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Civil War Harper's Weekly, November 21, 1863

We have brought our passion for old newspapers to this WEB site by posting our entire collection of Harper's Weekly to this site. You can browse this collection, and gain new perspective on the war. The papers include pictures and reports created by the people who watched the events happen.

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Russian Ball

Russian Ball

Marching Song

Marching Song

Droop Mountain

Battle of Droop Mountain

Rebels

Rebel Guerrillas

East Tennessee

War in East Tennessee

Rush Street Bridge

Rush Street Bridge Accident

Under Fire

First Time Under Fire

Soldier's Story - Gettysburg

Tennessee

War in Tennessee

Blood Hounds

Hunting Men with Blood Hounds

Dancing

Ballroom Dancing

 

 

William Hammond

William Hammond

Baldness Cure

Illinois Central

Illinois Central Railroad

         
 

 

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

[NOVEMBER 21, 1863.

742

THE WAR IN EAST TENNESSEE.

WE illustrate on page 741 a common incident of the war in East Tennessee—HAULING CANNON UP A MOUNTAIN ROAD IN BAD WEATHER. The Herald correspondent, writing from Loudon, Tennessee, on 25th ult., thus describes the scene:

On Thursday last the reinforcements sent down here from the reserves which are always in readiness at Knoxville to operate up or down the line of railroad got orders to be prepared for the march at any moment. The final orders came at night, and the immense column of infantry, cavalry, artillery, wagons, and ambulances might have been seen wending their way by the light of the then brilliant moon from their camps in the woods, copses, dells, and groves to take position along the Loudon road. A greater portion of the infantry was luckily spared what afterward proved to be a severe march, and was transported by rail to within a short distance of the scene of future operations. By ten o'clock P.M. the column got in motion; and while the shrill locomotive shrieked along by our side (I say our, because the newspaper people took the road) the cavalry plodded along through the sloughs of mud and swamp, and the wagons mired and remired, to the great discomfort of mule flesh. The march formed an impressive scene by the pale light of the moon. Dark forms on horseback, strung along over the road, intermingled here and there with the rumbling cannon and caissons, were followed by the wagon train, whose white covers stood out in relief against the black gloom of the woods, while, withal, a silence which imparted an air of mystery and secrecy to the whole movement seemed to pervade every one, and was broken only when some refractory mule called forth the maledictions of his teamster. So silently, indeed, was the march effected that but few of the residents along the road were aware that the army had passed.

Toward the gray dawn of morning that portion of the cavalcade which was not imperatively ordered to proceed directly through to Loudon halted by the wayside. No inviting house stood near to welcome us within its portals; no tent was pitched beneath whose canopy to stretch our wearied limbs; so perchance we had need of making use of the best means at hand. Accordingly our little party, which embraced Lieutenant Keyes, of the Second Division Staff, and the newspaper folk aforesaid, sought shelter beneath a farm shed, and there, disposing ourselves upon the straw and wrapping our blankets about us—for the air was raw and chilly—we were soon buried in "balmy sleep, tired Nature's," etc.

Morning came, and with it one of the most disagreeable days it has been my misfortune to experience. A heavy rain commenced at daylight, and fell in unceasing torrents until late at night. The roads, so difficult of passage before, became now almost impassable. Wagons sank to their boxes in the liquid mud, mules fell exhausted in the traces and gave up the ghost; while drivers, teamsters, and artillerists became so covered with the spattering mud that it was difficult to distinguish them from the surrounding soil. However, by dint of that untiring energy which characterizes the Yankee soldier, all obstacles were overcome, and by night the last of the trains had reached its camping-ground with the main body of the troops.

At latest dates the rebels were concentrating their forces against Burnside, and his outposts have already been attacked. "Old Burn," however, as the soldiers call him, has thus far shown himself capable of taking care of himself, and Meade will presently give Lee enough to do at home, so that we can rely upon it that no more troops can be spared from the rebel Army of the Potomac.

VERY HARD CASH.

BY CHARLES READE, ESQ.

AUTHOR OF "IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND," ETC.

CHAPTER XLVI. ,

IF we could always know at the time what we are doing!

Two ladies carried a paper to Whitehall out of charity to a stranger.

Therein the elder was benefactress to a man she never spoke of but as "the wretch;" the younger held her truant bridegroom's heart, I may say, in her hand all the road, and was his protectress. Neither recognized the handwriting: for no man can write his own hand with a tooth-pick.

They reached Whitehall, and were conducted up stairs to a gentleman of pleasant aspect but powerful brow, seated in a wilderness of letters. He waved his hand, and a clerk set them chairs: he soon after laid down his pen, and leaned gravely forward to hear their business. They saw they must waste no time; Julia looked at her mother, rose, and took Alfred's missive to his desk, and handed it him with one of her eloquent looks, grave and pitiful. He seemed struck by her beauty and her manner.

"It was pinned on my parasol, Sir, by a poor prisoner at Drayton House," said Mrs. Dodd.

"Oh, indeed," said the gentleman, and began to read the superscription with a cold and wary look. But it thawed visibly as he read. He opened the missive, and ran his eye over it. The perusal moved him not a little: a generous flush mounted to his brow; he rang the bell sharply. A clerk answered it; the gentleman wrote on a slip of paper, and said, earnestly, "Bring me every letter that is signed with that name, and all our correspondence about him."

He then turned to Mrs. Dodd, and put her a few questions, which drew out the main facts I have just related. The papers were now brought in. "Excuse me a moment," said he, and ran over them. "I believe the man is sane," said he, "and that you will have enabled us to baffle a conspiracy, a heartless conspiracy."

"We do hope he will be set free, Sir," said Mrs. Dodd, piteously.

"He shall, madam, if it is as I suspect. I will stay here all night but I will master this case, and lay it before the Board myself without delay."

Julia looked at her mother, and then asked if it would be wrong to inquire "the poor gentleman's name."

"Humph!" said the official; "I ought not to reveal that without his consent. But stay! he will owe you much, and it really seems a pity he should not have an opportunity of expressing his gratitude. Perhaps you will favor me with your address; and trust to my direction: of coarse, if he does not turn out as sane as he seems, I shall never let him know it."

Mrs. Dodd then gave her address; and she

and Julia went home with a glow about the heart selfish people, thank Heaven, never know.

Unconsciously these two had dealt their enemy and Alfred's a heavy blow; had set the train to a mine. Their friend at the office was a man of another stamp than Alfred had fallen in with.

Meantime Alfred was subjected to hourly mortifications and irritations. He guessed the motive, and tried to baffle it by calm self-possession: but this was far more difficult than heretofore, because his temper was now exacerbated and his fibre irritated by broken sleep (of this poor David was a great cause), and his heart inflamed and poisoned by that cruel, that corroding passion, jealousy.

To think that while he was in prison a rival was ever at his Julia's ear, making more and more progress in her heart. This corroder was his bitter companion day and night; and perhaps of all the maddeners human cunning could have invented this was the worst. It made his temples beat and his blood run boiling poison. Indeed, there were times when he was so distempered by passion that homicide seemed but an act of justice, and suicide a legitimate relief. For who could go on forever carrying Hell in his bosom up and down a prison yard? He began to go alone: to turn impatiently from the petty troubles and fathomless egotism of those afflicted persons he had hitherto forced his sore heart to pity. Pale, thin, and wobegone, he walked the weary gravel, like the lost ones in that Hall of Eblis, whose hearts were a devouring fire. Even an inspector with a naked eye would no longer have distinguished him at first sight from a lunatic of the unhappiest class, the melancholiac.

Ipse suum cor edens hominum vestigia vitans.

Mrs. Archbold looked on and saw this sad sight not with the pity it would once have caused, but with a sort of bitter triumph lightened by no pleasure, and darkened by the shadow of coming remorse. Yet up to this time she had shown none of that inconstancy of purpose which marks her sex; while she did go far to justify the poet's charge:

"Nor Hell a fury like a woman scorned."

Rooke had a hint to provoke Alfred to violence such as would justify them in subjecting so popular a patient to bodily restraint, composing draughts, and other quick maddeners. Rooke entered into the game zealously from two motives; he was devoted to Mrs. Archbold, and he hated Alfred, who had openly defied him and mortified his vanity about Frank Beverley.

One Saturday Alfred was ordered out to walk with Rooke and Hayes and Vulcan. He raised no objection; suspected, felt homicidal, suppressed the impulse, and by this self-command he got time to give that letter to Beverley with instructions.

But, all the walk, he was saying to himself that Julia was in the house, and he was kept away from her, and a rival with her; this made him sicken and rage by turns. He came back in a state verging on fury.

On entering the yard poor Beverley, who had done his bit of cunning, and by reaction now relapsed into extra simplicity, came running, and said, "I've done it; she has got it."

What have you done? Who has got what?" "Don't tell, Frank."

"If you don't I'll shake your life out, ye young blackguard," cried Rooke, seizing him, and throttling him till he was black in the face.

Alfred's long-pent fury broke out: he gnashed his teeth and dashed his fist in Rooke's face.

Rooke bellowed with pain and anger, and, rushing at him incautiously, received a stinger that staggered him, and nearly closed his right eye. He took the hint, and put himself in a posture that showed he was skilled in the art of self-defense. He stopped two blows neatly, and returned a heavy one upon the ribs. Alfred staggered back some steps, but steadied himself, and, as Rooke rushed in too hastily to improve his advantage, caught him heavily on the other eye, but lost his own balance a little, which enabled Rooke to close; then came a sharp, short rally of re-echoing blows, and Rooke, not to be denied, got hold of his man, and a wrestling bout ensued, in which, Alfred being somewhat weakened by misery and broken rest, Rooke's great weight and strength enabled him after a severe struggle to fall with his antagonist under him, and knock the breath out of his body for the moment. Then Hayes, who had stood prudently aloof, came in and helped handcuff him; they could not walk up and down him for the Robin, who stood by with a professional air to see fair play.

"Ah, cold iron is your best chance," he said, satirically. "Never you mind, Sir: you hit quick and well : I'd back you at long odds in the ring : both his peepers are in deep mourning." He added, "A cow can beat a man wrestling."

When Alfred was handcuffed they turned him loose. It soon transpired, however, that he was now a dangerous maniac (Formula), and to he confined in the noisy ward.

On hearing this he saw the trap he had fallen into; saw and trembled: he asked himself what on earth he should do ; and presently the saying came back to him, "Arid this is the highest stroke of art to turn evil into good." He argued thus : Wolf's love of money is my great evil : he will destroy me for money, do any thing for money. Then suppose I offer him money to be honest. He begged an interview with Dr. Wolf on business. This was accorded at once. He asked the doctor plump whether he received a large sum to detain him under pretense of in-sanity.

" Not very, considering the trouble you some-times give, Mr. Hardie," was the dry reply.

" Well, then, justice shall outbid rascality for once. I Am a sane man, and you know it ; a

man of my word, and you know it. I'll give you a thousand pounds to let me out of this place."

Dr. Wolf's eyes sparkled.

"You shall have any bond or security you like; and the money within a week of my deliverance."

Dr. Wolf said he should be delighted to do it, if he could conscientiously.

At this piece of hypocrisy Alfred's check reddened, and he could not speak.

"Well, well, I do see a great change in you for the better," said Dr. Wolf. "If, as I suspect, you are convalescent, I will part with you without a thousand pounds or a thousand pence."

Alfred stared. Had he mistaken his man?

"I'll tell you what, though," said the smooth doctor. "I have got two pictures, one by Raphael, one by Correggio."

"I know them," said the quick-witted Alfred; "they are worth more than a thousand pounds." "Of course they are, but I would take a thousand pounds from you."

"Throw me in my liberty, and I'll make it guineas."

"We will see about that." And with this understanding the men of business parted. Dr. Wolf consulted Mrs. Archbold then and there.

"Impossible," said she; "the law would dissolve such a bargain, and you would be exposed and ruined."

"But a thousand pounds!" said the poor doctor.

"Oh, he offered me more than that," said Mrs. Archbold.

"You don't mean to say so; when was that?"

"Do you remember one Sunday that I walked him out to keep clear of Mrs. Dodd? Have you not observed that I have not repeated the experiment?"

"Yes. But I really don't know why."

"Will you promise me faithfully not to take any notice if I tell you?"

The doctor promised.

Then she owned to him with manifest reluctance that Alfred had taken advantage of her kindness, her indiscretion, in walking alone with him, and made passionate love to her. "He offered me not a thousand pounds," said she, "but his whole fortune and his heart, if I would fly with him from these odious walls; that was his expression."

Then seeing out of a corner of her eye that the doctor was turning almost green with jealousy, this artist proceeded to describe the love-scene between her and Alfred, with feigned hesitation, yet minute detail; only she inverted the parts; Alfred in her glowing page made the hot love; she listened abashed, confused, and tried all she could think of to bring him to better sentiments. She concluded this chapter of history inverted with a sigh, and said, "So now he hates me, I believe, poor fellow."

"Do you regret your refusal?" asked Dr. Wolf, uneasily.

"Oh no, my deal. friend. Of course my judgment says that few women at my age and in my position would have refused. But we poor women seldom go by our judgments." And she east a tender look down at the doctor's feet.

In short, she worked on him so, that he left Alfred at her disposition, and was no sooner gone to his other asylum six miles off than the calumniated was conducted by Hayes and Rooke through passage after passage, and door after door, to a wing of the building connected with the main part only by a covered way. As they neared it, strange noises became audible. Faint at first, they got louder and louder. Singing, roaring, howling like wolves. Alfred's flesh began to creep. He stopped at the covered way: he would have fought to his last gasp sooner than go further; but he was handcuffed. He appealed to the keepers: but he had used them both too roughly; they snarled and forced him on, and shut him into a common flagged cell, with a filthy truckle-bed in it, and all the vessels of gutta-percha. Here he was surrounded by the desperate order of maniacs he at present scarcely knew but by report. Throughout that awful night he could never close his eyes for the horrible unearthly sounds that assailed him. Singing, swearing, howling like wild beasts! His right-hand neighbor reasoned high of faith and works, ending each pious argument with a sudden rhapsody of oaths, and never slept a wink. His left-hand neighbor alternately sang and shouted, "Cain was a murderer, Cain was a murderer;" and howled like a wolf, making night hideous. His opposite neighbor had an audience, and every now and then delivered, in a high nasal key, "Let us curse and pray;" varying it sometimes thus: "Brethren, let us work double tides." And then he would deliver a long fervent prayer, and follow it up immediately with a torrent of blasphemies so terrific that coming in such a contrast they made Alfred's body wet with perspiration to hear a poor creature so defy his Creator. No rest, no peace. When it was still the place was like the grave; and ever and anon, loud, sharp, tremendous, burst a thunder-clap of curses, and set those poor demented creatures all yelling again for half an hour, making the tombs ring. And at clock-like intervals a harmless but dirty idiot, who was allowed to roam the ward, came and chanted through the keyhole, "Every thing is nothing, and nothing is every thing."

This was the only observation he had made for many years.

His ears assailed with horrors, of which you have literally no conception, or shadow of a conception, his nose poisoned with ammoniacal vapors, and the peculiar wild-beast smell that marks the true maniac, Alfred ran wildly about his cell trying to stop his ears and trembling for his own reason. When the fearful night rolled away, and morning broke, and he could stand on his truckle-bed and see God's hoar-frost on a

square yard of grass level with his prison bars, it refreshed his very soul, and affected him almost to tears. He was then, to his surprise, taken out, and allowed to have a warm bath and to breakfast with David and the rest; but I suspect it was done to watch the effect of the trial he had been submitted to. After breakfast, having now no place to go, he lay on a bench, and there exhausted nature overpowered him, and he fell fast asleep.

Mrs. Archbold came by on purpose, and saw him. He looked very pale and peaceful. There was a cut on his forehead due to Rooke's knuckles. Mrs. Archbold looked down, and the young figure and haughty face seemed so unresisting and peaceful sad, she half relented. That did not, however, prevent her setting her female spies to watch him more closely than ever.

He awoke cold but refreshed, and found little Beverley standing by him with wet eyes. Alfred smiled and held out his hand like a captive monarch to his faithful vassal. "They sha'n't put you in the noisy ward again," sobbed Frank. "This is your last night here."

"Hy, Frank, you rascal, my boots!" roared Rooke from an open window.

"Coming, Sir—coming!"

Alfred's next visitor was the Robin. He came whispering, "It is all right with Garrett, Sir, and he has got a key of the back gate: but you must get back to your old room, or we can't work."

"Would to Heaven I could, Robin; another night or two in the noisy ward will drive me mad, I think."

"Well, Sir, I'll tell you what you do: which we all have to do it at odd times: hold a candle to the devil; here she comes: I think she is every where all at one time." The Robin then sauntered away, affecting nonchalance: and Alfred proceeded to hold the candle as directed. "Mrs. Archbold," said he, timidly, rising from his seat at her approach.

"Sir," said she, haughtily, and affecting surprise.

"I have a favor to ask you, madam. Would you be so kind as to let me go back to my room?"

"What, you have found I am not so powerless as you thought."

"I find myself so weak, and you so powerful, that—you can afford to be generous."

"I have no more power over you than you have over me."

"I wish it was so."

"I'll prove it," said she. "Who has got the key of your room? Hayes?" She whistled, and sent for him; and gave him the requisite order before Alfred. Alfred thanked her warmly.

She smiled, and went away disposed to change her tactics, and, having shown him how she could torment, try soothing means, and open his heart by gratitude.

But presently looking out of her window she saw the Robin and him together; and somehow they seemed to her subtle, observant eyes to be plotting. The very suspicion was fatal to that officer. His discharge was determined on. Meanwhile she set her spies to watch him, and tell her if they saw or heard any thing.

Now Mrs. Archbold was going out to tea that evening, and, as soon as ever this transpired, the keepers secretly invited the keeperesses to a party in the first-class patients' drawing-room. This was a rare opportunity, and the Robin and Garrett put their heads together accordingly.

In the dusk of the evening the Robin took an opportunity and slipped a new key of the back gate into Alfred's hand, and told him the trick was to be done that very night: he was to get Thompson to go to bed early: and, instead of taking off his clothes, was to wait in readiness. "We have been plying Hayes already," said the Robin, "and, as soon as she is off, we shall hocus him, and get the key; and while they are all larking in the drawing-room, off you go to Merrimashee."

"Oh, you dear Robin! You have taken my breath away. But how about Vulcan?"

"Oh, we know how to male him amiable: a dog-fancier, a friend of mine, has provided the ondeniable where dogs is concerned, which it is the liver of a bitch killed at heat if you must know; whereby Garrett draws the varmint into the scullery, and shuts him in, while I get the key from the other. It's all right."

"Ah, Robin," said Alfred, "it sounds too good to be true. What? this my last day here!"

The minutes seemed to creep very slowly till eight o'clock came. Then he easily persuaded David to go to bed; Hayes went up and unlocked the door for them: it closed with a catch-lock. Hayes was drunk, but full of discipline, and insisted on the patients putting out their clothes; so Alfred made up a bundle for his portmanteau, and threw it out. Hayes eyed it suspiciously, but was afraid to stoop and inspect it closer; for his drunken instinct told him he would pitch on his head that moment: so he retired grumbling and dangling his key.

At the end of the corridor he met Mrs. Archbold full dressed, and with a candle in her hand. She held the candle up and inspected him; and a little conversation followed that sobered Mr. Hayes for a minute or two.

Mrs. Archbold was no sooner gone to her little tea-party than all the first-class ladies and gentlemen were sent to bed to get a good sleep for the good of their health, and the keepers and keeperesses took their place and romped, and made such a row sleep was not easy within hearing of them. They sat on the piano, they sang songs to a drum accompaniment played on the table, they danced, drank, flirted, and enjoyed themselves like school-boys. Hayes alone was gloomy, and morose: so the Robin and Garrett consoled him, drank with him, and soothed him with the balm of insensibility: in which condition


 

 

 

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