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Robert E. Lee Portrait
NEAR the cross-roads, not far
from the Cumberland Mountains, stood the village forge. The smith was a sturdy
man of fifty. He was respected, wherever known, for his stern integrity. He
served God, and did not fear man—and it might be safely added, nor devil either.
His courage was proverbial in the neighborhood; and it was a common remark, when
wishing to pay any person a high compliment, to say, "He is as brave as Old
Bradley." One night, toward the close of September, as he stood alone by the
anvil plying his labors, his countenance evinced a peculiar satisfaction as he
brought his hammer down with a vigorous stroke on the heated iron. While blowing
the bellows he would occasionally pause and shake his head, as if communing with
himself. He was evidently meditating upon something of a serious nature. It was
during one of these pauses that the door was thrown open, and a pale, trembling
figure staggered into the shop, and, sinking at the smith's feet, faintly
"In the name of Jesus, protect
As Bradley stooped to raise the
prostrate form three men entered, the foremost one exclaiming,
"We've treed him at last! There
he is! seize him!" and as he spoke he pointed at the crouching figure.
The others advanced to obey the
order; but Bradley suddenly arose, seized the sledge-hammer, and brandishing it
about his head as if it were a sword, exclaimed,
"Back! Touch him not; or, by the
grace of God, I'll brain ye!"
They hesitated, and stepped
backward, not wishing to encounter the sturdy smith, for his countenance plainly
told them that he meant what he said.
"Do you give shelter to an
abolitionist?" fiercely shouted the leader.
"I give shelter to a weak,
defenseless man," replied the smith.
"He is an enemy!" vociferated the
leader. "Of the devil!" ejaculated Bradley.
"He is a spy! an abolition
hound!" exclaimed the leader, with increased vehemence; "and we must have him.
So I tell you, Bradley, you had better not interfere. You know that you are
already suspected, and if you insist upon sheltering him it will confirm it."
"Sus-pect-ed! Suspected of what?"
exclaimed the smith, in a firm tone, riveting his gaze upon the speaker.
" Why, of adhering to the North,"
was the reply.
"Adhering to the North!"
ejaculated Bradley, as he cast his defiant glances at the speaker. "I adhere to
no North!" he continued; "I adhere to my country—my whole country—and will, so
help me God! as long as I have breath," he added, as he brought the
sledge-hammer to the ground with great force.
"You had better let us have him,
Bradley, without farther trouble. You are only risking your own neck by your
"Not as long as I have life to
defend him," was the answer. Then pointing toward the door, he continued, "Leave
my shop!" and as he spoke he again raised the sledge-hammer.
They hesitated a moment, but the
firm demeanor of the smith awed them into compliance with the order.
"You'll regret this in the
morning, Bradley," said the leader, as he retreated.
"Go!" was the reply of the smith,
as he pointed toward the door.
Bradley followed them menacingly
to the entrance of the shop, and watched them until they disappeared from sight
down the road. When he turned to go back in the shop he was met by the fugitive,
who, grasping his hand, exclaimed,
"Oh! how shall I ever be able to
thank you, Mr. Bradley?"
"This is no time for thanks, Mr.
Peters, unless it is to the Lord; you must fly the country, and that at once!"
"But my wife and children?"
"Mattie and I will attend to
them. But you must go to-night."
"Yes. In the morning, if not
sooner, they will return with a large force and carry you off, and probably hang
you on the first tree. You must leave to-night."
"Mattie will conduct you to the
rendezvous of our friends. There is a party made up who intend to cross the
mountains and join the Union forces in Kentucky. They were to start to-night.
They have provisions for the journey, and will gladly share with you."
At this moment a young girl
entered the shop, and hurriedly said,
"Father, what is the trouble
to-night?" Her eye resting upon the fugitive, she approached him, and, in a
sympathizing tone, continued, "Ah, Mr. Peters, has your turn come so soon?"
This was Mattie. She was a fine
rosy girl, just passed her eighteenth birthday, and the sole daughter of
Bradley's house and heart. She was his all—his wife had been dead five years. He
turned toward her, and, in a mild but firm tone, said,
"Mattie, you must conduct Mr.
Peters to the rendezvous immediately; then return, and we will call at the
parsonage to cheer his family. Quick! No time is to he lost. The blood-hounds
are upon the track. They have scented their prey, and will not rest until they
have secured him. They may return much sooner than we expect. So haste,
daughter, and God bless ye!"
This was not the first time that
Mattie had been called upon to perform such an office. She had safely conducted
several Union men, who had been hunted from their homes and sought shelter with
her father, to the place designated, from whence they made their escape across
the mountains into Kentucky. Turning to the fugitive, she said,
"Come, Mr. Peters, do not stand
upon ceremony, but follow me,"
She left the shop and proceeded
but a short distance up the road, and then turned off in a by-path through a
strip of woods, closely followed by the fugitive. A brisk walk of half an hour
brought them to a small house that stood alone in a secluded spot. Here Mattie
was received with a warm welcome by several men, some of whom were engaged in
running bullets, while others were cleaning their rifles and fowling-pieces. The
lady of the house, a hale woman of forty, was busy stuffing the wallets of the
men with biscuits. She greeted Mattie very kindly. The fugitive, who was known
to two or three of the party, was received in a bluff, frank spirit of kindness
by all, saying that they would make him chaplain of the Tennessee Union regiment
when they got to Kentucky.
When Mattie was about to return
home two of the party prepared to accompany her; but she protested, warning them
of the danger, as the enemy were doubtless abroad in search of the minister.
But, notwithstanding, they insisted, and accompanied her until she reached the
road a short distance above her father's shop. Mattie hurried on, but was
somewhat surprised upon reaching the shop to find it vacant. She hastened into
the house, but her father was not there. As she returned to go into the shop she
thought she could hear the noise of horses' hoofs clattering down the road. She
listened, but the sound soon died away. Going into the shop she blew the fire
into a blaze; then beheld that the things were in great confusion, and that
spots of blood were upon the ground. She was now convinced that her father had
been seized and carried off, but not without a desperate struggle on his
As Mattie stood gazing at the
pools of blood a wagon containing two persons drove up, one of whom, an athletic
young man of five-and-twenty years, got out and entered the shop.
"Good-evening, Mattie! Where is
your father?" he said. Then observing the strange demeanor of the girl. he
continued, "Why, Mattie, what ails you? What has happened?"
The young girl's heart was too
full for her tongue to give utterance, and throwing herself upon the shoulder of
the young man, she sobbingly exclaimed:
"They have carried him off! Don't
you see the blood?"
"Have they dared to lay hands
upon your father? The infernal wretches!"
Hattie recovered herself
sufficiently to narrate the events of the evening. When she had finished, he
"Oh that I should have lived to
see the day that old Tennessee was to be thus disgraced! Here, Joe!"
At this the other person in the
wagon alighted and entered the shop. He was a stalwart negro.
"Joe," continued the young man,
"you would. like your freedom?"
"Well, Massa John, I wouldn't
like much to leabe you, but den I'se like to be a free man."
" Joe, the white race have
maintained their liberty by their valor. Are you willing to fight for yours? Ay!
fight to the death?"
"I'se fight for yous any time,
" I believe you, Joe. But I have
desperate work on hand to-night, and I do not want you to engage in it without a
prospect of reward. If I succeed I will make you a free man. It is a matter of
life and death—will you go?"
" I will, Massa."
"Then-kneel down and swear before
the ever-living God, that, if you falter or shrink the danger, you may hereafter
be consigned to everlasting fire!"
"I swear, Massa," said the negro,
kneeling. "An' I hope that Gor Almighty may strike me dead if I don't go wid you
through fire and water and ebery ting!"
" I am satisfied, Joe," said his
master; then turning to the young girl, who had been a mute spectator of this
singular scene, he continued, "Now, Mattie, you get in the wagon and I'll drive
down to the parsonage, and you remain there with Mrs. Peters and the children
until I bring you some intelligence of your father."
While the sturdy old blacksmith
was awaiting the return of his daughter the party that he had repulsed returned
with increased numbers and demanded the minister. A fierce quarrel ensued, which
resulted in their seizing the smith and carrying him off. They conveyed him to a
tavern half a mile distant from the shop, and there he was arraigned before what
was termed a vigilance committee. The committee met in a long room on the
ground-floor, dimly lighted by a lamp which stood upon a small table in front of
the chairman. In about half an hour after Bradley's arrival he was placed before
the chairman for examination, The old man's arms were pinioned, but nevertheless
he cast a defiant look upon those around him.
"Bradley, this is a grave charge
against you. What have you to say?" said the chairman.
"What authority have you to ask?"
demanded the smith, fiercely eying his interrogator.
"The authority of the people of
Tennessee," was the reply.
"I deny it."
" Your denials amount to nothing.
You are accused of harboring an abolitionist, and the penalty of that act you
know is death. What have you to say to the charge?"
"I say that it is a lie, and that
he who utters such charges against me is a scoundrel."
"Simpson," said the chairman to
the leader of the band that had captured Bradley, and who now appeared with a
large bandage about his head, to bind up a wound which was the result of a blow
from the fist of Bradley. "Simpson," continued the chairman, "what have you to
The leader then stated that he
had tracked the preacher to the blacksmith shop, and that Bradley had resisted
his arrest, and that upon their return he could not be found, and that the
prisoner refused to give any information concerning him.
"Do you hear that, Mr. Bradley?"
said the chairman.
"I do. What of if?" was the
"Is it true?"
"Where is the preacher?"
"That is none of your business."
"Mr. Bradley, this tribunal is
not to be insulted with impunity. I again demand to know when Mr. Peters is.
Will you tell?"
"Mr. Bradley, it is well known
that you are not only a member but an exhorter in Mr. Peters's church, and
therefore some little excuse is to be made for your zeal in defending him. He is
from the North, and has long been suspected, and is now accused of being an
abolitionist and a dangerous man. You do not deny sheltering him, and refusing
to give him up. If you persist in this you must take the consequences. I ask you
for the last time if you will inform us of his whereabouts?"
"And again I answer no!"
"Mr. Bradley, there is also
another serious charge against you, and your conduct in this instance confirms
it. You are accused of giving comfort to the enemies of your country. What have
you to say to that?"
"I say it is false, and that he
who makes it is a villain."
"I accuse him with being a
traitor, aiding the cause of the Union," said Simpson.
"If my adherence to the Union
merits for me the name of traitor, then I am proud of it. I have been for the
Union—I am still for the Union—and will be for the Union as long as life lasts!"
At these words the chairman
clutched a pistol that lay upon the table before him, and the bright blade of
Simpson's bowie-knife glittered near Bradley's breast; but before he could make
the fatal plunge a swift-winged messenger of death laid him dead at the feet of
his intended victim; while at the same instant another plunged into the heart of
the chairman, and he fell forward over the table, extinguishing the light and
leaving all in darkness. Confusion reigned. The inmates of the room were
panic-stricken. In the midst of the consternation a firm hand rested upon
Bradley's shoulder; his bonds were severed, and he hurried out of the open
window. He was again a free man, but was hastened forward into the woods at the
back of the tavern, and through them to a road a quarter of a mile distant, then
into a wagon and driven rapidly off. In half an hour the smith made one of the
party at the rendezvous that was to start at midnight across the mountains.
"John," said the smith as he
grasped the hand of his rescuer, while his eyes glistened and a tear coursed
down his furrowed cheek, "I should like to see Mattie before I go."
"You shall," was the reply.
In another hour the blacksmith
clasped his daughter to his bosom.
It was an affecting scene—there,
in that lone house in the wilderness, surrounded by men who had been driven from
their homes for their attachment to the principles for which the patriot fathers
fought and bled--the sturdy old smith, a type of the heroes of other days,
pressing his daughter to his breast, while the tear coursed down his furrowed
cheek. He felt that perhaps it was to be his last embrace; for his resolute
heart had resolved to sacrifice his all upon the altar of his country, and he
could no longer watch over the safety of his only child. Was she to be left to
the mercy of the parricidal wretches who were attempting to destroy the country
that had given them birth, nursed their infancy, and opened a wide field for
them to display the abilities with which nature had endowed them?
"Mr. Bradley," said his rescuer,
after a short pause, "as you leave the State it will be necessary, in these
troublous times, for Mattie to have a protector, and I have thought that our
marriage had better take place to-night."
"Well, John," he said, as he
relinquished his embrace and gazed with a fond look at her who was so dear to
him, "I shall not object if Mattie is willing."
"Oh! we arranged that as we came
along," replied the young man.
Mattie blushed, but said nothing.
In a short time the hunted-down
minister was called upon to perform a marriage service in that lone house. It
was an impressive scene. Yet no diamonds glittered upon the neck of the bride;
no pearls looped up her tresses; but a pure love glowed within her heart as she
gave utterance to a vow which was registered in heaven.
Bradley, soon after the ceremony,
bade his daughter and her husband an affectionate farewell, and set out with his
friends to join others who had been driven from their homes, and were now
rallying under the old flag to fight for the Union, and, as they said, "Redeem
BATTLE OF PEA RIDGE.
page 196 to an
illustration of the great battle won by General Curtis at
PEA RIDGE, ARKANSAS,
on 6th, 7th, and 8th March. The official report of
General Curtis is as follows:
HEAD-QUARTERS, ARMY OF THE
PEA RIDGE, ARKANSAS, March 9,
GENERAL,—On Thursday, the 6th
inst., the enemy commenced an attack on my right wing, assailing and following
the rear-guard of a detachment under
General Siegel to my main lines on Sugar
Creek Hollow, but ceased firing when he met my reinforcements about four P. M.
During the night I became
convinced that he had moved on so as to attack my right or rear, therefore early
on the 7th I ordered a change of front to the right, my right, which thus became
my left, still resting on Sugar Creek Hollow. This brought my line across Pea
Ridge, with my new right resting on Head Cross Timber Hollow, which is the head
of Big Sugar Creek. I also ordered an immediate advance of the cavalry and light
artillery, under Colonel Osterhaus, with orders to attack and break what I
supposed would be the reinforced line of the enemy. This movement was in
progress when the enemy, at eleven A. M., commenced an attack on my right. The
fight continued mainly at these points during the day, the enemy having gained
the point held by the command of Colonel Carr, at Cross Timber Hollow, but was
entirely repulsed, with the fall of the commander,
McCulloch, in the centre,
by the forces under Colonel
Davis. The plan of attack on the centre was gallantly carried forward by Colonel
Osterhaus, who was immediately sustained and supported by Colonel Davis's entire
division, supported also by General Siegel's command, which had remained till
near the close of the day on the left. Colonel Carr's division held the right
under a galling, continuous fire all day.
In the evening, firing having
entirely ceased in the centre, and the right being now on the left, I reinforced
the right by a portion of the Second Division, under General Asboth. Before the
day closed I was convinced that the enemy had concentrated his main force on the
right. I commenced another change of front forward, so as to face the enemy
where he had deployed on my right flank in a strong petition. The change had
only been partially effected, but was in full progress when, at sunrise on the
8th, my right and centre renewed the firing, which was immediately answered by
the enemy with renewed energy along the whole extent of his line. My left, under
General Siegel, proved close to the hills occupied by the enemy, driving him
from the heights, and advancing steadily toward the head of the hollows. I
immediately ordered the centre and right wing forward, the right turning the
left of the enemy, and cross-firing on his centre. This final position of the
enemy was in the arc of a circle. A charge of infantry, extending throughout the
whole line, completely routed the whole rebel force, which retired in great
confusion, but rather safely, through the deep, impassable defiles of
Our loss is heavy. The enemy's
can never be ascertained, for their dead are scattered over a large field. Their
wounded, too, may many of them be lost and perish. The force is scattered in all
directions, but I think his main force has returned to Boston Mountains.
General Siegel follows him toward
Keithsville, while my cavalry is pursuing him toward the mountains, scouring the
country, bringing in prisoners, and trying to find the rebel Major-General Van
Dorn, who had command of the entire force at this, the battle of Pea Ridge.
I have not as yet statements of
the dead and wounded, so as to justify a report, but I will refer you to a
dispatch which I will forward very soon.
Officers and soldiers have
displayed such unusual gallantry that I hardly dare to make distinction. I must,
however, name the commanders of division. General Siegel gallantly commanded the
right, and drove back the left wing of the enemy; General Asboth, who is wounded
in the arm, in his gallant effort to reinforce the right; Colonel and Acting
Brigadier-General Davis, who commanded the centre, where McCulloch fell on the
7th, and pressed forward the centre on the 8th. Colonel and Acting
Brigadier-General Carr is also wounded in the arm, and was under the continuous
fire of the enemy during the two hardest days of the struggle.
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio,
and Missouri may proudly share the honor of victory which their gallant heroes
won over the combined forces of Van Dorn,
Price, and McCulloch at Pea Ridge, in
the mountains of Arkansas.
The rebels, it is said, had
thirty-five thousand men in the field, among whom were twenty-two hundred
Indians, under Albert Pike. The rebels acknowledge a loss of eleven hundred
killed, and nearly three thousand wounded. Our loss was six hundred killed and
from eight hundred to one thousand wounded. We took sixteen hundred prisoners
and thirteen pieces of cannon.
WE publish on page 197
illustrations of COLUMBUS, Kentucky, from sketches by Mr. Alexander Simplot. The
Herald correspondent thus described the place after the evacuation:
The river batteries have been
almost entirely demolished —three tiers of them—their guns dismounted and thrown
into the river, the gun-carriages mutilated and magazines demolished, leaving
nothing to mark their former presence save ruined breast-works and huge piles of
cannon-balls and shells. Just below the upper river battery, a huge chain, which
has been christened "Pillow's Folly," emerges from the water, extends up the
almost perpendicular bank a hundred feet or more, and disappears under the soil,
where it extends to—the Lord only knows where. This is the Kentucky end of the
chain which the valiant inside-ditchdigger had stretched across the river to
obstruct the passage of our gun-boats. A few feet above the chain and below the
battery I counted five sixty-four pound guns which had been thrown over the
breast-works, with the intention of sinking them in the river; but they had
lodged in the yielding earth and become immovable. Two others lay a few rods
below, which had been taken from the batteries on the bluff.
Within the breast-works on the
hill there was nothing to be seen but the wildest desolation. Burning piles of
rubbish, smouldering heaps of grain—the remnants of burned warehouses—charred
timbers of what were once quarters for the troops, broken gun-carriages and
disabled ordnance, completed the picture.
Leaving the lower town and
ascending the hill in the rear, we get the most comprehensive view of the rebel
works. From one point near the top of the hill my guide pointed out to me the
locality of no less than eight different batteries, besides the positions of
forty-five or fifty isolated pieces of heavy artillery. In all, I computed that
a month ago there could not have been less than one hundred and thirty pieces of
artillery, of the calibre of twenty-four pounders and upward, added to which
there were over seventy pieces of light field artillery. Most of these heavy
guns are now in the river, or disabled upon the works, easily fished up when the
floods go down, or repaired by skillful workmen. I saw in the north fort, upon
the brow of the bluff. the ruins of the celebrated one-hundred-and-twenty
pounder, Lady Polk, which burst in November last, coming to near causing the
Very Reverend Bishop General to "puss in his cheeks." My guide was one of the
gunners upon that occasion, and it was really amusing to hear his rendition of
"You see," said he, pointing to
the breech of the piece, which lay precisely where it fell when the accident
occurred, "dat is de butt of Lady Boke what busted. You see I vas standin'
shoost here mit der sponge. Shendrel Boke shtood right dere on horsepach, und
dem fellers mit der gold lace on der arms, und all over, was shtandin' all
'round; den der Shendrel say, ' Poys, look out; yen Lady Boke speaks I always
sthop mine ears up.' Den he rides oop and dakes der lanyard and sherk him, and,
mein Cott, you oughter see how Lady Boke she flies in leetle bieces. Her preech
flies pack and shlaps ter Shendrel mit der pread pasket und makes hint double up
like mine shack knife. Der Shendrel vas hurted purty pad, and his horse vas
killed; but he shumps up and say, 'Never mind um, poys; dake care of dem odder
fellers.' Den I look 'round, und dere was eight mens killed and more as a dozen
TORPEDOES AT COLUMBUS.
WE illustrate on
page 198, from
sketches by our correspondent, Mr. Alexander Simplot, the
TORPEDOES AND INFERNAL
MACHINES which have been discovered by our troops at Columbus. The correspondent
of the Chicago Times thus describes them:
After two days' exploration for
infernal machines, and to discover wherry the bluff had bean mined, as was
reported to have been done, Captain W. A. Schmitt and company, of the Twenty--eventh
Regiment, discovered ridges of new earth, similar to ridges which are formed by
covering up gas or water pipes in a city, and traced them to a cavern. Effecting
an entrance he found a strong, rude, wooden frame, covered by earth to attract
no attention. Inside this, with the assistance of a light, he found implements
similar to those used in a telegraph office, with wires running in a dozen
different directions. Following the raised rows of earth he soon came to a spot
where something had evidently been buried. Digging down some five feet, he came
to a large iron cask, about three (Next