Kilpatrick's Cavalry Raid

 

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Civil War Harper's Weekly, May 30, 1863

Welcome to our online archive of Harper's Weekly newspapers. We have put our extensive collection of these original newspapers online for your study and research. These papers are full of unique content you will not see anywhere else.

(Scroll Down to See Entire Page, or Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to the page of interest)

 

Blockade Runner

Vicksburg Blockade Runner

Vallandigham Arrested

Vallandigham Arrested

Capture of Jackson

Capture of Jackson, Mississippi

Port Gibson

Port Gibson

Kilpartick Raid

Kilpatrick's Cavalry Raid

Death of Stonewall Jackson

Death of Stonewall Jackson

Stonewall Jackson Obituary

Stonewall Jackson Obituary

Raven

The Raven Poem

Louisiana Campaign

General Banks's Louisiana Campaign

Cavalry Raid

Cavalry Raid

Cavalry

Cavalry

 

 

 

 

MAY 30, 1863.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

343

range every thing for you, come to our Kneipe this evening, and afterward we shall be sure to pick up a man for you in the Market-place."

I accordingly went to Muller's lodgings a little before eight that evening, and he conducted me to the room in which his corps used to hold their "Kneipe;" it was a large, handsome apartment in one of the principal Restaurations, exclusively kept for the use of members of the corps. We there found about a dozen men already assembled, and nearly as many more dropped in by twos and threes shortly afterward. We all supped together, and as soon as our meal was finished, the serious business of the evening, that is to say, the beer-drinking, commenced. I am afraid to say how much Bavarian beer was disposed of—we all drank like fishes; the more we drank the thirstier we seemed to get: in fact, no one who has not seen German students drink beer can form any adequate idea of the quantity they consume. Bavarian beer is, of course, not nearly so strong as the English beer; but is still a very agreeable drink, and tastes much like pale ale. About eleven o'clock Muller said to me:

"Come, let us go and take a turn in the street, we shall not be many minutes finding you a man."

We went out, and in the Market-place found a number of students belonging to various corps walking about, all of whom, as my companion informed me, were looking for opportunities to challenge some one, or force some one to challenge them.

"We shall very soon be suited," said he.

"We!" I said, "are you going to quarrel, too?"

"Yes," he answered, carelessly. "I may as well do so now I am here. Ah! there is a man to whom I should like to say a few words."

We stopped opposite to the man whom Muller had pointed out, and to whom he said, after politely taking off his cap,

"I beg your pardon; but you look amazingly stupid."

The person thus addressed bowed in his turn, told Muller that he should hear from him, and was passing on when Muller said:

"Now do not be in such a hurry, for I should like to introduce my friend here to one of your men."

He stared, for he saw that I was an Englishman; but answered:

"If you will wait here for two minutes I will bring you several, and then you can take your choice."

He left us, and I said to Muller,

"Show me which man you think will do for me, for I do not know how they can fight, and then I suppose the right thing will be for me to call him a fool at once."

"No, no," he answered; "that is not necessary, the fellow will know perfectly well what you want; a simple introduction is sufficient. Ah! here they are."

He selected one of the new arrivals, to whom he introduced me as Mr. Jones, of London.

We bowed to each other, and the ceremony of quarreling was complete; so Muller and I returned to the Kneipe. As soon as we entered we were assailed with a volley of questions as to where we had been, and what we had been doing.

"Oh! nothing particular," answered Muller; "our English friend here wants to fight, and so I have been out with him to help him to select an opponent."

"What! do you intend to fight, Englishman?" said the senior of the corps, as he shook me heartily by the hand; "that is right, old fellow. I am going to fight the day after to-morrow, so are several more of us, and your little affair can come off at the same time. Well done, Albion, I looks toward you." And he poured about a pint and a quarter of beer down his capacious throat.

I likewise bowed, and then refilled my pipe, and sat down again with the rest to finish the remainder of the evening and what beer was left in the cask, for they said it would be a pity to let it stand till morning, as it might get flat. We separated about midnight. I went home feeling like an incipient hero, and very naturally dreamed of nothing but carte and tierce all that night, and if only half the number of duels in which I imagined myself engaged had really come to pass, I might well have called myself the hero of a hundred fights. When I awoke the next morning I must confess that I did not feel quite comfortable; I had, when watching the students' duels, seen cheeks laid open, heads badly cut, and noses slit, and now I was going to expose myself to the very same thing; perhaps I should return to England with a scar right across my face, and then what would the Governor say? I remained in a very uncomfortable state all that day, for although I was by no means a despicable opponent in the fencing-room, where no one can be hurt, yet I could not tell what my sensations might be when I found myself without a helmet facing an opponent armed with a sword a yard long and as sharp as a razor. However, I was in for it; there was no possible way of escape, so I concealed my fidgety state as well as I could, but still could not keep down unpleasant thoughts of gashed faces, and the consequent sewing up with needles and red silk, which constantly came into my head. At supper, too, that evening, I came in for a good deal of chaff, not exactly calculated to inspire me with additional confidence: one man, while examining the bill of fare before ordering his supper, remarked:

"Hm, bifsteck—no, not to-day; an Englishman is going to be slaughtered to-morrow, so we shall have real English bifsteck then, shall we not, Albion?"

Another drew my attention to some cutlets on his plate, and asked how many similar ones could be cut out of me, for he said be had just made a bet upon the subject; and on finding me unable to give him the requisite information, remarked, "Well, never mind, we shall see to-morrow." Frequent allusions were also made to mince-meat, sausages, etc., till the senior kindly put an end to the chaff by calling to me from the top of the table, "Never

mind what they say, Albion; if you fight as well in earnest as you do in the fencing-room, none of those fellows who are chaffing you so could touch you; I know the man with whom you are going to fight; you are at least as good a swordsman as he; I will be your second myself, and if you only do as I tell you, all will be right."

After supper he left the room, to see our opponents, and make the final arrangements with them; and during his absence I really could not help casting anxious glances toward the door, which was presently thrown open, and he reappeared.

"All right," he said; "to-morrow morning at eleven o'clock, at the usual place; the others will bring the doctor with them."

The doctor! who to-morrow would perhaps have to try to reunite, by means of needles and thread (or rather silk), the dissevered halves of my countenance. So said my fears and some of my friends; but I determined to banish all disagreeable thoughts, expressed myself perfectly satisfied with the arrangements, and took a long draught of beer to conceal my—delight. I rose the next morning about the usual time, after having passed a rather restless night, dressed myself in the darkest clothes I had, in order that the blood—if any were spilled —might show as little as possible upon them; and after a hurried breakfast proceeded to the Kneipe, from whence we were to drive to the scene of action. Arrived there, I found almost the whole of the corps assembled, endeavoring to pass away the time with the aid of pipes and beer.

"Hallo," I said, "are you fellows all going to cut lectures to-day?"

"Yes, old boy," they said, "to be sure we are; we are all coming out to see you fight."

"But," I replied, "as it is my first appearance in public, I should like as few spectators as possible."

"Nonsense," was the answer; "you know that there are thirty or forty to look on at every fight, and there will be double that number to-day, for every one knows that you are going out, and we never saw an Englishman fight before."

This I did not like at all, but I knew that nothing I could say would make them stay at home; so, as it was now barely ten, and we were not to set off till half past, I lighted a cigar, ordered some beer, and tried to persuade myself that I felt perfectly comfortable. The conversation was of a violent and decidedly sanguinary nature, consisting almost entirely of reminiscences of duels in which one or both of the combatants had been punished with unusual severity, and the senior related to me, with great glee, how he had on one occasion cut his opponent's nose completely off! The vehicle drove up punctually at half past ten; as many of us as could find room got in, and in about twenty minutes we arrived at the ground, where we found the other party and the surgeon. The senior—a splendid swordsman—was the first to engage; and after a very spirited and scientific combat of about ten minutes' duration put his opponent hors de combat by cutting his left cheek quite through. The surgeon immediately sewed up the gash, and the wounded hero was taken home, to arouse himself for the next three or four days with making iced applications to his cheek, and living upon soup, being, of course, most strictly forbidden either to smoke or to touch any beer, which prohibition is about the severest punishment in the world for a German student. As soon as he had left the spot Muller came toward me and said, "Now then, old fellow, go and get bandaged; your turn comes next." I therefore followed him to the room where the duelists were bandaged, stripped to the waist, and was immediately dressed in a coarse linen shirt; a glove made of double leather, with a quantity of thin steel chain between the two thicknesses, intended to protect the hand and wrist, was put upon my right hand, and over that a sort of sleeve about an inch in thickness, formed of innumerable layers of silk, was drawn upon my arm, reaching from the wrist quite up to the shoulder. Over this again a sort of rope, made of old silk stockings twisted, ran all along the outside of my arm, which was thus completely protected. A thick pad was then tied over the axillary artery, a long bandage wound round my throat, and a pair of "Paukhosen," things something like cricket-pads, but reaching nearly up to the heart, strapped on. My toilet was now complete, the head and the upper part of the chest only being exposed. My antagonist was ready about the same time, the usual formalities were gone through, and we faced each other. With a passing thought of what the consternation of the "Governor" would be, could he but see me at this moment, I put myself into position; my adversary did the same; the seconds shouted "Los!" or "Go it!" and at it we went, hammer and tongs, with an energy worthy of a better cause. To my great surprise and gratification, any nervousness which I might have felt before had now entirely vanished; I felt as cool and collected as if I were only practicing in the fencing-room, but at the same time there was an excitement which I had never felt when using blunted weapons. When we had been fighting for about five minutes I suddenly felt a sharp slap on the left cheek, and found that I had not completely parried a vicious horizontal cut in carte, and that the flat of my enemy's blade had struck me in the face, just drawing blood from the cheek. An appeal was, of course, made by the opposite second, and his claim of first blood was allowed.

We all paused for a few moments to recover breath and refresh ourselves with a glass of wine; during which pause my second whispered to me, "If he tries that cut again, and I feel sure that he will, return high tierce as quickly as possible." (This, by-the-by, is considered quite fair.)

I watched for this cut, which he soon did try again; as I had been told, I returned high tierce as quickly as I could: a large lock of my adversary's hair fell to the ground, and in a moment his face was covered with blood. I had given him a smart cut on the top of the head—a cut perhaps four inches in length, which was, however, not severe

enough to prevent his continuing the fight; and so we fought on for some time, but without touching each other again, till the referee warned us that the time, which is limited to a quarter of an hour, was expired. We then shook hands, resumed our ordinary habiliments, and, after my opponent's wound had been sewn up by the doctor, left the ground on the best of terms. Thus ended my first duel; but I found the excitement of fighting so very pleasant that I said to myself, as we left the ground, "I'll fight again as often as I can." And I did. I joined the corps that evening, and in course of time became one of the seniors.

WHAT'S IN THE PACK?

IT was a lonely looking house, a good distance from any other, and standing at the end of a long avenue, and its only occupants on the day in question were two women-servants and a boy. The time, perhaps, hung rather heavily upon the hands of these three, since the appearance of a queer figure toiling up the avenue was hailed with unconcealed satisfaction.

"It's old Burke, the jagger," said one.

"It isn't old Burke; but he's got a pack any-how. How slow he walks, and it's getting dusk; we sha'n't be able to see the things."

The jagger, or bagman, or peddler, whichever name you like best, came up to the door wiping his forehead, and groaning under his burden; and well he might. Surely a pack of such size had never before wearied the enduring shoulders of a bagman. He did not attempt to ease himself of it, however, or to display, his wares in the customary manner, but he took off his hat to the women politely.

"Would the mistress take pity on him, and let him leave his pack in the hall or the kitchen—any where, so that it would be safe? And he would fetch it the next day."

Now, the master and mistress were, as we have seen, from home; so was the man who filled the offices of coachman, groom, and gardener, with the help of the boy above mentioned as a sub; and neither master, mistress, nor coachman would return that night. The three servants therefore looked at each other inquiringly, a little curious, and a great deal disappointed.

"What's in the pack?" asked one.

"Oh, it's not a regular pack, but an order," responded the bagman. "A lot of coarse cloth and some gunpowder; nothing that would do to show the ladies. But I am tired to death, and have got to go further. If I might leave it where it would be safe for to-night, I've got a few shawls and things I could bring with me to-morrow when I return for it."

Again the women looked at each other. "Shawls had he got? What else?"

"A few trifles. Maybe a gown-piece or two that would come cheap."

"Well, he might leave the pack if he liked, but he must take it away early the next day."

The peddler entered the hall and prepared to lay down his burden; then he espied the door of a little room which would have been a butler's pantry if the house had boasted a butler. Might he put it there, because of this gunpowder? And it was put there accordingly, the bagman closing the door after him carefully, and warning the friendly receivers not to take a light into the room, or meddle with the pack, because of the gunpowder.

The women went back to their kitchen, and the boy lingered in the hall meditatively, having watched the peddler down the avenue. At last he went to the door of the butler's pantry and took a long look through the keyhole. The last ray's of the setting sun streamed in through that little window and fell upon the pack lying in huge state on the floor. Again the boy walked up and down the hall, and again he looked long and anxiously through the keyhole.

Did the pack move a little as he stared at it? What a fool he was, he thought; it was all fancy, of course. Suddenly his gaze became riveted on one corner of the pack, where there seemed to be a loophole, and he saw, as he believed, in the red light, the gleaming of a human eye.

He drew back his own from the keyhole; he shot it bolt into its socket noiselessly, and then he began walking up and down again. He thought about the loneliness of the place, and the helplessness of its inmates; he thought about those two in the kitchen and himself, and about the peddler, and what might happen. He walked till it was quite dark, and he could no longer distinguish the outlines of that mysterious pack; then he went into the kitchen, where the two women were still talking of the shawls and probable gown-pieces.

"Where's the old gun?" asked the boy.

"La, Joseph, what should you want with that? It's up there, over the clock."

"Is it loaded? All right," said Joseph, examining. "Now then, I'll tell you what I want with it: I'm going to shoot the pack."

"To shoot it! Good gracious, what for?"

Joseph looked at the two terrified faces, with his own rather pale, but determined. "You won't squall if I tell you what for, will you?"

"No; but Joseph—the gunpowder!"

"Gunpowder's all my eye. I'm going to shoot it because there's a mortal man in it; and a man doesn't get hisself wrapped in a pack for no good purpose; that's what I say. If you're afraid give me the light, and stop where you are."

But the women crept behind him tremulously, and kept silence while he tried again if he could see any thing through the keyhole. Then he opened the door boldly.

If the pack's an honest pack," said Joseph, "it won't mind a shot."

Perhaps the pack really moved, or perhaps Joseph was a little nervous, for the last word was not out of his mouth when the report of a gun rang through the room.

A dead silence followed it. Joseph's eyes were fixed in a wide open stare on the pack. Presently

a small red spot came oozing through the coarse wrappering; it grew larger. A little red stream trickled down on the floor, and crawled toward the boy's feet. Than he retired hastily, and locked the door again.

His face was very pale. He had killed a man, and it was a horrible thing to do and to think of.

"Now you two lock all the doors, and make them as fast as you can," he said: "that peddler chap won't stop till morning for his pack, I'm thinking. What o'clock is it—ten? Let us put lights in all the rooms, and make-believe there's a party—a regular houseful."

Once during the night, Joseph, standing near a window, fancied he heard a low whistle outside; his heart gave a great jump, and he signaled to the two women to move about, and slam the doors, and make as much noise as they- could. The whistle was repeated once only, and then all was quiet. But though the morning light broke in upon the servants, they could not go to bed or rest for thinking of that ghastly thing down in the butler's pantry. Noon brought the master of the house, but no peddler came with shawls and gown-pieces.

When they undid the pack the hand of the dead man was found clutching a small whistle, and he had a belt on, stuck with pistols and a cutlass. It is needless to add that Joseph was rewarded; and some time afterward, one of a gang of robbers being caught in a burglary, confessed himself to be the identical bagman who left his pack at the lonely house, and never went to claim it.

COLONEL KILPATRICK'S RAID
INTO SECESSIA.

WE illustrate on page 348 one of the many sharp hand-to-hand conflicts which took place on the recent gallant raid of Colonel Kilpatrick, of the Harris Light Cavalry, through Virginia. Colonel Kilpatrick's report—a model of military style—reads as follows:

      "YORKTOWN, VA., May 8, 1863.

"Major-General H. M. Halleck, Commander-in-Chief of the United States Army:

"GENERAL,—I have the honor to report that, by direction of Major-General Stoneman, I left Louisa Court House the morning of the 3d inst., with one regiment (the Harris Light Cavalry of my brigade), reached Hungary on the Fredericksburg Railroad at daylight on the morning of the 4th, destroyed the depot, telegraph wires, and railroad for several miles; passed over to the Brook turnpike; drove in the rebel pickets down the pike, across the brook; charged a battery, and forced it to retire to within two miles of the city of Richmond; captured Lieutenant Brown, aid-de-camp to General Winder, and eleven men within the fortifications; passed down to the left to the Meadow Bridge, on the Chickahominy, which I burned; ran a train of cars into the river; retired to Hanovertown on the peninsula; crossed and destroyed the ferry just in time to check the advance of a pursuing cavalry force; burned a grain of thirty wagons loaded with bacon; captured thirteen prisoners, and encamped for the night five miles from the river.

"I resumed my march at one A.M. of the 5th, surprised a force of three hundred cavalry at Aylett's; captured two officers and thirty-three men; burned fifty-six wagons and the depot, containing upward of 20,000 barrels of corn and wheat, quantities of clothing and commissary stores, and safely crossed the Mattapony, and destroyed the ferry again, just in time to escape the advance of the rebel cavalry pursuit. Late in the evening I destroyed a third wagon train and depot, it few miles above and west of Tappahannock, on the Rappahannock, and from that point made a forced march of twenty miles, being closely followed by a superior force of cavalry, supposed to be a portion of Stuart's, from the fact that we captured prisoners from the First, Fifth, and Tenth Virginia cavalry.

"At sundown I discovered a force of cavalry drawn up in line of battle above King and Queen Court House. The strength was unknown, but I at once advanced to the attack, only however to discover that they were friends--a portion of the Twelfth Illinois cavalry, who had become separated from the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Davis, of the same regiment.

"At 10 o'clock A.M. on the 7th I found safety and rest under our brave old flag, within our lines at Gloucester Point.

"This raid and march about the entire rebel army—a march of nearly two hundred miles—has been made in lest than five days, with a loss of one officer and thirty-seven men, having captured and paroled upward of three hundred men.

"I take great pleasure in bringing to your notice the officers of my staff, Captain P. Owen Jones, Captain Armstrong, Captain M'Irvin, Dr. Hackley, and Lieutenant Estis, especially the latter, who volunteered to carry a dispatch to Major-General Hooker. He failed in the attempt, but, with his escort of ten men, he captured and paroled one major, two captains, a lieutenant, and fifteen men. He was afterward himself captured with his escort, and was afterward recaptured by our own forces. He arrives this morning. I can not praise too highly the bravery, fortitude, and untiring energy displayed throughout the march by Lieutenant-Colonel Davis and the officers and men of the Harris Light Cavalry, not one of whom but was willing to lose his liberty or his life if he could but aid in the great battle now going on, and win for himself the approbation of his chiefs.

"Respectfully submitted.   J. KILPATRICK,

"Col. Comd'g First Brigade Third Division Cavalry."

A SCOUT IN DIXIE.

WE publish on page 349 two portraits of one of the most gallant scouts in our army—J. W. DAVIDSON, of the Eleventh Army Corps. He is a native of New York, and on the outbreak of the rebellion raised the Star-Spangled Banner on Trinity and St. Paul's Churches in this city. He accompanied General Burnside to North Carolina, and on the capture of Newbern raised the Stars and Stripes on the steeple of Christ's Church in that city, in view of the flying rebels. Mr. Davidson is a sailor by trade, and, as might be supposed from his calling, is a man of cool head, quick eye, and solid nerve. In manners he is gentle and unassuming. As a scout, he is said to he one of the most useful in the service.

TRIFLES.

 

THE massive gates of Circumstance

Are turned upon the smallest hinge,

And thus some seeming pettiest chance

Oft gives our life its after-tinge.

 

The trifles of our daily lives,

The common things scarce worth recall,

Whereof no visible trace survives,

These are the mainsprings after all.


 

 

 

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