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Page) ed States Government, for the "
purpose of supplying the cities of Washington and Georgetown with pure and
wholesome water." The original surveys and plans were made by Captain (now
General) M. C. MEIGS, of the United States Engineers, in the winter of 1852-3.
The plan adopted was to bring the water from the Great Falls of the Potomac,
through a conduit, built of brick and stone, circular in form, of nine feet
diameter. The Potomac is to he dammed about half a mile above the Falls by a
cut-stone dam of solid masonry, 3000 feet in length, in the form of an arc,
extending to the Virginia shore. At present the water is supplied only from a
small portion of the river, a temporary dam having been thrown from the Maryland
shore to an island. Ten miles from " the Falls" is the Receiving Reservoir, a
natural basin of some sixty acres, filled with water from a number of small
streams entering into it. It is this water which the inhabitants of Washington
have been using for some four years ; but on the 5th of December last the
Potomac water was introduced with appropriate ceremonies. Unfortunately, in the
original plan no provision was made for bringing the Potomac water around this
Reservoir. Consequently the purer waters from the river are mingled with those
of the small streams which receive the surface-drainage from a large area, and
are rendered turbid on every shower. The present accomplished Chief-Engineer,
Colonel SILAS SEYMOUR, proposes to remedy this by constructing a separate
connecting conduit around this Reservoir, and this plan is recommended by the
Secretary of the Interior in his annual report. Two miles nearer the city is the
Distributing Reservoir, yet unfinished. When completed this will be a double
basin of some forty acres' extent, the banks all lined with substantial
slopewalls. From this the water is distributed to the city through cast-iron
The crossing of Rock Creek,
between Washington and Georgetown, is effected by a unique and beautiful bridge
of iron pipes, the arch, of about 200 feet span, being composed of the mains
through which the water passes. The structures of masonry along the line of the
aqueduct are all built in the most substantial manner.
The total length of conduit is
about twelve miles, and the level of water surface in the reservoirs 146 feet
above mean tide. The diameter of conduit is nine feet, and the capacity
85,000,000 gallons daily. The estimated cost of the work is $3,500,000.
ENGAGEMENT OF GUN-BOATS
ON THE RED RIVER.
WE give on our
first page an
illustration of the engagement between Admiral PORTER'S gun-boats and a large
body of rebels on the Red River, above Grand Ecore, on the 12th ult. Admiral
PORTER thus refers to the affair in his report to the Navy Department :
On the evening of the 12th inst.
we were attacked from the right bank of the river by a part of the rebel army
which two or three days previous had gained success over our army, and, flushed
with victory, or under the excitement of liquor, appeared suddenly upon the
right bank and fearlessly opened fire on the Osage, Lieutenant-Commander F. O.
SELFRIDGE (iron-clad), she being hard aground at the time, with a transport (the
Black Hawk) alongside of her, towing her off. The rebels opened with 2000
muskets, and soon drove every one out of the Black Hawk to the safe casemates of
the monitor. Lieutenant BACHE had just come from his vessel (the Lexington), and
fortunately was enabled to pull up to her again, keeping close up to the bank,
while the Osage opened a destructive fire on these poor, deluded wretches, who,
maddened by liquor, and led on by their officers, were vainly attempting to
capture an iron vessel.
I am told that their hooting and
actions baffel description; force after force seemed to be brought up to the
edge of the bank, where they confronted the guns of the iron vessels, only to he
mowed down by grape-shot and canister. In the mean time Lieutenant BACHE. had
reached his vessel, and, widening the distance between him and the Osage, he
opened a cross-fire on the infuriated rebels, who fought with such desperation
and courage against certain destruction that it could only be accounted for in
one way. Our opinions were verified on inspection of some of the slain, the men
actually smelling of Louisiana rum. This affair lasted two hours before the
rebels fled. They brought up two pieces of artillery, one of which was quickly
knocked over by the Lexington's guns; the other they managed to carry off. The
cross-fire of the Lexington finally decided this curious affair of a fight
between infantry and gun-boats. The rebels were mowed down by her canister, and
finally retreated in as quick haste as they had come to the attack, leaving the
space of a mile covered with dead and wounded, muskets and knapsacks.
PARROTT ON THE RAMPAGE.
THE spirited sketch on
represents a scene which has often been witnessed by naval officers and sailors.
The scene of the incident here illustrated was the forecastle of the United
States steamer Richmond, off Mobile. During a high sea, causing the vessel to
roll heavily, a Parrott gun broke from its stays and knocked about with the
utmost disregard of the consequences, occasioning great excitement among the
sailors, who at once, however, proceeded to secure the gun as best they could.
Our sketch represents the hardy fellows laboring to placate and restore the
monster to his proper position by such appliances as they had at hand, taking
care, however, while engaged in their persuasive task, not to put themselves in
too close proximity to the frolicsome Parrott. Such scenes, while sometimes
exposing the sailors to peril, always produce an agreeable excitement on
ship-board, where even misfortune, if it only comes in a novel shape, is
sometimes welcomed as a relief to a monotony which no pen can describe.
UNION REFUGEES IN THE LOUISIANA SWAMPS.
WE give on
page 313 an
illustration showing a
RENDEZVOUS OF UNION REFUGEES IN
THE SWAMPS OF WESTERN LOUISIANA. In no part of the Union have the loyalists suffered
greater persecutions at the hands of the rebels than in the region where General
BANKS has recently operated. A correspondent who accompanied General BANKS'S
army say that many Union men have been in the swamps for two years, having been
driven there for refuge from the conscription. In many cases they were
hunted by dogs, in others they
escaped with wounds from the smoking ruins of their own homes, and did not dare
to discover themselves until the advance of the Union forces, when they came out
by hundreds from their dismal retreats, and enrolled themselves as scouts and
rangers. Our illustration gives a vivid picture of the life which, for two years
or more, these men have been compelled to live, for no other crime than refusing
to turn against their flag and country.
AT PLEASANT HILL.
[On the battle-field at Pleasant
Hill, the night following the engagement, a boy only nineteen years of age and
an old man were found dead, lying side by side, each face wearing a smile.]
Two faces lying pale and stark
Beneath the solemn midnight calm
: Two rifles gleaming in the dark,
Dropped from the unnerved dying
palm : Two faces bleak and stark and white, In silence fading through the night.
One face a boy's, with auburn
Its outline fringing like a veil
; A forehead rounded, soft, and fair,
That until then no pelting hail
In all life's storm had scarred
or torn, That never one sad look had worn,
Still on the lips a smile
As if some dream had loitered
there—Some dream of home that, travel-stained,
Had come to him with holy
prayer—Had come and whispered words of cheer, And fond good-bys from kindred
One face a boy's:—The other sown
And seamed with prints of weary
years—Sad years that in their march had strewn
Life's way with shadows, losses,
tears—A face with beard of silver white,
Wet with the falling dews of
No braver souls than theirs that
Had faced the battle's fiery
rain—Through all, sweet voices far away
Talked with them, soothing all
their pain—The pain of wounds they panted for, And, having won, as trophies
Death came at last-came in the
Of desperate charge, and here
they lie—Lie in a sleep no cannon's crash
Shall ever break—no storms that
fly Shall ever smite with harsh alarm—A sleep God-watched against all harm.
The noble dead!—Not lost are they
Through all the years their worth
shall shine; Their deeds shall live, and light our way
To those far heights where God
shall twine All royal souls with garlands white
As were these faces on that
A STORY OF LAWRENCE.
Music sounded from below, and a
cheery bustle of people moving about in the drawing-rooms, while in the dimness
of my chamber I could scarcely see my scarred and disfigured face in the long
dressing glass before which I stood, idly sticking in and out a great pin in the
white frilled toilet cushion, We are not specially apt, I think, to confide in
ourselves. I did not say to myself that I lingered because the drawing-rooms
were all one flood of merciless light, and Philip Hays had not seen me since I
had lost all that smooth dazzle of skin, and flitting rose-reel, that he used to
praise ; but I straightened the slide at my belt, and tied and retied the bow at
my collar, and then losing courage altogether, sat dowel by the window, and
looked out on the quiet starlit street till Alice called me, and there was no
further possibility of evasion and then I slipped quietly adown the stair and in
at my seat (which fortunately was in the shadow), never once glancing up till
they all were fairly seated ; though I might have spared that pains, since
Philip, after an absence of four months, was too busy with Eliza Vaughan to
bestow on me more than a brief look and careless smile.
Mother is the calmest being in
the world, and never forgets her lofty courtesy; but I could see that every drop
of the Morton blood was boiling in her veins, while Alice, who is like our
father, and has less reticence and more of the King Lake fire, followed me to
the recessed window, where, the wretched meal over, I made haste to hide myself
out of sight. It was almost like a little room, that window, shut out by heavy
curtains, and holding a stand of heliotrope and the great fauteuil in which I
sat, my face turned away from Alice, that she need not see its comment on what
was passing with-out while I listened to her in silence. I hate sympathy and
condolence, because that shows that people know that your heart is sore.
At last :
" I know you want to be alone,"
said Alice ; " but, my dear, I am in a rage, and I can't go out there yet, and
smile into Eliza Vaughan's eyes. If she means, in an honest business-like way,
`a bold stroke for a husband,' why, Heaven save the mark and help the husband !
say I ; but I detest her would-be strategy. Imagine her telling him before us
all that she never dreamed of finding him here !"
" Oh, be ice if you choose,
Georgia ; but you know as well as I that two hours ago she was in wrapper and
slippers, and that toilet was the result of seeing him pass the house."
I could not help a glance out at
the perfection of the toilet in question. It was daintily and well fancied, even
to her film of a handkerchief, and the scarlet flowers drooping from her black
hair, and Philip I knew noted all these things.
" As for Philip Hays," pursued
"What of him?" demanded-a
pleasant voice, as the person in question parted the curtains and took
possession of the footstool near me.
I Alice gave a little shake and
shrug of the shoulders for all reply, and vanished.
"What of Philip?" he asked again,
looking searchingly up in my face.
"What should there be?" I
answered, lightly. "You knew our thoughts of you when you left us, and four
months is too short space for the growth of new opinions concerning an old
" Are you quite sure of that,
Georgia ?" he asked, quickly. " Is it only my fancy that tells me you looked at
me then with different eyes from now ?"
Our tongues wag often without
leave, and, " Ah, the eyes were set in a different face !" slipped from mine, as
if the words had' been those of some third person.
To that the answer came swift as
"Not for me, my darling. I loved
the face then, and I love it now, better than my life. You are my life, and that
for which I care to live ;" and then I hardly remember more than that my hand
was taken into his clasp, and that so we sat in a sort of charmed hush, looking
out through the open casement on the soft dark of the summer night, till Eliza
Vaughan had gone away in a pet ; and some time on, late in the evening, Alice
and George, my brother-in-law, parted the curtains and peered in, laughing at
"Why were you not at town -
meeting, Dr. Philip ?" he asked, with merry malice. " The Croakers and the Wise
men were there in full force, and not having you to turn the scales, we were
equally divided and have done nothing. The Croakers will have it that, at five
seconds after midnight precisely, the guerrillas will be upon us, and that every
man of us should sleep with a powder-horn for a night-cap, and with one eye
open; while the Wise men, of whom, as you all know me, It is not necessary to
say that I am one, incline to the belief that there are no guerrillas within
fifty miles, and that Ewing's men are quite competent to protect us."
Philip looked grave.
"And in case they do come? What
have you done?"
" Done! why nothing; unless we
except a few resolutions specially affecting that much belabored future
" Have you any arms ?"
" Not I ! except those nature
gave me. Are you too going to turn Croaker on our hands! What would you have us
do ? Patrol the streets and frighten our little girls out of their senses ? Here
is my stout-hearted Alice trembling in her shoes already."
" Why did you tell me of your
meeting ? " rejoined Alice, petulantly. "I am quite certain that I shall not
"Nor any of us," observed mother,
placidly, "unless we move bedward soon. It is getting on to twelve."
All this time, under this surface
chat, half-grave, half-jesting, was going on that quiet, electric, unspoken
talk, in which is transacted so much of the business of home ; for you see they
had all an honest pride and pleasure in my fair looks, and it was a sore blow at
mother and Alice on that first day- when I had tottered down from my sick room ;
and when it was known that Philip was coming, the kind souls had worn an air of
waiting and anxiety that my pride only half liked ; and now I found the pleasure
shining in their eyes almost as ill to bear. Perhaps, too, I was impatient of
all this pother about the guerrillas, of which we had enough in Lawrence to grow
tired, and of Philip's grave, anxious looks, as he still held my hand, red with
the pressure of his fingers tightening their grasp in the unconscious energy of
his thought. I had been " heart hungry, very poor" in spirit for many weeks, and
now, in the parvenue insolence of' my sudden happiness, I was ready to say, "I
shall never be moved." So blind are we !
It was after midnight when the
house was at last hushed and the lights out, and an hour or so later before I
could lose my tumultuous thinking in sleep ; and it seemed but a few short
moments when, from the very deepest abyss of that heavy, dreamless slumber that
follows close on strong excitement, I was dragged on a sudden up to startled
consciousness by a hideous and inconceivable uproar, raging in the quiet street
below, of clattering hoofs, hoarse shouts, cries, groans, cracking pistol-shots,
and repeated hurrahs for a name that I could not at first distinguish. At the
same instant Alice opened my door, still in her night-dress, her long fair hair
all about her shoulders, and her bare feet hastily thrust into slippers,
leading, or dragging rather, poor sleepy little Susie by the hand. She came
close to my bed, and in all that horrible tumult whispered, as though those
without could hear her,
" Georgia, don't you hear ! Get
up at once ; the guerrillas are in Lawrence !"
I knew then what it was they
said. "Hurrah for Quantrell!"
We are all ready enough to avow
ourselves heirs to all manner of indefinite human ills, but if by chance we come
into sudden possession of any of this species of property we accept it always
with a feeling of astonishment that calamity should have found us out. I had
this species of incredulity strong upon me, the nightmare feeling that this was
some dreadful dream to be shaken off by an effort of will. I dressed with a sort
of stony apathy, frozen into despair rather than maddened by the hideous
out-cries without. Alice wandered aimlessly from one spot to the other,
incapable of any exertion. She was distracted with terror. Mother came to us
calm as ever, but for the tremble in her steady tones as she was hushing Susie.
George and Philip joined us last. They had been looking after the doors and
"Though its useless," said
George, with a bitter oath. "We're fairly trapped; caught here with-out arms,
and not a door that those villains can't crash through in three minutes. Do you
hear them? They are shooting men down right and left out there. What the devil
are the soldiers doing across the river, while loyal men are murdered here like
rats in a trap ?"
Out on the gray sky of the early
now a wicked blood-red light,
shooting up in pointed, climbing flame, and making all the dim street as bright
as noonday. They had fired the house just below (Eliza Vaughan's), and we saw
her grand-father, poor old man, crazed with terror, run with feeble, tottering
steps from the shadow into the great flare of light, and drop upon his knees,
lifting up his hands for mercy ; and so kneeling fall to the pavement, his white
hair all dabbled in blood, shot with deliberate aim by one of the men of whom
the streets were now full, mounted and on foot, their scowling faces putting on
the look of veritable demons in the glare as they aimed at every head showing
either in door or window, and picked off unlucky fugitives trying to make good
their escape. They worked with system and deliberation. dividing into smaller
gangs, and entering the houses one after the other ; and every where followed
the pistol-shots, and sickening cries and screams, and bursting smoke, and
mounting flame, while household goods were tossed out on the stones, and covered
all the pavement; and there were more bodies now near Mr. Vaughan, lying with
ghastly faces up-turned to heaven, as if calling down its vengeance. Some we
knew. One was Mr. Newton, our dear pastor.
I have been long in telling this,
yet it was done with a horrible rapidity; and while scarce out of our first
amaze we yet stood shuddering and sick with horror, sounded heavy blows and a
dull crash below. At that Alice ran to George and flung her arms about him ;
mother dropped upon her knees, still holding Susie, praying; while I felt
Philip's arm about me, and heard his low voice as if in a dream.
" Courage, dearest ! Even these
brutes will not harm won ten !"
As if I trembled for myself or
wished for life without him ! I remember too, dimly, that I saw him offer George
a pistol, and that George motioned it back, saying, briefly, " Of what use !"
but every faculty, thought itself, was swamped in a strained intensity of
listening—listening to the sounds be-low. As George had said, the fastenings
were of about the worth of so much straw. There was a second storm of blows, a
crash and clatter of falling panels, a rush and shout, the jingling fall of a
mirror, a hurrah ! proclaiming that they had found the silver, a brief pause and
debate, and then a heavy tramp on the stairs.
I sicken even now when I recall
that instant of dreadful waiting; the wild prayer, the utter hope-less
helplessness, the agonized grasp with which we held our dearest in our weak
arms, the dying down of our hearts as the ruffians stood at last in the
door-way, coldly scanning us. Oh, gay girls and happy women ! on that soft, gray
dawning, sleeping securely in your great peaceful cities of the North and East,
and your quiet country towns, you know of war but by hearsay, and think on it
coldly, or you. could never sparkle in your gems, and tread out gay measures to
gayer music, while such deeds are done ! You must be in more solemn earnest
could you but feel the sorrows of our land, as of your land also, and not of a
thing far off; could it be shadowed even in your dreams, what it was to stand
there as we did that day, a whole lifetime of suspense in that instant's pause,
an instant only: then a brief command to Alice, " Out of the way, woman !" a
short, stern questioning of George,
From what State are you ?"
" Do you go for the Union ?"
"Then you're too good for this
earth; we mean to make it a slaveholding concern, the whole of it, afore we
finish, and it won't be tit for an abolitionist. Reckon we'll give you a free
pass to the upper regions."
And then a glittering barrel
leveled at his head, and George's low "Good-by, Ally ;" and her frantic cry,
" Oh no ! you can not, you will
not have the heart to kill him ! Oh ! you do not know—he is so dear, so
good—men, men, have mercy!! Kill me instead'!" and we miserable women, clinging
about him, and trying to cover him with our poor bodies, and the pistol close
there, between us, and blinding smoke, and a groan, and George lying there on
the carpet, as did Mr. Vaughan and Sir. Newton without, and quick, sharp ringing
shots, one after another ; this time from Philip—as with a terrible cry of rage
and anguish he flung himself on them headlong, and with such fury that for the
moment they were staggered and gave back. A wild turmoil, a fearful struggle,
and then Heaven was merciful to use and I saw no further.
Fire leaping out at windows, and
gliding down the stairs, and bursting lip through the floors, and curling about
the doorways, and toppling down chimneys, and crushing in our roof, was what our
enemies left us—and the bodies of our dead. Lawrence was free of them. It was
clear daylight now, and the country was rousing, and they departed in prudent
haste loaded with our spoil. We, at least, could find refuge in the street from
the devouring flame that swept all before it. Alice still knelt be-side George's
stiffening body, but at mother's touch she rose and followed us mechanically. As
we went I looked shuddering for another rigid, ghastly figure, but neither in
hall, nor on stairway, nor pavement saw what I dreaded. Mother divined my
"Best so," she said. "Don't look,
love. Bet-ter to remember him as you saw him in life, than--like—dear George."
The streets were full of wretches
like ourselves. Women distraught with anguish, sobbing children, homeless
families; weeping mothers, wives, sisters, kneeling beside bleeding bodies. The
sultry, heavy air, blue with smoke of burning buildings, resounded with
lamentations. True, at last the soldiers were coming, and men pouring into the
rescue in hot haste, with old swords snatched from the chimney-piece, and guns
hunted out of the barn, and grief and rage in every rugged feature, as they
vowed a bitter vengeance; but vengeance would not bring us back our dead, and
the weeping and wailing went on.