Civil War Anecdotes
YOUNG AND MIDDLE-AGED SKULKERS.
Upon a late occasion, Mr. Henry Ward Beecher, in one of his public addresses,
referred to the apparently idle population, that encumbered the streets
of New York. It is impossible to walk through the streets of Boston, without
seeing countless thousands of young, and middle-aged, able-bodied men, whose
very air and carriage proclaim their character, as truly, as though they
wore phylacteries, inscribed with the word LOAFER, in captals.
Drones are sufficiently contemptible, even in the piping times of peace;
but, in this hour of their country's sorest need, it is impossible to repress
a sentiment of mingled pity and disgust, for such, as prefer a life of inglorious
idleness and ease, to service, in camp or council, in one way or another,
to aid in the suppression of this damnable rebellion. We say, with the fisherman
in Pericles, "we would purge the land of these drones."
It appears to us, that the lazy, luxurious lives of not a few of these loafers
are a negative insult to the memory of those brave men, who have fallen
in battle, and now repose in their honorable graves. How admirable Horace
describes these gentlemanly vagabonds, in the second epistle of his first
Nos numerus sumus, et fruges consumere nati-
If you are not of the category yourself, gentle reader, and too
lazy, pray look up, and read, the whole passage.
The reasons, for not bearing a part of the public burthen, are not more
germain than those enumerated by St. Luke, for not going to a "certain
man's" supper. "I have bought a piece of ground and I must needs
go and see it; I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought
five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them; I pray thee have me excused.
And another said I have married a wife, and therefore I can not come."
The following reasons, for not going to the war, are believed to be authentic:
I. I was brought up, by my kind parents, to do nothing, and have done it,
for thirty years, and cannot think of changing my vocation. I therefore
pray thee have me excused.
II. I have a hereditary horror of strife. My grandfather ran away, at the
battle of Brandy-wine. If he had, then and there, been killed, my father
would not have hid in the cypress swamp, at the battle of New Orleans. My
mother always cautioned me to be careful how I meddled with edge tools.
I cannot go.
III. I am rather delicate-must have a fire in my chamber, couldn't live
in a tent, must have my mulled wine, at ten; besides, what should I do for
lobster salad, and broiled oysters! Pray have me excused.
IV. When I was poor, I could not restrain my patriotism; but, some how or
other, it has not troubled me much, of late. This war has lasted long enough.
I have married a rich wife. I can not go.
V. Talk not to me, about your dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. I've
no notion of it. I want none of your dulces and decorums. My maxim is dum
vivimus, vivamus. I bought a couple of trotters, last week-cost me $2200.
Guess I shan't go to the war, while the sleighing lasts.
VI. I cannot deny it, the smell of burnt gunpowder acts like a cathartic,
on my stomach and bowels. Have me excused immediately.
VII. My heart is with our gallant troops. No tongue can tell how I long
to join the army. But, when I refer to the subject, my poor wife goes into
hysterics. "Dearest Eleezur," she cries, "have you the heart
to leave your own, your devoted Jerusha Matilda Anne!" and over she
goes, tossing up her arms, and kicking out her legs, like all possessed.
It is irresistible. I give it up. I cannot oppose the wishes of this interesting
creature. I cannot go.
VIII. I have no time for it. The very few hours I can spare, from eating,
drinking, smoking, and sleeping, I give to the fine arts. War is not one
of these, I would be excused.
IX. I should go, were it not for my religious scruples on the subject of
war. Often, as I have been sitting, all alone, in my distillery, something
within has told me, that war was wrong-probably the workings of the spirit-I
X. I have consulted the spirit of old Mrs. Pitcher of Lynn, and am assured,
that, if I went, I should certainly run away, and be shot in my back settlements.
Of Course I cannot go.
XI. My mind is in a very unsettled state. Upon every Confederate success,
I am all for secession; and upon every Union victory, I am for crushing
the rebellion, at once. If the war was over, I think I might be tempted
to volunteer; but I cannot as matters are at present. When I read the little
telegrams, as they are brought in, at the insurance office, if the tidings
are in favor of Jeff, I find myself, almost unconsciously, nodding and winking
significantly at Major Piddler, who goes for secession: and if the news
is unfavorable to the rebellion, my hand seems, of its own accord, to grasp
that of Deacon Blunt, and "the Lord be thanked" slips out of my
mouth, before I know what I am saying. I must be excused.
BOSTON EVENING TRANSCRIPT
Boston, Monday Evening, February 1, 1864
CHATTANOOGA, Jan. 21, 1864
LETTERS FROM THE WEST. No. 13.
Friday, Jan. 15th, was a fair day. But waiting for the train to leave Knoxville
for London from 3 to 7 P.M. was not exhilarating. It started overloaded.
Soldiers in box cars or platform cars, covering the tops of all the cars;
one "coach," as they call it here, filled to a jam; broken windows,
no light, no fire, mud several inches deep on the floor-this was the load
one poor wheezy locomotive, the only one in order, jerked along at a snail's
pace, accomplishing the thirty miles in from four to five hours. The moon
shone kindly, and enabled the crowd to seek camping grounds or other places
wherein to pass the residue of the night. We-myself and the genial Doctor
of the 29th Massachusetts-providentially found a log hut temporarily occupied
by old friends, (friends of week's standing are old friends in such a region
as this,) and obtained the luxuries of a fire and a blanket on the floor.
The 16th was spring-like indeed. But the sun rose on a strange scene. The
bridge was gone, and desolated London was a deserted village on the other
side of the river.
On this side were groups of soldiers-weary with waiting-and the sad sight
of eight or nine women, with several little children and their household
furniture, beds, bread troughs, kettles, spinning-wheels, &c., who had
spent the night in the open air, near the railroad track. Those were but
a single lot of the many like refugees, stript of nearly everything and
on the edge of starvation, striving to get north or elsewhere to beetter
their wretched condition. There was no boat. Nobody knew when there would
be a boat, and the Tennessee was falling rapidly! The prospect of getting
on was gloomy enough, and how to kill time, get food and lodging, became
the difficult problem. But we managed to solve it after a fashion in our
mess. We had two knives and a spoon, but no plates, and the rest of our
table furniture was equally meagre. Still we contrived to live better than
our neighbors, and became quite the aristocracy of the four or five huts
and surrounding bivouacs.
Sunday, the 17th, in temperature was a New England May Day. Gladly would
we have exchanged it for a driving snow storm in New England. Rations were
growing sensibly smaller, and the prospect of moving on was no brighter.
We were as isolated as we should have been on a desert island in mid-ocean.
Nothing to do, nothing to read, stuck in the mud, without change of clothing,
we still continued to be jolly and hope for the best. Convalescents, officers
on leave, reenlisted soldiers, refugees and others, in numbers sufficient
to fill several boats, were waiting for the chance of a passage.
There was nothing of Sunday about our position; yet there were hours for
thought and reflection. Some of these suggested by recent experiences and
observations were bright and encouraging; others of an entirely different
character. The devotion, generally speaking, of the rank and file to the
cause constantly excited admiration. The gentlemanly bearing, intelligence
and fidelity of numerous officers of all ranks were indications that our
armies were in a fair degree well led. But hope and confidence were sadly
weakened, only too frequently, by evidences of grossest mismanagement and
incompetency. Many are the appointments not fit to be made.
Political management, bargain and corruption are doing their vile work to
a lamentable degree. Boys fill places of immense responsibility; and where
organization and wise integrity are most needed, there is too often confusion
and culpable negligence.
Thus are the treasures of the country wasted and the lives of the poeple
sacrificed. In many quarters and unflinching weeding process and a radical
reform are demanded. There are men wearing the eagle or the star who are
a daily curse to the service.
Notwithstanding these nuisances, and notwithstanding other evils patent
at every step, the general impression of the state of affairs is favorable.
The military crisis, if supplies can be kept up, is passed in this region.
A few more blow-another short and sharp campaign-ought to annihilate the
rebel forces, and drive them to their "last ditch." War is almost
an unmitigated evil, and if the extent to which it is such, were half comprehended,
in those parts of the land its ravages have not reached there would be no
rest among the people in their eagerness to end this peculiarly cruel war
by the final victories.
At 9 P.M. the sweet sound-sweeter than the music of AEotian harps-of the
steam whistle broke upon the stillness of the night. Early Monday morning
a wade through a mile or less of mud put us on board the "Lookout."
What mattered it that she was to go sixty miles down the river after freight,
left by another boat, to return again to London? What mattered it that Chattanooga
was not to be reached for three or four days? We were out of prison. We
were in motion. Going backwards and forwardds was "homeward bound."
Not only we, but convalescent and furloughed soldiers, who had earned by
far the better right to be rejoining kindred and friends, and to retire
awhile from the front!
To an unselfish disposition it was pleasant to learn on board the boat,
that those coming after us over this disjointed and rough route are to fare
better than was practicable in our case. The railroad to Chattanooga is
in running order. This releases the steamers for up-river work, until the
bridge at London is rebuilt. If therefore, the army can worry through a
few weeks more, the question of adequate, even abundant supplies will be
favorably settled. In our party was a noble specimen of a man, a Captain
in the 8th Michigan. He was a study for days. Plain and homely in manner,
no father was ever more careful of his children than he of his squad of
convalescents. All with him was principle and duty. His rule was to do nothing
in the army he would not do at home; so he neither drank nor swore nor gambled.
We heard from others that he did not know what fear was, and had always
chosen the post of danger. If justice were done to merit, his shoulders
should wear the star that is given so often to far more pretension and infinitely
less worth. Such instances of conscientiousness, integrity and self-respect
are not rare; and when met with are a compensation for abuses which make
one at times almost despondent for the country.
Among the incidents of the round-about voyage, thus far, were seeing "the
boys," too eager to enjoy their furloughs to wait for the uncertain
steamers, going down stream in canoes, "dug outs," pontoon and
flat-boat; trading with the natives, buying chickens, hogs and other articles,
for salt, coffee or greenbacks; exhcanging morsels of meat with a refugee
woman for candles, of which we stand in need; confiscating rails for fuel;
listening to stories of fights, captures, and various adventures; having
a false report, as it turned out, of a case of samll pox on board, and other
experiences that could belong only to this strange time of war.
Tuesday the 19th was clear and not cold. With the freight a disabled boat
had left at White Creek Shoals, we started at daylight again, bound for
London. A brisk trade was driven at one of the landings for chickens, and
half a hundred were soon waiting execution in boxes and barrels. The motley
collection of passengers were orderly, and variously employed, seeking lounging
places and exercising ingenuity for chances to cook, being the chief occupations.
In the afternoon the sensation was that orders had come from post to post,
to stop all able bodied troops in transit and look out for Morgan, who was
threatening a raid. This caused some commotion, as it was supposed his object
would be to get the steamers, cut communications and obtain supplies. He
did not make his appearance, however, to trouble us; and we were not called
upon either to fight, or surrender, or run. The general belief was that
the "scare" was without reason.
Reaching London about 9 P. M., we unloaded freight, and took on quite a
small army of officers of all ranks, and started on the downward trip again
at midnight. Wednesday, 20th, was serene and fair as anybody could desire,
and specially agreeable to our crowded company. The numer of passengers,
the difficulty of getting food, sleep and sitting places, made the trip
tedious. But such evils come to an end after patient endurance, and we arrived
at Chattanooga without new adventures, at 10 o'clock, P. M.
BOSTON EVENING TRANSCRIPT
Boston, Monday Evening, February 1, 1864
Mail Steamer General Buell,}
Ohio River, Jan. 24th,'64 }
LETTERS FROM THE WEST. NO. 14.
It may have been owing to the delicious weather, rendering overcoats needless
and open windows desirable quite often; or, it may have been because the
direction was homeward, that the trip from, was a decided improvement over
the trip to, the front. On the whole, things looked pleasanter with the
gain of every mile. As the railroad was open from Chattanooga to Bridgeport,
we were able to start from the former place direct for Nashville, attached
to a hospital train, on Thursday afternoon, 21st inst. Generals, Colonels,
a few other officers and civilians, were allowed a box car or two. By special
permission, for which he will always be grateful, your correspondent found
quarters in the car of Adams Express Co. There was a spice of risk accompanying
this comfortable arrangement; for had we gone off the track, being mixed
up with rolling and tumbling iron safes, boxes and trunks, would not have
been an insurance of life or limb. We started about 3 P.M., ran a few miles
to Whiteside, where we waited several hours, for the down trains of the
day before, delayed by the breaking of a bridge.
During the pause some foraging was done, and we were regaled by music from
the band of a brigade encamped near by. About midnight we made Stevenson,
where we remained until 3 A.M. on Friday. I enjoyed a refreshing sleep,
quite into the morning, on a pile of mail bags. Evidences of the work done
in repairing the road were quite encouraging, as we progressed; though broken
engines and cars, pitched down embankments, were not agreeably suggestive-since
what had happened frequently, might at any moment happen again. The wrecks
were admonitions reminding one of the advertisements stuck up on the rickety
old "Paint Rock," announcing coffins for sale, and offering to
embalm the dead at reasonable rates! Think of reading such documents, when
the bursting of a boiler or getting snagged was among the possibilities
nearest the probabilities of every hour! The dangers of navigation on the
Tennessee and the quite common casualties on the Chattanooga road have been
escaped; and for this preservation some hundreds of fellow travellers, as
well as myself, are doubtless duly thankful. We came to a stand-still in
the environs of Naashville, near the Cemetery. Here was a sad scene; acres
covered with the graves of soldiers; each grave marked with a little board,
giving the name, regiment, &c., of its occupant. Disease had done more
to people this city of the dead than the battle, and this is the case everywhere.
Sickness, not the bullet, is the destroyer in the army; but even sickness,
as a rule, is not much more frequent or fatal than at home. The hardships
of the service are occasionally very severe; the exposures of the service
are not so great as many imagine. The loss of life is not the worst calamity
of war by any means; and the man that can take care of himself and resist
the temptations to irregular and vicious living, need not refuse to enlist
for fear that doing so would be rushing into the jaws of death.
At Nashville, I found the first advices from home since going to the front,
and the month of hunger for intelligence was partially removed. Here, too,
was decided news, indeed, for one just arrived from Knoxville! It was discovered
in a letter in one of the papers, from an intelligent citizen, who, no doubt,
made his statements upon what seemed good authority. I refer to them, simply
to show how hard it is to get at facts, at the seat of war, where rumors
abound, and how cautious people at home should be in trusting reports that
are not official. The letter in question put Maj. Gen. Granger in command
of the forces in the field. Maj. Gen. Parke holds that position. The letter
says, "Gen. Foster is lying very ill at Knoxville." Gen. Foster
met with an accident by the fall of his horse, which disturbed his old Mexican
wound, and has asked to be relieved for surgical treatment. But, though
quite lame, he was attending daily to his duties. Again, this statement
On last Friday week, a Confederate spy named Dodd was executed near Knoxville.
When apprehended he was dressed in Federal iniform, and had a complete list
of all the Federal regiments, their positions in the field, commanders,
&c. He was a Texan Ranger in the Confederate service, and acknowledged,
before being executed, that he had successfully performed the part of a
spy for the South for over two years.
Now, if the chaplain and surgeon who attended Dodd are to be trusted, he
had no such list, and made no such acknowledgment. There was little or nothing
in his diary to criminate him; and I saw a touching and yet manly letter
written by him to his relatives, in which he affirms, as a dying man, his
innocence of every thing except reckless imprudence. The impression at Knoxville
was, that he was not guilty enough to deserve death, and that his execution
was not so much a punishment as a necessary act of retaliation; since the
rebels had recently murdered, in the most brutal manner a Federal soldier
belonging to an Indiana regiment, who should have been held a prisoner of
war. These are not important matters; but they serve to show how difficult
it is to be accurate. I could have filled sheets with news: the only trouble
would have been, that it was as likely to be false as true. A movement was
going on when I was at the front, of which I expect to see an abundance
of explanations, none of them correct. This is fortunate, since it were
not well to have the truth known at Richmond.
Yesterday we made a fine run from Nashville to Louisville, and found such
a home at the Galt House as enabled us to fully understand what the soldiers
mean, when they call going to the North, going back to America. You must
be a week trying to get over a distance of only 170 miles, to comprehend
the exhilaration of riding at the rate of 25 miles an hour; you must go
a fortnight, or longer, without change of raiment, and only partially disrobe
once or twice during that period, to enjoy the luxury of a warm bath and
the regenerating sensation of clean clothes; you must sleep on floors, in
log huts or dirty steamers, on mail sacks, or sit up through the night on
backless benches in a freight car, to feel how respectable a thing it is
to undress and go to bed like a decent member of a civilized community;
and finally, you must have the experience of short rations, wihtout knives,
spoons, plates, tables, or any of the necessaries, as you in your ignorance
deem them, of living, to see a banquet fit for the gods in a breakfast that
would make the self-indulgent epicure, who is bent upon faring sumptuously
every day, as one of the delights of his ignoble existence, grumble until
dinner time appeased his petted and rebellious stomach. And yet, to one
who has health and strength, these hardships are nothing; especially if
they are connected with interesting adventure, and encountered in devotion
to a good purpose. I have seen, or heard of, from those having a part in
it, the worst campaigning in this war. I do not underrate its severities,
or pretend to deny its sufferings. Yet I am prepared to say that the "service,"
with all its trails, should rather be sought than shunned, by young men
of principle and pluck, who believe in having a country to live or die for.
That this sentiment is correct, is proved in no small degree by the fact
that those who have been longest in the fight, and in the thickest of its,
are reenlisting by thousands.
Just as I was writing that last sentence a bit of information reached me,
to show that delays and risks are not over. We expected to encounter ice.
That has not troubled us much. But one of our engines has broken down. The
other will not move us up to Cincinnati. Therefore the General Buell has
turned round, and is retreating to Louisville! At another time this would
have been extremely vexatious. But habitual experience of disappointments
for six weeks enables one to meet such a reverse with entire composure.
Besides, there is a moral involved,-Beware of trusting appearances. If the
"Paint Rock" had run aground, blown up, or met with any disaster,
it would have been perfectly excusable. But to have the General Buell, so
magnificent, and so perfectly appointed, break down, is an event in its
hitherto proud career without apology. Well, it has been a still and orderly
Sunday on board-a season of quiet rest, and there are worse places to revisit
than Louisville. We are not going to Chattanooga, and that is one comfort.
BOSTON EVENING TRANSCRIPT
Boston, Tuesday Evening, February 2, 1864
AN INTERESTING INCIDENT.
The following extract is taken from a private letter by a lady of St. Louis:
"On our way home from the country I saw something which would have
interested you, I am sure. One of the first negro regiments recruited in
this State since the President's Proclamation came down on the train with
us; and when we got to St. Charles, where we were obliged to take a ferry
boat to cross the Missouri river, the raw recruits were all crowded on the
boat, together with the other passengers. I was in the midst of them, and
not far from me were a few white men, evidently secessionists and "poor
trash," talking in loud tones about the "diamond abolitionists,"
"the nigger soldiers," &c. For some little time they continued
uninterruptedly, but suddenly, as if by some given signal, these five hundred
recruits struck up 'John Brown,' and everything was drowned in their triumphant
song. I myself never heard anything which moved me to more enthusiasm, and
at the close of each verse-'And we go marching on,'-I assure you my heart
was beating so I could scarcely breathe. I don't know whether the men themsleves
intended it to drown the talk of the miserable cratures who were talking
treason, or whether it was simply a spontaneous psalm of rejoicing over
their newly acaquired freedom,-but at all events, it was singularly appropriate."
BOSTON EVENING TRANSCRIPT
Boston Daily Evening Transcript, Tuesday, February 2, 1864
THE HERO OF KNOXVILLE.
The first time I saw Gen. Burnside was at one of the great war meetings
held in Cooper Institute during the opening scenes of the rebellion. He
stood upon the spacious platform, entertaining his hearers with a description
of Gen. McClellan, whose praises were then upon every lip. "I have
known him long and intimately," he said. "For months he was my
room-mate, and I can assure you he will not disappoint the nation's hopes."
A few months rolled away, and again I saw him, but under far different circumstances.
He had weathered the fierce storms of Hatteras, captured the strongholds
of Roanoke, routed the enemy at Newbern, and now stood upon the field of
Antitam. But the genial, serene expression which had rendered his countenance
so attractive in New York, had disappeared, and anger was depicted in every
lineament. Something evidently had stirred his nature to its very depths.
What could it be that had wrought this transformation? A few simple words:
"Hold your position at all hazards and at every cost."
To go back, the reader will remember that Gen. McClellan had on Wednesday
morning posted Gen. Burnside with his command on the extreme left of the
line of battle. Adjoining him were Mansfield, Sumner and Hooker, while Porter
with his regulars and well-filled ranks of volunteers lay back as a reserve.
To Hooker had been assigned the honor of opening the great combat, and to
Burnside the onerous task of storming the bridge over the Antietam, and
occupying the commanding position beyond. He had manfully accomplished the
duty assigned him, and reached a crest near to and overlooking the enemy,
when Lee, perceiving his success, massed his forces upon him in the same
manner as he had done upon Hooker and Sumner earlier in the day. Officers
and men began to fall thick and fast. Hawkins's Zouaves were more than decimated.
Additional men must be had, or the advantage gained be lost. Gen. Burnsdie
accordingly sent one of his aides-Lieutenant, now Captain, French-to Gen.
McClellan for reinforcements. "Tell Gen. Burnside that I can furnish
him no more troops." (Porter's splendid corps was all this time inactive.)
"But, being crushed, and before I get back may be overpowered."
"Tell Burnside," McClellan once more sternly replies, "that
he must hold his position at all hazards and at every cost."
Lieut. French galloped back with this peremptory verbal order to his general.
He made no reply, but turning, rode away in silence.
From that time the warm intimacy which existed between the two generals
was ended. Though in accordance with military etiquette they assumed an
air of cordiality toward each other, when Burnside superseded McClellan
at Rectortown a few weeks later, there was manifestly no heart in the "performance."
After suffering very severely from the concentrated fire of the enemy, Gen.
Burnside fell back to the Antietam. He and his whole command were still
further exasperated on the following day-Friday-by being "compelled,"
as Lieut. French expressed it to me, "to stand and see the enemy leisurely
slip away from us over the Potomac, when, if we had only received the order
from headquarters, we should have slaughtered them by thousands." For
two or three days succeeding the battle Gen. Burnside was so reserved that
the members of his staff hardly dared to appraach him. He felt that in addition
to the injustice done himself, a great opportunity had been lost to the
Time passed on, and I once more saw the conqueror of Newbern. It was on
the morning of that memorable Saturday in December when our army essayed
so heroically, yet so fruitlessly, to storm the heights of Fredericksburg.
He stood upon the balcony of the Philips House, looking westward, seemingly
intent upon piercing the mist and discovering the movements of his antagonist.
Gen. Sumner stood reclining against a pillar near him, and several officers
of lesser note were in the background. Though he conversed cheerfully, and
gave orders to the aides, who were constantly coming and going, in a cool,
business-like manner, he was evidently depressed by the weight of responsibility
which rested upon him. The lives of 187,000 men were entrusted to his keeping.
But it was not alone a lively realization of the responsibility resting
upon him that clouded the general's brow. He feared, greatly feared, the
issue of the bloody strife which was soon to open. The delay in laying theharidges
ahd prevented his making the attack Thursday morning, as he had planned
to do, when the enemy's forces were scattered up and down the river for
a long distance. And again, the heavy fog which enveloped the city and plain
beyond on Friday had retarded the assault on that day. Ample opportunity
had therefore been given to Gen. Lee to concentrate his forces from above
and below behind the Torres Vedras directly in front of us.
The sequel of the campaign is familiar to all-how, after breasting the storm
of days for hours, our brave boys were recrossed in safety to their old
camping-grounds; and how the commanding general, when the army and the nation
alike attached the entire blame of the defet to the Washington authorities,
came out with a magnanimous letter assuming the entire responsibility.
After this time I saw Gen. Burnside frequently, and learned to love him.
The idol of the Ninth army corps, he now, as general commanding, won the
affection of all who were thrown in contact with him. Free from those personal
ambitions which lead so many to seek only "the bubble reputation even
in the cannon's mouth," here was a soldier from pure patriotism. All
thoughts of self were lost in the one controlling desire to promote the
great cause. Unobstrusive as he was unselfish, he shrank from assuming the
responsibility of the chief command, and only accepted it after it had been
repeatedly forced upon him. Possessing none of that vainglorious spirit
which had made Pope unpopular, manly in his deportment, generous to a fault,
unassuming and almost diffident, the annals of military life rarrely present
his equal. His only fault was a want of reticence. The closest secrecy in
all matters was seemingly incompatible with his frank nature, and the result
was that his plans were sometimes prematurely divulged. [Correspondence
BOSTON EVENING TRANSCRIPT
Boston, Thursday Evening, February 4, 1864
TROUBLES OF JEFFERSON DAVIS
HIS SERVANTS RUN AWAY
[From the Richmond Examiner, Jan, 4]
Henry, the third servant of President Davis who has run away within three
weeks, escaped on Tuesday night, and was still at large last evening. Both
the others ran away on a Tuesday.
It is believed that some outside influence has been brought to bear upon
the President's servants to induce them to abscond. All of them are supposed
to have gone off with the intention of making their way North. Henry, the
butler, will turn up in the North the after-runner of "Jeff. Davis's
coachman," and, like him, will form the chief attraction of Puritan
lecturer-rooms, and furnish for the press "highly interesting and intelligent
statements" affecting the kitchen arrangements of the Presidential
mansion, as a sequel to the history of the "intelligent barber"
from Richmond, that convulsed the whole North a short time ago.
Henry, the last candidate for Yankee ovations, is described as a tall, stoutly
built mulatto, well-mannered, with a soft voice, which is rather slim in
volume for so large a man. He had no quarrel with his master, and no cause
can be assigned for his secession, other than he had recently been supplied
with a new outfit of clothing and money, which he was very proud of, and
probably wanted to exhibit to the Yankees. He was a slave of Robert Ford,
Esq., and had been in the President's service for only two or three months.
HIS HOUSE SET ON FIRE
[From the Richmond Examiner, Jan. 21]
Between the hours of ten and eleven o'clock on Tuesday night a most diabolical
attempt was made by an incendiary to destroy the house of President Davis.
At the time mentioned, the attention of some members of the President's
family having been attracted by a smell of smoke, which seemed to proceed
from the basement, instant alarm was given, and a search made, which disclosed
the fact that the premises were on fire in the east basement room, which
was used as a wood and coal house.
A large quantity of shavings and a bundle of fagots, placed by the incendiary
against a pile of wood, were in a blaze, and, but for the timely discovery,
would soon have communicated to the wood and resulted in the destruction
of the building, and, perhaps, loss of life. The fire was soon extinguished,
when it appeared that an entrance into the house had been effected through
the wood-house window, and that the miscreants, before applying the torch,
had broken into the store-room, also in the basement, and stolen a large
quantity of butter, lard, and other groceries. Had this attempt to burn
the building been made an hour or two later in the night, there is every
probability that it would have been successful.
No clue has been obtained as to who were the perpetrators of this robbery
and outrage; but the general impression among citizens is, that it was the
work of some of the five or six hundred Yankee prisoners who have been turned
loose in this city. We, however, think it quite as likely that the President's
house servants know something of the matter.
BOSTON EVENING TRANSCRIPT
Boston, Thursday Evening, February 4, 1864
The Nameless Spy
A book lately published, giving an account of the battles of the Army of
the Cumberland, gives the following interesting account of the exploits
of one of the numerous spies employed by our commanders:
This man, says the author of the annals, "went into and came out from
Bragg's army at Murfreesboro' three times during the week of battles at
Stone River-even dined at the table of Bragg and of his other generals-brought
us correct information as to the force and position of the rebel army, and
of the boast of its head-officers. He was the first to assure us positively
that Bragg general's boast that 'he would whip Rosecrans back to Nashville
if it cost ten thousand men.' For the four days' service thus rendered by
our spy he was paid five thousand dollars by order of our general, and the
author saw the money passed to him.
"In 1862 there lived in the State of ------a Union man, with wife and
children. He was a friend of the Union and an anti-slavery man upon principle.
After the rebellion broke out, and when the 'southern heart' had become
fired, this man, living in a strong pro-slavery region and surrounded by
opulent slaveholders, his own family connections and those of his wife being
also wealthy and bitter secessionists, very prudently held his peace, feeling
his utter inability to stem the tide of rebellion in this section. Thus,
without tacit admissions, or any direct action on his part, the gentleman
of whom we write was classed by the people of his section as a secessionist.
"Circumstances occurred during that year by which this person was brought
into contact with a Federal commander in Kentucky, Gen. Nelson. Their meeting
and acquaintance was accidental. Mutual Union sentiments begat personal
sympathy and friendship. Nelson wished a certain service performed in the
rebel territory, and he persuaded the citizen to undertake it, which the
latter finally did as a matter of duty, we are assured, rather than of gain,
for he made no charge for the service after its speedy and successful performance.
Soon after, a similar work was necessary; and again was the citizen importuned,
and he again consented, but not considering himself as a professional spy.
"During this or a similar trip, and while at Chattanooga, our man heard
of the sudden death of Gen. Nelson. He was now at a loss what to do. Finally
he determined to return and report his business to Major-General Rosecrans,
who had assumed command of the Federal army. Thus resolved, he proceeded
to finish his mission. After ascertaining the position of military affairs
at Chattanooga, he came to Murfreesboro', where Bragg's army was then collecting.
Staying here several days, he was urged by his southern army friends to
act as their spy in Kentucky. The better to conceal his own feelings and
position, he consented to do so, and he left General Bragg's headquarters
to go to that State by way of Nashville, feigning important business, and
from thence to go to his home, passing by and through Rosecrans' army as
it lay stretched out between Nashville and Louisville.
"The nameless man now makes his way to the Federal headquarters, seeks
a private interview with Gen. Rosecrans, and states his case fully as we
have just related. Here was something remarkable, surely-a spy in the confidence
of the commanders of two great opposing armies! Our general took great pains
to satisfy himself of the honesty and soundness of the stranger. He was
pleased with the man's candid manner, and his story bore an air of consistency
and truth. Yet he was a Southerner, surrounded by rebellious influences,
and enjoyed Bragg's confidence; and what guaranty could be given that he
was a Union man at heart? None; and our general, in great perplexity, held
council with his chief of police, and requested the other to 'dig up' the
case to its very root. This was done: but in what manner we may not specially
state. Satisfied that it would do to trust the spy, to a certain extent
at least, he was now sent on his way to perform his mission for Bragg. At
all events, that scheming general so supposed when our man's report was
made at the rebel hedquarters a few days afterwards. His information was
very acceptable to Bragg; but we strongly question its value to rebeldom,
as the spy only reported what he was told by that old fox Col. Truesdail.
"Perhaps the reader will inquire, How can we answer for the report
thus made to Bragg? It may have been more true and valuable than we supposed.
Well, there is force in the query. However, we were then quite confident
of the worthlessnes of the report of our spy to Bragg, because he had nothing
else to tell him. For five days did our spy keep himslef locked in a private
room in the Police building at Nashville. His meals were carried to him
by a trusty servant. His door was 'shadowed' constantly by our best detectives,
and so were his steps if he ventured upon the street a few moments after
dark. It was cold and bleak wintry weather, and he toasted himself before
his comfortable fire, read books and papers, and conferred often with the
Chief of Police and his assistants, affording them, strangers as they were
to that region of the country, a fund of valuable information respecting
the rebels of Kentucky and Tennessee. He was a man of fine address and good
intellectual attainments. When our man concluded it was about time for his
return to Bragg's army, he was politely escorted by our mounted police to
a proper point beyond our lines, and by a route where he would see nothing
of our forces. The reader will now appreciate the grounds of our confidence,
we doubt not, in the worthlessness of at least one of Gen. Braxton Bragg's
"In due time the nameless gentleman again enters our line, and is escorted
in by our pickets to the general commanding, to whom he reports in person
concerning all that is transpiring in Bragg's army at Murfreesboro', and
then he resumes his pleasant private quarters at the army police building.
After a brief stay another trip was made by our man to Bragg's headquarters,
we using the same precautions as previously. In fact, our spy desired and
even demanded such attention at the hands of the Chief of Police. Said he:
"'I am a stranger to you all. I can give you no guaranty whatever of
my good faith. It is alike due to you and to myself that I be allowed no
opportunities for deceiving you.'
"The report he carried to Bragg on his second trip delighted the latter.
His officers talked with our man freely, and after staying at Murfreesboro'
two or three days and riding and walking all about the most innocent and
unconcerned manner, he was again sent back to Nashville to 'fool that slow
Dutchman, Rosecrans,' as one of the rebel officers remarked. Of the importance
of the report now brought to the 'slow Dutchman' we need not state further
than that it contributed its due weight to a decision fraught with tremendous
consequences to the army and the country. Marching orders were soon after
issued for the advance of the Army of the Cumberland upon Murfreesboro'.
"Now commenced a period of excessive labor and peril for the nameless
spy. Gens Rosecrans and Bragg each wanted instant and constant information
as the armies approached. The minutiae of this man's work for four or five
days we need not stop to relate; it is easily imagined, Within that time
he entered the rebel lines and returned three times. He gave the outline
of Bragg's line of battle, a close estimate of his force, an accurate account
of his artillery and his earthworks, the movements of the rebel wagon and
railroad trains, &c., &c. He was very earnest in assuring Rosecrans
that Bragg intended to give severe battle with superior numbers.
"This information proved true in all essentials, and its value to the
country was inestimable. We had other spies piercing the rebel lines at
this time, but they did not enjoy the facilities possessed by the nameless
one. Almost with anguish did he exclaim against himself, in the prsence
of the author, for the severe manner in which he was deceiving the rebel
general involving the lives of his thousands of brave but deluded followers.
"After the great battle of work of such a spy is ended, or rather it
ceases when the shock of arms comes on. Thenceforward the armies are moved
upon the insatant, as circumstances may require. Our man, who during the
four days had been almost incesssantly in the saddle, or with his ears and
eyes painfully observant while in the camps, took leave of our army upon
the battlefield, and retired to a place of rest.
"One incident occurred during his last visit to Bragg which is worthy
of mention. That general took alarm in consequence of his report, and at
once started a special messenger to Gen. John H. Morgan-who was then absent
with his cavalry in Kentucky to destroy Rosecrans' railroad communications
(in which Morgan succeeded)-to return instantly with his command by forced
marches to Murfreesboro'. That same night our man reported this fact to
the federal Commander, described the messenger and what route he would take,
&c. The information was telegraphed at once to Nashville, Gallatin and
Bowling Green, and a force was sent from each of those posts to intercept
the messenger. They failed to apprehend him, which, however, proved of no
consequence, as the battles of Stone River were fought and Bragg was on
his retreat from Murfreesboro' by the time Morgan could have received the
"Our spy was a brave man; yet during the last three days of his service
he was most sensible of its peril. To pass between hostile lines in the
lone hours of the night-for he did not wait for daylight-to be halted by
guerrillas, scouts, and pickets, with guns aimed at him, and, finally to
meet and satisfy the anxious, keen-eyed, heart-searching rebel officers
as well as our own, was a mental as well as a physical demand that could
not long be sustained. While proceeding upon his last expedition, the author
met the nameless one upon a by-road. We halted our horses, drew near, and
conversed a few minutes in private, while our attendants and companions
moved on. He was greatly exhausted and soiled in appearance, his clothing
having been rained upon and splashed by muddy water, caused by hard riding
and which had dried upon him. He said he was about to try it once more,
and though he had been so often and so successfully, yet he feared detection
and its sure result-the bullet or the halter. He had been unable, amid the
hurry and excietment, to make some final disposition of his affairs. He
gave us a last message to send to his wife and children in case it became
necessary; and he also desired a promise-most freely given-that we would
attend to the settlement of his account with our general for services recently
rendered. Thus concluding, he wrung our hand most earnestly, and, putting
spurs to his fresh and spirited animal, dashed off upon his mission. Twenty
hours afterwards we were relieved of our anxious forebodings by his safe
and successful return. We have stated the price paid him for his labors;
it was well earned, and to our cause was a most profitable investment."
Such a man may be nameless now, but when the war is over, and when its history
is written, his courage and self-sacrifice will not be forgotten.
THE PACIFIC COMMERICAL ADVERTISER
Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, February 20, 1864
LIFE WITH THE FORTY NINTH MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS is both an interesting
and attractive book, by Henry T. Johns, late Quartermaster's Clerk of that
Regiment. It is published for the author at Pittsfield, and is to be found
here at A. K. Loring's. It ought to meet with a remunerative sale, especially
in the western part of the State. The "command" whose adventures
and services it records in pleasant, familiar letters, saw hard times at
the Southwest, and its experiences form a chapter in the history of the
war. Col. F. W. Bartlett, than whom no more heroic or devoted officer has
joined the Federal army, was its leader. Everybody knows him by reputation-how
he left the Junior class at Harvard and took up the sword immediately after
the attack on Sumter-how he lost a leg when Captain in the 20th-how he was
hit at Port Hudson-how he has been recently wounded again on the Peninsula,-and
how, still young in years, with his artificial limb, disabled arm, he is
a scarred and maimed veteran and a brave and active soldier. A fine steel
likeness of the Colonel faces the title page of the volume before us, and
here is another graphic portrait of him "on duty":
Not only are the men drilled daily, and are improving rapidly, but the officers
also show the benefits of their daily drilling by Captain Bartlett. It is
a treat to see that man go through the manual of arms. He puts such a finish,
such a vim to every motion. For two hours at a time, he will stand on that
remaining leg, till half of us believe he never had any need of the one
buried at Yorktown, but it was only a superfluous member or mere ornament.
Sometimes we try to see how long we can stand on one leg: a few short minutes,
and we require the use of both, or find ourselves reeling about like decapitated
hens. If the colonel (I will call him such) needs rest, he takes it as a
part of the exercise, so we cannot tell which is manual of arms and which
rest. The cords of that right leg must stand out like great whip lashes.
There is will about all this. It is this quiet, intense determination, this
fixedness of will, that makes us desire Colonel Bartlettt, with but one
leg, for our commander, over any other man with the full complement of limbs.
Somehow or other, we cannot tell why, we believe that he will not be the
mere buffet of circumstance, but will ride over, and lead us over all difficulties.
Every man salutes him, and he always salutes in return. In saluting, the
back of the right hand is brought up to the visor of the cap, then the arm
is fully extended, and brought down to the side. You can see it is no easy
thing to be done walking on two crutches, but the Colonel does it, not halting
to do it, but, while walking on and in the most approved military manner.
This may seem to you a small matter, but to us it indicates the born soldier,
the man who will do the duties he has assumed. The other day, while riding
in his carriage, he put the regiment through battalion drill. What a noble
voice he has, a deep bass, yet as clear and distinct as any tenor. It is
full of command. He don't have to put in any expletives to insure attention
and prompt obedience. They are all in the mere voice. Over, or rather under
all noise, with apparently no effort, that voice carries his orders to the
remotest soldier. Take him all and in all, I have yet to meet one who so
fully embodies my conceptions of a commander as Colonel Bartlett.
BOSTON DAILY EVENING TRANSCRIPT
Boston, Friday Evening, July 1, 1864
A PERSONAL SKETCH. General Sherman in the Field. The war correspondent of
the Cincinnati Commercial in Georgia gives the following sketch of General
Sherman as he appears in the field:
Did you ever see him? Tall, straight, lithe, with a firm step; deep, gray,
expressive eyes; face not unmarked with care but usually placid; his nose
slightly aquiline; hair dark and now interwoven with threads of silver;
hands that were made to be useful rather than ornamental; intellectual brow,
well-balanced head, strong shoulders, small waist, active limbs, and feet
enclosed in good sized boots-such are the outlines of one of the most practical,
and certainly one of the ablest generals this war has given to America.
Numerous as the sands upon the sea-shore have been the speculations as to
the exact numbers which would compute the armies under Sherman's command.
One hundred to one hundred and fifty thousand have been the guesses-construe
my language as you will! What is the simple truth? He only commands three
men. If you please, Sherman is a corporal. Thomas, McPherson and Schofield
are his guard. True, he will say to Thomas, march in such a direction in
parallel columns, converging at a given point; to McPherson, move to such
a place in the enemy's rear, and fortify yourself strongly; to Schofield,
go rapidly forward on such a road, and keep yourself well in hand; and ordinary
guards would fail to understand his singular way of giving orders, but not
so with either Schofield, McPherson or Thomas. They understand him, and,
The relative merits of each officer in the army are supposed to be understood
by the government at Washington. It would be worse than egotism for any
one man to say these merits are not always justly appreciated, at least
I shall not so commit myself. Adjusted upon this principle, how stand Thomas,
McPherson and Schofield to the scale of merit? Precisely in the order in
which their names occur.
If the habits of General Sherman are at all peculiar, it is only because
they are so practical. He deals with facts, recognizes facts and takes no
stock in those who don't. His uniform is not dashing, but it is becoming,
and sustains his official dignity. In undress uniform, as I have seen him,
he is somewhat uncouth, and yet comfortably at home anywhere. He wears red
flannel undershirts and drawers, a brown linen shirt over the one of flannel,
and when at leisure doffs his great boots for those of patent-leather. He
writes his own orders. His aid-de-camp, Captain L. M. Dayton, a gentleman
of high honor and capabilities, copies them into a small blank book, and
that is all there is of the Adjutant General's department in the field.
Meals with him are necessarily irregular. His breakfast usually consists
of beef-steak, coffee, hard bread, butter and perhaps milk. Dinner brings
to his table steak, ham, hominy, canned fruits, krout, pickles, bread, molasses,
and other general substantials. And supper is a little more than breakfast,
and a little less than dinner. The plates which he and the staff officers
use are tin, the knives and forks are neither silver nor gold, but cast
steel and bone, a big black bottle in the centre of the table answers the
purpose of a molasses jug, and everything in the kitchen department is intended
to be useful. One large army wagon, I think, is all the transportation he
needs. It is said every time he starts out on a new campaign he orders:
'I must take less baggage with me now than I did the last time.' Mobility
with him is everything. He rides a superb bay horse, which prances gaily
at the mention of his name, 'Duke.'"
BOSTON EVENING TRANSCRIPT
Boston, Friday Evening, July 1, 1864
An Incident of the War
An interesting anecdote, though of doubtful authenticity, is related of
Franklin, who, it is alleged, in order to test the parental instinct existing
between mother and child, introduced himself as a belated traveller to his
mother's house after an absence of many years. Her house being filled with
more illustrious guests than the unknown stranger, she refused him shelter,
and would have turned him from her door. Hence he concluded that this so-called
parental, instinct was a inconclusive belief, not susceptible of proof.
The opposite of this lately occurred in Washington. In one of the fierce
engagements with the enemy near Mechanicsville on May lst, a young lieutenant
of a Rhode Island battery had his right foot so shattered by a fragment
of shell that, on reaching Washington after one of those horrible ambulance
rides, and a journey of a week's duration, he was obliged to undergo amputation
of the leg. He telegraphed home hundreds of miles away that all was going
well, and with a soldier's fortitude composed himself to bear his sufferings
Unknown to him, however, his mother, one of those dear reserves of the army,
hastened up to join the main force. She reached the city at midnight, and
the nurses would have kept her from him until morning. One sat by his side
fanning him as he slept, her hand on the feeble fluctuating pulsations which
forboded sad results. But what woman's heart could resist the pleadings
of a mother then? In the darkness she was finally allowed to glide in and
take the place at his side. She touched his pulse as the nurse had done;
not a word had been spoken, but the sleeping boy opened his eyes and said,
"that feels like my mother's hand; who is this beside me? It is my
mother; turn up the gas and let me see mother."
The two dear faces met in one long, joyful sobbing embrace, and the fondness
pent up in each heart sobbed and panted, and wept forth its expression.
The gallant fellow, just twenty-one, his leg amputated on the last day of
his three years' service, underwent operation after operation and drew nigh,
and he was told by tearful friends that it only remained to make him comfortable,
said "he had looked death in the face too many times to be afraid now,"
and died as gallantly as did the men of the Cumberland.-[Washington Corr.
of N.Y. Eve. Post.
WALTHAM FREE PRESS
Waltham, Mass., Wednesday, July 6, 1864
Current Fashions in Story Writing
There are two styles of story now extant, only two that have any run. One
is of a haughty, high-flying damsel, who does not know her own mind, and
while basking in the sunlight of prosperity, scorns the true heart that
beats for her, and rather inclines to the perfidious wretch who, to make
a wretched pun, regards her purse-onal attractions only. Then her fortune
disappears-generally by an unfortunate law-suit, she goes out as a governess,
falls into the depths of poverty, and lives by the most imperceptible means.
Finally, after a proper degree of discipline, she is discovered by the faithful
lover, who has sought her all the world over, except just where she is,
and so they float off on a sea of translucent bliss!
A second style of story is the growth of the times, and runs thus: A young
woman is engaged to a young man. All so far is smooth, but then he goes
to the wars, is reported dead, circumstantial evidence is afforded, his
last messages are received, showing how miraculously calm he was "'mid
din and smoke," and a photograph is sent back, (so defaced they are
not sure it was the one he carried); still he is gone, they put on mourning,
and so on, and then, after all this useless expense and expenditure of feeling,
the writer brings him back to float off, as usual, upon a sea of bliss!
The only latitude allowed here is the number of legs, arms, eyes or ears,
minus, on his final appearance.-[Exchange.
WALTHAM FREE PRESS
Waltham, Mass., Wednesday, July 6, 1864
AN "OFF-HAND" JOKE.-A sturdy sergeant of one of the Massachusetts
regiments being obliged to submit to the amputation of his hand, the surgeon
offered to administer chloroform a usual; but the veteran refused, saying-"if
the cutting was to be done on him, he wanted to see it," and laying
his arm on the table, submitted to the operation without a sign of pain
except a firmer setting of his teeth as the saw struck the marrow. The operator
as he finished looked at his victim with admiration, and remarked-
"You ought to have been a surgeon, my man,"
"I was the next thing to one afore I enlisted," said the hero.
"What was that?" asked the doctor.
"A butcher!" responded the sergeant with a grim smile, which despite
the surroundings communicated itself to the bystanders.
WALTHAM FREE PRESS
Waltham, Mass., Wednesday, July 6, 1864
HUMORS OF THE WAR. Amongst the guns in Grant's camp is one which the men
have named the "Petersburg Express." It is a 80-pounder Parrott,
and is said to make good time.
Recently, General Sherman found the rebel forces opposite him retaining
their artillery fire for several days; and no amount of artillery practice
from our side sufficed to draw on the rebel gunners. Sherman was of opinion
that the rebel artillery was there, but that Johnson or Ewell was tempting
him to make an assault, and had secretly massed his guns to inflict a murderous
repulse. How to discover where the rebel guns were placed was now the question.
All other efforts failing, Sherman at last uncovered the rebel batteries
by the help of an ingenious practical joke. The railroad track stretched
past a part of our front, and down close to the rebel line, which it skirted
for some distance. Sherman started a locomotive down the track at full speed
toward the right.
They heard its shrill shriek, saw it with amazement come tearing down toward
their breastworks, and suspecting they did not know what trick, at last,
unable to hold in any longer, blazed away with their whole line of batteries
at the mysterious monster. That was all Sherman wanted.
BOSTON EVENING TRANSCRIPT
Boston, Friday Evening, July 8, 1864
CAVALRY RAIDS. The following paragraphs from the army correspondent of the
New York Times give a vivid impression of the exhaustion to man and horse
which results from such cavalry raids as that on the Danville Railroad:
A large number of Kautz's cavalry-stragglers-came in yesterday, and went
into camp at Jones's Neck. More jaded troopers and horses were never seen.
The men were grotesque in their misery. Some had lost their forage caps,
and had replaced them by women's bonnets and feathers, and other odds and
ends of female apparel which gave them a most astonishing look. Some had
the legs of their trousers torn completely off; others had theirs split
into ribbons. Many were shoeless, all coatless. Their faces were a perfect
study, if one desired to tell their race or color. Negroes were white in
comparison to them.
So thick was the pasty deposit of mud and perspiration upon them that they
were no longer troopers of flesh and blood, but had resolved themselves
into the primitive elements of that dust from which they sprung, and to
which they had returned before their time. Odd enough they looked, as they
winked and blinked, with eyelids heavy with sleep, and still heavier with
the "villainous compound" which had accumulated upon them during
their ten days' raid.
The horses were pictures of wretchedness and dejection. Their heads drooped
until their noses touched the road. Each animal shrunk his tail between
his legs like a whipped cur. Flies settled upon them and feasted without
the slightest chance of being disturbed. Some of the poor things were so
completely used up that the men had to lead them and urge them forward by
blows from the flat of their sabres. Fill up the picture from these outlines,
and you will get an idea of the exhaustive character of a cavalry raid.
BOSTON EVENING TRANSCRIPT
Boston, Friday Evening, July 8, 1864
A THRILLING NARRATIVE
Miss Major Pauline Cushman the Federal Scout and Spy
Among the women of America who have made themselves famous since the opening
of the rebellion, few have suffered more, or rendered more service to the
Federal cause than Miss Major Pauline Cushman, the female scout and spy.
At the commencement of hostilities she resided in Cleveland, Ohio, and was
quite well known as a clever actress.
From Cleveland she went to Louisville, where she had an engagement in Wood's
Theatre. Here, by her intimacy with certain rebel oficers, she incurred
the suspicion of being a rebel, and was arrested by the Federal authorities.
She indignantly denied that she was a rebel, although born at the South,
and having a brother in a rebel Mississippi regiment.
In order to test her love for the old flag, she was asked if she would enter
the secret service of the Government. She readily consented, and was at
once employed to carry letters between Louisville and Nashville. She was
subsequently employed by General Rosecrans, and was for many months with
the Army of the Cumberland. She visited the rebel lines time after time,
and was thoroughly acquainted with all the country and roads in Tennessee,
North Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, in which section she rendered our
armies invaluable service. She was twice suspected of being a spy, and taken
prisoner, but managed to escape.
At last, however, she was not so fortunte. After our forces had captured
Nashville, Major Cushman made a scout towards Shelbyville to obtain information
of the strength and position of the enemy, and while returning to Nashville,
was captured on the Hardin pike, eleven miles from the latter city. She
was placed on a horse, and, in charge of two scouts, was being taken to
Spring Hill, the headquarters of Forrest.
While on the way to this place, she feigned sickness and said she could
not travel any further without falling from her horse. Her captors stopped
at a house on the roadside, when it was ascertained that a Federal scouting
party had passed the place an hour before. Knowing that her guards had important
papers for Gen. Bragg, the quick-witted spy seized the fact and schemed
to use it to her advantage.
Seeing an old negro, who appeared to commiserate her unfortunate plight,
she watched her opportunity and placed ten dollars in Tennessee money in
his hand, saying: "run up the road, 'Uncle,' and come back in a few
minutes, telling us that four hundred Federals are coming down the street."
The faithful negro obeyed the order literally, and soon came back in the
greatest excitement, telling the story. The two "rebs" told him
he lied. The old colored man got down on his knees, saying: "Massa,
dey's cumin, sure nuff; de Lord help us, dey is cumin."
The scouts at this believed his story, mounted their horses, and "skedaddled"
for the woods. Miss Cushman, seizing a pistol belonging to a wounded soldier
in the house, also mounted her horse and fled toward Franklin. She travelled
through the rain, and, after nightfall, lost her way. Soon came the challenge
of a picket "Who comes there?" Thinking she had reached the rebel
line she said: "A friend of Jeff Davis." "All right,"
was the reply, "advance and give the countersign."
She presented the countersign in the shape of a canteen of whisky. She passed
five pickets in this way, but the sixth and last was obdurate. She pleaded
that she was going to see a sick uncle at Franklin, but the sentry couldn't
see it. Sick and disheartened she turned back. Seeing a light at a farm
house she sought shelter. An old man received her kindly, showed her to
a room, and said he would awake her at an early hour in the morning, and
show her the road to Franklin.
A loud knock awoke her in the morning from her lethean slumbers, and upon
arousing, she found her horse saddled, and the two guards from whom she
had escaped the previous afternoon. She was taken to the headquarters of
Forrest, and he sent her, after a critical examination, to Gen. Bragg. Nothing
could be found against her, until a secesh woman stole her gaiters, under
the inner sole of which were found important documents which clearly proved
her to be a spy.
She was tried and condemned to be executed as a spy, but being sick, her
execution was postponed. She finally, after lying in prison three months,
sent for Gen. Bragg, and asked him if he had no mercy. She received from
him the comforting assurance, that he should make an example of her as soon
as she got well enough to be hung decently.
While in this state of suspense the grand army of Rosecrans commenced its
forward movement, and one day the rebel town where she was imprisoned, was
surprised and captured, and the herioine of this tale was to her great joy
released. She is now in this city visiting friends, having arrived at the
Biddle House one day last week.-Detroit Tribune.
THE PACIFIC COMMERCIAL ADVERTISER
Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, September 3, 1864
REBEL PORTRAIT OF GEN. EARLY.-The Griffin (Ga.) Rebel gives the following
pen portrait of the man that Gen. Sheridan has so handsomely whipped:
"Old Jubal Early, or, as Gen. Lee calls him his 'bad old man,' has
won a name during his sojourn in the valley of Virginia of which he is well
worthy. Did you ever see him? If not you have missed one of the greatest
curiosities of the war. He is a man of considerable corpulence, with a full
face, which has the appearance of the full moon when it is at its height
in redness. He is about six feet high, and of immense structure.
His voice sounds like a cracked Chinese fiddle, and comes from his mouth
somewhat in the style of the hardshell Baptist, with a long drawl, accompanied
with an interpolation of oaths. In winter his head is encased in a net striped
woolen skull cap drawn about his ears; while his body is contained within
the embraces of a Virginia cloth overcoat, striking his heels. His legs
are covered by leggins of the same material, wrapped from the feet upwards
as high as the knees with white tape. He is as brave as he is homely, and
as homely as any man as you ever saw except Parson Brownlow, who is said
to rival his satanic majesty in personal appearance. There are many anecdotes
related of Old Jubal, but I cannot at present call to memory but one. During
the battles in the Wilderness on one occasion a regiment from South Carolina
was ordered to charge the enemy. For some reasons they faltered. Old Jubal
hearing of it rode up to the head of the column, and in that peculiarity
of tone for which he was noted, cried out, "Blast you, you got us into
this damned scrape and by God you shall help us out." The regiment
was so cut up at the remark that they rushed upon the foe, driving him from
A Quaint Writer says: "I have seen women so delicate that they were
afraid to sail for fear the boat should overset; and afraid to walk for
fear the dew might fall. But I never saw one that was afraid to get married."
A man in St. Louis, who has constantly invested in lotteries, and invariable
lost for the last five years, was one of the first men drafted in that place
the other day. He says his luck has come at last.
Mr. Lincoln has managed during the three years he has been in office to
swell the public debt of the United States to about seven hundred million
dollars more than the whole expenses of the government from the Declaration
of Independence to March 4, 1861. Can we afford such a President for four
years more?-| World.
DAILY EASTERN ARGUS
Portland, Main, Tuesday, October 4, 1864
THE DEAD LINE. A high stockade inclosed the camp of the Union prisoners
at Andersonville, Ga. on all sides. On the inner side of this stockade was
what was called "the Dead Line." This consisted of ropes and straps
surrounding the whole camp, fastened to posts about five or six feet from
the other inclosure. If any man should put his hand over this line or attempt
to go near it, he was at once shot by the guards. The statement of these
men is that many were shot who ignorantly approached too near this fatal
barrier. New prisoners who arrived were not informed of the design of this
line, or of the danger in going near it. And unless they learned it from
their fellow prisoners who had been longer in the camp than they were, they
would sometimes wander where the fatal bullet would reach them. They would
go here often to quench their thirst from the brook that ran through the
camp. Part of it lay beyond this dead line.
BOSTON EVENING TRANSCRIPT
Boston, Saturday Evening, December 3, 1864
THE FIRST VICTORY AT NASHVILLE
SKETCH OF THURSDAY'S BATTLE
Nashville, Tenn., 15th. The army commenced moving today with Stedman's corps
on the left, the 4th corps next, then A.J. Smith's corps. The cavalry moved
to the right, and the 23d corps was held in reserve. Reconnoitring lasted
until meridian, when at 121/2 o'clock the order to advance was given, and
the whole column noved onward. The rebels expected Thomas would attempt
to turn their left flank, and prepared works to receive our forces. To keep
up the delusion, Stedman was ordered to skirmish heavily on the rebel's
left. While Stedman was maneuvering the rebels were massing their right,
and we concentrating the 16th and 23d corps and Wilson's cavalry on our
right. The result was that when the bugles sounded the advance, our right
wing advanced rapidly between the left of the rebels and the Cumberland
River, completely doubling up a rebel division posted to blockade the river.
A battery was taken here and sent to the rear.
The rebels by this time perceived that our attack on the right was a feint,
and Hood soon attempted to atone for his mistake, but was too late. Our
right had established a force on the main bank of the river and was rapidly
advancing. The whole 23d corps had taken position on the extreme right,
while Smith's corps, executing a half wheel movement, drove the rebels before
them easily and rapidly. The hill where the rebels were posted was taken
with little loss.
In an hour or so the rebels presented a strong front, and our progress for
a moment was checked. It was now visible that the contest was about to commence.
Another diversion on our left was made to enable our right to get into position
and strengthen themselves ready for a charge. In front of the 4th corps
and about one mile beyond the rebels had a strong line of works defended
by a heavy line of skirmishers.
Wood ordered a charge, and with promptness and decision the men leaped over
the breastworks and advanced. In less than twenty minutes our force had
possession of the rebel works, and the banners of the 4th corps were planted
upon them. Our men, flushed with victory, without orders pushed forward
and reached the second line of rebel works by most strenuous exertions,
capturing some prisoners, which with those captured previously, amounted
to over one thousand.
The second line of intrenchments, now in sight, was located on the verge
of a hill, a mile beyond the skirmish line. These intrenchments were built
with great skill. Some time elapsed before our men got in position to advance.
Our cavalry had advanced meanwhile until its right wing rested on the hills
six miles beyond Nashville. Moved from the river they now maneuvered without
difficulty. Instead of facing west they now faced directly south.
The corps of Schofield and Smith were in position directly parallel on the
left. Our skirmishers advanced to Hillsboro' pike, sheltering themselves
behind the fences on the north side, while the 4th corps formed right angles,
the front division lying directly across the Hillsboro' pike, and the remainder
being to the left. While these movements were going on our lines were forming
and batteries being placed. The rebels could be distinctly seen moving to
the left toward Hillsboro', with a view to prevent our turning their left.
As far as could be ascertained the entire rebel reserve was thus thrown
in front of our right and centre. In the meantime our commanders sent reinforcements
equally strong to the posts menaced by the rebels.
At half-past three all was ready for the charge on the second line of the
rebel works. The position was a strong one, and to reach which our forces
had to ascend hills to an elevation of 15 degrees, without any protection.
Our forces were massed and hurled with irresistible force against the rebel
lines. At ten minutes before 5 the charge commenced. The 1st and 2d divisions
of the 4th corps moved west, and the 3d division, at right angles with it,
moved south. On the right of the fourth corps was the corps of A. J. Smith.
The 1st and 2d divisions of the 4th corps had the hardest part of the task.
They had to move in exposed positions to the rebel works in front, and these
works were more formidable and stronger than elsewhere. Under a heavy fire
of grape, canister and musketry, our men moved steadily forward. A few of
our men were killed, but the casualties were fewer than was expected, owing
to the rebels firing too high.
After advancing within one hundred and fifty yards of the works the rebel
fire became very severe. Our troops never wavered, but with shouts along
the line they advanced and were almost immediately upon the intrenchments.
The distance yet to be passed did not exceed one hundred yards, and reinforcements
were in sight coming up, yet the rebels evinced no signs of retreating,
and discharged volley after volley into our ranks at a distance of twenty-five
yards. A few of our men had now reached the works and were using the bayonet
when some few of the rebels fled, followed by others, and soon all broke
and fled in the wildest confusion. Their artillerists attempted to secure
four 12-pounder Napoleon guns, but succeeded in getting only one off the
field. The other three fell into our hands, together with two caissons and
a large lot of small arms. We also captured in this charge about 400 prisoners.
Prisoners reported that Hood told them they could hold their position against
any Yankee force which could be brought against them. Our losses did not
exceed 100 killed and wounded.
Smith's and Schofield's corps had in the meantime advanced half a mile to
the south of Hillsboro' pike, capturing a whole battery of six guns. This
makes the total of artillery captured today-five guns being taken on the
extreme left by the 15th Ohio-amount to 18 guns. Several battle flags were
also taken. The rebel loss in killed and wounded was not less than 600,
while ours was about 300.
The rebels have taken up another line, and may defend it tomorrow if they
do not retreat tonight.
The colored troops behaved spendidly, and lost severely. Col. Schaffer's
colored regiment and the 17th colored regiment lost nearly all their officers.
The steamer Pike, while proceeding up the river, was fired into by the rebels
when three miles from the city. One man was killed and four wounded. She
The gunboat fleet were engaged down the river, about fourteen miles from
the city, shelling the rebel left. The headquarters of Chalmers was captured
with fifteen wagons and all his books, papers, valuables, &c. These
are now at our headquarters.
The Provost Marshall General says about 550 prisoners have reached the city
up to 9 P.M. The total number of prisoners captured will not fall short
BOSTON EVENING TRANSCRIPT
Boston, Monday Evening, December 19, 1864
A LOYAL WOMAN'S EXPERIENCE IN CAPTIVITY. A letter from Cleveland, Ohio,
tells the following interesting story:
Mrs. Francis C. Parker has just returned from Macon, Georgia. Her husband,
Mr. Dewitt Parker, served three years in the war in the Twentieth Illinois
regiment. After his term of service expired, he went into the government
service as conductor of a government train running between Chattanooga and
Nashville. On the 9th of August last the train was captured by a band of
guerillas, and all on the train taken prisoners. The guard would not dress
the wounds of Mr. Parker and Mr. Dean, but seemed to delight in aggravating
them and in ransacking Mrs. Parkers's trunks. They found her husband's letters
to her while he was in the service, giving accounts of the battles, and
so on; would read them, tear them up and throw them at him, taunting him
in every way they could. They took their money, clothing, and everything
they had, even to a gold ring off of Mrs. Parker's finger. The prisoners
were confined in jail. Mrs. Parker tore up her under-clothing to dress her
husband's wound. But on the 23d of October her husband died and she was
released on the 26th.
October 26th, in company with George DeMill and William Dean, Mrs. Parker
started North, having government transportation to Cleveland, where she
arrived November 24th, having had no change of clothing for five weeks.
She came to find a sister who had moved here some years ago. She could not
find her; was alone, homeless and penniless. Mr. G.A. Hyde and wife of this
city, happened to be at the railroad depot the morning after Mrs. Parker's
arrival, and learned something of her history from Clark Warren. Mr. Hyde
gave her a home, and by the exertions of himself and wife means have been
raised to clothe her that she may again take the position in society that
her education and merits as a lady demand.
The scenes of suffering which Mrs. Parker witnessed can hardly be realized
by those of us enjoying good health and the comforts of a home. Federal
soldiers who had once been strong, stalwart, robust men, lay on the prison
floors in rags, with the bones of their shoulders and hips protruding through
the flesh, with nothing under them to keep the raw flesh from adhering to
the bare floor, and in such agony they would turn from side to side; and
when, amid all this suffering, which would seem to be enough to awaken the
sympathy of the most savage monster, southern women were found so wanton
as to spit in the face of a poor helpless soldier because he groaned with
pain. Mrs. Parker saw one of the lady chivalry do this, and was so enraged
at the act that she slapped the woman in the face, and in consequence was
tied up and kept on hominy and water for three days. She had suffered so
much she cared very little what they did to her, and felt that she had about
as soon die as live. In one of the rooms of the jail fifty prisoners were
confined, and it was so small that while part of them lay down to rest,
the balance of them stood huddled together, and when they got tired out
the others would get up and let them lie down. The furniture of the room
consisted of one wooden bucket and one tin cup. An order had been issued
to shoot any prisoner seen putting their heads out of the windows of the
jail. For violation of that order Oscar White, of Iowa, and Richard Williams
of Missouri, lost their lives.
BOSTON EVENING TRANSCRIPT
Boston, Saturday Evening, December 24, 1864