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Title: The Iron Furnace - Slavery and Secession
Author: Aughey, John H.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: John H. Aughey. _Engraved by Samuel Sartain, Phila._]



  Cursed be the men that obeyeth not the words
  of this covenant, which I commanded your
  fathers in the day that I brought them forth
  out of the land of Egypt, from the _Iron
  Furnace_.--Jer. xi. 3, 4. See also, 1 Kings
  viii. 51.


  Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1863,
  In the office of the Clerk of the District Court for the
  Eastern District of Pennsylvania.


  Moderator of the General Assembly of the (O.S.) Presbyterian
  Church in the United States of America,
  and long Pastor of the Church in which
  my parents were members, and
  our family worshippers;

  Pastor of the West Spruce Street Presbyterian Church, of
  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;

  The Philanthropist, whose virtues are known and
  appreciated in both hemispheres,



A celebrated author thus writes: "Posterity is under no obligations to a
man who is not a parent, who has never planted a tree, built a house, nor
written a book." Having fulfilled all these requisites to insure the
remembrance of posterity, it remains to be seen whether the author's name
shall escape oblivion.

It may be that a few years will obliterate the name affixed to this
Preface from the memory of man. This thought is the cause of no concern. I
shall have accomplished my purpose if I can in some degree be humbly
instrumental in serving my country and my generation, by promoting the
well-being of my fellow-men, and advancing the declarative glory of
Almighty God.

This work was written while suffering intensely from maladies induced by
the rigours of the Iron Furnace of Secession, whose sevenfold heat is
reserved for the loyal citizens of the South. Let this fact be a
palliation for whatever imperfections the reader may meet with in its

There are many loyal men in the southern States, who to avoid martyrdom,
conceal their opinions. They are to be pitied--not severely censured. All
those southern ministers and professors of religion who were eminent for
piety, opposed secession till the States passed the secession ordinance.
They then advocated reconstruction as long as it comported with their
safety. They then, in the face of danger and death, became quiescent--not
acquiescent, by any means--and they now "bide their time," in prayerful
trust that God will, in his own good time, subvert rebellion, and
overthrow anarchy, by a restoration of the supremacy of constitutional
law. By these, and their name is legion, my book will be warmly approved.
My fellow-prisoners in the dungeon at Tupelo, who may have survived its
horrors, and my fellow-sufferers in the Union cause throughout the South,
will read in my narrative a transcript of their own sufferings. The loyal
citizens of the whole country will be interested in learning the views of
one who has been conversant with the rise and progress of secession, from
its incipiency to its culmination in rebellion and treason. It will also
doubtless be of general interest to learn something of the workings of the
"peculiar institution," and the various phases which it assumes in
different sections of the slave States.

Compelled to leave Dixie in haste, I had no time to collect materials for
my work. I was therefore under the necessity of writing without those aids
which would have secured greater accuracy. I have done the best that I
could under the circumstances; and any errors that may have crept into my
statements of facts, or reports of addresses, will be cheerfully rectified
as soon as ascertained.

That I might not compromise the safety of my Union friends who rendered me
assistance, and who are still within the rebel lines, I was compelled to
omit their names, and for the same reason to describe rather indefinitely
some localities, especially the portions of Ittawamba, Chickasaw,
Pontotoc, Tippah, and Tishomingo counties, through which I travelled while
escaping to the Federal lines. This I hope to be able to correct in future

Narratives require a liberal use of the first personal pronoun, which I
would have gladly avoided, had it been possible without tedious
circumlocution, as its frequent repetition has the appearance of egotism.

I return sincere thanks to my fellow-prisoners who imperilled their own
lives to save mine, and also to those Mississippi Unionists who so
generously aided a panting fugitive on his way from chains and death to
life and liberty. My thanks are also due to Rev. William P. Breed, for
assistance in preparing my work for the press.

I am also under obligations to Rev. Francis J. Collier, of Philadelphia;
to Rev. A. D. Smith, D. D., and Rev. J. R. W. Sloane, of New York, and to
Rev. F. B. Wheeler, of Poughkeepsie, New York.

May the Triune God bless our country, and preserve its integrity!


FEBRUARY 1, 1863.




  Speech of Colonel Drane--Submission Denounced--Northern
  Aggression--No more Slave States--Northern _isms_--Yankees'
  Servants--Yankee inferiority--Breckinridge, or immediate,
  complete, and eternal Separation--A Day of Rejoicing--Abraham
  Lincoln, President elect--A Union Speech--A Southerner's
  Reasons for opposing Secession--Address by a Radical
  Secessionist--Cursing and Bitterness--A Prayer--Sermon
  against Secession--List of Grievances--Causes which led to
  Secession                                                         13--49



  The election of Delegates to determine the status of
  Mississippi--The Vigilance Committee--Description of its
  members--Charges--Phonography--No formal verdict--Danger of
  Assassination--Passports--Escape to Rienzi--Union sentiment--
  The Conscript Law--Summons to attend Court-Martial--
  Evacuation of Corinth--Destruction of Cotton--Suffering
  poor--Relieved by General Halleck                                 50--69



  High price of Provisions--Holland Lindsay's Family--The
  arrest--Captain Hill--Appearance before Colonel Bradfute at
  Fulton--Arrest of Benjamin Clarke--Bradfute's Insolence--
  General Chalmers--The clerical Spy--General Pfeifer--Under
  guard--Priceville--General Gordon--Bound for Tupelo--The
  Prisoners entering the Dungeon--Captain Bruce--Lieutenant
  Richard Malone--Prison Fare and Treatment--Menial Service--
  Resolve to escape--Plan of escape--Federal Prisoners--
  Co-operation of the Prisoners--Declaration of Independence--
  The Escape--The Separation--Concealment--Travel on the
  Underground Railroad--Pursuit by Cavalry and Bloodhounds--The
  Arrest--Dan Barnes, the Mail-robber--Perfidy--Heavily
  ironed--Return to Tupelo                                         70--112



  Parson Aughey as Chaplain--Description of the Prisoners--
  Colonel Walter, the Judge Advocate--Charges and
  Specifications against Parson Aughey, a Citizen of the
  Confederate States--Execution of two Tennesseeans--Enlistment
  of Union Prisoners--Colonel Walter's second visit--Day of
  Execution specified--Farewell Letter to my Wife--Parson
  Aughey's Obituary penned by himself--Address to his Soul--The
  Soul's Reply--Farewell Letter to his Parents--The Union
  Prisoners' Petition to Hon. W. H. Seward--The two Prisoners
  and the Oath of Allegiance--Irish Stories                       113--142



  Resolved to Escape--Mode of Executing Prisoners--Removal of
  Chain--Addition to our Numbers--Two Prisoners become Insane--
  Plan of Escape--Proves a Failure--Fetters Inspected--
  Additional Fetters--Handcuffs--A Spy in the Disguise of a
  Prisoner--Special Police Guard on Duty--A Prisoner's
  Discovery--Divine Services--The General Judgment--The Judge--
  The Laws--The Witnesses--The Concourse--The Sentence            143--167



  The Second Plan of Escape--Under the Jail--Egress--Among the
  Guards--In the Swamp--Travelling on the Underground
  Railroad--The Fare--Green Corn eaten Raw--Blackberries and
  Stagnant Water--The Bloodhounds--Tantalizing Dreams--The
  Pickets--The Cows--Become Sick--Fons Beatus--Find Friends--
  Union Friend No. Two--The night in the Barn--Death of Newman
  by Scalding--Union Friend No. Three--Bound for the Union
  Lines--Rebel Soldiers--Black Ox--Pied Ox--Reach Headquarters
  in Safety--Emotions on again beholding the Old Flag--Kindness
  while Sick--Meeting with his Family--Richard Malone again--
  The Serenade--Leave Dixie--Northward bound                      168--211



  Sandhillers--Dirt-eating--Dipping--Their Mode of Living--
  Patois--Rain-book--Wife-trade--Coming in to see the Cars--
  Superstition--Marriage of Kinsfolks--Hardshell Sermon--Causes
  which lead to the Degradation of this Class--Efforts to
  Reconcile the Poor Whites to the Peculiar Institution--The
  Slaveholding Class--The Middle Class--Northern _isms_--
  Incident at a Methodist Minister's House--Question asked a
  Candidate for Licensure--Reason of Southern Hatred toward the
  North--Letter to Mr. Jackman--Barbarities and Cruelties of
  Slavery--Mulattoes--Old Cole--Child Born at Whipping-post--
  Advertisement of a Keeper of Bloodhounds--Getting Rid of Free
  Blacks--The Doom of Slavery--Methodist Church South             212--248



  Colonel Jefferson Davis--His Speech at Holly Springs,
  Mississippi--His Opposition to Yankee Teachers and
  Ministers--A bid for the Presidency--His Ambition--Burr,
  Arnold, Davis--General Beauregard--Headquarters at Rienzi--
  Colonel Elliott's Raid--Beauregard's Consternation--Personal
  description--His illness--Popularity waning.--Rev. Dr. Palmer
  of New Orleans--His influence--The Cincinnati Letter--His
  Personal Appearance--His Denunciations of General Butler--His
  Radicalism.--Rev. Dr. Waddell of La Grange, Tennessee--His
  Prejudices against the North--President of Memphis Synodical
  College--His Talents prostituted.--Union Officers--General
  Nelson--General Sherman                                         249--263



  Cause of the Rebellion--Prevalence of Union Sentiment in the
  South--Why not Developed--Stevenson's Views--Why Incorrect--
  Cavalry Raids upon Union Citizens--How the Rebels employ
  Slaves--Slaves Whipped and sent out of the Federal Lines--
  Resisting the Conscript Law--Kansas Jayhawkers--Guarding
  Rebel Property--Perfidy of Secessionists--Plea for
  Emancipation--The South Exhausted--Failure of Crops--Southern
  Merchants Ruined--Bragg Prohibits the Manufacture and Vending
  of Intoxicating Liquors--Its Salutary Effect                    264--281



  Rebel Cruelty to Prisoners--The Fratricide--Grant Defeated--
  Saved by Gunboats--Buell's Advance--Railroad Disaster--The
  South Despondent--General Rosecrans--Secession will become
  Odious even in the South--Poem                                  282--296




    Speech of Colonel Drane.--Submission Denounced.--Northern
    Aggression.--No more Slave States.--Northern _isms_.--Yankees'
    Servants.--Yankee inferiority.--Breckinridge, or immediate, complete,
    and eternal Separation.--A Day of Rejoicing.--Abraham Lincoln
    President elect.--A Union Speech.--A Southerner's Reasons for opposing
    Secession.--Address by a Radical Secessionist.--Cursing and
    Bitterness.--A Prayer.--Sermon against Secession.--List of
    Grievances.--Causes which led to Secession.

At the breaking out of the present rebellion, I was engaged in the work of
an Evangelist in the counties of Choctaw and Attala in Central
Mississippi. My congregations were large, and my duties onerous. Being
constantly employed in ministerial labours, I had no time to intermeddle
with politics, leaving all such questions to statesmen, giving the
complex issues of the day only sufficient attention to enable me to vote
intelligently. Thus was I engaged when the great political campaign of
1860 commenced--a campaign conducted with greater virulence and asperity
than any I have ever witnessed. During my casual detention at a store,
Colonel Drane arrived, according to appointment, to address the people of
Choctaw. He was a member of one of my congregations, and as he had been
long a leading statesman in Mississippi, having for many years presided
over the State Senate, I expected to hear a speech of marked ability,
unfolding the true issues before the people, with all the dignity,
suavity, and earnestness of a gentleman and patriot; but I found his whole
speech to be a tirade of abuse against the North, commingled with the bold
avowal of treasonable sentiments. The Colonel thus addressed the people:

    MY FELLOW-CITIZENS--I appear before you to urge anew resistance
    against the encroachments and aggressions of the Yankees. If the
    Black Republicans carry their ticket, and Old Abe is elected, our
    right to carry our slaves into the territories will be denied us; and
    who dare say that he would be a base, craven submissionist, when our
    God-given and constitutional right to carry slavery into the common
    domain is wickedly taken from the South. The Yankees cheated us out of
    Kansas by their infernal Emigrant Aid Societies. They cheated us out
    of California, which our blood-treasure purchased, for the South sent
    ten men to one that was sent by the North to the Mexican war, and thus
    we have no foothold on the Pacific coast; and even now we pay five
    dollars for the support of the general Government where the North pays
    one. We help to pay bounties to the Yankee fishermen in New England;
    indeed _we_ are always paying, paying, paying, and yet the North is
    always crying, Give, give, give. The South has made the North rich,
    and what thanks do we receive? Our rights are trampled on, our slaves
    are spirited by thousands over their underground railroad to Canada,
    our citizens are insulted while travelling in the North, and their
    servants are tampered with, and by false representations, and often by
    mob violence, forced from them. Douglas, knowing the power of the
    Emigrant Aid Societies, proposes squatter sovereignty, with the
    positive certainty that the scum of Europe and the mudsills of
    Yankeedom can be shipped in in numbers sufficient to control the
    destiny of the embryo State. Since the admission of Texas in 1845,
    there has not been a single foot of slave territory secured to the
    South, while the North has added to their list the extensive States of
    California, Minnesota, and Oregon, and Kansas is as good as theirs;
    while, if Lincoln is elected, the Wilmot proviso will be extended over
    all the common territories, debarring the South for ever from her
    right to share the public domain.

    The hypocrites of the North tell us that slaveholding is sinful. Well,
    suppose it is. Upon us and our children let the guilt of this sin
    rest; we are willing to bear it, and it is none of their business. We
    are a more moral people than they are. Who originated Mormonism,
    Millerism, Spirit-rappings, Abolitionism, Free-loveism, and all the
    other abominable _isms_ which curse the world? The reply is, the
    North. Their puritanical fanaticism and hypocrisy is patent to all.
    Talk to us of the sin of slavery, when the only difference between us
    is that our slaves are black and theirs white. They treat their white
    slaves, the Irish and Dutch, in a cruel manner, giving them during
    health just enough to purchase coarse clothing, and when they become
    sick, they are turned off to starve, as they do by hundreds every
    year. A female servant in the North must have a testimonial of good
    character before she will be employed; those with whom she is
    labouring will not give her this so long as they desire her services;
    she therefore cannot leave them, whatever may be her treatment, so
    that she is as much compelled to remain with her employer as the slave
    with his master.

    Their servants hate them; our's love us. My niggers would fight for me
    and my family. They have been treated well, and they know it. And I
    don't treat my slaves any better than my neighbours. If ever there
    comes a war between the North and the South, let us do as Abraham
    did--arm our trained servants, and go forth with them to the battle.
    They hate the Yankees as intensely as we do, and nothing could please
    our slaves better than to fight them. Ah, the perfidious Yankees! I
    cordially hate a Yankee. We have all suffered much at their hands;
    they will not keep faith with us. Have they complied with the
    provisions of the Fugitive Slave Law? The thousands and tens of
    thousands of slaves aided in their escape to Canada, is a sufficient
    answer. We _have_ lost millions, and _are_ losing millions every year,
    by the operations of the underground railroad. How deep the perfidy of
    a people, thus to violate every article of compromise we have made
    with them! The Yankees are an inferior race, descended from the old
    Puritan stock, who enacted the Blue Laws. They are desirous of
    compelling us to submit to laws more iniquitous than ever were the
    Blue Laws. I have travelled in the North, and have seen the depth of
    their depravity. Now, my fellow-citizens, what shall we do to resist
    Northern aggression? Why simply this: if Lincoln or Douglas are
    elected, (as to the Bell-Everett ticket, it stands no sort of chance,)
    let us secede. This remedy will be effectual. I am in favour of no
    more compromises. Let us have Breckinridge, or immediate, complete,
    and eternal separation.

The speaker then retired amid the cheers of his audience.

Soon after this there came a day of rejoicing to many in Mississippi. The
booming of cannon, the joyous greeting, the soul-stirring music, indicated
that no ordinary intelligence had been received. The lightnings had
brought the tidings that Abraham Lincoln was President elect of the United
States, and the South was wild with excitement. Those who had been long
desirous of a pretext for secession, now boldly advocated their
sentiments, and joyfully hailed the election of Mr. Lincoln as affording
that pretext. The conservative men were filled with gloom. They regarded
the election of Mr. Lincoln, by the majority of the people of the United
States, in a constitutional way, as affording no cause for secession.
Secession they regarded as fraught with all the evils of Pandora's box,
and that war, famine, pestilence, and moral and physical desolation would
follow in its train. A call was made by Governor Pettus for a convention
to assemble early in January, at Jackson, to determine what course
Mississippi should pursue, whether her policy should be submission or

Candidates, Union and Secession, were nominated for the convention in
every county. The speeches of two, whom I heard, will serve as a specimen
of the arguments used _pro_ and _con_. Captain Love, of Choctaw, thus
addressed the people.

    MY FELLOW-CITIZENS--I appear before you to advocate the Union--the
    Union of the States under whose favoring auspices we have long
    prospered. No nation so great, so prosperous, so happy, or so much
    respected by earth's thousand kingdoms, as the Great Republic, by
    which name the United States is known from the rivers to the ends of
    the earth. Our flag, the star-spangled banner, is respected on every
    sea, and affords protection to the citizens of every State, whether
    amid the pyramids of Egypt, the jungles of Asia, or the mighty cities
    of Europe. Our Republican Constitution, framed by the wisdom of our
    Revolutionary fathers, is as free from imperfection as any document
    drawn up by uninspired men. God presided over the councils of that
    convention which framed our glorious Constitution. They asked wisdom
    from on high, and their prayers were answered. Free speech, a free
    press, and freedom to worship God as our conscience dictates, under
    our own vine and fig-tree, none daring to molest or make us afraid,
    are some of the blessings which our Constitution guarantees; and these
    prerogatives, which we enjoy, are features which bless and distinguish
    us from the other nations of the earth. Freedom of speech is unknown
    amongst them; among them a censorship of the press and a national
    church are established.

    Our country, by its physical features, seems fitted for but one
    nation. What ceaseless trouble would be caused by having the source of
    our rivers in one country and the mouth in another. There are no
    natural boundaries to divide us into separate nations. We are all
    descended from the same common parentage, we all speak the same
    language, and we have really no conflicting interests, the statements
    of our opponents to the contrary notwithstanding. Our opponents
    advocate separate State secession. Would not Mississippi cut a sorry
    figure among the nations of the earth? With no harbour, she would be
    dependent on a foreign nation for an outlet. Custom-house duties would
    be ruinous, and the republic of Mississippi would find herself
    compelled to return to the Union. Mississippi, you remember,
    repudiated a large foreign debt some years ago; if she became an
    independent nation, her creditors would influence their government to
    demand payment, which could not be refused by the weak, defenceless,
    navyless, armyless, moneyless, repudiating republic of Mississippi.
    To pay this debt, with the accumulated interest, would ruin the new
    republic, and bankruptcy would stare us in the face.

    It is true, Abraham Lincoln is elected President of the United States.
    My plan is to wait till Mr. Lincoln does something unconstitutional.
    Then let the South unanimously seek redress in a constitutional
    manner. The conservatives of the North will join us. If no redress is
    made, let us present our ultimatum. If this, too, is rejected, I for
    one will not advocate submission; and by the coöperation of all the
    slave States, we will, in the event of the perpetration of wrong, and
    a refusal to redress our grievances, be much abler to secure our
    rights, or to defend them at the cannon's mouth and the point of the
    bayonet. The Supreme Court favours the South. In the Dred Scott case,
    the Supreme Court decided that the negro was not a citizen, and that
    the slave was a chattel, as we regard him. The majority of Congress on
    joint ballot is still with the South. Although we have something to
    fear from the views of the President elect and the Chicago platform,
    let us wait till some overt act, trespassing upon our rights, is
    committed, and all redress denied; then, and not till then, will I
    advocate extreme measures.

    Let our opponents remember that secession and civil war are
    synonymous. Who ever heard of a government breaking to pieces without
    an arduous struggle for its preservation? I admit the right of
    revolution, when a people's rights cannot otherwise be maintained, but
    deny the right of secession. We are told that it is a reserved right.
    The constitution declares that all rights not specified in it are
    reserved to the people of the respective States; but who ever heard of
    the right of total destruction of the government being a reserved
    right in any constitution? The fallacy is evident at a glance. Nine
    millions of people can afford to wait for some overt act. Let us not
    follow the precipitate course which the ultra politicians indicate.
    Let W. L. Yancey urge his treasonable policy of firing the Southern
    heart and precipitating a revolution; but let us follow no such
    wicked advice. Let us follow the things which make for peace.

    We are often told that the North will not return fugitive slaves. Will
    secession remedy this grievance? Will secession give us any more slave
    territory? No free government ever makes a treaty for the rendition of
    fugitive slaves--thus recognising the rights of the citizens of a
    foreign nation to a species of property which it denies to its own
    citizens. Even little Mexico will not do it. Mexico and Canada return
    no fugitives. In the event of secession, the United States would
    return no fugitives, and our peculiar institution would, along our
    vast border, become very insecure; we would hold our slaves by a very
    slight tenure. Instead of extending the great Southern institution, it
    would be contracting daily. Our slaves would be held to service at
    their own option, throughout the whole border, and our gulf States
    would soon become border States; and the great insecurity of this
    species of property would work, before twenty years, the extinction
    of slavery, and, in consequence, the ruin of the South. Are we
    prepared for such a result? Are we prepared for civil war? Are we
    prepared for all the evils attendant upon a fratricidal contest--for
    bloodshed, famine, and political and moral desolation? I reply, we are
    not; therefore let us look before we leap, and avoiding the heresy of

        "Rather bear the ills we have,
        Than fly to others that we know not of."

A secession speaker was introduced, and thus addressed the people:

    LADIES AND GENTLEMEN--FELLOW-CITIZENS--I am a secessionist out and
    out; voted for Jeff Davis for Governor in 1850, when the same issue
    was before the people; and I have always felt a grudge against the
    _free state_ of Tishomingo for giving H. S. Foote, the Union
    candidate, a majority so great as to elect him, and thus retain the
    State in this accursed Union ten years longer. Who would be a
    craven-hearted, cowardly, villanous submissionist? Lincoln, the
    abominable, white-livered abolitionist, is President elect of the
    United States; shall he be permitted to take his seat on Southern
    soil? No, never! I will volunteer as one of thirty thousand, to
    butcher the villain if ever he sets foot on slave territory. Secession
    or submission! What patriot would hesitate for a moment which to
    choose? No true son of Mississippi would brook the idea of submission
    to the rule of the baboon Abe Lincoln--a fifth-rate lawyer, a
    broken-down hack of a politician, a fanatic, an abolitionist. I, for
    one, would prefer an hour of virtuous liberty to a whole eternity of
    bondage under northern, Yankee, wooden-nutmeg rule. The halter is the
    only argument that should be used against the submissionists, and I
    predict that it will soon, very soon, be in force.

    We have glorious news from Tallahatchie. Seven tory-submissionists
    were hanged there in one day, and the so-called Union candidates,
    having the wholesome dread of hemp before their eyes, are not
    canvassing the county; therefore the heretical dogma of submission,
    under any circumstances, disgraces not their county. Compromise! let
    us have no such word in our vocabulary. Compromise with the Yankees,
    after the election of Lincoln, is treason against the South; and still
    its syren voice is listened to by the demagogue submissionists. We
    should never have made any compromise, for in every case we
    surrendered rights for the sake of peace. No concession of the scared
    Yankees will now prevent secession. They now understand that the South
    is in earnest, and in their alarm they are proposing to yield us much;
    but the die is cast, the Rubicon is crossed, and our determination
    shall ever be, No union with the flat-headed, nigger-stealing,
    fanatical Yankees.

    We are now threatened with internecine war. The Yankees are an
    inferior race; they are cowardly in the extreme. They are descended
    from the Puritan stock, who never bore rule in any nation. We, the
    descendants of the Cavaliers, are the Patricians, they the Plebeians.
    The Cavaliers have always been the rulers, the Puritans the ruled. The
    dastardly Yankees will never fight us; but if they, in their
    presumption and audacity, venture to attack us, let the war come--I
    repeat it--let it come! The conflagration of their burning cities, the
    desolation of their country, and the slaughter of their inhabitants,
    will strike the nations of the earth dumb with astonishment, and serve
    as a warning to future ages, that the slaveholding Cavaliers of the
    sunny South are terrible in their vengeance. I am in favour of
    immediate, independent, and eternal separation from the vile Union
    which has so long oppressed us. After separation, I am in favour of
    non-intercourse with the United States so long as time endures. We
    will raise the tariff, to the point of prohibition, on all Yankee
    manufactures, including wooden-nutmegs, wooden clocks, quack nostrums,
    &c. We will drive back to their own inhospitable clime every Yankee
    who dares to pollute our shores with his cloven feet. Go he must, and
    if necessary, with the bloodhounds on his track. The scum of Europe
    and the mudsills of Yankeedom shall never be permitted to advance a
    step south of 36° 30'. South of that latitude is ours--westward to
    the Pacific. With my heart of hearts I hate a Yankee, and I will make
    my children swear eternal hatred to the whole Yankee race. A mongrel
    breed--Irish, Dutch, Puritans, Jews, free niggers, &c.--they scarce
    deserve the notice of the descendants of the Huguenots, the old
    Castilians, and the Cavaliers. Cursed be the day when the South
    consented to this iniquitous league--the Federal Union--which has long
    dimmed her nascent glory.

    In battle, one southron is equivalent to ten northern hirelings; but I
    regard it a waste of time to speak of Yankees--they deserve not our
    attention. It matters not to us what they think of secession, and we
    would not trespass upon your time and patience, were it not for the
    tame, tory submissionists with which our country is cursed. A fearful
    retribution is in waiting for the whole crew, if the war which they
    predict, should come. Were they then to advocate the same views, I
    would not give a fourpence for their lives. We would hang them
    quicker than old Heath would hang a tory. Our Revolutionary fathers
    set us a good example in their dealings with the tories. They sent
    them to the shades infernal from the branches of the nearest tree. The
    North has sent teachers and preachers amongst us, who have insidiously
    infused the leaven of Abolitionism into the minds of their students
    and parishioners; and this submissionist policy is a lower development
    of the doctrine of Wendell Philips, Gerritt Smith, Horace Greely, and
    others of that ilk. We have a genial clime, a soil of uncommon
    fertility. We have free institutions, freedom for the white man,
    bondage for the black man, as nature and nature's God designed. We
    have fair women and brave men. The lines have truly fallen to us in
    pleasant places. We have indeed a goodly heritage. The only evil we
    can complain of is our bondage to the Yankees through the Federal
    Union. Let us burst these shackles from our limbs, and we will be free

    Let all who desire complete and eternal emancipation from Yankee
    thraldom, come to the polls on the ---- day of December, prepared not
    to vote the cowardly submissionist ticket, but to vote the secession
    ticket; and their children, and their children's children, will owe
    them a debt of gratitude which they can never repay. The day of our
    separation and vindication of States' rights, will be the happiest day
    of our lives. Yankee domination will have ceased for ever, and the
    haughty southron will spurn them from all association, both
    governmental and social. So mote it be!

This address was received with great eclat.

On the next Sabbath after this meeting, I preached in the Poplar Creek
Presbyterian church, in Choctaw county, from Romans xiii. 1: "Let every
soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God:
the powers that be, are ordained of God."

Previous to the sermon a prayer was offered, of which the following is the

    ALMIGHTY GOD--We would present our country, the United States of
    America, before thee. When our political horizon is overcast with
    clouds and darkness, when the strong-hearted are becoming fearful for
    the permanence of our free institutions, and the prosperity, yea, the
    very existence of our great Republic, we pray thee, O God, when flesh
    and heart fail, when no human arm is able to save us from the fearful
    vortex of disunion and revolution, that thou wouldst interpose and
    save us. We confess our national sins, for we have, as a nation,
    sinned grievously. We have been highly favoured, we have been greatly
    prospered, and have taken our place amongst the leading powers of the
    earth. A gospel-enlightened nation, our sins are therefore more
    heinous in thy sight. They are sins of deep ingratitude and
    presumption. We confess that drunkenness has abounded amongst all
    classes of our citizens. Rulers and ruled have been alike guilty; and
    because of its wide-spreading prevalence, and because our legislators
    have enacted no sufficient laws for its suppression, it is a national
    sin. Profanity abounds amongst us; Sabbath-breaking is rife; and we
    have elevated unworthy men to high positions of honour and trust. We
    are not, as a people, free from the crime of tyranny and oppression.
    For these great and aggravated offences, we pray thee to give us
    repentance and godly sorrow, and then, O God, avert the threatened and
    imminent judgments which impend over our beloved country. Teach our
    Senators wisdom. Grant them that wisdom which is able to make them
    wise unto salvation; and grant also that wisdom which is profitable to
    direct, so that they may steer the ship of State safely through the
    troubled waters which seem ready to engulf it on every side. Lord,
    hear us, and answer in mercy, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
    Amen and Amen!

The following is a synopsis of my sermon:

    Israel had been greatly favoured as a nation. No weapon formed against
    them prospered, so long as they loved and served the Lord their God.
    They were blessed in their basket and their store. They were set on
    high above all the nations of the earth. * * * * When all Israel
    assembled, ostensibly to make Rehoboam king, they were ripe for
    rebellion. Jeroboam and other wicked men had fomented and cherished
    the sparks of treason, till, on this occasion, it broke out into the
    flame of open rebellion. The severity of Solomon's rule was the
    pretext, but it was only a pretext, for during his reign the nation
    prospered, grew rich and powerful. Jeroboam wished a disruption of the
    kingdom, that he might bear rule; and although God permitted it as a
    punishment for Israel's idolatry, yet he frowned upon the wicked men
    who were instrumental in bringing this great evil upon his chosen

    The loyal division took the name of Judah, though composed of the two
    tribes, Judah and Benjamin. The revolted ten tribes took the name of
    their leading tribe, Ephraim. Ephraim continued to wax weaker and
    weaker. Filled with envy against Judah, they often warred against that
    loyal kingdom, until they themselves were greatly reduced. At last,
    after various vicissitudes, the ten tribes were carried away, and
    scattered and lost. We often hear of the lost ten tribes. What became
    of them is a mystery. Their secession ended in their being blotted out
    of existence, or lost amidst the heathen. God alone knows what did
    become of them. They resisted the powers that be--the ordinance of
    God--and received to themselves damnation and annihilation.

    As God dealt with Israel, so will he deal with us. If we are exalted
    by righteousness, we will prosper; if we, as the ten tribes, resist
    the ordinance of God, we will perish. At this time, many are
    advocating the course of the ten tribes. Secession is a word of
    frequent occurrence. It is openly advocated by many. Nullification and
    rebellion, secession and treason, are convertible terms, and no good
    citizen will mention them with approval. Secession is resisting the
    powers that be, and therefore it is a violation of God's command.
    Where do we obtain the right of secession? Clearly not from the word
    of God, which enjoins obedience to all that are in authority, to whom
    we must be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake.
    The following scriptural argument for secession is often used, 1 Tim.
    vi. 1--5. In these verses Paul was addressing believing servants, and
    commanding them to absent themselves from the teaching of those who
    taught not the doctrine which is according to godliness. In a former
    epistle he had commanded Christians not to keep company with the
    incestuous person who had his father's wife. He directed that they
    should not keep company with any man who was called a brother, if he
    were a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a
    drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no not to eat; but he
    expressly declares that he does not allude to those who belong to the
    above classes that have made no profession of religion. He does not
    judge them that are without, for them that are without, God judgeth.
    He afterwards exhorts that the church confirm their love toward the
    incestuous person as he had repented of his wickedness. This direction
    of the Apostle to believers to withdraw from a brother who walked
    disorderly, till he had manifested proper repentance; and his
    exhortation to believing servants to absent themselves from the
    teachings of errorists, cannot logically be construed as a scriptural
    argument in favour of secession. Were the President of the United
    States an unbeliever, a profane swearer, a Sabbath-breaker, or a
    drunkard, this fact would not, _per se_, give us the right to secede
    or rebel against the government.

    There is no provision made in the Constitution of the United States
    for secession. The wisest statesmen, who made politics their study,
    regarded secession as a political heresy, dangerous in its tendencies,
    and destructive of all government in its practical application.
    Mississippi, purchased from France with United States gold, fostered
    by the nurturing care, and made prosperous by the wise administration
    of the general government, proposes to secede. Her political status
    would then be anomalous. Would her territory revert to France? Does
    she propose to refund the purchase-money? Would she become a territory
    under the jurisdiction of the United States Congress?

    Henry Clay, the great statesman, Daniel Webster, the expounder of the
    Constitution, General Jackson, George Washington, and a mighty host,
    whose names would fill a volume, regarded secession as treason. One of
    our smallest States, which swarmed with tories in the Revolution,
    whose descendants still live, invented the doctrine of nullification,
    the first treasonable step, which soon culminated in the advocacy of
    secession. Why should we secede, and thus destroy the best, the
    freest, and most prosperous government on the face of the earth? the
    government which our patriot fathers fought and bled to secure. What
    has Mississippi lost by the Union? I have resided seven years in this
    State, and have an extensive personal acquaintance, and yet I know not
    a single individual who has lost a slave through northern influence. I
    have, it is true, known of some ten slaves who have run away, and have
    not been found. They may have been aided in their escape to Canada by
    northern and southern citizens, for there are many in the South who
    have given aid and comfort to the fugitive; but the probability is
    that they perished in the swamps, or were destroyed by the

    The complaint is made that the North regards slavery as a moral,
    social, and political evil, and that many of them denounce, in no
    measured terms, both slavery and slaveholders. To be thus denounced is
    regarded as a great grievance. Secession would not remedy this evil.
    In order to cure it effectually, we must seize and gag all who thus
    denounce our peculiar institution. We must also muzzle their press. As
    this is impracticable, it would be well to come to this
    conclusion:--If we are verily guilty of the evils charged upon us, let
    us set about rectifying those evils; if not, the denunciations of
    slanderers should not affect us so deeply. If our northern brethren
    are honest in their convictions of the sin of slavery, as no doubt
    many of them are, let us listen to their arguments without the dire
    hostility so frequently manifested. They take the position that
    slavery is opposed to the inalienable rights of the human race; that
    it originated in piracy and robbery; that manifold cruelties and
    barbarities are inflicted upon the defenceless slaves; that they are
    debarred from intellectual culture by State laws, which send to the
    penitentiary those who are guilty of instructing them; that they are
    put upon the block and sold; parent and child, husband and wife being
    separated, so that they never again see each other's face in the
    flesh; that the law of chastity cannot be observed, as there are no
    laws punishing rape on the person of a female slave; that when they
    escape from the threatened cat-o'-nine-tails, or overseer's whip, they
    are hunted down by bloodhounds, and bloodier men; that often they are
    half-starved and half-clad, and are furnished with mere hovels to live
    in; that they are often murdered by cruel overseers, who whip them to
    death, or overtask them, until disease is induced, which results in
    death; that masters practically ignore the marriage relation among
    slaves, inasmuch as they frequently separate husband and wife, by sale
    or removal; that they discourage the formation of that relation,
    preferring that the offspring of their female slaves should be
    illegitimate, from the mistaken notion that it would be more numerous.
    They charge, also, that slavery induces in the masters, pride,
    arrogance, tyranny, laziness, profligacy, and every form of vice.

    The South takes the position, that if slavery is sinful, the North is
    not responsible for that sin; that it is a State institution, and that
    to interfere with slavery in the States in any way, even by censure,
    is a violation of the rights of the States. The language of our
    politicians is, Upon us and our children rest the evil! We are willing
    to take the responsibility, and to risk the penalty! You will find
    evil and misery enough in the North to excite your philanthropy, and
    employ your beneficence. You have purchased our cotton; you have used
    our sugar; you have eaten our rice; you have smoked and chewed our
    tobacco--all of which are the products of slave-labour. You have grown
    rich by traffic in these articles; you have monopolized the carrying
    trade, and borne our slave-produced products to your shores. Your
    northern ships, manned by northern men, brought from Africa the
    greater part of the slaves which came to our continent, and they are
    still smuggling them in. When, finding slavery unprofitable, the
    northern States passed laws for gradual emancipation, but few obtained
    their freedom, the majority of them being shipped South and sold, so
    that but few, comparatively, were manumitted. If the slave trade and
    slavery are great sins, the North is _particeps criminis_, and has
    been from the beginning.

    These bitter accusations are hurled back and forth through the
    newspapers; and in Congress, crimination and recrimination occur every
    day of the session. Instead of endeavouring to calm the troubled
    waters, politicians are striving to render them turbid and boisterous.
    Sectional bitterness and animosity prevail to a fearful extent; but
    secession is not the proper remedy. To cure one evil by perpetrating a
    greater, renders a double cure necessary. In order to cure a disease,
    the cause should be known, that we may treat it intelligently, and
    apply a proper remedy. Having observed, during the last eleven years,
    that sectional strife and bitterness were increasing with fearful
    rapidity, I have endeavoured to stem the torrent, so far as it was
    possible for individual effort to do so. I deem it the imperative duty
    of all patriots, of all Christians, to throw oil upon the troubled
    waters, and thus save the ship of State from wreck among the
    vertiginous billows.

    Most of our politicians are demagogues. They care not for the people,
    so that they accomplish their own selfish and ambitious schemes. Give
    them power, give them money, and they are satisfied. Deprive them of
    these, and they are ready to sacrifice the best interests of the
    nation to secure them. They excite sectional animosity and party
    strife, and are willing to kindle the flames of civil war to
    accomplish their unhallowed purposes. They tell us that there is a
    conflict of interest between the free and slave States, and endeavour
    to precipitate a revolution, that they may be leaders, and obtain
    positions of trust and profit in the new government which they hope
    to establish. The people would be dupes indeed to abet these wicked
    demagogues in their nefarious designs. Let us not break God's command,
    by resisting the ordinance of God--the powers that be. I am not
    discussing the right of revolution, which I deem a sacred right. When
    human rights are invaded, when life is endangered, when liberty is
    taken away, when we are not left free to pursue our own happiness in
    our own chosen way--so far as we do not trespass upon the rights of
    others--we have a right, and it becomes our imperative duty to resist
    to the bitter end, the tyranny which would deprive us and our children
    of our inalienable rights. Our lives are secure; we have freedom to
    worship God. Our liberty is sacred; we may pursue happiness to our
    hearts' content. We do not even charge upon the general Government
    that it has infringed these rights. Whose life has been endangered, or
    who has lost his liberty by the action of the Government? If that man
    lives, in all this fair domain of ours, he has the right to complain.
    But neither you nor I have ever heard of or seen the individual who
    has thus suffered. We have therefore clearly no right of revolution.

    Treason is no light offence. God, who rules the nations, and who has
    established governments, will punish severely those who attempt to
    overthrow them. Damnation is stated to be the punishment which those
    who resist the powers that be, will suffer. Who wishes to endure it? I
    hope none of my charge will incur this penalty by the perpetration of
    treason. You yourselves can bear me witness that I have not heretofore
    introduced political issues into the pulpit, but at this time I could
    not acquit my conscience were I not to warn you against the great sin
    some of you, I fear, are ready to commit.

    Were I to discuss the policy of a high or low tariff, or descant upon
    the various merits attached to one or another form of banking, I
    should be justly obnoxious to censure. Politics and religion, however,
    are not always separate. When the political issue is made, shall we,
    or shall we not, grant license to sell intoxicating liquors as a
    beverage? the minister's duty is plain; he must urge his people to use
    their influence against granting any such license. The minister must
    enforce every moral and religious obligation, and point out the path
    of truth and duty, even though the principles he advocates are by
    statesmen introduced into the arena of political strife, and made
    issues by the great parties of the day. I see the sword coming, and
    would be derelict in duty not to give you faithful warning. I must
    reveal the whole counsel of God. I have a message from God unto you,
    which I must deliver, whether you will hear, or whether you will
    forbear. If the sword come, and you perish, I shall then be guiltless
    of your blood. As to the great question at issue, my honest conviction
    is (and I think I have the Spirit of God,) that you should with your
    whole heart, and soul, and mind, and strength, oppose secession. You
    should talk against it, you should write against it, you should vote
    against it, and, if need be, you should fight against it.

    I have now declared what I believe to be your high duty in this
    emergency. Do not destroy the government which has so long protected
    you, and which has never in a single instance oppressed you. Pull not
    down the fair fabric which our patriot fathers reared at vast expense
    of blood and treasure. Do not, like the blind Samson, pull down the
    pillars of our glorious edifice, and cause death, desolation, and
    ruin. Perish the hand that would thus destroy the source of all our
    political prosperity and happiness. Let the parricide who attempts it
    receive the just retribution which a loyal people demand, even his
    execution on a gallows, high as Haman's. Let us also set about
    rectifying the causes which threaten the overthrow of our government.
    As we are proud, let us pray for the grace of humility. As a State,
    and as individuals, we too lightly regard its most solemn obligations;
    let us, therefore, pray for the grace of repentance and godly sorrow,
    and hereafter in this respect sin no more. As many transgressions have
    been committed by us, let the time past of our lives suffice us to
    have wrought the will of the flesh, and now let us break off our sins
    by righteousness, and our transgressions by turning unto the Lord, and
    he will avert his threatened judgments, and save us from dissolution,
    anarchy, and desolation.

    If our souls are filled with hatred against the people of any section
    of our common country, let us ask from the Great Giver the grace of
    charity, which suffereth long and is kind, which envieth not, which
    vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, does not behave itself
    unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no
    evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth
    all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all
    things, and which never faileth; then shall we be in a suitable frame
    for an amicable adjustment of every difficulty; oil will soon be
    thrown upon the troubled waters, and peace, harmony, and prosperity
    would ever attend us; and our children, and our children's children
    will rejoice in the possession of a beneficent and stable government,
    securing to them all the natural and inalienable rights of man.



    The election of Delegates to determine the status of Mississippi--The
    Vigilance Committee--Description of its
    members--Charges--Phonography--No formal verdict--Danger of
    Assassination--Passports--Escape to Rienzi--Union sentiment--The
    Conscript Law--Summons to attend Court-Martial--Evacuation of
    Corinth--Destruction of Cotton--Suffering poor--Relieved by General

Soon after this sermon was preached, the election was held. Approaching
the polls, I asked for a Union ticket, and was informed that none had been
printed, and that it would be advisable to vote the secession ticket. I
thought otherwise, and going to a desk, wrote out a Union ticket, and
voted it amidst the frowns and suppressed murmurs of the judges and
bystanders, and, as the result proved, I had the honour of depositing the
only vote in favour of the Union which was polled in that precinct. I knew
of many who were in favour of the Union, who were intimidated by threats,
and by the odium attending it from voting at all. A majority of secession
candidates were elected. The convention assembled, and on the 9th of
January, 1861, Mississippi had the unenviable reputation of being the
first to follow her twin sister, South Carolina, into the maelstrom of
secession and treason. Being the only States in which the slaves were more
numerous than the whites, it became them to lead the van in the
slave-holders' rebellion. Before the 4th of March, Florida, Alabama,
Georgia, Louisiana and Texas had followed in the wake, and were engulfed
in the whirlpool of secession.

It was now dangerous to utter a word in favour of the Union. Many
suspected of Union sentiments were lynched. An old gentleman in Winston
county was arrested for an act committed twenty years before, which was
construed as a proof of his abolition proclivities. The old gentleman had
several daughters, and his mother-in-law had given him a negro girl.
Observing that his daughters were becoming lazy, and were imposing all the
labour upon the slave, he sent her back to the donor, with a statement of
the cause for returning her. This was now the ground of his arrest, but
escaping from their clutches, a precipitate flight alone saved his life.

Self-constituted vigilance committees sprang up all over the country, and
a reign of terror began; all who had been Union men, and who had not given
in their adhesion to the new order of things by some public proclamation,
were supposed to be disaffected. The so-called Confederate States, the new
power, organized for the avowed purpose of extending and perpetuating
African slavery, was now in full blast. These _soi-disant_ vigilance
committees professed to carry out the will of Jeff. Davis. All who were
considered disaffected were regarded as being tinctured with abolitionism.
My opposition to the disruption of the Union being notorious, I was
summoned to appear before one of these august tribunals to answer the
charge of being an abolitionist. My wife was very much alarmed, knowing
that were I found guilty of the charge, there was no hope for mercy.
Flight was impossible, and I deemed it the safest plan to appear before
the committee. I found it to consist of twelve persons, five of whom I
knew, viz., Parson Locke, Armstrong, Cartledge, Simpson, and Wilbanks.
Parson Locke, the chief speaker, or rather the inquisitor-general, was a
Methodist minister, though he had fallen into disrepute among his
brethren, and was engaged in a tedious strife with the church which he
left in Holmes county. The parson was a real Nimrod. He boasted that in
five months he had killed forty-eight raccoons, two hundred squirrels, and
ten deer; he had followed the bloodhounds, and assisted in the capture of
twelve runaway negroes. W. H. Simpson was a ruling elder in my church.
Wilbanks was a clever sort of old gentleman, who had little to say in the
matter. Armstrong was a monocular Hard-shell-Baptist. Cartledge was an
illiterate, conceited individual. The rest were a motley crew, not one of
whom, I feel confident, knew a letter in the alphabet. The committee
assembled in an old carriage-shop. Parson Locke acted, as chairman, and
conducted the trial, as follows.

"Parson Aughey, you have been reported to us as holding abolition
sentiments, and as being disloyal to the Confederate States."

"Who reported me, and where are your witnesses?"

"Any one has a right to report, and it is optional whether he confronts
the accused or not. The proceedings of vigilance committees are somewhat

"Proceed, then, with the trial, in your own way."

"We propose to ask you a few questions, and in your answers you may defend
yourself, or admit your guilt. In the first place, did you ever say that
you did not believe that God ordained the institution of slavery?"

"I believe that God did not ordain the institution of slavery."

"Did not God command the Israelites to buy slaves from the Canaanitish
nations, and to hold them as their property for ever?"

"The Canaanites had filled their cup of iniquity to overflowing, and God
commanded the Israelites to exterminate them; this, in violation of God's
command, they failed to do. God afterwards permitted the Hebrews to reduce
them to a state of servitude; but the punishment visited upon those seven
wicked nations by the command of God, does not justify war or the

"Did you say that you were opposed to the slavery which existed in the
time of Christ?"

"I did, because the system of slavery prevailing in Christ's day was cruel
in the extreme; it conferred the power of life and death upon the master,
and was attended with innumerable evils. The slave had the same complexion
as his master; and by changing his servile garb for the citizen dress, he
could not be recognised as a slave. You yourself profess to be opposed to
white slavery."

"Did you state that you believed Paul, when he sent Onesimus back to
Philemon, had no idea that he would be regarded as a slave, and treated as
such after his return?"

"I did. My proof is in Philemon, verses 15 and 16, where the apostle asks
that Onesimus be received, not as a servant, but as a brother beloved?"

"Did you tell Mr. Creath that you knew some negroes who were better, in
every respect, than some white men?"

"I said that I knew some negroes who were better classical scholars than
any white men I had as yet met with in Choctaw county, and that I had
known some who were pre-eminent for virtue and holiness. As to natural
rights, I made no comparison; nor did I say anything about superiority or
inferiority of race; I also stated my belief in the unity of the races."

"Have you any abolition works in your library, and a poem in your
scrap-book, entitled 'The Fugitive Slave,' with this couplet as a refrain,

  'The hounds are baying on my track;
  Christian, will you send me back?'"

"I have not Mrs. Stowe's nor Helper's work; they are contraband in this
region, and I could not get them if I wished. I have many works in my
library containing sentiments adverse to the institution of slavery. All
the works in common use amongst us, on law, physic, and divinity, all the
text-books in our schools--in a word, all the works on every subject read
and studied by us, were, almost without exception, written by men opposed
to the peculiar institution. I am not alone in this matter."

"Parson, I saw Cowper's works in your library, and Cowper says:

  'I would not have a slave to fan me when I sleep,
  And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
  That sinews bought and sold have ever earned.'"

"You have Wesley's writings, and Wesley says that 'Human slavery is the
sum of all villany.' You have a work which has this couplet:

  'Two deep, dark stains, mar all our country's bliss:
  Foul slavery one, and one, loathed drunkenness.'

You have the work of an English writer of high repute, who says, 'Forty
years ago, some in England doubted whether slavery were a sin, and
regarded adultery as a venial offence; but behold the progress of truth!
Who now doubts that he who enslaves his fellow-man is guilty of a fearful
crime, and that he who violates the seventh commandment is a great sinner
in the sight of God?'"

"You are known to be an adept in Phonography, and you are reported to be a
correspondent of an abolition Phonographic journal."

"I understand the science of Phonography, and I am a correspondent of a
Phonographic journal, but the journal eschews politics."

Another member of the committee then interrogated me.

"Parson Aughey, what is Funnyography?"

"Phonography, sir, is a system of writing by means of a philosophic
alphabet, composed of the simplest geometrical signs, in which one mark is
used to represent one and invariably the same sound."

"Kin you talk Funnyography? and where does them folks live what talks it?"

"Yes, sir, I converse fluently in Phonography, and those who speak the
language live in Columbia."

"In the Destrict?"

"No, sir, in the poetical Columbia."

I was next interrogated by another member of the committee.

"Parson Aughey, is Phonography a Abolition fixin?"

"No, sir; Phonography, abstractly considered, has no political complexion;
it may be used to promote either side of any question, sacred or profane,
mental, moral, physical, or political."

"Well, you ought to write and talk plain English, what common folks can
understand, or we'll have to say of you, what Agrippa said of Paul, 'Much
learning hath made thee mad.' Suppose you was to preach in Phonography,
who'd understand it?--who'd know what was piped or harped? I'll bet high
some Yankee invented it to spread his abolition notions underhandedly. I,
for one, would be in favour of makin' the parson promise to write and talk
no more in Phonography. I'll bet Phonography is agin slavery, tho' I never
hearn tell of it before. I'm agin all secret societies. I'm agin the
Odd-fellers, Free-masons, Sons of Temperance, Good Templars and
Phonography. I want to know what's writ and what's talked. You can't throw
dust in my eyes. Phonography, from what I've found out about it to-day, is
agin the Confederate States, and we ought to be agin it."

Parson Locke then resumed:

"I must stop this digression. Parson Aughey, are you in favour of the

"I am in favour of the South, and have always endeavoured to promote the
best interests of the South. However, I never deemed it for the best
interests of the South to secede. I talked against secession, and voted
against secession, because I thought that the best interests of the South
would be put in jeopardy by the secession of the Southern States. I was
honest in my convictions, and acted accordingly. Could the sacrifice of my
life have stayed the swelling tide of secession, it would gladly have been

"It is said that you have never prayed for the Southern Confederacy."

"I have prayed for the whole world, though it is true that I have never
named the Confederate States in prayer."

"You may retire."

After I had retired, the committee held a long consultation. My answers
were not satisfactory. I never learned all that transpired. They brought
in no formal verdict. The majority considered me a dangerous man, but
feared to take my life, as they were, with one exception, adherents of
other denominations, and they knew that my people were devotedly attached
to me before the secession movement. Some of the secessionists swore that
they would go to my house and murder me, when they learned that the
committee had not hanged me. My friends provided me secretly with arms,
and I determined to defend myself to the last. I slept with a
double-barrelled shot-gun at my head, and was prepared to defend myself
against a dozen at least.

Learning that I was not acceptable to many of the members of my church,
whilst my life was in continual jeopardy, and my family in a state of
constant alarm, I abandoned my field of labour, and sought for safety in a
more congenial clime. I intended to go North. Jeff. Davis and his Congress
had granted permission to all who so desired, to leave the South. Several
Union men of my acquaintance applied for passports, but were refused. The
proclamation to grant permits was an act of perfidy; all those, so far as
I am informed, who made application for them, were refused. The design in
thus acting was to get Union men to declare themselves as such, and
afterwards to punish them for their sentiments by forcing them into the
army, confining them in prison, shooting them, or lynching them by mob
violence. Finding that were I to demand a passport to go north, I would be
placed on the proscribed list, and my life endangered still more, I
declared my intention of going back to Tishomingo county, in which I owned
property, and which was the home of many of my relatives. I knew that I
would be safer there, for this county had elected Union delegates by a
majority of over fourteen hundred, and a strong Union sentiment had always

On my arrival in Tishomingo, I found that the great heart of the county
still beat true to the music of the Union. Being thrown out of employment
I deemed it my duty, in every possible way, to sustain the Union cause and
the enforcement of the laws. It was impossible to go north. Union
sentiments could be expressed with safety in many localities. Corinth,
Iuka, and Rienzi had, from the commencement of the war, been camps of
instruction for the training of Confederate soldiers. These three towns in
the county being thus occupied, Union men found it necessary to be more
cautious, as the cavalry frequently made raids through the county,
arresting and maltreating those suspected of disaffection. After the
reduction of Forts Henry and Donelson, and the surrender of Nashville, the
Confederates made the Memphis and Charleston railroad the base of their
operations, their armies extending from Memphis to Chattanooga. Soon,
however, they were all concentrated at Corinth, a town in Tishomingo
county, at the junction of the Memphis and Charleston railroad with the
Mobile and Ohio. After the battle of Shiloh, which was fought on the 6th
and 7th of April, the Federal troops held their advance at Farmington,
four miles from Corinth, while the Confederates occupied Corinth, their
rear guard holding Rienzi, twelve miles south, on the Mobile and Ohio

Thus there were two vast armies encamped in Tishomingo county. Being
within the Confederate lines, I, in common with many others, found it
difficult to evade the conscript law. Knowing that in a multitude of
counsellors there is wisdom, we held secret meetings, in order to devise
the best method of resisting the law. We met at night, and had our
countersigns to prevent detection. Often our wives, sisters, and daughters
met with us. Our meeting-place was some ravine, or secluded glen, as far
as possible from the haunts of the secessionists; all were armed; even the
ladies had revolvers, and could use them too. The crime of treason we were
resolved not to commit. Our counsels were somewhat divided, some
advocating, as a matter of policy, the propriety of attending the militia
musters, others opposing it for conscience' sake, and for the purpose of
avoiding every appearance of evil. Many who would not muster as
conscripts, resolved to escape to the Federal lines; and making the
attempt two or three at a time, succeeded in crossing the Tennessee river,
and reaching the Union army, enlisted under the old flag, and have since
done good service as patriot warriors. Some who were willing to muster as
conscripts, were impressed into the Confederate service, and I know not
whether they ever found an opportunity to desert. Others, myself among the
number, were saved by the timely arrival of the Federal troops, and the
occupation of the county by them, after Beauregard's evacuation of
Corinth. I had received three citations to attend muster, but disregarding
them, I was summoned to attend a court-martial on the first day of June,
at the house of Mr. Jim Mock. The following is a copy of the citation.

    Ma the 22d. 1862

    _Parson Awhay_, You havent tended nun of our mustters as a konskrip.
    Now you is her bi sumenzd to attend a kort marshal on Jun the fust at
    Jim Mock.

When I received the summons, I resolved to attempt reaching the Union
lines at Farmington. Two of my friends, who had received a similar
summons, expected to accompany me. On the 29th of May, I left for Rienzi,
where my two friends were to meet me. I had not been many hours in Rienzi
when it became evident that the Confederates were evacuating Corinth. On
the 1st of June, (the day the court-martial was to convene,) I had the
pleasure of once more beholding the star-spangled banner as it was borne
in front of General Granger's command, which led the van of the pursuing
army. Had I remained and attended the court-martial, I would have been
forced into the army. Were I then to declare that I would not take up arms
against the United States, I would have been shot, as many have been, for
their refusal thus to act. General Rosecrans, on his arrival, made his
head-quarters at my brother's house, where I had the pleasure of forming
his acquaintance, together with that of Generals Smith, Granger, and Pope.
As this county was now occupied by the Federal army, I returned to my
father-in-law's, within five miles of which place the court-martial had
been ordered to convene, considering myself comparatively safe. I learned
that the court-martial never met, as Colonel Elliott, in his successful
raid upon Boonville, had passed Jim Mock's, scaring him to such a degree,
that he did not venture to sleep in his house for two weeks. The Union
cavalry scoured the country in all directions, daily, and we were
rejoicing at the prospect of continuous safety, and freedom from outrage.

The Rebels, during their retreat, had burned all the cotton which was
accessible to their cavalry, on their route. At night, the flames of the
burning cotton lighted up the horizon for miles around. These baleful
pyres, with their lurid glare, bore sad testimony to the horrors of war.
In this wanton destruction of the great southern staple, many poor
families lost their whole staff of bread, and starvation stared them in
the face. Many would have perished, had it not been for the liberal
contributions of the North; for, learning the sufferings of the poor of
the South, whose whole labour had been destroyed by pretended friends,
they sent provisions and money, and thus many who were left in utter
destitution, were saved by this timely succor. I have heard the rejoicings
of the poor, who, abandoned by their supposed friends, were saved, with
their children, from death, by the beneficence of those whom they had been
taught to regard as enemies the most bitter, implacable, unmerciful, and
persistent. Their prayer may well be, Save us from our friends, whose
tender mercies are cruel! I have never known a man to burn his own cotton,
but I have heard their bitter anathemas hurled against those who thus
robbed them, and their denunciations were loud and deep against the
government which authorized such cruelty. It is true that those who thus
lose their cotton, if secessionists, receive a "promise to pay," which all
regard as not worth the paper on which it is written. Ere pay-day, those
who are dependent on their cotton for the necessaries of life, would have
passed the bourne whence no traveller returns. 'Tis like the Confederate
bonds--at first they were made payable two years after date, and printed
upon paper which would be worn out entirely in six months, and would have
become illegible in half that time. The succeeding issues were made
payable six months after the ratification of a treaty of peace between the
United States and the Confederate States. Though not a prophet, nor a
prophet's son, I venture the prediction that those bonds will never be
due. The war of elements, the wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds,
announcing the end of all things, will be heard sooner.



    High price of Provisions--Holland Lindsay's Family--The
    arrest--Captain Hill--Appearance before Colonel Bradfute at
    Fulton--Arrest of Benjamin Clarke--Bradfute's Insolence--General
    Chalmers--The clerical Spy--General Pfeifer--Under
    guard--Priceville--General Gordon--Bound for Tupelo--The Prisoners
    entering the Dungeon--Captain Bruce--Lieutenant Richard Malone--Prison
    Fare and Treatment--Menial Service--Resolve to escape--Plan of
    escape--Federal Prisoners--Co-operation of the Prisoners--Declaration
    of Independence--The Escape--The Separation--Concealment--Travel on
    the Underground Railroad--Pursuit by Cavalry and Bloodhounds--The
    Arrest--Dan Barnes, the Mail-robber--Perfidy--Heavily ironed--Return
    to Tupelo.

At this time--May and June, 1862--all marketable commodities were
commanding fabulous prices; as a lady declared, it would soon be
necessary, on going to a store, to carry two baskets, one to hold the
money, and the other the goods purchased. Flour was thirty dollars per
barrel, bacon forty cents per pound, and coffee one dollar per pound.
Salt was nominally one hundred dollars per sack of one hundred pounds, or
one dollar per pound, but there was none to be obtained even at that
price. Ladies were compelled to dispense with salt in their culinary
operations; even the butter was unsalted. Cotton-cards, an article used in
every house at the South, the ordinary price of which is fifty cents per
pair, were selling at twenty-five dollars per pair, and wool-cards at
fifteen dollars per pair, the usual price being thirty-eight cents. All
the cotton used in the manufacture of home-made cloth, is carded into
rolls upon these cotton-cards, which are brought from the North, there
being not a single manufactory of them in the South. When the supply on
hand becomes exhausted, the southern home manufacture of cloth must cease,
no one as yet having been able to suggest a substitute for the
cotton-card. There are only three factories in Mississippi, which must
cease running as soon as their machinery wears out, as the most important
parts of the machinery in those factories are supplied from the North. The
people are fully aware of these difficulties, but they can devise no
remedy, hence the high price of all articles used in the manufacture of
all kinds of cloths. All manufactured goods were commanding fabulous
prices. On the occupation of the county by Federal troops, goods could be
obtained at reasonable prices, but our money was all gone, except
Confederate bonds, which were worthless. Planters who were beyond the
lines of the retreating army had cotton, but many of them feared to sell
it, as the Rebels professed to regard it treason to trade with the
invaders, and threatened to execute the penalty in every case. As there
was no penalty attached to the selling of cotton by one citizen of
Mississippi to another, some of my friends offered to sell me their cotton
for a reasonable price.

I was solicited also to act as their agent in the purchase of commodities.
I agreed to this risk, because of the urgent need of my friends, many of
whom were suffering greatly for the indispensable necessaries of life. I
thought it was better that one should suffer, than that the whole people
should perish. By this arrangement my Union friends would escape the
punishment meted out to those who were found guilty of trading with the
Yankees; if discovered, I alone would be amenable to their unjust and
cruel law, and they would thus save their cotton, which was liable to be
destroyed at any moment by a dash of rebel cavalry. I now hired a large
number of wagons to haul cotton into Eastport and Iuka, that I might ship
it to the loyal States. On the 2d of June the wagons were to rendezvous at
a certain point; there were a sufficient number to haul one hundred bales
per trip. I hoped to keep them running for some time.

On the first of June I rode to Mr. Holland Lindsay's on business. I had
learned that he was a rabid secessionist, but supposed that no rebel
cavalry had come so far north as his house since the evacuation of
Corinth. Mr. Lindsay had gone to a neighbour's. His wife was weaving; she
was a coarse, masculine woman, and withal possessed of strong prejudice
against all whom she did not like, but especially the Yankees. I sat down
to await the arrival of her husband, and it was not long before Mrs.
Lindsay broached the exciting topic of the day, the war. She thus vented
her spleen against the Yankees.

"There was some Yankee calvary passed here last week--they asked me if
there wos ony rebels scoutin round here lately. I jest told em it want
none of ther bizness. Them nasty, good for nothin scamps callen our men
rebels. Them nigger-stealin, triflin scoundrels. They runs off our
niggers, and wont let us take em to Mexico and the other territories."

I ventured to remark, "The Yankees are mean, indeed, not to let _us_ take
_our_ negroes to the Territories, and not to help catch them for _us_ when
they run off."

The emphatic _us_ and _our_ nettled her, as none of the Lindsays ever
owned a negro, being classed by the southern nabobs as among the _poor
white trash_; nor did I ever own a slave. Her husband, however, had once
been sent to the Legislature, which led the family to ape the manners, and
studiously copy the ultraism of the classes above them. Mrs. Lindsay
became morose. I concluded to ride over and see her husband.

On my way I met a member of Hill's cavalry. He halted me, inquired my name
and business, which I gave. He said that, years ago, he had heard me
preach, and that he was well acquainted with my brothers-in-law, who were
officers in the Rebel army. He informed me that his uncle, Mr. Lindsay,
had gone across the field home, and that he himself was on his way there.
I returned with him, but fearing arrest, my business was hastily attended
to, and I at once started for my horse. By this time one or two other
cavalry-men rode up. I heard Mrs. Lindsay informing her nephew that I was
a Union man, and advising my arrest. When I had reached my horse, Mr.
Davis, Lindsay's nephew arrested me, and sent my horse to the stable.
After supper, my horse was brought, and I was taken to camp. Four men were
detached to guard me during the night. They ordered me to lie down on the
ground and sleep. As it had rained during the day, and I had no blanket,
I insisted upon going to a Mr. Spigener's, about fifty yards distant, to
secure a bed. After some discussion they consented, the guards remaining
in the room, and guarding me by turns during the night. The next morning I
sought Captain Hill, and asked permission to return home, when the
following colloquy ensued.

"Are you a Union man?"

"I voted the Union ticket, sir."

"That is not a fair answer. I voted the Union ticket myself, and am now
warring against the Union."

"I have seen no good reason for changing my sentiments."

"You confess, then, that you are a Union man?"

"I do; I regard the union of these States as of paramount importance to
the welfare of the people inhabiting them."

"You must go to head-quarters, where you will be dealt with as we are
accustomed to deal with all the abettors of an Abolition government."

A heavy guard was then detached to take charge of me, and the company set
off for Fulton, the county seat of Ittawamba county, Mississippi, distant
thirty miles. After going about ten miles, we halted, and two men were
detached to go forward with the prisoners, a Mr. Benjamin Clarke and
myself. Our guards were Dr. Crossland, of Burnsville, Tishomingo county,
Mississippi, and Ferdinand Woodruff. They were under the influence of
liquor, and talked incessantly, cursing and insulting us, on every
occasion, by abusive language. They detailed to each other a history of
their licentious amours. We halted for dinner at one o'clock, and being
out of money, they asked me to pay their bill, which I did, they promising
to refund the amount when they reached Fulton. This they forgot to do.

On our arrival at Fulton, we were taken into the office of the commander
of the post, Colonel Bradfute. My fellow-prisoner was examined first.
Woodruff stated that they had played off on Mr. Clarke--calling on him,
as he was plowing in the field, stating that they were Federal soldiers.
They asked Clarke what were his political views. He replied that he always
had been a Union man--had voted the Union ticket, and would do it again,
if another election were held; that he hated the secession principles, and
would enlist in the Federal army as soon as he got his crop in such a
condition that his family could attend to it. On hearing this statement,
Bradfute became very angry, swearing that Clarke ought to be taken out and
shot then, but that a few days' respite would make but little difference.
Said he, addressing the guards, had you hung Clarke, you would have saved
us some trouble, and have done your country good service. The Colonel,
turning round, glared upon me with eyes inflamed with passion and liquor,
and thus addressed me:

"Are you a Union man too?"

"I am, sir. I have never denied it."

"Where do you reside?"

"I consider Rienzi my home, but have been staying for some time at my
father-in-law's, in the south-eastern part of Tishomingo county."

"What is your father-in-law's name?"

"Mr. Alexander Paden."

"I know the old gentleman and his three sons. They are all in the
Confederate service. They are brave men, and have done some hard fighting
in our cause. How happens it that you look at matters in a different light
from your relatives?"

"I am not guided in my opinions by the views of my friends."

"What is your profession?"

"I am a minister of the gospel."

"I suppose, then, that you go to the Bible for your politics, and that you
are a sort of higher-law man."

"My Bible teaches, 'Let every soul be subject to the higher powers, for
there is no power but of God; the powers that be, are ordained of God.
Whosoever, therefore, resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God;
and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.' I have seen
no reason for resistance to the government under which we have, as a
nation, so long prospered."

"I command you to hush, sir; you shan't preach treason to me, and if you
get your deserts you will be hung immediately. Have you ever been within
the Federal lines?"

"I have, sir."

"At what points?"

"At Rienzi and Iuka."

"When were you at Iuka?"

"On last Saturday."

"Had the Federals a large force at that place, and who was in command?"

"They have a large force, and Generals Thomas and Steadman are in

"That is contrary to the reports of our scouts, who say that there are but
two regiments in the town. I fear you are purposely trying to mislead us."

"General Steadman has but two regiments in the town, but General Thomas is
within striking distance with a large force."

"What was your business in Iuka?"

"I went there to pay a debt of fifty dollars which a widow owed, as she
wished it to be paid in Confederate money before it became worthless."

"Have you a Federal pass?"

"I have none with me, but I have one at home."

"How does it read?"

"It was given by General Nelson, and reads thus: 'The bearer, Rev. John H.
Aughey, has permission to pass backward and forward through the lines of
this division at will.'"

"Where were you born?"

"I was born in New Hartford, Oneida county, New York."

"Yankee born," said the Colonel, with a sneer; "you deserve death at the
rope's-end, and if I had the power I would hang all Yankees who are among
us, for they are all tories, whatever may be their pretensions."

"My being born north of the nigger-line, Colonel, if a crime worthy of
death, was certainly not my fault, but the fault of my parents. They did
not so much as consult me in regard to any preference I might have
concerning the place of my nativity."

Woodruff, one of my guards, now informed the Colonel that I was a spy,
and, while the Confederates were at Corinth, had, to his certain
knowledge, been three times at Nashville, carrying information. I told
Woodruff that his statement was false, and that he knew it; that I had
never been at Nashville in my life. General Chalmers, who was present, and
Colonel Bradfute, at the conclusion of the examination, spent fifteen or
twenty minutes in bitterly cursing all Yankees, tories, and traitors, as
they termed us. All the conversation of the rebel officers was interlarded
with the most horrid profanity. General Chalmers, in speaking, invariably
called me the clerical spy. We were placed under guard, and sent to
Brooksville, ten miles distant, the head-quarters of General Pfeifer.
Immediately after our arrival, we were soundly berated by General Pfeifer,
and then sent out to the camp, half a mile from the town, where we were
placed under guard for the night, in a small plot of ground surrounded by
a chain. We had no supper, and no blankets to sleep on. Our bed was the
cold ground, our covering the blue canopy of heaven. The next morning we
were started, without breakfast, under a heavy guard, numbering fourteen
cavalry, to Priceville, six miles west of Brooksville. Priceville was
named in honour of General Sterling Price, or rather the little village
where he encamped had its name changed in his honour. When we reached
Priceville we were taken to the head-quarters of General Jordan, and
immediately brought into his presence. After reading the letter handed to
him by one of the guard, he said, looking sternly at me,

"You are charged with sedition."

I asked him what sedition meant, to which he replied:

"It means enough to hang you, you villanous tory!"

He also asked me where I was born. My reply was, in the State of New York,
near Utica, in Oneida county.

"Then you doubly deserve death," said he.

"As to the guilt of my nativity," said I, "it is not my fault, for I could
not have helped it if I had tried. But I glory in my native State. She has
never done anything to disgrace her. She never repudiated her just debts,
nor committed any other disgraceful act."

"Well, you ought to have staid there, or have gone back when Mississippi

"Give me an opportunity, and I will go instanter."

"The first _going_ you will do, will be to go to hell, where, if the devil
had his due, you would have been long ago; and before you leave us, we
will give you a free ticket to the shades infernal."

"Thank you for your kind offer to give me a free pass to the infernal
regions. I did not know before that you were the devil's ticket-agent. You
have me in your power, and may destroy my life; but when you have done
that, there is no more that you can do."

Very little was said to my fellow-prisoner, Clarke. A few curses for a
traitor, tory, &c., was about all. We were now placed under guard, and
conducted to Tupelo, and after visiting the provost-marshal's office and
the office of the commander of the post, whose names were Peden and Clare,
we were committed to the Central Military Prison. As we entered, Captain
Bruce and Lieutenant Malone (two gentlemen who had been elected to those
offices by their fellow-prisoners) received us with a cordial greeting.
Captain Bruce thus addressed us:

"Welcome, gentlemen, thrice welcome. I am rejoiced to see you at my hotel.
We are now doing a land-office business, as the large number of my
boarders, whom you see, will testify. We have numerous arrivals daily,
whilst the departures are very few, giving evidence that all are satisfied
with their treatment. The bill of fare is not very extensive. In these war
times we must not expect the luxuries of life, but be content with the
necessaries. It is true, we cannot furnish you with coffee, or molasses,
or sugar, or salt, or beef, or vegetables; but we have something more
substantial--we have flour, rather dark in colour, to be sure, but people
must not be squeamish. The boarders are required to do their own cooking,
as they could otherwise have but little exercise; we consider it a
sanitary measure, exercise being indispensable to health. We furnish the
boarders, also, with meat--none of your lean meat, either, but fat
middling, with a streak of lean in it. The Bible promises the righteous
that their bread shall be given, and their water sure; but we go beyond
the promise, and give not only bread (or rather the flour to make it) and
water, but also fat, strong meat. What room will you be pleased to have?"

I replied, that as they seemed to be crowded, I would choose number 199.

"Well," said the Captain, "it shall be prepared. Lieutenant Malone, have
room number 199 fitted up for the reception of these gentlemen."

Lieutenant Malone replied, that the room designated would be fitted up in
style for our reception. He asked us if we had dined.

"No," replied Clarke; "we have not tasted food since yesterday at noon,
when the Parson paid for his own dinner and the dinner of the guards. We
asked for something to eat, but were as often refused, and now we are in a
starving condition."

"I pity you," said Malone, laying aside his facetious style; "you shall
have something to eat as soon as it can be cooked."

He then went to some of the prisoners, and set them to cooking, and we
were soon furnished with the best repast the poor fellows could supply.

We entered the prison July 3d, 1862, at two o'clock, P. M. Our prison was
a grocery-house, its dimensions about twenty-five by fifty feet. When we
were incarcerated, there were about seventy prisoners in the building,
whites, mulattoes and negroes. The prison was filthy in the extreme, and
filled with vermin; even our food was infested with them. No brooms were
furnished us, and we could not sweep the floor. No beds were furnished,
and we were compelled to lie upon the floor, with no covering, and
nothing but the hard planks beneath us.

Several times a day officers would come in and order a specified number of
men to go and work, under a strong guard. We were made to clean the
streets, roll barrels, and clean the hospital; but our own prison we were
not permitted to clean. Every kind of drudgery, and the most menial
services, were imposed upon us.

The crimes charged upon the prisoners were desertion, trading with the
Yankees, adhesion to the United States government or Unionism, acting as
spies, refusing Confederate bonds, and piloting the Yankees. The crime of
the negroes and mulattoes was endeavouring to escape on the underground
railroad from Dixie land and the Iron Furnace. These remained till their
masters were informed of their arrest, and came for and released them. On
the evening preceding our imprisonment, two prisoners had been led out and
shot, and I soon learned that this was no unusual occurrence. Nearly
every day witnessed the execution of one or more of us. Those who were
doomed to die were heavily ironed. In some cases, however, those who were
not in fetters were taken out and shot or hanged, often with no previous
warning; though sometimes a few hours warning was given.

Our privations were so great from a want of proper food and water--for the
scanty amount of water furnished us was tepid and foul--and from a lack of
beds, cots, couches, or something better than a filthy floor whereon to
sleep, that I resolved to attempt an escape at the risk of my life. I felt
confident that I could not long survive such cruel treatment. As soon as
my arrest was known to the thirty-second Mississippi regiment, encamped in
the suburbs of Tupelo, the colonel, major, adjutant, and one of the
captains called upon me. This regiment was raised in Tishomingo county,
one of the companies, the Zollicoffer Avengers, being from Rienzi, where I
had been for years proprietor and Principal of the Rienzi Female Seminary.
The daughters of many of the officers of this regiment had been educated
at this Seminary during my superintendence. Some of these officers had
expressed themselves under great obligations to me, for the thorough,
moral, mental, and physical training of their children while under my
care. As proof of this, I have their own statements, as published in the
public journals of the day. Owing me a debt of gratitude, as they
professed, could I expect less than the manifestation of deep sympathy for
me in my sad condition--confined in a gloomy dungeon, deprived of the
comforts, yea, even the necessaries of life, menaced and insulted by the
officers in whose power I was? Whatever may have been my hopes, they were
doomed to be blasted. These summer friends, so obsequious in my
prosperity, conversed for a while on indifferent topics, never alluding to
my condition, and as I did not obtrude it upon their attention, they left,
promising to call again. I said, "Do so, gentlemen; you will always find
me _at home_." Adjutant Irion, as he passed out, asked Lieutenant Malone
what the charge was against me. Malone replied that I was charged with
being a Union man. The adjutant said, in a bitter and sarcastic tone, that
I should never have been brought to Tupelo, but on my arrest should have
been sent to hell from the lowest limb of the nearest tree.

Having determined to escape at all hazards, I sought out an accomplice, a
_compagnon de voyage_; that person was Richard Malone; his piercing eye,
his intellectual physiognomy, led me to believe that if he consented to
make the attempt with me, our chances for escape would be good. I drew
Malone to one side, and covertly introduced the matter. He soon got my
idea, and drawing from his pocket a paper, showed me the route mapped out
which he intended to pursue, as he had for some days determined to escape,
or die in the attempt. He was charged with being a spy, and there was
little doubt that they would establish his guilt by false testimony. We
went out now under every possible pretext. We no longer shunned the guard
who came to obtain prisoners to do servile labour. Our object being to
reconnoitre, in order to learn where guards were stationed, and to
determine the best method of escape through the town after leaving the
prison. During the day we made these observations: that there were two
guards stationed at the back door, who were very verdant; that they would,
after relief, come on duty again at midnight; that there was a building on
the south side of the prison, extending beyond the prison and beyond the
guards; that the moon would set about eleven o'clock, P. M.; that there
were no guards stationed on the south side of the prison during the day;
that one of the planks in the floor could be easily removed; and that
there were several holes, when we were once under the floor, by which
egress might be made either on the north or south side; that the coast was
probably clearest in the direction of a corn-field some two hundred yards
distant in a northwest direction.

At four o'clock P. M., our plan was fully matured. At midnight, (the moon
being down, and the verdant guards on duty) we would raise the plank, get
under the floor, and myself in the advance, make our exit through one of
the holes on the south side of the jail, then crawl to the building, some
fifteen feet distant, and continue crawling till we passed the guards;
then rise and make our way as cautiously as possible, to a point in the
corn-field, a short distance in the rear of a garment which was hanging
upon the fence. The one who first arrived must await the other. A signal
was agreed upon, to prevent mistake. If the guards ordered us to halt, we
had resolved to risk their fire, our watchword being, Liberty or death!

About this time the prisoners chose me their chaplain by acclamation.
During the day, we made known our intention of escaping to several
fellow-prisoners, who promised us all the assistance in their power. All
the prisoners who knew of the matter, earnestly desired our escape, and
co-operated with us in effecting it. Clarke and Robinson begged us to take
them along, averring there was no doubt that they would be shot. Malone
told them that no more than two could go together; that if they wished to
escape, they could make the attempt half an hour after us, which they
agreed to. Clarke, however, came to me, and desired me to take him along,
as he would rather go with us than with Robinson. He had a wife and five
small children dependent on him for support, and if he perished, they must
perish too. I consulted Malone, but he would not agree to have Clarke go
with us. Three would be too many for safety, and he doubted whether Clarke
had sufficient nerve to face the glittering bayonet, or tact enough to
pass through the camps without detection. He might commit some blunder
which would endanger our safety. I informed Clarke that the arrangement
made, in which he and Robinson were to go together, must be adhered to. He
begged me, by all that was sacred, to take him along. But Malone was
inexorable, and I thought it best to acquiesce in his judgment.

Night drew on apace. Thick darkness gathered around us, and murky clouds
covered the sky, as we sat down with the Federal prisoners to our scanty
allowance. While partaking of our rude fare, Malone thus spoke:

"This day is the 4th of July, 1862, the anniversary of our patriot
fathers' declaration of independence of British tyranny and oppression.
They had much to complain of. They suffered grievous wrongs and cruel
bondage. But eighty-six years ago to-day they declared themselves to be a
free and independent people, who would rather die than be again enslaved.
Of what worth was their declaration if they had remained inactive?
Supineness would not have saved them. But trusting in our God, who gives
success to the righteous cause, they imperilled their lives, they hazarded
their fortunes, and with untiring energy and sleepless vigilance they
contested to the bitter end against all efforts to deprive them of their
inalienable rights. Success crowned their efforts, and they rid themselves
of tyrants' chains. We (I allude to my friend, Parson Aughey, and myself,)
degenerate sons of these noble sires, have suffered wrong, nay, gross
outrage. Citizens of the sunny South, guilty of no offence whatever, not
even of constructive crime, we are immured in a loathsome dungeon,
deprived of the comforts of life, separated from our families, and
suffered to have no communication with them; dragging out a miserable
existence, which an ignominious death on the scaffold must soon end. We,
therefore, John H. Aughey and Richard Malone, in view of these accumulated
wrongs and outrages, solemnly swear before High Heaven, and in presence of
these witnesses, that we will be free, or perish in the attempt. Appealing
to the God of liberty, of truth, and of righteousness, for the rectitude
of our motives and the justness of our cause, we commit ourselves into his
hands, and implore his protection amid the dangers through which we are
about to pass, and humbly pray that he will give us success, and restore
us speedily to our families and friends, and to the enjoyment of our
inalienable rights, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Grasping the Lieutenant by the hand, I consented to this Declaration of
Independence of rebel thraldom. We gave our respective addresses to our
friends, who promised, that if they were ever liberated, and we were
killed by the guards, they would write to our families, informing them of
the manner of our death.

About ten o'clock, Malone raised the plank, and I went under to
reconnoitre. I remained under the floor about ten minutes, having learned
that there were no guards patroling the south side of the house, as we
feared might be the case after night. We had learned, from observation,
that there were none during the day. Just at the noon of night, we heard
the relief called. Malone and I endeavoured to find the prisoners who were
to raise the plank, but not being able readily to do so, we raised the
plank ourselves, and both got under without difficulty. Malone getting
under first, was, contrary to agreement, compelled to take the lead. As he
was passing out, he made considerable noise. To warn him of the danger, I
patted him on the back. Reaching back, he gave my hand a warm pressure, to
assure me that all was right, and passed out. I followed, and reached the
designated point in the corn-field in about half an hour, having to use
the utmost precaution, and in some cases to pass the guards by crawling in
a serpentine manner. When I arrived, I gave the preconcerted signal, but
Malone was nowhere to be seen. I waited for him two hours at least, when I
was compelled to seek my safety alone.

Not being able to meet with my friend, I regarded as a great misfortune,
because, after reaching a point ten miles north of Tupelo, he would be
familiar with the country. I had frequently passed through the town on the
railroad, but knew nothing of the country through which I must travel.
Somewhat depressed in spirits at the loss of my _compagnon de voyage_, I
resolved to reach my family by the safest and most practicable route.
Still in the midst of camps, I had considerable difficulty in making my
way out of them. When I thought that this had been effected, I found that
day was brightening in the east. Looking around for some place to hide, I
soon found a dense, though small thicket, in which I secreted myself as
covertly as possible. Having slept but little since my arrest, I
endeavoured to compose myself to slumber, and partially succeded; but soon
the noise and confusion of soldiers passing and re-passing near, awoke and
alarmed me. I soon learned that I was near a camp, and that the soldiers
had found a suitable place for bathing in a creek which ran within thirty
yards of my place of concealment. There were two paths by which they
reached the creek. On one, they passed within fifteen feet of me; on the
other, within six or seven. About nine o'clock, I heard the booming of
cannon all around me, proceeding from the different camps. The soldiers
who passed me stated, in their conversation, that the cannon were firing
in honour of a great victory obtained over General McClellan, in Virginia.
According to their statement, his whole army, after a succession of
losses, during eight days' fighting, had been completely annihilated, and
that Stonewall Jackson would be in Washington city before the close of the

The day passed slowly away. At one time two soldiers came within a few
feet of me in search of blackberries, but passed out without detecting me.
At another time two soldiers sat down to converse, so near that their
lowest tones were distinctly audible. One informed the other that he had
been in town in the morning, and had learned that the _Clerical Spy_,
Parson Aughey, and a fellow by the name of Malone, had broke jail, but
that they would soon be brought in, as a company of cavalry had been put
on their track, with a pack of bloodhounds. Soon after this, one of them
arose and struck a bush several times, which seemed to be but a very short
distance above my head. I thought that he had discovered me, and was about
to rise and run, when I heard him say to his companion, that he had
attempted to kill a very large snake, which had escaped to the bushes. I
began to feel somewhat uncomfortably situated when I learned that I was in
close proximity to a large snake, though I would have preferred meeting
with an anaconda, boa-constrictor, rattlesnake, or even the deadly cobra
di capello, rather than with those vile secessionists thirsting for
innocent blood.

I thought this 5th of July was the longest day I had ever known. The sun
was so long in reaching the zenith, and so slow in passing down the steep
ecliptic way to the occident. The twilight, too, seemed of endless
duration. But as all long days have had an end, so had this. The stars
came glittering one by one. I soon recognised that old staunch and
immovable friend of all travellers on the underground railroad, the

Rising from my lair, I was soon homeward bound, guided by the north-star
and an oriental constellation. Plunging into a dense wood I found my rapid
advance impeded by the undergrowth, and great difficulty in following my
guiding stars, as the boughs of the great oaks rendered them invisible, or
dimly seen. Fatigued, hungry, and sleepy, I at length lay down at the foot
of a large swamp-oak tree, intending to take a nap, and then rise and
pursue my journey. When I awoke the sun was just rising. I arose filled
with regret for the time I had lost. Though somewhat refreshed by my
sound sleep, yet I was very hungry and almost famished with thirst.

After travelling about half a mile I came to a small log-house on a
road-side. Feeling sick and faint, I resolved to go to the house to obtain
water, and, if I liked the appearance of the inmates, to reveal my
condition and ask for aid. Upon reaching the house I met the proprietor,
but did not like his physiognomy. He looked the villain; a sinister
expression, a countenance revealing no intellectuality, except a sort of
low cunning, bore testimony that it would be foolish to repose confidence
in the possessor of such villanous looks. I asked for water, intending to
drink and leave. He pointed to the bucket; I drank and bade him good
morning, and turned to leave. I had proceeded but a few steps, when I was
ordered, in a stentorian tone, to halt. On looking round, I saw a soldier
within a few steps, presenting a double-barrelled gun; another soldier was
standing near, heavily armed. I asked by what authority he halted me. To
which he replied:

"I know you, sir; I have heard you preach frequently. You are Parson
Aughey, and you were arrested and confined in prison at Tupelo. I was in
Lowrey's regiment yesterday, and learned that you had broken jail; and
now, sir, you must return. My name is Dan Barnes. You may have heard of

I had indeed heard of him. He had been guilty of robbing the United States
mail, had fled to Napoleon or Helena, Arkansas, where he was arrested,
brought back, and incarcerated in jail at Pontotoc, and confined there for
nearly a year. As the evidence against him was positive, he would have
been sent to the penitentiary; but, fortunately for him, at this juncture
Mississippi seceded. There being then no United States officers to execute
the laws, he was liberated, and soon after joined the army.

After breakfast, which I paid for, Barnes called me to one side, and told
me that he felt sorry for me, and would afford me an opportunity of
escaping, if I would pay him a reasonable sum. He had been in a tight
place himself, and would have been glad had some friend been near to aid
him. He named two hundred and forty dollars as the _reasonable sum_ for
permitting me to escape. After getting my money, their horses were
saddled, and telling me he was playing-off on me, said I must go to
General Jordan's head-quarters at Priceville, to which place he and Huff,
the proprietor of the log cabin, conducted me.

On my arrival, General Jordan ordered me to be put in irons, and placed
under guard. I was taken to a blacksmith's shop in the town, the General
accompanying the guard, and heavy iron bands were put around my ankles,
and connected by a chain. The bands were put on hot, and my boots were
burnt in the operation. The blacksmith seemed averse to the order, and
only obeyed it upon compulsion. The General stood by, and saw that it was
well done. "Iron him securely--securely, sir," was his oft repeated order.
The ironing caused me much pain. My ankles were long discoloured from
the effects of it.

[Illustration: "I was taken to a blacksmith's shop, and heavy iron bands
put around my ankles." Page 104.]

After my manacles were put on, I was taken back to Tupelo by Barnes and
another guard. On my arrival, the commander of the post and the Provost
Marshal were filled with joy. Barnes gave them the history of the arrest,
stating that I had attempted to bribe him; that he listened to my
proposition with indignation, and when he had got the money, performed
what he regarded his duty. The commander replied that all the property of
traitors was theirs, and that he did right in deceiving me, after
accepting the bribe. He also recommended Barnes for promotion for his
heroic and patriotic act in arresting me. (Perhaps it secured for him a
captaincy.) The following colloquy now took place between the commander of
the post, the Provost Marshal, and myself:

"Why did you attempt to leave us?"

"Because, sir, your prison was so filthy, and your fare so meagre and
unwholesome, that I could not endure it long, and live."

"Parson, you know the Bible says, the wicked flee when no man pursueth,
but the righteous are as bold as a lion. You must have been guilty of
crime, or you would not have tried to escape."

"I may have been guilty of the offence charged against me, and yet
innocent of real _guilt_."

"You shall never be taken back to the prison you left, rest assured of
that. Did any of the prisoners know of or aid you in your escape?"

"No, sir; none of them knew anything about it."

"Are you telling the truth?"

"I am."

"Where is Malone?"

"I never saw him after I left the building."

"He cannot escape; the cavalry are after him, and he will be brought in
soon, dead or alive."

"Why did you attempt to bribe Barnes?"

"It was his own offer. I knew that his cupidity was great, and thought it
no harm to accept his offer. If Barnes had his deserts, he would now be
hard at work in the penitentiary."

"Did the jury that tried him, acquit him?"

"No. The secession of Mississippi saved him. I refer you to Colonel Tison,
who is in Tupelo, for the particulars. He being marshal of North
Mississippi, arrested Barnes, and knows all about it. He found on his
person the evidence of his guilt, the money and checks stolen when he
robbed the mail."

"Parson, you will not be immediately executed, but you will, without
doubt, hang in a week or two, so that, if you have any word to send your
family, you have permission to do so."

"May I write a letter to my wife?"

"You may, and I will see that it is forwarded to her."

I sat down and wrote a letter, a very common-place letter, to my wife,
inserting, occasionally, a word in phonography, which, taken in
connection, read thus: "If possible, inform General Rosecrans or Nelson of
my arrest." While inspecting the letter, Lieutenant Peden noticed the
phonography, and asked me to read it. I read it thus: "My dear wife, I
hope to be at home soon. Do not grieve." This letter they never sent. It
was merely an act of duplicity on their part, to obtain some concession,
which might be used against me. The guard, receiving orders, now conducted
me to a hotel, and placed me in a small room, two guards remaining inside,
and two at the door outside, with orders to shoot me if I made the least
attempt at escape. I remained in this room only a few hours, after which I
was taken to my old prison. As I entered, my old friends, the prisoners,
crowded around me, and Captain Bruce addressed me in his facetious manner.
In prison, his wit had beguiled many a tedious hour. His humour was the
pure Attic salt.

"Parson Aughey, you are welcome back to my house, though you have played
us rather a scurvy trick in leaving without giving me the least inkling of
the matter, or settling your bill."

I replied: "Captain, it was hardly right; but I did not like your fare,
and your beds were filled with vermin."

"Well, you do not seem to have fared better since you left, for you have

"Captain, my return is the result of coercion. Some who oppose this
principle when applied to themselves, have no scruples in enforcing it
upon others.

  "No rogue e'er felt the halter draw,
  With good opinion of the law;"

is an old saw, and the truth of proverbs is seldom affected by time. I am
your guest upon compulsion; but remember, I will leave you the first

Upon hearing this, an officer present swore that when I again left that
building, it would be to cross the railroad, (the place of execution.)

The prisoners gathered around me, and I related to them my adventures.
They then informed me of what had transpired during my absence. Clarke was
taken out of prison to guide a cavalry company in search of me. Clarke
informed me that they scoured the country, and then went to my
father-in-law's; and after searching the premises, returned, believing
that I had gone due north towards Rienzi, in which direction another
company had been despatched. On their return, Clarke was remanded to jail.
At roll-call--seven o'clock, A. M., we were missed. The cavalry were
immediately sent in pursuit. All the guards on duty during the night were
put under arrest. Our method of escape was soon discovered, and the guards
were released, as they were not at fault. A large number of spikes were
hammered in the floor, the guards were doubled, and greater vigilance
enjoined. The prisoners were questioned, strictly and individually, to
learn whether any of them knew of our intention to escape, or had rendered
us any assistance. They all positively denied any knowledge of the matter.
They asked me whether I had given the officers any information about their
knowledge of our designs, and coöperation in effecting them. I replied
that I had positively denied that any except Malone and myself were privy
to our plans.

I may state here that it is difficult to justify a falsehood. We ought to
utter truth always, without exaggeration or prevarication, leaving
consequences with God. We should do right without regard to results, for
with consequences we have no business; but in this case the temptation to
utter an untruth was great. These wicked men, thirsting for my blood, had
no right to make me criminate myself or my coadjutors. It would have been
wrong for me to give them the information they desired. Truth is too
precious for a secessionist, thirsting for innocent blood. Had I refused
to answer, they would have suspected that some of my fellow-prisoners
aided us, and would have either forced me to tell who they were, or would
have hanged me instantly for my refusal. If I had given information, and
criminated those who had befriended us, they would have been severely
punished, and I have been guilty of the basest ingratitude; I would have
been shunned by the prisoners, and regarded as one of the meanest of men,
one of the veriest wretches in existence; I could never again ask nor
expect aid in a similar attempt to save myself from a violent death.



    Parson Aughey as Chaplain--Description of the Prisoners--Colonel
    Walter, the Judge Advocate--Charges and Specifications against Parson
    Aughey--A Citizen of the Confederate States--Execution of two
    Tennesseeans--Enlistment of Union Prisoners--Colonel Walter's second
    visit--Day of Execution specified--Farewell Letter to my Wife--Parson
    Aughey's Obituary penned by himself--Address to his Soul--The Soul's
    Reply--Farewell Letter to his Parents--The Union Prisoners' Petition
    to Hon. W. H. Seward--The two Prisoners and the Oath of
    Allegiance--Irish Stories.

I was remanded to jail on Sabbath, the 6th of July, 1862. On the day of my
escape I had been elected chaplain. Captain Bruce asked permission for me
to hold divine service, to which no special objection was made. I
conducted the services as I would have done were I in my own pulpit. The
best order was maintained by the prisoners, and a deep seriousness
prevailed. The songs of Zion resounded through the prison-house, and a
great concourse of soldiers assembled outside the guards in front of the
door, causing considerable interruption by their noise and insulting
language. Several officers, also, saw fit to come in and interrupt the
services by conversing in a loud tone, and asking me how I liked my
jewelry, referring to my fetters. The prisoners protested against their
rude and ungentlemanly conduct, but with little effect. They sent a
remonstrance to the commander of the post, but he treated it with silent

As the prisoners insisted upon it, I persisted in preaching,
notwithstanding the persecutions endured, as long as I remained with them.
We were a motley assemblage. Some were dressed in cloth of finest texture;
others were clad in filthy rags. There were present the learned and the
illiterate, the rowdy and the minister of the gospel, the holy and the
profane, the saint and the sinner. All the Southern States, and every
prominent religious denomination were represented. The youth in his
nonage, and the gray-haired and very aged man were there. The superior and
the subordinate were with us. The descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth,
were here on the same common level, for in our prison were Afric's
dark-browed sons, the descendants of Pocahontas, and the pure Circassian.
Death is said to be THE great leveller; the dungeon at Tupelo was _a_
great leveller. A fellow-feeling made us wondrous kind; none shared his
morsel alone, and a deep and abiding sympathy for each other's woes
pervaded every bosom. When our fellow-prisoners were called to die, and
were led through us with pallid brows, and agony depicted on their
countenances, our expressions of sorrow and commiseration were not loud
(through fear) but deep.

On Monday morning an officer entered; my name was called, and I arose from
the floor on which I had been reclining. I recognised him as my old
friend, Colonel H. W. Walter, of Holly Springs, Mississippi. After the
ordinary salutations, he informed me that he was Judge Advocate, and that
my trial would take place in a few days, and inquired whether I wished to
summon any witnesses. I gave him the names and residences of several
witnesses, but he refused to send for them, upon the plea that they were
too near the Federal lines, and their cavalry might be in danger of
capture were they to proceed thither. I told him that the cavalry which
went in pursuit of me had visited that locality. He then wished to know
what I desired to prove by those witnesses. I replied that I wished to
prove that the specifications in the charge of being a spy were false.

"Your own admissions are sufficient to cause you to lose your life," said
the Colonel, "and I will not send for those witnesses."

I replied: "I know that I must die, and you need not go through the
formality of a trial. If condemned as a spy, I must be hanged. I only
wished the witnesses to prove that Woodruff is a man of no moral worth,
that his testimony is false; that Barnes is a mail-robber, and that his
testimony, therefore, should be rejected. Proving these facts, the other
charges which I admit, will cause me to be shot. I hope I am prepared to
die, but do not wish to die a dog's death. Promise me that I shall be
shot, and not hanged, and I will cavil no more."

"Parson Aughey, your chances for living are very slender. The proof
against you on both charges will be established; the testimony as to your
guilt is positive, and spies are always hanged."

He then stated the charges and specifications against me as follows:

First charge--_Treason_.

Specification 1st. That said Aughey stated to a member of Hill's cavalry,
that if McClellan were defeated, the North could raise a much larger army
in a very short time; that the North would eventually conquer the South,
and that he was a Union man--this for the purpose of giving aid and
comfort to the enemy.

Specification 2d. That when said Aughey was requested to take the oath of
allegiance to the Confederate States, he refused, giving as a reason, that
England, France, and himself, had not yet recognised the Southern
Confederacy, stating, also, that he had voluntarily taken the oath of
allegiance to the United States Government, which he regarded as
binding--this in North Mississippi.

Specification 3d. That said Aughey was acting as a Federal agent in the
purchase of cotton, and had received from the United States Government a
large amount of gold, to pay for the cotton purchased.

Second charge--_Acting as a spy_.

Specification 1st. That said Aughey, while a citizen of the Confederate
States, repeatedly came into our lines for the purpose of obtaining
information for the benefit of the enemy, and that he passed through the
lines of the enemy at pleasure, holding an unlimited pass from General
Nelson, granting that privilege--this in the vicinity of Corinth,

Witnesses, ---- Wallace, Dan Barnes, Ferdinand Woodruff, ---- Williams,
David Huff.

I demanded a copy of the charges, which Colonel Walter promised to

About three o'clock in the afternoon, I went to a couple of prisoners who
were heavily ironed; they were handcuffed, had a chain on their legs
similar to mine, and were chained together to a post, or to some fixture
at the side of the jail. I inquired for what offence they were

The prisoner whom I addressed was a tall gentleman, with a very
intellectual countenance, and of prepossessing manners. He was somewhat
pale, and wore a sad countenance. He replied:

"We are charged with desertion."

"Did you desert?"

"I enlisted in the Confederate service for twelve months. At the
expiration of my term of service, I asked permission to return home,
stating that my family were suffering for the necessaries of life; that
they lived in Tennessee, which is occupied by Federal troops. Confederate
bonds are there not worth the paper on which they are printed; provisions
are scarce, and my family have not the means of purchasing. I wish to
relieve their wants, and as my term of service has expired, I wish a
discharge. This they refused, stating that the Confederate Congress had
passed a law requiring all troops who had enlisted for any term, however
short, to be held to service during the war, and all who left before that
time would be considered guilty of desertion, and if arrested, would be
shot. I attempted to return to my family, regarding the law a tyrannical
enactment. I was arrested and committed to this prison."

"What will be your fate?"

"I know not, but fear the worst."

I learned that the other prisoner had about the same statement to make,
and was also in dread of capital punishment. I left them and walked to the
opposite side of the prison, when I observed a file of soldiers drawn up
in front of the building. Two officers entered, and walking up to the two
prisoners whom I had just left, unfastened their chains, and ordered them
to follow. One of the prisoners asked whether he should bring his blanket.
"No," replied the officer, in a jocular tone; "you have no more need for a
blanket in this world."

On reaching the door, the soldiers separated, received the prisoners in
their midst, closed up, and marching them across the railroad, shot them.
As the officers passed Captain Bruce, he asked where the prisoners were
going. They replied, "Going to be shot!" and showed him the warrant for
their execution, having written across it, in red letters, "_Condemned to

Thus was perpetrated an act of cruel tyranny, which cries loudly to Heaven
for vengeance. Two families, helpless and destitute, were thus each
deprived of its head, on whom they were dependent for support, and
abandoned to the cold charity of a selfish world. The wages they earned by
a year's faithful service in behalf of the wicked, cruel, and vindictive
Confederate States, was an ignominious death and a dishonoured grave. Will
not God visit for this? The widow and the fatherless cry to Heaven for
vengeance, and their cries have entered into the ears of the Lord of

On Tuesday morning, six young men, who had been arrested for their Union
sentiments, resolved to escape. Their plan was to enlist in the
Confederate service, then to desert on the first opportunity, and make
their way to the Federal lines. They consulted me as to the propriety of
taking the oath of allegiance under these circumstances. Such a step would
give them another chance for life; but were they to profess adherence to
their Union principles, they had no hope of living many days. If permitted
to enlist, they thought there was little doubt of their escape in a few
days; and should a battle take place, no Federal soldiers would be injured
by them, and an opportunity to desert might occur during the engagement. I
drew up a paper for them, requesting permission to enlist in a company
which they specified. Their petition was granted by the authorities, and
they were removed from prison to the camp. I feel confident that ere this,
they are safe in the Federal lines, for they knew the whole country, so as
to be able to travel by night or by day, with little danger of detection.
They had all been arrested at their homes by the Rebel cavalry. They were
bitter in sentiment against the military usurpation, self-styled the
Confederate States of America.

This (Tuesday) evening, Colonel Walter called again, to give me a copy of
the charges against me. He informed me that my trial had been deferred
till Monday, the 15th inst. He also informed me in advance, that I must
die, and that, doubtless, on the day after the trial. I asked and obtained
permission to send for the Rev. Dr. Lyon, of Columbus, Mississippi, to be
present at my execution. Dr. Lyon and I were co-presbyters, both being
members of the Tombeckbee Presbytery. Colonel Walter was a renegade
Yankee. Coming from Michigan to Mississippi, he married the daughter of a
wealthy slave-holder. Obtaining through her the control of a large number
of slaves, he became a very ultra advocate of the peculiar institution,
and a rabid secessionist.

Soon after Colonel Walter left, Colonel Ware came in, and asked me if I
had been President of a Female College in Rienzi. I replied in the
affirmative. 'Tis strange, said he, that one who has been so favoured, and
one who has accumulated property in the South, should prove a traitor to
the land of his adoption, and side with his enemies. I replied that I had
given a fair equivalent for every dollar I had obtained from the citizens
of the South; that for eleven years I had laboured faithfully as a teacher
and minister of the gospel to promote the educational and spiritual
interests of the Southern people; and that now I was receiving my reward
in being chained, starved, and insulted; and that they intended soon to
pay the last instalment by putting me to death ignominiously on the
scaffold; I also denied being an enemy to the South. I regarded those who
imperilled all her best interests, and plunged her into a protracted and
desolating war, as the real enemies of the South. If my advice had been
followed, the South and the whole country would now be enjoying its wonted
peace and prosperity. He only replied with cursing and vituperation.

Believing my end to be near, I sat down upon the floor of my dungeon, and
penned the following letter to my wife.

    TUPELO MILITARY DUNGEON, July 10th, 1862.

    MY DEAR MARY--The Confederate authorities announce to me that I have
    only a few more days to live. When you receive this letter, the hand
    that penned it will be cold in death. My soul will have passed the
    solemn test before the bar of God; I have a good hope through grace
    that I will be then rejoicing amid the sacramental host of God's
    elect, singing the new song of redeeming love in the presence of Him
    who is the Chief among ten thousand, and the one altogether lovely.
    Mary, meet me in heaven, where sorrow, and crying, and sin are not
    known, and where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at
    rest. I will request your brother Ramsey, and cousin, Captain
    Tankersley, to convey my body to you. Bury me in the graveyard at
    Bethany. Plant an evergreen--a cedar--at my head, and one at my feet,
    and there let me repose in peace, till the Archangel's trump shall
    sound, calling the dead to the judgment of the great day, and
    vouchsafing to saints the long wished-for "redemption of the body."

    As to my property, it has all been confiscated; and after years of
    incessant toil, I leave you penniless and dependent; but trust in God.
    To his protecting care I commit you and our dear little Kate, who has
    promised that he will be the widow's husband, and the father of the
    fatherless. Rest assured, the Lord will provide. Only trust in him,
    and love him with your whole heart, and soul, and mind, and strength.
    "I know that it shall be well with those that love God." Be not
    faithless, but believing, and though clouds and thick darkness
    surround you at present, a more auspicious day will dawn, and God will
    bring you safely to your journey's end, and our reunion in heaven will
    be sweet.

    Our dear little daughter, Kate, bring up in the nurture and admonition
    of the Lord. Teach her to walk in wisdom's ways, for her ways are ways
    of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. Her mind may be compared
    to wax, in its susceptibility for receiving impressions, and to
    marble, for its power of retaining those impressions. O that she may
    be satisfied early with the mercy of God, that she may rejoice and be
    glad all her days! Teach her to remember her Creator in the days of
    her youth, before the evil days come, in which she shall say, I have
    no pleasure in thee. Make the Bible her constant study, and let its
    words be as household words to her. Inspire her mind with a reverence
    for _the Book_ which is able to make wise unto salvation. See to it
    that the words of Christ dwell richly in her soul, that she may be
    filled with wisdom, and knowledge, and spiritual understanding. Pray
    for the Holy Spirit to bless your labours and instructions, without
    which all your efforts would be in vain, and pray that the Third
    Person of the adorable Trinity may take up his abode in her heart, and
    dwell with her for ever.

    As my duties in regard to instructing our child, will devolve solely
    on you, take for your guidance, in this respect, Deut. vi. 5-9. Let
    your example be such as you would wish her to follow. Children are
    much more inclined to follow example than precept. Exercise care in
    this respect, for, "as is the mother, so is her daughter."

    I regret my family will, from the force of circumstances, be compelled
    to remain in a land where my death will be considered disgraceful, but
    it cannot be avoided. The time may come when, even in Mississippi, I
    may be regarded as a patriot martyr. My conscience is void of offence,
    as regards the guilt attached to the charges made against me. I am
    charged with treason against the Confederate States. The charge and
    the specifications are true, except that I was not a Federal agent in
    the purchase of cotton. That was a private arrangement altogether. I
    am also charged with acting as a spy. The specifications under this
    charge are false. I think that this accusation was made to prevent
    retaliation by the Federal generals; and in the Rebel army they are
    not at a loss to prove any charge, however false. Ferdinand Woodruff
    is their tool to prove me a spy, and he will do it, though he knows
    his testimony to be as false as that of the suborned witnesses who
    bore testimony against the Saviour.

    How long shall the wicked triumph? How long will God forbear to
    execute that vengeance which is his, and which he will repay sooner or
    later! I feel confident that the right cause will prevail, and though
    I will not live to see it, for my days are numbered, yet I firmly
    believe that the rebel power will be destroyed utterly.

        "Truth, crushed to earth, will rise again;
          The eternal years of God are hers;
        But error, wounded, writhes in pain,
          And dies amid her worshippers."

    I write this letter amid the din and confusion incident to a large
    number of men crowded into a narrow compass, and free from all
    restraint. This letter will be transmitted to you by friends. The
    names of those friends you will know hereafter. They will present your
    case to General Rosecrans or Nelson, who may obtain a pension for you.
    My services heretofore in the Union cause are known to them, and I
    think they will see that you do not suffer; all my real estate will
    be restored to you if the Union cause triumphs, and I think there is
    no doubt as to its success. Give my love to all my friends. Remember
    that I have prayed for you unceasingly during my imprisonment, and my
    last utterances on earth will be prayers for your welfare.

    Farewell. God bless you, and preserve you and our dear little Kate.

    Your affectionate husband,

        JOHN H. AUGHEY.

I next wrote my obituary, which I placed in the hands of a Union soldier
who expected soon to be exchanged. By him it was to be sent to the editors
of _The Presbyterian_, published in Philadelphia, with a request that it
should appear in their columns.


Died, in Tupelo, Ittawamba county, Mississippi, July --, 1862, the Rev.
John H. Aughey. The subject of the above notice was executed on the
gallows, by authority of the Confederate States, on the charges of treason
and acting as a spy.

John H. Aughey was born in New Hartford, Oneida county, New York, May 8th,
1828; removed with his parents to Steubenville, Ohio, in 1837; is an
alumnus of Franklin College, New Athens, Harrison county, Ohio; studied
theology in Memphis, Tennessee, under the Rev. John H. Gray, D. D.,
President of Memphis Synodical College--also under the care of the Rev. S.
I. Reid of Holly Springs, Mississippi; was licensed to preach the gospel
by the Presbytery of Chickasaw, October 4th, 1856; was ordained to the
full work of the gospel ministry by the Presbytery of Tombeckbee, at its
session in Winston county, Mississippi, in April, 1861. God blessed his
labours by giving him many seals to his ministry. After labouring eleven
years in the South as a teacher and minister of the gospel, having never
injured a citizen of the South either in person or property, he suffered a
felon's death for attachment to the Federal Union, because he would not
turn traitor to the government which had never in a single instance
oppressed, but had always afforded him protection. He rests in peace, and
in the hope of a blessed immortality.

      "Leaves have their time to fall,
  And flowers to wither in the north wind's breath,
      And stars to set; but all--
  Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!"


O my soul! thou art about to appear in the presence of thy Creator, who is
infinite, eternal, unchangeable in his being, power, wisdom, holiness,
justice, goodness, and truth. He cannot look upon sin. He is a
sin-avenging God, and thou art stained with sin. Thy transgressions are as
numerous as the stars of heaven, and the sand that is upon the sea-shore.
Thou art totally debased by sin, and thy iniquities abound. Thou art
guilty of sins of omission and of commission. Justice would consign thee
to everlasting burnings, to dwell with devouring fire, even to everlasting
destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of his power.
Guilty, helpless, wretched as thou art, what is thy plea why sentence of
eternal death should not be pronounced against thee?


I plead the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood cleanses from
_all_ sin, even from sins of the deepest dye. I plead the sufferings of
Him who bore my sins in his own body, on the tree, and wrought out a
perfect righteousness, which I may obtain by simple faith. No money, no
price is demanded. This I could not pay, for all my righteousness is as
filthy rags, and I must perish, were any part of the price demanded.
Nothing in my hand I bring. My salvation must be _all_ of grace, or to me
it would be hopeless. I trust that Christ will clothe me in the spotless
robes of his own righteousness, and present me faultless before his
Father. With this trust, I go to the judgment-seat, assured that the soul
which trusts in Christ shall never be put to shame. God is faithful who
has promised.

    Ittawamba Co., Miss., July 11th, 1862.

    DEAR PARENTS--"Life is sweet, and it is a pleasant thing to behold the
    sun." "All that a man hath, will he give for his life." "Having
    promise of the life that now is." "The life is more than meat." "They
    hunt for the _precious_ life." The above quotations from the Word of
    Life, show the high estimate that is placed upon life. My life is not
    "_precious_" in the eyes of the Secessionists, for their authorities
    declare that "my chances for living long are extremely slender." "Yet
    a few days, and me the all-beholding sun shall see no more in all his
    course." Mourn not for me, my dear parents, as those who have no hope.
    "For me to live, is Christ; but to die, is gain." I fear not those
    who, when they have killed the body, have no more that they can do.
    But I fear Him whose fear casteth out every other fear. When these
    lines are read by you, their author will be an inhabitant of the
    Celestial City, the New Jerusalem, and will be reposing in Abraham's
    bosom, in the midst of the Paradise of God. Next to God, my thanks are
    due to you, for guiding my infant feet in the paths of wisdom and
    virtue. In riper years, by precept, I have been warned and instructed.
    By example I have been led, until my habits were fixed, and then,
    accompanied by your parental blessing, I sought a distant home, to
    engage in the arduous duties of life. Whatever success I have met
    with, whatever influence for good I may have exerted, are all due to
    your pious training. I owe you a debt of gratitude which I can never
    repay. Though I cannot, God will grant you a reward lasting as
    eternity. It will add to that exceeding and eternal weight of glory
    which will be conferred on you in that day when the heavens shall be
    dissolved, and the elements melt with fervent heat. I die for my
    loyalty to the Federal Government. I know that you would not have me
    turn traitor to save my life. Life is precious, but death, even death
    on the scaffold, is preferable to dishonour. Remember me kindly to all
    my friends. Tell sisters Sallie, Mary, and Emma, to meet me in heaven.
    I know that _my_ Redeemer liveth. Dying is but going home. I have
    taught many how to live, and now I am called to teach them how to die.
    May God grant that as my day is, so may my strength be, and that, in
    my last moments, I may not bring dishonour upon my Master's cause,
    but may glorify him in the fires!

    My dear parents, farewell till we meet beyond the river.

        Your affectionate son,
        JOHN H. AUGHEY.

    Amsterdam, Jefferson Co., Ohio.

The following letter was written to the Hon. William H. Seward in behalf
of the Union men in prison and within the rebel lines.

    Ittawamba Co., Mississippi, July 11th, 1862.

    Hon. William H. Seward:

    DEAR SIR--A large number of citizens of Mississippi, holding Union
    sentiments, and who recognise no such military usurpation as the
    so-called Confederate States of America, are confined in a filthy
    prison, swarming with vermin, and are famishing from hunger--a
    sufficient quantity of food not being furnished us. We are separated
    from our families, and suffered to hold no communication with them.
    We are compelled, under a strong guard, to perform the most menial
    services, and are insulted on every occasion by the officers and
    guards of the prison. The nights are very cool; we are furnished with
    no bedding, and are compelled to lie down on the floor of our dungeon,
    where sleep seldom visits us, until exhausted nature can hold out no
    longer; then our slumbers are broken, restless, and of short duration.
    Our property is confiscated, and our families left destitute of the
    necessaries of life; all that they have, yea, all their living, being
    seized upon by the Confederates, and converted to their own use. Heavy
    fetters are placed upon our limbs, and daily some of us are led to the
    scaffold, or to death by shooting. Many of us are forced into the
    army, instant death being the penalty in case of refusal; thus
    constraining us to bear arms against our country, to become the
    executioners of our friends and brethren, or to fall ourselves by
    their hands.

    These evils are intolerable, and we ask protection, through you, from
    the United States Government. The Federal Government may not be able
    to release us, but we ask the protection which the Federal prisoner
    receives. Were his life taken, swift retribution would be visited upon
    the rebels by a just retaliation--a rebel prisoner would suffer death
    for every Federal prisoner whom they destroyed. Let this rule hold
    good in the case of Union men who are citizens of the South. The loyal
    Mississippian deserves protection as much as the loyal native of
    Massachusetts. We ask, also, that our confiscated property be restored
    to us, or, in case of our death, to our families. If it be destroyed,
    let reparation be demanded from the rebels, or the property of known
    and avowed secessionists sequestered to that use.

    Before this letter reaches its destination, the majority of us will
    have ceased to be. The writer has been informed by the officers that
    "his chances for living long are very slender;" that he has confessed
    enough to cause him to lose his life, and the Judge Advocate has
    specified Tuesday, the 15th inst., as the day of his execution. We
    have, therefore, little hope that we, individually, can receive any
    benefit from this petition, though you regard it favourably, and
    consent to its suggestions; but our families, who have been so cruelly
    robbed of all their substance, may, in after time, receive
    remuneration for their great losses. And if citizens of avowed
    secession proclivities, who are within the Federal lines, are arrested
    and held as hostages for the safety of Union men who are and may be
    hereafter incarcerated in the prison in Tupelo and elsewhere, the
    rebels will not dare put another Union man to death.

    Hoping that you will deem it proper to take the matters presented in
    our petition under advisement, we remain, with high considerations of
    respect and esteem, your oppressed and imprisoned fellow-citizens,

        JOHN H. AUGHEY,
        and thirty-seven others.

Two young men informed me to-day that they had been forced into the rebel
service. They had been taken prisoners at Corinth by General Pope, and had
taken the oath of allegiance to the Federal Government, to which their
hearts had always been loyal. Recently they had been arrested, and on
refusing to rejoin their regiment, were immured in this dungeon. From the
threats of the officers, they expected to be shot at any moment. They had
used every means to banish the thoughts of death--had forced themselves to
engage in pleasantry and mirth to drive away the sadness and gloom which
oppressed them when alone, and recalled the pleasures of their happy
homes--homes which they would never see again. I counselled them to
prepare to meet their God in peace; to wisely improve the short time
granted them to make their calling and election sure. They replied that
they hoped all would be well. They had long since confessed Christ before
men, and hoped for salvation through his merits. Still, they could not
help feeling sad in the near prospect of death. They left me to mingle
with a group of prisoners, who were endeavouring to dissipate the tedium,
and vary the monotonous routine of prison life, by "telling stories."
Captain Bruce led off by telling the following Irish story:

"Once upon a time, an Irishman, who rejoiced in the possession of a fine
mare and a colt, wished to cross the Mississippi river at Baton Rouge with
them. By some mishap, they were all precipitated from the ferry-boat into
the water. The Irishman, being unable to swim, grasped the colt's tail,
hoping thus to be carried to the shore. Some of the passengers called out
to him: 'Halloo, Pat, why don't you take hold of the mare's tail; she is
much stronger, and much more able to carry you safely to the shore.' 'O,
be jabers!' says Pat, 'this is no time for swapping horses.'" This tale
was received with applause.

Baltimore Bill, a real Plug-ugly, told his story next, as follows: "Two
Irishmen, immediately after their arrival in America, found a gun. After
long inspection, they concluded it was some kind of musical instrument,
and wishing to hear the music, it was agreed that Jimmie should blow at
the muzzle, while Pat worked with the 'fixins' at the breech. At it they
went. Soon the gun went off, and Jimmie fell down, shot dead. 'Och!' says
Pat, 'are you charmed at the first note?'" This story was received with
loud bursts of laughter. An officer then entered, and ordered us to be
quiet, forbidding us to narrate any more tales.



    Resolved to Escape--Mode of Executing Prisoners--Removal of
    Chain--Addition to our Numbers--Two Prisoners become Insane--Plan of
    Escape--Proves a Failure--Fetters Inspected--Additional
    Fetters--Handcuffs--A Spy in the Disguise of a Prisoner--Special
    Police Guard on Duty--A Prisoner's Discovery--Divine Services--The
    General Judgment--The Judge--The Laws--The Witnesses--The
    Concourse--The Sentence.

On Friday morning, the twelfth of July, as I lay restless and sore,
endeavouring to find some position which would be sufficiently easy to
permit me to enjoy, even for a few moments, the benefit of "Tired nature's
sweet restorer, balmy sleep," the thought occurred that it would be well
to attempt an escape, though it should result in death from the fire of
the guards, which would be far preferable to death by strangling at the
rope's end, and in the presence of a large concourse of rebel enemies.
Their method of shooting was, to dig a hole, and make the victim sit with
his legs hanging in it. The soldiers would fire three balls through the
brain, and three through the heart; then the mangled and bleeding body
fell into the grave, and was immediately covered with earth. At first,
coffins were used, but of late, these had been dispensed with, owing to
the increased expense, and the increasing number of executions.

I had not long meditated upon this subject, when I arose, fully resolved
on death or liberty. My intentions were communicated to several prisoners,
who promised me all the aid in their power. My fetters were examined, and
it was concluded, that with proper instruments my bands could be divested
of the iron which secured the chain-rings. A long-handled iron spoon, a
knife, and an old file, were obtained, and two were detached at a time to
work on my fetters. We went to one side of the building, and a sufficient
number of prisoners stood in front of us, to prevent the guard from
noticing our proceedings. Our locations were changed frequently, to
prevent detection; and when an officer entered, labour was suspended till
his exit.

We called General Bragg, Robespierre; General Jordan, Marat; and General
Hardee, Danton. Several prisoners were led out and shot to-day. The
majority of them were Union men. Six Union men were committed to jail
to-day. The horrors of our situation were sufficient to render two of
these victims insane. A reign of terror had been inaugurated, only
equalled, in its appalling enormity, by the memorable French Revolution.
Spies and informers, in the pay of the Rebel government, prowl through the
country, using every artifice and strategy to lead Union men to criminate
themselves, after which they are dragged to prison and to death. The
cavalry dash through the country, burning cotton, carrying off the
property of loyal citizens, and committing depredations of every kind.

Several prisoners resolved to attempt an escape with me. Our plan was, to
bring in the axe with which we split wood for cooking, and raise a plank
in the floor, a sufficient number to stand around those who lifted it, to
prevent observation, and then make our way out among the guards, who were
off duty on the north side of the building. At this time there were three
guards in front of each door, and two on the south side of the building.
On the north side of the building, there were no guards on duty, for, if
the other three sides were securely guarded, the prisoners could not
escape on the north side. There were, however, several hundred guards,
who, when off duty, slept on this side of the prison. When their turn
came, they went on duty; and those who were relieved, came there to sleep.
They were coming and going all the time, and during the whole night, they
kept up an incessant noise.

After the unremitting labour of my friends during the day, I found that I
could slip my chain off and on at pleasure. The sun was now setting, but
the axe had not been brought in. At this time a guard was stationed in
each door; the favourable moment had passed; none dared to bring the axe
past the guard. While deliberating on the best course to pursue--as
raising a plank had proved a failure for the present--General Jordan and
Colonel Clare entered. I was standing with others in the middle of the
floor. General Jordan came directly to me; either accidentally or
intentionally, he held up a light to my face. "Ah! you are here yet," said
he. I gave an affirmative nod. "Well," said he to Colonel Clare, "I must
examine this fellow's irons." Putting his hand down, and ascertaining that
they had been tampered with, he endeavoured, ineffectually, to pull the
bands off; he did not notice that I could slip the chain-rings off. "These
irons," said he, "are very insecure; who helped you to put them in this
condition?" I made no reply. After waiting until he found I intended none,
he continued: "Colonel Clare, have these irons secured in the morning;
also put handcuffs on him, and chain him, so as to confine him to one
locality; the gallows shall not be cheated of their due." Having given
these orders, they passed out. As soon as they were gone, the prisoners
who had aided me crowded around, stating that they believed there was a
spy in the house, in the guise of a prisoner, and declaring that I must
escape that night, or it would be too late. All realized that on to-morrow
there would be no hope.

There were eleven guards on duty--three in front of each door, one in each
door, two on the south side of the building, and at night one passing back
and forth through the centre of the prison, which was lighted during the
whole night. There was also a special police guard on duty that night, as
five Federal prisoners, who remained in our prison until some formalities
were gone through with, would be sent in the morning to the prison at
Columbus, Mississippi, and it was feared they might attempt to escape ere
they were sent further south.

At this juncture, a young man ran up and informed me that he had made a
discovery which might result in my escape; I must go alone, however, and
though they would aid me, they would run great risk in doing so. Only
four could assist, and he would volunteer to be one of them. Several
others immediately volunteered, of whom three were selected by M----, and
the plan then communicated. At this moment, Captain Bruce announced that
the hour for divine worship had arrived. I asked my friends whether I
should plead indisposition, and dispense with the services for that time.
They replied that it might lead to suspicion, and advised me to give them
a short sermon. I went to my usual place of standing, clanking my chains
as heretofore. I give a synopsis of the sermon.

The text was 2 Cor. v. 10: "We must all appear before the judgment-seat of
Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according
to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."

The doctrine of a general judgment was revealed to mankind at a very early
period of the world's history. Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied,
saying, "Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to
execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among
them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of
all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."
Job declares: "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at
the latter day upon the earth." Daniel also speaks of a general judgment:
"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did
sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the
pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning
fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand
thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood
before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened." The New
Testament is also explicit in its declarations that God hath appointed a
day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he
hath ordained. The text declares that we must all appear before the
judgment-seat of Christ.

The scenes which will usher in the judgment of the great day will be of
the most magnificent character. "The heavens shall pass away with a great
noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and
the works that are therein, shall be burned up." This does not indicate
annihilation. God will never annihilate any of his creatures, animate or

The inquiry is often made, what becomes of the soul after death, and where
does it await the general judgment? A sect called the Soul-sleepers, take
the position that the soul, after death, goes into a torpid state, like
bears in winter, and thus remains till the sounding of the Archangel's
trump. There is no Scripture to sustain this view, and it is only assumed,
to avoid the objection that God would not judge a soul, and send it to
reward or punishment, and then bring it back, to be again judged. That the
soul, at death, passes immediately into glory or torment, is proved by
many scriptures. Paul "desired to depart, and be with Christ, which was
far better," than remaining on earth. He declares that to be present with
the body, is to be absent from the Lord. The dying Stephen calls upon the
Lord Jesus to receive his spirit. These holy men would not thus have
spoken, if they supposed that ages must elapse ere they entered heaven.
God is not the God of the dead or torpid, but of the living. Moses and
Elias appeared on the mount of transfiguration in a state far from
torpidity. The dying thief received the promise, "This day shalt thou be
with me in paradise." No mention is made of Purgatory or torpidity. The
objector urges that paradise is not heaven. We are told that the river of
life flows from the throne of God, that the tree of life grows on both
sides of the river, and that the tree of life grows in the midst of the
paradise of God. The paradise of God is where he is seated on his throne,
which is heaven. Paradise is where Christ is. The thief would be with
Christ in paradise. He who regards the Lord Jesus as the Chief among ten
thousand, the One altogether lovely, will deem his presence heaven indeed.
As to the wicked, it is said of the rich man, that in hell he lifted up
his eyes, being in torment. If, after being judged, the souls of
believers, do pass immediately into glory, and the wicked into torment,
what use is there of another or general judgment. I reply, We are
responsible not only for our acts, but for the influence which those acts
exert through all time. Gibbon, Hume, Rosseau, Paine, and other infidel
writers, wrote works which, during the life of the authors, did great
evil. If those wicked men passed away from earth impenitent, they are now
suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. But the influence for evil, of
those wicked works, did not cease with the death of their authors.
Thousands of young men every year are led into pernicious and hurtful
errors by their perusal. At the general judgment, the accumulated guilt,
for the baleful influence exerted through their writings in all time, will
sink them deeper in the flames of perdition. The sainted Alexander, and
other pious men who are now in heaven, wrote many works whose influence
for good was great while their authors lived; and since their death they
are, and will continue to be, instrumental in the hand of God in turning
many to righteousness. All the good accomplished by their writings,
through all time, will, at the judgment, add to their exceeding and
eternal weight of glory.

In this life, we often see the righteous man contending with life's
unnumbered woes; all the dealings of Providence seem to be adverse. While
the wicked are in great power, they flourish in life, like the green
bay-tree, and have no bands in their death. These things are strange and
mysterious. We understand them not now; but we shall learn, in that great
day, when all mysteries are made plain, that God's dealings were just,
both with the righteous and the wicked.

The text declares that _we_ must all appear before the judgment-seat of
Christ. This _we_ includes all who are now within the sound of my voice,
and not only us, but all who live upon the face of the earth; and the
Archangel's trump will wake the pale nations of the dead, and summon them
to judgment. The dark domain of hell will be vacated, and the angels that
kept not their first estate, and are now reserved in chains of darkness,
will appear in the presence of the Judge. Heaven's holy inhabitants will
be present. Thus heaven, earth, and hell, will be represented in that
august assemblage. The scene will bear some resemblance to that which
takes place in our earthly courts. The Lord Jesus Christ will be the
Judge, and the angels and saints will be the jurors, who will consent to
and approve of the acts of the Judge. The angels will be the officers who
will summon, from the prison-house of hell, the devils, to the trial, and
also those wicked men who will call upon the rocks and mountains to fall
upon them, and hide them from the face of the Lamb. Nor, as is so often
the case with earthly officers, will any be able to elude the vigilance of
these. They will be clothed with ample power to compel the attendance of
all; none will escape. We _must all_ appear before the judgment-seat. As
in earthly courts, law is the basis of judgment, so we shall be judged
according to law in that day. The heathen will be judged by the law of
nature--the law written in their hearts, and on their consciences. The
light of nature teaches the being, wisdom, power, and goodness of God. For
a violation of this law, they will be beaten with few stripes. The Jews
will be judged by both the law of nature, which they have, in common with
the heathen and the Mosaic law. But we who live in the nineteenth century,
in the full blaze of gospel light, will be judged not only by the light of
nature and the Mosaic law, which we possess in common with the heathen and
the Jew, but also by the glorious gospel of the Son of God, which brought
life and immortality to light; and if condemned, how fearful our doom, who
are so highly favoured! In earthly courts, we are judged for our overt
acts alone; but in the court of heaven, the commandment is exceeding
broad; it reaches every thought. Our words, too, are taken into account.
We must give an account for every idle word. By our words, we shall be
justified, and by our words we shall be condemned. Our thoughts, our
words, our deeds, will all be taken into account.

As in our courts there are witnesses, so also there will be at the bar of
God. Our pious relatives and friends will bear this testimony, that they
have prayed with us and for us; that they had a deep concern for our
souls, and that we who are found on the left hand of the Judge, refused
all their counsel, and despised their admonitions. Ministers of the gospel
will testify that they came as ambassadors from the King of kings, and
beseeching you, in Christ's stead, to be reconciled to God, pointing to
the coming wrath, and warning you from that wrath to flee; and yet their
labour of love ye despised, and scorned the message from on high. The
Bible will be a witness against you. Its teachings are able to make wise
unto salvation. It is the chart which is given to guide us through this
wilderness-world, to fairer worlds on high. It tells of the Lamb of God,
who taketh away the sin of the world. It is truth without any mixture of
error, and yet you have despised this necessary revelation, and chosen to
perish, with the Word of Life open before you. God, the Father, will be a
swift witness against you. In the greatness of his love for you, in the
counsels of eternity, he devised the plan of salvation, and sent his only
begotten Son to suffer and die, that you might live, and yet you have
despised that love, and rejected that Saviour. God, the Son, will bear
this testimony, that he came from the shining abodes of glory, where
seraphim and cherubim fell prostrate at his feet, in humble adoration, and
emptying himself of his glory, bore all the ills of life--the persecutions
of wicked men, and the accursed death of the cross, that salvation might
be yours, and yet ye refused it, and trod the blood of the Son of God
under foot, and put him to an open shame. The Holy Spirit, the Third
Person of the adorable Trinity, will bear witness that he often knocked at
the door of your hearts for admittance; that he wooed you to embrace his
love, offering to abide with you for ever, and yet you rejected the offer,
and did despite to the Spirit of grace, till, in sorrow, he took his
everlasting flight.

The devil is now going about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may
devour, and sometimes transforming himself into an angel of light. He is
tempting you to sin, by presenting before your minds the superior charms
of the riches and pleasures of earth, to things that are unseen and
eternal. He has no power to compel you to sin. His evil suggestions are
whispered in your oft too willing ears, and then it remains with you to
accept or reject. He has no power of compulsion. Your sin must be an act
of your own will, or it is not sin. When you consent to the wiles of this
arch enemy, and sin against God, remember that with eager desire and base
ingratitude he will fiercely accuse in the great day of God Almighty, and
urge these very sins of his suggestion as a reason why he should have you
to torment you for ever in the bottomless pit.

That internal monitor, that light which enlightens every man that cometh
into the world--the moral sense, or conscience--will be a swift witness
against you. By it you have been enlightened and warned; and in the case
of many who have denied a future state of punishment, the goadings of
remorse have convinced them that there is a hell, the kindlings of whose
fires they have felt in their own bosoms. Conscience will compel you to
confess that your doom is just, though for ever debarred from the joys and
happiness of heaven. O! my fellow-prisoners and travellers to the bar of
God, listen to her warning voice to-day, before it be too late, and you
are compelled mournfully to exclaim, "The harvest is past, the summer is
ended, and I am not saved!" The conscience of the sinner will be compelled
to admit the truth of the testimony. In earthly courts, oftentimes
witnesses are suborned, and their testimony false. Not so at the grand
assize. Not a scrap of false testimony will be admitted. The evidence will
be in truth, and the judgment in righteousness.

After all these scenes have occurred, the Judge will render a verdict, and
pronounce the sentence, which will be irreversible and eternal. With
regard to the righteous, though they have been guilty of many sins, both
of omission and commission, and have no merits of their own to plead, and
consider themselves justly obnoxious to eternal banishment, their
Advocate, the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom, while in the flesh, they
exercised a true and living faith, will now present them, clad in the
white robes of his perfect righteousness, faultless before his Father, and
they will now hear the welcome plaudit, "Come ye blessed, inherit the
kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." But those on
the left hand, who all their life rejected the mercy offered--the great
salvation proffered without money and without price--will now hear the
dread sentence, "Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for
the devil and his angels!"

O my dear, impenitent fellow-prisoners! how can ye take up your abode,
your eternal abode, in everlasting burnings? How can ye dwell with
devouring fire? How can ye endure everlasting destruction from the
presence of the Lord and the glory of his power, shut up for ever in the
fearful pit out of which there is no egress except for the vision of the
damned, and the smoke of its torment? Be wise to-day, 'tis madness to
defer. Procrastination is the thief of time. Delay is fraught with awful
danger. Trust not in promises of future amendment. The way to hell is
paved with good resolutions, which are never kept. The future convenient
season never arrives. Like Felix, we may tremble when the minister reasons
of a judgment to come; and like Agrippa, we may be almost persuaded to be
a Christian, and yet come short of the glory of God through
procrastination. Procrastination has populated hell. All the doomed and
damned from Christian lands are victims of this pernicious and destructive
wile of the devil. It is foolish to procrastinate. Though the Bible teems
with rich and glorious promises of a hundred-fold blessings in this life,
and eternal glory in the world to come, to those who break off their sins
by righteousness, and their transgressions by turning unto the Lord, yet
all these promises are limited to the present tense. There is not a single
blessing promised the future penitent. He procrastinates at the risk of
losing all. Behold, _now_ is the accepted time, and now is the day of
salvation. _To-day_ if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
"Ho, every one that thirsteth, _come_ ye to the waters; and he that hath
no money, _come_ ye, _buy_ and _eat_; yea, _come buy_ wine and milk
without money and without price." "Seek ye _first_ the kingdom of God and
his righteousness." "And the Spirit and the Bride say, _come_; let him
that heareth say, _come_; and let him that is athirst _come_: and
whosoever will, let him _take_ the water of life freely."

Choose ye _this day_ whom ye will serve. There is no warrant for deferring
till to-morrow the momentous and eternal interests of the immortal soul.
The shortness and uncertainty of life furnish a strong reason why we
should not procrastinate. In the Bible, life is compared to everything
that is swift, transient, and fleeting in its nature. It is compared to
the swoop of the eagle hasting to the prey; to the swift post, to the
bubble on the river. Life is compared in its duration to a year, a day,
and to nothing, yea, less than nothing, and vanity. All these comparisons
indicate that it is very brief and evanescent. We have no lease of life;
we hold it by a very slight tenure; and this is especially true of us in
our present condition. Confined in prison, some of us led to death every
day without a moment's warning, every evening I address some who, before
the next evening, are in eternity. Myself in chains, my life declared
forfeited, ought we not all to be deeply impressed with the necessity of
immediate preparation to meet our God? I feel that I am preaching as a
dying man to dying men, and I beseech you in Christ's stead, be ye
reconciled to God. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and ye shall be
saved. Trust in him for salvation, for he is faithful who has promised.
God has never said to any, seek ye my face in vain. By the love and mercy
of God, by the terrors of the judgment, by the sympathy and compassion of
Jesus, I entreat you, my fellow-prisoners, to seek an interest, a present
interest, in the great salvation!

I close for the present. We shall never all engage in divine service
together again on earth. We separate--some to go to a distant prison, and
some to death. May God grant that when we are done with earthly scenes, we
may all meet in the realms of bliss, where there is in God's presence
fulness of joy, and at his right hand pleasures for evermore! And may the
love of God, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the communion of the
Holy Spirit, rest and abide with us, and all the Israel of God, now,
henceforth, and for ever, Amen!

The following hymn was then sung:

  In the sun, and moon, and stars,
    Signs and wonders there shall be;
  Earth shall quake with inward wars,
    Nations with perplexity.

  Soon shall ocean's hoary deep,
    Tossed with stronger tempests, rise;
  Wilder storms the mountains sweep,
    Louder thunders rock the skies.

  Dread alarms shall shake the proud,
    Pale amazement, restless fear;
  And, amid the thunder-cloud,
    Shall the Judge of men appear.

  But though from his awful face,
    Heaven shall fade, and earth shall fly,
  Fear not ye, his chosen race,
    Your redemption draweth nigh.

I preached longer than I had intended, having become so fully engrossed
with the subject as to forget my chains and my frustrated plans. My
fellow-prisoners were listening apparently with interest; great solemnity
prevailed, and penitential tears were flowing. It was evident that the
Spirit of the living God was in our midst; and though danger and death
were before our eyes, the consolations of the glorious gospel of the
blessed God caused our peace to flow like a river. The precious seed was
sown in tears. May we not entertain a good hope that he who cast the seed
into this soil, prepared by affliction, shall come again with rejoicing,
bringing his sheaves with him. By my side stood two in chains, who
appeared deeply moved. During the day I had conversed with them about
their souls. They expressed regret that they had not heretofore given this
matter the attention its importance demanded. Since their imprisonment,
however, they had been led to feel that they were great sinners, and had,
as they hoped, put their trust in Christ alone for salvation. I have since
learned that on the morrow they were shot.



    The Second Plan of Escape--Under the Jail--Egress--Among the
    Guards--In the Swamp--Travelling on the Underground Railroad--The
    Fare--Green Corn eaten Raw--Blackberries and Stagnant Water--The
    Bloodhounds--Tantalizing Dreams--The Pickets--The Cows--Become
    Sick--Fons Beatus--Find Friends--Union Friend No. Two--The night in
    the Barn--Death of Newman by Scalding--Union Friend No. Three--Bound
    for the Union Lines--Rebel Soldiers--Black Ox--Pied Ox--Reach
    Headquarters in Safety--Emotions on again beholding the Old
    Flag--Kindness while Sick--Meeting with his Family--Richard Malone
    again--The Serenade--Leave Dixie--Northward bound.

After the sermon was concluded, the preparations for my escape were
commenced. The building used for our prison was built with the front
toward the east. The doors were at the eastern and western extremities,
which were the gable ends, one door being in each end. There were also two
windows at each end, the door being between them. The doors and
window-sashes had been removed, to allow the guards stationed in front an
unobstructed view of the interior. At night the apartment was lighted, and
a guard patrolled the floor; it was, therefore, nearly impossible for a
person to escape the observation of the guards, either within or without
the jail. In the North, the houses are usually built with a cellar
underneath; at the South, such a thing is very rare, the houses being
built upon the ground, or upon piles. Our prison was built upon piles, the
floor being elevated about eighteen inches above the ground. The boards
were nailed upon the building perpendicularly, and in some cases did not
quite reach to the ground. Small openings were thus left between the floor
and the ground, through which a person could crawl underneath the
building. Around each door was an enclosure, formed by stakes surmounted
with poles, in the shape of a parallelogram, whose dimensions were about
ten by sixteen feet. In each of these enclosures four guards were
stationed, one of them being seated in the doorway. The rear enclosure was
used for cooking purposes; and into both enclosures we were permitted to
go at pleasure during all hours of the day, and as late at night as ten
o'clock. Only three prisoners were allowed to be in an enclosure at one

M---- had discovered a hole by the side of the steps within the front
enclosure, by which I could get under the building. I felt unwilling to
make such an attempt, as the aperture was in the immediate vicinity of the
guards. M---- stated that four others would aid me, though at considerable
risk on their part. "I'll take the risk," was the individual response of
all present. M---- selected three, who with himself assumed the perilous
task, in which discovery would have cost them their lives. M----, who had
devised the plan of escape, now instructed us in the respective parts we
were to perform. All promised implicit obedience. At half-past nine, three
prisoners and myself were to go into the enclosure. They would stand up
and converse with the guards, whilst I sat upon the ground by the hole, to
wait for an opportunity to crawl under the building unobserved. This
opportunity we expected to occur at ten o'clock, when the relief-guard
came on duty. The duty of one prisoner was to remain inside and engage the
attention of the guard who sat in the doorway, while the other three would
go into the enclosure, and entertain the other guards, according to the
previously devised plan. At half-past nine o'clock, we placed ourselves in
the designated positions. I readily removed my chain, coiled it up, and
laid it by the side of a little stump. The moon shone with great
brilliancy, revealing the tents which surrounded us on every side.
Officers and soldiers passed hurriedly to and fro. We were in the midst of
the noise and confusion of a great encampment, as there were in and around
Tupelo some fifteen thousand soldiers. Mingled sounds of mirth and
contention proceeded from the surrounding tents. My prisoner friends were
engaged in a fierce argument with the guards as to the comparative merits
of Tennessee and Mississippi troops. This was done to divert their
attention, and I observed with pleasure that they were meeting with
success. I reflected that a few more moments would decide my fate. If
detected, my life must end ignominiously and on the gallows. In the
morning, my anklets would be securely welded. I would also be handcuffed
and chained to a post. Then all hope must end, and soon my corpse would be
borne into the presence of her whose tears were flowing, and who refused
to be comforted because of my ominous absence.

The order for the relief-guard now came loud and clear. I heard their
hurried tramp, and saw their glittering bayonets in the bright moonlight.
The set time, the appointed moment, big with my fate, had arrived. I
offered an ejaculatory prayer to Him who sits upon the throne of heaven
for protection at this critical moment. The guard stood within ten feet of
me, with their eyes constantly upon me. Just as they were turning to
receive the advancing relief-guard, I crawled backward under the building,
and disappeared from their view. The relief-guard went on duty, and those
relieved retired. The prisoners were ordered into the house, and as the
new guards did not know that four were in the enclosure, I was not

[Illustration: "Just as they were turning to receive the relief-guard, I
crawled backward under the building, and disappeared from view." Page

I was now under the prison, but there were guards on every side, and the
jail was in the midst of a camp, so that I was still in great danger of
detection. I saw, through the crevices in the floor, the guard who
patrolled the prison. I heard the murmurings and mutterings of the
prisoners, as he occasionally trod upon them in his carelessness. I could
hear, though not distinctly, the conversation of the prisoners. One of my
assistants was detailing to his companions their success in getting me off
unnoticed. The prisoners slept but little that night, owing to their
anxiety for my safety, and I frequently heard my name mentioned, and hopes
for my safety expressed. I occasionally fell into uneasy slumbers, but the
fleas and other vermin were so annoying, that my sleep refreshed me but
little. I could distinctly hear the new guard conversing, and among other
topics, one remarked that he had forgotten the countersign; the other
replied that it was _Braxton_. Well, said the former, I thought it was
Bragg, or Braxton, or something like that. Knowing the countersign
emboldened me, as I could, if halted, give it, and pass on. I soon crawled
to the north side of the prison, and found that there were three apertures
sufficiently large to admit of my egress. Upon reaching the first one, I
found a number of guards, some sitting and some lying so close to it, that
I dared not make the attempt at that point.

Crawling to the second, I remained till there was comparative quiet; but
at the instant I was about to pass out, a soldier, who was lying with his
face toward me, commenced to cough, and continued to do so, at intervals,
for more than an hour. Finding it unadvisable to run the risk of detection
at this point, I made my way, with considerable difficulty, to the third
and last aperture, near the rear of the building, and not very distant
from the rear-guards. I remained at this aperture till I heard one guard
say to another that it was three o'clock, and that they must soon go on
duty. I felt confident that then was my time, or never, as morning would
find me under the house, and I would be re-arrested in that situation.
Committing myself into the hands of God, and asking him to keep me from
detection, and grant me a safe escape, I arose from under the building,
passed by two sleeping guards, who were lying within three or four feet of
the prison. As it was my first essay at walking without chains, I reeled,
as if under the influence of strong drink, striking my foot against the
head of one of those sleeping guards, who, awaking, turned over, and
uttering some exclamation of disapprobation, took no further notice of me,
doubtless mistaking me for one of his companions. After proceeding a few
steps, I sat down upon the ground among some of the guards. I took out my
knife, and whistling, to appear as unconcerned as possible, commenced
whittling a stump, around which they were collected--some sitting, some
standing, and others reclining. I readily passed for one of them, as I was
wearing a colored shirt, which resembled that worn by the guards. I soon,
however, arose, and wound my way among the various groups, endeavouring
to reach the corn-field, to which I had made my first escape. After
passing the guards off duty, a sentinel arose a short distance in front of
me, evidently with the intention of halting me, if I advanced farther.
Stopping a few minutes, to avoid suspicion, I changed my direction,
bearing southwest, and after a time, got into the woods. Kneeling down, I
returned God thanks for thus crowning my efforts with success, and prayed
for his continuous protection, and that he would choose out my path, that
I might escape detection, and rejoin my family and friends in safety.

I now pursued my journey rapidly in a southwest direction, choosing that
which led directly from my home, for two reasons. The cavalry and
bloodhounds would not be so likely to follow in that direction, and after
listening, while in prison, to the drum-beat morning and evening, in the
various surrounding camps, I noticed that it had ceased in the southwest
for several mornings; hence I supposed that the camp in that direction had
been broken up, and that, in taking that route, I could more readily get
beyond the rebel pickets, and then I could change my course, and bear
northward, and reach the Federal lines at some point on the Memphis and
Charleston railroad. I hastened on till the sun arose, having passed
through woods and corn-fields, studiously avoiding all roads, when, as I
was rapidly travelling along a narrow path, I met a negro. The suddenness
of our meeting alarmed both. I, in a peremptory tone, addressed him, in
quick succession, the following interrogatories:

"Where are you going? To whom do you belong? Where have you been? Have you
a pass?"

"I belong," said the boy, trembling, "to Mr. ----. I have been to wife's
house; am gwine back home, but I haint got nary pass."

"I suppose it is all right with you?"

"Oh, yes, master! it's all right wid me."

Concluding that it was not all right "wid" myself, I hurried on, soon
leaving the path, and turning into a dense woods. Travelling on till
about one P. M., I came to an open country, so extensive that I could not
go round it, neither could I, in daylight, travel through it with safety.
I sought out a place to hide, and finding a ditch which bisected a
corn-field, I concealed myself in that. During the day, negroes and whites
passed near, without discovering me. Becoming hungry, I ate a small piece
of the bread which one of my fellow-prisoners had given me, but it made me
quite sick. On my former escape, I had, just before leaving the house,
traded pants with a fellow-prisoner, without his knowledge or consent. On
my return, he refused to trade back. My reason for trading was, to get a
dark pair, as mine were so light-coloured, I feared the guards would
discover me more readily. Their owner had been accustomed to use tobacco,
and the bread had become tinctured with it. Tobacco being very offensive
to me, its presence on my bread caused me to lose it.

The day passed away, and the night came. The stars came out in silent
glory, one by one. Fixing my eye upon the pole-star, the underground
railroad travellers' guide, I set out, bearing a little to the west of
north. I soon reached the thick woods, and found it very difficult to make
rapid progress, in consequence of the dense under-growth and obscure
light. The bushes would strike me in the eyes, and often the top of a
fallen tree would cause me to make quite a circuit. Soon, however, the
moon arose in her brightness--the old silver moon. But her light I found
to be far less brilliant than that of the sun, and her rays were much
obscured by the dense foliage overhead; hence my progress was necessarily
slow, laboured, and toilsome. I slept but little during the day, in
consequence of the proximity of those who might be bitter foes, and also
the unpleasant position I occupied, as the ditch in which I had concealed
myself was muddy, and proved an uncomfortable bed. I therefore became
weary, my limbs stiff from travel and from the pressure of the heavy iron
bands. Sleep overpowered me, and I laid down in the leaves, and slept till
the cold awoke me, which, judging from the moon's descent, must have been
an hour and a half. The nights in Mississippi are invariably cool, however
hot the days may be. Arising from my uneasy slumber, I pressed on. My
thirst, which for some time had been increasing, now became absolutely
unendurable. I knew not where to obtain water, not daring to go near a
well, through fear of being arrested. At length I heard some suckling pigs
and their dam, at a short distance from me, in the woods. There seemed to
be no alternative. I must either perish, or obtain some fluid to slake my
raging thirst; so I resolved to catch a little pig, cut its throat, and
drink the blood. I searched for my knife, but I had lost it. I was,
therefore, reluctantly compelled to abandon my design on the suckling's
life. As I went forward, the sow and her brood started up alarmed, and in
their flight, plunged into water. I immediately followed, and found a
mud-hole. Removing the green scum, I drank deep of the stagnant pool. My
thirst was only partially quenched by this draught, and soon returned. As
day dawned, I found some sassafras leaves, which I chewed, to allay the
pangs of hunger; but they formed a paste which I could not swallow.

I soon after came to an old field, where I obtained an abundant supply of
blackberries, which not only served to check the gnawings of hunger, but
also to allay my intolerable thirst. I reflected that this day was the
holy Sabbath, but it brought neither rest to my weary frame, nor composure
to my agitated and excited mind. Like Salathiel, the Wandering Jew, the
word _March!_ was ringing in my ears. Onward! was my motto; Liberty or
death! my watchword. About ten o'clock I came to an open country, and
sought out a ditch, in which to conceal myself. Here I fell into a
troubled sleep. I saw, in dreams, tables groaning under the weight of the
most delicious viands, and brooks of crystal waters, bubbling and
sparkling as they rushed onward in their meandering course; but when I
attempted to grasp them, they served me as they did Tantalus, of olden
time, by vanishing into thin air, or receding beyond my reach. While lying
here, I was now and then aroused by the trampling of horses grazing in
the field, which I feared might be bringing on my pursuers. And once the
voices of men, mingled with the sounds of horses' feet upon a little
bridge, some twenty feet distant, induced me to look out from my
hiding-place, and lo! two cavalry-men--perhaps hunting for my life!--rode

When the sun had reached the zenith, I was again startled by voices, which
approached nearer and nearer my place of concealment, till at length the
cause was discovered. Several children, both black and white, had come
from a farm-house, about a quarter of a mile distant, to gather
blackberries along the margin of the ditch. They soon discovered me, and
seemed somewhat startled and alarmed at my appearance. I soon saw them
gazing down upon me, in my moist bed, with evident amazement and alarm.
Pallid, haggard, unshaven, and covered with mud, I must have presented a
frightful picture.

As soon as the children passed me, fearing the report they would carry
home, I arose from my lair, and hurried on, though I had to pass in sight
of several houses. After travelling three or four miles through an open
champaign country, I came to a dense woods, bordering a stream which had
ceased running, in consequence of the great drought that had, for a long
time, prevailed throughout this section of Mississippi. The creek had been
a large one, and in the deep holes, some water still remained, though
warm, and covered with a heavy scum, and mingled with the spawn of frogs.
I drank it, however, from sheer necessity, tepid and unhealthy as it was.
It did not allay my thirst, but created a nausea, which was very

About four o'clock P. M., I was startled by the baying of bloodhounds
behind me, and apparently on my track. Before escaping from jail, I had
been advised by the prisoners to obtain some onions, as these, rubbed on
the soles of my boots, would destroy the scent. They could only be
procured, however, by a visit to some garden-patch, and I feared to go so
near a house. I had left no clothes in prison from which the hounds could
obtain the scent in order to find my track, and my starting in a
southwest direction was an additional precaution against bloodhounds.
Their baying soon became alarmingly distinct. Having heard them almost
every night for years, as they hunted down the fugitive slave, I could not
mistake the fearful import of their howling. I could devise no plan for
breaking the trail. Dan Boone, when pursued by Indians, succeeded in
baffling the hounds by catching at some overhanging branches, and swinging
himself forward. Negroes often destroy the scent by carrying matches, and
setting the leaves on fire. One negro of whom I heard, ran along the brink
of a precipice, and dug a recess back from the narrow path. Crawling into
it, he remained till the hounds reached that point, when he thrust them
from the path. They fell and were dashed to pieces on the jagged rocks

None of these plans were practicable to me, and I supposed death imminent,
either from being torn to pieces by the hounds, or by being shot by the
cavalry, who were following them. Climbing a tree, I resolved to await
the arrival of the cavalry, and having determined to die rather than be
taken back again to Tupelo, I would refuse to obey any summons to descend.
O, how I wished for my navy repeater, that I might sell my life as dearly
as possible! that I might make some secessionist bite the dust ere I was
slain! I often thought of the couplet in the old song--

  "The hounds are baying on my track,
  Christian, will you send me back?"

A feeling of strong sympathy arose in my bosom for the poor African, who,
in his endeavour to escape from the Iron Furnace of Southern slavery,
often encountered the bloodhounds, and was torn to pieces by them. "A
fellow feeling makes us wondrous kind."

I had remained but a short time in the tree, when I ascertained that the
hounds were bearing eastward, and they soon passed at a distance. They
were on the track of some other poor fugitive, and I rejoiced again in the
hope of safety. Coming to a corn-field, I plucked two ears of corn, and
ate them raw, having no matches wherewith to kindle a fire, which, indeed,
would have increased my peril, as the smoke might advertise my presence to
bitter and unrelenting foes.

Toward night I lay down in the woods, and fell asleep. Visions of
abundance, both to eat and drink, haunted me, and every unusual sound
would startle me. A fly peculiar to the South, whose buzz sounded like the
voice of an old man, often awoke me with the fear that my enemies were
near. As soon as Ursa Minor appeared, I took up my line of march. The
night was very dark, and I became somewhat bewildered. At length I reached
a crossroads, and as I was emerging from the wood, I saw two pickets a few
yards from me. Stooping down, I crawled on my hands and knees back into
the woods. As I retired, I heard one picket say to the other, "Who is

He replied, "It is the lieutenant of the guard."

"What does he want?" said the first.

"He is slipping round to see if we are asleep."

After I got a safe distance in the bushes, I lay down and slept till the
moon arose. To the surprise of my bewildered brain, it seemed to rise in
the west. Taking my course, I hastened on, sometimes through woods,
sometimes through cornfields, and sometimes through swamps. Coming to a
large pasture, in which a number of cows were grazing, I tried to obtain
some milk, but none of them would allow me to approach near enough to
effect my purpose. My face was not of the right colour, and my costume
belonged to a sex that never milked them. I travelled until day-break,
when I concealed myself in a thicket of cane, and had scarcely fallen
asleep when I heard the sound of the reveille, in a camp close at hand.
Arising, I hurriedly beat a retreat, and travelled several hours before I
dared take any rest. I at length lay down amid the branches of a fallen
tree, and slept. Visions of home and friends flitted before me. Voices
sweet and kind greeted me on all sides. The bitter taunts of cruel
officers no longer assailed my ears. The loved ones at home were present,
and the joys of the past were renewed. But, alas! the falling of a limb
dissipated all my fancied pleasures. The reality returned, and I was still
a fugitive escaping for life, and in the midst of a hostile country.

To-day my mock trial would have taken place, and I fancied the
disappointment of Woodruff, who had stated that to his knowledge I was a
spy, and to-day would have sworn it. And Barnes, the mail-robber,
recommended for promotion because of his heroism in re-arresting me, how
sad he must feel, that the bird had flown, and that he would not have the
pleasure of witnessing my execution. I thanked God and took courage.
Though faint and weary, I was still hopeful and trusting, often repeating,

  "'Tis God has led me safe thus far,
    And he will bring me home."

On this (Monday) night, I travelled steadily, crossing swamps,
corn-fields, woods, and pastures. I came to only one cotton-field during
the night. I passed through several wheat-fields, where the wheat had been
harvested; I pulled a handful from a shock, and rubbed out some of the
grain, but it was so bitter I could not eat it. I suspected every bush a
secessionist, though I felt much more secure at night than in daylight. I
avoided roads as much as possible, travelling on none except to cross
them, which was done with great rapidity. The rising sun still found me
pressing onward, and thirst and hunger were now consuming me. To satisfy
hunger, I had recourse to the corn-field; but I could find no water. I
would gladly have drank any kind of beverage, however filthy, so that my
thirst might be allayed. About nine o'clock, when I had almost despaired
of getting water at all, I came to a copious fountain in a gorge of the
hills, and from its appearance, I seemed to be the discoverer. Around it
there was no trace of human foot, nor hoof of cattle. On beholding it, I
wept with joy. I remained by it about four hours, quaffing its cool and
crystal waters, the first running water I had tasted since leaving
prison. I also bathed my body and washed my clothes, drying them in the
sun, and endeavoured to rid them of vermin, in which I only partially
succeeded. I named this fountain _Fons Beatus_, and left it with sincere

Three o'clock, P. M., arrived, and I felt bewildered. I knew not where I
was. I might be near friends, I might be near bloodthirsty foes. I could
scarcely walk. My iron bands had become very irksome. I felt that I was
becoming childish. I could tell all my bones. I tried to pray, but could
only utter, "Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner!" Still I felt thankful
that it was so well with me as it was.

At that very hour, had I not escaped, I should have been either on the
scaffold at Tupelo, or suspended between heaven and earth, surrounded by
an insulting and jeering army. This reflection made me thankful to God,
even though I should die in the swamps. The sky became overcast, and I
found it impossible to distinguish north from south. I therefore concealed
myself and slept. It was night when I awoke, and the clouds still covered
the sky threateningly, concealing my guiding star, and rendering it
impossible for me to proceed. Thus, when I wished most to go forward, my
progress was arrested, and my distressing suspense prolonged. During the
whole night I was asleep and awake alternately, but could not at any time
discern either moon or stars. Once, while sleeping behind a fallen tree by
the roadside, a horseman passed by. His dog, a large and ferocious-looking
animal, came running along by the side of the tree where I was lying. When
he reached me, I raised up suddenly and brandishing a club menacingly, the
alarmed and howling dog incontinently and ingloriously fled, leaving me
master of the field.

On Wednesday morning the sun was still obscured until nine o'clock. I was
then sick. There was a ringing in my ears, and I was affected with
vertigo, a dimness of vision and faintness, which rendered me absolutely
unfit for travel. It required an hour to walk a quarter of a mile. I found
a good supply of blackberries, which very much refreshed me. Before me
was a hill, the top of which I reached after two hours' laborious ascent.
I despaired of getting much further. I thought I must perish in the Iron
Furnace of secession, which was heated very hot for me. Feeling confident
that I must be near Tippah county, and knowing that there were many Union
men in that county, I resolved to call at the first house on my route. If
I remained where I was, I must perish, as I could go no further, and if I
met with a Union family, I should be saved; if with "a secesh," I might
possibly impose upon their credulity, and get refreshment without being
arrested. They might, however, cause my arrest. It was a dilemma such as I
hope never to be placed in again. About an hour before sunset I came to a
house, and remained near it for some time. At length I saw a negro girl
come to the door. Knowing that where there were negroes, in nine cases out
of ten there were secessionists near, I left the house as quickly as my
enfeebled condition would permit. Going to another house, I remained near
it till I was satisfied there were no negroes held by that family. I then
went boldly up, knocked, gained admittance, and asked for some water,
which was given me. The lady of the house, scrutinizing me closely, asked
me if I were from Tupelo. I replied in the affirmative. She then inquired
my name. I gave her my Christian name, John Hill, suppressing the surname.
Her husband was sitting near, a man of Herculean frame; and as the wife's
inquisitiveness was beginning to alarm me, I turned to him and said: "My
friend, you are a man of great physical powers, and at this time you ought
to be in the army. The Yankees are overrunning all our country, and the
service of every man is needed." His wife replied that he was not in the
army, nor would he go into it, unless he was forced to go. They had been
told that the cavalry would be after him in a few days, to take him as a
conscript; but she considered the conscript law, base and tyrannical.
Overjoyed at the utterance of such sentiments as these, I then revealed my
true character. I told them that I had recently made my escape from
Tupelo, where I was doomed to execution on the gallows, and that I was
now flying from prison and from death. I then exhibited the iron bands
upon my ankles. Both promised all the aid in their power. The lady at once
proposed to prepare supper, but I was too near the point of starvation to
await the slow process of cooking. She therefore turned down the
tablecloth, which covered the fragments remaining from dinner, and
disclosed some corn bread and Irish potatoes. Though I never liked corn
bread, I must confess I thought that was the sweetest morsel I had ever

After eating a little, however, I became very sick, and was compelled to
desist. It was so long since I had partaken of any substantial food, that
my stomach now could not bear it. The lady soon prepared supper,
consisting of broiled chicken, and other delicacies. The fowl was quite
small, and I ate nearly the whole of it, much to the chagrin of a little
daughter of mine host, whom I heard complaining to her mother, afterward,
in an adjoining room, saying, "Ma, all I got of that chicken was a little
piece of the wing," and "aint that gentleman a hoss to eat?" with other
remarks by no means complimentary to my voracious appetite.

After supper, mine host endeavoured to remove the heavy iron bands by
which my ankles were clasped. This was accomplished after considerable
labour. I asked him to retain the bands till called for, which he promised
to do. The good lady furnished me with water and a suit of her husband's
clothes. After performing a thorough ablution, I donned the suit, and felt
completely metamorphosed, and was thoroughly disguised, as my new suit had
been made for a man of vastly larger physical proportions. I spent the
night with my new friends, during which a heavy thunder-storm passed over.
Had I been out in the drenching rain in my wretched condition, I must
surely have perished. In the morning my host informed me of a Union man
who knew the country in the direction of Rienzi, the point which I now
determined to reach. This gentleman lived half a mile distant, and my host
accompanied me to a thicket near his house, where I concealed myself till
he brought Mr. ---- to me. Said my friend No. 2, "I am not familiar with
the route to Rienzi, but will go with you to friend No. 3, who I am
positive is well acquainted with the road. He can take you through the
woods, so as to avoid the Confederate cavalry. As I undertake this at the
risk of my life, we must wait till night. I would gladly have you come to
my house, but I fear that it might transpire through my children that I
had helped you to escape. I have a large family, and most of 'em is gals,
and you know gals will talk. You can stay in my barn till I come for you.
I will carry you provisions during the day, and to-night we will go to my

About three o'clock in the morning, he came with two horses, one of which
he mounted, and I the other. The horse I rode was a blooded animal, and to
use my friend's expression, could run like a streak of lightning. I
provided myself with a good whip, resolving, in case of danger, to put my
horse to his utmost speed. A short time after daylight, we reached friend
No. 3, who promised to conduct me to Rienzi. While at his house, I learned
that a Unionist, Mr. N----, had been killed under circumstances of the
greatest cruelty. His sentiments had become known to the rebels. He was
arrested by their cavalry, and refusing to take the oath, they resolved to
put him to death on the spot. He had a large family of small children,
who, together with his wife, begged that his life might be spared. He
himself had no favours to ask of the secessionists. Among his foes, the
only point of dispute was, as to the mode of his death. Some favoured
shooting, some hanging; but the prevailing majority were in favour of
scalding him to death. And there, in the presence of his weeping and
helpless family, these fiends in human form _deliberately heated water,
with which they scalded to death their chained and defenceless victim_.
Thus perished a patriot of whom the State was not worthy. The corpse was
then suspended from a tree, with a label on the breast, stating that
whoever cut him down and buried him, should suffer the same fate. My
companions cut down the corpse by night, and buried it in the forest. May
God reward them!

My friend No. 3 thought that it would be best to travel in daylight. He
could follow by-paths, and avoid the rebel cavalry. We started about eight
o'clock on Friday morning, and met with no incident worth narrating until
we reached a mill; here we fell in with some six or seven rebel soldiers,
who had been out on sick furlough, and were returning. They scanned us
closely, and inquired whence we came, and whither bound. My friend
specified a neighbourhood from which he affirmed we came, and stated that
we were hunting stray oxen, asking whether they had seen a black ox and a
pied ox in their travels. They replied in the negative; and in turn asked
him who I was. He replied that I was his wife's brother, who had come from
Alabama about three months ago. They said I looked like "death on a pale
hoss," and wished to know what was the matter with me--if I were
consumptive. My friend replied that I had had the chills for several
months; and as there was no quinine in the country, it was impossible to
stop them.

During this inquisition, I was ready at any moment to put spur to my
horse, and run a race for life, had any attempt been made to arrest me, or
if I had been recognised by any of the soldiers. We were, however,
permitted to pass on, not without some suspicious glances. We at length
reached a point ten miles from Rienzi. My guide now insisted on returning.
It would be morning ere he reached home, and if met by cavalry, he must
invent some plausible excuse for having a led horse. Nor did he dare
return by the same route. Knowing the country, I permitted him to return.
I then set out on foot, and at length reached the Federal pickets, three
miles from Rienzi, where a horse was furnished me; and about ten o'clock I
reached the head-quarters of Colonel Misner in Rienzi. When I gazed upon
the star-spangled banner, beneath whose ample folds there was safety and
protection--when I saw around me the Union hosts--I shed tears of joy, and
from the depths of my heart returned thanks to Almighty God, who had
given me my life at my request, preserving me, amid dangers seen and
unseen, till I now was safe amid hosts of friends.

Colonel Misner requested me to report all that would be of service to
General Rosecrans, which I did, he copying my report as I gave it. I
reported, so far as I was informed, the probable number of troops in and
around Tupelo, the topography of the country, the probable designs of the
rebels, the number of troops sent to Richmond under Beauregard, &c. The
Colonel requested me to go with him to head-quarters in the morning; but
at the hour specified I was sick, and my physician, Dr. Holley, of the
Thirty-sixth Illinois, thought it would not be advisable for me to go,
even in an ambulance. My report, however, was carried up to General

Through proper treatment I recovered in a few days, so as to be able to go
into Jacinto, the nearest point in the Federal lines to my family. I
called on General Jefferson C. Davis, who was in command of that post. The
General had heard of my arrest, and expressed gratification at my safe
return. I informed him of my desire to get my family within the lines. The
General immediately proffered me all the cavalry at his command, and
ordered them to prepare for the expedition. I thankfully accepted his kind
offer, but after reflection concluded to send a messenger first, with a
letter to my wife; if he were not intercepted, I knew that she would come
in as soon as possible. The order to the cavalry was countermanded until
this plan would be tried. The messenger was not intercepted, and on the
next day I had the pleasure of beholding my wife and child, whose faces, a
short time before, I had given up all hope of ever beholding on earth.

While here, I called on my friend, Lieutenant Richard Malone, who resides
in Jacinto. On inquiring at his house for him, he heard my voice, and ran
out to the gate to meet me. Grasping my hand, he could not for some time
control his emotions so as to speak.

Malone gave me his history since we had parted at the outer wall of the
prison. He reached the corn-field at the point designated, and anxiously
awaited my arrival until near daylight, when he was compelled to seek
safety in flight. We had agreed to meet in the corn-field at a place where
there was a garment suspended upon the fence. We think there must have
been two garments suspended at different points, and hence our mistake. We
could not signal loud in consequence of the nearness of the pickets, and
therefore did not meet. Soon after daylight, Malone found himself in the
midst of a cavalry company which had encamped there during the night; they
were making preparations for departure, and the majority of them were
gathering blackberries. Joining them, he passed as a citizen, and when he
reached the rear of the company, he gathered some sticks in his arms, and
started towards a small cabin at a short distance, as if it were his
residence. Before reaching it, he made a detour to the right, and passed
into the dense woods. On the next day, about ten o'clock, A. M., he
reached an open champaign country, through which it would have been
dangerous to travel. To the west, about three hundred yards distant, was a
dense woods, which he hoped to reach without detection. While travelling
down a road for this purpose, four cavalrymen who were in pursuit dashed
towards him, and ordered him to return with them to Tupelo. Malone
replied, that as it was useless to resist, he must submit. He asked for
some water; they had none in their canteens, but went to a house in the
distance to obtain some. Malone was ordered to march before them, which he
was compelled to do, though famishing from hunger and thirst. On reaching
the house, they all went to the well and drew a bucket of water. There
being no dipper, Malone remarked that he would go into the house and get
one. One of the guards followed, and stationed himself at the door with
his gun. Malone went into the house, and immediately passed out at the
back door. The garden gate being open, he passed into the garden, when he
commenced running. Two women in the house noticed his running, and
clapping their hands exclaimed, "Your Yankee's gone! Your Yankee's gone!"
The guards immediately followed, ordering him to halt, and firing at him
with their revolvers. Malone quickly reached a corn-field, and soon after
a swamp, whence he made good his escape, and after various vicissitudes
reached his family in Jacinto, where I now found him.

I returned to Rienzi with my family, resolved to leave for the North. My
wife, before leaving her father's, learned, through a letter sent by a
rebel officer to his wife, that all the guards who were on duty during the
night I escaped from prison, were placed under close arrest, and were
still in the dungeon at the time of his writing. There were eleven guards
on each relief, and three reliefs during the night; there were, therefore,
thirty-three guards placed under arrest because of my escape.

On the night previous to our departure from Rienzi, we were honoured with
a serenade, through the politeness of General Granger, of the cavalry, and
Colonel Bryner, of the Forty-seventh Illinois Regiment. Being called on
for a speech, I thus responded:

    GENTLEMEN--I return you sincere thanks for the honour intended myself
    and family. In the language of the last tune played by your band, I
    truly feel at "home again," and it fills my soul with joy to meet my
    friends once more. What a vast difference a few miles makes! Tupelo is
    about forty miles south of Rienzi, on an air-line. There I was
    regarded as a base ingrate, as a despicable traitor, as an enemy to
    the country, chained as a felon, doomed to die, and before the
    execution of the sentence, subjected to every species of insult and
    contumely. Here I meet with the kindest expressions of sympathy from
    officers of all ranks, from the subaltern to the general, and there is
    not a private soldier who has heard my tale of woe, who does not
    manifest a kindly sympathy.

    I hope that you will soon pass south of Tupelo; but in your march to
    the Gulf, may you fare better than I did in my journey to this place.
    Green corn eaten raw, berries, and stagnant water, would soon cause
    you to present the emaciated appearance that I do. On your route, call
    upon the secession sympathizers, and compel them to furnish you with
    better and more substantial food. My horse I left at Tupelo. He is a
    valuable animal. The rebel General Hardee, in the true spirit of
    secession, appropriated--that is, stole--him. However, I did not call
    to demand him when I left. Being in haste, I did not choose to spare
    the time, and leaving in the night, I did not wish to disturb the
    slumbers of the Tupelonians. He is a bright bay. If you meet with him,
    you may have him for nothing. I would much prefer that he serve the
    Federal army.

    If you take General Jordan prisoner, send me word, and I will furnish
    you with the iron bands that he put on me, by which you may secure him
    till he meets the just award of his crimes, which would be death, for
    destroying the lives of so many Union men.

    I hope that you may soon plant the stars and stripes on the shores of
    the Gulf of Mexico, and play the "Star-spangled Banner" within
    hearing of its vertiginous billows, after having conquered every foe
    to the permanence of the glorious Union. I close with the sentiment of
    the immortal Jackson, which I wish you to bear constantly in mind, in
    your victorious progress--"The Federal Union--it must and shall be
    preserved!" Relying upon the God of battles, rest assured that the
    right cause will triumph, and that after having secured the great
    object of your warfare, the preservation of the Union, your children
    and your children's children will rise up and call you blessed,
    rejoicing in the enjoyment of a free, united, and happy country.

    Wishing you abundant success, I beg leave to retire.

On Saturday, the 2d of August, 1862, we left Rienzi, _en route_ for the
North, in company with William H. Hubbard, Esq., and family, who were also
refugees. From the moment I reached the Federal lines I experienced
nothing but kindness. I could not mention all who are deserving of thanks
from myself and family. I am under special obligations to Generals Nelson,
Rosecrans, Granger, Davis, and Asboth; also to Colonel Bryner and
Lieutenant Colonel Thrush, of the Forty-seventh Illinois, and Surgeon
Lucas, of same regiment, and to Dr. Holley, of the Thirty-sixth Illinois
Volunteers; to Josiah King, Esq., of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Dr.
McCook, of Steubenville, Ohio; also Mrs. Ann Wheelwright, of Newburyport,
Massachusetts, whose kind letter will ever be remembered, and whose
"material aid" entitles her to lasting gratitude; and to Rev. George
Potts, D. D., of New York; and Mr. William E. Dubois, of Philadelphia;
Rev. Dr. Sprole, Newburgh, New York; Rev. N. Hewitt, D. D., Bridgeport,
Connecticut; and Rev. F. N. Ewing, Chicago, Illinois; Rev. J. M. Krebs, D.
D., New York; Rev. A. D. Smith, D. D., New York; and Rev. F. Reck
Harbaugh, Philadelphia, and many others.

Before closing this chapter I would mention the following incident:

On Wednesday evening, November 19th, I addressed the citizens of
Philadelphia at the Sixth Presbyterian Church, (Rev. F. Reck Harbaugh's.)
A report of this address found its way into the city papers. Two days
afterwards, while in conversation with Mr. Martien, at his book-store, two
soldiers entered, one of whom approached, and thus addressed me:

"Do you know me, sir?"

I replied: "Your face is familiar, but I do not remember your name. It is
my misfortune not to be able to remember proper names."

"I read the report of your address in the newspaper, and through the aid
of my comrade, I have succeeded in finding you. We have met before, at

At the mention of Tupelo, I immediately recognised in the speaker the man
who, after labouring with the others in sundering my chain, engaged the
guard, who sat in the doorway, in conversation, while I watched an
opportunity to disappear under the prison. Grasping him warmly by the
hand, I said: "I now recognise you. You are Mr. Howell Trogdon, of
Missouri, late my fellow-prisoner in Tupelo. How and when did you succeed
in leaving that prison?"

"Being a Federal prisoner, I was removed from Tupelo to Mobile, and there
parolled on the 26th of August last."

"When was I missed after my escape, and how did the officers act when they
learned that I was gone?"

"You were missed at roll-call, the next morning, and in a short time, many
officers came into the prison. They were greatly enraged at this, your
second flight. The prisoners were closely questioned as to their
complicity in your escape, but they denied all knowledge of the matter.
Soon all the prison-guards on duty during the night, thirty-three in
number, were brought into the prison in chains. The cavalry was ordered
out in search of you, and directed to shoot you down wherever found. The
mode of your escape was not discovered, and the officers were of the
opinion that you had bribed the guards. _From that time, the officers
became more cruel than ever, and in two weeks, thirty-two of our
fellow-prisoners were taken out and shot!_ We never learned whether you
had succeeded in escaping to the Union lines. We feared that you were
overtaken and shot, or that you perished in the swamps from hunger,
thirst, and fatigue. I hope soon to see McHatten, Speer, De Grummond, and
Soper, who are also parolled, and they will rejoice to learn that you
still live. During the night of your escape, we slept but little, through
fear that _our chaplain_ might be shot by the guards, and I assure you
many fervent prayers ascended to Heaven for your safety."



    Sandhillers--Dirt-eating--Dipping--Their Mode of
    Living--Patois--Rain-book--Wife-trade--Coming in to see the
    Cars--Superstition--Marriage of Kinsfolks--Hardshell Sermon--Causes
    which lead to the Degradation of this Class--Efforts to Reconcile the
    Poor Whites to the Peculiar Institution--The Slaveholding Class--The
    Middle Class--Northern Isms--Incident at a Methodist Minister's
    House--Question asked a Candidate for Licensure--Reason of Southern
    Hatred toward the North--Letter to Mr. Jackman--Barbarities and
    Cruelties of Slavery--Mulattoes--Old Cole--Child Born at
    Whipping-post--Advertisement of a Keeper of Bloodhounds--Getting Rid
    of Free Blacks--The Doom of Slavery--Methodist Church South.

The sojourner in the Slave States is struck with the wretched and degraded
appearance of a class of people called by the slaveholders, "poor white
folks," and "the tallow-faced gentry," from their pallid complexion. They
live in wretched hovels, dress slatternly, and are exceedingly filthy in
their habits. Many of them are clay or dirt-eaters, which is said to cause
their peculiar complexion. Their children, at a very early age, form this
filthy and disgusting habit; and mere infants may be found with their
mouths filled with dirt. The mud with which they daub the interstices
between the logs of their rude domicils, must be frequently renewed, as
the occupants pick it all out in a very short time, and eat it. This
pernicious practice induces disease. The complexion becomes pale, similar
to that occasioned by chronic ague and fever.

Akin to this is the practice of snuff-dipping, which is not confined
exclusively to females of the poor white caste, though scarcely one in
fifty of this class is exempt from the disgusting habit. The method is
this: The female snuff-dipper takes a short stick, and wetting it with her
saliva, dips it into her snuff-box, and then rubs the gathered dust all
about her mouth, and into the interstices of her teeth, where she allows
it to remain until its strength has been fully absorbed. Others hold the
stick thus loaded with snuff in the cheek, _a la quid_ of tobacco, and
suck it with a decided relish, while engaged in their ordinary
avocations; while others simply fill the mouth with the snuff, and
imitate, to all intents and purposes, the chewing propensities of the men.
In the absence of snuff, tobacco in the plug or leaf is invariably
resorted to as a substitute. Oriental betel-chewing, and the Japanese
fashion of blacking the teeth of married ladies, are the height of
elegance compared with snuff-dipping. The habit leads to a speedy decay of
the teeth, and to nervous disorders of every kind. Those who indulge in it
become haggard at a very early age.

The _Petersburg_ (Va.) _Express_ estimates the number of women in that
State as one hundred and twenty-five thousand, one hundred thousand of
whom are snuff-dippers. Every five of these will use a two-ounce paper of
snuff per day; that is, to the hundred thousand dippers, two thousand five
hundred pounds a day, amounting, in one year, to the enormous quantity of
nine hundred and twelve thousand pounds. This practice prevails generally,
it says, among the poor whites, though some females of the higher classes
are guilty of it.

The poor whites obtain their subsistence, as far as practicable, in the
primitive aboriginal mode, viz., by hunting and fishing. When these
methods fail to afford a supply, they cultivate a truck-patch, and some of
them raise a bale or two of cotton, with the proceeds of the sale of which
they buy whiskey, tobacco, and a few necessary articles. When all other
methods fail, they resort to stealing, to which many of them are addicted
from choice, as well as from necessity. They are exceeding slovenly in
their habits, cleanliness being a rare virtue. Indolence is a prevailing
vice, and its lamentable effects are everywhere visible. They fully obey
the scriptural injunction, take no thought for the morrow. A present
supply, sufficient to satisfy nature's most urgent demands, being
obtained, their care ceases, and they relapse into listless inactivity.
They herd together upon the poor sand-hills, the refuse land of the
country, which the rich slaveholder will not purchase, for which reason,
they are sometimes called sand-hillers, and here they live, and their
children, and their children's children, through successive generations,
in the same deplorable condition of wretchedness and degradation.

They are exceedingly ignorant; not one adult in fifty can write; not one
in twenty can read. They can scarcely be said to speak the English
language, using a patois which is scarcely intelligible. An old lady thus
related an incident of which her daughter "_Sal_" was the heroine. "My
darter Sal yisterday sot the lather to the damsel tree, and clim up, and
knocked some of the nicest saftest damsels I ever seed in my born days." I
once called to make some inquiry about the road, at a small log tenement,
inhabited by a sand-hiller and family. A sheet was hanging upon the wall,
containing the portraits of the Presidents of the United States. I
remarked to the lady of the house that those were, I believed, the
pictures of the Presidents.

"Yes!" she replied; "they is, and I've hearn tell of 'em a long time. They
must be gittin' mighty old, ef some of 'em aint dead. That top one," she
continued, "is Gineral Washington. I've hearn of him ever sence I was a
gal. He must be gittin' up in years, ef he aint dead. Him and Gineral
Jackson fit the British and Tories at New Orleans, and whipped 'em, too."

She seemed to pride herself greatly on her historical knowledge.

One of these geniuses once informed me of a peculiar kind of book "he'd
hearn tell on," that the Yankees had. He had forgotten its name, but thus
described it: "It told the day of the week the month come in on. It told
when we was a gwine to have rain, and what kind of wether we was gwine to
have in gineral. May-be they call it a rain-book."

I replied that I had heard of the book, and I believed that it was called
an Almanac.

"You've said it now," remarked the man. "It's a alminick, and I'd give
half I's wuth to have one. I'd no when to take a umberell, and if I
haddent nary one, I'd no when I could go a huntin' without gittin' wet."

Two of these semi-savages had resolved to remove to the West, in hope of
bettering their condition. One wished to remove to Arkansas, the other to
Texas. The wife of the former wished to go to Texas, the latter to
Arkansas. The husbands were desirous of gratifying their spouses, but
could devise no plan that seemed likely to prove satisfactory, till one
day when hunting, finding game scarce, they sat down upon a log, when the
following dialogue took place:

"Kit, I'm sort o' pestered about Dilsie. She swars to Rackensack she'll
go, and no whar else. I allers had a hankerin' arter Texas. Plague take
Rackensack, I say! Ef a man war thar, the ager and the airthquakes ed
shake him out on it quicker en nothin'."

"When a woman's set on a gwine anywhar, they're a gwine. It's jest no use
to talk. I've coaxed Minnie more'n a little to go long with me to
Arkansas, and the more I coax, the more she wont go."

"Well, Kit, 'sposen we swap women."

"Well, Sam, what trade'll ye gin?"

"Oh! a gentleman's trade, of course!"

"Shucks, Sam! 'sposen I had a young filly, and you a old mar, ye wouldn't
ax an even trade, would ye?"

"No; it 'ud be too hard. I tell you what I'll do, Kit. Here's a shot-gun
that's wuth ten dollars, ef it's wuth a red. I'll give it and that ar
b'ar-skin hangin' on the side of my shanty, to boot, and say it's a

"Nuff sed, ef the women's agreed."

Home they went, and stated the case to the women, who, _after due
deliberation_, acceded to the proposition, having also made a satisfactory
arrangement about the children, and they all soon went on their way
rejoicing to their respective destinations in that

  "American's haven of eternal rest,
  Found a little farther West."

On the Sabbath after the completion of the Memphis and Charleston
railroad, a large number of the sand-hillers came to Iuka Springs, to
witness the passing of the cars. Arriving too early, they visited a church
where divine service was progressing. Whilst the minister was in the midst
of his sermon, the locomotive whistle sounded, when a stampede took place
to the railroad. The exodus left the parson almost alone in his glory.
The passing train caused the most extravagant expressions and gestures of
wonder and astonishment by these rude observers. It was an era in their

Once while standing on the railroad-track, I observed a crowd of these
people coming to see the "_elephant_." They came so near, that I overheard
their conversation. One young lass, of sweet sixteen, with slattern dress
and dishevelled hair, looking up the road, which was visible for a great
distance, thus expressed her astonishment at what she saw: "O, dad! what a
long piece of iron!" Soon the whistle sounded; this they had never heard
before, and came to the conclusion that it was a dinner-horn. As soon as
the cars came in sight, they scattered like frightened sheep, some on one
side of the road, and some on the other. Nor did they halt till they had
placed fifty yards at least between them and the track.

Superstition prevails amongst them to a fearful extent. Almost every hut
has a horse-shoe nailed above the door, or on the threshold, to keep out
witches. In sickness, charms and incantations are used to drive away
disease. Their physicians are chiefly what are termed faith-doctors, who
are said to work miraculous cures. They are strong believers in luck. If a
rabbit cross their path, they will turn round to change their luck. If, on
setting out on a journey, an owl hoot on the left hand, they will return
and set out anew. If the new moon is seen through brush, or on the left
hand, it is a bad omen. They will have trouble during the lunar month.
When the whippoorwill is first heard in the spring, they turn head over
heels thrice, to prevent back-ache during the year. Dreams are harbingers
of joy or wo. To dream of snakes, is ominous. To dream of seeing a coffin,
or conversing with the dead, is a sign of approaching dissolution, and
many have no doubt perished through terror, occasioned by such dreams.
Fortune-tellers are rife amongst them--those sages whose comprehensive
view knows the past, the present, and the future. They seek unto familiar
spirits, that peep and mutter, for the living to the dead.

They have many deformed, and blind, and deaf among them, in consequence of
the intermarriage of relatives. Cousins often marry, and occasionally they
marry within the degrees of consanguinity prohibited by the law of God.
Perhaps this divine law forbids the marriage of cousins when it declares,
"Thou shalt not marry any that is near of kin." The sad effects on
posterity, both mentally and physically, lead to the conviction that if
the law of God does not condemn it, physiological law does.

These sand-hillers do not (when no serious preventive occurs) fail to
attend the elections, where the highest bidder obtains their vote.
Sometimes their vote will command cash, and sometimes only whiskey. It is
sad to witness the elective franchise, that highest and most glorious
badge of a freeman, thus prostituted.

The proverb holds good--Like people, like priest. Their ministers are
ignorant, ranting fanatics. They despise literature, and every Sabbath
fulminate censures upon an educated ministry. The following is a specimen
of their preaching. Mr. V---- is a Hard-shell Baptist, or, as they term
themselves, "Primitive Baptists." Entering the pulpit on a warm morning in
July, he will take off his coat and vest, roll up his sleeves, and then

    MY BRETHERING AND SISTERN--I air a ignorant man, follered the plough
    all my life, and never rubbed agin nary college. As I said afore, I'm
    ignorant, and I thank God for it. (Brother Jones responds, "Passon,
    yer ort to be very thankful, fur yer very ignorant.") Well, I'm agin
    all high larnt fellers what preaches grammar and Greek fur a thousand
    dollars a year. They preaches fur the money, and they gits it, and
    that's all they'll git. They've got so high larnt they contradicts
    Scripter, what plainly tells us that the sun rises and sets. They seys
    it don't, but that the yerth whirls round, like clay to the seal. What
    ud cum of the water in the wells ef it did. Wodent it all spill out,
    and leave 'em dry, and whar ed we be? I may say to them, as the
    sarpent said unto David, much learning hath made thee mad.

    When I preaches, I never takes a tex till I goes inter the pulpit;
    then I preaches a plain sarment, what even women can understand. I
    never premedertates, but what is given to me in that same hour, that I
    sez. Now I'm a gwine ter open the Bible, and the first verse I sees,
    I'm a gwine to take it for a tex. (Suiting the action to the word, he
    opened the Bible, and commenced reading and spelling together.) Man is
    w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l-l-y--wonderfully--m-a-d-e--mad.--"Man is fearfully
    and wonderfully made." (Pronounced _mad_.) Well, it's a quar tex, but
    I said I's a gwine to preach from it, and I'm a gwine to do it. In the
    fust place, I'll divide my sarment into three heads. Fust and
    foremost, I show you that a man will git mad. 2d. That sometimes he'll
    git fearfully mad; and thirdly and lastly, when thar's lots of things
    to vex and pester him, he'll git fearfully and wonderfully mad. And in
    the application I'll show you that good men sometimes gits mad, for
    the Posle David hisself, who rote the tex, got mad, and called all men
    liars, and cussed his enemies, wishen' 'em to go down quick into hell;
    and Noah, he got tite, and cussed his nigger boy Ham, just like some
    drunken masters now cusses their niggers. But Noah and David repented;
    and all on us what gits mad must repent, or the devil'll git us.

Thus he ranted, to the great edification of his hearers, who regard him as
a perfect Boanerges, to which title his stentorian voice would truly
entitle him. This exordium will serve as a specimen of the "sarment," as
it continued in the same strain to the end of the peroration.

Where there is no vision, the people perish. Such blind leaders of the
blind are liable, with their infatuated followers, to fall into a ditch
worse than Bunyan's Slough of Despond. This minister had undoubtedly run
when he was not sent, though he "had hearn a call; a audible voice had,
while he was a shucken corn, said unto him, Preach." Though God does not
need men's learning, yet he has as little use for their ignorance.
Learning is the handmaid of religion, but must not be substituted in its

The causes which induce this "wilderness of mind" are patent to all who
make even a cursory examination. There is a tendency in the poor to ape
the manners of the rich. Those having slaves to labour in their stead,
toil not physically; hence labour falls into disrepute, and the poorer
classes, having no slaves to work for them, and not choosing to submit to
the degradation of labour, incur all the evils resulting from idleness and
poverty. Ignorance and vice of every kind soon ensue, and a general apathy
prevails, which destroys in a great measure all mental and physical

The slaveholders buy up all the fertile lands to be cultivated by their
slaves; hence the poor are crowded out, and if they remain in the vicinity
of the place of their nativity, they must occupy the poor tracts whose
sterility does not excite the cupidity of their rich neighbours. The
slaveholders' motto is, "Let us buy more negroes to raise more cotton, to
buy more negroes, and so on _ad infinitum_." To raise more cotton they
must also buy more land. Small farmers are induced to sell out to them,
and move further west. For this reason, the white population of the
fertile sections of the older slave States is constantly on the decrease,
while the slave population is as constantly increasing. Thus the
slaveholder often acquires many square miles of land, and hundreds of
human chattels. He is, as it were, set alone in the earth. Priding himself
upon his wealth, he will not send his princely sons to the same school
with the poor white trash; he either sends them to some distant college or
seminary, or employs a private teacher exclusively for his children. The
poor whites in the neighbourhood, even should they desire to educate their
children, have no means to pay for their tuition. Compelled to live on
poor or worn-out lands, honest toil considered degrading, and forced to
submit to many inconveniences and disabilities (all the offices of honour
and profit being monopolized by the slaveholders,) through the workings of
the "peculiar institution," they find it utterly impossible to educate
their offspring, even in the rudiments of their mother tongue. As the
power of slavery increases, their condition waxes worse and worse.

The slaveocracy becomes more exacting. Laws are passed by the legislature
compelling non-slaveholders to patrol the country nightly, to prevent
insurrections by the negroes. They denounce the law, but coercion is
resorted to, and the poor whites are forced to obey. When their masters
call for them, they must leave their labour, by day or by night, patrol
the country, follow the bloodhounds, arrest the fugitive slave, and do all
other dirty work which their tyrants demand. If they refuse to obey, they
are denounced as abolitionists, and are in danger of death at the hands of
Judge Lynch, the mildest punishment they can hope for being a coat of tar
and feathers.

The house-negroes feel themselves several degrees above the poor whites,
as they, from their opportunities for observation amongst the higher
classes, are possessed of greater information and less rusticity than this
less favoured class. The poor whites have no love for the institution of
slavery. They regard it as the instrument of inflicting upon them many
wrongs, and depriving them of many rights. They dare not express their
sentiments to the slaveholders, who hold them completely under their
power. A. G. Brown, United States Senator from Mississippi, to reconcile
the poor whites to the peculiar institution, used the following arguments
in a speech at Iuka Springs, Mississippi. He stated, that if the slaves
were liberated, and suffered to remain in the country, the rich would have
money to enable them to go to some other clime, and that the poor whites
would be compelled to remain amongst the negroes, who would steal their
property, and destroy their lives; and if slavery were abolished, and the
negroes removed and colonized, the rich would take the poor whites for
slaves, in their stead, and reduce them to the condition of the Irish and
Dutch in the North, whose condition he represented to be one of cruel
bondage. These statements had some effect upon his auditors, who
believed, from sad experience, that the rich could oppress the poor as
they chose, and might, in the contingency specified, reduce them to
slavery. Labour is considered so degrading, that any argument, based upon
making labour compulsory on their part, has its weight. Even the beggar
despises work. A sturdy beggar asked alms at a house at which I was
lodging. As he appeared to be a man of great physical strength, he was
advised to go to work, and thus provide for his wants. "Work!" said he, in
disgust; "niggers do the work in this country"--and retired highly

This people form a distinct class, distinguished by as many
characteristics from the middle and higher classes of Southern society, as
the Jews are from the nations amongst whom they sojourn. The causes which
brought about their reduction to their present state of semi-barbarism,
must be removed, ere they can rise to the condition whence they have
fallen. They must rise upon the ruins of slavery. When the peculiar
institution is abolished, then, and not till then, will their disabilities
be removed, and they be in reality what they are nominally--freemen.

Slaveholders and their families form a distinct class, characterized by
idleness, vanity, licentiousness, profanity, dissipation, and tyranny.
There are glorious exceptions, it is true, but those are the
distinguishing traits of the class. The middle class is the virtuous class
of the South. They are industrious, frugal, hospitable, simple in their
habits, plain and unostentatious in their manners. Some of this class are
small slaveholders, but the great majority own none. The gross vices of
the higher class are not found among them. They labour regardless of the
sneers of their aristocratic neighbours. Senator Hammond, of South
Carolina, may call them mudsills; they regard it not, but pursue the even
tenor of their way. The slow, unmoving finger of scorn may be pointed at
them by the sons of pride, yet they refuse to eat the bread of idleness,
and labour with their _own hands_, that they may provide things honest in
the sight of all men. Equidistant from poverty and riches, they enjoy the
golden mean, and immunity from the temptations incident to the extremes of
abject poverty and great riches.

In the slave States all those born north of the "nigger line," are
denominated Yankees. This is applied as a term of reproach. When a
southerner is angry with a man of northern nativity, he does not fail to
stigmatize him as a Yankee. The slaveholders manifest considerable
antipathy against the Yankees, which has been increasing during the last
ten years. In 1858, the Legislature of Mississippi passed resolutions
recommending non-intercourse with the "Abolition States," and requesting
the people not to patronize natives of those States residing amongst them,
and especially to discountenance Yankee ministers and teachers. In the
educational notice of Memphis Synodical College, at La Grange, Tennessee,
it is expressly stated that the Faculty are of southern birth and
education. The principals of the Female Seminaries at Corinth and Iuka,
Mississippi, give notice that no Yankee teachers will be employed in those
institutions. While on a visit at the house of a Methodist clergyman,
quite a number of ministers, returning from Conference, called to tarry
for the night. During the evening, one of them, learning that I was
"_Yankee born_," thus interrogated me: "Why is it, sir, that all kinds of
delusions originate in the North, such as Millerism, Mormonism,
Spirit-rappings, and Abolitionism?" To which I replied: "The North
originates everything. All the text-books used in southern schools, all
the books on law, physic, and divinity, are written and published north of
Mason & Dixon's line. The South does not even print Bibles. The magnetic
telegraph, the locomotive, Lucifer matches, and even the cotton-gin, are
all northern inventions. The South, sir, has not sense enough to invent a
decent humbug. These humbugs once originated, the South is always well
represented by believers in them. I have known more men to go from this
county (Shelby county, Tennessee) to the Mormons, than I have known to go
from the whole State of Ohio."

When I had thus spoken, my inquisitor was nonplussed, and the laugh went
against him.

When a candidate before the Presbytery of Chickasaw, in Mississippi, for
licensure, one of the members of Presbytery, learning that I was a
"Yankee," asked me the following questions, and received the following

"Mr. Aughey, when will the day of judgment take place?"

"The Millerites have stated that the 30th of June next will be the
judgment-day. As for myself, I have had no revelation on the subject, and
expect none."

"Do you believe that any one can call the spirits?"

"I do, sir."

"What! believe that the spirits can be called?"

"I do, sir."

"I will vote, then, against your licensure, if you have fallen into this
heresy of the land of your nativity."

Another then said:

"Brother Aughey, please explain yourself. I know you do not believe in

"I do not, sir, though I believe, as I stated, that any one may call the
spirits; but I do not believe that they will come in answer to the call."

A lady once remarked to me that she did not believe that a northern man
would ever become fully reconciled to the institution of slavery, and that
his influence and sentiments, whatever might be his profession of
attachment to the peculiar institution, would be against it. The cause of
the general opposition to northern men is their opposition to slavery.
Their testimony is against its abominations and barbarities, and hence the
wish to impair the credibility of the witnesses.

An illustration of the working of the institution may be found in the
following letter:

    December 25, 1861.


    DEAR SIR--Your last kind and truly welcome letter came to hand in due
    course of mail. I owe you an apology for delaying an answer so long.
    My apparent neglect was occasioned by no want of respect for you; but
    in consequence of the disturbed state of the country, and difficulty
    of communication with the North, I feared my reply would never reach
    you. Now, however, by directing "_via_ Norfolk and flag of truce,"
    letters are sent across the lines to the North. In your letter you
    desired me, from this stand-point, to give you my observations of the
    workings of the peculiar institution, and an expression of my views as
    to its consistency with the eternal principles of rectitude and
    justice. In reply, I will give you a plain narrative of facts.

    On my advent to the South, I was at first struck with the fact that
    the busy hum of labour had in some measure ceased. What labour I did
    observe progressing, was done with little skill, and mainly by
    negroes. I called upon the Rev. Dr. R. J. Breckinridge, to whom I had
    a letter of introduction, who treated me with the greatest kindness,
    inviting me to make his house my home when I visited that section of
    country. On leaving his house, he gave me some directions as to the
    road I must travel to reach a certain point. "You will pass," said he,
    "a blacksmith's shop, where a one-eyed man is at work--my property."
    The phrase, "my property," I had never before heard applied to a human
    being, and though I had never been taught to regard the relation of
    master and slave as a sinful relation, yet it grated harshly upon my
    ears to hear a human being, a tradesman, called a chattel; but it
    grated much more harshly, a week after this, to hear the groans of two
    such chattels, as they underwent a severe flagellation, while chained
    to the whipping-post, because they had, by half an hour, overstayed
    their time with their families on an adjoining plantation.

    The next peculiar abomination of the peculiar institution which I
    observed, was the licentiousness engendered by it. Mr. D. T----, of
    Madison county, Kentucky, had a white family of children, and a black,
    or rather mulatto family. As his white daughters married, he gave each
    a mulatto half-sister, as a waiting-girl, or body-servant. Mr.
    K.----, of Winchester, Kentucky, had a mulatto daughter, and he was
    also the father of her child, thus re-enacting Lot's sin. Dr. C----,
    of Tishomingo county, Mississippi, has a negro concubine, and a white
    servant to wait on her. Mr. B.----, of Marshall county, Mississippi,
    lived with his white wife till he had grandchildren, some of whom came
    to school to me, when he repudiated his white wife, and attached
    himself to a very homely old African, who superintends his household,
    and rules his other slaves with rigour. Mr. S----, of Tishomingo
    county, Mississippi, has a negro concubine, and a large family of
    mulatto children. He once brought this woman to church in Rienzi, to
    the great indignation of the white ladies, who removed to a
    respectable distance from her.

    I preached recently to a large congregation of slaves, the third of
    whom were as white as myself. Some of them had red hair and blue eyes.
    If there are any marked characteristics of their masters' families,
    the mulatto slaves are possessed of these characteristics. I refer to
    physical peculiarities, such as large mouths, humped shoulders, and
    peculiar expressions of countenance. I asked a gentleman how it
    happened that some of his slaves had red hair. He replied that he had
    a red-headed overseer for several years.

    I never knew a pious overseer--never! There may be many, but I never
    saw one. Overseers, as a class, are worse than slaveholders
    themselves. They are cruel, brutal, licentious, dissipated, and
    profane. They always carry a loaded whip, a revolver, and a
    Bowie-knife. These men have the control of women, whom they often whip
    to death. Mr. P----, who resided near Holly Springs, had a negro woman
    whipped to death while I was at his house during a session of
    Presbytery. Mr. C----, of Waterford, Mississippi, had a woman whipped
    to death by his overseer. But such cruel scourgings are of daily
    occurrence. Colonel H----, a member of my church, told me yesterday
    that he ordered a boy, who he supposed was _feigning_ sickness, to the
    whipping-post, but that he had not advanced ten steps toward it, when
    he fell dead!--and the servant was free from his master. During our
    conversation, a girl passed. "There is a girl," said he, "who does not
    look very white in the face, owing to exposure; but when I strip her
    to whip her, I find that she has a skin as fair as my wife." Mrs.
    F---- recently whipped a boy to death within half a mile of my
    residence. A jury of inquest returned a verdict that he came to his
    death by cruelty; but nothing more was done. Mrs. M---- and her
    daughter, of Holly Springs, abused a girl repeatedly. She showed her
    bruises to some of my acquaintances, and they believed them fatal. She
    soon after died. Mr. S----, a member of my church, has several maimed
    negroes from abuse on the part of the overseer.

    I am residing on the banks of the Yock-a-nookany, which means
    "meandering," when translated from the Indian tongue. In this vicinity
    there are large plantations, cultivated by hundreds of negroes. The
    white population is sparse. Every night the negroes are brought to a
    judgment-seat. The overseer presides. If they have not laboured to
    suit him, or if their task is unfulfilled, they are chained to a post,
    and severely whipped. The victims are invariably stripped; to what
    extent, is at the option of the overseer. In Louisiana, women,
    preparatory to whipping, are often stripped to a state of perfect
    nudity. Old Mr. C----, of Waterford, Mississippi, punished his negroes
    _by slitting the soles of their feet with his Bowie-knife_! One man he
    put into a cotton-press, and turned the screw till life was extinct.
    He stated that he only intended to alarm the man, but carried the joke
    too far. I have heard women thus plead, in piteous accents, when
    chained to the whipping-post, and stripped: "O, my God, master! don't
    whip me! I was sick! indeed I was sick! I had a chill, and the fever
    is on me now! I haven't tasted a morsel to-day! You know I works when
    I is well! O for God's sake don't whip a poor sick nigger! My poor
    chile's sick too! Missis thinks it's a dyin'! O master, for the love
    of God, don't cut a poor distressed woman wid your whip! I'll try to
    do better, ef you'll only let me off this once!" These piteous
    plaints only rouse the ire of their cruel task-masters, who sometimes
    knock them down in the midst of their pleadings. I have known an
    instance of a woman giving birth to a child at the whipping-post. The
    fright and pain brought on premature labour.

    One beautiful Sabbath morning I stood on the levee at Baton Rouge,
    Louisiana, and counted twenty-seven sugar-houses in full blast. I
    found that the negroes were compelled to labour eighteen hours per
    day, and were not permitted to rest on the Sabbath during the rolling
    season. The negroes on most plantations have a truck-patch, which they
    cultivate on the Sabbath. I have pointed out the sin of thus labouring
    on the Sabbath, but they plead necessity; their children, they state,
    must suffer from hunger if they did not cultivate their truck-patch,
    and their masters would not give them time on any other day.

    Negroes, by law, are prohibited from learning to read. This law was
    not strictly enforced in Tennessee and some other States till within
    a few years past. I had charge of a Sabbath-school for the instruction
    of blacks in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1853. This school was put down by
    the strong arm of the law in a short time after my connection with it
    ceased. In Mississippi, a man who taught slaves to read or write would
    be sent to the penitentiary instanter. The popular plea for this
    wickedness is, that if they were taught to read, they would read
    abolition documents; and if they were taught to write, they would
    write themselves passes, and pass northward to Canada.

    Such advertisements as the following often greet the eye.

    "_Kansas War._--The undersind taks this method of makkin it noan that
    he has got a pack of the best nigger hounds in the South. My hounds is
    well trand, and I has had much experience a huntin niggers, having
    follered it for the last fiften year. I will go anywhar that I'm sent
    for, and will ketch niggers at the follerin raits.

    "My raits fur ketchin runaway niggers $10 per hed, ef they's found in
    the beat whar thar master lives; $15 if they's found in the county,
    and $50 if they's tuck out on the county.

    "N. B.--Pay is due when the nigger is tuck. Planters ort to send fur
    me as soon as thar niggers runs away, while thar trak is fresh."

    Every night the woods resound with the deep-mouthed baying of the
    bloodhounds. The slaves are said by some to love their masters; but it
    requires the terrors of bloodhounds and the fugitive slave law to keep
    them in bondage. You in the North are compelled to act the part of the
    bloodhounds here, and catch the fugitives for the planters of the
    South. Free negroes are sold into bondage for the most trivial
    offences. Slaveholders declare that the presence of free persons of
    colour exerts a pernicious influence upon their slaves, rendering them
    discontented with their condition, and inspiring a desire for freedom.
    They therefore are very desirous of getting rid of these persons,
    either by banishing them from the State or enslaving them. The
    legislature of Mississippi has passed a law for their expulsion, and
    other States have followed in the wake. The Governor of Missouri has
    vetoed the law for the expulsion of free persons of colour, passed by
    the legislature of that State because of its unconstitutionality.

    Were I to recount all the abominations of the peculiar institution,
    and the wrongs inflicted upon the African race, that have come under
    my observation, they would fill a large volume. Slavery is guilty of
    six abominations; yea, seven may justly be charged upon it. It is said
    that the negro is lazy, and will not work except by compulsion. I have
    known negroes who have purchased their freedom by the payment of a
    large sum, and afterward made not only a good living, but a fortune
    beside. It is said Judge W---- of South Carolina gave his servants the
    use of his plantation, upon condition that they would support his
    family; and that in three years he was compelled to take the
    management himself, as they did not make a comfortable living for
    themselves and the Judge's family. In reply, it might be said that the
    negroes had not a fair trial, as no one had any property he could call
    his own, and they were thrown into a sort of Fourierite society,
    having all things in common. In this state of things, while some would
    work, others would be idle. White men do not succeed in such
    communities, and for this reason it was no fair test of the industrial
    energies of Judge W----'s slaves.

    The question is often asked, is slavery sinful in itself? My
    observation has been extensive, embracing eight slave States, and I
    have never yet seen any example of slavery that I did not deem sinful.
    If slavery is not sinful in itself, I must have always seen it out of
    itself. I have observed its workings during eleven years, amongst a
    professedly Christian people, and cannot do otherwise than pronounce
    it an unmitigated curse. It is a curse to the white man, it is a curse
    to the black man. That God will curse it, and blot it out of existence
    ere long, is my firm conviction. The elements of its abolition exist;
    God speed the time when they will be fully developed, and this mother
    of abominations driven from the land of the free! The development of
    the eternal principles of justice and rectitude will abolish this
    hoary monster of fraud and oppression. Slavery subverts all the rights
    of man. It divests him of citizenship, of liberty, of the pursuit of
    happiness, of his children, of his wife, of his property, of
    intellectual culture, reserving to him only the rights of the horse
    and ass, and reducing him to the same chattel condition with them. Not
    a single right does the State law grant him above that of the
    mule--no, not one. The chastity of the slave has no legal protection.
    The Methodist Church South is expunging from the discipline everything
    inimical to the peculiar institution, whilst I observe that the Church
    North is adding to her testimony and deliverances against the sin of
    slaveholding. The Church South refused to abide by the rules of the
    Church, and hence the guilt of the schism lies with her, and you are
    henceforth free from any guilt in conniving at the sin which the
    founder of your church, the illustrious Wesley, regarded as the "sum
    of all villany."

    Remember me kindly to Mrs. Jackman and family. Hoping to hear from
    you soon, I beg leave to subscribe myself,

        Yours fraternally,
        JOHN H. AUGHEY.

    To Mr. William Jackman,
    Amsterdam, Jefferson Co., Ohio.



    Colonel Jefferson Davis--His Speech at Holly Springs, Mississippi--His
    Opposition to Yankee Teachers and Ministers--A bid for the
    Presidency--His Ambition--Burr, Arnold, Davis--General
    Beauregard--Headquarters at Rienzi--Colonel Elliott's
    Raid--Beauregard's Consternation--Personal description--His
    illness--Popularity waning--Rev. Dr. Palmer of New Orleans--His
    influence--The Cincinnati Letter--His Personal Appearance--His
    Denunciations of General Butler--His Radicalism--Rev. Dr. Waddell of
    La Grange, Tennessee--His Prejudices against the North--President of
    Memphis Synodical College--His Talents prostituted--Union
    Officers--General Nelson--General Sherman.


In 1856 I heard Colonel Jefferson Davis deliver an address at Holly
Springs, Mississippi. The Colonel is about a medium height, of slender
frame, his nose aquiline, his hair dark, his manners polite. He is no
orator. His speech was principally a tirade of abuse against the North,
bitterly inveighing against the emigrant aid societies which had
well-nigh put Kansas upon the list of free States. He advised the people
to employ no more Yankee teachers. He had been educated in the North, and
he regarded it as the greatest misfortune of his life. Soon after Colonel
Davis visited New England, where he eulogized that section in an
extravagant manner. He was pleased with everything he saw; even "Noah
Webster's Yankee spelling-book" received a share of the Colonel's fulsome
flattery. On his return to the South, "a change came o'er the spirit of
his dream," and his bile and bitterness against Yankee-land returned in
all its pristine vigour. The Colonel was making a bid for the Presidency;
but New England was not so easily gulled; his flimsy professions of
friendship were too transparent to hide the hate which lay beneath, and
his aspirations were doomed to disappointment.

Though Colonel Davis is often called Mississippi's pet, yet he is not
regarded as a truthful man, and his reports and messages are received
with considerable abatement by "the chivalry." His ambition knows no
bounds. He would rather "reign in hell than serve in heaven."

Had Jefferson Davis been elected President of the United States, he would
have been among the last instead of the first to favour secession. Had he
been slain on the bloody fields of Mexico, his memory would have been
cherished. History will assign him a place among the infamous. Burr,
Arnold, and Davis will be names for ever execrated by true patriots. The
two former died a natural death, though the united voice of their
countrymen would have approved of their execution on the gallows. The fate
of the latter lies still in the womb of futurity, though his loyal
countrymen, without a dissenting voice, declare that he deserves a felon's
doom. An announcement of his death would suffuse no patriot's eye with
tears. What loyalist would weep while he read the news-item--the arch
traitor Jeff. Davis is dead.


I met General Beauregard under very peculiar circumstances. I had gone to
Rienzi for the purpose of escaping to the Federal lines for protection
from the rigorous and sweeping conscript law. When I arrived, I found the
rebels evacuating Corinth, and their sick and wounded passing down the
Mobile and Ohio railroad to the hospitals below. General Beauregard had
just arrived in Rienzi, and had his headquarters at the house of Mr.
Sutherland. A rumour had spread through Rienzi that General Beauregard had
ordered the women and children to leave the town. Many of them, believing
that the order had been issued, were hastening into the country. In order
to confirm or refute the statement, I called upon General Beauregard, and
asked him whether he had issued such an order. He replied, "I have issued
no such order, sir." Just at that moment a courier arrived with the
information that the Yankees had attacked the advance of their retreating
army at Boonville, that they had destroyed the depot, and taken many
prisoners. The General told the courier that he must be mistaken; that it
was impossible for the Yankees to pass around his army. While he was yet
speaking a citizen arrived from Boonville, confirming the statement of the
courier. Beauregard was still incredulous, replying that they must have
mistaken the Confederates for the Yankees. In a few minutes the explosion
of shells shook the building. The General then thought that it might be
true that the Yankees had passed around the army; but on hearing the
shells, he stated that General Green (of Missouri) was driving them away
with his cannon. The truth was soon ascertained by the arrival of several
couriers. Col. Elliott, of the Federal army, had made a raid upon
Boonville, had fired the depot, and destroyed a large train of cars filled
with ammunition. The explosions of the shells which we heard was
occasioned by the fire reaching the ears in which these shells were
stored. The Colonel also destroyed the railroad to such an extent that it
required several days to repair the track.

General Beauregard is below the medium height, and has a decidedly French
expression of countenance. His hair is quite gray, though a glance at his
face will convince the observer that it is prematurely so. The General is
regarded as taciturn. His countenance is careworn and haggard. During the
winter of 1861-2, he was attacked with bronchitis and typhoid pneumonia,
and came near dying; and had not, at my interview, by any means recovered
his pristine health and vigour. His prestige as an able commander is
rapidly waning. For some time his military talents were considered of the
first order; now a third-rate position is assigned him. He is still
regarded as a first-class engineer. When General Sterling Price arrived at
Corinth, General Beauregard conducted him around all the fortifications,
explaining their nature and unfolding their strength; but no word of
approval could he elicit from the Missouri General. At length he ventured
to ask what he thought of their capacity for resisting an attack. General
Price replied, "They may prove effective in resisting an attack. These are
the second fortifications I ever saw; the first I captured." He had
reference to Colonel Mulligan's, at Lexington, Missouri. Sumter and
Manassas gave Beauregard fame. Since the latter battle his star has
declined steadily; and if the Federal generals prove themselves competent,
it will soon go out in total darkness, and the world's verdict will be, it
was a misfortune that Beauregard lived.


Dr. Palmer has done more than any non-combatant in the South to promote
the rebellion. He was accessory both before and after the fact. His
sermons are nearly all abusive of the North. The mudsills of Yankeedom and
the scum of Europe are phrases of frequent use in his public addresses,
and they are meant to include all living north of what is more familiarly
than elegantly termed in the South the "nigger line," although the North
is the land of his parental nativity.

A few years ago, Dr. Palmer wrote to a friend in Cincinnati respecting a
vacant church, in which he gave as one reason, among others, for desiring
to come North, that he wished to remove his family from the baleful
influences of slavery. That letter still exists, and ought to be

Dr. Palmer's personal appearance is by no means prepossessing. He is small
of stature, of very dark complexion, dish-faced. His nose is said to have
been broken when a child; at all events, it is a deformity. He is fluent
in speech, has a vivid imagination, and has a great influence over a
promiscuous congregation.

After the reduction of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and the capture of
New Orleans, Dr. Palmer came to Corinth, where he preached to the rebel
army. His text was invariably General Butler's "women-of-the-town order,"
which we fully believe he intentionally misconstrued. The conservation and
extension of slavery is a matter which lies near the Doctor's heart. He
urged secession for the purpose of extending and perpetuating for ever
the peculiar institution. His views, however, must have undergone a
radical change since the writing of the Cincinnati letter, as he then
regarded slavery with little favour. Love of public favour may have much
to do with his recently expressed views, for no true Christian and patriot
can wish to perpetuate and extend an institution founded on the total
subversion of the rights of man.


Dr. Waddell is a man of considerable talent, but his prejudices are very
strong against the North. He cordially hates a Yankee, and his poor
distressed wife, who was a native of New England, was compelled to return
to her home, where she mourns in virtual widowhood her unfortunate
connection with a man who detests her land and people. Dr. Waddell's
sermons are very abusive. The North is the theme of animadversion in all
the published sermons and addresses I have seen from his prolific pen. He
has prostituted his fine talents, and his writings are full of cursing
and bitterness. As President of La Grange College, Tennessee, he might
wield a great influence for good--an influence which would tend to calm
the storm aroused by demagogues, rather than increase its power. His
memory will rot, for the evil which he has done will live after him.


I met General Nelson frequently at his head-quarters at Iuka Springs,
Mississippi. Though the General was quite brusque in his manners, yet he
always treated me with kindness and marked attention. Once while seated at
the table with him, several guests being present, the following colloquy

"Parson Aughey, I suppose you are well versed in the Scriptures, and in
order to test your knowledge, permit me to ask a question, which doubtless
you are able to answer."

"Certainly, General, you have permission to ask the question you propose.
I am not so sure, however, about my ability to answer it."

"The question I desire to propose is this--How many preceded Noah in
leaving the ark?"

"I am unable to answer, sir."

"That is strange, as the Bible so plainly and explicitly informs us. We
are told that Noah went _forth_ out of the ark; therefore _three_ must
have preceded him."

The General's wit "set the table in a roar." As soon as the mirth had
subsided, I addressed the General:

"It is my turn to ask a question. Do you know, sir, where the witch of
Endor lived?"

"I did know, but really I have forgotten."

"Well, sir, she lived at Endor."

The laugh was now against him, but he joined in it heartily himself.

Knowing that General Nelson had visited every quarter of the globe, I
asked him whether he had ever seen any of the modern Greeks.

"I never saw any of the ancient Greeks," was his curt reply.

General Nelson was regarded as a brave and skilful officer. He has done
good service in his country's cause. At Shiloh his promptness and
efficiency contributed greatly to retrieve the disaster which befell
General Grant on the first day of the battle. His rencontre with General
Davis, which resulted in his own death, is greatly to be regretted, though
his own ungovernable temper and inexcusable conduct caused his tragic end.

I once visited his headquarters late in the afternoon. On my arrival, he
informed me that I would confer a great favour upon him by guiding a
company of cavalry on an expedition to the south-eastern part of the
county, to which I consented. I rode in front with the officer in command.
When we had reached a point beyond the pickets, my companion informed me
that we would meet no more Federals; if we met any soldiers while outward
bound, we might take it for granted that they were rebels. After riding
about an hour longer, we encountered a company of cavalry, and were
ordered to halt by the officer in command. My companion, stating that they
must be rebels, rode up and gave the countersign. I felt somewhat uneasy
at the head of that company at this time, not knowing the moment that
bullets would be whistling around us. They proved however to be Federals,
returning from an extended scouting expedition. I conducted our company to
the house of a Union man, whom we aroused from his bed; and learning that
we were Federals, he took my place, and I returned to General Nelson. The
General now desired me to go as a spy, to obtain information as to the
number of troops stationed at Norman's Bridge, which spanned Big Bear
Creek. I replied that I had ridden sixty miles without sleep, but that I
would send two Union men of my acquaintance in my stead. This was
satisfactory, and my Union friends returned with accurate information as
to the number of rebel troops stationed at the bridge, and the best points
of attack. The attack was made on the next day after receiving the
information, and the rebels were surprised and totally defeated; but few
escaped death or capture.


On the day that General Sherman reached Rienzi, I supped with him at the
house of a friend. At table the following dialogue took place between us.

"Are you the person from whom Sherman's battery took its name?"

"I am, sir."

"Many gentlemen in this county," said I, "and among them my father-in-law,
have pipes made of the fragments of the gun-carriages of Sherman's
battery, which was captured at Manassas by the Confederates."

"Sherman's battery was not captured at Manassas," replied the General.

"The honour of capturing Sherman's battery is generally accorded to the
second regiment of Mississippi volunteers, which went from this county and
the adjoining county of Tippah, though several regiments claim it, and
many of my friends declare that they have seen Sherman's battery since its

"I assure you, sir, Sherman's battery was not captured--so far from this,
it came out of the battle of Manassas Plains with two pieces captured from
the enemy, having itself lost none."

At this moment Colonel Fry, who killed Zollikoffer, rode up for orders.
While receiving them, the horses attached to a battery halted in front of
us. "There," said the General, "is every piece of Sherman's battery. I
ought to know that battery, and I assure you there is not a gun missing."

The pipes, canes, and trinkets supposed to be made of the wood of
Sherman's battery, if collected, would form a vast pile; and were you to
inform the owners of those relics that they were spurious, you would be
politely informed that you might "tell that tale to the marines," as their
sons and their neighbours' sons were the honoured captors of that battery;
a fact, concerning the truth of which they entertained not even the shadow
of a doubt.



    Cause of the Rebellion--Prevalence of Union Sentiment in the
    South--Why not Developed--Stevenson's Views--Why Incorrect--Cavalry
    Raids upon Union Citizens--How the Rebels employ Slaves--Slaves
    Whipped and sent out of the Federal Lines--Resisting the Conscript
    Law--Kansas Jayhawkers--Guarding Rebel Property--Perfidy of
    Secessionists--Plea for Emancipation--The South Exhausted--Failure of
    Crops--Southern Merchants Ruined--Bragg Prohibits the Manufacture and
    Vending of Intoxicating Liquors--Its Salutary Effect.

The following is the substance of addresses delivered by me on October 22d
and 25th, 1862, at Cooper's Institute, New York, and before the Synod of
New York and New Jersey, at its session in Brooklyn.

    I will confine myself to rendering answers to various questions which
    have been asked me since my escape to the North. I have viewed the
    rebellion from a southern stand-point; have been conversant with its
    whole history; have been behind the curtains, and have learned the
    motives which impel its instigators in their treasonable designs
    against the Government.

    Slavery I believe to have been the sole cause of the rebellion. It is
    true that the slaveholders of the South were becoming strongly
    anti-republican. Rule or ruin was their determination, and they would
    not have listened to any compromise measure after the election of Mr.
    Lincoln; but this feeling, this opposition to republicanism, and lust
    of power, is the offspring of slavery. In 1856 I heard Jeff. Davis
    declare that the people of the North and the South were not
    homogeneous, and that therefore he advocated secession. The reason he
    assigned for this want of homogeneousness was found in the fact that
    the South held slaves; the North did not.

    Men accustomed to exercise arbitrary power over their fellow-men, will
    not cease their encroachments upon the rights of all with whom they
    are associated, politically or otherwise, and a temporary suspension
    of the control of the government is regarded by them as a _casus
    belli_. Slavery may therefore be justly regarded as the parent of
    secession. Whilst this cause exists, the South will be the hot-bed of
    treason. Slavery has produced its legitimate fruit, and treason is its
    name. With slavery intact, no compromise, if accepted by the South,
    would prevent another outbreak in a few years.

    The question has been asked, is there any Union sentiment in the
    South? I reply that there is a strong Union sentiment, even in
    Mississippi. This sentiment is not found amongst the slaveholders,
    for, as a class, they are firmly united in their hostility to the
    Government. The middle and lower classes are not only opposed to
    secession, but also to slavery itself. Eleven years' association with
    the southern people has enabled me to form a correct opinion, and to
    know whereof I affirm. I make this statement without fear of
    successful contradiction, that the majority of the white inhabitants
    of the South are Union-loving men. The slaveholders have long ruled
    both the blacks and the whites in the South. When the rebellion was
    determined upon, the slaveholders had the organized force to compel
    acquiescence upon the part of those who favoured the Union, yet wished
    to remain neutral. Their drafts and conscriptions swept them into the
    army, and when once there, they must obey their officers upon pain of
    death. To desert and join the Union army, was to abandon their homes
    and families, and all their youthful associations. Yet many have done
    it, and are now doing good service in their country's cause.

    The rebels punished with death any who declared himself in favour of
    the Union. In my presence at Tupelo, they were taken out daily and
    shot for the expression of sentiments adverse to the rebellion. If the
    Union troops at any time occupied a place, and the people expressed
    any favourable sentiments to their cause, upon the evacuation of that
    position, those who sided with the Union troops were cruelly treated.
    All these causes, and many others which I might mention, have
    prevented the full development of the true sentiments of the people. I
    could name many localities within the rebel lines where the great
    majority of the people bitterly denounce the Southern Confederacy and
    all connected with it. I could name many individuals who have declared
    to me that they would prefer death to a dishonourable compliance with
    the conscript law. I could name localities within the rebel lines
    where armed resistance to the conscript law has been made; but the
    safety of those loyal citizens forbids it.

    I know that there are some who assert that there is no Union feeling
    in the South; but they are mistaken. The author of "Thirteen Months in
    the Rebel Army" found but little. His situation was not favourable for
    its discovery. He informs us in his work, that after he had been
    compelled to _volunteer_, he regarded his oath (an oath much more
    honoured in the breach than in the observance,) of such force that he
    sought to obtain information, rather than to desert. He passed from
    one post of preferment to another, till at length he was on duty under
    the eye of Breckinridge himself, who complimented him upon his
    alacrity in bearing dispatches; and this was truly great, as he rode
    at one time sixty miles in seven hours, and at another, fourteen
    miles in less than fifty minutes. He also exhibited a guarded zeal for
    the secession cause. Who would have gone to an officer who was
    apparently aiding and abetting the rebellion, ably and assiduously, to
    communicate his Union sentiments? Any who would thus betray themselves
    could not be sure that they would not be shot in twenty-four hours.
    Had Mr. Stevenson been with me in Tupelo, and looked upon those
    seventy or eighty prisoners who were incarcerated for their adherence
    to the Union--had he witnessed the daily execution of some of them who
    preferred death to _volunteering_ to defend a cause which they did not
    hesitate to denounce at the peril of their lives--had he been with me
    while in the midst of a host of Union citizens of Mississippi, who at
    the noon of night had assembled in the deep glens and on the high
    hills, for the purpose of devising means to resist the hated conscript
    law--he would have come to a far different conclusion. I have seen the
    cavalry go out to arrest Union men. I was at a Mr. William Herron's,
    in South Carroll, Carrol county, Tennessee, and while there, several
    companies of cavalry came up from Jackson to destroy the loyal
    citizens of that vicinity, and they did destroy some of them and much
    property. They passed within two hundred yards of fortifications
    hastily thrown up to resist them, and would have been fired on had
    they come within range. Before completing their mission, a messenger
    came to inform them that Fort Henry was beleagured. They hastened to
    the fort just in time to take part in the action. After the surrender
    of the fort, they retreated to Fort Donelson, and were all captured at
    the reduction of that fort, to the great joy of those Union citizens
    whom they had driven from their homes, and whose property they had

    The slaves add greatly to the strength of the rebellion. Slave labour
    is extensively employed in the military department. They are the
    sappers and miners, the cooks, the teamsters, the artisans; and there
    are instances where they are forced to shoulder the musket and go into
    the ranks. I have seen and conversed with slave soldiers who have
    fought in every battle from Manassas to Shiloh.

    Many strong secession counties send more soldiers to the rebel army
    than there are voters in those counties. The slaves who remain at
    home, labour to raise provisions for the sustenance of the families of
    the soldiers, and a surplus for the army; hence every white man is
    available for service in the field. Were this slave labour diverted to
    some other channel, the result would follow, that a great proportion
    of the rebel soldiers would be forced to return home to care for their
    families, or those families must perish. In order to divert this
    labour, it would be only necessary to encourage the negroes to leave
    their masters. Wherever the Federal army has advanced in the
    southwest, the slaves have crowded into their lines by hundreds, and
    only desisted upon learning, much to their regret, that they would not
    be received, many of them being tied up and whipped, and then sent
    southward beyond the limits of the Federal army. Some who had
    travelled seventy miles upon the underground railroad, to reach the
    Union army, being asked by their fellow-servants upon their return,
    how they liked the Yankees, replied that "General Nelson sort o'
    hinted that he didn't want us." Upon being urged to be more explicit,
    and to state more fully what was the nature of the hint which led them
    to infer that General Nelson did not want them, their spokesman
    replied: "Well, if we must tell, we must. General Nelson tied us up
    and gave us fifty apiece, and sent us off, sw'arin' he'd guv us a
    hundred ef we didn't go right straight back home to our masters. He
    said this wa'n't no war got up to set the niggers free."

    The Kansas Jayhawkers liberate all the slaves with whom they come in
    contact. I passed four regiments of their cavalry last August, on
    their way to Rienzi, Mississippi. They had about two thousand slaves
    with them, of every age and sex. Those slaves groomed their horses,
    drove their wagons, cooked their victuals, and made themselves useful
    in a variety of ways, leaving every white man free to go into the
    battle when the hour of contest arrived.

    Slavery is a strong prop to the rebellion. Four millions of labourers
    are able to furnish supplies for eight millions. Subtract that vast
    resource from the rebellion, add it to the support of the Government,
    and its stunning effect would be speedily demonstrated in the complete
    paralysis of the Southern Confederacy. In order to supply the loss of
    the slaves, half the soldiers in the army must return, or famine would
    sweep both the army and the families of the soldiers from the face of
    the earth. One cause of the long continuance of the war is, that the
    Union army has endeavoured to conciliate the South, rather than crush
    the rebellion. They have guarded the property of the rebels; they have
    returned promptly their fugitive slaves; they have put down servile
    insurrection with an iron hand, and in every possible way have shown
    clemency instead of severity. But their kindness has been abused,
    their clemency regarded as evidence of imbecility, and the humane
    policy of the Government totally misconstrued. Captain John Rainey, of
    Cambridge, Ohio, while on duty at Corinth, Mississippi, received an
    application from a notorious secessionist for a guard to protect his
    premises, which was obtained for him from the colonel, three soldiers
    being detached for that purpose, who proceeded to the station assigned
    them. About four o'clock in the afternoon they saw the owner of the
    premises they were guarding, mount his horse and ride off. Supposing
    him to be going on some ordinary errand, they took no further notice
    of it. About nine o'clock, one of the guard who had strayed into the
    orchard, some three hundred yards from the house, heard an unusual
    sound, as of cavalry approaching. Concealing himself, he saw, by the
    bright moonlight, this secessionist ride up with seven or eight rebel
    cavalrymen, who, seizing his two companions, rode off with them as
    prisoners. The ingrate who committed this base and perfidious act then
    went into his house and retired to rest. As speedily as possible the
    third picket returned to his company, and informed them of the
    occurrence. Fired with indignation, twenty men volunteered to visit
    summary punishment upon the perpetrator of this villany. Hastening to
    his house, they aroused him from his slumbers, and in a few minutes
    suspended him by the neck between the heavens and the earth. On their
    return they reported to their companions what they had done, and,
    through fear of punishment, took every precaution to prevent the act
    reaching the colonel's ears. It was reported to the colonel, however,
    whose reply to his informant was, "Served him right!" This policy of
    guarding rebel property by Union troops must be abandoned, or the war
    will never terminate. The Union army has been attacked by the rebels
    when large numbers of the soldiers were absent as guards to protect
    the plantations and all the interests of secessionists. Such gingerly
    warfare must end, or the days of the Republic are numbered. Carrying
    the war into the enemy's country has thus far proved a mere farce. The
    retreating rebels destroyed tenfold more property than the pursuing
    Federals. I would not counsel cruelty. I would not advise the
    unnecessary destruction of life or property, for all wanton
    destruction tends to weaken rather than to strengthen the cause of
    those who perpetrate it. Vandalism is everywhere reprehensible. The
    proper policy I believe to be this: Let the Union army be supplied
    with provisions, so far as practicable, from the territory occupied.
    Let the slaves find protection and employment on their arrival within
    the Union lines. Despise not their valuable services. Let it be
    proclaimed that for every Union citizen of the South who is slain for
    his adherence to the old flag, a rebel prisoner shall be executed, and
    that the confiscated property of Union men shall be restored, at the
    cost of rebel sympathizers in the vicinity. Let these necessary
    measures be carried out, and no well-informed person can doubt that
    the war will cease before the end of six months. With slavery, the
    rebels are powerful; without it, they are powerless. With slavery,
    every white man between the ages of eighteen and sixty is available as
    a soldier, and vast supplies are procured by servile labour. Abolish
    slavery, and the army would be immediately reduced one-half, and
    supplies would be diminished to a destructive extent. Slaves armed
    and drilled would make effective soldiers. With a perfect knowledge of
    the country, with an intense desire to liberate themselves and their
    brethren from bondage, with an ardent hatred of their cruel masters
    and overseers, (and the majority of them are cruel,) they would render
    a willing and powerful aid in crushing the great rebellion. After the
    war is ended, give them as much land as their necessities require,
    either in New Mexico or Arizona, and they will furnish more sugar,
    rice, and cotton, than were extorted from them by compulsory labour in
    the house of bondage.

    The desire for freedom on the part of the slaves is universal. It is,
    according to my observation and full belief, a rule without exception.
    These aspirations are constantly increasing as the rigours of slavery
    are increased, and the slaves are as well prepared for freedom as they
    would be a hundred years hence. The _Iron Furnace_ of slavery does not
    tend to the elevation of its victims. There are better methods of
    elevating a race than by enslaving it. The moral elevation of the
    slave is no part of the reason why he is held in bondage; but the
    convenience and profit of the master is the sole end and aim of the
    peculiar institution. All attempts on the part of the slaves to obtain
    their liberty are resisted by the slaveholders, by the infliction of
    appalling and barbarous cruelties. Thirty-two negroes were executed at
    Natchez, Mississippi, recently, because they expressed a determination
    "to go to Lincoln." Six were hanged in Hoxubee county, and one burned
    in the streets of Macon. The southern papers state that Hon. Mr. Orr,
    of South Carolina, attempted to drive his slaves into the interior, to
    prevent their escaping to the Yankees, and upon their refusal to go,
    he ordered them to be driven at the point of the bayonet, and in the
    execution of the order, fifty of them were slain. There are instances
    in which the slave is greatly attached to his master's family, but his
    love of liberty is greater than that attachment. It often transcends
    his love for his own family, which he abandons for its sake, risking
    his life on the underground railroad, and enduring the rigours of a
    Canadian winter, that he may enjoy his inalienable rights.

    The southwest is already nearly exhausted. The troops which first went
    into the service were well supplied with clothing, provisions, and
    money; but the conscripts were poorly clad, and received their wages
    in Confederate bonds, which have so depreciated, that ten dollars in
    gold will purchase one hundred dollars of the bonds. Great suffering
    is the consequence, and desertions are of daily occurrence. While I
    was in prison at Tupelo, eighty-seven of the Arkansas infantry
    deserted in a body. One hundred cavalry were sent to arrest them, but
    they defeated the cavalry in a fair fight, and went on their way
    rejoicing. Tennesseeans and Kentuckians could not be trusted on picket
    duty, their proclivity for desertion being notorious. They suffered no
    opportunity to escape them, and often went off in squads. Many of them
    being forced into the service, did not consider their involuntary oath

    The wheat crop of 1862, in the southwest, was almost totally destroyed
    by the rust, and the corn crop by the drought. Salt could not be
    obtained at any cost, and every marketable commodity had reached a
    fabulous price. Southern merchants feel that they are ruined. At the
    commencement of the war they had made large purchases in the North,
    mainly on credit. The rebel Congress passed a law that all who were
    indebted to the North must pay two-thirds of the amount of their
    indebtedness to the Southern Confederacy. This the merchants did. They
    then sold their goods, taking cotton and Confederate money in pay. The
    cotton was destroyed by order of Beauregard, and the Confederate scrip
    is worthless, and the Federal generals are enforcing the payment of
    Northern claims. This fourfold loss will beggar every southern
    merchant subjected to it.

    At the commencement of the war, strong drink was abundant, and it was
    freely used by the soldiers. Drunkenness was fearfully prevalent. This
    vice increased to such a degree that the army was rapidly becoming
    demoralized. A large amount of grain was wasted in the manufacture of
    liquor. At this juncture the rebel government wisely prohibited the
    manufacture and sale of all that would intoxicate. Soon the wisdom of
    this measure was apparent. For a time this contraband article was
    smuggled in, yet it was only in limited quantities, and at the present
    time a drunken soldier is a _rara avis_ in the army. At the first
    promulgation of the law, a cunning countryman perforated a large
    number of eggs, withdrew the contents, filled the shells with whiskey,
    closed them up, and carrying them to the camp at Rienzi, sold them at
    an exorbitant price. Others resorted to filling coffee-pots with
    whisky, stopping up the bottom of the spout, filling it with
    buttermilk, and if asked by the guards what they had for sale, would
    pour out some of the milk in the spout, and by this deception gain an
    entrance to the camp, and supply the soldiers with liquor. But all
    these tricks were discovered, and since the manufacture, as well as
    the sale, was prohibited, the supply on hand became exhausted, and
    drunkenness ceased.



    Rebel Cruelty to Prisoners--The Fratricide--Grant Defeated--Saved by
    Gunboats--Buell's Advance--Railroad Disaster--The South
    Despondent--General Rosecrans--Secession will become Odious even in
    the South--Poem.


The battle of Leesburg was fought on the 21st of October, 1861. The
southern accounts of this battle were so contradictory, that I will not
give the various versions. One statement, however, all concur in--that
when the Federal troops retreated to the river, after being overpowered by
superior numbers, and had thrown down their arms, calling for quarter, no
mercy was shown them. Hundreds were bayoneted, or forced into the river
and drowned. The rebels clubbed their guns, and dashed out the brains of
many while kneeling at their feet and imploring mercy. I saw one ruffian
who boasted that he had bayoneted seven Yankee prisoners captured on that


The battle of Belmont was fought on the 7th of November, 1861. I have
heard repeatedly from southern officers their version of the events which
occurred on that occasion. General McClernand, for the purpose of breaking
up the rebel camp at Belmont, attacked it in force at an early hour, and
completely routed the enemy, pursuing them to a considerable distance.
Returning, he destroyed completely the camp, but delaying too long, large
reinforcements were thrown over the river from Columbus, and the Federals
were compelled to retreat precipitately to their boats, not, however, till
they had fully accomplished the object of their mission. A scene occurred
on this field which exhibits one of the saddest phases of this internecine
strife. The incident was related to me by Mr. Tomlin, a lawyer of Jackson,
Tennessee, not unknown even in the North, who was personally acquainted
with the actors. Colonel Rogers, of an Illinois regiment, led his command
into action early in the contest. A Tennessee regiment opposed him with
fierceness for some time. At length they began to waver and exhibit
symptoms of disorder. At this moment their colonel, who had been unhorsed,
mounted a stump, and by an energetic and fervid address, rallied his men.
Again they began to falter, and again his burning words restored order.
Colonel Rogers believing that the safety of himself and regiment depended
upon the death of the Tennessee colonel, drew a pistol from his holsters,
rode up and deliberately shot him through the brain. The Tennesseeans
seeing their colonel fall, fled precipitately. On the return of the
Illinois troops, Colonel Rogers, impelled by curiosity, dismounted, and
scanning the features of the colonel whom his own hand had slain,
recognised his own brother. As the tide of battle had rolled past for the
moment, he ordered the corpse to be conveyed to a transport, on which it
was brought to Cairo, and thence borne to the stricken parents, who
mourned over and buried the remains of their brave but erring child, who
had met his fate at his brother's unconsciously fratricidal hand.


On April 6th, 1862, the sun rose clear; not a cloud was discernible in the
sky; it was truly a lovely Sabbath, even for a southern clime. Early in
the morning I took a walk with my little daughter, a child four years of
age, in whose prattle I was taking great interest. We had gone about one
hundred yards when my child exclaimed, "Pa, we must go back! it's going to
rain; don't you hear the thunder?" The sharp and stunning reports I soon
recognised to be the sound of cannon on the field of battle. The
cannonading continued incessantly during the day. The whole country became
intensely excited, and many citizens hastened to the battlefield, the
majority bent upon plunder. On Monday the battle still raged with
increasing fury. On Sabbath, General Grant had been completely surprised,
and would have lost his whole army but for the gunboats in the river.
These gunboats shelled the pursuing rebels, checking their advance, and
saving the discomfitted Federals. Buell arrived with his division on
Sabbath night, and on Monday the rebels were driven at every point during
the whole day, with great loss. When I heard the rebel officers state that
the gunboats lying in the Tennessee river had checked their pursuit, and
had committed great havoc amongst their troops, at the distance of nearly
three miles, I supposed that the rebel army had continued the pursuit till
they came in sight of the gunners on the boats, who then threw their
shells into their advancing columns, and my mistake was not corrected till
I saw the scene of action. A plateau extended from the river, where the
gunboats lay, to the hills, a distance of about one-quarter of a mile. The
hills rose to a considerable height, and were covered with a large growth,
and on their frowning summits the lofty trees seemed to intercept the
passing clouds. Grant's discomfitted and shattered army had taken refuge
on the plateau. Some had even thrown themselves into the river, and swam
across. Such was the position of affairs when the gunners threw their
shells over those lofty hills, and beyond them a distance of two miles,
into the midst of the rebels, checking their advance, and destroying them
by scores. Couriers constantly passed to and fro to give information of
the position of the enemy. All night long their shelling continued,
causing Beauregard to change his camp thrice. Thus,

    "Bombs bursting in air,
  Gave proof through the night
    That our flag was still there."

On Monday morning Buell's division advanced, and the tide was turned. The
rebels were driven from every position, and their loss was fearful; and
had pursuit been continued to Corinth, their whole army must have been
annihilated. General A. S. Johnson fell about three o'clock on the
Sabbath. The tibial artery had been severed--a wound not necessarily
fatal; but he remained in the saddle till he fainted from loss of blood,
and when borne from his horse by Governor Harris and others, survived but
twenty minutes. On Sabbath night Beauregard occupied, for a time, an old
Presbyterian church--a rude log edifice. The church was named Shiloh;
hence both Beauregard and General Grant, in their dispatches, named the
engagement the battle of Shiloh. I was in Rienzi as the wounded passed
down on the cars to the various hospitals below. They passed continually
for a month. On the 18th of April I went down to Macon, in Noxubee county.
A large number of wounded were on the train. A lady from the Female
Seminary in Aberdeen had been placed under my care. When we reached a
point six miles from Crawfordsville, I noticed a young man looking out in
an excited manner, and immediately after he jumped out and rolled down an
embankment. I was much surprised at his conduct, but soon the crashing of
the cars explained the cause. The train had been thrown from the track,
and was rushing down an embankment. Jumping from the cars now became
general. My lady friend arose, declaring that she also would leap from the
car. I caught and held her till the danger was over, and thus prevented
perhaps serious injury to her person, as all who jumped from the train
were more or less injured. On extricating ourselves from the debris of the
cars, an appalling sight met our view. The sick, wounded, dying, and dead,
were scattered promiscuously in every direction. Their groans and piercing
shrieks were heart-rending. The heavy fragments of the broken cars were
thrown upon their mangled limbs, and in many instances this disaster
completed what Shiloh had commenced. As we came down, I passed through the
train amongst the wounded. Some had lost an arm, several an upper lip, as
many an under lip. Through the body of one six balls had passed. They were
wounded in the feet, the hands, the head, and the body; and some who had
not been touched by ball or bullet were paralyzed by their proximity to
the exploding shells. Truly every battle is with confused noise and
garments rolled in blood. I remained some time at the destroyed train,
aiding in extricating those buried beneath the ruins. The extent of the
damage and destruction of life, I never accurately learned. It must,
however, have been great. The catastrophe was occasioned by a stick of
wood falling from the tender before the wheels of the adjacent car, which,
being thrown from the track, precipitated the whole train down the

For weeks after the battle of Shiloh, little was done by Federals or
Confederates. The rebels firmly believed that Corinth could not be taken.
Its evacuation discouraged the people exceedingly. Nothing but disasters
had befallen them since the year commenced. Zollikoffer had been slain,
and Crittenden defeated, at Fishing Creek. Roanoke Island had been
captured. Forts Henry, Donelson, Pulaski, St. Philip, and Jackson had been
reduced. Island "No. 10" was taken, and New Orleans had fallen. The bloody
field of Shiloh had proved disastrous; and now, even Corinth, the boasted
Gibraltar of rebeldom, fortified by the "best engineer on the continent,"
and defended by the whole army of the southwest, had been evacuated. What,
under these circumstances, could resist the progress of Halleck to the
Gulf? Many saw the cause of these disasters in the fact that the rebel
generals had made their attacks upon the Union troops upon the Sabbath;
and all history confirms the truth that the army attacking on the Sabbath
is almost invariably defeated. Universal gloom and an all-pervading spirit
of despondency, brooded over the whole southern people. Had the rebel army
been crushed at Corinth, or had Beauregard been vigorously pursued, and
forced to fight or surrender, the war in the southwest would have been
terminated. General Rosecrans informed me that they could have crushed the
rebels at Corinth, and on my asking him why it was not done, he replied:
"It would have been done at the cost of many lives on both sides, and it
is not our desire to sacrifice life unnecessarily. Let Beauregard go down
to the swamps of Mississippi; he can do us no injury. It is not probable
that he will ever return to Corinth to attack us, and they must starve out
in a section which never produced enough to sustain its own population."
But Beauregard did not remain long in the swamps of Mississippi. He took
the flower of his army and hastened on to Richmond, to reinforce General
Lee, who immediately gave battle to McClellan, and drove him from the
Peninsula. Halleck should never have suffered McClellan to be compelled to
fight both Lee's forces and Beauregard's, whilst his own army was merely
protecting rebel property and consuming rations. I think General
Rosecrans, had he been in chief command, would not have thus acted; and
his statement to me was a mere apology for the conduct of his superior,
for his policy has ever been vigorous, and the rebels dread him more than
any living man. The lamented Lyon also inspired a similar wholesome dread.
I saw much of General Rosecrans. He is a genial, pleasant gentleman. He
seems desirous of accomplishing his end by the use of mild means; but if
these will not effect the object, the reverse policy is resorted to. The
rebels dread, yet respect him. He will do much to oblige a friend. I
desired at one time to go with my family beyond the Federal lines. General
Rosecrans went in person to General Pope to obtain a pass; but Pope's
orders were that no passes should be issued for a specified time. General
Rosecrans then asked and obtained permission to send one of his aids with
us, who conducted us beyond the pickets, a distance of five miles. This
act, the General remarked, was in consideration of the kindness I had
shown himself and staff while in Rienzi. The Federal generals committed a
great mistake in desiring to overrun the country without destroying the
rebel armies. A physician who drives a disease from one limb only to
appear in a more aggravated form in another, accomplishes nothing. And
when a general permits a hostile army to change its location as a
strategic movement, he has accomplished nothing, except giving aid and
comfort to the enemy. The rebels estimated their forces at the battle of
Shiloh at eighty thousand. Though considerable accessions had been
received, yet in consequence of sickness and desertion, their number was
about the same at the evacuation of Corinth. They lost about eleven
thousand, slain, wounded, and prisoners, in the battle.

War has a tendency to engender great bitterness of feeling between the
belligerents. The secessionists hate the northern people, but not with the
intensity of hatred which they exercise toward the Union-loving citizens
of the South. In South Carolina, in the days of nullification, the
nullifiers and Union men were very bitter in their hostility against each
other. After the suppression of nullification by General Jackson, the
cause being removed, the enmity ceased, and in a short time, the odium
attached to nullification became so great, that few would admit that they
had been nullifiers. Let the supremacy of the law and the Constitution be
enforced, and a few years hence, few, even in the South, will be found
willing to admit that they were secessionists. The descendants of the
Tories carefully conceal their genealogy; the descendants of the
secessionists will do the same. Slavery and secession will perish
together; and the classes of the South who have been fearfully injured by
both these heresies, will be fully compensated for their present distress
by the vast blessings which will accrue to themselves and posterity by the
abolition of an institution which has degraded labour, oppressed the poor
white man, opposed progress, retarded the development of the country's
resources, taken away the key of knowledge, caused every species of vice
to flourish, impoverished the people, enriched a favoured class at the
expense of the masses, caused woes unnumbered to a whole race--in short,
has been the prolific parent of fraud, oppression, lust, tyranny, murder,
and every other crime in the dark catalogue.

  "We are living, we are dwelling
    In a grand and awful time;
  In an age, on ages telling,
    To be living is sublime!

  Hark! the waking up of nations,
    Gog and Magog to the fray;
  Hark! what soundeth--is creation
    Groaning for its latter day?

  Will ye play, then? will ye dally
    With your music and your wine?
  Up! it is Jehovah's rally!
    God's own arm hath need of thine.

  Hark! the onset! will ye fold your
    Faith-clad arms in lazy lock;
  Up! oh, up! thou drowsy soldier,
    Worlds are charging to the shock!

  Worlds are charging; heaven beholding;
    Thou hast but an hour to fight;
  Now the blazoned cross unfolding,
    _On!_ right onward _for the right_.

  _On!_ let all the soul within you,
    For the truth's sake go abroad;
  Strike! let every nerve and sinew
    Tell on ages,--tell for God!"


AMSTERDAM, _Jefferson co._, Ohio, _January 1, 1863_.

The undersigned tenders his thanks to his customers for their liberal
patronage in the past, and respectfully solicits its continuance.

He has recently made considerable additions to his stock of


and he will endeavour to make it the interest of the citizens of Amsterdam
and vicinity to deal with him; nor will he permit his competitors to
surpass him in the cheapness and quality of his goods.

The _highest price_ will be paid for PRODUCE OF EVERY KIND, and _Cash_
will not be refused in payment for goods.

A word to the wise is sufficient.


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