Story of an Escaped Slave

 

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Civil War Harper's Weekly, July 2, 1864

Harper's Weekly newspapers were the primary source of information for people who lived at the time of the War. There were hundreds of thousands of subscribers, and millions of readers. Today, these original documents serve as an important research tool enabling the serious student to gain new insights into the war.

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

 

General Lee

Robert E. Lee

Democratic Convention

1864 Democratic Convention

Petersburg

Attack on Petersburg

Georgia

Georgia

General Logan

General Johnny Logan

Escaped Slave

Escaped Slave

Map March

Map of Sherman's March

Escaped Slave

Escaped Slave, Union Soldier

Custer Cavalry Charge

Custer Cavalry Charge

Powhatan

Battle of Fort Powhatan

Columbia

Columbia

 

 

 

 

 

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

[JULY 2, 1864.

422

(Previous Page) ordered that his wound be attended to secretly, and then addressed himself again to duty, arguing that he had fired twenty-two rounds since his hurt, and that he could fire at least as many more now that the wound had been dressed. The next month he was made a Brigadier-General ; and in the autumn, when the Army of the Tennessee was reorganized, he was appointed to the command of a division with a Major-General's commission. Afterward, in all of GRANT'S campaigns in the West, he was one of the ablest of that General's division commanders. General LOGAN, in the late advance of McPHERSON'S command on Dallas, and particularly in the repulse of the enemy on the afternoon of the 28th of May, has given fresh proofs of the heroism which has distinguished him in all previous campaigns.

REV. GORDON WINSLOW.

REV. GORDON WINSLOW, D.D., whose portrait we give on page 421, and who fell overboard from a Sanitary Commission steamer on the Potomac, on the 7th of June, and was drowned, was born in Vermont in 1804, prepared for Yale College at Andover, Massachusetts, and graduated at that institution. Soon after his attention was drawn to the Episcopal Church, and he became rector of a church in Troy, New York, and subsequently in Annapolis. Afterward he was for many years rector of St. Paul's, Staten Island, and Chaplain of the Quarantine. At the outbreak of the rebellion he was appointed Chaplain of the Fifth New York (WARREN'S) Zouaves, and accompanied that regiment in all its trying scenes and hard fought battles. He was distinguished for his bravery, and his services gained for him high credit and renown among the army. He also served on the Sanitary Commission, and when his regiment returned last year he was appointed Inspector of the Army of the Potomac. His efficiency and valuable services will not soon be forgotten.

Dr. WINSLOW possessed a fine social nature, full of good heart and noble soul. His traits of character were remarkably well blended. All his motives and plans were of a high and noble cast. At the time of his death he was accompanying his son, Colonel WINSLOW, of the Fifth New York Zouaves, who had been wounded, to Washington.

The photograph from which our portrait is made was taken by GARDNER, corner of Seventh and D streets, Washington, District of Columbia, to whom we were recently indebted for the fine picture of Mr. LINCOLN and his Secretaries.

THE ESCAPED SLAVE AND THE
UNION SOLDIER.

SURELY not the least interesting of the varied war pictures which we present to our readers this week will be two sketches on page 428-one, the picture of a negro slave, who fled from Montgomery, Alabama, to Chattanooga, for the express purpose of enlisting in the army of the Union; the other, a picture of this same negro, endowed for the first time with his birth-right of freedom, and allowed the privilege dearer to him than any other —that of fighting for the nation which is hereafter pledged to protect him and his. Are these not affecting pictures which are here presented to us ? On the one side, the poor fugitive oppressed with the weariness of two hundred long miles of dusty travel, a journey interrupted by a thousand necessary precautions, and harassed by timid suggestions of a fate more horrible than death if he is discovered; with his meagre covering of rags about him: and on the other side, the soldier crowned with freedom and honor. Can we not at length have faith in that heroism which has been so gloriously illustrated at Wagner and Olustee and Petersburg, and which, in the face of the Fort Pillow massacre, yet offers itself afresh in the person of a poor fugitive, who, from the heart of the enemy's country, gives himself, at the risk of death or of a torture worse than death, to a cause simply because it is inevitably associated, with the problem of his freedom ?

QUITE ALONE.

By GEORGE AUGUSTUS SALA.

CHAPTER XXXI.

PEACE.

LILY'S life in the Marais was, for six months, peaceable, and uneventful, and happy. One day was like another, but all the days were quiet and cheerful, and they passed swiftly by. Lily rose at eight, and took Madame de Kergolay her coffee and milk in her bedchamber. Lily read to her, over her own breakfast, the news from the only journal which was permitted to penetrate into the establishment ; the Legitimist Gazette de France. Madame de Kergolay was no very violent politician, but her convictions were firm. The iron had long since been forged into steel. She spoke of Napoleon as "the too celebrated M. de Bonaparte." Whenever she alluded to Robespierre it was with a shudder, but without invective. She called him " that miserable man." Louis the Sixteenth was to her always " the martyr king." Marie Antoinette, Madame was not very enthusiastic about—her career, she observed, was "equivocally tenebrous;" but she regarded the Duc de Berri as the victim of perfidy, and the Duchesse d'Angouleme as a saint. The house of Orleans, then regnant in France, she named with sorrow, but without asperity, as " the ingrates of the cadet branch." She seemed (with one exception) to bear no malice toward any of the deplorably famous characters of the revolutionary epoch. As Talleyrand did, she always spoke of the philosopher of Ferney as "Monsieur de Voltaire." She gave Mirabeau his title of count, and admitted the eloquence of Camille Desmoulines and the patriotism of Ma-

dame. Roland. But if ever the name of Jean Jacques Rousseau were mentioned in her presence, her cheek flushed, and her voice trembled with indignation. " The vulture in dove's feathers !" she was wont to cry. "The sentimentalist who wreathed his murderous poniard in fine phrases. The philanthropist who would not have children whipped, and yet sent his helpless babes to the Foundling Hospital !" And for poor crazy Jean Jacques there was no charity to be expected from the Baronne de Kergolay.

About ten o'clock the lecture of the Gazette de France was concluded, and Lily was allowed to enjoy what was to her a most delightful privilege. She went out to market with Babette, the homely femme de charge. At first her relations with this woman were of a slightly embarrassing nature. Babette seemed to be under a continual nervous apprehension lest Lily should think that she was jealous of her, but the girl's gentle and unassuming nature gradually gained confidence in the housekeeper's mind, and before a fort-night was over she told Lily that she loved her next to Madame de Kergolay. The convict's wife was zealously but unaffectedly pious ; and she never went to market without going to church for a few minutes.

When Lily returned from market it was nearly noon, and the djeuner it la fourchette, or mid-day breakfast, was served. Until two or three in the afternoon she worked at some of the marvelous tasks of embroidery which were always in hand, or else she read to Madame de Kergolay. Novels were not entirely banished from the good dame's intellectual course. The feuilleton novel was, it need not be said, proscribed ; the wild productions of the romantic school were likewise inadmissible ; and the baronne had probably never heard of George Sand or of Paul de Kock. But the genteel fictions of M. le Vicomte d'Arlincourt, and the decorous numbers of M. le Vicomte de Chateaubriand, in French, with Walter Scott and Miss Porter in English, were considered worthy of entry, and were listened to with complacency by Madame, and absolutely devoured by Lily.

After this, if the day were fine, came a walk. In her youth, perhaps, Madame had heard of the unholy kidnapping expeditions in the streets of Paris, by means of which, during the reign of the " well-beloved" and peculiarly abominable Louis the Fifteenth, the flesh and blood preserves of the Pare aux Cerfs were recruited. At any rate, Madame would never permit her protegee to go out alone. For seven years, confined by a painful and hopeless malady to her bed and her invalid chair, she had never left her third floor in the Marais ; but she recognized the necessity for regular exercise in Lily's case. Sometimes Babette was deputed to accompany her in a two-hours' walk on the quays or in the Champs Elysees. Sometimes Vieux Sablons was commanded to escort her ; but there were draw-backs to the advantages accruing from the protection of this faithful domestic. Vieux Sablons was a slave to the exigencies of style. Although with great difficulty he had been dissuaded from wearing, whenever he took his walks abroad, the silver-fringed cocked-hat which had been specially made for him when the emigrants returned in triumph with the allied troops in 1814, he insisted on carrying a portentous cane, with a gilt copper knob and two pendent acorns, and in tapping this staff on the ground from time to time as he walked, somewhat after the manner of the beadle at St. Germain des Pres during an ecclesiastical procession. The con-sequence was, that the gamins, or little black-guard boys of Paris, who are assuredly not to be beaten for impudence and cruel acumen by the youths of any other capital in Europe, were accustomed to laugh at Vieux Sablons, to call him " Marquis de Carabas," " Micromegas," " Voltigeur de Louis Quatorze," and the like, and to follow him, hooting and jeering, and occasionally casting mud and stones at him after the unhappily too frequent fashion of democratic and ill-trained juvenility. And these proceedings, naturally leading to " explications" between Vieux Sablons and the blackguard boys, in which the bamboo stick took somewhat too vivacious a part, a tumult was more than once the result, when Vieux Sablons had unpleasant altercations with the sergents de ville, not devoid of reference to a visit to the nearest post or guard-house. Vieux Sablons experienced infinite pride and pleasure in escorting the " little m'amselle," as he called Lily—she was always to be little—but his style stood in his way, and the baroness would rarely suffer him to confront the perils of the little blackguards' satire.

At all events, Lily contrived to get a good bracing walk almost every fine day. At least twice a week Madame Prudence would look in to pay her respects to the baroness, and then it was she who would officiate as Lily's chaperon. Often, too, the Abbe Chatain would come, but ecclesiastical etiquette forbade that worthy man to be seen in the street with a young lady. Once, when Babette and Lily were walking in the gar-den of the Luxembourg, they came upon the abbe, who was sitting on a bench reading his breviary. He rose in haste as they approached, and, blushing scarlet, walked away. He pettishly warned Babette, the next time he came to the Marais, against "compromising" him. Poor Abbe Chatain! He, too, was a slave to style.

Once, also, when Lily and Madame Prudence had ventured beyond the Triumphal Arch at the top of the Champs Elysees, and were wandering through the then ill-tended thickets of the Bois de Boulogne, they came upon the entire Pension Marcassin undergoing the dolorous relaxation of the " promenade." The girls were all rigidly watched by governesses and sub-governesses, and bad marks were plenteously distributed for such offenses as not keeping step, or turning the head over the shoulder to gaze at a quack's plat-

form, or a Punch's show ; while, for a wonder, at the head of the procession marched the terrible Mademoiselle—the Marcassin herself.

She eyed her former pupil and victim narrowly, and with an evil countenance, as, trembling in every limb, and feeling herself turn white and red by turns, Lily passed. The Marcassin had got well rid of the unprofitable scholar ; she had a hold upon her, in case her friends should ever come forward ; and yet she experienced a kind of cold rage at the thought that the girl had slipped through her fingers. It was so easy to punish the pupil who had no friends. It was so facile to torment the child who dared not complain. The Marcassin was vexed that, in a moment of weakness, she had permitted the abbe to take away the little English girl. Indeed, she was angry with the abbe altogether. He did not come so frequently as he used to come. He spent most of his leisure time in the Marais. He cared no more for tric-trac. He sounded the praises of the Baronne de Kergolay too often and too warmly. As for Lily, he spoke of her goodness, her meekness, her docility, in a manner which, according to Mademoiselle Marcassin, was perfectly sickening. " Ce bonhomme d'abbe radote —he maunders, " quoth the strong-minded school-mistress. " I must seek out another director for the Pension Marcassin."

However, she knew that she had lost her prey, and was content to glower at the girl as she saw her, happy and prosperous, and with the glow of health upon her cheek. The governesses, taking the cue from the Marcassin, surveyed Lily and her companion with supercilious sneers, but their private comments failed to harmonize with the public recognition they had bestowed on the ex-pupil.

" She has been adopted by a duchess," one whispered.

" A duchess ; bah ! by a poverty-stricken old emigrant baroness out of the Vendee, rather. A pensioner on the ancient civil list, probably. My father was out in the Bocage. He was a Bleu. He knew all ces gens-la, and had four Kergolays shot in one day."

" It is no matter. La petite looks very well. She is not amiss, la petite."

" She was always an affectionate and obedient little thing, and it went to one's heart to have to punish her when she had committed no misdeeds, merely because such were the orders of superior authority."

" Well, she is out of the lion's den.—Will you walk straight, Tavernier l'Ainde, and refrain from using your fingers as castanets, or shall I report you, for the fifth time during the existing promenade, to Mademoiselle Espremenil, for ultimate reprimand and correction by Madame ?"

The misdeeds of Mademoiselle Tavernier, the elder, who was a very muscular young Christian indeed, and always scandalizing the proprietors of the pensionnat by ill-repressed acrobatic feats, drove Lily out of the minds of the governesses, and half a minute after the scholastic cortege had passed by, she was forgotten by all save the Marcassin. But the Marcassin remembered her very well.

Madame Prudence had not beheld this little scene unmoved. She had, it will be remembered, an old feud with the schoolmistress ; and, deliberately spitting on the ground, with certain solemn expressions of disparagement and defiance, she drew Lily's arm under hers, and walked on at a quick pace.

Lily did not fail to tell Madame de Kergolay, when they reached home, of her little adventure. The baroness deemed it her duty gently to chide the priest's housekeeper for her intemperance of language toward Mademoiselle Marcassin, but added the expression of a hope that she had not heard it.   

" With a thousand reverences toward your-self, Madame la Baronne, and begging pardon for having spoken in the language of the people to which I belong, and against the canons of Christian charity which have been taught me by M. l'Abbe Chatain, I most sincerely wish that Mademoiselle Marcassin did hear what I said. Too long she tormented at her ease this dear innocent child ; and the stories which the abbe has told me of her cruelty and tyranny have made me, time after time, burn over with the desire of tearing her wicked old eyes out."

" That would be very wrong indeed, Madame Prudence"—it was the baroness who spoke. "We should forgive all our enemies, even as we hope to be forgiven."

" I humbly ask pardon," replied Madame Prudence with a low courtesy " and I will pray for Mademoiselle Bluebeards this very night ; but I should like to pass a little quarter of an hour with her nevertheless."

" And I am sure," interposed Lily, " that I for-give her. It was nothing, perhaps, but temper."

" It was nothing, perhaps, but choux-fleurs a la sauce," Madame Prudence said afterward, in good-humored banter (but not in the baroness's presence), to Lily. " My poor little angel heart, I tell you that woman was made of marble. Marble ! Lava of a volcano rather. Some years ago it may have been boiling and red-hot, and now it is turned into stone."

The dinner-hour on the third floor in the Marais was invariably six o'clock. The bill of fare was always simple ; but the style, on which Vieux Sablons so prided himself, was never lacking. Twice a week the baroness fasted. She did not expect Lily to do the same, and even endeavored to dissuade her from following her example ; but the girl thought in her simple heart that it would be selfish not to abstain from meat, as her friends did upon meagre days ; and besides she thought the sorrel soup, the fish, the vegetables, and omelets which Babette served up on non-flesh days, very nice and succulent. On Sundays and feasts they had generally some little extra delicacy—a charlotte aux pommes, or a turkey stuffed with chestnuts.

After dinner came, on visiting evenings—that is to say, when Madame " received" on Tuesdays and Thursdays—a few very old gentlemen and a few very old ladies. They all seemed to have been shipwrecked, to have been knocked to pieces like the porcelain dessert services, and put together again. The Vidame de Barsae was seventy. He earned his living now as a teacher of English, a language he had acquired during the emigration. The Count de Panarion had been a mousquetaire gris. He was glad enough now to do hack-work for a bookseller in the Rue St. Jacques. Monsieur de Fontanges had been a Knight of Malta. How he managed to earn a crust of bread now was not precisely known. It was a delicate subject, and not much talked about. Madame Prudence, indeed, once hinted to Lily that the "poor dear man," as she called him, had been compelled to accept a post in the orchestra of a theatre, and played second fiddle at the Odeon for a hundred francs a month.

The ladies were as antique and as dilapidated as the gentlemen. They were marchionesses, countesses, or plain mesdames, but all of noble birth ; one, Mademoiselle de Casteaunac, was a sentimental old maid, who had been a beauty. They were all miserably poor, hiding their heads in cheap boarding-houses, or cheaper garrets, or pining on the miserable pensions on the civil list, allocated by the government for the support of the decayed Bourbon aristocracy, and the sparse funds of which were supplemented every year by a grand ball at the Hotel de Ville. The sentimental old maid had but one aspiration. She had an income amounting to the magnificent sum of twenty-five pounds a year. If she could only manage to raise it to forty (a thou-sand francs) they would receive her as a nun in one of the gloomiest and rigidest convents of the Faubourg St. Germain. It was not a bright prospect, but poor Sister Anne gazed at it wistfully from the tower of her spinsterhood. To be allowed to 'rave your hair cut off, and to wear black serge and a veil ; to be permitted to sleep on the boards, and scarify yourself with a horse-hair vest, get up in the middle of the night to repeat the lamentations of Jeremiah, and subsist chiefly on stale bread and black radishes, and scourge yourself twice a week ! Well, there are ambitions of various kinds,. and Mademoiselle de Casteaunac's ambition extended no further than this. :But she was deficient in her budget just fifteen pounds per annum, and her long-coveted bliss was unattainable. It is a practical age, indeed, when maceration costs money, and the treasurer of the vestal virgins expects a novice to come prepared with a corn-pact sum in the Three per Cents.

These poor old people came and paid a feeble, fluttering court to Madame de Kergolay. She had lent—that is to say given—most of them money ; the name she bore was honored and famous, and they accorded her a sincere and awful homage. Of all the victims of the dreadful revolution none had suffered more deeply than the Baronne de Kergolay. She was al-most a martyr. She had sat upon the steps of the scaffold. She had been in the tumbril. Her hair had fallen beneath Sanson's shears. Her husband, her father, her dearest friends and kinsmen, had been drowned in Robespierre's red sea. She said once, in sad playfulness, that she felt almost as though she had been decapitated, and her head had been sewn on again.

The entertainments in the Marais were not costly. Vieux Sablons, in connection with the yellow wax-candles in the silver sconces, provided all that was requisite in the way of style. For the rest, there was a little weak tea. The guests brought their own snuff, and what more could they want? They paid their little compliments, vented their meek complaints against the ungrateful government of the cadet branch, buzzed about their small scandals, and some-times indulged in raillery, or drifted into dispute. Now and then a game at tric-trac or Boston was made up ; and at ten o'clock all took their leave, and the establishment on the third floor went to bed.

CHAPTER XXXII.

A SCAPE-GRACE.

SAID Vieux Sablons to Lily Floris, one morning—it was in the sixth month of her residence in the Marais :

"Little m'amselle, to-day there is `bombance.' "

"I don't quite understand you, Vieux Sablons. Bombance ! What is that ?"

" True, I am an animal. Madame would pull my ears for talking to you in so rude a manner. Madame always speaks classically, and expects her domestics to observe good style in their language. I mean, that to-day there is a festival, a holiday, a gala."

" And why, Vieux Sablons? It is not a fete-day of your Church."

" Little puritan m'amselle ! What do you know about our feasts or our fasts either ? Though, for the matter of that, you insist upon making meagre whenever Madame does. But to-day is a secular holiday. The Scape-grace is coming."

" The Scape-grace ! Who may he be ?"

"Ah! you will find out soon enough. The scamp— the brigand—the ne'er-do-well— the good-for-nothing."

Lily turned hot and faint. Who was coming ? She recalled the horrible story of Babette's husband. Was the convict expected?

"There !" exclaimed Vieux Sablons, good-humoredly, as he observed the girl's agitation ; " I am a brute, a buffalo, a rhinoceros, to terrify you so, little m'amselle. One would think I was announcing the advent of Lo petit homme Rouge—the little Red Man who was wont to ( appear to Bonaparte. It is only M. Edgar Grey-


 

 

  

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