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Civil War Harper's Weekly, November 8, 1862

You are viewing an issue of Harper's Weekly from our online archive. We have posted the entire run of Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. These papers are rich with eye-witness illustrations and news reports written as the events unfolded.

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General Rosecrans

General Rosecrans

General Rosecrans Biography

General Rosecrans Biography

Second Battle of Pea Ridge

Second Battle of Pea Ridge

Mary Todd Lincoln

Mary Todd Lincoln

Youngest Civil War Soldier

Youngest Civil War Soldier

Civil War Dog

Civil War Dog

Ninth Indiana

Ninth Indiana Regiment

Driving Negroes

Driving Negroes South

Man of War

Man of War

Baltimore Ohio Railroad

Baltimore Ohio Railroad

Hancock

Hancock, Maryland

Black Slaves

Black Slaves

Uncle Sam Cartoon

Uncle Sam Cartoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOVEMBER 8, 1862.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

711

(Previous Page) as it is said many a blustering bully does—he ran barking after the fragments and trying to catch them; thinking, no doubt, that it was some pyrotechnic display got up for his especial amusement.

This settled the question of Jack's bravery, and from this time forward he seemed to form an affection for our officers, and they for him, which nothing could alter, and he has accompanied them through all their vicissitudes and changes of prison to Richmond.

The stories told of this dog's sagacity and devotion would seem incredulous had they not come from the most varied and reliable sources. On the road, when our parched men were fainting from thirst, he would always run forward, and whenever he discovered a pool of water would rush back, barking loudly, to tell them of it. When they were supplied with only five crackers to each man for five days—with no meat—and our poor fellows were literally dying from starvation, this noble animal has been known to go and catch chickens for them and to bring them in his mouth! or he would waylay every rebel horse or wagon passing with food, and bark imploringly for them to bring relief. On one occasion, when a sick and exhausted Union soldier had been left behind, Jack staid with him for several hours until a wagon took him up.

But one of the most remarkable features in his character is his utter hatred of the rebels. His actions, in this respect, really seemed to go beyond brute instinct. No kindness, no attempt at caressing could get the "gray-coats" to win him over or even induce him to take food from them; but he growled and snapped at them upon all occasions, until many threatened to shoot him. When they got to the Richmond prison, another large dog was there being fondled by a secesh officer, and Jack stood looking at both, apparently with the greatest hatred and disgust. When the officer left, the secesh dog tried to scrape an acquaintance with Jack, but the latter did not covet any such friendship. He rushed upon the canine rebel, gave him a sound thrashing, and, although larger than himself, fairly tossed him over his head.

Jack is a great disciplinarian. When on duty, he knows the various roll-calls so well that he pays no attention to any of them but one—that of his officers. As soon as he heard this, he used to run about in the greatest excitement, as if to call his friends together, and then, placing himself alongside of the drummer, would put up his nose and commence a long howl—the boys used to say answering to his name. In traveling he seemed to take the whole responsibility upon himself. Whenever the cars stopped he was invariably the first to jump off, and the whistle no sooner sounded than he was the first to jump on again.

But no character is perfect, and we are sorry to say there is a serious blemish in Jack's. He is an aristocrat of the first water; one of the regular out-and-out F.F.V.'s. From first to last—except to help them when in distress—he never would associate with privates, but always stuck fast to where the shoulder-straps were assembled. But, after all, in this respect poor Jack is only following the example of many a human toady and tuft-hunter that can be called to mind; and before we blame this young puppy for cringing to the rich and great, let us remember that he is not the only puppy who does so.

Upon the whole, Jack is an immense favorite with all who know him, but especially the First Maryland regiment, who claim him as their own, and who were tickled at the idea of seeing him handed down to immortality in the pages of Harper. They expressed a determination of having, as soon as they got to Baltimore, a splendid collar made expressly for their favorite; and we shall be surprised if this lucky dog does not become a great lion in the monumental city.

LOIS.

LILY likeness! That is all the word in our cool dictionary that will tell you any thing of Lois Hall; though, to he business-like, I should commence with the cottage, standing on a little brownish rise, with a faint flower-garden, and an ineffectual vegetable patch, from which you are to infer that the soil was stubborn, and likely to prove too much for the little hired boy—sole scrap of masculinity about the premises of Mrs. Hall; and that the only neighbor was the sea, tumbling in disorderly fashion on the desolate beach below them.

Lois's room looked on it, out of one little white-curtained window; the other kept itself informed as to the state of the country, and the probabilities of visitors coming "across-lots." Between them stood a bureau, whose drawers had been rifled by Tory marauders; troubled with an eruption of brass knobs and handles, having a swinging oval mirror, and a small infinity of little drawers, where, doubtless, some belle of the Revolution bestowed her powder and patches, her buckles and ruffles. In a corner was the bed, modeled, as to proportions, after that of the unlucky Canaanitish king of old—one which made getting in peculiar and getting out problematical, and offered you your choice of locality, if you had any fancies about your head and particular points of the compass; grimly carved, and unrelenting, even over Lois, asleep there, her brown hair falling all over the pillow, and a little hand clutching painfully at the coverlet. Lazy child! waking, half an hour after the usual time, with a start and troubled eyes.

"Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil," murmured Lois, as she knelt down to pray. "Does the Father of Lies send such dreams?"

I have said that "lily-likeness" was the only word for Lois, yet I wish that I could better define her peculiar charm. Other girls had hair as soft and abundant, brighter color, for Lois was pale, form as lithe; neither was there strength or lofty purpose in the lines of her face: yet she took you always by surprise; she was just what you had not expected to see. Then, too, lived a peculiar charm in Lois's touch; every thing that had been

near her blabbed of its happiness: the little collar lying across the toilet cushion; the velvet bow that John Gifford had taken from her hair and kissed the night before he went to join his regiment.

She was thinking now of it and him. When he came back she was to marry him; she had loved—no, not that—she had liked him all her life, from the time that he fought her battles at school till now. He was the son of their nearest neighbor; was taller, stronger, better-looking, kinder, braver, than any one else. It was quite natural. She had been more proud than grieved when he went away, and always calmly certain that he would come back safe, only her dream troubled her. It had been of him, and all pain and confusion; and I doubt if she quite recovered serenity till, on her way down, she had looked out on the piazza, and breathed in the morning peace and freshness before entering the "sitting-room," as it is styled in New England nomenclature.

Her mother turned from the window with a face brighter than the sun pouring in between the muslin curtains, leaving for Lois's view a tall figure with a lieutenant's strap on his broad shoulders, and a face that, however browned and altered by the shading of a mustache and cutting short of curling hair, was still John Gifford's.

Lois stopped short in utter wonder. Her mother quietly stepped from the room, closing the door behind her.

"Well, Apple-blossom!" cried John, "I am not a ghost, you see!"

At sound of the voice Lois remembered herself, and went quickly to him, holding out both hands.

"So it is really you! I am not half awake yet! I thought you were part of my dream. How you have changed!"

"You have not!" said the admiring John. Then suddenly catching her close in his strong arms:

"Oh, Lois, Lois! how can you? Is this your girl's nonsense, or does your still heart really know nothing of what is going on in mine? Child, I have lived in the thought of you as we ought to live to God. Why, I have stopped when the battle was at the maddest to make sure that that bit of ribbon of yours was safe, warming my heart; and all the hateful time in the hospital I had but one prayer, 'O God, come what will, let me see my little Lois again!'—while you—you are so coldly sweet."

Lois looked puzzled and distressed.

"Why I am very glad to see you, dear John, only it is so sudden, and so strange. Did you come last night? I heard nothing of it."

"We made noise enough," holding her fast, and stroking her lovely brown hair.

"We? Who?"

" I have some one with me—Captain Dinwiddie; he is a splendid fellow, got a bad hit in that last affair of ours, and I brought him here for you and mother to nurse up. He hasn't a near relative in the world, and these hotels are so deuced hard on a poor fellow that is half sick and in a hurry to get well."

Lois clouded at once.

"You know I don't like strangers, John."

But, my darling, this is my friend. He saved my life. When we were ordered on our final rush across that confounded slaughter trap of a field, my leg met a ball, and in the thickest of the fight down I went like a baby. Allan—that's the Captain, you understand—saw me tumble, sung out to some of the men, and came on, our fellows say, like a tiger, pitched into half a dozen rebels so they thought the very devil was after them, picked me up (he is not a stout man, but he took nearly all my weight himself), fairly carried me off under the very nose of the battery blazing away at us like Vesuvius or some of those fellows. Is that a stranger! We've stuck together like David and Jonathan. I don't believe there has been a skirmish, or a ticklish reconnoissance, or a hard camping out, that we haven't shared together; and then, Lois," argues this impetuous John, calming a little, "if I took him home you know what the girls are. They couldn't nurse him or talk to him as you can, and your mother is willing. What do you suppose she said last night, bless her!—that she would take a regiment in if they were friends of mine;" and John burst into a somewhat forced laugh, by way of contradicting his eyes.

"This Captain must he a hero. I should like to see him," thought Lois; for John never could enter in her imagination even as candidate for that distinction. He was blundering about women's matters, and not always kind to the queen's English—things impossible to reconcile with heroship.

"Well, pussy?" asked John, a little anxiously. Born to be hen-pecked was our John evidently, but then so was the Duke of Marlborough.

"I was wrong. I am glad you brought Captain Dinwiddie here," answered Lois, quietly.

The door opened. " He is coming!" whispered John, still trying to hold her fast, but she slipped away from him like snow, and stood expectant. The first look was a disappointment.

Captain Dinwiddie was thirty at least, probably thirty-five, and looked to Lois's inexperienced eyes slightly made. His features were irregular, his only beauty a pair of fine eyes, normally gray, but changing perpetually to blue and even intensest black, and almost feminine softness—owing doubtless to the remarkable length of the lashes, yet interpenetrated every tone and look, that "charm" as subtle and impossible to define when found in man as in woman—and Lois, who had recoiled at first, caught herself, before ten minutes were well over, liking him very much. Came simultaneously with this admission an oppressing sense of being ill at ease, of every thing looking its worst, of John's boorishness, of the mortifying plainness of their housekeeping. Engaged in this profitable thinking, she could hardly have told whether she had eaten breakfast or not. John, however, at the zenith of his happiness, read nothing of this in Lois's downcast face. He was busy with his plans for the day.

"He must make his peace at home," he said, laughingly, "and Lois he dared say would entertain Captain Dinwiddie;" at which Lois held her

peace, but inwardly fell into consternation, for what had she in common with this fine Captain? So terrified was she at the thought, that she even came out of her shell of coolness, and eagerly whispered John to stay, holding his coat by one white finger and blushing very much. John wouldn't have given that timid touch for the diamonds of Sinbad; yet there was the fact of mother and sisters unvisited, stubborn as ever, leaving him nothing but to ride away after all.

Lois sat down by her little work-basket with a strip of muslin. Doubtless its hemming was of vital importance, for if it had been the bond of peace or the ties of affection she couldn't have given it more undivided attention. Allan drew up the lounge close by her.

"May I lie down? I have gotten used to self-petting since this troublesome wound."

Lois looked up at him. She had not thought how really pale and suffering he seemed. He "certainly" took a new inflection, for now that she knew what to do with him and could pity him he had lost at once all his terrors.

He lay a while quietly watching her—suddenly broke out,

"It was good in John to bring me here. After our stormy life, you and this little quiet home are veritable Paradise. I think myself there."

Certainly he looked his thought; the hard lines had gone from his face; he might have been ten years younger, but he could never long be quiet. He fidgeted, turned form side to side, drew presently a book from his pocket.

"Lois—I beg pardon, Miss Hall—I am so used to hear John speak of you by that pretty Puritan name of yours."

"Every one calls me so, you need not make the exception."

"Well then, Lois," dwelling lovingly on the word, "let me read to you;" and without waiting for assent, he began the story of Enid.

Lois listened pleased at first, but half way her lips began to curl.

"You don't like it?" he asked, curiously.

"The telling, but not the story."

"You wouldn't so have ridden with the man you loved?"

Lois's eyes rather than her lips flashed out

"Never!"

"Then you have never—" He stopped short.

"Never what?"

"Nothing."

"What were you about to say?"

"I have thought better of it, I shall not tell you."

"Please."

"Positively no," and he went on reading.

John came back late and looking anxious.

"Small benefit would he get from his furlough! Mother was over head and ears in a lawsuit, and every one was in trouble, and he must spend at least three days in town, perhaps more, and try to straighten out the tangled skein."

Lois looked grave on hearing this, but then that was only natural.

John staid not three days but a week; wrote then, postponing his return indefinitely. "If he only had the lawyers in proper position before a certain battery that he wot of, he thought that he could bring them to terms; as it was, submission and patience were all that were left."

That morning Allan's wound had troubled him, and he had spent it on the sofa while Lois sat near with her sewing. When lunch time came she would not permit him to stir, but brought up the old-fashioned stand, that spent most of its time in being very much on one side in a corner, and looking like a target, laid thereon a fresh cloth that scented of rose leaves, a silver basket piled with roasted apples, and a pitcher of a quaint stumpiness and solidity filled with cream. Just then came John's letter. Allan watched her read, or rather hurry over it impatiently.

"He says it may be another week before he comes," was her comment, letting the letter slip through her careless fingers to the floor.

Allan picked it up.

"I have no pocket," said Lois, "and it is too much trouble to go up stairs."

"What shall I do with it?"

"What you like."

"You mean that?"

"Yes; why not?"

Allan's eyes were at their intensest, looking into hers with a glance that she could not bear an instant. He rose deliberately, walked to the fire-place, held it over the coals an instant, and dropped it in. At that Lois, who had been sitting like one petrified, exclaimed,

"Oh, Allan!"

"Well?"

His tone was so sharp that she shrank a little. "Nothing—there is no harm—I have read it; but oh! John would never believe it!"

Allan groaned.

"I wish I were shriveled up, body and soul, like that!" pointing to the black film quivering on the coals.

"Oh no! not without me!" cried the girl who a week before smiled her scorn of Enid's tame constancy.

Allan turned and came hastily toward her—stopped half way—ground out a bitter exclamation, and left the room; and a little after Lois saw him galloping past the window on his way to town. He came back late and went at once to his room. Thee next day he frequented the kitchen, to Mrs. Hall's discomfiture, and stuck by that lady as though she were his salvation, all the time plainly avoiding Lois. He was fighting Apollyon manfully—fighting as a man will with remorse behind and dishonor in front.

Lois, poor child! understood nothing of this. She had sometimes a dim, painful sense of wrong and danger, but it was forgotten now in the new and overwhelming fear of having in some unimaginable way offended him; and she wearied out memory trying to recall the unhappy word or look that had done this mischief. For the hundredth

time she was thinking this over as they were going down to the beach in utter, dreary silence, he with head bent down and lip compressed.

Suddenly the pain grew too intolerable.

"What have I done?" she exclaimed. "Are you angry with me? What is it? You make me so miserable, Allan!"

Captain Dinwiddie shuddered from head to foot, and looked desperately away; but there were the soft, clinging fingers on his arm, and the burning, pitiful face that he had seen with his first unguarded look, and the sudden tremble of the sweet voice, and, above all, the passionate love in his fierce heart; and suddenly honor, conscience, will, whatever chains had bound him, snapped short. Words came like lava:

"Angry, and at you, my darling! my own—" He stopped sharply. They were close on the beach. "Watch that wave," he said, hoarsely. "If it break against this rock it is fate. If not—well, we shall see."

Even as he spoke it was upon them, breaking over the fragment on which they stood, wetting Lois's dainty walking-boots.

"It is fate," he repeated.

"What?"

"I will tell you by-and-by. Let us go back." The afternoon was a wild one; sun showing fitfully among hurrying clouds, and the wind moaning and shrieking after them as they went up toward the house. Already it was almost dark in the cozy sitting-room, and the fire gleamed and smouldered in twilight fashion. The house was deserted. Kitty had leave of absence; Mrs. Hall had gone to a neighbor's. No better time for Allan Dinwiddie than now. He caught Lois's hand and drew her down beside him.

"Lois," he said, "when, in place of the apple-checked, black-eyed girl I had imagined, I first saw you, I said to myself, this poor, blundering John has stumbled oil the pearl that I have been uselessly looking for all may life. When you rebelled against Enid I knew that you had never loved. I had guessed it from the first; you had all the calm of a child. When I burned the letter I tried you; but your words called up John; I fancied him amazed, reproachful, incredulous of my villainy. I hated the thought of my perfidy. Child, what evil spirit was it that sent you to me then, with your pleading eyes—as if I could be angry with you? Then, when I felt what a straw I was in the vortex, I said, let chance decide: if the wave strike the rock I will struggle no more; if not, I will leave this place to-night. Yet, after all, Lois, it is you, not the wave, that must decide. Tell me, dear, what is my verdict? Do you love me?"

Lois hid her face, but Allan drew her hands away and held them; and then, her head drooping lower and lower,

"I thought that I loved John—I did, indeed," she said, pitifully. "I was so ignorant. I never once guessed, though I might have known, why I liked you so. Oh! I am a wicked, wicked girl! I hope John will kill me!"

"You should have known John better," cried some one coming out of the shadow, and showing them John himself.

Lois was too utterly appalled to speak; move she could not, for Allan held her fast.

"There were two men in one city," went on the solemn voice, "the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up—"

The steady tones faltered. Lois cried out,

"Let me go, Allan!—I will go! I tell you this will kill me!"

She writhed herself free, and going over to John tried to kneel before him, but he held her out at arms'-length.

"Kill me!" she said, faintly.

"For what ?—to add crime to sorrow? Oh! Lois, it is bitter enough now! I prayed God that I might see you again, come what would, and He heard me; and rather than have had such seeing I would that my lips had stiffened in death while I was praying."

"It is not worth it," said Lois, half proudly. "I am only a silly girl. Some day you will wonder how you could have cared for me."

John took a little case from his pocket and tossed it open on the table.

"See, Lois, these were for you: you were always running in my head. I think your little finger was more precious in my sight than all the women I ever saw. Fool that I was! all the way home I pleased myself thinking how I should clasp them on your pretty wrists. I hid myself when I saw you coming, thinking to surprise you. I never dreamed that you didn't love me; yet I might have known that you were too young to look into your own heart, or to bind yourself by such a solemn promise. But you—oh Allan! my friend—my brother!"

Allan raised his head.

"If it will be any satisfaction to use me for a target."

"No, no!" cried Lois, hurrying between them, "the blame is mine—all mine."

John turned pale at that. To see her looking at Allan with such love in the eyes that had been so cold for him was more than he could bear.

"It is a sore temptation," he said, hurriedly. "I had better go. If I stay here longer I shall have as many devils as the man whose name was Legion."

He went away, avoiding Mrs. Hall, whom he saw coming at a distance. Lois sobbed hysterically, and Allan, who spite of remorse could not help feeling triumph also, set himself to comfort her—an easier matter that than to explain to Mrs. Hall who loved John almost as well as she did Lois. Still the thing was done—could not be undone. Scandal would not help it, so she sighed in secret, shielded and countenanced them outwardly, above all hastened their marriage as fast as possible.

In her happiness Lois has almost forgotten John's sad, stern face, and the solemn words uttered in the twilight; but will sin forget her?


 

 

  

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