Battle of Metacomet and Selma


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, September 10, 1864

Harper's Weekly was the most popular illustrated newspaper of the Civil War period. Many Americans relied on Harper's for news of the war each week. The paper was read by over a million people each wee. Today, you can get this same news by browsing our online collection.

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Archbishop McCloskey

1864 Presidential Campaign

Democratic Convention

Democratic Convention

Water Spout

Water Spout

Metacomet and Selma

Nathan Forrest Raid

Nathan Bedford Forrest Memphis Raid

General John Geary

General John Geary

Wall Street Cartoon

Wall Street Cartoon

Virginia Map

Map of Grant's Virginia Campaign


Rebel Ironclad Ram "Tennessee"








[SEPTEMBER 10, 1864.


(Previous Page) side, and one fore and aft, are closed by means of iron shutters, which revolve upon a pivot in the centre of one side, and are worked by means of a cog-wheel on the inside in a very simple and expeditious manner. They are liable, however, to derangement, and in the engagement with our fleet two were actually so deranged as to prevent their being opened, while a third, the after one, was shot away entirely, the pivot on which it revolved being broken off, and it was through this that the fragment of shell entered which wounded the rebel Admiral, as he was standing near directing a gunner to clear away some splinters with which it had become filled,"

The two sketches given on page 584 illustrate in detail the conflict between FARRAGUT'S fleet and the rebel gun-boats. One of these gives the portion of the conflict with the ram, in which the Richmond was prominently engaged. The other illustrates the fight between the Metacomet and the Selma, resulting in the surrender of the latter with 93 men, 18 of whom had been killed, and 22 wounded.


TYING her bonnet under her chin, She hid her raven ringlets in;

But not alone in the silken snare

Did she catch her lovely floating hair; For tying her bonnet under her chin, She tied a young man's heart within.

They were strolling together up the hill, Where the wind comes blowing merry and chill; And it blew the curls a frolicsome race

All over the happy, peach-colored face,

Till, scolding and laughing, she tied them in Under her beautiful, dimpled chin.

And it blew a color bright as the bloom Of the pinkest fuschia's tossing plume All over the cheeks of the prettiest girl That ever imprisoned a romping curl, Or, in tying her bonnet under her chin, Tied a young man's heart within.

Steeper and steeper grew the hill;

Madder, merrier, chillier still

The western wind blew down, and played The wildest tricks with the little maid, As tying her bonnet under her chin, She tied a young man's heart within.

0 Western Wind! do you think it was fair

To play such tricks with her floating hair?—To gladly, gleefully do your best

To blow her against the young man's breast? When he as gladly folded her in And kissed her mouth and dimpled chin.

O Ellery Vane ! you little thought An hour ago, when you besought This country lass to walk with you After the sun had dried the dew, What perilous danger you'd be in,

As she tied her bonnet under her chin,




RANELAGH ! Ranelagh ! Are you quite sure ! Ranelagh ? Is the word no misprint, no clerical error? I think I hear the judicious critic ask this question as he reads the last chapter of this story, scratching his ear meanwhile. Then, he may haply fling the book by altogether. Ranelagh ! Come, this exceeds human patience. Had I said White Conduit House, that might have been barely tolerable. But Ranelagh ! Why, that was a place whither Horace Walpole went when he was a beau, and the Miss Gunnings when they were belles. It was altogether an eighteenth-century place, devoted to periwigs, hoops, powder, patches, brocaded sacks, clocked hose, high-heeled shoes, fans, small-swords, cocked-hats, and clouded canes. Our great-grandmothers went to Ranelagh in sedan-chairs, and attended by little black boys. A certain Mrs. Amelia Booth (wife of a captain in a marching regiment, and known to a certain Mr. Henry Fielding) supped there one night, more than a hundred years ago, in company with a clerical gentleman who had a few words during the evening with a British nobleman.

To which I reply that I know what I am about, and that there is reason in the roasting of eggs. The place of amusement to which the Pilgrims repaired, after dining so well in Park Lane, shall be Ranelagh, if you please. This is an age in which the exercise of some discretion in literature is necessary. Your contemporaries will forgive every thing but the naming of names. You may write and say the thing which is not; but beware of giving utterance to that which is. You know that the Memoirs of the candid Talleyrand are not to be published until full thirty years have elapsed from the period of his lamented death. Some few of the contemporaries of Charles Maurice, who might be compromised, are still alive; and the candid creature could be discreet, even in the tomb, For a similar reason, the place I have in my eye shall be Ranelagh. There are numbers of ladies and gentlemen still extant, and flourishing like green bay-trees, who have heard the chimes at mid-night in Ranelagh's leafy orchards, and have occasionally taken slightly more lobster-salad than was good for them in those recesses. So, let the place I have in my eye be Ranelagh ; though, if you choose to get a private Act of Parliament, or the Royal Permission, or a License from the Herald's College, or to exercise your own sweet will, there is nothing to prevent your calling it Tivoli, or Marylebone, or Spring Gardens.

Besides, did not a gentleman, a few pages since, make the profoundly philosophical, if not

entirely original remark, that there was a river in Macedon and a river in Monmouth. How many Ptolemys were there ? There may have been Ranelaghs and Ranelaghs. All were not necessarily patronized by Horace Walpole and the Misses Gunning. Is there not a London in Middlesex, and a London in Canada ? A Boulogne in the department of the Seine, and a Boulogne in the department of the Pas de Calais? An Aix in Savoy, an Aix in Provence, and an Aix in Rhenish Prussia ? An Alexandria in the land of Egypt, and an Alexandria in the State of Virginia?

At all events, all the Ranelaghs are gone by this time—your Ranelagh and my Ranelagh, Yes ; the pleasant place is departed. The fifty thousand additional lamps are fled, and the gar-lands of flowers, real and artificial, are dead, The plaster statues have reverted to dust and their primitive gypsum ; the trees have been cut down ; their very roots grubbed up. Bricks and mortar invade the once verdant expanse of the Ramilies ground, No more balloons ascend from that Campus Martins. There are wine-cellars where once the lake was; pantries and sculleries where once the panorama of Moscow raised its cupolas of painted canvas, profusely festooned with squibs and crackers, to the star-lit sky. Pulled down, laid waste, and laid out again : such has been the fate of Ranelagh. Its present desolation of hods, scaffold-poles, and places where rubbish may be shot, seems even more dreadful than would be utter solitude and silence. Somebody Else—that ruthless and immovable Somebody Else—has got hold of Ranelagh, and turned it to other uses. May it, under its new aspect, be profitable to Somebody ! It is certain that Ranelagh, as Ranelagh, never did pay Anybody.

Is it necessary to shed a few sympathetic tears over the parterres, the fountains, the umbrageous alleys, the labyrinths and grottoes, the supper-arbors, the long ball-room—over the orchestra with its shell-shaped sounding-board, and the little hutch beneath, where you purchased the creaming stout in brown jugs which might once have been Toby Philpots, and have lived in the vales ? I should like so to weep a little ; but, unfortunately, there is no time to weep. The Pilgrims and Madame Ernestine, professor of the high school of horsemanship, are waiting. Let others mourn the fiddlers who were wont to wear the cocked-hats ; the tipsy, fraudulent waiters, alternately cringing and abusive ; the masters of the ceremonies, humble disciples of the school of the immortal 5----; the money-takers ; the gipsy fortune-teller and the prophetic hermit. They were all worthy folk, no doubt, but have disappeared. So have the petrified fowls at five shillings each, the ham cut so thin that it resembled the leaves of some fatty sensitive plant, and curled into shrinking convolutions when you touched it ; the rack punch, so called from its fames inflicting on you next morning the worst tortures of the Tower of London and the Spanish Inquisition ; and that remarkable rose -pink Champagne which never went round more than once, and never cost less than half a guinea a bottle.

It was M'Variety, who, as Tom Tuttleshell correctly observed, had hit upon the notable device of opening Ranelagh in the winter, and at a shilling a head. The experiment was disastrous---every experiment ended, in the long-run, at Ranelagh in catastrophe-but its commencement was not destitute of a certain brilliance. Thomas Tuttleshell had done M'Variety much good since the beginning of the winter season, He had made up many parties, and brought many lords there. He had interested himself with editors, and affably presided at a supper of the elite of intellect held to inaugurate the artificial skating pond. In fact, with the exception of the capitalist in the wine trade, who was losing his weekly hundreds in backing the manager of Ranelagh, Thomas Tuttleshell was M'Variety's dearest friend.

The manager was standing at the water-wicket, keeping, as was his custom, a very sharp look-out both on the pay-place and the free-list box, as the party from the Pilgrims' Club alighted from their cab. It may be imagined how many cordial pressures of the hand he bestowed on Tom, and how many sweeping bows he favored his illustrious visitors with. M'Variety was a man in a chronic state of bankruptcy, but who constantly arose, smiling and cheerful, as though refreshed by ruin. There never was, perhaps, a debtor who was so much beloved by his creditors. Those to whom he owed most were generally the first to help him to start afresh. It was the opinion of the capitalist in the wine trade—an opinion frequently expressed as he signed the weekly checks—that it was no good crying after spilt milk ; that a man could not eat his cake and have it; that you could not always be turning over your money ten times a year ; and that there was a deal of meat on M 'Variety yet. "Sir," the enthusiastic capitalist would exclaim, " if Ranelagh was to be swallowed up by an earthquake next Saturday night, Mac would have the neatest bill about the ruins (as patronized by royalty) to be seen at three o'clock in the afternoon and nine o'clock at night, out in Sunday's ,paper, that ever you saw. He is a man of spirit, Sir, is Mac." So the capitalist went on signing checks and sending in cases upon eases of the rose-pink Champagne.

M'Variety always looked after his small liabilities, and let the large ones take care of them-selves. He who would owe much, and yet live undisturbed, should always pay his washer-woman. It is astonishing when you owe a man thirty-seven thousand pounds to find how eager he is to ask you to dinner, and to lend you an-other three thousand pounds to make up the round sum. Mac always paid his small people.

He never treated his underlings to an empty

treasury. The ghost walked regularly at Ranelagh at three o'clock on Saturday afternoon, however spare the promenaders on Friday night might have been. Thus it came about that the small folks loved M'Variety, and that the master-carpenter—to whom he had presented a silver snuff-box for his exertions in getting up the fire-work scaffolding for the panorama of Moscow—declared, with tears in his eyes, that the governor was the honestest soul he ever drove a nail for, and that if timber ever ran short in the gardens, he'd cut down Bushey Park (at the risk of transportation for life) sooner than the governor should want it. And finally, as Mac, whether it was hail, rain, or sunshine with him, always entertained a retinue of old pensioners, and took great care of an old grandmother (who considered him the brightest genius of any age) and two spinster sisters down in Devonshire, he was not, perhaps, on the whole, such a had sort of a fellow.

"Tip-toppers?" whispered the manager to his friend, as he bustled officiously in advance of his guests.

"The very first," Thomas returned. "An earl, a baron, and a foreign count : no end of a swell. The conceited puppy," he added, men-tally, to compensate for his slightly imaginative eulogium on Edgar Greyfaunt. It was a harm-! less peculiarity of our friend that he always gave his aristocratic acquaintances a step in rank. Thus, if you were a captain, he spoke of you as colonel; if you were an archdeacon, he made you a bishop.

" Sure, I'm very much obliged to you Tom," went on M'Variety. " Come and chop on Sun-day?"

" Thanks. Can't promise, but we'll see."

" Well, I know you will if some other swell doesn't turn up. This way, gentlemen. You're just in time for the circus. Just a goin' to begin, as the showman said."

"Who is this Madame Ernestine, Mr. M`Variety?" asked Sir William Long, quitting Lord Carlton's arm to walk with the manager.

" Famous French equestrian, my lord. Just arrived from Paris. Turned all the people's heads there. Pay her a tremendous salary."

"I am Sir William Long," the baronet said, quietly, " and should be very much obliged if you would tell me any thing definite about this Madame Ernestine, I am very curious, indeed, to learn."

The manager indulged in a subdued—a very subdued—whistle. He glanced at the baronet's face, and saw that it wore an expression of earnest curiosity.

"Well, she ain't young, Sir William," he made answer.

"If she is the person I mean she must be forty years of age, or thereabout."

" You may bet your money on that horse, Sir William," acquiesced the manager. "Hope you'll excuse my familiarity, but I've always found the swells most affable. His Grace the Duke of Darbyshire comes here twice a week, thanks to my friend Tom Tuttleshell. Invaluable fellow, Tom. His grace wanted to drive his four-in-hand over the artificial lake, but I was obliged to refuse him, for fear of accidents, and the newspapers, and that sort of thing. Ah ! you've no idea what a hard life mine is, and what a manager has to put up with. Those licensing magistrates are enough to worry one into the grave. Only think. That stupid old Sergeant Timberlake, the chairman, was nearly giving a casting vote against our shop, on the ground that skating was immoral, and that colored lamps led to drinking."

"Believe in my sympathy, Mr. M`Variety; but this Madame Ernestine, now. You say that she is not young?"

She's no chicken, and that's a fact ; but this is, of course, entre nous. Ladies in her profession are never supposed to grow old."

"Is she handsome ?"

" Makes up uncommonly well at night ; doesn't spare the ' slap,' you know, the red and white," responded Mr. M'Variety, diplomatic-ally.

"Can you tell me any thing more about her? I have a particular object in inquiring, far beyond any impertinent curiosity."

"All communications strictly confidential, eh ? Well, I don't mind telling you, Sir William, though it's against my rules. My standing orders to my stage-door keeper, when any questions are asked him by parties—and some have been asked by the very first in the land—about the ladies and gentlemen of the company, is to tell 'em to find out, and if they ain't satisfied with that, to write to Notes and Queries. That generally satisfies the Paul Prys, and you don't know how we're bothered with 'em. Now, to tell you the honest truth about Madame Ernestine, she's about the most mysterious party I ever knew, and I have known a few mysterious parties in my time, Sir William."

" I have no doubt of it, Mr. M'Variety; pray proceed."

"I can't make out whether she's a French-woman or an Englishwoman. She speaks one language as well as the other. She swears like a trooper and drinks like a fish, which ain't very uncommon in the horse-riding profession; but then she gives herself all sorts of fine-lady airs, and treats you as if you were a door-mat. She says she was married to a tremendous swell, an Englishman, who is dead, and that she is a lady in her own right. My treasurer, Van Post, won't believe it, and you'd find it rather hard to meet with a sharper customer than Billy Van Post. ' If she's a lady,' says he, ' why don't she go to her relations ?' "

" Is she talented?"

"Clever at Old Scratch, to whom, I think, she's first cousin. But, to tell you the honest truth, Sir William, she's too old for the kick-out business. At her time of life the swells don't

care about seeing her jump through the hoops. It's time for her to cover up her ankles, Sir - William. Tom Tuttleshell told her so, and she offered to knock him down for it; but we got her to listen to reason at last. You see, Tom found her out for me in Paris, and I pay her a thumping salary."

"But does it pay you to do so?"

"That's just it, Sir William. You'd hardly credit it, but it does pay tremendously. That ingenious fellow, Tom Tuttleshell, put me up to the dodge of the high school of horsemanship which he had seen at Franconi's. It's as easy as lying," pursued the candid Mr. M'Variety; "and it ain't far off from lying, any way."

" What may this novel invention be ?"

"Just this : You've got a Iady rider that's clever—first-rate, mind, but gassy. Well, you just put her into a riding-habit and a man's hat, and you give her a trained horse and a side-saddle, and she makes him go through all kind of capers to slow music, and the audience they go half wild with excitement. It's a new thing, Sir William, and tickles 'em. The British public are very capricious, and have got tired of the Three Graces on one horse, and the Swiss Shepherdess on her milk-white steed, and such like."

"And the high-school horse ?"

"Perfection. When Tom first dug out Madame Ernestine in Paris she was very low down in the world, going round the fairs, I have heard say, as a spotted girl, or a mermaid, or a giantess, or something not worth five-and-twenty bob a week, at all events. She was quite broken, in fact, and good for nothing but to make play with the brandy-bottle. Well, Tom saw there was something in her, and that she was exactly the kind of party for the high-school business, and he managed to pick up a horse from an Italian fellow that kept a wax-work show—Venti something his name was ; and that horse and the madame have turned me in a pretty penny since I opened. I wish every thing else in the gardens had turned out as profitably," M'Variety added, with a half-sigh.

"And the madame, as you call her, is a success ?"

"Draws tremendously. As I warned you, she's no great shakes as to youth or good looks; but for pluck, action, and general `go,' that woman," the manager continued, confidentially, "may be considered a Ripper. Fear ! She doesn't know what fear is. Five-barred gates ! She'd take the wall of the King's Bench Prison, chevaux de frise and all, and leap over the Surrey Hills into the bargain. She's a Ripper, Sir William, and nothing but a Ripper."

" Is she alone—I mean, does she live alone ?"

"Yes and no. Husband's dead, so she says. That I told you. The wax-work Italian says he's her uncle, but he's abroad. She has a fresh servant about once every fortnight after she's broken the old one's head with a water-jug. Barring that, I think she's alone. Stay, there's a little chit of a girl that lives with her —a niece, or cousin, or dependent of some kind, though Billy Van Post, my treasurer, will have it that she's the madame's daughter. A quiet little girl she is, and would be pretty if she wasn't so thin and pale. Like a little ghost she is. The madame leads her an awful life."

" And the name of this little girl?"

"There you ask more than I can tell you. My wife calls her a little angel, and the people about the gardens have nicknamed her Cinderella. She gets more kicks than half-pence from the madame; and I sometimes feel inclined to interfere, only we like to leave these foreign horse-riders to themselves as much as we can. The madame has a devil of a temper. Twice I've been obliged to go bail for her good behavior at Lambeth Police Court after she and the water jug and her dressers have fallen out."

"It is the countess," thought Sir William Long. "Poor little Lily !" To Mr. M'Variety he went on, abstractedly : " It is pretty, very pretty, indeed."

The conversation to which I have striven to give coherent sequence had in reality been made up of disjointed fragments strewn about by the voluble M'Variety as they wandered through the gardens. Long before its close they had entered the wooden pavilion fitted up as a circus, and ensconced themselves in the manager's own private box. Here Lord Carlton, after ex-pressing to Tom Tuttleshell his opinion that M'Variety was a worthy, a very worthy fellow, went placidly to sleep. Tom, who was one of the most placable of creatures, and had quite forgotten Edgar's offensive manner toward him, would have been very happy to entertain the young man with a lively description of every thing and every body connected with Ranelagh ; but the sultan chose to continue superciliously sulky, and Tom, seeing that he was merely wasting his words, slipped out of the box and had a walk round the gardens, where he found numbers of people who felt amazingly flattered and patronized by his condescending to talk to them.

Sir William Long was too much engaged with his own thoughts to notice the departure of Tom, or of the polite manager, who, when his guests were seated, withdrew to see after one of his thousand - and - one concernments about the gardens. Between the slumbering peer and the simpering dandy--who was looking at the audience in the hope, and with the expectation, that they were looking at and ad-miring him — Sir William Long had ample scope to think. The memories came rushing over him. In the desert of a misspent life two or three oases started up. His remembrance went back to a dinner at Greenwich, to a little timid girl he had petted, and made playful love to, to a kiss he had printed on her forehead. How many years had passed since that dinner, and yet how many hundreds of times he had re-




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