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Civil War Harper's Weekly, September 13, 1862

Welcome to our collection of online Harper's Weekly newspapers. We feature all issues published during the Civil War. These newspapers offer a rich opportunity to gain more insight into the people and places of the Civil War.

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General Pope

General Pope

President's Emancipation Policy

Lincoln's Emancipation Policy

Second Battle of Bull Run

Second Battle of Bull Run

Warrenton

Warrenton, Virginia

Tennessee

Tennessee

War in Virginia

War in Virginia

New Iron Clad Navy

New Iron Clad Navy

Camp Curtin

Camp Curtin

Manassas Junction

Manassas Junction

Camp Morton

Camp Morton

Civil War Iron Clads

Civil War Iron Clads

Scenes in Tennessee

Scenes in Tennessee

Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty

 

 

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

[SEPTEMBER 13, 1862.

582

HE DID HIS DUTY.

COME, bear him to his resting-place

With still and solemn tread.

No crown of laurel shall be placed

Above his youthful head,

No words of praise upon his tomb

To speak of how he fell—

Only the honest epitaph,

"He did his duty well."

 

Come near and gaze upon the dead

Ere laid beneath the dust;

Gaze on the calm and settled face

With still and solemn trust.

Look on him! let your grief be still,

And do not mourn as they

Who mourn a youthful spirit lost,

Or birth-right cast away.

 

How might a mother's heart rejoice

To know amid the brave

Her son, the brightest and the best,

Had found his early grave;

Amid the foremost ranks had fought,

With bold and fearless eye,

And felt within his noble heart

'Twas honor thus to die.

 

Then bear him to his resting-place

With still and solemn tread.

No crown of laurel shall be placed

Upon his youthful head,

No words of praise upon his tomb

To speak of how he fell—

Only the honest epitaph,

"He did his duty well."

WAITING.

"I AM shamed through all my being to have loved so slight a thing." Fanny Marvin started, shrank away, and from behind her little spangled fan looked nervously about her; but Mrs. Grundy was flirting, or she was sneering, or else she was manoeuvring, or, perhaps, she was eating; at any rate, she had not heard the fierce, angry whisper. The swaying, voluptuous music was going on, the camelias near them didn't blush, or the roses pale, only the dark fire in Captain Heriot's eyes gave the lie to the conventional smile about his mouth.

John Heriot, following the impulse of the natural heart, had been idol-worshiping; had enshrined and burned incense to his new-found deity; and, like the Israelites of old, received as his wages confusion of face. It was only an additional phase of the old experience, going on ever since the unsophisticated days when altars smoked to dead, cold, and still marble: and because we make temples of heart and brain, and worship principles and passions instead, we can't afford to smile back through the misty cycles at the Olympiad; for a righteous law ordains that all worship addressed to any other than God must be given to unworthiness. So John Heriot found it. Any one could have told him that Fanny Marvin was not purity, tenderness, womanliness—in a word, only soft eyes and voice, lovely hair and shifting color, and a rare taste in dress. Hardly the component parts of Captain Heriot's ideal wife! Sallow, flat-chested, somewhat ungracious Esther Graham was, if he had known it, far nearer his ideal—only it is so hard to believe that deep, clear eyes do not always mirror deep, pure thoughts; and so Fanny Marvin might have been Mrs. Heriot, and John's evil genius, but for the providential circumstance of young Tandem Dashe and his half million. Captain Heriot's love endured neither rivalry nor hesitating preference. He flamed out in reproaches, quarreled fiercely, left her finally with the bitter quotation that heads this idle story, and went back to his regiment before his furlough had half expired, very poor indeed—robbed of all trust.

One woman had deceived him, another never should. They were all alike. Faith was a myth. Loyalty and honor (feminine) a poetic fiction. A little painted bit of ivory that he had worn about on his heart he broke up with a scornful laughter that was worse than tears; two or three faint little notes he held to the flame and watched shrivel into dust with grim satisfaction. His diamond had proved a pebble, therefore there were no diamonds.

Houses, on the average, are the exponents of those who own them; so many stone embodiments of the ruling idea, the pet idiosyncrasy (those in New York conscientiously excepted, tents being, in the writer's opinion, the only legitimate expression of metropolitan life). The house of the widow Ellicott was very like herself. It spoke principally of the times when Guy, first of the American branch, came to Virginia, bringing the very bricks of which it was built, a young wife, a slender fortune, and a family tree, that was of course a sapling in the time of William the Conqueror. It settled solidly down among the trees, like a house that considered itself an institution and knew nothing of the first of May. It spread itself out in brooding, cozy style; it ran to piazzas in the most unlimited way; it opened a huge door and a broad hall, like a generous heart; it had the traditional wide staircases and deep-set windows. Every where were cool, dark woods, paneled walls, waxed floors, with nothing bright about it except the conservatory, and Faith, only grandchild of Mrs. Ellicott. A lithe little maiden delighting in soft bright colors, pansy-leaf purples, mid-summer blues, even venturing on scarlet and amber hues; pale almost to sallowness, but with a perilous power of lighting up and glowing with an inner diamond-like light, soft

abundant hair, and one real beauty, brown eyes, tender and deep in expression, shaded by long lashes, overarched by perfect brows, a quiet, intense face, but—

"Not in the least like the family, child," her proud old grandmother was used to say—" only you have the little arched foot, and the rosy nails and palms that are always the marks of a true Ellicott;" and Faith would look up at the hundred-year-old portrait of a blue-eyed, fair-haired Faith on the library wall with a curious smile, not at all as if she felt dimmed by the more patent beauty of her ancestress.

There was another characteristic of the Ellicotts. An intensity of will and tenacity of opinion, which Faith shared in common with such matters as the arched foot and rosy palms, though as yet developed only in visiting people whom Mrs. Grundy didn't delight to honor—an unwavering adherence to the Stars and Stripes, and the utterance of much treason. (See dictionaries south of Mason and Dixon's line.)

She was quite ready, this little Faith of ours, to brave at once the world and the above-mentioned fashionable female—not with that calm contempt that knows both their worth and worthlessness, but the ignorant daring that knows neither.

Society, which couldn't quite ostracize an Ellicott, advised Mrs. Ellicott "to come to an understanding" with her refractory grandchild, "as if one could come to an understanding with a butterfly! or a humming-bird" thought the stately lady, watching Faith taking a stitch or two at her embroidery frame, flashing out in some gay little ballad, whirling round and round the room humming a wild waltz measure, and then flinging herself down amidst the cushions to tease and kiss Nada Blithersoe, her little golden-haired cousin.

"Come and I will tell you about the little hare," said gleeful Faith. But the little one, putting out a dimpled hand as if to keep her off, lisped solemnly,

"Are you very wicked, Cousin Faith?"

"I don't know, Nada; how ever did that idea creep under that little golden thatch of yours? Did you get lost in some of those big books of sermons, when nurse Bella couldn't find you this morning?"

"Mamma told grandma this morning that she couldn't come and see you any more; and I know you must be very naughty, for mamma always tells me that it is only bad people whom I mustn't go to see. Have you told a lie, Faith, or disobeyed? Can't you pray to be forgiven? I like you so much, I want you to be good again."

Faith unconsciously pushed the child from her, and sat up quite erect, and only looking straight at Mrs. Ellicott, the careless smile quite gone, and a look to make one think of the flush in the sky and the light on the wave on a stormy morning.

"Children and fools speak the truth," said Mrs. Ellicott, sententiously; "and Mrs. Blithersoe only spoke the sentiments of every other right feeling Southern woman. You can not expect to be countenanced while you advocate the cause of the enemies of your country."

"Have I asked the countenance of any?"

"You will find it difficult to stem the tide singly. Besides, what affair is it of yours?"

"There are just two kingdoms—that of good and that of evil: there are only two standards—those of right and wrong. He that is not for truth is against her; and, disclaim it as you will, you conservatives and neutrals are fighting vigorously on the other side."

"What arrogance for a child like you to pronounce on right and wrong!"

"Has God said, so strait is the way of truth that a child can not enter therein?"

"Faith, it is very irreverent in you so to parody the Holy Scriptures. A woman's business is with the needle and the cradle."

"True; but these are not her sole concerns. If they had been, we should have been born without brains and heart—simply a patent compound of instinct, rockers, wheels, pedals, and a sewing-machine plate."

"You will condescend at least to acknowledge that men know something more of politics than you."

"Of politics, yes; of patriotism, no. This very child beside me could understand that the flag of the Union which gave her State life, and the power to live, was that of her country."

Mrs. Ellicott's last shred of patience gave way.

"I wonder that an Ellicott can ally herself to that low herd of Northern mudsill abolitionists who are the whole cause of the war. Do you know that if your friends prosper the next step will be to free your slaves and make you a beggar?"

"Better that than living in open defiance of God."

"Has he any where said, Thou shalt not keep a slave?"

"No; but he has said, 'Do unto others as ye would that they should do unto you.' I have yet to learn that any among us have dared shut the gates of heaven against these poor beings, and deny that they have souls; and if the merciful Jesus really died for them, and according to his promise lives in the hearts of those among them who love him, are they not "others?" Are they not included in the commandment? Admit that, and then, my dear grandmother, if you can find me a man who dares assert that he would be willing to work all his days for another, be shut out by law from education and further development, and hold his heart's best affections at the mercy of another human being, I will go as a vivandiere with our army to-morrow."

"Oh, Faith has grown quite unanswerable since she has acted as nurse to the Yankee Captain!" Both turned toward the third speaker, a handsome young man in a lieutenant' uniform, standing in the door-way.

"Her proficiency is not so astonishing," he went on, " when you consider her teacher, who, though a child and blind, has always the cleverest pupils in the world.

A deep glow flamed up in Faith' cheeks.

"It is manly and generous in you, Arnold Blithersoe, to attack a girl, and a helpless sufferer! I spent six weeks at Captain Heriot' house. I was indebted to him for all my pleasure while in New York. His sister and his fiancee, Fanny Marvin, are my dearest friends; so, when I saw him tossed into a cart with other moaning wretches, stopping at our door for a glass of water, and heard from the surgeon that every jolt and turn of the wheel lessened his chance for life, I should have allowed him to pass on to the tender mercies of a crowded shed, brevetted by necessity as a hospital. That would have been noble and worthy of Southern honor, I suppose!"

"Mrs. Ellicott, I appeal to—"

But that lady had prudently disappeared. The young man flashed a quick glance around. Nada was busy with the spaniel, the coast was clear; he came and sat beside her on the cushions.

"Faith, are you quite sure that you don't love Captain Heriot?" he asked, softly, trying to look into her eyes.

No question could well have been more unfortunate. Love a man who cared nothing for her, who was betrothed! She would listen to no explanation, no apologies; but flinging aside the hand that sought hers, went up stairs, face burning, and eyes moist with indignation of course, at the mere mention of loving John Heriot, and as she was thinking about him, what more natural than to go in and look at him?

He was lying with half-closed eyes—closed, I am afraid, only on the instant that he heard a little slippered foot coming along the hall. He was very still; he breathed like one in sleep; yet from under his deceitful lids he lost not a movement as she went about the breezy, pleasant room, looping back a curtain, removing vials, and disappearing for an instant to come back with her hands full of gay flowers, and sit down on the floor like a child to arrange them. He saw it all, down to the little bird-like poise of the head on one side, as she held it up for a final look. He no longer liked or trusted in women; but then he could admire this little, bright-tinted picture, that wanted nothing but a frame. She was not pretty, but she pleased him. The perfect arch of eyebrow and the sweep of the long lashes, the little ear just showing from under the mass of soft hair brushed smoothly away, the scarlet of her lips, intense in tone as the heart of some flower that flamed out under tropical skies, the melting away of a little rounded chin into her white throat, her deft clinging fingers, the half-revealing of an arched foot, even the soft blue of her pretty wrapper, soothed and delighted him. She placed the flowers on a little stand, that had probably borne the silver goblet, with its foaming night draught, in those old times which Mrs. Ellicott delighted to mention. She stole up to the bedside in the most exaggerated cat-after-mouse fashion, a little cool hand rested lightly on his forehead, and either she or the wind sighed, "Poor John!"

One of his hands seized and imprisoned hers, and a pair of mischievous eyes opened wide and looked up in her startled face. Faith's first movement was to try ineffectually for freedom; her second to despise herself, and say, coolly,

"Oh! you are awake, and better, Captain Heriot?"

"Both; but what has this last moment done that you are so partial to it, while you freeze up all the rest with your 'Captain Heriot?' "

"I don't understand you."

"It was 'Poor John!' a moment ago."

"You were dreaming."

"Let me dream always, then."

Here each winced with a remembrance. John recollected that he neither liked nor trusted women; Faith thought of Fanny Marvin. His fingers relaxed; hers wrested themselves from his grasp. She walked away toward the door; but there his voice arrested her.

"One moment before you go. What is the news?"

"Oh! nothing. I think most of our battles are fought on paper."

John groaned and turned restlessly.

"If these confounded wounds would ever heal!" "Even then you will be a prisoner."

"Oh! I shall be exchanged. Your cousin, Mr. Blithersoe, has promised to use his influence in my behalf."

"Fanny will have reason to be glad," said Faith, with a sharp twinge at her heart.

"Fanny! I really don't think my movements will affect her materially; but I forget, you don't know—our engagement is broken off."

"Broken!"

Faith walked quickly back to the flowers, looked up as if to speak, checked herself, and bent low over them again. If it hadn't been quite impossible, one would have said, from the light in her eyes, that she was glad.

"Well," asked John, who had been watching her, "are you not sorry for me?"

"Ought I to be?"

"Ought you not?"

"How can I tell? I know nothing of the circumstances."

"Isn't it bad enough to be jilted? Don't that call for the deepest commiseration?"

Faith was looking half displeased.

"How you speak! I thought you loved her!"

"I thought so too; but something of late has shaken my belief. Two creeds are pulling at my poor affections on their death-bed: one stoutly asserts that I only dreamed, worshiping an idol of my own creation, not really loved, because I had nothing to love; the other, that there is no love, only a brief delirium."

"Believe it not!" exclaimed Faith. "Abase yourself in dust and ashes; confess that you have erred; but don't be weak enough to deny the existence of the moon because you once made a mistake about a Roman candle."

"Faith!" called Arnold Blithersoe, from without.

"Come back," said John, under his breath.

Faith nodded and went to the door. Arnold was there with a stranger in a sort of military undress.

"I have brought the surgeon, coz," was his salutation," to see if Captain Heriot's wounds will permit him to move. A lot of prisoners are to be sent on to the Federal lines this afternoon, and I promised to use my influence in effecting an exchange for him as speedily as possible."

There was no mistaking the triumph of his look, the meaning of his tone; but again Faith's indomitable pride came to the rescue.

"I think he is well enough, and he will be very glad," she said, shortly. "He was wishing for it a little while ago."

Then she fled away to her own room, and kneeling down before her little white bed, was still for a while. An hour later came a message front Captain Heriot. "Could he see her for an instant." Faith got up from her knees, bathed her eyes in Cologne water and went down, calm, with the exception of a subtle tremor about her mouth. She found John dressed, and feverishly alert and eager.

"I am going," were his first words.

"So I supposed. I am glad for you."

"Be sorry for me, too. I shall not forget the weeks I have spent here."

"Hardly; a doctor twice a day, medicines, fever, and bandages are not easily forgotten."

"But the tender little nurse who watched over me must be, of course. I thought you at least were sincere."

"I am," said Faith, proudly.

"Answer then: Is my going a relief ?"

"No"

"What then?"

Faith raised her eyes and tried to meet his look, failed in that, and was silent.

"What then?" he repeated.

The answer seemed to force itself from her lips against her will.

"Pain, grief, unutterable."

John's face lighted up; he made a quick movement toward her, but checked himself.

"The pain and grief of losing a friend, Faith?" She shrank away, burning with blushes, crushed with shame.

"You are cruel," she said, passionately. "It is unmanly, dishonorable."

"My little lily, Faith, forgive me. It was a poor return for my dear little nurse, but I doubted if a woman dared be true, and could love well enough to put self-love and pride on one side."

He had drawn her close to him, and though she made no answer her head rested confidingly enough on his shoulder.

"Do you think you can be steadfast?" he asked, after a moment's pause. "You will not hesitate or doubt either yourself or me?"

For answer she gave him her hand—a steady little one, as firm as it was soft and white.

"I would doubt not the sincerity, but the capability of any other woman," he whispered; "but I shall rest on your word, assured."

"Not on my word, or that of any mortal's," she answered; "but because I have promised you; trusting in the strength of Him who is love, you may trust without fear."

So they parted. He is working, she waiting, both hoping.

THE ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI.

WE publish on page 589 several pictures of towns and scenes in Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, drawn by an officer of the Army of the Mississippi. The artist describes the points illustrated as follows:

TRENTON, TENNESSEE.

Trenton is one of the most important towns on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and has been noted for its disloyalty since the rebellion broke out. The country people in the neighborhood, on the contrary, are thoroughly loyal; and, as they are in the majority, Union mass meetings have been held in town, hundreds taking the oath. The town has been recently occupied by the Second Illinois Cavalry and the First Regiment Kansas Volunteers. An important bridge was burned by a rebel band near this place; but it was soon repaired, and the inhabitants have been given notice that a repetition of the outrage will visit them with proper retaliation.

EASTPORT LANDING.

Eastport Landing is an important point on the Tennessee River at the present troublous time, being the place where immense quantities of Government stores are deposited for the supply of our forces in the neighboring parts of Mississippi and Alabama. It is situated at the foot of the Muscle Shoals, and is the highest point on the river reached by steamboats of the larger class. It is only a few miles distant from the Memphis and Charleston Road, to which the stores are transported by teams, and then distributed by railway. The Eighth Kansas Volunteers occupy the town and protect the stores from the numerous guerrilla bands that infest this portion of the country.

HUMBOLDT, TENNESSEE.

Humboldt is an important strategic point in Western Tennessee, being at the crossing of the Memphis and Ohio and the Mobile and Ohio railroads. It was yielded to our forces very reluctantly by the rebels. In connection with this sketch is one of the ruins of a burned bridge, situated on the Memphis and Ohio Railroad, a short distance from Humboldt. A few days since the track was torn up near this place by a band of guerrillas; but it was soon repaired, and the road is now open from Columbus to Corinth.

IUKA.

Iuka is a station upon the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, now in possession of our troops. It is pleasantly situated, and has recently become quite celebrated on account of a number of fine (Next Page)


 

 

  

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