General Quincy Gilmore


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, May 10, 1862

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MAY 10, 1862.]





WE publish on this page a portrait of GENERAL GILMORE, the hero of Pulaski, from a photograph by Lieutenant Haas.

General Gilmore was born in Ohio, about thirty-six years ago. He entered the Military Academy at West Point in 1845, and graduated in 1849, at the head of a class of 43 members. He was appointed to the Engineers, and was promoted to a First Lieutenancy in 1856, and to a Captaincy in 1861. From 1849 to 1852 he was engaged on the fortifications at Hampton Roads; from 1852 to 1856 he was instructor of Practical Military Engineering at West Point, and during this time he designed the new Riding School on the crest of the Hill. He served from 1856 to 1861 as Purchasing Agent for the department in New York, and made many friends here. In 1861 he was assigned to the staff of General Sherman, and accompanied him to Port Royal. General Sherman appointed him Brigadier-General of Volunteers—a rank which it is hoped the President will confirm. General Gilmore had entire charge of the siege operations against Fort Pulaski, and it is to his skill that the success of the bombardment is due. The Tribune correspondent well says:

The result of the efforts to breach a fort of such strength and at such a distance confers high honor on the engineering skill and self-reliant capacity of General Gilmore. Failure in an attempt made in opposition to the opinion of the ablest engineers in the army would have destroyed him. Success, which in this case is wholly attributable to his talent, energy, and independence, deserves a corresponding reward.

[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.]





Printed from the Manuscript and early Proof-sheets purchased by the Proprietors of "Harper's Weekly."

CHAPTER XIII.—(Continued.)

Mess GARTH'S hand still mechanically grasped the lawyer's arm. Her whole mind was absorbed in the effort to realize the discovery which had now burst on her.

"Dependent on Michael Vanstone!" she said to herself. "Dependent on their father's bitterest enemy! How can it be?"

"Give me your attention for a few minutes more," said Mr. Pendril, "and and you shall hear. The sooner we can bring this painful interview to a close the sooner I can open communications with Mr. Michael Vanstone, and the sooner you will know what he decides on doing for his brother's orphan daughters. I repeat to you that they are absolutely dependent on him. You will most readily understand how and why, if we take up the chain of events where we last left it—at the period of Mr. and Mrs. Vanstone's marriage."

"One moment, Sir," said Miss Garth. "Were you in the secret of that marriage at the time when it took place?"

"Unhappily I was not. I was away from London—away from England at the time. If Mr. Vanstone had been able to communicate with me when the letter from America announced the death of his wife, the fortunes of his daughters would not have been now at stake."

He paused; and, before proceeding further, looked once more at the letters which he had consulted at an earlier period of the interview. He took one letter from the rest, and put it on the table by his side.

"At the beginning of the present year," he resumed, " a very serious business necessity, in connection with some West Indian property possessed by an old client and friend of mine, required the presence either of myself or of one of my two partners in Jamaica. One of the two could not be spared; the other was not in health to undertake the voyage. There was no choice left but for me to go. I wrote to Mr. Vanstone, telling him that I should leave England at the end of February, and that the nature of the business which took me away afforded little hope of my getting back from the West Indies before June. My letter was not written with any special motive. I merely thought it right—seeing that my partners were not admitted to my knowledge of Mr. Vanstone's private affairs—to warn him of my absence, as a measure of formal precaution which it was right to take. At the end of February I left England, without having heard from him. I was on the sea when the news of his wife's death reached him, on the 4th of March, and I did not return until the middle of last June."

"You warned him of your departure," interposed Miss Garth. "Did you not warn him of your return?"

"Not personally. My head-clerk sent him one of the circulars which were dispatched from my office, in various directions, to announce my return. It was the first substitute I thought of for the personal letter which the pressure of innumerable occupations, all crowding on me together after my long absence, did not allow me leisure to write. Barely a month later the first information of his marriage reached me in a letter from himself, written on the day of the fatal accident. The circumstances which induced him to write arose out of an event in which you must have taken some interest—I mean the attachment between Mr. Clare's son and Mr. Vanstone's youngest daughter."

"I can not say that I was favorably disposed toward that attachment at the time," replied Miss Garth. "I was ignorant then of the family secret: I know better now."

"Exactly. The motive which you can now appreciate is the motive that leads us to the point. The young lady herself (as I have heard from the elder Mr. Clare, to whom I am indebted for my knowledge of the circumstances in detail) confessed her attachment to her father, and innocently touched him to the quick by a chance reference to his own early life. He had a long conversation with Mrs. Vanstone, at which they both agreed that Mr. Clare must be privately informed of the truth, before the attachment between the two young people was allowed to proceed further. It was painful in the last degree, both to husband and wife, to be reduced to this alternative. But they were resolute, honorably resolute, in making the sacrifice of their own feelings; and Mr. Vanstone betook himself on the spot to Mr. Clare's cottage.—You no doubt observed a remarkable change in Mr. Vanstone's manner on that day; and you can now account for it?"

Miss Garth bowed her head, and Mr. Pendril went on.

"You are sufficiently acquainted with Mr.

Clare's contempt for all social prejudices," he continued, "to anticipate his reception of the confession which his neighbor addressed to hire. Five minutes after the interview had begun the two old friends were as easy and unrestrained together as usual. In the course of conversation Mr. Vanstone mentioned the pecuniary arrangement which he had made for the benefit of his daughter and of her future husband—and, in doing so, he naturally referred to this will here on the table between us. Mr. Clare, remembering that his friend had been married in the March of that year, at once asked when the will had been executed; received the reply that it had been made five years since, and thereupon astounded Mr. Vanstone by telling him bluntly that the document was waste paper in the eye of the law. Up to that moment he, like many other persons, had been absolutely ignorant that a man's marriage is legally, as well as socially, considered to be the most important event in his life; that it destroys the validity of any will which he may have made as a single man; and that it renders absolutely necessary the entire reassertion of his testamentary intentions in the character of a husband. The statement of this plain fact appeared to overwhelm Mr. Vanstone. Declaring that his friend had laid him under an obligation which he should remember to his dying day, he at once left the cottage, at once returned home and wrote me this letter."


He handed the letter open to Miss Garth. In tearless, speechless grief she read these words:

"MY DEAR PENDRIL.—Since we last wrote to each other an extraordinary change has taken place in my life. About a week after you went away I received news from America which told me that I was free. Need I say what use I made of that freedom? Need I say that the mother of my children is now my Wife?

"If you are surprised at not having heard from me the moment you got back, attribute my silence in great part— if not altogether—to my own total ignorance of the legal necessity for making another will. Not half an hour since I was enlightened for the first time (under circumstances which I will mention when we meet) by my old friend, Mr. Clare. Family anxieties have had something to do with my silence as well. My wife's confinement is close at hand; and besides this serious anxiety, my second daughter is engaged to be married. Until I saw Mr. Clare today these matters so filled my mind that I never thought of writing to you during the one short month which is all that has passed since I got news of your return. Now I know that my will must be made again I write instantly. For God's sake, come on the day when you receive this—come and relieve me from the dreadful thought that my two darling girls are at this moment unprovided for. If any thing happened to me, and if my desire to do their mother justice ended (through my miserable ignorance of the law) in leaving Norah and Magdalen disinherited, I should not rest in my grave! Come, at any cost, to yours ever,   A. V."

"On the Saturday morning," Mr. Pendril resumed, "those lines reached me. I instantly set aside all other business and drove to the railway. At the London terminus I heard the first news of the Friday's accident; heard it, with conflicting accounts of the numbers and names of the passengers killed. At Bristol they were better informed, and the dreadful truth about Mr. Vanstone was confirmed. I had time to recover myself before I reached your station here, and found Mr. Clare's son waiting for me. He took me to his father's cottage; and there, without losing a moment, I drew out Mrs. Vanstone's will. My object was to secure the only provision for her daughters which it was now possible to make. Mr. Vanstone having died intestate, a third of his fortune would go to his widow, and the rest would be divided among his next of kin. It is the cruel peculiarity of the English law that the marriage of the parents does not legitimatize children born out of wedlock. Mr. Vanstone's daughters, under the circumstances of their father's death, had no more claim to a share in his property than the daughters of one of his laborers in the village. The one chance left was that their mother might sufficiently recover to leave her third share to them, by will, in the event of her decease. Now you know why I wrote to you to ask for that interview—why I waited day and night, in the hope of receiving a summons to the house. I was sincerely sorry to send back such an answer to your note of inquiry as I was compelled to write. But while there was a chance of the preservation of Mrs. Vanstone's life the secret of the marriage was hers, not mine, and every consideration of delicacy forbade me to disclose it."

"You did right, Sir," said Miss Garth; "I understand your motives, and respect them." "My last attempt to provide for the daughters," continued Mr. Pendril, "was, as you know, rendered unavailing by the dangerous nature of Mrs. Vanstone's illness. Her death left the infant who survived her by to few hours (the infant born, you will remember, in lawful wedlock) possessed, in due legal course, of the whole of Mr. Vanstone's fortune. On the child's death—if it had only outlived the mother by a few seconds, instead of a few hours, the result would have been the same—the next of kin to the legitimate offspring took the money; and that next of kin is the infant's paternal uncle,


General Quincy Gilmore




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