Monthly Archives: October 2017

SPARROWGRASS’ PROPOSITION,–

SPARROWGRASS’ proposition, that the Home Guard should not leave home except in case of invasion, is equal to the old story of the Bungtown Riflemen, an Ohio military company, whose by-laws consisted of two sections, namely:

“Article First.–This company shall be known as the Bungtown Riflemen.

“Article Second.–In case of war this company shall immediately disband.”

Originally posted 2008-07-03 12:01:36.

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SOUTHRONS, HEAR YOUR COUNTRY CALL YOU.

BY ALBERT PIKE.

SOUTHRONS! hear your country call you!
Up! lest worse than death befall you!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Lo! all the beacon-fires are lighted–
Let all hearts be now united!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Advance the flag of Dixie!
Hurrah! hurrah!
For Dixie’s land we take our stand,
And live or die for Dixie!
To arms! To arms!
And conquer peace for Dixie!
To arms! To arms!
And conquer peace for Dixie!

Hear the Northern thunders mutter!
Northern flags in South wind flutter!
To arms! &c.
Advance the flag of Dixie! &c.

Fear no danger! Shun no labor!
Lift up rifle, pike, and sabre!
To arms! &c.
Shoulder pressing close to shoulder,
Let the odds make each heart bolder!
To arms! &c.
Advance the flag of Dixie! &c.

How the South’s great heart rejoices
At your cannons’ ringing voices!
To arms! &c.
For faith betrayed, and pledges broker,
Wrongs inflicted, insults spoken,
To arms! &c.
Advance the flag of Dixie! &c.

Strong as lions, swift as eagles,
Back to their kennels hunt these beagles!
To arms! &c.
Out the unequal words asunder!
Let them then each other plunder!
To arms! &c.
Advance the flag of Dixie! &c.

Swear upon your country’s altar
Never to submit or falter!
To arms! &c.
Till the spoilers are defeated,
Till the Lord’s work is completed,
To arms! &c.
Advance the flag of Dixie! &c.

Halt not, till our Federation
Secures among earthly powers its station!
To arms! &c.
Then at peace, and crowned with glory,
Hear your children tell the story!
To arms! &c.
Advance the flag of Dixie! &c.

If the loved ones weep in sadness,
Victory soon shall bring them gladness.
To arms! &c.
Exultant pride soon banish sorrow,
Smiles chase tears away to-morrow.
To arms! &c.
Advance the flag of Dixie! &c.

Originally posted 2008-07-02 11:55:26.

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INCIDENTS OF A FIGHT WITH MOSBY.

FAIRFAX COURT HOUSE, June 2, 1863.– The sun glistens on a twelve-pound brass howitzer, which, with its limber, occupies a position directly in front of Gen. Stahl’s headquarters. The story of the gun is this: Made in the year 1859, it was used by the Union troops at Ball’s Bluff, where it fell into the hands of the rebels, and since that time has done service in the rebel army. After Mosby had been whipped several times by Stahl’s cavalry, this gun was furnished him to redeem his laurels. On Friday night last, Mosby, with about one hundred and seventy-five men and the howitzer, camped at Greenwich. Early on Saturday they made a hurried march toward the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, which they struck about one and a half miles this side of Catlett’s Station. Here they concealed themselves in the woods, placed the howitzer in position, and awaited the arrival of the train from Alexandria, carrying forage and stores to Bealeton. As the cars came opposite the ambuscade, a rail, adroitly displaced, caused the locomotive to run off the track. At this moment a ball from the gun went through the boiler, and another pierced the smoke-stack. The guard upon the train were scared by hearing artillery, and beat a hasty retreat, leaving the train at the disposition of the rebels. Had any resistance been offered, it is believed that the train could have been saved, and all the rebels captured. As it was, the guerrillas destroyed the cars, ten in number, and then, anticipating a visit from Stahl’s cavalry, made off in the direction of Auburn. Meanwhile, Col. Mann, of the Seventh Michigan cavalry, who was in command of the portion of Stahl’s cavalry at Bristow, hearing the firing, started with portions of the Fifth New York, First Vermont, and Seventh Michigan, to learn the cause. Taking the precaution to send the Fifth New York, Capt. A. H. Hasbrouck commanding, across the country to Auburn, to intercept the retreat, he followed up the railroad until the sight of the burning train told that portion of the story. Leaving the burning train, Col. Mann followed the track of the retreating foe, and soon heard the sound of cannon towards Greenwich, indicating that Capt. Hasbrouck, with the Fifth New York, had either intercepted or come up with the enemy. As it afterwards proved, they had come upon their rear, and had been fired upon from the howitzer. Owing to the nature of the ground, the Fifth New York was unable to deploy, so as to operate effectively, and the enemy again started on the run, closely followed by Capt. Hasbrouck and his command. Col. Mann pressed on to reach the scene of the firing. Learning the particulars of their escape, he divided his force, sending Lieut.-Col. Preston, with part of the First Vermont cavalry, to reenforce the Fifth New York, and with the balance he struck across the country, again hoping to intercept them.

Finding themselves so hotly pressed, the enemy, when near Grapewood, Farm, about two miles from Greenwich, took position at the head of a short, narrow lane, with high fences on either side, placing the howitzer so as to command the lane, strongly supported by his whole force. The advance of the Fifth New York, about twenty-five men, under Lieut. Elmer Barker, coming up, the Lieutenant determined to charge the gun, fearing, if he halted, the rebels would again run away. Gallantly riding up the narrow lane, with almost certain death before them, these brave men, bravely led by Lieut. Barker, dashed with a yell towards the gun. When within about fifty yards, the rebels opened fire with grape upon them. The result was, three men were killed and seven wounded. The rebels immediately charged, led by Mosby himself. Lieut. Barker, twice wounded in the leg, continued with his handful of men to contest every inch of the ground, and himself crossed sabres with Mosby. But numbers told, and several of the Fifth New York were made prisoners. This gallant fight of Lieut. Barker afforded Col. Preston an opportunity to come up with the First Vermont. Lieut. Hazleton was in advance, with about seventy-five men, and charged bravely up the lane, the few boys of the Fifth New York, who were left, joining the Vermonters. Again and again the gun dealt destruction through the ranks, but nothing could check their impetuosity, and the brave fellows rode over the gun, sabring the gunners, and captured the piece. Serg. Carey, of the First Vermont, was shot dead by the side of the gun; his brother, a corporal in the same regiment, although his arm was shattered, struck down the gunner as he applied the match for the last time. Mosby and his men fought desperately to recover the gun, but in vain.

Meanwhile, Col. Preston had charged across the fields upon their flank, and the enemy fled in all directions, taking refuge in the thickets, with which they are so familiar. One party attempted to take away the limber, but it was speedily captured and brought in. the long chase in the hot sun, the desperate fight, and the jaded condition of the horses, prevented further pursuit, which, with the enemy so widely scattered, and with their knowledge of every by-path and thicket, would have been almost fruitless. Capt. B. S. Haskins, an Englishman, and formerly a Captain in the Forty-Fourth royal infantry, who was with Mosby, was so badly wounded that he has since died. Lieut. Capman, formerly of the regular army, who was in charge of the gun, was also dangerously wounded and paroled on the field, as he could not be removed. Our loss was four killed and fifteen wounded. The rebels had six killed, twenty wounded, and lost ten prisoners. All the Fifth New York who were taken by the rebels were recaptured.

The result of this fight is more disastrous to the rebels than the previous engagements. The Southern Confederacy will not be apt to trust Mr. Mosby with other guns if he cannot take better care of them than he has of this one. The enemy was beaten by about the same force, in a position chosen by themselves, and defended by a howitzer. Their killed and wounded outnumber ours, and the howitzer is ready to be turned against them at the earliest opportunity. The conduct of officers and men is highly commended by Col. Mann in his official report to Gen. Stahl, and the gallantry of the charge of the Fifth New York and the First Vermont is deserving mention.

Originally posted 2008-07-01 11:47:59.

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A YOUNG PATRIOT.–

The following was written by a young Bostonian, who was engaged in mercantile business at the place from which he dates his letter:

NEW YORK, July 29, 1862.

My Dear Father and Mother: I wrote you a day or two ago on passing events. Now I write on the subject that lies nearest my heart. The country calls for men, and we must have them! Recruiting lags, and we are in danger of a draft. It is now useless to say there are enough men without me. It is not the fact. I want to volunteer; and had I a hundred lives I would now place them at the disposal of the Government, for it needs all the young men who can be spared, and I am one who can. Let me calmly state the case to you. First, if the rebellion succeeds, we shall have the disintegration of our country to look upon. We shall not have North and South alone, but after that, State will separate from State, county from county, and then it may be every man for himself. Then will commence a series of wars none of us could see the end of. The stronger State will make war on the weaker, and the successful military commander would assume power. We should have military despotism and anarchy alternately. If we succeed, all will be peace, and we shall enjoy the freedom of institutions, and the perfect liberty we have hitherto enjoyed.

They you must acknowledge the power to do, or not to do, lies with ourselves. We have the men, but they must come forward. Money we have, and we must use it. The South are terribly in earnest. The North are fast asleep, compared with them. We are fighting for life, for our old institutions, for nationality, for all we hold most dear. The South are endeavoring to destroy all these, and to prevent them we must have men. We must conquer. We can if we use our means. If the South conquer, I don’t want to live in this country any longer. Now I acknowledge that a father’s and a mother’s love is one of the greatest blessings a young man can enjoy, next to the favor of God himself; but that love descend to selfishness when it restrains a young man from his manifest duty. The love for parents, and fear of their displeasure if they disobey them, are what hold many hundred young men from joining our noble array.

Let all such restrictions be removed, and our ranks will swell with twice the rapidity they are now doing. My duty is to go–yours to let me go. The duties of the country at large are patience, steadfastness, hope, and prayer. A very fine preacher here says: “Pray for your dying son, but pray for your country more than ten thousand sons.” The love of money must be put down. What good is money going to do us if we have no country to live in? I don’t want a living if I have not a country. Hoping, praying, trusting, you will accede to my wishes, I await an answer. My name is on the militia rolls; so I am subject to draft; and sooner than have me go with drafted men here, I know you will let me go in a Massachusetts regiment. I have written this letter after weeks of deliberation, and in no sudden burst of enthusiasm

Originally posted 2008-06-30 12:18:23.

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