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Shenandoah, love and war in the valley of Virginia 1861-5 : based upon the famous play by Bronson Howard / by Henry Tyrrell ; illustrated by Harry A. Ogden, John H. Cassel and others. Tyrrell, Henry, 1865- 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-224-31182800 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Shenandoah, love and war in the valley of Virginia 1861-5 : based upon the famous play by Bronson Howard / by Henry Tyrrell ; illustrated by Harry A. Ogden, John H. Cassel and others. Tyrrell, Henry, 1865- G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York : 1912. vii, 389 p.,  leaves of plates (some col.) : ill. ; 20 cm. Coleman Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1994. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN04755.04 KUK) Printing Master B92-224. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Howard, Bronson, 1842-1908. Gertrude.-" Very likely General Beauregard has more nerve than you have." Painted by John H. Cassel Shenandoa Love and War in the Valley of Virginia 1861-5 Based upon the Famous Play by Bronson Howard By Henry Tyrrell Author of "Lee of Virginia," etc. Illustrated by Harry A. Ogden, John H. Cassel and Others G. P. Putnam's Sons New York Zbe 11nickerbocker Preos London I912 COPYRIGN'T, BY HENRY TYRRELL nbe 1tnickerbocket press, Sew go" CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE I-HAUGHTY OLD CHARLESTON . . I II-APRIL WEATHER . . i6 III-AFTER THE BALL . . 28 IV-SUMTER . 44 V-PARTING OF THE WAYS . . 57 VI-THE VIRGINIANS . . . 68 VII-WAR IS-WAR . 91 VIII-IN THE VALLEY . . 102 IX-SHENANDOAH'S DAUGHTER . 120 X-GRAPEVINE TELEGRAPH . I36 XI-LIBBY PRISON. . . . 154 XII-LIGHTS AND SHADOWS . i87 XIII-CROSSING THE RIVER . 203 XIV-SHERIDAN . . . . . 223 XV-WHIRLING THROUGH WINCHESTER . 236 XVI-THE STRANGE FORTUNES OF WAR 250 . iv Contents CRA PTER PAGE XVII-SIGNALS FROM THREE-TOP MOUNTAIN 264 XVIII-"TELL How I DIED" 288 XIX-"IT'S ONLY A BATTLE!" 302 XX-AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR 311 XXI-THE VALLEY OF DESOLATION 327 XXII-THE SURRENDER 344 XXIII-" WITH MALICE TOWARD NONE" 366 XXIV-LoVE RULES 374 ILLUSTRATIONS PAGE GERTRUDE-" VERY LIKELY GENERAL BEAURE- GARD HAS MORE NERVE THAN YOU HAVE Frontispiece in color Painted by John H. Cassel THE FIRST BATTLE OF BULL RUN-" THE RE- PULSE BECAME A ROUT . . . . 20 Drawn by Harry A. Ogden SERGEANT BARKET-" THE YOUNG LADY TO TAKE THE OATH, IS IT AN' SHE 'S AFTHER SAYING SHE 'LL SEE US DAMNED FIRST" . 52 Drawn by Harry A. Ogden SERGEANT BARKET-" I 'VE OFTEN SEEN CAP- TAIN HEARTSEASE TAKE A SLY LOOK AT A LITTLE LACE HANDKERCHIEF JUST BEFORE HE WINT INTO A BATTLE" . . 84 Drawn by Harry A. Ogden GEN. BUCKTHORN-" WHAT! YOU DEFY MY AUTHORITY COLONEL WEST, I COMMAND YOU! SEARCH THE PRISONER! II6 Drawn by Harry A. Ogden v vi Illustrations PAGE COL. WEST-" DURING ALL THIS TERRIBLE WAR, . . . I HAVE DREAMED OF A MEETING LIKE THIS" . . . 148 Drawn by Harry A. Ogden GEN. BUCKTHORN (reading)-"' GENERAL ROSSER WILL REJOIN GENERAL EARLY WITH ALL THE CAVALRY IN HIS COMMAND AT-' THIS IS IMPORTANT. ANYTHING ELSE, COLONEL . . . . . . I80 Drawn by Harry A. Ogden THORNTON-" IF I HAVE KILLED HIM, YOUR HONOR WILL BE BURIED IN THE SAME GRAVE" 214 Drawn by Harry A. Ogden "OUR BRAVE B'YES HAVE WIPED OUT THE ENEMY, AND GOT AWAY WITH THE PAPERS !" 246 Drawn by Harry A. Ogden FRANK-" WRITE! WRITE! TO-MY WIFE- EDITH: TELL OUR LITTLE SON, WHEN HE IS OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW, HOW HIS FATHER DIED-NOT HOW HE LIVED" . . 278 Drawn by Harry A. Ogden GERTRUDE-" YOUR WOUND!" COL. WEST-" WOUND I HAVE No WOUND! YOU LOVE ME" . 310 Drawn by Harry A. Ogden "AND SHERIDAN FIFTEEN MILES AWAY !" 332 Drawn by John W. Ehninger Illustrations vii PAGE "TURN BACK, FELLOWS! GENERAL SHERIDAN IS COMING!" . . . . . 350 Drawn by Harry A. Ogden THIE CHARGE OF THE SIXTH CORPS AT THE BATTLE OF CEDAR CREEK . . 372 From a War Sketch Made for Frank Leslie's Illus- trated Newspaper MOSBY'S RAIDERS ATTACK A COMMISSARY TRAIN . . . . . . . 386 From a Sketch by a War Correspondent This page in the original text is blank. SHENANDOAH CHAPTER I HAUGHTY OLD CHARLESTON "How often in these mansions fine Were friendships pledged in rare old wine, Madeira that had crossed the line, And golden sherry." "CHARLESTON always looks to me as if it had drifted bodily across the Atlantic, from old France or Spain," said Colonel Haverill, as he stood gazing out harbor-ward from the pil- lared veranda of the roomy colonial mansion fronting on the East Battery. "I can return the compliment, Colonel," replied his host, Dr. Ellingham, a silver-haired Southerner of the courtly old school, "by repeating what you have heard me say before now-that a visit to Boston is for me the equivalent of breathing again the-how shall I say it-the atmosphere of con- servatism and culture, austere yet kindly, that was once supposed to belong exclusively to our common mother country, England." I Shenandoah "Dear me, I had n't thought of it," laughed Mrs. Haverill, the Colonel's wife. "Such mutual appreciation ought to be kept in practice. At the same time, let us hope that North and South may never be alien in any other sense." "God grant it." " Amen." Fervent as these expressions were, they seemed tinged with some indefinable sense of sadness and foreboding. It was early spring of the year i86i. Sky and water in that Southern seaboard clime were blue, but it was the soft, dreamy blue of Mediterranean shores. Nights of velvety dusk were lit with strangely large, low-hung stars. The magnolias were not yet in bloom, but amid the moss-veiled live-oaks already the mocking-birds sang-or rather rhapsodized in language of golden tone, as if confiding thrilling secrets that burst from stifled hearts. Charleston still wore unconsciously an Old- World aspect, a sort of legendary glamour of feudalism, the real or imagined heritage of aristocratic Huguenot ancestors. Outward signs of this abounded in her white stuccoed walls and red roofs nestling amidst dense foliage-her quaint architecture and frowning fortifications- 2 Haughty Old Charleston the stately grace and roomy, leisurely look of her public places and approaches. Socially, this "Bourbon" spirit impressed itself upon a thousand and one traditions, usages, customs, unwritten laws, even peculiarities of dress and speech, vaguely reminiscent of some bygone regime, pervading all classes and degrees. The negroes amusingly reflected these traits, in unwitting caricature. Some of them, of West Indian origin, spoke French fluently. Many of them retained odd turns of Elizabethan English phrase, handed down directly from Raleigh's cavalier "Virginians." Like another Venice, this haughty mid-nine- teenth century Charleston sat enthroned by the inviolate sea, sufficient unto herself, her heart swelling with what to her was proper pride, to the outside world something like arrogant as- sumption. "Our city," an infant essayist of Charleston is reputed to have written, "is between the Cooper and the Ashley rivers, which unite and form the ocean." It was a splendid dream, while it lasted. Life in the grand manner rolled carelessly, recklessly on. The rich houses facing the Battery park were filled with furniture, books, and art objects 3 Shenandoah from across the seas, or priceless relics of colonial days-with the Georgian masterpieces of Chippen- dale and Sheraton-with French bronzes, ormolu and tapestries-with family portraits painted by Kneller, Hoppner, Raeburn, Van Loo, or by their American followers, Copley, Stuart, Sharples, West. Rare antique plate, china, and crystal gleamed against the dark mahogany of banquet- table and sideboard. And the port and Madeira, the Burgundy and brandies in the cellar, matched the other heirlooms in age and quality. The social laws of old Charleston were conserv- ative, though proudly arbitrary; and it was quite as difficult for a stranger to invade the inner precincts without gilt-edged credentials as it is to-day amongst the high nobility of Europe. Neither money, nor beauty, nor wit, nor learning, nor official position, would in itself suffice. But without any of these advantages, the coveted passport might be obtained through favorable recommendation to the dames and dowagers who were the arbiters of fashion and fate. Then, at the magical open sesame, the most exclusive dining-rooms and drawing-rooms received the stranger into full communion, without reserva- tion, in all the warm-hearted effusion that made "Southern hospitality" a proverb. 4 Haughty Old Charleston 5 Such were the enviable conditions-heightened rather than restrained by the political turmoil of the time-under which an oddly assorted group of people, of various ages and conditions, and including besides Charlestonians a number of representatives of other sections of the South as well as of Northern States, planned the Ellingham ball, for the second week in April. Colonel Haverill, of the Regular Army of the United States, had been a Mexican War comrade of the late Colonel Ellingham, of Virginia. When Ellingham died, Haverill became the guardian of his two children, Robert and Gertrude. Robert was duly graduated from West Point, and with his classmate Kerchival West, of Mas- sachusetts, went with the rank of lieutenant to see active service on the plains, in the regiment of Colonel Haverill. Ordered to Washington, Colo- nel Haverill and his wife were now travelling northward via Charleston, accompanied by Lieu- tenants Ellingham and West. Gertrude Elling- ham had come on from the family homestead in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, to meet her brother Bob. Likewise, Madeline West had hastened to join her brother Kerchival, and in- cidentally to enjoy her first acquaintance with the fascinating Southern city. 6 Shenandoah It was Robert and Gertrude, of course, who had brought about this unwonted assemblage at the Ellingham mansion, the town residence of the wealthy, elderly uncle, Dr. Marshall Ellingham, a widower, and noted for his scholarly tastes and princely hospitality. Nothing less than a ball-one of the famous Ellingham "levees "-could fittingly honor the occasion. The younger set, including the two lieutenants, had practically no other subject of "serious" dis- cussion. Secession talk was rife, to be sure, and the military activities going on were such as to lead to but one logical conclusion-that war, or something very like it, was imminent. But love outranked logic, in that particular camp, at least. The sentimental action was prompt and ani- mated, if not decisive. At the very opening of the campaign, the casualties took in Kerchival West and his demure, dark-eyed sister Madeline; also, as mutual offsetting to this pair, the gallant Bob Ellingham and his sister Gertrude, the latter a spirited girl with warm bronze hair befitting her emotional temperament, and vivid complexion to match. "Kerchival !" called Madeline, from amongst the oleander shadows on the veranda. Haughty Old Charleston 7 But it was Bob who gave a responsive start, as he stood chatting with West in the drawing- room. West noted it with amusement, saying to himself, "Now, what can there be about my sister's voice to make a man jump like that" Two minutes later, Gertrude called "Brother Robert" to the piano to turn some music for her, and Kerchival West stood riveted to the spot in such a spellbound attitude that everybody could see at a glance he was maundering to himself about "How the tones of a woman's voice can thrill through a man's soul!" The girls kept their counsel better than that. Still, in one way or another, the sentimental fluctuations of the whole quartette were discussed with such charming frankness that whatever heart secrets they had were open ones. Before the date of the ball came around, matters had reached this stage: The girls paired off in one corner, and the boys in an opposite one, and eyed each other diagonally across the room while the double dialogue ran somewhat as follows: GERTRUDE: I 've got something to say to you, Madeline, dear. MADELINE (as they clasp arms confidentially around each other's waist): Yes ROBERT: Kerchival, old boy, there 's - Shenandoah there 's something I 'd like to let you know, while you're here in Charleston. KERCHIVAL: All right, Bob. And I 've some- thing for you, also. MADELINE: You don't really mean that, Gertrude With me ROBERT: I 'm in love with your sister Madeline. KERCHIVAL: The deuce you are! ROBERT: I never suspected it myself until last night. GERTRUDE: Robert fell in love the first time he set eyes on you. MADELINE: (Kisses Gertrude). KERCHIVAL: I 've discovered something about myself, too, Bob. MADELINE: Now I 'm going to surprise you, Gertrude. KERCHIVAL: I 'm in love with your sister. ROBERT: W-h-a-t MADELINE: Kerchival has been in love with you, dear, ever since-well, I believe ever since long before you met. KERCHIVAL: I fell in love with her day before yesterday. ROBERT (seizing Kerchival's hand): We understand each other, Kerchival. 8 Haughty Old Charleston The first cloud that appeared in this roseate sky was Edward Thornton. Thornton was rather a handsome fellow, in his insolent way, and a few years older than the two lieutenants-that is to say, he was close upon thirty. He had more than the assurance of manner that such advantage might perhaps be expected to give him-especially with Mrs. Haver- ill, the Colonel's wife. Though for some years a resident of Charleston and Savannah, he had come originally from the North. Rumor declared that he had once been a naval cadet at Annapolis, but had dropped out, or been dropped, before half- way through his course. His intercourse with the Colonel and Mrs. Haverill, though apparently of long standing and based upon some sort of family association, was at times a trifle constrained. The young people frankly did not like Thornton, though none of them had said so, and probably any or all of them would have denied the charge had it been made. At any rate, Kerchival and Robert looked askance at any proposition of Thornton's to act as escort to the girls on their walks or rides. The latter, on the contrary, may have tacitly encour- aged him, in their inscrutable feminine fashion. Certainly this did not mend matters. 9 Shenandoah Meanwhile, Dr. Ellingham and the Colonel, and Mrs. Haverill and the Pinckneys (South Carolina relatives of the Ellinghams), saw graver portents than sentimental ones on the near horizon. If they made an allusion to the coming festivity, it was to wish the affair well over and out of the way. Their real conversation turned upon questions of State sovereignty, the "old flag," and rights as to secession from the Union. Already, in December, I86o, Charleston had ratified the Ordinance of Secession, adopted in a convention which declared the State of South Carolina "no longer a part of the confederation known as the United States of America." Six other States-Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas, had respectively followed the lead of the Palmetto State, passing ordinances taking themselves out of the Union; and their delegates had assembled at Montgomery, Alabama, and formed a new government, under the name of the Confederate States of America. The full significance of these proceedings, how- ever, was not grasped by statesmen, soldiers, or the people at large. There were powerful peace- making agencies, especially in Virginia, and sober- minded people in all sections of the country hoped until the last that these would prevail. 10 Haughty Old Charleston II This was the feeling among the elders, even in Charleston-at least, in the immediate circle of the Ellinghams and their Northern guests. " If the interests of your manufacturing and shipping States of the North," observed Dr. Ellingham, "and of our agricultural and cotton States of the South, are not running in harmony, that is no excuse for a family quarrel." "I quite agree with you," Colonel Haverill would respond. "It is an awkward thing for a soldier to take sides in such a dispute. Theoretic- ally, we don't have to-the Government settles all that for us, and we simply obey orders. I feel confident they will find a remedy for the present break, as they have for other and perhaps worse ones in times past. If it were not for the slavery question " "Ah," sighed the Southern conservative, "if I owned the four million slaves, I would gladly give them all up for the preservation of the Union. For that matter, they have been our economical ruin, anyway. It is the political principle involved that we are committed to. If ever there should be a sectional war-which God forbid !-it will be fought in sincere devotion to an abstraction, and not for sordid interests." "Well, your friend Major Ruffin certainly has 12 Shenandoah more decided opinions on the subject than both of us together," laughed Haverill, making the custom- ary effort to divert the conversation into lighter channels. Ruffin was a striking character, typical of the time. They met him afternoons at the Charleston Hotel, or on sunny mornings walking by the Battery sea-wall, gazing out across the harbor to where the Sumter fortress reared its forty-foot walls on an artificial island built on the shoals. This was one of the important fortifications of the seceding States whose status in relation to the Federal Government was in ominous dispute. "Sir," Ruffin would say, impressively, "if the status of these Federal forts in the seceded States is not yet determined, it is high time it should be. If an appeal to arms is necessary,-and I can see that it is, sooner or later,-let it come right here, and now. It is appropriate that South Carolina should fire the first shot, since she is the foremost exponent of the fundamental doctrines of eco- nomical and political liberty which the present Washington Government is opposing." "But, Major," Colonel Haverill would protest, "I understood you were a Virginian Virginia has not seceded." "Not yet, but she will-she must. I am, as Haughty Old Charleston you say, sir, a Virginian born. But this hanging fire is so little to my taste, sir, that I have sold my Virginia property, and cast my allegiance with South Carolina, for the present. I have enlisted with the State troops here, and I await any minute General Beauregard's call to the batteries he is planting all around Sumter." Major Ruffin was a white-haired, elderly man, sixty years old if a day. In his fiery fanatical zeal there was something humorous-and something tragic. Dr. Ellingham alluded feelingly to the crisis facing loyal citizens of the border States, Virginia and Kentucky. "It occurs to me," he added, "that Major Robert Anderson, commanding the garrison at Fort Sumter, is a Southerner-a Kentuckian, I believe, married to a Georgia lady, and a slave- owner. Yet I am sure the Federal Government is confident of his loyalty, in leaving its interests here in his charge." "So much so," Colonel Haverill joined in, ap- provingly, "that I understand President Lincoln is to send gunboats down here with a view to relieving the Sumter garrison, evidently in anti- cipation of a state of siege." "If President Lincoln is doing that he must 13 14 Shenandoah have a correct idea of the gravity of the situa- tion. And, mark my words, gentlemen, that will be the signal for the actual beginning of hostilities." With these portentous words, Major Ruffin saluted, turned on his heel, and marched away. Haverill was glad to return to the Ellingham house, and in the atmosphere of frivolity and bustle of festive anticipation there forget the warlike obsession that hung as a lurid cloud over the city. And even here, amidst the light-hearted, busy preparations for the ball, a characteristic incident impressed him once again with the width and depth of the chasm dividing Southern customs and habit of mind from those of his Northland nativity. The pompous negro majordomo, known as Peter the Great, was freely consulted by the Ellinghams and Mrs. Pinckney in regard to both details and essentials. Among the latter, he was to carry the invitations by hand. He even looked over the list, and ventured suggestions concern- ing certain names which should be crossed off, and certain others which might properly be added. One of the ladies from Washington asked Pete Haughty Old Charleston 15 if he was quite sure he knew where all these people lived. His reply was: "Madam, if there is any pusson in Charleston who lives where I don't know, that pusson should n't be invited to the Ellingham ball." CHAPTER II APRIL WEATHER "How doth this Spring of love resemble Th' uncertain glory of an April day!" COLONEL HAVERILL, fifty-five years of age, was distinctively an American soldier type. He was in the full flush of mature manhood, tall and striking in appearance, grave and precise in manner, without any undue affectation of dignity, yet by habit as well as by nature inclined to sever- ity and reserve. His army reputation was that of a martinet-but a martinet who possessed the confidence, even the affection, of his regiment, because every one knew that his pride and punc- tiliousness were for his command, for the service, and for the flag-not for himself. A veteran of the Mexican War, he was happily married to his second wife, a New York belle up to the time of her becoming the Colonel's bride, some six years before the period with which the present narrative is concerned. His only son, i6 April Weather 17 Frank, was at that time a boy of fourteen-bright and spirited, but, as the Colonel declared with real mortification, evidently not cut out for a soldier. That most lamentable deficiency-in the father's eyes-gave color to the assertion made not by Mrs. Haverill alone, that the Colonel thought more of his young Southern wards, Robert and Gertrude Ellingham, than he did of his own son. However this may have been, the Colonel's young wife more than made up to the lad the de- privation of his father's full measure of paternal confidence and affection. Having no children of her own, she gave to the boy what in his infancy he had never known-a mother's loving care. His own mother had died at his birth. As he grew up in New York, amidst good family associations and in comfortable circumstances, seeing little of his father and experiencing the irksomeness with- out the companionship of that parent's strict control, it was not to be wondered at if Frank came perilously near to being spoiled. He was at once a tie between Colonel Haverill and his beautiful young wife, and their only cause of discord. After graduation from Columbia-instead of from West Point, as the Colonel would have de- 2 Shenandoah sired, if such a choice could have been realized in the natural course of events-Frank Haverill en- tered the banking house of the Howards, relatives of his stepmother. This had seemed a promising connection-it might have led, possibly, to another matrimonial alliance, through one of the pretty daughters of the family, on whom the young clerk was known to have made a most favorable im- pression-when suddenly he ran away with and married Edith Maury, a nice enough girl, as it was said, but two or three years his senior, and the daughter of an impoverished Southern family, whose home was in New Orleans. This was bad enough. Still, a rash love match is not in itself an unpardonable sin. Frank was forgiven, at least a truce was patched up, and the prodigal son went back repentant, as it seemed, to his stool at the bank. Alas! the "prodigal" climax was yet to come. Its beginnings had dated back even to the college days. Edward Thornton had been much in New York, then. He had first met the Haverills at Saratoga. Handsome, reckless, a social favorite and sportsman of no small pretensions, Thornton had immediately exercised over young Frank an influence amounting to fascination and hero- worship. Those were flush times of racing, of April Weather '9 gambling, of drinking, and-south of the Mason and Dixon line especially-of duelling. Thornton took the eager, precocious boy in hand, and " made a man of him." It was such a "man" as the Colonel, his father, absent most of the time on Western duty, never dreamed. If Mrs. Haverill came in the course of time to regard the compan- ionship with uneasiness and suspicion, she thought it the part of discretion to keep such misgivings from her husband. So it was that every step in Frank's later career had come as a surprise to his father, and as a shock, until a positive estrangement had grown up. Duty, rather than any warmer paternal feeling, had impelled the Colonel to keep in communication with his son, and, through the gentle interposition of his own wife, to continue the money allowance meant mainly in behalf of the amiable and unoffending younger Mrs. Haverill. Matters were in such strained relation now, when the Colonel and his wife stopped at Charles- ton, on their way North. And it was at this fateful moment that the last stroke fell. The day before the Ellingham ball, Colonel Haverill learned from the New York newspapers, and simultaneously by a letter from his lawyers there, that his son was an absconder and a fugitive. 20 Shenandoah Under suspicion on account of irregularities dis- covered at the Howard bank, he had fled, no one knew whither, to escape arrest, leaving his wife deserted and without resources. Colonel Haverill's grief and rage were fearful. His self-control was almost tragic. With clenched hands and hard-set face he paced the back veranda upon which his room opened, pausing now and again to mutter a few words, in a low tone meant to be calm, to his wife, who sat mutely awaiting a propitious moment to offer her counsel. "I might have expected it," said the Colonel. "And yet, had n't I enough else on my mind, just now, without being brought to face a thing like this Well, let Pate deal with him. He deserves the worst that can happen. I am through with him. I have always done my best by him, now I have other and more important duties to perform. I am an officer of the United States Army. The name which my son bears came to him from men who had borne it with honor, and I transmitted it to him without a blot. He has disgraced it, and he has no longer any right to bear it. I renounce him. From now on I have no son-I am childless." "But, John,-there is his poor young wife-" "His marriage was a piece of reckless folly, The First Battle of Bull Run.-" The repulse became a rout." Drawn by Harry A. Ogden This page in the original text is blank. April Weather 21 but I forgave him that. Now, thorough scoundrel that he is, he has deserted the girl." " Don't judge him too hastily, John. He loved her, I am sure. May it not have been that it was only after another was dependent upon him, that the debts of a thoughtless spendthrift-for he was nothing worse-drove him to desperation- to fraud, perhaps-I will not believe to crime" "His wife shall be provided for-my lawyers have their instructions," replied the Colonel, curtly. The young wife went on, in a firmer yet still pleading voice: "Your son has something more to expect from you, also. I am thinking of what you have so often told me-of the poor mother who died when he was born-her whose place I have tried to fill, both to Frank and to you. I never saw her, and she is sleeping in the old graveyard at home. But I am doing what she would do to-day, if she were living. No pride, no disgrace, could have turned her face from him. The care and love of her son have been to me my most sacred duty-the most sacred duty which one woman can assume for another." 'I know it "-the Colonel spoke as if he were choking-" you have fulfilled that duty, Constance. 22 Shenandoah God bless you! Now, leave me to myself a little. There are more things than one to trouble my mind." Mrs. Haverill threw a kiss to her husband, stole softly out of the room, closing the door behind her, passed through the spacious galleries and down the broad winding stairs to the drawing- room. What a splendid, old colonial, baronial, hospit- able mansion it was! There was a vast central rotunda, domed with a skylight of colored glass; and around this open space, on all the four floors from ground to roof, circled the gallery corridors from which heavy oaken doors opened into guest chambers, living rooms, and sunny nooks innum- erable, some looking out upon Charleston harbor and oceanward, others at the rear and sides of the house having vine-clad balconies, or else the aforesaid practicable verandas that ran all the way around outside. On the main floor the two grand salons, which could be thrown into one, fully eighty feet long, extended the whole length of the house, with vast open fireplaces and imposing marble mantels at either end. Here was the Erard piano, a "grand" of the ante-bellum period. Spindle-legged and carved- back chairs and tapestry sofas were set against April Weather 23 the polished dark woodwork of the wainscoting. Candelabra of silver, brass, and crystal, with tall wax candles, stood in state on claw-footed tables topped with Italian marble and mosaic. Ruddy- faced ancestral portraits, some of them in gold- laced Continental uniforms of the Revolution or of I812, peered from the rich gloom of lofty walls. Peter the Great, in sombre livery, patrolled this noble hall, and at each door was stationed a smiling mulatto maid servant, in readiness to minister to the wants or fancies of guests and household. Through a high-arched doorway leading into the dining-room, glimpses were caught of the polished mahogany table, of the silver service and rare old china resting on damask mats, and of the great rosewood sideboard reaching to the ceiling with its ecclesiastical-looking glass doors and white-knobbed, bellied drawers, and cut-glass decanters glowing with ruby port and topaz Madeira, brandy, and whiskey. Everywhere, as Mrs. Haverill descended after her troublous interview with the Colonel, the younger people were blissfully lounging or cir- culating about, still talking love and war. They had a new and breezy accession to their ranks, in the person of Jenny Buckthorn, Shenandoah "U. S. A." She was the daughter of bluff old General Francis Buckthorn, of the Regular Army, and had been born and brought up in a military camp on the Western plains. From her first baby squall, it was understood, she had virtually commanded the garrison. Now she had the ways and gait of a trooper, paradoxically combined with the full complement of feminine graces and the heart of a coquette. " We 're going to see active service, now-sooner than you civilians seem to suspect," announced Jenny, to an attentive group of listeners under the front portico. "Our boys are already under marching orders, in Washington. And we army girls-well, of course we don't go to the front until it becomes absolutely necessary; but all the same, we 're ready to scrape lint and flirt with the officers of the home guard. Your General Beauregard is riding his high horse, it seems. Tell him for me that he 'd better mind what he 's doing or we 'll have Heartsease down here after him."' " And who is Heartsease, pray " inquired Gertrude Ellingham, who of late was developing an unwonted interest in the Federal military service. " Heartsease Brevet Captain Heartsease 24 April Weather Why, he is one of my favorite cavalry officers. You'll hear about him." "Yes-wherever Miss Buckthorn is, for five minutes or so," whispered Bob Ellingham to Madeline West. "I know Heartsease. Not a bad fellow, but the biggest fop that was ever misdealt into the cavalry. You ought to hear what General Buckthorn says about him. Wears a single eye- glass at guard mount, and carries a scented lace handkerchief at cross-country drill." Gertrude Ellingham drew Jenny aside and asked her: "How is it to have a sweetheart who is a soldier " "It 's all right," answered Jenny, promptly. "I would n't have a sweetheart who was n't a soldier-a Northern soldier, of course." A flush of pleasure stole over Gertrude's face, then died out as suddenly as it had come, and she looked very silent and serious. Madeline West murmured to Robert Elling- ham: "It is only lately that I have realized there are Northern soldiers and Southern soldiers. I thought there was but one flag, and that you all served under it." "That is what I was brought up to believe," 25 Shenandoah replied the young lieutenant, "but some unac- countable change has come about, and I can't see which section is the aggressor. I 'm sure we of the South don't want trouble, unless a lot of far-away busybodies insist upon making it." "But it seems to me," interposed Kerchival West, "that the people of Charleston are taking an extraordinary interest in the preparations to bombard Fort Sumter. They look forward to such an event as if it were to be a gala day. Out- side of this house, dear old Bob, I hear nothing else talked about. Drills seem to have taken the place of dances, and all gayeties somehow smell of gunpowder. Why, even the ladies are betting bonbons that Sumter will capitulate without firing a shot." As if to confirm his words, Gertrude and Made- line forthwith started a little friendly spat about General Beauregard. "He's a bad wicked man," declared Madeline, sweepingly, as she gazed off in the direction of Forts Moultrie and Johnston. "Oh, Madeline, you 're a saucy Yankee girl to say such a thing," retorted Gertrude. "I am a loyal Northern girl." "And I am a loyal Southern girl." "Ah! the war has begun," exclaimed Edward 26 April Weather Thornton, banteringly, as he approached from the outward gateway. But he was not sufficiently in favor with the girls to divert their attention from one another. Gertrude returned to the charge. "General Beauregard is a patriot." "He is a rebel." "So am I, then." " Gertrude !-You-I " " Madeline !-I-you " "'Oh, dear " Then they both burst into tears and fell into each other's arms, sobbing and kissing. "If there should be a war between North and South," laughed Ellingham, "that's about the way it will begin and end-eh, Kerchival" It was at this juncture that Mrs. Haverill ap- peared. Before she had time to join the group, Thornton hastened forward to meet her, and said in a low, hurried tone: "I must see you alone-I have important news for you."I "Are there-any further tidings of Frank" she inquired, eagerly. "Yes-we must not talk here,"-as they passed out together into the hall, and paused at the foot of the stairs. "Frank is here in Charleston." 27 CHAPTER III AFTER THE BALL "On with the dance! let joy be unconfined; No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet To chase the flying Hours with flying feet." T HE halls were decked and garlanded, ball dresses were laid out in readiness, and the young people were practising minuets. There might be a feeling of suspense in the air, but to these elastic hearts it simply meant that impatient hours must still intervene before the real festivities began. Towards twilight Kerchival West and Robert Elliugham, as if moved by a common impulse, strolled across the Battery park and along the old sea-wall together. " Bob, old comrade," the former began, "I have something I want to mention to you-something rather outside our ordinary line of discussion, you know, but still-under the circumstances "Is it about Thornton" 28 After the Ball 29 "It is about Mrs. Haverill-the Colonel's wife." "I understand-certainly, old boy-tell me all you know." "Well, I was passing along the gallery of the second floor, on my way to my room, when I heard a muffled scream, then a lady's voice uttering violent, or rather hysterical, exclamations. The sounds came from one of the principal guest- rooms, as I supposed, but whose, I did n't know. Then the door was opened hastily, and Mrs. Haverill appeared, looking alarmingly ill or else terribly frightened, and trembling with excitement. As soon as she saw me she started back, as if to close the door again, then she wavered, and, saying 'I feel a little faint, that is all-pardon me,' she sank down into a chair." "And was any one with her" " Not that I know of. I did have an impression - Anyway, she recovered herself quickly, after I had saturated my handkerchief with ammonia, and eau de Cologne, and anything else that chanced to be at hand, and given it to her. She would be all right, she said, and I was not to let such a foolish little incident disturb me, on any account. Still " "Still, the 'foolish little incident' must have had a serious cause behind it, eh" Shenandoah "So I thought. But it may have been only a mouse." " Or it may have been Thornton. I was right!" exclaimed Ellingham, striking the clenched fist of one hand into the palm of the other. "What do you mean" asked Kerchival, quickly. " Have n't you noticed the attentions Thornton has been forcing on Mrs. Haverill, lately-press- ing, not to say insolent" "Yes, now you mention it." "He is an old acquaintance-knew the son in New York-and the Colonel takes him for granted, so to speak. All the same, he is no friend of mine, and if I had the say, he would n't be a guest at the house to-night. He is not a Charlestonian, anyway, unless it be through out- Heroding Herod, and taking up with exaggeration any vices or passions that may be peculiar to the Southland. Every place is liable to its scandals, I suppose - but that of a man's invading a married lady's apartment is certainly not com- mon hereabouts. That is what Thornton has had the reputation of doing, before now. What is more, he once killed a lady's husband in a duel." "And you think he is in a way to repeat the adventure now" 30 After the Ball "As far as insulting the lady is concerned- yes. I was smoking on the lawn, and I heard the scream myself-it must have been the same one that alarmed you. I looked up to the balcony windows, and-unless my imagination fooled me I saw the shadow silhouette of Edward Thornton against the curtain." "Then, by heaven, Bob-" " It must n't get to the Colonel. Leave Thorn- ton to me." "A pretext is all that is necessary. If you don't find it, I will." Absorbed in conversation the two young men had made the circuit of the park, and now stood again in front of the Ellingham house, which was brilliantly illuminated as the deeper shadows of evening fell. There were other illuminations, too, marked by West and Ellingham, but without comment, as they looked up the unusually animated streets leading to the heart of the city. Even St. Michael's Church showed a light in its venerable, historic spire. But that may have been for prayer-meeting. "I wonder when and where we shall next meet after to-night, Bob," said Kerchival, impulsively, as they paused an instant at the gateway of the Ellingham mansion. 31 Shenandoah "God knows," answered Robert. They shook hands in silence, then hurried in to dress. Violins, flute, harp, guitar, and piano, made a delightful dance-music band. For prelude and interlude, some sweet voice would blend with the Erard's accompaniment in "Sweet Evalina," or "The Dew Is on the Blossom." The negroes with their banjos sat out beneath the magnolias, and needed but the slightest signal to break into the mellow-rhythmed " 0 Lor', Ladies, don't yo' Mind Stephen," or "Sweet Nellie Is by my Side," or maybe even some quaint, immemorial camp- meeting hymn, like "My days are gliding swiftly by, And I a pilgrim stranger, Would not detain them as they fly, Those days of toil and danger. For O! we stand on Jordan's strand, Our friends are passing over, And just before, the shining shore We may almost discover." Robert and Kerchival were as eager as any one for the dancing, yet they could not enter into the spirit of the affair and engage their partners (as a matter of fact, these latter, meaning chiefly Madeline and Gertrude, did not make an early 32 After the Ball appearance in the parlors), until their anxiety about Mrs. Haverill should be allayed. Would she find an excuse to avoid the ordeal of gayety, under the eyes of at least two persons who knew of the shock she had suffered but a few hours previously No such concern seemed to hold Edward Thornton back. He was here, there, and every- where, over-acting if anything the r6le of "the life of the party," and never missing a dance. Suddenly the Colonel's beautiful wife, flanked by the two vivacious girls, and herself looking the picture of health and radiance, in a specially modish ball-gown of flowered satin, sailed into the salon like the star of a stage play. It was the official, formal opening of the ball, as Dr. Ellingham led her out for the minuet- Mozart's from "Don Juan." Robert and Ker- chival, with no less alacrity, seized upon Madeline and Gertrude for one of the few waltzes on the order of dancing. Jenny Buckthorn let Thornton put her down for the same number, and uncon- sciously averted an awkward crisis, for the auda- cious fellow evidently was bent upon brazening it out with Mrs. Haverill, face to face. Polka mazurka alternated with polka redowa, and that old English rout of our forefathers, known 3 33 34 Shenandoah as Sir Roger de Coverley, turned up under the name of the Virginia reel. There were plenty of comfortable intermissions, and moreover, every- body in turn played the wallflower, or flirted through dances to heart's content. The punch- bowls on the grand sideboard were filled and emptied, sweetmeats were heaped upon crystal dishes, salads and jellies masqueraded in wondrous designs, and the escalloped oysters and fried chicken-ah! here is where imagination must be appealed to-in vain. One thing rather noticeable was the considerable number of men present in army or navy uniforms. Of course, Charleston being a seaport and military station, this circumstance called for no special explanation. But a special explanation was forth- coming, before the night was over. "Do you know what Mrs. Pinckney says" Gertrude Ellingham asked Lieutenant Kerchival West. " She has invited a party of friends to her house to witness the firing on Sumter-the Pinck- ney place commands a better view of the forts than this one does, you know. They are to break- fast on the piazza, while looking at the bombard- ment. We can ride over and join them, after the ball, if you like." "How delightful !" responded Kerchival, in After the Ball rather a forced tone of gayety. " I hope, however, that they won't wait for breakfast until the fortress is bombarded." "You think it will be a long wait Well, Lieutenant West, I '11 bet you an embroidered cigar case against a box of gloves that the first gun is fired before sunrise." "-Done! You will lose the bet, Miss Gertrude, -unless Major Ruffin, unable to curb his impa- tience any longer, should steal out and touch off a mortar on his own hook. Not that I should n't be overjoyed to offer you the gloves-particularly if-well, in the hope that-that one of the little hands belonging inside them shall " They were in the shadow of the oleanders, as he spasmodically seized one of the aforesaid little hands. She withdrew it almost as promptly, murmuring: " Shall remain in my own keeping for the present, until some one comes along who has a good excuse for claiming it. So, you don't believe that General Beauregard is going to open fire on Sumter this morning " "No-of course not." "Well, I happen to know that everything is in readiness." "It is a heap easier to have everything in readi- 35 36 Shenandoah ness to do a thing, than it is to do it. For instance, I have been ready a dozen times to-day to say to you, Miss Gertrude, that-that I " " Well, sir " "But I did n't, you know." " Very likely General Beauregard has more nerve than you have." "Oh, it is easy enough to set a few batteries around Charleston harbor. But when it comes to firing the first shot at a woman - " "At a woman Why, what are you talking about " " I mean, at the American flag-a man must be a-must have the nerves of " "You Northern men are so slow to-" "Yes, I know I 've been slow-but I assure you, Miss Gertrude, that my heart " "You are getting all mixed up. What subject are we on now" "You were reproaching me for being too slow." " Nothing of the sort, sir-the idea! Why don't you let me finish I say you Northern men are so slow to understand that our Southern men mean what they say. They have sworn to attack Fort Sumter to-morrow morning-or is it this morning, already-and they will do it. This American flag you talk of is no longer our flag- After the Ball 37 we have withdrawn from its allegiance-your Washington Government treats us as enemies, so its flag is now foreign to us." Kerchival West stood silent and stunned, for a moment. Then, he said, with grave tenderness: "Am I your enemy" "Are n't you going North to join in the threat- ened invasion of our Southern Confederate States" "Yes-that 's our orders, I believe." " You are ready to fight against my friends, against my own brother, your comrade. If that don't make us enemies, what does" "Nothing can make me your enemy, Gertrude. My services belong to my country, at call. I belong to the North " " And I am a Southern woman. There the fatal line is drawn." Another moment of silence ensued, then the lieutenant said: "We have more at stake between us than a cigar case and a box of gloves!" Here Thornton and Jenny Buckthorn came up. Evidently their conversation had been taking a turn in a similar direction to that of Kerchival and Gertrude. " I 'm glad the attack is to be made on Sumter at last," declared Thornton. 38 Shenandoah " I do not share your pleasure in that prospect," said a serious voice, over Gertrude's shoulder- it was that of her brother, Lieutenant Robert Ellingham. "And you are a Southern gentleman," retorted Thornton, with the customary shade of supercili- ousness. "And you are a Northern-'gentleman'." With the reluctant accent Bob gave to the word "gentleman," it actually seemed to be in quotation marks, with an interrogation point after it. "I am a Southerner by choice. I shall join the cause," said Thornton curtly. " We can take care of our own rights, sir. They will be safe in our keeping, even if you should not find it to your interest to run risks in our behalf." "You '11 find me ready for any risk you like," muttered Thornton, turning on his heel. Jenny Buckthorn had already flounced away from his side, to take up a more agreeable line of chatter with some one who claimed personal acquaintance with that gallant but far-away cavalry officer, Heartsease. At the same moment, Colonel Haverill, who had not participated in the dancing, approached from After the Ball the direction of his wife's apartment. He held in his hand a white silk handkerchief, which he immediately offered to Lieutenant West, who took it, glanced at the initials-his own-thanked his superior officer, and passed out to the veranda overlooking the lawn, where many colored lanterns twinkled. Here, almost as if by preconcerted arrangement, Mrs. Haverill joined him, a moment later. "Madam," said the young man, with embar- rassed solicitude, "I beg to tell you how happy I am to see that your indisposition has vanished- also to offer humble apologies for my awkwardness and helplessness when I undertook to rush to your aid. You can always depend upon me to act the part of an idiot, in such an emergency. Fortu- nately, I was able to find Miss Gertrude and my sister, and send them to you in time to be of real service. Colonel Haverill has just handed me back my handkerchief." "Oh, thank you, lieutenant, for everything. I suppose my husband had been to my room look- ing for me. Something came up to-day that has upset us both a bit. And it is in regard to that matter that I wish to ask you now to do me a favor-a great service. Will you" "Pray command me, Mrs. Haverill," answered 39 40 Shenandoah Kerchival, with his heart thumping in wild, wondering excitement. " It is about the Colonel's son, Frank. You know the trouble he has got into, in New York. He has escaped arrest, and I have just received word that he is here in Charleston. I am the only one he can turn to. His father is stem and uncompromising, in his humiliation. I want you to find Frank, and arrange for me to meet him as soon as possible, if you can do it with safety. I shall give you a letter for him. I should like you to take it, at daylight, if possible. It is a sad errand and I know of none but yourself whom I can trust with it." Lieutenant Kerchival West bowed profoundly. " I will get ready at once," he said. " I can change my clothes in five minutes." How he welcomed this spur to action! The ball had ended for him, at the last words of Gertrude. He kept his word within the five minutes speci- fied, and came back booted and spurred to report to the Colonel's wife. She was not where he had left her, but he heard low, earnest voices at the other end of the shadowed veranda. "If my husband knew," Mrs. Haverill's voice was saying, "he would kill you, Edward Thornton After the Ball -unless you treacherously took advantage and shot him down without remorse. You know I am innocent-I never gave you any hint of encourage- ment-and the last I remember you were crouch- ing before me like a whipped cur. But I have kept the secret, and you must. Avoid meeting Colonel Haverill before we leave Charleston." "You have my apology," whispered Thornton. "That is not what I have asked." " Do you mean by that, that you will not accept amends " "For my husband's sake " the woman pleaded. "Ah! Your anxiety on his account, madam, makes me feel that perhaps, after all, my offence is indeed unpardonable. What an absurd blunder for a gentleman to make! If I had n't supposed it was Lieutenant Kerchival West who was my rival " "What do you mean, sir" "But instead, it is your husband who stands between us - " How dare you, sir! " cried the exasperated lady, now on the verge of hysterics. " Let me tell you, whatever I may wish to spare my husband, he fears nothing for himself. But, no! I entreat of you, do not let this horrible affair go any farther! " 41 Shenandoah Kerchival West, having no choice but to over- hear, was of the same mind. He now stepped forward decisively, saying: "Pardon me. I hope I am not interrupting. I believe, Mrs. Haverill, you have an errand for me " "Yes!" she exclaimed, eagerly, "thank you so much! I will go and write the note immediately. Pray excuse me, Mr. Thornton." Without another word, she hastened away. The two men bowed, and waited in silence until she was out of sight and hearing. Then Kerchival West drew himself up and said, quietly: "Thornton! you are a damned scoundrel. Do I make myself plain" " You have made it plain all along that you are looking for a quarrel. I 've no objection. Still, I prefer to pick my own adversaries." "Colonel Haverill is my commander," said West, trembling with suppressed excitement. "He is beloved by every officer in the regiment." "Well, what authority does that give you " "His honor is our honor. His wife-" "Oho! that 's it, eh So, you have a first-class license to act as Mrs. Haverill's champion. I have heard that her favorite officer- Kerchival approached a step nearer. 42 After the Ball 43 "You dare to suggest-" " If I accept your challenge," sneered the other, "I shall do so not because you are her protector, or the protector of her husband's honor, but as my rival. We stand on even ground." " Cur! you '11 listen to me now, " and Kerchival emphasized his words with a slash of his riding- whip, full in Thornton's face. "I think you are entitled to my attention, sir," responded the other, recovering himself quickly. " My time here is short, as you know," Kerchival said. "Long enough for my purpose, I reckon. The Bayou-up the Ashley a mile or so-is a con- venient place. In an hour from now it will be light enough to sight our weapons." "I 'll be there in half an hour, with a friend," cried Kerchival. "What 's this" inquired Bob Ellingham, at that instant bounding up the steps from the lawn. " Nothing much, Bob, except that I 've got ahead of you this time. It 's my chance, and I 'm going to do the settling with him. It won't take long, either." CHAPTER IV SUMTER "But hark! that heavy sound breaks in once more, As if the clouds its echo would repeat; And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before: Arm! arm! it is-it is-the cannon's opening roar!" N OBODY in Charleston slept that night of April II-12. At the Ellingham house, as at the Pinckney's, and at many another home of luxury and pride, there were fesitive or other gatherings which kept people up and about until long past midnight. Then, in the early hours of that fateful Friday, an exchange of rocket signals between Forts Johnston and Moultrie began. Every one knew what that meant. The men, some of them without stopping to change their evening clothes, disappeared with strange, silent, ominous alacrity. The women huddled in whispering groups, or brought spy-glasses and from various outdoor points of vantage watched intently across the dark waters to where the flagstaff of Sumter, like 44 Sumter a warning finger, pointed solemnly to the stars in the balmy dusk of the Southern springtime sky. The abrupt departure of Thornton and Lieu- tenants West and Ellingham, accompanied, as it appeared, by Dr. Ellingham and one or two of the young men in uniform, had not failed to attract attention and excite comment. Mrs. Haverill, by discreet inquiry among the household servants, obtained a startling hint or two which she hastened to communicate in confidence to Gertrude-none else. "There are tears in your eyes, Gertrude!" said Mrs. Haverill sympathetically. "They have no right there," returned the girl with a pitiful flash of the old spirit, that contrasted with the scared look on her unwontedly pale face. "I am afraid I know-not what has happened to Lieutenant West in these last few minutes, but-forgive a woman who has had more experi- ence than you have, dear, and who is fond of you- what happened between you and him when you were together for the last time, may be, in-who knows how long! Let Fate part you, if it must, but not a quarrel. What is pride or coquetry, at such a moment What is anything, but love And you did confess that " "Not to him." 45 Shenandoah "It may be too late." "Constance! Do you think-" "Another rocket! " cried Madeline West, flitting from somewhere in the outer darkness. "Does any one know where Rob-I mean where Lieu- tenant Ellingham is He told me that General Beauregard's ultimatum for the evacuation of Fort Sumter had been sent, and that Major Anderson, in command of the garrison there, had sent back word that he would stay and fight. I knew it! The attack was to be made at daybreak. Is n't it growing lighter now It 's after four. Lieutenant Ellingham excused himself for a min- ute, and he has been gone an hour and a half. He promised to be here before-" "So did Lieutenant West," Mrs. Haverill joined in, with undisguised anxiety. Boom! came a loud, sullen, reverberating re- port, from over the bay. "Look!" screamed Gertrude Ellinghamn, jump- ing up in a frenzy of excitement-"did you see that line of fire against the sky That was no rocket-that was a shell-it has struck the fort!" At the same instant there was a loud clatter of horse's hoofs outside, and Bob Ellingham dashed up the front steps. "Ruffin has fired the shot!" he cried, throwing 46 Sumter his cap into the air. "Hark! there goes another one. They have opened fire on Sumter, sure enough!" "Where is Mr. West Mr. Thornton the Doctor" demanded the three women, all in a breath. "They are-Anderson don't reply- That 's what I rode back ahead to tell you- It 's all right -the second shot hit Thornton, and Kerchival has n't a scratch-he '11 be along, with the Doctor, directly- Ruffin swore he would fire the first " " For heaven's sake, Robert, what are you talking about" pleaded Gertrude, seizing him by the arm. "Do try and compose yourself, and tell us what has happened. You say that-" "Kerchival and Thornton have had it out, I tell you. Beauregard has three or four thousand men under arms, and it 's a chance if Anderson can muster a hundred. Well, as I was saying, they met in the gardens down at the Bayou. Sam Pinckney and myself loaded the weapons, a pair of regulation navy sixes, then we tossed up a silver dollar for choice of position, at ten paces, and Thornton won-but that made no difference, for the sun was n't up yet " "Mercy! was it a duel" Mrs. Haverill inter- jected. 47 Shenandoah "It certainly was, madam. Kerchival scored at the second fire-his bullet ploughed through Thornton's cheek, branding him, but nothing dangerous-the Doctor is with him, and old Kerchival is all right, and coming along after me any minute. Well, that trifling affair is over, and well over. Something more important has started. I thought you 'd all be anxious to know that " "Madam, I have to beg your pardon for my unexpectedly prolonged absence, and to report for orders." This last was the voice of Kerchival, who, look- ing uncommonly pale and animated, addressed himself to Mrs. Haverill. She grasped his hand without speaking, and drew him aside. " I can only say, God bless you, Lieutenant West," she said, with quivering lips. "Some happier day I hope to thank you adequately, and so will the Colonel. He knows even less than I do, at the present moment. But he knows that Frank has taken refuge here, and he will not see him, nor allow me to do so. You will take these to the poor boy, won't you-this letter, and this little packet. It is a sacred confidence-and I ask it, as I know you receive it, freely." 48 Sumter 49 Kerchival bowed profoundly, and was off in a second. Mrs. Haverill's envoi to her stepson Frank had cost her another poignant scene with the Colonel. Before the ball had ended and the excitement of Sumter fairly begun, husband and wife had met in the seclusion of the lady's apart- ment. "My Desdemona," he had said, in more than half-serious bantering, "I picked up Cassio's handkerchief here, and I have returned it to its owner. That is all very well, my girl-but what is this I hear about your having had a fainting spell, or something, earlier in the evening You are trembling and excited, even now." "My husband! There is something I have to tell you-something very near to your heart. It is about your son " "About Frank Again" "He is here in Charleston." "He ought to be in prison, I suppose. But to me he is nowhere." "I am sending word to him-I may see him later. Have you no word for him" "I have told you, he and his unfortunate wife are provided for. Why should you see him I shall not." 4 Shenandoah "At least, I had thought to convey a warmer message than that, from his father." Here the Colonel paused a moment in. silence, and made his peculiar gesture of violently brushing something aside from before his face. "Frank is a man now," he said at last. "I could n't trust myself to see him-and, anyway, he must now stand on his own pins. We all must, for these are desperate days, and rebellious boys are not the only concern, by a long way. But here "-the Colonel carefully took something from his breast pocket-" I will send him a keepsake to make a man of him, if anything can. He will understand. I know he loves you as if you were his own mother. Possibly he has some little tenderness for his father, also. If he has, I think he will look tenderly upon this picture, and-at the same time remember me." "A miniature portrait of me!" gasped Mrs. Haverill, as she received it from her husband's hands. "Yes-the one you gave me before we were married. I have never been without it a single hour, since. I have carried it through every campaign, and in many a scene of danger on the plains. You see what a sentimental old ruffian I am, now, don't you Never mind! Frank is so Sumter a fugitive from justice. God only knows what his future will be. I am sending him what may give him courage to meet his fate manfully, if he has a spark of manly spirit left in him. I might have failed myself, without it. There! Give him the miniature, and tell him that I send it." A strange feeling of excitement, something like exhilaration, was in the air at Charleston that morning of April twelfth-Henry Clay's birthday as more than one of the Ellingham household had remarked. In a way, that cannon signal roaring against Sumter had come as a relief to the general tension, not only at the South Carolina storm-centre, but everywhere, North and South. It was the decisive beginning of what all now knew to be inevitable war. The voices of those who still struggled hopelessly for peace were stifled, and the great conflict was on. When Colonel Haverill reflected upon the calamity pending over the country, his own personal griefs and annoyances sank into insignifi- cance. It was the same with the elderly Southern- ers, and the personal greetings and communings of that day were marked by great courtesy and kindness. In the hearts of the young lovers, the personal anxiety and unrest was still the most 5I Shenandoah burning, though they all felt themselves drawn irresistibly into the larger, diverging currents. Robert and Madeline rushed excitedly about watching the forts with spy-glasses as gray dawn reddened to sunrise; and finally they had the horses saddled, and galloped over to Pinckney's. Kerchival West, desperately determined to fight down the awful thought that he and Gertrude were "enemies," had dashed recklessly through the en- counter with Thornton-and now even that had been swept into the background by the eager task of finding Frank and executing the commission of confidence put upon him by the Colonel's wife. Mrs. Haverill herself kept upon the very crest of the wave, upborne by the nervous vivacity of a petted but not spoiled woman who responded promptly to the warm and loyal, if superficial, impulses of a good disposition. From earliest daybreak, every available place on the harbor side was thronged by ladies and gentlemen, old and young, white folk and black, viewing the spectacle of the bombardment. Troops came pouring into Charleston, but were held in reserve, the forces already manning the score of batteries now in action against Sumter, being more than ample. Civilians of various descriptions were arriving from all directions, on ,52 Sergeant Barket.-" The young lady to take the oath, is it An' she's afther saying she '1i see us damned first" Drawn by Harry A. Ogden This page in the original text is blank. Sumter horseback, afoot, and in every species of anti- quated or improvised conveyance. Far out sea- ward could be descried the vessels sent by the Federal Government for the relief of the be- leaguered fortress, and it was rumored that they would still make an attempt to throw reinforce- ments into the place. Meanwhile, Major Anderson, within the fort, had withheld his fire until long after daylight, when parapets were knocked down, and breaches began to appear in the masonry of the walls where the thirteen-inch shells from the mortars struck, while smoke and flames from burning sheds told of havoc wrought within. The calm and gallant commander must have known from the beginning that he could not hope to make a successful defence with his provisions almost gone, his ammunition short, and his entire force mustering barely one hundred men, counting in as volunteers the work- men from Baltimore who had been engaged on repairs and building. Nevertheless, if General Beauregard or any one else had supposed that Major Robert Anderson would haul down the Stars and Stripes from Sum- ter's battlements without resistance against the as- sault, such a supposition wronged that true soldier and wholly failed to grasp the spirit of the occasion. 53 54 Shenandoah When he was "good and ready," as they said, Anderson opened fire with three barbette guns, and stirred up the Confederate batteries on Mount Pleasant and Cummings Point, like a hornet's nest. Then he brought into action the two tiers looking towards Fort Moultrie, with such effect that several of the latter's big guns were eventually silenced. The firing continued all day, and intermittently through the night. Sumter had no ammunition to waste. One of her magazines had been exploded by the Confederate shells. The latter were per- sistently directed in an attempt to carry away the colors, but all day these defiantly waved, and when the morning of the thirteenth dawned the flag was still there. At last, about noon of that second day, a successful shot was aimed, and the flag, which had been hanging by a single halyard, fell. One of the enlisted men was quick to raise it again, replacing the shattered flagstaff with a spar. In that brief interval Major Anderson's fire having of necessity ceased, the Charlestonians concluded that the fort had surrendered. Senator Wigfall, in the name of General Beauregard, put forth in a boat, and went to offer Anderson the most favorable terms of capitulation: evacuation, with permission to salute the flag, and the garrison Sumter 55 to march out with the honors of war, with their arms and private baggage. Under these condi- tions, his brave defence having won him the best possible terms, and knowing that further resistance would mean useless sacrifice of life, Major Anderson without humiliation hoisted the white flag over Sumter, and entered into negotiations for the surrender of the fortress. Then came the dramatic crisis of the whole affair. The articles of capitulation had been drawn up, it appeared, by a committee of South Carolinian hotheads who had insisted upon inserting a clause stipulating that the commander and garrison of Sumter were to be landed at Charleston and transported overland to Washington, thus exposing them to all the insults and ill-treatment which must have been directed upon them in such a journey through the Confederate States at that time. When he came to this clause, Major Anderson stopped short, drew himself up proudly, and said with quiet firmness: "No, sir-never. If this is the demand, I propose to run up the Stars and Stripes again, and resume fighting. Sir, you may tell General Beauregard that rather than submit to such in- 56 Shenandoah dignity, I will, if necessary, blow up my own magazines and bury myself and my men under the ruins of this fortress." As it turned out, the offensive clause in no wise represented Beauregard's views, and had not been authorized by him. On the contrary, he was in- dignant when he learned of it through the reply of Anderson being submitted to him. The outrageous stipulation was at once cancelled; and negotiations were resumed, with the result that finally Major Anderson was allowed to lower his colors with a salute, and take his little garrison out, flags flying and every man carrying his arms and baggage, to the Federal fleet waiting beyond the bar. "With dishonor to none," said Dr. Ellingham fervently, as if pronouncing a benediction. "But with awful portent for us all," rejoined Colonel Haverill, with an earnestness as deep as that of the Southerner. "The echo of that first shot may be heard over our graves. The flag is down from Sumter's battered walls-but it will be raised again, and it still will float -even though, as I said, over our graves." CHAPTER V PARTING OF THE WAYS "And there were sudden partings, such as press The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs Which ne'er might be repeated: who could guess If ever more should meet those mutual eyes, Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise!" P RESIDENT LINCOLN had called for sev- enty-five thousand troops to suppress the rebellious "combination" of the Southland, and to "cause the laws to be duly executed." The Northern States responded instantly, with tre- mendous enthusiasm. Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, and Missouri, held back,-all to secede from the Union a little later, except Kentucky and Missouri, whose sym- pathies were divided,-and joined the Confederate Government formed at Montgomery, Ala., under the presidency of Jefferson Davis. Then, finally, the Ordinance of Secession was passed by the Virginia Convention. Colonel Robert E. Lee resigned his command in the United States Army, 57 58 Shenandoah to head the Secessionist forces of his native Virginia; and-grotesque anti-climax, but omi- nously significant of the condition of men's minds there and then-Edmund Ruffin forthwith quit Charleston, returned to his old home in Amelia County, Va., took the oath of allegiance all over again, and settled down "to see the Confederacy triumph in the assertion of her inalienable rights, sir! " " Lieutenant West," said Colonel Haverill, handing this young officer a stamped paper, with full military formality, " I have secured the neces- sary passports North-here is yours. I am ordered direct to Washington, and shall start with Mrs. Haverill at once. You will report to Captain Lyon, of the Second Regiment, in St. Louis." Kerchival took the passport, having saluted, in profound silence. With what a different manner of paternal ten- derness did the Colonel lay his hand on the shoulder of Lieutenant Robert Ellingham, as if he hated to speak the words that meant a long farewell. " Robert, our old regiment is broken up. You, of course, will also resign. This is a moment when every man must decide the momentous question for himself, and upon principle. Shall Parting of the Ways you follow the example of-of nearly all your fellow Southerners in the service" "You know-or rather, I can never tell you, how sorry I am to leave your command, Colonel," answered Bob, with downcast eyes. "I served under your father in Mexico," the Colonel went on feelingly. "He left me, at his death, the guardian of you and your sister Gertrude. Even since you became of age-even now, Robert, -I have felt as if I stood in his place. But you must be your sister's only guardian, now. Your father fell in battle, fighting for our common country, under the old flag. You have chosen "Colonel! don't you believe my father would have done as I shall do, if he had lived He was a Virginian. My uncle, the Doctor, tells me that he has more than once heard my father declare-- what Light Horse Harry Lee did in his time- that 'no consideration on earth,however gratifying, could induce him to act a part which might be construed into a disregard or forgetfulness of the Commonwealth of Virginia'." The name of General Winfield Scott leaped to the Colonel's lips-but he smiled it down, shook his head sorrowfully, and turned away in silence. Bob felt less restraint in going over the same 59 60 Shenandoah ground again when the time of leave-taking came for him and Kerchival. "Our State is to be the chief battle ground, according to present predictions," he said-with the weight of fifty years suddenly added to his stature as a Virginian. "But every loyal son of Virginia will follow her flag. It is our religion." "That may be all right for you, Bob-I am not blaming you," responded Kerchival. "But my State is New York. If New York had gone back on the old flag-your father's and mine well, New York might go to the devil. That's my religion." "Well, we have both been brought up in our respective ideas of patriotism. And who shall say that either of us is wrong " " We are staking heavily on our principles, Bob," said Kerchival, with a touch of emotion that he was ashamed of, though he need n't have been. "Do you know that Gertrude-pardon me, your sister-but of course, all that is outside of the real question. Well, here 's the point: You and I are officers in the same regiment of the United States Regular Army. We were classmates at West Point, and we have fought side by side on the plains, in the Indian disturbances. Why, you saved my scalp, once you know you did. Only Parting of the Ways for you, I 'd be wearing a wig, at this moment. I say, old fellow, are we to be enemies now" " No!" fairly roared Bob. "I hate that word, 'enemies,' between gentlemen-and especially in thepresence of ladies. Oh, you are not the only one who has got to choke back his own heart, in this-this sudden parting of the ways. Dear old comrade"-here Bob threw his arm impul- sively over Kerchival's shoulder-"whatever else comes, our friendship remains unbroken." "All right, Bob. I only hope we never meet in battle, that 's all!" "In battle Horrible!" "Who knows" "The old man-I mean Colonel Haverill- he 's a great deal more desperate than we are, and maybe he has reason to be so. Excuse me, here is Madeline-Miss West-your sister " They walked out, Robert and Madeline, along the Battery wall by the sea, in silence, as if by mutual rendezvous. "This is the last we shall be together, for the present, anyway-Miss Madeline," poor Bob began. "I 'm afraid so," murmured Madeline. It may have been imagination, but she seemed to nestle a little closer. He seized one of her hands 6i[ Shenandoah and held it, as a drowning man might clutch the proverbial straw. "But we shall meet again-sometime," he went on, desperately, "that is if we both live." "If we both live!" repeated Madeline, in an awe-stricken tone. "Oh, Robert. You mean if you live, I suppose. So, you are going, too, into this dreadful war, if it comes" "Yes, Madeline, I must. It is Fate-yours and mine together-is n't it, dearest girl You don't deny it, and that gives me courage. You know what duty means. And you know what love means, too-don't you Madeline, I do love you-I shall always love you, come what -may. There! Fate has granted me this much- allowed me to tell you how I love you-and nothing can take this moment away from us, at least, thank God! And I have the strongest kind of faith in me, now, that our story is n't going to be cut short here. It may be interrupted-we 've got to be tried by fire, maybe-but I can stand it, if- You will think of me, won't you, Madeline" "I shall keep watch upon Fate," she said, in her low, intense voice. For the rest of their time together, their silences were more eloquent than their words. As for Jenny Buckthorn, her good-byes were so 62 Parting of the Ways many bugle calls. With her, it was nothing but "boots and saddles," and "Heartsease to the front," from the moment the first gun had been fired upon Sumter. "You 'll get used to this, and it won't seem so hard," she said to Gertrude and Madeline. "After you 've once smelt gunpowder, you '11 be as keen for it as I am-and you know how we veterans are bored and demoralized by the piping times of peace. What 's the army for, anyway There 's the flag and a just cause to fight for-and you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs, you know. War is war, and soldiers have got to win promotion, to be worth anything as sweethearts. Come, cheer up, comrades. Be men-I mean women." "I suppose the Union is the cause we must sacrifice for," sighed Madeline. " It is our homes, I should say-at least, brother Robert says," declared Gertrude, " -that is, if they invade Virginia." "Yes, that 's a military necessity, and we have to leave it to the fortunes of war to decide whether the Union forever, or the old home under a new Secession flag, is the right thing to rally round. I 'm risking my Heartsease on the inseparable Union. Oh, we three are not the only women 63 64 Shenandoah that have to be kissed good-bye and see our lords love and ride away, as the poet says. But let me tell you for a fact, girls,-going off soldiering never makes a lover's heart grow the less fond of the girl he 's left behind him." All this bluff gayety and animal spirits did not go much below the surface. Still, it was a God- send, at a moment so heavy with portents and sighs and sunderings, when it seemed to each tender young heart as though the world's motion had suddenly been reversed on its axis, and the mystery of the powers of darkness invoked for the express purpose of turning love's romance into a diabolical mockery such as never had been dreamed before. Lieutenant Kerchival West passed through one more dramatic scene before quitting Charles- ton. In an obscure tavern by the water front he found Frank Haverill-a sinister young desperado, whose bold, dissipated look had something strangely at- tractive about it, and whose gentlemanly speech and manner belied a certain affectation of hardi- hood and bravado. All this latter was swept away by the sudden violent wave of emotion that visibly rushed over his whole being when West delivered Mrs. Haver- Parting of the Ways ill's message, and handed him the locket containing the portrait miniature. With an oath on his lips and tears running down his hardened face, he cried out hoarsely: "I 've been a - fool, an ungrateful dog, and I 've deserved jail and worse. And I '11 stand the gaff, and not blame any one but myself, either. But, by God, I 'm glad now that you settled with that Thornton before I got to him. And I came down here to Charleston to seek him as a friend! Now, listen, Lieutenant West- and I want you to tell this to my father, and to my dearest mother, for she is that "-here he kissed the miniature fervently-"tell them that I deserve the worst that can happen to me, but, that I did n't desert my wife. Poor girl, she only allowed that story to go out in order to throw them off the track and help me to escape, as I did. Now she will know that the Colonel and Mrs. Haverill know the truth, and that will comfort her more than the money they are sending her, God bless them! And it would comfort me, too, if anything could-but nothing can, except one thing-and that is fight, and plenty of it. I want to fight my way back to self-respect, to honor, and show those who have stuck by me, that I 'm worth saving, after all. No matter 5 65 66 Shenandoah what happens, thank God I 've still got freedom to fight!" " Do you mean that you '11 enlist " asked West. " Yes-yes, Lieutenant. I can't get to Washing- ton quick enough." " In the Federal army, of course" "Surely-in the fight for the Union." "Bully for you, Frank!" cried the officer, im- pulsively grasping the boy's hand. "That will be splendid news for the Colonel." The sombre scowl overspread Frank Haverill's face again. He rose to his feet and said earnestly: " No, Lieutenant West. I charge you upon honor, not to tell my father-not to tell any one but to keep this a secret between ourselves. It will be time enough for them to know, when I have proven myself a man again. Lieutenant, I am going to Washington to enlist. But that is all that will be known about me for the present, perhaps forever. Even if you hear of me, in the days to come, it won't be under the name of Frank Haverill. I am going to start all over again, under a new name which won't have a spot of dishonor on it, and Uncle Sam and Father Abraham Lincoln will have a brand new recruit, born to-day. Do you understand, Lieutenant That sweet lady, heaven's own angel mother to me, has Parting of the Ways 67 stooped down and grabbed me out of hell, and she shall yet have reason to be glad that she did so, or my father will never set eyes on his son again." CHAPTER VI THE VIRGINIANS "For here yon flag first meets the foe, Baptized in blood of patriots true. Virginia's heart is all aglow, As Boys in Gray meet Boys in Blue. T HE security of Washington, the capital, was the first concern of the Federal Government. True, it was expected by many that the "Rebel- lion" would be crushed in ninety days-some said sixty-and most of the volunteer troops of the North were enlisted for the former period. In any event, it was necessary to proceed with due thoroughness and caution. While arsenals were being put to work and troops drilled, the military authorities set about organizing armies of defence and invasion, and mapping out a plan of campaign theobjective of which was the capture of Richmond, the new capital of the Southern Confederacy, whither its provisional President, Jefferson Davis, repaired from Montgomery before the end of May. A sublime spectacle, even before it could be 68 The Virginians viewed through the perspective of time and distance, was the volcanic upheaval of the country to meet the crisis of secession. In New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and the Western cities, the crack regiments of the National Guard stood not upon the order of their going, but shouldered their muskets and started for the front, borne southward by a wave of popular enthusiasm probably unsurpassed in any age. When Colonel Haverill arrived in Washington, -which at that period had not yet outgrown its aspect of a shiftless, overgrown Virginia town- he found it transformed into a vast, chaotic mili- tary camp. Every incoming train from Baltimore or from the West brought its regiment of raw recruits, who were driven like cattle to the bar- racks and drill-grounds on the Potomac flats, near the end of the Long Bridge, and within sight of the steeples and roofs of Alexandria, where on a clear day the rebel flag could be seen from the very windows of the White House, floating de- fiantly. The Capitol, with its unfinished dome, the Patent Office, the Treasury, and the other public buildings of the Federal seat loomed up in marked contrast to the shabby brick and frame houses round about. The wide streets were muddy, dusty, and squalid, with ragged, bare- 69 70 Shenandoah footed negroes, to say nothing of pigs and chickens, swarming or huddling in the spring sunshine. Even Pennsylvania Avenue was well nigh impas- sable, with its cavalcades of horses, artillery caissons, and baggage wagons, while the sidewalks were so crowded with swaggering officers of the ready-made political sort, that it was generally understood that privates and civilians must pick their way along the gutters. Occasionally a regiment of regulars, with music blaring and banners flying, would sweep past, amidst the about equally divided admiration of the " true blue," and the sullen or sneering looks of the "Secesh" sympathizers. All the regular officers were busy at the arsenals or the transportation headquarters, or the War Of- fice, or at the drill-grounds instructing volunteers how to put on their uniforms, and in the bewil- dering commands of "Attention! Shoulder arms! Prepare to open ranks! Rear, open order, march! Right dress! Front! Order arms! Fix bayo- nets! Stack arms! Unsling knapsacks! In place, rest!" and so on, ad infinitum. Jenny Buckthorn's meeting with Lieutenant (Brevet Captain) Heartsease, after several months' separation, was one of the unrecorded minor spectacles of the period. The Virginians 7' It was at Willard's Hotel, on the occasion of one of those constantly recurring evening recep- tions to some gold-laced individual or other whose name would be misspelled in the newspapers on the morrow, amongst the " distinguished arrivals." If Heartsease looked like a soldier, as he entered the hotel parlor, it was because he wore a uniform -as neat and precise as was consistent with active service and bore himself like a well- regulated automaton. He had long, drooping, curled moustaches, and a monocle in his left eye, though there was not the slightest evidence other- wise that he had cheated the oculist in the physical examination. "Ah, Miss Buckthorn," he drawled. "Why, Captain Heartsease!" It was six months since last they had met. Standing precisely in the centre of the room, he said quietly, and with perfect composure: "I am thunderstruck. This sudden meeting with you has thrown me into a fever of excitement. " "Has it Great ginger, Heartsease! if you get as excited as this in battle, what a terror you must be. What is your plan of campaign" "We shall move upon the Arlington Heights across the Potomac, as soon as practicable, I believe. Meantime, Miss Buckthorn, I owe you Shenandoah an apology." Here he carefully drew from the breast pocket of his uniform a dainty lace hand- kerchief, which appeared to have been enveloped in a larger silk one for better preservation. "After I left your side, the last time we met,-it was at the officers' ball at Jefferson Barracks, if you remember,-I found myself in possession of this precious relic. It was an accident, I assure you." "Oh, an accident, was it I thought possibly you cared to keep it by you. Is n't it a bother carrying it about" "I always have it here-I mean here," he an- swered confusedly, touching first his right side, then his left. "Next my heart." " Which is still beating madly at the thought of me" "Precisely. Shall I return it to you" "Oh," she flung back, "if a lace handkerchief can be of any use to you, Captain, during the hardships of the coming campaign,-well, you may keep it. You soldiers have so few comforts in the field-and it 's real lace." " Thank you," he responded, imperturbably, returning the handkerchief to his pocket. "Aw- Miss Buckthorn, your papa is going to command an army corps." "Well, he has my consent." 72 The Virginians "He does n't like me." "I know it. There 's no accounting for tastes." "But you are in command of him." " Surely. What then " " It occurred to me to suggest, Miss Buckthorn, that should you ever decide to assume command of any other man, don't you know,-I-I trust you will give me your orders, yes" "Heavens! can it be that was intended for a proposal If so, it's the most roundabout flank movement ever made," Jenny muttered, half to herself. Then, aloud, to Heartsease: "I 've all I can do to command myself, at the present moment. Attention! 'bout face! march!" She turned squarely about, and marched off, as the other guests were closing in on them. Heartsease also obeyed the order mechanically and whispered to the nearest shoulder-straps of his acquaintance: "I have been placed on waiting orders. I am in an agony of suspense. The presence of that girl always arouses the strongest emotions of my nature." At this time, while Washington was getting ready to send the Army of the Potomac to invade Virginia, Robert Ellingham reported to General Lee in Richmond, one hundred and fifteen miles 73 Shenandoah to the southward, and found the new Confederate capital likewise seething with activity. Lee was exercising all his energy, sagacity, skill and experience in the tour de force of sending an equipped army to Johnston and Beauregard in the field, at the threatened points. From one of these threatened points, the great Valley of Virginia lying between the Blue Ridge and Shen- andoah Mountains, he had called Colonel Thomas Jonathan Jackson, an eccentric Presbyterian professor at the Virginia Military Institute at Lexington, and who in the first brief month since the breaking out of the war had developed aggres- sive qualities calculated to attract the attention of the authorities at Richmond. Lieutenant Ellingham, promoted to captain, naturally gravitated to the new brigade of Jackson, who was now elevated to the rank of a brigadier- general of volunteers. The regiments of his brigade were composed of the very flower and pride not only of the Valley but of the whole com- monwealth of Virginia; and even before Jackson's troops took the field they had already begun to receive the impress of the iron hand of their leader. Their first destination was Manassas Junction, the point of union of the railroad coming into Virginia from Washington with a branch road 74 The Virginians 75 leading into the Shenandoah Valley. General Lee had pointed out that this strategic point would in all probability be the first battlefield in the move to check the Federal advance towards Richmond; and he now concentrated all available forces there, where an army in position would be able to resist the further progress of the invading hosts, and could, if necessary, reinforce the troops guarding the Valley. It impressed young Ellingham as an odd coin- cidence that the command at Manassas should be given to General Beauregard-none other than the officer who had "defended" Charleston harbor and reduced Fort Sumter. Beauregard was not a Virginian, but he was a West Point graduate who had served with distinction in the old Engineer Corps, and now passed for the South- ern military hero of the hour. Another strange hazard of the fortunes of war was that the Federal army set in motion from Arlington Heights on July 17th, for the purpose of crushing Beauregard at Manassas, was headed by a West Point class- mate of the latter, General Irvin McDowell. On a small stream called Bull Run, some thirty miles southwest of Washington, Beauregard awaited the arrival of McDowell. The banks of this stream are abrupt and densely wooded; but 76 Shenandoah it is fordable in numerous places, and at that time was crossed on the Centreville and Warrenton turnpike road, below Sudley Church, by a stone bridge. This bridge, on the blazing day of July 2ISt, was destined to become a storm centre of that first and strangest battle of the war, known to Southern chronicles as Manassas, to those of the Union as Bull Run. General Buckthorn, like Colonel Haverill and other officers of the Regular Army, advanced from Arlington with feelings far other than those of the political and volunteer officers, who regarded the whole affair rather as a summer excursion and frolic, and fully expected that the splendid body of troops, mostly "citizen soldiers," that had been assembled at Washington, would be able to march without serious opposition straight to Richmond. This conviction was apparent in the personal equipment of the men, who carried (at the outset) every conceivable article of military convenience and luxury. Their rations included large supplies of preserved meats, liquors, wines, and cordials. Oil-cloths were supposed to protect the troops from the damp, while havelocks warded off the burning rays of the midsummer sun. "Beauregard and Hampton, and Jackson and Bee, are waiting for us somewhere along the route," The Virginians 77 observed Colonel Haverill, "and when we meet them there will be opposition that may surprise some." As a matter of fact, the Southern troops were insufficiently drilled, and their supply of ammu- nition was inadequate for active operations. Like the Federal authorities, Lee and Johnston had withstood as long as possible the public clamor for decisive movements. Nevertheless, the character of the Virginian army, as typified by the brigade of Jackson, was such that mere technical defects were sure to speedily remedy themselves. The ardor of the times caused "the cradle and the grave" to be depleted, and boys several years below the military age ran away from school to enlist. Even the youngest son of General Lee, before the year was out, obtained his father's permission to quit the University of Virginia, and as a common private join the Confederate army, in which his two elder brothers, Custis and "Rooney," both West Point graduates, as well as his cousin "Fitz" Lee, were already beginning to distinguish themselves. The spirit and tradition of courageous ancestors were bound to tell, and these boys went into action in the mood of a Gaston de Foix-ready to fight and die with a smile on their beardless lips. 78 Shenandoah There was the same sort of stuff in the Union ranks; but it had not yet crystallized-and, as General Buckthorn grumbled to Colonel Haverill just before the opening skirmish at Blackburn's Ford, three days before the great battle, "All raw volunteers are alike-the best little better than the worst, and none of them soldiers until baptized by real shot and shell." The regulars did not like to hear the political brigadier-generals saying it was a pity the Southern fire-eaters were to be squelched before " we " could punish them as they deserved; nor to see whole companies of militiamen, who had already thrown away their blankets on the tedious march, carrying pieces of rope tied to their musket barrels, symbolizing the avowed purpose to " hang Jeff Davis to a sour-apple tree." Still less did the seasoned veterans fancy the spectacle that greeted them at Centreville--where, amidst the stacked arms and batteries of artillery that lined the roads, were drawn up the carriages of civilians, the barouches with junketing parties of Congressmen and ladies, who had actually driven out from Washington to see their ready- made "heroes" thrash the "Rebs." This was the first and the last time that such farcical antics were played. Even now their The Virginians 79 tragic culmination was foreshadowed in the proud, contemptuous attitude of the Virginian people whose homes they passed. "You'n Yanks are right peart just now," said a farmer's daughter, with whom a soldier, having squandered his pies and sweetmeats as well as plain rations, was glad to dicker for a piece of cold johnny-cake en route to the front, "but you'ns '11 come back soon a right smart quicker than yer 'r going, I reckon!" It was on a bright sultry Sunday morning of mid-July that the two armies of brothers-dis- rupted members of a family-Republic who had held together for three generations-first emerged in serried battle lines six miles long from the myster- ious Virginia forests on either side of Bull Run, and rushed forward to fight breast to breast for victory. The Federal plan of operations, credited to the still masterful Lieutenant-General Winfield Scott, started with the planting of an entire division of fully fifteen thousand men in the rear at Cen- treville, to protect the communications. Colonel Haverill's regiment, to his intense chagrin, was here helplessly detained. Another division, in which General Buckthorn's brigade was included, marched ahead to make the opening demonstra- 8o Shenandoah tions at the Stone Bridge, while two others crossed at the Sudley and other fords, to concentrate on the southern banks of the stream and flank Beauregard's left. This seemed an admirably clear and simple plan, at eight o'clock in the morning. Before noon it was an obliterated memory, and the wide arid plateau over which the battle spread like a fire in the brushwood swarmed with confused masses of Northern and Southern troops, reeling to and fro, alternately taking and losing and re- taking the same positions half a dozen times over, all lines undistinguishable in dense and lurid clouds of smoke, through which artillery guns and caissons dashed madly, while the thunder of cannon and the sustained crash of musketry re- verberated in diabolical concert from the low- lying hills around, and near and far arose, mingled with the human-like neighing of horses, and the hoarse shouts, yells, cheers and commands, the horrible shrieks and groans of wounded and dying. How the fight was going, no mortal knew-least of all the troops most desperately engaged in it,- except that each and all seemed to see through the mists of an exalted delirium, the bloody phan- tasm of victory. The Virginians Even in the minor but conspicuous detail of uniforms, the identities of the combatants were strangely mixed. The Federal blue had not yet been issued, and most of the troops wore either the uniforms of their militia organizations or those furnished by their several States-there were firemen, and Zouaves, and even one regiment in Highlander's kilts. The Confederate "gray" embraced a wide variety of hues and textures; slouch and straw hats, or none at all, were the general rule, and some regiments were in citizens', or farmers', dress, with no pretence of regulation. Most confusing of all, several of the Southerners' important general officers who had been in the old service still wore the dress of the United States Army. Heartsease and Ellingham had their first meet- ing, only they did n't know it. Both were cavalry officers, on their respective sides. But in neither army, at that time, was the effective use of cavalry understood. Instead of being massed for quick concentrated action, it was distributed around piecemeal among the various infantry brigades, where the troopers were used principally for couriers. This was mortifying, but it kept the young officers very busy, and gave them special opportunities for comprehensive knowledge of the 6 82 Shenandoah actions in progress, and for observing their dis- tinguished commanders at close quarters. Before his horse was killed and himself knocked senseless by the explosion of a shell, Heartsease saw General Buckthorn fall in the grand charge that drove back the South Carolina legions of Hampton and Bee. He also became aware of another brigade near the enemy's centre that did not give way, but stood its ground stubbornly and then turned aggressor. It flashed over Heartsease's mind at the time that one or two more commands like this one would make Beauregard hard to whip-not knowing that this was the unique First Brigade of the Army of the Shen- andoah under Jackson. Bob Ellingham, galloping along the little wooded crest on the other side of the Stone Bridge, knew all about this brigade. He saw General Bee check and rally his scattered forces by pointing with his sword and shouting: " Look at Jackson, there, standing like a stone wall! " Jackson held the centre for what seemed an eternity, yet against onslaught after onslaught which to all the other officers seemed irresistible, until finally one rode up and said to him: "General, I think the day is going against us." The Virginians 83 "If you think so, sir," replied Jackson, curtly, "you had better not say anything about it." It was the first time the young Virginian had seen his commander with his "war look" on- a grand and terrible aspect, soon to haunt the Valley like a spectre, and which transformed the shy, taciturn, awkward-gaited tactical instructor into a blazing meteor of battle. Jackson's brigade on the artillery-swept plateau of Manassas was playing the part of the Imperial Guard of Napoleon at Austerlitz, but without the prestige or the inspiration of apparent success. At a late hour of the afternoon, neither side knew whether it had lost or won-in point of fact, one had about the same right to be routed as the other. Beauregard was tearing about the field, at every portion of the lines, his dark creole face burning with animation as he shouted encouragement to his grimy savage-looking troops, who responded with the blood-curdling " Rebel yell " of the Southern swamp-rangers. Bee and Hampton were hors du combat; and General Bartow, shot through the heart while rallying the 7th Georgia, fell exclaiming: "They 've killed me, but don't give up the field." General Joe Johnston-the ranking Confederate officer, but who had intrusted the immediate 84 Shenandoah command to Beauregard on account of the latter's familiarity with the country-was able to keep, from his headquarters, something like a general outlook over the field, and received intelligence just as a final attack was preparing that " a Federal army" had come up, and was advancing upon his rear. This should have been the Union reserves from Centreville, but it was not. It was General Kirby Smith of the Army of the Shenandoah, arriving with 1700 fresh infantry. They had come from the Valley by the Manassas Gap railroad, and, hearing the heavy firing, General Smith had stopped the train before it reached the Junction, disembarked his troops, and hastened on to the battlefield at a supremely critical moment. The whole Southern line now advanced to the charge, and the combined attack upon the Federal flank and front was decisive enough to turn the tide of battle from uncertainty to sudden panic. The lines of blue wavered and broke, fell back from the plateau, across the Warrenton pike, and on towards the Bull Run fords. The repulse became a rout, the rout grew into an appalling avalanche of defeat. The Federal advance, on the southern side of Bull Run, had seen a regiment moving towards them, but they were told it was a New York regi- ment which had been expected for support, and Sergeant Barket.-" I 've often seen Captain Heartsease take a sly look at a little lace handkerchief just before he wint into a battle." Drawn by Harry A. Ogdcn This page in the original text is blank. The Virginians 85 the artillerymen withheld their fire. Suddenly there came a fearful explosion of musketry, which in an instant changed the scene into one of hide- ous carnage. Death-stricken men with dripping wounds were clinging to caissons, which frantic horses dragged pell-mell through the infantry ranks and over the prostrate bodies of the fallen. A caisson blew up, and three horses galloped off with the burning wreck, dragging a fourth horse, which was dead. Cannoniers lay limp across their guns, with rammers and sponges and lanyards still in their hands. Whole batteries were anni- hilated in a moment, and organization command was wiped out. Those who could run, walk, limp, or even crawl, waited no longer, but dropped everything and got away from there. It was scarcely fiction when some of them declared after- wards that they never stopped running until halted by a sentinel with a musket at the Washing- ton end of Long Bridge. The main body of the army was halted sooner than that, in the indescribable stampede and blockade at Centreville, where Colonel Haverill and his fellow officers had to withstand the oft- reiterated, maddening question, "Why were n't these reserves brought up to help us" The baggage wagons, which the incompetent 86 Shenandoah politician officers had allowed to come far up front, instead of being parked in the rear, were now jumbled in a hopeless barricade. At Cub Run, between the Stone Bridge and Centreville, the irresponsible teamsters got jammed together in their desperate hurry to cross, and a Confederate battery began dropping shell in among them. Wagons were demolished, and another barricade piled up. The drivers on the south side of the stream, finding they could not get across with their impedimenta, cut their traces, mounted their horses, and scampered away. Then the teamsters on the safe side began to cut their traces, too. The narrow road, for miles, was filled with flying troops, runaway horses, baggage wagons, wrecks, and ambulances packed with officers, not all of them wounded. The sight of this panic and dis- order completed the demoralization of the reserves and they too were swept on with the current rushing irresistibly Washington-ward. The houses along the route were filled with wounded men. The residents, some sympathetic and others ironi- cal, said: "You had better hurry on, or the cavalry will cut off your retreat." This was no idle menace. On a hill at Manas- sas, after the final victorious charge, General Jackson had come nearer to the actual truth of The Virginians possibility than he or any other Confederate then knew, when he cried out exultantly: "Give me ten thousand men, and I will be in Washington to-night!" The dawn of Monday came, but the sun did not shine. In the hot, sullen, drizzling morning, the defeated troops poured into Washington over the Long Bridge. Could anybody recognize these gaunt, grimy fugitives, some of them with bandaged and bleeding wounds, footsore, bare- footed, or carrying shoes they could not put on their swollen feet, their soiled and torn clothes saturated with the clay-dust that had filled the air before the rain came,-as the proud army that had gone forth with boasts and banners less than a week ago Shamefaced and pathetic they looked, as they dragged aimlessly along Pennsylvania Avenue, or stood at basement entrances, not loath to ask for a cup of coffee or a morsel of food. Some came along in disorderly mobs, some as squads, stragglers, companies. Occasionally a regiment in perfect order-Colonel Haverill's was one of these-marched in silence, with lowering faces, stern, weary, and frayed, but every man carrying his musket, and stepping alive. Some good citizens-but they were not in the 87 88 Shenandoah majority-put out steaming wash kettles filled with coffee or soup, for the forlorn boys. Among these good Samaritans was Jenny Buckthorn, surrounded by a staff of colored servants. Her father, severely wounded, and captured by the enemy, had been recognized by his former comrade General Beauregard, and as a personal courtesy had been exchanged for a wounded Confederate officer, and allowed to proceed to Washington, in an ambulance, tended by Colonel Haverill. "Where is Heartsease" was the first question Jenny asked her father, after having ascertained that that stern parent was not dead. " Don't ask me," muttered the old warrior. "This is no time for picnics and dancing parties." Jenny was not herself, as she kept the kettles replenished and ministered to the waifs and strays, many of whom lay down on door-steps or in vacant lots, still clutching their muskets, and slept like infants in the cheerless drizzling rain. One especially miserable-looking object drifted along, about noon, and stood as if dazed at the sight of food and drink and commiseration. His uniform might have been blue, or it might have been gray-mud and smudge were the prevailing hues. His shoes were heavy brogans tied with twine, and his naked and sore ankles showed that The Virginians he was without socks. An old slouch hat was pulled over his face, and a tobacco-bag hung from a button of his jacket, the collar of which was turned up to the chin, evidently to conceal the condition of the shirt-or the lack of one. "You poor fellow!" said Jenny. "Tell me, were you in the cavalry" "Yes, Miss Buckthorn. Is it possible you do not recognize me I must apologize for my ap- pearance, but " " Great heavens! is it yourself, Heartsease" exclaimed the girl with a little shriek. "Why, you look like a bummer." "Possibly this may serve to identify me," and he drew from the mysterious inner recesses a stained packet, which proved to be a large silk handkerchief enveloping a dainty lace one. Heartsease received his captain's commission at the dinner-table that same evening. After all, as the old General said, he was a regular, and had fought before he ran, and that was a contrast to many of the pestiferous ready-made shoulder- straps who had betrayed our brave volunteers and lost the fight for them, and who were even now standing about unabashed, bragging in the bar-rooms. Something worse than bragging was going on 89 9o Shenandoah in Washington, in that hour of bitter humiliation. Influential citizens, government officials, and even army officers, for twenty-four hours after Bull Run, openly expressed themselves in favor of compromising with the Secession. They were das- tardly enough to declare that President Lincoln would have to abdicate and not a voice was raised against this craven judgment. CHAPTER VII WAR IS-WAR "Far heard above the angry guns, A cry across the tumult runs, The voice that rang through Shiloh's woods And Chickamauga's solitudes- The fierce South cheering on her sons." K ERCHIVAL WEST, shortly after his arrival at St. Louis, was assigned to the army of Southwestern Missouri, where in a short time he saw hard service in almost every line, except that of actual fighting. A large addition had been made to the Regular Army, and to fill vacancies in the new regiments, rapid promotions among the officers already in service had occurred. In a few months' time, West rose from second lieu- tenant to the rank of captain of infantry-an advancement which a year before could only have been gained as a reward of perhaps fifteen years of continuous service. The young officer needed all the distraction of this ferment season of work and promotion. He 91 92 Shenandoah still found time to write copiously to his sister Madeline, at home in Boston. Madeline wrote regularly to Gertrude Ellingham, who, in prefer- ence to Belle Bosquet, the home of the Ellinghams near Winchester in the Valley, had proceeded to Richmond to help on "the cause," particularly in so far as her brother Robert and their immediate cir- cle of enlisted men acquaintances were concerned. Among these latter was their uncle, Dr. Ellingham, who came on after the battle of Bull Run-Manas- sas, the Southerners called it, then and afterwards -and, when another draft was made upon the cradle and the grave, became an adjutant major in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Gertrude also kept up a correspondence with Mrs. Haverill, the Colonel's wife, in Washington. This correspondence, under the circumstances, was naturally somewhat strained-yet, at least, it was feminine, and intensely human. It served to keep the inner lines of communication open regarding important matters mixed up in war's great chaos; also regarding other matters still more important, though of a limited and strictly personal interest, to four individuals in particular. One item of news which gained currency in this roundabout way had reference to an old acquaint- ance, and was destined to bear directly upon War Is-War certain events in the immediate future, as it had already played its part in the fateful battle of July 21St. For many months past, and especially since the opening of hostilities, Washington had swarmed with Confederate spies and "copper-head" in- formers, not a few of whom went about disguised in Federal uniforms. Through one of these agencies, a fortnight before the battle, General Beauregard had come into possession of documents compiled by a clerk in the adjutant-general's office of General McDowell, which enabled the Richmond authorities to make an accurate esti- mate of the army that commander proposed to hurl into Virginia, and to prepare accordingly. The spy credited with this exploit was rewarded with a captain's commission in the Confederate Secret Service. His name was Edward Thornton. Colonel Haverill, in his routine executive capa- city as an officer of the old service and stationed at Washington, was brought into close and sometimes personal relations with the President. He had the mighty example of Abraham Lincoln before him, in that hour of demoralization and stupor following the Bull Run reverse, and it helped him, as it did thousands of other patriots in that immediate circle at the national capital, to set 93 Shenandoah sternly about the task of reorganizing their forces, of placing themselves in line for surer and more thorough work in the future. This was one of three or four crises decreed in the destinies of the Republic during the fluctuations of four years, when to the eyes of men like Colonel Haverill-and to all human eyes, save those en- dowed with some divine gift of prophecy and faith -it appeared that the Union was as likely to perish as to live. " If Lincoln goes into history," our New England soldier wrote home at this period, "it will be enough to crown him to all future time that he rose again after this day of crucifixion, determined not to be overwhelmed with this surging sea of trouble, but to lift himself and us and the Union out of it." Neither the tragic nor the heroic stamp,however, was impressed upon the outward man, Abraham Lincoln. They often saw him "coming in to business" in the morning-that is to say, riding in with a cavalry escort from the Soldiers' Home in the northern suburbs of Washington, where he habitually slept during the hot, breathless nights of the midsummer season. There were no military pomp and circumstance about this cavalcade. Mr. Lincoln, on an ambling gray horse amidst the troopers with drawn sabres, dressed in black 94 War Is-War clothes that looked rusty and dusty, wearing his familiar black " stovepipe " hat, looked rather the common citizen, except that his brown, deep- lined face, with its cavernous eyes, had a look of latent sadness and weariness. This look vanished, and the comic mask took its place, with the dark eyes twinkling mischiev- ously, when he would turn irksome conversation by one of his quaint, unexpected retorts, or by telling one of those characteristic stories which, when he could not give a point-blank answer or comment, furnished the best kind of unanswerable response. One day when the gloom hung thickest, the spokesman of an important delegation that could not be gainsaid asked the President bluntly if his confidence in the permanency of the Union was not beginning to be shaken. Mr. Lincoln closed his tired eyes, threw back his shaggy head a moment, and then said: " When I was a young man in Illinois, I used to board with a deacon of the Presbyterian Church. One night I was aroused from sleep by a rap at my door, and I heard the deacon's voice calling, 'Arise, Abraham! the day of Judgment has come!' I sprang from my bed and rushed to the window, and saw a shower of meteors falling. 95 96 Shenandoah But, looking back of these, and higher up in the heavens, I saw the grand old constellations, which had been there ever since I could remember, fixed and true in their places. Gentlemen, the world did not come to an end then, nor will the Union now." As weeks and months passed on, it was possible to find a certain encouragement in the fact that the defeat of McDowell's army, while not utilized by the Confederates to its full military effect, nevertheless flattered them into a feeling of strength and security, resulting in comparative inactivity in the field for the better part of a year. At the North, the effect produced was exactly the contrary. While the South was planning the organization of a new republic, and even putting up the name of General Beauregard as a candidate for the presidential succession in such a way as to incur for that officer the cordial distrust of Jefferson Davis forever afterwards, the Federal Government and the people of the Northern and Western States set to work with furious energy to counteract the reverses suffered in the begin- ning. Congress authorized the enlistment of half a million of men for three years, an increase of the navy, and stupendous loans with which to strengthen the sinews of war. War Is-War 97 Lieutenant-General Scott, now past seventy years of age, hung up his laurelled sword, and yielded the command of the Federal armies to a younger and more active officer, General George B. McClellan. In command of the Federal forces in Western Virginia at the beginning of the war, General McClellan had figured in the first successes over Confederate arms at Rich Mountain and Carrick's Ford, signalized in government bulletins as "two victories in one day," and winning for the new commander the beginnings of a " Young Napoleon" prestige. The high abilities which had led to his sudden promotion included a precise military bearing combined with an affable courtesy of personal approach, and he became immediately popular with the troops. Under McClellan's directing hand, the disorganized army again took shape and morale, reformed its broken ranks, and once more presented a formidable, menacing front to the defiant Secession. General Lee, who had taken the field against the Federal forces of Rosecrans and Reynolds in Western Virginia, returned to Richmond in the fall with military reputation certainly not augmented, if not diminished, and resumed his duties as ad- viser to the Chief Executive of the Confederacy. 98 Shenandoah The ignis faluus of European intervention had begun to lead the Southern people astray, and they plunged deeper and deeper into the slough, while the roused North was gathering by land and sea the overpowering forces for their subduing. With two Federal armies ready to move into Virginia-that of McClellan at Washington, and that under General Banks opposite Leesburg, to say nothing of considerable bodies of troops harassing the northern counties about the head- waters of the Potomac, the Confederate prospects for the spring of i862 were decidedly threatening. To protect this portion of the State, and to guard the lower Shenandoah Valley against General Banks, the Confederate Government determined to send a force to Winchester. This force, organ- ized under the official title of the "Army of the Monongahela," was placed under the command of "Stonewall" Jackson, now advanced to the rank of major-general. This was great news to the Ellinghams, not only for the naive reason that it seemed to them like throwing an impregnable guard around Belle Bosquet and the whole Valley, but also and es- pecially because of Captain Robert Ellingham's part in the growing prestige of the Stonewall Brigade. War Is-War 99 Jackson was still in the woods near Centreville, where he had remained after the battle of Bull Run; and as autumn reddened around he was probably quite as restive as his troops for the long awaited word to advance. When this word came, in the form of a summons to promotion, there was a sort of farewell love-feast at the parting of " Old Jack" from his pet brigade; and Bob described it in a letter to his sister as follows: " I tell you, dear sister, it was already some time since we had ceased to poke fun at Old Jack, in his faded gray coat and mangy cap, as he rode jerkily by on his sorrel horse. The signal was always passed when he was coming, and he got cheers all along the line as he galloped past at full speed, as though he did n't like it. Whenever there was distant cheering or any disturbance in the ranks, the fellows would say, 'That 's Jackson, or else a rabbit!' It seems absurd to think of any other officer than himself leading us now. Never- theless, the day came it was October 4th-when the regiments were drawn up in close column, and Stonewall appeared before us as if about to give the order for a charge. Worse than that- he was going to make a speech: " 'I first met you, boys, at Harper's Ferry,' says he, 'and I trust wherever I shall hear of the Shenandoah First Brigade on the field of battle, it will be of still nobler deeds achieved, and higher reputation won. In the Army of the Shenandoah you were the First Brigade. In the second corps of this army you are the First Brigade. You are the First Brigade in the affections of your General; and I hope, by your future deeds and bearing, you will be handed down to posterity as the First Brigade in this our second War of Independence. Farewell!' "There was a cheer that brought a flush to Old Jack's bearded cheeks-but just what he has locked up in that iron-bound head of his, none of us can in the least make out." They found out, long before the next spring came round. He may, or he may not, have planned to invade the North by way of Harrisburg and Philadelphia, with the purpose of forcing a treaty of peace and securing the establishment of Southern independ- ence. What he did, began nearer home, and be- fore the year was out, as a result of the Richmond authorities' decision to fight a defensive rather than an aggressive war. It ended in six months' time in virtually saving the Confederate capital, by diverting McDowell's army, on its way to join McClellan as he approached Richmond by way IO War Is-War IOI of the Peninsula, back to the protection of Wash- ington; and in the fighting of a second battle of Bull Run. By the way, in the latter days of November, General Jackson succeeded, to his great joy and theirs, in getting his old brigade back again. With this, and the command of General Loring which joined him in December, the Valley might soon be considered, as Captain Ellingham jubilantly told Gertrude, a perfectly safe place for any one except an invader. CHAPTER VIII IN THE VALLEY "If this Valley is lost, Virginia is lost" T HE Valley of Virginia, comprised within that section of the Appalachian plateau bounded on the east by the Blue Ridge and on the west by a range of the Alleghanies called there the North Mountains, stretches from the headwaters of the Shenandoah near Staunton on the south to the Potomac on the north, a distance of considerably more than a hundred miles. At the upper end this valley is some forty miles wide, while at Strasburg, fifty miles south of the Potomac, the extreme width is scarcely twenty-five. Southeast of this town the valley is divided longitudinally by an abrupt range of mountains called the Mas- sanutton, extending in a southerly direction between the North and South forks of the Shenan- doah River, forty miles to Harrisonburg, where these uplands again merge into the plain. The two lovely vales formed by this intermediate range, 1I2 In the Valley 103 with the loftier eastern and western boundaries of the main valley, are respectively called the Luray (to the eastward) and the Shenandoah (to the westward). A broad macadamized road, the famous Valley Pike, traverses the entire region from north to south, with lateral roads extending to the mountain boundaries on either side, those toward the Blue Ridge connecting through various gaps with the railroads of Eastern Virginia. It is a promised land of plenty, a region of romance. Here was the goal of Spottswood's Knights of the Golden Horseshoe, who inscribed on their banners the motto: Sic jurat transcendere montes. A veritable Arcadia it is in times of peace, real- izing the most fanciful dreams of the older poets. The rippling blue waters of the Shenandoah forks, winding northward to unite and join the mighty Potomac at the wild mountain colosseum of Harper's Ferry-skirted by tall sycamores, cypress, tulip-trees, sweet gums, and maples; the plains and foot-hills, against the aerial background of serrated blue mountains, dotted with linden and sassafras, and wreathed with mountain laurel, in spring a snowdrift of blossoms, in autumn a conflagration of scarlet vines and the "banners yellow, glorious, golden," of the deciduous trees; 104 Shenandoah the broad and bountiful cultivated fields, the em- bowered mansions with huge red granaries and whitewashed cabins with castle-like chimneys of stone; the idyllic climate of summer, and the crisp, clear cold of winter-all these constitute a sort of inland Eden of freedom and tranquillity unknown to the outside world, unknown even to Virginia herself, in the Tidewater and eastern Piedmont districts. This beautiful and fertile region called for pro- tection for its own sake, as well as for that of its patriotic population (of which the Ellinghams were a fair sample), its numerous black slaves, and the rich supplies which its lush meadow-lands and broad plantations furnished. It was especially important, from a Southern military view-point, that the Valley should be held intact by a Confederate army. No portion of the region could be given up without serious detri- ment to operations north of Richmond. Pos- session of the upper Valley would enable an enemy to cut off the Confederate communication with the Southwest, and strike a dangerous blow at the capital. Control of every foot of the lower Valley of the Shenandoah proper was even more a vital necessity. Winchester, the key to the region, was absolutely essential to the Confederates-and In the Valley in i86i this central point was innocent of fortifi- cations of any description. The town was but a day's march from the Potomac. Substantial roads converged towards it from Romney, Martins- burg, Shepherdstown, Charlestown, and Berryville like the fingers of an open hand. Once in posses- sion of Winchester, a Federal force by a short march through the Blue Ridge at Snicker's or Ashby's or Manassas Gap, could take Manassas Junction in flank and reverse, and assail the Confederate force entrenched there at an enormous advantage. Thus, to give up Winchester would have meant not only to abandon that portion of the Valley with its material resources and loyal " Secesh " inhabitants, but to surrender at the outset prac- tically the whole extent of country east of the Blue Ridge and north of Fredericksburg. It was to prevent such a handicap thus early in the struggle that the military authorities at Richmond has- tened to send to the Valley a redoubtable army, under the leadership of an officer of tried capacity, courage, and resources-in short, Stonewall Jackson's corps. Jackson was straining at the leash for just such a commission. "If this Valley is lost, Virginia is lost," was his 1o5 io6 Shenandoah constant watchword. A native son of Western Virginia, the lifelong affection which Jackson (who was in no sense a fanciful or sentimental person) showed for the Valley of Virginia was chivalrous and romantic. It was always "our Valley" to him, and when he addressed his soldiers. His blows were never so swift and ter- rible as when he was compelled to move away from Winchester, or was fighting his way back to that point. Early in January, i862, Captain Ellingham wrote to his sister in Richmond: " We have only conjecture as to our destination. General Jackson keeps his secrets so well as to deceive not only the enemy, but ourselves." They were on the road to Romney, and the weather was so mild that the men left their over- coats and blankets behind, to be brought on in the wagons. The next day the weather changed, and it grew intensely cold. The men marched all day, and the wagons did not catch up with them. On the third day, Jackson continued to press forward, despite the sufferings of his troops- evidently calculating that in comparison with the success of the campaign, which depended upon the celerity of his march, the sufferings of his army did not count. They grumbled, but followed on. In the Valley I07 Suddenly, near the village of Bath, they en- countered the Federal forces posted behind fences and other cover, and the advance guard had a severe if successful skirmish. The Southern troops encamped just outside Bath, and as night descended a freezing snowstorm accompanied with hail swept down from the mountains, and beat in their faces. The men had nothing to eat, and no blankets to cover them. Ellingham built a fire of fence-rails, and went to sleep beside it, but awoke half-frozen about mid- night, to find the fire out and three inches of snow over him. It was the same with the whole numb, tired, and disheartened army. This was the re- verse of the medal-they looked upon its obverse the next day, when the Federals fell back to the Potomac, and the gaunt Confederates luxuriated in their hastily abandoned camps, even having the humorous satisfaction of devouring the excellent dinners of General Lander and his staff, which were found smoking on the board at the late Federal headquarters. Without losing any time, Jackson now set out with fiercer energy than ever to surprise the Federal garrison under General Kelly at Romney. The weather was fearful, even for ordinary travel, to say nothing of forced military movements. Shenandoah Men and horses fell on the icy roads, their guns going off all along the line, the knees and muzzles of the animals lacerated, the men limping along, leaving trails of blood on the frozen snow. The march was comparable to Napoleon's passage of the Alps-and not alone in its hardships, but likewise in its results. For before the first of February, General Kelly had evacuated Romney, and for the moment there was no Federal force left in the entire lower Valley But nothing was permanent, even for a week, in those parlous times. A principality would be won and lost again in the space of thirty days. Stonewall Jackson, like all other aggressive com- manders, had his opponents at the capital, his rivals and enemies in his own army. His successes were made the most of, by Richmond and Wash- ington alike, for their respective purposes. His losses and sufferings had to be minimized, and borne in silence. It was the old relentless way of war, that Blue and Gray were learning by stren- uous experience in that first groping year of the great struggle. With the opening of spring, four Federal armies -under Fremont, Banks, McDowell, and Mc- Clellan respectively-were ready to close in upon Richmond. Fremont and Banks, in the north io8 In the Valley I09 and west, expected to unite their forces and drive Jackson up the Valley, cutting the Confederate communications, and then to sweep down upon Richmond from the mountains, while McClellan marched up the Peninsula between the James and York rivers, and McDowell advanced from Fredericksburg. Early in March, Stonewall Jackson was back in Winchester, with Banks and an augmented Federal force at his heels on the north, and Shields with another army reported at Strasburg, to the southward. Here occurred one of those strange incidents which in after years stood out more vividly than the battles themselves in the memories of those who, like Robert Ellingham and Kerchival West, were individual straws tossed on the converging torrents of the Civil War. Being in the immediate neighborhood of Belle Bosquet, the Ellingham homestead, Bob joyously seized the opportunity to sleep once more under the old roof. At the same time, the hospitalities of the mansion were extended to General Jackson and his staff. The Rev. Mr. Graham, a Presbyterian clergy- man of Winchester, and an intimate personal friend of the General, called to offer his blessing. IIO Shenandoah Jackson was in unusually high spirits-what for him amounted almost to gayety. There was only one thing that could put "Old Stonewall" in such a mood, every one agreed-and that was, the presence or the immediate prospect of a fight. When the hour for evening prayer arrived, the General asked permission, as was his wont, to read a chapter from the Bible. He then followed the clergyman in prayer, and his voice quivered with the eloquence of exaltation. As the little group, including two or three aged members of the household and a near neighbor or two, rose from their knees, Jackson remained standing in silence for a moment, then said abruptly: "My good friends, I will tell you what I am going to do to-night. I shall attack the enemy and defeat him." He reached for his cap, and strode from the house. It was not yet midnight, and nobody had thought of retiring, but only of sitting around the log fire and discussing excitedly the news that had been confided, when the General came back- slowly now, and looking haggard and dispirited. " I have come to say farewell," he announced, in accents of depression. " I find I must leave you." He sank into a chair, and bowed his head in In the Valley III gloomy reverie. Then he suddenly aroused him- self, and starting to his feet with flushed cheeks and flashing eyes, he grasped his sword-hilt and exclaimed: "No! I can't leave Winchester without a fight." His astonished auditors stared in silence. Finally, after a long dramatic pause, he drove his sword back with a ringing clash into the scabbard, and in tones of profound discouragement said: " No! They would follow me, but I cannot sacrifice my few brave men. I must save them for better use. I intended to attack the enemy on the Martinsburg road, but they are approach- ing on the flanks too, and would surround me. I must fall back." That was Stonewall Jackson's au revoir. That same night he recalled his troops from their po- sition in front of the enemy, left the cavalry to guard his rear, and silently evacuated Winchester. Here Bob Ellingham first made the acquaint- ance of Colonel Ashby, commanding Jackson's cavalry-a wondrous cavalier from Fauquier County, mounted on a milk-white blooded horse, the most dashing rider in the whole State of Virginia, and as a leader of partisans destined soon to rank among the foremost of his contemporaries. 112 Shenandoah Ashby looked like a Moor, and had the chivalrous soul of a Saladin. When the Federal column, eight thousand strong, entered Winchester the next morning, Ashby remained behind with less than half a dozen men-Ellingham among the number- around him, until the enemy had swarmed the town and were within two hundred yards of his position. They had observed this defiant cava- lier, and sent a squad of troopers to make a circuit, and by striking the Valley turnpike in his rear, to intercept him and cut off his retreat. Ashby seemed to pay no attention to this move, and Bob sat in his saddle with chills running up and down his spine, wondering what was going to happen. The Federal advance was close upon them, when suddenly Ashby waved his sabre around his head, uttered a wild yell, cried " Follow me! " and galloped off like the wind, the others as close after him as their horses could stretch. At the edge of the town they were con- fronted by the men who had gone around to in- tercept them. " Halt! " the foemen cried. Ashby took his bridle in his teeth, levelled his revolver with his left hand, and shot a cavalryman on that side, sabred another on his right, then clutched a third by the throat, dragged him from the saddle, In the Valley and carried him off a prisoner at full gallop, while Ellingham and his companions followed on through the breach thus made, amidst the crack of cavalry carabines and the roar of artillery that was "the lullaby and reveille " of Jackson's little army. They struck Shields near Woodstock, some forty miles up the pike, and on March 23d at- tacked him at Kernstown,-and were repulsed. This was one of the few setbacks Jackson encount- ered in his campaign-and the furious impulse of his rebound that followed immediately after made it a costly victory for his opponent. A frenzy seized "Old Stonewall" and his men, and made them invincible, irresistible. The limitless resources of the now thoroughly aroused Washing- ton Government were brought to bear in earnest upon this bold rebel. The whole Valley was alive with marching and counter-marching, advancing and retreating armies. Jackson's desperate game was to present a menacing front in several directions at once, whilst awaiting reinforcements sorely needed. General Banks came over from Manassas, bent upon his destruction. At the same time, Blenker, on his way with ten thousand men to join Fre- mont was instructed to report to him as he fol- lowed Jackson up the Valley. Jackson stood at 8 11I3 I 14 Shenandoah bay at Swift Run Gap in the Blue Ridge Moun- tains with the Shenandoah River in his front and his flanks protected by the foot-hills. Ewell, with a handy Confederate force, was not far away, but on the other side of the mountains in Jackson's rear, at Gordonsville. In this tight place, Jackson called upon General Lee at Richmond to reinforce him with five thousand men. Lee could not spare any from the defence of Richmond, but suggested that a union might be effected with General Edward Johnson and his thirty-five hundred troops at Staunton. Ewell was expected to move eastward against McDowell's Federal army at Fredericksburg. Meanwhile, Banks with his large force was watch- ing General Edward Johnson from Harrisonburg. The Federal generals Milroy and Schenck had moved up west of the mountains, in front of Johnson, awaiting the arrival of Fremont from the north. It was now the end of April, and Stonewall Jackson started in to do the theoretically impos- sible. Evading Banks at Harrisonburg, he moved with incredible swiftness to Staunton, joined his force with Johnson's, and defeated Milroy and Schenck at one fell blow. This great advantage had to be followed up, so Ewell marched over In the Valley into the Valley from Gordonsville, compelling Banks to fall back to Strasburg. Having dis- posed of the two Federal commanders, Jackson with Ewell now hot-footed it to Front Royal, where the north and south forks of the Shenan- doah River unite at the northern end of the Massanutton ridge. The work cut out for the Confederates at Front Royal was nothing less than an onslaught upon General McDowell, who in view of the alarming Federal reverses in the Valley had been suddenly switched off from his march to join McClellan in the advance upon Richmond, and had been sent via Manassas Gap to reinforce Fremont. The stunning success of Jackson at Front Royal, and subsequently at Cross Keys and Port Republic on the Shenandoah, was achieved by a startling series of manoeuvres little understood by the world at the time, save that in a general way they meant that he "held one commander at arm's length, while he hammered the other." " I have seen grand Old Jack rattled, for once," Captain Ellingham wrote his sister, from Front Royal. "We were opposite Port Republic, and the General, with a part of his staff, had crossed over the bridge into the town, when the enemy appeared in force, with the evident design of I I5 ii6 Shenandoah attacking the town, destroying the bridge over the Shenandoah, and thus cutting off our army, and getting in our rear. Jackson sent some hurried orders to Taliaferro and Winder for the defence of the bridge; but before these could be executed the advance Federal batteries had opened fire, and their cavalry, crossing the South River, had swept into the town and taken position at the southern entrance to the bridge. You see, the General had not recrossed the river, and so he was completely cut off, and we did n't know it. They do say he met the emergency with the most audacious display of nerve and presence of mind that ever you heard of-actually rode toward the bridge, and, rising in his stirrups, called out to the Federal officer commanding the artillery, 'Who ordered you to post that gun there, sir Bring it over here.' It fooled them long enough to enable Jackson to put spurs to his horse and dash on to the bridge at full gallop. Three hasty shots followed him, but they flew harmless over his head, and he reached our quarters on the northern bank in safety. And was he rattled Well, at the moment of the scare, I saw young Bob Lee (youngest son of General Lee, you know, who is only fifteen, and left the University to join the Stonewall Brigade as a private), going down Gen. Buckthorn.-" Whatl You defy my authority Colonel West, I command you! Search the prisoner!" Drawn by Harry A. Ogden This page in the original text is blank. In the Valley 117 to the bank of the stream to fetch up some water. He had the big camp kettle slung over his shoul- der, and I suppose the General in his excitement thought it was a drum, for as he flew past he shouted out to Bob: " 'Hi, there, drummer! beat the long roll!' " That was a close shave, dear Sis. But I believe, and so do we all, that our Stonewall Jackson lives a charmed life, while he has this job of clearing the Valley to perform, and nothing can stop him. Do you know what the Yanks call him the 'ubiquitous Presbyterian.' It seems like a wild dream, as I look back upon what has happened since you and I parted at Richmond. Our great commander, whom we were rather in- clined to poke fun at in the beginning, and whose recklessness many distrusted a long while after that, has bowled over the Federal commanders as fast as they could be hurled against him- Banks, Fremont, Shields, Milroy, with subordi- nates like Blenker, Sigel, Steinwehr, and other able soldiers defeated, and the whole upper Valley regained. Why, think of it! in three months he -may I say wE-have marched, I suppose, six hundred miles, fought four pitched battles, and seven minor engagements, to say nothing of the regular daily skirmishes. And we have defeated Shenandoah four armies, captured seven pieces of artillery, ten thousand stand of arms, four thousand prison- ers, and any amount of stores, besides fabulous sums (as I hear) of cash money. What our ad- versaries' losses in killed and wounded foot up I don't know, but they could not have been small. Ours were less, comparatively-but, oh! Gertrude, we have lost our Ashby. He fell in a moment of triumph, and his last words were, 'Virginians, charge!' I am sure his name will always be re- membered and honored by the people of Virginia. He never forgot that he was a gentleman, and he kept his escutcheon unstained by any blot. He was not a Presbyterian, like Old Jack, but he was devout and childlike in his religious faith, and a regular attendant on the services of the Episcopal Church, which was the church of his ancestors. He may have kept himself a bit aloof from the vulgar camp fun or moments of abandonment, though no man was more frank and gay on the march or in bivouac. "Is it worth these sacrifices Gertrude, in spite of all our successes, I wish this nightmare of Civil War were over, and well over-but who can tell now when we shall be out of the woods There are things in the Valley, and right around our home, that I had rather not tell you about." I I8 In the Valley I"9 Washington, remembering Bull Run, had ner- vous prostration whenever Stonewall Jackson was reported in action anywhere within a hundred miles of the Potomac. For this reason, it is probably historic truth to say that Stonewall Jackson saved Richmond to the Confederates in i862,-in the first place by diverting McDowell's army to the Valley, in the second place by march- ing fresh from his own victories in that same Valley to join Lee in the Seven Days' Battles around the Confederate capital. CHAPTER IX SHENANDOAH'S DAUGHTER "Shenandoah, I love your daughter- Love her, and I had n't oughter." AM going back home," said Gertrude Elling- ham, with determination. " I long to see the Valley once more, and I can do just as much good at Belle Bosquet as I can here-perhaps more, now." It was not because of the anxious outlook in Richmond, with McClellan's army almost within gunshot-on the contrary, that in itself would have kept her in the threatened Confederate capi- tal, had not stronger ties of both duty and senti- ment drawn her homeward. The circumstances that her brother Robert had intimated he "had rather not tell her about" in his letters, came to her in all their fearsome detail, and without any softening or glozing over, from various sources both North and South, especially in the newspapers. Between the time of Stone- wall Jackson's retreat from Winchester and the 120 Shenandoah's Daughter 121 disaster which overtook him at Kernstown, proba- bly the most desperate and hazardous encoun- ters of the war, up to that period, had taken place. Even General Shields reported, in a moment when hard-won victory seemed to be perching upon the Federal banners: "The enemy's sufferings have been terrible, and such as they have nowhere else endured since the beginning of this war." The people around Winchester might stubbornly insist upon regarding "the gallant fight of Sunday" in the light of a victory; but the pathetic irony of such an attitude appeared in the undisguisable fact that the " march of triumph rather than defeat" which they proudly alluded to was the passage of Con- federate prisoners through the town, heavily guarded, on their way to Harper's Ferry! But the ladies of Winchester welcomed them as conquering heroes. Handkerchiefs waved from every window, fair cheeks were flushed and bright eyes glistened with scornful tears, as mothers, sisters, wives, and sweethearts glanced from the ragged scarecrows of Jackson to the spruce-looking Federal officers, and nursed an intensified bitter- ness towards the blue uniform. The scene changed to deepest tragedy when these same women went to search the ghastly field of Kernstown, where the mayor and citizens of Winchester had dug a pit I22 Shenandoah to bury the unidentified bodies of the Southern soldiers. The Federal officers present were deeply affected at the spectacle and what made it worse for them was, the evidence that every feeling of these Southern ladies, even grief for the slain, was merged into hatred of themselves. The correspondent of the Northern newspaper in which Gertrude Ellingham read these accounts, continued: "There is nothing that these Southern women will not surrender with a smile-the gemmed ring, the diamond bracelet, the rich ward- robe. They cut up costly carpets for soldiers' blankets without a sigh, and take their own dainty personal linen for bandages. When the wounded prisoners came through,-about the roughest, dirtiest looking set of fellows the sun ever shone on,-you should have seen the fair young traitoresses come forth from the old aristocratic mansions, bringing restoratives and delicacies in their hands, mingling in the dingy crowd, wiping the blood and grime away with their white hand- kerchiefs, and uttering words of cheer-doing this with the Union guards all around, and smiling back upon the rough blackguards of rebels as they left. But in all there was a defiant air in their humanity strange to see. Of a truth, they carried it off grandly. And some of these girls were in mourn- Shenandoah's Daughter 123 ing for dead rebels-brothers, lovers, friends, whom these same girls had sneered into treason and driven into rebellion, and with whose graves they keep right on billowing all the South to-day! The least they can do is to wear black for the dead, and flaunt their colors from the window blinds for the living." The Virginia girl's blood mounted high, and she exclaimed, as she flung down the paper: "Let them send the whole population of the North down here, if they will, but they can never conquer us! When they have killed off our men, we will shed the last drop of our own blood." Captain Kerchival West, of the Union Army of Southwest Missouri, as he read these same accounts whilst alternately burning and shivering in the ague-stricken camps of the lower Mississippi valley around Corinth, thought in feverish fancy that he could hear Gertrude saying just such words as these. Her hate, as he imagined it, was like his love an unreasoning, all-consuming passion. He felt himself ominously fortified with the double strength of hope and despair-for love is a flame that feeds upon despair, and takes a lurid halo of glory most of all when lavished wildly and in vain. One sovereign solace he had-that he was wearing the blue and fighting loyally for the Old Flag in a I24 Shenandoah campaign sufficiently remote from the Valley of Virginia. After all, Fate had been kind to him, he thought, as he recalled his farewell words with Bob Ellingham, at Charleston-was it ages ago, or only a little more than a year back "All right, Bob-I only hope we never meet in battle, that 's all." And then they had both saddened, as they added, "Who knows" Who knew, indeed. What a tangled skein of lives it was, anyway! One thing was certain-he may have been glad he was not fighting in Virginia, and yet his heart was there all the time. Meanwhile, Gertrude's decision to leave Rich- mond and go home to the Valley was put into exe- cution with characteristic impulse. It was a bad time for such a journey. That made no difference about her embarking upon it, but it did lead to some very complicated and roundabout arrange- ments for the accomplishment of the trip. Her Confederate War Office friends, for reasons essen- tially their own, decreed that if she went at all it must be by way of Baltimore and Harper's Ferry. For the last-named barrier, a Federal pass would be required, this to be procured at Baltimore. And to get to Baltimore, by water, of course it was nec- essary to run the Federal blockade. But this would be comparatively easy, under the plan Shenandoah's Daughter 125 agreed upon, by which Gertrude was to have a travelling companion,-a mysterious Southern lady who knew the routes intimately, and who seemed to be rather closely in touch with the Executive departments at Richmond, for one who confidently promised to arrange the little matter of Federal passes at Baltimore. This young person-she seemed not over twenty -was introduced somewhat vaguely as Mrs. Smith. She was well dressed, fairly good-looking, and a bright talker, particularly with the men. Her self-confidence was perhaps a trifle excessive; but then, this would not come amiss for two unpro- tected females abroad in Dixie in war-time. She was devoted body and soul to The Cause, and this supreme qualification overshadowed everything else. She was understood but lately to have "escaped" from Washington. On the first stage of the journey overland, as they stopped over night at Petersburg, Gertrude said to her fascinating room-mate: " Mrs. Smith, I have told you what little there is of interest about myself and my plans. I do so wish you would tell me something of your own adventures." " I don't mind, my dear, now that we are off and on our way," laughed the other, as she saturated Shenandoah a handkerchief with eau de cologne and washed her face with it. " By the way, my real name is Belle Boyd." "Goodness gracious! Belle Boyd, of the Secret Service " "Yes, honey child. That 's what we are on, now." " But-if they should suspect us, after we cross the lines, they would arrest and detain us, would they not" "They hang spies," Miss Boyd replied. "But I don't reckon they will get us. Of course I won't be Miss Boyd, and you won't be Miss Ellingham, from now on." A civilian met "Miss Page and Mrs. Smith" at the Light Street wharf in Baltimore. He took them to a Federal captain, and the captain sent them to his superior officer, General Fisher. Belle Boyd, now " Mrs. Smith," stated their case. "We are Southerners, General, and we wish to go South by way of Harper's Ferry," she said, hand- ing him a note which the captain had given her. He read the note, looked at the pair with a quizzical expression, and then nodded his head. " Very well, ladies. I will make out your passes, which will take you to General Kelly at Harper's Ferry. My jurisdiction ends there, but you will 126 Shenandoah's Daughter 127 find General Kelly a courteous and considerate gentleman. Beyond that, I can make no promises for him, you understand. If everything is all right, why-you will be all right. You will have an escort as far as Harper's Ferry, and an officer will be sent this afternoon to your boarding-place to examine your baggage." The baggage searcher found them duly pre- pared, and no obstacle came up to prevent the girls from taking the westward bound train on the Baltimore and Ohio road, at noon the next day. Their escort was a flirtatious young lieutenant, whom "Mrs. Smith,"-newly widowed for the occasion-engaged in an instructive conversation about Federal military matters, which lasted until, towards sunset, the slow train drew up under the shadows of the frowning Loudon Heights and Heights of Maryland, at the historic point where the Shenandoah River breaks through the moun- tain wall and falls into the Potomac-and they had reached their destination. Here the young lieu- tenant squeezed their hands, and bade them a polite farewell. So far, so good. Evidently there was a riot going on in the little shut-in town at the end of the long railroad bridge across the Potomac, where the old arsenal and the engine house which had been John Brown's fort 128 Shenandoah lay close upon the railroad tracks, with dwelling houses, barracks and taverns straggling up the hilly streets behind. There had been more fighting, of a desultory sort, in the lower part of the Valley, where the Federals still had the controlling hand. They had just paid off, and the troops were celebrating. Naturally, they gravitated towards the taverns, so it was through a very boisterous mob in blue that the two lone women passed, on their way to a night's lodging, following a local guide to whom their Baltimore escort had assigned them. They held a consultation in the parlor of a "hotel" full of drunken soldiers, and decided to go out and make inquiries of anyone who might seem sober enough to answer, as to where they could hire a vehicle to forward them on their journey. All uncertainty was promptly dispelled -they could not get out of Harper's Ferry that night. Meanwhile, they had discovered that General Kelly's office adjoined the place where they had been marooned, as it were. They sought out the commanding officer, who received them courte- ously, heard them with wonderful patience under the circumstances-and on the whole was quite sympathetic. But what could he do Shenandoah's Daughter "I can give you your passes," said he, "but I don't see what you are going to hire to travel in, unless an ox-cart or a broken-down wagon-and the roads are almost impassable, even for staunch vehicles. Besides, it is not safe for you to travel without military escort, and that I have no author- ity to furnish. If you ladies were prisoners, now, I might send you through our lines under escort, all right." "That may happen to us, before we get home," whispered Gertrude, flippantly, though she felt like crying. " And this is hardly a fit place for ladies to spend the night in," continued the General, in his r6le of Job's comforter. "Do you mean that we ought to go back to Baltimore" asked Belle Boyd, energetically. "Well, you see, ladies, you are in the difficult position of Southerners sent South. The present policy of the Government is to send all Southern- ers below the line to stay, but they must be well vouched for. I am only explaining the situation to you. I can't very well send you back without authority. Perhaps the best thing for you to do is to hold out at the hotel until I can telegraph to General Fisher. My orderly will notify you as soon as I hear from him." 9 129 130 Shenandoah "We will go back and wait," said Gertrude's companion, determinedly. They noticed amongst the groups thronging the tavern a half-dozen gray-coated Confederates who had been captured the day before. One of these, evidently an officer, paced restlessly up and down the room, while the guard kept an eye on him. He peered closely at the two girls as he passed them, and they returned his gaze with interest. Gertrude was wondering if she had not seen that face somewhere before, when suddenly without stopping or turning his head, the man dropped these words in a stage whisper: "Are you going South" " Yes, " answered Belle Boyd, like a flash. At the next turn, he muttered: " Take a word " Another affirmative. "Get message to General Johnston, at Rich- mond-" Across the room again. "-that you saw Captain Thornton here, a prisoner." Captain Thornton! then, it was he-Edward Thornton, Gertrude's Charleston acquaintance of a year ago last Spring. " What shall you do" she whispered Belle Boyd. Shenandoah's Daughter "That will depend on what they are going to do with us here," was the nonchalant reply. "I know this officer-he is an important man. If I can help him out, I shall do so." Presently an orderly came in with a telegram from General Fisher to General Kelly. Its purport was, that the ladies had been sent South at their own request, and no further intervention would be practicable. "A pretty plight we 're in! " exclaimed Gertrude, more loudly than she was aware. "We can 't go South, we can't return North, and we can't remain here." " I '11 tell you how you can get sent on," said one of the Federal guard, who had made it his business to find out how affairs stood with the fair strangers. "You jest get up and holler for Jeff Davis, and you '11 get sent on quick enough." "Hurrah for the Confederate flag!" cried Belle Boyd, in shrill, sheer bravado. Then, as nobody came in response, she led the way back to General Kelly's office. " It was just as I feared, ladies," said that officer, gallantly. " Now, the only thing I can suggest is, that maybe you would be willing to take the oath of allegiance. That would simplify mat- ters. What do you say" I31 132 Shenandoah They said nothing, but followed the General into an adjoining room, where a couple of staff officers sat at a writing desk. Federal soldiers werelounging all about, smoking and noise-making. A man at the desk started to read the oath aloud. Before he had finished the first sentence, Belle Boyd cried out: " Great saints! it 's the 'ironclad'." "We won't listen to it," declared Gertrude, promptly. With that, the two turned and marched out of the room. A loud roar of laughter went up, in which General Kelly joined. "Just as I expected," said he. "I thought you were game." "Now, what next, General" asked Belle Boyd, cheerily. "If we must be hung, please notify us," added Gertrude. "Another alternative presents itself," the Gen- eral went on, seriously enough, now. "Strange to say, there appears to be a Washington end to this affair, and I am expecting shortly to get word from headquarters. In any event, you will have to stop here over night. So, if you will make your- selves as comfortable as circumstances permit, we will hope for the best, and await developments." Shenandoah's Daughter I33 It was late in the evening when next they saw General Kelly. He handed them a telegram which he had just received from Washington. It read: " Miss Page and Mrs. Smith are friends of mine. See them through if you can. If not, will send on an officer to Harper's Ferry to-night. Answer. " BUCKTHORN." "It is from Major-General Buckthorn," explain- ed General Kelly. "And here is a copy of my answer to him: "Will see them through. You need not send. " KELLY." As soon as they were alone together, Belle Boyd asked Gertrude: "Who on earth is Major-General Buckthorn I have never heard of him." "I have," replied Gertrude, "and he is an influ- ential Federal commander, as you may well believe. But how he ever knew of my being here in a scrape at Harper's Ferry, and why he comes to my rescue as a friend in time of need, seeing we have never met personally, I can't for the life of me under- stand-Unless, unless-Oh, I wonder But, tell me-I am dying of curiosity about that Confederate prisoner who spoke to us-Captain Thornton, was it not" "Yes. You know him" '34 Shenandoah " The Edward Thornton whom I knew in Charleston did not have that horrid scar on his face. " "It comes in very well as a disguise, then," laughed Belle Boyd, "for Captain Thornton is in the Secret Service. He is a comrade of mine, and I am going to help him. This meeting has changed my plans-so you won't mind going on alone from Berryville, will you, dear-I mean, Miss Page." "No, except that I shall miss your companion- ship, and the confidence you inspire in me,-Mrs. Smith." Here General Kelly's orderly came to announce that an ambulance would be ready to take the ladies at daybreak, and would they mind sharing their room for the night with a lady and her three children, on their way to Charlestown The remainder of Gertrude's journey was com- paratively uneventful, though it did seem odd at one point to have the Federal cavalrymen who escorted the ambulance called into requisition to protect her against Southern stragglers, as they neared the lines. She was still nominally a Federal prisoner. Nearing Winchester, a sentry demanded the young lady's papers. "I have no papers, and need none," she an- swered. "I am at home now. I am Miss Elling- Shenandoah's Daughter ham, and I am going to Belle Bosquet. My brother is in General Jackson's First Brigade." The Federal captain who had escorted her opened his eyes at this and said: "I am sorry to release you, Miss What 's-your- name. You might have more chance for enjoy- ment if you were to remain North. I mean," he added, catching a dangerous gleam in Gertrude's eye, "that you must find it dull in the South, with no beaux, nor nothing." "Our beaux are in the field, where they belong, sir," retorted the girl, haughtily. The captain bowed gallantly, and made his adieux. Then Gertrude asked the gray-coated sentry where General Jackson's army was located at the moment. "Lawd bless you, Miss, nobody knows. He mought be in Richmond by now, or he mought be in Washington. They do say as how a letter come along, once, addressed to 'Gineral Jackson, Some- where,' and he got it at Woodstock. But that was 'way back, two weeks ago." 135 CHAPTER X GRAPEVINE TELEGRAPH "Ceur-de-Lions on every field, Sweet saints in every home, Through whose dear helping stood revealed The joy of martyrdom- Compassed by whose assuring loves, Our comrades dared and died As blithely as a bridegroom moves To meet his glowing bride." MRS. HAVERILL, the Colonel's wife, had an anxious and busy time of it in Washington. Seeing little of her husband, and that little at moments when he was overworked and morose, she found congenial distraction in the companion- ship of Edith Haverill, Frank's wife-for what the fugitive had told Kerchival West at Charleston was confirmed when the elder Mrs. Haverill went to New York and found the unfortunate young woman suffering in silence, full of loyalty, courage and gratitude, but in reality knowing no more about Frank's whereabouts than anyone else did. At the warm insistence of the Haverills, Edith came on to Washington and took up her home with 136 Grapevine Telegraph them. Here her baby boy was born, and they christened him after his father, so that the name of Frank Haverill should still be familiarly spoken in the household. Then the two women, like so many others both of gentle birth and of lowly station, but above all sisters in affliction, engaged in the work of ministering to the sick and wounded soldiers who filled the wards of the improvised hospitals in the Patent Office building and else- where. At irregular intervals during the year, Edith had received sums of money from an anonymous source, carefully concealed, but somewhere in the Army. She knew it was from her husband; but the only time any word accompanied the envoi was shortly after the birth of her baby, when a brief loving message filled the young mother's heart with joy and gratitude. This communication afforded no tangible clew as to the writer's whereabouts, but it was the means of setting on foot a system- atic search on the part of Colonel Haverill, who beneath a mask of Spartan indifference had in reality rejoiced at hearing of his son's resolution to make atonement by enlisting as a soldier, as reported by Kerchival West after the farewell secret interview at Charleston, a year ago. Knowing that Columbia College, New York 137 138 Shenandoah City, had furnished a large number of recruits to the local volunteer regiments, at the first call of President Lincoln, Colonel Haverill directed his inquiries among such of Frank's former classmates as he could locate in the army. He was successful to the extent of ascertaining that his son had taken special pains, in enlisting, to avoid any possible comradeship with those who knew of his disgrace. Under an assumed name, he had in all probability gone South and joined the Union Army of the Missouri. With sinking heart, Colonel Haverill thought of the unknown dead of the great battle of Shiloh, on the far Tennessee. And then, remembering that all evidences of his son's existence, in so far as the anxious young wife and mother in Washing- ton were concerned, had ceased some months back, he only shook his head when Edith and Mrs. Haverill asked him daily if he had learned any tidings. The Colonel and his wife were none the less fond of their Southern wards, Gertrude and Robert Ellingham, now that of necessity they no longer stood towards them in loco parentis. Whatever stern military aloofness the Federal military officer may have felt obligatory upon him, was compen- sated by a new tenderness on the part of Mrs. Grapevine Telegraph Haverill, particularly towards Gertrude, whom she regarded as the innocent victim of a most unfortunate political misunderstanding. This feel- ing Gertrude reciprocated, and equally without a suspicion of resentment. Mrs. Haverill and Gertrude, as has been inti- mated, maintained a practically continuous corre- spondence. Gertrude wrote regularly to her Con- federate brother, Robert Ellingham. Madeline West, on the other side of the Mason and Dixon line, also wrote to Robert, her " Rebel " sweetheart, in a non-partisan way, which also was quite different from sisterly. Of course Bob wrote to both the girls, and it would have been highly embarrassing if he had ever got the epistles mixed. Madeline answered the copious letters and inqui- ries of her brother, Kerchival West, as best she could. Jenny Buckthorn was heard to remark that Captain Heartsease's pen was mightier than his sword, so there must have been some epistolary interchange between these two, also, when the Captain was away from Washington. As for Gen- eral Buckthorn, still at home slowly recovering from his wound, and Colonel Haverill, preoccupied with active military responsibilities, these two old soldiers stuck doggedly to their respective duties, and kept their own counsel. 139 140 Shenandoah Such was the complicated, unorganized system of "grapevine telegraph," which in Civil War time practically did the service of what in latter days would be called the wireless. Gertrude had been home in the Valley perhaps a fortnight, when she received the following illuminative epistle from her brother: "CHARLOTTESVILLE, June 15, I862. " DEAREST SISTER: "We have left the Valley, I suppose to join in the defence of Richmond. You know what that means, under Jackson-this is the first mo- ment I have found to write to you since you de- cided to quit for home. I know what you have passed through, but do you know how it came about that you got through as luckily as you did Probably not. Now I will tell you. It was all very well for the Richmond department to send you in certain company by way of Baltimore but when it came to the pinch at Harper's Ferry, influence at Washington had to be brought to bear. Whose influence General Buckthorn 's. Gen- eral Buckthorn must have acted at the prompting of some other Federal officer, presumably Colonel H. And how did our dear Colonel happen to be so alert in behalf of a couple of Southern women travelling at their own risk Grapevine Telegraph I41 "Gertrude, Kerchival W. is-or was-in Wash- ington, either on sick leave or on some confiden- tial mission. He must have moved heaven and earth, and even strained a point or two of dis- cipline, for your sake. I don't know the exact circumstances, but I do know old Kerchival, God bless him-he can't help it if he is a Yank! " Now you know what he did for you, and per- haps you will understand the ugly look it must have taken for him at Washington when I tell you that your dangerous travelling campanion took advantage of the situation to wheedle the Federal guard at Berryville into making an exchange of prisoners with our guard, and thus rescued a certain Secret Service officer whom you and I know only too well, and who is now back again in the Confederate service. What is to come of it all, I don't know. But, for God's sake, Sis, be careful -keep this closely to yourself, and never forget it. "When you will next hear from me, and what you will hear, no mortal can predict, except that I shall be found in the line of duty. May heaven bless and keep us all, is the constant prayer of your errant brother, "BOB." While Gertrude Ellingham read and reread and pondered and cried over this letter, and kissed it 142 Shenandoah furtively as if in concealment from her very self, the five army corps of General McClellan, having encountered the defensive Confederate forces now under direct command of General Robert E. Lee, had fought the indecisive battle of Fair Oaks, otherwise called Seven Pines, and were lined up along the Chickahominy stream, almost within gunshot of Richmond. They thought Lee had detached a corps and sent it westward to reinforce Jackson in the Valley. Instead, Jackson was sweeping eastward to join Lee-who now, more than a year after the com- mencement of the war, was at last to take active command of a large army in the field. In that year, the great conflict had grown in proportion and intensity, covering widely sepa- rated territories, and drawing more and more men, from all sections, into the maelstrom. The main successes in actual battle thus far seemed to have been won by Southern arms; but they were costly in comparison with their results, which were to strengthen the confidence of the Confederates perhaps unduly in proportion to their resources, while taxing the North to the utmost in putting bigger armies in the field, and more formidable gun-boats on the waters. Apropos of the latter, another instance of President Lincoln's staunch- Grapevine Telegraph I43 ness in the crises where it was most needed, im- pressed itself upon the country. The Confederates had taken a gun-boat named the Merrimac, in the Norfolk Navy Yard, pro- tected her entire works above the water line with railroad iron fearfully and wonderfully stacked, and then turned her loose, an armor-clad monster of destruction, upon the comparatively defenceless wooden war-vessels of the Federal navy. The whole country gasped with the excitement of a new sensation. Washington was nonplussed, and the Northern seaboard cities were panic-stricken. What was to prevent this new terror of the seas from putting the whole Navy out of commission, and then entering the defenceless harbors of Phila- delphia, New York, and Boston, to bombard or levy tribute at will Delegations of bankers and commercial magnates swarmed to the National Capital to see the President about it, until the approaches to the White House were black with frock-coats and shiny "toppers." Mr. Lincoln listened in his whimsical way while spokesmen dilated upon the jeopardy in which they and their uncounted millions were placed, unless they should be promptly protected, in pro- portion to the liberality with which they had sub- scribed to the Government bonds. 144 Shenandoah Mr. Lincoln professed astonishment at such vast interests and so much money being owned or represented by so comparatively few people. "Gentlemen," he said, finally, "we have no ships to send to New York. We have no guns to mount on your forts. We have no money to spare; and the whole credit and means of the Government are exhausted in doing what we can to protect this Capital, and the interior and coast line that it is our first business to look after. But if I had as much money as you say you have, and were as badly skeered as evidently you are, I think I would find some means with which to protect my own town, at least." In less than three months from that day, Erics- son's Monitor, the uncanny little floating fort facetiously described at the time as " a cheese-box on a raft," slipped out of New York Harbor and down to Hampton Roads, and at first encounter battered the Merrimac out of all further usefulness for any save a passive career. What both North and South most needed at that period was not men, so much as A MAN-a compeller of decisive victories on hard-fought fields. With the exception of Jackson on the one hand and McClellan on the other, neither side had developed a commander of heroic stature whom a Grapevine Telegraph whole people could trust or a whole army follow blindfold. Lee and Jackson, McClellan and McDowell, were yet to measure their full strength against each other. Down in the Southwest, in the Union Army of the Tennessee, an Illinois soldier from Lincoln's own State, Ulysses S. Grant by name, had begun to emerge into notice by rea- son of certain meritorious successes at Forts Henry and Donelson. But then came Shiloh, or Pitts- burgh Landing, the first really great battle of the Civil War, in which Grant was surprised and out- generalled by Albert Sidney Johnston, and with his shattered army might have been driven to de- struction in the Tennessee River, had not the Con- federate commander fallen in the first day's battle, enabling the Union forces, with the help of General Buell, to retrieve themselves just short of a rout. It was a desperate and costly struggle, discourag- ing to both sides, as foreshadowing only too cer- tainly the terrible sacrifices which the prolongation of the war between the sections was destined to entail. They were lavish of blood in those days, and soldiers as brave as ever fought on earth thought it a right and worthy sacrifice to charge a battery of artillery or line of earthworks with infantry. General McClellan, on the threshold of his grand opportunity at the gates of Richmond, 145 146 Shenandoah opened his assault upon Lee's lines of defence at Beaver Dam, near Mechanicsville, on the Chickahominy. It was the first of the Seven Days' Battles, soon to go into history. The day was one of Confederate reverses, the princi- pal cause of which was subsequently seen to be chargeable to none other than General Jackson, and in a way oddly related to that same march from the Valley during which Bob Ellingham had paused at Charlottesville to write to his sister Gertrude. Jackson, as it appeared, had gone ahead in advance of his army, accompanied only by his chief of staff-who, characteristically, was not a soldier by profession, but a Presbyterian minister and professor in a theological seminary. On the Sunday morning of that eventful week, the two fighting Presbyterians found themselves at a way station on the Central Railroad (the Chesapeake and Ohio of latter days), somewhat more than fifty miles from Richmond. They decided to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy- though on other occasions, before and subse- quently, Stonewall had regarded the duty of fighting as paramount to all others-so they stopped over and attended camp services with some of the troops stationed there. Inasmuch as Grapevine Telegraph '47 the General was using elaborate precautions to keep his whereabouts and destination a secret, he deemed it unadvisable to go the rest of his jour- ney by rail. Accordingly, at one o'clock Monday morning, he mounted a horse, and, accompanied by a single courier, rode the whole distance to Lee's headquarters near Richmond, arriving at Ashland about the middle of the afternoon. Lee's orders for the second day's attack upon McClellan had been calculated so closely, that when Jackson, fagged with loss of sleep and his all-night ride, finally "swept down the north side of the Chick- ahominy" with his troops to join A. P. Hill, he was practically a day behind time. There was fierce fighting every day that week- at Gaines' Mill, Savage Station, Glendale, all through the dark and desolate White Oak Swamp and along the sluggish, noisome Chickahoniiny. Jackson, in his old-time fighting form again, in the field with Lee, Stuart, and Longstreet, strove to make up for lost time, and did his full share in forcing the enemy steadily back from Richmond. But that enemy was McClellan, a foe of different calibre from any the Virginians hitherto had faced. McClellan was, indeed, doggedly falling back towards the James River; but as soon as he got into communication with the Federal gun-boats on that 148 Shenandoah stream, he concentrated his artillery on Malvern Hill, and made a stand which demonstrated that his so-called "change of base" from the York to the James River, whatever necessity may have dictated it, was as a military movement executed in masterly fashion. The siege of Richmond was raised, and the Confederates had to be satisfied with that result of the Seven Days' Battles. The destruction of the Federal army, which General Lee had thought under ordinary circumstances should have been a logical possibility, was averted when his adversary, after protecting his shattered ranks against every assault with the fury of des- peration, succeeded by sheer skill and soldiership in withdrawing them from the sanguinary slopes of Malvern Hill to the shelter of the Federal gunboats at Harrison's Landing on the James River. Amidst the horrors of that retreat,-in which were included thousands of sick and wounded who could not have stirred but for the dread of the tobacco warehouses in which the Southerners penned their prisoners of war-a young lieutenant clad in the remnants of a blue uniform which at first opportunity he exchanged with a dead soldier for a suit of dingy gray, crept off into the thickets along the Willis Church road, on the slope of the Col. West.-" During all this terrible war, . . . I have dreamed of a meeting like this." Drawn by Harry A. Ogden This page in the original text is blank. Grapevine Telegraph hill. Parched with fever and crippled with a wounded foot, he lay there all night in the feverish damps, then pressed on at daybreak in what he thought to be the direction in which the Federal troops had moved off the night before. As he drew near what looked like a deserted cabin in a lonely gulch, an old, dilapidated-looking negro ran out, and, glancing at the fugitive's uni- form, implored him to "jest send a 'spatch to Charleston that ole Marster was sick and los' in de wilderness, an' den mebbe somebody would send or come to git him." The young wayfarer would have been glad to get off a despatch somewhere else in his own behalf; but that signified nothing-he followed the gaunt old negro into the cabin. There, on a bed of juniper boughs, lay gasping and choking a Confederate soldier with a ghastly bullet-hole in his forehead, and the stamp of death on his livid face. An elderly, gray-haired man, evidently a surgeon, knelt on the ground and made feeble efforts to minister to the comfort of the dying one, while his own teeth chattered and his hands shook with ague. " Dat 's Doctor Ellingham," the negro whis- pered, " and he 's one of de richest men in Charles- ton, when he 's home. But we ain't got no money 149 150 Shenandoah now, and here 's poor Sam Pinckney shot-I reckon de Yanks have done for him, sho'. De Doctor's a little bit out of his haid, too, on 'count of de fever, but he reckoned he'd stick to Sam, an' of co'se I sticks to de Doctor." "Pete," said Dr. Ellingham, in his dazed way, "you might ask the gentleman if he has anything besides water in his canteen." The young man drew a small wicker flask from his pocket and handed it over. The surgeon reached out a shaking hand, then said: " You had better give him a little-you are steadier than I am." Here the wounded man made a sound as if choking. "Mebbe it 's phlegm in his throat," said the faithful old slave. He poked a black finger into the poor fellow's mouth, and pulled out a quid of tobacco, that must have been there ever since Sam was shot. Then a small quantity of liquor was poured between the pallid lips, but the case seemed hopeless. At that instant, loud voices were heard outside, and then a Confederate captain and two soldiers rushed into the cabin. " Ah, here they are! " shouted the captain. "Major Ellingham, I 've been searching for you Grapevine Telegraph '5' everywhere. You should n't have left the ambu- lance, in your condition. Pete, you black scoun- drel, is that the way you take care of your master" " I am glad you have come, Captain Thornton," said Dr. Ellingham, feebly. " Here is Sam Pinck- ney in very bad shape." "And whom have we here" asked the captain, staring at the young stranger who had proffered the flask, and paying no attention to the wounded man. " Great God! Ed. Thornton-I thought I knew you!" exclaimed the young man addressed, peering into the insolent, scarred face of his ques- tioner. "And I presume you know me, as well." "I know you 're in a pretty ticklish position, with that Union belt on under a Confederate uni- form, and inside our lines. Men, search your prisoner. He 's a Yankee spy." "That's a lie, Thornton, and you know it. I was in the fight open and fair, and I would n't be here now, only that I stopped to try and help your comrades. Let me alone, I say!" He struggled so fiercely despite his weak con- dition, that the efforts of the two soldiers were required to hold him, while Thornton minutely searched his person. " Letters-Washington and New York post- Shenandoah marks-and Ah! what have we here Pretty little sentimental keepsake, eh Where have I seen the lady's face Pardon me if I read this inscription on the back of the case." What he had found was a miniature, the portrait of a lady, carefully protected in a morocco case. The owner resisted so desperately the taking of this treasure, that he finally sank to the floor, livid, panting, foaming and cursing, as Captain Thorn- ton mockingly read the lines inscribed on the back of the picture: "The flashing light may liven thy form In living lines of breathing grace, May give each tint a tone as warm As that which melts o'er thy dear face; But in my soul and on my heart With deeper colors, truer aim, A loftier power than meagre art Hath graved thy image and thy name." "He is dead," said Dr. Ellingham, letting the hand of poor Sam Pinckney, which he had been holding, fall limp and lifeless to the ground. " Well, Major, that relieves you from duty here- I '11 have an ambulance sent around at once. As for the Yankee gentleman, I will take good care of his valuables, while he is escorted to Richmond and put up at the Hotel de Libby." With these taunting words, Captain Thornton 152 Grapevine Telegraph 153 laughed diabolically, then lit a cigar, and stood in the doorway of the cabin gazing reminiscently upon the miniature, which held the fair features of Mrs. Constance Haverill. CHAPTER XI LIBBY PRISON "In the prison cell I sit, Thinking, mother dear, of you, And the bright and happy home so far away; And the tears they fill my eyes, Spite of all that I can do, Though I try to cheer my comrades and be gay." THE tobacco warehouse of the Libbys, down Ton Carey Street, near the James River, was the largest structure of its kind in Richmond. It was a vast, dingy, four-storied red brick building, with nothing but naked walls, bare timbers and low-raftered drying rooms whose small windows were not intended primarily to admit light. A few iron bars on these windows, and a flimsy par- tition here and there to divide the floor space into "rooms," had sufficed to transform the pungent- smelling old shell into a capacious military prison for Federal captives whose official rank saved them from the unsheltered pens and stockades of Belle Isle, or of Salisbury and Andersonville further 154 Libby Prison '55 South. Only officers were immured in Libby Prison, and most of the time there were from fif- teen hundred to two thousand motley, ragged, pale-faced men pining here, cramped and squalid, and liable to be shot down relentlessly if they crossed a "dead line" within two or three feet of the barred windows. Some of these poor fellows listlessly carved crucifixes and wooden toys with their jack-knives, others played cards, squatted on the floor, or checkers on boards marked off in rude squares on these same rough, unswept planks. All hoped against hope, and conversed endlessly on two topics-" exchange," and " escape." Tidings from the outside world floated in only vaguely-but the prisoners always knew when a battle had taken place, especially if it had gone against their old comrades of the Federal army, as in such case numbers of these comrades were liable to be marched unceremoniously into the " coop," and assigned to the " Potomac room," or the " Shenandoah room," or the " Manassas room," as the case might be. The exchanges hoped for had never yet come about, so far as anyone incar- cerated in Libby could affirm. Various attempts at escape had ended either in tragedy or in more stringent guard regulations calculated to make the abject misery of prison existence complete. There i56 Shenandoah were counter charges and recriminations between North and South, the executive authorities on either side blaming the other for refusing reason- able conditions upon which a mutual, equitable understanding could be reached. War at best was an infernal business, they intimated; and with this inexorable proposition the poor fellows lan- guishing behind the bars and stockades most cor- dially agreed. Meanwhile, they did the best they could to keep body and soul together, and deadly despair at bay, and the flickering spark of hope alive. Letters from home were rare, gifts and provi- sions still rarer. Nevertheless, some fortuitous combination of circumstances and outcropping of ordinary human kindness did on certain mem- orable occasions permit a suit of clothes or a box of sweets and other creature comforts to escape Confederate confiscation and get past the draw- bridge of the military Bastille. One of these occasions that brought seasonable rejoicings to a certain loft of Libby, occurred just before the date of National Thanksgiving, in the latter part of November. The blood-red rays of sunset were streaming through the one small, high, grated window that lighted a bare room where some men were deject- Libby Prison 157 edly playing cards for scraps of tobacco, while others sat around on rough benches and watched, or smoked, or dozed. One, who was either sick or wounded, lay on a couch, with a coarse blanket over him. Two or three of the card-players joined their unmelodious voices in crooning an old- fashioned Methodist hymn. "That 's right, boys," said the hymn-leader, an unctuous-looking Hoosier whom they addressed sometimes as "Chaplain," and again as "Dea- con," "cheer up a bit. If you can't be cheerful, be as cheerful as you can. Think-think of your heavenly home." "Too far off," muttered Captain Cox, a Ken- tuckian. " Well, then, think of your earthly home-of the apple-trees in blossom when you left it-of the afternoon sunlight fallin' on it this minute, out there in Kentuck, or Ohio, or wherever it is. Mine 's in Injiana, thank God! I remember when I was " "Deacon," protested the sick man, "I 'm not feeling very chipper, to-day." "Oh, you 'll come 'round all right. To-mor- row's Thanksgiving. As I was saying,-" "That 's what poor Ralph's afraid of, Deacon," interposed Captain Cox. "Monotony is what 's 158 Shenandoah killing him, and I '11 leave it to you if the novelty is n't long since worn off those endless remi- niscences of the time when you used to be " "Rear-admiral on the Wabash Canal!" chimed the chorus. "All right, boys-poke all the fun at me you like-smite me on the other cheek. You know I 'm meek and lowly.-Darn this hand o' cards, anyway!-But with all your cuteness, I '11 bet five dollars none o' you can tell how we used to take in sail, out there on the Wabash. Hey" "I 'm a landsman, Deacon, but I 'm not ashamed to learn navigation even from a former deck-hand on Noah's ark. How do they take in sail on the Wabash, anyway " "Well, sir, they go out aloft on the tow-path, and knock down a mule." "Ho, ho! how 's that, Ralph" laughed Cox, rising and going over to the sick man's couch. "Come! brighten up. Are you sick in mind, too" Hunt sighed, impatiently. Deacon Hart ral- lied again. "Look on the bright side-what may happen any minnit. Suppose, first thing you know, you git called out and exchanged, jest as soon as our army captures some Rebel prisoners-if it ever does. Then you can go home on crutches, and the Libby Prison '59 neighbors '11 bring in a dozen different things at once to kill or cure you." "I don't seem to care about anything," said Ralph Hunt, gloomily. " If I can't die on the field, it may as well be here as anywhere else." " It 's a good thing I 'm here to give you spiri- tual counsel," interjected Deacon Hart, turning away from his cards for a second. " Oh-is it my deal " Captain Cox sat beside Hunt's couch, and con- versed with him in low, earnest tones. "There are other places," said he, "besides the field of battle, where a man can be brave." "Oh, no doubt," was the bitter reply. "You find it easy to keep up your courage, when I am in despair." "What do you mean" "You know. We were boys together, and I have always put up with second best. You've always stood in front of me, Tom Cox-at school, at sport, in business, in love." "Hold on, Ralph! You 're going too far." "Not beyond the truth." "Tell me one thing," urged Cox. "Have I ever played you false" "No, you haven't. You haven't needed to. Your cursed, fatal good luck does it all for you." Shenandoah "Now you talk like a whining child." "No, I don't. At this moment, your heart's inmost thought is identical with mine. Marie Mason-great God! how my heart beats at the speaking of that name!-Marie she was the one woman in all the world to me. Why did you cross my path there, too, when it was as sure as fate that her preference would fall on you " " If it was fate, what 's the use of talking about it now" retorted Cox, doggedly. "And to what avail to either of us, now, can that girl's favor be You know she is an irrevocable Southerner, like all the rest of her family. You know that I came out for the Union, as you did, when the first gun was fired on Sumter. Perhaps you don't know, but I will tell you now, that when I left Lexington, she-Marie Mason-said she would rather see me lying dead on the battlefield, wearing the Southern gray, than marching against her people in the blue uniform of the North. That was our parting. Well, you and I have drunk from the same canteen, we have fought side by side, in the same battles, we have both won our captain's swords-and lost them. Now in misfortune we are still together. And yet, on the petty pretext of disparity in our lots, you would banish the one ray of sunshine pen- etrating these prison walls-our old comradeship." i6o Libby Prison "You are well and strong. I am ill," pleaded Hunt. "I don't forget that, either," murmured Cox, softening. "I 've talked too much, I suppose. It 's all over now. Here 's my hand, if you will take it." Cox did not take it, immediately, but answered: "It 's all right, Ralph. Only, give me a little time to get over it-for you cut deep, old fel- low." At this moment a sudden silence fell, and a general movement and whisper made themselves manifest. Enter Captain Jackson Warner, the prison commissary. " Evening, Yanks," was his gruff but not unkindly greeting. "What deviltry are you up to now" " Talking over old times and old comrades, Captain, that 's all," replied Cox, gently. "Well, you may have an opportunity of seeing some more o' them 'ere old comrades o' yourn, I reckon, before long." "What! are we going to get out" "No-they 're coming in here. I suppose you 've heard the news" At these words, a young lieutenant who had sat silently in an opposite corner, reading a copy of 11 i6i Shenandoah the Richmond Dispatch weeks old, threw down the paper and listened attentively. "Let us know the worst, Captain Warner," urged Cox. "We 're used to it-have n't got feelings any more, you know. What 's the news" "Oh, some more fighting in the Valley, that 's all. Yanks licked out o' their boots again, as usual. More prisoners, more hard luck stories." " What 's that " cried Deacon Hart. "Another fight more prisoners Oh, Lord!" "You 're on the religious, are n't you" inquired the commissary, scoffingly. " I 'm a shouting Methodist these forty years, thank the Lord," answered the Deacon, holding his hand of cards behind his back. "Well, your shouting has n't benefited Abe Lincoln, nor yourself, very much, so far. You 'd better swing around and pray for Jeff Davis, I reckon, and be on the safe side." "Never, till this right hand "-putting out his left, with the cards, then jerking it back and hold- ing up the right-" shall lose its cunning." " Oh, go ahead, Deacon, and pray for Jeff Davis, if they want you to," suggested Cox. " He 'll need it, before this war 's over." "You can talk with your friends, just from the x62 Libby Prison i63 front, about that," retorted Warner, gruffly. "Here 's one of 'em coming up-stairs, now." A measured tramp was heard approaching out- side. The commissary opened the door, and the new Union prisoner was marched in between two guards. He saluted, and introduced himself. "Gentlemen, permit me. I am Colonel Coggs- well, of the Forty-second New York." "The Tammany regiment, of New York City!" exclaimed Lieutenant Bedloe, sotto voce. Captain Cox returned the newcomer's salute, and responded: "We have heard of you, Colonel, and we are right proud to meet you. My comrades here are: Captain Hunt, of Kentucky; Chaplain Hart, of Indiana; and Lieutenant Bedloe, from-why, from your own State, I believe. I am Captain Cox, of the Tenth Kentucky." Colonel Coggswell shook hands all around, and said: "I am fortunate to have the honor of sharing your quarters. I don't suppose you find it exactly lonesome here." "The place is quite populous. It seems as if the fortunes of war had picked out the flower of our army to pine away in infernal holes like this. Oh, for an hour of action!" Shenandoah "Just wait till the exchange," said the hopeful Hart. "With a dozen men like us, they might redeem a whole Rebel regiment." "I understand," said Ralph Hunt, gloomily, "that their idea is to get the well-kept Confederate prisoners back from the Union camps, and send us as living skeletons in exchange." " Do you think, Colonel Coggswell," asked Cox, "that things are going as badly with us in the Valley and elsewhere as the Rebs try to make out " " Yes-and a damned sight worse, I should say, at the present moment." "Then," interposed Hart, tragically, "all is lost, save honor." The Colonel drew himself up proudly, glanced around to make sure that the commissary and guard had retired, then with a superb dramatic gesture opened the coat of his uniform, which had been tightly buttoned up to his chin, and dis- played the Stars and Stripes wrapped around his body. " Not all lost, sir. Our colors, by God!" The prisoners rushed forward, their eyes bulg- ing and cheeks glowing with patriotic ardor. Even poor Hunt rose excitedly from his couch. " Three cheers, boys," cried Cox. " All together -let her go!" 164 Libby Prison They gave a rousing round of cheers that brought Captain Warner back double-quick into the room. "Come, come, gentlemen! Remember where you are. This ain't Washington, D. C. What are you feeling so ornery about" "We were just welcoming an old friend," explained Cox. "And besides, Cap," interposed Hart, "ain't this Thanksgiving eve How about them pump- kin pies we ordered, and paid for in good United States money" "That 's a fact," answered the commissary. "Well, the cook tackled 'em, according to direc- tions. They ought to be pretty nigh done, by this time. Queer grub, that." "The greatest on earth," declared Hart. "And what 's more, Captain Warner, every slice of that 'ere pumpkin '11 be sweetened with the thought of home. "Home, home, sweet, sweet home: There 's no place like " "Oh, shucks! Sing 'Dixie,' why don't you. That 's a proper tune. Is there any Yank knows 'Dixie' " " Maybe Lieutenant Bedloe can oblige you," i65 I66 Shenandoah responded Cox. "Eh, Frank, what do you say" "Why, yes, I can sing 'Dixie,' I guess, though I 'm not quite sure about the words," replied the young lieutenant. "Never mind the words-the tune's the thing," said Warner. "All right." Then, aside to his comrades: "He says the words don't matter. Just listen." And in the clear, ringing voice of a college glee singer, Lieutenant Bedloe gave this stanza, of his own composition, which had often helped beguile the weary hours of the forlorn prison day: "And is Virginia, too, seceding, Washington's remains unheeding. Look away, look away, look away, Dixie's land. Come, loyal men, we '11 march upon her, Save the Old Dominion's honor, Look away, look away, look away, Dixie's land. "Unfurl our country 's banner In triumph there, And let the Rebels desecrate That banner if they dare. Hurrah, hurrah! The Stars and Stripes forever. Hurrah, hurrah! This Union shall not sever." It took Captain Warner some little time to grasp the significance of this new version of " Dixie," but Libby Prison i67 as soon as he did he turned very red, and shouted: "Hold on, there! Cut it short, I say." "Do you want another verse, captain" "Not in that strain. Bedloe, you 're the sas- siest Yank in Libby prison. That sort o' thing'1l either git you free, or shot, some day." At this juncture, the door opened, and imme- diately a joyous commotion ensued. " Pie! pie! 0, pumpkin pie! Attention, all! Salute the pastry! Let the noble pumpkin approach its doom with military honors." The prisoners drew up in line, opposite Captain Warner, while in marched a dignified old negress with a red bandanna turban on her head, bearing aloft in both hands a platter containing an enor- mous pie. This she solemnly deposited on the table, then turned and made her exit in silence, saluted profoundly by the company. " Well, I seem to have happened in at the right time," said Colonel Coggswell. "Chaplain Hart will ask a blessing.-Will you join us, Captain Warner" " No, thank you," replied the commissary, making his exit. "The atmosphere's getting too Yankeefied in here to agree with me. So, thank- ing you all the same, I '11 beg to be excused." " Now, then, Deacon," urged Cox, as they i68 Shenandoah gathered around the "festive board,"-"you 're going to say something, are n't you " Knife in hand, Hart stood in an attitude of devotion at the head of the table. "All I can say is, Lord bless this 'ere pie"- then, as an expression of horror and disgust over- spread his homely face-" and the Lord help us after we 've eaten it! Why, durn my skin, if they ain't gone and put an upper crust on a pumpkin pie! And the pumpkin cut into hunks as big as your fist, without no milk nor sugar, and not half baked, neither." "The devil! Those Virginia darkies are good cooks, but they don't know what pumpkin pie is." Deacon Hart carved the pie, and distributed slabs all around, remarking philosophically: " The blacks must be freed and educated. Think of a whole race in such benighted ignorance as this!" The attack had scarcely begun, when Captain Warner once more appeared at the door, making a sign which all the imprisoned officers instantly understood. "Stir up the animals, boys!" whispered Hart. "Visitors coming." " Petticoats, too," added Cox, looking out. A pretty, vivacious young woman, escorted by Libby Prison I69 a sinister-looking Confederate officer, who singled out Lieutenant Bedloe with a malicious sneer and received a flashing look of silent scorn and defiance in return, were shown in by the commis- sary. "This is the Potomac room, Miss Mason. Gentlemen, a Southern lady pays you the honor of a visit." Captain Cox bowed courteously, while all his comrades stood in the background. "Madam, be assured of our grateful apprecia- tion. It is a long time since we have seen a woman's face. We are not exactly fixed up for company, but-" At this point he looked into her shining eyes, and in sudden overwhelming recognition exclaimed-" Great heavens !-Marie! -Miss Mason-I am not mistaken" "No, Tom," she answered, sweetly, "you are not mistaken. Oh, what a horrid place." "Yes, you find us at a disadvantage-I say us, for, as you see, Ralph is here, too." " Oh, dear, how terrible! You poor, foolish boys! And how is it with you, Ralph" " Thank you-not much worse than when I parted from you at Lexington." " What a pair of rash, headstrong boys! Why did you desert the South" 170 Shenandoah "Was n't it the South that did the deserting- Oh, but don't let us talk politics." " It just breaks my heart to see you here, both of you-yes, all of you," said the young woman, looking around sympathetically. Then she took from under her cloak a cigar box and a couple of bottles wrapped in a newspaper, and set them on the table beside the sorry-looking wreck of the pumpkin pie. "I 've brought you a few cigars and things to cheer you up. Was n't I thought- ful " An inarticulate murmur of thankfulness went up from the whole group of men. "For my part," said Captain Cox, "I can truly say at this moment that I 'm glad to be here- otherwise I should have missed this angel's visit." " Bless your pretty face and gentle heart, Miss," Deacon Hart said, fervently. " What a pity you 're Secesh! " " Well, she seems to lean towards the Union side, anyway," whispered Colonel Coggswell, as Cap- tain Cox and the fair visitor conversed in low, earnest tones, with their heads very close together. The Union men had gradually dropped behind the screen of a wooden partition at the far end of the room, while Captain Warner and the Libby Prison other Confederate officer stood just outside the door. "Why, they have all gone," said the young woman, blushing slightly. "Yes, we do that when anyone has a visitor. Marie, we are alone, for a moment." She buried her face in her handkerchief, and began to weep. "To think we should meet again like this!" "You did n't come here just to say that, Marie. You are fickle, but not deliberately cruel." "It is you who are cruel, when you talk like that. Oh, Tom! you know I love you." "Do I How" "I have come here to save you." "To save me" "Yes-or to tell you how you can be saved, I think. General Winder is coming." "General Winder, the Provost-Marshal of Rich- mond You say he is coming here to Libby Prison " "Yes, right now-this evening. I coaxed him to get me permission for this little visit, first. You know he is an old friend of father's, and he would n't refuse me anything." "Then, there 's something in the wind" "It 's an exchange of prisoners, I think. Any- 171 172 Shenandoah way, I heard some talk about selecting six officers from your room, here. It must be for exchange. You shall be one of the six, Tom." "And Hunt" "Yes, poor Ralph, too. That 's what I told General Winder. He shook his head, and looked very serious; but I know he won't refuse me this, especially as it makes no difference to him whom he selects. " " Good for you, Marie! What can I say to you, now " "Say that when once you are free from this horrid prison, you will go back South-that you will fight no more against our own people-that you will keep for me the life I am trying to help you to save." The officer paced once across the room, excit- edly, then said: "No, Marie. Rather than that, let me stay where I am. My country needs me. Why, I should chiefly value my liberty because I could use it to fight for the Union." The girl began weeping again. "And have I no claim on you " she said. "Yes, dear child," he responded with an impulse of tenderness, " a very strong claim, second to none except that of patriotism, of honor. Listen, Libby Prison Marie. I do love you-dearer than my heart's blood is the smile you have given me to-day, and the pressure of that little hand. And yet, God help me! those can never be mine again until this war is over, and the Union saved, helped by every thought and energy that fate may leave me to bestow." "Hush! they are coming," she said, pointing to the door. "Then-good-bye, Marie! God bless you." "I 'm sorry," interrupted Captain Warner, "but the time is up." The girl smiled jauntily through her tears. "Oh, dear! Good-bye, Tom. Good-bye, Ralph. Gentlemen, good-bye, all of you. I 'm so sorry! But you 'l try and make the best of it, won't you" " Of course we will, bless your kind little heart," responded Colonel Coggswell, coming forward again. "And let me tell you, Mademoiselle, you 've completed the Rebels' work,-by captur- ing our hearts." "Three cheers for the American girl, anyhow!" proposed Hart. They were given with a will; and Marie Mason, going out with honors, was rejoined by Captain Edward Thornton, of the Confederate Secret 173 Shenandoah Service, who had watched the scene with a pecu- liarly cynical smile. "Well, boys," said Captain Cox, turning to his comrades, " I learn that General Winder is coming here." "What for" asked the chorus. "An exchange, I '11 bet! " suggested Hart. "Attention, gentlemen!" commanded the loud voice of Captain Warner. General Winder, Provost-Marshal of Richmcnd, in full uniform, and accompanied by a staff officer, entered and stood at the head of the rough table. The atmosphere of the place suddenly became that of a court-martial. "Gentlemen of the Federal Army," said the general, impressively, " I have come here at short notice, to perform a difficult, a painful, yet an imperative duty." " What 's that " whispered Hart-" a painful duty " " She was mistaken, then," murmured Cox. "This is no exchange." General Winder then briefly announced the in- telligence that a Confederate cruiser having fallen into the hands of the Federal authorities, the latter proposed putting the officers and crew on trial for piracy, threatening them with summary execution. 174 Libby Prison '75 "Under these circumstances," continued the General, "the Confederate States Government has felt constrained to give notice that we will hold an equal number of Union men, of corresponding rank, chosen from among the prisoners at present in our hands here in Richmond, as hostages, to be dealt with in the same manner as Mr. Lincoln shall decide to deal with those of our compatriots now in his power." There was a moment of dead silence followed by excited whispering amongst the prisoners, for whom Captain Cox acted as spokesman. "General," said he, "I think we appreciate the situation, and beg to say that we are at your service. " A common murmur of assent confirmed his words. General Winder then said: "My requisition calls for six officers, out of per- haps four times that number, from this division. Are there six among you who, knowing the gravity of the situation-and I do not deceive you as to its import-are there six among you, I say, who are willing to offer themselves as hostages" Every Union man in the room stepped forward, including Ralph Hunt, who arose feebly from his couch, and had to be supported on the arms of two comrades. Shenandoah General Winder was visibly affected at the manifestation, but he pretended to be only per- plexed and annoyed. "What-all of you But I only asked for six. I see that some definite plan of selection will have to be followed. You shall draw lots." He took out his note-book, tore some slips of paper from it, and directed Captain Warner to pass them around and have each man write his name on one. The slips were then placed in a hat, from which Captain Cox was unanimously chosen to draw out six names. He did so, one at a time, handing each slip to Captain Warner without look- ing at it. Warner read the names aloud, and the General repeated them after him, at the same time writing them down in his note-book. They were as follows: "Major Paul Revere, 30th Massachusetts." "Colonel Alfred Wood, i4th New York." "Lieutenant Frank Bedloe,-Pennsylvania." "Colonel Michael Corcoran, 69th New York." "Captain Alfred Ely, 37th New York." "Captain Ralph Hunt, ioth Kentucky." Instantly upon the completion of this list, Cap- tain Cox spoke up and said: "General, the last name I have drawn, by an unhappy fatality, is that of my old friend and 176 Libby Prison '77 comrade, Captain Ralph Hunt. He is a sick man, and not in condition to go as hostage. With your permission, General, I will go in his place." While General Winder was deliberating his reply, a woman's scream was heard outside the door, and Marie Mason rushed wildly in. "You shall not do it, Tom!" she cried. "It is not to freedom, but to death, they would take you. Don't go, Tom! The lots decided it fairly, and your name was not drawn. You shall not-" Here the silent Confederate officer, Captain Thornton, who had followed closely after her, caught her in his arms as she sank back fainting, and, at a sign from the General, carried her, with the assistance of Warner, out of the room. Then, turning to Captain Cox, General Winder said, sternly: " Your proposition is out of order, sir, and I can- not consider it. The six men whose names have been drawn will report at once in the commissary's room." The General and his staff officer retired, while Captain Warner and the guard took up their posi- tions at either side of the doorway. Hunt, the sick man, who had been helped by Lieutenant Bedloe to a chair, now got up again, and grasped Captain Cox's hand, saying: Shenandoah "Tom, you are the better man of us two-you have proven it in every way. I 'm glad Winder would n't take you, as it is far better that I should go. All the same, you meant it, old fellow, and it was sublime." "Why, Ralph," said Cox, chokingly, "we are comrades, old comrades. Say no more-but I wish to heaven I could go in your place." "Attention! Fall in!" commanded Warner. The six doomed men fell into line, after silently shaking hands with those left behind, Hunt leaning on the arm of young Bedloe, and followed Warner into the outer darkness-for night had fallen, and the fitful glare of a couple of lanterns intensified rather than dissipated the surrounding gloom. Cox paced up and down the forlorn room, with bowed head and hands clasped behind his back, for full fifteen minutes in the awed silence. Then he muttered: "This is the last blow. Deacon, do you ever despair of what they call Providence" "Never did yit," protested the sturdy Hoosier. "I can't and won't believe they are going to sacri- fice those boys in cold blood. Such things ain't in the bounds of civilization." "I don't know. How about war itself Here you have it, the deadliest kind-brother against 178 Libby Prison brother. I tell you, Hart, we have n't seen the worst yet, though God knows there 's enough to make the angels in heaven weep, already." " Well, one thing is certain: these hostages won't be sacrificed unless the Rebel prisoners are exe- cuted first-so our side will have the first move, anyhow." " What sort of consolation is that, to the fellows who get shot, or hung " Here another violent commotion interrupted. Marie Mason entered,-a lone, dishevelled, bright- eyed apparition. "Oh, Tom-" she gasped, breathlessly. "What! you poor child, are you still here" Cox exclaimed, this time gathering her unre- servedly in his arms. " You must leave this accursed place, or you will go mad-if you don't drive us so." " I 've come back to tell you there 's more news." "Of what Of whom" "From Washington-of the Confederate pris- oners. General Winder has just received a des- patch." "Great Jehosophat!" ejaculated Hart. "Didn't I tell you so" " What does the despatch say " asked Cox. "I don't know,-but it is favorable, I am sure- I179 Shenandoah that is, there are n't going to be any executions. I heard the General say that much." "Here comes the commissary," announced Hart. "For God's sake, Captain Warner," said Cox, as that official reappeared, "don't keep us in this horrible suspense another minute. What 's the latest news" "There 's a woman about-what more do you want" replied Warner. "She overheard a secret about a minute ago, and as a natural result it 's all over the place by this time." "I beg of you, Cap, on my bended knees," pleaded Hart, suiting the action to the word. "Well," said the commissary captain, very deliberately taking a paper from his pocket, "I suppose you-uns may as well be put out of your misery. Here 's a copy of the despatch General Winder has got from Abe Lincoln. I thought the Washington Government would back down." He handed the paper to Cox, who read eagerly aloud: " President learns from New York trial of Con- federate cruiser prisoners resulted in disagree- ment of jury. Leniency to be shown. Proposed holding of Union hostages in jeopardy at Rich- mond unnecessary. Question of exchange re- I80 Gen. Buckthorn (reading).- "' General Rosser will rejoin General Early with all the cavalry in his command at ' This is important. Anything else, Colonel " Drawn by Harry A. Ogden This page in the original text is blank. Libby Prison ferred to separate negotiations pending on that subject. "Signed, SIMON CAMERON, "Secretary of War." "You see, I was right this time," said Marie, triumphantly. "Hooray! here come the boys back," cried Dea- con Hart. "What did I say about faith in Provi- dence This is going to be a blessed Thanksgiving, even if we ain't exchanged yit." "Oh Tom! this is your last chance," whispered Marie, as the tramp of approaching footsteps was heard outside. "Last chance for what" asked Captain Cox, with exasperating stupidity. "Why, to kiss me." Such was life as it wore along in the tobacco warehouse prisons. Sometimes, as in the instance just related, the emotions of years were crowded into a single hour. Ordinarily, the heavy days dragged so that each one seemed a weary lifetime. The hope of exchange was ever hope deferred. Plots and plans of escape served to beguile the intolerable ennui of captivity, and to bring a pass- ing flush of excitement to wan cheeks-and that was about all. What made all else the harder to i8i Shenandoah bear, was the fact that nothing but discouragement and disaster could be found in such news as got in through those iron-barred doors and windows. The poor fellows would have suffered and died without a murmur, but for the heart-sickening thought that perhaps, after all, it was of no avail. A warm brotherly affection had sprung up between Captain Ralph Hunt, the weak but coura- geous consumptive, and Lieutenant Frank Bedloe, the youthful spirit of that sad community, who was more or less a mystery to his closest comrades, yet who bore a sort of "dare-devil" reputation even amongst those who knew him but slightly, or not at all. Bedloe fairly burned to be free and fight- ing again, and he lost sleep straining at the idea of escape. He had been in every forlorn hope of the kind since his arrival, and was under special sur- veillance, perhaps on this account, perhaps at the instance of a certain Confederate Secret Service officer, Thornton by name. Other Union prisoners in Libby were allowed occasional visitors, and received presents of food and clothing from home. No such remembrances ever reached Lieutenant Bedloe. No letters came to him, nor was he known to write any. It was even uncertain to what State he belonged; and if he had a home, relatives or friends, he never made i82 Libby Prison i83 any allusion to them. War was war, not a picnic, he said. Once a soldier, it was " all off " with other ties. His one object was to win military distinc- tion, meaning rapid promotion for conspicuous gallantry, and he was bound to do it yet, somehow, in spite of hell. The only clew he had ever given as to his career before joining McClellan's Army of the Potomac, was in discussing the brave young Colonel Ellsworth, of New York, who lost his life on the very threshold of the war in an act of reck- less heroism-that of climbing to the roof of the Marshall House at Alexandria and with his own hands hauling down the Confederate flag which had flaunted within sight of the White House at Washington. "There was just one thing to do," Frank Bedloe was wont to declare, "and Ellsworth went ahead and did it. If he had n't, I would have taken the next chance. But the flag was hauled down, and stayed down-a fellow could afford to die, after that. I would n't ask anything better." Precisely the opposite of this fierce and sombre obsession was the character of Ralph Hunt- frank, gentle, confiding, childlike in some qualities as well as in some weaknesses. But he loved Bed- loe; and his own ambitions, as the tide of a blighted life slowly but surely ebbed, merged into one grand Shenandoah desire todo something for the strong, high-spirited, dashing comrade who had contributed so much to cheer the horrible gloom of prison existence. The opportunity came in an odd and unexpected way. Hunt's kind Southern friends had thehappy thought to replace his dilapidated uniform with a new suit of clothes-citizen's clothes, of course, and of the good homely material known as " butter- nut." As a matter of fact, the whole Confederate Army, especially after the first year of the war, was sprinkled with butternut of various shades. The "uniforms" were anything but uniform. A gray coat, a gray pair of trousers, or a gray hat, sufficed to mark the followers of Lee and Jackson; and some soldiers went through all the campaigns clad in their home garb as farmers or mountaineers. Scores of Confederate soldiers in "butternuts" passed along Carey Street in front of Libby Prison every day, and many of the guards who went through the rooms each morning to count the prisoners were dressed in the same material. A supreme service was devised for Ralph Hunt's new suit, the very day it arrived. "You are the man to get away with it, Frank," insisted the owner of the clothes. "The oppor- tunity is wasted on me." "Ralph is right," declared Captain Cox. "You 184 Libby Prison 185 can make as good use of your liberty as any officer here, Lieutenant Bedloe. No, don't think of me I have something else in view for myself." So it came about that one morning when Captain Warner had been replaced by a subordinate named Turner as acting commissary, and the guard for the Potomac room had been newly changed, a gawky youth in butternuts (Frank had contrived to shave off his beard and moustache) slipped out behind the officer who had perfunctorily counted the prisoners, and in a twinkling was mixed up with the free Southerners who lounged about the place on one pretext or another, though he was still on the wrong side of the railing that consti- tuted the " dead line." Here Turner was stationed, sitting at a desk just within the pale. " Hello, Cap-do they keep you busy " drawled the youth in butternuts, matching his clothes with the assumed accent of a North Carolina " tar-heel." "Who the devil are you " demanded the official, glancing up from his records. " And what are you doing in here " "I 'm from No'th Ca'liny, and I follered the gyard in so 's to git a look at them 'ere Yankee prisoners. I 'm goin' to the front to-morrow, an' I thought before I went I 'd like to see what these Yanks looked like." 186 Shenandoah "Go to the front, and be damned! and there you'll see more Yanks than you want to. Now get out of here, and stay out." "All right, Cap, ye need n't be so sassy abaout it," retorted the supposed " tar-heel," as he lurched out through the wicket, and made for the door, where, rolling a quid of tobacco in his cheek, he winked at the armed guard and passed out. Here was where Lieutenant Frank Bedloe, dare- devil, demonstrated his old self again. Instead of disappearing with all possible celerity, as any man of ordinary nerve would have done, once escaped from Libby Prison, he deliberately crossed the street to the vacant lot opposite, and stood there a minute or two with his hands in his pockets, gazing up at the barred front windows of the big brick building, to see if any of his late comrades in captivity had ventured across the dead line to catch a glimpse of his actual departure for " God's country." A few pale faces could be dimly discerned within. TotheseFrank waved a parting salute, murmuring, "Good-bye! I hope we '11 meet again somewhere else." Then he slouched off in the direction of the Rocketts, down the bend of the James River. CHAPTER XII LIGHTS AND SHADOWS "No mail, no post, No news from any foreign coast; No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease, No comfortable feel in any member; No shade, no sun, no butterflies, no bees,- November! " THE Federal army had been repulsed from Rich- mond, but the Southern capital was still its grand objective. The Confederate forces in the meantime could play their trump card, and by menacing Washington draw McClellan's formid- able army away from the banks of the James. It was far from being a period of discouragement at Union headquarters, for the Federal successes in the West had included the occupation of New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Natchez and Memphis. President Lincoln called for 300,000 additional troops, offering unheard-of and irresistible boun- ties for recruits. Federal legislation indicated only too clearly that, far from any possible termination of hostilities being in sight, the war was to be prose- I87 Shenandoah cuted with new determination and on a larger scale than ever. The set-back of McClellan prompted Mr. Lin- coln, in the first place, to gather up the armies which Stonewall Jackson had scattered in the Valley, and put them all under the command of one officer, who should be charged with the protection of Washington; and, secondly, to fortify his own council by the appointment of a supreme military adviserwho should be commander-in-chief of all the Federal armies. For the first-named commission, Major-General John Pope was the unfortunate choice. For the second, Major-General Henry W. Halleck was brought out of the West, and the whole land force of the United States was saddled with a bureaucrat. "Pope in Culpeper" became a by-word among Virginians by inaugurating a campaign logically planned to obliterate by brute force the entire race of Southern sympathizers, whether combatants or unarmed citizens, women, children or slaves; and his own soldiers could not help ridiculing the bombastic declamations from his "headquarters in the saddle," enjoining the troops who followed him to take no account of strong positions, lines of retreat or bases of supply, but to keep always i88 Lights and Shadows i89 on the flank of the enemy, of whom thus far he had seen nothing but their backs. He saw their faces, at Cedar Mountain where Jackson administered a signal defeat; and later, in August, when Lee and Jackson and Long- street, who had taken his measure from the start, finished him at Manassas, on the old battle-field of Bull Run, in a series of quick actions which they never would have attempted against a foe for whose military prowess they had had any real respect. The red battle-flag of the Confederates floated where the Federal standard but lately had been seen; and before the forest leaves were touched by the finger of autumn, new fields lay open to the Southern army. Scarcely had the smoke of battle lifted a second time from the plains of Manassas, when the victorious columns of Lee and Jackson, of Longstreet and Stuart, were headed towards the Potomac, for the long-awaited invasion of Maryland. Their reception in that ancient commonwealth was not encouraging. Although strongly South- ern throughout the larger portion of her territory, when Maryland was called upon to decide by actual conscription on which side her proclivities lay, the response seemed to indicate indifference, Shenandoah if not hostility, to the Confederate cause. There were, however, many sympathizers, even if recruits were not forthcoming in noticeable numbers. When, in September, Lee and his generals en- tered Frederick City, some few Confederate flags were flung to the breeze. There was at least one exception, however, when from a house immedi- ately overlooking the highway a young girl de- fiantly waved the Stars and Stripes, in the face of the passing troops. "Take in the gridiron!" "Down with the Yankee colors! " cried the foes of the Union. It was at this moment that General Lee himself rode up, and witnessed the spirited demonstration of loyalty. Reining in his horse to a full stop, he raised his hat in courteous salute, and said aloud as he turned half around with a glance of rebuke to his followers: "All honor to the Old Flag!" There was a moment's throbbing silence, in which some one told the young patriot that the handsome, dignified, gray-haired man who had addressed her was none other than General Robert E. Lee, the commander-in-chief of the invading forces. Her cheeks flushed with embarrassment, her arm fell to her side, and the flag lay limp across the window-sill. Igo Lights and Shadows '9' "Wave it on, daughter, wave it on," repeated the gallant chieftain, with all the tenderness of a father and all the chivalry of a knight crusader. "No one shall harm you." But the hand and will of the girl remained list- less, charmed to passivity by the quick and noble nature that war could not brutalize nor honest opposition affront. Captain Robert Ellingham shared to the full the enthusiasm of his comrades at following "Old Jack" into Maryland. To their eyes, the recep- tion of the Southern troops north of the Potomac was an ovation-they refused to regard that river as a boundary line, because "between Virginia and Maryland there was no division." There was indeed great curiosity to see the victors of Bull Run, of the Seven Days' Battles around Richmond, and of the recent three-days' combats on the plains of the second Manassas. Jackson's name, espe- cially, was spoken with superstitious awe. The first day he set foot on Maryland soil, he was pre- sented with a fine, spirited horse-too spirited, indeed, for at the sound of firing the animal reared and fell back in a vicious attempt to kill its rider, which very nearly succeeded. Stonewall's dress and deportment undeniably disappointed the Marylanders, however, so that many who had 192 Shenandoah not seen him in action opined that he was "no great shakes after all." But General Lee's dignified appeal to the people of Maryland, and above all his strict orders re- straining his troops from depredations, made an excellent impression. The Confederates paid for everything, even the fence-rails they burned-in Confederate money, of course! Quite a few tradespeople consented to sell their goods for large "wads" of this currency, at prices several hundred per cent. higher than "greenback" values. Before crossing over into the rich fields of Pennsylvania, one serious obstacle had to be overcome. That was the natural fortress of Harper's Ferry, snugly ensconced in the angle formed by the Shenandoah and the Potomac where their united waters break through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Stonewall Jackson negotiated this with brilliant success, while Lee cautiously select- ed a position on Antietam Creek, near the small town of Sharpsburg, to await the coming of the imposing army of old soldiers and new, veterans and conscripts, which the Washington Govern- ment had brought together and put under com- mand of the reinstated General McClellan, whose sole order was to "save the Capital." Lights and Shadows Antietam's day of carnage passed into history as a drawn battle, because on the day following neither side felt strong enough to renew the struggle. It really amounted to a disaster to the Confederate army, having abruptly checked what had looked like a victorious invasion, and demon- strated that Lee's present resources were entirely inadequate for offensive operations. The campaign of i862, leaving a trail of battle- fields from the James to the Potomac, virtually ended here; and Lee's soldiers returned to Vir- ginia-barefooted, ragged, hungry, gaunt and powder-stained, yet still bright-eyed with excite- ment and hope, wearing the invisible laurels of a new record of courage indelibly impressed upon the world. They had held their own against adver- saries of equal gallantry, double their numbers, commanded with the highest ability, and who like themselves now retired from the field crippled yet unconquered, leaving honors and rewards to be umpired by the impartial verdict of time. In the thickest of the battle, just before Jack- son and Stuart advanced to meet Burnside's attack on the Confederate right, Bob Ellingham saw General Lee, mounted on his gray charger, stand- ing on a large rock to the right of the Boonsboro' road, seemingly unconscious of the fact that shells 193 I94 Shenandoah were exploding around and beyond him. The young Virginian thrilled with pride and admira- tion-he thought he had never seen so noble a figure. As he looked, a battery of the Rockbridge Artillery, with three of its four guns disabled, passed near the knoll, and halted while its captain approached the commander to ask for instructions. General Lee dismounted to hear what this officer had to say, and several of the artillerymen gath- ered about to witness the interview. It ended briefly, and as the captain saluted and turned away, a private, a mere boy, tattered andbegrimed, approached General Lee, who apparently had not recognized him up to that moment. "Why, Rob, is that you" said the General, in his habitual kindly tone, but without surprise or emotion. " I am glad to see you well and unhurt." "General, are you going to send us in again" asked the boy. "Yes, my son," replied the father, with a smile, "you all must do what you can to help drive those people back." Three days after the withdrawal of the Southern army from Maryland, President Lincoln issued his proclamation of emancipation to the negro slaves. This measure, in its war relation, was expected to fan reactionary flames in the South, and so aid the Lights and Shadows 195 Federal arms in crushing the Rebellion. Its immediate result was to precipitate heated politi- cal discussions at the North. General McClel- lan's suggestion to his army that the remedy for past errors was at the polls in the next Presidential election naturally aggravated the growing breach between him and the Washington administration. The final outcome was, that early in November McClellan was relieved from the command of the Army of the Potomac, to be succeeded by Major- General Ambrose E. Burnside, fourth successive commander in the field of the Union forces in Vir- ginia, third to head the superb Army of the Poto- mac organized by McClellan hardly more than a year previously. The haven of the Confederate army, in that autumnal season of i862, was the Valley of the Shenandoah. To Jackson's men, especially, the region was one of memories and enchantment. The bracing mountain breezes, the pure bright skies, the home associations, and the liberty to engage in every species of recreation from a fox- hunt to a camp-meeting religious revival, put new life into the brigade. They rested first on the banks of the Opequan Creek near Martinsburg, then in the vicinity of Bunker Hill and Winchester. It was on one of the marches of this period, i96 Shenandoah during a rainy spell, that Captain Ellingham, hav- ing forded a stream to get into camp in the pine woods before nightfall, received a letter from his sister Gertrude-the first in a fortnight or more. Eager to hear the news from home-and possibly, at second hand, from his sister's correspondent, Madeline West-Bob asked a comrade to open and read the missive to him, while he busied himself with the immediate necessity of drying his wet clothes by the fire. "When we are not dreading to hear that you have been wounded in battle," the epistle ran, " we are worried about your health, and the hard- ships you are exposed to. Now, Rob, you have the socks I sent you-do try and keep yourself warm, and never go about with wet feet." "I 'm so glad she reminded me of that," said Bob, as the negro servant pulled off his cavalry boots, and emptied about half a gallon of water from each. Before the snow came, he had the supreme delight of a furlough to visit Belle Bosquet. War had not as yet made much impression upon the material comforts of the dear old place. "So long as we have our own people around us and a roof over our heads," Gertrude told her brother, "we girls don't mind making our own Lights and Shadows '97 bonnets out of straw and rooster-feathers. As for coffee and tea, and such mere luxuries, why, we 're only too glad to do as you do, in the army-parch corn and peanuts, and dry herbs, and that sort of thing." The deprivation of a thousand little feminine articles of dress and refinement, and especially of books and reading matter, shut out as contraband of war, came much harder upon the Southern women than they were willing to admit. Gertrude Ellingham, however, combined with her fiery partisanship a lively spirit of fun and philosophy, which she expressed freely in her unfrequent but voluminous letters to Madeline, her bosom friend of the far North. There was a kind of unconscious bravado and defiance in this, though not intended by the generous-hearted Gertrude, nor suspected by the gentle Madeline. Moreover, they both loved to write long letters, in order to smuggle little intimacies between the lines. Miss Ellingham's mingled chronicles and confi- dences were framed up in this fashion: "As our schools down here are mostly without teachers, I have put on spectacles (figuratively), taken up the birch rod, and am trying to teach the three R's to little folks in this locality, in whatever spare time I have. But we are very badly off for i98 Shenandoah school-books. Blockade running is precarious (no more of it for me, you may please tell your Union soldier brother, when you write him again); and, anyway, we prefer to make our own versions, of history especially. The books they print down at Charleston and Raleigh are rather cheap and flimsy, and sometimes their back boards are lined with wall-paper-but then, they are our own, and as the Southern Confederacy is bound to succeed sooner or later, we feel that we sha'n't want any more Northern school-books, anyway. " I wish you could see this 'Geographical Reader' for the Dixie children, which Bob has just got me from Richmond. Oh, yes, he is quite well, and as handsome as ever. Well, as I was saying, you would be highly edified by some of the remarks in this Dixie history. For instance, here is what it says (of course, I 'm not expressing my own opin- ion) about your own section of the country: "'This Northland possesses many ships, has fine cities and towns, many railroads, steamboats, canals, manufactures, etc. The people are ingen- ious and enterprising, and are noted for their tact in driving a bargain. They are refined, and intel- ligent on all subjects but that of negro slavery; on this they are mad.' "It becomes quite serious when they get into Lights and Shadows i99 the 'Questions and Answers' at the end of each reading. Just look at this-but don't blame me, Madeline dear, even if Captain West does: "'Q. What may be said of the United States A. It was once the most prosperous country in the world. Q. What is its condition now A. It is tumbling into ruins. Q. What brought about this great calamity A. The injustice and avarice of the Yankee nation. Q. Has the Confederate States any commerce A. A fine inland commerce, and bids fair, some time, to have a grand commerce on the high seas. Q. What is the present drawback to our trade A. An unlawful Blockade by the miserable and hellish Yankees.' " There is a Primer and an Arithmetic to match this 'Reader,' so you see that even in spite of the unlawful Blockade the young idea in Dixie is learning how to shoot-now, you know I don't mean in the soldier way. Here is a little lesson called 'The Cane Mill,'-about crushing sugar- cane and sorghum for molasses, you know: "'The slaves some-times will have four or five gal-lons by the time the sea-son closes. Well done for the dar-kies. Ma-ny poor white peo-ple would be glad of what they leave for the hogs.' " Dear me! I hope and pray such is not the sad Shenandoah case up your way, Madeline-nor with the armies in the field. As regards the latter, some terrible goings-on are set down in plain figures in the Dixie Arithmetic: "'A captain of cavalry (Confederate, of course!) paid ioo for a horse and ioo more for a pistol: how many dollars did both cost him A company of ioo men fell in an engagement, in which 50 were killed. How many escaped A Confederate sol- dier captured 8 Yankees each day for 9 successive days: how many did he capture in all If one Confederate soldier can whip 7 Yankees, how many soldiers can whip 49 Yankees "' Currency is coin, bank bills, Confederate notes, treasury notes etc., in circulation.' "Forgive this flippancy, dear-but we have to laugh sometimes, just so we won't cry. Don't fail to write me all the news you have, on either side." The respite of Jackson's corps in the Valley ended even sooner than the halcyon days of Indian summer. General Burnside, the new Federal commander, suddenly conceived the idea of con- centrating his army on the Rappahannock River opposite the historic Virginia town of Fredericks- burg. This place, the scene of George Washing- ton's boyhood, and where marble monuments on 200 Lights and Shadows 201 the hillside mark the last resting-places of Mary and Martha Washington, the mother and wife re- spectively of the Father of his Country, had ac- quired a strategic importance, being but sixty miles due north of Richmond, and in easy proximity to the Potomac, whence the Federal commander by a fifty-mile water journey could quickly reach his base at the National Capital. Lee ordered Jackson and Longstreet to Fredericksburg, and intrenched his army on the heights back of the town, on the same (right) bank of the river-knowing that the enemy, changing his line of communication with his base of supplies, would require time before assuming the offensive. The plans of Burnside were indeed unfathomable; but the calculations of the Confederate chieftain were fulfilled to a nicety. On the morning of December 13, having brought his army across the Rappahannock on pontoons directly in Lee's front, Burnside opened attack with misdirected valor upon an impregnable posi- tion, strong by nature and made doubly so by impeccable military art. A dense fog overhung river, town, and plain until after nine o'clock, when the sunlight burst through, revealing in terrible splendor the spectacle of a hundred thousand men in line of battle, their bristling bayonets gleaming 202 Shenandoah through the mist, while the roar of three hundred cannon shook the earth and sent red meteors flashing along the sky. " It is well that war is so dreadful," said General Lee, as he looked upon the unparalleled pageant from his position on Telegraph Hill, " else we should become too fond of it." On came the lines of blue-the golden harp flag of Meagher's Irish brigade in the van, charging across an artillery-swept plain in heroic but futile attempts to scale the Marye Heights, until the field as far as eye could reach was covered with Union dead and wounded, amongst which the survivors ran to and fro, their ranks decimated by the most withering fire that ever brave troops charged upon undaunted. In vain, alas! Again had Lee and Jackson, Stuart and Longstreet fought a defensive battle to the finish, and won with absolute ease, at com- paratively little cost. Burnside recrossed the Rappahannock at night, under cloak of a violent storm, with a loss of more than twelve thousand of the superb soldiers of the Army of the Potomac. CHAPTER XIII CROSSING THE RIVER "I am going a long way, . . . To the island-valley of Avilion; Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow, Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies Deep-meadowed, happy, fair with orchard-lawns And bowery hollows crown'd with summer sea, Where I will heal me of my grievous wound." CAPTAIN Robert Ellingham, after the battle \_ of Fredericksburg, found himself attached to the staff of General Jackson, and settled for the winter at the Corbin estate, on the right bank of the Rappahannock, some miles below the town. The living apartment occupied by "Stonewall," and where he busied himself preparing with scru- pulous accuracy the official reports of his battles, was not in the mansion proper, but in a small out- building, which evidently at an earlier period had served for the accommodation of some sporting member of the household. The walls were gaudily decorated with prints of race-horses, game-cocks, and the like. The General left everything exactly as he found it; so that when he received ministerial 203 204 Shenandoah visits or held religious worship there on Sunday evenings, the incongruity of the surroundings was rather marked. The younger officers-including those roystering cavalrymen, "Jeb" Stuart and "Fitz" Lee-used to affect to be shocked at these profane embellishments, and threatened to have pictures taken and sent about labelled: "View of the winter quarters of General Stonewall Jackson, affording an insight into the tastes and character of the individual." The spring of I863 approached with brighter prospects for the Army of Northern Virginia than those which had confronted it a year previously. The victories of Cold Harbor, Cedar Mountain second Manassas and Fredericksburg had inspired new enthusiasm. In Virginia, two years of hard struggle had passed, and still the Federal armies held no ground below the Rappahannock. The Confederates lay entrenched along the southern banks of that river, their long lines of pickets on the qui vive to give warning that any attempt to cross would be met as Burnside's had been met in December. Meanwhile, Burnside had been re- placed in the command of the Union forces by General Joseph Hooker, sometimes called " Fight- ing Joe." President Lincoln was still searching for a leader who should " Go forward and give us Crossing the River victories." To General Hooker, who undoubtedly possessed qualities looking in that direction, the Federal Government gave what he himself eulo- gized as "the finest army on this planet." It consisted of an aggregate of I33,700 officers and men-a numerical superiority on the field, then and there, of no less than 8o,ooo over the forces of Lee and Jackson available for the line of battle. But, with all his soldierly abilities, Hooker proved incapable of conducting great operations, and made the egregious mistake of underestimat- ing his two adversaries, both separately and in conjunction. He read in the battle of Fredericksburg the blunder of his predecessor and rival, Burnside, not the mastery of Lee. To him, as to many an- other, friend and foe, Jackson was a puzzle, but one that he, Hooker, felt confident he could easily solve. There was, in truth, no mystery about Jackson, except those two most baffling mysteries of all to men temperamentally incapable of grasp- ing the clews: sincerity, and simple faith. It was said of him that he " sucked lemons, ate hard-tack and drank water, and regarded praying and fight- ing as the whole duty of man." It was said of Lee-or, rather, misapplied to him-in quotation from the Duke of Wellington, that " a man of fine 205 206 Shenandoah Christian sensibilities is totally unfit for the posi- tion of a soldier." Yet here, side by side, stood two of the greatest soldiers of the ages, who were at the same time among the last and noblest of Christian knights. Lee had made Jackson Lieutenant-General; but this promotion could add nothing to the stature of a man whose military renown was so firmly estab- lished already. And the affectionate confidence subsisting between the chief and his "right arm," as he called Jackson, was never broken. When some officer ventured to intimate in Jackson's presence that General Lee was slow, and that the Confederate army needed as chief commander such an active leader as himself, who had double- quicked his "foot-cavalry" through the splendid Valley campaign, Stonewall was indignant rather than pleased at the implied compliment, and replied: "Don't say that General Lee is slow. He is weighed down with responsibilities, and he knows that if his army is lost it cannot be replaced. But if you ever hear that said of him, contradict it in my name. I have known General Lee for five- and-twenty years. He is cautious. He ought to be. But he is not slow. Lee is a phenomenon. He is the only man whom I would follow blindfold." Crossing the River 207 Discussing the character of Jackson, a Blue Ridge mountaineer who had known him at Lex- ington said to Captain Ellingham: "You see, Old Jack is one o' them all-fired pre- destined Presbyterians; and he believes that what is to be, will be, even if it never happens!" Hooker's well-conceived plan for the spring campaign was to flank the Confederate left with four of his seven army corps, at Chancellorsville, some eight or ten miles up the Rappahannock west of Fredericksburg, while the remaining three corps crossed the river in Lee's front, a la Burnside, at Fredericksburg, and Stoneman's cavalry made a wide detour around the Southern left and rear, throwing ten thousand sabres between Lee and Richmond, cutting his communications, stopping his supplies, and being in a position to obstruct the Confederate retreat until Hooker administered the coup de grdce. " Don't stop him," said Lee to Jackson. " When the enemy is busy making a blunder, he must not under any circumstances be interrupted." They readily perceived that with Hooker at Chancellorsville and Sedgwick three miles below Fredericksburg, the two wings of the great Federal army would be thirteen miles apart, with Lee's army directly between them. 208 Shenandoah On May first, Hooker, having crossed to the south of the Rappahannock, started to hurl his army of four divisions on the enemy's flank; but Lee was too quick for him, and after a sharp en- counter at Tabernacle Church, half-way between Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg, Hooker was forced back into the woods, there to adopt the de- fensive tactics that were to lead to his destruction. For then and there the Confederates conceived the bold idea of turning the tables upon him, by flanking his right. General Lee directed Jackson to make his arrangements to move early the next morning on a circuit pointed out to Stuart by the Rev. Dr. B. T. Lacy, a resident of that locality, and by which a force might with good luck be con- ducted around by the Wilderness Tavern to the rear of the Federal right flank. It was a strange, a weird country, that wide tract known as "the Wilderness"-bare fields alternating with scrub pines and dense, impene- trable thickets, the whole region wearing an aspect singularly drear and melancholy. Along the in- terminable plank roads threading this fearsome maze, houses were so few and far between that the lonely traveller might journey for miles without seeing a sign of human habitation. In the thick woods at evening the only sound was the cry of Crossing the River 209 the whippoorwill, that mournful note which was the last to greet the ears of so many dying soldiers in the night battles shortly to make this sombre haunted waste more gloomy and terrifying than nature in her fiercest mood had ever intended. That night the Southern chieftains had bivou- acked in a little pine thicket off the Orange plank road. The weather was chill-an unusually nip- ping and eager air for that advanced date of springtime-and there was a general scarcity of blankets. General Lee, who never complained, and who notoriously was " never really comfortable unless he was uncomfortable," slept tranquilly in an open tent before a none too generous fire of smouldering logs, and with a noticeable scantiness of covering. Captain Ellingham, wakeful from the portentous excitement pervading all the South- ern camp, saw Stonewall Jackson at midnight arise and lay his own military cape over the unconscious form of Lee; then return and seat himself at the foot of a tree beside his own camp-fire, as if in deep thought and not to be disturbed. Presently he was sound asleep, his hands crossed, his head thrown back and drooping to one side, like that of a weary but watchful lion. A glorious sunrise next morning illumined what was destined to be the last meeting and parting, Z4 210 Shenandoah in this world, of Lee and Jackson. Full of ardor and excitement, Jackson was astir at earliest dawn, preparing to start on the great movement which he had mapped out in his brain by the midnight camp-fire. He was to march with nearly 30,000 troops, along the entire front of the enemy and in close proximity to their lines, without being dis- covered; to make his way by unfrequented roads and through dense thickets to their flank and rear, there to attack the force of General Hooker, three times outnumbering his own. General Lee, mean- while, was to hold Hooker's front with only I4,000 men. Such was the bold strategy of the Confed- erates at Chancellorsville. They fought that great battle in the only way it could have been won, and risked everything on the military genius of Jackson, which in mastery of his men and in the rapid audacity of his movements resembled that of a Bonaparte, or of a Caesar. The rough and " accidented " terrene helped Lee to make his thin line quickly defensible. The scrub forest growth of the Wilderness concealed Jackson's long circuitous march from the none too watchful Federal army, whose ten thousand sabres of Stoneman's command had been sent on a wild- goose chase instead of protecting the right and front of the exposed flank against surprise. Crossing the River 211 At three o'clock in the afternoon, Jackson's van had safely reached the plank road three miles to the west of Chancellorsville. The march had been observed by the Federals, but owing to the round- about direction it had purposely taken, they sup- posed it was a retreat, not an advance. How little Hooker had learned of the character of Stonewall Jackson, if he still imagined it was any part of that soldier's philosophy to beat a retreat without fighting a battle! Stuart with his cavalry had splendidly covered the movement, his black-plumed hat another helmet of Navarre as he rode ahead singing: " Old Joe Hooker, won't you come out of the Wilder- ness" He was ably seconded by General Fitz Lee, who now rode up to inform Jackson that by ascending an elevation near at hand he could ob- tain a good view of the position he was about to attack; while the enemy, if they saw him, would probably mistake him for a simple cavalry vidette, and would pay no attention to him. So the com- mander made a personal reconnoissance from a wooded hill overlooking the rear of the Federal right. There, scarcely a quarter of a mile distant, stretched the enemy's line of battle, with log abatis in front, stacked arms in the rear, and cannon in position, while the soldiers, off guard, lounged 212 Shenandoah about in groups, chatting, smoking, and playing cards. Bob Ellingham, who rode behind his chief, watched the color mount to those bearded cheeks as Stonewall saw that his hazardous ruse had suc- ceeded, and that he had effected a complete sur- prise. The General's lips moved but made no sound, as he sat on his horse like a statue, with one hand raised, in mute appeal to the God of Battles. Then he galloped back and wrote his last note to General Lee: "Near 3 P.M., May 2, 1863. "GENERAL: The enemy has made a stand at Chancellor's, which is about two miles from Chan- cellorsville. I hope as soon as practicable to attack. I trust that an ever-kind Providence will bless us with great success. Respectfully, T. J. JACKSON, Lieutenant-General. "The leading division is up, and the next two appear to be well closed. T. J. J." "General R. E. LEE." Towards six o'clock in the evening all was in readiness, and Jackson ordered his advance. Like an avalanche the Confederate rush descended upon the Union line, driving everything before it, cap- Crossing the River turing cannon before they could be reversed to fire, rolling up whole divisions and hurling them back upon the enemy's centre, until the Wilderness was an inferno of smoke and flame, of roaring guns and trees crashing down, riderless horses and men without arms running about frantically, mules carrying ammunition that exploded as they fled, guns, caissons, forges, ambulances, and wagons tumbled in a mad terrified scramble, as it became apparent that the brilliant tactics of Lee and the dashing execution of Jackson had succeeded, and Hooker's right had been irresistibly forced back upon his centre. "If I only had another hour of daylight!" cried Jackson. He would have completed his work by surrounding the enemy's army in the tangled woods, and cutting off its retreat to the fords of the Rappahannock. As it was, the Federals finally checked their flying columns and made a stand at Chancellorsville, whence they were pouring an appalling artillery fire of double canister up the line of the plank road. Darkness or no darkness, flight or resistance, the fury of battle was un- chained in Jackson's soul, and his cry was still "Press on!" It was moonlight and starlight over the Wilder- ness, and at lulls in the firing the whippoorwill still 213 2I4 Shenandoah sounded its melancholy cry. Jackson, with two or three of his staff officers and a few couriers and signalmen, rode forward to reconnoitre in advance of the movement of A. P. Hill, whom he had now ordered up to take charge of the pursuit. In his eagerness at this critical moment, he seemed to have no idea of a peril which his staff officers- including Captain Ellingham-perceived with startled apprehension. "General," one of them finally said, as they moved cautiously down the shadowed road to- wards Chancellorsville, "don't you think this is a pretty exposed place for you" "No," he replied quickly, "the danger is over, and we must follow up the enemy. Go back and tell A. P. Hill to press right on! " After this, no one presumed to offer further re- monstrance, and they rode on in silence, peering uneasily through the half-darkness, until suddenly a volley of firing ahead seemed to indicate that they had run upon a Federal skirmish line. The General turned his horse, but unfortunately went off the route and toward the front of some of his own troops who were lying on their arms, and who had no idea that their commander had passed be- yond the lines. They fired upon the party, killing one engineer officer and wounding two or three of e) Me .x - w pa 0t -S .4 4) I. 0 0 Ed This page in the original text is blank. Crossing the River the signalmen. Jackson turned about and re- crossed the road to enter his lines at another point, when another company of Confederates, belonging to Pender's North Carolina brigade, delivered a volley at short range, in the confusion and darkness. Jackson's horse bolted, a limb of a tree struck the rider in the face, and he reeled in his saddle. Bob Ellingham rushed forward and caught the bridle-rein, while Captain Wilbourn helped the General to dismount. His left arm hung limp, and the officers removed his gauntlets, which were filled with the blood streaming from three wounds received simultaneously. General Hill rode up at this moment, and asked Jackson if he was seriously hurt. "I think my arm is broken," was the feeble reply. "I wish you would get me a surgeon." Some one produced a small flask of spirits and gave the wounded man a reviving drink. He did not complain or show any sign of suffering while they tied up his swollen arm in a handkerchief, awaiting the coming of a litter-for it was neces- sary to remove him immediately from that spot, where shot and shell again were crashing among the trees-where two or three of Jackson's and Hill's followers had been killed instantly, and several others wounded, and where the ground 2I5 2I6 Shenandoah was strewn with the dead bodies of no less than fourteen horses. General Hill, pistol in hand, stood guard while Ellingham and Wilbourn tried to lift General Jackson from the ground, in their arms. He was very faint from loss of blood, for an artery had been severed; but he shook his head, murmuring: " No-if you will help me up, I can walk." He dragged along a few paces, supported by the two officers, when Captain Leigh arrived with a litter, his horse having been a moment before killed under him by a shell. As they bore the stricken General off through the thickets, some of the Southern troops now in motion to repulse the advance of the enemy noticed the escort of officers and asked what was the matter. "Just tell them it's a Confederate officer who has been slightly hurt," whispered Jackson. Before they had gone much farther, they met General Pender and Colonel Crutchfield, Jackson's chief of artillery, both wounded. "Great God! that is General Jackson!" ex- claimed Pender, who was the less injured of the two. " Ah, General, I am sorry to see you wounded. The lines here are so much broken that I fear we will have to fall back." - Jackson raised his drooping head, and with the Crossing the River old flash in his eyes gave his last order on the field: "You must hold your ground, General Pender! You must hold your ground, sir! " An ambulance took him to the rear, along with Colonel Crutchfield, each far more concerned about the other's injuries than with his own. At the field hospital at Wilderness Tavern, Dr. Hunter McGuire amputated Jackson's left arm near the shoulder. After the operation, Major Pendleton, assistant adjutant-general, came with the intel- ligence that General Hill had been wounded, and that General Stuart, having taken command, had sent to inquire after his chief, and to ask his instructions. Jackson's face lighted up for a moment, then relaxed again, as he murmured sadly: "I don't know-I can't tell. Say to General Stuart he must do what he thinks best." Early the next morning a note came from General Lee, at the front, saying: "I cannot express my regret at the occurrence. Could I have directed events, I should have chosen to be disabled in your stead. I congratulate you upon the victory which is due to your energy and skill." "General Lee should give the praise to God," 217 218 Shenandoah said Jackson, fervently happy at the receipt of this message. It still remained for General Lee to complete the victory which Jackson had begun; and he did so in a series of operations which occupied two strenuous days, and involved risks fully as great as Stonewall had taken in his great flanking move- ment. Leaving Jackson's corps under Stuart to hold Hooker's immense army in place at Chancel- lorsville, Lee turned back to help Early and Mc- Laws crush Sedgwick, who was moving up in his rear from Fredericksburg with a Federal force of thirty thousand comparatively fresh troops. Sedgwick was duly driven across the plank road towards the Rappahannock, and on the night of the 4th made good his escape across that stream, and removed his bridges. The next day Lee returned to attack Hooker at Chancellorsville. A violent thunder-storm was sweeping over the Wilderness at that time; and when, at daybreak on the 6th, the reunited Confederate forces ad- vanced to the assault, they found that Hooker's entire army, during the tempest of the night before, had retired over the river. General Jackson, meanwhile, had been removed to the Chandler house, near Guinea Station on the railroad from Fredericksburg to Richmond. Crossing the River Here his wife and child joined him, and he was not only comforted, but seemed to share with those about him the hope of recovery. Then came a change for the worse, and pleuro-pneumonia de- veloped. It was, as Captain Ellingham and others always believed, the sequel to the cold he had con- tracted on the night of the bivouac in the Wilder- ness, when he had thrown off his cloak to cover the sleeping form of General Lee. "Pray for me," he said to his wife, "but always remember in your prayers to use the petition, 'Thy will be done. ' " He had always wished, he said, that when his time came to die, it might be on a Sunday. In the event that he should not recover, he desired to be buried at Lexington, in the Valley of Virginia. When delirium set in, he thought he was back on the Wilderness battle-field, and at intervals he would exclaim: "Order A. P. Hill to prepare for action! Pass the infantry to the front rapidly! Tell Major Hawkes " Then an expression of ineffable calm overspread his rugged features, and in a tone of relief, with closed eyes, he said: " Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees." 219 220 Shenandoah Thus peacefully he died, on Sunday afternoon, the ioth of May. A soldier of deathless fame had laid down his stainless sword at the supreme moment of victory, and gone to rest, in the fortieth year of his age. The prefix "Old" with which his men habitually coupled his name was a term of affection, having reference to the many battles in which he had led them during the few brief years of his earthly life, and the far briefer period of his military career. They gave him a grand funeral at Richmond, and then they brought him back and laid him where he had wished to sleep his long sleep-in the Valley whose every foot of soil was dear to him, from the source of the beautiful Shenandoah to where that gentle stream joins the Potomac rolling grandly to the sea. On the Monday morning after General Jackson's death, Captain Ellingham and Major Kyd Douglas of his staff went to General Lee, as he paced alone in front of his tent beside the Rappahannock, to ven- ture the question of whether the old Stonewall Bri- gade, or a part of it, might be permitted to accom- pany the cortege to Richmond, as an escort of honor. General Lee listened thoughtfully to the request, and then paused a moment before replying, in a voice as grave and gentle as his looks: Crossing the River 221 " I am sure no one can feel the loss of General Jackson more deeply than I do, for no one has the same reason. I have lost a beloved friend, and an invaluable officer. Any victory would be dear, at such a cost. I can fully appreciate the feelings of the men of his old brigade. They have reason to mourn for him, for he was proud of them. They have been with him, and true to him, since the beginning of the war. I should be glad to grant any request they might make, the object of which was to show their regard for their lost General. I am sorry that the situation of affairs will not justify me in permitting them to go with his bier not only to Richmond, but to Lexington, that they might see him laid in his last resting- place. But it may not be. Those people over the river are again showing signs of movement, and it is so necessary for me to be on hand that I cannot leave my headquarters long enough to ride to the railroad station and pay my dear friend the poor tribute of seeing his body depart." Then, after telling the young officers of the orders he had sent to Richmond for the funeral, General Lee continued: "His friends of the Stonewall Brigade may be assured their dead commander will receive all due honor. But, as General Jackson himself never 222 Shenandoah neglected a duty while living, he would not rest the quieter in his grave because even his old brigade had left the presence of the enemy to see him buried. Tell them how I sympathize with them, and appreciate the feelings which prompted their request. Tell them for me that, deeply as we all lament the death of their General, yet if his body only is to be buried, and his spirit remains behind to inspire his corps and this whole army, we may have reason to hope that in the end his death may be as great a gain to us as it certainly is to himself." CHAPTER XIV SHERIDAN "If you want a good time, Jine the cavalry,- Bully boys, hey!" "IF the head of Lee's army is at Martinsburg, and the tail of it on the plank road between Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, the animal must be very slim somewhere. Could you not break him" So President Lincoln wrote to General Hooker, towards the middle of June. But the Army of the Potomac was kept busy watching the Army of Northern Virginia, and the movements of the latter set the pace of action at that time. Lee had sent Ewell, Jackson's successor in command, to the Valley to drive the Federal force under Milroy out of Winchester, thus clearing the route for an- other demonstration towards Washington. This accomplished, Ewell had entered Maryland, fol- lowed thither by Lee's other two corps under Longstreet and Hill. Then, even as Lee had 223 224 Shenandoah calculated, Hooker also marched northward, on a line parallel to his own, but, of course, much nearer to Washington. The battle of Gettysburg was already planned, in embryo; but the Federal side of it was not to be commanded by "Fighting Joe " Hooker. As soon as the Federal army was ready to cross the Potomac, a new leader was put in the saddle, in the person of Major-General George Gordon Meade. One highly important and far-reaching service General Hooker had rendered the Army of the Potomac, and that was in uniting the various scattered cavalry regiments and brigades in a single cavalry corps, and placing it under separate command. A great improvement in these troops was the result, and from that time on the cavalry arm of the service constantly developed in effective strength. This strength was of little or no avail to the Federals at Chancellorsville, because prac- tically the whole corps, under Stoneman, was de- tached from the main body of the army in a series of desultory raids and operations in the rear of the enemy, which came to naught. A change was then made, and General Pleasanton succeeded to the command. He had some original ideas re- garding the uses of cavalry, and applied himself energetically to the task of perfecting the organiza- Sheridan tion already commenced. He believed (as Jenny Buckthorn did, in opposition to the views of her father the General) that the young officers in present active service should be first in the line of promotion; and, while this policy had no ap- parent effect upon the fortunes of Captain Hearts- ease, it did result in the cavalry divisions and brigades being mostly given to youthful officers who had grown up with and been developed by hard service since the beginning of the war. At the outset, Lieutenant-General Scott, then in command, had no use for mounted troops; and those first called into the service of the Union army were raised under the direct authority of the Presi- dent, and contrary to the advice of most of the officers holding high commands. Those officers of the old army who had been in the mounted service were without experience in the handling or control of any considerable bodies of cavalry, a squadron having been about the largest unit with which they were practically familiar. No partic- ular attention was given to the drill, discipline or organization of these troops, and their vital necessities were looked after only in a haphazard way by their regimental commanders. Until General McClellan took them in hand, no attempt was made even at brigade organization. The rule Is 225 226 Shenandoah was to assign one or more regiments of cavalry to each division of infantry, and leave them to the tender mercies of the division commander. He would probably break the regiment up in small detachments to furnish orderlies, couriers, and escorts for general officers, guards for division wagon trains, and pickets to protect the fronts of infantry lines. How different this from the modern idea of cavalry, or even from that which prevailed almost from the beginning in the Southern army, where there were more ready-trained horsemen in the rank and file, and more natural-born hereditary cavalry leaders, of the stamp of Hampton and Ashby and the younger Lees, grandsons of Light Horse Harry of the War of the Revolution. Cavalry is, in fact, the eyes and ears of an army. On it the army depends for its information of the enemy, its scouting and patrolling, its security against surprise; also for raids and reconnoissances, and for a large number of other duties essential to its existence as a potent military force. History-and that of the Civil War of i86i-65 is no exception-shows that armies deficient in cavalry have groped but blindly when opposed by troops well provided for in those essentials that only an efficient cavalry force can provide. For Sheridan 227 such efficiency the cavalry must have not only adequate numbers, but high quality. It must be sagaciously organized, disciplined, trained. It must combine with mobility the makings of a formidable firing line. The regulation cavalry soldier must be a good shot, and a scout as well, able to take in a tactical situation at a glance and correctly report it. Above all he must be a swift and expert horseman, caring for his mount and getting the best possible work out of it under all conditions. Cavalry should set the example of perfect cohesion and team work for the entire army. The lesson of the first year of the war-learnt by Colonel Haverill and the three young captains of our acquaintance, amongst others,-was that hastily organized and half-trained cavalry proved not only frightfully expensive, but in battle some- what worse than useless. Two or three years' training for man and horse alike, is required. The cavalryman, in the first place, must learn every- thing that the infantry soldier has to know. He must equal the latter's ability to fight on foot. Then he must become a horseman, and the trainer of a cavalry mount. In short, the ideal cavalry- man is first born, and then laboriously made. The cavalry corps organized in i863 by Hooker and intrusted for a brief period to Pleasonton, was Shenandoah undoubtedly qualified to meet the requirements here enumerated, but its opportunity was not im- mediately forthcoming. With all his success and ability, the new commander of the mounted troops found an insurmountable obstacle in the force of tradition and custom. The old idea still prevailed among the higher authorities of the Regular Army that the cavalry's chief end was the protection, convenience, and relief of the infantry. The new corps, though nominally concentrated, was not yet really united as a body. The different divi- sions were still scattered, and the commanding general was expected to remain at headquarters, more to perform the duty of a staff officer in trans- mitting orders than as the actual leader of a body of combatant troops. Under such circumstances, serious differences of opinion necessarily arose between General Meade and General Pleasonton. These differences, at such a time, could in the long run have but one result: General Pleasonton grad- ually lost his grip on his command, until finally he was constrained to give it up, without having had a recurrence of the opportunity that had been missed at Chancellorsville. Gettysburg afforded no such chance to either side, for neither Lee nor Meade had their cavalry with them when they suddenly found themselves 228 Sheridan face to face in Pennsylvania; and when it did arrive, on the second day, it played no decisive part in the battle. The raids of Stuart and Kilpatrick and Gregg at this period and during the subsequent campaign in Virginia were spectacular, and per- haps had their moral effect; yet, as is generally the case, what they actually accomplished did not compensate for the number of broken-down horses and unavailable men charged to their account. The great, epical, three-days' battle of Gettys- burg, the most stupendous artillery and infantry combat that ever took place on American soil, saw the high-water mark of the Rebellion: after Pickett's column had dashed itself to pieces against the iron-bound, flame-fringed Union lines on Ceme- tery Ridge, the tide began to ebb, slowly but steadily, back from the hills of Pennsylvania and Maryland, below the old triumphant lines of the Potomac and the Rappahannock, finally to cease, twenty months later, by the remote banks of the Appomattox. Lee had fought, without Stonewall Jackson, a strategic battle which with Jackson might have been a victory instead of a defeat for the Southern army. But, whether or no, the hour of fate had struck. On that same Fourth of July that Presi- dent Lincoln sent fervent congratulations to 229 230 Shenandoah Meade and his generals at Gettysburg, the in- formation came that Vicksburg on the Mississippi, with 30,ooo men, had surrendered to General Grant. If Lee's army could be followed up and destroyed, the war might end then and there. Lee's army, however, was not crushed; and, judging from the leisurely security of its with- drawal from the campaign of invasion, it was not in a way to be so for many moons to come. The twin disasters of Gettysburg and Vicksburg, indeed, must have been a staggering blow; and yet the Confederate chieftain had really accomplished much of what he had in view on leaving the Rap- pahannock-namely, removing the arena of war from the vicinity of Richmond, relieving the Valley of the presence of the enemy, and "drawing the teeth " of the enemy's army north of the Potomac. The Federal army, cautiously manceuvred by Meade, followed Lee into Virginia, but did not attack him; and the remainder of the summer season was one of welcome repose to both sides. In the Fall, General Lee reviewed the Confederate cavalry, in the presence of Governor Letcher. It was an inspiring occasion-not only to General Stuart and his squadrons, but also and in particular to Colonel Robert Ellingham, newly promoted. Sheridan 231 While the United States Government set on foot preparations for prosecuting the war in i864 on a vaster scale than ever, in a determined effort to destroy the Rebellion from centre to circumfer- ence, the Confederates exerted every effort to make the most of their restricted resources in anticipa- tion of the great struggle that must come in the spring. The cavalry wintered at Charlottesville, for the better subsistence of men and horses. The officers, having nothing else to do, got up a dance. It was a modest affair, but jolly in its way, and Bob's thoughts were carried back irresistibly to the ball at Charleston the night before Sumter was fired upon. Time, especially war time, can work wonderful changes for better, for worse, in a period of less than three years! Anyway, the young officer en- joyed the affair with a soldier's keen relish of the present moment, on the crest of a wave of life. At the same time, he did not forget to send to Madeline West, also to his sister Gertrude at home in the Valley, the printed order of dancing, with the name of " Colonel Robert Ellingham " featured on the committee. Perhaps-who could tell- one of these mementoes might fall into the hands of dear old Kerchival West, Gertrude's "contraband sweetheart," in far Tennessee! Also, Bob thought Shenandoah with a warm throb of affection of his and Gertrude's former guardian, the same in cherished sentiment still-Colonel Haverill. Colonel no longer, though, for he had been promoted brigadier-general for conspicuous gallantry in the stand against Ewell on Culp's Hill, the first day of Gettysburg. Strangely, yet inevitably, these little details concerning atom personalities stood out in magni- fied proportions from the mighty drama of the life-and-death battling of a nation! At the headquarters of the Federal Army of the Potomac, now encamped along the Rapidan, General Meade had a gorgeous Solferino silk flag with a golden eagle in a silver wreath emblazoned on it, flying over his tent. One day in March, a silent, shabby-looking, bearded stranger paused in passing to gaze upon this splendiferous emblem, as he exclaimed involuntarily: "What's this Is imperious Caesar anywhere about here" The bearded stranger was Lieutenant-General Ulysses S. Grant, newly commissioned in command of all the armies of the United States. The Washington authorities had finally come to the decision that their immense plans of campaign should be put under one head for execution. Such head must necessarily be a hard and stubborn one. 232 Sheridan 233 It rested, in the opinion of Mr. Lincoln and of others high in the Federal councils of war, upon the sturdy shoulders of the conqueror of Vicksburg. General Grant was not addicted to high military strategy, but for direct tactics and plain fighting he was undoubtedly a match for General Lee. Possessed of courage and character, combined with modesty and self-reliance unaffected either by fawning flattery or by prejudiced public opinion, he was a soldier who could be trusted, with superior force and unlimited resources, eventually to wear out the foes of the Union by mere power of attri- tion, should no other means avail. The first important vacancy now to be filled in the Army of the Potomac was that of commander of the cavalry corps. Pleasonton's finish had come some months before-when in the pursuit of the Confederate army into Virginia after Gettys- burg, he had presumed to put to Meade a proposi- tion couched in terms like these: "General, I will give you an hour and a half to show yourself a great general. Order the army to advance while I take the cavalry, get in Lee's rear, and we will finish the campaign in a week." Meade not only declined thus to show himself a great general, but he put an effectual quietus upon Pleasonton's chances of ever becoming one. 234 Shenandoah When Grant asked for a chief of cavalry, Halleck suggested General Philip Sheridan, who had served with distinction under his own command in the West, and under Grant at Chattanooga. The suggestion, therefore, was one after Grant's own heart, and he promptly adopted it. The general belief, indeed, was that Grant himself had selected Sheridan, though such did not happen to be the case. The appointment carried little prestige, so far as the Army of the Potomac was concerned. Sheridan's name had not been previously associ- ated with the cavalry service. Moreover, experi- ence thus far had not particularly induced the belief that the West was the quarter from which bringers of success and victory might be expected to come. Personally, Sheridan was not an imposing figure. Short and slight, he looked even younger than his age, which was just past thirty. He was reticent in speech and manner, and to a casual observer seemed lacking in the essential qualities of a cavalryleader, which had distinguished such officers in the Federal service as Sumner, Sedgwick, Mc- Clellan, Thomas, Stoneman, and others. His own men in the Army of the Cumberland knew him better, however; and upon taking leave Sheridan 235 of his division to proceed to Washington in response to General Grant's sudden call, he received abun- dant evidence of their good-will and affection. Kerchival West participated in this leave-taking. The significance of the call at that time was un- known to him, to the division, even to Sheridan himself. Kerchival regretted to lose a commander whom he had so enthusiastically followed among the mountains of Tennessee; yet, for personal reasons which we know, he still thanked his stars that he himself was not going to fight in Virginia. How quickly human destiny, particularly when complicated with the fortunes of war, may change the whole chart of our likes, dislikes, prejudices, and preferences, he was to learn sooner than he anticipated. CHAPTER XV WHIRLING THROUGH WINCHESTER "They had parted all too soon: just when the fire Of each heart's passion sparkled in their eyes; Just when the bloom of all young life's desire Had tinged their warm cheeks with its tell-tale dyes; Just when life's finger struck the trembling lyre And woke the sound that all too quickly dies, Yet never died with them that hour they parted, And each passed on in silence, hopeful-hearted." " DOES Sheridan say if he has a free hand he can beat the enemy's cavalry" asked Gen- eral Grant of General Meade, a few days after crossing the Rapidan into the Wilderness, sixty miles from Richmond, to fight his way to the James. "Then let him go ahead and do it." That settled the dispute between Meade and the new cavalry commander, and thereafter the three divisions of the reorganized Federal mounted force, under Generals Torbert, Gregg, and Wilson, had comparatively loose rein. The cavalry gave a fairly good account of itself, but it found little or no opportunity for concentrated action in a region where now Grant's infantry hordes got in 236 Whirling through Winchester 237 each other's way, even as Hooker's had in that same Wilderness, around Chancellorsville. The sanguinary horrors of the year before were renewed at Spottsylvania and the "bloody angle," but they could not stop Grant. He could keep up his "hammering" process all summer if necessary, because the resources of the Federal reservoir of human supply were so much greater than those of the Confederates, that he could afford to lose three men to Lee's one, and still ultimately beat him. At Cold Harbor, the old McClellan battle- ground, the Federal losses came near to wiping out even this liberal margin. Meanwhile, Sheridan found his long-awaited opportunity in a grand raid towards Richmond, with an overwhelming force including the enter- prising brigades of Custer and Merritt; the object being to tear up Lee's communication with his capital, and to be in a position to despatch the remainder of the Army of Northern Virginia-if Grant had defeated it in the Wilderness. This latter part of the programme was never carried out; but in opposing it, at Yellow Tavern, only a few miles from Richmond, the Confederates lost their gallant cavalry leader and beau sabreur, the incomparable Stuart. Bob Ellingham cried like a child over this sad 238 Shenandoah casualty, and declared that nothing would ever be the same to him in the army again. He re- peated, more bitterly than before, what he had written to Gertrude when Ashby fell: " Is it worth while" Relentlessly, the war went on. Lee a second time had checked the Federal forces at the gate of Richmond. Grant, in the middle of June, settled down in front of Petersburg, determined to "fight it out on that line, if it took all summer." It did. In fact, the siege was destined to last ten long, weary months. General Lee sent as large a force as he dared detach, under Early, once more to march down the Shenandoah Valley and threaten Washington. This move succeeded to the extent of keeping a large force from Grant's army to defend the Na- tional Capital; but Early was not strong enough to press the attack. The Federal force was. Or- ganized into the Army of the Shenandoah, it was placed, on the first of August, under the command of General Philip Sheridan. Sheridan's orders from Grant were to press Early and cut Lee's communications by which he got supplies from the rich Valley for his dwindling army. This was a large contract for the young commander of the Army of the Shenandoah. If Whirling through Winchester 239 he could fulfil it, Richmond was doomed and the days of the Confederacy were numbered. More- over, this was the region where the prestige of the Federal arms most sorely needed rehabilitation. For three years the Confederate troops marching up and down the Valley had had things pretty much their own way. They had on four occasions made use of this natural avenue of approach to menace Washington. They had whipped all Union troops sent to oppose them at any point south of the Potomac River, capturing their sup- plies and taking many prisoners, and from this vantage ground were still able to paralyze the operations of the Federals in Virginia. The moral effect of these unvarying Southern successes upon the people of the North was simply disastrous. Hence the desirability, as Grant said, of Sheri- dan's driving the enemy out of the Valley, and of leaving nothing there to invite their return. With some idea of the magnitude of the task before him, but confident in the strong backing and broad discretion given him by the Lieutenant-General, Sheridan made his plans to " sweep the Valley so clean that a crow flying over it would have to carry its rations." The defenders met this move with a relatively small force, but including as many troops as pos- 240 Shenandoah sible who had previously tramped the Winchester Pike with Stonewall Jackson's "foot cavalry." Among these youthful veterans now led by Jubal Early, was Colonel Robert Ellingham,-still " Bob" to his Virginia comrades, as once again he faced homeward. Homeward, indeed, he marched-yet with strange feelings of anxiety and depression. What if the ill turn fortune had taken of late pursued them now even beyond the Blue Ridge mountain walls Far south, in Georgia, Sherman's army was marching victoriously to the sea. The Con- federacy had been cut in twain by the fall of Vicksburg, and again by the loss of Atlanta. Now Sheridan proposed to establish a line of communi- cation with his base of supplies at Washington that would subdivide Virginia, and isolate Rich- mond. The hardships as well as the horrors of war were now coming home to the people of the Valley as never before. But ripened summer was all around, and out- ward peace and plenty abounded, that late August afternoon when Ellingham galloped up the sunlit linden avenue to Belle Bosquet. Gertrude rushed out from the veranda to meet him. She was rein- forced by a buxom and animatedyoungpersonwear- ing a blue dress of military cut, and a soldier's cap. Whirling through Winchester 241 "Why, Miss Buckthorn!" exclaimed Bob, fling- ing himself from the saddle and throwing the bridle of his horse to Josephus Orangeblossom, the negro ostler, who grinned an effusive dental welcome. " It is a delightful surprise to see you here-makes me think the war is over." "Thank you, Lieutenant-oh, pardon me! I mean Colonel Ellingham, of course," responded Jenny. "Heartsease has come over to the Valley, and so has papa, with General Sheridan. I hope there won't be any serious misunderstanding. Meanwhile, I am a prisoner of hospitality, and I 'm in no hurry to be exchanged." "And now, Robert," Gertrude went on, eagerly, "prepare yourself for more news. Someone else whom you know is coming " "Madeline-but, no! " " But, yes! How did you think of it She was in Washington, visiting Mrs. Haverill, and I urged her to come over here and see us-that was before I knew of General Sheridan's intentions, they keep their plans so secret, you know!-but Madeline accepted the invitation, and she 's coming, any- way." "Hurrah!" cried Bob, flustered out of all self- control. " Well, Sis, that 's a big surprise you 've sprung-and now, let 's see what I can do in the z6 Shenandoah same line. You have announced Madeline, may- be I can give you some information about her brother Kerchival." Gertrude uttered a little cry, and her hand trembled as she laid it impulsively upon her brother's shoulder. "Yes," he continued, with sudden seriousness, " you know Sheridan is bringing over a lot of peo- ple. He has the whole Sixth Corps of the Army of the Potomac, under Major-General Wright, I un- derstand, besides a division of the Nineteenth Corps, and I don't know how much of the Army of Western Virginia, with General Crook. Moreover, they say he is especially strong in cavalry, under Torbert, with such brigadier troopers as Wilson, and Merritt, and Custer. Our General Early has got some reinforcement from Longstreet's corps, and will try to make it interesting for Sheridan, when he comes down Winchester way. Yes, girls -as I was saying, we expect to have rather a busy time." Poor Bob said this in an off-hand flippant tone, but he was in an agony of apprehension lest he should be far away from Belle Bosquet when Madeline West arrived-if, indeed, she did safely reach that destination. His fears, in regard to the first part of the propo- 242 Whirling through Winchester 243 sition, were quickly realized. The very next day he was ordered to join his regiment at Shepherds- town, on the Potomac, where the Federal Army was starting its vigorous offensive campaign. Madeline West, as gentle and loving as she was loyal and courageous, came to the Valley on the first day of September, with the first mellow mists of gold on the Massanutten Mountains. Her welcome at Belle Bosquet made the place seem strangely dear to her, from the first moment she crossed its threshold. She and Gertrude, bound by mutual ties to something almost dearer than sisterhood, centred their eager interest on the mo- mentous but vague military activities in progress to the northward. So did Jenny Buckthorn, in her own way, which was a bluff and breezy one, enlivened with an inexhaustible flow of animal spirits. The old Virginia homestead, the kindly aged people of the household and neighborhood-there were no young ones, on the male side, at least- and the quaint old-fashioned negroes, took a strong hold upon the Boston girl's affections. The fact that she was a Northerner, and a guest amidst troublous surroundings, gave her special claims upon their hospitality,-and besides, they liked her for her own winsome sake. Shenandoah Gertrude's more demonstrative, ardent and ag- gressive temperament, while still uncompromising so far as the principles involved in the war were concerned, was inconsistently softened. Love in vain, heart-throbbings repressed, fond hopes ruthlessly deferred, had wrought their trans- formation. She and Madeline were visiting the home of one of the children to whom Gertrude still conscien- tiously acted as school-teacher, and enlisted her friend's aid in the work, with those queer, red-hot, rebel school-primers. The mother was a widow. Her husband had been killed at Gettysburg. His captain's sword hung over the mantel. The little boy proudly pointed it out to the visitors, saying: " That is my papa's s'ode. When I grow up to be a man, I 'm going to take it down and kill the Yankees with it." "Hush!" commanded his mother, putting her hand over his mouth. " There won't be any more war, when you are a man, I hope." " I pray to God it may be over long before that time," said Madeline, tenderly. "Amen to that!" Gertrude responded. "Oh, Madeline! and when it is over, as brother Robert himself says, what good will it do" "I know it," sighed the Southern soldier's 244 Whirling through Winchester 245 widow, furtively brushing away a tear. "Still, I 'm proud of what my husband did, and I would n't have had him out of it-I would n't have had him a coward. As you say, though, I feel that the war somehow is wrong. And I 'm sorry, too, for every Northern woman who has a fatherless boy like this one of mine, and a sword like that hanging on the wall." "Mamma," said the boy, "are you sorry for the Yankees" " I 'm sorry, my child, for all little boys and girls who have n't any papa, and I 'm sorry for their mammas. And I don't want you ever to think you have got to kill anybody." When they related this incident upon their return to Belle Bosquet, Jenny Buckthorn said: "That 's the stuff. A sword 's a sword, and a cavalry sabre 's a slasher, and the only thing that counts is the kind of man that slings it. Which- ever side it happens to be on, it 's all right, if he 's all right. Why, only three or four years ago, Captain Heartsease, then lieutenant, and Lieu- tenant Ellingham, " "And Lieutenant West, now Colonel," inter- rupted Gertrude. "-were all three fighting,-or anyway, learn- ing to fight-under the same flag. Look at them 246 Shenandoah now! And yet, they 're all three bully boys, hey" There were two old swords crossed over the mantel at Belle Bosquet. One was an antique English blade that an Ellingham had carried under Cromwell. The other was the sword of an an- cestral Boiling, who had been a soldier of Washing- ton's in the American Revolution. The history of these honored relics was duly related to the young people by venerable Captain Bolling, Gertrude's grand-uncle. "I am a believer in State's rights," the old man would say, "and I am a Secessionist, I suppose. But, I hate to fight the old flag. You see yonder sword of Colonel Bolling Well, he saved the old flag once, and gave up his life for it, too. He is buried over at Charlottesville, t'other side of the Ridge, and wrapped in the folds of the very flag he snatched from the hands of the Britishers. If you were to open his grave to-night, you would find his bones with that same emblem for a winding sheet. Yes, I 'd hate like sixty to fight agin the old flag. " "Then, Captain," said Jenny Buckthorn, "it is just as well that your age lets you out of service in the field, even though the Confederates are robbing the cradle and the grave to put more troops to the front." " Our brave b'yes have wiped out the enemy, and got away with the papers I " Drawn by Harry A. Ogden This page in the original text is blank. Whirling through Winchester 247 The old man flashed up in an instant. "No, girl, don't say that. So long as there is fighting going on, I only wish I were young and strong enough to take down that sword and go and follow General Lee. Our Valley is invaded." The next day, Jenny was seated outdoors under a big cotton-wood tree overlooking a broad stretch of the Valley, with Winchester Pike threading the middle distance, and Three Top Mountain looming in the background. She was trying to pick out on the banjo an accompaniment to her favorite song: "The trooper's horse and his sabre true, Huzza! huzza! Are the Army's pride, be they many or few, Huzza! The bugles call and the guidons wave, And it's 'Right front, charge!' for the squadrons brave, And the flash of the cavalry sabre." She had noticed some clouds of dust and rather more movement of traffic than usual, up the main highway of the Valley. She was about to go to the house for a field-glass, when black Josephus came clattering up on a mule. In half a minute the whole household were listening breathlessly to the tidings he brought: " It 's de Lor's truth, de Yankees have done druv de army out from Winchester." 248 Shenandoah The astounding announcement was, indeed, true-and it proved to be only a part of a long tale of Confederate reverses, the upshot of which was that Early had been defeated with heavy loss by Sheridan at Opequan Creek, and was in precipitate retreat southward, to join with reinforcements supposed to be advancing to meet him somewhere about Strasburg. "I wonder where Robert is" gasped Gertrude. Madeline, blanched and silent, wondered too. As it befell, Robert at that moment was all right. He was quartered at the old Chalybeate Inn at Strasburg, and, with a miscellaneous group of Virginians and others of Southern affinities, was discussing the immediate prospects of the Confederacy. "Looks mighty skeery," ventured one youthful officer, in a gray coat and dingy slouch hat that passed for the Confederate uniform. A white-haired man, in civilian garb, sprang up excitedly from his comfortable chair, and, with eyes flashing fire, while his facial expression ran the whole gamut of anger and disdain, shouted in a stentorian voice to the discomfited lieutenant: "Dam up Niagara Falls with tissue-paper- bottle the Atlantic Ocean in a whiskey flask- paste 'To Let' on the sun, moon, and stars-catch Whirling through Winchester 249 a flash of lightning between your thumb and finger-build a worm fence around a winter supply of summer weather-harness a thunderbolt to a sulky-waft the clouds of night out of the sky with a lady's fan-saddle and ride a hurricane-pack up all the planets in a tobacco-pouch-knock a tor- nado out of time with your fist-put the sky in your vest-pocket, and unbuckle the belly-band of eternity-but never, never, sir, allow yourself to be persuaded for a single moment that the North or any other man can ever lick the great Southern Confederacy !" The white-haired exhorter was Major Edmund Ruffin. CHAPTER XVI THE STRANGE FORTUNES OF WAR "My journeyings are long, My slumbers short and broken; From hill to hill I wander still, Kissing thy token. "I ride from land to land, I sail from sea to sea; Some day more kind I fate may find- Some night, kiss thee. " "pERSIMMONS are dead ripe-just tinged with purple over the gold-and the chinka- pin nuts are bursting out of their prickly little burrs," pouted Jenny Buckthorn,-" and oh! what a day for a fox hunt. But what 's the use we can't have any fun, with all this manoeuvring going on. Why don't they fight it out and have done with it" "That's what I have been asking, these three years past," sighed Gertrude Ellingham. "One army or another has been marching up or down the Valley continuously, all that time. Now we have them both, right around us. A month ago, our army was away up north of Winchester. I 250 The Strange Fortunes of War 251 understand now the Federals have their lines far to the south of this place, along Cedar Creek. What next, I wonder We are certainly getting more than our share of the war, here in the Valley. " "It is pretty much the same up North, and in Washington, " said Madeline. "But everybody says there will be peace in the Valley after this campaign. " "Peace, yes! But that means that we South- erners will have to pay the price. " "The North has to suffer, too. But to change the subject, dear Gertrude," pleaded Madeline,- "it 's a fine thing that General Buckthorn is com- manding the Nineteenth Corps, so that Jenny and I could get permission to come out here and visit you. " " Yes, Jenny 's in the saddle, as she says. Made- line, I-I wish my brother Robert were here, too. It was an awful disappointment to him, to be ordered away just as you were expected. Do you remember that morning in Charleston, when- well, when I told you that Robert loved you" "He told me so himself, " said Madeline, looking down demurely-" just when that horrid shot was fired on Sumter, and the war started." "I noticed that shot, too-" " Yes-you and brother Kerchival." Shenandoah " What a long suspense it has been! " and Gertrude's voice trembled. "We are sisters, " murmured Madeline, ten- derly. While they were talking, an old mountaineer had slouched up to the gate, unobserved, though plainly enough to be seen. He stood a moment gazing about in aimless fashion, then quickly raised the flat stone cap on one of the brick pillars of the gateway, deposited something beneath it, and moved on. Gertrude excused herself, ran down to the gate, raised the stone, and took a packet of letters from beneath it. " My private post-office, " she whispered to Madeline. " Here is a line from Robert-you shall read it. Hello! and here is a despatch for me to deliver-you know, dear, you are in Confederate country now, but that makes no difference between us, does it And, what do you think Here is a letter from Washington-from Mrs. Haverill, and with a United States postmark. Fancy! Robert says it was in a mail-bag which the Mosby guerillas captured when they stopped a train. " "What does she say" asked Madeline, eagerly. " You shall hear. She says: 'My dear Gertrude -When Kerchival West was in Washington last 252 The Strange Fortunes of War 253 week, on his way from Chattanooga to serve under Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley, he called upon me. '-I should hope so -' Darling, he still' "Loves you!" interjected Madeline. "Never mind that! 'I have kept your secret, Gertrude, '-Oh, indeed!-' but I was sorely tempt- ed to betray the confidence you placed in me at Charleston. If Kerchival West had heard you say, as I did, when your face was hidden in my bosom that night, that' " "That you loved him with your whole heart" ventured Madeline. "Nonsense! H'm-'I am certain that he still loves you as much as ever' " Here Jenny, who had been down the road mak- ing a reconnaissance, came galloping back on an imaginary charger; and the whole conversation changed front. "Do you hear that music" she cried. "It 's a military band, playing 'John Brown.' The boys are singing, too. There 's a Union regiment com- ing up the Pike. And whose regiment do you suppose it is Colonel Kerchival West's, that's what!" Gertrude started violently, then said with as- sumed indifference: "What does it matter whose regiment it is" 254 Shenandoah " Oh, of course! you don't care. But I do. Heartsease is in it." Gertrude clutched at the paper she had thrust into the bosom of her riding-jacket, turned away abruptly, and hurried off towards the stables. In the excitement of the moment, her withdrawal was not noticed. A moment later, Josephus led out her gray horse, saddled and bridled. She mounted lightly, and disappeared down a wooded path in the direction of the hills, opposite from that in which the troops were now plainly heard approaching. "Cavalry!" Jenny exclaimed, joyously. "That 's the branch of the service I enlisted in, as soon as I was born. I '11 pass 'em in review. Draw sabre!"-executing the movement with her parasol. "Present! What trumpet signal 40- that means halt. Why, they are stopping here. Number 38-dismount! Ta-tara-ta-ta-ta-number I 7-assembly of guard details. Well, what do you think of that they are going into camp here. Say, girls, we 'II have all the fun we want, now! I wonder how I '11 receive Captain Heartsease He ought to be court-martialed for stealing my hand- kerchief-unless he 's still got it with him. " As if at the call of his name, that punctilious officer himself suddenly came into view. He was The Strange Fortunes of War 255 afoot, and by his side walked another, in Confeder- ate gray-none other, in fact, than Colonel Robert Ellingham. "This way, Colonel-if you '11 permit me. Deucedly embarrassing, certainly, to-Ah! aw- Miss Buckthorn " Here the Captain adjusted his eye-glass, and stood as stock still as the gate- post. "Well, Captain Heartsease I suppose the unexpected sight of me has paralyzed you. " "That expresses the situation accurately, Miss Buckthorn, " replied the automaton, with perfect composure. " Why, Colonel Ellingham! " the young lady exclaimed, suddenly recognizing the other officer. " Tell me, quick, Heartsease-which of you two is prisoner to the other " " I am the prisoner, Miss Buckthorn, " said Ellingham, saluting smilingly. " I did n't get out of Winchester quickly enough, this time, so they gathered me in. But Major Williams has kindly accepted my parole, and I have been permitted to show Captain Heartsease the way to conduct me here, as " He peered anxiously in the direction of the veranda, whence a graceful figure now emerged, and ran eagerly towards him. 256 Shenandoah "Madeline!" "Robert!" They clasped hands-both hands together-and stood gazing into each other's eyes in rapt silence, oblivious of all around. "Do you see that, Captain Heartsease" de- manded Jenny Buckthorn. " By the way, is Major Williams in command of the regiment I thought " "Colonel West is to join us at this point. He should arrive shortly. You see, another division of the Nineteenth Corps, under General Haverill, has been sent on to reinforce Sheridan. Pardon my mentioning such uninteresting details, at a moment when-aw-the fact is, Miss Buckthorn, the excitement of this unexpected meeting has so completely upset me, that " "Oh, bother! Come along out of this, and I '11 show you how the land lies, hereabouts. " They marched off to the seat under the big cottonwood tree, while Ellingham and Madeline West found their way back to the veranda. A little later, a Federal guard marched up the road, and a sentry was duly posted at the gate. The first person to receive this sentry's salute, upon passing in, was Colonel Kerchival West. He came alone, carrying a letter or despatch in his The Strange Fortunes of War 257 hand, and looking about eagerly, as if he expected somebody to recognize him. Captain Heartsease advanced briskly to meet him, having duly obtained leave of absence from Miss Buckthorn. "Colonel West" he said. "Captain! " was the formal response. "You have rejoined the regiment earlier than we expected " "Yes. General Haverill sends me word that he will meet me here at seven o'clock. In the mean- time,-Major Williams tells me that some of your company captured Colonel Robert Ellingham, at Winchester " "He is here under parole. Lives here, by Jove, when he is at home. Odd circumstance. " " So, this is the old Ellingham homestead!" mused Kerchival, walking aside a bit, in ill- restrained restlessness. Where was Gertrude How would she receive him How would Bob receive him, under the circumstances Ah, was it necessary to ask And such was to be the meeting to which he had looked forward with single-hearted yearning, all these years, all this lifetime, since that dream-like April dawn when the first shot was fired upon Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. War, war, whose 17 Shenandoah other names were Duty, and Destiny, and some- times Death! " By the by, Captain Heartsease, " he said, in a sufficiently matter-of-fact tone, "a young lieuten- ant, named Bedloe, I believe, has joined your troop. What do you know of him" "Very little, Colonel, save that he seems an excellent young officer-has a record of con- spicuous gallantry, I believe, or something of the sort. I should fancy Young's Secret Ser- vice corps would be the proper place for him- you know General Sheridan is organizing such a body, and I understand he wants it to be composed of soldiers exclusively, if he can get them. The Valley, it would appear, is infested with-aw-Confederate spies and irregulars, don't you know-of both sexes, too, as we are informed. " "So I hear. Now, regarding this Lieutenant Bedloe. I sent for him as I came through the camp. You may be surprised to learn that he is the son of General Haverill. " "I am nonplussed! Under an assumed name, then" "Evidently. He was supposed to have been killed in the Southwest, either at Shiloh, or when Farragut came up the Mississippi from the Gulf. 258 The Strange Fortunes of War 259 Instead, he was a prisoner, and he escaped from Libby. " " Here he comes, now, " said Captain Heartsease, looking down the driveway. "What-that fellow with the beard Why, his face was as smooth as a boy's when I last met him in Charleston." The young stranger-for he was that, by his manner and to all appearances-approached and saluted, saying: "You wished me to report to you, Colonel" " You have been assigned to the regiment during my absence " asked Kerchival, scanning him closely. "Yes, sir." At this, Kerchival started forward, grasped his hand, and looking straight into his eyes, said: " Frank Haverill ! " " You-you know me, sir" "Yes, Frank, I know you now. You could not have arrived at a more opportune moment. When I passed through Washington I saw Mrs. Haverill, and she told me of your escape from prison in Richmond. But no one knew of your having re-entered the service, or that you had been assigned to my regiment-not only that, but to General Haverill's brigade." 260 Shenandoah "My father!" gasped the lieutenant. " Yes-prepare yourself to meet him face to face, at any moment. But he can't possibly recognize you, with that beard and uniform. Now, only this morning, I received a letter from Washington, all about you-here it is "-Colonel West took the missive from his pocket and handed it over- " so they have learned more as to your where- abouts, since I was there. Count upon me, my dear fellow, to do everything I can for you. " They had seated themselves around a rustic table on the broad veranda. Frank opened the letter with trembling eagerness, dropping the en- velope on the table, as he murmured his thanks to the Colonel. The latter arose, and thoughtfully descended the steps towards the gateway. Hearts- ease started to follow him, then turned back suddenly, whispering: "I say, my boy-look alive. If I am not mis- taken, there is General Haverill approaching. " "Gentlemen, " implored Frank, starting up, "please keep my secret." They both nodded assent. In another moment, General Haverill, accom- panied by a staff officer to whom he was issuing instructions, stood at the foot of the veranda steps. He had only time to return the salute of The Strange Fortunes of War 26i the three officers awaiting him there, when another of his staff came hurrying up on horseback, and handed him a despatch. "Good for Major Young," muttered the Gen- eral, scanning the paper. " So, the men are ready! " Then, turning to Kerchival, he said: "Colonel, I have to instruct you regarding a highly important matter which has just come up, and there is not a minute to be lost. I will ask Captain Heartsease to remain, also. " Here Lieutenant Bedloe thought to withdraw unnoticed, with a mere passing salute. But the General's keen eye had looked him over at a glance, and with apparent interest, for he said quickly: "One moment, Lieutenant-your name" "Lieutenant Bedloe, General," put in Hearts- ease, promptly-"one of our best young officers. " " Pardon me, " murmured General Haverill, finally turning away from the youth. " Now, Colonel West, speaking of young officers, we have an adventurous piece of work for some one of them"-here Frank stopped, to hear the rest- "a dangerous mission, so much so that I shall not order any individual to undertake it. A volunteer, to lead the venture, is what we want. " "Oh, sir-General-may I have the chance" cried Lieutenant Bedloe. 262 Shenandoah "I thought you had passed on, sir," returned the General, looking keenly at him again. "If it is a scouting expedition, sir, " the young man went on, with irresistible eagerness, " I beg to say that I have made myself thoroughly ac- quainted with the region hereabouts-in fact, I was hoping to qualify as a scout. Please don't refuse me, sir. " General Haverill could not help showing that he was pleased. "That is the right kind of talk," he declared, turning to the other officers. "Our young friend shall listen while I tell you what is required. We want the key to the enemy's cipher and signal code. They have a signal station on Three Top Mountain yonder, and another somewhere down the creek, that is a nest of mischief to us. Every night we see their messages in fire on the mountain- top, and we can't read them. What we want is a bold dash inside Early's lines, and a sudden attack upon the station, with seizure of the papers and despatches. If there is a practicable way of ap- proach from this side of the mountain, the thing might be risked, with the right sort of a leader." "I know of a path, General, and I believe I could accomplish the undertaking, " urged Frank. "Very well. Major McCandless, of my staff, The Strange Fortunes of War 263 here, will take you to Young's headquarters. He will furnish guide, men, and horses-and Confeder- ate uniforms if needed. Now, Lieutenant, "-here General Haverill took out his note-book-" give me a few particulars about yourself. Have you parents living" "I have the particulars regarding Lieutenant Bedloe and his relatives, General, " said Hearts- ease, hastening to poor Frank's rescue. "Very well-I will ask you for them, if neces- sary. Good-bye, my lad!" he added, turning to Frank and grasping his hand. " Do the best you can-no man can do more. Keep a brave heart, and come back to us." The young man bowed, saluted, and started away. Heartsease met him at the end of the veranda, and they exchanged a whispered word. Then Heartsease returned, saying: "Colonel West-aw-it 's deucedly embarrass- ing, you know-but I shall have to ask leave of absence and go with him. " " Good boy, Heartsease! Well, ask the General -he can hardly refuse you. " "That's all right-but I 've got to ask Miss Buckthorn, too, and the thought of that so stirs up my emotions, that-Well, au revoir, Colonel!" CHAPTER XVII SIGNALS FROM THREE-TOP MOUNTAIN "Yes, these were words of thine, Lorena! They burn within my memory yet: They touch some tender chords, Lorena, Which thrill and tremble with regret. 'T was not thy woman's heart that spoke- Thy heart was always true to me: A duty stern and pressing broke The tie that linked my soul with thee." THE day began very early at Belle Bosquet, that 'golden October season, in that restless year of war's alarms. It was scarcely an hour after sunrise, when Colonel Ellingham and Madeline West, returning from their favorite walk to the neighboring hilltop, met Jenny Buckthorn, who had already been down to the camp to meet her father. " It 's all up with us, Madeline! " she said. " You know, papa only gave us our passes-at least, yours-because we all thought the fighting in this part of the Valley was through with. Now it looks as if it were just beginning. Anyway, the General says this is no place for women, and he has 264 Signals from Three-Top Mountain 265 ordered us to Winchester. Personally, I am op- posed to falling back-but then, he is my superior officer, so I suppose it's 'Boots and saddles' for us." "But, surely, time will be allowed us to say good-bye " inquired Madeline, anxiously. " I can't help feeling worried at Gertrude's not having returned last night, though Rob-that is, Colonel Ellingham-says she has stopped at the house of one of the neighbors down at the Ford, where she and I have a class of school-children. " "She may be home for breakfast," added Bob, reassuringly. " I hope she will, " rejoined Jenny, "not only on our account, but because a certain officer here is just as good as hors du combat, as a result of her absence. She knew Colonel West was coming, and it seems very funny for her not to be here to receive him, if only as a sort of 'dearest foe,' you might say. Gertie is no cold, cruel, marble-hearted thing, you know. " When they reached the house, they found Kerchival West already there, pacing the veranda. "Have you any word from Miss Ellingham" he asked, as soon as they came in sight. "Not yet, Kerchival," replied Bob,-"but my sister is as well able to take care of herself in these Shenandoah parts as you and I are, and she 's sure to give a good account of herself, before much longer. Depend upon it, Kerchival, old chap, she never left this house with any idea of being absent when you arrived." "Colonel West," spoke up Jenny Buckthorn, "I understood my father to say that General Haverill was coming up, from him, to have a talk with you. " " Do you know if they have further orders for me that will take me away from here to-day" asked Kerchival. "Not that I heard of, Colonel. But they seem to be awfully worried about those signals from Three-Top Mountain, and about that expedition just sent to try and get the key. I have had to let Heartsease go out on the job, too. It seems General Sheridan wants to run over to Washington, and we are afraid there 's mischief brewing if he does. " At this moment General Haverill himself ap- proached. He asked Colonel Ellingham about the latter's sister, Gertrude, and then immediately entered into such a serious conversation with Colonel West that the other young people dis- creetly withdrew. "We have reason to expect a movement on the 2066 Signals from Three-Top Mountain 267 part of the enemy, " began General Haverill, " and we must be able to read their signal despatches, if possible. Captain Lockwood, of our own Signal Corps, will report to you here, with officers and men. In the meantime, Colonel West, "- Here the General took from his wallet a newspaper clipping, and a letter envelope, which latter he hastily returned to his pocket. It bore the address of Colonel West, in Mrs. Haverill's handwriting- being, in fact, the one which had inclosed the missive from Washington received the day before, and shown to Frank, who in his eagerness had dropped the envelope on the rustic table in the veranda, where the General had chanced upon it, and reserved it without comment. Now he con- tinued: " Perhaps you can help me in explaining a personal matter about which I am curious. Here is a paragraph copied in the Richmond Dispatch from a South Carolina paper, which interests us both. " He handed the clipping to Kerchival, who read: " Captain Edward Thornton, of the Confederate Secret Service, has been assigned to duty in the Shenandoah Valley. Our gallant Captain still bears upon his face the mark of his meeting, in i86i, with Lieutenant (now Colonel) Kerchival West, who is also to serve in the Valley with 268 Shenandoah Sheridan's Army. Another meeting of these two men would be one of the strange coincidences of the war, as they were at one time, if indeed they are not at present, interested in the same beautiful woman. The scandal connected with the name of the lovely wife of a Northern officer, at the opening of the war, was of course overshadowed by the attack on Fort Sumter, but many Charleston- ians will remember it. The lady in defence of whose good name Capt. Thornton fought the duel is the wife of General Haverill, who will be Col. West's immediate commander. " " General! " exclaimed Kerchival, reddening, and rising to his feet, "this is an abominable outrage. But I think we both know its source, and it is fortunate indeed that I have the opportunity to nail it, now that the matter is raked up in such a scurrilous way. The article states the truth in one particular, however-I did strike Mr. Thornton, after a personal quarrel. " "And what provoked the blow Evidently there is something in this affair that has been con- cealed from me, yet which I have a right to know. I need hardly say that I refuse to accept the state- ment of this scandalous paragraph. At the same time, I feel justified in asking you to tell me the whole story frankly, as man to man. " "You are right, General. I shall be more than Signals from Three-Top Mountain 269 glad to tell you all-as soon as we can be by our- selves for half an hour without interruption." The latter proviso was occasioned by the abrupt appearance of Sergeant Barket, the body servant of General Buckthorn ever since the Mexican War, and whom Miss Jenny sometimes referred to as her "dry nurse. " At the present moment, Barket was in full activity of military service. "Colonel Wist! " he sputtered, "Adjutant Rol- lins wishes to report-a prisoner-just captured." " For the present, Colonel, " said General Haver- ill, rising, "we both have our duties. We will meet to-night, after taps, when the camp is at rest. " Kerchival bowed assent, and saluted, as his commanding officer turned away and hastened back to headquarters. Then he addressed him- self energetically to the Irish sergeant, who stood at attention. "Now, then, Barket! I thought you were to wait at Buckton's Ford with a fresh horse in readi- ness, to watch for the return or tidings of Lieu- tenant Bedloe's party, and bring the first news post-haste. " "Right ye are, Colonel. Sure, was n't I there And that 's where we captured the prisoner." "Guerilla, or spy" 270 Shenandoah "Worse, sor-a petticoat. " " What!" cried Kerchival, aghast. "Yis, sor. I towld the boys yer honor would n't thank us for the catchin' of her. She 's a lady, and a purty one." "Well, tell Major Williams, for me, to let her take the oath, and everything else she wants, with the United States Government's apology, and an order for a new bonnet. " "The young lady to take the oath, is it An' she 's afther saying she '11 see us damned first." "Did she say that" " Well, she did n't use thim exact words, but she looked at me to that effect. Oh, she 's a spanker, sor. She was ridin' lickety-split through the woods on a gray horse, and we had the divil's own chase before we caught up wid her, by the bend in Oak Run. And at the same toime we saw the gray back of a Confederate officer skedaddling off on the other side of the creek." "Ah! And then what did you do" " Two of us come back here wid the girl, the rest wint afther the officer. " "H'm. Have you found any despatches on the prisoner" "Colonel Wist, I 'm a bachelor, an' I don't be afther pretendin' to any familiarity with the Signals from Three-Top Mountain 271 jayography of women's clothes. What could we b'ys do, yer honor" "Sure enough. Tell them to send the prisoner here, Barket, and then you hurry back to your post at Buckton's Ford, and stay there until you get news of Bedloe." The Irish trooper departed; and Colonel West, taking a folded map from his wallet, seated him- self on a garden bench and studied out the exact location of the bend in Oak Run, with relation to the enemy's lines as last reported. He was thus occupied, when the fair prisoner was brought in by a corporal and two private soldiers. Dressed in a dark-green riding-habit, and hat with sweeping plume, after the approved ante- bellum fashion of the fox-hunting Dianas of that section of Virginia, she looked indeed a dashing type of self-reliant womanhood. Kerchival could not see her face, because ere he had time to look up from his map, she had proudly turned her back to him, and now stood impatiently striking her skirt with her riding-whip, awaiting the inquisition. "Will you be seated, madam, " said the young Colonel, who had risen from the bench, and now stood by rather bashfully, wondering how he should proceed. 272 Shenandoah The lady drew herself up disdainfully, folded her arms, and remained silent. Kerchival shrugged his shoulders, and made a new start. " I am very sorry, madam, but circumstances are such that I can take but one course, consistently with my duty. You have been captured within the lines of this army, and there is reason to believe that you are the bearer of important despatches. If so, I must ask you to give them up. I trust that you will give me whatever you have, at once. It would be of no advantage to you, and extremely awkward for me, if you were to compel me to adopt the extreme-the very disagreeable course-for both of us-of having you-well, I hesitate to use the word as a seeming threat, madam, but the military law compels that you shall be -" "Searched Is that what you mean If you dare, Colonel West! " Here the prisoner turned upon him quickly enough, disclosing a flushed face and flashing eyes, framed in rebellious hair of a warm bronze color. One look at this splendid spirited picture, and Kerchival West sprang forward with arms ex- tended, exclaiming: "Gertrude! my dear Gertrude! Is it possible!" "Not 'dear Gertrude' to you-my jailor!" she retorted, drawing back. Signals from Three-Top Mountain 273 So, this was their meeting! "Enemies" still, and drawn up in line of battle. " Pardon me, Miss Ellingham, " said Kerchival, humbly. " I feel that I am your prisoner, now. " " We must both face the painful realities of war, " she answered, coldly. "Believe me, Gertrude, my position is more- more regrettable than yours." "Do not forget your paramount duty as a military officer, on my account," she pursued, tauntingly. "Will you please hand me whatever despatches or other papers may be in your possession " "And if I don't choose to You can threaten me with force, I suppose. I am only a woman, going about my business-my military duty, if you please-in defence of my own home. I-I did not know, Colonel West"-here her voice wavered a little, but she recovered herself instantly-"that you were coming in this threatening attitude. Well, I am in your power. Order in the guard! Call up your whole regiment! Beat the long roll! And then see if I will give up. " "Hello! what 's all this" demanded a gruff voice, as the imposing form of General Buckthorn loomed up behind them. " Is this your prisoner, Colonel West" z8 274 Shenandoah "Yes, General," stammered Kerchival,-who nevertheless felt relieved at the sight of his senior commander. "Jenny's father! " gasped Gertrude. " I wonder if he will recognize me" "Fine young woman, eh" said the old General, in a hoarse whisper, at the same time giving Ker- chival a sly punch in the ribs. Then he turned and bowed gallantly, removing his hat, but as suddenly resumed his air of military sternness, held out his hand to Kerchival, and demanded: "Let me see the despatches. " "She refuses to give them up," answered the young officer. "Oh, she does, does she My dear young lady, kindly let us have those despatches, without any further palavering." "I have no despatches, " replied Gertrude, spirit- edly, " and I would not give them to you if I had." "What! you defy my authority We '11 see about that. Colonel West, search the prisoner." Kerchival stood aghast. "General Buckthorn, I cannot obey that order." "You-you refuse to obey my order" -thun- dered the General, moving up fiercely. "That is the woman I love, sir, " whispered Kerchival, aside to the General. Signals from Three-Top Mountain 275 "Oho! why did n't you say so I '11 have to take matters in my own hands, then. " "Don't do that, General Buckthorn!" said the young officer, facing him with determination. "Blast your eyes, sir! I 'd court-martial you if you did let me search her. But duty is duty. Consider yourself sworn at, sir. Young woman, Colonel West here has sacrificed his life to protect you. "His life" cried Gertrude. "I must have him shot, for insubordination in front of the enemy, " continued the General, giving Kerchival a huge wink. " Oh, sir! General Buckthorn! I have told the truth. I have no despatches. I have n't a scrap of paper about me, except- " " Ah, 'except.' Except what" "Only this letter, "-taking it from the bosom of her riding-habit. " Here it is. Upon my honor, it is all I have. Truly, it is. " General Buckthorn took the letter, and glanced it over, quizzically. "Washington-ho, ho! I see. 'Colonel Ker- chival West' " "Don't read it aloud, General-please!" inter- rupted Gertrude. "Very well, I won't. " He read on, aside, 276 Shenandoah mumbling to himself,-" 'had heard you say, as I did,-m-m--you loved him with your whole heart,'-this is important-' Signed, Constance Hav-.' H'm-' my dear Gertrude.' Are you 'my dear Gertrude '-Miss Gertrude Ellingham" "Yes, General." "Thunder and Mars! Then, this is your house, and my daughter Jenny is your guest" "Why, of course. Jenny is here, all right." "Well! of all the dangerous little Rebels!" here the General chucked her under the chin, before turning to Kerchival to say: "Colonel West, I leave this suspicious young person in your charge. If she attempts to escape, or is unruly in any way, read this letter-here, take it!-but not till then. " "Oh, let me have it back-it 's mine, " pleaded Gertrude. "I shall obey orders," said Kerchival, putting the letter into his pocket. Meanwhile, a disturbance down the road had attracted the attention of the group. They now saw that it was caused by the approach of a squad of men bringing along a prisoner in disarranged Confederate uniform, and who evidently had not been captured without putting up a desperate resistance. Signals from Three-Top Mountain 277 "It 's Thornton, by !" was Kerchival's astounded exclamation. The captors were the men of Sergeant Barket's party of the day before, who had gone in chase of an officer in gray at the time when Gertrude Ellingham was taken. " Then, the little witch has been communicating with the enemy, after all," said General Buckthorn. "I don't deny that," replied Gertrude, calmly. "They are not my enemy. But I wish to say that when I went across the lines I did not know that the Confederate officer I was to meet would be Captain Thornton." " Miss Ellingham, " said Kerchival, "if you will give me your parole of honor until next we meet, you may be excused now. " "You have my word. I am your prisoner," she replied, turning to cast one scornful glance upon the glowering Thornton as she entered the house. " Now we shall probably find the despatches we have been looking for, General," said Kerchival. " Prisoner, " demanded General Buckthorn, "you will hand over what papers you may have. " " I 'll hand you nothing, " snarled Thornton. In a quick glance, the General gave his order to Shenandoah Kerchival, who, this time, transmitted it with alacrity. " Corporal Dunn, search the prisoner!" Two of the guard held Thornton's arms, none too gently, while the corporal threw open his coat and began a minute search. He found first a paper, which he handed to Kerchival, who gave it to his General. "'General Rosser will rejoin General Early with all the cavalry in his command,"' read the old warrior, eagerly. Here Corporal Dunn gave Kerchival a small packet, which when unwrapped proved to contain a miniature picture. "A portrait of Mrs. Haverill!" muttered the young officer, with a start. He motioned the corporal to retire, and, taking his place, asked Thornton in a low voice: "How did this portrait come into your possession" "That is my affair, not yours." "Anything else, Colonel" called General Buck- thorn, who had seated himself on the garden bench to pore over the captured despatch. " Nothing, " answered Kerchival, putting the miniature carefully away in his breast pocket. " Damn you-you '11 give that back to me yet," hissed Thornton; "and we have an old score to 278 A 02 . AD V o 0_ C .3v3 This page in the original text is blank. Signals from Three-Top Mountain 279 settle, before I 'm through. Don't think you are going to escape me so easily as this!" " Corporal! take away your prisoner, " was Ker- chival's only reply. Thornton made a vicious spring forward, but the corporal was too quick for him, and with levelled carbine marched him off the grounds. "Just as I thought," said General Buckthorn, reading. "The enemy has a big movement on foot. Listen to this: 'Watch for signal from Three- Top Mountain."' "We are still in hopes that we may be able to read that signal ourselves, " said Kerchival. " Yes, I know. It is pretty near time for Barket to be back with some tidings of the expedition. Be on your guard, here. I will speak with General Haverill, and then ride over to General Wright's headquarters. Keep us informed. " It was twilight-the soft, lingering, caressing twilight of that idyllic Valley clime-when next the anxious heart of Kerchival West was thrilled with the sight of Gertrude. She had changed her riding-habit for a simple house dress that strangely transformed her in outward appearance from the spirited " Rebel " of the morning, back to the frank and lovely girl he had met at Charleston in the spring-time of long ago. Shenandoah "You are still on guard, Colonel West" she said-but her tone had something of the old delicious friendly intimacy in it. "I am giving you no end of trouble. " All day he had haunted the garden of Belle Bosquet, and the veranda whence she had last disappeared. "I like it, if you don't mind, Gertrude," he replied, somewhat languishingly for a stern jailor. "I am posted here, you know. The signalmen will report to me at this spot-may be along any minute. We are watching for signals from the mountain. " "Your men might not have caught me, this morning, if I had had Jack-my own pet horse. But I lent him to brother Robert for a cavalry mount, and the enemy captured him at Winches- ter. Now he is in service against us-and what do you think I heard That your General Sheri- dan has taken him for his own mount. Jack is a black beauty, but " "I am very sorry-but are you not mistaken about General Sheridan He rides a black thor- oughbred, but I happen to know that it is his own favorite, Rienzi, that he brought with him from Mississippi. " " My Jack is jet black, with one white stocking." 280 Signals from Three-Top Mountain 281 " Only one then that settles it. General Sheri- dan's Rienzi has at least two or three, if not four, white stockings-of that I am sure, for I have often admired him, and taken notice. " "Well, anyway, the Yankees have taken my Jack. " " If he is in our cavalry, I '11 get him back for you, Gertrude. I '11 give one of my own horses to the Government-or I '11 buy him outright, at any price, and bring him back to you. Anything that is mine, dearest Gertrude, you know " "Oh, thank you,-my dear Kerchival! I could almost " " Almost confess that-that you don't hate me" he cried, joyously, grasping her hand. " Oh, Gertrude! I thought I saw something in your eyes that took the bitterness out of your hasty words. Have I been wrong Ever since we were sepa- rated in Charleston-during all this terrible war- in the death-camps, in the trenches, on the battle- field,-I have dreamed of a meeting like this! You are silent" "Kerchival,-" she began, with pathetic half- yielding. " Oh-is this your whole regiment com- ing up" "It's the signalmen. Don't go-I command you! " 282 Shenandoah "I must go, now. But I '11 come back, if you insist-I am your prisoner. Only, don't read that letter, for the world!" Before the signalmen reached the house, Cor- poral Dunn came hurrying ahead of them, to announce that his prisoner, Captain Thornton, had escaped. "He had a knife hidden in his boot, sir, and he slashed two of the guard and got away, while my back was turned for a minute. He's like a mad dog, sir, that Rebel is. " "Tell Major Williams to place the remainder of that guard under arrest. Go after the prisoner, and try to recapture him before it is quite dark-he can't have gone far. So, " he mused, as the corporal vanished again, " Thornton has jumped his guard, and he is armed. He calculates to get me, I pre- sume. I shall be ready for him-Ah! the call. " A flash of fire on the dusky mountain-top was the " call, " or opening of the enemy's long-awaited signal communication. It brought Captain Lock- wood up, precipitately. While they were watching the signals through their glasses General Haverill arrived, accom- panied by two staff officers. "Can you make anything of it, Captain" he asked. Signals from Three-Top Mountain 283 "Nothing, General, until we get the key, " was the reply. "It should be here, if Lieutenant Bedloe has succeeded. " A shot rang out, from the direction of the gate- followed by a cry of "Halt! who goes there" " Och! ye murtherin' spalpeen! " cried the voice of Sergeant Barket. "Pass on, " called the sentinel. "He did n't give the countersign, " said Kerchi- val. " Must be news from Lieutenant Bedloe. " "Here 's the papers," panted Barket, running up, covered with dust, and with one arm limp. Captain Lockwood took the code book he brought, and hurried up the elevation back of the house. "What of Lieutenant Bedloe, Sergeant" in- quired General Haverill. "Badly wounded, sor, and in the hands of the inimy. But he fit off the whole gang, until we came up an' got the papers. " "And Captain Heartsease" "Shot down at his side, sor. Maybe dead-I dunno. But please don't say anything to Miss Jenny, yet. She '11 foind out soon enough. Och! me arm is hurted. Sure, I forgot the sentry entirely, but he did n't forget me. " 284 Shenandoah "Twelve-twenty-two-eleven!" called a sig- nalman on the knoll, reading the torch wigwagging on the distant mountain-top. "Colonel West," said the General, "we must get Lieutenant Bedloe in exchange, at any sacrifice, if he is still alive. Let 's see-why, there is Colonel Robert Ellingham, our prisoner-we might offer him in exchange, if he would go. " "Surely! Bob will go in a minute-I know he will. I will find him, and ride to the front with him myself, General. " "At once, then!-Can you follow the despatch, Captain Lockwood" "Perfectly, General-everything is here in the book. " " Eleven-twenty-two--one-twelve, " shouted the signalman. "' General Longstreet is coming' "Longstreet! I feared that. " "' One-twenty-one-three. "' "'-with eighteen thousand men."' "Longstreet with his corps!" "Two -twenty-two - eleven - one - twelve -one. " "'We will crush Sheridan's army.' "Aha!" cried General Haverill, stirred to deadly energy. "Now, men, signal that despatch up the Signals from Three-Top Mountain 285 Valley to our own station-tell them to send couriers and catch Sheridan with it at Front Royal-they must catch him, so that he can has- ten back with the cavalry. Major Burton! order our horses-we will ride to General Wright's head- quarters at once." " What divil of a row is that, now" queried Sergeant Barket, peering around the dark side of the house, and starting off in that direction. General Haverill, while awaiting the horses, watched Captain Lockwood and his men lighting pine-wood torches attached to long poles, to flash their signals up the Valley. Another minute, and Barket returned, with Robert Ellingham, the two supporting between them Kerchival West, white- faced and with his coat thrown open, a crimson stain showing on his shirt front. "There, Bob, I 'll be all right now," he was murmuring, faintly. "It 's only the loss of blood that upsets me-I got a scratch of the knife, that 's all." "Go for a surgeon, somebody," said Colonel Ellingham, as they helped Kerchival to the seat. "The fellow has knifed him. But they 've got the wretch. " Corporal Dunn and his guard dragged in Edward Thornton, for the second time that day. 286 Shenandoah " We were leaving the house together, " ex- plained Ellingham, "when this wild beast sprang out upon us from the bushes. " " We had him surrounded, " added Corporal Dunn, " but I 'm afraid we were too late. " "This is murder, not war!" exclaimed General Haverill, turning to Thornton, who, in his shirt sleeves, torn and dishevelled, looked a fearsome picture of diabolical malice. " If you have killed him " " Oh, do what you like with me-my account is settled, " retorted Thornton, watching with an evil smile as Ellingham handed to General Haverill a wallet and a miniature-case, saying: "I took these from Kerchival's breast pocket when he fell. " " My wife's portrait, " muttered the General, with an involuntary gesture of despair. " You recognize the precious keepsake, Gen- eral" sneered Thornton. "So, you see, if I have killed him, your honor will be buried in the same grave. " General Haverill gave no sign, but stood a moment gazing at the miniature in his hand, by the light of the blazing signal-torches. At this juncture, the horses were brought up. The Gen- eral handed Captain Lockwood a written order, Signals from Three-Top Mountain 287 and turned to mount, when Gertrude Ellingham ran out from the house. She had come to bid her brother Robert good-bye. She saw him now, in the lurid glare of the pine-knots, bending over the prostrate form of the wounded Union officer. "Robert!" she cried, "I heard them calling for a surgeon. Who is hurt-you are safe, are n't you-Ah! Kerchival!" With a scream, she fell on her knees by his side, uttering wild, tender words as she stroked the dark hair back from his pallid forehead. " Oh, Kerchival, dear-I never meant those bitter words I said to you-Forget them, and for- give me, won't you! Do you hear me I love you-I have loved you all the time - " General Haverill heard no more. He did not look around as Thornton was hustled away in irons, but sprang into his saddle and dashed off down the black road, after the staff officers, who at his own impatient order had preceded him. CHAPTER XVIII "TELL HOW I DIED-NOT HOW I LIVED" "Not only in the grizzled past Tingled heroic blood: Not only were its swart sons cast In knightly mould and mood: Altar of sacrifice perfumed Our hot sulphuric air, And Sidney's shining manhood bloomed Around us everywhere. " ROSSER'S Cavalry came over the mountains to join Early, calling themselves the Laurel Brigade and posing as the self-constituted " Saviors of the Valley. " They had their honors in advance, and sallied forth to meet the Federal foe, consisting of Sheridan's troopers commanded by Torbert, Custer, and Merritt. The next seen of them, they were scurrying precipitately up the Pike, with a long lead over their blue-coated pursuers, in an action which passed into facetious history under the name of the "Woodstock races. " And forth- with the Laurel Brigade was re-christened the Running Vine. General Sheridan did not give up his trip to 288 "1 Tell How I Died " 289 Washington on account of the menacing despatch intercepted from Three-Top Mountain. He sent back the division of mounted troops which had accompanied him to Front Royal, and commended the enterprise of his officers in getting the code which enabled them to take the signals from Three- Top. It was apparent, however, that he regarded the announcement of Longstreet's coming as a ruse, or " bluff,"-something to be watched, indeed, but not to be taken seriously into the calculation of his immediate plans either of attack or defence. Some said it was queer the enemy should have surrendered their signal station and its papers so "easily." They did not know what it had cost General Haverill. Major-General Wright, commanding the Sixth Corps, took charge during Sheridan's absence, and he strengthened the Federal lines along the north bank of Cedar Creek, some fifteen miles south of Winchester, to such a degree of security that the tension of vigilance was noticeably relaxed. Bright and early the morning after the exciting combination of events at Belle Bosquet-the read- ing of the signals, the exchange of Colonel Robert Ellingham for the wounded Lieutenant Bedloe, and the murderous attack of Captain Edward Thornton, of the Confederate Secret Service, upon 19 290 Shenandoah Colonel Kerchival West, a turmoil of action mani- fested itself in the Union regimental camp at that point. As a result of the night's conference of Generals Buckthorn and Haverill with General Wright, Colonel West's regiment had been ordered to the front. The bugles were calling, and the flags waving, in the crisp, breezy autumn morning. The fog and mists of early morn were presently dispersed by the mild, mellow sunshine. It was a strangely hushed and dim weather, through which the dis- tant desultory firing-doubtless from outlying Confederate batteries stirred up by Custer's Cav- alry, always on the wing,-rang out with unusual distinctness. Jenny Buckthorn was in her element. " Oh, I wish I could go with the regiment!" she cried. "When I hear 'Boots and saddles,' I feel that I should have been born a man. Fours right! There they go! Look at those horses' ears! Trum- pet signal number 30-Forward! Listen to the band-' Shouting the Battle Cry of Freedom!' Rappity-plap-plap-plap! On, Third Battalion, left front into line, march! Draw sabres! Charge! Ah, just because I happen to be a girl, I have to stay here with the rest of the petticoats, and see the regiment march away, leaving us behind "Tell How I Died" 291 with old Barket and a corporal's guard to look after us." "I'm thinking it's to Winchester yez'll be marching, right soon, Miss Jenny-you and Miss Madeline," broke in Sergeant Barket, nursing his wounded arm in a sling. "An' if a little military sugar-plum the likes o' you objects to not goin' to the front, phwat do you think of an ould piece of hard-tack like me But, sure, it 's your father's orders. " " I told you to tell papa that I 'd let him know when Madeline and I were ready to go. " " I tould him I 'd as soon move a train of army mules. All the same, Miss Jenny, this depart- ment of the United States Army will move to the rear in half an hour. This is no place for female women, now. Miss Gertrude Ellingham ought to go wid us,-but she would n't if she cud. " " I say, Barket, " demanded Jenny, turning suddenly, "has n't Captain Heartsease rejoined the regiment yet I don't see him at the head of his company. Where is he" "I-I can't say just where he is, this minnit, Miss Jenny." "Well, Barket, when you do see him again, tell him I may have some orders for him, when we next meet. " 292 Shenandoah With this, she hurried into the house, just as her father, the old General, hove into sight. "You have n't started with those girls yet" he grunted to Barket, "Remember what I told you.-Is General Haverill here" "Yes, sor-in the house, wid the surgeon." "Ah, yes-the surgeon. How is Colonel West, this morning" "He says he is as well as ever, an' the doctor says he can't lave his room for a month. Sure, the Rebel's knife went deep. The Colonel took it hard that he could n't go to the front with his regiment this morning. He 's gettin' on foine, an' he swore at the Chaplain for prayin' for his recovery. " " That looks encouraging, " growled the General. "Ah, Haverill," he went on, as that officer came out on the veranda, "maybe Sheridan is right, after all. The reconnoissances this morning show no hostile force on our right, and Crook reports that Early is retreating up the Valley. But Gen- eral Wright is making some changes in our line this afternoon; and in the meantime I want you to order General MaCuen to go into camp on the right of Meadow Brook, with the second division. -Jenny, girl, don't bother me about Heartsease, now.-Order the Third Brigrade of cavalry, under "1 Tell How I Died " 293 Colonel Lowell, to occupy the left of the Pike. We 'd better hold Custer on the second line, at Old Forge Road, until further instructions. That is all for the present.-Good-bye, Jenny, my darling. General, I bid you good day. " General Haverill, who had carefully written the foregoing orders in his note-book, watched General Buckthorn off, then asked Jenny, as she re-entered the house, if she would send Gertrude to him. "Gertrude, my child, " he said, with unwonted gravity, " the surgeon tells me that Kerchival West will get on well enough if he remains quiet- otherwise, not. " "That is what is worrying me, General," Gertrude replied. " Colonel West insists upon pre- paring to join his regiment at the front. I hope you will order him to remain here-compel him to be prudent. " "He should not look for the honor of death on the field, under present circumstances, " muttered the General, with peculiar significance. "What do you mean, sir" inquired Gertrude, uneasily. "You have a right to ask me that, as your father's old friend, once your own guardian. Gertrude, child, you have a warm, true heart. I could not bear to see your happiness destroyed, 294 Shenandoah through very loyalty to your heart's affection. Listen. Last night I saw you kneeling beside Kerchival West-speaking to him, ministering to him, with all the tender passion of a Southern woman. You told him that you loved him. But those fateful words fell upon unconscious ears. Tell me, has he ever heard those words from your own lips Have you ever confessed your love to him before" "Never-since you ask me. But why, General Haverill, do you ask" "Never mind. Only, do not repeat it. Keep your heart to yourself, my girl. " "But, General-at a moment like this, when his life " "Leave that to me - Hush!" The voice of Colonel West himself, heard out- side, giving orders to a sergeant to get his horse ready, silenced them. He then came up, in full uniform, and wearing his sword, and saluted. His face was pale, but he presented a brave front. "Are there any orders, General, for my regi- ment," he asked, "beyond those given to Major Williams, in my absence, this morning I am going to the front to resume my command. " "It is my wish, Colonel, that you remain here "Tell How I Died" under the surgeon's care, " said the General, quietly. "Oh, my wound is a mere trifle. I could not rest here-I must be with my men, at this perhaps critical moment in the campaign. " " I have told you, my wish is to the contrary," repeated General Haverill. Kerchival knew only too well that ominous, quiet reserve. He knew the inflexibility of that proud, intolerant mood. He could not wholly fathom its cause, but a troublesome recollection suddenly occurred to him. "General," he said, with grieved earnestness, after looking around to see that Gertrude had silently withdrawn, "I was unable to keep my appointment with you last night, for an unfore- seen reason, which you know. I am ready and willing to explain certain matters, as you re- quested me to do yesterday. But, meanwhile, a crisis has developed, and whatever there may be between us personally, you are now in the position of interfering with my duty and my privilege as a soldier. It is my right to be at the head of my regiment, so long as I am physi- cally able. " "You have my positive order, sir." "Then, I protest " 295 296 Shenandoah "You are under arrest, sir!" said the General, without changing his tone. Kerchival started as if he had been shot. Then, in a deliberate, dazed way, he unclasped his belt, and offered his sword. "No, keep your sword-I have no desire to humiliate you," the General continued, in a low voice. "But you will hold yourself subject to further orders from me. " With these inexorable words, he turned away, while Kerchival, as if suddenly a sick man again, started to re-enter the house. He met Gertrude at the door, all gentleness and commiseration. "Did you hear what the General said" he asked, feebly. "No matter what he said-or what any one says, now, Kerchival, " was her impulsive response, "you have my perfect faith. There; now you must go to your room, and rest until the surgeon comes again. " He obeyed, in silence. What words could he find Looking out from her window, a few minutes later, Gertrude was startled to see a number of men emerging from the woods, by the path leading up from the Ford. Then she perceived that they were Confederate soldiers, under a flag of truce, "n Tell How I Died " 297 following an escort of Union troops, and carrying some burden-it proved to be a stretcher, on which lay the unconscious form of a young man, evidently a wounded Federal officer. A surgeon walked beside the stretcher, giving directions to the bear- ers, who rested a short distance from the veranda steps. Gertrude ran to the door, followed by Madeline West and Jenny Buckthorn. Sergeant Barket, also, stood, wonder-struck, on a sort of improvised sentry guard. " I am Major Hardwick, of the Confederate service, " said the surgeon, hat in hand, and losing no time. "Is General Haverill here" "He left but a moment ago "He 's just afther mounting his horse," put in Barket, "and I can cut across and stop him for yez. " "Please say to him that we come from Colonel Robert Ellingham, who instructed me to bring this young officer in exchange for himself, as agreed upon between them last evening." " Is he unconscious, or sleeping, sir" asked Gertrude, looking with tender solicitude upon the pallid face on the rude rustic litter. "He is between life and death, I fear. The removal has been too much for him, yet it seemed for the best, under the circumstances. He was 298 Shenandoah so anxious-Ah! he is waking. Here we are, my boy, "-placing his canteen to the lips of poor Lieutenant Bedloe, for he it was in such grievous plight-"we have reached the end of our journey." " My father-" gasped Frank. " He is thinking of his home, " said Major Hard- wick. "I have carried out General Haverill's orders," murmured the young man, faintly, "and I have a report to make. " "He will be here in a moment, " answered Gertrude. "Is not this-Miss Gertrude Ellingham" he asked, looking wistfully into her face. "Yes, yes-you have seen me before" " Long ago. You know Mrs. Haverill-the General's wife" " She is one of my dearest friends on earth." "Then-you can give her a message for me, to my poor little wife. She will know.-Will the General be here soon I-somehow I feel that I have not much time left-Doctor! my note- book! " The surgeon took the note-book from an inner pocket, and at the same time a blood-stained handkerchief fell out. The dying soldier saw it, and with an effort said: ",Tell How I Died " 299 " Ah, yes-a message-from Captain Hearts- ease. He was by my side-he had a Confederate uniform-so they did n't send him back with me. " Gertrude, kneeling by his side, took the handker- chief, and silently handed it to Jenny Buckthorn, who turned suddenly pale as she saw it, then hid her face in her hands and hastened away. Still General Haverill did not arrive. "Please write!" Frank whispered, to Gertrude. "To-my wife-Edith.:-Tell our little son, when he is old enough to know-how his father died, not how he lived. And tell her, who was a mother to me-that my father's portrait of her, which she gave to me in Charleston, helped me to be a better man. And-don't forget to tell them-I have n't it with me now-it was taken away from me while I was a prisoner in Richmond, by Captain Edward Thornton-Confederate Secret Service. Let-me -sign-that " Gertrude, with tears streaming down her cheeks, held the poor boy's hand while he made a feeble scrawl on the page, then fell back lifeless. The surgeon gently laid the fold of the blanket over his face. " Present arms! Carry arms! " commanded the officer of the Federal guard, as General Haverill came up, returning the salute as he passed. 300 Shenandoah "Am I too late" he asked. " I 'm sorry, General, " replied the Confederate surgeon. "His one thought, as we brought him through the lines, was to see you before he passed away. " " Poor boy-brave boy, " muttered the General, turning back the fold of the blanket a moment to gaze upon the calm, sleeping face. "I am in the place of your father, to-day.-We will carry him to his comrades at the front,-he shall have a soldier's burial, in the shadow of the mountain where he sacrificed his young life, in the purest valor of patriotism. Yonder mountain shall be his monument. " The Confederate soldiers stood in embarrassed silence for a little space. Then Major Hardwick said: " Pardon me, General. We Virginians are your enemies, in the field,-but you cannot mourn or honor this gallant young soldier more than we do. If you will allow us the privilege, now that we are here, we will carry him, and accompany you, to his last resting-place. " General Haverill bowed his assent and recogni- tion of the touching tribute. Then, with bared head, he knelt on the ground beside the bier for a minute or two in profound silence. Rising again, "Tell How I Died" 301 with his old military mask of stolid self-possession, and with reversed sword, he made a sign to the officer of the Federal guard. " Left face! Forward-march! " commanded the lieutenant. The Confederate soldiers again gently lifted their burden, and the pitiful cortege moved off slowly in the direction of the lengthening shadows of Three-Top Mountain. Not a man in the whole army would have ven- tured a word to General Haverill, either at that moment or later, when he wrote a despatch to the Government, which was carried throughout the length and breadth of the land, and enrolled in deathless history. And the name he wrote was that of "Lieutenant Frank Bedloe. " "The movement upon which our immediate hopes of success in this campaign are founded, " he declared, "would have been impossible without the bravery and sacrifice of this young officer. His name must take its place forever on the roll of fame which his countrymen are proud to honor. " CHAPTER XIX "IT 'S ONLY A BATTLE!" "Who was with us, and what was round us, Neither myself nor my darling guessed: Only we knew that something crowned us, Out from the heavens, with crowns of rest- Only we knew that something bright Lingered lovingly where we stood, Clothed with the incandescent light Of something higher than humanhood." T HE night of October I8th was full of inquietude and alarms for the inmates of Belle Bosquet. A Federal guard was posted there, and Barket served as courier. Neither Jenny Buckthorn nor Madeline West would think now of going on to Winchester, with Kerchival West in a precarious condition, and the fate of Captain Heartsease still uncertain. General Haverill did not return to the house, but joined General Buckthorn at the front, where, it was understood, General Wright was making every possible preparation, pending the return of Sheridan, for guarding against and resist- mg an attack upon his right, which was the only point at which he apprehended immediate trouble. 302 "' It 's Only a Battle I " 303 But the woods and hills all around were infested with the irregular mounted raiders, or guerillas, headed, according to various reports, now by Mosby, now by Gilmore, again by McNeill. It was impossible to estimate their strength or num- bers, or to anticipate their sudden, audacious, and ruthless attacks. Skirmishes with these men were of almost daily, or nightly, occurrence-and the present time was no exception. Before daybreak, on the morning of the i9th, Madeline and Gertrude, who occupied a room together, were awakened by firing in the distance up the Valley, to the southward. Jenny Buck- thorn, in an adjoining chamber, heard their voices, and joined them for companionship and sympathy. Alas! what a changed, subdued Jenny, within the last twenty-four hours! "Do you hear that firing, girls It is no ordi- nary skirmish, I '11 be bound. " "It sounds more like a battle, or at least an attack in force, than anything I have heard for a long time," declared Gertrude. "I wonder if General Longstreet has come up, after all Robert was fearfully excited when they took that signal message-and now he is back with his regiment, fighting again, I suppose. Oh, I can't get used to this horrible suspense!" 304 Shenandoah " It is almost as killing to us here, as to the men who are out in the battles-but I pray for them all, every night, " sighed the gentle Madeline. "And yet, my brother fumed and fretted so, last evening, that I wished he were at the f ont, too. " "Don't wish it now!" exclaimed Jenny, with an unwonted burst of emotion. "Be thankful, you and Gertrude, that if he has got to be wounded, and maybe dying, at least he is where you can be at his side, and comfort him. " " Listen! " cried Gertrude. "That 's artillery!" The day had dawned, damp, chill, and foggy. Nothing more than the dim, ghostly shapes of trees could be seen, a hundred yards away. But all through the Valley, up from the direction of Cedar Run, sounded the boom of heavy guns, in sullen reverberation, with now and again the muffled rumble, roar, and crash of musketry. The girls dressed hurriedly, in silence, and came down-stairs. Already Kerchival West, haggard and excited looking, was pacing the veranda like a caged animal. Barket had been down to the Pike for reconnaissance, and now came back with startling news. "It 's a battle, sure!" he said. "An' Sheridan away, the divil only knows where. Begob, they " It 's Only a Battle I" 305 must have attacked by surprise, before the screech o' dawn, judgin' from " "Who has attacked Who is surprised" de- manded Kerchival, with furious impatience. "The inimy has attacked us, sor, an' what 's more, they seem to be drivin' things before 'em. By the direction of the firin', it should be our left flank they have pounced upon, instead of the right, where they were dacintly expected. Sure, thim Rebels have no politeness, nohow " "Do you mean to say our troops are falling back " "Well, sor, I did hear some cavalry gallopin' down the Pike-but whether it was ours, or theirs, or only Mosby's gorillas, that I can't tell yez. " " Then I '11 go and find out for myself ! " Kerchi- val cried, fiercely, making a move into the hallway for his hat. The sudden exertion proved too much for him, and he sank into a chair, clutching with one hand at his breast. "Kerchival-brother!" remonstrated Madeline, running up and throwing her arms about him. "Remember your condition-please don't expose yourself any more. " " Come, Kerchival-Colonel West, " pleaded Gertrude, as caressing in her tone as Madeline in her action,-" we are going to have some hot 20 306 Shenandoah coffee-the nearest we can make to it, at least- and a little breakfast. Then, if you really feel strong enough, we can go out on the knoll, and see what there is to be seen. There is a lull in the firing I think. And the fog is lifting, too. " This sensible advice appealed to all. They sat around the hospitable table in the old Colonial dining-hall, while a fire of oak logs crackled cheerily in the huge open fire-place. One silent thought brooded over the scene--a feeling not unlike that which had oppressed them at Charleston, on a memorable April day, three and a half years before. Of that fondly remembered gathering, only four were now present. Dr. Ellingham, and Robert, General Haverill and his wife, were absent, and widely scattered. Captain Heartsease, who might and should have been present now, was wounded and a prisoner; and no one spoke the name that was in the thoughts and prayers of all, on account of poor brave Jenny, who sat pensive with lips that quivered when she tried to smile, and hid in her bosom a stained lace handkerchief. And still the great Secession War surged and thundered all around them. "Hark! there is the firing again, worse than ever, and it is coming nearer, " said Gertrude, uncon- scious of a certain exultation in her tone. "If "1 It 's Only a Battle I" 307 General Longstreet only has-I mean, if really he- " "He never can drive General Sheridan back, of that I am certain," spoke up Madeline, with unwonted spirit. " Let us go-Oh, pardon me, Gertrude-ladies- I beg, " said Kerchival, starting up, then at once seating himself again. But they all had risen, as impatient as he was, and hurried out. Kerchival and Gertrude took the path up the elevation to where the big cottonwood tree over- looked the Valley. Jenny and Madeline lingered on the veranda. "Go on, go on!" muttered Kerchival, instinct- ively feeling for his sword, and looking loweringly in the direction from which came the roar of the guns. " Fight to a finish, and have it over. Keep the battle to yourselves-I 'm out of it. " " Kerchival, " said Gertrude, " your sister Made- line says that now she must pray for the man she loves, enemy or no enemy. " " And she is right. Anything else would be worse than treason. I can't pray-can you, Gertrude" "Yes! Ah, Kerchival!" He leaned against the tree, his hand clutching at his breast again. Shenandoah "Your wound! Let me call the surgeon, Ker- chival." "Wound! I have no wound to bother about, now. You love me" "Look! There are soldiers running through the woods. Oh! what shall we do" The firing, very close now, was faster and more furious than ever. It seemed to have given Kerchival West new breath of life. " Never mind that! " he cried, deliriously. " It 's only a battle! Say that you love me!" "Be quiet, Kerchival, dear. I do love you. I said so last night, before every one, only you did n't hear me. I said the same thing at Charleston, when first we met. And some one I told wrote it in a letter-that letter which General Buck- thorn gave you, and told you not to read unless I became unruly. I am not unruly, am I, dear" "No! my precious girl-nothing can separate us now! That letter "-he searched in his pockets but could not find it. "Ah-I remember-they must have taken it, when I was laid out by Thornton's dagger. And-a miniature I had,- that 's gone, too!" " Don't excite yourself, Kerchival-you must be quiet, or I will not say another word. As for the letter-never mind, I know it by heart, and if you 3o8 "1 It 's Only a Battle I " 309 like I can repeat what you so much desired to read. She wrote-Constance did, to me: 'If Ker- chival West had heard you say, as I did, when your face was hidden in my bosom that night, that you loved him with your whole heart ' " Josephus Orangeblossom, on a mule without saddle, dashed up from the direction of the Pike, shouting: "Miss Gertrude! Marse Bob, he done set a gyard aroun' dis house, but 'taint no use now, for de Yanks is runnin' away. We 's got 'em licked, Missy, we sho' has!" " Begob, the naygur's right, " confirmed Ser- geant Barket. "The grayback divils have sprung up out of the ground. They 're pourin' over our left flank like Noah's own flood. Our camp is wiped out, and they 've got our guns, and wagons, and wounded and prisoners, and the whole Union army is a-startin' to beat it down the Pike for Winchester, worse luck! Colonel Wist, yonder is your own regiment, in full retrate!" "My regiment!" roared Kerchival, jumping up. "Great God, no! Get my horse, Barket! I 'll stop that, or-" "Yer harse, is it Hooroo! I 'm wid ye, Colonel! There's a row at Finnegan's Ball, and we 're goin' to be in it!" 310 Shenandoah "Kerchival!" pleaded Gertrude, throwing her arms around him. "You must not go! You may be dying!" "Dying, nothing! I 'm all right, now! Ger- trude, my life!" " Did n't you tell me you were under arrest" "Arrest be damned! How can they keep me here, now My regiment in retreat It won't retreat any farther, unless it marches over my dead body! " " Here 's yer harse, Colonel! Now, give me that mule, ye black contraband naygur!" called Barket, wild with joy, to the rolling-eyed Josephus. "Good-bye, Gertrude, darling! Tell Madeline! Pray for us!" And two more flying figures hurled themselves down the hillside, into the roaring maelstrom of battle that filled the Valley. Gertrude.-" Your wound I " Col. West.-"Wound I have no wound! You do love me " Drawn by Harry A. Ogden N11 I I, i, tt \ A - ;N k KI & E , I - !aIle_I , I I I V f L I'l, This page in the original text is blank. CHAPTER XX AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR "There is a road from Winchester town, A good broad highway leading down; And there through the flash of the morning light A steed as black as the steeds of night Was seen to pass as with eagle flight. As if he knew the terrible need, He stretched away with the utmost speed: Hills rose and fell-but his heart was gay, With Sheridan fifteen miles away. " A SMALL boy, hanging about in front of the Logan house, in Winchester, watched for General Sheridan to make his appearance, and then asked: " Please tell me, General, for my grandma, where you are going " With his mind full of the trouble caused by Confederate spies and informers, Sheridan replied gruffly: " Tell her that I am going to Richmond or Peters- burg, or heaven or hell." The boy ran away, but came back half an hour later, and called out from the sidewalk: 311 Shenandoah " General Sheridan! My grandma says you can't go to Richmond, because General Lee is there. And you can't go to Petersburg, because General Beauregard is there. And you can't go to heaven, because General Stonewall Jackson is there!" It was the evening of October x8th. Sheridan, on his way back from Washington, via Martins- burg, to rejoin the Federal army at Cedar Creek, had arrived in Winchester late that afternoon, bringing with him two engineer officers who were charged with the duty of reporting on a defensive line across the Valley that could be held securely while the bulk of the troops now there should be transferred to General Grant in front of Petersburg, in the East. One of these engineer officers was enormously fat, the other was as thin as Don Quixote, and neither was accustomed to horseback riding. Hence the slow progress over the road between Martinsburg and Winchester. However, the couriers who came up from the front to meet the General reported everything quiet at Cedar Creek and the adjacent Fisher's Hill; and, further- more, that General Haverill's brigade of the Nine- teenth Corps was to make a reconnoissance on the right, early next morning. This was sufficiently reassuring, so General Sheridan and his party de- 312 At the Eleventh Hour 3I3 voted the remainder of the afternoon to looking over the ground where it was proposed to lay out fortifications for a position to be occupied by the Federal troops in the near future. The com- mander decided to take the night's rest in Winchester, and proceed to the front next morning. When he was called at six A.M., faint sounds of irregular firing were heard in the distance, to the southward-doubtless the result of General Haverill's reconnaissance. The firing did not cease, however, and after a while it was more dis- tinctly heard, augmented by cannonading. Break- fast was ordered; and Sheridan's bold black Rienzi, together with the horses of the staff officers and couriers, stood pawing and champing before the door. It was near nine o'clock when the General got away. Then he hit the Pike at a fairly good clip, not liking the sounds of sudden battle ahead, and somewhat nettled at the jeers and taunts of women in the doorways along the route. It was plain they had heard something by "grapevine telegraph." What they had heard soon became apparent, as the horsemen went over the rise at Mill Creek, a couple of miles south of the town. There, as far as the eye could reach up the long Shenandoah line of the Valley Pike, stretched and straggled the appalling spectacle of an army in broken re- treat. Baggage wagons, wounded men, riderless horses, and soldiers without guns, told all too plainly a tale of panic and rout. "Where are you going" shouted Sheridan. "You should be facing the other way. What has happened" They told him the army had been surprised, defeated, and all broken up, and was in full retreat. Sheridan did not rip about, swear, and threaten -as yet. He was the calmest man of his party as he rode forward, slowly at first, thinking what he should do. The signal message, "We will crush Sheridan's army," recurred to his mind with stunning force. But would the army suffer itself to be crushed, even in his temporary absence He could not, and would not, believe it. The stragglers, being hurriedly questioned, described the situation as "awful." "That means nothing, from a pack of cowards who were the first to run away from the battle- field," declared Sheridan. "Come! we '11 soon find out for ourselves. This retreat would never have happened if I had been here. What I want to find out now is, where Wright and the Sixth Corps are, and what the Nineteenth is doing. 314 At the Eleventh Hour Wherever they are, it 's all right, or we '11 - soon fix it right." Sending a courier back with a hurried order that the troops at Winchester should be deployed across the Valley, and that all fugitives should be halted and started back to the front again, he now gave Rienzi his head-the gallant Morgan colt needed no spur. But the Pike was so cluttered up with wagons, and convoys of wounded soldiers, and groups squatting around fence-rail fires cooking coffee as a substitute for the breakfast of which Early's surprise had deprived them, that long de- tours through the fields at one side or the other had to be made. Nearing Newtown, about half-way between Winchester and Cedar Creek, General Sheridan found numerous companies of uninjured and un- scared men, with their officers, who needed only a word, or the mere sight of "Little Phil," their magical commander, to turn about with cheers and march back toward the enemy. Among the first he recognized was an officer from his own State, Ohio-Major William McKinley, of General Crook's staff. "Where is the Nineteenth Corps" asked Sheridan. "On the right, General-in the woods yonder," 315 Shenandoah was the reply, as the young officer sprang upon his horse, and, with a loud cheer, dashed way to spread the inspiring news of the chieftain's arrival on the field. A couple of miles farther on, in the rear of General Getty's division near Middletown, a whole bunch of regimental flags seemed to rise up out of the ground. These proved to be the colors of the main body of Crook's troops, which had not retreated at all, but re-formed after the surprise of early morning, and were now holding the line to the west of the turnpike. In one of the brigade commanders here, Sheridan recognized another staunch Ohioan whom he knew. This was Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes. The meeting, in quick succession, of McKinley and Hayes, under such momentous circumstances, naturally impressed the General as of encouraging portent. Yet how little could he, or they, guess that within the span of a single generation both of these promising young Ohio soldiers, fighting shoulder to shoulder with countless others of equal or more promise, were to become Presidents of the United States of America! Far other and more immediately pressing con- cerns occupied them on this day of the battle of Cedar Creek. Colonel-or was it already General 3I6 At the Eleventh Hour -Hayes was able to answer more definitely the oft-repeated inquiry for the Sixth and the Nine- teenth Corps. "Here are two divisions of the Sixth Corps, intact, General-and on their right are Haverill's and Enroy's divisions of the Nineteenth. General Crook is on the extreme left, with Merritt's cavalry. All that they want is to know that you 're here." "And all I want, by ," cried Sheridan, 'is to get those men up that went to the rear. We '11 whip those Rebel rascals back, and sleep in our old camps to-night! " He now came full upon the newly forming Federal line of battle. It was as if an electrical thrill had been shot through the entire army, from the moment of Sheridan's arrival on the field. Cheer after cheer rang out, to be taken up front and rear, and far around, before the real cause was known. Had reinforcements come Yes! Little Phil was scorching down the Pike, and he was a host in himself. Sure enough, there was his energetic small figure, on the big horse, his eyes flashing and his face glowing as he galloped along, hat in hand, just to show himself to the troops. " It 's all right! " he shouted. " We 're holding them, and we 'U lick them yet! " The General rode on with his staff and escort, 317 Shenandoah and in a minute more they were a distant con- fused mass of dust and flying hoofs. Suddenly from the westward came another rolling cloud, with a thunderbolt in its midst-the yellow- haired, boyish Custer, the youngest general in the whole Union army, a flashing cavalry leader whom the enemy hesitated to shoot at, declaring that if he was not a Southern cavalier, he rode and fought like one. Custer now at a tearing gallop flew up to Sheridan, threw both arms around him and kissed him on the cheek in an irrepressible burst of boyish enthusiasm, then was off again like the wind. It was not yet noon-Sheridan had come up at ten-thirty-and now the whole stream of men on Winchester Turnpike was flowing southward, in- stead of the other way, full of fight again. Another tense hour sped by-two hours-and still Sheridan was busy re-forming and rearranging his lines, passing the whole front of his infantry in review, until satisfied that their shattered morale was sufficiently restored to be relied on once more for aggressive work. The enemy's fire had notice- ably slackened, but this was a sign to be acted upon with extreme caution, until its significance could be definitely ascertained. General Sheridan was still obsessed with the idea that Early's aggres- 3i8 At the Eleventh Hour 319 siveness must be accounted for by heavy reinforce- ments, and that possibly Longstreet had joined him, after all. When, towards the middle of the afternoon, the Confederates made a bold though unsuccessful sally against General Haverill's division and the right of the Sixth Corps commanded by General Buckthorn, the suspense became unendurable. Buckthorn received a note from the commanding general, conveying an order which he promptly transmitted to General Haverill, as the latter oc- cupied the position from which the movement could most effectively be made: "Send Lowell's cavalry after that exposed battery at the edge of the woods, with the object of bringing in as many prisoners as possible." "Colonel Lowell has just fallen. Will send his command under new leader, to be chosen at once." When General Haverill made this response, he was already looking about for a volunteer. A cavalry officer, with haggard face and blood- shot eyes, bareheaded, jacketless, his shirt open at the throat, rested in a field to the east of Mid- dletown, after a hurried inspection of his troopers, to the left of the Union line. The colonel of a New York regiment rode up, proffered a flask, and said: 320 Shenandoah "Colonel West, have a drink with me before you go in again. You seem to need it, and I ex- pect at this rate you '11 be either in Hades or in glory before another hour passes." Contrary to his reputation, habit, and principle, Kerchival West accepted the kindly offer, and swallowed a full-sized man's drink, known in trooper parlance as a "slug." Then, as if suddenly possessed by a demon, he swung out his sabre, and, turning to his men with the signal cry of "Now for the charge! " led the cavalry in a bril- liant sortie across the fenceless meadows and at the line of straggly woods where the advanced Rebel battery still belched forth defiance. The volunteer had come forward sooner than anybody expected. There was no withstanding such impetuosity. The charging troopers came back with flying colors, several captured guns, and a score of prisoners-first herald of the turning tide of victory. But now their wild leader was not riding at their head. No one had seen him fall. Who- ever knew what had happened to the individual forgot it in the jubilant excitement over the general result achieved. For the prisoners, being questioned separately, were unanimous in declaring that General Early At the Eleventh Hour 32I had received no reinforcements whatsoever, be- yond those which had joined him at Brown's Gap, after the "Woodstock races" affa r at Tom's Brook, more than a fortnight back. The captured Confederates, nothing loath to talk, threw a great light upon the overwhelming surprise of the morn- ing. Early, driven to desperation by lack of supplies, and aware by reconnaissance from Three- Top Mountain of the exposed condition of the Federal left flank, as well as of Sheridan's depar- ture with a large body of the mounted troops for Front Royal, had seized the opportunity to make his attack. This proving successful beyond ex- pectation, the half-starved Confederates had begun to hurrah before they were out of the woods. When Early discovered that the enemy he had supposed defeated had got its second wind and was preparing to turn aggressor, it was with diffi- culty that he called off his troops from the plunder of the Union camps and the enjoyment of such unwonted luxuries as real coffee, and got them into line for a fresh assault. No matter! the Federal line was now invincibly re-established. At four o'clock Sheridan ordered the grand charge, which was begun under his personal direction by the Nineteenth Corps, on the right, and taken up by the successive com- 2I 322 Shenandoah mands along the line to the left, the cavalry on the flanks charging at the same time. Then the Confederate batteries opened up, and the roar of artillery and the splitting crash of exploding shells mingled with the fierce roll of the musketry. The firing, while it lasted, was the most rapid and constant that ever had been heard in the Valley. As far away as Winchester, people left their houses and stood in silent groups outside, listening to the terrifying sounds of the battle, ten miles away, that was to determine the next fateful drawing of the tragic lottery of war. Colonel Robert Ellingham, in the Southern ranks, wondered what was happening at Belle Bosquet. In the forenoon he had swept with his men past the old place, facing northward, and seeing everything in flight ahead, capturing pri- soners, and recapturing their own men who had fallen into Federal hands, including the elusive Edward Thornton. Now the Confederates were passing the same point again, hurrying and still more hurried in the opposite direction, driven from the field they thought they had won, in the worst rout of which poor Bob had ever been a part. "By the great horn spoon!" said General Buck- thorn to General Haverill, "we're going to have as much trouble in holding our men back from At the Eleventh Hour 323 charging the enemy now, as we did to stop their retreat this morning! " It had been the intention of General Sheridan to hold back his left after the enemy had been dis- lodged, and, by advancing his right, to force the Confederates to the east of the Valley Pike, thus cutting off their retreat to Strasburg and Fisher's Hill. But, even as the veteran Buckthorn had whimsically remarked, the troops were so bent upon avenging their reverses of the morning that there was no restraining them, and the whole line pressed on irresistibly until the old camps on Cedar Creek had been regained, together with enough prisoners, guns, wagons, and battle-flags to turn previous mortification into riotous joy, and make matter for a rousing despatch to send to Washington. While Early's troops were still running, and Sheridan's revelling, the customary sad truce was declared, in order to permit the removal of the wounded from the field, and the decent disposal of the dead. Not only soldiers, but civilians from far and near, flocked upon the scene. From Winchester, Kernstown, Newtown, Middletown, up from the Valley and down from the moun- tains, came men and women, searching amidst the heaped-up horrors where late the battle lines Shenandoah had stood. Some came for love, and some, alas! for loot. Sunset reddened the ghastly field, then fell the inky pall of night, and the lanterns of the ghostly ministrants twinkled in the gloom, far beyond the circling camps. As the searchers and the ambulance corps went over the desolated ground, an uncouth mountain- eer who had picked up a good Springfield rifle, the property of the United States Government, was halted by a mounted Union officer, and ordered to lay down his booty. Instead of obey- ing, he stalked around, taking in every detail of the officer's outfit, and finally said: "That 's a right smart pair o' boots o' yourn, Cap. Ef you don't look sharp, I reckon I'll git them, next time." "Now, what 's the use trying to beat people like that" muttered the soldier of Uncle Sam, as he rode off, shaking his head. Gertrude Ellingham, Madeline West, and Jenny Buckthorn, led by Sergeant Barket and followed by the faithful Josephus, made up one of the most indefatigable groups of rescuers. They had as- certained that Kerchival West was not among the living Federal troops, either in the celebrating camps or in the hospital tents. Now at last they sought a pitiful, uncertain comfort in satisfying 324 At the Eleventh Hour 325 themselves that he was not among the dead on the field. "General Haverill told me," said Gertrude, "'that although our-I mean the Southern-troops were defeated, they managed to carry off a con- siderable number of prisoners. I believe Colonel West is amongst them." " I know Captain Heartsease is," murmured Jenny, forlornly. " If nothing worse has befallen my brother than that," added Madeline, "I suppose I ought to be thankful, as at least he will now be out of the awful fighting. But it is a cruel injustice if that wicked wretch, Captain Thornton, is still to be at large." They rode on in silence-for General Buckthorn had seen to it that they were provided with mounts -until at last Gertrude exclaimed: " I can't rest, anyway-I'm going on. Josephus will follow me. You girls will be all right-won't you, dears" "Where are you going" cried the other two, aghast. "On to the Ford-and then to Fisher's Hill, or Strasburg, or wherever they have gone. Don't mind me-I '11 bring you comforting news, or I won't come back at all. Good night!" And before they could persuade her-that was 326 Shenandoah what she fled from now, as from unbearable torture -she rode off exultantly into the darkness of the mountain shadows, like another Valkyrie bearing her stricken warrior's soul to the glorious and blissful Valhalla. CHAPTER XXI THE VALLEY OF DESOLATION "A moment in the Federal camp- A moment, and away! Back to the pathless forest Before the peep of day. And they who fly in terror deem A mighty host behind, And hear the tramp of thousands Upon the hollow wind." B ELLE BOSQUET was deserted. For miles around stretched the heart-sickening pano- rama of fenceless, trampled fields, ruined farms, and empty granaries. Even the woodlands wore a blighted look, and showed sinister burnt patches on the hillsides. Charred skeletons of dwelling houses and mills, fallen chimneys, and blown-up bridges and foundations, lined the turnpike road and its lateral crossings. If the "crow carrying its rations" across this devastated tract had reached its borders by the leaden light of one of those bleak autumn days, he would have gone into hiding until night-time to complete the journey, 327 328 Shenandoah so hopelessly drear an aspect pervaded that hollow and silent land. For Sheridan had accomplished only too literally the fearsome task assigned him by General Grant: " In pushing up the Shenandoah Valley, . . . it is desirable that nothing should be left to invite the enemy to return. Take all provisions, forage, and stock wanted for the use of your command. Such as cannot be consumed, destroy." And so the beautiful Valley was turned into a barren waste, lit with the lurid glare of two thousand burning barns and seventy mills filled with wheat and corn and farming utensils, while in front of the victorious army, between Winchester and the Potomac, were driven numerous flocks of sheep and thousands of heads of cattle. The same destitution that compelled Early to retreat as far as Newmarket, forty miles south of Cedar Creek, to supply and reorganize the broken Confederate forces, prevented Sheridan from fol- lowing them into this region. His cavalry, how- ever, during this pause in the movements of the main army, was set about a campaign against the guerilla bands of Mosby and Gilmore. These formidable though small and scattered "gangs" of irregulars were recruited from the eastern side of the Blue Ridge, whence they could swoop down The Valley of Desolation 329 upon Federal supply and ambulance trains, and then fly back for refuge whenever hard pressed. Thus the whole region was terrorized by a cease- less desultory warfare of the most ruthless kind. There were grewsome stories, perhaps only too well founded, of atrocities and recriminations such as soldiers themselves shudder at recounting, and that official report and historical record prefer to ignore. It was not until a fortnight after the battle of Cedar Creek that Gertrude Ellingham and the small party of friends and neighbors who journeyed with her and likewise followed the path of neces- sity as well as of duty and affection in moving southward after the army, came up with the corps that had been General Ramseur's, and which included her brother Robert's regiment. But General Ramseur had been killed, the cavalry was for the most part dismounted, and Colonel Ellingham 's precise whereabouts could not be ascertained. He had gone out on a raid with the irregulars who were harassing Sheridan's rear, to prevent his carrying out General Grant's orders to cut Lee's railroad communications by which supplies were brought from the South for the Confederate army at Petersburg. "And what has General Early done with the 330 Shenandoah prisoners he brought here" Gertrude inquired, with sinking heart. "Sent them on-to Danville, maybe to North Carolina, and the officers probably to Richmond," was the vague reply she got. " You see, miss, it 's hard enough scraping now to feed our own men." Kerchival West was among these prisoners, and so was Captain Heartsease, and both were seem- ingly in condition to bear transportation. This much information was elicited on trustworthy authority, and it compensated for the hardships and anxieties through which the dauntless Vir- ginian girl had passed. From Staunton she sent these reassuring tidings to Jenny Buckthorn, who remained with her father at Winchester, and to Madeline West, whom General Haverill had sent with an escort to Washington. Both these girls realized, as Gertrude herself did, that a long and perilous quest alone could lead to the possible ransom of the two Union officers, Colonel Kerchival West and Captain Heartsease, who were adrift on that sea of misery and suffering and horror, the hospitals and prisons of darkest war-time. The three made common cause of their love, their sorrow, and their efforts at relief, the feminine sacrifice in warfare, as heroic as that of fathers, brothers, husbands, and sweethearts. The Valley of Desolation 331 Love alone must guide her in her search, Ger- trude declared, but she had the courage to resolve that love should win. Her home was broken up, the Valley desolated, and the cause upon which all had been staked was narrowing down to a deadly crisis where mere self-interest, fortune, even life itself, had to be thrown unhesitatingly into the balance. While she waited at Staunton for some clue, some enlightenment to determine what direction her pilgrimage should take, now that the winter was about setting in, a detachment of the wild mounted troops came up the Valley from a suc- cessful raid on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, in West Virginia. A bearded savage rushed with a glad cry at Gertrude-and she was laughing and crying in her brother's arms. "Oh, Rob," she faltered, "I was beginning to think I should never see you again, nor any one else I loved." "Don't give up, Sis!" he enjoined, but his tone was worried and serious. "We are not beaten yet. If we have to leave the Valley, the enemy can't stay here, either. He is trying to prevent us from joining General Lee at Petersburg-but in the meantime we are keeping him, and an army bigger than all our Confederate forces put together, 332 Shenandoah from going to help General Grant, who after all is no nearer to Richmond than McClellan was two years and a half ago." "Oh, never mind the armies, now. Where can I find those two poor prisoners" Bob shook his head, and paced the floor in troubled silence. "I don't know-nobody knows," he finally answered. "You are doing the only thing you can do, I suppose, but- Why, dear, we may as well face the truth. There are probably more brave soldiers pining away in prison, on both sides, than have been killed in battle-and sometimes I think it's hard to say which is the worse fate." "But if both sides have so many prisoners who are suffering and dying, why, in the name of humanity and common sense, don't they exchange them " "That is an awful question, sister, and I can't answer it. But I do know of some cases, and I have heard of many more, where Northern soldiers have died in our prison camps for lack of medi- cines, made contraband by their own Government. It does seem to me that they have more men to spare than we have, and that they care less than we do about a few thousands of their rank and file being kept in our 'pens,' as they are rightly called. (-; W ;: 2 = - -Z c 3: w ;: -0 This page in the original text is blank. The Valley of Desolation That is why, according to all I could learn in Richmond, the chief obstacle to proper exchange has been the violation of the cartel by the civil and military authorities of the United States." "Oh, dear," sighed the girl, herself suffering tortures, "do you think our people are treating Colonel West and Captain Heartsease so cruelly as-as some make out" "I hope not," replied Colonel Ellingham. "Our prison commissaries treat officers better than they do common soldiers, but I 'm afraid that does not amount to much, now that our own armies are so scantily supplied. There, now, don't cry-that is n't like my plucky sister. One thing you may be thankful for, and that is, so long as we were under the necessity of letting Thornton loose once more, it is well that Ker- chival, as an unidentified prisoner, is not under present circumstances very likely to be exposed to his tender mercies." "Where is Thornton, now" asked Gertrude, anxiously. "To my certain knowledge, he is keeping in touch with Mosby at Leesburg or Upperville. It is not at all likely he even knows that Kerchival was captured at Cedar Creek. But he is such a vindictive devil, that I suppose he will always 333 Shenandoah be looking out for the satisfaction of his private revenge, before the interests of the Service." On what service Robert was liable to be called any day, it was impossible to predict; but inasmuch as Mosby's battalion of cavalry partisans and the few regular mounted troops co-operating with it constituted the only available force upon which General Lee could count to defeat Sheridan's plans, there was little likelihood of their being withdrawn from the Valley or its approaches during the winter. Gertrude decided, upon her brother's advice as well as her own inclination, to go on to Danville, an important Confederate base near the North Carolina line, whither many pri- soners were sent. From there, it would be con- venient either to reach Richmond or to proceed further south to Salisbury, or Raleigh, or even to Andersonville, Ga., should the sad quest be thus prolonged. The day after Gertrude's departure, Colonel Ellingham was ordered to join the cavalry com- mand which General Rosser was holding loosely together, being obliged to scatter it throughout the country wherever forage could be obtained, as there was none at Staunton. The disintegration of Early's army was plainly foreshadowed. Mean- while the advance of General Sherman northward 334 The Valley of Desolation 335 through the Carolinas called for the concentration of all available Confederate soldiers in the South and East, and it was evident that no considerable force could be brought to interfere with Sheridan's scouting in the Valley or his long contemplated expedition eastward towards Lynchburg, to destroy as much of the Virginia Central Railroad and canal as possible. In the Federal camps, at Kernstown and Win- chester, the bustle of confident activity and a general air of hopeful expectation were as marked as the spirit of grim, dogged determination was behind the scenes at Confederate headquarters. At the beginning of the new year, one of the two divisions of the Nineteenth Corps, under General Buckthorn, was sent to Petersburg, reducing the effective force of the Army of the Shenandoah to one division of infantry and three of cavalry, General Haverill's among the latter. General Haverill's mood of sombre reserve was a matter of inquietude to his friends, and a puzzle to those of the army who knew him only in his soldierly capacity. He went about his military duties in the silent, dispirited manner of a fatalist. Not a man in the army dared to formulate the question that was in the minds of many: Did the General suspect that the heroic Lieutenant Bedloe 336 Shenandoah who sacrificed his life at Three-Top Mountain was his own disgraced son Those who knew best declared that he did not-and the famous despatch to Washington in praise of "Bedloe's" deed was adduced as confirming evidence. When Gertrude Ellingham wrote for particulars as to Kerchival West's violation of the order of arrest to participate in the battle of Cedar Creek, the General replied with formal brevity that he must disclaim responsibility as well as any special knowledge in the matter. When Jenny Buck- thorn questioned him personally in the hope of getting some clue that might aid in finding Cap- tain Heartsease, wounded and captured in Lieu- tenant Bedloe's raid upon the enemy's signal station, he was scarcely more communicative, except on one point: that Captain Heartsease, following the practice of Major Young's scouts, had worn a Confederate uniform, which would put him in the category of a Secret Service officer or spy, and therefore prejudice his status as a prisoner of war. Evidently General Haverill had but little com- fort to give to others; and it was certain he kept none for himself. The chain of circumstances, from the unexplained duel of Kerchival West and Edward Thornton at Charleston, to the recent The Valley of Desolation happenings in which Kerchival's name was still coupled with that of Mrs. Constance Haverill, culminating in the damning fact that the telltale miniature portrait given in a trying hour to young Frank Haverill had turned up three and a half years later in the possession of Colonel West, bound a proud and sensitive nature like that of the General to disdainful silence. There was no lack of occupation to keep personal affairs, whether grave or trivial, out of mind. The diminution of Sheridan's command called for increased vigilance and constant information of the movements and resources of the enemy, par- ticularly with regard to the dreaded activities of the guerillas. For this information, chief re- liance was placed on the excellent force of scouts organized by Major Young. These were all soldiers, and it had been the determination of General Sheridan to maintain the military integrity of this service by admitting no civilians or out- siders into his confidence. In at least one notable instance, this wise rule was broken, to the General's subsequent and lasting regret. A Marylander named Lomas, who claimed to be a deserter from Mosby's band, had on various occasions brought information of more or less accuracy and value, until he came to occupy a 22 337 Shenandoah semi-official position of trust at the Union head- quarters. He then strongly urged the employ- ment of a friend of his named Renfrew, supposed to have been lately within the war councils of the Confederacy, and now anxious to turn his knowl- edge to account in the interest of the United States Government. Sheridan was not enthusi- astic, but told Lomas to bring his colleague into camp for examination. Renfrew came in impenetrable disguise as a mountaineer Confederate soldier, but in his own proper person proved to be a young man of elegant appearance and polished manner, of keen intel- ligence, and obviously possessed of intimate acquaintance with Southern military as well as executive affairs. The Union officers thought this equipment too complete and facile to be altogether trustworthy. Nevertheless, they believed that, under due sur- veillance, Renfrew's services might be of value in certain directions. "Could you bring me a detailed report of re- connoissance down Strasburg and Front Royal way, and over the railroad line to Gordonsville" Sheridan asked. "I could, indeed, General," came the ready reply -"I am perfectly at home throughout that region. 338 The Valley of Desolation I will confess, however, that I had hoped you would not think of sending me so far away until after the fox hunt." This was precisely the answer that General Sheridan desired. He had taken elaborate meas- ures to spread the report that a grand fox hunt was in anticipation, and had even procured a number of caged wild foxes to substantiate the rumor. The idea was that such a report, reaching General Early by "grapevine telegraph," might prompt him to attempt another surprise of the Cedar Creek sort. Renfrew and Lomas were now sent off, under pretence of great urgency and secrecy, on the mission of reconnaissance. At the same time, half of Major Young's available detective force were detailed to shadow them, and to seize them, should certain suspicions prove correct. These shadowers, likewise disguised as Confederate soldiers, soon caught Messrs. Renfrew and Lomas in unmistakable collusion with the Confederate Secret Service headquarters at Staunton, and attempted to close in upon them when they got to Strasburg, on the return trip. Here, at the critical moment, the pursuers unfortunately mis- took a real Confederate officer for one of their own number, disguised. This officer, they discovered 339 Shenandoah too late, was none other than the notorious Cap- tain Thornton. True to his black reputation, when hard pressed he murdered, in cold blood, one of the would-be captors, whereupon the others made their escape, with the utmost difficulty, leav- ing Thornton, Lomas, and Renfrew in the safe hands of their local sympathizers and accomplices. Thornton, who was in disrepute with the Con- federates as well as in every other place where his baneful activities had made him known, now dropped out of sight permanently, except for the brief, tragic, final episode of his career, to be re- counted later. His two accomplices, who sub- sequently turned up in Baltimore, but contrived to evade arrest there, were to reappear in the same portentous connection. General Sheridan's work in the Shenandoah Valley was now practically completed. After Early's final defeat by Custer at Waynesboro where he made his last stand, he took to the woods, and from that time rendered no further practical field service to the Southern Confederacy. Sheri- danwithdrewhis main force and marched eastward, occupying Charlottesville without resistance, des- troying large sections of the railroad between that city and Lynchburg, and doing as much damage as possible along the James River Canal. 340 The Valley of Desolation He was now ready to plan a junction with General Grant at Petersburg, convinced that a decisive Federal victory there would open the gates of Richmond and close the war. At a telegraph station somewhere between Louisa Court House and Beaver Dam, a captured despatch from General Early showed him to be still hovering about the flanks of the Union column, with the last remnant of the army of the Valley. This was soon scattered by Custer, and the unfortunate successor of Stone- wall Jackson escaped to ride into Richmond with a scant half-dozen staff officers and or- derlies, one of the former being Colonel Robert Ellingham. Here in the beleaguered capital, Bob received the first direct word from his sister Gertrude that had come to him for many anxious weeks. She had left Danville, after a long and harrowing search there which disclosed the fact that Kerchi- val West was among a convoy of sick and wounded prisoners lately "sent on," presumably to Rich- mond. Thither Gertrude herself was now mak- ing her way as best she might, attended by the unshakable Josephus, and in company with a family from Hicksville, journeying in their own conveyance towards Petersburg over the miry 341 Shenandoah and hazardous roads of that section of Virginia in the early springtime. "We expect Dinwiddie Court House will be our next stopping-place," Gertrude wrote, "but when we shall reach it, or at what hour of the day or night, and whether or not there will be a shelter where we can snatch an hour's rest, and get a bite to eat, and dry our clothes, we have no idea. Every day, so far, our 'kerridge' has had to be dragged out of mud holes by mules or oxen, if not by our horses aided by our own united efforts. You know only too well, poor dear Bob, what the roads are, with troops travelling to and fro, and artillery and heavy wagons cutting ruts deeper than the wheel-hubs, and nothing but rainy weather! At the dear old hospitable farmhouse where we were put up last night, they said: 'Why do you start out when it is raining' What I would like to know is, why it always rains just when we are starting out! They say we are getting right into the tangle of Federal and Confederate lines, and that the woods are full of Yankees. Oh, Rob! how little that worries me-how happy I could be amidst all these discomforts which I have mentioned to you just as a distraction, if only I knew what awaits at the journey's end! But whatever it may be, 342 The Valley of Desolation 343 you and I will face it together, and I hope-Oh, Rob! you will do all that is possible, won't you, to find out about the prisoners at Libby and Belle Isle and Castle Thunder I take comfort, some- how, in the feeling that there will be a clearing-up and bright skies ahead, if only we persevere in faith. Don't worry about me, Rob. My con- stant prayers for you, and for-for him, until we meet." CHAPTER XXII THE SURRENDER "Chant lustily and loud the strain Of Roland and of Charlemagne, And the dead who deathless all Fell at famous Roncesvalles! " IT was a lovely Sabbath morning of springtime- the 2d of April, i865. The church bells of Richmond had rung out the summons to divine service. A strange mirage of brightness and peace and calm hung over the seven-hilled city shut within a fiery circle of war, like benediction before a battle. At St. Paul's Episcopal Church, the usual large and aristocratic congregation listened attentively to the earnest discourse of the Rev. Dr. Minni- gerode. Jefferson Davis, the Chief Executive of the Southern Confederacy, occupied his pew in the middle of the central aisle, nearly opposite the now vacant one belonging to General Robert E. Lee. An orderly in uniform entered the church, somewhat precipitately yet without disturbance, 344 The Surrender and delivered a telegram to Mr. Davis, who quietly rose and went out. The occurrence was noticed, but attracted no special attention amongst a con- gregation who during four years past had grown accustomed to sudden alarms and untimely notice of threatened attacks. It was the day after the battle of Five Forks. The despatch was from General Lee, announcing his withdrawal from Petersburg, and the conse- quent necessity for the immediate evacuation of Richmond. "Immediate evacuation" meant get- ting out by eight o'clock that night. The news spread as only such news can. Women prayed, men wept and cursed and defied, children won- dered, negroes rather enjoyed the excitement- especially after the issue of a proclamation to the effect that all who wished might come to the Commissary Department and get free provisions. As for the soldiers, they had their orders from General Lee: troops were to leave their lines every- where at eight o'clock that evening, and take up the line of march for Amelia Court House, a small Virginia village on the Richmond & Danville Railroad, some forty miles southwest of Richmond. Early in the afternoon, Colonel Robert Elling- ham hastily dismounted from his horse in front of a house in Franklin Street, and sprang up the 345 Shenandoah front steps. Before he reached the door, it flew open, and Gertrude, freshly dressed in white lawn, extended both hands in eager welcome. Beside her, in black civilian clothes, stood what looked like the ghost of Kerchival West. In the back- ground appeared another familiar phantom of the far past-none other than Doctor Ellingham, of Charleston, now white-haired and more aged- looking than the lapse of years alone should have called for. "Sister! Kerchival, old boy! Uncle!" panted Bob, full of excitement. "Were you prepared for the news What do you think you '11 do" " Kerchival and I are going to be married right away," answered Gertrude, with the astounding imperturbability of one who had arranged and settled everything. " Married! " gasped Bob, instinctively clutching the air, as if for support. "Now-at such a time Don't you know that I am under marching orders, and that President Davis and the Cabinet are to leave for Danville by the evening train- and that the Federal army will be occupying Rich- mond by this time to-morrow" "Yes, Robert-we were in church this morning when the news came. Kerchival and I have figured it all out, and the Doctor agrees with us, 346 The Surrender that, as Richmond has fallen, and Kerchival has been released from Libby on parole, and Uncle is here from Charleston, the only way for us two to guard against separation is to get married now, so that I can be with-with my husband, whatever happens. So we have sent for the Rev. Dr. Minnigerode, and, now that you are here, the ceremony can be performed, and you can be off to join General Lee in half an hour's time-for I suppose he will need you now more than ever." "Yes. So that is the plan, eh Is that the way you see it, Kerchival" "Unless you have some objection, Bob," an- swered Kerchival, with his wan smile, "it really seems the best thing to do. I am only out on parole, and no one can tell what is about to happen." "You are right,-bless you both,-my children! If only Madeline were here " " I promise to do as much as this for you, Bob, when your time comes-and may that be soon and sudden, too." So they were married, Kerchival and Gertrude; and Colonel Ellingham left them, immediately after the ceremony, radiantly happy together in the midst of the climactic converging of all the storms of war. 347 Shenandoah Gertrude had arrived to find Richmond bank- rupt and Petersburg shivering and starving, yet the people in both places buoyant with faith, and persistently ignoring the reverses and troubles piling up all around them. She herself became infected with this nonchalant spirit, as soon as she found that her lover was "safe" in Libby, where the coldly proffered but efficacious influence of General Haverill might be counted upon to secure his release, now that the Southerners were reduced to the necessity of-skimping the rations even of their own Spartan soldiers. Dr. Elling- ham, incapacitated by illness from further service in the field, had removed the wreck of his home and fortune to the Virginia capital, after the bom- bardment and siege of Charleston by Major- General Gilmore. His house now gave shelter to his dauntless niece from the Shenandoah Valley, and his conduct of the Confederate end of the negotiations which eventually brought about a general exchange of sick prisoners and the parole of Kerchival West constituted the supreme bene- faction in that time of bitterest need. The material circumstances which were deemed but trifling inconveniences by comparison with affairs of the heart, and of pride and principle, included an appalling scarcity of food, clothing, 348 The Surrender fuel, and provender for horses, and a correspond- ing excess of Confederate paper money, popularly declared with but slight exaggeration to be "not worth ten cents per yard." There must have been a billion dollars of it in circulation, and 6o for i represented its purchasing power in exchange for real specie money. Bacon was 9 per pound, and corn-meal 20 per peck. Milk would have been 4 per quart, had there been any on sale. Rice, peas, parched corn, and dried apples were staples of the daily menu. In some mansions of wealth, firewood was stored in the pantry, and (unless rumor exaggerated) one might occasionally even find a chicken tied to a bedpost! But still, tea parties were given sans tea, and piano-music and dancing were plentiful at no increased cost. The fugitives from shot and shell, the orphans from fire and sword, laughed as the thunder of guns rolled up from the banks of the Appomattox; for their faith in "Uncle Robert" Lee and his shoeless, starving soldiers amounted to an abiding and sustaining superstition. On this eventful Sunday of April, while the streets were full of people hurrying in all directions at the order of evacuation, and the forces of dis- order were already gathering for the riots that would break loose at nightfall, the newly-wedded 349 Shenandoah pair stood hand in hand at the window in the old- fashioned parlor fronting on Franklin Street. Gertrude said: "Oh, Kerchival! I am so thankful, and so happy. Are you" "You have answered your question in asking it, my darling," he replied, with grave tenderness. "I am as happy as you are. You have given to me, and yet you still have, your joy in life and your heart of faith." "Ah! does that remind you of anything Do you remember the text of Dr. Hoge's sermon, that first time we went to church together, to celebrate your freedom It was: 'By faith, Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. ' " President Davis and his Cabinet had left Richmond by special train for Danville. Colonel Robert Ellingham had hurried away on horseback in the opposite direction, immediately after the marriage ceremony, to join the army of General Lee, now marching out of Petersburg up the north side of the Appomattox River towards Amelia Court House. The only people who remained in Richmond 350 0 0 0c This page in the original text is blank. The Surrender 351 were those who were poor and could not go away; or those who, like the Ellinghams, had home in- terests to hold them there and no other place to go to should they leave the city; and those others who, like Colonel Kerchival West, were Union soldiers in Confederate prisons or on parole. General Ewell, in military command at Richmond, had made arrangements, in obedience to a Con- gressional war ordinance, to burn all the tobacco stored in the warehouses, so that it should not fall into the hands of the enemy. These fires were started by the soldiers, and left to spread un- checked and uncontrolled. Night-time came, but darkness did not fall, for the red glow of con- flagration was over all. Before midnight, whole blocks of stores and public buildings in the busi- ness section between Main Street and the river were flaming, smoking, or blackened heaps of ruins. The stately residences of the upper sections were threatened, not only by the rain of sparks, but by incendiaries who ran amuck with lighted torches, and threw blazing tar-balls upon roofs and into balconies. Looters had free license. Boxes of provisions were strewn about the streets, barrels of liquor were broken open, and the gutters ran with whiskey and molasses. The night was hideous with the yells, curses, and songs of drunken sol- Shenandoah diers and negroes. The few people in the fine houses moved about through darkened rooms, talking in whispers, or sat all night watching behind closed blinds. At eight o'clock next morning, April 3d, the flag of the Southern Cross which had fluttered over the Capitol for four years came down, and the Union emblem of the Stars and Stripes was run up in its place. Richmond was in the hands of the Federals, under General Weitzel. At the same time, General Grant was riding into Petersburg, through deserted streets, between rows of closed, silent houses. The next day he started with his army after the departing Confed- erates, his columns moving south of the Appomat- tox parallel to Lee's route north of that stream. He had foreseen that Lee in his retreat would endeavor to reach Amelia Court House, where his separate columns coming from Petersburg and Richmond could unite, and where he might ex- pect to receive supplies. A Confederate courier captured by Sheridan's cavalry was found tobecar- rying a duplicate despatch confirming the supposi- tion that supplies had been ordered to that point, also indicating that Lynchburg, and not Danville as originally planned, was the objective point of Lee's army. 352 The Surrender 353 At Amelia Court House, where instead of get- ting the expected rations the gaunt, sun-browned Southern soldiers had to fill their knapsacks with ears of corn to be parched en route, Colonel El- lingham once more ran across that tireless optimist of the Cause, Major Ruffin-he of the uncompro- mising belligerency, who had fired the first shot on Sumter, at Charleston, now nearly four years agone. "Well, Major," said Bob, "you see we are still at it-trying out your proposition that the great Southern Confederacy is invincible." "Yes, and I 'm proud to see you," responded the old fire-eater. "If they 'd let me, I 'd be right glad to march on with you to Lynchburg, where General Lee can form a junction with Johnston's army, and carry on the war for twenty years more, if necessary. Never say die, sir! " Two days later, the retreat continuing, Sheridan descended with a large force upon the Confederate rear guard at Sailor's Creek, a small tributary flowing north into the Appomattox, and over- whelmed the commands of Generals Ewell and Anderson, capturing these and several other high officers, including General Lee's eldest son, General G. W. Custis Lee. On April 7th, the Confederates stopped at 23 Shenandoah Farmville to feast-having come up with the first provisions that had reached them since leaving Petersburg-and to fight again. This time they succeeded in beating off Sheridan's cavalry, and pushed on another stage towards Lynchburg. But the once great Army of Northern Virginia was now reduced to two small corps of infantry, and the cavalry corps under Generals Fitz Lee, Gordon, and Rosser-for the one-time commander of the Laurel Brigade of the Shenandoah Valley had rallied a new mounted force, and was now doing yeoman's service in an all but hopeless campaign where laurels were scarce, but where loyalty and courage did not go unhonored. Colonel Robert Ellingham was with Gordon, whose cavalry corps, after fighting all the way from Petersburg as rear guard for the wagon trains, was now transferred to the front. " My corps is worn to a frazzle," said the gallant Gordon, at the campfire council on the night of the 8th, "but if the force beyond Appomattox Court House is Sheridan's cavalry alone, we can hold it until Longstreet comes up, and then cut through." The attack was made at daybreak. There was a moment when it took on the factitious look of a victory, as the Confederate lines charged,cheering 354 The Surrender 355 wildly, and redoubled their fire, while the Union cavalry slowly fell back. They did not know that Sheridan already had the game in his hands, and was now only skirmishing for a wind-up, with- out incurring any more loss than should be ab- solutely needful. No sooner had the cavalry disappeared from their front than Lee's troops saw the solid infantry lines of the Army of the James massed before them, ready for an attack. Long- street, covering the Confederate rear, was at the same time threatened by Meade with a superior force, and could not come to Gordon's aid. The firing suddenly ceased. The Confederate line halted, hesitated, then sullenly faced about and fell back upon the confused, forlorn mass of ragged grays that were huddled around Appomattox Court House. "The war in Virginia is over," said Sheridan to General Haverill, passing as the latter's troops still advanced, until a white flag of truce appeared in the distance, approaching like a reluctant dove of peace. The Army of Northern Virginia had fought to the last ditch, and still stood unconquered, hold- ing out for honorable terms of surrender. Bril- liant as General Lee's battles had been, the demon- strations of genius and character which he gave in Shenandoah this six days' retreat from Petersburg and Rich- mond rivalled the lustre of his greatest victories. "Then, there is nothing left me but to go and see General Grant," he now said. "Oh, General!" came the protest of his lieu- tenants, "what will the world say of the surrender of your army in the field " "Yes, they will say hard things of us, I know. They will not understand how we were over- whelmed by numbers. But that is not the ques- tion. The question is, is it right to surrender If it is right, then I will take all the responsibility." The note brought under flag of truce to the Federal lines was General Lee's reply to an earlier communication from General Grant. The propo- sition had been made, and accepted, for a suspen- sion of hostilities pending negotiations looking to the surrender of Lee's army. General Grant at this moment was some miles distant from Ap- pomattox Court House, on the Farmville and Lynchburg road. In his absence no definite ar- rangements could be made. But a swift courier was despatched with the message, and the troops were halted in their respective positions. During the interval occupied by these arrange- ments, a stately, gray-bearded Federal officer approached Colonel Ellingham, who had been 356 The Surrender sent by General Gordon with the flag of truce, and drawing something-doubtless a document-from his side pocket, said: "Colonel, I have been requested, while waiting, to extend to you the courtesies of this side of the line"-at the same time proffering the supposed document, which proved to be a silver flask. Poor Bob was worn, hungry, and dispirited; but he downed the temptation manfully, saying politely: "I thank you, General, but having been sent here under grave circumstances, solely to bring and return communication, I fear I cannot properly either accept or offer any courtesies." The only material courtesy he could have offered would have been to hand out the unparched corn with which his coat-tail pocket was stuffed! The Union officer bowed, begged pardon, and returned the flask to his pocket without looking at it again. Then he approached a step nearer, and said in a hearty tone: " Very good, Robert! I am glad to see that you are still true to your old principles of temperance and strict attention to duty." Then Colonel Elingham recognized General Haverill-the Mexican War comrade of his father under the old flag, and his own and Gertrude's 357 358 Shenandoah guardian until the great sundering of sacred ties by the awful outbreak of civil strife that now had spent itself after laying the country and its hones and industries desolate. And as he stood there under the flag of truce, in the condition of a conquered rebel before the powerful, uncompromising foe, the young South- ern soldier felt his heart go out to the veteran warrior of the Union, now gray and careworn from long service and heart-breaking sacrifice at the altar of patriotism. " We meet under difficult circumstances, General Haverill," faltered Bob, "but-I trust there are no hard feelings" " None, Robert, my boy-quite the contrary. It is time, God knows! How are Gertrude, and " "She and Kerchival were married last Sunday," answered Bob. He saw the General's face alter strangely, and his whole attitude stiffen, as if his heart had suddenly frozen. So he hastened to add: "But we have not been able to locate Captain Heartsease, and I hardly dare to speculate as to what has become of him." "On that point, I can give you welcome news," said General Haverill, recovering his old cordiality. " He escaped while being transferred from Danville and came to us at Petersburg to rejoin the corps. The Surrender But he was in no condition for campaigning, so I sent him on to Washington, where I have no doubt Miss Jenny Buckthorn will succeed in nursing him to recovery." In due time word was received from General Grant that he was coming on immediately to dis- cuss terms of surrender with the Southern com- mander. General Grant's courier found General Lee near Appomattox Court House, lying under an apple-tree upon a blanket spread over some rails -whence originated the report about Lee's having surrendered " beneath the apple-tree of Appo- mattox." The historic meeting of the two generals really took place at the house of Mr. Wilmer McLean, a Virginian who before and during the first battle of Manassas had resided at McLean's Ford, over Bull Run, and who had removed thence to Appo- mattox expressly in order to be out of the war's way. What a strange freak of destiny was that which now brought both armies to this fancied secure retreat to end here the fighting begun at Bull Run nearly four years previously! General Grant, accompanied by Generals Sheri- dan and Ord, and several other officers, including General Haverill, presented a striking contrast to General Lee, who with a couple of staff officers 359 360 Shenandoah awaited him in the old-fashioned parlor of the McLean residence. Grant, forty-three years old, medium-sized and somewhat stoop-shouldered, wore no marks of rank except a general's shoulder-straps on his blue flannel blouse. His trousers were tucked in his boots, and he had neither spurs nor sword. Lee, a dozen years older than his late adversary, had the stature and bearing of an old knight crusader. His hair and beard were silver-gray. He wore a plain but handsome uniform of Confederate gray, top boots with spurs, gauntlets, and a dress sword. This unaccustomed side-arm was a splendid blade, engraved on one side with the motto: "Aide toi et Dieu t'aidera," on the other side with the in- scription, reminiscent of the campaign that had ended at Antietam: "General Robert E. Lee, from a Marylander, i863." The two commanders, now brought together to arbitrate the destinies of a nation, had met once, eighteen years before, in Mexico, when Lee was an engineer officer on the staff of General Scott, and Grant a subaltern of infantry. After a pleasant allusion to that meeting, with the ex- change of greetings, General Lee proceeded at once to the business in hand, by saying: "General Grant, it is due to a frank under- The Surrender standing between us that I should say at the outset that I am willing to discuss surrender only on terms consistent with the honor of my army, which otherwise is prepared to resist to the very last." "I have no idea of proposing any but honorable terms, General," replied Grant, "but I should be glad to have you outline what you would consider as such." The terms of surrender discussed and reduced to writing at General Lee's request, embraced the parole of officers and men "not to take up arms against the Government of the United States until properly exchanged "; arms, artillery, and public property to be turned over to Federal of- ficers;--this latter provision not embracing the side-arms of the Confederate officers, nor their private horses or baggage. Before this draft was copied in ink for signing, General Lee took opportunity to remark that his cavalrymen and many of the artillerymen owned their horses, and asked whether these men, as well as the officers, would be permitted to retain them. "I suppose," said Grant sympathetically, "that a great many of the men in your ranks are small farmers when they are at home, and in that case will need their horses just now to put in crops to carry themselves and their families through next ,36 i 362 Shenandoah winter. Well, then, we will have it set down that any man who claims to own a horse or mule may retain the animal and take it home with him." "That will have a very good effect," said Lee, much gratified. The Union commander acted with good grace in his own disposition, and at the same time was in perfect accord with the expressed wish of Presi- dent Lincoln at Richmond, when General Weitzel had asked what he should do in regard to the "conquered people ": "Oh, if I were you, I 'd let 'em up easy," was Mr. Lincoln's reply-" I 'd let 'em up easy." Indeed, the behavior of Grant at Appomattox touched the heights of true poetic chivalry, spring- ing from a kind and magnanimous heart. He neither demanded nor accepted Lee's sword, as formal military custom might have justified him in doing, but actually apologized for not having his own, which in the hurry of departure he had left behind in the wagon. After the formal preliminaries to the surrender had been concluded, without any dramatic bun- combe or parade of triumph, General Lee feelingly alluded to the destitution of his soldiers, and their prisoners, who for a week past had been living chiefly upon parched corn, and were badly in need The Surrender 363 of both rations and forage. Here General Sheridan was consulted, and said he could send 25,000 rations at once. That amount, General Lee de- clared, would be ample, and would give welcome relief. Probably not Io,ooo men of the Army of Northern Virginia were present under arms at the surrender. The total number, including those who afterward reported for parole, was about 26,ooo. They were outnumbered by Grant's army in the proportion of more than six to one. General Lee bowed to the Federal officers present, and departed from the McLean house, pausing a moment as he descended the steps to look sadly out over the valley where his army lay, then mounted his gray war-horse, Traveller, and rode back to the Confederate lines. His war-worn, tattered veterans crowded around him, and- "Something on the soldier's cheek Washed off the stain of powder." The only words he could utter were: " Men, we have fought through the war together. I have done my best for you. My heart is too full to say more." Three days after the surrender, the Army of Northern Virginia was but a name and a memory -its veterans, after four years' service marked by Shenandoah unsurpassed courage and fortitude, without re- ward or glory, had quietly disbanded, to exchange the sword and musket for the implements of peace and husbandry. Throughout the country, the announcement was received with varied emotions; but every- where, North and South alike, went up a profound sigh of relief. In many a New England village, many an em- bowered town of the Middle and Western States, handbills printed in flaming red proclaimed: " THANK GOD! "Lee Has Surrendered with his Army of 30,000 to General Grant. "There will be a Grand Celebration with Fireworks at the Town Hall, this evening at 8 o'clock. "COME ONE, COME ALL! "Those owning horses will please ride them, and join in the Cavalry Parade." From Amelia County, Virginia, came news of the suicide of Major Edmund Ruffin. He had 364 The Surrender 365 shot himself through the head upon hearing that Lee had surrendered. "There was a character for you, sir-a very Cato! " exclaimed Dr. Ellingham, when he learned of this tragic epilogue. " Ruffin fired the first shot of the war, against Sumter-and now he has fired the last shot, too. Yes, sir, he was a Cato of the Old Dominion." CHAPTER XXIII "WITH MALICE TOWARD NONE" "O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won. But 0 heart! heart! heart! 0 the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead." G ENERAL SHERIDAN, after the surrender of Lee at Appomattox Court House, re- ceived orders to march into North Carolina and aid General Sherman, who was about to resume active operations against the still recalcitrant Confederates commanded by General Johnston. On his way thither he was met with the news that Johnston had accepted the inevitable, and sur- rendered his army on the same terms which had been granted to General Lee. Thereupon the cavalry returned to Petersburg, and Sheridan himself went on ahead to Washington, to await the grand review of the Federal armies by President Lincoln before their disbandment. 366 "I With Malice Toward None" 367 Alas! it was written in the inscrutable Book of Fate that the War President should never witness that re-entry of his victorious armies into Washing- ton. It was likewise decreed that when the review should take place, General Sheridan was not to be in it, nor would he ever again meet as an organi- zation the officers and men who had followed him and fought his battles so gallantly on many a field. He was even now under orders to go south and stamp out the last smouldering embers of Rebel- lion in Louisiana and Texas. General Grant was anxious that he should assume his new duties without delay. Meanwhile, everything and everybody in the National Capital had imperceptibly taken on the mood and aspect of rejoicing. The very weather, the stars, and the flowers, seemed to smile and glow and bloom in sympathy. In that advanced springtime, there were even lilacs full-blown by the middle of April. And all the people seemed to breathe in the air "that vast, vague wonder, Victory-the nation's victory, the triumph of the Union, filling the day and the night, the thoughts and the senses of men and women, with an exhila- ration surpassing that of music and perfumes." General Grant was there, unostentatiously busy sending off orders to stop recruiting, and the pur- Shenandoah chase of supplies, and to muster out the army. General Sheridan was there, with a few of his cavalry officers, but these latter did not include General Haverill, who remained with the army on its leisurely march towards Washington. On Good Friday, the 14th of April, the after- noon papers bore the reiterated announcement: " The President and his Lady, with General Grant, the Hero of Appomattox, will be at the Theatre this evening." The theatre specified was the historic Ford's, on Tenth Street, a little above Pennsylvania Avenue, where Laura Keene, a favorite actress of the time, was to give a benefit performance of a ridiculous comedy written by the English play- wright, Tom Taylor, entitled Our American Cousin. Surprise was expressed in some quarters, not at the President's having promised to go and see the play, but on account of his attending the theatre on Good Friday. Mr. Lincoln's predilection for the playhouse was well known. Many of his friends thought it a bizarre circumstance that he, protagonist of one of the most stupendous real- life dramas of modem times, could thus lose him- self in following with child-like interest the tricks and antics of players on the mimic stage. 368 "1 With Malice Toward None " 369 However, on this particular occasion he would willingly have remained at home. "It has been advertised in the newspapers that we will be at the theatre," he said to friends when the matter was alluded to during the day, "and I can't disappoint the people. Otherwise I would not go." General Grant did not feel himself bound by any such obligation, and when late in the afternoon his wife asked him to accompany her on a journey that would take them out of Washington that evening, he readily consented. The performance at Ford's Theatre opened brilliantly enough. The President and Mrs. Lincoln came early, and were greeted with the acclaim of an overflowing audience, while the orchestra played the national anthem. It was in the second act of the play-following the exit of Asa Trenchard after the absurd scene in which he informs the pair of English ladies that he is not a man of fortune, and therefore is un- desirable for marriage-catching purposes-that the Muses of Tragedy and History suddenly rung down the curtain. From the flag-draped stage box of the second tier, in which President Lincoln and his party sat, came the startling sound of a pistol-shot, which 24 370 Shenandoah most of the audience thought for a brief instant to be incidental to the play. Then, in the vague hush that followed, a piercing scream brought many people to their feet, as the figure of a man appeared upon the railing of the proscenium box and leaped to the stage below, brandishing in one hand a large, glittering knife. "Sic semper tyrannis!" he cried, with clear dramatic emphasis, then turned and made a rapid exit diagonally across the stage to the back, like a swift, demoniacal spirit of evil. " Murder! He has killed the President! " came the heart-rending cry of Mrs. Lincoln, as with ghastly face she leaned out of the box and pointed to the retreating assassin. Another second's pause, and then pandemonium broke loose. Men burst through railings, climbed over chairs, swarmed upon the stage and mingled with the terrified rouge-faced actors-women fainted, children screamed in terror, police and soldiers tore their way through the seething, roar- ing crowd-and amidst all could be heard the clatter of a horse's hoofs as the mysterious assail- ant of the President made his escape down the stone-paved alley back of the theatre. President Lincoln had been shot in the back of the head, at close range. He fell from his chair, "With Malice Toward None" 371 his life-blood oozing from the wound, and never recovered consciousness. An army surgeon or two hastily attended him as best they could in the frightful panic and confusion. As soon as the theatre could be cleared, and way made through the vast crowd that gathered in the street out- side, the stricken President was carried to a private house opposite and laid on a bed in a small back room that happened to be unoccupied. Here, shortly after seven o'clock the next morning, he breathed his last. So, in one sudden, blinding flash, in one simple, savage deed, culminated the long, involved, trag- ical epic of the four years' war for the preserva- tion of the Union. So dramatically died the great War President, the Emancipator of four million slaves, he who "with malice toward none, with charity for all," had through darkest hours held aloft the sword of fire, in the God-inspired resolve that this nation should "have a new birth of free- dom,-and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, should not perish from the earth." The assassin, John Wilkes Booth, a fanatical actor from Baltimore, managed with the aid of accomplices to escape across the Potomac and into the wilds of Virginia, where twelve days later he Shenandoah was overtaken by one of the squadrons of cavalry sent out to scour the country in his pursuit, and was shot down, like a maddened wolf in a trap, amidst the burning ruins of a barn in which he had taken refuge. When General Grant and General Sheridan met in Washington after the first stupefying sensation aroused by the President's murder had begun to subside, the commander of the Army of the Shen- andoah asked the Lieutenant-General if he could describe the personal appearance of Booth. This General Grant was able to do accurately, because on the fatal day of the i4th he had been followed on Pennsylvania Avenue by a mysterious horse- man, afterwards ascertained to have been Booth, who undoubtedly had planned to kill the General as well as President Lincoln, had the former at- tended the theatre as expected. Sheridan also studied the widely circulated picture of Booth, and finally declared: "That is undoubtedly the same man who came to me in the Valley campaign last fall, under the name of Renfrew, engaged in the Secret Service, and was afterward caught communicating with the enemy." It now transpired that the information which led to the running down of Booth after his assas- 372 0 I..e o4t This page in the original text is blank. "With Malice Toward None " 373 sination of the President was extorted from a Mosby guerilla whom Colonel Conger, of the pur- suing cavalry, had run across on the way into Virginia. This circumstance was a further link in the connection between Booth or "Renfrew," and the Confederate Secret Service Corps with whom the last-named had been caught communicating, through the sinister mediumship of that arch-spy and desperado, Edward Thornton. CHAPTER XXIV LOVE RULES "Fold up the banners! smelt the gunsl Love rules; her gentler purpose runs. A mighty mother turns in tears The pages of her battle years, Lamenting all her fallen sons." HE double wedding was to take place at St. TJohn's, Washington. In that venerable and picturesque old church, across the park from the White House, the gallant and impetuous Captain Heartsease, after an intermittent courtship that had lasted considerably longer than the late Civil War, was finally to claim Jenny Buckthorn as his unblushing bride. And as an added feature of the occasion, Colonel Robert Ellingham, late of the Confederate army,-arriving through a verit- able Odyssey of experiences after Appomattox, was to be united inseparably with gentle but unfaltering Madeline West. Such an event, of course, would be incomplete without Madeline's brother Kerchival and Colonel 374 Love Rules Ellingham's sister Gertrude: that happy pair of "newly-weds" were even now hastening on from Richmond for the grand matrimonial celebration of the war's ending. Dr. Ellingham had promised to come with them. The headquarters of the joy- ous and eventful reunion was to be the hospitable home of General Buckthorn. So far, so good. But what about those other two persons, without whom anything like a re- assembling of the Charleston party of four years ago would be inconceivable Where were General Haverill and his wife The General's return to Washington was set for the very day of the wedding of his former ward, Robert Ellingham. That the call of his own home had not brought him back long before seemed unaccountable to all-most of all to his own wife, Mrs. Constance Haverill. Mrs. Haverill and her daughter Edith, as she now called poor Frank's widow, sat together in the cosey morning-room of the Haverill residence, the day before the-before THE day. Edith's little son, a sturdy four-year-old, was playing soldier with some other children in the dooryard outside, and the sounds of childish merriment had cheered the habitually pensive mood of the two women. 375 Shenandoah "It seems hardly possible that the war is over," said Edith, standing at the window. "With the troops returning, and the flags flying, and the bands playing, every day is like a holiday. And so it is, I suppose, for those fortunate women whose husbands are coming back to them." "Yes, Edith, dear," sighed Mrs. Haverill, "to those women whose husbands are coming back to them.-Ah, forgive me, pet! I was selfishly thinking of myself,-but you know that in my heart I also share your grief." "Yes, I do know that, Constance. You have been both mother and sister to me, and-and I would share your trouble, too,-if you would let me. I have so often found you in tears, and have not asked why, and yet I think I know. It is months since you have shown me any letter from General Haverill-from Frank's father. And, did you not expect the General home before now" "That is what I meant, when I spoke." "I wonder if it is because I am here He has never seen me, and sometimes I fear he has never forgiven our marriage-Frank's and mine." "Nonsense, Edith child!" Mrs. Haverill re- joined, quickly. " If only that were all! He will at least be eager to see you now, and little Frankie." 376 Love Rules "And yet, in his official report to the Govern- ment, when he told the whole world how bravely Frankie's father died, General Haverill only wrote the name of Lieutenant Bedloe. It looks as though nothing, in his mind, could atone for the disgrace his son brought upon his name." Mrs. Haverill rose from her chair and turned away, brushing her handkerchief across her eyes, as she said, more to herself than to Edith: "I know him so well-the pride that conquers all the tenderness in his nature. He can be silent and cold, when his heart is breaking-yes, and when my heart is breaking, too! " A message came, a little later, from General Buckthorn, saying that Captain Heartsease had something of importance for Edith and Mrs. Haverill, and inviting them to come over to his house as soon as possible to receive it. With anxious steps the two hastened thither, so promptly that at the moment of their arrival the old General himself was not on hand to receive them. But Miss Jenny and her Captain were, and that more than sufficed. "My dear madam," said Captain Heartsease, addressing himself to Edith, "I sincerely crave your pardon and indulgence. The fact is, these last few days I have been in such a fever " 377 Shenandoah "Chills and fever-mostly chills," interrupted Jenny. "-of excitement and emotion, don't you know, that a very important, I may say a very sad, commission was for the time crowded out of my memory. I have for you here the note-book of Lieutenant Frank Bedloe-otherwise Haverill-in which Miss Gertrude Ellingham wrote down his dying message to his young wife-to you, madam." Edith seized the precious relic, clasped it to her heart, kissed it, and then tried through eyes brimming with tears, to scan its blurred pages, while chokingly uttering her thanks to Captain Heartsease. "How did it come into your possession" Mrs. Haverill asked him. "Why, you see, Miss Ellingham-now, I should say, Mrs. Colonel Kerchival West-sent it to me from Richmond as soon as she learned I was here, because it was uncertain at what time the Colonel would be released on his parole, and- " "Here they are!" called the deep, hoarse voice of General Buckthorn, as he blustered in, attended by the faithful Sergeant Barket. "Ladies, wel- come to our camp! Jenny, have n't you relieved the Captain yet Order him to the billiard room, can't you" 378 Love Rules "'Bout face! March!" commanded Miss Buckthorn, in her strictest military style. Heartsease marched. Jenny slipped an arm around Edith's waist, and walked with her towards a window alcove. Mrs. Haverill would have followed, but General Buckthorn approached her, gravely and gently, to whisper: "Will you come with me, Mrs. Haverill I must have you by yourself, to prepare you for something that is going to startle you, but will do you good. Your husband is here, and you are going to meet him alone in the library." Mrs. Haverill gasped, clutched his arm, and looked with yearning inquiry into his face. "I don't know what is up between you and the General," he said, as they moved slowly down the corridor towards the library door, "but you 'd better fight it out on this line, and make terms of surrender. The war is over now." The old soldier knocked, opened the door, bowed Mrs. Haverill in, and then retreated. "Constance!" exclaimed General Haverill, standing stern and impassive. " My husband-may I still call you so, after this long separation, without one word " " I can only speak the word 'wife' in one way, and that is with the old-time affection and confidence." 379 Shenandoah "And what have I done to forfeit those" " I will answer you, if you will answer me. Where is the miniature portrait which I gave you, in Charleston, for my son" " Why-your son is dead, John, and my portrait must be in the grave with him. Don't you know" For answer, General Haverill took the worn case from his pocket, opened it, and held it forth in his extended hand. She looked at it, then at him, in wondering interrogation. " It might have lain in the grave with Kerchival West," he said. "What do you mean by that You must tell me." "I mean that I have it, not from my son, but from-the other. You are silent Well, you know now why I, also, have been silent so long." The unhappy wife's agitation was pitiable, as she stood there mute, with brimming eyes, flushed cheeks, and heaving bosom. At last, with brave self-conquest, she said proudly: "My chief witness to the truth is dead. The other, you have had sufficient opportunity to examine, I should suppose. As Colonel West is not here, I shall remain silent--even though that silence parts us, you and me, forever." "And yet," he went on, pleadingly now, "as 38o Love Rules 38i I look into your eyes I '11 swear I can see only truth and loyalty there." "No, John," she answered, gently, turning away from him, "I will not accept your blind or unwilling faith." "Oh-aw-I beg a thousand pardons-thought Miss Buckthorn was here-" The door opened a second to admit this flying apology, then shut as suddenly, as Captain Heartsease, staring aghast through his monocle, retired in confusion. "Colonel West will be here with Gertrude, for the wedding, to-morrow," General Haverill con- tinued, when he and his wife were left alone again. "Shall you and I meet them as we are parting now " Before she could reply, the door opened again, and this time Jenny Buckthorn peered in. " Oh, dear! I was looking for Captain Hearts- ease. Please excuse- Why, General Haverill! Papa said you had come back, and I would n't believe him. And-you have n't seen Edith, yet " " Not yet, but I am anxious to do so, as soon as possible," he replied. Then he murmured, to himself, " My son's wife! " Jenny led the way back to the drawing-room, the General and Mrs. Haverill following. Shenandoah Edith came forward to meet them, eagerly, yet timorously. General Haverill took her hand, and kissed her on the forehead, saying: "You shall take the place my son once filled in my heart." "You will see his own face again, sir, in our little son's," she replied. " I am happy that Frank won your forgiveness at the last,-and that the boy will soon be old enough to understand your words telling how his father died a hero." " My words " repeated the General, vaguely. "Yes, sir-in the despatch to the Government from Cedar Creek. You gave the name of Lieu- tenant Bedloe, but " "Ah, yes. He died before I reached him, but my prayers went up for him then, as they do now." "Here is his note-book-with his last message to me," continued Edith, biting her lips, to keep from crying. " He says: 'Tell our little son how his father died, not how he lived. And tell her who filled my own mother's place so lovingly Here she broke down. Mrs. Haverill had turned away, sobbing. "Go on, my child," urged General Haverill. " 'My father's portrait of her, which she gave to me in Charleston, helped me to be a better man. It was taken away from me while I was a prisoner 382 Love Rules 383 in Richmond, by Captain Edward Thornton- Confederate Secret Service " "One moment, please!" cried General Haverill, reaching for the note-book. "Let me think. Thornton was taken a prisoner-and searched- by Kerchival West-and then he broke away, and wounded Colonel West, and he had in his pocket- Oh, Constance, my wife! In the presence of all, let me humbly beg your forgiveness for my unreasonableness and misunderstanding, these long months past." " Can it be that you did not receive Constance's -mother's-letter, after Frank's death" ven- tured Edith, trying to bridge over the awkward silence that ensued. General Haverill only shook his head, bowed in penitence. Mrs. Haverill went up and kissed him, and he clasped her in his arms. "Well, that 's settled," growled a voice as from the battlefield. "Now let 's have a-ahem! I mean some refreshments- Barket, tell old Mar- gery to serve the tea and things in here, and bring up Heartsease, and then we'll swap stories about how some parts of the war might have been fought out, but were n't." After old General Buckthorn's reinforcements had been duly ordered up, and saved the day, Shenandoah the interest centred in Captain Heartsease's thril- ling but fragmentary and always to-be-continued narration of his adventures after being wounded and captured in the raid on the signal station, before the battle of Cedar Creek. Jenny Buck- thorn had to draw him out. "Did n't you long to see your friends, and so forth, at home, when you were in that Rebel prison" she asked. "Aw-naturally. However, there were quite a jolly lot of chaps there, and we had our own fun. We got up a regular orchestra, and gave concerts, don't you know. I had a banjo with one string, and I played one tune on it-' Turkey in de Straw,' if I remember rightly. It went like this." Here the Captain stopped to drum it out on the piano, with one finger. " Oh, bother that! " Jenny exclaimed. " Tell them about the awful dangers you went through, when you escaped from prison. I'll bet you were badly scared, more than once." "No-only once, and that was all the time. One night I came face to face, on the road, with a Confederate officer. It was Captain Thornton." "Oh! What did you do" everybody exclaimed breathlessly. " I killed him," answered Heartsease, with 384 Love Rules sudden intensity, looking up from the piano an instant, then dropping back mechanically to his one-fingered "Turkey in de Straw." That was all he ever said on the subject, and it was not until long afterward, through other sources, that the detailed story came out of how the Yankee trooper, running away unarmed in company with a negro slave who had volunteered to show him the way, had encountered the vin- dictive Thornton, and after a desperate hand-to- hand combat, had slain him with his own weapons. " And 't was afther Colonel Wist he was a-lookin', too, I '11 go bail," put in Barket, who was waiting upon General Buckthorn at the mo- ment. "That Thornton was a pizen divil for gettin' even wid an ould grudge, and I '11 give him the credit to say that he was a powerful awkward mon to handle in a fight." " Mention of the military prisons reminds me," said General Haverill, " that I have a letter written me shortly after Cedar Creek, by a Captain Cox, of a Kentucky regiment. Captain Cox was in Libby with-with Lieutenant Bedloe. He him- self escaped from there, some time later, with the considerable number of Union officers who crawled out through Captain Rose's tunnel, from the cellar. He mentions another comrade-a Cap- 25 385 386 Shenandoah tain Hunt, as I remember-who was finally ex- changed when dying of consumption, and lived just long enough to reach home." The conversation now turned to Colonel Ker- chival West, and the last engagement in which he had participated, in the Shenandoah Valley. As Sergeant Barket admittedly knew more about this than any other man alive, including Colonel West himself, the company now unanimously de- cided to give him the floor. Barket was in his element, especially when he observed that old Margery, the cook, had lingered in the background amongst his attentive audience. He had half-a- dozen teacups and a sherry glass or two arranged on the hearth-rug to represent the Union and Con- federate lines, while he illustrated the cavalry charges and artillery fire with flourishes of General Buckthorn's walking-stick. "Just in the hottest part of this battle of Sayder Creek, whin Colonel Wist and I rode to the front to rally the rigiment and turn upon the victorious inimy-it was at this p'int, foreninst the brow of the hill, d' ye moind-sure, the Colonel he sailed out ahead widout any coat or hat, and wid only a shtick in his hand, and yells out, 'Charge, b'yes! Gineral Sheridan 's come back!' They give wan big cheer, and we swept clane over the Rebel battery!" to L ) cn pa Z This page in the original text is blank. Love Rules 387 "Hoo-roo!" cried Margery, as Barket's stick smashed a line of teacup artillery. "The attack on our lift flank was checked. But whin we shtopped to take breath, where was brave Colonel Wist Heaven only knows. Afther the foight was over, Miss Gertrude and the other gals searches for him on the field, and then, of a suddint, Miss Gertrude rides off all by herself, and disappears behind the schoolhouse " " No, Barket-it was the church, and the Colonel and I were married there!" Gertrude herself, on the arm of Kerchival West in a brand-new uniform, suddenly appeared upon the scene, having been ushered in by the maid at the front door unobserved, while the battle of Cedar Creek was raging. Nor did they come alone. Close in their rear followed a quiet civilian, who on second glance proved to be Bob Ellingham -and where Bob was, Madeline West could not be far away. "Welcome, Colonel Ellingham!" roared General Buckthorn. " We had a long fight to keep you out of Washington, but we 're delighted to see you within the lines now." The reunion was complete. Mason and Dixon's line no longer divided old friendships. Plans of campaign looked no farther ahead than to-mor- Shenandoah row's nuptials. Kerchival did, however, suggest to Bob that he might do worse than follow the example of himself and Gertrude, who intended to settle down in Washington and begin life anew, under the old flag of the Union. "I see that flag has just been raised again over Fort Sumter, on the fourth anniversary of the day in Charleston which we all remember so well," said General Haverill, in a tone of devout thank- fulness that had no ring of triumph. "I think," replied Bob, "that Virginia will be about right for us-Madeline and myself. The Old Dominion is dilapidated, fenceless, and war- trodden. But her soil is elastic, and her air has something inspiring in it, still. Madeline says she loves Belle Bosquet. She would hardly recognize the old place now-but I hope her presence there will bring it back to life again." "The schoolhouse and the church, which some- body was speaking of a minute ago," said General Buckthorn, in what sounded like an aggrieved tone, "must be our National headquarters, from now on." "Not forgetting the hospitals," added General Haverill, with a fond glance at his wife and Edith. "They are still in full commission. It is for us, as immortal Lincoln said, to 'strive on to finish 388 Love Rules 389 the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and for his orphan; to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations. ' " THE END This page in the original text is blank. "A Xborn tellerof stories. She certainly has the right stuff in her."-London Standard. The Way of an Eagle By E. M. Dell SL35 net. By mai4 1.50 "In these days of overmuch involved plot and diction in the writing of novels, a book like this brings a sense of refreshment, as much by the virility and directness of its style as by the interest of the story it tells. . . . The human interest of the book is absorbing. The descrip- tions of life in India and England are delightful. . . . But it is the intense humanity of the story-above all, that of its dominating charac- ter, Nick Ratcliffe, that will win for it a swift appreciation."-Boston Transcript. " Well written, wholesome, overflowing with sentiment, yet never mawkish. Lovers of good adventure will enjoy its varied excitement, while the frankly romantic will peruse its pages with joy."-Chicago Record-Herald. Frontispiece in Color by John Cassel 0. P. Putnam's Sons New York London "A masterpiece. "-Phila. Ledger Through the Postern Gate A Romance m Seven Days. (Under the MulberryTree.) By Florence L. 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