Harper's Weekly 01/17/1863


We illustrate on pages 40 and 41The War In
The West.

On the left hand, we see some of our Union
troops passing through a Border State town. Not
a store is open; no vehicles are encountered by them
in their march; there is no hurry and bustle of
business; all seems to bear evidence of the rebels
having hastily left and taken with them every
sign of life. One might fancy that not a soul had
remained, until some of the concealed inmates, see-
ing that our errand is not plunder, or murder, or
cruelty, emerge from cellars and other hiding-
places, and gather courage to beg, in heart-rending
tones of despair, for something, be it ever so little,
to appease their gnawing hunger. Our gallant
soldiers, though not provided with more than suf-
ficient for themselves, can not witness such suffer-
ing, nor listen to that plaintive appeal without re-
sponding to it. Each gives all he can spare, and
blessings are invoked upon their kind hearts. Oh!
it is pitiful to see the little children elutch at the
hard crust and devour it as eagerly as if it were
the daintiest morsel, and delicate women, hitherto
accustomed to every luxury, now bereft of every
thing but a few rags scarce enough to cover them.
But the soldiers' power to alleviate their distress is
very limited, and the best they can do goes a very
little way. They march on with their memory
full of what they have just seen, and the cries of
misery ringing in their ears.

On the right hand are the ruins of one of the
houses of a town that has been recently bombard-
ed. Others are also visible which have escaped
complete destruction, but still bear mournful evi-
dence of what they have undergone. Scarcely a
window is left in any of the dwellings; and the
church-spire is pierced with many a hole. It looks
almost like the ghost of a town—a mére spectre of
what it once was. In the fore-ground we see a
mother and her two children mourning over a body
they have just found, which she recognizes as that
of her husband. She came forth from the place
of concealment where he so carefully put her and
the little ones, while he thought he would go and
try to save a few of the things most necessary to
their comfort, and the first object which meets her
gaze when she ventures out, after the noise of fir-
ing has ceased, is that lifeless form. There he lies
among the smouldering ruins, for the first time
deaf to the sound of his wife's loved voice. The
children call upon his name in vain; no answer
comes from those dead lips, and, frightened at the
silence, they shrink timidly together, awe-struck,
unable to comprehend why their father lies so quiet
and motionless. They look to their mother for
comfort, and a heart-broken wail of anguish is the
only sound which greets their ears. Fragments
of shell are lying all around them, and there is
scarcely any thing left which they can recognize,
and which could tell them that this was once their
happy home.

In the corner above this a guerrilla raid is rep-
resented —the dread and horror of all the peaceful
inhabitants of the country—who lay waste all
within their reach, and bear away every thing of
value on which they can lay their hands; who
commit murder indiscriminately in order to obtain
their object; and to whom an act of cruelty and
outrage is a good joke. To cause the innocent to
suffer, to perform deeds of unparalleled atrocity
and wickedness, is their daily work.

On the opposite corner a party of rebel cavalry
is seen approaching, and men, women, children,
and negroes are all flying from their home to the
friendly woods for protection. The men would
willingly stay and defend their homes to the very
last; but cui bono? Do we not hear daily of cases
in which Union men have been seized, tied with
ropes, and at the point of the bayonet obliged to
join the rebel army?

In the lower corners the work of destruction still
goes on. The left shows us a town being shelled.
Once lively and prosperous, it will soon be nothing
but a heap of smoking ashes. The handsome houses
which once rose so proudly in air will soon be
leveled to the ground. Hardly a trace of their
former grandeur will be found in the blackened,
unsightly ruins.

On the other side a bridge is burning; with each
plank which falls helplessly into the water go the
chances of communication from side to side. It is
the same with railroads; one after another is de-
stroyed, and in a country so vast as this, without
such means of facilitating intercourse between one
distant part and another, the work of progress and
civilization ceases, education is neglected, and all
advancement stops.

At the top is one of the windows of a prison.
Two men are peering through the bars to pass the
time away, they can just see the top of the sentry's
bayonet as he slowly marches to and fro. The
cause of their confinement they are told is treason,
but their own consciences accuse them of nothing
worse than having avowed their Union sentiments
too boldly.

At the bottom is a planter's late residence; now
there is no sign of life there save a few birds fitting
about, an occasional bat, and some rats who may
have their own way there undisturbed. Some hu-
man bones lying about would seem to tell of some
tragedy having been enacted there, but no living
voice remains to relate how it is that the place looks
so desolate, and why the grass is allowed to grow in
the path, and the garden untended and full of weeds.

Here it is, in the Border States, that the real
sufferers of the war are to be found. We, in our
comfortable homes, can hardly form an ideas of the
acute distress which it entails upon the people of
that section.

God grant that this terrible rebellion, with all
its fearful consequences, may speedily be crushed;
that our beloved country may once more be restored
to peace and prosperity; that the awful work of de-
struction and of wasting lives may cease; and that
the wail of newly-made widows and orphans may
be heard no more among us!



Explanation.—Murphy's Battery, 1—Foust's Battery, 2—Bothie's Battery, 3—Backhoffs Battery, 4—94th Illinois Inf-
antry, 5—37th Illinois Infantry, 6—26th Indiana Infantry, 7—20th Wisconsin Infantry, 8—19th Iowa Infantry, 9—
10th Kansas Infantry, 10—11th Kansas, 11—2d Kansas, 12—13th Kansas, 13—Rabb's Battery, 14—Tenny's Battery,
15—Wickersham's Battery, 16—1st Indian Regiment, 17—3d Wisconsin Regiment, 18—Groves, 19—20th Iowa, 20—
Union Hospital, 21—Rebel Hospitals, 22, 23, 24, 25—Post office, 26—Churches, 27—Hopkins's Battery, 28—Reserve
Cavalry, 29—Straw Ricks, 30—R. J. West, 21—Hugh Rogers, P.O., 26—Archibald Borden, 31—William Rogers, 32—
William Morton, 33—M. Branch, 34—Josiah Thompson, 35.

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