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“There are many little things in which our daily life is changed,” said the wife of a Confederate officer,–“many luxuries cut off from the table which we have forgotten to miss. Our mode of procuring necessaries is very different and far more complicated. The condition of our currency has brought about many curious results; for instance, I have just procured leather, for one negro-shoes, by exchanging tallow for it, of which we had a quantity from some fine beeves, fattened and killed upon the place.

“I am now bargaining, with a factory up the country, to exchange pork and lard, with them, for blocks of yarn, to weave negro clothes; and not only negro-clothing I have woven, I am now dyeing thread to weave homespun for myself and daughters. I am ravelling up, or having ravelled, all the old scraps of fine worsteds and dark silks, to spin thread for gloves, for the General and self, which gloves I am to knit. These home-knit gloves and these homespun dresses will look much neater and nicer than you would suppose. My daughters and I being in want of under garments, I sent a quantity of lard to the Macon factory, and received in return fine unbleached calico,–a pound of lard paying for a yard of cloth. They will not sell their cloth for money. This unbleached calico my daughters and self are now making up for ourselves. You see some foresight is necessary to provide for the necessaries of life.

“If I were to describe the cutting and altering of old things to make new, which now perpetually go on, I should far outstep the limits of a letter,–perhaps I have done so already,–but I thought this sketch would amuse you, and give you some idea of our Confederate ways and means of living and doing. At Christmas I sent presents to my relations in Savannah, and instead of the elegant trifles I used to give at that season, I bestowed as follows: several bushels of meal, peas, bacon, lard, eggs, sausages, soap (home-made_, rope, string, and a coarse basket! all which articles, I am assured, were most warmly welcomed, and more acceptable than jewels and silks would have been. To all of this we are so familiarized that we laugh at these changes in our ways of life, and keep our regrets for greater things.

“The photographs of your children I was so happy to see. You would have smiled to have heard my daughters divining the present fashion from the style of dress in the likenesses. You must know that, amid all the woes of the Southern Confederacy, her women still feel their utter ignorance of the fashions, whenever they have a new dress to make up or an old one to renovate. I imagine that when our intercourse with the rest of mankind is revived we shall present a singular aspect; but what we shall have lost in external appearance I trust we shall have gained in sublmer virtues and more important qualities.”

Originally posted 2009-03-03 19:18:55.

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No incident of mortality since the fall of the great Jackson, has occasioned more painful regret than this, said the Richmond Examiner of May 13, 1864. Major J. E. B. Stuart, the model of Virginia cavaliers and dashing chieftain, whose name was a terror to the enemy, and familiar as a household word in two continents, is dead, struck down by a bullet from the dastardly foe, and the whole Confederacy mourns him. He breathed out his gallant spirit resignedly, and in the full possession of all his remarkable faculties of mind and body at twenty-two minutes to eight o’clock, Thursday night, at the residence of Dr. Brewer, a relative, on Grace street, in the presence of Drs. Brewer, Garnett, Gibson, and Fontaine of the General’s staff, Rev. Messrs. Peterkin and Keppler, and a circle of sorrow-stricken comrades and friends.

We learn from the physicians in attendance upon the General that his condition during the day was very changeable, with occasional delirium, and other unmistakable symptoms of speedy dissolution. In the moments of delirium the General’s mind wandered, and like the immortal Jackson, (whose spirit, we trust, his has joined), in the lapse of reason his faculties were busied with the details of his command. He reviewed, in broken sentences, all his glorious campaign around McClellan’s rear on the Peninsula, beyond the Potomac, and upon the Rapidan, quoting from his orders and issuing new ones to his couriers, with a last injunction to “make haste.”

About noon Thursday, President Davis visited his bedside, and spent some fifteen minutes in the dying chamber of his favorite chieftain. The President, taking his hand, said, “General, how do you feel?” He replied, “Easy, but willing to die, if God and my country think I have fulfilled my destiny and done my duty.” As evening approached the General’s delirium increased and his mind again wandered to the battle-fields over which he had fought, then off to wife and children, and off again to the front. A telegraphic message had been sent for his wife, who was in the country, with the injunction to make all haste as the General was dangerously wounded. Some thoughtless, but unauthorized person, thinking probably to spare his wife pain, altered the dispatch to “slightly wounded,” and it was thus she received it, and did not make that haste which she otherwise would have done to reach his side.

As evening wore on the paroxysms of pain increased, and mortification set in rapidly. Though suffering the greatest agony at times, the General was calm, and applied to the wound, with his own hand, the ice intended to relieve the pain. During the evening he asked Dr. Brewer how long he thought he could live, and whether it was possible for him to survive through the night. The doctor, knowing he did not desire to be buoyed by false hopes, told him frankly that death the last enemy, was rapidly approaching. The General nodded, and said, “I am resigned if it be God’s will; but I would like to live to see my wife. But God’s will be done.” Several times he roused up and asked if she had come.

To the doctor, who sat holding his wrist, and counting the fleeting, weakening pulse, he remarked, “Doctor, I suppose I am going fast now. It will soon be over. But God’s will be done. I hope I have fulfilled my destiny to my country and my duty to my God.”

At half-past seven o’clock it was evident to the physicians that death was setting its clammy seal upon the brave, open brow of the General, and they told him so–asked if he had any last messages to give. The General, with a mind perfectly clear and possessed, then made disposition of his staff and personal effects. To Mrs. General R. E. Lee he directed that the golden spurs be given as a dying memento of his love and esteem of her husband. To his staff officers he gave his horses. So particular was he in small things, even in the dying hour, that he emphatically exhibited and illustrated the ruling passion strong in death. To one of his staff, who was a heavy-built man, he said, “You had better take the larger horse; he will carry you better.” Other mementos he disposed of in a similar manner. To his young son, he left his glorious sword.

His worldly matters closed, the eternal interests of his soul engaged his mind. Turning to the Rev. Mr. Peterkin, of the Episcopal Church, and of which he was an exemplary member, he asked him to sing the hymn commencing:

“Rock of ages cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee,”

he joining with all the voice his strength would permit. He then joined in prayer with the ministers. To the doctor he again said, “I am going fast now; I am resigned; God’s will be done.” Thus died General J. E. B. Stuart.

His wife reached the house of death and mourning about 10 o’clock on Thursday night, one hour and a half after dissolution, and was, of course, plunged into the greatest grief by the announcement that death had intervened between the announcement of the wounding of the General and her arrival.

The funeral services preliminary to the consignment to the grave of the remains of General Stuart, were conducted yesterday afternoon in St. James’ Episcopal church, corner of Marshall and Fifth streets, Rev. Dr. Peterkin, rector. The cortege reached the church about five o’clock without music or military escort, the Public Guard being absent on duty. The church was already crowded with citizens. The metallic case, containing the corpse, was borne into the church and up the center aisle to the altar, the organ pealing a solemn funeral dirge and anthem by the choir.

Among the pall-bearers we noticed Brigadier-General John H. Winder, General George W. Randolph, General Joseph R. Anderson, Brigadier-General Lawton, and Commodore Forrest.

Among the congregation appeared President Davis, General Bragg, General Ransom, and other civil and military officials in Richmond. A portion of the funeral services, according to the Episcopal Church, was read by Rev. Dr. Peterkin, assisted by other ministers, concluding with singing and prayer.

The body was then borne forth to the hearse in waiting, decorated with black plumes, and drawn by four white horses. The organ pealed its slow, solemn music as the body was borne to the entrance, and while the cortege was forming, the congregation standing by with heads uncovered. Several carriages in the line were occupied by the members of the deceased General’s staff, and relatives. From the church the cortege moved to Hollywood Cemetery, where the remains were deposited in a vault; the concluding portion of the service read by Dr. Minngerode, of St. Paul’s Church,–and all that was mortal of the dead hero was shut in from the gaze of men.

Dr. Brewer, the brother-in-law of Gen. Stuart, has furnished us with some particulars obtained from the General’s own lips, of the manner in which he came by his wound.

He had formed a line of skirmishers near the Yellow Tavern, when, seeing a brigade preparing to charge on his left, Gen. Stuart and his staff dashed down the line to form troops to repel the charge. About this time the Yankees came thundering down upon the General and his small escort. Twelve shots were fired at the General at short range, the Yankees evidently recognizing his well-known person. The General wheeled upon them with the natural bravery which had always characterized him, and discharged six shots at his assailants. The last of the shots fired at him struck the General in the left side of the stomach. He did not fall, knowing he would be captured if he did, and, nerving himself in his seat, wheeled his horse’s head and rode for the protection of his lines. Before he reached them his wound overcame him, and he fell, or was helped from his saddle by one of his ever-faithful troopers, and carried to a place of security. Subsequently, he was brought to Richmond in an ambulance. The immediate cause of death was mortification of the stomach, induced by the flow of blood from the kidneys and intestines into the cavity of the stomach.

General Stuart was about thirty-five years of age. He leaves a widow and two children. His oldest offspring, a sprightly boy, died a year ago while he was battling for his country on the Rappahannock. When telegraphed that his child was dying he sent the reply, “I must leave my child in the hands of God; my country needs me here; I cannot come.”

Thus has passed away, amid the exciting scenes of this revolution, one of the bravest and most dashing cavaliers that the “Old Dominion” has ever given birth to. Long will her sons recount the story of his achievements, and mourn his untimely departure. Like the hero of the old song,–

“Of all our knights he was the flower,
Compagnon de la Marjolaine;
Of all our knights he was the flower,
Always gay.”

Originally posted 2009-03-02 16:14:42.

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Brigadier General Morgan related the following incident that occurred on his line of operations. While his brigade occupied the gap, between Oak Knob and Rocky Face, a corporal of Company I, Sixtieth Illinois, broke from the line, and under cover of projecting ledges got up within twenty feet of a squad of rebels on the summit. Taking shelter from the sharpshooters, he called out:

“I say, rebs, don’t you want to hear Old Abe’s amnesty proclamation read?”

“Yes! yes!” was the unanimous cry; “give us the ape’s proclamation.”

“Attention!” commanded the corporal, and in a clear and resonant voice, he read the amnesty proclamation to the rebels, beneath the cannon planted by rebel hands to destroy the fabric of government established by our fathers. When he arrived at those passages of the proclamation where the negro was referred to, he was interrupted by cries of “None of your d—d abolitionism–look out for rocks!” And down over his hiding-place descended a shower of stones and rocks. Having finished the reading, the corporal asked:

“Well, rebs, how do you like the terms? Will you hear it again?”

“Not to-day, you bloody Yank. Now crawl down in a hurry and we wont fire,” was the response; and the daring corporal descended and rejoined his command, which had distinctly heard all that passed.

Originally posted 2009-03-01 16:45:13.

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In the battles of the Wilderness, the Twentieth Massachusetts regiment was in the thick of the fight, and one color-bearer after another was shot down almost as fast as the men could be replaced. But such was the eagerness to keep the flag aloft that at one time, two men,–Irishmen–caught hold of the standard at once, as it was about to fall, and struggled for it. Just then a shot struck the staff, cutting it in two, and leaving one man with the flag, and the other with the broken stick. “Bedad!” said the man with the short end of the staff, “the rebels have decided for us this time!” and went to loading and firing again, as coolly as if nothing had happened.

Originally posted 2009-02-28 23:21:13.

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