Documenting the American South Logo

of a Southern Woman
"Within the Lines,"
and a Genealogical Record:

Electronic Edition

Branch, Mary Polk

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

Text scanned (OCR) by Heather Bumbalough
Images scanned by Jill Kuhn
Text encoded by Jill Kuhn and Natalia Smith
First edition, 1998
ca. 300K
University Library, UNC-Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,

Call number C929.2 P76b 1912 (North Carolina Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill)

        The electronic edition is a part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
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Library of Congress Subject Headings

  • Branch, Mary Polk.
  • Polk family.
  • Southern States -- Genealogy.
  • Southern States -- Social life and customs.
  • Tennessee -- Genealogy.
  • Tennessee -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives.
  • Tennessee -- Social life and customs.
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives, Confederate.
  • Women -- Tennessee -- Biography.
  • Women -- Tennessee -- Social life and customs.


    By Mary Polk Branch

    Publishers, Chicago

    Copyright, 1912,


            THIS little book is written for my children and the descendants of those whose lives are herein chronicled.

            From its perusal may they learn still more to reverence the memory of their forefathers, and to prize the heritage left by them of noble and honorable lives.

            To this record I have added my memories of the home of my youth, under Southern skies. Then later the experiences of a Southern woman during the Civil War, "within the lines."

            This long retrospect of mine, a retrospect of eighty years, portrays faithfully life in the South as it was in ante-bellum times, and afterward in her mourning vestments, the beautiful, heroic South.

            I write with a loving hand as I pay this tribute to the past.


    December, 1911.

    Page 7




            My father, Dr. Wm. Julius Polk, was married to my mother, Mary Rebecca Long, at Mt. Gallant, Halifax County, North Carolina, in 1814.

            Mt. Gallant was an estate, inherited by my mother, from her grandfather, Gen. Allen Jones. In 1828 they moved from North Carolina to Columbia, Tennessee, where five brothers had already preceded my father - making their homes on plantations near the town. My father was a devoted member of the Episcopal church, and noted for the purity and integrity of his character - his word being considered "as good as his bond."

            He was elected again and again president of the First Bank, in Columbia, and for years trustee of the old St. Peter's church.

            My mother was an able assistant in all good works, and the blameless lives of this old couple were marked by deeds of neighborly kindness, charity and hospitality, for which the South was so noted in ante-bellum days.

            Their nearest neighbor was Bishop Otey, who lived on an adjoining place, called Ravencroft, and as both he and my father had a keen sense of humor, many a good joke had they at the expense of the other.

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            My mother and the bishop, both fine chess players, usually ended the evening with a hotly contested game of chess - the victor triumphant and the vanquished insisting that the battle should be renewed at a later day.

            My mother was a woman of beauty and unusual courage. She needed it as she said farewell to her three soldier sons, and bade them do their duty. But she had higher attributes than courage - the charity which thinketh no evil, the love which includes the sinning and the sinless, recognizing the stumbling blocks that beset our path. All beautiful things appealed to her, flowers and poetry. She often recited verses that she had learned in her youth. She seemed to me to be a link connecting us to a far-off period, binding the present to the past. The rare courtesy of her manner, which told of her gentle breeding, combined with a slight formality, which, while very kindly, precluded any familiarity. As I have looked at her lovely old face I have thought her the embodiment of all the virtues of her race. In her ninetieth year she joined the great caravan, and now, with the husband of her youth, as much of her as could die awaits the resurrection, at St. John's cemetery.

            My father first rented the house owned by his cousin, then Governor of Tennessee, James K. Polk, afterwards President of the United States. Then he bought a home, which I owned later, at present the property of Mrs. Towler. At this house, at the dinner table, was first proposed the building of the Columbia Female Institute. Present upon this occasion was Bishop Otey and my

    Page 9

    uncle, Leonidas Polk, who was afterwards bishop of Louisiana. The building was partly finished in 1836, and I was carried there by my nurse to be entered as a scholar.

            Preparatory to the coming of the Rev. F. G. Smith, who was first principal, his assistant teacher taught the school in a room back of the old St. Peter's church. The church was the second house at the corner of Garden street next to the old Masonic hall. The lady whose portrait is at the Institute was Mrs. Shaw, of Philadelphia; her daughter, a beautiful young woman, taught music. She was engaged to be married to the Rev. Mr. Odenheimer, then pastor of St. Peter's church on Second street, in Philadelphia; afterwards he became Bishop Odenheimer, of New Jersey.

            An event of those early days was a reception on the Institute grounds to President Andrew Jackson. He was on his way to visit his niece, Mrs. Lucias Polk, at "Hamilton Place," accompanied by Paulding, the novelist. I do not know why he should have selected Paulding as a companion, as Paulding was not a politician. On the important occasion two little girls were chosen to present bouquets to the distinguished visitors. Accordingly, little Kittie Puryear, and I, in our best white frocks, and with our hair curled, presented them. One bouquet was given to General Jackson, mine to Paulding, who sent me a little poem in response. This was, I think, in 1840.

            Two years later my cousin, Sarah Jackson Polk, and I were sent to a French school in New York - Madame Canda's - and afterwards to a

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    school in Philadelphia. This cousin, who married my mother's nephew, Robin ap C. Jones, was one of the loveliest characters I have ever known, and the dearest friend of my life. We went to Nashville on our way to Philadelphia, in our carriages, dining at Cartright's, near Springhill; stayed all night at a place a mile from Franklin, and next morning proceeded to Nashville, a distance of forty miles which now takes three hours to travel. There we took passage on a small stern-wheel boat - there was no stateroom, and we slept in a large ladies' cabin with berths piled one above another. Our party was composed of my uncle, Lucias Polk, his daughter (my cousin Sarah), Miss Dorothy Dix and myself.

            Miss Dix, the noted philanthropist, had known my uncle in Nashville, where he occupied some public position, in the legislature, I think. Her visit to Nashville was to petition the legislature to build an asylum for the insane. She had visited every State for that purpose, traveling alone, yet, she said, had never met with the slightest discourtesy. She was from Boston, and had been engaged to be married, and her lover became insane. She visited him, found him in a cell with a rock floor; not a comfort; treated as though he were a criminal. She then began the crusade to which she devoted her life, and through her instrumentality asylums were built in many cities where before the insane had been confined in jails. I think through her efforts the asylum in Nashville was founded. This was about 1847.

            She was charming in appearance, and her

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    sweet voice had a soothing effect upon maniacs. She often sang to them.

            In Philadelphia we were invited to the homes of many of her friends, and introduced to some celebrities through her kindness, among others, Doctor Hare, and I had the pleasure of dancing with Weir Mitchell at his father's house.

            After the return of my cousin and myself to Tennessee our lives were like most Southern girls of that period. Wealthy Southerners usually resided on their plantations, and visited friends in their carriages, many miles apart, staying two or three days. Some of these carriages were very handsome, and drawn by four horses, as were those of my uncles, George and Andrew.

    The Old Southern Mammy.

            In the "quarters," as the negro cabins were called, there was usually a band, which played at night for the "white folks" to dance. "Old Master" always led off in the "Virginia Reel." Negroes are always fond of music, and as they would play "Jim Crack Corn, I Don't Care," or "Run, Nigger Run," or "The Patrolers Will Catch You," or some other especial favorite, they would become wildly excited and beat the tambourines over their heads.

            Our nurses we always called "Mammy," and it was not considered good manners to address any old negro man or woman otherwise than as "uncle" or "aunt," adding the name whatever that might be - the surname was always the master's. We were taught to treat them with respect.

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            There was such a kindly feeling on both sides between the owners and their slaves - inherited kindly feelings. How could it be otherwise? Many were descendants of those who had served in the same family for generations - for instance, the nurse who nursed my children was the daughter of my nurse, and her grandmother had nursed my mother. My maid, Virginia (I can not recall the time when she was not my maid) was a very handsome young mulatto to whom I was especially attached. When she was married in her white dress and long veil flowing to her feet, the ceremony was performed in our back parlor, and Bishop Otey, the first bishop of Tennessee, officiated.

            How great the pride the negroes felt in the wealth and importance of their owners, and interest indeed in all of their affairs, amusingly so, sometimes! I recall an old woman, coal black, a red bandanna handkerchief tied over her kinky locks, and great dignity of manner, she said to me: "Young missis should marry her cousin, Marse Tom, and keep our family likeness in our family."

    Our Social Life.

            Indeed, ours was a gay and free-from-care life. I can recall delightful summers at Old Point Comfort, and the Greenbrier White, in Virginia - winters in which I journeyed from my father's plantation, near Helena, Arkansas, to New Orleans.

            There were palatial boats on the Mississippi river then, for there was no other way to reach

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    New Orleans. At each landing, often at night, lighted by the pine torches on the bank, the roustabouts would roll aboard the heavy bales of cotton, singing as they crossed the gangway their gay negro songs, often throwing piles of wood into the roaring furnace as they raced with some other boat, which they were trying to pass, amid shouts of triumph, or cries of defiance for the rival firemen.

            At their nearest landing, planters would come aboard with their wives and daughters to do their annual shopping in the "city," and the big boat would plow its way down the broad river with gay passengers laughing, dancing, singing, and many a love tale, told upon the guards until it rounded at the dock of delightful New Orleans - the city of camelias, cape jasmines and violets.

            But sailing down the broad Mississippi was not always an unalloyed pleasure, sometimes there were terrible experiences.

            I recall how my bright and beautiful cousin, Mary Brown Polk, and I started from Nashville on "The America," for New Orleans.

            After an evening of dancing and cards, we retired to our staterooms. It was quite late, and most of the passengers, including our chaperones, had already sought their berths.

            All at once there was a cry of "Fire!" and looking out we saw a man dashing down the cabin, while the carpet rose beneath his feet from the gusts of March wind, while he cried to the sleeping passengers: "Fire!"

            Hand in hand, my cousin and I ran to the

    Page 14

    deck. Around us women were shrieking wildly, in every stage of undress. Men were getting from their trunks money and valuables, for the boat seemed doomed.

            The angry river, lashed by the wind, bore upon its troubled surface bales of burning cotton, which burst as they were thrown into the water, and floated off like little boats afire, lighting the dark and threatening river. The pilot was ordered to land, threatened and implored, but he was obdurate. He kept the boat to the middle of the stream. He said: "The river has overflowed its banks from the heavy rains, and the boat would be burned before we could reach the landing." He turned the boat so the wind swept through the deck, carrying the flames far from the guards, which were covered with wet blankets, so to the strong winds we owed our salvation.

            When the morning came, lovely and calm, as it if to compensate for the terrors of the night, we floated on our way to New Orleans, the beautiful metropolis of the South.

            At Greenville, Mississippi, a large party came on board, of young planters paying their annual visit to their commission merchants, or with their sisters and sweethearts, going to enjoy the gaieties of the city.

            Formerly all families of any prominence in the South knew of each other, so we soon formed one party, and they added much to our enjoyment.

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    Some Famous Beauties.

            Patti was then on her first visit to New Or- leans. She was very young, and accompanied by her sister, Amalia Patti, whose husband, Strakosch, played their accompaniments for them. I remember how she pouted at some little thing that did not please her.

            The most beautiful assemblage of women I have ever seen I then saw. There was Madame Yznaga; I had known her as a schoolmate as Ellen Clement. Her husband was a Cuban planter, and she owned plantations on the Yazoo River, which had taken her South. Her sympathies were strongly Southern, and I heard of her playing the banjo and singing Dixie songs when abroad during the war. She was the mother of the Duchess of Manchester, and grandmother of the young Duke, who married Miss Zimmerman, of Cincinnati.

            Among the beauties was Miss Sallie Ward, of Louisville, with the soft warm coloring and blue eyes which Kentuckians often inherit from their Virginia ancestry.

            Then the Tennesseans, a very different type, with clearly cut, regular features, brunettes, and slight, graceful forms, brilliant eyes, but not with the languor which characterized the creoles.

            While admiring them, a gentleman said: "No one here compares with Madame Bienvenu," and looking where I was directed I certainly saw a beautiful woman. I was told she was sixty, but it was beyond belief, although upon her shapely head were piled puffs of snowy hair.

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    Her large, velvety eyes had a lovely expression, her creamy-white skin with but little color, but her lips were crimson. Her neck and arms showed to advantage in the black velvet gown by contrast, and a single white camelia she wore as a bouquet de corsage. I admired her enthusiastically.

            The next summer I went to the "Greenbrier White," in Virginia, with my uncle, Andrew Polk, his wife and daughter, then a child, Antoinette Polk, afterward the Baronne de Charette. There could not have been a more delightful place. Brilliant belles from all over the South - gay cavaliers, chivalric and courteous. I recall my saying: "There is nothing more I wish for on earth; I am perfectly happy."


            It was on the morning of November 29, 1859, that Col. Joseph Branch and I were married at "Buena Vista," my father's, afterwards my, home, at Columbia, Tennessee. Colonel Branch was finely educated, benevolent and honorable, and I may be excused for saying, handsome, though I have now no photograph of him.

            Every advantage had been given him by his uncle, Governor Branch, of Florida, his guardian, who was Secretary of the Navy under Jackson. First he was sent to Chapel Hill, North Carolina; afterwards to Princeton, where he graduated as valedictorian, about 1835, in a warm contest between a Northern and Southern champion. His

    Page 17

    brother Laurence was salutatorian, afterwards Congressman for many years from North Carolina, and in the war brigadier-general. He was killed at Sharpsburg. The two brothers, after their matriculation, went to their uncle's home, "Live Oak," in Tallahassee, and practiced law together.

            Colonel Branch was very successful; a member of the legislature at twenty-one, and president of a bank, when he married his first wife, Annie Pillow Martin, amiable and vivacious. She died five years after her marriage, leaving two sons, George Martin and Henry.

            Colonel Branch then left Florida and formed a partnership with his father-in-law, and their plantations were in the name of Martin and Branch. There were two plantations, seven miles long, in Desha and Arkansas Counties, Arkansas - the Davis and Dayton plantations. The Davis half-way encircled the lake, reflecting the white cabins and green trees of the "quarters" in the water. It was laid out in regular rows of houses with streets between, two hospitals - one for the men, one for the women - a nursery for the children, and two old women to take charge of them.

            In approaching the place there was first a cotton field of one thousand acres, level as the floor, and at regular intervals sheds with lightning-rods attached in case of storms, and at each shed a cistern. A field of cotton would be one day white, the next day the blooms changing to pink, and presenting a beautiful appearance.

            Upon these plantations were four hundred

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    slaves before mine came, given me by my father from his plantation near Helena, Arkansas.

            Upon my arrival as a bride at the plantation I found the house servants drawn up in a line on the front porch to greet me, and the house brilliantly illuminated. Among them was "Aunt Beck," a dignitary of great importance, my husband's nurse and then his cook. She was a privileged character. Colonel Branch's mother had left the children to the care of this devoted nurse on her deathbed, and her affection for them was boundless. As Governor Branch's cook in Washington, where he was Secretary of the Navy, she had also been their consoler in many an escapade.

            She had no children of her own, and my husband and his brothers, orphans, she considered her own. They gave her her freedom when they were grown, but she scorned it and said she would never leave "Marse Joe," my husband. Good and faithful woman! The bullet which killed her favorite broke her heart, and she lived but a short time afterwards.


            After arriving at the plantation, I was startled late one night by the great bell of the "quarter" tolling. I ran to the front porch, and could see big fires lighted on the streets in the "quarter," and could hear the women crying, "Two children were lost in the cane back of the plantation."

            The wild hogs in the canebrake were dangerous, and might attack and even devour the children. So a great fire, fed by pine knots, was

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    kept blazing all the night, as a guide. The bells on all the plantations around took up the alarm, and men on horseback came dashing up to know what was the trouble on the Branch plantation.

            My husband and men with lighted torches went in search, but the children were not found until next morning, asleep under a cottonwood tree.

            Every day we went out on our horses, riding through the canebrakes, bayous, down the turn rows of immense fields of cotton, to the ditches where Irish laborers were digging to drain the marshes - to the nurseries, to the hospital with fruit, or some delicacy for the sick.

            In the evening we entertained ourselves with the piano and the library; among the books were many religious ones, for Colonel Branch was pious, and a member of the Episcopal church.

            An innocent and ideal life!

            We varied it in a few months by going to New Orleans and from thence to Cuba. At Matanzas we had quite an experience. We got on a car where the men were evidently going to a cock fight, each with a cock under his arm. They had seen our names upon the passport, which had excited their suspicion. Laurence Branch, Colonel Branch's brother, had introduced a bill in Congress very obnoxious to the Cubans - for the United States to buy Cuba for some millions, and, suspecting this to be the Branch, our interpreter, who, of course, spoke Spanish, had great trouble in keeping us from being mobbed by the angry crowd.

            The summer after my marriage, 1860, I spent

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    in the East, and until then I had no idea of the feeling in the North against the South. My maid was soon enticed away at Niagara. From thence we went to the Continental Hotel, in Philadelphia. The hotel was filled with Southerners. A few evenings after our arrival a procession of a thousand men, bearing torches, stopped in front of the Continental, and were addressed from a platform in front of the hotel by Charles Frances Adams. I remember a part of his speech in which he said: "The North should be made a haven to the oppressed negro of the South," and his other remarks were to the same purport.

            We felt wantonly insulted, and for the first time I had a foreboding for the future, which grew stronger during our visit to the Greenbrier White Sulphur Springs, of Virginia, soon after. The "White" was different from what I had ever known it before. There was the "German" in the morning and the ball at night, but there was a tone of seriousness underneath it all. The young men, and the old, could be seen in groups discussing some point that was evidently exciting them.

            We felt the gathering clouds that foreboded the coming storm. From White Sulphur we returned to our home in Tennessee. Everything there seemed beautifully peaceful and calm. Tennessee's first vote against secession was sixty thousand, as the old Whig party, which had great strength in Tennessee, was opposed to it, but when her sister States seceded, Tennessee went with them, and her best blood flowed freely in the cause.

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            Tennessee was a border State and she and Virginia bore the brunt of the war. It is stated that one-fifth of the dead of both armies was on Tennessee soil.


            Oh, the horrors of civil war! My mother was a Spartan mother, and she said to her four boys, "Go and do your duty."

            There was my gay and handsome brother, Tom, who left his wife and children; Lucius, whose name I can not write without a pang; Cadwalader, and Rufus.

            Colonel Branch was in jail for a few days in Columbia, Tennessee, then exiled by General Negley with the penalty, if ever caught in federal lines, to be hung as a spy, and property confiscated.

            In the meantime my mother and I were alone at Buena Vista. There were five hundred soldiers - a cavalry command - encamped about the place, but the officers were kind and placed pickets at the doors for our safety. Yet, notwithstanding, we had nightly alarms and the house often searched. I recall one occasion, as my mother and I were driving from Columbia, with many contraband articles, we were stopped by two pickets, who proceeded to search the carriage.

            As one soldier picked up some trifling article of my mother's, she exclaimed, "Would you deprive me of that small pleasure?" The other soldier, at the same time, saw a pair of soldier's gauntlets, I intended for General Cleburne. He

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    looked at me, saw the terror in my face, a vision before me of Irving Block, in Nashville, where rebel women were confined, and then turning to the other soldier he winked at me and said, "Come away, there is nothing there, let these ladies go on."

            Many letters and supplies and these same gauntlets we carried to Florence, Alabama, to soldiers there. Of course, we ran a great risk, but we relied upon our coachman, who was very loyal to us, and secreted some of the letters upon his person.

            A federal raid had just taken place in the country through which we passed, and houses, farms and fences burned, the fire still smouldering where food had been cooked. It became dark and our coachman was blind at night, and the road so covered with autumn leaves we lost our way. I walked in front, putting aside the leaves, to find traces of the road, and calling out, "Drive to the right, drive to the left." At last I saw a fence and, following it up, we came to a substantial log house, and were barely in it before a cavalry company came dashing up, demanding if some of "Wheeler's soldiers were not there." Fortunately for us, our host was a well-known Union man, and the house was not searched.


            The few Union men were occasionally of great service to their friends and relations. My brother-in- law, Judge Russel Houston, for instance, whose brother, Governor Houston, of

    Page 23

    Alabama, and all of his own and his wife's family were "secessionists," stood very high among the federals (as Union men of his ability and social prestige in the South were very rare), and, in consequence, there was a great deal in his power.

            My sister was very loyal to her husband, but natural feeling would assert itself. I recollect standing with her at a window, when a cavalry company of General Wheeler's, who had been burning bridges between Columbia and Nashville to prevent the approach of the enemy, came dashing through the town, closely pursued by a federal company. My sister, in her excitement, clasped her hands and exclaimed, "Oh, if they had but wings to fly!"

            But amidst this gloom there were occasional flashes of sunlight. When the Confederates were in possession how gay it was, and the soldiers such toasts.

            I recall General Armstrong's wedding - the officers in full uniform, and wearing the yellow scarf of the cavalry. The beautiful bride, a great-niece of President Polk's, a brunette, in contrast with the blonde appearance of her handsome husband.

            Then the brilliant ball at Ashwood Hall, the gracious host and hostess, and Antoinette, their daughter, a young heroine of the Confederacy, who afterwards became the Baronne de Charette.

            She was visiting me when I saw in front of my house, on the Hampshire pike, Maj. Hunter Nicholson dashing down the pike, pursued by cavalry in blue coats. I knew at once that

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    Columbia had been taken possession of by the Federals and I called to Antoinette Polk. She came down the steps, the gauntlets in her hand, and her hat with its long ostrich plume in the other, ran for her horse in the stable, dashed through the woods, to reach the Mount Pleasant pike, where Ashwood Hall, and the homes of her two uncles, each a mile apart, were situated. They were filled with soldiers who would be taken by surprise and captured, unless she reached them in time.

            She gained the gate, which opened upon the pike, and as she did so, she saw approaching her three Federal soldiers, fast riders thrown out to capture prisoners, and then commenced a wonderful race. The horse was a young thoroughbred, and seemed to realize her peril. The last she saw of the cavalrymen they were digging their spurs into their horses' sides with their heads almost on a level with those of their horses. She gained the woods and was lost to their sight. On reaching Ashwood she roused the Confederate soldiers, and was taken almost fainting from her horse; the horse's mouth covered with blood and foam from its bit. The soldiers picked up a trophy, her long ostrich plume, which dropped from her hat, and returning showed it to the colonel, who said, "Why did you not shoot her in the back"?

            Her father was Capt. Andrew Polk, a cavalry officer, who returned from the Kentucky campaign a helpless invalid, went abroad with his family, and died at Vevey.

            This oldest daughter, of whom I have just

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    Page 26

    written, Antoinette, married the Baron de Charette, nephew of the Comte de Chambord, and colonel of the Pontifical Zouaves in the Garibaldi war.

            The marriage was celebrated in Paris, with great éclat. Among the splendid gifts was an aigrette of diamonds from the Pope, a diamond laurel wreath from the Zouaves, coronet from the Princess de Berri. The mother of General Charette's first wife, Duchess de Fitz-James, sent a magnificent present, and others, equally handsome, were given.

            In 1884 they visited Canada, where they were received with great enthusiasm by the Catholics. The public receptions in Quebec and Montreal were grand ovations.

            They had but one son, Antoine, who was recently married to Suzanne Hennin, of Kentucky. His title (having been given an estate, which carried the title with it), is Marquis de Charette.

            It was just before this sortie of the Federals into Columbia, that I met General Van Dorn, the gallant cavalry commander, so handsome and gay. It was at a ball at Ashwood Hall given to the officers that I first met him. A few weeks later I attended his funeral. He was assassinated, and the procession passed to Rose Hill cemetery, from Columbia, where he was buried. Of course, the funeral was a military one, and I never shall forget the solemnity, the music, the blare of the trumpets, the powerful black horse that was led riderless, and on each side the inverted boots of the late gallant officer.

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            We had about this time an unexpected pleasure. Adelina Patti came to our little town, Columbia, to visit her brother Carlo, who was quite sick, and on a sick leave from the regiment in which he had enlisted, the "Second Tennessee."

            I had heard Patti some years before, when she was very young - I think about twelve. She sang then at a concert in New Orleans. Strakosch, who had married her older sister, accompanied them on the piano.

            On this occasion, in Columbia, a long narrow room called "Hamner's Hall" was prepared for her, as she had consented to sing. During the war we had no oil for our lamps, and considered ourselves very fortunate to have home-made candles. Accordingly, the footlights were an array of tallow candles, with tin reflectors. When Patti entered, and saw the primitive arrangements, the lights, the hats of an antiquated style, which confronted her, it was beyond her to control her amusement; she hid her face behind a huge bouquet, and shook with laughter, while we, the audience, sat in indignant silence.

            Soon after this, "Blind Tom" was in Nashville, and I, as secretary of the Hospital Association, wrote to his manager, requesting that he should give a concert in Columbia. We were trying in every way to get funds for the hospital and this proved very successful. Two gentlemen gave us a hundred dollars apiece.

    Page 28


            How busy that hospital kept us! Knitting, making underwear, collecting supplies, sending boxes to the army. My mother was instrumental in organizing it, and was president until the close of the war. We not only ministered to our own wounded soldiers, but to many of the Federals, who were taken prisoners, had been wounded, or were sick, and brought to the hospital.

            This reminds me of an incident that occurred. My two beautiful gray carriage horses had been seized soon after we were in Federal lines, and I wished to regain possession of them, so I asked the services of the provost marshal, a Union man, and near neighbor of ours, to accompany me to headquarters, which he did.

            The officer in command asked me several questions, and among others about the hospital. I replied, "My mother is president, and we give every care and attention not only to our own soldiers, but also to the sick and wounded 'Yankees.' " At this he sprang up indignantly from his chair, and said, "Madam, I have seen you but ten minutes, and during that time you have twice insulted me. I wish you to understand I am from Ohio, and the soldiers also who are under my command. We are not "Yankees." With this the interview was at an end, and there were no horses for me.

    Page 29


            On April 6, 1862, the battle of Shiloh was fought, gained the first day, and lost the next day.

            A Union man from Columbia was said to have brought the order from Grant to Buell to reinforce him.

            So at night sixty thousand men waded Duck river in their forced march, and changed the defeat of the first day into a victory the second day. That terrible day! As I lay upon my sick bed I could hear the tramp of the mighty host, as they passed upon the turnpike. They swarmed over our house, and only the pleading of my mother kept them out of my sick room. In my delirium I would sing "He has fought his last fight. He has won his last battle"; words from an old song, I think called "Sir John Moore's Farewell."

            In that battle it was said "every man who could bear arms, of the name of Polk, fought."


            My brother Lucius went into the battle as a first lieutenant. His regiment, the first Arkansas, was cut to pieces, the captain of the company made a prisoner, and left with but one officer. Lieutenant Polk took command and led the regiment for two days. The next day after the battle he was elected colonel by the men unanimously and appointed afterwards.

            Of that heroic brother what could I not tell? There was never a nobler and more magnanimous

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    spirit, united to a tenderer and more merciful one - to write of him even in the "so long ago" sends a pang to my heart.

            Lucius Polk was born in Salsburg, North Carolina, July 10, 1833, the family soon after moving to Tennessee. He enlisted at the commencement of the Civil War in Arkansas, where he owned a plantation, and was elected first lieutenant in Gen. Pat. Cleburne's company, in the regiment known afterwards as the "First Arkansas."

            Lieutenant Polk's first service was with the Arkansas troops at the capture of the arsenal at Little Rock, Arkansas. His first fight was at Shiloh, after which battle he was promoted colonel of the regiment.

            When the Confederate army fell back from Corinth, he was ordered to cover the retreat, "if not a man be left." He defended the bridge so gallantly, that he was complimented in General Cleburne's report (official report).

            He was in the campaign in Kentucky, under Gen. Kirby Smith, and was wounded in the battle of Richmond, and six weeks later that of Perryville. Colonel Polk was then appointed brigadier-general, in command of Cleburne's old brigade.

            He was in the two days' fight at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where his uncle, General Leonidas Polk, was in command of one division of the army; at Chattanooga, where his brigade did valiant service, and in all the battles in the retreat from Tennessee.

            His brigade brought up the rear in falling back from Missionary Ridge, General Cleburne

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    in command of the division, entrusting him with the charge of the rear guard.

            In the ambuscade which he formed, by concealing his troops on each side at Ringgold's Gap, and then ordering a sortie, his brigade fought most gallantly, capturing two of the enemy's flags, and he was most highly complimented in the official reports of Generals Johnston and Hardee.

            In the fight near Hope Church, in Georgia, he was desperately wounded and crippled for life.

            In his official report of the battle of Chickamaugua, Gen. Joseph Johnston said, "But for the valor of Gen. Lucius Polk's brigade we could not have carried the day."

            General Polk did not long survive the war, and died at his residence in Maury County.

            Of him could be said not only "the bravest of men, but the truest and most loyal."

            His two oldest sons, Rufus and Lucius, were in the Cuban and Philippine wars, and showed themselves worthy of their parentage.

            The first, Rufus, was twice a Congressman from Pennsylvania (where he had married), and he was prominently mentioned for lieutenant-governor of Pennsylvania at the time of his death, at the early age of thirty-four.

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            My brother had but one furlough - he was sent home after the campaign in Kentucky. We did not even know he was wounded (so difficult was it to get any intelligence from the army), when one morning he came limping into our sitting-room, the shadow of his former self, his head bound with bandages, and also shot in the foot. You can imagine how we felt!

            After this came the battle of Murfreesboro, the two days' fight on the thirtieth of December and first of January, 1863. During the progress of the great battle which was fought there, my mother and I, and many others, went to the "Knob," which overlooks Columbia, and with straining ears listened to the thud of the cannon forty miles distant.

            My mother dispatched in haste, Oscar, a faithful servant, to ride across the country to Murfreesboro with bandages, liniments and supplies, for her sons who were in the battle.

            The Confederate Army were encamped on Stone river - General Hardee commanding one corps, and Gen. Leonidas Polk, "The Fighting Bishop," the other. I have a plan of the Battle of Murfreesboro which I prize highly. It is a topographic view of the ground upon which the two armies were posted, drawn by Captain Morris, chief engineer of Polk's Corps, for Lieutenant-General Polk. The original was destroyed

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    and I have the duplicate, sent by Captain Morris to me.

            The position of the Federal troops under Roseerans is given with division commanders and brigades, as well as that of the Confederates.

            Bragg commanding, and the two corps commanders, Lieutenants-General Polk and Hardee, in command of the right and left wings, encamped on Stone River, whose waters were tinged with blood after the battle.

            The cemetery near Murfreesboro is filled with monuments to the dead of both armies.

            Gen. Leonidas Polk's unique career came to a close at a later period at Pine Mountain, near the Kenesaw.

            He was born at Raleigh, North Carolina, April, 1806. He commenced his education at Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He received his appointment as cadet to West Point in 1823 - his father having been an officer in the Revolutionary War, was very desirous that his son should also add to the military traditions of the family - but, influenced by the eloquence and devotion of the chaplain at West Point, he became a member of the Episcopal Church and studied for the ministry.

            In Richmond, Virginia, he first entered upon his church duties, and after a year's travel abroad, returned and made his home in Middle Tennessee upon a tract given him by his father. In 1838 the general convention made him missionary bishop of the Southwest, which embraced Arkansas, Indian Territory, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas.

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            Many amusing anecdotes are told of him at this period. He had a great amount of humor, and must have enjoyed them immensely.

            Once, while on Red river, a planter wished his son baptized by an Episcopal minister, but the boy fought valiantly against it, unless his black chum, Jim, was also baptized. "Well," said the bishop, "Bring Jim in, and we will make a Christian of him, too." It seemed many smallpox cases were reported on the plantations, and a dignified circle, invited to meet the bishop, were discussing vaccination when in burst Jim, wildly excited, "Master, master, you have Marse Tom baptized over again - it never tuk that ar time; he's out yonder cussin' the steers worse than ever, an he says he ain't gwine to stop fur nobody." The ice melted, and the bishop turned and said, "Commentary on the doctrine of baptismal regeneration."

            The following anecdote I have never seen in print: In going down the Mississippi river at Natchez, where the boats would stop for a short time, there was a lunch-room near the wharf, the proprietor of which was a noted character. He prided himself upon knowing the occupation or profession of any man by his appearance, and would greet his guests accordingly, announcing them as they came into the dining-room: "Walk in, doctor," "Walk in, lawyer."

            On this occasion, as the bishop entered, he called out "Walk in, judge." Excuse me, said the host, "I should have said general." "No, not general? Now I know I must be right, walk in, bishop."

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            "Why do you give me these titles?" said the bishop.

            "Because," replied mine host, "I know whatever profession you follow you are bound to be at the head of it "

            Indeed the bishop did look the born leader. Of majestic and very handsome appearance, a face full of determination, yet softened by great kindliness and good humor.

            At one of the conferences, after the battle of Belmont, and the business of the flag of truce had been dispatched, the party adjourned to a simple lunch, provided by the Confederates. One of the officers, the gallant Buford (of the Twenty-seventh Illinois), raising his glass, proposed a toast to General Washington, the "Father of his country." General Polk, with a merry twinkle of his eye, quickly added, "And the first Rebel." The Federal officers joined with excellent humor in the laughter which followed the sally, and drank the amended toast.

            Never did the bishop neglect his religious services and the morning prayers. In a meeting in New Orleans, on his birthday anniversary, I read records of his death prepared by Colonel Hopkins, a member of his staff:

            "On the morning of June 14, 1864, General Polk received an early message from General Johnston, with request to meet at Pine Mountain to make a reconnoissance of the position of the enemy. Morning prayers having been said by the general, as usual, and the frugal meal of those forced days of abstinence been disposed of, the general mounted his well-known roan,

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    'Jerry,' and rode alone, followed by two of his staff and two men of the escort. During that lonely ride, contrary to his usual mien, the general seemed dispirited - possibly his thoughts were drifting to the loved flock of his far-away church, possibly to his plantation home, on the bayou, and possibly again to the fast-declining fortunes of the Confederacy, whose doom was already foreshadowed. To all appearances lost in thoughts of sadness, he led the way to the meeting place, where fate awaited him.

            "Arriving at Pine Mountain, General Polk found Generals Hardee, Johnston and Jackson (of the cavalry) on the ground.

            "The day was ideal, and the stillness of death was abroad, for both armies rested on their arms, facing each other, but ready at a moment's notice to rend the air with shot and shell.

            "On this exposed position the group of generals had assembled - it was evidently a council of war; when suddenly a puff of smoke arose from the distant lines, and ere it had melted in the air a murmuring shot passed overhead. Warned by the artillerymen of the danger of their position, the group of generals sought shelter. Then came the second shot, lower, and better aimed, when, looking back from my place of safety, I saw General Polk alone, on the very crest of the hill, with arms crossed, and looking intently at his front.

            "In an instant I was at his side, but, alas! too late, for at that very instant a solid shot was tearing its murderous way, with a hissing sound, through his chest, carrying his heart, and shattering

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    both his arms. Without a groan his great manly form, so full of honor and of love, tottered and fell, with his feet to the foe, and his face upturned to the sky above."

            The general's remains were taken to Marietta, Georgia, from thence to Augusta, where they now repose in St. Paul's Church, in the crypt beneath the chancel.

            Shortly after this the army fell back, pursued by Sherman on his march to the sea.


            On December 15, 1864, I started for the plantation in Arkansas with my nurse and small family to see my husband.

            Nashville was in Federal lines, but I had a permit to go to Memphis, via Louisville. There, through the influence of my brother-in-law, Judge Russel Houston, then of Louisville, whose handsome home in Nashville had just been burned to the ground to build Fort Houston, I was permitted to take with me many contraband articles.

            I had a shoe trunk filled with sugar and medicines, and an overcoat for my husband, with tobacco in the pockets to give the provost marshal the impression that I was carrying an old, worn coat. These articles were sealed by the provost marshal to prevent inspection.

            We embarked upon the Golden Eagle, a boat which on the trip before had carried negro soldiers. In consequence, we were fired upon all the way down the river, a flash from the bushes on the banks and a volley of shot. I was in the

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    pilot house, and it was the object to disable the pilot of our boat - the shot flew thick and fast around us. We all fell upon the floor, and lay trembling until the guerillas were out of sight.

            At last we arrived at Memphis and changed our boat for the Commonwealth. The captain refused to take pay from a Southern woman, until I assured him I was well supplied with money.

            Next we stopped at Helena, where General Buford, of Kentucky, who was in command and noted for his petty tyranny, refused to let me proceed farther. I pleaded, and then wept, but soon restrained my tears when I noticed the expression of his face.

            I said, "I see, General, that this gives you pleasure, but as I hear that you are a dear lover of the negro race, let me go to the plantation and take medicine for your friends there."

            He was indignant, and replied, "Madam, my refusal was in kindness, as I was a West Pointer with your Uncle Leonidas, but now you return to Memphis on the first boat that lands here."

            The boat came in an hour. It had lashed to it, in tow, another steamboat filled with smallpox patients, soldiers whom they were sending to some hospital in the North. The odor was insufferable, although there were heavy tarpaulins on that side to exclude the air. I was terrified (as Laurence was sick, and soon broke out with an eruption which proved to be measles), but there was no appeal.

            For seven weeks we were compelled to remain in Memphis at the Gayosa Hotel.

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            No one was allowed to pass the lines, to go out or to come in Memphis. I did not know the reason then, but knew afterward - Hood's army was advancing into middle Tennesee.

            At last, on Christmas day, we were permitted to leave. I went with my aunt, Mrs. Andrew Polk, to headquarters to ask a pass to proceed down the river, my second attempt.

            The general was absent, but the officer in command very sternly refused to give it to me, saying the general had left such orders in regard to all applications. I thought it hopeless, and was preparing sadly to leave, when, all at once, there was such a transformation, such a desire to assist, such kindness!

            My astonishment was great. My aunt was a beautiful and charming woman, but that had no influence upon the officer at first. What was the magic? All at once a light broke upon me. I exclaimed: "I understand, you are a Mason, you have taken three degrees, and your father, Mr. Van Leer, was past grand master of the State!"

            She laughed, but she neither affirmed nor disclaimed.


            We arrived at Napoleon, Arkansas, which since has been swept away by the ever-encroaching river, on January 1, 1865. We were met there by Colonel Branch, with the carriage. Our meeting was joyful, yet tinged with a deep undercurrent of sadness, as you can realize everything was at that time. The battle of

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    Franklin had been fought and we felt that the Confederacy was doomed.

            Colonel Branch had been ordered to make a cotton crop - to be gotten out as it best could be, to buy ammunition for the army. He was also ordered to supply the families of fifteen soldiers with meal. The plantation was uninjured, and looked strangely peaceful, but the serenity was soon disturbed.

            On the third day after my arrival I was having a pleasant talk in my sitting-room, with an old gentleman, a neighbor, when the doors opening upon the front gallery were thrown simultaneously open, and blue-coated soldiers swarmed into the room.

            One rushed to the old man, with a canteen of whisky. "Drink, I say!" and the old man drank, although he did not know but that it might have been poison, while the others commenced ransacking.

            Realizing the absolute necessity of coolness, I arose, and said to the leader, apparently: "If you will control your men, I will supply what they demand, water, towels and food."

            "They are helping themselves," he said, as a chicken flew past, followed by half a dozen soldiers in pursuit. He looked at me, and said: "I see that you are a woman of sense, so I will give you a little advice. Behave as you are doing now, and you will have no trouble. Here comes the captain now!"

            Looking out I saw advancing down the road an officer at the head of a hundred cavalry. He behaved with great politeness, and remarked that

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    at the plantation above us (the Douglas), "the house had been set on fire three times, as the ladies had been so insulting to the soldiers that he had found difficulty in controlling them."

            They stayed two days, the men encamped upon the place, the officers in the house.

            One of them picked up an album, and looking at a photograph, said: "Who is this?" I said: "General Pillow, an uncle of Colonel Branch's first wife."

            "And this?"

            "That," I said, "is General Leonidas Polk, the uncle of Colonel Branch's second wife. This," I went on to say, as he turned another leaf, "is General Lucius Polk, my brother, and this, General Laurence Branch, killed at Sharpsburg."

            "What a nest of rebels!" he exclaimed, and closed the book in disgust.

            I left soon after to weep and wring my hands in the retirement of my room, and then to appear composed and calm before the soldiers.

            The place was left uninjured, and the captain allowed me to supply with money a wounded Confederate soldier, whom they had taken prisoner on an adjoining plantation, and send him off in my carriage. They also left a Choctaw pony for my boy, which no doubt they had stolen from some place lower down on the river. The squad first thrown out were the fast-riders, to take prisoners, before the main body, moving more slowly, could come.

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            But the Federal soldiers I did not fear at all, as I did the "Jayhawkers." They were composed of roving bands from both armies, united for the purpose of plunder - calling themselves Confederates usually, but feared by friend and foe alike.

            Our plantation, having a great deal of cotton hidden under the cabins, was a special object of attraction, and, when frustrated, of revenge. One night an attack was expected from one of these bands. My room had mattresses placed around the walls, to protect us from the shot, while my husband, the provost marshal, and several of our neighbors, who had come in for the purpose of self-protection, stood behind the trees, ready to fire, as the Jayhawkers approached. However, they heard in some way of the preparations, and made a detour.

            On another occasion, three men took Colonel Branch out in the cane to kill him, and only the interference of one, a Kentuckian, saved him.

            Once they came when I was alone, the only white woman in miles around, and demanded Colonel Branch. They asked the "time," to see, I think, if I had a gold watch, and while, on pretense of ordering them a lunch, I contrived to send a message to Colonel Branch not to return to the house.

            On such occasions "Aunt Beck," who was a

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    famous cook, and believed in the efficacy of a good lunch, would have one prepared in almost incredible time, ably assisted by the other servants. One would prepare the fried chicken, or cold ham, another the crisp lettuce salad, and these material comforts doubtless served me many a good turn.

            In time of danger, how faithful these slaves were! What would have become of the women and children of the South if they had not been? No wonder the men of the South wished to raise a monument to immortalize the fidelity of the old "Southern Mammy!"

            So late as last winter, nearly a half century since the slaves were freed, I received a letter, written in Chicago, from one of them.

            It was from the daughter of Grandison, our dining- room servant, who wrote at the request of her father, who was on his deathbed. He said that he must "say farewell to my old mistress before he went." He recalled to me the question of the Federal general to him: "How does the ex-slave feel toward his former owner?" and his reply, "Nothing but death can sever the tie between the old master and his ex-slave." How many instances could I enumerate of their fidelity. To them I owe the preservation of my silver during the war. "Aunt Beck" and Colonel Branch's body-servant, Braxton, dug a hole at midnight on the banks of the lake. There was a massive breakfast service, and all the flat silver, spoons, forks, and the silver pitcher and waiter. These they enclosed in a trunk and buried in the sand.

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            There it remained for some years, until "peace" at last reigned. Then George, my husband's eldest son, was sent to Arkansas, to bring it up to our home in Tennessee, from which State it had been sent to Arkansas for preservation.

            He stopped at the Gayosa, in Memphis, for two days, and with a boy's carelessness left the door of his room open, yet no one ever thought of disturbing the disreputable-looking old trunk, tied with ropes, in which the silver had been packed.


            The war had ended - the long agony was over, and again we met in our mother's home, in Columbia, Tennessee.

            First came Lucius, bravest of the brave, on crutches. Next, Cadwalader, whose horse was shot from under him, and he left for dead on the battle-field at Prairie Grove. Next, Rufus, who spent his seventeenth birthday in a prison on Johnson's Island.

            We met again, in the parlor, where, after the battle of Franklin, Generals Cleburne, Granberry and Stahl had been laid, before they were interred at St. John's churchyard.

            A bloody handkerchief was over General Cleburne's face, but one of his staff took from his pocket an embroidered one, and said: "Cover his face with this; it was sent him from Mobile, and I think that he was engaged to the young lady."

            No wonder that it is said that the jingle of

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    spurs and the measured tread of a Confederate soldier is often heard in the hall of the old house at night!

            We separated, for another battle - the battle for our daily bread, and with no resources, and the debt of five years, growing in interest, before us!

            The men who were in that war have not been long- lived, as a rule. Sickness, hardship and wounds impaired their vitality. They worked with the same doggedness of purpose, uncomplaining and in silence, as did Lee, their great leader. But hope was gone - no longer there to vivify their souls.

            Then came Reconstruction days. It would have been very different if the negroes had been left to themselves, and not listened to the "carpet-baggers" who swarmed over the South, but by them they were incited to lawlessness and insult.

    The Kuklux.

            What could be done? There was no law! The Kuklux filled the needed want, and by thorough superstition awed the negroes into better behavior.

            I have looked out in the moonlight, and seen a long procession wending their way slowly on the turnpike, in front of my house. Not a sound could be heard from the muffled feet of their horses, as in single file they moved in speechless silence - a spectral array clothed in white. No one knew who they were, whence they came, and what their object, but the negroes soon knew;

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    and if there were excesses in their new-found liberty, crimes committed by them, they knew there would be a speedy retribution by these spectral visitants.

            They effected a great good, but as good is often attended with evil, lawless men, who did not belong to the regular organization, disguised themselves as Kuklux.

            For instance, on my brother Lucius' plantation, one night he was aroused by negroes from the quarter, calling at his window, begging him to get up; that there was "A company of Kuklux at the quarter." He went at once, and demanded what they wanted. They said: "One of the negroes on the place has done a great deal of mischief, and we have come to whip him." My brother said: "I know him to be a good negro, and you can not whip him." "But we must!" "You can not," said my brother; "if you do it will be over my dead body, for I am his natural protector." "Well, General, your life is too valuable to be given for this negro's, so, as we do not wish to kill you, we will go."

            Turgeneff, in his book, "The Fool's Errand," in writing of the Kuklux, of whom he had heard and seen a great deal, when stationed for some time in the South immediately after the war, writes: "When complaints were first sent to the Government it ignored them, and in good humor from having subdued the Rebellion, treated the matter simply as pranks of school-boys playing ghosts to frighten the negroes, but when the representations became more serious,

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    it was forced to act, and orders were given to the governors of the different States to imprison and try any one who was accused of being a Kuklux."

            The governors complied willingly - all the good had been effected. The governors themselves had been Kuklux, and knew that they had been disbanded, but bound by such solemn oaths that to this day I can not find who were Kuklux.


            My husband and I went to our beautiful home, "Buena Vista," which had been my father's.

            It was endeared to me by a thousand memories of childhood and girlhood. There had I been married, and there had my children been born. It was a large, old- fashioned brick house, on an elevation. On one side, a garden bordered with hedges of the microfilla rose, and its summer house and arbor festooned with wreaths of yellow jasmine - its garden beds in the old style, with borders of box, trimmed square.

            In front of the house a climbing rose, twenty feet high, still hung from an oak, in which were embedded the bullets of the enemy. Upon the gallery had stood a Confederate soldier, a mere youth, who had fired from behind the pillars, until the boy fell dead, riddled with bullets.

            In the joy of meeting, we tried to forget the past - and we were happy. My husband, big in heart as well as stature, and the four children, mere babies, and the father's delight in them. He was of so bright and sanguine a nature, it

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    was an inspiration to be with him. I leaning on him for love and protection! In my checkered life was it not a dream of heaven!

            I carry it with me when days are dark, and turn to that picture of the past.

            Two years of this ideal life passed, and a summons came from the plantation in Arkansas, and he must leave.

            Colonel Branch left our home on November 11, 1867. I wished to go with him, but the care of the little children and the place prevented, and crippled by the war, our means were not what they had been.

            I had a premonition of ill, as I gave him the farewell kiss.

            Two days after he arrived at the plantation, he walked the main road to examine a bridge over the bayou, which needed repairs. As he stood there, a buggy with the physician on the place, Doctor Pendleton, in it, came up. Doctor Pendleton had charge of the hospitals of the two plantations.

            He had been drinking heavily and was seeking a quarrel, so he called to Colonel Branch, making an insulting remark, and drew his pistol.

    The Death of Colonel Branch.

            My husband raised his hand and cried out: "I am unarmed"; but the fatal shot was fired, passing completely through his body. He fell upon the bank, partially paralyzed, and the negroes, rushing from the cotton-field, bore him to the house.

            They filled his room, weeping, and crying

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    aloud, while his old nurse knelt beside him. He said: "Will no one write to my wife, and tell her 'farewell' for me."

            The crying of the negroes distressed him, so he said: "Let only a few come in at a time to bid me farewell." This they did, and so he passed away.

            The negroes were wild, they declared he should be avenged. Many of them had been in his family for generations, and some in mine. None had left during the war; this was two years afterward, and still all were there, faithful to the close.

            They armed themselves with guns, anything with which they could kill, and started to Judge Fletcher's plantation, where Doctor Pendleton had just arrived.

            The old judge had turned to him, and said: "If you killed Colonel Branch, get out of my house this moment," when an overseer from our place, who was a Mason, and bound to give aid to another Mason (and Doctor Pendleton was one), came dashing through a short cut to the house, and cried out: "Go, for your life; the Branch negroes are on your track, and they will kill you, as sure as there is a God in heaven!"

            Communication was very slow in those days, and a week had passed before I arrived at the plantation. I wished my husband to be interred in St. John's Cemetery, at Columbia, Tennessee.

            I traveled on the Henry Ames, the boat on which I had gone down the river on my bridal trip eight years before, and on the anniversary. I had only heard that he was wounded, but as

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    we met each Arkansas River packet, the captain would call out through his speaking-trumpet: "How is Colonel Branch?" At last the answer came, "He is dead."

            Many years have passed since then, and my days glide serenely by, only speed more swiftly, as rivers hurry when they near their destination, the ocean's depths.

            Only one great sorrow I have had, the loss of my beloved grandson, Laurence Winn, a boy of rare promise, a gifted and charming young boy who died just before his eighteenth birthday.

            Nature never stands still, and we may think of him as still fairer grown, and brighter in his celestial home - and with this belief we should still our hearts, and say: "God knoweth best."

            I can not tear my thoughts from that past life and those I loved so much, and I sometimes feel that they are very near me, and I recall the words of Isaiah: "Seeing what a cloud of witnesses encompass us about."

    "Seeing What a Cloud of Witnesses Encompass Us About."

                            My mother, may she be near me; may her sweet eyes gaze in mine.
                            Does she watch and pray beside me, with a mother's love divine?
                            Can He be near, my dearest? The world seemed a dream of bliss,
                            When, alas! so soon he left me to the bitterness of this.

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                            A witness, may be, my brother, with his wounds a tale to tell
                            Of battle-fields where heroes fought and the conquered banner fell.
                            Silent and grand, like sculptured knight, he waits in his lowly bed,
                            The sound of the reveillé to call soldier from the dead.

                            One may be the gifted boy with the blue, prophetic eyes,
                            Which saw, beyond his blighted life, a rainbow in the skies -
                            The angels are around us, what may their mission be? -
                            These souls escaped from bondage, from earthly shackles free?

                            They come on silent wing through the blue realms of space,
                            With a glory caught from Heaven, upon each radiant face.
                            We feel their presence near us, and a rapture, as of yore,
                            Comes o'er us, as they whisper "Love is love forever more."

                            God's messengers, sent to us in the silent hour of prayer,
                            In whispers and in dreams - it may be in visions rare -
                            They soothe us with the thought of that blessed land of Peace,
                            Where tears shall never flow and all life's troubles cease.

                            The spirits are about us, but, alas, we cannot see,
                            For our vision's dim and blinded to Heaven's great mystery.
                            But with dying eyes we'll see them, as we leave this world of sin.
                            They'll ope' the gates of Paradise that we may enter in.

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    A Genealogical Record.

            1. General Thomas Polk married Susan Spratt. Said Thomas Polk was the son of William Polk, and his wife Priscilla Roberts, who was the son of John Polk, and his wife Joanna Knox, who was the son of Robert Polk, the emigrant, and his wife Magdalena Tasker, of Moening Hill, Ireland.

            2. William Polk, son of Thomas Polk, and Susan Spratt. First wife Grizelda Gilchrist. Second wife Sarah Hawkins.

    Genealogy of the Jones Family.

            Robin Jones married Sarah Cobb. Grandson of Robin Jones the emigrant. (From the Bible of

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    Isaac Cobb. "His Book.") Robin Jones was born prior to 1700 in Sussex County, Va.

            General Allen Jones, his wife, Rebecca Edwards. Son of Robin Jones and Sarah Cobb.

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    Genealogy of the Long Family.

            Rebecca Jones, only daughter of General Allen Jones, married Lunsford Long, son of Colonel Nicholas Long.

    Barnaby McKinnie.

            Barnaby McKinnie, father of Mrs. Nicholas Long, nee Mary McKinnie, a noted woman of her day. ("Women of the Revolution," Mrs. Ellet.)

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    Edwards Line.

            Colonel Nathaniel Edwards married Jane Eaton.

    Records of Brunswick County. W. G. Stanard, of Richmond, Virginia.

    William Eaton.

            William Eaton (father of Jane Eaton Edwards) married Mary Rives, of Albemarle County, Virginia.

            Born in Essex County, England, and emigrated to Virginia. His estate in England was "Eaton Green." Owned an immense property.

    See Colonial Records, p. 162.

    Record Through Which I Became a Colonial Dame.

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    Branch Line.

            The first Branch of whom we know was Peter Branch, of Kent, England, who came over in the Castle, 1638, but died on the voyage. His will, made in favor of his ten-year-old son, John, is the first one recorded in Boston.

            John married Mary Speed, and they became the proprietors of "Branch Island," ten miles north of Plymouth Rock.

            Peter, son of John and Mary Branch, married Hannah, daughter of Thomas Lincoln, "the Miller," who was an ancestor of Abraham Lincoln.

            Colonel John Branch, a soldier of the Revolution. He married Rebecca Bradford, a daughter of John and Patience Bradford.

            The Branch family responded to every call to arms and the defense of liberty. Among those who served from Connecticut for the relief of Boston in the "Lexington Alarm" was Sergeant Thomas Branch and Rufus Branch. When the signal came, announcing the approach of the British on Bennington, he dropped his sickle in

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    the field, mounted his horse and rode away to join Stark's forces. Many are the stories told of the bravery and wit of Rufus' wife. At the time of the battle of Bennington, several women gathered at her home, intending if the British were victorious to flee to the hills. Fear and consternation reigned. However, Mrs. Branch sat carding flax, declaring that she would not stir until she could see the color of the British eyes. During her husband's absence, with her daughters' help, she gathered wood for winter use, she harvested the wheat and butchered the pigs.

            The descendants of John Branch, the Revolutionary soldier, were as follows:

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    Gerald Toole.

            1. Joseph Branch, the second. Son of Joseph Branch and Susan O'Bryan.

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            2. Laurence O'Bryan Branch, first. Son of Joseph Branch and Susan O'Bryan. Member of Congress from North Carolina, Speaker of the House for many years. Brigadier-General in Confederate Army. Killed at battle of Sharpsburg.

            3. Susan, daughter of Joseph first and Susan O'Bryan.

            4. James, youngest son of Joseph and Susan O'Bryan Branch.


            In the reign of King David, of Scotland, the vast feudal Barony of Pollock, in Renfrewshire, was held by the noble territorial King Fulbert, the Saxon. Upon the death of this monarch in 1153 Petreus succeeded, who assumed the surname of his vast hereditary estate of Pollock. According to the best authorities, the Lord Baron of this feudal kingdom was a man of eminent ability. He was the benefactor of the monastery Paisley. His donation was received by the Bishop of Glasgow prior to A. D. 1190.

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            This Petreus de Pollok was a law unto himself, and equal to the sovereign of the realm in wealth and power. He was the ancestor of a long line of warriors, and the forbear of knights who fought in the crusades. He was himself distinguished for deeds of prowess, and the subject of many a minstrel lay.

            In addition to the vast Renfrewshire estates, Petreus de Pollok held the Barony of Rostis, in Aberdeenshire, during the reign of Malcolm IV., of Scotland. The latter lands he gave to his daughter, Maurick, who married Sir Norman de Leslie, and became ancestress of the Lords Rostis and Leslie.

            On the death of Petreus de Pollok the ancient patrimonial estate of Pollok passed to his brother, Robert de Pollok, who was succeeded by his son of the same name.

            Finally we come to a later Petreus, one of the persons of rank, who in the year of our Lord 1206 gave a forced submission to Edward I., of England, in the bond known as the "Ragsman" bond. He was succeeded by his son Robert de Pollok, who married Agnes, daughter of Sir John Maxwell, Lord of Carleverok.

            Brecius de Pollok, who left a son, John de Pollok, designated in a charter by King James II., of Scotland (December 12, 1439), as "Nobiles vir Johannes de Pollok plies at heros Brecius." From this famous noble sprang the illustrious line of that ilk. His successor was Charles de Pollok.

            John de Pollok had a second son, Robert de Pollok, who received from King James II. the

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    great land grant in Veoius Scotia, in New Scotland, as Ireland was then called. He became Sir Robert de Pollok, of Ireland, whose eldest son, Robert de Pollok, inherited the estates in old Scotland, while the younger son, Robert, received the newly acquired lands in Ireland, with the title of Sir Robert de Pollok.

            In the year 1640 Sir Robert, of Ireland, joined the Scotch Covenanters, whose commander-in-chief and Governor of Dunbarton castle was a relative of Sir Alexander Leslie, of the famous soldiers of that day.

            Sir Robert was succeeded by his son Thomas. Sir Robert's second son, Robert Bruce Pollok, married the widow of Major Porter, of the English army. According to well-authenticated records, this lady's maiden name was Magdalen Tasker, of noble French descent, and heiress of "Moerning Hall," in Ireland. She survived her husband, and died about 1724. Certain it is that in the year 1687 Robert Pollok had patented to him certain estates in "Dames quarter," Somerset County, Maryland, which have descended in the family to the present generation, and a fact of more than passing interest is the will of Magdalen Tasker Pollok, made when ninety years old, in 1776, recorded in Somerset County, in which she devises to her son, Joseph, "My estate 'Moerning Hall,'" in the kingdom of Ireland, and Barony of Ross, County of Donegal, and in the parish of Leford.

            Of the eight children who emigrated to Somerset County, with Robert Bruce Pollok (Polk) and his wife Magdalen, the majority married;

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    and their descendants have included distinguished men, not only of Maryland, but all through the South and West. When, as in the case of Robert Pollok, we find a man of high position, with wife and children, and the records later disclose the fact that valuable estates were left behind in the mother country, imagination becomes active, and it is natural enough to picture the hasty flight of Protestants who would be condemned to death for loyalty to a principle.

            With the change from Catholicism, in the year 1689, we find the names of Robert Polk and that of his son appear among the list of loyal subjects of King William and Queen Mary.

            Robert Polk was said to be an elder in old Rehobeth church, claimed to be the oldest Presbyterian church in America. He brought with him from Ireland the family Bible, containing records of births and deaths. It was stained by the weather from being hidden in a tree. When it was read one of the family would stand on guard to watch for the Papists. This was after the "Reformation." Robert Pollok's old home, "White Hall," was standing until about sixty years ago, when it was burned. In it still, when it was burned, there was a clock brought from Londonderry, Ireland; also an old mahogany case that contained fifteen square bottles.

    The First Deeds to Land.

            The first deeds of land we find recorded on the eastern shore of Maryland were from Lord Baltimore, date 1685: "To Robert Polk, Sr., 'Polk's Folly'; to John, 'Locust Hammock'; to

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    William, 'Polk's Defense'; to Robert, Jr., 'Bally Hook'; to Ephraim, 'Clemmel'; to James, 'James Meadow.' "

    Change of Name.

            Why this change of name to Polk?

            Tradition says that, being Presbyterians, and having been engaged in one of the many plots of that sect against Charles II., they fled to escape persecution, leaving off the last syllable of the name and changing it from Pollok to Polk. The name of Robert's estate, "Polk's Folly," suggests that Robert regretted leaving the old country; "Polk's Defense," that William was still rebellious. "White Hall" descended to William Polk, the second son of Robert and Magdalen, and from him to his descendant, Col. James Polk, naval officer of the port of Baltimore, under his kinsman, President Polk.

            From this elder branch descend the children of Governor Lowe, who married Esther Polk, daughter of Col. James Polk. His daughter, Mary Polk, married Mr. Gorter, Belgiac Consul at Baltimore for many years.

            Robert Polk, a grandson, took up lands in Dorchester County about 1778. His son, Col. William Polk, was a member of the Delaware Council, and possessor of large estates known as "Polk's Defense," which he inherited. In this home was born Truston Polk, Governor of Missouri, and representative of Missouri twice in the Senate.

            Robert Polk, fifth son of the emigrant, married Miss Gillette. Their son, Capt. Robert Polk,

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    married Elizabeth, sister of the great artist, Peale (William Wilson). Their son, Charles Peale Polk, inherited the talent of his mother's family, and became a distinguished artist also.

            "The Polk family, a family of heroes for four generations, are of Scotch-Irish descent. They are of very ancient lineage, tracing their descent back to Fulbert A. D. 1075." - Genealogical History. Col. Jones, 1899. Baltimore Sun, of September 4, 1904. American Magazine, April, 1896, and October, 1897.

    John Polk.

            From John Polk, the oldest son of Robert and Magdalen Tasker Polk, are descended the Polk family of North Carolina, who afterwards emigrated to Tennessee.

            John married Johanna Knox (second wife). She died in 1777. William, only son of this marriage, moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He married Priscilla Roberts. They had eight children (and with these he emigrated to Mecklenburg, North Carolina, in 1750), namely: Thomas, Charles, Ezekiel, Susa (married Alex. Brevard, Governor North Carolina), Margaret (married A. McRae).

            Charles, the second son, was a soldier of the Revolution, member of the Assembly 1793 (Wheeler). He was noted for his daring and his love of a practical joke and gained the soubriquet of "Devil Charley." One of the anecdotes told of him was that while Colonel Thompson's regiment encamped in a church in North Carolina, Captain Charlie played "Ghost." Attired in white and rattling chains,

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    he sprang up through a trap door in the pulpit and put the regiment to flight.

    Ezekiel Polk.

            Ezekiel, the youngest son, was a signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, and commanded a company in the Revolution. His son, Samuel, emigrated from North Carolina to Columbia, Tennessee, in 1796, the year before Maury was made into a county. He married Jane Knox, whose family also had been Covenanters. He was agent for his cousin, William Polk, for his lands in Tennessee, which were one hundred thousand acres. His oldest son was President James K. Polk, whose life is too well known for me to give a sketch of it here; his successful administration, his war with Mexico, the annexation of Texas, the acquisition of California, making territory as large as the thirteen colonial States, make his administration one of the most glorious recorded in our history.

    The Old Home of President Polk.

            The old home in which President Polk lived is still to be seen in Columbia, Tennessee.

            Samuel Polk left other descendants who have distinguished themselves. Col. William Polk, a man of great wit and humor, Consul to Italy. He left an only son, Tasker Polk, of North Carolina, a lawyer and journalist of decided ability.

            Other descendants of Ezekiel Polk were General Neely, of Bolaivar, Tennessee; Col. Albert McNeil, and Edmund Polk, no one more prominent in Tennessee politics than he at the time of his early death.

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    Colonel Thomas Polk.

            Colonel Thomas Polk, oldest son of John, married Susan Spratt.

            He was colonel of the Mecklenburg district at the time of the "Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence," of May 20, 1775, and "called the meeting." The resolutions, read by him on the courthouse steps to an assembly of people, were drawn up by his son-in-law, Ephraim Brevard. I shall not enter into a discussion of this much-mooted Mecklenburg Declaration. I can not doubt the testimony, however, of these old God-fearing and truth-telling Presbyterians before the Legislature of North Carolina in 1800 to the effect that "they were present, and that the Declaration of 1775, May 20, was similar to that later one of 1776."

            John Simmonson, in giving his testimony before the legislature, relates this anecdote:

            One aged man was asked - an old Scotchman - if he knew anything of the Mecklenburg Declaration. He replied, "Och, aye; Tam Polk declared independence lang syne, lang before anybody."

            At a few days later date, namely, May 31, 1775, several of these same patriots, among whom was Thomas Polk, signed the historical and undisputed "Resolves," which are on file in the Rolls Office, London. These "Resolves" (says Bancroft) separated Mecklenburg from

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    the English empire thirteen months before the Declaration of Independence.

            "This is glory enough for the Mecklenburg Fathers and is a glory that can not be plucked from their brow." - James C. Welling.

            Colonel Polk, April 15, 1776, was in command of the escort of North Carolina troops (200), detailed to convoy and guard to a place of safety the heavy baggage of the army. Among the bells of Philadelphia which he had in charge was the "Liberty Bell." There were several hundred wagons. We give extracts:

            History of Philadelphia, 1609-1884:

            "August, 1777. Colonel Flower, aided by carpenters; James Morrell, Francis Allison and Evans, took down the bells of the churches and public buildings. They were carried to Trenton, and thence to Bethlehem."

    History of North Hampton County, Pennsylvania, 1752- 1757. - Capt. F. Ellis, historian:

            "September 23, 1777. Seven hundred waggons, escorted by Colonel Polk, arrived at Bethlehem.

            "The next day the train crossed the river and passed through the town to the place where the stores were to be deposited.

            "While passing through the streets, one of the waggons which carried the Statehouse bell broke down and its load obliged to be transferred to another. Seven hundred waggons deposited their stores, proceeded to Trenton to remove a farther quantity of public property, which was stored there.

            "The Statehouse bell, which was in the waggon which broke down in Bethlehem, had been taken down and carried away for safety when the British army approached the city." - From official diaries of the Moravian Church.

            "September 24, 1777. In the afternoon Colonels Polk and Thornburg arrived with seven hundred waggons containing the heavy baggage. They came directly from the camp and everything was unloaded to a place of safety and left in Bethlehem.

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            "A guard of two hundred men, who were encamped on the banks of the Lehigh, were left behind."

            Extract from another diary: "The heavy baggage of the entire army arrived directly from camp, guarded by two hundred men under Colonel Polk, of North Carolina. There were seven hundred waggons in train, everything was unloaded and brought to a place of safety. The waggons were ordered to Trenton in order to fetch the stores from that place also to Bethlehem. Among these stores were the bells of Philadelphia. The waggon containing the Statehouse bell broke down in the streets of Bethlehem so that the bell had to be unloaded; the other bells were taken away."

    Colonel William Polk.

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    Colonel William Polk.

            Owning immense tracts of land in Tennessee - one hundred thousand acres - he states in his will, which was probated in Columbia, Tennessee, in 18--. This he divided among his eight children, the tracts being usually five thousand acres in extent. Upon these lands were located the homes of his children, when they left North Carolina and made their new homes in Maury County, Tennessee.

            Their residences were a few miles apart, upon the Mount Pleasant road. This was afterwards made a turnpike, the work done by the slaves of the stockholders. These were Dr. William Polk (my father), his brother Lucias, General and Jerome Pillow, Evan Young and Peter Booker. This pike extended from Springhill to Clifton, on the Tennessee river.

            "Hamilton Place," the residence of General Lucias Polk, was built by my grandfather, who sent workmen from North Carolina in wagons, to prepare a home for his son and his bride, who was to be, Mary Eastin, the niece of Mrs. Andrew Jackson, the wife of the President.

            The marriage took place at the "White House," and was very pleasing both to General Jackson and my grandfather, who had been life-long friends.

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            "Ashwood Hall" was built by Bishop Polk, and later sold to his youngest brother, Andrew, who married Rebecca Van Leer. They were the handsomest couple I have ever seen. He was the captain of a cavalry company during the Civil War, but, disabled and a wreck, he went abroad, and both he and his wife are buried in a foreign country. "Ashwood Hall " was, indeed, a stately home, situated in a grove of one hundred acres, dotted with sturdy oaks. Two large halls opened into each other, hung with beautiful paintings, and family portraits.

            "Rattle and Snap" was the home of George Polk. The grounds were won under peculiar circumstances. My grandfather was playing a game of "beans" with the Governor of North Carolina and some others. They played for "scrip," issued to them as Revolutionary soldiers. My grandfather won the game, located the land, and named it for the game "Rattle and Snap." It was in middle Tennessee, then called the Territory of Franklin.

            "West Brook" belonged to Rufus Polk, and was afterwards the home of my brother, General Lucius Polk, who married his cousin Sallie Moore, the only child of Rufus Polk.

            Some of these homes were very handsome, built in colonial style, pillars on front porticoes, large halls, with rooms on each side, wings for billiard-rooms and libraries.

            There were beautiful gardens and greenhouses, the lawns in front were extensive, and dotted with oaks for which Tennessee was so famed.

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            "Buena Vista," my father's home, afterwards mine, no longer stands. Recognizing the beauty of its location and surroundings it was bought by the Government for an arsenal and barracks, afterwards converted into the "Columbia Military Academy." Of course, the old gray brick house was replaced by a very handsome commandant's home. I was glad when it was torn down, such a reminder of the happy past, of the hospitality and the kindness which had characterized it. They who had made it were gone, and I could not bear to look at it.

    Colonel William J. Polk.

            Left Queens College, North Carolina, when he was sixteen years old, and entered the army as lieutenant in Colonel Thompson's (called old "Dangerfield") regiment. He was detailed by Colonel Thompson with thirty men to watch some Tories in North Carolina.

            He was led into an ambush by his guide, one Solomon Deason; was badly wounded in the shoulder, from which he did not recover in a year. "This was the first blood shed south of Lexington," said Gen. Andrew Jackson, in a letter published in 1844, when James K. Polk was a candidate for the Presidency; also in an autobiography written by Colonel Polk for Judge Murphy, of North Carolina.

            General Jackson was a small boy at school with Colonel Polk, at Charlotte, North Carolina. They were life-long friends in North Carolina and in Tennessee.

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            The marriage of Colonel Polk's son, Lucias, to Mary Eastin, the beautiful niece of Mrs. Jackson, which took place at the "White House," was pleasing to them both.

            Col. William Polk's record is certainly a brilliant one. He entered the service at the age of sixteen, was appointed major of the Ninth North Carolina Continental Battalion when eighteen.

            At one time he followed the fortunes of Marion and Sumpter, and was aide to Carrol at Camden. At Eutaw his horse was killed under him; at the same time his brother fell. At Brandywine he was shot through the shoulder, and at Germantown through the mouth.

            It was referring to this that at a ball, given in Philadelphia to the officers, a young belle inquired, when he was introduced to her: "Are you the young officer who, it is said, catches British bullets in his teeth?"

            He was appointed in the United States army in the war of 1812, nominated by Madison and confirmed by the United States Senate, but on account of age and infirmities, declined. This honor was afterwards conferred on Gen. Andrew Jackson.

            He was Supervisor of the Internal Revenue of North Carolina, a position which he held for seventeen years; one of the commissioners to receive General Lafayette in Raleigh in 1824; was a member of the Order of Cincinnati. Will Polk, of Louisiana, had the diploma, which was burned in a fire which destroyed Mr. Polk's residence, but Col. Cadwalader Polk has the certificate of membership.

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            There is a tradition, I do not know if true, but it seems highly probable, that Colonel Polk suggested the name of Nashville, and Davidson County, having been by the side of Nash when he was killed, and also with Davidson, when he fell; and he was the first representative of Davidson County to the North Carolina Legislature.

            There are many relics of interest left by Colonel Polk; among them the silver spoons, used at a breakfast which he gave to General Washington. There is also a mahogany table, with brass claws, which can seat fifty, used at a banquet, given in Raleigh to Lafayette. These are in the family of William Polk, of Louisiana, at his plantation, "Ashton."

            A miniature of Colonel Polk, beautifully painted, and set with brilliants, is owned by William Polk, of Tennessee. He was said to have been very striking in his appearance, six feet four inches in height, with a face full of dignity and command.

    The Jones Family.

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            My father, Dr. William Polk, and my mother, Mary Rebecca Long, were married in 1818, at "Mount Gallant," Roanoke County, North Carolina.

            This estate, "Mount Gallant," was left by my mother's grandfather, Allen Jones, to my mother, his favorite grandchild. It was a grand old home for that period, situated on the Roanoke river, with two fisheries for herring, which came up the river from the sea. An orangery adjoined the house, and a long avenue bordered with trees led down to the public road.

            A secret chamber, which had never been suspected, was found under the dining-room floor, on the day of my mother's marriage - the day when she took possession of the house, which had been closed for many years. A servant, in scrubbing the floor, found that it sank beneath her, and on investigation, a trap door was found and a room completely furnished with bed, chairs and table, with candle on it. It was supposed to have been constructed as a hiding place during the Revolution, General Allen Jones being a very prominent person at that time, having been appointed by the Provincial Congress one of the five brigadier-generals from North Carolina. He was a man of great ability, and large wealth. His daughter, Rebecca Edwards Long, having died at the birth of my mother, she and her sister, Rebecca, were taken to "Mount Gallant," and lived with him until his death.

            He told her much of the early history of the Jones family, and a legend of the first Jones

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    who came to America. He was a boatswain on a British vessel that came to the Colonies. On the return trip, when far out at sea, he leaped from the vessel, swam to shore, and married his sweetheart there, making his home afterwards in Suffolk County, Virginia.

            The third in descent from him was Robin ap Robin Jones, my great-great-grandfather.

    Robin ap Robin Jones.

            He showed in his youth remarkable talent, was a pupil of the Reverend Wyley, rector of the church in Albemarle, Sussex County, Virginia, from 1736-39. Reverend Wyley wished him to have educational advantages that he could not give him, and advanced the money for him to go to England to be educated at Eton.

            At that university he met and acquired the friendship of Lord Granville, one of the Lord proprietors, whose rule in the Colonies were overthrown later. He appointed him his agent, and afterwards, in 1761, Robin was appointed "Attorney for the Crown," as appears in a dispatch from Governor Dobbs, in Rolls Office, London:

            April 20, 1761. "The Tuscaroras will move this week from Bertie to New York. Mr. Jones, the Attorney-General, advanced $200 to account in bringing waggons and provisions, on the credit of their land."

            The colonial records of North Carolina show that he was a member of the Assembly 1754-55. Author of the bill to establish a Supreme Court, and appointed to prepare an address to the Governor on grievances.

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            He was a remarkable man in many ways. There was a lawsuit to be tried in which he was deeply interested. The trial was to take place on the same day surgeons had decided that an amputation of his leg was necessary. He was suffering from gout and his life hung in the balance, but he went to the courthouse, made a great speech, which gained his case, the amputation of the limb was performed two hours afterwards, and he died under the operation.

            The heroism of my mother, his great-granddaughter, was quite equal to this. She was nearly ninety years old and blind; was suffering with such pain in her eyes that it was decided one must be taken out. She refused to take any anesthetic, as she wished to retain consciousness in case of death. One of the surgeons showed great feeling, and she said to him, "Do not be afraid, I do not dread the pain, I am ready," and not a murmur or moan was heard.

            One of the interesting stories my mother told me was of an early experience of my grandfather, Allen Jones. The schools were very inferior in the Colonies, and his father, Robin Jones, wished to give him the same advantages that had been bestowed on him, so Allen and his brother, Wyley, were fitted out with the best the Colony could afford, and sent to England. They were placed at the Alma Mater of their father, Eton, called the "nursery of the gentlemen of England." Accordingly, the little boys were sent to Liverpool, where they were to be met and placed at school, under the charge of Lord Granville.

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            When the vessel landed, and they went on shore, there was no one to meet them, and their singular appearance soon drew a crowd. They were attired in blue broadcloth suits, trimmed with brass buttons, the long trousers, coats and long vests almost to their knees, like very diminutive men, amused the crowd very much, and the frightened children were much relieved when Lord Granville's housekeeper arrived and put them in his carriage.

            I was also much interested in my mother's recital of the visit of John Paul Jones to her grandfather, which was not many years before her birth.

    John Paul Jones.

            He went to Virginia to administer upon the estate of his brother, who had died the previous year, 1774. Halifax was then a notable and very gay place.

            It so happened that the first congress of the then independent State of North Carolina met there. Paul was there and met the most prominent men among them, the Jones brothers, Allen and Wyley.

            They were very much pleased with his bold, frank, sailorlike manner, and invited him to visit them, Allen at his home, "Mount Gallant," and Wyley at the "Grove." These homes were noted for their hospitality, and John Paul not only entered with zest into the sports of the day, but was much impressed with the political discussions between the two brothers, their views differing entirely.

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            He there met not only the great leaders of the day, but also their wives, some of them brilliant and cultured, their conversation elevating and instructive. He had access at their homes to the finest libraries, and to their halls, where hung pictures from England.

            He remained at the homes of these two brothers for two years, and had the good fortune to meet there Joseph Hewes, of Edenton, who was a power in the politics of the time. He was a delegate to the First Provincial Congress, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. and was Chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs.

            The Jones brothers appealed to Hewes, and through his instrumentality, Congress gave to John Paul the position of lieutenant in the navy. It was said that the brothers also assisted him with funds. Before this John Paul had changed his name to Jones, saying to the brothers, "He would make them proud of it."

            This compliment was intended for the brothers, but also for Mrs. Wyley Jones, of whom he was a special admirer.

            Why John Paul added Jones to his name has been much discussed of late.

            Mrs. A. L. Robinson, a great-granddaughter of Gen. Allen Jones, published not long since an account of Paul's friendship with Allen and Wyley Jones. The outline of his life is briefly told. John Paul, the son of a gardener, was born July 6, 1747, at Ardingland, Scotland. At the age of twelve he went to sea. The death of his brother in Virginia, whose heir he was, induced

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    him to settle in America. This was in 1773. It was then he added to his name, and was thenceforth known as Paul Jones. This was done in compliment to one of the noted statesmen of that day. It appears before permanently settling in Virginia, moved by the restlessness of his old seafaring life, he wandered about the country, finally settling in North Carolina. There he became acquainted with two brothers, Wyley and Allen Jones. They were both leaders in their day and were much honored in their generation.

            Allen Jones was orator, and silver-tongued. Wyley was the foremost man of his State. The home of the latter, "Grove," near Halifax, was not only the resort of the cultured, but the home of the homeless, Mrs. Wyley Jones having sometimes twenty orphan girls under her charge. It was here that the young adventurer, John Paul, was first touched by those gentler influences, which changed not only his name but himself, from the rough and reckless mariner into the polished man of society, who was the companion of kings, and the lion and pet of Parisian salons. The kindness of the brothers found expression in the adoption of their name. The truth of this statement is not only attested by the descendants of Allen and Wyley Jones, but by the nephew and representative of Paul Jones, Mr. Lowden, of Charleston, South Carolina. In 1846 this gentleman was in Washington awaiting the passage of a bill by Congress awarding him the land claim of his uncle, Paul Jones, which had been allowed by the executive of Virginia, Hon.

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    E. W. Hubard, then a member of Congress from Virginia, and who had in 1844 prepared a report on Virginia land claims, in which the committee endorsed that of Paul Jones. This naturally attracted Mr. Lowden to him, and learning that Mrs. Hubard was a descendant of Wyley Jones, he repeated to both Mr. Hubard and Mrs. Hubard the cause of his uncle's change in name, and added that among his pictures hung a portrait of Allen Jones.

            Mrs. Ellet, in her "Women of the Revolution," says, "The tone of public opinion in Halifax was very much influenced by three women, who were rendered prominent by the position of their husbands, and by their own talents, and example. They were Mrs. Wylie Jones, Mrs. Allen Jones and Mrs. Nicholas Long. Their husbands were men of cultivated minds, wealth and high consideration, having great influence in public councils.

            The importance of the principles for which they contended was vindicated by the conversation and patriotic zeal of their wives rather than by their own efforts in striking appeals.

    Col. Nicholas Long.

            Col. Nicholas Long was commissary-general of all the forces raised in North Carolina, and superintended the preparation (in his own workshop, on his own premises) of implements of war and clothing for the soldiers. His wife was a most efficient coöperator; she possessed great energy and firmness, with mental power of no common order. Her praises were the theme of conversation among the old officers of the army.

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    She died about ninety years of age. Her maiden name was McKinnie - Mary McKinnie.

            Mrs. Allen Jones was Miss Edwards, sister of Isaac Edwards, English secretary of Governor Tryon.

            She had the reputation of being the most accomplished woman of the day, and was remarkable for the elegance and taste shown in all of her arrangements. She left an only daughter, Rebecca, who married Lunsford Long.

            There is a punch-bowl in the museum at Washington's headquarters at Morristown, New Jersey, with this inscription on the card: "A punch- howl owned by General Washington. It was given to him by Mrs. Allen Jones, of North Carolina." It was highly prized by him, and preserved in the family for four generations - it was cracked when hiding it from Tarleton's men.

            When the army of Cornwallis passed through Halifax to Virginia, his officers were quartered in the town. Colonel Tarleton was quartered at the "Grove." He had been wounded at Cowpens, in the hand, a sabre cut from Col. William Washington.

            In speaking of Colonel Washington, Tarleton said: "He was an ignorant, illiterate fellow, scarcely able to write his name." "Ah, colonel," said Mrs. Jones, "you should know better, for you bear upon your person proof that he can make his mark."

            These incidents in regard to John Paul Jones, which I gathered from my mother's lips, are corroborated by many authorities - one, Fred

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    A. Olds, of Raleigh, North Carolina; another, Cyrus Townsend, author of a "Life of Paul Jones," in a very conclusive article of July 24, in Munsey's Magazine. In a genealogical history, by Col. Cadawalader Jones, of South Carolina, I see the same facts given by him as I relate having heard from my mother. We are both descendants of the two grandchildren, who lived with Gen. Allen Jones.

            Neither Allen Jones nor his brother Wylie left any male descendant. Consequently, we have no relatives who bear the name of Jones, through Robin, but through the marriage of his great-granddaughter, Rebecca Jones Long, to Maj. Cadwalader Jones, they bear the name of Jones. Wylie had a son who died very young from gout in his head, which it seems he must have inherited from "old Robin."

            General Allen also had a son, who died at the early age of eight. Governor Iredell, of North Carolina, in a letter published in a volume - I think it is called "Recollections of Eminent North Carolinians" - writes that while on a visit to Gen. Allen Jones, at "Mount Gallant," he was seated on the porch when General Jones' little son, who was playing on the gallery, commenced screaming, with his hand upon his head. He suffered very much, and died in two hours. I have a miniature of this boy, a beautiful thing, intended to be worn with a black velvet as a bracelet. On the gold back of the locket is this inscription: "Robin Jones, 1778. Died aged eight. Too soon did heaven assert its claim, and called its own away."

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            This, and some other relics, which my mother gave me, I very much prize. One is a gown, worn by an ancestress during the Revolution. It is of heavy brocade, with pink and white roses. The gored skirt is as narrow as the hobble skirts of to-day. It is trimmed with exquisite lace, "Point de Venise," which hangs in tatters.

            I have also a chair cover, blue, and embroidered with the first cotton brought to North Carolina, the work of Mrs. Allen Jones.

            The portrait of Robin Jones was given to Mrs. Eppes, of Virginia, his granddaughter, and is now at the residence of Colonel Hubard, M. C., who married Mrs. Eppes' daughter.

    The Long Family.

            Col. Nicholas Long, founder of the Long family in Halifax, was in his day one of the most important men on the Roanoke; he was a wealthy planter. His residence "Quankey," near that old borough, had more than a State reputation; it was the headquarters of military affairs.

            When General Washington visited the Carolinas, he and his staff stopped with Colonel Long for several days. Colonel Long came to North Carolina about 1750 from eastern Virginia. He had a daughter, Lucy, who married William H. Battle, Assistant Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. Their son, Kemp Plummer Battle, was formerly president of the University of North Carolina.

            Col. Nicholas Long married Mary McKinnie,

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    daughter of John McKinnie, in August, 1761. It appears from a deed, dated 1751, that John McKinnie had four children: Mary, Patience, Barnaby and Martha.

            Nicholas Long, the oldest son of Nicholas Long and Mary McKinnie, was a gallant soldier in the Revolution. He and Major Hogg had the celebrated race after Tarleton with Colonel Washington. It is related of him that two British cavalrymen pursued him. He wheeled and sought safety in flight; they opened fire and in the hot pursuit were separated. Observing this, he suddenly turned and dispatched both with his sabre. He married Rebecca Hill in 1778 and moved to Georgia.

            Mary Long married Bassett Stith, Virginia, 1790. McKee, in his "Life of Judge Iredell," says, "Thomas Iredell visited Halifax in July, 1790. A letter from him gives a characteristic account of the gay and opulent borough." "The divine Miss Polly Long" had just been married to Basset Stith, a Virginia beau. The nuptials were celebrated by twenty-two consecutive dinner parties in as many different houses; the dinner being regularly succeeded by dances, and all terminated by a grand ball. Miss Wallace, an heiress, Miss Lucas, and Miss Hooper were the belles of the occasion.

            Lunsford Long, another son, married Rebecca, daughter of Gen. Allen Jones, 1794. They had two daughters: Rebecca, who married Col. Cadwalader Jones (the same name, but different family), and my mother, Mary, who married Dr. William Polk.

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            "Quankey" the home of the Longs, on Quankey creek, was well known as a seat of great hospitality, and as it was a large and delightful home, Mrs. Long continued to reside in it after the death of her husband. She was left there alone, her children having all married and moved away with their families, so she was pleased to take charge of a young lady, presumably a relative, a sister of Sir Peyton Skipwith, named Miss Richmond. This Miss Richmond afterwards married Lemuel Long.

            Mrs. Long was noted for her benevolence. She took for charity several of the poor young girls of the neighborhood to teach them to spin and embroider and the accomplishments of the day.

    The Haunted House.

            The story that is told, and which is well known by all in that section, was this: "As the old lady sat one night with her distaff before her, surrounded by her girls, they were startled by the fall seemingly of an immense wardrobe, which was in the apartment above. Mrs. Long, carrying a candle in her hand, and each girl bearing a light, proceeded up the long stairway to investigate - but not an article out of its place, and not a human being in the house but themselves. After this each night the same unaccountable noises were heard. Everything was done to put an end to these sounds. At one time it was thought it might proceed from the cellar, where empty wine casks had stood, and their iron hoops hung upon the wall. Then a large tree was cut down, that overhung the house, but all in vain. When the old lady

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    breathed her last, it was said by those who surrounded her, that a long wailing cry was heard.

            After Mrs. Long's death some member of the family continued to reside in the house, until at last worn out with trying to ferret the mystery, it was sold and went into other hands.

            Fifty years after this occurrence I left my home in Tennessee to visit relatives in North Carolina. As I passed over the bridge at "Quankey creek," I asked the conductor to point out to me the old home. "I can show you the site," he said, "but the house was torn down long ago. One person after another tried to live in it, but left frightened, so after being left vacant for some years, it was torn down."

            And so ended the weird experiences of the haunted house.

            Mrs. Long ended her long and eventful life in her ninetieth year, and was buried in the family graveyard at "Quankey."

            Of the lovely old couple of whom I will now write I feel it to be a pious duty, my father and my mother.

    Dr. William Polk.

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            Four of these sons were soldiers in the Civil War: Thomas Gilchrist, an aide to General Tappan; Gen. Lucius Eugene, of whom I shall write later; Colonel Cadwalader, who was first with Jackson in Virginia, afterwards in the western army under General Price; promoted for gallantry from second lieutenant to colonel. At the battle of Prairie Grove he was left for dead on the field, taken to the Federal Hospital, and a month afterwards liberated in an exchange of prisoners. Capt. Rufus Julius, of whom Sam Watkins speaks in his book "Company H," as being "beautiful as a girl," was a prisoner on his eighteenth birthday at Johnson's Island. He was in the last skirmish of the war in Alabama.

    St. John's Church.

            Although most of these homes of the Polks have been burned, or passed into other hands, there still stands sacred to memories of the past St. John's Church. It was built in 1837 by the

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    Polk brothers, the site given by Andrew (the youngest), the font by their sister, the handsome gate at a later period by Van Leer Polk. It is called "the most historic church in Tennessee." During the Civil War it was used alternately as a hospital by the conflicting armies, whichever was in control at the time.

            The church was much mutilated by the troops under Buell as they passed down the pike in front of it to reinforce Grant at Shiloh. They broke the bell and the window glasses, hacked the organ, blowing the pipes as they marched, and taking the beautifully embroidered altar cloths as saddle-blankets. The portraits of Bishops Polk and Otey, which were in the vestry room, had been moved, fortunately, to the Columbia Institute for safe-keeping.

            The church from time to time has been opened for services since the War, but is usually closed. The Polk family, most of whom live in different States, send funds to keep it in repair. It is to Col. Harry Yeatman, however, that they are chiefly indebted for its care. He was an officer on Gen. Leonidas Polk's staff, and married his niece, Mary, a daughter of Gen. Lucius Polk, Sr., and lived at "Hamilton Place" for many years, until his tragic death two weeks ago.

            What different scenes have been enacted in this old church! In earlier days brides in their white attire stood before its altar, and infants were brought to be christened at the font. There came a later day when soldiers fought around its walls, and the dead and dying were piled upon its floor.

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            Among the dead who were buried there were Generals Cleburne, Stahl and Granberry, and at a later day, Gen. Lucius Eugene Polk, who never recovered from the wounds he received during the war. Generations of those who died earlier are buried there - representatives of the old-time South. The ideal Southern gentleman, with his courtesy and chivalry, the gracious gray-haired matron, their surroundings as well as their heredity developed their characteristics of loyalty, truthfulness, courtesy and courage.

            Other graves are there which also tell a story of the past. It is of another race who were born slaves. Between them and their owners was an inherited bond of affection - responsibility on the one hand, and on the other of service and faithfulness.

    Mammy Sue.

            I recall among these graves a monument which bears this inscription: "Sacred to the memory of Mammy Sue, the faithful nurse of George and Sallie Polk's eight children."

            In the morning the services in the church were for the masters, in the afternoon their daughters taught the children of the other race, and all knelt together in prayer.

            In the cemetery are two white monuments exactly alike. My father, on his deathbed, believing the separation from his beloved wife to be very brief, ordered them, but my mother's was not put in place until her death twenty years afterward.

            This church of many memories stands in a

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    cemetery of seven or eight acres, surrounded by a stone wall.

            The large oak trees and the carpet of blue grass make it a lovely spot, but the doors of the church are closed, the windows unopened, the iron gate in front locked. Sometimes a long procession winds through it, as the body of one who has passed away in some far-off State is borne, to be laid to rest beside his forefathers.

            But in the distance is heard the sound of the automobile and the roll of heavy wagons upon the pike, and we realize the brightness of the world without and the busy life which surrounds the old church with its story of the past.

    THE END.