In making the surveys for the intrenchments to be made on the northern and eastern sides of the city of Washington, the engineer officers came to a lovely spot near Bladensburg. A pretty cottage stood on the brow of the hill, surrounded on all sides by shrubbery, grapevines, orchards, shade trees, a superb lawn, a beautiful flower garden, &c. It was, indeed, a little paradise. It was the residence of a lady and her daughters, whose husband was now away fighting in the service of his country. The line of the intrenchments, as surveyed, passed directly over this spot. The hill commands the surrounding country for miles, and therefore is the proper spot for a battery. But the officers saw at a glance that if a battery was erected there, it would be necessary to cut down every tree in the orchard, to clear away all the shrubbery, and to make the ditch for the parapet in the flower garden. In a word, the military works would completely demolish the place, and render it a desert. The officers made several surveys, in hopes of finding some way in which to avoid the necessity of occupying this property at all. But in vain. There was no other hill in the neighborhood that possessed the necessary military qualifications. Calling upon the lady, therefore, the officers explained, in the most delicate manner, the object of their visit, and the military necessity which doomed her beautiful grounds to destruction. The lady listened in silence. Tears rose to her eyes. She arose, walked to the open window, looked for a moment upon the lovely scene, and then, turning to the officers, said: “If it must be so, take it freely. I hoped to live here in peace and quiet, and never to leave this sweet spot, which my husband has beautified for years past. But if my country demands it, take it freely. You have my consent.” Then offering refreshments to the officers, she said no more on the subject. In the war of he revolution, in 1777, a lady of South Carolina brought to General Marion the arrows with which to set fire to her own house. But surely the devoted patriotism of this Maryland lady is deserving of no less praise.—Washington Letter.
The members of the Mackerel Brigade, says the inimitable Orpheus C. Kerr, now stationed on Arlington Heights, to watch the movements of the Potomac, which is expected to rise shortly, desire me to thank the ladies of America for supplies of havelocks and other delicacies of the season just received. The havelocks, my boy, are rather roomy, and we took them for shirts at first; and the shirts are so narrow-minded that we took them for havelocks. If the women of America could manage to get a little less linen into the collars of the latter, and a little more into the other department of the graceful “garmint,” there would be fewer colds in this division of the Grand Army. The havelocks, as I have said before, are roomy–very roomy, my boy. Villiam Brown, of company G, put one on last night when he went on sentry duty, and looked like a broomstick in a pillow-case, for all the world. When the officer came round, and caught sight of Villiam in his havelock, he was struck dumb with admiration for a moment. Then he ejaculated:
“What a splendid moonbeam!”
Villiam made a movement, and the Sergeant came up.
“What’s that white object?” says the officer to the Sergeant. “Thunder!” roared the officer; “tell him to go to his tent, and take off that nightgown.”
“You’re mistaken,” says the Sergeant; “the sentry is Villiam Brown, in his havelock, which was made by the women of America.”
The officer was so justly exasperated at his mistake, that he went immediately to his headquarters and took the oath three times running, with a little sugar.
The oath is very popular, my boy, and comes in bottles. I take it medicinally myself.
The shirts made by the ladies of America are noble articles, as far down as the collar, but would not do to use as an only garment. Captain Mortimer de Montague, of the skirmish squad, put one on when he went to the President’s reception, and the collar stood up so high that he couldn’t put his cap on, while the other department didn’t reach quite to his waist. His appearance at the White House was picturesque and interesting, and as he entered the drawing-room, General Scott remarked very feelingly:
“Ah! here comes one of the wounded heroes.”
“He’s not wounded, General,” remarked an officer standing by.
“Then why is his head bandaged up so?” asked the venerable veteran.
“O,” says the officer, “that’s only one of the shirts made by the patriotic women of America.”
In about five minutes after his conversation I saw the venerable veteran and the wounded hero at the office taking the oath together.
A Union man by the name of Glover, residing in one of the counties west of Quincy, Illinois, owning a number of valuable horses, and having fear of their appropriation to rebel uses, concluded to place them in the hands of a company of Home Guards in the neighborhood for safe keeping. A day or two afterwards, while Glover was absent from home, a rebel called at his house to inquire for him. His wife was in the garden adjoining a cornfield, some distance from the house, when the rebel approached her, and made several inquiries, to which she gave no very satisfactory answers. He then insisted on being informed were Glover was, and, with revolver in hand, threatened instant death if not told. He also demanded of her to deliver up a valuable gun owned by Glover. The two started for the house through the cornfield, and on the way, Mrs Glover succeeded, without being observed, in getting possession of a large corn knife that had been left in the field, and watching the opportunity, took a favorable moment for striking a blow, which she did most effectually, the knife severing the skull, and killing the rebel instantly. Mrs. Glover had a small child with her in the garden, which she left when starting for the house, intending to return for it immediately. Having despatched the rebel, she returned to the garden, when she discovered several other rebels in ambush, a short distance from her. She took her child, and being yet unperceived by them, sought a place of concealment until they should retire. They soon emerged from their hiding-place, and searching for their companion, they found his lifeless body where he had been stricken down, and bore it off, greatly to the relief of Mrs. Glover.
One of the Pike County boys at Louisiana (Missouri) found an old negro in the woods who had heard that secession property was to be confiscated, and therefore commenced by executing the order upon himself. He surrendered to the invader, and gave a history of himself, concluding by saying. “Gorry, massa! I’ll brack your boots, brush your close, bring your water–do anything you want me, if you’ll only confiscate de ole ‘oman!”