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Title: Memories - A Record of Personal Experience and Adventure During Four Years of War
Author: Beers, Fannie A.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: (FROM A PHOTOGRAPH BY WASHBURNE.)
MNEMOSYNE
(The Goddess of Memory.)]



MEMORIES.

A RECORD OF PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AND
ADVENTURE DURING FOUR YEARS OF WAR.



By

MRS. FANNIE A. BEERS.



Press of J.B. Lippincott Company,
Philadelphia.
1888.

Copyright, 1888, by Fannie A. Beers.



TO

"THE BOYS WHO WORE THE GRAY,"

WHETHER THE LOFTY OR THE LOWLY; EQUALLY TO THE SURVIVING HEROES WHO
STAND BEFORE THE WORLD IN THE LIGHT OF A GLORY NEVER SURPASSED, AND
TO THE MARTYRS WHOSE PATRIOT BLOOD AND SACRED GRAVES HAVE FOREVER
SANCTIFIED THE LAND THEY LOVED,

THESE "MEMORIES"

ARE RESPECTFULLY AND LOVINGLY DEDICATED.



PREFACE.


For several years my friends among Confederate soldiers have been
urging me to "write up" and publish what I know of the war. By
personal solicitation and by letter this subject has been brought
before me and placed in the light of a duty which I owe to posterity.
Taking this view of it, I willingly comply, glad that I am permitted
to stand among the many "witnesses" who shall establish "the truth,"
proud to write myself as one who faithfully served the defenders of
the Cause which had and has my heart's devotion. I have tried to give
a faithful record of my experiences, to "nothing extenuate nor aught
set down in malice," and I have told the truth, but not always the
whole truth. A few of these "Memories" were originally written for the
_Southern Bivouac_, and are here republished because my book would
have been incomplete without them.

I am very inexperienced in the business of making books, but relying
with confidence upon the leniency of my friends, and feeling sure that
I have no enemy who will savagely rejoice that I have written a book,
I make the venture.



CONTENTS.


Introductory


PART I.

CHAPTER I.
Alpha

CHAPTER II.
Alabama

CHAPTER III.
Buckner Hospital, Gainesville, Alabama

CHAPTER IV.
Ringgold

CHAPTER V.
Newnan, Georgia

CHAPTER VI.
Omega

CHAPTER VII.
Confederate Women

CHAPTER VIII.
An Incident of the Battle of the Wilderness

CHAPTER IX.
Fenner's Louisiana Battery

CHAPTER X.
"Bob Wheat"


PART II.
FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.

CHAPTER I.
Nelly

CHAPTER II.
Brave Boys

CHAPTER III.
The Young Color-Bearer

CHAPTER IV.
Bravery honored by a Foe

CHAPTER V.
Sally's Ride

CHAPTER VI.
High Price for Needles and Thread

CHAPTER VII.
Bunny

CHAPTER VIII.
Beauregard


PART III.
AFTER TWENTY YEARS.

CHAPTER I.
"My Boys"

CHAPTER II.
The Confederate Reunion at Dallas

CHAPTER III.
Camp Nichols

CHAPTER IV.
The March of Time

CHAPTER V.
A Woman's Record



INTRODUCTORY.


Among those who early espoused the Southern Cause, few, perhaps, were
more in earnest than my husband and myself. Our patriotism was at the
very outset put to a crucial test. The duties of a soldier and a
civilian became incompatible. Being in ill health, it was thought best
that I should go to my mother at the North for awhile. My husband,
after preliminary service with the "Minute Men" and the State troops,
as a member of Company A, Crescent Rifles, was, with this company,
regularly mustered into the Confederate service in April, 1861, and
left for Pensacola, Florida, where the Crescent Rifles, with the
Louisiana Guards, Orleans Cadets, Shreveport Guards, Terrebonne
Rifles, and Grivot Guards, were organized into the Dreux Battalion. It
was then supposed that "the affair" would be "settled in ninety days."

From my house of refuge I watched eagerly the course of events, until
at last all mail facilities were cut off, and I was left to endure the
horrors of suspense as well as the irritating consciousness that,
although sojourning in the home of my childhood, I was an alien, an
acknowledged "Rebel," and as such an object of suspicion and dislike
to all save my immediate family. Even these, with the exception of my
precious mother, were bitterly opposed to the South and Secession.
From mother I received unceasing care, thorough sympathy, surpassing
love. During this troubled time a little babe was born to me,--a tiny
babe,--who only just opened its dark eyes upon the troubled face of
its mother to close them forever.

The guns of Sumter, reverberating throughout the North, "stirred a
fever in the blood of age" and youth alike. Fanatics raved more wildly
than ever, while those who had hitherto been lukewarm hastened to
swell the cry of horror and fury which everywhere arose at this
"insult to our flag." This feeling found vent in acts of oppression,
met by prompt and determined resistance, and thus was inaugurated the
fratricidal strife which was for four years to desolate the land.

Rumors of an engagement in Virginia intensified my suspense until it
seemed unbearable. One day I received a kindly warning from an old
friend concerning a small Confederate flag which had been sent to me
by my husband. It was a tiny silken affair, which I kept in my
prayer-book. This harmless possession was magnified by the people of
the town into an immense rebel banner, which would eventually float
over my mother's house. I had still a few friends whose temperate
counsel had hitherto protected me. The note referred to warned me that
while I retained possession of the flag I might at any time expect the
presence of a mob. I would not have destroyed my treasure for worlds,
and how to conceal it became a subject of constant thought. The
discovery one day of a jar of "perpetual paste" in mother's secretary
suggested an idea which was at once carried out. Applying this
strongly adhesive mixture to one side of the flag, I pasted it upon
the naked flesh just over my heart. One morning the mail brought
certain news of a Confederate victory at Big Bethel. This so
exasperated the people that on their way from the post-office an
excited crowd halted under my window, crying out, "Where's that rebel
woman?" "Let's have that flag," "Show your colors," etc. Carried away
by intense excitement, I threw open the blinds, and, waving the
newspaper above my head, shouted, "Hurrah! Hurrah for Big Bethel!
Hurrah for the brave rebels!" A perfect howl of rage arose from below,
and greater evil might have befallen but for the timely appearance of
the venerable village doctor, who now rode hastily in among the
excited men, and, standing up in his buggy, cried out, "Friends, she
is but a frail, defenceless woman. Be thankful if your morning's work
be not her death." Slowly and sullenly the crowd dispersed, while the
good doctor hastily ascended to my chamber. I lay with fevered cheeks
and burning eyes among the pillows where my mother had placed me. The
terrible excitement under which I labored forbade all blame or any
allusion to my act of imprudence. I was soothed and tenderly cared for
until, under the influence of a sedative, I fell asleep.

Early next morning the doctor appeared at my bedside. Meantime a
change had come over me. I seemed to have lost the nervous
excitability of a girl and to have become a woman, full of courage and
hope. Dr. ---- regarded me steadily for a moment; then,--"Ah! better
this morning? That's my brave girl." Meeting his gaze fully, I
replied, "I shall try henceforth to be brave, as befits the wife of a
soldier." A frown appeared upon the doctor's brow. Tenderly placing
his hand upon my head, he said, "My child, I fear your courage will
soon be put to the test. Your own imprudence has greatly incensed the
town people. Danger menaces you, and through you, your mother.
Fortunately, the friends of your childhood still desire to protect
you; but your only safety lies in giving up the rebel flag which it is
said you possess. Give it to me, Fannie, and I will destroy it before
their eyes, and thus avert the threatened danger." I only smiled, as I
replied: "Dr. ----, since the rebel flag has existed, I have cherished
it in my heart of hearts. You may search the house over; you will find
no flag but the one I have here," placing my hand on my heart. The
good man had known me from childhood, and he could not doubt me. He
questioned no further, but took his leave, promising to use his
influence with the incensed villagers. They, however, were not so
easily convinced. They had been wrought up to a state of frenzied
patriotism, and declared they would search the house where the
obnoxious flag was supposed to be. Dire threats of vengeance were
heard on every side. At last a committee was appointed to wait upon
"_the traitress_" and again demand the surrender of the flag. It was
composed of gentlemen who, though thorough and uncompromising "Union
men," were yet well known to me, and were anxious, if possible, to
shield me. They were admitted to the room, where I calmly awaited
them. I reiterated the assertion made to the doctor, so calmly, and
with such apparent truth, that they were staggered. But they had come
to perform a duty, and they meant to succeed. They convinced me that
the danger to myself and to the house of my mother was real and
imminent, but I only repeated my assertions, though my heart throbbed
painfully as I saw the anxiety and trouble in mother's face. Suddenly
I remembered that I had in my possession a paper which, just before
all mail communication had ceased between the North and South, had
been sent to me for the purpose of protection. It was simply a
certificate of my husband's membership and good standing in a Masonic
lodge, and had a seal affixed. As I called for the portfolio, all eyes
brightened with expectation of seeing at last the "rebel flag."
Drawing forth from its envelope the fateful document, I said, "I was
told to use this only in dire extremity; it seems to me that such a
time is at hand. If there be any virtue in Masonry, let it now protect
me and the roof which is at present my only shelter!"

Thus speaking, I handed the paper to one whom I knew to be a prominent
Mason. The certificate was duly examined and, after a short
conference, returned. "We will do our best," said the spokesman of the
party, and all withdrew. The day passed without further trouble, and
as I sank to sleep that night there came to me a feeling of safety and
protection, which was indeed comforting.

Weeks passed, during which I slowly but surely gathered the strength
and health necessary to carry out the resolution lately formed, to
join my husband, and, if might be, to labor for the cause so loved.
The unceasing ministrations of my mother strengthened alike soul and
body, but as I read in that dear face a love and devotion which could
never fail, my heart felt many a bitter pang at the thought of the
parting that must be.

One evening, having found the courage necessary to tell mother of my
plans and hopes, to my surprise the noble woman heard me calmly. "I
had expected this," she said. "It is right--you must, go; but, oh! not
now--not soon," and in uncontrollable agitation she left the room.
Two days later the subject was resumed. Ways and means were discussed.
The mother's face grew paler as that of her child brightened and
glowed with returning health and hope. She pleaded to keep my little
boy, but fearing lest his young heart might receive, among the enemies
of Southern liberty, impressions which could not be effaced, I decided
that he must not be left.

Upon the eve of the battle of Manassas we started on our hazardous
journey. The utmost secrecy had been observed. No baggage could be
allowed. My thoughtful mother converted quite a large sum into gold,
which, stitched into a broad belt, was sewed around my waist. One
bright morning mother and I, with my boy, seated ourselves in the
carriage as if for our usual drive. There was no leave-taking, no
appearance of anything unusual. Once on the road, we were rapidly
driven to a railroad depot in a distant town; there I took the train,
while my poor mother returned homeward alone.


Arrived in Baltimore, we found ourselves among those whose hearts were
filled with ardent love of "the Cause," and bitter hatred for the
soldiers who had, in spite of their heroic resistance, so lately
passed through the streets of the city on their way to subjugate the
South. "The rebel" was enthusiastically received. All were ready to
assist her, but at this juncture it seemed impossible to pass the
Federal lines.

The great battle of Manassas had been decided. The wildest excitement
prevailed. Flying soldiers were everywhere. Almost every hour the
sound of fife and drum was heard, as shattered regiments and decimated
battalions marched through the streets. Although all expression of
feeling, among the citizens, was sternly repressed, the mask of sullen
indifference was known to be _but_ a mask. Hearts beneath were
bounding with pride and joy and hope. Almost without exception, houses
were closed and devoid of all appearance of life. Yet behind those
closely-shut blinds women embraced each other with tempestuous joy, or
paced the floor in uncontrollable agitation, or knelt in earnest
prayer, mingling thanksgivings with agonized petitions for those whose
fate was yet unknown. Mothers, sisters, wives, strove, with trembling
lips, to comfort each other, bidding the voice of patriotism be heard
above the "tempest of the heart." In the midst of all this excitement
my interests were never lost sight of. Secret meetings were held, and
various plans discussed. At last, one day a note was received inviting
me to spend a social evening at the house of "one of the faithful." A
casual observer would have discovered nothing more than a few lines of
invitation, still the paper bore a private mark which made my heart
beat with hope.

Arrived at the house indicated, where seemed to be only an ordinary
gathering of friends, I found it difficult to appear at ease, and
watched eagerly for developments. Not a sign or a word was given,
however, until after supper, when the ladies repaired (as usual) to
the dressing-room up-stairs to rearrange their toilets. Instead of
entering with the rest, the hostess, by a slight pressure of the hand,
indicated to me that I was desired to pass on and up a second flight
of stairs.

We did so unnoticed, and soon entered a small room in the third story,
where were found waiting a few friends, among them a captain and clerk
of a steamboat which was expected to leave in three days for Newport
News with United States troops to reinforce Colonel Phelps at that
point. Here appeared to be a chance, but a hazardous one, since the
officers of the boat must not evince any interest in their passenger,
and could afford no assistance or protection among the rough soldiers
who would crowd every available foot of room. They must appear as good
Union men, engaged in transporting troops to assist in quelling "the
rebellion." In case of any rough treatment of the "rebel woman," they
could only appeal to the officers in charge of the troops, and the
result of such an appeal, in the present state of feeling, would be
doubtful. The boat was not a passenger steamer, and had only two or
three small staterooms, occupied by its officers. These might be
required by the military commanders. Instantly, and unhesitatingly, I
decided to make the trial. We ladies then descended to the parlor,
while one by one our friends were conveyed out of the house.

A new difficulty at once arose; a friend had applied to General Scott
for a pass--unsuccessfully. The precious hours were passing, and
failure seemed imminent. This difficulty was increased by the fact
that I had undertaken the charge of Jemmy Little, a boy of ten, who,
having lingered too long at school in Baltimore, had been cut off from
his family in Norfolk, and being desperately unhappy, had implored to
be included in the plans formed for me. He was to pass as my brother,
and, having once promised, I could not disappoint him, especially as
his waking hours were spent by my side, his hand often nestling into
my own, his large wistful eyes questioning my face, as if dreading to
find there some evidence of hesitation or change of purpose.

One day passed. At evening, as I was anxiously pacing my room, my
hostess hurriedly entered, exclaiming, in agitation, "Your brother
awaits you in the drawing-room. I _could_ not welcome him. I _will
not_ see him. Only for your sake would I allow a Federal soldier to
cross my threshold; but he is your brother; go to him."

Trembling with excitement, I descended to the parlor, where I found my
brother,--a mere boy yet,--wearing the uniform of a Federal officer.

"Sister!" "Charles!" each cried, and no further greeting passed
between us. The boy stood with folded arms, looking proudly, yet
tenderly, at me, his only sister, all the brave ardor of a soldier who
believes in the cause he serves revealed in his handsome young face. I
sank into a chair and covered my face, that I might shut out the sight
which so pained me. The interview that followed was long. Finding that
my brother not only approved the determination to join my husband, but
was able and willing to assist in obtaining the necessary pass, I told
him of my wish to have it in possession by the next day, and received
his promise to send it, if possible. He was going to "the front," and
overcome by the thought that I might never see him again, I threw my
arms around his neck, while tears fell fast upon the blue uniform, and
so, with a last embrace, we parted.

The pass, embracing "Mrs. Beers, _brother_, and child," was
forthcoming next day, and the same afternoon I, with my boys, set
forth unattended for the boat. No sign of recognition passed between
the captain and ourselves as we were conducted to the upper deck, and
seated under the awning. Soon the sound of drum and fife announced the
approach of the troops. A regiment of blue-coated soldiers appeared on
the wharf, and directly they marched on board. Witnessing their
embarkation, I could not repress a feeling of extreme uneasiness,
which increased as officers and men appeared on every side. They were
so many: I was the only woman on the boat. Sitting motionless, with
veil closely drawn, holding my boy on my lap, while poor Jemmy nestled
close to my side (valiant in feeling, but of boyish appearance, and
looking even smaller beside the tall soldiers), I hoped to pass
unobserved, but soon after the boat left the wharf found myself
subjected to rude stares and ruder remarks, and at last was forced to
seek the clerk to beg that I might find shelter in one of the little
state-rooms. All were taken by the officers, who seemed utterly
indifferent to the forlorn condition of "Madam Reb." At last the clerk
(after a short consultation with one kindly-looking officer, who,
however, seemed half ashamed of the kindness of heart which contrasted
so finely with the rudeness of his comrades) led the way to a room
below,--small, and close, _but a shelter_. Here he placed us, having
locked us in to prevent intrusion. The boys soon fell asleep, but I
passed the night in listening to the ceaseless noises outside.

Morning found the boat at Fortress Monroe, whence, after a short
delay, she proceeded to Newport News.

Under pretence of guarding well the "female rebel," the good clerk
escorted us to the officers' quarters. Here my pass was examined
closely; many questions were asked and answered. Still, the result
seemed doubtful; means of transportation were wanting. The colonel in
command was inclined to be suspicious and sternly unsympathetic. While
standing tremblingly before those whose adverse decision would, I
knew, crush all my hopes, one of the officers espied around my neck a
slender black chain, and demanded to know what it held. Instantly hope
returned: I drew from my bosom a small case enclosing the Masonic
document before mentioned. As at my mother's house, it was examined
and returned without comment. An hour later, however, a plentiful
repast was set before us, after which a covered ambulance appeared, in
which was placed for my comfort the only arm-chair the camp contained.
Soon, attended by an officer and a guard of Federal soldiers, our
little party entered upon the last stage of our journey to the
Confederate lines.

The route lay amid scenes of desolation sadder than anything I had
ever dreamed of. Fields, which a few short weeks before had given
promise of a rich harvest, were laid waste. Here and there tiny
columns of smoke arose from the smouldering ruins of once happy homes.
The heat and dust were almost insufferable, but as the sun declined a
cool breeze sprang up, and later a flood of moonlight clothed the
landscape with a mystical beauty. It shone coldly on the few deserted
homes which the hand of the destroyer had spared, and to me it seemed
that its silvery rays were like the pale fingers of a mourner who
places white wreaths upon the grave of love. In the soft wind I heard
only moans and sighs.

The children slept soundly in the straw at the bottom of the
ambulance, and soon the steady, monotonous tramp of the guard lulled
me also to rest. We approached the Confederate lines just at sunrise.
A flag of truce was unfurled, and at once answered by an officer on
picket-duty. A short parley ensued. At a word of command the Federal
guard fell back and were replaced by Confederates. A moment later, I,
with my charges, descended, to be greeted with enthusiasm, tempered
with the most chivalrous respect, by the "boys in gray," who proved to
be members of the battalion to which my husband was attached, and who
at once relieved my fears by assurances of his safety. It was a
supreme moment, such as comes seldom in a lifetime, and yet a time for
stern self-repression.

The emotions of a heart at rest, after trials so sore, were too sacred
to find expression.

I gazed around me in silent ecstasy. It seemed to me that the sun had
never shone so brightly, or on a scene so lovely. Noting the manly
faces and noble bearing of those who wore the gray, I felt that the
purple and ermine of kings could not have clothed them half so
magnificently. And, oh I how delicious and appetizing seemed "the
rations," which, though simple, were served under those green trees
with the earnest, genuine hospitality which is so well described by
the term "Southern."

The camp being several miles distant, nothing remained but to wait
patiently for some means of transportation. It was near sunset when
the loud singing of a negro driver was heard. Soon he appeared upon a
novel conveyance,--a rough, unplaned board or two on wheels and drawn
by a single ox. Unpromising as this "_turnout_" appeared, we were
informed that it was a "Godsend," so we joyfully mounted the cart, a
soldier being detailed to accompany us. My little son was made
supremely happy by being invited to sit upon the lap of the driver,
whose characteristic songs beguiled the way through the shadowy woods.
Within a few miles of camp the challenge of a sentry was heard; half
an hour later we found ourselves among the tents of the Dreux
Battalion.

My husband was "on guard," perhaps thinking sadly of his absent wife
and boy, certainly never dreaming they were so near. As the ambulance
drove into camp it was at once surrounded by soldiers, both officers
and privates. As soon as my name was known, some one who evidently
appreciated the situation rushed off in hot haste to notify and
relieve the soldier most interested. Meantime a dozen hands clasped
mine in kindly greeting. To whom they belonged I could not tell, for
the dense shade shut out the moonlight, and seen by the light of the
camp-fires, disguised as each one was in the rough garb of a soldier,
my quondam city friends wore quite unrecognizable.

I will leave to the imagination of the reader the happy meeting
between long-parted ones and the many caresses showered upon our
child.

I had expected nothing better than to spend the night in the ambulance
or under a tent, and would have taken great pride in "camping out,"
but the chivalrous officers in command would not hear of such a plan.
Their quarters (two rooms in a little log house) were instantly
vacated, and I had scarcely descended from the vehicle when a negro
man appeared, to bring a message. "De Major's compliments, mistis, and
_de room am ready_." I could not have been bidden to a luxurious
apartment with more ceremony.

The next morning the shrill sound of the fife and the drum beating the
"reveille" aroused us, and we were up with the sun.

The scene was entrancing; to me particularly so, for the white tents
gleaming among the trees reminded me that I was among _Southern
soldiers_. As they strode to and fro with martial air, fully armed and
equipped to answer roll-call, or bent over the camp-fires preparing
breakfast, it seemed to me that no such splendid soldiers were ever
before seen. Several invitations to breakfast were received; that of
the officers' mess, having been first, was accepted.

Major ---- came in person to escort his guests to a lovely spot near
the cabin, where, under a large shady oak, upon a table of rough
boards covered with a nice white cloth, a delicious meal was set,
consisting of broiled chickens, omelet, fragrant coffee, buttermilk,
corn bread, and batter-cakes. A likely young negro boy attended at
table, industriously flourishing a green branch to keep away the
flies, and seemingly delighted to show off his company manners.

After breakfast I sat long upon the little gallery of the log cabin
entertaining soldier visitors and enjoying the situation with all my
heart. I soon discovered, however, an air of sadness and restraint
which was unaccountable until my husband told me of the death of the
gallant Dreux, the first martyr of the war. Ah! then I knew. Struggle
as they might, their brave hearts were wrung with anguish, for their
gallant leader had succumbed to the only conqueror he ever knew. The
impassioned oratory that had never failed to fire the hearts of men
was hushed forever. The ardent patriotism ever prompting to deeds of
daring was now only a memory. The brilliant intellect and
administrative ability so early recognized, so highly valued, were
lost to the Confederacy.

I no longer wondered that manly brows were clouded, or that the eyes
of soldiers moistened, as, even amidst pleasant conversation, a sudden
remembrance of their loss overcame them. For them the memory of that
death-scene was fresh. The echo of his last brave words had not yet
died away: "_Steady, boys_, steady," as if he would have said, "Let
not my fate appall; _still_ do your duty."

Before the sun was high the ambulance reappeared to convey our party
as far as Williamsburg, where young Little was to remain until he
could hear from his father; I and my boy were to go on to Richmond. My
husband was granted a furlough of two days that he might escort his
family as far as Williamsburg. As may be imagined, the ride was most
delightful. Although often oppressed by thoughts of the parting hour
so rapidly approaching, we were at times charmed into forgetfulness,
and keen enjoyment of the beautiful scenery and the incidents of the
journey. I now, for the first time, began to use from my little store
of gold and silver, and it proved the "open sesame" to much enjoyment.
Watermelons and other fruit, roasting ears, buttermilk, etc., were
purchased without stint, also a chicken. At noon the little party
camped in a grove by the roadside, where my soldier-husband proudly
showed off his new attainments in the way of cooking. The dinner was
pronounced "just splendid" by the appreciative guests. Our boy having
gorged himself, fell asleep upon the grass; the negro driver was sent
off to buy a few dainties to send back to friends in camp, and the two
so lately reunited--so soon to part--enjoyed for the first time an
uninterrupted talk relating to the adventures that each had met with
since our parting in New Orleans. I unfolded my plans for the future,
receiving the full permission and sympathy of my husband.

Soon after the journey was resumed two horsemen appeared on the road
coming from the direction of Williamsburg. I was quite unprepared to
recognize a Confederate officer of high rank in either of the riders
who now approached, as neither were very handsomely uniformed.

The one who most attracted my attention appeared of middle age, was
rather stout, of florid complexion, and (as I thought) looked very
cross. He wore a sort of fancy jacket or roundabout, profusely trimmed
with gold lace.

"There is General Magruder!" exclaimed my husband, and, as the
officers came near, saluted. Bringing the ambulance to a halt with an
imperious gesture, the general sharply questioned him as to his
absence from camp, his name, command, destination, length of time he
expected to be absent, etc. I was then introduced, and began to
express my pleasure at the meeting, etc. The grim visage of the
general did not relax. My pleasant talk was cut short by another
question, this time, of importance. I then found myself subjected to a
series of questions so searching that all I had seen or heard while
passing through the enemy's lines was imparted to General Magruder
before I quite realized the situation.

What woman, denied the pleasure of talking, would not have felt and
expressed, as did my discomfited self, great indignation in view of a
deprivation so severe. But upon being reminded of the heavy
responsibility resting upon the mind and heart of the patriot who
could not withdraw his attention from the great and all-absorbing
interests committed to his guidance long enough to think of, much less
to practise, the amenities of life, I felt ashamed of my hasty anger,
and remembered only that I had been permitted to see and converse with
the hero of the battle of Bethel, the first Confederate victory of the
war.

At Williamsburg, under the roof of the queer, old-fashioned, but
comfortable inn, excellent accommodations were found, and here the
soldier partook heartily of the "square meals" which he knew were his
last for many a day.

A few hours of happiness was all that could be accorded to us. A
battle seemed imminent. My husband must return to his post. I, with my
little boy, proceeded to Richmond, where unbounded kindness and
hospitality awaited me.

Here began the realization of the dream which had haunted me while yet
compelled to linger among the foes of the South. Joining at once the
noble army of women who untiringly ministered to the sick and wounded,
I entered upon the performance of a vow to devote myself to this work
if only the opportunity were accorded me.



MEMORIES.

PART I.



CHAPTER I.

ALPHA.

_Richmond in 1861-62._


Who that witnessed and shared the wild excitement which, upon the days
immediately following the victory at Manassas, throbbed and pulsated
throughout the crowded capital of the Southern Confederacy can ever
forget?

Men were beside themselves with joy and pride,--drunk with glory.

By night the city blazed with illuminations, even the most humble home
setting up its beacon-light,--a sure guide to where loyal, devoted
hearts were throbbing with patriotism.

In the general rejoicing the heavy price of victory was for a time
unheeded. But Richmond had sent forth to battle her best beloved, and,
alas! many were the "unreturning braves."

The dazzling light fell upon many dwellings only to reveal the utter
darkness that reigned without and within. No need to ask why. All knew
that in each darkened home stricken hearts filled with an agony of
desolation struggled in vain to remember that they were mothers and
wives of heroes, but could not yet lift their eyes from the ghastly
wounds--the bloody graves of their dead.

Ah! the lovely, joyous, hopeful, patriotic days of that summer of
1861. The Confederate gray was then a thing of beauty,--the outer garb
of true and loyal souls. Every man who wore it became ennobled in the
eyes of every woman. These boys in gray were strangers to none. Their
uniform was a passport to every heart and every home. Broad Street was
thronged with them all day long.

Officers of all grades rode hither and thither, or congregated on the
steps of the hotels. Squads of soldiers promenaded, gayly chatting
with acquaintances whom they chanced to meet. Occasionally the sound
of drum and fife or the fuller music of a brass band would herald the
appearance of a company or regiment, perhaps just arrived from some
distant State, eager to reach the front. On more retired streets, at
their homes, humble or luxurious, sweet young girls welcomed with
kindly words and sunny smiles officers and private soldiers, extending
equal courtesy to both. The elegant mansions on Clay Street and
elsewhere were never without soldier guests. Impromptu meals were
served whenever needed. In elegant dining-rooms stately servants
supplied the wants of soldiers. No one asked who they were, whence
they came. They were Confederate soldiers--that was quite enough.

In the cool drawing-rooms pleasant chat beguiled the summer hours,
sweet songs floated out upon the air, or the more stirring notes of
"Dixie" or "The Bonnie Blue Flag," played with a spirit and vim which
electrified every listener.

If these warriors who lingered here could have chosen for themselves,
they would never have thus quietly rested upon the laurels won at
Manassas. Contrary to their wishes, they had been recalled from the
pursuit of the flying foe and consigned to temporary inactivity.

As the new companies or regiments came in they were marched into camp
in the suburds or temporarily provided for in the immense tobacco
warehouses which were numerous all over the city. Passing one of
these, at every window appeared laughing or discontented faces of
soldiers newly arrived, full of ardor, ready and expecting to perform
prodigies of valor, yet ignominiously shut up within four brick walls,
with a sentinel guarding every door.

The evening drills at the camp-grounds were attended by hundreds of
ladies. So enthusiastic were these, so full of pride and admiration
for the braves who had come to defend their homes and themselves, so
entirely in accord with the patriotic spirit which burned in every
manly heart, that not a soldier, no matter how humble, came near or
passed before a group of these animated beauties who was not literally
bathed in the radiance of kindly smiles,--transformed into a demigod
by the light of gloriously flashing eyes.

No pen can do justice to the scenes I would fain describe. Language is
quite inadequate to express the feeling which then lived and had its
being in the hearts of all Southern women towards the heroes who had
risen up to defend the liberties of the South. Exalted far above mere
sentiment, holding no element of vanity or selfishness,--idolatrous,
if you will, yet an idolatry which inspired the heart, nerved the
hand, and made any sacrifice possible. No purer patriotism ever found
lodgment in human breast. No more sacred fire was ever kindled by
human hands on any altar than the impulse which imperatively called
men from the peaceful avocations of life to repel the threatened
invasion of their homes and firesides. They were actuated by no spirit
of hatred or revenge (_then_). They sought not to despoil, to lay
waste. But, when justice was dethroned, her place usurped by the demon
of hate and prejudice, when the policy of coercion and invasion was
fully developed, with one heart and voice the South cried aloud,
"_Stand!_ The ground's your own, my braves."

Swift as a meteor, yet clear and unwavering, flashed and burned the
beacon-light first kindled in South Carolina. A million torches
lighted at this flame were borne aloft throughout the Southland.

And now the invader had been met and foiled in his first attempt to
conquer and desolate the homes of Virginia. Who can wonder that their
brave defenders were the idols of a grateful people? Their valor,
having been fully tested, had far surpassed the expectations of the
most sanguine. "Hope told a flattering tale." Alas! _too_ flattering,
for the confidence begotten by this first success inspired a contempt
for the foe quite undeserved.

Meanwhile, the summer sun still brightened the unharmed capitol. The
summer wind still bore aloft on the dome in Capitol Square the flag of
the new Confederacy, the "stars and bars." Here, after sunset and in
the moonlight, came young men and maidens, matrons and children. Old
men, too, who, baring their silvery heads to the cool breeze, gazed
upward at the bonnie flag, with a look half triumphant, half sad; for
the love of the "star-spangled banner" had grown with their growth and
strengthened with their strength, and it had been hard to tear it from
their hearts.

To young eyes the new flag seemed an emblem of glory. Young hearts
glowed with pride as often as they looked upon it. The story of the
eventful hour when it first replaced the "stars and stripes" and
floated over the capitol building in full view of the whole city,
hailed by acclamations from many thousand voices, is still told with
pride by the citizens of Richmond.

The moment it was known that Virginia had passed the ordinance of
secession, the cheering, enthusiastic crowd which had for hours
surrounded Mechanics' Institute, made a rush for the State-House to
"haul down" the old flag, and run up the "stars and bars." Upon making
the attempt, it was found impossible to move the United States flag,
some one having either nailed or driven it with staples to the staff.
Two boys, burning with zeal, started for the cupola to cut loose the
flag. One of these, although a lad of eighteen, was a member of the
Richmond Howitzers. Hoping to outstrip the other, he climbed hand over
hand up the lightning-rod. Just as he reached the goal of his
ambition, however, the staples securing the rod pulled out and the boy
was left swaying back and forth in mid-air, while the crowd upon the
top of the capitol and on the ground below looked on in horror. The
lightning-rod was one of the old-fashioned sort, and more than an inch
in diameter. One after another the staples gave way under the weight.
The rod swayed gently back and forth as if uncertain which way to
fall, but finally lurching towards the up-town side. Every one
expected that the lad would be so disconcerted and appalled when he
struck the edge of the roof, that he would be unable to look out for
his own safety. One of the party resolved to attempt a rescue,
although by so doing his own life would be endangered. Throwing
himself flat on the roof like a bat, he slid down headforemost to the
gutter, which, fortunately, was very wide. Placing himself on his back
in this gutter so as to be able to arrest the other poor boy in his
fall, he waited until the lightning-rod struck the roof, then called
out loudly, "Let go; I'll catch you." The boy obeyed, and as he
slipped down the roof in an almost unconscious condition, his rescuer
in the gutter grasped and held him until he recovered his
self-possession, when both pulled off their shoes and climbed the
steep roof to the skylight. Both boys were gallant soldiers, but
perhaps neither was ever again in greater danger than when excess of
patriotism cost the one that hazardous ride on the lightning-rod, the
other to assume the equally dangerous but noble position of rescuer.

Both are still living,--veterans now. One, occupying a position of
honor and of public trust, is a personal friend of the writer.

To me the Confederate flag was an object of profound love and
passionate devotion. It represented hopes that I thought could never
fail, possibilities so glorious that imagination was dazzled. I used
to go to the square before sunrise, leading my little boy, trying
vainly to make him understand and share in some degree my own
enthusiasm, but instead he only busied himself in trying to steal near
enough to pounce upon one of the many little birds flitting from spray
to spray with happy songs. Approaching the beautiful monument where
the statues are so lifelike as to appear real companions, sentient and
cognizant of one's presence, I chose always a seat where I could gaze
upon the face of Patrick Henry, recalling his stirring words, trying
to imagine what he would have thought and said now, and almost daring
to wish that soul of fire might come, if only for a moment, to animate
the cold form; that the silent lips might speak, the eyes look upward
to where the breeze of morning stirred the sacred flag which my own
heart saluted. Lingering thus until the first rays of the sun came to
glorify its waving folds, I drank in deep draughts of patriotism and
love for the holy cause, sweet, inspiring, elevating; a tonic powerful
and lasting in its effects, bracing mind and soul to persevere in the
course I had marked out for myself, to tread unfalteringly a path
beset by difficulties then undreamed of. Not long afterward the
capitol square became forever sacred to Southern hearts; for here,
standing upon the steps of the beautiful monument, beneath the bronze
statue of George Washington, the first President of the Southern
Confederacy took upon himself the solemn vows of office, and at the
same time the stirring airs of "Dixie" and "The Bonnie Blue Flag"
received the stamp of nationality. Ah! then how overwhelming the
applause. But no one dreamed of a time in the far future when the
Southern Confederacy should have become a thing of the past; of a time
when the first faint notes of "Dixie" would have power to sway the
hearts of thousands, to turn quiet crowds into excited, surging masses
of men who would rend the air with cheers and the dear old "rebel
yell," of women who, unable to control their feelings, would testify
by applauding hands, waving handkerchiefs, and streaming eyes how
precious were the memories awakened.

One moonlight evening I stood again before the statue of that grand
patriot and statesman, Patrick Henry. My companions were Mrs. Frances
Gawthmey, of Richmond, and Commodore Matthew F. Maury, a man whom the
scientific world delighted to honor, and of whom it may be well said,
"We ne'er shall look upon his like again." When Virginia cast her
fortunes with the Southern Confederacy, he held a distinguished
position under the United States Government. Had he sought
self-aggrandizement, renown, the fullest recognition of valuable
services to the Government, the way was open, the prospect dazzling.
But he was not even tempted. Beloved voices called him,--the voices of
love and duty. He listened, obeyed, laying at the feet of the new
Confederacy as loyal a heart as ever beat,--a resplendent genius, the
knowledge which is power.

In the days of my childhood I had known _Captain_ Maury, and had been
taught to revere him. When we met in Richmond, _Commodore_ Maury was
still my friend and mentor. His kindly offices were mine whenever
needed, and his care followed me through all vicissitudes, until,
after many months, the varying fortunes of war separated us, never,
alas! to meet again in this world.

On the evening referred to above, Mrs. Gawthmey and myself, escorted
by Commodore Maury, passed through the square on our way to the hotel,
where we expected to meet a brilliant circle of distinguished
Southerners. Arrived in front of the monument, we paused
involuntarily. The same thoughts which had before come to me seemed to
possess all our minds. Mrs. Gawthmey remarked, "If Patrick Henry had
been living, I reckon Virginia would have stepped out of the Union
side by side with South Carolina." "Well," replied Commodore Maury,
"he would have acted as he thought. There would have been no 'pros and
cons,' and his irresistible eloquence would have carried all before
it." Then baring his head, while the moonlight seemed to glorify his
grand intellectual countenance, he repeated a portion of that grand
oration of Mr. Henry ending, "Give me liberty or give me death." As
those immortal words fell from his lips all remained silent, though
wrought up to the highest pitch of patriotic excitement. After a
moment we walked on very quietly, until, passing out of the mellow
moonlight, we entered the brilliantly-lighted parlors of the
Spottswood Hotel.

The hum of conversation, the sound of careless, happy laughter, the
music of a band playing outside, soon brought us down from the heights
of enthusiasm to the delightful realities of the present. For, spite
of battle and death and perplexities, even certain trouble ahead,
Richmond was gay, hopeful, and "all went merry as a marriage bell."
The gaunt spectres of privation, want, disease, death, of ruined
homes, starving families, and universal desolation, were shadows which
fled before the legions of hope pressing so gladly and gayly to the
front. Here in one corner laughing girls bewitched and held in thrall
young soldier boys,--willing captives,--yet meeting the glances of
bright eyes with far less courage than they had shown while facing the
guns upon the battlefield. Thrilling tales of the late battle wore
poured into credulous ears: "_We_ were _here_. _We_ were _there_. _We_
were everywhere. Our company accomplished wonderful deeds of valor;"
and if Beauty's smile be indeed a fit reward, truly these young heroes
received it.

Our party exchanged greetings with several groups, seating ourselves
at last within the brilliant circle surrounding Judge and Mrs.
Hopkins, of Alabama. Here were several ladies, wives of distinguished
officers in the Confederate service, members of the Cabinet, and
others, and splendid-looking officers in handsome uniforms were
constantly coming and going, exchanging courteous greetings, lingering
for a few moments in conversation, grave or gay. Here, perhaps, a
stately form strode up and down the large rooms so engrossed in
thought as to be regardless of all that was passing. There, in deep
converse, stood a group equally regardless of their surroundings,
whose grave faces and earnest questions showed the importance of the
subject under discussion. Among those who upon that evening and
afterward, "many a time and oft," were met together in those brilliant
rooms there was not one heart untouched by the fire of patriotism,--a
flame fed by every thought, word, and action, burning ever with
steadily-increasing brightness.

I fail to recall many of the illustrious names which on that night
sounded like stirring music in my ears; but as often as memory reverts
to that scene, the forerunner of repeated pleasures, I seem to feel
anew the pressure of friendly hands, unforgotten faces appear through
the mists of the past, still aglow with "the light of other days."

Judge Hopkins was rather an invalid, but his high position, fine
appearance, his pleasant conversational powers, marked him as one
worthy of attention from all.

To Mrs. Hopkins had been entrusted the duty of caring for the sick and
wounded soldiers from Alabama. Two State hospitals had already been
established by her, and she had full power to control all matters
connected with these hospitals, except such as came within the
province of the surgeon in charge.

I have never seen a woman better fitted for such a work. Energetic,
tireless, systematic, loving profoundly the cause and its defenders,
she neglected no detail of business or other thing that could afford
aid or comfort to the sick or wounded. She kept up a voluminous
correspondence, made in person every purchase for her charges,
received and accounted for hundreds of boxes sent from Alabama
containing clothing and delicacies for the sick, and visited the wards
of the hospitals every day. If she found any duty neglected by nurse
or surgeon or hospital steward, her reprimand was certain and very
severe. She could not nurse the sick or wounded personally, for her
whole time was necessarily devoted to executive duties, but her smile
was the sweetest, I believe, that ever lit up a human face, and
standing by the bedside of some poor Alabamian, away from home, and
wretched as well as sick, she must have seemed to him like an angel
visitant. A more decided woman in dealing with all who came within her
influence or control I never knew, yet she was kindly withal, though
never expecting or brooking opposition. To her husband alone she
deferred in all things, and was gentleness itself.

On meeting her for the first time she called me to her side, saying,
in her abrupt way, "I like you, you are so in earnest; do you really
mean to nurse our sick soldiers during the war, as Mr. Maury tells
me?" I replied, as I distinctly recollect, with great fervor, "I do,
God helping me."

"But you are not strong enough, and you are too young."

Again I replied, "I feel that I am called to the work, and strength
will be given me."

She laid her hand kindly upon my shoulder, smiling as she said, "I may
put you to the test some day; be ready."

This conversation occurred on the evening of my visit to the hotel
with my friends. On the way home an earnest protest against my
"quixotic idea" was made by both, which ended in a truce of a few
days, during which it was hoped I would repent and rescind my
determination.

On the corner of Clay and Twelfth Streets stood the pleasant and
commodious residence of Mr. and Mrs. Booker.

My friend Mrs. Gawthmey resided here, and here the greater part of my
time was spent when "off duty" (of which more anon).

This model Virginia household was so true a type of the homes of
Richmond as they were at that time, that its description will present
to the reader _all_, for the same spirit pervaded every one. As in
almost every case, the young men of the family were in the Confederate
service (the sons of this household were of the Richmond Howitzers).
The father, in feeble health, yet lavished his means and his little
strength upon every patriotic duty which arose. The mother, far more
youthful, active, and energetic, full of enthusiasm for the cause,
exceeding proud of the brave boys whom she had freely sent out to
battle, loving and serving all soldiers with heart and hand, was
seconded with equal ardor and wonderful ability by her sweet young
daughters. The spare sleeping-rooms were always daintily prepared, and
at the service of any _soldier_ who needed care and rest. _Soldiers_
feeble from recent illness were encouraged to recline awhile in
restful arm-chairs in the cool flower-scented parlors, while the girls
often entertained them with music or pleasant conversation.

Not a meal was set in that house unshared by one or more _soldiers_.
The table was always as attractive as finest linen damask, elegant
china and glass, and handsome silver could make it. The meals were
abundant and nourishing, but plain. Delicacies of all kinds were
prepared constantly in that "Virginia kitchen," and daintily arranged
in the pantry by the ladies' own hands, but only to be sent to the
sick and wounded strangers lying in the numerous hospitals.

Opposite to the home just described arose the spacious but
unpretentious residence of President Davis, the Confederate "White
House" (in this case only in a figurative sense, for the executive
mansion was of dark brown stone or stucco). As nearly as I can
remember, the main entrance was on Clay Street. On one side the
windows opened on Twelfth Street, on the other lay a beautiful garden
extending quite to the edge of "Shokoe Hill," which overlooked the
classic valley of "Butchertown," through the midst of which ran
"Shokoe Creek." The boys of this region, from generation to
generation, had been renowned for exceeding pugnacity. Between them
and the city boys constantly-recurring quarrels were so bitter that
sometimes men were drawn in through sympathy with their boys. The law
seemed powerless to put an end to this state of things.

Regular arrangements were made, definite challenges were given and
accepted, and fights took place between successive sets of boys as
they grew old enough to throw down or take up the gauntlet. Richmond
was at that time considered a law-abiding city, and had only a few
policemen, whom the boys found it easy to elude. The appearance of
officers Chalkly and Tyler, however, generally served to close the
fight _until next time_.

Within the Presidential mansion was no magnificence of furniture or
appointments,--nothing in the style of living calculated to create
dissatisfaction or a sense of injustice in the minds of those who,
equally with their chosen leader, had already sacrificed much, and
were willing to give their _all_ to the cause. No pomp and
circumstance chilled loyal hearts.

Jefferson Davis, the _statesman_ to whose wisdom had been entrusted
the destinies of the South; the _patriot_ who merged his ambition, his
hopes, _himself_, in his devotion to the right; the _Christian_, who
humbly committed his ways unto the Lord, whose dignity enhanced
prosperity, whose fortitude conquered adversity,--Jefferson Davis, the
chosen exponent of undying principles, was yet in his own house simply
a Southern gentleman,--a kindly, genial host, extending genuine
hospitality to all.

Of Mrs. Davis my recollections are very pleasant. Always meeting from
her a cordial reception, admiring the unaffected courtesy which put
her visitors at their ease, I yet became distinctly conscious that in
her the feelings of wife and mother were stronger than any other; that
no matter into what station of life it should please God to call her,
devotion to these womanly duties would be paramount.

From the very first there was among the people of the South an earnest
dependence upon God, a habit of appeal to His mercy and
loving-kindness, and a marked attention to religious duties. On
Sundays the churches were crowded with devout worshippers. Every
service was attended by more or less Confederate soldiers, generally
in squads, but sometimes even in companies, marshalled by some of
their officers.

The first Sunday after my arrival in Richmond, kneeling in St. James's
Church, I heard for the first time the _changed_ prayer for the
"President of the _Confederate_ States and all others in authority." A
death-like silence prevailed during the most solemn and impressive
reading of the prayer. Then from every mouth welled forth a fervent,
heartfelt "Amen!" The earnest, manly voices of the soldiers added
depth and volume to the sound which thrilled every pulse of one's
being. It did not seem to us that we were merely going through a form
of prayer for one of "those in high places," but that our President
was one of ourselves, and all hearts went out toward him, earnestly
desiring for him heaven's choicest blessings,--the all-wise guidance
he was so sure to need.

Scattered all over the city in many a shady nook were cosey, pleasant
retreats, where wounded or sick soldiers were gladly welcomed,--private
hospitals presided over by ladies, sustained by their constant
attention and unbounded liberality. One lady generally had direction of
the affairs of one particular hospital, assisted by others whose duties
lay just there, and who devoted each in turn on successive days their
entire care and attention to this labor of love. For instance, on
Monday certain ladies sent in all the cooked food needed by the
patients. Others personally nursed the sick. Still others attended to
the distribution of the food or superintended the servants, and so with
all duties required. On Tuesday another set of ladies were on duty, and
so on.

My whole heart and soul went out toward the sick soldiers. My days
were mostly spent in visiting the hospitals.

At first the larger ones attracted me, because there seemed to be so
many sufferers and more need of nurses. My timid advances (never
amounting to a direct application, but only a suggestion as to my
qualifications as a nurse) were condescendingly smiled down by the
surgeons in charge. My youthful appearance was against me. Besides,
there really was no need for other nursing in many of the State
hospitals, notably that of Louisiana, than the angelic ministrations
of the Sisters of Charity, whose tireless vigils knew no end, whose
skill and efficiency, as well as their constant devotion, environed
the patients committed to their care. Occasionally I was allowed the
blessed privilege of fanning a sick hero or of moistening parched lips
or bathing fevered brows. But somebody always came whose _business_ it
was to do these things, and I was set aside. One day, however, by a
happy chance, I found in a ward of one of the hospitals a poor fellow
who seemed to have been left to die. So forlorn, so feeble, so near
death did he seem, that my heart yearned over him, for he was only a
boy, and I knew he was _some_ mother's darling. He had, like many
other soldiers, been unwilling to go to a hospital, and remaining in
camp while broken out with measles, took cold and provoked an attack
of pneumonia. In addition to this, terrible abscesses had formed under
each ear, and his eyes were swollen and suppurating. His surgeon said
there was little hope of his recovery; none at all unless he could be
removed to some more quiet place, and receive unremitting care and
watchfulness as well as excellent nursing. "Can he be removed if I
promise to fulfil all these conditions?" said I. "It is a risk, but
his only chance," replied Dr. ----. "Then I will go at once and
prepare a place." As I spoke, the suffering boy grasped my hand with
all his feeble strength, as if afraid to let me leave him. Reassuring
him as well as I could, I rushed off to the "Soldiers' Rest," where I
knew I should find friends ready and willing to help me. My tale was
soon told to the ladies in charge, who at once and with all their
hearts entered into my plans. One vacant cot temptingly clean and
white was moved into a secluded corner and assigned to me for the use
of my "sick boy." The loan of an ambulance, readily obtained,
facilitated his removal. That same evening I had the satisfaction of
seeing him laid carefully upon the comfortable bed so kindly prepared
by the ladies of the Soldiers' Rest, exhausted, but evidently not
worse for the change.

Right here began my career as a nurse of Confederate soldiers. This
was my first patient,--_my very own_,--to have and to hold until the
issues of life and death should be decided. All facilities were
accorded me by the ladies. Dr. Little gave his most careful attention
and his greatest skill, but the nursing, the responsibility, was mine.

I may as well state that I came off with flying colors, earning the
precious privilege, so ardently desired, of being enrolled among those
ready for duty and _to be trusted_. My patient recovered, and returned
to his command, the ---- Mississippi Regiment. His name was D. Babers,
and twenty years after the war I met him once more,--a stalwart,
bearded man, as unlike as possible the pale young soldier who had
lived in my memory. His delight and gratitude and that of his family
seemed unbounded, and so I found the bread once cast upon the waters
very sweet when returned to me "after many days."

Finding that my desultory wanderings among the larger hospitals were
likely to result in little real usefulness, and that the ladies
attached to the Soldiers' Rest would be glad of my help, I became a
regular attendant there. This delightful place of refuge for the sick
and wounded was situated high up on Clay Street, not very far from one
of the camps and parade-grounds. A rough little school-house, it had
been transformed into a bower of beauty and comfort by loving hands.
The walls, freshly whitewashed, were adorned with attractive pictures.
The windows were draped with snowy curtains tastefully looped back to
admit the summer breeze or carefully drawn to shade the patient, as
circumstances required. The beds were miracles of whiteness, and clean
linen sheets, in almost every case, draped and covered them. Softest
pillows in slips of odorous linen supported the restless heads of the
sick. By the side of each cot stood a small table (one or two
old-fashioned stands of solid mahogany among them). Upon these were
spread fine napkins. Fruit, drinks, etc., were set upon them, not in
coarse, common crockery, but in delicate china and glass. _Nothing was
too good for the soldiers_. The school-house contained three rooms.
The school-room proper was quite large, and here were ranged about
thirty beds. One of the recitation-rooms was set apart for patients
who might need special attention or seclusion. The other was occupied
by the ladies whose duty it was to receive and distribute the delicate
and nutritious supplies of food which unfailingly arrived at stated
hours, borne by aristocratic-looking colored servants, on silver
waiters or in baskets covered with snowy damask. During every hour of
the day, gentle women ministered untiringly to the sick. They woke
from fevered dreams to behold kindly faces bending above them, to feel
the touch of soft hands, to receive the cooling draught or welcome
food. Every evening brought carriage-loads of matrons and young girls
laden with flowers or fruit, bringing books, and, better than all,
smiles and pleasant words. The sick soldiers were objects of interest
to all. All hearts yearned over them, all hands were ready to serve
them. As night came on, the ladies who had served during the day were
replaced by others. No one ever failed to meet her self-imposed
duties. No patient was for a moment neglected.

I cannot recall the names of all the ladies who attended at the
Soldiers' Rest. Those whom I knew best were Mrs. Gawthmey, Mrs.
Booker, Mrs. Grant, Miss Catherine Poitreaux, Mrs. Edmond Ruffin, and
Miss Susan Watkins.

A few steps below, between Ninth and Tenth Streets, was another
private hospital, similar in almost every respect to the one just
described, organized and presided over by Mrs. Caroline Mayo. She also
was assisted by several ladies, but had entire direction, and threw
herself into the work with all her soul. Her patriotism was boundless,
her courage and endurance unfailing. Not only at that time, but for
three years, every hour of her time, every thought of her heart, was
given to the sick and wounded Confederates.

Sometimes, alas! the care and nursing lavished upon the sick was
unavailing. Death often invaded the "Rest." In every case the rites of
burial were accorded. Women remembered tenderly the far-distant mother
or wife, and therefore honored their dead.

For a few days after my patient had ceased to need special nursing I
continued to serve with, the ladies attached to the little hospital on
Clay Street, still longing, however, for a larger sphere of
usefulness.

One morning, just as I had arrived there and was preparing to begin my
daily duties, a carriage stopped at the door, from which Mrs. Judge
Hopkins descended, and, hastily entering the hospital, announced to
the ladies that she had "_come for Mrs. Beers_." They strongly
demurred, and I felt at first great hesitation in obeying so hasty a
summons. But Mrs. Hopkins was very much in earnest. "Indeed, you
_must_ come," said she, "for I have great need of you. A large number
of sick and wounded Alabamians will arrive this morning. I have found
a place to put them, but some one must be there to prepare for their
accommodation, to receive hospital supplies, and direct their
arrangement, while I make purchases and attend to other matters.
Come," holding out both hands towards me; "no _hireling_ can fill the
place. Come, _now_; with me: we have no time to lose." I hesitated no
longer, but entered the carriage. We were at once driven down-town,
stopping to order cots, mattresses, etc., then to the corner of ----
and ---- Streets, where stood an immense tobacco factory, owned by
Messrs. Turpin & Yarborough.

Arrived here, a pitiful sight met our eyes. Perhaps fifty sick men had
arrived unexpectedly, and were sitting or lying about in every
conceivable position expressive of feebleness, extreme illness, utter
exhaustion. Mr. Yarborough, having given up the keys to Mrs. Hopkins,
was impatiently pacing in and out among the prostrate men. Coming upon
this scene, both Mrs. Hopkins and myself at once realized all that lay
before us, and braced our nerves to meet the emergency.

The men were soon under shelter, but no beds had yet arrived. Mrs.
Hopkins led me into the factory, introduced me to Dr. Clark, who had
come to take charge as surgeon, and placed me under him at the head of
affairs as her deputy. A corps of nurses, hastily summoned, were
ordered to report to me.

Meantime immense boxes arrived from the depot, sent by the people of
Alabama. These contained pillows, comforts, sheets, as well as wines,
cordials, and every delicacy for the sick, also quantities of shirts,
drawers, and socks, old and new. The boxes were wrenched open, pillows
placed quickly under the heads of the sickest, and cordials
administered. As the beds came in they were placed, made up, and the
worst cases first, others afterward, were transferred to them, until
all were lying comfortably between clean sheets and clad in clean
shirts and drawers. There was no lack of food, both substantial and of
a kind proper for the very sick.

I do not believe that a squad of sick soldiers arrived in Richmond, at
least during the first year of the war, who were not discovered and
bountifully fed shortly after their arrival. In this case waiter after
waiter of food was sent in, first from the house of Mr. Yarborough and
afterward by all the neighborhood. Hospital supplies having been
ordered as soon as it was known the sick men were expected, all
necessaries were soon at hand, while the boxes referred to supplied
many luxuries. The large room into which all these were huddled
presented for days a scene of "confusion worse confounded." The
contents of two of the largest boxes were dumped upon the floor, the
boxes themselves serving, one as a table for the drugs, the other as a
sort of counter where the druggist quickly compounded prescriptions,
which the surgeons as hastily seized and personally administered.
Carpenters were set at work; but of course shelves, etc., could not be
magically produced, so we placed boards across barrels, arranging in
piles the contents of the boxes for ready use.

Mrs. Hopkins, sitting upon a box, directed these matters, while I had
my hands full attending to the poor fellows in the wards where they
had been placed.

Four of our sick died that night. I had never in my life witnessed a
death-scene before, and had to fight hard to keep down the emotion
which would have greatly impaired my usefulness.

At the end of a long, large wing of the factory were two excellent
rooms, formerly the offices of the owners. These were comfortably
fitted up, the one as a bedroom for myself, and the other as a
sitting-room and private office. A female servant was specially
assigned to me, who slept on a mattress on the floor of the
sitting-room, and whose duty it was to accompany me through the wards
and render any special or personal service required. A long hall ran
along this wing, connecting the offices with the main building. The
long, broad room opening out of this hall was fitted up as a ward
specially mine, for the reception of my own friends and very ill
patients who needed my special attention day and night. This favor was
granted me because I had shown some unwillingness to place myself in
any position where I could not nurse any Louisiana soldier friends or
others who might desire or be permitted to come to me. As soon as
matters were somewhat settled, my little son joined me in my new
quarters, and thus the Third Alabama Hospital became our home for many
a month. The little fellow spent very little time there, however. My
Richmond friends never lost sight of me for one day during my service
in that city. Nearly every day my little boy was sent for to play
among happy children, far away from the impure atmosphere of the
hospital, which was soon filled with patients suffering from almost
every form of disease.

As the demand for more room became pressing, the three stories of the
main building were successively utilized, as well as a large
storage-room in the yard. The ground-floor contained the surgeons' and
steward's offices, store-rooms, etc., while the second and third
formed two immense sick-wards. The first floor of the long wing before
mentioned was occupied by the kitchen and sleeping apartments for
servants.

Mrs. Hopkins and I thought exactly alike regarding the disposition of
the delicacies continuously sent from all points in Alabama for the
sick and wounded. None but the sick should have them. Nothing but the
simple though plentiful rations were ever served at the meals, which
the resident surgeons and druggists shared with me. Yet, by the
never-ceasing kindness of friends outside, I was well supplied with
luxuries enough for myself, and to share with my messmates each day.

Having the care and responsibility of so many sick, my time was fully
occupied, I seldom went out. I could not stop to talk to visitors, but
often led kind ladies to the bedsides of those whom I knew would enjoy
and be benefited by their bright presence and kindly words, as well as
by their offerings of flowers, fruit, or dainties.

Amid disease and suffering, battling always with death (too often,
alas! the conqueror), I was yet happy and content. The surgeons were
skilful and devoted; the means at hand to supply the wants, even the
caprices of my patients, as soon as expressed.

I loved very dearly these heroes whom I served, and felt that I was as
well beloved. Welcoming smiles, eager greetings, grateful words,
blessed me as unfailingly as the sunlight and dew the earth. Every
hour of toil brought its own rich reward. These were Confederate
soldiers. God had permitted me to work for the holy cause. This was
enough to flood my whole being with content and deepest gratitude.

Next to Commodore Maury one of my most faithful friends was Dr.
Little, of Richmond. He was surgeon of the Soldiers' Rest, and also
attended the sick soldiers at many private houses in the city and at
some of the larger hospitals.

Small in stature, in extremely delicate health, he was yet a giant as
far as skill and work were concerned. An earnest Christian, a polished
gentleman, of quiet and unassuming yet elegant manners, interesting in
conversation, a true, firm friend, an unflinching patriot, what more
could be added to indicate an almost perfect character? His care and
watchfulness, combined with rare skill,--directed by the All-merciful
Father,--saved the life of my little boy, who was brought to death's
door by an attack of typhoid fever during the fall of 1861.

Meantime, as the months rolled on, it became evident that the victory
at Manassas could not be considered as a criterion of future success.
Everywhere there was fighting. Varying fortune attended the
Confederate arms. _Un_varying glory, unsurpassed, magnificent bravery
so dazzled the eyes of the nation that none saw or admitted defeat
anywhere. Yet valuable territory had been surrendered. Homeless
refugees flocked into Richmond, but even these were hopeful and
defiant, almost proud of their early martyrdom, ready to serve the
cause by "doing all their hands found to do with their might."

If anything had been needed to inspire hope, to arouse patriotic
pride, the appearance of Johnston's army as it passed through Richmond
on its way to the Peninsula to foil once more the "On-to-Richmond"
plans of the enemy would have more than sufficed.

Oh, what days were those, which came _unheralded_, to write their
history in letters of fire upon the records of the city of Richmond!

General Johnston had kept his own counsel. Says Pollard: "With such
consummate address was this move managed, that our own troops had no
idea of what was intended until the march was taken up." Soldiers had
been continually passing through the city, but by companies or
regiments, each in its turn admired and enthusiastically cheered. Now,
when seemingly countless legions swept by with martial tread, their
resounding footsteps and splendid appearance equally with the roll of
many drums and the clash of regimental bands stirred the hearts of the
multitude thronging the sidewalks, crowding every door-way and
gallery, "mounting wall and battlement, yea, even to chimney-top;"
not, indeed, to see a "great Cæsar," but to hail with wildest delight
a magnificent army, of which the humblest soldier was a "greater than
Cæsar," inasmuch as he was ready to sacrifice upon the altar of
patriotism all that the Roman conqueror held most dear first of
all,--_personal ambition_.

Among the crowd, side by side with the ladies resident in Richmond,
stood mothers, wives, sisters, from other Southern States, looking
eagerly for the well-known uniform worn by _their own_, proudly
pointing them out as they passed, even to utter strangers, sure of
warmest sympathy, following them with longing eyes until they were
lost to sight, hundreds, alas! _forever_.

Among the gayly-fluttering banners borne proudly aloft some were
ragged and torn by shot or shell. As each of these appeared men
shouted themselves hoarse, women drew shuddering sighs and grew
deathly pale, as if realizing for the first time the horrors of war
and the dangers their loved ones had passed.

For several days this excitement was kept up. All night heavy
artillery rumbled along Broad Street. At any hour of the night I could
see from my window shadowy figures of mounted men, could hear the
ceaseless tramp of cavalry horses. Every day the sun shone upon the
glittering bayonets and gay flags of swiftly-passing soldiery. The air
was flooded with music until the last strain died away, and the calm
which preceded a terrible storm of battle fell upon the city.

The glorious scenes of the past few days had engendered a sense of
protection and security. All felt that this splendid army _must_ prove
invincible.

In the Valley of Virginia brave troops under Stonewall Jackson were
actively engaged in keeping the enemy at bay. Forced marches,
insufficient food, the want of tents to shelter them from the weather
while they slept, continually decimated this army.

The number of wounded in our wards increased daily. Sick men poured
into the hospital. Often they came too late, having remained at the
post of duty until fever had sapped the springs of life or the
rattling breath sounded the knell of hope, marking too surely that
fatal disease, double pneumonia. Awestruck I watched the fierce battle
for life, the awful agony, trying vainly every means of relief,
lingering to witness struggles which wrung my heart, because I could
not resist the appealing glance of dying eyes, the hoarse, whistling
whisper that bade me stay,--because I must try to comfort the parting
soul, must hope to catch some last word or message to comfort the
loved ones at home.

Since then I have witnessed every form of suffering and death, but
none more appalling than the fierce struggle for breath, when the
lungs are filling up by sure degrees, in the last stages of the
disease. Never has the Death Angel seemed to me more merciful than
when he took in his icy grasp the fevered hands wildly beating the
air, closed the starting eyes, silenced the gasping breath.

Fortunately, I then had ample means at my command to relieve
suffering, in many cases even to indulge the caprices of the sick. In
this I only acted as the almoner of devoted, generous women in
far-away homes, who deprived themselves of every luxury to benefit the
sick soldiers. There seemed to be no end to the arrival and unpacking
of boxes.

To nearly every one of numberless pairs of socks and gloves was pinned
a paper upon which was written some kindly message, a few words of
cheer, generally signed with the name of the donor. Strange as it may
seem, it is perfectly true that I found among these (not once, but
several times) the name of one of my patients, and at a venture
bearing the article to his bedside, watched his delight, the eager
grasp, the brightened eyes, the heaving breast of some poor fellow who
had thus accidentally received a gift and message from his own home.

Although relieved of all unnecessary fatigue, having at my command
nurses and servants to carry out my plans for the sick, the burden of
their suffering lay heavy upon my own heart. The already full wards of
the hospital now became crowded. For many of the gallant men who a few
weeks before had marched so gayly to their doom were brought back
bearing horrible, ghastly wounds.

Anxious responsibility murdered sleep. A shuddering horror, a
consuming pity, possessed me as often as dreadful groans from the
operating-room reached my ears. No one could have convinced me then
that I should ever _get used to it_, as I _did_ later.

Mrs. Hopkins watched over me with the tenderness of a mother. But she
also had hands and heart full. Her cautions, with those of other
friends, bore not a feather's weight in comparison with the increasing
demands of my sick. But one day I fell fainting while on duty. Thus
began a severe attack of nervous fever, which brought me very low. Can
I ever forget the tender, devoted nursing of some of the ladies of
Richmond! Truly it seemed as if "God had sent angelic legions," whose
sweet faces bent above me day after day, whose kindly voices pervaded
my feverish dreams. The same care usually given to sick soldiers was
now lavished upon me. After several days I was able to leave my bed,
but, finding myself totally unfit for duty, and being unwilling to
remain a burden upon my kind friends, I decided to go to my husband's
relatives in Alabama, though fully intending to return to my labors in
Richmond as soon as my strength should be restored.

My husband having been transferred to the Army of Tennessee, where he
continued to serve until the close of the war, this plan was changed.
I have never since revisited the scene of my earliest service to the
Confederacy. Perhaps it is as well that I did not, for memory
preserves at least this one picture, more full of light than shadow,
because always softly illumined by the beautiful star which had not
then begun to wane,--"the star of Hope."



CHAPTER II.

ALABAMA.

_"Here we rest."_


The hoarse panting of the steam-pipes, the clangor of bells, the
splashing of the paddle-wheels, died away in the distance as I stood
upon the landing watching the receding boat steaming down the Alabama
River on its way to Mobile.

Ah, how lovely appeared the woodland scenery around me! The sombre
green of pines, and the equally dark though glossy foliage of oaks,
were beautifully enlivened by lighter greens, and by the brilliant
hues of the sassafras-tree. Here climbed in tantalizing
beauty--tempting as insidious vice, which attracts but to destroy--the
poison-oak vine. Cherokee roses starred the hedges, or, adventurously
climbing the highest trees, flung downward graceful pendants. Upon the
edge of the bank stood a lofty pine, branchless and dead, but, by the
law of compensation which nature delights to execute, clothed to the
very top with closely-clinging vines of mingled green and brightest
red.

Standing upon the bluff above the river, drinking in the beauty of the
scene, listening to the murmur of waters, the song of birds, the weird
music of the pines, I repeated to myself the sweet name _Alabama_ with
a new sense of its fitness: sweet quiet and restfulness seemed to
belong to the spot.

Surely, the noise of battle, the suffering and sorrow I had so lately
witnessed, could never invade this abode of peace. Walking towards the
house where I was to await conveyance to the plantation of my uncle, I
heard the moaning of one apparently in deep distress. At the door the
lady of the house appeared, with red eyes and a sorrowful countenance.
Said she, "Just listen at Mrs. ----. Her son went off on the boat to
join the army, and 'pears like she can't get over it. _She kept up
splendid until after he got off_." I sat listening, not daring to
intrude upon such sorrow.

Over the lovely landscape before me fell the shadow of the future, a
shadow soon to darken every fair domain, every home in all the South.

After a time the grieving mother passed out, and, entering her
carriage, was driven away to her desolate home.

Later, I, too, accomplished the last ten miles of my journey, arriving
at my destination in time for supper, and meeting with a cordial
welcome from my friends.


Let none give undue praise to the women to whom during the war
Almighty God vouchsafed the inestimable privilege of remaining near
the front, even though they may have endured untold hardship, hours of
agony while listening to the noise of battle, fully realizing the
extreme danger of beloved fathers, husbands, or sons.

Never until my visit to Alabama had I fully realized the horrors of
suspense,--the lives of utter self-abnegation heroically lived by
women in country homes all over the South during the dreary years of
the war.

Every day--every hour--was fraught with anxiety and dread. Rumor was
always busy, but they could not hear _definitely_: they could not
_know_ how their loved ones were faring.

Can imagination conceive a situation more pitiable?

Ghastly visions made night hideous. During the day, the quick
galloping of a horse, the unexpected appearance of a visitor, would
agitate a whole household, sending women in haste to some secret place
where they might pray for strength to bear patiently whatever tidings
the messenger should bring.

Self-denial in all things began from the first. Butter, eggs,
chickens, etc., were classed as luxuries, to be collected and sent by
any opportunity offering to the nearest point of shipment to hospital
or camp. Fruits were gathered and made into preserves or wine "for the
sick soldiers." Looms were set up on every plantation. The whirr of
the spinning-wheel was heard from morning until night. Dusky forms
hovered over large iron cauldrons, continually thrusting down into the
boiling dye the product of the looms, to be transformed into
Confederate gray or _butternut_ jeans.

In the wide halls within the plantation-houses stood tables piled with
newly-dyed cloth and hanks of woollen or cotton yarns. The knitting of
socks went on incessantly. Ladies walked about in performance of
household or plantation duties, sock in hand, "casting on," "heeling,"
"turning off." By the light of pine knots the elders still knitted far
into the night, while to young eyes and more supple fingers was
committed the task of finishing off comforts that had been "tacked"
during the day, or completing heavy army overcoats; and painfully
these toiled over the unaccustomed task.

When a sufficient number of these articles had been completed by the
united efforts of ladies for miles around, a meeting was held at one
of the churches, where all helped to pack boxes to be sent to "the
front." I attended one of these meetings, the memory of which is ever
fresh.

We started from the plantation in the early morning. Our way lay along
the red clay roads which in many parts of Alabama contrast so
beautifully with the variously-shaded green of the woods and the brown
carpet beneath the pines. The old negro driver, "Uncle George,"
sitting upon the box, looked solemnly out from the enormous and stiff
shirt-collar which helped to support his dignity.

I believe the old man always drove his beautiful horses under protest.
It was either too early or too late, too hot or too cold, the roads
either too muddy or too dusty.

This particular morning was so lovely that even the horses seemed to
enjoy it, and for some reason "Uncle George" was less pompous and more
gentle than usual. Perhaps the anxious faces of the ladies touched his
heart, or he may have been softened by the knowledge of the perils his
young masters were being subjected to.

As often as we passed horseman or carriage on the road a stop was
ordered, while the ladies made eager inquiries for news from Richmond.

The battle of Shiloh, and afterwards that of Seven Pines, had
desolated many homes in the vicinity. The fate of some was yet
uncertain. Strong fellow-feeling knit all hearts. _Any_ passer-by,
even if a stranger, asked or answered questions.

A drive of eight miles brought us to the church, a simple, lowly
building, the "Grove Church" I believe it was called. Here beneath the
shade were drawn several carriages, and at the door a few
plantation-wagons waited, some laden with straw, others with articles
to be sent off. In the vestibule, boxes were being rapidly filled. It
was a busy scene, but by no means a gay one. A few unconscious
children "played at party" in the pews, setting out on leaves or bits
of bark their luncheon, broken into fragments, and serving in acorn
cups cold water for tea. Unmolested and unreproved, they ran up and
down the steps of the high, old-fashioned pulpit, half-fearfully
sitting down upon the minister's chair, or standing on tip-toe to peep
over the sacred desk at the busy group below. Young girls moved
silently about "helping." Over their pale lips not a ripple of
laughter broke. The fire of youth seemed to have died out of their sad
eyes, quenched for a time by floods of bitter tears.

To kindly question one of these replied, "Mamma is well, but of course
utterly prostrated, and does not leave her room. Papa is still in
Virginia nursing Buddie Eddie. We have no tidings of brother yet; he
is reported 'missing,' but we hope he may have been taken prisoner."

Some familiar faces were absent. And of these it was told that one had
lost a husband, another a son, and so the sadness deepened. Presently
the trot of a horse was heard. In another moment the good minister
stood among his people. Alas! he could only confirm the fearful tales
of battle and carnage. But from the storehouse of mind and heart he
brought forth precious balm, won direct from heaven by earnest prayer
and simple faith. With this he strove to soothe the unhappy, anxious
ones who looked to him for comfort. His heart yearned over his little
flock, wandering in a pathway beset with sharpest thorns. But upon his
troubled face was plainly written, "Of myself I can do nothing." A few
faltering words he essayed, but, as if conscious of the utter
uselessness of any language save that of prayer, he raised imploring
hands to heaven, saying, simply, "Let us pray."

Calmer, if not comforted, all arose from their knees, and, having
finished their labor of love, separated, to return to the homes which
had known beloved forms and faces, but would know them no more for
years, perhaps forever.

Upon reaching once more our own home, we crept, one by one, to a
darkened chamber, where lay a martyred mother whose son had been slain
at the battle of Seven Pines. Pale as death she lay, her Bible clasped
to her breast, the sad eyes closed, the white lips murmuring always
words of prayer for patient submission to God's will, the nerveless
hands never losing their grasp upon the "rod and staff" which
comforted her.

Of this family, every man, and every boy old enough to handle a gun,
had long ago joined the Confederate army. The dear boy whom our hearts
now mourned had just graduated with the highest honors when the war
broke out. Never a blind enthusiast, but an intelligent patriot, he
had been among the first to lay ambitious hopes and literary
aspirations upon the altar of his country. His brothers were cadets at
the Virginia Military Institute, and afterwards did good service under
Stonewall Jackson. Our slain hero joined the Third Alabama Regiment,
and, notwithstanding his tender age and delicate health, had already
made his mark as a soldier, brave as the bravest, never succumbing for
a moment to unaccustomed hardship. His record as a son was all that a
mother's heart could desire. He had been seen by a comrade during the
terrible battle, sitting up against a tree, shot through the breast
and mortally wounded. The enemy swept over the ground and he was seen
no more. Not even the poor comfort of knowing that his last hours were
rendered comfortable or where his grave was made, was vouchsafed to
this distracted mother. Two more brave boys of the household were
still unheard from, but believed to be unhurt, as they were not
reported "dead," "wounded," or "missing." And yet the noble women of
this as well as of numberless families so situated in every State of
the new Confederacy never intermitted, even for a day, their work for
"the soldiers,"--left no domestic duty unattended to,--in many
instances taking the place and doing the work of the men whom
patriotism had called to the field.

Much as I admired and revered this "noble army of martyrs," I lacked
moral courage to emulate their example. Such a life of anxiety and
suspense would have driven me mad. The pitiful faces of the sick and
wounded haunted me every hour. I yearned to be with them. I felt sure
that I was called to this work. My health being restored, I could no
longer remain idle. But where to go, how to begin, I knew not.

One day there appeared in the Selma paper a letter from Surgeon W.T.
McAllister, Army of Tennessee, describing the dreadful condition of
hundreds of sick and wounded men, who, after the terrible battle of
Shiloh and the subsequent evacuation of Corinth, had been huddled into
hospital-quarters at Gainesville, Alabama, and inquiring for a "lady"
to assist him in organizing, and in caring for the sick. Here was a
chance for me. I applied for the position, and, receiving a favorable
answer, proceeded without delay to Gainesville, leaving my little boy
at the plantation in charge of his father's relations.



CHAPTER III.

BUCKNER HOSPITAL, GAINESVILLE, ALABAMA.


Had I yielded to the almost irresistible impulse which tempted me to
fly from the painful scenes and fearful discouragements which met me
at Gainesville, Alabama, these "Memories" would have remained
unwritten.

I had stipulated that while I would not receive compensation for
nursing sick Confederates, and was quite willing to live on the
government rations, I must always be provided with a sleeping-room in
some respectable private family, apart from the hospital. This was
promised; and this arrangement continued as long as I remained at the
"Buckner."

Dr. McAllister, surgeon in charge, being unavoidably absent, I was met
at the depot by Dr. Minor, assistant surgeon. His look of surprise,
almost consternation, when I appeared gave me an uneasy sensation;
but, assuming an extra amount of dignity, I calmly accompanied him to
a most comfortable-looking house, where my room had been engaged. The
hostess was unmistakably a lady. I met with a pleasant reception, and
was soon seated at supper with several officers and their wives,
During the meal I had an uneasy consciousness that curious glances
were bent upon me from all sides. The evening, however, was spent
agreeably. After I had gone to my room, a kind old lady came to me to
beg that I would reconsider my determination to accept the position of
matron, but, finding me firm and somewhat dignified, left me to my
fate.

The next morning, escorted by Dr. Minor, I went through the hospital.

For the first time my heart utterly misgave me, and I felt that my
courage was inadequate to the task before me. I must premise that this
was not a State hospital, but under the direction of the Confederate
Government, which, at that time, was full of perplexity and trouble,
yet, like all new governments, exceedingly tenacious of forms. Dr.
Minor told me that the time and attention of Dr. McAllister had been
fully occupied in untying, one after another, knots of red tape, and
that, so far, perfect organization had been impossible.

I entered the wards expecting to find something of the neatness and
order which in the Richmond hospitals had charmed every visitor.

Alas! alas! were _these_ the brave men who had made forever glorious
the name of Shiloh?

Hospital supplies were scarce; beds and bedding could not be often
changed. Here were rooms crowded with uncomfortable-looking beds, on
which lay men whose gangrened wounds gave forth foul odors, which,
mingled with the terrible effluvia from the mouths of patients ill of
scurvy, sent a shuddering sickness through my frame. In one room were
three or four patients with faces discolored and swollen out of all
semblance of humanity by erysipelas,--raging with fever, shouting in
delirious agony.

The hospital had formerly been a large hotel, and was divided into
many rooms, all crowded with sick. The wounded men who were not
gangrened were carefully kept apart from those who were. Some of these
were frightfully disfigured in the face or head, and presented a
ghastly appearance. In rooms filled with fever-patients old men and
mere boys lay helpless, struggling with various forms and stages of
disease, hoarsely raving, babbling sweetly of home, vainly calling
remembered names, or lying in the fatal stupor which precedes death.

Although many convalescents paced gloomily up and down the halls, or
lounged upon the spacious galleries, I noticed few male nurses.
Perhaps half a dozen women met us at the doors of different wards,
jauntily dressed, airily "showing off" their patients, and discoursing
of their condition and probable chances of life, in a manner utterly
revolting to me. I caught many a glance of disgust bent upon them by
the poor fellows who were thus treated as if they were stocks or
stones. These women were, while under the eye of the surgeon,
obsequious and eager to please, but I thought I saw the "lurking devil
in their eyes," and felt sure they meant mischief.

Dr. McAllister arrived that night. The next morning I was regularly
installed. But I could not help feeling that there was a reservation
of power and authority, a doubt of my capacity, due to my youthful
appearance. Very helpless and friendless I felt, as, escorted by the
"surgeon in charge," I once more made the rounds. He left me at the
door of one of the fever-wards. This I entered, and stood for a moment
looking upon the scene of suffering humanity, wondering how and where
to begin the work of alleviation. Suddenly a faint voice called
"Milly! _Oh_, Milly!" I turned to meet a pair of blue eyes regarding
me with a look of pleased recognition, although it was at once evident
that I had been mistaken for some "loved one at home" through the
delirium of fever. Humoring the fancy, I stepped to his bedside and
gave my hand to the hot clasp of the poor fellow, a man of middle age,
whose eyes, fever-bright, still devoured my face with a happy look.
"Howdy, Milly! I've been looking for you every day. I'm mighty glad
you've come. The roar of the guns has hurt my head _powerful_. Get
some water from the far spring and bathe my head, Milly."

It so happened that one of his own company, of some Georgia regiment,
a convalescent, had by his own request been detailed to nurse the sick
man. He soon brought me water, and I bathed the hot head, face, and
hands, until the patient fell asleep.

This little incident encouraged me greatly. Passing on among the sick,
I found no lack of work, but sadly missed the facilities, comforts,
and luxuries which in Richmond had been always at my command.

Lest it seem strange that such a state of things should have existed,
I will here ask the reader to remember that military movements of
tremendous importance were then taking place. An immense army was
executing, "with admirable skill and precision," a change of base.
Upon this army depended the destinies of a large portion of the
Confederacy. Means of transportation for the troops and their military
supplies, including, as an important precautionary measure, medical
stores, became an imperative necessity. The wounded and sick had also
been moved, and at least placed under shelter. Surgeons, however, were
unable to obtain either suitable diet or needed medicines.
Requisitions failed to be promptly filled, and hence the state of
things I have tried to describe.

Dr. McAllister was absent most of the time in the interests of the
unfortunates under his charge. Meantime, I struggled to perform my
duties among the sick, and to exert authority, of which, as I soon
discovered, I possessed but the semblance. Nothing was left undone by
the women before referred to to thwart and annoy me. They had
evidently determined I should not remain there. I had ample evidence
that they were neglectful and unscrupulous in their dealings with the
patients.

In one of the rooms, separated from the other patients, I found a man
who had been brought in several days before, suffering from excessive
drinking. Not being able to obtain whiskey, he had managed to get hold
of a bottle of turpentine emulsion from a table in the hall, and had
drank the whole. Dr. Minor and I worked for hours with this
unfortunate and hoped he would recover, but other patients required
looking after, and during my absence whiskey was smuggled in to him,
of which he partook freely. After that, nothing could save his life. A
patient suffering agonies from gastritis was also placed under my
special charge. I was to feed him myself, and avoid giving water,
except in the smallest quantities. I did my best, but he grew worse,
and just in time I found under his pillow a canteen full of water,
which had been procured for him by the woman who attended in his ward.
If I called for a basin of water to wash the face and hands of
neglected men, one of these women would laugh insultingly and say,
"Perhaps ye'll wait till I get a nagur to bring it to you, or a silver
waiter." They would insist that the surgeon had ordered them to do
this or that, and stop to argue against my directions, until I was
fain to save the sick further noise and clamor by leaving the ward.

Not wishing to begin my work by complaining, or reporting to the
surgeons these daily-recurring annoyances, I struggled to hold my own
and to break down opposition by patient endurance. But one morning the
"last straw" was added to my burden. I found my Georgia soldier
apparently dying,--breathing heavily, and as cold as death already.
His comrade was in great distress, but ready to do all in his power,
and together we went to work in earnest. I sent for brandy and a box
of mustard. Pouring through the white lips spoonful after spoonful of
the stimulant, rubbing hands, arms, and legs with mustard, applying
plasters of the same, as well as bottles of water, to restore warmth
to the body, I soon had the satisfaction of seeing a faint color tinge
the cheeks and lips,--the clammy sweat superseded by returning warmth.
Working earnestly, thinking of nothing but the human life that hung in
the balance, I failed to observe the presence of the most disagreeable
of the female nurses, who was standing, with "arms akimbo," looking
on, until, with an insulting leer, she remarked, "It seems to me ye're
taking great liberties _for an honest woman_." Paralyzed with surprise
and indignation, I knew not how to act. Just then the surgeon in
charge of the ward, who had been summoned, appeared.

After a hasty examination, "Madam," said he, "you have saved your
patient."

Leaving the case in his hands, I fled to my room, resolving never to
enter the hospital again. Forthwith I wrote my resignation, and
demanded transportation back to Alabama.

Meantime, the comrade of the sick man had reported to the surgeon the
whole matter. The next morning I received a visit from Surgeons
McAllister, Minor, and ---- (whose name I am sorry to have forgotten),
of the ward I had fled from. A letter had been received from Dr.
Little, of Richmond, whose name I had given as reference. The ill
behavior of the nurses having come to the knowledge of the surgeon in
charge, he at once acted with his usual promptness and decision. The
obnoxious women had already been discharged and furnished with
transportation to Mobile; the men who had aided and abetted them were
ordered to their regiments. I was urged to remain, on my own terms,
and offered a position of trust, responsibility, and honor,--my
authority to be second only to that of surgeon in charge in general
matters; in the wards, to that of the ward surgeons. Under these
circumstances I could not refuse to withdraw my resignation.

The next day the work of reorganization commenced. Then and there I
was invested with full power and authority, and received from Dr.
McAllister assurances of entire confidence and thorough co-operation,
which were accorded in the highest degree during the whole term of my
service in the Buckner Hospital, and the prestige of which gave me
great advantages in other fields of labor.

Aside from profoundest love of "the Cause," and (as I firmly believed)
the inspiration which directed my efforts to serve it, I had nothing
to offer. "With all my soul, with all my heart, with all my strength,"
I was ready to serve; but this would have availed little had not my
right to do so been officially acknowledged, had I not acquired power
to follow out the dictates of reason and heart for the benefit of my
patients.

As the organization begun at Gainesville, and the rules and
regulations then adopted, were fully perfected soon after we reached
the next "post," and remained in full force as long as the Buckner
Hospital existed, it may be as well to briefly describe them here.

Convalescents were turned over to the steward, and their meals were
attended to by him and his assistants. I had only to see that their
mess-room was kept in order and that their rations were cooked to the
best advantage. For the sick I had my own kitchen, my own cooks and
other servants, my own store-room, also liberty to send out foragers.
Every morning I sent to each surgeon a list of such diet as I could
command for the sick. With this in hand he was able to decide upon the
proper food for each patient. Each bed was numbered. The head-nurse
kept a small book, into which he copied each day's diet-list. He was
also expected to have ready every morning a fresh piece of paper, upon
which the surgeon wrote the numbers of the beds, and opposite, F.D.,
H.D., L.D., V.L.D., or S.D. (full diet, half diet, light diet, very
light diet, and special diet). If special directions were needed, the
surgeon brought the list to my business-room. If not, it was left with
the head-nurse, and when I made my own rounds it would be my guide in
consulting the tastes of the patients themselves as to the kind of
food they preferred and its preparation. Of all this I made notes. I
made it a point to feed the very ill patients myself. Others wore
served from a distributing-room, where at regular meal-times I always
presided, sitting at the end of a long table, having a pile of tin
numbers before me corresponding to the numbers on the beds in the
wards. There was an under-steward whose business it was to supply the
plates; also two helpers. The head-nurse from Ward No. 1 having come
down with his subordinates would call out, "No. 1, full diet," or as
the case might be. As the plate was filled, I handed out the
corresponding number, which was put upon the plate. The plates having
been placed upon large wooden trays, were carried off to the ward.
Then came No. 2, and so on, all the special patients having been
attended to previously.

Everything relating to the bedding, clothing, and the personal
belongings of the sick and wounded I found in a fearful state. In one
room down-stairs perhaps two or three hundred knapsacks, haversacks,
canteens, etc., were thrown upon the floor in large piles. No one knew
to whom they belonged, no one seemed to care, and it appeared to me
_impossible_ to bring any degree of order out of the chaotic mass of
wet, half-dry, rough-dry, in some cases mildewed clothing lying
everywhere about. Prompt measures were taken with the washerwoman,
which resulted, in a day or two, in a procession of darkies, each
bearing a pile of clothing embracing almost every article of men's
apparel. A "linen master" having been detailed, a "linen-room" set
apart and shelved, the articles were placed upon large tables to be
sorted and piled upon the shelves, ready for reclamation by the
convalescents and others who were not too ill to identify their own.
Some of these clothes were torn and buttonless. My detailed men could
not sew. The demands of the sick and the duties of general supervision
left me no time. Taught by my experience of the devoted women of
Virginia and Alabama, I resolved to visit some of the ladies of
Gainesville, and to solicit their aid. The response was hearty and
immediate. Next day the linen-room was peopled by bright, energetic
ladies, at whose hands the convalescents received their renovated
garments with words of warm sympathy and encouragement that cheered
their hearts.

The lack of clean bedding being made known, these generous, patriotic
women sent in soft, clean old sheets, pillow-slips, etc., also a few
old shirts,--some of them even bearing with me the horrors of the
scurvy and gangrene wards to assist in making the sufferers more
comfortable. Details for all purposes were made as soon as I asked for
them, and as "many hands make light work," order and system began to
pervade all departments. A baggage-master, with several temporary
assistants, found work for several days in disposing of the knapsacks,
haversacks, blankets, etc. As fast as they were claimed, they were
ticketed with the number of the ward and bed of the claimant, and
piled away to await his return to his regiment. Those unreclaimed and
known to have belonged to the dead were labelled as far as possible
with the name and date of death, company, and regiment, and stored
until friends should come or write for them.

The work of organization was not nearly complete, when Dr. McAllister
received orders to report with his hospital staff at Ringgold,
Georgia. The sick were to be removed elsewhere,--at any rate were not
to accompany us. Hospital stores would be supplied at Ringgold. The
doctor and his attendants awaited transportation, which seemed
difficult to obtain. Many bodies of soldiers crowded every
train,--passenger, freight, and even cattle cars.

Dr. McAllister decided to send his wife and myself by private
conveyance to Marion, Alabama, to remain there until we should receive
final directions. Two servants belonging to Mrs. McAllister
accompanied us. Our kind hostess had put up a basket of provisions.

I took a sad leave of the patients who had become so dear to me, and
one bright morning we drove rapidly out of Gainesville on our way to
Marion.

The ride was a perfect delight, over excellent roads, or through
aisles of the forest, where the healthful odor of the pines perfumed
the air, and myriads of birds made sweetest music. Stopping beside
some sparkling spring to lunch and dine, chatting gayly all day,
growing thoughtful and silent, as, borne upon the breeze of evening,
there came to us the whispering voices of memory, renewing the sorrow
of parting, awakening afresh anxious fears for the absent.

We slept at any house along the road where night overtook us, always
expecting and finding a welcome. In these homes, as everywhere else
over the South, sorrow and care had taken up their abode. Haggard,
weary-looking women, from whose hearts and homes joy had departed with
the dear ones who had gone forth to battle, plied us with eager
questions. We related to them all we knew of military movements. But
it was very little, and we could give them no tidings of their own.

The third day brought us to Marion, where, at the pleasant home of
Mrs. McAllister, we awaited further orders.

I have very pleasant recollections of Marion, and of the elegant homes
where I was so delightfully entertained. But already love for my
chosen work had reached (so people told me) the height of infatuation.
Between me and every offered pleasure appeared the pale, reproachful
faces of the suffering soldiers. My place was beside them, and I
longed for the summons.

A letter from Dr. McAllister to his wife announced the establishment
of a hospital post in Ringgold, Georgia, but counselled our waiting
until "things could be straightened out." I _could not_ wait, so left
the same evening, arriving in time to organize my own department,
which, as the assistants had not been changed, and fell easily into
their places, was not so difficult as at Gainesville. Besides, we
received a fair supply of hospital stores, and were enabled to make
patients very comfortable.



CHAPTER IV.

RINGGOLD.


The hospitals established at Ringgold, Georgia, early in the fall of
1862, received the wounded and the not less serious cases of typhoid
fever, typhoid pneumonia, dysentery, and scurvy resulting from almost
unparalleled fatigue, exposure, and every kind of hardship incident to
Bragg's retreat from Kentucky. These sick men were no shirkers, but
soldiers brave and true, who, knowing their duty, had performed it
faithfully, until little remained to them but the patriot hearts
beating almost too feebly to keep soul and body together. The
court-house, one church, warehouses, stores, and hotels were converted
into hospitals. Row after row of beds filled every ward. Upon them lay
wrecks of humanity, pale as the dead, with sunken eyes, hollow cheeks
and temples, long, claw-like hands. Oh, those poor, weak, nerveless
hands used to seem to me more pitiful than all; and when I remembered
all they had achieved and how they had lost their firm, sinewy
proportions, their strong grasp, my heart swelled with pity and with
passionate devotion. Often I felt as if I could have held these cold
hands to my heart for warmth, and given of my own warm blood to fill
those flaccid veins.

Every train brought in squads of just such poor fellows as I have
tried to describe. How well I remember them toiling painfully from the
depot to report at the surgeon's office, then, after being relieved of
their accoutrements, tottering with trembling limbs to the beds from
which, perhaps, they would never more arise. This hospital-post, as
nearly as I remember, comprised only two hospitals, the Bragg and the
Buckner. Of the Bragg, Dr. S.M. Bemiss was surgeon in charge;
assistant surgeons, Gore, of Kentucky; Hewes, of Louisville, Kentucky;
Welford, of Virginia; Redwood, of Mobile, Alabama, and some others
whose names I cannot now recall. Dr. W.T. McAllister was surgeon in
charge of the Buckner. Of the assistant surgeons I can only remember
Dr. W.S. Lee, then of Florida, now a successful practitioner and an
honored citizen of Dallas, Texas; Dr. R.D. Jackson, of Selma, Alabama,
who since the war has lived a well-beloved physician and druggist in
Summerfield, Alabama; Dr. Reese, also of Alabama, and Dr. Yates, of
Texas, now dead. For a few months Dr. Francis Thornton, of Kentucky,
was surgeon of the post. He was a fiery, impetuous, _manly man_, a
rigid disciplinarian, but always compelled to fight against the
dictates of his large, warm heart when duty compelled him to execute
severe justice.

Mrs. Thornton was one of the most lovable women I ever knew; impulsive
and earnest in her friendship, of a sunny, cheerful temperament seldom
clouded. Her pride in her husband and her happiness in being with him
was pleasant to see. While she remained in Ringgold we were warm
friends. To her thoughtful kindness I owed many an indulgence in
dainties not supplied by the Confederate Government. My room was in
the same house where the surgeons and their wives were boarding. Often
returning late from the hospital, weary and dispirited, her sweet
voice would "_halt_" me at the foot of the stairs, a kindly arm
impelling me to her cheerful room, where a cup of tea and a nice
little supper was in readiness, made far more enjoyable by her loving
service and pleasant talk so full of cheer. The other ladies were just
as kind-hearted, but none had the sweet, winning grace that
characterized Mrs. Thornton, except, perhaps, Mrs. Lee, wife of the
surgeon above mentioned. She was also one of the dearest and kindest
of friends. My enthusiasm in regard to Mrs. Lee was almost like that
of a lover. She was a beautiful woman, tall, majestic, graceful,
towards the world at large dignified and, perhaps, a little reticent;
to those whom she honored with her love or friendship, irresistibly
fascinating. Her eyes were--not magnificent, but just "the sweetest
ever seen," and combined with a perfect mouth to make her smile a
caress. In addition, rare intelligence and fine conversational powers
rendered her a delightful companion. Dr. Lee was by birth a South
Carolinian, a polished gentleman, and, though in general
self-contained and of quiet manners, proved a warm friend and a most
pleasant host. Mrs. Lee used to search for me through the wards, and,
having found me, would flourish a "prescription," made out in due
form, for "an hour of leisure, to be repeated twice every week before
retiring." These hours spent at the pleasant quarters of Dr. and Mrs.
Lee were, indeed, "a feast of reason and a flow of soul," often
diversified by funny experiments in disguising the remains of the
day's rations by cooking recipes familiar in ante-bellum days, but
which generally failed because substitutes would never produce the
same results as the real ingredients.

Dr. Lee was some months afterwards transferred to Cherokee Springs as
surgeon in charge of one of the convalescent hospitals, of which Mrs.
Lee volunteered to act as matron. We parted with real regret, but
truly her patients gained by our loss. For she was most competent,
faithful, and well-beloved by those to whom she ministered.

The autumn passed quickly, some pretty severe days giving us a
foretaste of the rigor of a winter in North Georgia. By November 1 it
was not only bitterly cold, but snow covered the ground to the depth
of six inches, and the roads were furrowed and frozen. Terrible
accounts reached us from Bragg's army, who were without shoes,
blankets, or clothes, and suffering fearfully. Officers and men were
alike destitute. General Patton Anderson determined to make an effort
to supply his division, and for this purpose selected Lieutenant J.A.
Chalaron, Fifth Company, Washington Artillery, as one in every way
qualified to carry out such an undertaking, who was therefore ordered
to Savannah and other places to secure the needed supplies.

He cheerfully accepted the charge, although it involved deprivation of
the rest so greatly needed, and the continuance of hardship already
extended almost beyond human endurance. But the young officer was
every inch a soldier, and one of a company which had already won a
name for itself not less for invincible courage than for soldierly
bearing and devotion to duty. That so young a soldier was selected to
conduct such an undertaking proved how surely he had deserved and won
the confidence of his superior officers. In those days railroad
travelling was far from pleasant. The train upon which Lieutenant
Chalaron embarked at Knoxville was a motley affair,--perhaps a single
passenger-car, rough and dilapidated (crowded with those who, though
ill, made shift to sit up or recline upon the seats), box-cars and
_cattle-cars_ filled with suffering men helplessly sick. In order that
these might not be crowded, Lieutenant Chalaron, with one or two
others, rode on the top of a box-car for twelve hours, from Knoxville
to Chattanooga, exposed to the inclement weather which he was ill
prepared to meet, having shared the inexpressible hardships of the
Kentucky campaign, including destitution of suitable clothing. I take
pleasure in recording this noble act, because Lieutenant Chalaron was
from New Orleans (also my own beloved home). The impulse of
self-sacrifice, and of chivalrous devotion towards the helpless and
suffering, sprung from a heart pulsating with the knightly blood of
the Creole of Louisiana. Ah, that impetuous blood which stirred at the
first call to arms, which was poured out in continual libations to
Southern liberty, from the time it gushed from the breast of the first
martyr of the war (our Charlie Dreux), until almost in the "last
ditch," piled high with masses of Confederate dead, lay the gory body
of _Edgar Dreux_, the very topmost man, proving how invincible was the
courage that quailed not at the sight of that ghastly altar of
sacrifice!

The large brick court-house in the centre of the town of Ringgold was
especially devoted to my use. The court-room occupying the entire
upper floor was fitted up for fifty patients. This was facetiously
called "the nursery," and its occupants "Mrs. Beers's babies." In this
ward were placed, as far as its capacity permitted, patients who
needed to be visited very often, and for whose proper nourishment and
the prompt administration of medicine I was responsible. For instance,
if one of the fever-patients was taking veratrum, I must see it
dropped and given, and note the pulse. If one was just struggling
through dysentery, I must attend to his nourishment, and generally fed
him myself. Down-stairs was one large room, and three of good size,
but smaller. The large one was also a ward. My business-room opposite
was also the linen-room of the hospital. Shelves ran from floor to
ceiling, a counter in front of them. In one corner stood my desk, and
beside it a large country rocking-chair; in another a rough lounge for
the convenience of visiting patients. In front of the immense
fireplace (where there was always a cheerful fire) stood a table and
chairs for the surgeons, who came in after each round through the
wards, to leave special directions and diet-lists. Through the day
this room was a cheerful place. I seldom entered it without finding
one or more visitors, especially in the morning, when the surgeons
always met there, and their wives generally joined them. On the other
side of the hall was the distributing-room in one corner, in the other
a store-room, where, also, under my own lock and key, I kept the
effects of dead soldiers, labelled and ready for identification by
their friends. I was assisted in this work, in keeping the linen-room
in order, and in various other ways, by a young German who had been
detailed for that purpose. He was a well-educated young man and a fine
musician,--in fact, had been a professor of music before the war, had
entered the service intelligently, desiring to remain in active
service, but some disability caused his detail. His position was no
sinecure: he was expected to keep a full account of all stores in my
department, all bedding, hospital clothing, all clothing of the
patients, and a great many other things, having full charge of the
laundry and the laundresses, with whom he was always in "hot water."
For this reason he was dubbed by the surgeons _General Blandner_, and
his employees were called _Blandner's Brigade_. He was methodical in
all things. His books were exquisitely kept. I had been a good
musician, and now used often to sing to Blandner's lute, which he
played in a masterly manner. His improvisations were a great delight
to me, and, finding me so appreciative, he composed a lovely set of
waltzes, "_The Hospital Waltzes_," which were dedicated to me, but
never published, only exquisitely written out on pieces of wall-paper
by the composer. After the war, Mr. Blandner obtained through Dr.
McAllister the position of professor of music at the female college at
Marion, Alabama, but removed later to Philadelphia, whore he now
resides, still as a professor and teacher of music.

The cold increased, and the number of patients grew larger. Snow and
ice rendered it difficult for me to get to the wards, as they lay
quite far apart. The boarding-house at first occupied by the surgeons'
families was now vacated and fitted up for officers' wards, a room
being found for me in a log house, owned by an old lady, Mrs. Evans,
whose sons, except the youngest, a mere lad, were in the Confederate
army.

It was nearly a quarter of a mile from the courthouse. The road
thither, lying through a piece of piney woods, was almost always
blocked by drifted snow or what the Georgians called "slush" (a
mixture of mud and snow). I must confess that the freezing mornings
chilled my patriotism a little, but just because it _was_ so cold the
sick needed closer attention. One comfort never failed me: it was the
watchful devotion of a soldier whom I had nursed in Gainesville,
Alabama, and who, by his own request, was now permanently attached to
my special corps of "helpers." No matter how cold the morning or how
stormy, I never opened my door but there was "Old Peter" waiting to
attend me. When the blinding storms of winter made the roads almost
impassable by night, Peter would await my departure from the hospital
with his lantern, and generally on very stormy nights with an old
horse which he borrowed for the occasion, savagely cutting short my
remonstrances with a cross "Faith, is it now or in the mornin' ye'll
be lavin'?" He would limp beside me quite to the door of my room, and
with a rough "Be aisy, now," in reply to my thanks, would scramble
upon the horse and ride back.

"I know not is he far or near, or that he lives, or is he dead," _only
this_, that my dreams of the past are often haunted by the presence of
this brave soldier and humble, loyal friend. I seem to see again the
lined and rugged face ("harsh," others thought, wearing always for me
a smile which reminded me of the sunlight brightening an old gray
ruin,) and the toil-hardened hands which yet served _me_ so tenderly.
I seem to hear once more the rich Irish brogue which gave character
and emphasis to all he said, a _naughty_ character and a most
_unpleasant_ emphasis sometimes, I must admit, fully appreciated by
any who chanced to displease him, but to me always as sweet and
pleasant as the zephyrs blowing from "the groves of Blarney." Peter
was an Alabama soldier. On the first day of my installation as matron
of Buckner Hospital, located then at Gainesville, Alabama, after the
battle of Shiloh, I found him lying in one of the wards badly wounded,
and suffering, as were many others, from scurvy. He had been morose
and fierce to all who approached him. At first I fared no better.
"Sure, what wad a lady be wantin' in a place like this?" said he,
crossly. "Why, comrade," I replied, "I thought you would like to have
a lady to nurse you ?" "Divil a wan," growled he, and, drawing the
coverlid over his face, refused to speak again. I felt disheartened
for the moment, but after a consultation with Dr. McAllister, surgeon
in charge,--than whom a better disciplinarian or a kinder-hearted man
never lived,--it was decided that Peter should be induced or compelled
to receive my ministrations. For several days, however, he remained
sullen and most unwilling to be nursed, but this mood softened, and
long before he was well enough to leave the ward the warm Irish heart
had melted, and I had secured a friend whose unalterable devotion
attended me through all the vicissitudes of the war.

Being permanently disabled, by reason of his wound, from service in
the field, Peter was detailed for hospital service, and by his own
request attached to my special corps of assistants. He could and did
in a hundred ways help me and contribute to my comfort. No matter how
many times I met him during the day, he never passed without giving me
a military salute. If I was detained by the bedside of one very ill or
dying, hoping to save life, or at least to receive and treasure "for
the loved ones at home" some word or message, I was sure to hear
Peter's limping step and his loud whisper, "Sure it's dying he is;
can't ye lave him in the hands av God, an' go to your bed?" He
constituted himself, in many cases, my mentor, and deeply resented any
seeming disrespect towards me.

I recall a case in point which highly amused the whole "post." While
located at Ringgold, Georgia, it was considered desirable to remove
some of the convalescents to a camp hospital at Cherokee Springs, some
three miles out of town. It became my duty to see these patients every
evening, and I rode out on horseback attended by Peter. Riding into
camp one evening, I dismounted near a tent in front of which a group
of officers were standing, in conversation with Dr. ----, of Kentucky.
We exchanged a few words of greeting as I passed on to attend to my
patients. Returning, to mount my horse, I noticed that Peter rather
rudely pushed before Lieutenant ----, who came forward to assist me. I
also noticed that his face wore the old sullen look, and that his
manner was decidedly unpleasant. Before we had gone far, he broke out
with, "'Dade, ma'am, ye'll go there no more, if ye plaze." Amazed, I
questioned why? "Sure, thim fellers was makin' game av ye an' callin'
ye out av yer name." "Why, Peter," cried I, "you are crazy: _who_
called me names, and what did they call me?" "Thim offshurs, ma'am.
Sure, I couldn't make out their furrin worruds, but I belave 'tis a
_sinner_ they called ye. Faith, an' if _ye're_ a sinner, where wad the
saints be?" Of course, woman-like, I became furious, and, on our
arrival at headquarters, indignantly reported the "offshurs" to the
surgeon in charge, who promised to investigate.

The sequel is most amusing. It turned out that Peter had overheard a
conversation between the officers above mentioned and Dr. ----. They
having made some kindly remark as to my hospital service, Dr. ---- as
kindly replied, "Yes, she is a _sine qua non_." My amusement was
mingled with chagrin at my hasty anger, but Peter remained unconvinced
and never forgave the offenders. Upon another occasion I was compelled
to interfere to protect an innocent victim of Peter's wrath. One of my
"boys" about returning to his command came to take leave of me and to
offer a little keepsake. This was, or appeared to be, a crochet-needle
prettily carved and having _one end fringed out_. I took it with
thanks, saying, "I hope I may use this needle to crochet a pair of
mittens for you." Cried the donor, "That ain't no crochet-needle."
"No? Well, what is it?" "It is a dipping-stick; don't you chaw snuff?"
Upon my indignant denial, the crestfallen man exclaimed, "Well, Lor',
lady, I made sure you did, you're so yaller complected" (I had shortly
before recovered from an attack of jaundice). Now, it chanced that
Peter, knowing my fondness for a pine-knot fire, had collected a
quantity of knots, which he just then brought in, and, hearing the
uncomplimentary remark of my soldier-friend, turned upon him with the
utmost fury, and such a tirade of abuse as followed baffles alike my
power to recall the words or to describe the rage which prompted them.
I was compelled to interfere and order Peter out of the room.

"When, in the course of human events," those who for four years had
shared the fortunes of war separated to seek their several homes, I
lost sight of my devoted friend.

He was "_Old_ Peter" then, and, in all probability, no longer lives,
save in my memory. If he be dead, "peace to his ashes." If living, may
God bless and sustain him in the days that are "full of trouble."


In the midst of this terrible winter, on one of the most bitter days,
there came about noon an order from "the front" to prepare for two
hundred sick, who would be down late the same night. There was not a
bed to spare in either of the hospitals. Negotiations were at once
opened for the only church in Ringgold not already occupied by the
sick. The people declined to give it up. But, "necessity knows no
law;" it was seized by Dr. Thornton, the pews being taken out and
piled up in the yard. Fires were then kindled in both stoves to
thoroughly warm the church. There was, however, not a single bunk,--no
time to make any; all the empty ticks when filled with straw and
placed upon the floor fell far short of the number required. For the
rest straw was littered down as if for horses, and when the pillows
gave out, head-rests were made by tearing off the backs of the pews
and nailing them slantwise from the base-board to the floor, so that
knapsacks, coats, etc., could be used for pillows.

The order had reached Ringgold about noon; it was ten at night before
the rough preparations were completed. Meantime, such nourishment as
hot soup, coffee, and tea, milk, egg-nog, and milk-punch (prepared
with home-made peach or apple brandy), were kept in readiness. Near
midnight I stood in the church awaiting the arrival of the train.
Candles were scarce, but light-wood-fires outside gave sufficient
light. The candles were not to be used until needed by the surgeons,
who were now at the depot waiting to receive the sick. At last the
train arrived,--departed; shortly thereafter there poured through the
doors of that little church a train of human misery such as I never
saw before or afterward during the war, and pray God I may never see
again. Until that night the tale of the retreat from Moscow had seemed
to me overdrawn; ever since I can well believe "the half has not been
told." They came, each revealing some form of acute disease, some
tottering, but still on their feet, others borne on stretchers.
Exhausted by forced marches over interminable miles of frozen ground
or jagged rocks, destitute of rations, discouraged by failure, these
poor fellows had cast away one burden after another until they had not
clothes sufficient to shield them from the chilling blasts of winter.
Not one in twenty had saved even a haversack, many having discarded
coats and jackets. One man had gained possession of an india-rubber
overcoat, which, excepting his underclothing, was his only garment.
Barefooted,--their feet were swollen frightfully, and seamed with
fissures so large that one might lay a finger in them. These were
dreadfully inflamed, and bled at the slightest touch; others were
suppurating. The feet of some presented a shining, inflamed surface
which seemed ready to burst at any moment. Their hands were just as
bad, covered with chilblains and sores. Many were tortured with wounds
which had at first seemed slight, but by neglect and exposure had
become sources of exquisite torture. The gleaming eyes, matted hair
and beard hanging about their cadaverous faces, gave to these men a
wild, ghastly look utterly indescribable. As they came in, many sunk
exhausted upon the pallets, some falling at once into a deep sleep,
from which it was impossible to arouse them, others able only to
assume a sitting posture on account of the racking, rattling cough
which, when reclining, threatened to suffocate them. Few would stop to
be undressed: food and rest were all they craved. Those who crowded to
the stoves soon began to suffer from their frozen feet and hands, and
even ran out into the snow to ease their pain. The surgeons worked
faithfully, and the whole force was in requisition. But, alas! alas!
death also was busy among these unfortunates. The very first man I
essayed to feed died in my arms, two others during the night. The poor
wounded feet I tried to handle so tenderly bled at every touch. The
warmth of the room, while it sent some into a sound sleep which seemed
death's counterpart, caused terrible agony to others, who groaned and
screamed. It seemed to me just as if those men, having previously kept
up with heroic fortitude under trials almost too great for human
endurance, had, as soon as the terrible tension was loosened, utterly
succumbed, forgetting all but the horrible pain that racked them.

Fever running riot in the veins of some found expression in delirious
shouts and cries, which added to the horror. My courage almost failed
me. About half-past two, Dr. Thornton, yielding to my earnest
entreaties, went home and brought Mrs. Thornton to share my vigil,
although, as a general thing, he was opposed to her going into the
hospital wards. Together we labored through that long night. Soon
after daylight next morning, passing into the church porch, we stood
for a few moments silently, hand in hand, for, although both hearts
were too full for speech, our labor of love had drawn us very near
together.

Everywhere the snow lay white and glittering. In the church-yard, upon
some of the pews arranged for the purpose, had been placed the
lifeless bodies of the three men who had died during the night. There
they lay, stark and stiff. Upon these cold, dead faces no mourners'
tears would fall; no friends would bear with reverend tread these
honored forms to their last resting-place. Rough pine boxes would soon
cover the faces once the light of some far-away home, careless hands
would place them in their shallow graves, without a prayer, without a
tear. Only the loving hand of nature to plant flowers above them.

For months after entering the service I insisted upon attending every
dead soldier to the grave and reading over him a part of the
burial-service. But it had now become impossible. The dead were past
help; the living _always_ needed succor. But no soldier ever died in
my presence without a whispered prayer to comfort his parting soul. Ah
me! The "prayers for the sick, and those near unto death," are to this
day more familiar to me than any other portion of the Prayer-Book, and
at no time can I hear unmoved the sacred old hymns so often sung
beside dying beds. Passing to my office along the path traversed last
night by the incoming soldiers, I found the snow along the whole
distance stained by their bare, bleeding feet, and the sight made my
heart ache sorely. I think I never in all my life felt so keen a sense
of utter dependence upon a higher Power, or understood so thoroughly
how "vain is the help of man," than when, in the seclusion of my own
room, the events of the night passed in review before me. With a heart
aching with supreme pity, ready to make any sacrifice for the noble
martyrs who, for my sake as well as for that of all Southern women,
had passed unshrinking through inexpressible suffering, never
faltering until laid low by the hand of disease,--I could yet do
nothing. I could not save them one moment of agony, I could not stay
the fleeting breath, nor might I intermit the unceasing care
imperatively demanded by those whom timely ministrations might save,
to give due honor to the dead.

Only an hour or two of rest (broken like the sleep of those of a
household who retire from the side of beloved sufferers, leaving them
to the care of others while they snatch a few moments of the repose
which is needed to prepare them for fresh exertions) and I was once
more on my way to the wards. At the gate of the boarding-house stood
one of the nurses. Again, as often before, I was summoned to a bed of
death. A soldier who had come in only two days before almost in the
last stages of pneumonia was now dying. I had left him at eight
o'clock the night before very ill, but sleeping under the influence of
an opiate. His agony was _now_ too terrible for any alleviation; but
he had sent for me; so I stood beside him, answering by every possible
expression of sympathy his imploring glances and the frantic clasp of
his burning hand. Finding that my presence was a comfort, I sent for
Dr. McAllister, and, requesting him to assign my duties to some one
else for a while, remained at my post, yielding to the restraining
grasp which to the very last arrested every movement away from the
side of the sufferer. A companion of the sick man lay near. From him I
learned the excellent record of this young soldier, who, during the
frightful "retreat," had contracted the cold which culminated in
pneumonia, but would not consent to leave his regiment until too late.

I had feared an awful struggle at the last, but the death angel was
pitiful, bringing surcease of suffering; and so, peacefully sped the
soul of John Grant, of the ---- Mississippi Regiment, happily
unconscious of the end, and murmuring with his last breath, of home
and mother.

I remember with great distinctness his face,--suffering while he yet
struggled with death,--happy and tranquil, when he stood upon the
threshold of life eternal. Almost the very saddest and most trying
portion of my Confederate service was just here. Only that my record
must be faithful, I would fain bid memory pass with flying feet and
veiled eyes over the scenes of that terrible winter at Ringgold, when
my very soul was steeped in pity so painful that every night I was
fain to cry out, "It is too hard! I cannot bear it!" and every morning
my heart, yearning over "my boys," gave itself with renewed ardor to
"the Cause" and its defenders.

Returning to my patients in the church about noon, I found a change
for the better in many cases; in others it was but too evident that
days, even hours, were numbered. Two soldiers in particular attracted
my attention. One was an Irishman, of an Alabama regiment, the other
from Arkansas. The Irishman was fast passing away, and earnestly
desired to see a priest. There was none nearer than twelve miles. One
of our foragers, himself a Roman Catholic, volunteered to go for him
and by permission of Dr. McAllister rode off through the snow,
returning after nightfall to report that Father ---- had been called
in another direction, and would not return home until the next day.
Finding the poor fellow, though almost too far gone to articulate,
constantly murmuring words of prayer, I took his prayer-book and read
aloud the "Recommendation of a soul departing," also some of the
preceding prayers of the "Litany for the dying." He faintly responded,
and seemed to die comforted and satisfied. Afterwards I never
hesitated to use the same service in like cases.

The Arkansian was a devoted soldier and a pronounced "rebel." He had
preserved through all vicissitudes a small Confederate flag, made for
him by his little daughter "Annie," now alas torn and shattered. When
he came into the church on that terrible night, although almost
destitute of clothing, he bore the flag safely pinned inside of his
ragged flannel shirt. A few days afterwards I found the poor,
emaciated frame propped up in bed, with a crumpled sheet of paper
spread upon a piece of pine board before him, while, with unaccustomed
hand and unaccustomed brain, he toiled over some verses of poetry
addressed to "Annie." After a week or two, when he lay dying, I
received from his hand the flag and the verses pinned together, and
addressed to "Miss Annie ----," in some part of Arkansas; but as I
hoped to retain, and finally to deliver safely, the articles so
addressed, I did not tax my memory with it, and when afterwards, in
Macon, all my belongings were taken by the raiders, I had nothing left
to recall the name, and only remember one of the verses, which ran
thus:

  "Your father fought under this flag,
    This bonny flag so true,
  And many a time, amidst the fray,
    The bullets whistled through--
  _So, Annie, keep the flag_."

The verses were headed, "Annie, Keep the Flag," and each one ended
with the same words.

The sad days of winter passed slowly away; with the spring came
changes. Dr. Thornton was ordered to another post (I had forgotten
just where), and of course Mrs. Thornton accompanied him. Everybody
connected with the post regretted their departure, especially the loss
of Mrs. Thornton, who was a general favorite. We had not ceased to
miss her when tidings came of Dr. Thornton's death, and of the wild
grief of the stricken wife, which resisted all control. A messenger
had been despatched to call me to her side. I found her clinging to
the body of her murdered husband, stained with his blood, yet
resisting all attempts to remove her. Dr. Thornton having severely
punished a case of insubordination, the culprit swore vengeance, and
had fulfilled his oath in a most complete though cowardly manner. Just
after dark, as the doctor was sitting at supper with his wife, a voice
at the gate called his name. He answered the summons at once, followed
closely by Mrs. Thornton, who, standing upon the doorsteps, saw and
heard the murderous blow which laid him dead at her feet, stabbed to
the heart. For many hours horror and grief dethroned the reason of the
wife. After I had persuaded her to go to her room, she continually
insisted upon washing her hands, which she shudderingly declared were
red with _his blood_. Subsequently she struggled successfully for
composure, pitifully saying, "He liked me to be brave; I _will try_,"
and with remarkable fortitude she bore up through the trying ordeal
which followed. In my ministration to Mrs. Thornton I was assisted by
a lady whose name is well known and well beloved by the soldiers of
the Army of Tennessee,--Mrs. Frank Newsome. Of remarkable beauty,
sweet and gentle manners, deeply religious, and carrying the true
spirit of religion into her work, hers was indeed an angelic ministry.
We had never met before, but in the days of my early girlhood I had
known her husband, Frank Newsome, of Arkansas, who, with Randal
Gibson, of Louisiana, Tom Brahan, of Alabama, and my own husband (then
my lover), studied together under a tutor in preparation for the
junior class of Yale College; they were room-mates at a house in the
same village where my mother resided, and I had known them very well.
Dr. Newsome had died some time before, but his having once been my
friend proved a bond of sympathy between his widow and myself.
Although our pleasant intercourse was never again renewed, I continued
through the years of the war to hear accounts of Mrs. Newsome's
devotion to the Confederate soldiers. Duty requiring my presence at
the hospital, I was compelled to leave Mrs. Thornton, who soon after
returned to Kentucky. I never met her again, but remember her with
unchanged affection.

Dr. Gamble, of Tallahassee, Florida, succeeded Dr. Thornton as surgeon
of the post at Ringgold. He was one of the most thorough gentlemen I
ever knew, as courteous to the humblest soldier as to General Bragg,
who was then and during the summer a frequent visitor. His wife lay
for some months very ill at some point near Ringgold. Mrs. Gamble,
who, with her lovely children, was domiciled at Cherokee Springs,
three miles distant, was also a delightful addition to our little
circle. She was thoroughly accomplished, of charming manners, although
perfectly frank and outspoken. Her musical talent was exceptional, and
her lovely voice, coined into Confederate money, was freely given in
aid of all charitable objects. She was a frequent visitor at my
office, walking into town in the evening to ride out with her husband.
During the summer, Mrs. Bragg passed many days of convalescence at the
lovely cottage-home of Dr. and Mrs. Gamble, at Cherokee Springs, but
she was quite too feeble to come into town very often. Religious
services were frequently held in the beautiful grove at the Springs;
these I attended as often as I could be spared, Mrs. Gamble always
sending for me and sending me back in the ambulance. Later a
convalescent camp was established there, and then I rode out on
horseback every evening to look after my "boys," until the transfer of
Dr. Lee as surgeon in charge and Mrs. Lee as matron rendered my
services no longer necessary. Very pleasant memories cluster about the
room in the court-house at Ringgold assigned to my special use. I
often seem to hear once more the sweet music of "General Blandner's
lute," sometimes accompanied by the clear soprano of Mrs. Gamble,
sometimes by our blended voices. I remember as distinctly as if it
were only yesterday the kindly faces and cheerful voices that smiled
upon and greeted me as I ran in from the wards to take a few moments'
rest. I had collected and kept on the shelves in my office a great
many books for the use of convalescents, who were my most constant
visitors. The mantelpiece was decorated with articles of curious
workmanship and miracles of beautiful carving (the gifts of my
patients), variously inscribed. There were cups and saucers, with
vines running over and around them, boxes which simulated books,
paper-cutters, also rings made of gutta-percha buttons, with silver
hearts let in like mosaic. I was as proud of them as a queen of her
crown-jewels, and always kept them on exhibition with the precious
notes of presentation attached. Had I retained possession of these
treasures, I would have proudly bequeathed them to my children; but,
alas! these, like everything else, fell into the hands of raiders.
Many officers of distinction visited my little sanctum,--not only
surgeons from other posts, but men of military distinction, clergymen,
and others. General Bragg came frequently for a time, also Bishop
Beckwith, and many others whose faces come to me while their names
elude the grasp of memory. I welcomed them all alike, for I have never
felt a prouder heart-throb in the presence of an officer, no matter
how exalted his rank, than while viewing the shadowy forms of my
convalescents or answering their earnest greetings as they passed in
and out of my office, or rested awhile in my one easy-chair, or, still
better, came with buoyant step and bright eyes to bid me farewell when
ready to report for duty, never failing to leave with me the "God
bless you!" so precious to my soul.

Some of the poor fellows who were wounded at the battle of
Murfreesboro' now began to suffer from gangrene. Tents were pitched
outside the hospital for such cases, and it was often my fate to stand
beside these sufferers while the surgeon removed unhealthy granulation
with instruments or eating acids, or in other ways tortured the poor
fellows to save life.

The establishment of an officers' ward added to my cares. As in most
cases they were waited upon by their own servants, I could do a great
deal by proxy. If any were very ill, however, as often was the case, I
attended them myself. Among those whom I nursed in Ringgold was
Captain E. John Ellis, of Louisiana. If I am not mistaken, he had been
slightly wounded at the battle of Murfreesboro'. At any rate, he was
for a time very ill of pneumonia, and received all his nourishment
from my hand. Often since the war, as I have seen him standing with
majestic mien and face aglow with grand and lofty thoughts, or have
listened spellbound to the thrilling utterances of "the silver-tongued
orator," memory, bidding me follow, has led me back to a lowly room
where, bending over a couch of pain, I saw the same lips, fevered and
wan, open feebly to receive a few spoonfuls of nourishment. "Aye! and
that tongue of his which now bids nation mark him and write his
speeches in their books" cried faintly, "Give me some drink."

Captain Ellis recovered rapidly, but insisted on rejoining his command
while yet pale and weak.

The incident I shall here relate is intended to illustrate and
emphasize the thoroughly gentlemanly qualities of our Southern
soldiers, their unvarying respect and courtesy toward women, and their
entire appreciation and perfect understanding of my own position among
them. I presume all will comprehend my meaning when I assure them that
the occasion referred to was the only one during four years of service
when even an unpleasantness occurred. In the same ward with Captain
Ellis were three officers,--one, Colonel ----, of Alabama (very ill),
another just able to sit up, and one, Lieutenant Cox, of Mississippi,
only suffering from a bad cold which had threatened pneumonia. My
constant habit was to carry into the wards a little basket containing
pieces of fresh linen, sponges, and a bottle of Confederate bay-water
(vinegar). Invariably I bathed the faces and hands of the
fever-patients with vinegar and water, but as soon as they were well
enough to dispense with it gave it up. One day, upon entering the ward
above mentioned, I found Captain Ellis up and standing before the
fire, his back towards it. It struck me at once that he looked
worried, and at the same time appeared to be struggling between
vexation and a desire to laugh. Lieutenant Cox was covered up in bed,
rolling and holding his head, seemingly in dreadful agony.
Approaching, I asked a question or two regarding his sudden seizure,
but he only cried, "Oh, my head! my head!" at the same time shaking as
if with a violent chill. Turning down the sheet, I placed my hand upon
his head, which was quite cool. As soon as I caught a glimpse of his
face, I saw that he was laughing, and, glancing at the others,
realized that all were full of some joke. Drawing myself up haughtily,
I said, "I see I have made a mistake; I came here to nurse
_gentlemen_; I shall not again lend myself to your amusement," and out
I swept, nor ever while in Ringgold entered the officers' quarters
again, except to nurse very sick or dying men. It seems that
Lieutenant Cox had received a box from home containing, among other
dainties, a bottle of home-made wine. One day he said to the other
occupants of the ward, "Mrs. Beers never bathes _my head_. I believe
I'll get up a spell of fever, and see if I can't get nursed like you
other fellows." The others declared that he could not deceive me, and
he offered to bet the bottle of wine that he would have me bathe his
head at my next visit. The result has been described. I had hardly
reached my office, when a special patient and friend of mine, Charlie
Gazzan, of Mobile, Alabama, arrived with an apology from Lieutenant
Cox, a few words of explanation from Captain Ellis, signed by all the
officers in the ward, and the bottle of wine, sent for my acceptance.
I would not accept the wine or read the note, and in this course I was
upheld by Dr. McAllister, who severely reprimanded Lieutenant Cox, and
excused me from future attendance upon that ward.

I have said that Charlie Gazzan was a special patient and friend;
perhaps the expression needs explanation. A few weeks before, he had
been brought to me one night from the ambulance-train, a living
skeleton, and seemingly at the point of death from dysentery. His
family and that of my husband were residents of Mobile, Alabama, and
intimate friends. He seemed almost in the agony of death, but had
asked to be brought to me. There was not, after the battle of
Murfreesboro', a single vacant bed. He begged hard not to be put in a
crowded ward, so, until I could do better, he was placed upon the
lounge in my office. One small room in the officers' ward being
vacant, I asked and obtained next day the privilege of placing him
there. He recovered very slowly, but surely, and during his
convalescence made himself useful in a hundred ways. My sick boys owed
many a comfort to his wonderful powers of invention; even the surgeons
availed themselves of his skill. He often relieved me of a task I had
sometimes found very wearisome, because so constantly recurring,--that
of writing letters for the sick. He made his own pens and his own ink,
of a deep green color, and seemingly indelible. A more gentle, kindly,
generous nature never existed, and yet his soldierly instincts were
strong, and almost before he could walk about well he "reported for
duty," but was soon relegated to his room and to special diet.

Spring proved hardly less disagreeable in Upper Georgia than winter
had been. The mud was horrible, and I could not avoid it, as the wards
were detached, occupying all together a very wide space. The pony was
no longer available, because he splashed mud all over me. Old Peter
brought me one day an immense pair of boots large enough for me to
jump into when going from one place to another, and to jump out of and
leave at the entrance of the sick wards. With these, an army blanket
thrown over my shoulders and pinned with a thorn, and my dress kilted
up like a washerwoman's, I defied alike the liquid streets and the
piercing wind. My "nursery" was at this time filled to overflowing. My
mind's eye takes in every nook and corner of that large room. It is
very strange, but true, that I remember the position of each bed and
the faces of those who lay there at different times. As I said before,
they were principally the youngest patients, or those requiring
constant supervision. I seem to see them now, lying pale and worn,
their hollow eyes looking up at me as I fed them or following with
wistful gaze my movements about the ward. Some bear ghastly wounds,
others sit upon the side of the bed, trembling with weakness, yet
smiling proudly because they can do so much, and promising soon to pay
me a visit downstairs, "if I can _make_ it; but I'm _powerful weak_
right _now_." I remember two brave Texas boys, brothers, both wounded
at Murfreesboro', who lay side by side in this ward. One of them was
only fifteen years old. When he was brought in, it was found that a
minie-ball had penetrated near the eye, and remained in the wound,
forcing the eye entirely from the socket, causing the greatest agony.
At first it was found difficult to extract it, and it proved a most
painful operation. I stood by, and his brother had his cot brought
close so that he could hold his other hand. Not a groan did the brave
boy utter, but when it was over, and the eye replaced and bandaged, he
said, "Doctor, _how soon can I go back to my regiment_?" Poor boy! he
_did_ go back in time to participate in the battle of Chickamauga,
where he met his death. Twenty years after, I met his brother at a
reunion of Confederate soldiers, in Dallas, Texas, and he could hardly
tell me for weeping that Eddie had been shot down at his side while
gallantly charging with the ---- Texas Cavalry. Another youth, ----
Roundtree, of Alabama, lingered in that ward for many weeks, suffering
from dysentery, and, I believe, was finally discharged.

Dr. Gore, of Kentucky, took the deepest interest in my nursery, and
sometimes asked permission to place young friends of his own there, a
compliment which I highly appreciated. Dr. Gore was one of Nature's
noblemen. In his large, warm heart there seemed to be room for
everybody. His interest in his patients was very keen, and his skill
greatly enhanced by extreme tenderness and unfailing attention. He was
an earnest Christian (a Methodist, I believe), but upon one occasion I
saw him so excited and distressed that he "fell from grace," and gave
vent to a fearful imprecation. He had brought to me a boy of seventeen
very ill of dysentery. For days it seemed that he must die. Dr. Gore
and I watched him and nursed him as if he had been very near and dear.
A slight improvement showed itself at last, and of course his craving
for food was insatiate. As this was a special ward, the nurses had
been forbidden to admit visitors without a permit, and no stranger was
ever allowed to feed the patients except when some particularly
nourishing and suitable food was brought, when I used to take a great
delight in the mutual pleasure of patient and visitor, hardly knowing
which was more happy, the giver or receiver. Our sick boy continually
craved and talked about some "apple _turnovers_," such as his mother
used to make, but of course was denied. One day, during my absence, an
old lady gained access to the ward, and when she heard the boy's
desire for "turn-overs" promised him some. The next day she found an
opportunity to keep her promise. At midnight, Dr. Gore and I having
been hastily summoned, met at the bedside of the poor fellow, who was
in a state of collapse, and died before morning. Dr. Gore was so
overcome that he actually wept. The boy had been a patient of his from
his infancy, and in a piteous letter, which I afterwards read, his
mother had implored the doctor to watch over him in case of sickness.
When, under the dead boy's pillow, was found a portion of the
apple-pie, revealing the cause of his death, the doctor's anger knew
no bounds, and he gave vent to the imprecation above mentioned.

As the summer waned, our commissary stores began to fail. Rations,
always plain, became scant. Our foragers met with little success. But
for the patriotic devotion of the families whose farms and plantations
lay for miles around Ringgold (soon, alas! to fall into the ruthless
hands of the enemy), even our sickest men would have been deprived of
suitable food. As it was, the supply was by no means sufficient. One
day I asked permission to try _my_ fortune at foraging, and, having
received it, left Ringgold at daylight next morning, returning by
moonlight. Stopping at every house and home, I told everywhere my tale
of woe. There was scarcely one where hearths were not lonely, hearts
aching for dear ones long since gone forth to battle. They had heard
mischievous and false tales of the surgeons and attendants of
hospitals, and really believed that the sick were starved and
neglected, while the hospital staff feasted upon dainty food.
Occasionally, perhaps, they had listened to the complaint of some
"hospital rat," who, at the first rumor of an approaching battle, had
experienced "a powerful misery" in the place where a brave heart
should have been, and, flying to the rear, doubled up with rheumatism
and out-groaning all the victims of _real_ sickness or horrible
wounds, had remained huddled up in bed until danger was over. After
having been deceived a few times by these cowards, I became expert at
recognizing them, and paid them no attention whatever. I really
believe that in some cases it was a physical impossibility for men to
face the guns on a battle-field, and I have known instances of
soldiers who deliberately shot off their own fingers to escape a
fight. These men were conscious of their own defects, and often,
smarting under a knowledge that the blistering, purging, and
nauseating process pursued in such cases by the surgeons was intended
as a punishment, grew ugly and mischievous, seeking revenge by
maligning those in authority. I do not know what abuses may have
existed in other hospitals of the Confederacy; I can, however, say
with entire truth that I never saw or heard of a more self-sacrificing
set of men than the surgeons I met and served under during the war.
With only two exceptions, they were devoted to their patients, and as
attentive as in private practice or as the immense number of sick
allowed them to be. These exceptions were both men who were unwilling
to get up at night, and if called were fearfully cross. At one time I
had a fierce contest with a surgeon of this kind, and fought it out,
coming off victorious. I was called up one night to see a patient who
had required and received the closest attention, but who was, we
hoped, improving. Finding him apparently dying, I sent at once for
Doctor ----, meanwhile trying, with the help of the nurse, every means
to bring back warmth to his body, administering stimulants, rubbing
the extremities with mustard, and applying mustard-plasters. The poor
fellow was conscious, and evidently very much frightened; he had
insisted upon sending for me and seemed to be satisfied that I would
do everything in my power. Doctor ---- came in, looking black as a
thunder-cloud. "What the devil is all this fuss about? what are you
going to do with that mustard-plaster? Better apply it to that pine
table; it would do as much good;" then to the nurse, "Don't bother
that fellow any more; let him die in peace." My temper was up, and I
rushed at once into battle. "Sir," said I, "if you have given the
patient up, _I have not_ and _will not_. No true physician would show
such brutality." He was nearly bursting with rage. "I shall report
you, madam." "And I, sir, will take care that the whole post shall
know of this." He went out and I remained with the soldier until he
was better (he eventually recovered). The next morning, bright and
early, I made _my_ report to Dr. McAllister, who had already received
an account of the affair from the nurses and other patients of the
ward. He reprimanded the surgeon instead of gratifying his desire to
humble me.

But to return to my expedition: Fortunately, I was able to disprove
the false tales which had prejudiced the country people. Their
sympathy being thoroughly aroused, they resolved to make up for lost
time; and after this ladies rode in town every day, arranging among
themselves for different days, and bringing for the convalescents the
fresh vegetables which were so valuable as a palliative, and
preventive of scurvy; for the sick, chickens, eggs, fresh butter,
buttermilk, and sweet milk. Country wagons also brought in small
supplies for sale, but never in proportion to the demand. Many of the
ladies, after one visit to a ward or two, were utterly overcome by the
ghastly sight, and wept even at the _thought_ of looking upon the
misery they could not relieve. Others seemed to feel only deepest pity
and a desire to "do _something_ for the poor soldiers." As there were
so many, it was difficult to distribute impartially: some must be left
out. The ladies, finding so many craving buttermilk, sweet milk,
home-made bread, etc., did not well know how to manage; but the
soldiers themselves soon settled that. "I ain't so _very_ bad off,"
one would say, "but that little fellow over yonder needs it _bad_;
he's _powerful weak_, and he's been studying about buttermilk ever
since he came in."

All the time his own emaciated frame was trembling from exhaustion,
and, spite of his courage, his eyes greedily devoured the dainties
which he denied himself. This was but one of a thousand instances of
self-abnegation which go to make up a record as honorable, as brave,
as true as that of the glorious deeds which such men never failed to
perform whenever opportunity offered.

During this foraging trip, and once afterwards during a spell of fever
which lasted a week, I was cordially received and elegantly
entertained at the house of Mr. and Mrs. Russell, who lived about ten
miles from Ringgold. This aged couple were eminently and most
intelligently patriotic.

Their sons were in the Confederate service. Their time and their
substance were literally at the disposal of all who served the cause.
The silver-haired mother knitted and spun incessantly for the
soldiers. The father superintended the raising of vegetables, and sent
wagon-loads to the hospitals.

Miss Phemie, a lovely young girl, was a frequent visitor to the
hospitals, and often herself dispensed the golden butter and rich
buttermilk prepared under her own direction; she would even dispense
with the carriage and ride in town on the wagon, that she might bring
_plenty_ of vegetables, fruit, etc. Convalescents were entertained
royally at the old homestead; those who could not go so far were often
treated to pleasant and invigorating rides.

To me Miss Phemie's friendship and kindness brought many comforts, and
I remember gratefully the whole family.

Through the summer frequent skirmishes and fights were heard of, and
sick and wounded men came in every day, and every few days squads of
men who had "reported for duty" took their places at the front. At
last, about the first of September, 1863, appeared the never-failing
forerunner of a real battle near at hand,--a small brigade of "hospital
rats," distorted, drawn up, with useless crippled fingers, bent legs,
crooked arms, necks drawn awry, let us say by--_rheumatism_. A day or
two later was fought the sanguinary and fiercely-contested battle of
Chickamauga. I could not if I would describe this or any other battle,
nor is it necessary, for historians have well accomplished this duty.
The terrible results to the brave men engaged only appeared to me, and
these guided me to an opinion that among the horrible, bloody,
hard-fought battles of the war none could exceed that of Chickamauga,
and afterwards Franklin. From the lips of my boys, however, I often
gained knowledge of deeds of magnificent bravery which cannot be
surpassed by any which adorn the pages of history. These jewels have
lain undiscovered among the debris of the war. Would I could reclaim
them all. Seen in the aggregate, they would even outshine the glory
already known and visible. Finding memory a treacherous guide while
searching for these hidden treasures, I have called upon my comrades
to aid me in clearing away the dust and cobwebs,--the accumulation of
years,--but only in a few instances have they responded. I shall here
relate one incident of the battle of Chickamauga never before
published, but which is true in every particular.

Austin's Battalion of Sharpshooters, composed of two companies, the
Continental Guards and Cannon Guards, both from New Orleans, was as
well known to the Army of Tennessee as any organization in it, and
commanded the respect and admiration of all the army. The following
lines from the pen of a gallant soldier in Fenner's Louisiana Battery
truly portray the sentiments of their army comrades towards the famous
battalion:

"In the Army of Tennessee, Austin's Battalion always occupied the post
of honor in the brigade (Adams's and Gibson's Louisiana) to which it
belonged. In the advance, that battalion was in the front; in the
retreat, it hung upon the rear, a safeguard to the Confederates, and a
cloud threatening at every step to burst in destructive fury upon the
advancing enemy.

"Who is on the front?" "Austin's Battalion." "Then, boys, we can lie
down and sleep." Such were the words heard a hundred times among the
troops of the Army of Tennessee, to which was attached Austin's
Battalion of Sharpshooters. Whose tongue could so graphically picture
to the mind's eye a soldier and a hero as do these brief questions and
answers interchanged between battle-scarred veterans in the gathering
gloom of the night, when they knew not, until they were assured
Austin's Battalion was in the front, if they could snatch a few hours
of repose from the toil and danger of battle? Austin's Battalion,
famous throughout the armies of the Confederacy for its discipline and
fighting qualities, was formed out of the remnants of the Eleventh
Louisiana Regiment, which distinguished itself at Belmont, and which
was literally shot to pieces at Shiloh. The battalion is well known to
all the survivors of the Army of Tennessee as a fighting organization.
During the active campaign of the army, it was almost continually
under fire, and Ned Austin, on his little black pony, was always in
the advance, "fooling the enemy, or in the retreat fighting and
holding him in check."

As the title of the battalion indicates, it was always in the front,
on the advanced skirmish-line, pending a battle. It will be remembered
by all the heroes of the Army of Tennessee that nearly every regiment
in that army at the time of the battle of Chickamauga had on its
battle-flag "cross-cannon," which signified the regiment's
participation in the capture of a battery, or part thereof, at some
time and place. Austin's Battalion had not won that honor when it
commenced its destructive fire upon the enemy early Saturday morning,
September 19, 1863. Sunday, the 20th, the battalion, on the extreme
right of the army, moved forward upon the skirmish-lines of the
Federals about eight o'clock in the morning, driving them rapidly back
towards their main lines, leaving many dead and wounded on the ground,
and many prisoners in the hands of the enthusiastic advancing
Confederates. It was published in general orders after the battle that
Austin's Sharpshooters captured three times as many prisoners as they
had men in their whole battalion. The Continentals, on the right of
the battalion, commanded by Captain W.Q. Loud, suddenly found
themselves in range of and close quarters to artillery, as shells were
singing through the woods directly over their heads. Still advancing
as skirmishers, they saw on the road two pieces of artillery,
supported by perhaps a small company of infantry, about one hundred
yards from their advanced position in the woods. The command, "Rally,"
was given by Lieutenant William Pierce, commanding first platoon, and
as the word was passed along by the sergeants all within hearing
jumped to the command, and as "Forward, charge!" was given, in a
minute the gallant Confederates had forced back the Federals and had
possession of the guns, Lieutenant Pierce striking one of them with
his sword, proclaiming the right of the battalion to have cross-cannon
at last on its beloved flag. Although the battalion, as was just and
correct, participated in and enjoyed the proud honors of the capture,
it will cause no feeling of envy among the members of Company B living
to-day to give the exclusive credit of the capture of those guns to
the first platoon of the Continental Guards. The Federals, seeing how
few were the numbers of the foe who had driven them from their guns,
rallied, advanced, and fired a volley into the victorious
Confederates, who were still surrounding the pieces. Three men were
wounded by the volley, among them Lieutenant William Pierce, whose leg
was so badly shattered that amputation was necessary. The boys in gray
retired to the first line of trees, leaving their lieutenant under the
guns, surrounded by the boys in blue. It was for a short moment only:
a volley which killed three and wounded more of the Federals, a yell
and a charge, and the lieutenant's comrades again had possession of
the guns, and soon were carrying him and dragging the guns to the
rear, making the captured Federals assist in both duties. The
advancing brigade was more than a quarter of a mile from where the
guns were captured. It is very doubtful whether the history of the war
will record a similar capture of artillery supported by infantry,
disclosed suddenly by an advance-line of skirmishers who
unhesitatingly charged, took possession of, and carried to the rear
the guns. One would have supposed that Lieutenant Pierce, having
suffered amputation of a leg, might have rested upon laurels won so
gloriously. Ah, no! his gallant soul was yet undismayed. At the
earliest possible moment he returned to his command, there receiving a
rich recompense for past suffering. Imagine his great pride and
satisfaction when, following his comrades to the quarters of the
gallant Major Ned Austin, he was shown the battalion flag with its
"honored and honorable" cross-cannon liberally displayed.

The survivors of the Continental Guards, returning to New Orleans
after the war, have clung together like true brothers, retaining their
military organization and the name they bore so gallantly. Of the
veterans, not many remain; these are known and revered by all. Captain
Pierce is fondly beloved and highly respected by his former command,
as well as by the younger members of the company, who, having "fallen
in" to fill up the ranks which time and death have decimated, are
striving nobly to uphold the name and fame of the Continentals. Under
the command of a gallant gentleman and excellent executive officer,
the new Continentals have guarded and kept ever fresh the laurels won
by their predecessors, adding an exceptional record of their own, both
military and civic. Upon all patriotic occasions the _veterans_ appear
and march with the company. Our veteran companies are the pride and
glory of New Orleans. Citizens never tire of viewing the beautiful
uniform and the martial step of the Continental Guards. And who can
look upon Captain Pierce, bearing his trusty sword, keeping step
equally well, whether he wears a finely-formed cork leg or stumps
along on his favorite wooden one,--his bearing as proud as the
proudest, his heroic soul looking gloriously forth from its undimmed
windows,--and fail to remember proudly the young lieutenant who fell
under the enemy's gun at Chickamauga? Or who can listen unmoved to the
music of the cannon which so often woke the morning echoes upon the
bloodiest battle-field of the war? A parade of the Washington
Artillery is, indeed, a glorious and inspiriting sight. Here they
come, gayly caparisoned, perfect in every detail of military
equipment, led by elegant officers who may well ride proudly, for each
is a true soldier and a hero. Scarcely less distinguished, save for
the plainer uniform, are the rank and file that follow. Can these be
the same men whom history delights to honor,--the heroes of a hundred
battlefields,--both in the army of Virginia and Tennessee, who,
stripped to the waist, blackened with powder and smoke, bloody with
streaming wounds, still stood to their guns, and, in answer to the
enemy, thundered forth their defiant motto, "_Come and take us!_" And
now--who more peaceful, who more public-spirited, who more kind in
word and deed? Of the Virginia detachment I knew little except their
splendid record. From the fifth company I frequently received patients
during my service with the Army of Tennessee, for, like their comrades
of Virginia, they seemed to be in every battle, and in the thick of
it. In fact, New Orleans and the whole State of Louisiana, like every
city and State in the South, are peopled with veterans and heroes. In
comparatively few cases have military organizations been kept up.
Other duties engross the late Confederates, of whom it may be truly
said their record of citizenship is as excellent as their war record.
If to any reader it occurs that I seem to be doing particular justice
to New Orleans troops, I will say, let the feeling which arises in
your own breast regarding your "very own" plead for me. Remember that
my husband was one of the famous Dreux Battalion, and afterwards of
Gibson's Brigade, also that Louisianians were exiles, and that love of
our home, with sorrow and indignation on account of her humiliation
and chains, drew us very close together. But aside from this natural
feeling there was no shadow of difference in my ministration or in the
affection I bore towards all "my boys."

There was not a single Southern State unrepresented among the bleeding
victims of Chickamauga. From that hardly-contested field, as from many
others, a rich harvest of glory has been reaped and garnered until the
treasure-houses of history are full to overflowing. Glowing accounts
of the splendid deeds of this or that division, brigade, regiment,
company, have immortalized the names of--_their officers_. And what of
the unfaltering _followers_, whose valor supported their brave leaders
and helped to _create_ many a splendid record? Here lay the shattered
remnants, each ghastly wound telling its own story of personal
bravery. The fiery sons of South Carolina, unsubdued by the perils
they had passed, unmindful of their gaping wounds, as ready then to do
and dare as when they threw down the gauntlet of defiance and stood
ready to defend the sovereignty of their State. The men who followed
where the gallant Forrest led, "looking the warrior in love with his
work." The devoted patriots who charged with Breckenridge. The tall,
soldierly Tennesseeans, of whom their commander said, when asked if he
could take and hold a position of transcendent danger, "Give me my
Tennesseeans, and _I'll take and hold anything_;" the determined,
ever-ready Texans, who, under the immortal Terry, so distinguished
themselves, and under other leaders in every battle of the war won
undying laurels; North Carolinians, of whose courage in battle I
needed no better proof than the pluck they invariably showed under the
torture of fevered wounds or of the surgeon's knife; exiled
Kentuckians, Arkansians, Georgians, Louisianians, Missourians,
Marylanders, sternly resentful, and impatient of the wounds that kept
them from the battle-field, because ever hoping to strike some blow
that should sever a link in the chains which bound the homes they so
loved; Alabamians, the number of whose regiments, as well as _their
frequent consolidation_, spoke volumes for their splendid service;
Georgians, who, having fought with desperate valor, now lay suffering
and dying within the confines of their own State, yet unable to reach
the loved ones who, unknowing what their fate might be, awaited with
trembling hearts accounts of the battle, so slow in reaching them;
Mississippians, of whom I have often heard it said, "their fighting
and _staying qualities_ were _magnificent_," I then knew hundreds of
instances of individual valor, of which my remembrance is now so dim
that I dare not give names or dates. I am proud, however, to record
the names of four soldiers belonging to the Seventeenth Mississippi
Regiment: J. Wm. Flynn,[1] then a mere lad, but whose record will
compare with the brightest; Samuel Frank, quartermaster; Maurice
Bernhiem, quartermaster-sergeant, and Auerbach, the drummer of the
regiment. I was proudly told by a member of Company G, Seventeenth
Mississippi, that Sam Prank, although excelling in every duty of his
position, was exceeding brave, often earnestly asking permission to
lead the skirmishers, and would shoulder a musket sooner than stay out
of the fight. Maurice Bernhiem, quartermaster-sergeant, was also brave
as the bravest. Whenever it was possible he also would join the ranks
and fight as desperately as any soldier. Both men were exempt from
field-service. Auerbach, the drummer of the Seventeenth, was also a
model soldier, always at his post. On the longest marches, in the
fiercest battles, whatever signal the commanding officer wished to
have transmitted by means of the drum, night or day, amid the smoke of
battle or the dust of the march, Auerbach was always on hand. The
members of the Seventeenth declared that they could never forget the
figure of the small Jewish drummer, his little cap shining out here
and there amid the thick smoke and under a rattling fire. Before
taking leave of this splendid regiment, I will give an incident of the
battle of Knoxville, also related to me by one of its members.

    [1] Mr. Flynn is now pastor in charge of a Presbyterian Church
    in New Orleans, and is as faithful a soldier of the cross as
    once of the lost cause.

By some mismanagement, Longstreet's corps had no scaling-ladders, and
had to cut their way up the wall of the entrenchment by bayonets,
digging out step after step under a shower of hot water, stones, shot,
axes, etc. Some of the men actually got to the top, and, reaching
over, dragged the enemy over the walls. General Humphrey's brigade had
practically taken the fort. Their flag was flying from the walls,
about a hundred men having reached the top, where the color-bearer bad
planted his flag, when the staff was shot off about an inch above his
hand. The men were so mad at losing the flag, that they seized the
shells with fuses burning and hurled them back upon the enemy. Some of
the members of this gallant regiment were among the hundreds equally
brave who, after the battle of Chickamauga, became my patients.
Scattered all through the wards were dozens of Irishmen, whose awful
wounds scarcely sufficed to keep them in bed, so impatient were they
of restraint, and especially of inactivity,--so eager to be at the
front. Ever since the war I have kept in my heart a place sacred to
these generous exiles, who, in the very earliest days of the
Confederacy, flocked by thousands to her standard, _wearing the gray
as if it had been the green_, giving in defence of the land of their
adoption the might of stalwart arms, unfaltering courage, and the
earnest devotion of hearts glad thus to give expression to the love of
liberty and hatred of oppression which filled them. As Confederate
soldiers they made records unsurpassed by any, but they never forgot
that they were Irishmen, and bound to keep up the name and fame of Old
Ireland. So, company after company, composing many regiments, appeared
on fields of glory bearing names dear to every Irish heart,--names
which they meant to immortalize, _and did_.

That I should be permitted to serve all these heroes, to live among
them, to minister to them, seemed to me a blessing beyond estimation.
Strange to say, although my toil increased and the horror deepened, my
health did not suffer. After days and nights of immeasurable fatigue,
a few hours of sleep would quite restore me, and I dared to believe
that the supporting rod and staff was given of God.

It now became very difficult to obtain food either suitable or
sufficient. The beef was horrible. Upon two occasions rations of mule
meat were issued, and eaten with the only sauce which could have
rendered it possible to swallow the rank, coarse-grained meat,--i.e.,
the ravenous hunger of wounded and convalescent men. Meal was musty,
flour impossible to be procured. All the more delicate food began to
fail utterly. A few weeks after the battle, Dr. S.M. Bemiss was
ordered to Newnan, Georgia, to arrange for the removal of the hospital
"post." We were, therefore, expecting a change of location, but quite
unprepared for the suddenness of the order, or the haste and confusion
that ensued. The _upsetness_ was so complete that it almost seemed to
me an actual fulfilment of a mysterious prophecy or warning often
uttered by old negroes to terrorize children into good behavior:
"Better mind out dar: fust thing _you_ knows you ain't gwine ter know
nuffin'." Everything seemed to be going on at once. The
ambulance-train, with a few baggage-cars attached, was even then at
the depot. A hoarse, stifled whistle apprised us of the fact, and
seemed to hurry our preparation. Dr. McAllister was _everywhere_,
superintending the removal with the energy natural to him. In the
court-house all was confusion. Boxes were hastily filled with bedding,
clothing, etc., thrown in helter-skelter, hastily nailed up, and as
hastily carted down to the train. Sick and awfully wounded men were
hurriedly placed upon stretchers, and their bearers formed an endless
procession to the rough cars (some of them lately used to transport
cattle, and dreadfully filthy). Here they were placed upon straw
mattresses, or plain straw, as it happened. No provisions were to be
had except sides of rusty bacon and cold corn-bread. These were
shovelled into carts and transferred to the floor of the cars in the
same manner. There was no time to cook anything, and the chances were
whether we would get off at all or not. Procuring a large caldron, I
dumped into it remnants of the day's dinner,--a little soup, a few
vegetables, and some mule meat. The stoves had all been taken down,
but there was a little cold cornmeal coffee, some tea, and a small
quantity of milk. This I put into buckets; then, importuning the
surgeon in charge until he was glad to get rid of me by assigning me a
cart, I mounted into it with my provisions and jolted off to the cars,
where hundreds of tortured, groaning men wore lying. There I met Dr.
Gore (for both hospitals were to be moved on the same train), who
helped me to hide my treasures and to administer some weak milk punch
to the sufferers. Meanwhile, the pine-wood fires kindled in the
streets all around the hospitals made the town look as though it was
on fire, and threw its weird light upon masses of soldiery,--cavalry,
infantry, artillery,--moving in endless numbers through the town,
shaking the very earth with the tramp of men and horses and the heavy
rumble of wheels. The men were silent, and looked jaded and ghastly in
the lurid light. Some had bloody rags tied about head and hands, their
breasts were bare, the panting breath could be heard plainly, their
eyes shone fiercely through the grime of powder and smoke. They had
been fighting, and were now retreating; still they marched in solid
column, nor broke ranks, nor lost step. The faces of the officers were
grave and troubled; none seemed to observe our frantic haste, but all
to look forward with unseeing eyes. I did so long to have them rest
and refresh themselves. During the whole of that eventful night my
cheeks were wet, my heart aching sadly. Before daylight we were off.
Railroads at that time were very defective and very rough. Ah, how
terrible was the suffering of those wounded men as they were jolted
and shaken from side to side! for haste was necessary to escape the
enemy. About noon the train came to a full stop, nor moved again for
many, many hours,--hours fraught with intense suffering to the sick
and wounded, as well as to all who shared the hardships of that
journey. It was reported that the enemy were passing either to the
right or left, I do not remember which. Not a wheel must move, not a
column of smoke arise; so, with the engine fires extinguished, the
train stood motionless in the midst of a barren pine forest. The small
supply of cooked food was soon exhausted, the ladies on the train
assisting to feed the wounded soldiers. All were parched with thirst.
The only water to be procured lay in ruts and ditches by the roadside,
and was filthy and fetid. So the day passed. All through the night
every one was on the alert, listening intently for sounds that might
mean danger. No lights, no roadside fires could be allowed; but the
moon shone brightly, and by its light the surgeons moved about among
the suffering men, whose groans, united with the plaintive sigh of the
chill wind through the pine forest, served to make night dismal
indeed. In the intervals of attending upon the sick we slept as we
could, leaning up against boxes, tilted back in chairs against the
side of the car, or lying down, with anything we could get for
pillows. Some of the surgeons and attendants bivouacked under the
trees in spite of the cold. In the morning we were hungry enough to
eat the stale corn-bread, and tried to like it, but even of that there
was very little, for the wounded men were ravenous. Drs. Gore and
Yates set themselves to whittle some "army-forks," or forked sticks,
and, cutting the bacon in thin slices, made little fires which they
carefully covered with large pans to keep the smoke from arising. By
these they toasted slices of bacon. Ah, how delicious was the odor,
how excellent the taste! Several hands were set at this work, but it
was necessarily very slow. I remained among my own patients, while my
servant climbed in and out of the car, bringing as much meat as she
could get, which I distributed while she returned for more. The
wounded men were clamorous for it, crying out, "Give it to us raw; we
can't wait." This we were soon compelled to do, as it was feared the
smoke might escape and betray us. I cannot now recollect by what means
we received the welcome order to move on, but it came at last, and on
the morning of the third day we reached Newnan, Georgia, where, after
a few days' bustle and confusion, we were pleasantly settled and had
fallen into the old routine, Dr. Bemiss having arranged not only for
excellent quarters but for fresh supplies of rations and hospital
stores.



CHAPTER V.

NEWNAN, GEORGIA.


Just here Memory lays a restraining hand upon my own. Turning to meet
her gaze, it pleads with me to linger a while in this sweet and
pleasant spot, peopled with familiar forms, and kindly faces,
well-beloved in the past, fondly greeted once again. Ah, how closely
our little band clung together, how enduring were the ties that bound
us! Ignoring the shadow, seeking always to stand in the sunshine, we
welcomed with yet unshaken faith the heavenly guest who stood in our
midst, turning upon us almost for the last time an unclouded face, and
eyes undimmed by doubt or pain,--the angel of Hope.

The ladies of Newnan were truly loyal, and in spite of the fact that
the whole town was converted into hospitals, and every eligible place
filled with sick, murmured not, but strove in every way to add to
their comfort. I wish I could place every one before my readers to
receive the meed of praise she so richly deserves; only a few, _very
few_, names now occur to me. The hospitable mansion of Judge Ray was a
complete rendezvous for convalescent soldiers; also the homes of Mrs.
McKinstry and Mrs. Morgan. The latter was one of the most beautiful
women I ever saw. Dr. Gore used to say, "She is just _plum pretty_."
She was a perfect blonde, with a small head "running over" with short,
golden curls. The Misses Ray were brunettes, very handsome and
stately. Their brothers were in the army. Judge Ray never allowed his
daughters to visit the hospitals, but atoned for that by unbounded
hospitality. Mrs. McKinstry was a constant visitor to the hospitals,
and had her house full of sick soldiers. Only one church in the town
was left vacant in which to hold services. Rev. R.A. Holland, then a
young, enthusiastic Methodist minister, and a chaplain in the army,
remained for some time in Newnan, holding meetings which were largely
attended. Dr. Holland was long after the war converted to the
Episcopal faith, and called to Trinity Church, New Orleans. The
bishops and ministers of the Protestant Episcopal Church also held
frequent services, and often Catholic priests came among the sick, who
greatly valued their holy ministration. Through the kindness of a
friend, an ownerless piano found in one of the stores was moved to my
room, and, although not a good one, contributed largely to the
pleasure of the soldiers, also serving for sacred music when needed.
Mr. Blandner's lute, my piano, and Mrs. Gamble's soprano voice, joined
to that of a Confederate tenor or bass, or my own contralto, made
delicious music. Concerts, tableaux, plays, etc., were also given for
the benefit of refugees or to raise money to send boxes to the front:
at all these I assisted, but had no time for rehearsals, etc. I could
only run over and sing my song or songs and then run back to my
patients. Some money was realized, but the entertainments were never a
great financial success, because all soldiers were invited guests.
Still, some good was always accomplished. These amusements were
greatly encouraged by physicians and others, as safety-valves to
relieve the high-pressure of excitement, uncertainty, and dread which
were characteristic of the time. I was always counted in, but seldom,
very seldom, accepted an invitation, for it seemed to me like
unfaithfulness to the memory of the gallant dead, and a mockery of the
suffering in our midst. I could not rid myself of this feeling, and
can truly say that during those fateful years, from the time when in
Richmond the "starvation parties" were organized, until the end, I
never found a suitable time to dance or a time to laugh or a time to
make merry.

My own special kitchen (an immense wareroom at the back of the store,
which was used for a distributing-room) was in Newnan well fitted up.
A cavernous fireplace, well supplied with big pots, little pots,
bake-ovens, and stew-pans, was supplemented by a cooking-stove of good
size. A large brick oven was built in the yard close by, and two
professional bakers, with their assistants, were kept busy baking for
the whole post. There happened to be a back entrance to this kitchen,
and although the convalescents were not allowed inside, many were the
interviews held at said door upon subjects of vital importance to the
poor fellows who had walked far into the country to obtain coveted
dainties which they wanted to have cooked "like my folks at home fix
it up." They were never refused, and sometimes a dozen different
"messes" were set off to await claimants,--potato-pones, cracklin
bread, apple-pies, blackberry-pies, squirrels, birds, and often
_chickens_. For a long time the amount of chickens brought in by "the
boys" puzzled me. They had little or no money, and chickens were
always high-priced. I had often noticed that the men in the wards were
busy preparing _fish-hooks_, and yet, though they often "went
fishing," they brought no fish to be cooked. One day the mystery was
fully solved. An irate old lady called upon Dr. McAllister, holding at
the end of a string a fine, large chicken, and vociferously
proclaiming her wrongs. "I _knowed_ I'd ketch 'em: I _knowed_ it. Jes'
look a-here," and she drew up the chicken, opened its mouth, and
showed the butt of a fish-hook it had swallowed. Upon further
examination, it was found that the hook had been baited with a kernel
of corn. "I've been noticin' a powerful disturbance among my fowls,
an' every onct in while one of 'em would go over the fence like
litenin' and I couldn't see what went with it. This mornin' I jes' sot
down under the fence an' watched, and the fust thing I seed was a line
flyin' over the fence right peert, an' as soon as it struck the ground
the chickens all went for it, an' this yer fool chicken up and
swallered it. Now, I'm a lone woman, an' my chickens an' my
truck-patch is my livin', and _I ain't gwine to stan' no sich!_" The
convalescents, attracted by the shrill, angry voice, gathered around.
Their innocent surprise, and the wonder with which they examined the
baited fish-hook and _sympathized with the old lady_, almost upset the
gravity of the "sturgeons," as the old body called the doctors.

There was one dry-goods store still kept open in Newnan, but few
ladies had the inclination or the means to go shopping. The cotton
lying idle all over the South was then to a certain extent utilized.
Everything the men wore was dyed and woven at home: pants were either
butternut, blue, or light purple, occasionally light yellow; shirts,
coarse, but snowy white, or what would now be called _cream_.
Everybody knitted socks. Ladies, negro women, girls, and even little
boys, learned to knit. Each tried to get ahead as to number and
quality. Ladies' stockings were also knitted of all grades from stout
and thick to gossamer or open-work, etc. Homespun dresses were proudly
worn, and it became a matter of constant experiment and great pride to
improve the quality and vary colors. Warp and woof were finely spun,
and beautiful combinations of colors ventured upon, although older
heads eschewed them, and in consequence complacently wore their clean,
smoothly-ironed gray, "pepper-and-salt," or brown homespuns long after
the gayer ones had been faded by sun or water and had to be "dipped."
Hats and bonnets of all sorts and sizes were made of straw or
palmetto, and trimmed with the same. Most of them bore cockades of
bright red and white (the "red, white, and red"), fashioned of strips
knitted to resemble ribbons. Some used emblems denoting the State or
city of the wearer, others a small Confederate battle-flag. Young
faces framed in these pretty hats, or looking out from under a
broad-brim, appeared doubly bewitching. Ladies worked early and late,
first upon the fabric, and then upon beautifully-stitched homespun
shirts, intended as gifts to favorite heroes returning to the front.
During the winter nights the light of pine-knot fires had sufficed,
but now Confederate candles were used. It did seem as if the bees were
Southern sympathizers, and more faithfully than usual "improved each
shining hour." The wax thus obtained was melted in large kettles, and
yards of rags torn into strips and sewn together, then twisted to the
size of lamp-wicks, were dipped into the liquid wax, cooled, and
dipped again and again until of the right size. These yards of waxed
rags were wound around a corncob or a bottle, then clipped, leaving
about two yards "closely wound" to each candle. One end was left loose
to light, and--here you have the recipe for Confederate candles.

When I came through the lines I was refused permission to bring any
baggage; therefore my supply of clothing was exceedingly small. I had,
however, some gold concealed about my person, and fortunately procured
with it a plain wardrobe. This I had carefully treasured, but now it
was rapidly diminishing. At least I must have one new dress. It was
bought,--a simple calico, and not of extra quality. The cost was
_three hundred dollars!_ With the exception of a plain muslin bought
the following summer for three hundred and fifty dollars, it was my
only indulgence in the extravagance of dress during the whole war. Two
pretty gray homespuns made in Alabama were my standbys.

A good-sized store had been assigned to me as a linen room and office.
The linen room, standing upon the street, was very large, and shelved
all around, a counter on one side, and otherwise furnished with splint
chairs and boxes to sit upon. My sanctum lay behind it, and here my
sick and convalescent boys came frequently, and dearly loved to come,
to rest upon the lounge or upon my rocking-chair, to read, to eat nice
little lunches, and often to write letters. The front room was the
rendezvous of the surgeons. In the morning they came to consult me
about diet-lists or to talk to each other. In the evening the
promenade of the ladies generally ended here, the surgeons always
came, and I am proud to say that a circle composed of more cultivated,
refined gentlemen and ladies could not be found than those who met in
the rough linen-room of the Buckner Hospital. Dr. McAllister often
looked in, but only for a few moments. He was devoted to his business
as surgeon in charge of a large hospital. The multifarious duties of
the position occupied him exclusively. He was a superb executive
officer: nothing escaped his keen observation. No wrong remained
unredressed, no recreant found an instant's toleration. He was ever
restless, and not at all given to the amenities of life or to social
intercourse, but fond of spending his leisure moments at his own
temporary home, which a devoted wife made to him a paradise. His
manners to strangers were very stiff; his friendship, once gained, was
earnest and unchangeable. Dr. Gamble, surgeon of the post, was an
urbane, kindly gentleman. Business claimed his entire time also, and
he was seldom seen outside of his office. The ladies of our little
circle have been already mentioned, as well as most of the surgeons.
Dr. Bemiss, of all others, was a general favorite. We did not see much
of him, as he was a very busy man; but at least once a day he would
find his way to the rendezvous, often looking in at the window as he
"halted" outside for a little chat. Invariably the whole party
brightened up at his coming. He was so genial, so witty, so
sympathetic, so entirely _en rapport_ with everybody. A casual
occurrence, a little discussion involving, perhaps, a cunning attempt
to enlist him on one side or the other, would prove the key to unlock
a fund of anecdotes, repartee, _bon-mots_, and, best of all,
word-pictures, for here Dr. Bemiss excelled every one I ever knew. My
own relations with him were very pleasant, for he was my adviser and
helper in using properly the Louisiana and Alabama funds. The
friendship between Drs. Bemiss and Gore seemed almost like that of
Damon and Pythias. I think that Dr. Bemiss was first surgeon in charge
of the "Bragg," but when a larger field was assigned to him Dr. Gore
succeeded, Dr. Bemiss still retaining in some way the position of
superior officer. Both these men were eminent surgeons and physicians,
possessing in a remarkable degree the subtle comprehension and
sympathy which is so valuable a quality in a physician. The tie that
bound these two embraced a third, apparently as incongruous as
possible,--Dr. Benjamin Wible, also of Louisville, a former partner of
Dr. Bemiss. Diogenes we used to call him, and he did his best to
deserve the name.

His countenance was forbidding, except when lighted up by a smile,
which was only upon rare occasions. He was intolerant of what he
called "stuff and nonsense," and had a way of disconcerting people by
grunting whenever anything like sentimentality or gush was uttered in
his presence.

When he first came, his stern, dictatorial manner, together with the
persistent coldness which resisted all attempts to be friendly and
sociable, hurt and offended me; but he was so different when among the
sick, so gentle, so benignant beside the bedsides of suffering men,
that I soon learned to know and appreciate the royal heart which at
other times he managed to conceal under a rough and forbidding
exterior.

Dr. Archer, of Maryland, was as complete a contrast as could be
imagined. A poet of no mean order, indulging in all the idiosyncrasies
of a poet, he was yet a man of great nerve and an excellent surgeon.
Always dressed with _careful_ negligence, his hands beautifully white,
his beard unshorn, his auburn hair floating over his uniformed
shoulders in long ringlets, soft in speech, so very deferential to
ladies as to seem almost lover-like, he was, nevertheless, very manly.
Quite a cavalier one could look up to and respect. At first I thought
him effeminate, and did not like him, but his tender ways with my sick
boys, the efficacy of his prescriptions, and his careful orders as to
diet quite won me over. Our friendship lasted until the end of my
service in the Buckner Hospital, since which I have never seen him.
Another complete contrast to Diogenes was Dr. Conway, of Virginia, our
_Chesterfield_. His perfect manners and courtly observance of the
smallest requirements of good breeding and etiquette made us feel
quite as if we were lord and ladies. Dr. Conway had a way of conveying
subtle indefinable flattery which was very elevating to one's
self-esteem. Others enjoyed it in full, but often, just as our
Chesterfield had interviewed _me_, infusing even into the homely
subject of diet-lists much that was calculated to puff up my vanity,
in would stalk Diogenes, who never failed to bring me to a realizing
sense of the hollowness of it all. Dr. Hughes was a venerable and
excellent gentleman, who constituted himself my mentor. He never
failed to drop in every day, being always ready to smooth tangled
threads for me. He was forever protesting against the habit I had
contracted in Richmond, and never afterwards relinquished, of
remaining late by the bedside of dying patients, or going to the wards
whenever summoned at night. He would say, "Daughter, it is not right,
it is not safe; not only do you risk contagion by breathing the foul
air of the wards at night, but some of these soldiers are mighty rough
and might not always justify your confidence in them." But I would not
listen. My firm belief in the honor of "my boys" and in their true and
chivalrous devotion towards myself caused me to trust them utterly at
all times and places. I can truly say that never during the whole four
years of the war was that trust disturbed by even the roughest man of
them all, although I was often placed in very trying circumstances,
many times being entirely dependent upon their protection and care,
_which never failed me_. So I used to set at naught the well-meant
counsels of my kindly old friend, to laugh at his lugubrious
countenance and the portentous shaking of his silvery head. We
remained firm friends, however, and, though my dear old mentor has
long since passed away, I still revere his memory. Dr. Yates was an
ideal Texan, brave, determined, plain, and straightforward, either a
warm, true friend or an uncompromising enemy. He wished to be at the
front, and was never satisfied with hospital duties. Mrs. Yates was a
favorite with all. Dr. Jackson, of Alabama, in charge of the officers'
quarters, performed some miracles in the way of surgical operation. He
was a great favorite with his patients, who complained bitterly
because they were so often deprived of his services for a time, when
his skilful surgery was needed at the front. Besides these were Drs.
Devine, Ruell, Estell, Baruch, Frost, Carmichael, Welford, and
Griffith, none of whom I know particularly well.


Meantime, the wounded of several battles had filled and crowded the
wards. As before, every train came in freighted with human misery. In
the Buckner Hospital alone there were nearly a thousand beds, tenanted
by every conceivable form of suffering.

An ambulance-train arrived one night, bringing an unusually large
number of sick and wounded men, whose piteous moans filled the air as
they were brought up the hill on "stretchers" or alighted at the door
of the hospital from ambulances, which, jolting over the rough,
country road, had tortured them inexpressibly.

Occasionally a scream of agony would arise, but more frequently
suppressed groans bespoke strong men's suffering manfully borne. In
the ward where those badly wounded were placed, there was so much to
be done, that morning found the work unfinished.

It was, therefore, later than usual when I found time to pay my usual
morning visits to other wards.

Upon entering Ward No. 4, my attention was attracted by a new patient,
who lay propped up on one of the bunks near a window. He was a mere
lad (perhaps twenty). His eyes, as they met mine, expressed so plainly
a sense of captivity and extreme dislike of it that I felt very sorry
for him. He had been dressed in a clean hospital shirt, but one
shoulder and arm was bare and bandaged, for he was wounded in the left
shoulder,--a slight wound, but sufficient to occasion severe pain and
fever.

At first I did not approach him, but his eyes followed me as I paused
by each bed to ascertain the needs of the sick and to bestow
particular care in many cases. At last I stood by his side, and,
placing my hand upon his head, spoke to him. He moved uneasily,
seemingly trying to repress the quivering of his lip and the tears
that, nevertheless, would come. Not wishing to notice his emotion just
then, I called the nurse, and, by way of diversion, gave a few
trifling directions, then passed on to another ward.

Returning later, bringing some cooling drink and a bottle of
Confederate bay-water (vinegar), I gave him to drink and proceeded to
sponge off his head and hands. He submitted, as it seemed at first,
unwillingly, but just as I turned to leave him he suddenly seized my
hand, kissed it, and laid his burning cheek upon it. From that moment
I was eagerly welcomed by him whenever I appeared among the sick.

When he began to mend and was allowed to talk freely, I learned his
name, Charley Percy, that he was a native of Bayou Sara, Louisiana,
and a member of the fifth company of Washington Artillery, Captain
Slocomb commanding. He had been wounded at Resaca. I grew to love him
dearly. As soon as he was permitted to leave his bed he became averse
to remaining in the ward, and most of his waking hours were spent in
the little room which was specially allotted to me. Whenever I
returned after my rounds among the sick it was a certainty that the
glad, bright presence awaited me, and that many little plans for my
rest and comfort would make the rough place homelike.

He became to me like a dear young brother, devoted and
ever-thoughtful. The matron's room at the hospital was called very
often "Soldiers' Rest," and sometimes "The Promised Land," because
many soldiers came there every day, and those newly convalescent made
it a goal which they aspired to reach as soon as permitted.

This habit gave me an opportunity to use properly what might have been
sent in boxes which arrived frequently from different quarters, filled
with a variety of goodies, but in quantities entirely insufficient to
supply all the soldiers. A sangaree or any other delicacy, taken while
resting after a walk which taxed the weakened energies to the utmost,
or a meal served outside the fevered air of the wards, did more to
build up the strength than any amount of medicine could have done. As
there never was, by any chance, a supply of these things for one
thousand men (the usual number assigned to Buckner Hospital),
delicacies (already becoming scarce) were served only to the very sick
or to convalescents.

It was beautiful to see how young Percy delighted to assist in waiting
on these visitors to "The Soldiers' Rest,"--how his sprightliness
pleased and amused them. His own great embarrassment seemed to be that
he had lost all his clothes at the time he was wounded, so was
compelled to wear the unbleached shirts with blue cottonade collars
and cuffs, which were supplied to all patients, numbered to correspond
with the bunks. These he called State's prison uniform. One day,
however, Dr. Fenner from New Orleans, Louisiana, paid a visit to
Buckner Hospital (then located at Newnan, Georgia), leaving with me
two large boxes of clothing and stores for the Louisiana soldiers.
Percy assisted to unpack these boxes, soon finding himself amply
provided with underclothing and a nice jacket and pants of gray, also
a new blanket. He was pleased, but not yet quite satisfied, for the
jacket was simply gray. He wanted it trimmed with red.

It chanced that there was in one of the boxes a piece of red flannel.
With this I trimmed the suit under his careful supervision. I can
never forget how happy he was to get into this suit, or how he danced
around me, pretending to go through the artillery drill, and to load
and fire at imaginary Yankees.

Later, his cap was retrimmed, the letters and artillery badge
furbished up, and one beautiful day was made sad and gloomy to his
friends and myself by the departure of this brave, dear boy, to rejoin
his command.

Eager, bright, full of fire and ardor, the young soldier went to meet
his doom. He reached the front (where the company to which he belonged
was always to be found) shortly before the battle of Peach-tree Creek,
and here, his bright young face turned to the foe, his eager hands
serving his gun to the last, he met a soldier's death.

Alas! poor Percy, his fate seemed hard; yet, while sincerely grieving,
I remembered with some degree of comfort the fact that so he had
wished to die,--"Upon the field of glory."

There came to the hospital at the same time with young Percy an
intimate friend and comrade of his, whose name and the circumstances
of his death were preserved in a diary kept by me, but which, with all
my papers, fell into the hands of the enemy subsequently. This poor
fellow had pneumonia, which soon developed into typhoid. He was
delirious when brought in and never regained consciousness. Vainly I
strove to soothe him, stroking back the long, straight hair, black as
a raven's wing, vainly trying to close the magnificent black eyes,
which forever stared into space, while the plaintive voice repeated
ceaselessly, "Viens à moi, oh, ma mère" and thus he moaned and moaned
until at last the white eyelids drooped beneath the gaze of Death, and
the finger of eternal silence was laid upon the fevered lips.

Of course Percy was not told how his friend died until long afterward,
when his questions could no longer be evaded. He was deeply moved,
crying out, "I don't want to die like that. If I must die during this
war, I hope I shall be instantly killed upon the battle-field." This
wish was granted.

He sleeps in a soldier's grave. In the light of eternity the sad
mystery which still shadows the hearts of those who live to mourn the
holy cause--loved and lost--exists no more for him.

Besides the "Buckner," there were the "Bragg" and two more hospitals,
the names of which I have forgotten, one presided over by two gentle
ladies,--Mrs. Harrison and Mrs. ----, of Florida,--whose devotion and
self-sacrifice, as well as their lovely Christian character and
perfect manners, made them well-beloved by everybody at the post. Mrs.
Harrison was a zealous Episcopalian. Through her influence and
correspondence frequent services were held in Newnan. We several times
enjoyed the ministrations of Bishops Quintard, Beckwith, and Wilmer.
The large number of wounded men, and the fearful character of their
wounds, made skill and devotion on the part of the surgeons of the
greatest importance. These conditions were well fulfilled, and aided
by the healthy locality "and" (during the first few months) "the
excellent possibilities open to our foragers," many a poor fellow
struggled back to comparative health. I was particularly fortunate
while in Newnan in having at my command supplies of clothing and money
from both Louisiana and Alabama. This, with the aid of my own wages,
which, although I had refused to receive them, had accumulated and
been placed to my account, and which I now drew, gave me excellent
facilities for providing comforts, not only for the sick, but for the
braves at the front, whose rations were growing "small by degrees and
beautifully less." Upon two occasions I received visits from the
venerable Dr. Fenner, of Louisiana, and his colleague, Mr. Collins.
Each time they left money and clothing, giving me large discretionary
powers, although specifying that, as the money was supplied by
Louisianians, the soldiers from that State should be first considered.
Through Mr. Peter Hamilton, of Mobile, Alabama, I also received boxes
of clothing and delicacies, and, upon two occasions, six hundred
dollars in money, with the request, "Of course, help our boys _first_,
but in _any case_ where sufferings or need exist, use your own
judgment." As there were hundreds entirely cut off from home, actually
suffering from want of clothing, sometimes needing a little good wine
or extra food, I found many occasions where it seemed to me right to
use this discretionary power, especially during visits to the front,
which I was called upon to make about this time, first to my husband
and his comrades in Kingston and Dalton, later to Macon to look up
some Louisiana and Alabama soldiers, and lastly to Atlanta, where my
husband and many other friends lay in the trenches. (Of these
experiences more hereafter.)

Mrs. Harrison, Mrs. Gamble, myself, and one or two others were the
only Episcopalians among the ladies of the Post, but the services were
attended by soldiers, both officers and privates. Mrs. Gamble, of
course, led the choir. We could always find bassos and tenors. I sang
alto. The music was really good. The death of Bishop Polk was a great
grief to everybody, especially to the faithful few among us who
revered him as a minister of The Church. Even while saying to
ourselves and to each other "God knows best," we could not at once
stifle the bitterness of grief, for it seemed as if a mighty bulwark
had been swept away. I had known Bishop Polk as a faithful and loving
shepherd of souls, feeding his flock in green pastures, tenderly
leading the weary and grief-stricken ones beside the waters of
comfort. But when the peaceful fold was invaded, when threatening
howls were arising on every side,--casting aside for a time the garb
of a shepherd, he sallied forth, using valorously his trusty sword,
opposing to the advance of the foe his own faithful breast, never
faltering until slain by the horrid fangs which greedily fastened
themselves deep in his heart. As I have already mentioned, I made
during the winter and spring several visits to the front. At one time
my husband, a member of Fenner's Louisiana Battery, was with his
command in winter quarters at Kingston, whither I went to pay a visit
and to inquire after the needs of the "boys." My little son (who had
by this time joined me at Newnan) accompanied me. Kingston was at this
time a bleak, dismal-looking place. I stopped at a large, barn-like
hotel, from the gallery of which, while sitting with visitors from
camp, I witnessed an arrival of Georgia militia, whose disembarkation
from a train in front of the hotel was met by a noisy demonstration.
They were a strange-looking set of men, but had "store clothes," warm
wraps, sometimes tall hats, in all cases _good ones_. This, with the
air of superiority they affected, was enough to provoke the fun-loving
propensities of the ragged, rough-looking veterans who had collected
to watch for the arrival of the train. As the shaking, rickety cars
passed out of sight, these raw troops walked up to the hotel and there
strode up and down, assuming supreme indifference to the storm of
raillery which assailed them. Of course my sympathies were with the
veterans, and I laughed heartily at their pranks. One of the first to
set the ball in motion was a tall, athletic-looking soldier clad in
jeans pants, with a faded red stripe adorning one leg only, ragged
shoes tied up with twine strings, and a flannel shirt which
undoubtedly had been washed by the Confederate military process
(_i.e._, tied by a string to a bush on the bank of a stream, allowed
to lie in the water awhile, then stirred about with a stick or boat
upon a rock, and hung up to drip and dry upon the nearest bush or tied
to the swaying limb of a tree). "A shocking bad hat" of the slouch
order completed his costume. Approaching a tall specimen of "melish,"
who wore a new homespun suit of "butternut jeans," a gorgeous cravat,
etc., the soldier opened his arms and cried out in intense accents,
"_Let_ me kiss him for his mother!" Another was desired to "come out
of that hat." A big veteran, laying his hand on the shoulder of a
small, scared-looking, little victim, and wiping his own eyes upon his
old hat, whined out, "I _say_, buddy, you didn't bring along no
sugar-teats, did you? I'm got a powerful hankerin' atter some." An
innocent-looking soldier would stop suddenly before one of the
new-comers neatly dressed, peer closely at his shirt-front, renewing
the scrutiny again and again with increasing earnestness, then,
striking an attitude, would cry out, "_Biled_, by Jove!" One, with a
stiff, thick, new overcoat, was met with the anxious inquiry, "Have
you got plenty of _stuffing_ in that coat, about _here_" (with a hand
spread over stomach and heart), "because the Yankee bullets is mighty
penetrating." Each new joke was hailed with shouts of laughter and
ear-piercing rebel yells, but at last the "melish" was marched off and
the frolic ended.

I received two invitations for the following day, one to dine with the
officers of Fenner's Louisiana Battery, and one, which I accepted,
from the soldiers of my husband's mess. About twelve o'clock the next
morning an ambulance stood before the door of the hotel. From it
descended a spruce-looking colored driver, who remarked, as he threw
the reins over the mule's back, "Don't nobody go foolin' wid dat da
mule ontwill I comes back. I jes gwine to step ober to de store yander
'bout some biziness fur de cap'n. Dat mule he feel mity gaily dis
mornin'. Look like he jes tryin' hisseff when he fin' nuffin' behin'
him but dis amperlants (ambulance) stid ob dem hebby guns." Off he
went, leaving the mule standing without being tied, and looking an
incarnation of mischief. The road to camp was newly cleared and full
of stumps and ruts. As I stood upon the upper gallery awaiting the
return of our Jehu, our little boy, taking advantage of the extra
fondness inspired in the heart of his father by long absence, clamored
to be lifted into the ambulance. This wish was gratified, his father
intending to take the reins and mount to the driver's seat, but before
he could do so the mule started off at headlong speed, with Georgie's
scared face looking out at the back, and perhaps a dozen men and boys
in hot pursuit. The mule went on to camp, creating great alarm there.
The child in some miraculous manner rolled out at the back of the
ambulance, and was picked up unhurt. This accident delayed matters a
little, but in due time we arrived at the village of log-huts, called
"Camp," and, having paid our respects to the officers, repaired to the
hut of my husband's mess. The dinner was already cooking outside.
Inside on a rough shelf were piles of shining tin-cups and plates,
newly polished. The lower bunk had been filled with new, _pine_ straw,
and made as soft as possible by piling upon it all the blankets of the
mess. This formed the chair of state. Upon it were placed, first,
myself (the centre figure), on one side my husband, exempt from duty
for the day, on the other my little boy, who, far from appreciating
the intended honor, immediately "squirmed" down, and ran off on a tour
of investigation through the camp. The mess consisted of six men
including my husband, of whom the youngest was Lionel C. Levy, Jr., a
mere boy, but a splendid soldier, full of fun and nerve and dash. Then
there was my husband's bosom friend, J. Hollingsworth, or Uncle Jake,
as he was called by everybody. Of the industrial pursuits of the mess,
he was the leading spirit, indeed, in every way his resources were
unbounded. His patience, carefulness, and pains-taking truly achieved
wonderful results in contriving and carrying into execution plans for
the comfort of the mess. He always carried an extra haversack, which
contained everything that could be thought of to meet contingencies or
repair the neglect of other people. He was a devoted patriot and a
contented, uncomplaining soldier; never sick, always on duty, a
thorough gentleman, kindly in impulses and acts, but--well, yes, there
was one spot upon this sun,--he was a confirmed bachelor. He could
face the hottest fire upon the battle-field, but a party of
ladies--_never_ with his own consent. Upon the day in question,
however, I was not only an invited guest, but the wife of his messmate
and friend. So, overcoming his diffidence, he made himself very
agreeable, and meeting several times afterward during the war, under
circumstances which made pleasant intercourse just as imperative, we
became fast friends, and have remained so to this day. John Sharkey,
Miles Sharkey, and one more, whose name I have forgotten, comprised,
with those mentioned above, the entire mess. The dinner was excellent,
better than many a more elegant and plentiful repast of which I have
partaken since the war. All the rations of beef and pork were combined
to make a fricassee _à la camp_, the very small rations of flour being
mixed with the cornmeal to make a large, round loaf of "stuff." These
delectable dishes were both cooked in bake-ovens outside the cabin.
From cross-sticks, arranged gypsy-fashion, swung an iron pot, in which
was prepared the cornmeal coffee, which, with "long sweetening"
(molasses) and without milk, composed the meal. In this well-arranged
mess the work was so divided that each man had his day to cut all the
wood, bring all the water, cook, wash dishes, and keep the cabin in
order. So, on this occasion there was no confusion. All was
accomplished with precision. In due time a piece of board was placed
before me with my rations arranged upon it in a bright tin plate, my
coffee being served in a gorgeous mug, which, I strongly suspect, had
been borrowed for the occasion, having once been a shaving-mug. Dinner
over, Lieutenant Cluverius called to escort me through the camp, and
at the officers' quarters I met many old acquaintances. Upon inquiry,
I found the boys in camp contented and entirely unwilling to receive
any benefit from the fund placed in my hands. They had taken the
chances of a soldier's life, and were quite willing to abide by them.

The terrible bumping which I had experienced while riding to camp, in
the ambulance drawn by the "gaily mule," disinclined me for another
ride. So, just at sunset, my husband and I, with our boy and one or
two friends, walked through the piny woods to the hotel, whence I
returned next day to Newnan. This was during the winter. Later, I made
a second trip, this time to Macon, having been called upon to supply
money to the family of an old soldier (deceased) who wanted to reach
home. Wishing to investigate in person, I went to Macon. On the
morning of my return, while passing through one of the hospitals, I
met at the bedside of a Louisiana soldier a member of Fenner's
Battery, John Augustin, of New Orleans. At the depot we met again, and
the gentleman very kindly took charge of me. I was going to Newnan, he
returning to camp. Delightful conversation beguiled the way. Among
other subjects, poets and poetry were discussed. I told him of Dr.
Archer, and a beautiful "Ode to Hygeia" composed by him, parts of
which I remembered and repeated. Gradually I discovered that Mr.
Augustin had an unfinished manuscript of his own with him, entitled
"Doubt," and at last persuaded him to let me read it. Finding me
interested, he yielded to my earnest request,--that he would send me
all his poems in manuscript. In due time they came, and with them a
dedication to myself, so gracefully conceived, so beautifully
expressed, that I may be pardoned for inserting it here.

  "L'ENVOI.

  "TO MRS. FANNIE A. BEERS.

  "To you, though known but yesterday, I trust
    These winged thoughts of mine.
  Be not, I pray, too critically just,
    Rather be mercy thine!

  "Nor think on reading my despairing rhymes
    That I am prone to sigh.
  Poets, like children, weep and laugh at times,
    Without scarce knowing why!

  "Thoughts tend to heaven, mine are weak and faint.
    Please help them up for me;
  The sick and wounded bless you as a saint,
    In this my patron be;

  "And as the sun when shining it appears
    On dripping rain awhile,
  Make a bright rainbow of my fancy's tears
    With your condoling smile.

  "KINGSTON, February 23, 1864."

At the front, desultory fighting was always going on. Our army under
General Johnston acting on the defensive, although retreating,
contesting every step of the way, and from intrenched position, doing
great damage to the enemy. As the spring fairly opened, our troops
became more actively engaged. From the skirmishes came to us many
wounded. In May, the battle of New Hope Church was fought. General
Johnston, in his "Narrative," speaks of this as "the _affair_ at New
Hope." Judging from my own knowledge of the number of wounded who were
sent to the rear, and the desperate character of their wounds, I
should say it was a _very terrible_ "affair." A great many officers
were wounded and all our wards were full. There came to me some
special friends from Fenner's Louisiana Battery, which was heavily
engaged, losing several men and nearly all the horses. Lieutenant Wat.
Tyler Cluverius, while standing on the top of the breastworks and
turning towards his men to wave his sword, was shot through both
shoulders, a very painful wound, but which the gallant young soldier
made light of, pretending to be deeply mortified because "he had been
_shot in the back_." Although an exceptional soldier, he was a most
troublesome patient, because his strong desire to return to his
command made him restless and dissatisfied, greatly retarding his
recovery. Indeed, he would not remain in bed or in his ward. A more
splendid-looking officer I never saw. Better still, under his jacket
of gray there beat a heart instinct with every virtue which belongs by
nature to a Virginia gentleman. With the ladies of the "post" he
became a prime favorite. So kind and attentive were they that I gave
myself little thought concerning him. He was off and away in a
wonderfully short time, for duty lay _at the front_ and the strongest
attractions could not outweigh its claims.

W.T. Vaudry, also of Fenner's Louisiana Battery, was by his own
request sent to me. His wound was as painful as any that can be
imagined. He had been struck full in the pit of the stomach by a spent
ball, and was completely doubled up. He had been left on the field for
dead, and for some time it was feared that fatal internal injuries had
been received. From the nature of the wound, a full examination could
not be made at first. Speedy relief was quite impossible. Even the
loss of a limb or the most severe flesh-wound would have caused less
intense agony. Courage and endurance equally distinguish the true
soldier: the one distinction was his already, the other he now nobly
won during days of exquisite torture. I little thought as I bent over
him day after day, bathing the fevered brow, meeting with sorrowful
sympathy the eyes dim with anguish, that in this suffering _boy_ I
beheld one of the future deliverers of an outraged and oppressed
people. The officers' ward was delightfully situated on the corner of
the main street. Its many windows commanded a pleasant view of a
beautiful shaded square in the midst of which stood the brick
court-house (now filled with sick, and pertaining to the Bragg
Hospital). The windows on the side street gave a view far up the
street, becoming a post of observation for the gallant young officers
within, who invariably arranged themselves here "_for inspection_," at
the usual hour for the ladies' promenade, looking as became
interesting invalids, returning with becoming languor the glances of
bright eyes in which shone the pity which we are told is "akin to
love." Later these knights being permitted to join in the promenade,
made the very most of their helplessness, enjoying hugely the
necessary ministrations so simply and kindly given. Among these
officers were two whose condition excited my most profound sympathy as
well as required special care. Both were exiles; both badly wounded.
One, indeed, bore a wound so terrible that even though I looked upon
it every day, I could never behold it without a shudder. From a little
above the knee to the toes the mechanism of the leg was entirely
exposed, except upon the heel, which always rested in a suspensory
bandage lifted above the level of the bed upon which he rested. Every
particle of the flesh had sloughed off, and the leg began to heal not
"by first intention" but by unhealthy granulations like excrescences.
These had constantly to be removed, either by the use of nitric acid
(I believe) or by the knife. As maybe imagined, it was horribly
painful, _and there was no chloroform_. Day after day I was sent for,
and stood by, while this terrible thing was going on, wiping the sweat
from the face that, though pale as death, never quivered. Save an
occasional groan, deep and suppressed, there was no "fuss."

Does it seem to you that this was exceptional, dear reader? Ah! no; in
the wards outside, where lay hundreds of _private soldiers_, without
the pride of rank to sustain them, only their simple, noble manhood, I
daily witnessed such scenes. The courage and daring of our soldiers
have won full appreciation from the whole world. Of their patient
endurance, I was for four years a constant witness, and I declare that
it was sublime beyond conception. I cannot remember the name of the
heroic officer whose wound I have described. I remember, however, that
Dr. Jackson treated it successfully, and that in the desperate days,
towards the close of the war, the wounded man was again at his post. I
know not whether he fell in battle or if he still lives bearing that
horrible scar. Captain Weller, of Louisville, Kentucky, was also an
inmate of the same ward. My remembrance of him is that he also was
badly wounded. I also recollect that he was a great favorite with his
comrades in the ward, who spoke enthusiastically of his "record." He
was never gay like the others, but self-contained and reticent, and
frequently grave and sad, as became an exile from "the old Kentucky
home." My cares were at this time of constant skirmishing, greatly
increased by anxiety for my husband.

He had at the battle of New Hope Church, while carrying ammunition
from the caisson to the gun, received a slight wound in the left foot,
but did not consider it of sufficient importance to cause him to leave
his command. Later, however, he succumbed to dysentery, and after the
battle of Jonesboro', although having served his gun to the last, he
was utterly overcome, and fell by the road-side. The last ambulance
picked him up, and he was sent to Newnan, as all supposed, to die. Had
I not been in a position to give him every advantage and excellent
nursing he must have died. Even with this, the disease was only
arrested, not cured, and for years after the war still clung about
him. Under Providence, his life was saved at that time. This one
blessing seemed to me a full recompense for all I had hitherto
encountered, and a thorough justification of my persistence in the
course I marked out for myself at the beginning of the war. Various
"_affairs_" continued to employ the soldiers at the front; in all of
these our losses were _comparatively_ small. I never saw the soldiers
in better spirits. There was little if any "shirking." As soon
as--almost before--they were recovered they cheerfully reported for
duty. The "expediency" of Johnston's retreat was freely discussed. All
seemed to feel that the enemy was being drawn away from his base of
supplies into a strange country, where he would be trapped at last,
and to feel sure that it was "all right." "Let old Joe alone, _he_
knows what he is about," and on every hand expressions of strong
affection and thorough confidence. The army was certainly far from
being "demoralized," as General Hood must have discovered, when,
immediately afterward, on the 22d of July, and later at Franklin, they
withstood so magnificently the shock of battle, and at the word of
command hurled themselves again and again against the enemy, rushing
dauntlessly onward to meet overwhelming numbers and certain death. On
the 18th of July, the news reached us that General Johnston had been
relieved from command, and that General Hood had succeeded him. I knew
nothing of the relative merits of the two commanders, and had no means
of judging but by the effect upon the soldiers by whom I was then
surrounded. The whole post seemed as if stricken by some terrible
calamity. Convalescents walked about with lagging steps and gloomy
faces. In every ward lay men who wept bitterly or groaned aloud or,
covering their faces, refused to speak or eat. From that hour the
buoyant, hopeful spirit seemed to die out. I do not think anything was
ever the same again. For, when after the awful sacrifice of human life
which followed the inauguration of the new policy, the decimated army
_still_ were forced to retreat, the shadow of doom began to creep
slowly upon the land. The anchor of _my_ soul was my unbounded
confidence in President Davis; while he was at the helm I felt secure
of ultimate success, and bore present ills and disappointments
patiently, _never doubting_. Meantime, disquieting rumors were flying
about, railroad communication was cut off here and there, and with it
mail facilities. Of course the Confederate leaders were apprised of
the movements of the Federals, but at the hospital post we were
constantly on the _qui vive_. Large numbers of convalescents were
daily returning to the front, among them Lieutenant Cluverius, Mr.
Vaudry, and Captain Weller.

Rumors of the approach of the Federal forces under McCook had for days
disquieted our minds. The little town of Newnan and immediately
surrounding country was already full of refugees. Every day brought
more. Besides, the presence of hundreds of sick and wounded, in the
hospitals which had been established there, rendered the prospect of
an advance of the enemy by no means a pleasant one. But, as far as the
hospitals were concerned, the surgeons in charge must await orders
from headquarters. As long as none were received, we felt
comparatively safe.

One night, however, a regiment of Roddy's Confederate Cavalry quietly
rode in, taking possession of the railroad depot at the foot of the
hill, and otherwise mysteriously disposing of themselves in the same
neighborhood. The following morning opened bright and lovely, bringing
to the anxious watchers of the night before that sense of security
which always comes with the light. All business was resumed as usual.
I had finished my early rounds, fed my special cases, and was just
entering the distributing-room to send breakfast to the wards, when a
volley of musketry, quickly followed by another and another, startled
the morning air. Quickly an excited crowd collected and rushed to the
top of the hill commanding a view of the depot and railroad track. I
ran with the rest. "_The Yankees! the Yankees!_" was the cry. The
firing continued for a few moments, then ceased. When the smoke
cleared away, our own troops could be seen drawn up on the railroad
and on the depot platform. The hill on the opposite side seemed to
swarm with Yankees. Evidently they had expected to surprise the town,
but, finding themselves opposed by a force whose numbers they were
unable to estimate, they hastily retreated up the hill. By that time a
crowd of impetuous boys had armed themselves and were running down the
hill on our side to join the Confederates. Few men followed (of the
citizens), for those who were able had already joined the army. Those
who remained were fully occupied in attending to the women and
children.

It was evident that the fight was only delayed. An attack might be
expected at any moment. An exodus from the town at once began.

Already refugees from all parts of the adjacent country had begun to
pour into and pass through, in endless procession and every
conceivable and inconceivable style of conveyance, drawn by horses,
mules, oxen, and even by a single steer or cow. Most of these were
women and boys, though the faces of young children appeared here and
there,--as it were, "thrown in" among the "plunder,"--looking
pitifully weary and frightened, yet not so heart-broken as the anxious
women who knew not where their journey was to end. Nor had they "where
to lay their heads," some of them having left behind only the smoking
ruins of a home, which, though "ever so lowly," was "the sweetest spot
on earth" to them. McCook, by his unparalleled cruelty, had made his
name a horror.

The citizens simply stampeded, "nor stood upon the order of their
going." There was no time for deliberation. They could not move goods
or chattels, only a few articles of clothing; no room for trunks and
boxes. Every carriage, wagon, and cart was loaded down with human
freight; every saddle-horse was in demand. All the negroes from the
hospital as well as those belonging to the citizens were removed at
once to a safe distance. These poor creatures were as much frightened
as anybody and as glad to get away. Droves of cattle and sheep were
driven out on the run, lowing and bleating their indignant
remonstrance.

While the citizens were thus occupied, the surgeons in charge of
hospitals were not less busy, though far more collected and
methodical. Dr. McAllister, of the "Buckner," and Dr. S.M. Bemiss, of
the "Bragg," were both brave, cool, executive men. Their
self-possession, their firm, steady grasp of the reins of authority
simplified matters greatly. Only those unable to bear arms were left
in the wards. Convalescents would have resented and probably disobeyed
an order to remain. Not only were they actuated by the brave spirit of
Southern soldiers, but they preferred anything to remaining to be
captured,--better far death than the horrors of a Northern prison. So
all quietly presented themselves, and, with assistant-surgeons,
druggists, and hospital attendants, were armed, officered, and marched
off to recruit the regiment before mentioned.

The ladies, wives of officers, attendants, etc., were more difficult
to manage, for dread of the "Yankees," combined with the pain of
parting with their husbands or friends, who would soon go into battle,
distracted them. Fabulous prices were offered for means of conveyance.
As fast as one was procured it was filled and crowded. At last, all
were sent off except one two-horse buggy, which Dr. McAllister had
held for his wife and myself, and which was driven by his own negro
boy, Sam. Meantime, I had visited all the wards, for some of the
patients were very near death, and all were in a state of great and
injurious excitement. I did not for a moment pretend to withstand
their entreaties that I would remain with them, having already decided
to do so. Their helplessness appealed so strongly to my sympathies
that I found it impossible to resist. Besides, I had an idea and a
hope that even in the event of the town being taken I might prevail
with the enemy to ameliorate their condition as prisoners. So I
promised, and quietly passed from ward to ward announcing my
determination, trying to speak cheerfully. Excitement, so great that
it produced outward calm, enabled me to resist the angry remonstrances
of the surgeon and the tearful entreaties of Mrs. McAllister, who was
nearly beside herself with apprehension. At last everybody was gone;
intense quiet succeeded the scene of confusion. I was _alone,--left in
charge_. A crushing sense of responsibility fell upon my heart. The
alarm had been first given about eight o'clock in the morning. By
three the same afternoon soldiers, citizens, _all_ had disappeared.

Only a few men who, by reason of wounds too recently healed or from
other causes, were unable to march or to fight had been left to act as
nurses.

I sat down upon the steps of my office to think it over and to gather
strength for all I had to do. On either side of me were two-story
stores which had been converted into wards, where the sickest patients
were generally placed, that I might have easy access to them.
Suddenly, from one of the upper wards, I heard a hoarse cry, as if
some one had essayed to give the rebel yell. Following it a confused
murmur of voices. Running hastily up-stairs, I met at the door of the
ward a ghastly figure, clad all in white (the hospital shirt and
drawers), but with a military cap on his head. It was one of my fever
patients who had been lying at death's door for days. The excitement
of the morning having brought on an access of fever with delirium, he
had arisen from his bed, put on his cap, and started, yelling, "_to
join the boys!_" Weak as I had supposed him to be, his strength almost
over-mastered my own. I could hardly prevent him from going down the
stairs. The only man in the ward able to assist me at all was minus an
arm and just recovering after amputation. I was afraid his wound might
possibly begin to bleed, besides, I knew that any _man's_ interference
would excite the patient still more. Relying upon the kindly,
chivalrous feeling which my presence always seemed to inspire in my
patients, I promised to get his gun for him if he would go back and
put on his clothes, and, placing my arm around the already tottering
and swaying figure, by soothing and coaxing got him back to the bed. A
sinking spell followed, from which he never rallied. In a lower ward
another death occurred, due also to sudden excitement.

Fearful of the effect that a knowledge of this would have upon other
patients, I resorted to deception, declaring that the dead men were
better and asleep, covering them, excluding light from windows near
them, and even pretending at intervals to administer medicines.

And now came another trial, from which I shrank fearfully, but which
must be borne.

In the "wounded wards," and in tents outside where men having gangrene
were isolated, horrible sights awaited me,--sights which I trembled to
look upon,--fearful wounds which had, so far, been attended to only by
the surgeons.

These wounds were now dry, and the men were groaning with pain. Minute
directions having been left with me, I must nerve myself to uncover
the dreadful places, wash them, and apply fresh cloths. In the cases
of gangrene, poultices of yeast and charcoal, or some other
preparation left by the surgeons.

Entering Ward No. 3, where there were many badly-wounded men, I began
my work upon a boy of perhaps nineteen years, belonging to a North
Carolina regiment, who had one-half of his face shot away.

My readers may imagine the dreadful character of the wounds in this
ward, when I relate that a day or two after a terrible battle at the
front, when dozens of wounded were brought in, so badly were they
mangled and so busy were the surgeons, that I was permitted to dress
this boy's face unaided. _Then_ it was bad enough, but neither so
unsightly nor so painful as _now_ that inflammation had supervened.
The poor boy tried not to flinch. His one bright eye looked gratefully
up at me. After I had finished, he wrote upon the paper which was
always at his hand, "You didn't hurt me like them doctors. Don't let
the Yankees get me, I want to have another chance at _them_ when I get
well." Having succeeded so well, I "took heart of grace," and felt
little trepidation afterward. But--oh! the horror of it. An Arkansas
soldier lay gasping out his life, a piece of shell having carried away
a large portion of his breast, leaving the lungs exposed to view. No
hope, save to alleviate his pain by applying cloths wet with cold
water. Another, from Tennessee, had lost a part of his thigh,--and so
on. The amputations were my greatest dread, lest I might displace
bandages and set an artery bleeding. So I dared not remove the cloths,
but used an instrument invented by one of our surgeons, as may be
imagined, of primitive construction, but which, wetting the tender
wounds gradually by a sort of spray, gave great relief. Of course,
fresh cloths were a constant necessity for suppurating wounds, but for
those nearly healed, or simply inflamed, the spray was invaluable. The
tents were the last visited, and by the time I had finished the
rounds, it was time to make some arrangements for the patients'
supper, for wounded men are always hungry.

I remember gratefully to this day the comfort and moral support I
received during this trying ordeal from a South Carolina soldier, who
even then knew that his own hours were numbered, and was looking death
in the face with a calm resignation and courage which was simply
sublime. He had been shot in the spine, and from the waist down was
completely paralyzed. After he had been wounded, some one
unintentionally having laid him down too near a fire, his feet were
burned in a shocking manner. He was one of the handsomest men I ever
saw, and, even in his present condition, of commanding presence and of
unusual intelligence. I strive in vain to recall his name, but memory
in this as in many other cases of patients to whom I was particularly
attracted will present their faces only. Calling me to his bedside he
spoke kindly and cheerfully, praising my efforts, encouraging me to go
on, drawing upon his store of general knowledge for expedients to meet
the most trying cases.

Everything that Dr. McAllister did was well and completely done. He
was kind-hearted, generous, ready to do or sacrifice anything for the
real good of his patients; but his rules once laid down became
immutable laws, not to be transgressed by any. His constant
supervision and enforcement of rules affected every department of the
hospital. In my own, I had only to report a dereliction of duty, and
the fate of the culprit was sealed. If a woman, I had orders to
discharge her; if a man, the next train bore him to his regiment or to
the office of the medical director, upon whose tender mercies no
wrong-doer could rely.

Consequently, I had only to go to my well-ordered kitchen to find
ready the food which it had been my first care to have prepared in
view of the (as I hoped) temporary absence of the cooks. The departing
men had all taken marching rations with them, but there was still
plenty of food on hand. A bakery was attached to the Buckner. We also
owned several cows. In the bakery was plenty of corn-bread and some
loaves of flour-bread, although flour was even then becoming scarce.

The cows, with full udders, stood lowing at the bars of the pen. Among
the doubts and fears that had assailed me, the idea that I might have
trouble with these cows never occurred to my mind. During my childhood
my mother had owned several. I had often seen them milked. One had
only to seize the teats firmly, pull quietly downward, and two streams
of rich milk would follow. Oh, yes! I could do that easily. But when I
arrived at the pen, a tin bucket in one hand, a milking-stool in the
other, and letting down the bars, crept inside, the cows eyed me with
evident distrust and even shook their horns in a menacing manner which
quite alarmed me. However, I marched up to the one which appeared the
mildest-looking, and sitting down by her side, seized two of the
teats, fully expecting to hear the musical sound of two white
streamlets as they fell upon the bottom of the tin bucket. _Not a drop
could I get_. My caressing words and gentle remonstrances had not the
slightest effect. If it is possible for an animal to feel and show
contempt, it was revealed in the gaze that cow cast upon me as she
turned her head to observe my manoeuvres. I had heard that some cows
have a bad habit of holding back their milk. Perhaps this was one of
them. I would try another. Removing the stool to the side of another
meek-looking animal, I essayed to milk _her_. But she switched her
tail in my face, lifting a menacing, horrid hoof. "_Soh, bossy!_"
cried I. "Pretty, _pretty_ cow that makes pleasant milk to soak my
bread." In another moment I was seated flat upon the ground, while my
pretty, pretty cow capered wildly among the rest, so agitating them
that, thinking discretion the better part of valor, I hastily climbed
over the fence at the point nearest to me and returned to the kitchen.

What should I do now? Perhaps one of the decrepit nurses left in the
ward knew how to milk. But no, they did not, except one poor, limping
rheumatic who could only use one hand. Just then a feeble-looking
patient from the Bragg Hospital came tottering along. He also knew how
to milk, and they both, volunteered to try. Much to my surprise and
delight, the cows now behaved beautifully, perhaps owing to the fact
that, obeying the injunctions of my two recruits, I provided each with
a bundle of fodder to distract their attention during the milking
process. There was more milk than I could possibly use, as nearly all
the convalescents were absent. So I set several pans of it away,
little thinking how soon it would be needed.

By the time all had been fed, I felt very weary; but it was midnight
before I found a minute's time to rest.

I had made frequent rounds through all the buildings of the hospital,
each time finding some one who had need of me. At last, wearied out by
the excitement of the day, the sick grew quiet and inclined to sleep.
Released for a time, I sat down on the steps of my office to think and
to listen: for I did not know anything of the whereabouts of the
enemy. The town might have been surrendered. At any moment the Federal
soldiers might appear. Just then, however, the streets were utterly
deserted. The stillness was oppressive.

If I could only discover a friendly light in one of these deserted
dwellings. Oh, for the sound of a kindly voice, the sight of a
familiar face!

Doubtless there may have been some who had remained to protect their
household gods, but they were women, and remained closely within
doors.

Melancholy thoughts oppressed me. Through gathering tears I gazed at
the pale moon, whose light seemed faded and wan. There came to me
memories of the long-ago, when I had strayed among the orange-groves
of my own dear home under a moonlight far more radiant, happy in loved
companionship, listening with delight to the voices of the night,
which murmured only of love and joy and hope, inhaling the perfume of
a thousand flowers. To-night, as the south wind swept by in fitful
gusts, it seemed to bear to my ears the sound of sorrow and mourning
from homes and shrines where hope lay dead amid the ruined idols cast
down and broken by that stern iconoclast--_War_.

As I sat thus, buried in thought, a distant sound broke the silence,
sending a thrill of terror to my heart. It was the tramp of many
horses rapidly approaching. "Alas! alas I the enemy had come upon us
from the rear. Our brave defenders were surrounded and their retreat
cut off."

I knew not what to expect, but anxiety for my patients banished fear.
Seizing a light-wood torch, I ran up the road, hoping to interview the
officers at the head of the column and to intercede for my sick,
perhaps to prevent intrusion into the wards. To my almost wild
delight, the torch-light revealed the dear old gray uniforms. It was a
portion of Wheeler's Cavalry sent to reinforce Roddy, whose meagre
forces, aided by the volunteers from Newman, had held the Federals in
check until now, but were anxiously expecting this reinforcement.

The men had ridden far and fast. They now came to a halt in front of
the hospital, but had not time to dismount, hungry and thirsty though
they were. The regimental servants, however, came in search of water
with dozens of canteens hung around them, rattling in such a manner as
to show that they were quite empty. For the next half-hour, I believe,
I had almost the strength of Samson. Rushing to the bakery, I loaded
baskets with bread and handed them up to the soldier-boys to be passed
along until emptied. I then poured all the milk I had into a large
bucket, added a dipper, and, threading in and out among the horses,
ladled out dipperfuls until it was all gone. I then distributed about
four buckets of water in the same way. My excitement was so great that
not a sensation of fear or of fatigue assailed me. Horses to the right
of me, horses to the left of me, horses in front of me, snorted and
pawed; but God gave strength and courage: I was not afraid.

A comparatively small number had been supplied, when a courier from
Roddy's command rode up to hasten the reinforcements. At once the
whole column was put in motion. As the last rider disappeared, and the
tramping of the horses died away in the distance, a sense of weariness
and exhaustion so overpowered me that I could have slept where I
stood. So thorough was my confidence in the brave men who were sure to
repel the invaders that all sense of danger passed away.

My own sleeping-room was in a house situated at the foot of the hill.
I could have gone there and slept securely, but dared not leave my
charges. Sinking upon the rough lounge in my office, intending only to
rest, I fell fast asleep. I was awakened by one of the nurses, who had
come to say that I was needed by a patient whom he believed to be
dying, and who lay in a ward on the other side of the square.

As we passed out into the street, another beautiful morning was
dawning. Upon entering Ward No. 9, we found most of the patients
asleep. But in one corner, between two windows which let in the
fast-increasing light, lay an elderly man, calmly breathing his life
away. The morning breeze stirred the thin gray hair upon his hollow
temples, rustling the leaves of the Bible which lay upon his pillow.
Stooping over him to feel the fluttering pulse, and to wipe the clammy
sweat from brow and hands, I saw that he was indeed dying, a victim of
that dreadful scourge that decimated the ranks of the Confederate
armies more surely than many battles,--dysentery,--which, if not cured
in the earlier stages, resulted too surely, as now, in consumption of
the bowels.

He was a Kentuckian, cut off from home and friends, and dying among
strangers. An almost imperceptible glance indicated that he wished me
to take up his Bible. The fast-stiffening lips whispered, "_Read_." I
read to him the Fourteenth Chapter of St. John, stopping frequently to
note if the faint breathing yet continued. Each time he would move the
cold fingers in a way that evidently meant "_go on_." After I had
finished the reading, he whispered, so faintly that I could just catch
the words, "_Rock of Ages_," and I softly sang the beautiful hymn.

Two years before I could not have done this so calmly. At first every
death among my patients seemed to me like a personal bereavement.
Trying to read or to sing by the bedsides of the dying, uncontrollable
tears and sobs would choke my voice. As I looked my last upon dead
faces, I would turn away shuddering and sobbing, for a time unfit for
duty. _Now_, my voice did not once fail or falter. Calmly I watched
the dying patient, and saw (as I had seen a hundred times before) the
gray shadow of death steal over the shrunken face, to be replaced at
the last by a light so beautiful that I could well believe it came
shining through "the gates ajar."

It was sunrise when I again emerged from Ward No. 9. Hastening to my
room, I quickly bathed and redressed, returning to my office in half
an hour, refreshed and ready for duty.

The necessity for breakfast sufficient to feed the hungry patients
recalled to me the improvidence of my action in giving away so much
bread the night before. It had gone a very little way toward supplying
the needs of so large a body of soldiers, and now my own needed it.

There was no quartermaster, no one to issue fresh rations. Again I had
the cows milked, gathered up all the corn-bread that was left, with
some hard-tack, and with the aid of the few decrepit nurses before
mentioned made a fire, and warmed up the soup and soup-meat which had
been prepared for the convalescent table the day before, but was not
consumed. My patients, comprehending the situation, made the best of
it. But the distribution was a tedious business, as many of the
patients had to be fed by myself.

I had hardly begun when some of the men declared they "heard guns." I
could not then detect the sound, but soon it grew louder and more
sustained, and then we _knew_ a battle was in progress. For hours the
fight went on. We awaited the result in painful suspense. At last the
ambulances came in, bringing some of the surgeons and some wounded
men, returning immediately for others. At the same time the hospital
steward with his attendants and several of our nurses arrived, also
the linen-master, the chief cook, and the baker. With them came orders
to prepare wards for a large number of wounded, both Confederate _and
Federal_. Presently a cloud of dust appeared up the road, and a detail
of Confederate cavalry rode into town, bringing eight hundred Federal
prisoners, who were consigned to a large cotton warehouse, situated
almost midway between the hospital and the railroad depot.

My terrible anxiety, suspense, and heavy responsibility was now at an
end, but days and nights of nursing lay before all who were connected
with either the Buckner or Bragg Hospitals. Additional buildings were
at once seized and converted into wards for the reception of the
wounded of both armies. The hospital attendants, though weary, hungry,
and some of them terribly dirty from the combined effect of
perspiration, dust, and gunpowder, at once resumed their duties. The
quartermaster reopened his office, requisitions were made and filled,
and the work of the different departments was once more put in regular
operation.

I was busy in one of the wards, when a messenger drove up, and a note
was handed me from Dr. McAllister,--"Some of our men too badly wounded
to be moved right away. Come out at once. Bring cordials and
brandy,--soup, if you have it,--also fill the enclosed requisition at
the drug-store. Lose no time."

The battle-field was not three miles away. I was soon tearing along
the road at breakneck speed. At an improvised field-hospital I met the
doctor, who vainly tried to prepare me for the horrid spectacle I was
about to witness.

From the hospital-tent distressing groans and screams came forth. The
surgeons, both Confederate and Federal, were busy, with coats off,
sleeves rolled up, shirt-fronts and hands bloody. But _our_ work lay
not here.

Dr. McAllister silently handed me two canteens of water, which I threw
over my shoulder, receiving also a bottle of peach brandy. We then
turned into a ploughed field, thickly strewn with men and horses, many
stone dead, some struggling in the agonies of death. The plaintive
cries and awful struggles of the horses first impressed me. They were
shot in every conceivable manner, showing shattered heads, broken and
bleeding limbs, and protruding entrails. They would not yield quietly
to death, but continually raised their heads or struggled half-way to
their feet, uttering cries of pain, while their distorted eyes seemed
to reveal their suffering and implore relief. I saw a soldier shoot
one of these poor animals, and felt truly glad to know that his agony
was at an end.

The dead lay around us on every side, singly and in groups and
_piles_; men and horses, in some cases, apparently inextricably
mingled. Some lay as if peacefully sleeping; others, with open eyes,
seemed to glare at any who bent above them. Two men lay as they had
died, the "Blue" and the "Gray," clasped in a fierce embrace. What had
passed between them could never be known; but one was shot in the
head, the throat of the other was partly torn away. It was awful to
feel the conviction that unquenched hatred had embittered the last
moments of each. They seemed mere youths, and I thought sadly of the
mothers, whose hearts would throb with equal anguish in a Northern and
a Southern home. In a corner of the field, supported by a pile of
broken fence-rails, a soldier sat apparently beckoning to us. On
approaching him we discovered that he was quite dead, although he sat
upright, with open eyes and extended arm.

Several badly wounded men had been laid under the shade of some bushes
a little farther on; our mission lay here. The portion of the field we
crossed to reach this spot was in many places slippery with blood. The
edge of my dress was red, my feet were wet with it. As we drew near
the suffering men, piteous glances met our own. "Water! water!" was
the cry.

Dr. McAllister had previously discovered in one of these the son of an
old friend, and although he was apparently wounded unto death, he
hoped, when the ambulances returned with the stretchers sent for, to
move him into town to the hospital. He now proceeded with the aid of
the instruments, bandages, lint, etc., I had brought to prepare him
for removal. Meantime, taking from my pocket a small feeding-cup,
which I always carried for use in the wards, I mixed some brandy and
water, and, kneeling by one of the poor fellows who seemed worse than
the others, tried to raise his head. But he was already dying. As soon
as he was moved the blood ran in a little stream from his mouth.
Wiping it off, I put the cup to his lips, but he could not swallow,
and reluctantly I left him to die. He wore the blue uniform and
stripes of a Federal sergeant of cavalry, and had a German face. The
next seemed anxious for water, and drank eagerly. This one, a man of
middle age, was later transferred to our wards, but died from
blood-poisoning. He was badly wounded in the side. A third could only
talk with his large, sad eyes, but made me clearly understand his
desire for water. As I passed my arm under his head the red blood
saturated my sleeve and spread in a moment over a part of my dress. So
we went on, giving water, brandy, or soup; sometimes successful in
reviving the patient, sometimes able only to whisper a few words of
comfort to the dying. There were many more left, and Dr. McAllister
never for a moment intermitted his efforts to save them. Later came
more help, surgeons, and attendants with stretchers, etc. Soon all
were moved who could bear it.

Duty now recalled me to my patients at the hospital.

My hands and dress and feet were bloody, and I felt sick with horror.

As I was recrossing the battle-field accompanied by Dr. Welford, of
Virginia, the same terrible scenes were presented to the view. The
ground was littered with the accoutrements of soldiers,--carbines,
pistols, canteens, haversacks, etc. Two cannon lay overturned, near
one of which lay a dead Federal soldier still grasping the rammer.
Beneath the still struggling horses lay human forms just as they had
fallen. Probably they had been dead ere they reached the ground, but I
felt a shuddering dread lest perhaps some lingering spark of life had
been crushed out by the rolling animals.

We had nearly reached the road when our attention was arrested by
stifled cries and groans proceeding from a little log cabin which had
been nearly demolished during the fight. Entering, we found it empty,
but still the piteous cries continued. Soon the doctor discovered a
pair of human legs, hanging down the chimney, but with all his pulling
could not dislodge the man, who was fast wedged and only cried out the
louder.

"Stop your infernal noise," said the doctor, "and try to help yourself
while I pull." By this time others had entered the cabin, and their
united effort at length succeeded in dislodging from the chimney,--not
a negro, but a white man, whose blue eyes, glassy with terror, shone
through the soot which had begrimed his face. He had climbed up the
chimney to escape the storm of shot, and had so wedged himself in that
to release himself unaided was impossible. Irrepressible laughter
greeted his appearance, and I--I am bitterly ashamed to say--fell into
a fit of most violent hysterical laughter and weeping. Dr. Welford
hurried me into the buggy, which was near at hand, and drove rapidly
to town, refusing to stop at the hospital, landing me at my room,
where some ladies who came from I know not where kindly helped me to
bed. Under the influence of a sedative I soon fell into a deep sleep,
awakening at daylight to find my own servant (who had returned with
other negroes during the night) standing at my bedside. The surgeons
had sent a little of the precious _real coffee_, of which there was
only one sack left. Upon awakening, I was to be at once served with a
cup. A warm bath followed. By six o'clock I was once more at the
hospital, ready for duty, after two days and nights, during which, it
seemed to me, I had lived for years.

Even at this early hour, Buckner hospital presented a scene of great
activity. Some of the surgeons had remained all night on duty, and
were still busy; while others, having snatched a few hours of sleep,
were now preparing for their trying work.

In almost every ward lay a few wounded Federals, but, all the spare
beds having been filled, a long, low, brick building, on the corner
opposite the drug-store, once used as a cotton-pickery, was fitted up
as comfortably as the limited hospital-supplies at our command would
allow for the Federals exclusively, and they were permitted to have
the attendance of their own surgeons, although ours always responded
readily, if needed.

These Federal surgeons appeared to me to be very indifferent to the
comfort of their patients, and to avoid all unnecessary trouble. They
were tardy in beginning their work the morning after the battle, and,
when they were ready, coolly sent in _requisitions_ for _chloroform_,
which, having been (contrary to the dictates of humanity and to the
customs of civilized nations) long since declared by their government
"contraband of war," was almost unattainable, and used by our
Confederate surgeons only in extreme cases. In all minor, and in some
severe, operations the surgeons relied upon the manly fortitude of the
patients, and, _God bless our brave boys_, they bore this cruel test
with a courage fully as worthy to be recorded as the most brilliant
action on the battle-field.

On the morning in question, as I made my early rounds, there met me
everywhere ghastly reminders of the battle,--men shot and disfigured in
every conceivable manner. Many, fresh from the hands of the surgeons,
exhausted by suffering, looked as if already Death had claimed them for
his own. Attendants were constantly bearing into different wards fresh
victims from the operating-rooms, where the bloody work would still go
on for hours. These must have immediate attention,--must be closely
watched and strongly nourished. This was _my_ blessed privilege; and,
thanks to the humane and excellent policy adopted by General Johnston,
and continued by General Hood,--both of whom looked well to the _ways
of quartermasters_ and _commissaries_,--the means to provide for the
sick and wounded were always at hand,--at least, up to the time of
which I write.

Some of my favorite patients, whom, previous to this battle, I had
nursed into convalescence, were now thrown back upon beds of pain. In
one corner I found a boy whom I had nursed and fed through days and
nights of suffering from typhoid fever. His name was Willie Hutson,
and he belonged to the ---- Mississippi Regiment. Two days ago he had
been as bright as a lark, and pleading to be sent to the front. Now he
lay, shot through the breast, so near death that he did not know me.
As I bent over him with tearful eyes, a hand placed upon my arm caused
me to turn. There stood Dr. Gore, his kind face full of sympathy, but
greatly troubled, at his side a Federal surgeon in full uniform. Dr.
Gore said, "This is one of my old chums, and--" But I cried out, "Oh,
doctor! I _cannot_,--look" (indicating with my hand first Willie, then
the entire ward)! Passing swiftly out, I fled to my office and locked
myself in, shedding hot tears of indignation. The dreadful work of the
invaders had been before my eyes all the morning. I felt as if I could
have nothing to do with them, and did not wish to see one of them
again. They had not only murdered my poor boy Willie, but dozens of
dearer friends. They were even now running riot in the home I loved.
They were invaders!

I could _not_ meet them,--could not nurse them.

It is painful thus to reveal the thoughts of my wicked, unchristian
heart; but thus I reasoned and felt just then.

After a while a note from Dr. Gore was handed me. He said (in
substance), "I know how bitterly you feel, but pray for strength to
cast out evil spirits from your heart. Forget that the suffering men,
thrown upon our kindness and forbearance, are _Yankees_. Remember only
that they are God's creatures and helpless prisoners. They need you.
Think the matter over, and do not disappoint me. Gore."

I do not believe that ever before or since have I fought so hard a
battle. God helping me, I decided to do right. The short, sharp
contest ended--I acted at once.

On my way to the Federal wards, I met more than one hospital-attendant
carrying off a bloody leg or arm to bury it. I felt then, and saw no
reason to alter my opinion afterwards, that some of their surgeons
were far rougher and less merciful than ours; and I do not believe
they ever gave the poor, shattered fellows the benefit of a doubt. It
was easier to amputate than to attend a tedious, troublesome recovery.
So, off went legs and arms by the wholesale.

I had not been five minutes in the low, brick ward, where lay the most
dangerously wounded Federals, when all animosity vanished and my
woman's heart melted within me.

These were strangers and unwelcome, but far from home and friends,
suffering, dying. The surgeon said to me, "Madam, one-half the
attention you give to your own men will save life here."

The patients were all badly, many fatally, wounded. They were silent,
repellent, and evidently expectant of insult and abuse, but after a
while received food and drink from my hands pleasantly, and I tried to
be faithful in my ministrations.

I believe that most of the soldiers in this ward were from Iowa and
Indiana.

One I remember particularly, a captain of cavalry, who was shot
through the throat and had to receive nourishment by means of a rubber
tube inserted for the purpose. A young man in a blue and yellow
uniform--an aide or orderly--remained at his side day and night until
he died. His eyes spoke to me eloquently of his gratitude, and once he
wrote on a scrap of paper, "God bless you," and handed it to me. He
lived about five days.

The mortality was very considerable in this ward. I grew to feel a
deep interest in the poor fellows, and treasured last words or little
mementoes as faithfully for their distant loved ones as I had always
done for Confederates.

Among the personal belongings taken from me by raiders at Macon,
Georgia, was a large chest, full of articles of this kind, which I
intended to return to the friends of the owners whenever the
opportunity offered.

In another ward were several renegade Kentuckians, who constantly
excited my ire by noting and ridiculing deficiencies, calling my own
dear boys "Old Jeff's ragamuffins," etc. One day Dr. Gore happened to
be visiting this ward when these men began their usual teasing.
Something caused me to eulogize Dr. Gore and all the Kentuckians who
had sacrificed so much for "The Cause." One of these fellows then
said, "Well, I'm a Kentuckian too, what have you got to say about me?"
I replied, "I think you hold about the same relation to the true sons
of Kentucky that Judas Iscariot bore to the beloved disciple who lay
upon the bosom of our Saviour." Then walked out of the ward.

It was rather a spiteful repartee, I must confess, but was provoked by
many ill-natured remarks previously made by this renegade, and had the
good effect of putting an end to them.

We were comparatively safe once more,--for how long no one knew. I now
became very anxious about the men in the trenches at Atlanta who were
lying day after day, always under fire. Suffering from insufficient
food, exposed to the scorching sun or equally pitiless rain, sometimes
actually knee-deep in water for days. The bombardment was heavy and
incessant, ceasing only for a while at sunset, when carts were hastily
loaded with musty meat and poor corn-bread, driven out to the
trenches, and the rations dumped there. Many of my friends were lying
in these trenches, among them my husband. In addition to other ills,
the defenders of Atlanta were in instant danger of death from shot or
shell. I could not bear it. The desire to see my husband once more,
and to carry some relief in the shape of provisions to himself and his
comrades could not be quelled. Many things stood in the way of its
accomplishment, for, upon giving a hint of my project to my friends at
Newnan, a storm of protest broke upon my devoted head. Not one bade me
God-speed, _everybody_ declared I was crazy. "A _woman_ to go to
Atlanta under such circumstances; how utterly absurd, how mad." So I
was obliged to resort to deception and subterfuge. My first step was
to request leave of absence, that I might forage for provisions to be
sent to the front by the first opportunity.

Dr. McAllister very kindly accorded me his permission, placing at my
disposal an ambulance and a driver, advising me, however, not to
follow the main road or the beaten track which had already been
drained by foragers, but to go deep into the piny woods. Said he,
"Only one of our foragers has ever been through that region, and his
reports were not very encouraging. The people want to keep all they
have got for home-consumption, and greatly distrust 'hospital people,'
but if success is possible, _you_ will succeed." In anticipation, this
ride into deep, odorous pine woods seemed delightful. When the
ambulance with its "captured" mule drove up before my door, I gayly
climbed into it, and, waving merry adieux to half-disapproving friends
(among them Dr. Hughes, with his distressed face, and _Diogenes_, who
looked daggers at me), set off in high glee. The ride along the
pleasant road was lovely; early birds sung sweetly; the dew, yet
undisturbed, glistened everywhere, the morning breeze blew freshly in
my face. As the sun began to assert his power, I became eager to
penetrate into the shady woods, and at last, spying a grand aisle in
"Nature's temple," bade the driver enter it. For a while the result
was most enjoyable. The spicy aroma of the pines, the brilliant vines
climbing everywhere, the multitude of woodland blossoms blooming in
such quantities and variety as I had never imagined, charmed my
senses, and elevated my spirit. Among these peaceful shades one might
almost forget the horror and carnage which desolated the land. The
driver was versed in wood-craft, and called my attention to many
beauties which would have otherwise escaped me. But soon his whole
attention was required to guide the restive mule through a labyrinth
of stumps and ruts and horrible muddy holes, which he called "hog
wallows;" my own endeavors were addressed to "holding on," and
devising means to ease the horrible joltings which racked me from head
to foot. After riding about two miles we came to a small clearing, and
were informed that the road for ten miles was "tolerbal clar" and
pretty thickly settled. So after partaking of an early country dinner,
also obtaining a small amount of eggs, chickens, etc., at exorbitant
prices, we resumed our ride. That expedition will never be forgotten
by me. At its close, I felt that my powers of diplomacy were quite
equal to any emergency. Oh, the sullen, sour-looking women that I
sweetly smiled upon, and flattered into good humor, praising their
homes, the cloth upon the loom, the truck-patch (often a mass of
weeds), the tow-headed babies (whom I caressed and admired), never
hinting at my object until the innocent victims offered of their own
accord to "show me round." At the spring-house I praised the new
country butter, which "looked so very good that I must have a pound or
two," and then skilfully leading the conversation to the subject of
chickens and eggs, carelessly displaying a few crisp Confederate
bills, I at least became the happy possessor of a few dozens of eggs
and a chicken or two, at a price which only their destination
reconciled me to.

At one house, approached by a road so tortuous and full of stumps that
we were some time before reaching it, I distinctly heard a dreadful
squawking among the fowls, but when we arrived at the gate, not one
was to be seen, and the mistress declared she hadn't a "_one_: hadn't
saw a chicken for a _coon's_ age." Pleading excessive fatigue, I
begged the privilege of resting within the cabin. An apparently
unwilling assent was given. In I walked, and, occupying one of those
splint chairs which so irresistibly invite one to commit a breach of
good manners by "tipping back," I sat in the door-way, comfortably
swaying backward and forward. Every once in a while the faces of
children, either black or white, would peer at me round the corner of
the house, then the sound of scampering bare feet would betray their
sudden flight. Suddenly I caught sight of a pair of bare, black feet
protruding from under the bed. Presently an unmistakable squawk arose,
instantly smothered, but followed by a fluttering of wings and a
chorus of squawks. So upset was the lady of the house that she
involuntarily called out, "_You Isrul!_" "Ma'am," came in a frightened
voice from under the bed, then in whining tones, "I dun try to mek 'em
hush up, but 'pears like Mass Debbel be on dey side, anyhow."

Further concealment being impossible, I said, "Come, you have the
chickens ready caught, I'll give you your own price for them." She
hesitated--and was lost, for producing from my pocket a small package
of snuff, to which temptation she at once succumbed, I obtained in
exchange six fine, fat chickens. As I was leaving she said, in an
apologetic tone, "Well, I declah, I never knowed you was going to
light, or I wouldn't have done sich a fool-trick."

Stopping at every house, meeting with varied success, we at last, just
at night, arrived at a farm-house more orderly than any we had passed,
where I was glad to discover the familiar face of an old lady who had
sometimes brought buttermilk and eggs to the sick. At once recognizing
me, she appeared delighted, and insisted upon my "lighting" and having
my team put up until morning. This I was glad to do, for it was quite
out of the question to start on my homeward journey that night.
Greatly I enjoyed the hospitality so ungrudgingly given, the
appetizing supper, the state bed in the best room, with its "sunrise"
quilt of patch-work. Here was a Confederate household. The son was a
soldier. His wife and his little children were living "with ma" at the
old homestead. The evening was spent in talking of the late battle.
Here these women were, living in the depths of the woods, consumed
with anxiety, seldom hearing any news, yet quietly performing the
monotonous round of duty with a patience which would have added lustre
to the crown of a saint.

I talked until (wonderful to relate) my tongue was tired: my audience
being the old, white-haired father, the mother, the wife, and the
eager children, who were shy at first, but by degrees nestled closer,
with bright eyes from which sleep seemed banished forever.

The next morning when, after a substantial breakfast, I was once more
ready to start, every member of the family made some addition to my
stores, notably, a few pounds of really good country butter. This was
always highly prized by the soldiers. As a general thing, when the
cows were fed upon cotton-seed the butter was white and "waxy," this
was yellow and firm. The oldest girl brought me a pair of socks she
had herself knitted; one of the little boys, six eggs laid by his own
"dominiker," which he pointed out to me as she stalked about the yard
proud of her mottled feathers and rosy comb.

Even the baby came toddling to the door saying, "Heah, heah," and
holding out a snowy little kitten. The old gentleman, mounting his
horse, offered to "ride a piece" with us. Thanks to his
representations to the neighbors, I was able in a short time to turn
my face homewards, having gathered an excellent supply of chickens,
eggs, hams, home-made cordials, peach and apple brandy, and a few
pairs of socks. The old farmer also showed us a way by which we could
avoid a repetition of the tortures of yesterday, and rode beside the
ambulance to the main road. I remember well how he looked, as he sat
upon his old white mule, waiting to see the last of us. His hat,
pushed back, showed a few locks of silvery hair; his coarse clothes
and heavy, home-made boots were worn in a manner that betrayed the
Southern gentleman. The parting smile, still lingering upon his kindly
face, could not conceal the "furrows of care," which had deepened with
every year of the war. But, alas! I cannot recall his name, although I
then thought I could never forget it.

Upon arriving at Newnan, I lost no time in preparing my boxes for the
front. Everything was cooked; even the eggs were hard-boiled. There
was sufficient to fill two large boxes. Having packed and shipped to
the depot my treasures, I prepared for the final step without
hesitation, although not without some doubt as to success in eluding
the vigilance of my friends. Announcing my determination to see the
boxes off, I--accompanied by my maid--walked down to the depot just
before train-time. There was only one rickety old passenger-car
attached to the train. This, as well as a long succession of box-and
cattle-cars, were crowded with troops,--reinforcements to Atlanta.
Taking advantage of the crowd, I, with Tempe, quietly stepped on
board, escaping discovery until just as the train was leaving, when in
rushed Dr. McAllister, who peremptorily ordered me off; but, being
compelled to jump off himself, failed to arrest my departure. I was in
high spirits. On the train were many soldiers whom I had nursed, and
who cared for my comfort in every way possible under the
circumstances. I was the only lady on the train, so they were
thoughtful enough to stow themselves in the crowded boxes behind, that
I might not be embarrassed by a large number in the passenger-car. At
last, as we approached Atlanta, I heard the continuous and terrific
noise of the bombardment. The whistle of the engine was a signal to
the enemy, who at once began to shell the depot. I did not realize the
danger yet, but just as the train "slowed up" heard a shrieking sound,
and saw the soldiers begin to dodge. Before I could think twice, an
awful explosion followed; the windows were all shivered, and the earth
seemed to me to be thrown in cart-loads into the car. Tempe screamed
loudly, and then began to pray. I was paralyzed with extreme terror,
and _could_ not scream. Before I could speak, another shell exploded
overhead, tearing off the corner of a brick store, causing again a
deafening racket. As we glided into the station, I felt safer; but
soon found out that every one around me had business to attend to, and
that I must rely upon myself.

The shells still shrieked and exploded; the more treacherous and
dangerous solid shot continually demolished objects within our sight.
For a few hours I was so utterly demoralized that my only thought was
how to escape. It seemed to me _impossible_ that any body of soldiers
could voluntarily expose themselves to such horrible danger. I thought
if _I_ had been a soldier I must have deserted from my first
battle-field. But at last I grew calmer; my courage returned, and,
urged by the necessity of finding shelter, I ventured out. Not a place
could I find. The houses were closed and deserted, in many cases
partly demolished by shot or shell, or, having taken fire, charred,
smoking, and burnt to the ground.

All day frightened women and children cowered and trembled and
hungered and thirsted in their underground places of refuge while the
earth above them shook with constant explosions. After a while I grew
quite bold, and decided to stow myself and my boxes in the lower part
of a house not far from the depot. The upper story had been torn off
by shells. I could look through large holes in the ceiling up to the
blue sky. The next move was to find means of notifying my husband and
his friends of my arrival. I crept along the streets back to the
depot, Tempe creeping by my side, holding fast to my dress. Then I
found an officer just going out to the trenches, and sent by him a
pencilled note to Lieutenant Cluverius, thinking an officer would be
likely to receive a communication, when a private might not. Soon
after sunset, my husband joined me, and soon after many friends. They
were all ragged, mud-stained, and altogether unlovely, but seemed to
me most desirable and welcome visitors.

One of my boxes being opened, I proceeded to do the honors. My guests
having eaten very heartily, filled their haversacks, and, putting "_a
sup_" in their canteens, returned to camp to send out a fresh squad.
The next that came brought in extra haversacks and canteens "for some
of the boys who couldn't get off," and these also were provided for.

With the last squad my husband was compelled to go back to camp, as
just then military rules were severe, and very strictly enforced. I
passed the night in an old, broken arm-chair, Tempe lying at my feet,
and slept so soundly that I heard not a sound of shot or shell. Very
early next morning, however, we were awakened by a terrible explosion
near us, and directly afterwards heard that within a hundred yards of
our place of refuge a shell had exploded, tearing away the upper part
of a house, killing a man and his three children, who were sleeping in
one of the rooms. This made me very uneasy, and increased Tempe's
terror to such an extent that she became almost unmanageable. During
the next day I actually became accustomed to the noise and danger, and
"with a heart for any fate" passed the day. At night my levee was
larger than before; among them I had the satisfaction of seeing and
supplying some Alabama, South Carolina, and Tennessee soldiers. That
night the bombardment was terrific. Anxiety for my husband, combined
with a shuddering terror, made sleep impossible.

The next morning, my husband having obtained a few hours' leave of
absence, joined me in my shattered retreat. The day was darkened by
the agony of parting. It seemed to me _impossible_ to leave him under
such circumstances, and really required more courage than to face the
shot and shell. But I could easily see that anxiety for me interfered
with his duty as a soldier, so--we must part. On the same evening I
returned to Newnan, where my friends were so overjoyed at my safe
return that they forbore to upbraid. Soon afterward the battle of
Jonesboro' again filled our wards with shattered wrecks. As I have
already stated, my husband then came for the first time to claim my
care. Before he was quite able to return to duty, the post was ordered
to Fort Valley, Georgia, a pleasant and very hospitable town, where
new and excellent hospital buildings had been erected. From here Mr.
Beers returned to his command. The day of his departure was marked by
hours of intense anguish which I yet shudder to recall. The train
which stopped at the hospital camp to take up men returning to the
front was crowded with soldiers,--reinforcements. I had scarcely
recovered from the fit of bitter weeping which followed the parting,
when, noticing an unusual commotion outside, I went to the door to
discover the cause. Men were running up the railroad track in the
direction taken by the train which had just left. A crowd had
collected near the surgeon's office, in the midst of which stood an
almost breathless messenger. His tidings seemed to have the effect of
sending off succeeding groups of men in the direction taken by those I
had first seen running up the road. Among them I discovered several
surgeons. Something was wrong. Wild with apprehension, I sped over to
the office, and there learned that the train of cars loaded and
crowded with soldiers had been thrown down a steep embankment, about
three miles up the road, and that many lives were lost. Waiting for
nothing, I ran bareheaded and frantic up the track, for more than a
mile never stopping, then hearing the slow approach of an engine, sunk
down by the side of the track to await its coming. Soon the engine
appeared, drawing very slowly a few platform-and baggage-cars loaded
with groaning, shrieking men, carrying, also, many silent forms which
would never again feel pain or sorrow. The surgeons upon the first car
upon descrying me crouching by the roadside, halted the train and
lifted me upon the last car, where, among the "slightly hurt," I found
my husband, terribly bruised and shaken, but in no danger. Arrived at
camp, where tents had been hastily pitched, the wounded and dying were
laid out side by side in some of the largest, while others received
the dead. The sights and sounds were awful in the extreme. At first I
could not muster courage (shaken as I had been) to go among them. But
it was necessary for purposes of identification, so I examined every
one, dying and dead, feeling that _certainty_, however dreadful, might
be better borne by loving hearts than prolonged suspense.

Among these dreadful scenes came a minister of God, whose youthful
face, pale and horror-stricken, yet all alight with heavenly pity and
love, I can never forget. Tenderly he bent above these dying men, his
trembling lips touched by divine inspiration, whispering words
precious to parting souls. Unshrinkingly he performed his mission to
those who yet lived, then, passing among the dead, lovingly composed
and prepared for decent burial the mutilated bodies. One
burial-service served for all; this was as tenderly rendered as if
each unfortunate had been dear to himself.

This young clergyman was Rev. ---- Green, of Columbia, S.C., a near
relative of the eminent divine and inspired patriot, Dr. B.M. Palmer,
now of New Orleans.

Few patients were sent to Fort Valley. Upon recovering from the
effects of the railroad accident, my husband again left for his
command. Growing dissatisfied, I applied to Dr. Stout for a position
nearer the front. Not receiving a satisfactory reply, went to Macon,
where for a few weeks I remained at one of the hospitals, but still
felt that I was losing time, and doing very little good. In November I
was offered a position in a tent-hospital near the front, which I
eagerly accepted, little dreaming (God help me!) of the hardship and
disappointment which awaited me.



CHAPTER VI.

OMEGA.


The detention of the railroad-train belated us, and when we (I and my
servant) were left at a small station in Mississippi, night had
fallen. The light from a little fire of pine knots, built on the
ground outside, while illuminating the rough depot and platform, left
the country beyond in deeper darkness. It was bitterly cold. The
driver of the ambulance informed me, we had "quite a piece to ride
yet." A moment later, Dr. Beatty rode up on horseback, welcomed me
pleasantly, waiting to see me safely stowed away in the ambulance. The
ride to camp was dismal. I continued to shiver with cold; my heart
grew heavy as lead, and yearned sadly for a sight of the pleasant
faces, the sound of the kindly voices, to which I had been so long
accustomed. At last a turn in the road brought us in sight of the
numberless fires of a large camp. It was a bright scene, though, far
from gay. The few men who crouched by the fires were not roistering,
rollicking soldiers, but pale shadows, holding their thin hands over
the blaze which scorched their faces, while their thinly-covered backs
were exposed to a cold so intense that it congealed the sap in the
farthest end of the log on which they sat. Driving in among these, up
an "avenue" bordered on either side by rows of white tents, the
ambulance drew up at last before the door of my "quarters,"--a rough
cabin built of logs. Through the open door streamed the cheery light
of a wood-fire, upon which pine knots had been freshly thrown.

A bunk at one side, made of puncheons, and filled with pine straw,
over which comforts and army-blankets had been thrown, hard pillows
stuffed with straw, having coarse, unbleached cases, a roughly-made
table before the fire, a lot of boxes marked "Q.M.," etc., to serve
as seats, and you have my cabin in its entirety.

Drawing my box up close to the fire, I sat down, Tempe, in the mean
while, stirring the coals and arranging the burning ends of the pine
in true country style.

Presently my supper was brought in,--corn-bread, cornmeal coffee, a
piece of musty fried salt meat, heavy brown sugar, and no milk. I was,
however, hungry, and ate with a relish. Tempe went off to some region
unknown for the supper, returning unsatisfied and highly disgusted
with the "hog-wittles" which had been offered to her. Soon Dr. Beatty
called, bringing with him Mrs. Dr. ----, a cheery little body, who,
with her husband, occupied a room under the same roof as myself, a
sort of hall open at both ends dividing us.

We had some conversation regarding the number of sick and the
provisions for their comfort. On the whole, the evening passed more
cheerfully than I had expected. My sleep that night was dreamless. I
did not even feel the cold, although Tempe declared she was "dun froze
stiff."

Very early I was astir, gazing from the door of my cabin at my new
sphere of labor.

Snow had fallen during the night, and still came down steadily. The
path was hidden, the camp-fires appeared as through a mist. A
confused, steady sound of chopping echoed through the woods. I heard
mysterious words, dimly saw figures moving about the fires. Everything
looked unpromising,--dismal. Chilled to the heart, I turned back to my
only comfort, the splendid fire Tempe had built. My breakfast was
exactly as supper had been, and was brought by the cook, a detailed
soldier, who looked as if he ought to have been at the front. He
apologized for the scanty rations, promising some beef for dinner.

Soon Dr. Beatty, accompanied by two assistant-surgeons, appeared to
escort me to the tents. I went gladly, for I was anxious to begin my
work. What I saw during that hour of inspection convinced me, not only
that my services were needed, but that my work must be begun and
carried on under almost insurmountable difficulties and disadvantages.
I found no comforts, no hospital stores, insufficient nourishment, a
scarcity of blankets and comforts, even of pillows. Of the small
number of the latter few had cases; all were soiled. The sick men had
spit over them and the bedclothes, which could not be changed because
there were no more. As I have said, there were no comforts. The
patients looked as if they did not expect any, and seemed sullen and
discontented. The tents were not new, nor were they all good. They
seemed to me without number. Passing in and out among them, I felt
bewildered and doubtful whether I should ever learn to know one from
another, or to find my patients. Part of the camp was set apart for
convalescents. Here were dozens of Irishmen. They were so maimed and
shattered that every one should have been entitled to a discharge, but
the poor fellows had no homes to go to, and were quite unable to
provide for themselves. There were the remnants of companies,
regiments, and brigades, many of them Louisianians, and from other
States outside the Confederate lines. Had there been any fighting to
do, they would still have "taken a hand," maimed as they were. The
monotony of hospital camp-life made them restless; the rules they
found irksome, and constantly evaded; they growled, complained, were
always "in hot water," and almost unmanageable.

The first time I passed among them they eyed me askance, seeming, I
feared, to resent the presence of a woman. But I made it my daily
custom to visit their part of the camp, standing by their camp-fires
to listen to their "yarns," or to relate some of my own experiences,
trying to make their hardships seem less, listening to their
complaints, meaning in earnest to speak to Dr. Beatty regarding
palpable wrongs. This I did not fail to do, and whenever the doctor's
sense of justice was aroused, he promptly acted on the right side. I
do not wish to convey to my readers the idea that there were men
always sullen and disagreeable. Far from it, they were a jolly set of
men when in a good humor, and, like all Irishmen, full of wit and
humor. After I became known to them their gentle, courteous treatment
of me never varied. They were very fond of playing cards, but whenever
I appeared upon one of the avenues, every card would disappear. Not
one ever failed to salute me, often adding a "God bless you, ma'am,
may the heavens be your bed," etc. Disliking to interfere with their
only amusement, I let them know that I did not dislike to see them
playing cards. At this they were very pleased, saying, "Sure, it's no
harrum; it's not gambling we are; divil a cint have we to win or
lose." One day I stopped to look on a moment at a game of euchre. One
of the players had lost an arm (close to the shoulder). Said he,
"Sure, ma'am, it's bating the b'ys intirely, I am." I did not
understand, so he explained, with a comic leer at the others,--"Sure,
haven't I always the '_lone hand_' on thim?" At once I recalled a
similar remark made by an Irish soldier lying in the hospital at
Newnan, who had just lost one of his legs; when I condoled with him,
he looked up brightly, and, pointing at his remaining foot, explained,
"Niver mind, this feller _will go it alone and make it_."

Among the surgeons in camp was one who had highly offended these
convalescents by retiring to his cabin, _pulling the latch-string
inside_ and remaining deaf to all calls and appeals from outside.
Mutterings of discontent were heard for a while, but at last as there
was no further mention of the matter, I believed it was ended.

About this time the actions of the convalescents began to appear
mysterious: they remained in their tents or absented themselves, as I
supposed, upon foraging expeditions. Frequently, I found them working
upon cow-horns, making ornaments as I thought (at this business
Confederate soldiers were very expert). One day I caught sight of a
large pile of horns and bones just brought in, but still thought
nothing of it. Shortly, however, a small deputation from the
convalescent camp appeared at the door of my cabin just as I was
eating my dinner: all saluted; the spokesman then explained that the
"b'ys" were prepared to give the obnoxious surgeon a "siranade" that
same night. They had been working for weeks to produce the instruments
of torture which were then all ready. "We don't mane to scare _ye_,
ma'am, and if it'll be displazin' to ye, sure we'll give it up." I
told them that I did not want to know about it, and was sorry they had
told me, but I would not be frightened at any noise I might hear in
the night. "All right, ma'am," said the spokesman, winking at the
others to show that he comprehended. The party then withdrew. About
midnight such a startling racket suddenly broke the stillness that in
spite of my previous knowledge, I was frightened. Horns of all grades
of sound, from deep and hoarse to shrill, tin cups and pans clashed
together or beaten with bones, yells, whistling, and in short every
conceivable and inconceivable noise.

After the first blast, utter stillness; the startled officers,
meanwhile, listening to discover the source of the unearthly noise,
then, as if Bedlam had broken loose, the concert began once more. It
was concentrated around the cabin of the surgeon so disliked. As the
quarters of the officers were somewhat removed from the hospital
proper, and very near my own, I got the full benefit of the noise. I
cannot now say why the racket was not put a stop to. Perhaps because
the serenaders numbered over one hundred and the surgeons despaired of
restoring order. At all events, during the whole night we were allowed
to sink into slumber, to be aroused again and again by the same
hideous burst of sound. I only remember that the next day the horns,
etc., were collected and carried away from camp, while the offenders
were refused permission to leave their quarters for a while.

In the sick camp there lay over two hundred sick and wounded men,
faithfully attended and prescribed for by the physicians, but lacking
every comfort. Dr. Beatty was worried about the sick, but under the
circumstances what could he do? Soon after occurred the terrible
battle of Franklin, when our tents were again filled with wounded men.
These men were unlike any I have ever nursed. Their shattered forms
sufficiently attested courage and devotion to duty, but the enthusiasm
and pride which had hitherto seemed to me so grand and noble when
lighting up the tortured faces of wounded soldiers, appearing like a
reflection of great glory, I now missed. It seemed as if they were yet
revengeful and unsatisfied; their countenances not yet relaxed from
the tension of the fierce struggle, their eyes yet gleaming with the
fires of battle. The tales they told made me shudder: Of men, maddened
by the horrible butchery going on around them, mounting the horrible
barricade (trampling out in many instances the little sparks of life
which might have been rekindled), only to add their own bodies to the
horrid pile, and to be trampled in their turn by comrades who sought
to avenge them; of soldiers on both sides, grappling hand to hand,
tearing open each other's wound, drenched with each other's blood,
_dying_ locked in a fierce embrace. It turns me sick even now when I
remember the terrible things I then heard, the awful wounds I then
saw. During the whole period of my service, I never had a harder task
than when striving to pour oil upon these troubled waters, to soothe
and reconcile these men who talked incessantly of "sacrifice" and
useless butchery. This was particularly the case with General
Clebourne's men, who so loved their gallant leader that, at his death,
revenge had almost replaced patriotism in their hearts.

I do not consider myself competent, nor do I wish to criticise the
generals who led our armies and who, since the war, have, with few
exceptions, labored assiduously to throw the blame of failure upon
each other. I have read their books with feelings of intense sorrow
and regret,--looking for a reproduction of the glories of the
past,--finding whole pages of recrimination and full of "all
uncharitableness." For my own part, I retain an unchanged,
unchangeable respect and reverence for all alike, _believing each to
have been a pure and honest patriot, who, try as he might, could not
surmount the difficulties which each one in turn encountered_.

A brave, _vindictive_ foe, whose superiority in numbers, in arms, and
equipment, and, more than all, _rations_, they could maintain
indefinitely. And to oppose them, an utterly inadequate force, whose
bravery and unparalleled endurance held out to the end, although
hunger gnawed at their vitals, disease and death daily decimated their
ranks, intense anxiety for dear ones exposed to dangers, privations,
all the horrors which everywhere attended the presence of the
invaders, torturing them every hour.

While yielding to none in my appreciation of the gallant General Hood,
there is one page in his book which always arouses my indignation and
which I can never reconcile with what I know of the history of the
Army of Tennessee, from the time General Hood took command to the
surrender. Truly, they were far from being like "dumb driven cattle,"
for _every man_ was "_a hero_ in the strife." It seems to me that the
memory of the battle of Franklin alone should have returned to General
Hood to "give him pause" before he gave to the public the page
referred to:

  (_Extract._)

  "My failure on the 20th and the 22d to bring about a general
  pitched battle arose from the unfortunate policy pursued from
  Dalton to Atlanta, and which had wrought 'such' demoralization amid
  rank and file as to render the men unreliable in battle. I cannot
  give a more forcible, though homely, exemplification of the morale
  of the troops at that period than _by comparing the Army to a team_
  which has been allowed to balk at every hill, one portion will make
  strenuous efforts to advance, whilst the other will refuse to move,
  and thus paralyze the exertions of the first. Moreover, it will
  work faultlessly one day and stall the next. No reliance can be
  placed upon it at any stated time. Thus it was with the army when
  ordered into a general engagement, one corps struggled  nobly,
  whilst the neighboring corps frustrated its efforts by simple
  inactivity; and whilst the entire Army might fight desperately one
  day, it would fail in action the following day. Stewart's gallant
  attack on the 20th was neutralized by Hardee's inertness on the
  right; and the failure in the battle of the 22d is to be attributed
  also to the effect of the 'timid defensive' policy of this officer,
  who, although a brave and gallant soldier, neglected to obey
  orders, and swung away, totally independent of the main body of the
  Army."

Time softens and alleviates all troubles, and this was no exception.
But the winter was a very gloomy one: my heart was constantly
oppressed by witnessing suffering I could not relieve, needs which
could not be met. The efforts of the foragers, combined with my own
purchases from country wagons (although Dr. Beatty was liberal in his
orders, and I spent every cent I could get), were utterly
insufficient, although the officers of this camp-hospital were
self-denying, and all luxuries were reserved for the sick. I hit upon
an expedient to vary the rations a little, which found favor with the
whole camp. The beef was simply atrocious. I had it cut into slices,
let it lie in salt with a sprinkling of vinegar for a day, then hung
the pieces up the chimneys until it was smoked. I first tried it in my
own cabin, found it an improvement, and so had a quantity prepared for
the hungry wounded. And so these dark days sped on, bringing, in due
time,

THE LAST CONFEDERATE CHRISTMAS.

I will here subjoin an article originally written for the _Southern
Bivouac_, which will give my readers an idea of how the Christmas-tide
was spent.

For some time previous I had been revolving in my mind various plans
for the celebration of Christmas by making some addition to the diet
of the sick and wounded soldiers then under my charge. But, plan as I
would, the stubborn facts in the case rose up to confront me, and I
failed to see just how to accomplish my wishes. We were then located
at Lauderdale Springs, Mississippi. I, with my servant, Tempe,
occupied one room of a small, double house, built of rough-hewn logs,
and raised a few feet from the ground; a sort of hall, open at both
ends, separated my room from one on the opposite side occupied by Dr.
---- and his wife. All around, as far as one could see, amid the white
snow and with lofty pine-trees towering above them, extended the
hospital-tents, and in these lay the sick, the wounded, the dying.
Hospital-supplies were scarce, our rations of the plainest articles,
which, during the first years of the war, were considered absolute
necessaries, had become priceless luxuries. Eggs, butter, chickens
came in such small quantities that they must be reserved for the very
sick. The cheerfulness, self-denial, and fellow-feeling shown by those
who were even partly convalescent, seemed to me to be scarcely less
admirable than the bravery which had distinguished them on the
battle-field. But this is a digression: let me hasten to relate how I
was helped to a decision as to Christmas "goodies." One morning, going
early to visit some wounded soldiers who had come in during the night,
I found in one tent a newcomer, lying in one of the bunks, his head
and face bandaged and bloody. By his side sat his comrade,--wounded
also, but less severely,--trying to soften for the other some
corn-bread, which he was soaking and beating with a stick in a tin cup
of cold water. He explained that the soldier with the bandaged head
had been shot in the mouth, and could take only soft food. I said,
"Don't give him that. I will bring him some mush and milk, or some
chicken soup." He set down the cup, looked at me with queer, half-shut
eyes, then remarked, "Yer ga-assin' now, ain't ye?"

Having finally convinced him that I was not, I retired for a moment to
send the nurse for some food. When it came, and while I was slowly
putting spoonfuls of broth into the poor, shattered mouth of his
friend, he stood looking on complacently, though with his lip
quivering. I said to him, "Now, what would _you_ like?" After a
moment's hesitation he replied, "Well, lady, I've been sort of
hankerin' after a sweet-potato pone, but I s'pose ye couldn't noways
get that?" "There," thought I, "that's just what I will get and give
them all for Christmas dinner."

Hastening to interview the surgeon in charge, I easily obtained
permission to go on the next day among the farmers to collect
materials for my feast. An ambulance was placed at my disposal.

My foraging expedition was tolerably successful, and I returned next
evening with a quantity of sweet potatoes, several dozen eggs, and
some country butter. Driving directly to the door of my cabin, I had
my treasures securely placed within; for, although holding my
soldier-friends in high estimation, I agreed with the driver of the
ambulance,--"Them 'taturs has to be taken in out of the cold." My
neighbor's wife, Mrs. Dr. ----, entered heartily into my plans for the
morrow, promising her assistance. My night-round of visits to the sick
having been completed, I was soon seated by my own fireside, watching
the operation of making and baking a corn hoecake, which, with some
smoked beef of my own preparation and a cup of corn-coffee, made my
supper on this Christmas eve. It was so bitterly cold that I did not
undress; but, wrapping a blanket around me, lay down on my bunk. Tempe
also rolled herself up, and lay down before the fire. In order to
explain what followed, I must here say that the boards of my floor
were only laid, not fastened, as nails were not to be had. I was
awakened from "the first sweet sleep of night" by an unearthly yell
from Tempe, who sprang unceremoniously upon my bunk, grasping me
tightly, and crying, "O Lord, Miss ----, yearthquate dun cum!" Sitting
up, I was horrified to see the boards of the floor rising and falling
with a terrible noise. A moment later I realized the situation. A
party of hogs had organized a raid, having for its object my precious
potatoes. A sure-enough "yearthquate" would have been less appalling
to me, as I have always been mortally afraid of hogs. Just then one of
the invaders managed to knock aside a board and get his head in full
view. I shivered with terror, but Tempe now grasped the state of the
case, and, being "to the manner born," leaped forward to execute dire
vengeance on the unfortunate hog. Seizing a burning stick from the
fire, she rushed upon the intruder, who had gotten wedged so that
advance or retreat was alike impossible. Her angry cries, and the
piercing squeals of the hog, roused all in the vicinity. Help soon
came, our enemies were routed, quiet was restored. My pones were a
great success. All who were allowed by their surgeons partook of them.
I had two immense pans full brought to my cabin, where those who were
able brought their plates and cups, receiving a generous quantity of
the pone and a cup of sweet milk.

But these struggles and hardships were nothing in comparison to what
was now to befall us. The constant fighting and daily-increasing
number of wounded at the front required the presence of experienced
surgeons. After the battle of Franklin some of ours were sent up. In
one or two instances those who replaced them were young and
inexperienced. They were permitted to attend the convalescents and
light cases. One morning, I was aroused very early by a nurse who
begged me to go to one of the convalescents who had been calling for
me all night.

Arrived at the tent, which at that hour was rather dark, I lifted the
flap to enter, but was arrested by a piteous cry from the patient, who
lay facing the entrance. "For God's sake keep out that light," said
he, "it hurts my eyes." The nurse said, "It's masles he has, ma'am."
So I concluded the pained eyes were not unusual.

Approaching the bunk, and taking the patient's hand, I found he had a
raging fever. But when I placed my hand upon his forehead, and felt
the dreadful pustules thickly covering it, my heart almost ceased to
beat. An unreasoning terror overpowered me; my impulse was to flee
at once from that infected tent. But I must not give any alarm, so
I simply said to the nurse, "I will go to Dr. Beatty for some
medicine; let no one enter this tent until I come back." Dr. Beatty
was not yet out of his cabin, but receiving my urgent message, soon
appeared. I said, "Doctor, in tent No.---- there is a very sick man;
can we look at the books and learn what diagnosis his surgeon has
made?" We went to the office, found the patient's name and number:
diagnosis,--_Measles_. I then said, "Dr. Beatty, it is not measles,
but, I fear, smallpox." At once, the doctor strode off, followed
closely by myself. As before, the tent was dark. "Lift those flaps
high," said the surgeon. It was done, and there lay before us a
veritable case of smallpox.

Dr. Beatty's entire calmness and self-possession quite restored my
own. Said he, "I must have time to consult my surgeons, to determine
what is to be done. Meanwhile, retire to your cabin. You will hear
from me when matters are arranged."

The next few hours were for me fraught with fearful anxiety and
uncertainty,--yes, _uncertainty_,--for (to my shame, let it be
recorded) I actually debated in my own mind whether or not to desert
these unfortunate boys of mine, who could not themselves escape the
threatened danger.

God helping me, I was able to resist this terrible temptation. I had,
I reasoned, been already exposed as much as was possible, having
attended the sick man for days before. Having dedicated myself to the
Holy Cause, for better or worse, I could not desert it even when put
to this trying test. So, when Dr. Beatty came to say that in a few
hours quarantine would be established and rigidly enforced, offering
me transportation that I might at once go on with the large party who
were leaving, I simply announced my determination to remain, but asked
that Tempe might be sent to her owners in Alabama, as I dared not risk
keeping her.

The poor fellow who had been first seized died that night, and
afterward many unfortunates were buried beneath the snow-laden pines.
Some of the nurses fell sick; from morning until night, after, far
into the night, my presence was required in those fever-haunted tents.

When not on duty, the loneliness of my cabin was almost insupportable.
Sometimes I longed to flee away from the dismal monotony. Often I sat
upon my doorstep almost ready to scream loudly enough to drown the sad
music of the pines. Since the war I have seen a little poem by John
Esten Cooke, which always reminds me of the time when the band in the
pines brought such sadness to my own heart:

  "THE BAND IN THE PINES.

  "Oh, band in the pine-wood cease!
    Cease with your splendid call;
  The living are brave and noble,
    But the dead were bravest of all!

  "They throng to the martial summons,
    To the loud, triumphant strain;
  And the dear bright eyes of long-dead friends
    Come to the heart again.

  "They come with the ringing bugle
    And the deep drum's mellow roar,
  Till the soul is faint with longing
    For the hands we clasp no more!

  "Oh, band in the pine-wood cease
    Or the heart will melt in tears,
  For the gallant eyes and the smiling lips
    And the voices of old years!"

When, at last, we were released from durance vile, the Confederate
army had retreated. Of course, the hospitals must follow it. By this
time my health was completely broken down. The rigors of the winter,
the incessant toil, the hard rations had done their work well. I was
no longer fit to nurse the sick. In February I left the camp,
intending to go for a while wherever help was needed, relying upon a
change to recuperate my exhausted energies.

But from that time there was so much irregularity as far as hospital
organization was concerned that one scarcely knew how best to serve
the sick. Besides, the presence of a lady had become embarrassing to
the surgeons in charge of hospitals, who, while receiving orders one
day which were likely to be countermanded the next, often having to
send their stores, nurses, etc., to one place while they awaited
orders in another, could find no time to provide quarters and
sustenance for a lady. As an illustration of this state of things, I
will here give an extract from a letter addressed to me after the war
by Dr. McAllister, of the "Buckner Hospital."

"I was ordered late in November to Gainesville, Alabama; before
reaching that place, my orders were changed to Macon; in February to
Auburn, Alabama; thence to the woods to organize a tent hospital. No
sick were sent there, and I had nothing to do but to build. Put up
eighty large tents, built octagon homes, with rounded tops, and
flag-poles on the top of each. Everything looked gloomy, but I kept on
as if I expected to remain there always. Just as I had everything
completed, received orders to move to Charlotte, North Carolina. When
I got to Columbus, Georgia, was ordered to send on my stores with my
negroes and women-servants, in charge of a faithful man, while I and
my detailed men were to remain in the city during its investment, and
as long as the struggle lasted, but at last to save myself, and join
my stores in Macon, Georgia. Remained during the fight, while the city
fell, and all my detailed men were captured; rode out of the city by
the light of the burning buildings, and my road was lighted for twelve
or fifteen miles by the burning city; borrowed horses about twelve at
night, caught the last retreating train, put my servants Noel and Sam
on it; rode on with my true friend Dr. Tates. Found the servants at
Genoa Station, a distance of thirty-five miles, next morning at
sunrise, thence to Macon; next night found my wife on the same crowded
box-car; left her with Mrs. Yates, Mrs. Calan, and another lady from
Columbus. Some of my stores had been sent to Atlanta, and some had
been sent to Macon; then the railroad was cut between Macon and
Atlanta; I had either to remain at Macon and be captured, or take the
only road that was clear to Fort Valley, which I did, leaving my wife
and Mrs. Yates at Dr. Green's. Yates, myself, Sam, and Noel took to
the woods, and there remained about ten days, living as best we could.
Then there was a flag of truce, and we came into Fort Valley.
Thousands of Yankee cavalry were there in camps; all the railroads cut
so we could not leave. One night we stole from the Yankees two good
mules, borrowed a wagon, and took our wives across the country until
we could strike one end of the Atlanta road, of which the Yankees had
not got possession; went on into the city of Atlanta, where I met Dr.
Stout, who told me the game was up, that my stores were some of them
at Congress Station, some hundred miles away on the Augusta road, and
for me to go on there and surrender to the first Yankee who commanded
me to do so. Great heaven! what a shock to me! I would rather have
died than to have heard it. I went down the road and found my stores,
but did not have the honor of surrendering to the Yankees. A mob,
constituted of women, children, and renegade Confederate soldiers, and
with some negroes, charged my encampment and took everything except my
wife, and trunks, and Mrs. Yates, and her trunks, which we saved by
putting them into a wagon and driving for our lives out of the back
alley of the town. At last we came to Atlanta, where we parted with
Dr. and Mrs. Yates. My wife and I travelled to Marion in an old wagon,
leaving the poor negroes scattered about in the woods. I only had time
to tell them to go where they came from, to their former owners. After
a tedious journey, having to beg my bread, I arrived at home (Marion,
Alabama) about the first of May, 1865."

The same irregularities existed everywhere; my state of health forbade
me to follow these erratic movements: indeed, I was utterly broken
down and therefore made my way, not without great difficulty and many
detentions, to Alabama, where my little boy had preceded me. Even
then, we never dreamed of surrender, nor did the sad news reach us
until many days after it had taken place. We were utterly incredulous,
we could not, would not believe it. Meanwhile, the state of things
described in one of the articles contained in another part of this
book, designed for children (Sally's ride) culminated in the
long-dreaded _Raid_.

Why the raiders had recrossed the river, returning to Selma, and
leaving undisturbed (alas! only for a time) the elegant
plantation-homes which lay all along their route, remained a mystery.
It was certain that a detachment of them had been seen and reported by
our own scouts, who at that time were in the saddle day and night
"watching their motions;" the negroes also declared, "Dey was dare,
_suah_, 'case we dun _seed_ 'em." All able-bodied men had long ago
gone to the front. The "home-guard," who were doing their best to keep
watch and ward over helpless women and children, were only boys, full
of ardor and courage, but too young to join the army, or men who from
age or disability were also ineligible. These knew every inch of
ground, every hiding-place for many miles. At every plantation they
were expected and welcome, whenever they could find an opportunity to
dash in, dismount, report the state of matters outside, and hastily
swallow the "snack" always kept ready and set before them without loss
of time, quite as a matter of course.

The news brought by these scouts, far from quieting apprehension,
tended to increase and deepen it. The old man who, time out of mind,
had managed the little ferry fifteen miles away, had been shot for
refusing to ferry over some Federal soldiers. The bright light so
anxiously watched one dark night proved to have been a fire, which had
consumed the dwelling, gin-house, stables, etc., of a widowed cousin.
Her cows had been slaughtered, her horses stolen, her garden and
"truck-patch" ploughed all over in the search for hidden silver. Other
and even more hideous tales (alas! too true) appalled the hearts and
tried the courage of the women, who yet must never give up _trying_ to
protect the interests confided to them, must _seem_ to hold the reins
of power when really they were at the mercy of the negroes, who (to
their credit be it spoken) behaved under these trying circumstances
extremely well, in some cases showing the most affectionate solicitude
and sympathy. They could not, however, in all cases be trusted to
withstand the bribes sure to be offered for information as to
hiding-places of valuables. So, little by little, silver and jewelry
were made up into small packages to be disposed of secretly.

For several days _all_ were on the _qui vive_. The fearful suspense,
dread, and anguish of that time will never be forgotten by those who
shared those anxious vigils; from earliest light until nightfall,
restless feet traversed the house and yard, anxious eyes watched every
possible approach,--the road, the woods, the plantation. At night, not
one of the "white folks" thought of undressing; the very last of a bag
of real coffee, which had been treasured like gold, was now brought
out. During the day, the usual sweet-potato coffee was served. In the
cool April nights, a cheerful fire always blazed in the open fireplace
of the parlor, by it was set a pot of very strong coffee, upon which
the ladies relied to keep them awake. One at a time would doze in her
chair or upon the sofa, while the others kept watch, walking from
window to window, listening at the fast-locked door, starting at every
sound. Occasionally the dogs would bark furiously: "There they are!"
cried everybody, and rising to their feet, with bated breath and
wildly-beating hearts, they would listen until convinced that their
four-footed friends had given a false alarm. Those of the
women-servants who had no husbands begged every night to sleep "in de
house." They were terrified. Their mattresses strewed the floors, and
it really seemed as if they were a kind of protection, although they
always fell asleep and snored so loudly as to drive the ladies, who
wanted to listen for outside sounds, to the verge of distraction. Some
one would occasionally interrupt the noise by administering to each in
turn a good shake or insisting upon a change of position, but at best
the lull was temporary. Soon one of the sleepers would give a
suppressed snort, to be immediately joined by one after another, until
the unearthly chorus once more swelled to rack the quivering nerves of
the listeners.

Sometimes a peculiar tapping announced the presence outside of the
master of the house. Creeping softly to the window of an empty room,
the wife would receive assurances of present safety. She would then
hand out valuable packages of silver or jewelry to be hidden far in
the woods in places unknown to any but the owner, who marked the way
to the buried treasure by "blazing" certain trees. Many valuables were
hidden in this way and recovered after the war. The feeble condition
of Colonel ---- added tenfold to the anxiety of his family, for,
although he persisted in doing his duty, it was certain that continual
exposure and fatigue might at any time prove fatal. Insidious disease
was even then gnawing at his vitals; but, Spartan-like, he folded
above the dreadful agony the robe of manly courage and dignity, which
hid it from even those who knew him best. Amid all the darkness and
sorrow his pleasant smile cheered, his commanding presence inspired
respect and confidence. From the windows of his soul shone the steady
light of the patriotism that hopeth all things, believeth all things,
endureth all things. It was not God's will that he should go forth to
battle, but with a kindly heart and generous hand he helped the
soldiers to do their duty by caring for their "loved ones at home."

Meanwhile the noble wife proved a helpmate indeed. A true type of
Southern women. Not a duty was neglected. She looked well to the ways
of her household and the well-being of the negroes committed to her
care. The spinning and weaving of cloth for the almost naked soldiers
in the field went on; the quarters were visited, the sick were cared
for. The calm, steady voice read to the old, precious promises, or
instructed the young negroes as to the way of truth. So day after day
passed, the same anxious dread chilling all hearts, added fear always
recurring as the darkness came with its terrible possibilities.

April had come, bringing a greater profusion of flowers, painting the
face of nature with lovelier hues. No one knew why the neighborhood
had thus far escaped being "raided." One evening the scouts (not one
alone, but several) reported, "Not a Yankee on this side the river.
Gone off on a raid miles on the other side." Colonel ---- came in
later confirming the report. He was persuaded to remain for one night's
rest, and immediately retired to his room. About dusk two men in the
disguise (it is _now_ believed) of Confederate soldiers--ragged, worn,
_barefooted_, and hungry--came stealing in, apparently fearful of being
discovered and taken prisoners. No one suspected them. They were warmly
welcomed. A supper of broiled ham, milk, eggs, corn-muffins, and real
coffee was set before them. They were afterwards shown to a comfortable
cabin in the yard,--"the boys' room,"--provided with every comfort, a
servant to wait on them, and left to repose. These also having assured
the ladies that "the Yanks" had gone off on a raid on the other side,
it was deemed safe to take advantage of such an opportunity to go
regularly to bed and rest, in preparation for whatever might befall
afterwards. By ten o'clock everybody was sound asleep. About midnight
one of the ladies, hearing a slight noise, arose and looked out the
window. Old Whitey was walking about the yard, nibbling the grass.
Knowing he was never allowed in the yard, she simply supposed that one
of the servants had left open the quarter-gate. Not another sound save
the mule's step broke the stillness of the night. Strange to say, the
dogs were nowhere to be seen, nor did they bark at the mule. Wondering
a little at this circumstance, the lady was about to lie down again,
when simultaneously every door of the house was assailed with the butts
of guns with a terrific noise. At the same time many hoarse voices
yelled, "Open these doors, d---- y--! Open up, here, or we'll burn the
house over your heads!" Everybody at once realized the situation. In
that fearful moment strength and courage seemed to come as from above.
The servants, sleeping upon the floor, began to scream, but were
instantly silenced. The ladies, slipping on dressing-gowns, but never
stopping to put on shoes or stockings, quietly opened the doors.
Instantly the whole house swarmed with Federal soldiers. Their first
act was to capture Colonel ---- and drag him outside the house, giving
him no time to put on any clothes save his pants and night-shirt. The
raiders then proceeded to ransack the house. Every room, every closet,
every trunk, box, drawer, was rifled. Two men went to the sideboard,
quietly gathering up the few silver spoons, forks, ladles, etc., not
hidden, wrapped them up and put them in their pockets. Others stripped
off the pillow-and bolster-cases, stuffing them with clothing,
pictures, etc., tied them together, and placed them ready to be slung
over the backs of their horses. Bayonets wore thrust through portraits;
the sofas, beds, and lounges were pierced in search of concealed
valuables; bureau-drawers were emptied, then pitched out of the doors
or windows; the panels of locked _armoires_ were broken or kicked to
pieces to get at the contents; even the linen sheets were dragged off
the beds and thrust into already full sacks and bags. Meanwhile,
bonfires had been kindled in the yard. By the light the swarming demons
carried on their destructive work outside. Around the pans of delicious
milk in the dairy men reached over each others' heads to fill their tin
cups. Buttermilk, clabber, fresh butter, disappeared in an instant. In
the basement the officers were feasting on ham, etc. The smoke-house
was left bare. Sugar, meal, flour, rice, were emptied into the yard,
and stamped or shuffled into the dust. Axes or the butts of guns were
employed to literally smash everything. Ham, shoulder-meat, etc., were
tossed into wagons. Cows were driven off, and, oh, the beautiful
horses, the _pride_ and pets of their owners, were _led_, snorting and
frightened, into the road, where the saddles of the cavalry-horses were
put upon their shivering backs preparatory to being mounted and ridden
away by their new masters.

With perfect calmness the ladies watched the havoc and desolation
which was being wrought in their beloved home, among their household
treasures. To one of them had been given, some time previous, a sacred
trust, a watch which before the war had been presented to a minister
by his congregation. When dying in one of the Confederate hospitals he
had given it to Mrs. ----, begging that, if possible, it might be sent
to his wife in Arkansas. This watch had been concealed upon the tester
of a bed, and so far had escaped discovery. But one of the servants
having given information regarding it, suddenly two soldiers dragged
Mrs. ---- into her own room, where they believed it was concealed. She
positively refused to give it up. Throwing off the mattress, the men
held a match to the feather-bed beneath, saying, "_Here_ goes your
d----d old house, then." Had the house been her own she might still
have resisted, but as she was only a guest, and had been sheltered and
most kindly treated, the watch was given up. The ruffians then
insisted upon searching her, and in trying to force a ring from her
finger, bruised and hurt the tender flesh. Even the negro cabins were
searched. In several instances small sums of money which had been
saved up were taken. Many threats to burn up "the whole business" were
made, but, for some unknown reason, not carried into effect. Just at
dawn the raiders mounted their horses and rode away, recrossing the
river to Selma with their prisoners. As they rode through the
"quarters," the negro men joined them on mules, horses, or on foot.
Among the prisoners rode Colonel ---- upon an old, worn-out horse,
without saddle or bridle. By his side, guarding him and mounted upon
the colonel's magnificent riding-horse, fully accoutred, was a negro
man belonging to a neighboring plantation, who had guided the Federals
to "ole ----'s place." Just behind, upon a sorry mule, escorted by a
mixture of negroes and Yankees riding his own fine horses, came
Colonel M----, his head erect, his eyes blazing scornfully, glancing
from side to side, or drawing a sharp, hard breath between his
clinched teeth as he overheard some ribald jest. His house and
gin-house had been burned, his fields laid waste; he had left his
young daughters without protection and without shelter. What the
ladies felt as they saw this sad cavalcade pass out of sight may not
be told. Morning dawned upon a scene of desolation, sickening in the
extreme,--ruin, waste, wreck everywhere. The house emptied of
everything valuable, floors filthy with the prints of muddy feet, the
garden ruined, furniture battered and spoiled. Outside, broken
barrels, boxes, etc., strewed the earth; lard, sugar, flour, meal were
mingled together and with the sandy soil; streams of molasses ran down
from broken casks; guns which had belonged to the family were broken
and splintered and lay where they had been hurled; fences were broken
down. Had there been any stock left, there was nothing to keep them
out of garden or yard. Only old Whitey was left, however, and he
walked gingerly about sniffing at the cumbered ground, looking as
surprised as he was able. The carriage and buggy had been drawn out,
the curtains and cushions cut and _smeared thoroughly with molasses
and lard_. Breakfast-time arrived, but no Ruthy came up from the
quarter; no smoke curled upward from the kitchen-chimney; a more
hopeless, dismal party could not well be imagined than the three women
who walked from room to room among the _débris_, neither noticing or
caring for the losses, only intensely anxious regarding the helpless
prisoner, who was surely suffering, but whom they could not hope to
relieve. As the day wore on, some of the women from the quarters
ventured near, bringing some coarse food which had been cooked in
their own cabins; they would not, however, go inside the house, "Mass
Yankee tole us we gwine ter get kill ef we wait on you all." Towards
evening Mrs. ---- walked down to the "quarter." Not a man was to be
seen. The women were evidently frightened and uncertain as to how far
the power of "Mass Yankee" extended. Their mistress had been a kind
friend, and their habitual obedience and respect for her could not at
once be overcome, but the threats and promises of the Federals had
disturbed and unsettled them. Aunt Sophy was an old servant who had
nursed Mrs. ----'s mother. For years she had been an invalid, kindly
nursed and cared for by her master and mistress, receiving her meals
from the family table, and having always some of the younger servants
detailed to wait on her. Passing by her cottage now, Mrs. ---- was
astonished to see it empty. "Where is Sophy? what has happened to
her?" "Oh, she dun gone to Selma." "That is impossible; why, she has
not walked even as far as the house for months." "Well, she dun gone,
shuah; she make Elsie hitch up ole Whitey in de cart and dribe her
ober. One genplum he gwine gib her a mule for her own sef and forty
acres ob groun'; so she dun gon' ter see 'bout hit." "Did any one else
go?" "Oh, yes, mistis, Uncle Albert and Aunt Alice dey go too, and dey
want we all to go 'long, but I's gwine ter wait untwill sees what Jack
got ter say, 'cause I ain't gwine _nowha_ dragging all dem chillum
along untwill I knows for sartin whar I's gwine ter stop." Sick at
heart, the lady turned away, slowly returning to the desolated house.
Her occupation was gone; order and system could not be restored. There
was nothing before the anxious woman but to watch and wait for news.
On the second day one of the negro men returned, bringing a tale
almost too horrible for belief,--Colonel M----, whose defiant bearing
had incensed his captors more and more, had been shot down for
refusing to obey orders. "Master was well, but looked mighty bad." The
man also brought the first news of the surrender, a rumor which all
refused to believe, although even the possibility filled all breasts
with terrible forebodings. _Could_ it be true? No! a thousand times
no! And yet,--oh, the dread, the anguish of waiting to know.

The bright sunlight, the waving trees, the joyous notes of the
feathered songsters seemed a mockery. Their stricken hearts cried out
to all the beautiful things of nature,--

  "How can ye bloom so fresh and fair?
  How can ye sing, ye little birds, and I so weary, fu' o' care?"

Towards evening on the third day of suspense the master returned fresh
from the prison, weary, ragged, dirty, and utterly woe-begone, for he
had been set at liberty only to learn that liberty was but an empty
sound. Sadly he confirmed the story of the surrender. The kindly eyes
still strove to cheer, but their happy light was forever quenched. The
firm lip quivered not as he told to the sorrowing women the woful
tale, but the iron had entered his soul and rankled there until its
fatal work was accomplished. Ah, many a noble spirit shrunk appalled
from the "frowning Providence" which then and long afterwards
_utterly_ hid the face of a merciful and loving Father. And yet, as
mother Nature with tender hands and loving care soon effaces all
traces of havoc and desolation, creating new beauties in lovely
profusion to cover even the saddest ruins, so it is wisely ordered
that time shall bring healing to wounded hearts. The women who on that
April evening long ago grieved so bitterly over the news of the
surrender have since known deep sorrow, have wept over many graves.
But, like all the women of the South, they have taken up the burden of
life bravely, and, God helping them, will not falter or fail until He
shall release them.

By and by, the men and boys of the family, from distant Appomattox,
from the Army of Tennessee, came straggling home. All had walked
interminable miles,--all wore equally ragged, dirty, foot-sore, weary,
dejected, despairing. They had done their best and had failed. Their
labor was ended.

All over the land lay the ruins of once happy homes. As men gazed upon
them, and thought of the past and _the future_, the apathy of despair
crept over them; life seemed a burden too heavy to be borne; they
longed to lay it down forever. For a time, men who had faced death
again and again while struggling for _freedom_, could not find courage
to look upon the desolation of the land, or to face the dread future.
Closing their weary eyes, they slept until the clanking of chains
awakened them.

Despotic power wrung the already bleeding, tortured heart of the
South, until crying aloud, she held out to her sons her fettered
hands. And then, fully aroused, hearing the piteous cries, the rattle
of chains, seeing the beloved face, full of woe, conscious of every
bitter, burning tear (which as it fell, seemed to sear their own
hearts), struggling to reach, to succor her, they found _themselves_
bound and powerless to save.

Alas, dear friends, that the pathway which opened so brightly, which
seemed to lead to heights of superlative glory, should have ended
beside the grave of hope. Oh, was it not hard to believe that
"whatever is is right?" To kneel submissively in this valley of
humiliation, and lift our streaming eyes to the heavens, that seemed
of brass, to the Father who, it then appeared, had forgotten to be
merciful. The glory which even then was apparent to the outside world,
could not penetrate the clouds which hung above us.

The land was yet red with blood that had been poured out in vain. From
once happy homes came wails of grief and despair.

Even the embers wore dead upon the hearths around which loved ones
should never more gather.

And since hope is dead, and naught can avail to change the decrees of
Fate, let me close this record of mingled glory and gloom, for hero
must be written,--

OMEGA.



CHAPTER VII.

CONFEDERATE WOMEN.


No historian can faithfully recount the story of the war and leave
untouched the record made by Southern women. Their patriotism was not
the outcome of mere sentiment, but a pure steady flame which from the
beginning of the war to the end burned brightly upon the altars of
sacrifice, which they set up all over the land. "The power behind the
throne" never ceased to be felt. Its spirit pervaded every breast of
the living barricades which opposed the invaders, nerved every arm to
battle for the right, inspired valorous deeds which dazzled the world.
From quiet homes far from the maddening strife, where faithful women
toiled and spun, facing and grappling with difficulties, even dangers,
never complained of, came bright, cheery letters, unshadowed by the
clouds which often hung dense and dark over their daily pathway but
glowing with unshaken faith, undaunted patriotism, lofty courage, and
more than all pride in the exceptional bravery which _they always took
for granted_. Men must not fail to come up to the standard set up in
simple faith by mothers, wives, daughters, and, as all the world
knows, _they did not_.

It was my daily business during the war to read and answer letters to
sick soldiers. Almost all were such as I have described. A few, alas!
were far different. As I read them and watched the agony they caused,
I understood why some men became deserters, and absolutely revered the
manliness and patriotism which resisted a temptation so terrible.

It seemed once that I could never forget the contents of letters which
particularly impressed me, but am sorry I have done so and cannot
reproduce them here. One I can never forget. A tall, splendid Missouri
soldier came into my office one morning, his face convulsed with
grief. Handing me a letter, he sank into a chair, burying his face in
his hands and sobbing pitifully. A letter had been somehow conveyed to
him from his sister-in-law announcing that his wife was dying of
consumption. Appended to the letter (which was sad enough) were a few
lines written by the trembling hand of the dying one. "Darling, do not
let any thoughts of me come between you and your duty to our country.
I have longed to see you once more, to die with my head upon your
breast; but that is past,--I am calm and happy. We have long known
that this parting must be; perhaps when my soul is free I may be
nearer you. If possible, my spirit will be with you wherever you are."

I can only recall these few lines. A volume could not convey more
strongly the spirit of Southern women, strong even in death. I could
only offer the stricken soldier the little comfort human sympathy can
give, but my tears flowed plentifully as he told me of his wife and
his home.

He was, as I afterwards learned, killed at the battle of Franklin. I
thought almost with pleasure of the happy reunion which I felt sure
must have followed.

How often I have marshalled into the hospital wards mothers and wives,
who for the sake of some absent loved one had come from homes many
miles away, to bring some offering to the sick. Timid, yet earnest
women, poorly dressed, with sunbrowned faces and rough hands, yet
bearing in their hearts the very essence of loving-kindness towards
the poor fellows upon whose pale faces and ghastly wounds they looked
with "round-eyed wonder" and pity. After a while they would gain
courage to approach some soldier whom they found "sort o' favored"
their own, to whom they ventured to offer some dainty, would stroke
the wasted hand, smooth the hair, or hold to the fevered lips a drink
of buttermilk or a piece of delicious fruit. Ah, _how many_ times I
have watched such scenes! To the warmly-expressed thanks of the
beneficiaries they would simply answer, "That is nothing; 'mebbe'
somebody will do as much for mine when he needs it."

About seven miles from Ringgold, Georgia, lived an old couple, Mr. and
Mrs. Russell, who, although ardently loving the _cause_, were too old
and feeble to _serve_ it otherwise than by their unceasing prayers,
and by giving freely of their substance to sustain the patients at the
hospitals then established at Ringgold. Their daughter, "Miss Phemie,"
a beautiful young girl, was never weary of conferring benefits upon
the Southern soldiers; every day she rode in, never minding even heavy
storms, and often riding upon a wagon because it would hold a larger
supply of vegetables, etc. Many a soldier was taken to the homestead
to be cared for. Those who could not go from under medical or surgical
treatment were often treated to little rides. Her devotion to the
soldiers I can never forget.

Among the sick and wounded who were sent to the hospital at Newnan
were many Georgians whose homes were within twenty-five or thirty
miles.

After the fight at Missionary Ridge, two boys, brothers, were brought
in. One was threatened with pneumonia; the other, a lad of sixteen,
had his right arm shattered from the shoulder down. At his earnest
request his mother was sent for; the necessary amputation being
deferred awhile, because he begged so hard that the surgeon should
await her arrival. She had to ride all the way on a wagon drawn by a
steer (oh, mothers, can you not imagine the agony which attended that
lengthened journey?), and she was so long detained that I had to take
her place at her boy's side while the operation was performed. The boy
rapidly sunk,--when his mother came was past speaking, and could only
express with his dying eyes his great love for her. Kneeling beside
him, she watched intently, but without a tear or a sob, the dear life
fast ebbing away. The expression of that mother's face no one who saw
it can ever forget.

When all was over, I led her to my own room, where she asked to be
left alone for a while. At last, in answer to the sobbing appeals of
her remaining son, she opened the door. He threw himself into her
arms, crying out, "Buddie's gone, but you're got me, ma, and I'll
never leave you again. I'll help you take Buddie home, and I'll stay
with you and help you work the farm."

The mother gently and tenderly held him off a little way, looking with
burning eyes into his face; her own was pale as death, but not a sob
or tear yet. Quietly she said, "No, my son, your place is not by me; I
can get along as I have done; you are needed yonder (at the front);
_go_ and avenge your brother; he did his duty to the last; don't
disgrace him and me. Come, son, don't cry any more; you're mother's
man, you know."

That same night that mother started _alone_ back to her home, bearing
the coffined body of her youngest son, parting bravely from the elder,
whose sorrow was overwhelming. Just before leaving, she took me aside
and said, "My boy is no coward, but he loved his Buddie, and is
grieving for him; try to comfort him, won't you?"

I did try, but during the whole night he paced with restless feet up
and down my office. At daylight I sat watching his uneasy slumber.

A few weeks later a young wife came by train to visit her husband, who
lay very ill of fever, bringing with her a lovely blue-eyed baby girl
about two years old.

I found a room for her at a house near the hospital, and she was
allowed to nurse her husband. When he was nearly ready to report for
duty, a fearful accident happened by which the baby nearly lost her
life, and was awfully disfigured. At the house where the young wife
boarded there was a ferocious bull-dog, which was generally kept
chained until it showed such evident fondness for the babe that he was
sometimes allowed to lie upon the gallery beside it while it slept,
and the little one on awakening would crawl all over the dog, who
patiently submitted, and would affectionately lick her face.

One day, however, when the family were all assembled upon the gallery,
the dog suddenly sprung upon the little girl, fastening his dreadful
fangs in one side of her face. Everybody was stricken with horror.
Nothing availed to make the beast loosen his hold, until suddenly he
withdrew his teeth from the child's face and fastened them once more
in her shoulder. At last, as no other alternative presented itself,
some one placed a pistol to his ear and killed him. The baby on being
released still breathed, but was so torn and disfigured that the sight
turned strong men sick.

The father fell in a swoon; the young mother, pale and shaking as with
an ague, yet held her mutilated babe through all the examination and
the surgical operations which followed. For two weeks it seemed as if
the child must die, but she did not, and soon, unconscious of her
disfigurement, began to play and smile. All pitied the unfortunate
father when, after some time allowed him through sympathy with his
misfortune, it became necessary for him to return to the front. He had
borne an excellent record, but now broke down utterly, declaring he
could not leave his child. The young wife, putting down with a strong
hand her own sorrow, actually set herself to rouse her husband to a
sense of duty, and succeeded; I was present at the depot when the
brave, girlish wife waved to the soldier a smiling farewell, and
afterwards witnessed her vain efforts to suppress the short, sharp
screams of agony which had been kept under as long as her husband
needed to be upheld, but which after his departure convulsed her at
intervals for hours.

There are two women against whom, during and since the war, I held and
still hold a grudge. One was of that class of women who undervalue and
strive to undo all the good done by others; who hold opinions and
views which they absolutely insist upon carrying out regardless of
consequences.

During the whole four years of the war I was annoyed by these would-be
directresses of hospitals. They would intrude themselves into my
wards, where they hesitated not to air their superior knowledge of all
sickness, to inspire discomfort and distrust in the patients by
expressive gestures, revealing extreme surprise at the modes of
treatment, and by lugubrious shakes of the head their idea of the
inevitably fatal result. While the kindly women, who, though already
overburdened, would take from the wards of the hospital enough of
convalescents or sick men to crowd their own homes, often thereby
saving lives,--always doing good,--these prowling women would manage
to convey their sense of the dreadful condition of hitherto
well-satisfied patients without ever suggesting a remedy. In one of
the large churches used for sick-wards in Newnan lay a young man from
Maryland, who had suffered the amputation of an arm. The wound had
been carefully bandaged, the arteries taken up, etc., but as
inflammation supervened the pain became almost unbearable, the poor
fellow moaned unceasingly. One night two old women visited the ward.
Afterward, upon making my last round, I found the young man above
mentioned so quiet that I did not disturb him. It so happened that Dr.
Merriweather, of Alabama, was in Newnan, in close attendance upon his
young son, who had received a most peculiar and apparently fatal
wound. He was shot through the liver. The wound, at all times
excessively painful, exuded bile. Whenever Dr. Merriweather wanted an
hour's rest I took my place at the bedside of the lad. Interest in the
case took me very frequently to the ward. Just before bedtime,
therefore, I returned to the side of young Merriweather to let his
father off for a while. Inquiring of the nurse as to the patient who
had been so restive, I learned that he had neither moved nor spoken.
Feeling uneasy, I walked over to the corner where he lay. At once I
heard a drip, drip, drip, and, calling for a light, soon discovered
that the bed and floor were bloody. Dr. Yates was called at once, but
too late. That dreadful meddler, the old woman visitor, had actually
dared to loosen the bandages, and the poor victim, feeling only
relief, had sunk tranquilly to his death.

The other was a heartless girl, who has, I feel sure, by this time
made a selfish, unloving wife to some poor man. Her lover, after the
battle of Franklin, was brought to the tent hospital, having lost a
leg and being wounded in the face. He confided to me the fact of his
engagement to "one of the prettiest and _peartest_ girls in
'Massissip,'" and begged me to write her of his condition, and, said
the poor fellow, "If she don't care about sticking to a fellow
murdered up like I am, I reckon I'll have to let her off" (this with a
sigh). Then, with a brighter look, "Maybe she'll stick, anyhow." How
he watched for the answer to that letter! His restlessness was pitiful
to see. I tried to help him by reading to him and by relating to him
instances of women who only loved more because the object of their
affection had been unfortunate. Among other things, I told him of the
noble English girl who wrote to her mangled lover that she still loved
and would marry him "if there was enough of his body left to contain
his soul." Afterward I felt sorry that I had encouraged him to hope,
for it was my misfortune to read to him a very cold letter from his
lady-love, who declined to marry "a _cripple_." She wanted a husband
who could support her, and as some man who lived near was "mighty fond
of her company and could give her a good home," she reckoned she would
take his offer under consideration.

For a few days my poor young friend was inconsolable; but one morning
I found him singing. "I've been thinking over that matter," said he,
"and I reckon I've had a lucky escape. That trifling girl would never
have made me a good, faithful wife." From that day he seemed to have
recovered his cheerfulness. I have never forgiven that faithless girl.

All over the South, wherever "pain and anguish wrung the brow" of
their defenders, women became "ministering angels."

Even those who had been bereft of their own suppressed their tears,
stifled the cry of bleeding hearts, and, by unwearied attention to
living sufferers, strove to honor their dead. Self-abnegation was,
during the war, a word of meaning intense and real. Its spirit had its
dwelling-place in the souls of faithful women, looked out from the
bright eyes of young girls, whose tender feet were newly set in a
thorny pathway, as well as from the pale, stricken faces of those
whose hearts the thorn had pierced.

Among the tender and true women with whom I have corresponded since
the war is the mother of Colonel Robadeaux Wheat, the noble
Louisianian who fell at Gaines's Mill. I have several of her letters
by me, written in the tremulous hand of one who had passed her
seventy-ninth birthday, but glowing with love for the _cause_, and
fondest pride in the sons who died in its defence. It is touching to
see how she clings to and cherishes the record, given by his
companions in arms, of "Robadeux's" last hours on earth, when, in the
early morning, before going forth to battle, his heart seemed to
return to the simple faith of his boyhood, and, gathering his
subordinate officers around him in his tent; he read reverently the
service of prayer which committed himself and them to the protection
of the God of battles. Mrs. Wheat's letters are, I think, among the
most beautiful and touching I ever read, yet sprightly and
interesting. Believing that all my readers will feel an interest in
the mother of glorious "Bob Wheat," I will here transcribe a small
portion. In one letter she says,--

  "I am, thank God, in excellent health for one aged seventy-eight.
  My husband was born in this city (Washington, D.C.) in _the year
  one, he says_.

  "We shall soon celebrate the fifty-ninth anniversary of our
  marriage, and he is deeply engaged upon some 'post-nuptial lines'
  for me."

In another,--

  "I want to send you a sword and flag for the Exposition. How I wish
  I could _take_ it to New Orleans, where I lived many years when my
  husband was rector of St. Paul's Church! You know, our second son,
  I.T. Wheat, was Secretary of the Secession Committee when Louisiana
  seceded, also Secretary of the Legislature. He was killed at Shiloh
  at the same hour as General Sydney Johnston, and is buried in
  Nashville. We are hoping to have the dear brother's monument in
  Hollywood, Richmond, where both beloved ones shall rest in the same
  grave." .... In conclusion, "Our love and blessings rest ever on
  yourself and all friends of our hero sons. Truly yours, in
  Christian fellowship,

  "Selima Wheat."

Here is the record of another mother, who is to this day proud of the
splendid record made by her sons, and devoted in the memory of _the
cause_.

At the commencement of the war there lived in Sharon, Mississippi, Mr.
and Mrs. O'Leary, surrounded by a family of five stalwart sons. Mrs.
Catharine O'Leary was a fond and loving mother, but also an
unfaltering patriot, and her heart was fired with love for the cause
of Southern liberty. Therefore, when her brave sons, one after the
other, went forth to battle for the right, she bade them God-speed.
"Be true to your God and your country," said this noble woman, "and
never disgrace your mother by flinching from duty."

Her youngest and, perhaps, dearest was at that time only fifteen. For
a while she felt that his place was by her side; but in 1863, when he
was barely seventeen, she no longer tried to restrain him. Her
trembling hands, having arrayed the last beloved boy for the
sacrifice, rested in blessings on _his_ head ere he went forth.
Repressing the agony which swelled her heart, she calmly bade him,
also, "Do your whole duty. If you must die, let it be with your face
to the foe." And so went forth James A. O'Leary, at the tender age of
seventeen, full of ardor and hope. He was at once assigned to courier
duty under General Loring. On the 28th of July, 1864, at the battle of
Atlanta, he was shot through the hip, the bullet remaining in the
wound, causing intense suffering, until 1870, when it was extracted,
and the wound healed for the first time. Notwithstanding this wound,
he insisted upon returning to his command, which, in the mean time,
had joined Wood's regiment of cavalry. This was in 1865, and so
wounded he served three months, surrendering with General Wirt Adams
at Gainesville. A short but very glorious record. This young hero is
now residing in Shreveport, Louisiana, is a successful physician, and
an honored member of the veteran association of that city,--Dr. James
A. O'Leary.

Of his brothers, the oldest, Ignatius S. O'Leary, served throughout
the war, and is now a prominent druggist of Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Dr. Richard O'Leary, surgeon P.A.C.S., now practises medicine in
Vicksburg.

Cornelius O'Leary, badly wounded at the battle of Fredericksburg, lay
on the field for hours with the legions of friend and foe alternately
charging over him. After a long illness he recovered, and is now a
planter near Sharon, Mississippi.

John Pearce O'Leary was killed in the battle of the Wilderness.

Mrs. O'Leary still lives in Sharon. The old fire is unquenched.

There are two names of patriotic women which will always awaken in
every Southern heart profound veneration, and imperishable love and
gratitude,--women who devoted themselves so entirely, so continuously
to the soldiers of the Confederacy as to obliterate self,
unconsciously winning for themselves the while a name and fame which
history will proudly record.

Their names--written in many hearts, fondly cherished in the homes of
veterans whose children are taught to revere them--are Mrs. Buck
Morris and Mrs. L.M. Caldwell. Mrs. Morris was by birth a Kentuckian,
but at the beginning of the war resided with her husband, a prominent
and wealthy lawyer, in Chicago, Illinois.

Her sympathies, always Southern, became strongly enlisted upon the
side of the unfortunate prisoners at Camp Douglas. Both Judge Morris
and his wife were deeply implicated in the plot to release these men.
Their home in Chicago was a place of secret rendezvous for Southerners
who, in the interest of these prisoners, were secretly visiting
Chicago.

By some means constant communication with the prisoners was
established, and if they still suffered horribly, hope revived among
them for a while, and her blessed presence lightened their burdens.
Mrs. Morris well knew that by implicating herself in the plot she was
placing herself and husband in a position to suffer in their own
persons and property in case of failure. Death would be the most
probable consequence. Yet she risked it all. To use her own words,
copied from a letter which I received from her shortly before her
death, "I _did_ help my suffering, starving countrymen, who were
subjected to the horrors of Camp Douglas. I loved them with all the
sympathy and pride of a mother, and I did spend upon them every dollar
of my own money and as much of my husband's as I could _get_ by fair
means or foul in my hands.

"At the close of the war we found ourselves broken in health and
fortune, but my husband had still enough left for our support; but the
great Chicago fire swept our all away.

"Should my health improve, I wish to make an effort to send you a
fuller account, and to add my small morsel of praise to the gallantry
and patient endurance of the most bitter and maddening trials that men
were ever called upon to endure.

"One unselfish action I would like to have recorded of a member of
J.H. Morgan's command, the same to which my dear friend Colonel B.F.
Forman belonged, and he can tell you how proud all Kentucky was of her
brave boys. This is what I wish to write, because I like to have every
noble deed recorded. After my good brother, Ex-Governor Blackman (who
has administered medicine whenever I needed it), removed to Tennessee,
and I felt the attack coming on from which I have so long and so
severely suffered, I applied to Dr. R. Wilson Thompson for medical
advice, and, receiving it, put my hand in my pocket. He said, almost
sternly, 'No, no, Mrs. Morris, do not attempt that; you cannot do it,'
and, rising abruptly, left the house. Returning the second day, he
said, 'I fear you did not understand me, Mrs. Morris: I feel as every
Confederate soldier feels, or ought to feel,--that he could never do
enough for _you_; we could never receive pay from _you_ for anything.'
And so for the last five months he, although like many of our brave
boys has had many hardships to endure, and his constitution shattered,
has come through snow and sleet night and day to minister to the
relief of an old woman who only did her duty to him and his people
twenty long years ago. How few remember to be grateful so long!
Present my best love to my old friend B.F. Forman. I remain always
your friend and well-wisher,

"MRS. MARY B. MORRIS.

"SPRING STATION, KENTUCKY."


From one of the many Louisiana soldiers who received, at the hands of
Mrs. Caldwell, the tender care and excellent nursing which doubtless
saved his life, I have received a description of the "Refuge," which,
during three years of the war, was opened to Louisiana soldiers; not
to officers, although a few personal friends of Mr. and Mrs. Caldwell
were there by special invitation; but it was understood that none but
private soldiers were expected without an invitation, while all
privates were welcomed as to a home.

The 'Refuge,' the residence of John B. Caldwell during the war, was
situated in Amherst County, Virginia, about three and a half miles
from Lynchburg. The residence was of peculiar build, having more the
appearance of the Queen Anne style of architecture than any else, and
was probably the only house in that section of country where the
constructor had diverged from the accepted style for a country
residence, hence, even in its isolated situation, it was known far and
wide. The estate comprised an area of about eight hundred acres, and
was cultivated in wheat, corn, etc. The route to it from Lynchburg
lay, for about a mile and a half, along the north side of the James
River, from which the road turned at almost right angles toward the
north, over an undulating country, and through a long lane, which was
part of the farm.

The house stood about fifty yards from the road, and presented a
rather picturesque appearance, the lawn being surrounded by a fence,
outside of which and in front of the house a circular lawn had been
laid out, around which was the carriage drive.

There were four rooms on the ground floor of the house, and two in the
main building up-stairs, and two additional rooms which had been
added, but were so situated that an accurate description would be hard
to give, and perhaps harder to understand after giving.

The house faced nearly east, and had a porch up and down-stairs, and
on the north side a gallery. There were the usual out-houses, and a
feature of the place was the spring, which was situated at the foot of
the hill upon which the house stood. Water was supplied from this
spring by means of a ram-pump with pipes. Around the spring was a
growth of very fine walnut-and chestnut-trees, which made it a very
cool retreat during the warm days of summer. A large orchard of
apples, plums, and peaches was immediately in the rear of the
residence. Between the farm and the road which led from Lynchburg to
Amherst Court-House, a distance of about two miles, was a thick growth
of woods, consisting principally of chestnut-trees.

"The whole face of the country consisted of hills and dales, and was
rather rugged; the soil rather poor, probably having been exhausted by
long cultivation. The nearest house was fully a mile distant, that
section of country being but sparsely settled."

Their painful journey thitherward ended, just imagine what it must
have been to these suffering men to arrive at such a haven of rest!--a
"refuge" indeed. Think of the cool, breezy chambers, clean and white
and fragrant, _like home_, of the tender ministry of that gentle
woman, whose loving service was theirs to command, of the country
food, of the cool, sparkling water from the spring under the oaks,
held to fevered lips by ever-ready hands, while the favored patients
drank at the same time draughts of sympathy from eyes whose kindly
glances fell upon the humblest as upon their very own. The excellence
and faithfulness of the nursing is fully proved by the fact that while
three or four hundred patients were sent to this blessed "Refuge," no
mortality occurred among the soldiers, the only death being that of a
little son of Captain Laurence Nichols, who had fallen in battle at
Gaines's Mill, and whose widow found in this lovely, hospitable home a
temporary resting-place for the body of her gallant husband, and
shelter for herself and child, a lovely boy of three years, who was
thence transferred to the arms of the Good Shepherd. Sad, indeed, were
the hearts of the little band of women gathered at the "Refuge."

The trials of the bereaved wife and mother were indeed sore and hard
to be borne, but she could go to the graves of her dead and there pray
for faith to look upward, where she knew her treasures were safe for
time and for eternity. Under the same roof the wife of General Francis
T. Nichols passed days and nights of agonizing suspense. Her husband
was wounded and a prisoner. She knew he had suffered amputation of an
arm, but could learn nothing more. _Rumors_ were fearful enough to
distress the young wife, whose trembling heart was filled with
foreboding. Every few days reports that _seemed_ true startled
her,--he was _dead_. Alas! it might be true, for how could he live in
the midst of enemies to whom his high spirit would not bend, wounded,
suffering, deprived of the loving care for which he pined? Again, he
had tried to escape in the garb of a peddler, and had been taken up as
a spy (which no one who knew him believed). In that sad household Mrs.
Caldwell's duties became onerous and multifarious enough to appall one
less stout-hearted or less devoted to the cause. The inmates of the
dwelling looked to her for sympathy, advice, nursing, and all kinds of
attention, as well as for the comfort which could come only by
superexcellent housekeeping. And all this was done, and _well_ done,
by one woman, inspired by supreme devotion to the _Confederate_ cause
and its defenders. Truly such a woman deserves to be immortalized, to
live in history long after the hearts that now enshrine her image
shall have ceased to beat.

Later, larger hospital accommodation having been provided, it became
difficult to obtain permission for private soldiers to leave the wards
to which they had been assigned.

Mr. and Mrs. J. Edwards Caldwell then resolved to fill up the "Refuge"
with their own friends among the officers, saying to each other, "We
will do all the good we can, and will agree to sustain each other in
any course without consulting." Very sick and very badly-wounded
patients were now sent to Mrs. Caldwell. In fact, cases which were
considered hopeless, but lingering, were despatched from the hospital
to the "Refuge" to die, but not one of them did what was expected of
him. The efforts of Mrs. Caldwell were blessed of God, and her
patients, without exception, improved. One of these was Lawson Lewis
Davis, of New Orleans, wounded at Frazier's Mills, near Richmond. He
was suffering from a terrible wound, the cap of the shoulder having
been removed. He suffered for a whole year before recovering. A still
more remarkable case was that of Captain Charles Knowlton, Tenth
Louisiana Regiment. He was wounded in the knee in November, 1863, and
was at once invited to the "Refuge," but, having recession of the
knee, was compelled to remain under surgical treatment until April,
1864, when he was sent to Mrs. Caldwell, and remained nine months more
under her care. An order had been issued that in all such cases
amputation should be performed, but Dr. Reid, of Richmond, his
attendant surgeon, decided to attempt to save the limb, and was
successful. Out of many cases of the kind, this was the only one
recorded where amputation was avoided and the patient's life was
saved.

Captain Knowlton now resides near Hopevilla, East Baton Rouge,
Louisiana, is married, and has two children. Another desperate case
was that of John McCormick, from whose leg nearly all the bones were
removed, but who also recovered.

There were, besides, three men sick of fever and dysentery,
desperately ill, considered hopeless when sent to the "Refuge," but
who all recovered. This is certainly a remarkable record, and one to
be proud of. Among the patients was that noble patriot, Colonel
Alcibiades de Blanc, of St. Martin's Parish, Louisiana, of whom
Lousianians proudly relate that he refused to be made a
brigadier-general, saying he did not feel competent to fill such a
position, and was content to serve his country as a private soldier,
feeling that no position could be more honorable.

Of Company K, Eighth Louisiana, and Company H, Seventh Louisiana,
nearly all the sick and wounded enjoyed, at one time or another during
the war, the hospitalities of the "Refuge." General Hays was a
personal friend and honored guest. Henry Weir Baker there recovered
from typhoid fever. This gentleman was a member of Washington
Artillery, a distinction which is enough of itself, without an added
word of praise. He is now residing in New Orleans, a successful
journalist, and has been untiring in his patriotic efforts to develop
the splendid resources of Louisiana. Fred Washington, of New Orleans,
was also saved to his country by the kindly attentions of Mrs.
Caldwell. He also is an honored citizen of New Orleans, engaged as a
journalist, and is one of the faithful few who _do not forget_.

He is an active member of the association A.N. Va., always "to the
fore" when opportunities occur to honor the dead Confederates or to
succor the living.

Of the hundreds who now live to remember with liveliest gratitude the
"Refuge" they once found from the horrors and toils and pains of
battle, and the gentle hostess who so unweariedly ministered to them,
I can gather only a few names besides those already mentioned,--those
of Lieutenant Brooks, Seventh Louisiana; Dr. Henry Larreux, ---- ----;
Lieutenant Henri Puisson, Tenth Louisiana.

Mr. and Mrs. Caldwell were New Orleans people. Their temporary home in
Virginia was taken with the definite object in view of offering a
"refuge" to sick and wounded Louisiana soldiers. She is, of course,
proud of its "record" and her own, but simply says in her letter to
me, "On opening the 'Refuge' (Mr. John Edwards Caldwell said to his
wife) we will each do all we find to do, and all we _can_ do, without
consulting or telling each other what we do. And this we carried out."

While seeking materials for this sketch, I have interviewed several of
the veterans who were in Virginia her guests and patients. I had but
to mention her name to ask, "Do you know Mrs. Caldwell, of the
'Refuge?'" and forthwith the eyes of stern men grew misty, and an
indescribable look brightened careworn faces, the look I know so well
and have learned to think more beautiful than "any light that falls on
land or sea." "_Know her!_ Why, but for her I must have died." Thus to
become of blessed memory is worth a lifetime of toil and
self-devotion. And yet the _cause_ and its defenders were worth it
all, and more. As far as the wounded and sick soldiers are concerned,
I am sure that Mrs. Caldwell, equally with myself and all others, who
during the war were so blessed as to be permitted to minister to them,
will be willing to declare that magnificent as were their brave deeds,
their patient endurance seemed almost "the better part of valor."

There is one bright, shining record of a patriotic and tireless woman
which remains undimmed when placed beside that of the most devoted of
Confederate women: I refer to Mrs. Rose Rooney, of Company K,
Fifteenth Louisiana Regiment, who left New Orleans in June, 1861, and
never deserted the "b'ys" for a day until the surrender.

She was no hanger-on about camp, but in everything but actual fighting
was as useful as any of the boys she loved with all her big, warm,
Irish heart, and served with the undaunted bravery which led her to
risk the dangers of every battle-field where the regiment was engaged,
unheeding the zip of the minies, the shock of shells, or the horrible
havoc made by the solid shot, so that she might give timely succor to
the wounded or comfort the dying. When in camp she looked after the
comfort of the regiment, both sick and well, and many a one escaped
being sent to the hospital because Rose attended to him so well. She
managed by some means to keep on hand a stock of real coffee, paying
at times thirty-five dollars per pound for it. The surrender almost
broke her heart. Her defiant ways caused her to be taken prisoner. I
will give in her own words an account of what followed.

"Sure, the Yankees took me prisoner along with the rest. The next day,
when they were changing the camps to fix up for the wounded, I asked
them what would they do with _me_. They tould me to 'go to the divil.'
I tould them, 'I've been long enough in his company; I'd choose
something better.' I then asked them where any Confederates lived.
They tould me about three miles through the woods. On my way I met
some Yankees. They asked me, 'What have you in that bag?' I said,
'Some rags of my own.' I had a lot of rags on the top, but six new
dresses at the bottom; and sure I got off with them all. Then they
asked me if I had any money. I said no; but in my stocking I had two
hundred dollars in Confederate money. One of the Yankees, a poor divil
of a private soldier, handed to me three twenty-five cents of Yankee
money. I said to him, 'Sure, you must be an Irishman.' 'Yes,' said he.
I then went on till I got to the house. Mrs. Crump and her sister were
in the yard, and about twenty negro women--no men. I had not a bite
for two days, nor any water, so I began to cry from weakness. Mrs.
Crump said, 'Don't cry, you are among friends.' She then gave me
plenty to eat,--hot hoe-cake and buttermilk. I stayed there fifteen
days, superintending the cooking for the sick and wounded men.
One-half of the house was full of Confederates, and the other of
Yankees. They then brought us to Burkesville, where all the Yankees
were gathered together. There was an ould doctor there, and he began
to curse me, and to talk about all we had done to their prisoners. I
tould him, 'And what have _you_ to say to what you done to _our_ poor
fellows?' He tould me to shut up, _and sure I did_. They asked me
fifty questions after, and I never opened me mouth. The next day was
the day when all the Confederate flags came to Petersburg. I had some
papers in my pocket that would have done harrum to some people, so I
chewed them all up and ate them, but I wouldn't take the oath, and _I
never did take it_. The flags were brought in on dirt-cars, and as
they passed the Federal camps them Yankees would unfurl them and shake
them about to show them. My journey from Burkesville to Petersburg was
from eleven in the morning till eleven at night, and I sitting on my
bundle all the way. The Yankee soldiers in the car were cursing me,
and calling me a damn rebel, and more ugly talk. I said, 'Mabbe some
of you has got a mother or wife; if so, you'll show some respect for
_me_.' Then they were quiet. I had to walk three miles to Captain
Buckner's headquarters. The family were in a house near the
battle-ground, but the door was shut, and I didn't know who was
inside, and I couldn't see any light. I sat down on the porch, and
thought I would have to stay there all night. After a while I saw a
light coming from under the door, and so I knocked; when the door was
opened and they saw who it was, they were all delighted to see me,
because they were afraid I was dead. I wanted to go to Richmond, but
would not go on a Yankee transportation. When the brigade came down, I
cried me heart out because I was not let go on with them. I stayed
three months with Mrs. Cloyd, and then Mayor Rawle sent me forty
dollars and fifty more if I needed it, and that brought me home to New
Orleans."

Mrs. Rooney is still cared for and cherished by the veterans of
Louisiana. At the Soldiers' Home she holds the position of matron, and
her little room is a shrine never neglected by visitors to "Camp
Nichols."

Upon every occasion when the association of A.N.Va. appear as an
association, Mrs. Rooney is with them, an honored and honorary member.
Neatly dressed, her cap of the real Irish pattern surmounting her
face, beaming with pride in "the _b'ys_."

In fiery patriotism, unfaltering devotion, defiant courage the women
of New Orleans had no rival, save the women of Baltimore. I know no
other place where the fiery furnace was so hot, the martyrdom so
general or so severe. In both instances the iron hand of despotism
failed to crush or subdue.

Women continued to give aid and comfort to Confederate soldiers in
hospital and prison, using every art they possessed to accomplish
their ends. The sick were nursed and fed and comforted. Prisoners were
assisted to escape, concealed until they could be spirited away, while
their fair friends bravely faced and dared the consequences of
discovery, never hesitating to avow their partisanship, crying, "If
this be treason, make the most of it." A dozen arrests among these
devotees did no good, for their name was legion. Every house was a
nest of "treason;" for here dwelt the women whose best beloved were
Confederate soldiers.

And when the end came, when the bravest soldiers returned, wretched
and despairing, even weeping bitter tears within the faithful arms
that sheltered them, the faces which bent above them still bravely
smiled. Beloved voices whispered of encouragement and hope, patient
hearts assumed burdens under which men fainted and failed.

From the root of patriotism, deeply buried in the hearts of Southern
women, sprung a new and vigorous growth. Its tendrils overspread and
concealed desolate places; the breath of its flowers filled all the
land, stealing over the senses like an invigorating breeze.

"There is life in the old land yet," said men to each other. Let us
cherish and develop it. And so, once more each lifted his heavy
burden, and finding it unexpectedly lightened, turned to find at his
side, no longer a helpless clinging form which should hamper his every
step, but a true woman, strong in the love which defied
discouragement, "with a heart for any fate," a _helpmeet_, indeed, who
hereafter would allow no burden to remain unshared.

Thus faithful to the living, the women of the South never forgot their
dead heroes. At first it was impossible to do more than to "keep
green" their sacred graves, or to deposit thereon a few simple
flowers, but the earliest rays of the sun of prosperity fell upon many
a "storied urn and animated bust," raised by tireless love and
self-sacrifice, to mark "the bivouac of the dead." In connection with
one of these, erected by the ladies of New Orleans, in Greenwood
Cemetery, I know an anecdote which has always seemed to me
particularly beautiful and touching, as illustrative of an exquisite
sentiment which could have had its birth only in the heart of a true
and tender woman. After the removal of the bones of the Confederate
soldiers, who had died in and about New Orleans, from their lowly
graves to their last resting-place, under their grand and beautiful
monument, many people repaired thither as to a shrine. Among them
appeared one evening Mrs. H----, a sister of the gallant and
ever-lamented Major Nelligan, of the First Louisiana. After viewing
the monument, Mrs. H---- strolled over among the graves, and there
came upon a few bones of Confederate soldiers, which had been
accidentally left upon the ground.

They seemed to her so precious, so sacred, that they must have
sepulchre; but how should she accomplish this end? Nothing that she
had or could get, in short, nothing that had been used would do.
Instantly she sought the first store where a piece of new linen could
be bought; returning with it, she reverently laid the bones within it,
and, without speaking a word to any one of her intentions, buried them
in the garden at home, where they now lie.

I have not yet told all I know about Confederate women, nor even the
half, nor is it needful that I should. While recounting their history
to future generations, Fame will put by her brazen trumpet, yet sing
their praises in tones so sweet and clear that all the world shall
hear and wonder and admire.



CHAPTER VIII.

AN INCIDENT OF THE BATTLE OF THE WILDERNESS.


These facts were related to me by a Virginia soldier, and woven by me
into a story for the _Southern Bivouac_.

On the night of May 11, 1864, Lee had withdrawn his forces from a
salient point called the "Horseshoe," in consequence of a retrograde
or flank movement of the enemy opposite that point. A battery of
artillery, consisting of four companies, which was to have occupied
that point, was removed some two miles back. At early dawn, word was
brought that Grant's forces had again advanced, and the artillery was
ordered to return with all speed. Faster and faster they advanced
until they reached the top of the hill, in the very toe of the
Horseshoe, to find themselves in the jaws of the enemy. It fell to the
lot of a non-commissioned officer of Captain W.P. Carter's Battery to
prepare the ammunition. He first cut the fuse for one second's time.
After preparing several shells and receiving no word from his general
he made ready several charges of canister, knowing the enemy to be
close at hand. Still nobody came for the ammunition. He observed next
that the drivers of the limber-chest had dismounted and left their
horses, and the horses being without a driver, backed the wheels of
the limber over the ammunition. To prevent damage, he seized the
off-leader by the bridle, turning them back to a front position. While
doing this, he distinctly heard the minie-balls crashing through the
bones of the horses. They did not fall at once, however, and he had
just gotten them to a front position, when a forcible blow upon the
right shoulder, made by the enemy's color-bearer with the point of his
staff, showed him that they were upon him. There was no time to say
"good-morning," so he beat a hasty retreat around his limber, "_Sauve
que peut_." He had scarcely commenced to run when he felt a heavy blow
about the middle of his back. His thought was, "Can that color-bearer
have repeated his blow, or am I struck by a ball, which has deadened
the sense of feeling?" There being no flow of blood, however, he
concluded he was not much hurt. After a run of forty yards he came to
the dry bed of a stream between two hills. Here he paused to
reconnoitre. The morning fog and the smoke of battle obscured the
view, except close to the ground. Crouching on all-fours, he peered
below the cloud of smoke toward the crest of the hill where the
battery was. He soon saw that the case was hopeless, and the battery
in possession of the enemy. Looking to the left, he read in the
anxious countenance of an aide-de-camp on horseback that matters at
that point were in a desperate case. Running up the bed of the stream,
he reached the shelter of the woods on his left. So far he had run
parallel to the line of battle. When well in the woods, turning at
right angles, it seemed that he had made his escape. Meeting just then
with an officer of the battery (the only one who escaped) and several
comrades, a brief consultation was held, suddenly cut short by a
continuous roar of musketry in the rear and near the heel of the
Horseshoe, showing that the party were in danger of being enclosed and
cut off within the circle. The consultation was summarily ended, and
flight again resumed. This time they ran well out of the Horseshoe and
out of danger, stopping not until they met Lee's reinforcements going
to the front. Here, from a point of safety, they could hear war
holding high revelry in the bottom below. Now, for the first time the
soldier took occasion to examine his knapsack. A minie-ball had
entered the lower part, passing through sixteen folds of tent-cloth,
many folds of a blanket, riddling several articles of underwear, and
finally burying itself in a small Bible. Such was its force that not a
leaf from Revelations to Genesis remained without impress of the ball,
and half the leaves were actually penetrated.

Just at this time he was overjoyed to see his brother (about whom he
had been painfully anxious) returning to the rear with a company of
the Richmond Howitzers, who, having spent all their ammunition, came
to replenish their chests. This young man had been color-bearer of the
company, and when the battery first reached the hill, had turned to
the woods on his left to tie his horse. Hearing a wild yell, which he
supposed to be the battle-cry of the Confederates, he joined lustily
in the shout and rushed forward bearing his colors. The fog and smoke
concealing from him the true state of affairs, it was a terrible shock
to see, suddenly, the enemy's color floating from the battery.
Realizing for the first time that all was lost, he hastily lowered his
flag between the chests of a caisson, and, tearing off the colors,
thrust them into his bosom, throwing the staff away. He then ran into
the woods and up the lines, where he came upon a company of the
Richmond Howitzers, and served with them until their ammunition was
exhausted.

A remarkable circumstance connected with the above incident was the
fact that, during the confusion and haste following the order for the
hasty march, the brothers lost sight of each other, and the elder (who
bore the flag) was compelled to gallop to the front, leaving the
tent-cloth and blankets, which usually were included in the roll
behind the saddle, to be carried in the other's knapsack. The first
thought of the younger was impatience at the unusual burden he had to
carry into battle, but reflection brought with it a feeling (perhaps a
premonition), "It is all right and perhaps the means of saving my
life." In less than half an hour it had proved indeed a blessing in
disguise.

The owner of the Bible, then a youth of nineteen, now a minister of
the Protestant Episcopal Church, cherishes the book and the
minie-ball, not only as a memento of the war, but with feelings of
deepest gratitude, which find appropriate expression in the
consecration of his life to Him who "protected his head in the day of
battle." It is his earnest hope that he may, by the blessing of God,
so expound the teaching of that blessed Book as to make it a means of
salvation to many souls.



CHAPTER IX.

FENNER'S LOUISIANA BATTERY.


Dear friends, when you read the caption of this page in my book of
"Memories," do not accuse me in your hearts of favoritism. Of all
soldiers who wore the gray, only one was nearer than others to my
heart. I took no special pride in one organization above others, save
in the command to which my husband belonged. Surely this is quite
natural.

Who does not remember the epidemic of blue cockades which broke out in
New Orleans during the winter of 1860 and 1861, and raged violently
throughout the whole city? The little blue cockade, with its pelican
button in the centre and its two small streamers, was the
distinguishing mark of the "Secessionist."

By none was it more universally and proudly worn than by the youth and
young men, who, in April, 1861, discarded it with their citizen's
dress and began "the wearing of the gray," which they have helped to
make a garb of honor and a glory forever.

When the Dreux Battalion embarked for Pensacola, it was with a
definite purpose in view, and a certain conviction that they would at
once meet and vanquish the enemy. Their prowess was to teach the
Yankee a lesson and to settle matters inside of sixty days. They fully
expected to fight, and were eager to begin. Day after day, night after
night, they momentarily expected an assault upon Fort Pickens. But
they did _not_ expect to be set at the hard duty of digging and
wheeling sand hour after hour, and throwing up intrenchments under a
burning sun.

Then the irksomeness of being under military discipline, which at
first was frequently infringed. For instance, a party of Orleans
Cadets overstayed their leave of absence an hour or two; "upon our
return we found ourselves locked up in the guard-house for four hours
and a half."

Here is an account of one of the monotonous days, transcribed from a
letter of one of the Orleans Cadets, a boy who had been used at home
to take his coffee before rising, a late, comfortable breakfast, and
to walk down-town at his leisure on the shady side of the street, clad
in the cool, white linen suit then so universally worn: "We get up at
five o'clock to attend roll-call; at 6.30 get our coffee and our
breakfast, which consists of crackers and salt pork; at 7.30, back to
our tents and pack our knapsack, rub our guns, and get ready for
parade at nine o'clock.

"We are now drilling at light infantry tactics (Hardee's), which
occupies until eleven. We then _wash our clothes, bring wood for the
cook, also water_ and various other things; dine at two, and again
drill at four until dark; get our supper at seven; lie around until
roll-call at nine; afterward go to bed to dream of home.

"General Bragg has just sent us word that we are to be exempt from
hard labor at present."

It is not to be supposed that the men were confined to the rations
here mentioned. All had money and could buy additional food; most of
the messes had negro servants, who were excellent cooks, and boxes of
goodies arrived continually from home. But, as I said before, the
strict discipline, combined with deprivation of the glorious fighting
in which they had expected to participate, was terribly irksome.

It was a most welcome order which transferred them to Virginia, and to
the shady and delightful camping-ground which I have described in a
former article (Introductory). An order to join the forces about to
engage in the battle of Manassas was countermanded on account of a
movement of the enemy which resulted in the "affair" at "Bethel
Church." They remained upon the Peninsula under General McGruder, who
was successfully holding McClellan in check by appearing at every
point assailed by the Federals.

"The forces under General _McGruder_ were the only obstacle in
McClellan's road to Richmond.

"Under these circumstances, McGruder, with superb rashness, threw out
his whole force as skirmishers, along a line of nine or ten miles.

"The Dreux Battalion bore a conspicuous part in all the operations of
this campaign." Later, the battalion went into winter quarters.

Because I wish to contrast the condition of these men during the first
part of their service and when, later, they encountered inconceivable
hardships and deprivations, I will here give entire a letter from one
of the battalion, kindly placed at my disposal, describing the
"house-warming" which was given when they moved into winter quarters
on the Peninsula:

  "CAMP RIGHTOR, November 29, 1861.

  "I received yours of the 14th a few days since, and the 20th
  yesterday, both of which I will answer in one. The half-barrel of
  sugar was received long since, as you will see by looking over my
  letter to you about three weeks ago. The sugar came through in good
  order, also the white sugar, medicine, and coffee; the latter we
  use sparingly, mixing it with wheat,--one-third coffee and
  two-thirds wheat. The wheat does not seem to change the flavor in
  the least. Sweet potatoes are also used in camp in place of
  coffee,--you dry it, then parch and grind it; we have not tried
  that method yet on account of the scarcity of potatoes. All our
  cabins are finished at last; the tents are used no more to sleep
  in. Our house-warming has taken place. We made about ten gallons of
  egg-nog for the occasion; we used about six dozen eggs. Walton's
  mess was over, and a good many from the rifles; various members
  from both companies of the guards. Also the major, doctor,
  adjutant, and Lieutenant Dunn, Grivot Guards. They say it was the
  best nog they ever drank; the house was crowded. The nog gave out,
  and we had to produce the jug. If we had had our sick messmate from
  Williamsburg, we would have had noise (Noyes) all night, but as it
  was it only lasted until one o'clock. Everybody in camp seemed to
  be trying to make more noise than his neighbor. Beard told us next
  day that it was a very well-conducted affair, that everything
  passed off _so quietly_ with so much nog as that. He evidently went
  to bed early after he left us. I saw Posey yesterday, he was
  looking badly, seeming to have been troubled with the chills for
  some time. Since it has become so cold we have had to take the cook
  in the house, which makes eleven. This boy outsnores creation,
  beating anything you ever heard; he woke me up last night, and I
  thought it was the dog Cadet barking outside at the door.

  "If you get this before ma sends off the expected-to-be-sent
  package, and if there is some room, you might put in _one_ blanket.
  Since we sleep two in a bunk, we spread our blankets across the
  bunk. Brunet has three, and I have three, which makes it equal to
  six apiece. Send the blanket; it shall do its share of warming, I
  assure you. I suppose what ma sends will be my share of Christmas
  in New Orleans. Our turkeys look droopy, and there is no telling
  when they will peg out. We keep the gobbler's spirits up by making
  him fight. The camp is full of turkeys, and we make ours fight
  every day. _I have plenty of clothes and socks: I have over half a
  dozen of woollen socks_.

  "The Gopher Mess send their best regards.

  "Yours affectionately,

  "Co. A, ORLEANS CADETS,

  "Louisiana Battalion, Williamsburg, Virginia."

The formation of Fenner's Louisiana Battery was attended by tremendous
difficulties and discouragements, patiently met, nobly overcome, by
the gallant officer who found himself at last at the head of a company
composed of men who, whether considered in the aggregate, or as
individuals, had not their superiors in the Confederate
armies,--intelligently brave, enthusiastic, patriotic, gentlemen by
birth, breeding, and education, whom chivalrous devotion to duty
forbade to murmur at any hardship which fell to their lot. As officers
or private soldiers, looking to the future of the Confederacy as to
something assured; never despairing, ready to follow wherever and
whenever a "hope" was led, no matter how "forlorn."

The record of this little band of devoted patriots has never been
thoroughly known or understood as it deserves to be. Only once has its
history appeared in print,--upon the occasion of a reunion of the
command held in New Orleans, May 12, 1884. With great pride I transfer
to these pages part of an article which then appeared in the
_Times-Democrat_ of that date:

"As the term of service (twelve months) of the corps began to approach
its end, Captain Charles E. Fenner, commanding the company of
Louisiana Guards, conceived the idea of raising a battery of
artillery. He had no difficulty in getting the men, a sufficient
number volunteering at once from the battalion, but he encountered
other most disheartening obstacles. The War Department had not the
means of equipping the artillery companies already in service, and
authorized to be raised, and he could only obtain the authority to
raise this battery on condition of furnishing his own armament of
guns. He succeeded, however, in making arrangements with his friends
in New Orleans to furnish the guns, and the battery had been made and
was ready for him in New Orleans, when the city fell, and it was
captured.

"Upon the discharge of the battalion, however, he changed his
rendezvous to Jackson, Mississippi, and proceeded there to try and
accomplish his object. Many of those who intended to join him looked
upon his enterprise as so hopeless that they abandoned it and joined
other commands. A sufficient number, however, rallied around him at
Jackson, Mississippi, and, on the 4th of May, 1862, his company was
organized by the election of officers, and on the 16th was mustered
into service. Meantime, the chance of getting an armament was hopeless
indeed. At last, however, Captain Fenner found, lying abandoned by the
railroad, the ruins of a battery, which had been destroyed on the eve
of evacuating New Orleans, under the apprehension that it would have
to be left, but was subsequently brought off. The guns were spiked and
rammed with wads and balls, the spokes and felloes of the wheels were
cut, the trails hacked to pieces, and all the ordinary means of
disabling a battery had been resorted to. The task of reconstructing
this ruined battery was undertaken, and, after much difficulty,
successfully accomplished.

"Then came the trouble of obtaining horses, harness, and other
equipments, which had to be wrested from reluctant and ill-supplied
quartermasters and ordnance-officers. At last, however, all
difficulties were overcome. A few weeks of active drilling, and
Fenner's Battery was ready for the field. On August 20, 1862, it
received marching-orders for Port Hudson. Arrived there just after the
evacuation of Baton Rouge by the Federal forces. Ordered on to Baton
Rouge. Remained there a few days, when the battery returned to Port
Hudson with the exception of one section, which was left with one
regiment of infantry to occupy the city. Held it till retaken by the
Federals in December, when our small force successfully evacuated it
under the fire of the enemy's gunboats, and before the advance of
their infantry, which had landed. The battery remained at Port Hudson,
participating in all the operations of the forces there till May 1,
1863, when it was ordered to Williams's Bridge to intercept Grierson's
raid, arriving there a few hours after the raid had passed.

"May 7. Ordered to Jackson, Mississippi, with Marcy's Brigade.

"Participated in the Big Black campaign of General Johnston.

"In position at Jackson, and engaged in the fighting around that place
from 10th to 16th of July, losing several men killed and wounded.

"After the evacuation of Jackson, retreated with Johnston's army to
Forrest and Morton. Thence to Enterprise, and from there to Mobile,
and remained there till November 21, 1863, when ordered to the Army of
Tennessee.

"Reached Dalton November 27, just after the defeat at Missionary
Ridge.

"Spent the winter in building winter-quarters successively at Dalton
and Kingston, which were evacuated before occupied.

"On the 1st of May, 1864, General Sherman advanced from Chattanooga
toward Dalton, and the great Georgia campaign commenced. From that
time till the 1st of September following, the Army of Tennessee was
almost constantly engaged with the enemy.

"May 8 to 12. Battery in position at Mill Creek Gap, near Dalton, and
engaged with the enemy. They fell back to Resaca. Engaged on the 14th
of May in supporting charge by Stewart's Division upon the enemy.

"On the 15th, battle of Oostenaula. The battery was divided, one
section on each side of a battery in a fortified work. The charge of
the enemy was most desperate, and they captured and held the
fortification, but were repulsed from the front of each section of
Fenner's Battery, which held their positions till night, and then
evacuated. Retreat of the army was continued to Calhoun, Adairsville,
Cassville, Centerville; engaged more or less at each of those points.

"On the 25th of May occurred the battle of New Hope Church, one of the
finest fights of the war. It was an assault of the whole of Hooker's
Corps on Stewart's Division. The attack was almost a complete
surprise. Fenner's Battery went into position at a gallop, had several
horses killed while unlimbering, and fired canister at the first
discharge. The engagement was continuous for two hours, during the
whole of which time, owing to the thickness of the woods, the enemy's
skirmishers were enabled to maintain their position within from fifty
to one hundred yards, but their repeated charges were well repulsed.
The enemy's loss was terrific, admitted to be over two thousand, far
exceeding the number of our men engaged. Fenner's Battery lost
twenty-three men killed and wounded, and nearly all of its horses, and
was specially complimented in orders for gallantry and efficiency.

"From this point, in continual conflict with the enemy, the army
gradually fell back till it reached Atlanta, around which continuous
fighting was kept up, until its evacuation on the 2d of September.

"1st September. Battle of Jonesboro', in which the battery was
engaged.

"This may be considered the end of the Georgia campaign.

"After brief rest at Lovejoy's Station, the army commenced its long
march to Tennessee by Centre, Jacksonville, Gadsden, and Florence.

"Left Florence November 20; arrived at Columbia, Tennessee, and struck
the enemy there November 26. Enemy evacuate on the 28th.

"November 30. Battle of Franklin.

"December 2. Reached Nashville.

"December 6. Fenner's Battery was ordered to join General Forrest's
command at Murfreesboro'; participated in the battle of Murfreesboro'
on the 8th, and was still with Forrest when the battles of Nashville
were fought, on the 15th and 16th, and the great retreat commenced.

"In this fight, which is called the second of Murfreesboro', it will
be remembered that Bates's Infantry Division was stampeded early in
the action, causing the loss of several guns of the Fifth Company,
Washington Artillery. On this occasion (one of the few instances, if
not the only one during the war) six pieces of field artillery, being
four Napoleons of Fenner's Battery and two rifled pieces of Missouri
Battery, placed in position by General Forrest,--their horses having
been sent to the rear across Stone River,--held the line for
three-quarters of an hour against the enemy's entire force until the
infantry and wagons had safely crossed the river on the only bridge
half a mile in the rear.

"As soon as the news reached Forrest, his command started across from
Murfreesboro' to join the main column at Columbia. There was no
turnpike, the roads were in awful condition, the horses reduced and
broken down, and a continuous rain pouring down. Two of the guns
reached Columbia in safety; the other two would have been brought
through but for the swelling of a creek by the rain, which it was
impossible to cross,--the only guns the battery ever lost. The men
remained by them alone till Columbia was evacuated by our forces and
the enemy within a mile of them, when they destroyed their pieces,
swam Duck River, and started after the army. The terrors of the
retreat from Tennessee in midwinter, the men shoeless, without
blankets, and almost without clothes, need not be recounted here.

"January 10. The battery reached Columbus, Mississippi.

"January 31. Ordered to Mobile. Remained there as heavy artillery till
11th of April, when it was evacuated; go up the river to Demopolis;
from there to Cuba Station, Meridian, where, on the 10th of May, arms
are laid down and the battery with the rest of General Taylor's army."

A member of the battery, who was an exceptional soldier, and who still
cherishes and venerates everything that reminds him of the glorious
past, has kindly placed in my hands some letters which I am permitted
to copy and here subjoin, feeling sure that they will prove quite as
interesting as the numerous documents of the kind published in the
"lives" of those high in authority, although they contain only the
experience of a young private soldier, conveyed in dutiful letters to
his mother. Some of these will suggest the changes which befell the
soldiers who gave the house-warming in Virginia, and the difference
between the first and last years of the war.

  "NEAR NEW HOPE CHURCH, GEORGIA,

  "May 26, 1864.

  "MY DEAR,--Knowing that you will be anxious to hear from me and the
  company after the late fight, I avail myself of the first
  opportunity to write. Stewart's Division of Hood's Corps arrived in
  the vicinity of the Church yesterday morning. Soon after skirmishes
  commenced, moving a mile off, and gradually approached us. By 3
  p.m. it commenced to near us, and 5 p.m. found us galloping into
  position. Clayton's Brigade supported us behind log works, which
  served as an excellent shelter for us from the minies. The Yankees
  approached under cover of the woods to within two or three hundred
  yards, where they made their lines. As soon as we could see where
  they were we commenced firing into them, and kept it up until the
  ammunition of the limber was expended. They made several charges,
  but were repulsed by the infantry and artillery each time. Our loss
  was heavy (artillery), the infantry not being as much exposed as we
  were; their casualties were slight. At our howitzer Willie Brunet
  was killed after firing some fifteen rounds. He was killed in the
  act of giving the command to fire, the ball piercing him above the
  left eye. Early had four wounded,--viz., Vaudry, painfully in the
  breast; J.T. Pecot, painfully in the back; Eaton, in the wrist;
  Corporal J----, ball in the side. At Carly's piece none were
  killed, but McGrath and Joe Murphy were shot through the arm,--the
  latter it is thought will lose his arm,--and young Ford. At
  Woester's piece, R.A. Bridges was killed; Joe Bridges was shot in
  the leg; McCarty, in the foot; Dunbar, in the thigh; Lieutenant
  Cluverius, wounded in the side; Joe Reeves, through the leg; St.
  Germain, foot. The loss in horses was heavy. Woester had all eight
  horses of his piece killed, and his riding-horse. Lieutenant
  Cluverius lost his horse 'Rebel,' who was shot in the head, and
  died. Our detachment had three wounded; the horses saved themselves
  by running away. In all, we lost twenty-three, and perhaps more.
  Stanford was on our left, they lost about fifteen killed and
  wounded; Oliver, sixteen. John Cooper has a welt on his shin from a
  spent ball; John was driving and lost both horses. I was number six
  at the limber until Willie was killed, when I acted as gunner.
  McGregor ranks me, and hereafter I expect to be caisson-corporal.
  General Clayton paid us the very highest compliment upon the manner
  in which the guns were managed; '_too flattering_ to be
  repeated,' as Captain Fenner remarked. 'Owing to the loss in
  horses, men, and ammunition expended,' we were relieved and sent to
  the rear to replenish. A couple of days may right us, when we will
  again be in the front. Stewart did the fighting yesterday; I don't
  believe any other division was engaged. A part of Polk's (if not
  all) arrived about midnight. Since Polk's Corps joined us, I have
  found several acquaintances, among whom are John Butler, lieutenant
  of engineers; the two Spencer boys, in Cowan's Battery; and Ed.
  Hoops, in Tenth Mississippi. They were all apparently well when I
  saw them last, and inquired particularly of you.

  "Respectfully Yours,

  "----"

I enclose a letter that we received from General Clayton on a copy of
the letter to the captain, with an extract from the general's report
of the battle of New Hope Church:

  "HEADQUARTERS, CLAYTON'S BRIGADE,

  "June 7, 1864.

  "CAPTAIN,--I take pleasure in making for you the following extract
  from my report of the battle of New Hope Church. With renewed
  expression of the profoundest acknowledgments for the signal
  service you did the country, and particularly my brigade, of which
  every officer and man speak in the highest terms,

  "Believe me, dear captain,

  "Yours always,

  "A.D. CLAYTON,

  "Brigadier-General."

  ("_Extract._")

  "For its conduct in the engagement too much praise cannot be
  awarded to Fenner's Louisiana Battery, which occupied a position
  along my line. Although the enemy came within fifty or sixty yards
  of the guns, every officer and man stood bravely to his post."

The following letter describing a Christmas dinner in 1864 presents
so true a picture of the situation, and at the same time so well
illustrates the soldierly spirit of the battery, that I publish it in
full:

  "RIENZA, MISSISSIPPI, January 4, 1865.

  "MY DEAR MOTHER,--An opportunity of writing now offers,--the first
  since our leaving Florence, before going on our Tennessee campaign,
  which has finally terminated so disastrously for us. Had orders
  been obeyed and carried out at Spring Hill, there never would have
  been a fight at Nashville. By some misunderstanding, the Yankee
  army was allowed to cross at the above-named place without being
  attacked. We followed on their tracks to Franklin, picking up
  stragglers and prisoners all along the way, to the amount of
  several hundred.

  "We left Columbia at daylight, marched twenty-three miles, and
  fought the battle of Franklin before dark. Our battery did not take
  part in the battle: we were in position, but, owing to the close
  proximity of the two armies, could not fire,--we were under fire,
  but no one was hurt. Stewart's and Cheatam's Corps with one
  division from our corps, fought the battle. I passed over the field
  next morning and saw _enough_ for never wanting to see another such
  field. The men were actually lying in some portions of the trenches
  _three deep_. Ours being the attacking party suffered
  severely,--almost an equal loss to the Yankees. Our loss was about
  forty-five hundred, and theirs five thousand, including prisoners.
  Next day we started for Nashville, eighteen miles distant. Our
  battery remained there till the 5th, when we were ordered to
  Murfreesboro' to aid General Forrest in reducing that place. On the
  6th we arrived there, took position, and built works. Next day, on
  account of a flank movement by the enemy, we had to move our
  position back a mile. Soon the enemy appeared in our front, and
  skirmishing commenced. The infantry fell back, leaving the
  artillery to do the fighting without one musket to protect us. We
  stayed as long as we could, when we finally had to follow the
  footsteps of the infantrymen. The fight--there was none--nothing
  but a big scare and run. General Forrest sent General Bateman with
  his division to Nashville, but kept our battery with him. We lost
  one man at Murfreesboro, I.T. Preston, brother of the Prestons of
  Carrollton. We stayed in camp for seven days when General Forrest
  determined to attack again and took one section of the battery with
  him,--the other section, the one I belong to, was sent to protect
  his wagon-train. Two days afterwards the army commenced its retreat
  from Nashville (the particulars of which no doubt you have already
  learned). Our march was over a muddy and rugged road for fifty
  miles to Columbia. It was the severest march I ever undertook: we
  pushed and worked at the wheels all the time. The horses finally
  broke down, and we had to take oxen and yoke them in and drive
  them. Can you imagine me up to my knees in mud, barefooted and
  muddy, with a long pole, driving oxen. It was a very picturesque
  scene, and no doubt the 'Yankee Illustrators' would pay a good
  price for such a picture. I was about on a par with two-thirds of
  the others, and we made as merry as possible under the
  circumstances. We had no rations, and lived entirely on the people:
  they treated us splendidly, gave us more than we could eat, and
  left us duly indebted to them for their many kindnesses. I for one
  will never forget the hospitality received in Tennessee. We
  recrossed the Tennessee on the 26th of December. Christmas day was
  quite an event to us. We were then out of Tennessee, in a poor
  country, and could get very little to eat. All day myself and mess
  were without food; late in the evening we saw a butcher-pen and
  made for it; all we could get was oxtails and a little tallow
  procured by a good deal of industry from certain portions of the
  beef. One of the boys procured a lot of bran and unbolted flour and
  at twelve o'clock at night we sat down at our Christmas dinner
  (oxtail soup and biscuit), and if I ever enjoyed a meal I enjoyed
  that one. The army is retiring to Okolona and the artillery to
  Columbus, Mississippi. The barefooted men were left here to go by
  rail. When we get away I cannot say. We had to leave two of our
  pieces stuck in the mud, the other side of Columbus; the third
  piece was thrown in the river; the fourth piece, the one I am
  interested in, was saved and represents the battery."

And here is the _last_, written from Demopolis, Alabama, April 15,
1865:

  "DEAR MOTHER,--You have heard ere this of the evacuation of Mobile,
  which happened on the day of the eleventh. After the fall of
  Spanish Fort and Blakely, all hope of holding Mobile was given up.
  The works around the city were made to be manned by eight thousand,
  but, after the capture of the garrison at Blakely, our forces were
  too much reduced to hold the place. When evacuated, the place was
  not threatened, but might have been completely invested in a week's
  time. All the heavy guns were destroyed: we destroyed seven
  twenty-four pounders. The total loss of guns must have amounted to
  three hundred. We left Mobile by boat, and each man with a musket.
  It is a heavy fall for us who have been in artillery for three
  years, and now find ourselves as infantrymen, much to our displeasure.
  As much as I dislike it, I shall keep my musket until something
  better turns up...."


The history of the battery, from first to last, is that of thorough
soldiers, brave in battle, uncomplaining, cheerful, even _jolly_,
under the most trying circumstances, bearing with equanimity the
lesser ills of a soldier's life, with unshaken fortitude and
undiminished devotion to "The Cause," indescribable hardships and
discouragements.

Proud as I am of their whole record, I must admire the noble spirit
which animated these patriots, when, at Mobile, having been deprived
of their cannon, they _cheerfully_ shouldered the muskets assigned to
them, and were prepared to use them, never dreaming that the bitter
end was so near. All soldiers will well understand that this was a
_crucial test_ of their devotion and patriotism.

The exceptional talent which, during the war, these young men freely
gave in aid of every charity, was then only budding. Since the war,
splendid fruit has appeared.

Perhaps no single company of veterans numbers among its members more
talented and remarkable men, or more prominent and loyal citizens.

Of the "boys" who once composed Fenner's Louisiana Battery, a goodly
number yet survive.

The ties of old comradeship bind them closely. Not one forgets the
glories of the past. True,

  "_Some_ names they loved to hear
  Have been carved for many a year
            On the tomb,"

but the survivors "close up" the broken ranks, and still preserve, in
a marked degree, the _esprit du corps_ which belonged to

  "The days that are no more."



CHAPTER X.

"BOB WHEAT."

_The Boy and the Man._

(Communicated.)


In the early summer of 1846, after the victories of Palo Alto and
Resaca de la Palma, the United States Army, under General Zachary
Taylor, lay near the town of Matamoras. Visiting the hospital quarters
of a recently-joined volunteer corps from "the States," I remarked a
bright-eyed youth of some nineteen years, wan with disease, but cheery
withal. The interest he inspired led to his removal to army
headquarters, where he soon recovered health and became a pet. This
was "Bob Wheat," son of an Episcopal clergyman, and he had left school
to come to the war. He next went to Cuba with Lopez, was wounded and
captured, but escaped the garroters to follow General Walker to
Nicaragua.

Exhausting the capacity of South American patriots to _pronounce_, he
quitted their society in disgust, and joined Garibaldi in Italy,
whence his keen scent of combat summoned him home in time to receive a
bullet at Manassas. The most complete Dugald Dalgetty possible; he had
"all the defects of the good qualities" of that doughty warrior.

Some months after the time of which I am writing, a body of Federal
horse was captured in the valley of Virginia. The colonel commanding,
who had dismounted in the fray, approached me. A stalwart, with huge
moustache, cavalry boots adorned with spurs worthy of a caballero,
slouched hat and plume; he strode along with the nonchalant air of one
who had wooed Dame Fortune too long to be cast down by her frowns.

Suddenly Major Wheat near by sprung from his horse with a cry of
"Percy, old boy!" "Why, Bob!" was echoed back, and a warm embrace
followed. Colonel Percy Windham, an Englishman in the Federal service,
had parted from Wheat in Italy, where the pleasant business of killing
was then going on, and now fraternized with his friend in the manner
described.

Poor Wheat! A month later he slept his last sleep on the bloody
battle-field of Cold Harbor. He lies there in a soldier's grave.

Gallant spirit; let us hope that his readiness to die for his country
has made "the scarlet of his sins like unto snow."



PART II.

FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.



CHAPTER I.

NELLY.


In the early autumn, on a lovely afternoon, a little girl sat upon the
stile which led from a spacious farmyard into a field of newly-mown
wheat. In her hand she held a long switch, and her business was to
watch the motions of a large flock of fowls, which, as is usual at
harvest-time, had been kept in their coop all day, and only let out
for an hour or two, just before sunset, to run about in the grassy
yard, seeking bugs and worms, or other dainties, which they alone know
how to find.

Of course they could not be allowed in the field before the grain had
been safely garnered, so Nelly had been permitted to mount guard upon
the stile, the better to observe and control them. She quite felt the
importance of the trust, and, holding her switch as proudly as if it
had been a sceptre, was eager and quick to discover occasions to use
it. Many a staid and demure-looking hen, or saucy, daring young
chicken, had stolen quite near to her post, stopping every few moments
to peer cautiously around, or to peck at a blade of grass or an
imaginary worm, as if quite indifferent to the attractions presented
by the field beyond, but just as they had come close to the fence,
thinking themselves unnoticed, Nelly would jump from her perch, and,
with a _thwack_ of the switch, send them squawking back to their
companions. At length, however, the child seemed to grow weary of her
task. Slowly descending to the ground, she walked toward the barn,
and, returning with her apron full of corn, opened the door of the
chicken-house, and, having enticed her charge within, shut them up
for the night. This done, Nelly wandered aimlessly about for a while,
then, sitting down upon a large stone, which seemed to have been
rolled under a tree just to make a nice seat, she looked around
in an impatient and discontented manner. The sights and sounds
which surrounded her were very pleasant, and--one would have
imagined--exceedingly attractive to a child. The rays of the declining
sun, slanting across the grassy yard, brightened up the low, brown
farm-house until the old-fashioned glass door and latticed windows on
either side seemed as if brilliantly lighted from within. One might
easily have imagined it an enchanted castle. The mossy roof looked as
if gilded. In front of the house the well-bucket, hanging high upon
the sweep, seemed dropping gold into the depths beneath. On the porch,
upon a table scrubbed "white as the driven snow," were set the bright
tin pans ready to receive the evening's milk. Within the house the
maids were singing gayly as they passed to and fro preparing a
substantial supper for the farmer. Outside, the creaking wagons were
being driven into the barn-yard. Gentle oxen, released from their
daily toil, stood patiently waiting to be fed. Horses, with a great
deal of stamping and fuss, were led into the barn. Up the lane came
the cow-boy, alternately whistling, singing, and cracking his whip,
until at length the drove of sweet-breathed cows stood lowing at the
bars, which, at milking-time, would be let down for them to pass each
to her own stall.

Nelly seemed to see and hear nothing that was passing around her. The
shadow upon her face deepened; the sweet blue eyes filled with tears.
At last she rose, and, crossing the stile, passed rapidly through the
wheat-field, climbed a low stone wall and presently came to a green
knoll, shaded by a sycamore-tree, commanding a view of the public
road. Here she stood, eagerly gazing down the road, while seemingly
struggling to subdue a sorrow which, however, soon found vent in
heart-broken sobs. Still searching the road with anxious, tearful
eyes, she seemed to hesitate for a while, but at last, after casting
many a fearful glance toward the farm-house, the little girl began to
descend the high bank, slipping many times, and sadly scratched by the
rough gravel and projecting roots of the trees.

Having reached the bottom, she did not pause a moment, but drew her
light shawl over her head and ran swiftly away. And now let us try to
discover the cause of all this trouble.

My dear young friends, have you ever heard of a disease called
"nostalgia?" A long, hard word, and one which contains a world of
terrible meaning. It is a kind of sickness which attacks not only
children, but also strong and wise men, who have been known to suffer,
nay, even to _die_, because they could not obtain the only remedy
which ever does any good. Nostalgia means homesickness.

Poor little Nelly was homesick, and in desperation she had fled,
hoping to find, not her own dear, Southern home, for that she knew she
could never see again, but the house of her grandmamma, where she had
some time before left her dear mother. The little girl had, ever since
she could remember, lived very happily with her parents in their
lovely Virginia home. An only child, she was petted to her heart's
content, having scarcely a wish ungratified. But when the war began
her papa became a soldier. Nelly thought he looked very grand in his
uniform of gray with its red trimmings and bright buttons, and rather
liked the idea of having a soldier papa. But after he had gone away
she missed him dreadfully. Her mamma was always so pale and sad that
the child also grew anxious, and could no longer enjoy her play. At
first letters from the absent soldier cheered them, but as the months
passed they ceased to hear at all, except the wild rumors which often
frightened and distressed the anxious wife. "Maum Winnie," an old
negro servant, who claimed to have "raised Mars Ned" (Nelly's papa),
now proved a faithful friend and a great comfort to her mistress; but
Nelly, missing the old woman's cheerful talk and the laugh that used
often to shake her fat sides, thought she had grown cross and
exacting.

The bright morning sunlight sometimes made the little girl forget to
be sorrowful, and when her "Ponto" came frisking around her, she
gladly joined him in a wild romp. Immediately Maum Winnie would
appear, the very picture of dignified astonishment,--"Now, Miss Nelly,
_ain't_ you 'shame'? Yer pore mar she bin had a mity onrestless night,
an' jes' as she 'bout to ketch a nap o' sleep, yere you bin start all
dis 'fusion. Now, her eye dun pop wide open, an' she gwine straight to
studyin' agin." The days passed, each made more gloomy by rumors of
the near approach of the enemy. At last, one dreadful night, a
regiment of Federal soldiers suddenly appeared, and at midnight Nelly
and her mamma were compelled to seek shelter in Maum Winnie's cabin.
The next morning only a heap of smoking ruins remained to show where
their sweet home had been.

The plantation owned by Nelly's papa was some three miles distant from
the family residence; therefore, only the few servants necessary for
household service lived upon the "home place." Their cabins, somewhat
removed from the house, had escaped the flames. Maum Winnie's was
larger and better furnished than any, and far more attractive in
appearance. A rustic fence, built by her old husband, "Uncle Abe"
(long since dead), enclosed a small yard, where grew all kinds of
bright, gaudy "posies," with here and there a bunch of mint or parsley
or sage, and an occasional stalk or two of cabbage. Over the little
porch were trained morning-glories and a flourishing gourd vine.
Beneath, on each side, ran a wide seat, where, in the shade, Maum
Winnie used to sit with her knitting, or nodding over the big Bible
which on Sunday evening she always pretended to read. The neat fence
was now broken down, the bright flowers all trampled and crushed by
the feet of men and horses. Inside also, the once spotless floor was
muddy and stained with tobacco, all the old woman's treasures being
broken and scattered. Amid all this confusion, in the little front
room, once the pride of Winnie's heart, was carefully placed almost
the only thing saved from the burning, an easy-chair, cushioned upon
the back and sides, and covered with old-fashioned chintz. How the
faithful soul had managed to get it there no one could have told, but
there it stood, and Winnie said, "Dat ar wos ole mistes' cheer, and
she sot in it plum twill she die. Ole Winnie couldn't stan' an' see
_dat_ burn, nohow." Upon the little porch sat Nelly and her mamma on
the morning after the fire, worn out with excitement, and feeling
utterly forlorn. Soon Winnie appeared, bearing upon a gay red tray two
steaming cups of coffee. Mrs. Grey took only a sip or two, then
setting the cup upon the bench at her side, she grasped the arm of her
old servant, and, leaning her head upon the faithful breast, began to
sob and moan piteously. Nelly at this also cried bitterly. Tears
streamed down Winnie's fat black cheeks. But the faithful negro tried
to soothe and comfort her mistress, patting her shoulders as if she
had been a baby, saying, "Dah! Dah! honey, don't take it so haad. Try
to truss in de Lawd. He dun promus, an' he aint gwine back on nobody.
I's dun sperience _dat_."

At last, won by Nelly's caresses and Maum Winnie's coaxing, the weary
lady consented to take some repose in "ole missis' cheer," where,
leaning her aching head upon the cushioned side, she fell asleep.

Nelly greatly enjoyed the strong coffee (which she never before had
been allowed to drink). It made her feel very wide awake. Presently
she strolled off toward the adjoining cabins. These were quite empty,
the men-servants having disappeared with the Federal soldiers the
night before, the women had followed to their camp not far distant.
Not a living thing was to be seen; even the chickens had disappeared.
The whole scene was very desolate,--the smoking ruins, the deserted
cabin, a cloudy sky. Soon the child remembered her playfellow, Ponto,
and began to call him. A doleful whine answered her, seeming to
proceed from under one of the negro cabins. Nelly stooped to look, but
could only see two glowing eyes, and hear the knocking of the dog's
tail upon the ground. Ponto had been so badly frightened that no
coaxing or ordering would induce him to come out. So his little
mistress walked angrily away, and, passing through the broken gate,
stood looking up and down the road. Presently there came riding along
a Federal officer on horseback, who, discovering the forlorn child,
stopped to speak to her.

Nelly's first impulse was to run away, but, instead, she stood
clinging to the gate-post, kicking the ground with one foot and
flashing angry glances at the "Yankee." The officer sighed deeply as
his glance fell upon the ruined home, and then upon the little,
tear-stained face before him. Dismounting, he approached more closely,
and strove to take the unwilling hand. But the child now broke into a
storm of sobs, crying out, "Go away! you're a naughty Yankee, and I
hate you. 'You alls' have burnt up my mamma's pretty house, and all
our things, and my mamma just cries and cries; but my papa is gone to
fight the 'Yankees,' and I hope he will shoot them all!"

The soldier slowly paced back and forth. "Ah," said he, softly, "if
this were my little Ida: God bless her! Little girl, where is your
mamma? Perhaps I can help her. Will you lead me to her?"

The child had hidden her face upon her arm, but now looked up in
affright. "You won't hurt my mamma? You ar'n't going to burn up Maum
Winnie's house?" said she.

Gradually his kind face and gentle manner reassured her, and she was,
at last, persuaded to convey to her mother a few lines which he
pencilled on a card. To Nelly's surprise, Mrs. Grey consented to
receive the "Yankee." The little girl was sent to conduct him to the
cabin. The lady was standing at the door as the officer and his little
escort drew near. Nelly thought she had never seen her mamma look so
pretty. Her eyes were shining, a lovely red spot glowed upon each
cheek, but she did not smile as she used to do when receiving a guest,
and, while offering the stranger a seat, she remained standing,
looking very tall and grand.

During the conversation which followed, Mrs. Grey learned that as a
battle was imminent at the front it was impossible to pass her through
the lines (which had been her hope when she consented to see the
officer). It was equally impossible to remain where she was. Her only
place of refuge was her mother's home in Maryland, where she had been
raised, and had lived previous to her marriage.

Promising to arrange for her transportation to the nearest railroad
station, the kind-hearted officer took his leave.

When Maum Winnie was told of the proposed journey, she was greatly
troubled. But when Mrs. Grey further informed her that she was free
and not expected to make one of the party, her distress knew no
bounds. Rushing out of the cabin, she seated herself on a log at some
distance, and, throwing her apron over her head, rocked her body to
and fro, wailing out, "Oh, my hebbenly Marster, 'pears like I aint
fitten to bar all dis trouble. An' how dem dar gwine to do 'out ole
Winnie?"

After a while, drawing her pipe and tobacco from her pocket, she
sought the comfort of a smoke. Just then, Ruthy, the cook, made her
appearance with a large bucket on her head. Flaunting past the old
woman, she entered the kitchen without a word, and set about preparing
a supper for the hungry inmates of the cabin. Where the material came
from she declared was "her bizness," and her saucy manner and
independent talk so confounded Maum Winnie that she asked no more
questions, concluding that "Mars Yankee sont 'em an' made dat gal
fotch 'em."

Mrs. Grey and Nelly had few preparations to make for the morrow. The
child, soon after sunset, threw herself across the foot of the high
feather-bed which stood in a corner of the cabin, and slept soundly.
Maum Winnie, taking off her shoes, bustled about in her stocking-feet,
apparently very busy. Her movements were for some time unobserved by
her mistress, who was lost in thought. At last, kneeling before the
fireplace, she reached up the chimney and brought out from its
hiding-place an old, black tea-pot, with a broken spout. From this she
took several papers of dried "yarbs," some watermelon-seed, an old
thimble, a broken tea-spoon, a lock of "de ole man's ha'r," and
lastly, the foot of an old stocking, firmly tied up.

This last it took some time to undo, but finally, approaching Mrs.
Grey, she turned out into the astonished lady's lap what proved to be
a collection of gold and silver coins, the hoarded savings of years,
the gift of many whom she had served.

"Why, Winnie," said Mrs. Grey, "what does this mean? Where did you get
this money, and why do you give it to me?"

"Wall, Miss Ellen, yo' see, ez fur back ez ole mass an' mistes' time,
me an' my ole man usen to wait on de wite genplums an' ladies wot come
to de big house, an' de ole man he mity clus-fisted, an' nebber spen'
nuffìn, an' sence he die, an' ole mass an' miss dey gone, too, Mars
Ned he dun tuk mity good keer of ole Winnie, an' I nebber bin had no
excessity to spend dat money, so I's kep' it an' kep' it, ontwill
'pears like de Lawd he dun pint out de way fur it to go. 'Sides, we
all's gwine way off yander, an' we can't 'pear _no ways_ 'spectable
'dout little cash money."

"But, Winnie, only Nelly and I are going away. You are free now, and
will find other friends, and--"

"Dah! dah! honey," broke in the poor old creature, "don' say no mo'!
I's _'bleeged_ to go 'long. Wat I want to be free for? Who gwine keer
'bout me? 'Sides, I dun promus Mars Ned I gwine to see to you an' dat
chile yander, an' I's gwine 'long _shuah_."

Wearied and exhausted with the discussion, and unwilling to grieve her
husband's faithful old nurse, who still clung to her own fallen
fortunes, Mrs. Grey ceased to object, but resolutely refused to take
the money, which Winnie reluctantly gathered up and carried out of the
room, to seek among the numerous secret pockets she always wore a
secure hiding-place for her treasure. This decided upon, while Mrs.
Grey sank into an uneasy slumber in the chair, the old woman made a
little fire just outside the back shed, where, with her pipe now
lighted and now "dead out," she nodded and dozed until morning.

Nelly awoke at sunrise, bewildered at her strange surroundings, then
oppressed and sadly grieved by recollections of all that had happened.
Catching sight of her mother's pale, suffering face, the child flew to
her side, seeking to cheer her by fond caresses.

Just then the sound of wheels was heard as the ambulance-wagon, which
was to convey them to the railroad, drew up before the door. The
driver dismounting, announced that, as the camp was about to be broken
up, Colonel ---- desired the ladies to start at once, adding that "the
colonel would ride over to see them off."

Their loss by the fire had been so complete that there was no baggage.
Nelly was glad to wear a clean, white sun-bonnet of Winnie's, and Mrs.
Grey was similarly equipped with a black one and a small black shawl.
Maum Winnie appeared in full Sunday rig, her head crowned with a
towering head-handkerchief. Her manner was lofty and imposing.
Evidently she was aiming to support the family dignity, which had been
quite lost sight of by the others, Mrs. Grey being far too sorrowful,
and Nelly, in spite of everything, gay and excited at the prospect of
a ride and a change. Putting on her brass-rimmed spectacles, the old
woman inspected, with an air of supreme contempt, the "turnout" before
the door, occasionally rolling her eyes toward the driver in a manner
that spoke volumes, but was quite lost upon "dat po' wite trash, who
'spected Miss Ellen to git in dat ole market-wagon." After the others
were seated, Winnie disappeared within the cabin, and, after much
delay, came out dragging an immense bundle. She had tied up in a
gorgeous bed-quilt her feather-bed and pillows with,--nobody knows how
many things besides.

The driver sprang to the ground in consternation.

"Hey, old nigger, what's in that great bundle? You can't lug that
along. What you got in there, anyhow?"

"Dat my bizness," retorted Winnie. "You is too inquisity; 'sides, who
you call nigga'? I's a 'spectable cullud ooman, and Mars Ned nebber
'low nobody to call me outen my name."

Mrs. Grey vainly tried to restore peace; her voice was not even heard;
but just then Colonel ---- rode up, and as Winnie seemed inclined to
stand her ground, he gave her a choice between mounting at once to a
seat beside the driver or being left behind. Then perceiving that Mrs.
Grey seemed quite overcome by emotion, and wishing to remove her as
quickly as possible from the desolate scene before her, he gave the
order to drive on, and, raising his hat, rode off towards camp before
the lady could find voice to express her gratitude. A few hours' ride
brought the refugees to the railroad station, where they took the cars
for ----, the home of Nelly's grandmamma. Here a warm welcome and
entire comfort awaited them. Nelly had often spent weeks at a time
with her grandmamma, and was delighted to find all her old haunts as
pleasant as ever. Her dolls, toys, books, etc., had been carefully
kept. Better than all, she discovered a fine Newfoundland puppy and a
litter of pretty white kittens to console her for the loss of Ponto.

One day, when they had been at grandmamma's only a fortnight, Nelly
saw a neighboring farmer drive up to the front gate, and ran gladly to
meet him, for farmer Dale was a cheery old man, who had always seemed
very fond of the child. Now, however, he looked very grave, merely
shaking hands, then bidding Nelly tell her grandmamma that he must see
her at once, "and, Nelly, you need not come back," said he, "I have
business with your grandma." Soon after the farmer drove away, while
grandmamma returned to the house, wearing a very serious face, and
after sitting in the darkened parlor awhile, apparently thinking
deeply, passed slowly into her daughter's room. Then Nelly heard a
faint cry from her mamma, and hurrying into the house, found her
excitedly walking up and down, wringing her hands, and crying, "I must
go to him! I must, I must!" A letter received by farmer Dale from his
son, who was a Confederate soldier, had contained the news that Mr.
Grey was wounded and a prisoner. Just where was unknown, or whether
his wounds were severe or perhaps fatal. This news rendered the poor
wife almost frantic. All night she paced the floor in sleepless agony.
Next day the farmer paid a second visit, and was for a long time
closeted with the distressed ladies. Afterward, Mrs. Grey seemed more
restless than before, requiring the constant attention of both
grandmamma and Maum Winnie. Thus a week passed.

Suddenly, one morning farmer Dale again appeared, and this time very
smiling and gracious to Nelly.

"Chatterbox," said he, "how would you like to ride home with me and
stay awhile, until your mother gets better? You can run about over
there, and make all the noise you want to; nobody will mind it."

Nelly could not tell whether she would like or not. It was very dull
where she was, but she did not care to leave her poor mamma.
Grandmamma, however, decided the matter by assuring her that Mrs. Grey
needed perfect quiet, and would be better without her. So the little
girl ran off to Maum Winnie to be dressed for her ride.

Arrived at the farm-house, the kindness of the family, and the novelty
of everything she saw, so charmed the child that for a while she was
quite content. Little tasks were, by her own request, assigned to her,
easy and pleasant, but seeming to the child of great consequence. But,
in spite of all, homesickness attacked her; she grew weary of
everything, and begged to be taken to her mamma. The kind farmer and
his wife tried to turn her thoughts from the subject, telling her she
could not go just then; but day by day Nelly became more dissatisfied,
the longing for home grew stronger, until, on the evening when this
begins, she actually ran away. And now let us see what became of her.

Once on the road, Nelly ran very fast, until, almost breathless, she
found herself compelled to rest awhile in a little grove by the
roadside. Scarcely had she seated herself upon the grass when the
steady trot, trot of a horse was heard. She had barely time to hide
behind a large tree when one of the farm-hands passed on his way from
the mill. It seemed to Nelly that the slight rustle of the leaves
under her feet must betray her, and the loud beatings of her heart be
heard. But the boy passed on, and soon his low whistle, as well as the
measured beat of the horse's hoofs, grew fainter.

However, all danger was not over, for just as she was about to venture
forth, the panting of some animal startled her. For a moment her
terror was extreme. This changed to chagrin and vexation as Rover, the
farmer's dog, ran to her hiding-place and fawned upon her. Having
followed the farm-boy to the distant mill, the poor dog, growing weary
with his long run, had fallen far behind. Now Rover and the little
girl had been great friends, and had enjoyed many a romp together, but
just then his presence made her very cross; so, seizing a large stick,
she beat the poor fellow until he ran yelping away.

Left alone once more, Nelly set off in the direction of town. Having
often, in her rides with grandmamma, passed along the same road, she
thought she knew the way; but night was approaching. It appeared to
the child that darkness must bring added danger. Besides, she would
soon be missed at the farm, pursued, overtaken, and carried back. This
dread gave her fresh courage, and again the young traveller walked
rapidly on. Before she had gone far, a light wagon overtook her. In
its driver she gladly recognized an old man who sometimes supplied her
grandmamma with vegetables. He drew up in great astonishment as Nelly
called to him, but at her request allowed her to climb to the seat
beside him. As they approached the town, the heart of the runaway
began to sink; a sense of her disobedience, and the knowledge that it
would add to the grief of her dear mother, and, perhaps, greatly
displease grandmamma, oppressed her sorely. She decided that she could
not face them just then. Begging the old man to put her down at the
nearest corner, the unhappy little girl approached the house by a back
entrance, and, concealed amid the shrubbery, stood trembling and
weeping. The lamps had been lighted, and from the windows of the
dining-room a bright ray shone out upon the lawn, seeming almost to
reach the place where the child was hidden. Within was a pleasant
little group gathered around the tea-table. To her great surprise,
Nelly discovered her mother busily engaged in arranging upon a waiter
covered with a white napkin a nice supper, while grandmamma added a
cup of steaming tea. Winnie stood by as if waiting to carry supper to
somebody, but Nelly was puzzled to know for whom it was intended. Just
then, however, the gate-bell rang loudly. Winnie hurriedly caught up
the waiter and disappeared as the opposite door opened to admit farmer
Dale. His first words seemed greatly to disturb and alarm the ladies.
Grandmamma quickly arose with a cry of grief and horror. Mrs. Grey
stood motionless, her eyes fixed on the farmer's face, her hands
pressed to her heart.

Nelly could bear no more. Rushing impetuously into the house, she
threw both her arms around her frightened mother, crying,--

"Oh, mamma, grandmamma, I am not lost, but I have been so naughty. I
wanted you so, and I ran away. Oh, let me stay; please let me stay."

The mother sank into a chair, her arms instinctively enfolding her
naughty child, but she did not kiss or welcome her. Grandmamma, too,
looked very grave and troubled. After a few minutes of painful
silence, the farmer took his leave, saying,--

"I'll leave you to settle with the little one. I must make haste to
relieve my wife's anxiety."

After his departure, the penitent nestled more closely to her mother.
She felt sure of her love and forgiveness, and hoped that grandmamma
might not be too severe, although she fully expected a good scolding
and some kind of punishment besides, which she meant to bear quite
meekly. To her surprise, neither mentioned her fault. Her mother
seemed to be thinking of something else, and Nelly did not at all
understand the queer looks which passed between the ladies. At last
Winnie put her head in the door, evidently to deliver some message,
for she began, "Mars--," when Mrs. Grey started up suddenly, saying,--

"Oh, Winnie, here is our Nelly," while the child sprang forward to
throw herself on the breast of her astonished nurse.

"De Lawd er Massy! Whar dat chile cum from dis time o' nite?"

"Why, Winnie," explained grandmamma, "she has run away from the farm,
and here she is. Did you ever hear of such badness?"

"Dah, now!" cried the negro, "didn't I tole you dat? I jest know dat
chile wasn't gwine to stay nowhar 'dout her mar an' me. Po' chile, she
look mity bad, 'deed she do."

"Well, Winnie, never mind that now, she is only tired; let her eat her
supper and go to bed."

Nelly had expected, at the very least, to be sent supperless to bed,
but instead, grandma gave her all she could eat, and, but for the
strange preoccupied manner which so puzzled her, the child would have
been very comfortable. When, led by her mamma and attended by Winnie,
she went up-stairs she found that her couch had been removed into her
grandmamma's room. "You will be better here," explained Mrs. Grey,
"for I am very restless and might disturb you."

Nelly was just conscious of an unusual bustle in the passage outside,
and of hearing voices and footsteps going up to the third story; but,
too sleepy to pay attention, she soon ceased to hear anything.

When she awoke the morning was far advanced, and her grandmamma was
not in the room. While she lay thinking over the strange events of the
day before, Maum Winnie appeared with some fresh, clean clothes upon
her arm.

"Mornin', little missy," said she, pleasantly; "is you gwine ter sleep
all day?"

Nelly sprang up and was soon dressed. Running into her mamma's room,
she found it all in order, the sweet wind and the morning sun coming
in freely through the open windows. Mrs. Grey, however, was not there;
nor did she find her in the breakfast-room, where only grandmamma sat
waiting to give the child her breakfast. Upon the sideboard stood a
tray which had contained breakfast for somebody; Nelly wondered who,
and suddenly asked,--

"Is mamma sick?"

"No, she is quite well now," was the reply.

"Well, did she eat breakfast with you?"

"Yes."

The child again glanced toward the sideboard, and at last asked
plainly,--

"Whose breakfast is that yonder, and who did you all send supper to
last night?"

"Nelly," said her grandmamma, sharply, "eat your breakfast, and ask no
more questions. Little girls should be seen and not heard."

The child obeyed, but remained curious, and determined to find out the
mystery, if she could. Soon her mother came in, kissed her
affectionately, and stood for a few moments by her chair, smoothing
back her curls just as she used to do. Nelly thought gladly of the
happy day she would spend at her mother's side, but Mrs. Grey
disappointed her by saying,--

"My daughter, you must play as quietly as possible to-day, and don't
run or romp near the house. I am far from well, and very nervous."

The little girl, however, drew her mother out of the room upon the
vine-shaded gallery, where they walked up and down for a few moments.
But Mrs. Grey still seemed ill at ease, and soon returned within the
house. Then Nelly ran down the steps and across the lawn in search of
her old playmates, the kittens and the puppy, visited the garden and
summer-house, where she occupied herself in arranging a bouquet for
her mamma. At last it seemed to her that it must be nearly twelve
o'clock; so returning to the house, and finding the lower rooms
deserted, she wandered into the kitchen, where she found Maum Winnie
broiling some birds and preparing some nice toast, while near by upon
the kitchen-table was a waiter ready to carry up the delicate lunch to
somebody. Nelly at once began,--

"Oh, Maum Winnie, who are those birds for? Where is the cook? What are
you in the kitchen cooking for?"

Winnie seemed wonderfully flurried and confused by all these questions,
and Nelly was equally disconcerted at finding the old woman so cross.

"Jes' listen to de chile!" cried Winnie. "Wot you makin' all dis
miration 'bout? I nebber seed nobody so inquisity as you is. De cook
she dun leff, an' I's cookin' ontwill yer grandmar git somebody. Ef
you don' belieb me, ax yer mar. Ennyhow, I's gwine to 'quaint yer mar
with yer conduck, axin' so many perterment questions."

"But, who are the birds for?" persisted Nelly. "I know mamma never
eats birds, and grandmamma isn't sick."

"I 'clar, Miss Nelly, _I's_ outdone wid you. Go outer heah, 'fore I
calls yer grandmar."

Nelly left, still very curious and dissatisfied.

Having wandered about aimlessly for a while, the little girl at last
strayed into the empty parlor, and there sat down to consider.
Suddenly she heard a stealthy step upon the stairs. At the same time a
faint odor of broiled birds saluted her nostrils. Nelly crept softly
to the door, just in time to see her grandma ascending the flight of
stairs leading to the third story. "Now," thought the child, "I will
find out what all this means."

Waiting until the old lady had passed out of sight in the corridor
above, she stealthily followed. All the doors of the rooms in the
third story were closed, but through an open transom came the sound of
voices. Listening eagerly, she heard her mamma speaking, and in reply
a voice which set her heart beating wildly and made her dizzy with
surprise. In a moment she was vainly striving to open the locked door,
screaming loudly, "Papa! oh, papa!" Instantly the door was opened, and
she found herself dragged inside the room, her grandma's hand placed
closely over her mouth, while her mother, in a hoarse whisper, said,
"Nelly, for _pity's sake hush, no one must know_." Gazing about her
with wildly-distended eyes, the frightened girl beheld, reclining in
an easy-chair by the bedside, her dear papa, but, oh, so pale, so
changed. A small table drawn closely to his side so as to project over
the arm of the chair held a large pillow covered with oil-cloth, upon
this lay one arm, which, with the shoulder, was entirely bare; just
under the collar-bone appeared a frightful wound, over which Mrs. Grey
was preparing to lay a linen cloth wet with cool water. Nelly gasped
for breath and turned very white, but when her papa held out his well
hand towards her with the old sweet smile she so well remembered, she
ran to his side and nestled there, still trembling and sobbing, for
she had been frightened, first by the rough treatment of her grandma,
and yet more by the changed appearance of the dearly-loved father,
who, as it seemed to her, must be dying. As further concealment was
useless, Nelly was taken into the confidence of the ladies, who,
however, seemed almost in despair lest the child in some thoughtless
manner should betray the _secret so anxiously guarded_.

A short time before the visit to the farm a dreadful battle had been
fought in Virginia, not many miles from the State-line, near which
stood the house of Nelly's grandma. It so happened that the regiment
to which Mr. Grey belonged had participated in the fight, and at the
conclusion he found himself badly wounded and a prisoner. Having been
ill previously, the wounded soldier was unable to be marched off with
other prisoners, but was left, as all supposed, to die. The tide of
battle rolled on, leaving the field where the fight began strewn with
the dying and the dead. A blazing sun poured its intolerable light and
heat upon the upturned faces and defenceless heads of hundreds of
suffering, dying men, adding frightful tortures to the pain of their
wounds. When the dews of night came to moisten parched lips, to cool
aching brows, Mr. Grey managed to drag himself to a stump near by, and
placing his back against it, waited hoping to gain a little more
strength. His mouth was parched and dry, but he had not a drop of
water. Suddenly his eyes fell upon a canteen lying at no great
distance, almost within reach of his hand; with infinite pain and
trouble he at last possessed himself of it. It was not quite empty,
but just as Mr. Grey was about to drink, he heard a deep groan, and
turning, met the imploring eyes of a Federal soldier. He was but a
youth, and had been shot through the body and mortally wounded. His
parched lips refused to speak, only the earnest eyes begged for water.
Mr. Grey at once handed him the canteen, although he felt almost as if
he would die for want of the water it contained. Eagerly the dying boy
drank. It seemed as if he must take all, there was so very little, but
after a swallow or two he resolutely handed it back, gasping, "God
bless ----. Left you some." When the moon arose, its rays fell upon
the dead young face of the boy in his gory blue, whose last words had
been a blessing upon the wounded, exhausted soldier in gray sitting
beside him.

Later came help,--old men who, starting when the first news of the
battle reached them, had ridden miles guided by the sound of the
firing. Most of them were Marylanders, who had sent forth their sons
to battle for the Confederate cause, and who now sought among the dead
and dying with dim, anxious eyes for the loved faces they yet prayed
not to find. Among them came farmer Dale, whose son was a Confederate
soldier. Eagerly he examined the faces of those who lay upon the
bloody field. All, however, were strange, until at last he came upon
Mr. Grey. Carefully assisting him to reach an old cabin which stood
near, he made the suffering man as comfortable as possible, then,
without loss of time, set out to convey the news to Mrs. Grey. Now, it
would seem that the very easiest thing would have been to carry the
wounded soldier at once to the house of his wife's mother to be nursed
and _cared_ for, but it must be remembered that the Federal army had
been shown in many ways that they were considered as invaders by the
people of Maryland, and that their presence was obnoxious and hateful.
They, on the other hand, considered all Southern sympathizers as
traitors to their flag and their country. Every open expression of
such feelings was severely punished. Had it been known that any
Confederate soldier was harbored or concealed in any house within the
Federal lines, the owners would have been arrested together with the
soldier they had hidden, their house would probably have been burned.
So it was necessary in the case of Mr. Grey to observe great secrecy
and to plan carefully his removal.

My readers will remember that Nelly was suddenly sent off to stay at
the farm-house. Then Maum Winnie took occasion to pick a quarrel with
the white servants, in which she succeeded so well that they both left
in high displeasure. Shortly afterward, one dark night, Farmer Dale
drove up to the carriage gate with a high-piled load of hay. There was
a great deal of "geeing" and "hawing" and fuss, and then, instead of
getting down, the farmer called out,--

"Say, are you all asleep?"

At once Maum Winnie's voice was heard inquiring,--

"Who dat?"

"Hey, old girl, come down here and open the gate. I've brought your
hay, but I got stalled on the way, and it's too late to put it up
to-night. I'll have to drive the wagon in and leave it. I'll unload it
in the morning."

Maum Winnie shut the window, and soon was heard shuffling along the
carriage-road, grumbling to herself.

"'Fore do Lawd, I _is_ plum wore out. I dun wuk sence sun-up, an' dere
dat ar fodder fotch here jes' es I gwine ter lie down."

This pretence of ill-humor was kept up until the wagon was well out of
sight from the street and driven up under a shed close by the
kitchen-door, when poor old Maum Winnie came up close and whispered,--

"_Is_ you brung Mars Ned shure 'nuff? Oh, _whar_ he? tell Winnie
_whar_ he!"

Just then the two ladies stole out from the house and came close to
the wagon. Both seemed calm and self-possessed, save that the hurried
breathing of Mrs. Grey showed her excitement. A light might have
betrayed them, and they dared not run any risks. No time was now to be
lost. Mr. Grey was, indeed, concealed among the hay, and needed
immediate attention, for the long ride had greatly increased the pain
and fever of his wound.

Slowly he crept out from his hiding-place, and, with the assistance of
the farmer and Winnie, managed to reach an upper room, where he sank
exhausted, yet with a contented sigh, on the comfortable bed which had
been for days awaiting him.

Under the loving care of the ladies and Maum Winnie he slowly
improved. No one had suspected his presence in the house until Nelly
discovered him, as above related.

Mr. Grey scarcely dared to hope that the little girl would be able to
keep the secret, but all was explained to her. She was made to
understand the extreme danger to all concerned in case of discovery.
The trust reposed in her made the child feel quite womanly. Every day
she became more helpful, a greater comfort to her anxious mamma,
better able to assist in nursing.

Weeks passed, bringing renewed health and strength to the soldier, who
began to feel very anxious to rejoin his command. Various plans were
discussed, but none appeared practicable. Rumors of an advance of the
Confederate forces, and of an impending battle, became every day more
like certainties. At last, one morning all were startled by the sound
of heavy guns; later, volleys of musketry could be plainly heard.
Federal troops marched at double-quick through the town, on their way
to the scene of strife. All day the fight raged. Sometimes the sound
of firing would seem nearer, then farther off; at nightfall it ceased.
When it became quite dark, Mr. Grey, bidding them all farewell,
hurriedly left the house, hoping to join some detachment of
Confederates during the night, and to participate in the battle next
day.

The next day was fought the battle of ----, which raged almost in
sight of the town. Nelly was, of course, in a state of great alarm and
excitement, but both her mamma and grandma were carefully preparing
the house for the reception of the wounded. Soon every room was
occupied, and the ladies had their hands full in attending to them. On
the second day a wounded Federal was brought to the house. While
nursing him, Mrs. Grey learned that he was a private in the regiment
commanded by Colonel ----, the officer who had so kindly assisted in
her time of need. He told her that the colonel had been terribly
wounded and carried to a hospital on the battle-field. Mrs. Grey at
once determined to find him, and, if still alive, to do him all the
good in her power. So, summoning farmer Dale, she rode with him to the
hospital. Being an officer, Colonel ---- was easily found. He had just
suffered amputation of an arm, and was weak from loss of blood, but
recognizing Mrs. Grey, smiled and seemed glad to see her. It was
impossible to move him, but from that time he lacked nothing that
could add to his comfort. Later, Nelly was allowed to visit him,
frequently bringing flowers, and in many pleasant ways cheering his
loneliness.

Meanwhile the Confederate forces had swept on into Pennsylvania, but,
alas, were forced back. When they returned to Virginia, Mrs. Grey and
Nelly went with them, for both preferred to risk all chances rather
than to remain within the Federal lines, cut off from all
communication with the husband and father who might at any time need
their services. So they became "refugees," living as did thousands of
homeless ones, as best they might. Maum Winnie having proved her skill
as a nurse, found plenty of employment. Her wages, added to the little
Mrs. Grey could earn by her needle, kept them from absolute want. At
last came the sad day of "the surrender."

Nelly was yet too young to understand the sorrow and despair of her
mother, nor could she refrain from exceeding wonder when one day Mr.
Grey appeared, looking like an old and haggard man, and without a
greeting to his wife and child, tottered to a seat, throwing his arms
upon the table, burying his face within them, while be moaned and
sobbed as only a man can. Kneeling by his side, his wife tried to
soothe and comfort him, but although he was able at last to restrain
his grief, it was many a day before he was seen to smile.

There was nothing left for the impoverished family but to return to
the old Virginia home, and try to make the best of it. They were
compelled to travel as best they could, sometimes walking many miles,
sometimes taking advantage of a passing wagon. At last one evening,
just as the sun was setting, they approached the home-place, once a
blooming paradise, now a desert waste. The cabin of Maum Winnie with a
few of the servants' houses were still standing, but deserted and
desolate. Doors, log fireplaces, etc., had been torn down for
firewood, and in many places patches of charred wood, or dead embers,
showed where camp-fires had been lighted. The little garden in front
of Maum Winnie's cabin, made and carefully tended by "de ole man," was
a wilderness of weeds among which flowers of rank growth still
struggled for a place. Where the chimneys of the "house" still stood,
and all over the half-burned trunks of once beautiful trees crept and
clung sickly-looking vines, springing from the roots which had once
nourished a luxuriant growth and were not wholly dead.

As Mr. Grey surveyed the scene, a deep groan burst from his lips; but
the wife laid her hand upon his shoulder, saying, "Courage, dear, we
will make a home even here." Maum Winnie here stepped to the front,
briskly leading the way to the little cabin, followed by Nelly, who,
child-like, entered readily into any plan that promised to be novel
and exciting. Everything of value had been carried off, but a few
chairs and a bed with a shuck mattress remained, together with a few
pots and pans. The fireplaces were also ready for use. Winnie soon had
a cheerful fire, while Nelly set out on the top of a box the remains
of the rations they had brought along, and which with some steaming
coffee of parched corn formed the evening meal.

Ten years later a plain but tasteful cottage occupied the site of the
ruined home. Fast-growing vines were doing their best to rival the
luxuriant foliage which once almost hid the old house. A well-kept
garden perfumed the air and delighted the eye. Fields ripe for the
harvest occupied the land where the negro cabins had stood, forming an
effective background to the newly-repaired and whitewashed house of
Maum Winnie, which stood, a pleasant feature of this scene of peace
and plenty, its fences intact, posies blooming as of old. On the
little porch sat the old woman, dozing over her knitting. The gallery
of the house was occupied by a family group, who were enjoying the
fresh coolness of the evening out of doors. Mrs. Grey sat upon the
upper steps arranging some flowers, which were supplied to her as she
called for them by a lovely boy, who had just brought his apron full
of them. Nelly, swinging in a hammock, was a picture of lazy
enjoyment. The attention of all was attracted by the sound of wheels,
which ceased as a carriage drove up containing a gentleman and lady,
and a young lady who sat by the driver (an old negro who was often
employed as a driver and guide by strangers). Nelly ran down to the
gate, followed by her mother. The gentleman had by this time
descended. One glance at the empty sleeve was enough, even if the
kindly face had not been so little changed. It was Colonel ----, who,
having business in Richmond, had "stopped off" at the wayside station
for a few hours, that he might endeavor to find the Greys, and
introduce to his wife and daughter the kind friends who had so
faithfully nursed him when wounded, and also show them the scene of
incidents often related to them.

The ladies having been introduced, the strangers accepted a cordial
invitation to alight. While they were chatting pleasantly upon the
vine-shaded gallery, Mr. Grey rode into the yard upon a strong-looking
white mule. The greeting of the soldiers was courteous and pleasant.
The contrast between them was striking indeed.

The one clad elegantly and fashionably, his shirt-front blazing with
diamond studs, his hair and beard luxuriant and carefully kept. The
pleasant eyes untroubled and smiling. The other in the plain garb of
one who must earn his bread, coarse but scrupulously neat. The face
bronzed from exposure, the hair damp with the sweat of toil, and yet,
when the brown, hardened hand of the Virginia gentleman met the white
clasp of the rich man of the North, Mr. Grey lost nothing by
comparison. Colonel ---- having laughingly inquired after Maum Winnie,
the whole party repaired to her cabin. The old woman received her
guests with stately politeness, holding her turbaned head high, as she
_majestically_ stalked before them to show, at their request, her
chickens, ducks, and pigs. She omitted nothing that was due to her
visitors, but there was a strained politeness, and a rolling of her
eyes toward them, which made Mrs. Grey uneasy and quite prepared her
for what followed. While Colonel ---- was in the act of saying
something which he thought would quite win the old creature's heart,
she looked up at him over her glasses, saying,--

"Yer ain't seen nuffin er dat ar fedder-bed yet, is yer? Kase ole Miss
she dun giv' me dat ar bed too long to talk about, an' ebery one ob
dem fedders was ris rite on dis yere place. 'Fore de Lawd, if ole Miss
know I dun loss dat ar bed she gwine ter rise rite outen de grabe."

Colonel ----, remembering the scene of the disaster to Winnie's
feather-bed, felt inclined to laugh heartily, but wishing to mollify
the old creature preserved his gravity while he offered her quite a
handsome sum "to buy some more feathers." A look from Mr. Grey put a
stop to the old woman's talk. Soon the visitors took their leave,
having given and received most pleasant impressions. Their visit
recalled so vividly their time of trial and adventure that the Greys
sat talking far into night.

The next morning Mr. Grey walked over to the cabin to administer a
rebuke to Maum Winnie. As he drew near the gate the quavering voice of
the old woman was heard singing jerkily, and with a pause between
every few words,--

  "Al_do_ yer _sees_ me _gwine_ 'long _so_,
  I has my troubles _heah_ below."

At last, discovering Mr. Grey, she rose and dropped a courtesy.

"Mornin', Mars Ned."

"Well, Winnie, you forgot your Virginia raising yesterday. What is all
this about your feather-bed?"

"Well, Mars Ned, dey dun stole it."

"Who stole it?"

"_Dah_, honey, de Lawd only knows, an' he ain't gwine ter tell. I dun
loss it anyhow, an' my pore ole bones mity sore sleepin' on dem
shucks."

Mr. Grey, finding that the old creature's grievance was very real to
her, refrained from scolding, and, passing out through the little
flower-garden, proceeded to the stable to feed the stock, a piece of
work which before the war had employed many hands, but which now was
performed by himself, assisted only by one negro man.

Upon the summer air rang the sweet voice of Nelly as she sang at her
work. In the scented garden Mrs. Grey with her little boy weeded and
trimmed and twined the lovely flowers, feeling really a greater
delight in the fruit of their labor than if they had no real
acquaintance with the flowers, but only received them from the hands
of a gardener.

Dear reader, we must now say farewell to our Nelly. Let us hope that
the clouds which darkened her childhood and early youth have passed
never to return, and that although "into each life some rain must
fall," her rainy days may be few and far between.



CHAPTER II.

BRAVE BOYS.


I believe I may safely say that no cause ever fought for, no army ever
raised, numbered among its adherents and soldiers so many mere boys as
rallied around "The Bonnie Blue Flag," bringing to its defence the
ardor of youth, added to unquestioning loyalty and Spartan bravery.
Aye, more wonderful, more worthy of admiration than the bravery of the
Spartan youth, because our Southern boys had, up to the beginning of
the war, known nothing of hardship or danger. Yet they met with
splendid courage all that fell to their lot as soldiers, fighting with
an impetuosity and determination which equalled that of the oldest
veterans. My book contains already many instances of lofty courage and
patient endurance as shown by boys. I will add one or two incidents
worthy of record.


In one of the companies of the Third Lee Battalion was a bright Irish
boy named Flannagan, who had been brought to Virginia by one of the
officers as his attendant. During the seven days' fight around
Richmond this child, having procured a small shot-gun, fought with the
best of them, coming out safe and sound. I learned this little history
from a soldier who knew the boy. Flannagan now lives in Texas.


It is well known that the boys of the Virginia University did
excellent service under "Stonewall" Jackson. Here is a story of some
other school-boys, related to me by their teacher, himself a brave
soldier who lost an arm in one of the battles around Richmond.


When Wilson's raiders reached Charlotte County, Virginia, preparations
were made by the Home Guards, aided by a few veterans who happened to
be home on furlough, to check their further progress. Breastworks were
thrown up on the south side of Stanton River, the railroad bridge was
blockaded, and a gun placed in position to defend the passage. Colonel
Coleman, who was at home on furlough, gave it as his opinion that
these precautions must be supplemented and supported by rifle-pits on
the north side, or no successful defence could be made. The pits were
hastily dug, but, when volunteers were called for, the extreme danger
prevented a hearty response. None appeared except a few old soldiers
and six or seven school-boys, whose ages ranged from fourteen to
sixteen. The Yankees advanced in line, in an open plain, about two
thousand strong. A rapid fire was opened from the rifle-pits and from
the gun on the railroad bridge.

After a few minutes the enemy retired, reformed, and came on again,
but were again routed as before. Although the boys held a place where
many a veteran would have quailed, they stood their ground nobly, and
did a soldier's duty.

After the fight was over, two of them had a quarrel regarding a
Federal officer whom both shot at and both claimed to have killed.

These were Virginia boys, the sons of veterans, and attending a local
school.

The raid came to grief soon after, being routed by Fitz-Hugh Lee.


Thomas Hilton, of Uniontown, Alabama, volunteered in the "Witherspoon
Guards," Twenty-first Alabama Regiment, at the tender age of fourteen.
He was too small to carry a musket, and was detailed as a drummer boy.
At the battle of Shiloh he threw away his drum and so importuned his
captain for a gun that it was given him.

Shortly after, while in the thick of the fight, he was shot through
the face, the ball entering one side and passing out at the other.

Rev. N.I. Witherspoon (chaplain of the regiment) found him lying upon
the ground, bleeding to death as he then supposed, and knelt beside
him to pray. To his surprise the boy looked up, the fire in his eyes
unquenched, and gasped out while the blood gushed afresh at every
word,--

"Yes--chaplain--I'm--badly hurt--but--I'm--not--_whipped_."

Thomas Hilton still lives in Uniontown, Alabama, respected by all who
know him. His fellow-citizens regard the ugly scar which still appears
upon his face with pride and reverence.


The battle of Mansfield, Louisiana, was one of the most
hotly-contested and bloody of the war, the loss in men and officers
being terrific. The tide of battle rolled on, through lofty pine
forests, amid tangled undergrowth, and over open fields, where the
soldiers were exposed a to storm of shot and shell, and where, on that
beautiful Sunday morning, hundreds of the dead and dying strewed the
ground. While the battle was at its height it became necessary, in
order to secure concerted action, to send dispatches to a certain
point. The only way lay across a ploughed field, exposed to a terrific
fire from the enemy, whose target the messenger would become: and it
seemed as if certain death must be the fate of any one who should
attempt to run the gauntlet. And yet the necessity was met. _A boy of
eighteen years_ stepped forth from the ranks of Company G, Crescent
Regiment, Louisiana Volunteers, and offered to perform this dangerous
service.

Dashing on through a perfect hail of shot and shell, stumbling and
falling over the furrowed ground, struggling up and on again, he
passed unharmed, successfully executing his mission. His escape was so
miraculous that one can only account for it by the belief that God
gave his angels charge concerning him.

The name of this valiant boy--James V. Nolan--should live in history.
He still lives, and has been for years secretary of the Cotton
Exchange at Shreveport, Louisiana.



CHAPTER III.

THE YOUNG COLOR-BEARER.


The story of "The Little Apron" was written up by Major McDonald, of
Louisville, to be read at a meeting of veterans of Association Army of
Northern Virginia, Kentucky Division. It is true in every
particular,--indeed, a matter of history.

I have given it a place here because I feel sure that many of my young
readers will remember having seen the apron in question, and will like
to read its full history. It was very kindly loaned to me, during the
New Orleans Exposition, by Major McDonald, and was on exhibition at my
tent ("The Soldiers' Best"), among many other Confederate relics,
where it never ceased to be an object of profound interest and
veneration. Hundreds of people handled it. Veterans gazed upon it with
moistened eyes. Women bedewed it with tears, and often pressed kisses
upon it. Children touched it reverently, listening with profound
interest while its story was told. The little apron was of plain white
cotton, bordered and belted with "turkey red,"--an apron of "red,
white, and red," purposely made of these blended colors in order to
express sympathy with the Confederates. It yet bears several
blood-stains. The button-hole at the back of the belt is torn out, for
the eager little patriot did not wait to unbutton it. There is another
hole, just under the belt in front, made when the wounded boy tore it
from the staff to which he had nailed it to conceal it in his bosom.
The story as told by Major McDonald is as follows:

In the spring of 1863, while the Army of Northern Virginia was
encamped on the Rapidan River, preparing for that memorable campaign
which included the battle of Gettysburg, there came to it, from
Hampshire County, Virginia, a beardless boy, scarcely eighteen years
of age, the eldest son of a widowed mother. His home was within the
enemy's lines, and he had walked more than one hundred miles to offer
his services to assist in repelling a foe which was then preying upon
the fairest portions of his native State. He made application to join
Company D, Eleventh Virginia Cavalry, which was made up principally
from his county, and, therefore, contained many of his acquaintances,
and seemed much surprised when told that the Confederate government
did not furnish its cavalry with horses and equipments. Some members
of the company present, who noticed his earnestness and the
disappointment caused by this announcement from the officer, said,--

"Enroll him, captain; we will see that he has a horse and equipments
the next fight we get into."

On faith of this promise he was enrolled,--James M. Watkins, Company
D, Eleventh Virginia Cavalry, Jones's Brigade. Shortly afterward the
campaign opened with the fight at Brandy Station, in which twenty
thousand cavalry were engaged from daylight to sundown. Before the
battle was over Watkins, mounted and fully equipped, took his place
with his company. It was not long after this engagement that General
Lee advanced the whole army, and crossed into Maryland, Watkins's
command covering the rear. During the battle of Gettysburg, on the 3d
and 4th of July, we were engaged several times with the enemy's
cavalry on our right, upon which occasions he was always found in the
front, and while on the march was ever bright and cheerful.

On the evening of the 4th, General Lee, in preparation for his
retreat, began to send his wagons to the rear in the direction of
Williamsport, when it was found that the enemy's cavalry had gone
around our left and taken possession of a pass in South Mountain,
through which lay our line of march. To dislodge them required a
stubborn fight, lasting late into the night, in which General Jones's
brigade was engaged, and he himself, becoming separated from his men
in the darkness, was supposed to have been captured or killed.

Finally the Federals were repulsed, and the wagon-train proceeded on
its way to Williamsport. In the morning Watkins's command was ordered
to march on the left flank of the train to prevent a renewal of the
attack upon it, and on approaching Hagerstown those in the rear of the
column heard loud and repeated cheering from the men in front. After
having been in an enemy's country fighting night and day, in rain and
mud, those cheers came to those who heard them in the distance as the
first rays of sunshine after a storm. Many were the conjectures as to
their cause: some said it was fresh troops from the other side of the
Potomac; others that it was the ammunition-wagons, for the supply was
known to be short; while others surmised that it was General Jones
reappearing after his supposed death or capture. Whatever the cause
was, its effect was wonderful upon the morale of those men, and cheers
went up all along the line from those who did not know the cause in
answer to those who did. When the command had reached a stone mill,
about three miles southeast of Hagerstown, they found the cause only a
little girl about fourteen years of age, perhaps the miller's
daughter, standing in the door wearing an apron in which the colors
were so blended as to represent the Confederate flag. A trivial thing
it may seem to those who were not there, but to those jaded, war-worn
men it was the first expression of sympathy for them and their cause
that had been openly given them since they had crossed the Potomac,
and their cheers went up in recognition of the courage of the little
girl and her parents, who thus dared to give their sympathy to a
retreating army, almost in sight of a revengeful foe. When Company D
was passing the house the captain rode up and thanked the little girl
for having done so much to revive the spirits of the troops, and asked
her if she would give him a piece of the apron as a souvenir of the
incident. "Yes, certainly," she replied, "you may have it all," and in
her enthusiasm she tore it off, not waiting to unbutton it, and handed
it to the officer, who said it should be the flag of his company as
long as it was upon Maryland soil.

"Let me be the color-bearer, captain," said young Watkins, who was by
his side; "I promise to protect it with my life." Fastening it to a
staff he resumed his place at the head of the company, which was in
the front squadron of the regiment.

Later in the evening, in obedience to an order brought by a courier,
the Eleventh Cavalry moved at a gallop in the direction of
Williamsport, whence the roll of musketry and report of cannon had
been heard for some time, and, rejoining the brigade, was engaged in a
desperate struggle to prevent the Federal cavalry from destroying the
wagons of the whole army, which, the river being unfordable, were
halted and parked at this point, their principal defence against the
whole cavalry force of the enemy being the teamsters and stragglers
that General Imboden had organized. The Eleventh Cavalry charged the
battery in front of them, this gallant boy with his apron flag riding
side by side with those who led the charge. The battery was taken and
retaken, and then taken again, before the Federals withdrew from the
field, followed in the direction of Boonsboro', until darkness covered
their retreat. In those desperate surges many went down on both sides,
and it was not until after it was over that men thought of their
comrades and inquiries were made of the missing. The captain of
Company D, looking over the field for the killed and wounded, found
young Watkins lying on the ground, his head supported by the surgeon.
In reply to his question, "was he badly hurt?" he answered, "Not much,
captain, but _I've got the flag!_" and, putting his hand in his bosom,
he drew out the little apron and gave it to the officer. When asked
how it came there, he said that when he was wounded and fell from his
horse the Federals were all around him, and to prevent them from
capturing it he had torn it from the staff and hid it in his bosom.

The surgeon told the captain, aside, that his leg was shattered by a
large piece of shell, which was imbedded in the bone; that amputation
would be necessary, and he feared the wound was mortal. "But," he
added, "he has been so intent upon the safe delivery of that apron
into your hands as to seem utterly unconscious of his wound."

After parting with his flag the brave boy sank rapidly. He was
tenderly carried by his comrades back to Hagerstown, where a hospital
had been established, and his leg amputated. The next morning his
captain found him pale and haggard from suffering. By his side was a
bouquet of flowers, placed by some kind friend, which seemed to cheer
him much. The third day afterward he died, and was buried in a strange
land, by strangers' hands, without a stone to mark the place where he
sleeps.

Thus ended the mortal career of this gallant youth, who had scarcely
seen sixty days' service; but though he lies in an unknown grave, he
has left behind a name which should outlast the most costly obelisk
that wealth or fame can erect. Gentle as a woman, yet perfectly
fearless in the discharge of his duty, so sacred did he deem the trust
confided to him that he forgot even his own terrible sufferings while
defending it. Such names as this it is our duty to rescue from
oblivion, and to write on the page of history, where the children of
our common country may learn from them lessons of virtue and
self-sacrifice. In his character and death he was not isolated from
many of his comrades: he was but a type of many men, young and old,
whose devotion to what is known as the "lost cause" made them heroes
in the fullest acceptation of the term, flinching from neither
suffering nor death itself if coming to them in the line of duty.



CHAPTER IV.

BRAVERY HONORED BY A FOE.


The following story was written out for me by Eddie Souby, of New
Orleans, while I was acting as assistant editress of the _Southern
Bivouac_.

It was related to him by his father, E.J. Souby, Esq., formerly a
gallant soldier of the Fifth Regiment, Hay's Brigade, and now an
honored member of Association Army of Northern Virginia, Louisiana
Division. It is a true story in every particular, and the name of the
youthful hero is given, that it may live in our hearts, and be honored
as it deserves, though he who so nobly bore it is now dead. I wish
that I could also give the name of his generous foe,--no doubt as
brave as generous,--the Federal officer who interposed his authority
to preserve the life of this gallant boy. They should be recorded,
side by side, on the same page of history, and be remembered with
pride by the youth of our land, no matter whether their fathers wore
the blue or the gray during the late civil war.

Nathan Cunningham was the name of this young hero. He was a member of
the Second Company Orleans Cadets, afterwards Company E, Fifth
Regiment, Louisiana Volunteers, Hay's Brigade, Array of Northern
Virginia, and color-bearer of the regiment at the time the incident
narrated below occurred. The story is as follows:


It was a dark and starless night. Tattoo-beat had long been heard, and
Hay's Brigade, weary after a long day's march, rested beneath the dewy
boughs of gigantic oaks in a dense forest near the placid
Rappahannock. No sound broke the stillness of the night. The troops
were lying on nature's rude couch, sweetly sleeping, perhaps, little
dreaming of the awful dawn which was soon to break upon them. The
camp-fires had burned low. The morrow's rations had been hastily
cooked, hunger appeased, and the balance laid carefully away; but that
which was most essential to life had, unfortunately, been neglected.
No provision for water had been made. The springs being somewhat
distant from the camp, but few had spirit, after the day's weary
march, to go farther. The canteens were, for the most part, empty.

Though thirsting, the tired soldiers slept, oblivious to their
physical sufferings. But ere the morning broke, the distant sound of
musketry echoed through the woods, rudely dispelling the solemn
silence of the night, and awakening from their broken dreams of home
and kindred the whole mass of living valor.

The roll of the drum and the stentorian voice of the gallant chief
calling to arms mingled together. Aroused to duty, and groping their
way through the darkness, the troops sallied forth in battle array.

In a rifle-pit, on the brow of a hill overlooking the river, near
Fredericksburg, were men who had exhausted their ammunition in the
vain attempt to check the advancing column of Hooker's finely equipped
and disciplined army, which was crossing the river. But owing to the
heavy mist which prevailed as the morning broke, little or no
execution had been done. To the relief of these few came the brigade
in double-quick time. But no sooner were they intrenched than the
firing on the opposite side of the river became terrific, and the
constant roaring of musketry and artillery became appalling.

Undismayed, however, stood the little band of veterans, pouring volley
after volley into the crossing column.

Soon many soldiers fell. Their agonizing cries, as they lay helpless
in the trenches, calling most piteously for water, caused many a tear
to steal down the cheeks of their comrades in arms, and stout hearts
shook in the performance of their duty.

"Water!" "Water!" But, alas! there was none to give.

Roused as they had been from peaceful dreams to meet an assault so
early and so unexpected, no time was left them to do aught but buckle
on their armor.

"Boys!" exclaimed a lad of eighteen, the color-bearer of one of the
regiments, "I can't stand this any longer. My nature can't bear it.
They want water, and water they must have. So let me have a few
canteens, and I'll go for some."

Carefully laying the colors, which he had conspicuously borne on many
a field, in the trench, he leaped out in search of water, and was
soon, owing to the heavy mist, out of sight.

Shortly afterwards the firing ceased for a while, and there came a
courier with orders to fall back to the main line, a distance of over
twelve hundred yards to the rear. It had, doubtless, become evident to
General Lee that Hooker had crossed the river in sufficient force to
advance.

The retreating column had not proceeded far when it met the noble
youth, his canteens all filled with water, returning to the sufferers,
who were still lying in the distant trenches. The eyes of the
soldier-boy, who had oftentimes tenderly and lovingly gazed upon the
war-worn and faded flag floating over the ranks, now saw it not. The
troops, in their hurry to obey orders and owing, probably, to the
heavy mist that surrounded them, had overlooked or forgotten the
colors.

On sped the color-bearer back to the trenches to relieve the thirst of
his wounded companions as well as to save the honor of his regiment by
rescuing its colors.

His mission of mercy was soon accomplished. The wounded men drank
freely, thanked and blessed him. And now to seize the flag and
double-quick back to his regiment was the thought and act of a moment.
But hardly had he gone ten paces from the ditch when a company of
Federal soldiers appeared ascending the hill. The voice of an officer
sternly commanded him to "Halt and surrender!" The morning sun,
piercing with a lurid glare the dense mist, reveals a hundred rifles
levelled at his breast. One moment more and his soul is to pass into
eternity, for his answer is, "Never while I hold these colors."

But why is he not fired upon? Why do we still see him with the colors
flying above his head, now beyond the reach of rifle-balls, when but a
moment before he could have been riddled with bullets? And now, see I
he enters proudly but breathlessly the ranks, and receives the
congratulations of his friends in loud acclaim.

The answer comes, because of the generous act of the Federal officer
in command of that company. When this noble officer saw that the love
of honor was far dearer to the youth than life, in the impulse of a
magnanimous heart he freely gave him both in the word of command,--

"Bring back your pieces, men! don't shoot that brave boy!"

Such nobility of character and such a generous nature as that
displayed by this officer, must ever remain a living monument to true
greatness; and should these lines perchance meet his eyes, let him
know and feel the proud satisfaction that the remembrance of his noble
deed is gratefully cherished, and forever engraved in the heart of the
soldier-boy in gray.



CHAPTER V.

SALLY'S RIDE.


On a bright Sunday morning Sally sat upon the gallery of her uncle's
house slowly swaying backward and forward in a low rocking-chair. In
her hand was her prayer-book, but I greatly fear she had not read as
she ought, for while her finger was held between the shut covers,
marking "the Psalms for the day," her bright eyes wandered continually
over the lovely scene before her. Above her head branches of tender
green were tossing merrily in the March wind, at her feet lay a
parterre bright with spring buds and flowers. Beyond the garden-fence
the carriage-road described a curve, and swept away under the lofty
pines which here bounded the view. On either side lay fields of
newly-planted cotton. Behind the house, seen through the wide-open
doors and windows, the orchard gleamed pink and white. Still beyond,
blue smoke curled upward from the cabins of the negroes in "the
quarter,"--almost a village in itself. The noise of their children at
play was borne upon the wind, mingled with the weird chanting of hymns
by the older negroes. The family, with the exception of Sally, had
gone to church,--a distance of twelve miles.

For weeks it had been known that "Wilson's raiders" would be likely at
any time to appear; but continued security had lulled the
apprehensions of the planters hereabouts, and, besides, they depended
upon Confederate scouts to give timely warning. But suddenly on this
peaceful Sunday a confused noise from the direction of "the quarter"
startled Sally, and directly a crowd of frightened negroes ran to the
house with the tale that a party of scouts had been driven in,
reporting the Yankees approaching and only ten miles away.

The sense of responsibility which at once took possession of the
girl's mind overmastered her terror. She, as well as a few servants
considered worthy of trust, had received clear instructions how to act
in such an emergency; but before anything could be accomplished a
party of horsemen (Confederates) rode up, and hastily giving
information that the Federals had taken the "Pleasant Hill road,"
dashed off again. This knowledge did not relieve Sally's mind,
however, for on the Pleasant Hill road lay the fine plantation of
another uncle, Dr. ----, who was, she knew, absent.

The overseer, unaware of the approach of the raiders, would, unless
warned, not have time to run off the valuable horses. By the road the
enemy had taken the distance was several miles, but there was a "short
cut" through the woods, which would bring a rapid rider to the
plantation much sooner, and at once it occurred to our heroine to send
a boy on the only available animal, an old white mule, which had long
enjoyed exemption from all but light work as a reward for faithful
services in the past. Alas! Sally found she had "reckoned without
her"--negro. Abject terror had overcome even the habitual obedience of
the servants, and not one would venture; they only rolled their eyes
wildly, breaking forth into such agony of protestations that the girl
ceased to urge them, and, dismayed at the peril she was powerless to
arrest, sat down to consider matters. She know that the family had
that morning driven to church, and so the carriage-horses were safe
for the present.

But there was the doctor's buggy-horse, a magnificent iron-gray, and
Persimmon, her cousin's riding-horse, a beautiful cream-colored mare
with black, flowing mane and tail, and _Green Persimmon_, her colt,
which was like its mother, and scarcely less beautiful. Besides, there
were horses and mules which, if not so ornamental, were indispensable.
Oh, these must be run off and saved,--but how? Goaded by these
thoughts, and upon the impulse of the moment, the girl ordered a
sidesaddle to be put upon old "Whitey," and, hastily mounting,
belabored the astonished beast until, yielding to the inevitable, he
started off at a smart trot.

Once in the woods, Sally's heart quailed within her; her terror was
extreme. The tramp, tramp of her steed she thought was as loud as
thunder, and felt sure that thus she would be betrayed. The agitation
of the underbrush caused by the wind seemed to her to denote the
presence of a concealed enemy. She momentarily expected a "Yank" to
step from behind a tree and seize her bridle. As she rushed along,
hanging branches (which at another time she would have stooped to
avoid) severely scratched her face and dishevelled her hair; but never
heeding, she urged on old Whitey until he really seemed to become
inspired with the spirit of the occasion, to regain his youthful fire,
and so dashed on until at length Sally drew rein at the bars of the
horse-lot, where the objects of her solicitude were quietly grazing,
with the exception of Green Persimmon, who seemed to be playing a
series of undignified capers for the amusement of her elders. To catch
these was a work of time: Sally looked on in an agony of impatience.
But, fortunately, a neighbor rode up just then with the news that for
some unknown reason the Federal soldiers had, after halting awhile
just beyond the forks of the road, marched back to the river and were
recrossing. With the usual inconsistency of her sex, Sally now began
to cry, trembling so violently that she was fain to dismount, and
submit to be _coddled_ and petted awhile by the old servants. She
declared that she never could repass those dreadful woods, but later,
a sense of duty overcame her nervousness, and (the family having
returned), escorted by her cousins and followed by a faithful servant,
she returned to her anxious friends, who in one breath scolded her for
having dared so great risks and in the next praised her courage and
devotion.


The visit of the raiders was, alas! not long delayed, but its
attendant horrors may not here be described. The terrible story may,
perhaps, be told at another time,--for the present, _adieu_.



CHAPTER VI.


The following story, originally written by me for the _Southern
Bivouac_, is strictly true. The successful forager was once a patient
of mine, and is well known to me. I also know that he perpetrated the
joke as described. The article is intended to appear as if written by
a soldier's son.

HIGH PRICE FOR NEEDLES AND THREAD.

By Walter.

My father was once a private soldier in the Confederate army, and he
often tells us interesting stories of the war. One morning, just as he
was going down town, mother sent me to ask him to change a dollar. He
could not do it, but he said,--

"Ask your mother how much change she wants."

She only wanted a dime to buy a paper of needles and some silk to mend
my jacket. So I went back and asked for ten cents. Instead of taking
it out of his vest-pocket, father opened his pocket-book and said,--

"Did you say you wanted _ten dollars_ or ten _cents_, my boy?"

"Why, father," said I, "whoever heard of paying ten dollars for
needles and thread?"

"I have," said he. "I once heard of a paper of needles, and a skein of
silk, worth _more_ than ten dollars."

His eyes twinkled and looked so pleasant that I knew there was a story
on hand, so I told mother and sis' Loo, who promised to find out all
about it. After supper that night mother coaxed father to tell us the
story. We liked it ever so much: so I got mother to write it down for
the _Bivouac_.

After the battle of Chickamauga, one of "our mess" found a needle-case
which had belonged to some poor fellow, probably among the killed. He
did not place much value upon the contents, although there was a paper
of No. 8 needles, several buttons, and a skein or two of thread, cut
at each end and neatly braided so that each thread could be smoothly
drawn out. He put the whole thing in his breast-pocket, and thought no
more about it. But one day, while out foraging for himself and his
mess, he found himself near a house where money could have procured a
fine meal of fried chicken, corn-pone, and buttermilk, besides a small
supply to carry back to camp. But Confederate soldiers' purses were
generally as empty as their stomachs, and in this instance the lady of
the house did not offer to give away her nice dinner. While the poor
fellow was inhaling the enticing odor, and feeling desperately hungry,
a girl rode up to the gate on horseback, and bawled out to another
girl inside the house,--

"Oh, Cindy, I rid over to see if you couldn't lend me a needle! I
broke the last one I had to-day, and pap says thar ain't nary 'nother
to be bought in the country hereabouts!"

Cindy declared she was in the same fix, and couldn't finish her new
homespun dress for that reason.

The soldier just then had an idea. He retired to a little distance,
pulled out his case, sticking two needles on the front of his jacket,
then went back and offered one of them, with his best bow, to the girl
on the horse. Right away the lady of the house offered to trade for
the one remaining. The result was a plentiful dinner for himself; and
in consideration of a thread or two of silk, a full haversack and
canteen.

After this our mess was well supplied, and our forager began to look
sleek and fat. The secret of his success did not leak out till long
afterward, when he astonished the boys by declaring that he "had been
'living like a fighting-cock' on a paper of needles and two skeins of
silk."

"And," added father, "if he had paid for all the meals he got in
Confederate money, the amount would have been far more than ten
dollars."

I know other boys and girls will think this a queer story, but I hope
they will like it as well as mother and Loo and I did.



CHAPTER VII.

BUNNY.


One bright morning I sat in the matron's room of the "Buckner
Hospital," then located at Newnan, Georgia. Shall I describe to you
this room--or my suite of rooms? Indeed, I fear you will be
disappointed, dear young readers, for perhaps the word "hospital"
conveys to your mind the idea of a handsome and lofty building
containing every convenience for nursing the sick, and for the comfort
of attendants. Alas! during the war hospital arrangements were of the
roughest. Frequent changes of location were imperative, transportation
was difficult. So it became a "military necessity" to seize upon such
buildings as were suitable in the towns where it was intended to
establish a "post." Courthouses, halls, stores, hotels, even churches
had to be used,--the pews being removed and replaced by the rough
hospital beds.

The "Buckner Hospital" was expected to accommodate nearly one thousand
sick and wounded, and embraced every building for two solid squares.
Near the centre a small store had been appropriated to the matron's
use during the day. Here all business relating to the comfort of the
sick and wounded was transacted. The store as it stood, shelves,
counters, and all, became the "linen-room," and was piled from floor
to ceiling with bedding and clean clothing. The back "shed-room" was
the matron's own. A rough table, planed on the top, stood in the
centre. With the exception of one large rocking-chair, kindly donated
by a lady of Ringgold, Georgia, boxes served for chairs. A couch made
of boxes and piled with comforts and pillows stood in one corner. This
served not only as an occasional resting-place for the matron, but,
with the arm-chair, was frequently occupied by soldiers who, in the
early stages of convalescence, having made a pilgrimage to my room,
were too weak to return at once, and so rested awhile.

Here I sat on the morning in question looking over some "diet lists,"
when I heard a slight noise at the door. Soon a little girl edged her
way into the room.

Her dress was plain and faded, but when she pushed back the calico
sun-bonnet a sweet, bright face appeared. She came forward as shyly as
a little bird and stood at my side. As I put out my hand to draw her
closer, she cried, "Don't, you'll scare him!"

And then I perceived that she held close to her breast, wrapped in her
check apron, something that moved and trembled. Carefully the little
girl removed a corner of the apron, disclosing the gray head and
frightened eyes of a squirrel. Said she, "It's Bunny; he's mine; I
raised him, and I want to give him to the sick soldiers! _Daddy's a
soldier!_" And as she stated this last fact the sweet face took on a
look of pride.

"What is your name, and how did you get here?" I said.

"My name is Ca-line. Uncle Jack, he brung in a load of truck, and
mammy let me come along, an' I didn't have nothing to fetch to the
poor soldiers but Bunny. He's mine," she repeated, as she tenderly
covered again the trembling little creature. I soon found that she
desired to give the squirrel away with her own hands, and did not by
any means consider _me_ a sick soldier. That she should visit the
fever-wards was out of the question, so I decided to go with her to a
ward where were some wounded men, most of whom were convalescent. My
own eyes, alas! were so accustomed to the sight of the pale, suffering
faces, empty sleeves, and dreadful scars, that I did not dream of the
effect it would have upon the child.

As we entered she dropped my hand, clinging convulsively to my dress.
Addressing the soldiers, I said, "Boys, little Ca-line has brought you
her pet squirrel; her father is a soldier, she says." But here the
poor child broke down utterly; from her pale lips came a cry which
brought tears to the eyes of the brave men who surrounded her: "Oh,
daddy, daddy; I don't _want_ you to be a soldier! Oh, lady, _will_
they do my daddy like this?"

Hastily retreating, I led the tortured child to my room, where at last
she recovered herself. I gave her lunch, feeding Bunny with some
corn-bread, which he ate, sitting on the table by his little mistress,
his bright eyes fixed warily upon me. A knock at the door startled us.
The child quickly snatched up her pet and hid him in her apron. The
visitor proved to be "Uncle Jack," a white-headed old negro, who had
come for "little Missy."

Tears came to my eyes as I watched the struggle which at once began in
that brave little heart. Her streaming eyes and heaving breast showed
how hard it was to give up Bunny. Uncle Jack was impatient, however,
and at last "Missy" thrust the squirrel into my hands, saying,
sobbingly, "_Thar_, you keep him to show to 'em, but don't let nothin'
hurt him." I arose and placed Bunny in the deep pocket of an army
overcoat that hung by the window, where he cuddled down contentedly.
Ca-line passed out with a lagging step, but in a few moments ran back,
and, drawing a box under the window, climbed upon it to peep into the
pocket at her pet, who ungratefully growled at being disturbed. She
then ran out without a word to me, and I saw her no more.

Bunny soon attached himself to me. Creeping into my pocket, he would
always accompany me in my rounds through the wards. The sick and
wounded took the greatest delight in his visits. As soon as I entered
the door the squirrel would run up on my shoulder; from thence,
jumping upon the beds, would proceed to search for the treasures which
nearly every patient had saved and hidden for him. His capers were a
source of unceasing amusement to his soldier friends,--I cannot
describe to you how great. The story of little Ca-line's
self-sacrifice went the rounds among them. All admired and truly
appreciated her heroism and her love for "the poor, sick soldiers."

Bunny lived happily for a long time. One day, however, as I was
passing along the street, he began as usual to run from out my pocket
to my shoulder, and back again to nestle in his hiding-place.

Just then a large dog came by. The frightened squirrel made a vain
attempt to reach a tree by the road-side. Failing, he was at once
seized and instantly killed. My regret was shared by all the soldiers,
who long remembered and talked of poor Bunny.



CHAPTER VIII.

BEAUREGARD.


One very cold day in the winter of 1862 there came to the Third
Alabama Hospital, in Richmond, Virginia, a sick soldier, belonging to
the Third Alabama Regiment. He was shivering, and so hoarse that he
could only speak in whispers. Instead of going at once to bed,
however, he sat down upon a bench by the stove, keeping his blanket
drawn closely over his chest. His teeth were chattering, and continued
to do so until I ordered him to go to his bed immediately, meanwhile
hastening down-stairs to prepare for him a hot drink. Upon my return,
my patient was in bed, closely covered up,--head and all. As soon as I
turned down the bedclothes from his face, I was startled by a furious
er-r-r-r bow-wow, wow, wow, which also attracted the attention of
every one in the large ward. Of course it was impossible longer to
conceal the fact that the new patient had brought with him a dog, so
he showed me--nestling under his arm--a young Newfoundland puppy,
looking like nothing so much as a fluffy black ball. His bright eyes
gleamed fiercely and he continued to bark in a shrill tone, which
could not be allowed to continue, as it excited and disturbed the
sick. I am a lover of dogs, and now offered to take charge of this
little waif. His master was unwilling to part with him, but there was
no alternative, so I carried him off down-stairs, where, installed in
comfortable quarters and petted by everybody, the ungrateful little
dog seemed to forget the sick master who had cherished him so fondly,
and, far from grieving or moping at the separation, grew every day
more frolicsome. From the soldier I learned the history of his dog. He
said,--

"Shortly before I was sent to the hospital our regiment captured a
Federal camp. Among the plunder I found that little fellow curled up
in a camp-bed that some Yankee had just got out of, and as warm as
toast. He seemed to take to me right off. I reckon the Yankee had a
name for him, but I call him 'Beauregard.' The poor fellow has had a
hard time since I got him, for rations in the valley are poor and
scant, but _I've_ done with less so _he_ could have a bite, and I tell
you he has kept me warm a many a night."

However, when the soldier was ready to return to camp, Beauregard had
grown quite too large to be carried in his master's bosom. So he was
given to my little son, and remained to claim our care and to become
an object of interest to all inmates of the hospital. It became so
much a matter of course for me to take the dog with me on my morning
rounds through the wards that whenever he was left behind, my patients
never failed to miss him, and to inquire, "Where's the general
to-day?" He was very intelligent, easily learning to trot quietly
along down the rows of beds. If he ever grew too frisky, I had only to
stop short, pointing to the entrance, when down would drop his tail,
and he was off like a shot to the yard. There he awaited my coming,
always looking anxiously in my face to see if I was still angry. When
I would ask, "Are you sorry, Beau?" he would whine and come crawling
to my feet. As soon as he heard me say "All right," he began to bound
and run around in a circle and in other ways to show his joy.

Among the patients he had many warm friends who used to take great
pleasure in saving scraps to feed him with. They also loved to tease
him by wrapping some nice morsel in many papers. The parcel was then
hidden. Beauregard knew just which beds to stop at, and, greatly to
the delight of his friends, would put his paws upon the bunks and
"nose about" under the mattress or pillows for the bundles there
hidden. After many attempts to get through the many papers in which
lay a coveted morsel, he would grow impatient and disgusted, and would
at last sit down, looking earnestly first at the inmate of the bed,
then at the parcel on the floor. Then, if he was not helped, he would
push the bed with his paw, until at last he succeeded in gaining his
wish.

Early in the spring Beau fell into some disgrace, for while romping
with my little boy he threw him down and broke his arm. Everybody
scolded the poor dog, crying shame on him wherever he appeared, until
he got a habit of slinking out of sight. Before the broken arm was
quite well, little Wally grow very ill of typhoid fever, so ill that
his papa was sent for, for it seemed that he must die. Beauregard
attached himself very closely to my husband, rarely leaving his side.
When his new master returned to camp, I went down to the boat to see
him off. The dog followed us. The boat was crowded with soldiers going
to reinforce McGruder, so I did not go on board, but when ready to
return discovered that Beau was missing. The first letter from my
husband announced that the dog had followed his master on the boat,
where he must have hidden, for his presence was not discovered until
some time after the boat had left the wharf. In camp he became a
terrible nuisance. No matter how securely he was tied, the dog always
managed to escape and _attend the drill_. Here he would sometimes sit
down and gravely watch the proceedings, cocking his head first on one
side, then on the other, but usually he would rush into the ranks to
find his master, getting under the feet of the men, who in consequence
lost step and got out of line, of course becoming very angry. The
shells frequently exploding in the vicinity became a constant terror
to this unfortunate, who knew not how to avoid them. He soon learned
to distinguish the shriek of a coming shell, and would race off in one
direction, looking fearfully back over his shoulder, until a similar
sound in another quarter would so puzzle and terrify him that he would
stand still awhile until the noise of an explosion _utterly_
demoralized him, when he would frantically dig up the ground, as if
trying to bury himself.

I am afraid I must acknowledge that my dog was not strictly honest. In
fact, his depredations upon their larders won for him the undying
hatred of the colored cooks of various messes, who were always seeking
revenge. Their dislike culminated one day in a dreadful scalding,
inflicted upon the poor dog by the cook of an officers' mess, who
poured a whole kettle of boiling water upon his back, causing him
weeks of suffering and the loss of part of his beautiful glossy coat.
This seemed to have implanted in his mind a profound distrust of
negroes, which he never ceased to entertain until the day of his
death. After this Beauregard was sent up to Richmond that I might cure
his wound; this I was more easily enabled to do, as my friends among
the surgeons kindly advised and assisted me. He was soon quite well,
the growing hair nearly concealing his scars. When I left Richmond
with my little boy, Beau accompanied us, and found a permanent home
upon the plantation of a relative in Alabama. It was here that he
first showed his extreme dislike for negroes, which attracted
attention and became unmistakable. At first it gave much trouble, but
gradually he grew tolerant of the servants upon the "home-place,"
although he never took kindly even to these. He never forgot that he
had been scalded. At any time steam arising from a boiling tea-kettle
or pot would send him yelping away. I remember hearing the youngsters
say that once when Beauregard had followed them miles into the woods,
seeming to enjoy the tramp and the hunt, they having decided to have a
lunch of broiled birds, heated some water in a camp-kettle to scald
them preparatory to picking off the feathers. As soon as the birds
were dipped into the water and taken out steaming, the dog set out for
home, where they found him, upon their return, hiding under a
corn-crib.

Although, as I said before, Beau became used to the servants whom he
saw every day upon the home-place, no strange negro dared to come
inside the big gate unless accompanied by one of the family. Whenever
the deep, hoarse bark of Beauregard announced the appearance of
strangers, it was known that the dog must be chained. Not once, but
many times, I have seen a load of "fodder" or "garden-truck" driven
into the yard and immediately _surrounded_ by this one big dog, who
would keep the black driver crouching at the very top of the load with
"ashy" face and chattering teeth, while his besieger walked growling
around the wagon, occasionally jumping up upon the chance of seizing
an unguarded foot. Until the dog was securely chained nothing would
induce his prisoner to venture down. No chicken-thieves dared to put
in an appearance so long as this faithful beast kept watch upon the
premises. And for his faithfulness he was doomed to destruction. Such
a state of security in any place could not long be tolerated. The
would-be thieves, exasperated by the impunity with which fine, fat
turkeys, geese, ducks, and chickens walked about before their very
eyes, and smoke-houses, melon-patches, and wood-piles remained
undisturbed, at last poisoned faithful Beauregard, whose death left
the home-place unprotected, for not one of his successors ever
followed his example or proved half as watchful.



PART III.

AFTER TWENTY YEARS.[2]

    [2] These articles, originally prepared for _The Southern
    Bivouac_ and "South Illustrated," are here republished by special
    request.



CHAPTER I.

"MY BOYS."


_Address to the Wives and Children of Confederate Veterans._

I have been often and earnestly requested by "my comrades" to address
to you a few words explanatory of the tie which binds me to them and
them to me. They tell me, among other things, that you "wonder much,
and still the wonder grows," that I should presume to call grave and
dignified husbands and fathers "my boys." Having promised to meet
their wishes, I must in advance apologize for the egoism which it is
quite impossible to avoid, as my own war record is inseparable from
that of my comrades.

Does it seem strange to you that I call these bronzed and bearded men
"my _boys_?" Ah, friends, in every time-worn face there lives always
for me "the light of other days." Memory annihilates the distance
between the long-ago and the present.

I seem to see them marching, with brave, bright faces and eager feet,
to meet the foe. I hear the distant boom of cannon, growing fainter as
they press the retreating enemy. And then, alas! many come back to me
mutilated, bleeding, dying, yet with ardor unquenched, repressing
moans of anguish that they may listen for the shout of victory:
wrestling fiercely with the King of Terrors, not that they fear to
die, but because his chill grasp palsies the arm that would fain
strike another blow for the right.

I stood among the sick and wounded lying in a hospital in Richmond,
Virginia, while the magnificent Army of Northern Virginia was passing
from the scene of their late glorious victory at Manassas to meet the
invaders under McClellan, who were marching upon the Peninsula. Around
me lay many sick and wounded men, gathered under the immense roof of a
tobacco factory, which covered nearly a whole square. Its windows
commanded a full view of the legions passing on both sides.

The scene I can never forget. As the strains of martial music fell
upon the summer air, pale, gaunt forms struggled to their feet, feebly
but eagerly donned clothes and accoutrements, and, staggering under
their weight, crept to the office of the surgeon in charge, piteously
begging that they might "get to go on with the boys." Many, too weak
to rise, broke into bitter sobs: tears poured from eyes bright with
fever or dim with the shadow of death. Passing among these, I was
startled to see a patient, whom all had supposed to be dying, sitting
up in bed. Stretching his arms toward me, he cried out, "Lady, lady,
come here!" He was a boy of sixteen years, one of the glorious Third
Alabama, and he begged so hard to be allowed to see "the boys" that I
had his bunk drawn up to an open window, supporting him in my arms so
that he _could_ see. When his own regiment passed, he tried with
faltering breath to cheer, but, failing, waved his feeble hand,
gasping out, "_God knows_, I wish I could be with you, boys, but
'pears like the heavenly Master ain't willing."

His comrades passed on. The boy was borne back to his place, whence,
in a few hours, he passed beyond all pain and disappointment.

I need not mention here the magnificent record of the army that passed
that day the streets of Richmond. The pages of history are ablaze with
the glory of it. Not less glorious to me are the records written in my
heart of heroic fortitude, patient endurance, sublime resignation.
Alas for my poor, worn, shattered, suffering, dying boys! how their
souls were tried, _yet never found wanting!_

The fortunes of war led me from the scenes of my first service to
rejoin my husband, who had been ordered to the Army of Tennessee. On
my journey, and while waiting to be assigned to duty, I lingered for a
while among the homes of Southern soldiers. How can I convey to you
the impressions there received?

Here lay the main-spring of the valor which then and long afterward
astonished the world. In the towns and near the front thousands of
women daily ministered to the sick and wounded. When a battle ended,
these could soon know the fate of loved ones, perhaps were permitted
to nurse them, to attend their dying hour, or--inestimable
privilege--reclaim the precious casket which had enshrined a gallant
soul. But in many a country home women endured, day after day,
crucifixion of the soul, yet heroically, patiently, toiled and prayed
on. Startled by flying rumors, tortured by suspense, weary with
unwonted labor, they never dreamed of leaving the post of duty or of
neglecting the interests confided to their care. No comforter had they
save their God, no resource but unwearied prayer.

Memory brings back to me a scene which sadly illustrates the exalted
courage and faith of these noble women. I was present one night when,
at a plantation home, the family and servants were assembled, as
usual, for prayers. The aged father led the worship, but, while
praying for the absent sons, two of whom had already fallen in battle,
he faltered and ceased. Instantly the clear, sweet voice of the mother
was heard as she prayed fervently, not only for the dear ones at the
front, but for the holy cause, for _other_ parents, _other_ sons, and
for _strength_ to _submit_ to _God's will_.

I have, sitting by the bedside of sick or wounded soldiers, read to
them letters from just such homes, breathing lofty courage, full of
cheer, although I knew that the hearts of the writers had been almost
breaking, the fingers that penned them stiff and trembling with toil
hitherto unknown. God bless the women of the South.

If from every wreath that ever adorned the brow of a hero the
brightest laurels were plucked, all would not form an offering too
resplendent to lay at their feet.

Soon after the battle of Shiloh began my service with the Army of
Tennessee. How shall I make you understand, dear friends, how strong,
how dear, how imperishable are the ties which bind me to these grand
and noble heroes,--the true, brave boys with whom I shared until the
bitter end their trials and glory. Heroic souls who bore with equal
fortitude and transcendent bravery alike the shock of battle, the
pangs of "hope deferred," the untold hardships which soon became their
daily portion. Their bleeding feet dyed alike the snows of Georgia and
the rocky mountain paths of Tennessee.

As their ranks were decimated by battle, disease, starvation, death,
the hearts that were left swelled higher and higher with holy zeal,
sublime courage. Night after night, with lagging, unwilling feet, they
made the hated retreat.

Day after day the sun shone on those defiant faces as they presented a
still unbroken front and hurled themselves again and again against the
invaders, contesting every inch of the land they loved.

Ah, the horrors of those latter days, when daily, almost hourly,
brought to me ghastly wrecks of manhood, when my ears were always
filled with the moans of the dying, or irrepressible agonizing shrieks
of those who were undergoing the torture of the surgeon's knife
without the blessed aid of chloroform, for that was contraband of war.
Do you wonder, then, that I love to call those comrades of mine "my
boys"? Whether they served in the Army of Northern Virginia or the
Army of Tennessee, they were all alike my comrades. Their precious
blood has often dyed my own garments. I have gone down with them to
the very gates of death, wrestling with the death angel every step of
the way, sometimes only to receive their last sighs as they passed
into the valley of the shadow, sometimes permitted to guide their
feeble feet once more into the paths of glory.

I have shared their rations, plain but plentiful at first, at the last
only a mouldy crust and a bit of rusty bacon. I have been upon an
ambulance-train freighted with human agony delayed for hours by rumors
of an enemy in ambush. I have fed men hungry with the ravening hunger
of the wounded with scanty rations of musty corn-bread; have seen them
drink eagerly of foetid water, dipped from the road-side ditches. Yet
they bore it all with supreme patience; fretted and chafed, it is
true, but only on account of enforced inactivity. I have packed
haversacks with marching rations for forty-eight hours, a single
corn-dodger split and with only a thin slice of bacon between the
pieces. This was a _Confederate sandwich_. And on such food Southern
soldiers marched incredible distances, fought desperate battles. The
world will never cease to wonder at the unfailing devotion, the
magnificent courage, the unparalleled achievements of the Southern
armies. Scarcely less admirable is the heroic spirit in which they
have accepted defeat; the industry which has hidden the desolation of
our land with bountiful harvest, the honesty of purpose which now
seeks to restore the constitution framed by our forefathers as it was,
the patient yet invincible determination which has driven out tyranny
and oppression, and reclaimed for posterity this beautiful Southland,
rich with historic memories, made sacred and beautiful by the graves
of heroes.

And these are _my boys_--still--always my boys. From the highest
places of the land they turn to give me a comrade's greeting. I glory
in the renown of these, but just as dear and precious to me is the
warm grasp of the toil-hardened hand and the smile which beams upon me
from the rugged face of the very humblest of "the boys who wore the
gray."

Dear friends, this subject is to me inexhaustible; but I may no longer
trespass upon your patience. With loving, reverent hands I have lifted
the veil of the past. Let the transcendent glory streaming through
penetrate the mask which time and care and sorrow have woven for the
faces of my boys, and show you the brave, unfaltering hearts as I know
them.



CHAPTER II.

THE CONFEDERATE REUNION AT DALLAS.


On the morning of August 6, 1885, a small party of ladies and
gentlemen set forth from Shreveport to attend the Confederate reunion
at Dallas, Texas.

The gentlemen of the party were veteran soldiers, and your
correspondent claimed like honors. (Place this admission to my credit,
for, believe me, it is a ruthless sacrifice of womanly vanity to
dearer memories.)

In congenial companionship the day passed quickly. Its close brought
us to Dallas. And here began at once an emotional experience which
might well be called "a tempest of the heart,"--glimpses of glory once
real. "Forms and scenes of long ago" appeared in such constant
succession that it seemed like a resurrection of the dead and buried
past.

The first object that met our view was a large Confederate
battle-flag, suspended from a conspicuous building on one of the
principal streets, surmounted, surrounded by "star-spangled banners,"
large and small, but still there, to set our hearts throbbing wildly,
to call forth a rain of blinding tears. This was but the beginning.
Borne swiftly onward to the hotel, we momentarily started forward with
streaming eyes and bated breath to gaze upon the phantom legions ever
passing. Squads of cavalry dashed by, manly, weather-beaten boys in
gray, and elegant-looking officers wearing the well-remembered
slouched hat with cord and feathers, and full Confederate uniforms.
Infantry and artillery officers and privates thronged the sidewalks,
arm in arm, walking in half embrace, or standing with hand grasping
hand. Those not in uniform wore the badges of their respective
commands, and frequently some faded remnant of "the gray."

In the largo dry-goods establishment of Sauger & Brothers an immense
show-window was skilfully and beautifully arranged in honor of the
occasion. Confederate soldiers (life size), so natural and life-like
as to startle one, were grouped around a camp-fire anxiously watching
a large kettle containing a tempting-looking "mess" of green corn,
potatoes, other vegetables, and the rations of pork and beef. Blankets
neatly rolled and strapped, canteens, haversacks, etc., lay near upon
the ground. In the background, a deck of cards and two piles of
Confederate money had evidently been thrown down and deserted to
"watch the pot." We learned that this most realistic arrangement was
the work of a "Yankee boy," whose father had served in the Federal
army,--a loving tribute to the people among whom he had come to make
his home.

Arrived at the hotel, where a crowd of people waited in the parlor to
be assigned rooms, we witnessed many a touching scene between veterans
who met now after twenty years. An anxious face would look in at the
door, a manly form would advance irresolutely into the room, furtively
scanning the new-comers. Suddenly,--"Jim, can this be you?" "Why,
Dave, old fel! great God, is this Dave?" Then as hand met and grasped
hand these strong men would often break into sobs which forbade all
speech, while every heart of those who looked on thrilled with
responsive feeling.

From what I learned of the intended evening festivities at the
camp-ground (music and dancing under the glare of the electric light),
I felt disinclined to be present. All day I had walked hand in hand
with memory, turning again and again to clasp her closely and to feel
the throbbing of her sad heart upon my own. The dear presence still
enthralled me, and I could imagine no counter-charm in the laughing
face and airy form of Terpsichore.

On the following morning, Amy and I, escorted by a gallant Missouri
veteran, set out for the rendezvous, where we found assembled three or
four thousand people, among whom hundreds wearing more or less of the
gray were conspicuous. The perfect and magnificent arrangements for
the comfort and entertainment of guests inspired one with genuine
admiration for those who had so well accomplished the grand results
everywhere apparent. Did one thirst? In a hundred cool, pleasant nooks
were placed casks of ice-water, with dippers and gourds of all sizes
attached by long chains. If hungry, at "Headquarters" requisitions
were furnished and duly honored by the commissary, who seemed to have
a never-failing supply of delicious barbecued beef and mutton, also
generous rations of fresh bread.

These were supplemented by elegant refreshments of all kinds, served
under shaded tents by ladies, whose entire cordiality made them
charming hostesses.

Bands of music continually enlivened the scene. One of these (Gauche
Brothers, of Dallas) was of rare excellence, rendering "Bonnie Blue
Flag," "Dixie," and an exquisite nocturne, "The Soldier's Dream"
(composed for this occasion by the leader of this band), with so much
expression and skill as to elicit great applause. The speaker's stand
was beautifully ornamented. Hanging on either side of the rostrum was
a Confederate battle-flag. Above them, in the centre, floated a new
and very handsome United States banner in graceful undulations. From
its blue field not a star was missing. All had been restored, and the
bunting waved proudly as if instinct with knowledge of this fact. But,
oh, those other flags! sacred emblems of a cause so loved, so nobly
defended, yet, alas, lost! shattered and torn by shot and shell,
begrimed with the smoke of battle, deeply stained with precious blood;
as the summer breeze dallied with their ragged folds, they seemed to
stir with a feeble, mournful motion, like the slow throbbing of a
breaking heart. Pictures illustrating camp-life, battle scenes, etc.,
ornamented the stand, which was also decorated plentifully with red
and white, with a sufficient admixture of blue to make one remember to
be loyal to the present. The attempt to depict camp-life, cannon,
camp-fires, tents, stacked guns, sentries, etc., was utterly upset by
the presence of hundreds of ladies and children, with the inevitable
paraphernalia necessary to their comfort. "The front of grim-visaged
war" was constantly being smoothed into beauty by baby fingers. Men,
lured by siren voices, deserted the tented field, and were happy, in
entire forgetfulness of duty (so called). Soldiers who did _not_ bring
ladies enjoyed hugely living in tents and once more "messing"
together. Many eloquent speakers addressed the crowd. Pearls of
eloquence were sown broadcast, and brought forth a generous harvest of
applause.

The number of officers present was surprising. Generals, colonels,
majors were pointed out to me by the score, and at last I began to
wonder whether in the portion of the Confederate army here represented
there were any "privates," at least I _might_ have so wondered had I
not _known_ that, after many of the battles now being recalled with
honest pride and merited applause, my own eyes had been too dim with
tears to see the glory, my ears had failed to catch the sounds of
triumph, because so filled with awful death-groans or the agonizing
cries of the wounded. Men whose parting breath was an ascription of
praise to the god of battles, whose last earthly joy was the knowledge
of victory, and others who, shattered and torn and in throes of agony,
yet repressed their moans that they might listen for the music of the
fount which "springs eternal," whose bright waters (to them) mirrored
the cause they loved so well.

All honor to those who planned the glorious campaigns of the late
war--who dauntlessly led heroic legions. Their record is without a
parallel in the history of nations. Equal honor to the rank and
file--whose splendid valor and self-sacrifice made success possible
even when further efforts seemed but a "forlorn hope."

I believe I have omitted no important detail of the reunion. Each day
was just like the preceding one. Meetings and partings "tried men's
souls," and women's hearts were stirred to their depths.

At last the end came; afterwards to many painful reaction. Still it
was passing sweet to meet old friends and comrades, and to find that
memory had not proven faithless to her trust. For many a day in the
future we shall stand in the light of the surpassing glory which
streamed through as the curtain, which has so long obscured the past,
was lifted again and again by tender, reverent hands, under the oaks
at Dallas.

_An Incident of the Dallas Reunion._[3]

    [3] Written at the time for the Shreveport paper by Colonel
    Henderson, a true and gallant soldier, who has since died.

(The scene here described is to me a "_memory_" passing sweet, and one
which I desire to perpetuate. This feeling is far removed from vanity.
Had the "Lost Cause" been triumphant, my lips would have been sealed
as to my own service. As it is, I glory in having served it, and
cherish fondly even the slightest token that "my boys" do not forget
me.)


"On the last day of the Southern Soldiers' Reunion at Dallas, and when
sentiments had been read in honor of this and that officer of
distinction in the service of the Lost Cause, a lady occupying a
somewhat retired position on the platform handed to General Gano a
slip of paper on which was traced the following noble sentiment as
read by General Gano in a clear, distinct voice, and in tones that
expressed his entire concurrence.

"The sentiment and the name subscribed are sufficient of themselves.
We give it as follows:

  "'THE PRIVATE SOLDIER OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES ARMY.

  "'He bore in his bosom a heart of oak; he withstood the brunt of
  battle and sustained the heat and burthen of the day. His blood
  nourished the laurels which otherwise had never bloomed to grace
  the brow of Lee and Jackson. For myself, no blessing has ever
  crowned my life more highly prized than the God-given privilege I
  enjoyed during four years of the war, of ministering to the boys
  who wore the ragged, unornamented gray.

  "'Your devoted friend and comrade,

  "'MRS. FANNY A. BEERS,
  "'Late of the Confederate Army.'

"To this sentiment came the response of three cheers and a regular
rebel yell, repeated and repeated for the space of twenty minutes.

"But the most touching feature followed. A number of old Confederate
soldiers, who had in wounds and sickness received gentle and healing
ministrations from the hands of Mrs. Beers, and learned just then that
she was present, in defiance of all order, rushed to the stand and
gathered about her. Each and every one bore the mark of some wound
received in the war, and wore about their person some fragment of
Confederate uniform--a hat, a coat, or other article--as souvenirs of
the days of trials and glory.

"Like old children they gathered around her, grasping her hand and
blessing her and testifying to all the world what a blessing she had
been to them.

"It was, indeed and truly, the most touching and striking incident of
the late reunion of Confederate veterans at Dallas."



CHAPTER III.

CAMP NICHOLS.

The Louisiana Soldiers' Home.


I must begin with a digression, for, as thought concentrates itself
upon this pleasant subject, one is irresistibly impelled to remember
the delightful ride thitherward, and to wonder if any other city in
the United States can boast of street-car routes so beautiful. The
visitor to "Camp Nichols," taking on Canal Street a car of the
Esplanade and Bayou Bridge line, is borne smoothly along for miles
under cool, green arches of oak-trees, a broad street on either side,
bordered by elegant residences and lovely, fragrant gardens.

Looking back, where the green arcade narrows away in the distance, or
forward, to observe how the rough track is made beautiful by the shadows
of dancing leaves and boughs,--glancing at the rapidly-succeeding
pictures of beauty and comfort on either side, inhaling the mingled
perfume of flowers,--one is placed under a spell of enchantment which
lasts until, at "Bayou Bridge," the end of the route is reached.
Leaving the car, a very short walk along the banks of the Bayou brings
the visitor to the "camp." Upon entering the gate the first thought is,
"How pleasant, how peaceful, how homelike." The comfortable-looking
house is beautifully shaded by large live-oaks. Under these green grass
is diversified by neatly-kept walks. Midway between the outer gate and
the house a small stream is spanned by a rustic bridge. As I stood upon
this bridge and saw, upon the pleasant galleries in front of their
rooms, the maimed and scarred veterans sitting in groups or apart,
tranquilly smoking and chatting or reading, the dying words of our
"Stonewall" Jackson came into my mind,--"Let us cross the river and
rest in the shade of the trees." To him was given eternal rest. The
weary spirit even then stood by the river of death and viewed beyond
the trees of paradise. Less happy these who remain to witness the
downfall of hope. Ah, what can be more glorious, yet more deeply
sorrowful, than the story of their past. The strength and beauty of
their youth and early manhood was freely given to the cause they deemed
sacred. It was, alas! lost; and, the tempest of war subsiding, left
upon a desolate shore these wrecks.

Returning after the war to find only ruined homes and shattered
fortunes, those who had retained health and strength found them taxed
to the utmost. Necessity held them in bonds of iron, and the demands
of helpless families absorbed them. All the same, manly hearts have
been often and painfully stirred by the silent appeals of maimed and
suffering comrades, and the faithful few have never ceased to hope and
strive for the result now attained in the "Soldiers' Home."

It is pleasant to feel that the first rays of the newly-arisen sun of
prosperity have dispelled the darkness wherein these poor fellows have
wandered so long, revealing to them the kindly faces of brothers, who,
having gone in search of them, will lead them to home and rest.

As I said before, the "Home" viewed from the bridge, a few hundred
yards in front, suggests ideas of comfort which are fully realized
upon a closer investigation. The rooms are delightfully situated
(opening upon a shaded gallery), perfectly ventilated, and very cool,
furnished with iron bedsteads, comfortable and cleanly bedding,
wardrobes or bureaus, and washstands. The library and reception-room
is a charming nook, embellished with many gifts from loving hands.

Immediately opposite the entrance is placed an excellent portrait of
General Francis T. Nichols, a hero whom all (Louisianians especially)
delight to honor. From the bloody battle-fields of Northern Virginia
he brought back a mangled and shattered body, but enough to hold and
enshrine a powerful, active brain, and a heart as brave and generous
as ever beat in human bosom.

He is idolized by his comrades and beloved by us all. By a unanimous
vote of the board of directors the home has been called "Camp
Nichols," and from a gracefully-proportioned flag-staff, placed
directly in front of the reception-room (the gift of the Army of
Tennessee), floats a banner whereon this honored name was embroidered
by the daughters of Generals Lee and Jackson during their recent visit
to New Orleans.

The dining-room is very large, well lighted, and fairly shines with
cleanliness. In short, every appointment is excellent, and every
effort of managers and officers is directed toward making the disabled
veterans feel that they are honored inmates of a home which they have
earned and deserved, not recipients of charity. Camp Nichols may well
be called a trysting-place of heroes. Here old comrades meet as
comrades and friends. In the warm grasp of hands there is no suspicion
of patronage. Right down in these brave, long-suffering hearts shine
glances full of the unforgotten "light of other days," causing eyes
dim and clouded by care and sorrow to beam with a responsive
brightness. Ah, who shall undertake to estimate the value and
blessedness of this work!

The Legislature of Louisiana organized this enterprise in 1881, making
a yearly appropriation for its support. It is designed for all
soldiers of Louisiana who have been disabled by wounds received in
her service or have become incapacitated by age or disability; is
controlled by a board of directors, also created by the State,
consisting of the president, three vice-presidents, and recording
secretary of the Army of Northern Virginia, and the president, three
vice-presidents, and recording secretary of the Army of Tennessee.

The harmonious action of this board is nobly sustained by the members
composing both organizations.

The president of the Army of Tennessee, Judge Walter Rogers, is an
indefatigable worker, as he was once a brave and faithful soldier. He
may with perfect truth be written "as one who loves his fellow-men"
(especially his fellow-soldiers). I believe he will, as long as he
lives, stand a faithful sentinel upon the sands of time, watching lest
the ever-encroaching tide of years may obliterate sacred foot-prints.

All arrangements having been nearly completed, the Home was opened
January 1, 1884. Eight soldiers were at once admitted, and since the
number has been increased to fifty. Under the rules of the institution
no compulsory labor is allowed except that necessary to properly
police the quarters. Yet all feel so deep an interest in their Home
that they yield willing assistance whenever asked. They choose such
occupations as they are physically able to perform, and take delight
in keeping things in order.

The Home has many friends outside of the Confederate organizations,
none more zealous and truly kind than the officers and members of the
Grand Army of the Republic, "Mewer Post." These are frequent and
welcome visitors to Camp Nichols, and have shown both generosity and
thoughtfulness in their contributions to the comfort of its inmates.
The superintendent, Captain William Bullitt, was selected on account
of his soldierly qualities and excellent administrative abilities, and
by a unanimous vote of the board elected to fill the position.

His record is untarnished and excellent. At the inception of the war,
having assisted in raising the First Company Louisiana Guards, he went
out as first lieutenant of the same, won by promotion the rank of
captain and afterwards of major, which he held at the close of the
war. Used, therefore, to command, he also brings to his work a
thorough love for it, and an amount of intelligence in interpreting,
and skill in carrying out arrangements and improvements proposed by
the board of directors, which insures success and the satisfaction of
all concerned.

"God bless our Home," and let the light of His countenance shine upon
it and bless it.

And may God strengthen the kindly hands which have led these weary
ones away from thorny pathways "through green pastures and beside
still waters." May they never falter nor fail until the all-merciful
Father shall himself provide the "rod and staff" which shall guide all
through the dark valley to rest eternal.



CHAPTER IV.

THE MARCH OF TIME.


Thoughts suggested while witnessing the ceremonies attending the
unveiling of a statue of General Albert Sydney Johnston, erected upon
their tomb by the Louisiana Division, Army of Tennessee, in New
Orleans, Louisiana, April 6, 1887.[4]

    [4] The article was first published in "The Illustrated South."

Little more than three years ago there came a day long to be
remembered by every man, woman, and child resident in New Orleans, and
by all strangers then sojourning within her gates. A day when the
souls of thousands held but a single thought, when all hearts beat as
one, when one impulse, strong, thrilling, irresistible led willing
feet to where, upon a pedestal, raised stone by stone by love and
self-sacrifice, stood the shrouded figure of General Robert E. Lee.
Above hung heavy clouds, alas! too suggestive of the hopes that
perished forever at Appomattox, but ever and anon the struggling sun
broke through, lingering awhile as if to recall the matchless glory
which, even in the hour of disaster and defeat, gilded and made
immortal the untarnished swords, the stacked arms, then and there
surrendered.

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 _attaché_ 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.



THOMPSON IMPROVED BUILDING PAPER.

A Substitute for Plastering and for Wall Paper and Canvas.
In use from the Atlantic to the Rocky Mountains.
No Experiment, but an Established Success.

SHEETING AND LINING PAPERS,
TARRED PAPERS,
ROOFING FELT, ROOFING PITCH,
ASPHALT, ETC.

Metal Shingles in Iron and Tin, Painted and Galvanized.

BEST BANGOR ROOFING SLATES, ROOFING TILES, ETC.

Samples of Paper and Circulars sent on application. Address
EDWARD THOMPSON,
112 and 114 Poydras Street, NEW ORLEANS, LA.



THE SOUTH ILLUSTRATED.

130 Gravier St., New Orleans, La.

A TWENTY-PAGE MONTHLY.

Published under the auspices of leading Business Men and Capitalists
of the State.

H.H. BAKER, Managing Editor.    GEO. MOORMAN, Associate Editor.

_Devoted to the Development of the South, particularly Louisiana.
Superbly Illustrated._

SUBSCRIPTION, $1.00 PER YEAR.

Every issue replete with information pertaining to the resources of
the Southern States, their unmatched advantage of climate and soil,
adaptation to a wide range of agricultural products, tropical fruits,
etc. Vast and widely-distributed mineral and wooded wealth, and the
late marked impetus on many lines of industrial progress, especially
in railroads, iron manufactures, etc.

THE MOST EFFECTIVE ADVERTISING MEDIUM IN THE SOUTH.

Rates for advertisements and subscription furnished promptly on
application at the office,

13O GRAVIER STREET.



A.K. MILLER & CO.,

AGENTS FOR

"State," "American," "Inman," "Cunard," "White Star," "Red Star,"
"Allan," "National," "Guion," "Hamburg," and "Italian" Lines of
Steamers.

All Classes of Passage to and from all Places in Europe and America,
via New Orleans, New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.

SIGHT DRAFTS ON ALL CITIES IN EUROPE.

37 Carondelet Street, New Orleans, La.



THE
LIVERPOOL AND LONDON AND GLOBE
INSURANCE COMPANY.

Fire Assets                  $15,014,725.47
Total Fire Liabilities         5,614,692.11
                              -------------
Surplus for Policy Holders    $9,400,033.36

Assets in United States       $6,639,780.55
Liabilities in United States   3,562,242.30
                              -------------
Surplus in United States      $3,077,538.25

HENRY V. OGDEN,                            CLARENCE P. LOW,
Resident Secretary.                        Assistant Secretary.

LOSSES CASHED UPON ADJUSTMENT WITHOUT DISCOUNT.

194 GRAVIER STREET.
NEW ORLEANS.



John I. Adams.    W.H. Renaud.    J.G. Ong.    P.A. Bonito.

JOHN I. ADAMS & CO.,

Wholesale Grocers
AND
DEALERS IN PROVISIONS, WINES, AND LIQUORS,

Nos. 43, 45, and 47 Peters Street
(formerly NEW LEVEE),

Coffee, Sugar, Molasses, and Rice a Speciality            NEW ORLEANS



F. CODMAN FORD,
Building Specialties,
63 and 69 Baronne St., New Orleans, La.

_Terra-Cotta of Every Description.
Stained and Decorative Glass. Fine Hard-Wood Mantels.
Glazed and Encaustic Tiles.
F.W. Devoes & Co.'s Paints and Varnishes._

SEND FOR CATALOGUES AND ESTIMATES.



H.P. BUCKLEY,
No. 8 Camp Street, New Orleans, La.,

HAS ON HAND A FINE STOCK OF
Waltham Watches,
AT LOW PRICES.

ALSO SILVERWARE, JEWELRY, SPECTACLES.

Watch and Jewelry Repairing a Specialty.



RICHARD M. ONG,
92 and 94 Magazine St., New Orleans,

Paints, Building Materials, Naval Stores, Oils.

WHITE AND RED LEAD,    NAILS, FIRE BRICK,
MIXED AND DRY COLORS,  LIME, SAND,
WINDOW GLASS,          CEMENT, HAIR,
VARNISHES, GLUES,      PLASTER PARIS,
BRUSHES, ETC.          FIRE CLAY AND FIRE TILES.

Burning and Machinery Oils and Axle Grease.



New Orleans National Bank
(UNITED STATES DEPOSITORY),

Corner of Camp and. Common Streets.


Capital          $200,000
Surplus           400,000
Undivided Profits  65,000
                 --------
                 $665,000

A. BALDWIN, President S. KATZ, Vice-President. WM. PALFREY, Cashier.



JOHNSON IRON WORKS,

Julia St., from Delta to Water,

LEWIS JOHNSON    }
HENRY D. STEARNS } Proprietors            NEW ORLEANS.



TULANE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA.

High School, College, University, Law,
and Medical Departments.

Hon. RANDALL LEE GIBSON, U.S. Senator, President of Board of
  Administrators.
WILLIAM PRESTON JOHNSON, LL.D., President of University.

Forty-seven Professors and Instructors.

HIGH SCHOOL. Three Classes--Preparatory, Intermediate, and
Sub-Freshman. Four Parallel Courses. Drawing and Manual Training two
hours daily for all classes.

COLLEGE COURSES.--Classical, Literary, Natural Science, Mathematical,
Mechanical, and Commercial.

UNIVERSITY COURSE leads to degrees of Master of Arts, and further
study to degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

LAW AND MEDICAL DEPARTMENTS thoroughly organized, with efficient
Faculties and large attendance of students from city and country and
adjoining States.

H. SOPHIE NEWCOMB MEMORIAL COLLEGE
FOR YOUNG WOMEN,

Under Charge of the Administrators of the University.

Catalogues containing announcement of all departments may be obtained
upon application to

WM. O. ROGERS,
Secretary Tulane University,
New Orleans, La.



A.B. GRISWOLD & CO.,

Corner Canal and Royal Streets, NEW ORLEANS,

IMPORTERS OF

_Watches, Diamonds, Jewelry, and Silverware._



JNO. T. MOORE, JR., & CO.,

WHOLESALE GROCERS
AND COMMISSION MERCHANTS,

Nos. 37, 39, AND 41 TCHOUPITOULAS STREET,
P.O. Box 1806. Telephone 1150.   Between Poydras and Gravier Streets.

WAREHOUSE, No. 14 NATCHEZ STREET,
NEW ORLEANS, LA.

_CASH ADVANCES MADE._



S. JAMISON'S SON,

No. 69 Carondelet St., New Orleans,

IMPORTER AND DEALER IN

English and German Portland Cements,

ROSENDALE AND WESTERN CEMENTS,

Marble Dust, Sand, Plaster, Hair, Lime, and Fire Bricks,
Fertilizers, Fire Clay, and Tiles,
Laths, Rosin, Pitch, and Building Materials.

OILS A SPECIALTY.

CORRESPONDENCE SOLICITED.



THOS. FAWCETT & SONS,

_Branch of Thos. Fawcett & Sons, Miners and Shippers of Coal,
77 Water Street, Pittsburgh, Pa._,

DEALERS IN

PITTSBURGH, ANTHRACITE, AND CANNEL
COAL AND COKE.

OFFICE, 166 POYDRAS STREET,
NEW ORLEANS.

Yard, on Levee, Head Bobin St.     Telephone 842.

Families, Presses, Factories, Plantations, etc., Supplied at Lowest
Market Rates. COAL IN CASKS FOR SHIPMENT.



MRS. T.J. BROWN,

W.W. HAWKINS, Manager,

DEALER IN

WALL PAPERS,

Window Shades, Hollands, Cornices, Cornice Poles,
Room Mouldings, Etc.,

263 CAMP STREET,
NEW ORLEANS.

SAMPLES MAILED ON APPLICATION.



JOHN H. MURPHY,

Copper, Brass, and Iron Works,

MANUFACTURER OF
SUGAR MACHINERY,

Nos. 123 to 131 Magazine Street,
CORNER GIROD,
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA.



AUGUST F. SLANGERUP, Superintending Engineer.
WILL R. TAYLOR, Business Manager.
WALTER A. TAYLOR, Mechanical Engineer and Draughtsman.

TAYLOR BROTHERS & CO.

(Successors to Wm. W. Taylor),

Contracting and Manufacturing

MACHINISTS AND ENGINEERS

Will prepare plans, specifications, and estimates, and contract for
the manufacture, erection, and repairing of

_Engines, Boilers, Bagasse Burners, Steam and Vacuum Pumps, Sugar
Mills, Vacuum Pans, Double and Triple Effects, Filter Presses, Steam
Trains, and General Sugar Machinery_,

SOLE BUILDERS OF

Taylor's Patent Steam Traps. Taylors Improved Bagasse Burners, Taylors
Patent Bagasse Feeders.

Manufacturers' Agents for Guild and Garrison's Boiler, Feed, Tank, and
Vacuum Pumps.

Our shops are new, and equipped with new and improved machinery,
enabling us to do first-class work.

Office and Works, Constance and St. Joseph Streets, New Orleans.



Telephone 278.

JOSEPH J. HOOPER,

STATIONER,

No. 60 Carondelet St., New Orleans.

SPECIALTIES:

_Printing and Blank Book Manufacturing._

Write for quotations; it will cost you only _one cent_ and may
save you a dollar.



REYNOLDS IRON WORKS,

MANUFACTURERS OF

The Celebrated Reynolds's Patent Cotton Presses

Agricultural Implements,
MACHINERY, CASTINGS OF ALL KINDS, ETC.,

Cor. Delord and Fulton Sts., New Orleans, La.

THOS. O'CONNOR, Jr., Manager.



LOUISIANA BREWING CO.
OF NEW ORLEANS.

Brewery and Office, Jackson and Tchoupitoulas Sts.
TELEPHONE, no. 822.

P.W. DIELMANN, President.    J. HASSINGER, Vice-President.
FRANK FEHR, Superintendent.   H. ENGELHARDT, Secretary.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS.
P.W. Dielmann.     J. Hassinger.    F. Raquet.      H. Armbruster.
Albert P. Noll.    Frank Fehr.      M. Vonderbank



Frank Walker.               H.J. Leovy, Jr.

FRANK WALKER & CO.,

MILL SUPPLIES,

Mill Builders and Contractors,

117 TCHOUPITOULAS ST., NEW ORLEANS.

RICE MILL WORK A SPECIALTY.



MONTGOMERY U.S. BONDED WAREHOUSES,

Fulton and Peters, between Julia, and St. Joseph Streets.

CHAS. A. THIEL,
_Proprietor_,

MAIN OFFICE, 115 FULTON STREET,
NEW ORLEANS.
TELEPHONE 926.        INSURANCE A 1.



CRESCENT SUGAR AND RICE WAREHOUSES,
Commerce and Tchoupitoulas, bet. Julia and St. Joseph Sts.



YALE & BOWLING,

WHOLESALE
DRY GOODS AND NOTIONS

17, 19, and 21 Magazine St.
AND
88 Common St.,
NEW ORLEANS, LA.



THE LOUISIANA NATIONAL BANK,
OF NEW ORLEANS.

Capital                      $500,000.00
Surplus                       200,000.00
Undivided Profits             140,000.00
                             ----------
                             $840,000.00

R.M. WALMSLEY,      A. LURIA,          LEON F. JANIN,
President.          Vice-President.    Cashier.



M. HACKETT,

WHOLESALE AND RETAIL GROCER,
Importer, Wine and Liquor Dealer,

223 TO 227 MELPOMENE STREET,
_BARONNE STREET SIDE OF DRYADES MARKET_,
NEW ORLEANS.



JNO. P. RICHARDSON,

WHOLESALE
DRY GOODS AND NOTIONS

CORNER
Magazine and Common. Sts.,
NEW ORLEANS, LA.



P.A. BARKER.        BARKER & PESCUD,        P.F. PESCUD.

River, Marine, and Life Insurance Agents,

No. 58 Carondelet Street, New Orleans, La.,
REPRESENT FOLLOWING COMPANIES, VIZ.:

                                                         _Assets_.
Ætna Ins. Co., Hartford                                 89,568,839
Home Ins. Co., New York                                  7,803,711
Hartford Fire Ins. Co., Hartford                         5,005,946
Springfield Fire and Marine Ins. Co., Massachusetts      3,044,915
Lion Fire Ins. Co., London                               4,504,155
Sun Fire Office, London                                  1,706,268
Commercial Ins Co., California                             500,000
Employers Liability (Accident), London.                    763,078
Metropolitan Plate Glass Ins. Co., N.Y.,                   220,000

P.O. Box 667.          LOSSES ADJUSTED AND PAID IN NEW ORLEANS, LA.



E.C. FENNER,

CARRIAGE REPOSITORY,

Bicycles, Tricycles, Velocipedes, and Lawn Tennis, Baby Carriages,
Harness, Whips, Robes, and Carriage Trimmings,

105 AND 107 GRAVIER STREET,
NEW ORLEANS, LA.



[Illustration: Carriage]

JOSEPH SCHWARTZ,

Nos. 41, 43, 45, and 47 Perdido St.

THE LARGEST
Carriage and Wagon
Repository and Manufactory in the South,
And Dealer in Carriage, Wagon, and Cane Cart Materials.
Agent for the Celebrated Tennessee and Studebaker Farm Wagons,
and Coldwater Road Cart.

P.O. Box 3365.    NEW ORLEANS.



T.H. STAUFFER.      B.F. ESHLEMAN.      WALTER R. STAUFFER.

STAUFFER, ESHLEMAN & CO.,

SUCCESSORS TO STAUFFER, MACKREADY & CO.,

IMPORTERS AND DEALERS IN HARDWARE,

Cutlery, Guns, Pistols, Iron, Nails, Tin and Leaded Plates, Metals,
Oils, Paints, and Cordage.

AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENTS.

No. 103 Chambers St., New York.

Nos. 11 to 23 Dorsier, 52 and 54 Customhouse Streets,
and 71 Canal Street,
NEW ORLEANS.



C.M. SORIA, Pres. JNO S. RAINEY, Vice-Pres. F.W. RAINEY. Sec. and Treas.

STANDARD GUANO AND CHEMICAL MANUFACTURING CO.,

Successors to Sterns Fertilizer and Chemical Manufacturing Co.

Manufacturers of Super-Phosphates, Pure Ground Bone, Animal Charcoal,
and Chemicals. Special Fertilizers for Cotton, Sugar, Grain, Fruit,
and Vegetables.

Highest Standard Guaranteed.

_P.O. Drawer 442. 14 Union St., New Orleans._



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 AMÉLIE RIVES (April).

This series of novels, it will readily be seen, will be of great
literary value and interest. Miss Amélie 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 Amélie 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 Amélie 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.





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