Monthly Archives: November 2018


Near Falls Church, Virginia, there lived before the war a wealthy and highly-respected family of the name of Delaney. When the war broke out one of the sons joined Mosby’s band, and a daughter became a volunteer nurse in a rebel hospital. Both became celebrated in their way. The son was young, daring and adventurous, the pride of the female sex for thirty miles around the place of his nativity. He was soon the dread of Union soldiers and Union men of Virginia.

Not a stray soldier from picket escaped him, not a Union farmer, but trembled at his name. The vicinity of Dranesville, Chantilly, Falls Chruch and Vienna can attest to his notoriety and achievement. The father of a rebellious son and daughter sternly maintained his loyalty and fidelity to the Union. At the opening of the war he immediately offered his services to the Federal Government, and was promoted to the rank of colonel in the volunteer service.

Early one day a scouting party, consisting of detachments from the Thirteenth New York and Second Massachusetts Cavalry, under the command of Lieutenant F. B. Lyell, started from Falls Church in pursuit of guerillas, reported to be in the neighborhood of Chantilly and Herndon station. On the morning following their departure, the troops were quietly drinking their coffee within half a mile of the station, five of the advance guard posted on the road; suddenly, as if rising from the earth, came galloping at full speed, five men fully armed and equipped.

A volley from the advanced guard caused a momentary pause; the next minute the guerillas turned and fled, the advance starting in pursuit, an exciting chase ensuing for half a mile. A second volley was fired by the pursuers; but still the rebels kept onward in their course till they arrived near the pine woods, when they dashed in and the men dared not follow. A stray horse was seen to gallop from the woods without a rider! A man was shot! Where was he?

The neighborhood was searched, and, in an adjoining house, stretched on a bed, pale and breathing hard, was found a wounded man, a young lady fanning him tenderly. The officer in command asked him, “Do you belong to the regular Confederate army, and what regiment?” He replied; “I belong to Mosby’s command.” He stated that he had always used the Union men well when he had taken them prisoners, and begged that a surgeon be sent; with which request Lieutenant Lyell promptly complied. The surgeon came too late, for two nights afterwards the notorious Frenchy Delaney breathed his last, Colonel Delaney arriving just in time to take a last farewell.

Curious to relate, Colonel Delaney was taken prisoner to Richmond, and his own son was present at the capture. The news of his fate flew fast; on arriving at Dranesville, the officer in charge was accosted by the fair damsels of rebeldom, in terms like this: “Now, have you really shot Frenchy Delaney? Well, now, that is too bad; I hope he won’t die.” “Yes,” replied Lyell, “and very soon you will have no rebel beaux to marry? you will have to take up with Union men.” “We will,” was the answer, “but we will convert them.” “Perhaps,” said the Lieutenant, “we shall convert you.” The maidens smiled incredulously, and Lyell left for his command.

Originally posted 2009-02-05 00:14:21.

Posted in Recent Entries | Leave a comment



Air–red, White, and Blue (Southern edition).

ONE evening, off Mobile, the Yanks they all knew
That the wind from the north’ard most bitterly blew;
They also all knew, and they thought they were sure,
They’d block’d in the Florida, safe and secure.
Huzza! huzza, for the Florida’s crew!
We’ll range with bold Maffitt the world through and through.

Nine cruisers they had, and they lay off the bar,
Their long line to seaward extending so far,
And Preble, he said, as he shut his eyes tight:
I’m sure they’re all hammock’d this bitter cold night.

Bold Maffitt commanded, a man of great fame,
He sail’d in the Dolphin–you’ve heard of the same;
He call’d us all aft, and these words he did say:
I’m bound to run out, boys, up anchor, away!

Our hull was well whitewash’d, our sails were all stow’d,
Our steam was chock up, and the fresh wind it blow’d;
As we crawl’d along by them, the Yanks gave a shout–
We dropp’d all our canvas and open’d her out.

You’d have thought them all mad, if you’d heard the curs’d racket
They made upon seeing our flash little packet;
Their boatswains did pipe, and the blue lights did play,
And the great Drummond light–it turn’d night into day.

The Cuyler, a boat that’s unrival’d for speed,
Quick let slip her cable, and quickly indeed
She thought for to catch us and keep us in play,
Till her larger companions could get under way.

She chas’d and she chas’d, till at dawning of day
From her backers she thought she was too far away
So she gave up the chase and reported, no doubt,
That she’d sunk us and burnt us somewhere there about.

So when we were out, boys, all on the salt sea,
We brought the Estelle to, right under our lee,
And burnt her and sunk her with all her fine gear,
And straight sail’d for Havana the bold privateer.

‘Twas there we recruited and took in some stores,
Then kiss’d the senoras and sail’d from their shores
And on leaving their waters, by way of a joke,
With two Yankee brigs, boys, we made a great smoke.

Our hull was well wash’d with the limestone so white,
Which sailors all know is not quite Christianlike,
So to paint her all ship-shape we went to Green Keys,
Where the Sonoma came foaming, the Rebel to seize.

We put on all sail and up steam right away,
And the forty-eight hours she made us some play,
When our coal being dusty and choking the flue,
Our steam it slack’d down, and neraer she drew.

Oh ho! cried our captain, I see what’s your game!
Clear away the stern pivot, the Bulldog by name,
And two smaller dogs to keep him companie,
For very sharp teeth have these dogs in the sea.

The Sonoma came up, until nearly in range,
When her engines gave out!–now wasn’t that strange!
–I don’t know the truth, but it’s my firm belief
She didn’t like the looks of the Florida’s teeth.

She gave up the chase and returned to Key West,
And told her flag captain that she done her best;
But the story went round, and it grew rather strong,
And the public acknowledg’d that something was wrong.

We went on a cruising and soon did espy
A fine, lofty clipper, bound home from Shanghai;
We burnt her and sunk her i’th’ midst of the sea,
And drank to Old Jeff in the best of Bohea!

We next found a ship with a quakerish name:
A wolf in sheep’s clothing oft plays a deep game,–
For the hold of that beautiful, mild, peaceful Star
Was full of saltpetre, to make powder for war.

Of course the best nature could never stand that,
Saltpetre for Boston’s a little too fat,
So we burnt her and sunk her, she made a great blaze,
She’s a star now gone down, and we’ve put out her rays.

We next took a schooner well laden with bread;
What the devil got into Old Uncle Abe’s head!
To send us such biscuit is such a fine thing,
It sets us all laughing, as we sit and sing.

We next took the Lapwing, right stuff in her hold,
And that was black diamonds that people call coal;
With that in our bunkers we’ll tell Uncle Sam,
That we think his gunboats are not worth a damn.

The Mary Jane Colcord to Cape Town was bound,
We bade her heave to though and swing her yards round,
And to Davy Jones’ locker without more delay
We sent her afire, and so sailed on our way.
Huzza! huzza, for the Florida’s crew!
We’ll range with bold Maffitt the world through and through.

Originally posted 2009-02-03 23:10:51.

Posted in Recent Entries | Leave a comment


During the lull in the strife, I rode back to the Second corps’ hospitals to see the wounded.

“How goes it, boys?” was the question.

“All right,” said one.

“Pretty rough,” said another.

“They niver will get through the Second corps,” said a Hibernian.

The lull had become a storm. How fearfully rolled the musketry! It is utterly useless to attempt a description or comparison. It was volley after volley, surge after surge, roll after roll.

Maurice Collins, of the Twelfth Massachusetts, was brought in with an ugly wound through his shoulder. He was a Catholic, and the priest was showing him the crucifix.

“Will it be mortal?” he asked.

“Perhaps not, if you will lie still and keep quiet; but you may have to lose your arm.”

“Well, I am willing to give my arm to my country,” was the reply of one, who, though born in the ever green isle, while loving the harp and shamrock, adores the stars and stripes of his adopted country.

Originally posted 2009-02-03 01:58:59.

Posted in Recent Entries | Leave a comment


The following incident is connected with the flight at Sommerville, during the raid of Forrest through Tennessee:–Lieut. McIntyre, Ninth Illinois Cavalry, who was sent by Gen. Grierson with dispatches from Newcastle, eight miles east of Sommerville and twelve miles north of the La Grange, finding himself suddenly surrounded, threw away his arms and crawled under a house. From there he crept to a cotton gin near by. In the gin was a large pile of cotton seeds. The lieutenant dug a hole in it, crawled in, pulled a large basket over his head, and was thus completely ensconced, save his legs, over which he drew sufficient to conceal them, some of the seed. No sooner had he hid, than a surgeon of the Seventh Illinois also came rushing into the gin, pursued by ten rebels. He had just time to conceal himself between some boards in the loft, when the rebels came rushing up, and began to search for him. They had not seen the lieutenant enter the gin, but they were certain the surgeon was there. They put a guard at every avenue of escape, at each door and window, and then commenced the search. They went all through the building upstairs, tried upon the plank beneath which lay the surgeon, but did not find him. They peeped into every knot-hole but in vain.

Not long after it was ascertained that Forrest had returned South, and the various columns of infantry, cavalry and artillery were accordingly ordered back and went into camp.

Originally posted 2009-02-01 14:18:50.

Posted in Recent Entries | Leave a comment