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AH, dearest, if our tears were
shed Only for our beloved—dead!
Although our Life's left
incomplete, Tears would not be so bitter, sweet, As now!—ah, no.
Ah, dearest, if the friends who
Alone were those who make us
Although Life's current is so
Sighs would not be so weary,
As now!—ah, no.
If oft more pain it did not give
To know that our beloved live,
Than learn their hearts have
ceased to beat,
Grief would not be so hopeless,
As now!—ah, no.
BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG.
WE publish on
page 4 two
pictures from sketches by Mr. A. R. Waud, representing respectively
FREDERICKSBURG ON THE NIGHT OF 11TH, and the ATTACK ON THE REBEL WORKS BY THE
CENTRE GRAND DIVISION ON DECEMBER 13TH; on
page 5 an illustration of OUR TROOPS
IN THE STREETS OF FREDERICKSBURG, also from a sketch by Mr. A. R. Waud; and on
this page a picture from a sketch by Mr. Davis, representing THE PASSAGE OF THE
General Franklin's Grand Division.
The following extract from the
Herald correspondence will serve to explain the
OF THE BATTLE.
All the morning and afternoon the
regiments comprising the Ninth army corps were in readiness to receive orders to
cross the river. The men were prepared for a march, and had every thing with
them in case they had to remain on the other side or to push forward. The sight
presented by this vast number of men, all armed and in every respect ready for a
battle at a moment's notice, was grand. Turn where you would and you encountered
troops. In a hollow would be hidden a brigade, with their arms stacked, and the
men lying on the ground resting themselves, while the officers would be
collected together chatting over the result of the terrific cannonading and the
chances of a great and decisive conflict; and on the open plain, lines upon
lines of stacked arms showed that the word need but be given, and in a twinkling
mountains of eager and trusty hands would seize them and be ready for the
fight. Quite a number of the regiments were, encamped so close to the roadside
that it was found unnecessary to take them from their camp, and they were
permitted to remain there until about four o'clock in the afternoon, at which
time the bridges were just ready and the troops were expecting orders to march.
They were then all drawn up in line, and every body was in his place. During the
day the bands of the different regiments enlivened us all by performing national
and operatic airs, which afforded a most striking contrast to the booming of the
artillery and the sharp hissing of the shells as they rushed through the air on
their mission of death.
STREETS OF FREDERICKSBURG.
Mr. Waud's picture is well
described in the following extract from the Herald correspondence:
No one could better understand
what war is than by taking a stroll through the streets of the almost destroyed
city of Fredericksburg. Turn where you will and your eye meets some evidence of
the terrific fire that was hurled from our guns into the streets and dwellings.
Nothing appears to have escaped. Roofs, walls, fences, trees, and chimneys are
perforated; and in some instances to such an extent that the side of a house
presents the appearance of a huge pepper-box, the holes are so numerous and
regular, while immediately beside it are the smoking remains of what once was a
stately dwelling. Some of the houses on the river-front are completely torn to
pieces, and as one turned from one street to another the question would
naturally rise to his mind—How could any thing remain here and live? And yet,
strange to say, people did remain, and I have yet to learn of any casualty to
those who did so. Quite a number, after the fashion of the citizens of
Sharpsburg, took their families into the cellars of their houses, and there
remained in safety. In one house I found about a dozen ladies and a few
gentlemen. When we crossed they emerged from their place of refuge and received
us with open arms. The majority of them are good Union people, and are not
unknown to a number of our officers, who were here some months ago. I had but
little opportunity of speaking to theta. In all, I suppose some fifteen or
twenty families remained, and I can not see what saved them all from one common
destruction. Instead of looking for a house that had been struck, the difficulty
is to find one that has not suffered more or less. The streets are piled with
bricks from the chimneys, and in fact the city looks as if it wanted to be made
all over again. The churches have wonderfully escaped, having been but partially
injured, and the steeples are nearly as good as ever. The Bank of the State of
Virginia was burned down, and I am very much surprised that the greater part of
the city was not reduced to ashes, as the number of frame houses, one would
suppose, would serve to spread the flames.
The street running along the
river gave strong evidence of the intention of the rebels as to stopping our
crossing. It was completely lined with rifle-pits, and stone fences were made to
answer the same purpose. From behind these the sharp-shooters picked off our
men, until compelled to retreat themselves.
The houses were nearly all empty
of furniture, with the exception of some old chairs, tables, and the like. In
one house was a good piano uninjured. Whatever remained in the buildings was
soon in the possession of the soldiers, and as there was nothing of value, it
was some little time before they were interfered with. Some ludicrous scenes
were the consequences, the men arraying themselves in old hats, bonnets, etc.,
and parading the streets. This interfered with discipline, however, and an order
was given that any one found with any article that was taken from a house should
be at once arrested. General Patrick, the Provost Marshal, is deserving of great
praise for hie exertions in this respect. The men for a time took all they could
lay their hands on, and tubs, rakes, baskets, and pots of all descriptions were
carried away, to be thrown into the street at the next crossing. Tobacco
appeared to be very plenty, and all the soldiers had their pockets and
haversacks filled with it. It was quite a luxury to them, as they had been
paying the robbing sutlers from two to three dollars a pound the wretched stuff.
In an inclosure on a corner I
perceived the bodies of about a dozen men, who were lying there previous to
being buried. They were all our own men, with one exception, and he was an aged
man, to all appearance fully sixty years old. His dress was that of a citizen,
and he had been shot while in the act of aiming his piece: for even in death his
arms retained their position, and in his face was the mark of hate. Probably the
old man, carried away by his passion, volunteered; but dearly he paid for his
mistaken zeal. Our own men were properly interred, with their name, and
regiments placed over their graves.
The following graphic account of
the attack is from the Times correspondence:
The time had now come to attempt
an advance on the rebel position.
The orders were to move rapidly;
charge up the hills and take the batteries at the point of the bayonet. Order,
easy to give, but, ah! how hard of execution!
Look at the position to be
There is a bare plateau of a
third of a mile, which the storming patty will have to cross. In doing so they
will be exposed to the fire, first, of the enemy's sharp-shooters, posted behind
a stone wall running along the base of the ridge—of a double row of rifle-pits
on the rise of the crest —of the heavy batteries behind strong field-works that
stud the top of the hill—of a powerful infantry force now lying concealed behind
these—of a plunging fire from the batteries on the lower range—of a double
enfilading fire from "cannon to right of them, cannon to left of them."
Sebastopol was not half as strong.
The line of battle was formed by
Couch's Corps (the Second), composed of the Divisions of French, Hancock, and
Howard, the left of the line abutting on Sturgis's Division of Wilcox's Corps
(the Ninth). The first advanced was French's, competed of the brigades of
Kimball, Morris, and Weber, supported by Hancock's Division, consisting of the
brigades of Caldwell, Zook, and Meagher.
Forming his men under cover of a
small knoll in the rear of the town, skirmishers were deployed to the left
toward Hazel Dell; Sturgis, supporting at the same time, moved up, and rested on
a point, on the railroad.
The moment they exposed
themselves on the railroad forth burst the deadly hail. From the rifle-pits came
the murderously-aimed missiles; from the batteries, tier above tier, on the
terraces, shot planes of fire; from the enfilading cannon, distributed on the
arc of a circle two miles in extent, came cross showers of shot and shell.
Imagine, if you can, for my
resources are unequal to the task of telling you, the situation of that gallant
but doomed division.
Across the plain for a while they
swept under this fatal fire. They were literally mowed down. The bursting shells
make great gaps in their ranks; but these are presently filled by the "closing
up" of the line. For fifteen immortal minutes at least they remain under this
fiery surge. Onward they press, though their ranks grow fearfully thin. They
have passed over a greater part of the interval and have almost reached the base
of the hill, when brigade after brigade of rebels rise up on the crest and pour
in fresh volleys of musketry at short range. To those who, through the glass,
looked on, it was a parlous sight indeed. Flesh and blood could not endure it.
They fell back shattered and broken amidst shouts and yells from the enemy.
General French's Division went
into the fight six thousand strong; late at night he told me he could count but
The Herald correspondent thus
describes how Franklin's Grand Division crossed the river:
The left Grand Division,
commanded by Major-General Franklin, crossed on pontoon bridges about a mile
below Fredericksburg. General Devens's brigade had the honor of the advance, and
of occupying the ground during Thursday night. The Second Rhode Island
General Burnside was once a member—led the brigade at a double
quick, in gallant style, followed by the Tenth and Thirty-seventh Massachusetts
regiments. The night passed quietly, and at daylight the main portion of the
left wing commenced crossing, and continued till the whole were over. The
morning was beautiful and the troops in fine spirits, and every thing looked
The enemy could be seen occupying
a strong position upon a long range of hills about three miles back of
Fredericksburg, intrenched as usual.
A more beautiful sight can not be
imagined than our army presented as they were formed into line of battle, with
the artillery in front, supported on either side by the infantry drawn up in
columns by divisions, with General Bayard's splendid cavalry in the centre.
General Reynold's corps occupied the extreme left, with General Smith on his
right. The enemy continued to maintain a strict silence, although they were in a
position to see all our movements.
It was nearly two o'clock before
our army was in readiness to advance when the Eighteenth and Thirty-second New
York regiments. were sent out in front of General Smith's corps as skirmishers,
and also portions of the First New Jersey and First Pennsylvania cavalry. They
had advanced only about half a mile, when they came in contact with the
skirmishers of the enemy, who slowly fell back, firing, wounding quite a number
of our men. By this time our batteries had reached the position they intended to
occupy darkness came on, and our troops slept upon their arms till morning
without any fighting.
SANTA CLAUS AMONG OUR
CHILDREN, you mustn't think that
Santa Claus comes to you alone. You see him in the picture on pages 8 and 9
throwing out boxes to the soldiers, and in the one on page 1 you see what they
contain. In the fore-ground you see a little drummer-boy, who, on opening his
Christmas-box, beholds a jack-in-a-box spring up, much to his astonishment. His
companion is so much amused at so interesting a phenomenon that he forgets his
own box, and it lies in the snow, unopened, beside him. He was just going to
take a bite out of that apple in his hand, but the sight of his friend's gift
has made him forget all about it. He has his other hand on a Harper's Weekly.
Santa Claus has brought lots of those for the soldiers, so that they, too, as
well as you little folks, may have a peep at the Christmas number.
One soldier, on the left, finds a
stocking in his box stuffed with all sorts of things. Another, right behind him,
has got a meerschaum pipe, just what he has been wishing for ever so long.
Santa Claus is entertaining the
soldiers by showing them Jeff Davis's future. He is tying a cord pretty tightly
round his neck, and Jeff seems to be kicking very much at such a. fate.
He hasn't got to the soldiers in
the back-ground yet, and they are still amusing themselves at their merry games.
One of them is trying to climb a greased pole, and, as he slips down sometimes
faster than he goes up, all the others who are looking at him have a great deal
of fun at his expense. Others are chasing a greased boar. One fellow thought he
just had him; but he is so slippery that he can't hold him, and so he tumbles
over on his face, and the next one that comes tumbles over him.
In another place they are playing
a game of football, and getting a fine appetite for their Christmas dinner,
which is cooking on the fire. See how nicely the soldiers have decorated the
encampment with greens in honor of the day! And they are firing a salute to
Santa Claus from the fort, and they have erected at triumphal arch to show him
how welcome he is to them.
must hurry up and not stay here too long; for he has to go as far south as New
Orleans, and ever so far out West; so he says, "G'lang!" and away he goes
through the arch like lightning, for he must give all our soldiers a Merry