Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address


This Site:

Civil War

Civil War Overview

Civil War 1861

Civil War 1862

Civil War 1863

Civil War 1864

Civil War 1865

Civil War Battles

Confederate Generals

Union Generals

Confederate History

Robert E. Lee

Civil War Medicine

Lincoln Assassination


Site Search

Civil War Links


Revolutionary War

Mexican War

Republic of Texas


Winslow Homer

Thomas Nast

Mathew Brady

Western Art

Civil War Gifts

Robert E. Lee Portrait

Civil War Harper's Weekly, March 18, 1865

This site features an online version of the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. These newspapers contain a wealth of eye-witness illustrations and news reports. This collection represents one of the most comprehensive resources available for study and research. You can browse the collection, or use the search box on the bottom of the page to search by topic.

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


Lincoln Taking Oath of Office

Lincoln Taking Oath of Office

Lincoln 2nd Inaugural

Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural

Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

Lincoln Inauguration

Abraham Lincoln Inauguration

Battle of Bull's Bay

Battle of Bull's Bay

Human Nature

Human Nature



Colored Regiment

Colored Regiment in Charleston


President Lincoln's Inauguration

Aiken's Landing

Aiken's Landing





MARCH 18, 1865.]



(Previous Page) merce. We will carry war where it is easy to advance, where food for the sword and torch await the armies in the densely populated cities."

Do the rebel chiefs suppose that the men to whom they appeal have no sense and no memory ? At the opening of the war JEFFERSON Davis told them it would be a holiday task to establish " the Southern Confederacy." Today JEFFERSON DAVIS quakes in Richmond, and his confederates implore the people whom he deceived four years ago to cling to Richmond and all will be well. It is too late. The Southern people have seen the terrible handwriting upon the wall. They know that the leaders who dragged them into rebellion for their own selfish ends now entreat them to remain that the leaders may escape their just doom. No wonder that LEE'S army comes into our lines by companies. No wonder that half the rebel army has deserted.


NOTHING can show more vividly the hopeless dismay and confusion of mind of the rebel whippers in, than the two extracts that follow, both from the same journal, the Richmond Examiner.

On the 22d of February it said : "The fall of Richmond itself, apart from the moral question involved in the fact that it has been the great objective point of a four years' war, and also the fact that it is the principal work shop of the Confederate armies, would not involve the failure of our cause."

On the 27th of February, five days afterward, the same journal utters a wild cry against the evacuation of the city. It sneers at Davis and BENJAMIN for hinting that its loss would not be fatal. " It has become the symbol of the Confederacy. Its loss would be material ruin to the cause, and in a moral point of view absolutely destructive, crushing the heart and extinguishing the last hope of the country.......The hope of establishing a Confederacy and of securing its recognition among nations would be gone forever."


Ash Wednesday.

DEAR MR. EDITOR,—The Fast season has begun in good earnest, and I hasten to inform you of a new and heroic development of patriotism. The frightful cost of all material for fine dresses has filled many ladies of the highest nobility with a spirit of noble renunciation. There is nothing they will not gladly sacrifice, and they are therefore firmly resolved to dispense with dress altogether ! I have recently attended several parties of the selectest fashion, and, with every young man in town, have observed with the most kindling admiration that what you will permit me to call the heroic movement is already rapidly advancing. It begins at the top of the dress, and the most unflinching of the fair patriots have already reached a point in the sacrifice far below the neck. The delightful emulation continues, so that by the opening of the next season we may confidently expect to see perfect. heroism.

Of course as dress disappears a refined and delicate substitute is provided. The neck, for instance, is draped in the most exquisite enamel ; the cheeks are protected by the rosiest rouge, and lest the exposure of the eyebrows and eyelids should be injurious to health, they are clothed in the softest henna. This simple costume is surely enough for those who are ready for the last sacrifice. What sublime economy ! What unspeakable renunciation! The farther it goes the more indescribable it is. I wish you would come and see for yourself. We never think of not going to parties now when there is so much to be seen; and what do we not owe to ladies who thus surrender every thing ! A queer old prig to whom I was dilating with enthusiasm upon the subject, replied, " Yes, I have seen a great deal in my time, but this gives me an entirely new view of woman." Of course it does. Is it not clear that every one who is capable of taking part in this great movement is capable of any thing ?

I know that you are interested in every thing which shows devotion to the country, and although you were a little skeptical about the Women's League to use only domestic manufactures, because you thought there was some evasion about it, I am sure you will hear with astonishment and gratitude of this truly brave economy which conceals nothing. All for our country or dress well lost, is the inspiring rallying cry of the lovely patriots.

Good-by. I must be off to dress for the ball, which the ladies used to do before these patriotic days. Yet Dress is just the difference between us now. How much trouble they save themselves ! But all virtue has its compensation. Remember I have told you nothing but the naked truth, and have barely time to subscribe myself,

Yours in breathless expectation,



EVERY honest man will be glad of the appointment by the Governor of Colonel VINCENT COLYER as Superintendent of the New York Soldiers' Depot. Colonel COLYER has devoted himself unreservedly from the beginning of the rebellion to the truest service of the country, and his earnestness, efficiency, fidelity, and profound conviction of the justice of the war have made him one of the best friends of the soldiers. We congratulate all of them who fall into his hands. The State will be fortunate if every appointment made by Governor FENTON is as wise as that of Colonel COLYER.


THE new edition of THACKERAY'S works to be issued by the HARPERS, of which " Vanity Fair," in three volumes, is now ready, is one of the most beautiful series of volumes ever printed. The text, the paper, and the binding, will delight all collectors of exquisite books, while the elegant and permanent form thus given to the works of one of the great masters of English literature will satisfy his sincerest lovers. A new and happy device in the " getting up" of this edition of " Vanity Fair" is the fan simile of the author's autograph upon the cover, and the portrait which adorns it is engraved from LAWRENCE'S drawing, which reproduces that characteristic lift of the head which all who ever saw THACKERAY will instantly recall. The illustrations are from the admirable originals by the author, and the edition is prepared with a faithful care which will give it precedence over all others.   

Dr. DRAPER'S "History of the Intellectual Development of Europe," one of the most remarkable works of the time, has been republished in England, and Italian and Dutch translations are in preparation. The last number of the Westminster Review, in the course of an article upon it, speaks of the work of this accomplished American scholar as " one of the not least remarkable achievements in the progress of philosophy that have yet been made in the English tongue. It is a noble and even magnificent attempt to frame an induction from all the recorded phenomena of European, Asiatic, and North African history, and thereupon to establish certain definite principles of social and intellectual development ....It has been elaborated with a degree of care, assiduity, and attention to orderly arrangement, combined with a graceful, and at times very eloquent diction, which give it an independent interest of the highest character to any mind not warped and prejudiced against the modes of thought it presents. All the latest researches in history, all the most recent discoveries in the realms of geology, mechanical science, natural science, and language, every minute particular that can explain or illustrate the general progress of all the European races from the most primitive ages, are accurately and copiously detailed in their several relations. Nor is the author without such an art of representation as can render a book not only such as we ought to read, but also such as we like to read. He deals with the most abstract metaphysical subtleties, such as the theology of Buddhism, the psychology of Plato, and the necromancy of Egypt, with a lucidity and general affection for his subject which much facilitates for the reader the process of assimilation. Again, there are passages such as those exhibiting the general condition of Indian intellect, the corruption and immorality of the late days of the Roman empire, the progress of the Saracen conquests, and the maritime discoveries of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, where Dr. DRAPER soars to a height of eloquence not commonly met with in, yet by no means impairing the cogency of, a strictly philosophic treatise."



THE military record of the past week furnishes but a single item, a glorious one, however, namely, the rout of General Early's army and the capture of its commander, giving us possession at the same time of Charlottesville. This information comes to no from General Grant. It is based upon the reports of deserters, but the uniformity of the reports, coming as they did from various parts of the enemy's lines, is a certain proof that the enemy, at least, believed them to be true.

As to General Sherman we have no precise information, but there is good reason to believe that he has effected a junction with Schofield, and has slipped in between Beauregard and Wilmington, taking Florence and securing his line of communication. If he had pushed forward toward Danville, the scheme would have been bolder than prudent. And as Sheridan is operating with great promptness against the line from Richmond westward, with a powerful reserve of veteran troops under Hancock in his rear, the necessity of Sherman's moving on Danville may be in great measure obviated. A glance at the map will show that the road through Lynchburg, traversing 270 miles of the State of Virginia, is of greater value to the enemy than the road through Danville traversing only half that space of Virginia soil, while the tract which it drains in North Carolina is either already destroyed by Sherman or being exhausted by Johnston's army. It is also to be remembered that Lynchburg, once in our possession, is a favorable base of operations against the Danville road ; also it should be borne in mind that Grant's extreme left is only five miles distant from that road.

Our lines are now complete to Hatcher's Run, to which place Grant's military railroad now runs. The enemy have been under the impression that Grant was massing troops on his left for a new attempt on the Southside Road. Our army in Virginia is being strongly reinforced by the new recruits which are rapidly taking the field. The three hundred thousand men thus soon to be added to our armies will enable General Grant to push on the spring campaign with great vigor. This, by the way, is the exact number of negro recruits which the Confederate Congress proposes to raise. The House has passed another bill, differing from the former one, which was defeated in the Senate, in the fact that it does not guarantee freedom to the enlisted slave. Passed in this shape, contrary to General Lee's recommendation, it is likely to prove rather an obstacle than a relief to the enemy. To arm slaves in a war to perpetuate slavery is suicidal. The apprehension which will be created will make it necessary to employ a large armed force to keep the negroes under control during their military discipline, and even when this shall have been perfected, they will take the first opportunity which offers to turn the table against their masters, whom many of them love indeed, but whom they would easily sacrifice for their freedom, which they love better. In the mean time the State of Virginia, through her Legislature, has authorized the Confederate President to call upon her for her quota of slave soldiers.


The great political event of the week was the President's re-inauguration on the 4th. The ceremony was very interesting and impressive. The following was the Inaugural Address delivered by the President:

"FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN,—At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office, there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then, a statement, somewhat in detail, of a course to be pursued, seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself; and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.

" On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war seeking to dissolve the Union, and divide effects, by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.

" One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union, even by war; while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let no judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. 'Woe unto the world because of offenses? for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.' If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him ? Fondly do we hope fervently do we pray that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, on still it must be said, ' The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds ; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations."

THE END OF THE THIRTY-EIGHTH CONGRESS. The closing business of the Thirty-eighth Congress was hurried through without much ceremony. We give the record of the last days in our usual chronicle.

March 1:

In the Senate, a bill was passed giving the Lieutenant-General's Chief-of-Staff the pay of a Brigadier-General. The $600,000,000 Loan bill passed without amendment. The Indian Appropriation bill was passed; also the bill to establish the office of Naval Judge Advocate.

In the House, the Amendatory Tariff bill and the Legislative Appropriation bill were passed.

March 2:

In the Senate, the Tax bill was perfected and adopted. In the House, three additional Standing Committees were established. 1. Committee on Appropriations. 2. Committee on Banking and Currency. 3. Committee on Pacific Railroad. The Civil Appropriation bill was passed; also a bill regulating the disposal of unpaid letters. A bill restricting the issue of circulating notes by National Banks was passed.

March 3 :

In the Senate, the annual Post route bill and the Revised Tariff bill were passed. Also the Freedmen's Bureau bill. The Conference Report on the Internal Revenue bill was concurred in.

In the House, the Senate's amendments to the Enrollment bill were agreed to. The Conference Report on the Freed-men's Bureau bill was concurred in. The Indian Appropriation bill and a bill authorizing the coinage of three-cent pieces were passed.

March 4:

In the Senate, the Conference Report on the Amended Enrollment bill was adopted. The bill for the coinage of three cent pieces was passed. At noon Vice-President Johnson took the official oath and the Senate adjourned. The Clerk then read the proclamation for an extra session; the new members were sworn in, and the Senate in a body joined in the ceremonies of the inauguration.

In the House, the Senate's amendment to the bill reducing the duty on imported printing paper only to 15 instead of 3 per-cent. was non concurred in. The Army Appropriation bill was passed. The Civil Appropriation bill was laid over. After an eloquent address from the Speaker the House adjourned.


A letter from Wilmington, North Carolina, states that reliable information had been received at that city that Sherman's advance entered North Carolina two weeks ago, and that he himself was at Camden, in that State, on the 28th ult.

Hon. Hugh McCulloch was confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury by the Senate on the 7th.

Governor Andrew, of Massachusetts, will not take action in the case of Green, the Malden murderer, until legislative action is taken upon the subject of the abolition of capital punishment, referred to in the message of his Excellency.

A Canada paper estimates that forty-three thousand Canadians have enlisted in the Federal army since the commencement of the war. Of these it is calculated that fourteen thousand have died on the battle field.

The New Jersey Legislature has rejected the Constitutional Amendment.

According to General Gillmore's report 450 pieces of ordnance were taken with Charleston.

Georgetown has been evacuated by the enemy, and is now in our possession.

Brigadier-General James H. Ledlie, late commander of the First Division, Ninth Army Corps, has resigned his commission on account of continued ill-health.

Colonel Alonzo Alden, injured at the explosion in Fort Fisher, has been promoted to a Brigadier-Generalship. General Forrest is busy reorganizing the rebel cavalry in the district of Mississippi, East Louisiana, and West Tennessee.

General Grierson is to have charge of all the Federal cavalry in the Department of the West. Brigadier-General William Hays, late Assistant Provost Marshal in New York City, having reported to General Humphreys for duty, has been assigned to the temporary command of the Second Division.

Another railroad slaughter occurred on the Camden Road, near Bristol, on the 7th instant, by which nine lives were lost, and some thirty persons seriously injured.



ON the 15th of February the Legislative Session was opened by the French Emperor in person. In his speech he indicated no change in his attitude toward this country. The treaty of commerce between France and Sweden had been signed.

The Italian King on the 13th of February authorized the publication of the Pope's Encyclical Letter reserving, however, the rights of the State and Crown, and without admitting the propositions contained in those documents which may be contrary to the institutions and legislation of the country.

The difficulty between Spain and Peru has been settled by the payment on the part of the latter of 400,000,000 reals as an indemnity to Spain.

The new Confederate ram Stonewall was at Ferrol at our latest advises. She had three heavy guns and seventy-four men, but was not considered sea worthy.

In England there was considerable commercial depression, occasioned by the rumors of the Peace Conference between President Lincoln and the Confederate Commissioners.


A COMPANION.—A parrot was lately advertised, and after painting its personal beauties, its other accomplishments were thus described : "Will laugh, sing, and talk; perfectly good temper; no bad language; well worth the attention of any person that may want a companion!" We do not remember to have met with any human advertiser so finely gifted, and would recommend to some elderly bachelor, in making his election, to ponder maturely upon the merits of the young ladies who may tempt him from celibacy and the above state of the poll.


A Stitch in Time saves Nine. By the author of It is Never too Late to Mend.

The Art of Singing. F. SHARP. (Octavo.)

How we Cut Out the Tenceraire, from the log of a retired Naval Officer.

The Strong Ale Chronicles (in the press gang), being twenty years' recollections of public life. (Quarto.) The Undertaker's Manual. HEARST AND BLACKIT.


The time that the engines played upon the late fire. The off wheel of the coach and four that was driven through an Act of Congress.

The wrong horse that had the saddle put upon him. Any one of the wards belonging to the key in which Patti sings.

A coffin in which the celebrated "dead lock" that affairs come to was buried.

A photograph of the bruises on the hour that was struck by the clock.

The exact elevation of the gentleman who was above telling a lie.

The exact distance of a statement that is beyond belief. The whereabouts of the gentleman who was knocked into the middle of next week.

The top of the morning.

The biceps of an arm of the sea.

A bunion from the foot of a mountain.

ORNAMENTAL AND USEFUL. We have much pleasure in announcing a sweet thing in coiffures. It consists in a bundeau formed of gold and silver, and set with diamonds and other precious stones of various colors, arranged in two numerical figures indicating the wearer's age.


A Book FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION ONLY.-The late King of Prussia once sent to an aid-de-camp, Colonel Malachowki, who was brave but poor, a small port folio, bound like a book, in which were deposited five hundred crowns. Some time afterward he met the officer, and said to him, "Ah, well, how did you like the new work which I sent you?" " Excessively, Sire," replied the Colonel. " I read it with such interest that I expect the second volume with impatience." The King smiled, and when the officer's birthday arrived he presented him with another port folio, similar in every respect to the first, but with these words engraved upon it: " This work is complete in two volumes."

The winds sweep, the waves wash, the clouds weave, and the planets spin. A good housewife does all these.

ONLY A POET.—Mr. Tennyson recently lodged for a few days in a little island inn of the Hebrides along with other tourists. On his departure a young sportsman said to the inn-keeper, "Do you know whom you have had in the house?" "No," replied the inn-keeper. "That gentleman is the poet-laureate." "The poet-laureate !" echoed Donald. " " Was it for a poet that I kept the best bed a hard a sennachie?" and he marched off, apparently quite indignant at himself for his undesigned politeness to so humble or doubtful a character as a poet.

An over-scrupulous editor refused to insert a poulterer's business announcement on the ground that it was a quack advertisement.

A Manchester gentleman having invented a new dance, with a true commercial eye has christened it the " Cotton Reel."

WEIGHED.—A renowned clergyman of Lincolnshire lately preached rather a long sermon from the text, "Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting." After the congregation had listened about an hour some began to get weary and went out; others soon followed, greatly to the annoyance of the minister. Another person started, whereupon the parson stopped in his sermon and said, "That's right, gentlemen; as fast as you are weighed pass out!" He continued his sermon at some length after that, but no one disturbed him by leaving.

The newest mechanical contrivance announced is Mr. Harrison's invention of "Weaving by Compressed Air." is this what has been so long "looming in the future?"

A SELL.—A charming French actress, embarking with a rich monsieur from France, dropped a small box over board as if by accident, whereupon she cried out in despair, "The diamonds of my child! Lost! lost! men Dieu ! mon Dieu!" She was consoled as well as possible at the time by her wealthy admirer's making her a costly present. Subsequently the box was fished up, and, for a considerable reward, transferred to him. What was his astonishment on finding it contained only dominoes!



EXCHANGE IS NO ROBBERY.-A young gentleman accused a lady of his acquaintance with having broken his peace of mind, she in return gave him a piece of her mind; but he did not consider the donation as it substitute.

VERY SOOTHING.—Brigands in Greece pour boiling oil on their captives to extort their money. That's an unpalatable "lie" of Greece.

A general shouldn't stand too straight. He ought to lean a little upon his staff.

HOW TO LIVE LONG.—An old man, on being asked how he had lived to attain so great an age, replied, " When I could sit I never stood : I married late, was soon a widower, and never married again."

WHISKY.—An old Red Indian, who had witnessed the effect of whisky for many years, said that a barrel of liquor contained 1000 songs and 50 fights.

A gentleman was one day, in the old coaching times, traveling by a coach which moved at a very slow pace. " Pray," said he to the guard, "what is the name of this coach?" "The Regulator," was the reply. "And a very appropriate name too," said the traveler, " for I see all the other coaches go by it."

A QUEER START.—"I am astonished, my dear young lady, at your sentiments; you make me start." " Well, I have been wanting you to start for the last hour."

If you doubt whether to kiss a pretty girl, give her the benefit of the doubt and go in.

THE QUACK'S MOTTO--I diddle-diddle.




Site Copyright 2003-2018 Son of the South.  For Questions or comments about this collection, contact paul@sonofthesouth.net

Privacy Policy

Are you Scared and Confused? Read My Snake Story, a story of hope and encouragement, to help you face your fears.