Monthly Archives: July 2018

CUTENESS OF A CONTRABAND SCOUT.–

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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INCIDENTS OF THE PENINSULA.–

At the battle of Hanover Court House, Va., two sergeants met in the woods; each drew his knife, and the two bodies were found together, each with a knife buried in it to the hilt. Some men had a cool way of disposing of prisoners. One, an officer of the Massachusetts Ninth, well known in Boston as a professor of muscular Christianity, better known as “the child of the regiment,” while rushing through the woods at the head of his company, came upon a rebel. Seizing the “grayback” by the collar, he threw him over his shoulder, with, “Pick him up, somebody.” A little Yankee, marching down by the side of a fence which skirted the woods, came upon a strapping secesh, who attempted to seize and pull him over the rails; but the little one had too much science. A blow with the butt of a musket levelled secesh to the ground, and made him a prisoner.

Originally posted 2008-06-01 12:57:48.

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HORSES AT BULL RUN.–

One of the guns of Sherman’s battery was rescued from capture by the rebels, and brought off the field by two horses that had been shot through by Minie musket-balls. When the order, “Forward,” was given, they resolutely straightened out, and absolutely brought off the gun.

At the commencement of the battle, Lieut. Hasbrouck, of the West Point battery, was riding a little sorrel horse. In a short time he was shot three times, and from loss of blood became too weak for further service. He was stripped of bridle and saddle, and turned loose, as his owner supposed, to die. In the heat of the contest nothing more was thought of the little sorrel, nor was he seen again until the remnant of the battery was far towards Washington on the retreat. It paused at Centreville, and while resting there, Lieut. Hasbrouck was delighted to be joined by his faithful horse, which, by a strong instinct, had obeyed the bugle call to retreat, and had found his true position with the battery, which is more than most of the human mass engaged on the field could boast of doing. He went safely into Washington, recovered of his wounds, ready for another fight.

Originally posted 2008-05-31 12:20:46.

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THE GREAT BELL ROLAND.*

THE GREAT BELL ROLAND.* (*The famous bell Roland, of Ghent, was an object of great affection to the people, because it rang to arm them when Liberty was in danger.)

BY THEODORE TILTON.

(Suggested by the President’s first call for Volunteers.)

I.

TOLL! Roland, toll!

In old St. Bavon’s tower,
At midnight hour,
The great bell Roland spoke!
All souls that slept in Ghent awoke!
What meant the thunder-stroke?
Why trembled wife and maid?
Why caught each man his blade?
Why echoed every street
With tramp of thronging feet?
All flying to the city’s wall!
It was the warning call
That Freedom stood in peril of a foe!
And even timid hearts grew bold
Whenever Roland tolled,
And every hand a sword could hold!
So acted men
Like patriots then
Three hundred years ago!

II.

Toll! Roland, toll!

Bell never yet was hung,
Between whose lips there swung
So grand a tongue!
If men be patriots still,
At the first sound
True hearts will bound,
Great souls will thrill!
Then toll and strike the test
Through each man’s breast,
Till loyal hearts shall stand confest,–
And may God’s wrath smite all the rest!

III.

Toll! Roland, toll!

Not now in old St. Bavon’s tower–
Not now at midnight hour–
But here, –this side the sea!–
Toll here, in broad, bright day!–
For not by night awaits
A noble foe without the gates,
But perjured friends within betray,
And do the deed at noon!
Toll! Roland, toll!
Thy sound is not too soon!
To arms! Ring out the leader’s call!
Re-echo it from East to West
Till every hero’s breast
Shall swell beneath a soldier’s crest!
Toll! Roland, toll!
Till cottager from cottage wall
Snatch pouch and powder-horn and gun!
The sire bequeathed them to the son
When only half their work was done!
Toll! Roland, toll!
Till swords from scabbards leap!
Toll! Roland, toll!
What tears can widows weep
Less bitter than when brave men fall!
Toll! Roland, toll!
In shadowed hut and hall
Shall lie the soldier’s pall,
And hearts shall break while graves are filled!
Amen! so God hath willed!
And may His grace anoint us all!

IV.

Toll! Roland, toll!

The Dragon on thy tower
Stands sentry to this hour,
And Freedom so stands safe in Ghent,
And merrier bells now ring,
And in the land’s serene content,
Men shout, “God save the King!”
Until the skies are rent!
So let it be!
A kingly king is he
Who keeps his people free!
Toll! Roland, toll!
Ring out across the sea!
No longer They, but We,
Have now such need of thee!
Toll! Roland, toll!
Nor ever may thy throat
Keep dumb its warning note,
Till Freedom’s perils be outbraved!
Toll! Roland, toll!
Till Freedom’s flag, wherever waved,
Shall shadow not a man enslaved!
Toll! Roland, toll!
From northern lake to southern strand!
Toll! Roland, toll!
Till friend and foe, at thy command,
Once more shall clasp each other’s hand,
And shout, one-voiced, “God save the land!”
And love the land that God hath saved!
Toll! Roland, toll!

Originally posted 2008-05-30 12:22:13.

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