Monthly Archives: March 2008

A SHARP RIDE.–

A SHARP RIDE.–

A correspondent with General Grant’s army gives the following amusing account of a cotton broker in the neighborhood of Lagrange, Tennessee. He says:

The experience of a Mr. Cones, who was captured near Lagrange, was relieved by some flashes of humor which may be an apology for the very emphatic language which was used by the actors.

Cones, in company with two or three other buyers, had bought some cotton out at Moscow, twelve miles from Lagrange, just before our army marched from the latter place, and as General Quinby’s division had just removed from there, they thought the sooner they got the cotton into Lagrange the better; consequently four of them, besides the drivers of the teams, started out after it. Cones was the only one of the four who was not armed and was not on horseback, he riding in one of the teams. They succeeded in getting the cotton, and hurried back until they came in sight of the Union pickets at Lagrange, and then Cones’ three friends, thinking the mules were out of danger, left him, and rode on into town.

Only two or three minutes after they had left, and as the wagons went down into a hollow, out of sight of the picket-guards, five guerrillas dashed out of the wood and were alongside in an instant. “Halt!” Every one of the teams halted as though they had run against a stone wall. The next instant the muzzle of a revolver was at the ear of every one of them, Cones included, who was riding on the cotton.

“Are you armed?” said the guerrilla, who held his pistol at Cones’ head.

“No, sir.”

“Then get down and unhitch them mules, and turn ’em around devilish quick!”

It was done in the time specified.

Guerrilla.–“Have you a match? I want to touch off this cotton.”

Cones.–“No, sir. I am glad to say I haven’t.”

Guerrilla.–“Then git on to that mule, quick.”

In an instant, Cones was mounted on what he says was “a wonderful sharp-backed mule.”

Guerrilla (giving the mule a terrific slash with the wagon whip).–“Now, lick them mules up Make ’em go! Give ’em thunder!”

And away they went at a pace which, to Cones on his razor-back mule, he thought must split him in two before many miles, three guerrillas behind lishing the mule at every jump. Five miles or more they went at this pace, and not another word had been spoken by any one, when they turned out of the main road into an old and unfrequented road, that wound its zigzag through one of the densely-wooded creek bottoms. “Halt!” said the guerrilla, and he who gave the command commenced hurriedly to relieve himself of some of his accoutrements, as though he was about to go to work in earnest at some devilish deed. The place was lonely and fitting to such murderous intents, and Cones says he felt a cold sort of chill run down the full length of even his long legs.

Guerrilla (drawing the cork out of his canteen)–“You look a pretty good feller. Let’s take a drink; and for fear you might think it’s pizen, I’ll drink first!”

And suiting the action to his words, he placed the canteen to his lips, and turned his face up in the position of one making astronomical observations. After a long pull, he passed the canteen over to Cones, who thought it ‘mightn’s be pizen,’ and imbibed.

Guerrilla.–“Now, lick up them mules; give ’em thunder! Hurry up!”

At each injunction he emphasized on the rear of the flying mules with his whip.

They bivouacked in a thicket that night, but early the next morning began their journey at the same pace, and toward evening of that day they galloped into a rude-looking camp, which turned out to be the nest of Richardson and his guerrilla band, within a few miles of Fort Pillow. In a few minutes Cones was marched up before Colonel Richardson. After a number of questions as to what was his business, whether he had served against the Confederate States, &c., Richardson said:

“Well, sir. I’ll parole you.”

At the mention of “parole,” the guerrilla who had been the most prominent in the capture, and had invited Cones “to drink,” began to remonstrate.

Guerrilla.–“Why, Colonel, you ain’t a goin’to parole that infernal cotton-buyer, are you?”

Richardson.–“Well, I’ve got to parole him or shoot him; and (turning to Cones inquiringly) you’d rather be paroled than shot, hadn’t you?”

Cones.–“Yes, but I don’t want to take another ride on that mule”

The parole was soon written, and much to his astonishment, without being robbed of his money and watch, he was told that he was at liberty to walk back to Lagrange, forty miles. In an hour afterward he started, and soon after leaving the camp he was startled again by the command “Halt!” He halted, and out started the guerrilla who had been most prominent in his capture, and had gone away sulky because the Colonel would not shoot “that infernal cotton-buyer,” instead of paroling him.

Cones was unarmed, and began to have serious apprehensions of what was to follow, when the guerrilla said: “Old feller, let’s take a drink!” Cones’ heart felt lighter immediately. So did the canteen.

During the next three days he footed it back to Lagrange, but he never after looked at a lean, sharp-backed mule without a shudder.

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A RACE FOR LIFE.–

A soldier from Rhode Island, while on picket-guard, was rushed upon by a party of rebel cavalry. He instantly fired his piece at the foremost, and ran. The way before him was an open field, about fifty rods across, the other side being hemmed in by an old, rotten, log fence, and, still beyond, a sort of chaparral of brier bushes and underbrush. To this retreat the soldier started, on quadruple quick, with half a dozen horsemen after him. Fortunately for the soldier, the rains had made the field quite muddy, and the horses slumped through the turf so badly that they could not lessen the distance between them and the fugitive. All this time the rebels were keeping up a roar of pistolry, one of the balls passing through the soldier’s hat, and another went clean through his cartridge box and lodged in his coat. Still on ran the hero, and still on splashed the horsemen. The picket at last reached the fence, and with one bound landed on the top, intending to give a long spring ahead; but the fence was frail, and crumbled beneath his weight. It so chanced that a hog had rooted out a gutter at this place, and was lying snoring therein. At the cracking of the fence, his swine-ship evacuated his hole, and scampered, barking, into the underbrush. As luck would have it, the soldier fell in that hole, muddy as it was, and the fence rattled down upon him. This was no more than fairly done, when up came the horsemen, and, hearing the rustling of leaves, and not doubting it was their prey, dashed through the gap in the fence, and, seeing a path in the brush, they put through it after the hog, and were soon out of sight. When the sound of their footsteps died away, the picket returned to camp and reported. The next day one of these rebel horsemen was taken prisoner. When our hero saw him he recognized him and once, and sung out:

“I say, old fellow, did you catch that hog yesterday?”

“We did that,” retorted the prisoner, “but it wasn’t the one we were after.”

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MARYLAND

 

BY J. M. RANDALL.

THE despot’s heel is on thy shore,
Maryland!
His torch is at thy temple door,
Maryland!
Avenge the patriotic gore
That flooded the streets of Baltimore,
And be the battle queen of yore,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Hark to thy wandering son’s appeal,
Maryland!
My mother State! to thee I kneel,
Maryland!
For life and death, for woe and weal,
Thy peerless chivalry reveal,
And gird thy beauteous limbs with steel,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Thou wilt not cower in the dust,
Maryland!
Thy beaming sword shall never rust,
Maryland!
Remember Carroll’s sacred trust,
Remember Howard’s warlike thrust,
And all thy slumberers with the just,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Come! ’tis the red dawn of the day,
Maryland!
Come! with thy panoplied array,
Maryland!
With Ringgold’s spirit for the fray,
With Watson’s blood at Monterey,
With fearless Lowe and dashing May,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Come! for thy shield is bright and strong,
Maryland!
Come! for thy dalliance does thee wrong,
Maryland!
Come! to thine own heroic throng,
That stalks with Liberty along,
And give a new Key to thy song,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Dear Mother! burst the tyrant’s chain,
Maryland!
Virginia should not call in vain,
Maryland!
She meets her sisters on the plain–
“Sic semper,” ’tis the proud refrain,
That baffles minions back amain,
Maryland!
Arise in majesty again,
Maryland! My Maryland!

I see the blush upon thy cheek,
Maryland!
But thou wast ever bravely meek,
Maryland!
But lo! there surges forth a shriek
From hill to hill, from creek to creek–
Potomac calls to Chesapeake,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Thou wilt not yield the Vandal toll,
Maryland!
Thou wilt not crook to his control,
Maryland!
Better the fire upon thee roll,
Better the blade, the shot, the bowl,
Than crucifixion of the soul,
Maryland! My Maryland!

I hear the distant thunder hum,
Maryland!
The Old Line’s bugle, fife, and drum,
Maryland!
She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb–
Huzza! she spurns the Northern scum!
She breathes–she burns! She’ll come! she’ll
come!
Maryland! My Maryland!

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INCIDENTS OF THE PAINTVILLE BATTLE.–

A body of the enemy was posted on a commanding hill, and it became necessary to dislodge them. The Fourteenth Kentucky volunteered for the service, as they knew the nature of the ground. Said Col. Garfield: “Go in, boys; give them ______Hail Columbia!”

The hill was cleared, and soon the reserve of the brigade came in at the double-quick. As soon as he saw them, Col. Garfield pulled off his coat, and flung it up in the air, where it lodged in a tree, out of reach. The men threw up their caps with a wild shout, and rushed at the enemy, Col. Garfield, in his shirt-sleeves, leading the way.

As the Federal troops reached the top of the hill, a rebel officer shouted in surprise: “Why, how many of you are there?” “Twenty-five thousand men, ______you!” yelled a Kentucky Union officer, rushing at the rebel. In an instant the rebels broke and ran in utter confusion.

Several instances of personal daring and coolness were related. A member of Capt. Bushnell’s company, in the Forty-second, was about to bite a cartridge, when a musket-ball struck the cartridge from his fingers. Coolly facing the direction from which the shot came, he took out another cartridge, and exclaimed: “You can’t do that again, old fellow.”

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