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Civil War Harper's Weekly, January 21, 1865

This Harper's Weekly Newspaper was published during the Civil War, and is part of our extensive collection of historical documents. We are creating an online archive of this collection, to enable the serious student of the War a deeper and broader understanding of the key people, battles and events of the war.

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


Dutch Gap Canal

Dutch Gap Canal

Fall of Savannah

Savannah After the Fall


Roanoke Expedition

Battle of Wilmington

Battle of Wilmington

Building Canal

Building Dutch Gap Canal

Mosby Two Days

Two Days with Colonel Mosby


Wreck of the Otsego

Eliza Hancox

Sinking of the Eliza Hancox

Newspaper Office

Newspaper Office



Slocum Revolver

Slocum's Revolver






JANUARY 21, 1865.]



(Previous Page) "Let foreign writers say that Italy is the land of the dead. Yes ; but the dead have at last risen from their tombs in the shape of 350,000 armed men, and of 200 battalions of mobolized national guards. The dead have strong and well manned fortresses to defend their father land ; they have a fine fleet to assert their rights over the waters of their national seas. Those very Italians of whom it was said, 'They do not fight,' have already won many battles, and whether under the gray coats of the regular soldiers, or under the red shirt of the volunteer, have taught the illustrious General, who in a moment of bad humor uttered those words, that they know how to fight and conquer."

When it is remembered that this dead Italy has produced the most sagacious statesman and the most successful popular leader of our times, and has shown, despite its overwhelming disadvantages, that it can wisely unite for a common national purpose and existence, the hope that CAVOUR cherished seems only reasonable. A people with MAZZINI to awaken, CAVOUR and CIALDINI to organize, and GARIBALDI to lead, can not be called a dead nation. The human heart every where cries Amen to CIALDINI'S noble concluding words : " The school of sacrifice makes the soul of a people stronger. PROMETHEUS had the power of making a man out of clay ; sacrifice alone has the power of turning men into heroes."

That is the lesson we are learning ; and it is not the least inspiring consolation in our struggle to know that, as the true cause of this country has the sympathy of the wiser England, so it is cheered and supported by the faith of the better Italy. CAVOUR, who died in the dark day of our war, always understood it: and it is not to the living hope of Italy, to the new nation, to VICTOR EMANUEL, CIALDINI, and GARIBALDI that the rebel emissaries address themselves; it is naturally and instinctively to the dark and dead Italy, whose shaking seat is at Rome.


IT is the duty of the examining physician to declare recruits sound or unsound. If the ranks are swelled with idiots, blind men, paralytics, and other diseased persons, the fault is prima facie that of the physician, and it is for him to show that his decision against them has been overruled. Collusion between the physician and the broker, or the marshal, or the Board, is so easy, and may often be so profitable, that it is obvious the extremest care should be taken to select the most worthy and responsible medical men.

In one case known to us the physician was at heart a rebel. Of course the unsounder the soldier the more the doctor was pleased. Upon representation of the facts he was removed ; but it shows how essential it is that the character and sentiments of this important officer shall be fully understood. It is idle to accuse the Government of the results of our own carelessness; the surgeons can not be personally known to the authorities. They must be appointed upon the representation of the residents of the district. If they do their duty, the Government will do its duty. If they fail, the Government is not responsible.


"Moods," by Louisa M. ALCOTT (LORING, Boston). This is a short story of great power and absorbing interest by a new writer, whose "Hospital Sketches" were remarkable for a humor and insight which ought to have made them much more widely known. In the present tale the conflict of passion in noble characters is drawn with great delicacy and skill, and with a freedom and firmness which promise remarkable works hereafter. " Moods" is neither sentimental nor morbid nor extravagant. It has freshness and self reliance. Greater experience and resolute study will correct the imperfect literary art; nor is it a disheartening failure not to have succeeded in a satisfactory discrimination between the two heroes of the tale. Such likeness in unlikeness demands a Shakespearian subtlety of skill fully to delineate. It is something to have suggested it. After Hawthorne we recall no American love story of equal power.



AGAIN there is a lull. Federal armies are resting, in the mean while making preparations to strike. Rebel armies are retreating upon more interior lines, and preparing to ward off the threatened blows. Our campaigns are getting to be more decisive than they ever have been. They are also getting shorter. The short space of sixty days gave us Savannah for Atlanta, and witnessed the progress and victorious conclusion of the Tennessee campaign. The country is now asking two questions--which the rebels are also asking at Richmond which General Lee is asking with anxious solicitude: What will Thomas now do with his army of over forty thousand men? and what will Sherman next accomplish with his army of sixty thousand an army not rivaled in efficiency by any in the world?

And first for General Thomas. That officer stands relatively to the resistance now offered to his advance in a position far more advantageous than that occupied by General Sherman last May. In the first place, because of what Sherman's Atlanta campaign has already accomplished in his behalf. There is a popular impression that because Atlanta has been left behind, the value of that summer campaign has been canceled. Not so. Atlanta was important to the Confederacy as a great arsenal, and as the centre of the great railroad system connecting the Atlantic with the Gulf States. As an arsenal its value has been destroyed. As a railroad centre its value has been canceled by the actual destruction of the railroads

emerging from it eastward and northward. As soon as Sherman had taken Savannah he sent Kilpatrick to destroy the railroad running southwestwardly from that city toward Florida. This expedition having accomplished its object, an equally destructive raid will sever Charleston from its connection with Augusta, and then the entire Atlanta system of railroads will be annihilated. The military scheme of General Thomas's next campaign is therefore very greatly limited by Sherman's success, being confined to the Mobile system, with its two central ganglia at Meridian and Jackson. But even here a great part of his work has already been done for him by Ostrend, Davidson, and Dana. In the second place, Thomas has an incomparably greater advantage than Sherman had in respect of comparative strength. The rebel General Johnston, besides being himself a skillful soldier, bad under him a well appointed army. General Hood has an army of not more than twenty thousand men, who have been demoralized by defeat, and who have just escaped annihilation. This army has no more guns than can be counted on a man's fingers. Such a force is not likely to offer any very formidable resistance, and its reorganization must take time. But Hood will either have to get out of Thomas's way or else stand boldly up and face the music. Thomas will not wait long before compelling an issue. If Hood gets out of the way far enough, of course he will not be worth minding, and Mississippi will be as open to Thomas as Georgia was to Sherman. If the rebel General, on the other hand, intends to cover Jackson, Meridian, and finally Mobile, then there will be fighting and flanking again as from the beginning. Thomas, in the third place, it must be considered, will have less difficulties to contend with than Sherman had in establishing bases and preserving his lines of communications. In the immediate vicinity of Corinth he can have a water base on the Tennessee River, and if, as he advances southward, Forrest's cavalry should prove too troublesome, he will yet be not too far from the Mississippi to get supplies from Vicksburg.

As to Sherman's next campaign, we are left to conjecture in respect to details. But it is certain that his general object is the destruction of the remaining system of railway communications upon which General Lee depends. In the most important sense General Sherman's subsequent movements will be co-operative with General Grant. It has become very doubtful whether Lee will await in Richmond the progress of these movements. Sherman moving northward from Savannah threatens Richmond more seriously than does Grant at City Point. The investment of the rebel capital has been begun from a vast distance, but the rebel commander-in-chief sees every step of the way to the end. He must attend to Sherman, or Sherman will attend to him. Sherman, too, has a great army. If it is to be met at all, and with any hope of checking its progress, it must be met with an adequate force. This necessity will in a few days transform every feature of the Confederate scheme of defense in the east. If Richmond is not given up entirely, yet its defense must be so modified as to require but a small force behind its fortifications. The greater portion of Lee's army is needed further south. We shall witness during the next three months military developments, shiftings of positions, and strategic combinations more startling than those which have already inaugurated the winter campaign.


January 5:

In the Senate, a communication was received from the Secretary of War, stating that General Herron's report on the condition of military affairs in Arkansas was not yet ready. A communication from Secretary Fessenden announced the readiness of the Coast Survey Report for 1864, and 4200 copies were ordered to be printed, 3000 to be distributed. A resolution was adopted directing the Secretary of War to give information as to the number of naval enlistments that had been credited to the respective States, and the principle upon which these credits had been made. Also a resolution of inquiry into expediency of distributing the cotton captured at Savannah among the soldiers and sailors engaged in the capture, upon the principle regulating the distribution of naval prizes. The Pension Appropriation Bill was passed. Mr. Wilson's joint resolution for freeing the families of colored soldiers was debated. Mr. Wilson urged immediate action. Mr. Doolittle was for referring the resolution, on the ground that an amendment to the Constitution, covering the ground of the resolution and much more, was now under consideration in the House. He hoped that the proposition for this amendment would pass in the House. Mr. Wilson replied that he had no such hope, and even if it did pass it would he a long time before the people could act upon it. The soldiers themselves had been freed why not free their families ? Mr. Saulsbury then raised the question of the power of Congress, under the Constitution, to act in the matter: "Has the doctrine of military necessity gone so far that when we are in a state of war whatever the Congress of he United States shall decree is constitutionally decreed?" He took the ground that Congress had no power to free the negro volunteer himself if he were a slave. It was a principle of international law that if a slave be captured from his lawful owner by one belligerent, and he afterward comes back into the possession of the other belligerent, he reverts to his original owner. Mr. Sumner said that a call had just been made for 300,000 more troops. Encouragement of every kind ought to be offered to secure volunteers. It was, he said, a sufficient reason to enfranchise the negro volunteer that the Government stood in need of his service, and of his best service, which latter could not be secured so long as he remained e slave. Every argument in favor of his enfranchisement also favored the enfranchisement of his family. "There is the same practical necessity for doing it, and the same unutterable shabbiness in not doing it." In his opinion Congress was at this moment complete master of the whole question of slavery every where in the United States. "Future generations will read with amazement that a great people, when their national life was assailed, hesitated to exercise a power so simple and beneficent; and this amazement will know no bounds as they learn that Congress higgled for months on the question whether the wife and children of the colored soldier should be admitted to freedom." The question of reference was decided in the negative 19 to 15; but at Mr. Saulsbury's request further consideration of the subject was postponed.

In the House, a resolution was adopted calling upon the Secretary of the Navy to communicate the number of guns burst in the recent bombardment of Fort Fisher ; on what ships, and for what cause; also the number of killed and wounded. A joint resolution was referred, providing that all vacancies in the clerical force in the several departments shall be filled by such disabled soldiers and sailors as shall be deemed competent. A resolution of inquiry as to the apportionment of naval credits was adopted.

January 6:

In the Senate, the House resolution dropping from the Army List all unemployed officers was, after considerable debate, indefinitely postponed. A resolution of thanks to Sherman and his army was passed. The same resolution was the same day passed in the House.

In the House, there was a long debate on the proposed amendment of the Constitution.

January 7:

The Senate was not in session.

In the House, nearly the entire session was consumed in the debate on the proposed amendment to the Constitution.

January 9:

In the Senate, after an animated debate, the resolution to free the families of colored soldiers was passed. In the House, the debate on the proposed amendment of the Constitution was continued. Mr. Yeaman, of Kentucky. and Mr. Odell, of New York, both Democrats, took strong grounds in favor of the proposition.


General Hood has Forrest to thank for the escape of his defeated army to the south side of the Tennessee River. When Sherman divided his grand army, he not only left to Thomas an inferior infantry force as compared to his own, but he also took the best part of the cavalry force. Hood, it is true, had to detach a large cavalry force under
Wheeler to interrupt Sherman's march, but still he had left for Forrest a command which we may assume, counting in the mounted infantry-men, to have numbered from eight to ten thousand. Our cavalry, though inferior in numbers, were much superior in discipline. Forrest is an able leader, but mounted infantry do not answer well the

purposes either of infantry or of cavalry in actual engagement. Still it was tills force which saved Hood's army from complete destruction, by covering its retreat from Puck River.

The battle of Nashville was fought on the 15th and 16th of December. The next day Forrest made a stand at Spring Hill, to cover the passage of the rebel wagon train across Duck River. That was the last serious fight of the campaign. After once crossing that stream, Hood's army gained on Thomas's in point of time. Thomas had two other disadvantages. He had to build roads as he went along for his heavy trains, and he had to follow over a tract of country difficult enough of passage for the rebel army, but still more difficult to an army coming after. Steedman was sent to Decatur to cut off Hood's retreat. He was too late for this, though, according to the latest reports, his cavalry had captured and burned Hood's pontoon train, taking at the same time 600 mules, 100 wagons, and 200 hogs. Hood crossed the Tennessee on the 23d at Bainbridge, eight miles' above Florence, with about 18,000 men.

Thomas's first campaign is now at an end. The Federal loss during the campaign has been seven thousand. The rebels have lost in killed and wounded 10,700, and in prisoners 9384 total, 20,084. Sixty-eight cannon have been captured from Hood, and nineteen rebel generals placed hors du combat.


We reproduce on page 44 a sketch showing the wreck of the Otsego and the explosion of the Bazley.

The expedition left Plymouth December 9. The following vessels were comprised in the naval division: the Wyalusing, Chicopee, Valley City, Belle, Picket Launch No. 5, the Otsego, the Bazley, and the Shamrock. A land force under Colonel Frankle started the same day.

The squadron reached Jamesville that night. It was just above this point that the Otsego was blown up, having struck two torpedoes. The next morning the Bazley was blown up very near the wreck of the Otsego. A number of torpedoes were found in this neighborhood, a representation of one of which adjoins the sketch already alluded to. In the mean while the land division had pushed on beyond Jamesville to Foster's Mills, where a body of the enemy was met and repulsed. The mills were burned.

On the 20th the fleet passed Poplar Point, where it encountered rebel batteries, and found the torpedoes thicker than ever. The land-force appeared to be unable to afford any substantial aid, and the fleet withdrew down the river to Jamesville.


General Dana, on December 21, sent out a cavalry force which struck the Mobile and Ohio Railroad five miles below Corinth, in Hood's rear. The next day this force had succeeded in destroying the road to a point south of Okolona. Twenty-nine bridges, a great deal of trestle work, thirty-two railroad cars, three hundred army wagons, and four thousand carbines were destroyed. Forrest's camp of dismounted men at Everona was dispersed, and six officers with twenty men were captured. Grierson had orders to destroy the road to Meridian, and, if possible, to release our prisoners at Catowader.


Every subsequent report of the raid undertaken in Southwestern Virginia by Generals Stoneman, Burbridge, and Gillen adds to the total estimate of its value. To General Gillem was allotted a very prominent part in the expedition. It was Gillem's force which turned the tide in our favor at Saltville. Stoneman had avoided Saltville, sending a part of his command to the right and a part to the left. Breckinridge, learning that Burbridge had a force inferior to his own between Saltville and Glade Spring, attacked him with some success. At this juncture Gillen came tip with his three regiments the Eighth, Ninth, and Thirteenth Tennessee charged the forts protecting the works, capturing 11 guns, 200 prisoners, 93 wagons, and Breckinridge's head quarters. Burbridge pursued the rebels into North Carolina, and returned just in time to take part in the destruction of the salt-works. The importance of these works may be inferred from the fact that 6000 bushels of the article were turned out from them daily.

The expedition captured and brought away 900 prisoner, 8000 hogs, 200 mules, 200 negroes ; destroyed 11 foundries, 90 flouring and saw mills, 30 bridges, 13 locomotives, and 100 cars; and captured 20 guns, 19 of which were taken by Gillem. The rebel loss in stores alone amounts to two millions of dollars.


The Mayor complains that the heads of the Departments of the City Government are almost entirely independent of the control of the Mayor. He says that the changes made in the charter depriving the Mayor of this control have not benefited the city. " The Common Council and the Mayor, as the direct representatives of the people of the city, should be the source of all authority and control over its municipal affairs, and it is an evident anomaly to find as many officers whose election is beyond the popular will, and who are irresponsible to the magistrates of its choice." The total amount of the different descriptions of our City debt proper is $21,722,175; the County debt $10,804,900, making altogether about thirty-two and at half million dollars. Against this the Mayor reckons that the City, exclusive of all County property, can show an estate, in lauds, buildings, wharves, etc., of between for and fifty million dollars in value.

The Mayor cordially approves of the appropriations made in behalf of soldiers' families. He also advocates retrenchment in the expenses of the current year. The Mayor urges the occupation of Hamilton Square, east of Central Park, as a military parade ground, and again repeats his former recommendation that the harbor piers should be built of stone. He urges that the example of Loudon should be followed, in diverting the sewers from the river. This, the Mayor forgets, was a necessity in London, while in New York the rivers are the most convenient avenues of drainage.


If our city is badly governed no portion of the responsibility rests upon the Police. Mr. Acton, in his report, complains and his complaint is worthy of consideration that while the Police have it in their power to make arrests for offenses already committed, they have not sufficient power in the premises to insure the prevention of crime. This lie especially claims in regard to licensed occupations. The hotels, restaurants, dram shops, the theatres and places of amusement, pawnbrokers, vendors, auctioneers, hackmen, cartman and omnibus drivers should, he thinks, receive their licenses from the Board of Felice. The suggestion made in the previous report, that a morgue should be established, is renewed.

Robberies and larcenies are chiefly successful on account of the facilities which they have for disposing of stolen goods. The pawnbrokers receive these goods without question, and their profits are even greater than those accruing to the plunderers themselves. A pawnbroker in good standing recently received from a negro girl a diamond pin worth $700 in pledge for a loan of $2 50. Hundreds of instances of this character have been detected, and still the municipal license to these pawnbrokers is continued.

During the war there has been a great increase of crime, and especially of those crimes which involve personal violence. "Probably," says Mr. Acton, "in no city in the civilized world, not the theatre of actual war, is human life so lightly prized, and subjected to so great hazard from violeuce, as in New York and Brooklyn." There were arrested by the Metropolitan Police, for crimes of violence of a serious character, in 1863 and 1864 respectively, as follows :

1863. 1864.

For felonious assault    343   462

For assaults on policemen    19   35

For attempt at rape    23   29

For insulting females in the street   33   88

For murder    79   48

For maiming    6   6

For manslaughter    1   10

For rape    21   14

For threatening life    12   30

Total    537   742

A small portion of this mass of high crime has received the punishment provided by the laws. The fault, if any exist, is somewhere beyond the power of the police.

During the year five policemen have been murdered, and thirteen have been seriously injured. As one of the means to prevent crime, Mr. Acton suggests the offer of rewards from a fund established for that purpose.

The number of truant children reported by teachers to the police during the year was 4633. Most of these were visited, and nearly 2000 reformed so as to attend school regularly. "The Act of April 12, 1853, 'to provide for the care and instruction of idle and truant children,' authorizes the creation of such an institution by municipal authority, but it has not been carried into effect. An amendment to render it practically effective would be the means of conferring great benefits upon these unfortunates of the rising generation, and upon society. The streets of our city are filled with truant and vagrant children, offspring of misery and misfortune ; they are in training to recruit the fearful armies of vice and crime, which are already so numerous as to threaten the welfare of society and the very existence of Government."

The organized asylums are nearly all full; at least this is true of the Catholic ones, and yet the streets are full of children uncared for.

Mr. Acton also makes a useful suggestion to prevent violent outbreaks in the city, viz : the organization of a Police Brigade, to number 500.

The present Fire Department of the City consists of 3960 members, having in charge and operating 29 steam and 18 hand fire engines. Mr. Acton thinks the present force inefficient, not because it is lacking in strength, but because it is a volunteer force. In Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Cincinnati the volunteer system has been dispensed with with good results. Mr. Acton urges the substitution of steam for hand engines.

Mr. Acton thinks that it would conduce to the good order of society if a law were passed rendering it a crime to carry concealed deadly weapons.


The total amount of moneys disbursed on city, county, and State accounts for the year 1864 amounted to somewhat over fifteen millions of dollars. Of this sum four millions alone have been expended by the city authorities the remaining eleven millions having been disbursed through agencies over which the city authorities have no control.

THE COMMERCIAL RECORD FOR 1864. During the year just passed there have been, in the loyal States, 510 failures, with liabilities amounting in the aggregate to eight millions and a half. The number of failures in the same States in 1857 was over four thou-sand, with liabilities of $266,000,000; in 1861 there were nearly six thousand failures, though the liabilities were less in amount than in 1857. Since the war began the number of failures has steadily diminished. The Business Houses in the loyal States are estimated as being 168,925 in number, representing nearly five thousand millions of dollars.


The President has removed General B. F. Butler from command, ordering him to report at Lowell, Massachusetts. On December 31, the rebels made an attack on the picket line of the Ninth Corps, killing two, wounding three, and capturing thirty-five.

The verdict of the Committee on the Conduct of the War, relative to the Petersburg mine affair, throws a divided responsibility upon Generals Burnside and Meade, and the General who led the assault.

At the battle of Franklin the Missouri Brigade went into the fight 688 strong, and had 109 killed, 242 wounded, and 96 captured, making a loss of 447. General Cockerell was wounded three times, but not seriously. Colonel Gates was also wounded. Colonel Garland and Major Parker, with a long list of Captains and Lieutenants, were among the killed.

The exchange of prisoners between our own and the rebel authorities has been resumed on James River. Colonel Mulford, Union Exchange Commissioner, went up the river from Fortress Monroe, January 5, with a consignment of rebel officers.

It was decided on the 7th that the Montreal court has jurisdiction in the case of the rearrested St. Albans raiders, and their examination will therefore be proceeded with very soon.

General Thomas has been appointed Major-General in the regular Array, in place of John C. Fremont, resigned, to date from December 15.

The Times correspondent, under date of January 5, writes: "Deserters are still coming over to us in abundance from the enemy. Thirty took the oath of allegiance two days ago, and the average number of them amounts to three hundred weekly. They all bring the same stories, so often repeated, of thorough lassitude in the rebel army, disgust at the war and all belonging to it, and a readiness to come back to the Union, or any thing to escape the grinding despotism of Davis and his satellites."

A telegram sent by General Grant from City Point announces the death of the rebel General Price from paralysis. The statement was taken from the Richmond papers.

Brevet-Major-General Crook, of the Army of West Vieginia, has been made a full Major-General of volunteers. The Senate has confirmed the nomination of James L. Hood, of Illinois, to be Consul at Bangkok, Siam. The steamer Potomac from New York to Portland took fire at 4.10 A.M., January 6, off Cape Elizabeth. Four lives were lost out of eighteen.

The Richmond Sentinel of January 4 has an article favoring a modification of the railroad system in South Carolina and Georgia. This has been made necessary by the occupation of Savannah.

On January 3, the United States steamer Saginaw arrived at San Francisco with the seven rebel pirates of Hogan's party, who were arrested on the steamer Salvador, off Panama, in November, and whose transmission across the Isthmus was prevented by the authorities of New Granada.

During the past year there have arrived at the port of New York 182,766 immigrants, an increase of 25,000 over the preceding year.

The total expenses of the State prisons for 1864 have been $371,909. These prisons contain 1802 convicts, of whom 158 are females.

Since the beginning of the war the State of New York has given 437,701 men to the Government.

General Bragg has issued a congratulatory Order to his troops on their successful defense of Fort Fisher. The bombardment on December 24 lasted five hours, on the 25th seven hours, expending, according to Bragg's account, over twenty thousand shots, from fifty kinds of vessels. The rebels responded with 1262 shots, counting both days. He estimates his loss as three killed and fifty-five wounded. "The ground," he says, in the front and rear of the fort is covered with shells, and is torn in deep pits." Two guns in the fort burst, two were dismounted by the garrison, and two by the fire from the fleet. The fort is uninjured.


WE have advices from France which confirm the report that Juarez had issued letters-of-marque to Americans against French ships.

The Pope has replied to the late rebel manifesto, and expressed himself in favor of peace.

The coiling of the new Atlantic cable on board the Amethyst has commenced.

Charles Conti, a Corsican, has been appointed to succeed M. Mocquard as private secretary to Louis Napoleon. The Pope has issued a bull condemning all modern religious and political errors having a tendency hostile to the Catholic Church, and exhorting his Bishop to confute them.

Victor Emanuel decrees the occupation of convents in Florence for the service of the State.

December 22 Queen Isabella opened the session of the Spanish Cortes. There has been a serious ministerial crisis, arising out of the policy of the Spanish Government toward San Domingo and perhaps Peru. Senor Navarez resigned, but it was found difficult to establish a new ministry. He was recalled, and it is probable that San Domingo will be abandoned, and a less extreme policy adopted toward Peru.




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