General Rousseau's Expedition


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, August 6, 1864

Welcome to our online archive of Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. These papers give a unique view of the war, created by the people who lived it. It is full of stories and illustrations created by correspondents deployed to the front lines. They lived with the Soldiers, and experienced the war first hand.

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Peace Movement

Peace Movement

Rousseau Expedition

Rousseau Expedition

Sherman March Atlanta

Sherman's March on Atlanta

Petersburg Trenches


General J.E.B. Stuart

Stuart Death

Death of JEB Stuart

Penny Shortage

Penny Shortage

Marietta Georgia

Marietta, Georgia

Peterburg Siege

Trenches at the Siege of Petersburg

Cavalry Raid

Cavalry Raid





AUGUST 6, 1864.]



(Previous Page) roared over the storm, " is committed to the policy of the rams." Mr. LAYARD had thus dextrously made the question of censuring the Ministry a question of war with the United States. DISRAELI and his haughty band were outwitted, and his motion was lost.

The debate was much the most important in Parliament for many years ; for a change in the British Ministry at this time would doubtless be the prelude to remarkable events. It is described at length in the English papers, and very graphically in a letter to the Tribune.


ALLUDING to the Peace performance at Niagara the Tribune says : "We believe they might have been brought to set forth their terms of Peace, and that whether these were reasonable or otherwise the national cause would thereby have been sensibly promoted. But we bow to superior wisdom—at least to the wisdom of superiors."

The persons whose terms of peace the Tribune thinks might have served the national cause were Messrs. CLEMENT CLAY, J. P. HOLCOMBE, and GEORGE N. SANDERS, who confessed that they had no authority whatever. Their views, therefore, are just as important as those of any other three rebels, and no more. And how long is it since the Tribune incessantly declared that it would be time enough for the Government to consider terms of peace when the rebels authoritatively expressed the wish for it ? The President of the United States has other work in hand than listening to the talk of individual rebels who speak for themselves and for nobody else.


MR. BRADY, the photographer, has lately returned from the army in Virginia with a series of views of the campaign, which are now on exhibition at his galleries 785 Broadway. The series includes the most interesting scenes of operations at Cold Harbor, the Wilderness, Petersburg, etc., as well as portraits of all the most noted generals. The actuality of these views, the distinct detail, and the inflexible veracity, make them invaluable to every student of the campaign; while all who follow the army with their private hearts as well as their public hopes will see with curious satisfaction the roads, the fields, the woods, the fences, the bridges, the camps, and the streams, which are the familiar daily objects to the eyes of their loved soldier boys.


"OUR Campaign around Gettysburg" (A. H. ROME & BROTHERS, Brooklyn) is a brief and pleasant record of the marchings, campings, and counter marchings of the Twenty-third Regiment New York State National Guard, during LEE'S invasion of last summer. It is a faithful and graphic picture of militia life in the actual field, and the story is told with such heartiness and sincerity that it has a quite peculiar value. It is interesting also for its description of the condition of our Pennsylvanian neighbors when the New Yorkers marched to stand by them ; and we can warmly commend it as a most sprightly, entertaining, and unique chapter of the great history.   

The North American Review for July (CROSBY & NICHOLS, Boston) sustains the reputation which it has acquired, and is sure to maintain under its new editors. The papers in this number are all thoughtful and timely. Of the eight essays five are devoted to topics of immediate interest—The Navy, Our Soldiers, a National Currency, The History of the Rebellion, and The Constitution and its Defects. The first of these is by one of the most accomplished officers in the service, and is full of instruction and sagacious suggestion ; the second is a touching and beautiful tribute to the character of the American soldier, as illustrated in several brief memoirs of our young heroes ; the third is a vigorous discussion of the whole question involved ; the fourth is an admirable essay upon the writing of history and the facts of the rebellion ; and the fifth a forcible assertion of the duty of the American people to take off blinders, and treat the Constitution as made for the people, and not the people for the Constitution. The character of the Quarterly Review permits an elaborate treatment of every subject, and every man should see every number if he wishes to know the tendency of the most advanced and educated thought upon the great interest of the country and the time.

" Revolution against Free Government not a Right but a Crime." is the title of a discourse by Rev. JOSEPH P. TOMPSON, D.D., delivered before the Union League Club in New York, and published by them. With the noblest fervor it refutes the calumny that the rebellion is to be justified by the principles of our Revolution, and destroys with a steady and skillful hand the suspicion that haunts some doubtful hearts that the rebels may be justifiable. Its clear, concise, precise statement of the true philosophy of this great question is adorned by the ample preparation and nervous eloquence of the author. As a tract for army circulation it would be most useful to the good cause.

" Precedents of American Neutrality," a reply to the speech of the English Attorney-General, by GEORGE BEMIS (LITTLE, BROWN, & Co., Boston), is a masterly blow at the evasive and unmanly attitude of England upon the privateer question. Mr. BEMIS contrasts the uniform, frank, and manly

American policy from the beginning of the Republic with that which Great Britain has pursued. It is an irrefutable statement, of which the excellent spirit is not less honorable to the author than the skillful presentation. This pamphlet also is worthy of the widest circulation.

"Watson's Manual of Calisthenics" (SCHERMERHORN, BANCROFT, & Co., New York and Philadelphia). This is truly a book that every family should have, for it presents a complete system of gymnastic drill without apparatus. It is most simply and intelligibly treated, and the illustrations are so profuse and excellent that no pupil or teacher can go wrong. The book is beautifully printed and neatly bound, and the whole subject of vigorous and thorough bodily exercise is made as attractive as it is important. All the exercises mentioned have been thoroughly tested, and Watson's Manual would, if properly used in the playroom and nursery, as well as in the school, supersede in many a case the medical manual which it would render unnecessary.

One of the most charming guide-books for summer travel is " Eastman's White Mountain Guide." (EDSON C. EASTMAN, Concord, New Hampshire.) It contains the most copious information concerning the mountain region, with Lake Winnepesaukee and its neighborhood, compiled and arranged by a scholarly and skillful hand. Let the patriotic traveler who wishes to pay homage to Mount Kearsarge, and renew his vows to Washington, Jefferson, and Adams, put Eastman in his pocket, and approach the shrine by the way of Lake Winnepesaukee—the Smile of the Great Spirit.

"Harper's Hand-book for Europe and the East," by W. PEMBROKE FETRIDGE. (HARPER & BROTHERS.) This useful work has now reached its third year. The whole of the present volume has been revised and corrected up to July, 1864, with a large quantity of entirely new matter. The remarkable success of this publication is due to the fact that it is the only handbook of European travel published in the United States, and the only complete work of the kind in one volume in the English language. It is, moreover, three years later than any other European guide book, and is the only one revised every year. It gives a distinct and clear outline of all the tours through the principal cities of Europe and the United States, the cost of traveling the different routes, the names of the best hotels, a description of the principal " sights" and works of art, etc. Not only will visitors to Europe appreciate this work, but those who have been there will experience much pleasure in " reading up" what they have seen.


MESSRS. EDITORS,—In your issue of the Weekly of date July 30 I notice an interesting article on Rebel Poetry. But its closing extract, " Our Jessie," from the Mobile Tribune, which you commend as " creditable," is most certainly a rank, barefaced theft. I am not sure, but think the original appeared in the Drawer of Harper's Magazine some years ago ; at any rate, here are two verses which I copied at the time :

"My Lilla is gentle and fair;

My Lilla is merry and true-

Half dying with love,

I ate up her glove,

And drank my Champagne from her shoe.

"O Lilla! my lady! my love! And can such another one be? Why an angel might blush, Look pleased, and say 'Hush!'

If I kindly compared her to thee."

BALTIMORE, July 26, 1864.   T. E. C.



GENERAL GRANT'S apparent inactivity appears to disturb the rebels with grave apprehensions. A writer in the Richmond Whig says that Grant is surely undermining Petersburg with the intention of blowing it "sky-high," The false report of Grant's death appears to have afforded them a temporary solace. General Butler, who was lately delegated to Fortress Monroe, has, at the request of the Lieutenant-General, been reinstated in his former command at Bermuda Hundred; at about the same time "Baldy" Smith was relieved of his command, and Martindale was temporarily put in his place. General Birney now commands the Eighteenth Corps, Mott assuming command of Birney's Division.

The siege of Petersburg assumes no new phase worthy of record. The main interest as regards military operations is now transferred to General Sherman's advance on Atlanta. When Sherman made his extensive movement flanking Johnston's left at Kenesaw, he was obliged to transfer his supplies from Big Shanty Station to Alatoona Bridge in his rear, because that leaving his own left weak he would be unable to hold the railroad so near to the enemy's front; this in part caused Sherman's delay from June 20 to July 3. Johnston on the 5th took a position on the railroad two miles north of the Chattahoochee River; two days later his centre covered the railroad bridge in front, his flanks touching the river ; still later by two days the operation of crossing had been completed, and the two armies confronted each other on opposite sides of the river. The railroad bridge had been burned by the enemy. On the way from Kenesaw to the Chattahoochee about 4000 rebels were taken prisoners.

The successful passage of the Chattahoochee River was effected as follows : Early in the week the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Seventeenth,Twenty-third and Fourth Corps moved up the north bank of the river some fourteen miles, and crossed without opposition, leaving Hooker and Palmer on the opposite bank, with the railroad dividing their two corps. At a proper time Howard moved down to the right, to be in readiness to form a junction with the two corps, and to protect them while crossing. At noon on the 17th Palmer's corps commenced crossing—Jeff C. Davis's division in the advance. Before dark the Twentieth and Fourteenth were across, with their ammunition and baggage-trains. At nine o'clock at night General Sherman's whole force was upon the Atlanta side of the Chattahoochee, General Palmer's corps resting upon the river upon the right, near the mouth of the Peach-tree Creek, and in close proximity to where the railroad bridge (destroyed) spanned the stream, with Hooker next on the left, then Howard and Schofield, while M'Pherson's three corps formed the left wing, resting upon the river some fourteen miles from the extreme right. The army on the 17th moved to within five miles of Atlanta, their line resting on the northeast of that city in the form of an arch, the left under M'Pherson holding Decatur on the railroad connecting At-

Ianta with the East. On the 18th Hooker's Corps was thrown around still further to the left southwardly, so as to fill up a gap intervening between M'Pherson and the right. These movements compelled Johnston to fall back on Atlanta.

The whole line advanced. McPherson on the left, Schofield in the left centre, Howard in the centre, Hooker in the right centre, and Palmer on the right, the whole line extending fourteen miles.

On the 18th General Hood superseded Johnston in the command of the rebel army ; a policy somewhat different from that which Johnston had adopted was then inaugurated. On the 20th Hood came out and attacked Sherman's right, making three assaults, which " were bloodily repulsed ;" the brunt of the assault fell on Hooker. The next day M'Pherson moved up to within two and a half miles of Atlanta, south and east, Blair's corps holding the extreme left, and reaching to within two miles of the Macon Railroad.

There are four great lines of railroad which centre in Atlanta. Northerly runs the Western and Atlantic road, along which Sherman has been pushing Johnston across the mountains for three months. On the east is the road to Augusta, branching off to Charleston and Savannah: the trunk of this road was held by McPherson at Decatur. On the south runs the Macon road, also connecting with Savannah ; a short distance south of Atlanta it branches off into the West Point and Montgomery road. With this road in our possession, and our hold on the road at Decatur being strengthened, the rebel lines of retreat would be entirely cut off; Hood, therefore, must fight or stand siege. The engagement on Wednesday, the 20th, was very severe; it is impossible yet to give the minute details. Thursday our lines were pushed up close to the enemy's, and part of Atlanta was in our possession. The next day, the 22d, used made another assault. The rebel army was chiefly massed against our right. The struggle ended with Hood's defeat, with a loss on our side of about 2500, and on that of the rebels of about 6000. General M'Pherson was shot while reconnoitring. He became separated from his staff for a moment, and a rebel sharpshooter shot him from an ambush. On Saturday there was an arrangement for the burial of the dead and the care of the wounded : this could not have been a truce, as Sherman in the mean while kept his heavy artillery playing upon the city.

Hood's design in making the assaults on Wednesday and Friday was to destroy our forces on the right, after which the army would he strong enough to confront, if not defeat, the remainder of our army. The plan promised a good degree of success. Sherman's line was fourteen miles long, and weak in the centre. But the day was gained by Sherman, through the dauntless courage with which the separate divisions resisted the furious charges of Hood's army.

The loss of the mills at Rosswell, which were destroyed by Sherman's army in its movement on Atlanta, was a severe blow to the Confederates. In addition to extensive flouring mills, there were large cloth manufactories, producing monthly 30,000 yards of cotton and 15,000 of woolen goods—principally for the army.


Directly connected with the operations against Atlanta, General Rousseau's late expedition was an important movement. When Sherman early in the year made his great raid through Mississippi, Rousseau projected the destruction of the West Point and Montgomery Railroad. Then the plan could not be executed. But on the 30th of June, when Sherman began to see his way clear to Atlanta, the project was revived. Abundant preparations were made for the destruction of the ties, rails, bridges, culverts, water tanks, depot buildings, locomotives, arsenals, Government machine shops, etc. General Rousseau was also ordered to destroy the town of Opelika, the point of junction of the road from Columbus with Atlanta, West Point, and Montgomery road.

July 8 Rousseau started from Nashville with a force of 2700 cavalry, consisting of the following regiments which were concentrated at Decatur, in Northern Alabama: Fifth Indiana Cavalry, Colonel T. J. Harrison; Fifth Iowa Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick ; Second Kentucky Cavalry, Major Eifort; Fourth Tennessee Cavalry and the Ninth Ohio Cavalry. The men composing this force were all veterans, well mounted, and excellently armed. A thousand Spencer repeating rifles, firing eight times and invaluable as a cavalry arm, were judiciously distributed among the men. Two light Rodman guns were also taken along.

On the 10th the expedition started from Decatur, taking a southeasterly direction, and after a march of eighty miles crossed the Coosa River; thence pushed on to the Tallapoosa, crossing which brought him within thirty miles of the Montgomery road. Between Opelika and Montgomery this road crosses eight streams, and the destruction of the bridges over these streams was the great business of the raid. Besides doing this, Rousseau destroyed the workshops and other Government buildings at Opelika, and the bridges between that town and West Point. Having fully executed his plans, with a loss altogether amounting to no more than twelve men, he moved up the west side of the Chattahoochee to Marietta, where he arrived on the 23d, and the next day returned to Nashville.


Simultaneously with the departure of Rousseau's expedition from Nashville, another started from Vicksburg, under the command of Brigadier-General E. S. Dennis, consisting of the First Division of the Seventeenth Army Corps. The command started at two o'clock A.M. July 1, and camped that night on the banks of the Big Black River. A day was spent in constructing pontoons ; on the 3d the march was resumed; Jackson was reached on the 5th, and here the expedition turned back the next day, meeting a small body of the enemy late in the afternoon. An engagement came off—a drawn battle. The command returned to Vicksburg on the 9th; its movement had only been a diversion in favor of Rousseau.

In two or three days Slocum had fitted out another expedition, which was reinforced by cavalry sent by General Washburne ; its destination the interior of Mississippi. On the 17th Slocum fell in with a detachment of about 2000 rebels, under Wirt Adams, near Grand Gulf; he succeeded in repulsing them with great loss. This second expedition had returned on the 24th.


July 5, General Washburne sent out a force under Generals Smith, Mower, and Griersen, with instructions to find and defeat the rebel General Forrest. On the 19th Washburne received a dispatch from Smith announcing that battles had been fought on three different days with Forrest, Lee, and Walker, at Tupelo, a few miles south of Corinth, on the railroad to Mobile, the enemy being defeated each day. On the 15th Smith's rations were exhausted, and the army for four days lived off the country. On the 20th the expedition reached Lagrange, with a loss of not more than 500 men. Grierson estimates the rebel
loss to have been at least 4000—captured rebel dispatches admit a loss of 2400. 2000 prisoners were brought in. It was reported that Forrest was wounded in the first day's fight. The whole of the Seventh Tennessee was captured.


It appears that General Averill, after his successful encounter with General Early's forces on the 19th, pursued them to the mountain beyond Winchester, where Early made a stand, and after heavy fighting on Saturday and Sunday—the rebels having in the mean time been reinforced—General Averill was compelled to fall back to Harper's Ferry, bringing with him the forces at Bunker's Hill, and causing also the evacuation of Martinsburg. The rebels appear to have pursued him in his retreat, and on Tuesday the 26th again occupied Martinsburg, where they cut the telegraph wires, and commenced again the destruction of the track of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.


The lower counties of Missouri have lately been troubled by guerrillas. Thornton has been engaged for some weeks in recruiting about 1200 rebel sympathizers, his design being to get all the plunder he could, and then make his way southward to swell the hosts of the rebel army. Colonel Ford, acting under Rosecrans, has been operating against the scattered detachments of Thornton's desperate levy. There has been great excitement, and people from the surrounding counties have been crowding into St. Joseph. On the 15th Colonel Ford burned Platte

City, which had become a resort for the guerrillas. Ford holds all the towns responsible for the outrages of Thornton's men.

At Blocksley Alms-house, in Philadelphia, a great disaster occurred July 20, caused by the walls of the Female Lunatic Asylum being undermined by workmen. Eighteen insane ladies were killed and twenty wounded. There were 229 inmates in the Asylum.

General Meigs, to whom the Secretary of War assigned the duty of selecting a proper place in which to inter the bodies of those who fell in the defense of Washington during the late rebel invasion, has selected an acre of ground on the battle-field, about 600 yards to the right of Fort Stevens, and about 50 yards from the Seventh Street road, in the immediate vicinity of the spot where the severest fight took place.



A NEW pressure is being steadily brought to bear on the British ministry to induce a change of policy in regard to the American war in favor of the Confederates. Mr. Lindsey gave notice lately in Parliament that he should soon move that England interfere to procure a cessation of hostilities. A deputation from the society for obtaining a cessation of hostilities waited on Lord Palmerston on the 14th, but was put off with a noncommittal answer. Mr. Mason has also had an interview with his lordship. The rebel cotton loan had advanced to 74.


The Sacramento left Cherbourg on the 13th inst., and joined the Kearsarge off Dover. A rumor was current in Cherbourg that the Federal and Confederate naval officers have agreed to have a sea-fight within the next ten days, between the Sacramento and the Niagara on the one side, and the General Lee frigate and a Confederate corvette, which was lately seen in the Straits of Gibraltar, on the other.


King Christian has dismissed his former Ministers, and is said to have sent his brother to Berlin to propose peace negotiations on the condition of Denmark being received as a member of the German Confederations. This would make Germany a strong naval Power; and it is thought that the plan will not especially please the Emperor of the French.


ONE of our soldiers sends in a copy of the Universe Magazine for the year 1783, which he found in the house of a prominent Secessionist near Petersburg. On the second page of this magazine is a title involving a striking Hibernianism, viz., " Verses written by a Gentleman to his Wife while he was gathering Rasberries." In another portion of this curious relic is an allusion to Philadelphia, which is called "the first city in wealth and arts in America." It contains the following statement in regard to Edward Drinker, of Philadelphia, " who saw greater Revolutions than any other man that was ever born:" "He saw the beginning and the end of the British Empire in Pennsylvania. He had been the subject of many crowned heads; but when he heard of the many oppressive and unconstitutional acts passed in Britain, he bought them all, and gave them to his great grandsons to make kites of; and embracing the liberty and independence of his country in his withered arms, and triumphing in the last year of his life in the salvation of his country, he died on the 17th of November, 1782, aged 103 years."

THERE are twenty thousand song-birds of different kinds sold yearly in the city of New York. Most of these, are canaries. The bird merchants go to Europe about the 1st, of August, and buy their stock of canaries, finches, blackbirds, and thrushes of the Germans, who raise them for sale. They come back in September and October.

AT a recent meeting of the British Ethnological Society it is said there were placed "casts of the skull of an individual at different periods of adult life to show the changes produced in ten years. It is on the same principle, we suppose, that the two skulls of Dean Swift are preserved in Ireland—one when he was a boy, and the other when he was a man.

AN officer in General Sturgis's command tells this story of the bravery of a negro soldier during this recent retreat ; "Colonel Benton, commanding the colored brigade, having in the heat of the action got some distance in advance of his command, was fiercely attacked by three rebels, and was about to be taken prisoner, when a single colored soldier, coming to his aid, shot one rebel, bayoneted the second, and with the butt of his musket killed the third, thus saving the life of his gallant colonel."

A CURATE of a London parish, of most exemplary conduct. was accustomed to remonstrate very freely with any of his people whose life was not what it should have been. They wished much to get rid of him, but could find no pretext for complaint, either to the rector or the bishop. They therefore hit upon this cunning plan: they drew up and signed a memorial to the bishop, setting forth the admirable character of the curate, lamenting that his eminent worth should not be rewarded, had earnestly recommending him for preferment. Soon after, this very living quite unexpectedly became vacant, whereupon the bishop, considering how acceptable, as well as deserving, he appeared to be, presented him to it, informing him of the memorial.

The good man thanked his people with tearful eyes, rejoicing that they had taken in good part his freedom of

speech, and assuring them that he would continue all his life the course which had won their approbation.

PROFESSOR HIND, of Toronto, lately published some curious details concerning the nyctalopia, or night blindness, prevalent among the Montagnais and Nasquepee Indians, The sufferers from this affliction can see perfectly as long as the sun is up, but become nearly or wholly sightless from sunset until dawn. No artificial light is of the least service to them, and nothing under a flash of lightning enables them to see.

The following singular paragraph appears in a Parisian courage : "The origin of whist does not go further than eighty years. Lord Lyndhurst, born in 1772, was one of the most devoted adepts of this game. It is to him that is owing that manner of playing, namely, when a person holds a single card of a suit that he at once plays it out, and which is known by the name of ' Singleton.' This name is derived from its inventor, Sir John Copley Singleton. His public services will be forgotten, but his name will survive at the whist-table."

A STATISTICIAN has had the patience to count the number of words employed by the most celebrated writers. The works of Corneille do not contain more than 7000 different words, and those of Moliere 8000. Shakspeare, the most fertile and varied of English authors, wrote all his tragedies and comedies with 15,000 words. Voltaire and Goethe employ 20,000; "Paradise lost" only contains 8000; and the Old Testament says all that it has to say with 5642.

THERE, have been lately some new and interesting discoveries in Pompeii. One of those touching little episodes which are so full of interest and give a living reality to Pompeii is connected with the house of the Faun. The skeleton of a dove was found in a niche overlooking, the garden. Like the sentry, who still stood as if in watch and ward at the city gate, she had been true to her duty to the last—she had sat in her nest while the burning shower fell around, and beneath her was the egg which contained the tiny bones of her yet unborn young one. Human nature never changes. The Pompeians had their elections, which were soon to come off, when the city was buried under the lava. Placards were found in the streets which remind us of those seen in New York now and then. Each householder had a favorite candidate, and solicited the votes of the electors in earnest terms, painting his name and qualifications at the side of the house-door after the fashion of our election placards, "I beg you," writes one, "to choose Capella for one of you duumviri" An elector asks Proculus to vote for Sabinus, promising that Sabinus shall vote for him in return.




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