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Title: E.P. Roe: Reminiscences of his Life
Author: Roe, Mary 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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "E.P. Roe: Reminiscences of his Life" ***

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_The Works of_

E · P · ROE


HE FELL IN LOVE WITH HIS WIFE


E. P. ROE

REMINISCENCES OF HIS LIFE

BY HIS SISTER, MARY A. ROE


ILLUSTRATED


NEW YORK
PETER FENELON COLLIER & SON
MCM


E. P. ROE

REMINISCENCES OF HIS LIFE

_Copyright, 1899_
BY DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY



INTRODUCTORY NOTE.


Since the death of Edward Payson Roe, in 1888, there have been
inquiries from time to time for some record of his life and work, and
it is in response to these repeated requests that this volume is
issued. While necessarily omitting much that is of too personal a
nature for publication, the editor has allowed the subject of these
Reminiscences to speak for himself as far as possible, although it has
been thought advisable to introduce here and there various papers from
outside sources that seem to throw additional light upon his character.
It is believed that in this way a clearer picture may be given than
would otherwise be obtained of the life of one who was, perhaps, the
most popular American author of his generation. The editor's own part
of the work has been confined to a simple statement of facts and to
supplying connecting links, when such seemed needed, between the
various letters and papers.

Thanks are due, and are hereby offered, to all who have kindly
contributed material or in other ways assisted in the preparation of
this volume.



CONTENTS


CHAPTER                                                          PAGE

   I. BOYHOOD AND COLLEGE DAYS                                      1

  II. LIFE AS CHAPLAIN                                             13

 III. A WINTER CAMP                                                41

  IV. MARRIAGE--THE RAID TOWARD RICHMOND                           58

   V. HAMPTON HOSPITAL                                             70

  VI. THE HOSPITAL FARM AND CHAPEL                                 85

 VII. PASTORATE AT HIGHLAND FALLS                                  95

VIII. RESIGNATION FROM THE MINISTRY                               118

  IX. FRUIT CULTURE AND LITERARY WORK                             124

   X. HOME LIFE                                                   137

  XI. SANTA BARBARA                                               154

 XII. RETURN TO CORNWALL--LETTERS                                 181

XIII. LAST BOOK--DEATH                                            194

 XIV. AN ACCOUNT OF E. P. ROE'S BOOKS                             218

  XV. THE TABLET AND MEMORIAL ADDRESS                             231



ILLUSTRATIONS


E. P. ROE AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH                      _Frontispiece_

                                                         TO FACE PAGE

E. P. ROE AS A STUDENT                                             10

E. P. ROE AS CHAPLAIN, AGE 26                                      38

VIEW FROM THE PIAZZA AT "ROELANDS"                                128

THE STUDY AT "ROELANDS"                                           152

TABLET ON BOULDER IN "ROE PARK"                                   232


[Illustration: E. P. ROE AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH.]



E. P. ROE

REMINISCENCES OF HIS LIFE



CHAPTER I

BOYHOOD AND COLLEGE DAYS


My brother Edward and I were the youngest of six children, and as he
was my senior by but a few years we were playmates and almost
inseparable companions in our childhood.

We were born in a roomy old-fashioned house, built by my mother's
father for his oldest son, but purchased by my father when he retired
from business in New York. A more ideal home for a happy childhood
could not easily be found. It stood near the entrance of a beautiful
valley through which flowed a clear stream, and was wind-sheltered by
high bluffs, yet commanded fine views of the mountains with glimpses of
the Hudson showing like lakes between them.

What we called the "side-hill," back of the house, was our chief
playground. My brother delighted in climbing the hickory and chestnut
trees that grew upon it, and it was here in spring that we searched for
wild flowers, from the little hepaticas just peeping above the snow, to
the laurel in its full glory. In after years Edward never visited the
old home without a tramp to the top of that side-hill or along the
wood-road at its base.

Our mother was always an invalid, and the housekeeper, Betsey Williams,
who was a member of our family for many years, became like a second
mother to us in her care and devotion. But she was no disciplinarian,
and I have heard that when Edward was in a childish passion and she
felt unable to cope with the situation she would pick him up bodily and
carry him to my mother's couch. There he would sit beside her, not
daring to move until he could promise obedience, held spellbound by the
authority in her keen black eyes, though she was too weak to raise her
hand to her head.

Edward's love of nature was inherited from both father and mother.
Often, on lovely June days, he would draw mother's wheeled chair
through the broad walks of our large square garden, where the borders
on either side were gorgeous with flowers, while I gathered and piled
the fragrant blossoms on her lap until she was fairly embowered. Yet
one scarcely missed those that were plucked.

Back of the garden ran a clear brook, the overflow from a spring of
soft, cool water at the base of the side-hill, and in it we often
played and tumbled, soaking and soiling many a fresh clean suit.

As is usually the case with younger sisters, I always followed my
brother's lead, and one summer day's adventure in particular stands
clearly in my memory. We little children had started off with the
avowed intention of looking for wild strawberries. We had secretly
planned to visit the old house where my mother was born, which was some
distance farther up the valley and at that time was unoccupied, but we
thought it best not to make any announcement of this project in
advance.

Edward had heard that in the cellar there was a stone vault in which
our Grandfather Williams kept the money that General Washington had
entrusted to his care until it was required to pay off the soldiers of
the Revolution while they were encamped near Newburgh. Edward was eager
to visit the cellar, thinking that possibly there might still be a few
coins left. We entered the empty house by a back door and wandered
through the rooms, he entertaining me the while with stories mother had
told him of her childhood there.

Then we timidly groped our way down into the large cellar and found the
stone vault--but it was filled only with cobwebs and dust!

When we came out and stood in the great kitchen Edward told me another
Revolutionary story connected with the spot in our great-grandmother's
day.

A company of British soldiers had been quartered upon the family, and
the old kitchen swarmed with redcoats and negro servants, for those
were still days of slavery in the North. Grandmother Brewster, who was
a notable cook, had just placed in the heated brick oven a large baking
of bread, pies, and cake. One of the soldiers asked her if they could
have these good things provided they could take them away without her
knowledge, but while she was in the kitchen. She, believing this
impossible, said yes. He waited until everything was removed from the
oven and placed upon a large table to cool. Suddenly a quarrel arose
between several of the soldiers and one of her favorite colored boys.
Fearing the lad would be killed she rushed into the midst of the crowd
and at length succeeded in stopping the fight. When at last peace and
quiet were restored, she turned round to find her morning's baking
gone--and in a moment she understood the ruse they had practised upon
her.

As Edward talked the whole story seemed very real to us, but when he
had finished we walked up to the old oven, and looking into its
cavernous depths he said: "_That's_ here and the stone vault down
cellar, but all those people are dead and gone. How strange and lonely
it seems! Let's go."

Then we hurried off to a field near by which we called "the
rose-patch." Not far from this spot stood formerly an old mill where
snuff was manufactured, and the rose-bushes that in bygone days had
yielded their blossoms to scent the snuff were still living and
flowering. But among the roses was an abundance of wild strawberries,
and the two children soon lost all thoughts of the past in their
enjoyment of the luscious fruit. But the old deserted house with its
Revolutionary associations never ceased to have great attractions for
us. Across the road from it, and nearer the creek, was a mound of
cinders marking the spot where once stood the forge upon which our
grandfather wrought the great iron chain which was stretched across the
Hudson for the purpose of keeping British ships from sailing beyond it.
Some links of this chain are now kept as relics in the Washington
"Headquarters" at Newburgh.

In later years Edward planned to write a story entitled "The Fair
Captives of Brooklyn Heights," embodying some incidents in the lives of
our Grandfather Williams' sisters, who lived there with their widowed
mother. During the Revolution a number of British officers installed
themselves at her house, and the old lady promptly locked up her
daughters in order to prevent any possible love-making. One of the
girls eluded her vigilance, however, married an officer, and fled with
him to Canada. She returned after the war was over, but her mother, who
had never forgiven the deception, refused to receive her, and she and
her husband went to England to live.

In our home at Moodna was always to be found a generous hospitality.
Among our most loved and honored guests was Dr. Samuel Cox, who was for
many years a prominent clergyman in New York and Brooklyn. My father
had been a member of his church and they were lifelong friends. Often,
in summer, he and his family spent weeks at a time with us, and we
children, as well as our elders, were always charmed listeners to his
conversation. He had a fine memory, and it was remarkably well stored
with classic poetry. Sometimes he would entertain us with selections
from the "Iliad," but more often, when other guests were present and
Edward and I were seated on the piazza steps, on warm moonlight
evenings, he would repeat whole cantos from "Marmion" or "Lady of the
Lake," or perhaps some fine passages from "Paradise Lost."

At times the conversation would turn upon ancient history, and I
remember on one occasion he asked Edward and me if we could give him
the names of the first Roman triumvirate. At this period of our
existence the name "Cæsar" was associated exclusively with an old
colored man whom we often visited and who lived upon a lonely road
which is still called "Cæsar's Lane." We were vastly astonished,
therefore, to learn that the name had ever been borne by any more
illustrious personage than our dusky friend. But we listened,
entranced, while the doctor told of the rivalries and conflicts of
those two great generals, Cæsar and Pompey, for the empire of the
world. He could not remember the name of the third triumvir, and it
troubled him greatly. That night, about two o'clock, I was startled by
a loud knock at my bedroom door, and Dr. Cox called out, "Mary, are you
awake?" I replied that I was--as, indeed, was every one else in the
house by that time. "It's Crassus," he said, then returned to his room
greatly relieved that he had finally recalled the name. Edward and I
never forgot our first lesson in Roman History.

This learned clergyman was often very absent-minded. During one of his
visits to us he had been for a drive with his wife and our mother. On
their return he stopped at the horse-block, near where Edward and I
were playing, threw down the reins, and, engrossed in some train of
thought, walked into the house, utterly forgetful of the ladies on the
back seat. They, very much amused, continued their conversation and
waited to see if he would remember them. Finally, however, as he did
not reappear, Edward was called to assist them from the carriage and
unharness the horse. Some time afterward the doctor rushed out of the
front door and around the house, having just remembered where he left
the companions of his drive.

The first school Edward and I attended was a private one for boys and
girls kept by our eldest brother Alfred, in the village of Canterbury,
two miles distant from our home. We trudged over the hills together on
pleasant days and drove over when the weather was stormy. I well
remember the abnormal interest we felt in the health of an aunt of ours
who lived near the school and who had some fine fruit trees on her
place. After our inquiries in regard to her welfare had been answered
she was sure to invite us to examine the ground beneath those trees,
while the merry twinkle in her eyes showed appreciation of the fact
that our devotion to her was not altogether disinterested.

Of my brother's later school and college days, the Rev. A. Moss Merwin,
now of Pasadena, California, writes:--

"It was at Cornwall-on-the-Hudson I first met Edward, a fellow student
in his brother Alfred's classical school. His face and manners were
attractive, and intellectually he ranked high among his companions.
Well informed as to current events, with a wider knowledge of books
than is usual with young men of his years, and with great facility in
expressing his thoughts orally and in writing, he commanded our respect
from the first. And when we saw from time to time articles from his pen
in the New York _Evangelist_ descriptive of stirring events, our
respect grew into admiration for him who was _facile princeps_ in our
small literary world. Then as we came to know something of his kindness
of heart and enthusiasm for the good and true we loved him.

"His particular friends among the boarding pupils enjoyed the privilege
of being invited occasionally to the hospitable home of his parents.
What a home it was! Abundant comfort without ostentation or luxury. The
father a retired business man, kindly, philanthropic, and an ardent
lover of plants and flowers. The mother an invalid in her wheeled
chair, a woman with sunshine in eye and voice, of unusual intelligence,
highly cultivated, with charming conversational powers.

"In the little Presbyterian church near the school, planted mainly
through the exertions of his father and elder brothers, there came a
time of special religious interest when Edward was deeply impressed.
With loving purpose he sought out two of his most intimate companions,
and through his instrumentality they then began the Christian life. One
became a successful business man in Chicago, and to the day of his
death remembered with gratitude the helping hand and earnest words of
E. P. Roe. The other friend remembers that soon after that decision,
when he and Edward were walking through the grounds of the Friends'
meeting-house, they covenanted together to study for the ministry.

"We were together again preparing for college at Burr and Burton
Seminary, Manchester, Vermont. How enthusiastic he was over the
beautiful scenery of that now far-famed summer resort in the Green
Mountains! How delighted to send his father a present through his own
earnings by sawing several cords of wood!"

About this time our father's property in New York City was destroyed by
fire, and owing to the expense of rebuilding he was obliged for a time
to practise close economy. But fortunately it was not found necessary
to take any of his children from school or college. To quote Mr. Merwin
further:--

"At Williams College we saw much of each other. Roe was a fair scholar,
more intent at getting at the meaning of the text, and its mythological
and historical relations, than in making what is called a fair
recitation. His ability as a writer and speaker was recognized early in
his college course when elected speaker of his class at a Washington's
Birthday banquet. Friends he easily made, and with many remained in
pleasant relations to the close of his life. Trouble with his eyes
caused him to shorten his course at college, but the authorities, in
view of his subsequent success as a writer, gave him his diploma."

My brother excelled in athletic sports in his youth, particularly in
swimming and skating. On one occasion when he was home on vacation, he
and a young companion were skating on the river. His friend, who was
skimming along in advance of him, suddenly fell into an air-hole and
sank out of sight. Edward instantly realized that if he went to the
spot to rescue him, he also would break through. With quick presence of
mind, therefore, he unwound a long worsted muffler from his neck and
threw one end of it into the opening. As soon as the struggling boy
rose to the surface, Edward shouted, "Take hold of that tippet and I'll
pull you out!" His friend did as he was directed and Edward, by
exerting all his strength, succeeded in drawing him out of the water
and upon the solid ice, fortunately not much the worse for his
immersion.

Adjoining our father's property was that of Mr. Nathaniel Sands, a
"Friend" and a gentleman in all that the words imply, who was loved and
respected by the whole community. His residence commanded an extended
view of the river and mountains and especially of the narrow Gap of the
Highlands. At his death the old homestead became the summer residence
of his eldest son, Dr. David Sands, the head of a well-known firm of
druggists in New York.

While my brother was at the theological seminary, and just about the
beginning of the Civil War, he became engaged to Dr. Sands' second
daughter, Anna. The young people had known each other from childhood,
and this happy culmination of their long friendship was not unexpected
by either family.



CHAPTER II

LIFE AS CHAPLAIN


One of Edward's schoolmates at Cornwall, writing of him, said: "We met
again on a most memorable evening in the early days of the war, when
with two young ladies, one of whom became his wife, we rowed out on the
Hudson River, under the shadow of Storm King, while the whole sky from
west to east flamed with crimson-tinted clouds, that seemed a portent
of the scenes to follow. When we reached the dock on our return the
evening papers brought the details of the battle of Bull Run, fought on
the previous day."

I remember Edward's intense excitement on his return home that night,
and his remark that if he were only through his seminary course he
would join the army as chaplain. From that time I believe the purpose
was constantly in his mind; and the next year, 1862, although his
studies were not then completed, he became chaplain of the famous
Harris Light Cavalry, under the command of the gallant Kilpatrick,
later Brigadier and Major General, who was always my brother's firm
friend.

The following testimony to Edward's work among the soldiers was written
upon the field by a correspondent of the New York _Tribune_.

    "Chaplain Roe, of the Second New York (Harris Light) Cavalry, is a
    man whose praises are in the mouth of every one for timely and
    efficient services. He is always with the regiment, and his whole
    time is devoted to the temporal and spiritual welfare of the men.
    He is their friend, adviser, and counsellor, and commands the
    respect of all who know him--something that cannot be said of every
    chaplain in the army."

[Illustration: E. P. ROE AS A STUDENT.]

The _Observer_ of that year also published a letter written by a
private in the Harris Light Cavalry to his parents. In it is found this
reference to their chaplain.

    "To-day is Sunday, and, as a great exception, it has appeared like
    Sunday. This morning we had service at headquarters, the chaplain
    of our regiment officiating, and I think I can safely call him a
    pious army chaplain, which I cannot say of any others that _I_ ever
    knew; and notwithstanding the little respect most chaplains have
    shown to them, and still less encouragement, this one, by his mild,
    gentle, manly, humble, and Christian-like demeanor, has won the
    respect of all with whom he has had intercourse, from the most
    profane and vulgar to the most gentlemanly, which few chaplains
    have been able to do. In a fight he is seen encouraging the men; in
    the hospital administering to the soldier's wants, both spiritually
    and bodily. Last winter, during the worst days of a Virginia
    winter, I have seen him going from camp to camp, distributing his
    books and papers; and with his own earnings he would buy delicacies
    that a poor sick soldier would otherwise in vain long for. These
    and other innumerable like acts have gradually caused every one to
    at least respect him, and some to love him. His name is Rev. E. P.
    Roe, Chaplain Harris Light Cavalry. I have been informed that he
    had just graduated when he came into the army. I think Dr. P----
    may know him. I believe he is a Presbyterian. If you had any idea
    what a chaplain had to contend with, in order to lead a consistent
    life, you might then understand why I speak so of him.

    "S."

While with this regiment Edward acted as weekly correspondent for the
New York _Evangelist_. A few of his letters to that paper are here
reprinted, in the hope that they may still be found of interest. They
are characteristic of the writer and give a clearer idea of his life at
this time than can be obtained in any other way.

    "CAMP HALL'S HILL, Oct. 15, 1862.

    "MESSRS. EDITORS:--Till within a few days past we have been
    enjoying splendid weather, days as warm and sunny as those of June,
    and moonlight nights so clear and beautiful that one could sit at
    his tent door and read ordinary type with perfect ease and
    pleasure. Of course we improved such favourable weather and held
    our prayer-meetings nearly every night. I shall never forget one
    religious service that we had last week.

    "As usual a large fire was kindled in front of the chaplain's tent,
    and the men, having disposed of their suppers, were beginning to
    assemble. Soon the musical "church-call" sounded to hasten the
    lagging ones, and by the time our exercises commenced about two
    hundred were present. Our meetings are of a free and general
    character, open to all who are willing to take part in them. We
    commence by singing two or three hymns or patriotic songs in
    succession, the sound of music calling the men together. A prayer
    is then offered, after which I endeavor by some anecdote or
    illustration to force home the truth and necessity of a Saviour
    upon the minds of those present. The Christian members of the
    regiment then follow in prayer, singing, and exhortation, till we
    are dispersed by the roll-call. We have interruptions in this, our
    usual programme, of such a nature, and with such frequency, that we
    have great reason to be thankful and encouraged. They are
    occasioned by the stepping forth of soldiers in front of the fire
    who have hitherto been silent in our meetings, and who either ask
    the prayers of Christians that they may be led to the Saviour, or
    calmly and firmly state their intention to enlist under the banner
    of the Cross, and urge their comrades to do likewise.

    "Towards the close of the service I have mentioned, three young men
    rose up together, and calmly and firmly one after another stated
    their resolution, with God's help, to live a Christian life. O that
    some of our cold, half-hearted professors could have been here
    then. Would to God that the voices of those young soldiers, as they
    urged with simple and earnest eloquence their comrades to come to
    the Saviour likewise, might be heard throughout all the churches of
    the North, and sound in every prayer-meeting, in our land. Such
    earnest tones and words would soon disperse the moral and religious
    apathy that seems to reign undisturbed in many localities, for they
    would prove that the Spirit of God was present. It was a scene that
    would have moved the coldest heart, and stirred the most sluggish
    nature. The starry sky, the full moon overhead flooding all the
    landscape with the softest and most beautiful radiance, the white
    tents covering the hillsides, the large fire blazing fitfully up,
    surrounded by two hundred or more men who might readily be taken at
    first glance to be a band of Spanish brigands, all conspired to
    make a picture that any artist would wish to copy. But as you
    listened to the words of those young men, and the earnest prayer
    and songs of praise that followed, all such fanciful thoughts of
    banditti and romance would melt away, and the strange, peculiar
    costume of those present would become simply the ordinary dress
    that the rude taste or necessity of the men during their campaign
    had led them to assume, and the dark-bearded faces, made still more
    sombre and sinister by the partial light, would resolve themselves
    into the bronzed honest features of our American soldiers, now
    expressive of solemn thought and feeling. Never was a sound more
    unwelcome and discordant than the roll-call which broke up that
    assembly.

    "After the roll-call a group generally lingers around the fire, and
    I often find in it those who wish to be spoken with on the subject
    of religion. So it happened this night. A soldier chanced to be
    passing by our encampment, and, attracted by the sound of music,
    stopped at our meeting. A few days before he had received a letter
    from home stating that his mother was very ill and not expected to
    live many days. He knew he should never see her again, and his
    heart was tender and sad. Thus prepared for the truth by the
    Providence of God, his steps were directed to us, and as he sat
    there and listened to those three young men as they stated their
    resolution from thenceforth to serve God, he too resolved to be a
    Christian, and has since found peace in believing. I told him how
    our prayer-meeting had been started by two or three Christian
    soldiers meeting openly for prayer, and that the same happy state
    of things might be brought about in his regiment in a similar
    manner. He promised that the prayer-meeting should be commenced.

    "The 18th of this month (October) was as beautiful and bright a
    Sabbath morning as ever dawned on Virginia. Though the day and all
    nature spoke of peace, yet men would not hearken, for it was soon
    evident that our brief repose was again to be broken. The Third
    Division of cavalry was encamped on the northwestern edge of the
    old Bull Run battlefield. The day before we occupied the
    battlefield itself. The earlier part of the day was spent by the
    different regiments in preparing to march, and by noon the
    concentration of the entire command began. Distant outposts,
    regiments on picket, and scouting parties were drawn in, and soon
    after the battle-flags of General Kilpatrick, General Davies, and
    General Custer were seen fluttering through forests or over hills
    in the direction of the Warrenton and Alexandria pike. Following
    them were long lines of cavalry and artillery, and above all, a
    bright October sun that gave to the scene anything but the grimness
    of war. As evening approached we came out on Warrenton pike.
    General Davies' brigade had the advance, and part of the Harris
    Light Cavalry was thrown out as skirmishers. It soon struck the
    enemy's pickets, and then a running fight was kept up until within
    a short distance of Gainesville. Our flying artillery took
    advantage of every high position to send a shell shrieking after
    the enemy. It was now dark night. The head of our column had
    advanced up within a short distance of the point where the railroad
    crossed the pike before entering the village. For a short time
    there had been an ominous silence on the part of the rebels, and it
    became necessary to send forward part of the Harris Light Cavalry
    to find what had become of them. The detachment moved on to cross
    the railroad embankment, when suddenly, from over its top, at a
    given signal, a line of fire at least three hundred yards long
    flashed out into the night, and a perfect storm of bullets rained
    over their heads. Fortunately the enemy fired too high to do much
    execution, and only a few were wounded. Our boys returned the
    volley, and then retired to a small piece of woods, and for a time
    a hot skirmish was maintained. Having no knowledge of the force
    that might be concealed in the place, and the position being too
    strong to be carried by a night assault, further operations were
    deferred till morning. The 1st Virginia were left on picket close
    to the enemy and the rest of the command fell somewhat back and
    went into camp.

    "To one not familiar with army life in the field, our mode of
    encamping that night would have been extremely interesting and
    suggestive. We were in the face of the enemy, which is no place for
    careless security. Each brigade was placed by itself, supporting
    the batteries which were put in position ready to be used at a
    moment's notice. The horses of each regiment were drawn up in ranks
    and tied to stakes driven into the ground for the purpose. Each man
    slept at the head of his horse, which he kept saddled, and part of
    the time bridled. Within three minutes the entire division could
    have been out in line of battle. I have known our regiment to
    saddle their horses, lead out from the woods, form ranks, count
    four and stand ready to charge into anything that might oppose,
    within just three minutes by the watch. In the rear of this warlike
    array the ammunition wagons and ambulances were parked in regular
    order, the team horses standing ready harnessed. Thus Kilpatrick's
    little fighting division lay there that night like a panther
    crouched ready to spring. During the night wagons came up with
    rations, which were soon distributed. The groupings around the
    fires, after this, were picturesque in the extreme. Some of the
    men, shrouded in their great military overcoats, stood quietly
    warming themselves, throwing out immense shadows that stretched
    away till lost in the surrounding darkness. The dusky forms of
    others might be seen passing to and fro in the preparation of their
    rude meal of fried pork and hardtack, while the flickering blaze
    revealed the burly forms of a still greater number reposing upon
    the ground in all varieties of attitude. At last the entire
    division, except the vigilant pickets and sentinels, was wrapped in
    slumber. At four o'clock the bugle sounded reveille, and the camp
    was soon all astir. Soon after we saw a flash in the direction of
    the enemy, and listened breathlessly a moment for the report of
    rebel cannon, but the long interval and distant heavy rumble that
    followed satisfied us that a storm other than that of war was about
    to break over us; and soon it came, with high cold winds and
    drenching rain. As we cowered around our smoking, dying fires in
    the dim twilight of that wild October morning--ah! then we thought
    of being tucked away in snug feather-beds under the old roof-tree
    at home; but there was no repining, though we all knew that on the
    coming night many would sleep colder than ever before--so cold that
    nothing but the breath of God could give warmth again.

    "But we were not long left to reflection of any kind, for regiment
    after regiment now began to take position upon the line of march.
    General Custer's brigade had the advance. Soon scattering shots and
    an occasional boom of a cannon told us that we had again found the
    enemy. But no stand was made until we reached Broad Run, and there
    the firing became rapid and sharp. Our brigade now came up and was
    placed in position, and the battle became general. Every now and
    then a shell would whiz over our heads and explode, inspiring
    anything but agreeable emotions. Several charges were made on both
    sides. I wonder if it is possible to give any idea of a rebel
    charge. Their cries and yells are so peculiar, so wild, shrill,
    feverish, so ghastly (I had almost said ghostly), for the sounds
    seem so unreal, more like horrid shrieks heard in a dream than the
    utterances of living men. The shouting of our men is deeper and
    hoarser, and partakes more of the chest tone in its character, but
    the rebels charge with a yell that is something between the shriek
    of a woman and the scream of a panther. At times you can close your
    eyes and imagine that some fierce conflict of another age is
    passing before you in a dream, so strange and unnatural does it
    seem to see men engaged in mortal combat. We finally dislodged the
    enemy from their very strong position and advanced across Broad
    Run. General Custer took a strong position on a hill above the
    stream, while General Davies was ordered with his brigade to
    advance as far as possible toward Warrenton, for General Kilpatrick
    had received written orders to move out as far as he could upon
    this road in order to discover the force and intentions of the
    enemy. The surgeons and ambulances halted in a field between the
    two brigades. I stayed with them, and was trying to get a feed for
    my horse, which was evidently beginning to feel the effects of long
    marches and short rations, when suddenly I heard firing nearly
    opposite us, on our left flank. At first I thought it was a mere
    skirmish with some rebels left in the woods and discovered by our
    men; but the firing became more rapid every moment, and soon
    General Custer's battery began to shell the woods most vigorously.
    I saw that the woods were full of men, but could not distinguish
    ours from the rebels. Two or three aids galloped by in the
    direction General Davies had taken.

    "One remarked in passing, with an ominous look and shake of his
    head, 'You had better be getting out of here,' which was not a very
    comforting suggestion to those who had no orders to 'get out of
    here' or where to get to. It was very evident that something was
    wrong, and that matters were getting serious. Wagon and ambulance
    drivers, surgeons and their attendants, contrabands with their led
    horses--in short, all of us--were like a covey of startled quails,
    their heads up, aware of danger, but not knowing which way to fly.
    We could not very well show fight, for a charge by a wagon train
    would be almost as great a novelty as General Kilpatrick's
    attacking gun-boats with cavalry, which he actually did last summer
    on the Rappahannock, and destroyed them, too. But we, not at all
    envious, were glad to receive orders to retrace our steps; for
    nothing is so uncomfortable for a soldier as to hear firing in his
    rear. We were proceeding leisurely and in good order, when an
    orderly rode rapidly up to our front and turned us off on a by-road
    through the woods, with an injunction to move rapidly and come out
    on the main pike near Gainesville. Away we went in the direction of
    Thoroughfare Gap, the wagons banging and bouncing over stones and
    stumps, through streams and mud-holes, as we followed the
    sinuosities of a narrow wood-road which finally led into the open
    fields. Here I felt like crying and laughing both--crying with rage
    at what I then considered our disgraceful retreat; but when I
    afterwards learned what odds we were contending against, I was
    satisfied that the best generalship was displayed in rapid retreat.
    And gravity itself would have laughed at the figure we cut.
    Contrabands and camp followers were careering by in all states of
    panic. Many had lost their hats in coming through the woods, and it
    seemed in some cases now that their wool fairly stood upon end,
    while they, rolling their eyes over their shoulders in the
    direction of the enemy, exhibited only their whites to the observer
    in front. Here might be seen an unfortunate darkie hauling on a
    stubborn mule that with its wonted perversity wanted to turn around
    and run the other way; there a man trying to raise a horse that had
    fallen with him; while 'Git up, dar; git up, I tell yer,' resounded
    from every side. Some poor mules and some led horses fairly got
    frantic, for what with the beating they received, and with tin
    kettles rattling and captured chickens cackling between their legs,
    it was enough to distract any brute; so they kicked and floundered
    till they burst their girths, and galloped away rejoicing in their
    freedom. But the comic was soon lost in the tragic. The pursuing
    enemy was now closing upon us from all sides. The rear guard, which
    was the Harris Light Cavalry, made many a gallant stand, but what
    could a few men do against twenty times their number? With many it
    became a sad race for life and liberty. But before dusk we had the
    satisfaction of effectually checking the enemy. For the first time
    in my life I found myself rallying a body of men in a fight.
    Officers and men coming in rapidly, we soon had a respectable line
    formed and the enemy's advance was now decidedly checked. Captain
    Elder, who had brought off all his guns in safety, planted them on
    an eminence, and soon they were thundering defiance to the baffled
    enemy. Shell after shell screamed over our heads and exploded. Soon
    after a part of the First Corps came up, formed a line of battle,
    and relieved our thinned and wearied ranks. We retired to the
    friendly shelter of a neighbouring forest, and that deep sleep
    which follows great excitement and exertion quietly stretched us
    out as motionless and unconscious seemingly as the lifeless forms
    of our brave comrades that lay cold and stark along the line of our
    bloody retreat."


    "Many changes and much marching and counter-marching have taken
    place since the soldiers of the Harris Light Cavalry gathered
    nightly under the old apple tree, or in front of the chaplain's
    tent, during the warm moonlight evenings of September and October.
    The rich autumn foliage that then made even poor old desolated
    Virginia look beautiful has dropped away, and stern winter,
    rendered all the more grim and forbidding by the ravages of war,
    now reigns supreme. Many of our number, also, like the leaves, have
    dropped away. Some, having obtained and squandered their bounty,
    have treacherously deserted and sneaked away like thievish hounds.
    The bullet, accident, and sickness have each conspired to lessen
    our number, and many a noble-hearted fellow who was always first
    and foremost in all a soldier's duty is now languishing in some
    hospital, or sleeping beneath the sod that last sleep from which no
    bugle call shall waken him.

    "It seems as if God was teaching us to look to himself, and not to
    men, for among those that sickness has for the present removed from
    our number were three who were the very stay and central pillars of
    our regimental church. Especially do I feel the loss of Brother
    Farber, who was as noble a specimen of a Christian soldier as it
    has ever been my fortune to meet. Uniting culture of heart and mind
    with a happy disposition, a shrewd and quick perception of
    character, and a manner that made him popular with all, he was just
    such an ally as the chaplain needed in the ranks. Though he made
    his religion respected by all, he also made it attractive, and his
    society was not shunned, even by the wildest spirits of the
    regiment. His cheerful smile and words were better than medicine in
    the hospital, and I almost always found him there when off duty.
    Nearly two months ago he left us for a hospital in Washington, sick
    with the typhoid fever, contracted doubtless by over-fatigue in his
    care of the sick and bodies of the deceased, and by breathing air
    tainted with disease. I have since received a letter from him
    stating that he was very sick, and that the surgeon said it would
    be months before he could join the regiment again, if ever. For
    aught I know his warfare may now be over and he at rest, for I have
    received no answer to my reply to his letter. Brothers Vernon and
    Stillwell are also away sick. Only pastors, and they not fully, can
    realize the loss that such men are to a chaplain. He has so few
    capable, warm-hearted co-adjutors in a regiment as a general thing.
    There is such a torrent of evil influences rushing in on every
    side, that he sorely feels the need of men possessing firm and
    established Christian characters, who would quietly and
    consistently stand up for, and live religion on all occasions. Here
    he has none of the conventionalities and restraints of society to
    aid him, and even the heavenly influence of Christian parents, of
    pure sisters, and loving wives is weakened by distance, absence,
    and sin. But in grappling with the many and powerful demoralizing
    influences and vices of camp life, one soon learns that but little
    can be accomplished except by the direct aid and interposition of
    the Holy Spirit, for nothing short of the grace of God can enable
    the soldier to resist the evil that assails him on every side.

    "While I was on a brief business visit to the North, the regiment
    had joined the advance, and on my return I found it out in the
    neighborhood of Warrenton. After waiting a few days in what
    remained of our old camp, I found an opportunity of going out to
    the front with Captain Cook, of our regiment, and a small squad of
    men. The ride out to Rappahannock Station, where our regiment was
    last heard from, was full of novelty and interest to one who had
    never been on a long march before. Captain Cook is a gentleman as
    well as a good soldier, and his familiarity with the historic
    region through which we passed made him an exceedingly agreeable
    companion. The evening of the second day of our journey, which was
    Sunday, found us considerably beyond Manassas. A dismantled house
    stood on the brow of a hill in a grove some distance from the road.
    We rode up to it and concluded to spend the night there. Though it
    was half ruinous, without windows and doors, and the floor covered
    with rubbish of every description, but a few moments sufficed to
    make it sufficiently comfortable for a soldier's purpose. A fire
    blazing on the hearth, the rubbish cleared away, a blanket hung
    over the windows and doors, made our night quarters complete. Then
    gathering around the fire, each broiled his slip of bacon on the
    end of a stick, and enjoyed this rude repast far better than many a
    well appointed banquet in the North, for 'hunger was our sauce.'
    After supper we had, as it were, family prayers. The old
    dilapidated mansion, the costume, arms, and varied expressions of
    the soldiers as they lounged around listening to the Word of God,
    all brought into view by the flickering blaze that roared within
    the chimney, made a scene that any artist might wish to copy.

    "After marching all the next day we joined our wagon train at dusk,
    near Rappahannock Station, and found that we were just in time, for
    the whole army was on the move to Fredericksburg. Joining the
    train, I marched half the night with them in the darkness and rain.
    As there was no shelter near, the next day was spent in the rain
    under a tree; and an attack on the wagon train being expected on
    the following night, my slumbers were neither very sound nor long
    continued. But such is the wonderful vitality that life in the open
    air gives, that one soon recovers from loss of sleep and fatigue.
    Our regiment moved down to Brook's Station, where it remained doing
    picket duty till it joined the advance on Fredericksburg.

    "Our brigade, with our beloved and lamented General Bayard in
    command, was drawn up on a hillside preparatory to marching, and I
    assure you that the long lines and dense masses of cavalry made a
    splendid and imposing appearance. It was nearly night before we
    filed off towards Falmouth. The night was dark and misty and the
    roads broken and wild. Sometimes we would plunge down into a deep
    gully, at others scramble up the slippery and frozen sides of a
    steep hill. Every now and then horse and rider would be down, to
    the great merriment of all witnesses. But the joke became too
    serious when a horse fell and broke one poor fellow's leg.

    "Seen through the mist and darkness, the long extended column,
    winding among the broken hills, now coming out in bold relief on
    the brow of one of them, and then descending again into the valley
    or the gloom of some forest, had a shadowy and phantom-like
    appearance, and seemed more like a procession in a dream than a
    goodly number of well armed troopers on a march. Especially was
    this spectral effect heightened when a distant part of the column
    would pass within the lurid glare of some brilliant camp-fire.
    After floundering through streams and quagmires, and filing through
    gorges that reminded one of the old Indian ambuscades, we turned
    off into a forest to encamp for the night. Selecting a tree from
    under which the snow had partially melted away, a few of us built a
    fire, then spread our blankets and slept on the ground in the
    clear, frosty starlight as well as on the softest couch our limbs
    had ever pressed. Long before daylight, the bugle sounded 'boots
    and saddles,' and the woods soon resounded with the customary
    martial clamor of an encampment.

    "Suddenly every sound was hushed, for the distant boom of the two
    guns that opened the battle of Fredericksburg broke upon our ears.
    The silence was succeeded by wild shouts of enthusiasm, and soon we
    were on our way to the scene of action. The sharp rattle of
    musketry now began to mingle with the report of cannon. As we
    approached the river the roar of the artillery was truly grand and
    awful. I can only compare it to a very violent thunder-storm,
    wherein you hear, at one and the same time, the rumble and mutter
    of some peal dying away in the distance, the heavy, jarring roll
    more near, and the loud stunning explosion from the flash overhead.
    Our cavalry was crowded on a plain in the rear of our batteries. We
    did not know that the rebels were not replying to our guns, and
    expected every minute they would get our range. As we remained
    undisturbed, I concluded that our distance from the river was much
    greater than I had first supposed; but when the order came to
    march, and we filed off, by twos, down towards the river, past our
    batteries, I expected every moment to see the head of our column
    broken and shattered by shot and shell. I have heard much about
    "lazy soldiers and large pay," but I thought at that time that the
    soldier who marches steadily and determinedly forward on such
    occasions earns in five minutes all the pay he ever gets. But the
    heavy cannonading was only from our own guns, for the rebels were
    reserving their fire. We soon found that our orders were not to
    cross, but to go down the river and do picket duty on the extreme
    left flank. As we marched along, a shell from one of our batteries
    on a hill above me passed directly over my head. As it hissed by,
    it gave me an idea of the infinitely short space of time in which
    many of our poor boys are dashed into eternity.

    "The early dawn of Saturday morning saw us returning to the
    battlefield. About nine o'clock we mounted the hill, and formed
    upon the plain on the opposite side of the river. As we were taking
    our position, I heard a whizzing sound, and saw the earth torn up
    by a solid shot quite near me. They soon screamed over our heads
    and fell all around us; but, as a general thing, the enemy fired
    too high. A few hundred yards to our front, the shells were
    bursting constantly. We remained on the plain all that day and
    night, the fire in front of us sometimes slackening, and sometimes
    ceasing altogether. We often cast anxious glances at some rebel
    batteries quite near us on the right, and often wondered why they
    did not open upon us, for if they did, they could have swept us
    from the plain in a few moments. Either our batteries occupied
    them, or they reserved their fire for some purpose. A little after
    noon, we heard that General Bayard, our division commander, was
    mortally wounded. Soon after word came that cavalry was needed. Two
    regiments of the enemy were running, it was said, and the Harris
    Light Cavalry was wanted to follow them up. Off dashed our men in
    close column, at full gallop, to the place designated, the surgeon
    and myself going to the hospital to prepare for our wounded. As we
    started, the road over which the regiment had just passed, and
    directly in front of us, was torn up by a solid shot. Whose earnest
    prayers were heard that day, and the Harris Light Cavalry saved
    from almost a massacre? The order for cavalry had to pass through
    three different hands before it reached us, and by the time our men
    arrived at the spot it was discovered that the enemy's retreat was
    only a feint, and that batteries were so arranged as to place the
    party who should follow them between two fires. Our regiment
    approached near enough to the trap, and were exposed to a
    sufficiently hot fire, for a few minutes, to be satisfied that if
    they had charged, as was intended, but few would have returned.

    "At the hospital we found poor Bayard. Of all the ghastly wounds I
    saw that day his was the most awful. It needed but a glance to see,
    as he calmly stated to those who visited him, "that his days on
    earth were numbered." If his wound had been a mere scratch, he
    could not have been more cool, quiet, and collected. He talked
    calmly of his death as of a settled thing, and only inquired
    particularly how much time he had left on earth. He was told,
    'perhaps forty-eight hours.' He did not live twenty-four. My heart
    sank within me as he gave me his hand in farewell, and I almost
    murmured, 'Why are the best taken?' The large house to which the
    wounded were brought was now filled with mutilated and dying men.
    Cries and groans resounded from every apartment. Ghastly and bloody
    wounds met the eye in every direction. Some had their eyes shot
    out; the tongues of some were swollen out of their mouths; some had
    their bodies shot through; others were torn and mangled by shell
    and solid shot, and all were crowded wherever there was any space.
    The surgeons were hacking off limbs and arms by the dozen. The odor
    of blood was oppressive. One man called me to him, thinking I was a
    surgeon, and said that one of his wounds had been dressed, but he
    found that he had another, which was bleeding rapidly. Another poor
    fellow held up his arm to me, with a great bulging hole in it, and
    asked with an expression of pain and anxiety that I could scarcely
    endure, whether I thought he would have to lose it? Such is the
    horrid reality of war behind the painted scenes of honor, glory,
    and romance. However cold an ear the poor fellows may have turned
    to the story of the Cross when in health, as a general thing they
    were ready enough now to listen to the offers of mercy. One wounded
    boy had his leg taken off just as he was entering the hospital,
    which building was under fire all day, and was repeatedly struck.
    The scene from the windows of the hospital was truly splendid as
    night came on. Innumerable camp-fires gleamed from the hillsides,
    and occasionally the darkness was lighted up by the flash of
    cannon. But weariness, and the knowledge that our own regiment
    might be engaged the next day, caused me to seek a place of rest.
    The medical department of our brigade had been rendered small by
    the absence of some of its members, and it might be that our duties
    on the morrow would be very arduous. The ground outside the
    hospital was so tramped up, muddy, and filled with horses, that it
    was impossible to sleep there. But there was a stone alley-way
    under the hospital, filled with tobacco in the leaf, part of it
    lying on the ground, and part drying overhead. One end of this
    place was already filled with wounded men, but the surgeon in
    charge said that the other would not be occupied before morning,
    and that I had better stay there. As a light came I saw something
    white lying near the wall. I first thought it was a dog, and going
    up, I stirred the object with my foot. On looking closer, I found
    that it was a ghastly pile of arms and legs from the
    amputating-room. But I had seen so much of blood and horror during
    the day that I had grown callous. I quietly spread my blanket
    within ten feet of the bloody heap, and listened sadly to the
    shrieks and groans from the hospital above till I fell asleep. The
    re-opening of the battle on Sunday morning awoke me, and as I was
    rolling up my blankets, a shell bursting near warned me to hasten.
    I joined the regiment, and with it recrossed the river. We have
    since been doing picket duty on the Rappahannock.

[Illustration: E. P. ROE AS CHAPLAIN, AGE 26.]

    "Many a careless, light-hearted soldier wore an anxious, troubled
    look that day, as we stood facing the rebel batteries, and many a
    loud-mouthed, coarse, swearing fellow was quiet and pale. But I saw
    no flinching or skulking. You at the North, who cosily read about
    battles in an arm-chair, know little of a man's sensations who
    stands in front of the enemy's guns. He hears shot and shell scream
    and explode over and around him. Before him arises the sulphurous
    smoke of the conflict. From out of that obscurity he knows that at
    any moment some swift messenger of death may be speeding on its way
    to his heart. He thinks of unfinished plans, of bright prospects
    and hopes for the future. His home, its beloved inmates, and the
    forms and features of those friends that hold the chief places
    within his soul rise up before him, and he knows that at any moment
    he may be snatched from all these, and lie a mangled, bleeding
    corpse upon the ground. And then come graver and still more solemn
    thoughts of the shadowy world beyond, and 'conscience, which makes
    cowards of us all,' awakes. In the mad excitement and tumult of a
    charge, everything is forgotten. When patiently standing under
    fire, everything is remembered, and this, of all that the soldier
    has to do and endure, is the most difficult and dreaded."

An occasional amusing incident would occur, however, to relieve the
gloom of these tragic times. I remember hearing my brother tell of one
that took place while crossing a narrow pontoon bridge. A mule, ridden
by a contraband, and having a number of kettles strung on one side of
the saddle and on the other some chickens that had been captured from
henroosts along the march, suddenly became stubborn when about half-way
across the bridge, and resisted all efforts on the part of his rider to
make him move on. He was blocking the way for the whole troop. An
officer, seeing the situation, shouted the order: "Charge mule!"
Instantly half a dozen men rode up and with the points of their sabres
convinced the animal of the necessity for a speedy advance. He started
off at a dead run, scattering the rattling kettles and squawking hens
by the wayside, the poor contraband holding on with arms clasped around
the mule's neck, while the troopers followed in wild pursuit, amid
shouts and laughter.



CHAPTER III

A WINTER CAMP


The following letters were written from the winter quarters of the
regiment on the Rappahannock, and explain themselves.

    "In this letter I merely propose to give some glimpses of camp
    life. When the army lay quiet for two or three weeks after the
    battle of Fredericksburg, we began to think of winter quarters; so
    one fine morning our whole division started out in search of a
    desirable locality. In some respects it was a rather novel
    expedition. We were seeking a place that would probably be our home
    for months; and I assure you, as we marched along, that unknown
    spot of ground became to us an object of no small anxiety and
    interest. Those officers who had designs on Washington, rather than
    Richmond, hoped it would be near the steamboat landing on the
    Potomac. Many wishes were expressed that wood would be plenty and
    convenient; for winter quarters without wood is an impossibility.
    Speculations were indulged in regard to the locality and soil,
    whether it would be a dry, sheltered little valley, or a bleak
    cornfield capable of all degrees of mud. The place of encampment
    selected for our regiment was apparently the latter. I must say
    that many of us were not very enthusiastic about the position, and
    we could not feel indifferent, for our comfort and perhaps health
    depended on the suitableness of the place.

    "Imagine yourself, my reader, riding into a large, bleak, hilly
    cornfield, the stalks still standing, with your whole personal
    property in this region of the world strapped behind you on the
    saddle, your horse sinking at every step fetlock deep in the soft,
    spongy soil, and being coolly told to make yourself comfortable
    here for the winter. Probably you would feel as we suppose the
    Israelites did when required to make bricks without straw. But
    necessity and experience have taught the soldier many lessons, and
    he knows well how to make the best of everything. In a few minutes
    the long picket lines are uncoiled and stretched from post to post
    inserted for the purpose. To these the horses are tied and then
    unsaddled. The little shelter tents range themselves, as if by
    magic, in long rows between them, and within a half-hour or so the
    place begins to assume the appearance of a well laid out
    encampment.

    "But this is merely temporary, and the building of regular winter
    quarters is next in order. The size and character of the huts being
    left to the fancy and ingenuity of each individual, there is, with
    much apparent sameness, a great deal of diversity and originality
    to be observed. The most simple is merely a 'dug-out,' as it is
    termed. A hole is dug six or seven feet square, and from two to
    four feet deep, and over this is placed the tent. The floor and
    sides are lined with boards if they are to be had, otherwise round
    poles and rails answer the purpose. Opening into this 'dug-out' is
    a small trench two or three feet long, wide at its mouth, and
    narrowing towards the end farthest from the tent. Across this
    trench are laid any old pieces of iron that can be found, and upon
    them is placed earth so as to exclude the air entirely except at a
    small aperture at the farther end, around which is built a sod
    chimney; and your winter quarters are complete. Thus you may have
    in your tent all the warmth and cheerfulness of an open fire.

    "Myself and servant alone built one of these in an afternoon, and I
    spent in it some of the coldest weather we have had this winter
    very comfortably. The 'dug-out' principle enters into the
    construction of nearly all our little cabins; and, like the foxes,
    we have holes, and literally live in the 'caves and dens of the
    earth.' The officers generally build their quarters in the side of
    a bank, and have them logged up nicely, and they are very
    comfortable except in a long storm. Sometimes our frail canvas
    covering sways terribly in the wintry blasts, and I have often laid
    down to sleep more than half expecting to find my house gone when I
    awoke. Still our little holes in the ground are a hundredfold
    better than no shelter at all, and far preferable to those in which
    the soldier 'sleeps the sleep that knows no waking.' Some of the
    men who have the faculty of making anything and everything with an
    axe put up quite large substantial log shanties, with two or three
    tiers of berths, as in a steamboat. Some have quite a neat,
    homelike appearance, and are furnished with fanciful little tables
    and shelves according to the tastes and wants of the occupants.
    Others are dismal and dirty in the extreme, and are mere dens.
    Nothing shows the character of the men more thoroughly than the
    little huts they inhabit. A few are too indolent to build
    themselves anything, and are still living in their shelter tents.
    But over the heads of us all is merely a canvas roof, which will
    often leak, and it is a very common thing to see puddles of water,
    or a muddy floor, in our winter quarters.

    "Still those who are well live in the main a very comfortable life.
    The abundance of pure air and exercise makes us strong and
    vigorous. It does not always storm. We have many days that are warm
    and sunny, and then give me camp life in preference to any other.
    The soldiers sit and lounge around their cabin doors in motley
    groups, reading (if they have anything to read), smoking, and
    gossiping, for a camp is a little miniature city, with its daily
    budget of news and sensations, its streets, squares, and centers,
    and also many of its nuisances. For the roar of New York we have a
    drowsy, diminutive hum, frequently broken rudely by a loud laugh or
    command, the clangor of weapons, and sometimes, I am sorry to say,
    by loud oaths. Instead of musical chimes from Trinity and her
    sister steeples, the silvery notes of the bugles proclaim the hours
    and duties of the day. Our lights glimmer and flicker out upon the
    night like long rows of glowworms rather than Broadway lamps; and
    instead of the heavy tramp of police armed with star and club, the
    night-long rattle of sabres shows that the guards and sentinels are
    on their posts of duty. Sometimes there will be a heavy fall of
    snow during the night, and then the tents and cabins look like huge
    snow-banks, and the poor horses shiver all the more under the cold
    white blankets so summarily furnished, the only ones they ever get.
    These suffer more than the men, for in the main they can have no
    shelter, and often have to do hard work on short rations. Their
    gaunt appearance and the number of their dead tells its own story.
    Our colonel remarked one day that he hoped the mud would get so
    soft and deep that the horses would sink in sufficiently to enable
    them to stand upright.

    "The greatest hardship of a soldier's life in winter is picket
    duty. For instance, our whole brigade, recently assigned to Colonel
    Kilpatrick, left their comfortable quarters a few mornings ago, and
    went out on picket duty for ten days. A cold, wet snow filled the
    air and clung to and dampened everything. It settled on one's hair
    and neck, melted, and ran down his back, producing a general
    feeling of discomfort. As the men formed preparatory to marching,
    their uniforms of blue rapidly changed to white, and as they filed
    off in the dim morning light they presented a shadowy, ghost-like
    appearance. When you realize what it is to march eighteen or twenty
    miles in such a storm over horrible roads, and then form a cordon
    of pickets twenty miles long in a wild, desolate country, you have
    some idea of the not unusual experience of a soldier.

    "When he reaches his destination, it is not a disagreeable journey
    over, and comfortable quarters in which to dry and refresh himself.
    All his conditions of comfort are carried on his person, or
    strapped to his saddle, and he is thankful even for the shelter of
    a pine wood. Immediately on arrival, without time for rest, a large
    detachment must form the picket line, and stand ever on the alert
    from two to four hours at a time, be it day or night. It should not
    be forgotten, during these long winter evenings when the stormy
    wind sweeps and howls around your comfortable dwellings, that among
    the wild woods and hills of Virginia, or on the plains of the far
    West, the patient sentinel walks his desolate beat, or sits like an
    equestrian statue on his horse, thus forming with his own chilled
    and weary frame a living breastwork and defence for your homes.
    Pray for him, that during these long, lonely hours of hardship and
    danger our merciful God may excite within his mind thoughts of that
    better life and happier world where the weary are at rest--where
    even the names of enemy and war are forgotten."


    "The regiment referred to is the Ninth New York Cavalry. Their
    chaplain is not with them at present. My offer to preach for them
    on the Sabbath was readily accepted, and though at the time of
    service it was cold and even raining slightly, a large congregation
    turned out and remained patiently throughout the service. One of
    their officers remarked afterwards that he had not had the pleasure
    of attending anything of the kind before for five months.

    "If Christians North, who have piles of reading matter lying idly
    about their houses, could see how eagerly those men pressed forward
    to get the few tracts I offered, they would suffer it to remain
    thus useless no longer. Our soldiers seem to be hungry and almost
    starving for the want of mental and moral nourishment.

    "I often feel it my duty to be somewhat officious, and to offer my
    service outside of my regiment sometimes, for even such as I can
    give is better than nothing, which would be their lot if some did
    not go forward. I think Christians should be aggressive in their
    character, and seek opportunities to extend the dominion of their
    King. There are too many professors who are like a certain
    chaplain, concerning whom I heard an officer remark "that he was a
    good, inoffensive man, and never disturbed the devil nor any one
    else in the camp." A prayer-meeting was appointed on Monday
    evening, but on the morning of that day the regiment received
    marching orders and departed for parts unknown.

    "One of the most remarkable conversions in our regiment is that of
    a quartermaster's sergeant. The man, although around the camp
    attending to his duties, is in a critical state of health, bleeding
    almost daily at the lungs. When but a mere boy he ran away from
    home because punished severely by his father for some fault, and
    was not heard from for over two years, during which time he
    suffered many hardships in the West. Not long after his discovery
    his father died and left a mother and a sister dependent upon him
    for support. This responsibility he nobly undertook, and worked
    hard, early and late, and denied himself everything to give them
    the comforts of life. Still, he was noted for his fiery and
    ungovernable spirit, which often got him into trouble. At an early
    age he went to sea and visited nearly all parts of the world. He
    engaged extensively in smuggling, which occupation he followed both
    in English and Spanish waters. He returned home from this roving,
    reckless life but a short time before the war broke out, and was
    among the first to enlist. During the past summer he has often been
    in circumstances of the greatest peril, but escaped unharmed. Once,
    in the confusion of battle, he found himself directly in front of a
    battery loaded with grape and canister. For some reason or other
    his horse would not move but stood stock still, and thus he had to
    wait for the terrible discharge which soon came. He said it seemed
    as if a perfect torrent of iron hail rushed by and all around him,
    and that his only thought was that his time had come now, and that
    the devil had got him then surely. By a miracle, as it seemed to
    him, he escaped unharmed, and was enabled to get out of range. Many
    and many a time he had heard the bullets hiss by his ears, and the
    shrill screams of shell overhead, but they raised in his mind no
    thoughts of God or repentance.

    "As I described in a former letter, a prayer-meeting was started in
    the camp, and held in the quarters of the new recruits. He heard
    the singing, and passing by the next day remarked to a new recruit
    that 'they seemed happy down there last night--guessed they must
    have had some whiskey.' The person addressed happened to be one of
    the three Christian men who first started the prayer-meeting, and
    he explained to the sergeant the somewhat different source and
    occasion of their happiness. The sergeant promised to attend that
    evening, which he did, and the 'still small voice' of the Spirit
    spoke to him louder than the thunders of the battlefield.

    "An evening or two after that I noticed him among those who had
    come to the chaplain's tent to be conversed with on the subject of
    religion. I was struck by the contented, happy expression of his
    face. He told me that he had gone from that prayer-meeting to his
    tent, and commenced reading a Testament. His tent-mate came along,
    and he immediately put out his light and hid his book. When he was
    alone again he knelt and prayed for the first time in his life, and
    afterwards, he said, 'he felt so happy he could not sleep.'

    "The next day, while about his work, something vexed him, and he
    swore, before he thought, as usual. He said 'it grieved him so that
    he sat down and cried.' Though, as it were, alone in the world and
    bereft by death of almost every friend he loved, and now seemingly
    suffering from an incurable disease, he is a happy Christian man.

    "In our meetings he has to be constantly on his guard against
    over-excitement, since it would cause him to bleed at his lungs,
    but the expression of his face, as he sits quietly in one corner or
    beside the fire, shows how intense and keen is his enjoyment of
    that which he is forbidden to take part in actively. At first his
    change of life caused a good deal of remark and some merriment in
    his company. He would be asked 'when he was going up to heaven.'
    When he commenced his evening devotions there was at first a good
    deal of jesting. 'The quartermaster is going to pray' would be
    called out, and remarks of a similar nature. They soon saw that he
    was sincere and respected him, and 'now,' he says, 'he can hear a
    pin drop while he is at prayer.'

    "This is one of many of the interesting cases of conversion in our
    regiment. The chief feature of this work, however, seems to be the
    renewal of backsliders in their allegiance to God. But time will
    not permit me to write more at present."


    "How often when a boy I have shuddered at Indian atrocities. With
    what morbid pleasure I have searched through the early records of
    colonial history for details of horror, fatal surprise, and
    midnight massacre. How I have watched in imagination, with
    suspended breath, the wary, noiseless approach of the painted
    savages, till with one wide-ringing war-whoop they rushed upon
    their unconscious victims, destined now to either death or
    captivity. The dangers and terrors of open battle seemed nothing to
    this constant dread of an unseen treacherous foe. I little thought
    that it would one day be my fortune to live under very similar
    circumstances, for life in Virginia now is not so very different
    from that of our forefathers a century or more ago. Pioneers in
    this wilderness of despotism and treason, we are exposed to dangers
    and hardships not much inferior to theirs. Ever near us we know
    there is a great army watching with sleepless vigilance, and, like
    a wild beast crouching for its leap, it is ready to take advantage
    of the slightest mistake or show of weakness on our part. It is
    very strange, truly, when one comes to realize it, this living for
    years within a few miles of thousands who would take your life in a
    moment if they got a chance.

    "The forests and country around us swarm with guerillas. In place
    of some savage Indian chief, the terror of the whole border, the
    frontiers of our army are infested by the ubiquitous Mosby. The
    capture of a sutler's train near Fairfax and a raid upon an outpost
    on the Rappahannock occurring at the same time are both ascribed to
    Mosby in person by the soldiers. If a picket hears a distant gallop
    in the night upon one flank of the army, and a sudden shot startles
    the air upon the other flank, Mosby is invariably the author of
    both alarms. No wonder the poor contrabands say 'Mosby mus' be like
    de debbel and go all ober to oncst.' He was once captured by our
    regiment while bearing dispatches and afterwards exchanged. After
    he was taken he tried to escape by running his horse, but one of
    our men sent a bullet whistling so near his head that it produced a
    sober second thought, and he, from that time, followed quietly. But
    he was not so famous then, and had not so many trained associates
    like-minded with himself. Now they follow a marching column like
    hungry sharks about a ship, and woe be to the man that lags behind
    or strays from the main body.

    "This evil has one great advantage, however, and that is the almost
    entire suppression of straggling. Mosby and his companions have
    done more to abolish this disgraceful custom in our army than all
    the orders and edicts from the War Department and Major Generals
    down. A year or more ago, I saw bodies of men marching in a way
    that reminded one of a comet, the head of the regiment being the
    nucleus, the density decreasing rapidly as you went toward the
    rear, and finally a straggling raft of men scattered over two or
    three miles of territory constituting the tail. Now you will find a
    column moving trimly and compactly, and the rear files often
    looking suspiciously over their shoulders among the dark pines
    through which they are passing, for sometimes, especially at
    nights, shots are fired into the rear.

    "There are very few in the cavalry that have not had narrow
    escapes, for our position on the front and flanks of the army
    always brings us next to Mosby. Just before we crossed the
    Rappahannock the last time, our division commissary, Lieutenant
    Hedges, was returning to his quarters from a short ride to another
    part of the army, when he was hailed and ordered to surrender.
    'Never,' he replied, at the same time striking spurs to his horse
    and leaning down upon him. He succeeded in escaping, but not before
    the guerilla, or as it is affirmed, Mosby in person, put a ball
    through his body. For some days he was not expected to live, but is
    now recovering slowly. I have had two or three narrow escapes
    myself where it almost seemed that Providence interfered to save my
    life. Once, when our regiment was doing picket duty at a distant
    outpost, I rode down to General Kilpatrick's headquarters on some
    business. As I was starting to return in the dusk of the evening,
    the general came out and asked me to stay with him that night. I
    replied that with his permission I would come again in the morning,
    and that I would rather be with my regiment at night; but as he
    insisted upon it, I stayed. The next morning, a little after
    daylight, one of our men was shot dead and robbed upon the road
    that I would have taken. A woman living near said that two
    bushwhackers had spent the night upon the road with the avowed
    intention of murdering and robbing the first man that went by. As
    no one passed that way during the early part of the night, they
    went into a house and slept till morning, and again were on the
    road in time to meet poor Francher of Company B, who had been after
    his pay. They took this, for his pocket was found turned inside
    out. It was my sad duty to bury him the next day, and as we lowered
    him into his lonely grave, I could not help asking myself, Why am I
    not in his place?

    "Once again, last November, while on the march, Lieutenant Whitaker
    and myself were about to pass over a road between our wagon train
    and General Kilpatrick's headquarters, when a little incident
    detained us about fifteen minutes. As we were going by the house of
    quite a noted secessionist, some of our boys began to make free in
    his cabbage garden and poultry yard, and a scuffle ensued between
    the old citizen, his wife and daughter, and the soldiers. An
    infantry colonel who was at the house came violently out, and
    instead of quietly showing his rank and firmly ordering the men
    away, commenced cutting them with his sword, and made some quite
    serious wounds. It was with great difficulty that we prevented our
    men from killing him on the spot. But as the colonel outranked us,
    we could do nothing with him, and so passed on, but before we got
    fairly started upon the road again we met a man running,
    breathless, with his hat off, who said that he had just escaped
    from the guerillas. Lieutenant Newton of the First Vermont Cavalry
    was passing over the road with several men, when fifteen rebels
    sprang out upon him, killed one, took two prisoners, and the rest
    saved themselves only by rapid flight. If we had not been detained,
    we would have arrived at the same spot a few minutes earlier and
    received their concentrated fire.

    "At times they have captured our mail, and afterwards they have
    taunted us by shouting out the contents of our letters to our
    pickets across the Rappahannock. One very dark night they slipped
    into the quarters of one of our officers while he was on picket,
    shot his colored servant, and carried him off to Richmond. Thus
    vigilance is a cardinal virtue in this, as well as in the Christian
    warfare. But we never suffered as much on the south as on the north
    side of the Rappahannock. The country between the two rivers is now
    thoroughly occupied by our troops, and our picket lines so close
    and well posted as to render it almost impossible for the rebels to
    indulge themselves this winter in many murdering and horse-stealing
    expeditions."



CHAPTER IV

MARRIAGE--THE RAID TOWARD RICHMOND


In November, 1863, Edward received a month's leave of absence from his
regiment, and during this time was married to Miss Anna Sands. The
ceremony was performed by the venerable Dr. Adams in Madison Square
church, and was followed by a large reception at the bride's home in
Seventeenth Street, New York. Leaving his bride there when the furlough
was over, my brother returned to his regiment.

In this letter, written just after reaching camp, he dwells upon some
of the contrasts of army life.

    "After a long absence I experienced a decided thrill of pleasure on
    finding myself once more among the white tents and familiar scenes
    of the camp, for there is something very fascinating about army
    life, notwithstanding its hardship and exposure. Very pleasant,
    too, was the hearty welcome I received, and numberless great brown
    hands, reeking with moisture and pork grease from the meal they
    were superintending, gave me a grip that made my joints snap again.
    Still I much preferred it to your fashionable Northern two-fingered
    touch. It had a language whose meaning I liked. It showed I had the
    first requisite for doing good amongst them--their confidence and
    affection. I found only a part, though a large part, of my regiment
    at this place, which is a dismounted cavalry camp, containing the
    fragments of twenty or thirty regiments. Men whose horses have
    given out or been killed at the front come here and remain till
    they are again mounted and equipped, when they rejoin their
    commands. Our stay here will probably be brief, for we are ordered
    to the front as soon as possible.

    "One Saturday morning the monotony of camp life was decidedly
    broken. The day had been warm, and for a time the hum of camp
    activity had subsided almost into silence. The orderlies went to
    and fro as usual, but their horses had a listless, indolent canter,
    characteristic of all exertion at such a time. But as the day
    declined there were marks of unusual bustle at headquarters. A ball
    was to be given that evening by the commanding officer. All
    officers present of our regiment were invited. As far as I could
    learn, music, dancing, and drinking were to be the staple
    amusements of the evening. Not caring to participate in the two
    latter, and as I could enjoy the first in my tent, I expected to
    remain very quietly at my quarters. At dusk the revelry commenced.
    At nine o'clock a carriage drove up to our quarters. It contained
    Captain Downing of our regiment, who had just come in from the
    front, bringing with him the dead body of one of our officers who
    had been drowned while bathing. This was sad news indeed, for
    Lieutenant Stewart was a good soldier and very popular. The captain
    wished to see the officer in command of our detachment. I went up
    to the headquarters to assist in finding him. All was gayety and
    frolic there. It was truly a beautiful scene. The trees were hung
    with Chinese lanterns of many colors. The guards paced backward and
    forward on the spacious lawn, their arms glittering in the
    moonlight, which glimmered through the grand old trees. In the
    distance the Potomac lay like a silver lake, with here and there a
    white sail upon its bosom. Over the green turf gayly dressed ladies
    and officers in rich uniform were tripping some light measure,
    while the clinking of glasses showed that the wine was passing
    freely. No one could help enjoying the music from the full military
    band.

    "Having noted the picturesque beauty of the scene, and moralized to
    myself awhile unnoticed among the throng, I thought I would step
    over to the hospital and see how the sick boys were enjoying the
    revel. It was not over fifty yards from the music-stand. Though it
    might be pleasure to others, it was death to them. One poor fellow,
    far gone with the typhoid fever, and excited by the music and
    noise, was talking to himself in wild delirium. He has since died.
    All were restless and sleepless. I said a few quieting words, and
    was about leaving when a man asked me if I would not offer a
    prayer. "I am not a Christian man," he remarked, "but I would like
    to hear a prayer to-night." Of course I complied, and soon the
    words of supplication were mingling with the gay notes of the
    quickstep. I have seen the man since several times, and have good
    reason to believe that he has become a sincere, earnest Christian.
    The contrast in his two modes of life will be most marked. He told
    me that when at home he would often take his wife to church, and
    then ride on further and trade horses during the service, and call
    for his wife on his return. As may be imagined, army life had not
    improved his morals. Still the influence of his Christian wife
    followed him, and during his days of sickness came back in tenfold
    power, and the kindly Spirit of our merciful Father, ever-striving,
    led him to the Saviour.

    "After leaving the hospital I met the sergeant of the guard, and
    found him arming a body of men. "We are going to have trouble
    to-night," he said to me. The camp below was in a ferment. There
    were many there who loved whisky as well as the more privileged at
    headquarters. At first the rioters (who were mainly from a regiment
    of regulars) threatened to appropriate the officers' stores and
    break up the ball. But hardly daring to do that, they turned their
    attention to a sutler's tent and eating-house. They soon demolished
    his establishment and set fire to his premises. They here obtained
    the much desired whisky, and excited by liquor, they boldly began
    preparations to attack another sutler who was unpopular. The riot
    was now getting formidable. From my tent I could overlook the whole
    camp and scenes at headquarters. Meantime our regiment was arming
    and procuring ammunition. Fifty of our men were already acting as
    guards. They formed and received their cartridges in front of our
    tents, thus drawing attention to the headquarters of our
    detachment, which I thought at one time would provoke an attack
    upon us. I dreaded this, for one of our officers had left his wife
    in my charge at the commencement of the disturbance. Our men then
    marched to headquarters, fearing the first attack would be there.
    For a few moments all was still throughout the camp. Then there
    were signals in all directions. In a few moments more the mules
    were stampeded from the corrall. They then proceeded to attack the
    sutler's tent just below us. Here the guards fired upon them, which
    caused them to retreat to the burning sutler's tent in the middle
    of the camp. Then I could see our men coming down from the
    headquarters on a full run. Wheeling at a certain point, they
    charged without a moment's hesitation. For a short time shots were
    fired in rapid succession, when the rioters broke and ran. The ball
    was arrested. The order was given, 'Every officer to his post.' The
    ladies, pale and frightened, were huddled together, asking anxious
    questions. Many of the officers might be seen in their ball-dress
    walking and riding through the camp with sword and pistol driving
    the men into their tents. Such volleys of horrible oaths as were
    heard in every direction I hope may never shock my ears again.
    Officers cursed the men, and the men cursed the officers. For a
    time things looked rather serious. Meanwhile our boys stood grim
    and expectant, ready to quell any show of resistance. In a few
    minutes the whole camp was under arms, but the ringleaders having
    been caught, quiet was eventually restored. My heart ached for the
    young wife who saw the exposure of her husband and felt her own
    danger, and who was compelled to listen to the awful profanity of
    the hour. I will say, for the benefit of all concerned, that there
    was nothing of a political nature in the outbreak. Whatever may be
    the soldiers' vices, they have not yet sunk so far as to sympathize
    with Northern 'copperheads.' The cause, as far as I could learn,
    was the unpopularity of the sutlers, jealousy of our regiment
    because the guard of honor for the evening was chosen from it, and
    a desire for whisky, for which a certain class will do and dare
    anything. After quiet was restored the dancing, music, and drinking
    were resumed as though nothing had happened. Meanwhile, on one side
    the poor fellows in the hospital tossed and moaned and raved in
    their restlessness and delirium, and on the other lay the two
    rioters stiff and stark upon the ground, their souls rudely thrust
    out into the unknown amidst riot and intoxication, soon to be
    sobered but too well by their abrupt plunge into the dusk waters of
    death. Life presents to the close observer peculiar phases and
    contrasts at all times, but it seems that in the events of this
    evening there was a strange mingling of life and death, pleasure
    and pain. Yet in the sick and repentant soldier God was at least
    fashioning one soul from out this moral and social chaos for the
    perfect symmetry of heaven. I had hoped that after the night's
    uproar we should have a quiet Sabbath, but was disappointed in
    this, for orders came in the morning to arm, mount, and equip every
    available man and send them all to the front. And so throughout the
    day the clangor of arms, the trampling of men and horses, and the
    words of command, made the quiet peacefulness of a Northern Sabbath
    a thing scarcely to be imagined."

Late in February, 1864, Edward joined General Kilpatrick in his famous
raid towards Richmond. He wrote a brief account of this, which was
published in _Lippincott's Magazine_.

    "In the dusk of Sunday evening four thousand men were masked in the
    woods on the banks of the Rapidan. Our scouts opened the way, by
    wading the stream and pouncing upon the unsuspecting picket of
    twenty Confederates opposite. Then away we went across a cold,
    rapid river, marching all that night through the dim woods and
    openings in a country that was emphatically the enemy's. Lee's
    entire army was on our right, the main Confederate cavalry force on
    our left. The strength of our column and its objective point could
    not remain long unknown.

    "In some unimportant ways I acted as aid for Kilpatrick. A few
    hundred yards in advance of the main body rode a vanguard of two
    hundred men thrown forward to warn us should we strike any
    considerable number of the enemy's cavalry. As is ever the case,
    the horses of a small force will walk away from a much larger body,
    and it was necessary from time to time to send word to the
    vanguard, ordering it to 'slow up.' This order was occasionally
    intrusted to me. I was to gallop over the interval between the two
    columns, then draw up by the roadside and sit motionless on my
    horse till the general with his staff came up. The slightest
    irregularity of action would bring a shot from our own men, while
    the prospect of an interview with the Johnnies while thus isolated
    was always good. I saw one of our officers shot that night. He had
    ridden carelessly into the woods, and rode out again just before
    the head of the column, without instantly accounting for himself.
    As it was of vital importance to keep the movement secret as long
    as possible, the poor fellow was silenced in sad error as to his
    identity.

    "On we rode, night and day, with the briefest possible halts. At
    one point we nearly captured a railroad train, and might easily
    have succeeded had not the station and warehouses been in flames.
    As it was, the train approached us closely, then backed, the
    shrieking engine giving the impression of being startled to the
    last degree.

    "On a dreary, drizzling, foggy day we passed a milestone on which
    was lettered, 'Four miles to Richmond.' It was still 'on to
    Richmond' with us for what seemed a long way farther, and then came
    a considerable period of hesitancy, in which the command was drawn
    up for the final dash. The enemy shelled a field near us
    vigorously, but fortunately, or unfortunately, the fog was so dense
    that neither party could make accurate observations or do much
    execution.

    "For reasons that have passed into history, the attack was not
    made. We withdrew six miles from the city and went into camp.

    "I had scarcely begun to enjoy much-needed rest before the
    Confederates came up in the darkness and shelled us out of such
    quarters as we had found. We had to leave our boiling coffee behind
    us--one of the greatest hardships I have ever known. Then followed
    a long night ride down the Peninsula, in driving sleet and rain.

    "The next morning the sun broke out gloriously, warming and drying
    our chilled, wet forms. Nearly all that day we maintained a line of
    battle confronting the pursuing enemy. One brigade would take a
    defensive position, while the other would march about five miles to
    a commanding point, where it in turn would form a line. The first
    brigade would then give way, pass through the second, and take
    position well to the rear. Thus, although retreating, we were
    always ready to fight. At one point the enemy pressed us closely,
    and I saw a magnificent cavalry charge down a gentle descent in the
    road. Every sabre seemed tipped with fire in the brilliant
    sunshine.

    "In the afternoon it became evident that there was a body of troops
    before us. Who or what they were was at first unknown, and for a
    time the impression prevailed that we would have to cut our way
    through by a headlong charge. We soon learned, however, that the
    force was a brigade of colored infantry, sent up to cover our
    retreat. It was the first time we had seen negro troops, but as the
    long line of glistening bayonets and light-blue uniforms came into
    view, prejudices, if any there were, vanished at once, and a cheer
    from the begrimed troopers rang down our line, waking the echoes.
    It was a pleasant thing to march past that array of faces, friendly
    though black, and know we were safe. They represented the F.F.V.'s
    of Old Virginia we then wished to see. On the last day of the
    march my horse gave out, compelling me to walk and lead him.

    "On the day after our arrival at Yorktown Kilpatrick gave me
    despatches for the authorities at Washington. President Lincoln,
    learning that I had just returned from the raid, sent for me, and I
    had a memorable interview with him alone in his private room. He
    expressed profound solicitude for Colonel Dahlgren and his party.
    They had been detached from the main force, and I could give no
    information concerning them. We eventually learned of the death of
    that heroic young officer, Colonel Dahlgren."



CHAPTER V

HAMPTON HOSPITAL


In March, 1864, Edward began his duties as chaplain of Hampton
Hospital, having been appointed to this position before the raid
described in the preceding chapter was undertaken. Mrs. Roe joined him
at Washington and they went to Hampton together. A tribute is here due
the brave young wife, who, leaving a home of luxury, accepted without a
word of regret the privations of hospital life and was untiring in her
devotion to the sick and wounded. The letters which follow show what
that life was during the last two years of the war. The first is an
appeal for books for the sick soldiers made through _The Evangelist_,
and is preceded by a note of explanation from the editors of that
paper.

    "We have received the following letter from the esteemed and
    efficient chaplain of the Hampton Hospital, Virginia, Rev. Mr. Roe,
    who, as it will be seen, is desirous of securing a well-selected
    soldiers' library for the use of the hospital. Many of our readers
    formed an agreeable acquaintance with Mr. Roe, through his
    correspondence with _The Evangelist_ while chaplain of the Harris
    Light Cavalry; and we would refer all others for an estimate of the
    man, as also of the nature and extent of his duties in his new
    position, to an interesting paper in the August number of _Harper's
    Magazine_, on the Chesapeake and Hampton Hospitals. We shall take
    pleasure in aiding this praiseworthy object in every way in our
    power, and we trust that the money required for the purchase of
    these books will be speedily contributed.

        'U.S. GENERAL HOSPITAL, FORTRESS MONROE, VA.

        July 27, 1864.

        'READERS OF THE EVANGELIST:--Pardon me if I say a few plain
        words in preface to a request. I wish to appeal to a quality
        that I hope is universal--gratitude. That the North is grateful
        for the self-sacrifice of its soldiers is well proved by its
        noble charities in their behalf. But, my Northern friends, you
        who dwell securely in beautiful and healthful homes, can you
        not give a little more for those who are giving all for you?

        '_The U.S. General Hospital at Hampton, Va.,_ is very large
        this summer. The average is two thousand five hundred patients,
        and we often have three thousand. Accommodations are in process
        of construction for still larger numbers. This is now the
        nearest permanent hospital to General Grant's army. Almost
        daily transports from the front leave at our wharf sick and
        mutilated men by hundreds, and we in turn send those North who
        are able to bear further transportation. Thus our wards become
        mainly filled with what are termed the "worst cases"--men with
        whom the struggle for life will be long and doubtful. I could
        take you through our wards, and show you long rows of men with
        thigh amputations, fractured thighs; men who have lost arms,
        hands, and both their feet; and in short, men with great
        gaping, ghastly wounds in every part of the body. With such
        injuries nothing will sustain but cheerful courage; despondency
        is almost always fatal. The only true basis of such courage is
        God's religion, but to this all-important condition much can be
        added that is most excellent. But could you ask for more than
        these men have done and suffered? I think they have done their
        part. Yours is not so hard, but it is important. In your
        abundant provisions for their suffering bodies, do not forget
        rations for their minds. There are hundreds in this hospital
        who must lie upon their beds, weeks, and even months, before
        they can even hope to hobble out into the world again with
        crutch and cane. How shall they spend these long, hot, weary
        days? Give them cheerful, entertaining, instructive books, and
        the question is about solved. Who can calculate the value of a
        brave, cheerful book? It stimulates and strengthens the mind,
        which reacts upon the weakened body, and the man is at once
        made stronger, wiser, and better. I felt that first of all I
        ought to have a religious library, and through some effort, and
        the kindness of friends, have obtained a very fair collection.
        But cheerful, light, entertaining books are few and far
        between, while there is almost an entire dearth of histories,
        travels, etc. I find that sick soldiers, even the best of them,
        are like good people North, they do not like religious reading
        all the time. The works of Irving, John S. C. Abbott, Dickens,
        Cooper, Scott, and T. S. Arthur, would be invaluable from both
        a sanitary and a moral point of view, for they would remove the
        parent of all evils--idleness. Poetry also is very much asked
        for. My simple request, therefore, is that out of gratitude to
        the brave suffering men who throng the wards of Hampton
        Hospital, you would send them good cheerful books. I have an
        excellent librarian, and I promise that they shall be carefully
        looked after and preserved. Among the thousands who have been
        here and gone away, I have scarcely lost a book.

        'Messrs. Harpers, and Appletons, and other prominent city
        publishers, have generously offered me their books at half
        price for hospital purposes. All contributions in money sent
        to me, or to the offices of the New York _Evangelist_, _The
        Observer_, and the Brooklyn _Daily Union_, will be promptly
        and judiciously laid out for such books as are needed. All
        contributions in books sent to the above-named places will be
        forwarded to the hospital in my care.'"

Some years after the war was over, my brother took a trip to Fortress
Monroe and visited the scenes of his former labors. I quote from a
letter telling of the result of his appeal for a soldier's library and
of the subsequent use that was made of the books.

    "We entered the fort, presented our letter to General Barry, in
    command, who received us with the utmost courtesy. The band
    discoursed delightful music. We examined the mitrailleuse, of which
    the world has heard so much of late. One of the most interesting
    points to me was the Post Library. Here among many others I found
    all the books that once formed our hospital library. Loyal Northern
    friends, who were ever caring for the soldier's well-being, enabled
    me to gather and purchase about three thousand volumes. I know that
    it will be gratifying to them to learn that their gifts, so far
    from being lost or destroyed, are all here in excellent order, and
    still doing the work for which they were designed. When a book
    becomes badly worn it is sent away and rebound. The private
    soldiers, of which there are several hundred, as well as the
    officers, have free access to them. I was told by the soldier in
    charge that between two and three hundred of these books were taken
    out and read monthly. Under General Barry's careful supervision
    they will be in use for years to come. He evidently regards his men
    as something more than machines."

It was inevitable that my brother should witness many sad partings
during those long years of conflict, and the strain upon his sympathies
was very great, as may be seen from the letters that follow.

    "Among the painful and tragic events that occurred in our hospital
    at Fortress Monroe, there was one wherein heaven and earth were
    strangely mingled. The arm of a strong, powerful man had been
    amputated at the shoulder joint. He was full of vitality and made a
    long but vain struggle for life. Day after day, and week after
    week, he lay, scarcely daring to move, lest the artery should break
    and his life blood ebb away. But ever at his side (it seemed to me
    that she almost never left him) sat his true, patient wife. Strange
    and incongruous did her slight and graceful form, her pale,
    beautiful face appear in that place of wounds and death. The rough
    soldiers were never rough or profane in her presence, and their
    kindly sympathy often touched me. For long weeks the scale turned
    for neither life nor death, but at last the sharp agony of hope and
    fear ended in the dull pain of despair. He must die. The artery
    broke and bled again and again, and skill would soon be of no
    avail. Some time previous to this, a message had come to the poor
    wife that her mother was dying, and she was requested to return
    home immediately.

    "'No,' she said, 'my mother is among friends; my husband is alone;
    I must stay with him.'

    "Late one night, when the certainty of death was apparent, they
    sent for me, and we three had a long, calm talk in the dim, crowded
    ward. The brave, true soldier did not regret that he had entered
    his country's service, though it cost him so dearly, but he spoke a
    few words in regard to those who caused the war that must ever hang
    upon them like millstones. Turning to his young wife with an
    affection beautiful to look upon, he said:--

    "'Mary, you have prepared me to die, now you must go home and do
    the same for your poor mother.'

    "These brief words revealed a world of meaning. She had not been
    sitting at his side in helpless pain, looking with fearful eyes
    into the dreary future when she should be alone and dependent with
    her child in a cold, selfish world. Forgetting her own heart-break,
    she had been untiring in her efforts to brighten his pathway down
    into the dark valley with the hope of heaven. God had blessed her
    angel work, for he seemed a Christian. I went away from that
    bedside more awed than if I had come from the presence of a king.

    "Early one morning I was hastily summoned to the ward. It was
    crowded and confused. The last hours had now come. The artery had
    broken away beyond remedy, and from the ghastly wound the poor
    man's life-blood poured away in torrents, crimsoning the floor far
    and near. His face was pale and wild, for death had come at last in
    an awful form. In mistaken kindness they had kept his wife from
    him, fearing the effect of the scene upon her. Drawn by her frantic
    cries to the ward-master's room, I went and said to her--'My poor
    friend, you can go to your husband, but for his sake you must be
    perfectly calm. We can do nothing for him if he is excited.' For
    his sake, ah! yes, for his sake she could do anything, even master
    the whirlwind of sorrow at her heart. In a moment she became as
    quiet and gentle as a lamb, and crept noiselessly to his side. The
    man rallied and lived a short time, and husband and wife were left
    alone. We may well draw the veil over that last solemn farewell.

    "For a brief space the pair sat on the shores of time, the extreme
    cape and promontory of life. All around rolled the ocean of
    eternity. Then one went forward into the unknown, and the curtain
    between the two worlds fell. In wild agony she clasped his lifeless
    form. The ward-master sought tenderly to lift her and lead her
    away. For a moment the tempest in her soul found expression and she
    sprang upon him like a tigress. Then came again the strange,
    unnatural calm like that when the Master said, 'Peace, be still!'
    Quietly, thoughtfully she made all her arrangements and soon went
    northward to her dying mother, taking the precious dust of him she
    had loved with her, and we saw her no more. But her sad, pale,
    patient face will haunt me through life.

    "If all the bits of romance in these hospitals were gathered up
    they would make volumes. I will instance only two cases.

    "It is somewhat common to get shot now, and yet for all that it is
    none the less rather a painful and tragical experience. Well, two
    of our soldiers were shot; one had his arm taken off, and the other
    lost an arm and a leg also. They both wrote to their respective
    fair ones, expressing the fear that they would no longer wish to
    unite themselves with such mutilated specimens of humanity, and if
    such were their feelings they were free. The female engaged to the
    man who had lost an arm availed herself of his release. She could
    not think of marrying him under such circumstances. The blow was
    fatal to the poor fellow. He became hopelessly deranged, and is now
    in the asylum in this city. Still, considering her character,
    perhaps he escaped a worse fate.

    "The lady engaged to the soldier who had lost both his arm and leg
    replied that she honored him for his wounds; that she loved him all
    the more for his patriotism and the heroism which led him to incur
    them; and that if he would permit her she would come on, and take
    care of him. She did so, and married him."

One turns with a feeling of relief, after the harrowing details in the
letters already given, to this account of the Christmas festivities at
Hampton Hospital.

    "We are told that 'the desert shall blossom as the rose.' We
    believe it, for even the hospital,--the house of disease and
    wounds, the spot ever shadowed by the wings of the dark
    angel,--even this place of sombre associations can wreathe itself
    in festive garlands and resound with songs. Doctor McClellan,
    surgeon in charge, has the enlightened opinion that pills and
    physics are not the only health-restoring influences that can be
    brought to bear upon his patients. All efforts to celebrate the
    holidays with spirit have received his hearty sympathy and
    coöperation. The joyous season, so full of happy memories, has not
    passed in dull monotony. Though winds blew high and cold, still,
    throughout Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the axes rang merrily in
    the woods. Huge masses of holly, cedar, and pine might be seen
    moving towards the different wards, and approaching near you would
    find a nurse or convalescent staggering along beneath the green and
    fragrant burden. Under the magic of many skilful hands the pliant
    boughs are soon tied and twisted into a thousand devices. Men with
    only one hand worked with the rest. Men possessing but a single leg
    were busy as the others. Thump, thump, over the floor go the
    crutches, as old battered veterans hobbled about in all directions,
    to view in different lights the artistic and fantastic results of
    their labors. Even the dull face of chronic pain lights up and
    wanly smiles, while dim eyes, fast closing on earthly scenes, gaze
    wistfully on the fragrant evergreens and query to themselves if
    they are to be the symbols of their memories at distant homes.

    "But though many wards blossomed out into holiday garlands, the
    crowning glories of the kind were to be found in Ward C. Quaint
    devices, hanging festoons, wreaths and shields and graceful arches,
    draped the place in varied beauties like the tapestry of old, which
    turned rough and gloomy apartments into warm and silken bowers. The
    feathery cedar, tasselled pine, and far-famed laurel formed the
    rich background for the bright berries of the Christmas holly which
    glistened like rubies set in emerald folds. Flags were looped
    across the stage, and the curtains in the rear also showed the
    stars and stripes. The hospital choir and glee-club had here
    prepared an entertainment most agreeable to the tastes of all.
    Their motto, a beautiful transparency, explains its character, 'We
    come with songs to greet you.' As darkness fell a throng surrounded
    every door. Up the high steps to the main entrance, an hour before
    the doors were opened, crowding, jostling hundreds gathered,
    seeming like a human wave lifted by some powerful impulse from the
    sea of heads below. Around the building in circling eddies, knots
    of men sauntered talking, wondering, and anticipating concerning
    the pleasures of the evening. Above the swaying masses numerous
    crutches might be seen. Thus raised aloft they seemed like
    standards, showing well the spirit of our soldiers. It is not in
    wounds to keep them at home. If they have the sad misfortune not to
    have two legs beneath them, they are sure to go on one if anything
    unusual calls them out. Within, now, the lamps are lighted, down
    the long and echoing ward, and through the festoons and glistening
    arches, they wink and twinkle like fireflies in a cedar forest. The
    doors are opened and, under Doctor McClellan's wise and careful
    supervision, at least a thousand persons are soon admitted and
    seated. Those not so fortunate as to get seats fill every space of
    standing room. The hall is full, and those who cannot gain
    admittance crowd around outside the windows, where faces gleam in
    the fitful light, like framed and grotesque pictures.

    "At a given signal the orchestra commenced, and the hum and buzz of
    many voices died away like a breeze in the forest. But it is
    useless to attempt to describe music--songs and anthems that seem
    like living spirits which by powerful spells may be called up to
    float and pass before you, and stir the soul with magic influences.
    It was no rude affair. Ears that have been educated at the Academy
    of Music would have tingled with novel and delightful sensations,
    could they have heard those deep, rich soldiers' voices accompanied
    by our lady nurses, and the lady teachers of the Tyler House,
    chanting our national anthems, or exciting irresistible mirth by
    their comic songs. Mr. Tilden's ripe, powerful, mellow voice moved
    every heart, and more than satisfied the nicest and most critical
    ear. Mr. George Terry, changeful as an April day, now convulsed the
    audience with laughter, and again, a moment afterwards, caused all
    eyes to overflow. Mrs. Meachann, Miss Eastman, Mr. Sears, and Mr.
    Allen sustained their parts with marked ability, and little Miss
    Mary White brought down the house by singing a ballad whose simple
    beauty was universally appreciated. But where all perfectly
    performed the parts assigned to them, it is almost invidious to
    make distinctions. Mr. Metcalf, the leader of the choir, must have
    been satisfied with the performances, as certainly all others were.
    'Home, Sweet Home,' closed the entertainment, and carried us all
    back to that dear and never-to-be-forgotten place. Again in fancy
    we gathered around the familiar hearthstone, made warm and bright
    by blazing fire and sweet memories of other days. God grant that
    another Christmas day may find us all there.

    "But in the hospital there were hundreds confined by sickness,
    wounds, and weakness to their beds. However good their will may
    have been they were physically unable to join with their more
    fortunate companions in outside enjoyments. They were not forgotten
    or neglected. On Sabbath afternoon the choir again assembled, and
    commencing with Ward One, we passed through fourteen wards, making
    the old walls ring again with Christmas anthems. This, with wishing
    the patients a merry Christmas, and that another return of the
    happy day might find them all safe at home, and the reading, in
    Luke ii., of the angelic announcement to the shepherds of the
    'unspeakable gift' to us all, constituted the simple service. On
    Monday there was much high feeding. Sleek cattle and corpulent pigs
    were roasted whole, and there was a powerful mortality in the
    hospital poultry-yard. Men who could never carve their fortunes
    showed wonderful ability in carving turkey. These substantial
    luxuries, seasoned by the recent victories, made for us a royal
    feast, to which the sovereigns in blue sat down with unmingled
    satisfaction."



CHAPTER VI

THE HOSPITAL FARM AND CHAPEL


In a letter to the Hon. William Cullen Bryant, then editor of the
_Evening Post_, Edward gives an account of the establishment of his
hospital farm, and tells of its benefit to the men under his care.

    "HON. WILLIAM C. BRYANT--DEAR SIR: The meeting in behalf of 'New
    York's disabled soldiers' has deeply interested me and awakened
    many war memories. During the last two years of the Rebellion I had
    some experience, in a small way, which may suggest useful features
    in a Soldiers' Home. At that time I was one of the chaplains of the
    Fortress Monroe hospitals, and the campaigns in the vicinity of
    Petersburg and Richmond often filled our long barracks to repletion
    and also covered the adjacent acres with temporary tent wards.
    Lying around the hospital there was an abundance of idle and
    unfenced land. With the sanction of Doctor McClellan, the surgeon
    in charge, I had this enclosed and planted with such vegetables as
    were most useful and conducive to health, the odorous onion taking
    the lead. The tulip mania had its day, but the weakness of average
    humanity for this bulb is as old as history--see Numbers xi.,
    5--and apparently it is only growing more prevalent with the ages.
    If this is evolution in the wrong direction Mr. Huxley should look
    after it.

    "The labor of the hospital farm was performed by the patients
    themselves, and very many soon became deeply interested in their
    tasks. When a man became so far convalescent from illness or wounds
    as to be able to do a little work, he was detailed for the garden
    and employed in its lighter labors. As he grew stronger he was put
    at heavier work. Heroes who had lost arms and legs supplemented
    each other's deficiencies, the two maimed men contriving to do
    between them far more than many a stout fellow who now demands
    $1.50 a day. A man with one hand could sow seed and weed the
    growing vegetables, while his comrade hitched along on his crutch
    and vigorously hoed the ground between the rows. I sometimes had as
    many as a hundred men at work, and I ever found that such tasks
    benefited body and soul. It did one's heart good to see pallid
    faces grow brown and ruddy, and flabby muscles round and hard. It
    did one more good thus easily to banish home-sickness and the
    miserable incubus of _ennui_ from which the sufferer is prone
    to seek relief in some form of vicious excitement. For the
    satisfaction of those who ask for more practical results I can
    state that we were able to send green vegetables to the hospital
    kitchens by the wagonload. As the record of the second year at the
    farm, made at the time, I find among other items the following: 700
    bushels of snap beans in the pod, 120 do. lima beans, 130 do.
    carrots, 125 do. peas, 470 do. potatoes, 250 do. tomatoes, 1,500
    bunches of green onions, 30,000 heads of cabbage, 26,900 ears of
    sweet corn, 2,500 muskmelons, etc. A large poultry yard, enclosing
    four acres, was also built, and many other improvements made, all
    being accomplished by the willing labor of the convalescents
    themselves, who more rapidly regained their strength while thus
    furnishing the means of health to those still confined within the
    walls.

    "Recalling these facts I am greatly pleased to learn that the 'New
    York Home' is to be located on a farm, for thus it may be made a
    _home_ in reality. Providence put the first man into a garden, and
    few men have lived since who have not felt more at home when a
    garden lay about the door."

    During the years that Edward was at Hampton Hospital, his friend
    Mr. Merwin was doing a noble work among the soldiers in the
    hospitals at the front, under the direction of the Christian
    Commission. My brother at one time wished to be relieved of his
    duties as chaplain for several weeks, and Mr. Merwin kindly
    consented to take his place. He afterwards wrote of this time:--

    "I found that Edward's presence among the sick and wounded was
    sadly missed, and that he had labored in many ways to contribute to
    their comfort and happiness. He brought from the North an
    experienced farmer and supplied the hospital with an abundance of
    excellent vegetables. Subsequently a church was erected by his
    efforts for the growing needs of that post."

While absent at the North my brother raised most of the funds necessary
to build this chapel at Hampton. When he revisited the place years
afterward, he found the chapel still in use. He was gratified also to
learn that the hospital library continued to be of service. He says:

    "Some of us rode out to the former site of the hospital. Many
    pleasant changes have occurred. The acres of ground occupied by
    sick and wounded men are now covered with orchards and the homes of
    peaceful industry. The hospital garden has in part become the
    grounds of a college for freed-men, and is in a high state of
    cultivation. The college itself is a fine building, and under the
    able, energetic administration of General Armstrong, is full of
    promise for the race that we have so long kept in ignorance. He is
    teaching them many things of vital use, and among these one of the
    most important is a wise, economical culture of the ground. The
    chapel to which we have referred is inclosed within the cemetery
    grounds, and only needs a few repairs now and then, to preserve it
    a substantial church for many years to come. I was told that there
    had been religious services in it nearly every Sabbath since the
    war.

    "The soldiers' monument, now seen for the first time, impressed me
    most favorably. In its severe simplicity it truthfully commemorates
    the lives and characters of those who sleep beneath. Over three
    hundred dollars was given to me by the soldiers in twenty-five and
    fifty cent stamps and one-dollar bills, and with some these gifts
    were almost like the widow's mite--all they had. It was most
    gratifying to see how nobly their wish and purpose had been carried
    out. That it has been so is due to that friend of the soldier and
    of all humanity, Miss D. L. Dix, who to the mites of the hospital
    patients added thousands of dollars collected elsewhere."

From another letter I take Edward's description of the chapel.

    "The building is cruciform in its shape, and at the foot rises a
    light and graceful tower and spire, sixty feet high, surmounted by
    a cross showing each way. The style of architecture is Gothic. The
    chapel-room is thirty feet by sixty, with a high, arched ceiling.
    It is beautifully and smoothly plastered, and whitened with some
    kind of hard finish. Two aisles run down the room, thus making
    three tiers of seats. These are somewhat Gothic in their form, and
    are stained black-walnut, surmounted by a white round moulding,
    which makes a pleasing contrast. In the place where the head of the
    cross should have been, there is merely a small projection from the
    main building, forming in the large chapel-room an alcove or
    recess. A beautiful Gothic frame containing two medium-sized and
    one large window of stained glass forms the rear of this
    projection, and aids in lighting the room. All the windows in the
    chapel part are of stained glass, and they render the light very
    soft and pleasant. I found them about as cheap as curtains, and
    much more pretty and durable. The space in the alcove is occupied
    by a slightly raised platform and a plain, simple pulpit, still
    lacking a cushion. It is a very easy room to speak in, and in it
    music sounds remarkably well. The left arm of the cross, towards
    the hospital, constitutes the library, and is a large, airy room,
    thirty feet by twenty-four, furnished with tables, book-shelves,
    and reading-desks. Our collection of books is said to be one of the
    finest in the hospital service. Here also will be found the
    magazines, dailies, and weeklies, and prominent among our files
    will be _The Evangelist_. The right arm of the cross consists
    of four small but pleasant rooms, and will now be used as the
    chaplain's quarters, and at some future time as a parsonage.

    "The building is of a dark color, with white doors and
    window-frames. Around the entire structure has been built a rustic
    Gothic fence, constructed of smooth pine poles, and forming a
    heart-shaped enclosure. Therefore we have the following device: the
    church in the centre of the heart."

Soon after Edward's return from the North to his work at the hospital
there was a marked revival of religion among the sick and wounded men.
He says:--

    "I think the most marked feature of the revival is the reclamation
    of those who have gone astray--who have found the temptations of
    camp life too powerful to be resisted. Since I have been in the
    service I have met hundreds of soldiers who acknowledged that they
    had been professors of religion at home. They had entered the army
    with the best of intentions, but the lack of Sabbath privileges, of
    the sacred influences of the hearth, and all the numberless aids
    which bolster up a church member at the North, together with the
    strong and positive allurements to sin in the field, had discovered
    to them their weakness and they had fallen. But in most cases it
    would seem that the old vital spark still smouldered at the bottom
    of their hearts. According to their own confessions, they are
    restless and dissatisfied, and unable to attain to the stolid or
    reckless apathy of those who have never tasted of the heavenly
    manna. Put them under the influence of an earnest prayer-meeting or
    faithful sermon, and they are like old rheumatic flies in an April
    sun, or the apparently dead and leafless trees in the warm breath
    of spring, or the veteran soldier who hears the familiar call to
    arms after years of ignoble peace. It is very interesting to watch
    them in our meetings. The first evening they take seats far back,
    and look around with an uneasy air, as if almost ashamed to be
    seen. The next evening they sit near the leader. They soon venture
    to respond faintly to some of the more earnest prayers. At last,
    unable to restrain the rising tide of feeling, they rise up, and
    often with tears and penitence confess their backslidings, resolve
    to be faithful hereafter, and ask the prayers of all present that
    they may never be so weak as to wander again. They then take their
    places amongst those whom I call the fighting part of the
    congregation--those whose active aid I can rely upon.

    "In one of the wards, where 'the straightforward Christian' (as I
    call him) is on duty, they are having a little revival by
    themselves. He gives its inmates no peace till they become
    Christians in self-defence. During the beautiful moonlight nights
    of last month, he organized a little prayer-meeting, which met on
    the banks of an arm of the bay that runs up into the mainland near
    the ward, and there claimed and verified the promise of 'Where two
    or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst
    of them.'

    "God does seem near the soldiers, and the soldiers as a general
    thing are ready to respond to His gracious invitations, not only
    here but elsewhere, and in fact in every place where Christians are
    willing to come down, or rather up to their level, and work among
    them with a genuine, heartfelt sympathy.

    "In a recent letter from the front, my brother, Rev. Alfred C. Roe,
    Chaplain 104th N.Y.V., writes: 'We have weekly and almost daily
    conversions. Our prayer-meetings, though held in the trenches, and
    often in close proximity to the enemy, are largely attended, and
    unless prevented by important business the colonel is always
    present. The staff at headquarters is like a Christian family.'

    "I have found by experience that the formal presentation of Gospel
    truth once a week by an officer in chaplain's uniform, or in any
    other, does not amount to much, unless faithfully followed up by
    personal effort and the social prayer-meeting. The religion of our
    Saviour, presented in the spirit of our Saviour, rarely fails to
    move even the rough soldier. I have found a most efficient
    colaborer in Chaplain Billingsly, also in Chaplain Raymond."



CHAPTER VII

PASTORATE AT HIGHLAND FALLS


Soon after the close of the war Edward accepted a call to the little
church at Highland Falls, about a mile below West Point. This was his
only charge, and here he spent nine happy, useful years. His first
impressions of the church and congregation may be gathered from the
following letter.

    "I found myself in a true orthodox Presbyterian church, for
    although the thermometer stood far below zero and the roads were
    snowy and unbroken, still the number of ladies present far exceeded
    that of the gentlemen. I regarded this fact as a good omen, for if
    a pastor can depend upon a few strong-hearted women (not
    strong-minded in the cant sense of the phrase), he has only to go
    forward prudently to certain success. Summing up the entire
    congregation, small and great, it nearly made that number so well
    known, alas, in country churches, which is appropriately termed 'a
    handful.'

    "These good people were thinly scattered over a plain little
    audience room that would seat comfortably one hundred and twenty.
    The church was bitter cold, and the situation of the pulpit,
    between the two doors, seemed designed to chill anything like
    enthusiasm on the part of the speaker. The construction of the
    building bore evidence that some architect of the olden time
    determined to achieve celebrity, in that he placed its back toward
    the street, and faced it toward nothing in particular. This, with
    minor eccentricities, really entitled the edifice to the
    antiquarian's attention. But I intend not a disrespectful word
    against the little church, for precious souls have been gathered
    there and trained for heaven."

It was in February that Edward received a unanimous call to this
church, and from that time he gave himself up to the work of collecting
funds for the erection of a new building. The majority of the people
were not wealthy and many of them were very poor, but they did all they
possibly could, many giving at the cost of great personal sacrifice.
The brunt of the enterprise, however, necessarily fell upon my brother.
About this time he began giving lectures on his experiences in the
Civil War, often travelling many miles to deliver them, going wherever
there was a chance to make money and so help forward his cherished
object. He also obtained large sums from wealthy city churches and from
friends, through personal solicitation.

At the end of two years Edward and his co-workers felt justified in
laying the corner-stone of the new church. Here is his description of
the ceremony.

    "Patient effort seldom fails of its reward, and the day we had long
    toiled and prayed for, when we could lay the corner-stone of our
    new church, at length arrived. The 16th of September dawned, cloudy
    and dubious, like the commencement of the enterprise. The morning
    hours brought disappointment and heavy rain, as the two long years
    of work and waiting had brought many discouragements. Rev. Dr.
    William Adams of New York, who was to have made the address, was
    unavoidably detained; and the skies frowned so darkly it was
    thought best to defer the ceremony. But before the hour appointed
    there was a general brightening up. The clouds broke away and
    vanished over Crow Nest and the adjoining mountains. The sun smiled
    out in irresistible invitation and the people gathered in such
    numbers that it was thought best to go forward with the ceremony.
    This we were most anxious to do, as the North River Presbytery had
    honored our church as the place of its Fall meeting, and most of
    its members could upon this day be present with us.

    "As the shadows were lengthening eastward, we gathered among the
    evergreens that surround the solid foundation of the new edifice.
    It was just such a gathering as we love to see at a
    church--representatives from every age and class in the community.
    Little barefooted urchins climbed up into the cedars and looked on
    with wondering eyes. All right! the church is as truly for them as
    for the President, should he honor us with a visit. In a huge block
    of granite at the northeast corner of the building a receptacle had
    been cut. Around this we gathered. The Hon. John Bigelow, our
    former Minister to France, commenced the simple ceremony with a
    very happy address. In simple periods of classic beauty he spoke of
    church edifices as the highest and most disinterested expressions
    of the benevolence and culture of a community; and in words that
    were good omens of the future he dwelt upon the beneficent
    influences flowing therefrom. The Pastor next came forward, and
    stated that a copy of the Scriptures _only_, as published by the
    American Bible Society, would be deposited in the stone. In this
    solemn and emblematic act we wished to leave out everything that
    would take from the simplicity and force of the figure. God's Word
    alone in its purity should underlie the material structure, and so
    we hoped His Word alone, unmixed and undistorted by human opinions,
    would be the foundation of the spiritual church that should be
    built there in coming years. Therefore no papers, coins, or records
    of any kind, were placed in the sealed box with the Bible. If after
    the lapse of centuries this solid wall were taken down, this
    solitary Bible, unmarred by pen or pencil, will be a clearer record
    than long and formal documents, of a church that sought to honor
    God, and not man, and to keep His name before the people, and not
    that of some human instrument. With the usual words the massy block
    of granite was lowered to its place, and, humanly speaking,
    generations will pass away before these leaves again are turned.

    "The Rev. Dr. Wheeler of Poughkeepsie, who kindly offered to act in
    Dr. Adams's place, spoke in a vein of strong original eloquence
    which chained the attention of all for a brief time. As an
    impromptu effort it was singularly appropriate and hope-inspiring.
    He closed with a prayer, in the fervor of which a lady said that
    she could almost see the walls and spire rising to beautiful and
    entire completion. Rev. Mr. Teal of Cornwall pronounced the
    benediction, and thus closed the ceremony.

    "We are building of the blue granite found in abundance upon the
    ground. The walls rise from the rocky foundation in massive
    thickness of plain, hammer-dressed stone, and thus are in keeping
    with the rugged mountain scenery. Time will rather strengthen the
    work than weaken it. We build from the rock with the rock, and
    trust that the great Spiritual Rock will underlie it all.

    "It will cost us twenty thousand dollars to complete the church,
    and of this sum we have on hand, or promised, nearly half. The
    building is under contract to be finished the first of June next,
    and whatever indebtedness there exists will be provided for by a
    mortgage. The ladies of the church and the Sabbath-school children
    have pledged themselves by fairs and concerts to provide for the
    interest of the debt until the principal is paid. The people are
    proving that they are in earnest by their deeds. By their hearty
    sympathy and coöperation, Mr. Cozzens, the proprietor of the hotel,
    and his lady have greatly contributed to our success.

    "The guests of the house have been very liberal and attentive, and
    show an increasing interest in the enterprise. At a time of
    hesitancy and doubt a generous gift of five hundred dollars, from
    C. K. Garrison, Esq., of New York, soon after followed by five
    hundred dollars more from Richard Schell, Esq., enabled us to go
    forward with hope and confidence. Mr. Garrison is a native of our
    region, and happy would it be for the country if, following his
    example, those who have won wealth and distinction abroad would
    return and enrich their birthplace by such noble proofs of their
    benevolence. Monuments of this kind perpetuate one's name better
    than tombstones. Among the summer worshippers at our little church
    under the trees, we have been glad to recognize so long the kindly
    face of Rev. J. G. Craighead of _The Evangelist_, and long and
    gratefully will our people remember his words from the pulpit and
    in the social meeting. Rev. Dr. Robinson of Harrisburgh, Pa., has
    also been one of our summer residents, and one that we shall soon
    sadly miss."

Four years longer minister and people worked unceasingly in the
interests of their new church, my brother continuing to give his
lectures wherever opportunity offered. One delivered at Providence,
Rhode Island, was quoted at some length in a daily paper of that city,
and is here reprinted.

    "The Rev. E. P. Roe, of West Point, lectured last night before a
    fair audience, at Harrington's Opera House, under the auspices of
    Prescott Post No. 1, G.A.R., on 'Secret Service at the Front; or
    Scouting and Guerrillas.' During the war, said the speaker, the
    northern people regarded guerrillas as irresponsible bands of
    outlaws, living by violence and plunder, and while leaning to and
    assisting the rebels, ready to murder and rob without much regard
    for either side. The majority of the guerrillas were, no doubt, as
    bad as generally supposed, but there were among them trusty and
    intelligent scouts, whose employment was to trace out the position
    and movements of the Union army, and who, no matter how much
    robbing and murdering they might do on their own account, never
    lost sight of the main object of their service. The acuteness of
    these scouts and the various disguises which they assumed were more
    than surprising. As a division of the Union army passed along, an
    old citizen might have been seen building a rail fence. Surely that
    ancient-looking farmer knows nothing, the passing troops would
    readily think. But under that old felt hat gleamed a watchful eye
    and listened attentive ears, observing and hearing everything
    worthy of remark. As soon as the army passed, he throws down his
    rails and slips off to the swamp, mounts a fleet horse, and soon
    the numbers, destination and condition of the Union division are
    reported at the nearest rebel headquarters. Sometimes the woods on
    both sides of the marching column swarmed with prowling guerrillas;
    sometimes an affable stranger in Union colors would approach, enter
    into conversation with the weary straggler, gain all the
    information he could, and then shoot down his informant. They were
    very bold in their operations. One day an orderly was riding with
    important despatches far within the Union lines, when he was
    startled by a mounted rebel, who made his appearance from the
    woodside, and who, presenting a pistol at his breast, demanded his
    arms and despatches. After, as he imagined, cleaning out the
    orderly, the rebel invited him to come along and accept a little
    Southern hospitality. The scout rode a little forward, and as he
    did so, a quiet grin played stealthfully over his furious
    countenance; a little pistol was withdrawn from a side pocket, the
    cold muzzle applied to the rebel's ear, and in a very few moments
    the rebel was disarmed and on his way to a Northern prison. But the
    bold deeds of the rebels in scouting through the Union lines paled
    before the achievements of General Sharpe and his bureau of
    military information. The promotion of this bureau was recommended
    by General Butterfield to General Hooper, in 1863, for the purpose
    of ascertaining the numbers, positions, and intentions of the
    enemy. To this bureau was gathered all the information of the
    signal corps and of the hundreds of scouts and spies who traversed
    the rebel army and country. Trusty and intelligent men were picked
    from the rank and file of the army and placed under command of
    General Sharpe. The first piece of work undertaken by the general
    was to obtain a full roster of Lee's army as it lay on the
    Rappahannock, the numbers and titles of regiments and the names of
    the corps, division, brigade, regimental and company commanders. He
    picked out General Heath's brigade of A. P. Hill's corps as the
    first one to operate on, and by daringly scouting in person through
    the lines of that brigade, conversing with its pickets, and
    mingling with its men, he succeeded in obtaining not only a full
    list of its officers, and an accurate detail of its strength, but a
    correct description of the personal appearance and habits of these
    officers. After mastering Heath's division he picked out an
    intelligent soldier whom he crammed with all he knew himself about
    the division, dressed him up in a rebel uniform, and sent him into
    another division of Hill's corps. Of course the man was at once
    apprehended and taken before a provost marshal, but made such a
    plain statement, giving the names of the officers of the regiments
    in Heath's division, to which he claimed to belong, and describing
    their personal appearance and habits with more accuracy than
    reverence, that he was dismissed, with a reprimand for his want of
    respect for his superior officers, and ordered to report back at
    once to his regiment. After looking around him and ascertaining
    everything worth noting with regard to the command, he returned to
    General Sharpe; and thus the particulars, as ascertained by every
    new scout, facilitated the means of getting more. At length Sharpe
    had a roster of the whole of Lee's army, and could tell its
    strength at any time within a thousand or so, that thousand being
    the changing mass of stragglers, furloughed, and sick, to whom no
    special location could be assigned. He could also tell the name of
    every officer in that army, and rebel generals of divisions might
    have gone to him for information concerning their own subordinates.
    The great usefulness of thus possessing the precise knowledge of
    the strength and formation of the enemy's forces was particularly
    illustrated at Gettysburg, where the anxious spirits of the Union
    commanders were relieved by ascertaining from General Sharpe that
    every brigade but one of Lee's army had been engaged in the fight,
    and that that general had no reserve with which to follow success
    or break defeat. Not least among the resources from which valuable
    information was obtained were the contrabands, whose fidelity and
    truthfulness were remarkable, considering their want of education,
    and consequent lack of intelligence.

    "Amusing and interesting instances were given by the speaker of the
    hairbreadth escapes and reckless daring of General Sharpe's scouts,
    and he concluded an entertaining discourse by paying a hearty and
    well-deserved tribute to their patriotic and fearless devotion, to
    which was greatly owing, in his opinion, the winning of some of our
    greatest victories, and the fortunate issue of the war itself."

In 1868 the church was completed, a building "whose granite walls are
so thick, and hard-wood finish so substantial, that passing centuries
should add only the mellowness of age." Edward would not allow his name
deposited in the corner-stone, as many wished, but since his death a
bronze tablet, with the following inscription, has been placed in the
vestibule.

    In Memoriam,
    Rev. Edward Payson Roe,
    Minister of the
    First Presbyterian Ch. of the Highlands.
    1866-1875.
    Author, Pastor, Friend,
    This Building Stands the Monument of
    His Earnest Labors.
    Erected:
    1868.

After the completion of the church the old parsonage was enlarged and
remodelled, and so during his pastorate thirty thousand dollars were
raised and expended in permanent improvements.

While living at Highland Falls Edward continually met the officers and
soldiers of West Point. A soldier at one time was the leader of his
choir, in which was also a quartet from the military band. He writes as
follows of a mountain camp at West Point which recalled some of his own
army life:--

    "About the middle of August the Cadet Corps left their airy tent
    villas on the plain at West Point, and took up their line of march
    for the mountains. The pioneers had preceded, and the road was
    practicable not only for infantry, but for carriages and stages
    laden with fair ladies from the hotels. The selected camping
    ground, though rough indeed compared with the velvet lawns of West
    Point, was admirably adapted for the purpose. It was a broken,
    uneven field, on the property of T. Cozzens, Esq. Here in the midst
    of the wildest mountain scenery the young soldiers experienced, to
    quite an extent, the realities of life at the front, minus the
    element of danger. But the mimicry was almost perfect, and so
    suggestive of bygone days to an old campaigner, that I cannot
    refrain from indulging in a brief description.

    "A wild, romantic drive of three or four miles through winding
    valleys, jagged boulders and ledges, and overshadowing trees,
    brought us to the edge of the camp-ground. Along the road ran the
    familiar military telegraph, the wire now looped up to a convenient
    tree, now sustained by the slender portable pole that bends but
    never breaks beneath the seemingly gossamer strand. Just before
    reaching the place we struck off upon one of those temporary roads
    that we were ever extemporizing in Virginia. First we saw the white
    tents through the foliage, then the gleaming of a sentry's musket,
    the cover of an ambulance, and in a moment more we were in the
    midst of the encampment, and the spell was complete. Through the
    strong laws of association the old life rushed back again, and what
    often seems a far-away dream was as present and real as six years
    ago. But apart from all its suggestiveness to those who dwelt in
    canvas cities and engaged in war's realities, the scene was novel,
    beautiful, and deeply interesting. Here in the midst of the wooded
    highlands was a fac-simile, reproduced in miniature, of thousands
    of encampments, created by the Rebellion, in the equally wild
    regions of the Southern States. Here were our future generals
    learning to apply practically to the roughness of nature the
    principles and tactics that might seem comparatively easy on paper
    or grassy plain. Sloping down to the right, the encampment bordered
    on Round Pond, a beautiful, transparent little lake, fringed with
    water-lilies, and mirroring back the rocks and foliage of its
    rugged banks. Through the courtesy of Mr. Cozzens we and others
    were soon skimming its surface in an airy little pleasure boat. A
    quarter of a mile to the left, in full view, with a descent of a
    hundred feet, Long Pond glistened in the bright August sun. All
    around rose the green billowy hills as far as the eye could reach.
    We had hardly noted this beautiful commingling of wood and water
    before the stirring notes of the drum announced skirmish drill. On
    each side of the camp a squad marched briskly out, and was soon
    lost in the forest. Soon from its unseen depths there came a shot,
    then another, then several, ending in a rapid, scattering fire, and
    I was back again on the skirmish line in Virginia. By this time the
    other detachment had reached position, and were 'popping' away in
    the old familiar style. The hills caught up the reports and echoed
    them down again multiplied a hundredfold.

        "Rock, glen, and cavern paid them back;
        To many mingled sounds at once,
        The awakened mountain gave response;"

    and these regions of silvan peace and solitude were disturbed as
    they never had been since the days when Washington made West Point
    his military base, and Fort Putnam was the chief Highland
    stronghold.

    "On a high eminence to the right fluttered a signal flag. I shall
    never forget the last time that my special attention was called to
    that very significant object. It was on a bold ledge of the Blue
    Ridge west of Culpepper, Va. We were out on picket, lounging away a
    long bright October afternoon, when in the far distance a white
    flutter like that of a lady's handkerchief caught the wary eye of
    the colonel. Listlessness vanished. All glasses were out, but
    practised eyes discovered, not a token of ladies' favor, but a
    signal of stern war. Lee was turning our right flank, and then
    followed the famous race for Centreville heights.

    "But the sun had sunk behind a blue Highland, and the tap of the
    drum announcing parade recalled from reminiscences of the past.
    Creaking, groaning, crunching up the rough road came stages,
    carriages, and wagons of all descriptions laden with fair
    ladies, who in bright summer costumes seemed airy indeed, but
    from the looks of the jaded horses, were anything but
    thistle-downs. The wild mountain camp was soon brilliant with
    Fifth Avenue toilets. There was a general 'presenting of arms,'
    though not with belligerent aspect, and it required no
    astrologer to predict a conjunction of Mars and Venus. Old fogy
    that I was, recalling the days of our humdrum soldiering long
    and well gone by, here I was in the midst of a brilliant active
    campaign, where wounds were given and received, human hearts
    pierced to the very circumference--perhaps deeper sometimes. Yon
    tall, soldierly figure of the commandant is a secondary one
    here. Cupid is the field marshal of the day. With the near
    approach of night there was a suspension of hostilities. The
    fair invaders gradually drew off their attacking forces, and
    soon were lost in the deeper shadows that lay at the mountain
    base. The next morning at 8 A.M., the Cadet Corps returned to their
    encampment on the plain at West Point."

My brother's attitude toward West Point is clearly shown in the
following vigorous defence of the National Academy which was published
in _The Evangelist_.

    "The Military Academy here has lately had an unenviable degree of
    notoriety and of severe criticism. Some go so far as to advise the
    breaking up of the entire institution. No one so thought when the
    gallant Reynolds at the cost of his life made such vigorous battle
    at Gettysburg as to check Lee, and secure to us a favourable
    position for fighting out the decisive conflict of the war. No one
    so advised when a graduate of West Point announced the surrender of
    Vicksburg; when another marched from Atlanta to the sea; and
    another swept down the Shenandoah Valley like a whirlwind. During
    our national struggle for life, trained soldiers did for us what
    educated lawyers, physicians, clergymen, and statesmen do for a
    community at all times. Next to the courage and patriotism of the
    people, we have to thank the skill of West Point, that we are One
    Nation to-day.

    "There are those who advocate State military schools, in other
    words that we have an army officered by men of local interests and
    feelings. We shall then have generals to whom a single State is
    more than the whole Union. We shall have patriots educated by the
    New York ring, and the champions of Tammany Hall. No, the soldiers
    and sailors of the United States--as they are in the service of the
    whole country--should be educated by the whole country, and upon
    their maps State boundaries should be blotted out.

    "Others advise, instead of this National Academy, that a course of
    military instruction be added to our colleges. But in this way
    students would only pick up a smattering of military science, in
    connection with a dozen other sciences, that would be quite useless
    in time of war. If we are to be fully armed against attack, we need
    men thoroughly educated in military science by the Nation, and
    therefore bound by every instinct of honor, gratitude, and
    association to defend her in her hour of peril.

    "Does West Point now furnish such an education and such men? Yes,
    as truly as it ever has done; and I think it could be shown that it
    was never in better condition than it is this day. But what does
    the recent 'outrage' indicate, and what the 'persecution of Cadet
    Smith?' Living near the institution, and yet having no connection
    with it--nothing to gain or lose--I can form as correct and
    unprejudiced an opinion as those who base theirs upon partial,
    imperfect reports of isolated incidents. One needs but to visit the
    Point daily, or nightly, in order to see that perfect discipline is
    maintained. The 'outrage' referred to was the expelling of three
    students by the first class. This action no one defends. From no
    source have I heard it so severely condemned as by the officers
    themselves. If it could have been foreseen it would have been
    prevented. In the most quiet communities there are sudden outbreaks
    of passion and violence. Is the community where such an event
    occurs, and which goes on its orderly way the remaining three
    hundred and sixty-four days of the year, to be called 'lawless?' Is
    the hasty, passionate act of a few, wrong as it may be, to give
    character to all? Moreover, in judging acts we should consider the
    motives. In this case they throw much light on the action. The
    sentiment of the corps is one of intense disgust at the vice of
    lying. A cadet cannot commit a more serious offence against the
    received code of honor. The parties expelled were believed to have
    been guilty of this offence, and their dismissal was a sudden and
    lawless expression of the general anger and disgust. The action was
    contrary to the character of a soldier--the man of discipline and
    iron rules. But was it contrary to the character of frank,
    impulsive youth? Are those who have scarcely reached their majority
    to be judged in the same light as cool, grey-bearded veterans? I do
    not see how the officers are to blame because they could not
    foresee the trouble. Is a careful housekeeper 'reckless' because a
    kerosene lamp explodes? Do you say she ought to use non-explosive
    material? Then you must send sexagenarians to West Point instead of
    boys.

    "The same principle applies to the 'persecution.' Critical editors,
    and advanced politicians like Ben. Butler, require of a class of
    young men gathered from every part of the land what they could
    scarcely obtain from the reformers of New England as a body. There
    is no use in ignoring the general and widespread prejudice of race.
    Many who grieve most at the wrongs of the colored people still feel
    that instinctive drawing back from social contact. Do those that
    condemn the young men most severely introduce the colored element
    largely into their own social circles? If not, then they should not
    be so ready to throw stones. Colored cadets sent to West Point must
    be treated in precisely the same way as the others. The law forms
    them all into a social community with equal rights. Is it to be
    expected that the utmost cordiality should be shown by hot-blooded,
    unformed, and often unwise youth, having in somewhat intenser form
    the same prejudices with those who condemn them? They have probably
    acted in the matter very much as the sons of the editors and
    ministers and reformers, who have been so severe upon them, would
    have acted in like circumstances. That happy day when the
    brotherhood of the race shall be honestly and lovingly acknowledged
    I fear is yet far distant, nor is it to be hastened by attempting
    to force a social intercourse against which there may be a natural
    aversion. As far as the officers are concerned, I believe that they
    have tried to treat young Smith with strict impartiality, and to
    give him every opportunity. The affairs of the Academy seem to go
    forward like clock-work. Considering the sore and excited state of
    mind among the cadets, their order and subordination have been
    remarkable. Of course two hundred and brought together from every
    diversity of life, could not be expected to act like nicely
    adjusted machines; but with the exception of those two affairs,
    what has there been to justify the charges of 'lawlessness' or
    'looseness of discipline?'

    "In view of its services, it is strange that anyone should speak
    seriously of breaking up West Point. It has paid back to the nation
    all that has been spent upon it a hundredfold.

    "P.S.--May I add a word in regard to the commandant of this post,
    who is the officer who has special care of the students in the
    Academy. Political attacks do not spare anybody, and during the
    recent troubles slurs have been thrown out even against General
    Upton. It has been intimated that fear of the authorities at
    Washington has made him over-lenient and slack in his discipline
    toward the first class, as President Grant and others high in power
    have sons in this class.

    "These disparaging remarks are made either by those who know
    nothing of General Upton's character and antecedents, or else they
    are the grossest slanders. Search the army through and it would be
    impossible to find a man more utterly devoid of the spirit that
    truckles to power. Nature never put into his composition the least
    spice of obsequiousness, and one has only to look into the man's
    face and hear him speak five words in order to know it. He belongs
    to that class of men who pay more attention to the poor and humble
    than to the high and haughty.

    "I think my testimony in this matter is worth something. During
    nearly four years of life in the army, and five years' residence
    within one mile of the West Point Academy, I have met with a great
    many officers of the volunteer and regular service, and never has a
    man more thoroughly impressed me with the fact that he was a
    gentleman, and conscientious in duty even to the slightest
    particular, than General Upton. Moreover, he is an enthusiast in
    his profession, and therefore successful. He is the author of the
    Infantry Tactics now in use in our army, and said to be the finest
    in the world. From frequent intercourse with the Point, I know that
    he maintains a daily discipline among the cadets as nearly perfect
    as anything of the kind can be. It is my belief that investigation
    of the recent troubles will show that the institution was never
    better officered than at present.

    "Moreover, General Upton is a sincere Christian--one that lives up
    to his profession. His influence in this respect is most marked and
    happy upon the corps. We cannot overestimate the importance of the
    fact that the officer directly in charge of the young men at the
    Point is guided in all respects, not only by strict military honor
    and duty, but by the highest Christian principle."



CHAPTER VIII

RESIGNATION FROM THE MINISTRY


While at Highland Falls Edward wrote his first novel, "Barriers Burned
Away." He had told of his plan for a story to be based upon the scenes
he had witnessed among the ruins of the great Chicago fire, and when I
received a letter from him the following winter asking me to make him a
visit as soon as possible, I suspected that he wanted my opinion of
what he had written. And I was not disappointed, for on the evening
after my arrival he read to me a number of chapters, and we talked over
his plan for the story until after midnight, he going over the outlines
that he then had in mind, though he afterward made some changes. The
next day he called upon Dr. Field, editor of _The Evangelist_, and
owing to his kind encouragement the visit was repeated, the result
being that the story was finally accepted for serial publication in
that paper.

From that time on, my brother read to me every one of his stories in
manuscript, and I enjoyed them the more from the fact that in every
case I recognized the originals from which he had drawn his scenes and
characters, idealized as they were.

In 1874 his health had become so much impaired by overwork that his
physician strongly urged him to give up either writing or preaching.
After giving the matter serious consideration and consulting with
friends whose advice he valued, my brother reluctantly decided to
retire from the ministry. How his people parted with him is told in a
letter to _The Evangelist_, whose readers had followed with so much
interest and substantial aid my brother's efforts to build a new
church.

    "I have been very much surprised. Last Sabbath, the 7th of March,
    was my birthday. On the 6th I sat quietly in my study until the sun
    was behind the mountains, and then was sent out of the house on
    false pretences. The young people of the church were getting up an
    entertainment, and suddenly took it into their heads that they
    needed my assistance. There seemed many delays, but we at last got
    through. Then I received a startling message that a neighbor wished
    to see me immediately. Surmising sudden illness or trouble, I did
    not go home, but started off in great haste. I found not sickness,
    but mystery, at this neighbor's, which I could not fathom. My
    friend and his wife were unusually entertaining and I could not get
    away, though I knew I was keeping tea waiting at home. Finally
    there came another mysterious message--'Two gentlemen and two
    ladies wished to see me at the parsonage.' 'O, I understand now,' I
    thought. 'It is a wedding; but they are managing it rather oddly.'

    "But imagine my surprise when I opened the door, and found about
    one hundred and fifty people present. Well, to be brief, they just
    overwhelmed us with kindness. They gave us fine music, and provided
    a supper for five hundred instead of one hundred and fifty.

    "Mrs. Roe thought that she was in the secret; but they surprised
    her also by presenting, with cordial words, a handsome sum of money
    at the close of the evening.

    "My resignation has not yet been accepted, but we expect that the
    pastoral relation will be dissolved at the next meeting of
    Presbytery. As soon as spring comes in reality, and the embargo of
    ice and snow is over, we must be upon the wing; and this
    spontaneous and hearty proof of the friendliness of my people was
    very grateful to me. During the nine years of my pastorate they
    have been called to pass through many trying and difficult times.
    They have often been asked to give beyond their means, and have
    often done so. With the very limited amount of wealth in the
    congregation, even the generous aid received from abroad and from
    visitors could not prevent the effort to erect a new church and
    parsonage from being an exceedingly heavy burden, involving
    perplexing and vexatious questions. When I remember how patiently
    they have borne these burdens, how hard many have worked, and how
    many instances of genuine self-denial there have been, I feel that
    too much cannot be said in their praise. It is my hope and my
    belief that they will deal as kindly with my successor as they have
    with me."

Dr. Edgar A. Mearns of the United States army was one of my brother's
devoted friends who knew him intimately during the years of his
ministry. In 1888, from Fort Snelling, Minn., he writes as follows:--

    "The sad news of the death of Rev. E. P. Roe, at
    Cornwall-on-Hudson, reached me to-day, and filled my heart with
    sadness. During the long years of my sojourn upon the western
    frontier, I have looked forward with unspeakable pleasure to the
    time when I could grasp the hand of this true friend, and walk and
    talk with him, and enjoy once more the society of his dear family.
    I had planned a leave of absence from my station in the
    desert-wilderness of Arizona for last spring, in response to his
    urgent invitations; but other duties awaited me, and I was not
    permitted to realize the fulfilment of this ardent desire. We were
    to walk through the woodlands, drive over the mountains, and sail
    on our native Hudson. I saw in mental vision the very rock under
    which we used to poke at the woodchucks with a stick, and on which
    we gathered the walking fern, and seemed once more to hear him
    discoursing of small fruits in his delightful garden, or reading to
    the family circle from his latest manuscripts. In the West many
    hearts have been pierced by this sorrow, for he made friends
    wherever he went.

    "To write a word of the lost friend, who has been a very pillar of
    support in times of struggle or affliction, will perhaps relieve a
    pain at the heart which is hard to bear. It is not as an author
    justly celebrated, that I must speak of him, but of the private
    life of one who combined every attribute of mind and heart to
    endear him to his friends. I have known him as a pastor, laboring
    assiduously among the members of his flock, dispensing liberal
    charity among the poor, and lightening everybody's burden. He was a
    rock to lay hold of when other friendships were borne away by the
    cruel winds of adversity. Then it was that the genial warmth of his
    smile, the kindly hand-pressure, and the cheerful encouragement of
    his voice fettered sore hearts to his.

    "I have seen him as a hero, struggling in the water and broken ice,
    bearing in his arms the bodies of children for whom he risked his
    life. He had heard a cry for help, and that alone was enough to
    enlist the sympathy and secure the highest sacrifice of which our
    nature is capable. Then, paying no heed to personal sickness and
    injury, he strove to comfort the bereaved hearts of mothers, whose
    boys were drowned, perhaps by exposure laying the seeds of the
    disease which recently caused his death.

    "His zealous devotion to his calling, together with exposure to
    various hardships encountered on frequent lecturing tours made for
    the purpose of obtaining funds for the erection of a suitable
    church for his congregation, made such inroads into his naturally
    vigorous constitution that, having accomplished his task, he was
    compelled to resign his charge as pastor, after about nine years of
    faithful service. The beautiful stone Presbyterian church at
    Highland Falls is a monument to his untiring efforts."



CHAPTER IX

FRUIT CULTURE AND LITERARY WORK


After my brother's resignation from the ministry, he bought a plain,
old-fashioned house with considerable ground about it, at
Cornwall-on-the-Hudson, two miles distant from his childhood home, and
went there to live.

It soon became evident, however, that Edward could not depend upon his
literary work alone for the support of his growing family. He had for
some years taken much interest in the cultivation of small fruits, and
after the removal to Cornwall he carried on this work upon a larger
scale, finding it profitable as well as interesting.

I remember the piles of letters that came to him each day for several
years containing orders for plants. Although in general not a
methodical man, yet the painstaking care which he was known to exercise
in keeping the many varieties distinct enabled his customers to rely
implicitly upon his statements as to the kind and value of the plants
ordered. He often employed many men and boys on his place, but always
engaged them with the understanding that if through carelessness the
varieties of plants became mixed the offender was to be dismissed at
once, and a few examples soon taught his assistants that he meant what
he said. But when they were faithful to their duty, they invariably
found him considerate and kind.

The strawberry was Edward's favorite among the small fruits, and he
made many experiments with new varieties. When the vines were bearing,
sometimes as many as forty bushels of berries were picked in a single
day. Some of them were of mammoth size. I remember on one occasion we
took from a basket four berries which filled to the brim a large
coffee-cup, and notwithstanding their enormous size they were solid and
sweet. During this period he wrote the articles on "Success with Small
Fruits," published in _Scribner's Magazine_.

Currants came next in his favor. Writing of them he says: "Let me
recommend the currant cure. If any one is languid, depressed in
spirits, inclined to headaches, and generally 'out of sorts,' let him
finish his breakfast daily for a month with a dish of freshly picked
currants. He will soon doubt his own identity, and may even think that
he is becoming a good man. In brief, the truth of the ancient pun will
be verified, 'That the power to live a good life depends largely upon
the _liver_.' Let it be taught at the theological seminaries that
the currant is a means of grace. It is a corrective, and that is what
average humanity most needs."

Mr. Charles Downing of Newburgh, a noted horticulturist, was Edward's
valued friend. He was especially successful in fruit culture, and it
was his custom to forward to my brother for trial novelties sent to him
from every part of the country. Then on pleasant summer afternoons the
old gentleman would visit my brother, and, side by side, they would
compare the much-heralded strangers with the standard varieties. Often
forty or fifty kinds were bearing under precisely the same conditions.
The two lovers of Nature thus gained knowledge of many of her secrets.

Edward's coming to live in Cornwall was a source of great pleasure to
our father, who, although then past eighty years of age, was still
vigorous, and as full of enthusiasm for his garden as when he first
moved to the country. Often on summer mornings, before the sun was
fairly above the eastern mountains, father would drive over to my
brother's, taking in his phaeton a basket of fruit or vegetables that
he believed were earlier than any in my brother's garden. These he
would leave at the front door for Edward to discover when he came
downstairs, and return in time for our breakfast. He would laugh with
the keenest enjoyment if he found that his beans or sweet corn had
ripened first. Frequently he would remain at his son's house for
breakfast, and afterwards the two would wander together over the
grounds while the dew was still fresh upon the fruit and flowers. Many
of the rosebushes and shrubs had been transplanted from the old garden,
and it delighted my father and brother to see that they were
flourishing and blooming in their new environment.

When Edward first moved to Cornwall several newspapers severely
criticised him for giving up the ministry to write novels. I was
sitting with him alone in his library one day when such a criticism
came to him through the mail. After reading it he handed it quietly to
me, went to his desk and took down a bundle of letters, saying: "These
are mostly from young men, not one of whom I know, who have written to
me of the benefit received from my books." He then read to me some of
those touching letters of confession and thanks for his inspiring help
to a better life.

When he finished reading the letters he said: "I know my books are read
by thousands; my voice reached at most but a few hundred. I believe
many who would never think of writing to me such letters as these are
also helped. Do you think I have made a mistake? My object in writing,
as in preaching, is to do good, and the question is, Which can I do
best? I think with the pen, and I shall go on writing, no matter what
the critics say."

Still his name was retained on the rolls of the North River Presbytery,
and he was always ready to preach when needed, especially in neglected
districts. For a long time after father's death he kept up the little
Sunday-school that had been father's special care.

His home commanded a fine view of the river and mountains, and he would
watch with great delight the grand thunder-storms that so often sweep
over the Highlands. I take this description of a storm from one of his
letters:--

    "This moist summer has given a rich, dark luxuriance to the
    foliage, that contrasts favorably to the parched, withered aspect
    of everything last year. The oldest inhabitants (that class so
    sorely perplexed in this age of innovations) were astonished to
    learn that a sharp frost occurred in the mountains back of us, just
    before the Fourth. Even the seasons have caught the infection of
    the times, and no longer continue their usual jog-trot through the
    year, but indulge in the strangest extremes and freaks.

    "A person living in the city can have little idea of thunder-storms
    as they occur in this mountain region. The hills about us, while
    they attract the electrified clouds, are also our protection, for,
    abounding in iron ore, they become huge lightning-rods above the
    houses and hamlets at their bases. But little recks old Bear
    Mountain, or Cro' Nest, Jove's most fiery bolts. The rocky
    splinters fly for a moment; some oak or chestnut comes quivering
    down; but soon the mosses, like kindly charity, have covered up the
    wounded rock, and three or four saplings have grown from the roots
    of the blighted tree.

    "But the storm we witness from our safe and sheltered homes is
    often grand beyond description. At first, in the distant west, a
    cloud rises so dark that you can scarcely distinguish it from a
    blue highland. But a low muttering of thunder vibrates through the
    sultry air, and we know what is coming. Soon the afternoon sun is
    shaded, and a deep, unnatural twilight settles upon the landscape
    like the shadow of a great sorrow on a face that was smiling a
    moment before. The thunder grows heavier, like the rumble and roar
    of an approaching battle. The western arch of the sky is black as
    night. The eastern arch is bright and sunny, and as you glance from
    side to side, you cannot but think of those who, comparatively
    innocent and happy at first, cloud their lives in maturer years
    with evil and crime, and darken the future with the wrath of
    heaven. At last the vanguard of black flying clouds, disjointed,
    jagged, the rough skirmish line of the advancing storm, is over our
    heads. Back of these, in one dark, solid mass, comes the tempest.
    For a moment there is a sort of hush of expectation, like the lull
    before a battle. The trees on the distant brow of a mountain are
    seen to toss and writhe, but as yet no sound is heard. Soon there
    is a faint, far-away rushing noise, the low, deep prelude of
    nature's grand musical discord that is to follow. There is a vivid
    flash, and a startling peal of thunder breaks forth overhead, and
    rolls away with countless reverberations among the hills. In the
    meantime the distant rushing sound has developed into an increasing
    roar. Half-way down the mountain-side the trees are swaying wildly.
    At the base stands a grove, motionless, expectant, like a square of
    infantry awaiting an impetuous cavalry charge. In a moment it
    comes. At first the shock seems terrible. Every branch bends low.
    Dead limbs rattle down like hail. Leaves, torn away, fly wildly
    through the air. But the sturdy trunks stand their ground, and the
    baffled tempest passes on. Mingling with the rush of the wind and
    reverberations of thunder, a new sound, a new part now enters into
    the grand harmony. At first it is a low, continuous roar, caused by
    the falling rain upon the leaves. It grows louder fast, like the
    pattering feet of a coming multitude. Then the great drops fall
    around, yards apart, like scattering shots. They grow closer, and
    soon a streaming torrent drives you to shelter. The next heavy peal
    is to the eastward, showing that the bulk of the shower is past.
    The roar of the thunder just dies away down the river. The thickly
    falling rain contracts your vision to a narrow circle, out of which
    Cozzens's great hotel and Bear Mountain loom vaguely. The flowers
    and shrubbery bend to the moisture with the air of one who stands
    and takes it. The steady, continuous plash upon the roof slackens
    into a quiet pattering of raindrops. The west is lightening up; by
    and by a long line of blue is seen above Cro' Nest. The setting sun
    shines out upon a purified and more beautiful landscape. Every
    leaf, every spear of grass is brilliant with gems of moisture. The
    cloud scenery has all changed. The sun is setting in unclouded
    splendor. Not the west but the east is now black with storm; but
    the rainbow, emblem of hope and God's mercy, spans its blackness,
    and in the skies we again have suggested to us a life, once clouded
    and darkly threatened by evil, but now, through penitence and
    reform, ending in peace and beauty, God spanning the wrong of the
    past with His rich and varied promises of forgiveness. At last the
    skies are clear again. Along the eastern horizon the retreating
    storm sends up occasional flashes, that seem like regretful
    thoughts of the past. Then night comes on, cool, moonlit,
    breathless. Not a leaf stirs where an hour before the sturdiest
    limbs bent to the earth. This must be nature's commentary on the
    'peace that passeth all understanding.'"

At this period Dr. Lyman Abbott made his permanent home in Cornwall,
going almost daily to the city to attend to his duties as editor of the
_Christian Union_.

In a short article written for that paper my brother describes a drive
taken over the mountains when Dr. Abbott was entertaining the Brooklyn
Association of Congregational Ministers.

    "Pleasures long planned and anticipated often prove 'flat, stale,
    and unprofitable' when at last they disappoint us in their sorry
    contrast with our hopes, while on the other hand good times that
    come unexpectedly are enjoyed all the more keenly because such
    agreeable surprises. The other morning the editor of the _Christian
    Union_, Dr. Lyman Abbott, who is a near neighbor and a nearer
    friend, appeared at my door with the announcement that he was to
    meet on the morrow at the West Point landing the New York and
    Brooklyn Association of Congregational Ministers, at the same time
    giving me an invitation to accompany him, which I accepted on the
    spot. The morning of the 27th found us leading an array of
    carriages up the Cornwall slope of the mountain, for it had been
    arranged that the gentlemen whom Mr. and Mrs. Abbott were to
    entertain for the day should land at West Point and enjoy one of
    the finest drives in America across the Highlands, instead of a
    prosaic ride down from Newburgh through the brickyards. The Albany
    day boat was on time, and so were we, and there stepped on shore a
    venerable body of divinity, or rather several bodies, led by Rev.
    Henry Ward Beecher and his brother, Dr. Edward Beecher. A shower
    the previous evening had left less dust than could be found in the
    immaculate parlor of a spinster, and the heated air had been cooled
    to such a nicety of adjustment that we grew warm in the praise of
    its balminess. With much good-natured badinage and repartee we
    climbed the West Point hill and took the outer avenue that skirts
    the river edge of the plain and campus. 'The brethren' gazed with
    mild curiosity at 'Flirtation Walk' where it led demurely and
    openly from the main road, but soon lost itself in winding
    intricacies, mysterious copsewood, and the still deeper mysteries
    suggested by the imagination. Let no grave reader lift a disdainful
    nose. Perhaps this same secluded path of frivolous name has had a
    greater influence on human destiny than himself.

    "The trim plain and trimmer cadets were soon left far behind, and
    nature began to wear the aspect it had shown to our great
    grandfathers when children. Through the skilful engineering of Mr.
    Charles Caldwell, a most excellent road of easy grades winds across
    Cro' Nest and Butter Hill (the latter was rechristened 'Storm King'
    some years since by the poet, N. P. Willis). As our path zigzagged
    up the shaggy sides of Cro' Nest, wider and superber views opened
    out before us, until at last West Point with its gleaming tents,
    the winding river with its silver sheen, and the village of Cold
    Spring lay at our feet, while to the southwest a multitude of green
    highlands lifted their crests like a confusion of emerald waves. A
    few moments more brought us to the summit, and although we were but
    a thousand feet nearer heaven than when we started, the air was so
    pure and sweet and the sky so blue that it might well seem to those
    who had so recently left the stifling city that they had climbed
    half-way thither. A half an hour's ride brought us to the northern
    slope of the mountains. Here we made a halt at Mr. Cobb's 'School
    on the Heights," and were entertained with unlimited cherries,
    which by some strange providence had escaped the boys, and also by
    some exceedingly interesting gymnastic exercises that were
    performed to the rhythm of gay music. There are probably few finer
    views on the river than that from Mr. Cobb's piazza and grounds,
    and thus his pupils are under the best of influences out of doors
    as well as within. As Mr. Abbott's guests looked down upon the
    broad expanse of Newburgh Bay, the city itself, the picturesque
    village of Cornwall, and the great swale of rich diversified
    country that lay between our lofty eyrie and the dim and distant
    Shawangunk Mountains that blended with the clouds, they must have
    felt indebted to their host for one of the richest pleasures of
    their lives.

[Illustration: VIEW FROM THE PIAZZA AT "ROELANDS."]

    "At last Mr. Beecher said that he carried an internal clock which
    plainly intimated that it was time for dinner. The _descensus_ was
    easy, but Mrs. Abbott's warm welcome and hot dinner suggested an
    _avernus_ only by blissful contrast. The fun, wit, and jollity of
    the remainder of the evening can no more be reproduced than the
    sparkle of yesterday's dew or the ripple of yesterday's waves. It
    was a pleasant thing to see those gray-haired men, many of whom had
    been burdened with care more than half a century, becoming boy-like
    again in feeling and mirthfulness."

During Edward's residence in Cornwall, each year about the middle of
June, when the roses and strawberries were in their prime, it was his
custom to send an annual invitation to the Philolethean Club of
clergymen in New York City to visit him for a day at his home. Dr.
Howard Crosby, Dr. Lyman Abbott, Dr. Schaeffer, and many other
well-known clergymen were members of this club. At these meetings the
learned and dignified clergymen threw aside all formality and were like
a company of college boys off for a frolic. Their keen wit, quick
repartee, and droll stories at these times will never be forgotten by
those privileged to listen.

In 1882 heavy financial loss came upon us as a family owing to the
failure of an elder brother. Edward, in his efforts to help him, became
deeply involved, and to satisfy his creditors was obliged to sell the
copyrights of several of his earlier books. These were bought by a
friend without his knowledge at the time. After several years of
incessant labor he worked his way out of these difficulties, and, owing
to the immense sale of his books, was able to redeem his copyrights. He
then felt free to take rest and change of scene in a trip to Southern
California.



CHAPTER X

HOME LIFE


As a matter of course, my brother had frequent calls from newspaper
correspondents and others who were interested in, and curious about,
the private life of a successful author. The first of the articles here
quoted was entitled "A Talk with E. P. Roe," and was printed in a
Brooklyn newspaper in 1886; the second appeared in a Detroit journal.

    "The works of few novelists of the present day have had such
    remarkable sales as those of Mr. E. P. Roe, and this will be the
    more readily granted when it is known that one million copies of
    his novels have been sold in America alone, to which nearly
    one-half of that number may be added as representing their sale in
    England, Canada, Australia, and the different languages into which
    they have been translated.

    "In appearance the novelist is a man of a trifle over the medium
    size, with a pleasant, intellectual face, which is almost covered
    with a rich and handsome coal-black beard and mustache. Mr. Roe is
    in the prime of manhood, being about forty-five years of age, and
    his manners and conversation are the most kindly and engaging. He
    is of a generous disposition, hospitable, a kind friend, and never
    happier than when in the bosom of his family, to which he is
    devotedly attached.

    "It was the pleasure of the writer a few evenings ago to meet the
    novelist and engage him in conversation regarding himself and his
    works.

    "'I have just returned from an afternoon stroll,' remarked the
    novelist. 'This is my invariable custom after my day's work. When
    do I work? Well, I generally sit down immediately after breakfast,
    which I have about eight o'clock, and with the exception of an hour
    for lunch, I write continuously from that time until three or four
    in the afternoon. Then I go out for my walk.'

    "'You never work at night, then?' was asked.

    "'No; it is a bad practice, and one that I rarely indulge in. There
    was a time when I did so, but my work always showed it. A writer's
    work at night is almost always morbid. There is no better time to
    work than during the morning.'

    "'How much work constitutes a day's labor with you?'

    "'That varies a great deal. Sometimes I write four or five pages of
    foolscap, and other days I will write as much as fifteen. I have no
    average, but do as much as I feel like doing, or have time to do,
    and then I stop.'

    "'Do you derive genuine pleasure from your work?'

    "'Always, for I am absorbed in whatever I am writing. I presume I
    derived the most pleasure from my "Nature's Serial Story," for it
    was an out-of-door study, and anything about nature always finds a
    responsive chord in me. Then, two of the characters of that work
    portray my father and my mother, and their memory is blessed and
    sacred to me. All the other characters are imaginary.'

    "'Are your stories and novels based on facts and real happenings,
    as a rule?'

    "'In every case,' replied Mr. Roe. 'I never manufacture a story; I
    couldn't do it. Of course, I elaborate and idealize, but the actual
    facts are always drawn from real life. I am always on the alert for
    these incidents, and when I see one that I think is adapted for a
    story I make a note of it.'

    "'Speaking of your correspondence, like that of most authors, I
    presume it is of a various nature?'

    "'Yes, indeed,' laughingly replied the novelist. 'It is surprising
    what letters I sometimes receive, and how difficult it is for some
    persons to realize that an author's time is valuable. Of course, I
    am not a stranger to the autograph craze, and of these requests I
    receive, I think, more than my share. But what is most surprising
    is the number of manuscripts I receive from young, aspiring
    authors. I am often asked "to read them, revise them carefully, and
    express an opinion as to the merit of the contribution." Why, I
    have frequently been requested to do a whole month's work on a
    single manuscript. What do I do with these? Well, the best I can.
    If I have a spare moment, I look over the story or article, and
    encourage the writer, if possible. But at times the supply is too
    great for physical endurance.'

    "'What exercise do you most indulge in, and what particular one do
    you recommend?'

    "'So far as I am concerned, I like a good, long walk, and this is
    what I would recommend to all who work with the brain and are
    confined. Exercise should never, in my opinion, be taken before
    sitting down to work, always after the task of the day has been
    completed. Then one receives far more benefit from it than if taken
    before work. I also like to work in my garden, and there is hardly
    a better means of exercise. Hunting and fishing are also favorite
    sports with me, and I keep a good gun and a fishing-rod close at
    hand.'

    "'Have you entirely given up gardening for literature?'

    "'Yes, almost entirely, even in an amateur way. Of course I still
    retain an active interest in everything that is interesting or new
    about a garden or a farm. But as to any active participation, as
    formerly, I have been obliged to desist.'

    "It may be interesting here to mention that the grounds surrounding
    Mr. Roe's rural retreat at Cornwall-on-the-Hudson show no lack of
    proper care and attention. The property consists of twenty-three
    acres and is all cultivated for floral and farming purposes. The
    novelist has on these grounds alone over one hundred and twelve
    different varieties of grapes, and has had in his strawberry beds
    seventy different varieties of that luscious berry in bearing at
    one time. One year Mr. Roe's orchards yielded him, among other
    products, one hundred and fifty barrels of apples, and this year
    about forty bushels of pears will be taken from his trees.

    "'What are your immediate plans?' was asked the novelist, as he
    courteously showed the writer into the dining-room in response to
    the merry jingle of the dinner-bell.

    "'I am now taking a brief holiday, resting from overwork. In about
    two months I leave the North for Santa Barbara, California, where I
    may remain for a year, or may return next spring. All depends upon
    how my family and myself like the country there. I go there partly
    for pleasure and partly for work. I shall doubtless gather
    considerable new material, and this I shall incorporate in future
    works. I shall study the life of the people of that region, and
    intend more especially to devote myself to studying nature in the
    direction of trees, plants, as well as the animals, birds, etc., of
    that charming country. My return North is uncertain, as I have
    said, and should everything prove agreeable, I may extend my
    residence there indefinitely.'

    "And here ended the writer's chat with perhaps the most popular
    author of the day. Mr. Roe is extremely retiring in disposition; he
    never courts notoriety, but always strictly avoids it whenever
    possible. And with his large black slouched hat set carelessly on
    his head a stranger would more readily mistake him for a Cuban
    planter, with his dark complexion, than the author of the novels
    which have entered into thousands of American homes."

    "Cornwall is situated on the western bank of the Hudson, just north
    of the Highlands. If you arrive by steamer you find an energetic
    crowd of 'bus men, who are eager to be of service to you. Most of
    the vehicles have four horses attached, which seem to tell of a
    hill in the neighborhood. We passed Cornwall several times by boat,
    and saw enough of the energy of the hackmen to make us resolve to
    reach the place some time when they were absent. Consequently we
    sailed down on Cornwall as General Wolfe sailed down on Quebec--in
    a small boat, and captured the place easily.

    "As we walked up the rickety steps that lead from the water to the
    wharf, there was no deputation there to meet us.

    "'Now the first thing,' said my companion, 'is to find out where
    Mr. Roe lives.'

    "'No, that's the second thing,' I replied. 'The first thing is to
    find out where we are to get supper.'

    "The reasonableness of this proposal was so apparent that further
    remark was not so necessary as finding a hotel well stocked with
    provisions.

    "We found it in the shape of an unpretentious brick structure at
    the foot of the hill. By the way, everything is at the foot of the
    hill at Cornwall Landing. The landlady, who was the pink of
    neatness, promised us all we could eat on our return, although if
    she had known my talents in that line she would have hesitated. I
    noticed that she referred to 'Mr. Roe, the author,' while our
    fellow voyager in the small boat spoke of him as 'the strawberry
    man.' Probably the boor who relished the production of Mr. Roe's
    garden would have been surprised to know that the productions of
    his pen were even more sought after than that delicious fruit.

    "But evening is coming on and we have a long hill before us, so we
    must proceed. A Cornwall road is always either going up or down,
    and a person gets great opportunities for rising in the world as he
    turns his back on the Hudson and climbs to Cornwall. The road winds
    up the hill, often shaded by trees and always accompanied by a
    mountain torrent whose rocky bed lies deep beside the pathway. This
    stream lacks only one thing to make it a success--and that is
    water. No doubt after a heavy rain it would show commendable
    enterprise, but now the rocks were dry. A thin thread of clear
    spring water trickled along the bottom of the ravine, now forming a
    silvery-toned waterfall, then losing itself among the loose rocks,
    next finding itself again, and sometimes making the mistake which
    humanity often makes, of spreading itself too much and trying to
    put on the airs of larger streams.

    "Half-way up is a spring, surrounded by benches, welcome to the
    pedestrian who finds tramping uphill business. The clear, cold
    water pours out, and an iron dipper, like Prometheus 'chained to a
    pillar,' invites the thirsty to have a drink. The benches form a
    semicircle around this fountain, and on the backs thereof some one
    has painted in large letters the legend 'Please don't cut an old
    friend.' But 'excelsior' is our motto, and we climb. When we reach
    the top of the mountain we part company with the rivulet, thinking,
    with perhaps a sigh, what a vast advantage water has over
    people--it always goes down hill. Cornwall now begins to show its
    beauties. It seems to be a big village composed of splendid
    residences and elegant family hotels--or rather huge summer
    boarding-houses. Excellent roads run in all directions, up and
    down, turning now to the right and now to the left, until a
    stranger loses all idea of the points of the compass.

    "About a mile from the landing, if you are in a carriage, or about
    five miles if you are on foot, you come to an open gateway, through
    which a road turns that might be mistaken for one of the many
    offshoots of the public street, were it not that a notice
    conspicuously posted up informs the traveller that the way is
    private property. A cottage, probably a gardener's residence,
    stands beside the gate. The land slopes gently downward from the
    road and then rises beyond, leaving a wide valley between the
    street and a large two-story frame building that stands on the
    rising ground. This is the home of E. P. Roe, author of 'Barriers
    Burned Away,' 'Opening of a Chestnut Burr,' 'From Jest to Earnest,'
    and other well-known works, read and enjoyed by thousands in
    America and in England. Between the house and the road are long
    rows of strawberry plants that looked tempting even in September.
    The house stands in about the centre of a plot of twenty-three
    acres. The side is toward the road, and a broad piazza runs along
    the length of it, from which glimpses of the distant Hudson can be
    had through the framework of trees and hills. The piazza is reached
    by broad steps, and is high enough from the ground to make a grand
    tumbling-off place for the numerous jovial and robust youngsters
    that romp around there and call Mr. Roe 'papa.' A wide hall runs
    through the centre of the house, and the whole dwelling has a roomy
    air that reminds one of the generous and hospitable mansions for
    which the South is famous. Mr. Roe's house is without any attempt
    at architectural ornamentation, unless the roof window in the
    centre can be called an ornament; but there is something very
    homelike about the place, something that is far beyond the powers
    of architecture to supply.

    "My fellow-traveller sat down in one of the rural chairs that stood
    invitingly on the piazza, and I manipulated the door-bell.

    "While the servant is coming to open the door I may as well confess
    that I have undertaken to write the play of Hamlet with Hamlet left
    out.

    "Mr. Roe was not at home.

    "I tell this now so that the reader will not be disappointed when
    the girl opens the door.

    "The door opens.

    "Could we see Mr. Roe?

    "Mr. Roe had left that very morning for New York.

    "'He evidently heard in some way we were coming,' said my
    companion, _sotto voce_.

    "When would he return?

    "Perhaps not this week. Would we walk in and see Mrs. Roe?

    "The next thing to seeing an author is to see the author's wife, so
    we accepted the invitation and walked into the parlor. Before we
    walked out we came to the conclusion that the next thing to seeing
    the author's wife is to see the author.

    "Now, of course, I might have taken an inventory of the articles in
    the parlor, just as if I were a deputy sheriff, or a tax collector,
    or something of that sort, but I didn't. I might tell of the piano
    that stood in one corner and the pile of music that reached from
    the floor to the top of it, and of the little table covered with
    stereoscopic views, and the photograph of Mr. Roe framed above it,
    and of the two low front windows with their river view and their
    lace curtains, and the large folding-doors opening into the
    library, the workshop of Mr. Roe, and of the quiet, neutral tints
    of the carpet, or the many contents of the whatnot in the corner,
    and the paintings and engravings on the walls, and the comfortable
    easy-chairs, and the books scattered here and there, and of dozens
    of other things that made up an author's parlor, but I will not
    mention one of them.

    "I had the idea that E. P. Roe was a kindly old gentleman with gray
    hair. Kindly he undoubtedly is, but old he is not. His portrait
    shows him to have a frank, manly countenance, with an earnest and
    somewhat sad expression. He has dark hair and a full beard, long
    and black. Mr. Roe is at present writing a series of articles on
    small fruits for _Scribner's Magazine_. The publishers of that
    periodical intend to give a portrait of Mr. Roe, which will be the
    first ever published. It may appear in the December number, and if
    it does the readers of this paper are respectfully referred to the
    pages of that magazine. It seems to be the general idea that Mr.
    Roe is an old man. For instance, a lady writing from Wheeling, W.
    Va., to _The Household_ a few weeks since, says:--

        "'Some one asked if Rev. E. P. Roe had taken his characters
        from life or not. Several years ago we had amongst us a certain
        Professor Roe (vocal teacher, possessing a beautiful tenor
        voice), said to be a son of the novelist. If he was a son, the
        character of Walter Gregory in '"Opening of a Chestnut Burr"
        was certainly drawn from him, and it always seemed to me that
        Dennis Fleet's wonderful voice in "Barriers Burned Away" was
        likened to his voice.'

    "If this writer could have seen the youthful appearance of Mrs.
    Roe, she would have no hesitation in denying the professor's
    alleged relationship to the novelist. Her husband is not yet forty.

    "I wish Scribners would publish a portrait of Mrs. Roe. It would
    certainly add to the popularity of the magazine. Such a lady must
    be a wonderful help to her husband. I think, as a general thing,
    the world gives too little credit to the power behind the throne.

    "Mrs. Roe deserves at least half the credit of 'Barriers Burned
    Away,' which is certainly E. P. Roe's most dramatic work, and had,
    no doubt, a great deal to do with many of his other volumes. This
    particular work describes the thrilling scenes of the Chicago fire
    with a vividness and power that is rarely surpassed. When the whole
    world was thrilled by the dreadful tidings of a city's destruction,
    Mr. Roe said to his wife that if he could collect some of the
    actual occurrences that must be transpiring there he thought he
    could write a book about it. Mrs. Roe at once decided for him. Her
    advice was that so tersely put by Mr. Greeley. Although nearly a
    thousand miles intervened, Mr. Roe was in Chicago before the fire
    had ceased, and the incidents so graphically depicted in 'Barriers
    Burned Away' were the result of actual observation.

    "Most of Mr. Roe's characters are taken from real life, and all of
    his works are written for a purpose, as can readily be seen in
    'What Can She Do?' for example. His next book, which will be
    published in a few days, will furnish another instance of writing
    for a purpose. Its title is, 'Without a Home;' the subject it
    treats is the tenement-house problem, which is at present agitating
    New York and all large cities. In this work the scenes and
    personages will be nearly all from real life. If the book were not
    in press the tenement-house fires in New York on Friday, causing
    the death of seven persons, would furnish a tragic climax to his
    story. What could be more terribly pathetic than the frantic mother
    penned in by the smoke and flame, dragging herself to the bedside
    of her children to die with them? In choosing the evils of the
    tenement-house system as a subject, Mr. Roe strikes at one of the
    worst features of city life.

    "It was to finish the last pages of this book that Mr. Roe was now
    'Without a Home' himself, and as the printers were clamoring for
    copy, he had betaken himself to a room in a New York hotel to write
    without interruption. Mr. Roe is too good-natured to deny himself
    to visitors, and they make great inroads on his time.

    "'If he hears the voice of a friend,' said Mrs. Roe, 'he cannot
    remain at his desk.'

    "So when there is work that must be done, Mr. Roe banishes himself
    from home and friends and flies to that loneliness which only a
    great and crowded city can supply.

    "Mrs. Roe's favorite book is 'The Opening of a Chestnut Burr,' and
    this must be a favorite work with many, for it has reached its
    thirtieth thousand, not to mention the numerous reprints in England
    and Canada. The realistic incident in this work, which supplies the
    place the Chicago fire does in the other, is the sinking in mid
    ocean of the French steamer Ville d'Havre.

    "I think, although it is only mere conjecture on my part, that Mrs.
    Roe herself is the heroine of this book. For that reason I shall
    not attempt to say anything of the lady, as the reader can turn to
    the book and satisfy all curiosity there. But if I should find, at
    some future time, that I am mistaken in my surmise, I shall make
    that my excuse for the pleasant task of writing again of Mrs. Roe.
    The old homestead is described in the 'Opening of a Chestnut Burr,'
    and naturally this would endear the book to those who lived there.

    "The library in which Mr. Roe does his writing, when at home, is a
    sunny room filled from floor to ceiling with books. A large flat
    desk, covered with papers, stands in the centre of the room, and
    this is the novelist's work-bench. I shall conclude with a few
    words regarding Mr. Roe's method of working. Mr. Roe himself has
    supplied this in a letter written nearly a year ago, to an admirer,
    and part of which I am allowed to copy. This extract forms a
    portion of Mr. Roe's work never before published, and the writer
    himself had no idea it would ever appear in print. The letter bears
    date November 25, 1878. He says:--

    "'My aim is to spend the earlier part of the day in my study, but I
    cannot always control my time, much of which is lost in
    interruptions. I sometimes have to go away and shut myself up for a
    time. I am not as systematic as I ought to be. I like to write the
    latter part of my books at white heat, first getting full of my
    story and then writing with a zest. I call from five to eight pages
    a good day's work, although in some moods I write many more. Again,
    I will work hard over three or four. I am opposed to night work.

    "'I hope to average five hours a day hereafter in my study, and
    three or four in my garden. I employ from ten to fifteen men and
    from ten to thirty boys in picking the berries. A large part of my
    labor is employed in taking up and packing plants. The department
    of fruit culture to which I give my chief attention, is the keeping
    of each variety separate and pure. This I trust to no one, and it
    requires constant vigilance.'

    "After leaving the residence of Mr. Roe, we went half a mile or so
    farther on to Idlewild, once the home of N. P. Willis. Darkness
    came on before we reached there and we had our labor for our pains.

    "Mrs. Roe said that Idlewild is little changed since the poet left
    it. A recent freshet swept away the bridges he built in the Glen,
    but otherwise it is the same as it was before. Thus ended our visit
    to Cornwall-on-the-Hudson."



CHAPTER XI

SANTA BARBARA


My brother's boyhood friend, Mr. Merwin, speaking of his visits at
Cornwall later, says: "When honors came in troops, I found Edward was
the same kindly unostentatious man, the truly loyal friend. Later,
after some correspondence with me, he came to Southern California,
where under those sunny skies and semi-tropical scenes his love of
Nature found great delight.

    "While visiting at Pasadena, as we drove about that beautiful city,
    he emphasized what he had often told me, that one of the great joys
    of his life was that which came to him from the hundreds of letters
    from all parts of the country, and many written by people in humble
    circumstances, thanking him most heartily for the cheer and
    encouragement he had given them through his books."

After a short stay with his friend in Pasadena Edward went with his
wife and children to Santa Barbara. There they occupied a pleasantly
situated cottage, owned by a New England lady and her daughter, under
whose excellent care they enjoyed the rest and freedom from restraint
that cannot be found in crowded hotels.

In a letter written to the Detroit _Tribune_ my brother gives his
experience of a California winter.

    "My impression is that January first was the warmest day of the
    month. Certainly on no other days was I so conscious of the sun's
    heat, yet the air was so deliciously cool and fresh in the early
    morning. There had been a heavy dew, and grass, weed, hedge, and
    flower were gemmed in the brilliant sunshine.

    "Walking up town with my mail at about ten in the morning, I found
    myself perspiring as upon a hot day in August, but there was no
    sense of oppression. One was exhilarated rather than wilted. After
    reaching our cottage piazza and the shelter of the climbing roses
    and honeysuckle, the change was decidedly marked. This is said to
    be the peculiarity the year round, even in midsummer. One has only
    to step out of the sun's rays in order to be cool, and the dead,
    sultry heat which sometimes induces one to yearn for the depths of
    a cave is unknown.

    "As I sat there in the shade, letting the paper fall from my hand
    in the deeper interest excited by my immediate surroundings, I
    could scarcely realize that we were in the depths of winter.

    "The air was fragrant from blooming flowers; finches and Audubon's
    warblers were full of song in the pepper trees, while humming birds
    were almost as plentiful as bumble-bees in June.

    "It was evident that the day was being celebrated in the manner
    characteristic of the place. One might fancy that half the
    population were on horseback. In twos and fours they clattered
    along the adjacent streets, while from more distant thoroughfares,
    until the sounds were like faint echoes, came also the sounds of
    horses' feet rapidly striking the hard adobe of the roadways. In
    addition to those who gave the impression of life and movement in
    the suburbs of the town, large equestrian parties had started for
    mountain passes and distant cañons, taking with them hearty lunches
    in which the strawberries were a leading feature. As long as the
    sun was well above the horizon delicate girls, almost in summer
    costume, could sit in the shade of the live-oaks in safety, but
    when the sun declines to a certain point, between four and five in
    winter, there is a sudden chill in the air, and those who do not
    protect themselves by wraps or overcoats are likely to be punished
    with as severe colds as they would take in a Boston east wind.

    "It has often seemed to me warmer at eight o'clock in the evening
    than at four in the afternoon.

    "We resolved to have our holiday outing as well as the others, and
    after dinner were bowling out on the road to Montecito, the
    favorite suburb of Santa Barbara. The fields by the roadside were
    as bare and brown as ours in winter when not covered with snow, but
    drought, not frost, was the cause. The 'rainy season' was well
    advanced, but there had been no rain in quantity sufficient to
    awaken nature from her sleep. In this climate vegetation is always
    a question of moisture.

    "When reaching the villa region of Montecito, blossoming gardens
    and green lawns illustrated this truth. After a visit to the
    beautiful grounds and fine residence of Mr. A. L. Anderson, so well
    remembered by thousands as the captain of the favorite Hudson River
    steamboat the Mary Powell, we drove on to one of the largest orange
    groves on this part of the coast. Mr. Johnson, one of the
    proprietors, received us most hospitably, and led the way into a
    grove that sloped toward the mountains. The ground was scrupulously
    free from weeds, mellow as an ash heap, and had evidently been made
    very fertile. Mr. Johnson told me that he fed the trees constantly
    and liberally, and this course is in accordance with nature and
    with reason, for the orange tree never rests. While the fruit is
    ripening the tree is blossoming for a new crop. Always growing and
    producing, it requires a constant supply of plant food, and one of
    the causes of the deep green and vigorous aspect of the grove and
    its fruitfulness consisted undoubtedly in the richness at the
    roots.

    "Another and leading cause was in abundant supply of water.

    "From a cañon near by a mountain stream flowed down skirting the
    grove. This stream was tapped by an iron pipe at a point
    sufficiently high to furnish by gravity all the water required, and
    it was distributed by a simple yet ingenious contrivance.

    "The utmost vigilance is exercised against insect pests and the
    mutilation of the roots by gophers. The results of all this
    intelligent care and cultivation were seen in the surprising beauty
    and fruitfulness of the trees, which were laden with from one to
    two thousand golden-hued oranges, in addition to the green ones not
    to be distinguished from the leaves at a distance. Even so early in
    the season there were a sufficient number of blossoms to fill the
    air with fragrance.

[Illustration: THE STUDY AT "ROELANDS."]

    "The brook babbled with a summer-like sound, and the illusion of
    summer was increased by the song of birds, the flutter of
    butterflies, and the warm sunshine, rendering vivid the gold and
    glossy green of the groves. Rising near and reflecting down the
    needed heat were the rocky and precipitous slopes of the Santa Ynez
    Mountains. Turning on one's heel, the silver sheen of the Pacific
    Ocean, gemmed with islands, stretched away as far as the eye could
    reach. Could this be January? On our way home I felt that it might
    be, for as the sun sank low wraps and overcoats, which could not
    have been endured an hour before, seemed scarcely adequate
    protection against the sudden chill.

    "Throughout the month there were many days like the first,
    summer--like sunshine followed by chilly evenings and cool nights.
    No rain fell and clouds were rarely seen. The temperature gradually
    became lower even at midday, and occasionally in the early morning
    there was a white frost on the boards and sidewalks. The roses grew
    more scattering in the bushes. Nature did not absolutely stop and
    rest, but she went slow over the cold divide of the year. I know
    not how it was with the old residents, but a sense of winter
    haunted me, especially on the quiet, star-lit nights. I sometimes
    questioned whether this sense resulted from the impressions of a
    lifetime, made at this season, or was due to climatic influences.
    To both, I fancy. When a baker's horse and wagon, furnished with
    bells, jingled by, it was a sleigh until memory asserted itself.

    "When abroad, even in the bright, warm sunshine, something in the
    appearance of the sky, the feel of the atmosphere, and the aspect
    of the bare, brown fields suggested winter and created a momentary
    astonishment at the flowers which continued to bloom in the watered
    gardens.

    "I was continually aware of a conscious effort to account for what
    I saw and to readjust my ideas to a new order of things.

    "The season seemed an anomaly, for it was neither summer nor
    winter, fall nor spring, in accordance with one's previous
    impressions. The visage of nature had an odd and peculiar aspect.
    It was as if the face of an old friend had assumed an expression
    never seen before. There was no ambiguity or uncertainty upon one
    point, however, and that was the need of winter clothing by day and
    of blankets at night, roses and sunshine notwithstanding, and those
    proposing to come here should always remember the chill of shade
    and apartments without fires.

    "Although the mercury never marks extreme cold, the sense of cold
    is often felt keenly unless adequate provision is made against it.
    All that is needed, however, is a little prudence, for one never
    has to guard against sudden and violent changes.

    "As in the East, so here, winter is especially dedicated to social
    pleasures. Much of the gayety centres at the two fine hotels, the
    Arlington and the San Marcos, both under the efficient management
    of one proprietor, Mr. Cowles. The townspeople are much indebted to
    his genial courtesy, and the spacious parlours are often lined with
    the parents and chaperons of young ladies from the city of Santa
    Barbara as well as with his guests, while the entertainments have
    the best characteristics of a dancing party at a private dwelling.
    It is very fortunate for the young people that there are such
    unexceptional places in which to meet, for this town is peculiarly
    a city of cottages, few being large enough for assemblies of any
    considerable numbers.

    "There is consequently much social life in a quiet, informal way.

    "One of the remarkable characteristics of the town is the large
    percentage of what is justly termed good society--a society not
    resting its claims on wealth or an ancestry long known and
    recognised in the vicinity, but on the much better qualities of
    refinement, intelligence, and cultivation. Search for health and a
    genial climate have brought people here from all parts of the
    Union, and not a few, after long residence abroad, prefer this
    Pacific slope to any of the world-renowned regions on the
    Mediterranean. One therefore soon discovers a marked absence of
    provincialism and is led to expect that the quiet lady or gentleman
    to whom he is introduced has seen far more of the world than
    himself. The small, unpretentious cottage facing the grassy
    sidewalk may be inhabited by a mechanic, or it may be the
    dwelling-place of people cosmopolitan in their culture and
    experience. Strangers are not wholly dependent on each other for
    society, as is so often true of health resorts, but find a resident
    population both hospitable and acquainted with life in its most
    varied aspects. Much of the abundant leisure possessed by many is
    spent in reading, and to this pleasure a large, well-selected free
    library contributes greatly."


Edward had the good fortune to arrive at Santa Barbara in time to
witness its unique centennial celebration, of which he gives a detailed
description.

    "SANTA BARBARA, Cal., January 7, 1887.

    "Few more interesting events ever took place in the quaint and
    quiet town of Santa Barbara than its centennial, and nothing
    resembling it in any true sense can ever occur again. The Indian
    element of this region receded and disappeared before the Spanish,
    and the latter population is fast becoming a minority among the
    still paler faces arriving from the East. The time perhaps is not
    distant when Santa Barbara may be known as a New England city. Even
    in its centennial the great effort made to recall the past and the
    old resulted in a large degree from the interest taken by new
    comers in vanishing phases of life. The success of the enterprise
    was due largely to the organization, young in age and composed
    chiefly of youthful members, entitled the 'Go Ahead Club.' The name
    itself suggests the East, and the opposite of the Spanish
    disposition to permit each day to be a repetition of a former day,
    yet the club had the tact and friendly feeling to co-operate with
    the best Spanish element, and to bring about a festival week which
    interested all classes of people.

    "For days even a stranger was impressed by a slight bustle of
    preparation. When riding up from the steamer we saw, in the dim
    starlight, that a great arch spanned Main Street. Observation in
    the bright sunshine of the morrow proved this arch to be a wooden
    structure and a fine imitation of the front of the old mission with
    its quaint towers. Busy workmen were draping the edifice with some
    variety of aromatic evergreen and with palm leaves, and it still
    remains as a suggestion to new comers of what they missed in not
    arriving earlier.

    "The opening ceremonies of the week naturally centered at the
    Mission Church, and on Sunday the religious phase of the festival
    culminated. Even before we were through breakfast groups were seen
    pressing from town. Later there were the sounds of rapid wheels and
    the echoing tramp of horses. We soon joined the increasing throng
    wending its way up the slopes which lift the Mission above the town
    and place it against the grand mountain background. Spanish colors,
    red and yellow, hung from tower to tower, while American flags
    floated from the belfry arches. Within the long, narrow interior of
    the church the sunshine contended with innumerable candles
    flickering on the altar, at the shrines, and from the chandeliers.
    The softly blended light revealed the beautiful decorations drawn
    from the abundant flora and plant life of the region.

    "The elaborate service began, the fragrance of roses was lost in
    that of the incense, the rustle of dresses and tread of incoming
    feet in the mellow tones of the chanting priest and the responses
    of the choir. Every seat and all standing room was occupied, rich
    and poor sharing alike according to the earliness of their arrival.
    Next to a dark-visaged Spanish laborer might be seen the delicate
    bloom of a New England girl's features. Beautiful lace mantillas
    were worn in several instances. In looking at them one sighed as he
    thought of the various monstrosities termed bonnets which disfigure
    modern women. The clergy were in their most gorgeous robes, strong
    contrasts in tone and color on every side, but above all was a
    sense of the past touching the present in many and unexpected ways;
    and this effect was enhanced by a sermon in English, giving an
    account of the founding of the Mission. Late one afternoon, on a
    subsequent day, I found the door of the church open and, venturing
    in, saw the western sun shining through the high narrow windows,
    lighting up shrines and images with the mellowest light and
    throwing others into the deepest shadow.

    "No one was visible, yet in the silence and desertion of the place
    one felt more like worship than when, a part of the throng, he
    witnessed the ceremonials of the preceding Sunday.

    "Later still, returning from a ramble in Mission Cañon, I peeped
    into the old church once more. Twilight had deepened into dusk--all
    was dark within, except the faintest glimmer of a taper at the
    altar, where it was evident that some of the Franciscans were
    engaged in their devotions. As I crept noiselessly away the bells
    chimed out from the belfry. In the upper gallery of the long
    corridor stretching from the right of the chapel there was an
    immediate opening of doors and a shuffling of feet.

    "Evidently the bells had summoned to some new duty,--attendance in
    the refectory at that hour, I trust,--and I could have cordially
    joined the venerable fathers then, however simple their diet.

    "On Monday the festival passed into its secular aspect. The morning
    was deemed most unfavorable in this climate, where a cloud, even in
    winter, is far more rare than roses. The sky was overcast with what
    the Spaniards call a 'high fog.' The sun soon proved, however, to
    be the victor, for early in the day the leaden pall was shot
    through and through with light. Not only from the most distant and
    well-to-do ranches, but from all the small adobe houses and huts
    that skirt the mountains, the people were on the way to town in the
    early hours. They appeared on the streets in almost every
    description of vehicle imaginable, and not a few looked as if they
    had trudged from a long distance. The majority, both of men and
    women, had apparently ridden in on their broncho horses, the hardy
    and often vicious native breed of the region. The townspeople had
    prepared a brilliant welcome, for the whole length of State Street
    was decorated with flags and streamers of many and varied devices,
    the Spanish and American colors blending most amicably. There was
    bustle and movement, life and color, with an increasing concourse
    throughout the whole length of the thoroughfare. To a stranger's
    eye, men in various costumes were riding aimlessly and often
    furiously to and fro, but as noon approached affairs began to
    culminate in the blocks above the Arlington Hotel. Here the
    procession was forming, and it proved to be the chief event of the
    week. Nature was now assisting to make the occasion all that could
    be desired. The clouds that had threatened now merely saved the day
    from an unredeemed glare. After the usual delay in processions, it
    began to pass the balcony of the Arlington Hotel, where scores of
    guests were assembled to witness the pageant. First came the grand
    marshal in a genuine Mexican suit and mantle. Following him were
    his aides, dressed in rich, various, and characteristic Spanish
    costumes, some of which were remarkable for their beauty and others
    were picturesque in the extreme. One young gentleman was habited in
    blue, lavishly laced with silver. It was the cadet uniform of the
    Spanish army, and had belonged to his grandfather. Another, clad in
    cream white satin and gold lace, with crimson sash and other
    accessories, made a striking figure.

    "Indeed, each of the aides graced the occasion in handsome costumes
    which were, as I was told, no capricious and fancy affairs, but a
    reproduction of the gala habiliments of the past. They sat their
    fine horses in Mexican saddles which were in themselves marvels of
    old and curious workmanship. A like cavalcade in Broadway would
    draw out the town.

    "Next in order came the Spanish division, men and women on
    horseback, and nearly fifty strong. It was evident that all
    heirlooms in dress had been rummaged from their receptacles and
    made to fit the descendants of remote ancestors. It would be hard
    to say how many different ages and how many provinces in Spain and
    Mexico were represented.

    "To modern eyes the picturesque had the ascendency over other
    qualities, but all welcomed the man carrying a guitar. At any rate,
    this division passed all too quickly, singing an ancient Spanish
    song. Close upon them were a band of soldiers clad in suits of
    antiquated buff jerkins, armed in old Mexican style with long pikes
    and muskets that may have been formidable once. It is doubtful
    whether a band so representative of the old Spanish element will
    ever appear on the streets of an American town again. Years hence
    such an attempt will be more of a masquerade than a reproduction.
    In this instance the genuine Spaniards were too numerous and their
    traditions too recent and real to permit impositions.

    "Many Spaniards and native Californians not in costume now
    followed, and then came an old-fashioned ox-cart, dating back a
    century and drawn by oxen yoked by the horns. Within the cart was a
    wooden plow that had turned some of the earliest furrows in this
    region, and would have been equally satisfactory at the time of
    Abraham. In this age of invention one wonders that people remained
    satisfied so long with such primitive methods and implements.
    Appropriately following the cart, the like of which had been used
    by their ancestors, came the shrunken band of Mission Indians, the
    two foremost of them carrying a portrait, draped in Spanish colors,
    of Padre Junupero Serra.

    "The good father passed away centuries ago, and the Indians he
    sought to civilize are also nearly extinct, but the principles
    which actuated him have redeemed his name from forgetfulness and
    will crown it with increasing honor.

    "The half-dozen Indians were chanting some wild song of their own
    when the fine band from San Luis Obispo struck up and the wail-like
    echo of the past was lost. Then came another significant and
    diminishing company, the Grand Army of the Republic. On every
    public occasion the ranks are thinner and the hair of the veterans
    grayer. They, too, will soon leave but a name, but it will not be
    forgotten.

    "Driving away sad, if not gloomy thoughts, comes now a vision of
    beauty and youth; the joy of to-day and the rich promise of the
    future--an indefinite number of young girls who, in their
    two-wheeled village carts, or 'tubs,' as the English term them,
    drew forth rapturous applause. Well they might, for they were in
    harmony with the loveliness of the June-like day. Their little
    carts had been transformed into floral bowers. The flowers and
    greenery so festooned the horses that they were half-hidden, while
    wheels within wheels of smilax, roses, geraniums, daisies, and
    other blossoms revolved in unison with the outer circumferences.
    Each little cart had its own distinctive character, and some had
    been decorated with rare taste and originality. Not a few of the
    girls carried parasols constructed entirely of roses, or of
    geraniums, passion flowers, orange blossoms, etc. Greenhouses had
    not been stripped for them, nor, indeed, the open gardens from
    which they had been taken. Truly, no such visible and delightful
    proof could have been given to our Northern eyes that we had come
    to the land of flowers. Gardens, orange trees golden with fruit,
    formed the background for this charming part of the procession,
    while beyond and above all rose the grand Santa Ynez Mountains,
    softening their rugged outlines with half-veiling mists.

    "Burlesque followed close upon beauty in the form of an old farm
    cart laden with the coarser vegetables and driven by two young men
    in the garb of ancient females. The trades' procession came next,
    and spoke well for the business of the city, but our eyes soon
    dwelt lovingly on over a hundred school children, who made, by
    their unrestrained laughter, the sweetest music of the day, while
    two little girls riding on one much-bedecked donkey caused ripples
    of merriment as they passed.

    "A cavalcade of carriages and of ladies and gentlemen on horseback
    seemed about to close the procession, when there appeared one of
    the most interesting features yet seen--a train of pack mules, not
    merely illustrating the former method of transportation, but that
    employed to-day by the owner of the train. I hastened to the
    director, whose dress indicated a rude mountaineer, and expected a
    half intelligible reply from a Spaniard. The accent of his first
    word led me to scan his delicate Anglo-Saxon features. I eventually
    learned that he was a New Yorker, a member of one of its best-known
    families, and not a native of a little-known wilderness.

    "Nevertheless he is a mountaineer. Dressed for a Fifth Avenue
    company one would not suspect it, his form is so slight and
    complexion so fair. Dudes would not be abashed at his presence, yet
    they would expire under one day of his experiences.

    "Only by a mule train, led over a scarcely practicable trail, can
    he reach his distant ranch, that is forty-five miles back in the
    heart of the mountains. Here, with another young man, a kindred
    spirit, he cares for an increasing herd of cattle, and if necessary
    is ready to protect it from wild animals. The grazing grounds are
    far within a region about as wild as it ever has been. How about
    the young men who whine when they can find nothing to do?

    "The interest of the two closing days of the festival centered at
    the race course and at the pavilion. The chief attractions at the
    former place were to be seen on Tuesday, and they were of a mixed
    character. We were treated to what would seem to be a rather rare
    phenomenon in Santa Barbara--a genuine Indian summer day of the
    warmest type, as we know it at the East. A haze partly obscured the
    Santa Ynez Mountains, softened the outlines of the foothills and
    blended the ocean with the sky. The air was soft and balmy in the
    extreme, but one soon detected a slight chill in the shade. All
    sorts of vehicles, from stages of unwieldy height, open barouches,
    farmers' wagons of all descriptions, top buggies, down to the
    numerous little two-wheeled carts, rapidly converged toward the
    judges' stand. As on all gala occasions here, however, the number
    on horseback was very large, the ladies sitting their horses with
    perfect ease and grace. Not a few, like myself, were content to
    trudge to the rendezvous on foot. The grand stand was soon crowded,
    and the vast, restless concourse stretched far to the right and
    left on either side of the race track. The horsemanship of the
    Spaniards could only be surpassed by the fine action of their
    steeds, and all lovers of this noblest of animals must have been
    delighted. In the effort to show how wild cattle were lassoed,
    thrown, and branded there appeared to be too much needless cruelty,
    and when a miserable little bull was tormented into savageness, and
    the semblance of a bull-fight took place, scores of people turned
    away in disgust.

    "The finest equestrianism could not redeem the scene from
    brutality. The victims were the wretched bull, a fine innocent
    horse badly gored, and the people who could not endure to see
    animals suffer needlessly. So also in the afternoon great skill was
    undoubtedly manifested in lassoing the feet of the wild broncho
    horses, and in the process of subduing them, yet one pitied the
    poor creatures too greatly for enjoyment and soon turned away. The
    helpless beasts were checked in full career, often thrown upon
    their heads, turning a complete somersault. One animal, I was told,
    broke its neck in the operation, and so escaped further suffering.
    Such scenes, no doubt, illustrated much that was common in the life
    of the early settlers, but happily it is a past phase, and will
    scarcely be reproduced again in this region.

    "It was interesting to observe the many types of people in festival
    costume, the Indian in his blanket, the Spaniard wearing the broad
    sombrero, and the belle from New York reflecting the latest mode.
    There was movement, light, color, vivacity, and excitement.

    "Every moment or two the eye caught glimpses of swift, spirited
    horses and their graceful riders, and yet one's glance was often
    lured from it all to the grand, mist-veiled mountains beyond. Many
    of the scenes and objects at the pavilion were very interesting to
    our foreign eyes and ears. Here Spanish and American life met and
    mingled in a far more agreeable way. Several ladies had taken
    charge of the large building, erected for horticultural purposes,
    and by the aid of greenery, flowers, flags, and a blending of
    Spanish and American colors, had transformed the spacious interior
    into a decorated hall well fitted for a festival. In the centre of
    the hall rose a flower stand suggesting Moorish architecture, its
    arches making fitting frames for the young girls within. One might
    buy flowers, but his eye lingered rather on the fair flower-girls
    in their charming costumes. Among the booths was one in which some
    Spanish ladies had kindly permitted to be exhibited some of their
    ancient treasures--velvet mantles, embroidered shawls, etc. Even to
    masculine eyes they were marvellously beautiful, rich, and
    intricate in their designs. The ladies stood before them with
    clasped hands and expressed themselves in exclamation points. The
    chief attraction, however, was the stage, on which were tableaux
    and, above all, the genuine Spanish fandango. One of the dances was
    a waltz, with an intricate figure which you felt might go on
    forever, and that you could look on a good part of the time. At
    first it struck one as merely simple, graceful, and very slow, and
    guided by monotonous music; but while you looked and listened a
    fascination grew upon you hard to account for. The oft-repeated
    strain began to repeat itself in your mind; you felt rather than
    saw how it controlled the leisurely gliding figures--for there is
    no hopping in the Spanish dances--until at last, in fancy, you were
    moving with them in perfect time and step. In brief, the dance had
    the effect of a strain of music which, when first heard, is not at
    all striking, yet is soon running in your head as if it had a spell
    not easily broken. On the programme the dance was entitled 'Contra
    Danza.' Later a Spaniard who has a wide local reputation, I
    believe, appeared in what was termed 'Son-jarabe.' He certainly
    left nothing to be desired in his performance after his fashion,
    but the grace of the lady who accompanied was inimitable. From my
    somewhat distant point of view she appeared to be dressed in a
    simple black gown and wore no ornaments. She needed none. No
    bespangled dancer I ever saw so enchained my eyes. One would almost
    think that an orange, placed upon her head, would not fall off, and
    yet a more utter absence of stiffness in movement was never
    witnessed. She seemed ever approaching, yet ever receding from, her
    companion; a moment near, then far away, gliding to one side or the
    other, as if impossible to be reached in her coquetry of elusive
    grace. Each separate movement was called out in Spanish, and in a
    varied, half-musical accent not easily described.

    "At the closing centennial ball like dances were repeated, the
    participants wearing Spanish costumes. Here we had a nearer and
    more distinct view of the fandango. We again saw the 'Contra
    Danza,' and another, even more intricate, that was as odd as it was
    full of grace and unexpected action. If 'La Jota' is an old dance,
    it should certainly take the place of many that have little to
    redeem them from commonplace, if not worse.

    "Son-jarabe was again repeated to the pleasure of all, and
    especially of the Spaniards, who, in conformance with an old
    custom, expressed their satisfaction by raining silver down upon
    the floor from the gallery. There was the same weird intoning by
    the master of ceremonies, calling off the different measures; the
    same constantly recurring strains of music that haunted one long
    afterward, and the same slow yet singularly graceful movement of
    the dancers. All were in Spanish costume, although many American
    young men and maidens were also participants, yet had been taught
    so well by their Spanish friends that they were scarcely to be
    distinguished from them. The Spanish dances that I saw did not
    strike me as at all voluptuous, and no one appeared who was not
    dressed in accordance with the strictest ideas of decorum. The
    whole pageant passed away with the ball, and nothing remains to
    remind us of the centennial but the green arch spanning State
    Street. The old Mission stands out gray and silent, except that its
    bells occasionally chime out for reasons unknown to me."


Writing again, in April, my brother describes the change wrought by the
first heavy rainfall of the season.


    "One of the drawbacks to Santa Barbara is the dust, and it is a
    disagreeable accompaniment of a dry climate which must be accepted.
    Towards the end of January there were occasionally high, gusty
    winds which reminded one of March experiences at home. At times the
    dust rose in clouds and obscured the city, and to my taste the
    wildest snowstorm would be preferable to these chilling, stifling
    tempests. They were not frequent or long continued, however, and
    the old inhabitants said they presaged rain, the great bounty for
    which the whole State was longing.

    "A rainless winter is a terrible misfortune, and when February
    finds the ground hard and dry there is deep and natural anxiety.

    "In one dry season, years ago, forty thousand head of cattle
    perished. With present means of communication this probably would
    not happen again, but a check would be given to budding prosperity
    which would take several fruitful years to overcome. There were
    scores of people hesitating whether to buy or build who would
    decide favorably if the usual rainfall occurred. When, therefore,
    on the 5th the first storm of the season set in, rejoicing and
    congratulations were general. Seldom before have I so realized what
    a heavenly bounty rain is. The whole population were hoping,
    waiting, longing, and one would be callous indeed not to
    sympathize. For that matter, the interests of temporary visitors
    were also deeply involved, as may be illustrated by the pleasure I
    had in watching from my study window the bare, brown foothills
    become greener daily. With intervals, designed, it would seem, to
    give the parched earth time to take in the precious moisture, the
    rains continued for about ten days. At last there was a steady
    down-pour for nearly twenty-four hours, and then dawned a morning
    that for brightness, clearness, and beauty left nothing to be
    imagined. The birds were fairly ecstatic in their rejoicings and
    nature seemed to be tripping forth like a young girl to her work.
    It may be that she will have to perfect most of the products of the
    earth without another drop of rain, and she will prove equal to the
    task.

    "A fruitful year in this section does not depend on seasonable
    storms and showers, as with us, but upon the number of inches of
    the winter rainfall, the soil retaining sufficient moisture to
    carry the crops through in safety. Many tourists came in the height
    of the storm and some had a hard time of it. The hotels were
    crowded; and not a few, miserably seasick, were driven from house
    to house in pouring rain searching for rooms. Except on State
    Street the highways of the city are little more than country roads,
    the bottom of which, as in Virginia, seems to have fallen out. One
    stage load was spilled into the mud and no doubt carried away
    sinister memories of "sunny Santa Barbara." The weather, which was
    the salvation of the country, was well anathematized by transient
    visitors, and one lady was overheard to remark that she had seen
    the first of the place and hoped that she had seen the last. Thus
    judgments and opinions are formed. Those who remained and saw the
    exquisite phases of spring rapidly developing under the vivid
    sunshine would be in no hurry to see the last of Santa Barbara, and
    a more perfect summer morning has rarely been seen than dawned on
    the last day of the month."



CHAPTER XII

RETURN TO CORNWALL--LETTERS


I spent the summer of 1887 with Edward and his family at Santa Barbara;
and he left me there in September on his return to his home at
Cornwall. He expected to come back during the winter of 1889; and just
a week before his sudden death, while I was at the Western Chautauqua,
near Monterey, I had my last letter from him, telling of his plans for
a California story which he hoped to write when once more at Santa
Barbara.

That evening, Major-General O. O. Howard gave a lecture upon the Battle
of Gettysburg, and at its close I had some conversation with him, in
the course of which I spoke of the letter just received. He had been
well acquainted with my brother at West Point. I remember his saying at
this time: "I gave a copy of 'A Knight of the Nineteenth Century' to a
young man about whose course of life I felt great anxiety, and that
book, he wrote me, was the means of his entire reformation."

This is but one of many similar instances that came before me
personally during my sojourn in the West.

At the time of Edward's departure from Santa Barbara he had engaged to
write a story for _Harper's Magazine_ which should be a sequel to
"Nature's Serial," and which was to be fully illustrated by Mr. William
Hamilton Gibson. It was therefore necessary for him to be near the
scenes of his proposed story and in easy communication with Mr. Gibson.

It may not be out of place to print here the following letters. Many of
them are separated by long intervals of time and have no direct
connection with each other, but they are expressive of the warm
friendship that existed between my brother and the talented artist.

    "SANTA BARBARA, July 17, 1887.

    "MY DEAR MR. GIBSON,--The longer I remain here and the more I see
    of this region the oftener I think of you: and the more earnestly I
    am bent on your coming here with your sketch-book.

    "The scenery is just in your line, yet different from any thing you
    have yet done. Phew! what a book we could make together out here.
    During the past week Mrs. Roe and I went over the Santa Ynez
    Mountains, and I wished for you at every turn of the San Marcus
    Pass. Then there are scores of these, with beautiful cañons. But I
    will tell you about them in September, when I hope to see you.

    "I expect to give much of September and all of October to the study
    of the Highlands, and only wish you can so arrange as to be with me
    as much as possible.

    "I've been toiling over the Earthquake story, and while you and the
    critics will say it is no great 'shakes,' I shall have to remember
    how the mountain labored. I have at least a month's more work upon
    it, and am giving up the whole of my time to it, now that I am in
    the mood for writing.

    "How are you enjoying the summer, and are you very busy?

    "Lucky you did not get into that fight with the Park Commissioners
    during your July heats. If you had there would have been some 'ha'r
    lifted,' as they say out on the plains. You would make a better
    subject for a scalping-knife than I. Have you seen much of Mr.
    Alden? He sent me two fine photographs of himself recently.

    "I trust that Mrs. Gibson and the boy are keeping well through the
    intense heat of which we read in the papers. This climate surpasses
    anything I ever imagined. We have had but one hot day thus far.
    July has been delightfully cool, about the same as last December,
    with the exception that the evenings and nights are a little
    warmer. The sea-bathing is superb. Mrs. Roe and all five children
    are enjoying it this afternoon.

    "Yours sincerely,

    E. P. ROE."


    "WASHINGTON, Conn., September, 1887.

    "Hurrah! Hurrah! Welcome home, one and all! Such is the burden of
    my emotions as I read in to-day's paper that Mr. Roe, the
    Roe-manser, has returned to civilization from the Santa Barbarans,
    and is once more at 'Shanty Clear.'

    "Seriously, I am immensely delighted that you are once more with
    us, and shall look forward to an early meeting. And now
    apropos--we, my wife and I, have enjoyed many a memorable season of
    pleasure at your country home. Can we not persuade you and Mrs. Roe
    to give us a visit at ours? for here is my favorite camping ground
    and my home acre. As soon as you feel sufficiently rested from your
    trip, and providing you are so disposed, will you make us happy by
    spending a few days with us?--that is if you still remember your
    neglectful correspondent and care to hobnob with him as of yore.

    "That proposed Highland trip is immensely tempting, and I shall
    hope to arrange to take a few days outing with you, but alas! it
    cannot be until early November or the very last of October. I am so
    _full_ of obligations until then.

    "Don't call this a letter. It is written in the face of a yawning
    mail-bag and must be judged accordingly.

    "Your sincere friend,

    "GIBSON."

Mr. Gibson's own work was so pressing that autumn that he was unable to
spare the time for the Highland trip mentioned in his letter, when many
of the sketches were to be made for the projected story. The remaining
letters are from my brother to Mr. Gibson.

    "December 15, 1880.

    "Some one rang at my door to-day--he must be nigh of kin to Santa
    Claus--and left your superb volume. It almost took away my breath.

    "I gave you 'Small Fruits' only. But the fruits of your pencil and
    pen are the reverse of small.

    "Do you realize what a benefactor you are in sending me, on this
    dull cloudy day, exquisites of the finest seasons of the year?
    Spring is months away, but I have had the sweetest glimpse of
    spring beside my winter fire. The blazing wood supplied the
    warmth,--and your fancy did the rest in reproducing June.

    "I am deeply in your debt. Draw on me for unlimited quantities of
    strawberries."


    "April 16, 1882.

    "I was determined to find you a four-leaf clover, and yesterday I
    succeeded.

    "It will bring you no end of good luck."


    "January 31, 1884.

    "Don't worry when you are not in writing condition. If needful you
    can drop a postal now and then. The best way is to come up Saturday
    night and have a talk. You need a little change and mountain air.

    "I am writing by this mail for Mr. and Mrs. Dielman to come at the
    same time. Why would it not be a good plan to get together and talk
    over the completion of the story and take a sleigh ride?

    "You have no idea how a little change freshens one up, and if you
    can spend Sunday and Monday we will all have a country frolic. I
    need one myself. I have been over-working and was very ill from
    nervous trouble for a few days. I went right to Nature, tramped and
    rode in the open air. So come Saturday by all means, for we all
    want to see you.

    "Beautiful red-pine grosbeaks are feeding about the piazza like
    chickens. With your powers you could go and pick them up."


    "December 13, 1884.

    "I should have written to you or seen you before, but I have been
    working hard to get the _St. Nicholas_ serial well advanced.

    "My heart is in the continuation of 'Nature's Serial.' Take the
    press generally, that book is being received remarkably well. I
    tell you frankly my aim now is to prepare one of the most beautiful
    books that has ever been published in this country. From what
    Dielman has said I have no doubt but that he'll go in with me. I
    also mentioned Mr. Frost to Alden and I shall also go see Mrs.
    Foote. It is possible she may be willing to take a part of the
    illustrations.

    "But I shall be heartbroken if you cannot take the part of Hamlet
    in the performance. If you will, you can make old Cro'nest and
    Storm King your monuments, and few will pass up or down the river
    without mentioning your name.

    "I shall begin to make my studies in January. In the meantime it
    will be a summer story, although I expect to close it at Christmas,
    and it will be full of just such material as suits your pencil.

    "I would like at least four illustrations for each number, as many
    full-paged as possible.

    "Mrs. Roe joins me in regards to Mrs. Gibson."


    "December 29, 1884.

    "What can I say to you? How make you _appreciate_ how greatly we
    _appreciate_ and value your beautiful remembrance? We all went into
    ecstasies over the picture, which arrived in perfect safety. It
    should have gone into the book if I had seen it before, and had had
    any influence. As it is, it rounds out 'Nature's Serial' to my
    mind, and leaves it a past experience without alloy, except as I
    remember the imperfection of my own work. Can you wonder at my
    desire to be at work with you again some day?

    "But we will leave that for the present, as you say, I living in
    hopes that the way will open for you to explore the Highlands with
    me, and to reveal their beauties to the public far better than I
    can. You see Nature as I do, only you interpret it to me, and make
    it more beautiful than the reality appears.

    "I will have the picture framed as you suggest, and when you soon
    come to Cornwall again it will greet you from an honored place in
    our parlor.

    "Mrs. Roe and the girls, with our guests, were as greatly pleased
    as myself.

    "Mr. and Mrs. Drake also sent us a beautiful bit of art. I am
    just delighted with the way Mr. Drake is taking hold of my _St.
    Nicholas_ serial. I send the magazine for the year to W. H. Gibson,
    Jr.

    "You did indeed win a victory over the 'incrementitious' critic. I
    should think he would wish to crawl into a small hole, and 'pull
    the hole in after him.' Indeed you are triumphing over all your
    critics, and winning your rightful place. I knew this would be true
    years ago, because of your own truth to Nature.

    "Such an experience may never come to me, probably because I do not
    deserve it, but I am content to make some warm friends, like the
    writer of the enclosed letter. If what some of my critics say is
    true, a good many people who write and speak to me are awful and
    unnecessary liars.

    "I enjoyed your triumph as greatly as if it were my own. It was the
    neatest thrust under the fifth rib I ever saw, and I fear I shall
    never have enough Christian meekness not to enjoy seeing a fellow
    receive his _congé_ when so well deserved. Dr. Abbott and I took
    part in the 'wake' up here.

    "That the coming year may be the most prosperous and happy that you
    and yours have ever known is the wish of your sincere friend."


    "February 17, 1885.

    "I have made arrangements with the best guide of the Highlands, one
    who knows every lake, pond, road, peak, man, woman, child, and dog
    in the mountains.

    "We start out on our first explorations the latter part of May,
    when Nature is in her loveliest mood. Say you'll go.--I think the
    whole serial can be finished by October. You and Mrs. Gibson can
    get excellent board at Cornwall. Thus you will identify yourself
    with the Hudson as you have with New England. I expect by then to
    have finished my _St. Nicholas_ story and then will have the decks
    cleared for action. Our regards to Mrs. Gibson and the baby."


    "March 18, 1885.

    "I went down to attend Mr. Cyrus Field's reception. The trains were
    so delayed that I was nearly all day getting to the city.

    "Well, I met Mr. Stoddard, and spent a pleasant hour with him at
    the Century Club on the evening of March 7th. He asked to be
    introduced to me, and I remarked 'that I was surprised that he
    would take such a literary sinner by the hand.' He replied, 'We are
    a pair of them.' We chatted pleasantly a few moments in the
    supper-room, and then he concluded, 'Well, you are a good fellow to
    forgive me.'

    "Some time after he asked me to go upstairs with him, and we had a
    smoke together. I introduced him to Colonel Michee of West Point,
    who is about to publish a book.

    "Stoddard gave me his autograph unsolicited, written with his left
    hand and then backwards. I told him that I was glad he appreciated
    you. We had a long, merry talk, and in his conversation he said he
    would be very glad to have a copy of 'Nature's Serial' with your,
    Dielman's, and my autographs. This request was wholly unsuggested,
    and he truly appeared to wish the book. Therefore, when you are at
    Harper's will you write your name on the fly-leaf, and then ask
    them to express the book to me? I will get Dielman's autograph.
    Altogether it was a spicy interview. I received that eulogy of your
    work in the Boston paper, and had said the same in substance to two
    or three of Harper's firm before."


    "September 16, 1887.

    "Your hat in the air was almost as inspiring as the sight of old
    Storm King.

    "It was very pleasant to be welcomed, and the day after my arrival
    I had to shake hands with nearly every man, woman and child, white
    and black, that I met.

    "Mrs. Roe took cold before we started on the long trip, and has
    been very ill; is so yet, though she is gaining now steadily. I do
    not know when I can see you.

    "I long for the quiet of home life. It will require a sheriff and
    his posse to get me out of the house again. Put down your promise
    to visit me and tramp the Highlands in big capitals. If you should
    be in town and have a spare night come up here for a smoke and
    talk."


    "January 1, 1888.

    "Thanks for your letter. It was almost as long as mine.

    "I spent most of 'watch-night' on old Storm King with my children
    and Mr. Denton. We expected some other friends, who were detained
    by the storm. Coasting in a snowstorm proved very agreeable after
    all, especially as the road was lined with torches. The sleighs
    went like express-trains, and I was glad to get all safe home to
    the oyster supper which Mrs. Roe had ready for us as the old year
    took its departure.

    "I have amused myself in watching old Storm King, that in the wild
    rain has been taking on many aspects. We have had a sort of family
    holiday with the few friends coming and going, and I have enjoyed
    all, seeing the children have a good time.

    "I have had so much work on hand that I had to keep busy the
    greater part of each day.

    "I suppose your little boy has enjoyed the season immensely. Does
    he still believe in Santa Claus, or have you and Mrs. Gibson, in
    the interest of truth (see discussion in papers), felt bound to
    explain that you filled his stocking with articles bought at a
    certain store? My little girl is still considering how in the
    mischief the old fellow got down the chimney.

    "The sleighing is all gone. When it comes again we want you and
    Mrs. Gibson to take some mountain rides with us.

    "Happy New Year to you all."


But other literary friends besides Mr. Hamilton Gibson were welcome
guests at Edward's Cornwall home; among them were Mr. and Mrs. R. H.
Stoddard, Mr. John Burroughs, Mr. Stedman, Mr. Alden, of Harper's
Magazine, and Mr. Julian Hawthorne.



CHAPTER XIII

LAST BOOK--DEATH


During the winter of 1887-88 Edward wrote his last book, "Miss Lou," a
tale of Southern life during the Civil War. In the spring he went down
to Virginia to visit some scenes he wished to describe, and while there
had a slight attack of neuralgia of the heart. The physician he called
in ordered him to return home at once, and rest for a time.

In June he seemed to have completely recovered his health, and sent his
usual invitation to the Philolethean Club of New York clergymen, who
then made their eighteenth and last visit.

On the 19th of July, however, my brother complained during the day of
not feeling very well, although he walked about the grounds inspecting
his plants as was his custom. After dinner, in the evening, he sat in
his library reading aloud from one of Nathaniel Hawthorne's works to
his daughter and one of her young friends. Suddenly he paused, placed
his hand over his heart, and said, "There comes that sharp pain again.
I shall have to go upstairs to my wife for some remedy." But he left
the room with a smile. After he had taken the remedy, which did not
give relief, his wife sent in haste for a physician, who as soon as he
arrived saw there was no hope of my brother's recovery. After about
forty minutes of extreme agony, Edward seemed to feel relieved, rose to
his feet, and attempted to cross the room, but turned quickly toward
his wife with a look of surprise and joy, exclaiming, "O my God!"--then
fell lifeless to the floor.

At the age of fifty, in the full vigor of manhood, his earthly career
came to an end. His funeral was held in the little church at Cornwall,
where he had first consecrated his life to the service of Christ, and
where he and his family had worshipped for so many years.

Then he was laid to rest in the quiet graveyard on a beautiful knoll
overlooking the Hudson, beside his parents and his own baby boy.

Only a little earlier in that month, and just three weeks before his
death, Edward invited the Authors' Club, of which he was a member, to
spend a day at his Highland home.

These lines were written in acceptance by Mr. E. C. Stedman:--

    "Know'st thou the bank where 'Triumph de Gands' are red
    (My books might be were I on berries fed);
    Where Cro'nest lowers and Hudson laughs below it,
    And welcome waits each editor or poet?
    Know'st thou in fact the realm of E. P. Roe?
        Hither, O hither, will I go."

I insert here several accounts of this last meeting, written after my
brother's death by members of the Club who were present.

    "I had the pleasure of meeting E. P. Roe twice. The first time was
    in May, 1888, at the Authors' Club in New York. It was a balmy
    spring evening. I had strolled into the club-rooms feeling rather
    lonesome among so many strangers, for I was then a new member of
    the Club, and, stopping at the table to admire a great basketful of
    apple-blossoms, I fell into conversation with a tall, fine-looking,
    genial-faced gentleman, who told me that he had just brought the
    flowers down from his farm on the Hudson for 'the boys.' I was
    mentally guessing who this gentleman with the noble brow and the
    black flowing beard could be, when some one approached and called
    him 'Roe.' We were soon left alone again, and I hastened to say:
    'Have I the honor of speaking to E. P. Roe?' Placing a hand on my
    shoulder, and bending near me with a kindly smile, he answered: 'I
    am E. P. Roe; and may I ask your name?' Finding that I was from the
    South, he seemed to be especially glad of my acquaintance, and we
    were soon off in a corner, seated face to face, he asking questions
    fast, and with the greatest interest, and I answering to the best
    of my ability, concerning the war history and the mountain scenery
    of my native State. He was particularly anxious to get at the exact
    social relation between the whites and blacks at the close of the
    war--especially the feeling of the blacks toward the whites--with a
    view of making correct statements in a novel that he thought of
    writing. Each member of the Club soon wore an apple-blossom
    _boutonnière_, and the rooms were full of the delicate perfume
    of these delicious flowers. That night, on leaving the Club, I took
    home with me a spray of the blossoms, and put it in water, and on
    the following day it shed its fragrance for the pleasure of one who
    was then an invalid. In her name I wrote Mr. Roe a note of thanks
    for the flowers, and I received from him a characteristic reply. He
    wrote:--

    "'... I was delighted that my hastily gathered apple-blossoms gave
    such pleasure to your wife. How little it costs to bestow a bit of
    brightness here and there, if we only think about doing it!'

    "The Authors' Club was invited by Mr. and Mrs. Roe to spend
    Saturday, the 16th of June, at their home near Cornwall-on-Hudson,
    where we were cordially promised a feast of strawberries and
    pleasant outdoor pastimes. The day was a perfect, a happy, and a
    memorable one to all who accepted the hospitality of the novelist.
    He met us at the river landing with a hearty hand-shake and a word
    of welcome for each guest, and personally conducted us to carriages
    which had been provided to convey us to his farmhouse, which we
    soon found to be an ideal home of unpretentious elegance. At
    luncheon our host addressed us, begging us to lay aside all
    formality, and get all the pleasure possible from his fruits and
    flowers, green grass and cooling shade. The strawberries in his
    patch were enormous, and each visitor to the vines in turn found
    Roe at his side, parting the leaves for him, and showing him where
    to pick the finest specimens. He was ubiquitous that day. If one
    strolled off among the myriad roses, and stopped to pluck a bud, he
    found the shapely hand of the farmer-author pulling for him a more
    beautiful one. If you flung yourself on the grass to dream awhile,
    Roe was lying down by you, telling you how happy this union of
    friends made him feel.

    "The day wore on to sunset, when a dance, to the music of banjos,
    was improvised on the lawn, the banjos being played by some
    handsome youths in lawn-tennis attire, who, with their gayly
    beribboned instruments, made a pretty scene. Roe clapped his hands
    with delight as he moved from group to group. I heard him say, 'How
    often will I recall this scene! I can bring you all back here just
    as you are now, whenever I want to.' His wife and daughters were
    unceasing in gracious attentions to their guests.

    "When the time for parting arrived, and the carriages were drawn
    up, Mr. Roe hurried from one to another of us, begging each and all
    not to go, assuring us of ample accommodation if we would stay over
    night. A few remained, and those who left did so reluctantly, some
    of them, I am sure, quite sorrowfully. I remember wondering at
    myself for being overcome by such a feeling of sadness as I waved
    the family a last farewell from the departing carriage. I had said
    good-by to the famous writer as we came down the broad steps of his
    vine-covered veranda, he with his arm about my waist.

    "Never lived a more lovable and kindlier man than E. P. Roe; and
    when, soon after that golden day, I read one morning of his sudden
    death, my heart welled up with tears over the bereavement of that
    stricken household in the shadow of old Storm King; yet I felt that
    their grief must be illumined by the pure light that hallowed the
    name 'of him who uttered nothing base.'"

    "ELROD BURKE."


    "I fancy there are few of those active, tireless Americans, who,
    nevertheless, steal time from their business to read many
    newspapers and many books, who have heard of an association of men
    in New York called the Authors' Club. Authors, in their eyes, are
    apt to seem like inhabitants of a world apart, a world separated by
    a broad boundary from the sphere of average commercial labor.
    Authors are, as it were, abstractions; they are heard and not seen.
    They are heard through their books, which are the concrete essence
    of themselves; yet the author is, after all, an extremely concrete
    personage, who strives as hard as anyone for his living, and whose
    reward is seldom commensurate with his efforts. It is the
    exceptional great man of literature--the great author being a
    better illustration than the small one--who is lucky enough to
    enjoy felicity during his lifetime.

    "But I did not start out here to make the old argument--which has
    been so often a fanciful and sentimental argument--against
    literature as a remunerative profession. My idea was a simple one:
    To assume that authors are more generally hidden from public view
    than almost any other class of men, and that, for this reason
    especially, the least important bit of gossip touching the private
    doings, goings, and sayings of authors interests, without question,
    a very large number of people. The writer of a famous novel or poem
    may walk the length of Broadway, yet remain absolutely a stranger
    to the crowd among whom he walks. A nobody of a politician passing
    over the same space would, I am sure, be liberally recognized as a
    somebody, and not the least sort of a somebody by any means. The
    stranger to the crowd, however, the author derives practical
    benefit from the 'charm of mystery.' To be at once celebrated and
    unknown is for him a desirable condition. His books are read. He
    piques curiosity. What more could he ask for?

    "The Authors' Club, being merely an association of authors, is
    therefore somewhat outside of public view. Its peculiar distinction
    is that it brings together various men whom the world honors, and a
    few more whom the world may or may not learn to honor. It is a very
    modest little Club, possibly with a very large future before it. If
    I should praise it for one thing heartily, that would be the good
    fellowship which animates it and which has permitted it to thrive.
    Among the older members of the club--the members who actually
    possess reputation--are Stoddard, Stedman, Curtis, Edward
    Eggleston, John Hay, M. U. Conway, Mark Twain, George H. Boker,
    Henry Drisler, E. P. Roe, Andrew Carnegie, Henry James, E. L.
    Godkin, Parke Godwin, S. Weir Mitchell, Noah Brooks, and (in an
    honorary sense) J. R. Lowell, Holmes, Whittier, R. L. Stevenson,
    and Harriet Beecher Stowe. The younger members count such names as
    Gilder, Lathrop, Bunner, Boyesen, Bishop, Luska, Will Carleton,
    Rutton, Matthews, McMaster, Miller, Bronson Howard, Mabie, DeKay,
    Boyle O'Reilly, Thorndike Rice, and others hardly less well known.
    Of all the men whom I just mentioned none has a wider reading
    public than Edward P. Roe, some of whose books have passed through
    twenty or more editions.

    "Mr. Roe is one of those authors 'who make money,' whose writing is
    not thrown on the barren soil of neglect. His income from books is
    much ampler, I believe, than the income of any other man of
    letters, obtained from the same source, in America. Because he is
    so popular he does not necessarily possess the elements of
    greatness. True greatness seldom 'makes money.' Even brilliant
    originality in literature has a comparatively small audience. This
    is the line of logic, since the finest writing appeals only to the
    finest minds, and the latter are stray blossomings in an oasis of
    respectability. It is not, in the circumstances, difficult to
    explain Mr. Roe's popularity. He tells a pleasant story with
    unaffected simplicity; he is always on the side of conservative
    feeling; he is eager to help men and women, as well as to amuse
    them; he is, in short, the most earnest and effective
    representative of a numerous 'home gathering' that is now writing
    in this country. Why, then, should he not be popular? The bold or
    merely erratic genius of distinctly literary writers might not be
    appreciated or comprehended by Mr. Roe's public. Even so aggressive
    a person as that turbulent and pyrotechnic Frenchman, Guy de
    Maupassant, attacks criticism in a way which should be a lesson to
    Mr. Roe's least generous critics. Without any kind of preconception
    or theory M. Maupassant says: 'A critic should understand,
    distinguish, and explain the most opposite tendencies, the most
    contrary temperaments, and admit the most adverse researches of
    art.' On such a broad basis of criticism every admissible
    popularity may be fairly accounted for.

    "Mr. Roe, the man, is an exact counterpart, one may say, of Mr.
    Roe, the author. As an author, in the first place, he is remarkably
    candid. He has been so candid, indeed, that the tendency of certain
    critics to treat him disingenuously is rather absurd. These critics
    want him to write books, apparently, which he does not propose to
    write; they overlook the fact that Mr. Roe has stated very clearly
    just what he desires to write. In a preface to one of his novels he
    says, in effect, that if his books are not beautiful works of art
    they are at least books which tender peace and resignation to many
    lives. (I am not quoting, by the way, but am presenting the idea
    which must have been in Mr. Roe's mind when he wrote that preface.)
    There are so many clever books published nowadays which pervert the
    young and sensitive conscience--a word not included in the
    vocabulary of our 'disagreeably' artistic novelists--that it may be
    wise to accept Mr. Roe's novels as good morality, if not as the
    best literature.

    "It is not every author who puts himself into his books. Drunkards
    have written temperance tracts. Blackguards have written treatises
    on ideal existence. Posing fops have railed against the hardships
    which beset noble ambition. Mr. Roe has written the best that is in
    him for the best that is in thousands of men and women. I have
    tried to indicate briefly what he is as an author. As a man, he is
    not less genial, sincere, and agreeable than his books. The
    cleverest authors are, as a rule, far more entertaining and
    astonishing in their books than in themselves. In themselves, to
    speak the truth, they are not likely to be either entertaining or
    astonishing. I should look to few of them as acceptable hosts. Mr.
    Roe proved himself, and proved how good a host he was, on a recent
    Saturday afternoon, when some thirty or forty members of the
    Authors' Club accepted his invitation to spend a day at his house
    and grounds on the historic heights of Cornwall.

    "Nearly all those who accepted Mr. Roe's invitation travelled to
    Cornwall by water. And they were not a bad lot, taking them
    together. There was E. C. Stedman, for example, the most popular
    writer among writers, the youngest man, by all odds, for his
    age--fuller of the exhilaration of youth than most of his juniors
    by twenty years; C. C. Buel, associate editor of the _Century_, who
    will soon marry Miss Snow, an adopted daughter (if I am not
    mistaken) of 'John Paul,' otherwise known as Mr. Webb; Mr. Webb
    himself, wearing that contentedly placid air which he never seems
    to shake off, and always on time with a good story or joke; A. J.
    Conant, whose yarns are famous, and whose tall form swayed benignly
    under a huge slouch hat; Hamilton W. Mabie, the youthful and
    smiling editor of the _Christian Union_; W. L. Keese, one of the
    few men who can speak with authority on the acting of Burton;
    Theodore L. De Vinne, recently returned from Europe, where he had
    vast trouble in keeping warm; W. H. Bishop, who has got beyond the
    'promising' stage in novel writing and who will spend his summer in
    France; Henry Harland ('Sidney Luska'), as cheerful as his stories
    are sombre--just the sort of personality that does not repeat
    itself in literature; Raymond S. Perrin, who is kind enough to save
    some of his friends from disaster by presenting his first published
    book--price $5--to them; W. S. Walsh, close shaven as a priest, and
    editor of _Lippincott's_; Noah Brooks, once upon a time presiding
    genius of the Lotus Club, and the author of several charming books
    for boys; Edward Carey, associate editor of the New York _Times_;
    Leonard Kip, Albert Matthews, John H. Boner, R. R. Bowker, and
    several representatives of the _Century's_ staff.

[Illustration: TABLET ON BOULDER IN "ROE PARK."]

    "When this crowd of writers--numbering about thirty in all--reached
    Mr. Roe's home, they found Richard Henry Stoddard and Julian
    Hawthorne installed there. Mr. Stoddard may now be classed properly
    among our 'venerable' poets, although he enjoys excellent health
    and gets through an immense amount of work. Hawthorne, in a flannel
    shirt, with a soft red tennis cap on his handsome head, was by far
    the most picturesque figure of the group. As to the host, Mr. Roe,
    he is a man of somewhat striking presence. He is of medium height,
    strongly built, with a gravely pleasant and intelligent face; his
    dark hair is brushed off a high forehead, his beard and mustache
    are long and black; he has kindly gray eyes, and his manner is that
    of a man who has spent the greater part of his life in the
    atmosphere of home. To do good, to help others--that appears to be
    his earnest ambition. The notes of religion and morality dominate
    the note of literature in him. In fact, he is much less an author
    than a teacher. Once he preached from the church pulpit, now he
    preaches through his books, and he finds the latter method far more
    profitable, at least, than the former.

    "Mr. Roe does not confine himself, however, to the making of such
    books as please the great Philistine class. He is an authority on
    the cultivation of small fruits and flowers. What he has written
    upon this interesting subject possesses scientific value. Upon his
    grounds at Cornwall he raises some beautiful specimens of the rose,
    and strawberries as large and luscious as any found in New Jersey
    soil during June. The day selected for the authors' visit to
    Cornwall happened to be at the height of the strawberry season, and
    the manner in which these usually sedate persons made their way to
    Mr. Roe's strawberry bushes immediately after greeting their host
    reminded one of the skirmishing of boys in a melon patch. The
    berries, many of them with the circumference of a young tomato,
    were dug remorselessly from their cool shadows, while a
    particularly hot sun poured down upon the backs of thirty
    perspiring authors. But the fruit was worthy of the effort used in
    plucking it, for Mr. Roe has brought strawberry culture to a rare
    state of perfection. His berries, whether large or small, have a
    singularly sweet and delicate flavor; they are richly colored, and
    their meat is as firm as that of a ripe peach.

    "Mr. Roe's grounds are quite spacious, and lie directly under the
    shade of Storm King. They are included in the plateau of a hill,
    and the scenery round about--especially in the direction of the
    Hudson--is wonderfully varied and picturesque. Mr. Roe's father and
    grandfather resided at Cornwall, and now a fourth generation of the
    family is identified with this lovely bit of country. The house
    occupied by the novelist is not the one built by his ancestors. It
    is a plain, old-fashioned structure, built as every similar
    structure should be--with a broad, breezy hall running from end to
    end, thus dividing the lower part of the house into two comfortable
    compartments. The various rooms--and there are plenty of them--are
    neatly but not pretentiously furnished, books and pictures being
    their chief ornaments. On the top floor Mr. Roe has his workshop--a
    long, narrow, uncarpeted room, under a slanting roof, well
    ventilated, and filled with lazy lounges and chairs, common
    book-shelves, a large writing-desk, and a cabinet containing
    specimens of Hudson River birds. Mr. Roe's latest hobby is to
    collect birds and to study their songs. He stuffs the birds and
    jots down in a note-book brief comments upon their songs. He is
    endeavoring, especially, to make an exact list of the time--to the
    fraction of a second--at which each bird begins to sing in the
    early dawn. 'I like to get my facts from nature,' he said to me,
    'not from other men's books.'

    "Mr. Roe is one of the most hospitable of men, a fact which his
    thirty author-friends would have discovered if they had not known
    that it was a fact. A day seldom goes by that does not bring him a
    visitor who receives a royal welcome; a night seldom passes that
    does not find occupants for his spare rooms. Whoever takes the
    trouble to call upon him he is glad enough to see. If his
    half-million readers could call upon him simultaneously they would
    be led cheerfully to the strawberry patch. Authors may thrive on
    the stones of a city because they must; but the ideal home for an
    author is that of E. P. Roe at Cornwall.

    "GEORGE EDGAR MONTGOMERY."


    "It was on one of the most delightful days of last month that Mr.
    Roe received in an informal way at his hillside home his
    fellow-craftsmen of the Authors' Club of New York.

    "A rambling old house placed back from the road and perched upon
    one of the many hilltops that rise from the river in that most
    picturesque section known as the Highlands of the Hudson, Mr. Roe's
    home had about it that air of comfort and serenity that one would
    naturally imagine as the most appropriate surroundings for the
    author of 'Nature's Serial Story.'

    "Mr. Roe was so peculiarly a companionable man that his friends
    were legion, and among the busy workers who constitute the Authors'
    Club none were more popular than he--the busiest worker of them
    all.

    "He met us at the landing, his genial face speaking a welcome even
    before his voice was heard, and 'Roe! Roe! Roe!' came the greeting
    from his expectant guests ere they filed off the boat. He saw that
    we were all comfortably bestowed in the numerous carriages that he
    had in waiting, led the procession up the steep road that climbed
    the Cornwall hills, and standing at the foot of his veranda steps,
    welcomed each visitor who 'lighted down' with his cheery smile and
    his cordial hand-clasp. He turned us loose in his strawberry
    bed--that pet domain of one who had so practically shown how it was
    possible to achieve 'Success with Small Fruits;' he loaded us with
    roses--dear also to one who lived as he did 'Near to Nature's
    Heart;' and then with brief words of hospitality that were alive,
    hearty and inspiring, he bade us make free with his house and home
    for the day. That we enjoyed it, every action testified. Released
    from care and labor for a day, surrounded by all the attractions
    that make a June day among the Highlands doubly delightful, and
    made so cordially to feel ourselves at home, enjoyment was easy,
    and the day was one to be marked with a red letter by all whose
    good fortune it was to have been one of that merry party.

    "Mr. Roe's Cornwall home showed the lover of Nature and of his
    chosen profession. 'This has been your inspiration here, has it
    not?' I asked. 'Yes,' he replied, with a loving glance at the quiet
    country landscape that we overlooked from the broad veranda; 'here
    and hereabouts I have got very much of my material. I love it all.'

    "The comfortable rooms of that quaint, old-fashioned house had many
    a touch that showed the affection for his surroundings.

    "'Well, Roe,' said Stedman, ever ready with his apt quotations,
    'this castle hath a pleasant seat,' and he said truly. The homelike
    house, the thrifty farm-lands, the verdant patches filled with
    fruits and flowers, and the green growths of the kitchen garden
    bespoke the man who added to the gentleman-farmer the practical
    student of the helpful products of the earth.

    "'Down there,' he said, indicating one portion of his land, 'I have
    planted twenty-five varieties of peas. I wish to test them, to
    study their quality and discover which are the best for the
    producer to raise and which have the best flavor. I like to make
    these experiments.'

    "A bountiful spread for the sharpened appetites of those who found
    in that flower-laden air an increase of desire awaited us in the
    cool dining and reception-rooms--thrown into one to comfortably
    seat so large a company--and it was a question who enjoyed it most,
    guests or host, for his kindly attentions and his invitation to eat
    and spare not gave an extra sauce to the good things offered us. An
    after-dinner ride through the charming country thereabout, so many
    sections of which had been written into his characteristic stories;
    a siesta-like reunion beneath the shade of the trees that dotted
    his ample lawn and almost embowered his home; an oft-repeated
    desire that we should not go city-ward until 'the last train;' a
    quiet chat as this most delightful of hosts passed from group to
    group; the zest with which the pleasant-faced wife and the son and
    daughter of our host seemed to enter into his and our enjoyment of
    the day--these, and the many minor details of a June day's outing
    among the historic Highlands that may not find expression here,
    gave to us all an experience that no one among us would have
    missed, and which each one of us will recall with peculiar and
    tender memories now that the good man who made them possible to us
    has dropped his unfinished work and left us so suddenly and so
    unexpectedly.

    "ELBRIDGE S. BROOKS."

Of the many tributes to my brother's memory I shall here quote but two.
The first is from Julian Hawthorne and is addressed to the Editors of
the _Critic_; the second is the resolution of sympathy sent to Mrs. Roe
by the members of the Authors' Club.

    "You will probably be asked to find room in your columns for many
    letters from the friends of E. P. Roe. I apply for admission with
    the others, on the ground that none of them could have loved him
    more than I did. The telegram which to-day told me of his death has
    made my own life less interesting to me. He was so good a man that
    no one can take his place with those who knew him. It is the simple
    truth that he cared for his friends more than for himself; that his
    greatest happiness was to see others happy; that he would have more
    rejoiced in the literary fame of one of his friends than in any
    such fame of his own winning. All his leisure was spent in making
    plans for the pleasure and profit of other people. I have seen him
    laugh with delight at the success of these plans. As I write, so
    many generous, sweet, noble deeds of his throng in my
    memory,--deeds done so unobtrusively, delicately and
    heartily,--that I feel the uselessness of trying to express his
    value and our loss. He was at once manly and childlike: manly in
    honor, truth, and tenderness; childlike in the simplicity that
    suspects no guile and practises none. He had in him that rare
    quality of loving sympathy that prompted sinners to bring their
    confessions to him, and ask help and counsel of him,--which he
    gave, and human love into thebargain. Among his million readers,
    thousands wrote to thank him for the good that his books had
    awakened in their souls and stimulated in their lives. He knew the
    human heart, his own was so human and so great; and the vast
    success of his stories, however technical critics may have
    questioned it, was within his deserts, because it was based on this
    fact. No one could have had a humbler opinion of Roe's 'art' than
    he had: but an author who believes that good is stronger than evil,
    and that a sinner may turn from his wickedness and live, and who
    embodies these convictions in his stories, without a trace of cant
    or taint of insincerity,--such an author and man deserves a success
    infinitely wider and more permanent than that of the skilfulest
    literary mechanic: and it is to the credit of our nation that he
    has it."


    Authors' Club, 19 West 24th Street, New York.
    January 19, 1889.

    MRS. E. P. ROE,

    DEAR MADAM--I am instructed by the General Meeting of the Authors'
    Club to communicate to you the following minute of a resolution
    that was then adopted. It runs as follows:--

    "On motion of Mr. E. C. Stedman it is unanimously resolved that by
    the death of Mr. E. P. Roe this club has lost a member who was
    endeared to his fellow-members by more than ordinary ties. His
    kindly disposition and charm of conversation and manner, his wide
    charity, made him an always welcome companion, and though
    circumstances did not admit of his frequent attendance at its
    meetings, his constant interest in the club was evinced by numerous
    attentions which showed that he was present in spirit if not in
    person.

    "This club recalls with a sense of sorrowful satisfaction that the
    last act of the late Mr. Roe in connection with the club was the
    generous entertainment of its members by himself and his wife, a
    few weeks before his death, at his home at Cornwall-on-the-Hudson,
    an event which will ever dwell in the grateful remembrance of those
    who were present on the occasion, and in scarcely a less degree of
    those members who were unable to avail themselves of the privilege.

    "At its Annual Meeting this club desires to assure Mrs. Roe and the
    members of her family of its sincere sympathy with her in the
    bereavement which she has sustained, to convey to her its grateful
    acknowledgment of the abundant hospitality she exercised toward the
    club on the occasion of its visit to her home last June, and to
    thank her for her generous gift of an admirable portrait of her
    late husband."

    I have the honor to be, Madam, with great respect,

    Your faithful servant,

    A. B. STAREY,
    Secretary Authors' Club.



CHAPTER XIV

AN ACCOUNT OF E. P. ROE'S BOOKS


A few more pages will be given to an account of the circumstances under
which my brother's books were written, including mention of some
incidents which suggested the stories.

His first novel was "Barriers Burned Away." Speaking of this venture he
said at one time:--"I did not take up the writing of fiction as a means
of livelihood, nor to gratify ambition. When I heard the news of the
great fire in Chicago I had a passionate desire to see its houseless,
homeless condition, and spent several days among the ruins and people,
who found refuge wherever they could. I wandered around night and day,
taking notes of all I saw, and there the plot of my story was vaguely
formed."

When Edward had written about eight chapters of this book, as has been
said, he read them to Dr. Field and his associate editor, Mr. J. H.
Dey. He would not have been greatly surprised had they advised his
throwing the manuscript into the burning grate before them, but,
instead, they requested him to leave it with them for serial
publication in _The Evangelist_.

In the intervals of his busy life at Highland Falls the story grew into
fifty-two chapters. He wrote when and where he could,--on steamboats
and trains as well as in his study,--the manuscript often being only a
few pages ahead of its publication. His characters took full possession
of his imagination and were very real to him.

The serial continued for a year. The next thing was to secure a
publisher for the book. Mr. Dodd, senior member of the firm of Dodd,
Mead, and Company, said once when questioned in reference to this
subject:--"Mr. Roe brought his manuscript to us one day. We read it and
made him an offer. At that time we looked upon the venture as purely
experimental. Mr. Roe accepted our offer, and we announced the book. In
a short time letters began to pour in upon us from people who had seen
our announcement, and had also read as much of the story as had
appeared in _The Evangelist_, asking when the book would be published.
These letters were the first indication we had of the story's
popularity, but they were very good evidence of it. An edition was
issued; the book sold rapidly, and the sale since has been large and
continuous."

"How about your original contract with Mr. Roe?"

"Well, as a matter of fact," said Mr. Dodd, "the original contract was
destroyed and another made on a different basis by which Mr. Roe is
largely the gainer. From that time we have published everything that he
has written, and our relations have always been very pleasant and
close."

"What is his most popular work?"

"'Barriers Burned Away' has had the largest sale. 'Without a Home'
stands second on the list, and, considering the fact that it was
published ten years later, is most popular. 'Opening of a Chestnut
Burr' comes next; 'Near to Nature's Heart' has had a very large sale,
and the others follow closely. There is not one of his novels that has
not had a wide circulation."

"Have you any idea of the extent to which his books have been sold
abroad?"

"All have been published in England and the colonies. Mr. Roe has in
almost every instance arranged with English publishers for an
authorized edition from advance sheets, and received compensation. His
stories are also translated into German and French."


"Barriers" was first published in 1872. It is reverently dedicated to
the memory of the author's mother, and his own words as to how it came
to be written have already been quoted. Many letters were received from
young men acknowledging the helpfulness of this book.

"Play and Profit in My Garden" was Edward's first book on horticulture.
It was written in 1873 at Highland Falls, and was published serially in
_The Christian Union_, then edited by Dr. Lyman Abbott. Reviewing
the book just two years before his death, he claimed that he put into
it more of his personality than into any of his other works.

It is a garden story of his own experience. The sandy knoll around the
little country parsonage upon which grew only a vine or two, a few
cherry trees and some common currant bushes, served as a beginning in
this gardening venture. To that was added a small tract of adjoining
land which was rented from a neighbor, making but two acres in all, yet
the profits from this ground for one season alone amounted to two
thousand dollars.

In this book he tells how his garden was stocked first with plants from
the old home place, and how they brought back the sweet associations of
his childhood. He speaks, too, of his pleasure in selecting new
varieties for trial from the gorgeously illustrated catalogues that he
received.

"What Can She Do?" was written the same year. Since that time
numberless women have learned through the fortunes or misfortunes of
life to solve this problem for themselves, but this book has found a
place in many homes and by its influence has led young girls to be more
helpful in the family circle as well as in the wider social spheres in
which they move.

"Opening of a Chestnut Burr" (1874) suggested itself to Edward's mind
while taking a walk one autumn along a wood-road on the grounds of the
old homestead. Several of the characters are drawn from life,
representing some eccentric people who lived near us in our childhood.
In a "well-meanin'" man, "Daddy Inggar," we have a perfect picture of
an old neighbor whom we children called "Daddy Liscomb." He lived in a
little house opposite one of our father's apple orchards, and no
watch-dog could have been more faithful than was this old man in
guarding our fruit from the depredations of factory boys. He was very
profane, more in his last years from habit, however, than from
intentional irreverence, and sometimes when the Methodist clergyman was
offering prayer in his home a sudden twinge of rheumatism would call
forth a perfect volley of oaths, for which he would immediately
afterward make most humble apologies. This book Edward dedicated to his
wife.

"From Jest to Earnest" (1875) is dedicated to Edward's schoolmate and
college friend, Rev. A. Moss Merwin. The story is nearly altogether
imaginary, but was suggested by an actual house-party and the position
of a clever hostess who was embarrassed by the necessity for making the
best of an unwelcome guest.

"Near to Nature's Heart" was written at Cornwall and published in
1876--the Centennial year. It is a Revolutionary story, and the scene
is laid near West Point. "Captain Molly" is of course historical, as is
also the Robin Hood of the Highlands, "Claudius Smith." But most of the
incidents of the story, as well as the leading characters, are
imaginary.

A few years ago I met at a seashore resort in Massachusetts a cultured
gentleman who held a high position in an educational institution in
that State. He told me that his only child, Vera, was named from the
heroine of "Near to Nature's Heart." He had read all of my brother's
books, but particularly enjoyed this one. And while in California
making a trip to some of the high mountain passes of the State I met a
young couple living in a lonely cañon, miles from any town, whose
year-old baby was called Amy, in honor, they said, of the heroine of
"Nature's Serial Story." They had no knowledge of my relationship to
the author of the book.

"A Knight of the Nineteenth Century" (1877) was reverently dedicated to
the memory of the writer's father. These lines form the preface:--

    "He best deserves a knightly crest
    Who slays the evils that infest
    His soul within. If victor here,
    He soon will find a wider sphere.
    The world is cold to him who pleads;
    The world bows low to knightly deeds."

Soon after this book was offered for sale upon the railroad trains, a
young man, who had tired of the humdrum duties of his home, started
West to seek adventure in the excitements of mining life. He bought a
copy, read it, and was so impressed by the writer's picture of true
knightly deeds that he abandoned his purpose and returned to take up
the obligations he had cast aside.

"A Face Illumined" (1878). A beautiful, but discordant, face once seen
at a concert-garden suggested the title and plot of this book. It
interested Edward to imagine what such a countenance could express
under the ennobling influence of a pure Christian life. He says in his
preface:--"The old garden and the aged man who grew young in it are not
creations, but sacred memories." It was our father who was constantly
in the writer's mind as he rehearsed the conversations with Mr.
Eltinge, and the enormous silver poplar that shaded the old man's front
gate, the tool-house and pear tree, and the brook in which "Ida Mayhew"
bathed her tear-stained face, were all drawn from originals.

"Without a Home" (1881). This book was announced two years before it
was completed, for my brother studied with great care and patience the
problems upon which it touches. He visited scores of tenements and
station-houses, and sat day after day upon the bench with police
judges. He also talked with many of the proprietors of city stores and
with their employees, and his indignation was aroused when he found
that in most of these establishments saleswomen were compelled to stand
throughout the hot summer days, no provision being made for even an
occasional rest. In regard to the victim of the opium habit in this
story, he said once, "I felt from the first that Mr. Joselyn was going
to ruin and I could not stop him, and suffered much with him. I also
felt the death of his daughter almost as much as if she had been a
member of my own family."

"Success with Small Fruits" (1881). "Dedicated to Mr. Charles Downing,
a neighbor, friend, and horticulturist from whom I shall esteem it a
privilege to learn in coming years, as I have in the past." Chapters
from this book, appropriately illustrated, first appeared serially in
_Scribner's Magazine_. But the larger scope which the book afforded
gave Edward opportunity to treat the various topics more in detail. He
gives many practical suggestions for the benefit of those who are
interested in this subject. Nevertheless, the book is not a mere manual
upon the culture of small fruits. It is happily written, and much quiet
humor is to be found in its pages. To quote a brief example:--"In April
the bees will prove to you that honey may be gathered even from a
gooseberry bush. Indeed, gooseberries are like some ladies that we all
know. In their young and blossoming days they are sweet and pink-hued,
and then they grow acid, pale, and hard; but in the ripening experience
of later life they become sweet again. Before they drop from their
places the bees come back for honey, and find it."

Whatever may be the opinion of critics in regard to my brother's
fiction, his works on horticulture are of unquestioned authority; they
embody the results of carefully tested personal experiments, and for
this reason have their value. In this book are given practical
directions and advice that gardeners have told me were of immense
service to them.

"A Day of Fate" (1880). This is a quiet love-story of a summer sojourn
in the Highlands.

"His Sombre Rivals: A Story of the Civil War" (1883). In the preface he
says: "The stern and prolonged conflict taught mutual respect. The men
of the North were convinced that they fought Americans, and that the
people on both sides were sincere and honest."

The Battle of Bull Run is simply a suggested picture, and the other war
scenes are colored by the writer's own reminiscences; but concerning
all technical details he consulted military men.

"A Young Girl's Wooing" (1884). Another short love-story, with the
scene laid in the Catskills, where it was written.

"Nature's Serial Story" was also published in 1884, but Edward had been
for several years making studies for it, at each season carefully
noting his observations. He was a great lover of birds and knew exactly
when each species arrived North in the spring and just when the fall
migrations took place. "Song," he says elsewhere, "is the first crop I
obtain, and one of the best. The robins know I am a friend of theirs,
in spite of their taste for early strawberries and cherries, and when I
am at work they are very sociable and familiar. One or two will light
on raspberry stakes and sing and twitter almost as incessantly and
intelligently as the children in their playhouse under the great oak
tree. Yet the robin's first mellow whistle in spring is a clarion call
to duty, the opening note of the campaign."

He drew directly from Nature for facts, and the composition of this
book gave him genuine pleasure. He says: "My characters may seem
shadows to others, but they were real to me. I meet them still in my
walks or drives, where in fancy I placed them."

"An Original Belle" (1885). The most dramatic scenes in this book are
those connected with the New York Draft Riots. Edward was in the city
one day when the riot had reached its height, and personally witnessed
many of the incidents described. Portions of the book relating to this
time were submitted to the Superintendent of the Metropolitan police
force for possible corrections in the statements made.

"Driven Back to Eden." This story for children was published serially
in _St. Nicholas_, in 1885. It was lovingly dedicated to "Johnnie," his
pet name for his youngest daughter. In it my brother takes a family
from a narrow city flat in a neighborhood that was respectable, but
densely populated, and where the children were forced to spend much
time upon the streets with very undesirable companions, to a simple
country home, surrounded by garden, fields, and woods. Here they enjoy
the ideal outdoor life--perhaps as near that of the original "Eden" as
can be imagined. Edward places these children among the scenes of his
own boyhood and writes of experiences that are fictitious only in
detail and characters.

"He Fell in Love with His Wife" (1886). A chance item in a newspaper
relative to a man who had married in order to secure a competent
housekeeper suggested this story, in which the hero tries a similar
experiment.

"The Home Acre" (1887) first appeared serially in _Harper's Magazine_.
It dwells upon the advantages and pleasures of country life, which is
particularly recommended for business men as affording rest and
diversion of thought after continuous mental strain. Practical hints
are given as to the kind of trees to plant and how to plant them, also
as to the proper cultivation of vineyards, orchards and the small
fruits. He urges the advisability of teaching every boy and girl in the
public schools to recognize and protect certain insects, toads, and
harmless snakes that are of incalculable value in the culture of plants
and fruits because of the warfare they wage against the enemies of
vegetable life.

"The Earth Trembled" (1887) was written while at Santa Barbara; but, as
in the case of the Chicago fire, Edward went to Charleston before the
effects of the earthquake had been removed, and saw the state of the
city and its inhabitants for himself. I have been told by people who
lived there at the time that my brother's descriptions of the dreadful
calamity are very accurate.

"Miss Lou" (1888) was my brother's last book and was left unfinished by
his sudden death. The inscription reads:--"In loving dedication to
'little Miss Lou,' my youngest daughter."



CHAPTER XV

THE TABLET AND MEMORIAL ADDRESS


On May 30th, Decoration Day of 1894, Edward's family and many of his
friends were invited by the citizens of Cornwall-on-the-Hudson to be
present at the dedication of a Memorial Park to be known as Roe Park, a
wild spot in the rear of his home where he had been accustomed to go
for recreation when his day's task was done.

Here a bronze tablet was placed upon one of the huge bowlders upon
which he and his friends had often sat and rested after their long
rambles.

Two of his friends, who then came from a distance to honor his memory,
have since joined him in the higher mansions--Rev. Dr. Teal, of
Elizabeth, New Jersey, who began his ministry at Cornwall, and was for
twenty years my brother's intimate friend; and Mr. Hamilton Gibson.
Both of these men were stricken down suddenly, as was my brother.

I cannot close these reminiscences better than by quoting from Dr.
Lyman Abbott's eloquent Memorial Address, given that day upon my
brother's work as a writer.

    "It is of the latter aspect of his life I wish to speak for a few
    moments only, in an endeavor to interpret his service to the great
    American people by his pen through literature. The chief function
    of the imagination is to enable us to realize actual scenes with
    which we are not familiar. This is an important service. It is well
    that you who live in these quiet and peaceful scenes should know
    what is the wretchedness of some of your fellow beings in the slums
    of New York. It is well that your sympathies should be broadened
    and deepened, and that you should know the sorrow, the struggle
    that goes on in those less favored homes. But this is not the only
    function of the imagination, nor its highest nor most important
    function. It gives us enjoyment by taking us on its wings and
    flying with us away from lives which otherwise would be prosaic,
    dull, commonplace, lives of dull routine and drudgery. But this
    also is not the only nor the highest use; God has given us
    imagination in order that we may have noble ideals set before us,
    and yet ideals so linked to actual life that they shall become
    inseparable. He has given us imagination that we may see what we
    may hope for, what we may endeavor to achieve--that we may be
    imbued with a nobler inspiration, a higher hope, and a more loving,
    enduring patience and perseverance. Realism, which uses imagination
    only to depict the actual, is not the highest form of fiction.
    Romanticism, which uses the imagination only to depict what is for
    us the unreal and impossible, is not the highest form of fiction.
    That fiction is the highest which by the imagination makes real to
    our thought the common affairs of life, and yet so blends them with
    noble ideals that we are able to go back into life with a larger, a
    nobler, and a more perfect faith.

    "Now Mr. Roe's fiction has been very severely criticised, but it
    has been universally read. For myself I would rather minister to
    the higher life of ten thousand people than win the plaudits of one
    self-appointed critic. And his novels have been universally read
    because they have uniformly ministered to the higher life of the
    readers. He has ministered to the life not of ten thousand, or of
    one hundred thousand, but of thousands of thousands, for his
    readers in this country alone are numbered by the millions. And I
    venture to say that no man, woman, or child ever read through one
    of Mr. Roe's books and arose without being bettered by the reading,
    without having a clearer faith, a brighter hope, and a deeper and
    richer love for his fellow man. In one sense he was a realist. He
    made careful and painstaking study of all the events which he
    attempted to describe.... He was not a mere photographer. He saw
    the grandeur that there is in life. He felt the heart that beats in
    a woman's bosom and the heart that beats in a soldier's breast. He
    felt it because his own heart had known the purity of womanhood and
    the courage of manhood. He portrayed something of that purity,
    something of that courage, something of that divine manhood,
    because he possessed the qualities that made him a hero on the
    battlefield, and so made him a preacher of heroism in human life.
    This is the man we have come here to honor to-day; the man who by
    his imagination linked the real and the ideal together; the man who
    has enabled thousands of men and women of more prosaic nature than
    himself to see the beauty and the truth--in one word, the
    divinity--that there is in human life.

    "It is fitting that you should have chosen a rural scene like this
    as a monument to his name; for he may be described by the title of
    one of his books, as the one who lived near to nature's heart. He
    loved these rocks, these hills. It is fitting that you should have
    left these woods as nature made them. He cared more for the wild
    bird of the grove than for the caged bird of the parlor, more for
    the wild flowers than for those of the greenhouse, more for nature
    wild and rugged than for nature clean and shaven and dressed in the
    latest fashion of the landscape gardener.

    "It is gratifying to see so many of all ages, of all sects, of all
    classes in this community gather to do honor to the memory of Mr.
    Roe. But we, many as we are, are not all who are truly here. We
    stand as the representatives of the many thousands in this country
    whose hours he has beguiled, whose labors he has lightened, whose
    lives he has inspired, and in his name and in theirs we dedicate to
    the memory of Mr. Roe these rocks and trees and this rugged park
    and this memorial tablet now unveiled. Time with its busy hand will
    by and by obscure the writing; time will by and by fell these trees
    and gnaw away these rocks. Time may even obliterate the name of E.
    P. Roe from the memory of men; but not eternity itself shall
    obliterate from the kingdom of God the inspiration to the higher,
    nobler and diviner life which he--preacher, writer, soldier, pastor
    and citizen--has left in human life."





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