Colonel Bailey Saves the Union Fleet

 

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Civil War Harper's Weekly, June 18, 1864

Welcome to our online collection of original Harper's Weekly newspapers. These papers have important illustrations, and first hand accounts of the key events of the war. Study of this material yields a new understanding of the war.

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

 

Starving

Starving Prisoners

Cleveland

Cleveland Convention

Cold Harbor

Cold Harbor Battle

Georgia

Georgia Campaign

Bailey Fleet

Colonel Bailey Saves the Union Fleet

Battle Cold Harbor

Battle Cold Harbor

Battle Map

Richmond Battle Map

Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln Cartoon

Resaca

Battle of Resaca Georgia

Civil War Battle

Civil War Battle

North Anna River

Battle of North Anna River

 

 

 

 

JUNE 18, 1864.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

395

which I shall never see a red liard. And yet I have been a second mother to her."

It was certainly something in poor Lily's favor that she had been blessed with a second mother, seeing what a remarkably unsatisfactory investment the first one had proved to be. The abbe, however, received Madame's statement with a pinch of salt, as well as with one of snuff. He knew the Marcassin of old, and was acquainted with her aptitude for magnifying her own merits and depreciating those of others : when she would allow them, which was but seldom, to have any merits at all.

" It is a pity," carelessly remarked the abbe, putting the. caster to his chin, as was his wont, before he flung the dice, " that you should be burdened with this little eat-all and do-nothing."

" It is more than a pity, it is a shame, a scandal, an enormity, an abomination," Madame indignantly acquiesced. "Figure to yourself, my dear abbe, that this most reprehensible young person of fifteen years of age—well grown, too—devours my substance. She devours the little patrimony which I hope to be able to leave, some day, to my kindred in Touraine. Such a great girl is not to be kept on walnut-peelings,"

" That is easy to see," the diplomatic abbe agreed.

"They may keep her who will," the school-mistress continued, with well-simulated indifference. " I am sick of the charge, and should be enchanted to be relieved from it."

" Would you, then, consent to her departure ?"

"Who would pay me my memoirs, if you please ?" the Marcassin returned quickly.

" But if you have lost, as you say you have lost by this time, all hopes of payment ?"

"That is true," returned Madame, shrugging her shoulders. "As well fish in the canal for whales as expect that I shall ever re-enter into my funds."

" And if you placed this embarrassing young creature in some locality of which you were well assured, and with persons at whose hands you could at any time claim her?"

"That is true ; but how to find such a locality and such persons ?"

" They must be numerous. Could you not obtain a situation for her in a school, half as pupil to .cher, half as fille de peine ?"

' he is that already, here ; more of one than the, other." Mademoiselle did not specify which was the " one" and which the " other."

" And the convent ?"

" Impossible. She is a heretic. The government is infidel and Voltairean. We should have complications with the police."

"But you say that she has no papers, no recognized identity."

" I tell you, abbe," exclaimed the Marcassin, "that she has nothing, save the spirit of the Fiend which animates her. She is as friendless as a mountebank's tumbling child, bought for forty sous at a fair, and passed on from one juggler to another."

" Pauvre petite !" murmured the abbe again; but his voice was pitched low.

" Besides," resumed the schoolmistress, " if she went to another school she might chatter—and—"

She stopped, somewhat confused, and, the game being over, hurriedly closed the backgammon-board.

"I understand you," the abbe returned, with a nod. " There is much rivalry in the scholastic profession. One always tries to do one's neighbor—when one's neighbor or keeps a school —as much 'harm as is possible. 'Tis pity, for charity's sake, that it should be so. But suppose, my dear and worthy lady, that I was enabled to find, out of doors, an asylum for this forlorn child— a safe asylum, a respectable asylum, a discreet asylum—whence, from time to time, I should be enabled to bring you news of her, and whence, if the dishonest persons who have defrauded you of your hard-earned money were ever brought back to better sentiments, and showed a wish to make restitution, you could bring her back. Suppose some such scheme to be within my power of putting quickly into execution ?"

"Then, my dear abbe, I should say at once, Take her."

"Is that your determination?"

"You have my word for it."

" Then we will adopt measures in accordance. I shall have the honor shortly of communicating with you on the subject. Not another cup of tea, I assure you. I have fears for my head. Well, qualified with this excellent and sanative rhum of the colonies. Have you tasted the Chocolat de Sante, my dear lady? And the Racahout des Arabes ? No ; you prefer the Pate Regnault. A thousand wishes for your happiness ! We will consider the affair of la petite as arranged. Figure to yourself this Monsieur Veron, who makes one fortune by managing the Opera House—what a scandal—and another by selling cough lozenges. And yet, I am told, a most excellent person, and devoted to the Church. Yes, I will certainly remember to bring the six numbers of the Gazette de France when next I have the honor. One might get the little wardrobe of la petite together. She has none, you say. Well, one must be found for her. Charity is not dead, as you, Mademoiselle, have so triumphantly proved. Once more, dear lady, good-night !"

These remarks were not delivered without a solution of continuity. The abbe's valedictory observations were scattered about the room. He had to swallow another cup of the curious fluid which Mademoiselle Marcassin imagined, with many other French ladies of that period, to be tea. He yielded to friendly compulsion, and partook of another modicum of the colonial liqueur. Then he had to find his umbrella and his shovel-hat, and to press Madame's hand, and

to bow over it, and to accept some jujubes for his poor cough, and to suffer Madame with her own fair hands—literally fair, but not cruel, to him—to tie a woolen scarf round his neck, as a defense against the night air.

It was all as innocent, I speak without mental reservation, as sheep-shearing in Arcadia. No-thing could come of it. Both were stricken in years. On both the doom of perpetual celibacy weighed : he, enforced to it by vows : she, sentenced to it by circumstances and by temperament. Yet I have heard that the sun shines sometimes at the North Pole ; and I believe that a little flirtation is a little flirtation all the world over. Believe me, had the fiend who tempted the good St. Anthony come to him, not in the guise of a ballet-girl, but as a cozy, comfortable spinster of a certain age—a spinster who would have knitted muffatees, and made wine possets, and warmed his slippers, and cut the leaves of his Tablet for him—the hermit would earlier have turned his eyes upward from his tome.

One sigh—one among a thousand frowns—is not many. Mademoiselle Marcassin gave one sigh, and put away the backgammon-board and the rhum of the colonies.

"Pauvre cher homme," sighed the Marcassin ; and then she froze up again in one block and proceeded to make her nightly tour of her dormitories, scattering bad marks about her on all the pupils who could be proved to be awake. For wakefulness was considered presumptive evidence of the offender having been indulging in prohibited converse.

"A worthy lady, the Dame Marcassin," the Abbe Chatain mused as he sped homeward. "She errs a little, perhaps, on the side of strictness, but those young persons are difficult, very difficult to manage. I remember at the seminary what trouble I used to give the proviseur and the regisseur, and what stripes of the discipline these shoulders have suffered. Hi ! L it must be admitted that Mademoiselle Marc:_ sin is a woman who has a character. Oh! her force of character is immense. And she is conscientious, highly conscientious. We must see whether we can persuade Madame de Kergolay to shelter this poor little shorn lamb."

And the abbe went home to bed. He was a worthy soul—although he did sometimes read Beranger's poems on the sly.

"If he had only been on our side, Monsieur de Beranger," the abbe was wont to say, " what an ally he would have been ! What a colossus ! But it has always been thus. From the days of M. de Pascal we have never been able to keep the drolls who have wit and humor on our side. And yet we have educated them all in our seminaries. They have bitten the hand that fed them. If M. de Moliere now had only written Tartufe against the Huguenots ! History of fatality. It is true that we have M. de Chateaubriand — mais il radote — he drivels. That rhum of the colonies was very toothsome. To-morrow is a fat day, and Madame Blaise" (his housekeeper) "has promised me a turkey stuffed with chestnuts. C'est enivrant, that turkey stuffed. A little glass of that rhum of the colonies would make an excellent poussecafe. Ah ! here we are at home. Let us enter."

It has been found, not unfrequently, that en-forced celibacy Ieads to a partiality for roast turkey stuffed with chestnuts. Cut a man off from the flesh and he clings to the flesh-pots.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

MORE OF THE ABBE.

A VERY few days after the interview recorded in the last chapter the Abbe Chatain had an-other conversation with Mademoiselle Marcassin. On his departure he met Lily (who had, indeed, tremblingly, but purposely, thrown her-self in his way), and, patting her on the head again, told her to be of good cheer, for that a change in her condition was imminent. Lily went that day to her needle-work, and her knife-cleaning, and her bed-making, quite radiant ; and at night, nestling in her shabby pal-let, she peopled the Imaginary Land with all kinds of benevolent ecclesiastics and philanthropic protectors.

Her deliverance came upon her with delightful suddenness. According to the abbe it might be a week or a fortnight before the arrangements that were being made in her behalf could be carried out ; but as her good fortune would have it, the very morning after she had received this hopeful announcement, and as she was sitting, in her usual Cinderella position at the bottom of the class, the Marcassin herself entered the school-room in full state and proclaimed to Mademoiselle Espremenil that Mademoiselle Floris, no longer "la fille Pauline," or "la petite Anglaise," had been " called to other functions."

"Circumstances," the Marcassin took occasion to say, "which did not perhaps imply de-liberate culpability on the part of Mademoiselle Floris, had rendered her position one of some-what a painful nature." Goodness knows it had, and of the painfulest ! " Indeed, she might say that her education and sustenance, her very vestments, in fact, had been provided by e person whom it was unnecessary to name." Here. the governesses looked admiringly at the Marcassin ; the pupils all stared at Lily ; and the poor child herself blushed a deep crimson. "However, this equivocal state of affairs had now come to an end. Thanks to the efforts of a worthy clergyman (digne ecclesiastique), an asylum had been found elsewhere for Mademoiselle Floris. In the new sphere to which she was about to be removed she would doubtless preserve a lively recollection of the favors and bounty which had attended her sojourn in the Pension Marcassin."

There were murmurs (rumeurs) of approbation among the scholars ; and the head governess re-marked, in a low tone:

'   " If she does not preserve that lively recollection she is a monster of ingratitude."

"The conduct of Mademoiselle Floris," continued her benefactress, " had not been entirely free from matter for animadversion. The veil of the past, however, might now be thrown over the anxieties—she might say the sorrows—she had caused her instructresses. Mademoiselle Floris left that establishment full of the best sentiments; and she, Mademoiselle Marcassin, was glad to recognize that this young person I was calculated in every way to do honor to the Pensionnat where she had been sheltered."

The young ladies, most of whom had been for years spectatresses of the daily tasks and punishments inflicted on the scape-goat of the school, and had grown perfectly accustomed to hear her called worthless, insupportable, and incorrigible, by the schoolmistress and her assistants, were not in the least surprised to hear this virtual eulogium pronounced on Lily. It was the Marcassin's way. Nil nisi bonum was her invariable maxim, as applied, not to defunct, but to de-parting scholars. It was a remarkable fact that no young lady, however refractory or stupid she might have been, ever quitted the academy with-out a glowing panegyric on her conduct and proficiency. The supreme punishment in the Marcassin's code of pains and penalties was expulsion ; but she had only been known to expel one single pupil. The dismission of this culprit took place on the eve of the summer vacation ; and it was quite notorious that her parents designed to remove her to another school.

The Abbe Chatain did not come himself as the messenger of Lily's deliverance. The welcome emissary was his housekeeper, Madame Prudence. She was a rosy, apple-cheeked old dame, the best cook, and, moreover, the possess-or of the best temper, in the quarter. She loved her abbe very dearly, tended him very assiduously, and scolded him sometimes ; but that, like the cunning dishes she cooked for him, was all for his good. Madame Prudence was not an admirer of the Pension Marcassin, nor of its energetic proprietor. She spoke of Madame as " cette Megere." She alluded pointedly to the governesses as "myrmidons of the tyrant." Her opinion regarding the pupils was that they were op-pressed slaves. She had been known to snap her fingers at the entire establishment, in the open playground, and in the light of day. There was an old feud between her and the Marcassin ; and she did not, perhaps, altogether approve of ecclesiastics, bound to bachelorhood, being regaled by scholastic spinsters with tea, with back-gammon, and with the rhum of the colonies.

The priest's housekeeper, like the schoolmistress, was unmarried ; but both were called "Ma-dame," probably from the reason that to a people who had always retained an infinite veneration and deference toward age there seemed some-thing unduly familiar and flighty in the appellation " Mademoiselle." When we were a less civilized, but a better behaved people, we too used to address our spinsters as " Mistress."

On the way from the Pension to her new home —when, to Lily's infinite delight, they traversed on foot the streets of the only city in the world worth living in, with which she had made but ten minutes' acquaintance in the course of seven years—Madame Prudence was pleasantly loquacious, and made no secret of her impression that she had been the immediate means of rescuing Lily from the jaws of a roaring dragon.

"They would have devoured you there, my child," she remarked, patting Lily's arm affectionately as she trotted along by her side. "I know her well, that stiff and starched piece of affected tyranny. Ah ! it is I who have given her a bit of my mind. It is not I who am afraid of her. A woman with an ascertained position, quoi !" The last part of these observations Ma-dame Prudence evidently applied to herself; and she as evidently considered the "position" of a priest's housekeeper to be, so far as respectability went, a much better " ascertained" one than that of a schoolmistress.

" And you were very unhappy, eh, my child," she continued, "down in that hole?"

" Oh, dreadfully unhappy !" replied Lily. " Many and many a time I could have wished to die, only I knew the wish to be wicked."

"And no wonder. And they were cruel to you ?"

"Madame was certainly very strict--almost harsh ; but I dare say I was stupid and disagree-able, and gave her much trouble."

"You ? I won't believe it for an instant. M. l'Abbe says that you are a little lamb for meekness and resignation. To me you shall be a little angel. The good Madame de Kergolay, whither you are going, has already made up her mind to treat you like a little kitten. Ah ! it is there you will dine well, and when you come to dine with the abbe and me you shall have a taste of my cookery ; you shall taste la vraie cuisine bourgeoise, my cherished. Are you fond of good dinners ?"

"It is so long ago," answered Lily, with a smile, and in involuntary disparagement of the culinary dispensation enjoyed by the inmates of the Pension Marcassin.

"I should think so. I know what those crocodiles feed you poor little innocents upon. Haricots, haricots, haricots, all the year round, as if you were mules, and only deserved to be fed upon beans. And the lentils ! And the chiccory ! I would not mind if they knew how to cook them ; but they don't, the Cosaquesl" A Cossack was Madame Prudence's synonym for every thing that was mean, base, and cruel. "And the wine, or rather the water blushing at being so villainously adulterated ! Ah ! the good Ma-dame de Kergolay will make you taste of the got d little vintages. You will be you happy as the day is long. You will help Madame at her embroidery, and sing to her, and read to her, and play L her to sleep ; and then the abbe will play back-

gammon with you. I shall not be jealous, ma mignonne ; and on Sundays and feast-days I will come to you, and we will go to the mass together."

" I am a Protestant," interposed Lily, gently.

"A Protestant! que' q' c'est qu'ca?" quoth Madame Prudence. "All! I know—a Huguenot, a dissident. Well, you must read Mon-seigneur the Bishop of Meaux upon the Reformists. Ah ! the great man Bossuet. And then, my faith, you must go to your temple, and hear your minister. Madame de Kergolay seeks to make no proselytes. Many of her kindred are dissidents. I have known a good many honest folks—tres gentils meme—who were of the Lutheran profession. M. l'Abbe is Gallican and tolerant. That wicked old giraffe, the Marcassin, is ultra-montane, and breathes nothing but sulphur against heretics. She would make a furious grand inquisitor. Voyons ! I can't see why Protestants should burn. Le bon Dieu meant nothing to be burned, except candles and wood for the kitchen fire."

Thus sociably chatting, the abbe's housekeeper led Lily through the streets of the only city in the world worth living in. The modest package of clothing which the Marcassin had persuaded herself to part with as the wardrobe of Mademoiselle Floris had. been sent on before by a commissionnaire.

PORTER'S GUN-BOATS PASSING
THE DAM AT ALEXANDRIA.

WE give on the first page an illustration of ADMIRAL PORTER'S GUN-BOATS PASSING THE DAM IN THE RED RIVER AT ALEXANDRIA. The gun-boats, on falling down the river from Grand Ecore to Alexandria, were arrested in their progress by the shallowness of the water at the " Grand Rapides," just above Alexandria. There being but three or four feet of water a long delay was necessary, the army being obliged to remain at Alexandria to protect the gun-boats. The situation seemed a desperate one, but Colonel BAILEY soon found a way of escape. He at once set the men at work in constructing two dams, for the purpose of throwing the water into the middle of the current, thereby causing a sufficient depth of water to carry over the boats. It was a work of great labor, owing to the rapidity of the current and the scarcity of materials; but after twelve or fourteen days it was accomplished, and the fleet saved. Colonel BAILEY'S skill and energy, in devising and directing the work, have already been recognized by Congress, which has adopted a joint resolution, formally tendering him the thanks of the nation for his invaluable services. He has also received promotion at the hands of the President.

Our sketch was made on the spot by Mr. GEORGE SLATER.

THE GEORGIA CAMPAIGN.

WE continue this week our illustrations of General SHERMAN'S magnificent campaign in Georgia. On page 388 we give a sketch of the BATTLE OF RESACA, fought on the 14th ult. The particulars of this engagement were published in the Weekly of the 4th instant. The attack upon the rebel works was made by General GILES SMITH'S brigade of General MORGAN'S division of LOGAN'S corps on the right, and WOOD'S brigade of OSTERHAUS'S division on the left. General SMITH led his troops on foot, and General LOGAN was every where present. Experienced army officers who witnessed the engagement represent that the charge of our troops was one of the finest of the war.

On page 389 we present a sketch representing Colonel ROBINSON'S brigade of General HOOKER'S command saving the Fifth Indiana Battery in the battle at Resaca. Of this occurrence Mr. DAVIS says : " On the evening of the 14th a portion of General HOOKER'S corps, who had reached a point on the extreme right, were, at a critical moment, turned upon by the enemy, and driven back to the Fifth Indiana Battery, Captain SIMONSON, which held a position of great importance. General HOOKER, without a moment's delay, ordered Colonel ROBINSON'S brigade of General WILLIAMS'S division to charge the rebel line, which was almost upon the battery of the gallant SIMONSON. The brigade immediately advancing, the rebels were forced back and the battery saved. No battery was ever more splendidly fought than that of Captain SIMONSON; and the conduct of ROBINSON'S brigade was in the highest degree praiseworthy."

On the same page we give another sketch in which HOOKER'S troops are conspicuous. In his assault on the enemy's works at Resaca HOOKER made steady headway, carrying line after line of rifle-pits, until BUTTERFIELD'S division encountered a lunette of formidable size. Several attempts were made to carry it and capture its guns, which were pouring a destructive fire into our lines, but the attempt was futile. The troops fought with great desperation, but as often as they advanced upon the lunette the terrific volleys of musketry from the enemy in the fortifications hurled them back in confusion. At last BUTTERFIELD charged forward and took a position under the protecting works of the fort, so close to the guns within that they could be touched by the men's hands. Here they remained under shelter for the rest of the day, our men picking off every rebel who showed himself above the works. Upon the fall of night HOOKER matured plans for capturing the works by strategy, under cover of darkness. The pioneers were brought up; the ends dug out of the works, and the guns drawn out by the aid of ropes, under a destructive fire from the occupants of the works, who were driven out or captured as our troops swarmed in through the opening in over whelming numbers. The guns were four twelve pound brass pieces ; a number of battle-flags, including those of the Thirty-eighth and Thirty-fifth Alabama, were captured, with over two hundred prisoners. GEARY'S division is entitled to the credit of this novel achievement.


 

 

  

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