Monthly Archives: October 2017


A gentleman from Charleston says that everything there (Jan. 7, 1861,) betokens active preparations for fight. Last Sunday, he says, not a lady was at the church he attended. They were all at home making cartridges and cylinders, and scraping lint. The thousand negroes busy in building batteries, so far from inclining to insurrection, were grinning from ear to ear at the prospect of shooting the Yankees. Extravagant reports were current as to the hostile designs of the Federal Government, such as that the Macedonian was on her way with five hundred troops.

Originally posted 2008-06-05 19:00:05.

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A correspondent at Charleston furnished the following description of the scene which ensued on the occasion of a draft for four hundred men in Savannah, to complete a requisition for troops, the requisite number not having volunteered. Fifteen hundred of the business men and merchants of the city were drawn up in a hollow square on the parade-ground, all in a high state of excitement, when the following proceedings took place:

“The Colonel now takes his place in the centre, and from the back of a magnificent horse, in a few well-timed remarks, calls for volunteers. He said it was a shame that a Georgian should submit to be drafted, and dishonorable to a citizen of Savannah to be forced into the service of his country. He appealed to their patriotism, their pluck, and their—pelf. He told them of good clothes, good living, and fifty dollars bounty; and on the strength of these considerations, invited everybody to walk three paces in front. Nobody did it. An ugly pause ensued, worse than a dead silence between the ticking of a conversation. The Colonel thought he might not have been heard or understood, and repeated his catalogue of persuasions. At this point one of the sides of the square opened, and in marched a company of about forty stalwart Irishmen, whom their Captain, in a loud and exultant tone, announced as the Mitchell Guards. ’We volunteer, Colonel, in a body.’ The Colonel was delighted. He proposed ’three cheers for the Mitchell Guards,’ and the crown indulged not inordinately in the pulmonary exercise. The requisite number did not seem to be forthcoming, however, and the Colonel made another little speech, winding up with an invitation to the black drummer and fifer to perambulate the quadrangle and play Dixie; which they did, but they came as they went–solitary and alone; not the ghost of a volunteer being anywhere visible in the Ethiopian wake. The Colonel looked as blank as if he was getting desperate, and a draft seemed indispensable.

As a dernier resort the Colonel directed all who had excuses to advance to the centre, and submit them for examination. Did you ever see a crowd run away from a falling building at a fire, or towards a dog-fight, or a street-show? If you have, you can form some idea of the tempestuous nature of the wave that swept towards the little table in the centre of the square, around which were gathered the four grave gentlemen who were to examine the documents. It was a scene, which, as an uninterested outsider, one could only hold his sides and laugh at. Hats were crushed, ribs punched, corns smashed, and clothes torn. Every hand held its magical bit of paper, from the begimed digits of the individual just from a stable or a foundery, to be dainty gloved extremity of the dry goods clerk, just from his counter. Young and old, rich and poor, neat and nasty, Americans, Englishmen, Irishmen, Germans, Frenchmen, Italians, Israelites, and Gentiles, all went to make up the motley mass. What a pretty lot of sick and disabled individuals there were to be sure! Swelled arms, limping legs, spine disease, bad eyes, corns, toothaches, constitutional debility in the bread-basket, eruptive diseases, deafness, rheumatism, not well generally–these, and a thousand other complaints, were represented as variously and heterogeneously as by any procession of pilgrims that ever visited the Holy Land.

“And so the day progressed, nearly ten hours being consumed in the endeavor to secure a draft. This afternoon the absentees were gathered together, and the efforts renewed, when, strange to say, every man who found the liability imminent of his being forced to enlist, protested that he was just on the point of doing so, and willingly put his name to the roll.”

Originally posted 2008-06-04 16:45:17.

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An incident is related which affords a striking but sad illustration of the effects of civil war. The lady in question has resided with an only daughter for many years in Alexandria. About nine months since, a mutual friend introduced a young gentleman of Richmond to the family. The young people soon became intimately acquainted, and, quite naturally, fell in love. The parents on both sides consenting, the parties were bethrothed, and the marriage day was fixed for the 4th of July. In the mean time, however, the Virginians were called upon to decide on which side they would stand. The ladies declared themselves on the side of the Government, but the gentleman joined the forces of his State. No opportunity was afforded for the interchange of sentiments between the young folks, or anything settled as to their future movements. Matters thus remained till the 4th of July, when, exactly within an hour of the time originally fixed for the marriage, intelligence was received at the residence of the ladies that the young man had been shot by a sentry two days before, while attempting to desert and join his bride. His betrothed did not shed a tear, but, standing erect, smiled, and then remarking to her mother, “I am going to desert too,” fell to the floor, while the blood bubbled from her lips as her soul passed back to Him who gave it.

Originally posted 2008-06-03 15:32:20.

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A private letter from West Point, Va., narrates an exciting adventure which befell a negro scout in the employ of the Union forces, and his shrewdness in escaping from the rebels. His name was Claiborne, and he was a full-blooded African, with big lips, flat nose, &c. He lived in the vicinity all his life, and was therefore familiar with the country, which rendered him a very valuable scout. On Claiborne’s last trip inside the enemy’s lines, after scouting around as much as he wished, he picked up eight chickens and started for camp. His road led past the house of a secesh doctor named Roberts, who knew him, and who ordered him to stop, which, of course, Claiborne had no idea of doing, and kept on, when the doctor fired on him, and gave chase, shouting at the top of his voice. The negro was making good time towards camp, when all at once he was confronted by a whole regiment of rebel soldiers, who ordered him to halt. For a moment the scout was dumbfounded, and thought his hour had come; but the next he sung out:

“The Yankees are coming! the Yankees are coming!”

“Where? where?” inquired the rebels.

“Just up in front of Dr. Roberts’ house, in a piece of woods,” returned Sambo. “Dr. R. sent me down to tell you to come up quick, or they’ll kill the whole of us.”

“Come in, come into camp,” said the soldiers.

“No, no,” says the ’cute African, “I have got to go down and tell the cavalry pickets, and can’t wait a second.” So off he sprang with a bound, running for dear life, the rebs, doscovering the ruse, chasing him for three miles, and he running six, when he got safely into camp, but minus his chickens, which he dropped at the first fire.

Originally posted 2008-06-02 11:35:57.

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