Battle of Fort Pillow


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, April 30, 1864

You are viewing our online collection of Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. These newspapers served as the primary source of information for people during the Civil War era. These rare documents are used today by researchers and historians.

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Rebel Brutality

Rebel Brutality

Grand Ecore

Battle of Pleasant Hill and Grand Ecore

Red River

Red River Expedition

Fort Pillow

Battle of Fort Pillow




Civil War Fair

Fort Pillow Massacre

Ringgold Georgia


Press in the Field




APRIL 30, 1864.]

Mrs. Brande shook her head. " I don't believe it would answer at all, Kathie. Calvert's very nice in his notions, and I don't think he'd like it at all. No, no, child; just you be patient, and I'll tell him, and I'll make it all right, if it can be made right. But I doubt it myself."

" So you won't take me with you ?" said Kathie, with a queer smile, still patting the widow's cheek with her soft fingers, and looking at her out of thoughtful, dark eyes.

" I'd like to, my dear; indeed I would. I'm getting to like you wonderfully well myself. But it wouldn't do at all to take you out there with me; I wouldn't dare to do it."

" Can you tell me where to write to him, then ?"

"No, I can't, dear; and I doubt if he writes me at all. He won't feel much like writing now, poor fellow !"

"Then I'll do the other thing," said Kathie, with a half-defiant look.

" What other thing, dear ?" asked Mrs. Brande. She was suspicious in her innocence that Kathie might mean to drown herself, or get lost in the woods, or marry Mr. Hawley, or something of that desperate sort. So her eyes opened very wide as she asked, " What other thing, dear ?"

" A very dreadful thing indeed, and you'll say so when you know," said Katharine, solemnly. Good-morning, Mrs. Brande."

" What ! You ain't going ? Well, don't do what you're thinking of, dear. I wouldn't. Just be patient a little while, and who knows what may hap-pen ? I wish you would tell me what you said to Mr. Hawley, child?"

"I'll tell you when I tell Calvert, dear Mrs. Brande." And with a low laugh and her eyes full of tears, Kathie ran away.


MRS. BRANDE got ready in due time to follow her son. She heard, meanwhile, with some consternation and some relief, that Katharine Vaux had gone to visit some cousins in another part of the State.

" She might have come to bid me good-by, after all," she said, considerably piqued.

When she met her son afterward, at a point agreed upon previously, to journey with him to-ward Ashley, she began, at the first opportunity, to say something to him about Kathie.

" Not a word, mother ; I won't hear a word," he said, sternly. "Her treatment of me was enough, and it don't matter how sorry she is now. A woman who could let me go so easily as she did couldn't care much about me, and that is the end of it. Don't mention her name to me."

Perhaps but for her pique at Kathie's not coming to say good-by Mrs. Brande would have persisted some longer. It is impossible to say or to know whether Calvert Brande would have relented if she had.

Meanwhile Katharine had got a very daring project in her small head, a project which she kept all to herself, even coaxing a suspiciously-large sum of money out of her papa, without telling him her secret.

She was not very accustomed to traveling alone, and Mr.Vaux was of the opinion that she was taking an immense amount of baggage for the shortness of the trip she pretended she was going.

" Maybe it won't be so short," she replied to him. "I may take a fancy to go to the moon or to California before I get back."

" Oh ! I thought you were going to your Aunt Maylie's," said indulgent Mr. Vaux.

" Well, I may go there," said Kathie, nonchalantly. And never suspecting that she could go any where else, Mr. Vaux saw her off, laughing, as at a good joke.

With very vague geographical ideas of the country she was going to, and the route to be taken to get there, Kathie yet made a pretty direct way to Ashley. She never stopped to think whether she was doing an imprudent thing or not. She was a spoiled child, used to having her own way and carrying out the strangest whims. She wouldn't al-low herself even to imagine what Calvert would say. She got to Ashley about the last of June, and found it a new, rather pretty, and quite small country village.

She knew that Calvert's farm was on the out-skirts of the town, and, with some ado, found the snug little house on which her lover had expended so much labor for her.

A charming little nest it was too, with green grass all about it; and a grove behind it, two immense shade trees in front, and a perfect wilderness of flowers.

The windows of the house were curtainless, and peeping in, Katharine saw fresh marks of her lover's hand.

The doors were all fast, but she found a window that she could open, and, blushing guiltily, she raised it, and after much poising of herself on the window-sill, and much hesitating whether to get out or in, she got in, laughing and crying in the same breath as she stood up in the room that Calvert's loving hand had fitted up for her. It seemed almost sacrilege to stand there thus alone, and having stolen, in to the Eden from which she had voluntarily expelled herself.

The rooms were all simply but very prettily furnished—carpets down in all of them excepting the snug little kitchen, the floor of which was painted, and in a corner of which stood a new cooking-stove with the wood placed in it ready to light.

Kathie sat down and cried again when she saw that. " He thought he should bring his wife back with him, and he got every thing as ready as he could."

She had a long cry in a good many of the rooms, where so many things reminded her that Calvert had studied her desires.

She found that the back door fastened with a bolt on the inside, and she opened it to pass in and out.

She had , found plenty of places or a woman's hand to put in order. Calvert had done his best; and a very good "best" it was. But he had been

shy of asking any woman into the little household shrine he was fitting up (he wanted Katharine to see it first), and he himself was but a man, and, though a very wonderful man, of course couldn't be expected to know about such matters as a woman would. Kathie went round with her deft little hand and put the finishing touch upon every thing.

She hung snowy draperies at the windows, and put some dishes in the pantry that Calvert had never thought of. There wasn't a mirror in the house till she put them there, nor a picture on the walls.

She hired a man to help her trim up the yard from the few weeks' luxuriance of grass and over-growth, and she tied up the " said" vines that had begun to clamber over the walls of the house.

That was the beginning of a difficulty that no genius less matchless than Kathie Vaux's could have conquered.

She had been careful hitherto of being seen in her operations ; and the house being somewhat re-tired, she had escaped observation till she went into the yard to work. The afternoon of the first day that she did that one of the townsmen came riding by, and seeing what was going on stopped in some surprise.

" Halloa !" he cried, riding up to the fence, " Calvert Brande hain't come back, has he ?"

The man, whose assistance Kathie had obtained, said he " didn't know nothin' about it ;" and gave a nod toward Kathie, who pretended not to hear.

" Well, you'll find out if you please," said the townsman, sharply. " Mr. Brande left the key of his house with me, and gave strict orders that I wasn't to let no one enter the house or yard during his absence. If he's come, it's mighty odd he hain't bin after the key; and if he hain't come, I should like to know."

Katharine heard every thing, and after an instant's frightened hesitation came forward.

The man started at the exquisite little face that lifted itself toward him—Kathie wasn't unconscious of that; and she bewildered the mane still more by looking straight at him with a pair of the brightest, darkest eyes it had ever been his lot to encounter, while she asked him, with a sufficiently demure air, what he wanted.

With some stammering the man repeated what he had previously said. He stammered, but he evidently meant what he said. Katharine had got to account for her presence there or quit the premises.

She was ready to cry with vexation. She might have told the man that she was Calvert's sister. Doubtful if he would have believed her though, even if she had not scorned to tell the lie.

Desperate emergencies call for desperate expedients. Kathie Vaux was just the rash, impulsive girl for such an emergency.

Dropping her long lashes, she watched the man from under them, while she said, gravely,

"If I had known you had the key I should certainly have been after it before now."

"Ah?" the man said, with a tolerably mystified look.

" Yes," Katharine said, with the same grave demureness, "it has been a great inconvenience to me not having the key—it has really ;" and her bright eyes bewildered the man again. He gave a short, embarrassed laugh, saying,

" I don't want to be impertinent, Miss, but I should like to know who you he, any how?" "My name is Vaux--Miss Vaux, Sir."

"Then you ain't Brande's sister."

" Oh dear, no ! I'm just going to be his house-keeper, you know."

Katharine couldn't help blushing as she said that, and she with great difficulty kept from laughing at the man's astounded "Ah !"

"Why didn't Mr. Brande tell you where to find the key ?" he asked, presently.

" It was singular, wasn't it ? But he never said a word about it, nor I. We didn't either of us think of it, I dare say. I hope you have it with you, Sir."

The man looked bewildered still, but he said he'd send the key over, and rode away, wondering what Brande wanted of such a housekeeper as that. How-ever, he sent the key as he had promised; and after another day's interval came himself to see how things were going. He had his misgivings about letting a stranger, though ever so pretty a one, into Brande's house without better warrant than any Kathie had ever given him, when he came to think it over.

Katharine had vanished, however, probably anticipating something of the sort, and the house was locked. The man went away in a tolerably anxious frame of mind, and was not at all relieved when he got home and found a letter from Brande, saying he should be there on the following day, and not mentioning the housekeeper.

Back he posted, and this time found Kathie, who had not expected him to return so soon. She had been expecting such news as this, however, and was prepared for it. The complete sang froid with which she received it relieved the man's mind some, and he went away and left her to her fate.


IT was about two hours before sunset that Calvert Brande and his mother drove slowly up to the house.

He had called for the key as he came through town, and received the somewhat mystifying intelligence, from the wife of the man with whom he had left it, that it was down at the house.

However, he was devoured by too many conflicting emotions to be critical, so he drove on.

An altogether different coming home was this from the one he had pictured when he went away, and he felt the difference to his heart's core.

Here, he had thought as he unhasped the gate, Kathie would have turned toward him, with loving tears in her bright eyes, to say, " Oh, Calvert "" as she always did when she was glad at something he had done for her.

Had he by any possibility been unjust to Kathie? He had half a mind to write to her, and see what she would say. But no ; he had trusted her to an

unlimited degree, and she had carried matters so far with another man, that he had dared to ask her to be his wife (he knew that from his mother). She must have encouraged George Hawley very much, or he would never have gone so far as that ; and then, hadn't she let him come away, scorned to offer him any explanation of her conduct ? Oh, she hadn't any ! She was married to Hawley, perhaps, by this time. Hawley was rich, and he wasn't a farmer. Kathie didn't like farmers.

He paused upon the step, with his hand upon the door-knob. It seemed to him that he could not bear to enter thus into the scene of so many happy dreams, now forever blasted ; for, as his mother had said, he was very unforgiving ; and having Iost faith in a love that he had thought would stand all tests, he was not likely to make the first advances toward reconciliation, or to forgive easily if such were made to him.

He stood a moment, and finally, opening the door, turned away without looking within, and suffered his mother to enter first.

"Why, Calvert," said Mrs. Brande, " I thought you said there wasn't no curtains to the windows—you didn't put them up, I'll be bound. Calvert, I say!"

Mastering his emotion with a strong effort, Calvert entered in reply to his mother's call.

" You don't mean to tell me you did them your-self?" she questioned, pointing to the curtains that swept snowily down.

Calvert looked, and his eye lightened.

" I gave orders that no one was to be suffered to enter here during my absence," he said, angrily. " And this is not at all as I left it."

He passed on to the next room, noting every where the indescribable change that had come upon every thing, and noting it with an eye that flashed with surprise and anger.

The sound of a retreating footstep, light though it was, fell upon his quick ear, and he passed instantly into the next room, his cheek flushing to think that strange hands had been upon any thing in these rooms that had been so sacred to him.

No one was in the room he entered—a glance showed him that—but there was a small closet opening from it. He crossed instantly to it, wrenched opened the door, which at first slightly resisted his efforts ; wrenched it open—and started back as though a thunder-bolt had fallen at his feet !

A but too familiar form was that drooping there —drooping so low that the soft, bright curls trailed the floor.

Poor Kathie had kept her courage very well until almost the last moment. Many a time, as some-thing like a realization of what she had done came over her, she was ready to fly, to leave the house and Ashley ; but having gone so far she reassured herself always, laughed at her own weakness, and staid. When she saw them drive up to the gate, however, every particle of courage suddenly left her.

She had never planned how she should meet him ; she had vaguely meant to tell him all, how wrong she had been, and ask him to forgive her. Of course he wouldn't be able to resist such an appeal as that; and she had imagined how romantic it would all be.

But now scales seemed suddenly to drop from her eyes, and she saw herseif; when it was too late, convicted before the man whose loving esteem she prized above all others—convicted before him of a course so forward and unmaidenly that it would be impossible for him to do any thing but despise her all the days of his life hereafter.

Mrs. Brande, who had followed close beside Calvert, understood every thing at a glance, and with a look of deprecation at her son—shocked as she was herself passed between him and poor shrinking Kathie.

"Go out, Calvert, please, and leave her to me," she said.

Calvert Brande hesitated a moment, and then, with a strange light in his eyes, and a grave sweetness settling about his mouth, he said, gently, "Go you, mother," and he led her to the door.

" Don't be hard on her, poor thing ; don't be hard on her, Calvert !" Mrs. Brande said.

But he only smiled strangely at her, and shut the door.

Going hack to Kathie, though she shrunk and would not lift her head, he took her quite up in his strong arms and went and sat down.

his face was pale as death, and he let her hide hers yet a little while he questioned,

"What does all this mean, Kathie ?"

No answer.

" Does it mean that you love me ?"

She tried to writhe away from him, and would have knelt upon the floor again, crying :

"It means shame, humiliation, self-reproach, all unhappy things for poor Kathie ! I wasn't satisfied with what I'd done already to make you hate me, and I had to come here. I was mad to come, I know it now. Let me go, Calvert, let me go !"

But he held her and would not let her go. Forcing her face to uncover itself to him, he read an instant through all its humiliation and scarlet shame the old sweetness, the old Kathie Vaux. And then he kissed the little face several times gently, and let her hide it in a strange and rapturous wonder upon his shoulder.

It was long before he could make her entirely comprehend that he loved her just as much as ever, and a great deal more.

"After this, too?" she questioned.

"After this too," he said, smiling; " it was a wild, strange thing to do, but it was just like Kathie Vaux to do it ; and while I disapprove—because she did it out of love for me, because I should not have her here in my arms now if she had not done just as she has—I am glad."

They had no other explanation than that. Calvert Brande had not meant to forgive, but he was fairly taken by surprise, and in a weak moment when his heart was tender with memories of her.

One day, when they had been married some weeks, Mrs. Brande suddenly brightening up, said,

" I declare I had forgotten ! Kathie, you never told me what answer you made George Hawley;


and seeing you made such a secret of it, I should like to know what it was."

Kathie colored, and glanced at her husband.

He only smiled. He could afford to smile now' at mention of George Hawley or George Hawley's money.

Kathie hesitated so long, however, that it made him curious.

" Well, what was it?" he asked.

Kathie stole a hand within his and said, bash-fully,

"He said something, while we were out riding, about Calvert being nothing but a farmer. It made me angry at the time, and when he asked me why I would not marry him, I said I was going to marry Calvert Brande, if he were nothing but a farmer."

Mrs.. Brande said " Oh !" with some significance, and Calvert put to his lips the little hand that nestled in his, and whispered, " My darling!"



HE stooped and kissed her again and again—Oh, it was hard for the two to part' Her tears fell fast as the summer rain,

And her bosom heaved with its weight of pain

As he held her to his heart.

She watched him pass down the village street, Where the elm-trees cast cool lines of shade, Moving along in the ranks while beat

The echoing drum, and the tramp of feet Kept time with the tune it played.

Oh, lovers, now is your time to kiss! Kiss and embrace while yet you may, For there comes an end to all human bliss; Ah, never was cruel war like this

Which darkens our land to day'.


See flash from afar those tongues of fire; Hark to the din of the savage fight;

Pray matron, and maid, and gray-haired sire That through the battle's terrible ire

Great God will defend the Right !

The sunset's gold in the burning west

Is deepening now to twilight's red;

And fades the light on the mountain's crest, While down in the vale, where the shadows rest, Sleep the unburied dead.

And one is there whose unconscious eye

Seems with wonder fixed on the evening star; No more shall his lips breathe a fond "good-by," Nor burn with a lover's vow or sigh

And this is Love and War !


We give on page 284 a sketch of the horrible MASSACRE AT FORT PILLOW. The annals of savage warfare nowhere record a more inhuman, fiendish butchery than this, perpetrated by the representatives of the " superior civilization" of the States in rebellion. It can not be wondered at that our officers and soldiers in the West are determined to avenge, at all opportunities, the cold-blooded murder of their comrades ; and yet we can but contemplate with pain the savage practices which rebel inhumanity thus forces upon the service. The account of the massacre as telegraphed from Cairo is as follows :

On the 12th inst. the rebel General Forrest appeared before Fort Pillow, near Columbus, Kentucky, attacking it with considerable vehemence. This was followed up by frequent demands for its surrender, which were refused by Major Booth, who commanded the fort. The fight was then continued up until 3 P.M., when Major Booth was killed, and the rebels, in large numbers, swarmed over the intrenchments. Up to that time comparatively few of our men had been killed; but immediately upon occupying the place the rebels commenced an indiscriminate butchery of the whites and blacks, including the wounded. Both white and black were bayoneted, shot, or sabred; even dead bodies were horribly mutilated, and children of seven and eight years, and several negro women killed in cold blood. Soldiers unable to speak from wounds were shot dead, and their bodies rolled down the banks into the river. The dead and wounded negroes were piled in heaps and burned, and several citizens, who had joined our forces for protection, were killed or wounded. Out of the garrison of six hundred only two hundred remained alive. Three hundred of those massacred were negroes; five were buried alive. Six guns were captured by the rebels, and carried off, including two 10-pound Parrotts, and two 12-pound howitzers. A large amount of stores was destroyed or carried away.


WE give on page 285 a view of a SIGNAL-STATION of the Army of the Cumberland, whose advance is at Ringgold, Georgia. This town was formerly a place of considerable importance, but is now a scene of utter desolation. The mills, factories, and store-houses are a mass of ruins, having been destroyed during the retreat of the rebel army. Of his sketch, Mr. THEODORE R. DAVIS says: " From the Signal-station of Captain HOWGATE on the Ridge which was so gallantly carried by the troops of General HOOKER just after the Lookout and Mission Ridge fight, the smoke of the various camps of the rebel army near Dalton can be clearly seen. The smoky range of mountains, an occasional picket, and Buzzard's Roost—the Gap at which the late reconnoissance ended—are also visible, as presented on the right of the sketch. As showing the rugged nature of the country in which our Western army has operated with such distinguished success, and something of the nature of the signal-service, our illustration has a marked interest.

Ringgold, of which we also give a view, is probably nearer the centre of the Confederacy than any other point now occupied by our troops.




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