General Burnside


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, January 18, 1862

This WEB site features online, readable versions of the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. These old newspapers have a variety of incredible pictures, and in depth analysis of the key people, battles, and events in the Civil War.

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Port Royal

The Battle of Port Royal

Port Royal Battle

Trent Affair

Release of Slidell and Mason

General Burnside

General Burnside


Richmond Story

Civil War Prisoners

Richmond Prison

Trent Affair

Trent Affair Cartoon

Burnside Expedition

General Burnside's Expedition

Skating Season

Skating Season

Richmond, Virginia






[JANUARY 18, 1862.





WE devote this and the succeeding page to illustrations of General Burnside's expedition, to wit: a PORTRAIT OF THE GALLANT GENERAL himself; a portrait of his naval colleague, COMMODORE GOLDSBOROUGH; a view of the REVIEW OF THE EXPEDITIONARY FORCE which took place in the last week of December ; and a general view of the TRANSPORT AND GUN-BOAT FLEET, with Annapolis in the back-ground.

The review was thus described in the Herald:

Fifteen regiments—fourteen infantry and one cavalry, numbering fifteen thousand men—were reviewed by Brigadier-General Foster, commanding the department.

The fine regiment of cavalry (Ira Harris Guard) was the first to leave its encampment for the scene of operations. Arriving at the ground first, they took up a position on the left, with the Fifty-first Pennsylvania and Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, the whole being formed into three brigades. The different brigades were under the command, respectively, of Brigadier-General Foster and acting Brigadier-Generals Colonel Morse and Colonel Heywood. The parade-ground is situated about two miles from the city, on the railroad line, and afforded a fine opportunity for a good display of division, brigade, and regimental evolutions, as it embraced some two thousand acres of smooth ground, with graceful, swelling undulations, which served to add considerably to the picturesque character of the review. There were some fifteen thousand men on the ground, and the scene was one of the most interesting which has ever occupied the attention of the people of the vicinity of Annapolis, who flocked by thousands in vehicles, on horseback, and on foot to the parade-ground, every available point around which was taken possession of by them.

At about eleven o'clock the reviewing party, consisting of Brigadier-General Foster, Brigadier-General Hatch, Inspector-General Havelock, Assistant Adjutant-General Richmond, and Aid-de-Camp Lieutenant D. C. Pell, of General Burnside's staff; Assistant Adjutant-General Hoffman, and the Aids on General Foster's staff ; Captain E. R. Goodrich, of the Commissary Department; and various members of the division and brigade staffs of the post. Following on foot came the Governor of the State and the members of the Legislature, which is now in session at this place. Commencing at the right of the column, they minutely inspected the different regiments, and, of course, expressed themselves highly gratified with the admirable good order and discipline of the troops. The brigade commanders, accompanied by their staffs, next reviewed

their respective commands, and the reviewing party then took up their position at the southern extremity of the ground, at the right of the troops. Every thing being in . readiness, the clear tones of command rang along the whole line, and steadily, solidly, regiment after regiment broke into battalion column. At the word forward the whole body got in motion and filed by the reviewing generals. The scene presented by the moving columns far exceeded in grandeur the appearance presented by the troops when drawn up for inspection, notwithstanding that the latter possessed no ordinary splendor. The slow march was at times varied with the gay and dashing movement in " double quick," which exhibited still further the admirable precision with which the drill of the men had been perfected.

A correspondent of the Evening Post thus sketches the fleet :

The large steamboats New York and New Brunswick are chartered to carry troops. There are now in the harbor 14 steamers, 1 propeller, 4 ships, 3 barks, 1 brig, 11 schooners, 5 floating batteries, besides 2 little dispatch steam-tugs—in all 41 vessels. These are, perhaps, not half the vessels to be employed in the expedition, which will be largely reinforced at Fortress Monroe; for, unless the floating batteries are counted, none of the naval vessels have come to Annapolis. All of the transports, large and small, are, however, armed, and carry large supplies of shell and ball for use in the field as well as on board ship.

The transports have been thoroughly overhauled and completely fitted out with every thing necessary for the expedition. The steamers are of light draught, and are capable of carrying from four hundred to six hundred men each, besides stores and ordnance, and when loaded will draw but from six to eight feet of water. There is no particular difference in these vessels, and every captain thinks his own, of course, the best. Every inch of space is devoted to use. Bunks have been erected and "standees" put up, which can be taken down at short notice, if necessary to clear the ship for action, or (an unpleasant thought) to afford room for a cock-pit. The two steamboats New York and New Brunswick will each easily carry a whole regiment. The propeller Pioneer (formerly the Sherman) carries six guns, two of them formidable Parrotts, which

speak with (not for) "crackers" in the shape of 32-pound balls, one 15-pound swivel gun on the forecastle, and three more 12-pounders. She carries comfortably five hundred troops. Most of the steamers are equally well armed. The Highlander (once the Cleremont, a confiscated vessel belonging to William Allen, on the James River) is a schooner of 500 tons, armed with two 12-pound Parrott guns, and capable of carrying, besides her crew of twenty-five men, four hundred troop, and eighteen officers.

The ships can carry a much larger number of men, but will be loaded mainly with provisions and ammunition, and all the sailing vessels will be towed by the steamers to Fortress Monroe.

The Pickett, a handsome little propeller of four hundred tons, is the flag-ship of the transport fleet, and is appropriated by General Burnside and his staff. She

Then close your lines, and strike home deep amid the traitor clan-

No nobler cause the world has seen since man first warred with man!   L.

into five compartment,, so as to be beyond the danger of sinking by any ordinary casualty. The Rocket and Grenade each carry three 32-pound rifled cannon on deck, and the Shrapnel, Grapeshot, and Bombshell each carry two guns of the same calibre. They will go into action, and will be valuable additions to the naval part of the expedition.

This general description of a vessel of each class of those connected with tics expedition is sufficient to give an idea of the completeness of their outfit. It seems as if nothing was wanting to render the fleet as formidable as is necessary, and, with the addition of the naval vessel, now lying at Fortress Monroe, it is believed that the expedition, in size and strength, will far surpass the one sent to Port Royal.


FROM Maine's deep-wooded hills to far Pacific's Golden Gate,

They gather to the battle with the slow, sure step of fate. They ask not who their leaders be, they only know the cause;

Old feuds are hushed as each one round the sacred banner draws.

They come not here to plunder foes, they are not urged by hate,

Nor lured by hopes of conquest, nor by glory's glittering bait;

No conscripts they, constrained to fight at any master's nod,

But each man is a freeman, who bows down alone to God.

carries two 12-pound Wiard guns, and draws but six feet of water. It is not unlikely that when the expedition reaches the point of attack General Burnside will leave the Pickett, and use the Cossack as a flag-ship. The Cossack is a fine steamer, formerly the Eastern City, plying between Boston and St. Johns, New Brunswick, and the newspaper men are already comfortably quartered on board of her. If she is struck by a shell the reporters will receive the earliest possible intelligence of the event.

The five floating batteries are large canal boats, as strong as timbers can make them, and divided

Each claims the nation as his own, from distant shore to shore;

To each belongs the starry flag his patriot fathers bore; And each has sworn no rebel knave shall rend the land in twain,

Or strike one star from off that flag, so long without a stain.

Full many a soldier's grave there'll be, full many a darkened home,

Where wives and mothers sickening wait for those who ne'er shall come.

Yet for each one who nobly falls another stands prepared To take his place, to wield his arms, and dare all he has dared.

If fate should frown, and treason's flag, o'er many a stricken field,

Should proudly wave, theirs is a blood that knows not how to yield;

But gathering strength with each reverse, those stubborn ranks would grow,

As the torrent swells amid the rocks that vainly check its flows.

O could they fail, man's hopes would fail of freedom evermore!

The peaceful reign of unarmed law and equal rights were o'er.


General Burnside
General Goldsborough
Annapolis Review




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