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Robert E. Lee Portrait
"I came here to say farewell.
Walls have ears, writing may betray. I leave Nashville to-night."
Another whirl and rush of music;
then Lute's voice, faint and trembling,
"Leave! for what?"
"For our country, Lute—for the
Stars and Stripes—for the Union !"
He tightened his grasp as he
spoke, for she seemed falling. Another turn took them within the arch of the
conservatory door. A fall of fleecy curtains separated them from the glaring,
heated rooms, and the faint ray streaming from a single globe of ground glass
alone did battle with its shadows. He drew her into its dimmest corner, still
holding her fast. She struggled slightly, with timid hands tried ineffectually
to free herself from his firm clasp, then drooped her face, crimson even in the
darkness, low, lower, till it was hidden quite on his shoulder.
"Two hours later I shall be
flying like a felon, traveling in the darkness, hiding by day, hunted down,
perhaps, like a dog or a slave," he said, hurriedly. "Think how little heart I
had for this; but I could not go without saying good-by to you."
"Where is the need?" she asked,
with a shudder.
"Every need—the direst. Our flag
and our Government are not idle words, Lute—showy insignia brought out to grace
a gala-day, nothing worth in themselves. They have been our very life and breath
all these years, and like the air, because unseen, they have been unvalued—their
very existence almost denied. Now the day of our trial is upon us, and let him
be called coward and slave who shrinks or falters."
The words escaped unconsciously.
She was thinking of that dear head lying low in some ditch or on some mountain
ridge, upturned blankly to the sky, cold and dead. His stern-set face relaxed
suddenly, and the dark flame in his eyes melted into infinite tenderness.
"You, dear! Will you care? Will
you wear heart-mourning for me if I fall?"
A tear glittering on her cheek in
the faint light was her answer. He stooped to kiss it away, but voices came
perilously near. The waltz was done.
"Give me something of yours that
has been near you," he whispered.
She undid the belt that circled
her trim waist, and gave it, with its gold and azure clasps, into his hand.
"God bless you, keep you from all
harm, and bring you back to me!"
Her voice sank so low that he
could scarcely catch the concluding words; but there was no time for answer. A
sudden ray of light shot in through the parted curtains, soft footfalls and
silken rustlings sounded close by them. He bent low over her, and pressed his
lips to hers. Merry voices called them—the Philistines were upon them. Lute
answered with a careless laugh, he with a jest, as they mingled again with the
crowd. Who could have dreamed of that last burning kiss, that voiceless
An hour after exclaimed Evelyn
Devereux the hostess, "Lute Loder, do you know you have lost your belt and those
lovely clasps? What a pity! I thought I had never seen any thing so pretty. I
shall have the servants look every where."
Lute smiled faintly at thought of
such profitless looking. Miles away at that very moment, it was rising and
falling with every pulse of the heart of Jack Centyre, as he rode steadily and
swiftly on in the darkness.
Let those who have kept vigil
through long months with hope and fear, tell how the weary ensuing days passed
for Lute, if words can tell; if there is any expression for an undying
heart-sickness, a never-ceasing terror. From society she was presently
ostracized. Came there one day, Mrs. Rawlinson, the outward and visible sign of
that inward and mysterious essence, principle, or quality, whatever it may be,
known as the "ton," indignation throned on her bushy eyebrows, determination
ensconced about the corners of her mouth.
"Ah! come here, you naughty
child," was her salutation as Lute entered; "we were talking of you, were we
not, Miss Primly?"
Aunt Rachel, who interpreted
aright the ominous quiet of lips and mouth in her somewhat unmanageable ward,
assented feebly, while Lute seated herself without other reply than a bend of
"I came here to talk to you quite
seriously," pursued Mrs. Rawlinson, smoothing her gloves uneasily, and obviously
embarrassed by the steady gaze and formidable composure of the culprit. "I knew
your mother, my dear, and I feel an interest in you. Young people will be
indiscreet, will draw wrong conclusions; no one knows that better than I. A
pretty girl of eighteen can't be a Socrates—we don't expect it. In fact, why
should we expect it? As I said to the ladies yesterday, berthas not battles,
pleasure not politics, is running in your little head."
No answer to so much
condescension; no appreciation of such elaborate kindness, either expressed or
implied; only ominous silence, stormy eyes and mutinous though as yet quiet
lips, and Aunt Primly looking on aghast and helpless. Clearly there was no
resource left Mrs. Rawlinson but to bring out her heavy guns and open fire.
"Miss Loder, in a committee of
our ladies it was yesterday decided," continued Mrs. Rawlinson, "that while our
husbands, fathers, and brothers are away fighting our enemies, we can not in
justice tolerate them in our midst. We have a list of ladies professing Union
sentiments, and painful as it will be, we are resolved to cease all association
"The question is then, who are
the sufferers?" retorted Lute.
"I am sorry to say that your name
is on the list."
"It is honored then."
"I pleaded your youth and beauty
in vain. You are more than suspected of Union feeling."
"Why not say more than suspected
of Christianity, love of country, or some such heinous offense?"
burst out Lute. "If I am only
suspected, let suspicion be changed to certainty. I know no country but the
Union. I acknowledge no allegiance to any flag but the Stars and Stripes. I
desire no friendship with traitors and ingrates."
"She is mad!" gasped Aunt Primly.
"Worse!" echoed Mrs. Rawlinson,
solemnly. Lute rose to her full height.
"Mrs. Rawlinson, tell your
friends that the poorest man that fights for his country against the treason of
secession is more honored in my eyes than your proudest leaders. If I were a
man, my best blood should seal my words; as a woman, I am only sorry that I can
not prove my sincerity by a more costly sacrifice."
Mrs. Rawlinson rose, reddening
and swelling. "You will repent this."
"Perhaps. All things are
" You have ruined yourself,"
quoth Aunt Primly, in despair. And if to be sedulously excluded from all
recognition is to be ruined, then Aunt Rachel was right. The girls, her old
friends, passed her with a giggle and whispers about strong-mindedness and
abolitionism; the men with looks of cold reproof; the elderly ladies with real
or affected horror. Aunt Primly read her a daily homily; secession was blatant
all about her; not one word, not even a token of any kind, had she ever received
from Jack; yet he was not dead; for she read, with a thrill that who can
describe, in one of the local papers, that the arch-traitor Jack Centyre had
escaped, and was serving as a lieutenant in Buell's army; but she stood
firm—words easily written, lightly read, but hard and bitter in practice.
At length Miss Primly fell ill,
and while her fever was at its height came the news of the fall of Fort
Donelson, and the wild panic and terror that overtook Nashville. In the midst of
it all Lute sat calm and even joyous, for to her the Federal army meant simply
Jack Centyre. Jack well, faithful, and coming back to her, was the picture Hope
held up before her; and one afternoon, while the city was breathlessly expecting
the coming of Buell's army, as she sat by a lower window weaving golden dreams,
she heard the jar of the gate, and looking up caught the glitter of sword and
epaulets. He had come! and breathless with delight she ran to the door, opened
it, and started back aghast. The uniform of the Texan Rangers met her eye, and a
face pre-eminently handsome, spite of the evident traces of debauch—a face only
too familiar to her, that of Raymond Mainwaring, outcast for his vices from a
circle by no means saintly, and her bitterest enemy because she had once
rejected him. What could have brought him there? She stood holding the door,
looking at him with undisguised dismay.
"May I come in?" he asked, with
an evil smile. "It is so long since we have met."
Even as he spoke he stepped past
her into the hall, turned the key in the lock, and took it out. "These are
unsettled times," he sneered, "and I have no fancy for being impaled like a bug
on a Federal bayonet, and sent North as a curiosity. Will you come into the
library, Miss Loder? I have something to say to you."
There was no one within call but
female servants, for all the neighbors had fled; no help but to follow. Lute did
so with a silent prayer. He gave her a seat, placed himself beside her, and,
leaning forward, fixed his eyes intently on her face.
"You, I remember, are fond of
poetry," was his most unexpected beginning. "I came here to quote a stanza that
has been running in my head all day."
"Kind of you, but is it worth the
risk? Pray, what is your quotation?"
He took her hand. Direful menace
and fierce triumph flamed in the midnight depths of his eyes. He spoke as if he
would burn in every word on her memory:
"'For Time at last sets all
And if we do but watch the hour,
There never yet was human power
Which could evade, if unforgiven,
The patient search and vigil long
Of him who treasures up a
He had a marvelous voice, full,
deep, capable of any inflection, and it rung out now like the toll of doom.
Lute's heart gave a sudden bound, and then stood still in mortal terror; the
blood surged over cheek and brow, and as suddenly receded; and her voice shook
spite of her bravest efforts, though her words were calm enough.
"Bon! I see your taste has
improved; but I conclude this is only your text. What is your sermon?"
"A short one, Lute. A year ago I
loved you, and you might have saved and redeemed me. You refused with scorn, and
society applauded you, but 'Time has set all things even.' The wheel has turned.
Society has need of me now, ignores you." "True, yet hardly worth the telling."
"You are right, as usual, were
that all I had to say; but listen. I am a man of a curious pertinacity of
disposition, and I never relinquish a determination. A year ago I decided that
you must belong to me. I have not changed my mind, though I have waited in
silence. My time has come. Your consent is no longer necessary. You are alone
here, in a city distracted with mad, selfish terror, and Government will not
inquire too closely into the conduct of so useful an officer. I shall take you."
"You dare not!"
"I dare any thing."
" Is on the side of heavy
battalions and favorable. circumstances."
She struggled to shake off his
grasp on her wrist, which he had unconsciously tightened to a painful degree. A
locket fell from her belt. He picked it up and opened it.
"Jack Centyre! So he is my rival!
Will it interest you to know that I saw him at Fort Donelson? He was one of the
first to scale the walls, and I think was cut down at once. But come, my love!
A pistol lay on the table. Lute,
caught it up and aimed it at him.
He smiled scornfully.
"Shall I show you how to pull the
trigger? I think you are more afraid of it even than of me. What a soldier's
wife you will make!"
She dashed down the pistol and
darted toward the door, but he held her fast. A moment's struggling exhausted
her little strength, and left her utterly helpless in his iron grasp. There was
no relenting in his determined face—he had no pity. Surged up then to her brain,
with a dull, waving sound in her ears, the quickened tide of blood. She seemed
fainting, dying; when suddenly, amidst the whirl and confusion of her faculties,
she found that she was listening to a sound growing nearer and louder every
moment: the quick gallop of horses; the creaking of the gates; the loud echo of
hoofs along the carriage-road.
"Come!" urged Raymond, with an
Her answer was a long and
thrilling shriek. Shouts and voices responded from without. They were thundering
at the door—locked, alas! and quite strong enough to withstand a lengthy siege.
Some one called her:
"Lute! in God's name, where are
It was Jack's voice! She answered
with a second shriek, as Raymond tried to drag her toward the door. They were
coming around the house. There was a jingle and a crash of broken glass as
a window was dashed in, and then
sprang into the room men in the welcome Federal uniform, with swords and
Lute ran up to the leader.
"Oh, Jack, you have saved me! I
knew that you were not dead, and that you would come!" And so, as usual, the
little things of man's estimation were the agents of Providence. Jack's
impatience proved Lute's salvation, and her happiness also; for Aunt Primly
could not in decency deny to Lieutenant Centyre the life that he had saved.
Mainwaring they marched off to the camp in triumph, and the official report
coolly noted him down as "One prisoner taken."
How many that read it dreamed of
the almost tragedy depending on those simple words?
GENERAL McCLELLAN'S ARMY.
WE devote several pages this week
to illustrations of our Army under
General McClellan, which has just driven the
rebels out of Yorktown. On
page 305 will be found a fine picture of a rebel RECONNOISSANCE BY NIGHT, WITH DARK LANTERNS, preliminary to the evacuation; on
page 308 the DEPARTURE OF OUR CAVALRY AND FLYING-ARTILLERY, under
General Stoneman, up the Yorktown turnpike, in pursuit of the rebels; on
page 309 a
spirited picture of the CAPTURE OF A REBEL RIFLE-PIT by the Massachusetts First;
on page 310 a complete Map of the
SEAT OF THE WAR IN VIRGINIA, which will enable
our readers to follow the movements of the various armies under McClellan,
Fremont; and on
page 311 a semi-humorous picture
representing THE PICKETS OF THE TWO ARMIES CONVERSING FROM THE SHELTER OF TREES.
The brilliant charge of the Massachusetts First upon a rebel rifle-pit is thus
described in the Herald letter:
Five companies of Massachusetts
troops participated in a splendid little action which took place this morning.
One company made a brilliant charge on a rebel redoubt, drove the rebels away,
killed quite a number, and hemmed in fourteen, who were taken prisoners. The
redoubt is situated in front of a piece of woods, and faces an open cornfield to
the right of the Yorktown road. It was determined last evening to reduce the
work and ascertain what fortifications were behind, beyond the woods. Early this
morning three companies of the First Massachusetts Regiment, under
Lieutenant-Colonel Wells, and two. companies of the Eleventh, under Major Tripp,
left camp and arrived on the ground just about daylight. Company A, Captain
Wild, was deployed as skirmishers to the left across the field to prevent a
flank movement of the enemy. Company I, Captain Rand, was held in reserve toward
the right near a small ravine, while Company H, under Captain Carruth, advanced
at double quick across the field and charged upon the work. Led by
Lieutenant-Colonel Wells, they dashed ahead in the most gallant manner. As soon
as they were seen crossing the open field, a distance of four or five hundred
yards from the redoubt, the rebels opened a spirited fire from behind the
parapet. In face of this fire the gallant little band of sixty advanced at a
double quick with bayonets fixed. Their comrades were falling on the field
around them; but not a man on our side fired a gun until those who charged the
redoubt had arrived within a few yards of the ditch in front. Then they
discharged a volley, and the rebels retreated. Although much exhausted by the
run across the corn-field, our men jumped into the ditch and climbed over the
parapet. Thus the work was successfully taken in a few minutes. Lieutenant
Chandler and Lieutenant-Colonel Wells were among the first to reach the fort.
Company H lost three men killed and thirteen wounded. No other casualties
occurred on our side. Most of the killed and wounded fell within twenty yards of
the ditch, which was six or seven feet deep and eight feet wide in front of the
redoubt. Company A still held their position as skirmishers to the left, and
subsequently Company I was ordered to advance to support those in front. In the
meantime Company A, Eleventh Massachusetts, Captain Humphrey, came forward to
the right at double quick and kept the rebels back, while Company G, Captain
Allen, which had been placed to support a section of our artillery, also
advanced, and with picks and shovels commenced destroying the redoubt. Our
artillery did not fire a single shot. Presently the rebels opened with their
artillery from their fortifications to the left. Our brave Massachusetts boys
fired away into the woods, while some of their comrades were shoveling the earth
from the parapet of the rebel fort into the ditch below. A little to the right
of this work there was an opening through the woods and a clearing behind, where
another rebel redoubt was situated. From this the rebels poured forth a
continuous fire; but the skirmishers from the Eleventh regiment filed off to the
right and left, covered by the woods, and thus escaped the effect of their fire.
When the attack was made on our left the rebels were driven in confusion in
every direction. Fourteen of them got on a small strip of ground behind which
was a stream which they could not cross. Hence they were taken prisoners. One of
them rushed out with a white haversack on his musket and begged our men not to
shoot. Firing in that direction ceased for a moment. He said there were thirteen
others who wanted to surrender. Soon they appeared and were taken prisoners.
Fourteen rebels were captured altogether—one sergeant, one corporal, and a dozen
privates. They all belonged to Company E, Nineteenth Virginia Regiment. They
were a companyof sharp-shooters who were on duty in the fort. They said they
were completely taken by surprise, and when we opened the attack there was great
confusion among them; but they were soon supported by other troops on the right
and left. Our soldiers acted in the most gallant manner, and were highly
complimented by the Brigadier-General, who was on the ground. The object of the
movement having been most successfully accomplished, our men retired from the
field in perfect order.
FORT MACON REPOSSESSED.
page 316 we illustrate the
BOMBARDMENT AND RECAPTURE OF FORT MACON, at Beaufort, by the United States
troops under the command of General Burnside. Our pictures are from sketches by
our special artist, Mr. Angelo Wiser. The fort was taken on Friday, April 25.
The following account of the bombardment is from the correspondence of the
Friday morning—a day whose evil
augury has been so signally reversed in the history of this campaign—dawned
pleasantly, but a fresh breeze sprang up from the south at daybreak. At
precisely 5:40 o'clock a Parrot gun from Captain Morris's Battery startled the
town from its slumbers. Its thunder shook the houses in Beaufort to their
foundations, and while the echoes of its shrill, bursting shell were still
rolling along the opposite shores, eager gazers, with half-finished toilets,
filled the windows, or stood awe-struck upon the streets and balconies. Another
and another followed in quick succession, and then came an earthquake shock from
Flagler's 10-inch mortars, which made the windows rattle and weak-kneed mortals
stand aghast! Before the smoke had cleared sufficiently to mark the spot from
which this belching volcano had issued, puffs of white smoke rose from the
right, and in advance of the rest. It was Lieutenant Prouty putting in the
exclamation points to his new oration from his 8-inch mortar battery. Thus
opened the bombardment of Fort Macon. For twenty minutes not a sign of life was
to be seen upon the fort. The sentinel, suspended in his usual eyrie upon the
flag-staff, had dropped from the cross-trees as if the halyards that held him up
had been shot away, and he disappeared no more to return. Still the firing
continued. At last heads of moving objects were seen cautiously stealing in the
direction of the barbette guns on the lower parapet, and in another moment the
fort gave out its first answering shot. Taking courage from this infantile
effort, and finding they still lived, others crawled out from their coverts, and
another gun was manned. They had already guessed at the location of the Parrot
battery, and directed their fire upon it, but their practice at first was
unsteady and faltering. Their solid 32-pound shot generally struck short,
throwing up clouds of sand, while an occasional shot passed over their heads,
and went bowling in among the sand-hills half a mile beyond our lines. A three
weeks' practice had taught our boys to dodge these missiles with comparative
Many of the shells from the heavy
mortar battery, during the first part of the firing, went over the fort,
exploding on the beach at the eastward or in the water—the same was true of the
8-inch shells—but it was not long before they obtained the range, when their
firing was made with greater precision. Lieutenant Flagler stood at the right of
his battery, in a position so as to enable him to see the effect of each shell,
and directed the adjustment of every fuse and the training of the guns. At eight
o'clock the firing from the fort became very sharp and well sustained, one gun
after another being manned, until apparently half a dozen were at work at once.
The Parrot battery kept up a continuous discharge, their shells exploding over
the parapets, and their solid bolts plowing up the works in all directions. When
one of these shots struck the parapets, the fort, for an instant, would be
enveloped in heavy clouds of black mould, which were thrown almost to the top of
the flagstaff, while fragments of brick, stone, and lumber, from the wooden
covering of the ramparts, filled the air, hiding the enemy's gunners from view.
It was now apparent that the
rebels were doing their utmost to dismount Captain Morris's battery, whose open
embrasures afforded the only visible point of attack. Lieutenant Flagler's
battery being nearly in a direct line with the Parrot guns, the shots which were
aimed at it would generally ricochet and expend their force near that beyond.
Lieutenant Prouty, whose position was at the extreme right, near the south
beach, continued his fire for a considerable time before attracting much
attention from the enemy's guns. Later in the action the received a good share
of the rebel shot in return for his well-directed fire.
Up to 9 o'clock A.M. the fire
from our batteries and from the fort was kept up with nearly equal spirit and
determination, the advantages, if any, being on the side of the fort, which
outnumbered us in guns. The rebel gunners won much admiration from many
sympathizing spectators in Beaufort and Morehead for their daring and bravery.
About 9 o'clock A.M. the United
States gun-boats came into position, one after the other, and opened fire, their
shots enfilading those from our batteries on the beach. Their long-range guns
sent their shot and shell in some cases clear over the fort, which burst within
half a mile of the town. The majority of them, however, raked the east and west
parapets with effect, and did great execution upon the south face of the fort.
Added to the continuous fire from the mortar and Parrot batteries, they sent a
perfect storm of exploding projectiles into the fort, and for a time the rebel
gunners stood appalled. They fled from the lower parapets and most exposed
positions, taking shelter behind the breast-works or in the casemates. While
this timely contribution was being added to the common stock of Union arguments,
our land batteries took a moment's breathing spell, and prepared to renew the
firing with vigor. The rough sea which prevailed outside, however, rendered all
attempt at accurate range impossible, and after firing for about two hours they
hauled off. During this time a large number of good shots were thrown at the
ships. One of these, a 32-pounder, struck the United States gun-boat Daylight
near the gangway, passing through the engine-room, the Captain's room, and
lodging in the celing on the port side. It carried away a portion of the iron
stairway, which struck the Engineer, Mr. Eugene J. Wade, breaking his left arm.
Another hot shot passed through the ensign of the State of Georgia, but did no
other damage. The Albatross and Chippewa had some of their rigging carried away.
The bark Gemsbok also did some
effective firing, and all demonstrated what they would have done had the weather
been smooth. In the afternoon our batteries obtained the exact range, and poured
a continuous hail-storm of bursting shell into the fort. The rebel guns were
gradually deserted, and at 2 o'clock only two or three guns were fired at
intervals of five minutes. On our side the fire continued with little abatement,
every shell telling with terrible effect.
At 3 o'clock the gun in the
water-battery, which had kept up a constant discharge, was silenced by the
bursting shells, and only an occasional discharge was made from the 10-inch
Columbiad on the south parapet.
Shortly after 4 o'clock the
firing, which had been constantly growing weaker, ceased, and a white flag was
displayed on the west front of the fort. Our batteries immediately ceased
firing, and the fact was announced to General Parke, and was also signaled to
The effects of the bombardment
are thus described by the same correspondent:
The inner walls and parade-ground
of the fort bore witness to the terrific force of the shells which had exploded
within. Deep holes indented in the brick-work; the stone steps torn from their
foundations; the water-tank stove in, and rendered useless; casemate window
shattered to fragments; and even the ends of upright bars of railroad iron, set
up to protect the entrance to the casemates, broken off, and the solid shot
buried to their heel in the brick walls—were some of the visible effects of the
iron store. Thousands of fragments of shells lay scattered over the ground. The
ramparts were breached and plowed up on all sides; the wooden coping scattered
in fragments along the parapets; chimney, knocked flat, and gun-carriages split
and broken to pieces. Fifteen out of eighteen guns pointing up the Spit were
disabled, and several dismounted. Over 400 shot and shell fell in the fort, and
about 100 shells burst in the inner fort.
Seven persons were killed at the
guns and in the fort, and eighteen wounded, one mortally. One man had his leg
cut off by the fragment of a shell while sitting on his bunk in the casemate.
Another hail his knee badly crushed. Two of the killed, viz., J. P. Willis and
James Stanton, belonged in Beaufort.
The dead were carried out in
rough boxes as the Union troops entered the fort.
The garrison consisted of 450
men, 250 being effective.
So our troops are repossessing,
one by one, the forts belonging to the United States.