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Robert E. Lee Portrait
FARRAGUT'S fleet has
attacked Mobile, the illustrations which we furnish of the blockade off that
port and of the rebel fleet must prove doubly interesting to our readers. Fort
Morgan is the principal defense of the city, at the entrance of Mobile Bay. The
city itself is thirty miles distant, even after Forts Morgan and Gaines have
been passed. Fort Morgan is so completely embanked with earth works that only
the ramparts are visible. At the left of one of the sketches may be seen the
piles which obstruct the main passage into the bay. The lower sketch represents
the Metacomet, the Monongahela, and the Seminole shelling a blockade runner,
supposed to be the Dubeigh, which ran aground while trying lately to get out to
sea. The Metacomet is a double ender. Our fleet at Mobile now consists of the
following vessels :
sloop, 20 guns.
Winnebago, 2 turret Monitor 4
Chickasaw, 2 turret Monitor 4
Tecumseh,1 turret Monitor 2
Manhattan, 1 turret Monitor 2
Four Mississippi River iron-clads
Richmond, first class 18 guns.
Brooklyn, first class 24 guns.
Monongahela, second class 12
Lackawanna, second class 14
Oneida, second class 10 guns.
Ossipee, second class 13 guns.
Galena, second class 14 guns.
Genesee, second class 8 guns.
Metacomet, side-wheel 10 guns.
Sebago, side-wheel 10 guns.
Port Royal, side-wheel 8 guns.
Conemaugh, side-wheel 9 guns.
Kennebec 5 guns.
Panola 4 guns.
Itasca 4 guns.
Pembina 4 guns.
Penguin 7 guns.
Tennessee 5 guns.
Besides these, there are five
tugs, carrying two guns each.
BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG.
WE illustrate on page 541
BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG by the rebels, July 30. A large rebel force was near at
hand, but only a few hundred cavalry men were employed in the work of
conflagration. The burned district covers all the business portion of the town
and some of the finest private residences. Not a store escaped : hotels, mills,
manufactories — all were consumed. The view of Main Street, given in one of the
sketches, will suggest to the reader the completeness of the work. The rebel
General presiding over this carnival of destruction was McCAUSLAND. He demanded
$500,000 as the alternative of this outrage, knowing well enough that it could
not be raised. It is estimated that the loss is not less than four millions of
dollars. Two thousand five hundred people lost their homes. As if this was not
enough, the rebel soldiers added insult to injury, thus interpreting their
chivalry to defenseless women and helpless children. Bedridden old women even
did not elicit any compassion in the breasts of these rebels. Uncoffined corpses
had to be buried hastily in gardens to save them from the flames. In all the
roads leading toward Harrisburg were multitudes of men, women, and children
flying from the flames, with no clothing except that on their persons, and no
provision against hunger and roofless exposure.
Much blame has been thrown upon
General COUCH. But it is clearly impossible that he or any other General could
protect Pennsylvania from being at some point infested, and if infested by an
army regardless of' the amenities of civilized warfare the result was inevitably
such as we have described.
OF THE MINE
THE explosion of the mine before
Petersburg, August 30, and the assault which followed it, form the subject of
our illustration on pages 536 and 537. Our artist furnishes the following
graphic description :
The picture is from a sketch made
upon the Fifth Corps line at the time when the cannonade opened along the entire
front, just before sunrise. The crest of Cemetery Hill, above which is visible
the steeples of the "Cockade City," as the natives delight to term it, was the
goal the army had in view, it being the key of the whole position. Upon and in
front of this gentle rise the rebels built their entrenchments. Of what is on
the top of it but little is visible. In front, however, is a line of works for
infantry and artillery, rendered so strong by nature and the art of the engineer
as to be extremely hard to penetrate. It was on a portion of this line that the
mine was exploded, not in a fort or redoubt, which could have been held with
greater prospect of success, but in a re-entering angle or indentation of the
general line, entirely enfiladed on each flank, and open to a fire in the rear.
The "three tiers" of fortifications spoken of by correspondents do not exist
except in their imagination, inflated by the stories of stragglers and coffee
boilers. Our lines can be traced by the smoke of the artillery fire,
representing a portion of the Fifth and Ninth Corps. In the fore ground is a
battery of 10-inch mortars, under the personal supervision of Colonel ABBOTT,
and beyond them, on the front line, another battery of 8-inch mortars, and some
of the light batteries of the Fifth Corps, of which Colonel WAINWRIGHT is chief
of artillery. The assistant chief, Major FITZHUGH, a gallant officer, was
wounded during the engagement.
Coming upon this line soon after
daylight of the 30th ult., a cairn and clear morning, the rebels were plainly
visible sitting about, and strolling upon and in front of their parapets,
looking at the progress we had made, and enjoying the cool air, apparently
unsuspicious. On our side no
unusual number of men was visible. the works and covered ways giving ample
concealment. Nevertheless many anxious eyes were directed to the point of the
expected explosion, speculating upon the cause of its delay. The fuse had
failed, and it was but a short time before sunrise that the mine was sprung.
With a muffled roar it came, and as from the eruption of a volcano—which it much
resembled—upward shot masses of earth, momently illuminated from beneath by the
lurid flare. For a few seconds huge blocks of earth and other debris, mingled
with dust, was seen in a column perhaps 150 feet in height, and then the heavy
volume of smoke, which spread out in billowy waves on every side, enveloped all,
like a shadowy pall for the two hundred souls thus rushed into eternity. As if
for breath there was a short pause, the rebels regarding the giant apparition as
though spellbound, and then one hundred and fifty guns opened in one grand
volley upon the rebel lines. The storming columns could be seen springing
forward to the doomed work ; but the rapid cannonade soon hid that portion of
the line in smoke, though the savage discharges of musketry showed plainly the
enemy did not propose giving up without a struggle. Their artillery withered
under the terrible accuracy of the fire directed against them, made but
desultory firing, and soon became almost silent before the Fifth Corps. The
Petersburg Express made regular trips into the city ; the mortar shells, visible
to their destination, creaked through the air and formed beautiful rings and
spirals ; while the sun, struggling through the heavy vapors of battle, recalled
Campbell's lines :
"'Tis morn. But scarce yen level
Can pierce the war-clouds rolling
On the parapets of the works they
had erected, the engineers and their chief, Major DUANE, carefully watched the
contest. The hours sped along, and yet no success ; when the smoke lifted the
attacking column of the Ninth Corps became visible in the crater of the
explosion, huddled in masses, but with their colors planted upon the ruins, and
returning the enemy's fire with musketry and the rebel cannon, which they had
turned upon its former owners. It was easy to see that the ground was covered
with the dead and wounded. Many ran to the rear, not a few being shot down
before reaching cover. Others could be seen running up the gentle slope toward
Petersburg, voluntary prisoners. The rebels in their turn charged our men,
yelling as they came up. In this attack they were successful, driving some back
and capturing others, in spite of the staggering volleys they received ; and it
then became evident the attack had failed, with more men lost than would have
been if they had pushed on and taken the crest of the hill.
A CHILDISH face, too smooth and
soft, you would have thought, for suffering ; yellow hair falling into waves
around it ; dimples in the cheeks ; red, dewy lips, pouting a little ; a round,
pliant chin ; and curves like a baby's where the little head was set on the
full, white throat ; a character without force enough, you would have said, to
be bad or good—a passive, plastic nature, on which other stronger souls could
stamp themselves, and coin saint or sinner as fate ordered. Looking out of the
window just now with a vague discontent, a sort of longing for some one to do
something—for a sensation.
That was Belle Lansing—Blue-belle
they all called her, by virtue of deep-blue eyes, and dresses which she almost
always wore to match them.
What had Colonel Eustace thought
when he gave heart and soul into such frail keeping? His love for her was
unaccountable, people said; but people say that of almost all love affairs.
Lookers-on never understand the game of hearts. What the players call trumps and
honors are very common cards to them. At any rate Colonel Eustace was not a
common man. Women whose shoe-latchets Blue-belle was not worthy to unloose would
have been proud of his love. He was past his youth, but in the rich prime of his
manhood. He had learned the lessons thirty-five years of life held for him,
gained strength, courage, and patience in his battle with fate, and stood now on
the summit he had gained a hero. Only one thing he had missed " in his life's
full scope"—love. And what uncanny fate was it that introduced him to
He had seen so little of women.
They might have souls and minds for all he knew ; doubtless they had ; but he
only looked in them for two things —hearts and faces. The face must be fair, and
the heart—of course faces were but reflections of hearts, and through sunny eyes
what could shine but a sunny Nature?
He saw Blue-belle walking under
the elm-trees that arched like the roof of a temple over the straight village
street. The sunset rays glanced in the trees 'like golden arrows, and burnished
with a scintillant radiance her yellow hair. Blushes—childish, innocent-looking
blushes—came and went on her cheeks. Blue eyes, rosy, parted lips, graceful
form, light steps —surely here was Nature's master-piece. Like so many men of
his age he fell straight into love. He did not pause to analyze or consider.
That she was a good, simple girl—as men of thirty-five believe all girls of
seventeen to be good and simple—he never doubted. He did not ask in her any
thing for the highest part of his nature to mate with. That had sufficed for
itself hitherto. Ile wanted some one to pet, to caress, to be fond of; some one
who would make home for him by-and-by.
Blue-belle was flattered. If she
had a heart she had never found it out yet; but ambition, pride-innocent-looking
little creature as she was—these were not wanting. Colonel Eustace, of the
regular army, was a great personage in her eyes. She felt herself distinguished
by his attentions, and she accepted them with an eagerness which he thought '
Of course he made love
desperately, as is the nature of soldiers, and considering also that he had but
three weeks wherein to secure what appeared to him just then to be the chiefest
treasure the earth
held. Blue-belle was eminently
receptive—receptive rather than demonstrative—for her nature was not large or
intense enough to have very much need of expression. She wore his flowers, rode
with him, walked with him, sang to him, and let him love her just as much as he
The night he bade her good-by she
was a little startled at his emotion. The spirit she had raised frightened her.
She did not know what such strong words meant. She wished he would not hold her
hands so tight, or talk so much about death. She would have liked a cheerful
parting better—some pretty speeches about winning laurels to lay at her feet —
some protestations— some gallant compliments. Eustace was too much in earnest
then for any such light wooing. He believed that he was parting with the one
woman the earth held for him—the woman who loved Us he loved—who would crown his
life if he lived, and be faithful to his memory till the next world if he died.
So he talked to her, not of love merely, but of death and heaven. She gave him a
soft tress of her yellow hair, and he folded it away as something sacred. He
looked at her—a long, silent look—a gaze that would hold in memory forever every
item of her loveliness ; and then, with a passionate " God bless you !" he went
And now it was only a week after
and pretty Blue-belle sat by the window longing for some new
excitement—something to put a little savor into the life which had grown more
monotonous than ever since Colonel Eustace and his romantic devotion had dropped
out of it. For Blue-belle was neither strong-hearted nor strong-minded. She was
not sufficient unto herself; and she had not enough imagination to solace
herself with memory and anticipation. She wanted something tangible and
present—something to enjoy.
Behind her, sitting thus at the
window and murmuring vague discontents, came Madge, her sister. Daughters of the
same parents, reared in the same home, called by the same family name—sisters in
so far ; but in every thing else, in looks as well as in nature, aliens. Madge
was dark and thin ; not without her own claims to beauty, but beauty of a very
different kind from Belle's. It was beauty that did not catch the eye readily—a
loveliness not of shape or tint, though her features were clearly cut and noble,
and the long dusky hair matched in shade the great dark eyes. But it was only
now and then that her eyes told you any thing, or any color came into the clear
olive of her cheek. Usually her face revealed little, and her thin lips closed
resolutely over all that her heart felt. Now and then, though, her eyes blazed
with scorn, or softened with a tenderness which was mightier than natures like
Blue-belle's could ever fathom. Just now, as she came up to the window, there
was meaning enough in her face. You could see in it a certain kind of love for
the weak, pretty child she looked at, but a love touched with contempt and
vexation. Her voice was earnest and honest, and her words might have seemed
ungentle if some unexpressed tenderness had not softened her tones.
" Belle, you vex me. You are not
worth one of Colonel Eustace's thoughts. Sitting here sighing for fresh
excitements, and he scarcely a week gone: He ought to despise you !"
" See if you could make him !"
and even Madge was not proof against the charm of the small, mutinous mouth—the
rebellious, provoking blue eyes. She spoke more gently.
But, Belle, you are not a child
any longer ; for the sake of your own womanhood put away childish things. If
Colonel Eustace loves you, why are you not contented ? What more of honor could
one woman ask? Why are you not satisfied to think of him, to live for him ? This
craving for new excitements is unworthy of you both. Have you no heart?"
"If I have not whose fault is it
? I did not make my own nature," and angry tears sparkled in the blue eyes. "
Neither you nor John Eustace has a right to ask me to be any thing but myself.
If you don't like me as I am leave me. I never made any great professions to
Colonel Eustace, or gave him any reason to think I could love in the exclusive,
altogether-satisfied, high-and-mighty manner you and he talk about."
" No, but he saw himself
reflected in you, and you let him go on believing that you loved him—you know
you did. As for the kind of love he had no idea of any kind but one. To him love
"And to me sermonizing is a
The words were saucy, but the
glance which accompanied them was arch, and a kiss upon Madge's half unwilling
lips silenced her.
After that came a visitor,
another military hero—Captain Denham. Recruiting in the village, and riding by,
he saw at the window the blue eyes, and the primrose face with its yellow hair
framing it, and remembered an introduction at a " Sanitary Fair" which gave him
a right to call, so he drew rein at the gate. He, too, was there for only a few
weeks, and then he was going to the war, a Captain of Volunteers. He was quite
of Blue-belle's kind; young, merry, handsome, and a little thoughtless. He had
more heart than she, to be sure, for he had not wasted it on so many
lie, too, fell straightway in
love, and began with all humility to wear Blue-belle's fetters. Of course she
did not mean to care for him. She considered herself betrothed to Colonel
Eustace, and she meant to marry him if the rebel shot and shell should spare her
her bridegroom. If she had not been so fettered Denham would have suited her
well. Of good family, rich, and full of the courage and grace of a youth at once
noble and undisciplined, he was ten times more to her taste than her graver
lover had ever been; but she shut her eyes on that, and persuaded herself that
she was devoted to Eustace. Captain Denham, she would have said, amused
her—supplied the missing excitement for which she had been longing. So she went
over again with him the same paths she had trodden at John Eustace's side—Madge
wondered the very stones at her feet did not cry out against her. She rode with
this new-comer, sang to him, and let him put summer roses in the yellow hair, a
lock of which lay close to a heart far away—, a heart too noble for her to
understand. And Ralph
Denham loved her toot loved her
with a selfish, frantic, craving love—a young man's love.
What evil spell was on her when
he told her of this love ? It was not too late then. She might have said to him
that she belonged to Eustace—instead she put him off with vague denials, noes
that had no emphasis in them, and in spite of which he believed that he held her
heart. Even when he cut off for himself, without her permission, a loose tress
of her flowing hair, she did not take it away from him. The truth was, she came
a great deal nearer to loving him than she had ever done to loving Eustace—he
was nearer her age, more of her kind.
When he was fairly gone she began
to realize what she had done, and to be, not remorseful—her nature was not deep
enough for that—but frightened over it. She went to Madge, of course, and told
her all. It was her wont to pile all her burdens on some other person's
shoulders. But she got no comfort. Madge could not understand her state of mind.
That a woman should not know which of two men she loved, and should encourage
both, was a state of things she could neither pity nor comprehend. So Blue-belle
had to console herself as she best could. She found a crumb of comfort in
thinking that her two lovers were not very likely to know each other, though
both were with the Army of the Potomac. She thought there would be little
probability of intimacy or acquaintanceship between a Colonel of regulars and a
Captain of volunteers. Besides, as she said to Madge, it was an even chance that
they would both be killed, and ten chances to one that one or the other would
" And you would marry the
survivor, whichever he might be?" Madge questioned, with a wrathful blaze in her
eyes, and an intensity of scorn in her tone that made Blue-belle quake a little.
After a while both of them wrote
to her, and as it never rains but it pours, both letters came on the same day,
and between them made Belle Lansing more uncomfortable than she had ever been in
her life. She saw how both depended on her and loved her—how each one regarded
her as his future wife. To see how true and honest they had been did at last
rouse some late remorse in her heart ; but presently, as she turned a leaf in
Captain Denham's letter, all contrition was swallowed up in one agony of fear.
He spoke of Colonel Eustace as his best friend. A family connection, of which
Belle had not heard before, was the explanation; but Den-ham said the kindness
he had received from the Colonel was something more than he had had any right to
expect. He wrote of him with a frank enthusiasm, a warmth of attachment, which
filled Belle with terror. Of course, she thought, be would tell the Colonel
about her. Judging him, as women are apt to judge men, by herself, she thought
it would be impossible for him to keep from so dear a friend a secret which lay
so near his heart.
Her dismay was intense. If there
had not been something ludicrous in it it would have been pathetic. They would
talk her over together, and they would both hate her. " Wouldn't they ?" This
question to Madge, who had been listening to her bewailings in unsympathetic
"No!" Madge did not think Colonel
Eustace would hate her. She thought the feeling he would have for a woman who
was too weak to know her own mind would be better described by another word than
hate. As for the Captain, he was young and in love—besides, he was the latest
comer—perhaps he would overlook all.
But even this view of the subject
was scarcely consolatory to Blue-belle. The higher grapes hang the sweeter they
are to natures of her kind. With the thought that probably Colonel Eustace would
not want her returned an intense admiration for him. She recalled his noble
presence ; his eloquent words ; his manly, unselfish love ; and began to ad-mire
him franticly, and think if she lost him there would be no more stars in her
sky. Madge, who knew her better than she knew herself, believed that the lesson
would d, her good. As for Colonel Eustace, she thought that when he should know
all it would help him to an understanding of himself and his own needs, which
would insure him against heart-break—if indeed such a word as heart-break be
permissible in remotest connection with six feet of heroic flesh and blood under
the uniform of the United States.
The next letter was from Colonel
Eustace, and came for Madge. While in her neighborhood the Colonel had scarcely
noticed Blue-belle's dark and quiet elder sister. It was singular how clearly
her image came back to him when an emergency arrived where strength was needed.
Strong as Madge was her fingers
trembled a little when she held his letter in them. Why had he written to her ?
It was just after a great battle —was there something he feared to say to Belle?
Was some one wounded—or did he know all, and was Captain Denham dead? She was
thankful that Blue-belle was out, and she could read the letter with no
questioning. watching eyes waiting for its tidings. She opened it, and it seemed
scarcely a moment before she understood all.
The night before the battle
Captain Denham had come to him with a letter to be forwarded, in case he died,
to Miss Belle Lansing. Then, with the morrow's desperate chances before him, the
young man's heart had opened to his friend, and Colonel Eustace had listened to
the whole story of his love and his hopes. He had said nothing, for he thought
the latest lover must have been the dearest to that fickle girl-heart. If Denham
must die, let him die believing himself beloved—if he lived, why not believe
himself beloved also, and be happy. For his own part, of course, he had no
disposition to contest such a claim—this ended all. Belle had not loved him,
whatever she might have felt for Denham. In any event his dream was over. If the
wound was sore, he uttered, writing to Madge, no word of complaint.
He passed from his account of
this interview in his tent the night before time battle to his story of the
morrow's strife. Denham had distinguished himself, but he had been severely
wounded. There was some hope for his life, but he lay now in hospital,
delirious, and calling constantly for Belle.