Civil War Overview
Civil War 1861
Civil War 1862
Civil War 1863
Civil War 1864
Civil War 1865
Civil War Battles
Robert E. Lee
Civil War Medicine
Civil War Links
Civil War Art
Republic of Texas
Civil War Gifts
Robert E. Lee Portrait
THE 4th of July,
1863, with all the hallowed associations of the past and its promise in the
throbbing present, has passed away; but it came to me so freighted with the
memory of an eventful day in my life that I can not sail smoothly on with old
Tempus without first unburdening myself. Trusting that now and then some fretted
traveler as he journeys on may be tempted to peep into and profit by my budget,
I cast it upon the highway.
I had been dining out. The meats served on the occasion were good, the wines
superb, the speeches brilliant, and, better than all, my own unpremeditated
remarks, which, by a singular coincidence, had haunted me for the past four
days, had been received with decided
eclat. It was on the night of the 3d of July, 185-. The shop-windows were
gorgeous with their display of fire-works, and under the peculiar flicker and
multiplication of the gas-lights the rockets and pin-wheels seemed to be having
a premature frolic on their own account.
On the whole, I felt peculiarly happy and amiable. A bright-eyed, rosy
beggar-child asked me for sixpence: she was
starving, she said. My heart was touched, and I threw her a small handful
of silver. Three young gentlemen came swaying arm in arm along the side-walk,
jostling me rather roughly. At any other time I might have been indignant; but
now, were they not men and brothers? I bowed gracefully, and at the same time, I
felt confident, with dignity, and stepped off the curb-stone to allow them to
pass. At last I reached my own door. The lock was out of order; for my key would
not turn it. I rang, first the door-knob, then the bell, violently. My next-door
neighbor, Mr. Green, came to the door in his calico wrapper.
"Ah, Mister Green," I exclaimed, steadying the tottering door-post, "delighted
t'see you. Is my—my wife in?"
Mr. Green seized me somewhat roughly by the arm, thereby seriously
inconveniencing me (as he pitched about considerably), and led me to a
"Where is your
night-key, Mr. F—?"
he asked, gruffly.
There were about six pockets in my vest
on that occasion; but after a while I discovered the right one, and
produced the key, with a polite bow.
The next instant I found myself inside, the door closed, and the only visible
link between myself and the second story, swinging violently backward and
forward in the shape of a dying gas-jet suspended from the ceiling. My effort to
resuscitate the spark resulted in total darkness.
After groping about for a while I found the stairway, and, clutching the
baluster, commenced to ascend. This feat was attended with so much difficulty
that I was induced to bring the full force of my reasoning powers to bear upon
the performance, and soon discovered that I had been trying to mount the
hat-rack. Abandoning the enterprise, with a smile of superiority over my weaker
self, I proceeded in my search, and finally planted my foot firmly upon the
lowest step. Alas! step number two convinced me of my error, and our Tommy's new
velocipede toppled over with a crash, casting me prostrate beside it. Then I saw
a flash of light, and soon, approaching nearer and nearer (as though let down by
a rope from the upper regions), the white-robed, graceful form of my oldest
daughter, Kitty. Rising and offering her my arm we ascended the stairs together.
As she left me at the room-door I turned and solemnly gave her my paternal
blessing. She was visibly affected, even bursting into tears and exclaiming,
"Oh, father!" as she hurried away.
The next morning I found myself on the spare-room bed with all my clothes on,
except my cravat and one boot. The cravat was on the hearth and the boot was on
the mantle-piece. Guns were booming, fire-crackers were snapping, the din of
powder and merry voices of children filled the air. I could hear my own
youngsters shouting out lustily in the garden, and in the hall the "first bell"
was tingling its summons through the house.
It was the 4th of July sure enough, and I, as head of the family, must present
myself in suitable array at the breakfast-table and inaugurate the jollities of
the day. I seized the boot in one hand and the cravat in the other, and
proceeded meekly to the apartment generally used in common by Mrs.
F— and myself,
"Ah ! Mrs. F—," said I, bowing rather sheepishly in my attempt to pass the
affair off as a joke, "Good-morning, ma'am!"
"Good-morning, John," replied my wife, quietly, not a shade of crossness in her
tone. "I must go down and watch the children or they may do some mischief with
their pistols and fire-crackers; but come to breakfast as soon as you can."
With these words she left the room. I was almost sorry that she didn't scold or
"go on" a little concerning my spree. This sad, gentle way of speaking made me
uncomfortable, cough and strut about the room as I would, for I knew well enough
the pain and disgust gnawing at her heart, and that during the past year I had
given her too frequent cause for the reproaches that never came, though I was
prepared to receive them, after each offense.
Cold water, however, and clean clothes braced me up somewhat, and soon after the
"second bell" rang I strode majestically through the halls, severe in my dignity
of the household. Reaching the basement door, I paused a moment,
half-dreading to meet the rows of young faces on either side of the table, and
my wife's sweet, pale countenance beaming so quietly over them all. This
momentary weakness over, with a pompous "ahem" I mustered the requisite manner
There was no one at the table, and only Kitty was in the room—Kitty, my usually
joyous girl, now standing in a pensive attitude by the window.
It was important that my children should respect me, and I felt, of course,
anxious to obliterate
from her mind any impression of weakness I might have given her the previous
"This is a glorious day, Kitty!" I exclaimed, expansively—"a glorious day, my
child; the day on which we as a nation declared ourselves independent. To-day we
must all be jubilant, victorious! We must not mope in the house—we must ride or
sail somewhere in a grand family excursion, and breathe the sunshine and the
glorious air of Freedom, eh?"
Kitty did not even turn her head; but I continued to speak, as I strode up and
down the apartment.
"Do you not enter into the spirit of the day, child? Read your history—read of
George Washington, and the glorious men who suffered and died that we might be
free—FREE!" I repeated, seating myself, and bringing my fist down with emphasis
upon the arm of the chair. "Yes, we must all celebrate this day; and now, Kitty,
do not be afraid, tell me where you would like to go, or how we shall best enjoy
By this time Kitty's face seemed fairly glued to the window. I was seriously
displeased, insulted! —I who had ever enforced filial respect as the first
doctrine of the household, and here was open defiance in the least-expected
quarter; and that, too, after I had unbent myself to an unusual degree.
"Katharine!" I exclaimed, in a terrible voice, sturdily thrusting back
unpleasant memories of the past night, "what do you mean by this conduct?"
She turned; her lips were white and her eyes swimming with tears. In a moment
she was beside me, her hand upon my shoulder.
"Father," said she, looking me full in the face, "do you mean what you say when
you ask me in what manner I would wish to celebrate this glorious
"Certainly, child," I answered, turning uncomfortably in my seat and striving to
look patriarchal and indifferent.
"Then, father, dear father," cried Kitty, winding her arms about my neck, "make
this truly an Independence-Day for yourself, for us all. Be a slave no more, but
be FREE in
the sight of God and your own soul!"
Where was all my paternal dignity now? Kitty was sobbing upon my bosom; and from
my bowed face tears were falling upon her golden hair.
"Do, father, do, "she pleaded. "It
is not too late, we all love you yet; and mother's heart is breaking—"
Even then, as I strained Kitty to my bosom, that mother entered the room. Not a
word was spoken, yet she understood all, and cast herself on her knees beside
me, looking earnestly into my eyes.
"John," said she, "I have never reproached you—will you promise?"
"Yes!" I cried, folding my darlings to my heart in a close embrace—"before God,
and to you my wife
and child, I promise what you wish!"
"Never to drink wine any more?" cried Kitty, holding my face between her hands,
a joyous light sparkling through her tears.
"Never?" echoed my wife, clasping my bands in hers.
answered. "With God's help, I will never taste wine nor strong liquor of any
kind again. From this hour I shall be free! Oh, Mary, can you ever forgive me
for the past?"
She did not reply, but she leaned and kissed me in a way that made my resolution
Just then the children—dear, unconscious little ones!—bounded into the room.
"Hurrah, father!" they shouted. "Hurrah for the Fourth of July! Hi! Ain't we
having grand fun though?"
"Hurrah!" I responded, huskily, kissing each of the crazy little creatures in
turn. "And now let us hasten to our breakfast, for we must have a jolly time
"Indeed we shall!" laughed
my wife, as she
bustled about, with color in her cheek, and the old, girlish light kindling in
her eye; "indeed we shall. Why, John, I never felt so happy in my life!"
All this happened some years ago. Time has done many queer things in our family
since then. He has put the baby into pantaloons; carried our oldest boy to
college; married Kitty to a thriving young lawyer; woven little silvery threads
in Mary's hair and mine; and, better than all, has never brought us one unhappy
anniversary of my blessed Independence-Day!
HUMORS OF THE DAY.
WANTED.—A Traveling Companion, to be in perpetual
good spirits, and warranted to defray all the expenses
of the longest journey. The
adopting the plans
of Tours, suggested by the
and Where Guide. The
Companion must be amiable, only
five feet four in height, and physically weak
of a quarrel. The Advertiser
is fond of Change, and the
must have plenty of it in his pockets.
is from an officer in the
Mississippi fleet: After the
battle and capture
of Fort Henry and Donelson,
the fleet were lying at Cairo. The prisoners were
passing the fleet, and among them there was a contraband,
of the officers. In passing the
Essex he shook his head, and
remarked, "I doesn't like dat one-pipe
boat, fur when she
cum along and throwed dem
rotten shell on hers we
couldn't stan' it no longer; den massa
run, and after dat
I leff too!"
Just previous to the battle I had filled my shells with
an incendiary matter
own invention, which had not
the most agreeable smell, and hence the old darkey's remark. I used the
same shell on my attack and destruction
"Now, Charley, you're just in time
for breakfast—have a
I assure yah—my de-ar feelah. If I were to take a cup of coffee in the morning
it would keep me awake all day."
Wanted, by an attorney, a clerk to engross other people's
MAIL"—a lover calling on his sweet-heart.
An inventive Yankee has produced an apparatus which
says is a cure for snoring.
He fastens upon the nose a
gutta-percha tube leading to the tympanum of the ear.
Whenever the snorer snores he himself receives the first
impression, finds how disagreeable it is, and, of course, reforms.
English milliners have sometimes
as much esprit as their
French sisters. "I
remember," says Lord Eldon,
"I was coming away from the queen's drawing-room in
my full dress as king's counsel (Lord Clarendon, then Mr.
Villiers, was with me), and we came into the room where
the milliners were collected to see the fashions. 'Why,
Villiers,' said I, 'I think that all the prettiest women are
here.' One of the girls—and a most amazingly beautiful
creature she was—stood up and said to another, 'I am sure that gentleman
is a judge.'"
"Remember, madam, that you are the weaker vessel," said an irate husband.
"Exactly," said the lady, "but do not you forget that the weaker vessel may have
the stronger spirit in it."
"Can I show you any thing more to-day, Sir?" asked
the civil gentleman behind the counter. "Yes, Sir,"
was the reply: "will you be good enough to show me the
silk umbrella I left here three weeks ago?"
Quilp, having spoken rather disparagingly of the female
sex in the hearing of a lady friend, was rebuked for his
impertinence by the question, "What would be the effect
upon the men if all the 'little dears' should perish?"
"Ah," said Quilp, "I acknowledge that the result would
be a universal stag-nation!"
A young lady, when invited to partake of the pudding,
replied, "No, many thanks, my dear madam. By no manner
of means. I have already indulged the clamorous calls of a craving appetite,
until a manifest sense of internal
fullness admonishes my stay; my deficiency is entirely
and satisfactorily satisfied."
Why can not two slender persons ever become great acquaintances?—Because
they will always be slight acquaintances.
The following bill, rendered by a carpenter to a farmer
for whom he had worked, seems at least curious—"To hanging two barn-doors and
myself seven hours, six shillings."
A young man and a female once upon a time stopped at
a country tavern. Their awkward appearance excited the
attention of one of the family, who commenced a conversation with the female by
inquiring how far she had traveled
that day? "Traveled!" exclaimed the stranger, somewhat indignantly; "we didn't
travel; we rid!"
If a young lady faints when you "propose to her," you
can restore her to consciousness by just whispering in her
ear you were only joking.
50,000 Agents Wanted.
One Agent wanted in every Regiment, Hospital, and on
board every Naval Vessel. For $1, will send you as sample,
with a Circular giving full instructions to Agents, either a Fine Gold Pen and
Pencil, or a beautiful New
Style Vest Chain, or Chatalaine Chain and Pin, or Guard Chain, or an
Engraved Spring Locket, or a Seal Stone, California
Diamond, or Chased Ring, or a fine Gold California
Diamond Pin, or a New Style Set of Jewelry, or a solid Silver Shield, or either
Army Corps Pin, with your Name,
Co., and Reg., handsomely engraved upon it, or a Kearney
Cross in Gold Plate; and, for 50 cents, I will send a beautiful
Union League Pin, in fine Gold Plate. B. T. HAYWARD, Manufacturing Jeweler,
208 Broadway, N. Y.
Sabre Cuts, Gunshot Wounds, and all other kinds
of Wounds; also Sores, Ulcers, and Scurvy, heals safely
and quickly under the soothing influence of HOLLOWAY'S OINTMENT. It heals
to the bone, so that the wound
never opens again. Soldiers, supply yourselves. Only 25 cents per pot.
IF YOU WANT GOOD SINGING
Your Choir—Your School—Your Home,
USE "THE HARP OF JUDAH."
A new Collection of Church and School Music.
BY L. O. EMERSON,
Author of "Golden Wreath," &c.
Specimen Pages sent free. Price of the Book $1. Per
dozen, $9. OLIVER DITSON & CO., Publishers, Boston.
N. B. Magnetical instruments for medical use.
Fine Steel Engravings.
Exquisitely accurate, with fac-simile autographs, of the
prominent officers of the ARMY, NAVY, or STATE. Sent by mail to any part
of the country at 25 cts. each, $2 per dozen,
or $12 per hundred. Also CARD PHOTOGRAPHS, at $2 per dozen. I. W. LUCAS & CO.,
173 Broadway, N. Y. P. O.
GREAT INDUCEMENTS!! Offered to everybody to sell our Great and
NEW STATIONERY PRIZE PACKETS.
Premiums offered, which surpass any thing ever given by other houses.
Send for our New Circular.
G. S. HASKINS & CO.,
36 Beekman Street, N. Y.
Glass and other Letters and Numbers for attaching to
Windows, Signs, Marble and other surfaces. Glass Signs and Show Cards,
with frames, to order at low prices. Office
107 Fulton Street, N. Y. GLASS LETTER CO.
NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE.
One Copy for one Year ....................$3.00
Two Copies for One Year .................5.00
An Extra Copy, gratis, for every Club of TEN SUBSCRIBERS,
at $2.50 each, or 11 Copies for $25.00.
HARPER'S MAGAZINE and HARPER'S WEEKLY, together, one year, $5.00.
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS.
Circulation over 100,000.
Single Copies Six Cents.
One Copy for One Year ......................$3.00
One Copy for Two Years .....................5.00
And an Extra Copy will be allowed for every Club of
TEN SUBSCRIBERS, at $2.50 each, or 11 Copies for $25.
TERMS TO ADVERTISERS.—Seventy-five Cents per line
for inside, and One Dollar per line for outside Advertisements.
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS.
DADDY SUMTER.—"Oh dear, dear, when will this terrible attack be over? I'm nearly
DADDY WAGNER.—"Ah! I fear there's no cure for us but a warm application of the
stars and stripes yonder."