“Bull Run” Russell

The first modern war correspondent won a nickname, much Northern ill will, and a lasting reputation out of his account of a famous battle

Shortly after dawn on a pleasant midsummer morning just a century ago, a two-horse gig drew up in front of private lodgings on Pennsylvania Avenue, in Washington. Inside the house a stout, middle-aged gentleman finished his cup of tea, put more tea in a container, picked up a paper of sandwiches and a bottle of light Bordeaux, and then thoughtfully stopped to fill his brandy Mask. A moment later, clad in a khaki “Himalayan” suit, a brown felt hat, and an old pair of boots, the man appeared on the street to inspect the vehicle.

Lincoln Takes Charge

His shrewd handling of the Radical Republican bid for power at the end of 1862 established him as the unquestioned leader of the Union

The North sustained its most tragic single defeat in the Civil War on December 13, 1862, when waves of blue infantry under General Ambrose E. Burnside, in assault after assault, were flung back from the heights behind Fredericksburg, Virginia. The total battle casualties of the Union Army reached nearly thirteen thousand; never were men left in bloody windrows by a more senseless and futile operation. As the news and casualty lists fell upon the Union, the press, politicians, and public burst out in clamorous denunciation of the Administration.

“See Those Men! They Have No Flag!”

This previously unpublished account of Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Kansas, was written by Miss Sophia L. Bissell, who with her parents, her sister Arabella, and her brother-in-law, Henry C. Lawrence, was living there on that fateful Angust 21, 1863. Many years later, back in her native Sufffield, Connecticut, Miss Bissell set down her memories of the event; they appear here by courtesy of her great-grandnephew, Edward W. Lawrence of Dover, Massachusetts.—Ed.

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August 21, 1863

The Bloodiest Man In American History

On the flaming Kansas-Missouri border the name of Quantrill struck terror in men’s hearts. He was a cruel and ruthless guerrilla who burned, robbed, and killed without mercy; but legend made of him a hero dashing and bold

 

We like to think of the Civil War as the last romantic war—as a sort of gallant duel between gentlemen. There was a certain aura of “swords and roses” in the East, but west of the Mississippi, that neglected area of Civil War history, quite a different atmosphere prevailed. Here the fighting was grim, relentless, and utterly savage—a “battle to the knife, and the knife to the hilt.”

There Was Another South

Was the old South solidly for slavery and secession? An eminent historian disputes a long-cherished view of that region’s history

The stereotype of the South is as tenacious as it is familiar: a traditionally rebellious region which has made a dogma of states’ rights and a religious order of the Democratic party. Here indeed is a monotonous and unchanging tapestry, with a pattern of magnolia blossoms, Spanish moss, and the inevitable old plantations running ceaselessly from border to border. To this depiction of almost willful backwardness, add the dark motif of the Negro problem, a few threads of poor white, and the picture is complete.

 
 
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Narrative Of An Escape From A Rebel Prison Camp

 

On April 20, 1864, the Union outpost at Plymouth, on the North Carolina coast, was captured by the Confederates. One of several thousand prisoners was a twenty-one-year-old officer named Morris C. Foote, who made a break for freedom after seven months in captivity. After the Civil War was over, he wrote an account of his adventures for his family and friends.

 

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A Royal Welcome For The Russian Navy

Flags flew and champagne flowed when the Czar’s ships anchored in New York Harbor. Fifty years later we learned the reason for their surprise visit

No delegation of Russian visitors, the Bolshoi dancers not excepted, ever has been welcomed to this country with anything like the enthusiasm that greeted the Czar’s Atlantic fleet when it dropped anchor in New York Harbor in 1863. The fleet’s arrival was completely unexpected—a point to which we will return—but the American reaction was immediate, spontaneous, and open-armed.

 
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Grant At Shiloh

Surprised and almost overwhelmed, he stubbornly refused to admit defeat. His cool conduct saved his army and his job

For a time early in the spring of 1862, it seemed that Union armies were about to destroy the Confederacy in the west. A hitherto inconspicuous officer named U. S. Grant had, in close succession, captured the two major Rebel strongholds in Tennessee, Forts Henry and Donelson; an aggressive follow-up might well have overwhelmed the badly disorganized Confederates. But the Union high command hesitated, and a fine opportunity was wasted.

New York’s Bloodiest Week

The draft riots of 1863 turned a great city into a living hell.

We shall have trouble before we are through,” George Templeton Strong, a wealthy New Yorker and staunch friend of Lincoln, warned in his diary one July morning in 1863. Yet the first nationwide military draft, authorized by Congress on March 3 to fill the critically depleted ranks of the Union Army, began in a festive mood.

Crisis At The Antietam

Upon the clash of arms near a little Maryland creek hung the slave’s freedom and the survival of the Union

A whitewashed Dunker chrch without a steeple, a forty-acre field of corn that swayed, head-high and green, in the September sun, an eroded country lane that rambled along a hillside behind a weathered snake-rail fence, and an arched stone bridge that crossed a lazy, copper-brown little creek—these unimpressive features of a quiet Maryland landscape made the setting in which one of the greatest moments of crisis in American history came to a solution on the bloody day of September 17, 1862.

 
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