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Civil War Harper's Weekly, August 20, 1864

Harper's Weekly newspaper was the most popular illustrated newspaper of the Civil War years. These newspapers were read by millions of Americans across the country during the war, and today are viewed as an invaluable resource for researchers seeking a deeper understanding of the war.

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

 

Petersburg

Before Petersburg

Peace Platform

Mobile Bay

Mobile Bay Battle

Christian Commission

Christian Commission

Ruins of Chambersburg

Explosion

Petersburg Explosion

Cartoon

Copperhead Cartoon

 

Parrot

Parrot Guns

Wounded

Wounded Soldiers

Cemetery Hill

Cemetery Hill Assault and Explosion

Fort Morgan

Fort Morgan

 

 

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

[AUGUST 20, 1864.

534

THE CHRISTIAN COMMISSION.

ON page 533 we give an illustration representing THE CHRISTIAN COMMISSION ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE. There is no feature connected with the war which so well illustrates the peculiarity of Republican institutions as the work performed by the Christian and Sanitary Commissions. These are supported not by the Government, but by the people. As our Government is of the people, so is this war the people's war. And the people have taken it upon themselves to take care of the soldiers. This is a peculiarity which distinguishes the North from the South in the conduct of the war. It is on this account that the losses from sickness, and especially from wounds, have been so few in our army as compared with that of the rebels.

Says the Richmond Enquirer of August 3, alluding to our advantages over the rebels in cannon and ships and otherwise : " Their dietetic and sanitary systems have saved them thousands of soldiers who would have died upon the coarse fare of the military hospital. Preserved fruits, dessicated vegetables, solidified milk, the condensed nutriment of meat, the concentrated essence of tea and coffee, wines, and pure spirits, accompany the hospital every where. Ices and cordials refresh, patent ambulances, spring beds, and hair mattresses solace the sick and the wounded. When the field hospitals beyond the Appomattox suffered for water a canal was cut and steam pumps put up, and an abundant supply was furnished."

This service likewise has its sacrifices and its martyrs. Thousands of Christian men and women are giving up the pleasures of home, and it often happens that they give their lives also. Soldiers' wives work in the hospital while their husbands fight on the field. While BARLOW is taking cannon at Deep Bottom, his wife dies in Washington of fever contracted in the hospital. While McPherson falls before Atlanta, Professor HADLEY dies in New York, worn out with weariness by long weeks of exposure and fatigue suffered for the soldier's sake.

BY GEORGE AUGUSTUS SALA.

CHAPTER XLI.

THE WILD WOMAN.

WHAT was she to do? Try another pawn-shop? She had no passport. They must have papers. It was the law, it seemed. But how did people get papers? Were they born with papers ? Should she go back to the goldsmiths on the Quai and try them once more P Alas ! of what avail would that be? She would receive only the same answers, the same rebuffs. Was there no one in this enormous city of Paris who would purchase a gewgaw from a poor child who wanted to run away ? She had heard of a place called the Temple. She had read of it, too, and Madame de Kergolay had talked to her about it hundreds of times as the site of that old donjon keep where the Martyr King and his queen had lain in captivity, and where the poor little Dauphin had been handed over to the cobbler Simon, to be slowly tortured to death. The donjon keep was pulled down now, and the Temple was a place where they bought and sold every thing. Should she ask her way there? But she knew that she would have to pass close to the Marais ; mid an indefinable terror forbade her to retrace her footsteps.

She came, suddenly, in the middle of the pave-Silent, on a marchand d'habits—an old-clothes-man. No Jew was he. In Paris Christians do not disdain to carry the bag, and wear the three hats. This fellow was a Marseillais, swarthy and bright-eyed, with a head of tufted black hair, dazzling white teeth, and ear-rings. He had two umbrellas beneath one arm, and a cavalry sabre beneath the other, a cocked-hat in one hand besides the three on his head, a pair of patent-leather boots tucked in his waistband, and any number of loose garments flying all abroad about him: besides his bulging bag.

"Troun de Fair !"cried the marchand d'habits when he saw Lily, "what a pretty girl !"

" Will you buy a locket ?" said the girl, shrinking from the man's bold gaze, and holding out the trinket in her little trembling hand. She was desperate now. She would have had courage to ask the statue of Henry the Fourth on the Pont Neuf if he would buy a locket.

" Carragoui de zeval," exclaimed the Marseillais in return, "I am not a jeweler. What do you want for your little breloque, soon anze zerie?"

" A hundred francs," replied Lily, half choking.

"Masoulipatam!" shouted the marchand d'habits, who seemed to possess an inexhaustible arsenal of strange execrations. " Veux-tou mi rouiner? Ma, I will be generous. Ze souis Chretien, moi, et pas oune Zouif. Twelve francs fifty centimes for your locket."   -

"No," cried Lily, passionately. She could have strangled the man.

" Quesaco ! crrricuicoui !" continued the Marseillais. " Don't fly into a temper. I don't buy jewelry on fete-days. Come and breakfast with me. Allons manzer, allons boire!" And the eyes of the old-clothesman sparkled like unto live coals.   -

Lily drew her shawl about her, and, spurning his offer, walked indignantly away.

"Pif de Pilate !" the Marseillais muttered, looking after her, "z'est oune zentille petite fillette za. Never mind. I shall dance at the Barriere du Trone to-night. Marchand d'habi-i-i-i-ts." And with his lugubrious and long-drawn-out chant, his bag and his bright eyes, the old-clothesman went on his way. They were magnificent eyes, only he had spoiled them by a habit of squinting, contracted through the

endeavor to glance at the first floor windows on both sides of the street at once, to see whether the occupants had any old clothes to sell.

Twelve francs fifty for her locket ! The villains. The wicked, wicked, hard-hearted people, she thought. Had she had time she could have sat down on a door-step, covered her face with her shawl, and cried her eyes out. But it was with her as with the Wandering Jew, " On-ward ! Onward !"

She remembered that she was not yet quite destitute. Her breakfast paid for, she was still the possessor of between eighteen and nineteen francs. That would carry her some distance to-ward her destination—support her for some days, she thought. And then she would beg. She beg ! Perhaps there were cottages on the road where the people were kind and would give her bread and milk, and allow her to sleep on the straw in their barns. She would have nothing more to do with this cruel and pitiless Paris. She would begin her journey at once. How it was to be prosecuted she had not the slightest idea. She knew she had to reach the coast and to cross the sea : that was all.

The Marseillais marchand d'habits had told her, the rascal! that he never bought jewelry on fete-days. Once or twice before in the course of that weary morning's travel she had heard about the festivals. At the pawnbroker's they had bidden her to be quick, for they were about to close. The poor, it seems, must pawn even on the morning of a holiday, so the commissaire-priseur opened his doors for an hour or two before the business of pleasure began.

Lily saw that there were a great many more people about this morning than on ordinary days; that many of the shops, and nearly all those of a superior class, were closed ; that the humbler sort of-people mostly wore clean blouses, and the grisettes clean caps ; that the students of the School of St. Cyr were abroad in their holiday clothes; that the soldiers of the garrison looked unusually spruce and burnished up ; and that the very sergents de Addle had waxed their mustaches and given their sword-hilts an extra polish. There were a good many flowers about ; from many of the windows hung banners and streamers ; and in front of every public building rose great black triangular stages, like monstrous but truncated ladders, supporting on their many rungs pipkins full of oil and tallow, in which were huge cotton wicks. These were the lampions for the illuminations at night.

Then Lily all at once remembered that this was the twenty-seventh of July, and that Madame de Kergolay had told her that on the twenty-seventh, the twenty-eighth, and the twenty-ninth of that month, in every year, the ,official gala-days known as the Fetes of July were held. "They are to celebrate the democratic revolution of July, 1830," the old lady would say, disdainfully ; " the revolution so adroitly discounted in their own favor by M. le Due d'Orleans and the banker Lafitte. It is an official celebration, strictly a government affair, my child, and the maskings and mummeries and tight-rope dancing are all paid for out of the public treasury. The people have nothing to do with it—absolutely nothing. The only holiday which lives in their memories and in their hearts is the Fete de St. Louis."

Thus Madame de Kergolay; and Lily had, of course, implicitly believed her. But she could not help thinking now, as she watched the gayly dressed and laughing throngs hurrying past, that, if the Fete of St. Louis were in their hearts, the lights of the Fetes of July shone uncommonly bright in their faces. Every one looked happy; every body must be happy, thought the poor little outcast runaway, her sad heart sinking with-in her at the sight of the smiles and the joyous faces. She little knew that among that laughing concourse there were numbers upon numbers ten thousand times more miserable than she.

It was good that she should not know it. It would not have consoled her. She had not yet arrived at that age when "there is something not absolutely disagreeable to us in the misfortunes of our dearest friends." The wretcheder she was herself—being, as you know, young and silly, and not at all a woman of the world—the readier she was to sympathize with sorrow. She was but a little fool at the best, but she never grew out of that folly.

So it was a grand holiday, a very grand holiday. The government liked to encourage holidays ; it made the people feel light and pleasant, and saved them from getting the headache over those stupid newspapers. On the third, and grandest clay of the fetes, the newspapers were not published at all: another thing which the government liked dearly. A good government, a paternal government, a light-hearted government ; it rejoiced to see the hard-worked editors and reporters strolling in the Elysian Fields, dining at the Cafe Anglais, or dancing at the Chaumiere--even if they danced that naughty cancan—instead of muddling their brains in the composition of prosy leading articles, or wearing their fingers to the bone in taking crabbed short-hand notes of the long-winded debates of the Chambers. " Enjoy yourselves, my children," cried this good government. "In these last days of July let us sing a Te Deum for fine weather, an abundant crop of strawberries, and the possession of so beneficent a sovereign as that dear old gentleman with the umbrella at the Tuileries yonder. See : he wears a tricolored cockade, the emblem of Liberty, in his hat. Is that not good of him? Let us celebrate the feast of the Patriots of July. What glorious fellows they were ! Shout ! How nobly they fought. Fire the cannon ! How heroically they died. Drub the double drums ! How very soundly they sleep in the vaults under the column in the Place de la Bastille. Let us drink all their healths, and inscribe all their names, even to the humblest blouse-wearer, in golden

letters on the marble plinth. As for the patriots of to-day, they are a pack of sulky disagree-able grumblers, mere spoil-sports and trouble-fetes, and, lest they should mar the bright sun-shine of our holiday, we have put them away in the casemates of Belle Isle, and Mont St. Michel, and Doullens, and turned a big key on them. Soldiers! bring your muskets to the `ready,' and, bombardiers, keep your matches lighted. This is a fete-day. Every body is to enjoy him-self under pain of immediate arrest. Eat, drink, and be merry, my children. Go to the play for nothing. See the illuminations, and the fire-works, and the water-jousts, for nothing ; mean-while we, who are your parents and best friends, will govern you, and look after all your little affairs at home and abroad. Tiens ! that birchen rod of ours is getting a little limp. Excuse us if we use one of iron."

So spoke the Government of July, thinking it was to last forever ; but it, and its dynasty, and its festivals, and all its pretty little winning ways, are dead and gone, and well-nigh effaced from the memory of man.

For aught Lily knew the gay doings might be in honor of the birthday of King Louis Philippe, or the birthday of Monsieur Lafitte the banker. To her mind the revolution of 1830 conveyed but a very dim and meagre impression. Once, when Mademoiselle Espremenil, who was an Orleanist, told her that three hundred patriots were killed on the Place the Carrousel fighting against the Swiss guard, she exclaimed, " How very wicked of them to fight against the king's soldiers !" and was called nigaude, and made to copy out the third chapter of Telemaque for her pains. She had never gone outside the doors of the Pension Marcassin at the time of the celebration of the fetes during the whole of her incarceration in that penitentiary. The other girls had given her, from time to time, glowing accounts of what they had seen during the three glorious days ; but to Lily those were only fairy tales and fables, as beautiful but as unreal as any in the Arabian Nights.

Now she was privileged—by her own act and deed at least—to see the grand sight, for a momentary peep at which, even, she had often thirsted, and to wander at will among the merry-makers. But she fled from it all as though it had been a pestilence. She was afraid. While the day lasted, she thought, it would be folly, it would be madness, to venture into the Elysian Fields, where all the world of Paris would be out walking. No, no : that place was to be avoided at all hazards. Still she had an irresistible craving to see something of the brave show before she commenced her flight to En-gland in good earnest. She would wait until sunset, she thought—until nearly dusk. Then the crowd would be denser, and the quieter sort of folks gone home, and she might mingle with the throng unnoticed and unrecognized.

Now lagging, now hurrying through a tortuous maze of streets, she came all at once into the great garish Rue de Rivoli, and saw the Tuileries Gardens and the Place de la Concorde one vast Lake of Pleasure, covered with Islands of Delight, blazing in the sun. She turned from the dangerous open and fled. Ascending the Rue St. Honore she ventured to cross it before she reached the Palais Royal, and even got safe over the upper part of the Rue de Rivoli into the dismal little labyrinth of by-lanes, full of sellers of old prints, and older curiosities, technically known as the Pate du Louvre, and which had grown up, a fungus, between the palaces of the Louvre and the Tuileries. To her relief she managed to gain the Quai : not that where the old gold-dealers live, but that which fronts the Long Gallery. She crossed the Pont Royal as timorously as a little mouse seeking a fresh hole, and, diving down the Rue du Bac, was glad to lose herself in a fresh labyrinth of little streets.

She found out, perhaps, the dimmest little cabinet de lecture, or reading-room, that ever was groped for, and at last discovered, in the dimmest portion of old Paris. It seemed to Lily not much bigger in size than the cage of a good-sized- macaw, and was very dark and gloomy, and so suited her admirably. The old maiden lady who kept this abode of literature had read herself more than three parts blind with bad novels, and was so deeply immersed in one of the admired works of Monsieur Horace St. Aubin, that, when Lily entered, she could barely find time to extend her hand for five sous—the regulation price of admission to the Cabinet of the Muses.

All the people who frequented the reading-room were old—as old as the visitors whom Ma-dame de Kergolay received, but of a shabbier and more dilapidated type. They seemed to be tumbling to pieces with sheer antiquity, both in their bodies and their garments, and to be only kept together by means of stays, and braces, and pins, and buttons, and hooks, the horns of spectacles, the springs of false teeth, and the elastic bands of wigs. There never was such a rickety congregation. Ague, paralysis, neuralgia, and sciatica, seemed to have gotten hold of the furniture as well as the patrons of the establishment; and every thing tottered and shook and trembled and creaked. As Lily walked up the room, and chose the darkest corner, the very boards yielded beneath her tread and sent up little clouds of dust, giving to her ankles a wreathed appearance, as though she had been a young Mercury.

There was a tall old gentleman who came to the Cabinet, not to read, but to sleep. It could not be said precisely that he snored, but the air about him seemed to be haunted by the spirit of a defunct trombone. And it was a spirit seemingly in pain.

There was a little old lady who represented a prodigious cap, a large pair of green goggles, a red plaid shawl, and nothing else. Her face. seemed to have gone out of town, and to have

left a P.P.C.. card over the spectacles, on which some one had sketched the lineaments of a death's head ; but sketched them very faintly. And most of the time even this was a fact which you were not enabled to ascertain with any degree of certainty, as the little old lady usually kept a copy of the Gazette de France before her, never turning over the pages ; and under those circumstances she was only so much newspaper, and so much shawl.

Over against Lily there sat an ancient personage of the male sex, lean and long as Don Quixote, and wearing a night-cap under his hat. Ile had a long green cloak with a rabbit's skin collar ; and under this cloak he fondled and cherished a diminutive dog of, apparently, the turnspit breed. There was a very strict prohibition against the introduction of dogs to the Cabinet in a notice hung up at the entrance. But the. old gentleman had very probably been of-fending against the regulations for the last fifty years. He was the senior, the doyen of the customers. Those who surrounded him were too old and feeble to resent his malfeasance, and the lady at the counter was too much engrossed by Monsieur Horace St. Aubin to take notice of any thing outside her book. Still the old man in the cloak was not exempt from occasional twinges of conscience. The little dog was generally very quiet, but, from time to time, feeling bored probably, he would poke his nose from beneath the folds of the mantle with a sharp yap, or a plaintive whine. And then Lily would hear the lean old man whispering in great trepidation to the refractory turnspit

Hush, for Heaven's sake, Lindor ! De la sagesse, mon ami—de la sagesse, Lindor ; re-member what a risk I am running for thee. Je t'implore, Lindor, de ne pas me compromettre, I entreat thee, Lindor, not to compromise me." Once the lean old man caught Lily looking at him. The turnspit had been very restless. The old man covered its tiny muzzle with both his white trembling hands, and cast toward Lily a look at once so piteous and so supplicating that the girl felt half inclined to laugh and half to cry.

She staid here, reading newspapers out of date and dog's-eared romances, which excited, for two reasons, her special wonder : first, as to whoever could have written them ; and next, whoever could have read them before her. That they had been diligently conned, however, and to some purpose, was evident; for the edges were yellow and shiny with much thumbing, and many pages were blistered with long dried-up tears.

They were all full of love; but it was not the kind of love that Lily could comprehend, with which she could sympathize, or from which she could derive any consolation. Silly girl, she was quite raw and ignorant. She had not yet learned to take her heart to pieces and put it together again, like a map puzzle. She had not acquired the art of preserving her passion, and boiling it down, and putting plenty of sugar to it, and spreading it on paper, as jam is spread upon bread. Lamentable little dunce ! She was yet at the A B C of the great alphabet, which, being learned, after infinite wailings and canings, only teaches us to spell the words Disappointment and Despair. She was quite a novice in the cosmography of the Pays du Tendre. Had Lily been asked to write a love-letter it would have begun with "I love," and it would have ended with "I love," and there would have been nothing else, except blots, which are the blushes of manuscript. I have known people who punctuated their protestations of affection. They must have been very much in love indeed.

Here she lingered until the day was declining. She went out at last (the mistress of the place never heeding her), and she left the old folks there, doddering and coughing feebly in their chairs. Those who are alive, and the oldest folks always seem to last the longest, may be there, doddering and choking to this day.

Into the broad streets, and on to the broader quay, and over another bridge ; but this time it was the Pont de la Concorde, and they were be-ginning to light up the lampions in front of the Chamber of Deputies. Then she was in the vast Place, by the side of the Luxor obelisk. She could resist it no longer. She was beyond the control of reason. She was bewildered—fascinated. Come what may, she must see the sight.

So she sped by the spouting fountains, and entered upon the enormous avenue of the Elysian Fields. The sight almost took away her breath. It was wonderful. Two huge open-air theatres, within whose vast prosceniums whole regiments of red-legged soldiers were engaged in deadly combat with white-burnoused Arabs. They fired off r. al guns and real howitzers. Real horses galloped on to the stage, not at all alarmed by the noise, whereas the very smell of the powder almost frightened Lily out of her wits.

But the theatres were only a drop of water in the sea. There were Punches by the score. There were Marionettes. There were greasy poles up which adventurous gymnasts climbed, intent on reaching the silver watches, spoons, and mugs—no vulgar legs of mutton here !—suspended to a hoop at the summit. What shouting and clapping of hands when a climber, his strained fingers within an inch of the coveted prize, found the treacherous surface beneath at length too much for him, and so slid down to the bottom again, defeated and fat-begrimed.

There were merry-go-rounds. There were targets at which you could fire au blanc, and if you struck the bull's-eve found a plaster figure of the Emperor Napoleon arise, like a jack-in-a-box. Ninepins; spring top; roulette playing for macaroons; jugglers; acrobats; rope-dancers; dancing dogs and monkeys; a camel ; a bear that beat a tambourine a goat that danced


 

 

  

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