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BELLE BOYD,
In Camp and Prison, vol. 1:

Electronic Edition.

Boyd, Belle, 1844-1900


Funding from the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition
supported the electronic publication of this title.


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First edition, 1998
ca. 400K
Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
1998.
        © This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.


Call number E608 .B78 v.1 1865 (Rare Book Collection, UNC-CH)


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BELLE BOYD,
IN
CAMP AND PRISON.

With an Introduction
BY A FRIEND OF THE SOUTH.

IN TWO VOLUMES.
VOL. I.

LONDON:
SAUNDERS, OTLEY, AND CO.,
66 BROOK STREET, W. 1865.
[All rights reserved.]


LONDON
WILLIAM STEVENS, PRINTER, 37 BELL YARD,
LINCOLN'S INN.



CONTENTS
OF VOLUME THE FIRST.

  • INTRODUCTION . . . . . 1
  • CHAPTER I. Home - Glimpse at Washington City . . . . . 33
  • CHAPTER II. Political Contest - Commencement of the Great Struggle in America - Secession of the Southern States - We hear of the Fall of
    Page vi

    Fort Sumter - Call for Troops - The Stars and Bars - Volunteers - Enlistment of my Father - Patriotism of the Southern Women - Harper's Ferry - Visit to Camp Picnics, Balls, &c., &c., . . . . . 43

  • CHAPTER III. Fourth of July - The Yankee Flag is hoisted in Martinsburg - Great Excitement - My first Adventure - An Article of War is read to me - - Miss Sophia B.'s Walk . . . . . 62
  • CHAPTER IV. Battle of Manassas - Establishment of a Hospital at Front Royal (Virginia) - A Runaway Excursion - Capture of Federal Officers . . . . . 76
  • CHAPTER V. Advance of the Federal Army - I leave Home
    Page vii

    with my Father - Battle of Kearnstown - I am Arrested and carried Prisoner to Baltimore - Released and sent to Martinsburg - I attempt to go South to Richmond - Shields' Army at Front Royal - Incidents, &c., &c. . . . . . 93

  • CHAPTER VI. My Prisoner - Battle of 23rd May - My Share in the Action - The Federals Fire upon me - The Little Note once more - The Confederates are Victorious - Letter from General "Stonewall" Jackson. . . . . 122
  • CHAPTER VII. Tone of the Northern Press towards me - General Banks refuses to pass me South - How I procure Passes - The two Confederate Soldiers - I write to "Stonewall" Jackson - Novel Method of conveying Information - My Letter
    Page viii

    is Intercepted - I am warned to depart South without delay - I prepare to leave . . . . . 146

  • CHAPTER VIII. I am Arrested by order of Mr. Stanton, Federal Secretary of War - My Room and Trunks are closely searched - Yankee disregard for the rights of Personal Property - My Departure for Washington - My Escort - I arrive at General White's Head - quarters in Winchester. . . . . 157
  • CHAPTER IX. A false Alarm - Arrival at Martinsburg - My Mother and Family visit me - Departure for Washington - My Reception at the Dépot - The "Old Capitol" - My Prison Room - My Treatment - Interview with the Chief of Detectives - Offers of Liberty - My Reply - A Pleasing Reminiscence of my Captivity . . . . . 181
    Page ix

  • CHAPTER X. My First Night in Prison - The Secret Telegraph - An Incident in connection with President Davis's Portrait - I am punished for my Indiscretion - I am permitted to walk in the Prison Yard, where I meet with a Relation - I am informed I am to be exchanged - Departure from Washington . . . . . 207
  • CHAPTER XI. Arrival at Fortress Monroe - Passage up the James River - Arrival at Richmond - "Home again" - Interview with General "Stonewall" Jackson - A Refugee once more - Review of the Confederate Army under General Lee - I receive my Commission - Flying Visit to my Home - Letter from "Stonewall" Jackson - My Reception by the People of Knoxville - I hear of the Death of General Jackson - Battle of Winchester - At Home once more. . . . . 229
    Page x

  • CHAPTER XII. Invasion of Pennsylvania - Panic in the Northern States - General Lee issues an Order respecting Private Property - Battle of Gettysburg - The Retreat of Lee's Army - How I occupied my time with other Ladies - I receive a call from Major Goff - Am held a Prisoner in my own Home - Again come to Washington a Prisoner - New Quarters - The Carroll Prison - How Ladies and Gentlemen were treated who recognised us in passing the Carroll - The "Old Familiar Sound" once more - The Bayonet - Our Mail Communication is again established . . . . . 253
  • CHAPTER XIII. A very Romantic Way of Corresponding - The Prison Authorities for once are at a loss - My Confederate Flags - The wave over Washington
    Page xi

    in spite of Yankee assertions to the contrary - I become very ill - Mr. Stanton in an unfavourable light once more - My Prisoner of Front Royal in her true Character - Sentence of Court-martial is announced to me - A Relapse of my former Illness - I am banished - The cry of "Murder" raised round the Corner - Incidents in my Prison Life. . . . . 271



Page 1


INTRODUCTION.
BY A FRIEND OF THE SOUTH.

        "WILL you take my life?"

        This was the somewhat startling question put to me by Mrs. Hardinge - better known as Belle Boyd - on my recent introduction to her in Jermyn Street.

        "Madam," said I, "a sprite like you, who has so often run the gauntlet by sea and land, who has had so many hair-breadth escapes by flood and field, must bear a 'charmed life:' I dare not attempt it." Then, placing in my hands a roll


Page 2

of manuscript, she said, "Take this; read it, revise it, rewrite it, publish it, or burn it - do what you will. It is the story of my adventures, misfortunes, imprisonments, and persecutions. I have written all from memory since I have been here in London; and, perhaps, by putting me in the third person you can make a book that will be not only acceptable to the public and profitable to myself, but one that will do some good to the cause of my poor country, a cause which seems to be so little understood in England."

        I took the manuscript, promising to look it over, and return it with an estimate of its merits. I have done so; and hence the publication of "Belle Boyd, in Camp and Prison." The work is entirely her own, with the exception of a few suggestions in the shape of footnotes - the simple, unambitious narrative of an enthusiastic and intrepid schoolgirl, who had not yet seen her seventeenth summer


Page 3

when the cloud of war darkened her land, changing all the music of her young life, her peaceful "home, sweet home," into the bugle blasts of battle, into scenes of death and most tumultuous sorrow.

        Believing, with all the people of the South, in the sovereignty of the States, and the absolute political and moral right of secession, our young heroine, like Joan of Arc, inspired and fired by the "tyranny impending," resolved to devote her hands, and heart, and life if need be, to the sacred cause of freedom and independence. How much she has done and suffered in the great struggle which has crimsoned the "sunny South" with the "blood of the martyrs," we shall leave the reader to gather from the narrative itself.

        But, by way of introduction, I have a few incidental facts to relate; and it is proper to add that I do it entirely on my own responsibility,


Page 4

and without consulting "our heroine" in the matter.

        At the time of my presentation to Mrs. Hardinge, above alluded to, I found the lady in very great distress of mind and body. She was sick, without money, and driven almost to distraction by the cruel news that her husband was suffering the "tender mercies" of a Federal prison. Lieutenant Hardinge was in irons; and his friends were prohibited from sending him food or clothing! Letters addressed to his young wife, containing remittances, were intercepted; and thus I found her, not quite friendless, in this great wilderness of London, but, what is worse, absolutely destitute of that indispensable and all-prevailing friend - MONEY.

        The sight of a pair of flowing eyes, that for thirteen long months had refused to weep in a Northern prison, were enough to call forth the following communication, addressed to the


Page 5

"Morning Herald," that able and consistent defender of the Southern cause: -

"A WORD TO CONFEDERATE SYMPATHIZERS.

        "SIR, - Your readers cannot have forgotten the glowing description of the recent romantic wedding of 'Belle Boyd' (La Belle Rebelle), so pleasantly celebrated a few months since at 'a fashionable hotel in Jermyn Street.'

        Alas, poor Belle! Her bridal bliss was 'like the snow-fall on a river.' Her husband of a day is now tasting the sweets of a Yankee prison, and she (who 'was made his wedded wife yestreen') all the bitterness of poverty and exile. After enduring for many a long and weary month the insults, sufferings, and persecutions of the 'Old Capitol Prison,' I heard the afflicted lady say yesterday that she 'had rather be there as she was than here as she is.' And why? Cut off from all pecuniary resources at home, she has


Page 6

had to part with her jewellery piece by piece, including her 'wedding presents,' to pay her weekly bills.

        "We can well understand how trouble like that would smite the heart of a high-toned woman, the daughter of affluence and luxury, even more cruelly than the tortures of a Federal prison.

        "Without further comment, I will only add that Madame Hardinge (Belle Boyd) has prepared for publication a narrative of her adventures, imprisonment, and sufferings, for which there are no lack of publishers ready to advance a handsome sum; but she has recently received threatening intimations that her husband's life depends upon the suppression of her story!

        "The father of 'Belle Boyd,' a most respectable Virginian gentleman, has lately died, at the age of forty-six, from a disease induced by his daughter's sufferings. These are the sad, simple facts of the case, and I commend them to the kind consideration


Page 7

of Confederate sympathizers in England. Surely poverty, in a young and accomplished woman, is not only a sacred claim to the protection of society - it is also the very highest credential of honour."

        The above was copied by one of the London morning papers, with the following sympathetic comments: -

        "We are in a position to verify all that is here stated, and a great deal more. Probably the history of the world does not contain a parallel case to that of this newly married lady, who has just only emerged from her teens. Her adventures in the midst of the American war surpass anything to be met with in the pages of fiction. Her great beauty, elegant manners, and personal attractions generally, in conjunction with her romantic history before her marriage, which took place only three months ago at the West End, in the presence of a fashionable assemblage of


Page 8

affectionate and admiring friends, concur to invest her with attributes which render her such a heroine as the world has seldom, if ever, seen in a lady only now in her twentieth year."

        Several of the New York journals also copied the above, and one of them, "The World," published the following communication: -

        "I would respectfully ask the use of a small space in the columns of 'The World' to say a word regarding these statements.

        "Within the past few months Mrs. Hardinge's agent in the United States has sent her bills of exchange on London bankers to the amount of eight hundred pounds sterling, or nearly ten thousand dollars in greenbacks. She has never received a sou of this money. Her letters have been opened here and the drafts extracted before going on to her, and this is the reason she is in distress. Too proud to beg, too honourable to borrow, she pawned her jewels and wedding


Page 9

presents, piece by piece, until her situation became known to her friends. Cut off from pecuniary resources, a stranger in a strange land, her husband in a Northern prison, what could she do? 'Surely poverty in a young and accomplished woman is not only a sacred claim to the protection of society, but is also the very highest credential of honour.'

        "I received during the week a letter from this poor lady; and she says, 'I think it is so cruel in the Yankees to intercept my letters and stop my money, and I don't know why I am thus persecuted.' It is cruel, and it is beneath the dignity of any Government to stoop to such means of revenge. Such things in the dark ages would be called unchivalrous. Good God! can this be the nineteenth century?

        "Mr. Hardinge came here, as a peaceable citizen would come, to attend to his private business and return to England. He had no Confederate duties. Having nearly completed his labours, he went to Martinsburg to see his wife's mother, and, while returning thence, with all the necessary papers and passes in his possession, was arrested this


Page 10

side of Harper's Ferry. Confined in nondescript guard-houses, in jails, and dragged about like a convicted felon, he was finally lodged in the Carroll Prison at Washington, and from thence taken to Fort Delaware. After suffering two months' confinement, he was unconditionally released, and sailed for Europe on the 8th February. She will not be in want or distress when he arrives in London. For what he was arrested and confined is to him yet a mystery.

        "The intimation to Mrs. Hardinge that the publication of her work would endanger the life of her husband was not without foundation, as there are officials high in power at Washington of whom she knows more than is generally known, and who will be shown up in their true light and colours in her book. They fear the truth."

        It is pleasant to add, that the moment Belle Boyd's necessities became known in London the most generous offers of assistance were literally showered upon her by ladies and gentlemen of


Page 11

the highest and best classes in England. And here I cannot refrain from saying that, after several years of observation and experience, I cannot but regard the real nobility of England as the noblest and most hospitable people in the world. The Southern planters rank - or, alas! did rank - next.

        But this is a digression. Let us glance a moment at Belle Boyd in prison, sketched by other hands than her own.

        In the month of August, 1862, the editor of the "Iowa Herald," D. A. Mahony, Esq., a strong Anti-Black Republican, but an able and eloquent supporter of the Constitution and the Union, was taken from his bed, and, without arraignment or trial, and without even being informed of "the things whereof he was accused," hurried away to Washington, and thrust into the "Old Capitol Prisons." What he saw and suffered there he has already told the world, in words that ought to


Page 12

burn and brand for ever his lawless and infamous persecutors.

        The following extracts from Mr. Mahony's journal, published by Carleton, of New York, give us characteristic glimpses of Belle Boyd in prison: -

        "Among the prisoners in the Old Capitol when I reached there was the somewhat famous Belle Boyd, to whom has been attributed the defeat of General Banks, in the Shenandoah Valley, by Stonewall Jackson. Belle, as she is familiarly called by all the prisoners, and affectionately so by the Confederates, was arrested and imprisoned as a spy....

        "The first intimation some of us new-comers in the Old Capitol had of the fact of there being a lady in that place was the hearing of "Maryland, my Maryland," sung the first night of our incarceration, in what we could not be mistaken was a woman's voice. On inquiry, we were informed that it was Belle Boyd. Some of us had never heard of the lady before; and we were all


Page 13

inquiring about her. Who was she? where was she from? and what did she do?....

        "Belle was put in solitary confinement, but allowed to have her room-door open, and to sit outside of it in a hall or stair-landing in the evening. Whenever she availed herself of this privilege, as she frequently did, the greatest curiosity was manifested by the victims of despotism to see her. Her room being on the second story, those who occupied the third story were civilians from Fredericksburg.....

        "But we must not lose sight of Belle Boyd. I heard her voice, my first night in prison, singing 'Maryland, my Maryland,' the first time I had ever heard the Southern song. The words, stirring enough to Southern hearts, were enunciated by her with such peculiar expression as to touch even sensibilities which did not sympathize with the cause which inspired the song. It was difficult to listen unmoved to this lady, throwing her whole soul, as it were, into the expression of the sentiments of devotion to the South, defiance to the North, and affectionately confident appeals to Maryland, which form the burden of that


Page 14

celebrated song. The pathos her voice, her apparently forlorn condition, and, at those times when her soul seemed absorbed in the thoughts she was uttering in song, her melancholy manner, affected all who heard her, not only with compassion for her, but with an interest in her which came near, on several occasions, bringing about a conflict between the prisoners and the guards.

        "Fronting on the same hall or stair-landing on which Belle Boyd's room-door opened, were three other rooms, all filled to their capacity with prisoners, mostly Confederate officers. Several of these were personally acquainted with Belle, as she was most of the time, and by nearly every one, called. In the evenings these prisoners were permitted to crowd inside of their room-doors, whence they could see and sometimes exchange a word with Belle. When this liberty was not allowed, she contrived to procure a large marble, around which she would tie a note, written on tissue-paper, and, when the guard turned his back to patrol his beat in the hall, she would roll the marble into one of the open doors


Page 15

of the Confederate prisoners' rooms. When the contents were read and noted a missive would be written in reply, and the marble, similarly burdened as it came, would be rolled back to Belle. Thus was a correspondence established and kept up between Belle and her fellow-prisoners, till a more convenient and effective mode was discovered. This occurred soon after some of us were transferred from room No. 13 to No. 10.

        "One day Mr. Sheward and I were rummaging in an old, dirty, doorless closet in No. 10, when we discovered an opening in the floor, and, looking down, perceived the light in the room below, which happened to be that occupied by Belle Boyd. Here was a discovery! No sooner was it made, than we set to writing a note, which was tied to a thread and dropped down through the discovered aperture. It happened to be seen by Belle, who soon returned the compliment. Thenceforth a regular mail passed through the floor in No. 10; and though Lieutenant Miller and Superintendent Wood prided themselves on being well informed of every occurrence which


Page 16

took place in prison contrary to the rules, with all their vigilance, aided by the presence, as they admitted, of a detective in every room of the prison, except that of Belle Boyd, they never discovered this through-the-floor mail. It would not be the least interesting chapter in the history of the Old Capitol to give in it these letters of Belle Boyd. But the time is not yet."

        These last words of Mahony remind me of the fact that Belle Boyd, the "rebel spy," is in possession of a vast amount of information implicating certain high officials at Washington, both in public and private scandals, which she deems it imprudent at present to publish. "The time is not yet."

        "Belle usually commenced her evening entertainment," writes Mahony, "with 'Maryland.' " Up to this time this patriotic and spirit-stirring song, written by young Randall, of Baltimore, must be regarded as the "Marseillaise" of the


Page 17

South. As it is as yet but little known in England, I will here quote it entire -

AS SUNG BY BELLE BOYD IN PRISON.

                        "The despot's heel is on thy shore,
                        Maryland!
                        His torch is at thy temple door,
                        Maryland!

                        Avenge the patriotic gore
                        That flecked the streets of Baltimore,
                        And be the battle queen of yore,
                         Maryland! my Maryland!

                        "Hark to a wandering son's appeal,
                        Maryland!
                        My Mother State, to thee I kneel,
                        Maryland!
                        For life and death, for woe and weal,
                        Thy peerless chivalry reveal,
                        And gird thy beauteous limbs with steel,
                         Maryland! my Maryland!

                        "Thou wilt not cower in the dust,
                        Maryland!
                        Thy beaming sword shall never rust,
                        Maryland!
                        Remember Carroll's sacred trust,
                        Remember Howard's warlike thrust,
                        And all thy slumberers with the just,
                        Maryland! my Maryland!


Page 18

                        "Come! 'tis the red dawn of the day,
                        Maryland!
                        Come with thy panoplied array,
                        Maryland!
                        With Ringgold's spirit for the fray,
                        With Watson's blood at Monterey,
                        With fearless Lowe, and dashing May,
                        Maryland! my Maryland!

                        "Dear mother! burst the tyrant's chain,
                        Maryland!
                        Virginia should not call in vain,
                        Maryland!
                        She meets her sisters on the plain:
                        Sic semper, 'tis her proud refrain,
                        That baffles minions back amain.
                        Maryland! my Maryland!

                        "Come! for thy shield is bright and strong,
                        Maryland!
                        Come! for thy dalliance does thee wrong,
                        Maryland!
                        Come to thine own heroic throng,
                        That stalks with Liberty along,
                        And gives a new Key to thy song,
                        Maryland! my Maryland!

                        "I see the blush upon thy cheek,
                        Maryland
                        And thou wert ever bravely meek,
                        Maryland!


Page 19


                        But, lo! there surges forth a shriek,
                        From hill to hill, from creek to creek:
                        Potomac calls to Chesapeake.
                        Maryland! my Maryland!

                        "Thou wilt not yield the Vandal toll,
                        Maryland!
                        Thou wilt not crook to his control,
                        Maryland!
                        Better the fire upon thee roll,
                        Better the shot, the blade, the bowl,
                        Than crucifixion of the soul,
                        Maryland! my Maryland!

                        "I hear the distant thunder hum,
                        Maryland!
                        The Old Line's bugle, fife, and drum,
                        Maryland!
                        She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb.
                        Hurrah! she spurns the Northern scum!
                        She breathes, she lives; she'll come, she'll come!
                        Maryland! my Maryland!"

        "The singing of this song," says Mahony, "often brought Belle in collision with the guard who passed to and fro in front of her room door. It was, of course, provoking; but was such a place a proper one in which to imprison a female, and especially one who, whatever may have been


Page 20

her offence, was in the estimation of the world, a lady?"....

        Many a patriotic lady of Baltimore has been arrested by Federal officers for singing the patriotic song of "Maryland." But what will the English reader say when he learns the following fact? At one of the most celebrated eating, drinking, and singing saloons in London, the classical resort of authors, actors, poets, and wits, for these hundred years at least, the famous band of boys, who sing better than any choir outside the Sistine chapel in Rome, after having got "the words and air of 'Maryland' by heart," are not allowed to sing it, for fear of giving offence! OFFENCE TO WHOM? It might possibly "offend"somebody were they to chant the "Marseillaise."

        To return again to our caged bird: -

        "Belle was allowed to go in the yard on Sundays, when there was preaching there. On


Page 21

these occasions she wore a small Confederate flag in her bosom. No sooner would her presence be known to the Confederate prisoners, than they manifested towards her every mark of respect which persons in their situation could bestow. Most of them doffed their hats as she approached them, and she, with a grace and dignity that might be envied by a queen, extended her hand to them as she moved along to her designated position in a corner near the preacher. We Northern prisoners of State envied the Confederates who enjoyed the acquaintance of Belle Boyd, and who secured from her such glances of sympathy as can only glow from a woman's eyes.

        "Belle's situation was a peculiarly trying one. If she kept her room, a solitary prisoner, her health, and probably her mind, would become affected by the confinement and solitude; and if she indulged herself by sitting outside her room door, she became exposed to the gaze of more than a hundred prisoners, nearly all of them strangers to her, and many of them her enemies by the laws of war. Nor was this all.


Page 22

She could not help hearing the comments made on her, and the opinions expressed of her, by passers-by; some of them complimentary and flattering, it is true, but oftentimes couched in expressions which were not what she should hear. The guards, too, were sometimes rude to her both by word and action. One time, especially, one of the guards presented his bayoneted musket at her in a threatening manner. She, brave and unterrified, dared the craven-hearted fellow to put his threat into execution. It was well for him that he did not, for he would have been torn into pieces before it could be known to the prison authorities what had happened.

        "Belle was subjected to another worse annoyance and indignity than even this. Her room fronted on A Street, and, as usual with all the prisoners whose rooms had windows opening towards the street, Belle would sit at her window sometimes, and look abroad upon the houses, streets, and people of the city named after Washington. It happened frequently that troops were moving to and fro, and it was on such occasions especially that Belle, prompted by


Page 23

that curiosity which seems to be a law of nature in mankind, would look through her barred window at the soldiers. No sooner would they perceive her than they indulged in coarse jests, vulgar expressions, and the vilest slang of the brothel, made still more coarse, vulgar, and indecent by the throwing off of the little restraint which civilized society places upon the most abandoned prostitutes and their companions....

        "Did the officers of the troops passing by permit the soldiers to thus insult a female, and subject themselves to such scornful and contemptuous reproof? the reader will be apt to inquire. Yes; and participated with the soldiers in uttering the most vulgar language and indecent allusions to the imprisoned woman; and that, too, without having the remotest idea of who she was, or of what she was accused. It was enough for them that she was a defenceless woman, to insult and outrage her by such language as they would not dare to apply in the public streets to an abandoned woman who had her liberty. And these men were going forth to fight the battles of the Union! They had just parted with mothers,


Page 24

wives, and sisters. It would seem that, in doing so, they turned their backs upon the virtues which give beauty to woman and dignity to man....

        "At the general exchange of prisoners which took place in September Belle Boyd was sent to Richmond. As soon as it became known in the 'Old Capitol' that she was about to leave, there was not one, Federalist or Confederate, prisoner of state, officer of the 'Old Capitol,' as well as prisoner of war, who did not feel that he was about to part with one for whom he had, at least, a great personal regard. With many it was more than mere regard.

        "Every inmate of the 'Old Capitol' tried to procure some token of remembrance from Belle, and there was scarcely one who did not bestow on her some mark of regard, esteem, or affection, as their sentiments and feelings influenced them severally, and as the means of their disposal afforded them an opportunity to manifest their sensibility. While every man who had any delicacy of feeling for the apparently forlorn prisoner rejoiced at her release from such a loathsome place, and from being subjected, as she continually was, to insult and contumely, there


Page 25

was not a gentleman in 'Old Capitol' whose emotions did not overcome him as he saw her leave the place for home."

        Thus kindly and warmly writes the veteran editor of the "Iowa Herald," one of the victims of Seward's "little bell," for whose imprisonment and release the "Powers" at Washington, "clothed with a little brief authority," have given no reason or explanation. But was not Mr. Mahony "guilty" of being the Democratic nominee for Congress?

        A somewhat more poetic picture of "La Belle Rebelle" is given by the accomplished author of "Guy Livingstone," in his "Border and Bastille," written while tasting the sweets of Federal tyranny in that same "Old Capitol" Prison: -

        "Through the bars of a second-story window that fronted each turn of my tramp, I saw - this: a slight figure, in the freshest summer-toilette of cool pink muslin; close braids of dark hair


Page 26

shading clear pale cheeks; eyes that were made to sparkle, though the look in them was very sad; and the languid bowing down of the small head told of something worse than weariness.

        "Truly a pretty picture, though framed in such a rude setting; but almost startling, at first, as the apparition of the fair witch in the forest to Christabelle....

        "No need to ask what her crime had been: aid and abetment of the South suggested itself before you detected the ensign of the South that the démoiselle still wore undauntedly - a pearl solitaire, fashioned as a Single Star. I may not deny that my gloomy 'constitutional' seemed thenceforward a shade or two less dreary; but, though community of suffering does much to abridge ceremony, it was some days before I interchanged with the fair captive any sign beyond the mechanical lifting of my cap, when I entered and left her presence, duly acknowledged from above. One evening I chanced to be loitering almost under the window. A low, significant cough made me look up; I saw the flash of a gold bracelet, and the wave of a white hand; and there


Page 27

fill at my feet a fragrant, pearly rose-bud, nestling in fresh green leaves. My thanks were, perforce, confined to a gesture and a dozen hurried words; but I would the prison-beauty could believe that fair Jane Beaufort's rose was not more prized than hers, though the first was a love-token to a king, the last only a graceful gift to an unlucky stranger. I suppose that most men, whose past is not utterly barren of romance, are weak enough to keep some withered flowers till they have lived memory down; and I pretend not to be wiser than my fellows. Other fragrant messengers followed in their season; but if ever I 'win hame to my ain countrie,' I make mine avow to enshrine that first rose-bud in my reliquaire with all honour and solemnity, there to abide till one of us shall be dust."

        With this explanatory introduction, I have now only to commend "La Belle Rebelle" to the kindly sympathies of her readers - not as an authoress (to this she makes no pretensions); nor as a partisan soldier, although as such she


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has done good service in the cause; nor even as a freed bird from the "Old Capitol" cage; but simply as a woman - a warm-hearted, impulsive, heroic woman of the South, who, maddened by the wrongs and cruelties inflicted upon her people, and exalted, by the love she bore them, above the common cares and considerations of life, dashed into the field, bearing more than a woman's part in her country's struggle for liberty.

        Like the flashing of the plume in the helmet of Navarre, the glancing of the Confederate ensign, when waved by a woman's hand, has never failed to fire the soldier's heart to "lofty deeds and daring high;" and on more than a hundred Southern battle-fields that proud banner, consecrated by prayers and kisses, baptized in tears and blood, has been greeted by the closing eyes of its dying defenders as the oriflamme of victory. Though lost for the moment in clouds and darkness, prophetic Hope, the last solace of the unfortunate,


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still waits and watches for its re-appearance as the harbinger of Southern liberty and independence: -

                        "For the battle to the strong
                        Is not given,
                        While the Judge of Right and Wrong
                        Sits in heaven!
                        And the God of David still
                        Guides the pebble with his will.
                        There are giants yet to kill,
                        Wrongs unshriven!"

        Since the above was written the Southern people have suffered a heavy calamity in the assassination of the President of the United States. Not that Mr. Lincoln was their friend: on the contrary, every man and woman in the South, and every child born within the last four years, regarded him as the official head and personal embodiment of all their enemies. But, by the removal of the Commander-in-Chief of the great army and navy with which they were contending, a far more vindictive and unrelenting man is invested with the supreme power of the nation.


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Abraham Lincoln, -with all his faults and fanaticism, his angularities of character and vulgarities of manner, had a sunny side to his nature; and there is every reason to believe that, with his idol Union once nominally restored, he would have adopted an indulgent, humane policy towards the brave and vanquished South, believing, with the great poet, that -

                        "Earthly power cloth then show likest God's,
                        When mercy seasons justice."

        The suspicion which has been officially and wickedly thrown upon an honourable and heroic people, touching "the deep damnation of his taking off," is sufficiently answered by the universal regret expressed throughout the Confederacy at President Lincoln's death, the public denunciation of his murderer, and the horror everywhere felt at the idea of being "ruled with a rod of iron" by such an unprincipled demagogue as Andrew Johnson! It is usual in cases of murder to look for the


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criminal among those who expect to be benefited by the crime. In the death of Lincoln his immediate successor in office alone receives "the benefit of his dying."

        While deploring the event which places the reins of power in the hands of one as unfit to control the destinies of a great nation as was the reckless youth to guide the chariot of the Sun, there can be no injustice in alluding to the fact that the Northern Powers and the Northern Press have much to answer for on the head of assassination. I have yet to learn that the written programme of Colonel Dahlgren, which designed the burning of Richmond, the ravaging of its women, and the murder of President Davis and all his cabinet, has ever been disavowed or denounced by the Washington Government, or by the newspapers that support it. Philosophy and religion alike teach us that, while crime only belongs to the act, the sin of murder consists in the intent. In the light of this


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judgment, faint in comparison with that "awful light" yet to be thrown, not only upon all human actions, but upon "the very thoughts and intents of the heart," both North and South, friend and foe, rebel and loyalist, the victim and the victor, the living and the dead, must all be tried and sentenced by ONE who "judgeth not as man judgeth."

        In the meantime, let us pray, and hope, and labour for liberty, love, and peace.

London, May 17th, 1865.


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BELLE BOYD.

CHAPTER I.

Home - Glimpse at Washington City.

        MY English readers, who love their own hearths and homes so dearly, will pardon an exile if she commences the narrative of her adventures with a brief reminiscence of her far-distant birthplace -

                        "Loved to the last, whatever intervenes
                        Between us and our childhood's sympathy,
                        Which still reverts to what first caught the eye."


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        There is, perhaps, no tract of country in the world more lovely than the Valley of the Shenandoah. There is, or rather I should say, there was, no prettier or more peaceful little village than Martinsburg, where I was born, in 1844.

        All those charms with which the fancy of Goldsmith invested the Irish hamlet in the days of its prosperity were realized in my native village. Alas! Martinsburg has met a more cruel fate than that of "sweet Auburn." The one, at least, still lives in song, and will continue to be a household word as long as the English language shall be spoken: the other was destined to be the first and fairest offering upon the altar of Confederate freedom; but no poet has arisen from her ruins to perpetuate her name.

        While America was yet at peace within itself, while the States were yet united,


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many very beautiful residences were erected in the vicinity of Martinsburg, which may be said to have attained some degree of importance as a town when the large machinery buildings were raised, at a vast outlay, by the Baltimore and Ohio Railway Company. They were not destined to repay those who designed them.

        While they were yet in course of construction their doom was silently, but rapidly approaching. They were destroyed, as the only means of averting their capture by the advancing Yankees, by that undaunted hero, that true apostle of Freedom, "Stonewall" Jackson.

        Reader, I must once again revert to my home, which was so soon to be the prey of the spoiler.

        Imagine a bright warm sun shining upon a pretty two-storied house, the walls of which are completely hidden by roses


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and honeysuckle in most luxuriant bloom. At a short distance in front of it flows a broad, clear, rapid stream: around it the silver maples wave their graceful branches in the perfume-laden air of the South.

        Even at this distance of time and space, as I write in my dull London lodging, I can hardly restrain my tears when I recall the sweet scene of my early days, such as it was before the unsparing hand of a ruthless enemy had defaced its loveliness. I frequently indulge in a fond soliloquy, and say, or rather think, "Do my English readers ever bestow a thought upon that cruel fate which has overtaken so many of their lineal descendants, whose only crime has been that love of freedom which the Pilgrim Fathers could not leave behind them when they left their island home? Do they bestow any pity, any sympathy, upon us homeless, ruined, exiled


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Confederates? Do they ever pause to reflect what would be their own feelings if, far and wide throughout their country, the ancestral hall, the farmer's homestead, and the labourer's cot were giving shelter to the licentious soldiers of an invader or crackling in incendiary flames? With what emotions would the citizens of London watch the camp-fires of a besieging army?

                        " 'Say with what eye along the distant down
                        Would flying burghers mark the blazing town -
                        How view the column of ascending flames
                        Shake his red shadow o'er the startled Thames.' "

        Much has lately been written of the comfort of our Southern homesteads; and now, though so many of them are things of the past, while those that remain are no longer what they were, I may safely say that not even English homes were more comfortable, in the true sense of the word,


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than ours; while, for hospitality, we have never been surpassed.

        I passed my childhood as all happy children usually do, petted and caressed by a father and mother, loving and beloved by my brothers and sisters. The peculiarly sad circumstances that attended my father's death will be found recorded at a future page. Where my mother is hiding her head I know not: doubtless she is equally ignorant of my fate. My brothers and sisters are dispersed God knows where.

        But to return to my narrative. I believe I shall not be contradicted in affirming, that nowhere could be found more pleasant society than that of Virginia. In this respect the neighbourhood of Martinsburg; was remarkably fortunate, populated as it was by some of the best and most respectable families of "the Old Dominion" -


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respectable, I mean, both in reputation and in point of antiquity - descendants of such ancestors as the Fairfaxes and Warringtons, upon whom Mr. Thackeray has lately conferred immortality.

        According to the custom of my country, I was sent at twelve years of age to Mount Washington College, of which Mr. Staley, of whom I cherish a most grateful recollection, was then principal. At sixteen my education was supposed to be completed, and I made my entrée into the world in Washington City with all the high hopes and thoughtless joy natural to my time of life. I did not then dream how soon my youth was to be "blasted with a curse" - the worst that can befall man or woman - the curse of civil war.

        Washington is so well known to English people that I need not pause to describe the city, its gaities and pleasures. In the


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winter of 1860-1, when I made my first acquaintance with it, the season was pre-eminently brilliant. The Senate and Congress halls were nightly dignified by the presence of our ablest orators and statesmen; the salons of the wealthy and the talented were filled to overflowing; the theatres were crowded to excess, and for the last time for many years to come the daughters of the North and the South commingled in sisterly love and friendship.

        I am inclined to think that at the time of which I speak the city of Washington must have very nearly resembled that of Paris during those few years which immediately preceded 1789, while the elements of a stupendous revolution were yet hidden beneath a tranquil and deceitful surface. Like the Parisians of that memorable epoch, we were wilfully or fatally


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blind to the signs of the times; we ate and drank, we dined and danced, we went in and came out, we married and were given in marriage, without a thought of the volcano that was seething beneath our feet.

        Who can predict what will be the end and issue of our revolution, when we consider that the effects of that which burst forth seventy-five years ago, wrapped all Europe in flames, and hurled kings from their thrones, are even now but partially developed? How many thousands of our sons have fallen in battle, against oppressors who would not confess that our freedom was beyond their power! How many hapless women and children have perished miserably, or been driven forth to beg their bread in foreign countries, before enemies who with heavy hands have sought to rivet our chains - enemies who could not discern


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the truth of the Irish orator's memorable axiom, and acknowledge that the genius of Liberty is universal and irresistible!


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CHAPTER II.

Political Contest -Commencement of the Great Struggle in America - Secession of the Southern States - We hear of the Fall of Fort Sumter - Call for Troops - The Stars and Bars - Volunteers - Enlistment of my Father - Patriotism of the Southern Women - Harper's Ferry - Visit to Camp - Picnics, Balls, &c., &c.

        THE gaities of Washington, to which I alluded in my first chapter, were soon eclipsed by the clouds that gathered in the political horizon.

        The contest for the presidentship was over and the men of the South could no longer hide it from themselves that


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the issue of the struggle must determine their fate.

        The secession of the Southern States, individually or in the aggregate, was the certain consequence of Mr. Lincoln's election. His accession to a power supreme and almost unparalleled was an unequivocal declaration, by the merchants of New England, that they had resolved to exclude the landed proprietors of the South from all participation in the legislation of their common country.

        I will not attempt to defend the institution of slavery, the very name of which is abhorred in England; but it will be admitted that the emancipation of the negro was not the object of Northern ambition; that is, of the faction which grasps exclusive power in contempt of general rights. Slavery, like all other imperfect forms of society, will have its


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day; but the time for its final extinction in the Confederate States of America has not yet arrived. Can it be urged that a race which prefers servitude to freedom has reached that adolescent period of existence which fits it for the latter condition? Meanwhile, which stands in the better position, the helot of the South, or the "free" negro of the North - the willing slave of a Confederate master, or the reluctant victim of Federal conscription?

        And here I must take leave to ask a question of two great authors, both formerly advocates of an instantaneous abolition of slavery. Is the ghost of Uncle Tom laid? Has the slave dreamed his last dream? Will Mrs. H. B. Stowe and Mr. Longfellow admit that in either instance the hero owes his reputation for martyrdom to a creative genius and to an exquisite fancy? or will they still contend


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that the negro slave of the Confederate States is, physically and morally, a real object of commiseration?

        The first champion of freedom - I speak advisedly, and in defiance of a seeming paradox - was South Carolina. She was a slave-holding State, but she flung down the gauntlet in the name and for the cause of liberty. Her bold example was soon followed. State after State seceded, and the Union was dissolved. It was now that we heard of the fall of Fort Sumter and Mr. Lincoln's demand upon the State of Virginia. He called upon her to furnish her quota of 76,000 recruits, to engage in battle with her sister States. He sowed the dragon's teeth, and he soon reaped the only harvest that could spring from such seed.

        Virginia promptly answered to the call, and produced the required soldiers; but


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they did not rally under the Stars and Stripes. It was to the Stars and Bars, the emblem of the South, that Mr. Lincoln's Virginian soldiers tendered the oath of military allegiance. The flag of the once loved, but now dishonoured Union was lowered, and the colours of the Confederacy were raised in its place.

        Since that memorable epoch those colours have been baptized with the blood of thousands, to whose death in a cause so righteous the honour and reverence that wait upon martyrdom have been justly awarded: -

                        "Oh, if there be in this earthly sphere
                        A boon, an offering Heaven holds dear,
                        It is the libation that Liberty draws
                        From the heart that bleeds and breaks in her cause."

        The enthusiasm of the enlistment was adequate to the occasion. Old men with gray hairs and stooping forms, young boys


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just able to shoulder a musket, strong and weak, rich and poor, rallied round our new standard, actuated by a stern sense of duty, and eager for death or victory. It was at this exciting crisis that I returned to Martinsburg; and, oh! what a striking contrast my native village presented to the scenes I had just left behind me at Washington! My winter had been cheered by every kind of amusement and every form of pleasure: my summer was about to be darkened by constant anxiety and heart-rending affliction.

        My father was one of the first to volunteer. He was offered that grade in the army to which his social position entitled him; but, like many of our Virginian gentlemen, he preferred to enlist in the ranks, thereby leaving the pay and emoluments of an officer's commission to some other, whose means were not so ample,


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and whose family might be straitened in his absence from home, an absence that must of course interfere with his avocation or profession.

        The 2nd Virginian was the regiment to which my father attached himself. It was armed and equipped by means of a subscription raised by myself and other ladies of the Valley. On the colours were inscribed these words, so full of pathos and inspiration: -

                        "Our God, our country, and our women."

        The corps was commanded by Colonel Nadenbush, and belonged to that section of the Southern army afterwards known as "the Stonewall Brigade." "The Stonewall Brigade!" - the very name now bears with it traditions of surpassing glory; and I seize this opportunity of assuring English readers that it is with pride we Confederates


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acknowledge that our heroes caught their inspiration from the example of their English ancestors. When our descendants shall read the story of General Jackson and his men, they will be insensibly attracted to those earlier pages of history which record the exploits of Wellington's Light Division.

        My father's regiment was hardly formed when it was ordered to Harper's Ferry; for the sacred soil of Virginia was threatened with invasion, and it was thought possible to make a stand at this lovely spot, to see which is "worth a voyage across the Atlantic." At the outbreak of the war Harper's Ferry could boast of one of the largest and best arsenals in America, and of a magnificent bridge, which latter, spanning the broad stream of the Potomac, connected Maryland with Virginia. Both arsenal and bridge were


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blown up in July, 1861, by the Confederate forces, when the Federals, pressing upon them in overwhelming numbers, compelled a retreat.

        My home had now become desolate and lonely: the excitement caused by our exertions to equip our father for the field had ceased, and the reaction of feeling had set in. A general sadness and depression prevailed throughout our household. My mother's face began to wear an anxious, careworn expression. Our nights were not passed in sleep, but in thinking painfully of the loved one who was exposed to the dangers and privations of war.

        My mother, the daughter of an old officer, was left an orphan when very young; she had married my father just as she entered upon her sixteenth year; and now, almost for the first time, they were parted, under


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circumstances which made the separation bitter indeed. For myself, I endeavoured to while away the long hours of those sunnier days by the aid of my books, and in making up different kinds of portable provisions for the use of my father, to whom I knew they would, in his novel position, be a luxury.

        But, notwithstanding all the restrictions I laid upon myself, and all the self-control I endeavoured to exert, I soon found these employments too tame and monotonous to satisfy my temperament, and I made up my mind to pay a visit to the camp, coûte qui coûte. I had no difficulty in prevailing upon some of my friends to accompany me in an expedition to head-quarters. Like myself, they had friends and relations to whom they felt their occasional presence would be a source of encouragement and solace; and we all knew that such a goodly


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company as we formed could return safely to Martinsburg at almost any hour of the day or night.

        The camp at Harper's Ferry was at this time an animated scene. Officers and men were as gay and joyous as though no bloody strife awaited them The ladies, married and single, in the society of husbands, brothers, sons, and lovers, cast their cares to the winds, and seemed, one and all, resolved that, whatever calamity the future might have in store for them, it should not mar the transient pleasures of the hour. Since then I have had occasion to observe that such a state of feeling is not unnatural or unusual in the minds of men standing, as it were, on the brink of a precipice, or walking, as it were, over the surface of a mine. "Perils commonly ask to be paid in pleasures," and the payment is doubly


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sweet when it is taken in anticipation of the debt.

        I fear that at this time many fond vows were exchanged and many true hearts pledged between the girls of the neighbourhood and the occupants of the camp; but it may be pardoned to beauty and innocence if they are not insensible to the virtues of courage and patriotism.

        A true woman always loves a real soldier. In the earliest ages poets and philosophers foretold that the Goddess of Love and Beauty would ever move in the same orbit and in close conjunction with the God of Battles, and the experience of ages has confirmed the judgment of antiquity. Alas! the loves of Harper's Ferry were in but too many instances buried in a bloody grave. The soldier who plighted his faith to his ladye-love was not tried in a long probation, but canonized by an


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early death. War will exact its victims of both sexes, and claims the hearts of women no less than the bodies of men.

        To return from this digression. Our insouciance was not of long duration. The advance of a Federal army was reported; and General Jackson, with a force amounting to 5000 men, marched out to reconnoitre, and, if possible, to check their aggressive movement. Our people encamped at "Falling Waters," a romantic spot, eight miles from Martinsburg and four from Williamsport; for at this point of the river, it was rumoured, the Yankees had resolved to force a passage.

        It was early in the morning of the 3rd July that we "gude folks" of dear Martinsburg were startled by the roar of artillery and the rattle of musketry; and the intelligence was presently circulated that the


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Yankees were advancing upon us in force, under the command of Generals Patterson and Cadwallader. It turned out, however, that, at the moment of which I speak, their advanced guard only was in motion; but the skirmish between our people and the enemy was sustained during nearly five hours. On both sides some fell, and, besides the casualties of the Federals in killed and wounded, we took about fifty of them prisoners.

        About ten o'clock General Jackson's army, in admirable array, marched through Martinsburg. They were in full retreat, their object being to effect a junction with the main body, under General J. E. Johnston, who had evacuated Harper's Ferry, and was falling back, by way of Charlestown, upon Winchester.

        Jackson's retreat was covered by a few horsemen under the gallant Colonel Ashby;


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and scarcely were these latter disengaged from the streets of the town, when the shrill notes of the fife and the roll of the drum announced the approach of a Federal army, which proved to be 25,000 strong.

        It was to us a sad, but an imposing sight. On they came (their colours streaming to the breeze, their bayonets glittering in the sunlight) with all the "pomp and circumstance of glorious war." We could see from afar the dancing plumes of the cavalry -

                        "the glittering files,
                        O'er whose gay trappings stern Bellona smiles;"

        we could before long hear the rumbling of the gun-carriages, and, worse than this, the hellish shouts with which the infuriated and undisciplined soldiers poured into the town.


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        At the time of their entry I was in the hospital, with my negro maid and some ladies of my acquaintance, in attendance upon two of our Southern soldiers, who had been stricken down with fever and were lying side by side. These were the sole tenants of the hospital: all the others had been borne off by the retreating army.

        I was standing close by the side of one of these poor men, who was just then ranting in a violent fit of delirium, when I was startled by the sound of heavy footsteps behind me; and, turning round, I confronted a captain of Federal infantry, accompanied by two private soldiers. He held in his hand a Federal flag, which he proceeded to wave over the bed of the sick men, at the same time calling them " - rebels."

        I immediately said, with all the scorn I


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could convey into my looks, "Sir, these men are as helpless as babies, and have, as you may see, no power to reply to your insults."

        "And pray," said he, "who may you be, miss?"

        I did not deign to reply; but my negro maid answered him, "A rebel lady."

        Hereupon he turned upon his heel and retired, with the courteous remark that "I was a - independent one, at all events."

         I hope my readers will pardon my quoting his exact words: without such strict accuracy I should fail to do justice to his gallantry.

         Notwithstanding this interruption to our "woman's mission," the ladies to whom I have before alluded and myself were not discouraged; and before long we contrived


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to get our patients moved to more comfortable quarters. They were taken away on litters; and, while they were in this defenseless condition, a condition which would have awakened the sympathy and secured the protection of a brave enemy, the Federal soldiers crowded round and threatened to bayonet them.

        Their gesticulations and language grew so violent, their countenances, inflamed by drink and hatred, were so frightful, that I nerved myself to seek out an officer and appeal to his sense of military honour, even if the voice of mercy were silent in his breast. Let me do him the justice to say, he restrained his turbulent men from further molestation, and I had the unspeakable satisfaction of conveying my sick men to a place of safety. The satisfaction was immeasurable; for I never for one moment forgot that insults such as I


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had just seen offered to defenceless men might at any moment be heaped upon my own father.


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CHAPTER III.

Fourth of July - The Yankee Flag is hoisted in Martinsburg - Great Excitement - My first Adventure- An Article of War is read to me - Miss Sophia B.'s Walk.

         THE morning of the 4th of July dawned brightly.

        I need hardly say, for it is well known, that the Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence has, in each succeeding year from that of its birth, been hailed with triumphant acclamations by a nation still too young to moderate its transports and lend its ear to the voice of reason rather than to the impulse of passion.


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        The Yankees were in undisputed possession of Martinsburg; the village was at their mercy, and consequently entitled to their forbearance; and it would at least have been more dignified in them had they been content to enjoy their almost bloodless conquest with moderation; but, whatever might have been the intentions of the officers, they had not the inclination, or they lacked the authority, to control the turbulence of their men.

        The severance of the North from the South had now become in feeling so complete, that we Martinsburg girls saw the Union flag streaming from the windows of the houses with emotions akin to those with which the ladies of England would gaze upon the tricolour of France or the eagle of Russia floating above the keep of Windsor Castle. Those hateful strains of "Yankee Doodle" resounded in every


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street, with an accompaniment of cheers, shouts, and imprecations.

        Whisky now began to flow freely; for, amid the motley crowd of Americans, Dutchmen, and other nations, the Irish element predominated. The sprigs of shillelahs were soon at work, and the "sons of Erin" proved that they could use their sticks with no less effect in an American town than at an Irish fair. They set at defiance the authority of those among their officers who vainly interposed to quell the tumult and restrain the lawless violence that was offered to defenceless citizens and women.

        The doors of our houses were dashed in; our rooms were forcibly entered by soldiers who might literally be termed "mad drunk," for I can think of no other expression so applicable to their condition. Glass and fragile property of all kinds was


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wantonly destroyed. They found our homes scenes of comfort, in some cases even of luxury; they left them mere wrecks, utterly despoiled and mutilated. Shots were fired through the windows; chairs and tables were hurled into the street.

        In some instances a trembling lady would make a timid appeal to that honour which should be the attribute of every soldier, or, with streaming eyes and passionate accents, plead for some cherished object - the portrait, probably, of a dead father, or the miniature her lover placed in her hand when he left her to fight for his freedom and hers - upon which many a secret kiss had been pressed, many a silent tear had fallen, before which many an earnest prayer had been breathed.

        To such supplications the reply was invariably a volley of blasphemous curses


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and horrid imprecations. Words from which the mind recoils with horror, which no man with one spark of feeling would utter in the presence even of the most abandoned woman, were shouted in the ears of innocent, shrinking girls; and the soldiers of the Union showed a malignant, a fiendish delight in destroying the effigies of enemies whom they had not yet dared to meet upon equal terms in an open field of battle.

        Surely it is not strange that cruelties such as I have attempted to describe have exasperated our women no less than our men, and inspired them with sterner feelings than those which inflame the bosoms of ladies who know nothing of invasion but its name, who have never at their own firesides shuddered at the oaths and threats of a robber disguised in the garb of a soldier.


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        Shall I be ashamed to confess that I recall without one shadow of remorse the act by which I saved my mother from insult, perhaps from death - that the blood I then shed has left no stain on my soul, imposed no burden upon my conscience?

        The encounter to which I refer was brought about as follows: - A party of soldiers, conspicuous, even on that day, for violence, broke into our house and commenced their depredations; this occupation, however, they presently discontinued, for the purpose of hunting for "rebel flags," with which they had been informed my room was decorated. Fortunately for us, although without my orders, my negro maid promptly rushed upstairs, tore down the obnoxious emblem, and, before our enemies could get possession of it, burned it.

        They had brought with them a large


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Federal flag, which they were now preparing to hoist over our roof in token of our submission to their authority; but to this my mother would not consent. Stepping forward with a firm step, she said, very quietly, but resolutely, "Men, every member of my household will die before that flag shall be raised over us."

        Upon this, one of the soldiers, thrusting himself forward, addressed my mother and myself in language as offensive as it is possible to conceive. I could stand it no longer; my indignation was roused beyond control; my blood was literally boiling in my veins; I drew out my pistol * and shot him. He was carried away mortally wounded, and soon after expired.

        Our persecutors now left the house, and


* All our male relatives being with the army, we ladies were obliged to go armed in order to protect ourselves as best we might from insult and outrage.
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we were in hopes we had got rid of them, when one of the servants, rushing in, cried out -

        "Oh, misses, missus, dere gwine to burn de house down; dere pilin' de stuff ag'in it! Oh, if massa were back!"

        The prospect of being burned alive naturally terrified us, and, as a last resource, I contrived to get a message conveyed to the Federal officer in command. He exerted himself with effect, and had the incendiaries arrested before they could execute their horrible purpose.

        In the meantime it had been reported at head-quarters that I had shot a Yankee soldier, and great was the indignation at first felt and expressed against me. Soon, however, the commanding officer, with several of his staff, called at our house to investigate the affair. He examined the witnesses, and inquired into all the


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circumstances with strict impartiality, and finally said I had "done perfectly right." He immediately sent for a guard to head-quarters, where the élite of the army was stationed and a tolerable state of discipline preserved.

        Sentries were now placed around the house, and Federal officers called every day to inquire if we had any complaint to make of their behaviour. It was in this way that I became acquainted with so many of them; an acquaintance "the rebel spy" did not fail to turn to account on more than one occasion.

        When the news reached the Confederate camp at Darksville, seven miles from Martinsburg, on the Valley Road, that I had shot a Yankee soldier in self-defence, together with the false report that for so doing I had been thrown into the town gaol, the soldiers with one accord volunteered


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to storm the prison and rescue me, or die to a man in the attempt. It is with pride and gratitude that I record this proof of their esteem and respect for what I had done. It is with no less pleasure I reflect that their devotion was not put to the test, and that no blood was shed on my account.

        And now, for seven consecutive days, General Jo. Johnston sent in a flag of truce offering battle to General Patterson: this challenge Patterson persistently declined. I am not so ignorant of warfare as not to know that strategic reasons justify the most daring general in refusing battle whenever and wherever he pleases.

        "If thou art a great soldier, come and fight." "If thou art a great soldier, make me come and fight."

        But, though the Federal commander had a perfect right to choose his own


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battle-field, he had, in my opinion, no right to couple his refusal of the challenge with a threat that, as soon as Johnston should think fit to make an aggressive movement, he would at once shell Martinsburg, which sheltered the non-combatants, the women and the children, the sick and the infirm.

        Meanwhile, my residence within the Federal lines, and my acquaintance with so many of the officers, the origin of which I have already mentioned, enabled me to gain much important information as to the position and designs of the enemy. Whatever I heard I regularly and carefully committed to paper, and whenever an opportunity offered I sent my secret despatch by a trusty messenger to General J. E. B. Stuart, or some brave officer in command of the Confederate troops. Through accident or by treachery one of


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these missives fell into the Yankees' hands. It was not written in cipher, and, moreover, my handwriting was identified. I was immediately summoned to appear before some colonel, whose name I have forgotten; but I remember it was Captain Gwyne who escorted me to head-quarters. There I was alternately threatened and reprimanded, and finally the following "Article of War" was read to me in a most emphatic manner' and with the caution that it would be carried out in the spirit and the letter: -

"ARTICLE OF WAR.

        "Whoever shall give food, ammunition, information to, or aid * and abet the enemies of the United States Government


* I had been confiscating and concealing their pistols and swords on every possible occasion, and many an officer, looking about everywhere for his missing weapons, little dreamed who it was that had taken them, or that they had been smuggled away to the Confederate camp, and were actually in the hands of their enemies, to be used against themselves.
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        in any manner whatever, shall suffer death, or whatever penalty the honourable members of the Court-martial shall see fit to inflict."

        I was not frightened, for I felt within me the spirit of the Douglas, from whom I am descended. I listened quietly to the recital of the doom which was to be my reward for adhering to the traditions of my youth and the cause of my country, made a low bow, and, with a sarcastic "Thank you, gentlemen of the Jury," I departed; not in peace, however, for my little "rebel" heart was on fire, and I indulged in thoughts and plans of vengeance.

        From this hour I was a "suspect," and all the mischief done to the Federal cause was laid to my charge; and it is with unfeigned joy and true pride I confess that the


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suspicions of the enemy were far from being unfounded.

        On one occasion a friend of mine, Miss Sophia B-, of Martinsburg, a lovely girl, slipped away with a lettre de cachet, walked seven miles to the camp of Stonewall Jackson, and handed him important information, which was productive of much good. She, like myself, had brothers enrolled in that band of heroes.


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CHAPTER IV.

Battle of Manassas - Establishment of a Hospital at Front Royal (Virginia) - A Runaway Excursion - Capture of Federal Officers.

        THROUGHOUT the North the utmost confidence was felt that the subjugation of the rebels would be rapid and complete. "Ninety days!" "On, on to Richmond!" was the cry; but the shout was changed to a wail, on Manassas plains, where the first great battle of the war was fought.

        The action was precipitated by Patterson's attempt to prevent Johnston from erecting a junction with Beauregard at


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Manassas. In this he failed, and the result of the movements and countermovements was the battle of "Bull Run." * This great Confederate victory has become an historical fact; I shall therefore pass it by in silence, and proceed to the narrative of my own personal adventures.

        At the time in question I was at Front Royal (Virginia), on a visit to my uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. S-. I wish it were in my power to give my readers some faint idea of this picturesque village,


* Here it was that the Stonewall Brigade acquired its name. The fire was very hot, and the -th South Carolina Regiment of Infantry, thrown into confusion, wavered, and was upon the point of breaking.
"Steady, men, steady," shouted Colonel Bartow, in a loud voice. "Look at General Jackson's brigade: they stand firm and immovable as a stone wall." The -th, animated by the voice and gesture of their gallant commander, and by the example of Jackson's men, rallied; and Colonel Bartow, taking advantage of the enthusiasm he had kindled, led his regiment at once to the charge, when he fell covered with wounds and honour.

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which nestles in the bosom of the surrounding mountains, and reminds one of a young bird in its nest. A rivulet, which sometimes steals round the obstacles to its course, sometimes bounds over them with headlong leap, at last finds its way to the valley beneath, and glides by the village in peace and beauty.

        The scene is far beyond my powers of description. It is worthy of the pencil of Salvator Rosa, or the pen of the author of "Gertrude of Wyoning," and I only wish the great landscape-painter had been given to our age and had wandered to the hills and valleys of Virginia.

        To this romantic retreat my uncle and aunt had fled, as deer fly for safety to the hills. They had resided in Washington, but their Southern sympathies were too strong and too openly expressed to allow of their remaining unmolested in


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the Northern capital. They left a magnificent house, replete with handsome furniture, a prey to the Yankees, who converted it into barracks.

        Orders now came from the battle-field of Bull Run to the effect that the General in command had fixed upon Front Royal for the site of an extensive hospital, for the wounded Confederate soldiers. Every one in the village and the neighbourhood showed the greatest alacrity - I should say, enthusiasm - in preparing, in the shortest possible time, all that our suffering heroes could require. I bore my part, and before long was duly installed one of the "matrons."

        My office was a very laborious one, and my duties were painful in the extreme; but then, as always, I allowed but one thought to keep possession of my mind - the thought that I was doing all a woman


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could do in her country's cause. The motto of my father's regiment was engraven on my heart, and I trust that I have always shown by my actions that I understood its significance.

        After six or eight weeks spent in incessant nursing, I was forced to return to my home at Martinsburg, in order to recruit my health, which had suffered severely; and I leave my readers to imagine with what joy I heard my dear mother's praises of actions which she, in her fond affection, styled heroic.

        In October my mother and myself resolved upon a short visit to my father at Manassas. We stayed at a large house, situated in the very centre of the camp. This tenement was then the temporary abode of several other ladies, wives and daughters of officers.

        During this period I had frequently the


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honour of acting the part of courier between General Beauregard, General Jackson, and their subordinates.

        This was a happy time, but it did not last long; and, after a few weeks spent as above described, my mother and I returned to Martinsburg. The winter passed very quietly, and brought me but a single adventure worth recording.

        I was riding out one evening with two young officers, * one a cousin and the other a friend, when my horse, a young and high-spirited creature, took fright, and ran away with me. Notwithstanding all my efforts, I failed to stop him until he had carried me within the Federal lines, a goal to which my companions could not venture to follow me.


* My English readers may deem it strange that a young girl should ride alone with young gentlemen, but the practice is not in America considered a breach of decorum.
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        I felt rather uncomfortable, not knowing exactly how to act; but I soon made up my mind that, for this once, at all events, valour would be the better part of discretion, if not prudence itself; so, riding straight up to the officer in command of the picket, I said -

        "I beg your pardon - you must know that I have been taking a ride with some of my friends; my horse ran away with me, and has carried me within your lines. I am your captive, but I beg you will permit me to return."

        "We are exceedingly proud of our beautiful captive," replied one of the officers, with a bow, "but of course we cannot think of detaining you." Then, after a moment's pause, he added -

        "May we have the honour of escorting you beyond our lines and restoring you to the custody of your friends? I suppose


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there is no fear of those cowardly rebels taking us prisoners?"

        "I had scarcely hoped," I replied, "for such an honour. I thought you would probably have given me a pass; but, since you are so kind as to offer your services in person, I cannot do otherwise than accept them. Have no fear, gentlemen, of the 'cowardly rebels.'"

        They little thought how those words, "cowardly rebels," rankled in my heart.

        Off we started; and imagine their blank looks when, soon after they had escorted me beyond their lines, my Confederate friends, who had been anxiously waiting for me, rode out from their ambush and joined the party. All four looked surprised and embarrassed. I broke the general silence, by saying, with a laugh, to the Confederates, "Here are two prisoners that I have brought you."


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        Then, turning to the Federal officers, I said -

        "Here are two of the 'cowardly rebels' whom you hoped there was no danger of meeting!"

        They looked doubtfully and inquiringly at me, and, after a short pause, exclaimed almost simultaneously -

        "And who, pray, is the lady?"

        "Belle Boyd, at your service," I replied.

        "Good God! the rebel spy!"

        "So be it, since your journals have honoured me with that title."

        After this short colloquy we escorted them, without any attempt at resistance on their part, to head-quarters, and related all the circumstances of the adventure to the officer in command, who ordered them to be detained.

        The Yankees reproached us bitterly with


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our treachery; but when it is considered that their release followed their capture within an hour, that they had in the first instance stigmatized the rebels, when none were near, as cowards, that they had immediately afterwards yielded without a blow to an equal number of these self-same cowards, I think my readers will admit their spirit of bravado well merited a slight humiliation. Let us hope they have profited by the lesson. I consoled myself that "all was fair in love and war."

        Although Bull Run had been fought, and I had witnessed the outrages of July 4th at Martinsburg, we had hardly yet realized the horrors of war, or, to speak more correctly, we did not allow ourselves to believe in their continuance. We hoped that enough had been done to pave the way for reconciliation. Winter set in and


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closed the campaign, and, with a cessation of active hostilities, our apprehensions for the future were forgotten in our enjoyment of the present.

        It was only when spring returned, and brought with it no sign of a dove from the ark, that we realized how far the waters of the deluge were from subsiding. Balls and sleighs, mirth and laughter, vanished with the last snows of winter; and it was with sad and sickening hearts we saw Colonel Ashby and his cavalry evacuate the town.

        But a very few years since, Henry, afterwards Colonel Ashby, was one of those young men whose characters have been so often imagined by writers of romance, but are so rarely met with in real life. He united in himself all those qualifications which justly recommend their possessor to the love of the one sex and to the esteem


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of the other. At once tender and respectful, manly and accomplished, animated and handsome, he won without an effort the hearts of women. Brave and good-humoured, he combined simplicity with talents of the highest order. He entertained a strict sense of honour, and never forgot what was due to himself; and he was ever wont to forget an injury, and even to pardon an insult, upon the first overture of the offender.

        Endowed with such qualities, it is not surprising he was a universal favourite; and, indeed, it was commonly said the spirit of Admirable Crichton had revisited the world in the person of Henry Ashby.

        Such a man was sure to be among the first to draw his sword in the cause of independence.

        At an early period of the war he was appointed to the command of a regiment


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of cavalry, in which capacity he displays an unusual degree of vigilance and alacrity in the arduous service of outpost duty.

        On one occasion his regiment was drawn up at some distance from a railroad which passed directly across his front. On the farther side was broken ground, well calculated to conceal a large body of men. Colonel Ashby, therefore, ordered out a small party to reconnoitre, putting them under command of his younger brother, between whom and himself there subsisted an affection warm, genuine, almost romantic.

        Unfortunately "Dick Ashby's" impetuosity overlaid his judgment, and, exceeding the instructions he had received from his brother, he passed some distance beyond the railway, and suddenly found himself in presence of a large body of the enemy.


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        He retreated in admirable order; but the Yankees pressed hard upon him, and he and his little band were overtaken upon the railroad.

        Here a fatal accident befell poor Dick Ashby. His horse stumbled and fell at one of the cuts. * In this defenseless condition he was set upon without mercy, without even quarter being offered, by five Yankees at once.

        In spite of these odds, and the disadvantage at which he was taken, he sold his life so dearly that his five assailants were all killed or wounded. By this time Colonel Ashby, leading on his regiment at a gallop, had reached the scene of action,


* These cuts are large drains, or rather tunnels, cut transversely through the lines of American railways, at short intervals. They serve to carry off such a rush of water as would otherwise inundate the line after a heavy fall of rain or the overflow of a river. They are of course covered, and the trains pass over them.
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and, the contest being now pretty equal, the Federals soon fled, and were pursued as far as the nature of the ground would permit. The victors then returned to the railway, and hastily dug a shallow grave, into which all that remained of Dick Ashby was consigned.

        Colonel Ashby dismounted, and, kneeling by the mutilated body, gently disengaged the sword from his dead brother's hand; then, breaking it into pieces, he cast them into the grave, and on that solemn spot vowed to avenge his brother's murder and to consecrate the remainder of his life to the service of his country.

        This vow he faithfully kept. His character underwent a change as instantaneous and enduring as that of Colonel Gardiner. All his gaiety and high spirits forsook him. In society he was rarely heard to speak, never seen to smile, and, after a


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brief, but glorious career, he fell in an unequal and desperate struggle, cheering on his men with his dying breath.

                        "The bravest are the tenderest:
                        The gentle are the daring."

        I shall conclude this chapter with another short episode, which proves how suddenly national disorders discover the hidden force of individual character.

        Miss D., at the outbreak of the war, was a lovely, fragile-looking girl of nineteen, remarkable for the sweetness of her temper and the gentleness of her disposition.

        A few days before the battle of Bull Run a country market-cart stopped in the Confederate lines, at the door of General Bonham's tent. A peasant-girl alighted from the cart and begged for an immediate interview with the General.

         It was granted.


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        "General Bonham, I believe?" said the young lady, in tones which betrayed her superiority to the disguise she had assumed. Then, tearing down her long, black hair, she took from its folds a note, small, damp, and crumpled; but it was by acting upon this informal despatch that General Beauregard won the victory of Bull Run.

        Miss D. had passed through the whole of the Federal army. I dare not now publish her name; but, if ever these pages meet her eye, she will not fail to recognize her own portrait, nor will she be displeased to find that her exiled countrywoman cherishes the remembrance of her intrepidity and devotion.


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CHAPTER V.

Advance of the Federal Army - I leave Home with my Father - Battle of Kearnstown - I am Arrested and carried Prisoner to Baltimore - Released and sent to Martinsburg - I attempt to go South to Richmond - Shields' Army at Front Royal - Incidents, &c., &c.

        WITH the first genial days of spring the Federal troops broke up their winter quarters, and advanced again upon the devastated village of Martinsburg, which had been held during the winter by the Confederates. Martinsburg, situated as it was on the border of the State, was incessantly a bone of contention, and its capture


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and recapture were of frequent recurrence.

        My father, who had been at home on sick-leave for several weeks, was now able to resume his military duties, and he decided upon removing me farther south, as our home was in constant peril, and I had gained a notoriety which would hardly recommend me to the favourable notice of the Federals in the event of their shortly reoccupying Martinsburg, which seemed only too probable.

        Accordingly I was again sent to Front Royal, there to remain until our home should once more be secure.

        A few days after my arrival at Front Royal a battle was fought close by, at Kearnstown. The Confederates, vastly overmatched in numbers, were forced to retreat, and Front Royal became the prize of the conquerors. Thus, to use a homely


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adage, "out of the frying-pan into the fire" had been my fate.

        Upon the approach of the enemy my uncle and aunt, taking with them one daughter, quitted home with the intention of reaching Richmond, leaving their other daughter, Alice S-, a beautiful girl about my own age, our grandmamma, Mrs. Glynn and myself, to take charge of the house and servants, and act in all contingencies to the best of our ability.

        When I found that the Confederate forces were retreating so far down the Valley, and reflected that my father was with them, I became very anxious to return to my mother; and, as no tie of duty bound me to Front Royal, I resolved upon the attempt at all hazards.

        I started in company with my maid, and had got safely without adventure of any kind as far as Winchester, when some unknown


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enemy or some malicious neutral denounced me to the authorities as a Confederate spy.

        Before, however, this act of hostility or malice had been perpetrated, I had taken the precaution of procuring a pass from General Shields; and I fondly hoped that this would, under all circumstances, secure me from molestation and arrest; for I was not aware that, while I was in the very act of receiving my bill of "moral health," an order was being issued by the Provost-Marshal which forbade me to leave the town.

        When the hour which I had fixed for my departure arrived I stepped into the railway- cars, and was congratulating myself with the thought that I should ere long be at home once more, and in the society of those I loved, when a Federal officer, Captain Bannon, appeared. He was in charge


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of some Confederate prisoners, who, under his command, were en route to the Baltimore prison.

        I was more surprised than pleased when, handing over the prisoners to a subordinate, he walked straight up to me, and said -

        "Is this Miss Belle Boyd?"

        "Yes."

        "I am the Assistant-Provost, and I regret to say orders have been issued for your detention, and it is my duty to inform you that you cannot proceed until your case has been investigated; so you will, if you please, get out, as the train is on the point of starting."

        "Sir," I replied, presenting him General Shields' pass, "here is a pass which I beg you will examine. You will find that it authorizes my maid and myself to pass on any road to Martinsburg."


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        He reflected for some time, and at last said -

        "Well, I scarcely know how to act in your case. Orders have been issued for your arrest, and yet you have a pass from the General allowing you to return home. However, I shall take the responsibility upon my shoulders, convey you with the other prisoners to Baltimore, and hand you over to General Dix."

        I played my rôle of submission as gracefully as I could; for where resistance is impossible it is still left to the vanquished to yield with dignity.

        The train by which we travelled was the first that had been run through from Wheeling to Baltimore since the damage done to the permanent way by the Confederates had been repaired.

        We had not proceeded far when I observed an old friend of mine, Mr. M.,


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of Baltimore, a gentleman whose sympathies were strongly enlisted on the side of the South. At my request he took a seat beside me, and, after we had conversed for some time upon indifferent topics, he told me in a whisper that he had a small Confederate flag concealed about his person.

        "Manage to give it me," I said: "I am already a prisoner; besides, free or in chains, I shall always glory in the possession of the emblem."

        Mr. M. watched his opportunity, and, when all eyes were turned from us, he stealthily and quickly drew the little flag from his bosom and placed it in my hand.

        We had eluded the vigilance of the officer under whose surveillance I was travelling; and I leave my readers to imagine his surprise when I drew it forth from my pocket, and, with a laugh, waved it


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over our heads with a gesture of triumph. It was a daring action, but my captivity had, I think, superadded the courage of despair to the hardihood I had already acquired in my country's service.

        The first emotions of the Federal officer and his men were those of indignation; but better feelings succeeded, and they allowed it was an excellent joke that a convoy of Confederate prisoners should be brought in under a Confederate flag, and that flag raised by a lady.

        Upon our arrival at Baltimore I was taken to the Eutaw House, one of the largest and best hotels in the city, where, I must in justice say, I was treated with all possible courtesy and consideration, and permission to see my friends was at once and spontaneously granted.

        As soon as it was known that I was in Baltimore, a prisoner and alone, I was


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visited not merely by my personal friends, but by those who knew me by reputation only; for Baltimore is Confederate to its heart's core.

        I remained a prisoner in the Eutaw House about a week; at the expiration of which time General Dix, the officer in command, having heard nothing against me, decided to send me home. I arrived safely at Martinsburg, which was now occupied in force by the Federal troops.

        Here I was placed under a strict surveillance, and forbidden to leave the town. I was incessantly watched and persecuted; and at last the restrictions imposed upon me became so irksome and vexatious that my mother resolved to intercede with Major Walker, the Provost-Marshal, on my behalf. The result of this intercession was that he granted us both a pass, by way of Winchester, to Front Royal, with a view


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to my being sent on to join my relations at Richmond.

        Upon arriving at Winchester we had much difficulty in getting permission to proceed; for General Shields had just occupied Front Royal, and had prohibited all intercourse between that place and Winchester. However, Lieutenant-Colonel Fillebrowne, of the 10th Maine Regiment, who was acting as Provost- Marshal, at length relented, and allowed us to go on our way.

        It was almost twilight when we arrived at the Shenandoah River. We found that the bridges had been destroyed, and no means of transport left but a ferry-boat, which the Yankees monopolized for their own exclusive purposes.

        Here we should have been subjected to much inconvenience and delay, had it not been for the courtesy and kindness of


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Captain Everhart, through whose intervention we were enabled to cross at once.

        It was quite dark when we reached the village, and, to our great surprise, we found the family domiciled in a little cottage in the courtyard, the residence having been appropriated by General Shields and his staff.

        However, we were glad enough to find ourselves at our journey's end, and to sit down to a comfortable dinner, for which fatigue and a long fast had sharpened our appetite. As soon as we had satisfied our hunger I sent in my card to General Shields, who promptly returned my missive in person. He was an Irishman, and endowed with all those graces of manner for which the better class of his countrymen are justly famous, nor was he devoid of the humour for which they are no less notorious.


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        To my application for leave to pass instanter through his lines, en route for Richmond, he replied that old Jackson's army was so demoralized that he dared not trust me to their tender mercies, but that they would be annihilated within a few days, and after such a desirable consummation I might wander whither I would.

        This of course was mere badinage on his part; but I am convinced he felt confident of immediate and complete success, or he would not have allowed some expressions to escape him which I turned to account. In short, he was completely off his guard, and forgot that a woman can sometimes listen and remember.

        General Shields introduced me to the officers of his staff, two of whom were young Irishmen; and to one of these, Captain K., I am indebted for some very remarkable effusions, some withered


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flowers, and last, not least, for a great deal of very important information, which was carefully transmitted to my countrymen. I must avow the flowers and the poetry were comparatively valueless in my eyes; but let Captain K. be consoled: these were days of war, not of love, and there are still other ladies in the world besides the "rebel spy."

        The night before the departure of General Shields, who was about, as he informed us, to "whip" Jackson, a council of war was held in what had formerly been my aunt's drawing-room. Immediately above this was a bedchamber, containing a closet, through the floor of which I observed a hole had been bored, whether with a view to espionage or not I have never been able to ascertain. It occurred to me, however, that I might turn the discovery to account; and, as soon as the council of war had


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assembled, I stole softly up-stairs, and, lying down the floor of the closet, applied my ear to the hole, and found, to my great joy, I could distinctly hear the conversation that was passing below.

        The council prolonged their discussion for some hours; but I remained motionless and silent until the proceedings were brought to a conclusion, at one o'clock in the morning. As soon as the coast was clear I crossed the courtyard, and made the best of my way to my own room, and took down in cypher everything, I had heard which seemed to me of any importance.

        I felt convinced that to rouse a servant, or make any disturbance at that hour, would excite the suspicions of the Federals by whom I was surrounded; accordingly I went straight to the stables myself, saddled my horse, and galloped away in the direction of the mountains.


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        Fortunately I had about me some passes which I had from time to time procured for Confederate soldiers returning south, and which, owing to various circumstances, had never been put in requisition. They now, however, proved invaluable; for I was twice brought to a standstill by the challenge of the Federal sentries, and who would inevitably have put a period to my adventurous career had they not been beguiled by my false passport. Once clear of the chain of sentries, I dashed on unquestioned across fields and along roads, through fens and marshes, until, after a scamper of about fifteen miles, I found myself at the door of Mr. M. s house. All was still and quiet: not a light was to be seen. I did not lose a moment in springing from my horse; and, running up the steps, I knocked at the door with such vehemence that the house re-echoed with the sound.


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        It was not until I had repeated my summons, at intervals of a few seconds, for some time, that I heard the response, "Who is there?" given in a sharp voice from a window above.

        "It is I."

        "But who are you? What is your name?"

        "Belle Boyd. I have important intelligence to communicate to Colonel Ashby: is he here?"

        "No; but wait a minute: I will come down."

        The door was opened, and Mrs. M. drew me in, and exclaimed, in a tone of astonishment -

        "My dear, where did you come from? and how on earth did you get here?"

        "Oh, I forced the sentries," I replied, "and here I am; but I have no time to tell the how, and the why, and the wherefore. I must see Colonel Ashby without the loss


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of a minute: tell me where he is to be found."

        Upon hearing that his party was a quarter of a mile farther up the wood, I turned to depart in search of them, and was in the very act of remounting when a door on my right was thrown open, and revealed Colonel Ashby himself, who could not conceal his surprise at seeing me standing before him.

        "Good God! Miss Belle, is this you? Where did you come from? Have you dropped from the clouds? or am I dreaming?"

        I first convinced him he was wide awake, and that my presence was substantial and of the earth - not a visionary emanation from the world of spirits - then, without farther circumlocution, I proceeded to narrate all I had overheard in the closet, of which I have before made mention. I gave him the cypher, and started on my return.


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        I arrived safely at my aunt's house, after a two hours' ride, in the course of which I "ran the blockade" of a sleeping sentry, who awoke to the sound of my horse's hoofs just in time to see me disappear round an abrupt turning, which shielded me from the bullet he was about to send after me. Upon getting home, I unsaddled my horse and "turned in" - if I may be permitted the expression, which is certainly expressive rather than refined - just as Aurora, springing from the rosy bed of Tithonus, began her pursuit of the flying hour; in plain English, just as day began to break.

        A few days afterwards General Shields marched south, laying a trap, as he supposed, to catch "poor old Jackson and his demoralized army," leaving behind him, to occupy Front Royal, one squadron of cavalry, one field battery, and the 1st Maryland Regiment of Infantry, under


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command of Colonel Kenly; Major Tyndale, of Philadelphia, being appointed Provost- Marshal.

        My mother returned home, and it was arranged that I should remain with my grandmother until an opportunity of travelling south in safety should present itself. Within a few days after my mother's departure, my cousin Alice and I applied to Major Tyndale for a pass to Winchester. He at first declined to comply with our request, but afterwards relented, and promised to let us have the necessary passport on the following day. Accordingly, next morning, May 21st, my cousin one of the servants and myself were up betimes, and equipped for the journey, the carriage was at the door, but no passes made their appearance; and when we sent to inquire for the Major we were informed he had gone "out on a scout,"


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and would probably not be back until late at night. We were, of course, in great perplexity, when, to our relief, Lieutenant H., belonging to the squadron of cavalry stationed in the village, made his appearance and asked what was the matter.

        I explained our case and said -

        "Now, Lieutenant H., I know you have permission to go to Winchester, and you profess to be a great friend of mine: prove it by assisting me out of this dilemma, and pass us through the pickets."

        This I knew he could easily manage, as they were furnished from his own troop.

        After a few moments' hesitation, Lieutenant H. consented, little thinking of the consequences that were to ensue. He mounted the box, my cousin, myself, and the servant got inside, and off we set.


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Shortly before we got to Winchester, Lieutenant H. got down from his seat with the intention of walking the rest of the way, as he had some business at the camp, which was close to the town.

        Finding we could not return the same day, we agreed to remain all night with some friends.

        Early next morning a gentleman of high social position came to the house at which we were staying, and handed me two packages of letters, with these words: -

        "Miss Boyd, will you take these letters and send them through the lines to the Confederate army? This package," he added, pointing to one of them, "is of great importance: the other is trifling in comparison. This also," he went on to say, pointing to what appeared to be a little note, "is a very important paper:


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try to send it carefully and safely to Jackson, or some other responsible Confederate officer. Do you understand?"

        "I do, and will obey your orders promptly and implicitly," I replied.

        As soon as the gentleman had left me I concealed the most important documents about the person of my negro servant, as I knew that "intelligent contrabands" - ladies and gentlemen of colour - were "non-suspects," and had carte blanche to do what they pleased, and to go where they liked, without hindrance or molestation on the part of the Yankee authorities. The less important package I placed in a little basket, and unguardedly wrote upon the back of it the words, "Kindness of Lieutenant H."

        The small note upon which so much stress had been laid I resolved to carry with my own hands; and, knowing Colonel


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Fillebrowne was never displeased by a little flattery and a few delicate attentions, I went to the florist and chose a very handsome bouquet, which I sent to him with my compliments, and with a request that he would be so kind as to permit me to return to Front Royal. *

        The Colonel's answer was in accordance with the politeness of his nature. He


* My readers must bear in mind that, in time of war, it is almost impossible to travel the slightest distance without a pass signed by some official. On one Occasion, when a picket was stationed between our farm-yard and the dairy, the dairy-maid was not allowed to milk the cows without a pass signed by the officer of the day. This was a decided nuisance, and I hit upon the following plan to get rid of it. I wrote the following pass and got it duly signed: "These cows have permission to pass to and from the yard and dairy for the purpose of being milked twice a day, until further orders." This pass I pasted between the horns of one of the cows; and I was gratified to find it had the desired effect, for they were not again stopped on their harmless errand; and whenever my pass came off the head of the cow I took care to replace it by another in the same style.
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thanked the "dear lady for so sweet a compliment," and enclosed the much-coveted pass. Lieutenant H., having finished his business at the camp, rejoined our party, and we all set out on our return. Nothing happened until we reached the picket-lines, when two repulsive-looking fellows, who proved to be detectives, rode up, one on each side of the carriage.

        "We have orders to arrest you," said one of them, looking in at the window, and addressing himself to me.

        "For what?" I asked.

        "Upon suspicion of having letters," he replied; then, turning to the coachman, he ordered him to drive back forthwith to Colonel Beale's head-quarters. Upon arriving there we were desired to get out and walk into the office.

        My cousin trembled like a poor bird caught in a snare; and, to tell the truth,


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I felt very much discomposed myself, although I did not for a moment lose my presence of mind, upon the preservation of which I well knew our only hopes rested. The negress, almost paralyzed by fear, followed my cousin and myself, and it was in this order we were ushered into the awful presence of our inquisitor and judge.

        The first question asked was, had I any letters. I knew that if I said No, our persons would be immediately searched, and my falsehood detected; I therefore drew out from the bottom of the basket the package I had placed there, and which, it will be remembered, was of minor importance, and handed it, with a bow, to the Colonel.

        "What!" exclaimed he, in an angry tone - "what is this? 'Kindness of Lieutenant H.'! what does this mean? Is this all you have?"


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        "Look for yourself," I replied, turning the basket upside down, and emptying its contents upon the floor.

        "As to this scribbling on the letter," I continued, "it means nothing; it was a thoughtless act of mine. I assure you Lieutenant H. knew nothing about the letter, or that it was in my possession."

        The Lieutenant turned very pale, for it suddenly occurred to him that he had in his pocket a little package which I had asked him to carry for me.

        He immediately drew it out and threw it upon the table, when, to his consternation, and to the surprise of the Colonel, it was found to be inscribed with the very identical words - "Kindness of Lieutenant H." - which had already excited the suspicions of the Federal commander.

        This made matters worse; and when the package, upon being opened, disclosed


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a copy of that decidedly rebel newspaper "The Maryland News-sheet," the Colonel entertained no further doubt of Lieutenant H.'s complicity and guilt.

        It was in vain I asserted his innocence, and repeated again and again that it was impossible he could know that a folded packet contained an obnoxious journal, and that it was highly improbable, to say the least of it, he could be an accomplice in my possession of the letter.

        "What is that you have in your hand?" was the only reply to my remonstrances and expostulations on behalf of the unfortunate officer I had so unintentionally betrayed.

        "What - this little scrap of paper? You can have it if you wish: it is nothing. Here it is;" and I approached nearer to him, with the seeming intention of placing it in his hand; but I had taken the resolution


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of following the example set by Harvey Birch, in Cooper's well-known novel of "The Spy," in the event of my being positively commanded to "stand and deliver."

        Fortunately, however, for me, the Colonel's wrath was diverted from the guilty to the guiltless: he was so incensed with Lieutenant H. that he forgot the very existence of Belle Boyd, and the precious note was left in my possession.

        We were then and there dismissed, Colonel Beale contenting himself with giving a hurried order to the effect that I was to be closely watched. He then proceeded to the investigation of Lieutenant H.'s case. Bare suspicion was the worst that could be urged against him, yet, upon this doubtful evidence, or rather in the absence of anything like evidence, a court-martial, composed of officers of the Federal army, dismissed him from the service.


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        Some time after the adventure I have just related the secret of our arrest transpired.

        A servant had observed the gentleman to whom I have alluded give me the letter in my friend's house at Winchester. He gave information, and the result was, a telegram was sent to Major Tyndale, who was already incensed against me for having slipped through the pickets and got to Winchester without his pass. He communicated at once with Colonel Beale, and our arrest followed as I have described.

        Had it not been for the curious manner in which Lieutenant H. was involved in the affair, and in which that unoffending officer was so unjustly treated, very much to my regret, I should not have escaped so easily.


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CHAPTER VI.

My Prisoner - Battle of 23rd May - My Share in the Action - The Federals Fire upon me - The Little Note once more - The Confederates are Victorious - Letter from General Stonewall Jackson.

        AMONG the Federals who then occupied Front Royal was one Mr. Clark, a reporter to the "New York Herald," and, although an Irishman, by no means a gentleman.

        He was domiciled at head-quarters, which were established, as I have before mentioned, at my aunt's residence; and thus it was that I saw him daily, for we could not possibly get into the street without


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crossing the court-yard and passing through the hall way.

        This Mr. Clark endeavoured upon several occasions to intrude his society upon me; and, although I told him plainly his advances were extremely distasteful, he persevered so far that I was forced more than once to bolt the door of the room in which my cousin and myself were seated, in his face.

        These rebuffs he never forgave, and from an intrusive friend he became an inveterate enemy. It is to him I am indebted for the first violent, undisguised abuse with which my name was coupled in any Federal journal; but I must do the editors of the Yankee newspapers the justice to admit they were not slow to follow the example set them by Mr. Clark. They seemed to think that to insult an innocent young girl was to prove their manhood


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and evince their patriotism. I think my English readers will neither admire their taste nor applaud their spirit.

        On the evening of the 23rd May I was sitting at the window of our room, reading to my grandmother and cousin, when one of the servants rushed in, and shouted, or rather shrieked -

        "Oh, Miss Belle, I t'inks de revels am a-comin', for de Yankees are a-makin' orful fuss in de street."

        I immediately sprang from my seat and went to the door, and I then found that the servant's report was true. The streets were thronged with Yankee soldiers, hurrying about in every direction in the greatest confusion.

        I asked a Federal officer, who just then happened to be passing by, what was the matter. He answered that the Confederates were approaching the town in force, under


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Generals Jackson and Ewell, that they had surprised and captured the outside pickets, and had actually advanced within a mile of the town, without the attack being even suspected.

        "Now," he added, "we are endeavouring to get the ordnance and the quartermaster's stores out of their reach."

        "But what will you do, "I asked, "with the stores in the large depot?"

        "Burn them, of course!"

        "But suppose the rebels come upon you too quickly?"

        "Then we will fight as long as we can by any possibility show a front, and in the event of defeat make good our retreat upon Winchester, burning the bridges as soon as we cross them, and finally effect a junction with General Banks' force."

        I parted with the Federal officer, and, returning to the house, I began to walk


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quietly up-stairs, when suddenly I heard the report of a rifle, and almost at the same moment I encountered Mr. Clark, who, in his rapid descent from his room, very nearly knocked me down.

        "Great heavens! what is the matter?" he ejaculated, as soon as he had regained his breath, which the concussion and flight had deprived him of.

        "Nothing to speak of," said I; "only the rebels are coming, and you had best prepare yourself for a visit to Libby Prison."

        He answered not a word, but rushed back to his room and commenced compressing into as small a compass as possible all the manuscripts upon which he so much plumed himself, and upon which he relied for fame and credit with the illustrious journal to which he was contributor. It was his intention to collect and secure


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these inestimable treasures, and then to skedaddle. *

        I immediately went for my opera-glasses, and, on my way to the balcony in front of the house, from which position I intended to reconnoitre, I was obliged to pass Mr. Clark's door. It was open, but the key was on the outside. The temptation of making a Yankee prisoner was too strong to be resisted, and, yielding to the impulse, I quietly locked in the "Special Correspondent" of the "New York Herald."

        After this feat I hurried to the balcony, and, by the aid of my glasses, descried the


* This American cant term is exactly rendered into English by the phrase "to hook it." Slang is now so well understood that I apprehend few of my readers require to be told that "to hook it" signifies to make off, to run away. Our Transatlantic expression can boast, I believe, of the earlier derivation. The meaning of , the root of which is skeda, was, I am told, understood in that early age in which were recorded the wrath of Achilles and the patriotism of Hector.
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advance guard of the Confederates at the distance of about three-quarters of a mile, marching rapidly upon the town.

        To add to my anxiety, my father, who was at that time upon General Garnett's staff, was with them. My heart beat alternately with hope and fear. I was not ignorant of the trap the Yankees had set for my friends. I was in possession of much important information, which if I could only contrive to convey to General Jackson, I knew our victory would be secure. Without it I had every reason to anticipate defeat and disaster.

        The intelligence I was in possession of instructed me that General Banks was at Strasbourg with four thousand men, that the small force at Winchester could be readily reinforced by General White, who was at Harper's Ferry, and that Generals Shields and Geary were a short distance


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below Front Royal, while Fremont was beyond the Valley; further, and this was the vital point, that it had been decided all these separate divisions should co-operate against General Jackson.

        I again went down to the door, and this time I observed, standing about in groups, several men who had always professed attachment to the cause of the South. I demanded if there was one among them who would venture to carry to General Jackson the information I possessed. They all with one accord said, "No, no. You go."

        I did not stop to reflect. My heart, though beating fast, was not appalled. I put on a white sun-bonnet, and started at a run down the street, which was thronged with Federal officers and men. I soon cleared the town and gained the open fields, which I traversed with unabated


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speed, hoping to escape observation until such time as I could make good my way to the Confederate line, which was still rapidly advancing.

        I had on a dark blue dress, * with a little fancy white apron over it; and this contrast of colours, being visible at a great distance, made me far more conspicuous than was just then agreeable. The skirmishing between the outposts was sharp. The main forces of the opposing armies were disposed as follows: -

        The Federals had placed their artillery upon a lofty eminence, which commanded the road by which the Confederates were advancing. Their infantry occupied in force the hospital buildings, which were of great size, and sheltered by which they kept up an incessant fire.


* This dress was afterwards cut up into two shirts for two wounded Confederate soldiers.
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        The Confederates were in line directly in front of the hospital, into which their artillerymen were throwing shells with deadly precision; for the Yankees had taken this as a shelter, and were firing upon the Confederate troops from the windows.

        At this moment the Federal pickets, who were rapidly falling back, perceived me still running as fast as I was able, and immediately fired upon me.

        My escape was most providential; for, although I was not hit, the rifle-balls flew thick and fast about me, and more than one struck the ground so near my feet as to throw the dust in my eyes. Nor was this all: the Federals in the hospital seeing in what direction the shots of their pickets were aimed, followed the example and also opened fire upon me.

        Upon this occasion my life was spared


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by what seemed to me then, and seems still, little short of a miracle; for, besides the numerous bullets that whistled by my ears, several actually pierced different parts of my clothing, but not one reached my body. Besides all this, I was exposed to a cross fire from the Federal and Confederate artillery, whose shot and shell flew whistling and hissing over my head.

        At length a Federal shell struck the ground within twenty yards of my feet; and the explosion, of course, sent the fragments flying, in every direction around me. I had, however, just time to throw myself flat upon the ground before the deadly engine burst; and again Providence spared my life.

        Springing up when the danger was passed, I pursued my career, still under a heavy fire. I shall never run again as I


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ran on that, to me, memorable day. Hope, fear, the love of life, and the determination to serve my country to the last, conspired to fill my heart with more than feminine courage, and to lend preternatural strength and swiftness to my limbs. I often marvel and even shudder when I reflect how I cleared the fields and bounded over the fences with the agility of a deer.

        As I neared our line I waved my bonnet to our soldiers, to intimate that they should press forward, upon which one regiment, the 1st Maryland "rebel" Infantry, and Hay's Louisiana Brigade, gave me a loud cheer, and, without waiting for further orders, dashed upon the town at a rapid pace.

        They did not then know who I was, and they were naturally surprised to see a woman on the battle-field, and on a spot, too, where the fire was so hot. Their shouts


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of approbation and triumph rang in my ears for many a day afterwards, and I still hear them not unfrequently in my dreams.

        At this juncture the main body of the Confederates was hidden from my view by a slight elevation which intervened between me and them. My heart almost ceased to beat within me; for the dreadful thought arose in my mind that our force must be too weak to be any match for the Federals, and that the gallant men who had just been applauding me were rushing upon a certain and fruitless death. I accused myself of having urged them to their fate; and now, quite overcome by fatigue and by the feelings which tormented me, I sank upon my knees and offered a short but earnest prayer to God.

        Then I felt as if my supplication was answered, and that I was inspired with fresh spirits and a new life. Not only


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despair, but fear also forsook me; and I had again no thought but how to fulfill the mission I had already pursued so far.

        I arose from my kneeling posture, and had proceeded but a short distance, when, to my unspeakable, indescribable joy, I caught sight of the main body fast approaching; and soon an old friend and connection of mine, Major Harry Douglas, rode up, and, recognising me, cried out, while he seized my hand -

        "Good God, Belle, you here! what is it?"

        "Oh, Harry," I gasped out, "give me time to recover my breath."

        For some seconds I could say no more; but, as soon as I had sufficiently recovered myself, I produced the "little note," and told him all, urging him to hurry on the cavalry, with orders to them to seize the


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bridges before the retreating Federals should have time to destroy them.

        He instantly galloped off to report to General Jackson, who immediately rode forward, and asked me if I would have an escort and a horse wherewith to return to the village. I thanked him, and said, "No; I would go as I came;" and then, acting upon the information I had been spared to convey, the Confederates gained a most complete victory.

        Though the depot building had been fired, and was burning, our cavalry reached the bridges barely in time to save them from destruction: the retreating Federals had just crossed, and were actually upon the point of lighting the slow match which, communicating with the bursting charge, would have riven the arches in pieces. So hasty was their retreat that they left all their killed and wounded in our hands.


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        Although we lost many of our best and bravest - among others the gallant Captain Sheetes, of Ashby's cavalry, who fell leading a brilliant and successful charge upon the Federal infantry - the day was ours; and I had the heartfelt satisfaction to know that it was in consequence of the information I had conveyed at such risk to myself General Jackson made the flank movement which led to such fortunate results.

        And here let me pause a moment to do justice to the memory of a brave enemy, Colonel Kenly, who commanded the Federals, and who fought at their head with the courage of desperation, until he fell mortally wounded.

        The Confederates, following up theirs victory crossed the river by the still standing bridges, and pushed on by the road which led to Winchester.


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        General Banks was startled from his lair at Strasbourg, and, leaving everything but his own head and a handful of cavalry behind him, with the Victorious Confederates in hot pursuit, rushed through Winchester and Martinsburg, and finally crossed the river at Williamsport, Maryland; and it is said that he and his command have never stopped running since.

        During this hasty flight General Banks halted for a few minutes to take breath in the main street of Martinsburg. Upon the side-walk were standing many children and young girls, among whom was my little sister.

        One of these girls, recognising General Banks aide-de-camp, walked up to him and said -

        "Captain, how long are you going to stay here?"


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        "Until Gabriel blows his horn," replied he.

        To this mistimed vaunt my sister quietly rejoined, looking full in his face as she spoke -

        "Ah, Captain, if you were to hear Jackson's horn just outside the town, you would not wait for Gabriel's."

        Nor did they wait; for the echo of the Confederate General's bugles had little less terror for them than the sound of the archangel's trump.

        When I first returned from the battlefield, tired, or, to say the truth, utterly enervated and exhausted, the Confederates were filing through the town, and the enthusiastic hurrahs with which they greeted me did more than anything else could have done to revive my drooping spirits and restore my failing powers. The dead and wounded were now being


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brought in, and our house soon became a hospital.

        Notwithstanding my fatigue, I contrived to render some assistance in dressing the wounds and alleviating the sufferings of our poor soldiers, who consoled themselves in their agonies with the reflection that they had done their duty nobly, and that their pangs were not embittered by the sting and remorse with which defeat always torments a true soldier.

        Among the dead who were brought next day to our house for interment were Captains Sheetes, Baxter, and Thaxter, all of Ashby's cavalry, and Major Davis, of Louisiana.

        To my great joy my father came safer out of the battle, with but a very slight wound in the leg.

        All the Federals left in Front Royal were captured; among them my particular


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friend Mr. Clark, who, upon endeavouring to leave his room unseen during the confusion, found himself locked in.

        I afterwards heard an amusing account of the manner in which he extricated himself by letting himself down from the window; this, however, was unfortunately a work of time, and the delay was the cause of his capture. He was being escorted a prisoner down the street, when, catching sight of me as I stood upon the door-step, he shouted out -

        "I'll make you rue this: it's your doing that I am a prisoner here."

        During the battle, and while Colonel Fillebrowne was preparing to remove his effects from Winchester, a gentleman of high social position and Southern proclivities stepped into his office and said, "Colonel, how on earth did you get into such a trap? Did you know nothing of


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the advance of the Confederates?" Colonel Fillebrowne turned, and, pointing to the bouquet I had sent him only a day or two before, he said, "That bouquet did all the mischief: the donor of that gift is responsible for all this misfortune."

        I could not but be aware that I had been of some service to my country; and I had the further satisfaction of feeling that neither a desire of fame nor notoriety had been my motive for enacting the role I did in this sad drama. I was not prepared, however, for that recognition of my services which was received on the very day they were rendered, and which I here transcribe: -

"May 23rd, 1862.

"MISS BELLE BOYD,
        "I thank you, for myself and for the army, for the immense service that you have rendered your country to-day.

"Hastily, I am your Friend,
"T. J. JACKSON, C.S.A."


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        This short note, which was written at Mr. Richards' house, very near Front Royal, was brought to me by a courier, and I am free to confess I value it far beyond anything I possess in the world.

        The object General Jackson had in view was too important to admit of his leaving behind him an adequate force for the protection of Front Royal; one regiment, the 12th Georgia Infantry, was all that could be spared; and thus Front Royal was retaken by the Federals just one week after its brilliant capture by our troops.

        During our short possession of the town there was, among the prisoners taken in the pursuit beyond the river and sent back into our custody, a woman who represented herself to be the wife of a soldier belonging to the Michigan cavalry. She was handed over to me, and I


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furnished her with clothing, and did all that lay in my power to make her comfortable and happy.

        Upon the arrival of the Federals, under General Geary, most of the 12th Georgia were taken prisoners, together with all the sick and wounded.

        The woman of whom I have just spoken was of course liberated, and the first use she made of her freedom was to report me to General Kimball as a most dangerous rebel, and a malignant enemy to the Federal Government.

        The General immediately placed me under arrest, and surrounded our house with sentries, so that to escape was actually impossible. Within a few hours, however, after my incarceration General Shields arrived, and, being senior in the service to General Kimball, naturally superseded him in the command of the army. He at


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once released me, and I thank him for his urbanity and kindness.

        Rumours soon reached us to the effect that the Confederate army was retreating up the Valley, and once more all this portion of the country fell into the hands of the Yankees.


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CHAPTER VII.

Tone of the Northern Press towards me - General Banks refuses to pass me south - How I procure Passes - The two Confederate Soldiers - I write to "Stonewall Jackson" - Novel method of conveying Information - My Letter is Intercepted - I am warned to depart south without delay - I prepare to leave.

        THE Northern journals vied with one another in publishing the most extravagant and improbable accounts of my exploits, as they were pleased to term them, on the battle-field of the 23rd May.

        One ascribed to "Belle Boyd" the honour of having directed the fire of the


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Confederate artillery throughout the action; another represented her as having, by the force of her genius, sustained the wavering counsels of the Southern generals; while a third described her as having, sword in hand, led on the whole of the attacking line to the capture of Front Royal; but as I believe that the veracity of the Yankee press is pretty well known and appreciated, I shall give no more extracts from their eloquent pages.

        At the conclusion of the last chapter I mentioned that General Shields released me front the arrest under which General Kimball had placed me, upon the report of the ungrateful ci-devant prisoner; and, after a short time, finding no further persecution was resorted to, I thought the opportunity favourable for making an attempt to get south.

        Meanwhile General Banks had returned.


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and encamped close to the town, making my aunt's house his head-quarters.

        It was to him, therefore, I applied for permission to depart.

        "Where do you wish to go?" he asked.

        "To Louisiana, where my aunt resides."

        "But what will Virginia do without you?"

        "What do you mean, General?"

        "We always miss our bravest and most illustrious, and how can your native State do without you?"

        I laughingly thanked him for the compliment, and he conversed with the utmost good nature and pleasantry upon the part that I had taken in his recent defeat. Though a rabid Abolitionist, the General was certainly one of the most affable gentlemen I have ever met.

        Several weeks passed by in peace and quiet, unmarked by any incident worthy of


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record, and at the expiration of this period Front Royal was again evacuated by the Federal troops, with the exception of the 3rd Delaware Infantry, which corps was left in garrison. Their colonel was a very large, coarse man, with the manners and appearance of a butcher rather than of an officer.

        On the other hand, Major McEnnis and Lieutenant Preston, who officiated severally as Provost and Assistant-Provost Marshal, were upon all occasions not only courteous, but kind, the natural consequence of which behaviour was that they were both highly respected and esteemed by us "rebels."

        In the court-yard of the General's head-quarters, and at a few yards only from our cottage, they had pitched a flag tent, which served the purposes of their office, and here it was that all passes for the South were granted or refused, as the case might be.


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How many of these were procured upon false pretences and transferred to recruits on their way to join the Southern army, or by whom this ingenious ruse was practiced, I shall not here say.

        I was one morning sitting in the drawing-room, when I noticed two men, dressed as Confederate soldiers, standing near the Provost-Marshal's tent. At my request my grandmother sent for the Major, who obeyed her summons without loss of time.

        We asked him who the men were. He told us they were paroled Confederate soldiers procuring passes to go south. We then asked if they might be permitted to dine with us, and received a ready assent. In the meantime they had disappeared, but one of them shortly reappearing, I accosted him thus: -

        "Won't you dine with us? the Major says you may."


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        "With pleasure, if you dine shortly I have only two or three hours allowed me to get beyond the pickets."

        "Poor fellow!" said I; "but I am glad that you will soon be free. Won't you take a letter from me to General Jackson?"

        Upon his assenting to this request, I went off towards my own room to write my despatch; but, as I was passing by the kitchen door, one of the servants stopped me suddenly, and exclaimed -

        "Miss Belle! who's dat man yose a-talkin' to?"

        "I know no more about him than that he is a paroled rebel soldier going South."

        "Miss Belle, dat man ain't no rebel: I seen him 'mong de Yankees in de street. If he is got Secesh clothes on, he ain't no Secesh. Can't fool Betsy dat way. Dat


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man's a spy - dat man's a spy. Please God, he am."

        I, however, entertained a different opinion from that of the negro woman, so I persevered in my intention, and wrote a long friendly letter to General Jackson. At the same time I introduced a great deal of valuable information concerning the Yankees, the state of their army, their movements and doings, and matters of a like nature.

        Disregarding the warning voice of my sable Cassandra, I fancied the man was true and might be safely trusted; so as soon as dinner was finished I called him aside and confided the letter to him, with these words: -

        "Will you promise me faithfully, upon the honour of a soldier, to take the utmost care of this, and deliver it safe to General Jackson? They tell me you are a spy, but I do not believe it."


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        He, of course, denied the soft impeachment, and swore, by all the host of heaven, to execute my commission with fidelity and despatch.

        Reader, conceive my feelings when, shortly after this man's departure, one of the officers came in and informed me that he was a spy, and was on his way to the Confederate Lines at Harrisburg.

        I immediately set about to rectify my unfortunate error, and, after some reflection, I decided upon the following expedient: -

        I sat down and wrote Major Harry Gilmore, of the Confederate cavalry, a few lines, giving an accurate account of the man's personal appearance, and explaining the motive and circumstances of his journey south, and by what means I had been entrapped into trusting him with at letter for General Jackson. This note I


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despatched by a conveyance to which we rebels had given the name of "the underground railway."

        The locomotive on this railway was an old negro, and the mail-car was an enormous silver watch from which the works had been extracted. I sent off my train, with orders that if, in passing the pickets, any one should inquire the time of day, the answer must be that the imposing looking timepiece was out of order and had ceased to mark the hours and minutes.

        Our friend the spy, however, went neither to Harrisburg nor to General Jackson, but made his way straight to the Federal General Siegel and gave him my letter. The General, in his turn, forwarded it to Stanton, the Secretary-at-War, who, I make no doubt, still retains it in his possession.


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        The fate of the spy, like that of so many of his fraternity, was tragic. He was soon after detected in the pursuit of his calling on the Rappahannock, and hanged. My readers, perhaps, may think I ought to congratulate myself upon having hitherto escaped a similar fate.

        Shortly after this adventure an officer came and told me that further misconduct on my part might bring down upon me the severest punishment, and hinted that the Yankees, once thoroughly incensed, would not hesitate at the perpetration of any atrocity.

        Entertaining these views, he recommended my immediate departure; and this kind advice meeting with the approval of my grandmother, I gave my consent, and immediately my maid had orders to prepare for a journey to Richmond. It was on a Tuesday that the


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officer promised to get a pass, and we were to be sent through the lines on the next ensuing Thursday. But Fate had ordained otherwise.


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CHAPTER VIII.

I am Arrested by order of Mr. Stanton, Federal Secretary of War - My Boom and Trunks are closely Searched- Yankee disregard for the rights of Personal Property - My Departure for Washington - My Escort - I arrive at General White's Head-quarters in Winchester.

        IT was on a lovely Wednesday evening that our firm and valued friend Lieutenant Preston, my cousin Alice, and myself were standing on the balcony, watching the last rays of the setting sun as it sank behind the western hills.

        Our conversation turned upon the


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divided and unhappy state of our country. We recalled the peaceful scenes and joyous days of the past, which were so painfully contrasted by the present, and we were forced to agree that we had nothing to expect from the future but a continuance, if not an augmentation, of our calamities.

        In such gloomy forebodings, and in the interchange of apprehensions and regrets, we passed some time, and the twilight was fast deepening into gloom when we heard the sound of horses' hoofs; and, straining our eyes through the darkness, we discerned a large body of cavalry approaching the house.

        I immediately conceived the idea that it was a scouting-party on their way to the mountains with the design of surprising Major Harry Gilmore's cavalry, and feared that their enterprise would prove


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successful unless the Confederate officer should leave timely notice of his danger. I ran at once to my room and wrote a hasty note, in which I communicated my suspicions to Major Gilmore, and warned him to be on his guard.

        This note I transmitted in the manner I have described in a previous chapter, by my "underground railway." After this feat I retired to bed, and slept quietly, undisturbed by any dream or vision of my approaching captivity.

        Next morning I rose early, and soon after breakfast I went to the cottage door, where I daily spent much of my time, watching the movements of the persons who, for various purposes, frequented head-quarters. I had not been long at my post when I observed several Yankee soldiers go into the coach-house. They immediately proceeded to drag out the carriage,


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and pull it up at the door of head-quarters, where they put to the horses.

        There was nothing very extraordinary in all this; but in these anxious days the minds of all were in a perpetual state of tension, and a slight incident was sufficient to cause alarm.

        This may account for the strange feeling that came over me - an irrepressible desire to ascertain who was to be the occupant of the carriage, which was on the point of starting for a destination of which I was ignorant.

        I walked out upon the balcony; and, looking up and down the street, I saw that it was thronged with cavalry, the men dismounted, lounging about, and conversing with each other, in groups of twos and threes, evidently waiting for the expected order to mount.

        While I stood looking at this scene, not


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without interest and curiosity, one of the servants came to me and said -

        "Miss Belle, de Provo' wishes to see you in de drawing-room, and dere's two oder men wid him."

        I immediately went down-stairs, and, upon entering the room, I found the Major, whose face wore an expression of excitement and nervousness. There were, as the servant had said, two other men in the room with him: one, a tall, fine-looking man, was introduced to me by the name and title of Major Sherman, of the 12th Illinois Cavalry; the other was low in stature, coarse in appearance, with a mean, vile expression of countenance, and a grizzly beard, which, it was evident, had not made the acquaintance of water or a comb for weeks at least. His small, restless eyes glanced here and there, with an expression of incessant


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watchfulness and suspicion. All his features were repulsive in the extreme, denoting a mixture of cowardice, ferocity, and cunning. In a word, his mien was unmistakably that of a finished villain, who was capable of perpetrating any act, however atrocious, when stimulated by the promise of a reward in money.

        This man was a good type of his order: he was one of Secretary Stanton's minions - a detective belonging to, and employed and paid by, that honourable branch of Mr. Lincoln's Government, the Secret Service Department.

        I had not been in the room more than a few moments when Major McEnnis turned to me and said -

        "Miss Boyd, Major Sherman has come to arrest you."

        "Impossible! For what?" I cried.


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        Major Sherman here interposed, and, speaking in a very kind manner, assured me that, although the duty he had to perform was painful to his feelings, he was, nevertheless, forced to execute the orders of the Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton; and, as he finished speaking, the detective produced from his pocket the document, which I transcribe as nearly as I can recollect: -

"War Department.

"SIR, - YOU will proceed immediately to Front Royal, Virginia, and arrest, if found there, Miss Belle Boyd, and bring her at once to Washington.

"I am, respectfully,
"Your obedient Servant,
"E. M. STANTON."

        Such was the curt order that made me a prisoner; and, as remonstrance would have been idle and resistance vain, nothing was left for me but quiet, unconditional obedience.


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        The detective then informed me that it was his duty to examine all my luggage.

        To this I could not do otherwise than assent, and only begged that a few minutes might be granted, to enable my servant to prepare my room, which was in great confusion, and that I might also be permitted to retire. I made this request to the detective, for it had not escaped my notice that Major Sherman was acting a subordinate part, and was virtually at the disposal and under the orders of the former.

        As no answer was returned to my question, I took it for granted I had tacit permission to withdraw; but my disgust was great when, turning round upon the stairs, I saw my persecutor silently following at my heels.

        I stopped short, and said -


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        "Sir, will not you wait until I see if my room is in a suitable condition for you to enter?"

        The reply was characteristic, though not urbane.

        "No, yer don't: I'm agoin' with yer. Yer got some papers yer want to get rid on;" and, with these words, he pushed violently past me, and hastily entered my room.

        My clothes were first seized, and searched with the utmost scrutiny. My dresses were examined closely, and, after being turned inside out, and distorted into all sorts of fantastic shapes, were flung in a pile upon the floor, much to the horror and amazement of my maid, who had employed a great part of the previous night in packing them safely and neatly, and who was at a loss to understand the meaning of such treatment, which appeared


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to her, naturally enough, so strange and unseemly.

        My under-clothing next underwent an ordeal precisely similar to that which my upper garments had passed through; and, finally, my desk and portfolio were discovered; but here very fortunately my devoted servant came to the rescue with the promptitude and courage of a heroine.

        She well knew the value I attached to the contents of my portfolio, and made a shrewd guess as to how far they would compromise me with my captor and his employers. Acting upon a sudden impulse, she made a swoop upon the repository of the greatest part of the evidence that could be adduced against me; and, rushing at headlong speed down-stairs, she gained the kitchen in time to burn all the papers it contained. But some


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important papers were, unfortunately, in my writing-desk, and these fell into the possession of the detective who also, much to my regret, made prize of a handsome pistol, with belt and equipments complete, which had been presented to me on the 4th July, by a Federal officer on the staff, as a token, he was pleased to say, of his admiration of the spirit I had shown in defence of my mother and my home.

        It had always been my hope to have some day an opportunity of begging General Stonewall Jackson's acceptance of a present made to me, under very trying circumstances, by a gallant and generous enemy; but this could not be done. The pistol now occupies a conspicuous place in the War Department at Washington, and is entered in the catalogue of spoils in the following words: -


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         "A trophy captured from the celebrated rebel Belle Boyd."

        Not contented with the seizure of my own papers, the emissary of Mr. Stanton proceeded to break open the private escritoire of my uncle, who was a lawyer, and who had left it in my room for safekeeping during his absence from Front Royal.

        The detective, bundling up the law-papers with mine, bade me, in the roughest manner, and in the most offensive language, be prepared to start within half an hour.

        I asked permission to be indulged with the attendance of my maid; but this request was refused, with imprecations, and she was only allowed to pack one trunk with apparel absolutely necessary to comfort, if not to decency. Brief time was granted for the packing; and, before many


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minutes, my solitary trunk was strapped to the back of the carriage.

        I then nerved myself, and, walking into the drawing-room, announced, in firm, unbroken accents, that I was ready to start.

        I preserved my composure unshaken; although it was a hard trial to me to see my grandmother and cousin weeping piteously, and beseeching Major Sherman, in the most moving terms, to spare me. Their supplications were vain; and the detective, stepping up close to my side, ordered me to get into the carriage forthwith.

        Then came the final parting, bitter enough, God knows; for I was being dragged from those to whom I was endeared by the associations of my happy youth, no less than by the ties of nature, and consigned to the safe-keeping of a man


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whose countenance alone would have immediately convicted him of any crime of which he might anywhere have been accused.

        My negro maid clasped her arms round my knees, and passionately implored permission to attend me. She was torn from me, and I was hurried into the carriage without any opportunity of further expostulation on the part of myself or my relations.

        The news of my arrest had spread quickly, and the streets were by this time filled with soldiers and citizens of the town. As I stepped into the carriage, which for aught I knew was my funeral car, I cast a rapid but comprehensive glance upon the crowd collected to witness my departure and the demeanour I should sustain under such a trial.

        Upon many, nay, most of the faces that


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met my gaze, sorrow and sympathy were written in unmistakable characters; but there were, nevertheless, some looks the expression of which was that of exultation and malignant triumph.

        I knew how closely I was watched by friend and foe, and I resolved neither to make myself an object of derision to the one, nor of pity to the other. Though my heart was throbbing, my eyes were dry; not a muscle of my face quivered; no outward sign betrayed the convicting emotions that raged within.

        I could not guess what fate was in store for me, but I felt that, if I might judge of the clemency of my captors by the bearing of their delegate, it would be the part of wisdom to steel my mind against the worst that could ensue.

        I was seated in the back of the carriage, and just as we started my evil genius


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mounted the driver's seat. In his hand he clutched a tin case which held the papers he had taken from my room, and, as he turned his ugly features round from time to time to scrutinize my looks, my imagination pictured him to me as the ill omened incarnation of Satan himself. I could not help associating him with the idea of Edgar Poe's raven, and asking myself if the fancy of the poet was to be realized in my case, and the companionship of the bird was to cease only with my life.

        That these were the visions of a disturbed mind I am now quite willing to allow; but if my readers will bear in mind that I was young; that I had just been torn from my friends; that a long captivity appeared certain, and death not improbable; that while either fate was in abeyance I was in the custody of a man whose


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character was clearly adapted to his odious calling, - they will not be surprised that during a few hours my reason tottered, and "horrible imaginings" got the better of my fortitude.

        My escort consisted of 450 cavalry, the officer in command of whom observed all the regular precautions prescribed by military law for a march through an enemy's country. In addition to the ordinary advance and rear guards, fifty scouts were detached in skirmishing order to protect our right from surprise, and an equal number to guard our left; and in this order we advanced until about half our march was performed, and we reached an eminence which commanded a view of the country for several miles round.

        Here, at a dreary spot, the cavalcade was brought to a halt. Field-glasses and signal whistles were brought into requisition,


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and many other, to me, mysterious forms were gone through.

        I had not yet shaken off my terrors, and I now resolved to collect my thoughts, and devote what I believed to be my last moments to prayer; for I could not then penetrate the motives which actuated the, to me, strange behaviour of my escort, and I fully and firmly believed I should soon be dragged from the carriage and hanged from a bough of the maple-tree the leaves of which were rustling over the carriage.

        I afterwards ascertained that it was from fear of a rescue by Ashby's cavalry the that the precautions which alarmed me so much were taken; and I make no doubt but that gallant Confederate, had he known of my situation, would have brought me off, or perished in the attempt.

        After a long pause the word "Forward"


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was given, and our march was resumed at a walk.

        In due course we gained the outskirts of Winchester, and were met by the remainder of the regiment by which I was escorted. The whole, amounting to 550 sabres, some in front, some in rear of the carriage, marched in solemn procession down the main street of the town; and I believe the citizens, who rushed to the windows and doors, at first supposed that the carriage which conveyed my small but living person was the funeral car of a general officer bearing the warrior to his place of interment.

        It was about six o'clock in the evening when I was brought to General White's head-quarters, which were fixed about a quarter of a mile beyond the town.

        I was immediately ordered to alight,


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and without a minute's delay I was ushered into his presence.

        He received me with a graceful bow, and bade me welcome with marked courtesy.

        I returned his salutation with as much ease as I could assume, and asked what he intended doing with me.

        "To-morrow," replied he, "I shall send you on to the commanding officer at Martinsburg. He can best inform you what is to be done with you. You will rest here after your journey, for the night."

        "But surely," I interceded, "you will at least allow me to remain with my friends in the village until the morning?"

        "No, no," he rejoined, rather pettishly; "I cannot consent to that. It would take a whole regiment to guard you; for,


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though the rebel cavalry should not enter the town to attempt your rescue, I make no doubt that the citizens themselves would try it."

        "But surely," I then pleaded, "you do not mean that I am to sleep here, defenceless and alone in a tent, at the mercy of your brigade? I never yet slept in a tent when I was present with our army, and how can I endure such a penance in the camp of my enemies?"

        "My own tent," replied the General, with a low bow, "has been properly prepared for the reception of a lady. Whenever you wish to retire you can follow your inclinations; and you may rest assured you shall sleep in perfect security."

        Supper was then brought in; and it did not escape my notice that the table was decorated with a dazzling display of rich


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silver plate, which I more than suspected had formerly been the property of some of our dear old Virginian families; and the thought that the rightful owners were at that moment miserable outcasts, probably in want of the bread my Federal lords despised, effectually destroyed any appetite my sufferings might have left me.

        I said not a word until supper was finished; then, rising quietly from my camp-stool, I begged permission to retire to the tent which I had been informed was to be my dormitory.

        The General rang a small bell, which was quickly answered by an "intelligent contraband," bearing two very massive silver candlesticks, which, like the spoons and forks, were doubtless the spoils of my native province, probably once the property of an intimate friend.


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        "Show this lady to the tent that has been prepared for her reception;" and these words with the accompaniment of a bow, were all I had in exchange for the prayers and blessings I had been accustomed to carry with me to my bed.

        No sooner had I entered the tent than the negro left me to sleep or to my own reflections.

        For some time I listened to the tramp of the sentries as they paced to and fro outside; then I tried to distract my thoughts and forget my grief in attempting to guess how many Yankee soldiers were told off to guard a single Confederate girl. But all would not do: for the time being I was conquered in body and spirit; my burden seemed heavier than I could bear. I sat down upon my camp-stool, and pressed my


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hands upon my aching brow, and before long the fatigue and anxiety I had undergone stood me in stead, and I fell asleep.


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CHAPTER IX.

A false Alarm - Arrival at Martinsburg - My Mother and Family visit me - Departure for Washington - My Reception at the Dépôt - The "Old Capitol" - My Prison Room - My Treatment - Interview with the Chief of Detectives - Offers of Liberty - My Reply - A Pleasing Reminiscence of my Captivity.

        ABOUT half-past three the following morning I was suddenly aroused from my comfortless slumbers by the beating of the long roll, and by the reports of several muskets fired in quick succession. Officers half dressed sprang to arms, rushed to their horses, and rode off to the outposts. Meanwhile,


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I had lighted my candle, my heart beating high with hope; for I persuaded myself that the alarm was caused by an attempt on the part of the Confederates to effect my rescue. I sat down anxiously awaiting the result, when one of the officers, who was rushing to the front, stopped opposite my tent and shouted, or rather roared out -

        "Put out that light: it is some signal to the rebels. Do you hear me?"

        I of course obeyed the mandate, and a few minutes afterwards I heard the retreat beat; upon which one of the sentries explained the meaning of what had happened, and how it came to pass that the camp had been thrown into such a state of confusion. It appeared that an obtuse cow had strayed from a neighbouring field, and, not understanding the challenge of the sentry, had disregarded the order to


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halt, although twice repeated. Hereupon the sentry, who could not make out the outline of the cow in the darkness, fired, and the other sentries on his right and left, taking the hint, fired also, though at what they aimed it would be difficult to say. However, fire they did at random, as is the custom of undisciplined troops everywhere, and thus all my hopes of a rescue were extinguished by a cow.

        Dawn was hardly breaking when I was ordered to get ready once more, as I was to be taken directly to Martinsburg.

        My preparations were soon made, and with two hundred for my escort I set forward. At eight o'clock we came to a halt at a small farm-house standing by the road-side. Here breakfast had been prepared, and I was informed the refreshment was at my disposal. No sooner was my appetite satisfied - a consummation


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which was easy and rapid - than we resumed our journey to Martinsburg, at which bourne I arrived about one in the afternoon, tired and exhausted with the fatigue and anxiety I had undergone.

        Major Sherman, compassionating my forlorn condition, very kindly stayed behind the cavalcade and prevailed upon his wife to accompany me to the camp, which was pitched at a short distance on the north side of the town.

        I was forthwith conducted to the tent of the commanding officer. My head was now almost bursting with pain; and I implored him to have me taken to my home, which was close by in a suburb of the village, there to rest and refresh myself for a few hours, as I understood I was to start for Washington at two o'clock next morning. I make no doubt my petition would have been granted had not the detective here


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interposed and informed the Federal Colonel that Mr. Secretary Stanton would probably take exception to such an indulgence, which would give me an opportunity of holding communication with persons inimical to the United States Government.

        After putting this "spoke in my wheel," so to speak, my amiable custodian went himself to my home and ransacked all my father's private papers, under pretence of hunting for "communications" from myself to my mother. Fortunately, however, he found none, and his unwelcome visit was not crowned with the success he had anticipated.

        To return to myself.

        I was sitting on the camp-stool in my tent, gazing listlessly about me, when my attention was suddenly attracted to a carriage which was driving into the encampment.


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It stopped, and a lady rapidly alighted. She was dressed in deep mourning; a thick veil entirely concealed her face, but I recognized her at once, in spite of her disguise.

        The feverish intelligence which accompanies danger and suffering was superadded to that natural instinct which, though no one can explain, all have experienced, and I felt, for I could not see, that the visitor was my mother.

        I sprang from my seat, and rushed into her arms with a cry of joy I had no power to repress.

        "My poor, dear child!" she said, or rather gasped, and then sank fainting at my feet.

        They carried her into the tent, and the first use she made of restored consciousness was to implore the Colonel, in the most moving terms, to allow her to carry me


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home. She begged him to trust the evidence of his own senses, and to read in my haggard looks the bodily prostration to which I was reduced, no less than the mental anguish which was consuming me; and in very truth the iron had entered into my soul, and my sufferings were almost greater than I could bear.

        The Colonel politely but firmly refused to grant my mother's prayer; and I am willing to believe that in this refusal he was actuated by a stern sense of duty, for his feelings so far prevailed as to induce him to authorize my removal to Raemer's Hotel, which is contiguous to the station from which the trains for Washington start. No sooner had I, a young girl weak and ill, accompanied by my mother and Mrs. Sherman, set foot in the hotel, than the building was girdled by a cordon of sentries, twenty-seven in number, in addition to


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whom three were posted in the passage leading to my room, and one more was stationed just outside my door; and then, with these material guarantees for my security and good behaviour, my little sister, my brothers, and my mother were allowed to visit me.

        It had been arranged that the detective who arrested me should be my escort as far as Washington; but I no loathed the sight of this man, that I sent for Colonel Holt, and implored him to substitute for the odious reptile any one of his officers who could be spared, and upon whom he could rely for my safe conduct.

        Colonel Holt kindly granted my request, and detailed Lieutenant Steele, of the 12th Illinois Cavalry, for "escort duty."

        As the time for my arrival approached my feelings overpowered my self-control, and, for once, I yielded to a passionate


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burst of grief. Nor was I without an excuse for my weakness. My nearest and dearest were lamenting around me, and within a few minutes I was to be torn from their arms and consigned to the doubtful mercies of strangers and enemies. My strength, too, failed me; and, just as the fatal moment drew near, I sank down in a stupor from which I was suddenly and painfully awakened by the ominous screech of the railway engine. I nerved myself by a vigorous effort, and within a few seconds I found myself seated in the train. I say found myself, for I have never been able distinctly to recall how I reached the station - whether I walked or was carried I know not. I was soon, however, conscious that Lieutenant Steele was by my side, and that Washington was my destination. I felt grateful for the presence of an officer to whom I might reasonably


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look for protection, and the reflection that, come what would, I had escaped the clutches of the detective roused my drooping spirits.

        Alas! this infatuation was soon dispelled, for, upon looking about me, I was horrified to see my "evil genius" occupying the left seat of the carriage.

        The image of Edgar Poe's raven arose in my mind, and my disturbed imagination whispered that I was doomed to the perpetual companionship of an incarnate fiend.

        It afterwards transpired that this able minion of Mr. Stanton had telegraphed to the chief of detectives at Washington to meet us at the dépôt. *

        Mr. Steele, who had no idea I was to be thrown into prison, observed that upon our arrival at Washington I should go to


* In America a railway terminus is called a dépôt.
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Willard's Hotel, and after a short rest proceed to the office of the Secretary-at-War. This plan, however, was by no means in accordance with the programme drawn up by the detective. He was one of Mr. Stanton's chosen and trusted agents. He doubtless well knew what was in store for me, and he did not scruple to presume upon his position, and use very sharp words to Lieutenant Steele.

        It was about nine o'clock in the evening when we arrived at Washington; but, notwithstanding the lateness of the hour, a very large concourse of people had assembled in and about the dépôt, in order to catch a glimpse of the "wonderful rebel;" for the news of my arrest had preceded my arrival.

        As I stepped upon the platform the chief of the detectives, another kindred spirit of Mr. Stanton's, seized me roughly by


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the arm, and in a gruff voice shouted out -

        "Come on: I'll attend to you."

        He was then proceeding to push me through the crowd, when Lieutenant Steele, thrusting himself forward, protested vehemently against such usage, and declared that I should not be treated in so barbarous a manner; that I was a lady, and that my character and position should be respected.

        The torrent of abuse that was poured upon him for thus endeavouring to take my part was conveyed in words too horrible to bear repetition; and at that moment I would gladly have lain down and died, for the thought flashed across my mind -

        "My God! if this is the beginning, what will the end be?"

        Amongst the crowd I had many sympathizers;


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but they dared not interfere. At Washington might was indeed right; and I will venture to say that the arbitrary exercise of power by the United States Government has cast into the shade all that we read of the Spanish Inquisition, and all that we hear of Russian domination in Poland. A word of encouragement, nay, a whisper of condolence, would have been sufficient to introduce an imprudent friend to that receptacle which was awaiting me - a prison cell.

        I was thrust into a carriage; and the order, "Drive to the Old Capitol," was promptly given; but, before it could be obeyed, Lieutenant Steele, who had been very unceremoniously dismissed from further attendance upon me, stepped up and politely begged permission to wait upon me to prison. To a gruff refusal he firmly rejoined -


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        "I am determined to see her out of your hands, at least."

        The carriage was driven at a rapid pace, and we soon came within sight of my future home - a vast brick building, like all prisons, sombre, chilling, and repulsive.

        Its dull, damp walls look out upon the street: its wnarrow indows are further darkened by heavy iron stanchions, through which the miserable inmates may soothe their captivity by gazing upon those who are still free, but whose freedom hangs but by a slender thread.

        Such is the calm retreat provided by a free and enlightened community for those of its citizens who have the audacity to express their disapproval of the policy adopted by the government of the hour.

        In the days of old France the victims of royal indignation were seized under


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cover of night, and buried with secrecy and despatch in the impenetrable recesses of the Bastille; the most jealous care, the most unceasing vigilance, was observed, in order that the mystery of their doom should never be elucidated; the lettre de cachet, which was the implement of their destruction, was in its very nature a proof that such acts of violence and injustice were a source of fear and shame even to the despot who committed them.

        Many a dark deed has been perpetrated within the old walls of the Tower of London; its stones have more than once been stained with the blood of the innocent; but here, again, tortures and death were studiously concealed, and, when detected, amply avenged.

        The autocrat of Russia does not exhibit to the world the instruments with which he chastises his naughty children; the


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clank of Siberian chains is not heard in any other quarter of the globe.

        It has been reserved for the Government of the United States of America, the Apostles of Liberty, the tender-hearted emancipators, who shudder at the bare idea of the African's wrongs, to cast into a dungeon in open day, without accusation or form of trial, any one of their fellow-countrymen and countrywomen whom they may suspect of disaffection to the clique which retains them in power and office.

        One of the greatest authors, ancient or modern, when speaking of our forefathers, said -

        "They left their native land in search of freedom, and found it in a desert."

        Could "Nominis Umbra," wrapped in his old veil of mystery, revisit our world, he would be appalled to find how completely


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the men of this generation have parted with that freedom without receiving so much as a mess of pottage in exchange for their glorious birthright.

        To return to my narrative.

        Upon my arrival at the prison I was ushered into a small office. A clerk, who was writing at a desk, looked up for a moment and informed me the superintendent would attend to my business immediately. The words were hardly uttered when Mr. Wood entered the room, and I was aware of the presence of a man of middle height, powerfully built, with brown hair, fair complexion, and keen, bluish-gray eyes.

        Mr. Wood prides himself, I believe, upon his plebeian extraction; but I can safely aver that beneath his rough exterior there beats a warm and generous heart.

        "And so this is the celebrated rebel


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spy," said he. "I am very glad to see you, and will endeavour to make you as comfortable as possible; so whatever you wish for, ask for it and you shall have it. I am glad I have so distinguished a personage for my guest. Come, let me show you to your room."

        We traversed the hall, ascended a flight of stairs, and found ourselves in a short, narrow passage, up and down which a sentry paced, and into which several doors opened. One of these doors, No. 6, was thrown open; and behold my prison cell!

        Mr. Wood, after repeating his injunction to me to ask for whatever I might wish, and with the promise that he would send me a servant, and that I should not be locked in as long as I "behaved myself," withdrew, and left me to my reflections.

        At the moment I did not quite understand the meaning, of the last indulgence,


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but within a few minutes I was given a copy of the rules and relations of the prison, which set forth that if I held any communication whatever with the other prisoners, I should be punished by having my door locked.

        There was nothing remarkable in the shape or size of my apartment, except that two very large windows took up nearly the whole of one side of the wall.

        Upon taking, an inventory of my effects, I found them to be as follows: - A washing-stand, a looking-glass, an iron bedstead, a table, and some chairs.

        From the windows I had a view of part of Pennsylvania Avenue, and far away in the country the residence of General Floyd, ex-United States Secretary of War, where I had formerly passed many happy hours.

        At first I could not help indulging in reminiscences of my last visit to Washington


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and contrasting it with my present forlorn condition; but, rousing myself from my reverie, I bethought myself of the indulgence promised me, and asked for a rocking-chair and a fire; not that I require the latter, for the room was already very warm, but I fancied a bright blaze would make it look more cheerful.

        My trunk, after being subjected to a thorough scrutiny, was sent up to me, and, having plenty of time at my disposal, I unpacked it leisurely.

        Upon each floor of the prison were posted sentries within sight and call of each other. The sentry before my door was No. 6, and when I had occasion for my servant I had to request him to summon the corporal of the guard. My attendant was an "intelligent contraband," who was extremely useful to me during my enforced residence in the Old Capitol.


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        I had not unpacked my trunk when dinner was served; and here I shall do plain justice by transcribing the bill of fare; and it will be allowed I can claim no commiseration on the plea of bread-and-water diet, though such had been ordered for me by Mr. Stanton: -

BILL OF FARE.

  • Soup -
  • Beef Steak -
  • Chicken -
  • Boiled Corn -
  • Tomatoes -
  • Irish Stew -
  • Potatoes -
  • Bread and Butter -
  • Cantelopes-
  • Peaches -
  • Pears -
  • Grapes.
        This, with but little variety, constituted my dinner every day until released.

        At eight o'clock Mr. Wood came to my room, accompanied by the chief of the detectives, who desired an interview with me on the part of the Secretary at War.

        I begged this worthy to be seated - a request he immediately complied with; and he then delivered the following graceful exhortation, which I transcribe verbatim: -


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        "Ain't you pretty tired of your prison a'ready? I've come to get you to make a free confession now of what you've did agin our cause; and, as we've got plenty of proof agin you, you might as well acknowledge at once."

        "Sir," I replied, "I do not understand you; and furthermore, I have nothing to say. When you have informed me on what grounds I have been arrested and given me a copy of the charges preferred against me, I will mare my statement; but I shall not now commit myself." Thereupon the oath of allegiance was proffered, and I was harangued at some length upon the enormity of my offense, and given to understand the cause of the South was hopeless.

        "Say, now, won't you take the oath of allegiance? Remember Mr. Stanton will hear of all this. He sent me here."


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        To this peroration I replied -

        "Tell Mr. Stanton from me, I hope that when I commence the oath of allegiance to the United States Government, my tongue may cleave to the roof of my mouth, and that, if ever I sign one line that will show to the world that I owe the United States Government the slightest allegiance, I hope my arm may fall paralysed at my side."

        This speech of mine he immediately took down in his note-book, and growing very angry at my determination, he called out -

        "Well, if this is your resolution, you'll have to lay here and die; and serve you right."

        "Sir," I retorted, "if it is a crime to love the South, its cause and its President, then I am a criminal. I am in your power. Do with me as you please. But I fear you not. I would rather lie down in


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this prison and die than leave it owing allegiance to such a government as yours. Now leave the room; for so thoroughly am I disgusted with your conduct towards me that I cannot endure your presence longer."

        Scarcely had I finished my defiance, which I confess was spoken in a loud tone of voice, when cheers and cries of "Bravo!" reached my ears. Until that moment I was not aware that the rooms on the floor with my own were occupied; for, having kept my door shut all day, I had had no means of noticing what was passing around me.

        My door, however, had been left open during my interview with the detective, consequently my neighbours, whom I afterwards ascertained to be Confederate officers and Englishmen, had overheard our whole conversation, and hailed with applause the


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firmness with which I had rejected Mr. Stanton's overtures of liberty, conditional as they were upon my renunciation of the Confederacy and on my allegiance to the Federal Government. And now Mr. Wood, taking pity upon me, withdrew the detective, saying -

        "Come, we had better go: the lady is tired."

        Within a few minutes of their departure, I heard a low, significant cough, and, as I turned in the direction from whence it proceeded, something small and white fell at my feet. I picked it up and found that it was a minute nut-shell basket, upon which were painted miniature Confederate flags. Round it was wrapped a small piece of paper, upon which were traced a few words expressive of sympathy with my misfortunes. I afterwards found out that the author of this short communication was


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an Englishman; and I can assure him that his kindness was like a ray of light from heaven breaking into the cell of a condemned prisoner. I wrote a hasty reply, and, watching my opportunity, threw it to him. I then lay down on my bed in a tranquil - I had almost said a happy - frame of mind; and I closed my first day in a dungeon by repeating to myself more than once -

                        "Stone walls do not a prison make,
                        Nor iron bars a cage:
                        A free and quiet mind can take
                        These for a hermitage."


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CHAPTER X.

My First Night in Prison - The Secret Telegraph - An Incident in connection with President Jefferson Davis's Portrait - I am punished for my Indiscretion - I am permitted to walk in the Prison Yard, where I meet with a Relation - I am informed I am to be exchanged - Departure from Washington.

MY FIRST NIGHT IN PRISON.

        THE first night in a convent forms the subject of a melancholy, but beautiful picture. My first night in a prison must be painted in dark colours, unrelieved by the radiance that plays upon the features of the sleeping devotee, who has of her own
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free will cast aside the world, exulting in the belief that the voluntary sacrifice of youth, love, and all the ties of nature will be more than recompensed by an immortality of bliss.

        Her dreams are of paradise: enthusiasm comes to the aid of religion, and gives her a foretaste of eternity.

                        "Her soul is gone before her dust to heaven."

        Prophets, angels, and saints people her silent cell; a vision of glory streams in through her narrow window; and the first night in the convent is the night of ecstasy.

        I said, at the conclusion of my last chapter, that I was comforted by the spontaneous proof of sympathy given by my unknown correspondent; but my situation was too painful to admit of real, lasting consolation. The medicine administered was at best but a momentary stimulant; the reaction soon


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set in; and, as my fatigue gained ground, the sense of my miserable condition prevailed against my bodily energies.

        I rose from my bed and walked to the window. The moon was shining brightly. How I longed that it were in my power to spring through the iron bars that caught and scattered her beams around the room!

        The city was asleep, but to my disordered imagination its sleep appeared feverish and perturbed. Far away the open country, visible in the clear night, looked the express image of peace and repose.

        "God made the country, and man made the towns," I thought, as I contrasted the close atmosphere of my city prison with the clear air of the fields beyond.

        What would I not have given to exchange the sound of the sentry's measured tread for the wild shriek of the owl and the drowsy flight of the bat!


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        The room which was appropriated to me had formerly been the committee-room of the old Hall of Congress, and had been repeatedly tenanted by Clay, Webster, Calhoun, and other statesmen of their age and mark.

        A thousand strange fancies filled my brain, and nearly drove me mad. The phantoms of the past rose up before me, and I fancied I could hear the voices of the departed orators as they declaimed against the abuses and errors of the day, and gave their powerful aid to the cause of general liberty. They never dreamed that the very walls which re-echoed the eloquence of freedom would ere long confine the victims of an oligarchy. Theirs was the bright day - ours is the dark morrow, of which the evil is more than sufficient. Those great men - for great they unquestionably were - lacked not the gift of prophecy, for they did not


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fail to discern the little cloud, then no bigger than a man's hand, which was gathering in the horizon - that dark speck which was so soon to generate a tempest far blacker than that from which the chariot of Ahab made haste to escape.

        Throughout that long dreary night I stood at the window watching, thinking, and praying. It seemed to me that morning would never come.

                        "Methought that streak of dawning grey
                        Would never dapple into day,
                        So heavily it rolled away
                        Before the eastern flame."

        But the morning came at last - the herald let me hope, from a brighter world of another morrow to us. No sooner did the first faint light find its way through the windows, than I threw myself again upon my bed, and almost immediately sank into a deep sleep.


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        It was about nine o'clock, I believe, when I was aroused by a loud knocking at my door.

        "What is it?" I cried, springing up.

        "The officer calling the roll, to ascertain that no one has escaped."

        "You do not expect me to get through these iron bars, do you?"

        "No, indeed," was the chuckling rejoinder; and immediately afterwards I heard the officer's retreating footsteps as he passed on in the execution of his duty.

        Soon after the servant who had been assigned to me came to make preparations for breakfast; and, as my morning meal was no less ample and choice than my dinner of the preceding evening, I will not detain my readers with a second prison bill of fare.

        It was but a few minutes after breakfast


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when the sentry directly outside my door was relieved.

        I listened attentively to catch the orders given to the relief. They were -

        "You will not allow this lady to come outside her door or talk to any of those fellows in the room opposite; and if she wants anything call the corporal of the guard. Now don't let these - - rebels skear yer."

        There was no more information to be gained for the moment; so I sat down and amused myself with the morning papers, which had been brought to me with my breakfast.

        They all contained an account of my capture, and a summary of my career. The subject-matter was, of course, personally interesting, although in every instance my motives were misconstrued, and my character was aspersed. I must, however,


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admit that many of the most bitter calumnnies then published of me were contradicted not many days afterwards in the very same journals which had originally circulated them.

        There was a narrow space behind the prison which was reserved for the prisoners' exercise - an indulgence they were granted at stated hours. On their way to their playground most of them had to pass my door, and in the procession I recognised, on the second day of my imprisonment, several of my old friends and acquaintances who had formerly belonged to the army of Virginia.

        The tedious day wore on, and a shudder passed over me as I recalled the hideous thoughts which had banished sleep throughout the previous night.

        Late in the evening, when my servant came with my tea, she told me that many


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prisoners had been brought in during the day, and that two of the newly arrived captives had been consigned to the room adjoining mine.

        By this time it had become known throughout the length and breadth of the prison-house that I was no other than that persecuted young lady "Belle Boyd."

        Acting upon this knowledge, my neighbours, who were the friends of happier days, devised a scheme by means of which they were enabled to make themselves known to me.

        At about eleven o'clock I sat down and opened my Bible. I selected a chapter the promises contained in which are peculiarly consoling to the captive; but I had not read more than two or three verses when my attention was distracted by a knock against the wall. I listened with attention, and presently felt sure that the next


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sound which reached my ears was that made by a knife scooping out the plaster of the wall.

        Within a few minutes the point of a long case-knife was visible; and I was not slow to co-operate with those pioneers of free communication - the inmates of the next room.

        I made use of the knife that remained on my supper-tray; and before long the two knives had conjointly made an aperture large enough to admit of the transmission of notes rolled tight and of the circumference of a man's forefinger. The clandestine correspondence that was thus carried on was, on either side of the wall, a source of much pleasure, and served to beguile many a tedious hour.

        In the room immediately above mine, and in which Mrs. Greenhow had been incarcerated and suffered so much for five


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long weary months, were confined some gentlemen of Fredericsburg. They had contrived to loosen a plank in the floor, and to make an aperture through which the occupant of the room beneath them might receive and return letters.

        Whenever I desired to communicate with the prisoners whose rooms were on the opposite side of the passage, I adopted the expedient of wrapping my note round a marble, which I rolled across, taking care that the sentry's back was turned when my missive was started on its voyage of discovery.

        I have described how I established a post between my room and the room on my right; the same system was applied, with equal success, to the one on the left, which was then the abode of Major Fitzhugh, of Stuart's staff, and Major Morse, of Ewell's. This room, which joined with many others,


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became a medium of communication with all; and we were soon enabled to transmit intelligence to each other throughout the prison.

        It was on the fourth morning of my imprisomnent, as I was watching from my door the prisoners going down to breakfast, that a little Frenchman handed me unobserved a half-length portrait of Jefferson Davis. This I forthwith hung up in my room over the mantelpiece, with this inscription below it -

        "Three cheers for Jeff. Davis and the Southern Confederacy!"

        One of the prison officials, Lieutenant Holmes, passing by my door, caught sight of the hostile President's likeness, and the words with which I had decorated it. Rushing like a madman into my room, he tore it down with many violent oaths. "For this,"


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he said, "you shall be locked in;" and he was as good as his word, for he turned the key in the door as he left the room.

        My offense was severely punished. I was kept a close prisoner; and so little air was stirring in the sultry month of July that I grew very ill and faint, and at times I really thought I should have died from the oppressive heat of the room; and this misery I had to endure for several weeks. At last Mr. Wood paid me a visit, and, observing how pale and ill I had become under such rigorous treatment, took pity upon me, and gave orders that my door should be once more left open. Soon after I was granted the further indulgence of half an hour's walk daily in that portion of the prison yard which had been assigned to ladies for exercise.

        One day, whilst standing in the doorway,


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my attention was attracted to an old gentleman almost bent double with age; his long white hair hung down to his shoulders, whilst his beard, grey with the heavy touch of old Father Time's fingers, reached nearly to his waist.

        A feeling of pity took possession of my soul, and I could not but help thinking as I gazed upon him, "Poor old man! what an unfit place for you; even I, the delicate girl, can better stand the hardships of this dreary, comfortless place than you." And what was his crime? This - he was designated a traitor to the Northern Government because he firmly believed that the Constitution as it was should remain unaltered. I afterwards learnt that he was Mr. Mahony, the editor of the Dubugue (Iowa) Crescent, and who, when released, published a look, "The Prisoner of State" which was, however,


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suppressed by the Secretary of War, Stanton.

        The rules of the prison, of course, interdicted all intercourse between the prisoners, but, alas! I was on one occasion taken so completely by surprise as to obey my first impulse and commit a flagrant breach of orders.

        I was walking up and down my "seven feet by nine" promenade, when I suddenly recognized one of my cousins, John Stephenson, a young officer in Mosby's cavalry. So glad was I to see him that I never thought of consequences, but rushed up to exchange a few words with him. The charged bayonet of the sentry soon checked my impetuosity, and I was summarily sent back to my room, although "playtime" had not expired. My unfortunate cousin was at once removed to the guardroom.


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        It was late one evening, and I was sitting reading at my open door, when Mr. Wood came down the stairs exclaiming -

        "All you rebels get ready; you are going to 'Dixie' to-morrow, and Miss Belle is going with you."

        At this joyful news all the prisoners within hearing of the tidings of their approaching liberation joined in three hearty cheers. For my part, I actually screamed for joy, so suddenly had my return to freedom been announced.

        The next day all the prisoners whose turn for exchange had come were drawn up in line in the prison yard.

        Soldiers were stationed from the door of the prison half-way across the street, which was thronged by a dense crowd, brought together by curiosity to witness the departure of the rebel prisoners.

        Two hundred captives, inclusive of the


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officers and myself, were then passed beyond the prison walls, and formed in line on the opposite side of the street.

        I stepped into an open carriage, followed by Major Fitzhugh, who had been "told off" to convey me to Richmond.

        I carried concealed about me two gold sabre-knots, one of which was intended for General Jackson, the other for General Joe Johnston.

        As we drove off the Confederate prisoners cheered us loudly; their acclamations were taken up by the crowd, so that the whole street and square resounded with applause. When we arrived at the wharf, we were sent on board the steamer Juanita, which lay at her moorings all that night.

        I shall conclude this chapter with two or three prison reminiscences, which will, I hope, give my reader some idea of the ménage of the "Old Capitol."


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        On one occasion my servant had just brought me a loaf of sugar, when it occurred to me that the Confederate officers in the opposite room across the passage were in want of this very luxury. Accordingly I asked the sentry's permission to pass it over to them, and received from him an unequivocal consent in these plain words - "I have no objection."

        This, I thought, was sufficient; and it will hardly be believed that, while I was in the very act of placing the sugar in the hand of one of the officers, the sentry struck my left hand with the butt-end of his musket, and with such violence was the blow delivered that my thumb was actually broken. The attack was so unexpected, and the pain so excruciating, that I could not refrain from bursting into tears.

        As soon as I could master my feelings, I demanded of the sentry that he should


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summon the corporal of the guard; and, upon his refusing my just demand, I stepped forward with the intention of exercising my undoubted right in propriâ personâ.

        But my tyrant was now infuriated; he charged bayonets, and actually pinned me to the wall by my dress, his weapon inflicting a flesh-wound on my arm.

        At this moment, fortunately for me, the corporal of the guard came rushing up the stairs to ascertain the cause of the disturbance. The sentry was taken off his post, and, unless I am grievously mistaken, a short confinement in the guard-room was considered sufficient punishment for such outrageous conduct.

        Not long after this adventure, my aunt called to see me. Permission was given to me to pass down-stairs for the purpose of


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an interview with my relation, and I was proceeding on my way, when one of the sentries, with a volley of oaths, commanded me to "halt."

        "But I have permission to go down and see my relation."

        "Go back, or I'll break every bone in your body;" and a bayonet was presented to my breast.

        I produced the certificate which authorized me to pass him; and I think, from his manner, he would have relented in his intentions towards me, and returned to a sense of his own duty, but he was encouraged in his mutinous behaviour by the cheers of a roomful of Federal deserters, who called upon him to bayonet me. In this predicament I was saved by Major Moore, of the Confederate States army, and the timely arrival of Captain Higgins and Lieutenant Holmes, two prison


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authorities, who secured me from further molestation.

        This man's crime, which was neither more nor less than open mutiny, was visited by a slight reprimand. This leniency was perhaps intended for a personal compliment to me. If so, let me assure the Yankee officers, I duly appreciate both its force and delicacy.

        Mr. Wood, the superintendent, will, I am sure, forgive me for relating one characteristic anecdote of him.

        It was Sunday morning when he came stalking down the passage into which my room opened, proclaiming in the tones and with the gestures of a town-crier -

        "All you who want to hear the Word of God preached according to 'Jeff. Davis' go down into the yard; and all you who want to hear it preached according to 'Abe Lincoln' go into No. 16."


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        This was the way in which he separated the goats from the sheep. I need not say which party was considered the goats within the walls of the Old Capitol.


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CHAPTER XI.

Arrival at Fortress Monroe - Passage up the James River - Arrival at Richmond - "Home again" - Interview with General "Stonewall "Jackson - Refugee once more - Review of the Confederate Army under General Lee - I receive my Commission - Flying Visit to my Home - Letter from "Stonewall" Jackson - My Reception by the People of Knoxville - I hear of the Death of General Jackson - Battle of Winchester - At Home once more.

        AT early dawn, the Juanita cast off from her moorings, and late in the evening of the same day we dropped anchor at the mouth of the Potomac, where we passed


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that night. Next day, about four a.m., we proceeded on our way up the river, arriving at Fortress Monroe late in the evening; and here we were boarded by Lieutenant Darling, of General Dix's staff. On each side of us lay General McClellan's transports, filled with soldiers; about half a mile distant was the "Rip Raps" a fort quite equal to Sumter in strength. Notwithstanding our position, which was exposed to the fire of this splendid fort, our people indulged their feelings by singing from time to time "the songs of the sunny South," and these they interspersed with loud cheers for Jeff. Davis.

        At one time a Yankee officer on board one of the transports, irritated evidently by these repeated expressions of animosity to his Government, hailed us with the words -

        "Three cheers for the Devil!"


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        "It is only natural you should cheer for the advocate of your cause," was the ready retort; "and we will cheer for ours." And so these shouts and counter-shouts were kept up until we got under way again, and steamed up the muddy waters of the James river.

        As we rounded a bend in the stream we caught sight of the glorious flag of our country, the Stars and bars. It was waving in the evening breeze from a window in the house of Mr. Aikens.

        Until that well-known and beloved emblem met my eyes again, I had but imperfectly realized my freedom. Now it was present and visible in its chosen symbol. If our men had cheered before, their shouts, when surrounded by the transports and under the guns of the fort, were as nothing to those with which they hailed the emblem of "Dixie's" resolution to


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uphold its independence, defend its natural rights, and resist force with force.

        At the wharf we were met by Colonel Ould, who held the office of Commissioner of Exchange at Richmond. He was attended by his assistant, Mr. Watson; and it was under the supervision and by the direction of these gentlemen that the exchanged soldiers were marched on shore. I passed that night very agreeably under Mr. Aiken's hospitable roof, and enjoyed myself thoroughly in his society and that of his family. Next morning Colonel Allen sent his carriage and horses from Richmond, to convey me at my ease into the city. I decided, without hesitation, to drive to the Ballard House, where, in fact, I had been informed rooms were prepared for my reception. My route lay close by the encampment of the Richmond Blues; and I confess to the mixed feeling of pride


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and pleasure I derived from the high compliment paid me by them. The company was drawn up in review order, and presented arms as I drove by. In the evening I was serenaded by the city band: in short, my reception at the hands of all classes was flattering in the extreme.

        After a sojourn of ten days at the Ballard House, I removed to Mrs. W.'s boarding house in Grace Street, where I enjoyed the delightful society of many old and warm friends.

        At the period of which I speak not a few of the notorieties of Richmond were assembled at Mrs. W.'s excellent establishment; among others, General and Mrs. Joe Johnston, General Wigfall and his family, and Mrs. C., that celebrated leader of ton at Washington, equally and justly renowned for her wit and charms. Her conversation attracted round her, wherever


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she appeared, crowds of admiring listeners; and I feel sure that many of my American readers will recognise the fair lady to whose name I have, for obvious reasons, placed the initial letter only.

        I was engaged one evening in a desultory conversation, when an officer who had been one of my fellow-captives in Washington came up to me and placed in my hands a note and a small box. Upon opening the latter I found that it contained a gold watch and châtelaine, both handsomely enamelled, and richly set with diamonds; and upon reading the note I discovered that the beautiful and useful ornament was offered to my acceptance "in token of the affection and esteem of my fellow-prisoners in the Old Capitol."

        For a few moments I could not find words to thank their delegate, so overpowered was I by this striking and unexpected


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mark of the feelings entertained for me by my countrymen.

        I had been in Richmond but a short time, when my father came to take me home. The battle of Antietam had been fought, and Martinsburg was once more in the hands of the Confederates.

        The very day after my return home I rode out to the encampment, escorted by a friend of my family, in order to pay a visit to General Jackson. As I dismounted at the door of his tent, he came out, and, gently placing his hands upon my head, assured me of the pleasure he felt at seeing me once more well and free. Our interview was of necessity short, for the demands upon his valuable time were incessant; but his fervent "God bless you, my child," will never be obliterated from my memory, as long as Providence shall be pleased to allow it to retain its power.


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        In the course of our conversation the General kindly warned me that, in the event of his troops being forced to retreat, it would be expedient that I should leave my home again, as the evacuation of Martinsburg by the Confederates would, as on former occasions, be rapidly followed by its occupation by our enemies, and that it would be unwise and unsafe for me to expose myself to the caprice or resentment of the Yankees, and run the risk of another imprisonment. He added that he would give me timely notice of his movements, by which my plans must be regulated.

        Very shortly after the interview I have just noticed the General rode into the village and took tea with us, and on the very day after his visit I received from him a message to the effect that the troops under his command were preparing for a


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retrograde movement upon Winchester, and that he could spare me an ambulance, by aid of which I should be enabled to precede the retreat of the army, and thus keep my friends between my enemies and myself.

        I must here explain that, when we had occasion to retire from the border, we were forced to look to the army for the means of transportation, it being the invariable practice of the Yankees when they evacuated any place to take with them every horse and mule, without the slightest discrimination between public and private property; and, should circumstances compel them to lease any animal behind, it was in these instances wantonly destroyed.

        Acting upon General Jackson's advice, I removed to Winchester; and it was there and then that I received my commission as Captain and honorary Aide-de-camp to "Stonewall" Jackson; and thenceforth I


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enjoyed the respect paid to an officer by soldiers.

        Upon the occasion of a review of the troops in presence of Lord Hartingdon and Colonel Leslie, and again, when General Wilcox's division was inspected by Generals Lee and Longstreet, I had the honour to attend on horseback, and to be associated with the staff officers of the several commanders.

        While General Wade-Hampton held possession of Martinsburg I seized the opportunity of paying many visits to my home, and upon one of these expeditions I narrowly escaped being again captured.

        The party that accompanied me was a large one; and, upon our arrival at Martinsburg, we improvised a dance. We were informed that the Yankees were advancing, but we had suffered a similar


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alarm to disperse us without cause more than once before. We therefore easily persuaded ourselves it was only the old cry of "Wolf! wolf!" This time, however, the warning voice was a true one; and we were barely off when heavy skirmishing commenced at no great distance from us - in fact, at the very outskirts of the town. This was the last opportunity I had of seeing my mother for nearly a year.

        The Yankees were advancing by way of Culpepper Court-house, and our people, leaving the valley, crossed the mountains to intercept them.

        As the small-pox was raging fearfully at Stanton, it was, of course, dangerous even to enter that town. Accordingly I, in company with several officers' wives, among whom were Mrs. G., Mrs. W., Mrs. F., and others, avoided the pestilential spot, and adopted a different route.


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        We were well in advance of the army, but our servants were with our baggage, which was transported in the ordnance waggons of General W. s division. Passing through Flint Hill - the inhabitants of which gave me a cordial reception - I went on to Charlottesville, where I remained some time.

        At last, feeling very anxious to rejoin my mother, I determined to write to General Jackson and ask his opinion upon the step I so longed to take. I was prepared to run almost any risk; but, at the same time, I resolved to abide by the General's decision.

        It was pronounced in the following note, which I transcribe verbatim, as there is a kind of satisfaction in noting down the words of a truly great man, however trivial the subject that may have called them forth: -


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"Head Quarters, Army of Virginia,
"Near Culpepper Court-house,
"January 29th, 1862.

"MY DEAR CHILD,
        "I received your letter asking my advice regarding your returning to your home, which is now in the Federal lines. As you have asked for my advice, I can but candidly give it. I think that it is not safe; and therefore do not attempt it until it is, for you know the consequences. You would doubtless be imprisoned, and possibly might not be released so soon again. You had better go to your relatives in Tennessee, and there remain until you can go with safety. God bless you.

"Truly your friend,
"T. J. Jackson."

        I lost no time in acting upon this sound and friendly advice, and was soon "on the road" once more.

        Upon arriving at Knoxville I was received with every mark of kindness and hospitality. The second night after my arrival I was serenaded by the band, and the people congregated in vast numbers to get a glimpse of the "rebel spy;" for I


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had accepted the sobriquet given me by the Yankees, and I was now known throughout North and South by the same cognomen.

        After one or two appropriate airs had been played, the people in the street took it into their heads to call for my appearance on the balcony. I rather dreaded the publicity that would attend a compliance with their wishes, and I begged General J. to be my substitute and thank them in my name. But they would not be satisfied without a look at me; so I steadied my nerves and stepped forth from the window. Hereupon the shouts were redoubled, and I took the opportunity of concocting a pretty speech; but it did not please me, and I felt morally convinced I should break down were I to attempt anything like an oration. So soon, therefore, as silence was restored I addressed my


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kind-hearted audience in the following words, which contain an allusion to an expression once made use of in public by General Joe Johnston: -

        "Like General Joe Johnson, 'I can fight, but I cannot make speeches.' But, my good friends, I no less feel and appreciate the kind compliment you have paid me this night."

        I confess that I felt relieved when this harangue, brief and plain as it was, was over. It was followed by "Dixie's Land" and "Good Night." After which national airs the band marched off and the people dispersed.

        Next morning the newspapers gave circumstantial accounts of the whole affair, in highly complimentary language, and, instead of being described as the "rebel spy," I was designated "the Virginian heroine." I now became the guest of my


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relative, Judge Samuel Boyd; and pleasant indeed was my visit to Knoxville. The city at this period was gay and animated beyond description. Party succeeded party, ball followed ball, concert came upon concert, and I took no thought of time.

        When spring came round I made up my mind to make a tour through the South, and then return to Virginia.

        I have said so much of the various receptions which I met with at different places that I almost fear I shall be accused of egotism rather than given credit for gratitude; but it should be borne in mind that the period of which I write had its perils and its pleasures, its griefs and its joys, exciting enough to justify outbreaks of feeling in a people naturally warm-hearted and sensitive. But, whatever criticism I expose myself to, I cannot refrain from expressing my warm thanks to that large body of


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my countrymen whose incessant kindness towards me made my progress through the Southern States one long ovation. My advent was anticipated by telegram at each town through which I passed. Invitations of the most hospitable and delicate nature poured in upon me. Offers of assistance and assurances of regard and affection were innumerable. I accepted as many invitations as my time would permit, and was rejoiced at the opportunities I enjoyed of going over the famous and productive cotton plantations of Alabama.

        After a long and delightful stay in Montgomery, I made the best of my way to Mobile - a city I had always wished to see, and one which existing circumstances made doubly interesting to all true Southern hearts.

        Before arriving at the last-named port, a rumour had reached me that General


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Jackson had been wounded at the battle of Chancellorsville, but the rumour also affirmed that the wound was very trifling - so slight indeed as to be of no consequence. Conceive then the shock I experienced when this fatal telegram was put into my hand: -

"Battle House, Mobile, Alabama.

"MISS BELLE BOYD,
        "General Jackson now lies in state at the Governor's mansion.

"T. BASSETT FRENCH,
"A.D.C. to the Governor."

        And this was all. These few words were the funeral oration of a man, who, for a rare combination of the best and the greatest qualities, has seldom or never been surpassed.

        It is not for me to trace the career and paint tic virtues of "Stonewall," Jackson: that table is reserved for an abler pen;


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but I may be permitted to record my poignant grief for the loss of him who had condescended to be my friend.

        The sorrow of the South is unmitigated and inextinguishable.

        When Nelson fell at the crowning victory of Trafalgar, it was given to England to engrave that thrilling epitaph -

                        "Hoste devicto requievit,"

        upon the tomb of her darling hero, whom she justly loved and reverenced beyond all the great sons that Providence had sent her with so lavish a hand.

        Alas! it was not General Jackson's destiny to deliver his country; but future ages will not measure his fame by the shortness of his career.

        "The lightning that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven shineth unto the other part under heaven." Yet no


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sooner do men see its brightness than vanishes.

        And such was the glory of Jackson. It had neither dawn nor twilight. It rose and set in meridian splendour.

        During the next thirty days - the space of time allotted for the outward and visible sign of a soldier's sorrow - I wore a crape band on my left arm; then leaving Mobile with a heavy heart, I proceeded to Charleston, South Carolina, where I remained one day only. I found time, however, to accept an invitation to go on board the two gun-boats which lay in the harbour, and from their decks, by the aid of glasses, I could make out nearly all the ships of the Yankee blockading squadron.

        In the evening I dined on shore with General Beauregard and several of the officers of his staff; and shortly after dinner one of the officers kindly presented


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me with a large supply of fresh fruit, which was part of the cargo of a blockade- runner which had just run in safe and sound from Nassau. Besides the oranges, pine-apples, and bananas, which were most acceptable, my kind friend gave me a very handsome parrot, which I contrived to take home with me.

        When I made good my return to Richmond, I learnt, on the best authority, that the Confederate troops were making a second advance down the valley, their object being the re-capture of Winchester. Being now very anxious to, get home, I followed close upon the rear of our army, and when the attack upon Winchester commenced I was but four miles distant from the scene of action.

        When the artillery on both sides opened fire, the familiar sound reminded me of my own adventures on a former battlefield,


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and I resolved to be at least a spectatress of this. I joined a wounded officer, who, though disabled from taking an active part in the fight, where, by his crippled condition, he would but have hindered his men, was yet able to accompany me some way.

        Accordingly we rode together to an eminence which commanded an uninterrupted view of the combat. Here we sat some short time, absorbed in the struggle that was going on beneath us.

                        "The broken billows of the war,
                        And plumed crests of chieftains brave,
                        Floating like foam upon the wave."

        But this calm feeling was not of long duration. I was mounted upon a white horse, which was quite conspicuous to the artillery-men of a Yankee battery which had been pushed up to within three-quarters of a mile of the spot that we had selected for our


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watch-tower. A foolish report had been circulated through their army that in battle I rode a white horse, and was "invariably at General Jackson's side." Acting upon this mistaken idea, the guns of the battery were turned upon us.

        By this time the officer of whom I have spoken and myself had been joined by several citizens, ladies and gentlemen, who were attracted by curiosity and anxiety to witness the fight. They were for the most part mounted on emaciated horses and mules which had been overlooked by the Yankees when they retired, and they one and all seemed to consider me as perfect security for themselves.

        I shall never forget the stampede that was made when a shell came suddenly hissing and shrieking in among us. I joined, con amore, in the general flight; for I had seen enough of fighting to prefer


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declining with honour the part of a living target, when exposure, being quite useless, becomes an act of madness.

        The battle was not of long duration. The terms were too equal to leave the issue long in doubt.

        Milroy's "skedaddle" was even more disgraceful than that of Banks. The victorious Confederates, led on by General Lee, pressed hard upon the flying Yankees, of whom they killed many, and took more prisoners. The pursuit was not abated until the enemy were again in Maryland.

        My father, whose health had been broken by the sevre hardships of the campaign, was at home on leave; and I had the double pleasure of being welcomed by both my parents to poor Martinsburg.


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CHAPTER XII.

Invasion of Pennsylvania - Panic in the Northern States - General Lee issues an Order respecting private property - Battle of Gettysburg - The Retreat of Lee's Army - How I occupied my time with other Ladies - I receive a call from Major Goff - Am held a Prisoner in my own Home - Again come to Washington a Prisoner - New Quarters - The Carroll Prison - How Ladies and Gentlemen were treated who recognized us in passing the Carroll - The "Old Familiar Sound" once more - The Bayonet - Our Mail Communication is again established.

        ELATED by their continued successes, the Confederates, under General Lee, marched on into Pennsylvania. A panic seized the


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people of the North; for they knew of the depredations that they had been committing in the South, and of course could not expect much mercy from the invading army. General Lee, however, issued an order to the officers under him not to allow their men to burn, pillage, or destroy any property; if they did, they were to be punished.

        Though the hearts of the sympathizers with the South beat high with hope, for rumour said that Baltimore and Washington were to be attacked, their hopes were blighted. The battle of Gettysburg was fought. And, oh ! how many of those brave and noble fellows went forward proudly to the front, eager to avenge the wrongs the South had suffered, who had left the beautiful shores of Virginia to defend their native soil, found a soldier's grave! Or, perchance, they were not even


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buried, their bodies lying upon the battlefield where they fell, with no covering save the blue canopy of heaven, their bones left to bleach in the sunlight, or gleaming ghastly white in the moon's pale beams.

        Martinsburg soon became one vast hospital; for, as fast as they could be brought to the rear, the Confederate wounded of the great battle were sent back southward. There was no established hospital in my native village, it being too near the border; so that the churches and many of the public buildings were obliged to be used temporarily for that purpose. My time was constantly occupied in attending to the poor soldiers with whom our home was filled. Mrs. Judge McM., of Georgia, who had come to seek the dead body of her son, having heard of his untimely end, was also staying at my mother's.

        Upon the retreat of the Southern army,


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after the battle of Gettysburg, they marched through Martinsburg, leaving the border again in the possession of the Confederate cavalry under General B., as General Wade- Hampton had been severely wounded.

        I had been from home so long, and my mother and father were so anxious that I should remain with them, that I hoped, by keeping quiet, to be allowed to do so. My mother was taken very ill just as the Confederates evacuated the town, it being found that they could no longer retain it in their possession, and for a short time all was quiet.

        My little baby-sister was but three days old when, as I sat in my mother's room, I heard the servants exclaim, "Oh, here comes de Yankees trou' de town!" I went to the window, and, looking out, saw that a whole brigade had halted in front of my home. In a short time two officers approached the door, and one of them rang


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the bell. My father, who had gone to meet them, sent me word that Major Goff and Lieutenant -- wished to see me. I descended to the drawing-room and was introduced to them, when the Major said -

        "Miss Boyd, General Kelly commanded me to call and see if you really had remained at home, such a report having reached head-quarters; but he did not credit it, so I have come to ascertain the truth."

        To this I answered -

        "Major Goff, what is there so peculiarly strange in my remaining in my own home with my parents?" feigning perfect ignorance as I spoke that there was any danger to be apprehended from my so doing. He replied -

        "But do you not think it rather dangerous? Are you then really not afraid of being arrested?"


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        "Oh no! for I don't know why they should do so. I am no criminal!"

        "Yes, true," said he; "but you are a rebel, and will do more harm to our cause than half the men could do."

        "But there are other rebels besides myself."

        "Yes," he answered; "but then not so dangerous as yourself."

        After a few moments' longer conversation he withdrew, bidding us "Good morning" as he left.

        For some days we saw nothing of him, and began to hope that I should not be further annoyed. But, alas! my hopes were doomed to disappointment; for scarce four days had passed by before an order was issued for my arrest. My mother was very ill when they came to take me, and, fearing that if I were removed it might prove fatal to her in her


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delicate state of health, my father begged that they would let me stay at home, at least until she became convalescent. We hoped thus to gain time, and, through private influence, to procure my release from the department at Washington. To be just, although an avowed enemy of the Federal cause, I will state that they obligingly complied with this request, and placed me on parole, but at the same time stationed guards around the house; watching me so strictly that I was not even allowed to go out upon the front balcony.

        It was amusing to hear the orders given to the sentries; for instance, "that they must not let me come near them, for I might give them chloroform, or send a dagger through their hearts."

        This was in July; and, between my mother's illness, the warm weather, and my being a prisoner, I scarcely knew what


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to do. Without the necessary pass no one was allowed to go in or come out of our house. On one occasion, desiring to take a walk, I got a special permit from the commanding officer, which read as follows: -

        "Miss Belle Boyd has permission to walk out for half an hour, at 5 o'clock this p.m., giving her word of honour that she will use nothing which she may see or hear to the disadvantage of the U.S. troops."

        I had gone only a few blocks from home when I was arrested and sent back, with a guard on each side of me, their muskets loaded. In about an hour's time I received a note from the head-quarters of the general, informing me, that, although on parole, "I was not allowed to promenade freely in Martinsburg." Vexatious and insulting to my feelings as this was, my troubles were not at an end.


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        Nearly a month passed away, during which period I was kept in a state of anxious suspense as to what would eventually be my fate. At last, one day, when we were all hoping that I should soon be at liberty to do and act as I pleased, Major Walker, the Provost-Marshal, called, with a detective, and informed me that I must get ready to go to Washington City; that the Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton, had so ordered it; and that I was to take my departure from home at eleven a.m. the next day.

        There was no hope of escape for me, as the house was vigilantly guarded by the sentries. My poor mother, but just recovered from her grave illness, became seriously worse at the bare idea of my being again thrown into prison. My father, who was always so good and kind to me, determined that I should not go unaccompanied,


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trusting myself to the tender mercies of a detective. So, next day, when the time came for us to leave, I was attended by my fond parent; and, after bidding a tearful adieu to my poor mother, brothers, and sisters, who wept bitterly, we started once more for Washington City.

        I shall pass over my dreary journey of one hundred miles. There was little of interest to commend it to the attention of my readers; for they can readily imagine the sad, tearful girl, and the father vainly attempting to comfort her.

        When I arrived in Washington, tired and worn, I was immediately taken, not to my former quarters, but to the Carroll Prison. This large unpretending brick building, situate near the Old Capitol, was formerly used as a hotel, under the name of Carroll Place, and belonged to a Mr.


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Duff Green, a resident in the city. But, since my first taste of prison life, it had been converted into a receptacle for rebels, prisoners of state, hostages, blockade- runners, smugglers, desperadoes, spies, criminals under sentence of death, and, lastly, a large number of Federal officers convicted of defrauding the Government. Many of these last were army-contractors and quarter-masters, of whom I shall merely observe that they seemed to care very little about their ultimate fate, and evidently enjoyed the, to them, preposterous notion, suggested in the journals of the day, that Mr. Lincoln was Napoleonic in his idea of punishing them for their misdeeds.

        At the guarded gates of this Yankee Bastile, I bade adieu to my father; and, once more, iron bars shut me off from the outer world and from all that is dear in this


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life. I was conducted to what was termed the "room for distinguished guests" - the best room which this place boasts, except some offices attached to the building. In this apartment had been held, though not for a long period of time, Miss Antonia F., Nannie T., with her aged mother, and many other ladies belonging to our best families in the South. Again my monotonous prison routine began. It seemed to me that the world would never go round on its axis; for the days and nights were interminably long, and many, many, were the hours that I spent gazing forth through the bars of my grated windows with an apathetic listlessness. Yet there were times when I wished that my soul were but free to soar away from those who held me captive.

        Friends who chanced to pass the Carroll would frequently stop and nod in kindly


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recognition of some familiar face at the windows; unconscious that, in so doing, they violated prison regulations. When noticed by the sentries, these good Samaritans were immediately "halted;" and, if riding or driving, were often made to dismount by the officious and impudent corporal of the guard, and forced to enter the bureau of the prison - there to remain until such time as it should please their tormentors to let them depart. Can it be doubted that many went away with the unalterable opinion, that a sterner despotism than existed in the United States was nowhere to be found? Defenceless women were not permitted to pass unscathed, because a drunken and brutal set, vested with a "little brief authority," saw fit to vent their spleen upon the weak.

        A few days after my arrival at the


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prison I heard the "old familiar sound" of a grating instrument against the wall, apparently coming from the room adjoining, mine. Whilst engaged in watching to see the exact portion of the wall whence it came, I observed the plaster give way, and next instant the point of a knife-blade was perceptible. I immediately set to work on my side, and soon, to my unspeakable joy, had formed a hole enough for the passing of tightly-rolled notes.

        Ascertaining my unfortunate neighbours to be, beyond a doubt, "sympathizers," I was greatly relieved; for our prison was not without its system of espionage to trap the incautious. These neighbours were Messrs. Brookes, Warren, Stuart, and Williams; and from them I learnt that they had been here for nine months, having been captured whilst attempting to get South and join the Southern army.


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        But soon, alas! this little paper correspondence, that enlivened, whilst it lasted, a portion of my heavy time, was put a stop to by Mr. Lockwood, the officer of the keys, whose duty it was to secure our rooms, and who was always prying about when not otherwise engaged. Although it was well concealed on both sides, our impromptu post-office could not escape his Yankee cunning; and he at once had the gentlemen removed into the room beyond, and the mural disturbance closed up with plaster.

        Several days subsequently I learned that I was to have a companion in a Miss Ida P., arrested on the charge of being a rebel mail-carrier. I was allowed to speak with and visit her as soon as she arrived, and she was placed in the room that had been occupied by the above-mentioned gentlemen.

        Now, between her room and that to


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which the gentlemen had been removed, there was a door. This the workmen nailed up, and then boarded over; but I watched very attentively which plank was placed over the key-hole, and pointed it out to the new-comer. We then held a council of war as to the best way of getting the board off the key-hole. We tried several times, but our combined efforts produced no effect upon the stoutly-nailed wood-work; and, having neither hatchet nor hammer, we were about to give it up, when I suddenly bethought me of the sentry outside. "Oh!" I said, "I will manage it!" and, going to the door, I bribed the sentinel with some oranges and apples, and, after talking to him for some time, asked him to "lend me his bayonet?" Pausing an instant, he finally unfixed it from his gun, then, with the whispered injunction of "Be quick, miss!" handed it to me. I


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ran into the room with it, and, whilst Miss Ida watched, I endeavoured to wrench off the obstinate board.

        But, at this critical conjuncture, the prison superintendent, Mr. Wood, came rushing up the stairway; and I only had time to thrust the bayonet under the camp bedstead when he entered the room. I was frightened, I will admit; for in a few minutes the sentries would be relieved, and of course the soldier would have to account for the loss of his bayonet. We wanted to free him from complicity in the affair; and woman's wit came to my assistance, as it had often done before.

        I proposed that, my room being larger than Miss Ida's, we should go in there and sit down. Fortunately to this the superintendent agreed. After remaining for a short time, I said, "Oh! Miss Ida, I have forgotten my pocket-handkerchief!" and,


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running hastily into her room, I seized the bayonet, wrenched off the board, and returned the weapon to the scared sentinel.

        Little did Mr. Wood imagine the part I had just played, as he sat glaring around him with his cat-like eyes, and boasting that "there warn't anything going on in that prison that he didn't know of." For several days after this Miss Ida and I whiled away our time by writing and receiving notes.

        Miss P., however, did not remain here long, for, having given her parole that she would do nothing more against the Yankee Government, she was released.


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CHAPTER XIII.

A very Romantic Way of Corresponding - The Prison Authorities for once are at a loss - My Confederate Flags - They wave over Washington in spite of Yankee assertions to the contrary - I become very ill - Mr. Stanton in an unfavourable light once more - My Prisoner of Front Royal in her true Character - Sentence of Court-martial is announced to me - A Relapse of my former Illness - I am banished - The cry of "Murder" raised round the Corner - Incidents in my Prison Life.

        ONE evening, about nine o'clock, while seated at my window, I was singing "Take me back to my own sunny South," when quite a crowd of people collected on the


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opposite side of the street, listening. After I had ceased, they passed on; and I could not help heaving a sigh as I watched their retreating figures. What would I not have given for liberty? Rising from my chair, I approached the gas, lowered it, then resumed my seat, and, leaning my head against the bars, sank into deep thought.

        I was soon startled from this reverie by hearing something whiz by my head into the room and strike the wall beyond. At the moment I was alarmed; for my first impression was that some hireling of the Yankee Government, following the plan of Spanish countries, had endeavoured to put an end to my life. I almost screamed with terror; and it was some minutes before I regained sufficient self-command to turn on the gas, so that, if possible, I might discover what missile had entered the room.


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        Glancing curiously round, I saw, to my astonishment, that it was an arrow which had struck the wall opposite my window; and fastened to this arrow was a letter! I immediately tore it open, and found that it contained the following words: -

        "Poor girl! you have the deepest sympathy of all the best community in Washington City, and there are many who would lay down their lives for you, but they are powerless to act or aid you at present. You have many very warm friends; and we daily watch the journals to see if there is any news of you. If you will listen attentively to the instructions that I give you, you will be able to correspond with and hear from your friends outside.

        "On Thursdays and Saturdays, in the evening, just after twilight, I will come into the square opposite the prison. When you hear some one whistling ' 'Twas within a mile of Edinbro town,' if alone and all is safe, lower the gas as a signal and leave the window. I will then shoot an arrow into your room, as I have done this evening, with a letter attached. Do not be alarmed, as I am a good shot.

        "The manner in which you will reply to these messages will be in this way: Procure a large india-rubber


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ball; open it, and place your communication within it, written on foreign paper; then sew it together. On Tuesdays I shall come, and you will know of my presence by the same signal. Then throw the ball, with as much force as you can exert, across the street into the square, and trust to me, I will get it.

        "Do not be afraid. I am really your friend.

        "C. H."

        For a long time I was in doubt as to the propriety or safety of replying to this note; for I naturally reasoned that it was some Yankee who was seeking to gain evidence against me. But prudence at last yielded to my womanly delight at this really romantic way of corresponding with an unknown who vowed he was my friend; and I decided on replying.

        It was an easy thing for me to procure an india-rubber ball without subjecting myself to the least suspicion; and by this means I commenced a correspondence which I lead no reason to regret; for,


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whoever the mysterious personage may have been, he was, without doubt, honourable and sincere in his professions of sympathy.

        Through him I became possessed of much valuable information regarding the movements of the Federals; and in this unique style of correspondence I have again and again received small Confederate flags, made by the ladies of Washington City, within which I was only too proud and happy to adorn my chamber.

        Little did the sentries below know of the mischief that was brewing above their heads; and where and how I had been enabled to obtain Confederate flags was a subject of much wonderment in the prison. It is almost needless to remark that I took care to keep the secret, though I must acknowledge that there was rashness in displaying the tiny Southern banners, and


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danger of subjecting myself to insult from the brutes who guarded me. But I could not resist the temptation!

        On several occasions I fastened one of these ensigns to a broom-stick, in lieu of a flag-staff, and then suspended it outside the window, after which I retired to the back part of the room, out of sight of the sentinel. In a short time this would attract his attention - for, when on watch, the sentinels generally were gazing heavenwards, the only time, I really believe, that such was the case - and he would roar out at the top of his voice some such command as -

        "Take in that -- flag, or I'll blow your -- brains out!"

        Of course I paid no attention to this, for I was out of danger, when the command would generally be followed up by the report of a musket; and I have often heard the thud of the minié-ball as it struck the


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ceiling or wall of my room. Before the sentinel had time to re-load his piece, I would go to the window and look out, seemingly as unconscious as though nothing had occurred to disturb my equanimity.

        Just after this episode of the "arrow-headed" correspondence - a green spot in my memory, to which I revert with pleasure - I was taken dangerously ill with typhoid fever. Can this be wondered at, when I inform my readers that the room in which I was confined was low and fearfully warm, and that the air was fetid and rank with the fumes of an ill-ventilated Bastile?

        In this same room Miss McDonough died (as will be seen by referring to my husband's journal). The poor child was under the treatment of Doctor F., the surgeon of the prison - the same who attended me for some time, but under whose awkward treatment I grew daily, nay, hourly, worse.


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Nor did I begin to recover until I met with the kind attendance of a Confederate surgeon, who was a prisoner, like myself, but in the Old Capitol; and it is to him that I feel indebted for my final recovery.

        Years may roll by, but my sufferings in that prison, both mental and physical, can never be obliterated from my memory; and to attempt to describe them would be utterly impossible. There I was, far from home and friends - no soft hand to smooth my fevered brow, no gentle woman near me, save a humble negress who nursed me through my illness as though she had been my own "black mammee." Relations and friends, who had heard of my attack of fever, as well as my immediate family, endeavoured, time and again, to gain access to me; but they were referred, by his own orders, to Secretary Stanton, who, when application was made to him for me to be


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removed from the prison during my illness at least, would remark, "No; she is a -- rebel; let her die there!"

        At the expiration of three weeks, passed under the treatment of my new physician, I was pronounced convalescent; and at the end of the fourth I was able once more to walk about.

        It was at this period of my imprisonment that, one day, Captain Mix, of whom I shall have occasion to speak hereafter, came into my room and said -

        "A most beautiful woman has arrived here today, and is in the room at the further end of the passage below you."

        At the time I took no notice of the remark, and had almost forgotten the incident, when, one morning, whilst walking in the passage, I saw our new inmate. Judge of my astonishment on recognising in her my prisoner of Front Royal, who


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had requited my kindness to her when there by informing the general that I was a bitter enemy of the Yankees. She proved to be alas! that I should have to write aught derogatory to one of my own sex - not what she had represented herself, the wife of a soldier, but a camp-follower known as "Miss Annie Jones." She was said to have been insane; but how far this report is to be credited I know not.

        Shortly after she was placed here another arrival, a Frenchwoman, came in, who was charged with having sold her despatches to the Confederate States authorities, enacting the "spy" for both sides. Neither of these women possessed that priceless jewel of womanhood - reputation. Yet it was with such that I was immured, though, thank Heaven! I was not thrown into immediate contact with them.

        My trial by court-martial had meanwhile


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been progressing, under the fostering tenderness of the Judge-Advocate, L. C. Turner - as thoroughly unscrupulous a partisan as the United States Government possesses in its service.

        One day Captain Mix came into the passage, and said to Miss Annie Jones, "Prepare yourself to go to the Lunatic Asylum to-morrow, as it is the Secretary of War's orders." She immediately commenced screaming hysterically, and rushed towards the spot where I was standing. I turned to leave, when he added, "Oh, you need not put on airs by getting out of the way, for you've got to go to Fitchburg Gaol during the war. You have been sentenced to hard labour there."

        Miss Jones's screams, coupled with this intelligence, completely unnerved me, and I fell fainting on the floor, whence I was conveyed to my room, only to suffer a


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relapse of the fever from which I had just recovered.

        My father, who was in Martinsburg when he heard of my sentence and second illness, immediately came on to Washington, and, after untiring exertions in my behalf, succeeded in having the sentence commuted. What that commutation was he did not then know. It was "banishment to the South - never to return north again during the war."

        Among the gentlemen who were retained as prisoners at the Carroll was Mr. Smithson, formerly one of the wealthiest bankers in Washington City. He was charged by the Yankees with holding correspondence with friends residing in the South, was arrested by the authorities, tried by court-martial, found guilty, and sentenced to five years' imprisonment in the Penitentiary at hard labour. All his property was


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confiscated, and his refined and delicate wife, with two little children, who had been reared in the lap of luxury, were obliged to see their residence taken from them and made into quarters for the Yankee officers. They were compelled to retire to a garret, with scarcely any of the necessaries of life whereon to support themselves.

        Before leaving for the South, one of the imprisoned Confederate officers, Colonel --, gave me letters of introduction to the Vice-President, the Honourable Alexander Stephens, and to the Honourable Bowling Baker, Chief Auditor of the Southern Treasury Department. In both of these letters he spoke of my untiring devotion to the Confederacy, of the zeal that I had shown to serve my country at all times, and of my kindness, as far as lay in my power, to my fellow-prisoners.


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The Colonel further commended me to his friends' "kind care and protection." These letters were, of course, contraband; and I intended, if I possibly could do so, to smuggle them through to Richmond.

        It was agreed that I should leave for Fortress Monroe on the 1st day of December, 1863. My father was still in Washington, residing with his niece; but he was so ill that he could not visit me previous to my departure.

        One evening, whilst I was looking out of my room door, a significant cough attracted my attention, and, glancing in the direction whence it proceeded - the sentry's back being turned - I perceived a note, tightly rolled up, thrown towards me. I picked it up quickly, and, reading it, found that it was from Mr. K., of Virginia, begging me to aid himself and two friends to escape, and also asking for money to


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advance their object. I wrote, in reply, that I would do all that lay in my power, and, unobserved, I handed him forty dollars. By means of my india-rubber ball I arranged everything, and the night when the attempt should be made was fixed.

        Above Mr. K.'s room was a garret occupied by his two friends, who intended to escape with him; and it was so contrived that he should get into the garret with the others whilst returning from supper.

        At one time I was afraid that this attempt would be frustrated, for the sentry, observing Mr. K. upon the garret staircase, commanded him to "Halt!" adding, "You don't belong there; so come down." Standing in the doorway of my chamber at the time, I quickly retorted, "Sentry, have you been so long here and don't know where the prisoners are quartered? Let him pass on to his room." Taking the


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hint, Mr. K. declared that he "knew what he was about," which it was very evident he did; and the sentinel, thinking that he had made a mistake, allowed him to proceed up-stairs.

        This part of the scheme being satisfactorily carried out, I wrote a note to the superintendent, informing him that I was desirous of seeing him for a few minutes. He accordingly came, and I managed to detain him by conversing upon various topics. Suddenly, from round the corner of the prison that faced on the street, arose a startling cry of "Murder! murder!" I know that my heart beat violently, but I kept the composure of my face as well as I was able; for this sudden cry was the commencement of a ruse de guerre which, if it should succeed, would liberate my friends from thraldom.

        Mr. Wood had, at the first cry of


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"Murder!" rushed to one of the windows and flung it open to see what was the matter; and some soldiers, who were lounging outside, waiting for their turn of sentry duty, ran hurriedly to the spot from which the cries proceeded. Meanwhile, those in the room above were not idle. Removing in haste a portion of the roof, they scrambled out upon the eaves, descended by means of a lightning-conductor into the street below, and made off, sheltered by the darkness.

        Of course the next morning, when the roll was called, and the prisoners were mustered, Mr. K. and his companions were found to be missing. It was strongly suspected that I had connived at their escape, and knew more than I pretended about the affair; but, as they could not prove anything against me, I was not punished. I subsequently heard, to my


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great joy, that the fugitives had arrived safely in Richmond.

        Shortly after my recovery from the severe illness which had prostrated me, I wrote to General Martindale (commandant at that time of the forces in and around Washington), asking him to grant me the privilege of walking for a while each day in the Capitol Square. This square lies in front of the Carroll; and I thought that a change, however slight, from the close confinement of my room would greatly strengthen me. To my letter I received a gracious answer, with permission to promenade in the square, on condition that I gave a written promise that, on my word of honour as a lady, I would hold communication with no one, either by word of mouth or by letter.

        I was glad to do anything to get once more a breath of pure air that did not


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come to me through prison bars. So I signed the promise; and every evening, when I felt so inclined, I was permitted to walk for half an hour, from five until half-past, in the square, followed by a corporal and guard with loaded muskets.

        Even this limited enjoyment was not of long duration; for, when it became known in Washington City, through the public Journals, that I walked in the square, Southern sympathizers - and their name was legion - both ladies and gentlemen, would congregate to see me; and often, when I passed, would they give utterance to pitying expressions on my account.

        Intelligence of this eventually reached the ears of the authorities, through various channels, and ultimately led to an order from Mr. Stanton revoking the parole that had been granted. Thus my promenade


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became one of the things of the past, to which I often reverted with regret.

        On one occasion a party of young girls, in passing me, dropped a square piece of Bristol board that had a Confederate battle-flag and my name worked upon it in worsted. The corporal detected the movement, and, before I could gain possession of this treasonable gift, picked it up himself. He commanded the whole group to "halt" immediately; and, had it not been for my earnest entreaties and supplications on their behalf, he would have arrested the entire party, who, terrified beyond measure at the turn affairs had assumed, added their appeals for mercy to mine. The corporal happening to possess that commodity, a heart, was merciful, and dismissed them with a slight reprimand.

        Promising to say nothing that would implicate him should the flag ever be


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discovered upon me, I succeeded in procuring it from my guardian by a bribe of five dollars; and I wore it concealed long after I had left Washington for the South.

        Had I been a queen, or a reigning princess, my every movement could not have been more faithfully chronicled at this period of my imprisonment. My health was bulletined for the gratification of the public; and if I walked or was indisposed, it was announced after the most approved fashion by the newspapers. Thus, from the force of circumstances, and not through any desire of my own, I became a celebrity.

END OF VOL. I.

WILLIAM STEVENS, PRINTER, 37, BELL YARD, TEMPLE BAR.