Battle of Tranter's Creek

 

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Civil War Harper's Weekly, June 28, 1862

Welcome to our online collection of Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. This collection includes all the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. This online collection allows you to watch the war unfold in real time.

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Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee

Colonization of Slaves

Colonization of Slaves

Cross Keys

Battle of Cross Keys

General Sumner

General Sumner

War on the Mississippi River

War on the Mississippi

Front Royal

Battle Front Royal

Coward

Coward

Tranter's Creek

Battle of Tranter's Creek

James River

James River

Signal Corps

Signal Corps

Rebel Territory

Map of Rebel Territory

Memphis Naval Battle

Memphis Cartoon

Memphis Cartoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUNE 28, 1862.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

413

THE BATTLE OF TRANTER'S CREEK, NEAR WASHINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA, ON JUNE 5, 1862.—SKETCHED BY MR. A WISER.—[SEE PAGE 411.]

[Entered according to Act of Congress, in the Year 1862, by Harper & Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.]

NO NAME.

BY WILKIE COLLINS,

AUTHOR OF "THE WOMAN IN WHITE," "DEAD SECRET," ETC., ETC.

ILLUSTRATED BY JOHN M'LENAN.

CHRONICLE OF EVENTS: PRESERVED IN CAPTAIN WRAGGE'S DISPATCH BOX.

IX.

[Chronicle for June.]

9th.—I returned yesterday with my information. Here it is, privately noted down for convenience of future reference:

Mr. Noel Vanstone left Brighton yesterday, and removed, for the purpose of transacting business

in London, to one of his late father's empty houses in Vauxhall Walk, Lambeth. This singularly mean selection of a place of residence, on the part of a gentleman of fortune, looks as if Mr. N. V. and his money were not easily parted.

Mr. Noel Vanstone has stepped into his father's shoes under the following circumstances. Mr. Michael Vanstone appears to have died, curiously enough, as Mr. Andrew Vanstone died —intestate. With this difference, however, in the two cases, that the younger brother left an informal will, and the elder brother left no will at all. The hardest men have their weaknesses; and Mr. Michael Vanstone's weakness seems to have been an insurmountable horror of contemplating the event of his own death. His son, his housekeeper, and his lawyer, had all three tried, over and over again, to get him to make a will; and had never shaken his obstinate resolution to put off performing the only business-duty he was ever known to neglect. Two doctors attended him in his last illness; warned him that he was too old a man to hope to get over it; and warned him in vain. He announced his own positive determination not to die. His last words in this world (as I succeeded in discovering from the nurse, who assisted Mrs. Lecount) were: "I'm getting better every minute; send for the fly directly and take me out for a drive." The same night Death proved to be the more obstinate of the two, and left his son (and only child) to take the property in due course of law. Nobody doubts that the result would have been the same if a will had been made. The father and son had every confidence in each other, and were known to have always lived together on the most friendly terms.   -

Mrs. Lecount remains with Mr. Noel Vanstone, in the same housekeeping capacity which she filled with his father, and has accompanied him to the new residence in Vauxhall Walk. She is acknowledged on all hands to have been a sufferer by the turn events have taken. If Mr. Michael Vanstone had made his will, there is no doubt she would have received a handsome legacy. She is now left dependent on Mr. Noel Vanstone's sense of gratitude; and she is not at all likely, I should imagine, to let that sense fall asleep for want of a little timely jogging. Whether my fair relative's future intentions in this quarter point toward Mischief or Money is more than I can it say. In either case I venture a prediction that she will find an awkward obstacle in Mrs. Lecount.  

So much for my information to the present date. The manner in which it was received by Miss Vanstone showed the most ungrateful distrust of me. She confided nothing to my private ear but the expression of her best thanks. A

sharp girl—a devilish sharp girl. But there is such a thing as bowling a man out once too often, especially when the name of that man happens to be Wragge.

Not a word more about the Entertainment: not a word more about moving from our present quarters. Very good. My right hand lays my left hand a wager. Ten to one on her opening communications with the son as she opened them with the father. Ten to one on her writing to Noel Vanstone before the month is out.

23d.—She has written by to-day's post. A long letter apparently, for she put two stamps on the envelope. (Private memorandum, addressed to myself. Wait for the answer.)

22d, 23d, 24th.—Private memorandum continued. Wait for the answer.

25th.—The answer has come. As an ex-military man I have naturally employed stratagem to get at it. The success which rewards all genuine perseverance has rewarded me—and I have got at it accordingly.

The letter is written, not by Mr. Noel Vanstone, but by Mrs. Lecount. She takes the highest moral ground, in a tone of spiteful politeness. Mr. Noel Vanstone's delicate health and recent bereavement prevent him from writing himself. Any more letters from Miss Vanstone will be returned unopened. Any personal application will produce an immediate appeal to the

"NO BUZZING IN MY HEAD! NO CAPTAIN TO SHAVE TO-MORROW!"

Battle of Tranter's Creek
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