Battle of Franklin, Tennessee


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, December 17, 1864

We created this web site to make our collection of Harper's Weekly newspapers available online for your study and research. This site features all the Harper's Weekly published during the Civil War period. These newspapers allow an in depth study of the important events of the War.

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


George Thomas

George Thomas

Florida Capture

Capture of the Ship "Florida"

Battle of Franklin

Battle of Franklin


General John Schofield

General Sherman

General Sherman on Horseback

Hampton Roads

Fleet at Hampton Roads


Robbing Cradle

Robbing Cradle and Grave

Fort Wool

Fort Wool


Arson in the Civil War







DECEMBER 1 7, 1864]



(Previous Page) was evidently a prim, precise Puritan, by no means cast in the heroic mould, but a lover of his native land and a very sagacious observer of events, as his letters, no less than the diary, show. It was no light trial to be torn away from his home, his wife, his position, his fortune, his long habits of methodical comfort, at an age when most men abhor change, and to be thrust out over the ocean, friendless, poor, and in extremely low spirits. His spirits indeed were permanently low; and it is droll to read his dry, cold inventory of the famous places and objects he saw, which he jots down as a an in unhappy circumstances mechanically repeats a prayer, totally unconscious of the words. The book is a curious and valuable sidelight in the history of that time.

To a wide circle it has a peculiar interest also from the name of its editor, GEORGE ATKINSON WARD. Mr. WARD was a descendant of Judge CURWEN, and died very recently, after this handsome volume was in print. He was perhaps to his death the finest living representative of the old Essex County Federalist. His hostility to " TOM JEFFERSON" was as earnest in 1864 as that of the Hartford Convention in 1814; and his familiar knowledge of our political history and men made him a most entertaining and instructive companion Mr. WARD was one of the most genial and generous of men. He had the simplicity of a child with the courtesy of a gentleman of the old school. Age could not wither the victorious cheerfulness of his nature, nor his faith in noble principles, nor his patriotic fidelity, He encountered and surmounted many misfortunes with unquerulous patience; and toward the end of his life, after more than one warning of a sudden death, which he received undismayed, he returned to his native place, and at once sympathizing in all its interests, a good citizen and a true, brave, tender hearted man, he was busy to the very last; and upon returning to his home some weeks since from a flower show, sank quietly asleep, and was seen of men no more.

" The Autobiography of Lieutenant - General Scott" (SHELDONS), This is a work which has been awaited with curious expectation. The author has been a part of our history for half a century. He has been upon familiar terms with many of our most famous men. He has been often behind the scenes, and now is the curtain is about falling upon his own part the veteran actor steps to the front and makes his farewell speech. There is something pathetic in the position which disarms criticism. As the eye falls upon him the spectator remembers the services he has performed, recalls the good intention rather than the inadequate fulfillment, and as the player leaves the stage is disposed to bid him a kindly farewell. Why did he not bow silently and retire ? Why should he speak who can not speak wisely? Why publish a book which if not mentioned at all is a mortification, and if mentioned must be described truly ? And the simple truth is, that this is one of the most unsatisfactory books ever published. It has none of the especial charm of memoirs, that delightful, genial picture of the private lives of public men and relation of characteristic incident which, if grave history disdains to note; is yet the most delightful episode of history. The book tells in a clumsy way what was already known of its author's services but as a picture of American life and men during the long life of General SCOTT it is worthless. The preface remarks the want in our literature of proper personal memoirs, and the work then proceeds it two volumes to make that went more obvious and deplorable. The book will not injure the national gratitute to General SCOTT for his faithful and undoubted patriotic service ; it will be merely counted among those acts which all his sincere friends will regret and the county hasten to forget.

"From Dan to Beersheba: Trevvls in the Holy Land," by Rev. J. P. NEWMAN, D. D. (HARPERS ) A simple, earnest, valuable book, describing Jerusalem and the usual tour in the Holy Land, but so careful and exact in its details and descriptions that it is an admirable vade-mecum for the traveler and a capital manual of reference for the student. Dr. NEWMAN describes an attack of the Bedouins upon his party, sixteen against four, in which the clerical author and his friends showed themselves to be efficient doctors of the Church Militant. Every "Eastern travcier will turn, the pages of this modest and well illustrated volume with peculiar interest.

" Margaret Denzil's History" (HARPER'S) is one of those stories which are so good that we all hear of them before we read them. This one has excited so much irterest as it appeared serially that, as it some unusaul origin must be found for so remarkable a tale it has been attributed to several noted persons and among others, to Queen VICTORIA. But it is very clear that if that good lady had been capable of writing such a book she would not have waited until now to reveal her power. "Margaret Denzil's History" is doubtless a woman's book, and one of those which must be real by every one who would be familiar with the remarkable variety of literary power which, in our day, seeks its expression in the novel.

" Under the Ban" (Le Maudit) (HARPERS) is another representative book. It is a highly wrought, exciting, even exasperating tale, descriptive of the subtle influence and the inexorable method of Jesuitism. For the American reader it has an extraordinary interest, and for every reader a profound warning.

"The Seer; or, Common Places Refreshed," by LEIGE HUNT (ROBERTS BROTHERS). This is a fresh and truly beautiful edition of one of the most delightful series of essays in English literature. They are genial, dainty, delicate little treatises upon familiar topics and daily experiences graced with all the charms of the poet's fancy, and garnished with the spoils of that elegant culture which was so marked in LEIGH HUNT. The publishers will be cordially thanked for giving so fair a form to so choice a work, and so timely and fit for a gift book.

" Arizona and Sonora: the Geography, History, and Resources of the Silver Region of North America," by SYLVESTER MOWRY, of Arizona. (HARPERS.) A compact, plain, and detailed account of the mineral resources of the region, given often in the words of the official authorities. It is full of useful and apparently accurate information.


THERE comes a time when we grow old,

And, like a sunset down the sea, Slopes gradual, and the night wind cold

Comes whispering sad and chillingly;

And locks are gray

At Winter's day,

And eyes of saddest blue behold

The leaves all dreary drift away, And lips of faded coral say,

There comes a time when we grow old. There comes a time when joyous hearts,

Which leap as leap the laughing main, Are dead to all save memory,

As prisoner in his dungeon chain,
And dawn of day

Hath passed away,

The moon hath into darkness rolled,

And by the embers wan and gray,

I hear a voice in whisper say,

There comes a time when we grow old, There comes a time when manhood's prime

Is shrouded in the mist of years, And beauty, fading like a dream,

Hath passed away in silent fears;

And then how dark ! But oh! the spark

That kindles youth to hues of gold,

Still burns with clear and steady ray,

And fond affections lingering say, There comes a time when we grow old. There comes a time when laughing Spring

And golden Summer cease to be; And we put on the Autumn robe

To tread the last declivity.

But now the slope,

With rosy hope,

Beyond the sunset we behold

Another dawn with fairer light,

While watchers whisper through the night,

There comes a time when we grow old.



ON Monday, December 5, the Thirty-eighth Congress assembled at Washington to hold its second and last session. In the Senate 37 members were present. After prayer by the Chaplain, and after the usual notice to the House that the Senate was ready for business, the credentials of Mr. Nathan A. Farwell, appointed to fill Mr. Fessenden's place as Senator from Maine, were presented, and he was duly sworn into office. It was resolved that the Senate should meet set twelve o`clock until otherwise ordered. Mr. Sherman, of Ohio, offered a bill authorizing the construction of six revenue cutters for service on the lakes, and appropriating for that purpose one million dollars. Mr. Lane introduced a bill for the relief (by payment from the Treasury) of the Kansas militia, who had been engaged in repelling the recent invasion of Missouri.

In the House, 150 members answered to their names. A committee consisting of Messrs. Washburn, Pendleton, and Fenton, was appointed to join the committee from the Senate, consisting of Messrs Foot, Conness. and Hendricks, to wait on the President and inform him that both Houses were ready to receive any communication he might be pleased to make. Mr. Dwight Townsend, elected in place of Mr. Stebbins, of New York, resigned, was sworn in. Mr. Charles D. Poston was qualified as Delegate from Arizona The credentials of five Louisiana members, purporting to be elected in pursuance of the new constitution of that State, were referred to the Committee on Elections. Mr. Davis, of Maryland, offered a protest from Louisiana against their admission, which was also referred. Mr. Pendleton, of Ohio, offered a resolution that the President be requested to communicate the report made by Colonel Thomas M. Key of a meeting between himself and General Howell Cobb, June 1862, on the banks of the Chickahominy, on the subject of the exchange of prisoners. Objected to by Mr. Washburne, of Illinois, and lies over, Mr. Cox, of Ohio, offered a resolution that the Committee of Ways and Means, with a view to lessen the cost of the necessaries of life, he instructed to inquire into the expediency of reducing the tariff on coffee, sugar, tea, and similar articles. On motion of Mr. Dawes, of Massachusetts, the resolution was tabled, 63 to 49. Mr. Marrill, of Vermont, offered a resolution that the Committee of Ways and Means be instructed to inquire into the expediency of providing a sinking fund at an early day for the gradual exetinction of the public debt. Mr. Washburne offered a resolution to instruct the Committee of Ways and Means, if they amended the Revenue bill at all, to lay a tax on all stocks of domestic liquors on hand. Carried, 58 to 51.

The only changes which have taken place since the last session are the following : In the Senate, George R. Riddle takes the place of James Bayard, resigned, for Maryland ; from Maine, Farwell takes the place of Secretary Fessenden; and Bowden does not return. Bowden, together with Carlile, represented Virginia in the last session. The two Senators from Louisiana are R. K. Cutler and Charles Smith. In the House, E. C. Ingersoll takes the place of Lovejoy, deceased, for Illinois; Samuel Knox that of Frank Blair, Jun., resigned, for Missouri ; Dwight Townsend that of Stebbins, for New York. Governor Fenton holds his seat until the commencement of his gubernatorial term.

The appointment by the President of the Hon. Salmon P. Chase for Chief-Justice of the Supreme Court. in place of the late Chief-Justice Taney, deceased, was received by the Senate December 6, and immediately confirmed.


The President's Message was transmitted to Congress December 6. It is a brief but comprehensive document: The President regards the condition of our Foreign affairs as reasonably satisfactory. In this connection he dwells at length on our relations with the South American States. Alluding to the progress of the Republic of Liberia, he solicits authority to furnish the republic with a gunboat to protect it against the native African races, and to facilitate its operations in arresting the slave trade. The President briefly alludes to the two projects to connnect America with Europe, the one by sea and the other by land, as satisfactorily under way. He refers to the temporary difficulties which, after the decease of Counsul-General Thayer, resulted in a suspension of intercourse between Egypt and the United States; to the suppression of the Chinese rebellion, and the opening of the Inland sea in Japan. After mentioning that the ports of Norfolk, Fernandina, and Pensacola have been opened to the world, he proceeds to the consideration of the difficulties on the Canadian border. He recommends that notice be given to the British

Government that after the expiration of six months the United States must feel at liberty to increase their naval armament upon the Lakes, if they shall find it necessary to do so.

The President also recommends an amendment of the act for the encouragement of emigration which shall prevent the practice of fraud against immigrants on their way hither or on their arrival in port, so as to secure them a free choice of avocations and places of settlement. He reports that the enterprise connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific States has been entered upon with a vigor which gives promise of success, notwithstanding the embarrassments from the high prices of labor and material. The route of the main line of the road has been definitely located for one hundred miles westward from the central point at Omaha City, Nebraska ; and a preliminary location of the Pacific Railroad of California has been made from Sacramento, eastward, to the great head of Mucker River in Nevada. Numerous discoveries of gold, silver, and cinnabar mines have been added to the many heretofore known ; and the country occupied by the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains and the subordinate ranges now teems with enterprising labor, which is richly remunerative.

It is believed that the products of the mines of precious metals in that region have, during the year, reached, if not exceeded, $100,000,000 in value.

The President recommends that further attention be given to the reorganization of the Indian system. The number of invalid pensioners is 23,479 of which 710 are from the Navy. The number of widows and orphans on the Army Pension Rolls is 25,443, the Navy pensioners numbering 793. During the year ending June 30, 1864, $4,504,616 have been paid to pensioners of all classes. The President alludes to General Sherman's march through Georgia as an evidence of our great increase of relative strength. He states that 12,000 citizens in each of the States of Arkansas and Louisiana have organized loyal State governments with free constitutions, and that movements in a similar direction should not be overlooked. In Maryland an example is presented of complete success. The President congratulates the country on the fact that the number of voters at the last elective in the loyal portion of the country is greater than the corresponding number in 1860, by 145,000, without including 90,000 soldiers who could not vote and the largely augmented population of the Territories. This fact proves that the resources of the nation in respect of men are not in any measure exhausted by the war.

Negotiations for peace with the insurgent leader the President regards as impossible, as the latter has so distinctly and frequently declared that he would accept of no terms involving a return to the Union. We are left then to the issue of war. When the Southern people are beaten in the field or by their withdrawal from the field secure the defeat of their leaders, then peace will follow upon victory. In regard to this people the President says :

" They can at any moment have peace simply by laying down their arms and submitting to the National authority under the Constitution. After so much the Government could not, if it would, maintain war against them. The loyal people would not sustain or allow it. If questions should remain, we would adjust them by the peaceful means of legislation, conference, courts, and votes."

In taking this position the President declares that he retracts nothing heretofore said by him as to slavery. He repeats former declaration that he will not attempt, while he remains in his present position, to retract or modify the Emancipation Proclamation. "Nor," adds he, " shall I return to slavery any person who is free by the terms of that Proclamation, or by any of the acts of Congress.

" If the people should, by whatever mode or means, make it an Executive duty to re-enslave such persons, another, and not I, must be their instrument to perform it.

" In stating a single condition of peace, I mean simply to say that the war will cease on the part of the Government whenever it shall have ceased on the part of those who began it."

The President recommends that Congress should take the necessary measures to bring before the State Legislatures the proposition for an amendment to the Constitution to abolish Slavery. He considers the popular vote in the recent election to have indicated a desire on the part of the people that such an amendment should be adopted.

The proposition came up at the last session, and was carried in the Senate by a vote of 38 to 6, but was lost in the House, receiving only 95 votes against 66 ; a two-thirds vote was requisite. Twenty-two members of the House did not vote at all.


The Reports of the separate Departments accompany the President's Message.

The fiscal year closed July 1, 1864. The receipts during the year from all sources, including loans and the balances in the Treasury from the previous year, were $1,394,796,007 62; the disbursements, $1,298,056,10189, leaving a balance in the Treasury of $96,739,905.73. Deduct from these amounts the amount of the principal of the public debt redeemed, and the amount of issues in substitution therefor, and the actual cash operations of the Treasury were: Receipts, $884,076,64677; disbursements, $865,234,087 86, which leaves a cash balance in the Treasury of $18,842,55871. Of the receipts, there were derived from customs $102,316,152 99; from lands, $588,333 29 ; from direct taxes, $475,648 96 ; from internal revenue, $109,741,134 10 ; from miscellaneous sources, $47,511,44810 ; and from loans applied to actual expenditures, including former balance, $623,443,929.13. There were disbursed for the civil service, $27,505,59946 ; for pension, and Indians, $7,517,930.97; for the War Department, $60,791,84297 for the Navy Department, $85,733, 292.79 for interest of the public debt, $53,685,421.69, making an aggregate of $565,234,087.86, and leaving a balance in the Treasury of $18,842,559.71, as before stated.

The Secretary of the Treasury favor an increase of taxation to meet the expenses of the war. The entire public debt July 1864, was $1,740,690,489 49. The Secretary is also of he opinion that there should be in the country no banks of issue not authorized by Congress.

The Report of the Secretary of War has not been received.

The Secretary of the Navy reports that, including the vessels under construction December 1, 1864, there are belonging to the Navy 671 vessels, carrying 4610 guns, and 510,396 tons, being an actual increase during the year, over and above all losses by shipwreck or in battle, of 83 vessels, 167 guns and 42,427 tons. The total number of men at this time in the naval service, including officers, is about 51,000. There have been captured by the navy during the year 324 vessels, and the whole number of navel captures since hostilities commenced is 1379, of which 267 are steamers. The gross proceeds arising from the sale of condemned prize property thus for reported amounts to $14,396,250 51. A large amount of such proceeds is still under adjudication, and yet to be reported. The total expenditure of the Navy Department of every description, including the cost of the immense squadrons that have been called into existence from the 4th of March, 1861, to the 1st of November, 1864, are $288,647,262.35.

The Secretary recommends the construction of a new navy-yard and suitable establishment for the construction and repair of iron vessels. He also recommends the creation of the rank of Vice-Admiral in our naval service.

The postal revenues for the year ending July 1, 1864, amounted to $12,468,253 73, and the expenditures to $12,644,78620, leaving a deficit of $206,652.42.


The news from Sherman is still indefinite; indeed it is very apparent that the rebel journals are unable to locate his main army with any degree of accuracy. The Mayor of Milledgeville says that the Yankee army has despoiled the citizens of food, and has taken their mules and horses. He also reports the destruction of the railroad bridge and the bridge across the Oconee. The State House and Executive Mansion were uninjured. There is no certain indication that Sherman has moved his main army east of the Oconee, though there are rumors of his having reached Millen. The Richmond Enquirer of December 1, on the basis of the report that Sherman had reached Millen, declared its opinion that he would reach the coast in safety. The Richmond Examiner, two days afterward, denied the

report and predicted Sherman's defeat. It is impossible for us to say whether Sherman's main army is east of the Oconee, or whether the attack, that side of the stream are merely feints made by the cavalry, while the main body is moving between the Oconee and the Ocmulgee toward Brunswick. In the latter case he has a long journey yet before him, and the route is more unfavorable than the one originally selected.

An expedition under General Foster sailed from Port Royal on the 29th of November up Broad River twenty miles to Boyd's Point, where a force was landed which proceeded five miles interior to Pocotaligo Bridge. The bridge, which was on the line of the Savannah and Charleston Railroad, was captured. A large quantity of cotton was destroyed. General Foster's expedition was meant to co-operate with Sherman. The rebel journals give accounts of an engagement et Grahamsville between Foster and Hardee, which they represent as having been a drawn battle.


On the 1st of December General Gregg started southward on a cavalry reconnoissance, by a long detour avoiding the rebel right. Its captured Stony Ceek Station, taking two guns, which he spiked, nearly two hundred prisoners, and destroying large quantities of property, including 3000 sacks of corn.


Hood's army began to move on the 22d of November. Up to this date Forrest had remained on the Tennessee River, in the neighborhood of Savannah, while the main body of Hood's army was in the vicinity of Florence and Tuscumbia, with its base at Corinth. Forrest's cavalry, amounting to from 12,000 to 15,000, moved westward, Hood at the same time moving northward. Both columns by this advance flanked our positions at Decatur, Huntsville, and Pulaski, which were evacuated on the 23d. Thomas's army failing back on Columbia, 45 miles south of Nashville. On the 24th and 25th skirmishing was kept up between our cavalry and General Forrest, the latter being repulsed with the help of the infantry. In the mean time Hood was moving past our left northward aria's the Duck River and against Spring Hill, to cut off Schofield who was at Columbia, from Nashville. He had crowed Duck River by the 28th. As soon as this movement was discovered Schofield continued the retreat from Columbia toward NashviIle, his flanks being covered by Wilson's cavalry. So vigorous was Hood's pursuit that Forrest caught up with Wilson at Spring Hill on the 29th. A severe fight followed, in which Wilson, assisted by a portion of the infantry, repulsed Forrest. The enemy tried to bring on a general engagement, but our feces with drew to Franklin, which is on the south side of Big Harpeth River, and 18 miles south from Nashville. The next day, November 30, Hood pressed so closely that Schofield determined to await attack before erasing the river. Breast works were hastily thrown up south of the river, the army being drawn up in semicircular line around Franklin. Schofield's head-quarters were established at the strong fort on the north side of the stream. His army consisted of two corps—the Fourth, under Stanley, and the Twenty-third under Cox; the former held the right, and the latter the left wing Wagner's Brigade of COX'S Corps and Riley's of Stanley's connected, forming the centre. The rebel army consisted of three corps, under Cheatham, Stewart, and Lee. These corps attacked our lines at half past three P.M. The rebel attack was made chiefly on the centre. Charge after charge was made, ending always in repulse in ore of these Major-General Cleburne was killed; in another fell Brigadier-General Adams; and our artillery and hot musketry fire swept and decimated their rank end file. Still the assaults were repeated until at last the two brigades holding the centre wavered and fell back. As the enemy advanced to pursue his advantage, he was encountered by a new line consisting of Colonel Opdyke's brigade. General Stanley ordered Opdyke to restore the line, and himself led a countercharge against the enemy, in which he was wounded. But the rebels were driven back, a large number of them having been captured. The battle continued till night, when, under cover of the darkness, Schofield abandoned Franklin; and having been reinforced by A. J. Smith, the army was concentrated just south of Nashville. In the battle of Franklin the rebel loss was between four and five thousand, ours was about twelve hundred. General Wood has taken command of Stanley's corps during the temporary absence of the latter from the field

The country around Nashville has been strongly fortified. A large amount of property belonging to rebel sympathizers has been destroyed to facilitate the defense of the city.


A few weeks since a party of rebels, daily commissioned by S. R. Mallory, Cenfederate Secretary of War, organized a conspiracy for the destruction of our commerce on the Pacific. The party, led by Thomas Hogg, and consisting of about twenty men, left Havana at the close of September for Panama, with the intention of taking passage on the Guatemala, one of the Panama Railroad line of steamers, and sailing October 25. They arrived at Panama too late, but determined to wait the Salador, which would sail November 10. Their purpose was to seize the vessel at sea and then use her as a privateer against vessels of the Pacific Mail Steam ship Company In the mean time their conspiracy became known to our officers, and when the party had taken passage on the Salvador measures had been completed or their capture. When the vessel was well out to sea it was boarded by 60 men from the United States steamer Lancaster under Commander Davenport, who secured a large number of the conspirators, among them Thomas Hogg. Their papers also were taken.

The resignations of the following named officers have been accepted by the President, to take effect November 20th : Major-General John A. M'Clernand, Brigadier General E. A. Payne, and Brigadier-General Neal Dow.

Mr. A. W. Thayer has been appointed Counsul of Trieste in the place of Richard Hildreth, the historian, obliged to resign on account of ill health.

On November 26 a torpedo was found in one of the berths of the Sound steamer City of New London, supposed to have been placed there by some secessionist, just before the vessel started from New York. The fuse had been lighted, but fortunately became extinguished before ignition of the torpedo was effected.

General Merrit, with a large force of cavalry, is thoroughly clearing out guerrillas from London County, Virginia, destroying every thing that can be of service to men or horses, and effectually breaking up the rebel place for pillaging in Maryland.

General Banks has returned to New Orleans to resume the command of the Department of the Gulf.

General Humphrey has assumed command of the Second Corps, as successor to General Hancock. Rabel deserters report that General Ewell's Corps has gone southward.



FRANZ MULLER, the murderer, was executed November 14. Up to the last moment he protested his innocence. His ghostly adviser, who was one of his own countrymen, stood by him till the last, and he reports that just before Muller was swung off he confessed the murder in these words: " Ich habe es gethan—I have done it."


The new Constitution passed the Assembly November 1. The discussion had been protracted to such a length that his Majesty King George was obliged to step in and inform the wranglers that if they did not complete their work within a month he should reserve to himself liberty of

action, throwing the responsibility on the Assembly. He also advocated the creation of a Council of State to take the place of the suppressed Senate. Indeed, ministers declared that the King would sign the Constitution only on this condition. The royal order had its effect, and the King's proposal was adopted by a vote of 136 to 124.


Our Consul-General at Rio Janeiro on the 14th of October addressed a letter to Senor Pedro Dins Vicira, Brazilian Secretary of Foreign Affairs, offering ample reparation for the capture of the Florida by Captain Collins.




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