Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Harper’s Weekly

Scene on the Levee at New Orleans on the Departure of the Paroled Rebel Prisoners, February 20, 1863

Scene on the Levee at New Orleans on the Departure of the Paroled Rebel Prisoners, February 20, 1863 – Sketched by Mr. Hamilton.



A VERY extraordinary exhibition of public feeling took place in New Orleans on Friday the 20th ult., which threw the whole city in the wildest excitement; but was, fortunately, attended with no serious consequences. We illustrate the scene on pages 184 and 185.

It having been publicly announced that a flag-of-truce boat would leave on Friday to convey some 382 paroled prisoners to Baton Rouge, and there exchange them on board a rebel vessel for Port Hudson, an immense concourse of the disloyal portion of the community congregated on the levee to see them go off. The Empire Parish, with the prisoners on board, was lying at the foot of Canal Street, and the Laurel Hill—moored immediately ahead of her—was selected by about 1000 at least, who crowded into and upon every part of her, to see the rebel prisoners and cheer them.

The Empire Parish had been advertised to leave at three o’clock, and it must have been as early as noon that the masses commenced to assemble. By two o’clock the whole levee, in its enormous width and extending all the way from Canal to Julia Street, was one dense sea of human heads; a large proportion of them females wearing secesh badges, and many openly waving little rebel flags—an insult not confined to their sex alone.

Seeing that matters were assuming a disgraceful if not alarming aspect, notice was sent to General Bowen, advising him of the fact, and suggesting the necessity of sending down some troops. The order was at once given, and soon a squad of the Twenty-sixth Massachusetts were on the ground, and a portion of a battery came threading its way through the crowd.

The scene at his moment was grand and exciting. The immense crowds on the levee swaying back by the advance of the soldiery—the Laurel Hill and the Empire Parish both one living mass of human beings cheering vociferously—and the balconies and windows facing the river teeming in every available spot, even to the roofs—the females screaming and waving their handkerchiefs, scarfs, flags, and parasols.

The order being given, the soldiers began to make the crowd move back; a delicate task not easy to effect, as the women were all in front, thus screening the men behind an impassable and invincible barrier of crinoline. The soldiers, however, behaved with perfect order, temper, and decency, making no reply to the insulting taunts from hundreds of the weaker sex, but, holding their muskets horizontally, gently made the crowd fall back. The balconies were also cleared of all their demonstrative occupants, and thus at last the whole mass was grumblingly dispersed, and the Empire Parish had to crawl off quietly in the night without that grand parting scene which the rebels evidently expected, and which the scene in the morning clearly promised. Upon the whole, it was a disgraceful and dangerous exhibition, and one which certainly ought to have been, and could have been, prevented had any ordinary means been used for avoiding its occurrence.

The United States Gun-Boat, Indianola, (Iron-Clad) Running the Blockade at Vicksburg

The United States Gun-Boat “Indianola” (Iron-Clad) Running the Blockade at Vicksburg.

Published in March 7, 1863 issue of Harper’s Weekly.

CSS Florida Destroys the Jacob Bell

Destruction of the Clipper Ship “Jacob Bell” by the British Pirate “Florida.”

Published in the March 21st, 1863 issue of Harper’s Weekly.


Account in the  NY Times, March 15, 1863:

DOINGS OF THE PIRATES.; The Capture of the Jacob Bell by the Florida. STATEMENTS OF PASSENGERS.

HALIFAX, Tuesday, March 10.

The following account of the capture of the ship Jacob Bell, from Swatow, China, bound to NewYork, by the Confederate, privateer Florida, is from Mrs. WILLIAMS, whose husband is Commissioner of Customs to the Imperial Government of China, and Master CHAS. W.JOHNSON, passengers on board the Bell:

The Jacob Bell, 1,600 tons, Capt. FRISBY, with a full cargo of teas, cassia, camphor, cassia oil, &c., &c., valued at $1,500,000, part of it British property, at about noon on the 12th ult., about 100 miles from Sombrero, discovered a steamer in pursuit under a full head of steam, and all sail set. After six hours’ chase, the steamer fired a shot which struck about twice the length of the ship astern, when Capt. FRISBY ordered his ship hove to. The steamer carried the National flag. After sailing around the Bell three times, she presented a broadside, run up the rebel flag and sent a boat’s crew on board; she proved to be the rebel privateer Florida. After examining the Bell’s papers, she was declared a prize to the Confederate States. The officers, crew and passengers of the Bell were immediately transferred to the Florida, being allowed only half an hour to collect a few necessary articles, the prize crew appropriating whatever of the remaining articles, including many valuable curiosities, &c., pleased their fancy. The Florida immediately started in pursuit of a schooner, giving orders to the prize master to seer a certain course to meet the Florida the following morning. The schooner escaped in the darkness. The Florida and Jacob Bell met the morning of the 13th, when the prize crew were taken off and the ship fired. The Florida narrowly escaped being run down by the Bell, she having banked her fires, the crew were so intently engaged in transferring plunder as to quite neglect the management of the ship, which, with sails set, bore down on the Florida, the rigging of which had to be manned and the Bell shoved off. She was then abandoned and burned to the water’s edge.

The same day the Florida brought to a French bark, boarded and examined her papers, afterwards chased a schooner, which escaped. On the 17th brought to the Danish bark Morning Star, which consented to receive the crew and passengers of the Bell and land them at St. Thomas.

Immediately on intelligence reaching St. Thomas, the Federal man-of-war Alabama started in pursuit. The Vanderbilt would leave as soon as she had coaled.

The Florida carries six 68-pounders and two chasers, 120-pounders. The crew numbers 160 all told. Officers quite young; crew principally Irish, some of whom expressed a desire to leave her.

Capt. MAFFIT and officers of the Florida showed them every attention and seemed to be desirous of making their situation as comfortable as possible. Capt. MAFFIT mentioned the Vanderbilt having passed him, but it being night, and the Florida lying so low, with sails furled and smoke-stack down, she was not discovered.

The Federal Ram, Queen of the West, Attacking the Rebel Gun-Boat ,Vicksburg, Off Vicksburg

The Federal Ram “Queen of the West” Attacking the Rebel Gun-Boat “Vicksburg” Off Vicksburg.

Harper’s Weekly, February 28, 1863



WE illustrate on page 132 the attack of the Federal ram Queen of the West upon the rebel ram Vicksburg, off the city of Vicksburg, on February 2. The following letter to the Herald gives a graphic account of the affair:


A very exciting scene was witnessed here this morning. The Union ram Queen of the West, Captain E. W. Sutherland, ran the blockade of the rebel batteries at Vicksburg. Colonel Charles P. Ellet, commander of the ram fleet, was on board of her, and directed all her movements. The event has created great excitement in this vicinity. When the rebels saw the ram run into the rebel steamer, near the city, and then pass down the river uninjured, they were not less astonished than chagrined, because it was believed, by them at least, that no Union steamboat could safely pass their formidable batteries.

The following is a partial list of the officers on board the ram: Colonel Charles R. Ellet, in command; E. W. Sutherland, Captain; J. E. Tuthill, First Lieutenant; Sims Edison, Master; J. C. Duncan, Master; Reuben Townsend, Engineer.

The Queen of the West had been previously provided with all the arrangements deemed necessary to insure the complete success of the dangerous undertaking. Three hundred bales of cotton had been procured further up the river and placed on board, particularly about the machinery, in order to save her from any serious injury by shot and shell from the rebel batteries. Rear-Admiral Porter had given orders that she should proceed down to Vicksburg, destroy the rebel steamboat City of Vicksburg, lying opposite the city, and then run past the lower rebel batteries. The Colonel was directed to keep close to the right bank going down, to have all his lights on board extinguished—as it was intended that she should run the gauntlet in the darkness—and, having safely passed the batteries, to anchor below the mouth of the canal and there wait for further orders.

The Colonel started with the ram from above the bend at half past four o’clock this morning. Soon after getting under way he discovered that the change made in the position of the wheel—which was removed from its former position to a narrow place behind the bulwarks—rendered it almost impossible to steer the boat with sufficient accuracy. Consequently an hour was spent in effecting the necessary alterations. It was about six o’clock, just as the sun was rising, when the ram rounded the point of land lying opposite Vicksburg. She had only men enough on board to work her, it having been arranged that the remainder of the crew would cross the point of land and get on board of her below after she had passed the batteries. When rounding the point she was distinctly seen by the rebels. They immediately opened a heavy fire from several of their batteries, which crown the crests of the bluffs about the city. The Queen slowly and steadily proceeded down the river under a heavy fire from those batteries, until she reached a point opposite the spot where the steamboat City of Vicksburg was lying. Colonel Ellet says that steamboat was lying in almost the same position as was the rebel ram Arkansas when he ran into her with that same Queen of the West. If the rebel steamboat should be struck as the ram was running down the river, the prow, instead of penetrating her, would be inclined to glance, and the full force of the blow would thus be lost. Wishing to make the shock as effective as possible, when the ram had reached the proper position the Colonel turned her partly around, so as to face the city, and then made across the river straight for the fated steamboat. The rebels, who had crowded on the banks, scampered off in the most affrighted manner from the shore and sought safety in the city. The ram still went steadily on to the execution of her destructive errand. She struck the rebel steamboat forward of the wheel-house; but at the moment of collision the current caught the stern of the ram and swung her round so rapidly that nearly all the momentum of the blow was lost. To set the rebel steamboat on fire was part of the arrangement. That portion of the programme was intrusted to Sergeant J. H. Campbell. He was directed to fire the forward guns loaded with combustible balls saturated with turpentine. As the ram swung round he was ordered to fire them. Just at that moment a 64-pound shot from one of the rebel batteries came crashing into the barricade of cotton near him; but the brave Sergeant did not hesitate a moment in the execution of the order. The guns were fired, a tremendous blaze was vomited forth from them, and the rebel steam-boat was in flames.

About the same time the ram was found to be on fire. A shell from shore had set her on fire near the starboard wheel, while the discharge of the guns with the combustible balls had fired the cotton on her bow. Both steam-boats were thus ablaze at the same time. The flames spread rapidly on both vessels. The smoke from the front of the ram rushed into her engine-room and threatened to suffocate the engineers. Those on board the rebel steam-boat did all they could do to extinguish the flames on their boat. This they soon accomplished. Colonel Ellet had intended to strike the rebel steamboat in the stern, and thus finish the work of demolition; but the spreading flames on the Queen of the West made it necessary for him to attend to the safety of his own vessel. He therefore ran down stream, and set all hands on board at work extinguishing the flames. Though the cotton had been wet before starting, the fire was extending rapidly, and several burning bales were thrown overboard in order to save the ram. She then anchored below the mouth of the canal, where she awaited further orders.

All this time, both when approaching the city and leaving it, the rebel batteries were blazing away at the Queen of the West with light and heavy guns. Some of our guns on shore replied to them. When the ram was near the Mississippi shore several regiments of rebels opened on her with musketry from rifle-pits on the bank, and, as opportunity offered, the guns planted in the streets of Vicksburg so as to rake the river fired on her also. It was a very exciting scene. About one hundred and twenty shots were fired from the batteries; but the ram was struck only twelve times, and sustained no injury from the musketry. She was struck twice in the bull above the water-line, the cabin was considerably smashed, and one casemated gun was dismounted and destroyed.

Thus the Queen of the West ran the blockade of Vicksburg by daylight, damaged the rebel steamboat opposite the city, and she herself sustained no material injury. Afterward the rebels endeavored to get steam up on board the City of Vicksburg; but, although she was not sunk, appearances indicate that she has been damaged seriously.



WE devote pages 161, 168, and 169 to illustrations of the negroes as soldiers. So much ignorant prejudice is still entertained in many parts of the North to the employment of colored troops that it is due to the country that the capacity of the negro to drill and fight can not be too strongly insisted upon.

The picture on page 161 represents the negro learning the use of the Minie rifle. The drill masters in the Department of the South report that the negroes in the South Carolina regiments evince great aptitude at learning the manual of arms. They are more docile than white recruits, and when once they have mastered a movement they retain the knowledge perfectly. Similar testimony is borne by officers in the West. One of them predicts that with proper drill and training the negroes will be the steadiest rank and file in the world.

With regard to their fighting qualities we can not do better than reproduce the following extracts. The first is from a letter to the New York Times, describing the battle, or rather the skirmish of Island Mounds, where a detachment of the First Kansas Colored Volunteers attacked and routed a band of rebels. He says:

The detachment under Gardner was attacked by the foe, who swept down like a whirlwind upon it. One volley was fired in concert, which emptied several saddles, and then this devoted body was separated by the force of that sweeping charge. The fight thus became a hand to hand encounter of one man to six. The rebels were mostly armed with shot-guns, revolvers, and sabres, our men with the Austrian rifle and sabre-bayonet. The latter is a fearful weapon, and did terrible execution in the hands of the muscular blacks. Six-Killer, the leader of the Cherokee negroes, fell with six wounds after shooting two men, bayoneting a third, and laying a fourth hors du combat with the butt of his gun. Another one, badly wounded, Sergeant Ed. Lowrey, was attacked by three men; he had discharged his rifle, and had no time to load again, when they fell upon him with revolver and sabre. He was then badly hurt with a shot-gun wound. One man demanded his surrender, to which the reply was a stunning blow from the butt of the rifle, knocking him off his horse. The negro, when approached, had his sabre-bayonet in hand, about to fix it on his gun. The prostrate man got a crashing blow from it on the skull as he fell, and then, as the other charged, the bayonet was used with effect on the nearest horse, and the butt of the gun on the next man.

Captain Crew, retaining his position at the head of the few men who keep together, retreated with his face to the enemy, firing his revolver as he did so. He fell with a terrible wound in the groin, but again rose and retreated. Surrounded by half a dozen of the foe, he was ordered to surrender. “Never!” he shouted, at the same time calling to the half dozen negroes around him to die rather than give up. He then fell dead with a bullet in his heart. His body was instantly rifled of revolver and watch, though his purse was not found. Five minutes afterward the rebel who took the watch was killed by one of the negroes, who again took the watch from him and brought it into camp.

So ended the battle of Island Mounds, which, though commenced through the rash and impetuous daring of the officers, yet, under most unfavorable circumstances, resulted in a complete victory to the negro regiment.

What I narrate I saw myself, and having witnessed several engagements since this rebellion commenced, I know what fighting amounts to.   H.


The other extract is from the official report of Colonel Higginson of the First South Carolina Volunteers (colored), describing an expedition into the interior undertaken by him:

ON BOARD STEAMER “BEN DEFORD,” Sunday, Feb. 1, 1863. Brigadier-General Saxton, Military Governor, etc.:

GENERAL,—I have the honor to report the safe return of the expedition under my command, consisting of 462 officers and men of the First Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers, who left Beaufort on January 23, on board the steamers John Adams, Planter, and Ben Deford. The expedition has carried the regimental flag and the President’s Proclamation far into the interior of Georgia and Florida. The men have been repeatedly under fire; have had infantry, cavalry, and even artillery arranged against them, and have, in every instance, come off not only with unblemished honor, but with undisputed triumph. At Township, Florida, a detachment of the expedition fought a cavalry company which met us unexpectedly on a midnight march through pine woods, and which completely surrounded us. They were beaten off with a loss on our part of one man killed and seven wounded, while the opposing party admits twelve men killed (including Lieutenant Jones, in command of the company), besides many wounded. So complete was our victory that the enemy scattered, hid in the woods all night, not returning to his camp, which was five miles distant, until noon next day—a fact which was unfortunately unknown until too late to follow up our advantage. Had I listened to the urgent appeals of my men, and pressed the flying enemy, we could have destroyed his camp; but in view of the darkness, his uncertain numbers, and swifter motions, with your injunctions of caution, I judged it better to rest satisfied with the victory already gained.

Nobody knows any thing about these men who has not seen them in battle. I find that I myself knew nothing. There is a fiery energy about them beyond any thing of which I have ever read, unless it be the French Zouaves. It requires the strictest discipline to hold them in hand. During our first attack on the river, before I got them all penned below, they crowded at the open ends of the steamer, loading and firing with inconceivable rapidity, and shouting to each other, “Never give it up!”


Published in March 14, 1863 issue of Harper’s Weekly.

The Rebel Rams Engaging our Blockading Fleet off Charleston, South Carolina, January 31, 1863

The Rebel Rams Engaging our Blockading Fleet off Charleston, South Carolina, January 31, 1863.—Sketched by an Occasional Correspondent.


IN our last we announced, on the strength of rebel telegrams to Richmond, which had found their way into the New York Herald, that the rebel rams at Charleston had attacked our blockading fleet off Charleston, and destroyed the Mercedita. We have since received a sketch of the affair from an occasional correspondent, which we reproduce on page 117, and subjoin the following reliable account of the transaction:

It appears from the statement of an intelligent eye-witness that the cause of this attack of the rebel rams on our squadron was owing to the capture of the Princess Royal, the captain and pilot of that vessel having escaped ashore during the darkness of the night, and communicated intelligence to the enemy.

The Princess Royal endeavored to run the blockade by way of Beach Inlet on the 29th ult., but was discovered by the pilot-boat Blunt. On signal being given the Unadilla proceeded toward her, and captured the prize without other assistance. It was then discovered that the captain and pilot had succeeded in getting ashore by a small boat, carrying important dispatches to the rebel Government. The Unadilla carried her to the side of the Housatonic, and lay there till daylight, when a thunder of guns was heard, accompanied by sharp flashes of fire. It was supposed that our fleet was engaged in making, or the Alabama or Florida were endeavoring to force, an entrance. At daybreak two rebel iron-clads were seen coming down from the direction of Stone Inlet toward our fleet.

They attacked the Mercedita first. One ram struck her on the water ridge, keeling her over, and at the same time firing a shot, which entered one of her boilers, causing the death of three persons, including a gunner, by a shot and steam. The ram then hailed the Mercedita, and Captain Stellwagen lowered one of his small boats, after leaving one of the plugs out, allowing the water to enter it. The ram answered our hail by replying, “Confederate ram Palmetto State. Do you surrender?” This was repeated three times, Captain Stellwagen replying at each inquiry, “I am in a sinking condition.” The rebels answered, “God damn you to hell, if you don’t surrender we will blow you out of water. Send your boat aboard.”

The boat which Captain Stellwagen lowered then conveyed his lieutenant (executive officer) to the side of the rebel ram, and the officer asked to be admitted on board. This was refused. The lieutenant then repeated Captain Steliwagen’s statement that “we are in a sinking condition.” The rebel officer replied, “You can’t sink lower than the rails; we can not take you aboard.” The officer then gave his parole, as demanded, and returned to his ship. The rebels were thus successfully deceived as to the condition of the Mercedita, thinking she was in a sinking condition. She lay in shoal water, and hence their reply that “she could not sink lower than her rails.”

The ram then steamed toward the Keystone State, and sent a shot through her steam drum, causing the death of twenty-one persons—twelve by the shot and nine by being scalded by steam. Fifteen were wounded, and are lying at Port Royal, some in a precarious condition. In the mean time the United States gun-boat Housatonic engaged the other ram, driving her away. At half past six o’clock in the morning both rams left the scene and proceeded up to Charleston.

During this attack on our fleet, the Princess Royal, which lay near the Housatonic, and was the chief object of contest on both sides, succeeded in getting off, mainly through the energies of Third Assistant Engineer Thurston, who piled into her fires all the inflammable material at hand.

The Effects of the Proclamation -- Freed Negroes coming into Our Lines at Newbern, North Carolina

THOUGH the President’s proclamation of freedom has been so often compared to the Pope’s Bull against the comet, it seems to be producing some substantial fruits. We publish on page 116 an illustration of CONTRABANDS COMING INTO NEWBERN, NORTH CAROLINA, from a sketch sent us by an amateur, who writes as follows:

NEWBERN, NORTH CAROLINA, January 26, 1863.

I inclose a sketch of a very interesting procession which came to Newbern from “up country” a few days ago. It is the first-fruits of the glorious emancipation proclamation in this vicinity, and as such you may deem it worthy of engraving in your illustrated Weekly.

On our late expedition into Greene and Onslow Counties our company (Company C, Fifty-first Massachusetts Regiment) was out on picket duty the night before our return to Newbern, when an old slave came in to us in a drenching rain; and on being informed that he and his friends could come to Newbern with us, he left, and soon the contrabands began to come in, with mule teams, oxen, and in every imaginable style. When morning came we had 120 slaves ready to start with their little all, happy in the thought that their days of bondage were over. They said that it was known far and wide that the President has declared the slaves free.

Our Colored Troops at Work—The First Louisiana Native Guards Disembarking at Fort Macombe, Louisiana

WE publish on page 133 two illustrations of THE FIRST LOUISIANA NATIVE GUARDS, from sketches by our special artist, Mr. Hamilton.

It is now some five months since General Butler’s attention was called, by certain free colored men in New Orleans, to the fact that they held commissions from Governor Moore, of Louisiana, as duly enrolled officers of the Confederate army, and requesting to transfer their services to the United States. General Butler, with that keen perception for which he is so remarkable, at once saw the bearings of this important matter, granted the request of his applicants, and issued his order mustering the regiment into our service, under the command of Colonel (then Lieutenant-Colonel) Spencer H. Stafford, one of his aids-de-camp.

Although ready and anxious for a brush with the enemy, that opportunity has not yet been afforded them. They have hitherto been employed down in the Lafourche District, under the command of General Weitzel, guarding the bridges over important bayous, in a circuit of some thirty miles, and forming the base of Weitzel’s late expedition into the Teche District. That affair being over, and the General returned to his encampment at Thibodeaux, the Colonel of the Native Guards reported to the Department Head-quarters for further orders. On the evening of the 21st, pursuant to orders, eight Companies (comprising 800 men), embarked upon the Laurel Hill to join the garrison of Forts Jackson and St. Philip—four Companies to each fort—the remaining two Companies—A and D —being sent to Fort Macombe, on the Chef Menteur Pass, connecting Lakes Borgne and Pontchartrain.

The point selected by our special artist for illustration is the disembarkation from the steamer J. D. Brown, at Fort Macombe. The special New Orleans correspondent of the New York Times tells the following story of these men:

“You see my men can work, Sir, though people say they can’t fight,” said the Colonel, triumphantly. “We don’t trouble our heads much about transportation. Put me down in a forest with those same fellows, and I’ll build you a city; for I have every useful trade represented among them.”

At this moment a Captain came up to the Colonel, saluted him very respectfully, and, after receiving his order, went off.

“I understood you, Colonel,” said I, “that all your line officers were colored men: there goes one, at any rate, who is white.” The Colonel turned to me with a sarcastic smile:

“And do you really think him white? Well you may, Sir; but that man is a ‘negro’—one who carries the so-called curse of African blood in his veins.”

I was literally amazed. Often as my senses had been deceived in this matter, they never had been so completely before. This officer, Captain E. Davis, of Company A [his portrait is given in our group.—Ed.], was a fine-looking young man, not unlike General M’Clellan in mould of features, with light blue eyes, ruddy complexion, soft, silky hair, and a splendid mustache, of a sandy color, nearly approaching red. It would have defied the most consummate expert in Niggerology, by the aid of the moat powerful microscope, to discover the one drop of African blood in that man’s veins. Still there it was upon the record against him.

(Published in Harper’s Weekly, February 28, 1863)

General Stonewall Jackson in Camp

WE publish on page 109 a picture of STONEWALL JACKSON IN CAMP, from a sketch by Mr. Vizetelly, the artist of the London Illustrated News, who has cast his lot among the rebels. This sketch was made some weeks since, and was sent from Secessia in the vessel which was lately captured off Charleston. All the documents found on board were transmitted to Admiral Dupont. Some of them, such as the correspondence between Benjamin and the rebel agents in Europe, have been published in the papers. What became of Mr. Vizetelly’s drawings we can not tell; but the one we reproduce was kindly traced for us, by permission of the Admiral, and thus sees the light—rather unexpectedly to its author—in our columns.

(Published in Harper’s Weekly, February 14, 1863)

Interchange of Civilities between Two Mounted Pickets

ONE of our correspondents, Mr. Oertel, has illustrated one of the few amenities of war, the INTERCHANGE OF CIVILITIES BETWEEN TWO MOUNTED PICKETS on the Upper Rappahannock. When the war first broke out the pickets on either side used to fire at each other on sight, and it gave our officers a good deal of trouble to check the murderous practice. The rule is now the other way. The pickets no sooner find themselves within hailing distance than they begin to converse; and the chat generally ends in an interchange of rations, liquor, and newspapers. This custom is severely reprobated by most of our Generals, but is very common nevertheless. Mr. Ocrtel writes: “During the recent engagement at Fredericksburg it was a most essential precaution to guard against a flank movement by the enemy, and the fords above on the river were vigilantly watched. This important duty was assigned to the Sixth New York Cavalry, who by former experience knew all the fords and roads thereabout well, and they were there by special order of General Burnside, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel M’Vicar. They are at the post still. The duty is arduous, and one of danger, being at the extreme right, and in sight and within easy reach of the enemy. The pickets sometimes meet, by special agreement, in the middle of the river, first laying down their arms at their respective shores, and in this wise they friendly converse, and exchange such commodities as tobacco and newspapers.”

(Published February 7, 1863, in Harper’s Weekly.)