Sherman's advance on Georgia


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, July 16, 1864

Harper's Weekly was the most read newspaper of the Civil War era. It was popular across the country for its fabulous wood cut illustrations created by war artists deployed with the troops at the front lines. Today, it is popular as a valuable source of original information on the way.

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General Grant

Alabama is Sunk

Battle Kenesaw Mountain

Pine Mountain

Sherman Advance

General Sherman's Advance on Georgia

Spanish Squadron

Spanish Squadron

Lincoln Cartoon

Lincoln Cartoon

Alabama Sinking

Alabama Sinking

Fourth of July

Fourth of July


Rebel Deserters




   [JULY 16, 1864.



WE give on page 453 three interesting sketches relating to General SHERMAN'S advance in Georgia. These give a view of localities which, in connection with this campaign, have become historic. We have here, in the first place, a sketch of PINE MOUNTAIN, lately occupied by General HOWARD'S corps, after its evacuation by the enemy—the result of one of SHERMAN'S flank movements. It is a high knob, from which a splendid view of the country and a good idea of the position of the different armies may be obtained.

It was on the crest of this mountain that Lieutenant-General POLK was killed, June 14, by a shell from the Fifth Indiana Battery—the battery of the gallant Captain SIMONSON, who was himself killed the next day. The different corps of SHERMAN'S army have their signal stations on the top of Pine Mountain.

Another sketch gives a view of KENESAW, as seen from Pine Mountain. In the distance is a view of Marietta. Between the two mountains the smoke ascends from three Federal encampments, belonging to the armies of the Cumberland, the Ohio, and the Tennessee. The enemy holds a strong position on the Kenesaw, which was unsuccessfully attempted on the 27th of June, by M'PHERSON, THOMAS attacking on the flank.  A third sketch gives a view of LOST MOUNTAIN AT SUNRISE.





IT is a tall and stately house of many stories. Perhaps by this time they have pulled it down, and built up another palace more sumptuous on its site ; but a quarter of a century since it was lofty, and commanding, and imposing.

It had been a cafe, a restaurant, and a concert-room. Wax-work was shown there once, I fancy. It had been a toy-shop, and a shawl-shop, and an advertising tailor's. Once a court jeweler had it, and once a fashionable milliner. But it always bore its peculiar stamp of stateliness, and, at the worst of times, held on to its dignity bravely. It was always FRASCATI'S.

In the time when this history ran its course, this place was in the last throes of its splendid shameful existence as a gambling-house. The Maisons de Jeu, the scandal of France and in Europe, were moribund. The concession of a privilege for the holding of the public gaming-tables was in the hands of the municipality of the city, who derived a large annual revenue from the infamous concerns : a revenue which was, however, but a beggar's dole compared with the enormous profits of the Fermiers des Jeux, or lessees of the tables. To the credit of the Aediles of Paris, all the dirty money they gathered off the green baize of Frascati's and similar haunts of madness and avarice, was applied to charitable purposes; but the Government had grown tired and ashamed of this nefarious method of contributing to the poor-rate, and had warned the municipality that the concession they granted soon after eighteen hundred and thirty must be the last. The banker (or gaming-table keeper), Benazet, had timely notice to remove his croupiers and macers, his rakes, and pricked cards, and was destined, with other birds of prey, to take flight to Baden and other congenial hells of Fatherland, and settle there to the perpetuation of plunder. But France was freed, at last, from these vultures.

The life thus remaining to Frascati's (for the Palais Royal tripots were shut up) was a short one, but its patrons and fomenters determined that it should be merry. To the accustomed frequenters of the establishment, suppers on an unheard-of scale of luxury were given every night in the cabinets adjoining the great gambling-rooms. Within a month of the dissolution of the gigantic swindle, the cornices were regilt, fresh chandeliers hung, and the windows veiled with fresh green velvet draperies. The affluence of strangers was tremendous. There never was known such a crowd of players, from eleven o'clock in the forenoon till eleven o'clock in the evening ; for these dens were open by day as well as by night. The saloons were crowded with dandies, lawyers, politicians, journalists, artists, and foreigners of distinction, mingled with the common and unmistakable herd of shabby, wan-faced, fishy-eyed professional gamesters. People had to stake over each other's shoulders. Thousand-franc notes fluttered through the air as hoarse voices directed their destination toward red or black, odd or even, under or over, number or color, square or transverse column, or zero. The croupiers looked contemptuously upon the starveling wretches who-played silver. It was as much as ever room could be made for the desperate throwsters who played rouleaux of golden louis. From chime to chime, right round the clock, were the chinking of the money, the sharp pattering of the cards as they fell from the banker's hands, the whirring of the roulette-wheel, the click of the ball, the rasping of the croupes as the forfeited stakes were gathered in, and the dull, hoarse voices of the masters of the game crying out that red had won, or that thirty-five had turned up, black, even, and over—anon en-joining the gentlemen present to make their acme, then telling them the game was made, hnd that no further stake could be received. A gundred times within an hour the lugubrious, monotonous chant was audible. One seemed to be listening to the outdoor litany of the Trappist ; "Frere, il faut mourir,"

Otherwise, there prevailed a deathly silence. Never was there so well-behaved a place as this superterranean pandemonium. It was accounted a flagrant breach of etiquette to make a noise under Any circumstances—to rejoice loudly if you won, to lament audibly if you lost, to quarrel about a questionable throw, or even to converse in aught exceeding a discreet under-tone. When you entered, a grave door-keeper took from you your hat and stick, partly, it may be assumed, to insure the preservation of good manners in so very aristocratic a saloon, partly to obviate the possibility of any votary of the blind goddess (who sees much better athwart her bandage than we give her credit for), rendered desperate by a continuous run of ill-luck, flinging his hat violently at the dealer (as a speaker of the Irish House of Commons is said to have once flung his wig at the head of an orator who wouldn't leave off), or running a. croupier through with a sword-cane. If acquaintances wished to chat, or to argue, they went into an ante-chamber, or into the supper-room. The solemn and powdered lackeys who stole about with cards and pins for calculating punters (who, knowing every probability of the game save one, and, failing the knowledge of that, were beggared), appeared to glide in list slippers. The whole place wore a calm and peaceful aspect, most beautiful to the philosopher. There was no wailing, no gnashing of teeth, no tearing of hair, no stamping of feet. When human wickedness is concentrated on one particular object, and all its faculties are remorselessly perverted and bent, with diabolical strength of volition, toward the attainment of one particular end, human wickedness is apt to be very quiet indeed. Guy Fawkes did not whistle at his work, you may be sure. The ad-ministration of strychnine is not a comic song.

It occurred one morning during this ultimate gala time, this " Vauxhall closing forever" sea-son of Frascati's, to two gentlemen, both known by name and character to the readers of this chronicle (although of one its sight and cognizance have been lost for a considerable period), to look in at the corner of the Rue de Richelieu and try their luck upon the red and the black.

One was a very old friend, and he had grown to be a very old man. It is nearly fourteen years since we last met him.' His hair was still black, but it was the hair of a wig, and not of a living head. His whiskers were ragged and sparse, and these, together with a bristly mustache he had recently grown, were ill-dyed, and the white showed athwart the purple, like cotton in a fraudulent fabric of silk. His teeth, which were wont to gleam so beautifully, were now only a few irregular broken and discolored fangs. His face was haggard, yet unduly puffed and swollen about the jaws, and in many places blotched with purple. It was easy to detect, without turning down his eyelid or inhaling his breath, that he drank. He snuffed, too, in every place where he was not allowed to smoke. He had come to that age when a naughty old man wants every kind of stimulant, and rushes down-hill by half a dozen parallel roads. His attire was shabby and his linen cloudy ; his trowsers were patched, and the lustre on his hat was due, half to grease and half to the recent application of a wet brush. You could see the hole in his left boot, where he had inked his stocking to conceal the whiteness of the orifice. In one hand he dangled a dingy yellow glove, which had no fellow ; from his dexter wrist dangled by a string a loaded walking-stick, which was more like a bludgeon. But it would be unpardonable to omit the fact that he wore spurs, dimly lacquered, and that his frayed and eraseous stock was fastened with a sham carbuncle pin, price one franc twenty-five centimes in the Galerie Vivienne, and unavailable at the Mont de Piete.

This was all that was left of the fashionable Mr. Francis Blunt. The glories of the Horticultural fete, Gamridge's Hotel, the cabriolet and the tiger, the body-servant and the chambers in town, the watches, the rings, the scent and cambric, and the cut velvet waistcoats, had all come down to this. It would be wearisome to dwell on all the details of a career toward the dogs, which had continued with brief intermissions of prosperity for fourteen years. It would be sullying this page with the shabbiest and sorriest of chronicles. His instincts had always been canine, and the dogs had him at last. It was a natural culmination. It was only what might have been expected, Hundreds of spirits as dashing, as fashionable, as accomplished, had so subsided into decrepitude, and drifted into extinction. The brilliant butterfly had become the dirtiest of grubs again. He was but one of a motley, brilliant, worthless million.

But if you want the rapidest coup doeil—the most comprehensive birds-eye view—here it is. A thousand table d'hote dinners (many of them on credit), and a thousand days passed outside cook-shops, with nothing to eat. Thousands of bottles of wine, some paid for, some to which he had been treated, many which he had cozened innkeepers out of. Much brandy, many cigars; hecatombs of card-packs, legions of billiard-matches, a sack full of loaded dice, a shower of stamped paper, bearing his name, now as drawer, now as acceptor, now as endorser. An occasional appearance in the English Insolvent Debt-ors' Court ; one or two proclamations of outlawry; a ream of begging letters ; a host of unpaid tailors ; several bevies of bayaderes, and worse ; half a dozen convictions for escroquerie entailing lengthened residences in French, in Belgian, and in German jails ; a few duels, more numerous canings and horsewhippings. Behold it all. He had ridden in carriages-and-four, and he had been kicked down stairs ; he had danced at balls and run away from landlords ; he had been drunken and gay, and sick and in hospitals ; but the route had been always downward, and it had come to this at last. And, as the Sibyl enhanced day by day the price of her portentous volumes,

while they were diminished in number, even so did Mr. Francis Blunt require every day more brandy, and derive a smaller amount of comfort from that down-hill cordial.

His circle of existence was narrowing. Mephistopheles's poodle was tracing more involved concentrics round him. The moral halter was tightening. He dared not show himself in Lon-don, in Brussels, at the German watering-places. Out of a dozen former friends whom he would meet by chance, not ten, not eleven, but just the -whole dozen, would cut him. When his name was mentioned, it was not as " poor devil"—he was beyond contemptuous charity—but as "horrible old scamp." The miserable man had no one to talk to now but a few tavern waiters, gaming-house employes, dunning landladies, billiard-markers, police agents, and commissaries of police. His acquaintance with the two last-named classes was involuntary. The police were well aware of him. " Le nomme Blunt" was down in the blackest books of Rue de Jerusalem. He was too old and drunken to be made useful as a spy. The alguazils quietly waited until they could catch him n flagrant aft, and cart him off to the galleys as a robber. He had ceased to have a regular lodging, and slept by the night in the worst "garnis" of the worst quarters, at fifteen sous. When he had no money he prowled about the Champs Elysees. When he won he would have a drinking-bout at the wine-shops in the Halles, which are kept open all night, and would be an insolent Amphitryon to market-gardeners and sergents de vine, who scoffed at him while they drank at his cost. But these festive evenings were rare. He had reached, to all appearance, that stage in the gambler career when a man never wins heavily, and when Fortune permits him only to pick up sufficient from the green cloth to save him from sheer starvation, and enable him to support life while she tortures him. There were very few even tenth-rate cafes and estaminets now where he was welcome, or allowed to brawl and drivel over his brandy or his absinthe. There is a phase in rascaldom when the rascal is even ostracised by his mates. Blunt had be--come a solitary rogue. "Mauvais garnement," cried the French raffs ; " A thorough rip," sneered the English raffs who knew him. So he was left alone.

' And yet," he would moan piteously to him-self sometimes, " I have a brother in India who must. be worth millions. Where is he ? How came he to leave the service? Is he dead? I have written hundreds of letters to him in vain. Where is George Blunt ?"

There was one place, indeed, of which he was free—one hostelry open for twelve hours out of the twenty- four — one caravanserai where he could enter. So long as he had a hat and coat they would admit him to the gaming-tables. The line was drawn at caps and blouses. So long as hats were hats and coats coats they were reckoned as belonging to the "mise decente," and their wearers were entitled to be called, in gaming-house parlance, "Messieurs de la Galerie."

This precious Gentleman of the Gallery, then, on the morning in question, went up the well-worn stairs of Frascati's, and surrendered his hat and stick to the janitor at the-door, who knew Blunt well, and was, indeed, an ancient punter, on whom! when utterly broken down, the administration had taken compassion, and provided with a snug refuge for his declining days. He had seen men and cities, and know all the folly of betting against the black, and all the madness of backing the red. And accordingly, once a month, when his scanty wages were paid him, and he had a holiday, he very carefully backed the red and lost every sou at the gaming-table, and next day went back contentedly to take care of the hats and sticks.

A can old gentleman in a shirt-frill, blue spectacles, nankeen pantaloons, and speckled gray stockings—the uncle in a vaudeville kind of gentleman—whispered behind his signet-ringed hand, as Blunt shambled toward the roulette-table, to a stately, military made-up personage, with a tremendous spiked mustache, and the ribbons of half a dozen foreign orders at his button-hole :

" He was in luck yesterday. He backed the numbers, always putting a five-franc piece a cheval—on horseback. He must have won at least five louis. Had he been able to play gold instead of silver he would have netted a hundred."

" He will back the same number, you will see, to-day, and lose," quoth the military personage, sententiously. " I am sick of seeing that old scoundrel. I long to behold him sitting between two gens d'armes on the benches of the court of assize."

Neither the clean old gentleman nor the military personage ever risked so much as a five-franc piece at the tables. It was strictly against their orders to play. Their business was to watch those who gambled ; and there were others there whose business it was to watch them. Both were spies of the police. But when the toils of the day were over, and they were off duty, the police gentry, and some select acquaintances among the croupiers, and the liveried Iackeys (whose services were perfunctory, and who were no more real footmen than the "greencoats" of the play-house) would adjourn to a quiet wine-shop and gamble away their leisure hours in comfort and joy.

Blunt played from noon till four o'clock. Superstitious, as all gamblers are, he had dreamed, on three successive nights, that thirty-three was to be his lucky number at roulette. Understand, that, had he put a piece of money or a bank-note on this number, and, when the ball had ceased revolving in the wheel, the number thirty-three, where it had halted, been proclaimed, he would have received thirty-five times his

stake. But there were, of course, no less than six-and-thirty chances against him ; and, his dream notwithstanding, his capital was too small (he had three louis left after a night at the Halle) to risk even the smallest amount " en plein," or in full, on the number. He put his stakes on horseback : that is to say, on the yellow boundary line between the square numbered thirty-three and the square numbered thirty-four ; so that, according to the rules, if either of those numbers turned up he was entitled to receive half thirty-five, or seventeen times his stake. Sometimes he shifted his piece, and put it, still on horseback, between thirty-three and thirty-two, thus doubling his chances of winning. Oh! he was cunning.

He began with a five-franc piece ; won a little, lost a little ; abstained from playing during a few rounds ; then kept his hand in by staking on red, on black, on odd, or on even ; then went back to the charmed square of thirty-three, and put ten francs on horseback. The wheel went round and the ball jarred from compartment to compartment. "TRENTE-TROIS, noir, pair et passe," cried the banker. -

With a rake the croupiers propelled toward the gamester seventeen times his stake a hundred and seventy francs.

He drew the money together, separated two louis from it, crammed the rest into his breast-pocket, and placed it in the same position. Then the game was made, and the brass pillar was twirled, and the ball went whizzing round.

"TRENTE-QUATRE, rouge impair et manque," cried the banker.

It being thirty-four, and the stake being en-titled to share in half the gains in either number, they pushed seventeen times forty francs toward Blunt. He was now the possessor of four hundred and fifty francs.

He had not had so much money for months. He calculated that he could spend a hundred francs in a riotous night, keep fifty francs for eating and drinking, for emergencies, and still have a floating capital of three hundred francs, which, properly divided, would enable him to play for a whole week. To many gamesters of Mr.Blunt's calibre, who were watching his game, the same calculation presented itself. But to the surprise of his neighbors, he never touched the four hundred and fifty francs. It was in gold, And he let the pile remain between thirty-three and thirty-four. He shut his eyes and screwed the lids close together. Ile folded his arms and dug his nails into the palms of his hands. He felt that the back of his head was burning hot and that his feet were icy cold. He gnawed his lips and awaited the issue.

The pillar was twirled ; the ball rushed round in mad gyration. Blunt heard it hopping up and down, to and fro, from the outer to the inner rim. Then its march was feebler ; then it stopped. Then there was silence ; and a voice like the sound of a trumpet came and smote him on the ear.

"TRENTE-TROIS," it said, " noir, pair et passe? It was thirty-three. He had won seven thou sand six hundred and fifty francs.

"By Jove!" cried a voice, in English, behind him ; " and I've been backing that confounded thirty-two in full instead of on horseback, and have lost every sou."

Blunt turned round and saw a young gentle-man, very handsome, very hold-looking, and very fashionably dressed..

" We are countrymen, it seems," the gamester remarked, trying to muster up what he could of the ancient affable amenity of Francis Blunt, Esquire.

The young gentleman gave a haughty stare, and no direct answer.

"You're in luck, old gentleman," he conde- scended to observe.

"I am. Why didn't you back my luck? Are you so rare a punter as not to he up to that chance ?"

" I wasn't thinking about it. I was intent on my own cursed number. And now 1 have lost all."

Blunt had withdrawn his winnings at the end of the round while lie conversed with his neighbor, as most experienced gamblers will do, as a measure of precaution, and sometimes even be-fore they use their handkerchief, or take a pinch of snuff, lest an unexpected bleeding at the nose, or even a sudden fit of sneezing or coughing, should render them incapable of watching the chances of the game.

Francis Blunt, Esquire, had never in his most - prosperous period been. addicted to giving away money, or even to paying it when it Was duo. "" Frank does not like parting with the shiners," was the verdict passed in sporting circles on his disposition to be tenacious of current cash. He would sow his acceptances at three months broadcast, but it was difficult to get a sovereign out of him. It is, however, one of the many superstitions of gamblers that luck may he con-ciliated by giving a piece of gold to a player who has just lost his last stake. The recipient of this bounty should be young and preferably a woman, but ladies were excluded from Frascati's. Discipline must be preserved, even among the devils.

"And so you have lost all," Blunt said. Ile had not played for four rounds.

" Not a Hard."

The old punter had seven thousand six hundred and fifty francs. He could afford to be liberal. He took five louis from his breast-pocket and placed them in the young man's hand.

"Accept this loan," he said, omitting, not through delicacy, but through avarice, to call it a gift. "When you have won a hundred louis you can return it to me. But I advise you to back my luck."

The young man stared, hesitated, reddened slightly, passed his white fingers through his




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