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Memories - A Record of Personal Experience and Adventure During Four Years of War
by Fannie A. (Mrs.) Beers
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To me the terrific storm which soon broke, upsetting all arrangements, abolishing all ceremonies, hushing all oratory, seemed to solemnize and mark in a most fitting manner this great occasion. For no tongue of man or angel could have evoked a feeling so strong, a sentiment so lasting, as that written, as it were, by the finger of Heaven that day upon the hearts of that awe-stricken multitude. Years hence, those who were boys then will remember the lesson there learned. They will tell you of the soldierly figures standing at the foot of the monument, exposed to the pitiless storm, immovable, unshrinking ON DUTY, and these were men who, following where duty led, had won an imperishable record under the immortal Lee.

They will describe how, in the storm-swept streets outside the enclosure, legions of soldiers, the Blue as well as the Gray, calmly faced the howling tempest, standing "at rest," awaiting the moment when the form of the great commander should be revealed to their reverent gaze. Among these, the veterans of the Army of Tennessee bore a conspicuous part. In their true, brave hearts, second to none in allegiance to their commander-in-chief, there yet lay enshrined another image, there burned another purpose equally high and holy. Hope pointed down the long vista of the future to where lay—a tomb! only a tomb! nay, more—a "bivouac of the dead," where, life's battle fought, the toilsome march ended, weary comrades might gather to their rest. And so far distant, yet always in sight, gleamed their Mecca; steadily towards it marched the pilgrims of memory, unfaltering, undismayed, led by a few brave, faithful spirits, through deserts of discouragement, when oases were few and far between, patiently bridging chasms which seemed impassable, until to-day they stand at the goal so hardly won. There lie the veterans who one by one have stolen to the bivouac. "After life's fitful fever they sleep well." Above, faithful comrades keep watch and ward. Here is a solemn but glorious trysting-place.

On the morning of the 6th of April, twenty-five years ago, a sky as bright and beautiful as that which to-day bends above us, became obscured and darkened by the smoke of battle. Of the Confederate forces then and there engaged it has been said, "Their splendid valor has been rarely equalled, never surpassed, on any field of any war." Alas! why must it be that grief and glory always go hand in hand? Up through the heavy clouds which hid the face of nature that terrible day sped hundreds of gallant souls, straight to the light wherein was made clear to them the awful Providence which even now disquiets our hearts and clouds our earthly vision. Among them, one whose sudden taking off filled every breast with gloom, and wrested from the Confederacy the fruits of a splendid victory.

So many and so grand are the eulogies which have been pronounced upon Albert Sydney Johnston that nothing remains for me to add. Who does not remember the sorrow of a nation at his death? Who can forget the lava tide of indignation which spread over our land when the "conquered" were forbidden to mourn their fallen hero, when a stricken people were compelled to "lay their hands upon their mouths, their mouths in the dust," when even the mournful voices of the bells were silenced?

Viewed in the glorious light of to-day, how like a prophecy fulfilled appear the beautiful lines of Father Ryan,—

"There's a grandeur in graves, there's a glory in gloom, For out of the gloom future brightness is born, As after the night looms the sunrise of morn, And the graves of the dead, with grass overgrown, May yet form the footstool of Liberty's throne."

Years of bitter strife have left sad traces all over this beautiful Southland. In lovely valleys, upon every hillside, in the majestic forests, lie, side by side, the Gray and the Blue. The sun clothes every mound with equal glory, the sky weeps over all alike. Standing beside these graves, angry passions die in the hearts of brave men; "one touch of nature" moistens manly eyes, softens obdurate hearts. Involuntarily hands meet in a firmer clasp, which expresses respect as well as sympathy.

The soldiers on both sides have learned to appreciate and understand each other, so, in spite of those who would fain prolong the strife, the long-oppressed people of the South are free to mourn their dead, and

"The graves of the dead, with grass overgrown,"

indeed

"Form a footstool for Liberty's throne."

To-day the veterans who met and fiercely battled at Shiloh unite in doing honor to the memory of General Johnston and of the men who, with him, won immortality upon that bloody field.

To-day imperishable laurels bloom afresh upon the upturned brows of the men who hail with loud acclaim the image of their chieftain placed here to guard forever

"War's richest spoil,—the ashes of the dead."

It is fitting that, on this day of memory, rich strains of martial music should awaken long-silent echoes in this city of the dead,—fitting that nature should be despoiled of her floral treasures to deck this sacred place which, indeed, is "not so much the tomb of virtue as its shrine."

The flowers that yield their beauty and fragrance to grace this scene will fade and die. Yon radiant sun will set, but not before it has burned an indelible record upon the young hearts of thousands to whom, ere long, we must trust this precious spot.

Of the remnant of the once magnificent Army of Tennessee gathered here it will soon be said,—

"On Fame's eternal camping-ground Their silent tents are spread."

But the figure of their chieftain will be left to tell the story of a patriotic purpose long cherished in faithful hearts, at last accomplished by patient hands.

"Nor wreck, nor change, nor winter's blight, Nor Time's remorseless doom, Can dim our ray of holy light That gilds this glorious tomb."



CHAPTER V.

A WOMAN'S RECORD.[5]

(From the Southern Bivouac.)

[5] Written in 1883 by Major McDonald, of Louisville, Kentucky, then editor Southern Bivouac.

This record will be found to substantiate in every particular my own history of the period referred to.

Being inspired by an ardent zeal or a high sense of duty, not a few noble women during the war arose conspicuous to view. Their gentle deeds, though done in humble spheres, yet shone like "a bright light in a low world."

Fair exemplars they were of patriotic virtue, whose acts of devotion helped much to enshrine in our memories a melancholy past; and they should not be forgotten. In the March number of the Bivouac was given a short sketch of a lady who, during the war, tenderly cared for the sick and suffering Confederates in a Northern prison. It is now proposed to give the record of one who, animated with a romantic love for the cause of the South, left a luxurious home and spent nearly four years in nursing the sick and wounded in Confederate hospitals.

Mrs. Fannie A. Beers was a native of the North, and the child of fond parents, who gave her every educational advantage, and the means of acquiring all the accomplishments usual in refined circles.

When very young she was married to her present husband, and before the war came South to reside at New Orleans. By nature ardent and susceptible, she readily adapted herself to the surroundings of her new life, and soon grew to love the people and the land of her adoption. A few years of happiness passed and then came the sectional storm. Pull well she knew that it threatened to sunder cherished ties, but it did not move her from the side of her choice.

When the struggle came at last, and her home was broken up in New Orleans by the absence of her husband in the field, she returned to the parental roof, to beguile the time in the companionship of her mother. But the separation, with the anxiety it brought, became intolerable; besides, from the positiveness of her opinions and the warmth of her zeal, she soon became ill at ease in the land of her birth. So, with her mother's approval, she resolved to face all perils, and to return and share the fortunes of the Confederacy. Taking her little boy she set out for "Dixie," and, after many trials, arrived at Richmond, Virginia, just after the battle of Bull Run. Here she was kindly cared for by some old acquaintances, among whom was Commodore Maury, a friend of her family, and who had dedicated his "Geography of the Sea" to her uncle, George Manning, of New York. Through his introduction she made many dear friends among the ladies of Richmond, some of whom pressed her to come and dwell with them; but she neither needed nor was seeking roof and shelter. If she so wished, she might have found them with her husband's relatives in Alabama. What she felt the want of was occupation,—work in behalf of the cause to which, in spite of selfish reasons, she felt impelled to devote herself.

In order that she might have this work, and at the same time be where assistance could be rendered her husband and friends at the front, she asked to be appointed a hospital matron.

Commodore Maury for some time protested against such a step, saying that she was too young, and had been too tenderly raised; but she persisted, so he finally yielded, as appears from the following letter:

"RICHMOND, August 10, 1861.

"MY DEAR FANNY,—You bear the heart of a true and tender woman, in the breast of a noble patriot. I will no longer oppose your wishes, and mean to help you all I can. Command me at any and all times.

"Yours truly,

"MATTHEW F. MAURY."

At first she assisted in a private hospital maintained by some Richmond ladies, who, by turns, sent in all the food required. Permission was applied for to enter the Louisiana hospital, but it was refused.

In a few weeks she was appointed matron-in-charge of the Second Alabama Hospital, with liberty to receive a limited number of her friends, who might be taken care of there.

Soon after she entered upon her regular duties the sick and wounded began to pour in, and from this time forward she was constantly employed till within a few weeks of the battle of Shiloh. With the departure of her husband's command to Tennessee, she was disposed for a like change of field-duty. She now left Richmond, and for a few weeks only was occupied with a visit to her husband's relatives. Then she resumed her hospital work at Gainesville, Alabama.

Her subsequent career is best related in the following letters from surgeons of high rank, and whose official positions gave them abundant opportunities of estimating the work she performed and the strength of the spirit which animated her. The letters were called from their authors in the spring of 1883, nearly twenty years after the close of the war, upon the occasion of a musical and literary entertainment being tendered Mrs. Beers by her soldier friends in New Orleans. So profound was the gratitude for her former services to sick and wounded Confederates, that all the military organizations exerted themselves to make it a success, and at the meeting of the members of the "Army of Tennessee," complimentary resolutions were passed, and the letters read.

"NEW ORLEANS, March 8, 1883.

"JUDGE ROGERS:

"DEAR SIR,—Understanding that the members of the 'Army of Tennessee' have tendered Mrs. F.A. Beers an entertainment, I feel anxious to aid in securing its success.

"I am well qualified to testify to the valuable and disinterested services which this lady rendered in the Confederate hospital during the late war. In truth, aside from officers and soldiers who may be now living and still holding in remembrance the kind and skilful nursing which she gave them personally while wounded or sick, I know of only four persons whose positions made them fully cognizant of the heroism, devotion, and self-sacrifice which she brought to the discharge of her duties. These are, first, Dr. T.H. McAllister, now of Marion, Alabama, in whose admirably-conducted hospital she was the only matron during the greater part of the war; second, Dr. C.B. Gamble, now of Baltimore; third, Dr. S.H. Stout, now of Roswell, Georgia, medical director of hospitals of the Army of Tennessee; fourth, the writer.

"I know that I can venture to speak in behalf of these gentlemen and for myself in declaring that the skill and efficiency with which she nursed and fed our sick and wounded soldiers, and the coolness and bravery with which she faced danger in discharge of these duties do merit suitable recognition from the survivors of those rapidly-diminishing numbers who fought under the Confederate flag.

"Very respectfully,

"S.M. BEMISS, M.D.,

"Late Assistant Medical Director and Medical Director of Hospitals, Army of Tennessee."

"MARION, ALABAMA, March 11, 1888.

"Dr. S. BEMISS, New Orleans,—Having heard an entertainment was to be given in your city on March 29 for the benefit of Mrs. Fannie A. Beers, I feel it to be my duty, as well as pleasure, to add my testimony to her worth and to the part she played in the late war.

"During the three years she was with me as a Confederate hospital matron, she conducted herself as a high-toned lady in the strictest sense of the term, and to every word I may say of her there are hundreds, yea, thousands, of Confederate soldiers scattered all over the South who would cheerfully testify to some facts if opportunity were offered them.

"After the battles of Shiloh and Farmington, and then the evacuation of Corinth, I was ordered to establish hospitals (in June or July, 1862) for the sick and wounded of General Bragg's army, at Gainesville, Alabama. With scarcely any hospital supplies I began preparations for the same, and in answer to a card published in the Selma (Alabama) papers, asking for supplies and a suitable lady to act as matron, she promptly responded. At first sight her youthful, delicate, refined, and lady-like appearance, showing she had never been accustomed to any hardships of life, caused me to doubt her capacity to fill the position of matron.

"She said she desired to do something while her husband was at the front defending our Southern homes. I soon found what she lacked in age and experience was made up in patriotism, devotion to the Southern cause, constant vigilance, and tenderness in nursing the Confederate sick and wounded. I soon learned to appreciate her services and to regard her as indispensable.

"She remained with me as hospital matron while I was stationed at Gainesville, Alabama, Ringgold, Georgia, Newnan, Georgia, and Port Valley, Georgia, embracing a period of nearly three years. She was all the time chief matron, sometimes supervising more than one thousand beds filled with sick and wounded, and never did any woman her whole duty better. Through heat and cold, night and day, she was incessant in her attentions and watchfulness over the Confederate sick and wounded, many times so worn down by fatigue that she was scarcely able to walk, but never faltering in the discharge of her duties.

"At one time, while at Newnan, Georgia, the Federal forces under General McCook were advancing on the town, and it became necessary for every available man—post officers, surgeons, convalescents, and nurses—to leave the town and wards in order to repel the invading enemy. I was much affected while hurrying from ward to ward giving general orders about the care of the sick during my absence in the fight, to see and hear the maimed begging Mrs. Beers to remain with them, and they could well testify to how well she acted her part in remaining with them and caring for their many wants, while the able-bodied men of all grades went to battle for all they held dear.

"At the same time, all the citizens and officers' wives sought refuge in some place of safety. After the battle, which resulted in victory to the Confederates, and the wounded of both armies were brought to our wards, and the Federal prisoners (about one thousand) to the town, her attention and kindness was, if possible, doubly increased, extending help and care as well to the boys in blue as to those in gray. In her missions of mercy she made no distinction. There she was daily seen with her servant going into the prison of the Federal soldiers with bandages and baskets of provisions to minister to the wants of such as were slightly wounded or needed some attention. Many a Federal officer and soldier would doubtless bear willing testimony to these acts of unselfish kindness.

"While Atlanta was invested and being shelled she, contrary to my advice and urgent remonstrance, took boxes of provisions to her husband and comrades in the trenches when the shot and shell fell almost like hail. While at Fort Valley her courage and patriotism were put to the severest test in an epidemic of smallpox.

"When all who could left, she remained and nursed the Confederate soldiers with this loathsome disease. I desire to say she was a voluntary nurse, and did all her work from patriotism alone, until it became necessary for her to remain as a permanent attache of the hospitals that her name should go upon the pay-rolls. After that she spent her hard earnings in sending boxes to the front and dispensing charity upon worthy objects immediately under her care.

"She was with me as voluntary nurse, or matron, for more than three years, and during that time she conducted herself in every respect so as to command the respect and esteem of all with whom she came in contact, from the humblest private to the highest in command, and the citizens of every place where she was stationed gave her a hearty welcome, and invited her into the best of society.

"Feeling this much was due to one who suffered so many privations for 'Dear Lost Cause,' I send it to you for you to use as you think proper in promoting her good. You know me well, and can vouch for anything I have said.

"Very respectfully,

"WM. T. McALLISTER, M.D.,

"Late Surgeon P.A.C.S."

After such testimonials of worth and work, anything more would seem out of place. Yet we cannot refrain from mentioning some of the sayings of soldiers who, though forgotten, yet recall her with affection for the tender nursing received at her hands. Says one, "She was the moving spirit in the hospital, officially and practically. The first object of her ministrations was to relieve suffering and save life. The next was to fit men for service. When health was restored she would brook no shirking, but with the power of kindly words impelled patients to the field. Her zeal sprang from profound convictions of the righteousness of the Cause, and with the vehemence of sincerity she wielded a great influence over those who had recovered under her care."

Another declares that he has seen her "not only bathing the heads of soldiers, but washing their feet."

So the evidence accumulates, and it is no wonder she is called by many "The Florence Nightingale of the South."

THE END.



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ERNEST MlLTENBERGER, H. GALLY, SCOTT McGEHEE. PRESIDENT. VICE-PRESIDENT. SECRETARY.

Southern Insurance Company OF NEW ORLEANS,

No. 54 CAMP STREET.

CASH CAPITAL $300,000 ASSETS, JAN. 1, 1888 440,000



CRESCENT INSURANCE COMPANY.

NEW ORLEANS.

Incorporated as a Mutual Company in 1849. Reorganized as a Stock Company in 1880.

CASH CAPITAL $400,000.

Has Paid over Ten and One-Half Millions for Losses since 1849.

ANNUAL AND TERM POLICIES ISSUED ON DESIRABLE FIRE BUSINESS.

W.R. LYMAN, Pres't. JOSEPH BOWLING, Vice-Pres't. CHAS. E. RICE, Secretary.



ESTABLISHED 1875.

A.J. GIURANOVICH,

Jeweler and Practical Diamond Setter,

126 ROYAL STREET, Between St. Louis and Toulouse Sts. NEW ORLEANS, LA.

Nine Years with Mr. I.C. LEVI, New Orleans, La.

Three Years with Mr. VERAX, Paris, France.



BOOTS AND SHOES.

E. MARQUEZE & CO.,

MANUFACTURERS, BOSTON, MASS.

SOUTHERN JOBBING HOUSE, No. 75 CANAL STREET, NEW ORLEANS, LA.



E.F. BRAKENRIDGE,

DEALER IN

Pine and Cypress Lands,

No. 20 ST. CHARLES STREET, NEW ORLEANS, LA.



R.J. DOWNEY,

SLATE ROOFER.

Contracts taken in this and all adjoining States.

SEND FOR PRICES AND ESTIMATES.

OFFICE, 109 ST. CHARLES ST., P.O. Box 3106. NEW ORLEANS, LA.



A. McDERMOTT,

MANUFACTURER OF ARTIFICIAL LIMBS, TRUSSES, AND SURGICAL APPLIANCES,

Crutches and Elastic Hosiery,

900 St. Charles, between Julia and St. Joseph Streets, NEW ORLEANS, LA.



A. BALDWIN & CO.,

74 Canal St., New Orleans, and 77 and 79 Broad St., New York.

91. 93, AND 95 COMMON STREET, NEW ORLEANS, LA.

Importers and Dealers in Foreign and domestic

HARDWARE, CUTLERY, GUNS, PISTOLS,

Barbed Fence Wire, and Agricultural Implements.



Souby Art Gallery

113 CANAL STREET, NEW ORLEANS, LA.

Crayon, with Frame, $15.00. Pictures on Watch Dials a Specialty. Imitation Porcelain Picture, with. Frame, $1.50. A Good Photograph at $1.50 per Dozen.

Give us a call. No trouble to show specimens and prices.

CORRESPONDENCE SOLICITED.



A.T. TERRY. E.J. MACK

TERRY & MACK,

MEN'S FURNISHING GOODS,

No. 9 Carondelet Street (near Canal), NEW ORLEANS.



G.W. DUNBAR'S SONS,

Packers of Semi-Tropical Products,

FRESH GULF SHRIMP,

Potted Shrimp, Green Turtle, Preserved Figs, Orange Preserve, Figs in Cordial, Okra, etc.

Manufacturers of French Cordials and Fruit Syrups.

Office and Salesroom, No. 3 Tchoupitoulas Street, NEW ORLEANS.



A.O. PESSOU,

Office, 71 Carondelet St., Warehouse, 487 and 489 Calliope St., NEW ORLEANS.

Corrugated Iron, Steel Wire Nails, Bricks, Sand, Lime, Cement, Plaster, Hair, and Laths, Ready-Mixed Paints, Sewer Pipe.

SOLICITS COUNTRY ORDERS.



DAVID LEMLEY

Copper, Tin, and Sheet-Iron Worker,

192 ST. CHARLES STREET, NEW ORLEANS, LA.

LEMLEY'S PATENT RAIN-WATER CUT-OFF,

THE ONLY BEST.

ROOFING, GUTTERING, SLATING, ETC., ETC.

Repairs Executed with Dispatch.

BERGER PATENT TEN-FOOT GUTTER



ANNOUNCEMENT FOR 1888.

The complete novels that have already been arranged for to appear in

LIPPINCOTTS MONTHLY MAGAZINE

for 1888 are as follows:

"CHECK AND COUNTER-CHECK." By BRANDER MATTHEWS and GEORGE H. JESSOP (January).

"THE SPELL OF HOME." After the German. By Mrs. A.L. WISTER (February).

"HONORED IN THE BREACH." By JULIA MAGRUDER (March).

"THE QUICK OR THE DEAD?" By AMELIE RIVES (April).

This series of novels, it will readily be seen, will be of great literary value and interest. Miss Amelie Rives has excited universal admiration by the short stories and poems that she has contributed to current magazines, and a novel from her pen will be eagerly welcomed by a wide circle. Edgar Saltus, a brilliant young author, whose "Mr. Incoul's Misadventure" was excellent in itself and gave promise of still more brilliant performance in the future, is another rising name. William H. Bishop and Brander Matthews have an established position among contemporary novelists, and the new novels from their pen will be equal to any of their former work. Mrs. A.L. Wister's adaptations are known to all readers of American fiction. Miss Julia Magruder, whose "Across the Chasm" and "At Anchor" (in Lippincott's Magazine) were hailed as among the most charming of modern Southern novels, is another writer with an audience already created. Miss M. Eliott Seawell is the author of "Maid Marian," a delightful little extravaganza in the December, 1886, number of Lippincott's, and the novel which she has written for this magazine will add another star to the galaxy of Southern novelists.

In addition, Albion W. Tourgee will contribute a notable series of stories, illustrating the interesting and exciting phases of the legal profession, under the general title of "With Gauge & Swallow." Each story will be complete in itself, though all will revolve around a common centre of interest.

Stories, essays, and poems may be expected from Amelie Rives, Edgar Fawcett, Thomas Nelson Page, H.H. Boyesen, Joaquin Miller, Walt Whitman, Will Carleton, M.G. McClelland, Helen G. Cone. Mrs. S.M.B. Piatt, J.J. Piatt, C.L. Hildreth, Will H. Hayne, Lucy C. Lillie, Edith M. Thomas, and many others; and autobiographical articles, dealing with interesting phases of their career, from Lotta, Fanny Davenport. H.H. Boyesen, Edgar Saltus, Clara Barton, Belva Lockwood, Frances E. Willard, etc., etc.

A number of ideas new to periodical literature will be exploited during the year. For example, the February number will be written entirely by women for women, and will contain a novel by Mrs. Wister; a novelette by Miss Amelie Rives; poems by Mrs. Piatt, Helen G. Cone, Edith M. Thomas, and Ella Wheeler-Wilcox; autobiographical sketches by Belva Lockwood, Fanny Davenport, etc.; and articles of general interest by other famous women of the country,

Subscription per Annum, $3.00. Single Number, 25 Cents.

J.B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY, Publishers, 715 and 717 Market Street, Philadelphia.



FIRE. RIVER. MARINE.

Incorporated April, 1857. Reorganized April, 1882.

HOPE Insurance Company OF NEW ORLEANS,

No. 188 Gravier Street.

Cash Capital $250,000.00 Assets 403,766.98

PROGRESSIVE AND LIBERAL.

J.A. CHALARON, President. MAURICE STERN, Vice-President. LOUIS BARNETT, SECRETARY.

THE END

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