Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

was of more importance to us, a drove Roads and bridges are making themof beeves putting beef on their bones in selves of importance and shining up inthe seedy grounds of the Smithsonian In- to sudden renown in these times. The stitution, we were halted while the New Long Bridge has done nothing hitherto Jersey brigade-some three thousand of

except carry passengers on its back them - trudged by, receiving the compli- across the Potomac. Hucksters, plantmentary fire of our line as they passed. ers, dry-goods drummers, Members of New Jersey is not so far from New York Congress, et ea genera omnia, have here but that the dialects of the two can un- gone and come on their several mercederstand each other. Their respective nary errands, and, as it now appears, slangs, though peculiar, are of the same some sour little imp — the very reverse genus. By the end of this war, I trust of a “sweet little cherub” — took toll of that these distinctions of locality will be every man as he passed, - a heavy toll, quite annulled.

namely, every man's whole store of PaWe began to feel like an army as these triotism and Loyalty. Every man — so thousands thronged by us. This was

it seems — who passed the Long Bridge evidently a movement in force. We was stripped of his last dollar of Amor rested an hour or more by the road. Patrice, and came to Washington, or Mounted officers galloping along down went home, with a waistcoat-pocket full the lines kept up the excitement. of bogus in change. It was our business

At last we had the word to fall in now to open the bridge and see it clear, again and march. It is part of the sim- and leave sentries along to keep it perple perfection of the machine, a regi- manently free for Freedom. ment, that, though it drops to pieces for There is a mile of this Long Bridge. a rest, it comes together instantly for We seemed to occupy the whole length a start, and nobody is confused or delay of it, with our files opened to diffuse the ed. We moved half a mile farther, and weight of our column. We were not presently a broad pathway of reflected now the tired and sleepy squad which moonlight shone up at us from the Poto- just a moon ago had trudged along the

railroad to the Annapolis Junction, lookNo orders, at this, came from the ing up a Capital and a Government, Colonel, “ Attention, battalion! Be sen

perhaps lost. timental!” Perhaps privates have no By the time we touched ground across right to perceive the beautiful. But the the bridge, dawn was breaking, — a good sections in my neighborhood murmured omen for poor old sleepy Virginia. The admiration. The utter serenity of the moon, as bright and handsome as night was most impressive. Cool and new twenty-dollar piece, carried herself quiet and tender the moon shone upon straight before us, - a splendid oriour ranks. She does not change her flamme. visage, whether it be lovers or burglars Lucky is the private who marches or soldiers who use her as a lantern to with the van! It may be the post of their feet.

more danger, but it is also the post of The Long Bridge thus far has been less dust. My throat, therefore, and my merely a shabby causeway with water- eyes and beard, wore the less Southern ways and draws. Shabby, - let me here soil when we halted half a mile beyond pause to say that in Virginia shabbiness the bridge, and let sunrise overtake us. is the grand universal law, and neatness Nothing men can do — except picnics, the spasmodic exception, attained in rare with ladies in straw flats with feathers spots, an aon beyond their Old Domin- is so picturesque as soldiering. As soon

as the Seventh balt anywhere, or move The Long Bridge has thus far been anywhere, or camp anywhere, they rea totally unhistoric and prosaic bridge. solve themselves into a grand tableau.

mac.

а

[ocr errors]

ion age.

Their own ranks should supply their own where the highway bends from west to Horace Vernet. Our groups were never

south. The works were intended to more entertaining than at this halt by serve as an advanced tête du pont, - a the roadside on the Alexandria road. bridge-head, with a very long neck conStacks of guns make a capital framework necting it with the bridge. That fine old for drapery, and red blankets dot in the Fabius, General Scott, had no idea of lights most artistically. The fellows lined flinging an army out broadcast into Virthe road with their gay array, asleep, on ginia, and, in the insupposable case that the rampage, on the lounge, and nibbling it turned tail, leaving it no defended pasat their rations.

sage to run away by. By-and-by, when my brain had taken This was my first view of a field-work in as much of the picturesque as it could in construction, - also, my first hand as stand, it suffered the brief congestion a laborer at a field-work. I knew glaknown as a nap. I was suddenly awaked cis and counterscarp on paper; also, on by the rattle of a horse's hoofs. Before I paper, superior slope, banquette, and the had rubbed my eyes the rider was gone. other dirty parts of a redoubt. Here His sharp tidings had stayed behind him. they were, not on paper. A slight woodEllsworth was dead, — so he said hurried- en scaffolding determined the shape of ly, and rode on. Poor Ellsworth! a fel- the simple work; and when I arrived, low of genius and initiative! He had still a thousand Jerseymen were working, so much of the boy in him, that he rattled not at all like Jerseymen, with picks, forward boyishly, and so died. Si monu- spades, and shovels, cutting into Virginia, mentum requiris, look at his regiment. digging into Virginia, shovelling up VirIt was a brilliant stroke to levy it; and ginia, for Virginia's protection against if it does worthily, its young Colonel will pseudo-Virginians. not have lived in vain.

I swarmed in for a little while with As the morning hours passed, we learn- our Paymaster, picked a little, spaded a ed that we were the rear-guard of the left little, shovelled a little, took a hand to my wing of the army advancing into Vir- great satisfaction at earth-works, and for ginia. The Seventh, as the best organ- my efforts I venture to suggest that Jerized body, acted as reserve to this force. sey City owes me its freedom in a box, It didn't wish to be in the rear; but such and Jersey State a basket of its finest is the penalty of being reliable for an Clicquot. emergency. Fellow-soldier, be a scala- Is my gentle reader tired of the short wag, be a bashi-bazouk, be a Billy-Wil- marches and frequent halts of the Sevsoneer, if you wish to see the fun in the enth? Remember, gentle reader, that van!

you must be schooled by such alphabetiWhen the road grew too hot for us, on cal exercises to spell bigger words - skiraccount of the fire of sunshine in our mish, battle, defeat, rout, massacre — byrear, we jumped over the fence into the and-by. Race-Course, a big field beside us, and Well, - to be Xenophontic,- from the there became squatter sovereigns all Race-Course that evening we marched day. I shall be a bore, if I say again one stadium, one parasang, to a cedarwhat a pretty figure we cut in this mili- grove up the road. In the grove is a tary picnic, with two long lines of blan- spring worthy to be called a fountain, kets draped on bayonets for parasols. and what I determined by infallible indi

The New Jersey brigade were mean- cations to be a lager-bier saloon. Saloon while doing workie work on the ridge no more! War is no respecter of localijust beyond us. The road and railroad ties. Be it Arlington llouse, the seedy Alexandria follow the general course palace of a Virginia Don,- be it the hum

e river southward along the level. bler, but seedy, pavilion where the tired ridge to be fortified is at the point Teuton washes the dust of Washington

a

a

[ocr errors]

away from his tonsils,-each must surren- outposts. Arlington Heights had been der to the bold soldier-boy. Exit Cham- the spot whence the alarmists threatened pagne and its goblet; exit layer and its us daily with big thunder and bursting mug; enter whiskey-and-water in a tin bombs. I was curious to see the repot. Such are the horrors of civil war! gion that had had Washington under its

And now I must cut short my story, for thumb. graver matters press. As to the resi- So Private W., tired of his foot-soldierdence of the Seventh in the cedar-grove ing, got a quadruped under him, and felt for two days and two nights, how like a cavalier again. The horse took they endured the hardship of a bivouac me along the tow-path of the Cumberland on soft earth and the starvation of coffee Canal, as far as the redoubts where we had sans milk,- how they digged manfully worked our task. Then I turned up the in the trenches by gangs all these two la- bill, took a look at the camp of the New borious days, — with what supreme artis- York Twenty-Fifth at the left, and rode tic finish their work was achieved, – how along for Arlington House. they chopped off their corns with axes, Grand name! and the domain is realas they cleared the brushwood from the ly quite grand, but ill-kept. Fine oaks glacis, — how they blistered their hands, make beauty without asking favors. Fine - how they chafed that they were not oaks and a fair view make all the beauty lunging with battailous steel at the breasts of Arlington. It seems that this old esof the minions of the oligarchs, — how tablishment, like many another old VirWashington, seeing the smoke of burn- ginian, had claimed its respectability for ing rubbish, and hearing dropping shots its antiquity, and failed to keep up to of target-practice, or of novices with the the level of the time. The road winds musket shooting each other by accident, along through the trees, climbing to fair- how Washington, alarmed, imagined er and fairer reaches of view over the a battle, and went into panic according- plain of Washington. I had not fanly, — all this, is it not written in the daily cied that there was any such lovely site

near the capital. But we have not yet On the evening of the 26th, the Sev- appreciated what Nature has done for enth travelled back to Camp Cameron us there. When civilization once makes in a smart shower. Its service was over. up its mind to colonize Washington, all Its month was expired. The troops or- this amphitheatre of hills will blossom dered to relieve it had arrived. It had with structures of the sublimest gingergiven the other volunteers the benefit of bread. a month's education at its drills and pa- Arlington House is the antipodes of rades. It had enriched poor Washington gingerbread, except that it is yellow, and to the tune of fifty thousand dollars. Ah, disposed to crumble. It has a pompous Washington ! that we, under Providence propylon of enormous stuccoed columns. and after General Butler, saved from the Any house smaller than Blenheim would heel of Secession! Ah, Washington, why tail on insignificantly after such a frontisdid you charge us so much for our milk piece. The interior has a certain careand butter and strawberries? The Sev- less, romantic, decayed-gentleman effect, enth, then, after a month of delightful du- wholly Virginian. It was enlivened by ty, was to be mustered out of service, and the uniforms of staff-officers just now, take new measures, if it would, to have a and as they rode through the trees of the longer and a larger share in the war.

approach and by the tents of the New York Eighth, encamped in the grove to

the rear, the tableau was brilliantly warARLINGTON HEIGHTS.

like. Here, by the way, let me pause to I took advantage of the day of rest af- ask, as a horseman, though a foot-soldier, ter our return to have a gallop about the why generals and other gorgeous fellows

papers ?

make such guys of their horses with trap- ter bravery executed the plan; – he is pings. If the horse is a screw, cover him the Grand Yankee of this little period of thick with saddle-cloths, girths, cruppers, the war. 20, To the other Most Worshipbreast-bands, and as much brass and tin. ful Grand Yankees of the Massachusetts sel as your pay will enable you to buy; regiment who followed their leader, as but if not a screw, let his fair propor. he knew they would, discovered a forgottions be seen as much as may be, and ten colony called Annapolis, and dashed don't bother a lover of good horseflesh to in there, asking no questions. 3d, And eliminate so much uniform before he can while I gladly yield the first places to this see what is beneath.

General and his men, I put the Seventh From Arlington rode to the other in, as last, but not least, in saving the encampments, the Sixty-Ninth, Fifth, capital. Character always tells. The and Twenty-Eighth, all of New York, - Seventh, by good, hard, faithful work at and heard their several stories of alarms drill, had established its fame the most and adventures. This completed the cir, thorough militia regiment in existence. cuit of the new fortification of the Great Its military and moral character were exCamp. Washington was now a fortress. cellent. The mere name of the regiment The capital was out of danger, and carried weight. It took the field as if therefore of no further interest to any- the field were a ball-room. There were body. The time had come for myself myriads eager to march; but they had and my regiment to leave it by differ- not made ready beforehand. Yes, the

Seventh had its important share in the

Without our support, whether

our leaders tendered it eagerly or hesiPARTAXT POUR LA SYRIE."

tatingly, General Butler's position at AnI should have been glad to stay and napolis would have been critical, and his see my comrades through to their depar- forced march to the capital a forlorn hope, ture; but there was a Massachusetts man a

- heroic, but desperate. down at Fortress Monroe, Butler by So, honor to whom honor is due. name, has any one heard of him? Here I must cut short my story. So and to this gentleman it chanced that I good-bye to the Seventh, and thanks for was to report myself. So I packed my the fascinating month I have passed in knapsack, got my furlough, shook hands their society. In this pause of the war with my fellows, said good-bye to Camp our camp-life has been to me as brilliant Cameron, and was off, two days after our as a permanent picnic. month's service was done.

Good-bye to Company I, and all the fine fellows, rough and smooth, cool old hands and recruits verdant but ardent!

Good-bye to our Lieutenants, to whom I Under Providence, Washington owes owe much kindness! Good-bye, the Orits safety, 1st, To General Butler, whose derly, so peremptory on parade, so indulgenius devised the circumvention of Bal- gent off! Good-bye, everybody! timore and its rascal rout, and whose ut- And so in haste I close.

ent ways.

rescue.

[ocr errors]

FAREWELL TO THE SEVENTH.

BETWEEN SPRING AND SUMMER.

(A BIRTHDAY POEM, WITH ROSES.)

To ber whose birth and being

Touch summer out of spring,
These roses, reaching forward

From May to June, I bring.

To her whose fragrant friendship

Sweetens the life I live,
These flowers, Love's message hinting

With perfumed breath, I give.

The violet and the lily

Shall stand for these and those ;
But give her roses only

Whose soul suggests the rose,

Whose Life's idea ranges

Through all of sweet and bright,
A vernal flow of feeling,

A summer day of light.

I bless the child whose coming

Sheds grace around us, where
Her voice falls soft as music,

Her step drops light as air :

Fair grace, to good related

In her, sweet sisters twin;
As in this House of Roses

The fruits and flowers are kin.

ELLSWORTH.

The beginnings of great periods have crusade for its perpetuation. The conoften been marked and made memorable solidation of public sentiment which folby striking events. Out of the cloud that lowed the magnificent defeat at Bunker's hangs around the vague inceptions of Hill, in which the spirit of indignant rerevolutions, a startling incident will some- sistance was tempered by the pathetic times flash like lightning, to show that the interest surrounding the fate of Warren, warring elements have begun their work. was but a foreshadowing of the instant The scenes that attended the birth of rally to arms which followed the fall of American nationality formed a not inac- the beleaguered fort in Charleston barcurate type of those that have opened the bor, and of the intensity of tragic pathos

« AnteriorContinuar »