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Robert E. Lee Portrait
ground. The great cart loaded
with hay, oxen of burnt sienna, and John, conspicuous in his bright blue
overalls. With the perfect coloring throw over all the luxury of August and the
melancholy of sunset."
"The prettiest pictures are
unpainted," said Agnes.
"The sweetest songs unsung."
"The noblest poems unwritten."
"All the best things are undone,"
added Oglethorpe, with a half sigh. "My opinion is," speaking with sudden
sincerity, "that it is not the amount of evil we do, but the good we leave
undone, that will be our condemnation. I'm afraid it will go hard with me. I
never was lukewarm or neutral before in my life. Now when indecision is a crime,
I hesitate. Every dear association, every habit of life and education, all
questions of apparent expediency pulling me one way, and a sort of innate
loyalty impelling the other."
"Are you thinking of the war?"
Agnes timidly questioned.
"Yes," he answered shortly,
meeting her soft gaze. "Can Maine advise Georgia?"
"I can't advise; I can see but
one side, and can not talk reasonably on that. Why don't you talk with Mr.
"The senior? So I do. Every night
after you leave me I have long arguments with him."
"He is said to be clear and
"Yes, he talks of war and policy
in the unheated, broad style of the Lounger. He convicts me, Miss Sebastian,
but—" He stopped.
"How fast it grows dim!" said
Agnes, willing to turn the conversation. Such a mind as his must work alone, she
"Agnes," said Kate, during one of
their curtain consultations, "I'm going to tell the gorgeous Georgian about Gus
"He knew about him long ago,"
Agnes replied. "But you may make assurance doubly sure."
"If he wasn't such a secessionist
I declare I should be quite alarmed about you. Such devotion I never saw
equaled. Don't you waver?"
"Don't talk so, Kate. I wish a
man and a woman could once honestly like each other without the outsiders giving
the alarm and crying love or flirtation."
"If I can read men's faces he is
head over heels."
"What an expression! Mr. Ormsted
should teach you elegance of language, Kate."
The merry blonde laughed.
"It's true, nevertheless. He
looks anxious, and has grown less haughty and sarcastic. What a further taking
down there will be may I live to see."
And she ran down stairs.
After tea, when, as usual, all
turned to the broad piazza, Agnes seated herself on the lowest step and called
the dog. Presently Oglethorpe came along the walk. He coolly ordered Figaro to
change sides, and threw himself on the green embankment beside her.
"The pears are turning," remarked
Ormsted. "I have got to go without a bite at one."
"And I, too," echoed Oglethorpe,
with a glance at the composed face near him.
"I am going to see if there is a
yellow one to be found," said Kate. "The trees in the south orchard ought to
furnish something." And off she ran, and Ormsted after her.
Miss Sebastian stroked Figaro's
ears as he leaned his brown head on her lap. Oglethorpe watched the white
fingers. What would he not give to be caressed by them! Senseless old dog!
Figaro appreciated the gentle attention, however, and looked up at Agnes,
solemnly winking his soft, yellow eyes. Oglethorpe took up the book she had left
on the step. She had carried it about with her all summer trying to read; but
books did not seem to interest her now. He opened where a broad ribbon, of the
red, white, and blue, marked the page.
"The sixty-seventh page still.
You don't let your interest hurry you." Then winding the ribbon round his finger
"I have adopted these colors, and mean to fight under them, Miss Sebastian."
Her face was not pale or composed
"Have you really?"
She took the ribbon to pin it on
his coat. He saw tears in her eyes while she smiled. The pin would not go in. He
put up his hand to help her, and their fingers touched. He held the little
trembling hand still, close to his breast.
"Agnes"—in those delicious
tones—"I am your soldier!"
"Not mine. Your country's,"
gently trying to withdraw her hand.
"You will not let me be yours?"
"I can not. Oh, Mr. Oglethorpe,
let me go!"
"Not till you understand me. I
must tell you how—"
"Don't tell me any thing."
She trembled so violently she
could scarcely command her voice. Oglethorpe saw the shame and grief in her
"Tell me this. You are not bound
by any past; you do not love any one?"
"I have been engaged these five
years, I thought you knew it."
"To Augustus Bouverie?"
He let her hand drop. She covered
her face and began to cry silently. He did not speak for a moment. Then said,
"I thought that was broken."
"It was broken; but only for a
week. I was hard beset then, and yielded to the stronger power."
"We shall neither of us feel more
sorely if we are frank. As I have spoken, let me say a little more. A week ago I
wrote to your aunt, asking if there was any reason why I should not try to win
you. Here is her answer. You see she tells me nothing, only gives me her warmest
wishes for my success."
Agnes's tears were now dried. She
scarcely glanced at the letter, but rose.
"She knew I was to marry Mr.
Bouverie. You will never be able to forgive this."
Oglethorpe caught hold of her
"Don't leave me. The only thing,
and the best is, to do nothing. Sit down here again, Miss Sebastian. I am going
As if that made the matter
She obeyed him, however.
"You don't think I blame you? The
shade of reserve in your manner, meant to distance, only attracted me. The
mischief was done before I wrote to your aunt. The only thing I wished to
prevent was annoyance to you; and now you are feeling more than it is all
Agnes did not answer; and not
another word was spoken until Ormsted appeared, his pockets stuffed out with
fruit, and the lower half of his face obscured by a great yellow disk.
"My pear is ripe," quoth he. When
he saw the national badge he took in the significance of its position at once.
"Oh, Jemima!" (his favorite
saint) "he's been and gone and done it!" And, giving his pear a toss over the
fence, he jumped about three feet into the air, and swooped down on Oglethorpe.
"Now let Georgia tremble," said
her son. "I draw my sword against her."
There followed a vigorous
"You always was the best fellow
in the world, and now you're perfect," declared Ormsted.
"The Grand Panjandrum only
wanting the little round button at top," suggested his friend.
Ormsted made such an uproar that
his mother came out of the dairy, where she was marshaling the milk-pans, and
the senior laid down his pipe and came and stood in the doorway.
Kate told them the occasion.
"Hah!" said the old gentleman,
with an aspiration long and deep; "I knew you would come out right at last."
"I only wish I could go to war,"
sighed Ormsted. "If Charlie comes home, see if I don't."
"Three of my boys are enough at a
time," said the mother; "and, besides, you had your chance."
"So I did; yet I'm not sure Ames
didn't cheat when we drew lots. Now, Thorpe, we shall be the double O's no
In the confusion of good-bys
Oglethorpe, as he held Agnes's hand, asked,
"May I come and see you in town?"
"If you please."
"Good-by, then, till October."
Ormsted came with his friend the
first night they heard of Agnes's return. He brought him in the uniform of a
private, and grumbled at it during the whole of their call. "Begging your
pardon, Miss Agnes, he is as well fitted to hold a commission as Bouverie, who
has got a captaincy, I hear."
"Wouldn't you go yourself as a
private?" asked Agnes.
"Of course I would; but I'm not
worth as much as he. All he had to do was let people know he was going to fight,
and honors would have been thrust on him."
"I hope to be promoted from the
ranks," said he.
As they left the young lady's
presence a side-door opened, and Mrs. Crass, with a distant bow to Ormsted,
beckoned to Oglethorpe.
"Wait a minute," said he to his
companion, and joined her. She closed the door. "You have not succeeded, I
suppose?" was her unexpected remark, made in that half-contemptuous tone in
which Mrs. Crass always spoke of the deeds of her fellow-mortals.
"Did you suppose I would?"
"I did, if the girl had any
sense. If Bouverie had not appeared so suddenly, I might have done something."
"Mrs. Crass, your niece will
break no promise for me. I showed her your letter, and she forgave me for
speaking. Good-evening." And he bowed himself out.
"Where has Bouverie been all this
while?" he asked of Ormsted on their homeward walk. "Has he, too, just waked
"They say he's been in a fume
ever since he heard of Bull Run. He's one of your tearing Abolitionists. Wants
to have the niggers shovel South Carolina into the sea. He was making Roman
sunsets when the news reached him. He waited to settle his affairs, I believe,
to sell his pictures, to get money to come, and made tracks for America. Here he
is a captain, and you, Thorpe— I feel inclined to put a little ambition into you
with my fists."
When Oglethorpe went again his
regiment was in daily expectation of marching-orders. Agnes was sitting at her
embroidery. As the servant announced him she rose, all the bright wools in her
lap tumbling on the floor. The gentleman in the arm-chair picked them up, and
Agnes introduced Captain Bouverie.
"One of our captains," said
Oglethorpe, as the soldiers shook hands.
"Ah, you are in the —st," and he
sank again into the purple depths of the arm-chair. He was a slight man, with a
great deal of flaxen mustache and whisker; light but vivid eyes, a scornful turn
to his lip; but altogether a face not displeasing. He played with the browns and
scarlets he held, listening as Agnes talked.
"I think I have heard our Colonel
speak of you, Mr. Oglethorpe," he interposed. "Are you not a Southerner?"
"Georgian born. Colonel — and I
"He was always at the foot of his
class, they say. We are well shuffled now, and the most unlooked-for card turns
up a trump. How is it you are uncommissioned?"
"I know nothing of war."
"Pshaw! Go into camp and study
Hardee. The Colonel spoke of your uncommon talent for modesty. Bad trait that,
Aggie," rising; "I shall not come to dinner. It takes your set too long to get
through the courses. I'll see you to-morrow."
Agnes nodded as she pulled a
the eye of her needle; and with a
careless addio he flung himself out. That very morrow their orders came.
Oglethorpe elbowing his way through the crowd met Bouverie, who stopped.
"Will you do me a great favor?"
"Willingly, if I can."
"I have a packet for Miss
Sebastian. I have just left her, and forgot it. You see how it is, I haven't the
courage to go through another parting. Will you take it to her?"
The question he had been weighing
was now decided. He took the envelope, and in five minutes more Oglethorpe stood
in Agnes's presence. He thought her rosier than usual. She was standing near the
window, listening to the regimental bands, and turned toward him with eyes in
which there were no tears, only the fire of excitement.
"You too?" said she.
He laid Bouverie's charge on the
table with the necessary words.
"I should have come if he had not
sent me. Won't you give me something of yours to carry away with me?"
A little prayer-book, bearing on
its red cover her monogram in white and gold, lay on the table. She held it
toward him. As he put it into the inner pocket of his coat he turned to her view
a strip of Union ribbon she remembered. Neither looked at the other. He held her
hand a moment, dropped it, and silently went out.
If there would only be a battle,
at least a forward movement, something to break the horrible monotony of
camp-life. The still service of this campaign so preyed on the fortitude of
which Oglethorpe had believed himself possessed, that he welcomed his duty of
picket with almost a heart-bound. It had been a long dark day, and about four
o'clock began to snow. A great white storm it was. The crystals powdered his
hair, and lay in silvery folds on his over-coat, as he slowly paced up and down.
Very lonely the soldier thought it the first half hour, when the flakes lighted
tender as rose-petals. But the fairness gained a gloom. An appalling stillness
felt with the darkness. When it grew too cold to snow the wind rose, and
assailing the whiteness on the boughs blew it off with giant breath in stinging
wreaths. Oglethorpe, soft Southern, shivered. He felt the intensity of the
bitter change to the very marrow of his bones. His strength seemed slowly to
leave him. He walked on, treading, for himself a path beneath the pine-trees,
whose shadow lay distinct on the now moonlit snow. He stopped, and leaning on
his musket, looked up at the sky. The very air seemed full of icy glittering
particles. The most opposite thoughts came into his mind. He seemed to see the
Ormsted orchard, where he had seen the sheep cropping the short grass. Then he
thought of the great jasmines of Georgia, that used to be crowded into the
marble vases in the wide halls of his home. How long it was since he had seen
one! Then he could think of nothing but pain, leaning against a stout young pine
and clasping his musket. He believed he knew what was coining to him, but there
was nothing to be done, and he was soon too deliciously weary to care even for
life. Pressing Agnes's little book, he tried to think of a prayer, but his mind
"I believe in God the Father
Almighty, and in Jesus Christ ....suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified,
dead and buried—" An angel may have said Amen.
There was the whiteness in the
east foretelling sunrise when the relief came up. Two horsemen rode beside
him—the Adjutant and Captain Bouverie.
"Hallow," said the guard, as his
challenge rang unanswered, "here's the picket asleep."
"Give him a rap with the gun,"
The man stopped. "He is frozen,
Sir," in a crest-fallen tone. They turned him over. The faint light fell over
features set and white. It seemed a thing of stone. Capt. Bouverie shivered.
"Take hold," said he. "Lay him on
my horse. Ride on, Drake, I'll see to this." And he led his burden toward camp.
Many months after this Captain
Bouverie was sitting by Agnes Sebastian. He had been giving her the details of
Oglethorpe's unnoted doom, summed in the words: "Picket frozen." She had not
cried as he feared she would, but had been charmingly quiet, her head on her
"You see, Aggie, I'd seen him
here. I couldn't leave him for any body to knock about, so I buried him myself.
I sent his things to Ormsted, and this—is yours, is it not? It was in his pocket
when we found him."
He laid the prayer-book on her
knees. She took it up mechanically and tumbled over the leaves, but was
speechless. Captain Bouverie waited.
"Agnes," he said, at length, "I
can not leave you without a word or two on my own behalf. This is not the time
to speak; but—I am selfish. God knows how or when we may meet again. Our long
separation has gone against me. I can not blame you, even had I the wish. There
is not a man living more devoted to you than I. Tell me you love me."
"Oh, Augustus," she answered,
"that was said long ago."
"Have I outlived it? You believe
me to be your warmest, tenderest friend?"
"And you will marry me, Agnes ?"
She hesitated only a second, then
gave him her hand.
And Captain Bouverie was
"KING COTTON" CAPTUPED.
THE quiet little town of
BRASHEAR, on Berwick's Bay—or "Brashear City," as it has been christened by
courtesy—which we illustrate on page 380, has suddenly become the scene of vast
commercial doings. Those people very much mistake the full scope of
Major-General Banks's recent brilliant
operations in the Attakapas
region of Western Louisiana who look upon them merely as among the most
successful military events of the war. It is in their material results that they
are about to gratify the country and startle the world.
General Banks, aided by the
Farragut, has not only disorganized and put to flight the whole rebel
army west of the Mississippi River, from
New Orleans to Alexandria, on the Red
River, but opened up untold mines of wealth to the treasury of the United
States. Almost hourly vessels are to be seen coming down the bay freighted with
mountain loads of the precious materials of the regions just regained by our
arms—cotton, hogsheads of sugar, and countless herds of mules and cattle.
The treasures already discharged
upon the landing of Brashear City up to this date (May 11) would amount to many
hundred thousands of dollars; while this is but an installment of what remains
behind, and which can only be counted by millions of dollars.
One significant fact has also
been laid bare to the outer world by the probing process of our bayonets; and
that is, that the planters in the newly-overrun regions had not the amount of
"patriotism" which the rebel leaders either supposed or pretended they had—and
which too many people in the North and abroad believed—and did not quite see the
necessity of consigning to flames all the wealth they possessed in the world,
merely for the sake of proving their devotion to the cause of Jeff Davis & Co.
Wherever our armies have
penetrated they have found cotton and sugar carefully concealed in all sorts of
remote corners; and as they seize these costly products a receipt is given to
the owners, upon a fair valuation, in case they should hereafter be able to
prove themselves of loyal antecedents, the onus probandi being entirely on the
If any thing more were wanted to
utterly overthrow the value of Confederate credit, and to prove to the gulled
people of Europe that they have been making a bad bargain with traitors in this
country, it will he found in
Uncle Sam's so unceremoniously holding the very
materials upon which the lenders have been staking their money. What Confederate
credit was worth previous to this new and irreparable inroad upon it may be
gleamed from the fact that our soldiers, in parley with rebel pickets, could at
any time have received ten dollars of Confederate trash for one dollar of Uncle
Sam's good, honest greenbacks!
SINKING TORPEDOES AT
WE are indebted to the artist
correspondent of a London illustrated paper for the picture on page 380,
representing THE SINKING OF TORPEDOES BY MOONLIGHT IN THE HARBOR OF CHARLESTON.
It seems that before the recent attack by
Admiral Du Pont the rebel General
Ripley spent several nights in filling the channel-way of the harbor with all
manner of torpedoes and infernal machines, and on one of his expeditions the
sympathizing Englishman was allowed to accompany him. Hence the picture.
UNION PRISONERS AT THE
WE publish on
page 373 an
illustration of a group of captured Union soldiers being conveyed through a
rebel town. The mingled curiosity and hatred with which they are regarded by
some of the spectators, and the half disguised sympathy shown them by others,
especially the negroes, are well portrayed in the picture. We append here, not
so much in explanation of the picture as for the general interest felt in the
subject, a few extracts from the diary of Mr. Colburn, a World correspondent,
who was taken at Vicksburg and released from
Richmond. After leaving Jackson, he
Nowhere were we the subjects of
any personal or special indignities, and we traveled with about ninety others.
Offensive remarks and conduct unbecoming either ladies or gentlemen have, we
hear, been offered, but not in our hearing. Many expressions of kindness greeted
us from those who had knowledge of our story or our relation to them. A few
ventured to express their confidence in the ultimate success of the North.
As we progressed to McDowell's
Landing and Demopolis, on the Tombigbee, the people began to be at once more
curious and more friendly. At the latter place some lady of great heart
distributed fruit and bread indiscriminately among our men and their rebel
On reaching Atlanta, however, all
this was changed. The officers and men of Streight and the Indianola had been so
feted and well treated by the people as to breed the most intense disgust among
the authorities and hot-headed fanatics. We were placed in a room in the
military prison, deprived of papers, and prohibited conversation with outsiders.
We sent out for papers, and one note was passed into the hands of a scurrilous
fellow whose reputation has not been bettered since his exit from Vermont, the
editor of the Confederacy, who thereupon penned an article exposing the infamous
atrocity of our offense, and urged that we be hanged, offering to assist at the
Of the Libby Prison at Richmond
On entering we are searched, our
money taken for safety, and all articles contraband of war confiscated. As we
came into the Confederacy almost nude we passed easily. Once domiciled in the
long room under the roof, a classification takes place into messes. The
individuality of otir party of four was merged into No. 14, and thereafter, for
all the purposes of rations, discipline, or duty, we were only No. 14. Each mess
draws and prepares its own flied, which, in our case, was a veritable "mess" in
a "mess." We can not but deem this obligation to cook one's own food in prison
as an indignity. Such a thing may do well enough for an amateur in a
well-appointed cuisine, or even in the tented field, but with such implements as
are afforded at the Libby it is an outright torture. We had no beds—this
hardship was one we were inured to by camp life; but little bedding. We had to
clean our own rooms and vessels, and were not permitted so much as to stick a
head out of the window on penalty of being shot.
The ration is large enough,
larger than that furnished to the Confederates of the same rank. We can not but
think it a punishment that persons are obliged to cock with wretched implements
their own food. Imagine a national colonel with his hands in the dough, the
dainty staff-officer detailed to clean pots and kettles, or the delicate Tribune
correspondent, broom in hand, set to scrubbing floors!