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Civil War Harper's Weekly, May 7, 1864

This site features our online archive of Harper's Weekly newspapers. These newspapers have impressive illustrations of the key people, events, and battles of the War. This archive will enable you to study the war in a way not possible before. Browse these papers and watch the war unfold before your eyes.

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

 

Union Scout

Union Scout

Equal Pay for Colored Troops

Pleasant Hill

Battle of Pleasant Hill

Chicago Lake Tunnel

Runaway Slave

Runaway Slave

General Gregg

Cane River

Cane River

Plymouth

Battle of Plymouth

Escaping Slaves

Stock Exchange

Battle of Pleasant Hill

Battle of Pleasant Hill

War Bonds

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HARPER'S WEEKLY.

MAY 7, 1864.

   294

ing a constant supply wholly clear and unadulterated."

The views we present in this Number show the "Water-Works Building," which contains the machinery used in supplying water as at present obtained; " Breaking Ground for the Tunnel;" and the Iron Cylinders which form a lining to the shaft now being sunk.

We may hereafter give a sectional view of the Tunnel, showing the plan of construction and other matters of general interest connected with it.

UNION SCOUTS IN LOUISIANA.

WE give on our first page a sketch illustrating an Interesting feature of the war in Louisiana. Among the most useful auxiliaries of General BANKS, in his operations in that State, is a band of native Scouts, led by Captain DUDLEY, who, knowing the country and accustomed to danger, penetrate every where in search of information. Many of these scouts are desperate men, who have suffered all manner of outrage at the hands of the enemy, and who, on that account, lose no opportunity to inflict the heaviest punishment on those who have driven them to the shelter of the swamps and forests. Captain DUDLEY is described as a slight, wiry man, about forty-five years old, with a small eye which is all black, and a face which strikes one as full of cunning. A correspondent says of him : " He told me that he had been a physician on the Calcasien River ; that he escaped the conscription and had been living a wandering life for three years ; that he had been back and forth from the Rio Grande to Mobile, had always escaped wounds, and I think had not been even shot at. One of his men told me that one night he followed a party of conscript-hunters to their camp, waited till they were asleep, then crawled among them, determined to capture a gun which he had taken a liking to. One of the party waked, and DUDLEY lay down quietly among them until his hunter fell asleep, when he helped himself to the gun, and 'silently passed away.' "

NEGROES ESCAPING OUT OF
SLAVERY,

WE present on page 292 another view of one of the principal features of the war; namely, the escape of negroes, at all points within the rebel lines, from the house of their bondage. Mr. A. R. WAUD, who furnishes the sketch, sends the following account of a recent exodus during a Federal reconnoissance into the enemy's territory. The description will apply exactly to other movements of a like character in other parts of the field : "Coming in from the reconnoissance many negroes joined us. As it was not possible, on account of the muddy roads, for them to keep up with the horsemen, they were allowed to ride the spare and captured horses—many of them, however, coming to us on their masters' horses. One party fell into the column with an old family coach, said to contain eighteen, principally pickaninnies. This was preceded by an old fellow with a torch, carrying a woman 'a-straddle' behind him. All the women rode this way, side-saddles not having been provided by the ordnance officers. Sometimes three would mount upon one horse, and in one instance a father, mother, and two little children rode one animal. One colored fellow, on making out that the column was of Union troops, at once saddled his masters' horse, mounted, and taking another `boy' up behind him, waved his hand gracefully to the rest of the slaves, mostly girls. `Good-by, folks !'said he; ' I'se gwine to follow the Yanks.' He was asked how he could leave so comfortable a place. Scratching his head, and waving his hand toward his white-headed master, he answered, `There's a kind o' poor class of whites about here ; don't have enough to eat.' Some others told us that the 'Mas'r' had gone to Charlotteville to 'sell a nigger,' and had left them with strict injunctions to look after the house, and let no one take any thing from the premises. The spokesman meanwhile was busy handing out hams and other eatables, telling the soldiers to help themselves—' For,' he added, 'we are gwine right along with yer, he ! he!' Many joined without a word; one fellow had been waiting for us for some hours. A party plowing in a field regarded the column with indifference for some time, when suddenly a light broke upon one : ' Why, boys, it's de Yanks !' And the horses were cut loose from the plow in quick time, the negroes mounting them and falling in. They all got in safely ; even the coach did not break down till it reached the lines; but these dusky ones suffered horribly from fear of recapture several times."

FREEDMAN'S VILLAGE, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA.

WE give on page 293 a view of the FREEDMAN'S VILLAGE, established on Arlington Heights, Virginia, by the Government. The village is a neat and extensive collection of frame-houses, erected especially for the use of such contrabands as, failing to provide for themselves, become a burden to the Government. The village is surrounded by farmland, which the negroes cultivate for their support. To Colonel ELIAS M. GREENE is due the principal credit of thus assisting the negroes to help themselves.

All the smartest and strongest among the released slaves find employment as servants of different kinds—barbers, teamsters, etc. But there is still a number who fail to get employment, and these Colonel GREENE has tried to make self supporting on the Government lands, and so far with considerable success.

The village is quite lively, having a large number of children in it. For these there is a school house; there is, besides, a " home" for the aged, a hospital, church, tailor and other work shops, with other public buildings. The principal street is over

a quarter of a mile long, and the place presents a clean and prosperous appearance at all times.

THE DEVIL'S FRYING-PAN.

THE United States sloop of war Dragon-Fly swung lightly to her anchor in the soft west wind, and the officers and men of the larboard watch lounged idly about the decks or slept beneath the bulwarks dreaming of their Northern homes and waiting sweethearts.

Astern stretched broad leagues of moonlit waters, ahead gleamed among his countless islands the stately Sound of Altamaha, and close abeam rose Little St. Simon's Island, while a dark cloud upon the horizon showed where Sapelo lay.

"Dull work this blockading, Fenwick," yawned Lieutenant Benton, to Dr. Fenwick the surgeon, who had come on deck to enjoy the beauty of the night, and now stood lounging against the taffrail close beside the young officer.

" Rather so. But these long days are grand for study. Why don't you get yourself up in an 'ology,' Benton, and astonish our fair friends in Boston by your erudition when we return?"

"H'm. A fellow that has seen service as I have doesn't need any erudition to recommend him to the fair sex nowadays, Doctor," responded the Lieutenant, foppishly twisting his little mustache.

" True. I forgot that." And the surgeon pulled away at his cheroot with a merry twinkle in his dark eyes.

" Have you ever been seriously wounded, Ben-ton?" asked he, carelessly, after a moment or two of silence.

" Why, no, I can't say that I have. You see I never was actually in action, but then—"

"But then you might have been. I see. Well, we none of us can improve the opportunities that are not given to us."

Lieutenant Benton, with a disagreeable consciousness of being very young and inexperienced, left off pulling his mustache and walked up the quarter-deck, casting a scrutinizing glance aloft, and sternly bidding the look-out man to " mind his eye."

The seaman thus exhorted suddenly restored his attention from the stars to things terrestrial, or rather maritime, and immediately shouted,

" Boat ahoy !"

"There it is," remarked the surgeon, as Benton sprang to the side and looked over, and pointed to a small black object slowly approaching the sloop down the broad wake of the setting moon.

"Dug-out ahoy!" he might have hailed, " re-marked the officer, forgetting his momentary annoyance. " It will be a contraband, I suppose."

" Running the blockade. Now is the Dragon-Fly's chance for distinguishing herself."

" Perhaps it is a fetich-man come off to compare notes on the healing art with you, Doctor."

" Or some dusky maiden who has heard of your mustache, Lieutenant," laughed the surgeon.

" Bother !" ejaculated the young man, and leaned farther over the rail to scrutinize the clumsy little craft now within hail of the sloop.

" It's a boy—no it's a dwarf—or a monkey! What is it, Doctor ?"

" One of Count Monboddo's humans in an early stage of the transformation from baboon to man, I should say."

" Well, here he is. Hallo there ! Range along-side and give me your name and business."

The dug-out was, after many awkward attempts, placed in the required position ; and a voice from the lumpish heap of clothes, arms, legs, and close-curled wool, responded :

"Lor, mas'r, 'tain't noffin but me !"

" And who are you, and what do you want?" "I's Ban, mas'r, dat's short for Caliban, an' I's come to tell yer sumfin."

"Well, Ban, make fast your dug-out to the cable there and come aboard."

A few moments after a dark ball alighted suddenly upon the quarter-deck and presently developed into a human form about four feet in height, and nearly as much in shoulder-girth, with the shortest and crookedest of legs, and the longest and most muscular of arms. A bullet-head surmounted this singular frame, and the crisp wool curled about a face inscrutable as to age, ugly in its lineaments, and expressive of mirth and cunning, good-nature and violent passions.

The surgeon and Lieutenant gazed in silent astonishment at this strange figure, and he in turn rolled his large eyes over their persons, the clustering group of sailors amid-ships, and the novel objects that surrounded him.

"Be you mas'r cap'n ?" asked the stranger, suddenly, his eyes reverting to the Lieutenant.

" Lord, Sirs! can it talk?" quoted the surgeon, in an under-voice, while Lieutenant Benton answered, good-naturedly,

" No, Ban ; but I can serve your turn as well as if I were. What is it?"

" Reck'n I'll wait an' see mas'r cap'n, mas'r," returned Ban, after a little hesitation.

"The old man wouldn't want to be called up for any thing this creature can have to say, think?" inquired the Lieutenant aside of the surgeon.

" That depends on what it is," oracularly re-turned the surgeon.

" Well, you try him, Doctor. You're older than I, and perhaps he will be more willing to confide his secret sorrows to your ear, if indeed my first guess is not the right one after all, and he is the fetich man."

" We will see." And the Doctor bidding Cali. ban follow him, led the way to a secluded part of 1 the deck, where he placed the negro full in the light of the waning moon, and stood looking curiously down at him from the altitude of his six feet two inches.

" Where do you come from, Ban ?" asked he, at length.

" De Debbil's Fryin'-Pan, mas'r."

" And a very likely specimen of his cookery you are," mentally ejaculated the Doctor, but the only

audible response was a wondering repetition of the name,

" The Devil's Frying-Pan !"

"Yis, mas'r, data whar we lib."

"Who lives there besides you?"

U Dad an' main, an' lots o' pickaninnies." "And how did you get here?"

"In de dug-out, mas'r."

" I know. But where is the Devil's Frying-Pan? and how far from here?"

" Right up in de Soun', mas'r, 'bout two mile from dis, I reckon."

" Is it an island?"

"Yis, mas'r."

" And who gave it that name?"

Donno, mas'r, I's sure. Reckon it alluz had it."

" And who named you Caliban?"

" Oh, mas'r ! my mammy, she brung up on de ole plantation, an' daddy he free nigger. So he bought mammy an' me, an' de rest of de young uns has come along since."

" And your father brought your mother and you to the Devil's Frying-Pan to live ?"

"Yis, mas'r. It don't b'long to no one in'ticlar, an' so we jis libs dere."

" And how old are you, Caliban?"

"Donno, mas'r. Didn' nebber ask."

" And how do your father and you live ? How do you earn money, I mean ?"

" We ketches fish, mas'r, an' inters, an' lobsters, an' we raises some truck in de gardin, an' w'en we wants money we totes a load o' fish an' sarce up to town an' trades it off. Den I fiddles for de dancin' sometimes an' gits w'at I kin."

" You fiddle !"

"Yis, mas'r."

"Well now, Ban, what did you come here for to-night ? You had better tell me, and if I judge it of sufficient importance I will send to ask the Captain to see you. He is asleep now, and we don't like to disturb him without necessity."

Ban, in whose mind the surgeon's magnificent proportions had inspired a much greater degree of reverence than he was inclined to accord to the juvenile Lieutenant, drew confidentially close to his side, before he replied,

"Yis, mas'r, I tell you all 'bout it. Dis yer ship am sot to cotch all dem dat tries to go in an' out dis yer Soun', ain't she ?"

" All that belong to the rebels, or are trying to trade with them. Why do you ask ?"

" Cause dere's a big schooner in here, hidin' away 'mongst de islan's, all loaded down wid cotton, an' dey's gwine to git out sure dey says, fer all de dam Yankees kin do to header 'em."

" When will they sail ?" asked the surgeon, hastily.

"Jes' arter moonset 'morrer night. Jes 'bout dis time."

" How do you know ?"

" De ossifers an' some ob de gen'lemen dat's gwine passinger in her come ashore dis afternoon to look roun' at de Debbil's Fryin'-Pan, cause its kind o' cures dere, an' I heerd 'em talk. Den dey tole dad to kitch a right smart chance o' fish an' git some isters or lobsters to-morrer, an' main's gwine to cook a supper fer 'em, an' I tole 'em I could fiddle fust-rate ef they'd a mind fer a dance. Dey liked dat tip-top, an"greed to come jes' arter sun-down, an' den I heerd 'em say dey couldn' sail till nigh two 'clock in de mornin'."

"And they are to be at your house after sunset ?"

" Yis, mas'r. So den I 'fleeted dat ef de Yankees wanted fer ter kitch 'em all, dere'd be a fus'-rate chance, an' mabbe mas'r Cap'n 'd gib a pore nigger suffin fer de news."

"And what do you think the Captain, or which-ever of us got hold of you first, would give you if you led us into a trap, and sold us to the rebels, just as you now offer to sell them to us ?" demanded Fenwick, sternly, as he fixed his penetrating eyes upon the negro's face.

" 'Spec's you'd shoot me jes' like dog. Sarve urn right too," returned Ban emphatically, and with such unflinching steadiness of voice and eye as set at rest the momentary suspicion in the keen mind of his examiner.

" You are right. Whatever happened to us, your own life would be the price of treachery. Remember that, may boy, and draw back even now if you are not sure of yourself."

" I wish I was as sure ob ten dollars as I is o' de truve ob what I see," remarked Ban, tranquilly.

"Very well. I will ask Lieutenant Benton to report your errand to the Captain. I suppose you want to return before morning."

" Lordy, yis, mas'r. Ef de folks aboard de Sword-Fish sights de ole dug-out, an' 'spects whar she's ben, it's all day wid dis nigger, an' wid yore plans too, mas'r."

" Very well. Stay just here till you are called."

The visit of the dwarf was reported to the Captain, and Caliban was soon summoned to the cabin to repeat his story, which he did with the utmost steadiness, unshaken by the somewhat severe cross-examination of the astute commander.

This over, Ban was dismissed under charge of the steward to refresh himself, and a hasty council was held as to the best manner of using his information.

It was finally decided that two boats' crews under charge of the two Lieutenants should, early in the ensuing night, quietly land at the Devil's Frying Pan, surround the house and secure the merry-makers, and then proceed to capture the schooner, it not being thought advigable to involve the sloop in the intricate channels and dangerous reefs of that portion of the Sound.

Dr. Fenwick volunteered to accompany his young friend, Lieutenant Benton, and his powerful assistance was gratefully accepted.

The next question was of a guide. It was obvious that the absence of Caliban after his engagement as musician would cause suspicion in the minds of the guests, and might defeat the whole plan, and yet no one on board the Dragon-Fly could boast the slightest knowledge of the locale of the Devil's Frying-Pan or of the contraband schooner.

Under these circumstances Ban was recalled to the council, and the difficulty stated.

"'Twon't nebber do for dis chile to be mongst de missin'," said he, thoughtfully, "nos' dad n'ither. But Nep 'd do fns-rate. He knows do chan'l an' all jes same's I do. I'll fetch ye Nep."

" Who is Nep?" demanded the Captain, cautiously.

"He one o' mammy's young ens. He 'smart chile, Nep is."

" How old is he?"

"Lord, mas'r, we don' none ob us know noffin 'bout dat. We jes grows same as de grass, nebber mindin' when we begun. Nep he good big boy."

" Well, you may bring him off, and we will see what we think of him. When will you be here ?"

" Ain't got time to go home, an' back 'fore day, nohow," considered Ban. " But Nep he'll take de dug-out roun' back side o' de Pan, an' jes paddle off easy arter dey gits dere. Den he tell mas'r cap'n how many of 'em come, an' p'raps hark roun' an' fin' out suflin'bout how many's lef aboard de Sword-Fish."

" And can he find his way out to the Dragon-Fly alone and in season?"

" Lord, yis, mas'r. Nep he smart fellow."

"We will judge of that before we trust him ac a pilot ; and remember that the first sign of treachery will be his death-warrant, and yours too, if we lay hold of you," said the Captain, sternly.

Ef mas'r cap'n tinks I's lyin'to him he no need to come. I's tryin' to 'bilge him, an' he talks 'bout shootin' an' hangin' me an' my brother as ef we was tryin' to do hint all do bad we could." And Cali-ban, half-sulky, half hurt, left the cabin abruptly, and laboriously climbed on deck.

" He's honest, Captain, take my word for it, and I have no doubt his information is perfectly reliable," said Dr. Fenwick, earnestly. And the Captain, who depended very much upon his friend's judgment, ordered the steward to regale Ban with another glass of grog, and then to bring him to the cabin to receive his final directions.

The dwarf's injured feelings were easily pacified by this attention, and half an hour later he paddled away from the Dragon-Fly in the fullest amity with all its imitates.

Sunset of the following day found such of the crew of the sloop as had been detailed for the aps preaching expedition full of busy preparation and anticipation, while the unfortunate remainder either watched their comrades in envious silence, or indulged in open complaints of their own inactivity. Some few croakers found pleasure in intimating that the whole affair was a trap, and that those who were so "precious green" as to walk into it with their eyes open deserved no better than the fate probably awaiting them. Another party held that the negro, terrified by the Captain's threats, would not dare to pursue the matter, and that no pilot would appear. This suggestion, however, was speedily negatived by the hail of

" Boat alloy L"

And the next moment the dug-out once more ranged alongside the Dragon-Fly, and a tall young fellow leaped nimbly to the deck, with the brief announcement,

" He' I is."

" Oh, you're Nep, are you?" inquired Lieutenant Benton, who had been anxiously waiting for his appearance.

"Yis, mas'r."

"Own brother to the fellow who was here last night?"

Dunno, mas r; 'spec' so, dough."

i The question was pardonable ; for this second envoy from the Devil's Frying Par, presented as great a contrast to the first as call well be conceived in members of the same family. Tall, straight, and finely proportioned in figure, his feat. tires were regular and lofty, his eyes large and clear, and his expression bold and intelligent. In fact, could his bright brown skin have been changed for Saxon red and white, Nep would have ranked indisputably as an uncommonly fine-looking fellow. In age be appeared to be about eighteen years old, but like Ban he had no ideas of his own upon the subject.

Ordered to the cabin for examination, Nep ac-quitted himself very satisfactorily, and after a brief interview the Captain dismissed him, and proceeded to give his formal orders, as he had not yet clone, for the expedition.

It was not considered expedient to sot out until about ten o'clock, the boat from the Sword-Fish having been ordered to return for its passengers at twelve, and the schooner expecting to sail at two, or such after. Nep brought the additional information that the passengers mentioned by Ban as forming part of the proposed fish party were the officers of a brig just purchased by the rebels from the English Government, and now awaiting its armament and crew at Nassau, N. P.

The schooner was expecting to escape the blockade by running. some distance South among the numerous islands and intricate channels of that part of the coast, and finally making out to sea through some one of the innumerable inlets and sounds, offering a ready egress whenever the blockading squadron should be momentarily absent.

Punctual to the appointed hour the two boats silently parted from the side of the Dragon—Fly, and guided by Nep, who crouched iii the stern of' the fore-most one, steered by the first lieutenant, they struck out into the broad waters of the Sound.

The moon, slightly obscured by vapory clouds, gave just sufficient light to allow Nep to distinguish, the various islands and other landmarks by which he directed his course, but not sufficient to reveal distant objects with any degree of certainty. This point it will readily be seen was much in favor of our adventurers,' should they come within eye-range of the Sword-Fish—a danger little to be feared, how-ever, as Nep, pursuing a devious and intricate course, kept his charge concealed behind the islands and high rocks whenever practicable.

"Now, mas'r, here we is," announced he, suddenly, in a whisper, pointing ahead to a small round island, around whose entire circumference rose a


 

 

  

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