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Civil War Harper's Weekly, January 26, 1861

Other Pages from this Newspaper Include:

Fortress Moultrie | First Shot of the Civil War | 

Civil War Pictures of Fort Moultrie | 

Shots at the Star of the West | 

Civil War Illustration of Fort Sumter | 

The Guns of Fort Sumter | 

Charleston During the Civil War | 

Civil War Charleston Story | 

Civil War Scenes of Fort Sumter | 

More Civil War News

Below we present a leaf from the January 26, 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly. This leaf was printed just as the Civil War was getting underway.  It presents correspondents between South Carolina Governor Francis Pickens, and Union Major Anderson, in command at Ft. Sumter.  These correspondents occurred before the actual bombardment of Ft. Sumter.


   [ JANUARY 26,  1861.  





(Continued From Previous Page) range of 5761 yards (three and a third miles), which is the greatest that has ever been accomplished by any gun in our service. The flight occupied thirty-six seconds. Charleston is therefore perfectly safe from the guns of Fort Sumter. If it were even within the farthest range of those guns, the angle of elevation necessary to accomplish such a distance is so extreme that to hit the city would be a matter of extreme uncertainty. The guns of Fort Sumter can only be raised to an elevation of thirty-three degrees, on account of the casemates, and consequently could do no damage beyond about two miles and a half.

" A ten-inch Columbiad, at an elevation of thirty-three degrees, will throw a shell about three miles. There are no such guns in barbette at Fort Sumter, and if there are any casemate guns of that caliber no such elevation could be had. The upper surface of the gun would strike against the top of the embrasure at an elevation far short of thirty-three degrees."



WE publish on page 53, from sketches just sent us from Charleston, two pictures of Fort Moultrie, on Sullivan's Island, Bay of Charleston, South Carolina. One of them represents the Battery at Moultrie, opposite Fort Sumter; the other the guns and gun-carriages disabled by Major Anderson before he left. We may add that Fort Moultrie is at present under the command of General Dunovant, of the South Carolina army, and that under him is serving Major Ripley, ex United States officer, whose history of the war with Mexico is well known. A correspondent of the Evening Post visited Fort Moultrie last week, and thus describes it:

"Fort Moultrie is, as the newspapers will tell you, 'an enclosed water battery, having a front on the south, or water side, of a depth of about three hundred feet, built with salient and re-entering angles on all sides, and is admirably adapted for defense, either from the attack of a storming party or by regular approaches. That is to say, provided it is not exposed to the fire of a hostile garrison in Fort Sumter. Passing along its narrow and not very deep moat, we joined the throng of the spectators at the entrance.

"Here a couple of soldiers on guard, with crossed muskets and bayonets, blocked the way, and an officer (I believe a lieutenant) responded to many applications for admission, according few. A sick man was carted out a quantity of newly-washed linen, a negress in a pyramidal turban of bright colors, half a dozen recruits, a bottle of whisky, and a cheese were passed in. Unable ourselves to obtain the privilege of entrance, we strolled around the fort, looking seaward. A more fortunate acquaintance, whom I encountered in the return to the city, gave me some few particulars as to the look of the interior.

"The cannon disabled by Major Anderson still lie in picturesque confusion, all smoke-stained and discolored, below the ramparts, though their spikes have been removed. They were twelve in number, pointed directly toward Fort Sumter, hence the gallant Kentuckian's object is apparent—the frustration of any attempt to stop him during his removal. Why they have not been replaced on gun-carriages my informant was unable to conjecture; possibly for lack of the same. All the other guns are loaded and leveled, one or two at Fort Sumter, the rest commanding what is now the only water approach to the city, Maffet's Channel, six or ten sunken vessels effectually blockading the other. Thus, any vessel endeavoring to enter the harbor against the will of the commander of Fort Moultrie, could, and probably would, be destroyed or disabled—in case that formidable Fort Sumter did not interfere.

" For the rest, all was preparation within Fort Moultrie; huge stacks of barrels of sand, covered with hides shielding the guns, the apparatus for heating shot and shell in order, the powder magazine buried in sand, sentinels on the look-out every where, and drilling in progress perpetually. That its present occupants will fight bravely and desperately, and hold it to the last extremity, admits of no question."




OWING to the long passages which the ocean steamers are making at this season, we did not receive our advance proof-sheets of the next part of Mr. DICKENS'S new Novel, GREAT EXPECTATIONS, in time to have it illustrated. We therefore omit it this week. It will appear in our next Number, with the usual graphic Illustrations by JOHN MCLENAN, Esq.


SENATOR SEWARD remarked, in the course of his recent speech on the crisis, that the year 1861 would witness the renewal of a general war in Europe, waged to Win precisely such a government as we enjoy. As the Senator has just returned from a widely-extended tour in Europe, in the course of which he enjoyed opportunities of intimate intercourse with leading personages in several of the greatest European nations, his opinion is entitled to weight.

There are, at present, in Europe three unsettled question.; of the first importance. The first is the question of Venetia ; the next, that of Hungary ; the third, that of Turkey.

The Italians, now generally united under the sway of Victor Emanuel, demand that the whole peninsula, from the Alps to the Mediterranean, be united under one head. The brave but hopeless struggle which the ex-King of Naples is making at Gaeta will soon be brought to a close. As soon as Venetia is settled, the Pope will probably be disposed of, without bloodshed, by some scheme which will leave him a nominal sovereign without lay subjects, residing within the dominions of the King of Italy. But the question of Venetia can not apparently be decided without an appeal to arms. The Italians are determined that Venetia shall form part of their kingdom. The Venetians are bent on freeing themselves from a foreign yoke. Austria, on the other hand, resolutely refuses either to sell or to give away Venetia on any terms. This seems to be one of those questions which can not be settled with-out an appeal to arms. Some compromises have been suggested by friends of peace ; but we do not hear that they have commanded much respect from either side. An appeal to force alone can settle the question ; and, as both sides are preparing for it, it may be taken for granted that war will break out in April or thereabouts, and that Venetia will form part of the kingdom of Italy before the end of the summer.

Hungary also, after ten or twelve years' respite, once more steps forward to claim her in-dependence. Austria refuses to acknowledge the claim, yet administers the government so badly that, in all her long control of the country, she seems to have made no friends, and to keep the large towns in subjection simply by the use of bayonets. It is taken for granted that, simultaneously with the Italian movement against Venetia, Hungary will rise once more in rebellion. In 1848 Hungary won her independence, and would have maintained it against all the power of the Austrian empire had it not been for the interference of Russia. Russia is not likely to interfere at present. The Emperor has his hands full with his great scheme for the emancipation of the serfs, and is not particularly likely to afford any more aid to so ungrateful an ally as Austria proved herself in 1856. Whether the Hungarian leaders will have the nerve and sagacity requisite to con-duct their enterprise to as successful an issue as was attained in 1848 remains to be seen : that they will make the attempt is beyond question.

Finally, the great Question d'Orient—the Eastern Question—must be settled, one way or the other. Some disposal must be made of the enormous dominions of the worn-out and help-less Sultan. In 1854 Russia was driven to make war on Turkey from the imbecility of the Turkish Government. In 1856 England and France were compelled to lend their forces to do police duty in Turkey, to keep the kingdom together. In 1860 France was obliged to occupy a Turkish province in order to prevent the continuance of massacres which appalled the civilized world. Ever since 1825, in fact, the Sul-tan has been incapable of governing his empire, and at periodical intervals foreign powers have been compelled to interfere, either with friendly or with hostile intentions, to maintain order and check the flow of blood. It is high time that this anomalous state of things were brought to an end. We notice many indications that the Emperor of the French has determined to settle the vexed question. Whether he pro-poses to do so in concert with Russia or with England remains to be seen. The extensive naval armament which he is fitting out have led many to expect that he designs, at no distant day, to break with England, and to pursue a policy, in concert with Russia, which may menace British communication with India. Others, again, basing their opinions on the liberal commercial policy lately inaugurated in France, and on the abolition of the passport system, expect him to pursue the policy initiated in 1854, and to prefer the British to the Russian alliance. Whichever course he adopts, however, it seems more than probable that the year 1861 will witness the settlement, by France, in some shape or other, of this Eastern question. That that settlement must involve some fighting is quite obvious.

Thus the year bids fair to be marked with a red stain in the annals of European history. Would that we could have added—as for half a century we have been used to do, in prognosticating European wars—that while the Old World was once more plunging into bloodshed, the United States were pursuing the even tenor of their peaceful way, losing no day's work in fighting, and spilling no life by the ball or the bayonet!


SOME practical people, viewing the dissolution of the Union as a fixed filet, and assuming that all or nearly all the Border States will go with their Southern slave-sisters, are already casting about in search of a new capital. A leading journal suggests New York as the proper metropolis for the new United States. In the West we hear that Cincinnati has already been selected as the proper place for the capital city. Chicago has some friends; and

ardent Pennsylvanians urge the claims of Philadelphia with the argument that, if the seat of government had never been removed from thence, many present difficulties would have been obviated.

This problem of the solution of a capital city is peculiarly American. In Europe, capital cities seem like the man with the wry neck, which a kindly Samaritan, finding him knocked senseless by the overthrow of a coach, was trying to straighten by vigorous torsion, and who feebly exclaimed, " Born so !" How Paris, London, Madrid, Lisbon, Vienna, etc., grew into capital cities, the memory of man sufficeth not to explain. Of all the European capitals, St. Petersburg is the only one which was expressly founded for the purpose of being a metropolis ; and to this day, the old families in Russia speak of it as an upstart town, and recognize Moscow as the genuine capital. Victor Emanuel, of Italy, is choosing a new capital, to be sure; but then, Rome is fashioned to his hand by an experience of twenty-five hundred years.

In our old Colonial days the largest city of the colony, which was invariably a sea-port, was naturally selected as the capital ; and thus New York, Boston, New Haven, Charleston, Philadelphia, enjoyed metropolitan honors. After Independence, two ideas prevailed on the capital question—first, the idea of centrality, so that members from all parts of the States should be able to reach the capital without undue difficulty ; and, secondly, the notion that large cities were bad places for Legislatures to meet, in consequence of the risk of outside mob pressure. Under these principles Albany superseded New York, Harrisburg Philadelphia, Columbia, Charleston, and throughout the States some small central town was made the seat of government. The same principles led to the selection of the District of Columbia as the seat of the General Government in place of New York and Philadelphia.

We will undertake to say that both principles may now be safely discarded. Railroads have rendered the question of distance immaterial. A few hours more or less are of no consequence in a journey which need be per-formed but once a year—especially as legislators are allowed mileage ; and nowadays Bangor and New Orleans are only " a few hours" distant. As to the second principle, the inconvenience of outside pressure is much less than the inconvenience of legislating in a remote community, away from the movement of the day, and apart from the forces of intellectual, commercial, and political activity. Any one who has lived at Washington can realize the truth of this. Members of Congress in that city have no opinions at all until they receive the New York papers. People in Washington actually look to the New York papers for the news of their own city. It is New York journalism which does the thinking for the whole community—Washington included. This city is the centre of news, the centre of thought, the centre of all our commercial, intellectual, political, and national activity. Much time and much trouble would be obviated if it were also the centre of our government.

The tendency of civilization is toward centralization. This great principle we have hitherto neglected in the location of our capital cities. Perhaps it may emerge from the present imbroglio, and become generally recognized.


WHY people steal umbrellas without a sense of guilt, why Old Fogeyism should he called Conservative, and why hackmen should always expect to be paid more than the legal and reasonable fare, are questions which will be found difficult to answer. It is probably not worth while to discuss them; but experience occasionally sharpens your interest in them. If, for instance, you have just paid five dollars for a fine silk umbrella, and Jones, by the most natural mistake in the world, takes it up as he goes out, and leaves in its place the substantial seventy-five cent gingham which be has just bought upon the street, you are less inclined to discuss than to do the same thing without the dis ; and so, likewise, if some purblind old pair of eyes insists upon disbelieving in sunrise, you are very likely to believe that you understand the spirit which has always made difficulty in history. And when, having supposed you were to pay fifty cents for a fare, you arrive at the end of the journey and are asked to pay two dollars, you find that you have a very vivid interest in the question why the Jarveys always do so.

Now, do you know the best thing to do under the circumstances ? It may not be the most heroic, nor the justest, nor the wisest; but it is the most peaceable course. Just pay it, and say no-thing about it ; or make only some cheerful comment, such as " Statiary's riz, ain't it ?" or, " Hacks is skerce hereabouts, ain't they?" It will provoke a correspondingly cheerful smile from the coachy, and you will part the best friends in the world.

For, suppose you demur, and have your trunk on the hack, what on earth can you do, and yet preserve your dignity ? Of course, if you happen to be of the Benicia family, you can settle the little bill from the shoulder ; but the Jarveys are wise, and the Benicia family is not usually over-charged. You may be very sure, if coachy over-charges you it is because he is quite confident that

you can't charge him over. If you say that it's too much, he says, oh no, and proves how arduous the journey has been. If you swear that it is more than the rate, he will retort that there is no rate for luggage, but only for passengers. If you declare emphatically that you will not pay it, coachy remains immovable, and so does your baggage.

There are, then, of course, but two alternatives—compromise or war. Some well-disposed and reasonable Jarveys will consent to compromise by taking only three times their legal fare; but the heroic and truculent kind stand out for all, or a confiscation of the luggage. By this time the street is aroused, and the intelligent public is looking at with interest. Again two courses present themselves—surrender or war. Mrs. Kabob, your worthy spouse, in the house, telegraphs through the window, surrender. But the valiant heart in your bosom insists upon war.

Now listen to a plain tale. The Lounger supped late in London and walked home very early in the morning with some noted Englishmen. As they parted in Pall Mall, one of the company called a cab and drove away. The next time that he met the Lounger he said to him, " By George, I had to thrash that cabby the other night." It turned out that cabby had miscalculated the muscle of his fare and overcharged, upon which his fare laid him low. The gentleman was hot and testy, and passed a good deal of his time, it appeared, in thrashing cabbies, and, finally, had his nose broken. Then he grew thin and morose, and, finally, married a large widow of fifty-five with a fortune to correspond. This was the fate of John Ardens.

James Placens, on the other hand, was a fellow-countryman of the Lounger's, who enjoyed a small income and traveled in Europe. He went every where, and saw every thing. He was bland and hearty and sincere. Every body was glad to see him, and sorry to say goodby. At length, after some years of wandering, he returned sweeter and livelier than ever. But when he was asked Ilea he kept his temper through all the rough chance , and impositions of travel, he laughingly told the secret—" I knew just how much I could spend every year, and I appropriated three hundred dollars every year to charity and cheating. I knew when I was humbugged; but I had rather pay five francs occasionally at a Swiss hotel for a pair of wax candles that I did not use, than make an eternal row. I bought civility and comfort at a very moderate rate, and I advise every traveler to be out of pocket three hundred dollars rather than out of temper half the time."

James Placens was a wise man—he was a practical philosopher. But his cousin Ludovic had an-other method. When he was surrounded and hectored by the mob of hack-drivers in Naples, each vociferously urging the superiority of his own carriage, Ludovic passed calmly on through the clash or, and then fixing his eve upon the most turbulent of the crowd, said, "Si" (Yes, I want one). The cabby, or, as an Italian, we will say, cab' baccio, was immediately profoundly deferential to Ludovic and insolently triumphant over his fellows. Ile led the way to his carriage, opened the door, and stood with bowed head, when Ludovie remarked, with the same calmness, " Si, voglio

ma, spa—nun posso." (Yes, I want a carriage, but I can't afford it.) Ile then bowed to cabbaccia and passed serenely on ; and never more was he molested by the importunity of Neapolitan cabbies

The moral of these stories I always supposed to be this: in things indifferent yield ratter than quarrel. You'd better pay a cabby two dollars rather than insist upon his rightful fare of fifty cents, for which you get change in a broken nose. There are who prefer the latter course, but they are not of the Placens family. There is another moral, too, indirectly conveyed : in things essential don't yield, though every bone in your body were broken. You may let a burglar break into the closet and carry off the spoons, if you don't choose to give him the chance of a shot at you; but if he is trying to break into your daughter's room, the shooting and its chances will not be all on one side.


THE Indignation Committee upon City Railroads, if it gets a chance, will report elsewhere, and, lest it might not get a chance, begs to report here, through the Lounger, that it is a shame and imposition to compel passengers to stand up and be incommoded in the cars. It is not a complaint of the city of New York, alone, to which your Committee invites your attention, but of every large city in the country blessed with street railroads. It is not the suffering of the owners and drivers of fine horses and carriages, tripped and racked by the iron rails its the thoroughfares, that is now contemplated by your Committee. But it is the uniform outrage of swindling honest citizens in the peace of the Commonwealth, by extorting it half dime, be the same more or less, as the price of a passage with suitable accommodations, which pas-sage only is furnished without the accommodation.

The more moral steamers upon the North River, to Albany, announce the price of passage to be a dollar or fifty cents; but they abstain from specifying any kind of accommodation, so that if you wish to cat and sleep upon the way you must pay accordingly. But it is precisely the passage and seat that the city railway passenger buys when he parts with his half dime.

Again, your Committee, with tile profoundest reverence for Mr. George Law, and the other gentlemen, who, being very rich, are the natural Governors of the City of New York, would respectfully inquire why the holders of one kind of property should be allowed to swindle the public more than those of another. Why should the people of any city be compelled to take less than their money's worth in order that the shareholders of city rail-roads should have dividends of fifteen or twenty per cent. ? The omnibuses upon Broadway carry only twelve passengers—the number that they can




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