Virginia Cavalry Charge


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, February 8, 1862

We have posted our entire collection of Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. These newspapers are formatted so that they look just like the original page. They contain a wealth of resources to help you develop a more in depth understanding of the Civil War. We hope you find this extensive archive useful in your research and study.

(Scroll Down to See Entire Page, or Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to a specific page of interest)


Mill's Spring

Battle of Mill Spring

Battle of Somerset

Battle of Somerset

Mason and Slidell

Mason and Slidell Affair

Secretary Stanton and General Zollicoffer

Secretary Stanton and General Zollicoffer

Virginia Cavalry

Virginia Cavalry Charge

Rebel Cartoon

Rebel Cartoon

Battle of Somerset, Mill Spring, Kentucky

Battle of Somerset, Mill Spring

Bombardment of Fort Pickens

Kentucky Battle Map

Battle Map Mill Spring

Map of the Battle of Mill Spring

East River

East River Picture




[FEBRUARY 8, 1862.



in her eye. Who could tell what dreadful thoughts were lurking in her poor mind?

Randolph's wild oats seemed to have rendered the soil of his heart too unfruitful to bear even the commonest virtues. He was no longer the joyous, bright-faced boy of former years. He even tired of his young and lovely wife. Long days she sat alone, with Lily and old Mrs. Fairfax; for Lily was as useful as ever. She seemed to have conquered the demon of jealousy, which had prompted revengeful feelings, and under the religious teaching of her mistress she was becoming patient and resigned.

I have mentioned that there was an ugly fellow, the coachman, who had been gallant, or tried to be, to poor Lily. Just as she was regaining peace of mind he made new overtures, which she indignantly rejected. In sheer spite and malicious wickedness he managed to convey to young Mrs. Fairfax the history of the year previous to her coming to her Virginia home. It nearly killed

her ; she became very ill. Randolph sold the man; but now that his secret was out he became more and more reckless, riding fast and drinking hard—what a changed man he was !

All during young Mrs. Fairfax's illness Lily had been kept out of the room ; indeed, she knew enough to stay out, much as she loved the gentle girl who had been so kind to her. She had been sitting on a fallen tree, just beyond the garden-gate, one day, her child playing with grass and pebbles, when she saw a horse come clashing up the road. She seized the child just in time to save him ; but a glance at the empty saddle was sufficient to confirm her worst fears. Hastily running in the house she told the news ; the servants started out, but soon returned, bringing the lifeless body of Randolph Fairfax. He had been thrown, probably while intoxicated, and instant death must have ensued the blow which his head had received.

Ah, what a scene of misery was there in that lonely old house in the Virginian forest ! The

rooms were resonant of sobs; the servants were like children in their unrestrained grief. Old Mrs. Fairfax was frantic ; and Lily, almost beside herself, was the only one fit to attend to her young mistress, who had heard the terrible sounds, and insisted upon knowing the truth. Lily had to break the news, but the shock was too great ; swoon succeeded swoon in fearful rapidity. Toward midnight she became conscious, but it was evident she was dying. Calling Lily to her, the sweet young creature put out her hand to her.

" Come here, Lily, come here ! I have felt very wrongly toward you."

Lily made no answer ; but on her knees by the bedside buried her face in the clothes, weeping bitterly.

"We must both forgive him, Lily."

Only a low groan and a quivering sigh.

" Lily, look up in my face. I can not die tranquilly until I know that you will try to feel no bitterness in your heart, and that you will forgive

my want of charity—for I felt very wrongly toward you."

Lily looked up in the sweet face, growing paler, the soft blue eyes, drooping with the sleep which would cease her sorrow; eagerly she grasped that outstretched, soft, white hand, and bathed it with her tears and kisses. The blue eyes closed; the faint breath faltered and ceased ; the glowing hopes of life had taken wing before—with one slight hand, even heavy with its wedding-ring, lying on her motionless breast, the other in poor Lily's, that life had ended.

In the room beneath, alone and stiffened in the rigidity of death, with all his sins upon him, the sins fostered by indulgence, lay Randolph Fairfax.

I have little more to add; for Lily and the old lady lived on in that lonely house quietly enough after all that misery. When old Mrs. Fairfax died she gave Lily free papers for herself and her son, which, with a small sum of money, enabled them to go to Canada.


Massachusetts Volunteers
Virginia Cavalry Charge




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