In the early part of the war, when patriotic merchants and manufacturers were sending their clerks and workmen to the field, with a promise to provide for the wants of their families, as well as to continue their salaries during their absence, a very enthusiastic landlady of New York offered to allow her boarders’ bills to run on, as usual, should any of them desire to go for the defence of the nation.
Monthly Archives: January 2010
A son of the Emerald Isle, but not himself green, was taken up (for he was at the time down) near a rebel encampment, not far from Manassas Junction. In a word, Pat was taking a quiet nap in the shade, and was roused from his slumber by a scouting party. He wore no special uniform of either army, but looked more like a spy than an alligator, and on this was arrested.
“Who are you?” “What is your name?” and “Where are you from?” were the first questions put to him by the armed party.
Pat rubbed his eyes, scratched his head, and answered:
“Be me faith, gentlemen, them is ugly questions to answer, anyhow; an’ before I answer any o’ them, I’d be afther axin’ ye, by yer lave, the same thing.”
“Well,” said the leader, “we are of Scott’s army, and belong to Washington.”
“All right,” said Pat; “I know’d ye was gintlemen, for I am that same. Long life to General Scott.”
“Aha!” replied the scout, “now you rascal, you are our prisoner,” and seized him by the shoulder.
“How is that,” inquired Pat; “are we not friends?”
“No,” was the answer. “We belong to General Beauregard’s army.”
“Then ye tould me a lie, me boys; and thinkin’ it might be so, I tould you another. And now tell me the truth, and I’ll tell the truth, too.”
“Well, we belong to the State of South Carolina.”
“So do I,” promptly responded Pat, “and to all the other States uv the country, too; and there, I’m thinkin’, I bate the whole uv ye. Do ye think I would come all the way from Ireland to belong to one State, when I had a right to belong to the whole uv ’em?”
This logic was rather a stumper; but they took him up, as before said, and carried him for further examination.
The following stories by an officer show the temper and spirit with which the advent of the Yankees was looked for by the negroes. A couple of officers were advancing some distance apart from their men, when they were hailed by an old negro woman standing in the door of her rude cabin. “Bless de Lord, bless de Lord,” she exclaimed as loud as she could, “yer’s come at last, yer’s come at last! I’ve looked for yer these many years, and now yer’s come. Bless the Lord.” Nothing could exceed the old woman’s delight at seeing the Yankees. This means something, and how much! In the childish delight of that old woman what a history is suggested. Long years she had waited to see this deliverance. Slave she was, and the slow years dragged their weary lengths past her youth, and still hope whispered that the hour would come when the bondage would be broken. At last it comes, when the spring of life is gone, and yet her aged lips are eloquent with joy.
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The battery of which I spoke is in charge of the First Connecticut artillery, and is built in front of a large and stately brick mansion, which is surrounded by peach orchards. It is the property of Mrs. Farrenhold, whose son and husband are in the rebel army.
Mrs. Farrenholt is a lady somewhat advanced in years, very secesh in opinion, who has remained on her estate; but she is now dwelling in a small house removed from the danger resulting from the guns of her own friends. The other day an officer belonging to the artillery corps had some little conversation with the lady, to the following effect:
Federal Officer.–Madam, good morning; I desire to purchase a horse from you.
Secesh Lady.–I require what horses I have to plough; I cannon spare one.
F. O.–(Referring to the shells from the enemy.) That will be quite unnecessary; your people are ploughing up your ground for you.
S. L.–Are they planting also?
F. O.–They haven’t planted any of us yet. But as they have not concluded their work yet, I cannot tell you what they will do.
S. L.–Ah! well, if they plant any of your blue-coated comrades, I hope they wont sprout. Good morning.
The officer withdrew. Evidently the secesh lady thought Uncle Sam’s sprouts were quite thick enough on her estate.
A correspondent, writing from the army of the Potomac, in June, 1862, says: “Speaking of the spirit of the men reminds me of an incident, both grand and beautiful, which took place in Butterfield’s brigade. For months there has been a standing order against the playing of bands in camp, and in not one instance of the numerous late battles have our splendid bands been allowed to inspire the heart of the brave soldier by the strains of patriotic music. A great mistake, all will say. During the fight yesterday afternoon, an order came for Morell’s division to repair to the hill near where the battle was going on, and act as a support for the reserve artillery. The men obeyed the order to fall in promptly, though the weather was scorching hot, and they had been four days without rest or sleep.
“A happy thought struck Captain Thomas J. Hoyt, of General Butterfield’s staff, who saw that the men looked weary and exhausted. He immediately gathered all the regimental bands, placed them at the head of the brigade, and oedered them to play. They started the ‘Star-spangled Banner;’ and the first note had hardly been struck when the men caught the spirit, and cheer after cheer arose from regiment after regiment, ans was borne away upon the bosom of the placid river, The band continued to play, and other regiments and other brigades caught the spirit, and the air resounded with tumultous applause at the happy hit, until all the columns on that vast plain were vying with each other to do homage to the inspiriting strains of the band. After several tunes, Major Welch, of the Sixteenth Michigan, in a brief speech, proposed three cheers for the hero of the command, General Daniel Butterfield, which were given in magnificent style. To add to the enthusiasm, General McClellan happened to ride through the field just then, and was received with an outburst that fairly astonished him.
“The scene was continued, the brigade moved off with the band playing, and had there been a fight in the next field, the men would have gone into action on the double-quick to the tune of Yankee Doodle, if every one had known that death would be his fate.”