The Treasury Grounds


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, May 18, 1861

This edition of Harper's Weekly has a number of important stories and illustrations. Of particular note are the full page illustrations of Union Soldiers and Wilson's Fighting Brigade. These are nice examples of period uniforms and equipment. There is also a nice Full page illustration of some Confederate Soldiers under the Rebel Flag.

(Scroll down to see entire page, Newspaper Thumbnails will take you to the page of interest)


The lady Davis

The Washington Arsenal

Editorial on Jeff Davis

Virginia Joins Civil War

Virginia Joins the Civil War

Union Soldiers

Union Soldiers

Civil War Riot

Civil War Riot

War Ship Brooklyn

Warship Brooklyn


The Virginian

Ohio Soldiers

Ohio Soldiers

Wilson's fighting Brigade

Wilson's Fighting Brigade

Rebel Soldiers

Confederate Soldiers

Ft. Pickens

Reinforcement of Fort Pickens

Cotton on a Riverboat

The Long Bridge Over the Potomac

Treasury Grounds




[MAY 18, 1861.




THE accompanying picture, from a sketch by our special artist in Washington, shows what straits the soldiers are put to in Washington for want of room. A large body of dragoons are quartered under a shed on the Treasury Grounds—not very comfortable quarters, for a garrison town, in such weather as last Monday. They seem, however, from all accounts, to bear these petty privations cheerfully ; at latest dates men and horses were well.




IT was fortunate for me that I had to take precautions to insure (so far as I could) the safety of my dreaded visitor, for this thought pressing on me when I awoke held other thoughts in a confused concourse at a distance.

The impossibility of keeping him concealed in the chambers was self-evident. It could not be done, and the attempt to do it would inevitably engender suspicion. True, I had no Avenger in my service now, but I was looked after by an inflammatory old female, assisted by an animated rag-bag whom she called her niece, and to keep a room secret from them would be to invite curiosity and exaggeration. They both had weak eyes, which I had long attributed to their chronically looking in at keyholes, and they were always at hand when not wanted ; indeed that was their only reliable quality besides larceny. Not to get up a mystery with these people, I resolved to announce in the morning that my uncle had unexpectedly come from the country.

This course I decided on while I was yet groping about in the darkness for the means of getting a light. Not stumbling on the means after all, I was fain to go out to the Lodge and get the watchman there to come with his lantern. Now, in groping my way down the black staircase I fell over something, and that something was a man crouching in a corner.

As the man made no answer when I asked him what he did there, but eluded my touch in, silence, I ran to the Lodge and urged the watchman to come back quickly : telling him of the incident on the way back. The wind being as fierce as ever, we did not care to endanger the light in the lantern by rekindling the extinguished lamps on the staircase, but we examined the staircase from the bottom to the top and found no one there. It then occurred to me as possible that the man might have slipped into my rooms ; so, lighting my candle at the watchman's, and leaving him standing at the door, I examined them carefully, including the room in which my dreaded guest lay asleep. All was quiet, and assuredly no other man was in those chambers.

It troubled me that there should have been a Iurker on the stairs, on that night of all nights in the year, and I asked the watchman as I handed him a dram at the door, on the chance of eliciting some hopeful explanation, whether he had admitted at his gate any gentlemen who had perceptibly been dining out ? Yes, he said ; at different times of the night, three. One lived in Fountain Court, and the other two lived in the Lane, and he had seen them all go home. Again, the only other man who dwelt in the house of which my chambers formed a part had been in the country for some weeks; and he

certainly had not returned in the night, because we had seen his door with his seal on it as we came up stairs."

" The night being so bad, Sir," said the watchman, as he gave me back my glass, " uncommon few have come in at my gate. Besides them three gentlemen that I have named, I don't call to mind another since about eleven o'clock, when a stranger asked for you."

"My uncle," I muttered. "Yes."

" You saw him, Sir ?"

"Yes. Oh yes."

" Likewise the person with him ?"

" Person with him !" I repeated.

"I judged the person to be with him," returned the watchman. " The person stopped when he stopped to make inquiry of me, and the person took this way when he took this way."

" What sort of person ?"

The watchman had not particularly noticed ; he should say a working person ; to the best of his belief he had a dust-colored kind of clothes on, under a dark coat. The watchman made more light of the matter than I did, and naturally—not having my reason for attaching weight to it.

When I had got rid of him, which I thought it well to do without prolonging explanations, my mind was much troubled by these two circumstances taken together. Whereas they were easy of innocent solution apart—as, for instance, some diner-out or diner-at-home, who had not gone near this watchman's gate, might have strayed to my staircase and dropped asleep there —and my nameless visitor might have brought some one with him to show him the way—still, joined, they had an ugly look to one as prone to distrust and fear as the changes of a few hours had made me.

I lighted my fire, which burned with a raw pale look at that dead time of the morning, and fell into a doze before it. I seemed to have been dozing a whole night when the clocks struck six. As there was full an hour and a half between me and daylight, I dozed again ; now, waking up uneasily, with prolix conversations about nothing still in my ears ; now, making thunder of the wind in the chimney ; at length falling off into a profound sleep from which the daylight woke me with a start.

All this time I had never been able to consider my own situation, nor could I do so yet. I had not the power to attend to it. I was greatly dejected and distressed, but in an incoherent wholesale sort of way. As to forming any plan for the future, I could as soon have formed an elephant. When I opened the shutters and looked out at the wet wild morning, all of a leaden hue ; when I walked from room to room ; when I sat down again shivering, before the fire, waiting for my laundress to appear ; I thought how miserable I was, but hardly knew why, or how long I had been so, or on what day of the week I made the reflection, or even who I was that made it.

At length the old woman and the niece came in—the latter with a head not easily distinguishable from her broom—and testified surprise at sight of me and the fire. To whom I imparted how my uncle had come in the night and was then asleep, and how the breakfast preparations were to be modified accordingly. Then I washed and dressed while they knocked the furniture about and made a dust, and so, in a sort of dream or sleep-waking, found myself sitting by the fire again waiting for—Him—to come to breakfast.

By-and-by his door opened and he came out. I could not bring myself to bear the sight of him, and I thought he had a villainous look by daylight.

" I do not even know," said I, speaking low as he took his seat at the table, "by what name to call you. I have given out that you are my uncle."

' That's it, dear boy! Call me uncle."

" You assumed some name, I suppose, on board ship ?"

Yes, dear boy. I took the name of Provis." "Do you mean to keep that name ?"

" Why, yes, dear boy, it's as good as another —unless you'd like another."

"What is your own name?" I asked him in a whisper.

Magwitch," he answered, in the same tone ; "chris'en'd Abel."

" What were you brought up to be ?"

"A warmint, dear boy."

He answered quite seriously, and used the word as if it denoted some profession.

" When you came into the Temple last night—" said I, pausing to wonder whether that could really have been last night which seemed so long ago.

Yes, dear boy ?"

" When you came in at the gate and asked the watchman the way here, had you any one with you ?"

With me ? No, dear boy."

But there was some one there ?"

" I didn't take particular notice," he said, dubiously, "not knowing the ways of the place. But I think there was a person, too, come in alonger me."

Are you known in London ?"

" I hope not !" said he, giving his neck a jerk with his forefinger that made me turn hot and sick.

"Were you known in London, once?"

" Not over and above, dear boy. I was in the provinces mostly."

" Were you—tried—in London ?"

"Which time?" said he, with a sharp look. The last time."

He nodded. " First knowed Mr. Jaggers that way. Jaggers was for me."

It was on my lips to ask him what he was tried for, but he took up a knife, gave it a flourish, and with the words, " And whatever I done is worked out and paid for ! " fell to at his breakfast.

He ate in a ravenous way that was very disagreeable, and all his actions were uncouth, noisy, and greedy. Some of his teeth had failed him since I saw him eat on the marshes, and as he turned his food in his mouth, and turned his head sideways to bring his strongest fangs to bear upon it, he looked terribly like a hungry old dog. If I had begun with any appetite he would have taken it away, and I should have sat much as I did—repelled from him by an insurmountable aversion, and gloomily looking at the cloth.

"I'm a heavy grubber, dear boy," he said, as a polite kind of apology when he had made an end of his meal, " but I always wos. If it had been in my constitution to be a lighter grubber, I might ha' got into lighter trouble. Similarly, I must have my smoke. When I was first hired out as shepherd t'other side the world, it's my belief I should ha' turned into a molloncolly-mad sheep myself, if I hadn't a had my smoke."

As he said so, he got up from table, and putting his hand into the breast of the pea-coat he wore, brought out a short black pipe, and a handful of loose tobacco of the kind that is called Negro-head. Having filled his pipe, he put the surplus tobacco back again, as if his pocket were a drawer. Then he took a live coal from the fire with the tongs, and lighted his pipe at it, and then turned round on the hearth-rug with his back to the fire, and went through

his favorite action of holding out both his hands for mine.

"And this," said he, dandling my hands up and down in his, as he puffed at his pipe—"and this is the gentleman wot I made ! The real genuine One! It does me good fur to look at you, Pip. All I stip'late is to stand by and look at you, dear boy !"

I released my hands as soon as I could, and found that I was beginning slowly to settle down to the contemplation of my condition. What I was chained to, and how heavily, became intelligible to me, as I heard his hoarse voice, and sat looking up at his furrowed bald head with its iron-gray hair at the sides.

'I mustn't see my gentleman a footing it in the mire of the streets ; there mustn't be no mud on his hoots. My gentleman must have horses, Pip ! Horses to ride, and horses to drive, and horses for his servant to ride and drive as well. Shall colonists have their horses (and blood 'uns, if you please, good Lord !) and not my London gentleman? No, no. We'll show 'em another pair of shoes than that, Pip ; won't us ?"

He took out of his pocket a great thick pocketbook, bursting with papers, and tossed it on the table.

'There's something worth spending in that there book, dear boy. It's yourn. All I've got ain't mine ; it's yourn. Don't you be afraid on it. There's more where that come from. I've come to the old country fur to see my gentleman spend his money, like a gentleman. That'll be my pleasure. My pleasure 'ull be fur to see him do it. And blast you all!" be wound up, looking round the cornice of the room and snapping his fingers once with a loud crack, " blast you every one, from the judge in his wig to the colonist a stirring up the dust, I'll show a better gentleman than the whole kit on you put together !"

" Stop !" said I, almost in a frenzy of fear and dislike, "1 want to speak to you. I want to know what is to be done. I want to know how you are to be kept out of danger, how long you are going to stay, what projects you have."

"Look'ee here, Pip," said he, laying his hand on my arm in a suddenly altered and subdued manner ; "first of all, look'ee here. I forgot myself half a minute ago. What I said was low ; that's wot it was ; low. Look'ee here, Pip. Look over it. I ain't a going to be low."

"First," I resumed, half groaning, " what precautions can be taken against your being recognized and seized?"

"No, dear boy," he said, in the same tone as before, "that don't go first. Lowness goes first. I ain't took so many year to make a gentleman not without knowing wot's due to him. Look'ee here, Pip. I was low ; that's wot I was ; low. Look over it, dear boy."

Some sense of the grimly-ludicrous moved me to a fretful laugh, as I replied, "I have looked over it. In Heaven's name, don't harp upon it!"

"Yes, but look'ee here," he persisted. "Dear boy, I ain't come so fur to be low. Now, go on, dear boy. You was a saying—"

"How are you to be guarded from the danger you have incurred !"

"Well, dear boy, the danger ain't so great Without I was informed against, the danger ain't so much to signify. There's Jaggers, and there's Wemmick, and there's you. Who else is there to inform ?"

"Is there no chance person who might identify you in the street?" said I, bitterly.

"Well," he returned, "there ain't many. Nor yet I don't intend to advertise myself in the papers by the name of A. M. come back from Botany Bay ; and years have rolled away, and

Treasury Grounds



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