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Robert E. Lee Portrait
Page) Her length at the spar-deck is 258 feet, extreme breadth 55
feet, depth of hold 33 feet, draught of water 23 feet. She has two back-action
horizontal engines, built at the Novelty Works, of 800 horsepower together, with
cylinders of 84 inches diameter and 45 inches stroke of piston, supplied by six
horizontal tubular boilers. Her engineer's trial trip was made on the 12th of
November, and though not intended as an ultimate trial trip, her performance was
so satisfactory that the vessel was at once accepted by the agents of the
Italian Government, which had reserved the right of rejecting her if she failed
to answer the stipulations of the contract. On the 30th of December she made an
experimental trip down the bay of New York under the charge of her own officers.
She ran ashore in a fog, but was got off in a day or two without serious damage.
The vessel is in every respect one of the most beautiful specimens of naval
architecture afloat. It is supposed that she will attain a speed of 12 knots an
hour, being considerably greater than that of any other iron-clad yet
constructed. Her armament consists of 32 guns.
"SUCK" IN THE TENNESSEE RIVER.
THE river at the "Suck" (page
36) is about 300 yards wide and very deep, but the current is so
rapid that steamers can not head against it, and are obliged to be pulled up by
a windlass. The water runs comparatively smoothly until within a short distance
from the "Suck," when it breaks into waves and dashes against a rock on the
left, flinging the foam high in the air. Waldron's Ridge, on the left bank,
resembles the Palisades on the Hudson; the trees, however, run nearly to the
top. On the right is Raccoon Ridge.
ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.
THE picture on
pages 40 and 41,
sketched during the late campaign in Virginia, gives an idea of the appearance
of this army when moving into battle. In the extreme distance the enemy's
artillery is seen on a crest, his infantry below, disputing the advance. Nearer
are our own guns supporting the troops. Brigades, recognized by their flags, are
pressing on at double-quick; artillery, enveloped in dust, are galloping to a
position. Near by is a group of ambulances. In the fore-ground are French and Birney, with their staffs. In the front is
Meade; near him are Generals Sykes, Humphreys,
and Pleasanton, with Chief-Engineer Duane. The whole picture, though
representing but a single moment of action, gives a fair idea of an army going
WHAT ruddy stain is this?
Perchance of morning flowers—
Of dew-wet, odorous flowers;
Did ever mother, ever maiden
On cheek of new-born down,
Or set with bearded brown,
These flowers, and think the
inner heaven of heaven
Had no such bliss?
It may be morning blooms are
But since to human cheeks their
tints were given,
The sweetest blooms are there.
A pale face motionless,
Close by the stain of flowers,
The stain of blood or flowers;
Did ever mother, ever maiden
White fingers on this stone,
And think to be alone,
And not feel it were very far
It may be. Since white fingers
once have pressed
Such sculpture, the quick pulses
through them driven
Are very near to rest.
A grave dug in the sand,
Near to the stain of flowers—
The red stain not of flowers;
Shall ever mother, ever maiden
Within a lonely home,
And say, "When will he come
Out from returning ranks? How
long he lingers
With his victorious band!"
It shall be. Tender, loving lips
Their last: and never more shall
thrill white fingers
For that one picket missed.
I SAW her in a photograph album,
and my doom was sealed.
We were eating creams and jelly
in Mrs. Paulding's parlor. I had done the usual amount of dancing, and whirled
merrily round in the waltz and redowa; but there was now a cessation in the
music, and flirtations went on in a low tone over our tea-spoons. My late
partner set down her plate with a sigh of disappointment.
"It is vanilla, and I never eat
any thing but chocolate. Don't trouble yourself, Mr. Featherstonhaugh. Nothing
more for me but a small lady-finger. Shall we look through Mrs. Paulding's
album? I dote on photographs."
She opened it, I don't know
whether with malice prepense or not, but she opened it in the middle. A
vignette, with dove-like eyes, angelic smile, curls a la Eugenie, and a white
waist, looked me in the face. I bent rapturously forward for the second glance.
Over went my ice and Charlotte on Miss Wigham's pink silk double-ruffled skirt.
She screamed, I blushed and stammered, a crowd of sympathizing damsels gathered
round. Miss Wigham was conducted, half-fainting, to the dressing-room, and I
retreated in a crest-fallen condition to the nearest corner. But the spell was
already upon me. No matter whether I upset a pyramid or brought destruction on
the entire supper-table, I must get back to the album. The "Lancers" struck up
as if to cover my advance. Miss Wigham, pale but composed, with an ominous
dampness in her
dress, and a curl of her lip in
my direction, swept forward to the head couple, while I, possessed with the one
idea, edged toward the table.
The book lay open still. No cream
had soiled, no Charlotte profaned it. On the opposite page sat a stout lady with
an ugly cap and still uglier baby; but there on the right hand gleamed out the
eyes of my enchantress. What grace! What loveliness! The arch of that snowy
neck! that bewitching mouth! even the fluttering curve of the ribbon that
circled the beautiful throat! Life without her was; I felt, a blank. I must find
her; must woo and win and wear her as a precious jewel in my heart. My hostess,
like a benevolent fairy, approached me. She was in the "grand chain," but I
arrested her. "Might I inquire, Mrs. Paulding, the name of this—this"—"angel,"
was on my lips—but in deference to the conventionalities of society I
"That?" said Mrs. Paulding,
dancing past, "oh, that is my cousin, Mrs. Peek. A sweet child, is it not?"
The last sentence fell upon
unheeding ears. I was stupefied, confounded, dashed into an abyss of woe. This
Peri—this priceless Pearl, Mrs. Peek? The bride of another? Lost to me forever?
The book still rested in my
nerveless hand. Still my eyes were fixed upon the fated page. Mrs. Paulding
chasseed by again.
"Ah!" she exclaimed with another
glance, "I see you are not looking at Mrs. Peek. That young lady opposite, with
the tucked spencer, is a Miss Smith, I think, from New York, or Boston."
I was in the seventh heaven
again. Blissful "Miss!" Never should she change the title till my euphonious
surname had been offered to her acceptance. Somebody joined me. I shut the album
instinctively. The gaze of another would be profanation.
"Ah, Feathers!" said my friend
Stokes—"Feathers" was the usual unpleasant abbreviation by which I was
disrespectfully addressed—"it's past midnight, I believe. Don't you mean to
apologize to Miss Wigham? You'd better see her home. How could you be so
"Miss Wigham be hanged!" I
returned, almost unconsciously.
"I mean I—I'm very sorryl" I
resumed, with a stammer, beginning to come to myself. "I'll send her a bouquet
to-morrow." And thereupon shone before me a vision of the bouquets—all
forget-me-nots and blush roses—which I should send some day to Miss Smith.
"Excuse me, Stokes; I must bid good-night to Mrs. Paulding."
"A delightful evening, my dear
Madame!" I observed, with my politest bow. "In your rooms we find always the
'feast of reason and the flow of soul.' But the photograph which I was admiring.
It is, it is"—what should I say next?—"uncommonly like a dear lost aunt of mine.
Could you tell me where I should be likely to find Miss Smith?"
"Why, I scarcely know, Mr.
Featherstonhaugh," returned the lady, dubiously. "I have never seen her myself;
she is an acquaintance of my sister's. Miss Smith, of New York—yes, I'm positive
of New York; but that is all I can tell you."
"Perhaps your sister—?" I
"Oh, my sister is in Europe! Will
be absent till next summer. You are sure you don't mean Mrs. Peek?"
I left in desperation.
Returning home I stirred up my
fire, lit a cigar, and sat down, in the orthodox midnight fashion, with my feet
upon the fender. Rosy dreams flitted through my brain. What were the "Reveries
of a Bachelor" compared with mine? Pshaw! had I written the book my lines would
have glowed with the breath of Cupid. Miss Smith would have looked out from
every page. Twelve editions in six months would have enriched the publishers,
and given me a fortune to lay at her feet. As it was, my reveries, though not
pecuniarily profitable, opened to me an Elysium. Miss Smith beamed out at me
through the embers; Miss Smith closed my eyelids when, at three in the morning,
I retreated to bed; Miss Smith awoke with me, and—metaphorically speaking—held
my shaving cup; Miss Smith accompanied me to the banking-house, hovered beside
my stool, and almost signed the bills. I lived and breathed in an atmosphere of
Miss Smith. Broadway was peopled with her image.
For two days this luxurious
delirium bore me up on the high tide of bliss; then came a sense of vacancy in
the world around me. I must find her—must fly to her—must pour out the fullness
of my heart! But whither should I fly? New York was wide, and Smiths abounded.
Was my inamorata a daughter of John Smith, Esq.? What sacred spot, from Harlem
to the Brooklyn Ferry, should be the Mecca of my pilgrimage? It was, as you see,
a cruel question; and I decided upon another application to Mrs. Paulding, and
wondered if the Atlantic Telegraph Company would not hasten its preparations,
that I might draw through the briny waves intelligence of Miss Smith. What would
have been the message of Queen Victoria to the President compared with that? But
the Company was dilatory. Cyrus W. Field had probably never known Miss Smith;
and I hastened up to Mrs. Paulding's, feeling I must hear or die. I was ushered
into the parlor. The Album, that shrine of my idol, lay upon the table. I seized
it, of course, and feasted my eyes upon her image. I don't know how long the
waiter staid up stairs—Time was swallowed up to me in Miss Smith!—but he came
down again with Mrs. Paulding's compliments. She was to leave the city that
afternoon, and was very much engaged; would the gentleman excuse her? The
servant withdrew. I shut the book in despair; opened it again; cast one wild
glance around; saw I was alone; and then— I blush to confess it, but even love's
crimes are sacred—I stole the photograph, and didn't leave my card!
The lagging hours of the ensuing
week were beguiled by my ill-gotten treasure, and at the expiration of that time
fortune appeared to smile. I received an offer of a clerkship from a Wall Street
broker, and, with very much the
feelings of the individuals who independently advertise "Salary no object,"
hastened to New York in person to signify my acceptance. It is true I seemed not
much nearer the goal of my existence than before; but I breathed the same air as
Miss Smith, perambulated the same pavements, and no doubt rode in the same
omnibus. Omnibuses indeed afforded me one of my greatest hopes. From the Battery
to Eighty-sixth Street I rolled daily on my weary way. Evangeline chasing her
lover was nothing to my exploits; yet I cherished a fellow-feeling for
Evangeline, and bought the engraving to hang over my shaving-glass. The precious
photograph was kept in my left vest-pocket next my heart. Alas, alas! what
fluctuations of bliss and misery awaited me! I entered, for example, the Sixth
Avenue cars; at the extreme end sat a lady with primrose gloves, black lace
veil, and a cashmere. There were the dove-like eyes and drooping curls—ah,
Eureka! could it be Miss Smith? On and on we glided. Yorkville was in sight. At
last she alighted; I followed. She dropped her handkerchief; I picked it up.
"Miss Smith?" I timidly murmured. "Sir!" she responded in a basso voice sadly in
contrast with the curls, "Do you wish to insult me? My name is Van Dunderbergh!"
A love like mine must leave of
course its impress. I began to grow haggard—even pale and thin. It may be well
to mention that I had formerly approximated a weight of two hundred. My eyes
became hawk-like and prying. Out of office-hours I walked and rode incessantly.
I have said that I sympathized with Evangeline; I began also to sympathize with
the Wandering Jew. My melancholy condition attracted notice. A young man in the
same office found his feelings moved toward me. I had not confided to him my
secret, but he pityingly fancied me on the verge of lunacy. "I say, Feathers,"
he remarked one twilight, when gold was down and business dull, "what you need
is cheerful society. Come with me to-night to a little party. My cousin, Miss
"Bless you! bless you! my dear
fellow!" I exclaimed, falling upon his neck. "Let us go at once. Lead me, oh
lead me to my adored Miss Smith!"
"Now, now, Feathers!" he
repeated, soothingly. "Be calm! be calm! I don't know that it will be safe to
trust you. If we had a dose of valerian!"
"I will swallow it by the
bottleful," I returned, excitedly. "Only take me to Miss Smith."
"But you can't go, you know,
unless you're quiet," he expostulated in gentle tones. "Go home and rest
yourself. Take nothing but weak black tea and a cracker, and I will call for you
at eight. You are sure you will be quiet?"
"Any thing for Miss Smith!" I
answered, with an effort at composure. "But you will not fail me?"
"No; punctually at eight. It is a
small party, you know."
"And it is given by Miss Smith?"
"Precisely. I will get you an
invitation. But do you know her?"
"You shall see, my dear fellow,"
I returned, collectedly. "But not a word to Miss Smith."
Briggs departed mystified.
True to his promise, however, he
entered my room at eight, and found me irreproachably attired in a dress coat
and lemon kids. I was pacing up and down with frequent pauses before the mirror,
and a heart too full for words. We left. I presume, indeed I know, that we drove
over the Russ pavement; but to me we seemed wafted through translucent skies on
the wheels of Apollo's chariot. We paused at a brown-stone front. I grasped
Briggs's arm convulsively. Another moment and we were ushered into the apartment
where three Misses Smith, one in white, one in pink, and another in blue,
received their friends. The blue lady stepped forward to meet me with
undisguised curiosity; the white one smiled; the pink blushed. Ah me! my heart
sank down to zero. I might be among the Graces, perhaps I was; but none of them
was my Miss Smith. I felt myself growing pale, but with one heroic effort
controlled myself, and went through the usual wretched formula of a night's
enjoyment. At the end, however, a glow of virtuous satisfaction rewarded me. I
had done my duty to Briggs, had danced successively with his three cousins, and
not betrayed my despair. But the mockery of pickled oysters and Champagne I
could not away with. Indeed I began to experience an insane desire to sup upon
prussic acid; but taking refuge instead in a forlorn stoicism, I excused myself
early, returned home, smoked six cigars, and went to bed. The next morning I
began a novel in three volumes, entitled, "Miss Smith;" and while apparently
engaged in exchanges and discount was in reality pondering the weighty question
which publisher was most worthy to receive proposals for the forthcoming work.
It might be as well, I thought, to step in in the afternoon at Harper's, and
offer them the favor of advance sheets. But the route was circuitous, and as I
passed by Stewart's a lady glided before me and entered the store. A magnetic
thrill trembled through my frame. I caught one glimpse of the eyes that shone
beneath the flowery roofing of her bonnet; the dark curls rippled from her
forehead down those peach-blossom cheeks. Ah, Miss Smith! Miss Smith! The
discovery of the philosopher's stone, of the northwest passage, of the Garden of
the Hesperides, was as nothing compared with mine! I followed her, of course;
and naught but the proximity of policemen restrained me from throwing myself at
her feet. She bought one yard of muslin —how well I remember it!—at 87 cents,
and then tripped like a fairy into the street again—up, up, interminable
distances, I close behind, till she ascended the steps of a Madison Avenue
mansion, stooped to caress a King Charles spaniel—how I envied him—who whined
for joy at her approach, rang the bell and went in, while I stood without,
disconsolate as the Peri at the gate of Paradise, though blessed indeed with the
transporting sight of "Josiah Smith" upon the door-plate. A little
bundle lay upon the sidewalk. She
had dropped it. I picked it up and pressed it to my lips; then, struck with a
happy thought, took from my pocket my own carte de visite (I carried a package
of them always about me), wrapped it in the bundle, collared a small boy and
sent him up the stoop with particular directions to leave it for Miss Smith. It
was a bold stroke, perhaps, but the spirit of a Caesar began to animate me. I
could now say, "I came, I saw," I must also add, "I conquered." At least if I
didn't it shouldn't be my fault. One hour I remained, rooted to the spot, till
the passers-by began to regard me suspiciously, and the cravings of nature drew
me imperiously off to dinner. With the gaslight I returned again. How breathe to
Miss Smith the devotion which filled my soul? how penetrate to her presence? The
door opened. My heart throbbed with expectation. Was she coining, like
Tennyson's Maude? No, it was only the servant to bring in the evening paper; but
the little dog had run out from behind him, and stood wagging his tail at me on
the pavement. A wild impulse fired my brain. I had taken the first step in crime
in Mrs. Paulding's parlor—the second I fear was easier. I made a sudden rush,
seized the deg, pocketed him, and walked frantically home. There was a method in
my madness, and the result was as I expected. An advertisement, in pathetic
terms, headed by a $50 reward appeared in the next Herald, for a pet spaniel,
answering to the name of Fidele, lost or stolen from his inconsolable mistress.
My heart bled at this record of her suffering, but it was necessary to retain
him till the morrow. I fed him, however, upon loaf sugar and Italian
beef-steaks; and the next morning, taking Fidele in my arms, I tied a second
carte de visits to his collar, wrote upon it, "The preserver of Fidele," and
left it at her door. It was agony to remain in ignorance of the effect produced
by these little manifestations of my feelings; but the manifestations themselves
should, I resolved, continue. Every day for a week a bouquet, the richest and
rarest that the conservatories could furnish, inscribed, always, "From the
preserver of Fidele," went as an offering to my idol's shrine. I tried a poem;
but "Smith" would rhyme with nothing but "myth;" and my own name, even had I
been disposed to disclose it, could have been compressed into nothing shorter
than an Alexandrine.
At last, at last—oh blissful
terminus to all earthly woes!—there came a day when gold went down, and stocks
declined, and bulls and bears waged fiercest war, and Shoddy trembled to its
foundations over an impending crash; and I, who had long since lost all relish
for such sublunary affairs, save only as they might appertain to the dower of
Miss Smith, was nevertheless hurried, for filthy lucre's sake, from office to
office in all conceivable directions. I crossed Broadway, or rather I rashly
essayed it. Omnibuses, carts, and carriages mixed together in one inextricable
jumble. There was a moment's pause; a lady was alighting; an omnibus door swung
open and shut; the horses started; the lady fell; a patient nag, who had stood
meekly by in the tumult, set his foot upon her bonnet. I sprang forward, raised
her in my arms, heard her sweet lips whisper, "My preserver! the preserver of
Fidele!" and Miss Smith, my own Miss Smith, fainted in my embrace. Gladly would
I have pressed her to my heart, but stern conventionalities forbade it. I called
a carriage; I retained her in my arms; I pillowed her head upon my shoulder; we
drove to Madison Avenue. An elderly individual, evidently Mr. Josiah Smith,
stood upon the steps. To him I unwillingly resigned my burden, while Miss Smith,
with most opportune recovery, again murmured, in my behalf, "My preserver! the
preserver of Fidele!" I presented my card to the astonished father. Might I be
permitted to call that evening to inquire after the health of Miss Smith? Mr.
Smith hesitated, looked at me, then at the imposing cognomen presented him, and
invited me to dinner!
Need I add that Miss Smith now
rejoices with me in the appellation of Mrs. Ferdinand F. Featherstonhaugh, nee
SCENES AND INCIDENTS AT
ON Sunday, June 14, 1863, the New
Jersey Brigade to which I was attached, then at Franklin's Run on the
Rappahannock, received orders to march in pursuit of
Lee's army, then moving
toward Pennsylvania. Our corps (General Sedgwick's) was the last to leave the
Rappahannock, and the route we pursued was any thing but direct; but neither
heat nor fatigue could abate the ardor of the men; all were eager to meet the
enemy who had dared again to set his foot on Northern soil. At a distance of
fifteen miles from
Gettysburg, where the armies were massing, we first caught
the murmurs of the opening battle, and from that time until we reached the scene
all was enthusiasm among the weary, footsore braves, who counted as nothing all
the pains of a march of one hundred and ninety-eight miles, now that they were
within striking distance of the foe. Most of the way the ambulance trains had
been crowded with both officers and men, weary, worn, and haggard; but the
cannon's rattle, as it became more and more distinct, changed them in a
twinkling into new creatures. At once all began to make ready to alight; it was
no time for riding then; march was the word. Two hours later, at about three
o'clock on the afternoon of the 3d of July, the head of our column arrived upon
the battle-ground, halting upon a hill which gave us a full view of the field,
excepting only a part of the left of the line, which was posted in a ravine out
Here occurred an incident which I
shall never forget: As we came to a halt a poor fellow who looked the very image
of death hobbled out of the ambulance in which he had been lying, and,
musket, was just starting forward, when the
surgeon in charge
stopped him with,
"Where are you going, Sir?"