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Civil War Harper's Weekly, October 5, 1861

Below we present another in our collection of Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. These original documents allow you to develop a better understanding of the war, by watching the war unfold in real time. Harper's Weekly was the most popular newspaper of the day, and it contained stunning, eye-witness illustrations of the war.

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

 

Berdan's Sharpshooters

Berdan's Sharpshooters

Parody

A Civil War Parody

Kentucky

War in Kentucky

Bailey's Cross Road

Gun Boats

Federal Hill

Federal Hill, Baltimore

Woodstock, Virginia

Woodstock, Virginia

Rebel Prisoners

Rebel Prisoners

Men of War

North Carolina

Map of North Carolina

General Joe Johnston

General Joseph Johnston

Cynthiana

Cynthiana, Kentucky

Jack Frost Cartoon

Jack Frost

 

 

 

 

OCTOBER 5, 1861.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

635

useless for a man to say that he don't care. They give the cue to the town, and every face is wreathed in smiles, every finger is pointed, every voice says, "Aha!"

No man can face a whole community long. Into such a nest of hornets came Manley and Cockburn. Every where the ludicrous end of the elopement was the theme of jeering conversation. Verses were extemporized upon it, and were sung by all the idle rascals in town, black and white. Manley was treated to a mock serenade ; horns were blown, kettles were beaten ; one of the serenaders had a tame crow which cawed in concert ; another led a venerable goat that bleated when his beard was pulled; for Manley it was Pandemonium let loose. The company had thoughts of bestowing similar delicate attention on Cockburn; but the more prudent remembered his revolver, and thought

it best not to run the risk of being peppered.

Cockburn met Manley next day, and was surprised to see the change in his face. Though still pale and thin, his bloodless lips were sharply compressed, and his eyes, no longer humid and womanly, shone with a cold, steady lustre.

" You see now," said Cockburn, "we might as well be in the infernal regions. Something must be done. We can't kill all these fellows ; they are too many. You have nothing left but your choice between three things : to run away, cut your throat, or go and get your wife."

" I will go and get my wife !"

" Good !" exclaimed Cockburn. " I begin to believe in yon."

Their plan was speedily arranged. Cockburn undertook to engage two or three men to accompany them. They thought the display of force would intimidate the colonel into submission.

Strange that any persons could have been found to go on so desperate an errand. Perhaps. But what enterprise, however fool-hardy, has ever failed to draw followers from among the restless spirits of Kentucky ? If Morino del Rey is to be stormed, Kentuckians are the first to scale the walls. If Buena Vista is to be won against seven-fold odds, Kentucky rifles and cavalry are ready. If Lopez needs men to be garroted or shot in a vain attempt upon Cuba, or if the little tyrant Walker calls for aid in establishing a slave republic in Central America, Kentuckians are eager to brave fever and vomito, hunger and thirst, poisonous reptiles and more deadly semi-savages, all for glory and the love of adventure.

Preparations were speedily and silently made, and next morning at daylight Manley and Cockburn, with three friends, all armed to the teeth, set out for Colonel Barwell's estate. All of them wore cloaks or loose coats, to conceal

their weapons; and as they had kept their intention secret, they expected to take the enemy completely by surprise.

But the proverbial "little bird" carried the news ; in this case it was

a black bird—namely, Jake. In some mysterious way he heard of what was going on, and at once came to me.

"Massa Bill, dere's trouble a brewin' for ole Massa Barr'l. Dat yer Manley an' Cockbun is goin' to-morrer to fotch away Miss Cely, an' to shoot de ole man if he gits in de way."

Jake, in common with all his race, had a mortal contempt for " po'r white trash ;" and he was rejoiced beyond measure when his master came home victorious. " I 'spected he was done shet* of dat po'r white-livered chap, an' dat Miss Cely 'd be 'shamed of stoopin' to de low-flung people for a man. Gor-a-mighty, I hope ole massa 'll gib de whole crowd some lead to fetch back wid 'em! Don't you, Massa Bill ?"

I had not made up my mind.

" But, Massa Bill, wouldn't you now be a frien' to ole massa, and jest ride over an' let him know, so 's they shan't jump on him onawares ?"

* In Kentucky, to be shut of a man is to be rid of him.

" Me ! Go sixteen miles at night ! I think I shall not interfere in the quarrel. Why don't you go youself? Mind, I don't tell you to do it, nor advise you."

" Oh, massa, you'se sartin lawyer enough to know dat nigger's word ain't good for noffin in court ; an' if dere's any trouble ole massa maybe 'll want to show that he knowed de rascals was a comin'."

The astute Jake ! To think that he was more far-seeing than I in my own field !

Notwithstanding, I kept my ground. I did not see any reason why I should desire that Manley, or even the hare-brained Cockburn, should be shot. But Jake was bent on his errand, and, after borrowing a dollar from me, set out and found some white man to accompany him. I neither helped nor hindered.

A little after sunrise Miss Celia was making her toilet, when she heard the tramp of horses; she looked out of window and recognized her lover and Cockburn. What she felt I don't pretend to say. For afterward, when it became a matter of great importance to know, she kept her counsel. A remarkably intelligent and self-possessed person she proved to be. But, at all events, she started up and ran down stairs in a great fright-to inform her father ? I did not say so. For any doing I know, she may have intended to run to her lover's arms. But in the hall her father was ready ; his rifle on his arm, a double-barreled gun in the corner; powder, balls, buck-shot, patches, and percussion-caps in a chair at his knee. She had not time to speak before he stepped forward, raised the rifle, and said, " Keep off! Don't open my gate, or I shall fire !"

"Don't shoot ! Keep cool!" some one answered.

The party were close together, and Manley in advance, was just opening the gate, a hundred

yards or so from the porch where the colonel stood. The gate swung open, and the party coolly came on.

" Once more !" shouted the colonel, "I warn you!" At the same instant the sharp crack of the rifle was heard, and Manley fell off his horse. His party responded with pistol-shots, but their fire fell short, and only enraged their antagonist. Quick as lightning he discharged a load of buck-shot from the other gun, and winged two of them ; one was Cockburn, whose right arm fell powerless at his side.

The horsemen now halted for parley. These movements took place within ten seconds from the time when Celia came down. It was not until after Colonel Barwell had set down the second gun, still smoking, by the door, that he became conscious of his daughter's presence. She had fallen

to the floor and was grasping his knees with cries and supplications. She did not obey his stern order to go to her room, but still clung to him, weeping convulsively.

The two unwounded members of the expedition now dismounted and picked up the body of their unfortunate chief.

" Bring him in," said the colonel. " Is it peace or war?" he continued, as he rammed down a ball in his rifle. "Let us understand each other." " Peace," was the reply.

Cockburn meanwhile, and his wounded companion, got off their horses with difficulty, and fainted from pain and loss of blood before they had gone ten steps. (I may as well state here that amputation became necessary in both cases.)

Manley was brought into the hall and laid on his cloak for a pillow. The colonel stood by unflinchingly; not a muscle moved. His daughter bent over the body in a paroxysm of grief, and, I dare say, of remorse. Manley breathed feebly, but his eyes were shut in insensibility. Presently he

gave a groan, which shook his whole frame ; his eyes slowly unclosed. " I told you !—we part—I die for you ! Farewell !" He was dead.

The colonel drew a deep breath. " This is a sorry business, gentlemen," said he, "and I hope you are satisfied with your share in it."

No one ventured to answer. Celia still sat by the dead body, weeping and moaning.

The master of the house then called his servants, and gave orders for the care of the dead body. He dispatched one for a surgeon, and ordered another to have his carriage ready. The wounded men were brought in to receive medical treatment.

Then, turning to one of the unfortunate party, he said : " Of course this affair will require a legal investigation. My carriage is prepared. Please ride over to Squire Hemenway, the coroner; ask him

to have a jury summoned, and say that I and the witnesses are ready."

'While waiting for the coroner Colonel Barwell took his daughter aside and said,

"You must not blame me, Celia. I had information last night of their coming, in violation of agreement, to tear you from me by force. You are my child, and the law gives use the right to protect you and to defend my house from violence. You were not his wife, and he had no claim upon you, even if he had come with an officer instead of a party of armed desperadoes. And remember—for possibly I may not be allowed to give bail, but may have to be imprisoned until the trial comes on—remember, I say, that you saw Manley's hand on a revolver under his cloak as he came through the gate."

What she saw, or what she remembered or said, rests with her. I only give the facts that were brought out at the trial. Miss Celia, in a very distinct voice, then testified as her father wished, and, upon cross-examination, she admitted the conversation I have just recorded.

The coroner sat. A magistrate to whom the homicide surrendered himself bound him over to the next term of court. The colonel gave bail and went at large, as stately in his carriage, as proud and defiant, or as gracious and agreeable, as he had ever been. The day he was admitted to bail he came to Barrington and engaged counsel for the defense : among them myself. It was my first important case, and I threw all my energies into its preparation. Of course. I saw much of the colonel and of his daughter. The conflict in her mind was over. Her lover was in his grave ; her father was in danger ; and she was more drawn to the living than the dead. Perhaps in some little nook of her heart (if she had one) she preserved a recollection of the man who had paid for his love with his life; but

for all that I could discern, Manley was as dead to her as though he had never existed.

I shall not report the trial, nor the speeches (two for the prosecution and four for the defense).

My own speech, carefully written out, and rehearsed to an attentive audience of black-jacks half a mile out of town, is still on my files, indorsed

COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY

vs.

JAMES BARWELL

under indictment for murder. Argument of W. T. for defense.

Of course our client was acquitted. Who ever knew a Kentucky jury to convict where they believed there was " a fair fight?"

Cockburn and the Manleys railed at the jury, as might have been expected; but a one-armed man might talk as much as he chose, since he could not take up the quarrel ; and as for the Manleys, what matter was it what a set of poor " no-account" wagon-makers said ?

" And Miss Celia ?" She is married to a thriving planter in Tennessee. " Her father?" Lives on his estate, comfortable and respected.

"No poetical justice, then?" Not a particle.

MAP OF NORTH CAROLINA, SHOWING FORT HATTERAS AND THE SOUNDS IT COMMANDS.

Map of North Carolina

 

 

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