Documenting the American South Logo

An Auto of Half a Century and More

Electronic Edition.

Green, Wharton Jackson, 1831-1910

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 Heather Bumbalough
Text encoded by Carlene Hempel and Natalia Smith
First edition, 1998
ca. 800K
Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,

No Copyright in US

Call number CB G79g 1906 (North Carolina Collection, UNC-CH)

        The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-CH digitization project, Documenting the American South, or, The Southern Experience in 19th-century America.
        Any hyphens occurring in line breaks have been removed, and the trailing part of a word has been joined to the preceding line.
        All quotation marks and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
        All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as " and " respectively.
        All single right and left quotation marks are encoded as ' and ' respectively.
        Indentation in lines has not been preserved.
        Running titles have not been preserved.
        Spell-check and verification made against printed text using Author/Editor (SoftQuad) and Microsoft Word spell check programs.

Library of Congress Subject Headings, 19th edition, 1996



Title Page






Page 5


        To God's noblest handiwork and true men's highest conception of ideal perfection, a good, well-balanced woman, true in all the relationships of home and domestic life, and as little deficient in social intercourse with the outside world beyond, pious without pretension, erudite without pedantry, charitable without parade, soft of speech but duly assertive, stickler for the social proprieties but void of prudery, ever genial but never frivolous; - such is an imperfect pen- portraiture of a few of the amiable and lovable traits of one seen in my mind's eye and the one best known in actual life. It is my blessed privilege to have undisputed ownership to such a priceless treasure. Yes! to thee, Adeline, wife of my bosom and solace of declining age, at this the terminal period of "the fitful dream," I pledge renewed troth, and say, as Ferdinand said to Prospero's daughter in the incipiency of new-born love, -

                        * * * * for several virtues
                        Have I liked several women; never any
                        With so full soul, but some defect in her
                        Did quarrel with the noblest grace she owed,
                        And put it to the foil: But you, O you,
                        So perfect, and so peerless, are created
                        Of every creature's best.

        To thee, dear wife, is dedicated this, my initial and, most probably, ultimate book.

Page 7


        On this, the initial day of a new-born century, I begin a work long held in contemplation, namely, the compilation of the Memoirs of a somewhat eventful life of a commonplace sort, covering the greater part of the century just ended; historically speaking, the most eventful of all the centuries. Probably, no epoch of like duration is more replete with books of a reminiscent character.

        To avoid the suspicion of presumption in venturing to launch a new book of a similar sort upon an already over-booked era, be it known from the start, that the self-imposed task is not essayed for futurity, finance, or ephemeral fame. Hence, neither maelstrom, nor iceberg, nor hidden shoal holds out terrors for my puny venture. True, it is intended for posterity, but posterity in a very restricted sense - my own and that of kindred, and of a few tried friends, who have urged the undertaking. If some of these may, perchance, find a kernel of profit out of the mass of chaff attendant, my idle half-hours in the postmeridian of life will not have been entirely misspent.

        Apropos of books of a reminiscent character, it is a crude opinion of mine that only two classes are entitled to write them, namely, those who have made history themselves, or those who have been brought in close contact and acquaintance with the class who have. Of right to write by rule prescribed, I make no claim, and abjure all pretension on basis number one. On that of number two, I think I may, without incurring the suspicion of vanity or arrogance, jot down some few of many reminiscences connected with illustrious personages, for it was my proud privilege to be brought in close touch with many of them.

Page 8

        Conspicuous amongst these, in boyhood and maturer age, was a quartet, or rather quintet, of world-recognized gentlemen and historical heroes. I knew and honored and loved them, each and all, and thank the Master that it was my blessed prerogative to have been born of their tribe and racial line of thought. By name, they are known as John C. Calhoun, Andrew Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Albert Sidney Johnston, and Wade Hampton. Others there were, fitting compeers of even such as these; but, as I am essaying memoir only, - not history, - they are not mentioned by nomenclature. The Muse of History will, doubtless, align with the others Robert E. Lee, Thomas J. Jackson, and Nathan B. Forrest, only the first-named of whom was known to me personally, and but slightly; the last so casually as not to justify the claim of acquaintance on my part, and the second, not at all. Hence this reticence. Booked they all are for highest niches in "Walhalla."

        In discussing this batch of "preux-chevaliers," and others of kindred soul but less resplendent lustre, as well as others still, who can set up no claim to kinship with such immaculates as these, it is proposed to do so fairly and dispassionately, but with no mawkish observance of the classic adage - "De mortuis nil, nisi bonum." If allusion is made to such as Nero, Caligula, Commodus, or Domitian, in an earlier age; or to Alva, Jeffreys, or the Guises, in more recent times, chance position of the culprit will not restrain anathema, or rather, harsh criticism. Silence is sometimes culpable. "The rank is but the guinea's stamp; a spade's a spade, for all that." Some have deemed me aforetime too plain of speech, in not calling that useful implement by a more euphemistic synonym. To such, the reply is that having used unvarnished old English up to the allotted span of man, it is now too late to acquire a modulated and more euphonic dialect in dealing with knaves, shams, and pretenders.

Page 9

        If there is any merit in my desultory writings, having been a scribbler off and on through life, it consists in thorough conviction and pointedness of expression. Those who object to that style might as well close the little volume. Rosewater and diluted catnip is repugnant to taste, and unsuited to my genius. The field is already overcrowded with that sort, men who shun a positive, unequivocal expression of opinion on men, measures, and policies, as they would a bolt from a catapult.

        January 1, 1900.

Page 11


Page 14


Page 15



        While making no claim to merit on the line genealogic, still I am not debarred, by excessive modesty, from saying that my forbears are of good, honorable, and unblemished record, running back more than a century in this country and embracing six or eight generations of "traceable grandfathers," both on the paternal and maternal side of the house. Many of them were of marked name, trait, and characteristic, and none ever false to himself, his blood, or his manhood, as far as my researches go. The fountain source of migration was, in every instance, "English, pure and undefiled," for which Heaven be praised. There was not a Tory in the stock in the Revolutionary War, nor a traitor or renegade to the South in the "War between the States"; very few of these last since then. All branches flowed from Virginia and North Carolina into Tennessee, where concentration set in, towards the close of the eighteenth century. As a rule, they were ever planters and tillers of the soil, although some few sided off into professional and mechanical pursuits. Such is a simple and succinct statement of family history. It is one of which no scion of any house in this broad land could be ashamed. Let him, who can match it, say "Laus Deo!" in all fervor.

        My father, Thomas J. Green, of Warren County, North Carolina, afterwards General Green of Texan Revolutionary fame, married my mother, Sarah A. Wharton, of Nashville, Tennessee, on January 8, 1830. She was the daughter of Honorable Jesse Wharton, at one time United States Senator in Congress. They moved to his plantation, near St. Mark's, Florida, where I was born on February 28, 1831. By death I sustained the irretrievable loss of this last dear parent on

The residence of my great grandfather, Joseph Phillips, six miles form Nashville, Tenn., which he settled and built in 1791. He and his wife having traveled from Edgecombe County, North Carolina, the seat of their respective families by wagon and located this spot which is still owned by one of their granddaughters, Mrs. Margaret Polk. Their progeny to-day by close computation numbering between four and five hundred.

Page 16

March 11, 1835, being thus deprived of her ministering care at the early age of four years. She had met with the same great affliction when barely one year old. She was only twenty-three, and her mother twenty-six, at the time of death. The thought that oft recurred - would I not have been a better man had her life been spared a few years longer? Not that I have any right or cause to complain of the dear hands that received me. On the contrary, never did motherless waif pass into gentler and more considerate keeping. A few lines descriptive of this peculiarly interesting couple (my uncle, Joe Wharton, and his wife, Caroline) will not be out of place. They had married about the time that my parents did, and had the incipiency of a young family, which later on increased to large proportions. Two of their sons, and a son-in-law, died fighting for liberty, and the regret of both was that they could not duplicate their tender to the Cause. They took me into their house as if I had been one of their little fold, and for the nine or ten years succeeding accorded precisely the same. May their souls rest in peace, and their reward be commensurate to their unpretentious good works. Fortunately, they were well to do. A thousand broad acres of as inviting land as Middle Tennessee contains was their abiding-place, with forty or fifty sleek, overfed, contented negroes to cultivate them. The recollection of that home and the blessed spirit pervading it is a veritable dream of Arcadia.

        Every thing used on the place was raised or made on the place, except sugar, coffee, powder and lead, and a few woman's fixings. The men-folk dressed in homespun, and were well content to get it. With no attempt at ostentation or display, they were nevertheless the most bountiful livers for their means, and in their simple way, that I have ever known. Hospitality was a synonym for home, the latchstring being ever on the outside of the door. In those blessed days, there were but few things to cause pain or occasion

Page 17

trouble. Primarily of these were, by alliteration, pedagogues, pinafores, and apparitions. Especially was the pedagogue my pet abomination, being almost ever of the genus ignoramic, tyrannic, or pompostic, individually, or in combination. Being a tyrant hater by nature as well as by inheritance, one of my grandfathers having been of that honorable Commission of Forty (afterwards known as "Regicides") that cut off the head of one Charles Stuart, about the last of that crown-wearing tribe of tyrants in England. God be praised both the sceptre-bearing and rod-wielding specimens of the vile tribe are fast becoming extinct. Tyranny has had its day!

        Dionysius, the historic tyrant, is dead; and so is his pedagogic successor, Dionysius, the terror of schoolboys. I write feelingly in behalf of the boy to be, having been a boy myself, under that merciless regime. They all seemed to have a special hate against me, and, to be candid, there was little love lost between us, as certified by old smarts and long-dormant grudge for having received them for nothing. Unfortunately, the other fellow had 'whip hand,' and 'hinc lachrymae.' But there was one day when the boys would get the upper hand of the dominie, and that was "turning-out" day of blessed memory. (See Judge Longstreet's description in "Georgia Scenes.")

        My father left a young negro woman, Lucinda by name, to wait on me in my juvenile years. She had been my nurse, and was devoted to me, but, unfortunately, her head was full of African 'folk-lore' and superstitions, in which the horrible predominated, all of which naturally passed into my own cranium. Being of a credulous and impressive temperament, they made a most baleful and baneful impress on the imagination until nine or ten years of age, especially when having to sleep in a room by myself. Many a night in mid-summer have I slept with head under blankets to shut out a

Page 18

devil's 'high carnival' in dread apprehension. It is easy to look back and smile at these fancies and conjurations of juvenile years, but at the time it was no laughing matter, but veritable purgatorial torture. I sincerely trust that few boys or girls have ever suffered a tithe as much in those tender years. To make the hallucination utterly inexplicable in my case, it was notorious that I could "lick" any boy in school though my superior by long odds in pounds, inches, and age. This, perhaps, was at times needlessly done to convince myself that I was not a coward for standing in such mortal terror of the devil and his imps, and rawhides and bloody bones. More singular still, I didn't believe in that absurd phantasmagoria any more then than to-day. This is the honest experience of a lad who was, and admits he was, afraid of ghosts and goblins, and yet did not believe in their existence. What a strange anomaly the mind is any way.

        Now for the third, and last, misery of my boyhood life at that early stage, - 'pinafores.' At the time of beginning life in this rustic paradise, there was left an elaborate supply of juvenile toggery, appropriate to a picnic or a Sunday-school, but entirely out of place in a day-school for country children. This I realized very early, and importuned raiment befitting surroundings. My aunt, however, being of a frugal mind, thought it expedient that they should be worn before outgrown. As they invariably exhibited a soiled and battered show-up after school was out, she concluded to add checked aprons to the 'get-up,' as a sort of armor-protector. An extra fight or two for days succeeding, for the twit of being 'a gal,' led to the conclusion, on my part, that this addendum in raiment was not suited to my 'style of beauty.' And so they disappeared, to be substituted by a 'dressing' of another sort on reaching home. My aunt, though later on a 'rebel,' so-called, herself, was not prone to tolerate rebellion to established authority in her little domain. And so the contest continued

Page 19

between us, day after day, until the supply of the obnoxious things was exhausted, or else the dear good soul's patience and powers of endurance. It seems to me, after these long years, that she tacitly called a truce. Certes, there was no 'Appomattox' for me in that momentous struggle for the 'Rights of Man.'

        It was a miniature prelude to another struggle soon to follow on a far more extended scale. I know that my aunt thought she was right in this needless assertion of prerogative, for she never did a thing in her blessed life that wouldn't stand that primary test. Perhaps, too, Bill Seward and his puppets thought the same in their sublime assertion of prerogative. And yet, is it not barely possible that each might have been slightly out of reckoning? I could not help thinking then, and still maintain, that it is a desecration to try to turn a boy into a girl or a dude. Not that girls are not an essential factor in the world's economy and make-up; but still, no true boy wants to be one, much less that nondescript other thing. Let it be said, that those are the only whippings this my second mother ever gave me, with the exception of an occasional one for a Sunday fishing escapade. Uncle Joe never struck me a lick in his life, that comes to recollection, probably thinking I got my full complement at school. Be it said, that whilst pedagogic brutality was sometimes met by puny and impotent resistance, I always took my Aunt Caroline's corrections like a little man.

        And so the period of first boyhood passed by, and the tenth year beginning, say, the secondary period came on. By that time I was a strong, robust, double-jointed specimen of juvenile humanity. Am glad to say my constitution, by that time grounded, was strengthened by the next four or five years of active outdoor exercise, riding, hunting, fishing, etc. My health has always been exceptionally good, up to the near

Page 20

approach of the Biblical limit of the years of man's pilgrimage. At least, it was so until this vile imported foreign disease, called 'La Grippe,' put in an appearance a year or so ago. That has not only impaired physical stamina, but worse by far, changed a disposition naturally gentle, forbearing, and amiable, into the morose and melancholic order. Never thought it would please me. The orthography is too Frenchy for the ear of an Englishman.

Page 21


        The second stage of these puerilities naturally calls for a new chapter.

        My Uncle Joe was an inborn sportsman, one of the finest shots, both with the rifle and shotgun, that I have ever known. In due time these were permitted me to use, glorious privilege that it was. He was the owner likewise of one of the finest packs of hounds in Tennessee, and one of the highest delights in life was to follow them in his company. Those dogs in after years became my sole and exclusive property by deed of gift from his son Bob, who was not averse to becoming the son-in- law of one of the largest sheep raisers in the country, who naturally had a repugnance to the whole canine family, both of high and low degree. Alas! poor Bob, after sacrificing his pets to propitiate the father, failed to win the consent of the daughter, thus losing "Tray, Blanche, Sweetheart, and all." Cousin Robert had my heartfelt sympathy, especially for the loss of 'Sweetheart,' but when he asked for a cancellation of the aforesaid deed, I couldn't see it. Poor Bob, it is too mean to spring the story on you at this late day, but it was too good to keep all to myself. Still, in this sad, sad tale may be seen confirmation of the old saw - "Patient waiters are no losers." Though Robert never fed his father's flocks on the Grampian Hills, he, nevertheless, married one of the finest and finest- looking women in all those parts, and can count a round baker's dozen of boys and girls around him, whom he and his good wife can call their own.

        Up to that date I had escaped juvenile ailments, including the tender passion and the measles. Exemption from the first was probably due to native bashfulness and dread of 'strange creatures.' Next to a lean, lanky, bonified ghost, nothing was so terrible as a fat, laughing, romping, rosy-cheeked

Page 22

girl. They seemed to know, by instinct, that they had me 'hacked,' and it was their delight to play on my fears. And yet, it was only a vague, ill-defined apprehension at the bottom. The thought never occurred that they would bite me any more than that demons would rend me, but they scared all the same. The incipient sisterhood ought to know better than to make sweet faces and frighten poor innocent lads.

        But the measles! The whole school had it and could stay at home, but it was not for me to take it.

        When the tender passion did awake, each attack was of a virulent type, the first love-spell especially. It came on in the fourteenth or fifteenth year. By the way, the incertitude as to precise dates of important events here shown is a fact that is going to give trouble in the furtherance of this self-imposed task, never having kept a connected diary as every boy and girl, and man and woman, should. But to return to my first love. "Inamorata" had the advantage by about a dozen years. It was a case of unrequited affection. She treated me meanly. Of course, such ill-mated ardor had to find utterance by the mouth of the ink-bottle. Yes, let it be confessed, I wrote her, aye, in burning words, telling of never having loved another, and of unalterable devotion to her. Either through the direct agency of that superannuated young female, or by surreptitious means, to me unknown, that billet-doux passed into the hands of all others most objectionable, those of my paternal ancestor. Perhaps, he didn't make himself merry, and me miserable, by reference to and quotation from that injudicious and ill-starred epistolary effusion. These were usually of the merry twinkle of the eye sort of order, but none the less galling. It cured me of love letters for a long time to follow. Moral: "Boys, do not write them; girls, do not answer them; and thus the evil will be cured."

Page 23

        A mile from the house was the millpond, replete with fine perch, and it afforded endless enjoyment, for I have ever been a devotee of the rod - of the fishing-rod, be it understood.

        And so the world sped on for nine or ten years after entering this ideal home of boyhood. One day, on returning from the creek, soiled, wet, barefoot, coatless, a stranger met me on entering. He was one of the most superb specimens of manly good looks that I had ever seen up to that time, or have ever seen since, and most faultlessly attired. He looked the soldier in every lineament, movement and gesture, and as one born to command. He was my father, and embraced me warmly. Kiss me, he did not, and never did, but taught me to despise that mode of salutation between men as effeminate and savoring too much of the Latin races, none of which stood high in his estimation.

        A separate chapter will be devoted to General Green later on.

Page 24


        The next day saw me in the hands of the village tailor.

        After emerging, I hardly knew myself, or was recognizable to others, such a complete transmogrification having been wrought in the outer man. The day after, I made my entry into the wide, wide world beyond.

        After mutual lamentations between my aunt, the children and myself, my uncle having walked off a piece, we started to Nashville, thirty-three miles off, by hired conveyance. Eighteen miles from Lebanon stands "The Hermitage," the home of one of the grandest and most remarkable men of this country and century, or those of any others. General Green had been a favored young friend of the grand old man in his earlier years, and had spent some time as his guest. His admiration for him was so great that he bestowed the name of the old hero on me, his only child. Note. This I continued to bear until the Nullification and Force Proclamation induced us both to reflect that it would be as well to substitute for the old gentleman's first name (Andrew) my mother's maiden name Wharton, which has clung to me ever since. That political blunder of his was the only act that we deplored.

        Of course, there was no passing such a spot without stopping. On being told that the General was still in bed, my father told the servant not to disturb him, but to give his card on arousing. As we were starting back to the vehicle, the servant rushed back exclaiming: "Master says don't go, but come right in." Be it said that for this deviation from the rule against seeing visitors, the great question of Texan Annexation was then just in the bloom, President Polk having been installed in office only a month before. His great predecessor was so deeply absorbed in this momentous issue that,

Page 25

although only six weeks from the grave, he had himself helped up and arrayed in his morning gown, seated in easy chair with pipe lit, and talked by the hour on this matter nearest his heart with one fresh from the Lone-Star Republic, and presumably posted on the drift of opinion in that quarter. Here was illustration of the old saying - "The ruling passion strong in death." One remark impressed me: - "Let me live to see that consummated, and I can depart in peace." Other things he said that still remain on memory's tablets.

        After a while, as illustrating his proverbial politeness and consideration for others, evidently thinking the conversation was dull to a boy, he sent for one of his young kinsmen of about my age (if not at fault his grandson and namesake), and told him to take me in the garden and show me the flowers. He showed more, namely Aunt Rachel's and Uncle Andrew's graves, side by side, and covered by a little summer-house-like structure. "But the General isn't dead," I put in. "All the same," was the reply, "but he wanted to have it this way, and you know he has always had his own way." To this I assented with the after-thought of after-years - "except when Aunt Rachel put in her mild veto, supplemented with tears." God bless them both! for the "give-in," on such occasions, of that iron, and otherwise inflexible, will.

        On taking leave, he placed his hands upon my head, and gave me his blessing. Later on in life, two others of the world's celebrities did the same, barring the manipulation, thus wise.

        As we were returning from a country-drive one afternoon in Rome, we met the head of a pontifical cortege in carriages, returning from some church festival or other religious duty. Being in Rome, etc., I naturally conformed to the customs of Rome, alighted, and stood uncovered until the carriage of Pio Nono had passed. To our surprise, it stopped abreast, and

Page 26

the venerable Pontifex Maximus, for whom I have ever since felt the highest respect, had his driver stop, and, leaning out of the window, bestowed the "benedicite" (if correct in Church nomenclature), and moved on. Whether that good old man's good wish has kept me immune from the ills of life, I am not prepared to say, but appreciate the force of the great Hildebrand's reproof to the stiff-necked and stiff-kneed young Englishman, who refused to kneel at High-Mass in St. Peter's: - "My son, the blessing of an old man will do thee no hurt."

        The third instance apposite was at "Beauvoir," Mississippi, of which more, perhaps, anon.

        It would seem that I ought to have turned out to be a much better specimen than I have, after so much benediction from sources most highly appreciated, each world-mover, as he was. If the blessing of three such good old men as these availeth not to keep a poor wayward child out of the burning, then tell me not of a conjoint one of the whole College of Cardinals, with the eleven thousand virgins of Cologne thrown in for good measure.

        On leaving that historic home of the most pronounced, not to say remarkable, character in American history, I could but remark on the judicious judgment in selection and the good taste in its development. Everything evinced the eye and touch of the natural artist in all of its concomitants and surroundings. The "Hermitage neighborhood" had long been a synonym for refinement, high tone, and hospitality, up to the outbreak of the war, as I can aver from frequent visits thereabouts later on in early manhood. The fertility of the soil and adaptability to agriculture were in keeping with those exalted traits of the owners. In the heart of that lovely region it was that the hero of the most wonderful battle, and one of the most unique and phenomenal careers on record, built his house and reared his beautiful and peaceful home in

Page 27

the latter part of one of the stormiest and yet withal one of the most uniformly successful lives, on a grand historic scale, that any man can point to.

        His previous homes, from the one-room cabin in Western North Carolina, in which his grand old Irish mother had blessed the world at large, but more especially her newly adopted country, with a hero, a sage, a statesman, and, above all, a MAN. His homes, I say, and surroundings, had not been of the highest aesthetic type, but he was at home where-ever he was, from the aforesaid cabin to the Presidential mansion. He was a marked figure in every sphere and station of life. This power of adaptability to change of conditions and circumstances has been adduced by a great thinker as one of the most infallible proofs of inborn gentility, if not of highest order of genius. He was right, and here was an exemplar of the combination. Of him it may be said, if of any, - "And thus he bore, without reproach, the grand old name of gentleman"; the best definition of which rare character, as given by Thackeray, is - "It is to be gentle and generous, brave and wise, and having these qualifications, to exercise them in the most graceful manner." This he exemplified always, as Bayard might have done at times, Chesterfield never.

        Of him was said by a newly arrived French ambassador: - "This, Mr. Secretary of State, is the surprise of my life. I went in with you expecting to find a boor in your Chief Magistrate, and I tell you now, in all soberness, that I know not his counterpart for refinement in the court of my own country." High praise that from a Frenchman.

        In that lovely section of country, he drew around him on neighboring plantations many of his wife's kindred, having none of his own. These, and other congenial homes in the surrounding country, made it one of the most famous residential quarters in the entire country. Such was the fitting

Page 28

retreat of the old hero in the closing years of his most remarkable career. Here it was rounded off some six or eight weeks after the visit referred to, in peace and good will with all mankind, as he declared to his beloved pastor, Dr. Edgar, some time before the end came. No man ever had such hosts of warm, devoted friends, and few, such virulent and implacable foes. The first he owed to his undeviating sincerity, utter fearlessness, and devotion to duty, both public and private. The last were due, in great measure, to his self-assertiveness whenever his conscience told him he was in the right. Assertive he usually was when so convinced; needlessly aggressive, most rarely. Most marked instance of this last was his quarrel with a brother-giant, Mr. Calhoun, whose nature was cast in a kindred mould.

        He ever met the puppy impertinence of "unworthies," whether on his own social plane or not, with silent and sovereign contempt, until it called for the cane, the cowhide, or the pistol. It must be confessed, too, that in his earlier manhood he fought cocks, raised and ran race-horses, and deported himself generally like an untamed young war-horse of the young country in which his lot was cast. But there was no duplicity or sniveling or hypocrisy in his make-up. He wore his badge upon his sleeve, and it bore the impress - "truth, courage, honor, country, charity," and his escutcheon was never belied. True, perhaps, at that stage he was not a model specimen of approved orthodox "high society," a "400" sort of artificial thing; but he was what that pack of popinjays could not evolve in a million years - a MAN, - such as the poet called for -

                        "Give me a man that's all a man,
                        Who stands up straight and strong;
                        Who loves the plain and simple truth,
                        And scorns to do a wrong."
                        There he was!

Page 29

        The last time I visited this tomb of a hero was just three years ago, on the occasion of the Confederate Veterans' Reunion in Nashville, in 1897, in company of my wife, youngest daughter, and Mrs. Mary Donelson Wilcox of Washington, daughter of President Jackson's Private Secretary, Andrew J. Donelson, and the first child ever born in the White House. It was a privilege to have this accomplished woman for a cicerone midst the scenes of her girlhood days, replete with incident and childhood memories of Uncle Andrew. It was one of the mysterious charms that he possessed, that all children loved him after their brief acquaintance. He seemed to crave the company of the little ones, probably because he and Rachel had none of their own, and he, not a known relation in the world. The great man was lonesome.

Page 30


        Perhaps, it may be said by some that the preceding chapter is a little too effusive in laudation of this extraordinary man. To such be it said, that the estimate given is the mature conviction of life-long reading and reflection in maturer years. In boyhood days, he was far from being one of my ideal heroes, for that period had been passed in the strongest Whig county, I believe, in the United States, where party passion ran to the highest pitch, and my juvenile mind had been unconsciously tinctured with antipathies against our neighbor, just over the Wilson border, closely akin to what had until lately been felt for the devil. And yet, here was a philosophic Warwick, who made Presidents and shaped policies, in his voluntary retiracy. Tell me not, ye partisan bigots, that this man was not a giant among giants. He stands on the historic scroll so inscribed, and all the puny malignity of partisan and sectional hate cannot wipe it out. In all reverence, be it said; God be praised, he was a North Carolinian.

        I come now to speak of another character of kindred type, if not the same effulgent shine - my father.

        General Thomas Jefferson Green; a sketch from the North Carolina University Magazine, 1892, No. 5, by his son, W. J. Green.

        Despite the possible imputation that praise of a near kinsman is only a sort of reflected self-laudation, I venture to give the outline of the life-story of my nearest male progenitor, premising that if space permitted a fuller recital, the lives of few would furnish more varied and startling incident.

        To briefly summarize. In the fifteen years of his active public life he had been a representative in one or the other branch of no less than four different State legislatures, a


Page 31

brigadier-general in command during the Texan revolution, had laid the foundation of three cities now in train of full-fledged development, had by legislative enactment established the boundary line between Texas and Mexico, which led to the war between the United States and Mexico and the resulting acquisition by us of New Mexico, Arizona, California and Nevada; and was the first active advocate of a railroad to the Pacific, giving as reason imperative public necessity, gauged simply from a military standpoint, and without reference to the great East Indian trade, which has been the making (omitting unmaking) of every State claiming its monopoly. There is a record, and a sustainable record, of which no man need be ashamed.

        Born amidst the throes of political revolution, of which Jefferson and Hamilton were the incarnate embodiment of antagonizing ideas, he received the name and espoused the teachings of the first, and clung to them with unwavering tenacity until his final dissolution amdist the mighty clash of arms resulting some three-score years later on. He ever held that his namesake was the wisest political thinker of all times, and that Mr. Calhoun was his worthy disciple. No public act of his did he ever deplore or deprecate, save his ungenerous persecution of a kindred intellect and on the same line of thought. Speaking of this last, self-poised and self-reliant, shipwrecked by emotional clamor and the force of circumstances, he has been heard to declare that "the best-directed bullet that ever left the mouth of a pistol was when Colonel Burr pulled trigger on the heights of Weehawken."

        He once took that unfortunate gentleman as text to inculcate a lesson to me. "Whilst Colonel Burr pushed his contempt of invidious public opinion to a fatal extreme, I would nevertheless have you, my son, imitate him to the extent of not attaching undue weight to the fulsome praise of overzealous friends or the covert dispraise of inimical mouthers.

Page 32

He, whose life motto is 'mens sibi conscia recti,' will not be unduly elated or depressed by either."

        He was partly educated at Chapel Hill, and partly at the United States Military Academy. Returning home, he was elected to the General Assembly shortly after attaining his majority. Shortly thereafter he married the daughter of Hon. Jesse Wharton, of Nashville, Tennessee, who had figured in both houses of Congress from that State. Thereupon he removed to Florida, then a territory, and engaged in planting until the death of his young wife five years later, having represented his county in the Legislature during that time. He thereupon repaired to Texas, which had lately declared her independence of Mexico, and tendered his services to the young republic, just then emerging into statehood. It is safe to assert that no corresponding population of any age or country ever possessed such a galaxy of adventurous, daring spirits, and brilliant, brainy, cultured men. They poured in from all sections and many countries, but notably from the Southern States. A common impulse actuated all, namely, to throw off the Mexican yoke and to erect a new republic identical with that on the other side of the Sabine.

        When it is taken into account that the incipient State covered an area about seven times greater than North Carolina, and was occupied by a meager population, barely exceeding that of Wake County to-day, and that these had deliberately resolved to measure blades and try conclusions with an adjacent nation nearly two hundred to a unit in excess of numbers, the purpose ranks either as the superlative of madness or the sublimity of heroism. They dared to do it, and they did it.

        Odds considered, it eclipses all the revolutions of antecedent time. Of course minimum in numbers had to be compensated by maximum in men, and so it was. There were no dwarfs or cowards there, but "men, high-minded

Page 33

men," and mostly of good old English stock. By any others the attempt would have been the acme of lunacy. Consider but a few of them, for small as their number was, it was too extended for a muster-roll. There was Branch T. Archer, "the old Roman," the father of the revolution; Albert Sidney Johnston, by a later war catalogued with the recognized few greatest captains of all time; John Wharton, "the keenest blade that flashed on the field of San Jacinto," and William, his well- mated brother; Mirabeau Lamar, statesman, soldier, poet, philanthropist, with inherent intellect permeating every drop of his blood. There was Felix Huston, of fame punctilious, and grand old Ruske, and Henderson, Hamilton, Houston, Burleson, Burnet, Hunt, Milam Travis, Crockett, Bee, Hays, McCulloch, Moore, Fisher, Sherman, Wilson, Anson Jones, Lubock, Smith, and a legion of others too numerous to mention - heroes, one and all.

        "Souls made of fire, and children of the sun," were they, imbued with hatred of oppression and love of adventure. General (and afterwards Governor and Senator) Foote places the subject of this memoir in the forefront rank of those gallant spirits for services rendered his adopted country. (Vide "Texas and Texans.") We challenge any historic State, numbers considered, to mate at juncture that matchless chivalry in all the lofty attributes of true manhood. Let the slur of witlings be admitted that some there were in that heterogenous population "who had quit their country for their country's good." I, for one, will maintain, if need be, before a college of cardinals, that self- sacrifice that prompted the following of such as these condoned much previous offending.

        Charity is first in the eye of the Most High. Where can higher illustration be found than in heroism which prompts self- immolation for principle and for posterity? Who knows that when the golden gates are being besieged by clamorous

Page 34

claim for admittance, "Goliad" and "The Alamo" will not constitute better passport to the sympathetic old janitor, who upon a generous impulse could chop off an ear, than will psalmody, unsupported by regard for the rights of others? I can but believe that Peter will strain a point when Crockett and Travis and Fannin knock.

        Arriving in Texas in 1836, he was commissioned brigadier- general and directed to return to "the States" and raise a brigade. This he promptly did, absorbing his entire fortune in the effort. Whilst so engaged in New Orleans a ludicrous incident is reported to have occurred in one of the Episcopal churches of that city. There was a striking likeness between his kinsman, the Rev. Leonidas Polk, and himself. One Sunday some of his recruits chanced to stray into a church where the later-on fighting bishop was officiating. One of them, mistaking him for his senior officer, who was not over-clerically inclined, remarked, loud enough to be heard by most of the congregation: "Well, boys, who'd a thought it? Uncle Jeff a-preaching, and in his shirt-tail at that." It is needless to add that an unorthodox smile spread over the worshippers.

        In the meanwhile the decisive battle of San Jacinto had been won against overwhelming odds, and the Mexican Generalissimo was a puling prisoner. Fate so ordained that General Green should arrive at Velasco on the identical day that Santa Anna was released and placed on a war vessel to be carried to Vera Cruz. General Green, believing this to be an unauthorized exercise of power on the part of some one, protested against its being carried out. Together with Generals Hunt and Henderson, under authority of President Burnet, he went on board and brought him ashore. This action was fully sustained by the government, and the tyrant was consigned to his custody for safe keeping. During the time, he was my father's guest and bed-fellow. When their relations

Page 35

were subsequently reversed, General Green was made to feel acutely his long pent-up venom. The Mexican assassin ordered him heavily ironed and made to work the roads. This last he emphatically refused to do, though threatened with death as the alternative. (See his Journal.)

        For a while the young republic enjoyed comparative immunity after her big neighbor had been taught on the San Jacinto the sort of material she was made of. But later on Mexico relying on numbers and resources, and her President having partially recovered from his panic, incident to the San Jacinto 'grip' and consequent confinement, began his incursions again, and carried them on in a most merciless and demoniac spirit, scarcely equalled in barbaric atrocity by any civilized people since the devastation of the Palatinate.

        Then it was, as if by common consent of the sturdy settlers; a counter-invasion was resolved upon. A force of two or three thousand was assembled, and all clamorous for retaliation. But, through executive, sharp practice and chicane, President Houston being opposed to the movement, the bulk of them was induced to disband and return to their homes. Some seven hundred, however, resolved to remain, and, under command of General Somerville, an appointee of President Sam Houston, crossed into Mexico. Their commander, however, imitating the King of France, marched over, and then marched back again. Then, under implied executive authority, he started homewards with something like one-half of his command.

        Three hundred and four gallant fellows, however, refused to go, and determined to recross the Rio Grande and try conclusions on the enemy's ground. The battle of Mier was the consequence, in which two hundred and sixty-one (261) Texans, after inflicting a loss of over three times their number upon a force of two thousand three hundred and forty

Page 36

(2,340) under General Ampudia, were cajoled into a surrender by false claim and falser promise. It is well-established fact that General Green, the second in command, protested most loudly against such promise, and called for a hundred volunteers to cut their way through the enemy's lines. These not being forthcoming, he was surrendered with the rest, after firing with effect the two last shots and breaking his arms.

        They were then started on foot for the Castle of Perote for safe keeping, that being the strongest fortress in Mexico; Colonel Fisher, General Green, and Captain Henrie as interpreter, being kept in advance as hostages for the good behavior of the others. When considerably advanced in the country, he found means to communicate with the command, and enjoined upon them to make a break if opportunity occurred, without regard to himself and the other two. This they did at Salado, overpowering and disarming a guard of more than twice their number, and started back for Texas. Subsequently they were recaptured in the mountains, in a starving condition and perishing of thirst. Then ensued one of the crowning infamies of Mexico's President - the tyrant, Santa Anna. By his bloodthirsty order, every tenth man of that little band of heroes was, by lot, taken out and assassinated. Upon receipt of news of it, a halt was called and the hostages told to dismount in order to carry out his orders to shoot them.

        All preliminaries to the command "Fire!" being arranged, the captain, who was a devout son of the Established Church, bethought himself of one oversight. "Gentlemen," he said, through the interpreter, "would you not like priestly consolation before we part company?" "Tell him no," was my father's rejoinder; "that we belong to a race that knows but one Father confessor, and He seems to be unknown in this God-forsaken country."

Page 37

        Being then asked if he would like to make a dying speech, the reply was: "Tell him yes, Dan, I have a dying speech to make; that I had begun to think we were in charge of a gentleman and a soldier, but now discover the mistake; that, like most of his mongrel race, he is only a d--d cowardly assassin and hireling butcher."

        Poor Dan, who taught me Spanish a little later on, and who was by act of the United States Congress a little later recognized hero of "Encarnacion," was of incalculable service to General Taylor on the eve of Buena Vista, by information conveyed by him by means of one of the most reckless escapes ever made after that surrender. The incident deserves more than passing notice. Captain Henrie (Dan) was an ex-midshipman in the United States navy, and laughed at danger as he did at most other things. He was amongst the first to volunteer in the Mexican war, giving as a reason that he intended "to get even with the green-backed mulattoes over the Grande." When Colonel Clay's command, on advanced service, was surrounded and captured at Encarnacion, Dan was of the number. General Ampudia, recognizing him, remarked: "And so, Captain Henrie, we are to have the pleasure of your company back to Perote!" "Excuse me General," was the saucy reply; "when I travel I generally select my own company." The Colonel, who was riding a high-mettled thoroughbred by courtesy of the captor, rode up to Dan shortly after the march was begun, and told him in undertone that it was all-important that General Taylor should be advised that the enemy were concentrating in overwhelming force in that quarter. "Get me in your stirrups Colonel, and I'll take it to him, or die," was the prompt reply. This was effected on the plea that he, the Colonel, would like for one of his men to tone down his charger. Dan, of course, was the man selected. As soon as he was in the saddle he began to make the noble animal restive by a sly application

Page 38

of the spur, and then suddenly driving them both in to the rowels, he rode through and over half a dozen mustangs and their riders, and, though a thousand "escopitas" were emptied at him, he and his horse escaped without a scratch. Waving his hat, he yelled back: "Adios, Ampudia; tell old Peg-Leg (Santa Anna) we'll give him hell." In briefest time possible the news was conveyed to "Old Zack." In recognition of the feat, Congress voted the hero six thousand dollars ($6,000) and two thousand (2,000) acres of land (if I am correct as to quantity), and Dan lived upon it like a fighting cock for three whole months, and a little later on died in the Charity Hospital, St. Louis, true to the last to man's noblest instincts and to all of his host of friends, except himself.

        Captain Henrie, I say, used laughingly to remark that whilst the General's "dying speech was rendered in my best and most expressive Castilian," I took the liberty of adding on my own hook: "Captain, them's not my sentiments; I know you to be muy valiente." Dan further added that the effect produced by the "dying speech" was electric, and just the reverse of that anticipated. "Tell him," exclaimed the Mexican officer, "he is not mistaken. If General Santa Anna requires paid butchers, he will have to find a substitute for me. Mount, gentlemen, and let's push on."

        Close shaving, that! Finally, the whole party were locked up in Perote's dungeon keep. Before they had well gotten their new quarters warm, objecting to the cold comfort they afforded, sixteen of the most resolute determined to vacate them and re-immigrate to Texas. To do this they had to cut through an eight-foot wall composed of a volcanic rock harder than granite, and with most crude and indifferent utensils to work with. It was a conception sufficient to have appalled even Baron Trenck, whom all the State prisons of Prussia could not restrain. It required weeks and months of unremitting work to do it, but finally it was done; and on the night

Page 39

of July 2, 1843, they crawled through the narrow aperture, which six months of starvation made easier for them, let themselves down by means of a small rope to the bottom of the moat, some twenty or thirty feet below, scaled the opposite side and a "chevaux de frise" beyond, and stood up free once more, but carrying their lives in hand. Here they separated, by preconcert, into parties of two; General Green and our old friend, Captain Dan Henrie, going together and striking out for Vera Cruz. Eight of them, after incalculable sufferings, hardships and hairbreadth escapes, including the two last named, got back to Texas. The other eight were recaptured.

        All of the special details, incidents and anecdotes connected with these splendid achievements were graphically told by General Green in "The Texan Expedition Against Mier," an octavo volume of some five hundred pages, published by the Harpers in 1845, a work extensively sold, which many of your older readers will doubtless recall, now out of print.

        Shortly after his arrival at home, he was returned to the Congress of Texas, where he was unremitting in his efforts to effect the release of his unfortunate comrades whom he left in Mexican dungeons. This was finally effected, some twelve months later on, after some of their original number had paid the extreme penalty that cowardly tyranny can extort from freedom's champions when the opportunity offers. This imperfect tribute to their valor and endurance is being penned on the forty-ninth Christmas anniversary of that wonderful fight.

        During his legislative service he introduced the bill making the Rio Grande the boundary line between the two contending countries, which became a law, the "Neuces" being the extreme limit that Mexico would either directly or indirectly recognize. It was upon the basis of claim then set up that President Polk, after annexation, ordered troops under General Taylor to the mouth of the first-named river, which

Page 40

resulted in the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca and the war ensuing. That the acquisition of the vast and indispensable territory by the treaty of peace was worth hundreds of times more to the United States than the cost of the war amounted to, is now generally conceded.

        On the eve of annexation he returned to the United States, and shortly after married the widow of John S. Ellery, of Boston, a lady of rare worth and manifold attractions.

        Four years later (1849) we find him journeying alone through Mexico, from Vera Cruz to Acapulco, on his way to California, which was just then looming into consequence by reason of large gold discoveries. After working in the mines for a while, he was elected to the first Senate of that State and served out one term, being a prominent candidate for the United States Senate in the ensuing year.

        While in that State he projected and laid out the towns of Oro and Vallejo, the last for a while the recognized capital, and both now places of considerable repute. During his citizenship in Texas he, in connection with Dr. Archer and the Whartons, had purchased and laid out Velasco at the mouth of the Brazos, now of recognized importance, owing to recent deepening of water on the bars.

        During his sojourn in California he was made major-general of her militia and sent with an adequate force to suppress Indian disturbances in the interior, which was done. But a greater work was the defeat of what was known as the "Divorce Bill" in that first Legislature, which authorized absolute separation upon mutual request of man and wife. Unless mistaken, this infamous measure, making marriage a practical nullity, had passed the House and was about to be brought up in the Senate, with every indication of an almost unanimous vote, if taken on that day. At the time, there being few women in the State, the far-reaching and pernicious effects were not duly weighed and considered. Senators

Page 41

Green and McDougall (afterwards Governor and United States Senator) were amongst the very few in opposition to the measure; but they were earnest, and, after exhausting all the devices of parliamentary strategy possible, succeeded in postponing a vote, thereby defeating the measure.

        During the same session he introduced and had passed a bill for the establishment of a State University, which has grown to be one of the most flourishing and best endowed schools on the continent. That world-renowned scholar, Professor Daniel C. Gilman, was called from its presidency to fill the same position in the Johns Hopkins University, which he has done in a way to elicit the admiration and astonishment of the scholastic world.

        The reader will, I trust, pardon a personal reminiscence in this connection of the narrative. Shortly after Mr. Polk's inauguration as President, General Green returned to the United States, and taking me, then a small boy, with him, repaired to the Hermitage and passed the greater part of the day with his old and honored friend, ex-President Jackson. It was a visit ever to be remembered. Although but six short weeks intervened between that day and the one that saw him borne to the corner of his garden for interment, his old-time vigor of expression and enthusiasm seemed in nowise abated. The old hero had himself lifted out of bed, and whilst sitting upright in an easy chair, entered warmly into conversation with his visitor upon the current topics of the day, upon men and upon horses. Upon the question of Texan annexation he said: "Let me live to see it, and I can truly say 'Let Thy servant depart in peace.'" As we were leaving, he arose with an effort, and placing his hand upon my head gave me his blessing.

        Some four and forty years thereafter, almost to the day antedating dissolution, it was my singular good fortune to have been present at the death-bed, as it were, of another

Page 42

patriot hero, sage, and statesman. Some six weeks before his death, and by his invitation, I passed three or four days with ex-President Davis in his quiet and lovely retreat of "Beauvoir." It was indeed a personal privilege to have seen and heard those two immortal men at the same stage of their sunset. In grand heroic qualities they were of kindred type, and cast in kindred mould. Self-reliant conviction, and devotion to conviction pedestaled on high principles, was the ruling trait of each. It was the ruling trait of Cæsar, and, in lesser degree, of Cromwell, of Frederic, and of Napoleon. Coupled with high genius, and the hero is the inevitable outcome.

        In those two old men I see, and methinks posterity will see, the two most pronounced and Titanic figures of this country during the century. But a truce to digression, and return to our subject. That he was the friend of such, and of Calhoun and Albert Sidney Johnston, is a no mean letter of credit of itself.

        During the pending annexation negotiations he was tendered by Mr. Polk's administration the post of confidential agent in that matter, but declined on the ground that he was then a citizen of the other contracting power. Later on, he was indirectly offered by President Pierce another important diplomatic appointment, but again requested that his name might not be sent to the Senate.

        In his declining years he returned to his native county and settled on a plantation on Shocco Creek, known as "Esmeralda," and passed his remaining days in the cultivation of corn and tobacco, old friendships and old-fashioned hospitality. He had long foreseen and foretold as inevitable the great political crisis which resulted in the clash of arms between the sections in 1861. Whilst devoutly attached to "the Union of the Constitution," nevertheless, when he saw the trend of events and could deduce therefrom but the one alternative of sectional domination or sectional assertion, he did

In Warren County, North Carolina, my residence until final removal hence to Tokay Vineyard, Cumberland County, where I still reside.

Page 43

not hesitate which to espouse. In fact, he may be said to have been what few now are willing to confess themselves to have been - an "original secessionist," a secessionist per se. He reasoned that the solution of the dread question "by wager of battle" was unavoidable, and each recurring census told him that the longer it was deferred, the worse it would be for the assertive and weaker side. The unceasing regret of his latter days, and hastening cause of his death, was that when the mighty crisis came he was debarred by chronic disease (the gout) from taking part.

        He died, as some have said, from a broken heart, sequent upon a succession of disasters in 1863, including Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Port Hudson, and operations incident to these last.

        He died on the 12th of December, 1863, and was buried in his garden whilst the writer was a prisoner of war on Johnson's Island.

        In manner he was suave, gentle and polite, although strangers might have thought him a little brusque. In form and feature, one of the finest specimens of physical manhood ever seen. Simple and straightforward in his bearing and intercourse with all, he loathed duplicity and hypocrisy in others. Especially did he hold in unutterable abhorrence vulgar upstart pretension and pretenders, whether of the purse-proud, official, or any other variety, mattered naught. Had he made accumulation and money-making the primary object of life, he had died wealthy, for few ever had such opportunities.

        This poor notice of a pronounced and historic character and gallant gentleman cannot be more fittingly closed than by an excerpt from an address of a gifted young friend, Mr. Tasker Polk, of Warrenton, North Carolina:

        "Among all her illustrious sons of the past, there is not one at the shrine of whose memory Warren County looks with greater love and reverence than at that of General Thomas J. Green. He was generous to a fault, noble and grand, fiery

Page 44

and impulsive; heard the Texan cry for freedom, left a home of luxury, sought the field where blood like water flowed, and unsheathed his sword in defense of a stranger land, nor sheathed it till that land was freed. The cry of the oppressed reached his ear, and was answered by his unselfish heart - that heart which gave the first beat of life 'neath Warren's sky.

        "Bravely and gallantly he fought. His blood stained the plains and broad prairies of Texas, the cause for which he fought triumphed, the "Lone Star State" was saved from Mexican persecution, and his chivalric nature was satisfied. Years passed, but the memory of old Warren still remained fresh in his mind.

        "He returned to spend the remainder of his illustrious life among his people, and many yet there are who remember with pleasure how 'Esmeralda's' door, whether touched by hand of rich or poor, ever swung on the hinges of hospitality."

Page 45


        To return from this digression. We reached Nashville two hours later, and, after a week's delay, continued on north by steamboat, stopping over in Louisville a few days. At that time and place was being held a religious council, conference, convocation, or whatever the appropriate designation may be, which was pregnant with most momentous consequences a little later on.

        It was beyond my ken to grasp its import at the time. My father did, and remarked to me, when the decision was announced dividing the great Methodist Church into two bodies on sectional lines:

        "That, my son, is the entering wedge which is destined to split this Union asunder and to deluge the country in blood. Yankee bigotry, impudence, and numerical count with each recurring census, have long held the hellish purpose in contemplation, and only bides the odds that cowardice demands to set about its execution. Whilst it will prove (whatever the issue) the greatest calamity that ever befell a free people, nevertheless, if they will have it, let it come, and the sooner for us the better, owing to the aforesaid census-taker of succeeding decades."

        Was he a prophet?

        The question at issue on that grave occasion, as it recurs after a lapse of intervening years, involved the right of a bishop of that persuasion holding slaves, whether hereditary bondsmen or otherwise. The verdict rendered on that occasion by that oracular body was reproof, reprimand, insult, not only to that high dignitary, but to every subordinate canonical who might aspire to that high pinnacle. Nay, more; the vile insult reached out by implication and included every member of the laity who was or might be possessor of

Page 46

a "chattel in black," either by ancestral devise or by purchase from New England "negro-traders," ab initio, or later on. Every other church, except two, I believe, soon followed the pernicious example set.

        Thus, these in alliance with a cackling flock of fussy old maids, some in petticoats and some in breeches, with a lot of old Congressional emasculates thrown in for seasoning, was set a-boiling this hell broth of brotherly hate, which required sulphur and saltpetre, and most plethoric supplies of the combination, to tone it down. Moral: Let the church or churches attend to legitimate duties, and let extraneous ones severely alone; let the class of nondescript sex just named forswear political meetings as above their reach and comprehension; let them stay at home and rock the cradle, not of home-production contents, which nature, with wise forethought, has denied that unfortunate class, but let them borrow of their more fortunate neighbors. The advice is well meant, and if adopted will keep that whole tribe out of political pow-wows and caterwaulings, and check their insatiate and insane craving for notoriety. Let us give gratitude that our section is not favorable to such noxious, hermaphroditic, fungus growth.

        In due time - that is, about four times what it now takes - the Federal Capital was reached. Barring the public buildings, which were even then creditable to a new country, despite later-on comparisons, when they stand, as to-day, the finest in the world, the city of Washington gave little promise of its subsequent marvellous development. Muddy and unpaved streets, dwellings and stores of common structure and two or three stories in height, vacant lots almost reaching out to the dignity of corn-fields, sloshy crossings between streets! A sluggish, murky creek ran, or rather crept, through the town, euphemistically or derisively called "The Tiber." Garbage heaps and cesspools there were on all hands. Such was a most uninviting village, as seen by me and the snob Dickens

Page 47

much about the same time. It was about midway between this day and the one on which President Washington and his French protege, L'Enfant, first began work on the metropolis that was to be, half a century intervening.

        What a contrast between the straggling village and the city of to-day! What a contrast between then and now! Except in numbers, rivaling the proudest capitals in the world to-day in grandeur and magnificence, and suggesting those of ancient fame on the banks of the Tiber and Tigris. What it is destined to be at the middle of the dawning century baffles the imagination and "must give us pause." For the past last half its growth and artistic development have kept pace with the material progress of the country, which, until lately, was bounded by oceans on every cardinal side save one, until in an evil hour, lust for more land and imperial sway made oceans far too contracted for our boundary lines. The "mad sons" of Macedon and Corsica were actuated by the same boundless outreach of desire. May not republics profit by the outlined warnings of tyrants and would-be all-ruling and out-reaching despots, wearers of purple and crowns though they be? Our tribe are mighty good imitators on that line, as is now being developed.

        It has been said that only three men in recorded history have essayed the task of building a big city by systematic plan and method, who succeeded in the undertaking. These, I believe, are Alexander, Constantine, and Peter of Russia, each of whom left a monument behind adding to the immortality of its builder, whose name it bore. Here stands catalogued a fourth! Each was built by the pride of men, by subsidies and largess out of the public coffers.

        While I was in Washington I was introduced by my father to President Polk and most of his cabinet, as well as to numerous prominent gentlemen in both houses of Congress, amongst them being Hon. Robert J. Walker, Secretary of the Treasury,

Page 48

who, by common consent of most competent judges, is held to be the ablest financier who has ever held that high position. Ten years later he did me the honor to take me in his law office as junior associate with himself and Mr. Louis Janin in the capital city, having just been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States.

        From Washington the journey was continued to Ridgeway, North Carolina, to make the acquaintance of my paternal grandmother, then eighty years of age. This venerable lady impressed one from the start as one born to command, and such was the reputation that tradition gave her, after raising a dozen full-grown boys and girls. Her right to command was recognized of all, and most of all by the old campaigner who had just returned after a ten-years runaway. I am persuaded that in the even tenor of her way she instilled a wholesome respect for petticoat government on all of her immediate offspring, omitting not a progenitor of the masculine gender, who enjoyed the singular felicity of being my grandfather. And yet she was a very little woman.

        Here I remained for the next few months, studying Spanish under my father's old prison-mate, Captain Dan Henrie, and indulging my fondness for miscellaneous reading, besides getting acquainted with my paternal kindred, none of whom were previously known. As a rule, they turned out to be, like those on the maternal side of the house, a very creditable connection. Then returned to Washington and passed the winter at the old "United States Hotel," at the time one of the best caravansaries in the city, but in the march of subsequent progress now difficult to find. It stood on Pennsylvania avenue, near Four-and-a-half street.

        During that time I had for room-mate one of the most remarkable men of his age, Dr. Branch T. Archer, to whom allusion has already been made. He was the admitted first instigator to revolt against Mexican tyranny in the newly

Page 49

fledged commonwealth (Texas), and that in a town garrisoned by a thousand Mexican soldiery. He had sent out circulars to every American settler, within a radius of thirty miles, to be on hand at appointed time with rifle and bowie knife. Some three or four dozen of the sturdy fellows were there to meet him. In burning words he told of the wrongs and outrages to which the young colony had been subjected by irresponsible satraps and their minions, and appealed to their Anglo-Saxon manhood to rise on the spot and put an end to the crying shame of white men longer submitting to the sway of mongrels and mulattoes.

        His words went home, the little band rose to a man, and killed, captured or expelled the entire garrison, and Texas thence on was to all intents a free, sovereign and independent State. Never was more daring experiment tried by a single man for grander purpose. It might aptly be termed a single handed hero lynching a Regiment, or rather, as results prove, an Empire, and for the only cause that justifies lynching. Let Horatius take a back seat. Fearless as he was by nature, he could but realize the apparent foolhardiness of the venture, and had a fine thoroughbred saddled and ready at hand in case his appeal failed to strike fire. Strike it did, and won for him the proud title which he ever wore, and wears, of "Father of the Texan Revolution." Gentle and kind-hearted he was to a degree; but proud, haughty, and punctilious to a fine point, in the face of unwarranted and arrogant assumption. He was, on the whole, a sort of living embodiment of Lever's inimitable character, Count Considine, barring his superior culture and refinement. He and my father had been for long like twin brothers, living under the same roof, and the love he bore the father was naturally continued to the son. His society was ever more congenial to me than that of younger persons of more suitable years. Although he could

Page 50

have had the entree to any society at the capital, I was vain enough to think that he preferred mine, as I did his.

        In one of the evening chats over the fire, conversation leading thereto, he remarked with much feeling:

        "Jackson, never step on any man's toes; but be equally careful, my boy, that no man steps on yours. It has been my rule of conduct through life, and I have never regretted it."

        The remark is given for a purpose. In earlier manhood he had a close kinsman and bosom-friend, though differing in politics. In an evil hour a deadly insult was passed, which only blood could atone. With high attainments, keen sense of honor, and blood the bluest of the blue, it was well understood that one or the other had to die. Dr. Archer, as was well known, made every possible effort to avert the inevitable, even apologizing on "the field" and imploring his kinsman to pause and consider. The first shot settled all difficulties, and some there were who felt inclined to envy the man who had caught the bullet, for thence on the other was rarely known to smile; and yet it is hard to believe that the conscience of the survivor reproached him for what was done. The remark given above is in support of that conviction. The necessity of the act, doubtless, embittered his subsequent life, "grand, gloomy, and peculiar" as it was.

        Such was the man whom my father selected for my mentor at a most impressionable period of young life, while he was in New York superintending the publication of his book, "The Mier Expedition." I honored him then, and honor him now, for one of the bravest, straightest and brainiest gentlemen whom it has been my good fortune to know. Perhaps he was not a shining light, according to the modern acceptation of the term. He could not have made his million or millions, for the simple reason that he despised superfluous wealth and its possessors, and was essentially a high type of God's noblest handiwork - an honest man. It was

Page 51

not in him to attain high political preferment, because he would have scorned policy as too near akin to falsehood or subterfuge. "He would not flatter Neptune for his trident, or Jove for his power to thunder"; far be it from pot-house politicians and self-constituted village Warwicks. His was a plane far above the reach of such things as these.

        Upon Dr. Archer's departure I was transferred to a boarding-house nearly opposite (a Mrs. Porter, unless mistaken), mainly taken up by members of Congress without their families. One of these kept a sort of supervisory outlook over me, at my father's request. He was then in the prime of life, about thirty-seven years of age, and a widower - a new member, and comparatively unknown. Before two decades had rolled around, his name and fame were resounding around the world. He was my friend then, as he was ever after. More of him further on. Suffice it now that his name was Davis.

        It should have been said that before quitting the United States Hotel I had been brought to know one of the most remarkable men - it is needless to add greatest, when his name is called - of this or any preceding century. Mr. and Mrs. Calhoun had rooms on the same floor, and only two or three doors from ours. With loving womanly impulse, the good lady took me in hand and would have me in her parlor every evening or two, whilst her grand husband would be looking over his papers. Notwithstanding the weighty matters with which he was always burthened, he usually found time during the course of my stay to address a few kindly remarks to me, and yet he was, as I have since learned, the biggest man in the world. Intercourse with others of high kindred nature has led up to the conclusion that simplicity is ever one of the predominant attributes of the loftiest natures. Reading and reflection confirm the conclusion.

        In the galaxy of immortals with whom it has been my

Page 52

proud privilege to be brought into casual contact, and the friendship of some of whom I have enjoyed, I place unhesitatingly the last two, Calhoun and Davis, as easily first in profundity of political thought and lucidity of expression and inculcation. Their great preceptor, Jefferson, was, of course, the equal of either, as he was the superior of all their predecessors in these high attributes. Patriotism, purity of life, and self-abnegation at the mandate of principle, were the other crowning life jewels in the two I knew. Of course, the estimate formed of these illustrious men is derived from subsequent reading and reflection. Their teachings and monitions have been the political vade mecum of my life. Jackson and Calhoun constituted, beyond a doubt, as long as it lasted, the strongest and most marked presidential combination that the country has ever known, each conspicuous for strong, unbending will-power and native intellect of the highest order, the last but partially cultivated in the first, but carried to a pitch of refinement and absolute governmental brain culture in the other. It is not strange that it proved an incongruous and ill-assorted team, in spite of the superlatives ascribed to each. Paramount intellect and lofty patriotism were neutralized by unyielding self-will in both, greatly to the cost of constitutional government ever since. Calhoun was superseded and set aside - tell it not in Gath, publish it not in Askelon - by Martin Van Buren, as successor.

        Such is my deliberate estimate of those last two great moulders of political thought, John C. Calhoun and Jefferson Davis (omitting Thomas Jefferson), whom over-cultured and dogmatic New England would fain consign to the lumber-room of political failures. Possibly, in the thousand years to follow, that complacent section may be able by strenuous effort to evolve one such. So far, she and her congeners have not approximated in production either of the immortal triumvirate of political thinkers and teachers. Nay, more: it is

Page 53

doubtful whether Old England, in her palmiest period, the closing half of the eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth century, can furnish such a historical parallel of transcendent genius in the most exalted field of intellectual development. This marvelous outcrop, of itself, should forever shame and silence the scoffs and sneers of witlings and fools as to the demoralizing effects of African slavery on the moral and intellectual outcome of the ruling race - stereotyped absurdity of assinine assumption and self-satisfied stupidity.

        In Mr. Davis the world recognizes the efficient actor, as well as the profound thinker - the grandest Revolutionist of all time, according to the Honorable Mr. Roebuck in the House of Commons.

        It was no mean privilege to have had this grand man for friend in my boyhood days, and to have that friendship continue to the end of his life. As proof of this, he bequeathed me his ink-stand as memento in the closing hours of his well-rounded life. From its sable contents were transmitted to paper the emanations of his glorious soul. It is a priceless heirloom to me, as I trust it will be to my grandson and his. The best wish that can go with it is that he and they, in succession, may take the donor for model and exemplar, and make their lives conform as near to his in aim and lofty aspiration as may be. Let it be a stimulus ever to noble effort.

Page 54


        In the early part of 1846 I was entered at my first boarding school, Georgetown College (now University). From the first it was evident that the strict monastic rule and ritual of that institution did not comport to my taste and the genius of a peculiar constitution. And yet, at the expiration of six months, I was very summarily transferred therefrom by paternal mandate in apprehension that a longer continued stay might lead to counter-bias, to the point, in fact, of becoming a novitiate in the noble order of Loyola. Looking back, after the lapse of time, methinks his apprehensions were entirely groundless.

        Be that as it may, the "governor" (if the Lord will forgive me the use, for the first and last time, of the low, vulgar, slang expression of mannish young America as applied to the author of their being) was scared, and issued unmistakable orders to "pack up my traps and get out of that den of Jesuits." The order was most acceptable, and was obeyed with alacrity. It is written, the school was not to my liking. In justice to the school, and in perfect candor, it must be confessed that after sampling some half a dozen others, it was not my good fortune to acquire a hankering for any.

        Possibly my rough initiation in the rudimentary branches of education, to which allusion was made in passing, is mainly responsible for deep-seated antipathy to pedants, pundits, and high scholastics later on. Of course, such a confession is discreditable, but it is honest truth, and that passes, without question, as better far than a gilded lie. In extenuation, will add that, whilst an enforced curriculum of cut-and-dried textbooks went ever against the grain, I have, nevertheless, been through life an unremitting student and investigator, based on solid, not superficial, research, history and its concomitants -

Page 55

biography, travel, essays, memoirs, approved poetry, and an occasional dip, by way of interlude and recreation, into the great romancers of the stature of Thackeray (greatest of them all), Scott, Fielding, Boccacio, Cervantes, Bulwer, Dickens, Lever, George Eliot, Hawthorne, Poe, Lesage, Cooper, and a few others of kindred calibre, not forgetting dear old Miss Porter of blessed juvenile days. Of course, the list would be incomplete if it did not embrace the old, now almost unread English classics. Some of these must needs come in. What? Leave out "The Vicar" and "Rasselas"? Why, I would as soon leave out Colonel Esmond, Colonel Newcome, Captain Shandy, the old convict in Les Miserables, or Captain Crusoe. Have rarely taken much stock in the so-called "current literature of the day," unless kidnapped into something of the sort by my good wife, who is not only the best woman in the world in all other respects, but one of the most omnivorous readers and judicious critics whom I have ever known. "Just let me read you a page," she begins, and that always means the book. Have gotten much mighty good reading that way.

        There was drilled into my noddle at school, or rather schools, the usual amount of stereotyped pedagogic pabulum, including the preliminary classics and higher mathematics, belles-lettres, ethics, political economy, French, and the law courses, etc. Upon such an incongruous foundation it was mine to build the superstructure of an imperfect education, after closing the academic doors behind. That there were glorious opportunities neglected shall not be denied, but that there were shoals that were shunned can be truly claimed.

        After being given the whole scope of schools from which to make choice, and tried many, too many, it can be truthfully said that whilst rarely classed amongst the "first mite men" in any study, having by instinct a no exalted estimate of college honors, I, nevertheless, escaped with but slight attaint or

Page 56

suspicion of college contamination, and ever of low or unworthy association. This last I have tried to keep up through life.

        Neither dicer nor drinker did I learn to be in that ordeal period of life, although inducements were not wanting. For the last I have ever felt the keenest pity. For the other class (yclept, the gambler) loathing and scorn, far surpassing that entertained for the "gentleman-highwayman." Nor is such contempt confined to the "professional," the sleight-of-hand man who is up to little tricks, like slipping a card up the sleeve, or loaded cubes accessible. The thimble-rigging fraternity is but the parent stock of a kindred class a thousand times more baneful and pernicious, the light-fingered brother who can on the Stock Exchange despoil thousands to swell his plethoric horde of millions. Yes! give us bold Turpin every time to the wheedling rogue, who mercilessly despoils widows, orphans and confiding friends by superior sharp practice. This class may have its utility in the public weal, just as the small-fry jeremy-diddler, the centipede, the vampire, and the bed-bug may have in the animal economy, but there are some folks who cannot exactly see it.

        Recurring to foregone estimate of college honors, the subsequent may as well be here premised. From candid statement here given, and further to follow, it can hardly be inferred that I have ever set undue value on such puerilities, or kindred trivialities later on, all of which, at the turning-point of "life's fitful dream," have been, and are still, held in due subordination. Reason for contempt of academic laurels has already been forecast in part, viz., instinctive repugnance to pedagogic tyranny and assinine assumption on the part of the wielders of the ferule, both of high and low degree. Perhaps, the feeling was intensified by comparison oft-times between the winner of school-boy honors in the curriculum

Page 57

and the champion of those later on in the hard tussle of actual life.

        Perchance such sentiments may be deemed heterodox and ill-advised, especially by those of the professor-torial fraternity, whose name is legion, beginning with the old-time dominie, puffed up with a little brief authority, and the learned Doctor Profundus LL.D., of the University of all the Ologies. Professors all they are to-day, from the imp who shines your boots to the other artist who lathers your face. The learned Porson was nothing more!

        I believed then, and know now, that in natural ability I was the match, and more, of most of my school-mates, but realize, in looking backwards and taking a retrospective glance over the sad field of "might-have-beens," both then and since, that many of them possessed an attribute far more essential in the long race, known as stability, as contradistinguished from ability. Bear it in mind ever, O son, both in the class-room and in the far more important struggle to follow.

        Father Æsop was right in one of the many instructive stories he tells - the one about the foot-race between the tortoise and the hare. Slow-plodding perseverance is almost sure to tell against rabbit-foot, if not in a quarter race, in the elongated life race, which is most unerring test of "bottom." Stick to stability, and cultivate "bottom," my boy, if you would win success in life's handicap or the globe-trotter's merry-go- round. Or if you are of sporting proclivities, back the terrapin every time for his staying qualities - slow, but sure. Close observation has led unerringly to that conclusion, despite celerity and scintillation of start on the part of competitors.

        Although laying only moderate claim to "Molly Hare's" facility of getting over ground, it will nevertheless be borne in mind that a modest arrogance has been set up on claim of average ability. And yet in the metaphorical scrub-race referred

Page 58

to, candor compels the admission that I have seen the veriest mud-turtles, creepers and crawlers, give me the go-by and grasp the puny prizes most excitant to mundane effort and emulation. And so, if you would carry off the "Grand Prix," my boy, on which your heart is set, be it professional or political fame, accumulation of useless horde, or sublime official head of "My Lord High Executioner," or, descending from the sublime to the ridiculous, "My Lord High Village Patronizer," who, like inflated Malvolio's "I extend my hand to him thus" (every little town has one such factotum), exulting in the serenity of his sublimity. Young man, whichever of these Himalayan altitudes you propose to climb, follow the recipe here enjoined, and you will be apt to reach it, be it the pinnacle of President or patronizer or moneyed potentate. First, make deliberate selection of the cloud-capped summit you would scale, and then fix an eye single on the topmost peak, and go for it with the tortoise for exemplar. Crawl and creep, and on occasion cringe, and you will get there.


Near Boston. The residence of my first wife, Esther Sargent Ellery.

Page 59


        In the latter part of the last-named year, or, to be precise, on the twenty-fourth day of October, 1846, occurred an event which has had the most material and important bearing on all my subsequent life. On that day my father was married to his second wife, Mrs. Adeline Ellery, of Boston. She was the widow of John S. Ellery, of that city, who was one of the most successful business men of his day. A woman of remarkably fine personal appearance, and of the kindliest, gentlest nature that I have almost ever known. For eight and thirty years thereafter, she was my mother, not only in name, but in maternal love and all else, barring the ties of nature. She was ever indulgent to the follies and foibles of her self-willed step-son, and ever ready with motherly judicious counsel. The only compensation in my power was paid to the full, - in filial affection to this noble woman.

        Although much given to society, her charity was universal and unbounded, but not always judicious. While of ample means, her pension list was ever disproportionate to income, and yet she was not a religionist in the ordinary acceptation of the term. Such as it was, I would not exchange it for that of the Sorbonne or an ordinary Consistory or College of Cardinals.

        She and my father were almost of the same age (forty-four), and of remarkable congeniality of tastes. Most of the time was passed in travel and at hotels. They were a remarkably fine-looking couple, and always moved in highest circles, not of the dollar-and-cent variety as standard.

        The wedding took place in Grace Church, New York, Rev. Dr. Taylor officiating. By inadvertence or oversight, the stereotyped head-lines of the modern newspaperial chronicler are omitted, to-wit, 'the large and fashionable audience ' 'the

Page 60

grande marche from Hohenzollern and hautboys,' and ushers of the blackrod, and all of the other et ceteras and concomitants on such occasions essential. Any village newspaper nowadays can supply such material and all-important omissions.

        A gawky country lad of fifteen can hardly be thought to have been "an fait" in dilettante literature of this high order over half a century ago. All that comes back now is that the aforesaid lad and a sweet, spoilt little blonde girl of seven walked just behind the high contracting parties, as quasi "consentors and givers-away." Ten or twelve years later on the performance was repeated, but the performers were reversed, - the boy and girl taking the leading roles. Each was an only child.

        Between the two weddings I saw little of the family thus augmented, except for brief space at long intervals. A child was the result of the first marriage a year or so later, but died in infancy; and so there was no additional connecting link between the little girl and the boy until the second event came on, each being much over-spoilt by respective step-parent, the girl especially by hers. If she had been his own flesh and blood, he could not have indulged her more. Every wish, whim and caprice had to be gratified, regardless of consequences. The result, as might have been foreseen, was a very deficient and imperfect education, with a no hesitating assertion of self-will in dealing with others. How she and I got along as well as we did in after life can only be explained upon the principle of mutual forbearance and concession, superinduced in each by the recognized necessity of it.

        I was fully conscious that she had been gratified and indulged to the extreme limit, and felt the propriety of its continuance in all rational regards, believing then, as I do now, that she loved me with her full and entire heart. As illustration of this, let it be mentioned to her eternal credit

Page 61

that when the immediate forecast of coming events pointed, unmistakably, to war between the States, she urged her husband to obey the call of duty and his sense of honor in espousing side, clearly giving him to understand that in her belief he had resolved on the right course. She further proclaimed her willingness to put up with plantation provision as long as he could remain in camp.

        But two or three years later on came the supremest test of inborn truth and wifely devotion. On the eve of the mightiest of all conflicts precaution was taken to retain two or three of the very ablest lawyers in Boston to look after her interests and guard against the possibilities of confiscation. In the latter part of 1864, while a prisoner of war on Johnson's Island, I received what might be construed into a conjoint letter from these three distinguished and most worthy gentlemen, in effect as follows: "Urge your wife to come on at once, if you wish to stave off threatened, if not imminent, danger." Well I knew the portent of that dread message, but followed the wiser course, as it turned out, in responding - submitted it to my little wife.

        Conscious I was that her rejoiner would be in accord with my desire, as it proved. It was to all intents, slightly amplified, that of the lovely and poetic Ruth - "His people shall be my people," etc., and "we'll live on hog and hominy awhile longer whilst patriot heroes are battling for their rights." The grandeur of her resolve rises into the moral sublime, when it is stated that it was taken entirely of her own volition and that the estate involved was close to a half-million dollars and, as I learned later, proceedings of confiscation had actually been begun, which, through the instrumentality of my honored friends, General Caleb Cushing, Judge Levi Woodbury, and Hon. Benjamin Dean, were continued from term to term, and never reached judgment until it was too late for it to be rendered.

Page 62

        An anecdote leading up to this result may, perchance, be introduced further on. Let it be added, that all this while she was like all of her neighbors practically destitute of the commonest comforts, if not necessaries, of life, such as tea, coffee, sugar, salt, calico, etc. Such was the outlook on the plantation! Ease and affluence and boundless luxury across the Potomac!

        Without my knowledge she had previously disposed of her wedding jewels in order to bridge over pressing necessities and make both ends meet at home, whilst extending a helping hand to her still more needy friends and neighbors. All this was done in the seclusion of quiet country life, and without the slightest attempt at parade or ostentation. It may well be questioned whether in those dark days of long suffering by our brave, noble, heroic women, any bore the inevitable hardships of the dread ordeal more uncomplainingly than she; and yet she was, as it then stood, of foreign and hostile lineage, inured to all the comforts and luxuries of life, within her reach at any time to resume. If marital veto had been interposed, ground would have been broken for ninety-and-nine full-fledged divorce suits in the regions of thoughtless marriage and loose morals. God bless her innocent, simple soul! She never thought of availing herself of such a glorious opportunity. In her plain and simple faith, vows were vows to her, whether pledged to an unworthy husband or to the God of John Wesley, in whose faith she lived and died. She died June 15, 1883, having been the mother of four children, three of whom still survive her.

Page 63


        In the beginning of 1847, I was placed at the school of Mr. J. M. Lovejoy, known as the North Carolina Military Academy, located in Raleigh, to be put in a state of preparation for one of the leading universities of this country or England. It was then one of the most flourishing schools in the South. Mr. Lovejoy was a ripe scholar, supported by competent assistants, a worthy man in the main, and a rigid disciplinarian of the 'old school.' It was an unseemly boast of his that he had never promised a boy or a full-fledged man, of whom there were many under his sway, a flagellation without inflicting it, and tradition of the boys bore him out. There was one boy, however, to whom that promise was unfulfilled; he very courteously told the promising party that he had for long had a lurking suspicion that in his day and generation he had been the recipient of an overplus of the extract of birch, and did not propose to take another dose. Am glad to say the good man held a restraining hand.

        It may thus be surmised that too much congeniality of temperament was not conducive to long protracted relationship. Still there was a sort of mutual forbearance maintained for a year and a half, when another transfer took place, this time, to a select preparatory school four miles from Boston, Massachusetts, kept by Mr. Stephen M. Weld, limited to thirty students. He was a man of thrift and large wealth, and would seem to have chosen the profession of pedagogics more as a whim or pastime than from choice or necessity. He was a man of refinement, judicious reading, and correct conclusions, barring a pronounced drift to Federalism. For this political indiscretion, however, there was the extenuation of his being a native of Boston and an eleve of Harvard. Natural sequence, as all good Bostonians go to Harvard

Page 64

before they die, and, as a rule, emerge therefrom thoroughly tinctured with Hamiltonianism, Blue Law intolerance, Hartford Convention indoctrination, and other kindred fallacies. Such political heresies may do for boys before they die, but how after? It makes me tremble in advanced age to think what a narrow escape was mine in escaping this one college, before death, by a lucky concatenation of circumstances, later on to follow.

        Omitting the rationale of political beliefs, in which I was vain enough to think, and to still think, myself magister, he was the best instructor that ever had me in hand, and instilled more from text books than all the others combined. This was not due so much to his depth of research as to non-assumption and faculty of explaining. A stupid ignoramous assumes that the boy should comprehend by intuition all of the whys and wherefores of the parroty lesson recited, because forsooth it is now plain to his comprehension after days, and maybe weeks, of study and secret investigation on his part to master; and so, perhaps, the boy makes a perfect recitation of words as Poll the parrot does, and comprehends about as much of the underlying meaning.

        Intellectual teachers argue otherwise, and of that class was Stephen M. Weld, who recognize the transcendent importance of their calling and discharge it accordingly. License 'the fool-killer' to ply his vocation on the rest of the fraternity, from the horn-book consequential, who teaches readin', writin', spellin', and 'rithmetic, to the learned Dr. Profundus of the Faculty. Many of these know what they do know or profess to know, but do not know how to impart it - logarithms without the key.

        Mr. Weld had the faculty of instilling into others what he knew himself, as proof of which, he had me thoroughly prepared for the entering class at Harvard in a little over a year, and it was a moot question between us, never decided, whether

Page 65

not to apply for entry into the class above, then known as the sophomore. He inclined to think I was prepared for the higher. The simple fact is stated more as tribute to a worthy man and competent and conscientious instructor, than any claim to readiness of inception on the part of the pupil. He understood his calling and knew how to impart what he knew, and hence was an efficient teacher. Would there were more of that sort in the world!

        His mode of instruction was no less oral than textual. At table, where he usually occupied the place of honor, it was his custom to start a discussion on some interesting or intricate topic with a view to ascertain and develop the extent of and line of thought of the boys around him, inviting free and untrammeled interchange of sentiment and opinion. Being of an argumentative and inquiring turn of mind, he and I were not infrequently the disputants on opposing sides, for I was silly enough to believe that he attached considerable weight to my views and judgment. And so he and I ofttimes had a monopoly of forensic disputation during the entire meal to our mutual delectation, if not always to that of the two dozen other boys sitting around. I am fain to believe that, for a wonder, I was his favorite pupil. The novelty of the thing made me more considerate in preconceived hostile bias. While undergoing collegiate preparation, he and I would take after-breakfast walks through the village to a little grove a mile out, where taking seats in the shade he would produce a small Greek or Latin Classic, and put me through a rigid reviewal to judge of my competency.

        While so engaged, news came that a much coveted cadet appointment to West Point was within reach. Forthwith the classics were discarded and all of our efforts turned to mathematics, which had ever been my bete noire, or stumbling block, from the multiplication-table to conic sections and analytical geometry. An ugly outlook ahead that!

Page 66

        Entrance to the Military Academy had long been the cherished wish of my young life's dream, but had been virtually abandoned, for a double reason; the first being my father's strong antipathy to the step, and the other, my having no fixed home and habitation or State from which to set up right of claim. And so all thought of it had been given up. Suddenly, the hope revived again!

        My father, in his various meanderings and State-building migrations, had drifted out to California with the Forty-niners, on the gold quest of the year so indicated. Shortly after arriving, he was elected to the State Senate of the first Legislature of that incipient State, and was prominently spoken of as likely to be one of the first two United States Senators, withdrawing, however, on the eve of the election in favor of his friend Dr. William M. Gwin, who was elected with John C. Fremont as his colleague.

        Here was my opportunity. Father at last consented to oft-repeated request, and the entire Congressional delegation backed the application for my appointment. But here a new obstacle arose. Up to the June examination of candidates for admission California had not been admitted into the Union. There was the chance of its being before the September ordeal.

        By way of explanation, be it understood that there is usually a small per centage of every class of candidates (usually about ten) who, from unavoidable cause, having been prevented from putting in an appearance in the June trial, are permitted to stand test in September. These are, without disparagement, ever after known as "Septs."

        Inasmuch as my State was not a State in June, I was necessarily relegated to the "Septs," three months later on, and barely saved distance then. September was drawing on apace, and yet my State was still not a State. At that crucial stage came in illustration of the old saw, a 'friend at court',

Page 67

freely rendered a friend at the head of the War Office. General Winfield Scott was, ad interim, Secretary of War, and he and my father fortunately at that time were in close social relationship. The old General was then, on emergency, what might be termed a modified 'strict Constructionist.' Whilst too much of a stickler for the 'Articles of War,' even in inconsequentials, to furnish shadow of excuse for breach of their slightest infinitesimal in his subordinates, he did on special occasion know how to 'whip the devil around the stump.' He might be supposed to have said, in effect:

        No. Inasmuch as young hopeful cannot claim a State as basic residential, and there is but slight prospect of his having one before examination day (September 1), he is, therefore, unavoidably debarred. But, hold, a thought strikes me. As California will probably be admitted into the sisterhood of States within a week or two, I will add a marginal line here.

        And this is what he wrote:

        If California is not admitted by the tenth of September, this appointment to be null and void.


Acting Secretary of War.

        I was admitted on the first of September, and California on the ninth of the same month, A. D. 1850. A close shave that!

        And so I was as admitted into fellowship to the most glorious brotherhood of boys that the world has ever known - the class of 1850. There were one hundred and six (106) in the start, but from one cause or another the number grew small by degrees and beautifully less, until a bare one-third came out with a commission four years later on. Be the cause what it may, I never knew a black sheep in that flock. High-toned, truthful, and honorable they all were, as if by instinct. Intellectual it was, beyond all predecessors, by well understood consensus of opinion of old graybearded predecessors running back nearly half a century. Heroic it was to a high degree, as the dozen years succeeding abundantly proved. If necro-logic

Page 68

returns of killed in conflict then impending is to be taken as criterion, none could lay higher claim to that attribute. Major John T. Greble the first officer killed in the war (at Bethel) on the Federal side, was of the number. My friend he was, and a gallant gentleman. How many others of them fell on that side I am not fully advised. Many of them did, but I will mention only one, and him with much sorrow after the lapse of time.

        One of my especial intimates was B. F. Davis, of Mississippi. When the issue was inevitable, he forgot to resign, and reached rapid promotion on the side he espoused. Some there were who said that the promise of it was more than he could withstand. Far be it from me to impugn his motive now; will simply say that his selection of side amazed me beyond expression at the time, for on the very verge of young manhood he was one of the proudest, haughtiest, most stand-off natures ever known, and intensely Southern beyond measure. Poor fellow, I loved and admired him for those independent traits that many deemed repulsive.

        As our brigade was going in at Brandy Station (the second), General Lee rode up and gave a minute's instructions to our Brigadier, General Daniel, than whom a more efficient never lived, the purport of which I learned later on:

        Do not unmask yourself unless exigency imperatively demands it. This is only a feeler, on the part of their cavalry, to find out whether I have broken camp at Fredricksburg. Stuart will drive them back.

        Great man! he rightly divined, and so kept a crest of hills between his infantry and the cavalry fight going on just beyond in full hearing.

        While that brief colloquy was going on, a young gentleman, Lieutenant Pegram, approached where the head of the column was halted with a dead man in front of his saddle. This proved to be my old Colonel and Pegram's brother-in-law - only three weeks before married to his sister - Colonel Sol

Page 69

Williams, only two years out of the Academy. He was shot directly through the forehead. He (Pegram) said we had just before killed a General Davis by precisely a like shot. On my asking where he was from, he replied, "Mississippi." I did not shed a tear or feel a pang at the death of my old-time friend. The only reflection was, what a pity that he died on the wrong side.

        There were only two others, nonentities they were, who elected to take the same course, and to lend their swords and services to the foemen of their kindred.

        Twelve of them promptly responded to natural maternal call, although with some the decision probably involved bread and butter in case of failure. Nine of these gallant true-hearted gentlemen died in battle, each wearing the badge of Confederate General, from brigadier to the one just below the topmost grade. Bear in mind, lords and ladies all, these were but boys as it were, but, oh, such glorious boys! Was ever nobler hecatomb of heroes immolated on the altar of Country? I loved them one and all, and honor them now, henceforth, and forever.

        Their names are here inscribed for fear of oversight or forgetfulness later on. There was Custis Lee, headman of the class, worthy son of his immortal sire, although his recognition to high merit was not based on class-standing or to lineage running back for centuries through an unbroken line of gentlemen and heroes.

        There was J. E. B. Stuart, the more than Rupert of later wars, the grandest of all cavalrymen of all time, always save and excepting Forrest. His pet and loving soubriquet with us was "Beauty," though whom they got to put it on nobody seems to know. True, he was not an Antinous in form or feature, but neither was he the reverse to justify the title by way of derision. He was only a lovable man and an unfledged hero.

Page 70

        And so it is beyond my ken to tell why another of kindred attributes, William D. Pender, of North Carolina, was dubbed "Poll," but so he was. On the fields of glory, with which his name became historic, he was wont to make his legions do the talking for him.

        Stephen D. Lee, the hero of Vicksburg, was another. Like the other Lee, he still survives (long may they both!), and wears the honor of being one of the three surviving ranking officers of the superhuman Confederate Army.

        Archibald Gracie, a half-Northerner by birth and more by interest, but an entire Southerner by political conviction and whole-soured devotion, was another. He returned from Heidelberg just after graduation to enter the Military Academy, and to die on the field of glory a little later on. He it was who, when General Lee insisted on getting on the parapet of the works about Petersburg to make a better observation and refused to hearken to the prayers of his troops to come down, also mounted, and put himself between him and hostile bullets.

        John B. Villepigue, of South Carolina, was the highest type of inborn soldier that I ever knew in those early days. In manly form and physique unsurpassed, as he was not even in devotion to duty by Lee the incomparable, or in austerity of Christian life by 'Stonewall,' the soldier saint. No wonder that his military merits were recognized by the academic authorities in each successive cadet promotion, from first corporal to first captain; perhaps, the most conscientious young man I have ever known. Those who knew him best foretold for him a grade only secondary to the highest, if his young life should be briefly protracted in that mighty epoch. Alas! the siege of Port Hudson made nugatory the prediction.

        John Pegram, of Virginia, gifted and accomplished to a high degree, was my honored kinsman. He was struck

Page 71

down in the trenches around Petersburg only a few days before the evacuation and the final collapse, and but a few brief days too after his marriage to one of Baltimore's reigning belles, the beautiful Hetty Cary. I have heard that the young bride met the remains of her hero-husband as they were being borne to the rear, and realized that she was a widow.

        John T. Mercer of Georgia was of a most highly sensitive and assertive nature, qualities which barred his well-deserved promotion, for he was a soldier every inch. He fell at Plymouth, in this State. On the eve of Gettysburg, on coming into camp a little late at a place called Heidlersburg, I got a pressing request from him to come over to his camp immediately on arrival, on most urgent call. Surmising its purport, I at once rode over, and found him in a very angry mood. He at once told the object of his request, which, as inferred, was to be the bearer of a peremptory challenge to a brother colonel in the same brigade, (Dole's), and from the same State. He was one of the boy colonels, being under twenty-one when commissioned, and a most gallant and efficient one he was (Willis by name), who had resigned his cadetship as soon as his State resumed her delegated powers. I knew that there was bad blood between them, and that neither would be loath to look down the mouth of the other's pistol. "State your quarrel!" was my reply. "Is that necessary between old friends?" he retorted. "With me, it most certainly is," was the reply. He gave it, and it looked like a very pretty quarrel, as Sir Lucius would have said, from his standpoint. Not so, however, from mine.

        It was obvious from his own statement that he had been a trifle precipitate, not to add, and over-pronounced in the interview on the march that day. And so he was told that I would not take a hostile message to Colonel Willis, but would gladly be the bearer of an apology. This decided declaration

Page 72

was near transferring the quarrel from Willis to myself, for he bluntly remarked that he called on me for a favor and not for a Sunday-school lecture. To quiet him down, I simply remarked:

        "Old friend, I might take umbrage at that remark, but will let it pass, for let me tell you that this is no time for patriots to be cutting each other's throats. I have just heard that the foe are concentrating in our front, not twenty miles distant, and to-morrow will be, in all probability, the turning point of the Confederacy, for we are to march at sunrise to meet them."

        "Thank Heaven for that," was his reply, "for if opportunity occurs, I shall dare him to his face to keep in line with me in the charge." Noble fellows they both were, and each died in the line of duty shortly afterwards. God be praised! not face to face, and by each other's hands.

        James Deshler of Alabama, was another of that class. A brother had preceded him in the corps, but was drowned in the Hudson while swimming. James was earnest but undemonstrative, and beloved by all for solidity, manly bearing, and other sterling qualities. The same may be said of Peyton Colquitt of Georgia, Horace Randall of Texas, and John O. Long. The last four also died on the field, but in which particular battles I am not prepared to say. Abner Smead of Georgia, I think, survived the struggle, but I have lost sight of him since. Samuel T. Shepperd and William M. Davant, of North Carolina and South Carolina respectively, died before the inception of hostilities. Had they lived until it came on, it is easy to predict where they would have been found.

        If some may deem the panegyric of these early manhood friends slightly too ornate and diffuse for good taste, the reply is that it is a genuine outgush, and not an overpartial estimate. As proof, be it understood that my class-fellowship

Page 73

terminated at the end of the year, and my remaining two-years stay at the Institution was in the class next succeeding, that of 1851, in which there were numbers of as true and loyal spirits and gallant gentlemen as in any other. But my intimates were mainly in the first.

        It embraced a decided preponderance of Northern men, many of whom made name and fame a little later on. Prominent among these were the future generals, Gregg, Weitzel, Comstock, Reno, Eliot, Webb, Ruggles, Averill, Vinton, and Hazen. Clever fellows and worthy gentlemen they were, to the best of my knowledge and belief in those early days, who fought for 'what they believed to be right.' I am glad to say that, so far as known, none had to pay the life penalty for espousal of conviction. A fortunate contrast to the class preceding.

        Yes, they should be held extenuate for risking their lives for what they believed to be right, inasmuch as the Constitution with correct annotation by competent commentators was a volume virtually of the expurgatorious order, neither to be touched, tasted, handled, swallowed, or discussed, for fear of dread contamination, subjecting the presumptions culprit to social purgatorial penalty. And so the edict went forth to all the nurseries, schools and colleges, in the regions where they were born and bred; this thing must be eschewed except by prescription of Dr. Story. No wonder that under the almost exclusive indoctrination of this immaculate Constitution interpreter and amender these honest, but misguided youths, like hundreds of thousands besides, were ready to risk their lives on what they believed to be right; and as little wonder, that the others were prepared to lay down theirs for what, under better incultation, they knew to be right. We were all good friends then, although there were slumbering and latent feeling of distrust and unrest, all realizing that ere long they would have to be cutting each others' throats.

Page 74

        Be it remembered, that those days were in the midst of the most exciting period of our political history. The Kansas and Nebraska question, the Compromise or Omnibus Bill, the Admission of California, etc. It looked as if grim-visaged war was about to cry havoc, and let loose, eight or nine years before the summons came. That it was bound to come was tacitly conceded by all who had the glimmer of forecast or reflection. Still, controversy on the subject was by inborn gentlemanly instinct ignored. The thought with all seemed to be, the dread inevitable is near at hand, but why dissever friendly relations before it comes?

        In speaking of these new friends and comrades, it would be remiss not to mention a few of them specially. Francis R. T. Nicholls of Louisiana was an inborn soldier and gentleman, one of most winning ways, coupled with assurance that in the race of life he was bound to win. And so he did, at terrible cost. In one of his first fights he laid an amputated arm on the altar of the cause. Not content with that, however, he went back at the head of his brigade almost before the sanction of his surgeon could be obtained. Then, after glorious service for a brief space, he brought a leg as further contribution. There were some who thought that if Johnny, as he was lovingly called, could only have kept saddle, held rein, and wielded sabre, he would have continued the contribution by instalments until he would, at last, fetch his head to complete a dismembered man for Judgment Day or the anatomical museum. But the rest of him was reserved for nobler uses, for when the clash of arms was over, and white men were recognized by the powers that then were, to be as good as negroes, the Pelicans caught him up and made a governor of him, and kept making him one as long as he would permit it. And he wielded the staff of state in peace (so-called) as efficiently as he would have done the baton of the field-marshal in war.

Page 75

        John L. Black of South Carolina was my roommate during the last year, and the only cross words that ever passed were at reveille, when patience and ingenuity were solely taxed to get him out of bed and down to roll-call. That boy was a sleeper; a cross-tie was not a circumstance in comparison. I am persuaded that he was in lineal descent from the champion of the historic 'Seven.' Absences began piling up so fast that he got scared, and in sheer desperation conferred on me plenary power to disturb his seraphic matutinal slumbers to guard against the dread two-hundred demerit mark. Perhaps I did not rejoice with exceeding joy over the prerogative thus bestowed. Perhaps my somniferous friend was not in line before the last roll of the drum next morning with feathers ruffled, with bad thoughts in his heart, and anathemic English on his tongue. Perhaps he did not insist on a revoke before breakfast, and perhaps his plaintive appeal was hearkened to. All of these hypotheses are in the range of remote possibility, but out of all reach of the probable. How could any innocent youth resign such a fund of fun freely bestowed and confirmed by the, at that day, infrangible word of a cadet? Moral: (Specially addressed to hard-hearted mothers of boys who like their morning nap)., Hydropathy is the proper treatment, but not in homeopathic formula. A douche, a douche all over, ice-water preferred. Not one somnolent in ten thousand can resist the call of 'get up!' when properly administered. Old Black got up; he got up in a hurry. In fact, it may be added by way of emphasis, he got up with alacrity amounting almost to telephonic celerity. I would not dare to repeat what that man said in his first outburst of temper, totally oblivious to the fact that it was done for his own good. After he cooled off he was more amenable to reason, sometimes called the sober second-thought. The second morning, the sight of the water-bucket sufficed to quicken his rising faculties. Third, he was out of bed before

Page 76

I was. And thus he escaped the danger of demerit dismissal through the Circean charms of 'Nature's sweet restorer,' all owing to my considerate solicitude. Henry Clay, Jr., grandson of the Great Commoner, and inheritor of his genious, ran the reveille racket a good deal nearer the danger line than my chum, as he had no fidus Achates for roommate to hold the nightmare of hydropathic treatment over his somniferous and devoted head. Black still survives, after seeing the 'great war' through as colonel of a regiment of horse. Glorious old boy, he and I tugged together for three years on the treadmill on the Hudson, neither exploiting himself in the academic curriculum. When I announced my purpose to resign, he at once declared he would too as he was about determined to give up school and marry a pretty cousin of his to whom he was already betrothed.

        One who has made a world-wide name since then, likewise did so about the same time. James A. Whistler, or as he was familiarly known at that time, 'Little Jimmy' (not 'Little Billie,' as portrayed by Du Maurier in Trilby), occupied the room just opposite, across the passage way, and when not immersed in a novel in his own room could be found in ours, telling of the wonders he had seen, and part of which he invariably was. His father, Colonel Whistler, had with his friend, Tom Winans, long been one of the two chief civil engineers of the Czar of Russia, and under their conjoint efforts all of his great works of internal improvement up to that time had been begun, profiled and carried out, much to their pecuniary profit. His success with the brush has been phenomenal, and he is now perhaps the most talked-of living painter in the world.

        Junius B. Wheeler of North Carolina was an old friend of mine. He was a Mexican war man in his early teens, and saw it out. Some ill-natured comment would have been spared him had he resumed his war experience when his State

Page 77

resumed her delegated powers. Poor fellow, it was a tempting bait held out to him to remain - the most exalted professorship in America, that of Military and Civil Engineering, the successor of the great and lamented Dennis H. Mahan, and he but half a dozen years out of the classroom. It was said that he remained with the distinct understanding that he was not to be ordered on active service.

        In striking contrast was the course pursued by another old friend of the same class, whom the year before his entry I had left at Weld's school in Boston. James E. Hill was the son of an army officer and was born, I believe, at some military post in Maine. Naturally his associations and early bias would have prompted him to remain in the 'Old Army.' But not so. He remembered that his father was a Southerner; perhaps had imbibed political indoctrination from that source, and so he cast his lot, in choosing side in the mighty conflict, by blood instinct. He and the brilliant Whiting were brothers-in-law and devoted friends, as shown by persistent refusal of promotion in the 'New Army' in order to remain on his kinsman's staff with subordinate rank. Greed of gain or professional distinction most assuredly did not enter into this man's calculations in the election he had to make between the 'Old Army' and the 'New.' Few could have decided either way with less danger of provoking hostile criticism.

        A brief allusion to a few of the most pronounced embryonic heroes in the two upper classes, and we pass on.

        George B. Anderson of North Carolina easily takes rank amongst the highest of the 'preux chevaliers' of the first graduating class. He received his death wound at Sharpsburg, and died the high-toned, refined gentleman that he had ever lived. Suave and gentle he was, in the extreme, to every one, but there was the 'lion couchant' beneath that placid

Page 78

demeanor. He was lately married to a charming young wife.

        Then there was John S. Bowen of Georgia, who died a hero and a Major General Commanding at Champion Hills. On the eve of his first commission, he and Philip H. Sheridan (later on full General U. S. A.) were suspended and thrown back a year on account of some pardonable boyish escapade. Courts-martial are at times needlessly severe.

        Lawrence A. Williams of Washington was deemed over much a dude in the corps, being of remarkably fine appearance and unapproachable attire, a kind of nondescript for which men of sense, and women too, have but little use. We little dreamt in our little day that a hero lurked beneath. The Confederate General Commanding thought it most essential to get an insight in the enemy's lines before striking a crushing blow. In a quiet way he tried to find an emissary suitable for the undertaking, for no ordinary one would do. Response to request was irresponsive, for well they knew that capture meant the halter. In the dead hour of night Colonel Williams whispered his readiness to undertake the embassy, and to ask for verbal instructions. Upon receipt of these, he and a young friend were off in quest, in Federal disguise, and on fleetest mount. They struck the Federal left, and for twenty miles they followed it, wiring in and wiring out, Williams, who was an accomplished draughtsman, all the time making notes. Things, were working beautifully until, in an inauspicious moment, poor Lawrence was recognized by an old acquaintance, and within twenty-four hours thereafter he and his friend were hanging as convicted spies. The evidence was undeniable, the proof complete, and so by the inexorable laws of war he had to die, as did Captain Nathan Hale of the Revolution, and that superb boy, Sam Davis, who died in the same locality, Middle or West Tennessee. No shame attached to either but, on the contrary, imperishable

Page 79

glory. Men who die as they did, and in such behalf, die the death of martyrs and make the gallows more than respectable.

        Slocum, Casey, Stanley, Hartsuff, M'Cook, and others of that class, reflected glory upon it and upon themselves. They were all on the other side. Jerome N. Bonaparte was a man of striking appearance and physique, with more of the look of the little Corsican that any other that bore his name. Some there were, and are, who would have esteemed him all the more had he repudiated that name, which his great uncle denied him, and his ignoble grandfather for a petty crown permitted. He was neutral in the war.

        The second class contributed three marked historical characters as its quota to the struggle. James B. McPherson of Ohio was essentially a soldier and a gentleman, surpassing his immediate chief in both attributes if impartial criticism is respected; undoubtedly, in the last. He was killed as a corps commander in Sherman's march to Atlanta, at Resaca, I believe. The date ought to be indelibly fixed, for on the day that obsequies were to take place at a small town near Sandusky, Ohio, the rumor got out that a prison guard in that vicinity was to be materially reduced in order to do honor to the occasion. On a little island hard by, Johnson's by name, were two or three thousand all-the-year-round boarders, who were pining for a change of tavern. Here was the opportunity to throttle and bind the tavern keepers, and sail across to the Queen's dominions. It was a beautiful scheme for dissevering enforced hospitality so far, 'and all went merry as a marriage bell," until the hour preceding the auspicious moment for calling on the other gentlemen. Then it became obvious that accursed treason had been at work. The portholes of the block-houses were thrown open and the field-pieces double shotted, guards doubled, and force kept intact. It was one of three or four well-laid plans for 'a break' that were nipped in the hour of fruition, evidently betrayed from

Page 80

the inside of the prison-pen, and leaves but little doubt that Secretary Staunton had his hireling spies and informers in our midst in the guise of prisoners of war.

                        Oh, for a tongue to curse the slave,
                        Whose treason like a deadly blight
                        Comes o'er the counsels of the brave,
                        To blast them in their hour of might.

        John M. Schofield of Illinois and John B. Hood of Kentucky were likewise members of the same class, and destined to play a most conspicuous part against each other at the turning crisis of the conflict, making their death grapple at Franklin the hinging struggle of the war. Hood, who had lately superseded Joseph E. Johnson in the command of the Army of the West, at once broke camp at Atlanta and moved northward with his entire force, with the view to recapture Nashville and penetrate Kentucky in order to strike a counteracting blow to Sherman in his unopposed progress to the Atlantic coast. At Columbia, he came up with his old friend and classmate, Schofield, with about one-third of his numerical strength. It was self-evident thence on that it was to be a foot-race from there to Nashville, and that whichever got into those trenches first would gain the decided vantage ground. Almost at the start it became obvious that 'some one had blundered,' wofully, egregiously blundered, to call it by no harsher name. Seeing his opportunity from the lay of the ground, Hood detached one of his hardest fighting divisions to make a detour, swing around and intercept the retreat from the rear, whilst he with the rest of his command would assail from the attacking side in pursuit. Prettier plan was never devised for the annihilation of an army at most critical juncture. It was a repetition, to all intents, of Jackson's wonderful flank movement at Chancellorsville. A chance bullet prevented the full fruition of the last. Far more culpable the misadventure of the other in the very zenith of success. Who was the responsible party for this utterly

Page 81

inexcusable neglect or omission? The Captain or Lieutenant, for one or the other necessarily was. Each said the other, God pity the one that was! Not for the baton or regal crown would I in foro conscientiae assume that dread responsibility.

        Scofield filed by all night in such near touch to our lines that his men would step out of ranks and light their pipes at our bivouac fires. That argues that the detached division had reached the suitable and objective point for carrying out the object designed. Certain it is, the object was not carried out. Who was to blame? In repetition, the Lieutenant said the Captain, inasmuch as he was waiting specific orders which never came. The Captain claims, and with presumption of probability, that the other was. As he remarked to me some four months afterwards on my way back from prison:

        "Do you believe me, old friend, to be such a natural-born fool as to have started him on this vital mission without definite orders, as far as foresight could reach? Or do you believe him to be one of the sort to undertake such a charge without orders?

        "Besides," (he continued, almost with tears in his eyes) "I dispatched three several couriers at intervals later on to impress upon him the transcendent, the overwhelming importance of intercepting Schofield. They all reported subsequently that the order had been delivered in person."

        Rest the blame on which it may, and I repeat in all religious fervor, God pity the culpable! It was the last chance, but a glorious opportunity for the Confederacy.

        The Federal legions quietly moved by the rest of the night, and within twenty-four hours thereafter were behind the impregnable ramparts across Harpeth River near Franklin. What followed was a hollocaust, a wholesale massacre for the Confederate Army in pursuit. Without entering into close

Page 82

enumeration, the loss inflicted on the assailants was almost equal to the entire force within the works. Eleven of the best General Officers were killed or wounded, including Pat Clepburn, the 'Stonewall' of the West. Whatever may be thought or said of the late culpability of omission, there can be no two opinions as to the responsibility of commission here. The Commanding General must assuredly bear it. His enemies allege that this needless slaughter was the result of the miscarriage of his soldierly scheme, just referred to, prompted by chagrin, mortification, and disappointment. Be that as it may, the actuating impulse what it might, whilst it was "grand, it was not war."

        From there to Nashville, Schofield had a walk-over, and later on, as resultant of that wonderful fight, a walk-in to the chief command of the United States Army.

        A lot of desultory fighting around Nashville, devoid of significance, followed, and that glorious, but shattered, army started back to the Tennessee, a mere remnant as it was. Lucky it was that on that retrograde march that a Michel Ney turned up to save the retreat from a total rout, if not extermination. One of the phenomenal men of all ages happened to be on hand, as he seemed always to be at the right place and at the right time whenever serious work had to be done. It was Nathan Bedford Forrest, who, with none of the fortuitous advantages of schools or training, had risen from the ranks to the grade of Lieutenant-General, and by unvarying success reflected imperishable renown on every station. He was now a sort of independent chief of cavalry, barely amenable to any nominal superior; actual he had none after the death of Sidney Johnson. In his sublime self-consciousness, he felt this then, and the recognized war critics of the world have since felt and conceded it, including Wolsely, Sherman, Grant, Maury, and others. I for one have an undoubting belief that if he could have succeeded the

Page 83

great Johnston in command the moment he fell, the Confederate States would have been a recognized power of the nations before six months had rolled around. The crisis called for a man, and there he was; a born soldier, not of the mere dilatory or dillettante or martinet or bulldog order, but one who always carried a head on his shoulders, brimful of native brain capacity, of far-reaching intuition, grasping the thing to do, and never failing to do it. A man of resources and expedients at critical juncture approaching the marvellous, with the single thought ever in view of success to his side, and all-sustained by powers of endurance approaching the superhuman, marked the son of the North Carolina blacksmith as a veritable son of Mars, surpassing in native, untutored genius for war all of his age, if not of all preceding ages. Tennessee owes much to her old mother - North Carolina, some of which has never been credited, but the deepest obligation of all was in the bestowal and adoption of this surpassing son of genius, and another of kindred mould - him of the 'Hermitage,' two of the most stupendous prodigies of the nineteenth century He saved the remnant of that army as Ney saved that from Moscow, the two grandest men in their respective armies, the imperial runaway not excepted. Next to self-assertiveness in the discharge of duty, modesty was the essential attribute of each. Each knew what he could do, but never boasted or plumed himself on what he had done. It has been one of the regrets of my subsequent life that I did not know him better for our acquaintance was but transient.

        But to return to the West Point of the fifties, on the eve of war. Having now paid my respects to the boys of that day I would be derelict to historic memoir to pass by some of the Academic Staff who became history-makers in the same momentous epoch, older boys by a few years.

        Brevet-Captain Gustavus W. Smith had long since caught the discerning eye of President Davis, when the latter was

Page 84

at the head of the War Office of the United States Army. Recognizing his great merit, he made him one of the five full Confederate generals on taking the responsibility of organizing the new army on the brink of hostilities. He proved himself well deserving the confidence of his great Chief at Seven Pines later on, until struck down by paralysis.

        First-Lieutenant Joseph J. Reynolds was Assistant Professor of Philosophy, and a philosopher he was. He it was who enunciated the great dictum collateral with the great Dean's two blades of grass truism; 'it costs less to feed two than one; I know, for I have tried them both.' Encouragement that to a subaltern connubiality, with proviso preliminary of dainty appetite and Mrs. Gilpin's "frugal mind intent.' Gallant gentleman that he was, he died in front of our brigade at the deep railroad cut at Gettysburg, after inflicting a loss of some nine hundred on us. He died a Major-General, United States Army. Note corrective of mistaken identity as to the last-named. In a recent two-days drive over the field (Gettysburg) with my old friend and classmate, General O. O. Howard, he told me that I was mistaken in inference as to initials. Instead of J. J., it was J. F. Reynolds who died that day. As Howard was his successor in command the rest of that eventful day, the presumption is that he reported correctly. As Byron says: "Such is fame! your name misspelt in a bulletin, or a bullet in your body." Long may the other live to prove his theroy of economy in duality.

        First-Lieutenants John M. Jones, David R. Jones, and Henry B. Clitz, were Assistant Instructors of Infantry Tactics, and teachers and gentlemen all. The first two died General Officers in the Confederate Army, and the last attained the like rank in the Federal, and, I trust, still survives, for all who recall him when he was in charge of one of the military departments of the South, in the early days of

Page 85

'reconstruction,' speak of him in affectionate and loving terms, as one who never took advantage of his power and position to ill-use or maltreat those then at his mercy, and a beautiful epitaph it would be for this good soldier and worthy gentleman. All who were puffed up with a little brief authority in those dark days, which gave an insight into character and inward nature, were not always so considerate. What is said of Clitz applies with equal force to General Milton Cogswell, at the time referred to a Second-Lieutenant and Assistant Professor of Mathematics.

        Lieutenant Andrew J. Donelson of the Engineers, though of a later date, must not be given the go-by. His Corps indicated his class standing; his brief graduate army record, his merit. He died at Memphis, a First-Lieutenant of Engineers, on October 20, 1859. His brother, John S., a Yale graduate, and my very particular friend, was killed at Chickamauga, a promoted captain after five wounds antecedent.

        Brevet-Major Fitz John Porter became a distinguished Major- General in the Union Army, and made a name for himself, until in an evil hour a ranking incompetent, much famed for modesty and veracity, became conscious that he needed a scapegoat to take off the blame and responsibility of a most ignominious defeat. And so, for twenty years, this true soldier and unblemished gentleman had to bear the soldier's dreaded stigma of being derelict and behindhand in the hour of emergency. For twenty years he had to pay this dread penalty to graded imbecility. One of the pleasant recollections of my life was helping to undo this greivous wrong by a vote in Congress.

        That outrage is suggestive of the judicial murder by court- martial of Admiral Byng, and that, nearly a century later, of that poor lad 'Spencer' on the brig Somers. Scapegoats these to ranking incapacity, imbecility and cowardice. Apposite to these, the most glaring instance of injustice, not to

Page 86

say national ingratitude, was the virtual humiliation of a later-on and valued friend, then Major, later on Major-General, Don Carlos Buell. This grand soldier and true gentleman turned an overwhelming defeat, or more appropriate rout, of a grand army of one day into a glorious victory the next, and such was his recognition.

        First-Lieutenant and Brevet-Major George H. Thomas was instructor of Artillery and Cavalry, and Porter was his assistant. A cold, phlegmatic, unimpressionable man he always seemed to me, but a born soldier, as the near future proved him to be. Had he been born a hundred miles nearer the North Pole, it might be added, one without taint or blemish. Unfortunately however, for his good name and historic reputation, he chose to be swaddled and cradled on this side of the Potomac, and when it came to taking sides he chose to espouse that of those on the other. At Chickamauga he struck his native section and maternal State the heaviest single blow that had fallen up to that time. It was a crushing blow to his natural and territorial instincts, and a most telling one for the side of his choosing. It was a heart-rending reflection to the embattled South that the two most terrible strokes dealt her, up to that period, were by two sons of her own nurture, the one on land, and the other on the water. Here was one. Farragut was the other. Ought it not to be an equally mortifying reflection to the victorious side that, in spite of her overwhelming preponderance in numbers and resources, her undersized competitor had to furnish her with the sledge- hammers to crush her? The gratitude of the beneficiary was fully shown to each, both by permanent promotion and post- mortuary memorials. But 'marble shaft and monumental brass' only impress the more indelibly the 'damned spot, which will not out.' Both have my pity with all of their grandeur and equivocal honors. Such as they are, let them wear them in peace.

Page 87

        More agreeable the task to speak of another Virginian, against whom the breath of calumny or detraction has never been heard, and in whose behalf encomium and panegyric have been so utterly exhausted that nothing in the way of novelty or originality can be uttered. Were I called upon to designate the highest tribute ever penned in his praise, it would be that of the learned Englishman, Professor Long, if memory is not at fault. He was about to publish his life of Marcus Aurelius, whom he assumes to have been the grandest and most perfect man in the annals of time. An American friend stated in print that the work was to be dedicated to General Grant. This he emphatically denies, adding, in effect, that he had never dedicated a book to any man in his life and did not propose ever to deviate from his rule. "If I could get my consent so to do," he adds, "this life of the grandest man would be inscribed to the next grandest before or since his time, the modest unpretentious schoolmaster in the hills of Virginia, who rounds off his matchless war record by a sublime example to the young men of his land." The quotation is from recollection, and not from text, but the substance is in it. Already he had been by consensus of the world's unbiased verdict pedestaled in the then recognized group of the five greatest captains of all time. This estimate puts him above them all, as the unmatched man in history with but a single exception. Include Saul of Tarsus, better known as Saint Paul, and the standing assigned him by this impartial critic is not extravagant. At the time of his becoming Superintendent of the Military Academy (1852), he was in the prime of life, only forty-five years of age, although he had but lately emerged from the Mexican war with the distinction surpassing all perhaps, except the two commanding Generals. He came to us at the Academy as a Captain of Engineers and Brevet Colonel. Never was brevet rank more worthily won, for by planning the campaign from Vera Cruz to the City of

Page 88

Mexico he made it one of the most famous in the annals of war. When he came, he was one of the finest looking specimens of high manhood, both a-foot and in saddle, but especially the latter, that mortal eye ever rested upon.

        The first time that I ever had the honor of colloquial converse with this man of men was on occasion herewith to follow. In the ranks one day my friend, Archie Gracie, one of the heroes already alluded to, concluded to have a little fun, in a quiet way, all to himself, by planting his hoofs, not of the feminine Chinese pattern, upon my heels. This he persisted in doing, despite a gentle remonstrance, possibly a little emphasized. Job had patience, but he was never subjected to such an ordeal as this, and so the gentleman in the rear was quietly notified, perhaps with a slight additional inflection of emphasis, that he would get a drubbing as soon as ranks were broken. To which he impudently retorted: "not from you!" Here was a dare and a take-up that no boy of spirit could resist. It was the 'chip on the shoulder,' and he dared to knock it off, and so in point of honor there had to be a fulfilment of promise.

        This duty was being discharged with unction, when an officious individual of muscular proportions, Patrice de Janon by name, then master of the foils, and later on Professor of Spanish, had to interfere and break up the fun. I thought at the time it was a mean thing to do. Perhaps friend Archie was of a different opinion, for, though I say it myself, I was getting decidedly the best of it when old 'Smallswords' had to intermeddle in the scrimmage. Long years later on, when he called on me in Washington, I reproached him for his officiousness on that occasion, and so, methinks, did his conscience, for both by instinct and profession he ought to have known better than to intermeddle in a good square stand-up fight between two worthy gentlemen. A fight to the finish would have done me lots of good, and Gracie but little

Page 89

hurt, for he was a much more powerful man, and, besides, it would have inculcated an object lesson, or rather a moral, on his young, impressionable nature never to be forgotten: namely, never to step on a man's toes, or his heels either, without good and sufficient provocation. Be that as it may, when "the mill," to use a vulgar slang expression, was called off by the master of fence, I declined the introduction requested, and walked off to the barracks.

        Not so, dear old Gracie, who, in addition to his name and surname, his patronymic and matronymic, perhaps, gave himself completely away. When asked for my name, however, he replied, like the sterling gentleman that he was, "you will have to ask him, for I'm no informer." In consequence, he got all the penalty, and a very heavy one it was, for fighting on the parade ground, and I came off scot-free for the time being. A good joke that, on dear old Gracie!

        The next morning I called upon the Superintendent at his office, and the purport of the interview follows. I opened it thus:

        "Colonel Lee, Mr. Gracie was yesterday reported for fighting on the parade ground, and 'the other fellow' was not."

        "Yes, sir," (was the reply), "and I presume you are the other fellow."

        "I am, sir, and I wish to submit the case in full for your consideration. Don't you think it very hard on him, Colonel, after getting the worst of the fracas, to have to take all of the penalty incident?"

        "Admitted, what then?" (was the reply).

        "Simply this, sir. Whatever punishment is meted out to him, I insist on having the same given to me."

        "The offence entails a heavy penalty" (he said).

        "I am aware of the fact, Colonel, but Mr. Gracie is not entitled to a monopoly of it."

        (Then he replied with that gentle, benignant smile which,

Page 90

once seen, could not easily be forgotten), "No, sir; you will get neither report nor penalty for this, and neither will Mr. Gracie get the last. I will cancel his report. Don't you think, Mr. Green, that it is better for brothers to dwell together in peace and harmony?"

        "Yes, Colonel, and if we were all like you, it would be an easy thing to do."

        A few minutes later, while looking out of the window, I saw Gracie pass with Colonel Lee's orderly following behind, and whilst still thinking of the coincidence, the door opened and the dear old boy entered and seized my hand without uttering a word, and the breach was closed, and thence on until he poured out his heroic heart's blood, a rich libation on the altar of liberty, there was never a harsh word or an unkind thought passed between us. Is it hard to divine who was the blessed peacemaker on that occasion?

        This is the same young general previously referred to, who, when General Lee ascended the earthwork in front of his brigade to make personal observation of the enemy's with a view to some contemplated strategic stroke, and would not hearken to the plaintive appeals of the men below to come down, - "For God's sake, General Lee, come down!" The incident as detailed was in the closing days of the Anaconda grip about Petersburg and the last days of the Confederacy. It was then that Archibald Gracie proved himself the hero that nature moulded him. Rushing up the parapet whilst minnies were buzzing like bumblebees about the "Great Captain," he stepped between him and the hostile sharpshooters. "Back to the trenches, General Gracie!" came the sharp command, - and the cool reply, "After you, General Lee. I never expected to disobey an order of yours, but here I do until you first obey an order of mine. Tumble over there, General, and I'll follow, but not a step before. I can catch a ball as well as you, and better a thousand, than you one." For once insurbordination was justifiable.

Page 91

        As tradition runneth, in order to save that bull-headed Brigadier, there was a momentary reversal of rank, the Lieutenant maintaining the upper hand of control, and so to paraphrase the nursery rhyme: "Old Marse Bob came tumbling down, and Gracie came tumbling after!" I tell the tale as it has been told and repeated to me, for I was not an eye-witness, but it was so in keeping with the noble nature of these two gallant gentlemen that it is accepted without the usual cum grano under such circumstances.

        These references to a few of the recognized heroes of that memorable epoch might be much extended were it not for fear of being thought over diffuse in laudation as well as a little prolix in recital. Others will probably appear later on.

        And so for three years, that is to say from 1850 to 1853, academic life flowed on in its quiet, limpid stream with but little to vary the usual routine of parades, guard mountings, and drills of various kinds, and kindred duties. True, during camp season the Point was besieged by city belles and other fair harpies, who then did, and still do, congregate to whet their beaks on unsophisticated squabs simply to retain normal appetites, cultivate the lures and wiles, and keep their hands in for the winter campaign for larger game on their return to town. They always seemed to relish the fun, little caring for the havoc of young hearts that they were to leave behind, as later on indicated by lugubrious looks and furnace sighs. Poor fellows; it did them no hurt in the end, and did the dear creatures lots of good.

        Concomitant to these love episodes and summer cooings were the cadet balls, with dulcet strains discoursed by one of the finest orchestras in the world. The dances were almost exclusively of the good old-fashioned "square" English sort, with an occasional waltz by those well acquainted, and almost always winding up with the ever-to-be honored old Virginia reel. The later-on abomination of French invention and high Dutch cognomen had not then crept in, thank the Lord.

Page 92


        At the end of the time named I handed in my resignation, having no desire to enter and remain in the army in time of peace. My stay at the Academy was, on the whole, the most agreeable connected three years of my early life inasmuch as it brought intimate association with a band of the noblest gentlemen that I have since known, as an aggregate, with but few frictions resulting from contact. Coming from one of my unfortunately assertive nature, it is a no mean compliment to pay to the friends and associates of that interesting period.

        I parted from the dear fellows with mutual pangs of regret, unless I am greatly mistaken. One little incident may not be out of place in that connection. The afternoon before leaving, while sitting on a rock overlooking the Hudson, in melancholy reflection, Phil Sheridan, later on Commanding General U. S. Army, happened to be passing, and asked permission to join me. The request was a surprise, as he was in an advanced class and there never had been any intimacy between us. In fact, the poor fellow, for reasons needless to mention, had hardly an associate, let alone an intimate, on the place. He began: "I hear, Sept., that you have resigned. Is it so?" "Yes," was the reply. "Is it too late to recall your resignation?" was his next query, with evident concern. "But I have no desire to," was my reply; and so we parted, after a few more words.

        If, at that time, I had been called upon to designate the man on that historic spot who would later on reach the high rank Sheridan attained, he would probably have been one of the very last to have come under consideration, and such, methinks, would have been the almost unanimous forecast of all who knew him. Proof that is, that the boy is not always

Page 93

father of the man, gauged by the world's criterion - success. That he developed into a superb cavalry leader, doubtless unequalled by any other on the Federal side, stands confessed. That he is entitled to place on the same professional plane with Forrest, Stuart, or Hampton, is far more debatable. Whatever his status may be on that line, I for one maintain that it had been far better for his historic fame had he died in battle before the end of the struggle came. Had he done so, he would have been spared the horrible reproach, which perhaps none has borne since Alva, of needlessly desolating an utterly defenseless country, occupied only by old men, women and children, wiping out every vestige of mill, granary and smokehouse, in his terrible path; and his still more brutal boast - that the crow that followed in his wake would have to carry his rations along with him - not surpassed even by that of Attila the Hun - that where his horse planted his hoof, grass never grew again.

        This historic march, more appropriately Hunish foray, had counterpart later on in the virtual extirpation of the entire tribe of Piegan Indians, regardless of sex, infancy, or decrepitude. The last is paralleled in recent English story only by the massacre of Glencoe, so far as reading recalls. Neither is worthy of imitation henceforth and forevermore. Allusion is made to the two incidents in his life story to show how easy is the transition from racial nobility to barbarianism when instinct points the way.

        Perhaps a more flagrant disregard of inherent rights and Anglo-Saxon liberty than his forcible arrest of five members of the Louisiana Legislature in their seats, for partisan purpose, cannot be cited. True, the same identical outrage was attempted in the House of Commons some 250 years ago, even down to the self-same number of five, by one Charles Stuart; 'By the grace of God, etc., King of England, etc.' But our cranky old progenitors, always serious at serious juncture,

Page 94

did not laugh at this culmination of the sportive tricks of the aforesaid Charles Rex, and so they turned about and arrested him, led him to a block, and chopped off his head, and the better thinking portion of mankind have ever since ratified the regicide verdict with: 'served him right.' So should it be with those in authority, who disregard the natural, no less than the legal limitations and restrictions against abuse of power.

        In striking contrast this man's career to that of his classmate and immediate successor in the chief army command, John M. Schofield, of whom it can be truly said: "A soldier in war, a citizen in peace, a gentleman always." Fortunate would it be for Sheridan's immediate predecessor, as well as for himself and his successor one degree removed, if they were entitled to wear the same proud badge of honor without abbreviation. Alas! due regard for historical truth, and what should be our national standard, forbids it. Schofield filled the bill. The others had their ephemeral honors and emoluments in this life. Let them pass on to their allotted place in Dante's dream; they have had their prize rewards on this side of Charon's creek, to the cost of others.

        I do not forget that I am stepping on new made graves, nor have I forgotten the point of the Latin apothegm - "De mortuis nil, etc." If so, let it be borne in mind that history has been equally oblivious in handling the post-mortem reputations of certain worthies with whom she had to deal, notably, Nero, Caligula, Commodus, and Domitian. She and her scribes have not been tender-footed or mealy-mouthed whenever it was necessary to call a spade a spade, or a tyrant a tyrant. When a people grow too squeamish for such good old English, pure and undefiled, they have grown to be too delicate and refined to be fit conservators of English liberty.

        Leaving the Military Academy, which was done with sincere regret at having to sever congenial ties, I next turned my

Page 95

steps to the great school founded by the immortal Jefferson, and, like everything that he ever did, on the most rational basis of any other. Educational tyros and moneyed magnates have tried in vain to eclipse his handiwork by lordly bequests of millions and tens of millions on the gorgeous mausolea which they reared, ostensibly dedicated to learning, but with the unmistakable tombstone inscription paramount, 'to mortuary vanity and vainglory.' Well be the motive of ground foundation what it may, they doubtless have their utility, even if learned faculties must now and then keep their tongues and thinking functions under curb in deference to foundational mandate, when trenching on topica-interdicta, as Galileo did. Jefferson's school was on the model of his State - no undue restriction on thought or inculcation.

        Before matriculating, I had passed the summer with my father and family at the White Sulphur Springs, Virginia. There I imbibed many of his beneficent precepts. Handing me one day a case of superb duelling pistols, which had been in service in the 'ould country,' where such playthings had whilom been deemed an essential adjunct to a polite education, he gave me his paternal blessing and parting admonition - "Learn to use them, my son, but be mighty careful that you never do, at ten yards off or so, without just, ample and sufficient provocation." Like a dutiful son, I have heeded his injunction in both regards. Occupying a two-room cottage in a retired grove all to myself afforded excellent opportunity for varying Chitty on Contracts with Sir Jonah on Hair-triggers. I soon became a famous expert, and although my nerves are not steady as they then were, still my right hand has not yet lost its cunning.

        God be praised, I never have had to use them in the manner intimated, but, on the contrary, have prevented others doing so in my confidential capacity of 'friend,' when called on for their loan, never compromising the honor or good name

Page 96

of those who did me the honor to request the unwelcome service. And so I have long since had serious misgivings whether the duello is an unmitigated evil under proper conditions, a judicious and well-selected adviser, or friend if you will, always being the primary one. Under this, and other proper limitations, both reason and recollection tell me that it might be a very salutary check on bullies and blackguards, who prefer the revolver-drop, unawares, to a fair stand-up fight where neither has the advantage. As proof of this, we have only to instance the overwhelming preponderance of foul and cowardly killings that have succeeded the old and honored mode of settling personal difficulties in the earlier part of the just expired century.

        The next morning, while still in bed, I was honored with a visit from my paternal ancestor. He left me not long in doubt as to the motive of such an unusual matutinal call. After due preface and preamble, he began much on the ex-cathedraic strain, which was his usual style when wishing to be excessively persuasive or rather impressive. "My son, after getting your law license, of course you would like a year or two of foreign travel to complete your education, and such is my intention." After thanking him for this fresh proof of his fatherly regard, he continued: "Yes, travel expands the ideas, but, of course, no man of sense cares to go abroad to gaze at the monuments of man until he has first beheld the great natural curiosities of his own land, especially Niagara, the Natural Bridge, and the Mammoth Cave. Now, you have two or three weeks, before the University opens, to run out to Kentucky and take in the last, and then drop down to Nashville and pay a brief visit to your maternal kin." "But, father," I put in, "I do not care to see the old cave; I am very well satisfied here." "Yes, a little too well satisfied," was his sarcastic rejoinder. "The stage for Guyandotte leaves at 12 o'clock. Here's your ticket on a back seat, and

Page 97

here's a hundred dollars for the trip. Have your trunk on in time." Be sure, after such an injunction, that trunk was aboard betimes, for my slight acquaintance with General G., had long since convinced me that when he imparted his orders with marked emphasis, he always meant what the words imported. But why that stretch of emphasized authority? After much subsequent cogitation on the subject, it has dawned on me that he had gotten the idea on the brain that I was falling in love injudiciously, and he resolved to blast my incipient affection by a dose of enforced absence. The remedy proved effective in the end, if, indeed, the malady had really set in, but its ministration made me think at the time that the General was a hard superior, and unfeeling man.

        As now recalled, the trip to the Ohio then took two days and nights, now as many hours; and a most disagreeable one it proved, melting all day and freezing all night. The change in that altitude was intense, but that was not the worst of it. The recollection of that first night on the bleak mountain-top sends the cold shivers over me whenever it obtrudes itself. A hold-up by a lone highwayman, do you ask? No, nor by a dozen. Better had it been for my future peace of mind. But the story calls for full recital, after getting thus far in the blood-curdling preliminaries. No, it was not a hold-up, or a turn-over either. Worse than the combination. But, ab initio, to make a connected narrative.

        When the stage left the 'White,' there were two New York men of maturer years than mine occupying front seats, besides four unmentionables, including two ladies, one of whom sat by me on the rear seat, leaving the middle seat to the three others. It was my misfortune to have that brace of Manhat-islanders for travelling companions for many days thereafter. Not that a tragedy ensued. No, owing to my forbearance and sweet disposition, neither of them died on the trip. They were, on the whole, good fellows, but a little

Page 98

over-given to levity and frivolity. Knowing that we were to be close-mewed up together for a long time to come, we all soon became acquainted; in fact, might be said to be on a friendly and familiar footing. At a stopping-place two or three hours from the start, an old gentleman of about seventy and a young lady of perhaps twenty got in, he taking the vacant front seat, and she the vacant rear, the other one by me. They both looked mighty spank and spruce in new duds, and with my natural precipitancy in coming to conclusions, I said to myself: the old gentleman is taking his pretty granddaughter on to a finishing-off school. The damsel was exceedingly fair to look upon, and so, extending the unvoiced monologue, the next remark was - here's consolation for you, my boy, for the paternal tyranny to which you have just been subjected. And so, beginning an acquaintance on platitude and commonplace, as moonshine tipped the mountaintop, I was floating in moonshine and syllabub and spouting the love poets in her seemingly willing ear. In extenuation for such precipitancy on the amatory line, let it be said that the situation and the subject were conducive to it, and that I had just emerged from semi-monastic durance, during which for nine months in the year the dear creatures were regarded as curiosities, and to be caught by a bob-tail lieutenant talking to or walking with a stray specimen was out of sheer envy regarded as a dereliction almost tantamount to a visit to Benny Havens, whose acquaintance I am proud to say I never made. Furthermore, I was young, simple, unsophisticated, and since getting the better of normal and inborn dread of them, of a most impressionable nature. Besides, had not my maiden affection just been crushed by an arbitrary exercise of power?

        All went merry as a marriage-bell until there came a portentious caution from the front. "Young man, when you get through with that nonsense, we would like to go to sleep."

Page 99

There came a suppressed double chuckle from the New York corner of that vehicle in response to that broad ill-timed personality. But after such a hint, from one seeming to be in authority, all nonsense ceased for the rest of that night. At the breakfast house the next morning, two of our fellow voyagers stopped over. She did not even say goodbye to me at parting. But, oh, the scream that went up from the others as we were leaving that hashery. "Jones, that beat the Bowery all hollow." "Well, I should say so," came the reply; "the idea of making love to a bride of twelve-hours-standing, in the very teeth of her husband, beats bob-tail as well as the Bowery." "It's not so," I cried; "she is his granddaughter." With that, there was another wild explosion of guffaw, in which I grieve to say the ladies were the loudest. Then followed lame imitations from Annabel Lee, Maid of Athens, Lalla-Rookh, etc., etc., all horribly mutilated and murdered.

        The stage was stopped and I got out with the driver, hoping to find more congenial society, which came to wish. The scenery from the box was grand, especially the far-famed Hawk's Nest, a precipice of 1500 feet, apparantly perpendicular. Bill was communicative without being at all offensive. As an instance, he called attention to an over-turned stage some hundred yards down the mountain side, which had brought up against a sapling. "Was any one killed?" I asked with bated breath. "Well, that's just what Jim asked from up here," having jumped off as he saw it was going down. "Well, what was the answer?" "No, but there will be up there as soon as I get to the top," replied a Kentuckian as he started up with a revolver. "Did he wait?" "Not Jim, he was too smart for that; he took to his heels, and left them all to shift for themselves, and they had to walk five miles to the next station."

        Although the river was exceptionally low, a crippled old

Page 100

stern-wheeler picked us up about midnight, and in due, or rather it should be said undue time, landed us in Louisville. The New Yorkers and I called to see Porter, the Kentucky giant, during the afternoon. In bulk he was much bigger than John C. Calhoun or Andrew Jackson, but there all-comparison ended. The next day, I took stage Nashville, via the big cave. At the stopping-place, seven miles short, I tried to find out something about it from the old landlord. His reply was, "You will have to ask some one else. I have lived here all my life but have never been there." Here was curiosity for you, not to take a morning's walk to see one of the world's greatest wonders, for so I found it in all verity. The Grotto of Adelsburg, which I saw later on, may surpass it in scenic effect, but falls far short in grandeur and immensity of dimensions. A second visit, long years subsequently, only strengthened first impressions.

        After a week's sojourn on old familiar tramping ground, I started back to the University, this time by steam. On the train, came up with an old cadet friend with a funny reminiscence. Daniel was of a social turn and prone to drop in on his friends, whether in or out of study hours mattered little, and he was usually a welcome visitor, for he was brimful of Georgia scenes, far surpassing Judge Longstreet's in pith and point of narrative. Of course, no door, even of the most studious of us delvers after the unfathomable, could be closed in the face of such a one as he. Now, there is, or was, a ridiculous rule or regulation prevailing in that school, restricting social interchange of jokes and anecdotes. No visiting between certain hours, it read, and certain penalties for infraction, or words to that effect. Now, it so happened that at this particular juncture, the inspecting officer, or scooper-up of culprits, was Lieutenant Baker, who still wore his cadet soubriquet of 'Betsy Baker,' a worthy gentleman as I see him now, a veritable sleuth-hound as then. Now, Betsy

Page 101

had a knack of making his tours of inspection at the most unreasonable and unexpected hours, when ingenuous youth was least on the lookout, and as it turned out, on the inauspicious occasion to follow. While Daniel was in the midst of a lovely recital of some particularly laughable incident, located of course down in Georgia, the jingling of Betsy's sabre was heard entering the opposite room. It took but a moment for Daniel to jump in the fire-place and to have the screen closed behind him. Quick as it was, however, the commotion within doubtless aroused Betsy's suspicions, as he had probably been along there himself in the recent past. After making the usual cursory and perfunctory look around to satisfy himself that we were in and everything in place, he opened the door, but closed it again, leaving the impression on the man in the fire-place that he had made his egress. After waiting a few moments for developments, we heard a voice from the mural tomb: "Say, Sep., hasn't 'old Bets' gone yet?" The reply came from our visitor: "No, Mr. Daniel, 'old Bets' is still here, waiting to take your name and measure." As poor Daniel emerged from the chimney, a veritable conglomerate of Santa Claus and his namesake of the lion's den, three of us exploded, but the fourth one couldn't see anything to laugh at.

        Arrived at Charlottesville, I at once entered on my new course of study, taking the two tickets of law and belles lettres with political economy interjected in the last. The Law School was presided over by Professors Minor and Holcombe, and the other by Professor McGuffey, the famous author of the series of school readers, which in their day were read in most of the elementary schools of the land, and which probably have never since been improved upon. They were erudite, not to say recondite, teachers, and all attained celebrity in their new sphere of action, and later on.

        It was a standing charge in derogation by the opponents

Page 102

of the institution, that few young men, and in that day they were usually such, and not boys, ever took the two courses of lectures without coming out thoroughly imbued with 'States- rights' indoctrination, and of such I was no exception, although paternal precepts had made the way easy to that rational and orthodox line of political faith. And yet, Dr. McGuffey, who was the brainest schoolmaster that I have over known, after a somewhat varied and diversified acquaintance with the brotherhood, was decidedly Federalistic in his leanings and line of thought - if the expression may be used - a Whig of Whigs. But, like the wise and conscientious teacher that he was, he would give the arguments pro and con dispassionately on great governmental questions, such as the Bank, the Tariff, Internal Improvements, etc., and leave conclusions to the judgment of his hearers. The usual result of this Socratic mode of indoctrination was a brood of unfledged States-Rights Democrats at the end of the term. For all that, I owe dear old 'Guff' a grudge for forcing a class distinction on me in spite of myself.

        All three of the gentlemen named were an honor to their profession, and supplied cud to chew upon from that day to this. This was in great measure due to freedom from schoolboy espionage and insensate restraint. The sort of young men then at that school required no such juvenile restraint, curb, and oversight. They were as a body well born, high bred, and cultured to a high degree, before applying for admission into the characteristic institution. As a rule, they had reached years of ordinary discretion, and leaving their boyish tricks and sportive tendencies behind them, had come there with fixed purpose to absorb the modicum of erudition within range of reach, before entering the great arena which they saw just ahead. They buckled down to their work in good earnest, and I with them, a creditable commonwealth for an older community's imitation.

Page 103

        Speaking of college honors, I trust my vanity may be excused for brief reference to one which was barely missed, and which would have been most highly prized, though it came not through the Faculty. At the time of which mention is made, and presumptively ever since, there were two literary, or more properly speaking, debating societies at the University. In christening these, it is highly probable that the primary matriculates of two generations antecedent were as little familiar with high Hellenic as scores of country high schools have been ever since, which usually prefer euphemistic Greek compounds at the baptismal font on such occasions, as for instance, 'The Demosthenian," 'The Euphemasian,' and the like, to their good old honest mother-tongue nomenclature. Not of that ilk were Mr. Jefferson's boys some hundred years ago, as the two societies were duly dubbed 'The Jefferson,' and 'The Washington,' in honor of the two biggest men that the great mother of big men had up to that time produced. There were disputants in each who would not have shamed Parliamentary bodies of a far more pretentious standard, as many have since electrified senates and shaped governmental polity, while not a few fill heroes' graves.

        Preferring the political tenets and tendencies of Monticello to those of Mount Vernon, I was soon enrolled in the ranks of 'The Jeff,' numerically about three to one in excess of the other. On second or third appearance in that forum, I was assigned to the discussion of the question at the next succeeding meeting. It was a fundamental political question, and one fraught with momentous consequences thence on forever, as it had been from the adoption of the Federal Constitution the most vital of all. It involved, or rather brought into bold relief, the legitimate relationship between the State and General Government, naturally trenching on the right of resumption of delegated powers. Recognizing the transcendent

Page 104

importance of a true conception of the mighty issues involved, then and thence on to Appomattox, where the glaived hand of overwhelming force gave the 'Constitutional Federative' system its quietus forever, I was as full of the theme in preparation for that mimic senate as if the forensic tilt was destined to come off in the Capitol before one of Catos. Goodbye to text books for the week to follow. I was too full of the fate of Rome, and more especially of another great kindred Republic, to give time or thought to trivialities or puerilities. Page after page, if not quire after quire, of foolscap was spoiled to connect the line of thought. The Madison papers were analyzed and dissected by paragraph in order to give the true intent of the 'Framers,' and so the 'Resolution' of '97 and '98, the Missouri Compromise and its legitimate offspring in base born bastardy, fitly dubbed the 'Omnibus Bill,' were torn into tatters and scattered to the four winds. Then long walks were taken morning, noon, and at nightfall, memorizing the sublimity of thought on paper.

        Finally, as the eventful night drew on apace, I felt confidant of reciting my little piece with the unbroken fluency of a juvenile Demosthenes, tackling Cassabianca for the first time. Alas! the best laid plans of mice and men, etc., etc. I was hardly twenty words deep in a telling exordium before floundering beyond mental depth. In this initial effort on any stage, that terror of the tyro or debutant, known as stage fright, had hit a stunning blow between the eyes. All connectedness of preconceived words and phraseology vanished. I felt very much like our imported French riding-master did at West Point when he lost his saddle in an incipient charge, or the General commanding the army when he imitated the trans-Atlantic charlatan by falling off his horse the other day in the presence of the Presidency and the other assembled magnates of the nation. The business of each was to ride, and not to fall and each doubtless objected to being the

Page 105

special spectacular of a reversal of the program. 'Frenchy' confessed as much in saying: 'Gentil-hommes, I did vish that the ground vould open ven I fell off that tam horse!' Probably, so thought too the Grand General of the U. S. Army (Miles) as he felt himself doomed to such ignominious exit from the admiring gaze of that grand assemblage on that grand occasion. If such was the thought at that terrible moment, it is safe to say that if it had been put in words, it would today meet a hearty 'Amen' response in the past predicate, from an overwhelming majority of his countrymen, inclusive of the best element of those under his immediate command. Be that as it may, there was a new-fledged aspirant for histrionic distinction about that time, who may be supposed to have felt as the Count felt 'ven he was falling off that tam horse!' Of course, it goes without question that the transplanted master of horse was a count and grand legionary, or something of that sort, as Uncle Sam has as little use for untitled pretension of the foreign sort as have our moneyed belles of the shoddy variety.

        At the awful juncture referred to, when vainly essaying to catch on to the connection in the manuscript, and when being guyed unmercifully by some three or four hundred new-made friends, scarcely a dozen of whom were known by sight, it became evident that a crisis was imminent and a change of base essential. Grasping at the traditional straw of the drowning man, there was a hurried colloquy held in another debating society whose hall was in the garret of an individual cranium. The question flashed with electric thrill: Why continue to make a ninny of yourself by trying to recite your memorized parroty lesson word by word? You are reasonably master of the subject and know what you wish to say. Say it. And so I did, and made the hit of my life on the oracular line, as then felt, and ever since known. Before proceeding five minutes on the new line, gibes and sneers had

Page 106

given way to pretty continuous applause and cries of 'Go on,' when time was up. But higher proof was forthcoming at the next succeeding assembly when a President for the year had to be chosen. To my extreme surprise my name was placed in nomination for that high and much coveted distinction, as tradition averred that at least two years membership was indispensable to justify a presumptuous eye on the Chair. I failed to reach the goal by a single vote, the successful competitor being the grandson and namesake of America's most famous orator and himself not one of a common order, being the acknowledged champion disputant of the society, a claim which he made good on the wider arena for the few eventful years preceding his untimely end. He had been at the University, as I was told, six or seven years battling for that recognized highest academic prize, Master of Arts of the University of Virginia. That year he was one of the half-dozen aspirants who won the coveted degree of A. M.

        Recurring to that adverse majority of one, it has been a fateful numeral for me in many, if not most of my electoral contests. By one vote I lost the colonelcy of the Twelfth North Carolina Regiment in the early part of 1863; by one vote, failed to take seat in the North Carolina State Senate, although conceded even by my opponent to be entitled to it by two or three hundred majority. (Note. In the first of these I was not aware that an election was pending. The other was in war times, when not hankering after political preferment.) Nevertheless, it was a remarkable coincidence, which has never probably befallen another with my limited appetite for promotion.

        It has been a standing regret in later life, that I did not profit more from the obvious teaching of this maiden effort, namely, that in all subsequent ones I had not placed less reliance on 'the letters Cadmus gave,' and attached more importance to clothing ideas in less finished phrase, and in more

Page 107

honest, manly, homespun garb. Or to change the metaphor, that manuscript had never been relied upon as crutch to help a treacherous memory, if not a lame and halting argument. No, take my advice and follow example mentioned, oh! sophomores; first master your subject and then get mad and go it blind, regardless of meliferous phrase or stilted expression. I have seen many a self-complacent sophomore (Anglicized 'wise fool') fool a crowd of bigger fools with words only, barring a due infusion of rant and fustian.

        After a scholastic year at this model institution, during which let us hope a due proportion of intellectual pabulum fell to my share, the spirit of change or unrest came over me again and prompted fresh pastures green for omnivorous browsing. In my boyhood town in Tennessee, there had lately sprung up a law school which, for the time, had grown into celebrity overshadowing all the others. Although only the adjunct of a country high-school, modestly dubbed University, it became almost from its birth a recognized fountain-head of legal lore throughout the land, rivaling, if not eclipsing, the older and far more famous schools of the East. This phenomenal development was doubtless due to its being under the auspices of three of the most learned judges in that State or any other, namely, Greene, Caruthers, and Ridley, whose personal and professional repute gave their school name and fame far and wide, suggestive of that of the famous Abelard, most renowned teacher of his time.

        I was prompted to give up the University for this new-fledged candidate for forensic fame by the reflection that the succeeding course of lectures would in the main be but a repetition of those just heard, and the hope of imbibing a fresh infusion of thoughts and ideas by a change of instructors. Without the slightest reflection on the others, candor compels the admission that to the best of belief, I was not mistaken. A two-mile walk before and after was perhaps

Page 108

conducive to reflection and inward digestion of the truths enunciated in previous lectures.

        Here I continued about five months, when it occurred to me that enough of my life had been spent in class rooms, then in my twenty-fourth year.

Page 109


        A few days later I was back with my father and family at the old St. Nicholas Hotel, New York, then the leading caravansary of the New World, which goes, without saying, of the entire world. What a wonderful transformation has since taken place in this field, as in every other. Gorgeous as it was in its time, it would still hardly be ranked today as fit intermediate halting place on the stage-road of time between old Sam Johnson's revered taverns and the palatial publics of the close of the century, rivaling the homes of royalty in their get-up and concomitants of splendor and magnificence.

        A few days later, after having been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States upon application of the Hon. George E. Badger, perhaps at the time the leading practitioner before that august tribunal, I was duly inducted into the office of Walker and Janin, to which reference has already been made. Well do I recall a remark of the great North Carolina jurist at the hotel that night: 'Young man, I have made a novitiate of you; you'll have to make a lawyer of yourself.' Perhaps, had home manufacture been left to myself, the outcome might have turned out a fairly reasonable success, for I would have put the bottom rung in the ladder before putting in the topmost one.

        My judgment would have enjoined an initial before a village Dogberry, like other legal aspirants in the chrysalis state, instead of taking the remote and improbable chance of riveting the attention of America's greatest Chief-Justice, for so I hold Roger Taney to have been, despite a world's preconceived opinion. Not so my father, who believed that altitude in start would be conducive to prolonged flight, oblivious to the fact that not every year or century can turn out a Tom Erskine. My progenitor was of far-reaching ideas

Page 110

and comprehensive grasp, but withal somewhat visionary in evolution. I once laughingly told him that if he had anticipated Fulton's great problem, he would have required a new born ocean-liner to demonstrate its utility. That perhaps was a fraction far-fetched as well as unfilial; but still I believe that he had a lurking hope of springing a full-fledged jurisconsult before the eyes of an astonished world by favor of adventitious beginning.

        Feeling myself wofully handicapped from the start in being thus entered unheralded in an arena of world-known legal gladiators, it was not calculated to inspire confidence, but still feeling a well-grounded reliance at bottom of being reasonably well posted in the rudiments, I strove on in the hope that Erskine's opportunity might repeat itself in order to show the world what a mass of erudition and legal light was being hidden under a bushel. All speculations on that score, however, were brought to an abrupt conclusion of self and friends, supported by high medical authority, that my mundane career was about to be brought to a sudden termination by a brief winter's sojourn at the Federal Capital, which was confirmed a few days later by the celebrated Dr. Stone, of New Orleans, who prescribed horseback, ten-pins, and active out-door exercise generally, to the exclusion of drugs, nostrums, and medicated cure-alls of every kind.

        Believing that he knew what he was talking about, I took the first boat for Shreveport, bought a horse and began an extended ride through Texas, which with the branch-offs to the right and left covered according to note-book at the end upwards of 1,500 miles, and consuming nearly two months in making it. The first two or three days out were slow progress, scarcely averaging fifteen miles a day, owing to weakness and physical breakdown. In fact, had it not been for Dr. Stone's forecast to that effect, it is probable that after the second day I would have gone back, laid down,

Page 111

and died. But pride was aroused and I kept on, soon overlapping thirty or forty miles a day with less and less tax on the powers of nature. Later on I told the dear old gentleman, whom I have since regarded as one of the brainiest of his profession, and despite his rough speech and at times uncouth mannerism, one of the best of men, that nothing but that prediction kept me in the saddle with face to the setting sun, and thus saved a life of but little intrinsic value. To the end of his, we were friends and cronies whenever chance brought us together. Perhaps identity of political faith had something to do with cementing the tie. Though born and reared in the heart of New England, it was not in him to espouse the political opinions of that dogmatic section. He had well-matured convictions of his own in diametrical clash to his immediate surroundings. 'States-rights and Strict-Construction' was the shibboleth of his creed; Jefferson and Calhoun its exponents.

        It was a bleak and dreary ride with not a traveling companion a mile of the way, and most of the distance not the sight of habitation between the morning start and the evening let-up. The unvarying bill of fare was substantial, but grew to be slightly monotonous after the first month, namely, corn bread and fat middling drowned in its own gravy (so called) and a bowl of coffee black as Tartarus, sans milk, sans sugar, and almost sans the berry that gave it name. Still, knowing that it was the daily diet of the entertainers, the invariable charge of one dollar for man and beast was paid after breakfast without cavil or complaint; but the thought forced itself, why, in a country replete with game and the streams with fish, and no scarcity of cows in milk with fattening calves attendant, can there not be a little diversity in the menu by way of variety? Reckon they never thought of it. Still, a good appetite after a long day's ride rarely failed me at table, and perhaps that was one of the most efficacious

Page 112

ingredients in old Stone's prescription. Be that as it may, at the journey's end I had left an ugly graveyard cough far in the rear, and was some twenty pounds plus in avoirdupois. The recipe is given for the benefit of others like inclined, or rather predisposed.

        But despite the monotony of the journey, there were occasional interludes of variety, amusing it may be to the reader, if not always agreeable to the writer, or rather the rider. A few such episodes are given by way of variety.

        One day about noon I watered and staked old Jim, ate the usual lunch of fat bacon and corn-dodger, stretched out and took the usual hour's siesta, saddled, and resumed the road. Let it be premised, it was a cloudy day. Towards the close of it, half familiar landmarks began to appear in view, and soon the countenance of my late host was seen over the fence. Then the awful truth became manifest that the mid-day nap had lost a day by turning me on the back track, and cost me a laugh.

        Jim was an equine of unusually amiable traits, but he was not cut out for the cavalry, for he had an unconquerable aversion to the detonation of fire-arms, and a jaw that a Mexican curb could scarce control when once aroused. I had a kindred aversion to rattlesnakes, and whenever I came across one of the vile creatures coiled up and sunning himself on the roadside, the temptation to try a shot was too great to be withstood. On the instant, 'James' was off like a cannon-ball, and lucky it was if he could be brought to a hold-up under a mile. Then followed a more deliberate ride on the retrograde to recover lost possessions, a hat here, an overcoat beyond, next a saddlebag, and perhaps Jim's obnoxious revolver near the starting point. After two or three runaways for like needless cause and provocation, I came to the conclusion that the game was not worth the cartridge, and did my best to call a truce by withstanding temptation, but it took time to

Page 113

eradicate a settled conviction in the head of that idiotic quadruped, namely that rattlers got in the road on purpose to be shot at, and so, for a long while, he was off as soon as he saw or scented one of the vile things.

        A couple of days later on, Jim's pyrotechnic nerves were near being tested on larger and ignobler game. After a lonesome day's ride with scarcely a cabin in sight on the route, I struck a fence enclosing an improved plantation. My mouth watered at the prospect of anticipatory good cheer for the night, and suitable the time and occasion for just about that time an 'incipient 'Norther,' as it seemed, put in an appearance, accompanied by the most terrific rainfall that I have ever known, with one exception and that on the Nile, where a drop of water was reputed not to have fallen for seven years antecedent. Commend me, or rather commend some other, to those arid lands where it rains only with the advent of the census taker.

        Following the fence for a mile brought me in front of a neatly framed house, whose piazza was almost on the road. I had heard of a drowned rat; I felt like two, with icicles trickling from collar to boots. Almost without waiting to ask permission I proceeded to dismount, and then came the ominous veto: 'Don't get down; you can't come in.' Almost dumbfounded with surprise and indignation, I reached over and unbuckled the right flap of the saddlebags, and proceeded to read the cur a moral lecture, more emphatic than unctious, on the recognized laws of hospitality. Before the lesson was well under way, he remarked, with a profane prefix, that he had heard enough and that I had better move on, adding, by way of stimulus, perhaps that double-barrel behind the door may expedite your movements. Now that, under the circumstances, was more than my grandfather, 'the man of Uz,' who was reputed one of monumental patience, could have borne without losing his equanimity. It can not be

Page 114

truthfully alleged that I, who came by descent into possession of much of that commendable trait, preserved it unscathed under such a threat with preliminary provocation. I was mad from the start, and kept on getting madder until he dared this cowardly bombast.

        Then he was admonished not to move out of his tracks until he heard a homily on courtesy and good breeding, under penalty of never laying hands on a double-barrel again. Am glad to say he heeded the fatherly counsel thus given, and so obviated the necessity for a more heated altercation. In response to his platitude that a man's house is his castle, as much was graciously conceded, but a counter claim was interpolated, namely, that the king's highway is common to all men, and for the time I held the highway. The use of the ambiguous term may have induced the belief on his mind that he was having to do with one of Dick Turpin's sort. Be that as it may, it gladdens an old man's heart to report that the claim to respective suzerainty was mutually acquiesced in. During the interesting colloquy Jim was remarkably quiescent for one of his restive nature, and seemed to say as plainly as a horse could say 'If you would like to take one shot at the thing, old man, I'll try and stand it.'

        A mile or so further on we reached an unpretentious cabin, whose occupant was an inborn gentleman. He put me in front of a rousing fire, gave a drink of new corn whiskey to thaw me out, went out and groomed Jim, and then came back and did the same for me, rubbing me down in no gentle currycombing, for well he realized that I was on the verge of physical collapse. Then he wrapped me up in his old overcoat, made me take another stiff drink of the best tipple he had to offer, and then ushered me into the next room, where I sat down to the most enjoyable meal that has ever passed the lips of man, and that is a no small compliment from one who has since eaten hash at many of the most renowned

Page 115

hostelries on the civilized globe. Imprimis, a queenly welcome from the lady who had prepared it, then a venison steak properly gotten up, supplemented with biscuit, fresh butter and buttermilk, and to cap the climax, a cup of good honest hot coffee with concomitants of milk and sugar. Rest assured that, like 'Dalgetty of Drumthwacket,' full justice was done to a spread like that after a month of unwelcome deglutition. That dear dame had evidently spread herself on that get-up, and I have loved her ever since, platonically, for doing it. It was evidently designed as a pure charity entertainment to a half frozen, half drowned, half starved poor devil, who had been unexpectedly cast upon their bounty. They were people who had evidently known better times, but, better far, knew how to adapt themselves to the reverse of fortune.

        While discussing his neighbor's contemptible conduct over the after-supper pipe, I remarked that I offered to bet him ten dollars to a postage stamp that he wasn't born and bred in our Southern regions. "And you would have won the wager if he had taken you up," was the reply, 'for he saw first daylight nearer the St. Lawrence than the Potomac." A good night's rest, a hearty good-morning, and a good breakfast, gave me a morning start in a good humor, enhanced by the parting injunction - "Call again and stay longer, whenever you are in these parts."

        Falling into a meditative mood, I said: Why the antipodal dissimilarity between these two men living within a stone's throw of each other, the one churl, pure and simple, and the other the chevalier, fresh, refined, from nature's mould? The answer came: the better kind, like the poet, is born, not made; the baser sort is ubiquitous and ever reaches his legitimate level in spite of birth and fortune. Here in this sparsely settled country was illustration. But there is too much thought wasted on the churl.

        A little later on I arrived in the historic and picturesque

Page 116

town of San Antonio, destined to be my abiding place for many months thereafter, most of which was agreeably, if not always profitably, spent. Even at that early day, it gave promise of soon becoming what it has since attained to, a populous and elegantly built and beautiful city, in place of the straggling village of a few thousand inhabitants, as it then loomed up. Still I do not think I would enjoy denizenship within its gorgeous borders now, as then, when composed in the main of modest two-story structures and Mexican adobes.

        It was then the most unique, whole-souled and interesting place that I have known before or since, and like an honored avuncular of mine, some three or four generations anterior, Natt Macon by name, I have never taken much stock in big towns, holding with him in an expressed opinion in Congress, to all intents, that they foster a greed of pecuniary gain conducive to selfishness and subversive too of patriotism and most other heroic virtues, and thanking Heaven that he represented a State that was not blessed, or cursed, accordingly as viewed, with any big towns. Query: Does that fact account for his State having the lowest criminal record up to the war, and the highest war record for the four years to follow? Or may not those two blessed deterring agencies, the gallows and the whipping-post, have had a hand in the first, and inherent love of liberty, due to pure and unmixed cradle milk from Anglo-Saxon fount, have had much to do with the last statistically established fact? But I am anticipating. To come back.

        This primitive town, even then surpassing in natural attractiveness any within memory's recall today, was suggestive of and conducive to the Italian's 'dulce far niente' or Lethean dream life. Mere respiration in such a climate and such surroundings was such a luxury that it was prone to make one, and especially one barely out of the jaws of the

Page 117

grim monster, supremely oblivious to all sublunary things beyond. The two chiefest charms of this ideal spot were the San Antonio and San Pedro Rivers, two lovely pellucid streams, having their source a short distance above the town from immense springs, and rushing through it almost with the velocity of mountain torrents. The population was of a heterogeneous type and varied character, running through all gradations, from the lowly 'greaser' to the refined and cultivated gentleman, with the intermediate interstices filled in with a motley crew of professional horse thieves, swaggering ruffians, and riff-raff generally, whose constant study seemed to be to bully their betters, as far as a discreet regard for their own precious carcasses would permit them to go; a class sui generis.

        One of this last-named sort had attained to State celebrity in the annals of crime and blood-thirstiness before my arrival. His name, unless mistaken, was Bill Johnson, and he enjoyed the enviable repute with his fellows of having killed seven men in street brawls before reaching the voting age. Bill was a hero in his own conceit and proud of his early acquired honors and incipient fame, as subjoined illustration will show. It is almost a verbatim sketch of a preliminary trial in which he was the principal party and I an interested looker-on. It was so unique and peculiar that it is reproduced in full as to essentials.

        It took place in the court-house in Seguin. The charge was petit-larceny, brought by a little Irish bar-keeper, who alleged that Mr. Johnson had made over-free with his 'till.' "Have you counsel?" the magistrate asked. "No, and I don't want any," was the impudent reply; "I always attend to my own law business." Continuing, he added with insolent bravado, walking about the bar in his shirt sleeves, "This is not the first time, your Honor, that I have had to stand trial at the bar of my country; but I am proud to say, it is the

Page 118

first that I have ever been called upon to answer contemptible, lying charge of that dirty Irish rascal. Heretofore, it has always been for killing my man in fair and honest fight. I have laid out seven of them, and there stands the eighth, as soon as I am out of the clutches of the law."

        "Sure, and it's meself will look after that," was Pat's cool rejoinder. That night a revolver was emptied into Bill's sleeping apartment in the county's free boarding-house; but the fellow's time had not yet come. The next night he was out and off again. A few weeks later he "laid out' his number eight (not Pat) in Waco, and the citizens concluding that he had had his full complement of fun, tied a rope around his neck and dropped him out of second story window, and so final exit of this unmitigated young demon.

        Another incident, a little later on, showing the efficacy of assertive right in checking unsanctioned wrong, and I give the go-by to the whole brood of law-breakers of the most villainous class, believed to be an organized gang of murderers, horse-thieves, etc. Indictments, arrests, and legal trials, were regarded by the culprits with comparative indifference, knowing the saving grace in packed juries with one or more of their pals ever in the panel.

        Such was the state of affairs at that time, when the correspondent state followed, usually termed self-protection. Events had culminated to the point of clash, law or no law, and none of our blood can doubt, when reduced to that fine point, what the rendition of verdict would be. Immunity from control had made the law-breaking class presumptuous and over-bold, until one fine day they saw themselves confronted by a published black-list, containing a few score names of their number, with due caution to keep out of the corporate limits of the town thence-forward, under penalty for infraction. The next day about half their number, armed to the teeth, rode through the streets and with whoops and

Page 119

yells bade defiance to all authority. The preconcerted signal soon brought the better elements together, and a squad of volunteers quickly dislodged them from a house of low repute, in which they took refuge behind barricades. Four or five of their number, I believe, paid the penalty of their foolhardiness. The next morning seven more were found suspended from a live-oak, just below the town, the coroner's verdict being, "did it themselves;" probably the most remarkable instance of infections felo de se on record. Thence on during my stay, at least, San Antonio was virtually the synonym of law and good order. Comment: Nothing like drastic remedies for deep-seated disorders.

        In those days it was not deemed a prudent thing for a man to pay an evening call without his faithful revolver, as I had reason to know on more than one occasion. But relegating the class to which reference is had to the rear, I come now to speak of a different order of beings, men who in the next half-a- dozen years had made and were making imperishable history.

        San Antonio was at that time the headquarters of the Department of Western Texas, and such a brilliant galaxy of high-toned educated men and lovely and accomplished women has rarely, if ever, been congregated in a frontier town of the same proportions. There was Irvin McDowell, a little later on Commanding General of the Army of the Potomac, where he was overmatched and sent to the rear in hot haste, as was his successor later on, the redoubtable John Pope, of veracious memory, almost on the self-same spot. John was not a fixture on the Staff, being engaged at the time in boring wells on the "Llano Estacado"; but, to relieve the tedium of such dry monotonous work, he would occasionally run down to the city, where he was always welcome, owing to his geniality and gift of gab.

        It will be recalled by some that he usually began his

Page 120

bulletins to the War Office with the grandiloquent caption - "Headquarters in the saddle," until a witticism of old Jubal Early made him the butt of both armies. "Old Abe," quoth that man of emphasis, "must be getting to have a low opinion of our fighting qualities when he sends down a prefixed fool to whip us, one who locates his headquarters where his hindquarters properly belong." Up to that time he had placed General Lee and his army hors de combat two or three times over, according to his own reliable reports. The whole North went wild over his marvellous achievements, and he to well-deserved destruction for trying to scale an insurmountable "Stonewall," which had mysteriously appeared to the rear of his "hindquarters." For all that, he was not a born soldier in the broad acceptation of the term; he was a fellow of infinite jest, and quaint conceits; probably, the only man who ever attended his own funeral as a frolic. In his days of drink and youthful indiscretion, (both of which he bravely overcame,) the odd fancy struck him to see how big a mortuary turn-out his death would call forth. With the assistance of a brother officer, not exempt from the like amiable weaknesses, all of the ante-mortem preliminaries were duly arranged and the corpse and the chief-mourner were duly installed in the hearse, minus the two boxes, with curtains down, before the other carriages began to arrive. By preconcert with the final officiate, the procession began to move on time, and tradition (from which veracious chronicled facts are collated) doth aver that it was one of the grandest affairs of the sort ever seen in St. Louis up to that time, but the line of march set at naught the geometrical definition of a straight line. Right angles were made every square or two, for John wanted to see the town and he wanted the town to see him. After pursuing this zig-zag course for some time, a halt was called in front of a saloon by the occupants of the dead-wagon for a little refreshment. As soon as it

Page 121

leaked out that the whole thing was a sell and a put-up job, the question was raised amongst the pall-bearers and chief mourners whether it would not be a pity to spoil such a beautiful burying ground for the lack of a real dead man or two. The story continueth that the two funny-fellows came very near supplying the desideratum, and no small amount of diplomacy on a matter of fact, old fellow in Washington, to prevent the removal of two pair of epaulettes from their shoulders. So ran the story five and forty years ago.

        Major Don Carlos Buell was another member of that staff, and doubtless one of the brainiest of them all. He it was who, at critical juncture, did the Confederacy most grievous hurt of any other. It has persistently been claimed by one side, and generally conceded by the other, that Grant's army was utterly routed and demoralized when the great Confederate commander fell at Shiloh at the moment of supreme and decisive victory, thus devolving the command upon an utter incompetent, who obligingly called a halt and awaited the arrival of Grant's indispensable reinforcements during the night. These under Buell, then a Major-General, duly reported before daybreak and in a trice undid the magnificent work of the previous day, turning a glorious victory into an ignoble defeat. Wellington might have finished his work at Waterloo without Blucher. The possibility of such an outcome for Grant on the sequel of Shiloh without Buell is an over-tax on human credulity, even overweighted as the Confederates were in their new Commanding General. Weighed by results, it was the most portentous night march in the annals of war. Imprimis, as given above, resultant effects, the conversion of the badly beaten general of one day into the over-towering hero of the next, as he continues to be, judged by results.

        Lieutenant Kenner Garrard, adjutant of the post, as he had been of the corps of cadets in his graduating, and my

Page 122

initial year, was one of the finest specimens of physical development that I have ever seen. Standing bare-foot above six feet in stature, and duly proportioned, he seemed of a verity a modern descendant of Mars or Apollo, or a combination by transmission of inherent traits. His internal organism seemed to be in entire accord with the physique, suave, grandiose, gentle, straight, and straighforward. Our relations on the Hudson were barely of the speaking order; on the San Antonio, they soon grew into intimacy, owing perhaps to a kindred soul. He loathed pretension and sham, as I have always tried to do. As his next friend, I required him to cane his man in public, in order to place the onus of challenge where it properly belonged, and like a man he did it, thus reversing an overwhelming popular sentimental verdict, and better still, eliciting the commendation and approval of the great war secretary of that day, Jefferson Davis by name. Hesitancy in decision would have given the other party choice of weapons, which owing to his mastery of one was tantamount to one-side shooting. The sequel to the story is given in the annexed excerpt from General Johnston's biography of his son, Colonel W. P. Johnston. He became a Major-General of Cavalry, U. S. A., as he would in C. S. A., had he been born a mile southwards.

        Albert Sidney Johnston, Colonel of the Second Cavalry and in command of the Department, Western Texas, was even at that day a recognized soldier of the highest order of merit. In face, physique and mental acquirement, rarely matched in his own or any antecedent age. Mild, modest, gentle and reserved, he was, to a degree almost phenomenal in one of his transcendent worth. A fuller synopsis of my estimate of this superb, or to make it stronger, almost matchless character, was published twenty-five years ago in the great biography by his worthy son, Colonel William Preston Johnson, then and to his death, the President of Tulane University, which is herewith reproduced.

Page 123

        It was my proud privilege to be the friend, or rather to be repeatedly befriended by such a man as he was. I loved and revered him next to a father in life, and the admiration grows continually since his heroic, but most unfortunate and ill-fated death. I can but repeat as undoubting what was written a quarter of a century since, that had his priceless life been spared one brief hour longer the Confederate States would have taken their place at the Council Board of nations. Almost as much can be said of the greatest of all lieutenants, Thomas J. Jackson. If the end of these two irreplaceable men was ordained above, let us not repine, but who can know until the dark river is crossed and shadows are commingled.

Page 124



        "General Johnston's influence with young and ardent men was very great. Two illustrations of this are given by a devoted friend and admirer, whose terms of laudation I have sometimes omitted, though I have naturally accepted them as genuine and just. He was the son of a friend of General Johnston, and having settled at San Antonio as a lawyer while the latter had his headquarters there, was at once put upon familiar terms with him and his family. He says:

        "I regard the hours spent with them as among the happiest and best improved of my life. I have long since recognized that his interest was purely the result of a desire to guard the son of an old friend against the temptations of youth incident to a frontier town. During the two years that I was a constant visitor under his roof he could not have been kinder or more considerate if I had been his own son, as the incidents alluded to will go to show."

        The writer goes on to narrate how, a personal altercation having arisen between an officer of the Second Cavalry and another person, he was engaged to act as the friend of the former. Unfortunately the correspondence passed to such a point that he felt constrained to advise his principal that, in the event of an anticipated contingency, he must kill his antagonist on sight, pledging himself to do the same to any other man who should interfere.

        "That night between ten and twelve o'clock, General Johnston entered his room, and enquired whether he had given such advice. Before answering, my informant asked General Johnston whether he proposed to take official action in the premises. On his replying that he did not propose to


Page 125

avail himself of his position to interfere officiously in the affair, he was told that such had been the advice given. General Johnston then asked whether he had counted the cost and weighed the possible consequences; and was told that he had, and that he had advised the course that he himself would have adopted if principal, though he knew it must lead to a bloody street brawl. To General Johnston's expressed hope that he might convince him that his action was, to say the least, precipitate, he replied, that he feared the task was hopeless. 'But,' to use the language of my informant, 'he did, at length, succeed, by the mathematical argument of honor and the inexorable logic of the code, in inducing me to withdraw my counsel and leave my friend free to act after a plan which he, General Johnston, suggested. I now know that it was the wisest and best that could have been adopted, and that by its substitution for mine I have been saved a lifelong term of remorse and self-reproach. . . Not for world's now, would I have had my advice followed. General Johnston was probably the one man in the world who could have prevented it, and his arguments were the only ones that could have proved effectual.' Both of these young men attained high rank and distinction in the Civil War; the writer of the above in the Confederate Army and his principal in the Federal Army.

        "The other incident occurred at the crisis of the Nicaragua fillibustering fever, and is narrated as follows by my informant:

        "'A battalion was raised in and around San Antonio to go to General Walker's assistance, and I was waited upon by a committee to know whether I would accept a command. Nothing could have been more consonant to my feelings at the time; but, for some reason, I demanded until the next day before returning an answer, suggesting, in the meantime, to swell the numbers by additional recruits.

Page 126

        While that was going on that night quite briskly in the plaza, General Johnston came along, and, taking me by the arm, asked me to accompany him out of the crowd.

        "'Then turning to me, he desired to know whether it was true that I proposed going on such a wild-goose chase. On being told that such was my intention, he replied: 'My young friend, think twice, and think seriously, before taking this step; because, in all likelihood, it is the turning point in your life.'"

        Admitting that in youth the impulse was natural, and referring to analogous cases in his own career, he continued: "The days of Quixotism are past, and with them the chance for name and fame in all such enterprises as this.

        The age is materialistic, and he who goes about in search of windmills and giants is apt to be considered a fit candidate for Bedlam.

        The question, however, wears a moral aspect, which should be duly weighed and considered. Is there any material difference between the filibuster and the buccaneer? Tell me not of philanthropy as a plea. I say of it as Roland's wife said of liberty: 'Alas! how many crimes are committed in thy name!' Beside, if you are pining for adventure, you will not have long to wait. Liberty and Philanthropy are at work and in a broader field than yours. Fanaticism will soon bring on a sectional collision between the States of the Union, in which every man will have to choose his side. When it comes there will be no lack of blows, and may God help the right! Then give up your present project, and wait. Go to Austin and enter on your profession there. "I will give you letters which will insure you advantageous business connection there."

        By these arguments, here given almost in his very words, and similar ones, he again induced me to defer my wishes to

Page 127

his judgment and I have never regretted the decision. The letters I have now.

        "Permit me to say, in conclusion, that I have never known the man who held in such nice equipoise qualities akin and yet in a measure antagonistic - the genial and reserved, the gentle and the grand, the humane and the historic. He would have gone a day's journey to reclaim an erring brother, and would have turned out of his path to avoid crushing a worm; and yet he would have sacrificed his life and all he held dear in it rather than deviate one hair's breadth from the strictest line of right and duty.

        "There was no cant in his composition, for he was a cavalier of the straightest sect; but I have never met the man who combined in himself more of the elements of a follower of the Unerring Teacher. In his company the humblest felt at ease, and yet a crowned head would not have ventured upon a freedom with him. In the course of an eventful life and extensive travel, I have come in contact with many of the historic personages of the day; and yet I scruple not to say that of them all, but three, to my thinking, would stand the test of the most rigid scrutiny.* Of these by a singular coincidence, the Colonel and lieutenant colonel of a cavalry regiment in the United States Army, afterward respectively the ranking officers of a hostile army, Albert Sidney Johnston and Robert E. Lee, were two; the third was Mr. Calhoun.

        *"'No time-serving or self-seeking entered into their calculations. Self-abnegation at the bidding of duty was the rule of their lives. Could our much maligned section lay no further claim to the consideration of mankind, the fact that it produced almost in the same generation, such a triumvirate, typical of their people, is enough to place it among the

* Ex-President Davis being still in the flesh, prevented this number being extended into a quartette.

Page 128

fore-most nations of the earth in the realms of thought, honor, patriotism, and knightly grace.

        "Colonel Wharton J. Green, of North Carolina, some anecdotes from whose pen have already been inserted in this memoir, in a letter to the present writer says, in regard to General Johnston:

        "'Portray him as he was - great, good, single-minded, and simple. He was the devotee of duty, but disposed to soften its asperities to others. His was a character with few counterparts in ancient or modern story. It has been said that the noblest eulogy ever written consisted of a single word - 'the just.' All who ever knew General Johnston will confirm that he was as well entitled to that epithet as the old Athenian, and, coupled with it, to another, 'the generous.'

        "Talleyrand's saying, 'No man is a hero to his valet,' is true in the main; but General Johnston would have been a hero to his very shadow. Those who knew him best admired him most. His peerless, blameless life was long enough for glory; and but one brief day, perhaps one hour only, too short for liberty. One hour more for him in the saddle, and the Confederate States would have taken their place at the council board of nations."

Page 129


        One of the most marked and remarkable characters of that time and section was my honored old friend, "Bigfoot Wallace." The presumption is that that was not his Christian or baptismal cognomen, if he ever had one, but it was the only one by which he was known throughout western, if not all, Texas, and universally respected wheresoever known.

        Peculiar and sui generis he was, above all men that I have known in life. Uncouth in garb and oft in speech, his simple word was more than tantamount to hosts of sworn witnesses in rebuttal. Get drunk he would occasionally, it grieves me to say, but drunk or sober, he could not tell a lie, or act one either. Essentially peaceable by nature, there was not a blustering bully in all those parts who would venture to encroach upon his inherent rights. Living ten or twenty miles from other habitation, hostile savages would give his cabin twice that space to shun its lone occupant, for well they knew by hearsay that in it hung a score or more of their scalps as witness of his prowess and unerring aim with the finest make of rifle then known. They soon learned to regard him as the bearer of a charmed life, as the wiliest of their tribe laid down theirs to compass it. He was as foreign to fear as to falsehood, avarice, or duplicity. He was one of my father's old campaigners, and ever held him in special regard, which was transmitted to the son upon first acquaintance.

        A distinguished legal friend of the place, Hon. John A. Wilcox, told me repeatedly that from extended correspondence with parties in Virginia he was absolutely convinced that "Old Bigfoot" had a fortune awaiting him in that State, ranging from fifty to a hundred thousand dollars, only requiring proof of identity and a few technical formalities to place him in possession, and yet for the life of him, he could not

Page 130

induce the bull-headed old fool to go out and take it. Intimating that perhaps I could succeed better, I tried my powers of persuasion on old "Bigfoot" but with like result. Here is the purport of his reply: "Yes, I know it was there, waiting for me to go and take it, long before Colonel Wilcox told me about it. Why don't I go and get it? Simply because I don't want it. What use would it be except to make me miserable? I'm tolerably well satisfied over yonder, beyond the Medina, by myself. My rifle and traps furnish all I need for meat, and the peltries my other little wants, such as powder, lead, coffee, salt, and a little dram when I run down here every month or two to see you town fellows. What more does a man require to make him happy? And yet you and Jack Wilcox, both my friends, would have me break up a life that suits me and take to one that I hate and despise. A big house, a big drunk, and a big fool all combined, with lots of pretended friends as long as the money held out. Wouldn't I be a pretty d--n fool to make the swap?" I was compelled to assent. Let others regard him as an unadulterated fool, to me it seemed then, as it does now, that he had in his mental make-up many of the essential elements of the true philosopher - a true copy of Byron's Boone, one of the gems of true poetry.

                        Of all men, saving Sylla the man-slayer,
                        Who passes for in life and death most lucky,
                        Of the great names in which our faces stare,
                        The General Boone, back-woodsman of Kentucky,
                        Was happiest amongst mortals anywhere;
                        For killing nothing but a bear or buck, he
                        Enjoyed the lonely, vigorous, harmless days
                        Of his old age in wilds of deepest maze.

                        Crime came not near him - she is not the child
                        Of solitude. Health shrank not from him, for
                        Her home is in the rarely trodden wild,
                        Where if men seek her not, and death be more
                        Their choice than life, forgive them, as beguiled

Page 131

                        By habit to what their own hearts abhor,
                        In cities caged. The present case in point I
                        Cite is, that Boone lived hunting up to ninety.

                        And what's still stranger, left behind a name
                        For which men vainly decimate the throng,
                        Not only famous, but of that good fame,
                        Without which glory's but a tavern song -
                        Simple, serene, the antipodes of shame,
                        Which hate nor envy e'er could tinge with wrong;
                        An active hermit, even in age the child
                        Of nature, or the man of Ross run wild.

        And so on through four or five additional stanzas. Such was "Old Bigfoot!"

        It was current report about that time that, single-handed, he once took the trail of a band of hostiles returning from one of their periodical forays in the white settlements, and after following it for days like a sleuth-hound came up with and panicked their bivouac at the dead of night, killing and scalping, the last a point of conscience with him, three of their braves and capturing a half grown buck, whom he tied to himself, dos a' dos, on horseback, and took home with him, assigning as motive that he needed a young nigger to "tote" wood and water for him in his old age, but was too poor to buy one. On being cautioned as to the risk he ran in sleeping in the same room with a young rattlesnake, he quietly replied: "Yes, I know the vermins never go to sleep; but I always do with one eye open and my "bowie" for a bed-fellow." Wonderful to tell, this implied claim to superiority of race was tacitly admitted by the improvised "nigger" before he gave Marse Bigfoot the slip and went back to his own people, probably to exploit his educational progress in civilization.

        The thought has forced itself both then and since that this simple, confiding soul, who, to my honest belief, had never done aught to injure either, had himself in early manhood been victim to over-confidence in man or men, or most

Page 132

likely to woman, and so in sheer distrust of all had resolved, from over sensitive and high-wrought nature, to cut aloof from mankind and betake himself to the wilderness. Church history leads to inference that if so, he was not the first to seek heritage under kindred impulse.

        A word by way of explanation or apology. It has been intimated that when my old friend came to town, which was usually every month or two, he sometimes forgot himself by taking an extra potation or two during his brief sojourn, but he never forgot that he was the inborn gentleman that everybody believed him to be. But once in the saddle, and his face turned homewards, and after getting there, no powers of persuasion could induce him to touch the bottle. To all such solicitation, his invariable reply would be: "No, Bigfoot's got a scalp on his head, and he's got to keep a level head to keep it there." That argued that he carried a well-balanced head.

        The last I have ever heard of this eccentric, but most remarkable man, was his presence as an honored guest at a banquet of his old San Jacinto comrades and compatriots, almost in the shadow of the Alamo, I think about fifteen years ago. He must even then have been hunting up to ninety. If, since then, he has passed over the river into the happy hunting-grounds beyond, let us trust that he and his life-long foemen of this side, the Comanches and Apaches, left their animosities behind them, and are now smoking "the pipe of peace" together over the river.

        Without any intimation to bear it out, it is my belief that he was a trusted scout of that congenial spirit and highest type of the natural soldier in all history - Bedford Forrest. It would have been a suitable culmination for loftiest heroism to have had Bigfoot for his ferret on the trail and movements of hostile leaders, whom he utilized as stepping-stones for the attainment of his heroic ends.

Page 133

        Apropos, an anecdote of that phenomenal leader of heroes, which comes well authenticated. In Wilson county, already mentioned, there lived in war-times a worthy old lady by the name of Whitehead, who, gauged by the Napoleonic standard, was probably the greatest woman in the world. She had nineteen sons under the greatest of cavalry leaders, and would have made the twentieth of the tribe by her own voluntary enlistment had she not been debarred by age and sex. On being asked by the parson, on her thought-to-be death-bed, if she didn't want to meet her Saviour, she replied with honest simplicity: "Yes, I don't mind to, but I'd rather meet Old Forrest." That evidenced the hold and confidence he had upon the people of his State. It has ever since been one of my regrets that our acquaintance was but casual.

        A hunting excursion on which we were together, just before quitting Texas, calls for a passing notice. Lieutenants Chambliss and Van Camp, old acquaintances, who were stationed at Camp Verde, a frontier post some hundred miles northwest, were in the city for a brief visit on official duty. They insisted on my returning with them, holding out as inducement a big hunt and good fishing. Of course, there was no resisting such arguments. So one fine morning we started betimes, the two dragoons in ambulance and I in the saddle on old Jim, of rattlesnake and run-away recall. We were hardly on the road before Chambliss, who was a superb horseman, began insisting on our swapping locomotion. Of course, the fear expressed that he couldn't ride Jim only made him the more pertinacious for display of his horsemanship. At last, the wished-for and suitable time for gratifying the young man arrived. In the dim vista ahead a long dark moving line appeared in view, like a wounded snake dragging its slow length along, and sympathy went out forthwith toward that ambitious cavalryman, for well I knew that it was one of Mr. Secretary Davis' camel trains returning to the

Page 134

post with supplies, but Jim didn't take it in, and neither did the man in the wagon. Waiting for it to come up, I told Chambliss that out of pity he should bestride Jim for a few hours. Easier said than done, for that equine kept peering up the road as if looking for a mighty python, all the time snorting like a porpoise, and like that would-be amphibious fish, trusting that its name and attributes are correctly catalogued, making constant and futile efforts to quit his normal element by repeated plunges into the one above. "What's the matter with the fool?" came the inquiry. "He thinks, old boy, you do not know how to ride one of his mettle." "Well, I'll undeceive him," came the reply, as he at last got in the saddle and drove the spurs up to the rowel. "Keep a taut rein, Cham, but give him his head," was my parting injunction as the noble animal darted off like a Congreve rocket.

        Horse and rider had nearly all reached the tail end of the caravan, united as one, when on the instant came a halt which came near dissevering their mutually repugnant and enforced connection. Each was covering himself with glory until such proximity was reached, and Jim's organs of eye, ear, nose, brought him to a full and momentous stop. Fortunately, his long mane saved his upper-story companion from a fall and enabled the equine to take in a momentary survey of the situation, and plan his sequent course of action. With a loud snort and a fresh accession of crazified panic, he darted off at right angles to the road, and made such time over that prairie as Flying Childers the Godolphin, or Timoleon, could not have matched over the same course in their palmiest days. Those uncouth creatures with jingling bells and waddling locomotion, and their attendants, no less strange and more weird when singing one of their monotonous love-songs in chorus, were too much for Jim's nerves, and hence the sequel preliminary.

Page 135

        In fact after much reflection on the subject, I have come to the conclusion that that animal was subject to fits of temporary emotional insanity, as the lawyers call it, and hence was in no wise responsible for what he did at such times. Chambliss was evidently of the same opinion, barring the extenuating clause, and further, that this was a very acute and aggravated attack, for when Van and I came up with them an hour or two later, he had dismounted and was reading Jim a moral lecture on immoral depravity, or vice versa, savoring more of the reputed emphasis to which our army in Flanders' was addicted, than of the euphonic modulations of Attica. His last remark of expostulation that reached us as we came in ear-shot to that interesting colloquy between him and that hard-mouthed, self- willed brute,, was, in effect, if not in words, as followeth: "You are the blankedest blank fool that I ever saw in my life," which showed that he too regarded Jim as non-compos. In response to protest against his having overtaxed poor Jim in his mad ride over the prairie, he replied with acerbity: "Well, unless Van is fool enough to try him, you'll ride him yourself from here to Verde. I wouldn't back him again if you'd give him to me as inducement for doing it."

        In due time we arrived at our destination, and were warmly welcomed by Major Innis Palmer, commandant, then Major by brevet, and later on a Major-General of "the blue," and his accomplished wife. Subsequently I rented his lovely home for a year or two while in Congress. In hot haste a big lump of cold substance was unblanketed from the wagon. Palmer had a green vegetable in his garden and the other concomitants in his closet. Surgeon Smith was as high authority on juleps as on jalaps, and for long had filled the learned professorship of intermixture in that quiet, secluded institution. No vile new-fangled heresies, such as crushed mint, lump ice, shortage of "poteen," found favor in his eyes

Page 136

or place in his brew. Like Father Tom, of blessed memory, he held with autocratic tenacity, "that after the other components of a hot punch were duly compounded, you add the wather, and, may it plaze your Riverence, drop of superfluous wather you add spoils the punch." Perhaps we youngsters, Chambliss especially, didn't relish that Olympian potation, see N. P. Willis for origin of the adjective, and North Carolina for its nativity, after our long, dry, hot ride. A replica, however, failed to evoke a health to his John Gilpin charger referred to.

        One day as we were all sitting on the piazza, one of the Arabs came up and announced with the nonchalance of a canine obituary: "Doctor, me kill Yuseff." The tour of inspection which we made with the Doctor to the camel-yards showed that the swarthy Ishmaelite was not yet "kilt entirely" by his numerous and well meant knife thrusts. Whether he lived to see the sands of Syria again is more than I can say, as we started on our big hunt next day - big in preparation, but little in results.

        Besides the officers of the post, the party embraced Major Beall, the paymaster of the department; a man laconic of speech he was, but far-famed for emphasis of expression, with a liberal admixture of causticity when excited, as the younger members of the party soon found out. Two four-horse ambulances supplied transportation, with an escort of a dozen troopers at a reasonable distance to the rear, and Bigfoot as guide and provider of fresh meat. The first day out, near the ford of a little creek, he rode in and remarked that a big fight was going on some where near between a king snake and a rattler. Of course, that had to be investigated as none of us had ever seen the two in conflict. Although it was fully one hundred yards off, one of the combatants made such a racket with his tail in the dry leaves that we were easily guided to the battle-field. It was indeed a sight worth seeing.

Page 137

The gentleman of the castanets, an immense fellow, whom we estimated later on to be over five feet long, was in the death grapple of his puny foeman, not over half in length, and in girth about the size of my digit finger, and seemed as satisfied with the situation, coiled around the neck of his big antagonist, as a modern mercenary belle might be supposed to show when hustled about the shirt collar of a spindle-shanked, vacuous million-dollar dude; or, to amplify the intensity of crushing devotion, a millionaire title-huntress dawdling over the frills of a blase Cossack or Italian count, a Dutch, French or Spanish baron, or a Turkish vizier with three tails and thirty antecedent spouses. Such attachments are, doubtless, intense until cut short after closer union in the divorce court, or by the tongue of scandal. But here was an absolute embrace for life, on the part of the king-snake at least, regardless of the wishes of the would-be divorce. Even now I regret to say that a ball from my revolver involved them both in a common fate, after enjoying the performance over half an hour. It is my deliberate opinion in recalling that combat, that the king-snake, man's self-constituted little champion, ought never to suffer harm at his hands.

        Bigfoot told us that night over our pipes that the most interesting part of such fights, one of which he had seen, is the preliminary preparative. "All venomous reptiles," he added, "have an instinctive terror of the 'king,' while he, regardless of under-size and weight, like a bull-terrier, the gamest thing that walks, is all the time on the lookout for a big fellow to knock the chip off his shoulder, or otherwise provoke hostilities. Well, one day when after a buck, I heard a rattle near my big toe and stepped back to shoot the 'critter,' when a little 'king' darted forward and gave me to understand that it was his fight and he didn't want any outside interference. So I turned it over to him, and quietly awaited results. I have heard of you soldier fellows before a battle trying to

Page 138

get the advantage of 'posish' over each each other before hitting out, but here was what you call strategy of the native sort, unlearned from books. It was easy to see that the big one was badly hacked from the start, as he raised his head about six inches and kept his eyes on the other no matter where he'd go. It was no less evident that the 'king' was playing to throw him off his guard for an instant in order to glide upon him at the right moment and take him in his deadly embrace before the other could strike. Finally, after making repeated circuits about him just out of his reach, now at a dead-march gait, and then with lightning speed as if trying to make him twist his own neck off. In due time the opportunity came, and the 'king' seized it and his big enemy at the same time. You have seen the battle that followed up to the finish, or rather just before the big fellow was finished."

        That evening our camp was pitched on a little stream where trout and deer each had the repute of normal habitat, but it grieveth me to say that neither the vesperal or matutinal board gave evidence of either. Milk and fresh butter we did have in abundance, and a bit of quiet and perhaps equivocal fun supplied by the pay department. Its representative prognosticated a dearth of catch and kill and declined to go with us, remarking that Bigfoot had told him that a couple of old ladies lived hard by, the last on the line of civilization, from whom he could procure milk and butter; but he had forgotten to add that they had two large ferocious dogs, their sole protectors. As the good Major approached the cabin these bounded out at him, and before they could be called off one had bitten him through the left hand. Like the true man that he was, he resisted the natural impulse to shoot his assailants out of deference to importunities of the poor old woman. He returned to the camp laden down with the lacteal products that were showered upon him, but likewise with

Page 139

ill concealed anxiety for the consequences. Somehow, after his wound had been cauterized and dressed, and supper eaten, conversation seemed to take a hydrophobiac turn or trend, much to the disgust of the man of Uncle Sam's money-bags. Each had a gruesome story to tell of the dormant vitality of the detestable microbe, or latent mad-dog germ, keeping quiescent for months and years before ulterior development. Perhaps that paymaster did not anticipate time and go mad off-hand. It was a thoughtless cruel jest, and should not have been indulged. Of course, though, his madness was only metaphorical. Heaven forefend that the last kind has ever developed for it has been my bete noire through life, more dreaded than upas-dipped arrow, or the tooth marks of a rattler, cobra, or tarantula, a pitiable admission that - for a born dog-lover.

        In due time we returned to Camp Verde, and I, a day or two later, on to San Antonio, where letters were awaiting me urging a family reunion for the summer at the White Sulphur Springs, Virginia.

Page 140


        Taking steamer at nearest point, Indianola, if memory is correct, two days later we landed at New Orleans, and the next day started up the river on the famous old "Eclipse," which then eclipsed every inland steamer afloat.

        It had been virtually chartered by a gay and rich young party of Mississippi planters with a corresponding number of young ladies with their chaperons and fine band of music, likewise on their way to the White Sulphur. Chancing to know two or three of the crowd as old University friends, I was soon brought en rapport with the entire party and the time passed in dancing and jollity all the way to Memphis, where I had to leave them, while they kept on to some point farther up the river before taking rail to our mutual destination. In disembarking an unfortunate mishap befell me in full sight of my late compagnons du voyage. Taking a seat in an omnibus already crowded to repletion, when it turned around, it came near spilling us all into the Mississippi river after rolling over two or three times. Perhaps the accident did not afford merriment to the merry-makers aboard when they saw me emerging from the buss all covered with mud.

        Arriving at the "Old White," I was considerably taken back on discovering that my father and family had not put in their appearance, especially as I was on my last ten dollars. I found a letter, however, directing me to join them at the North Carolina "White Sulphur," or famous old "Shocco."

        After the summer season was over, my father engaged the famous old Montmorenci, belonging to a particular friend, Mrs. Mary K. Williams, where the intervening cold seasons were passed until my wedding day rolled around on the 4th of May, 1858. My bride-to-be was the only daughter of my honored step-mother by a previous marriage with Mr. John

Page 141

S. Ellery, of Boston, as I was the only representative of my side of the house. It was a home affair, and if not a brilliant one, it was certainly numerously attended, for father, unbeknowing, had given informal word invitation to all our friends and acquaintances around about us, and mother had been busy in the culinary department preparing roast turkeys, barbecued pigs, etc., so that when the eventful day rolled around, we saw Warren County roll up. So, if it was not a brilliant wedding, it was one long to be remembered in old Warren.

        After the ceremony my wife and self at once took the train for New York, with her cousin, Miss Addie Currier, accompanying us. A month later we took a steamer, "The Africa" for an extended tour abroad. After doing, as the modern phrase runs, Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria, and Italy, it was determined in family conclave to take in the land of the Pharaohs, and so we took steamer at Naples for Alexandria, and on arrival, a Nile boat for the Nile trip, then something to be talked about, and the most agreeable one that I have ever passed. The old monuments, tombs, and other reminders of the long-forgotten past, are left to other and abler pens.

        The day we started there came a down-pour of rain, such as I have never seen before or since, and the concentration of the seven years proverbial drought, to which this country is subjected from the Hebrew boy Joseph down to that identical day, for I was told before starting that there had not been a rainfall in Cairo for seven years preceding. As our Nile boat had been exposed during that entire time to the scorching rays of a tropical sun, it may be supposed to have leaked. No! leak is not the word. It poured down as if there had been no sham protection over our heads, and during the entire day we were like a pack of drowned rats.

        I shall not undertake to describe the pyramids, obelisks,

Page 142

tombs and other monuments of that wonderful ancient land, as they have been better portrayed by tourists of a previous age and by guide-books of the present. Suffice it to say, that all of these were of the cyclopean order, and nothing puny except the present. The banks were lined with the villages, composed of miserable mud hovels of the fellahs, scarcely rising to the dignity of dog-kennels in more favored countries, and all along the shore could be seen the poor creatures drawing the water with swoops to irrigate the land.

        My crew consisted of fifteen half-clad Arabs, including the reis or captain; their gibberish was incessant, and with their monotonous songs utterly unintelligible. Let it be here premised, that before starting I had observed on the upper deck a pile of some twenty or thirty bushels of coarse brown bread, and upon inquiry was told by my dragoman that it was for the use of the Arab crew. Upon asking what they had to eat with it, the answer came: "Nile water." And do the poor things never get meat? "Only when their employers give them an occasional sheep." As that animal could be bought for only thirty or forty cents, I directed him to give them one at the next halting place, and every other place thereafter when we tied up for the night. "Senor," came the reply, if you do, we will soon be left without a crew, for in a week the poor devils will eat themselves to death." Well let us begin at the next tie-up.

        On returning from the village, with an Arab leading a full- grown sheep with one hand and carrying a large kettle in the other, he told the reis that it was a present to the crew. He then told me to take out my watch, and see how long it would take them to eat the sheep. What! You do not mean to say, was my reply, that they are going to devour it at a single meal? "Si, senor, and if you had not tasted meat for half a year, you would probably consume your full share at the feast." Upon the signal being given, the animal was

Page 143

killed and stripped of his fleece in a trice and thrown into the kettle, and shortly after pulled out, and before it was well cooled off they began tearing off the flesh in great chunks by the handful and devouring it like hungry dogs. To the best of my recollection, the performance was over within one hour and a half from the time the sheep was stuck, and not a vestige of it remained except the bones. But it was not over yet, for every one of them, with their faces all smeared with grease, had to come up and kiss my hand in token of gratitude. This was but one of a dozen of like votive offerings that cemented our friendly relations before getting back to Cairo. A dollar back-sheesh effectually sealed it.

        It should have been premised, that before separating seven of the poor creatures petitioned through fan interpreter for me to buy them and families as slaves. Surprised at the strange request, I inquired the motive in preferring it, and this, in substance was the answer: First, to escape the army, of which they stand in mortal dread; second, to have a protector; and next, to have something to eat. We hear that you own slaves in your own country, and we naturally assume that if you will give us meat, who are entire strangers to you, every two or three days, you will do as well or better by us if we belonged to you. Nothing but dread of the penalty attaching to a breach of the African slave traffic prevented my closing their voluntary contract for voluntary life servitude on the spot at a scudo, a head. After the war, I had a correspondence with the State War Department, through the Assistant Secretary, Mr. Fred. Seward, on the subject, and while he admitted that it would have been no infraction of the slave traffic to have brought them over as represented, still there was no telling how soon I might have been required to have retransported them, and so he advised against running the risk. I thought then, and am sure now, that it would have been to our mutual advantage had the trade been consummated.

Page 144

        To show their dread of the conscription, or forced service in the army about every third young man that I met while in the land of the Pharaohs was deficient of either their right eye, the dexter finger of the right hand, or two or three front teeth, each of which barred the use for fire-arms in the army, and had been inflicted by their own mothers to keep them out. The horrible mutilation had reached such a point that Mehemet Ali took a very effectual way of preventing it in the future by organizing a corps of lancers who, he jokingly remarked, did not require the eye to take aim, the finger to pull the trigger, or the teeth to bite the cartridge. It is needless to say that the foresight of this illustrious semi-savage had the desired effect.

        In due time we reached Karnak, the seat of ancient Thebes, and spent a week in exploring the place, making our excursions on the little donkeys of the country. The heat was so intense that although it was only February, starts had to be made by day-break, and once upon reaching the necropolis we were compelled to take refuge in one of the tombs, Benzoni's I believe, until near sundown before starting back to the boat. These tombs, by the way, cut out of white calcareous limstone in the sides of the mountains, and some of them running back for over a hundred yards, are one of the great attractions of the whilom hundred-gate city. The grand hall of the great temple with its one hundred and twenty stupendous columns, each carved out of a single piece of granite, is another great sight, an imperishable monument.

        Giving the vocal statue of Memnon and its companion of the plain the go-by, we made preparations for the return of our trip. Before starting a young English nobleman, Lord Rendlesham, I think the name, who was traveling with his tutor after leaving Oxford, and with whom we had got acquainted, came aboard and said that he was going to return next day, and proposed that we start at the same hour; and

Page 145

to make the trip a little more exciting, further proposed that we lay a wager of ten guineas upon who should first reach a designated point below, Aziout, unless mistaken. To which, upon my assenting, he came on my boat the next morning and handed me the amount lost, proposing at the same time that we double the bet down to Benisoef, I believe, the next prominent point below, to which I again acquiesced. On reaching there, I had to wait an hour or so for his Lordship to come up. Again he handed me the amount he had lost, and and asked, somewhat in a spirit of bravado, "Do you dare double the last bet, on first arrival to some point lower down?" naming it. Upon my consenting to do so, he requested that we delay the start for a couple of hours, as he wished to go up into the village for a short while. Upon his and the parson's return, they had a dozen new Arabs at their heels. Seeing which, my dragoman advised me to cancel the last wager, as it was evident he had a relay of rowers to tire us out. Not consenting to this, I went on board his boat and gave him to understand that I was cognizant of what was going on, but would, nevertheless, consent to the last wager standing - on one condition, and that was that regardless of winner or loser, it was to be the last bet between us, which he agreed to. Again he consented, and again I had to await his coming up.

        I should have said that before starting yesterday, I went to my crew and gave them an insight of the whole matter, praising their fortitude and endurance, and promising each a scudo extra if they should win the race, and a glass of Cognac each to brace them up. To a man, they responded with alacrity, only requesting, through the interpreter, not to pass the grog until the old reis went on the upper deck to say his prayers, thus proving that despite the Prophet's mandate against strong drink some of his followers are not averse to disregarding it.

        I believe that when my Anglican arrived the next morning

Page 146

he had to write his name on a slip of paper, to be presented at the bank of Cairo, and so the cost of my excursion on the Nile was virtually defrayed by a stranger. I do not commend my example to others, and especially to young men, for I have always detested gambling, and despised gamblers, but, like Harry Warrington, I was here betting, as it seemed to him and to me, for the honor of the country.

        Upon arrival in Cairo, I went to our Consulate and was handed a large batch of letters from home, including a letter of credit from the Messrs. Baring in renewal. Upon return to the hotel, we made inquiry for Captain Marshall, formerly of Boston, and were told that he was quite sick but desired to see me. Going to his room, he remarked with the languor of a dying man: "I have been quite sick since you left for your trip up the river, and the doctors tell me that unless I can get out of the country before the simoon sets in a week hence, my life will be the penalty, but unfortunately I am out of funds. Could you, without inconvenience to yourself, cash my check for fifty pounds ($250) on Baring Bros., which will be paid on presentation?" As he had previously given me satisfactory references as to his identity, I cheerfully acceded to his request, and furthermore asked him if he would not like to have me sleep in his room on a cot, in order to attend to his wants during the night. "No," he replied, "no, I will not put you to that trouble, but if you wake up during the night I would like for you to look in to see whether I am dead or not." This I promised to do, and did.

        On arrival in Paris, I enclosed his check to the Barings. "No funds with us, and if he is the man we take him to be, while he is of a good family he is, nevertheless, one of the most unmitigated and systematic swindlers on either continent, living on the credulity of his countrymen." Such I found him to be and here hold him up to the scorn and execration of the traveling public as a rogue void of shame and of conscience.

Page 147

        Shortly after arrival in Paris I had ordered a set of expensive diamonds for my wife, but as the day of departure of the steamer drew near, not receiving a renewal of my letter of credit, I felt in an awkward dilemma. The first thing to do was to wait on the diamond merchants and state the true condition of the case, adding that I was expecting funds by that mail, and asking if they could not turn the jewels over to me in London, offering to pay the traveling expenses of their agent and, if necessary, the English customs dues. To my surprise and extreme delight, they made not the slightest objection to the proposition, but promptly replied that the casket would be handed to me at my address in London three days from that time, and free from customs duties, as was done.

        Thereupon I telegraphed my old friend Major Leon Dyer, a retired banker of large means, living in Frankfort-on-the-Main, requesting him to meet me in London the next day and let me have a requisite amount, in case of delay in remittance. His answer was: "Your telegram found me on a sick bed, but I will join you in London as requested." This he did but was put to needless trouble, as a letter from the Barings was awaiting me at my hotel, stating that they had ascertained my identity and that I could get the amount requested by calling at the bank. This I mentioned to Major Dyer, but he remarked that he had taken the needed securities from deposit and that it would be an accommodation if I would take them at their market value, which I did and so reported at the bank.

        By the way, a word about this good friend and accomplished gentleman. As a boy he had headed the mob which tore down Reverdy Johnson's house in Baltimore a few years previously. Being compelled to fly to escape arrest, he turned up in New Orleans, and although then a man of large wealth he enlisted in the army, in order to avoid further trouble with the authorities, and with his detachment went to Florida in the

Page 148

Seminole war of that day, where he quickly attracted the notice of that gallant old soldier, General Gaines, then in command of that department, who gave him the highest non-commissioned rank at his disposal. When my father was raising his brigade in New Orleans for the Texas army, General Gaines requested him to give him an appointment on his staff, which he did, and thereby made a fast friend of the young man to the end of his life, as the following incident will show.

        Computing the interest on his advance and likewise traveling expenses, with a view to making a draft at thirty days to cover the same, I handed it to him for his approval. "What is this?" he said. Upon being told, he tore it up, remarking: "I will have you know, young man, that your father's son cannot pay me interest. He found me an enlisted man in the army and gave me a commission, thus giving me recognition among gentlemen, and I have loved him as a father from that day to this."

        He further said that he had brought along a landscape gardener whom I had engaged on my way through Frankfort, as his body-servant, as he had to smuggle him out of Germany because the Franco-Italian-Austrian war was then going on and all German subjects were liable to immediate conscription. Shipping him to my commission merchants in New York, I directed them to express him to me down to Warrenton. This they did by sewing a large placard on his back. Being at the White Sulphur with my family, on his arrival my father turned him over to the 'Duke of Gloucester,' an old beneficiary of mother's whom she had bought out of charity on the death of his old master, Dr. Brodies, metamorphosed from a driver into a gardener. As illustration of the old maxim - two of a trade never agree - Gloucester was working up in one corner of the garden, and the Dutchman in another as far removed as it was possible to be. First

Page 149

addressing Gloucester, I asked him what he thought of the new gardener that I sent down to help him. Looking around suspiciously and putting his hand up to his mouth, he replied dogmatically: "Marse Wharton, he is the damnedest fool that I have ever seen. Why, sir, he can't talk; I holloas at him as loud as I can bawl, and he don't understand a word I says." In extenuation for Dutchie's colloquial powers, be it said that when he and I were signing a life contract the previous year, I voluntarily increased his price $50 a year on condition that he would never attempt to speak Dutch while on my place. But came the reply: "I can't talk anything else." "Then keep mum until you have picked up a little good old-fashioned English." As a consequence, probably no son of the 'Vater land' ever made better progress in our expressive tongue than did Heinrich. It grieved me much at the end of the year to have to cane and dismiss him, on being told that he threatened to shoot me if I did not mend my ways to suit him. I heard later on that he had gotten to be a professor of modern languages in some learned Northern college. As he claimed to be a graduate of a famous German University, his dismissal was probably tantamount to promotion.

        It should have been said that before leaving Cairo, we took a day to run out to Suez to see the spot where Moses and his cohorts made their famous passage across the Red Sea. In the middle of the desert, and at a one-room station, a young man, apparently about twenty, got in the compartment with us, and spoke to me in orthodox English. On my asking where he was from and what he was doing out there all by himself, he replied: "I am from Marengo County, Alabama. When sixteen years of age my father thrashed me, as I thought without cause, and I ran away from home; went down to Mobile and shipped before the mast. On arrival in London I found employment in the telegraph office, and a

Page 150

little later on, when it was determined to send a number of us boys to do service in Egypt, I was selected to fill out the complement. Shortly after, I fortunately attracted the notice of the Khedive, who appointed me superintendent of all the telegraph lines in Egypt." Expressing doubt by a look of incredulity on my countenance, "Indeed," said I, "and what is your salary?" "Five-thousand dollars for the first year with a promise of increase at the end of that time, if my work is satisfactory." On reaching Suez, he was met at the train by about a score of young fellows of his own age, who treated him with the greatest courtesy and deference. My doubts as to the truth of his story had about vanished. After getting dinner, he and some of his comrades came around to the hotel to escort us to the return train to Cairo, on reaching which I ask my landlord 'Who is in charge of the telegraph lines in this country?' "Why," said he, "a young countryman of yours who is but a mere lad." I have frequently wondered what was the future outcome of that precocious youngster, for that he had a future in store I did not doubt.

        The return trip was far from agreeable, for although there were double panes of glass on the windows, a heavy windstorm filled our compartment so full of fine sand that it was almost impossible for us to breathe. Before reaching the journey's end, a beautiful gazelle jumped up and went bounding over the sandy waste. We were ensconced on board one of the O. & P. steamers bound for Marseilles, after touching at Malta. After reaching that place, our vessel was ordered into quarantine as it was claimed it was from an infected port. While waiting, there was ample opportunity to admire the beautiful harbor, including the Chateau d'If, from which State Prison Dumas' hero - Monte Christo - made his incredible escape. The thought of all was that we were in for a confinement of thirty or forty days, but we little reckoned

Page 151

of what was supposed to be an idle boast on the part of an English Baronet, who was on his way home from his regiment in India. He persistently said that he would have us admitted to "Pratique" as soon as he could communicate with the Emperor, for he added, while the Emperor was in exile in England, he used to pass days and weeks with me at my country home, and all who know Louis Napoleon will attest that he never forgets a friend or a kindness. Most of us had retired when there was a great uproar on deck, and the cry spread that the Emperor had admitted our vessel to 'Pratique,' which meant that we could go ashore whenever we pleased. There was no more jest or ribald laugh at the Baronet's expense. He had suddenly become a hero.

        With the rising sun there was hasty disembarking. After two days' stay in that city, we turned face to Geneva where a week was passed in and around Lake Leman, and then back to Paris, which was in a state of frenzied French excitement, as the Emperor was to start the next day to take command of the Allied Army in Italy. He passed just below our window on the first floor with his lovely wife, the beautiful Eugenie, by his side, and the procession halted for a minute, which gave good opportunity to study his inscrutable face and character. It was an intellectual physiognomy, and almost prepared me to believe what the Hon. William C. Rives told me just after his return from Paris, where he had been serving as the American Minister at the Imperial Court, that he regarded the then head of France as the brainiest head in France, if not out of France, he added. Unfortunate, he doubtless was, but never a weakling.

        A few days later we saw Her Majesty, good Queen Victoria, going in royal state to open a parliament of her great country. Having previously had, unsolicited, the blessing of

Page 152

Pio Nono, it may be said that we had seen the three Governing Rulers of Europe.

        A few days later we were on board the "Persia" in the Mersey (a vessel of 3,000 tons) then accounted the largest steamer afloat, with one exception. How it pales in the shadow of the 15,000 tonners of this day. A pleasant company and a delightful passage home we had. Verily, as Parson Jasper so forcibly expresses it, "the sun do move," and he might have added - and so do the earth.

        On reaching New York we proceeded the next day to Boston, where the oldest child, Sarah Wharton, now Mrs. Pembroke Jones, was born at our country place in Jamaica Plain on the 19th of July, 1859, whom, when she was a month old, we brought to our North Carolina home, "Esmeralda," in Warren County. Everybody seemed glad to see us back after a fourteen-months absence, and glad enough we were to get back. We all had had a surfeit of foreign lands and foreign customs.

        The next two years gave unmistakable portents of the great political storm which was brewing. While every one felt the gravity of the occasion, few cared to avert it by truckling submission to dangers more to be dreaded than war. Still our fields were cultivated, and the social amenities like-wise, as if not realizing that the brink of revolution was impending. The summer of 1860 was passed at the White Sulphur, Virginia, and never was there a larger or gayer crowd at that far-famed resort. It seems wondrous strange, in view of subsequent events, that the South should have been apparently so callous. A strange eventful period it was, on the eve of the most momentous epoch in the world's history.

        For the next few months, the South throughout its borders was organizing, arming and equipping, for the inevitable conflict. With scores of others of Warren's young sons I was enrolled as a high private in the Warren Guards, and

Page 153

I am proud to be able to state that the gallant company was one of the first three to report at the camp of organization in Raleigh. Three companies unanimously expressed their preference for me for the Colonelcy of the First North Carolina Regiment, for which I am, and always will be, duly proud and appreciative. Colonel, afterwards General D. H. Hill, than whom a braver, more skillful and tactical officer figured not in the war to follow - a few at the top alone, perhaps, excepted - received the coveted honor.

        Resuming my place in the ranks, I went with the command down to Norfolk, then daily threatened by overwhelming odds. While drilling and preparing for the coming clash at Camp 'Misery,' as the boys familiarly dubbed it, news reached me that I had been designated by General Henry A. Wise to be a colonel in his Legion, as then known. The appointment was not only unsought but entirely unexpected, yet nevertheless appreciated, for regarding General Wise as one of the foremost political thinkers of the time I was simple enough to give him the credit of being a great incipient soldier. The outcome, like that in many other political appointments, proved the prognostic to be rather illusory.

        But straighway getting my discharge from the twelfth North Carolina Regiment, I set to work to raise one of my own. The last official act of North Carolina's initial great war Governor, John W. Ellis, was to give me an order for seven hundred and fifty Enfield rifles, the only ones that remained in North Carolina, if not in the Confederate States, and, of course, their possession was much sought by companies throughout the State. I soon had seventeen tendered me from which to choose my ten, but while organizing at the new fair grounds in Richmond, news came that his successor, Henry S. Clark, had arbitrarily taken my guns and given them to another. The announcement fell like a thunder clap,

Page 154

for there is no concealing the fact that his action was a death blow to my fondest aspirations. There was no resisting the impulse of going to Raleigh and telling him, face to face, what I thought of his high-handed act. This was done in his office, in language more emphatic than diplomatic. Thereupon appeal was made to the Legislature for the redress of the grievance. Not having other guns to give me to supply the place of the Enfield's taken, that body unanimously voted me $50,000 to purchase arms wherever they could be found. The finding, unfortunately, was the chief difficulty, for they could not be found.

        Resolved, however, not to be kept out of the unpleasantness by the want of shooting utensils, I at once set to work to supply the deficiency with double-barrel guns. Fortunately, glorious old John Letcher, the then war governor of Virginia, came to the rescue and gave me an order for three hundred old-fashioned flint-lock muskets, which were quickly altered by the Government into percussions. So that, if we were not armed and equipped after the most approved fashion, we, nevertheless, had guns that would kill, and trusted that after the first battle our friends, the enemy, would supply us with better. I am proud to say that there was no higgling or complaining on the part of my gallant command on the score of indifferent equipment, and furthermore that, after supplying each man with a warm overcoat, over one-half of the amount advanced me was later on returned to the State treasury.

        Before the regiment was completed, I was ordered to Wilmington to await the arrival of the other three companies, having only seven, numbering in the aggregate about seven hundred and fifty men. The accomplished gentleman, General Anderson, was in command at that place. Shortly after arrival I received a long, rambling letter from General Wise, telling me to report at once with my command at Roanoke

Page 155

Island, as he was convinced that that would be the next point of attack, Hatteras having already fallen. On asking General Anderson when I could proceed to obey the order, he replied: "If you attempt to do so at all, I will put you under arrest. Inasmuch as you came to me by direct order of the Secretary of War, no less a power has any right to diminish my force by taking you away." I then requested permission to dispatch my next in command, Major Mark Erwin, to Richmond to get the requisite permission to move at once to Roanoke Island. His reply was: "Yes, Major Erwin can wait on the Secretary of War in regard to the matter, but he will take my protest against your being moved away from here, as my force is totally inadequate as it stands." I then asked him if I might not prefer a personal request to the War Office, to go as directed by General Wise, to which he assented.

        On the third day Major Erwin returned from Richmond with an order from the Secretary to proceed at once to the designated point. Breaking camp on Masonboro Sound, where we were stationed, we proceeded at daybreak the next morning to Wilmington to take a special train to Weldon, which was as far as could be supplied. Arriving there, I was under the necessity of impressing transportation to Norfolk, where we reported to General Huger who assigned us quarters, remarking that it would probably be a day or two before we could proceed, owing to the scarcity of transports. On the second day we did, the General cautioning me to keep a sharp lookout on the captain of the tug, as he was suspected of being in sympathy with the enemy, and might give me the slip and run over to Fort Monroe and impart dangerous information. To keep him in touch and my eye upon him, I went on board the tug with Lieutenant B. P. Williamson, now of Raleigh. About midnight on the night of the 7th of February, while

Page 156

a cold drizzling rain was in progress and the waves running high, he rushed into the cabin to tell me that the enemy's boats were approaching, having previously called a halt on the pretext that he had lost his bearings, was in shallow water, and was liable to run aground at any minute, advising me to anchor where we were until day-break, and pledging himself to land us on the island in three hours thereafter. His fright, real or pretended, called to mind General Huger's caution to keep an eye on him, and I exclaimed: "Yes, you traitor, and you have signaled them!" As I said so, he jumped to the door and made a hasty retreat around the side. Grabbing my revolver, I started in hot pursuit, resolved to shoot him as soon as within reach. He rushed into the pilot house, and pulled the door after him as I grabbed the knob to pull it open. I, fortunately for him, stepped on a round stick of wood and fell backward into Croatan Sound. The night was dark as erebus, the waves running high, and to make matters worse, I had on a thick blanket overcoat and a pair of heavy alligator shoes into which I had hastily pushed my feet. It seemed as if there was no escape, and no bottom to the water. Rising to the surface I dropped my revolver and kicked off my shoes as I looked around to catch a glimpse of the little steamer, but not a sign of it could be seen as I had ordered all lights to be put out on it and the seven transports in tow. Then came the rapidity of thought, of which we are told, in a moment of extreme danger. Reasoning that inasmuch as I went over backwards, the boat must needs be in the opposite direction, I struck out at haphazard to try and reach it, and was just about exhausted as I did. Throwing up my hands, I barely managed to get the first joints of my fingers over the sides, but was utterly unable to pull myself aboard. Calling for help, the man whose life had been saved by the mishap, came to the rescue and took

Page 157

hold of both my wrists, after inquiring spasmodically where was the revolver. On being told it was at the bottom of the ocean, he still evinced no intention of pulling me aboard. Convinced he was debating in his own mind whether to drown me or not, I called to Williamson: "Hurry there, as that Yankee dog is about to drown me!" Of which purpose he disclaimed the slightest idea. Getting me on deck, he exclaimed, "There is no cause for alarm, Colonel, for they are Confederate boats." Upon asking how he knew, he replied - "They are burning wood, instead of coal," as proved to be the case when some six or eight little gunboats passed within hailing distance, but showed no disposition to stop or to heed my appeal for a pilot, when told who I was and my condition.

        The thought has more than once obtruded itself since, was the mishap a providential interposition or otherwise? It probably protracted the creature's worthless life, and saved me a lifelong term of self-reproach, but cost the young government millions of dollars in invaluable stores and munitions when the evacuation of Norfolk began, as he then deserted on his little boat and carried the much coveted news to the Fort, which necessitated the loss by fire or capture of said stores. Still, it would have brought misery home to have shot him under premature misapprehension.

        As I learned afterwards, they kept on to Elizabeth and burned their boats. After drawing off and begging or buying a pair of old shoes from one of the men, I was delighted to see daylight appear, and immediately got under way, reaching the island in the time the fellow said we would. Throwing the horses overboard to swim to the shore, the men jumped in and waded out, when ammunition was at once distributed, preparatory to my reporting to General Wise, as was supposed, but he was over on the mainland at Nagshead, while Colonel Shaw, of the Eighth was in immediate command.

        On reaching his quarters he said everything had been

Page 158

lost. Asking how many men had been killed on our side, he gave a ridiculously small number. Upon my asking him if he was going to surrender the most important point on the Atlantic Coast and send in such an insignificant mortuary list, he replied: "What do you advise?" I then told him I had seven hundred and fifty fresh troops just landed, and pledged myself to hold the advancing foe in check if he would collect the scattered troops and come to our assistance, which he promised to do, and sent Major Webb as guide to point out the road that they would be likely to come on.

        Before proceeding a half mile we came in full view of their advanced regiments, which were driven back on their main support, with heavy loss, as we later learned, and the Second Battalion in that brief space sustained a heavier loss than any other regiment had in the two days' fighting. While in the line of battle awaiting their return, and looking backward in expectancy of the promised succor, Lieutenant Colonel, afterwards Governor, Daniel G. Fowle, went by at a furious pace, waving a white rag and bawling back, "Don't fire any more, the island is surrendered!" Indignant at the needless loss to which I had been subjected under the promise of reinforcements, I marched my command back to headquarters and demanded permission to return to my boats with a view to escaping to the mainland. The reply came: "If you do so, it will be at your peril, as I have sent word to General Burnside that the island and all on it was surrendered to overwhelming odds."

        A few days later with all the other troops on the island, we were marched on board the steamer "Spalding," to be carried, as was supposed, to Fort Warren in Boston Harbor, but General Burnside, whom I have ever found a courteous gentleman, determined to keep us there in the hope of inducing his government to consent to a release on parole until

Page 159

an exchange could be effected, which was done some week or two later.

        Just before leaving the camp a laughable incident occurred at my expense. My body-servant Guilford, who had belonged to me for years before, and has been with me ever since, began blubbering on a high key. In reply to the question of some of the Federal officers: "What are you crying about?" he said: "You are taking Marse Wharton off to jail where he will have to take care of himself, and the Lord knows that he never did know how to take care of himself." A few days after that he was a party to an exchange, probably the first and last in which two of his race participated. Burnside coming on board one day, sent for me, remarking: "Colonel, your negro man is bothering me to death to let him go with you to prison, and to get rid of him I have brought him over with me and turn him over to you. I will take it as a favor if you will induce your War Secretary to give me up mine, who was captured at Bull Run." The arrangement was duly effected. I venture to give another anecdote of this faithful servant and devoted friend, who was afterwards captured with me in the wounded train on the retreat from Gettysburg. After General Burnside had returned to shore, Guilford requested me to move to the rear of the vessel out of earshot of others, which was done. Coming up, he looked around suspiciously to see that no one was near by, and then began mysteriously: "Marse Wharton, I have a piece of information that might be of great service to our folks if you are exchanged before going to prison." He then proceeded to tell me that the day before, on his daily visit to the Commanding General to press his request to be allowed to go to prison with me, the latter said he couldn't see him then as he was busy, but to come back later and we would hear what he had to say. Then the following: "As it was rather warm I took a seat on the ground, at the back of his headquarters,

Page 160

and soon saw a number of big generals coming up and, as I supposed, entering. My curiosity was aroused to know what was going on, so, shutting my eyes as if asleep, I kept my ears open and on the stretch, for I soon gathered that it was a counsel of war, as I believe they call it, and were talking about where to strike us next. General Foster, as I took him to be, was for moving on Norfolk at once and taking it on the land side, while their ships should make a pretense by water from Old Point. All the small-fry generals thought that a good plan, but General Burnside upset it, when he up and spoke and said: 'Gentlemen, we have got to starve these people into submission, and here's how I think it can be done. Eastern North Carolina is the corn-crib of the so-called Confederacy, and if we hold the key, they cannot get into it. Therefore, my advice is, let us take Newbern and hold it as the base of operations.' It is needless to say his counsel prevailed." Commending him for his connected story, I told him that when we were sent home on parole, as was now pretty well settled would be the case, my hands and tongue would be tied, but that his would not, and gave him this command: "When you get to Norfolk, call on our old Colonel, Sol Williams, of the Twelfth, and repeat to him in confidence what you have told me, and ask him to take you to General Huger and vouch for your reliability; or if he is not there, to our old Captain, Ben Wade, of the Warren Guards." This was done, and General Huger praised him highly for his report, saying that he would send it at once by special messenger to the War Office. I am unadvised if this was ever done, but do know that the battles at Newbern and above were fought a few days later on. He passed into my possession by purchase from my cousin, General M. W. Ransom, who he has ever believed, and will die believing, was the biggest man that ever set foot in our State, "always excepting Marse General Jackson, who everybody knows was the best judge of good horses, good

Page 161

hounds, game cocks and game men, that ever lived, Marse Jeff Davis, Marse Robert Lee, and General Forrest, coming next." Such was the report given long afterwards by one of the best men that ever lived in the world, Dr. Frank Patterson, as the two old night owls would sit over the midnight camp fire discussing men, measures, and metaphysics, when the rest of the camp would be wrapped in slumber. It is needless to say that his pre-eminent hero was not he of the foot cavalry, but the one of the cotton bales, both being of kindred taste and proclivities, that is, he and Guilford. The champion of the valley would never be accused of any or either of the enumerated weaknesses, always barring the last, for he ever held in highest admiration game men, especially if they were fleet of foot on the approach of a fight. Therein 'Hickory' and 'Stonewall' were in such close touch and unity of accord, that they might easily have been confounded as double first cousins, owing to the identity of family name and the significance of nickname. These and other striking traits in common were so marked that I can't help believing that they must have had a close common grand-father in the 'ould country.' Observe, a common nationality and a common religion, hard-shell, hard fighting, imperious, self-willed Presbyterians, both as brave as Cæsar, as alert as the leopard, but self-restrained self-counsellors, each permeated by the same instinctive love of fight that possesses the bull-dog or the game-cock, but holding native instinct in subordination to reason, both imbued with the same sublime love of truth, respect for women and love of children, and utter detestation for falsehood, hypocrisy, or double-face. I tell you, gentlemen, that these two great soldiers, sagacious citizens, and good men, must have been close akin. God shrive the sins of each, and bless them both. Selah!

        To recur to the transfer of ownership, let it be said that it was the outcome of simple charity on both sides. He had,

Page 162

inadvertently, fallen in love with Melissa, my wife's dressing maid and needle woman, and as the two plantations lay in separate counties, it was a more difficult feat than Leander's for man and maid to get a glimpse of each other until the Gordian knot was cut in manner stated, and eight or ten grown up and well-to-do children attest the honesty and sincerity of their devotion through near half a century. By such change of proprietary possession, a faithful servitor and devoted friend fell to my lot, while my honored kinsman could but feel well content that he had received as equivalent the biggest purchase money in all probability ever paid for 'the brother in black' in our State, if not in any other.

        Another little anecdote illustrative of the fidelity of some of that race, and which has its humorous as well as pathetic side, and we pass on. Major Erwin had as attendant a strong able-bodied man as black as the ace of spades, who had been raised with him, and who held him in heart love and proof against wrong or ill doing. Reaching Norfolk in a drenching rain on our way to the island, we found an aide of the General awaiting to pilot us to our quarters. The Major was exceedingly sick, and I told him to remain on the ferry-boat until I could send down a conveyance for him. This, however, was unknown to faithful Jason, who, when he saw the command moving off, concluded that "Marse Mark" was being left, and wouldn't be able to take part in the approaching fight. So, shouldering him bodily, he came trudging on with his load of love and duty at the rear of the column. After the surrender, Jason hit on a novel expedient for replenishing his master's wardrobe, as will be seen. Just after reaching Elizabeth City on our return home, and after the preliminaries of parole had been complied with, Jason, who by some means, best known to himself, had slipped through on one of the exchange transports, beckoned the Major aside, while unwrapping a newspaper package which he had

Page 163

carried with fond tenacity under his left arm. "Marse Mark," he began, "see what I have focht you," as he displayed a splendid broadcloth overcoat, fresh from the hands of "Snip," and which had evidently seen very little rough service up to that time. Anticipating fulsome commendation on his 'cuteness,' poor Jason was utterly surprised and nonplussed to hear his beloved master explode in a cyclone of oratory for which he was State wide famous, modulating emphasis, as here given.

Page 164


        After being duly paroled at Elizabeth City, we took up the line march to our respective homes as prisoners of war, pledged not to take up arms again until duly exchanged, Norfolk being the first objective point to respective destinations, where transportation was furnished. There we were compelled to remain in inglorious ease until called to Richmond a short while afterwards to take place in line again, a cartel of exchange between the two governments having been agreed upon.

        During those days events of greatest moment were transpiring. Great battles were being fought and won, and great men dying. Well do I recall my father's coming into my room one day, and remarking:

        "My son, we have won a great and glorious victory in the West, but it has been a dearly purchased one for us, for the price we paid for it was the incomparable Sidney Johnston, who fell in the very zenith of decisive victory."

        Like Mr. Davis, my father had a due appreciation of that illustrious man, and thought that his loss was tantamount to twenty-thousand men. Apropos, an anecdote which Mrs. Davis gave to me herself shortly before the President's death:

        "My husband," she said, "having heard that General Johnston was on his way to Texas from California, had grown most restive and impatient at his non-arrival in reach. Confined to a sick bed, he had constantly exclaimed: 'Why don't he come, why don't he come?' Finally, the news reached Richmond that he had arrived, after incredible hardships in his perilous ride from the Pacific, in San Antonio. It found my husband on a sick bed and grown very petulant by reason of anxiety, which was relieved on the instant by

Page 165

the welcome news of his having reached our purlieus. For the next day or two he was exceedingly cross and, as I thought, unreasonably so, crying out continually: "Why don't he come, why don't he come?" I was inclined to think it the outburst of delirium, when suddenly springing up in bed, he exclaimed: 'There he is! there he is! Let him in at once! Why don't you go and open the door?' Taking in the drift of his thoughts, I rushed down stairs to the front door, and there stood General Johnston. His first exclamation was 'How is he? how is he?' And the next instant he was making his way up stairs, two or three steps at a time. On my reaching our room, there the two stood, clasped in loving embrace in each other's arms."

        Call it prescience, instinct, or what you will, it was certainly wonderful that the almost imperceptible footfall on the front piazza had imparted to his Chief the news of his arrival. He was at once nominated to the chief command of the Confederate Army and assigned to the Department of the West, whither he started after due deliberation and instructions from President Davis, Bowling Green, I think, being his destination.

        It is now known that his force and resources were totally inadequate to meet the enemy in his front. Forts Henry and Donelson fell in quick succession, thus necessitating our falling back into Tennessee. On reaching Nashville with a remnant of his improvised force, he found the whole country in a state of clamor against his retention in command, every one, from the Legislature down, being in a state of outcry against his being kept in command.

        Such was the condition of affairs as he moved on south to place the Tennessee River between himself and the advancing enemy. Such was the condition of affairs whilst reorganizing his force, when the enemy, under command of

Page 166

General Grant, crossed the river and halted near the bank, little dreaming that the fugitive Confederate chieftain would, at the opportune moment, turn and give him a crushing blow, as he did, but, unfortunately for the young government, as the price of his priceless life.

        It is now a matter of historic record that the Federal commander and his cohorts were utterly routed, demoralized, and in flight, seeking refuge under the banks of the river, when that unfortunate event happened. The sequel followed, as a matter of course, when his successor called a needless halt in the rich camp of the enemy instead of pushing him to a final finish, as Sidney Johnston would have done had his priceless life been prolonged for a few brief hours, and as Bedford Forrest would have done had the command devolved upon him as his successor.

        Before morning of the next day General Buell, with overwhelming reinforcements, arrived on the opposite bank, and by sunrise had his command transported over and himself placed in touch with the lately routed Federal commander. The result was, as might have been seen, the relinquishment of all of the advantages gained the day before and a total reversal of the situation.

        Such was the most momentous and ominous event that transpired in those days of our brief, but enforced, inaction. I here repeat, as my deliberate conviction, the statement published by his illustrious son, Colonel William Preston Johnston, that had he lived for one brief day, aye, an hour only, the Confederate States would have taken their place at the council board of nations. Not to have had the honor of being his successor would I, for one, be willing to shoulder the responsibility of that extraordinary and needless outcome sequent upon the fall of that great commander. As President Davis said to the Committee of the Tennessee Legislature,

Page 167

that waited upon him to insist upon his displacement as being unfit for the command: "If Sidney Johnston is not a soldier, God help us; if so, I am fully persuaded that we haven't one."

        During the interim alluded to was fought a naval battle which may be said to have revolutionized marine conflicts ever since - the famous fight between the "Merrimac," on the Confederate side, and the "Monitor," on the Federal. The Confederate government took an old hulk of one of their war vessels, which was burned on the evacuation of Norfolk by the enemy, and improvised it into a rough iron-clad. Even before completed, it steamed out in Hampton Roads in full view of Fort Monroe and grappled with three or four naval vessels of the enemy, destroying two of them - the "Constitution" and the "Congress," and would doubtless, have inflicted much greater damage had not a strange looking craft, at this particular juncture, hoved in sight and compelled a cessation of the havoc, compelling the other (the "Merrimac,") to haul off and return to Norfolk.

        It was, doubtless, a novelty in marine conflict, that momentous struggle between these two odd-shaped crafts, which has left its impress upon all subsequent marine conflicts from that time to this. But for the opportune, or inopportune, arrival of the "Monitor," fancy is left in doubt as to what would have been the ultimate damage that would have been inflicted by the old 'turtle,' as it was facetiously dubbed, owing to its unique and peculiar appearance. A short time later on, it was deemed advisable to blow it up owing to an insufficiency of water to take it up to Richmond, and thus another of the fondest dreams of the young government went up in smoke.

        On being exchanged and reporting with my command in Richmond for orders, I was told to pitch camp at Drury's

Page 168

Bluff, a most important defense point, owing to the precipitous bank overlooking the James from the south side, and to report to General Junius Daniel who was in command at that place. Here I was doomed to undergo another grievous disappointment, as on the reorganization I was defeated for command and one of my captains was elevated, for brief space, to my place.

        Returning home, I prepared at once to return to the ranks resolved to do my duty in some capacity in the mighty conflict. Before doing so, a strange coincidence took place for me. I was nominated for the State Senate, and, without counting the soldier vote, which was cast a day after the appointed one, was defeated by one vote; but, counting the other, was elected by some two or three hundred majority. Resolved to remain in no civic position during the struggle, I voluntarily relinquished the election to my competitor, Dr. Drake, and proceeded to Goldsboro to enlist again as a private soldier.

        General Daniel, however, insisted upon my taking an honorary appointment on his staff, preliminary to providing for me in a more substantial manner. It should have been said that during the same time an election was held in the old regiment, for Colonel, the Twelfth North Carolina, and I was placed in nomination, without my knowledge, and again came within one vote of an election, making the third time up to then that I had been beaten by a single vote; the other instance being, as stated, for the Presidency of the Jefferson Society at the University of Virginia - a remarkable coincidence, it be confessed, to have thus lost promotion on three different occasions by a single individual vote.

        During those days troops were moving in all directions, full of hope and enthusiasm, and long before, the commonest necessaries of life had run out, to be supplied by that mother

Page 169

of invention termed necessity. From the Government down, it was illustrated in full. In the beginning, everything had to be improvised, from a percussion-cap to a constitution, powder works and ordnance factories, and those for small arms had to be gotten into shape on the spur of the moment, and well the deficiencies were supplied. Homespun was the universal wear for our women, and they wore it with pride and uncomplainingly, and never looked more lovely in the eyes of the men. Sorghum was the only substitute for sugar; all sorts there were for coffee, with no complaining from anyone. Patriotism and enthusiasm supplied the place of luxuries.

        It was undoubtedly an epoch of the grandest self-sacrifice for what they believed in that any age or any land ever knew. Glad I am to have lived in that era and played my little part, for it was one of glorious patriotic self-sacrifice for opinion's sake. The remark is applicable only to the Southern contingent, for at the North never were wants more readily supplied, and in greatest abundance, thus opening the door to the inconceivable fortunes and boundless luxuries that have followed in that quarter.

        Shortly after reporting, our brigade was ordered and moved on to Little Washington, then threatened by the enemy, camping just below Greenville. The next day General Daniel and I went down to General D. H. Hill's headquarters.

        Be it understood that Little Washington was then in possession of the Federals and running short of provisions and munitions, and our movement was to prevent these being thrown in from New Bern. To do this, we had erected a little fortification at a narrow point of the river (known as Fort Hill) to prevent the passage of their gunboats in reinforcing the town.

        Generals Hill, Daniel, and Beverley Robertson, Colonel

Page 170

Bridges and myself, rode down to see how the garrison were deporting themselves. The enemy's gunboats, some seven or eight in number, were lying just out of reach of our little popguns, but placing us in easy range of theirs, and they were shelling us at their leisure and to their hearts' content. Up to that time, however, none of our men had been wounded, but we had not been inside over ten minutes before one of their large shells exploded just to our rear and a ten-pound piece of it knocked me over.

        After being carried to a farmhouse a mile to the rear, the other gentlemen passed me on the return, and General Daniel promised to send my old surgeon (Dr. Patterson), then his brigade surgeon, down to look after me that night, which he did some three hours later. The next morning I was removed back to headquarters, where I found an indefinite furlough awaiting me from General Hill, he supposing that I would not be fit for duty for a long time to come. On reaching home the next day, I went into ordinary for three or four days, but fearful that the town would fall during my absence, started back on crutches, allowing just one week after having left camp, much to the surprise of my friends.

        In the meantime, General Foster had passed our obstructive point with reinforcements and munitions, thus rendering abortive the object in view of keeping them out. Each command was then ordered to return to their respective starting points, Kinston being ours. Nothing of interest occurred until a combined movement was made for the capture of New Bern, where the enemy were entrenched in force. As the country surrounding is of a low, marshy condition, and there had been continuous rains for many days anterior, the men were up to their middle in water most of the time.

        By misadvertence on our part, the Federals were able to concentrate their gunboats and be prepared for the attack, which was to have been a surprise, and so, like the King of

Page 171

France and his ten thousand men, we had nothing to do but to march back again, the difficulty being to find a dry spot upon which to lie down. General Hill was the only one in the command who had tent and camp equipage along, and he kindly invited General Daniel and myself to share it with him, which was most gladly accepted.

        Shortly after, the brigade was ordered to move up to the Rappahannock and report to General Lee. Daniel, who was an old West Point friend, remarked to me at dinner:

        "It must be close on to a hundred miles between here and your house. Are you willing to make the journey for the privilege of staying one night at home, and report day after tomorrow in Richmond?"

        My reply was an immediate command to Guilford to saddle the horses at once, which he gladly did, as his wife, as well as mine, was back on the plantation. That afternoon we made some thirty-odd miles and were kindly entertained by a widow lady and her daughter, starting the next day by sunrise. We reached home the next day about dusk, much to the surprise of all the family, having made, by close computation, ninety-three miles from the start. My mount was the finest animal that I have ever seen under saddle, and made his five miles an hour throughout without breaking a walk, whilst Guilford's was kept in almost a continual trot in order to keep up. The next morning we were again on the road for the Warrenton depot en route to Richmond.

        Rejoining the Staff there, we pushed on to Hamilton's Crossing, a few miles short of Fredericksburg, where the command lay inactive until the order came to take up the line of march, for what destination no one knew with certainty, but some surmised that the Potomac, if not the Federal Capital, was the point in view. It being the latter part of June, and the hottest spell of weather that I have almost

Page 172

ever seen, the troops suffered intensely on the march, fainting in numbers by the roadside.

        On reaching Winchester we were advised that the enemy were in force at the little village of Berryville, a few miles farther on, and General Rhodes, the division commander, was ordered to push on and intercept their retreat. This was near being accomplished, but the officer in command at that place, the notorious Milroy, one of the three generals who were outlawed by President Davis for their brutal and unsoldierly conduct (Butler and Turchin being the other two), was able to effect his escape. On entering their camps, a fine young New Foundland dog became my property by capture until both he and I were recaptured on the night of July fourth, on the retreat from Gettysburg in the wounded and ordnance train.

        Crossing the Potomac the next day, we moved on to Hagerstown and went into camp for two or three days to enable the scattered commands to concentrate as directed. A laughable incident might be recorded upon our entering the town of Front Royal, the people of which were frantic with delight at seeing "the boys in grey" once more. General Gaston Lewis and myself were riding near the head of the column when we saw two ladies with pails of buttermilk at the front gate, who asked us to take some of it. Every old soldier knows that such an invitation could not be refused, and whilst partaking of their generous hospitality our brigade passed by, and some fellow in line sang out:

        "Come out of that, you know you have got a wife and baby at home; and if you don't, I'll tell on you."

        The vile outcry was taken up and continued until the last man of Daniel's brigade had passed, much to my confusion, one of the young ladies remarking -

        "I need not ask which one of you it is, for your countenance has fastened it on you" (pointing to me).

Page 173

        While halting in Hagerstown an old friend and connection of mine, Judge Alvey, gave me an invitation, to be extended to the rest of my immediate friends, to come and take dinner with him and his family the next day, Sunday. He was just back from Fort Warren, where he had passed an enforced sojourn owing to his strong Southern proclivities, and his good wife was much concerned lest our hobnobbing with her illustrious husband would not send him back there as soon as we should leave. "But, my dear madam," was my rejoinder, "we have no idea of taking a back track across the Potomac; we have come to stay." And such was the feeling of the others. Alas! in some two short weeks her apprehensions were verified, and that superb army was re-fording the river back into Virginia; but it was not permitted me to be of the number, as I was unavoidably detained and held in durance vile for nearly two years thereafter.

        Greencastle was our next halting place, for a day or two, where it seemed that all of the Pennsylvania Dutch for a hundred miles around about had come to look glum at our audacity in venturing so far in their midst. Riding into town with my old friend, Colonel Mercer, we stopped at the house of one of these and called for a little liquid refreshment, which, on being produced in a wash pitcher, Mercer poured himself out a bumper, and was about to toss it off when I cautioned him to hold up, remarking I had heard that when in the enemy's country and partaking of his hospitality it is advisable to make your host drink the first toast, concluding with the invitation: "My friend, kindly drink to the health of President Davis, General Lee, and the Confederate cause!" The poor Dutchie's countenance fell at once as he replied: "I have not drank the viskey for twenty years or more!" Mercer's suspicions were at once aroused that he had put a sweetening in it not conducive to sanitation. Taking out his revolver, he said: "If you have

Page 174

not drank the 'viskey' for one hundred years, you shall drink that toast!" To which the poor fellow rejoined: "Oh, do not shoot me; I vill drink the toast"; and after inviting the Colonel to join him in a stirrup-cup, gave us each a bottle to take back to camp. Mercer and I were, doubtless, the avant couriers in that hostile crowd, and felt no compunction at the enforced hospitality to which our Pennsylvania friend was subjected.

        The next day Ewell's corps moved on to Carlisle Barracks, then a Federal post, but which had been evacuated upon news of the approach of unwelcome visitors. The next day being Sunday, it was resolved that the Stars and Stripes, which had been cut down from the flagpole, should be replaced by the Stars and Bars. The pole was replaced with the young flag floating at the masthead. It would seem that if there was ever opportunity to let fall a flow of eloquence, it was on that auspicious occasion, but there was no adequate response from any of our distinguished leaders to calls made upon them, thus showing that heroism and oratory do not always go hand in hand.

        During the night courier after courier was delivering messages in hot haste to General Ewell to move back in the direction of Gettysburg, as the enemy were concentrating in force in that vicinity. This was done without needless delay, a halt being called for the night at the little village of Heidlersburg, located some ten or fifteen miles from another village, about to be made immortal in the conflict then to follow.

        As illustrative of the futility of dreams, visions, and portents, I was aroused by a dream or premonition that a mighty battle had been fought and that I was one of the earliest victims. Shaking off the fancy as a baseless fabric of a vision, I turned over and went to sleep again, and again it was brought home in renewed force, and so, I think, a third hallucination followed. My eyes were strangers to sleep the

Page 175

rest of that night, and when the next morning we were told by our Brigadier that probably the decisive battle of the war would be fought that day, the dreams of the night before were brought home most forcibly, intensified by each reverberating gun as we neared the field of conflict.

        The brigade was drawn up in line at a no remote distance from those of the Federals, who at once began to shell us. The order was given for the command to lie down, and here exploded perhaps the most destructive single shell fired during the war. While General Daniel and I were holding our horses some six or eight paces in front of the line, it fell just to our rear. My recollection was that it killed and disabled eleven of my old command, but Dr. H. T. Bahnson, then perhaps the youngest boy in the battalion, now one of the leading physicians of North Carolina, corrected my recollection by saying that thirteen were rendered hors de combat. After an interchange of an artillery duel for a short while, the command was deployed preparatory to a charge.

        I was ordered to go with the right wing of the command, and when we were about half-way to the enemy's line the order came for us to lie down so that our guns in the rear could play upon them; then came the command "Up and charge!" Suddenly we were on the brink of a chasm in the railroad since known as the Deep Cut, when the enemy opened on us with both field pieces and small arms, and before it could be prevented the men were jumping down into the Cut with the view to scrambling up on the other side, which was found to be impracticable owing to the precipitous sides encountered. To make matters worse, some masked guns opened an enfilading fire, which was most destructive. It has been stated that Daniel's brigade lost more in that death-trap in fifteen minutes than was lost by any other brigade in the three days' fighting.

        Advising Colonel Brabble, the senior officer, to face to the

Page 176

left, clear the defile, fall a few paces to the rear, reorganize, and then charge, it occurred to me that then was my opportunity to offset my own loss, which was deemed inevitable. Taking up a musket, I managed with difficulty to crawl to the top of the embankment, and saw the enemy drawn up in line about a hundred yards in front, behind an old Virgina worm fence. They soon began to advance, but with no alacrity for the work. Seeing a field officer in front, urging them on whilst waving his hat, the thought occurred that his loss might be of considerable advantage to us in checking the advance. He fell on the instant, which occasioned a momentary halt, and letting myself aloose at the top, recovered an upright position at the bottom, but in a dilapidated plight. A jutting root or jagged rock caught in my breeches' leg and tore it from the bottom to the top, losing hat also in the fall. On recovering an upright position, I was knocked down again almost immediately afterwards, either by a minnie or piece of shell, when my old Adjutant, Austin Green, rushed up and supported me to the rear, advising the field hospital as soon as it could be reached. Reaching my horse, which had been left in the rear, I mounted and started back for it, arriving some twenty minutes later.

        Already the ground was covered by the wounded and mangled, while three of the Medical Staff, including Dr. Frank Patterson, the brigade chief of that department, were hard at work, their coats off and sleeves rolled up, to stem the torrent of death, having a couple of impromptu tables for operating purposes. They were an honor to the profession, those three noble gentlemen. For two or three days ensuing there was no relaxation, or let up, in their gruesome work, if even a slight snatch of sleep. The pile of amputated limbs were rapidly increasing in size, but still they persevered in their glorious work.

        At the height of the terrific artillery duel, in which some

Page 177

three or four hundred guns were belching forth destruction on opposing sides, Bill, one of the General's body-servants, who had been sent back for provisions for his master, came up to me and upon my asking him if he wasn't scared down there amongst all those big guns, replied: "No, sir; Mars June's down there, and if he can stand it I reckon I can."

        On the fourth day of the hell carnival that was going on, the great Captain, after his terrific loss to gain possession of Round Top hill, and running short of ammunition, deemed it essential to order a retreat so as to place the Potomac between himself and Meade. Those who were able to stand the trip on wheels proceeded to do so, including Captain Bond of the Staff and myself, our friends having impressed a little one-horse team for the occasion. Bond had received an ugly wound in his body, while I had one in the back of my head.

        The weird procession started on the back track, and about sunrise on the morning of the immortal fourth making a train of vehicles some eleven miles in length, including wounded ordnance as well as men. Towards nightfall, on entering a defile in the hills, desultory firing in the front broke on the ear, growing more frequent upon every step of the advance. It was soon learned that Kilpatrick had been detached with his division to intercept the retreat of the train, for failing to do which he should have been court-martialed for utter incompetency for command, as that long train had but three squadrons of cavalry for guard to oppose his thousands. From time to time a horse or mule would be knocked down from the opposite sides of the road, thus occasioning delay by a halt to detach him from the harness and drag him to one side.

        Things were in this condition when the defile was cleared, and the little mounted guard left the rear and went forward in hot haste. It was a bright moonlight night, about ten o'clock, when it occurred, and a heavy ordnance wagon loaded with

Page 178

damaged guns, in attempting to pass our little wagon took off a wheel and dropped us in the middle of the road. On the instant, a score of blue-coated cavalry were upon us with their revolvers leveled almost in touch. Then it was that the utility of gab was made manifest for once, for Guilford spoke with a fluency of tongue rarely, if ever, surpassed by any of his race: "Don't shoot, gentlemen, for God's sake, don't shoot. We surrender. We are prisoners;" and so we were.

        Being then ordered to get up in the old gun-wagon, which was not the easiest ambulance conceivable, the twenty or thirty vehicles which had been captured by the doughty Major- General, were ordered to move forward, but soon made a detour, going to the rear, as the rumor ran that Jeb Stuart, with his entire command, was waiting for the other to come up. After moving at a rapid gait the rest of the night, about sunrise the next morning we passed the identical spot where the mishap befell us the night before. This was impressed upon the mind by seeing my Berryville pup sitting down in the broken down wagon and to keep guard over it.

        On stopping for dinner, an old friend, Major C. C. Blacknall, came up and asked how I was off for transportation, and upon being told, he remarked: "I am pretty much in the same plight, and don't propose to stand it any longer." This was said with some difficulty of articulation as he had had a pretty rough operation of dentistry two days before, a musket-ball entering one side of his jaw, taking out a half-dozen of his teeth, and coming out on the other. Continuing, he remarked: "I see a very neat little turnout under those trees there. Let's go and take possession;" which was done. Soon an aide-de-camp rode up and demanded to know what we were doing in General Custer's carriage. The reply came - "We are wounded prisoners, and demand the right of transportation." He went back to his commander and reported, and soon returned to us with the gratifying message: "The

Page 179

General says you may ride in it the rest of to-day, but he will be damned if you haven't got to look out for other accommodation to-morrow." His decision proved that he was a gentleman, as little Powder Horn showed later on that he was a hero, falling into a trap of hostile savages, and losing his own life and that of every man in his command.

        Shortly after starting on the evening march and reaching the top of a high hill, a courier came dashing in in hot haste and reported that Stuart was near by and then advancing. The head of the column was at once turned and we went down that hill faster than we came up, reaching the village below (Smithfield, I think the name). Everything was in a state of confusion. Blacknall remarked to me in an under-tone:

        "Now's our opportunity. These fellows are thoroughly panicked, and if old Jeb would only drop a few shells over here, they would take to their heels in hot haste. Now, let's go out and lie down on the sidewalk there and groan as hard as we can."

        We did, and simulated broken bones as well as could be. The Dutch ladies came around, but evinced no sympathy for our woeful condition. One of them remarked: "Served them right. I wish it had taken off their heads instead."

        Just then the order came to continue the march, but our vehicle having disappeared in the confusion we continued to groan and wait for Stuart's shells. The last wagons were disappearing on the retreat when a Federal surgeon came up and asked us what we were doing there. My reply was that we were wounded men and if he expected us to keep up with the procession he must send a vehicle back to take us up. This was done, the occupants of one of them being hustled out in a hurry to make room for the wounded prisoners.

        The march was continued in double-quick time until about ten o'clock at night, and a halt was called, and we went into camp. The next day the wounded were left at the hospital

Page 180

in Frederick, and were well cared for. A dear little Sister of Charity took me in hand and dressed my wound most carefully. When breakfast was brought in the next morning and I had partaken of mine, I remarked to the hospital steward: "I wish you would give my boy something to eat." He instantly replied: "I see no boy about here." "Well, sir, if you prefer the expression, my man." "Why didn't you let him eat with you?" was the saucy reply; and mine was: "'Guilford, tell this fellow why you didn't eat breakfast with me." And his answer was: "I would as soon have thought of sticking my head in the fire as to sit down to a table with Mars Wharton." "Mars," he said, "there are no masters around here, nor men either." To which I rejoined: "Hark ye, sir, I have had enough of your insolence. I know your master, Colonel ---, who was an old friend of mine, and if there is any more of it, you will be reported to him and reduced to the ranks again." The threat had the desired effect on the creature, and he quieted down after bringing Guilford his breakfast.

        The next day we were moved down to Fort McHenry, near Baltimore, a change for the worse, and from there to Fort Delaware, below Philadelphia, the next day. The officer in command there was one General Schoepff, as it leaked out - lately a waiter in the dining-room of Willard's hotel, and a more pretentious, overweening upstart I have never seen. The Field and Staff were quartered inside of the Fort, while the other prisoners had to rough it on the outside as being more accessible to the General's emissaries who were trying to induce them to take the oath. In going out for an afternoon swim, Colonel Baxter Smith and Major Jack Thompson got an opportunity to speak to a squad of our men and urged them, under no circumstances, to take the oath as we would probably be exchanged. The circumstance was duly reported to the doughty Dutchman in command, who had

Page 181

them both marched off to the dark prison, where they were confined and fed on bread and water for a day or two thereafter.

        On the fact being reported to Major Burton, an officer of the old army and second in command at this place, he waited on General Schoepff and denounced his conduct as cruel, unsoldierly, and unjustified, threatening, that if the two gentlemen were not immediately sent back to quarters, he would throw up his commission and report the case in person at the War Office in Washington. The worthy Major's threat had the desired effect and our two friends were ushered back into their old quarters, not in most amiable mood as might be imagined.

        Major Thompson, who was of a fiery nature, took his seat on the side of his bunk, and remained silent for some time, when he suddenly burst forth with: "When we get back to Richmond, I will wait on President Davis and tender one-half of all that I am worth for the privilege of keeping Castle Thunder for one week." To which a little chaplain replied: "Major, if you got it, you would treat the poor fellows better than you think you would." Jack rejoined, in high dudgeon: "If you think so, parson, you don't know what a damned bad heart I have got," which caused the whole room to explode with laughter.

        Another laughable little incident occurred when Schoepff came around to tell us that we were to be transferred from his custody to another's elsewhere, but said he was not at liberty to divulge the place, adding: "You will be well gratified with the change, and all I ask is that you give your paroles not to attempt to escape whilst on the road." Some of us protested against doing so as it was a novel proceeding to put prisoners, under guard, on the word not to escape if opportunity is offered. His rejoinder came: "Those who refuse to do so will be placed in condition where escape will be

Page 182

impossible, for I will have handcuffs on all who do." Captain Surrat, of a :Mississippi regiment, was in a room with us, hatless, coatless, and barefooted. The General, thinking he had gotten inside surreptitiously and that he was a private, who should have been on the outside, asked him insolently:

        "What are you doing in here?" and the Captain replied:

        "I joined the Tishimingo Invincibles to fight for the liberties of my country, and they made me Commissary of the regiment. On the march one day I was sent off with a squad in search of forage, and as the weather was mighty hot I took off my coat and shoes, and was loading my wagons with corn at a crib when a company of your calvary dashed up and seized us all. As we were going along, and I was mounted behind one of your men, my hat fell off, and I told the gentleman in front to please let me get down and pick it up, but he refused to do it, saying, 'If you get off this horse I will blow your rebel brains out,' and I didn't do it. I was brought here with other prisoners, and turned over to you, and that's what I'm doing in here."

        The impression was that the Tishimingo Invincibles got the best of that fight.

        In due time we reached Johnson's Island, in Lake Erie, a prison for officers, where some two thousand were already confined and the number continually increasing. On the whole, it was a decided improvement over the last two prisons, as it was more commodious and roomy. There were eleven or twelve two-story blocks in two parallel rows, extending the length of the prison yard, the two upper ones being cut up into small rooms for the Field Staff, into one of which I was fortunate enough to gain admittance. These rooms were about fifteen feet square for the accommodation of eight prisoners each, three tiers of bunks being allotted for sleeping purpose. Here the next twenty-two months of our uneventful lives were passed to little purpose. The prison guard consisted of a regiment of 'home guards,' who had enlisted

Page 183

for that special duty with the understanding that they were not to be sent to the front. As might be expected, they were not as considerate for our comfort as old soldiers would have been, as the following anecdote will illustrate:

        After a six-months sojourn under their supervision, a badly decimated brigade under General Shaler, who had lost an arm, was sent on from Virginia to relieve Major Pearson in command. The improvement in our condition and treatment became obvious from the very first. One day an altercation took place between a member of each command, the home guard fellow remarking to the old soldier: "You fellows treat these rebels with as much politeness as if they were some of our folks;" to which Shaler's man replied: "And you fellows, who have never smelt powder, treat them as if they were dogs. If you had helped to catch them as we have, you would have more respect for them, for we know what they are."

        There was no more needless shooting of prisoners after their coming, as there had been under the redoubtable 'stay-at- homes', who enjoyed, of all things, some slight excuse for making a target of some of us. There was one young rascal especially who took a special delight in shooting a rebel. The change was so marked in our treatment under the two commands that there soon came to be a better entente cordiale between us and Shaler's boys than there was between us and Pearson's. For one, and I think for all, we felt grateful to these old war veterans for their marked courtesy and civility.

        Eight of our number resolved to attempt an escape, the plan being to dig a hole or well some three feet deep through the dining-room floor of Block No. 1, and then to strike off at right angles until past the fence on which a guard was stationed, and then come up on the outside, all precautions being taken to conceal their work. In due time the tunnel

Page 184

was finished, and it was decided by lot which of the workmen should go first, and in rotation. There had been heavy rains for a day or two when the eventful night came, and the cavity under ground was almost half filled with water. Two had gotten through when it came to the lot of an Arkansas Bayard to take his turn. He was Captain Cole, a large and powerful man, and his frame was too huge for the little hole. On emerging his head and shoulders from the outside aperture, he found it was impossible to pull himself through. Calling, in subdued tone, to the man next behind, his condition, and telling him to go back and warn the others, Cole remained there in a cold drenching rain until after reveille, the next morning, when he called for assistance and had himself drug out more dead than alive. He was taken to General Shaler's headquarters, and the facts reported. The General asked him: "When you found that you were stuck in a hole, Captain, why didn't you call for relief sooner?" To which came the noble reply: "Because it would have been dishonorable; two of my comrades were already through, and if I had sounded the alarm, they would have been recaptured." Shaler's reply was: "Captain Cole, you are a hero and a noble fellow, and I guess the best thing you can do is to take a stiff drink of whiskey in the plight you are in, and to have yourself rubbed down with the same;" which was done by the General's orderly, Shaler giving him a bottle to take back to the prison-pen for his own exclusive use. One of the young officers of the Home Guards remarked, in surprise, to one of the scarred veterans: "It's well for that fellow that you all came before he fell into the hands of General Shaler, for Major Pearson would have had him in the dark prison and fed on bread and water, if he had been in command." The reply came "Your whole command could

Page 185

not turn out one such man as that noble fellow, who has just been sent back into the prison yard."

        One of Shaler's superb works of charity was to permit details from each mess to go down to the banks of the lake and get buckets of fresh water for the use of the others. Up to that time, our wants in that regard had to be supplied from shallow wells or, more properly, seip-holes, not over six or eight feet deep and, of course, only surface drainage. A pretty fat graveyard was left behind when that island was vacated, but had it not been for that thoughtful kindness on his part it would, doubtless, have been much greater by many fold.

        And so the first summer passed in dull-fretting monotony, and winter came on, and what a winter it was! For days, and even weeks, the mercury ranged between 25 and 30 degrees below zero, and as these structures were of weather-board and without plaster, and a totally inadequate supply of fuel to keep us from freezing, the suffering was intense. At night the bedding would have to be doubled, and the men compelled to sleep by reliefs or installments, one-half under cover while the other was sitting around a stove to keep from freezing. But we were living in daily hope that the cartel exchange would soon be ratified and that we could go back and resume places with our comrades in ranks.

        But still another summer came and went, and the delusive hope failed of fruition; and so, another winter too, whilst our numbers were being constantly repleted and depleted, the first by capture, and the last by death. The hospital was kept filled to repletion, as I can attest from actual experience, for a month or more, being on the sick-list during that time and forced to take refuge within its limits.

        And here I propose to pay humble tribute to three as noble fellows as it has been my privilege to meet in all life - the

Page 186

hospital nurses. One of them was named Carpenter, a native son of the Emerald Isle, who had enlisted in an Alabama regiment. He and the two others seemed to be ubiquitous amongst the sick and wounded cots. If Carpenter ever slept, it is more than I can tell; but certainly, I never called him, in daytime or night, that he was not instantly at my side to know what was wanted. When convalescence set in for me, I asked him one day: "Carpenter, what do you get for this?" The noble fellow seemed hurt by the question. "Get?" says he: "Colonel, I hope you do not suppose I am doing this work for pay." "If not, what for?" was my reply. "Because," quoth he, "it is my duty." Says I: "My friend, there are three thousand other men on this accursed island who do not seem to regard it as their duty." "No, but mine is a peculiar case; you see, that when it was known that we had to fall back after the three days fight at Gettysburg, my brigadier called for volunteers to look after the sick and wounded until the enemy should come up and take charge of them. Volunteering wasn't very brisk that day, and I too held back in hopes that others would anticipate the call; but as they didn't, I told my colonel that I would be one of the number. And so you see, Colonel, that having volunteered for the work, I have no right to shirk or give it up now." "My friend," I said, "that may be a strained view to take, but to my thinking you are not only a hero but a self-sacrificing philanthropist. Let me thank you from the bottom of an overflowing heart, my friend, for your attentions to me, and, from my observation, to others.

        On returning to my room, I set to work to raise some little token in recognition of their noble work and succeeded in collecting nearly two hundred dollars in greenbacks. On handing the money to him, his voice became choked and he remarked in the rich brogue of his land: "The devil of a cent

Page 187

of it will I take." "And if the two others are like-minded," was my reply, "what is to be done with it?" "Set it aside for a hospital fund," he replied; "relieve these poor gentlemen who need it more than we." "Well, then, my noble friend; you must consent to take it and act as their almoner."

        I regret that the names of the two others have escaped me, but trust that the world has since been good to all of them. When it is taken into consideration that they were undergoing all the drudgery of the pesthouse, even carrying out the remains of those who died, there is no denying that here was heroism and sense of duty surpassing that of a deadly charge on the battlefield.

        As said, various expedients were resorted to to secure escape, even to attempted escapade of the sentry's beat by a few bold and determined spirits, in which a gallant hero, Captain Bowles, of Kentucky, lost his life in mounting the scaling ladder.

        Another project which came near being successful was when Colonel Thomas, the cidevant "French Lady," with a dozen secret volunteers, took passage at Detroit on one of the large lake steamers for Buffalo, an understanding being that on preconcerted signal they were to overpower the officers of the boat, reduce the crew and passengers to subjection, landing the last at the first convenient point, and push in to Johnson's Island, where it was understood we would rise, overpower the guard, secure their arms, and take passage for Canada. Things worked to a charm up to the point of capturning the boat and landing the passengers, and whilst a few of us were on the lookout for the rocket-signal that was to tell of their coming, including Generals Trimble and Archer, it became manifest by another signal given that the scheme had miscarried, it having become known that the Government war

Page 188

vessel "Michigan," had anchored the day before off the island, which would naturally make the attempt abortive.

        As the scheme is now recalled, the correspondence between General Trimble, the ranking officer on the island, and Colonel Thomas, strange as it may sound, was carried on through the columns of a New York daily, the 'Herald,' I believe, and was after this wise, Thomas representing a Lothario under an assumed name proposing to run off with his sweetheart whom we will designate as Mary, for short, and who was impersonated by that one-legged old veteran, General Isaac R. Trimble, of Baltimore. Thomas's message would run: "To Mary. The carriage will be at your gate on such a night. Be ready and prepared to meet it." The answer, in due time, would be: "Your notice of coming has been received, and Mary will be ready as directed."

        The sequel to have been, as intimated, was that the few who were in the plot were to rush from block to block and impart the information that help was at hand, and that all that was necessary for us to do was to overcome the guard on the island, capture their boats and steam away to the Queen's dominions. The plot was not widely divulged for fear of its reaching the outside before time, and when it became obvious that there was some miscarriage in its development the hearts of all sank within them. The papers, in due time, gave an outline of the failure of the attempt, and General Trimble's visitors returned to their respective rooms much cast down and heavy at heart.

        It may be added, in this connection, that an under officer of the "Michigan" dropped a note to the engineer of that boat, giving a hint of the plot on foot. The confusion of the last one on reading it excited the suspicions of the captain, and taking the communication from the hands of the other his

Page 189

suspicions became verified, and counter arrangements were made to intercept the arrival of the "French lady."

        Thus failed another well-conceived scheme to restore the officers on the island to their respective commands across the Potomac. One other, perhaps, to the same intent, and I have done on that line.

        During that awfully cold spell, when the ice was about two feet thick around our prison pen, the thought was conceived that if the frost only extended across to the Canadian border we might rise and disarm the guard, as already set forth, and steal a march on them for the other side. The only question was to determine whether the ice extended all the way across in order that the attempt might be made. In our then condition, it was impossible to tell without outside information, and this was suppressed by an embargo on all papers for a few days thereafter. It was later known that Lake Erie was frozen from shore to shore. The rescue of the denizens on Johnson's Island might have given a different issue to the ultimate struggle. "Alas! the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglee."

        A word additional regarding the hospital. It was in charge, by courtesy, of three Confederate surgeons, namely, Major Stedman, Colonel Maxwell, and Captain Sessions, men eminent in their profession, but who were enrolled on the line of killers instead of curers. Active and efficient they all were in their new assignment to duty. The Federal surgeons who had supervision of the establishment were Drs. Woodward, a kindhearted and thorough gentleman, who did all in his power to alleviate the sufferings of those with whom he was brought in contact, and one Eversman from the vater land, as the name imports, who would have been a concentration of the bully and blackguard had he possessed the first requisite for that position. Cruel and overbearing he was by nature,

Page 190

and delighted in giving needless offence. There was a natural repugnance between this last-named pill-maker and myself, and deeming that my days were numbered I was not backward in giving him my estimate of his true character on the occasions of his daily visits. The first-named of these is still held in grateful remembrance by every prisoner with whom he was brought in contact, the last, in utter loathing. Commentary: It matters not how exalted may be the position of those in power, it is far better for posthumous fame that they prefer the roll of gentleman to that of the bully.

        Before quitting the medical staff, it is perhaps apposite to the occasion to speak of another of the Eversman order, a kind of orderly, hospital steward, or something of the sort, by the name of Foster, the most universal petty rogue within my knowledge. He had the distribution of certain packages sent through the express, and in the beginning of his duties was content to appropriate about twenty per cent of the contents; but immunity from discovery prompted him by degrees to extend his stealage. He rose to 30, 40, 50, and finally to 70 per cent, when my patience became thoroughly exhausted, and I told him that his cupidity, to call it by a mild name, would be reported to General Shaler if his conduct was not corrected. Thereupon he put on the air of a much injured man, and remarked in high dudgeon: "I would have you know, Colonel Green, that I am an officer of the United States Army, and no man shall twit me with stealing." My reply was: "Then leave it off, Foster, and no man will do it." Am glad to say that after my little moral lecture to the fellow and threat of exposure, he let up somewhat on his avarice of appropriation of others goods.

        One of the most popular of our jailers was Lieutenant- Colonel Scoville, who for the life of him couldn't say "No." He had charge of approving all papers emanating from the

Page 191

inside on the powers that be, and never failed to affix his signature to each and every one, which amounted to little in the end. As his amiable weakness had long been seen through, a wag from Florida resolved to have a little fun out of him, and made a formal requisition on the Secretary of War, embracing six field-pounders with grape and other suitable ammunition for the same, one thousand muskets, and ten thousand rounds of ammunition, one hundred sabres well sharpened, and ten thousand rations. The worthy colonel, without running his eye over the novel document, signed it, and promised to deliver to his chief, Colonel Pearson, who was in high dudgeon when he saw that Scoville had approved the requisition. Suffice it, that none of these essential articles looking to a severance of enforced connection ever came to hand. Let it be added that Scoville was another to whom the proud old prefix 'gentleman' might be applied. He strayed down to Nashville after the war, and he and his old friend, Fite, became great cronies. Whilst many thought him more profuse of promise than performance, they, nevertheless, made allowance for the prompting impulse at the bottom, which forbade his hurting the feelings of others.

        Having thus given a brief glimpse of the character of our jailers, perhaps brief allusion to some of the jail-birds would not be out of place. First of all, of glorious old Isaac Trimble, one of the early graduates of the Military Academy, and the engineer- in-chief of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. After espousing our side, he rapidly reached the rank of major-general, and caught a musket-ball in his leg at Chancellorsville. "Cut it off, Doctor, cut it off," was his imperative command to the surgeon in charge. "No, General," came the reply; "I can save your leg." "And prevent my taking part in the campaign next across the Potomac, which I am convinced will not be far off." In Pickett's historic

Page 192

charge he was second in command after Pender fell, and was picked up by the Federal ambulance men and carried back to an improvised hospital, when amputation of the previously wounded leg became imperative. Later on his own surgeon received permission to come and wait upon his chief, when, to his surprise, the old man opened upon him in language far from loving. "If, sir, you had obeyed my orders at Chancellorsville and taken off this leg, I could have kept on in that glorious charge up that hill. Let it be a lesson to you, sir, hereafter to always obey the orders of your superiors." I knew the old hero before and later on, and ever found him that kind-hearted, courtly gentleman; that he was born and died.

        John R. Fellows, a boy-lieutenant in General Beall's room, just opposite, was one whom it pleased me to study and honor. He was known in his adopted State of Arkansas as the Little Giant, in imitation of Stephen A. Douglass, the Little Giant of Illinois. His readiness of speech and flow of oratory were almost phenomenal. Although a Northern man by birth, he had run away from home when twelve years old, and developed in the wild woods of Arkansas. A single anecdote of his readiness of speech will illustrate the man. When, in due time, the 22d of February came along and our friends on the outside were making a great jubilee over the day, it occurred to some of us on the inside that we had as good, if not better, right to enthuse over George's natal day than they had; and a committee was appointed to wait on the Little Giant, who was asleep in his room, and demand that he come out at once and give us a counter blast on patriotism. He tried to get around it, but was forced down, vi et armis, and mounted on the platform of an upper floor around which a crowd was assembled, and for half an hour I have never heard such a burst of oratory as escaped his lips. The

Page 193

crowd by this time had been augmented by almost every prisoner on the island, who vied with each other in outburst of applause. This became so great that the authorities on the outside concluded that we were premeditating an outbreak, and marched in a detachment of troops to quell or disperse us. Owing to our close-wedged mass, it took the officer in command some time to get to the foot of the stair-case, and just before he started to ascend the band on the outside struck up "The Star Spangled Banner," under which they were playing. Then it was inborn genius rose to the superlative. "Yes," he exclaimed, as if in rejoinder to the tune, "the Star Spangled Banner, yon flaunting lie; long may it wave over the land of the thief and the home of the knave." Perhaps the exordium did not bring down the house. As the Federal captain reached the top of the stair-case and tapped him on the shoulder, he said: "Look here, sir, this thing has got to stop." "Certainly, sir," said Fellows, in his suavest tones, "I had just finished as you came up," and we dispersed with three-cheers for the Little Giant of Arkansas. Later on, he married a young lady in Memphis as deficient in this world's gear as he was himself, and carried her on to New York with hardly the wherewith to pay passage, but his genius was infectious and soon he was made first assistant district attorney of the city of New York, and a little later full official of that position. Then it was determined that he would better fill the position of Member of Congress of the United States Legislature, and so they sent him to Washington by an overwhelming majority, and sent him again, in each of which positions he left a name behind. Am glad to say that I have had one visit from him after his exaltation, and he was on the way for another, which decrepitude cut short.

Page 194


        Finally the auspicious day came. The prisoners were being sent home by alphabetical list, and the last batch before the surrender chanced to include my name, the last on the list, thus bringing in the fateful "No. 1" again. Nothing of incident occurred until going down Chesapeake Bay in an overcrowded cattle-boat in a drenching rain. Seeing no better place for sleeping quarters, I concluded to straddle a water-barrel just under the eaves of the boat. It was not a very comfortable accommodation as the water was trickling down my back all the time, but still it was the best that could be had. While trying to catch a moment's respite of slumber, it became obvious that some one was fumbling in my front pocket. Rousing myself, I saw that he was one of the guard, and grabbed him by the throat with my left hand while planting a full-aimed blow in his face with the other.

        On reaching Aiken's Landing, Virginia, the point of exchange, we were compelled to walk a mile or two over to where the Confederate boat came down, namely, "Varina." The Federal Commissioner of exchange planted a number of negro troops between us and the boat that we had to take, with orders to allow no one to go aboard until the order was given. The poor fellows, however, in their great anxiety to set foot on Confederate soil once more, made a rush for the gangway, when the darkey in charge of that particular point commenced backing with the outcry: "Keep back, white folks, keep back! If you don't keep back, how can I keep you back?" To my conception, the exclamation on his part was an admission of the value of that sort of material in war.

        The return from there to Richmond was a sort of tenderfoot affair as it was known that the river was planted with

Page 195

torpedoes and the slightest deviation from line would probably occasion a blow-up. Arriving in the Capital city, things wore a gloomy look indeed preliminary to the final crash. Going to the Spottiswood Hotel with my friend General Rucker, a one-armed soldier of old Forrest's, who started into the breakfast-room, Rucker wearing a fancy hat with an ostrich feather which I had given him at Cumberland, Maryland, and which he proceeded to hang on a peg at the door. In reply to my caution that he had better take his head-gear in with him, he said: "No, Green, we are back in God's country now, where folks don't steal hats." On getting a very indifferent breakfast, after the Confederate menu, we saw only three or four capital coverings and lo! Rucker's was not of the number. They were to all appearances old campaigners with brims gone and holes through the tops. The poor General looked aghast, and remarked: "I don't know what has become of my hat." "Why," I said, "there it is," pointing to the most dilapidated specimen of the lot. Said I: "Recollect, Rucker, we are back in God's country, where folks don't steal hats." According to recollection, I had to shell out fifty dollars additional (Confederate, be it understood) for him to go down Main street in search of another head-covering.

        Two days later my home was reached on Shocco Creek, which I had left two years previously. It was a gala return all around, including white folks and negroes. After waiting ten or fifteen days, I proceeded to order another mount for myself and Guilford, and was about starting in search of the grand army when stragglers began dropping in, who with one accord reported that General Lee had surrendered. On this fact being established beyond doubt, my heart sank within me, and I am not ashamed to confess that I broke out blubbering and kept it up for an hour or two, for it was the great

Page 196

disappointment in my life, the reflection constantly recurring - and all for naught. The success of our cause had been for long years the dream and hallucination of life, and the outcome was blank despair. Such, I presume, was the experience of most others who had staked all on the issue.

        Our friend, Mrs. William Polk, and cousin, Miss Currier, having made up their minds to go north in search of additional outfit, it became incumbent on me to go with them to Raleigh to secure passports for the trip, which was effected through two old West Point friends, Generals Schofield and Ruger. The two Confederate dames had gotten themselves up regardless for their re-advent into the fashionable world, but on making their entrance into the parlors of the old St. Nicholas Hotel there was an explosion of laughter at their uncouth appearance. My consolation to them, on their return was: "Well, it is some satisfaction to you to know that you created a sensation on your re-appearance."

        The next two or three years were a period of political uncertainty for the entire South, for no one knew what tomorrow would bring forth. At that period I was selected as one of the delegates to the National Democratic Convention, which was to assemble at New York. We met replete with foolish hope that something would be done to obliterate recent by-gones. Governor Seymour, than whom a purer, abler, more gifted man could not be found in the entire country, was the presiding officer, and later on received the nomination for President under his most earnest and strenuous protest. Two days later I met him on the boat going up to Saratoga, and his hopes for Democratic success seemed entirely to have vanished. He remarked just before reaching Albany, "You gentlemen from North Carolina forced my nomination upon the convention and thereby excluded all possibility of success at the polls " As I now recall his idea, policy enjoined

Moved here from Warren County 27th of November, 1880, where we have since resided.

Page 197

that a soldier should be off-set by a soldier - Grant by Hancock. As now seen, in retrospect, there was no name or combination of names that could have prevented the success of the North's great idol, Ulysses S. Grant, and so it appears in a subsequent convention, in which his name led the ticket of his party.

        I was made the nominee of my party for elector shortly afterwards, and made an active canvass in furtherance of the object, knowing all the time that it was a hopeless endeavor. The year succeeding I was out in nomination for Congress in the old Third District of North Carolina, composed of the strongest negro counties in the State, and although the normal majority was considerably reduced, it was not cut down sufficiently to give any showing of an election.

        All of this time I was raising corn and tobacco and the other et ceteras incident to farming, making a reasonable support. Later on my attention was attracted to the Tokay vineyard, near Fayetteville, North Carolina, said at the time to be the largest one this side of the Rocky Mountains. It was purchased and improvements begun upon an extensive scale, and it has been a source of solace to me, saying nothing of profit, ever since.

        A year or two after moving here I was put in nomination for Congress and elected by an even five hundred majority. Thence forward my residence was chiefly in the Federal Capital, and my associates mainly with members of Congress. The first session, with two of my daughters, I was domiciled at the Ebbitt and was brought in contact with numbers of congenial spirits, amongst them being William McKinley and his wife. The duties of the House, while not arduous, required pretty constant attention, and some of the most agreeable acquaintances followed; amongst these may be mentioned S. S. Cox, commonly known as Sunset Cox; Governor

Page 198

Curtin, Benton McMillin, John Ballentine, William Hatch, Hilary Herbert, James Blount, Robert Davidson, Charles, O'Ferrall, Charles Crisp, George Cabell, William Forney, Otho Singleton, John Reagan, William Springer, Seaborn Reese, William Oates, William Ferry, James Richardson and John O'Neill. Apropos, of the last-named follows an annecdote. He and I were appointed as representatives of our respective States to attend the opening of the New Orleans Exposition, which was to be done by the President, Grover Cleveland, touching a button. I was about to attend in ordinary dress, when meeting the Speaker, (Mr. Carlisle,) who told me it was to be a full-dress affair and that I had better hurry home and put on my swallow-tail. Shortly after I encountered O'Neill, and told him what I had just heard, and he too rushed to his room and ensconced himself in one. At the auspicious moment, to my surprise and mortification, Johnny and I were the only two fellows in swallow-tails, and I overheard one of those ubiquitous individuals known as reporters, remark to another: "What fool is that over there in evening dress?" pointing at Johnny. I took the hint, and not wishing to appear in the papers in that connection, dropped down into a big arm chair near by and covered the nether ends of the obnoxious garment with my arms. The next day Johnny appeared in full print with the sole honors of war, as the only gentleman present arrayed in evening dress, and commenting upon his dignified appearance in that hateful garment worn chiefly by undertakers and headwaiters. Due discretion, doubtless, prevented my showing off in the same connection.

        Whilst in the other house, besides our own Senators, Ransom and Vance, may be named primarily those of our sister State on the south, Wade Hampton, whom, in the post-meridian of life, I loved first and foremost of all men, and M. C. Butler; Joe Blackburn, commonly called "Old Joe," for

Page 199

short, although he was the youngest man in that body; George and Walthall, of Mississippi; Jones and Berry, of Arkansas; George Pendleton, of Ohio, Brown, of Georgia, and Vest and Cockrell, of Missouri.

        Wishing to master the duties of the position, I gave very little attention to social calls, but devoted the evenings almost exclusively to work. And here let it be remarked, in passing, that new members are of very little use or utility to their constituents in the first term or two. Men of mediocre ability often make a mark by long continued service. During my first term I framed and introduced bills, and supported them by set speeches, which I deemed of utility to the country at large. Among these may be mentioned a bill against food and drug adulteration, the first, I believe, looking to that end, although the subject is now receiving most serious consideration from both Houses of Congress, including the President and his Cabinet. Another, a bill for an appropriation for a public building in Wilmington, which passed, and with some accretion from the Senate gave that city the most ornate structure in the limits of the State. Also a bill for an inter-inland waterway between Norfolk and Beaufort, looking to extension later on to Jacksonville, Florida, which is also receiving due regard at this time from the present Congress.

        Upon the expiration of my first term in Congress my name was brought before the nominating convention for re-election, and won through without difficulty; election followed by some twenty-five hundred majority, or five times what it was two years previously. On resuming seat for the second term, I rented a private residence at the corner of Sixteenth and Q. Streets, belonging to my old friend, General Innis Palmer, of the United States Army, where with my children and servants I lived a very quiet life for the two years to follow, and where my oldest daughter, then Mrs. Pembroke Jones, kept

Page 200

house for me. Other measures followed in the way of presentation, some with ultimate success, but not worth recapitulation.

        In the second session of the same (the Forty-ninth Congress) I broke up housekeeping and moved down to the old National Hotel, where the rest of the term was passed. My next door neighbor, in rotation of rooms, was Captain Joe Blackburn, then United States Senator, with whom a strong friendship sprung up, which has lasted ever since, and upon whom a good joke comes in apropos. One night when he and a number of other friends were assembled, I put the question direct: "Captain Joe, what do you think of General Jackson? Not Stonewall, but the other." "Oh," says he, "You mean 'Old Hickory.'" And upon acquiescence, he replied: "A great man, sir, a grand man, who has had few equals in this or any land." To this my rejoinder came: "Did you ever see what he said of his Kentucky contingent in the great battle?" "No, but it must have been a glorious tribute to those noble fellows," was Joe's reply. "Judge for yourself, my friend. He said, for some unaccountable reason the Kentuckians on the other side of the river became panic-stricken and ran like wild turkeys." "Where did you get that?" was his indignant rejoinder. "From his original dispatch just after the great battle which was published in a Washington paper a few days later on, and a copy of which is now posted up in Hancock's saloon where you may at some time have strayed in." "Well," the Senator remarked, "it only shows him what I have always known him to be - a first-class d-- fool."

        I had early become the possessor of a fine Kentucky thorough-bred saddle-horse, and my afternoons after office-hours were spent on his back frequently in company with my old friend, General Hampton, who likewise owned one that he thought incomparable. On the eve of purchase he and


Page 201

General Ransom were called upon to pass judgment upon the merits of the Kentuckian, and Ransom mounted him to show off his gaits. "Only a pacer," was the great cavalryman's contemptuous criticism: "I wouldn't have him as a free gift." A few days later his one-legged lieutenant, Butler, asked me if I wouldn't take a turn with him out in the country, remarking that General Hampton had loaned him his horse and that he would meet me up at Naillor's stable, where my own was kept, at four o'clock. On coming up he was in a state of ferment, remarking, "Old Hamp. thinks he is a judge of horse-flesh, but I would not have this thing if he would give him to me;" adding, "he only has one gait, and that is a pace." "Singular coincidence that, Butler," was my reply, "as it was precisely the condemnation he put on mine a few weeks ago." He rejoined: "He hasn't heard the last of it, for I will ring it on him." As he did, much to the older General's disgruntlement, eliciting the remark: "Butler knows nothing more about a horse than you do." Be it understood, without possibility of mistake, that the Butler referred to was of South Carolina, and not North.

        In this, my second term, be it understood, I was up at the head of the Committee on Agriculture, next to the Chairman, my old friend, Bill Hatch, and Chairman of the Committee on Ventilation and Acoustics. One of the first committee was a muti-millionaire, but one whom I never took to. He took it into his head to die one day, and Hatch did me the honor to invite me to preach his Congressional funeral, which I respectfully declined, remarking: "You know, Hatch, that he and I bore each other no love in life, and for me now to get up and lavish eulogium upon him would be the sheerest hypocrisy." He smilingly returned: "I was afraid you would decline the honor, but thought it due you, being the

Page 202

senior member of the committee to give you the chance of so doing."

        Hatch, be it understood, was Confederate Commissioner of Exchange, and did his best to effect one for me, but found it a fruitless effort as favors at that time were not going by kissing. A glorious fellow he was, but he shortly afterwards passed out of Congress and over the river to rest in the shade with Stonewall and the others who had gone before.

        On the expiration of my second term I returned home to take my chance for a third nomination, and it was evident from the start that it would come with my permission. The district was hampered with the two-thirds rule and my friends urged its abrogation, trying to get my consent to its being done. This was refused on the ground that if two-thirds of my district did not wish me to continue as their representative, it was immaterial whether I was selected or not. The record will show that through 330 consecutive ballots, lasting all night, my majority was overwhelmingly large and within a small fraction of the requisite two-thirds, which could not be reached, however, owing to a combination of opponents and their adherents, who had attended with the avowed purpose of securing my defeat. At the hazard of having "sour-grapes" thrown in my teeth, be it candidly said, that the result occasioned but little regret at the time and still less since, not caring to be a mere figure-head as nine out of every ten in the House usually are.

        Returning home I found, and have found since, that satisfaction in my library and fish-pond, which the House of Representatives failed to bring, which was shortly afterwards augmented, and has since continued, through the fellowship of my second wife, and the visits of a few well selected and honored friends, at the head of whom, as stated before, is ranked Wade Hampton, noblest Roman of them all. A short

Page 203

while before his death he stopped by on a visit of a few days, passed mostly with me at the fish-pond. He soon stated to Mrs. Green that his object was to get her consent to my going down to Charleston with him where he was booked for a speech to the old soldiers, and then to continue out to the Pacific coast on his private car on a tour of official inspection, he being at that time United States Commissioner of Railroads.

Page 204




        Arriving in Washington on the 28th of May, 1895, General Hampton observed that he had an invitation for me to continue on with himself and invited party to Chicago to attend the unveiling of a monument to the Confederate prisoners who had died there during the war. The party consisted besides himself of Generals Heth (and daughter) Lomax, (whom I had not seen before since we were boys at West Point, and his wife,) Butler, French and Hunton; Colonel Erwin; Majors Conrad (and wife), Hunter and Mitchell; Mr. Robinson; Captain Littlepage (and wife); Mrs. Akers, and the two Misses Washington, an agreeable and congenial party, and having the coach to ourselves had a most delightful trip to the City on the Lakes, where we arrived on the morning of the 29th of May and found a committee of city officials and others at the depot with twelve or fifteen open carriages to receive and escort the party to the Palmer House where elegant apartments were prepared for them.

        In the afternoon a largely attended reception was given in the parlors of the hotel, other distinguished Confederates having arrived from different points, including Lieutenants-General Longstreet and Stephen D. Lee. At night a superb banquet of some three hundred covers was given the party with a fine band of music in the gallery. As a rule, the after-dinner speeches on the occasion were good, far above the average.

        On the 30th of May we were escorted to the cars in open carriages as before with a company of cavalry. Took the

Page 205

train and went out to the World's Fair grounds, where other carriages took us out to the cemetery. An immense crowd, estimated at from 30,000 to 40,000, was present, and the best of order and considerable enthusiasm prevailed during the exercises. General Hampton made an eloquent speech upon which he was much complimented.

        In the afternoon of the 31st we were escorted in carriages through the parks, I being assigned to the carriage containing General French, and Mrs. Akers and Mrs. Hollenberg. In the evening all of the party, except General Hampton and myself, started back to Washington, taking my trunk with them by mistake. A telegram, however, overtook it on the road and brought it back the next morning.

        On June 1st, passed the day in sight-seeing, Senator McPherson, who was to accompany us, having arrived. Met a very pleasant acquaintance in Mr. A. B. Meeker, who was exceedingly polite and attentive. At 11 p. m., started west with General Hampton and his Secretary, Mr. Thomas, and Senator McPherson, on the General's special car, well adapted to comfort and convenience, and with a capital cook and steward. After a pleasant night's rest and a good breakfast, arrived in Saint Paul and laid over until the afternoon. Took advantage of the stop to see the town, and a very pretty one it is.

        June 3rd, continued west at forty miles an hour, passing a good part of the day in playing euchre, McPherson and I beating the General and Thomas. Good appetite, good cooking and sound sleep, made me feel better on the morning of the 4th when we reached Livingston and were switched off to Yellowstone Park, arriving at the outskirts about 11:00, and took stage for the Mammoth Springs Hotel. Passed the rest of the day there, visiting the famous fountains, and so forth. The wonders of this wonderland begin here, which

Page 206

words are inadequate to describe. Captain Anderson, of the Army, who was stationed there with his company in charge of the park, passed the evening with us, intending to go our way in the morning for forty miles. He told General Hampton that he had boat ready for him to fish in up at the geysers, and would send it up there in the morning. Engaged a coach and four good horses and started thither the next morning, passing various objects of interest and curiosity through some of the wildest and most sublime scenery in the world. Among these may be mentioned the Obsidiam, or natural glass cliffs, a quarter of a mile long and rising perpendicularly hundreds of feet, and numerous boiling, or rather seething, springs of great magnitude. The lake is as blue as indigo, and there were springs of arsenic, soda, and Apollinaris. Stopped at a large tent half way and got a good dinner of Yellowstone trout. As we were nearing our destination, the fountain, stopped over and fished for a while, and were joined by Captains Anderson and Scott, of the U. S. Army, who met us on horseback with a couple of cavalrymen and refreshments, and made us stop over at their camp a mile or two beyond and partake of more refreshments. After supper they called and passed the evening with us.

        Shortly after reaching the inn, the fountain-geyser, a quarter of a mile in front of the hotel, began playing after numerous premonitory throes, which gave time to see the whole of it and also the soap caldrons, an excellent imitation of two immense soap kettles boiling different colored muds. The whole plain in front of the hotel is covered with geysers and hot springs, the stream from which could be seen in all directions. There were good rooms but ordinary table at both of our hotels.

        On June 6th, started up to the great geyser basin, eight miles above, but left General Hampton and Thomas half-way

Page 207

up on the Fire-Hole River to try the trout, while the Senator and I kept on to the geyser basin. Some forty or fifty of them are in view at the same time besides hundreds of hot springs of immense size. The guide books obviate the necessity of stereotyped descriptions of these great curiosities, taken as an entirety, perhaps the greatest in the world. When within half-mile of General Hampton's halting place, the Senator and I alighted and fixing up our rods, fished on down the river until we overtook him half-mile below where he was left. Our entire catch was forty superb trout, of which the General killed much the larger number. It was a cold blustering day, blowing at times almost a blizzard, and taking my new hat off into the river and almost taking the head after it. Retired hoping for better weather and better luck on the morrow, a hope doomed to disappointment as the ground was covered with snow and the mercury down to freezing point. Owing to that fact, it was decided to start back. On arriving at the tent of two days before, found some twenty tourists waiting to go further inwards, a few like ourselves, however, returning. On reaching the Mammoth Springs Hotel, at the entrance to the park, it was decided to keep on farther to the railroad depot and catch the train, which we did at 7:00 p. m.

        June 8th, made some seven hundred miles passing through the bad lands of Montana, the most desolate and God-forsaken country that mortal eyes ever rested upon, composed of high hills on every side without the vestige of vegetation and almost void of animal life, but the most grotesque and picturesque shapes. Later on passed Bismarck, Helena, and other mining places, having entered a more inviting section of the country. Senator McPherson left us last night at Livingston, and returned to Washington, leaving us to continue the journey westward.

        June 9th, Sunday: Traveled all day through a mountainous,

Page 208

picturesque country, but without material incident. In the afternoon had a long visit from General Kautz, an old West Point acquaintance of mine and an old adversary of General Hampton. Passed Lake Pend d'Oreille, the most beautiful sheet of water that I ever saw, and also had Mount Hood, Mount Tacoma, and other famous peaks in view, all covered with snow. Arrived at Portland at 7:00 p. m., and moved from our car up to the Portland hotel and set about seeing the city, a very pretty one of some hundred thousand inhabitants. Went up on the heights overlooking the town by cable-car at the heaviest gradient ever yet achieved. The view from the top was superb in the extreme with the famous mountains, already named, in the background. The General had numerous callers, and after they had left he and I sat up and talked until bed time. Gave up our old ear and had another assigned to us for to-morrow.

        June 11th: Started at 7 :00 a. m., and ran down to Oregon City, a manufacturing place of about five thousand having the famous falls of the Williamette River just above, a miniature Niagara, fully as wide and one-third as high. Here we were side-tracked and took boat for the falls to try the salmon, for which the were famous. Had no luck in the morning although saw hundreds of big ones trying to jump the falls, the river being a perfect torrent. Went back to the car and lunched, and I took a stroll on the plain above, a precipitous bluff reached by long flights of stairs two or three hundred feet high. On the summit, a level tableland, is a lovely village full of fruits, flowers and vegetables. On descending, went back to the falls where I had a strike that took out nearly fifty yards of my line and burned thumb and fingers sharply. After playing him two hours and his carrying the boat over a mile, the General succeeded in gaffing and getting him aboard, berating me in the meanwhile for not

Page 209

killing him sooner so that we could go back and catch a bigger one. He weighed fifteen pounds, and was the gamest fish that I have ever tackled. Passed a quiet evening on the car after a julep and a capital dinner.

        June 12th: Colonel W. G. Curtis, General Manager of Southern Pacific R. R., and wife arrived with his special car from San Francisco to meet and take us back with them later in the day. Will have more to say of this amiable couple. The General took breakfast with them and then went back to the falls, they continuing on to Portland, twelve miles further on, but all meeting about 12:00 m., the General with a nineteen-and-a- half pound salmon. Our car hitched on behind Colonel Curtis's special engine, and his car to ours, and we started on a seven hundred and fifty mile ride to San Francisco, passing through an extensive and beautiful valley along the banks of the Williamette. It was hard to realize that this beautiful and well-developed land was a wild region described by Captain Bonneville less than a hundred years before on his famous tour of exploration. Stopped over in the afternoon and fished in the Umphpual River. While standing on the saw mill above saw large salmon trying every instant to jump the dam just below us, hut were not prepared for them as we were only trouting. Later returned to our little train, had an elaborate dinner on Mr. Curtis's car, played euchre until bed time, and then retired. The following afternoon moved on to the headwaters of the Sacramento, a kindred stream, and tried that with like success. Ran back a few miles to Castle Craig, a precipitous rock, said to be a mile and a quarter high without the slightest sign of earth or vegetation on it, and halted for the night on the cars. After a fine dinner, preluded with a julep, played euchre until bed time and then retired for a good night's sleep, with the raging river just beside us for our lullaby.

Page 210

        June 14th: This being the anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Curtis' wedding day, it was voted to pass it where we then were, than which a more picturesque place could not have been found within the borders, nearby the lofty rock of Castle Craig and Mount Shasta, one of the highest peaks on the Continent, seventeen thousand, five hundred feet above sea-level, and covered with snow, and the Sacramento rushing below in a perfect torrent; while on the other side of the road, towering above, was an almost perpendicular bluff over a thousand feet high. After breakfast Colonel Curtis and I walked over to the Castle Craig Tavern, half a mile off through beautiful grounds and flower gardens. This is an elegant summer resort, capable of accommodating some six or eight hundred guests, with extensive walks and drives.

        June 15th: Followed the Sacramento down until dark, stopping to fish wherever any spot looked inviting for that purpose. During the morning came to a bend in the road by which four-and-a-half miles brought the train back to within half a mile of the starting point and some five hundred feet below, at a famous spring much like the Deep Rock water which we had been using on the train. There was an attractive little hotel added by the railroad, and an exceedingly high water jet natural, from the mountains above, which was made to play for our edification. Mrs. Curtis and I walked down from the halting place above by a narrow path through the woods, passing numerous large springs whose flow unites further down, forming a lovely moss-covered cascade just below the spring. Nature did her level best to make this an ideal spot, the grounds of which belong to the railroad. The river runs right in front of the hotel. Dined and fished until sundown, moving on along the stream (Sacramento). Then gave up our engine and hitched on to the express train which came along for San Francisco.

Page 211

        June 16th, Sunday: Passed through one of the most fertile sections of country on the globe - the Sacramento Valley - every acre of which seemed teeming with luxuriant ripe wheat as far as the eye could reach. This continued for fully three hundred miles, interspersed here and there with orchards, small fruits, vegetable gardens, and hundreds of miles in extent, shade trees and flowers. Entered San Joaquin, a kindred valley, at right angles, lower down. About 5:00 p. m., reached the town of Oakland, opposite San Francisco, and leaving our cosy accommodations with a tinge of regret, took an immense ferry-boat and passed over to the last-named place. We were driven up to the Palace Hotel almost without a rival as a city hostelry, and assigned to elegant apartments with every convenience. The next day Thomas and I took the electric car out to the Cliff, a bold eminence looking out on the Pacific. Felt something of a Balboa's exultation on first seeing this grandest of all oceans; the shores were crowded with bathers, and the rocks with seals. Farther on is an immense bath-house, fed from the ocean and capable of seating twenty thousand lookers-on. On the way out took a hack and passed an hour in the park, nothing to boast of except in its flora, unique and diversified. Much has been done in developing it however, as it was but a succession of barren sand hills and banks only a short while ago. Passed the evening quietly with General Hampton, who was complaining much of a pain in his shoulder occasioned by an old accident. Met his medical attendant there, Dr. M. Gardner, a very entertaining man, cousin of General Gardner, C. S. A., the Port Hudson, celebrity. Some of the gradients on the electric and cable street railway are fearful to ascend and descend until used to them, suggesting angles of 30, and even 45 degrees. Dined with Bill Foote, Captain Brice, of the Navy, Major Schofield, of the Army, and two young men,

Page 212

the sons of Claus Spreckles, the sugar king of the Sandwich Islands. After dinner the first three named volunteered to show me the slums of Chinatown under the escort of Colonel Crowley, Chief of Police of the city, and three of his subordinates. Such squalor, filth and degradation, it is impossible to describe or even to conceive of as we saw here huddled together in this seething hive of forty thousand Mongolians; closets ten or twelve feet square furnished sleeping rooms for as many human beings, if such wretches can be so called, and frequently two and three stories under ground, reached by ladders, and not ten feet in dip. And yet we were told by the other two gentlemen, who had been there before, that we did not begin to see the worst phases of it, the police sergeants fearing to let the chief into their vilest dens and secrets of these horrible purlieus lest he should call them to account for being cognizant of them. Went to one of their theatres and sat half an hour on the stage, not the slightest elevation of tone or change of facial muscle marked either of the actors during the performance. Apparently it was all pure hum-drum repetition.

        The next day Mrs. Curtis, by appointment, took me through the shopping district, and better part generally of Chinatown. Bad enough this even under a noonday's sun, but what a contrast for the better to last night's horrors. Cannot blame these Pacific coast folks for insisting on keeping these people out. They may excite our pity, but there is contagion in their touch. Passed the rest of the day in strolling through the city and taking in the sights. Was surprised to see so little shipping of the better sort at the wharves. At night accepted an invitation of General P. M. B. Young, the then Minister to Guatemala, to accompany him and two ladies to the theatre, where he had secured a private box; an agreeable party and a most interesting comedy. After

Page 213

the performance we all took a light supper at the Palace Hotel restaurant.

        June 21st: Met a number of agreeable acquaintances and passed a very pleasant day. Took dinner with Judge Foote in company with General Young at the University Club, an enjoyable affair. By the way, have been honored with invitations and the freedom of all the leading clubs of the city for two weeks. After dinner General Young and I called on Mrs. Catherwood, the daughter of Chief Justice Hastings, of California, and an old friend of my father in the early days of the State, and, if report be true, a million heiress many times told. She was certainly a highly gifted and intellectual woman.

        June 22nd: By invitation General Hampton and I passed the day at Palo Alto, the princely home of Mrs. Leland Stanford and about two miles from Meno Station. Our car was tacked on to the express train and switched off at Menlo, where we met carriages sent for us and likewise for Judge Field and family of the United States Supreme Court. He failed to arrive, but his sister-in-law, Mrs. Condit-Smith, and daughter did. After an elegant breakfast, were driven out to the stables containing seven hundred superb specimens of horse-flesh, for one of which the late owner refused $150,000, and a four-weeks old colt, his son, was now under consideration on an offer of $7,500. The finest specimens of the stable were put through their paces for our inspection, including the kindergarten or juvenile samples of the lot. They were put through their paces with the precision of the circus although only one and two years old. From there drove out to the Leland Stanford University, the noblest monument ever erected by man to commemorate an honored relative, twenty millions of dollars, the bequest in memory of his son. Cecilia Metella is here far outclassed in lavish display. Took

Page 214

an early dinner with our hospitable entertainer, and then took train for Monterey, arriving at the world-famed Del Monte at 6:00 p. m., where elegant apartments were awaiting us. Taken as a whole, it surpasses all of the caravansaries that I have ever seen, and that imports the finest on two continents. The building proper, it is true, does not come up to the Ponce de Leon and its surroundings, but the grounds were an immense flower garden, far transcending it or any private or ducal home that I ever saw in Europe. Our being the invited guests of the establishment, with best quarters, was not calculated to lessen appreciation. After breakfast Colonel Curtis and myself took an eighteen-mile drive around Monterey Bay, an adjunct of the hotel and most picturesque one it is, alternately overlooking the ocean with the breakers lashed into fury at our feet, and then branching off into primeval tropical forest. Passed through the old town of Monterey, which looks as if it had not undergone the slightest change since first laid off and turned out by the old Mission Fathers. The first legislature of California was held here in 1849-50, my father being a member of the then State Senate. On the way back to the hotel examined the famous salt-water baths, enclosing perhaps half an acre in space and artificially heated, with three or four large swimming pools. After strolling through the grounds and enjoying a superb dinner, took train for Santa Clara, on the other side of the bay, where our car was side-tracked, remaining aboard until Monday morning (to-morrow) in order to try the salmon in the bay, now in full season.

        June 24th: Was up bright and early and soon several miles out on salt water from the shore, the sea running high. I hooked a ten-foot shark and brought him alongside, but he snapped the line and escaped. It should have been premised that while there we were the guests of the California Fish

Page 215

Commissionsioner. We had boats, tackle and boatmen, placed at our service.

        June 25th: Started about 7:00 a. m., with face turned homeward, much to my satisfaction, for notwithstanding the past month had been one of the most enjoyable of travels that it is possible to imagine, I was beginning to feel most terribly homesick. Am sure I was not cut out for a circumnavigator or globe-trotter. The home instinct is too strong in me. Passed over to Oakland, enjoying the magnificent bay and splendid view.

        The return trip was monotonous, with nothing worth chronicling excepting the immense snow-sheds miles in extent, and constructed to guard against snow avalanches which are liable to crush trains in their downward rush.

        At Marshalltown, Iowa, had a brief interview with my wife's sister, Mrs. Heitshu, living in that place, who came down with her husband and son to insist upon my stopping over and paying them a visit, which had to be disregarded owing to the strong home-impulse which had taken possession of me. On reaching Chicago, was brought in contact with the author of a book that I had been reading on the way, which was then creating a sensation throughout the country, termed "Coin;" found him an exceedingly interesting and well informed man.

        After reaching home, passed the next few weeks in a hum-drum, monotonous sort of life, mainly spent in the library and in reminiscence.

        Two years later my daughter (Sarah) and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Pembroke Jones, having gone off to Europe on one of their periodical jaunts, insisted upon our going down to their country-place, near Wilmington, known as "Airlie," and passing the summer by the sea. This was done with the additional incentive that General Hampton agreed to join us there

Page 216

and pass it with us, and with the further inducement that my youngest daughter, Mabel, lately married, was living near by with her husband's parents, Colonel and Mrs. Warren Elliott.

        My health beginning to fail, a little later on, we determined to pass the summer at Lincoln Lithia Springs, near Lincolnton, North Carolina, with General Hoke and his agreeable family, and this brings a dull story to near an end, the subsequent time having been spent on our home place 'Tokay' with my wife and second daughter, Carrie, who has never married.

        Frequent visits from agreeable friends have served to while away the tedium of country life, if tedium could be associated with such. Odd half-hours of the time have been devoted to putting my lucubrations on paper with the view of having them consigned to printer's ink. Many of these have been preserved in huge scrap-books by my devoted wife, some of which will be given by way of appendix in the present volume.

        A projected visit in the recent past was from four of my old West Point classmates, namely, Generals G. W. C. Lee, Stephen D. Lee, O. O. Howard, and Henry L. Abbott, whose average age had passed the three score and fifteen mark, and whose rank, age and historical record are remarkable. Circumstances precluded the coming of all save General Abbott, who passed a couple of days under my roof in most interesting converse of our school boy days.

        And such is my little life's story as recalled, one full of petty vicissitudes and much to be thankful for. The world has been most kind and indulgent to me, overlooking my faults and shortcomings. The general tenor of my life has been to reciprocate in kind, and has been comparatively free from bathos, hypocrisy, affectation and duplicity, though I

Page 217

say it myself. If in its course I have ever wantonly injured any man, it is with deep regret that I recall it.

        I have been unusually blessed with two loving and considerate helpmates, and with amiable and devoted children and grand-children, the comfort and solace of declining age. Never having been of a grasping mind, I have had a modest sufficiency of this world's gear.

        My self-imposed task, begun in whim or caprice on the dawning day of a new born century, over six and a half years ago, and resumed at spasmodic intervals of months, and even years, is done, and let me hope that it will prove more satisfactory to a few valued readers, than it does to the writer. Fate, good fortune or blind circumstance brought me in contact, if not friendship, with many of the historical characters of a most historic epoch, for which I am duly thankful, and to lay my little sprig of immortelle upon the biers of such, was the actuating impulse of this impotent undertaking. Charlatans and pretenders, who have attained ephemeral notoriety have likewise fallen within the range of vision and been scored or ignored, according to the prominence of assinine claim and assumption.

        My nature has ever been a mosaic or composite of opposites. The amiable, counterbalanced by the assertive, the conciliatory by the combative, unswerving faith in the teaching and dicta of the infallible Master with lax conformity to the precept. Per contra and as partial offset, I have never designedly injured my fellowman, hut tried to do him an occasional service in a quiet, simple way. The post-bellum millenium, so discernible to the eyes of others, has never reached my optics. For forty years the day has never dawned on which my preference could be given, "in foro conscientiae," for the new order of things over those of early remembered days; for fortune surpassing conception over

Page 218

those of handgrasp measure, with attendant substitution of vulgarity for gentility, of concentration for diffusion, of arrogance for civility. No, I am not sufficiently complacent yet, to sing pæans to so-called prosperity, which is loathed, despised, detested and accursed, over the finest civilization that the world has ever known, or can ever know. Let that patriotic assumption be devolved on those more ambitious to wear it. For one it is not prerogative of mine, nor is it craved. If I know myself, there never was a drop of hypocricy, duplicity or double dealing in the blood of my mother's son. Not that any claim is made to apotheosis after death on that score. It is simply an innate preference for the cotton field over the cotton mill and its concomitants: for a simple and natural order of things over a gigantic artificial, which with its varied appliances for absorption and concentration, has according to high statistical authority, placed it within the power of three and thirty thousand individuals, within three and forty years to amass over one-half of the aggregate wealth of the entire republic numbering fully three and eighty millions of inhabitants. To my pessimistic forecast, granting the correctness of Mr. Sherman's figures, even in the proximate, the fate of the great modern republic is as infallibly sealed as was that of the great ancient, when six hundred plutocratic nabobs came to own Rome, which meant to all intents the world. How can patriotism and love of country, without which free states are but as eggshells, survive for long such an abnormal condition of affairs? When it supervenes, a thousand Catos and Bruti cannot long postpone the inevitable fall. More appalling this than all of the other dangers combined, colonization included, that can undermine free states by covert assault; the condition that faces us: "where wealth accumulates, and men decay," with such unprecedented rapidity is the sure precursor of the impending

Page 219

downfall. Let Sir William Jones speak his grand apostrophe: "What constitutes a state?"

                        Not high-raised battlement or labored mound,
                        Thick wall or moated gate:
                        Not cities proud, with spires and turrets crowned;
                        Not bays or broad, armed ports,
                        Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride;
                        Not starred and spangled courts,
                        Where low-browed baseness wafts perfume to pride.
                        No: men, high-minded men,
                        With powers as far above dull brutes endued,
                        In forest, brake, or den,
                        As brutes excel cold rocks and brambles rude:
                        Men who their duties know,
                        But know their rights, and knowing, dare maintain.
                        Prevent the long-aimed blow,
                        And crush the tyrant; while they rend the chain;
                        These constitute a state.

        Yes, it is the facility of acquisition and the facility of divorce that has sapped so-called society, made it a stench in the nostrils of the better sort, and forced them to despair of the fate of the Republic, as God help me, I cannot help doing. Who can help being pessimistic? The few millionaires of that day being reckoned by the thousands, or tens of thousands of the multi-kind sort in this. Old Cornelius, usually known as Commodore, was one of the three or four of the first kind, who were reputed to be the possessors of two, or three or four millions each on the broad American continent, as the following incident will go to show. He and my father were friends and cronies during the latter years of their lives. One evening on going to an entertainment in Washington with the two, and Mrs. Cross, the daughter of the first, General Green remarked, "My son, here is the luckiest man in the world; the father of about a dozen grown children, and able to leave each one of them a million of dollars." To which came the

Page 220

reply, "Not so, nor the half of it." At the time of his death, it was generally supposed that the head of that Medicean house could have bequeathed each one of a dozen, a half-a-dozen millions, and left them all far removed from penury, or the residuary legatee either. The incident is simply mentioned to illustrate the ease of acquisition under our paternal idea of protection, when once the foundation is laid by a man of sense and long outreach. Heaven help the herd, the special breed is getting to be a fraction a little over-prolific. Whence that reverberant call for fodder just ahead?

        Another little incident pertinent to the same, and notwithstanding his countless and constantly increasing millions, professing contempt for superfluous wealth. One afternoon at Saratoga, Commodore Vanderbilt invited me to take a drive with Mrs. Vanderbilt and himself out to "the lake" and on the road remarked in his brusque, off-hand way: "Before you fellows down south played the fool, and tried to kick out of harness, you ought to have been the happiest and most contented people in the world." "And so we were, Commodore," came the reply, "until you fellows up north, resolved to kick us out." "And do you really think," my young friend, "that we are to blame for that needless shedding of blood?" "If I did not," was the reply, "conscience would never cease to reproach me for having shouldered a musket in support of what was professed, an undying regret at having to lay it down before the dream was dreamt out." "Yes," he continued, "you lived in peace, plenty, and content, like rational folks, and as your fathers did before you, without breaking your necks, like a pack of idiots, by striving to double needless possession." Here was a high compliment, and a sad commentary in juxtaposition, over the impending and inevitable doom of Free Government, through aggregation and concentration of hoard, by him whose sum total of

Page 221

accumulation to-day for his house, less than a generation after he, the old ferryman across to Staten Island, had paid his obolus to a predecessor in the trade, Charon by name, who has pulled the oars from the birth of time across a murky stream yclept, THE STYX, and will continue to ply them till time shall be no more. Which of the two amassed most of this world's dross, the man of Syndicates or he of the Oboli, let others determine. Socially and individually, it's a matter of little consequence. Politically and in boundless aggregation, it imports, as said, the death-knell of free government. Perhaps both long since reached the conclusion of Israel's wise king, and another who shall be nameless, VANITAS VANITATUM.

        For a few other data, reliance must be had on the historian and the poet, to describe a few of the surviving monuments of the past. Says Byron after Bede:

                        "While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand;
                        When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall:
                        And when Rome falls - the world.

                        * * * * * * *

                        Rome and her ruin past redemption's skill,
                        The world the same wide den - of thieves, or what ye will.

                        * * * * * * *

                        Simple, erect, severe, austere, sublime -
                        Shrine of all saints and temple of all gods,
                        From Jove to Jesus - spared and blest by time;
                        Looking tranquility, while falls or nods
                        Arch, empire, each thing round thee, and man plods
                        His way through thorns to askes - glorious dome!
                        Shalt thou not last? Time's scythe and tyrant's rods
                        Shiver upon thee - sanctuary and home
                        Of art and piety - Pantheon! pride of Rome."

        And thus says the stateliest of historians to one of the greatest of poets over the grandest of antiquities.

Page 223


        Having been all my life long a scribbler for the public prints, I venture to add a few of these by way of appendix.

        During my European tour I was a pretty regular contributor to the Boston Herald by request of the editor. Most of these letters have passed out of reach; some few, however, have been preserved and, by way of contrast in style between the boy and the man, are here inserted. The first was written from Venice, the next from Rome, the third from Naples, and the last from Thebes. They are given, as said, simply as samples of early style and impression, and are, perhaps, a little fulsome and bombastic on that account.

        Divers articles on other subjects will be added as near in categorical order as it is possible to recall. The views expressed may be crude, but are positive, for my nature through life has been a strange combination of the amiable and the assertive, and every utterance ever put on paper is the natural expression of heartfelt feeling.

Page 224

        [Ex-President Davis' last paper of a public nature, written from a sick bed just five weeks before his death. The occasion - The Centennial Celebration of the Ratification, by North Carolina, of the Constitution of the United States, at Fayetteville, November 21st, 1889.]

BEAUVOIR, MISS., Oct. 30, 1889.
Messrs. Wharton J. Green, Jas. C. McRae, C. W. Broadfoot, Neill W. Ray, W. C. McDuffie, Committee:

        GENTLEMEN: - You letter inviting me to attend North Carolina's Centennial, to be held at Fayetteville, on the 21st of November next, was duly received; but this acknowledgment has been delayed under the hope that an improvement in my health would enable me to be present as invited. As the time approaches, I find that cherished hope unrealized, and that I must regretfully confess my inability to join you in the commemorative celebration.

        It has been my sincere wish to meet the people of the "Old North State" on the occasion which will naturally cause them, with just pride, to trace the historic river of their years to its source in the colony of Albemarle.

        All along that river stand monuments of fidelity to the unalienable rights of the people - even when an infant successfully resisting executive usurpation and in defence of the privileges guaranteed by charter, boldly defying Kings, Lords and Commons. Always self-reliant, yet not vainly self-asserting, she provided for her defence, while giving material aid to her neighbors, as she regarded all the British Colonies of America.

        Thus she sent troops, armed and equipped for service, into both Virginia and South Carolina, also dispatched a ship from the port of Wilmington, with food for the sufferers in Boston, after the closing of that port by Great Britain. In her declaration that the cause of Boston was the cause of all, there was not only the assertion of a community of rights and a purpose to defend them, but self-abnegation of the commercial advantages which would probably accrue from the closing of a rival port.

        Without diminution of regard for the great and good men of the other colonies, I have been led to special veneration for


Page 225

the men of North Carolina, as the first to distinctly declare for State independence, and from first to last to uphold the right of a people to govern themselves.

        I do not propose to discuss the vexed question of the Mecklenburg resolutions of May, 1775, which, from the similarity of expression to the great Declaration of Independence, of July, 1776, have created much contention, because the claim of North Carolina rests on a broader foundation than the resolves of the meeting at Mecklenburg, which deserve to be preserved as the outburst of a brave, liberty-loving people, on receipt of news of the combat at Concord, between British soldiers and citizens of Massachusetts. The broader foundations referred to are the records of events preceding and succeeding the meeting at Mecklenburg, and the proceedings of the Provincial Congress, which met at Hillsboro, in August, 1775. Before this Congress convened, North Carolina, in disregard of opposition by the Governor, had sent delegates to represent her in the General Congress, to be held in Philadelphia, and had denounced the attack upon Boston, and had appointed committees of safety with such far-reaching functions as belong to revolutionary times only.

        The famous Stamp Act of Parliament was openly resisted by men of highest reputation, a vessel, bringing stamps, was seized and the commander bound not to permit them to be landed. These things were done in open day by men who wore no disguise and shunned no question.

        Before the Congress of the Province had assembled, the last royal Governor of North Carolina had fled to escape from the indignation of a people, who burdened but not bent by oppression, had resolved to live or die as freemen. The Congress at Hillsboro went earnestly to work, not merely to declare independence, but to provide means for maintaining it. The Congress, feeling quite equal to the occasion, proceeded to make laws for raising and organizing troops, for supplying money, and to meet the contingencies of a blockade of her seaports, offered bounties to stimulate the production of articles most needful in time of war. On the 12th of April, 1776, the Continental Congress being then in session, and

Page 226

with much diversity of opinion as to the proper course to be pursued under this condition of affairs, the North Carolina Congress resolved, "That the delegates for this colony in the Continental Congress be empowered to concur with the delegates of the other colonies in declaring independence and forming foreign alliances, reserving to this colony the sole and exclusive right of forming a constitution and laws for this colony, &c., &c."

        This, I believe, was the first distinct declaration for separation from Great Britain and State independence, and there is much besides priority to evoke admiration. North Carolina had, by many acts of resistance to the British authorities, provoked their vengeance, yet she dared to lead in defiance, but no danger, however dread, in the event of her isolation, could make her accept co-operation, save with the reservation of supremacy in regard to her own constitution and laws, the sacred principle of community independence and government founded on the consent of the governed. After having done her whole duty in the war for Independence and become a free, sovereign and independent State, she entered into the Confederation with these rights and powers recognized and unabridged.

        When experience proved the articles of Confederation to be inadequate to the needs of good government, she agreed to a general convention for their amendment. The convention did not limit its labors to amendment of the article, but proceeded to form a new plan of government, and adhering to the cardinal principle that governments must be derived from the consent of the governed, submitted the new plan to the people of the several States, to be adopted or rejected as each by and for itself should decide.

        It is to be remembered that the articles of Confederation for the "United States of America" declared that "the union shall be perpetual," and that no alteration should be made in the said articles unless it should be "confirmed by the legislatures of every State." True to her creed of State sovereignty, North Carolina recognized the power of such States as chose to do so to withdraw from the Union, and by the same token her own unqualified right to decide whether or not

Page 227

she would subscribe to the proposed compact for a more perfect union, and in which it is to be observed the declaration for perpetuity was omitted. In the hard school of experience she had learned the danger to popular liberty from a government which could claim to be the final judge of its own powers.

        She had fought a long and devastating war for State independence, and was not willing to put in jeopardy the priceless jewel she had gained. After careful examination it was concluded that the proposed Constitution did not sufficiently guard against usurpation by the usual resort to implication of powers not expressly granted, and declined to act upon the general assurance that the deficiency would soon be supplied by the needful amendments.

        In the meantime State after State had acceded to the new Union, until the requisite number had been obtained for the establishment of the "Constitution between the States so ratifying the same."

        With characteristic self-reliance, North Carolina confronted the prospect of isolation, and calmly resolved, if so it must be, to stand alone rather than subject to hazard her most prized possession, Community Independence.

        Confiding in the security offered by the first ten Amendments to the Constitution, especially the 9th and 10th of the series, North Carolina voluntarily acceded to the new Union. The 10th Amendment restricted the functions of the Federal Government to the exercise of the powers delegated to it by the States, all of which were especially stipulated.

        Beyond that limit nothing could be done rightfully. If covertly done, under color of law, or by reckless usurpation of an extraneous majority, which, feeling power, should disregard right, had the State no peaceful remedy? Could she as a State in a Confederation, the bed-rock of which is the consent of its members, be bound by a compact which others broke to her injury? Had her reserved rights no other than a paper barrier to protect them against invasion?

        Surely the heroic patriots and wise statesmen of North Carolina, by their sacrifices, utterances and deeds, have shown what their answer would have been to these questions,

Page 228

if they had been asked, on the day when in convention they ratified the amended Constitution of the United States. Her exceptional delay in ratification marks her vigilant care for rights she had so early asserted and so steadily maintained.

        Of her it may be said, as it was of Sir Walter Scott in his youth that he was "always the first in a row and the last out of it." In the peaceful repose which followed the Revolution all her interests were progressive.

        Farms, school-houses and towns rose over a subdued wilderness, and with a mother's joy she saw her sons distinguished in the public service, by intelligence, energy and perseverance, and by the integrity without which all other gifts are but as tinsel. North Carolina grew apace in all which constitutes power, until 1812, when she was required as a State of the Union to resist aggression on the high seas in the visitation of American merchant vessels and the impressment of American seamen by the armed cruisers of Great Britain.

        These seamen generally belonged to the New England States; none probably were North Carolinians; but her old spirit was vital still; the cause of one was the cause of all, as she announced when Boston was under embargo.

        At every roll-call for the common defense she answered, "Here." When blessed peace returned she stacked her arms for which she had had no prospective use. Her love for her neighbors had been tried and not found wanting in the time of their need: why should she anticipate hostility from them?

        The envy, selfish jealousy and criminal hate of a Cain could not come near to her heart. If not to suspect such vice in others be indiscreet credulity, it is a knightly virtue and part of an honest nature. In many years of military and civil service it has been my good fortune to know the sons of North Carolina under circumstances of trial, and could make a list of those deserving honorable mention which would too far extend this letter, already, I fear, tediously long.

        Devotion to principle, self-reliance and inflexible adherence to resolution when adopted, accompanied by conservative caution, were the characteristics displayed by North Carolina in both her colonial and State history. All these qualities were exemplified in her action on the day of the anniversary

Page 229

which you commemorate. If there be any not likely to be found with you, but possibly elsewhere, who shall ask: "How then could North Carolina consistently enact her ordinance of secession in 1861?" he is referred to the Declaration of Independence of 1776; to the Articles of Confederation of 1777, for a perpetual union of the States, and the secession of States from the union so established; to the treaty of 1783, recognizing the independence of the States, severally and distinctively; to the Constitution of the United States, with its first ten amendments; to the time-honored resolutions of 1798-99; that from these, one and all, he may learn that the State, having won her independence by heavy sacrifices, had never surrendered it nor had ever attempted to delegate the unalienable rights of the people. How valiantly her sons bore themselves in the War between the States the list of the killed and wounded testify. She gave them a sacrificial offering on the altar of the liberties their fathers had won and left as an inheritance to their posterity. Many sleep far from the land of their nativity. Peace to their ashes. Honor to their memory and the mother who bore them.



Page 230

Hotel de la Ville, Venice, October 14, 1858

        Dear Herald: "The Queen of the Adriatic," and "the bride of the sea," has been mine hostess for upwards of a week. Venice, proud Venice, magnifique of other days, the dignity of whose elective chief once outshone that of the first hereditary magnates of the world, and whose power was alike feared and respected wherever her name had penetrated, is at present our abiding place. All my life long I have had a longing desire to see the city of the doges, the commercial republic which rose for a day, like a brilliant meteor, to sink into an utter night and insignificance. At length I am gratified. In front of my window is the Grand Canal, in sight the Rialto; the house in which I lodge was the palace of one of her best and wisest chief magistrates, Loredano by name. Yes, I stand in the midst of Venice and ponder over a host of historical recollections, of which she was the stage. My reading had invested it with a supernatural charm and almost induced me to believe it as rather the conception of poets and romancers than the bona fide city built with marble, brick and mortar. In perusing the thrilling chapter of the world's history, detailing her splendor and magnificence, her victories, mysteries, and crimes, I have been all but tempted to pronounce it a hoax, and the very existence of such a place a myth. Her constitution, more wonderful even than our own, inasmuch as it was a greater deviation from all precedent, I regarded it as the cunningly concocted phantasma of some political lunatic, and unhesitatingly pronounced the "Giunta" and the "Ten," the great council and the small, the doge and the dungeons, "canards" of undoubted authenticity. But since visiting this extraordinary place and seeing with my own eyes the relics of the state of things implying the existence of the foregoing, my doubts have vanished like a morning mist before a meridian sun, and I can now gulp the whole, and aye, even more. On every side palaces of regal magnificence arise, the abodes in days of "republican simplicity" of the patrician nobles and royal merchants, her Foscaris and Morisinis, Basaros, and Antonios (the last, of course, by poetical license.)

        Today "I stood upon the bridge of sighs" and dived deep into the loathsome dungeons of accursed tyranny, from

Page 231

which it leads. Yesterday, the hill where sat the "Council of Ten" (with the aperture in the wall through which were inserted through the "Lion's mouth" those infamous anonymous accusations which many of her best and bravest sons answered with their heads), the Senate Chamber, the apartments of the doge, the giants, and the golden staircases, all submitted to our scrutiny.

        The first-named room interested me most, as being that in which accustomed to assemble that dread mysterious tribunal (so secret in its operations that the very members who composed it were unknown to the outside world), instituted as a curb upon overweening ambition, a check upon "those haught traitors who would by treason mount to tyranny, but which, in course of time, itself merged into the most odious of tyrannies, the most heartless of despotisms; thus conclusively demonstrating, as did the "Thirty of Athens" and French "assemblee nationale" of '91 and '92, that tyranny exists irrespective of the form of government - in republics as in monarchies, in parliaments as in individuals.

        Aye! power is indeed a dangerous thing by whomsoever wielded. When tolerated, it is ever used; when used, almost invariably abused. Ought not we then of Constitutional America be pardoned, nay more, applauded, for our proverbial jealousy of strong government to the extent, in fact, of denying or canvassing those powers in our representatives absolutely essential to the ends of government? In my opinion, where that jealousy ceases, tyranny begins; when it ceases, it ought to begin. For reflection teaches that there is a natural proneness in the human mind to usurp all powers granted, and where naught is granted, not guaranteed by fundamental law, the people are untrue to themselves and undeserving the boon of freedom. Such concessions constitute dangerous precedents which, like the Grecian horse let in, may open the gates to others. Therefore, I would say, let our motto be "States rights and strict construction, now and forever," and to that standard will I pin my faith and resolve that stand or fall, sink or swim, survive or perish, I'll know no other political creed. Let no silvery-tongued political Jesuit persuade us to adopt that vile heresy that the "ends justify the

Page 232

means," and the attainment of a great good justify a slight dereliction from the strict letter of the law. That belief has in all ages proved the very best pavior to anarchy and despotism, or, to use a more strong and emphatic figure, the most efficacious battering-ram against paper bulwarks and constitutional barriers. Let us repudiate it and its counsellors as we would a summons to commit parricide.

        I know of no subject so fraught with serious reflection as the birth and death of states, and will, therefore, presume a moment further upon your time in pursuing it. To what owed the defunct republic of Venice its rise? Any schoolboy can answer. Commerce was her tributary and slave of the lamp. She made it her pet paramount for a couple of centuries, and then without seeming to withdraw her support permitted it to pine, wither, and die.

        There is material for the historian in the decadence of Venice, and a future Gibbon would not be unprofitably employed in tracing its origin, progress, and finale. Such a story would apply to Genoa as to Venice; to Florence as to Genoa; to all of the Italian medæval republics as to either. It is the old story of the decline of men and the subsequent decline of states. In my humble judgment, it was not the loss of her Indian trade, as most supposed, which sent her toppling from her giddy height like a drunken giant. The loss of that, which has proved the making of every state that ever possessed it, was the consequence, not the cause, of her declension. The possession of it, in her case, was a doubtful good.

        It was Bacon, I believe, who said that "In the infancy of states arms flourish, then commerce, then art, then the three." Venice is an exemplification of this truism. Like an unbidden guest, she made her entree unannounced into the council of nations, so sudden was her coming. In her beginnings, as in those of most other great empires, arms were respected and the knowledge of their use held most honorable. This sentiment called into existence her invincible citizen soldiery, her Dandolos and Falieros, her Orsinis, and Pisanis, and men of kindred stamp, who held the proud Moslem in check, and their country in esteem.

Page 233

        But this race gave place to another; the soldiers made way for the merchants, the merchants for the artists, the artists for the foplings, and her ruin was complete. Commerce to which she owed her rise, she likewise owed her fall. Her good turned to be her evil genius, her comforter her curse. It opened the channel through which flowed that luxury and voluptuousness of the Orient which sapped her ancient virtue and blasted her quondam greatness. Yes! That luxury, which has proved the destruction of more states than saltpetre and all the engines of war combined, undoubtedly subverted Venice. May not other republics profit by the warning?

        And now, having devoted so much space to a disquisition of the Venice of other days, what shall we say of the Venice of the present? Nothing; for the simple reason that nothing good can be said except that she wears well the yoke. The same black, funeral-like gondolas and rascally gondoliers, the same narrow, filthy alleys and squalid beggars; the same horde of priestly drones and hosts of Austrian soldiers - all are here as they have been time out of mind. And now, adios, adios, for the porter is at the door and we are off for Padua. From Florence, you may, perhaps hear from me again, and receive a description instead of a disquisitional letter. In haste,

        Yours truly,

Naples, February 13, 1859

        Dear Herald: My last was from Rome, postmarked December 25th, and in spite of its volume, the time and place, contained little in the way of general news and gossip, less of stereotyped recital or description, and nothing of interest. After consigning it to the post, regret at having so stultified myself induced me to half resolve that that last should be the last - but somehow this mania scribendi having fastened itself upon me, I find it as impossible to resist its impulse as it was for the Cumaean sibyl of old (whose den by the side of the terrible Avernus is distant hence but an hour's ride) the proclivity to prophesy. So make up your mind to the infliction of another, but relieve it of all apprehension that my

Page 234

thoughts and reflections will again take the tone of the transcendental, or seventh-Heaven school, as embodied in my last. Fifty leagues intervene between this and the Eternal City, and fifty thousand in point of historical interest.

        To-morrow we sail for Egypt, and as time and tide and ocean-steamers wait for no man, I must now to the task voluntarily assumed without more of prophecy or ado.

        On the 10th ultimo, having tarried a couple of months with the Pope, we turned our faces southward, and with a good and commodious carriage and five fat horses (the last-mentioned for the nonce, as ordinarily the bones of the "cavilli vetturini" may be guessed with as near precision as the pence in Paddy's pocket) were soon rolling past Saint John Lateran and through the dreary Campagna. The road, the "Appia nuova," which soon merges into the original "via Appia," was unsurpassed, the day serene, the scenery lovely. Under such auspices the drive of course, could be but pleasant, especially as I had taken the precaution to dispense with postillions, those pests of the Italian highway, in comparison to whom Turpin and his confreres of Hounslow heath were a set of civil, honest gentlemen. The first night we slept at Veletri, a "city built on a hill," a favorite idea of the Italians by the way, and one of the few worthy of commendation. The second day descending to the plain, we entered the once much dreaded "Pontine marshes," dined at the "foro Appio" or " Three Taverns," a solitary little inn where Saint Paul met the brethren from Rome, as recorded in the 28th Chapter of Acts, and slept at Terracina, on the southern limit, and on the frontier between Rome and Naples. On the third day we had to run the gauntlet by some three or four custom- houses, that bugbear smugglers in petticoats all the world over, but nowhere so needlessly as in Germany and Italy, for the custom officials in those countries are proverbial for their "itching palms," and the traveller acquainted with this amiable national weakness has no one to blame but himself if he is subjected to the annoyances of an examination.

        In Mola di Gaeta, where we stopped for dinner, many travelers would see but a romantic village and a good location. In my eye it possesses an intrinsic attraction far beyond its narrow streets, its frowning castle, its beautiful

Page 235

bay, and picturesque background of hills. It is the last resting-place of two of the most remarkable men of their respective eras. In close juxtaposition repose the mortal remains of Marcus Tullius Cicero and the Constable Bourbon, who appeared at wide intervals upon this world's stage and with no trait in common save the "sacra fames auri," which was the moving principle of both, each became in his own way a prime mover on its chess board. The bold Bourbon with scarcely a redeeming virtue as a set-off against a host of vices, villainies and crimes, with the exception of his courage and self-reliance, yet possessed those in so eminent a degree that they almost atoned for the absence of all others. He was the type of a class which the nature of the times called into existence, and which, happily for mankind and civilization, died out with the struggles of Guelph and Ghibeline. Without country and without home, discarding friendship and disdaining enmity, there was something in the isolation of the Great Company's man which elicits our pity, whilst his reckless bearing and indifference to consequences involuntarily extorts our admiration. It is my belief that, had the life of Bourbon been spared, Rome had likewise been, that dreadful nine months of pillage which supervened that event and its capture, and which for unheard barbarities threw in the background all the stories of Goth, Vandal, and Visigoth, which she had learned by experience. The brave are never cruel; the world never beheld such a paradox, and the Constable was superlatively brave.

        On the fourth day we dined at Capua, a modern city in the immediate vicinity of that ancient Capua whose blandishments proved more fatal to the hopes of the Carthagenian hero than Bow, javelin, or catapult of the Romans.

        It is needless to mention scores of other villages and towns through which our journey lay, remarkable for nothing save the public spirit of their sons, legions of whom we saw playing the gentleman of elegant leisure in every market-place and public square, with not a sufficiency of rags on their backs to cover their nakedness, discussing grave questions of state, politics, theology, or literature perhaps, and certes macaroni. In all these, and in fact in all from Piedmont to Cape

Page 236

Spartivento, and on every object from Saint Peter's to a ploughshare, the word stagnation, or worse still, retrogression, is as indelibly written as those of life, progress and vitality are with us. Everywhere is seen the want of that glorious "middle-class," which constitutes the pride and bulwark of England, and than which, according to a distinguished English author, Bulwer, none other is known in America. May the day be far distant when any other will be! When our land will be encumbered by those incubi of energy, a privileged and pampered aristocracy and a disfranchised pauper million. In Italy, as I have remarked, these extremes embrace the entire population to the exclusion of the more material mean. It is the peasant and the prince, the last the unit, the first the million; and as long as it is so, her redemption or regeneration is a chimera by whomsoever attempted.

        In the afternoon of the fourth day we reached Naples, where we have been ever since prosecuting our mission of sight-seeing and luxuriating in a climate, perhaps, the most equable under the sun. Since our arrival the thermometer has constantly ranged between 60 and 80 Fahrenheit. Think of that, ye denizens of an iceberg who, during the same interval, venture your noses into the open air at the peril of frostbite.

        After becoming settled, a trip to Pompeii was one of the first excursions that attracted us. A two-hours drive brought us to the only city extant which, literally speaking, can boast an antiquity of two thousand years. Entering by the street of the tombs, which contains many elegant mortuary monuments, the first dwelling which arrests the attention is the so-called house of Diomede, one of the most sumptuously magnificent which has yet been uncovered. There is such a similitude in all of the houses that one might suppose them to have been designed by the same architect and after the same model.

        The open quadrangular court, surrounded by the inner portico of the house, and containing a fountain in the center, is the same in all. Fountains, in fact, and miniature cascades seem to have been an universal hobby, as they are found in every patrician house. The houses are invariably low, rarely

Page 237

exceeding one story, and in no instance, I believe, more than two. This might be for the double purpose of avoiding heat and the effect of earthquakes. The sleeping apartments are close and cramped, according to our notions of comfort, and might readily be mistaken for china closets of the present day.

        For more than five hours we pursued our investigations through the deserted thoroughfares of this once populous city, as perfect and entire in all external respects as it was on the ill-fated morning of its destruction, 1780 years ago. During this entire time the only living beings that we encountered were a party of English who, like ourselves, were intent on studying the past from the palpable present; with the exception of these all betokened the grave. "No watch-dog's honest bark," no prattling urchins or rumbling wheels or merry bells were heard. On every side a silence and desolation absolutely appalling - graveyards are proverbially solemn places. In my younger days I so regarded them, but this visit to Pompeii has dispelled the illusion and will, doubtless, make me regard a nectropolis henceforth a very pleasant abiding place. Why this oppressive sense of solitude? Simply because the contrast between life and death is nowhere so strongly presented. We enter a noble mansion, and at the first glance mistake it for the abode of a prince, "or greater still a Roman;" on every side is seen the evidence of an elegance which in our country is rarely seen; mosaics and marbles, and statues and frescoes and fountains, and all the appliances which wealth and luxury and art contribute to beautify and adorn this mundane existence. But look again, and lo! the illusion has passed away, and we stand in a tomb! Another, and another, is entered with a like result. The temples are closed, where burned the fires of the "false gods," and walked in immediately the priestly impostors whose duty it was to enslave the mind. The amphitheater, which once teemed with expectant crowds awaiting with hushed delight the revolting spectacle of a hand to hand conflict unto the death, or the equally disgusting struggle of man and beast, is emptied. Old Romans once occupied those vacant seats and lovely women (who the more shrinking and

Page 238

timid, the more dear they are to man) were reckoned among the spectators, aye, and revelled in the brutishness of the arena. Where are they now? Gone! many thousands overwhelmed by one common ruin, swept as by an avalanche from the face of the earth, and if fiction, the handmaid of history, is to be credited, in the self-same hour that the city was emptied to fill this enclosure. The buried cities of Pompeii, Stabiae and Herculaneum, afford parallel to the "Cities of the Plain." Like Sodom and Gomorrah, they have passed away by the action of an agency higher than man's, but, unlike them, after the lapse of long, long years, they re-appear as if to mock the mutations of time.

        It may not generally be known that, though excavations have been going on upwards of a hundred years, not one-fourth of the city has yet been disentombed; neither have and buildings of a poorer class been brought to light: so it is an open question whether or not there were any poor in Pompeii, or if so, whether they were not shut up in a quarter by themselves like the Jews in Frankfort, Prague, and other German cities. Most of the articles found have been removed to the Museo Borbonico, and that at Portici. In the former we saw a collection.

        Last week we made an excursion to the crater, and a tedious one it proved. We proceeded almost as far as the hermitage by a carriage, when our further progress was cut off by an immense field of burning lava, which for the last two weeks had overflowed and blocked up the carriage road.

        By climbing a foot-path, however, half an hour's walk brought us to the last human habitation on the hill, far above the surrounding country and half-way up to the summit. Here my wife and her maid gave out, unable to proceed further up the mountain; leaving them under the care of the old priest, who inhabits this out-of-the-way and dangerous spot, my cousin and myself resolved to persevere. Having omitted the precaution to take donkeys at Resina, we were necessitated to foot it to a spot called "Atrio del Cavalli," at the foot of the cone, and about two miles further on. It was a rough walk, and by the time it was finished we were pretty thoroughly fatigued. On reaching the place alluded to, all the

Page 239

chairs by which the ascent is usually made had been taken by first comers, and so, dispensing with that luxury, we had to climb, as another party now were also doing. So we started, but the order of progression was slow indeed, two paces forward and one back, owing to the crumbling nature of the soil, which is entirely volcanic, composed of ashes, black sand, tufa, and small lumps of lava. Frequently it was necessary to pull up by straps fastened around the waists of the guides, whilst we were pushed up by others. After struggling on thus for upwards of an hour, and finding it absolutely indispensable to rest every five or ten minutes, we finally attained the summit. On every side was ruin and desolation as forbidding and repulsive as chaos itself.

        All around lay spread immense masses of volcanic matter, accumulation of thousands of years. Among these could be traced almost every color and shade of color. Here and there little tongues of flames were discernible through the crevices, giving evidence that the mountain on which we were standing was pregnant with a force as potential for mischief as the black sand in the magazine, composed of carbon and saltpetre. The thought crossed me, what if the match should be applied! and my insignificance came full to me. I felt that the chances were a thousand to one that, in that event, I would not be so fortunate as the aspiring Empedocles, whose old boot robbed him of the immortality he craved.

        Scrambling over the intervening space, about two hundred yards, and we stood at the month of that mysterious aperture from which were issuing huge volumes of smoke and steam. Producing a black flask, we drank to "the old folks at home," and then consigned it to the apparently bottomless pit in order that it might never know a meaner toast. If the ascent was up-hill work, the descent was easy enough in all conscience. All the exertion requisite was to let yourself loose at the top and pick yourself up at the bottom. But seriously, it is accomplished almost without any act of volition on the part of the pilgrim. Query: If Virgil had not this in his mind when he penned "descensus facilis averni." On return to the hermitage night had already set in, now the ocean of burning lava which, under the glare of a noonday sun was

Page 240

hardly perceptible, was lit up with a brilliancy rivalling burning village and producing a grandeur rarely excelled, if indeed, ever equaled. Altogether it looked decidedly infernal, prepared as the mind was by an insight into the crater to receive such impressions. And the effect was further heightened by a number of wild and weird looking fellows who were engaged in running the molten mass into salt-cellars, medals, and other small articles.

        I had intended in this sheet to furnish a brief description of the principal objects of interest, not only in and around Naples but also at Salerno, where dwelt Tancred and the fair Sigismond; Paestum, 60 miles south of this, famous for some of the most remarkable ruins extant, especially the temple of Neptune; Amalfi, once the first commercial power of the Peninsula, which claims the honor of the invention of the mariner's compass, now an insignificant village; Baiael, once the most elegant and luxurious summer resort that the world has yet seen, now nothing. These and others did I have in view, but my limit is already transcended.

        The Duke of Calabria, the heir apparent to the Neapolitan throne, has just taken a wife and brought her home, and the city as a consequence is filled with titled strangers met to congratulate the happy pair and participate in the fetes. The prince of this and the grand duke of that are dancing attendance upon their future majesties. Illuminations, bonfires, fetes and frolics, ad infinitum, were prepared in honor of the event, but lo and behold! in the midst of all this preparation that unceremonious old fellow, with a scythe and hourglass, steps in and takes off one of the royal visitors, Her Highness of Tuscany. Consequently, everything is indefinitely postponed.

        A little morceau, exemplifying American simplicity as an antidote against all this sententious parade and mountain-in- labor tom-foolery. A few days ago, having occasion to call for a friend at the Hotel Vittoria, in glancing over the list of names, titled and untitled, I chanced to see that of Mr. Franklin Pierce and Mrs. Pierce, United States. On inquiry, I found they had left a day or two before for Capri and Sorrento, but that they had been here off and on for a

Page 241

month previously. In this quiet unostentatious gentleman few foreigners recognized the ex-first magistrate of the first nation on the globe, raised to that proud eminence by the suffrage of a larger majority than ever combined - indeed, it would be a "letting down" and condescension for this republican potentate to take rooms at the Palace Royal and mingle with the regal herd "whom the King delights to honor."

        The tour of President Pierce strikes me as characteristic of our glorious institutions, the genius of which is opposed to consequentials, which recognize in every individual, high or low, but a component of the "eternal people," and in that people the source of all the importance and power and glory of the nation. In no country is the individual so small - the people so great.

        And now the "wee sma' hours" warn me to bid you good-night. Be not surprised to receive my next from the hundred gated city of the Nile.


Rome. . . . .

        It was my impression that I had preserved a letter written from Rome, but it is now impossible to put hands on it. One extract, however, remains in my mind, which is as vivid now as it was when penned.

        To me the most hallowed spot in the Eternal City, not excepting gorgeous cathedrals, baths and temples, was a spot not now marked by the slightest memorial, which will explain itself in the following paragraph:

        "To-day I stood on the spot where stood the bridge defended by the Coccles (the brave Horatius). Well do I recall the day when, as an unsophisticated country schoolboy, I first perused the enchanting story, and I thought then, as I think now, that I would rather have been that bold plebeian with naught to recommend him of which we are aware than a bold heart, a strong arm, and a free unfettered spirit, backed by patriotism paramount to every other consideration, than all of the Alexanders and Attilas, Totilas and Tamerlanes, Cæsars and Bonapartes, who have cursed mankind, combined and consolidated in one grand legitimate cut-throat."

Page 242

Ancient Thebes, March 23, 1859.

        Dear Herald: My last was given in charge to a passing boat, on nearing this place, to be carried to Cairo for the post. Since then we have been prosecuting the purpose of the trip with such ardor and celerity that the major part of the principal objects of interest in this vicinity have undergone our scrutiny and submitted to an examination. The results of this survey I am now about to communicate, coupled with such reflections as naturally suggest themselves to my mind: for I can no more content myself with a succinct matter of fact recital, unaccompanied by those valuable concomitants, than could the verbose kinsman of "Cousin Sally Dilliard," when on the witness stand, refrain from similar surplusage.

        We reached this, Luxor, about 10 p. m., on the evening of the 18th, catching the first glimpse of its mossy monuments by a moonlight almost as bright as that of day. Never did I more fervently realize that obscurity is an element of the sublime; never did I more felicitate myself on the concurrence of time and circumstance of arrival. Approaching the landing, its columns and colossi, its pylon and obelisk, stand forth in bold relief and loom up large when beheld for the first time by Cynthia's dim light.

        Having slept on first impressions, we arose at an early hour, and with patriotic pride beheld "the Stars and Stripes" waving from two of the four other masts at the landing besides our own. To those acquainted with the mercurial propensities of our own kinsman, Mr. Bull, it is needless to add that "the Union Jack" of old England floated from the other two; that bunting of all others, after the first named, which possesses most of my respect and partiality. Crossing the river, we proceeded first to inspect the wonders of the western bank. Half an hour's ride on our diminutive donkeys brought us to the grateful shade of the "Colossi of the Plain" (the vocal Memnon, and another of lesser note), looking in the distance like two Cyclopean sentries seated on posts to guard the approaches to the Sacred Enclosures beyond. It was with a mingled feeling of disappointment and regret to discover them composed of many instead of being cut out of a single block of stone, as I had always supposed. They

Page 243

are much mutilated, "the human face divine" being almost effaced, and every day diminishing the resemblance, owing to the puerile desire in the minds of most visitors to carry away a piece.

        Were it not that the age of miracles is still existent, it would be incredible at the present day that even the ductile faith of primeval ignorance could be gulled by such a preposterous imposture as that associated with one of these statues. Did we not every year see tangible proof of the contrary, we might boldly assert that the common sense and skeptical instinct of the age would not require the assistance of acoustics to induce them to reject with derision this priestly imposition. But knowing this, let us be chary of a presumptuous comparison between the credulity of the two eras; for in all probability could the priest of Isis, Orisis, or Ammon, start to life and be made to comprehend the statutes of the old and its theologies, he would smile with scorn at some of the most cherished mysteries and delusions of the superstitious herd of the present day, and certainly the periodical liquifaction of the blood of an old saint (the Neapolitan miracle), the holy fire of Jerusalem, and the table-turning and spirit-rapping of our country, are inventions inferior in merit and dignity to the more sublime and practical of their own, which made the creature of man's hands salute with an exclamation of joyous surprise the advent of the King of light, the most rational and respectable of all the emblems and figures of heathen adoration.

        With the exception of these colossal effigies of man, nothing in the shape of his creation encumbers the plain from the Nile to the Memnonium, half an hour further inland; a plain where once stood a city, the wonder of the world; a city from each of whose hundred mouths could be poured simultaneously twice that number of chariots with their due proportion of infantry and horsemen. How changed the scene! The ploughshare now passes over the spot. The serried hosts and life-destroying legions of that epoch have passed away and been replaced by the life-sustaining cereals of another. In a word, all that wealth and power could call into existence; all the vile and jostling competition of a

Page 244

populous community; all the hustling magnificence which usually betokens the site of the world's metropolis

                        has dissolved
                        And like an unsubstantial pageant faded
                        Left scarce a wreck behind.

        To give even a brief outline of the Memnonium and temples would require an amount of space which you were as loath to accord as I to take. To describe them by a word, I know of no more fitting epithet than Dominie Sampson's "prodigious." The Egyptian order of architecture was never home-like, nor have my prejudices been materially mollified by immediate contact with these, the noblest specimens of it extant. There is too much of the funereal, something too solemnly grand, if you will, to suit my fancy. But independently of preconceived bias, I am not a sufficiently competent judge of the merits of the science to institute an equitable comparison between that and its more polished rivals, or offspring rather. Nevertheless, it must be confessed that in the solidity of its parts, the justness of its proportions, its simplicity and power of durability, there is much to recommend it even when weighed in the balance against the unpretending Greek or more graceful Gothic; much to palliate its more glaring defects, and to enlist our wonder and astonishment, whilst unqualified admiration is rarely conceded. It is the order of all the others which seems best calculated to mock the mutations of time and the vandal malevolence of man. "Time's scythe and tyrant's rods shiver upon them," to plagiarize the noble apostrophe to the Patheon, of England's noble bard.

        The pyramidical towers facing the gateway, the pylon and columns, are the parts invariably in the best state of preservation. The lotus-shaped capital was evidently the favorite design, and justly, although in the same building, and even in the same chamber, a conjunction with others is no unfrequent occurrence. By the way, respecting the lotus which furnished them the idea, it may not be generally known to the supporters of prophecy that, in conformity to the prediction of Isaiah, this, the bulrush, and all other water-plants which once abounded in the Nile, have entirely disappeared.

Page 245

Prostrate in the court of the Memnonium or Remeseum rather, is the granite Colossus of Remeses II, so stupendous even in its fallen grandeur that its demolition without the agency of gunpowder has astonished the savants of our time as much as the construction of another monument. It is cut out of a single block of the hardest Egyptian granite and is the largest of that description of which the annals or tradition of the country make mention. The erection and transportation of these tremendous blocks of stone has surpassed the world's comprehension almost from the day upon which the last was elevated. In transporting one of the two obelisks which formerly stood at Luxor, and now ornaments the "Place de la Concorde," Paris, the French Government employed several hundred of its own subjects and thousands of those of the Pasha, all of whom were engaged at the work a year or two, and had finally to await an extraordinary overflow of the river in order to get it afloat.

        The second day was devoted to the wonders of Karnak, distant from our boat perhaps a couple of miles. As you are probably aware, Karnak, Luxor, Kodrheh, Medeemel Haboo, et cetera, all occupy parts of the ancient capital; and from their remoteness from each other and with a river intervening, ample evidence is afforded that its importance and immensity were not overrated by the historian and geographer of the time. Having already applied my strongest expletive to express appreciation of the temples of Medeemel Haboo, what adequate term can be applied to the great temple of Karnak? None in my vocabulary will serve the turn. Suffice it that the impression of superlative astonishment, produced by the Colosseum in Rome, was eclipsed in the self-same hour that my mind received that of the other; and I am disposed to think, that had it flourished simultaneously, the great temple of Solomon had not come down to us as standing isolated and alone, the architectural prodigy of the world. The statement of Diodorus, ascribing to its walls a circumference of one mile and a half English, a thickness of 25 feet and an altitude of 45 cubits, is certainly entitled to more credence than the generality of readers are disposed to concede it. Although these dimensions are necessarily much

Page 246

abridged by lapse of time, there is still enough left to convince the pilgrim that more time, labor, stone, money and mortar were required in its completion that that of any other edifice that can be pointed out at the present day.

        In the grand, or columnar, hall, 270 by 329 feet, I counted 134 pillars of 66 and 42 feet, respectively, exclusive of the pedestal, and a circumference of 40 and 27 feet. Nine out of ten of all these are as perfect as if the building were still in the course of construction. In another part are two beautiful obelisks of 98 feet each. In its finished state it stood forth to the world in all its resplendent glories, the work of many monarchs and different dynasties, extending through an interval of a thousand or two years, and consequently exhibiting within itself the successive gradations of the birth, rise, progress, and perfection of its proper order of architecture. Like all other works of the period, its walls are crowded with hieroglyphics, those rude symbols of ideas, which may be considered as embodying the first principles of that divine science subsequently introduced into Europe by Cadmus. Having mentioned the great attraction of the locality, the inferior sights consisting of the smaller temples and hundreds of mutilated Sphinxes, Colossi, et cetera, which were as tame in recital as they were in review, we will leave Karnak and return to our boat.

        Not less wonderful and more enduring are the abodes of the dead than the palaces of the living, or the fanes of the false gods. The entire chain of hills on the western bank, as far as the eye can reach, is one vast necropolis abounding in tombs as thick as a native with fifth and vermin. The care which this ancient people bestowed upon its dead argues unmistakably their belief that the future happiness or misery of the deceased was materially affected thereby. This conviction seems to have been transmitted unimpaired to their posterity, and to be shared in common by all the nations professing the Koran.

        Two hours' ride on the third day, under the most oppressive sun that I have ever experienced, brought us to Belzoni's tomb, so-called from its modern discoverer. A description of this will apply with some variations to dozens of others which

Page 247

are visited. Descending by a precipitous staircase some fifty or sixty feet, a wide passage at the bottom leads into a number of commodious apartments decorated in the highest style of Egyptian art. Retracing the way partly, and turning a corner at right angles, a second flight of stairs leads further down into other chambers similar in all respects to those above. At the farther extremity of these, that is, 342 feet from the entrance, is an inclined plain, at an angle of 43 degrees, leading, I should imagine, some fifty or sixty yards farther down. The whole of this immense cavity reminds me more forcibly of the Mammoth Cave, or Grotto of Adelsburg, than an artificial excavation that occurs to me. It is cut out of solid stone (a white calcareous limestone), in no part of which could I detect the slightest flaw of imperfection, and admits of as high a polish as marble itself, thus obviating the necessity of cement for purposes of mural decoration, every part of it as well proportioned as if the whole were the work of a master mason, led by line and plumb, and with brick and mortar for materials. On the entire surface there is not a spot as large as my hand untouched by fresco or hieroglyphics. You may think this is a remarkable sepulchre, but in no essential point does it differ from scores, perhaps hundreds, of others, in its vicinage, such as those of the Harper Amundph, the kings and queens. The tomb of the Scipios in Rome was evidently borrowed from the Egyptian, but in treading the ashes of that illustrious family there is a sensation of oppressiveness and difficulty of respiration, owing to the low, narrow and contracted space, and consequent confined atmosphere. Here, however, there is nothing of the kind, and the antiquarian might pass a twelve month in deciphering its inscriptions (than which I had rather undertake the disentanglement of a Chinese tea-chest) more comfortably than in any dwelling-place between this and Cairo.

        This morning, having examined the antiquities of Luxor, which elsewhere were well worthy of a circumspect examination, hut here are commonplace (except its obelisk, whose dogs, cats, crabs, crocodiles, orang-outangs, and animals, honored with an effigy, are more deeply cut and consequently

Page 248

more legible than on any other known), I called on the Consular Agent. I have heard of sinecures; our list affords a few such, and its great merit is that the number is more limited than that of any other. But certainly a more complete sinecure and more profitless than that worthy man, cannot be found. If his fees reach five dollars per annum they exceed my guess. Nevertheless, he is studiously courteous, attentive and urbane in his bearing towards Americans, thus setting an example worthy of imitation by some of our other representatives in the East.

        He is a native, a Mussulman, and as far as I could judge, a gentleman; a compliment I would feign extend to his confrere of Cairo could I in justice do so; but who, if my estimate be correct, is emphatically "the wrong man in the wrong place." It was Louis XIV, I believe, who said of Churchill, - that he ought to be a general commanding or - a captain, but that he was unfit for a regiment. So of this individual; he ought to be a king or a constable; as the republican consul is evidently unable or unwilling to bring to bear, in the discharge of his duties, those qualities essential to a worthy fulfillment of the office. Our system of rotation in office, with all its abuses and abuse, has its advantages as well as the life-tenure or indefinite system so lauded by our friends, the English, not the least obvious of which, perhaps, is the necessity it imposes upon the place-man of "affecting a politeness foreign to his nature in order that he may retain his post." Another homely truth that it brings home to his comprehension is that, with us, the office honors the man and not the man the office; and this, "though all the blood of all the Howards," yea, of all the "conquerors" that encumbered the world from Cain downwards should flow in his veins. Knowing this, I would respectfully suggest the retiracy of those "illustrious foreigners" unwilling to admit this leveling axiom.

        I deem it needless to say, in conclusion, that whenever I see fit to overhaul the official conduct of any man in the columns of a public print, my name and address are patent to all applicants; for if I claim the right of a Junius I disclaim his nonentity, and so, Mr. Editor, apologizing on the score of haste for all imperfections, I bid you a goodnight.

Page 249

Sketch of the Second N. C. Battalion - Wises', Later on in Daniel's Brigade.

        If any apology is necessary for the oft recurrence of the pronoun personal in the following report, the writer hopes it will be found in the peculiar make up of this gallant command, organized mainly through his instrumentality, composed of companies from three different States, and as incident to such composition mustered directly into the Confederate service instead of primarily into that of either State. North Carolina supplied two-thirds of its numerical strength and gave it name and designation. The fate of war decreed that its initial hostile move was to a point where capture was inevitable, and before the arrival of the two last companies requisite to complete its regimental organization.

        In the first days of April, 1861, the telegraph left no room for doubt that the United States Government was resolved to try and revictual Fort Sumter, then beleaguered by the young government just springing into being.

        Each fully realized that that meant war. The next train carried the writer to Charleston as a would-be volunteer gunner, anxious to see the beginning of what he deemed the inevitable struggle, and hence nowise loth to see it begin. In this he was disappointed, as orders had just been issued forbidding any additional recruits into the batteries. He heard, however, the opening gun of the mighty drama to follow, and a day later the final one which preceded the surrender of this almost impregnable fortress, as subsequent events proved it to be, when besieged and besiegers were reversed. It was a dramatic sight replete with patriotic enthusiasm, even as witnessed from the city battery. A thrilling one when "the old flag" was hauled down in token of evacuation and "the new one" run up. With hundreds of others our little boat was just below the walls when it was done, an explosion of cartridges killing three of the garrison while saluting the first.

        A few days later my company, that is, the one in which I was an enrolled private, was in camp at the State Capital. The very first I think to go into the camp of instruction there was the "Warren Guards," Capt. Ben Wade. Certainly one

Page 250

of the three first. After a short space of preliminary drill it was assigned to the First Regiment, Col. D. H. Hill.

        This company and two others had done me the honor of giving me their unanimous vote (all voting) for the Lieutenant-Colenelcy of this the initial regiment from our State.

        For some unexplained cause, all three of these were relegated to the next succeeding regiment, the Second, later on numbered the Twelfth, to avoid ambiguity with what was known as State troops.

        This regiment was organized at Garysburg by the election of Lieutenant Sol. Williams, lately resigned from the United States Army, as Colonel, and was straightway moved to Richmond. Shortly after arrival there, it was ordered to Norfolk.

        Whilst in camp there ex-Governor Wise, then a Brigadier General, sent me, unsolicited on my part, authority to raise a regiment and join his command, known as the Wise Legion. It is a matter of no little satisfaction that, upon its being known, the last official act of North Carolina's first great War Governor, John W. Ellis, was to give me an order for some six hundred Enfield rifles, the only ones at the State's disposal. Unfortunately for me, however, before all my companies could reach the camp of formation (and there were eighteen from which to select), and requisition be made for my guns, this glorious son of North Carolina had breathed his last, and almost the first official act of his successor was to revoke his order and to give my guns to another, no cause being assigned and none but favoritism presumable. In view of this gross injustice the Legislature, only three dissenting. voted me fifty thousand dollars to arm and equip my command. Ordinarily such a sum would have far more than sufficed, but in those days weapons of approved pattern were above money and above price, simply because they were not to be had. Luckily my command was composed of the right sort of men, not finnicky or over-fastidious as to outfit. Though cheated of our "Enfields," to the front we would go with squirrel substitutes and double-barrel shot guns of divers calibre. Every man was afraid that he couldn't get a hand before the game would be ended. And so these honest workmen

Page 251

took the best tools that they could get, and there was no grumbling. We all expected better after our first fair field and an honest fight. Fortunately our uncouth armament was supplemented by some 350 old flint lock muskets which Governor Letcher, of Virginia, generously turned over to me, because his folks wouldn't touch such tools. After being percushioned by the Government, they made very respectable killing implements, especially when each double barrel man carried beside a two-foot carving knife of the heft of a meat axe in lieu of bayonet.

        After such an elaborate outfit, not counting a good, warm overcoat all around, it will hardly seem credible that within a year thirty-two thousand and odd dollars were returned to the State Treasury, to the surprise if not disgust of sterling old Mr. Coates. "Why, Colonel, this thing is without precedent," was his only comment.

        In the fall of 1861 was ordered by General Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General, to proceed to Wilmington and report to Gen. Joseph R. Anderson, commanding the Department of North Carolina. By him was assigned to the duty of guarding the coast above and below Masonboro Sound, some seven miles to the east of that city. We continued in the discharge of that duty until the 30th of January, 1862, when I was ordered by General Cooper, A. and I. General, to proceed at once to Roanoke Island, then threatened by the Federal force under General Burnside. At this time the Second North Carolina Battalion consisted of the following eight companies, averaging about eighty-five men to the company. My two last companies necessary to a regiment had not then reported.

        (Owing to the loss of my papers when captured, necessity frequently compels the use of proximates.)


        Wharton J. Green, Lieutenant-Colonel commanding; Marcus Erwin, Major; Dr. Frank Patterson, Surgeon; Dr. Samuel Young, Assistant Surgeon; . . . . . McNutt, Adjutant; Capt. A. H. Shuford, Quartermaster and Commissary; Rev. H. E. Brooks, Chaplain.

Page 252

        Company A, raised in Stokes County, N. C. Captain, Milton Smith; Lieutenants, J. B. Tucker, N. G. Smith, Edwin Smith.

        Company B, raised in Surry County, N. C. Captain, D. M. Cooper; Lieutenants, L. J. Norman, J. Sayars, J. Gordon.

        Company C, raised in Mecklenburg County, Va. Captain, R. C. Overby; Lieutenants, B. P. Williamson, Henry S. Wood, B. R. Williamson.

        Company D, raised in Pike County, Ga. Captain, Edward Smith; Lieutenants, W. H. McClure, R. M. Julian, David T. Harris.

        Company E, raised in Merriwether County, Ga. Captain, DuBose; Lieutenants, J. J. Tucker, W. J. Hudson, J. N. Lee.

        Company F, raised in Randolph County, N. C. Captain, T. W. Andrews; Lieutenants, John M. Hancock, Z. J. Williams.

        Company G, raised in Forsyth County, N. C. Captain, W. H. Wheeler; Lieutenants, J. S. Swain, H. C. Wheeler, R. Gorrill.

        Company H, raised in Madison County, N. C. Captain S. F. Allen; Lieutenants, Van Brown, Condell.

        There may be a mistake in lettering two of the companies, which, however, is not material.

        As has been said above, the order from the War Department to proceed to Roanoke Island (the only one under which I could venture to move), reached me on the evening of January 30th. Some ten or twelve days anterior thereto, however, the following order was received from General Wise to the same effect:

"NORFOLK, VA., January 15, 1862
. Col. Wharton J. Green, Commanding, etc.: SIR: -

         You will, as early as practicable, move your whole force from Wilmington, N. C., to Norfolk, Va., and there report to General Huger for transportation to Roanoke Island. Bring with your men all the outfit which you can procure at Wilmington, and make requisitions at Norfolk for deficiencies. Prompt movement is necessary, as the enemy are near in large force.



Page 253

        I waited at once on General Anderson and asked for permission to start the next day. This he peremptorily refused, threatening arrest if the attempt was made. "You are under my command," he said, "by order of General Cooper, and no less authority is going to take you away from here."

        He, however, consented that Major Erwin might go to Richmond and lay the matter before the Secretary of War for final arbitrament. The Major carried request from me to obey General Wise's order, and protest against it from General Anderson.

        After the interval stated, and after General Wise had written the Secretary of War under date of "January 26. Please order the forces of my Legion under Colonel Greene, at Wilmington, N. C., * * * to be forwarded to me," the desired permission (order) arrived.

        Within the shortest possible time that transportation could be obtained, about thirty-six hours after receipt of order, we went on way to destination.

        On reaching Norfolk, was again detained two or three days (needlessly, I thought, and still think), awaiting water transportation, starting on February 5th.

        The sequel is sufficiently set forth in my report of operations of the next three days ensuing, of date February 18th, herewith reproduced from the War Records, Vol. IX, Series 1, to which should be added that this command was the only one under arms outside of the water batteries at the time of the surrender.

        Am thus explicit in details concerning this first great disaster to the Confederate cause in order to refute the unjust insinuation of General Wise that I was needlessly dilatory in starting from Wilmington in obedience to his orders. In plain words, that those issued direct from the war office were not subordinated to his. The absurdity of the assumption is not deserving of comment. If any were needed, it is supplied in the Report of the Congressional Investigating Committee, and the personal encomium therein contained to myself.

        His absence from the island, and presence on the mainland during the entire fighting, should have made him more

Page 254

cautious his reflections, not only in this case but against almost every other regimental commander there present. It grieves to say as much of one who had presumptively done a favor. A brilliant talker, a fiery orator, a pungent writer, and withal, a patriot, all this he was, but like some other political generals, a very indifferent soldier.

        Querulous with superiors, captious to equals, insolent to subordinates, and opinionated in the superlative degree, totally unfitted him for command at a most important point and at a most critical juncture. Had this not been said in effect before the Investigating Committee relative to the fall of Roanoke Island, and in refutal of the baseless aspersion above referred to, it probably would not here appear. No less is due to my gallant command as well as to myself in the proposed embodiment of historic regimental sketches of the various commands of our State. Immediately after exchange the Second Battalion was upon my application transferred to the brigade of that superb soldier, Junius Daniel, and after his death at Spottsylvania, commanded by his worthy successor, General Bryan Grimes.

        Recurring to report alluded to, let it be premised that the Second Battalion was most needlessly included in the list of prisoners that day. After the fall back of the troops engaged, and the resolve to surrender, an official order to re-embark and strike for the mainland would have saved every man in it.

No. 28.


OFF ROANOKE ISLAND, N. C., February 18, 1862
. SIR: -

         I herewith submit a report of the skirmish in which my battalion (Second North Carolina) was engaged on Saturday, the 8th inst.:

        In obedience to orders from Adjutant-General Cooper, received on the evening of January 30, I struck camp in the vicinity of Wilmington on the morning of the 1st inst., and

Page 255

proceeded hither with all possible dispatch. Owing to the want of transports we were detained two days and upward in Norfolk, leaving that place on Wednesday, the 5th inst., in tow of the canal tug-boat White.

        On Friday, when about thirty miles distant from the island, continued discharges of artillery informed us of the progress of a fight between the Federal fleet and Confederate batteries. Being entirely ignorant of the topography of the island, and not knowing where or to whom to report, I left our transports about twenty miles hence and came on in the steamer for information. Having obtained which, I returned to my men and crowded them on the smallest number of transports that would contain them, and then started. The night was very dark and stormy, with the wind against us, consequently our progress was slow.

        After beating about until midnight our pilot declared that he had lost his reckoning, and as we had only a fathom and a half of water thought it safer to wait for daylight.

        About 2 a. m. Saturday a number of Confederate gunboats passed us from the direction of the island, one of them running into the schooner Beauregard (one of our transports) and seriously injuring her. In reply to our challenge and statement of our condition, all the answer we could get was that one of the boats was the Beaufort, the other the . . . . . Had they stopped in their flight long enough to exchange pilots with us, or even to give our's the necessary instructions as to his course, my battalion would have reached the island in time to have participated in the entire action.

        Failing to do so, it was 10 a. m. when we reached the island, and 12 o'clock before the men, arms and ammunition could be got on shore, owing to their having to be taken on lighters. Having distributed all of my ammunition I started for the scene of action, but soon met scores of stragglers, who reported everything lost and the Confederate forces entirely dispersed.

        Notwithstanding these discouraging reports, my men kept in good spirits and pressed on with animation. On reaching your camp, and having the worst reports confirmed, I called upon you for orders, and was told to proceed to a point some

Page 256

mile or two distant, under the guidance of Major Williamson, and take position.

        After proceeding about half a mile we came suddenly upon a Federal regiment, which I have since learned was the Twenty- first Massachusetts. The two advanced companies of the respective commands were about seventy-five paces apart, I being some twenty paces in advance of mine. I gave the command, "By company into line," when the officer in command of the Federal regiment threw up his hand and cried out, "Stop, stop, Colonel; don't fire; you are mistaken!" Believing it to be a trick, I repeated my command. Thereupon the Federal officer gave the command, "Fire." My advanced companies returned the fire, firing at will after the first volley. Finding that there was some confusion, and not knowing the ground, I soon became satisfied that I could not form my men in line of battle to any advantage on the ground that they then occupied, so I ordered them to fall back a short distance, and from behind the log houses occupied by Colonel Jordan s regiment as quarters. This they did in good order. The Federals fell back immediately after. Immediately after forming behind the houses, Lieutenant Colonel Fowle, of the Thirty-first North Carolina, passed by with a white flag, and stated that a surrender had been determined upon.

        My loss was three men killed and five wounded, two of whom have since died. I am happy to be able to report favorably of the action of both officers and men. The enemy's loss, as learned from themselves, was between twenty and thirty. I marched my entire command, with very few exceptions, in good order back to your camp.

        I am, sir, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,

Lieut.-Col. Second N. C. Battalion.


        NOTE. - In my report to Colonel Shaw, should have been stated the fact that I strenuously protested against surrender without a further effort to resume our original lines, pledging my command to hold the enemy's advance in check a

Page 257

reasonable time if he would come to our assistance with the other troops. This I certainly understood him to promise to do. A mistaken sense of courtesy or delicacy to the officer in immediate command, to whom report was submitted, forbade its insertion at the time. Sure I am that the survivors of the gallant gentlemen who were present at that interview, and there were many, will avouch to the accuracy of the statement. The Second North Carolina Battalion was in unbroken line of battle with twenty thousand foemen advancing, but hoping re-enforcement, when the white flag of surrender passed. In reply to my expressed purpose to double-quick it back to the transports with an eye to escape, the answer came, "This island and all upon it has been surrendered. You will make the attempt on your peril of breach of terms."

        A little incident of juvenile heroism, surpassing that of "the boy on the burning deck," may not be out of place. Whilst awaiting the enemy in force, a little lad scarce midway in his teens, walked down the front of the line, his right arm dangling at his side but still clutching his trusty double-barrel with his left.

        "Colonel," he said, "they have broken my arm. Can I go to the rear and let Dr. Patterson look after it?"

        There was no more perturbation in his voice than if he had been asking or answering a question on parade. There was incipient hero there, and would that I knew him to-day. I'll stake my life that that boy has never proved recreant to past manhood duty, or gone back on early promise then made. There was the bloom of the heroic, soon to fructify into fruitage, the crop of which the world had never seen and will never see again. The chance of securing reproduction can never recur. Heaven pity posterity in its inevitable dearth of such heroes.

        A few days after the surrender we were transferred to the steamer S. R. Spaulding with Fort Warren as objective point. But through the efforts of General Burnside, who impressed us then with his courtesy and soldierly treatment, as he did those who knew him after the war, imprisonment was changed into "parole." Fortunately for the Confederacy

Page 258

later on, his reach of requisite for the chief command to which he was assigned against the greatest soldier of his age, fell something short. But better far than the reputation of a second- class commander, he bore "the grand old name of Gentleman." The writer is thus pleased to acknowledge more than one civility received at his hands, including an exchange of body servants, his and mine, the first being then confined at Richmond. Mine, Guilford Christmas, was with me before and during the war and has been with me ever since, a faithful servant and a true friend, once exchanged as said, and later escaping after a second capture. Had not racial interdict precluded his enlistment, the Confederacy would have had few more devoted servants, for his heart was in it.

        The disparity of force in this, the second great battle of the war, was too great to admit of hope for the weaker after the other side had secured a foothold. Col. Shaw gives his entire available force, exclusive of those in the water batteries at 1,434, rank and file, previous to the arrival of my own and Major Fry's commands. Loss 23 killed, 58 wounded, 62 missing. General Burnside puts his, not counting the gun boats, at 12,829, loss 264. To make the disparity the greater they were commanded by educated soldiers like Burnside, Foster, Parke and Reno. That inequality was a little too much so, even in those early days, when to paraphrase Harry of England, some did "think upon one pair of Southern legs did march five Yankees."

        Later on, and after better acquaintance, few objected to having the carrying capacity of those locomotors reduced to three or even two blue coats.

        Eight or ten to one was out of all reason.

        Some seven months after being paroled at Elizabeth City we were exchanged and the battalion ordered to rendezvous at Drewry's Bluff.

        Whilst in came there and attached to Colonel (later General) Daniel's brigade, a petition was set afoot looking to a re-organization. Although opposed to it on principle as calculated to introduce politics into camp, and although from the peculiar constitution of this command, it could have been avoided, nevertheless, when it became obvious that such was the desire of a number of the officers, no obstruction was interposed on my part. The consequence was that I was superseded as commanding officer by Capt. W. H. Wheeler, who, however, resigned a few days thereafter, thus devolving the command on Major Andrews (promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel).

        Shortly after, about the first of January, 1863, the brigade was ordered to Goldsboro, N. C., in anticipation of a forward move by the enemy. I went there at once to volunteer, but was told by General Daniel that I would be enrolled on his staff as a supernumerary or volunteer aide until something in the line should turn up. Thence, shortly after, the brigade was ordered to Kinston, where it remained until 17th of May, 1863, when it was moved upon the Rappahannock.

        Whilst in camp at Kinston we were, by General D. H. Hill's orders, moved down the right side of the Neuse, Pettigrew's brigade keeping abreast on the other with the object in view of taking New Bern by surprise. Daniel's advance, after reaching a point contiguous to that place, was subject to gun signal from the co-operating column upon capture of the gun boats on that side of the river. These, however, got up steam in time to prevent capture, and so the attempt fell through.

        General Hill next attempted the capture of Washington, which was represented as being short of provisions and supplies. A battery, Fort Hill, was planted below the town to prevent relief by the gunboats. Whilst here Generals Hill, Daniel, Robertson and myself rode over to the fort to take in the situation. The gunboats were anchored some two or three miles off, just out of reach of our pop guns, and had kept up an incessant fusillade on the garrison for a day or two previous without doing any harm. Before, however, we had been in there fifteen minutes, I was knocked down by a ten-pound piece of shell.

        About the middle of June, 1863, our division, Rodes', broke camp at Hamilton's crossing, a few miles from Fredericksburg, and started, whither few knew, but many surmised. At the time the Second Battalion was attached to this superb

Page 260

brigade, it was composed of the Thirty-second, Forty-third, Forty-fifth and :Fifty-third Regiments, which continued intact until the end of the war. On arrival in Virginia it was assigned to Major-General R. E. Rodes' division, composed of the following other brigades, viz: Ramseur's North Carolina, Iverson's North Carolina, and Dole's Georgia, and no better division was there in any army. Most fortunate were we in brigade and divisional commanders. Both Rodes and Daniel were born soldiers, and both died on the field of battle in glorious discharge of duty. The division was in Ewell's corps. On Daniel's death Bryan Grimes became his worthy successor and later on the successor of the lamented Rodes.

        At Brandy Station, on the . . . . ., became aware that a fight was going on in front. Were hastily formed and moved forward to the point, upon nearing which General Lee in person met General Daniel and told him that he was to keep his command concealed under the brow of a hill except upon emergency, as it was a cavalry fight and he didn't wish the enemy to learn that he was on the move. Shortly after met the corpse of my old Colonel, Sol. Williams, being brought out on horseback by his brother-in-law, Lieutenant Pegram. He was shot through the forehead, and Pegram told us that Gen. B. F. Davis had just been killed on the other side by the self-same wound. He and I were classmates and close friends at West Point, and yet his death reached me without a pang of regret, for he was fighting under the wrong flag, being a Mississippian.

        Gallant Sol. Williams had only been married a week or two to the daughter of Captain Pegram, who won lasting honor in the Confederate States Navy. Singular coincidence her cousin and another old classmate of mine, Gen. John Pegram, was killed in front of Petersburg after the same brief nuptials. He married the beautiful and brilliant Hettie Cary, of Baltimore.

        Gen. J. E. B. Stuart (another classmate), repulsed the enemy that day after a hard day's fight, although he had been taken by surprise in the morning. He too was killed later on in front of Richmond. Here let it be remarked, by way

Page 261

of parenthesis, that nine out of twelve of that glorious class (that of 1850), who espoused our side, were killed in battle, all with one exception, wearing the insignia of General. Stuart, Pender, Gracie, Pegram, Deshler, Villipique, Mercer, Randall and one other whose name now escapes me. Was there ever a nobler holocaust of young heroes on the altar of patriotism, each thirty or thereabouts? Generals Stephen D. Lee and Custis Lee are the sole survivors as far as I am able to ascertain.

        From Brandy the division moved on towards the Potomac, passing through Front Royal, Winchester and Berryville. At the last place came near capturing Brute Milroy and his entire force, but with the coward's instinct he saved his vile neck by precipitate flight. He was one of the three who were made infamously immortal by Confederate Executive mandate that they were not to be accorded the rights of prisoners of war if captured. Beast Butler and Turchin, the barbarian, were the two others. Let the triumvirate of gold-laced felons stand pilloried where they were put, in the scorn of all true soldiers through all time to come, to teach would-be imitators that wars must henceforth be conducted by generous and humane rules instead of barbaric. Moving on through Martinsburg we forded the river at Williamsport and camped a couple of days at Hagerstown, Md. Thence on to Greencastle, Pa., where there was another halt for a day. Thence to Carlisle, where we took possession of the government barracks.

        The next day (Sunday) the flag pole, which had been cut down by the enemy, was replaced and the "Stars and Bars" wafted to the breeze.

        June 30th made an early start and a forced march to Heidelberg, eleven miles short of Gettysburg. The next morning, bright and early, started again. Had proceeded but a short distance when the opening guns of that momentous conflict fell upon the ear. On arrival were deployed in line of battle in a skirt of woods. The enemy at once began to shell us. General Daniel ordered the brigade to lie down until ready to advance. Whilst he and I were standing just in front of the Second Battalion holding our horses, a shell exploded in a

Page 262

few feet to the left, killing and wounding nine men. Probably no one missile occasioned more loss to life during the war. A little later the men were ordered to rise and advance. The enemy were some five or six hundred yards in front, and results showed had set a most deadly trap for us. When half way between our starting point and their line, were ordered to lie down whilst our guns in the rear played on their ranks. Then rose and charged to the brink of the deep cut of the railroad, beyond which at some hundred paces the enemy were drawn up in line.

        The men in their ardor slid down the almost precipitous bank and attempted to scale the opposite, but to no effect. An enfilading battery to our right then opened, sweeping "the cut" with terrible effect. Suggesting to Colonel Brabble, the senior officer, to face to the left and clear the gap, I scrambled to the top and got one shot at the advancing foe with a musket taken from a sick boy at the start, with whom my horse was left. Believe it was with effect, as it caused a pause in the line behind and delayed a down-pouring fire until we got out of that horrible hole. As soon as it was done the men who had behaved like veterans so far, became temporarily demoralized. Then it was that the soldier loomed up and plucked the flower safely out of the nettle danger. Junius Daniel is the man referred to. In his stentorian tones, audible in command a quarter of a mile or more away, he ordered the men to halt and reform on him. This they did without regard to company or regimental formation almost to a man, advanced at once and inflicted a loss on the enemy, from all accounts greater than that which they had just sustained. A sublime picture of heroism that, on the part of commander and command.

        Just then I was knocked down by a wound in the head and had to go back to the field hospital. Here the scene was sickening in the extreme. By sundown, hundreds of wounded had arrived, and the horrid work of amputation was going briskly on. Here I pause to pay brief tribute to an unpretentious hero who did his duty as grandly as any other on that bloody field, although his only weapons were scalpel, saw and bandage. Though Daniel's brigade had the largest wounded

Page 263

list of any other at Gettysburg, the surgical staff was something short that day. But there was one who was a host in himself. For three days and nights, with coat off and sleeves rolled up, I do not think Dr. Frank Patterson, my old surgeon, then brigade surgeon, relaxed in his bloody work of mercy half an hour at a time. If he closed his eyes in sleep during that dread ordeal it escaped my observation, although in thirty feet and full view of the operating table.

        "The glorious Fourth" was a fateful day, not only for that glorious army, but for the cause, for far away Vicksburg, the key of the Mississippi, had fallen.

        The retreat began in regular order on that day. Capt. Wm. R. Bond, of General Daniel's staff, now of Scotland Neck, likewise wounded, and myself, were assigned to a one-horse wagon driven by Guilford. The wounded train was tacked on to a part of the ordnance. That night, having to pass through a long defile, it was subjected to an annoying fire from above. Kilpatrick's division, having ridden ahead and taken position on each bank of the road. This doughty hero should have been cashiered for not capturing that entire train, for it was only guarded by two squadrons of cavalry. As it was, he only took some thirty or forty ambulances and ordnance wagons.

        Shortly after getting through the deep cut of the road our little mounted escort broke and went to the head of the train. An ordnance wagon loaded with old guns, took off one of our rear wheels in trying to pass, and before Bond and I could pick ourselves up, a dozen revolvers were bearing on us. It was then that volubility told. Guilford with a flow of words unparalleled in his speech before or since convinced the gentleman on horseback that, "we surrender, we are prisoners, for God's sake don't shoot." Believing that the entire ordnance train was lost and all lost with it, it is within bounds to say that his impromptu eloquence elicited but scant thanks from either of the two "prisoners."

        Thence were carried to the hospital at Frederick, from there to Fort McHenry, thence to Fort Delaware for a while and from there to Johnson's Island in Lake Erie, which continued to be the residence of most of the officers until near

Page 264

the surrender. My cartel was, I believe, the last one antecedent thereto. Many projects for wholesale escape had been formed during our imprisonment, but were always frustrated by some secret spy or cowardly informer.

        But to return to the 2nd North Carolina Battalion at Gettysburg. It fell short of a full regiment, and yet it's doubtful whether any full regiment in that matchless army sustained the loss in killed and wounded that it did. One hundred and fifty- three is authenticated record. Perhaps it is better to give an excerpt from a letter received from Maj. H. A. London, later on A. A. G., of the brigade, bearing thereon.

        * * "The 2nd Battalion at Gettysburg had more men killed and wounded than any full regiment in Pickett's division. It's killed was 29 (including it's commander, Lieut. Col. Andrews) and wounded 124. The 57th Virginia regiment had 26 killed and 95 wounded, which was the heaviest mortality of any of Pickett's regiments. Maj. James Iredell, who took command after Andrews' death, was killed at Spottsylvania, where the battalion was nearly all captured, killed or wounded. I do not think any field officer commanded the battalion after Iredell's death. It remained with Daniel's brigade until the end, but I do not know it's number at Appomattox - a mere handful, however. It was a noble band and shared fully in all the glory of Daniel's (afterwards Grimes') brigade. * * *

        Yours truly,

H. A. London."

        It was not my proud privilege to command it in that dread baptism of blood. I was only a musket-bearer in it's ranks that day, but it did my heart none the less good to see how grandly the children of my nurture, knew how to die for cause and country.

        Whilst it has been shown above that I was no stickler for rank throughout the mighty struggle, I may nevertheless be pardoned for statement bearing on it.

        Only some six weeks before his death, ex-President Davis told me, in the presence of his wife and youngest daughter in his home at Beauvoir, that as soon as he heard of my return from prison he sent in my nomination to the Senate for a Bigadier General's commission, and presumed it had been confirmed. He supposed, however, that in the confusion of the last

Page 265

few days preceding the evacuation of Richmond, it had, like many other matters, been overlooked.

        This was subsequently confirmed in a letter from Mrs. Davis, with additional details. The incident is mentioned more in satisfaction of the good opinion of that grand man, the central figure of that historic epoch, than out of regard for an empty title, which per se is not valued at a pinch of snuff.

        Pertinent thereto, another statement is ventured which must be taken on faith, as he who made it is no longer in the flesh. On the road one day General Daniel told me that just after the reorganization, the President asked him if he would not advise setting aside the election and restoring me to the command, as it was primarily an executive appointment instead of by election. Daniel's reply was, "Not to that command, as the event however injudicious validates the change; but I will most cheerfully recommend him for the first vacant regiment or brigade either at your disposal."


First Lieut. Col. Commanding,
2nd Battalion.

Address on General Robert Ransom, Delivered Before the Ladies Memorial Association, May 10, 1899.

Ladies of the Memorial Association, Old Comrades and Friends:

        I thank you most cordially for the honor done me to-day in bidding me to talk to you of my honored friend and kinsman, Gen. Robert Ransom. This trust could doubtless have been confided to far abler hands. To none, however, surpassing him selected in love and admiration for this truly great soldier and upright gentleman.

        Sever years ago to-day the same duty devolved on me through the partiality of your sister society of Newbern, where he had lived and passed his closing hours. Hence, of necessity, I am forced to draw freely upon the address then delivered, even to literal reproduction of many parts. This has been rendered the more imperative by a severe and protracted case of the grippe almost ever since your summons

Page 266

reached me. Hence, I crave allowance for all short-comings to-day, for I must draw on manuscript more than memory likewise.

        Here is the opening on that occasion: "Four years ago on this recurring anniversary," hallowed to patriotism and heroic memories, your orator was he whose eulogy your bidding devolves on me to-day. He gave you graphic pictures and panoramic of one of the grandest and most melodramic battles that history will be ever called on to record. Charles Lever, by common consent of military critics, has given in his great novel, O'Malley, the finest description of Waterloo ever published.

        Your townsman, General Ransom, portrayed on occasion referred to, the field of Fredericksburg, rivaling in pomp, panoply and numericals the other, in words scarce less befitting.

        That he was a war actor the world knew. That he was a war artist his single effort proved. Such was Cæsar, actor and artist.

        Where heroes pass the bourne, their people, if worthy to have heroes, ever pay them suitable tribute. Correlative thereto, the race that fails therein, rarely produces the genuine article. No account is taken of the nickel-plated or "Brumagenized" specimen, the mere throat-cutter on extended scale. Slavish barbarians can evolve such as these, as witness Genghis, Atilla, Alva and Tamerlane. But the true, genuine broad-gauged world- recognized hero is the almost exclusive development of free born men and women.

        Great races and critical junctures beget great men who adorn their epochs and honor humanity. Most prolific of all in such product was the seven hilled city on the Tiber, and long centuries later on, the little island with wooden walls and her first great trans-oceanic off-shoot. Those races inherently great beyond all others in past and present times, raised brainy thinkers and brawny but gentle actors, who taught and illustrated how to govern others and the far higher lesson for free people, how to govern themselves. Such teacher and actor combined in one is the quintessence of god-like heroism.

Page 267

        Of such, where can higher type and more frequent be found in any era than in the Confederate armies? Take, forsooth, as highest illustration, Davis, Lee, and Sidney Johnston, our three ranking leaders. Triumvirate of Immortals, without flaw or speck! Individually never surpassed, collectively never equalled in any war by mortals waged in attribute here outlined. Legitimate praise must needs sound fulsome to those who knew them not, and all panegyric tame to those who did.

        Genius coupled with gentleness, self-assertion with modest claim, loftiest ambition with humanity, flawless record with tempting opportunity, sublime faith with unflagging zeal, and every impulse subordinate to patriotic end, constituted fitness in the highest for highest command. Let it content us in defeat, my brothers, that the cause by them espoused will be gauged in history by their exalted standard. "Causa victrix placuit deis, sed victa Catoni." Observe in like connection Jackson, the superb, grandest lieutenant that ever captain had, and his brother Hill, cast in kindred mould; that stern inflexible brace of old Ironsides, who had implicit faith in Providence and Presbyterianism, dry powder and cold steel, and could not realize that soldiers could die before their time had come. It would seem that they had interpolated another tenet in the articles of the church militant; namely, dying for cause and country and liberty is a no mean atonement for duties undone.

        Such has ever been a conquering creed for under-sized armies, deficient alike in numbers and resources. It made the camel driver of Mecca, the prophet, the law-giver, the master of the Eastern world. It made Huntingdon's brewer the most renowned and respected potentate of his time, and who ennobled as only one had done the kingly place he held. It enabled the adventurer, Cortez, with a few score followers, to subjugate a nation of millions. And so the embattled host, urged on faith in God and duty to man, is well nigh invincible until by attrition annihilation follows. The eight thousand guns grounded at Appomattox is eternal proof of the dictum laid down.

        Brief retrospect of a few others of our typical heroes, and

Page 268

we pass on to the subject of our text. The entire roster could scarce be called between "the rising of the new moon and the going down of the same, at the end of its course," for from the modest President to the jocund drummer boy it was an army of heroes. Take the two fighting parsons, for instance. Hear them at critical junctures in the hour of battle and you have the animus of those glorious legions. "Hold your position, General Cheatham, for it is the key of the line," exclaims Bishop General Polk a brief space before his lamented fall: "hold it though it cost every man in your command." "Can't promise, General," was the jocular retort, "since you've made me promise to give up cuss words. Since I have, these boys of mine don't fight a bit better than blue coats."

        "Speak to them to-day in your own emphatic way, Cheatham, but hold your part of the line," was the parting injunction, or at least it was so reported.

        "Take good aim, my men, before pulling the lanyard," is the caution of the grave old artillerist, brother Pendleton, "and may the Lord have mercy on their souls."

        On this occasion for obvious reason we pass the most superb infantry that the world has ever known or is likely ever to know. God bless them, they fought on the plane of demigods and like demigods, and make our salaam to the cavalry. I give you a fancied review of our horse-back heroes in the mythic shades of Walhalla.

        There's Stuart, the noblest of the line of kings, whose name and blood he bears, replete with piety, patriotism and school-boy fun, who to well laid plans loved a fight for right as he did a frolic. If claim to kinship there was with Scotland's kings, the knightly Rupert, who towered above them all, must have been in lineal progenitor. Farewell, "Old Beauty"; good-bye, "Jeb," old friend and classmate.

        And there rides one unskilled in schools and hence could never master the definition of the word defeat. His name is Forrest. By consensus of opinion of most approved military critics of neutral nations the grandest leader of horsemen in the annals of all antecedent times. A rough rider they say but by my troth courtly. His theory of war may be crude,

Page 269

but it has ever proved Napoleonic: "I make it a point to fight the enemy wherever I find it and try and get the most men there first." Doff your cap Murat, Marshal of France and King of Naples, and discard your golden spurs and cockney feathers, for hence on you ride behind that untutored son of Genius.

        And there's Hampton, he hasn't forded the dark river yet. God grant the day be far distant; and hence to spare his blushes we must needs be chary of praise. But truly hath he ridden well unless universal report belie him. By birthright and by right of self-made good, no Bayard e'er bore prouder and more spotless front.

        Political ingratitude may hurl its puny shafts at such an one as did the little men in Lilliput, theirs at Captain Gulliver, but the muse of history has him enrolled amongst the world's foremost and most unselfish cavaliers.

        And there goes Wheeler, little fighting Joe. He too, was a marked hero in "the war between the States," send later on he came out as the hero of another war. Too big is he, little as he looks, for the "standing army." He once wore a gray coat.

        And here is a pair of old "Web Foots" who must not be forgotten, although out of place in the "critter company." But that makes no odds. Doff hats, heroes, all of every arm, to the brace of old "Pirates," as they were insultingly dubbed by that great power whose world-reaching commerce wilted at their mandate more effectually than did that of Spain at the bidding of their predecessors in patriotic piracy - Drake, Raleigh and Hawkins. Aye, hail, thrice hail "Alabama" and "Shenandoah!" Raphael Semmes and "Tar Heel" Waddell! Such names as these almost make "piracy" respectable, as those just mentioned did "rebellion!"

        These old sea birds did swim in every sea, and lit them up with their pyrotechnics in their two little boats with a fancied broom for penant, despite the prohibitory veto of hostile navies. Yes, pull ashore, old "Tarpauliens," and ride with these old heroes who were born on horseback.

        Brothers o'er the harbor, these be a few of our honored leaders. Soldiers all they were in high degree, but more

Page 270

than mere soldiers - gentlemen.. We do not challenge competitive claim, but defy detraction. In that galaxy of immortals, few won more enviable fame in successive grade than did Robert Ransom. He was born and reared in Warren county, North Carolina, long anterior thereto and thence on until the war, the recognized home of refinement and hospitality. Her reputation in that regard extended far beyond State borders. Whilst there was perhaps more average wealth per capita than in any other county in the State, its possession was rarely accompanied by vulgar assumption. Education, refinement and culture were unquestioned passports to every circle. It was the privilege of the speaker to have his lot cast amongst that generous people in middle boyhood, and thence on with interruptions to the present time; and he hesitates not to say that for the beautiful traits named, he has, after extended travel and close observation, never known the country community that surpassed if equalled it.

        Whilst, as said, there was wealth there for that day and a rural population, Bob Ransom was not one of the boys who was "born with a silver spoon in his mouth." Perhaps, as conducive to the proud name and fame he left, quite the reverse. His ancestors were of the very first who settled that part of our State and had lived in style, but open doors and open-handed welcome had reduced his own and many collateral branches of his house to scant means of continuing that mode of living; but still the latch string was ever on the outside of his father's door. To the credit of both be it said he and his illustrious brother Matt, who served four terms in the United States Senate, and prouder still, four years in the fight between the States and with a proud war record, and diplomatic besides, had to contribute by manual labor on the farm in intervals from desultory schooling, to maintain that unpretentious but hereditary hospitality.

        His father was Robert Ransom, Sr., and his mother Priscilla Whitaker by birth, likewise of the illustrious Carev stock. His grandfather, Seymour Ransom, married Birchett, the daughter of William Green, one of the most successful planters and remarkable men of the South. His paternal great-grand-father was James Ransom and his wife Priscilla,

Page 271

born Jones, the daughter of Edward Jones and his wife, Abigail Sugan.

        This last named was one of the most remarkable women of the last century or any preceding century, and is better known to her thousands, aye, tens of thousand descendants as "Grand-mother Cook." (Her second husband was named Cook.) She was a woman of marked traits of character, who left her impress upon succeeding generations of her posterity, and a more distinguished progeny than man or woman probably ever did whose death is within a century. Governors and law-makers and law consructers, soldiers and divines of high degree have through all that time been proud to claim that barefoot, unsophisticated pioneer girl as a most illustrious fountain-head of their stocks. Priscilla, her daughter, first married Colonel Macon and was the mother of North Carolina's most distinguished son, Nathaniel, of that name. It will thus be seen that General Ransom's great grand-father was the step-father of that inflexible old Roman, Nathaniel Macon, whose name is revered and honored wherever known.

        Mr. Macon was his great uncle through his paternal as he was likewise through his grand maternal side of the house, and most striking were their traits in common. Neither knew the virtue in the world policy; neither would have Neptune for his trident or Jove for his power to thunder; neither would have relaxed in sense of duty to win the acclaim of others, in order to lead Senates or armies or to win the civic crown or supreme command. As Old Tom Carlyle might have expressed it, they were a brace of sturdy, duty-loving men, who could not be swayed or swerved from settled conviction of right by patronage from above or plaudit from below. Duty was the text of each through life; his life, the sermon.

        General Ransom's preliminary education was obtained at the Warrenton Academy, necessitating a walk of three or four miles a day each way, not to speak of incidental exercise at home. His teacher was "old Bob Ezell," familiarly so known. A ripe scholar he was, who believed in hickory and the high classics, and instilled the last by a free application of the first. It was a cruel system, as I for one can feelingly

Page 272

certify, that under which we old boys of that day were indoctrinated in the "Humanities." Heaven save the mark! It may well be questioned, however, whether its entire subversion or substitution by the new fangled "fad" called moral suasion is conducive to a higher order of manhood. The proof is on the boys of the last and rising generation and others to follow to adduce.

        From the village school he was transferred to the United States Military Academy in 1846, and the transition was not a feather-bed by comparison. Four years later he left that nursery of heroes as a brevet second-lieutenant in the First Dragoons. His class standing was good, ordinary only in the academic curriculum, but according to the old Scythian standard of liberal education there was none above him. "He knew how to ride, to shoot and to speak and to act the truth." None stood higher for these and other high qualities than did this modest gentleman, as I well know who entered the school as he was leaving it and know the name he left behind. By the way, he wrote me a long letter of advice before my matriculation, such as an older brother might be supposed to have penned on the occasion to a younger. The gist of it as now recalled, was obedience to constituted authority as the basic and essential element of a military life; regard for the rights of your fellows, coupled with a reasonable self-assertion of your own, and avoidance of all low dissipation.

        His branch of the service, the mounted, was stationed almost exclusively in the far west, in order to hold the Indians in check, at that day constantly on the verge of outbreak when not in actual hostility. In that then remote quarter the next ten years of his life was almost continuously passed in hard but inglorious service. Nevertheless it was a fit school of preparation for the mighty struggle then impending. He had just attained in the line of promotion, a rapid rise to the coveted commission of Captain, having married his first wife in the meantime and had children born to him. Then came the great political cloudburst of '61 and the four eventful years of carnage to follow. Gentlemen on the military and naval service from the South were reduced to choice of alternatives - poverty and honor on one hand and assured pay and

Page 273

position and speedy promotion on the other; or to state it in other and plainer terms, to elect and fight for or against their mothers that bore them. To their eternal credit be it spoken, that in that test election and severe ordeal of true manhood, few wrongly voted and wrongly acted. Almost solidly their ballot was, "poverty and unsullied honor." Some few there were who otherwise elected, and some of these did strike most hurtful blow of all against their native section. Marbles and bronzes in their honor evince the victor's gratitude. Let us for sweet charity, throw the mantle over their name and fame and bury their nativity in oblivion. Bob Ransom, like a Carolinian of the olden time, the true gentleman and knightly soldier, came quick to call and laid his sabre, almost sole earthly possession, save his young wife and babies, upon the altar of his mother State. Chivalric Ellis, then on the brink of the grave, gave him the right hand of welcome and bade him raise the only regiment of horsemen then authorized. Never did he or any other Governor make more judicious selection. Never was trust more worthily executed. Never was there a more superb mounted regiment than the one he organized, equipped and carried from Ridgeway to Richmond.

        It elicited unstinted praise from the martial President down even to the mercenary contractor; and better still, aroused emulation and rivalry of similar commands from its own and sister States. In this last regard as exemplar, it was of untold service to the cause. To its first Colonel was that credit mainly due. And never was Colonel better seconded than he in his immediate subordinates, Lawrence Baker and J. B. Gordon, both later on in command of his regiment, and later still general officers. Gordon died on the field of glory, and so Baker too would have done if he hadn't had more life tenacity than nine cats combined, for he came out mangled, shattered and battered as few others did from that dread ordeal. God bless you, old "Sabreur" and friend and grant that you live to carry those glorious scars for many a year yet to come.

        Its first Colonel like Forrest, was born an ideal cavalryman. He was one of the most superb horsemen that ever

Page 274

vaulted into saddle, with the combined critical eyer of the trader and amateur in selection and the Bedouin's inherent love for the friend that bore him through trials and dangers whilst ever on the alert and lookout for these last.

        The post of danger was ever the coveted place of that model regiment, and the one by discerning generalship usually assigned it. Many and oft times have I heard grand old Hampton dilate in loving and admiring terms of its proved valor at critical juncture. Of all the daring deeds of that Preux Chevalier, I think he takes most pride in his night attack at Atlee's Station. With 306 men, 253 being of the First North Carolina Cavalry under command of Col. Wm. H. Cheek, and the remaining 53 of the Second North Carolina, under Major Andrews, all Tar Heels, he attacked Kilpatrick's entire division and caused it to retreat or rather stampede at the dead hour of night, after capturing a brigadier general and a train of other captives outnumbering the force he hed.

        I read a letter on the subject from General Hampton:

Columbia, S. C., March 4th, 1892.
My Dear Colonel:

         I am glad to learn that you are to deliver a eulogy on General Robert Ransom, for his character and career reflected honor on North Carolina. It was my good fortune to have the First North Carolina cavalry in my command during the larger part of the war, and I always attributed much of the efficiency of this noble regiment to its first Colonel, afterwards the distinguished General Robert Ransom. To him was due in large measure those soldierly qualities which won for his old regiment its high reputation, a reputation it deserved, for in my opinion there was no finer body of men in the A. of N. Va., than those composing the First North Carolina Cavalry. Of the many instances when this regiment distinguished itself I recall one, when in conjunction with a small detachment from the Second North Carolina it performed a memorable achievement in the defeat of Kilpatrick on his raid, attempting to capture the city of Richmond. With only 250 men in its hanks under command of Colonel Creek, and with fifty men of

Page 275

the Second, we struck Kilpatrick's camp at 1 o'clock in the morning in a snow storm, after marching forty miles; captured more prisoners - representing five regiments - than our number, including the officers commanding the brigade, and put to flight Kilpatrick's whole force of three brigades in which were 5,000 men. But on every field this regiment displayed conspicuous gallantry. Your State, which furnished so many gallant soldiers to the Confederacy, gave none who upheld her honor and reflected glory on our flag more bravely than did the First regiment of cavalry. I can never forget my old comrades who composed it. Peace to their dead and all honor to their living.

        Sincerely yours,


        When it is taken into account that Kilpatrick's purpose was a junction with Dahlgreen, the infamous, whose purpose was as proclaimed by papers found upon his base carcass the next day, after capturing our Capital and murdering the President and other high officials, to release the Federal prisoners and turn the city over to indiscriminate sack and pillage and ultimate destruction, the importance of the victory will be better realized. The discomfiture of this hellish scheme was mainly due to the general in command, and the general who had organized and infused his spirit into that gallant regiment and made it adequate to the desperate undertaking. But let its old commander speak for himself further on. Long before that, Colonel Ransom had been assigned to a brigade command and a little later on to a divisional. From the time of his first promotion to the end he was alternately in command of cavalry and infantry, thus proving his versatility for command, and the great confidence reposed in him by the appointing power.

        November, 1861, whilst Colonel of the First Cavalry, he led successfully in the first encounter between the cavalry of the two armies. In the spring of 1862 he was promoted Brigadier- General for the special purpose of detailing him to organize the cavalry under Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston in the West, but New Bern having fallen, this purpose was

Page 276

abandoned, and he was ordered to Eastern North Carolina to hold the enemy in check and to maintain railroad communications. In June, 1862, he was assigned to the command of the North Carolina brigade of infantry, and was with Holmes and Huger during the seven days fight, and at Malvern Hill his brigade made the last charge, and left some of its dead among the Federal guns.

        In the first Maryland campaign his brigade was a part of J. G. Walker's division, and was at the fall of Harper's Ferry and in the hard-fought battle of Sharpsburg. From the extreme right (September 17th), he was, at 9 a. m., double-quicked the left centre, where the enemy had penetrated our lines. They were driven back, and three successive attacks in overwhelming force repulsed, and the position held until our army was withdrawn on the night of the 18th. That feat is all the more worthy of mention when it is taken into account that two gallant commands had been forced back when he came to the rescue, and that his force was subjected to an artillery fire at canister range for several hours without the chance of replying.

        At Fredericksburg he commanded Walker's old division (December 13, 1862), and "was in special charge of Mars' and Willis Hill," where the Federals suffered heavier than at any other part of the line. Here it was that Meagher's famous Irish brigade was almost exterminated after various repeated charges to carry the position. Perhaps the lesson then received from the force in his front was the prompting impulse of the generous tribute paid his foeman by that gallant son of Erin, Thomas Francis Meagher. In reply to a serenade given him in Chicago after the war he was reported at the time to have used this language: "Now that they are prostrate, the question comes up, how shall we treat them? My answer is, with the utmost kindness, cordiality, generosity and magnanimity, for they deserve it. No people have ever dared as they did. No people have ever endured as they did. Aye, by the God of battles, no people have ever fought as they did. They have proven themselves the master revolutionists of all history. To treat such people otherwise than indicated would be the quintessence of baseness, cowardice and pusilanimity."

Page 277

         Had that magnanimous course prevailed, as it probably would had it been left to the decision of the true soldier element of the North, the asperities and animosities of the war had long since been as effectually wiped out as have the earthworks around your towns that the war called into being. But, alas, those "sons of thunder," mouthers, ranters and hothouse politicians, who had a Falstaffian repugnance to the villainous smell of saltpetre when they could get a whiff, and illustrate John Phoenix's sneer of "Soldiers in peace, citizens in war," had no notion of giving up their chief stock in trade.

        In January, 1863, he was ordered to North Carolina with a division to repulse a threatened attack on the W. & W. R. R. Here he remained in active service till May ensuing, when he was made Major-General and superseded Gen. D. H. Hill in the command of Richmond, when the latter was transferred to Bragg's army in the West. Here he remained about two months, when sickness compelled him to give up the command.

        In October, 1863, he was assigned to command in East Tennessee, and drove the enemy as far south as Knoxville, and in November had a brigade of cavalry, and then was ordered to Richmond "for other and distant service." It was the President's purpose to assign him to the command of the trans-Mississippi Department, and his nomination to a Lieutenant-Generalcy was sent in. But the threatened condition of affairs at Richmond, and the confidence reposed in him by the President induced a change in that arrangement, and he was assigned to the command, having for its object the defense and protection of the Confederate capital.

        How well that duty was performed is shown by a manuscript letter of Mr. Davis to him, from which I make a short extract: "You had been my main reliance for the defense of Richmond. You had shown both your gallantry and capacity before you were ordered to reinforce Beauregard for temporary service." This letter bears date of 19th of March, 1887, only two years before that immortal man left us. Only six weeks before his death I heard from his own lips strong confirmatory evidence of the high estimate in which he held General Ransom. This was fully shared by the devoted and

Page 278

gifted widow of our Chieftain. When compiling his biography, she wrote me an urgent letter to try and induce Bob Ransom to go down to Beauvoir and help her in the work. This unfortunately was out of his power to do.

        Apropos of those two men, the last time that I ever saw Gen. Robert Ransom was, I believe, in the summer of 1891, at the reunion of the old Confederate Veterans' Association at Wrightsville, at which he was the then President, and of which I had been the first. In consequence, I was booked as the orator of the occasion, and took as my theme: "Our hero President with his jailor as concomitant." In that large crowd of honored old gray beards there was no more attentive listener present than their honored head. When my address was ended, he was the first to grasp my hand and to thank me, as he was pleased to phrase it, for a worthy tribute to one of the truly grand men that the world had known. Those who knew him who uttered it can appreciate the compliment, for he was one who never indulged in double-faced meaning. Do not mistake my friends, he was not alluding to the "concomitant," the key bearer, the riveter of fetters in that deplorable episode in our national history. No, he was not referring to the Promethean torturer, by classic tradition the vulture, by ornithologists the buzzard, "exulting in the glory of the night" over the agonies of a shackeled giant. A creature we are told of insatiable maw is that same bird with gorge of honors such as a real hero has no right to aspire beyond this gorgeous thing looks higher still. There must be a special grade, forsooth, up to this time filled by three or four world-recognized heroes re-created to fit his transcendent merits. Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon. Did Hudson Lowe reach the high command of the British army? Did "Simon the cobbler" ever grasp the Marshall's baton of France?

        No, he was not talking of such a thing as this, but of an old man in gray down on the Mexico Gulf who had lately left us, weighed down by cruel usage and the cares of state. He had held the proudest and most difficult place ever held by mortal man, and filled it too. Aye, according to the Hon. Mr. Roebuck, in the House of Commons, filled it as none

Page 279

other on the then habited globe could have done. He was the head and front of the sublimest cause ever espoused by heroes at its death. He was the head and front of our offending, or, at least, as a vicarious sacrifice, they fain would so have finished him, had the law and the world's opinion permitted. Despite the systematic tortures of this petty tyrant, he lived on for twenty years and died as his friends proclaimed him, and the discriminating world now proclaims him, "one of the grand men in the tides of time." His keeper, such by the accidency of circumstances or the restriction in the field of selection, is given the pitiful power of degrading his own government in the vain endeavor to degrade the other by tyranny to its Chieftain. Pardon the emphasis of my English, oh friends, for it is my style under provocation, and is bound to come out when the artesian pressure at the bottom gives the impulse.

        But to return. Besides checkmating raiders, he was assigned to special duty under General Beauregard to meet Butler's movement near Bermuda Hundred. He commanded the left wing and repulsed the enemy's right. With him, as the General in command, there is every reason to believe that the battle below Drury's Bluff would have been a crushing and an overwhelming defeat to Butler. In special orders the day after the fight, General Beauregard was pleased to compliment his divisional General in most eulogistic terms. On the l0th of June, nearly a month later, in his report to the war office, he virtually unsays what was then published and animadverts on Generals Ransom and Whiting. There be some who opine that the change of tone in the two documents as to the first was simply self explanatory, when the commanding General discovered that there was a feeling of general disappointment at general results that day obtained, and that he preferred for others to bear the responsibility to shouldering it himself. So did not Robert Lee after Gettysburg.

        I beg to add here the following statement made in a recent letter from that good soldier, that hard fighter, that devoted and faithful man, Gen. William Gaston Lewis:

        "I shall always believe that the order I received from

Page 280

General Robert Ransom to forward and attack the enemy at double quick, saved Drury's Bluff and also Richmond."

        Be that as it may, there is no denying that the discrepancy of statement is very extraordinary, to say the least. Unfortunately for him, it was not the first time that that redoubtable gentleman had had recourse to like tactics to extenuate his own incapacity in the hour of almost assured victory. Superiors, as well as subordinates, must undergo like criticism when he needed a shield, as witness the President and the Senior General of the army. But to return to General Ransom. In June, 1864 he was assigned to the command of Early's Cavalry in his movement to meet Hunter and was with him all through his march to the rear of Washington in July, 1864. He was taken sick and relieved August 15th, 1864, and was on leave until September of same year when he was sent as President of Court of Inquiry to investigate outrages reported to have been done on Morgan's last raid into Kentucky.

        In November, 1864, he was sent to the command of Charleston and surrounding country, which renewed sickness compelled him to give up shortly afterwards.

        Such is the brief outline or synopsis of the war record of Bob Ransom, and it is one that any man and his posterity might well be proud of. As adjunct to it, pardon a few extracts from a manuscript letter of his of December, 1883. It was written to one of his old soldiers and couriers, Professor Nat Allen, of Kingstree, S. C., who submitted a sketch for a magazine publication for his revision and correction. They are given as evidence of his high sense of honor, of truth and honesty, which would not permit him to profit by the partial mistakes of a loving friend whilst at the same time he modestly claims what he was justly entitled to.

        He writes: "In some respects you are mistaken. I did not supersede or relieve Sam Jones in S. W. Virginia and East Tennessee. I reported to him as a subordinate. You were right as to my doing the work and entirely independent of his directions, for he gave me none. I did not decline to go to the trans-Mississippi, but I did not suit politicians, and the pressure being so great around Richmond, was by the

Page 281

President's order assigned command at Richmond and Department of Henrico. I stopped Butler. The affair at Rogersville was on the 6th of November, 1863. . . . I took command of Earley's Cavalry at Lynchburg, Virginia, about the 18th or 19th of June, 1864. Disorganized as was this force, I made it do some good service. I got nearer to Washington, D. C., I believe, than did any other general officer of the Confederacy, going within less than a hundred yards of the works north of the city. In November, '64, I went to Charleston, S. C., and left there just after Christmas and was no more on duty. At Malvern Hill my brigade made the last charge and my men fell at the muzzles of the enemy's cannon. At Sharpsburg, I masked (?) the junction of Early and Hood, who fought out, and repulsed Sumner's and Hooker's attacks during the day. At Fredericksburg, with less than 5,000 men I repulsed the Federal attacks with a trifling loss to us, killing over 2,000 Federals. I think though, my best service was in organizing the First North Carolina Cavalry, and in my work at Kinston, N. C., in the spring of '62, when I brought order out of chaos, after the fall of Newbern, and in my operations around Richmond in '64 (the spring), when with only a handful of men I prevented the fall of the city against raids and Butler s attacks. I have been trying to get up data, but it seems a hopeless job, and I hate to write anything which will not be complete and convincing. . . . . It does appear that I am for all my life to be at hard employment. Well, better wear out too quickly than rust out and linger too long. I return the paper, and if you can correct it satisfactorily and do justice to Brigadier-General W. E. Jones for his part at Rogersville, for you know he was in immediate command, I will as fully appreciate and recognize your kindness and friendship as a grateful man can. Be sure not to claim anything for me that is not justly mine. . . . Faithfully yours."

        Much of this letter, my friends, is repetition in the main, but it is given as confirmation of what was gleaned from other sources, for you who knew him well will affirm that he would not claim anything for himself that is not justly his."

Page 282

        And now, my friends, with a brief summary of character, we will close this too extended sketch.

        Old Tom Carlyle hath pungently said in effect if not in words, that "none but earnest men do deeds worth chronicle." True for you, old Epigram, and here is an illustration. Bob Ransom was an earnest man. Convince his judgment and every fibre and impulse of his nature was sure to follow to make that Judgment good.

        'Tis needless to say to those who knew him, that conscience had first to be convinced. That done, and work or fight or pray, "he did his level best."

        I have told you as you knew before, that he was a follower true and tried of "the Southern Cross." Those who knew him only on the surface, little thought that there was another "Cross" for which he strove within himself even more strenuously. I know it of observation in the dead hour of night, and have had it confirmed by tongue of one whose words with me is almost tantamount to either of the five senses, his old comrade in arms, the late Col. E. D. Hall; judging from his war diary he seemed never to have missed divine service when secular duties permitted his attendance. One entry is here inserted; April 8th, '64, "Last Day. Tried faithfully and piously to observe it."

                        "So groan'd Sir Launcelot in remorseful pain,
                        Not knowing he should die a holy man."

        Whilst few had higher regard for the good opinion of the discerning good, none held in more sovereign scorn the ephemeral popularity, for which small men strive as good supreme of earthly aspiration. Perhaps in him it was carried a fraction too far, both in peace and war. His idea was that an approving conscience is essential to happiness. "The rest is but tinsel and gewgaw;" so held Socrates, the philosopher wisest of men.

        It may be a fallacious creed for worldly gain, but for eternal give it me every time before that of the smiling, smirking time-server, now this, now that, all things to all men. It is essentially the faith of brave, high strung, straightforward, self-reliant natures, for sturdy independence and freedom from cant, duplicity, hypocrisy, and policy, the world has

Page 283

rarely seen Bob Ransom's match. He had an instinctive repugnance to anything that bore in slightest the semblance of unseemly claim, or cringe or fawn or untruth.

        Ladies and old comrades, I have tried to give you in my feeble way the limn and outline of a hero, one who reflected glory on his State and her cause as he did in our frail humanity and as he would have done on the "Table round of Arthur and his chosen twelve." He was one of the 126,000 according to official count, that North Carolina sent to the front in those trying and telling times. Heroes all they were, except the exceptional few homesick gentlemen who could not get along on rather precarious camp fare with only for saltpetre for seasoning, and had to go home with or without leave, for "pies and things." Scratch the names of such off the roll, and we have an immortal roster left in very truth. Her contribution to the cause, North Carolina's I mean, was so overwhelmingly in excess of the others, that to spare the feelings of the others we'll omit comparative figures. Suffice for purpose that no other State approximated her in soldiers, none surpassed her in gallant deeds, none equalled her in graves. I said that he was a unit of the 126,000 heroes, barring deserters, that are accredited to North Carolina. As times will not permit to call the roll and specify their deeds in detail, we must take a few of their typical leaders as illustrative of the men they led. Without the backing of these last they could never have risen to the proud grade of historic front. It takes heroes to make heroes. 'Tis ever so.

                        "Ye brave en masse who fall and pass to the leaden halls of death,
                        There are palms for the few, but alas for you,
                        Not a leaf from the victor's wreath.'

        Let it content us, brothers, duty well performed must needs be our meed and guerdon. What higher meed need men demand? Here are a few of you who inscribed your names high on the historic scroll, and most of whom did die or cause espoused. I take at random George Anderson and Junius Daniel, Pender and Pettigrew, Grimes Branch and Bragg, Ramseur, Hoke and the other Ransom. Of course there are many glorious names omitted, but these will do as type and illustration of that super-human army.

Page 284

        After war's stern alarms were over, he settled down to the humble citizen and devoted the remnant of his well-spent life to the improvement of the water-ways on your coast. His unpretentious after life was in keeping with the glorious record that he had previously made. He lived and died a true soldier, a good citizen and an upright gentleman.

        With bowed heads and reverential mien and grateful hearts, we thank Thee, oh God of battles and Giver of all good and perfect gifts, that in the hour of supreme grief and disappointment and the generation of sorrows and trials that have followed, thou didst vouchsafe such a spotless cause and such unsullied champions to uphold it.


West Point Then West Point Now.

(A letter written by "Senex" to the Washington Post, February 3, 1901.)

        Brutality is a synonym for fun. So says the savage whilst gloating over the agonies of his victim. So thought and thinks Dante's demons in Inferno, as they pile on the fagots for fresh arrivals in that hope-left region. It passes belief that any, save creatures of this debased and abnormal type, could take delight in suffering, and, least of all, in those of their own kind. Recent developments, however, in our two "national nurseries" for soldiers and seamen forces the reluctant conclusion that innate propensity in the baser sort or inflicting pain when solely a one-sided game is not modified by fortuitous station or a little superficial culture. The brutish instinct of the son of Aurelius, whose chief delight on the verge of manhood was to torture flies, naturally paved the way as his great fathers foresaw in his successor, to Commodus, "the execrable," torturer of men. As easy the transition from the torturer of "plebes" to the tyrant of peoples, when opportunity places it in his power. Eliminate the whole cowardly, detestable brood as fast as the vile nature is developed.

        Fifty years ago, says an old man, the older cadets would have a little harmless sport out of the newcomer by jest, gibe, or harmless boyish pranks, rarely, if ever, transcending the

Page 285

gentleman's bound of courage, decency, and inborn gentility. There was a tradition then, still current on "The Point," old Senex continues, which may have had much to do with putting a curb on vulgar, upstart pretension. But to the story, be it purely apochryphal or mostly true, and the last is my diagnosis, having ever believed that "the boy is father of the man." The tale is told as it was told at the time, half a century ago.

        Back in the "twenties," so the tradition runneth, quoth "Senex," there came to the academy a stalwart son of Kentucky, country born and country bred was he, but high-strung and self-reliant. Modest and reserved he was by high home culture and gentlemanly instinct, but punctilious to a hair's breadth in questions involving his inherent rights. Of course the lad was unknown to fame. The world had never heard of him up to that day. It has heard of him ever since, and will continue to hear whilst fame has tongue and men have ears.

        On the night after his arrival he was waited upon by a visiting squad of soldier cadets on a little "fun" intent. Soon one of his visitors passed him the lie, for specific purpose of provoking excuse for ulterior proceedings. He got it, for the next moment he was in a recumbent position from a blow between the eyes. Of course, such an unheard of presumption, a plebe striking an older cadet, could not be atoned except in blood. Such the predicate laid down by outraged dignity, to which the offender was more than acquiescent.

        "Yes," was the cool reply, "I'll fight your whole posse in detail, in any way you may elect, if you will only promise 'fair play.'"

        With both sides so very accommodating, of course the preliminaries were soon arranged.

        Place, Kosciuske's garden. Time, just after reveille in the morning. Weapons, muskets loaded with fifteen buckshot each. Distance, fifteen paces.

        One of the young gentlemen kindly voluntered to act as the plebe's second. They met according to agreement, and at the first fire the older classman fell. The younger

Page 286

proceeded at once to reload his own gun with the deliberation and nonchalance of a juvenile rabbit hunter.

        "What are you doing, Plebe?" Don't you see you have killed your man?" exclaimed his "friend," in evident alarm.

        "Well, if he is dead, a little more killing won't do him any hurt," was the calm reply. "Wake up your dead friend and tell him for me he had better proceed to do what I am doing, for I'm resolved to have another shot or two before this funny party breaks up. Here are three honest cartridges, not firecrackers. Select one for your dead friend, and another for yourself. I will keep the third. All three as well as the one in my gun barrel are charged precisely alike. Of this you must take my word, but rest assured there's lead in each. Go and report what you have heard, and let me know tile decision of yourself and friends."

        There was a hurried interchange of opinion in that mimic "council of war" when that plebe's mandate for a plebiscite became known. The story runs that the "dead man" evinced more vitality and a more pacific spirit than any other in that conclave of fun-seekers and merry-makers. They do say that after he came to life he talked with a fluency and volubility until then dormant in advocacy of acquiescing in the bullheaded plebe's demands. They do say, too, that he had a most eloquent seconder in the late "second" of the second party of the second part.

        "What do you demand?" was the answer brought back by the messenger.

        "An ample apology from each and all of you for your ungentlemanly treatment, and a promise to abstain from such in the future."

        "I am authorized to say that such demand will be complied with by all of us," was the prompt rejoinder.

        For once the hazers were hazed, and innate cruelty taught a lesson which was borne in mind for many a day thereafter.

        History tells of another plebe in the dim bygone who, single-handed, "held the bridge" against advancing hordes of normal brutality. Who will say that the incident mentioned does not entitle the later plebe to kindred plane with that since held by "the brave Horatius?" The sportsman's

Page 287

intuition on discharge told the boy that there was only a blank cartridge in his gun, and missing his target, a pair of legs, at short range settled it beyond doubt, hence his resolve to try "phlebotomy" as a curative for cowardly practical joking. It has been seen how it worked.

        It may be asked whence the obvious and admitted degeneracy in the tone and esprit de corps of the Military Academy of late years.

        "Fifty years ago," continued Senex, "the West Point corps of cadets was the most truthful, chivalrous, high-toned body of young gentlemen that could be found in the world. Truth, courage, regard for the rights of others, especially the weaker - in a word, inborn and cultivated manhood - developed men, heroes, and gentlemen, surpassing for the time of its brief existence any other school that the world had known in that regard. In those halcyon days; I had a cadet friend (one of many) to whom I was deeply attached until the inception of the war between the States, he espousing the Northern and I the Southern side of the great question at issue. The estrangement thus produced continued for many years thereafter, when by mutual consent we met again on the old tramping-ground. War questions were, by tacit understanding, ignored, and we were in our middle manhood - boys again - roaming over familiar scenes and recalling old friends and incidents of the early manhood days. He had been a ripe and ready scholar, and graduated near the head of his class and been a close student ever since. As a consequence, almost on emerging from the section room he had been called to fill one of the most important chairs in the academic staff, and he filled it creditably. In one of our turns about evening parade, I stopped and put this direct question to him:

        "'Tell me, amigo mio' whether the same high sense of honor pervades that line that did in our day, when the slightest suspicion of prevarication or falsehood, even to avoid suspension or dismissal, would consign the culprit to the category of 'the dogs,' Anglice, 'social pariahs?'

        "His answer follows, in effect: 'It grieves me, old fellow, to tell you no; so far from it, indeed, that a bare-faced lie

Page 288

on lesser inducement entails but little loss of caste among his fellows.'

        "'To what do you ascribe this woeful deterioration?' was the next query.

        "'Partly to the demoralizing results of war, but more to the loss of a typical sectional equipoise as counter-balance.'

        "Be his diagnosis of 'cause' correct or otherwise, nevertheless, conceding the predicate, and it is easy to account for the continued downward grade culminating in the abyss of infamy for the culprits now being developed."

        Macauley asserts that lying is common to all inferior races, and heaven-given to protect themselves against a superior race. If so it be, what more natural than the transition to the individual man of like base instinct from liar to torturer. The Hottentot, the Indian, and the "heathen Chinese" are masters of each accomplishment. The man with a white hide rarely proves a laggard in any field of competition on which his ambition prompts him to enter.

        Fayetteville, N. C.

W. J. G.


An Address by Col. W. J. Green, Delivered to the Young People of Fayetteville
on the Ninety-Fifth Birthday of the President of the Southern Confederacy -
The Life and Character of the Great Leader Described by One who Knew
Him Well.

        The following address on President Jefferson Davis was delivered before the young people of Fayetteville on the ninety- fifth anniversary of Mr. Davis' birthday, by Colonel Wharton J. Green. It was published in the Fayetteville Observer by request of J. E. B. Stuart chapter Daughters of the Confederacy, and a copy has been sent to The Observer with a request for its reproduction in the columns of this paper.

        "My young friends, and old friends, too, pardon a few prefatory remarks, and I will tell you in brief why we are here to-day to honor the memory of ex-President Jefferson Davis, and to make it plain, you have only to be told what manner of man he was too that we honor him because he first honored us. He was an earnest man, and as old Tom Carlyle tells us, no

Page 289

other kind of men ever achieve anything fit to live or worthy to survive in this world. He was a studious, a reflective, a God-fearing man, ever tenacious of his own rights and those of his people, but ever ready to concede as much to others, which constituted him a just man. He was a typical and representative man of a class embodying the grandest civilization and most finished society that the world contained, now fast becoming extinct, and which when it does, the world can never know it's like again. Such was the "old South," which witlings of "the new" are prone to deride as having been deficient in "Push" and appreciation of material or commercial prosperity. Correct they are, for that class was so old fogy as to have a marked preference for sterling, old-fashioned gentility over the garish substitute that has come to the front under the effulgent new order of things subsequently. This man was an illustration of the first, the purse-proud aristocracy of the last. Like the old Greek, he did not know how to play the lute or dance the Pyrrhic (or the "german" either), but he knew how to make a small State great, for he was of a race that turned out men, "high-minded men," and not mere physical and intellectual dwarfings, or moneyed mountebanks.

                        "Ill fares the land to hastening ills a prey,
                        Where wealth accumulates and men decay."

        He came of a race of modest mein, but assertive manhood, one that knew it's rights, and knowing, dared maintain. One that evolved heroes, sages, statesmen, and grandest of all gentlemen, in more prolific outcrop than any other of like time and count has ever done or will do, henceforth and forever. I repeat, after mature deliberation and due reflection, and after being a close and untiring student of history through life, that this man, Jefferson Davis, first and only President of a short lived but immortal Republic, when history comes to be written, as it should be, will loom up as one of the world's grandest characters, the peer of Aurelius, Washington and Lee (grandest triumvirate that the world has known). Can praise or appreciation go higher? From the day he mounted his pony, as a little lad of seven years

Page 290

old to ride through three great States to matriculate in his first public boarding school, he showed the stuff that was in him. Thence on to the end of his glorious and most eventful life, if he ever fell short or proved derelict in any duty devolving upon him, after filling the highest positions under two great governments; and one, the most trying and exacting ever occupied by mortal man I cannot recall it. Did ever man go to render his final account with such a balance sheet as that before? If so, close historical research has failed to bring it under my eye. He was never over elated by success, and for near three score years, he had his full allowance of it nor was he ever unduly depressed by "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune," and in his declining years, he seemed to be a favorite target for the shafts of the fickle jade. He received the praise and plaudits of the impartial world with same sublime poise and 'equanimity,' that he did the gnat stings of a petty tyrant, whose chiefest delight was to inflict the torture that he could upon his helpless victim. See latent retort of scorn:

                        "The man who dies by the adder's fang
                        May have the crawler crushed, but feels no anger;
                        'Twas the worm's nature, and some men are worms
                        In soul, more than the living things of tombs."

        This withering scorn of one of the immortal poets in speaking of a low, base, depraved nature, might be supposed to have been his thought whilst undergoing the instinctive brutality of this crawling creature. And here comes in the reason for selecting this spot as the place of our meeting. On an invalid couch and within sound of my voice lies a noble sick lady. For over twenty years she has hardly left that bed of suffering for a day at a time. Her admiration and veneration for this world hero surpasses that of any that I have ever known, except my own. When refused and denied by his resplendent jailor the commonest necessaries and comforts of life, even down to a sufficiency of bedding, after that solace of an old soldier, his pipe, had been taken away from him, it occurred to this truly good woman that a thick, warm quilt might lessen his sufferings, and thereupon she made one and sent it to him post-haste. Her unpretentious life has been replete

Page 291

with beautiful little benefactions and Christian charities, but none has reached the standard of this. I am prepared to believe on the glass of cold water basis that for this one good act alone, when she knocks at the golden gates, there will be but little question of admission on the part of the gate-keeper. Never was gift more thankfully received, as evinced in his loving inquiries about the donor on the occasion of my last visit to him, six weeks before his death. Young ladies, if I had been born of your sex and hers I would rather have been the maker and giver of that bed-spread to that poor, suffering, but immortal man, than any Zenobia, Cleopatra or Semiramis who has figured in history. Hence, although I had about resolved never to try and speak in public again; nevertheless when her request came for me to do so on this occasion, it wasn't in me to say nay. And so Mrs. Jessie K. Kyle is solely responsible for the infliction you will undergo to-day. And yet mock-modesty does not forbid the remark that, in some respects few living men are better suited to the task. :Few knew him better or longer, and none honored and revered him more in life and death. Truly can I say of him what I published of another in The Boston Herald, in a letter written from Rome some five and forty years ago. It was the spontaneous outburst of a young patriot of demoniac fury about to burst over his own beloved land: "To-day we stood on the spot where stood the bridge defended by 'The Cocles' in the brave days of Rome. Well do I recall the day, when as an unsophisticated country school boy I first perused the enchanting story, and I thought then, as I think now, that I would rather have been that bold plebian with naught to commend him of which we are aware, save a strong arm, a stout heart, and a free, unfettered spirit, backed by a patriotism paramount to every other consideration, than all of the Alexanders and Attilas, Totilas and Tamerlanes, Cæsars and Bonapartes, who have been the curse of their kind, combined and consolidated in one grand legitimate cut-throat. That was penned by a mere boy near a half a century bygone. Let him substitute the identity of another Horatius, another for the captain of the gate, a Cocles for a Cocles (blind of one eye), or, to make it plain, Jefferson Davis for Horatius, and by my conscience I stick to what was then uttered. Yea,

Page 292

verily, rather be that frail, half-blind man, the later on "Captain of the Gate," and "Holder of the Bridge," at times like his prototype of antiquity, almost single-handed, and ever with an "eye single" to his high and holy trust, than the whole aggregation of great captains only, have reddened the earth solely for selfish aim and greed of gain. My last interviews with this superbest of men that I have ever known, and I am prepared to believe that the world has ever known, came on invitation to visit him, only six or eight weeks before he left us. Perhaps the invitation was not accepted by return of mail, and I didn't put in an appearance at "Beauvoir" as fast as steam would take me. But such inference is improbable, and not true to the record. The three or four days passed in that charming abode are amongst the most delightful in recall through a somewhat eventful life. The great man was there in his beautiful, simple, every-day domestic life, and so was his devoted wife, and loving and most lovable daughter, "Our Winnie," who bore before and thence on the proudest title ever worn by woman, save one, and wore it with honor and without reproach, a title transcending even that of queenly Cornelia, of "daughter of the Scipios and mother of the Gracchi," her throne far outshining those of "Ind or Orme," or that of any other Oriental sultana or imperial princess of Rome, for whilst they might sit on one of ivory and gold "the Daughter of the Confederacy" had her's enshrined in the hearts of heroes and the wives and daughters of heroes. John Gordon, I thank you for the soubriquet, so worthily and appropriately bestowed on this fascinating young woman. Let none other ever carry it.

        In the welcome of this historic but unpretentious family, the head of which was a hero in three wars, and the architect or formulator of the most phenomenal republic of all times, were passed three of the happiest and best improved days of my life. From the worthiest of the disciples of the great Calhoun, a little teaching could but come to a would-be disciple of his, in our little daily talks. A single recital of one incident, to illustrate his wonderful nerve, power of endurance and celerty of thought and grasp, is here reproduced: "After the Rifles had repulsed the attack of the Lancers, it

Page 293

soon became obvious that we would soon have to receive another charge in overwhelming force (Buena Vista), and I realized that a change of line of battle was all important. Shortly after the necessary order was issued, and in process of execution, we came suddenly on a gulch or chasm, apparently about fifteen or twenty feet across, and of about the same depth, and sides almost precipitous. There was no chance to flank it in time for the occasion, and so it had to be crossed. I had to clear it en volt, a leap. Ordinarily, I would have had confidence in my mount to clear it, for he was of blood and mettle. But that day I had but one spur available. But crossed it had to be, so giving orders for the command to scramble down and up the side as best they could, I went back some fifty yards for purchase or impetus, and went for it at full tilt and cleared it in fine style. In the instant that I was in the air, I saw beneath a four-mule team with the driver in the agonies of death. A minute later, my men were crawling up the bank and we were soon in line and prepared to receive our visitors in a proper manner. The old soldier's face lit up with the fire of youth and old-time conflict as he told the story, and there was no brag or bravado in the recital. Behold the heroic man in the supreme moment of decision before taking that perilous vault on the success of which hinged the issue of the day and the fate of an army. This is the man whom scullions would fain degrade by the pusilanimous spite of expunging his name from national monuments and memorials, which owed their being to his patriotism and genius. A little illustration to show the folly of puny and puerile spite to reverse the reading of history. One day, in strolling through the Dogeana, or Ducal Palace of Venice, I came into the famous gallery of portraits, containing the life likenesses of all the sovereign Ducal of those immortal "Sea Kings," all save one, which was an empty frame draped in black. On demanding the meaning of my guide, the reply came, "That panel, Senor, is the one for the best known (for, like you, every stranger asks this cause of the vacant space), and many think the most illustrious of the Dogeanic line, that is he who "tamed the Turk," and curbed Florence, Pisa, Genoa and Amalfi, not to name

Page 294

the new city on the straits with its imperial upstarts of the Palæologi and Commeni stocks! The speaker was a Venetian. Opposite thereto, in the Supreme Court room in Washington, are arranged with like precision as to detail all the Chief Justices of the United States of America, all save one, and yet some there be, and their name is not meagre, who hold and maintain that the aforesaid vacant frame lacks a suitable head in the chiefest of the justiciaries of the antecedent high- sounding cognomen. No! Roger B. Taney and Jefferson Davis are there to stay, as will that of the good old Venetian, Marino Faliero, despite party pique and partisan malevolence, and the expunging chisel or wipeout brush; they are there to stay. Pigmies all bear it in mind that it is an easy thing to do, to efface or obliterate figies of giants. Better let this kind alone, for your puny scaling ladders and expunging tools can never reach the tip of their beard.

        The last time that I was brought into contact with him was at his gorgeous funeral, all things considered, perhaps, the most imposing and impressive ever accorded to man, for it was a genuine outgush of feeling from the mighty concourse assembled, estimated as high as one hundred thousand, and everything was conducted in the plainest and simplest manner, as he would have had it, for he loathed vulgar ostentation, as all truly great men do. The mighty procession followed on foot from Virginia's historic capital to quiet Hollywood, where we laid him to rest, in, perhaps, the most beautiful spot in its hallowed domains, overlooking the James from about its highest point. On the march and at the grave, the place of honor was accorded our delegation, just behind the catafalque, and at the head of the grave. His lately penned letter in commendation of their State, written to the Fayetteville committee on the centennial occasion, called for no subordinate place. A brief space thereafter, and some of us helped to place the remains of his lovely, gifted, womanly daughter by his side. Her funeral fell but little short of his - and there they rest, this father and daughter, until the resurrection morn. Never higher type of the two has this world seen. Young gentlemen and ladies, their portraiture is given in brief to arouse imitation and emulation. Time

Page 295

forbids further elaboration. Boys, there was a man, a combination, such as we will never look upon his like again.

        You will find the study of his life and character and that of the cause which he embodied, and those of the patriotic heroes who helped to uphold his hands in the hours of trial, more useful and instructive reading than the flashy trash with which the world is now inundated. Of this last class were such men as Lee, and Sidney Johnston, and Jackson and Forrest, and Hampton, and Dick Taylor, and Stuart, and the Hills, and the Lees (Steve and Custis), and half a million of other grand, self-sacrificing, patriotic heroes, some few of whom still linger superflous on the stage, whilst the bulk of them have crossed over the river and are resting in the shade of the trees. Its good reading, young gentlemen.

                        "Lives of great men all remind us,
                        We can make our lives sublime,
                        And departing, leave behind us
                        Footprints on the sands of time."

        And, again, from a favorite old volume of long ago (Festus), we read: "He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best." All of this he did. And whilst in the quotation mood let me add another in conclusion. My wife found it in place in a little book of daily devotions the day we took the funeral train at Greensboro, May 30, 1893: "And thus this man died, leaving his death an example of a noble courage and a memorial of virtue, not only unto young men, but unto all his nation." (2 Macabees, 6th chapter, 3d verse.)

        Friends, one and all, let me urge you never to speak of him in the flippant style of New England South-haters as "Jeff Davis." It comes with bad grace from a Southern tongue. He was either President Davis, or plain, simple Mr. Davis.

        My young friends, this is the ninety-fifth birthday of one of the most remarkable men who figure in history, and whose name and fame should be held dear by every one of Southern birth, now, henceforth and forever.

        I have been asked, as said, by our dear friend, Mrs. Kyle, who lies on an invalid couch near-by, and who honors his

Page 296

memory almost as much as I do, to tell you a little of what I know this truly good and great man, for both he was, and therein lay his chiefest claim upon our regard. How few fill the bill and honor the "letter of credit" on posterity as he. A truly good and a truly great man in combination! Grandest sight to men or gods it is - a truly good and a truly great man.

        The world, according to common repute, has had five great captains by name and roster - Alexander, Hannibal, Cæsar, Frederic, Napoleon. Great soldiers all they were, but not one of them could lay claim to the combination laid down of truly great and good. They lived and died before the days of Lee - the superb, the peerless soldier, who, by common consent of all competent military critics, fills the sixth place, and the needed combination. He, too, my young friends, God be praised, was one of us. But I come not to talk to you of mere soldiers to-day, though no occupation is more worthy or praiseworthy, when followed in a righteous cause, in a righteous way and for the rights of man. No other wars or warriors can be held strictly excusable in the eye of God and men. God be eternally praised, ours was one of that sort, and no cause ever had grander soldiers or more of them in proportion to opposing sides. Sidney Johnston, Lee and Jackson, with Davis as directing head, would sanctify, ennoble and glorify any cause left to the arbitrament of arms. We challenge any single war to match that immaculate quartette of immortals in chief command. Did any war ever have completer type of justification, not to speak of their great lieutenants down and through the rank and file, who knew how to die themselves and to teach others how to die for what they knew to be right?

        No, it is not of the Confederate army, but of the civic chief, without whose contriving and controlling head and directing hand, that almost invincible army as it soon came to be considered, could not have been kept afield or afoot for six months, and probably not for sixty days. And yet for four years, under his superb and matchless manipulation, it did and endured more than any other army has ever done, Greek, Roman or English not excepted. Of course, after the formative

Page 297

crisis, it became a case of mutual dependence and support, the one on the other, the executive on the army, the army on the executive. Luckily for both and for the cause, neither rarely fell short in its allotted work. But it is chiefly of the executive, or to be precise, of the presidency, and of him who filled it, that I propose to talk to you to-day. Great soldiers merely have been no rarity in the world, since wholesale throat-cutting first came into vogue. But great men, all-round men, have ever been and will ever continue to be more of a curiosity and a historic world wonder. The great Marlborough, "Little Jack Churchill," was undoubtedly a great soldier, perhaps until Lee put in an appearance, the greatest of all the English speaking ones of the tribe, but who in the face of his time-serving, self-seeking instincts and proclivities, and easy and ever-shifting political principles, and infidelity to faith and plighted word, would ever think of writing his name in the little book of truly great men. It was, I repeat, for the last named as a professional soldier to complete the combination, and stand forth for all time the model soldier and ideal man. Most fortunate he was in final development, in having for chief, one of kindred mould, and for cause one as immaculate as the untrodden snow. Both in unison were essential to the full make-up of the man. He could never have reached his full stature as commander of the "Tenth Legion" under Cæsar, or of the "Rear Guard" on the great retreat (freely rendered, "panic") under Napoleon, because, forsooth, his judgment could not have relied on the captain, or his conscience on the cause in either case. But here there was the entente cordiale, the thorough accord all around. See the outcome the grandest outcrop of creation, Davis and Lee, the grandest brace of heroes that ever immortalized any antecedent struggle between the sons of men. Are you not proud, young ladies and gentlemen, that you are of the same race and tribe with Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee? If not, you should set to work to correct the defects of neglected education. But to the work in hand, let it be premised, that it was my proud privilege to know them both, and the one whom we are considering, intimately from my boyhood days to that of his death, as numerous letters from him can attest,

Page 298

as well as the bequeathal of his inksand, most valued heirloom in my house. In that acquaintance began, ripened and continued to the end, is the secret of my love, admiration and hero-worship of the man. It has never flagged or grown dimmer, but on the contrary intensifies with each recurring year. My first acquaintance with him began during his first term in Congress, when he was a man of 37 years, and I a boy of fourteen. It is needless to say, there could be no great intimacy between two of our divergent ages, but, boarding at the same house, a Mrs. Potter's, I believe, on Pennsylvania avenue, near Sixth street, and our rooms contiguous. I being the only juvenile in the establishment, (the others being grave Senators and members of Congress,) I naturally saw much of him in his leisure hours. In fact, out of compliance with my father's request, who was his friend, but absent on business, he kept a kind of casual supervisory outlook over me until I was consigned to my college, and he to the colonelcy of the First Mississippi Rifles, in the Mexican war, which he made immortal as well as himself by his superb management. At Buena Vista, it is generally conceded that he saved the day at more than one critical juncture. The general in command, sturdy old Zach Taylor, a little later on, lovingly dubbed "Old Rough and Ready," realized his obligation to him at once and although connected by closest family tie, had refused to extend him friendly greeting for many years anterior. A well authenticated story has it that without dismounting after battle he rode over to the colonel's tent, who was lying on a pallet with a shattered foot. "Colonel Davis," he said, "will you deign to take my hand?" Quick came the reply: "More gladly, general, than I ever did anything in my life." The reconciliation was complete. Girls, would you like a little love story in this connection? Well, you shall have it. Shortly after the cadet was turned into a lieutenant he was sent to the then northwest, to wear the gilt off his epaulets and spurs, and to help catch Black Hawk, the famous Indian warrior, who was making things lively in those parts for the settlers. This was done, and the conquered Indians, including their chief, were prisoners under his care. He subsequently received the thanks of Black Hawk for his

Page 299

courtesy to the conquered. Quotation this last. Observe the difference accorded to prisoners, (though only barbarians), by a gentleman jailor and that received by himself from an inflated, upstart tyrant later on? Having served a long probation as a prisoner of war myself, I was brought in touch with each class, and to draw the line of demarcation between the two, to honor the one and to loathe and despise the other. If it be a sin to put the systematic torturer of our "grand old man" in the contemptuous class, God help me, I can't help it, and perhaps I am not disposed to make an over-strenuous effort in that direction. History tells us of many brutal keepers of illustrious State prisoners. Few, if any there are, whose name and fame I covet less than that of one Simon-the-Cobbler, the torturer unto death of a little boy king, known as the Dauphin, whose only crime was that he was the son of his father and mother, known in history as Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, who were murdered by the insane mob government of that day. The question arose what was to be done with their poor little eight- year-old orphan, then de facto King of France. Murder him they could as they had his parents, but were afraid to for fear of intensifying the horror and indignation of all Europe, already at fever heat. So it was resolved to accomplish the same end by slow, deliberate, systematic cruelty and torture. But where could a creature so base be found as to carry out such a demoniac purpose? It was at that juncture, when true soldiers held back aghast, that this creature, more loathsome than a toad, or vampire, or devil fish, came for name, laterized, as soldier. Ye Powers! for a consideration he would undertake the job. He got it, yes, Simon-the-Cobbler was promoted to be the keeper of a King with the implied, if not expressed, condition, that he was, like the fabled vulture of old, to feed on the vitals of his helpless victim until the vital spark was sped. He complied with his part of the contract with scrupulous exactitude!

        The fancy has sometimes come over me, what if you were reduced to the dread alternative of making choice between the Cobbler and another later on whose name, latinized, is Soldier. (Ye Powers eternal what a travesty on nomenclature!)

Page 300

who gladly discharged the same villainous functions; which would you rather be of the two? The question still remains unsettled in my mind, notwithstanding the difference in prominence and position of the jailors.

        But to come back to our story: The post to which the young man was assigned was under the command of a bluff old colonel with a charming daughter, who he declared with military emphasis and intonation should never marry in the army. Now that was just what the young lady wanted to do, and what the lieutenant wanted to do likewise. But the colonel was incorrigible, and the young couple, being respectors of parental authority and military mandate, were compelled to put off the nuptial day until the obstacles could be removed or avoided. Two years later he resigned his commission, and deeming now that all rational objection on the part of her father was removed, he hurried to Louisville, met his sweetheart, and the twain, Jefferson Davis and Sarah Knox Taylor, were married at the house of the bride's aunt, a sister of her father, with other near relations on hand to sanction the event by their presence, in July, 1835. All the sensational stories about an elopement are purely fabulous and without foundation. Their married life and happiness was all too short lived, for in three short months he was a widower. She was a sister of the accomplished Lieutent-General Dick Taylor, who, as a major-general in command, won one of the might-have-been decisive victories of the war, at Mansfield, but of which he or rather we were cheated, as at Bull Run and Shiloh and Murfresborough, but supernal incompetency in command after the victories were won, and who afterwards wrote one of the most graphic and interesting books of the war yet penned - "Destruction and Reconstruction." The sequel of the story has been anticipated in the "make-up" interview between the two on the field of Buena Vista, the older giving a clincher to the renewed bond of friendship with the remark: "I am convinced Jefferson, that Sarah was a better judge of men than her father." Each of them became a reluctant President later on, both preferring the camp to the cabinet. Their bond of union thence on to the end was that of father and son.

Page 301

        On the 26th of February, 1845, Mr. Davis was married to his second wife, the gifted and accomplished Varina Howell, daughter of William Burr Howell, and grand-daughter of Governor Richard Howell, of New Jersey, who still survives him, and has given us the finest and most complete life of her illustrious husband yet published and one of the model specimens of biographical literature extant.

        President Polk tendered him the commission of brigadier- general in recognition of his services at Monterey and Buena Vista, which he respectfully declined, owing to the State's rights views and doubts as to the right of appointing power.

        "President Pierce, with whom he had been domesticated for a winter when they were both young (I think at Mrs. Potter's,) in making up his cabinet in 1863, urged upon Mr. Davis the acceptance of the portfolio of war and he reluctantly took his place in the executive family March 4th, 1853. His conduct of the Department is a matter of public record. The army was judiciously but emphatically strengthened; the coast was more fully defended; the coast survey and geodetic observations were extended; and the fields of astronomy, zoology, botany and meteorology were fully exploited.

        "He ordered the survey for the construction of the Pacific railway; added to the fortifications of the New England and Pacific coasts; repressed Indian hostilities, and provided for the more speedy transportation of guns and ammunition in case of need. He recommended national armories, urged the extension of the pension system to widows and orphans of soldiers and took the initiatory measures for a retired list.

        "He also had charge of the enlargement of the national capitol by the addition of two wings to provide a new senate chamber and hall of representatives and the construction of a more imposing dome to the structure.

        "Under his administration the Washington aqueduct and Cabin John Bridge was built, the largest single span arch in the world. President Pierce's cabinet presents the only instance in the history of a presidential administration in which no change was made in the personnel. Mr. Davis was returned to the United States Senate by the Legislature of

Page 302

Mississippi in 1857 and took his seat March 4th, immediately on leaving the cabinet. On a visit to Boston he spoke at Faneuil Hall on October 12th, 1858, on the condition of the country and the dangers besetting it. He pleaded for the protection of the independence of the States for which New England and all the States fought, and for a strict construction of the constitution, framed and adopted by the founders.

        Such was this man. Jefferson Davis, the only President of the Confederate States. In a word, and take him all for all, he was in universal heroic attribute to the closest copy of the Immortal Roman that I have ever seen in life or in books. That he was a patrician, polished, cultured and refined, goes without question. A soldier, orator, organizer, writer of highest type in combination, since Imperial Cæsar passed, is my estimation of the man. Let some other nominate a worthier if he can. Add the highest attributes of self-negation, unselfishness and patriotic devotion to lifelong and unswerving principles, and some may think that the reputed first of men should take the second place in the computation."

Address by Col. W. J. Green, January 19, 1905, Before the J. E. B. Stuart Chapter, U. D. C.

Daughters of the Confederacy: At your bidding I am here to talk to you of two of the grandest men that the world has known. Nor can I imagine a more appropriate beginning than the opening words, on a similar occasion, of the most valued friend whom I have known in life; one whom I loved next to my father. What shall his title be? State Governor, U. S. Senator, Lieutenant-General, or simply that inborn, ingrained, undeviating gentleman? for each and all he was at times, and the last at all times. It is needless to say that his name is Wade Hampton. It is culled from his eloquent address delivered before the Society of Confederate Soldiers and sailors in Maryland on the 12th of October, 1871, on the Life and Character of General Robert E. Lee. Taken as a whole, it is one of the most exquisite eulogies that has ever fallen under my eye. Every word and utterance was felt to the core, for the two were of kindred soul, and twin brothers

Page 303

in loftiest patriotism and sublime self-negation. Here is the excerpt alluded to with conjoint regret that time and occasion calls for any excerpt from that superb production instead of giving it entire: "Whilst appreciating the compliment that brings me before you, it is with a profound sense of my inability to 'rise to the height of this great argument,' that I assume the duty of your kindness has imposed; nor would I venture to do so, comrades of the Confederate service, were it not that it seems to me no duty can be more sacred than that which bids every true man of the South, at all times, by all means, in all places, to pay homage to the character, and honor to the memory of our great leader. To myself, whose good fortune it was to follow that illustrious Chief from the beginning to the close of the marvelous career, which has placed his name by the side of those of the world's greatest captains - who witnessed his grand magnanimity in the flush of his proudest triumphs - his sublime serenity in the hour of disaster - who was sustained by his constant faith in the justice of his cause, encouraged by his kindness, and honored by his friendship - this call to join in doing honor to his memory has the saucity and the tenderness that death alone can give. Once again and for the last time, I seem placed on duty in the service of my old commander, and the voice that summons me here, waking many of the proudest, though saddest emotions of my heart, comes from the tomb of him who, 'though dead, yet speaketh.'"

        Ladies: By the received verdict of recognized judges in such matters, the five great captains of anthentic history, naming them in point of time, were: Alexander, Hannibal, Cæsar, Frederic, and Napoleon. Just precisely the number that there are fingers on the hand. But circumscribed as was the limit, it was held immune from intrusion of soldiers of inferior sort or minor degree until some forty years ago, when bolder iconoclasts of our own great tongue made room by way of deposition for two of their own unequalled race. 'The mad boy of Macedon,' and the almost equally mad Sage of Bradenburg, were told by these to descend from their pedestals and make obeisance to Marlborough and Lee. So it stands today, and probably will continue for centuries to come. Quintette

Page 304

of the incarnate gods of war; here they are: Hannibal, Cæsar, Napoleon, Churchill, Lee. But grand as they are, and as are the two called down, ye powers, how they pale before the courtly gentleman and unpretentious schoolmaster of Lexington. Who would hesitate in the right of choice, as between him and Imperial Cæsar? Not I, forsooth. And so by my vote he stands the foremost man of recorded time, Paul alone excepted.

        Not that it is proposed to claim equality of plane in intellectual development and varied achievement between him or any other and the phenomenal all-sided man of Rome; but it is a moot question, and ever will be, until true story of this glorious epoch is written, if written it ever will be; could even he, "noblest man that ever lived in the tide of times," have done as much under like dearth of men, money and munitions? If not, then it is clear that Robert E. Lee is entitled to his new elevation into the exclusive five awarded him by a jury, composed of such as Wolseley, Freemantle, Chesney, Henderson, and Long, whose claim to the proud title of Military Critics, is acknowledged around the world. See what the first two, who made the Pennsylvania campaign under him, for the avowed purpose of studying war under the greatest soldier of the age, have to say. General Lord Wolseley, head of the English army, has this to say: "I would instance Cæsar, Hannibal, Marlbourough, Napoleon and General Lee, as men who possessed what I regard as the highest development of military genius - men who combined with the strategic grasp of Von Moltke and the calm wisdom and just reasoning of Wellington, all the power of Marshal Bugeaud and of Souwaroff to inflame the imagination of their soldiers, and impart to them some of the fiery spirit of reckless daring which burned within their own breasts."

        One other excerpt from Col. Freemantle, commanding officer of the "Cold-stream Guards," the crack regiment of the English army of that day, must suffice in laudation of this incomparable hero and leader of heroes, the incarnation and embodiment of poetic Spain's fabled demigod, "the Cid Campeador," barring the latter's disregard of plighted truth, and proclivity to Treason, both of which were beyond his capacity.

Page 305

Quoting from a perusal, nearly forty years ante-date, and for which allowance must hence be made, this in effect, is what the gifted Englishman says of his cousin over the water: "He is the grandest and stateliest man that I have met in life, whether afoot or in the saddle, but especially the last. Serious but not over solemn, his every glance and utterance indicates the soldier and the man of thought. Free from the minor faults and foibles of manhood, such as levity, drinking, swearing, smoking, chewing, etc., his bitterest enemies, of whom there are few, have never accused him of being addicted to any of the greater." "Can pen portraiture of a perfect character go further? Ladies, you will pardon my introducing a little more quotation from illustrious contemporaries of our father land, bearing on the subject, and whose estimate is naturally free from bias and prejudice of participants in the mighty struggle of which he was the military head. Better such than my crude opinions, and better ten thousand times told, than the perverted, distorted, malicious and mendacious statements of so-called historians, God save the mark! have essayed to do through forty years of counterfeit peace, by a prostitution of their base talents to belittling him and his cause, a task which baffled about three millions of armed foemen, including John Pope and a gentleman down there, who shall be nameless, through four years that he was on the back of old "Traveller," and had attenuated legions within call. History forsooth of the United States of America! None of the recent trashy stuff for my posterity, if my interdict would prevent it. Better Munchausen, Jack, the Giant Killer, Aladdin and his lamp, and other such transparent History, to the nauseating fiction of post bellum days, which sails under the counterfeit and fictitious title "History."

        No modern history of the United States for me and mine, until it is penned beyond the shadow of Bunker's Hill, and by impartial hand.

        The most veracious and reliable history of the American Revolution ever penned, as conceded by both sides in the struggle, was written by the Italian, Dr. Botta, who had never set foot in the New World. Let us of the South bide the coming of a second Botta to do the same for us, if no son of

Page 306

the soil to the manner born, arises to essay the stupendous work, and carries it out to a successful conclusion. Until that day arrives, let the story be unwritten, if samples these be, or at least unread by Southern youth through time and eternity. Give us Munchausen in preference to mock heroics and mendacious statements, palmed off by lying knaves for ture recital. But to leave off digression. Professor George Long, one of the most profound scholars of his day, having an intense admiration for the great and good Aurelius, whom he seemed to regard as the most perfect of men, compiled and published the thoughts of his ideal hero.

        The book was hardly out of press, before it was pirated by a Northern publisher, and dedicated to a learned doctor profundus of that quarter by the name Emerson. The English author was naturally outraged by such unwarrantable impudence, not to give it the less euphonic name of forgery, and expresses his opinion in the prefatory of the ensuing edition, as here follows: "I have never dedicated a book to any man, and if I dedicated this, I should choose the man whose name seems to be most worthy to be joined to that of the Roman soldier and philosopher. I might dedicate the book to the successful general who is now President of the United States, with the hope that his integrity and justice will restore peace and happiness, so far as he can, to those unhappy States who have suffered so much from war and the unrelenting hostility of wicked men. But as the Roman poet says:

                        "Victrix causa deis placuit, sed victa Catoni."

        And if I dedicated this little book to any man, I would dedicate it to him who led the Confederate armies against the powerful invader, and retired from an unequaled task defeated, but not dishonored; to the noble Virginia soldier whose talents and virtues place him by the side of the best and wisest man who sat on the throne of the imperial Cæsars."

        Observe another tribute from another English admirer, Philip Stanhope Worsley, a poet of no mean merit, with a stanza added to the cause:

Page 307

                        "To General Lee,
                        The most stainless of living Commanders,
                        And except in fortune, the greatest,
                        This volume is presented
                        With the writer's earnest sympathy,
                        And respectful admiration."

                        "Ah realm of tears! - but let her bear
                        This blazon to the end of time:
                        No nation rose so white and fair,
                        None fell so pure of crime.

                        "The widow's moan, the orphan's wail,
                        Come round thee; but in truth be strong;
                        Eternal Right, though all else fail,
                        Can never be made Wrong."

        It would seem to be a recognized fact that all truly great Captains require at least one lieutenant, or coadjutor of kindred calibre to assist in developing or carrying out the collossal conceptions of the originating brain. Cæsar had his in the legionary chief of the immortal "Tenth," Marlborough his in Eugene, Wallenstein in Tilly, Frederick his in Zlethen, Washington in Greene, Napoleon perhaps none of marked and supereminent degree, because forsooth, he insisted upon being both in one. Like Bottom the Weaver, he insisted on playing all parts in the play himself. If he had such, it was the heroic commander on the return from Moscow, when old Michael Ney, as chief of "The Rear Guard," was saving the remnants of a disorganized army left without a directing head. These undoubtedly were priceless coadjutors to generals in command. But how far short they fell to Lee's unmatched lieutenant, the unmatchable Jackson. The two seemed designed for each other, and for the great occasion in which they were to act in respective role, so symmetrically were they adjusted each for his work. "Better it had been me than he," exclaims the great captain when he hears of the untimely fall of the other. "Not so, quoth the wounded hero, better a hundred dead Jacksons than one Lee. I would have followed him blindfolded around the world." This showed the reciprocal trust subsisting between the two, and never was there a grander alliance between Titanic spirits for the accomplishment of a mutual grand purpose. In that little word "trust" lay the secret of this man's phenomenal, marvelous success.

Page 308

Coupled to his native war genius, he had implicit trust in the justice and integrity of his cause, and absolute trust and reliance on his two superiors, the one up yonder, the other down here.

        He likewise had implicit trust in himself and his invincible "foot cavalry," who returned it to overplus. With such a sublime combine of trust, not the God forsaken, unhallowed thing of later times, no wonder he accomplished almost miracles. By good judges the grandest feat of the "little corporal" was the overthrow on lake Garda of the two great armies in three consecutive days, each his numerical superior, having left his base around beleaguered Mantna virtually depleted, in order to supply him with his little army for offensive operations against the advancing hordes. The strategist of that day and of succeeding days has branded the conception madness; the result renders a different verdict, and pronounces it sublime strategy. Be it which it may, it had it's replica on the banks of the Shenandoah, when the great lieutenant caught up with his chief quartermaster, Banks, whose duty (enforced) was to supply his men with shoes, blankets, powder and provant, and himself with lemons. Gen. Dick Taylor says that he had an insatiate appetite for that acrid fruit and was always sucking one, when resting on a march, and to supply himself with that tropical delicacy, the men were wont to say that he kept the commissary trains under constant contribution, or else in dread apprehension (be it understood, the enemy's commissariat.) But General Dick, in his appetite for epigrams or antithesis must sometimes be taken, 'cum grano,' for he intimates very broadly in his facinating book that 'old Jack, was a crazy man. If so it be, President Davis might have plagiarized his brother President across the line of mark when told that his new and last appointee to chief command was a little too given to turning the little finger above his dexter. "If I only knew his brand of whiskey," quoth Abraham," I'd send a barrel to each of my commanding Generals." Mr. Davis might have said to his illustrious brother-in- law, on basis of insinuation, "I wish I knew the mandrake that incites such madness."

        His piety or rather sanctity amounted to almost austerity,

Page 309

such as is rarely seen in camps, or in cathedrals either. It impressed his followers more forcibly than did 'old Noll's' his round-heads, for there could be no doubt of its sincerity.

        But to return to the comparison of results on Lake Garda and the Shenandoah, this must be said to the extra credit of the Corsican over the Predestinarian. The first had for antagonists trained soldiers and supposed masters of strategy, such as Wurmser, Alvinzi, Davidovich and Prevara, whilst the other was pitted against militia captains and bombastic pretenders, like Banks, Milroy, Fremont and Pope, in which last category must be excepted that sturdy old Irishman, Shields, who with odds of three to one in his favor, became the half hero of Kernstown, and might have been the whole one, had it not been for that insuperable stonewall in his way. Appropos of that event: Shortly after the war, one of Jackson's old troopers was called upon to introduce Gen. Shields to a Democratic audience in Missouri, which he did in the following neat, pithy and pointed style as "the countryman and political follower of one Jackson, a hero in three wars, a United States Senator from two or three States, and the man who came nearer whipping the other Jackson, whose surname is Stonewall, than any other man ever did, and he didn't do it by a d--n long sight."

        Pardon another anecdote which my old and honored friend, Hunter McGuire, his chief of the medical staff, gave me during one of our long talks about his idolized commander. It is told simply to illustrate his sublime self-reliance, the predominant trait of all the greatest soldiers of all time. Said the Doctor: "I was riding with him on the retreat from Kernstown, which I felt sure had been decided on against his approval. Notwithstanding the great disparity of odds against us, both in hand and within reach, I had never seen his brow so lowering and with every indication of ill humor and discontent. After riding along in silence for awhile, he remarked: "I have just done a thing that I have never done before, and shall never do again. A council of war leaves the general in command saddled with all of the responsibility, but impotent to follow his matured convictions, if a majority of the tribunal prefer a counter course.

Page 310

It was and is my belief that at the worst stage of the fight we had at worst an even chance, and, if successful, the results in our favor would have been incalculable." Some there be who think that for once, and on this occasion, it will be the cause of regret for all time that he did not follow the example of his imperious and imperial prototype, when, wrapped up in his old gray overcoat around a camp fire, he would call for the opinions of his grizzled marshals at some grave juncture, and, after hearing all, would drily remark: "Gentlemen your reasons are cogent, but whilst hearing them I have decided on a plan of my own. The council is adjourned." His usually turned out the best.

        Ladies, you have in brief, my conception of the character of this brace of most remarkable men. Immaculate in morality and Christian charity, transcendent in genius and fitness for the work they were called on to perform. There were two others of kindred type and lofty soul, who, taken in connection with them, constitute the most superlative quartette of immortals that ever reflected undying lustre on the self-same cause in the self-same epoch. Jefferson Davis and Sidney Johnston are their names. Ladies, these four were typical of the race to which you belong, the cause which you revere. No wonder you are proud of your paternity, and of their unsullied escutcheon in the noblest, purest, sublimest of earthly struggles. No wonder you exult in the soubriquet you wear: 'Daughters of the Confederacy,' and of Confederate heroes, I doff my cap and salute you in all deference and humility for trying to keep alive the spark of sacred memories, which others of the sterner sex seem equally anxious to extinguish with frivolities, (suggesting).

                        "You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet,
                        Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone?
                        Of two such lessons, why forget
                        The nobler and the manlier one?
                        You have the letters Cadmus gave -
                        Think ye he meant them for a slave?"

        It was a proud privilege to have been the countryman, the comrade, the follower (even in subordinate station) the friend of some of them, trivial honors though some might view them, which would not be exchanged for any commission

Page 311

bearing Mr. Lincoln's signature, with all the subsequent honors accruing to the possessor. It was deemed a holy duty at the time, and has been so held religiously ever since. The epithet of traitor in "foro conscientiae" would more than neutralize such rewards in a Southern man for consenting to don a blue coat at such a time. There no like imputation at taching to those of Northern birth for preferring that color to the less pretentious gray.

        Daughters of the Confederacy, I rejoice exceedingly that the Chapter of my home town bears the name and emblazon of a much loved friend and classmate of my early manhood. J. E. B. Stuart, or as he was lovingly dubbed by his intimates and associates, "Old Beauty," abbreviated into "Bute Stuart," was a man of opposities, but of singularly lovable character. To begin with, like Jackson he was essentially of a religious cast of thought in those early days, though not pushing it to the ascetic or monastic extreme of the other, he was a devout member of the Episcopal church, and on one of our walks remarked in effect, that he considered "The Litany" the most beautiful and comprehensive invocation that could be devised, both for and against; in which opinion, I have since learned to concur. And yet, withal, he was so full of exuberance of spirits that he would fain at times break forth into a loud whoop, a lively song, or a mad dash on old Flirtation walk. Such he was, half boy and half man, during the three years of our acquaintance at the academy. In his last or graduating year, I had drifted off to the University of Virginia, in search of Law and Political Economy. But when my odd friends on the Hudson were about to shake off the Cadet chrysalis for the butterfly toggery of the Lieutenant, impulse got the bettor, and I rushed on to the old tenting ground to give the glorious heroes (soon to be) a parting hand-shake. Though I say it myself, never did returning brother receive more cordial greeting. As soon as parade was over, invitations poured in by word of mouth from almost every one of the dear old fellows, to share their room for the night. But "Old Bute" took possession of me, marched me off to his room, and then down to the "mess hall," and then back again. Perhaps old J. E. B. and Rogers, his room-mate,

Page 312

devoted the evening to their final examination, then only a week off, but I don't think they did. Perhaps "Old Bute" intended that blanket which he was spreading on the floor for me instead of somebody else; but I don't think he did, as he took it himself, leaving me no other alternative but to take his bed. Perhaps we did as school girls proverbially do, when they meet after a whole year of separation, and non interchange of confidences, went to bed and went to sleep, but such is not my recollection. True, we retired at "taps," but I will not vouch that "reveille" found us asleep. Daughters of the J. E. B. S. Chapter, what is your verdict based on personal experience and presumptive inference?

        He next appears in the public eye as the capturer of that incarnate fiend Brown, at Harper's Ferry, under orders of General Lee, and who was a little later on most justly hung, whilst his cowardly, skulking adherents, devoid of every vestige of his one solitary redeeming trait, have been ever since trying to raise to the plane of apotheosis or sainthood. More deserving the halter they.

        Before he was thirty, (to be precise 27), we see him the virtual Chief of Cavalry on the Confederate army in the east, and the acknowledged "Rupert" of that branch of the service. If claim of kinship there was between him and the Royal, ill starred, and not over creditable house of Scotland, as he ever maintained there was, let us trust that it was in direct descent from that heroic Bohemian, on the maternal side, (Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia,) and not through any son of Scotia who later on became the imported crown wearers of the sister kingdom. Be they cousins or not, these two had certain strong traits of character in common. Recklessly brave, jovial, light- hearted, debonnaire they were with kindred capacity for cavalry command. Each was the world's recognized ideal of the born trooper. He was to us one of the stars of first magnitude in the resplendent galaxy, which they composed. Observe a few of the booted and spurred champions of that day: Forrest, Hampton, Van Dorn, Rosser, Wheeler, Morgan, Bob Ransom, John Wharton, the two Fitzhugh Lees, Ashby and others. Of course it is not proposed to place him or any other, in that or any antecedent war, on

Page 313

the same plane of equality with the first named, Bedford Forrest, grandest of horsemen.

        By common consent of friend and foeman alike, this phenomenal man proved himself a natural born leader of men, especially horsemen, and usually under most untoward conditions and circumstances, from the beginning to the end of the struggle, fighting odds that none other fought, and without fail to successful finish, when in chief command, and with a roster of prisoners to his credit that none other could claim except "the great captain, himself," even "Old Marse Robert." There he stands, our matchless "king of the saddle, the saber and spur." God shrive and annoynte his glorious soul for sending more than his due proportion before the judgment seat up yonder. I repeat that, to my thinking, since the birth of his brother stable boy, Joachim Murat, later on Marshal of France, and King of Naples, and for a thousand years anterior the world has not seen his prototype for the work that he was called on to discharge. Martinets may say in depreciation, that he was ill acquaint with "the school of the soldier," to which may be added, or any other; but where was the Master of Schools or of Arts that ever approached him in outreach of accomplishment?

        Ladies, if some may urge, in derogation of these homely remarks, that I have been over-lavish in superlatives, be mine the reply, that it was an epoch of superlatives, of high and low degree, in actors, in plot, in development, and events. My effort has been to confine remark to the first or higher class, where praise was legitimately due, and to ignore the other and leave it to other and more willing hand or tongue to discuss.

        Daughters of the Confederacy, of the J. E. B. Stuart Chapter, (worthy sponsorial namesake to worthy Daughters), you have sincerest appreciation for the honor done me.

        I will close by requesting my friend, Mrs. Dr. MacRae, to give us in her own inimitable style that glorious camp song, which, owing to salt in the eve and frog in the throat, I have never been able to read aloud myself.

        "It was Stonewall Jackson's way."

Page 314

Gettysburg Reminiscent - After a Hiatus of Forty Years.

FAYETTEVILLE, July 15, 1903.
(Begun as indicated by date: delayed by illness.) MR. EDITOR: -

         I am just back from Gettysburg, where I went a week or two ago to try and locate to my own satisfaction the lines of battle of the opposing armies, on the momentous first day's fight. To carry out this purpose, I put in an appearance there two days in advance of the big day. Most fortunate was the combination of time and circumstance, as it enabled me to take in the field under as good pilotage as ever falls to the lot of pilgrim to that historic shrine, and no where is such more needed. To make the tour, relying only on the vague recollection of a participant of forty years anterior, or the usual parrotty verbiage of a professional guide, is like threading the labarynth without the ball of twine.

        On the train from Baltimore, I met my old classmate, General O. O. Howard, whom I had seen but once since we were at the military academy together, half a century bygone. Notwithstanding the tremendous issue that had been involved in the meantime, and which shook the continent from centre to circumference, in which we saw duty from opposing standpoints and took sides accordingly, he to rise to high fame and distinction, whilst I came out where I went in, owing to two years imprisonment, he met me with all the cordiality, not to say impressement of uninterrupted friendship. It was illustration of an oft asserted iteration, that the spirit of class Camaraderie (as the French term it) was stronger in that school than in any other institution organized of man before or since. The bond of the Crusade was strong, and so is that of societies of cabalistic Greek letter in modern college, but neither reached the unstudied altitude of the standard there prevailing. Upon that highland Hudson cliff, nearly a hundred years anterior consecrated to Freedom, and the rights of man, were wont annually to assemble about one hundred young men, of all recognized rank, station and condition of life from every quarter, knowing nothing of each other, or of each other's antecedents. and nothing caring,

Page 315

simply content by touch and contact to let each one show what was in him. If the man, he was the recognized man, thenceforth until he proved himself less than man. If a dog of currish instincts, he went to the dogs, and there he staid. Was ever aristocracy of grander type or conception!

        There was the son of the mechanic, the farmer, the millionaire, starting the race together, with no adventitious advantage or serious set-back, by reason of paternity or pedigree. Such was the "West Point" of half a century bygone, where truth, fidelity to plight, good fellowship, good horsemanship, good markmanship were taught and inculcated to a degree unknown to any school in Scythia of old or any school subsequent in or out of Scythia. Pardon the digression. We lived together in Arcadian simplicity and brotherly love, until the edict went forth, up and cut each others' throats. In obedience to unquestioning mandate it was done. The query came, how many of our fellows were killed on your side, Green? Nine out of twelve and all general officers, was the reply; and how was it on your's, Howard? Seven out of seventeen, was the answer. Sixteen out of an aggregate of twenty-nine surviving in 1861 was a no mean showing in a class that laid aside the academic shackles less than ten years anterior thereto. Noble fellows, and duty's liegemen they were, one and all. Rather a concession that, coming from one heretofore regarded as something of tacit mourner over historic results. How was it done? I do not know unless, perhaps, I was near recaptured, this time by kindness and courtesy on the revisit to that field. Certain it is, that my feelings were not wounded by harsh or jarring criticism, or the flippant, senseless use of terms, Rebel and Rebellion, obnoxious "to ears polite," when falling from the tongues of those who judiciously espoused the winning side, but disgusting and doubly distilled when labialized by those of Southern birth. It was only used once by a Northern man in my presence, and then in a spirit of badinage: "Sit down here, you bloody old Reb, and let me see if you are the genuine article or only the counterfeit presentment." Such was the opening remark of Major-General Alex. S. Webb, who held the bloody angle against the bloodiest of all charges, fighting with

Page 316

musket in hand until it was shattered by one of Alexander's shells, and with the fragments was Alexander Webb's crownpiece. "Say, Sep, old boy, he continued, have you still got that shrug of the left shoulder?" The title "Sep" was one universally carried by all September matriculates. Howard and I were and are both "Seps," having entered on the same day, September 1st, 1850. On the night of July 1, 1903, on the stoop of that Gettysburg hotel, there were three of us better entitled to carry the soubriquet, three "Septuagenarians," as I opine. But strictly this could not apply to Webb, as he entered in June the year succeeding, and was almost the baby of his class. Howard was the senior, being, I believe, a graduate of Dartmouth, and the close contestant of Custis Lee for first honor at West Point. It was his good fortune to be the first of his grade to arrive at that little village at critical juncture, when armies were concentrating from all points. He found Reynolds in command, who was shortly afterwards killed, thus devolving the chief command on himself during the first day's fight, until Slocum came up about sundown, by whom he was by rank superseded. Judging from a dispassionate standpoint at this late day, the impartial critic must ascribe to Howard's temporary command on that momentous first day, especially in grasping the importance of Cemetery Hill and Little Round-top, and holding possession of that pivotal point until adequate reinforcements came up, the only credit that Meade can legitimately claim, and the highest ascribed to him by competent critics of his own side, of having made the three days' fight a drawn battle. It was under his guidance and description that I enjoyed the exceptional privilege of passing my two days in review, forty years afterwards, with mingled feelings of admiration for heroism, never surpassed, if ever equalled by contending sides on any field before, not to speak of a twinge of irrepressible sadness on account of those saddest words ever uttered by tongue or pen: "the might have been." Let others sing peans to victory, necessitating the overthrow of their life cherished cause and convictions. I for one have not yet attained to that sublime stage of philosophic consolation, or, to put it stronger, exultation. Does

Page 317

latter day patriotism enjoin, or hypocrisy sanction, such concession?

        Just after supper I was waited on by the committee of arrangements, with invitation from General Howard to ride with him and General Huidekoper, the two orators of the second day (Thursday) during my sojourn. It is needless to add, the courtesy was thankfully accepted, the committee promising to give "Guilford," my body servant, who was captured with me in the ordnance and wounded train on the retreat, and was in my service anterior and has been ever since, a seat with the driver. The two Generals had each given a good right arm as contribution to their cause and convictions, and I was rather shaky in the "underpinnings," owing to a return ten-pound compliment, which makes pedestrianism inconvenient in the rheumaticky stages of existence, but which is now degraded to the base use of holding my library door open, somewhat suggestive that of:

                        "Imperious Cæsar, dead, and turned to clay,
                        Might stop a hole to keep the wind away."

        The first place we went to, was what might be termed "Howard's eyrie," which, with the aid of some half dozen flights of steep stairs to reach it, gives perhaps the best view of the town and surrounding country that can be had. To scale those dizzy heights as he had done forty years and a day, preceding, for the sinister purpose of watching our coming in, and systematic spreadouts, was what I was called upon to do last Wednesday morning a week ago. There was no excuse, holdback or other get out, from that invitation, for it was a special treat given in my honor, and had I not besides just made a trip of five hundred miles to take (in) that pretty little borough? And yet candor compels the admission, that I would have vastly preferred being one of Pender's (another classmate) immortals, making that ascent, a part of the time under glorious old Isaac Trimble, to trusting a pair of three-score and ten legs up that fearful flight. Was amply compensated, however, after getting down, for apart from the historic information imparted by my distinguished guide, it was one of the finest panoramic views that I have ever seen.

Page 318

        On resuming the drive, General Howard remarked, now, gentlemen, we will first go to where Daniel's brigade, the one to which Green was attached, first put in an appearance on their forced march from Heidlersburg that morning, and where it suffered such tremendous loss at "the Deep Cut," a little later on. Captain Zeigler, will you please direct the driver? This was addressed to the fourth party of our makeup, a true gentleman, as I take him to be, a zealous soldier on the side which he deemed to be right, and perhaps, from close study and systematic research, one of the most reliable local guides there to be found. We were soon spinning along to that point over the finest road that I have ever seen, finding out as progress was made that all others in that vicinage were of kindred kind. The United States is of a surety the king of road-builders in and about national graveyards, since old Rome gave up the business on a grander scale. Apropos, I had an old kinsman, once upon a time, who was not unknown in his own State, or in all the States surrounding. When the bill for an appropriation to what was known as "The National Road," running from Cumberland to Terre Haute, was passed or pending, with every assurance of passage, Mr. Macon arose from his seat in the Senate, and proceeded to preach "The Funeral of the Constitution." His text being, that road building was extra constitutional, and that with this little shovel full of dirt for beginning on that line, the road was open to endless extension. Some there be still living who still think that that old "Strict-Constructionist" was not such an egregious ass as the new school of India-rubber expansionists would have the world believe.

        During the drive, numerous statues and mementoes to departed valor were passed in transient review; some good, others indifferent, but mostly belonging to neither category, but all remindful, in reversal, of the old Roman "lex non scripta": "Build no monuments to commemorate civil strife, or to remind posterity of bloody intestine collision." A wise as well as a valorous race was the outcrop of the Tiber she-wolf. Let not the vanquished in later "internals" make wry face or call in question the wisdom of reversal of that effete and antiquated aphorism or dictum.

Page 319

        Crossing a little bridge, the carriage was stopped and the inquiry made: "Sep, do you recognize the locality?" Of course I did, for it was "Deep-Cut," where Daniel's brigade sustained heavier loss in twenty minutes than did any other brigade during the day; adding, "there's another spot that I recall, that grove on the little eminence to our left, for it was there, while the command was undergoing desultory shelling in a prone or recumbent position, previous to the order to advance, that a chance missile exploded almost under the nose of the Second Battalion, and just behind where General Daniel and I were holding our horses. It was, perhaps, the most disastrous single shot fired during the war. Thirteen men were killed or wounded by that detonation." To that came reply, that won't do, old fellow, for in such a battle (naming it) you all sent us it's companion piece, which killed and disabled twenty-nine of ours. "By the way, you recollect my brigadier, June Daniel, whom many think was hardly second to any one that his State has sent forth?" "Yes," was the reply, I recall him, but had lost sight of identity."

        Here, Sep., is where our "mutual friend, General Huidekoper," then Colonel of the 150th Pennsylvania, was wounded, although winning promotion thereby. "There is where Archer's little brigade, having got beyond support and too far in our domain, was taken in. Off to our left there is where Gordon entered the field." And so in desultory talk pertinent to the occasion, we drove on towards the National Cemetery, but did not then enter. Howard has, as all true soldiers and the world at large has, a most exalted opinion of General Lee, both as a soldier and a man, although hardly disposed to concede with Wolseley, Henderson and other world recognized military critics of recent date, that his name is entitled to a place on the roster of the five greatest captains of authentic history. "Perhaps," he continued, "you are not aware of the reason why we did not intercept your retreat between this and the Potomac, as all judges say ought to have been done, and thus and then end the war."

        Why wasn't it done? Well, here's the reason: General ...... had the ear and confidence of Meade to a degree that

Page 320

none other had. He also had a blind admiration and confidence in Lee, as man and soldier, not surpassed by any in his great army. When the question of pursuit was under discussion during the night of the third day, and we were almost a unit in favor of it, with eye to interception before the river could be reached, the commander, of course, being noncommittal until a full expression was reached, then General ...... interposed: "Do I understand you to say, General Meade, that you have reliable information that General Lee has reported to his government, that whilst his loss has been fearful he is still in condition to repulse assault, come from what quarter it may? Then, my counsel is, let him severely alone, for I know the man, and know that he would not prevaricate even at this critical juncture to save his life, or the cause of his espousal, which he values far more highly." The point was carried, and we didn't try to cut off the retreat. Was ever higher compliment paid to the integrity of man, by either friend or foeman?

        On reaching the most observant or observable point on Cemetery Hill, which proved to be a veritable cemetery to the Confederates and their cause in the outcome of the most heroic onslaught in history, assumptively claimed by one State as a close monopoly, to the exclusion or ignoring of another that kept step on that occasion, or to be entirely accurate, showed pace to all others, we alighted to have mapped out the historic or the possibilic. That point over yonder (designating it) is where General Lee stood during the assault. There is where Sickles was in line when ordered to fall back, which order he deferred obeying until he could communicate with Meade. That big iron book is the extreme point that your advance reached - "Little Round Top" - which was confessedly the key to the situation; that little hillock to the left, which we will put off attacking until after dinner, or until tomorrow, as General H. and I have functions to discharge this afternoon in connection with an unveiling. On the way back to town remark was made on the large iron tablets, which denote the positions held by different Confederate commands at various stages. As indicators of position, I expressed my preference for these to the legion of

Page 321

bronze warriors who stood mute and unresponsive sentinels on every hand, and Howard said, so did he.

        These are apparently about six or eight feet square, with raised letters in same metal, giving name of brigade and regimental conformation of it at particular juncture. For the idea and other important data, from the Southern standpoint Major W. M. Robbins, of our State, and the Southern representative on the Battlefield Commission, is chiefly entitled to the credit.

        The drive back to dinner was along "Confederate Avenue," in front of which Colonel Alexander planted his guns, "and most judiciously planted they were," added Howard. By the way, was query, how many guns were there altogether in that terrific duel, the like of which the world has never heard? "To the best of my calculation," was the reply, "you all had 225, and I think we had about 100 more." Lying in a field hospital, a mile or so to the rear, my estimate was that there were five or six reports to the second. That would be about 300 to the minute, and 20,000 to the hour. Luckily for both sides, they were nothing like as destructive as the two we were telling about. After dinner we drove out to the unveiling of John Burns' statue, one of the best, by the way, judged artistically, that I casually took in, just finished by his State to an old burgher who insisted on achieving fame by being killed the first day "in resisting the insolent invader," according to one of the speakers. The thought obtruded on one of his auditors of a few score hecatombs of patriot heroes, or rather hundreds, who died across the river yonder to like purpose and intent, who for monumental shaft or storied urn had to be content with a soldier's grave for "resisting the insolent invader." Much depends, quoth the lion in the fable, on which side makes the statue.

        In the early part of that night, whilst sitting in front of the hotel, General Howard came up and said that Aleck Webb was up at his hotel, and expressed a desire to see me, but was unable to walk so far, and requested that I would go up and see him. The preliminaries of our interview are already inserted. We three old boys continued our talk until nearly midnight with a crowd of interested listeners

Page 322

standing around. We talked of old friends of half a century bygone, many of whom had made historic names in the interim. Webb and Jimmy Whistler, who has since died, the recognized artist of the world, were recognized contestants for first place in old Bob Weir's class of drawing. Naturally there was no love lost between them, for one football was too small for two Alexanders. I told of Jimmy's room and mine being opposite and that when he was not immersed in a novel, as was usually the case when not cartooning it, he was interrupting the serious studies of Black and Green with novelistic recitals of the Court of the Romanoffs, where his boyhood was largely spent, his father being one of the pet American engineers of that day whom the Czar had drawn around him. His neighbors thought that "the little Billee of Trilby" could grind out romance when not reading it, dear, fascinating little fellow that he was. "Make him tell you, Webb, two pretty little stories that he gave me to-day about General Lee and my dear old friend, Archy Gracie, which I am going to introduce in my address in Texas next week." Of course insistence led to violations of rule laid down by him of Avon, never to repeat. Here are the two stories, such as they are:

        One day in ranks, Gracie, who was my file follower, kept stepping on my heels, regardless of protest. Finally, my patience, like Mr. Acres' courage had all oozed out, not at the tips of my fingers but the tips of my toes, and I promised him a licking as soon as ranks were broken, which I proceeded to administer con amore. In the midst of the fun old P. de Janon had to rush up and separate us, demanding my name, which I declined to give, walking off to the barracks. Gracie gave his, but, like the true gentleman that he was, refused to give mine, remarking in emphatic tone that he was no informer. Poor fellow, he got eight extra tours of guard duty for fighting on parade ground, whilst I, for the time, went scot free, but only until the superintendent, Col. R. E. Lee, got to his office the next morning, when I too put in an appearance. "Colonel," was the opening remark, "Mr. Gracie was reported for fighting on the parade yesterday, whilst the man he was fighting goes unreported." "Well, sir?"

Page 323

"Colonel, isn't it a hard case that after getting the worst of the fight he should have to undergo all of the penalty, whilst the other fellow escapes altogether?" "Well, sir; I presume that you are the 'other fellow.'" "Yes, sir, I am, and whatever punishment is meted out to Mr. Gracie I insist upon the same for myself." With that sweet, benignant smile of his, which, once seen, could nover be forgotten, he replied, "No, sir, neither of you will suffer for this offence. Try and live together in peace and harmony hereafter." And we did, thanks to the judicious peacemaker, who interviewed "the other fellow" right afterwards.

        "That's a good one, Sep, but old Archy was not to blame for making free with your heels, for you know he was knock-kneed. Now for the other." "Well, here it is, by well authenticated report:

        "During the last days at Petersburg, when General Grant was getting to be over affectionate in his hug on 'Marse Robert,' news reached the old man that something out of routine was going on in front of Gracie's line. Thereupon he mounted'Traveller" to do a little scouting on his own hook. Hitching 'Traveller' en perdu, for fear of his getting hurt, with field glass in hand, he climbed the parapet and began his observations and mental notes, whilst the supplication arose all up and down the line: 'Come down, General Lee, for God Almighty's sake come down'; for well they knew what such exposure to the sharpshooters beyond implied. Deaf to their importunities, he remained there, poised, with glass to his eye, until the Brigadier brought him down. Placing himself between the great man and the sharpshooters, he stood with callous mien and folded arms as the order came quick and sharp, 'Get down, General Gracie, get down.' To which came the saucy reply, 'After you, General Lee.' They came down together. Heroic man, he was only anticipating his hero-fate a few brief days before it came."

        As Webb was engaged on State work, it was a source of regret all around that he couldn't be with us in our drive the next day. I hear that he is now at the head of the largest educational institution in New York City, Columia College

Page 324

alone excepted. His father was the great journalist, Gen. J. Watson Webb.

        Passing over much of the ground traversed yesterday, but more deliberately for more careful inspection, we came at last to the base of "Little Round Top," where, alighting, we proceed upward on foot. Just below and to the right, my attention was called to a field of immense boulders extending some distance each way. "Say, Sep, don't you think you all would have a rough trip over that in an assault, even if there had been no field pieces above?" I should say so. "Well, we had to get a battery over it and up there to intercept your expected arrival, a battle of Cyclops, truly. Come up here to the summit, and see the spot where our dear old classmate, Steve Weed, who was in command, was done for, and where Lieutenant Hazlitt, in command of the battery, was struck dead whilst stooping over him to receive his dying orders." Such was the tenor of conversation and observation during the two days' drive. The most interesting and artistic memento was the beautiful monument, "To Peace," near the entrance to the cemetery, which is the crowning jewel to art and sentiment in that dread Necropolis. Next to it, in merit, are the equestrian statues to Hancock and Meade, and the standing one to Warren, at least so they struck me. Such is a brief glimpse of brief revisit to that greatest of all battlefields. It is not intended to be purely descriptive. The guide books do that.

        Regretting inability to stay longer, and especially to hear Howard's speech that afternoon, which reads the best on the other side that I have ever seen, I took the 4 p. m. train for home, where I arrived two days later. When we took the wounded and ordnance train forty years ago, it took about twenty-two months to make the trip, as we were intercepted by train wreckers, who wouldn't let us keep on.

        Yours truly,


Page 325

Memorial Address in Honor of Mrs. Davis, Delivered at the
Request of J. E. B. Stuart Chapter, U. D. C., by Colonel
Wharton J. Green.

        Ladies of the U. D. C., I thank you for being permitted to lay my little sprig of immortelle on the bier of this transcendant woman. It was my proud privilege to have known her, and her immortal husband, through more than half a century, and to have loved and honored them both throughout that protracted acquaintance. A better idea of my appreciation of their great merit can best be given by a brief recital of that acquaintance, illustrated by a few homely incidents and recollections, supplemented by an article that appeared yesterday in the Observer, and which is now given:

Colonel Green and the Late Mrs. Davis.

FAYETTEVILLE, N. C., October 18, 1906.
Editor Observer, Fayetteville, N. C.

        DEAR SIR: - I send you herewith my contribution to the long list of telegrams of condolence, which are being published on the occasion of Mrs. Davis' obsequies. Sure I am that none that has gone forward is more genuine in heartfelt sympathy, for it was my proud privilege to know and love, and, as I flatter myself, to have been loved by her and her immortal husband for over half a century, as numerous letters, mementoes and keepsakes abundantly attest; and I hesitate not to say that, taken together, they were the most extraordinary married couple, intellectually and in other exalted attributes, that it has been my blessed prerogative to have known. Blessed are we amongst the short-lived nations of the earth, or the long-lived either, to have had our national autonomy illustrated by such an official head in connubio. Aurelius, worthiest of monarchs that the world has known, was mated to Faustina, but this was a perfect couple in all regards.

        Yours sincerely,


Page 326

FAYETTEVILLE, N. C., October 18,1906.
To Mrs. J. Addison Hotel Majestic, New New York.

        Please accept our heartfelt sympathy, part of which is retained for ourselves, for she was my honored friend through many years, as was your glorious father through half a century to the end.



        My acquaintance with her began in 1853 or 1854, whilst Mr. Davis was Secretary of War in President Pierce's Cabinet, and has continued ever since. That with her illustrious husband, some nine or ten years anterior, during his first term in Congress, whilst I, a lad in my teens, was left under his quasi supervisory control at the same boarding house. During his continuance in that cabinet, confessedly the strongest that the government has ever known, as, after Mr. Calhoun, he was the ablest head of the war office, she shone resplendent as the head and front of cultured and refined Washington society. And so she did too in that of the other capital, as first lady in the land, when I took tea at the Confederate White House in the closing days of the great upheaval, if "Yupon" could be called Bohea, or Okra seed Mocha. But be it what it might, right sure I am that Madame de Maintenon never decanted her costly beverages to the Grande Monarque and his satiated Court with more superb grace than did this inborn born queen her homely substitutes, born of necessity, to struggling and starving patriots. And so it was at beautiful "Beauvoir," when forced to dispense a liberal hospitality, ill suited to their meagre means. In very truth she would have shone resplendent in any circle and under all circumstances. Culture and refinement was her inborn nature, as it was her mated lord's, and ever apparent. Again, I repeat, my friends, let us be thankful that we had such representatives as these and kindred spirits to embellish the most glorious cause that ever enlisted the prowess of man, even if lost. And what shall I say of their peerless daughter, our Winnie, who wears the proudest title that woman ever bore, save one? Here is what I said to her mother during one of our morning drives along the coast: "Madam, you ought to be a proud woman, with such a

Page 327

husband and such a daughter. I wish that I was the father of a son of suitable age, with all of the reputed perfections of Crichton and Bayard combined, that I might express him down here as a candidate for your son-in-law." She was pleased to say that she would like the alliance.

        Shortly after the close of the war, whilst our immortal Chieftain was undergoing all the tortures that could be devised by that brace of petty, pompous tyrants, Stanton and Miles, in a damp, dank, loathsome dungeon, I chanced to be at the St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans when she arrived and took rooms for herself and little ones at the St. James Hotel. The term brace, which imports a pair, was employed. Respect for a certain high office, which he then filled by the accidency of murder, and regard for a noble State, which enjoyed the equivocal honor of his nativity, deters completing the triumvirate of infamy by giving his name, but who, holding the restraining power, was to say the least acquiescent and permissory to the brutality of the others. It was at this juncture that, naturally assuming she was wanting for the comforts of life, I requested her nephew, General Joe Davis, to wait on her at once and place my purse unreservedly at her disposal. He brought courteous reply, and over ample thanks, but adding that she hoped that with the strictest economy she trusted to be able to weather the storm, but continuing, tell the dear fellow that, if at any time hereafter I lack for bread, I'll know where to make a call. She forgot to do it.

Speech of Hon. Wharton J. Green, of North Carolina, in the
House of Representatives, Monday, April 21, 1884.

        The House having under consideration the motion of Mr. BEACH, to suspend the rules and adopt the resolution, submitted by the Select Committee on the Public Health, regarding the adulteration of food and Drugs -

        MR. GREEN said:

        MR. SPEAKER: It is a political axiom that the obligations of government and governed are correlative or reciprocal, protection being the duty of the first; support of the last.

Page 328

Protection is the end and aim of all government, be it patriarchal, monarchical, aristocratic, or democratic; be it absolute or constitutional. For that end primarily is all government devised. Against foreign foe and domestic force, against invasion from without and mob violence within, against open assault and covert design; to that extent at least will all concede that the government is bound to the governed. In return therefor the protected class, the mass, the people, yield obedience and support; in war their personal prowress to resist aggression, in peace and war the requisite percentage of their goods and chattels or yearly accretions, in one way or another, to maintain the organism so established. Admit the predicate, and none dare gainsay it, and the question naturally arises, where do the protective functions of Government cease? Are these exhausted when armed invading columns are beaten back, or mobs dispersed, or murderers, ravishers, burglars, house- burners, and the like caught and punished? These undoubtedly are the most palpable and glaring duties of the agent or factor known as the Government. The right of demand, however, ceases not here. Immunity from the depredations of law-breakers of every sort and designation is at least their implied right by terms of "original compact."

        I purpose to push the claim advanced to its legitimate conclusion and to arraign the counterfeiters and adulterators of meat, drink, and medicine as one of the most criminal of the criminal classes, and hence meet and fitting one for the eye of the law and the heavy hand of the law. If the proposition is, as I maintain, self-evident, then I repeat the people have the right to demand protection against their nefarious practices, covert, cowardly, and false, no less than from predatory bands on land or sea, against bandit or pirate.

        Does not well authenticated suspicion, almost tantamount to proof, if circumstantial evidence is ever proof, justify the sweeping allegation which will follow? If not, and I fail to make it so appear, then set me down as slanderer and the objects of my anathemas as spotless lambs most unjustly and unrighteously arraigned.

        Now for the premise of what I propose to prove under

Page 329

penalty to the extent of which it is here susceptible of proof. If concurrent testimony and widespread accusation through the public prints be not the offspring of pure diabolism; if chemical analysis be not a snare; and if dire effects traceable to sinister causes be not a delusion, I charge and maintain that the whole field of dietetics and medicinals, of articles that we daily eat and drink and take as doctor's stuff, teems with adulteration, noxious or innoxious as the case may be, but hurtful as a rule.

        Mr. Speaker, if this be so, it surely appertains to us to inquire into the evil and remedy to devise. If, in spite of universal attaint, it be not so, it is due to the manufacturer, compounder, and consumer alike that the negative be authoritatively established.

        The unfortunate whelp that has the cry of "mad dog" raised at his heels might as well be dead; and he who is bitten by such a one had better be, even though the poor cur be innocent of the charge. Abstract justice would enjoin that hydrophobia be established or disproved for the mutual benefit of dog and man alike. A like regard for justice would enjoin that his brother cur of our conformation and purveyor of our diet, who is pointed at as poisoner, should have like opportunity to establish innocence. It is your right, Mr. Speaker, and mine, as his alleged victims, that he be required to do it.

        Yes, sir; metaphor aside, if cause there be for this wholesale arraignment, and cause for one I think there be, it is your right and mine, and that of every man who voted for and against us, to have the thing inquired into. If the charge be established against manufacturer or compounder of killing off innocent people by thousands and tens of thousands by slow process and homeophathic doses, wherein has he the advantage over his brother scoundrel, who prefers active agencies and larger measure to remove some hated rival or ambitious foe, as did the Borgias and others of the vile accursed class, through the medium of Belladonna, of arsenic, or of ratsbane?

        For one, I hold the last less culpable. They killed by units, these by thousands. Better, a thousand times better,

Page 330

the allopathic dose administered by a Madame Brinvilliers, to the graduated modicums of the abominable drugs which enter into our daily food, and protract the life in misery of the victims by thousands, as said, through one or two or twenty years as may be.

        We will probably be met at the threshold of investigation by hackneyed cry of "sumptuary laws." Sir, no one holds in utter detestation laws of the class named more than I. But why, I demand, should those against slow insidious poisoning be so classed more than the others, aimed against the deadly drugs when give for sinister and specific object?

        Yes, sir; I go further and maintain that it is within our province to prevent the admixture of spurious, base, or bad ingredients in our daily food, and have it palmed off upon an unsuspecting world as a better article even if harmless in effect. If it is our right, then when poison enters it follows, as the night the day, it is our duty. Sir, the vile practice of adulteration engendered by sordid greed of gain is, I repeat, now so universal and widespread that it is the merest chance, be your grocer who he may, that you can obtain any genuine edible article, if diabolic science will permit it to be counterfeited to advantage. Sugar, flour, sirups, baking-powders, pepper, spices, brandy, whisky, vinegar, wines, teas, pickles, preserves, ground coffee, canned goods, mustard, lard, butter, table oil, curry, and a host of other articles of every-day life too numerous to mention, all fall to a considerable extent under my sweeping accusation and desired interdict. We buy them, knowing that they are probably spurious.

        But what alternative have we except to restrict ourselves to old-fashioned hog and hominy of our own raising, or imitate that would-be heroic idiot, Dr. Tanner. Surely, Mr. Speaker, there must be some adequate remedy for this crying evil, this monstrous crime. That remedy, I repeat it, is ours to devise. If we are encountered by constitutional objection, then give us an amendment to that India-rubber document that will compass the aim designed. The Constitution of the land ought to be able to protect the physical constitutions of its citizens against the machinations of demons disguised

Page 331

as men. State enactments are utterly inadequate to suppress the evil. We have laws, and stringent ones they are, imposing suitable and adequate penalties upon counterfeiters of the coin and currency of the country. Are there any against counterfeiting articles of diet, drink, and medicine? If so, sir, the brazen effrontery with which they are disregarded proves their total inadequacy. In Heaven's name, why are not the two at least of parity?

        Can any hold that the last is crime of minor grade? Who will say that he who stamps and passes off little bits of baser metal than the standard bullion to put into your pockets is guilty of greater wrong than he who prepares and sells you base and counterfeit compounds, not to say deadly, to put into your stomach? Possibly the reason for imposing penalties in the one case and neglect to do so in the other is that our ancestors could not realize that human cupidity could prompt such depravity as trifling with the health, well-being, and very existence of myriads of their fellow-men.

        Just as the Romans had no special punishment for parricide. Just as our old English progenitors had no special penalty for that most cowardly and repulsive of all known crimes, the taking of life by deadly drugs, until in a very late reign (one of the last Henrys, I believe) the crime was proven and special penalty thenceforth imposed to "fit that vile Italian crime which hath lately entered into these realms." The culprit was to be boiled to death in oil. Meet punishment that and fitting for all the vile, accursed class, whether the agency employed be the famous, or, rather, infamous, "Aqua Tofana," or "Elixir of St. Nicholas," which could be gauged to do its hellish work in a day, a week, a month, or a year, or the slower poisons of our day, which enter into our daily food and permits its millions of victims to live out nearly their allotted span, but with impaired constitutions, both mental and physical, for years before their end.

        Mr. Speaker, were the adulterated substance sold entirely harmless but of inferior merit or virtue to that which it purports to be, it would still be a fraud, and should as such be punished. But when baleful and deadly ingredients enter

Page 332

into the composition, capital felony should be its status in the list of crimes, and the oil cauldron the bath in which the vile miscreant, be he manufacturer, manipulator, or expert, should be required to lave his sordid soul.

        If any one within the compass of my voice doubts the extent and enormity of the evil complained of let him go to any first- class grocery in this town, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, or Boston, and attempt to make out a bill of goods with the guarantee of purity attached. Though he stand with golden ducats or silver dollars in his hand to settle upon compliance, I prophesy that the bill will not be filled without abatement of proviso. If these middle-men, or rather first purchasers, honest as a class as I concede them to be, and as a class bitterly opposed to the necessity which exists of selling the counterfeit commodities, will not sign the "bill of health required, is it not prima facie evidence that their cargo is taint and not entitled to pratique; in other words, that it is an unwholesome and sickly lot?

        Mr. Speaker, I had occasion some two years ago to lay in a supply of commissary stores for those in my employ, and told my grocer in a neighboring city I desired a pure article of sirup. His reply was, "You can not get it here, nor do I believe you can in or out of the city;" and so with numbers of other articles. When the item of sugar on my list was reached he was equally honest and candid. "We can sell you a pure article of sugar," quoth he, "provided you take the granulated. Nothing else will we guarantee." "And why the granulated?" The reply was pert and to the point: "Because refiners and doctorers have not yet been able to counterfeit it to paying profit."

        This, Mr. Speaker, is a sample of the coloquy on that occasion. Did the vendor fall in my esteem or would he have done so in yours on account of the admissions made? No, sir; his candor stamped him an honest man; but it placed the brand of knave, swindler, and scoundrel on him front whom he purchased, assuming that he bought at the fountainhead or of him who made, compounded, or prepared the noxious stuffs. Probably every gentleman on this floor knows what steatite or soapstone is. If not, I will state that it is a

Page 333

soft, calcareous, easily cut rock, but probably surpassing any other in weight and density. Presumptively therefore not the most digestible article of diet known.

        True, as we are told, it is eaten by the natives of the Senegal, the Oronoco, and New Caledonia. But, I opine, sir, that it is under the spur of dire necessity and not from choice, and that these poor creatures, but one degree above the ape or the Digger Indian, would much prefer that his muffins, biscuits, or doughnuts had for basis rye, wheat, corn, or buckwheat, or even the favorite cereal of "Old Caledonia," which, according to old Sam Johnson, "is eaten in England by horses and in Scotland by men." Now, sir, what would be your inference, if told by the proprietor of one of these saponaceous quarries, as I have been, that he finds a ready sale for all the "soapstone flour" that he can grind? And who are your customers? Chiefly commercial millers and sugar refiners.

        Mine, sir, was that the information tallied with what I had previously seen in print, that the vile stuff enters largely into our tea, coffee, toddy, sweetmeats, and daily bread. Sir, it behooves those who hear to ponder well. Steatite may be an excellent lining for stoves. I doubt its coequal fitness for stomachs. "Hot biscuit for breakfast," "light bread for supper" was wont to gladden my heart in younger days, for in the house of an honored uncle who raised me "corn bread" as a rule was the staple staff of life.

        Think you that biscuit for breakfast or light bread for supper (Heaven save the mark, how could it have been made light?) would have been as palatable as ash cake or johnny if one of the descendants of old Job's comforters had kindly volunteered the information that they were to be made out of nice white soapstone flour instead of the glorious golden grain grown on the broad acres around me?

        Will men, grown-up men, lawmakers, be less alive to their corporeal well-being and that of those who made them such and confidingly intrusted their well-being into their hands? In licensing this monstrous wrong, as we permissively do, wherein have we the advantage of the toad as regards the reasoning faculty? I have been told that that creature,

Page 334

esthetically, intellectually, and as a mold of form one of the very lowest of the low order of batrachia, will eat his fill of leaden shot, when thrown to him one by one, until by excess of artificial weight he is utterly unable to move.

        "Miserable creature!" was my involuntary exclamation, "how does he manage to digest them?" "Oh," replied my juvenile informant, "he doesn't disgust 'em at all. We takes him by the left hind leg and holds him up, and all of the shot runs out of his mouth."

        Blessed batrachian, that can eat even lead with impunity, and disgorge the overweight through the co-operative agency of a hoodlum, a scientist, or other experimentalist.

        Miserable, besotted bipeds, who will persist in breaking bread, and eating it, too, knowing full well that it is of the leaden sort, and that they have no kind, considerate hoodlum to relieve them by the left-hind-leg process.

        In the late war, Mr. Speaker, the men who wore the soapstone-color coat did bake and break and eat the bread whereof I speak, a simple admixture of flour and water, and ofttimes not half cooked at that. But, thanks to short rations, long marches, hard work, and easy conscience they managed to worry it through, and would have done it in my opinion though 50 per cent. of their scant handful of flour had been soapstone, sawdust, or brick-dust either.

        But, sir, this should not embolden us to hope for like immunity. The digestive organism of the ostrich, the alligator, the Confederate soldier, and the anaconda is an exclusive prerogative, a close monoply, and does not appertain to all the sons of Adam alike. Give us, then, a little more starch and less steatite, more gluten and less glucose or crude glass.

        Our New England friends, Mr. Speaker, have the word "sharp," somewhat analogous to our Southern one of "smart," to qualify the possessor of "ways that are dark" and means that are doubtful, which, though not exactly beyond the pale of the law, are nevertheless beyond that attaching to the standard of a well-recognized morality. He who sells you sanded sugar, glucose sirup for the genuine article, soapstone or plaster-of- paris flour, cocoanut-shell black pepper, or red-lead cayenne is doubtless "sharp," "cute," "smart," and is bound to turn his penny (honest or otherwise is immaterial to him); but, sir, he is none the less a cold-blooded, calculating knave and scoundrel, and should be made amenable to the law. "Tell me not of the patriotism of such," exclaimed the impassioned Burke, in speaking of a far more honorable class, "his desk is his altar, his ledger is his Bible, and his gold is his god."

        Mr. Speaker, under the operation of our delectable revenue laws, as at present enforced, there are grievous penalties attaching to illicit distillation, as many of the poor mountaineers in my poor State know full well to their cost. Now, sir, I opine that if the restrictions on distillation, including tax on the legitimate article and pains and penalties on the illicit or "moonshine," were removed altogether, and these makers of a pure article of whisky and brandy left as free as their fathers were in that regard, and the same punishments doubled or quadrupled meted out to the compounders of the poisonous stuffs engendered by the tricks of chemistry, the cause of morality and the sanitary cause, not to say the cause of liberty and sobriety, would be materially subserved thereby.

        Let me give you an instance in proof. When a younger man than I am today by many years I passed some weeks in Bonnie Scotland. I had heard before getting there that the breechless sons of the Lothians were not averse to a wee drop of "rock and rye," and not overparticular if the rock was left out, and faith, Mr. Speaker, observations convinced me that they had not been slandered. Why, sir, one-half of the average potations, judging from what I saw, and assuming that it was a national average, would in this country, in a single year, more than double the victims of drink mania and cram to repletion our inebriate asylums. And yet no such dire effect was visible there; mania a potu, like spinal meningitis, was literally unknown.

        Expressing my surprise to a friend in Edinburgh at the marked difference in capacity of absorption between the denizens of the two countries, I asked the cause. Sir, I was not and am not satisfied with the explanation he vouchsafed. It was, as recollected, that the volume of pyroligneous acid

Page 336

evolved from peat smoke had a purifying effect upon the liquid distilled. That may be science, but it is not sense. My explanation is simply pure whisky. The Highlandmen of Scotland in that day, like the highlandmen of North Carolina in ours, were not up to the tricks and devices of devilish science. They made an honest article of whisky, drank it, and lived out their allotted span a brave, hardy, simple race on their bleak free mountain-sides.

        Like cause would produce like effect in our own midst. Now, Mr. Speaker, coming back to our mutton, compel the nefarious manufacturer or compounder to drink his own vile decoctions with a slight additional infusion of fusil oil, to be administered by the public executioner, and bury his accursed secret with him, and, mark the prediction, delirium tremens and other resulting effects, such as wife-beating and kindred brutality, misery, and murder, will very materially diminish as the quality improves.

        What is true of distilled spirits is none the less so of beer and other malt liquors, wines, and cordials; for as enormous as the profits are in both cases, they are not sufficient to satisfy these rapacious ghouls. The beer-maker is as little content with those resulting from accredited hops as the basis as is the whisky or brandy maker with him from honest rye, corn, wheat, or fruits. It is said that the highest encomium that an Irishman can pay his poteen when, with the characteristic hospitality of his race, he sets it before his guest, is the trite remark: "The divil a penny of rivenue has it paid the Queen."

        But he who clinks canakins with honest Pat has the satisfaction of feeling that while Her Majesty's money-bags may thereby weigh less than they ought nevertheless the devil a drop of vile chemicals or doctor's stuff has entered into its composition. So, believing, Mr. Speaker, if I were snake-bitten in blessed St. Patrick's land I would vastly prefer the only recognized antidote on such occasions (and efficacious I know it to be by personal experience in a Robeson County swamp) to be of the unpaid-tax quality to the so-called honest tax-paid stuff stretched out by the infusion of strychnine and other deadly drugs. Let casuists determine which is the

Page 337

most meretricious, the man who makes the first or the government which permits the last to be made.

        It is safe to assume, Mr. Speaker, that were the question put to the leading medical men of the country a large majority of them would decide that the alarming increase of late years in nervous, cerebral, and kidney diseases is directly traceable to the cause assigned, namely, adulterated drinks of all kinds, including vinous, malt and distilled. Is not insanity fearfully on the increase, as evidenced by the overcrowded bedlams of the land and the mania for self-destruction? Then seek for reason why, and find it, too, no less in poisoned beverage than in the growing passion for wild speculation.

        In view of the statements made and facts alleged, all of which are susceptible of proof, I ask, and ask with due deliberation, might not the philanthropist better subserve the cause of humanity by directing the batteries of his denunciation from alcoholic drinks per se to the adulteration of them; by advocating purity instead of prohibition?

        I have thus, Mr. Speaker, briefly adverted to abuses falling under the general head of meat and drink adulteration. The witnesses upon whom it is relied to sustain allegation will appear in appendix.

        But, sir, the field is too extensive, proofs too voluminous, if proof be needed where criminality stands confessed, to permit my going into further detail under this head of my subject. But I were derelict to my subject, my constituents, and myself did I close without some allusion to like vicious practice in the make-up of medicine; for, sir, human depravity, with utter disregard of human life, has even dared invade the sacred precincts of the pharmacopoeia, to lift the tops of the mystic jars on shelves arranged, and to infuse base substance in their portentous contents, where oft the difference of a feather's weight may involve the mortal life of immortal men. Medical skill is impotent to act and powerless to grapple with fell disease in critical juncture, because by base admixture with medicinals it is at loss to know what measure to prescribe to compass end desired.

        I broadly, boldly make the charge and challenge the refutal of investigation. A distinguished physician told me

Page 338

some years since, in a neighboring city, that probably more deaths resulted directly and indirectly from that source than would from disease if left to itself; and that he made it an inflexible rule never to prescribe medicines unless he was well acquainted with the commercial and moral character of the druggist who was to supply them. If such is the state of the case in a great city, what chance is there of obtaining pure drugs in village shops and country stores?

        Mr. Speaker, this branch of my subject is certainly one demanding most instant and efficacious remedy at our hands. Of all men in the world the chemist and wholesale druggist has least occasion and excuse for tampering with his wares. His profits are enormous when confined to legitimate channels.

        I do not propose, Mr. Speaker, to take down and look into each separate jar on the shelves of the Constitution amender; am not sufficiently deep in science for that; but I do intend to look into one - and judge the rest by inference.

        I see before me "sulphate of quinia." That means in our vernacular "quinine," qui-nine, or quin-in, as folks prefer to call it. "Jesuit's bark" is the staple from which it is compounded, and the introduction of which to the European world entitles the Society of Loyola to the everlasting gratitude of a sinful and suffering world. It is today, in the world's conception, almost as indispensable an article to man's welfare as bread or meat or drink. I have heard that out on the raging Wabash or in the Arkansas bottom, where the musical mosquito delighteth to hum and to make his home, where the ague shaketh the sons of men, they would willingly swap, pound for ounce, blood for Jesuit's bark in its etherealized state, known as quinine.

        Now, sir, a short time back, a Democratic House of Representatives, recognizing the indispensable necessity of this light but costly white powder, erased it from the list of the thousand or two other protected articles and put it on the free- list, and the whole country arose and called that Congress blessed. Quinine fell from five or six dollars an ounce to $1.50 nominally. But, sir, I opine the reduction in price is more fictitious than real. The quinine of to-day is not as

Page 339

a rule the quinine of former times. Then it was bitter - deucedly bitter - and there was no horrid apprehension of morphia or other deadly drug left in the mind as afterclap. To-day it is far different, for although not exactly a confection or sweetmeat, it has nevertheless so far laid aside its acerbity as to suggest the thought, a la Mrs. Toodles, what a convenient thing a stomach-pump is to have in the house when one is taking white powders.

        Now, sir, I ask why the change in its taste, which is so perceptible as to be the subject of general remark? Is it that the bark of the cinchona tree is losing its natural properties, or is it that less expensive barks and other substances are worked in with it to increase bulk and weight, and thus make up for the falling off in price?

        It would be an interesting investigation if the question were submitted to a special committee of medical experts. The cinchona is doubtless to-day what it was when Pizarro's followers first found it, and so is red oak or willow.

        Almost every leading government in Europe has stringent laws against adulteration. Of these England has perhaps the most perfect and complete system, and yet it is only of yesterday's growth. Less than thirty years ago Dr. John Postgate, a country physician, seeing the abuses perpetrated by adulterators of every class, took the matter in hand and after years of persistent effort, beginning with only one supporter in Parliament, Mr. Scholefield, and with all the large manufacturers and dealers in Great Britain hounding and denouncing him, succeeded at last in having his ideas adopted as embodied in the adulteration acts of the last decade.

        As a public benefactor he will rank in the history of his country as the peer of Jenner, Stevenson, Arkwright, and Davy; for food adulteration is virtually wiped out so far as it affects English palates and constitutions. But what compounders are forbidden to sell at home they can readily market abroad. For is it not obvious that as long as they are debarred a home market by repressory edicts they will naturally export their base counterfeits to our own more tolerant shores? Eliminate the foreign supply of poisoned and poisonous foods, and forbid the sale of "home manufactured"

Page 340

stuffs of kindred class in the District of Columbia and where- ever else the strong arm of the Federal Government will reach, and a most important step in the work of their eradication and extermination will have been accomplished.

        Mr. Speaker, my remarks as originally prepared after a careful investigation of the subject contemplated a broader field of inquiry and ultimate repression than that embraced in the bill under consideration. They were intended to sustain my bill, or rather resolution, introduced early in the session, authorizing the Committee of Public Health to inquire into the truth or falsity of the alleged abuses in this regard, and to suggest what legislation should be had for their eradication - a simple inquiry into damning allegations, with an eye to a simple recommendation of remedy. It received, I believe, the unanimous approval of that honorable committee, and they and I were alike at loss when, during my absence at the death-bed of a loved and honored relative, it was killed by a majority of one on the floor of this House. My unavoidable absence on that occasion will be one of the regrets of my life.

        In conclusion I now propose, Mr. Speaker, to introduce the witnesses and to adduce the proofs upon which it is intended to rely to sustain the sweeping allegations made. These will appear in the form of appendix in the Record. If they seem to any to take more space than is usually accorded in that diurnal history of our doings to any abstract question let the importance of the subject and the ignorance and indifference which prevail regarding it stand me in justification and excuse. As bulky as it will appear, it is not a tithe of what might be adduced from these and other high authorities in support of the existence of the evils charged and the necessity for remedial relief. Let us hearken to their warning and give that relief to the fullest extent of our constitutional powers. As transcendently important as I believe it to be, I would not have this House go one step beyond to accomplish the end in view under "the general welfare" clause.

Page 341



        Some thirty years ago the London Lancet, the leading medical and surgical journal of the world, owing to the repeated exposures of Dr. Postgate, determined to employ at its own expense one of the best analytical chemists of the age to investigate the subject. For that purpose Dr. Hassall, a man of national reputation and fellow of a dozen learned societies, was selected. He devoted several years to the work and collated his researches in a large sized volume. His book constituted the basis of subsequent Parliamentary investigation, which gives it quasi-official character. From it will be found below copious extracts bearing upon a few of the most glaring abuses:

        During the course of the last six years the author has examined minutely and scrupulously, microscopically and chemically, over 3,000 samples of the principal articles of consumption, as well as many drugs; and as the one great result of this somewhat extended experience, he affirms that some short time back there were few articles of consumption the adulteration of which was practicable, and which, at the same time, could be rendered profitable, which were not extensively subjected to adulteration.

        * * * * * * * *

        Dr. Normandy, one of the highest authorities of the age, concludes his evidence before the parliamentary committee with this remark:

        "Adulteration is a widespread evil which has invaded every branch of commerce; everything which can be mixed or adulterated or debased in any way is debased."

        * * * * * * * *

        The subjoined table contains not only the names of the substances used in adulteration possessing more or less injurious properties, but also the names of the articles in which they have been discovered. It will be perceived that the number of injurious substances thus employed is very great.

Injurious substances actually detected in adulterated articles of consumption.

Cocculus indicus ..... Beer, rum.
Arsenic of copper, emeral green, or
Scheele's green.
Colored sugar confectionery.
Sulphate of copper or blue vitriol,
and acetate of copper or verdigri.
Pickles, bottled fruits, and vegetables,
preserves, dried and crystalized fruits.
Carbonate of copper or verditer... Colored sugar, confectionery and tea.

Page 342

Injurious substances actually detected in adulterated articles of consumption.
The three chromates of lead ..... Custard powders, sugar, confeetionery,
tea, and snuff.
Red oxide of lead ..... Cayenne, curry-powder.
Red ferruginous earths, as Venetian
red, bole Armenian, red and
yellow ochers, umber, etc.
Red sauces, as shrimp, lobster, anchovy,
and tomato sauces, and in
potted meats and fish, cocoa, chicory,
anchovies, annatto, cheese, tea,
and snuff, etc.
Carbonate of lead ..... Sugar, confectionery.
Plumbago or black lead ..... In certain black and Li teas.
Bisulphuret of mercury or cinnabar. Cayenne, sugar, confectionery.
Sulphate of iron ..... Redried tea, and in beer.
Sulphate of copper ..... Bread, rarely; annatto.
Cayenne ..... Gin, rum, ginger, and mustard.
Gamboge ..... Sugar confectionery.
Chromates of potash ..... Tea and snuff.
The three false Brunswick greens,
being mixtures of the chromates
of lead and indigo, or Prussian blue.
Sugar confectionery.
Oxychlorides of copper or true
Brunswick greens.
Sugar confectionery.
Orpiment or sulphuret of arsenicum. Sugar confectionery.
Ferrocyanide of iron or Prussian
Sugar confectionery.
Antwerp blue or Prussian blue and
Sugar confectionery.
Indigo ..... Sugar confectionery.
Ultramarine ..... Sugar confectionery.
Artificial ultramarine ..... Sugar confectionery.
Hydrated sulphate of lime, mineral
white, or plaster of Paris.
Flour, bread, sugar confectionery.
Alum........ Bread and flour.
Sulphuric acid ..... Vinegar, gin.
Bronze powders or alloys of
copper and zinc.
Sugar confectionery.

        These disclosures, be it recollected, were made nearly thirty years ago, and when food-poisoning was but yet in its infancy. It was long anterior to the day when tallow and suet supplanted legitimate and normal butter by most abnormal and disgusting process; or glucose, cane-sugar, or scores of other improvements had been made upon the recognized time-honored processes of our fathers. In this, as in other things, the world has moved since then.

Page 343


        Dr. Hassall concludes his general introduction on the subject of food adulteration in the following pertinent and impressive words:

        Legislation on the subject is required -

        First. For the protection of the public health. The evidence given before the parliamentary committee on adulteration proves that the deadliest poisons are daily resorted to for purposes of adulteration, to the injury of the health and the destruction n of the lives of thousands. There is scarcely a poisonous pigment known in these islands which are not thus employed.

        Second. For the protection of the revenue. This will be readily acknowledged when it is known that nearly half the national revenue is derived from taxes on food and beverages. It has already been shown that not long since adulteration was rife, and it still exists to a large extent in nearly all articles of consumption, both solid and fluid, and including even those under the supervision of the excise.

        Third. In the interests of the honest merchant and trader. The upright trader is placed in a most trying and unfair position in consequence of adulteration. He is exposed to the most ruinous and unscrupulous competition; too often he is undersold, and his business thus taken from him. It is therefore to the interest of the honest trader that effective legislation should take place, and not only is it to his interest, but we can state that it is his most anxious desire that adulteration should be abolished. In advocating the suppression of adulteration we are, therefore, advocating the rights and interests of all honorable traders.

        Fourth. For the sake of the consumer. That the consumer is extensively robbed through adulteration, sometimes of his health, but always of his money, is unquestionable. It is, however, the poor man, the laborer and the artisan, who is the most extensively defrauded; for occupied early and late with his daily labor, often in debt with those with whom he deals, he has no time or power to help himself in the matter, and if he had the time he still would require the requisite knowledge. The subject of adulteration, therefore, while it concerns all classes, is eminently a poor man's question; the extent to which he is cheated through adulteration is really enormous.

        Fifth. On the ground of public morality. Adulteration involves deception, dishonesty, fraud, and robbery, and since adulteration is so prevalent, so equally must these vices prevail to the serious detriment of public morality and to the injury of the character of the whole nation for probity in the eves of the world. We repeat, then, that some prompt, active, and efficient legislative interference is demanded for the sake of public morality and the character of this country among the nations of the world.

    Hassall's adulteration of food.

  • From an examination of this table it appears:
  • 1. That of the thirty-four coffees, thirty-one were adulterated.
  • 2. That chicory was present in thirty-one of the samples.
  • 3. Roasted corn in twelve.
  • 4. Beans and potato flour, each in one sample.
    Page 344

  • 5. That in sixteen cases the adulteration consisted of chicory only.
  • 6. That in the remaining fifteen samples the adulteration consisted of chicory and either roasted corn, beans, or potatoes.
  • 7. That in many instances the quantity of coffee present was very small; while in others it formed not more than one-fifth, fourth, third, half, and so on of the whole article.

        We are satisfied that the gross aggregate of the adulterations detected did not amount to less than one-third of the entire bulk of the quantity purchased.

        * * * * * * * *

        Speaking of the articles used in the adulteration of tea, the author says:

        "The principal of these substances are Dutch pink, rose pink, logwood, tumeric, carbonate of lime, carbonate of magnesia, steatite, soapstone or silicate of magnesia, chromate of lead, the chromates of potash, ferrocyanide of iron, indigo, carbonate of copper, acetate of copper, arsenic of copper."

        * * * * * * * *

        Thus it has been shown that exhausted tea-leaves are sometimes made up with gum, etc., and resold to the public as genuine black tea, and, when artificially colored and glazed, even as green tea.

        That the substances employed in the coloring are in many cases very much more objectionable and injurious than those used by the Chinese, being sometimes highly poisonous.

        * * * * * * * *

        Out of seventy-two samples of brown sugar, as procured at different shops, subjected to examination, fragments of sugar-cane were present in all but one. These were usually so small that they were visible only by the aid of the microscope.

        Sporules and filaments of fungus were present in nearly all the sugars. The acari were present in sixty-nine of the samples, and in many in very considerable quantities.

        Grape sugar was detected in all the sugars.

        Four of the sugars contained proportions of starch so considerable as to lead to the inference that they were adulterated.

        Eleven other samples of brown sugar, as imported from the East and West Indies, furnished nearly similar results. Two only could be regarded as pure and fit for human consumption.

        * * * * * * * *

        Concerning Bread. - We have already referred, to some extent, to the adulteration of bread with water. Bread naturally contains a large quantity of water, estimated at sixty-six parts in every one hundred and fifty of bread, sixteen of these only being natural to the flour, but is frequently made to contain greater amounts. One principal means by which this is effected is by the addition of rice or rice-flour to bread; this, swelling up, absorbs much more water than wheat flour. Potatoes used in any quantity probably have, to some extent, the same effect. In the introduction of rice, then, into bread there is a double evil: first, a substance is put into the bread which does not possess nearly so much nourishment as wheat flour; and, second, by its means a larger quantity of another substance is absorbed by the bread, and which has no nourishing properties whatever. While wheat flour seldom contains less and often much more than 12 per cent of gluten, rice has only about 7 per cent of that nutritious substance, and potatoes are equally deficient in gluten.

Page 345

        The public, then, in judging of the quality of bread by its color, by its whiteness, commits a most serious mistake; there is little or no connection between color and quality; in fact, very generally, the whitest breads are the most adulterated. The public, therefore, should lose no time in correcting its judgment on this point.

        Again, the mistaken taste of the public for very white bread, which, be it known, cannot be obtained even from the finest and best flour except by the use of alum or some other substance similar in its operation, tends to the serious injury of the bread in another way.

        After proving that alum enters injuriously in almost all bought bread, he adds:

        Further, alum is very apt to disorder the stomach and to occasion acidity and dyspepsia.

        Vinegar. - The principal adulterations of vinegar are with water, sulphuric acid, and burnt sugar, and sometimes with acid substances, as chillies and grains of paradise, and also with pyroligneous or acetic acids.

        The water is added to increase the bulk, sulphuric acid and acid substances to make it pungent, and burnt sugar to restore the color lost by dilution.

        Vinegar is not unfrequently contaminated with arsenic, this being introduced through the sulphuric acid used in its adulteration.

        A mixture of muriatic acid and soda has been used in bread, and I have seen muriatic acid containing a very fearful quantity of arsenic.

        The following evidence in regard to the use of corrosive sublimate was given by Mr. Gray before the parliamentary committee:

        "Corrosive sublimate has been used for years and years in some houses and not a cask has gone out without a certain proportion of corrosive sublimate."

        "CHAIRMAN. Do you believe that corrosive sublimate was mixed with the vinegar in injurious proportions?"

        "I do, it was done to give strength to the vinegar. When the D. W. and O. V. have been used the corrosive sublimate is put into it to give it a tartness again in the mouth."

        CHAIRMAN. "Are these technical expressions in the trade - O. V. for Oil of vitriol, and D. W. for distilled water?"

        "Just so. Corrosive sublimate is called 'the doctor.'"

        White or distilled vinegar, as it is called, is usually made with water and acetic acid, what is sold is rarely distilled at all.

        * * * * * * *

        That nineteen out of twenty of the vinegars submitted to analysis, poor as they were, yet owed a portion of their acidity to sulphuric acid the amount of which varied in the different samples from 38 to 252 in the 1,000 grains, the largest quantity of this acid being detected in the vinegars in which the red cabbages were pickled. That in the whole of the sixteen different pickles analyzed for copper that poisonous metal was discovered in various amounts.

        On the adulterations of cayenne. - Of twenty-eight samples of cayenne submitted to microscopic and chemical examination no less than twenty-four were adulterated, and four only were genuine. Twenty-two contained mineral coloring matter.

        In thirteen eases this consisted of red lead, which was present in very

Page 346

considerable quantities, while in the remaining seven samples it was some red ferruginous earth, Venetian red, or red ocher. Vermillion or sulpheret of mercury was present in one of this cayennes.

        Six of the cayennes consisted of a mixture of ground rice, turmeric and cayenne colored, with either red lead, vermillion, red, or ocher.

        Six of the cayennes contained large quantities of salt, sometimes alone, but mostly combined with rice and the red earths or red lead.

        One of the samples was adulterated with a large quantity of the husk of white mustard seed.

        Lastly. Two were adulterated with rice, and were colored in addition, the one with red lead, and the other with a red ferruginous earth. The object of the use of red lead and other red coloring matters is two fold: first, to conceal other adulterations, and second, to preserve the color of the cayenne, as when exposed to the light for any time it usually loses part of the bright red color which it at first possesses, and therefore it becomes deteriorated in the eyes of the purchaser. The red lead, etc., added does not of course preserve the color of the cayenne, but simply supplies the place of that which it loses in consequence of exposure.

        Salt is employed for the same purpose. This substance has a remarkable effect in bringing out the color of the cayenne. It is, however, also used to increase its weight.

        The adulteration of cayenne with such substances as red lead and mercury is doubtless highly prejudicial to health. It has been stated that colic and parlysis have both been produced by the use of cayenne containing red lead.

        The salts of lead and mercury are characterized by the circumstance that they are apt to accumulate in the system, and finally to produce symptoms of a very serious nature. Thus no matter how small the quantity of mercury or lead introduced each day, the system is sure in the end, although it be slowly and insidiously, to be brought under the influence of these poisons, and to become seriously affceted. The quantity of red lead introduced into the system in adulterated cayenne is, however, by no means inconsiderable.


[From Chambers's Encyclopoedia.]


        The adulteration of food of almost every kind is unfortunately so common a custom that our limited space will merely allow of our noticing a few of the leading points in regard to it.

        Wheat flour is not infrequently adulterated with one or more of the following substances: flour of beans, Indian corn, rye, or rice, potato-starch, alum, chalk, carbonate of magnesia, bone-dust, plaster- of-paris sand, clay, etc. The organic matters - the inferior flours and starch - do little or no serious harm. Most of the inorganic matters are positively injurious, and of these, alum (one of the commonest adulterations) is the worst. The beneficial action of wheat-flour on the system is in part due to the large quantity of soluble phosphates which it contains. When alum is added these phosphates uniting with the alumina of the alum and forming an insoluble compound, the beneficial effect of the soluble phosphates is thus lost.

        Coffee, in its powdered form, is not merely largely adulterated with chicory, but additionally with roasted grain, roots, acorns, saw-dust,

Page 347

exhausted tan (termed croats), coffina (the seeds of a Turkish plant), burnt sugar and (worst of all) baked horses' and bullocks' liver. In the Quarterly Journal of the Chemical Society for April, 1856, there is an excellent report by Messrs. Graham, Stenhouse, and Campbell on the mode of detecting vegetable substances mixed with coffee. Even whole roasted coffee is not safe from adulteration, a patent having been actually taken out to mold chicory into the form of coffee-berries.

         Cocoa and chocolate are adulterated with flour, potato-starch, sugar, clarified mutton-suet, and various mineral substances, such as chalk, plaster-of-paris, red earth, red ocher, and venetial earth, the last three being used as coloring matter.

        Vinegar is adulterated with water, sulphuric acid, and sometimes with chillies, grains of paradise, and pyroligneous acid. It appears from evidence taken before the parliamentary committee on adulterations that arsenic and corrosive sublimate are no uncommon ingredients in vinegar. In conection with vinegar we may place pickles. Dr. Hassall analyzed sixteen different pickles for copper, and discovered that poisonous metal, more or less, abundantly in all of them; "in three, in a very considerable quantity; in one, in highly deleterious amount; and in two, in poisonous amount."

        Preserved fruits and vegetables, especially gooseberries, rhubarb, green gages, and olives, are often also contaminated largely with copper. In these eases the copper, if in considerable quantity, may be easily detected by placing a piece of polished iron or steel in the suspected liquid for twenty-four hours, to which we previously add a few drops of nitric acid. The copper will be deposited on the iron. Or ammonia may be added to the fluid in which the pickles or fruit were lying, when, if copper is present, a blue tint is developed. We should be suspicious of all pickles, olives, preserved gooseberries, etc., with a particularly bright-green tint.

        Milk is usually believed to be liable to numerous adulterations, such as flour, chalk, mashed brains, etc. It appears, however, from Dr. Hassall's researches on London milk, that as a general rule, water is the only adulteration. The results of the examinations of twenty-six samples were that twelve were genuine, and that fourteen were adulterated, the adulteration consisting principally in the addition of water, the percentages of which varied from 10 to 50 per cent, or one-half water. If space permitted we might extend the list of alimentary substances liable to adulteration to a much greater length.

        Beer is adulterated in many ways. Burned sugar (caramel) is added to give color; cocculus, indicus to supply an intoxicating agent which will give an appearance of strength to the beer; quassia, to impart bitterness in place of hops; grains of paradise and cayenne pepper, to communicate pungency; coriander and caraway seeds, to yield flavor; liquorice, treacle, and honey to supply color and consistence. To stale beer there is sometimes added green vitriol (sulphate of iron) or alum and common salt, which when agitated with the beer communicate a fine cauliflower head.


[Report of select parliamentary committee, 1855-1856, upon inquiry into the adulteration of food, from the Westminster Review, volume 91, page 195.]

        In the process of their investigations they examined some sixty witnesses, who gave answers to near eight thousand questions, all of them

Page 348

tending more or less distinctly and directly to prove that the practice of adulteration was very prevalent and most injurious in its effects upon the health, morality, and prosperity of the country. Upward of thirty of the witnesses were physicans, surgeons, analytical chemists, and druggists, and the remainder were gentlemen who occupied responsible positions in the fiscal and sanitary departments of government, of persons acquainted with the manufacture and sale of the larger proportion of such commodities as are in most general use.

        * * * * * * *

        Though the witnesses differed both as to the extent to which adulteration is carried on and as to its nature and effects, your committee cannot avoid the conclusion that adulteration widely prevails, though under circumstances of very various character. As regards foreign products, some arrive in this country in an adulterated condition, while others are adulterated by the English dealer. Other commodities again, the produce of this country, are shown to be in an adulterated state when passing into the hands of the dealer, while others undergo adulteration by the dealers themselves.

        "Not only is the public health thus exposed to danger and pecuniary fraud committed on the whole community, but the public morality is tainted and the high commercial character of this country seriously lowered both at home and in the eyes of foreign countries. Though very many refuse under every temptation to falsify the quality of their wares, there are unfortunately large numbers, who, though reluctantly practicing deception, yield to the pernicious contagion of example or to the hard pressure of competition forced upon them by their less scrupulous neighbors."

        And then they proceed to give the following summary:

        "Without entering into voluminous details of the evidence taken, your committee would enumerate the many articles which have been proved to be more or less commonly adulterated. These are: Arrowroot, adulterated with potato and other starches; bread, with potatoes, plaster of Paris, alum, and sulphate of copper; bottled fruits and vegetables, with certain salts of copper; coffee, with chicory, roasted wheat, beans, and mangel-wurzel; chicory, with roasted wheat, carrots, sawdust and Venetian red; cocoa, with arrowroot, potato-flour, sugar, chicory, and some ferriginous red earth; cayenne and ground rice, mustard, husk, etc.; alcohol, with red lead; lard, with potato-flour, mutton suet, carbonate of soda, and caustic lime; mustard, with wheat flour and turmeric; marmalade, with apples and turnips; porter and stout (though sent out in a pure state from the brewers), with water, sugar, treacle, salt, alum, cocculus indicus, grains of paradise, nux vomica, and sulphuric acid; pickles and preserves, with salts of copper; snuff, with various chromatics, red lead, lime, and powdered glass; tobacco, with water, sugar, rhubarb, and treacle; vinegar, with water, sugar, and sulphuric acid; jalap, with powdered wood; opium, with poppy capsules, wheat-flour, powdered wood, and sand; scammony, with wheat-flour, chalk, resin, and sand; confectionery, with plaster of Paris and other similar ingredients, colored with various pigments of a highly poisonous nature; and acid drops purporting to be compounded of jargonelle, pear, ribston, pippin, lemon, etc., with essential oils containing prussic acid and other dangerous ingredients."

Page 349


[Extracts from English statutes bearing on the subject, 11th August, 1875.]

        Whereas, it is desirable that the acts now in force relative to the adulteration of food should be repealed and that the law requiring the sale of food and drugs in a pure and genuine state should be amended:

        Be it therefore enacted, etc. * * *

        SEC. 2. The term "food" shall include every article used for food or drink by man, other than drugs and water. The term "drugs" shall include medicine for internal or external use.

        SEC. 3. No person shall mix, color, stain, or powder, or order or permit any other person to mix, color, stain, or powder, any article of food with any ingredient or material so as to render the article injurious to health, with intent that the same may be sold in that state; and no person shall sell any such article so mixed, colored, stained, or powdered, under a penalty in each ease not exceeding 50 for the first offense; every offense after a conviction for a first offense shall be a misdemeanor for which the person shall, on conviction, be imprisoned for a period not exceeding six months, with hard labor.

        SEC. 4. No person shall, except for the purpose of compounding, as hereinafter described, mix, color, stain, or powder any drug with any ingredient or material so as to affect injuriously the quality of such drug with intent that the same may be sold in that State, and no person shall sell any such drug so mixed, colored, strained, or powdered under the same penalty in each case, respectively, as in the preceding section for a first and subsequent offense.

        * * * * * * *

        SEC. 6. No person shall sell to the purchaser any article of food or any drug which is not of the nature, substance, and quality of the article demanded by such purchaser, under a penalty not exceeding £20, etc.

        SEC. 7. No person shall sell any compounded article of food or compounded drug, which is not composed of ingredients in accordance with the demands of the purchaser, under a penalty not exceeding £20.
(Glen's Law of Public Health, 38 and 39 Victoria, chapter 63.)

        You will thus see, Mr. Speaker, the estimation in which the offense is held by our cousins across the water. It is meet that the two great Anglo-Saxon nationalities should profit, each by the teaching of the other. May not the younger profit by the lesson here laid down by the elder?

        I have letters, Mr. Speaker, from some of the leading grocers and druggists of the country, offering to come on and testify before a properly accredited committee at their own expense, to give, cause, and adduce proof why like legislation is imperatively demanded on Capitol Hill. Let them be heard for our sake, if not for theirs.