The Civil War… 150 years ago today… August 10, 1861

August 10, 2011 by  
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We continue our weekly feature of reflecting upon the appropriate 150 year old issue of “Harper’s Weekly” from the perspective of a subscriber in 1861:

With all the battle action to report it is interesting that the front page (of my August 10, 1861 issue) is taken up with a literary piece. But there is much inside on the Battle of Bull Run, including a full page: “Retreat of our Troops from Bull Run, by Moonlight…” and a very dramatic full page print: “Charge of the Black Horse Cavalry Upon the Fire Zouaves at the Battle of bull Run”. This print shows very hot hand-to-hand combat. It must have been not only brutal, but very confusing with every foot filled with charging soldiers. Yet another print shows “Carrying in the Wounded at the Battle of Bull Run”. I can only imagine the total carnage.

Elsewhere is a nice half page print of: “Sandy Hook Hqts. of Col. Stone, on the Upper Potomac”.  And if I thought last week’s centerfold was dramatic, this one has to be even better. It’s a large print showing hundreds of soldiers, a few on horseback, with dead and dying soldiers . Smoke and bursting bombs fill the air, yet the gallantry seems incredible as the soldiers charge in very close quarters. I notice several Negro soldiers as well. And if this was not sufficient, there is yet another very dramatic full page print of the: “Gallant Charge of the 69th Reg….Upon a Rebel Battery at the Battle of Bull Run”.

There is a very nice full page “Map of the Seat of War in Virginia” showing from Washington, D.C. to Staunton, Va. & the site of the Bull Run battle. There there is a “Balloon View of Fortress Monroe & the Mouth of the Chesapeake”. I didn’t realize that the fort is connected to the mainland by a very narrow strip of land. I can see what it is important in the protection of the harbor.

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