.

"I want to leave my coat with you, Jacob," said I, " while I am out rowing. You'll take care of it till I return ?"

" Yah," said he ; and I went out to my boat.

I found it full of water to the very top. (I don't know as that is a mariner's phrase ; maybe it's gun-wale or something.) I came back to the German in some haste.

"Why, look here!" I cried; "what have you been doing to my boat ? She's full of water !"

" Yah," said Jacob ; " she broke away in de night, too. Dere vas a man like to git drowndet mit de dam ole ting. He vas lean off de dock mit a long pole, an' he fellt in de wasser all ober his head. He tole me he charge you half a toler. He git her out."

" Oh, he sunk her in trying to get her, did he ?" said I, brightening up ; "I was afraid perhaps she had been leaking. Here's half a dollar for him, and tell him I'm obliged to him. But how am I to empty her ? Can we pull her out and tip her over ?"

"Haf to bail her out mit a pail," said Jacob. " I do it for you."

But I perceived expense. Such alacrity was not a gratis article. I concluded to bail her out my-self. Might as well have some exercise that way, just for once. I took the pail and went to work. I had to do it by means of a rope attached to the pail, at first, but gradually the seats rose above water, and I got in. I then sat down—quite unintentionally, I may say—and arose dripping like a mermaid. But the weather was warm ; I didn't mind it much. It took me an hour to bail her out clean ; and then, after borrowing an old stump of a broom and wiping her bottom nicely, I concluded to go home, for I was tired, wet, and hungry.

My wife said I looked like a fright ; but she was not so frightened but that she laughed immoderately.

The next day, on going to the river, I found my buckskin gloves, which I had hung up in Jacob's shanty the day before sopping wet, were now dry, and just as hard as a pair of board gloves. I gave them to Jacob, and went and bought me another pair. When I returned, Jacob had pounded my old gloves as soft as ever, I found ; and since that, I have known how to treat buckskin gloves when they get hard. I went out to my boat, and found her as full of water as on the previous morning.

" Broke loose again, Jacob ?" said I, in a vague hope that another accident had occurred.

"No," said he, "she leak dat ray."

" You don't tell me that she—" But it was no use asking the question.

" What you gif fer dem boat ?"

" I gave thirty-five dollars," said I.

"Ah, you git cheated bad. Dem boat ist night good for netting."

" Couldn't she be mended somehow ?" I asked. Jacob shook his head with an incredulous smile. "Cost you more as a new one," said he. Reluctantly I came to the conclusion that the boat-vendor had sold me when he sold the boat to me. But he was well on his way to Idaho by this time. It was useless hoping for retribution. I finally traded off the old pung for a bran-new boat. The price of the new boat was $80, but the man allowed me $5 for my old one.

I forgot to tell Swan aboutt my new purchase.

Luckily she had not seen the old one, though I had intended taking her out riding in it.

My first boat had oars with fastened locks ; and any body who has tried it (that is, any body unaccustomed to rowing) knows how much easier it is for a novice to row with such oars than with those which have open locks, in which the oar plays freely. Good oarsmen would sneer at fastened locks ; but I must say I did not feel so inclined as I hand-led the loose oars of my new boat.

" Confound these things !" I exclaimed, as I went splashing along ; "they're as clumsy as— I can't do any thing with them !"

But I got more accustomed to them after a little, and soon began to enjoy my daily boat-ride in good earnest. I used sometimes to go out in the hottest of the day, carrying with me a lunch in a basket; and when the sun was pouring down a flood of in-tense heat on the water, I would row under the stern of some great ship away up-stream, where the shade was almost cave-like in its delicious coolness, and making my boat fast would eat my lunch with such a hearty relish as I had not felt in months, sitting in my little craft and rocking lazily on the murmuring waves. Ah, it was delightful !

My new boat was a decided beauty—and Beauty was the name I gave her. She was painted black outside, with a strip of red running round the edge, and lead-colored inside. She had three seats—one astern, one amidships, and one forward (oh, I picked up the terms from time to time), and her prow was exquisitely rounded. I dare say any body not a judge of these things would have said my boat looked like a common junk-man's boat—those fellows that go round buying up old rope, iron, etc., from the vessels, you know ! The idea !

Well, the fact is, I did get taken for a junk-man, once in a while. Sometimes sailors would hail me from ships at anchor, holding up armfuls of junk they wanted to sell ; and it was immensely amusing to see them stare at me as I rowed on in complacent indifference to the offered prize, wondering, no doubt, whether they had made a blunder or I had.

One clay a man hailed me from a lumber-yard dock, and wondering what he could want I rowed over to him. Perhaps he wants a ride, thought I ; if he does he shall have it, as sure as my name is James Dobb.

There was a gang of laborers near by, prying along a great stick of timber ; and as I drew near I recognized an acquaintance in Mr. Brown--of the firm of Brown & Spalding, lumber merchants--who stood near. Brown lifted his hat to me, and I bowed in return. Be had seen one out in my boat before now.

" I've got a job for ye," roared the man on the dock who had hailed me first, not noticing the recognition that passed between Brown and I.

(By-the-way, though, did you ever notice how people on shore always shout to a man in a boat, as if he was half a mile off ? They don't yell that way to a man on a bridge, or any thing of that sort. This has nothing to do with may story, but it's so curious I thought I'd mention it.)

"Have you?" said I, with a wink at Brown. "What's it like ?"

" Yas," said he; "want ye t' tow this 'ere stick

o' timber up to Knight's dock"—half a mile off. "Couldn't oblige you, my friend," said I. "Give ye a dollar," said he.

I shook my head, and rowed slowly away.

"'Wa'al, you —are — a flat," growled the man, looking after me with his face full of profane language; "I thought you fellers would do any thing for money."

Such a peal of laughter as Brown sent pp!

" How's that, Dobb?" he cried. " There's an unbiased criticism on art."

The man looked quite mystified as I rowed off.

After I had got to be what I deemed pretty expert with my oars, I invited Mrs. Dobb and a young lady friend to take an afternoon ride with me. I had to do a deal of coaxing, but at last I succeeded, and they went. My wife—under that vague impression of going a long journey which women generally seem to connect with the idea of venturing on untried waters—had brought along a thick camel's hair shawl (cost five hundred dollars by-the-way; may wife had had it for many years) and a nice little female morocco satchel stuffed with sandwiches and sweet-cake. She was greatly pleased with the motion of my Beauty after she got a little accustomed to it. It didn't make her sick at all, she said.

As we were gliding along pleasantly with the tide, one of those junk-buyers came alongside in his boat, with a great heap of old rope in the stern. He was an Irishman, and he was a little under the influence of intoxicating beverages.

"Hillo, Johnny !" he shouted to me, as he kept his boat near mine, "where th' divil d'ye git that soort o' job? Takin' th' ladies out ridin'! What d' they give ye ?"

I made the insolent fellow no reply, and my wife stared at him in great amazement.

"James," she whispered to me, "what does that ugly Irishman mean by calling you Johnny?"

"Johnny's gittin' proud," cried the junk merchant, a little incensed at my silence. '' Bedad, he didn't luk that way th' day th' sailors pitched him overboard o' th' Empress fer shtalin' a new rope! Hev ye had yer dinner th' day, Johnny? Faix, I seed him t'other day under th' stern o' th' Black Warrior -vv-id a hunk o' bread in wan fist an' a cold pertaty in t'other, 'atin' as if he hadn't seen vittles in a. month o' Sundays."

There was no stopping the fellow's tongue, though my wife turned red and white alternately, and looked greatly distressed ; and there was no rowing away from him either. I turned about, and he turned about, too ; and while I grew red in the flee with exertion, it was exasperating to see with what ease he kept along with us, dipping his oars lazily, and keeping up a running fire of Irish wit, inpudence, and blackguardism the while.

But he left use at last, and then I found that we were further up stream than I had ever ventured before, and I despaired of rowing back against the strong tide.




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