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Julia, thus pressed, sang one of those songs that come and go every season. She
spoke the words clearly, and with such variety and intelligence, that Sampson
recanted, and broke in upon the—"very pretty"—" how sweet"—and "who is it by?"
of the others, by shouting, "Very weak trash very cleanly sung. Now give us
something worth the wear and tear of your orgins. Immortal vairse widded t'
immortal sounds; that is what I understand b' a song."
Alfred whispered, "No, no,
dearest, sing something suitable to you and me."
"Out of the question. Then go farther away, dear; I shall have more courage."
He obeyed, and she turned over two or three music books; and finally sang from
memory. She cultivated musical memory, having observed the contempt with which
men of sense visit the sorry pretenders to music who are tuneless and songless
among the nightingales, and any where else away from their books. How will they
manage to sing in heaven? Answer me that!
The song Julia Dodd sang on this happy occasion, to meet the humble but
heterogeneous views of Messrs. Sampson and Hardie, was a simple eloquent Irish
song called Aileen aroon. Whose history, by-the-by, was a curious one. Early in
this century it occurred to somebody to hymn a son of George the Third for his
double merit in having been born, and going to a ball. People who thus apply the
fine arts in modern days are seldom artists; accordingly this parasite could not
invent a melody; so he coolly stole Aileen aroon, soiled it by inserting sordid
and incongruous jerks into the refrain, and called the stolen and adulterated
article Robin Adair. An artisan of the same kidney was soon found to write words
down to the degraded ditty: and, so strong is Flunkyism, and so weak is
Criticism in these islands, that the polluted tune actually
superseded the clean melody, and this sort of thing, "Who was in uniform
at the ball? Silly Billy!" smothered the immortal lines.
But Mrs. Dodd's severe taste in music rejected those ignoble jerks, and her
enthusiastic daughter having the option to hymn immortal Constancy, or mortal
Fact, decided thus:
When like the early rose
Aileen aroon, Beauty in childhood glows
Aileen aroon, When like a diadem,
Buds blush around the stem, Which
is the fairest gem? Aileen aroon.
Is it the laughing eye?
Aileen aroon, Is it
the timid sigh?
Aileen aroon, Is it the tender tone,
Soft as the stringed harp's moan? No; it is Truth alone,
I know a valley fair,
I know a cottage there,
Far in that valley's shade,
I know a gentle maid,
Flower of the hazel glade,
Who in the song so sweet?
Aileen aroon. Who in the dance so fleet?
Dear are her charms to me, Dearer her laughter free,
Dearest her constancy,
Youth must with time decay,
Beauty must fade away,
Castles are sacked in war, Chieftains are scattered far, Truth is a fixed star,
The way the earnest singer sang these lines is
beyond the conception of ordinary singers, public or private. Here one of
nature's orators spoke poetry to music with an eloquence as fervid and delicate
as ever rung in the forum. She gave each verse with the same just variety, as if
she had been reciting, and when she
came to the last, where the thought rises abruptly, and is truly noble,
she sang it with the sudden pathos, the weight, and the swelling majesty, of a
truthful soul hymning truth with all its powers.
All the hearers, even Sampson, were thrilled, astonished, spell-bound: so can
one wave of immortal music and immortal verse (alas! how seldom they meet!)
heave the inner man when genius interprets. Judge, then, what it was to Alfred,
to whom, with these great words and thrilling tones of her rich, swelling,
ringing voice, the darling of his own heart vowed constancy, while her inspired
face beamed on him like an angel's.
Even Mrs. Dodd, though acquainted with the song, and with her daughter's rare
powers, gazed at her now with some surprise, as well as admiration, and kept a
note Sarah had brought her, open,
but unread, in her hand, unable to take her eyes from the inspired
songstress. However, just before the song ended, she did just glance down, and
saw it was signed Richard Hardie. On this her eye devoured it; and in one moment
she saw that the writer declined, politely but peremptorily,
the proposed alliance between his son and her daughter.
The mother looked up from this paper at that living radiance and incarnate
melody in a sort of stupor: it seemed hardly possible to her that a provincial
banker could refuse an alliance with a creature so peerless as that. But so it
was; and despite her habitual self-government, Mrs. Dodd's white hand clenched
the note till her nails dented it; and she reddened to the brow with anger and
Julia, whom she had trained never to monopolize attention in society, now left
the piano in spite of remonstrance, and soon noticed her mother's face; for from
red it had become paler than usual. "Are you unwell, dear?" said she, sotto
"Is there any thing the matter, then?"
"Hush! We have guests: our first duty is to them." With this Mrs. Dodd rose,
and, endeavoring not to look at her daughter at all, went round and drew each of
her guests out in turn. It was the very heroism of courtesy; for their presence
was torture to her. At last, to her infinite relief, they went, and she was left
alone with her children. She sent the servants to bed, saying she would undress
Miss Dodd: and accompanied her to her room. There the first
thing she did was to lock the door; and the next was to turn round and
look at her full.
"I always thought you the most lovable child I ever saw; but I never admired you
as I have to-night; my noble, my beautiful daughter, who would grace the highest
family in England!" With this Mrs. Dodd began to choke, and kissed Julia eagerly
with the tears in her eyes, and drew her with tender defiance to her bosom.
"My own mamma," said Julia, softly, "what has happened?"
"My darling," said Mrs. Dodd,
trembling a little, "have you pride? have you spirit?"
"I think I have."
"I hope so: for you will need them both. Read that!" And she offered Mr.
Hardie's letter with averted head.
THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.
WE devote the bulk
of our space this week to illustrations of the recent campaign of the Army of
the Potomac. On page 324
we give the CAPTURE
OF THE HEIGHTS OF
by General Sedgwick—a drawing by Thomas Nast.
The following, from the
It was now eleven
o'clock; continuous fighting had been going on for full six hours, and the
rebels still held their works. General Sedgwick now determined on having
the "Light Brigade" charge the heights. Colonel Burnham,
commanding, moved his forces along under the protection
of abandoned earth-works, and the hill-side formed by the sloping down of
the plain near the city, until he had arrived directly in front of the most
formidable position, known as the "Slaughter Pen." Knapsacks and any article of
clothing which might impede their rapid movement
were cast aside by the men, and they were deployed out in the following
order: one half of the Fifth Wisconsin, Colonel Allen, as skirmish line;
Thirty-first New York, Colonel Jones, on the left; Sixth Maine,
Lieutenant-Colonel Harris commanding, and the remaining portion of the Fifth, in
the rear of and supporting the Thirty-first at the same time. At the same time a
force consisting of the Forty-third New York and Sixty-first Pennsylvania, and
one or two other regiments, were sent up the road at the right of the
stone-wall. Going on to the regiments of the Light Brigade, prepared for a
charge, were the Thirty-sixth New York and Seventh Massachusetts, and still
further on other regiments. At twenty minutes past eleven the lion-hearted men
rose from their feet. Every one of
the thousand spectators on the hills in the rear held their breath in
terrible suspense, expecting to see them all the next moment prostrate in the
dust. "Forward!" cried the General, and they dashed forward on the open plain,
when instantly there was poured upon them a most terrific discharge of grape and
canister. Many lay dead, but not
one faltered. Full 400 yards must
be passed over before gaining the stone-wall. As they press
forward, delivering the battle-cheer, which is heard above the roar of
artillery, the rebel guns further to the left are turned upon them. But they
falter not. A moment more they have reached the stone-wall, scaled its sides,
are clambering the green bank of the bluff, and precisely as
the city clock struck they rush over the embrasure of the rebel guns, and
the Heights are ours. The enemy, with
the exception of the cannoniers, fled in wild confusion, secreting
themselves in the houses, woods, and wherever a place of concealment was
afforded. The guns captured proved to be the Washington Artillery, the battery
so highly complimented by
General Lee in his report of the
battle of Fredericksburg, and which has figured more or less since
the outbreak of the rebellion. "What men
are these?" was the interrogatory of one of the astonished and terrified
members, as our brave boys appeared over the ramparts. "We are Yankees,
— — you; do you think we will fight now?" was the response from one of
our men. "Boys," remarked the commander of the battery, "you have captured the
best battery in the Confederate service." The Sixth Maine were the first
regiment to reach the scene. Lieutenant-Colonel Harris, with unparalleled
bravery, rushed right up to the mouth of one
as it was belching away, and through the mist and smoke his form could
just be discerned as he cheered his men forward. He, together with Captain
Furlong, were the first to lay hold of the rebel pieces.
pages 328 and 329 we illustrate the
FIGHT AT CHANCELLORSVILLE,
on May 1, from a sketch
by Mr. A. R. Waud. This affair is thus described in the
About two o'clock on Friday afternoon the enemy were discovered advancing in
force down both the old turnpike and the plank road, thus approaching our
position nearly from the east. Although these two roads enter
Chancellorsville at right angles—one from the east direct, and the other
from the south—they join and make a single road near Tabernacle Church. When the
discovery was made of the approach of the enemy,
immediately returned to his head-quarters at Chancellorsville and made
his dispositions to meet them. It was yet
uncertain whether the attack would come from the east or
south, and it was therefore necessary to be in readiness at both points.
With this purpose the Fifth Corps, Major-General Meade, was formed on the front
facing the east, Sykes's division of regulars occupying a line north of the old
turnpike road, and the other two divisions taking the line of the Banks Ford
road, on the left of Sykes. The
Second Corps, Major-General Couch, was held in reserve to support the
right wing of this line, and the Second Division, Major-General Berry, of the
Third Corps, Major-General Sickles, to support the left.
On our south front two corps—the Eleventh, Major-General
Howard, and the Twelfth, Major-General Slocum —were deployed, the latter
in double line of battle, with its left resting on the plank road, and the
former on the right of the Twelfth. The two remaining divisions of Sickles's
corps—the First, Brigadier-General Birney, and the Third, Brigadier-General
Whipple—were ordered up as supports for this line.
Sykes's division was formed in the open field, directly
on the slope southeast of and scarcely a quarter of a mile distant from
General Hooker's head-quarters. Immediately behind them, on the extreme
elevation of the plain, three batteries of field artillery were planted. General
Sykes's skirmishers advanced down the field and into the woods, where
they waited the approach of the enemy.
Soon the brisk cracking of rifles and muskets announced the rebel
proximity, and our skirmishers, in compliance
with orders, gradually fell back upon the main line of battle.
This manoeuvre drew the enemy outside of the woods,
from which they emerged close after our retreating skirmishers, yelling
and shouting like a tribe of wild Indians. The sight was both exciting and
amusing at first, and all movement
on our part was momentarily suspended, while
our brave men gratified their curiosity in scrutinizing their
gray-backed adversaries. But the charge of the rebels was
not a trifling matter, and as column upon column of them, and line after
line came dashing out of the woods, it seemed as though that one little division
to check them would be swallowed up. It was one of those
skillful manoeuvres for which General Lee is particularly distinguished—the
hurling of an immense body upon a small force of his antagonist. The
rebel force, as it charged
out of the woods, was certainly three times as large as that
of General Sykes; yet the latter showed no disposition to quail; but, after
giving a moment's glance to satisfy their curiosity, every soldier brought his
musket to his shoulder, and five thousand bullets were sent into the rebel line.
Such steadiness appalled them. They were unprepared for it. Their front rank
quailed before it. The sudden thinning of their numbers amazed and
frightened them. They discharged
their pieces recklessly and broke in confusion. But there was no flight for
them. The heavy bodies behind them, to whom the front rank had been a bulwark,
protecting them from the murderous volley of the Union Regulars, were steady and
determined. They absorbed the front rank in the second, and still moved forward
—firm, unshaken, confident. Meantime our men had reloaded their pieces, and
simultaneously a volley was fired from both sides, and then from the brow
above our artillery opened with canister and grape, throwing over the heads of
our own men and dealing destruction
and confusion to the enemy. And as the loud cannon continued
its work with fearful rapidity the order was given to our men to "fire at
will"—an order that was copied by the enemy—and the continuous roar of
musketry that followed
almost deadened the reports of the artillery. It was the first fight of the
great battle, and for nearly twenty
minutes both parties stood firm, as though nothing should
lead them to give the prestige of a first success to the other.
But, although outnumbered, we had an advantage in the support of artillery,
which, while our infantry held the rebels in check, made huge gaps in
their ranks. Still they yelled and
shouted defiance, and attempted charges and continued their firing, rank after
rank of them being broken and thrown back in confusion, while their
officers shouted, and ordered
and stormed, and cursed, in the vain
effort to rally them to a persistent, determined charge. They fought well. They
fought as none but Americans dare fight. But with musketry alone they could not
contend against both artillery and musketry. It was simply murder on the
part of their officers to attempt to hold them
to it, and their officers began to appreciate the fact when nearly half
their column had been placed hors de combat;
and then the order was given to retire.
And then came our turn to shout. The rebels were retreating. Our force was sadly
thinned and broken; but there were enough left to send up a shout after the
retreating rebels that made the woods ring with the echo.
Even the wounded joined in the glad cheer, many of them
staggering into an upright position and throwing up their
hats in their excess of gladness at the victory. The charge had been
right gallantly met, and the host of the enemy finely repulsed. It was the first
achievement of the great struggle—an augury of success in the end. Our men had
stood like veterans, and they had a right to cheer.
THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE BATTLE ON SATURDAY, 2D, also from a sketch by Mr. Wand,
is illustrated on the same pages. Of this we take the following description from
the Times correspondence:
In the morning, as we stood on the balcony of Chancellor's house, the attention
was aroused by a sharp rattle of
musketry coming from a column of rebels coming up by the main
Fredericksburg plank road, directly in front of us. Knapp's Battery, however,
which was planted directly in front of the position, opened upon them, and after
a few rounds caused them to retire.
Immediately afterward a battery opened from the height which I have mentioned as
having been gained by Sykes yesterday, and then abandoned by us. The position
was rather upward of a mile distant from the cleared space,
and its object was to damage our ammunition train which was visible to
the rebels from the tops of trees on the height. One of our batteries was,
however, immediately opened in reply. The third shot blew up one of the caissons
and a subsequent shot blew up another, and this settled their account.
Subsequently a reconnoissance was sent, on our part, consisting of the
Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers (Carr's brigade, Berry's division,
Sickles's corps), on the same road by which the rebels had approached in the
morning, for the purpose of feeling their strength. They
went out on the plank road, deployed on both sides in the form of a
letter V, chased the rebel skirmishers a couple of miles, till they came to a
heavy double line of battle, with artillery in position, when they retired,
bringing us that piece of intelligence.
Another reconnoissance was next sent out on our right, consisting of
sharp-shooters. They met the enemy's
pickets, drove them handsomely, and at 4 o'clock returned with fifty
prisoners of the Twenty-third Georgia.
At 4 the rebels are moving down in force on the plank
road, where we had a little before made the reconnoissance.
Geary's division of Slocum's corps is sent in on the double-quick into
the woods—their bayonets flashing in the sunlight. A sharp contest ensues, and
in a few minutes they come back in disorder. A portion of Kane's brigade,
composed of raw troops, had broken and thrown the column into confusion.
An aid from Slocum comes to ask General Hooker if he can have reinforcements.
"No! he must hold his own. Howard will, of course, support him from the right.
Let Geary's division, however, be thrown to the right of the
road, so that the artillery may be able to sweep the enemy on the left."
This treatment presently repaired the damage,
and checked the hope of the rebels being able to pierce our centre.
page 325 we illustrate the terrible PANIC WHICH OVERTOOK THE
ELEVENTH CORPS on the afternoon of the same day. This also is from a sketch by
Mr. Waud. The following graphic account of the affair is from the Herald letter:
The Eleventh corps had been ordered to advance on the right of Birney, and moved
forward to take the position assigned to them on Birney's flank. One brigade
succeeded in getting up the hill, and reported, by its commander (whose name I
have unfortunately lost), to Generals Sickles and Birney. The rest of the corps
met the enemy in force when about two-thirds of the distance up. Here
they had a short engagement, in which it does not appear that they had
even as large a force to contend against as that which Williams, with his single
division, had fought so bravely. Headed by their commander, the gallant
Howard, the German corps charged boldly up to the rebel lines. Here they
were met, as the rebels always meet their foe, with shouts of defiance and
derision, a determined front, and a heavy fire of musketry. The German regiments
returned the fire for a short time with spirit, manifesting a disposition to
fight valiantly. But at the time
when all encouragement to the men was needed that could be given, then
some officer of the division (one, at least, as I am informed) fell back to the
rear, leaving his men to fight alone. At the same time General Devens,
commanding the First division, was unhorsed and badly wounded in his foot by a
musket-ball. Thus losing at a
ciritical moment the inspiriting influence of the immediate presence of
their commanders, the men began to falter, then to fall back, and finally broke
in a complete route. General Howard
boldly threw himself into the breach and attempted to rally the shattered
columns; but his efforts were perfectly futile. The men were panic-stricken, and
no power on earth could rally them in the face of the enemy. Information of the
catastrophe was promptly communicated to General Sickles, who thus had a moment
given him to prepare for the shock he instantly apprehended his column would
suffer. The high land of the little farm that formed the base of his operations
was parked full of artillery and cavalry, nearly all the artillery
of the Third corps, together with Pleasanton's cavalry, being crowded
into that little fifty-acre inclosure. But Sickles was not to be thrown off his
guard by a trifle, and any thing short of a complete defeat seemed to be
considered by him in the light of a trifle. With the coolness and
skillfulness of a veteran of a hundred campaigns he set to work making
his dispositions. He had not a single regiment within his reach to support his
artillery; Whipple was falling
back, and must meet the approaching stampede with his own force in
retreat; Birney was far out in the advance, in imminent danger of being
completely surrounded and annihilated; the rebel forces were pressing
hard upon the flying Germans, who could only escape by rushing across his lines,
with every prospect of communicating the panic to them. It was a critical moment
indeed, and one that might well stagger even the bravest-hearted. But it did not
stagger the citizen soldier. Calling to one after another of his staff, he sent
them all off, one after the other, lest any should fail of getting through, to
warn Birney of his danger, and order him to fall back. Then, turning to General
Pleasanton, he directed him to take charge of the artillery, and train it all
upon the woods encircling the field, and support it with his cavalry, to hold
the rebels in check should they come on him, and himself dashed off to meet
Whipple, then just emerging from the woods in the bottom land. He had scarcely
turned his horse about when the flying Germans came dashing over the field in
crowds, meeting the head of Whipple's column and stampeding through his lines,
running as only men do run when
convinced that sure destruction is awaiting them. At the same moment
large masses of the rebel infantry came dashing through the woods on the north
and west close up to the field, and opened a tremendous fire of musketry into
the confused mass of men and animals. To add to the confusion and terror of the
occasion night was rapidly approaching, and darkness was already beginning to
obscure all things.
I must frankly confess that I have no ability to do justice to the scene that
followed. It was my lot to be in the centre of that field when the panic burst
upon us. May I never be a witness to another such scene! On one hand was a solid
column of infantry retreating at double-quick from the face of the enemy, who
were already crowding their rear; on the other was a dense mass of beings who
had lost their reasoning faculties, and were flying from a thousand fancied
dangers as well as from the real danger that crowded so close upon them,
aggravating the fearfulness of their situation by the very precipitancy with
which they' were seeking to escape from it. On the hill were ten thousand of the
enemy, pouring their murderous volleys in upon us, yelling and hooting, to
increase the alarm and confusion; hundreds of cavalry horses, left riderless at
the first discharge from the rebels, were dashing frantically about in all
directions; a score of batteries of
artillery were thrown into disorder, some properly manned, seeking to
gain positions for effective duty, and others flying from the field; battery
wagons, ambulances, horses, men, cannon, caissons, all jumbled and tumbled
together in an apparently inextricable mass, and that murderous fire still
pouring in upon them. To add to the terror of the occasion there was but one
means of escape from the field, and that through a little narrow neck or ravine
washed out by Scott's Creek. Toward this the confused mass plunged headlong. For
a moment it seemed as if no power could avert the frightful calamity that
threatened the entire army. That neck passed, and this panic-stricken,
disordered body of men and animals permitted to pass
down through the other corps of the army, our destruction was sure. But
in the midst of that wildest alarm there was a cool head. That calamity was
averted by the determined
self-possession of Major-General Daniel E. Sickles.
Let me here finish with the Eleventh corps. They did not all fly across
Sickles's line. They dispersed and ran in all directions, regardless of the
order of their going. They all seemed possessed with an instinctive idea of the
shortest and most direct line from the point whence they started to the United
States ford, and the majority of them did not stop until they had reached the
Other illustrations of the Army of the Potomac are given on
pages 332 and
The descriptive matter referring to them will be found in the following brief
description by the artist Mr. A. R. Waud:
SYKES'S ADVANCE ON OUR LEFT.
This sketch represents the brilliant advance of Sykes's division of Meade's
corps. Watson's battery is partly seen hurling shells over the heads of our
advancing lines at the rebel position on the top of the hill. In three lines,
the gallant Second Brigade leading the attack, with that steadiness which the
regiments of the regular army have always shown, they moved up the hill, the
line of battle being formed across the road. The fire was to a great extent
reserved till the crest of the hill was reached, and the enemy driven in
confusion. In this affair the old Fifth Corps well maintained its old
reputation; and after, when it was drawn back to take its place in the line of
battle then forming, it repulsed with slaughter the attack which the enemy in
their turn made upon them.
THE BATTLE IN FRONT OF CHANCELLOR'S HOUSE
ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON.
After the attack upon Meade the enemy continued the battle by a vigorous effort
to storm our position on the cross-roads at Chancellor's. This was a magnificent
scene. The house occupies the right of the picture; about it the orderlies,
servants, and pack-mules belonging to head-quarters were grouped—General Hooker
and his staff, with Captain Starr's company of the Lancers, forming a brilliant
party at the side of the house. Slocum's line of battle is seen formed in front,
supporting the batteries in position about the burned chimney, which was
surrounded by cherry-trees in blossom. In front are the lines of men moving up
to take part in the struggle, which for a short time was very violently
contested at this point.
HOWARD'S POSITION ON THE RIGHT.
Dowdall's tavern, head-quarters Eleventh Corps, is seen in the centre of this
view. The rifle-pits across the field rendered this place impregnable in the
hands of good soldiers. It was expected all day that the enemy would attack this
wing in force, and there was plenty of time for preparation. The German troops,
however, were not equal to the occasion. Some of them fought welt, but tho
majority fled in panic without firing a shot, throwing into confusion those
troops that were preparing to resist the enemy's advance. In the midst of the
skedaddle a noble buck and two does left the woods and fled through the
COUCH'S MEN FORMING ACROSS THE PLANK ROAD.
While Sickles was returning with his fine corps on the left, Couch's men on the
double-quick took up position
across the road to try and stem the course of the runaways and Jackson's
rapid advance. The batteries, massed in front of this line, poured into the
woods a savage fire over the soldiers in front, while a confused mass of pack
trains, wagons, ambulances, guns, caissons, cattle, and broken troops, with all
the crowd of army followers, rushed down the road in panic, the enemy pounding
at their rear and capturing what they could. This part of the battle was truly
terrible. The sun had set, and threatening clouds threatened rain, and some
lightning added to the gloomy horror of the scene; but the Second and Third
Corps stood nobly to their work, and the rebels were hurled back. They captured
cattle and supplies, ammunition, etc., and spent the rest of the evening in
plundering our wounded.
GENERAL COUCH'S HEAD-QUARTERS ON THE
On Sunday the rebels made the most determined efforts to capture this position,
held by Sickles and Meade, but they had no Eleventh Corps to deal with. Savagely
they were repulsed, and Jackson's
celebrated column of 40,000 men was decimated and defeated.
SKETCH OF THE CENTRE.—ANOTHER VIEW.
In this picture the men of Humphrey's division are represented pouring a deadly
fire upon the advancing hosts,
whose intention was to capture the rifle-pits and batteries represented
in the picture. About this time Humphrey
made one of his celebrated charges upon the enemy, driving them with such
loss that they never dared to attack in force again.
HOOKER'S HEAD-QUARTERS IN THE WOODS.
After the burning of the Chancellor house, and withdrawal
of our line from that point, the General bivouacked in the woods near the
front, so near that the rebel shells
and even the fire of the sharp-shooters came into the camp. Captain
Starr's horse was shot quite close to where the General was consulting with his
This was a picturesque spot near the front, used as a
hospital for Slocum's corps, and as a rendezvous of skedaddlers.