Tag Archives: Civil War
The New Ironsides

The Iron Clad Navy of America (July 1862)

The construction of our iron clad navy is progressing favorably and rapidly. Three large war steamers, on the plan of the Monitor, are near completion at New York City, and will be launched about the latter end of July.

Three others are building at Boston,one at Wilmington Del., and two at Chester, Penn. — making nine in all.  These vessels are all larger than the Monitor, of greater speed and weight of metal, and of course much more formidable. Each vessel is of not less than one thousand tons burden, 1, 450 tons displacement, and under eleven feet draft. They will each be armed with two 15 inch guns, and will be equally, efficient for sea service and harbor and river protection.

The Ironsides, which has been launched at Philadelphia, will, be ready for service in a few weeks. Her burden will be 3, 488 tons, displacement 3, 699, draft of water 13 feet. Her armament will be very powerful, and consist of two rifled 200 pound guns, and sixteen 11 inch smooth bores, which are demonstrated to be the most effective gun known at short range. The Ironsides is plated with heavy iron plates 5 1/2 inches thick and fastened with improved contrivances that will not jar the vessel or cause it to leak when struck by the enemy’s heavy shot.

At the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the greatest exertions are made to complete the iron-clad frigate Roanoke by the first of August. This vessel will be clad with iron plates, four inches thick, and in point of speed an invulnerability, it is supposed, will prove superior to any vessel of the kind in the world.

In addition to these iron clad vessels, it is known that the government is building others, of the strongest character. When these vessels are completed, the iron clad navy of America will exceed in number of vessels, tonnage, weight of metal, and speed, the combined iron navies of all Europe.

Source

Collection: The Civil War 
Publication: Old Post Union
Date: July 5, 1862
Title: The Iron Clad Navy of America
Location: Vincennes, Indiana

Part I of our Civil War collection, A Newspaper Perspective, contains articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.
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Spottsylvania

The Battle of Spottsylvania Court-House

The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, sometimes more simply referred to as the Battle of Spotsylvania (or the 19th century spelling Spottsylvania), was the second major battle in Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s 1864 Overland Campaign of the American Civil War.

Fighting occurred on and off from May 8 through May 21, 1864, as Grant tried various schemes to break the Confederate line. In the end, the battle was tactically inconclusive, but with almost 32,000 casualties on both sides, it was the costliest battle of the campaign.

From Frank Leslies Weekly, June 11, 1864:

The spot seen in our engraving is one on the right and centre of Grant’s line, hereafter to be famous, having been repeatedly the scene of fierce strife, as the battle swayed to and fro. Here we give it, as sketched by our Artist, at a moment when our men were lying down, with skirmishers in the advance taking cover, while the enemy is firing from his rail barricade. Here a desperate contest took place.

The Battle of Spottsylvania Court-House - Frank Leslies Weekly, June 11, 1864

The Battle of Spottsylvania Court-House – Frank Leslies Weekly, June 11, 1864

As a sequel to this we give a view of the 5th corps’ hospital on the field, and another of wounded soldiers crossing the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg, after this battle, a few of the many thousands who in sad procession streamed from the battlefield, some to be seized by rebel citizens and sent off to Richmond; some to be waylaid by guerillas, and left out amid a pitiless storm without food or means of advancing.

Frank Leslie’s Weekly, founded in 1855 and continued until 1922, was an American illustrated news publication started by publisher and illustrator Frank Leslie. While only 30 copies of the first edition were printed, by 1897 its circulation had grown to an estimated 65,000 copies.
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VA Senate Chambers

Isaac H. Christian’s Political Platform

CHARLES CITY COUNTY, APRIL 1st, 1861.

To the People of New Kent, Charles City, James City, York, Warwick, Elizabeth City and the City of Williamsburg:

I published, during the month of October last, in the Richmond Whig, a card, indicating that I would be a candidate, at the ensuing election, to represent you in the Senate of Virginia.

Since that time, the whole political aspect of the country has changed, and it becomes me to announce to you my position as to the course that Virginia should have taken in the crisis which is upon her. I conceive that there is but one practical question in all this matter, to-wit: Where will she go? There are two Confederacies. One is her natural ally – with equal sympathies, similar institutions, and interests alike – the other is the avowed enemy of her domestic peace. One invites her with open arms and a full heart; the other repulses her overtures of conciliation and compromise with insult added to injury. She must decide – not which she will serve – but which she will encourage, protect end defend. For myself, I do not hesitate. I would have her unite her destiny, for weal or woe, with that of her Southern sisters and briefly, for these, among many reasons:

  1. The prosperity and progress of the Southern States depend upon the permanency of the Institution of African slavery.
  2. The permanency of this institution depends upon a present and final settlement of the question by placing it entirely under the control of the South.
  3. That control can never be acquired in a government, a large majority of whose people have been tutored to believe that slavery is a curse, and that they are responsible for its existence.
  4. The whole moral power of the State will be thrown into the scale of the institution. Her people will be united in its defence, and the question of Virginia emancipation left to be discussed when many generations have passed away.
  5. The commercial depression that afflicts a country will continue and culminate in rule if an adjustment is not speedily effected. Can Virginia hope for this by temporizing with those of whom she seeks redress?
  6. Many of the advantages of the old Government will be secured by treaty, etc…, whilst the cause of strife will be removed.
  7. The honor of Virginia, her past fame, her present high character, and promise of future power demand that she shall take this step.

She will by so doing preserve the peace of the country. A united South will not be warred upon by the Republican horde at Washington. Virginia will carry with her the border States, and when they, with her, shall have added eight more stars to the flag at Montgomery then will the question of peace or war, of prosperity or depression have been settled.

I hope to be able to discuss this question throughout the District. Allow me to add, in yielding to the wishes of my friends by thus announcing myself as candidate for this important post, that, if elected, I shall strive to reward your confidence by an earnest devotion to your interests and Virginia.

Very respectfully, etc…,

Isaac H. Christian
April 16, 1861

Part I of our Civil War collection, A Newspaper Perspective, contains articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.

According to the 1860 census, Isaac H. Christian owned three slaves.  After the war he was nominated as and appointed judge of the county courts of New Kent and Charles City counties in Virginia.

Source

Collection: The Civil War
Publication: Richmond Enquirer
Date: April 18 , 1861
Title: Charles City County, APRIL 1st, 1861.

Top image: View in Virginia Senate Chamber, looking from the north – Virginia State Capitol, Bank and 10th Streets, Capitol Square, Richmond

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plantation

The Doctrine of the Irrepressible Conflict

Irrepressible Conflict, as a term, originated with William H. Seward in an 1858 speech predicting the collision of the socioeconomic institutions of the North and the South.

Seward maintained this collision would determine whether the nation would be dominated by a system of free labor or slave labor. In 1858 Abraham Lincoln proposed the same idea in his “House Divided” speech. At the time, the use of the phrase did not include the assumption that the “irrepressible conflict” would necessarily find expression in violence or armed conflict.

While the term “Irrepressible Conflict” is most connected to Seward, the actual ideas behind it can be traced back to Thomas Jefferson in 1821. The Vincennes Gazette included this article in the December 17, 1859 issue.

The Freeman’ s Catechism Concerning the Irrepressible Conflict

Question: Who first promulgated the doctrine of the irrepressible conflict?
Answer: Thomas Jefferson.

Q: When and how did he promulgate it?
A: In a letter written to a friend in 1821.

Q: What did he say?
A:Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people (negro slaves) are to be free; nor is it less certain that the two forms of society cannot be perpetuated under the same government.

Q: Who next promulgated it?
A: Henry Clay.

Q: When and how did he promulgate it?
A: In a speech delivered before the American Colonization Society in 1827.

Q: What did he say?
A:Until universal darkness and despair shall prevail it will be impossible to repress the sympathies and the efforts of the freemen in behalf of the unhappy portion of our race who are doomed to bondage.

Q: Who endorsed Mr. Clays remarks?
A: Daniel Webster.

Q: Who says so?
A: Edward Everett.

Q: Who next promulgated it?
A: The Richmond Enquirer, a Democratic newspaper.

Q: When did it promulgate it?
A: In the Presidential campaign of 1856.

Q: What did it say?
A:Two opposite and conflicting forms of society cannot, among civilized men, coexist and endure. The one must give way and cease to exist – the other become universal. If free society be unnatural immoral and unchristian, it must fall and give way to slave society—a social system as old as the world, as universal as man.

Q: Who next re-stated the fact?
A: William H. Seward.

Q: When, where, and how?
A: In a speech delivered in Rochester in 1858.

Q: What did he say?
A: Whilst referring to the collision which had occurred between the two systems of labor in the United States, he said: “It (the collision) is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces; and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a slaveholding nation or entirely a free labor nation.

Q: Did he intimate the process by which they will ultimately become so?
A: He did; he said: “Whilst I confidently believe and hope my country will yet become a land of universal Freedom, I do not expect that it will be made so otherwise than through the action of the several States co-operating with the Federal Government, and all acting in strict conformity with their respective Constitutions.

Q: Is there any treason in this?
A: Not unless Thomas Jefferson, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and the editor of the Richmond Enquirer were traitors.

Part I of our Civil War collection, A Newspaper Perspective, contains articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.

Source

Collection: The Civil War
Publication: Vincennes Gazette
Date: December 17, 1859
Title: The Freeman’ s Catechism Concerning the Irrepressible Conflict.
Location: Vincennes, Ind.

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saint louis

St. Patrick’s Day Sentiments from Saint Louis

The Hibernian Society of Saint Louis celebrated the 17th of March in an appropriate manner. The following were among the sentiments offered:

 Ireland —Down trodden and oppressed, though still unconquered, may the slumbering echoes of freedom in the hearts of her sons burst forth with a splendor that will dazzle and abash her oppressors. 

The Memory of Washington ,whose name will always be the watchword of freedom and the knell of tyranny. 

The President of the United States —The Chief Executive of a free people, by far more potent, and at the same time more secure than any crowned head, because he has for his body guard, a nation of freemen.

Source

Collection: The Civil War
Publication: The Weekly Vincennes Western Sun
Date: March 27, 1858
Title: St. Patrick’s Day.
Location: Vincennes, Indiana

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