Capture of Savannah, Georgia


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, January 7, 1865

This site features an incredible collection of Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. This paper is part of our online collection, and it features impressive illustrations and news reports of the war . . . created within hours of the important events depicted.

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


Civil War Flag

Civil War Flag

Capture Savannah

Capture of Savannah Georgia

Attack on Fort Fisher

Attack of Fort Fisher

Sherman's march Through Georgia

General Sherman's March Through Georgia

Millen Junction

Sherman Destroys Millen Junction


Millen Georgia

Capture of Savannah Georgia

Capture of Savannah Georgia

Georgia Slave

Georgia Slave

Sherman Burning Atlanta

General Sherman Burning Atlanta


Sandersville, Georgia

General Sherman Before Savannah Georgia






[JANUARY 7, 1865.




A HAPPY NEW YEAR ! There are few faithful American citizens who can doubt that the new year will be a happy one, because it will see the virtual overthrow of the rebellion against the principle of free popular constitutional government ; the restoration of the Union, and the destruction of the only present cause of national danger.

This is the moment of the year when men examine their moral, social, and financial accounts ; when they form good resolutions ; when some men begin new lives, and magazines and journals begin new volumes. The Ninth Volume of HARPER'S WEEKLY opens with this Number. Begun as a literary and social weekly journal with occasional illustrations, it has become a pictorial history of the times, taking part in the great national debate which has been carried on in the battle field and in the political arena.

When HARPER'S WEEKLY was first issued party spirit was fierce, and two great parties were contending, constitutionally, as was believed, for the possession of the Government. The WEEKLY maintained a strict party neutrality, and aimed to interest and entertain men of all parties. But when the political debate ended and parties were annihilated by the war waged by a faction against the nation and Government, a war which imperiled every public and private interest, the WEEKLY declared for the cause of the country, and has maintained that cause ever since, and will continue to maintain it until, by God's grace and the patriotic valor of American citizens, it is permanently secure.

The WEEKLY has defended the administration of President LINCOLN not only because it was the constitutional administration, but because its measures for the salvation of the country have seemed entirely honest and generally wise. It advocated Mr. LINCOLN'S re-election for many reasons, a single one of which was sufficient namely, that he represented the policy of an unconditional maintenance of the Government, and his adversary did not. It rejoiced in the result not for the personal success of its candidate, but for the overwhelming evidence given in the election of the strength of the free popular system and of the patriotic purpose of the people.

Grateful to the army and navy, by whose brave hands, skillfully directed, the great war has been and still is fought, it has been the pleasure and privilege of the WEEKLY to depict the famous battles, and the heroes on sea and land, by which the salvation of the country is achieved. It has thus been in peaceful homes a constantly renewed monument of the bravery and suffering which preserved that peace, and in the camp and on the deck a regular messenger of the unfailing sympathy and interest with which the soldiers and sailors are followed at home. Withal, the WEEKLY has not omitted its literary miscellany or its careful digest of news.

It is but another sign of the fidelity of the people to their own Government that the course of the paper has been so cordially approved, that its circulation has greatly increased despite the withdrawal of its former Southern support. Thankful for its prosperity, and for the causes of it, and hoping still to retain that public sympathy which springs from a common devotion to the Union and the principles of the United States Government, HARPER'S WEEKLY utters to all its friends the wish, which it believes will be a prophecy, of A HAPPY NEW YEAR !


Look out for me about Christmas," wrote SHERMAN, as he began his great march through Georgia, of which we present a series of illustrations to day, and which culminated in the capture of Savannah upon the 22d December. The rebel General HARDER, with the bulk of his army, escaped ; but General SHERMAN captured one hundred and fifty guns, thirteen locomotives, one hundred and ninety cars, three steamers, a large quantity of ammunition and materials of war, and thirty-three thousand bales of cotton.

This is the triumphant completion of a campaign which, at its beginning, every one must have felt to be daring and dangerous, and which, seen from Europe, appeared in its just proportions as one of the great military movements of modern times. Its success was clearly seen to be the proof of fatal weakness in the rebel section and to foretell the doom of the rebellion and it has succeeded. It is a success which can not be extenuated or explained away. General SHERMAN and his army moved from Chattanooga to Atlanta because neither JOHNSTON, nor HOOD, nor JEFFERSON DAVIS, nor the rebel Confederacy could help themselves. And SHERMAN and his men made " an agreeable march" from Atlanta to Savannah because the people of Georgia did not care to help themselves. He masked his movement, indeed, so

that the fat wits of soldiers like HOWELL COBB never knew where his main body was nor whither he was going. But if the people of Georgia had been " fired," as at some times during the war they have undoubtedly been, they would have desolated the whole region, the richest belt of Georgia, through which his course lay, and impeding his advance by the total destruction of roads, crops, and bridges, his march would have been delayed, and its issue most uncertain.

As it is, the campaign of SHERMAN from the first of May to the end of December, from Chattanooga to Savannah, is the most remarkable in American annals. The skill and celerity with which, by incessant strategy, he pushed JOHNSTON back upon his own ground, naturally favorable for defense and carefully defended, and the equal skill with which, wrapping himself in a cloud, he passed resistlessly from Atlanta to the sea, will be a military study sure always to kindle admiration and surprise. The chapters of future history which recount this campaign will be the strangest and most picturesque of the war. The man whose name it bears will be forever memorable in his country.

The consequence of the capture of Savannah is exactly that of the capture of New Orleans and Fort Donelson and Vicksburg and Atlanta and Chattanooga, of the opening of the Mississippi and the occupation of Mobile Bay, and the march from the north of the Rapidan to the south of the James and the Shenandoah victories and the terrible rout of HOOD—that is, the consequence is the suppression of the rebellion. JEFFERSON DAVIS declares that all such captures and successes are of no importance. His allies at the North echo his words. He and they inform us that as the rebels never mean to be subdued, all steps toward subduing them are useless. But we can not repeat too often that such talk is mere folly. Does any belligerent ever mean to be subdued ? Do JEFFERSON DAVIS and his Northern parrots suppose that their loud vociferation of fighting to the death is a very persuasive argument, in view of the march through Georgia made "agreeable" by the. fact that the people of that State do not mean to fight to the death ?

Mr. JEFFERSON DAVIS and his crew may be as gentlemanly and solemnly resolved as their Northern friends announce, but the laws of nature continue to operate nevertheless. And when the strategic points of the rebel section are held by the national army, and the rebel forces are dispersed, and the jealousies that attend a losing cause begin to develop, and the truth of the whole question begins to shine into the darkened mind of the Southern States, the chief leaders will begin to escape, the war will dwindle into guerrilla fighting, and peace will gradually come again, as slowly, perhaps, but not less surely than Spring will follow this Winter.


THE most amusing reading of the day is the British press upon SHERMAN'S march. That he is a great fool or a great military genius is the general verdict, with all the chances in favor of the former view.

The London Saturday Review, for instance, the organ of the dilettante aristocratic sympathy with Slavery and the armed attempt to extend and confirm its deadly hold upon this continent, remarks, after a careful statement of its theory of the necessity and causes of the movement, a statement which it made with the evident fear of SHERMAN'S success : " If, however, SHERMAN is baffled in his undertaking, the balance of advantage during the past year will have been largely in favor of the Confederates." That is a piece of news for which we trust the rebels will be duly grateful. " On the other hand," it continues, "Richmond would be in imminent danger if SHERMAN succeeded in reaching Beaufort with a large and effective army. It would be almost impossible, against such an addition to the enemy's force, for LEE to maintain his communications with the South and with the West. Yet in the last resort, he could easily secure a retreat into Tennessee, where the Federals are already hard pressed by some of his officers" General HOOD, for instance.

"The war," it continues, " would certainly not be terminated by the loss of Virginia, if [there is virtue in an if] the entire country to the west of the mountains and to the frontier of Kentucky were occupied by the Confederates.    

If LEE were forced to evacuate Richmond, he would probably be able to reconquer Nashville, which is already annoyed, if not seriously threatened by the operations of Confederate detachments."

This "if" and "probably," the exact value of which we can now see, are the only crumbs of comfort the Saturday Review throws its rebel friends in their dire extremity.

On the other hand, the London Spectator, friendly to our Government, has a masterly review of the vast difficulties and dangers which beset SHERMAN'S march, "an episode calculated to make men who are not Americans hold their breath." It continues ; " Only a singular combination of circumstances could make such an enterprise a hopeful or even a possible one ;" and then proceeds to a careful review of the favorable chances. At the close of this the Spec-

tator says that if SHERMAN takes Charleston or Savannah, " the South loses one more city, one more centre of supplies, one more cause for the confidence which supports her people. Her territory will have been traversed by an invading army from west to east, her noblest State will be threatened by a formidable invasion from south as well as north, and her whole power may, if the success is followed up, be cut in two. On the other hand, if General SHERMAN is defeated, the North loses her finest army and one of her most efficient Generals, but her territory, her people, and her resources remain absolutely intact. The risk in any view is a fearful one, but it is by the successful running of such risks that great campaigns are won and great Generals extort from the world unwilling recognition. There is not a General now alive in Europe who, if SHERMAN succeeds, will not recognize the addition of one more name to the short list of first class leaders of armies."

SHERMAN has succeeded, and his success more than justifies the expectation of the Spectator, which will now probably withdraw the opening remark of its article that no commanding genius in war has been developed upon either side.


BY the death of WILLIAM L. DAYTON and WILLIAM CURTIS NOYES this country loses two of its most faithful, characteristic, and useful citizens. Their various ability, their profound and earnest convictions, their noble consecration of fine powers to the purest purpose, are known to all who knew them, and in the story of this trying time will remain honored and conspicuous.

But there was especially in each of them the distinctive characteristics of our nationality. They were both of them men who believed in the original rights of men and the capacity of the people to frame and maintain a constitutional government, and the consequent necessity of public education and the elevation of the public morality. In Paris Mr. DAYTON succeeded a series of ministers who, either holding slaves themselves or apologizing for Slavery, could not possibly represent that faith in human rights and the political capacity of the people which distinguishes America from every other country in the world. The political and social philosophy of Mr. DAYTON'S immediate predecessors was not only European but medieval and feudal, and no man who believed in the principle of the American Government, as held by FRANKLIN, our first Minister in Paris, could fail to see that such persons as JOHN Y. MASON, WILLIAM C. RIVES, and CHARLES J. FAULKNER fundamentally disbelieved it.

JOHN SLIDELL represents in Paris to day exactly the spirit, purpose, and political faith which were formerly represented by RIVES, MASON, and FAULKNER a faith and purpose which every humane and liberal Frenchman who understands it sincerely despises, and a spirit which is essentially hostile to that of our Government. In the midst of the foul intrigues of American gamblers, slaveholders, adventurers, and old partisan tricksters, of whom JOHN SLIDELL is a type, the manly earnestness and honest courtesy and noble principles of WILLIAM L. DAYTON were as purifying as a north wind in the hot miasma of a swamp. He was himself a vindication of the cause of the American Union and Liberty, as SLIDELL is an illustration of that of national ruin and slavery.

So likewise, in the city of New York, Mr. NOYES serenely kept the same faith and showed it in his career. There was no wiser counselor in politics or in law. He was neither timid nor extravagant, and never failed upon due occasion to speak his faith with that tranquil sincerity and plain dignity which are finer than eloquence. Technically speaking, Mr. NOYES was not in public life ; but when he was sent as a delegate from New York to the Peace Conference in 1861, his position was so purely patriotic, and all he said was so wise, and firm, and lofty that in the record of its meetings no truer statesman appears.

When such men die their country is bereaved. In a time of civil war their fall is like that of tried Generals in battle. For their harmonious lives and words inspire the faith and the courage which make armies irresistible, and confirm in the national heart that purpose which saves the nation and civil liberty together.


IF we were at war with cannibals who ate alive the prisoners whom they took from our armies, we could not retaliate in kind. If we were fighting Indians who burned their captives at the stake, we could not retaliate in kind. We are at war with men whom the long habit of enslaving other men has imbruted and barbarized, and who starve and freeze to death the prisoners who fall into their hands. Of the fact there can be no reasonable doubt. The testimony is conclusive. Nor is there any reason why men who do not hesitate in time of peace to force other men to work for them without wages, that they may live in idleness and call themselves "gentlemen," should be reluctant to expose their prisoners to starvation. It is not so barbarous to starve a prisoner who has been fighting

against you as it is to whip a man to death because he will not work for you for nothing.

What ought to be done? It is a question which is constantly asked and is no easy to answer. It is estimated that we have some sixty thousand rebel prisoners, and that the rebels have about forty-five thousand loyal men in their hands. If we exchange them man for man we give the staggering rebellion a fresh army. That is one of the purposes of the rebel starvation of our men: Yet how can we relieve their unhappy condition if they are not exchanged ?

Retaliation is a policy authorized by the customs of all nations. It has its limits of course. With us the object of retaliation would be to put an end to the torture of loyal men. But it could not use torture as a means. Northern men would not tolerate it. They are not used to seeing women whipped for so loving their children as to try to save them from being sold at the shambles, and they could not starve helpless men to death.

But if retaliation does not admit torture it does allow death. Retaliation need not necessarily be in kind. If it be wise to resort to it at all in the present instance and on that there must always be a question then for the Union prisoners put to death by the slow agony of starvation and exposure, certain designated rebel prisoners should be shot to death. When two Union officers were to be hung in Richmond the prompt order of the Government that two rebel officers in our hands should suffer the same fate saved our men. So when the rebel officers were placed in the trenches before Charleston, it procured the release of Union officers who had been put under fire. And when retaliation on either side has been carried to extremity it has not occasioned a general massacre, as some unwise persons predicted.

The question at best is very difficult. No Government ought to be severely censured either for refusing to reinforce its enemy's army, or for declining to destroy prisoners of war. To justify retaliation in the abstract is very easy: to advise it in a specific instance is to assume a very solemn responsibility.


IT would be a great satisfaction to know why the President has pardoned Mrs. HUTCHINS, a woman of Baltimore, who gave a sword to HARRY GILMORE, the leader of the raiders into Maryland last summer, and by reputation one of the most active and malignant of rebel emissaries and abettors. Upon trial and conviction she was sentenced a few weeks since to five years' imprisonment, and now she is turned loose again, nor is there any intimation that she is to be sent beyond the lines.

A woman like this Mrs. HUTCHINS may, and constantly does, give the information that MOSBY and every guerrilla marauder most desires, and which is of the utmost service to Davis and LEE at Richmond. From the beginning of the war, from Mrs. GREENHOW down to Mrs. HUTCHINS, women have been, because of their sex, the most useful agents of the traitors, and they have very seldom been punished, although in a few instances they have been sent to the rebels.

How many a precious, noble, loyal life have such women virtually taken ! To how many massacres have they not directly shown the way ! Of what infinite sorrow to private hearts and of injury to the public welfare, have they not been the occasion !

Of course in the absence of all other knowledge than the public announcements of Mrs. HUTCHINS'S crime, trial, sentence, imprisonment, for five years, and release at the end of five weeks, we have no right and no disposition to do more than suggest that in such cases it is very easy, and would greatly conduce to public satisfaction, if the Government would state briefly the reasons of the respite. It would cost no more time or trouble than the announcement that a Colonel is promoted to be General for heroic conduct in a battle, and it would certainly greatly relieve the minds and hearts of those whose sons and brothers may have been killed in resisting HARRY GILMORE'S raid, to know why his accomplice is set free. The fact of the release graitifies Mrs. HUTCHINS'S friends. To know the reason would satisfy the friends of her victims.


" Arctic Researches and Life among the Esquimaux," by CHARLES FRANCIS HALL (HARPER & BROTHERS). This is a peculiarly fresh and delightful book. The childlike simplicity and earnestness of Mr. HALL give a charm to his words which recalls the Swiss Family Robinson and Robinson Crusoe. Living in Ohio, far from the sea, his mind and heart are interested by the story of the search for Sir JOHN FRANKLIN. His imagination is oppressed by the horror of the absolute uncertainty that rests upon the explorer's fate, and he feels himself called to penetrate the mystery as clearly as any knight of old was called to fight for the holy sepulchre. He is persuaded that, as traditions of remote events had long survived among the Esquimaux, there must be true stories of the fate of FRANKLIN, which can be ascertained only by living among them, and obtaining such familiarity with their language, and such friendly relations with them, that they would frankly tell all they knew. No relics could tell the tale. He is sure that the truth lives only in the (Next Page)




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