Ballad of a Rose


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, October 15, 1864

This site features an online version of the Harper's Weekly newspapers created during the Civil war. This collection was put together over the last 20 years, and we have made them available for your browsing pleasure on our WEB site. These papers have information to allow greater understanding of the war.

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


General Hunt

General Hunt

Democratic Attacks on Lincoln

Price Invades Missouri

General Price's Invasion of Missouri


General David Birney

Ballad of a Rose

Ballad of a Rose

General Oglesby

General Oglesby

General Oglesby

General Oglesby

John Bull

John Bull Cartoon


1864 Battle of Winchester

Chicago Platform

Chicago Democratic Platform

Eascaping Atlanta

Rebels Escaping Atlanta






OCTOBER 15, 1864.


(Previous Page) West Point in 1852 with the rank of brevet Second Lieutenant of Infantry. He commanded a brigade, the Third of General COX'S Division, in the Kanawha Valley in the spring of 1862, holding at that time the rank of Colonel. May 23, 1862, Colonel CROOK was attacked by the rebel Colonel HEATH. Troops from Ohio were principally engaged. The action was very severe, but CROOK gained a decisive victory. He here received a wound in the foot. He had spent the winter in disciplining the Thirty-sixth Ohio regiment, and the result proved the efficiency of a military education. General CROOK took part in the battle of Antietam, his command being attached to the Ninth Army Corps, commanded by General COX. Soon afterward he was appointed Brigadier-General, and sent to Tennessee. General A. T. A. TORBERT, a Major-General by brevet, was also engaged in the battle of Antietam as Colonel of the First New Jersey Volunteers. His command, consisting of a brigade of New Jersey troops, won great distinction on that occasion. In the late victories in the Valley Major-General TORBERT has contributed an important part.


folded flower last Summer grew Serenely in a Southern place;

Its heart was filled with peaceful dew, The peaceful sunshine kiss'd its face.

Beside the threshold of a cot

It knew familiar household ties, The May's beloved forget-me-not

To maidens' lips and children's eyes.

Bees climb'd about it ; birds above Sang in the flush'd year of the rose : " Our new millennium of Love

Begins with every May it blows."

Warm cottage-windows murmured near All music making home so sweet—The mother's voice divinely dear,

The lisping tongues, the pattering feet.

Ah, little rose, another tale

On your dumb lips has waited long (Since then your tender lips grew pale)—Speak, darling ; make your speech my song!

Another tale than cottage peace,

Than balmy quiet, hovering wings Of humming-birds and honey-bees,

And Summer's breath of shining things.

Ah, little rose, your lips are mute :

Could Fancy give them words today, Such histories would but sadly suit

Those lint that knew but Love and May !

You woke, one Sabbath, warm and sweet,

The fields were bright with dewy glow; The sun smiled o'er the springing wheat,

And spake, " Let all things lovelier grow !"

What answer rock'd the awaken'd earth, Strange echo to that voice divine! Before the battle's awful birth

The earth and heaven gave no sign.

The cannon thunder'd every where ;

The bomb sprang howling from afar, A coming earthquake born in air,

A winged hell, a bursting star!

And lo ! about the sacred spot

Where late the doves of home would 'light, Men red with battle faltered not

Though others lay with faces white.

The lowly roof of Love, behold!

Is rent by shell and cannon-ball; The rifles flame from casements old;

By bullets torn the roses fall !

Under the rose-tree where you grew,

A soldier, dying, look'd and saw Your face, that only Sabbath knew,

With Nature's love and Heaven's law.

He heard with ebbing blood and breath,

At your sweet charm, the thunder cease, And in that earthquake-hour of Death

The cannon jarr'd the bells of Peace.

For while he saw you, tender flower !

So peaceful in that troubled place, A tenderer vision touch'd the hour

And left its halo on his face.

A captain pluck'd you, in the roar

Of battle, o'er his comrade slain,

And through the fight your beauty bore

Bloodless upon the bloody plain.

Dear rose, within your folded leaves

know what other memory lies;

I hear (or else my ear deceives)

Your wail of homesick longing rise:

"0 happy Summer, lost to me!

0 threshold, mine to guard no more!" You yearn for visits of the bee

To rose's heart and cottage-door.

Rest in my book, 0 precious flower ! And seem—a whitening face above—The witness in the battle-hour

Of Peace and Home, of God and Love


I AM afraid I can not make my heroine romantic. There are disqualifying circumstances, several of them. Her name—it should have been Constance, or Genevieve, or Madeline—it was plain Hannah. A good, respectable name ; her mother had borne it, and her grandmother, and her great-grandmother. Good, conscientious women, all of them, doing their duty through life in the fear of God; but not such personages as novels and poems are written about. Then her home—if it could have been a stately stone mansion, a graceful villa, or even a white cottagee overhung with vines, it would have figured better in a story ; but, instead, it was a great, square, red house, with a great square yard in front, two immense, prosperous -looking barns on one side, and a thrifty vegetable garden on the other. Deacon Grant thought red was the most economical color for painting buildings. He was right, perhaps, but what his farm-house gained in economy it certainly lacked in picturesqueness. Last, but not least, Hannah Grant was not a beauty. Her hands were hard and brown ; she had not been very careful of her complexion; and her hair was what the people round her called red. It was a shade to be sure that painters love—you and I should call it auburn—but it was not black or brown, and Hannah was greatly exercised in mind there-at, and, in an early stage of girlhood, did her best to spoil it with pomatum, trying to make it look dark.

Give me credit for taking all the aforesaid disqualifying circumstances into account before I began, and hesitating to tell you the story of Hannah Grant lest you should not find her an attractive heroine. But she was just one of the persons who do their work in life so cheerfully and so well ; such a thoroughly genie], healthful nature that I thought it would do you good to sit down for a little while in her company. The people who know their own place in the world and are satisfied without trying to creep into their neighbor's are so rare. I do not think Hannah Grant had ever felt even a momentary discontent with her lot. She had a clear, strong mind, and saw things at their true valuation. She understood the rarity and worth of honest good sense and integrity, such as distinguished her parents, and appreciated the comfort and prosperity of her surroundings. Even when she went away to school for a year or two she did not take the fever after fashion, and finery, and frivolity, which seems almost as inevitable to girls in their teens as the measles and whooping-cough are to children. She came back to the red farm-house as natural and unspoiled as she went away.

She did fall so far into the ways of young lady-hood as to make one intimate friend; and chose, of course, her exact opposite. Bertha Mallory was a born fine lady, reared like a hot-house lower, and developed into a loveliness as frail and perishable, perhaps, but as delicate and dainty. It was not strange that Hannah Grant admired her, for she had a keen and vivid sense of beauty, and Bertha was beautiful exceedingly. Hannah had been struck, from the first day she entered school, with that picture-like grace—the slender, airy figure; the exquisite small hands and feet; the haughty little head, with its hair of pale gold waving round it in such soft ripples ; the color delicate yet bright a, the heart of a blush-rose; the long-lashed blue eyes so brightly, vividly blue ; the perfectly cut features ; the dainty mouth, with lips as red as a scar-let geranium flower. All this was heightened by that appropriateness of setting and finish without which even a diamond lacks lustre. Bertha had a genius for just one thing in the world, and that was dress. She did it thoroughly well. The only child of parents who lived but to indulge her fancies, to whom her caprices were law, she had never known the need of that fettering economy which asks before every- purchase, "How long will it last? Will it dye ? Will it turn ?"

She wore the daintiest muslins, the loveliest rib-bons, the gayest little slippers; and every thing was so harmonious, so perfectly selected, that it seemed but the fit back-ground for her beauty, enhancing instead of at all distracting attention from it.

It was certainly the strangest anomaly in the list of anomalous friendships that a violent intimacy should have sprung up between her and Hannah Grant. On Hannah's part it was natural, perhaps. Like most plain persons she worshiped beauty, and had for Bertha something of the devotion of a loyal courtier for a royal mistress. I think Bertha was attracted to Hannah precisely because Hannah was so unlike herself, made no attempts to rival her in dress, had no conflicting pretensions to beauty. She was a selfish little creature, too—profoundly selfish—and the generosity of Hannah's large nature was convenient. She sang with a siren sweetness of voice that admirably simulated true feeling, and she danced like a fairy; but there her accomplishments ended. She hated study, and made Hannah write all her compositions and do all her sums, paying her with kisses and caresses. Of real love I do not believe she was capable ; but she had a continual need of her friend, and a habit of confiding in her, which both of them mistook for love.

Still, not even Bertha Mallory had power to subvert that strong, practical common sense of Hannah's, or give her a distaste for her home, and the life that awaited her there. She went hack, as I said, thoroughly unspoiled. She took her right place in the household at once. and began relieving her mother of some hard duties, keeping her father's accounts, and making herself necessary to every one. Of course she corresponded with Miss Mallory. She wrote with weekly regularity, ac-cording to promise, good, cordial, loving letters, that must have come like a fresh breeze blowing from the hills into the perfumed, luxurious air of the rose-hung room where they were read. Bertha wrote quite punctually too. In her friend she was sure of an admiring auditor for all her triumphs, and her egotism was unsparingly prolix.

Hannah learned a new lesson that winter, sweet

er and stranger than any that had gone before. ' She learned how; a woman, strong and faithful of heart, vigorously organized, and unspoiled by sentimental fancies, can love a good man. There was a powerful fascination about Paul Everdale, and others felt it besides herself. He had come to Ashford during her absence, and taken the place of the old minister who had preach: d there ever since she could remember; and of course he was a frequent visitor at Deacon Grant's.

It seemed strange, at first, that he should love Hannah. His nature was so much more ideal than hers--all his tendencies were romantic and poetical. He was just the man, you would have thought, to marry for beauty—to marry, perhaps, and repent it ever after; for beauty alone would never have permanently satisfied him —yet you would have

imagined his heart must be —yet

through his

fancy. It certainly spoke well for his discernment, his lea: appreciation of character, that he should have recognized Hannah Grant's true worth, and forgiven her want of the dainty grace, the symmetrical loveliness, which it was a part of his very nature to crave. It surprised her to find herself his choice as much as it could have surprised any one. But she repaid him by fondest and faithfulest love. Now, indeed, her letters grew full of hope and brightness. Joy sparkled in them, anticipation flooded them with promise. Next summer, she wrote, Bertha must visit her. She would take no denial. She should not be satisfied till she had introduced her to Mr. Everdale.

Can it be credited that these letters piqued Bertha—that in the midst of her "great possessions" she envied the poor man's one ewe lamb ? Hannah had been the first to become engaged—Hannah, in connection with whom she had never thought of lovers—whose destiny was, so she would have said if she had been questioned, to settle down by-and-by a farmer's wife, and distinguish herself, perhaps, for bread and cheese at agricultural fairs. It seemed unfitting, incongruous, that Hannah should be writing to her of this handsome, eloquent young man, with his dreamy eyes, his poet's face, his chivalrous homage.

" Poor fellow !" she thought, " he has seen no one else. What a pity if he should be allowed to marry, and then wake up afterward to the knowledge that there are women and women !"

She made up her mind to look into the affair her-self. She could go in June, and spare six weeks or so before Newport. She wrote a gracious letter to Hannah, accepting her invitation, and promising to dawn upon Ashford in the month of roses. Of course Hannah was jubilant when she received it. She spent half the evening in talking to Mr. Ever-dale about Bertha's graces, and anticipating the de-lights of her visit.

That was a happy spring to Hannah Grant. She hunted May flowers with Paul Everdale, following the trail of their shy, sweet fragrance through the spicy woods. She drew nearer to him day by day, understood him better, grew more necessary to him. He began to comprehend what he had only vaguely guessed at first, the warmth of passion that lay so deep in her heart, the strength of loving that would make her tenderness the crown and glory of a man's life. There was an element of growth in her in which lay much of her attraction. He felt that when he had won her his work was not done. She would clinch to new heights. Standing beside her today, he bad yet some steps to take if he would stand beside her next year.

When the first of June drew nigh preparations began in the red house for Miss Mallory's reception. She and Hannah had been room-mates at school, and it seemed natural that they should be so still; so Hannah beautified her room for the sake of the coming occupant. Her father was generous and prosperous, and her wishes were always so reason-able that they were seldom refused. When she was through, the cool-looking chamber, with its new carpet, the pretty, painted furniture, and the soft muslin curtains, looked inviting enough even for dainty Bertha Mallory. In the parlor, too, Hannah had the good taste not to attempt any more than she could do well. Brussels and rosewood were beyond her means, but creamy matting, and chairs of basket-work, with pretty vases full of flowers, and one or two engravings selected by Paul Everdale's critical taste, gave the room an aspect pleasant and refined. Mr. Everdale had become as much interested in the coming visitor as his betrothed, and he went over to tea on the evening after her arrival with great expectations.

She had come in the middle of the afternoon, and had returned with profuse demonstration Hannah's delighted welcome. Before tea-time she had made a charming toilet, and quite untouched by any of the soil and sun-burn of travel she went down with Hannah, in white muslin and blue ribbons, to meet Mr. Everdale.

lied Hannah Grant, in spite of all apparent humility, an overweening self-esteem. a confidence in her own power little short of audacity, that she voluntarily put herself in contrast with Bertha Mallory ? Or was the confidence in him, her lover ? Did love mean so much to her that she could not comprehend the possibility of its being turned aside by any outside charms?

You comprehend at once that it will be the old story—that Bertha's beauty, like the beauty of a dream, her airs, her graces, her dainty toilets, will work woe. But at first Paul Everdale meant to be dauntlessly constant. The very idea of fickleness would have been abhorrent to him. "Is thy servant a dog?" would have been his answer to any prophesying Elisha. Still, from the very first, he could not help seeing that fair was fair. There was a tantalizing contrast between this dainty creature, with such soft, delicate beauty, such airy grace, such ineffable sweetness, such childlike dependence, and Hannah Grant—sturdy, uncompromising, rugged, and ruddy, hard of hands, and straightforward and self-reliant in manner. The contrast between the natures of the two girls was still wider, if he had but known it, but then it was not so apparent. Bertha's silken softness veiled skillfully her utterly , selfish character, petty aims, narrow scope, and cir

cumscribed powers. Hannah's great heart throbbed for all the world. She was ready to spend and be spent for suffering humanity every where. She was as unselfish as human nature can be—honest in her affections, strong of will, and vigorous of mind.

She had so much confidence in both her lover and her friend that it was a long time before her suspicions were awakened to the possibility that they might like each other too well. At first she threw them together in the most unguarded way. Not even for Bertha would she lay aside those domestic cares of which she had once lifted the burden from her mother's shoulders; and they kept her busy quite a portion of every day. She thought it was so kind of Paul to come over and help her friend to pass away these hours which must otherwise have been solitary. She took a heart-felt pride in Bertha's accomplishments, and when she heard her singing to the guitar which she had brought with her, she would pause at her work to listen, and think, triumphantly, " He will see now that I have not praised her too much."

Bertha found the Reverend Paul Everdale quite worthy of her steel. She had seen no handsomer man in her one winter in society, and she had seen few who equaled him in grace and culture. Unimaginative as it must be confessed she was, she found something infinitely charming in his poetical temperament ; in the grave sweetness of his manner, suggesting always something held in reserve. She had commenced with only the intention to flirt a little—perhaps " to break a country-heart for pastime ere she went to town"—but in a week or two she found her own heart, or the sentimental vanity which did duty for one with her, seriously enlisted. Then with the uncontrolled willfulness which in weak natures like hers is often almost a passion she resolved that he should love her. Her task was not so hard as some of those which Sir Michael Scott set for his familiar spirit before he found that last end-less one, at which, I suppose, the Enemy still labors. She had for weapons her beauty, her wardrobe, her voice, her finished coquetry of manner; and in the lists against her was only Hannah, unarmed and unskillful.

One by one she carried the outposts of her citadel. Day after day witnessed some wall fell down —some skirmish, successful on her side. She sung such low, sweet airs, sitting there on a foot-stool at his feet like an innocent child ; she listened when he read to her with such sympathetic attention; she was so variable—now meek and womanly, with her hair rippling unadorned away from her low forehead, and making her look placid as a Madonna; again, haughty as a little queen, putting some coronet above her brow that made her look regal, and putting on with it a queen's dignity and hauteur; yet again airy and teasing, eluding him at every turn, slipping through his fingers like a butterfly. It was not strange that he was bewildered; that he felt the solid earth sliding away from beneath his feet, and dared no longer look his own soul in the face.

It was just at this stage that Hannah woke up to the meaning of affairs. The revelation flashed upon her suddenly. She read it in his eyes as they followed Bertha, perhaps ; or heard it in the tremulous tones of his voice. She know not how—she knew only that, whereas she had been blind, now she saw; and only Heaven could understand how sharp was the pang when her eyes were opened. Suddenly as it came her self-command did not fail her. She sat the evening through, scarcely more silent than usual. She even bore Paul Everdale's kiss when he went away—that unconsciously cold kiss, born of habit and of duty—without wincing.

She was not less kind than usual in her manner to Bertha when they went up stairs. She helped her untie her bows, and untwist her gay ribbons, and when all was done she put out the light and Iay down quietly, and waited for her to go to sleep. When the regular breath, coming and going so softly, had satisfied her that it was safe, she got up again and lighted her light. Then she went and stood beside the bed, looking long at Bertha. Passions she bad scarcely known by name swept stormily through her soul and strove to master her. Hatred shook her, revenge tempted her, last of all love, outraged and scorned, rose in its strength and defied her. She set the light upon the table, and knelt down with her burden, seeking instinctively the refuge of every sorrowful heart. I think God heard her. He who fed the Israelites with manna in the wilderness vouchsafes now and then, to his children in the wilderness of life, a heavenly manna, and the soul that feeds thereon grows strong.

At last she rose, and again she took the light and stood over Bertha. How beautiful she was, with that. faint pink flush on her cheeks, the scarlet lips parted, the wavy golden hair, all unbound, straying over the pillow ! She looked so sweet and innocent, too, that her loveliness had in it something touching. Hannah felt the tears stealing to her eves. She hated herself for the frantic jealousy site had been feeling. How could she have blamed either of them? she asked herself. How could he help loving such grace and beauty? Had not she, a woman, felt that wonderful charm, and been subdued by it—could she expect a man to look on it unmoved ? As for Bertha, she blamed her least of all, for who could help loving Paul? She knelt down once more and breathed another prayer, so utterly unselfish that I doubt if half the saints in the calendar ever did any thing so worthy of canonization--a prayer for them and their happiness together. I do not think she slept much that night. She could conquer herself when need was; but sternest duty could not bid her wear her crown of thorns joyfully.

She had meant at first to speak to Mr. Everdale the next day—to release him from all obligation to her, and leave hint free to seek his happiness in his own way; but she began after a while to feel that this was not best. She could not release him without giving a reason for it; and how could she bear to seem jealous and suspicious—to accuse him of his defection ? Better let things take their course.

So in the morning she went on just as usual—set herself about her accustomed tasks, and tried not to




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