A Diary From Dixie, Chapter 11, Part 1
XI. COLUMBIA, S. C.
February 20, 1862 - July 21, 1862
COLUMBIA, S. C., February 20, 1862. - Had an appetite for my dainty breakfast. Always breakfast in bed now. But then, my Mercury contained such bad news. That is an appetizing style of matutinal newspaper. Fort Donelson1 has fallen, but no men fell with it. It is prisoners for them that we can not spare, or prisoners for us that we may not be able to feed: that is so much to be "forefended," as Keitt says. They lost six thousand, we two thousand; I grudge that proportion. In vain, alas! ye gallant few - few, but undismayed. Again, they make a stand. We have Buckner, Beauregard, and Albert Sidney Johnston. With such leaders and God's help we may be saved from the hated Yankees; who knows?
February 21st. - A crowd collected here last night and there was a serenade. I am like Mrs. Nickleby, who never saw a horse coming full speed but she thought the Cheerybles had sent post-haste to take Nicholas into co-partnership. So I got up and dressed, late as it was. I felt sure England had sought our alliance at last, and we would
1. Fort Donelson stood on the Cumberland River about 60 miles northwest of Nashville. The Confederate garrison numbered about 18,000 men. General Grant invested the Fort on February 13, 1862, and General Buckner, who commanded it, surrendered on February 16th. The Federal force at the time of the surrender numbered 27,000 men; their loss in killed and wounded being 2,660 men and the Confederate loss about 2,000.
make a Yorktown of it before long. Who was it? Will you ever guess? - Artemus Goodwyn and General Owens, of Florida.
Just then, Mr. Chesnut rushed in, put out the light, locked the door and sat still as a mouse. Rap, rap, came at the door. "I say, Chesnut, they are calling for you." At last we heard Janney (hotel-keeper) loudly proclaiming from the piazza that "Colonel Chesnut was not here at all, at all. " After a while, when they had all gone from the street, and the very house itself had subsided into perfect quiet, the door again was roughly shaken. "I say, Chesnut, old fellow, come out - I know you are there. Nobody here now wants to hear you make a speech. That crowd has all gone. We want a little quiet talk with you. I am just from Richmond." That was the open sesame, and to-day I hear none of the Richmond news is encouraging. Colonel Shaw is blamed for the shameful Roanoke surrender.1
Toombs is out on a rampage and swears he will not accept a seat in the Confederate Senate given in the insulting way his was by the Georgia Legislature: calls it shabby treatment, and adds that Georgia is not the only place where good men have been so ill used.
The Governor and Council have fluttered the dove-cotes, or, at least, the tea-tables. They talk of making a call for all silver, etc. I doubt if we have enough to make the sacrifice worth while, but we propose to set the example.
February 22d. - What a beautiful day for our Confederate President to be inaugurated! God speed him; God keep him; God save him!
John Chesnut's letter was quite what we needed. In spirit it is all that one could ask. He says, "Our late reverses are acting finely with the army of the Potomac. A few more thrashings and every man will enlist for the
1. General Burnside captured the Confederate garrison at Roanoke Island on February 8, 1862.
war. Victories made us too sanguine and easy, not to say vainglorious. Now for the rub, and let them have it!"
A lady wrote to Mrs. Bunch: "Dear Emma: When shall I call for you to go and see Madame de St. André?" She was answered: "Dear Lou: I can not go with you to see Madame de St. Andre, but will always retain the kindest feeling toward you on account of our past relations," etc. The astounded friend wrote to ask what all this meant. No answer came, and then she sent her husband to ask and demand an explanation. He was answered thus: "My dear fellow, there can be no explanation possible. Hereafter there will be no intercourse between my wife and yours; simply that, nothing more." So the men meet at the club as before, and there is no further trouble between them. The lady upon whom the slur is cast says, "and I am a woman and can't fight!"
February 23d. - While Mr. Chesnut was in town I was at the Prestons. John Cochran and some other prisoners had asked to walk over the grounds, visit the Hampton Gardens, and some friends in Columbia. After the dreadful state of the public mind at the escape of one of the prisoners, General Preston was obliged to refuse his request. Mrs. Preston and the rest of us wanted him to say "Yes," and so find out who in Columbia were his treacherous friends. Pretty bold people they must be, to receive Yankee invaders in the midst of the row over one enemy already turned loose amid us.
General Preston said: "We are about to sacrifice life and fortune for a fickle multitude who will not stand up to us at last." The harsh comments made as to his lenient conduct to prisoners have embittered him. I told him what I had heard Captain Trenholm say in his speech. He said he would listen to no criticism except from a man with a musket on his shoulder, and who had beside enlisted for the war, had given up all, and had no choice but to succeed or die.
February 24th. - Congress and the newspapers render one desperate, ready to cut one's own throat. They represent everything in our country as deplorable. Then comes some one back from our gay and gallant army at the front. The spirit of our army keeps us up after all. Letters from the army revive one. They come as welcome as the flowers in May. Hopeful and bright, utterly unconscious of our weak despondency.
February 25th. - They have taken at Nashville1 more men than we had at Manassas; there was bad handling of troops, we poor women think, or this would not be. Mr. Venable added bitterly, "Giving up our soldiers to the enemy means giving up the cause. We can not replace them." The up-country men were Union men generally, and the low-country seceders. The former growl; they never liked those aristocratic boroughs and parishes, they had themselves a good and prosperous country, a good constitution, and were satisfied. But they had to go - to leave all and fight for the others who brought on all the trouble, and who do not show too much disposition to fight for themselves.
That is the extreme up-country view. The extreme low-country says Jeff Davis is not enough out of the Union yet. His inaugural address reads as one of his speeches did four years ago in the United States Senate.
A letter in a morning paper accused Mr. Chesnut of staying too long in Charleston. The editor was asked for the writer's name. He gave it as Little Moses, the Governor's secretary. When Little Moses was spoken to, in a great trepidation he said that Mrs. Pickens wrote it, and got him to publish it; so it was dropped, for Little Moses is such an arrant liar no one can believe him. Besides, if that sort of thing amuses Mrs. Pickens, let her amuse herself.
me from Columbia. She found a man there tall enough to take her in to dinner - Tom Boykin, who is six feet four, the same height as her father. Tom was very handsome in his uniform, and Mary prepared for a nice time, but he looked as if he would so much rather she did not talk to him, and he set her such a good example, saying never a word.
Old Colonel Chesnut came for us. When the train stopped, Quashie, shiny black, was seen on his box, as glossy and perfect in his way as his blooded bays, but the old Colonel would stop and pick up the dirtiest little negro I ever saw who was crying by the roadside. This ragged little black urchin was made to climb up and sit beside Quash. It spoilt the symmetry of the turn-out, but it was a character touch, and the old gentleman knows no law but his own will. He had a biscuit in his pocket which he gave this sniffling little negro, who proved to be his man Scip's son.
I was ill at Mulberry and never left my room. Doctor Boykin came, more military than medical. Colonel Chesnut brought him up, also Teams, who said he was down in the mouth. Our men were not fighting as they should. We had only pluck and luck and a dogged spirit of fighting, to offset their weight in men and munitions of war, I wish I could remember Team's words; this is only his idea. His language was quaint and striking - no grammar, but no end of sense and good feeling. Old Colonel Chesnut, catching a word, began his litany, saying, "Numbers will tell," "Napoleon, you know," etc., etc.
At Mulberry the war has been ever afar off, but threats to take the silver came very near indeed - silver that we had before the Revolution, silver that Mrs. Chesnut brought from Philadelphia. Jack Cantey and Doctor Boykin came back on the train with us. Wade Hampton is the hero.
Sweet May Dacre. Lord Byron and Disraeli make their rosebuds Catholic; May Dacre is another Aurora Raby. I
like Disraeli because I find so many clever things in him. I like the sparkle and the glitter. Carlyle does not hold up his hands in holy horror of us because of African slavery. Lord Lyons1 has gone against us. Lord Derby and Louis Napoleon are silent in our hour of direst need. People call me Cassandra, for I cry that outside hope is quenched. From the outside no help indeed cometh to this beleaguered land.
March 7th. - Mrs. Middleton was dolorous indeed. General Lee had warned the planters about Combahee, etc., that they must take care of themselves now; he could not do it. Confederate soldiers had committed some outrages on the plantations and officers had punished them promptly. She poured contempt Upon Yancey's letter to Lord Russell.2 It was the letter of a shopkeeper, not in the style of a statesman at all.
We called to see Mary McDuffie.3 She asked Mary Preston what Doctor Boykin had said of her husband as we came along in the train. She heard it was something very complimentary. Mary P. tried to remember, and to repeat it all, to the joy of the other Mary, who liked to hear nice things about her husband.
Mary was amazed to hear of the list of applicants for promotion. One delicate-minded person accompanied his demand for advancement by a request for a written description of the Manassas battle; he had heard Colonel Chesnut give such a brilliant account of it in Governor Cobb's room.
The Merrimac 4 business has come like a gleam of lightning
1. Richard, Lord Lyons, British minister to the United States from 1858 to 1865.
2. Lord Russell was Foreign Secretary under the Palmerston administration of 1859 to 1865.
3. Mary McDuffie was the second wife of Wade Hampton.
4. The Merrimac was formerly a 40-gun screw frigate of the United States Navy. In April, 1861, when the Norfolk Navy-yard was abandoned by the United States she was sunk. Her hull was afterward raised by the Confederates and she was reconstructed on new plans, and renamed the Virginia. On March 2, 1862, she destroyed the Congress, a sailing-ship of 50 guns, and the Cumberland, a sailing-ship of 30 guns, at Newport News. On March 7th she attacked the Minnesota, but was met by the Monitor and defeated in a memorable engagement. Many features of modern battle-ships have been derived from the Merrimac and Monitor.
illumining a dark scene. Our sky is black and lowering.
The Judge saw his little daughter at my window and he came up. He was very smooth and kind. It was really a delightful visit; not a disagreeable word was spoken. He abused no one whatever, for he never once spoke of any one but himself, and himself he praised without stint. He did not look at me once, though he spoke very kindly to me.
March 10th. - Second year of Confederate independence. I write daily for my own diversion. These mémoires pour servir may at some future day afford facts about these times and prove useful to more important people than I am. I do not wish to do any harm or to hurt any one. If any scandalous stories creep in they can easily be burned. It is hard, in such a hurry as things are now, to separate the wheat from the chaff. Now that I have made my protest and written down my wishes, I can scribble on with a free will and free conscience.
Congress at the North is down on us. They talk largely of hanging slave-owners. They say they hold Port Royal, as we did when we took it originally from the aborigines, who fled before us; so we are to be exterminated and improved, à l'Indienne, from the face of the earth.
Medea, when asked: "Country, wealth, husband, children, all are gone; and now what remains?" answered: "Medea remains." "There is a time in most men's lives when they resemble Job, sitting among the ashes and drinking in the full bitterness of complicated misfortune."
March 11th. - A freshman came quite eager to be instructed in all the wiles of society. He wanted to try his hand at a flirtation, and requested minute instructions, as he knew nothing whatever: he was so very fresh. "Dance with her," he was told, "and talk with her; walk with her and flatter her; dance until she is warm and tired; then propose to walk in a cool, shady piazza. It must be a somewhat dark piazza. Begin your promenade slowly; warm up to your work; draw her arm closer and closer; then, break her wing."
"Heavens, what is that - break her wing?" "Why, you do not know even that? Put your arm round her waist and kiss her. After that, it is all plain sailing. She comes down when you call like the coon to Captain Scott: 'You need not fire, Captain,' etc."
The aspirant for fame as a flirt followed these lucid directions literally, but when he seized the poor girl and kissed her, she uplifted her voice in terror, and screamed as if the house was on fire. So quick, sharp, and shrill were her yells for help that the bold flirt sprang over the banister, upon which grew a strong climbing rose. This he struggled through, and ran toward the college, taking a bee line. He was so mangled by the thorns that he had to go home and have them picked out by his family. The girl's brother challenged him. There was no mortal combat, however, for the gay young fellow who had led the freshman's ignorance astray stepped forward and put things straight. An explanation and an apology at every turn hushed it all up.
Now, we all laughed at this foolish story most heartily. But Mr. Venable remained grave and preoccupied, and was asked: "Why are you so unmoved? It is funny." "I like more probable fun; I have been in college and I have kissed many a girl, but never a one scrome yet."
Last Saturday was the bloodiest we have had in
proportion to numbers.1 The enemy lost 1,500. The handful left at home are rushing to arms at last. Bragg has gone to join Beauregard at Columbus, Miss. Old Abe truly took the field in that Scotch cap of his.
Mrs. McCord,2 the eldest daughter of Langdon Cheves, got up a company for her son, raising it at her own expense. She has the brains and energy of a man. To-day she repeated a remark of a low-country gentleman, who is dissatisfied: "This Government (Confederate) protects neither person nor property." Fancy the scornful turn of her lip! Some one asked for Langdon Cheves, her brother. "Oh, Langdon!" she replied coolly, "he is a pure patriot; he has no ambition. While I was there, he was letting Confederate soldiers ditch through his garden and ruin him at their leisure."
Cotton is five cents a pound and labor of no value at all; it commands no price whatever. People gladly hire out their negroes to have them fed and clothed, which latter can not be done. Cotton osnaburg at 37 1/2 cents a yard, leaves no chance to clothe them. Langdon was for martial law and making the bloodsuckers disgorge their ill-gotten gains. We, poor fools, who are patriotically ruining ourselves will see our children in the gutter while treacherous dogs of millionaires go rolling by in their coaches - coaches that were acquired by taking advantage of our necessities.
This terrible battle of the ships - Monitor, Merrimac, etc. All hands on board the Cumberland went down. She fought gallantly and fired a round as she sank. The Congress
1. On March 7 and 8, 1862, occurred the battle of Pea Ridge in Western Arkansas, where the Confederates were defeated, and on March 8th and 9th, occurred the conflict in Hampton Roads between the warships Merrimac, Cumberland, Congress, and Monitor.
2. Louisa Susanna McCord, whose husband was David J. McCord, a lawyer of Columbia, who died in 1855. She was educated in Philadelphia, and was the author of several books of verse, including Caius Gracchus, a tragedy; she was also a brilliant pamphleteer.
ran up a white flag. She fired on our boats as they went up to take off her wounded. She was burned. The worst of it is that all this will arouse them to more furious exertions to destroy us. They hated us so before, but how now?
In Columbia I do not know a half-dozen men who would not gaily step into Jeff Davis's shoes with a firm conviction that they would do better in every respect than he does. The monstrous conceit, the fatuous ignorance of these critics! It is pleasant to hear Mrs. McCord on this subject, when they begin to shake their heads and tell us what Jeff Davis ought to do.
March 12th. - In the naval battle the other day we had twenty-five guns in all. The enemy had fifty-four in the Cumberland, forty-four in the St. Lawrence, besides a fleet of gunboats, filled with rifled cannon. Why not? They can have as many as they please. "No pent-up Utica contracts their powers"; the whole boundless world being theirs to recruit in. Ours is only this one little spot of ground - the blockade, or stockade, which hems us in with only the sky open to us, and for all that, how tender-footed and cautious they are as they draw near.
An anonymous letter purports to answer Colonel Chesnut's address to South Carolinians now in the army of the Potomac. The man says, "All that bosh is no good." He knows lots of people whose fathers were notorious Tories in our war for independence and made fortunes by selling their country. Their sons have the best places, and they are cowards and traitors still. Names are given, of course.
Floyd and Pillow1 are suspended from their commands
1. John D. Floyd, who had been Governor of Virginia from 1850 to 1853, became Secretary of War in 1857 He was first in command at Fort Donelson. Gideon J. Pillow had been a Major-General of volunteers in the Mexican War and was second in command at Fort Donelson. He and Floyd escaped from the Fort when it was invested by Grant, leaving General Buckner to make the surrender.
because of Fort Donelson. The people of Tennessee demand a like fate for Albert Sidney Johnston. They say he is stupid. Can human folly go further than this Tennessee madness?
I did Mrs. Blank a kindness. I told the women when her name came up that she was childless now, but that she had lost three children. I hated to leave her all alone. Women have such a contempt for a childless wife. Now, they will be all sympathy and goodness. I took away her "reproach among women."
March 13th. - Mr. Chesnut fretting and fuming. From the poor old blind bishop downward everybody is besetting him to let off students, theological and other, from going into the army. One comfort is that the boys will go. Mr. Chesnut answers: "Wait until you have saved your country before you make preachers and scholars. When you have a country, there will be no lack of divines, students, scholars to adorn and purify it." He says he is a one-idea man. That idea is to get every possible man into the ranks.
Professor Le Conte1 is an able auxiliary. He has undertaken to supervise and carry on the powder-making enterprise - the very first attempted in the Confederacy, and Mr. Chesnut is proud of it. It is a brilliant success, thanks to Le Conte.
Mr. Chesnut receives anonymous letters urging him to arrest the Judge as seditious. They say he is a dangerous and disaffected person. His abuse of Jeff Davis and the Council is rabid. Mr. Chesnut laughs and throws the letters into the fire. "Disaffected to Jeff Davis," says he;
1. Joseph Le Conte, who afterward arose to much distinction as a geologist and writer of text-books on geology. He died in 1901, while he was connected with the University of California. His work at Columbia was to manufacture, on a large scale, medicines for the Confederate Army, his laboratory being the main source of supply. In Professor Le Conte's autobiography published in 1903, are several chapters devoted to his life in the South.
"disaffected to the Council, that don't count. He knows what he is about; he would not injure his country for the world."
Read Uncle Tom's Cabin again. These negro women have a chance here that women have nowhere else. They can redeem themselves - the "impropers" can. They can marry decently, and nothing is remembered against these colored ladies. It is not a nice topic, but Mrs. Stowe revels in it. How delightfully Pharisaic a feeling it must be to rise superior and fancy we are so degraded as to defend and like to live with such degraded creatures around us - such men as Legree and his women.
The best way to take negroes to your heart is to get as far away from them as possible. As far as I can see, Southern women do all that missionaries could do to prevent and alleviate evils. The social evil has not been suppressed in old England or in New England, in London or in Boston. People in those places expect more virtue from a plantation African than they can insure in practise among themselves with all their own high moral surroundings - light, education, training, and support. Lady Mary Montagu says, "Only men and women at last." "Male and female, created he them," says the Bible. There are cruel, graceful, beautiful mothers of angelic Evas North as well as South, I dare say. The Northern men and women who came here were always hardest, for they expected an African to work and behave as a white man. We do not.
I have often thought from observation truly that perfect beauty hardens the heart, and as to grace, what so graceful as a cat, a tigress, or a panther. Much love, admiration, worship hardens an idol's heart. It becomes utterly callous and selfish. It expects to receive all and to give nothing. It even likes the excitement of seeing people suffer. I speak now of what I have watched with horror and amazement.
Topsys I have known, but none that were beaten or ill-used.
used. Evas are mostly in the heaven of Mrs. Stowe's imagination. People can't love things dirty, ugly, and repulsive, simply because they ought to do so, but they can be good to them at a distance; that's easy. You see, I can not rise very high; I can only judge by what I see.
March 14th. - Thank God for a ship! It has run the blockade with arms and ammunition.
There are no negro sexual relations half so shocking as Mormonism. And yet the United States Government makes no bones of receiving Mormons into its sacred heart. Mr. Venable said England held her hand over "the malignant and the turbaned Turk" to save and protect him, slaves, seraglio, and all. But she rolls up the whites of her eyes at us when slavery, bad as it is, is stepping out into freedom every moment through Christian civilization. They do not grudge the Turk even his bag and Bosphorus privileges. To a recalcitrant wife it is, "Here yawns the sack ; there rolls the sea," etc. And France, the bold, the brave, the ever free, she has not been so tender-footed in Algiers. But then the "you are another" argument is a shabby one. "You see," says Mary Preston sagaciously, "we are white Christian descendants of Huguenots and Cavaliers, and they expect of us different conduct."
Went in Mrs. Preston's landau to bring my boarding-school girls here to dine. At my door met J. F., who wanted me then and there to promise to help him with his commission or put him in the way of one. At the carriage steps I was handed in by Gus Smith, who wants his brother made commissary. The beauty of it all is they think I have some influence, and I have not a particle. The subject of Mr. Chesnut's military affairs, promotions, etc., is never mentioned by me.
March 15th. - When we came home from Richmond, there stood Warren Nelson, propped up against my door, lazily waiting for me, the handsome creature. He said he meant to be heard, so I walked back with him to the drawing-room.
They are wasting their time dancing attendance on me. I can not help them. Let them shoulder their musket and go to the wars like men.
After tea came "Mars Kit" - he said for a talk, but that Mr. Preston would not let him have, for Mr. Preston had arrived some time before him. Mr. Preston said "Mars Kit" thought it "bad form" to laugh. After that you may be sure a laugh from "Mars Kit" was secured. Again and again, he was forced to laugh with a will. I reversed Oliver Wendell Holmes's good resolution - never to be as funny as he could. I did my very utmost.
Mr. Venable interrupted the fun, which was fast and furious, with the very best of bad news! Newbern shelled and burned , cotton, turpentine - everything - There were 5,000 North Carolinians in the fray, 12,000 Yankees. Now there stands Goldsboro. One more step and we are cut in two. The railroad is our backbone, like the Blue Ridge and the Alleghanies, with which it runs parallel. So many discomforts, no wonder we are down-hearted.
Mr. Venable thinks as we do - Garnett is our most thorough scholar; Lamar the most original, and the cleverest of our men - L. Q. C. Lamar - time fails me to write all his name. Then, there is R. M. T. Hunter. Muscoe Russell Garnett and his Northern wife: that match was made at my house in Washington when Garnett was a member of the United States Congress.
March 17th. - Back to the Congaree House to await my husband, who has made a rapid visit to the Wateree region. As we drove up Mr. Chesnut said: "Did you see the stare of respectful admiration E. R. bestowed upon you, so curiously prolonged? I could hardly keep my countenance." "Yes, my dear child, I feel the honor of it, though my individual self goes for nothing in it. I am the wife of the man who has the appointing power just now, with so many commissions to be filled. I am nearly forty, and they do my understanding the credit to suppose I can be made to
believe they admire my mature charms. They think they fool me into thinking that they believe me charming. There is hardly any farce in the world more laughable."
Last night a house was set on fire; last week two houses. "The red cock crows in the barn!" Our troubles thicken, indeed, when treachery comes from that dark quarter.
When the President first offered Johnston Pettigrew a brigadier-generalship, his answer was: "Not yet. Too many men are ahead of me who have earned their promotion in the field. I will come after them, not before. So far I have done nothing to merit reward," etc. He would not take rank when he could get it. I fancy he may cool his heels now waiting for it. He was too high and mighty. There was another conscientious man - Burnet, of Kentucky. He gave up his regiment to his lieutenant-colonel when he found the lieutenant-colonel could command the regiment and Burnet could not maneuver it in the field. He went into the fight simply as an aide to Floyd. Modest merit just now is at a premium.
William Gilmore Simms is here; read us his last poetry; have forgotten already what it was about. It was not tiresome, however, and that is a great thing when people will persist in reading their own rhymes.
I did not hear what Mr. Preston was saying. "The last piece of Richmond news," Mr. Chesnut said as he went away, and he looked so fagged out I asked no questions. I knew it was bad.
At daylight there was a loud knocking at my door. I hurried on a dressing-gown and flew to open the door. "Mrs. Chesnut, Mrs. M. says please don't forget her son. Mr. Chesnut, she hears, has come back. Please get her son a commission. He must have an office." I shut the door in the servant's face. If I had the influence these foolish people attribute to me why should I not help my own? I have a brother, two brothers-in-law, and no end of kin, all gentlemen privates, and privates they would stay to the
end of time before they said a word to me about commissions. After a long talk we were finally disgusted and the men went off to the bulletin-board. Whatever else it shows, good or bad, there is always woe for some house in the killed and wounded. We have need of stout hearts. I feel a sinking of mine as we drive near the board.
March 18th. - My war archon is beset for commissions, and somebody says for every one given, you make one ingrate and a thousand enemies.
As I entered Miss Mary Stark's I whispered: "He has promised to vote for Louis." What radiant faces. To my friend, Miss Mary said, "Your son-in-law, what is he doing for his country?" "He is a tax collector." Then spoke up the stout old girl: "Look at my cheek; it is red with blushing for you. A great, hale, hearty young man! Fie on him! fie on him! for shame! Tell his wife; run him out of the house with a broomstick; send him down to the coast at least." Fancy my cheeks. I could not raise my eyes to the poor lady, so mercilessly assaulted. My face was as hot with compassion as the outspoken Miss Mary pretended hers to be with vicarious mortification.
Went to see sweet and saintly Mrs. Bartow. She read us a letter from Mississippi - not so bad: "More men there than the enemy suspected, and torpedoes to blow up the wretches when they came." Next to see Mrs. Izard. She had with her a relative just from the North. This lady had asked Seward for passports, and he told her to "hold on a while; the road to South Carolina will soon be open to all, open and safe." To-day Mrs. Arthur Hayne heard from her daughter that Richmond is to be given up. Mrs. Buell is her daughter.
Met Mr. Chesnut, who said: "New Madrid1 has been given up. I do not know any more than the dead where New Madrid is. It is bad, all the same, this giving up. I
1. New Madrid, Missouri, had been under siege since March 3, 1862.
can't stand it. The hemming-in process is nearly complete. The ring of fire is almost unbroken."
Mr. Chesnut's negroes offered to fight for him if he would arm them. He pretended to believe them. He says one man can not do it. The whole country must agree to it. He would trust such as he would select, and he would give so many acres of land and his freedom to each one as he enlisted.
Mrs. Albert Rhett came for an office for her son John. I told her Mr. Chesnut would never propose a kinsman for office, but if any one else would bring him forward he would vote for him certainly, as he is so eminently fit for position. Now he is a private.
March 19th. - He who runs may read. Conscription means that we are in a tight place. This war was a volunteer business. To-morrow conscription begins - the dernier ressort. The President has remodeled his Cabinet, leaving Bragg for North Carolina. His War Minister is Randolph, of Virginia. A Union man par excellence, Watts, of Alabama, is Attorney-General. And now, too late by one year, when all the mechanics are in the army, Mallory begins to telegraph Captain Ingraham to build ships at any expense. We are locked in and can not get "the requisites for naval architecture," says a magniloquent person.
Henry Frost says all hands wink at cotton going out. Why not send it out and buy ships? "Every now and then there is a holocaust of cotton burning," says the magniloquent. Conscription has waked the Rip Van Winkles. The streets of Columbia were never so crowded with men. To fight and to be made to fight are different things.
To my small wits, whenever people were persistent, united, and rose in their might, no general, however great, succeeded in subjugating them. Have we not swamps, forests, rivers, mountains - every natural barrier? The Carthaginians begged for peace because they were a luxurious people and could not endure the hardship of war, though
the enemy suffered as sharply as they did! "Factions among themselves" is the rock on which we split. Now for the great soul who is to rise up and lead us. Why tarry his footsteps?
March 20th. - The Merrimac is now called the Virginia. I think these changes of names so confusing and so senseless. Like the French "Royal Bengal Tiger," "National Tiger," etc. Rue this, and next day Rue that, the very days and months a symbol, and nothing signified.
I was lying on the sofa in my room, and two men slowly walking up and down the corridor talked aloud as if necessarily all rooms were unoccupied at this midday hour. I asked Maum Mary who they were. "Yeadon and Barnwell Rhett, Jr." They abused the Council roundly, and my husband's name arrested my attention. Afterward, when Yeadon attacked Mr. Chesnut, Mr. Chesnut surprised him by knowing beforehand all he had to say. Naturally I had repeated the loud interchange of views I had overheard in the corridor.
First, Nathan Davis called. Then Gonzales, who presented a fine, soldierly appearance in his soldier clothes, and the likeness to Beauregard was greater than ever. Nathan, all the world knows, is by profession a handsome man.
General Gonzales told us what in the bitterness of his soul he had written to Jeff Davis. He regretted that he had not been his classmate; then he might have been as well treated as Northrop. In any case he would not have been refused a brigadiership, citing General Trapier and Tom Drayton. He had worked for it, had earned it; they had not. To his surprise, Mr. Davis answered him, and in a sharp note of four pages. Mr. Davis demanded from whom he quoted, "not his classmate." General Gonzales responded, "from the public voice only." Now he will fight for us all the same, but go on demanding justice from Jeff Davis until he get his dues - at least, until one of them gets
A GROUP OF CONFEDERATE WOMEN.
MISS S. B. C. PRESTON. MISS ISABELLA D. MARTIN. MRS. JEFFERSON DAVIS. MRS. LOUISA S. MCCORD. MRS. FRANCIS W. PICKENS. MRS. DAVID R WILLIAMS.
his dues, for he means to go on hitting Jeff Davis over the head whenever he has a chance.
"I am afraid," said I, "you will find it a hard head to crack." He replied in his flowery Spanish way: "Jeff Davis will be the sun, radiating all light, heat, and patronage; he will not be a moon reflecting public opinion, for he has the soul of a despot; he delights to spite public opinion. See, people abused him for making Crittenden brigadier. Straightway he made him major-general, and just after a blundering, besotted defeat, too." Also, he told the President in that letter: "Napoleon made his generals after great deeds on their part, and not for having been educated at St. Cyr, or Brie, or the Polytechnique," etc., etc. Nathan Davis sat as still as a Sioux warrior, not an eyelash moved. And yet he said afterward that he was amused while the Spaniard railed at his great namesake.
Gonzales said: "Mrs. Slidell would proudly say that she was a Creole. They were such fools, they thought Creole meant - " Here Nathan interrupted pleasantly: "At the St. Charles, in New Orleans, on the bill of fare were 'Creole eggs.' When they were brought to a man who had ordered them, with perfect simplicity, he held them up, 'Why, they are only hens' eggs, after all.' What in Heaven's name he expected them to be, who can say?" smiled Nathan the elegant.
One lady says (as I sit reading in the drawing-room window while Maum Mary puts my room to rights): "I clothe my negroes well. I could not bear to see them in dirt and rags; it would be unpleasant to me." Another lady: "Yes. Well, so do I. But not fine clothes, you know. I feel - now - it was one of our sins as a nation, the way we indulged them in sinful finery. We will be punished for it."
Last night, Mrs. Pickens met General Cooper. Madam knew General Cooper only as our adjutant-general, and Mr. Mason's brother-in-law. In her slow, graceful, impressive
way, her beautiful eyes eloquent with feeling, she inveighed against Mr. Davis's wickedness in always sending men born at the North to command at Charleston. General Cooper is on his way to make a tour of inspection there now. The dear general settled his head on his cravat with the aid of his forefinger; he tugged rather more nervously with the something that is always wrong inside of his collar, and looked straight up through his spectacles. Some one crossed the room, stood back of Mrs. Pickens, and murmured in her ear, "General Cooper was born in New York." Sudden silence.
Dined with General Cooper at the Prestons. General Hampton and Blanton Duncan were there also; the latter a thoroughly free-and-easy Western man, handsome and clever; more audacious than either, perhaps. He pointed to Buck - Sally Buchanan Campbell Preston. "What's that girl laughing at?" Poor child, how amazed she looked. He bade them "not despair; all the nice young men would not be killed in the war; there would be a few left. For himself, he could give them no hope Mrs. Duncan was uncommonly healthy." Mrs. Duncan is also lovely. We have seen her.
March 24th. - I was asked to the Tognos' tea, so refused a drive with Mary Preston. As I sat at my solitary casemate, waiting for the time to come for the Tognos, saw Mrs. Preston's landau pass, and Mr. Venable making Mary laugh at some of his army stories, as only Mr. Venable can. Already I felt that I had paid too much for my whistle - that is, the Togno tea. The Gibbeses, Trenholms, Edmund Rhett, there. Edmund Rhett has very fine eyes and makes fearful play with them. He sits silent and motionless, with his hands on his knees, his head bent forward, and his eyes fixed upon you. I could think of nothing like it but a setter and a covey of partridges.
As to President Davis, he sank to profounder deeps of abuse of him than even Gonzales. I quoted Yancey: "A
crew may not like their captain, but if they are mad enough to mutiny while a storm is raging, all hands are bound to go to the bottom." After that I contented myself with a mild shake of the head when I disagreed with him, and at last I began to shake so persistently it amounted to incipient palsy. "Jeff Davis," he said, "is conceited, wrong-headed, wranglesome, obstinate - a traitor." "Now I have borne much in silence," said I at last, "but that is pernicious nonsense. Do not let us waste any more time listening to your quotations from the Mercury."
He very good-naturedly changed the subject, which was easy just then, for a delicious supper was on the table ready for us. But Doctor Gibbes began anew the fighting. He helped me to some pâté - "Not foie gras," said Madame Togno, "pâté perdreaux." Doctor Gibbes, however, gave it a flavor of his own. "Eat it," said he, "it is good for you; rich and wholesome; healthy as cod-liver oil."
A queer thing happened. At the post-office a man saw a small boy open with a key the box of the Governor and the Council, take the contents of the box and run for his life. Of course, this man called to the urchin to stop. The urchin did not heed, but seeing himself pursued, began tearing up the letters and papers. He was caught and the fragments were picked up. Finding himself a prisoner, he pointed out the negro who gave him the key. The negro was arrested.
Governor Pickens called to see me to-day. We began with Fort Sumter. For an hour did we hammer at that fortress. We took it, gun by gun. He was very pleasant and friendly in his manner.
James Chesnut has been so nice this winter; so reasonable and considerate - that is, for a man. The night I came from Madame Togno's, instead of making a row about the lateness of the hour, he said he was "so wide awake and so hungry." I put on my dressing-gown and scrambled
some eggs, etc., there on our own fire. And with our feet on the fender and the small supper-table between us, we enjoyed the supper and glorious gossip. Rather a pleasant state of things when one's own husband is in good humor and cleverer than all the men outside.
This afternoon, the entente cordiale still subsisting, Maum Mary beckoned me out mysteriously, but Mr. Chesnut said: "Speak out, old woman; nobody here but myself." "Mars Nathum Davis wants to speak to her," said she. So I hurried off to the drawing-room, Maum Mary flapping her down-at-the-heels shoes in my wake. "He's gwine bekase somebody done stole his boots. How could he stay bedout boots?" So Nathan said good-by. Then we met General Gist, Maum Mary still hovering near, and I congratulated him on being promoted. He is now a brigadier. This he received with modest complaisance. "I knowed he was a general," said Maum Mary as he passed on, "he told me as soon as he got in his room befo' his boy put down his trunks."
As Nathan, the unlucky, said good-by, he informed me that a Mr. Reed from Montgomery was in the drawingroom and wanted to see me. Mr. Reed had traveled with our foreign envoy, Yancey. I was keen for news from abroad. Mr. Reed settled that summarily. "Mr. Yancey says we need not have one jot of hope. He could bowstring Mallory for not buying arms in time. The very best citizens wanted to depose the State government and take things into their own hands, the powers that be being inefficient. Western men are hurrying to the front, bestirring themselves. In two more months we shall be ready." What could I do but laugh? I do hope the enemy will be considerate and charitable enough to wait for us.
Mr. Reed's calm faith in the power of Mr. Yancey's eloquence was beautiful to see. He asked for Mr. Chesnut. I went back to our rooms, swelling with news like a pouter pigeon. Mr. Chesnut said: "Well! four hours - a call
from Nathan Davis of four hours!" Men are too absurd! So I bear the honors of my forty years gallantly. I can but laugh. "Mr. Nathan Davis went by the five-o'clock train," I said; "it is now about six or seven, maybe eight. I have had so many visitors. Mr. Reed, of Alabama, is asking for you out there." He went without a word, but I doubt if he went to see Mr. Reed, my laughing had made him so angry.
At last Lincoln threatens us with a proclamation abolishing slavery1 - here in the free Southern Confederacy; and they say McClellan is deposed. They want more fighting -I mean the government, whose skins are safe, they want more fighting, and trust to luck for the skill of the new generals.
March 28th. - I did leave with regret Maum Mary. She was such a good, well-informed old thing. My Molly, though perfection otherwise, does not receive the confidential communications of new-made generals at the earliest moment. She is of very limited military information. Maum Mary was the comfort of my life. She saved me from all trouble as far as she could. Seventy, if she is a day, she is spry and active as a cat, of a curiosity that knows no bounds, black and clean; also, she knows a joke at first sight, and she is honest. I fancy the negroes are ashamed to rob people as careless as James Chesnut and myself.
One night, just before we left the Congaree House, Mr. Chesnut had forgotten to tell some all-important thing to
1. The Emancipation proclamation was not actually issued until September 22, 1862, when it was a notice to the Confederates to return to the Union, emancipation being proclaimed as a result of their failure to do so. The real proclamation, freeing the slaves, was delayed until January 1,1863, when it was put forth as a war measure. Mrs. Chesnut's reference is doubtless to President Lincoln's Message to Congress, March 6, 1862, in which he made recommendations regarding the abolition of slavery.
Governor Gist, who was to leave on a public mission next day. So at the dawn of day he put on his dressing-gown and went to the Governor's room. He found the door unlocked and the Governor fast asleep. He shook him. Half-asleep, the Governor sprang up and threw his arms around Mr. Chesnut's neck and said: "Honey, is it you?" The mistake was rapidly set right, and the bewildered plenipotentiary was given his instructions. Mr. Chesnut came into my room, threw himself on the sofa, and nearly laughed himself to extinction, imitating again and again the pathetic tone of the Governor's greeting.
Mr. Chesnut calls Lawrence "Adolphe," but says he is simply perfect as a servant. Mary Stevens said: "I thought Cousin James the laziest man alive until I knew his man, Lawrence." Lawrence will not move an inch or lift a finger for any one but his master. Mrs. Middleton politely sent him on an errand; Lawrence too, was very polite; hours after, she saw him sitting on the fence of the front yard. "Didn't you go?" she asked. "No, ma'am. I am waiting for Mars Jeems." Mrs. Middleton calls him now, "Mr. Take-it-Easy."
My very last day's experience at the Congaree. I was waiting for Mars Jeems in the drawing-room when a lady there declared herself to be the wife of an officer in Clingman's regiment. A gentleman who seemed quite friendly with her, told her all Mr. Chesnut said, thought, intended to do, wrote, and felt. I asked: "Are you certain of all these things you say of Colonel Chesnut?" The man hardly deigned to notice this impertinent interruption from a stranger presuming to speak but who had not been introduced! After he went out, the wife of Clingman's officer was seized with an intuitive curiosity. "Madam, will you tell me your name?" I gave it, adding, "I dare say I showed myself an intelligent listener when my husband's affairs were under discussion." At first, I refused to give my name because it would have embarrassed her friend if
she had told him who I was. The man was Mr. Chesnut's secretary, but I had never seen him before.
A letter from Kate says she had been up all night preparing David's things. Little Serena sat up and helped her mother. They did not know that they would ever see him again. Upon reading it, I wept and James Chesnut cursed the Yankees.
Gave the girls a quantity of flannel for soldiers' shirts; also a string of pearls to be raffled for at the Gunboat Fair. Mary Witherspoon has sent a silver tea-pot. We do not spare our precious things now. Our silver and gold, what are they?-when we give up to war our beloved.
April 2d. - Dr. Trezevant, attending Mr. Chesnut, who was ill, came and found his patient gone; he could not stand the news of that last battle. He got up and dressed, weak as he was, and went forth to hear what he could for himself. The doctor was angry with me for permitting this, and more angry with him for such folly. I made him listen to the distinction between feminine folly and virulent vagaries and nonsense. He said: "He will certainly be salivated after all that calomel out in this damp weather."
To-day, the ladies in their landaus were bitterly attacked by the morning paper for lolling back in their silks and satins, with tall footmen in livery, driving up and down the streets while the poor soldiers' wives were on the sidewalks. It is the old story of rich and poor! My little barouche is not here, nor has James Chesnut any of his horses here, but then I drive every day with Mrs. McCord and Mrs. Preston, either of whose turnouts fills the bill. The Governor's carriage, horses, servants, etc., are splendid- just what they should be. Why not?
April 14th. - Our Fair is in full blast. We keep a restaurant. Our waitresses are Mary and Buck Preston, Isabella Martin, and Grace Elmore.
April 15th. - Trescott is too clever ever to be a bore; that was proved to-day, for he stayed two hours; as usual,
Mr. Chesnut said "four." Trescott was very surly; calls himself ex-Secretary of State of the United States; now, nothing in particular of South Carolina or the Confederate States. Then he yawned, "What a bore this war is. I wish it was ended, one way or another." He speaks of going across the border and taking service in Mexico. "Rubbish, not much Mexico for you," I answered. Another patriot came then and averred, "I will take my family back to town, that we may all surrender together. I gave it up early in the spring." Trescott made a face behind backs, and said: " Lache!"
The enemy have flanked Beauregard at Nashville. There is grief enough for Albert Sidney Johnston now; we begin to see what we have lost. We were pushing them into the river when General Johnston was wounded. Beauregard was lying in his tent, at the rear, in a green sickness- melancholy - but no matter what the name of the malady. He was too slow to move, and lost all the advantage gained by our dead hero.1 Without him there is no head to our Western army. Pulaski has fallen. What more is there to fall?
April 15th. - Mrs. Middleton: "How did you settle Molly's little difficulty with Mrs. McMahan, that 'piece of her mind' that Molly gave our landlady?" "Oh, paid our way out of it, of course, and I apologized for Molly!"
Gladden, the hero of the Palmettos in Mexico, is killed. Shiloh has been a dreadful blow to us. Last winter Stephen, my brother, had it in his power to do such a nice thing for Colonel Gladden. In the dark he heard his name, also that he had to walk twenty-five miles in Alabama mud or go on
1. The battle of Shiloh, or Pittsburg Landing, in Tennessee, eighty -eight miles east of Memphis, had been fought on April 6 and 7, 1862. The Federals were commanded by General Grant who, on the second day, was reenforced by General Buell. The Confederates were commanded by Albert Sidney Johnston on the first day, when Johnston was killed, and on the second day by General Beauregard.
an ammunition wagon. So he introduced himself as a South Carolinian to Colonel Gladden, whom he knew only by reputation as colonel of the Palmetto regiment in the Mexican war. And they drove him in his carriage comfortably to where he wanted to go - a night drive of fifty miles for Stephen, for he had the return trip, too. I would rather live in Siberia, worse still, in Sahara, than live in a country surrendered to Yankees.
The Carolinian says the conscription bill passed by Congress is fatal to our liberties as a people. Let us be a people "certain and sure," as poor Tom B. said, and then talk of rebelling against our home government.
Sat up all night. Read Eothen straight through, our old Wiley and Putnam edition that we bought in London in 1845. How could I sleep? The power they are bringing to bear against our country is tremendous. Its weight may be irresistible - dare not think of that, however.
April 21st. - Have been ill. One day I dined at Mrs. Preston's, pâté de foie gras and partridge prepared for me as I like them. I had been awfully depressed for days and could not sleep at night for anxiety, but I did not know that I was bodily ill. Mrs. Preston came home with me. She said emphatically: "Molly, if your mistress is worse in the night send for me instantly." I thought it very odd. I could not breathe if I attempted to lie down, and very soon I lost my voice. Molly raced out and sent Lawrence for Doctor Trezevant. She said I had the croup. The doctor said, "congestion of the lungs."
So here I am, stranded, laid by the heels. Battle after battle has occurred, disaster after disaster. Every, morning's paper is enough to kill a well woman and age a strong and hearty one.
To-day, the waters of this stagnant pool were wildly stirred. The President telegraphed for my husband to come on to Richmond, and offered him a place on his staff. I was a joyful woman. It was a way opened by Providence
from this Slough of Despond, this Council whose counsel no one takes. I wrote to Mr. Davis, "With thanks, and begging your pardon, how I would like to go." Mrs. Preston agrees with me, Mr. Chesnut ought to go. Through Mr. Chesnut the President might hear many things to the advantage of our State, etc.
Letter from Quinton Washington. That was the best tonic yet. He writes so cheerfully. We have fifty thousand men on the Peninsula and McClellan eighty thousand. We expect that much disparity of numbers. We can stand that.
April 23d. - On April 23, 1840, I was married, aged seventeen; consequently on the 31st of March, 1862, I was thirty-nine. I saw a wedding to-day from my window, which opens on Trinity Church. Nanna Shand married a Doctor Wilson. Then, a beautiful bevy of girls rushed into my room. Such a flutter and a chatter. Well, thank Heaven for a wedding. It is a charming relief from the dismal litany of our daily song.
A letter to-day from our octogenarian at Mulberry. His nephew, Jack Deas, had two horses shot under him; the old Colonel has his growl, "That's enough for glory, and no hurt after all." He ends, however, with his never-failing refrain: We can't fight all the world; two and two only make four; it can't make a thousand; numbers will not lie. He says he has lost half a million already in railroad bonds, bank stock, Western notes of hand, not to speak of negroes to be freed, and lands to be confiscated, for he takes the gloomiest views of all things.
April 26th. - Doleful dumps, alarm-bells ringing. Telegrams say the mortar fleet has passed the forts at New Orleans. Down into the very depths of despair are we.
April 27th. - New Orleans gone1 and with it the
1. New Orleans had been seized by the Confederates at the outbreak of the war. Steps to capture it were soon taken by the Federals and on April 18, 1862, the mortar flotilla, under Farragut, opened fire on its protecting forts. Making little impression on them, Farragut ran boldly past the forts and destroyed the Confederate fleet, comprising 13 gunboats and two ironclads. On April 27th he took formal possession of the city.
Confederacy. That Mississippi ruins us if lost. The Confederacy has been done to death by the politicians. What wonder we are lost.
The soldiers have done their duty. All honor to the army. Statesmen as busy as bees about their own places, or their personal honor, too busy to see the enemy at a distance. With a microscope they were examining their own interests, or their own wrongs, forgetting the interests of the people they represented. They were concocting newspaper paragraphs to injure the government. No matter how vital it may be, nothing can be kept from the enemy. They must publish themselves, night and day, what they are doing, or the omniscient Buncombe will forget them.
This fall of New Orleans means utter ruin to the private fortunes of the Prestons. Mr. Preston came from New Orleans so satisfied with Mansfield Lovell and the tremendous steam-rams he saw there. While in New Orleans Burnside offered Mr. Preston five hundred thousand dollars, a debt due to him from Burnside, and he refused to take it. He said the money was safer in Burnside's hands than his. And so it may prove, so ugly is the outlook now. Burnside is wide awake; he is not a man to be caught napping.
Mary Preston was saying she had asked the Hamptons how they relished the idea of being paupers. If the country is saved none of us will care for that sort of thing. Philosophical and patriotic, Mr. Chesnut came in, saying: "Conrad has been telegraphed from New Orleans that the great iron-clad Louisiana went down at the first shot." Mr. Chesnut and Mary Preston walked off, first to the bulletin-board and then to the Prestons'.
April 29th. - A grand smash, the news from New Orleans fatal to us. Met Mr. Weston. He wanted to know where he could find a place of safety for two hundred negroes. I looked into his face to see if he were in earnest; then to see if he were sane. There was a certain set of two hundred negroes that had grown to be a nuisance. Apparently all the white men of the family had felt bound to stay at home to take care of them. There are people who still believe negroes property - like Noah's neighbors, who insisted that the Deluge would only be a little shower after all.
These negroes, however, were Plowden Weston's, a totally different part of speech. He gave field-rifles to one company and forty thousand dollars to another. He is away with our army at Corinth. So I said: "You may rely upon Mr. Chesnut, who will assist you to his uttermost in finding a home for these people. Nothing belonging to that patriotic gentleman shall come to grief if we have to take charge of them on our own place." Mr. Chesnut did get a place for them, as I said he would.
Had to go to the Governor's or they would think we had hoisted the black flag. Heard there we are going to be beaten as Cortez beat the Mexicans - by superior arms. Mexican bows and arrows made a poor showing in the face of Spanish accoutrements. Our enemies have such superior weapons of war, we hardly any but what we capture from them in the fray. The Saxons and the Normans were in the same plight.
War seems a game of chess, but we have an unequal number of pawns to begin with. We have knights, kings, queens, bishops, and castles enough. But our skilful generals, whenever they can not arrange the board to suit them exactly, burn up everything and march away. We want them to save the country. They seem to think their whole duty is to destroy ships and save the army.
Mr. Robert Barnwell wrote that he had to hang his
head for South Carolina. We had not furnished our quota of the new levy, five thousand men. To-day Colonel Chesnut published his statement to show that we have sent thirteen thousand, instead of the mere number required of us; so Mr. Barnwell can hold up his head again.
April 30th. - The last day of this month of calamities. Lovell left the women and children to be shelled, and took the army to a safe place. I do not understand why we do not send the women and children to the safe place and let the army stay where the fighting is to be. Armies are to save, not to be saved. At least, to be saved is not their raison d'être exactly. If this goes on the spirit of our people will be broken. One ray of comfort comes from Henry Marshall. "Our Army of the Peninsula is fine; so good I do not think McClellan will venture to attack it." So mote it be.
May 6th. - Mine is a painful, self-imposed task: but why write when I have nothing to chronicle but disaster?1 So I read instead: First, Consuelo, then Columba, two ends of the pole certainly, and then a translated edition of Elective Affinities. Food enough for thought in every one of this odd assortment of books.
At the Prestons', where I am staying (because Mr. Chesnut has gone to see his crabbed old father, whom he loves, and who is reported ill), I met Christopher Hampton. He tells us Wigfall is out on a warpath; wants them to strike for Maryland. The President's opinion of the move is not given. Also Mr. Hampton met the first lieutenant of the Kirkwoods, E. M. Boykin. Says he is just the same man he was in the South Carolina College. In whatever company you may meet him, he is the pleasantest man there.
Williamsburg."1 Oh, if we could drive them back "to their ain countree!" Richmond was hard pressed this day. The Mercury of to-day says, "Jeff Davis now treats all men as if they were idiotic insects."
Mary Preston said all sisters quarreled. No, we never quarrel, I and mine. We keep all our bitter words for our enemies. We are frank heathens; we hate our enemies and love our friends. Some people (our kind) can never make up after a quarrel; hard words once only and all is over. To us forgiveness is impossible. Forgiveness means calm indifference; philosophy, while love lasts. Forgiveness of love's wrongs is impossible. Those dutiful wives who piously overlook - well, everything - do not care one fig for their husbands. I settled that in my own mind years ago. Some people think it magnanimous to praise their enemies and to show their impartiality and justice by acknowledging the faults of their friends. I am for the simple rule, the good old plan. I praise whom I love and abuse whom I hate.
Mary Preston has been translating Schiller aloud. We are provided with Bulwer's translation, Mrs. Austin's, Coleridge's, and Carlyle's, and we show how each renders the passage Mary is to convert into English. In Wallenstein at one point of the Max and Thekla scene, I like Carlyle better than Coleridge, though they say Coleridge's Wallenstein is the only translation in the world half so good as the original. Mrs. Barstow repeated some beautiful scraps by Uhland, which I had never heard before. She is to write them for us. Peace, and a literary leisure for my old age, unbroken by care and anxiety!
General Preston accused me of degenerating into a boarding-house gossip, and is answered triumphantly by
1. The battle of Williamsburg was fought on May 5, 1862, by a part of McClellan's army, under General Hooker and others, the Confederates being commanded by General Johnston.
his daughters: "But, papa, one you love to gossip with full well."
Hampton estate has fifteen hundred negroes on Lake Washington, Mississippi. Hampton girls talking in the language of James's novels: "Neither Wade nor Preston - that splendid boy!-would lay a lance in rest - or couch it, which is the right phrase for fighting, to preserve slavery. They hate it as we do." "What are they fighting for?" "Southern rights - whatever that is. And they do not want to be understrappers forever to the Yankees. They talk well enough about it, but I forget what they say." Johnny Chesnut says: "No use to give a reason- a fellow could not stay away from the fight - not well." It takes four negroes to wait on Johnny satisfactorily.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
It is this giving up that kills me. Norfolk they talk of now; why not Charleston next? I read in a Western letter, "Not Beauregard, but the soldiers who stopped to drink the whisky they had captured from the enemy, lost us Shiloh." Cock Robin is as dead as he ever will be now; what matters it who killed him?
May 12th. - Mr. Chesnut says he is very glad he went to town. Everything in Charleston is so much more satisfactory than it is reported. Troops are in good spirits. It will take a lot of iron-clads to take that city.
Isaac Hayne said at dinner yesterday that both Beauregard and the President had a great opinion of Mr. Chesnut's natural ability for strategy and military evolution. Hon. Mr. Barnwell concurred; that is, Mr. Barnwell had been told so by the President. "Then why did not the President offer me something better than an aideship?" "I heard he offered to make you a general last year, and you said you could not go over other men's shoulders until you had earned promotion. You are too hard to please." "No, not exactly that, I was only offered a colonelcy, and Mr. Barnwell persuaded me to stick to the Senate; then he
wanted my place, and between the two stools I fell to the ground."
My Molly will forget Lige and her babies, too. I asked her who sent me that beautiful bouquet I found on my center-table. "I give it to you. 'Twas give to me." And Molly was all wriggle, giggle, blush.
May 18th. - Norfolk has been burned and the Merrimac sunk without striking a blow since her coup d'état in Hampton Roads. Read Milton. See the speech of Adam to Eve in a new light. Women will not stay at home; will go out to see and be seen, even if it be by the devil himself.
Very encouraging letters from Hon. Mr. Memminger and from L. Q. Washington. They tell the same story in very different words. It amounts to this: "Not one foot of Virginia soil is to be given up without a bitter fight for it. We have one hundred and five thousand men in all, McClellan one hundred and ninety thousand. We can stand that disparity."
What things I have been said to have said! Mr. - - - heard me make scoffing remarks about the Governor and the Council - or he thinks he heard me. James Chesnut wrote him a note that my name was to be kept out of it - indeed, that he was never to mention my name again under any possible circumstances. It was all preposterous nonsense, but it annoyed my husband amazingly. He said it was a scheme to use my chatter to his injury. He was very kind about it. He knows my real style so well that he can always tell my real impudence from what is fabricated for me.
There is said to be an order from Butler1 turning over
1. General Benjamin F. Butler took command of New Orleans on May 2, 1862. The author's reference is to his famous "Order No. 28," which reads: "As the officers and soldiers of the United States have been subject to repeated insults from the women (calling themselves ladies) of New Orleans, in return for the most scrupulous non-interference and courtesy on our part, it is ordered that hereafter when any female shall by word, gesture, or movement insult or show contempt for any officer or soldier of the United States she shall be regarded and held liable to be treated as a woman of the town plying her vocation." This and other acts of Butler in New Orleans led Jefferson Davis to issue a proclamation, declaring Butler to be a felon and an outlaw, and if captured that he should be instantly hanged. In December Butler was superseded at New Orleans by General Banks.
the women of New Orleans to his soldiers. Thus is the measure of his iniquities filled. We thought that generals always restrained, by shot or sword if need be, the brutality of soldiers. This hideous, cross-eyed beast orders his men to treat the ladies of New Orleans as women of the town - to punish them, he says, for their insolence.
Footprints on the boundaries of another world once more. Willie Taylor, before he left home for the army, fancied one day - day, remember - that he saw Albert Rhett standing by his side. He recoiled from the ghostly presence. "You need not do that, Willie. You will soon be as I am." Willie rushed into the next room to tell them what had happened, and fainted. It had a very depressing effect upon him. And now the other day he died in Virginia.
May 24th. - The enemy are landing at Georgetown. With a little more audacity where could they not land? But we have given them such a scare, they are cautious. If it be true, I hope some cool-headed white men will make the negroes save the rice for us. It is so much needed. They say it might have been done at Port Royal with a little more energy. South Carolinians have pluck enough, but they only work by fits and starts; there is no continuous effort; they can't be counted on for steady work. They will stop to play - or enjoy life in some shape.
Without let or hindrance Halleck is being reenforced. Beauregard, unmolested, was making some fine speeches- and issuing proclamations, while we were fatuously looking for him to make a tiger's spring on Huntsville. Why not? Hope springs eternal in the Southern breast.
My Hebrew friend, Mem Cohen, has a son in the war. He is in John Chesnut's company. Cohen is a high name among the Jews: it means Aaron. She has long fits of silence, and is absent-minded. If she is suddenly roused, she is apt to say, with overflowing eyes and clasped hands, "If it please God to spare his life." Her daughter is the sweetest little thing. The son is the mother's idol. Mrs. Cohen was Miriam de Leon. I have known her intimately all my life.
Mrs. Bartow, the widow of Colonel Bartow, who was killed at Manassas, was Miss Berrien, daughter of Judge Berrien, of Georgia. She is now in one of the departments here, cutting bonds - Confederate bonds - for five hundred Confederate dollars a year, a penniless woman. Judge Carroll, her brother-in-law, has been urgent with her to come and live in his home. He has a large family and she will not be an added burden to him. In spite of all he can say, she will not forego her resolution. She will be independent. She is a resolute little woman, with the softest, silkiest voice and ways, and clever to the last point.
Columbia is the place for good living, pleasant people, pleasant dinners, pleasant drives. I feel that I have put the dinners in the wrong place. They are the climax of the good things here. This is the most hospitable place in the world, and the dinners are worthy of it.
In Washington, there was an endless succession of state dinners. I was kindly used. I do not remember ever being condemned to two dull neighbors: on one side or the other was a clever man; so I liked Washington dinners.
In Montgomery, there were a few dinners - Mrs. Pollard's, for instance, but the society was not smoothed down or in shape. Such as it was it was given over to balls and suppers. In Charleston, Mr. Chesnut went to gentlemen's dinners all the time; no ladies present. Flowers were sent to me, and I was taken to drive and asked to tea. There could not have been nicer suppers, more perfect of their
kind than were to be found at the winding up of those festivities.
In Richmond, there were balls, which I did not attend- very few to which I was asked: the MacFarlands' and Lyons's, all I can remember. James Chesnut dined out nearly every day. But then the breakfasts - the Virginia breakfasts - where were always pleasant people. Indeed, I have had a good time everywhere - always clever people, and people I liked, and everybody so good to me.
Here in Columbia, family dinners are the specialty. You call, or they pick you up and drive home with you. "Oh, stay to dinner!" and you stay gladly. They send for your husband, and he comes willingly. Then comes a perfect dinner. You do not see how it could be improved; and yet they have not had time to alter things or add because of the unexpected guests. They have everything of the best - silver, glass, china, table linen, and damask, etc. And then the planters live "within themselves," as they call it. From the plantations come mutton, beef, poultry, cream, butter, eggs, fruits, and vegetables.
It is easy to live here, with a cook who has been sent for training to the best eating-house in Charleston. Old Mrs. Chesnut's Romeo was apprenticed at Jones's. I do not know where Mrs. Preston's got his degree, but he deserves a medal.
At the Prestons', James Chesnut induced Buck to declaim something about Joan of Arc, which she does in a manner to touch all hearts. While she was speaking, my husband turned to a young gentleman who was listening to the chatter of several girls, and said: "Écoutez!" The youth stared at him a moment in bewilderment; then, gravely rose and began turning down the gas. Isabella said: "Écoutez, then, means put out the lights."
I recall a scene which took place during a ball given by Mrs. Preston while her husband was in Louisiana. Mrs. Preston was resplendent in diamonds, point lace, and velvet.
There is a gentle dignity about her which is very attractive; her voice is low and sweet, and her will is iron. She is exceedingly well informed, but very quiet, retiring, and reserved. Indeed, her apparent gentleness almost amounts to timidity. She has chiseled regularity of features, a majestic figure, perfectly molded.
Governor Manning said to me: "Look at Sister Caroline. Does she look as if she had the pluck of a heroine?" Then he related how a little while ago William, the butler, came to tell her that John, the footman, was drunk in the cellar - mad with drink; that he had a carving-knife which he was brandishing in drunken fury, and he was keeping everybody from their business, threatening to kill any one who dared to go into the basement. They were like a flock of frightened sheep down there. She did not speak to one of us, but followed William down to the basement, holding up her skirts. She found the servants scurrying everywhere, screaming and shouting that John was crazy and going to kill them. John was bellowing like a bull of Bashan, knife in hand, chasing them at his pleasure.
Mrs. Preston walked up to him. "Give me that knife," she demanded. He handed it to her. She laid it on the table. "Now come with me," she said, putting her hand on his collar. She led him away to the empty smoke-house, and there she locked him in and put the key in her pocket. Then she returned to her guests, without a ripple on her placid face. "She told me of it, smiling and serene as you see her now," the Governor concluded.
Before the war shut him in, General Preston sent to the lakes for his salmon, to Mississippi for his venison, to the mountains for his mutton and grouse. It is good enough, the best dish at all these houses, what the Spanish call "the hearty welcome." Thackeray says at every American table he was first served with "grilled hostess." At the head of the table sat a person, fiery-faced, anxious, nervous,
inwardly murmuring, like Falstaff, "Would it were night, Hal, and all were well."
At Mulberry the house is always filled to overflowing, and one day is curiously like another. People are coming and going, carriages driving up or driving off. It has the air of a watering-place, where one does not pay, and where there are no strangers. At Christmas the china closet gives up its treasures. The glass, china, silver, fine linen reserved for grand occasions come forth. As for the dinner itself, it is only a matter of greater quantity - more turkey, more mutton, more partridges, more fish, etc., and more solemn stiffness. Usually a half-dozen persons unexpectedly dropping in make no difference. The family let the housekeeper know; that is all.
People are beginning to come here from Richmond. One swallow does not make a summer, but it shows how the wind blows, these straws do - Mrs. "Constitution" Browne and Mrs. Wise. The Gibsons are at Doctor Gibbes's It does look squally. We are drifting on the breakers.
May 29th. - Betsey, recalcitrant maid of the W.'s, has been sold to a telegraph man. She is as handsome as a mulatto ever gets to be, and clever in every kind of work. My Molly thinks her mistress "very lucky in getting rid of her." She was "a dangerous inmate," but she will be a good cook, a good chambermaid, a good dairymaid, a beautiful clear-starcher, and the most thoroughly good-for-nothing woman I know to her new owners, if she chooses. Molly evidently hates her, but thinks it her duty "to stand by her color."
Mrs. Gibson is a Philadelphia woman. She is true to her husband and children, but she does not believe in us- the Confederacy, I mean. She is despondent and hopeless; as wanting in faith of our ultimate success as is Sally Baxter Hampton. I make allowances for those people. If I had married North, they would have a heavy handful in me just now up there.
Mrs. Chesnut, my mother-in-law, has been sixty years in the South, and she has not changed in feeling or in taste one iota. She can not like hominy for breakfast, or rice for dinner, without a relish to give it some flavor. She can not eat watermelons and sweet potatoes sans discrétion, as we do. She will not eat hot corn bread à discrétion, and hot buttered biscuit without any.
"Richmond is obliged to fall," sighed Mrs. Gibson. "You would say so, too, if you had seen our poor soldiers." "Poor soldiers?" said I. "Are you talking of Stonewall Jackson's men? Poor soldiers, indeed!" She said her mind was fixed on one point, and had ever been, though she married and came South: she never would own slaves. "Who would that was not born to it?" I cried, more excited than ever. She is very handsome, very clever, and has very agreeable manners.
"Dear madam," she says, with tears in her beautiful eyes, "they have three armies." "But Stonewall has routed one of them already. Heath another." She only answered by an unbelieving moan. "Nothing seemed to suit her," I said, as we went away. "You did not certainly," said some one to me; "you contradicted every word she said, with a sort of indignant protest."
We met Mrs. Hampton Gibbes at the door - another Virginia woman as good as gold. They told us Mrs. Davis was delightfully situated at Raleigh; North Carolinians so loyal, so hospitable; she had not been allowed to eat a meal at the hotel. "How different from Columbia," said Doctor Gibbes, looking at Mrs. Gibson, who has no doubt been left to take all of her meals at his house. "Oh, no!" cried Mary, "you do Columbia injustice. Mrs. Chesnut used to tell us that she was never once turned over to the tender mercies of the Congaree cuisine, and at McMahan's it is fruit, flowers, invitations to dinner every day."
After we came away, "Why did you not back me up?" I was asked. "Why did you let them slander Columbia?"
"It was awfully awkward," I said, "but you see it would have been worse to let Doctor Gibbes and Mrs. Gibson see how different it was with other people."
Took a moonlight walk after tea at the Halcott Greens'. All the company did honor to the beautiful night by walking home with me.
Uncle Hamilton Boykin is here, staying at the de Saussures'. He says, "Manassas was play to Williamsburg," and he was at both battles. He lead a part of Stuart's cavalry in the charge at Williamsburg, riding a hundred yards ahead of his company.
Toombs is ready for another revolution, and curses freely everything Confederate from the President down to a horse boy. He thinks there is a conspiracy against him in the army. Why? Heavens and earth - why?
June 2d. - A battle1 is said to be raging round Richmond. I am at the Prestons'. James Chesnut has gone to Richmond suddenly on business of the Military Department. It is always his luck to arrive in the nick of time and be present at a great battle.
Wade Hampton shot in the foot, and Johnston Pettigrew killed. A telegram says Lee and Davis were both on the field: the enemy being repulsed. Telegraph operator said: "Madam, our men are fighting." "Of course they are. What else is there for them to do now but fight?" "But, madam, the news is encouraging." Each army is burying its dead: that looks like a drawn battle. We haunt the bulletin-board.
Back to McMahan's. Mem Cohen is ill. Her daughter, Isabel, warns me not to mention the battle raging around Richmond. Young Cohen is in it. Mrs. Preston, anxious
1. The Battle of Fair Oaks or Seven Pines, took place a few miles east of Richmond, on May 31 and June 1, 1862, the Federals being commanded by McClellan and the Confederates by General Joseph E. Johnston.
and unhappy about her sons. John is with General Huger at Richmond; Willie in the swamps on the coast with his company. Mem tells me her cousin, Edwin de Leon, is sent by Mr. Davis on a mission to England.
Rev. Robert Barnwell has returned to the hospital. Oh, that we had given our thousand dollars to the hospital and not to the gunboat! "Stonewall Jackson's movements," the Herald says, "do us no harm; it is bringing out volunteers in great numbers." And a Philadelphia paper abused us so fervently I felt all the blood in me rush to my head with rage.
June 3d. - Doctor John Cheves is making infernal machines in Charleston to blow the Yankees up; pretty name they have, those machines. My horses, the overseer says, are too poor to send over. There was corn enough on the place for two years, they said, in January; now, in June, they write that it will not last until the new crop comes in. Somebody is having a good time on the plantation, if it be not my poor horses.
Molly will tell me all when she comes back, and more. Mr. Venable has been made an aide to General Robert E. Lee. He is at Vicksburg, and writes, "When the fight is over here, I shall be glad to go to Virginia." He is in capital spirits. I notice army men all are when they write.
Apropos of calling Major Venable "Mr." Let it be noted that in social intercourse we are not prone to give handles to the names of those we know well and of our nearest and dearest. A general's wife thinks it bad form to call her husband anything but "Mr." When she gives him his title, she simply "drops" into it by accident. If I am "mixed" on titles in this diary, let no one blame me.
Telegrams come from Richmond ordering troops from Charleston. Can not be sent, for the Yankees are attacking Charleston, doubtless with the purpose to prevent Lee's receiving reenforcements from there.
Sat down at my window in the beautiful moonlight, and
tried hard for pleasant thoughts. A man began to play on the flute, with piano accompaniment, first, "Ever of thee I am fondly dreaming," and then, "The long, long, weary day." At first, I found this but a complement to the beautiful scene, and it was soothing to my wrought-up nerves. But Von Weber's "Last Waltz" was too much; I broke down. Heavens, what a bitter cry came forth, with such floods of tears! the wonder is there was any of me left.
I learn that Richmond women go in their carriages for the wounded, carry them home and nurse them. One saw a man too weak to hold his musket. She took it from him, put it on her shoulder, and helped the poor fellow along.
If ever there was a man who could control every expression of emotion, who could play stoic, or an Indian chief, it is James Chesnut. But one day when he came in from the Council he had to own to a break-down. He was awfully ashamed of his weakness. There was a letter from Mrs. Gaillard asking him to help her, and he tried to read it to the Council. She wanted a permit to go on to her son, who lies wounded in Virginia. Colonel Chesnut could not control his voice. There was not a dry eye there, when suddenly one man called out, "God bless the woman."
Johnston Pettigrew's aide says he left his chief mortally wounded on the battle-field. Just before Johnston Pettigrew went to Italy to take a hand in the war there for freedom, I met him one day at Mrs. Frank Hampton's. A number of people were present. Some one spoke of the engagement of the beautiful Miss - to Hugh Rose. Some one else asked: "How do you know they are engaged?" "Well, I never heard it, but I saw it. In London, a month or so ago, I entered Mrs. - 's drawing-room, and I saw these two young people seated on a sofa opposite the door." "Well, that amounted to nothing." "No, not in itself. But they looked so foolish and so happy. I have noticed newly engaged people always look that way." And so on. Johnston Pettigrew was white and red in quick succession
during this turn of the conversation; he was in a rage of indignation and disgust. "I think this kind of talk is taking a liberty with the young lady's name," he exclaimed finally, "and that it is an impertinence in us." I fancy him left dying alone! I wonder what they feel - those who are left to die of their wounds - alone - on the battle-field.
Free schools are not everything, as witness this spelling. Yankee epistles found in camp show how illiterate they can be, with all their boasted schools. Fredericksburg is spelled "Fredrexbirg," medicine, "metison," and we read, "To my sweat brother," etc. For the first time in my life no books can interest me. Life is so real, so utterly earnest, that fiction is flat. Nothing but what is going on in this distracted world of ours can arrest my attention for ten minutes at a time.
June 4th. - Battles occur near Richmond, with bombardment of Charleston. Beauregard is said to be fighting his way out or in.
Mrs. Gibson is here, at Doctor Gibbes's. Tears are always in her eyes. Her eldest son is Willie Preston's lieutenant. They are down on the coast. She owns that she has no hope at all. She was a Miss Ayer, of Philadelphia, and says, "We may look for Burnside now, our troops which held him down to his iron flotilla have been withdrawn. They are three to one against us now, and they have hardly begun to put out their strength - in numbers, I mean. We have come to the end of our tether, except we wait for the yearly crop of boys as they grow up to the requisite age." She would make despondent the most sanguine person alive. "As a general rule," says Mrs. Gibson, "government people are sanguine, but the son of one high functionary whispered to Mary G., as he handed her into the car, 'Richmond is bound to go.' " The idea now is that we are to be starved out. If they shut us in, prolong the agony, it can then have but one end.
Mrs. Preston and I speak in whispers, but Mrs. McCord
scorns whispers, and speaks out. She says: "There are our soldiers. Since the world began there never were better but God does not deign to send us a general worthy of them. I do not mean drill-sergeants or military old maids, who will not fight until everything is just so. The real ammunition of our war is faith in ourselves and enthusiasm in our cause. West Point sits down on enthusiasm, laughs it to scorn. It wants discipline. And now comes a new danger, these blockade-runners. They are filling their pockets and they gibe and sneer at the fools who fight. Don't you see this Stonewall, how he fires the soldiers' hearts; he will be our leader, maybe after all. They say he does not care how many are killed. His business is to save the country, not the army. He fights to win, God bless him, and he wins. If they do not want to be killed, they can stay at home. They say he leaves the sick and wounded to be cared for by those whose business it is to do so. His business is war. They say he wants to hoist the black flag, have a short, sharp, decisive war and end it. He is a Christian soldier."
June 5th. - Beauregard retreating and his rear-guard cut off. If Beauregard's veterans will not stand, why should we expect our newly levied reserves to do it? The Yankee general who is besieging Savannah announces his orders are "to take Savannah in two weeks' time, and then proceed to erase Charleston from the face of the earth."
Albert Luryea was killed in the battle of June 1st. Last summer when a bomb fell in the very thick of his company he picked it up and threw it into the water. Think of that, those of ye who love life! The company sent the bomb to his father. Inscribed on it were the words, "Albert Luryea, bravest where all are brave." Isaac Hayne did the same thing at Fort Moultrie. This race has brains enough, but they are not active-minded like those old Revolutionary characters, the Middletons, Lowndeses, Rutledges, Marions, Summers. They have come direct from active-minded forefathers, or they would not have been here; but, with two
or three generations of gentlemen planters, how changed has the blood become! Of late, all the active-minded men who have sprung to the front in our government were immediate descendants of Scotch, or Scotch-Irish-Calhoun, McDuffie, Cheves, and Petigru, who Huguenotted his name, but could not tie up his Irish. Our planters are nice fellows, but slow to move; impulsive but hard to keep moving. They are wonderful for a spurt, but with all their strength, they like to rest.
June 6th. - Paul Hayne, the poet, has taken rooms here. My husband came and offered to buy me a pair of horses. He says I need more exercise in the open air. "Come, now, are you providing me with the means of a rapid retreat?" said I. "I am pretty badly equipped for marching."
Mrs. Rose Greenhow is in Richmond. One-half of the ungrateful Confederates say Seward sent her. My husband says the Confederacy owes her a debt it can never pay. She warned them at Manassas, and so they got Joe Johnston and his Paladins to appear upon the stage in the very nick of time. In Washington they said Lord Napier left her a legacy to the British Legation, which accepted the gift, unlike the British nation, who would not accept Emma Hamilton and her daughter, Horatia, though they were willed to the nation by Lord Nelson.
Mem Cohen, fresh from the hospital where she went with a beautiful Jewish friend. Rachel, as we will call her (be it her name or no), was put to feed a very weak patient. Mem noticed what a handsome fellow he was and how quiet and clean. She fancied by those tokens that he was a gentleman. In performance of her duties, the lovely young nurse leaned kindly over him and held the cup to his lips. When that ceremony was over and she had wiped his mouth, to her horror she felt a pair of by no means weak arms around her neck and a kiss upon her lips, which she thought strong, indeed. She did not say a word; she made no complaint. She slipped away from the hospital, and
hereafter in her hospital work will minister at long range, no matter how weak and weary, sick and sore, the patient may be. "And," said Mem, "I thought he was a gentleman." "Well, a gentleman is a man, after all, and she ought not to have put those red lips of hers so near."
June 7th. - Cheves McCord's battery on the coast has three guns and one hundred men. If this battery should be captured John's Island and James Island would be open to the enemy, and so Charleston exposed utterly.
Wade Hampton writes to his wife that Chickahominy was not as decided a victory as he could have wished. Fort Pillow and Memphis1 have been given up. Next! and next!
June 9th. - When we read of the battles in India, in Italy, in the Crimea, what did we care? Only an interesting topic, like any other, to look for in the paper. Now you hear of a battle with a thrill and a shudder. It has come home to us; half the people that we know in the world are under the enemy's guns. A telegram reaches you, and you leave it on your lap. You are pale with fright. You handle it, or you dread to touch it, as you would a rattlesnake; worse, worse, a snake could only strike you. How many, many will this scrap of paper tell you have gone to their death?
When you meet people, sad and sorrowful is the greeting; they press your hand; tears stand in their eyes or roll down their cheeks, as they happen to possess more or less self-control. They have brother, father, or sons as the case may be, in battle. And now this thing seems never to stop. We have no breathing time given us. It can not be
1. Fort Pillow was on the Mississippi above Memphis. It had been erected by the Confederates, but was occupied by the Federals on June 5, 1862, the Confederates having evacuated and partially destroyed it the day before. On June 6, 1862, the Federal fleet defeated the Confederates near Memphis. The city soon afterward was occupied by the Federals.
so at the North, for the papers say gentlemen do not go into the ranks there, but are officers, or clerks of departments. Then we see so many members of foreign regiments among our prisoners - Germans, Irish, Scotch. The proportion of trouble is awfully against us. Every company on the field, rank and file, is filled with our nearest and dearest, who are common soldiers.
Mem Cohen's story to-day. A woman she knew heard her son was killed, and had hardly taken in the horror of it when they came to say it was all a mistake in the name. She fell on her knees with a shout of joy. "Praise the Lord, O my soul!" she cried, in her wild delight. The household was totally upset, the swing-back of the pendulum from the scene of weeping and wailing of a few moments before was very exciting. In the midst of this hubbub the hearse drove up with the poor boy in his metallic coffin. Does anybody wonder so many women die? Grief and constant anxiety kill nearly as many women at home as men are killed on the battle-field. Mem's friend is at the point of death with brain fever; the sudden changes from grief to joy and joy to grief were more than she could bear.
A story from New Orleans. As some Yankees passed two boys playing in the street, one of the boys threw a handful of burned cotton at them, saying, "I keep this for you." The other, not to be outdone, spit at the Yankees, and said, "I keep this for you." The Yankees marked the house. Afterward, a corporal's guard came. Madam was affably conversing with a friend, and in vain, the friend, who was a mere morning caller, protested he was not the master of the house; he was marched off to prison.
Mr. Moise got his money out of New Orleans. He went to a station with his two sons, who were quite small boys. When he got there, the carriage that he expected was not to be seen. He had brought no money with him, knowing he might be searched. Some friend called out, "I will lend you my horse, but then you will be obliged to leave the
children." This offer was accepted, and, as he rode off, one of the boys called out, "Papa, here is your tobacco, which you have forgotten." Mr. Moise turned back and the boy handed up a roll of tobacco, which he had held openly in his hand all the time. Mr. Moise took it, and galloped off, waving his hat to them. In that roll of tobacco was encased twenty-five thousand dollars.
Now, the Mississippi is virtually open to the Yankees. Beauregard has evacuated Corinth.1
Henry Nott was killed at Shiloh; Mrs. Auzé wrote to tell us. She had no hope. To be conquered and ruined had always been her fate, strive as she might, and now she knew it would be through her country that she would be made to feel. She had had more than most women to endure, and the battle of life she had tried to fight with courage, patience, faith. Long years ago, when she was young, her lover died. Afterward, she married another. Then her husband died, and next her only son. When New Orleans fell, her only daughter was there and Mrs. Auzé went to her. Well may she say that she has bravely borne her burden till now.2
Stonewall said, in his quaint way: "I like strong drink, so I never touch it." May heaven, who sent him to help us, save him from all harm!
My husband traced Stonewall's triumphal career on the map. He has defeated Frémont and taken all his cannon; now he is after Shields. The language of the telegram is vague: "Stonewall has taken plenty of prisoners" - plenty, no doubt, and enough and to spare. We can't feed our own soldiers, and how are we to feed prisoners?
They denounce Toombs in some Georgia paper, which I
1. Corinth was besieged by the Federals, under General Halleck, in May, 1862, and was evacuated by the Confederates under Beauregard on May 29th.
2. She lost her life in the Windsor Hotel fire in New York.
saw to-day, for planting a full crop of cotton. They say he ought to plant provisions for soldiers.
And now every man in Virginia, and the eastern part of South Carolina is in revolt, because old men and boys are ordered out as a reserve corps, and worst of all, sacred property, that is, negroes, have been seized and sent out to work on the fortifications along the coast line. We are in a fine condition to fortify Columbia!
June 10th. - General Gregg writes that Chickahominy1 was a victory manqué, because Joe Johnston received a disabling wound and G. W. Smith was ill. The subordinates in command had not been made acquainted with the plan of battle.
A letter from John Chesnut, who says it must be all a mistake about Wade Hampton's wound, for he saw him in the field to the very last; that is, until late that night. Hampton writes to Mary McDuffie that the ball was extracted from his foot on the field, and that he was in the saddle all day, but that, when he tried to take his boot off at night his foot was so inflamed and swollen, the boot had to be cut away, and the wound became more troublesome than he had expected.
Mrs. Preston sent her carriage to take us to see Mrs. Herbemont, whom Mary Gibson calls her "Mrs. Burgamot." Miss Bay came down, ever-blooming, in a cap so formidable, I could but laugh. It was covered with a bristling row of white satin spikes. She coyly refused to enter Mrs. Preston's carriage - "to put foot into it," to use her own words; but she allowed herself to be overpersuaded.
I am so ill. Mrs. Ben Taylor said to Doctor Trezevant, "Surely, she is too ill to be going about; she ought to be in bed." "She is very feeble, very nervous, as you say, but then she is living on nervous excitement. If you shut her
1. This must be a reference to the Battle of Seven Pines or to the Campaign of the Chickahominy, up to and inclusive of that battle.
up she would die at once." A queer weakness of the heart, I have. Sometimes it beats so feebly I am sure it has stopped altogether. Then they say I have fainted, but I never lose consciousness.
Mrs. Preston and I were talking of negroes and cows. A negro, no matter how sensible he is on any other subject, can never be convinced that there is any necessity to feed a cow. "Turn 'em out, and let 'em grass. Grass good nuff for cow."
Famous news comes from Richmond, but not so good from the coast. Mrs. Izard said, quoting I forget whom: "If West Point could give brains as well as training!" Smith is under arrest for disobedience of orders - Pemberton's orders. This is the third general whom Pemberton has displaced within a few weeks - Ripley, Mercer, and now Smith.
When I told my husband that Molly was full of airs since her late trip home, he made answer: "Tell her to go to the devil - she or anybody else on the plantation who is dissatisfied; let them go. It is bother enough to feed and clothe them now." When he went over to the plantation he returned charmed with their loyalty to him, their affection and their faithfulness.
Sixteen more Yankee regiments have landed on James Island. Eason writes, "They have twice the energy and enterprise of our people." I answered, "Wait a while. Let them alone until climate and mosquitoes and sand-flies and dealing with negroes takes it all out of them." Stonewall is a regular brick, going all the time, winning his way wherever he goes. Governor Pickens called to see me. His wife is in great trouble, anxiety, uncertainty. Her brother and her brother-in-law are either killed or taken prisoners.
Tom Taylor says Wade Hampton did not leave the field on account of his wound. "What heroism!" said some one. No, what luck! He is the luckiest man alive. He'll
never be killed. He was shot in the temple, but that did not kill him. His soldiers believe in his luck.
General Scott, on Southern soldiers, says, we have élan, courage, woodcraft, consummate horsemanship, endurance of pain equal to the Indians, but that we will not submit to discipline. We will not take care of things, or husband our resources. Where we are there is waste and destruction. If it could all be done by one wild, desperate dash, we would do it. But he does not think we can stand the long, blank months between the acts - the waiting! We can bear pain without a murmur, but we will not submit to be bored, etc.
Now, for the other side. Men of the North can wait; they can bear discipline; they can endure forever. Losses in battle are nothing to them. Their resources in men and materials of war are inexhaustible, and if they see fit they will fight to the bitter end. Here is a nice prospect for us- as comfortable as the old man's croak at Mulberry, "Bad times, worse coming."
Mrs. McCord says, "In the hospital the better born, that is, those born in the purple, the gentry, those who are accustomed to a life of luxury, are the better patients. They endure in silence. They are hardier, stronger, tougher, less liable to break down than the sons of the soil." "Why is that?" I asked, and she answered, "Something in man that is more than the body."
I know how it feels to die. I have felt it again and again. For instance, some one calls out, "Albert Sidney Johnston is killed." My heart stands still. I feel no more. I am, for so many seconds, so many minutes, I know not how long, utterly without sensation of any kind - dead; and then, there is that great throb, that keen agony of physical pain, and the works are wound up again. The ticking of the clock begins, and I take up the burden of life once more. Some day it will stop too long, or my feeble heart will be too worn out to make that awakening jar, and all will be over. I do not think when the end comes that
there will be any difference, except the miracle of the new wind-up throb. And now good news is just as exciting as bad. "Hurrah, Stonewall has saved us!" The pleasure is almost pain because of my way of feeling it.
Miriam's Luryea and the coincidences of his life. He was born Moses, and is the hero of the bombshell. His mother was at a hotel in Charleston when kind-hearted Anna De Leon Moses went for her sister-in-law, and gave up her own chamber, that the child might be born in the comfort and privacy of a home. Only our people are given to such excessive hospitality. So little Luryea was born in Anna De Leon's chamber. After Chickahominy when he, now a man, lay mortally wounded, Anna Moses, who was living in Richmond, found him, and she brought him home, though her house was crowded to the door-steps. She gave up her chamber to him, and so, as he had been born in her room, in her room he died.
June 12th. - New England's Butler, best known to us as "Beast" Butler, is famous or infamous now. His amazing order to his soldiers at New Orleans and comments on it are in everybody's mouth. We hardly expected from Massachusetts behavior to shame a Comanche.
One happy moment has come into Mrs. Preston's life. I watched her face to-day as she read the morning papers. Willie's battery is lauded to the skies. Every paper gave him a paragraph of praise.
South Carolina was at Beauregard's feet after Fort Sumter. Since Shiloh, she has gotten up, and looks askance rather when his name is mentioned. And without Price or Beauregard who takes charge of the Western forces? "Can we hold out if England and France hold off?" cries Mem. "No, our time has come."
"For shame, faint heart! Our people are brave, our cause is just; our spirit and our patient endurance beyond reproach." Here came in Mary Cantey's voice: "I may not have any logic, any sense. I give it up. My woman's
instinct tells me, all the same, that slavery's time has come. If we don't end it, they will."
After all this, tried to read Uncle Tom, but could not; too sickening; think of a man sending his little son to beat a human being tied to a tree. It is as bad as Squeers beating Smike. Flesh and blood revolt; you must skip that; it is too bad.
Mr. Preston told a story of Joe Johnston as a boy. A party of boys at Abingdon were out on a spree, more boys than horses; so Joe Johnston rode behind John Preston, who is his cousin. While going over the mountains they tried to change horses and got behind a servant who was in charge of them all. The servant's horse kicked up, threw Joe Johnston, and broke his leg; a bone showed itself. "Hello, boys! come here and look: the confounded bone has come clear through," called out Joe, coolly.
They had to carry him on their shoulders, relieving guard. As one party grew tired, another took him up. They knew he must suffer fearfully, but he never said so. He was as cool and quiet after his hurt as before. He was pretty roughly handled, but they could not help it. His father was in a towering rage because his son's leg was to be set by a country doctor, and it might be crooked in the process. At Chickahominy, brave but unlucky Joe had already eleven wounds.
June 13th. - Decca's wedding. It took place last year. We were all lying on the bed or sofas taking it coolly as to undress. Mrs. Singleton had the floor. They were engaged before they went up to Charlottesville; Alexander was on Gregg's staff, and Gregg was not hard on him; Decca was the worst in love girl she ever saw. "Letters came while we were at the hospital, from Alex, urging her to let him marry her at once. In war times human events, life especially, are very uncertain.
"For several days consecutively she cried without ceasing, and then she consented. The rooms at the hospital
were all crowded. Decca and I slept together in the same room. It was arranged by letter that the marriage should take place; a luncheon at her grandfather Minor's, and then she was to depart with Alex for a few days at Richmond. That was to be their brief slice of honeymoon.
"The day came. The wedding-breakfast was ready, so was the bride in all her bridal array; but no Alex, no bridegroom. Alas! such is the uncertainty of a soldier's life. The bride said nothing, but she wept like a water-nymph. At dinner she plucked up heart, and at my earnest request was about to join us. And then the cry, 'The bridegroom cometh' He brought his best man and other friends. We had a jolly dinner. 'Circumstances over which he had no control' had kept him away.
"His father sat next to Decca and talked to her all the time as if she had been already married. It was a piece of absent-mindedness on his part, pure and simple, but it was very trying, and the girl had had much to stand that morning, you can well understand. Immediately after dinner the belated bridegroom proposed a walk; so they went for a brief stroll up the mountain. Decca, upon her return, said to me: 'Send for Robert Barnwell. I mean to be married to-day.'
" 'Impossible. No spare room in the house. No getting away from here; the trains all gone. Don't you know this hospital place is crammed to the ceiling?' 'Alex says I promised to marry him to-day. It is not his fault; he could not come before.' I shook my head. 'I don't care,' said the positive little thing, 'I promised Alex to marry him to-day and I will. Send for the Rev. Robert Barnwell.' We found Robert after a world of trouble, and the bride, lovely in Swiss muslin, was married.
"Then I proposed they should take another walk, and I went to one of my sister nurses and begged her to take me in for the night, as I wished to resign my room to the young couple. At daylight next day they took the train for
Richmond." Such is the small allowance of honeymoon permitted in war time.
Beauregard's telegram: he can not leave the army of the West. His health is bad. No doubt the sea breezes would restore him, but - he can not come now. Such a lovely name - -Gustave Tautant Beauregard. But Jackson and Johnston and Smith and Jones will do - and Lee, how short and sweet.
"Every day," says Mem, "they come here in shoals - men to say we can not hold Richmond, and we can not hold Charleston much longer. Wretches, beasts! Why do you come here? Why don't you stay there and fight? Don't you see that you own yourselves cowards by coming away in the very face of a battle? If you are not liars as to the danger, you are cowards to run away from it." Thus roars the practical Mem, growing more furious at each word. These Jeremiahs laugh. They think she means others, not the present company.
Tom Huger resigned his place in the United States Navy and came to us. The Iroquois was his ship in the old navy. They say, as he stood in the rigging, after he was shot in the leg, when his ship was leading the attack upon the Iroquois, his old crew in the Iroquois cheered him, and when his body was borne in, the Federals took off their caps in respect for his gallant conduct. When he was dying, Meta Huger said to him: "An of officer wants to see you: he is one of the enemy." "Let him come in; I have no enemies now." But when he heard the man's name:
"No, no. I do not want to see a Southern man who is now in Lincoln's navy." The officers of the United States Navy attended his funeral.
June 14th. - All things are against us. Memphis gone. Mississippi fleet annihilated, and we hear it all as stolidly apathetic as if it were a story of the English war against China which happened a year or so ago.
The sons of Mrs. John Julius Pringle have come. They
were left at school in the North. A young Huger is with them. They seem to have had adventures enough. Walked, waded, rowed in boats, if boats they could find; swam rivers when boats there were none; brave lads are they. One can but admire their pluck and energy. Mrs. Fisher, of Philadelphia, née Middleton, gave them money to make the attempt to get home.
Stuart's cavalry have rushed through McClellan's lines and burned five of his transports. Jackson has been reenforced by 16,000 men, and they hope the enemy will be drawn from around Richmond, and the valley be the seat of war.
John Chesnut is in Whiting's brigade, which has been sent to Stonewall. Mem's son is with the Boykin Rangers; Company A, No. 1, we call it. And she has persistently wept ever since she heard the news. It is no child's play, she says, when you are with Stonewall. He doesn't play at soldiering. He doesn't take care of his men at all. He only goes to kill the Yankees.
Wade Hampton is here, shot in the foot, but he knows no more about France than he does of the man in the moon. Wet blanket he is just now. Johnston badly wounded. Lee is King of Spades. They are all once more digging for dear life. Unless we can reenforce Stonewall, the game is up. Our chiefs contrive to dampen and destroy the enthusiasm of all who go near them. So much entrenching and falling back destroys the morale of any army. This everlasting retreating, it kills the hearts of the men. Then we are scant of powder.
James Chesnut is awfully proud of Le Conte's powder manufactory here. Le Conte knows how to do it. James Chesnut provides him the means to carry out his plans.
Colonel Venable doesn't mince matters: "If we do not deal a blow, a blow that will be felt, it will be soon all up with us. I he Southwest will be lost to us. We can not afford to shilly-shally much longer."
Thousands are enlisting on the other side in New Orleans. Butler holds out inducements. To be sure, they are principally foreigners who want to escape starvation. Tennessee we may count on as gone, since we abandoned her at Corinth, Fort Pillow, and Memphis. A man must be sent there, or it is all gone now.
"You call a spade by that name, it seems, and not an agricultural implement?" "They call Mars Robert 'Old Spade Lee.' He keeps them digging so." "General Lee is a noble Virginian. Respect something in this world. Cæsar - call him Old Spade Cæsar? As a soldier, he was as much above suspicion, as he required his wife to be, as Cæsar's wife, you know. If I remember Cæsar's Commentaries, he owns up to a lot of entrenching. You let Mars Robert alone. He knows what he is about."
"Tell us of the women folk at New Orleans; how did they take the fall of the city?" "They are an excitable race," the man from that city said. As my informant was standing on the levee a daintily dressed lady picked her way, parasol in hand, toward him. She accosted him with great politeness, and her face was as placid and unmoved as in antebellum days. Her first question was: "Will you be so kind as to tell me what is the last general order?" "No order that I know of, madam; General Disorder prevails now." "Ah! I see; and why are those persons flying and yelling so noisily and racing in the streets in that unseemly way?" "They are looking for a shell to burst over their heads at any moment." "Ah!" Then, with a courtesy of dignity and grace, she waved her parasol and departed, but stopped to arrange that parasol at a proper angle to protect her face from the sun. There was no vulgar haste in her movements. She tripped away as gracefully as she came. My informant had failed to discompose her by his fearful rations. That was the one self-possessed soul then in New Orleans.
Another woman drew near, so overheated and out of breath, she had barely time to say she had run miles of squares in her crazy terror and bewilderment, when a sudden shower came up. In a second she was cool and calm. She forgot all the questions she came to ask. "My bonnet, I must save it at any sacrifice," she said, and so turned her dress over her head, and went off, forgetting her country's trouble and screaming for a cab.
Went to see Mrs. Burroughs at the old de Saussure house. She has such a sweet face, such soft, kind, beautiful, dark-gray eyes. Such eyes are a poem. No wonder she had a long love-story. We sat in the piazza at twelve o'clock of a June day, the glorious Southern sun shining its very hottest. But we were in a dense shade - magnolias in full bloom, ivy, vines of I know not what, and roses in profusion closed us in. It was a living wall of everything beautiful and sweet. In all this flower-garden of a Columbia, that is the most delicious corner I have been in yet.
Got from the Prestons' French library, Fanny, with a brilliant preface by Jules Janier. Now, then, I have come to the worst. There can be no worse book than Fanny. The lover is jealous of the husband. The woman is for the polyandry rule of life. She cheats both and refuses to break with either. But to criticize it one must be as shameless as the book itself. Of course, it is clever to the last degree, or it would be kicked into the gutter. It is not nastier or coarser than Mrs. Stowe, but then it is not written in the interests of philanthropy.
We had an unexpected dinner-party to-day. First, Wade Hampton came and his wife. Then Mr. and Mrs. Rose. I remember that the late Colonel Hampton once said to me, a thing I thought odd at the time, "Mrs. James Rose" (and I forget now who was the other) "are the only two people on this side of the water who know how to give a state dinner." Mr. and Mrs. James Rose: if anybody
body wishes to describe old Carolina at its best, let them try their hands at painting these two people.
Wade Hampton still limps a little, but he is rapidly recovering. Here is what he said, and he has fought so well that he is listened to: "If we mean to play at war, as we play a game of chess, West Point tactics prevailing, we are sure to lose the game. They have every advantage. They can lose pawns ad infinitum, to the end of time and never feel it. We will be throwing away all that we had hoped so much from - Southern hot-headed dash, reckless gallantry, spirit of adventure, readiness to lead forlorn hopes."
Mrs. Rose is Miss Sarah Parker's aunt. Somehow it came out when I was not in the room, but those girls tell me everything. It seems Miss Sarah said: "The reason I can not bear Mrs. Chesnut is that she laughs at everything and at everybody." If she saw me now she would give me credit for some pretty hearty crying as well as laughing. It was a mortifying thing to hear about one's self, all the same.
General Preston came in and announced that Mr. Chesnut was in town. He had just seen Mr. Alfred Huger, who came up on the Charleston train with him. Then Mrs. McCord came and offered to take me back to Mrs. McMahan's to look him up. I found my room locked up. Lawrence said his master had gone to look for me at the Prestons'.
Mrs. McCord proposed we should further seek for my errant husband. At the door, we met Governor Pickens, who showed us telegrams from the President of the most important nature. The Governor added, "And I have one from Jeems Chesnut, but I hear he has followed it so closely, coming on its heels, as it were, that I need not show you that one."
"You don't look interested at the sound of your husband's name?" said he. "Is that his name?" asked I. "I supposed it was James." "My advice to you is to find
him, for Mrs. Pickens says he was last seen in the company of two very handsome women, and now you may call him any name you please."
We soon met. The two beautiful dames Governor Pickens threw in my teeth were some ladies from Rafton Creek, almost neighbors, who live near Camden.
By way of pleasant remark to Wade Hampton: "Oh, General! The next battle will give you a chance to be major-general." "I was very foolish to give up my Legion," he answered gloomily. "Promotion don't really annoy many people." Mary Gibson says her father writes to them, that they may go back. He thinks now that the Confederates can hold Richmond. Gloria in excelsis!
Another personal defeat. Little Kate said: "Oh, Cousin Mary, why don't you cultivate heart? They say at Kirkwood that you had better let your brains alone a while and cultivate heart." She had evidently caught up a phrase and repeated it again and again for my benefit. So that is the way they talk of me! The only good of loving any one with your whole heart is to give that person the power to hurt you.
June 24th. - Mr. Chesnut, having missed the Secessionville1 fight by half a day, was determined to see the one around Richmond. He went off with General Cooper and Wade Hampton. Blanton Duncan sent them for a luncheon on board the cars, - ice, wine, and every manner of good thing.
In all this death and destruction, the women are the same - chatter, patter, clatter. "Oh, the Charleston refugees are so full of airs; there is no sympathy for them here!" "Oh, indeed! That is queer. They are not half as exclusive as these Hamptons and Prestons. The airs these people do give themselves." "Airs, airs," laughed
1. The battle of Secessionville occurred on James Island, in the harbor of Charleston, June 16, 1862.
Mrs. Bartow, parodying Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade. "Airs to the right of them, Airs to the left of them, some one had blundered." "Volleyed and thundered rhymes but is out of place."
The worst of all airs came from a democratic landlady, who was asked by Mrs. President Davis to have a carpet shaken, and shook herself with rage as she answered, "You know, madam, you need not stay here if my carpet or anything else does not suit you."
John Chesnut gives us a spirited account of their ride around McClellan. I sent the letter to his grandfather. The women ran out screaming with joyful welcome as soon as they caught sight of our soldiers' gray uniforms; ran to them bringing handfuls and armfuls of, food. One gray-headed man, after preparing a hasty meal for them, knelt and prayed as they snatched it, as you may say. They were in the saddle from Friday until Sunday. They were used up; so were their horses. Johnny writes for clothes and more horses. Miss S. C. says: "No need to send any more of his fine horses to be killed or captured by the Yankees; wait and see how the siege of Richmond ends." The horses will go all the same, as Johnny wants them.
June 25th. - I forgot to tell of Mrs. Pickens's reception for General Hampton. My Mem dear, described it all. "The Governess " ("Tut, Mem! that is not the right name for her - she is not a teacher." "Never mind, it is the easier to say than the Governor's wife." "Madame la Gouvernante " was suggested. "Why? That is worse than the other!") "met him at the door, took his crutch away, putting his hand upon her shoulder instead. "That is the way to greet heroes," she said. Her blue eyes were aflame, and in response poor Wade smiled, and smiled until his face hardened into a fixed grin of embarrassment and annoyance. He is a simple-mannered man, you know, and does not want to be made much of by women.
The butler was not in plain clothes, but wore, as the
other servants did, magnificent livery brought from the Court of St. Petersburg, one mass of gold embroidery, etc. They had champagne and Russian tea, the latter from a samovar made in Russia. Little Moses was there. Now for us they have never put their servants into Russian livery, nor paraded Little Moses under our noses, but I must confess the Russian tea and champagne set before us left nothing to be desired. "How did General Hampton bear his honors?" "Well, to the last he looked as if he wished they would let him alone."
Met Mr. Ashmore fresh from Richmond. He says Stonewall is coming up behind McClellan. And here comes the tug of war. He thinks we have so many spies in Richmond, they may have found out our strategic movements and so may circumvent them.
Mrs. Bartow's story of a clever Miss Toombs. So many men were in love with her, and the courtship, while it lasted, of each one was as exciting and bewildering as a fox-chase. She liked the fun of the run, but she wanted something more than to know a man was in mad pursuit of her; that he should love her, she agreed, but she must love him, too. How was she to tell? Yet she must be certain of it before she said "Yes." So, as they sat by the lamp she would look at him and inwardly ask herself, "Would I be willing to spend the long winter evenings forever after sitting here darning your old stockings?" Never, echo answered. No, no, a thousand times no. So, each had to make way for another.
June 27th. - We went in a body (half a dozen ladies, with no man on escort duty, for they are all in the army) to a concert. Mrs. Pickens came in. She was joined soon by Secretary Moses and Mr. Follen. Doctor Berrien came to our relief. Nothing could be more execrable than the singing. Financially the thing was a great success, for though the audience was altogether feminine, it was a very large one.
Telegram from Mr. Chesnut, "Safe in Richmond"; that is, if Richmond be safe, with all the power of the United States of America battering at her gates. Strange not a word from Stonewall Jackson, after all! Doctor Gibson telegraphs his wife, "Stay where you are; terrible battle1 looked for here."
Decca is dead. That poor little darling! Immediately after her baby was born, she took it into her head that Alex was killed. He was wounded, but those around had not told her of it. She surprised them by asking, "Does any one know how the battle has gone since Alex was killed?" She could not read for a day or so before she died. Her head was bewildered, but she would not let any one else touch her letters; so she died with several unopened ones in her bosom. Mrs. Singleton, Decca's mother, fainted dead away, but she shed no tears. We went to the house and saw Alex's mother, a daughter of Langdon Cheves. Annie was with us. She said: "This is the saddest thing for Alex." "No," said his mother, "death is never the saddest thing. If he were not a good man, that would be a far worse thing." Annie, in utter amazement, whimpered, "But Alex is so good already." "Yes, seven years ago the death of one of his sisters that he dearly loved made him a Christian. That death in our family was worth a thousand lives."
One needs a hard heart now. Even old Mr. Shand shed tears. Mary Barnwell sat as still as a statue, as white and stony. "Grief which can relieve itself by tears is a thing to pray for," said the Rev. Mr. Shand. Then came a telegram from Hampton, "All well; so far we are successful." Robert Barnwell had been telegraphed for. His answer came, "Can't leave here; Gregg is fighting across the
1. Malvern Hill, the last of the Seven Days' Battles, was fought near Richmond on the James River, July 1, 1862. The Federals were commanded by McClellan and the Confederates by Lee.
Chickahominy." Said Alex's mother: "My son, Alex, may never hear this sad news," and her lip settled rigidly. "Go on; what else does Hampton say?" asked she. "Lee has one wing of the army, Stonewall the other."
Annie Hampton came to tell us the latest news - that we have abandoned James Island and are fortifying Morris Island. "And now," she says, "if the enemy will be so kind as to wait, we will be ready for them in two months."
Rev. Mr. Shand and that pious Christian woman, Alex's mother (who looks into your very soul with those large and lustrous blue eyes of hers) agreed that the Yankees, even if they took Charleston, would not destroy it. I think they will, sinner that I am. Mr. Shand remarked to her, "Madam, you have two sons in the army." Alex's mother replied, "I have had six sons in the army; I now have five."
There are people here too small to conceive of any larger business than quarreling in the newspapers. One laughs at squibs in the papers now, in such times as these, with the wolf at our doors. Men safe in their closets writing fiery articles, denouncing those who are at work, are beneath contempt. Only critics with muskets on their shoulders have the right to speak now, as Trenholm said the other night.
In a pouring rain we went to that poor child's funeral -to Decca's. They buried her in the little white frock she wore when she engaged herself to Alex, and which she again put on for her bridal about a year ago. She lies now in the churchyard, in sight of my window. Is she to be pitied? She said she had had "months of perfect happiness." How many people can say that? So many of us live their long, dreary lives and then happiness never comes to meet them at all. It seems so near, and yet it eludes them forever.
June 28th. - Victory!! Victory heads every telegram
now;1 one reads it on the bulletin-board. It is the anniversary of the battle of Fort Moultrie. The enemy went off so quickly, I wonder if it was not a trap laid for us, to lead us away from Richmond, to some place where they can manage to do us more harm. And now comes the list of killed and wounded. Victory does not seem to soothe sore hearts. Mrs. Haskell has five sons before the enemy's illimitable cannon. Mrs. Preston two. McClellan is routed and we have twelve thousand prisoners. Prisoners! My God! and what are we to do with them? We can't feed our own people.
For the first time since Joe Johnston was wounded at Seven Pines, we may breathe freely; we were so afraid of another general, or a new one. Stonewall can not be everywhere, though he comes near it.
Magruder did splendidly at Big Bethel. It was a wonderful thing how he played his ten thousand before McClellan like fireflies and utterly deluded him. It was partly due to the Manassas scare that we gave them; they will never be foolhardy again. Now we are throwing up our caps for R. E. Lee. We hope from the Lees what the first sprightly running (at Manassas) could not give. We do hope there will be no "ifs." "Ifs" have ruined us. Shiloh was a victory if Albert Sidney Johnston had not been killed; Seven Pines if Joe Johnston had not been wounded. The "ifs" bristle like porcupines. That victory at Manassas did nothing but send us off in a fool's paradise of conceit, and it roused the manhood of the Northern people. For very shame they had to move up.
A French man-of-war lies at the wharf at Charleston to take off French subjects when the bombardment begins. William Mazyck writes that the enemy's gunboats are
1. The first battle of the Chickahominy, fought on June 27,1862. It is better known as the battle of Gaines's Mill, or Cold Harbor. It was participated in by a part of Lee's army and a part of McClellan's, and its scene was about eight miles from Richmond.
shelling and burning property up and down the Santee River. They raise the white flag and the negroes rush down on them. Planters might as well have let these negroes be taken by the Council to work on the fortifications. A letter from my husband:
RICHMOND, June 29, 1862
MY DEAR MARY:
For the last three days I have been a witness of the most stirring events of modern times. On my arrival here, I found the government so absorbed in the great battle pending, that I found it useless to talk of the special business that brought me to this place. As soon as it is over, which will probably be to-morrow, I think that I can easily accomplish all that I was sent for. I have no doubt that we can procure another general and more forces, etc.
The President and General Lee are inclined to listen to me, and to do all they can for us. General Lee is vindicating the high opinion I have ever expressed of him, and his plans and executions of the last great fight will place him high in the roll of really great commanders.
The fight on Friday was the largest and fiercest of the whole war. Some 60,000 or 70,000, with great preponderance on the side of the enemy. Ground, numbers, armament, etc., were all in favor of the enemy. But our men and generals were superior. The higher officers and men behaved with a resolution and dashing heroism that have never been surpassed in any country or in any age.
Our line was three times repulsed by superior numbers and superior artillery impregnably posted. Then Lee, assembling all his generals to the front, told them that victory depended on carrying the batteries and defeating the army before them, ere night should fall. Should night come without victory all was lost, and the work must be done by the bayonet. Our men then made a rapid and irresistible charge, without powder, and carried everything. The enemy
melted before them, and ran with the utmost speed, though of the regulars of the Federal army. The fight between the artillery of the opposing forces was terrific and sublime. The field became one dense cloud of smoke, so that nothing could be seen, but the incessant flash of fire. They were within sixteen hundred yards of each other and it rained storms of grape and canister. We took twenty-three pieces of their artillery, many small arms, and small ammunition. They burned most of their stores, wagons, etc.
The victory of the second day was full and complete. Yesterday there was little or no fighting, but some splendid maneuvering, which has placed us completely around them. I think the end must be decisive in our favor. We have lost many men and many officers; I hear Alex Haskell and young McMahan are among them, as well as a son of Dr. Trezevant. Very sad, indeed. We are fighting again today; will let you know the result as soon as possible. Will be at home some time next week. No letter from you yet.
With devotion, yours,
A telegram from my husband of June 29th from Richmond: "Was on the field, saw it all. Things satisfying so far. Can hear nothing of John Chesnut. He is in Stuart's command. Saw Jack Preston; safe so far. No reason why we should not bag McClellan's army or cut it to pieces. From four to six thousand prisoners already." Doctor Gibbes rushed in like a whirlwind to say we were driving McClellan into the river.
June 30th. - First came Dr. Trezevant, who announced Burnet Rhett's death. "No, no; I have just seen the bulletin-board. It was Grimke Rhett's." When the doctor went out it was added: "Howell Trezevant's death is there, too. The doctor will see it as soon as he goes down to the board." The girls went to see Lucy Trezevant. The doctor was lying still as death on a sofa with his face covered.
July 1st. - No more news. It has settled down into this. The general battle, the decisive battle, has to be fought yet. Edward Cheves, only son of John Cheves, killed. His sister kept crying, "Oh, mother, what shall we do; Edward is killed," but the mother sat dead still, white as a sheet, never uttering a word or shedding a tear. Are our women losing the capacity to weep? The father came to-day, Mr. John Cheves. He has been making infernal machines in Charleston to blow up Yankee ships.
While Mrs. McCord was telling me of this terrible trouble in her brother's family, some one said: "Decca's husband died of grief." Stuff and nonsense; silly sentiment, folly! If he is not wounded, he is alive. His brother, John, may die of that shattered arm in this hot weather. Alex will never die of a broken heart. Take my word for it.
July 3d. - Mem says she feels like sitting down, as an Irishwoman does at a wake, and howling night and day. Why did Huger let McClellan slip through his fingers? Arrived at Mrs. McMahan's at the wrong moment. Mrs. Bartow was reading to the stricken mother an account of the death of her son. The letter was written by a man who was standing by him when he was shot through the head. "My God!" he said; that was all, and he fell dead. James Taylor was color-bearer. He was shot three times before he gave in. Then he said, as he handed the colors to the man next him, "You see I can't stand it any longer," and dropped stone dead. He was only seventeen years old.
If anything can reconcile me to the idea of a horrid failure after all efforts to make good our independence of Yankees, it is Lincoln's proclamation freeing the negroes. Especially yours, Messieurs, who write insults to your Governor and Council, dated from Clarendon. Three hundred of Mr. Walter Blake's negroes have gone to the Yankees. Remember, that recalcitrant patriot's property on two legs
may walk off without an order from the Council to work on fortifications.
Have been reading The Potiphar Papers by Curtis. Can this be a picture of New York socially? If it were not for this horrid war, how nice it would be here. We might lead such a pleasant life. This is the most perfectly appointed establishment - such beautiful grounds, lowers, and fruits; indeed, all that heart could wish; such delightful dinners, such pleasant drives, such jolly talks, such charming people; but this horrid war poisons everything.
July 5th. - Drove out with Mrs. "Constitution" Browne, who told us the story of Ben McCulloch's devotion to Lucy Gwynn. Poor Ben McCulloch - another dead hero. Called at the Tognos' and saw no one; no wonder. They say Ascelie Togno was to have been married to Grimke Rhett in August, and he is dead on the battle-field. I had not heard of the engagement before I went there.
July 8th. - Gunboat captured on the Santee. So much the worse for us. We do not want any more prisoners, and next time they will send a fleet of boats, if one will not do. The Governor sent me Mr. Chesnut's telegram with a note saying, "I regret the telegram does not come up to what we had hoped might be as to the entire destruction of McClellan's army. I think, however, the strength of the war with its ferocity may now be considered as broken."
Table-talk to-day: This war was undertaken by us to shake off the yoke of foreign invaders. So we consider our cause righteous. The Yankees, since the war has begun, have discovered it is to free the slaves that they are fighting. So their cause is noble. They also expect to make the war pay. Yankees do not undertake anything that does not pay. They think we belong to them. We have been good milk cows - milked by the tariff, or skimmed. We let them have all of our hard earnings. We bear the ban of slavery; they get the money. Cotton pays everybody who handles it, sells it, manufactures it, but rarely pays the man who
grows it. Second hand the Yankees received the wages of slavery. They grew rich. We grew poor. The receiver is as bad as the thief. That applies to us, too, for we received the savages they stole from Africa and brought to us in their slave-ships. As with the Egyptians, so it shall be with us: if they let us go, it must be across a Red Sea - but one made red by blood.
July 10th. - My husband has come. He believes from what he heard in Richmond that we are to be recognized as a nation by the crowned heads across the water, at last. Mr. Davis was very kind; he asked him to stay at his house, which he did, and went every day with General Lee and Mr. Davis to the battle-field as a sort of amateur aide to the President. Likewise they admitted him to the informal Cabinet meetings at the President's house. He is so hopeful now that it is pleasant to hear him, and I had not the heart to stick the small pins of Yeadon and Pickens in him yet a while.
Public opinion is hot against Huger and Magruder for McClellan's escape. Doctor Gibbes gave me some letters picked up on the battle-field. One signed "Laura," tells her lover to fight in such a manner that no Southerner can ever taunt Yankees again with cowardice. She speaks of a man at home whom she knows, "who is still talking of his intention to seek the bubble reputation at the cannon's mouth." "Miserable coward!" she writes, "I will never speak to him again." It was a relief to find one silly young person filling three pages with a description of her new bonnet and the bonnet still worn by her rival. Those fiery Joan of Arc damsels who goad on their sweethearts bode us no good.
Rachel Lyons was in Richmond, hand in glove with Mrs. Greenhow. Why not? "So handsome, so clever, so angelically kind," says Rachel of the Greenhow, "and she offers to matronize me."
Mrs. Philips, another beautiful and clever Jewess, has
been put into prison again by "Beast" Butler because she happened to be laughing as a Yankee funeral procession went by.
Captain B. told of John Chesnut's pranks. Johnny was riding a powerful horse, captured from the Yankees. The horse dashed with him right into the Yankee ranks. A dozen Confederates galloped after him, shouting, "Stuart! Stuart!" The Yankees, mistaking this mad charge for Stuart's cavalry, broke ranks and fled. Daredevil Camden boys ride like Arabs!
Mr. Chesnut says he was riding with the President when Colonel Browne, his aide, was along. The General commanding rode up and, bowing politely, said: "Mr. President, am I in command here?" "Yes." "Then I forbid you to stand here under the enemy's guns. Any exposure of a life like yours is wrong, and this is useless exposure. You must go back." Mr. Davis answered: "Certainly, I will set an example of obedience to orders. Discipline must be maintained." But he did not go back.
Mr. Chesnut met the Haynes, who had gone on to nurse their wounded son and found him dead. They were standing in the corridor of the Spotswood. Although Mr. Chesnut was staying at the President's, he retained his room at the hotel. So he gave his room to them. Next day, when he went back to his room he found that Mrs. Hayne had thrown herself across the foot of the bed and never moved. No other part of the bed had been touched. She got up and went back to the cars, or was led back. He says these heartbroken mothers are hard to face.
July 12th. - At McMahan's our small colonel, Paul Hayne's son, came into my room. To amuse the child I gave him a photograph album to look over. "You have Lincoln in your book!" said he. "I am astonished at you. I hate him!" And he placed the book on the floor and struck Old Abe in the face with his fist.
An Englishman told me Lincoln has said that had he
known such a war would follow his election he never would have set foot in Washington, nor have been inaugurated. He had never dreamed of this awful fratricidal bloodshed. That does not seem like the true John Brown spirit. I was very glad to hear it - to hear something from the President of the United States which was not merely a vulgar joke, and usually a joke so vulgar that you were ashamed to laugh, funny though it was. They say Seward has gone to England and his wily tongue will turn all hearts against us.
Browne told us there was a son of the Duke of Somerset in Richmond. He laughed his fill at our ragged, dirty soldiers, but he stopped his laughing when he saw them under fire. Our men strip the Yankee dead of their shoes, but will not touch the shoes of a comrade. Poor fellows, they are nearly barefoot.
Alex has come. I saw him ride up about dusk and go into the graveyard. I shut up my windows on that side. Poor fellow!
July 13th. - Halcott Green came to see us. Bragg is a stern disciplinarian, according to Halcott. He did not in the least understand citizen soldiers. In the retreat from Shiloh he ordered that not a gun should be fired. A soldier shot a chicken, and then the soldier was shot. "For a chicken!" said Halcott. "A Confederate soldier for a chicken!"
Mrs. McCord says a nurse, who is also a beauty, had better leave her beauty with her cloak and hat at the door. One lovely lady nurse said to a rough old soldier, whose wound could not have been dangerous, "Well, my good soul, what can I do for you?" "Kiss me!" said he. Mrs. McCord's fury was "at the woman's telling it," for it brought her hospital into disrepute, and very properly. She knew there were women who would boast of an insult if it ministered to their vanity. She wanted nurses to come dressed as nurses, as Sisters of Charity, and not as fine ladies. Then there would be no trouble. When she saw them
coming in angel sleeves, displaying all their white arms and in their muslin, showing all their beautiful white shoulders and throats, she felt disposed to order them off the premises. That was no proper costume for a nurse. Mrs. Bartow goes in her widow's weeds, which is after Mrs. McCord's own heart. But Mrs. Bartow has her stories, too. A surgeon said to her, "I give you no detailed instructions: a mother necessarily is a nurse." She then passed on quietly, "as smilingly acquiescent, my dear, as if I had ever been a mother."
Mrs. Greenhow has enlightened Rachel Lyons as to Mr. Chesnut's character in Washington. He was "one of the very few men of whom there was not a word of scandal spoken. I do not believe, my dear, that he ever spoke to a woman there." He did know Mrs. John R. Thompson, however.
Walked up and down the college campus with Mrs. McCord. The buildings all lit up with gas, the soldiers seated under the elms in every direction, and in every stage of convalescence. Through the open windows, could see the nurses flitting about. It was a strange, weird scene. Walked home with Mrs. Bartow. We stopped at Judge Carroll's. Mrs. Carroll gave us a cup of tea. When we got home, found the Prestons had called for me to dine at their house to meet General Magruder.
Last night the Edgefield Band serenaded Governor Pickens. Mrs. Harris stepped on the porch and sang the Marseillaise for them. It has been more than twenty years since I first heard her voice; it was a very fine one then, but there is nothing which the tooth of time lacerates more cruelly than the singing voice of women. There is an incongruous metaphor for you.
The negroes on the coast received the Rutledge's Mounted Rifles apparently with great rejoicings. The troops were gratified-to find the negroes in such a friendly state of mind. One servant whispered to his master, "Don't you mind
'em, don't trust 'em" - meaning the negroes. The master then dressed himself as a Federal officer and went down to a negro quarter. The very first greeting was, "Ki! massa, you come fuh ketch rebels? We kin show you way you kin ketch thirty to-night." They took him to the Confederate camp, or pointed it out, and then added for his edification, "We kin ketch officer fuh you whenever you want 'em."
Bad news. Gunboats have passed Vicksburg. The Yankees are spreading themselves over our fair Southern land like red ants.
July 21st. - Jackson has gone into the enemy's country. Joe Johnston and Wade Hampton are to follow.
Think of Rice, Mr. Senator Rice,1 who sent us the buffalo-robes. I see from his place in the Senate that he speaks of us as savages, who put powder and whisky into soldiers' canteens to make them mad with ferocity in the fight. No, never. We admire coolness here, because we lack it; we do not need to be fired by drink to be brave. My classical lore is small, indeed, but I faintly remember something of the Spartans who marched to the music of lutes. No drum and fife were needed to revive their fainting spirits. In that one thing we are Spartans.
The Wayside Hospital2 is duly established at the
1. Henry M. Rice, United States Senator from Minnesota, who had emigrated to that State from Vermont in 1835.
2. Of ameliorations in modern warfare, Dr. John T. Darby said in addressing the South Carolina Medical Association, Charleston, in 1873: "On the route from the army to the general hospital, wounds are dressed and soldiers refreshed at wayside homes; and here be it said with justice and pride that the credit of originating this system is due to the women of South Carolina. In a small room in the capital of this State, the first Wayside Home was founded; and during the war, some seventy-five thousand soldiers were relieved by having their wounds dressed, their ailments attended, and very frequently by being clothed through the patriotic services and good offices of a few untiring ladies in Columbia. From this little nucleus, spread that grand system of wayside hospitals which was established during our own and the late European wars."
Columbia Station, where all the railroads meet. All honor to Mrs. Fisher and the other women who work there so faithfully! The young girls of Columbia started this hospital. In the first winter of the war, moneyless soldiers, sick and wounded, suffered greatly when they had to lie over here because of faulty connections between trains. Rev. Mr. Martin, whose habit it was to meet trains and offer his aid to these unfortunates, suggested to the Young Ladies' Hospital Association their opportunity; straightway the blessed maidens provided a room where our poor fellows might have their wounds bound up and be refreshed. And now, the "Soldiers' Rest" has grown into the Wayside Hospital, and older heads and hands relieve younger ones of the grimmer work and graver responsibilities. I am ready to help in every way, by subscription and otherwise, but too feeble in health to go there much.
Mrs. Browne heard a man say at the Congaree House, "We are breaking our heads against a stone wall. We are bound to be conquered. We can not keep it up much longer against so powerful a nation as the United States. Crowds of Irish, Dutch, and Scotch are pouring in to swell their armies. They are promised our lands, and they believe they will get them. Even if we are successful we can not live without Yankees." "Now," says Mrs. Browne, "I call that man a Yankee spy." To which I reply, "If he were a spy, he would not dare show his hand so plainly."
"To think," says Mrs. Browne, "that he is not taken up. Seward's little bell would tinkle, a guard would come, and the Grand Inquisition of America would order that man put under arrest in the twinkling of an eye, if he had ventured to speak against Yankees in Yankee land."
General Preston said he had "the right to take up any
one who was not in his right place and send him where he belonged." "Then do take up my husband instantly. He is sadly out of his right place in this little Governor's Council." The general stared at me and slowly uttered in his most tragic tones, "If I could put him where I think he ought to be!" This I immediately hailed as a high compliment and was duly ready with my thanks. Upon reflection, it is borne in upon me, that he might have been more explicit. He left too much to the imagination.
Then Mrs. Browne described the Prince of Wales, whose manners, it seems, differ from those of Mrs. - , who arraigned us from morn to dewy eve, and upbraided us with our ill-bred manners and customs. The Prince, when he was here, conformed at once to whatever he saw was the way of those who entertained him. He closely imitated President Buchanan's way of doing things. He took off his gloves at once when he saw that the President wore none. He began by bowing to the people who were presented to him, but when he saw Mr. Buchanan shaking hands, he shook hands, too. When smoking affably with Browne on the White House piazza, he expressed his content with the fine cigars Browne had given him. The President said: "I was keeping some excellent ones for you, but Browne has got ahead of me." Long after Mr. Buchanan had gone to bed, the Prince ran into his room in a jolly, boyish way, and said: "Mr. Buchanan, I have come for the fine cigars you have for me."
As I walked up to the Prestons', along a beautiful shaded back street, a carriage passed with Governor Means in it. As soon as he saw me he threw himself half out and kissed both hands to me again and again. It was a whole-souled greeting, as the saying is, and I returned it with my whole heart, too. "Good-by," he cried, and I responded "Good-by." I may never see him again. I am not sure that I did not shed a few tears.
General Preston and Mr. Chesnut were seated on the
piazza of the Hampton house as I walked in. I opened my batteries upon them in this scornful style: "You cold, formal, solemn, overly-polite creatures, weighed down by your own dignity. You will never know the rapture of such a sad farewell as John Means and I have just interchanged. He was in a hack," I proceeded to relate, "and I was on the sidewalk. He was on his way to the war, poor fellow. The hackman drove steadily along in the middle of the street; but for our gray hairs I do not know what he might have thought of us. John Means did not suppress his feelings at an unexpected meeting with an old friend, and a good cry did me good. It is a life of terror and foreboding we lead. My heart is in my mouth half the time. But you two, under no possible circumstances could you forget your manners."
Read Russell's India all day. Saintly folks those English when their blood is up. Sepoys and blacks we do not expect anything better from, but what an example of Christian patience and humanity the white "angels" from the West set them.
The beautiful Jewess, Rachel Lyons, was here to-day. She flattered Paul Hayne audaciously, and he threw back the ball.
To-day I saw the Rowena to this Rebecca, when Mrs. Edward Barnwell called. She is the purest type of Anglo-Saxon - exquisitely beautiful, cold, quiet, calm, lady-like, fair as a lily, with the blackest and longest eyelashes, and her eyes so light in color some one said "they were the hue of cologne and water." At any rate, she has a patent right to them; there are no more like them to be had. The effect is startling, but lovely beyond words.
Blanton Duncan told us a story of Morgan in Kentucky. Morgan walked into a court where they were trying some Secessionists. The Judge was about to pronounce sentence, but Morgan rose, and begged that he might be allowed to call some witnesses. The Judge asked who were his
witnesses. "My name is John Morgan, and my witnesses are 1,400 Confederate soldiers."
Mrs. Izard witnessed two instances of patriotism in the caste called "Sandhill lackeys." One forlorn, chill, and fever-freckled creature, yellow, dirty, and dry as a nut, was selling peaches at ten cents a dozen. Soldiers collected around her cart. She took the cover off and cried, "Eat away. Eat your fill. I never charge our soldiers anything." They tried to make her take pay, but when she steadily refused it, they cheered her madly and said: "Sleep in peace. Now we will fight for you and keep off the Yankees." Another poor Sandhill man refused to sell his cows, and gave them to the hospital.
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