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Robert E. Lee Portrait
"It all depends, my dear madam,
on Mrs. Bygrave. I trust we shall stay through the autumn. You are settled at
Sea-View Cottage, I presume, for the season?"
"You must ask my master, Sir. It
is for him to decide, not for me."
The answer was an unfortunate
one. Mr. Noel Vanstone had been secretly annoyed by the change in the walking
arrangements which had separated him from Magdalen. He attributed that change to
the meddling influence of Mrs. Lecount, and he now took the earliest opportunity
of resenting it on the spot.
"I have nothing to do with our
stay at Aldborough," he broke out, peevishly. "You know as well as I do, Lecount,
it all depends on you.Mrs. Lecount has a brother in Switzerland," he went on,
addressing himself to the captain—" a brother who is seriously ill. If he gets
worse, she will have to go there and sec him. I can't accompany her, and I can't
be left in the house by myself. I shall have to break up my establishment at
Aldborough, and stay with some friends. It all depends on you, Lecount—or on
your brother, which comes to the same thing. If it depended on me," continued
Mr. Noel Vanstone, looking pointedly at Magdalen across the housekeeper, "I
should stay at Aldborough all through the autumn with the greatest pleasure.
With the greatest pleasure," he reiterated, repeating the words with a tender
look for Magdalen, and a spiteful accent for Mrs. Lecount.
Thus far Captain Wragge had
remained silent, carefully noting in his mind the promising possibilities of a
separation between Mrs. Lecount and her master, which Mr. Noel Vanstone's little
fretful outbreak had just disclosed to him. An ominous trembling in the
house-keeper's thin lips, as her master openly exposed her family affairs before
strangers, and openly set her jealousy at defiance, now warned him to interfere.
If the misunderstanding were permitted to proceed to extremities, there was a
chance that the invitation for that evening to Sea-View Cottage might he put
off. Now, as ever, equal to the occasion, Captain Wragge called his useful
information once more to the rescue. Under the learned auspices of Joyce he
plunged for the third time into the ocean of science and brought up another
pearl. He was still haranguing (on Pneumatics this time), still improving Mrs.
Lecount's mind with his politest perseverance and his smoothest flow of
language, when the walking party stopped at Mr. Noel Vanstone's door.
"Bless my soul, here we are at
your house, Sir!" said the captain, interrupting himself in the middle of one of
his graphic sentences. "I won't keep you standing a moment. Not a word of
apology, Mrs. Lecount, I beg and pray! I will put that curious point in
Pneumatics more clearly before you on a future occasion. In the meant time, I
need only repeat that you can perform the experiment I have just mentioned to
your own entire satisfaction with a bladder, an exhausted receiver, and a square
box. At seven o'clock this evening, Sir—at seven o'clock, Mrs. Lecount. We have
had a remarkably pleasant walk, and a most instructive interchange of ideas.
Now, my dear girl, your aunt is waiting for us."
While Mrs. Lecount stepped aside
to open the garden gate Mr. Noel Vanstone seized his opportunity, and shot a
last tender glance at Magdalen— under shelter of the umbrella, which he had
taken into his own hands for that express purpose. "Don't forget," he said, with
his sweetest smile, "don't forget, when you come this evening, to wear that
charming hat!" Before he could add any last words Mrs. Lecount glided back to
her place, and the sheltering umbrella changed hands again immediately.
"An excellent morning's work!"
said Captain Wragge, as he and Magdalen walked on together to North Shingles. "
You and I and Joyce have all three done wonders. We have secured a friendly
invitation at the first day's fishing for it."
He paused for an answer; and
receiving none, observed Magdalen more attentively than he had observed her yet.
Her face had turned deadly pale again, her eyes looked out mechanically straight
before her in heedless, reckless despair.
"What is the matter?" he asked,
with the greatest surprise. "Are you ill?"
She made no reply; she hardly
seemed to hear him.
"Are you getting alarmed about
Mrs. Lecount?" he inquired next. "There is not the least reason for alarm. She
may fancy she has heard something like your voice before, but your face
evidently bewilders her. Keep your temper, and you keep her in the dark. Keep
her in the dark, and you will put that two hundred pounds into my hands before
the autumn is over."
He waited again for an answer,
and again she remained silent. The captain tried for the third time in another
"Did you get any letters this
morning?" he went on. "Is there bad news again from home? Any fresh difficulties
with your sister?"
Say nothing about my sister!" she
broke out, passionately. "Neither you nor I are fit to speak of her."
She said those words at the
garden gate, and hurried into the house by herself. He followed her, and heard
the door of her own room violently shut to, violently locked and double locked.
Solacing his indignation by an oath, Captain Wragge sullenly went into one of
the parlors on the ground-floor to look after his wife. The room communicated
with a smaller and darker room at the back of the house by means of a quaint
little door, with a window in the upper half of it. Softly approaching this
door, the captain lifted the white muslin curtain which hung over the window,
and looked into the inner room.
There was Mrs. Wragge, with her
cap on one
side, and her shoes down at heel;
with a row of pins between her teeth; with the Oriental Cashmere Robe slowly
slipping off the table; with her scissors suspended uncertain in one hand, and
her written directions for dressmaking held doubtfully in the other—so absorbed
over the invincible difficulties of her employment as to be perfectly
unconscious that she was at that moment the object of her husband's
superintending eye. Under other circumstances she would have been soon brought
to a sense of her situation by the sound of his voice. But Captain Wragge was
too anxious about Magdalen to waste any time on his wife, after satisfying
himself that she was safe in her seclusion, and that she might be trusted to
He left the parlor, and after a
little hesitation in the passage, stole up stairs and listened anxiously outside
Magdalen's door. A dull sound of sobbing—a sound stifled in her handkerchief, or
stifled in the bed-clothes—was all that caught his ear. He returned at once to
the ground-floor, with some faint suspicion of the truth dawning on his mind at
"The devil take that sweet-heart
of hers!" thought the captain. "Mr. Noel Vanstone has raised the ghost of him at
WAR IN NORTH ALABAMA.
WE illustrate on
pages 513 and
518 some interesting
scenes of General Mitchell's campaign in North Alabama. Our pictures are from
sketches by Mr. Hubner, of the Third Ohio, who thus describes them:
BURNING THE TENNESSEE BRIDGE AT DECATUR.
"A part of Mitchell's division,
under command of Colonel Lytle, Tenth Ohio Volunteers, Third Ohio Volunteers,
Colonel J. Beatty, Coldwater Battery, Captain Loomis (Michigan Artillery), were
sent to Decatur, which place they held until the rebels with overwhelming
forces, under command of
General Price, advanced on us. We prevented the
rebels from following us by burning the bridge, also the railroad depot.
Mitchell took possession of every boat, even of the smallest skiff, for twenty
miles up and down the river, so the rebels had not the slightest means to cross.
"Captain Loomis did good work.
His boys are the finest set of men I have ever seen.
"The bridge was a beautiful one,
built of wood and iron, and 1700 yards long.
DEFEAT OF REBELS AT BRIDGEPORT.
"After our arrival at Huntsville
our gallant leader, General Mitchell, who was much pleased with our conduct,
sent us immediately to Bridgeport, Jackson County, twenty-four miles above
Chattanooga (a small place of about six or eight houses), where another force of
the rebels, under General Ledbetter, was advancing. We drove them back, burned a
small bridge, and Loomis shelled them out of their camp, which was situated
about a mile from the shore of the river.
GUERRILLAS AND BUSHWHACKERS.
"On our way from Bridgeport back
to Huntsville two of our men got shot by some bushwhackers, who fired on our
train out of the bushes in the vicinity of Paint Rock. Colonel J. Beatty stopped
the train and sent several detachments in pursuit of the rebels. One party went
to the town and captured four or five of the band; another party, under command
of Captain McDougal, Company H, Third Regiment Ohio Volunteers, went into a cave
which is in the neighborhood of Paint Rock. A
slave negro led the way. The entrance of the
cave is not easily detected. It is half hidden by bushes and rocks. We had to
walk some distance with heads bent; but soon the cave got wider and wider, and
looked like a church with fine columns and arches, strange formations of the
dropping limestone. The red blaze of the torches produced a strange and
beautiful effect. Often it seemed to us that we saw human figures in the deep
shadow, often we raised our trusty rifles, but found we were aiming at some
curious limestone formation. We went about two miles into the cave, found signs
of occasional visits by human beings, and the negro assured us it was in fact a
hiding-place of a guerrilla band.
"We had to go back when the
torches burned down. There are many side caves and abysses, and without light it
is a most dangerous place. The cave is five miles long, and has several outlets.
"We went back to where our train
stopped. The other party arrived with the prisoners. One of them is a captain in
some rebel cavalry company. They also found some guns.
"The boys were so enraged Colonel
B. could hardly prevent them from hanging the murderers immediately. Some rebel
houses were burned.
"Late at night we arrived at
Huntsville and delivered the traitors into jail."
SCENES ON THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI.
WE reproduce on
pages 520 and 521
a number of sketches by our special artist, Mr. Theodore R. Davis, representing
SCENES ON THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. Mr. Davis thus describes his pictures:
HOARDS OF COTTON.
"The rebels, in burning the
cotton of the planters, have made for themselves bitter enemies and for us
strong friends. More than one planter told me that until their cotton was burned
they were as good Confederate States men as any. Now they would rather give the
Yankees every pound of it than have it fall into Confederate hands. They told me
also that no planter had burned his own cotton willingly; and that cotton, in
small quantities, was hidden in every swamp and bayou in Mississippi, it having
been placed upon barges and taken, at high-water, up a then navigable bayou,
which may only now be reached by canoes.
"Of the quantity of cotton
destroyed I think we have but little comprehension. I was told in
Memphis that, some time previous to the
occupation of the place by our troops, there started from that city a lawless
band of poor whites—baconeating scoundrels, who had never owned a pound of
cotton in their lives. These visited the Mississippi on either side, burning and
destroying. Up the Arkansas, the Red River, and the Yazoo, not a bale of cotton
that they could find escaped the flames. They returned to Memphis, after an
absence of five weeks, and reported the destruction of 800.,000 bales of cotton.
CAPTURE OF RED BILL.
"For a long time after the
occupation of the city of
New Orleans there appeared to be a hesitancy
among the people known to be Union, in coming forward and expressing their
"The reason for this was soon
found to be a fear of a band of desperadoes calling themselves Thugs. They had
been in the habit for some years of murdering the citizens of New Orleans
whenever and wherever they pleased. These men
General Butler at once set about catching, for
the purpose of trying, convicting, and punishing them for their crimes. Adams,
the two Du Pratts, M'Niel, Leggett, and others, were soon in durance vile at the
forts. There then remained but one of the desperadoes uncaptured, Red Bill, and
he was soon discovered to be lurking near Lake Salvador, and parties were daily
dispatched in quest of him, but for a long time were unsuccessful in their
"More definite intelligence
reaching the parties in search, a party set out from New Orleans, disguised as
fishermen, for Lake Salvador. Arriving at the lake they commenced hauling their
seine, and were joined by another party of fishermen, and soon after by Red
Bill. On leaving them he was tracked to ins lair. At midnight, by creeping, they
surrounded his couch, seized, and bound him. On searching his bed, two pistols
and a hatchet were found under his pillow. He told his captors that he had seen
the different parties sent to capture him—had talked and drank with them.
General Butler will mete out a just punishment to this last of the Thugs, so
that he will be no more a terror to the denizens of New Orleans.
CROSSING CATTLE FOR THE REBELS.
"A large portion of the supplies
for the rebel army of the Valley of the Mississippi have come from Texas. The
mouth of the Red River is the great crossing-place for these supplies. In the
sketch two steamers, having barges laden with cattle in tow, are conveying them
across the river. This favorite crossing-place is now, however, broken up, as
one or more gun-boats are constantly stationed there. The Hon. H. Webb and the
Music are now, with the exception of the Arkansas, the only rebel craft on the
river. The two former are close prisoners on the Red River.
"Of what was formerly the pretty
little town of Grand Gulf there remains now a few chimneys standing. After two
warnings not to fire into our transport vessels, and those laden with sick
soldiers, which warnings were disregarded, a passing gun-boat took the matter in
hand, and demolished the town. Since that event there has been no firing into
our vessels, except from
"Ellis Cliff is probably the
strongest position on the river below Vicksburg. The river seems surrounded on
three sides by a towering cliff, from 250 to 300 feet in height. From this place
our vessels have been frequently fired into by light batteries which are kept on
the move from place to place.
"The mortar fleet of
Commodore Porter has, by its wonderful
efficiency and management, proved itself to be of immense value. I have watched
the shells thrown from these vessels to a distance of over two miles, and two
out of five shells would be sure to lodge in the earth-works being thrown up by
the rebels. It hardly seems possible that a mortar should be capable of such
accurate firing. The vessels are concealed in the most ingenious manner, every
portion of the spars and rigging being carefully covered with branches of trees
and shrubbery; so that at the distance of a mile and a half or two miles it is
impossible to see the vessels, moored as they are near the thickly-wooded banks
of the river.
"For the information of the many
who may not be entirely au fait with the manipulation of the mortar and the mode
of working it, I will give a short description of it: The mortar, by means of a
mathematical instrument, is pointed at the exact elevation of 45 degrees. A
wooden bar, or sight, with a spirit-level attached, is then firmly screwed to
the trunnion, and the exact position of the mortar at its elevation of 45
degrees is marked upon it. With the distance to be fired varies the charge of
powder, each charge being carefully weighed and placed in the mortar loose,
instead of in cartridge. When the distance fired is very great, and the charge
of powder in consequence large, the men—to avoid the effect of the heavy
concussion—stand on tip-toe and with mouths open. The open mouth allows the
sound to reach the inside of the ear-drum, reduces the effect of the concussion,
and renders the shock much less severe."
A third picture shows us the
SHARP-SHOOTERS OF THE FLEET lying behind the bulwarks on the look-out for rebel
THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.
WE continue in this number our
series of illustrations of the Army of the Potomac, from sketches by Mr. Alfred
R. Wand. Mr. Waud writes respecting the illustrations on pages 516 and 517:
THE RIGHT WING FALLING BACK.
"This was a scene to be
remembered. It occurred at two A.M. on Sunday, 29th June. The clearing was
filled with wagon-trains, shown up
by the glare of fires lighted for
the destruction of such stores as it was impossible to convey with the army.
Among these the artillery and infantry steadily moved to take up positions for
their defense. By the dull glow of the fires guns in position came into sight
formed across the field; and occasionally, when a box of cartridges or other
inflammable material would explode, the whole scene would be illuminated
brightly in all its detail: artillery moving; guns in battery, with the tired
cannoniers sleeping around them; wagon-trains forming for a move; soldiers
burning stores, con amore, that 'Johnny Reb' might not profit by them;
stragglers and sick working their weary way along, and much more, making a scene
of the most dramatic character.
RELIGIOUS SERVICES AT HEAD-QUARTERS, HARRISON'S LANDING, VIRGINIA.
"Every Sunday morning an open-air
service is held in the camp of head-quarters, at which
General McClellan is a punctual attendant.
Seated around may be seen generals, with members of the staff, and other
officers of the army; sometimes a naval officer, and a few outsiders of various
denominations. The attention displayed must be gratifying to the chaplains who
officiate, though the gentlemen who represent the Church here are not generally
its most brilliant lights. The scene is not without its suggestions. The groups
of officers and soldiers, so lately grimed with dust and battle-sweat, and gaunt
with fatigue and hunger, refreshed by rest, show few signs of their recent
struggles. The sentries, leaning their heads upon their keen sabre-bayonets,
join in the hymns—real Ironsides these. The military band takes the place of the
organ, preluding and accompanying the hymns, in which few join, and playing for
opening and closing voluntaries selections from Traviata. Down below rolls the
placid yellow James, and from it arises other sounds: the hoarse roar of letting
off steam; the rattling of a cable as a gun-boat or transport conies to an
anchor; the shouts of drivers leading their horses splashing into the river to
drink; and the spiteful, high-pressure puffing of a propeller looking after its
tow. McClellan sits or stands calm and thoughtful through the service, the
presence of a stranger drawing one quick, searching glance from him—a look which
a sensitive individual would not care to encounter as a delinquent. In dress the
General is, of all present, least ostentatious—a plain undress sack without
shoulder-straps, pants without a stripe, gaiters, and a gray shirt comprising
all. Yet none could fail to see at once in him the commander."
BAYONET CHARGE OF THE SECOND EXCELSIOR REGIMENT AT FAIROAKS.
Regarding the illustration on
page 524, Mr. Waud writes:
"I send this under the direction
of General Sickles and Colonel Hall (his was the only regiment of the Excelsior
Brigade that charged). The locality is correct. The line of the men is correct,
and the enemy's skirmishers as Hall found them. No hand-to-hand desperate work
by demoniac individuals in Zouave dress and caps—the Excelsior Brigade wears the
infantry uniform with felt hats. I could not send this at the time as I was flat
on my back."
THERE are sounds of fearful
meaning struggling through the steadfast pines,
And the pale earth shudders
weakly to the tramp of battle lines,
And the bayonets flash defiance
where the bright sun on them shines.
Months have gone since first this
warning chilled with woe the south wind's heat:
"You have wronged us! you have
trampled every right beneath your feet!
And no more with brothers'
greetings, hands fast locking, will we meet!"
Then went down the flag of
Sumter, and our young men, brave and strong,
Dropped the hands of dancing
maidens, closed the lips on jest and song—
Paler grew the mothers' faces,
gazing on the eager throng;
And from some the cry went
upward, "Oh, my parted household band!
In the fearful hour of conflict
face to face my sons shall stand,
God forbid that Death should find
one guided by the other's hand!"
Oh the days that lie before us!
who shall speak with steady tongue
Of the time when foul Disunion to
the breeze its banner flung,
While the writhing, loathsome
Hydra, hissing to its standard clung?
Many an old man's lips shall
quiver when some fair child at his knee
Asks about his soldier father,
dead beside the Tennessee; "Grandpa, when the Union soldiers came, what made the
"Mother says they fled one
morning, riding swiftly down the hill,
And they made my darling father
go with them against his will,
Else he might have been beside,
us, with his strong arms round me still."
Many a young man's hair shall
whiten with the memory of that day
When he floated down the river,
awful in its war array,
And beheld the white smoke
curling where last morn his homestead lay.
Yet our soldiers smile right
bravely, and with faces toward the foe,
Say, "Oh, let us hear the drum
beat and the wild war bugle blow,
Darker glooms the doubt-veiled
safety than the danger that we know.
"And the banner left by freedom
unto North, South, East, and West,
Still shall lift o'er every city
proud and high its eagle crest,
Though from every loyal fireside
steps a hero to his rest."