General Lytle


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, November 14, 1863

We have been collecting Civil War newspapers for over 20 years. We have now been able to post this extensive collection online to allow students and researchers to access this important source of information and illustrations. Reading these old newspapers will allow you to gain insights not otherwise possible.

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


Freed Slaves

Freed Slaves

Brady Studio

Mathew Brady Studio


Battle of Bridgeport

Lytle Death

Death of General Lytle

General Lytle

General Lytle

Henry Beecher

Henry Beecher


Medicine Cartoon

Lookout Mountain

Battle of Lookout Mountain

French Fleet

French Fleet

Ship Building

Ship Building





[NOVEMBER 14, 1863.



put an end to these disorders. The Rev. Mr. Davis has taken refuge with me, and this afternoon I shall bring him and Bessie over. The only misfortune is that we must defer our tour, as I must remain to protect my property."

He was speaking to Victoria, but at this last he looked toward Nest. She sat motionless. He hardly knew if she had heard. All past, all future time, eternity itself, were centred in these few hours between now and her marriage. Geoffrey had come, bringing the clergyman and Bessie. They were urging her to dress; they made her go up stairs, where she sat passive under their hands, turning and moving as they told her: a woman of marble might have been dressed as was Nest Grainger for her wedding.

Dale had written to Nest over and again. The letters had not reached her for the best of reasons. Geoffrey, who always brought them their mails, had recognized post-mark and handwriting, and quietly destroyed those of Dale's; put them out of the way just as he did his honor when it interfered with his will. Close on that, Dale was wounded and spent three months in the hospital, and several more at home, in recruiting his health. The first letter that he got on joining his regiment was that in which she told him of her promise to Geoffrey. He wrote at once, and Geoffrey burned that like the rest. Leave of absence was not to be hoped for; but Dale kept up courage, for they were ordered on to Tennessee. Fort Henry fell, and they planted themselves before Fort Donelson. The Confederate Generals were fully alive to the importance of the post and poured in reinforcements. The garrison worked manfully, and at night constructed batteries as if by magic. Dale was mad with impatience. These walls stood between him and Nest; and if the siege were prolonged till Johnston were reinforced affairs might wear an ugly aspect: ankle-deep in mud and water he worked foremost among our gallant men. The iron-clads stormed away at the fort, the rebel guns answered stoutly. End as it would, the contest was plainly to be no short or easy one. Then could he but have fancied himself a match for Johnston's army, I think Dale might have forgotten military duty and run away—so intolerable was his anxiety.

On the third night the beleaguered garrison made a sortie. They had hoped to surprise the hostile camp; but General Grant, making a reconnoisance in person, espied them even in the storm and darkness. Came then a short, sharp struggle; it was too cold to reload the rifles, and they fought with bayonet and bowie-knife, struggling soundlessly in the snow. The garrison were driven back, and Dale got a cut in the arm that did him good: gave him less time to think about Nest.

The siege dragged on two weary days, then Floyd and Pillow cut their way out and Buckner surrendered. Terms of capitulation—surrender—all took time. Dale's uneasiness rose to positive

agony. He asked and obtained leave to precede the Federal advance on Nashville; but even there difficulties beset him. He knew nothing of Nest's whereabouts, and in the general confusion and terror found it almost impossible to obtain information.

He rode from street to street like a madman—was misdirected; and when at last he stumbled on the old Grainger place it was deserted. Nest had gone to Oak Hall. Then more questioning, more fruitless searching, and a ride of several

miles without the city before he reached the "Oaks."

Geoffrey Fenwick himself answered his eager, imperative knock, and had no need of the Federal uniform to divine who stood before him. He stepped back.

"You will find Nest there, Mr. Hawthorne," he said, with a strange smile.

Dale scanned him hastily. Nest had no brother; besides his instinct taught him that this was a foe. This, then, was the "Geoffrey" of whom she had written. He did what he had never done in battle, turned white, and stood trembling, unable to advance a step. Geoffrey stood silent, surveying him with a cold and cruel look. Then a low murmur in the drawing-room rose into a sudden, passionate exclamation, and with a swift rush and rustle, as though she had broken from some detaining grasp, Nest came to the doorway. Her eyes rested first on Geoffrey, and from him went to that other still figure facing him. She did not cry out, but grew so mortally pale that Geoffrey thought her fainting, and moved hastily toward her; but without looking at him she went straight to Dale. "So you came," she said, low. "You were true, after all. Bless you for that! though it is too late."

"On the contrary," observed Geoffrey, "Mr. Hawthorne is just in time—to congratulate you."

"The misery that I have wrought," went on Nest, looking no more at her husband than if he had been the stone hound over the doorway, "will recoil chiefly on myself, as it should. You can, you must, forget the woman who would not prefer your memory, dead, or even false, to this man's devotion."

Dale put his hand to his head like one stunned. "Why should you think me false, Nest? I wrote you, again and again."

"I never received a line," she answered, growing whiter yet, if that were possible. "Yet I might have known! Oh! fool that I was! Small use now, however, to blame or question. Here is your ring. Give it to some woman worthier to wear it; and when you tell her of me, speak as gently as you can. Say she was weak, very weak, but I believe she honestly loved me."

The last words came out falteringly, and even as she spoke she threw up her hands and staggered blindly. Dale sprang forward, caught her, kissed her despite of Geoffrey; and then, relinquishing her to the frightened women, went sighing away, before her merciful unconsciousness should be over. Nest lives to the outward world as Geoffrey's wife; but between her and him she has built a wall of separation that he may never hope to pass; and Bessie and Victoria whisper fearfully to each other that she seldom speaks, and never of her own accord. Dale is fighting on, and courts Death in the front of every battle, who sends him honors instead, at which he smiles grimly.


General Lytle
Foraging Party




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