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ARMY OF THE OHIO.
pages 744 and 745 to
illustrations of THE ARMY OF THE OHIO ON THE MARCH, from sketches by Mr. Henry Mosler. Of the centre picture Mr. M. writes:
"On 26th October we started from
Mount Vernon toward Somerset on our way to Bowling Green. It had snowed all the
day before, and the mountain road had become one mass of mud, in some places
knee-deep. The scene, however, was very imposing. The foliage was still green;
autumn had not yet tinged the leaves with its gaudy colors, and it contrasted
finely with the white sheet of snow which covered the ground. The trees and
branches, heavily snow-laded, drooped gracefully toward the earth, and every now
and then some great bough too heavily freighted fell with a resounding crash.
After a weary march of fifteen miles the troops encamped for the night at
Somerset, without tents. You may fancy how they enjoyed the cold night, in their
chilled, wet condition, sleeping in the open air.
"WILD CAT is a place where a
battle was fought on 21st October, 1861. In the fore-ground I represent part of
the earth-works thrown up at that time. The hills on the right, which are very
high, command all the surrounding strong-holds. The scenery is picturesque, and
in a military point of view I think the height is impregnable.
"Another picture represents a
MARCH IN THE RAIN. This scene is well impressed on my memory, as I got a good
ducking, my India rubber being of no use whatever.
"CLEARING THE ROAD OF FELLED
TREES was a daily operation on our march. The rear of Bragg's retreating army
felled every tree which stood near enough the road to fall across it, and our
advance column had to clear away the obstructions. We were often so close in
pursuit that we could hear the crash of the falling trees.
"The other pictures explain
ARM FOR A HEART.
ONE of Mrs. Meredith's "evenings"
was two thirds over. The lights shone gayly over fair women. Eyes sparkled,
jewels flashed, silken raiment glistened, filmy laces shook odors out upon the
air. The dance music sounded merrily; for it was only the February of '61, and
people used to dance then —before the nation had been turned into two classes
only, soldiers and mourners. Ethel Darricott was tired. She had been on the
floor all the evening. She was glad now to obey her partner's lead, and stop for
a moment to rest upon a sofa, in the recess formed by a bay-window. The little
nook was deserted just then, as it chanced, and it looked quiet and inviting—a
little withdrawn from the confusion, and yet in sight of all the light, and
glitter, and movement.
Miss Darricott had danced more
than half the evening with this same partner—Howard Revere. He was a handsome,
haughty, indolent man; young still, scarcely twenty-five, indeed; but with an
air of command, careless yet absolute, that made you think him much older. There
was something inscrutable, something which piqued your curiosity, in the
expression of his face—a look in his dark eyes which might mean so many things
that you lost yourself in a mist of speculation. He was tall and vigorous, with
muscles that would have set the "strong man" crazy with envy; and yet a lazy,
nonchalant air, as if he would like some one to save him the trouble of lifting
his own fingers.
Miss Darricott was happy sitting
there by his side, both of them silent, with the bright dresses and fair faces
circling mazily in front of them, and the dance music so merry that it was sad
with its own madness of mirth sounding in their ears. They looked on for a while
without speaking— then Miss Darricott said, musingly:
"A great many pretty faces,
"I suppose so. I was just
wondering why none of them looked particularly pretty to me. I wonder is it
always so, Ethel—that when a man truly loves one he sees some defect in all
others because they are not just like her?"
He had never called her Ethel
before. It quickened her heart-beats a little, and she did not answer him
because she did not know what to say. He did not notice, at least he went on
speaking slowly, half involuntarily as it were, words which would be said.
"I don't know why I tell you now,
Ethel. I surely did not mean to when I made you sit down here; but I love you. I
want you to be mine, my wife, by my side forever—to fill up a great void there
is in my life. What does your heart say? Can you come?"
Miss Darricott did not speak for
a little while. She was asking herself his question over again—it was not
whether she loved him, but whether she could share his destiny, be his wife. She
grew pale a little before she answered, but her reply, when it came, was firmly
Howard Revere turned and looked
at her a moment—looked into her eyes and at her face, whose language was firm as
her tone had been. He did not expostulate with her or entreat her. It would not
have been like him. He only bowed.
"Will you dance?" he said, rising
a moment after, as a new set was forming. She put a cold hand into his, and went
again among the dancers.
Miss Darricott had a cousin—a
year older, a little less beautiful, but with a keen insight into men and
things. She was an orphan, living with the family of her Uncle Darricott almost
as a daughter. That night the two lingered over the fire in the little
dressing-room between their two rooms, and talked together as girls do after
balls. Only Ethel was more silent than usual, and her cousin Grace watched her
anxiously but furtively.
"Have you not lost something?"
Grace inquired at length, with a covert meaning in her tone.
"No, I believe not," glancing at
rings and bracelets.
"Lost was not a good word,
perhaps. I mean have you not thrown away something to-night which you will want,
and seek for vainly as the years go on?"
Ethel's eye fell beneath the keen
yet kindly glance which searched her face. Her cheeks colored. Her answer was a
question scarcely to the point.
"How do you know every thing,
Grace? How did you guess this?"
"I saw it all in pantomime. Words
could not have been so expressive as your face and his. I was sorry, for I
believe you love him."
"I fear I do. But he did not ask
me that; he only asked if I could be his wife."
"And you told him no? I am sorry,
for I do not think he will ever ask again. If you love him
why not marry him?"
"Because I feared I might stop
loving him some day. To live the listless, aimless life we women
do is bad enough. It offends both my taste and my principles to see a man
idling away life in this world, where so many harvest fields are waiting."
Grace looked at her cousin with a
"I thought I understood you,
Ethel, and yet I should never have given you credit for such a reason. What you
say is certainly right and true in the main, only I do not think it applies to
Mr. Revere. There is a difference between an idle, aimless life, and one of
waiting till one's right work comes."
"What makes you reckon Mr. Revere
among the waiters?"
"Because it is not in his nature
to like idleness or inaction. I can see that he is restive under it. But he is
not fond of vain labor, of wasting strength. Did you never learn that those who
wait serve also? Howard Revere's time will come, and his life will be one not to
shame any woman that loved him. But it's useless talking now. It would not be
like him ever to say over again what he said to-night."
Ethel Darricott tried to be
light-hearted when she was alone; but it was a miserable failure, and she gave
up at last to the tears that would come. Her cousin's words disquieted her
strangely. Had she indeed thrown away the one pure pearl Fate would proffer her
in this life, and would its white glory never again gladden heart and eyes,
though she should seek a place of repentance even with tears?
So it went on till the surrender
of Sumter, and the call which summoned the loyal North to arms. Among the first
to volunteer his services was the man she had thought so fond of ease and self,
so fearful of fatigue, so laggard in the race of life. His name was enrolled as
a private at first, but his company chose him unanimously for captain, and so
Captain Revere led them on to the defense of Washington.
Before he left he called to bid
Ethel good-by; but other guests were in the drawing-room, and he did not see her
alone. Only when he was leaving she stepped to the door with him, and he held
her hand for a moment. Perhaps that touch conjured his soul to his lips. At any
rate he said what he had not meant to say.
"You are not all to me that I
once hoped you would be, Ethel; but you are my friend, are you not? You will
think of me sometimes, and be sorry for me a little if I fall?"
"You will not fall," Ethel said,
resolutely, forcing back the tears that threatened to choke her. "I shall think
of you, and when you come back I shall welcome you, and be proud of my friend."
"If I do not come back," he said,
wringing her hand as he turned away, "God bless you. I have not changed in my
estimation of you because your heart would not let you be altogether mine."
He went away with those words,
and then Ethel knew how she had loved him.
The next day came—the soldiers
were gone, and Ethel Darricott tried to take up cheerfully the remnant of life
which was left to her. The best half and the dearest, she felt, was gone with
him; but much remained to do, somewhat even to rejoice in. She was not more
exacting of others than she was of herself. To have yielded idly to her grief
would have been to be false to her ideal. Even her own father saw no change in
So the months passed on for more
than a year, even to the terrible six days of fighting before Richmond. In all
this time Captain Revere had never been seriously wounded, and had never left
the post of duty. Other men took furloughs—some on slight pretexts — and came
home; he never. Perhaps he felt that he had no true home, and no hope to lure
him Northward, and so grew reckless of life. Miss Darricott meanwhile watched
the papers anxiously. She saw his name often where brave deeds were told, heroic
valor praised; and still he was unharmed. She began to believe that the ball was
not yet cast which should work him woe; and sometimes, when she thought of the
future, a sweet, scarcely recognized hope began to flutter its wings tremblingly
in her heart. Grace might not have been right, after all. He might come back
yet, and say over again the words for whose remembered music her soul thirsted.
But at last Fate and the Rebels
were too strong for him. In the battle of Centreville he lost an arm, and was
severely wounded besides in the hip. The hospitals were full; and as soon as he
could bear moving he was sent home. It was some weeks before he could walk at
all, and then he was told that sea air would help to recruit his exhausted
energies, and sent off by his physician to Newport. Perhaps he went the more
willingly because he knew that the Darricotts had a summer cottage there, and in
his secret heart he was conscious of a longing to see Ethel again. And yet Grace
had been right when she divined that he would never ask a second time the
question he had asked on that February night. To have been twice rejected by the
same woman would have been to him a moral impossibility. He hardly knew himself
why he wanted to see her, or what vague hope he had.
He had been in Newport a week
before he called on her. He had trusted to meeting her first by
some accident. But she was
evidently very retired. He concluded that fortune was not on his side; and as he
really wanted to see her very much gave over waiting for lucky chances, and went
She was alone when his card was
brought to her. She knew of his wound—knew what changes to expect in seeing him.
She staid in her own room long enough to fortify herself, and make sure that she
would betray no uncalled-for emotion. With face and manner schooled to mere
friendliness she went down. Her self-command almost failed her as he came to
meet her with halting step, and she saw the empty coat-sleeve hanging at his
side. It was so pitiful to note the decay of that fine, vigorous, manly
strength—to think of the good right arm that he would never use more.
"I am home for good now," he
said, with an evident effort to bear himself cheerfully. "It is a great
disappointment. I had so hoped to be able to help on the good cause till it
reached the triumphal end, which is sure to come."
"Then you have no doubts of the
final result?" Ethel asked, forcing herself to speak, and knowing that she could
not trust her voice on any subject less general.
"Not a doubt! The great cause of
human liberty is not to receive its death-blow in this land or this day. The
world has been tending for centuries toward this culminating point. The battle
is not between North and South merely, but between anarchy and government, honor
and dishonor, right and wrong. Our country is only the great battle-ground for
the conflict of all the ages. Do you think in such an epoch the right could
Ethel's face kindled in response
to his eager glance. Then she looked at his arm, and sighed as she said, softly,
"How much it costs!"
"We set small value, you know, on
that which we do not buy dear," he answered, with that grand, brave smile of
his. "I think no price could be too great to pay. I would have given life as
cheerfully as I gave what I did; but then that is not so much to say for a man
who has no ties to make life precious."
"Would you have staid at home if
I had answered you differently that night?"
Ethel never could tell how she
came to ask this question. The words seemed to utter themselves without her
volition. She could have bitten her tongue off for speaking them a moment after.
He looked at her, a little
surprised perhaps, yet not displeased, for the kindness of his smile did not
change, and his voice was almost tender as he replied,
"No, I should not have staid at
home even in that case. Duty is duty just as much when a man has every thing to
make it hard to do it, as when any great disappointment makes all sacrifices
easy. And yet I might not have been so fearless in the hour of danger if I had
thought there was one at home whose heart and life were linked so indissolubly
to mine—who knows?"
He had spoken the last words
musingly, as if more to himself than her. Embarrassed beyond expression by the
question she had asked, she did not know how to take up the conversation. Just
then her cousin Grace came in, and made her task easy. Never was interruption
After that they met often; but
the old subject was not again hinted at between them. Now, strangely enough,
something like intimacy seemed to be springing up between Captain Revere and her
cousin Grace. At first the sight of it cost her a bitter pang, but she conquered
it bravely—conquered it so entirely that she was able to love Grace as before,
and to kiss her tenderly night and morning, as she had done ever since she was a
little child. Yet she was but a woman, with a woman's weak, defenseless heart,
and sometimes it ached with a keen, sharp pain when she saw Grace drive away by
Captain Revere's side, in the low, easy-going carriage in which he passed hours
of every day upon the beach.
In one of these drives Captain
Revere surprised his companion by saying, with a quiver of pain in his voice:
"Grace, if I were not the
miserable cripple that I am, I should ask you to love me; but I should not do it
without telling you how dear I once held your cousin Ethel."
Grace Darricott fairly trembled.
She had never dreamed of this. She had grown so intimate with him only for
Ethel's sake, in order that a time might come when she could honorably and
delicately let him know the state of her cousin's heart. Of supplanting that
cousin she had never dreamed. And yet—poor human nature—she was tempted for just
one sorrowful moment. Howard Revere had long seemed to her the embodiment of her
noblest conception of manhood. A thrill of troubled joy at his words told her
how easy it would be to love him. For a moment her heart panted after this bliss
beyond her hopes, adorned with all the grace and glory she had dwelt on through
dreaming years. Then resolutely she put from her the cup she had no right to
taste, and saved the sweet draught for another. Her voice, when she spoke, was
as calm as if she had passed through no perilous crisis of emotion.
"You know women very slightly,
Captain Revere, if you do not know that one who loved you would love you all the
better, esteem it all the more an honor to be your wife, because of what the
whole country would recognize as a badge of glory. But, pardon me, I think you
ought not to use the past tense about your love for Ethel. I can not believe
that it is dead, any more than is her love for you."
"Ethel! Her love for me! You do
not mean that she ever loved me?"
He spoke with a changed manner, a
wild, glad eagerness, which would have augured poorly for Grace's hopes of
happiness with him had she been mad enough to cherish any. It was easy to see
now, in kindling glance and earnest tone, whom he loved—whom he would always
love. Grace smiled
—most women can when a heartache
"Yes, I am sure. She would not
like it, perhaps at present she would not forgive it, if she dreamed that I had
let you know; but I can not think two lives ought to be sacrificed to the
delicate scruples of maidenly pride. Ethel does love you. She loved you all the
"And yet," he said with a puzzled
tone, as if it all seemed a mystery beyond his solving, "she certainly refused
"That was because of some
Quixotic notions of hers. She thought then that you were an idler in the
vineyard—a man living without a purpose, and she hesitated to ally her life with
yours lest both might be a failure. It was only that she did not quite
understand you then. When you went to the war she began to see you in a new
light. If you had asked her the same question that day she would not have said
Captain Revere turned a face over
which the dawn of a new day had broken to his companion. "I can not thank you
fitly," he said. "You knew me better than I knew myself when you told me my love
for Ethel was not dead. And yet I thought I had conquered it. I took her so
fully at her word that night. If she did not care for me then, I thought she
never would—I have never cherished any shadow of hope since."
It was not quite sunset when they
reached home. Ethel was in the yard, just returned from a walk. "Come with me
and see the sunset, will you not?" Captain Revere asked in a tone which seemed
to take her compliance for granted. She was tempted to say "No," out of sheer
perverseness; but she reflected that she should be punishing herself as well as
him. Already the clouds were turning to flame; the sea was radiant, the air
balm. Why should she not enjoy it all with him—her friend—he was at least that.
She stepped into the low carriage
by his side and they rolled away. Soon he gave her the reins —he was tired of
driving, he said. Leaning back, as if enjoying the luxurious ease of his
position, the swift motion, the sunset goldenly glorious, he was silent for a
time. After a while he began talking to her—talking as he had never talked
before—lamenting the loss of his arm because of the idle, aimless life to which
it would compel him. He told her how alone in the world he was—Fate had taken
his arm, his power of usefulness, and given him no compensation—no wife, no
child, no love true and tender enough to conquer all the ills of life. It was
His words, his bitter, despairing
mood, so unlike himself, touched her to the heart's core. She turned her tearful
eyes to his sad face. She forgot the conviction she had begun of late to
entertain that he loved her cousin—forgot pride and womanly scruples—forgot
herself, and thought only of comforting him.
"Would the heart you once asked
for be any compensation?" she whispered, in tones so low that he could scarcely
His face kindled
"Ethel, why do you ask? It would
make life rich beyond asking or hoping. It would pay me all I lost ten thousand
"Then I will tell you, Howard; I
loved you then and ever since."
Was ever sunset like that sunset?
Did ever waves break upon the strand with such a summer song, such passion of
melody and joy? Let what would come thereafter they could not lose that memory.
They had lived because they had loved.
When they reached home Ethel
found her cousin waiting for her in her own room. She did not know then—she
never will know—the agency that cousin had had in bringing about the great joy
of her life. She told her secret in a tone of gentle pride:
"Grace, I am engaged to Captain
"Indeed! Then I suppose you set
me down as a false prophet. I thought he would never ask you again."
Ethel blushed a little.
"I believe he did not. I am
afraid it was I who
The kiss of congratulation which
Grace pressed upon the fair face raised to hers was not the less warm and true
because of some silent tears she had wept that night, as she sat looking out
toward the sea and the sunset—tears which only God saw.
MRS. DAYTA looked up from the
alabaster shell that she was filling with fuschias.
"I think," she said, in her soft,
deliberate way, "that Mr. Mainwaring is quite right. If I had a daughter who
refused the position for which I had educated her, on any absurd pretext of not
loving or fancying the man who offered it, I should most certainly disinherit
her, as he has done, and leave her at full liberty to act out her romantic
notions unhindered by me:" at which Douglas Erfut whistled softly to himself,
and Margaret went on sewing with an ominous sparkle under her downcast lashes.
Matters were thus:
Four years ago Mrs. Dayta brought
home Margaret Johns, then sixteen. Mrs. Dayta majestically styled it a whim; for
Whim, be it known, is a parasite aristocratic. Fortune may toss diamonds in the
lap of parvenus, but Whim is a thing of birth and breeding. Society allows it
only to those who sit at her round table. Mrs. Dayta had been a Peyton, was
connected with the Massers and Pentables; fortified in such a Bastile of
respectability, she could afford to keep a whim and parade it. The cars had been
thrown from the track and she stranded at a country inn; heard there of a
forgotten fossil cousin; saw at her house her daughter, Margaret Peyton Johns;
said to her, "Your dress is atrocious, your hair and your manner worse; but you
are a very handsome girl, and if you will come with me I will develop you;"
overcame doubts and hesitation, carried her off in triumph.
Mr. Dayta was recently dead.
Grief was tedious.