Services in a church on Sixth Street were just concluded, and the warlike array attracted the congregation's attention, and the rather splendid figure of the young though "venerable-looking" Captain Loomis demanded a large share of attention. The pastor of the church introduced himself, spoke with admiration of the fine appearance of the Captain's men, etc., and, with a hearty pressure of the hand, remarked:
"Captain Loomis, yours is a noble motto; stick to that, stick to that, my young soldier. You have many hardships to undergo, but your glorious motto of COLD WATER will carry you safely through."
Loomis, for the first time, caught the idea of the parson, but was too courteous to undeceive the preacher by informing him that his battery was raised in the town of Coldwater, Michigan. I have spent many a pleasant hour with the Captain, but never could "see" the "cold water" part of his battery.
A very pretty and pathetic little poem was handed me by one of Secessia's daughters, upon a prolific theme, entitled
THE DYING SOLDIER.
My noble commander! thank God, you have come; You know the dear ones who are waiting at home, And O! it were dreadful to die here alone, No hand on my brow, and my comrades all gone.
I thought I would die many hours ago, And those who are waiting me never could know That here, in the faith of its happier years, My soul has not wandered one moment from theirs.
The dead were around; but my soul was away With the roses that bloom round my cottage to-day. I thought that I sat where the jessamine twines, And gathered the delicate buds from the vines.
And there—like a bird that had folded its wings, At home, 'mid the smile of all beautiful things, With sweet words of welcome, and kisses of love— Was one I will miss in yon heaven above.
By the light that I saw on her radiant brow, She watches and waits there and prays for me now. My captain, bend low; for this poor, wounded side Is draining my heart of its last crimson tide.
Some day, when you leave this dark place, and go free, You will meet a fair girl—she will question of me! She has kissed this bright curl, as it lay on my head; When it goes back alone, she will know I am dead. And tell her the soul, which on earth was her own, Is waiting and weeping in heaven alone.
MY MOTHER! God help her! Her grief will be wild When she hears the mad Hessians have murdered her child; But tell her 'twill be one sweet chime in my knell, That the flag of the South now waves where I fell!
It is well, it is well, thus to die in my youth, A martyr to Freedom and Justice and Truth! Farewell to earth's hopes—precious dreams of my heart— My life's going out; but my love shall depart, On the wings that my soul has unfurled, Going up, soft and sweet, to that beautiful world.
A JOKE ON AN "EGYPTIAN" REGIMENT.
A well-known commander was drilling a brigade at "Kripple Kreek," a short time since, and in it was a slim portion of the "1159th" Illinois. Quite a large number of this regiment have deserted upon every occasion offered, the men generally being very inattentive. The commanding officer of "all that is left of them" was severely censured, the other day, for dereliction of duty. The General swore by the Eternal he wished the Colonel of the "1159th" would "go home and join his regiment."
General Turchin — Mrs. General Turchin in Command of the Vanguard of the 19th Illinois — The 18th Ohio at Athens — Children and Fools always Tell the Truth — Picket Talk — About Soldiers Voting — Captain Kirk's Line of Battle.
It is well known by all that General Turchin has been fully vindicated. Captain Heaton, of Columbiana County, who was an eye-witness of his trial, and who knew the noble Russian, said to me, in speaking of this gallant soldier, "He looked like a lion among a set of jackals!" General Turchin was basely persecuted. He came out of the ordeal unscathed. The correspondent of the Gazette, who was in Huntsville, gave an account of affairs under Rousseau, who was as rigid in the punishment of rebels as Mitchel was before him. The court-martial convened to try Turchin for punishing traitors bid fair to last for months, under Buell's management.
Mrs. Turchin, before the arrest of her husband, had been making the campaign of Northern Alabama in his company, enduring, with the utmost fortitude, and for weeks together, all the hardships incident to a soldier's life. To ride on horseback, forty or fifty miles per day, was to her a mere matter of amusement, and in the recent march of the 19th Illinois, from Winchester to Bellefonte, she is said to have taken command of the vanguard, and to have given most vigorous and valuable directions for driving off and punishing the infamous bushwhackers who infested the road. These and similar things had so much excited the admiration of Colonel Turchin's men, that they would have followed his gallant lady into the field of battle with all the enthusiasm that fired the hearts of the French chivalry when gathered around the standard of the Maid of Orleans. As soon as Colonel Turchin was arrested, Mrs. Turchin suddenly disappeared. The next that was heard from her she was in Washington City; and now the story goes, that when she left the South she hastened to Chicago, enlisted the sympathies of noble-hearted men in the cause of her husband, prevailing upon a delegation of noble Illinoisans to accompany her to Washington, and, with their assistance, secured the confirmation of the Colonel as a brigadier-general of volunteers. Truly, in the lottery matrimonial, Colonel Turchin had the fortune to draw an invaluable prize.
All that has been alleged against Generals Turchin and Mitchel authorizing the sacking of Athens, Alabama, appears to have reacted; and, except General Rousseau, they were the most popular officers in that region.
The 18th Ohio was stationed at Athens, and encamped upon the fair-grounds. Here they were assailed by Scott's rebel cavalry. They resisted for some hours, when, learning through their scouts that an overwhelming force of the enemy were advancing against them, they thought best to retire, which they did in good order. As they passed through the town, on their way to Huntsville, some rash, inconsiderate rebel sympathizers jeered at and insulted them, cheering lustily for Jeff Davis and the Southern Confederacy. One or two of them, also, seized their guns, and when the rebel forces made their appearance, joined them in pursuit of our soldiers. A feeling of vindictive wrath sprang up in the minds of the boys of the 18th, and when they met the 19th Illinois and other troops, who, under command of Colonel Turchin, were coming to the rescue, they naturally magnified their own loss, and told the rescuers exaggerated stories of the manner in which they had been treated by the citizens of Athens.
Under those circumstances the whole force re-entered the town, driving the rebels before them, and, in the midst of great excitement, vowing vengeance. Then came the inevitable result: some good soldiers were carried away into acts of unwarrantable violence, and a few unprincipled scoundrels seized upon the opportunity to plunder, pilfer, and steal. But the mass of the forces entered the place under the impression (as appears from the testimony before the court-martial) that it was to be sacked and burned, as a just and proper military punishment. This impression was, unfortunately, not corrected by Colonel Turchin, because it was, in all probability, unknown to him. It arose, no doubt, from the fact that a general order had been issued, or, as reported, was about to be issued, denouncing, in severe terms, all citizens who should fire upon, or in any way molest our troops, and threatening both them and their property with destruction. Such a proclamation or order was, in fact, issued about this time.
Notwithstanding it was generally understood that the plundering of Athens was permitted, at least three-fourths of the soldiers voluntarily abstained from laying their hands upon a single dollar's worth of private property.
Now, as to the outrages themselves, I unhesitatingly pronounce that they have been greatly exaggerated. To say that the town was in any way "ruined" is simply an exhibition of ignorance on the part of those who are not acquainted with the facts, and a falsehood on the part of those who are.
Some three or four stores were broken into, and the most valuable part of the merchandise abstracted; the contents of the apothecary's shop were badly injured, and articles of value were taken from at least a dozen houses; some thousands of dollars' worth of horses, mules, and "niggers" were taken out of the town and suburbs; two or three scoundrels abused the persons of as many colored women; and this was the extent of the "ruin" inflicted upon Athens. I visited it more than a month ago. I saw no sign of "ruin," dissolution, or decay, and I am too good a friend of the Athenians not to say that I consider their beautiful town as being to-day the most flourishing in all North Alabama; and if a citizen from any other place, especially from Huntsville, should go to Athens and say otherwise, nothing but the presence of the military would prevent him from getting a thrashing upon the spot.
It is an old and trite saying, that "children and fools always tell the truth." Captain Moar and Lieutenant Wood, of General Steadman's staff, went out with a full expedition. It was under Colonel Bishop, of the 2d Minnesota; but these staff officers preceded the party. We arrived at the proposed field, where we were to bivouac for the night. A house was near, and Colonel Moar proposed to go there and order supper. There were four females in the house. All pretended to be glad to receive us. We brought them sugar and coffee, articles they had not enjoyed for over a year. While supper was preparing, Lieutenant Wood, seeing a very pretty little girl, said to her, "Come here, sissy."
The child reluctantly advanced, and as the Lieutenant placed her upon his knee, the little innocent looked up and said, "I HATE YANKEES!"
The mother tried to catch the eye of the child.
Lieutenant Wood said, "O, no, you don't!"
"Yes, I do," reiterated the child.
"Why, sissy, what makes you hate Yankees?"
"'Cause mother told me I must," was the child's reply.
The mother blushed crimson, and said, very confusedly, "WHY, HATTIE! I NEVER!"
I have often heard pickets chaff one another. Just after the capture of New Orleans, one of our boys, on picket duty, as light dawned, discovered a rebel just lighting his breakfast-fire up a ravine. Our picket called out to the rebel to stop building fires and come over and take breakfast with him. The rebel replied:
"No, I shan't, You haven't got any coffee."
"Yes, I have," says the Union soldier.
"Well, you haven't any sugar?"
"Yes, we have. We've got Orleans."
The man who makes the assertion that our boys in the field, when called upon to vote on resolutions, are influenced by fear of officers, is most grossly mistaken. Why, your American soldier is the most independent "cuss" in the world; and if a regiment is in line, and asked to vote, you may rest assured they vote as they please, and are governed by the dictates of their own consciences. The great address that was sent from the army was voted upon in this way: The regiments were drawn up in line, the address read, and the color-bearers were asked, "Do you indorse the address to which you have listened?" From every one came the hearty "I do!" when the colors were ordered two paces front. The regiments then voted on the address, the "ayes" stepping out in line with the colors, and, if there had been any "noes," they were to stand fast; but I have yet to hear of the man who did so. They rallied on their colors to a man, and stood with an unbroken front.
During the fight this side of Chapel Hill, Captain Kirk, one of the General's aids, seeing two rebels a little way off, on a by-road, put spurs to horse and gave chase. We all watched him very eagerly until he ascended the hill, when three more rebs joined the two, and made a stand. Kirk, thinking discretion the better part of valor, reined in his horse, when, to the infinite amusement of the staff, young Lu. Steadman (a son of the General, and, though but sixteen years of age, a gallant boy) exclaimed: "Father, father, look yonder; Kirk has formed a line of battle!" It is scarcely necessary to say that Kirk soon changed his base on a double-quick.
Comic Scenes — Importation of Yankees — Wouldn't Go Round — Major Boynton and the Chicken — Monotony of Camp Life — Experience on a Scouting Expedition — Larz Anderson, Esq., in Camp — A Would-be Secessionist Caught in his Own Trap — Guthrie Gray Bill of Fare for a Rebel "Reception" — Pic Russell among the Snakes.
Army of the Cumberland, Third Division, Camp near Triune, Tenn., May 2, 1863.
"What will become of all of us women?" said an excited female to Colonel Vandeveer, one morning. "The States-rights men 'scripted all the young men, and you are drivin' all the old away. What will we ladies do?"
"Import Yankees," was the gallant Colonel's reply.
"We are raising a big stock especially for this market, and can spare any quantity."
"O! but Yankees don't suit us; we'd rather have our own people," was Secesh's reply.
"O! if that's the case, you women had better use your influence to get the traitors to lay down their arms and return to their homes, and behave themselves as honest men should, and that will end this little dispute, and you can have all the men you want."
"Well, Colonel, we are all tired of this war, and would be mighty glad to know our kinfolks were on their way home; but it will be mighty grindin' to 'em to have to come back and acknowledge that they couldn't lick you Yankees."
Deserters from the rebel army, I am told by citizens, are fast making their appearance wherever they can get the protection of our forces, and as we advance they will no doubt increase.
The provost-marshal of the division was kept busy administering the oath to those who came in from the surrounding country to Triune. Many very laughable incidents occurred at the swearing-in.
One long, lean, lank specimen of the rebel order came up to Captain Stinchcomb, who was proposing the oath.
"Hallo, mister, are you the captain of these ridgements around here? Dr. Wilson, my neighbor over across Spring Bottom, said I must come over to the feller what swored in folks, and get the Constitution, and keep it as long as you folks staid around here."
WOULDN'T GO ROUND.
Captain Airhardt, who was well known as the Topographical Engineer of this division, and one of the best-natured men in the world, was engaged in strengthening the fortifications around the camp near Triune, and in doing so had occasion to use some fifty men from the 2d Minnesota. As the boys had worked faithfully for four hours, the Captain thought he would issue a ration of whisky to each, and, not having any himself, he borrowed some from General Steadman's tent, without leave, from a keg the General had been keeping for his own medical purposes. He drew off about a gallon. The boys were drawn up in line, and the Captain commenced the issue, and as each man received his portion he was ordered to fall out. They did so, however, seeking the first opportunity to retire to the other end of the line, and again resume a position in the ranks. The Captain went after reinforcements of the creature comfort from the before-mentioned keg, and the reinstated members of the ditch-diggers were again ready for active service.
This state of things continued as long as the whisky lasted, and as the Captain handed the last ration, he looked at the few remaining boys, whom he supposed would have to go without any, and expressed his sorrow that he hadn't enough to go round. The fact was, every body had had at least three drinks.
I spent a very pleasant evening among a party of ladies who reside near our camp. Our officers are very attentive to them, and the ladies seem thankful for the protection. The house was furnished in elegant style. We had music, songs, and an elocutionary entertainment; every thing passing off pleasantly. As I am above suspicion myself, I may remark that I fear for the hearts of several of this brigade. Mine is already engaged; had it not been, I could not swear to the consequences of that visit. One really pretty specimen of Secesh sang "The Bonnie Blue Flag," by particular desire. She acknowledged she used to go it strong for dissolution, but let us hope she is becoming enlightened.
MAJOR BOYNTON AND THE CHICKEN.
Miss Mollie Jordan is a peculiar specimen of ye Southern maiden. I heard a good story illustrative of her rebellious nature some time ago:
Our troops were then stationed at Concord Church, and, in their peregrinations for fodder, came out this way, and, among other things, took off several contrabands belonging to Miss Mollie. Some time afterward she rode into camp and inquired for Colonel Vandeveer, and riding right up to him, she said, "How do, Colonel?" The Colonel tipped his hat, a la militaire, in token of recognition. "Colonel, you've been out our way and stole all my niggers, and I've just ridden into camp to see if you would be magnanimous enough to lend me my blacksmith to shoe this horse?"
The Colonel assisted her in alighting; had her boy hunted up, and the horse shod.
Dinner being ready, the lady was invited to partake of the repast; and, as she noticed a chicken upon the table almost as large as a turkey, she looked across at the Colonel, and then at the good-looking Major Boynton, and inquired whom she was dining with.
"O, with the Major, Miss. Why did you ask?" said the Colonel.
"I merely wished to know who stole my chickens; for those were particular pets of mine, and the only ones of that breed in the country."
The reader can imagine the laugh that took place at the Major's expense. As a matter of course, neither the Major nor the Colonel knew any thing as to where the servant-man had bought the fowls.
The Tennessee cavalry were out again yesterday, with Colonel Brownlow, and touched up the Alabamians. They brought in six prisoners. The rebels massed their men and undertook to charge us, but our Tennessee boys stood their ground, and the rebels backed out. They outnumbered us three to one; but they were not aware of that, or perhaps they would have given us fits. Now Brownlow is a daring, dashing fellow, and, in fact, all the officers and men seem made of the same material.
I suppose you will begin to think I've got cavalry on the brain, I talk so much of those boys; but they, at present, are the only ones out this way doing the fighting. When this bully division of infantry does go in, you can depend upon it somebody will get hurt.
All the regiments are quartered in elegant little pup-tents, as they call them. These tents are handsomely sheltered with evergreens and various bushes, presenting a picturesque appearance. The Lancaster, Chillicothe, and Cincinnati boys are vieing with each other as to who shall have the neatest camp.
A chicken-fight is to take place this evening between two game-cocks. One is owned by the fat boy of the 35th, the other by the new grocery-keeper of this brigade—he with the yellow vest and spectacles. Spectacles can whip fat boy, sure, so I must hurry up to see it done. We are striving our best to break up this love of cruel sports, but fear our efforts will be fruitless.
The weather is delightful; garden truck is progressing finely; the wheat and oat-fields are waving delightfully, while the corn is becoming like a man drinking whisky—elevated. With the above horrid joke I close.
Yours, dismally, till I see my love,
REMINISCENCE OF CAMP LIFE IN VIRGINIA, IN 1861.
Camp Beverly, Va., July 31, 1861.
A soldier's life becomes irksome when he is encamped for any great length of time at any one point. A change of scenery, or the busy bustle of a march, wearisome though it be, makes the hours pass lightly. This is our eighth day at this place, and beautiful though the surroundings are, yet they begin to weary the eye. The boys want action, and if no prospect of a fight is here, they wish for still further progress.
The chief product of this never-ending and infernal mountainous region seems to be rain and ignorant people. It rains from Monday till Saturday, and commences fresh on Sunday; and if you put a question of the most commonplace order, the only answer you are likely to receive is the vacant stare of those you speak to. The first relief to this monotony occurred a few days since. Captain Bracken, editor of the Indianapolis Sentinel, who is in command of a splendid cavalry company, sent me an invitation to accompany him upon a scouting excursion, as a number of houses in the vicinity needed a little examination; so, accompanied by his two lieutenants and our gallant Major, Alex. Christopher, together with the ever-affable Andy Hall, the scouts, mounted upon as fine horses as could be selected by Captain Bracken, started jovially on duty. "Now up the mead, now down the mead," and then over hill and dale they sped. Soon the outer pickets were passed, and we were in the enemy's country, where, 'tis said, the faster your horse travels the less likelihood there is of being shot by guerrillas. In the course of the afternoon we visited several houses, at one of which quite a quantity of contraband stuff was found, which was placed in our canteens.
At dusk we commenced a homeward tramp; and having to pass a house in which I had previously enjoyed the hospitality of its inmates, I alighted to refresh myself with a cool drink of water, the balance of the party going on. I had but just mounted my horse, when he took fright, and in a moment he was beyond control. Your humble servant clung with tenacity to the brute, and although I told him to "whoa," he wouldn't do it. Now he takes a by-road; away he flies with lightning speed; 'tis getting dark, and the fool horse is running further and further from camp. I tried kicking the animal so as to induce him to believe that it was me that was forcing him to his utmost speed, but 't was no go. Then, as I came near falling, I "affectionately" threw my arms around his neck, thinking, if life was spared, what a fine item this runaway would make. In vain I tried kicks, seesawing, jerks, coaxing, whoaing; in despair, I gave a loose hold of the reins to the runaway, hoping he would get tired, endeavoring, however, to keep him in the middle of the road. He jumped ditches, turned curves, until I began to think I would make a good circus performer, and eventually hire out to John Robinson, if safely delivered from this perilous expedition. At last he took me off my guard: turning abruptly to the left on a by-road, your correspondent went to the right, heels up in the air for a brief space—in fact, a balloon ascension; the balloon's burst was the next vivid thing in my mind, for I remembered scratching in the air, and then an almost instantaneous collision with mother Earth, alighting upon the right side of my head, from which the blood gushed in a slight attempt at a deluge. As luck would have it, some friendly folks came to my rescue, and bathed my head with camphor; I remounted, and, in a few minutes, met my companions, who were in search for me. They wet my lips with some of that stuff in the canteens. On arriving at camp, and sending for a surgeon, my wounds were dressed. A broken bone in my right hand, a terrific black eye and disfigured forehead, a sprained leg and battered side were the result of my excursion. This is the first letter I have been able to write since.
Last Saturday the whole regiment was in the finest spirits at seeing among us the kindly face of Cincinnati's universally-beloved citizen, Larz Anderson, and it did one good to see the hearty shake of hands our gallant officers and men gave him. He leaves for home to-day, laden with, no doubt, messages of love to many. God bless and speed him on his journey.
Captain Burdsall arrived to-day from Cheat Mountain. His command will remain here a few days, acting as mounted scouts. The Captain received a serious kick from his horse a week or two ago, and has been confined to his bed ever since. This company has been a very valuable auxiliary to the brigade, both at Cheat River Mountain and this place. We are sorry to hear of their intended return to Cincinnati in a few weeks.
The battle-field of Rich Mountain is about four miles from this place, and to-day I met with an old veteran, upon whose ground they fought. He is a thorough Union man, and was a prisoner in the hands of the Secession party. The rebels, to spite the old veteran, dug a trench around his house, for burying their dead, only eighteen inches below the surface. They also ruined his well by throwing in decayed horse-flesh—in fact, ruined his old homestead, by cutting down his fruit-trees, and various other specimens of Vandalism.
An incident occurred during the preparation for that battle worth mentioning. Mr. ——, an old man of this town, a Representative in the Legislature, one who was elected as a Union candidate, and then basely betrayed his constituents, and afterward was re-elected as a Secessionist—this man, on the eve of the battle, having partaken freely of liquor, heard of the advance of our army, and, mounting his horse, rode hastily to the rebel camp, to inform them of the intended attack. He passed the outer pickets, but was halted by a full company of Georgians, who, hearing of the advance of our men, had been thrown out to reconnoiter. He, much frightened, supposing he was mistaken and was in the Union men's camp, begged them not to shoot, exclaiming, "I am a Union man." Scarce had the lying words passed his lips when a dozen balls pierced his body.
An announcement, made last night, that the rebels were advancing upon this post, put the boys in excellent humor. Every piece was put in order, and preparations made for a warm reception of the rebel gentry. Extra pickets were sent out by Colonel Bosley, who has entire command of this post, Captain Wilmington being field-officer of the day. The guests, however, did not arrive, thus greatly disappointing the boys, who had a magnificent banquet in store for them. The bill of fare consisted of
Bullet Soup—with Gunpowder Sauce; Bayonets—drawn from Scabbards; Minie Muskets—nicely ranged; Twelve Six-pound Dumplings—U. S. on the margin; 2,600 Harper's Ferry Clickers;
besides numerous little delicacies in the way of Colt's "Revolving Pudding-hitters" and "Derangers," lightning-powder, Bowies, slashers, etc.
But as they refused the banquet, why, we will keep it, for the time being, ready for them in case of an intended surprise party.
A serenade in camp is sweet music, indeed. Last night the Guthrie Serenading Club, consisting of E. P. Perkins, W. B. Sheridan, Charlie Foster, Captain Wilmington, Zeke Tatem, W. Craven, and S. B. Rice, gave the denizens of this town and camp a taste of their quality. The hills resounded with sweet sounds.
"Music soft, music sweet, lingers on the ear."
Captain Pic Russell had an acquisition to his company a few evenings since—in fact, a Secession emblem: a snake seven feet long—a regular "black sarpent"—quietly coiled himself in the Captain's blanket. He was, as soon as discovered, put to death. This region, of country abounds in serpents, the rattlesnake being a prolific article.
I must close, as the mail is about to start.
Fun in the 123d Ohio — A Thrilling Incident of the War — General Kelley — Vote under Strange Circumstances — Die, but never Surrender.
FUN IN THE 123d OHIO.
One of the boys furnished me with a copy of his experiences of camp, entitled "Ye Chronicles of ye One Hundred and Twenty-third Regiment."
1st. Man that is born of woman, and enlisteth as a soldier in the One Hundred and Twenty-third Ohio, is few of days and short of rations.
2d. He cometh forth at reveille, is present also at retreat, yea, even at tattoo, and retireth, apparently, at taps.
3d. He draweth his rations from the commissary, and devoureth the same. He striketh his teeth against much hard tack, and is satisfied. He filleth his canteen with apple-jack, and clappeth the mouth thereof upon the bung of a whisky-barrel, and after a little while goeth away, rejoicing in his strategy.
4th. Much soldiering has made him sharp; yea, even the seat of his breeches is in danger of being cut through.
5th. He covenanteth with the credulous farmer for many turkeys and chickens; also, at the same time, for much milk and honey, to be paid for promptly at the end of each ten days; and lo! his regiment moveth on the ninth day to another post.
6th. His tent is filled with potatoes, cabbage, turnips, krout, and other delicate morsels of a delicious taste, which abound not in the Commissary Department.
7th. And many other things not in the "returns," and which never will return; yet, of a truth, it must be said of the soldier of the One Hundred and Twenty-third, that he taketh nothing that he can not reach.
8th. He fireth his Austrian rifle at midnight, and the whole camp is aroused and formed in line of battle, when lo! his mess come bearing in a nice porker, which he solemnly declareth so resembled a Secesh that he was compelled to pull trigger.
9th. He giveth the provost-marshal much trouble, often capturing his guard, and possesseth himself of the city.
10th. At such times "lager" and pretzels flow like milk and honey from his generous hand. He giveth without stint to his own comrades; yea, and withholdeth not from the One Hundred and Sixteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, or from the lean, lank, expectant Hoosier of the Eighty-seventh Indiana.
11th. He stretcheth forth his hand to deliver his fellow-soldiers of the One Hundred and Sixteenth from the power of the enemy; yea, starteth at early dawn from Petersburg, even on a "double-quick" doth he go, and toileth on through much heat, suffering, privation, and much "vexation of spirit," until they are delivered. Verily I say unto you, after that he suffereth for want of tents and camp-kettles. Yea, on the hights of Moorfield his voice may be heard proclaiming loudly for "hard tack and coffee," yet he murmureth not.
12th. But the grunt of a pig or the crowing of a cock awakeneth him from, the soundest sleep, and he goeth forth until halted by the guard, when he instantly clappeth his hands upon his "bread-basket," and the guard, in commiseration, alloweth him to pass to the rear.
13th. No sooner hath he passed the sentry's beat than he striketh a "bee-line" for the nearest hen-roost, and, seizing a pair of plump pullets, returneth, soliloquizing: "The noise of a goose saved Rome; how much more the flesh of chickens preserveth the soldier!"
14th. He even playeth at eucher with the parson, to see whether or not there shall be preaching in camp on the following Sabbath; and by dexterously drawing from the bottom a Jack, goeth away rejoicing that the service is postponed.
15th. And many other things doeth he; and lo! are they not recorded in the "morning reports" of Company B? Yea, verily.
A THRILLING INCIDENT OF THE WAR.
Captain Theodore Rogers, son of the Rev. E. P. Rogers, of New York City, formerly of Albany, N. Y., enlisted in May, 1861. After a varied experience he returned home, and, on the 7th of January, 1862, was married, in Cazenovia, New York, to the adopted daughter of H. Ten Eyck, Esq., a young lady who, we may be allowed at least to say, was every way worthy of the hand of the gallant soldier. The bridal days were passed in the camp, where a few weeks of happiness were afforded them.
Six months roll away, and the battle at Gaines's Mills opens. Mr. Rogers, having left home as first lieutenant, was, on account of his superior qualities as a soldier and as a man, promoted to the office of captain. His indefatigable efforts to discharge the duties of his position seriously impaired his health, and, previous to the battle referred to, he was lying sick in his tent. But the booming of the enemy's cannon roused the spirit of the soldier, and he forgot himself in his desire to win a victory for his country.
An account of the last scene is given by an officer in the rebel army, and, coming from such a source, its accuracy can not be questioned. Colonel McRae, while passing through Nassau, N. P., on his way to England, sought an introduction to a lady, who, he was informed, was from Albany. Finding that she knew Dr. Rogers and his family, she writes that his whole face lighted up, and he said: "O, I am so glad! I have been longing for months to see some one who knew the family of the brave young soldier who fell before my eyes."
He then said: "It was just at evening on Friday, June 27, at the battle of Gaines's Mills, as your army was falling back, I was struck with the appearance of a young man, the captain of a company, who was rushing forward at the head of his men, encouraging them, and leading them on, perfectly regardless of his own life or safety. His gallantry and bravery attracted our notice, and I felt so sure that he must fall, and so regretted the sacrifice of his life, that I tried hard to take him prisoner. But all my efforts were vain; and when at last I saw him fall, I gave orders at once that he should be carried from the field. It was the last of the fight, and in a few moments General Garland (also of the Confederate army) and I went in search of him, and found him under the tree whither I had ordered him to be carried."
Here the voice of the Colonel trembled so that he was hardly able to proceed. Recovering himself, he added: "I took from his pocket his watch, some money, and three letters—one from his wife, another from his father, and the third from his mother. As General Garland (who has since been killed) and I read the letters, standing at the side of the youthful husband and son, we cried like children—tears of grief and regret for the brave and honored soldier, and at the thought of those who would mourn him at home."
The Colonel said: "Tell his wife and father and mother that, though he was an enemy of whom we say it, he died the bravest and most gallant man that ever fell on the battle-field—encouraging and leading his men on, going before them to set the example. Tell them, also, that we saw him laid tenderly in his grave, (by himself,) and that, when this hateful war is over, I can take his wife to the very spot where her husband lies."
Colonel McRae was very anxious to know whether the letters and watch had been received by his wife, as he said that he gave them into the hands of Colonel T——, of the 23d Regiment, who had promised to send them by a flag of truce.
From all that could be gathered, the lamented youth never spoke a word after receiving his death-wound.
While in the Army of Virginia I obtained the following facts in regard to the shooting of Colonel (now General) Kelley. A Staunton (Virginia) paper contained the following boastful article:
"Colonel Kelley, the commandant of a portion of Lincoln's forces at Philippa, was shot by Archey McClintic, of the Bath Cavalry, Captain Richards. Leroy and Foxall Dangerfield, (brothers,) and Archey McClintic, soldiers of the Bath Cavalry, were at the bridge, when a horse belonging to their company dashed through the bridge without its rider, whereupon these soldiers attempted to cross the bridge for the purpose of seeing what had been the fate of the owner of the riderless horse, when they were met by a portion of the enemy, led on by Colonel Kelley. As they met, Archey McClintic shot Colonel Kelley with a pistol. Seeing that they would be overcome by the number of the enemy, this gallant trio wheeled and retreated through the bridge. As they were retreating, they heard the enemy exclaim, 'Shoot the d—d rascal on the white horse!' meaning McClintic, who had shot Colonel Kelley. They fired, and broke the leg of Leroy P. Dangerfield. As McClintic was able to unhorse the colonel of a regiment with an old pistol, we hope that no soldier will disdain to use the old-fashioned pistol. They are as good as any, if in the proper hands."
From the same paper I cut the following:
"We have been informed that the gallant men who were under the command of Captain J. B. Moomau, in the precipitate retreat from Philippa, positively refused, after going a mile or two, to retreat any further. They were told that, if they would not retreat any further, they had better send a flag of truce to the enemy and surrender. It was proposed to decide the matter by a vote, when the men unanimously voted that they would rather die than surrender. The word 'surrender' does not belong to the vocabulary of the brave men of our mountains. They are as heroic as Spartans. They are willing to die, if needs be; but surrender, never! Though the enemy were constantly firing Minie muskets at them, they were not at all alarmed, and, being true republicans, they were resolved to take the vote of the men before they would agree to send a flag of truce, or think for a moment of surrendering. Who ever heard of a vote being taken under such circumstances? They were flying before the superior and overwhelming force of the enemy, yet they were sufficiently calm and self-composed to get through with the republican formality of taking the vote of the company. The men then under the command of Captain Moomau, of Pendleton, were his own company and some fifty belonging to the company of Captain Hull, of Highland, who had become separated from the other portion of their own company. Such soldiers will never be conquered—they may be killed, but they will never surrender."
A few days afterward these "never-surrender" Spartan chaps were brought into camp, the most hang-dog looking set of villains I ever met.
Our Hospitals — No Hope — A Short and Simple Story — A Soldier's Pride — The Last Letter — Soldierly Sympathy — The Hospitals at Gallatin, and their Ministering Angels.
I have visited many of the hospitals, both on the field and those located in cities where every convenience obtainable for money was profuse. Those in Nashville, Gallatin, and Louisville were, at all times, in the most perfect order. Still, in the field, and often in cities, cut off as Nashville and Murfreesboro sometimes are, the men suffer from the want of many little things. Miss LOUISA ALLCOTT, of Boston, who has been kindly administering to the wants of the sick and wounded in the hospitals, says:
One evening I found a lately-emptied bed occupied by a large, fair man, with a fine face, and the serenest eyes I ever met. One of the earlier comers had often spoken of a friend who had remained behind, that those apparently worse wounded than himself might reach a shelter first. It seemed a David and Jonathan sort of friendship. The man fretted for his mate, and was never tired of praising John, his courage, sobriety, self-denial, and unfailing kindliness of heart—always winding up with—"He's an out-and-out fine feller, ma'am; you see if he aint." I had some curiosity to behold this piece of excellence, and, when he came, watched him for a night or two before I made friends with him; for, to tell the truth, I was afraid of the stately-looking man, whose bed had to be lengthened to accommodate his commanding stature—who seldom spoke, uttered no complaint, asked no sympathy, but tranquilly observed all that went on about him; and, as he lay high upon his pillows, no picture of dying statesman or warrior was ever fuller of real dignity than this Virginia blacksmith.
A most attractive face he had, framed in brown hair and beard, comely-featured and full of vigor, as yet unsubdued by pain, thoughtful, and often beautifully mild, while watching the afflictions of others, as if entirely forgetful of his own. His mouth was firm and grave, with plenty of will and courage in its lines, but a smile could make it as sweet as any woman's; and his eyes were child's eyes, looking one fairly in the face, with a clear, straightforward glance, which promised well for such as placed their faith in him. He seemed to cling to life as if it were rich in duties and delights, and he had learned the secret of content. The only time I saw his composure disturbed was when my surgeon brought another to examine John, who scrutinized their faces with an anxious look, asking of the elder: "Do you think I shall pull through, sir?" "I hope so, my man." And, as the two passed on, John's eyes followed them with an intentness which would have won a clearer answer from them had they seen it. A momentary shadow flitted over his face; then came the smile of serenity, as if, in that brief eclipse, he had acknowledged the existence of some hard futurity, and, asking nothing, yet hoping all things, left the issue in God's hand, with that submission which is true piety.
At night, as I went my rounds with the surgeon, I happened to ask which man in the room probably suffered the most, and, to my great surprise, he glanced at John.
"Every breath he draws is like a stab; for the ball pierced the left lung, broke a rib, and did no end of damage here and there; so the poor lad can find neither forgetfulness nor ease, because he must lie on his wounded back or suffocate. It will be a hard struggle, and a long one, for he possesses great vitality; but even his temperate life can't save him. I wish it could."
"You don't mean he must die, Doctor?"
"Bless you, there is not the slightest hope for him, and you'd better tell him so before long—women have a way of doing such things comfortably; so I leave it to you. He won't last more than a day or two at furthest."
I could have sat down on the spot and cried heartily, if I had not learned the propriety of bottling up one's tears for leisure moments. Such an end seemed very hard for such a man, when half a dozen worn-out, worthless bodies round him were gathering up the remnants of wasted lives, to linger on for years, perhaps burdens to others, daily reproaches to themselves. The army needed men like John, earnest, brave, and faithful, fighting for liberty and justice, with both heart and hand—a true soldier of the Lord. I could not give him up so soon, or think with any patience of so excellent a nature robbed of its fulfillment, and blundered into eternity by the rashness or stupidity of those at whose hands so many lives may be required. It was an easy thing for Dr. P—— to say, "Tell him he must die," but a cruelly hard thing to do, and by no means as "comfortable" as he politely suggested. I had not the heart to do it then, and privately indulged the hope that some change for the better might take place, in spite of gloomy prophesies, so rendering my task unnecessary.
A SHORT AND SIMPLE STORY.
After that night, an hour of each evening that remained to him was devoted to his ease or pleasure. He could not talk much, for breath was precious, and he spoke in whispers; but from occasional conversations I gleaned scraps of private history, which only added to the affection and respect I felt for him. Once he asked me to write a letter, and, as I settled with pen and paper, I said, with an irrepressible glimmer of female curiosity, "Shall it be addressed to mother or wife, John?"
"Neither, ma'am: I've got no wife, and will write to mother, myself, when I get better. Did you think I was married because of this?" he asked, touching a plain gold ring he wore, and often turned thoughtfully on his finger when he lay alone.
"Partly that, but more from a settled sort of look you have—a look young men seldom get until they marry."
"I don't know that; but I'm not so very young, ma'am—thirty in May, and have been what you might call settled these ten years, for mother's a widow. I'm the oldest child she has, and it wouldn't do for me to marry till Lizzie has a home of her own, and Laurie has learned his trade; for we're not rich, and I must be father to the children, and husband to the dear old woman, if I can."
"No doubt you are both, John; yet how came you to go to the war, if you felt so? Wasn't enlisting as bad as marrying?"
"No, ma'am, not as I see it; for one is helping my neighbor, the other pleasing myself. I went because I couldn't help it. I didn't want the glory or the pay; I wanted the right thing done, and the people said the men who were in earnest ought to fight. I was in earnest, the Lord knows; but I held off as long as I could, not knowing what was my duty. Mother saw the case, gave me her ring to keep me steady, and said 'Go;' so I went."
A short story, and a simple one; but the man and the mother were portrayed better than pages of fine writing could have done it.
A SOLDIER'S PRIDE.
"Do you ever regret that you came, when you lie here suffering so much?"
"Never, ma'am. I haven't helped a great deal, but I've shown I was willing to give my life, and perhaps I've got to; but I don't blame any body, and if it was to do over again, I'd do it. I'm a little sorry I wasn't wounded in front. It looks cowardly to be hit in the back; but I obeyed orders, and it don't matter much in the end, I know."
Poor John! it did not matter now, except that a shot in front might have spared the long agony in store for him. He seemed to read the thought that troubled me, as he spoke so hopefully when there was no hope, for he suddenly added:
"This is my first battle—do they think it's going to be my last?"
"I'm afraid they do, John."
It was the hardest question I had ever been called upon to answer; doubly hard with those clear eyes fixed upon mine, forcing a truthful answer by their own truth. He seemed a little startled at first, pondered over the fateful fact a moment, then shook his head, with a glance at the broad chest and muscular limbs stretched out before him.
"I'm not afraid; but it is difficult to believe all at once. I'm so strong, it does not seem possible for such a little wound to kill me."
THE LAST LETTER.
"Shall I write to your mother now?" I asked, thinking that these sudden tidings might change all plans and purposes; but they did not: for the man received the order of the Divine Commander to march with the same unquestioning obedience with which the soldier had received that of the human one, doubtless remembering that the first led him to life, the last to death.
"No, ma'am—to Laurie, just the same; he'll break it to her best, and I'll add a line to her, myself, when you get done."
So I wrote the letter, which he dictated, finding it better than any I had sent, for, though here and there a little ungrammatical or inelegant, each sentence came to me briefly worded, but most expressive, full of excellent counsel to the boy, tenderly bequeathing "mother and Lizzie" to his care, and bidding him good-by in words the sadder for their simplicity. He added a few lines, with steady hand, and, as I sealed it, said, with a patient sort of sigh, "I hope the answer will come in time for me to see it." Then, turning away his face, he laid the flowers against his lips, as if to hide some quiver of emotion at the thought of such a sudden sundering of all the dear home ties.
Those things had happened two days before. Now John was dying, and the letter had not come. I had been summoned to many death-beds in my life, but to none that made my heart ache as it did then, since my mother called me to watch the departure of a spirit akin to this, in its gentleness and patient strength. As I went in, John stretched out both his hands.
"I knew you'd come! I guess I'm moving on, ma'am."
He was, and so rapidly that, even while he spoke, over his face I saw the gray veil falling that no human hand can lift. I sat down by him, wiped the drops from his forehead, stirred the air about him with the slow wave of a fan, and waited to help him die. He stood in sore need of help, and I could do so little; for, as the doctor had foretold, the strong body rebelled against death, and fought every inch of the way, forcing him to draw each breath with a spasm, and clench his hands with an imploring look, as if he asked, "How long must I endure this, and be still?" For hours he suffered, without a moment's respite or a moment's murmuring. His limbs grew cold, his face damp, his lips white, and again and again he tore the covering off his breast, as if the lightest weight added to his agony; yet, through it all, his eyes never lost their perfect serenity, and the man's soul seemed to sit therein, undaunted by the ills that vexed his flesh.
One by one the men awoke, and round the room appeared a circle of pale faces and watchful eyes, full of awe and pity; for, though a stranger, John was beloved by all. Each man there had wondered at his patience, respected his piety, admired his fortitude, and now lamented his hard death; for the influence of an upright nature had made itself deeply felt, even in one little week. Presently, the Jonathan who so loved this comely David came creeping from his bed for a last look and word. The kind soul was full of trouble, as the choke in his voice, the grasp of his hand betrayed; but there were no tears, and the farewell of the friends was the more touching for its brevity.
"Old boy, how are you?" faltered the one.
"Most through, thank heaven!" whispered the other.
"Can I say or do any thing for you, anywheres?"
"Take my things home, and tell them that I did my best."
"I will! I will!"
"Good-by, John; good-by!"
They kissed each other tenderly as women, and so parted; for poor Ned could not stay to see his comrade die. For a little while there was no sound in the room but the drip of water from a pump or two, and John's distressful gasps, as he slowly breathed his life away. I thought him nearly gone, and had laid down the fan, believing its help no longer needed, when suddenly he rose up in his bed, and cried out, with a bitter cry, that broke the silence, sharply startling every one with its agonized appeal, "For God's sake, give, me air!"
It was the only cry pain or death had wrung from him, the only boon he had asked, and none of us could grant it, for all the airs that blow were useless now. Dan flung up the window; the first red streak of dawn was warming the gray east, a herald of the coming sun. John saw it, and, with the love of light which lingers in us to the end, seemed to read in it a sign of hope, of help, for over his whole face broke that mysterious expression, brighter than any smile, which often comes to eyes that look their last. He laid himself down gently, and stretching out his strong right arm, as if to grasp and bring the blessed air to his lips in fuller flow, lapsed into a merciful unconsciousness, which assured us that for him suffering was forever past.
As we stood looking at him, the ward-master handed me a letter, saying it had been forgotten the night before. It was John's letter, come just an hour too late to gladden the eyes that had looked and longed for it so eagerly—yet he had it; for after I had cut some brown locks for his mother, and taken off the ring to send her, telling how well the talisman had done its work, I kissed this good son for her sake, and laid the letter in his hand, still folded as when I drew my own away.
On my visit to the hospital at Gallatin, I was called to the bedside of a dying boy, who belonged in Columbus, Ohio. There I met Dr. W. P. Eltsun, Dr. Armington, Dr. Landis, and other surgeons, all working faithfully for the suffering men; but Death had marked this boy for his own. I took his almost pulseless hand in mine, wiped the cold sweat from his brow, and, as I did so, he murmured, in a soft tone—a tone of sweet sadness—and with a half vacant stare, "Mother, is that you? O, how long I've waited for your coming! Tell sister I'm better now. Good-by, Charlie. Halt! who goes there?" and then a sudden start seemed to bring him to a realization of his situation, and he quietly gazed at me for a moment, called me by name, and said, "Alf, will you write a letter for me to-morrow?" This I promised, should he be able to dictate to me what I should write. In a few minutes he again called the sweet name of "Mother! Mother!" and with the words "good-by" upon his lips, and a smile of joy beaming on his face, he fell into that sleep that knows no waking.
There were three ministering angels, who had left all the luxuries of a home, attending in this hospital. They had volunteered as nurses, and had come from Indianapolis, to render all the aid they could to our country's noble defenders. Indiana should remember the names of Miss Bates, Miss Cathcart, and Mrs. Ketchum.
Written Expressly for Mr. Alf. BURNETT, by Miss Cora M. EAGER.
Never mind me, Uncle Jared, never mind my bleeding breast; They are charging in the valley, and you're needed with the rest; All the day through, from its dawning till you saw your kinsman fall, You have answered fresh and fearless to our brave commander's call, And I would not rob my country of your gallant aid to-night, Though your presence and your pity stay my spirit in its flight.
All along that quivering column, see the death-steeds trampling down Men whose deeds this day are worthy of a kingdom and a crown. Prithee, hasten, Uncle Jared—what's the bullet in my breast To that murderous storm of fire, raining tortures on the rest? See, the bayonets flash and falter—look I the foe begins to win! See, see our faltering comrades! God! how the ranks are closing in!
Hark! there's muttering in the distance, and a thundering in the air, Like the snorting of a lion just emerging from his lair; There's a cloud of something yonder, fast unrolling like a scroll; Quick, quick! if it be succor that can save the cause a soul! Look! a thousand thirsty bayonets are flashing down the vale, And a thousand hungry riders dashing onward like a gale.
Raise me higher, Uncle Jared; place the ensign in my hand; I am strong enough to wave it, while you cheer that flying band. Louder! louder! shout for Freedom, with prolonged and vigorous breath; Shout for Liberty, and Union, and—the victory over death! See! they catch the stirring numbers, and they swell them to the breeze, Cap, and plume, and starry banner, waving proudly through the trees.
Mark! our fainting comrades rally—mark! that drooping column rise; I can almost see the fire newly kindled in their eyes. Fresh for conflict, nerved to conquer, see them charging on the foe, Face to face, with deadly meaning, shot, and shell and trusty blow; See the thinned ranks wildly breaking; see them scatter toward the sun! I can die now, Uncle Jared, for the glorious day is won.
But there's something, something pressing with a numbness on my heart, And my lips, with mortal dumbness, fail the burden to impart. O, I tell you, Uncle Jared, there is something, back of all, That a soldier can not part with when he heeds his country's call. Ask the mother what, in dying, sends the yearning spirit back Over life's broken marches, where she's pointed out the track?
Ask the dear ones gathered nightly round the shining household hearth, What to them is brighter, better than the choicest things of earth? Ask that dearer one, whose loving, like a ceaseless vestal flame, Sets my very soul a-glowing at the mention of her name; Ask her why the loved, in dying, feels her spirit linked with his In a union death but strengthens? she will tell you what it is.
And there's something, Uncle Jared, you may tell her, if you will, That the precious flag she gave me I have kept unsullied still; And—this touch of pride forgive me—where Death sought our gallant host, Where our stricken lines were weakest, there it ever waved the most; Bear it back, and tell her, fondly, brighter, purer, steadier far, 'Mid the crimson strife of battle, shone my life's unsetting star!
But, forbear, dear Uncle Jared, when there's something more to tell, And her lips, with rapid blanching, bid you answer how I fell; Teach your tongue the trick of slighting, though 'tis faithful to the rest, Lest it say her brother's bullet is the bullet in my breast. But, if it must be that she learn it, despite your tender care, 'T will soothe her bleeding heart to know my bayonet pricked the air.
Life is ebbing, Uncle Jared; my enlistment endeth here; Death, the conqueror, has drafted—I can no more volunteer. But I hear the roll-call yonder, and I go with willing feet Through the shadows to the valley where victorious armies meet. Raise the ensign, Uncle Jared—let its dear folds o'er me fall; Strength and Union for my country, and God's banner over all.
Sports in Camp — Anecdote of the 63d Ohio and Colonel Sprague — Soldier's Dream of Home — The Wife's Reply.
Army of the Cumberland, Camp near Triune, Tenn., May 12, 1863.
There are, at all times, sunny sides as well as the dark and melancholy picture, in camp life. Men whose business is that of slaughter—men trained to slay and kill, will, amid the greatest destruction of life, become oblivious to all surrounding scenes of death and carnage.
I have seen men seated amid hundreds of slain, quietly enjoying a game of "seven-up," or having a little draw. Yet let them once return to their homes, and enjoy the society and influence of the gentler sex, and they will soon forget the excitement and vices of camp, and return to the more useful and ennobling enjoyments of life.
Yesterday a lively time, generally, was had in camp. After the drilling of the division, a grand cock-fight occurred on the hill. Some of the boys, who are regular game-fanciers, brought some splendid chickens, and, as a consequence, a good deal of money changed hands. The birds fought nobly: three were killed, one of them killing his opponent the first round, and instantly crowing, much to the amusement of the Sports. This fighting with gaffs is not a cruel sport, as one or the other is soon killed.
Snakes are not so prevalent in these parts as they were when we first came: then it was not uncommon to find a nice little "garter" quietly ensconced in one's pocket, or in your pantaloon leg, or taking a nap in one corner of your tent.
A prize-fight occurred in the division a few days ago. A couple of sons of Ethiopia, regular young bucks, feeling their dignity insulted by various epithets hurled at each other, from loud-mouthing adjourned to fight it out in the woods—a big crowd following to enjoy the fun. A ring was soon formed, and at it they went, a la Sayers and Heenan. Umpires were improvised for the occasion, and time-keepers, etc., chosen.
The first clash was a butter and a rebutter, their heads coming together, fairly making the wool fly. This was round first.
Round 2d.—35th Ohio darkey came boldly to the scratch; as he only weighed sixty-five pounds more than his opponent, and with the slight difference of one foot six inches higher, he pitched in most valiantly, and received a splendid hit on the sconce, which made him feel as if a flea bit him. After full ten minutes skirmishing, during which time neither struck the other, both retired to the further corner of the ring, until time was called.
Round 3d.—Minnesota Ethiopian, who had been weakening in the pulse for some time, came up shaky, and was received with laughter by his opponent; but the little fellow hit out splendidly, and launched an eye-shutter at the stalwart form of the 35th darkey. First blood claimed for the 2d Minnesota.
Round 4th was, per agreement, a rough and tumble affair, as the spectators were growing impatient; and such "wool-carding" was never before exhibited. Both fought plucky; but the 2d Minnesota having but just recovered from a sick of fitness, as he said, was about being overpowered, when the officer of the day interfered; and thus ended the dispute for the time. Betters drew their money, as the fight was a draw.
BALL IN CAMP.
Last night we had a fancy-dress ball, a recherche affair, a fine dancing-floor having been laid down in Company I's ground. A first-rate cotillion band was engaged, and played up lively airs. Your correspondent had a special invitation to be present, and enjoyed the party amazingly.
The belles of the evening were Miss Allers, the Widow Place, Miss Stewart, Miss Austin, and Miss Dodge, all of Minnesota.
Miss Dodge wore an elegant wreath of red clover, mingled with beech-leaves, and was dressed in red and white—the red being part of a shirt, kindly furnished by one of the friends of the lady; the white was expressly manufactured by the Widow Place, dressmaker and milliner for this regiment.
Miss Stewart is a beautiful creature, of a bronzed hue, from excessive exposure to the sun. She also wore a wreath of young clover, mingled with bunches of wheat.
Miss Allers was rather undignified in her actions; her dress we thought too short at the bottom, and too high in the neck; however, Miss A. was dressed in Union colors, having an American flag for an apron, and blue and red dress, with a neat-fitting waste—of materials.
But the one in whom we felt the deepest interest was the Widow. She had all the grace and elegance of a hippopotamus, and her style was enchanting. She wore a low-necked dress, with a bouquet of cauliflowers and garlick in her bosom, a wreath of onion-greens in her hair, full, red dress, and elaborate hoops, which continually said, "Don't come a-nigh me." Her bashful behavior was the talk of the evening, and the gay Widow and your correspondent, when upon the floor, were the cynosure of all eyes. The dance continued until the Colonel ordered a double tattoo sounded, so that we could hear it. Several intruders were put out, for conduct unbecoming gentlemen. The ball was strictly private, as no commissioned officers were allowed to participate.
However, the officers were truly amused at the fun, and, as women have, ere this, been dressed in men's clothes, there is no reason the boot shouldn't, this time, be on the other leg.
Miss Austin's dance of the Schottische, with double-soled military boots, was excellent. Miss Austin belongs in Louisville, and has long been known as a female auctioneer.
The 9th Ohio band has arrived, and the boys are delighted. This is a new band, all Cincinnati musicians, and they are truly welcome to the camp.
Boys want to hear from home as often as possible. It will be well for the girls to bear this in mind, and write often. Letters of love, we may say, alphabetically speaking, are X T Z to those who get them.
ANECDOTE OF THE 63d OHIO AND COLONEL SPRAGUE.
The 63d boys love Colonel Sprague; they are not exactly afraid of him, but many a one would rather be whipped, any day, than take a reprimand from him. For instance: several nights ago one of the men, instigated by the love of good eating, and not having the fear of God before his eyes, attempted to pinch, as they say in the 63d, a can of fruit at the sutler's tent. But, unluckily for him, the sutler saw him, sprang out of bed, caught him by the collar and took him prisoner. As soon as the sutler got hold of him he began to address him in language more forcible than polite. "You d—d thief, I'll pay you for this; I'll take you before the Colonel, and, if I had my boots on, I'd take it out in kicking you."
"I'll tell you what," said the soldier, "I'll wait here till you put your boots on, and you may kick me as much as you please, if you won't take me before the Colonel."
The following exquisite poem was handed me by Colonel Durbin Ward, of the 17th Ohio. I wish I knew the author. They are beautiful lines:
THE SOLDIER'S DREAM OF HOME.
You have put the children to bed, Alice— Maud and Willie and Rose; They have lisped their sweet "Our Father," And sunk to their night's repose.
Did they think of me, dear Alice? Did they think of me, and say, "God bless him, and God bless him, Dear father, far away?"
O, my very heart grows sick, Alice, I long so to behold Rose, with her pure white forehead, And Maud, with her curls of gold; And Willie, so gay and sprightly, So merry and full of glee—, O, my heart yearns to enfold ye, My smiling group of three.
I can bear the noisy day, Alice— The camp life, gay and wild, Shuts from my yearning bosom The thoughts of wife and child; But when the night is round me, And under its starry beams I gather my cloak about me, And dream such long, sad dreams!
I think of a pale young wife, Alice, Who looked up in my face When the drum beat at evening And called me to my place. I think of three sweet birdlings, Left in the dear home-nest, And my soul is sick with longings, That will not be at rest.
O, when will the war be over, Alice? O, when shall I behold Rose, with her pure white forehead, And Maud, with her curls of gold; And Will, so gay and sprightly, So merry and full of glee, And more than all, the dear wife Who bore my babes to me?
God guard and keep you all, Alice; God guard and keep me, too, For if only one were missing, What would the others do? O, when will the war be over, And when shall I behold Those whom I love so dearly, Safe in the dear home-fold?
* * * * *
THE WIFE'S REPLY.
Dedicated to the Author of "The Soldier's Dream of Home."
You say you dream of us, Willie, When fall the shades of night, And you wrap your cloak around you By the camp-fire's flickering light; And you wonder if our little ones Have bowed their curly heads, And asked a blessing for you, Before they sought their beds!
It was but this very night, Willie, That our Willie came to me, And looking up into my face, As he stood beside my knee, He said, "Mamma, I wonder When will this war be o'er, For O, I long so much to see My dear papa once more."
My heart was full of tears, Willie, But I kept them from my eyes, And the answer that I made him Opened his with sad surprise—? "Suppose he should never come, Willie!" "But, mamma, I know he will, For I pray to Jesus every night To spare my father still."
I clasped him in my arms, Willie, I pressed him to my breast; His childish faith it shamed me, And my spirit's vague unrest; And I felt that our Heavenly Father, From his throne in the "City of Gold," Would watch you and guard you and bring you Safe back to the dear home-fold.
We think of you every night, Willie; We think of you every day; Our every prayer wafts to Heaven the name Of one who is far away. And Rose, with her pure white forehead, And Maud, with her curls of gold, Are talking in whispers together, Of the time when they shall behold
The father they love so dearly; And Willie, with childish glee, Is bidding me "not to forget to tell Papa to remember me." So we think of you every night, Willie By the camp-fire's fitful gleams, Until the war shall be over, Let us mingle still in your dreams.
A. L. Y.
The Atrocities of Slavery — The Beauties of the Peculiar Institution — A few Well-substantiated Facts — Visit to Gallatin, Tennessee.
THE ATROCITIES OF SLAVERY.
A late number of the Atlantic Monthly gives the following in relation to General Butler and his administration in Louisiana:
Among the many personal anecdotes are the following, which are almost too horrible to be published, but for the impressive lesson they convey. One of the incidents was related more briefly by the General himself, when in New York, in January last. We quote from the writer in the Atlantic.
Just previous to the arrival of General Banks at New Orleans, I was appointed Deputy Provost-Marshal of the city, and held the office for some days after he had assumed command. One day, during the last week of our stay in the South, a young woman of about twenty years called upon me to complain that her landlord had ordered her out of her house, because she was unable longer to pay the rent, and she wished me to authorize her to take possession of one of her father's houses that had been confiscated, he being a wealthy rebel, then in the Confederacy, and actively engaged in the rebellion.
The girl was a perfect blonde in complexion; her hair was of a very pretty light shade of brown, and perfectly straight; her eyes a clear, honest gray; and her skin as delicate and fair as a child's. Her manner was modest and ingenuous, and her language indicated much intelligence.
Considering these circumstances, I think I was justified in wheeling around in my chair, and indulging in an unequivocal stare of incredulous amazement, when, in the course of conversation, she dropped a remark about having been born a slave.
"Do you mean to tell me," said I, "that you have negro blood in your veins?" And I was conscious of a feeling of embarrassment at asking a question so apparently preposterous.
"Yes," she replied, and then related the history of her life, which I shall repeat as briefly as possible:
"My father," she commenced, "is Mr. Cox, formerly a judge of one of the courts in this city. He was very rich, and owned a great many houses here. There is one of them over there," she remarked, naively, pointing to a handsome residence opposite my office in Canal Street. "My mother was one of his slaves. When I was sufficiently grown, he placed me at school, at the Mechanics' Institute Seminary, on Broadway, New York. I remained there until I was about fifteen years of age, when Mr. Cox came on to New York and took me from the school to a hotel, where he obliged me to live with him as his mistress; and to-day, at the age of twenty-one, I am the mother of a boy five years old, who is my father's son. After remaining some time in New York, he took me to Cincinnati and other cities at the North, in all of which I continued to live with him as before. During this sojourn in the Free States I induced him to give me a deed of manumission; but on our return to New Orleans he obtained it from me and destroyed it. At this time I tried to break off the unnatural connection, whereupon he caused me to be publicly whipped in the streets of the city, and then obliged me to marry a colored man; and now he has run off, leaving me without the least provision against want or actual starvation, and I ask you to give me one of his houses, that I may have a home for myself and three little children."
Strange and improbable as this story appeared, I remembered, as it progressed, that I had heard it from Governor Shepley, who, as well as General Butler, had investigated it, and learned that it was not only true in every particular, but was perfectly familiar to the citizens of New Orleans, by whom Judge Cox had been elected to administer justice.
The clerks of my office, most of whom were old residents of the city, were well informed in the facts of the case, and attested the truth of the girl's story.
I was exceedingly perplexed, and knew not what to do in the matter; but, after some thought, I answered her thus:
"This department has changed rulers, and I know nothing of the policy of the new commander. If General Butler were still in authority, I should not hesitate a moment to grant your request; for, even if I should commit an error of judgment, I am perfectly certain he would overlook it, and applaud the humane impulse that prompted the act; but General Banks might be less indulgent, and make very serious trouble with me for taking a step he would perhaps regard as unwarrantable."
I still hesitated, undecided how to act, when suddenly a happy thought struck me, and, turning to the girl, I added—
"To-day is Thursday: next Tuesday I leave this city With General Butler for a land where, thank God! such wrongs as yours can not exist; and, as General Banks is deeply engrossed in the immediate business at head-quarters, he will hardly hear of my action before the ship leaves—so I am going to give you the house."
I am sure the kind-hearted reader will find no fault with me that I took particular pains to select one of the largest of her father's houses, (it contained forty rooms,) when she told me that she wanted to let the apartments as a means of support for herself and her children.
My only regret in the case was that Mr. Cox had not been considerate enough to leave a carriage and a pair of bays on my hands, that I might have had the satisfaction of enabling his daughter to disport herself about the city in a style corresponding to her importance as a member of so respectable and wealthy a family.
And this story, that I have just told, reminds me of another, similar in many respects.
One Sunday morning, late last summer, as I came down-stairs to the breakfast-room, I was surprised to find a large number of persons assembled in the library. When I reached the door, a member of the staff took me by the arm and drew me into the room toward a young and delicate mulatto girl, who was standing against the opposite wall, with the meek, patient bearing of her race, so expressive of the system of oppression to which they have been so long subjected. Drawing down the border of her dress, my conductor showed me a sight more revolting than I trust ever again to behold. The poor girl's back was flayed until the quivering flesh resembled a fresh beefsteak scorched on a gridiron. With a cold chill creeping through my veins, I turned away from the sickening spectacle, and, for an explanation of the affair, scanned the various persons about the room.
In the center of the group, at his writing-table, sat the General. His head rested on his hand, and he was evidently endeavoring to fix his attention upon the remarks of a tall, swarthy-looking man who stood opposite, and who, I soon discovered, was the owner of the girl, and was attempting a defense of the foul outrage he had committed upon the unresisting and helpless person of his unfortunate victim, who stood smarting, but silent, under the dreadful pain inflicted by the brutal lash.
By the side of the slaveholder stood our Adjutant-General, his face livid with almost irrepressible rage, and his fists tight-clenched, as if to violently restrain himself from visiting the guilty wretch with summary and retributive justice. Disposed about the room, in various attitudes, but all exhibiting in their countenances the same mingling of horror and indignation, were other members of the staff—while near the door stood three or four house-servants, who were witnesses in the case.
To the charge of having administered the inhuman castigation, Landry (the owner of the girl) pleaded guilty, but urged, in extenuation, that the girl had dared to make an effort for that freedom which her instincts, drawn from the veins of her abuser, had taught her was the God-given right of all who possess the germ of immortality,—no matter what the color of the casket in which it is hidden. I say "drawn from the veins of her abuser," because she declared she was his daughter; and every one in the room, looking upon the man and woman confronting each other, confessed that the resemblance justified the assertion.
After the conclusion of all the evidence in the case, the General continued in the same position as before, and remained for some time apparently lost in abstraction. I shall never forget the singular expression on his face. I had been accustomed to see him in a storm of passion at any instance of oppression or flagrant injustice; but on this occasion he was too deeply affected to obtain relief in the usual way. His whole air was one of dejection, almost listlessness; his indignation too intense, and his anger too stern, to find expression even in his countenance.
Never have I seen that peculiar look but on three or four occasions similar to the one I am narrating, when I knew he was pondering upon the fatal curse that had cast its withering blight upon all around, until the manhood and humanity were crushed out of the people, and outrages such as the above were looked upon with complacency, and the perpetrators treated as respected and worthy citizens, and that he was realizing the great truth, that, however man might endeavor to guide this war to the advantage of a favorite idea or a sagacious policy, the Almighty was directing it surely and steadily for the purification of our country from this greatest of national sins.
But to return to my story. After sitting in the mood which I have described at such length, the General again turned to the prisoner, and said, in a quiet, subdued tone of voice—
"Mr. Landry, I dare not trust myself to decide to-day what punishment would be meet for your offense, for I am in that state of mind that I fear I might exceed the strict demands of justice. I shall, therefore, place you under guard for the present, until I conclude upon your sentence."
A few days after, a number of influential citizens having represented to the General that Mr. Landry was not only a "high-toned gentleman," but a person of unusual "AMIABILITY" of character, and was, consequently, entitled to no small degree of leniency, he answered that, in consideration of the prisoner's "high-toned" character, and especially of his "amiability," of which he had seen so remarkable a proof, he had determined to meet their views, and therefore ordered that Landry give a deed of manumission to the girl, and pay a fine of five hundred dollars, to be placed in the hands of a trustee for her benefit.
BEAUTIES OF THE PECULIAR INSTITUTION—A FEW WELL-SUBSTANTIATED FACTS.
A Mr. P——, deceased, of Gallatin, Tenn., for years a slave-trader, had children both by his wife and her body-servant, a beautiful mulatto woman—thus making, generally, the additions to his family in duplicate. One of his illegitimate daughters—a beautiful, hazel-eyed mulatto girl—is now the waiting-maid of his widow. This bright mulatto girl is married to a slave belonging to a prominent member of Congress from Tennessee, and has a son, a particularly apt and intelligent boy, whom the rebel women used to send around the camps, head-quarters, and street corners, to obtain the latest news, and report the same to them. Although but eight years old, he was too shrewd to remain quietly a slave. When the daughter of a Federal officer opened a little school, to teach a few contrabands, he came, and learned very rapidly. But his intellectual growth was suddenly stopped by the interference of his grandmother, who followed him to the school one day, and dragged him from the room in a perfect rage, threatening to kill him if he ever dared enter a free-school again, at the same time declaring to him that "he was not President Lincoln yet."
Another instance: The wealthy and prominent Colonel G——, of Gallatin, Tenn., a very respectable and high-toned gentleman, who is reputed a kind-hearted and benevolent man, remarkably lenient toward his slaves, whose praise is in the mouths of our Northern soldiers for his kind hospitalities, finding that his slaves, in view of the coming difficulties, did not increase fast enough for profit, called them all together on the 1st of January, 1862, and said to them: "Now, wenches, mind, every one of you that aint 'big' in three or four months, I intend to sell to the slave-trader." He afterward chuckled over it, adding that it "brought them to terms." Comment needless.
In the fall of 1861, in Piketon, Ky., at the headwaters of the Big Sandy, were two families—one known as the Slone family, the other as the Johnson family. The slaves of the former were all liberated about seventeen years before, by a will, stipulating that they should remain with his wife and work the plantation while she lived. Mrs. Slone died about two years after her husband, and not only emancipated these slaves, according to the last will and testament of her deceased husband, but, as they had taken more care of the old lady in her declining years than her sons, she thought it but equitable and right to disinherit the sons and leave the remnant of a once large estate, reduced to $9,000, to the slaves. But the gloating avarice of her gambling sons, backed by a vile public sentiment, prompted these unnatural sons to attempt to break the wills of their father and mother. After litigating the case about twelve years, and having been defeated in the highest courts in Kentucky, they went back and set up a claim of $2,000 against their father's estate, when these despoiled slaves had to deposit the last of their estate as security, having been for more than twelve years thus harassed and perplexed by vexatious lawsuits. When the Union army under General Nelson came into that country, and had that trumpeted battle at Ivy Mountain, and our troops reached Prestonburg, twenty-five miles from Piketon, these hunted and plundered ones concluded that now was the time for them to escape to the "promised land." They gathered together their little all, cut fifty or sixty saw-logs, made a raft, loaded their worldly goods on it, and floated down the river. When they reached Prestonburg, General Nelson had them arrested, cut their raft to pieces, and sent them back to Piketon. Afterward, when our troops, under the intrepid Garfield, moved up the river, and made their head-quarters at Piketon, these tormented and persecuted ones were told that now they might avail themselves of the Government boats to go down the river and leave the land of their tormentors.
The Johnson family slaves were liberated, at the death of their owner, by a will, the writer and executor of which had run off into the rebel army, carrying it with him. A distant relative of Mr. Johnson, a worthless, shiftless, ignorant fellow, moved upon the plantation, and claimed not only the property, but the slaves. "When our troops were about leaving Piketon, the most intelligent of the Slone family asked of Captain H——, A. A. Q. M., the privilege of using a push-boat to transport the family down the river. Consent was given them, and, the next morning, the two families gathered together, the old and young, men and women and children, numbering fifty-nine souls, and started down the river. Colonel C——, commanding the post, had them arrested, and ordered them back. One of his own officers represented to him that these people had an order for the boat from General Garfield, and, becoming alarmed, he let them go upon their way. Soon, however, the biped hounds were on their track, in hot pursuit. Two slaves, married into these families, had escaped and followed this boat-load. Although their villainous masters had fought in the rebel army, they were furnished with passes to pursue their fleeing slaves, under the protection of the United States arms. These pursuers, weary and exhausted, stopped at a slave-trader's above Paintsville, where a large bend in the river enabled them to gain several miles by a cross cut, took horses, and arrived at foot of Buffalo Shoals just as the boat-load of fifty-nine frightened souls were going over it. They at once leveled their rifles, and ordered the boat to lie-to, supposing their slaves were aboard. They did so, and occupied a small vacant hut on the bank of the river, awaiting a Government boat that would be down on the following morning. Early the next morning, (Sunday,) two lewd fellows of the baser sort, pursuing them in a skiff, landed at the place of rendezvous, and were about to rush into the cabin, when the leader of the negroes stopped them, saying:
"Porter and Radcliff, you can't enter here; we have none of your slaves."
But the boldest of these desperadoes, tiger-like, crouched on his hands and knees, and got in the rear of the cabin. Then, suddenly rushing upon the old man, said, "Damn you, I'll shoot you any way," and fired, the ball lodging in the abdomen. He continued to fire, indiscriminately, into the group of women and children, hitting one girl in the knee, and a younger child on the side of the head. Then these cowardly miscreants rushed away, but not until a ball from the rifle of one of these freedmen took effect in the thigh of Radcliff. These men seemed to love the negro so well that they were not willing to let even freedmen leave the State, if they have but the least taint of African blood in their veins; and now they stand as sentinels around the tottering bastile, lest some of the victims escape.