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Page) rehabilitation of Savannah. One
or two of the insurance companies of that city are considering a project for
establishing a National Bank for the issue of greenbacks. The Custom-house and
Post-office are being cleaned out preparatory to a recommencement of business.
One store with goods from the North has already been opened. The churches on
Sunday are well filled with ladies. A majority of the male population have
remained in the city, and those who have left have left their families behind
them. There is at present no great want of provisions ; but there is a scarcity
of wood, which
General SHERMAN proposes to relieve by getting wood by way of the
Gulf Railway and hauling it to the citizens. Eleven hundred loaves of good
baker's bread had been turned over by him to the Poor Association and
distributed, which the Chronicle considers a " truly kind and providential
The Georgia papers, too, now very
strenuously deny that SHERMAN'S army, in its march through the State, was guilty
of any of the outrages which had been charged upon it. This denial is based upon
the statements of highly respectable citizens who were acquainted with the
From the Savannah Republican we
learn that, since the occupation of Savannah, elections have been held in
Berrien, Thomas, Brooks, Lowndes, Clinch, Montgomery, Appling, and Tatnall
Counties, comprising a good portion of Southeastern Georgia, and overwhelming
majorities have been given in favor of the restoration of the United States
Government. The people have been arming to resist Secessionists, and the most
intense excitement prevails in this region. The population of the counties above
named, according to the census of 1850, was upward of 20,000.
The Special Correspondent of the
Tribune, writing from Montreal, under date of December 26, makes some very
important statements, the truth of which can not be doubted without a direct
impeachment of the correspondent's veracity.
He states that on the 17th of
December THOMAS B. MURRAY, of Milledgeville, Georgia, left that place November
24, and Augusta three days later, arriving at Montreal December 17. He is the
proprietor of a large plantation near Milledgeville, is " a man after JEFF
DAVIS'S own heart, and heaps upon Governor BROWN, and the Georgians in general,
maledictions which would do credit to a pirate." He represents the people of his
State as greatly disaffected with the Davis Government, and ready to accept the
most humiliating terms of peace; and the sin of all this he charges upon ''that
d—d baby faced cripple (STEPHENS) and his cabbage head satellite" (BROWN). He
estimates that nearly half the Georgians in the army are traitors, but thinks
they are surrounded by patriotic officers and soldiers, who will compel them to
do their duty. Mr. MURRAY states that the most valuable government property and
machinery was removed from Augusta, on SHERMAN'S approach, to Branchville and
Kingsville, S. C., but will probably be returned, as the Augusta Canal affords a
water power equaled no where else in the Confederacy. He states that, during the
past year and a half, Augusta has produced more munitions and enginery of war
than any three towns in the Confederacy combined, and that the number of negroes
that joined SHERMAN'S army was Immense, he himself losing forty.
But the most important of Mr.
MURRAY'S statements is in regard to two petitions, one signed by 12,000 citizens
of the State, to be offered in the Rebel Senate, and the other, signed by 15,000
women, to be presented to JEFF DAVIS. The former Senator HILL was requested to
offer in the Senate, but declined to do so. This petition set forth the
hopelessness of the rebellion, and prayed for peace.
The Tribune correspondent saw a
verbatim copy of the women's petition. " It begins : ' The undersigned mothers,
sisters, wives, and widows of officers and soldiers of the Commonwealth of
Georgia, who are living or have died in the military service of their country,
respectfully submit to your Excellency and pray,' etc. It then recounts the
manifold sacrifices they have, without murmuring, made ; the privations they
have patiently endured, and the encouragement they have heroically given their
loved ones in the field, etc. Next, it depicts the horrors of war, and attempts
to show that all efforts on the part of the Confederacy to achieve its
independence must in the end prove futile. It then fervently appeals to his
Excellency, in the name of reason, humanity, and Christianity, to terminate the
murderous contest; and assures him that, if that result can only be attained by
sacrificing his personal pride and ambition, he may, by making the sacrifice
while he has yet powerful armies at his command, obtain a place in history as
the greatest patriot of modern times."
Mr. DAVIS denied that he had been
actuated by a desire for power or personal aggrandizement, and that as soon as
he saw that the peace and welfare of his country would be promoted by his
retirement from office he would follow the example of NAPOLEON I., "and leave
the craven people who demanded the sacrifice at his hands to repent of their
ingratitude and folly." He begged of these women to continue their efforts for
one year longer, "assuring them that if by that time peace did not smile upon
the country, or its independence be recognized by foreign powers, he would no
longer be President."
There is much in this report in
regard to DAVIS'S statements that is hard to believe ; but, according to this
correspondent, MURRAY said that his statement was confirmed by an interview
which he himself had with DAVIS the day before he left Richmond. MURRAY stated,
moreover, that DAVIS, when he said that in the contingency alluded to he would
no longer be President, meant that he would be King.
But the fact of the petitions,
signed by about 27,000 people of Georgia, is that to which we draw attention. If
it is a fact, then we may easily infer what the result will be if Governor BROWN
follows the suggestion urged by the citizens of Savannah in their meeting of
December 28, and allows the citizens of Georgia to vote on the question of the
continuance of the war.
Two buds plucked from the tree;
Two birdies flown from the nest; Two little babies snatched
From a fond mother's breast; Two
little snow-white lambs
Gone from the sheltering fold ;
Two little narrow graves
Down in the church-yard cold.
Two little drooping flowers,
Growing in a purer air,
Blooming fragrant and bright In
the great Gardener's care; Two little tender birds,
Flown far from fear and harm ;
Two little snow-white lambs
In the good Shepherd's arm.
Two little angels more,
Singing with voices sweet,
Flinging their crowns of gold
Down at their Saviour's feet.
Free from all earthly care,
Pure from all earthly stain---Oh,
who could wish them back
In this drear world again?
HANNAH GNELDT'S DOOR-STEP.
HANNAH GNELDT leaned upon her
broom, and looked out from the low kitchen door across the win-try fields and
the ice glazed streamlet which lay between her home and the little village of
Greennook, with its one tapering spire and sloping roofs and blank white walls,
bare now of the summer verdure. She had done her household work, polished every
article capable of polish, and soaped and sanded all the rest. At the last she
had swept clean her door stone, and now felt free to do what she chose, to rest,
or gossip, or sit down to needle work a thing impossible to her while a spot
beneath her roof was out of order. Just now she felt neither like gossiping nor
sewing ; her heart was very full, and she found it necessary to stand still and
think a while. Only that she was not used to it, she would have cried, she was
so very sad. It seemed to her that the happiest people were those who lay in
their green graves in the church yard, with crossed hands upon their bosoms, and
feet quiet from all earthly going to and fro for evermore.
Not that Hannah Gneldt was tired
in body, or weary with the toil of household duty ; for she was strong of frame,
and her health was perfect, as her bands were willing. It was on her humble
heart the burden lay, her spirit that was worn with earthly travail.
" Twenty-three years today I've
been his wife," she muttered, " and I've loved him well, and worked hard and
faithful to keep things decent, and it's come to this at last ! `Things had been
better,' says he, ' if he'd married Miss Lester !' "
Yes, that was what Farmer Gneldt,
harassed by toil and debt, had said to her that very morning ; and it seemed to
Hannah like the confession of a long repentance, forced from her husband's lips
" Poor man ! I wish I could help
him," she sighed, leaning on her broom beside the door. " I doubt he's right
about Miss Lester."
With that her eyes fell and
rested by chance on the door step.
"I can mend that, any how," she
said; "and I have time, for work is done."
So she hung the broom up, and
peeped into her oven, and set the kettle on, and then, hooded and shawled,
crossed the fields to where the farm joined that of Simeon Gray.
On one spot were men at work, and
stones lying about.
Hannah Gneldt nodded to the old
farmer, and he came to meet her.
" I want a stone," she said. "
May I have one ?"
"I wish you'd take 'em all," said
the farmer; " a lot o' rubbish. You see I'm clearing away what they call the old
grave-yard at last. Wife talks to me o' sacrilege and disturbin' bones. Bless
you, there ain't been none for years and years ; and these hard times a man
can't let land go to waste. I tell wife she don't know nothin' about it. What
d'ye want to do ? Pave a bit around the well ?"
"No, I want a step," said Hannah.
" That great white one is just the thing." And she pointed to a slab hard by.
"Ike shall bring it over
tonight," said the farmer.
"No," said Hannah, " I can roll
And her arms, strong as most
men's, went to work at once, and the slab was rolled, and pushed, and lifted on
its way. It was toil for a laborer, but it did Hannah good. She tugged away,
pushing, and lifting, and adding woman's ingenuity to man's strength ; so that
at last it was at her own door. There she let it rest, and dug the old stone
out, and afterward brought water to wash the slab with; white as driven snow,
for the most part, with some little yellow weather stains about the edge, and on
one side the black inscription a name, a line of eulogy, and dates. Hannah
stared with the curiosity of one who can not read.
"I wish I could tell what that
was," she said. "Some one's name and age. Ah, there were sore hearts when that
was new. I hope when I die Oliver will have written over me that I was a good
wife. I've tried to be. I ought to know that big letter wait a bit, I believe it
Then she turned the inscription
downward, and washed the other side, clear and white, and fitted it into its
She received little credit for
her work. Oliver only muttered,
" You needn't have published the
fact that I couldn't afford a porch to all the place." And no one noticed the
step afterward save Hannah when she scrubbed it.
Matters were very bad at the
Gneldts'. Oliver brooded over the fire in speechless sorrow. and grew
grayer and balder with each
passing day. Hannah kept ruin off a little by making a home of the poor house,
and a feast of the humble fare, by her house-wife's skill. She might even have
been cheerful but for the memory of that luckless speech.
Working in her garden one day,
when the first spring grass was growing green, Hannah heard footsteps, and
lifting her head, saw two gentlemen beside her, and arose precipitately with
womanly anxiety about her ankles, not strictly covered perhaps by her cotton
gown. The nearest gentleman, an elderly man with bright dark eyes, addressed
" Mrs. Gneldt, I presume."
" Yes, Sir."
She asked him to walk in, and he
did so, the other following.
In the little parlor they sat
"You are Mrs. Hannah Gneldt,
Oliver Gneldt's wife ?"
"Yes, Sir. Is it about about
excuse me, you look like a lawyer, and I fear it's more trouble for Oliver."
" Reassure yourself," said the
gentleman. " Reassure yourself, madame. Your husband is not concerned, save
through you, and that I hope pleasantly. Your name was Burns before you were
"Yes, Sir. Hannah Burns."
" Do you remember dates well ?"
" You have, perhaps, records. of
family events your own birth, your parent's marriage, your grand father's
Hannah Gneldt wonderingly
replied, "I have mother's Bible, and they tell me it's all there." "How far
"To grandfather's birth, I
believe grandfather Burns. He had one child, and I am the only one my parents
ever had. Oliver set down our wedding day, and our two boys' birthdays."
"And your great-grandfather. The
record of his death is there ?"
I don't know ; you may see. Wait,
I'll call Oliver."
Going to the door Hannah took
down a horn, used for that purpose, and uttered a call, which brought Oliver
Gneldt home from the field at once.
He also felt alarm, but
explanations quieted him. Almost as much astonished as his wife he brought out
the old Bible.
"The death of my wife's
great-grandfather, Zebulon Burns, is not here," he said. " The first record is
in his hand, I believe. It is the birth of his eldest child."
So it proved, and the lawyer
looked disappointed. " You can not remember the day of his death?" he said. " I
mean the date of it."
"He died long before I was born,"
said Hannah, and, though rich, left nothing to grandfather. They had quarreled,
I believe. She told odd stories of him. He must have been very eccentric, and a
servant or housekeeper had great influence over him. She had the property, I
think. Margery Margery "
" Margery Wilber, I think," said
" Yes," said Hannah, " I remember
" You are quiet people, not
likely to talk too much," said the lawyer. "I will tell you something. We have
found a will among the effects of a legal gentleman who died very suddenly in a
fit of apoplexy. Don't hope too much, mind. A will in your favor that is, now in
your favor, as your father's only child."
Hannah clutched her husband's
" It is written by one upon his
death bed, dated the 10th of March, 17, and leaves all his property to your
father, his grandson, then a boy. Hush ! don't hope too much. Margery Wilber or
her heirs now hold this property under a will dated March 15,17."
" A later will," said Oliver. "
Then, of course, they are the rightful possessors. What need of all this ? the
latest will must stand."
"Not if it is a forgery," said
Oliver laughed, the bitter laugh
of care and disappointment.
" Who can prove that ?" he said.
"No one, perhaps. Yet the record
of the old man's death might."
" A man whose dying hand signed a
will on the 10th of March would scarcely make another on the 15th. We believe
the will a forgery, written on old parchment, since the discovery of the one I
have spoken of. Margery Wilber took possession with no legal forms, for no one
appeared to contest her title. Where was your great-grandfather buried?"
" Here," said Hannah. " They say
he was brought down at his request Mrs. Wilber as chief mourner, and his son
grandfather not even sent for. An old grave yard somewhere. Oh, Oliver ! Oliver
She turned quite white, and
uttered a cry. "Oliver, that must be the grave-yard on Gray's place that he dug
over last winter in the warm spell."
"Then it is gone," said Oliver. "
And our last hope with it. No, gentlemen, good luck could never come to us.
Poverty means to cling to us to the last. I wish you better clients."
" Oliver, Oliver !" gasped Hannah
Gneldt, " tell me one thing. Zebulon was great-grandfather's name. Zebulon is
spelled with a Z, isn't it ? Oh, do Speak !"
" I think you are going mad,
Hannah ; of course it is."
" Oh, the big Z, I remember it so
well ! I knew it was Z ; and it would have been broken to pieces before now.
Oliver, don't you remember my door step that you were so angry at ? I believe
it's my poor old great-grandfather's tombstone. And I not to know it, when I
stared at the great Z !"
Oliver Gneldt said nothing. He
feared his wife's brain was turned, and that made him faint and cold as he
followed her into the garden, and there watched while the three others lifted
the flat slab.
It lay before them on the green
spring grass, black letters on its whiteness, and, bending over it, they read
" Zebulon Burns. Born May —. Died
March 14, 17—," with eulogistic verses, with long s's underneath, as in duty
" It's poor great-grandfather !"
said Hannah. And the lawyer extended his hands, grasping those of Oliver and his
"The proof is found ! " he said.
" The latest will is a forgery, for it is dated the day after the old man's
death. Mrs. Gneldt is heiress to a large property. I congratulate you."
And Hannah, with her head upon
her husband's shoulder, whispered, " Oliver, it wouldn't have been better to
have married Miss Lester after all !"
" A LITTLE BOX FOR YOU, SIR."
KATE COURTOWN was the bishop's
only child beautiful, accomplished, clever, and an heiress. Therefore it was
quite a natural conclusion that we (I speak advisedly) we, I say, were all in
love with her ; from the youngest ensign, who innocently told us he liked her
best because she was something like his mother, to the brazen faced old
reprobate, our lieutenant-colonel, who actually grew virtuous for the six months
we remained in the pleasant old city, and not only got inside the cathedral in
time for service, but kept awake until the sermon began, when he took his
revenge by snoring behind his red curtain, publicly reprimanding a newly joined
sub for the same delinquency, adding, that if he did sleep he ought to do so in
a reverent way.
I believe most regiments have at
least one lady killer on their list one, I mean par excellence the acknowledged
Adonis. Ours was a certain Captain Hetherston, who rejoiced in the nickname of
Box, owing to the efficient manner in which he came out as that well known
character in the jolly old comedy. Although a popular man with the mess, he was
not individually a favorite. That was not any thing particular, you may remark.
But it was not jealousy; his good locks had nothing to do with the feeling, It
was the " take all but give nothing" sort of way he had that did the mischief.
None of us could have said we knew where he came from, or where the friends he
talked so big about lived how much he had to live upon, or where it came from.
We saw him as he was an uncommonly handsome, well dressed, and well off fellow;
but we saw, too, that he never spent a dollar he could screw out of another man,
and sponged cleverly upon any of us for a seat in a carriage, to a dinner or
ball, a cigar or a drink ; that he had always an excuse ready to meet any chance
demand for a like civility ; and what perhaps riled some of us most was that,
upon the strength of a pretty little house in B—, he kept clear of the little
expensive peccadilloes which beset our paths, and kept his divinity so quiet
that a whisper stole among us to the effect that the lady in B— was a delusion.
He had affected indifference
toward the heiress at first, and then had quietly concentrated his forces and
taken up his position in a manner that would have done him infinite credit in
the field of war as well as love. At first he made but little ground ; but the
summer came, bringing with it reviews, chance rides, and sketching parties.
The heiress looked amiable. The
captain grew sentimental, talked of giving up smoking and the house in town. Our
fellows began to prick up their ears, and the odds in his favor were freely
offered. The match, from being the talk of the mess, of course crept out and got
into the gossips' mouths in the town, and soon conjecture and scandal were at
Meantime Box ate as many dinners
as the bishop offered him, called regularly, paid court to the maiden aunts who
superintended the housekeeping department, and took all the credit he could get.
Things were at this pass when a
lieutenant from the —th Regiment exchanged into our corps not a prepossessing
youth at first sight, very young and boyish looking, but blessed with a quiet,
unimpressible sort of temper, that seemed proof against all the sarcasms,
innuendoes, and even insults, freely lavished under the cover of practical
He seemed to have got his first
step very quickly, and though with all the makings of a fine soldier like man,
he was just at that period an over grown, loose limbed boy ; with a propensity
to blush when a woman spoke to him, and a quiet manner of getting out of the way
if any thing not altogether strictly decorous was going on or being canvassed.
He was laughed at, of course, and many a trap laid to bring him to the test ;
but all to no effect. The laugh made no impression ; he went on, quietly and
consistently keeping his own course with a good natured but perfectly firm
indifference, and ere long, somehow, most of us began to have a respect for the
young hand, and just enough modesty left to feel a little bit ashamed of the
scenes he avoided.
Box seemed to have taken an
antipathy to the new lieutenant since the beginning, and the consequence was a
constant sparring and repetition of jokes perpetrated by the captain, who made a
heavy wager he would make the regiment too hot to hold Vincent before the year
was out. Vincent heard of it somehow, and only laughed in his quiet way,
offering ten to one he would be in the corps longer than Box. Still, through all
this affected carelessness, we who watched closest could see how the spirit
rebelled, and how the boy's temper boiled. under the persecutions of the
captain, who divided his time pretty equally between tormenting Vincent and love
The townsfolk were already
deciding the settlements ; young ladies were speculating who would be asked to
be bridemaids ; and not a few ill natured remarks were being raked up as to
flirtations, and, after the manner of our dear friends, not a little was hinted
about the petty peccadilloes of the past.
September, with its turnip fields
and partridges; October, with its red woods, pheasants, and long evenings,
worked up the country hospitality to a pitch there was no withstanding. Dinner
invitations flowed in galore. The messman's office was well nigh a sinecure, and
his pockets profiting accordingly. The engagement was not yet complet-