Battle of Piedmont


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, June 25, 1864

This site features online versions of the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. This is a valuable resource to enable you to watch the events of the war unfold on the pages of newspapers of the day.

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Andrew Johnson


Andrew Johnson Biography


Battle of Piedmont

Cold Harbor

Cold Harbor

Cold Harbor

Cold Harbor Battle Description

Sherman Resaca

Sherman Entering Resaca Georgia

Cat Fight

Cat Fight Cartoon

Hanover Ferry

Hanover Ferry

Cold Harbor

Cold Harbor

Cold Harbor Battle

Cold Harbor Battle





JUNE 25, 1864.]



(Previous Page) courages that view plainly helps, in the most effective manner, to weaken the fidelity of the citizens of the Union to their government, and affords the utmost moral aid to the insurrection. This aid may he rendered in many ways, but its strongest weapon is the assertion of supreme State sovereignty. This, again, may be done by implication, by insinuation, by sophistry and deceit. Yet in all eases the intention is the same. It is to impair the fidelity of the citizens to the government, and consequently to paralyze the national arm in asserting its supremacy. Under the circumstances, the intention must be judged by the possible result. If a regiment refuses to go into the battle, it must be supposed that it is willing to connive at the defeat of the army.

There is a certain class of citizens of the United States who are in armed rebellion against its authority. They are rebels and traitors There is another class who deny the right of the Government to coerce or subdue them. These are practically the same, although they are not actually in arms. These are the "peace" men. But there is a third class who, without deliberately denying, the right of the Government to enforce its authority, steadily pursue a course which, by aspersing the purity of its intention, by sowing the seeds of discord among its supporters, by charging every military mishap directly upon the Administration, and never crediting it with any of the military successes ; by insisting upon its universal corruption, by magnifying the rebel resources and successes, by personal ridicule of the President and Congress, by personal laudation of DAVIS and the rebel ringleaders, by the incessant assertion of State dignity and State rights, as well as by every poor and mean trick of political partisanship—leads straight to the discouragement of loyal men and the triumph of the rebellion.

Of course this is all done under the show of the tenderest regard for the Union and the Constitution, or it would not be so effective. There is an air of profound and candid perplexity in deciding whether, after all, the President has not virtually overthrown the Constitution in his efforts to maintain the Union, which can hardly be intended to strengthen the hearts either of Union voters or of Union soldiers. It is a stealthy, insidious, fatal policy. Every manly heart in the land understands it. Its symbol is the snake. This class, and the papers which represent it, are the "Copperheads" of our present political parlance. They could not be more exactly described. When they are, we will call them by a new name.


THAT part of the Union men in the country who have been accustomed to feel that, directly or indirectly, Mr. THURLOW WEED exercised some kind of influence with the Administration, and an influence which they sincerely regretted, will read with surprise in Mr. WEED'S latest letter these words : " Though always treated courteously by Mr. LINCOLN, my views and suggestions have not concurred with his convictions of duty ; and from my first interview with the President, at Springfield, to my last in January, I have been of no account."

The confession which Mr. WEED thus frankly makes could be made, doubtless, by every other representative of an extreme policy in the country. The gentlemen, for instance, who met at Cleveland openly charge the President with a betrayal of his principles, which is a plain admission that they have been, like Mr. WEED, " of no account." Whether these facts imply a misfortune for the country or an incompetency in the President the people must determine. Whether the war would have been more clearly comprehended and more wisely prosecuted if Mr. WEED or Mr. PARKER PILLSBURY had been President than it has been by Mr. LINCOLN, are questions that the election will determine. If we might express an opinion, we should say that Mr. LINCOLN has probably more faith in the people than Mr. WEED, and more practical sagacity than Mr. PILLSBURY. We certainly do not impugn the patriotism or the good faith of either of these gentlemen when we say that Mr. LINCOLN seems to us to have apprehended more correctly than either of them both the significance of the contest and the conditions of ultimate success.

The caustic differences between Mr. WEED and some of his late political friends show, indeed, what every thoughtful man will gladly see, that ancient party bonds are broken. When those who, four years ago, were uncompromising Republicans cordially fraternize with such undoubted old Democrats as DANIEL S. DICKINSON and BENJAMIN F. BUTLER and THOMAS G. ALVORD, and ardently support for the Vice-Presidency a late slaveholding Southern Democrat like ANDREW JOHNSON, it is clear that those party names have lost their significance, and that the sole bond of Union is a common devotion to the country, and a common resolution that it shall be saved by all honorable and lawful means. It is idle to call a Convention which nominated ANDREW JOHNSON a Republican Convention in any purely party sense ; or to suppose that General BUTLER, for instance, will vote for Mr. LINCOLN as a technical, partisan Democrat. It is as idle as to call a Convention in which

DICKINSON could have no part a Democratic Convention.

That the war would inevitably produce this result we have always believed, because we have never doubted that patriotism was more powerful among us than party spirit. The whole history of the last three years has shown that, while the selfish few have clung to party names, the patriotic multitude have repudiated all party but the country. This is seen in the election of Governor CONEY of Maine, of Governor BROUGH of Ohio, of DANIEL S. DICKINSON as Attorney-General of New York, and not less in that of Governor BUCKINGHAM of Connecticut and Governor LOW of California. Now comes the crowning proof of the real fusion of the unconditional Union sentiment in one organization—the nomination of LINCOLN and JOHNSON.


IN the fierce assault of GRANT'S army on Friday morning, June 3, Colonel PORTER fell at the head of his regiment, the Eighth New York Artillery. The regiment had been long stationed at Baltimore, and went to the front only about three weeks before the action. It was advancing across an open space when a masked battery opened upon it a withering fire, by which the Colonel was instantly killed, the Major dangerously wounded, and more than half the men disabled. Colonel PORTER was the son of the late P. B. PORTER, of Niagara Falls—a conspicuous figure upon the frontier during the last war with Great Britain. The son graduated at Harvard College about sixteen years ago, traveled and studied in Europe for several years, and returned to the enjoyment of an immense property, and the delights of a society of which he was a most brilliant and genial part. Without devotion to any especial pursuit, he amused himself and others by the mere play of his fine powers until the war aroused and enlisted all his sympathy. He appeared in the Union State Convention of 1861, and went in the following winter to the Assembly. At the second great call in the summer of 1862 he raised a regiment in his neighborhood and departed for the field. Nominated as Secretary of State by the Union Convention of 1863 he declined in a manly letter, saying that he had promised his men and their kindred that he would not desert them. He kept his word in this as in all things. Steady and cheerful in his garrison life at Baltimore, he was not less so in the field, and fell in his first battle.

Like so many others whose names have become precious since the war began, he had all things to live for, and the sacrifice was complete. Brave, gifted, young, well, bound to life by the tenderest ties, his devotion to the cause was the more admirable because of the drawings of blood and association toward the South. But his clear brain and true heart never swerved for a moment ; and his life is added to the costly price with which we buy the unity of our country, and the national peace which shall endure.


" IF I were a poet, like you, my friend,"

Said a bronzed old sergeant, speaking to me, "I would make a rhyme of this mastiff here;

For a right good Union dog is he,

Although he was born on 'secesh' soil,

And his master fought in the rebel ranks. If you'll do it I'll tell you his history,

And give you in pay, why—a soldier's thanks.

" Well, the way we came across him was this :

We were on the march, and 'twas getting late When we reached a farm-house, deserted by all

Save this mastiff here, who stood at the gate. Thin and gaunt as a wolf was he,

And a piteous whine he gave 'twixt the bars; But, bless you! if he didn't jump for joy

When he saw our flag with the Stripes and Stars.

" Next day when we started again on the march, With us went Jack without word or call; Stopping for rest at the order to ' halt,'

And taking his rations along with us all; Never straggling, but keeping his place in line, Far to the right, and close beside me;

And I don't care where the other is found, There never was better drilled dog than he.

I' He always went with us into the fight,

And the thicker the bullets fell around,
And the louder the rattling musketry rolled,

Louder and fiercer his barrel would sound; And once when wounded, and tell for dead,

After a bloody and desperate fight, Poor Jack, as faithful as friend can be,

Lay by my side on the field all night.

" And so when our regiment home returned,

We brought him along with us, as you see; And Jack and I being much attached,

The boys seemed to think he belonged to me. And here he has lived with me ever since;

Right pleased with his quarters, too, he seems. There are no more battles for brave old Jack,

And no more marches except in dreams.

"But the best of all times for the old dog is When the thunder mutters along the sky,

Then he wakes the echoes around with his bark, Thinking the enemy surely is nigh.

Now I've told you his history, write him a rhyme—Some day poor Jack in his grave must rest—And of all the rhymes of this cruel war

Which your brain has made let his be the best."



SENATE.--June 8, The bill to amend the act concerning certain private land claims in New Mexico was passed.—The bill respecting Counsular jurisdiction over the crews of foreign vessels in American waters was also passed.—The bill for the repeal if the commutation clause of the Enrollment Act was taken up, and a letter was read from the Provost-Marshal General, recommending the abrogation of all exemptions free military duty upon payment of money, every man drafted to serve or furnish a substitute. The letter of the Provost-Marshal General shows that of 14,741 drafted men in certain States, 5050 paid the $300, and after deducting these and such as were exempt on physical grounds, the Government got only 2675—of whom 1416 were substitutes, leaving only 1259 of the 14,741 originally drawn. No final action was taken.—June 9. The $300 exemption matter was taken up, and the bill amended, so that drafts hereafter shall be for one year only, and a person shall not be subject to draft a second time until the present enrollment shall be exhausted. Overplus of men already furnished in any district to be credited in future drafts. In this shape the amendments were adopted—22 to 17.--June 10. Mr. Lane introduced a joint resolution recognizing the newly organized loyal government in Arkansas, and exempting that State from the operation of all proclamations declaring the people to be in rebellion.—June 11. Mr. Lane, of Kansas, added a new section to his resolutions relating to the recognition of the new State government of Arkansas, to the effect that the resolutions shall be in force from and after the acceptance by the people of the State and the President's proclamation of the same. The California Land Claims bill was discussed during the morning, and the Indian Appropriation bill was passed as amended, and goes back to the House.—June 13. A long discussion was had on Mr. Lane's resolutions relative to reorganizing the free State of Arkansas. They were finally referred to the Judiciary Committee.--The Consular bill was passed.--June 14. The House bill to amend the act to provide a temporary government for the Territory of Idaho was passed.—The bill to repair certain public works on the Lakes was also passed.—The bill to ascertain and settle private land claims in California, involving the great Miranda grant, was indefinitely postponed. The Fortification bill was called up, with the senate's amendments thereto. The bill finally passed. The joint resolution for the relief of the State of Wisconsin was passed.—The Senate adhered to its amendments to the bill equalizing the pay of United States soldiers, and agreed to a new Committee of Conference.

HOUSE.—June 8. The Senate bill conferring veto power on the Governor of Washington Territory was passed, 73 against 44.—The House then resumed the consideration of the Bankrupt bill. An amendment was made so that no person can avail himself of its benefits whose liabilities are less than $500.—June 9. Mr. Brandagee reported a bill providing for the construction of a line of railway communication between the cities of New York and Washington, and to constitute the same a public highway, and military road, and postal route. A debate sprung up, which was interrupted by Mr. Jenckes calling up the Bankrupt bill. The bill was rejected by yeas 64, nays 65. —Mr. Washburne reported a bill, which was passed, to insure the more certain enforcement of the law regulating the carrying of passengers in ships and steam-vessels, mainly between New York and California.—The bill providing that goods, trunks, carpet-bags, baggage, etc., be sealed, etc., in the United States as in Europe, and for the increase of revenue inspectors to sixty in number, mainly on the Canada frontier, was passed.—The House also passed the Senate bill regulating the foreign and coasting trade on the Northern, .Northeastern, and Northwestern frontiers.—June 10. The Missouri contested seat (Knox vs. Blair) was decided against General Blair, the acting member, and Mr. Knox, Radical Republican, was admitted by a vote of 70 to 52.—The Dakota contested seat was then taken up, on a resolution declaring that William Jayne, acting member, is not, and J. B. Todd, contestant, is, entitled to the place. No vote was taken.--June 11. A resolution was passed that the House, the Senate concurring, shall adjourn on the 23d of June.—The Judiciary Committee reported unanimously that the bill providing for the collection of abandoned property and the prevention of frauds in insurrectionary districts, approved March 12, 1863, is not in force.—On a motion for the reconsideration of the vote on the Bankrupt bill it was decided to postpone the further consideration of the subject till December next.—During the remainder of the sitting the House was occupied with the reception and discussion of reports on various contested seats, that of the Dakota election occupying several hours, and resulting in a decision " that Mr. Todd is entitled to a seat as the delegate from Dakota."—June 13. Mr. Dawes made a report, concluding with resolutions that Robert C. Schenck having resigned his commission as Major-General of Volunteers on the 21st of November, 1863, to take effect on the 5th of December, was not by reason of having held such office disqualified from occupying a seat in the Thirty-eighth Congress as a Representative from Ohio, the session having commenced on the 7th of December; but that Frank P. Blair, by continuing to hold office as a Major-General of Volunteers, and discharging the duties thereof from November 29, 1862, till January, 1864, thus disqualified himself from holding a seat in the Thirty-eighth Congress, which met December 7, 1863. — Mr. Schenck introduced a bill repealing the $300 clause in the Enrollment Act, and providing that hereafter no payment of money shall be accepted or received from any enrollment or drafted man to be relieved of liability to perform military duty. Mr. Schenck moved the previous question on the passage of the bill. The previous question was not seconded, and debate rising, the bill went over.—Mr. Garfield introduced a joint resolution that no State declared to be in rebellion by the President is entitled to appoint electors of President and Vice-President, and no electoral vote from any such State shall be received or counted until both Houses of Congress, by concurrent action, shall have recognized a State Government in such State: laid on the table ; yeas 104, nays 33.-The House then took up the resolution of Mr. Lazear, proposing a suspension of hostilities, and requiring the President to adopt measures for assembling a convention of delegates from all the States to adjust the difficulties between the North and the South on the basis of the Constitution. The House refused by a vote of yeas 65 to suspend the rules for the introduction of the resolution.—The House then proceeded to the consideration of the House bill to repeal the Fugitive Slave Law. After some debate the bill passed, 82 against 58.----June 14. The House reconsidered the vote by which, recently, the Senate Gold bill was laid upon the table. Mr. Hooper's substitute for the first section of the bill was agreed to. The bill then passed ; yeas 76, nays 62.--The House went into Committee of the Whole on the bill making appropriations for certain civil expenses. The bill was defeated, and the House recommitted it to the Committee of Ways and Means.—The House resumed the consideration of the bill proposing an amendment to the Constitution to abolish slavery throughout the United States. Mr. Pruyn spoke against it. Fernando Wood also opposed the amendment. Mr. Higby spoke on the side of freedom.--The evening was devoted to speech-making.


Our record last week closed with intelligence from General Grant's army to Tuesday, June 7. During that and the following day every thing remained quiet, both armies engaging in the erection of earth-works. On Tuesday a flag of truce was sent out by General Grant, and under the direction of the corps commanders the dead and wounded between the lines of works were brought off. On Thursday there was some artillery firing on our left about Dispatch Station, to which place our line had been extended the day before, giving us a position on the eastern bank of the Chickahominy. On Friday the rebel cavalry dashed into the lines of General Wilson, one of our cavalry commanders, near the Lenny House. On Saturday General Wilson sent out a part of M'Intosh's brigade to see where the enemy was. Their pickets were driven back, and their outer line forced, the cavalry passing over the intrenchments. About a mile west of Bethesda's Church M'Intosh came upon Field's division of infantry, and having accomplished the purpose of his reconnoissance, retired.

The latest accounts report that an Important movement was in progress with a prospect of entire success.

The railroad track, which had been completed from White House to within a mile or two of the army, has been torn up again, and the rails and ties brought back to the White House, where they were placed on barges. Seven hundred men were first engaged in repairing this road, and about the same number aided in destroying it.


Active operations have been resumed by General Butler's forces. On Friday, 10th, 1400 cavalry, under General Kautz, and a brigade of infantry, under General Gillmore, made a demonstration against Petersburg. The cavalry, attacking the works on the south side of the city, carried the outer lines, and drove the enemy into the heart of the town, capturing one gun and several prisoners, General Gillmore, when within a mile and it half of Peters. burg, from some cause, turned back, failing to co-operate as was expected, with General Kautz, who was consequently obliged to retire. His design was to destroy the depots and store-houses in Petersburg; and this, had he been supported, he would have accomplished. Three of four miles of the track of the Petersburg and Richmond Railroad was, however, destroyed during the expedition.


On Sunday, June 5, General Hunter engaged a rebel force, under General W. E. Jones, at Piedmont, in the Shenandoah Valley, winning a decisive victory. General Jones was killed, and we captured 1500 prisoners:, 3000 stand of arms, three pieces of artillery, and a large amount of stores. After the engagement the enemy retired in a southerly direction to Waynesboro, situated on the Virginia Central Railroad, about midway between Staunton and Charlottesville. General Hunter at once pushed forward and occupied Staunton, fifteen miles from the battlefield. General Hunter's movement, up to the occupation of that place, had resulted in time capture of one battery of six pieces, besides other cannon of heavy calibre, and of three millions of dollars' worth of stores, together with the destruction of a large amount of railroad property and the capture of a large number of prisoners. On taking Staunton General Hunter found that every man and boy had been called out for its defense. He effected a junction with Generals Averill and Crook soon after occupying Staunton.

On the 13th General Hunter moved from Staunton with the combined forces of Crook and Averill. An expedition sent to Waynesborough destroyed several railroad bridges and tore up the track.


John Morgan, with some 2500 rough-riders, last week entered Kentucky by Pound Gap, and by swift movements got possession of Paris, Georgetown, Cynthia, Williamstown, Mount Sterling, and other towns. The ostensible object of the "raid" was to pick up fresh horses, but indiscriminate robbery and murder marked the course of the invaders. A passenger train on the Louisville and Lexington Railroad, near Smithfield, was attacked, and two passenger cars and a baggage car burned and the express car robbed. Other trains were attacked, and railroad communication was for some days interrupted. On Thursday. 9th, General Burbridge, who followed Morgan from Pound Gap, came up with the marauders at Mount Sterling, and whipped him handsomely. A portion of Morgan's command, however, entered Lexington at two o'clock on Friday morning, burned the Kentucky Central Railroad depot, robbed a number of stores, and left at ten o'clock, in the direction of Georgetown and Frankfort. Part of the town of Cynthia was also burned. Two Ohio regiments stationed there were captured. On Sunday morning, 12th, General Burbridge fell upon Morgan's forces while at breakfast near Cynthia, and after an hour's hard fighting completely routed him, killing three hundred, wounding nearly as many, and capturing nearly four hundred, besides recapturing nearly one hundred of the Ohio troops, and over one thousand horses. Our loss in killed and wounded was about one hundred and fifty.


The rebels having accumulated a considerable force in Arkansas, General Andrew Jackson Smith recently left Vicksburg with his command for operations in that State. On the 5th instant he came up with a force of the enemy, 3000 strong, at Columbia, some 90 miles above Vicksburg, on the opposite side of the river, and an engagement ensued, resulting in the defeat of the rebels. Our loss was 20 killed and 70 wounded, the enemy's loss was about the same. The town of Columbia was fired. The Mississippi was for some days partly blockaded at that point.


There have been few movements of importance in Georgia during the past week. On the 12th, General Sherman had his head-quarters at Big Shanty, with the lines of our army within 500 yards of the enemy, who were posted along the hills from Kenesaw to Lost Mountain, protecting Marietta and the railroad south of that point.


The expedition of General Sturgis, which left Memphis on the 1st instant, has returned. At Guntown our force was attacked by 10,000 rebel infantry and cavalry, under Generals Lee and Roddy, and a desperate fight ensued, resulting in the defeat of Sturgis, with the loss of his wagon train and ammunition. The last was a most severe loss, and Sturgis had run out of ammunition, and was obliged to destroy and abandon his artillery. Many of his Infantry were captured, but the exact number is not known. General Sturgis's force consisted of 8000 cavalry and 5000 infantry.


The blockade-runner Georgiana M'Cew was driven ashore at Wilmington, North Carolina, June 2, by the Federal steamer Victoria. She was boarded by boats from the Victoria, which secured her captain, 29 of the crew, and three passengers, fourteen having escaped to the shore. Among those captured is a bearer of dispatches from Paris and London to Richmond.

On the 3d inst., at 2 o'clock in the morning, the United States steamer Water Witch, Lieutenant-Commander Austin Pendergrast, in Ossabaw Sound, Georgia, was captured by eight armed boats sent from the rebel Fort M'Allister.

A dispatch from Mobile, dated June 6, says that the steamer Daregan was captured that morning while attempting to run the blockade. She had an assorted cargo. Time blockade-runners Thistle, Rose, and Isabel, all powerful steamers, have been captured by our fleet on the Southern coasts.



IN the British House of Commons on the 1st instant, the Attorney-General declared that the offer to sell the Mersey rams to the Government for $800,000 came from the owners, Messrs. Bravay, and that there was no commnication with the Messrs. Laird, the builders, in regard to the sale. On the same day, in a full House, an amendment offered by the Conservative party to reject the bill to abolish the religious test at the Oxford University, was defeated by a majority of ten.


The London Conference met again on the 2d of June. The armistice, which, according to the original agreement, was to have expired on the 9th of June, has been prolonged fifteen days. The leading Danish papers violently denounce the proposition for a division of Schleswig.


The Emperor Maximilian arrived at Vera Cruz on May 28, having touched at Madeira and Martinique. At the latter place he liberated four Mexicans of the National party. The Municipal Council of Vera Cruz presented to the Emperor the keys of the city. The French claim to have gained three victories over the Mexicans--one at Hochitlan, where General Donai is sail to have captured 100 men; one at Valparaiso, near Zacatecas, when, according to French reports, the Mexicans lost 120 killed and 300 captured, and at Matehuela, where Mejia totally routed Doblado, capturing over 100 men.




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