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Civil War Harper's Weekly, January 14, 1865

This Civil War Harper's Weekly newspaper is from the last days of the war. It features content on Sherman's march through Georgia, and other news of the war. This issue is part of our extensive collection of original Harper's newspapers. We are creating a digital archive of our collection, and making it available to you on the internet. WE hope you enjoy browsing this historical resource.

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Sherman Entering Savannah

Sherman Entering Savannah Georgia




Wilmington Expedition


Saltville, Virginia

Making Salt

Making Salt

Map Wilmington

Map of Wilmington

Sherman Captures Savannah

Battle for Savannah

General Burbridge

General Burbridge

Fort McAllister

Battle of Fort McAllister


Battle of Waynesborough Georgia

Battle of Nashville

Battle of Nashville


Prisoners of War





[JANUARY 14, 1865.



WHAT grander name than his on that fair scroll,

Where, writ in fadeless characters, shall stand

The names of those, the saviors of the land, Recorded of bright Fame's immortal roll !


Scarce have our hearts ceased thrilling to the cry,

Which passed from lip to lip, " Atlanta's ours!"

Than comes the news that on Savannah's towers Once more the old flag greets the broad blue sky.

Ring out from every spire, ye jubilant bells!

Ring loud and long these merry Christmas times!

Let notes of victory mingle with your chimes,

Till far and wide the pealing chorus swells !

Long shall the tale be told by gray-haired sires,

Of that great march through Georgia's rugged ways,

For many miles and many weary. days,

To listening groups by winter evening fires.

Hail to the Chief who led the venturous ranks!

Long may he live to wear his well-won fame,

And hear his children taught to lisp his name;

For him a people's praise, a nation's thanks.

And hail to those who bore the flag with him,

Those venturous ranks of true and manly hearts;

The old year lingers long as it departs

To sing their praises with the Christmas hymn.

Such men are fashioned after God's own heart;

Fearless in danger, counting their rich blood

Even as nothing to their country's good--

Of the world's history they form a part.

Theirs is a deathless heritage, their deeds

Blossom, like flowers, upon the page of Time;

And whether told in prose or glowing rhyme Seem writ in shining gold to him who reads.



WE are told in early youth that the shyest birds can be caught by putting a little fresh salt upon their tails. It is well that the progress of the war is so prosperous that we can laugh rather than cry over the Wilmington expedition. The end, indeed, has not appeared, but the beginning is complete. There is something ludicrously suggestive of Chinese warfare, of the loud beating of the tomtom to appall the enemy, in the idea of blowing up a ship on the open sea in front of a fort, and anticipating " paralysis" as the result. Universal failing of the walls, apoplexy, and demoralization, then a jubilant charge, and all was to be over.

We know it is easy to smile after the event. But this was, after all, a question of science. The laws and forces of concussion are computable : and it is an interesting inquiry to whom we are indebted for this suggestion, and whether it were gravely approved by a competent, scientific board. The only paralysis produced seems to have been upon the wrong side. For it really looks as if the explosion were regarded as the essential effort, and that failing, further exertion ,were to be held useless. Admiral PORTER, indeed, remained ; but he remained upon the open sea in a stormy season to bombard earth works. Should he succeed in obtaining the fort the greater will be his glory.

Certainly we are very far from complaining that an assault was not made. We are none of us here competent to decide that it should have been. Neither do we say that the troops were not well handled. General WEITZEL is a most skillful and accomplished soldier, and General BUTLER is no fool. Admiral PORTER naturally thinks that, if one man could seize a flag and take a prisoner almost within the fort, a column of men could successfully assault it. But then Admiral PORTER thought the fort was seriously disabled, when a reconnoissance showed it was not. Commodore RODGERS also thinks that the fort was virtually at our mercy, and that the fact of eight hundred of our men remaining on the shore for several hours unattacked by the rebels proves that they were entirely worsted. But it is fair to suppose that the rebels believed the remaining of our troops to be some kind of snare. They could not believe that the enormous movement against Wilmington was already at an end, and that our men were retiring.

But we are surely entitled to say that some one has blundered, and that the some one should be ascertained and properly dealt with. We write, indeed, at the close of the first act only. Should the second end the drama auspiciously the country will rejoice all the more because of the check. But the check should be explained. And if the fleet that sailed forth under such prodigious salvos of acclaim and confidence should return after a brilliant bombardment, and the discovery that tomtoms and stink-pots are not formidable weapons of war, we shall be entitled to the feeling that, while officers and men, and especially those who undertook the perilous task of the explosion, have done all that brave men could do, yet that in the direction of the united armament there was some fatal defect which might have produced vast and melancholy disaster instead of amusing failure.


IN April, 1861, the Savannah Republican said: " The people of the Monumental City were right in arresting the progress of an army raised to shoot down their Southern brethren. We hope they will keep up the good work, and even strike at home for their honor and independence. There are slumbering fires not only in Maryland, but in States north of her, that await only

an opportunity to burst forth, and when they appear we may look out for a revolution that the world now little expects. Thank God ! the time has arrived when these minions of Abolition can never plant a foot south of the Potomac."

In December, 1864, the Savannah Republican says : " By the fortunes of war we today pass under the authority of the Federal military forces, ......We desire to counsel obedience and all proper respect on the part of our citizens, and to express the belief that their property and persons will be respected by our military ruler......
Let our conduct be such as to win the admiration of a magnanimous foe, and give no ground for complaint or harsh treatment on the part of him who still for an indefinite period hold possession of our city."

In April, 1861, it said: "We would as soon confederate with the cannibals of the South Sea or the Thugs of India as with them [the Yankees]. They have forced us to the separation, and now, we say, let it be forever, and even beyond that time, should God in his providence permit. We want nothing to do with such a people, either in time or eternity."

In December, 1864, it says : " The fear expressed by many that General SHERMAN will repeat the order of expulsion from our homes which he enforced against the citizens of Atlanta we think to be without foundation   It behooves all to keep within their houses until General SHERMAN shall have organized a provost system, and such police as will insure safety in person as well as property."

So it will be to the end, and the deluded people of the rebel section will gradually learn what wretched and criminal gaseous the Southern leaders were who have plunged the country into war.


A LARGE number of conspicuous and influential gentlemen in Philadelphia, who have been personally familiar for a long time with the working of the bounty system there, have prepared a careful and very sensible memorial to Congress upon the subject of local bounties, which is heartily approved by ALEXANDER HENRY, the tried and admirable Mayor of that city.

We were sorry to see that our friend and neighbor, the New York Times, speaks of these gentlemen as dictating to the rest of the community in what way recruits shall be supplied or substitutes furnished. But certainly a simple suggestion upon an important public question, considerately made by any body of our fellow citizens, ought not to be denounced as dictation. The Times also declares that to abolish the substitute system is to return to the days of the French Directory. That may be true, but the Philadelphia gentlemen have made no such proposition.

On the day after the appearance of this rather contemptuous criticism, the Times published a letter from Mr. J. R. HAMILTON, one of its army correspondents, in which the abuses of the system which the Philadelphia gentlemen aim to correct are set forth in the most striking terms. If the Times thinks the Philadelphians "rhetorical," what does it think of this extract from its correspondent's letter, which is undoubtedly the plainest truth ?

" To relate all the abuses now being perpetrated in the army, by the present application of the substitute and bounty system, will be to pen what many may deem incredible; but there is nothing herein asserted which will not be found capable of undeniable proof. Will it be believed when I tell you that substitute brokers, aided, of course, by boards of enrollment, examining physicians, etc. (without whose guilty connivance they could not act), have had the audacity to send as recruits to our army cripples from birth; men partially blind ; idiots from town farms; people with hernia of long standing; puny boys of four-teen or fifteen ; men being constantly claimed as subjects of other Governments; graduates from the Five Points of New York; escaped prisoners from the Dry Tortugas; rebel adventurers from Canada and elsewhere; some who have suffered by years of paralysis, and hundreds who can not understand one word of the English language, and whom it is, of course, impossible to drill and instruct in the duties of a soldier? Indeed, it is to be feared that a large portion of the deserters from the rebel army, attracted by the large bounties offered, form no small part of the bounty jumping element among us.

"But it is far easier to find fault than to suggest a remedy, which latter is no part of my province. All I know is, that it is utterly impossible to conceive any system which works worse than the present one, whether we regard the enormons frauds practiced upon the Government; the deleterious effect upon our armies; the injustice it inflicts upon the real soldier who is battling devotedly for his country, or the cruel prolongation of the war, by frittering away whole portions of armies, which have been paid for in hard cash, but which are nowhere to be found when required.

" I have now laid before you a few of the leading features of this great evil ; and I am sure there is no true soldier in our armies, from the highest to the lowest grade, but will corroborate all I have said. Let those see to the remedy to whom the duty belongs, and let that remedy be prompt, for the poison is circulating to an extent little dreamed of by those who have not watched it."

The Philadelphia memorial, after rehearsing the facts and showing the inevitable consequences of such a system of recruiting, makes four very simple, comprehensive, and judicious suggestions. First, that short terms of service should be avoided, and the President he authorized to draft for one, two, or three years at his discretion. Second, that local bounties and the buying tip of recruits from other places should be discouraged, and, as a means, that the Government bounty be restricted to those who re

ceive no local bounty ; that every subdistrict should be credited with its own residents, no matter where they credit themselves; and that the recruiting in insurrectionary districts should be abolished, Third, that the unexpired terms of deserting volunteers should be charged to the locality credited for them. And fourth, that, as such measures would diminish volunteering, there should be a moderate bounty for the drafted men, or family provision during their absence. To this memorial we see such names as HORACE BINNEY, Jun., MORTON M`MICHAEL, HENRY C. LEA, CHARLES GILPIN, J. I. CLARK HARE, Dr. E, WALLACE, GEORGE TROTT, and others; nor can we see that it is rhetorical or dictatorial.

Such a plan credits every subdistrict with those who are willing to go from it, and requires those who can not go either to find a substitute at home or among those who are not citizens. There can be no question that the operation of the present bounty system is perilous to the country. "You are contending with an enemy," said General MITCHELL, "who will fight you with a two pronged fork, if he can find no other weapon. Can you safely fight him with soldiers who care nothing for the cause, and are hired as they would be to dig a ditch ?" Exemptions there must be, and substitutes; but because these must be there is no reason why they should be scoundrels and felons, and there is every reason why they should not be such.

The City Bounty Fund Commission in Philadelphia, which, within the year, has paid bounties to more than twenty thousand volunteers, cordially approves the memorial, being persuaded that some national action upon the subject is necessary, as the active competition embarrasses all local measures. The object of the movement is neither altogether to abolish substitutes or bounties, but to make them both as effective, and not as useless and dangerous, as possible. If the Philadelphia plan be not the best way, its proposers ask that some better one may be adopted. Is such a spirit unreasonable, or such a plan unfair?


WHAT we said last week of Mr. DAYTON in Paris is equally true of Mr. ADAMS in London. He is an advanced outpost of America. He illustrates the national faith and the national character. His solid, silent, self-respecting manliness, and almost dry and austere manner, are delightfully contrasted with the characteristics of the rebel emissary in England, whom American history will know as Fugitive-Slave-Bill MASON, and who fitly represents his confederates and their lamentable cause. After the dallying silence or polite putting aside of the question of slavery, which has characterized our ministers in Europe for so long a time, it is refreshing to hear an American embassador and gentleman speak out frankly and honorably his own profound convictions, as well as that of the better part of his nation and the world, and say, as Mr. ADAMS did to the deputation that came to congratulate him upon the result of the election : "All good men may have cause to rejoice in the termination of this melancholy struggle, if that end be at once the confirmation of a free government in America, and the eradication of the most formidable evil with which its progress has been heretofore cursed."

Who will not say Amen, and who will not thank God that the representatives of the United States are at last unmuzzled?

But Mr. ADAMS'S speech was remarkable also for the quiet dignity with which he stated the exact condition of public sentiment in England and the United States. He said to Sir CHARLES LYELL, Dr. MASSIE, THOMAS HUGHES, and the other gentlemen of the deputation, that he could not disguise from them or from himself the painful fact that an unfriendly interest in our struggle had often been manifested in England ; "and that the knowledge of this has given rise to a general impression among my countrymen that the whole British nation really desires the disruption and consequent downfall of the power of the United States. Hence has sprung up a corresponding degree of ill will which bids fair, if not counteracted, only to increase with time. If such passions be permitted a full indulgence between two nations, it needs little sagacity to foretell that, in the long run, the end is war." He added that the demonstrations of friendship for the United States, which he is continually receiving from various parts of the kingdom, will enable the lovers of peace to prove that, " whatever may be the hostility of some, it is by no means shared by the greater number of the British people, and ought not to be presumed to be a national expression.

This confirmation by Mr. ADAMS of the opinion of Lord RUSSELL and of GOLDWIN SMITH is very significant, and should be remembered. There is a foolish feeling, carefully fostered in this country by those who imagine that hatred of England is a test of American patriotism that we ought to have a war with England. But it would be a war in which neither nation could be gainers. It would be a contest against civilization. It would he one of the gravest disasters that could befall human society ; and it is therefore the serious duty of every true American to distinguish between the venal and mean

England, which, under the lead of American slave drivers, disturbs a meeting at Bristol called to rejoice over the result of our election, and the England which congratulates Mr. ADAMS, and speaks by GOLDWIN SMITH, and cheers RICHARD COBDEN and JOHN BRIGHT.


THE correspondence between the Brazilian Minister in Washington and Mr. SEWARD upon the case of the Florida is just what it should be simple, direct, and honorable.

When our Government heard of the capture the Secretary of State wrote immediately to Mr. WEBB, at Rio Janeiro, to say to the Brazilian Government that, although we had not ceased to regret the concession of belligerence to rebels, yet we were disposed to examine the guestion in a friendly spirit, and to do justice. This was on the 11th of November. On the 12th of December the Brazilian Minister in Washington addressed a letter to Mr. SEWARD detailing the circumstances, and adding that he reposed perfect confidence in the friendly intentions of the United States, whose energetic defense of neutral rights is traditional, and which will undoubtedly make proper reparation to a friendly power for an offense of such "transcendent gravity."

Mr. SEWARD replied that Brazil justly expected the regret and disavowal of the President for an act inconsistent with the traditions and well considered policy of the United States. Captain COLLINS will he suspended and summoned before a court martial ; and as the Consul admits that he incited the act, he will be dismissed. The flag of Brazil will receive the customary honors from the navy of the United States. But this Government does not admit any charge of falsehood or treachery against the Captain and Consul, which they deny; and especially denies that the rebel insurgents are a lawful naval belligerent, and repeats emphatically that the concession to them of belligerent rights by Brazil is regarded as wrong and unfriendly to the United States, to which Brazil will owe reparation of the consequences of such concession. Yet it is not for captains and consuls to choose, without authority, when, how, and where to redress the wrongs of this country; and although the crew of the Florida are enemies of this Government and, as we contend, of the human race, they were unlawfully seized, and will therefore be set at liberty.

This is the manly good sense which preserves the peace of the world. Minister WEBB will see that he should rather have waited. and have forborne to make a difficulty with one independent and friendly power the occasion for lecturing another. Bluster and indignation do not help international peace. If other nations choose to sneer and rage and falsify, let us, taught by their ridiculous and humiliating example, only the more sedulously avoid the same dishonorable courses. Following our traditions when they are just and noble, joyfully reversing them when they are not, the moral power of the United States Government will be as commanding as it means to have its military and naval power irresistible.


THE first word from Governor FENTON is a clear and ringing note of hearty patriotism. Before his message was delivered, and before the sun set upon the day of his inauguration, he issued an earnest call to the citizens of the great State to aid GRANT and SHERMAN, SHERIDAN and THOMAS, FARRAGUT and PORTER, in securring the fruits of the victories they have so bravely won. Let us be patient and persevere, says the Governor, " in the closing of the great struggle which is to result in settling the destinies of this Government upon a foundation firm as truth and righteousness."

It is a profound satisfaction for every loyal citizen of the United States to feel that the executive authority of the State of New York will no longer give it wavering and uncertain sympathy to the cause so dear to the people of the State. Its object will not be to discover in what way, short of open resistance, it can most effectively balk and paralyze the great effort of the nation to save its united existence. This has been the strenuous effort of the late Governor. In a vast war which imperiled the country he has been steadily devoted to party, and his fate is a warning. Carefully educated for political life, and the expectant successor in State and national honors of VAN BUREN and MARCY, when he became Governor of New York two years ago he was the recognized leader of the Opposition, and his nomination for the Presidency was as sure as any political event can be. It is but the truth to say that his ill concealed hostility to the war and sincere political sympathy with the rebel chiefs have utterly and for ever destroyed his chances of political promotion among a resolute and patriotic people.

His successor enters upon his great responsibilities full of the deepest sympathy with the cause for which the Union soldiers and sailors are fighting. For a long time President of the National Soldiers' Relief Commission, Governor FENTON is practically acquainted. also, with the




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