CAMP AND PRISON.
With an Introduction
BY A FRIEND OF THE SOUTH
IN TWO VOLUMES.
SAUNDERS, OTLEY, AND CO.,
66 BROOK STREET, W.
[All rights reserved.]
WILLIAM STEVENS, PRINTER, 37, BELL YARD,
OF VOLUME THE SECOND.
- CHAPTER I.
I leave for Fortress Monroe - I am not permitted
to see my Father - Interview with General
Butler - My Luggage undergoes an Examination
- Much of my Property is confiscated -
General Jackson's Field-glasses - My Letters
of Introduction almost get me into Trouble -
Kindness of Major Mulford and his Wife -
General Butler attempts to re-capture me -
The bird is flown, his chagrin, as I afterwards
learn - Ascending the James River The
French Corvette - The Mirage - Arrival in
Richmond . . . . . 1
- CHAPTER II.
Kind reception at Richmond - I hear of my Father's
Death - Efforts of my Friends to procure my
Return Home - I go from Richmond further
south - Kindness of friends during my illness -
I am made Bearer of Despatches - Departure from
Richmond - Too late for the Coquette - I take
passage in the Greyhound . . . . .
- CHAPTER III.
I leave Wilmington for Europe - Running the
Blockade - Safe outside - Mal de mer - The
Federal Cruiser - The Chase - The Yankee
proves too fast - The First Shell - The Fire
grows hot - Forced to surrender - The
English Sailor and his Flag . . . . .
- CHAPTER IV.
We are boarded by an Officer from the Yankee -
The U.S. Steamer Connecticut - An Officer,
but no Gentleman - Strange state of Yankee
Discipline - Scenes on Board of the Greyhound
after her Capture -"Ain't ye skeared?" - A
proud boast . . . . .
- CHAPTER V.
An eventful Meeting - A Gentleman at last - A
Wife's Apology - Mr. Hardinge - I am disappointed
- A pleasant Exchange - Farewell to Mr. Swasey -
A ludicrous Incident - Captain "Henry's" best
Boots - I am discovered through Treachery . . . . .
- CHAPTER VI.
Bound North - We are taken in tow - Our first
Evening at Sea - We arrive at Fortress Monroe
- Commodore Guerte Gansevoorte comes on Board
in James River - We are paroled by him -
His indignation against Mr. Hardinge for
flying the English Ensign - The Commodore's
Conduct whilst on Board - Arrival at New
York - We go on Shore - I visit Niblos'
Theatre - Return aboard and Departure for
Boston - Love triumphant! . . . . .
- CHAPTER VII.
Arrival in Boston - Our plan for re-capturing
the Greyhound frustrated - Captain "Henry's"
Escape - How it was managed - Marshal Keyes
comes on Board - The Search for the Captain - A
false Report of his Arrest - I communicate with
him - He leaves for New York - I bid adieu to
the Greyhound - My Quarters on Shore - I am
paroled for the City - Newspaper Rumours -
Mr. Hardinge proceeds to Washington in my
behalf - My Mother telegraphs to the
Marshal - She is not permitted to see
me - Politeness of the British Consul - I
write a Letter to the Secretary of the Navy -
Am pronounced insane - I am liberated - Mr.
Hardinge and his Officers are placed under
Arrest - Mr. Pollard is sent to Fort Warren -
I leave for Canada . . . . .
- CHAPTER VIII.
Arrival at Montreal - Niagara - A System
of Espionage still around me - I depart for
Europe - Passage across the Atlantic - Arrival
in London - I meet Mr. Hardinge once more -
Our Marriage - Comments of the Press . . . . .
- CHAPTER IX.
Lieutenant Hardinge's Journal - Arrival at Home
- A Surprise - A silent Breakfast - Visit to
Martinsburg - A pleasant little Excitement -
A Negro Welcome - "Miss Belle's Husband" -
A Portent - A Sailor's superstition -
Capture - Poor Pat in the toils - A high-bred
General - Lieutenant Adams - A Yankee
Provost-Marshal - The Guard-house - The
Restaurant - A Guardsman - Ordered off
again - Arrival at Washington . . . . .
- CHAPTER X.
Forrest Hall - A Lesson on Prison Luxury -
The Torture - Close Packing - The "Neutral
Ground" - A good-natured Sentry - An Aristocrat
- The Gouger - A tough Contest -Homage to
the Victor - An Honour declined - The Carroll
Prison - Defacing the Walls - Piety Hall -
Unpleasant Tortures - "The Colonel" . . . . .
- CHAPTER XI.
Journal continued - Letter to Mr. Stanton
- Visit from Judge Turner - Room 25 - An
Introduction in due form - Pleasant Society
- A Dinner at last - Good Advice - A
clandestine Communication - False Alarm -
"That reminds me of a good Story" - A
Massachusetts Officer in Trouble - The
"Smasher's" Sentence - An imprisoned Wife
and Child - Blockade-running . . . . .
- CHAPTER XII.
Introduced to the Ladies' Ward - Colonel
Wood and his "Reminiscence-book" - Interview
with Judge Turner - Sherman's Officers in
Georgia - A hideous Outrage - Christmas in
Prison - Home-sick - A drunken Sentry -Another
Visit to the Ladies - The Young Girl's Sick
Bed - A Rough Prison Carol . . . . .
- CHAPTER XIII.
Mr. H.'s Journal continued - A Visit from
my Parents - The Order for Removal - On
the March - "Do you know Belle Boyd?" - An
abrupt Introduction - Arrival in Philadelphia
- Dismal Night Quarters - An unpleasant
Ordeal - The Menagerie - En route for
Wilmington - An Eight-mile March - The
Osceola - Fort Delaware - "Fresh Fish" -
Belle Boyd's Husband" - New Year's Eve -
Turned Cook - Snow-balling - Sharp Practice . . . . .
- CHAPTER XIV.
The "Pens" - Officers' Barracks - Privates'
Barracks - The "Galvanized" Barracks -
Galvanization and its results - General
T.'s Experiment - The Barracks by Night - A
Reckless Sentry - The wrong Man shot . . . . .
- CHAPTER XV.
A piteous Spectacle - The Old Men's Petition -
Piety of the Southern Soldiery - A Young Men's
Christian Association - A Prison Service -
Our Guardians - Colonel Wood - Mr. Wilson
- Tom S. the Toady - How Tom got his Situation
- The Ladies' Attendants - Aunt Lizzie - Mr.
L - The Spy discomfited - Our Cuisine -Scrap
Pudding - How the Prison Officers made their
Profit . . . . .
- CHAPTER XVI.
Miss McDonough - A brutal Outrage - Treatment
of Mr. W. R. Coyner - The "Court-martial"
- Sentence - "Tossing in a Blanket" - The
Torture by Fire - Fort Delaware - A Box of
Clothing - Man of Consequence - Adjutant
and General - The Blankets at last - The
"Softest Plank" . . . . .
- CHAPTER XVII.
Wanted at the Fort - The Order for Release
- Farewells - Free at last - A cool Reception
- An undignified Costume - No Conveyance
- The Walk to Wilmington - Home
once more - Conclusion of Mr. Hardinge's
Journal . . . . .
- CHAPTER XVIII.
Conclusion of Mrs. S. Hardinge's Narrative . . . . .
I leave for Fortress Monroe - I am not
permitted to see my Father - Interview with
General Butler - My Luggage undergoes an
examination - Much of my Property is
confiscated - General Jackson's Field-glasses
- My Letters of Introduction almost get me
into Trouble - Kindness of Major Mulford
and his Wife - General Butler attempts to
re-capture me - The bird is flown, and to
his chagrin, as I afterwards learn -
Ascending the James River - The French
Corvette - The Mirage - Arrival in Richmond.
ON the first day of December, early in the
morning, I started for Fortress Monroe,
under the charge of Captain Mix and an
orderly-sergeant. It was my poor father's
intention to have accompanied me as far as
Baltimore, and beyond, if he could get the
necessary permission. Just before I left,
however, a message was brought to me stating
that my father, though not dangerously
ill, was confined to the house by severe
When I heard that I could not see my fond
parent, it distressed me greatly; but I was
powerless to act in the matter; and, though
I entreated them to let me go to him, if but
for a moment, it was refused.
After being subjected to the annoying and
ungentlemanly conduct of Captain Mix, who
seemed to exert himself especially to make
everything as disagreeable as he possibly
could for me, I arrived in Fortress Monroe
about 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Captain
Mix immediately went on shore to report to
Captain Cassels, the Provost-Marshal and
aide-de-camp to Butler, to whose care I was
to be committed until the "exchange boat"
should start for Richmond.
Meanwhile all the passengers had landed,
and I was left in the charge of the orderly-
sergeant. Major (now General) Mulford, the
exchange officer, returned on board with
Captain Mix, and was introduced to me. I
found him an elegant and courteous gentleman.
In a short time I was escorted from the boat
to the Provost-Marshal's office, passing
between a company of negro soldiers, who
were filed on each side. Thence I was taken
into the fortress, to Butler's head-quarters,
and, after waiting a
short time, I was conducted into his august
He was seated near a table, and, upon my
entrance, he looked up and said, "Ah, so
this is Miss Boyd, the famous rebel spy. Pray
"Thank you, General Butler, but I prefer to
I was very much agitated, and trembled
greatly. This he noticed, and remarked, "Pray
be seated. But why do you tremble so? Are
"No; ah! that is, yes, General Butler; I must
acknowledge that I do feel frightened in the
presence of a man of such world-wide
reputation as yourself."
This seemed to please him immensely, and,
rubbing his hands together and smiling
most benignly, he said, "Oh, pray do be
seated, Miss Boyd. But what do you
mean when you say that I am widely known?"
"I mean, General Butler," I said, "that you
are a man whose atrocious conduct and brutality,
especially to Southern ladies, is so infamous
that even the English Parliament commented
upon it. I naturally feel alarmed at being
in your presence."
He had evidently expected a compliment when
I commenced to reply to his inquiry, but,
at the close of my remarks, he rose, and,
with rage depicted upon every lineament of
his features, he ordered me out of his presence.
I was conducted to the hotel, and felt for
the time being exceedingly uneasy lest by
my Parthian shot at an enemy whom I
thoroughly detested, I should have laid
myself open to his petty spirit of revenge.
I feared that I should be remanded to a
dreary prison cell; for General Butler was
all-powerful in the North about this
Events have since clearly proved this
man, even to the Yankees themselves, to be
but a meretricious hero and a political
charlatan. Like others who render themselves
rather notorious than great, he first pleased
a fickle populace by his acts of brutality,
then disgusted his contemporaries, who
feared that he might become to America
what Robespierre had been to France. The
tyrant of New Orleans, having failed most
signally at Wilmington, was discovered to be
a coward, and suspected of being a rogue. Well
might the baffled New England attorney exclaim,
"Facilis descensus Averni!" In the hope of
being styled a modern Cincinnatus, he retired
to Lowell, to live upon the ill-gotten
gains extorted by threats or force from
But to resume the thread of my story. I
was obliged to give my parole that I would
not leave the house until permitted to do
so. Here I found the Misses Lomax, sisters
of the Confederate General Lomax, and a
Miss Goldsborough, of Baltimore, who
were to be sent south. These ladies,
however, were not the only Confederate
sympathizers in the hotel; there were
others whose names I dare not mention.
On Wednesday evening the order came for
Miss Goldsborough and myself to be in
readiness to start that same night for
Richmond. The Misses Lomax, for some reason,
were not allowed to proceed, but were sent
back to Baltimore. When the time arrived
for our departure, we were taken back to
the Provost-Marshal's office; and here I
found my luggage, consisting of two
Saratoga trunks and a bonnet-box. The keys
were demanded of me, and I complied with
A man and two women immediately set to
work to ransack my boxes, although I
assured them that they need not search,
as I had just come from prison. This appeal,
however, was ineffectual, and they still
continued their examination. Imagine their
astonishment and my chagrin when they
pulled from the bottom of one of my trunks
two suits of private clothes, a uniform for
Major-General W-- , a dozen linen shirts,
&c. These things I had succeeded in smuggling
into prison by means of an underground
railway, of which Superintendent Wood,
sharp as he imagined himself to be, was
little aware. I was interrogated as to
how I had obtained the articles in question,
but they did not succeed in eliciting
anything by their queries.
All the goods considered contraband,
including several pairs of army gauntlets
and felt hats, with a pair of field-glasses
which had formerly belonged to General
Jackson, and which I greatly prized,
together with much clothing, were taken
from me. I entreated them to let me retain
the glasses; but this was flatly refused;
and they were, to my mortification, given
to General Butler.
When I saw how these Vandals were
robbing me of nearly everything, I strove
in vain to restrain my tears; and my trunks
having been thoroughly ransacked, I was
informed that I must undergo a personal
search. At this turn of affairs I began to
feel very nervous, for I had
concealed about me twenty thousand dollars
in Confederate notes, five thousand in
green-backs and nearly one thousand in gold,
as well as the letters of introduction
which I have previously mentioned. I
earnestly appealed to their forbearance,
assuring them that I had nothing contraband;
for I did not consider my money contraband.
As it was getting late, the captain said,
"Well, if you will take an oath to the effect
that you have nothing contraband upon
you - no letters or papers - you shall not
As this was impossible, I told him that
I could not make such a declaration,
handing him my letters at the same time.
He then asked if I had any money about me.
To this I replied by giving him a roll of
two or three thousand dollars in
Confederate money, which I had placed in
my pocket. This he regarded as valueless,
and sneeringly informed me that I might
keep "that stuff."
Upon opening my letters and finding
mention of "my immense services to my
country," "my kindness towards prisoners,"
"my devotion to the Southern cause," &c.,
he became very angry, and said, "I shall
send this to General Butler in the morning.
I would do so now, but it is after office
Miss Goldsborough sat by meanwhile, a
quiet spectator of the whole affair, she
having undergone the ordeal of search in
the morning. We were then conducted to
the wharf, placed on board a tug, and
sent off to the exchange boat, the City
of New York, which lay at anchor in the
stream. Upon our arrival on board we
were kindly received by Major Mulford, who
conducted us to the saloon and introduced
us to his wife, a very charming, lady-like
woman. Here we remained all night, and
next morning, about seven o'clock, got
under way. Shortly afterwards we ran
aground, and it was not until 8 a.m. that
we succeeded in getting the vessel off again.
Then, under a full head of steam we steered
for City Point.
About this time the little steam-tug that
had brought us alongside the City of New
York quitted the wharf, apparently in chase
of us. My heart sank, for I felt intuitively
that this pursuit had something to do with
me, and that General Butler must have given
an order for my detention. But the larger
steamer had already waited so long that
Major Mulford, angry and impatient at the
delay, took no notice of our pursuers,
and, to my great joy and relief, kept
steadily on our course.
I afterwards learnt that my fears upon
this occasion were not unfounded. When
General Butler, smarting with the remembrance
of my farewell sarcasm, had beheld the
letters that Captain Cassels had taken
from me, he commanded that I should be
followed, and, if re-captured, should
be sent at once to Fort Warren, in
Massachusetts Bay. As he issued this
order he remarked to those who surrounded
him that he would take "a leading character
in 'Beauty and the Beast.' " When the tug
returned from her fruitless chase, he
was almost beside himself with rage at
being thwarted in his revenge. This I
had from such good authority that I am
confident the General will not feel it
worth his while to contradict the statement.
At the mouth of the James River we passed
the Federal blockading fleet, and were
here boarded by a boat from the flagship
Minnesota, commanded by Admiral Lee. In
a few moments we had entered the James,
whose waters are distinguishable from those
of the Potomac by a yellow streak which
appears on the surface.
As we wended our way up the river we
could see the signal-officers at the
different stations busily announcing our
approach, and occasionally we observed
Confederate soldiers on picket duty.
Everything reminded me that I was once
more drawing near to the capital of my
own sunny South.
Pur vi torno a riveder,
Trema in petto e si confonde
L'alma oppressa dal piacer."
Though exceedingly happy that I was again
permitted to breathe the pure air of my
native State, I did not feel completely free,
for I was still under the Federal Hag, and
could scarcely count upon my liberty as being
yet fully assured to me.
We arrived at City Point late on Friday
evening. This place, which could hardly
be correctly dignified with the name of
village, is situate in a bend of the river.
It was used as a dépôt by the Confederates,
for the purpose of forwarding stores to
those of their unfortunate countrymen who
were prisoners in the North.
Whilst the City of New York coming to an
anchor, Major Mulford, his wife, Miss
Goldsborough, and myself stood conversing
on the hurricane-deck. Major Mulford
remarked, pointing to what was apparently
the Confederate flag-of-truce boat
approaching, "After all, ladies, you will
not have to remain on board here to-night."
Looking in the direction indicated, we
distinctly saw a steamer, which, judging
from the distance between us, would in less
than ten minutes be alongside. Ten minutes,
however, passed in fruitless expectation;
then followed twenty more of hope deferred;
when Major Mulford, who began to grow
very impatient, went on shore to inquire
the reason of her remaining as she did -
he even sent a boat to her to ascertain
the reason of her detention. Major Mulford
was so confident that he had seen her that
the Confederate officer commanding the
"Point" telegraphed the news to Richmond.
Judge of our great surprise when the
telegraphic reply, brought to us on board
shortly afterwards, announced "that the
Confederate flag-of-truce boat had left
Richmond exactly at the hour we had seen
her." As Richmond was more than twelve
hours distant from us at the then rate
of travel over that route, we could only
consider that we had been deceived by a
"mirage." How often must such phenomena
have given rise to stories of phantom
A French corvette, which had been up
the river to Richmond, lay at anchor near
us. This evening, in acceptance of an
invitation from Major Mulford, the French
captain and his lieutenant came on board
to spend the evening with us; and we
enjoyed their visit heartily. The next
morning, when I awoke, I found that the
flag-of-truce boat had arrived during the
night. Captain Hatch, the Confederate
exchange officer, presently came on board.
We were introduced to him and very soon
afterwards were, with our luggage, safely
ensconced in the snug little cabin of the
--. Here, under my own country's flag,
I felt free and comparatively happy.
On our way up the river to Richmond we
had to pass the obstructions situated
between Chapin's and Drury's Bluffs.
These places take their names from the
bold appearance that the shore here
presents. The obstructions designed to
impede a hostile squadron became
accidentally hurtful to our Confederate
vessel. She ran foul of them, and it was
found utterly impossible to continue the
At Drury's Bluff, therefore, we went
on board a tug, in which we proceeded
to Richmond. When we arrived, at 8 p.m.,
I went immediately to the Spottswood
House, and, tired and worn out with the
fatigues of my journey, I retired to rest,
refusing to see any one that evening.
Kind reception at Richmond - I hear of
my Father's Death - Efforts of my Friends
to procure my Return Home - I go from
Richmond further south - Kindness of
friends during my Illness - I am made
bearer of Despatches-Departure from Richmond
- Too late for the Coquette - I take
passage in the Greyhound.
WHEN I came down to breakfast on the
following day, my many acquaintances and
friends in the hotel were astonished to
see me, for few had expected that I should
be released, and none that I should so soon
arrive at Richmond. The morning papers
announced my return in flattering terms;
and, as it thus became generally known, I
was at once besieged with company, and
every afternoon and evening I held a
perfect drawing-room, if I may be allowed
to make use of the expression. My reception
was everything that I could wish; but,
alas! my happiness was of short duration,
and my freedom was dearly bought.
I was at a large dinner-party on a Saturday
evening exactly one week after the day I
had arrived. I was joyous and lighthearted,
little dreaming of the blow that was to
overwhelm me with sadness - little dreaming
that I should be so cruelly reminded of the
words of the Preacher that "in the midst of
life we are in death;" but so it was.
On Monday morning, the 14th, before I
had risen, I received a little note from
Captain Hatch, in which he expressed great
sorrow at having to be the bearer of
mournful tidings, and said that, as soon
as I was dressed, he would call in person
with the wife of the proprietor of the
hotel. For one moment I could not imagine
what he meant, but, dressing myself as
speedily as I possibly could, I sent for
them. They came: Captain Hatch held in
his hands a newspaper. He approached me,
"Miss Belle, you are aware that you left
your father ill?"
In one moment I comprehended everything,
and exclaiming "My God! is he dead?" I
sank fainting to the floor.
This swoon was succeeded by severe
illness; and I felt all the loneliness of
my position. An exile (for the Yankees
held possession of Martinsburg and an
orphan - these words described me; and
ah! how hard they seemed!
One of those strange warnings that are
sometimes given to mortals, or that are,
some would say, the imaginings of an
excited brain shaken by sickness, ought
to have prepared me for my sad bereavement.
"Some say that gleams of a remoter world
Visit the soul in sleep."
The night upon which my
father died I
had retired to rest somewhat earlier than
usual. How long I slept I do not know,
but I suddenly awoke, or seemed to awaken,
from my sleep, although I had neither the
power nor the wish to move. In the centre
of the room I saw General Jackson, whose
eyes rested sorrowfully upon me. Beside
him stood my father, gazing at me, but
saying nothing. I was dumb, or I should
have spoken, for I did not feel alarmed.
As I looked upon those two standing together,
General Jackson turned and spoke to my
father. I remember the words distinctly.
"It is time for us to go," he said; and,
taking my father's hand, he led him away,
adding as he did so, "Poor child!"
I afterwards learnt by a letter from my
mother (the first and only communication
received from her until my arrival in this
country) that my beloved father, at the
news of my being sent south, where I should
have to battle alone with the world, had
grown rapidly worse, and had expired the
very next day after my arrival in Richmond.
My mother and the children had been
sent for, and reached my father just
before he died. Although he retained his
senses up to the last, he frequently
spoke of me, declared that I was hovering
around his couch, and would become quite
restless if people in the room went to a
certain spot near the bed, exclaiming that
"I was being torn from him!"
Several of our senators and exchange
officers, with many other influential
persons, wrote to the Federal Government
to try and obtain permission for me to
return to my sorrowing mother. I myself
wrote to the Northern President and
Secretary Stanton, at the suggestion of my
friends, and appealed to them as a Mason's
daughter. But no, every appeal was refused.
My letters to and from my mother in
Martinsburg were intercepted; and from
December the 16th until I arrived in
London, and then not until the following
October, did I receive one line from her,
though she had written repeatedly.
My health was very bad and my constitution
greatly undermined; so in February I went
from Richmond farther south, visiting
Mobile, Atlanta, Augusta, and other
cities whose names have since become
I cannot express one half the gratitude
that I feel to the many kind hosts whom
I met in my journey through the South.
During my illness in Richmond I was
well cared for; and amongst the warmest
of my friends must be ranked the wife
of the world-renowned Captain Semmes
(afterwards Admiral Semmes), of the
Mrs. Semmes treated me with as much
attention as though I had been her own
daughter, and invited me to visit them
at their home in Mobile. I had always been
termed "the child of the Confederacy," or
"the child of the army;" and, no matter where
I went, I was welcomed both by the gentry
and the people.
In March I returned to Richmond, when,
although somewhat recovered, my health
still required care. I could not return
home, and I felt, moreover, restless and
unhappy at the death of my father. I
determined, therefore, to visit Europe so
soon as I could arrange my affairs. When I
made known this resolution to President
Davis, he approved of the plan, considering
me to need quiet and rest in some place
remote from the dangers of our sorely
Orders were given to the Confederate
Secretary of State to make me the bearer
of despatches. I commenced preparations
for departure as speedily as possible.
The despatches were ready for me on
March 25th, but a brief return of illness
hindered me from starting, and, as these
papers, being very important, could not
be delayed, they were forwarded by some
At last, on March 29th, I was able to
leave Richmond, having recovered
sufficiently for travelling. Other despatches
were now ready, and of them I was made
Owing to an accident on the railway,
we did not arrive in Wilmington until
several hours after the departure of the
blockade-runner in which I was to have
This steamer would not be followed by
another for at least a fortnight, because
they did not run out during the brilliant
nights of the full moon, lest they should
fall an easy prey to Yankee blockaders. I
was therefore obliged to await the arrival
and departure of the next regular steamer,
as, even putting aside all consideration
of difficulties increased by moonlight,
there was not a suitable craft in port.
One of the first vessels that arrived
was the Greyhound, commanded by Captain
"Henry," formerly, it is said, an officer
in the United States navy, and who had,
at the commencement of the war, with
many of his comrades, sent in his
resignation to the United States Navy
Department, and entered the Confederate
service. Captain "Henry" had formerly
been on "Stonewall" Jackson's staff; and,
as I was acquainted with his family, I
gladly accepted his kind invitation, and
took passage on board the Greyhound,
feeling doubly secure under such a skilful
I leave Wilmington for Europe - Running
the Blockade - Safe outside - Mal de
mer - The Federal Cruiser - The Chase
- The Yankee proves too fast - The first
Shell - The Fire grows hot - Forced to
surrender - The English Sailor and his
ON the 8th of May I bade farewell to
many friends in Wilmington and stepped
on board the Greyhound. It was, as may
well be imagined, an anxious moment. I
knew that the venture was a desperate one;
but I felt sustained by the greatness
of my cause; for I had borne a part,
however insignificant, in one of the
greatest dramas ever yet enacted upon the
stage of the world; moreover, I relied
upon my own resources, and I looked to
Fortune, who is so often the handmaid of
a daring enterprise.
At the mouth of the river we dropped
anchor, and decided to wait until the
already waning moon should entirely
Outside the bar, and at the distance of
about six miles, lay the Federal fleet,
most of them at anchor; but some of their
lighter vessels were cruising quietly in
different directions. Not one, however,
showed any disposition to tempt the guns
of the fort over which the Confederate
flag was flying.
There were on board the Greyhound two
passengers, or rather adventurers, besides
myself - Mr. Newell and Mr. Pollard, the
latter the editor of the "Richmond Examiner."
We laughed and joked, as people will laugh
and joke in the face of imminent danger,
and even in the jaws of death.
Gentle reader, before you accuse us
of levity, or of a reckless spirit of
fatalism, reflect how, in the prison of
La Force, when the reign of terror was
at its height, the doomed victims of the
guillotine acted charades, played games
of forfeits, and circulated their bon
mots and jeux d'esprit within a few
hours of a violent death. Remember also
that the lovely Queen of Scots and the
unfortunate Anne Boleyn met their fate
with a smile, and greeted the scaffold
with a jest.
About ten o'clock orders were given to
get under way. The next minute every
light was extinguished, the anchor was
weighed, steam was got up rapidly and
silently, and we glided off just as "the
trailing garments of the night" spread
their last folds over the ocean!
The decks were piled with bales of
cotton, upon which our look-out men were
stationed, straining their eyes to pierce
the darkness and give timely notice of the
approach of an enemy.
I freely confess that our jocose temperament
had now yielded to a far more serious state
of feeling. No more pleasantries were
exchanged, but many earnest prayers were
breathed. No one thought of sleep. Few
words were spoken. It was a night never
to be forgotten - a night of silent,
almost breathless, anxiety. It seemed
to us as if day would never break;
but it came at last, and, to our unspeakable
joy, not a sail was in sight. We were moving
unmolested and alone upon a tranquil sea,
and we indulged in the fond hope that we had
eluded our eager foes.
Steaming on, we ran close by the wreck
of the Confederate iron-clad Raleigh, which
had so lately driven the Federal blockading
squadron out to sea, but which now lay on
a shoal, an utter wreck, parted amidships,
destroyed, not by the Federals, but by a
visitation of Providence.
At this point we three passengers began
to experience those sensations which,
although invariably an object of derision
to persons who are exempt from them, are,
for the time being, as grievous to the
sufferer as any in the whole catalogue
of pains and aches to which flesh is heir.
Reader, may it never be your lot, as
it then was mine, to find sea-sickness
overcome by the stronger emotion
inspired by the sight of a hostile vessel
bearing rapidly down with the purpose of
depriving you of your freedom.
It was just noon, when a thick haze
which had lain upon the water lifted,
and at that moment we heard a startled
cry of "Sail ho!" from the look-out man
at the mast-head. These ominous words
were the signal for a general rush aft.
Extra steam was got up in an incredibly
short space of time, and sail was set
with the view both of increasing our speed
and of steadying our vessel as she dashed
through the water.
Alas! it was soon evident that our
exertions were useless, for every minute
visibly lessened the distance between us
and our pursuer; her masts rose higher and
higher, her hull loomed larger and larger,
and I was told plainly that, unless some
unforeseen accident should favour us, such
as a temporary derangement of the Federal
steamer's steering apparatus, or a
breaking of some important portion of her
machinery, we might look to New York
instead of Bermuda as our destination.
My feelings at this intelligence must be
imagined: I can describe them but inadequately.
"Unless," I thought, "Providence interposes
directly in our behalf, we shall be
overhauled and captured; and then what
follows? I shall suffer a third rigorous
imprisonment." Moreover, I was the bearer
of despatches from my Government to
authorities in Europe; and I knew that this
service, honourable and necessary as it
was, the Federals regarded in the light
of a heinous crime, and that, in all
probability, I should be subjected to
every kind of indignity.
The chase continued, and the cruiser
still gained upon us. For minutes, which
to me seemed hours, did I strain my eyes
towards our pursuer and watch anxiously
for the flash of the gull that would soon
send a shot or shell after us, or, for all
I could tell, into us. How long I remained
watching I know not, but the iron messenger
of death came at last. A thin white curl
of smoke rose high in the air as the enemy
luffed up and presented her formidable
broadside. Almost simultaneously with the
hissing sound of the shell, as it buried
itself in the sea within a few yards of
us, came the smothered report of its
explosion under water.
The enemy's shots now followed each
other in rapid succession: some fell very
close, while others, less skilfully aimed,
were wide of the mark, and burst high in
the air over our heads. During this time
bale after bale of cotton had been rolled
overboard by our crew, the epitaph of
each as it disappeared beneath the waves
being "By --! there's another they shall
Our captain paced nervously to and fro,
nouns watching the compass, now gazing
fixedly at the approaching enemy, now
shouting "More steam! more steam! give
her more steam!" At last he turned
suddenly round to me, and exclaimed in
passionate accents -
"Miss Belle, I declare to you that, but
for your presence on board, I would burn
her to the water's edge rather than those
infernal scoundrels should reap the benefit
of a single bale of our cargo."
To this I replied, "Captain 'Henry,' act
without reference to me - do what you
think your duty. For my part, sir, I concur
with you: burn her by all means - I am
not afraid. I have made up any mind, and
am indifferent to my fate, if only the
Federals do not get the vessel."
To this Captain "Henry" made no reply,
but turned abruptly away and walked aft,
where his officers were standing in a
group. With them he held a hurried
consultation, and then, coming to where
I was seated, exclaimed -
"It is too late to burn her now. The
Yankee is almost on board of us. We must
During all this time the enemy's fire
never ceased. Round shot and shell were
ploughing up the water about us. They
flew before, behind, and above - everywhere
but into us; and, although I knew that the
first of those heavy missiles which should
strike must be fatal to many, perhaps to all,
yet so angry did I feel that I could have
forfeited my own life if, by so doing, I
could have baulked the Federals of their
At this moment we were not more than
half a mile from our tormentor; for we had
huffed up in the wind, and stopped our
engine. Suddenly, with a deep humming
sound, came a hundred-pound bolt. This
shot was fired from their long gun
amidships, and passed just over my head,
between myself and the captain, who was
standing on the bridge a little above me.
"By Jove! don't they intend to give us
quarter, or show us some mercy at any
rate?" cried Captain "Henry." "I have
And now from the Yankee came a
stentorian hail. "Steamer ahoy! haul
down that flag, or eve will pour a
broadside into you!"
Captain "Henry" then ordered the man
at the wheel to lower the colours; but
he replied, with true British pluck,
that "he had sailed many times under that
flag, but had never yet seen it hauled
down; and," added he, "I cannot do it
now." We were sailing under British
colours, and the man at the helm was an
All this time repeated hails of "Haul
down that flag, or we will sink you!"
greeted us, until, at last, some one, I know
not who, seeing how hopeless it must be to
brave them longer, took it upon
himself to execute Captain "Henry's"
order, and lowered the English ensign.
WE are boarded by an Officer from the Yankee
- The U.S. Steamer Connecticut - An Officer,
but no Gentleman - Strange state of Yankee
discipline - Scenes, on board of the
Greyhound after her capture - "Ain't ye
skeared?"- A proud boast.
BEFORE the acknowledgment of our surrender
had been made, a keg containing some twenty
or thirty thousand dollars, equivalent in
value to about six thousand pounds sterling,
had been brought up on deck and consigned
to the deep; whilst all my despatches and
letters of introduction,
of which latter I had many, were
consumed in the furnaces very shortly
We were boarded by a boat's crew from our
captor, under the command of the executive
officer, Mr. Kempf. Mounting the side,
he walked up to Captain "Henry" and
"Good day to you, Captain; I am glad to
see you. This is a very fine vessel, and
a valuable one. Will you be good enough
to let me see your papers ?"
To this Captain "Henry" replied, "Good
day to yourself, sir; but as to my being
happy to see you, I cannot really say that
I am. I have no papers."
The Federal lieutenant then said, "Well,
Captain, your presence is required on board
the United States steamer Connecticut,
Captain Almy commanding; and, if
you can prove yourself all right, you
will, no doubt be permitted to go."
To this Captain "Henry" made no response,
but, stepping into the cabin, donned his
coat, and, returning on deck, said, "Now,
sir, I am ready; shall we go?" Without
further parley the two stepped together
into the boat which was lying alongside,
and immediately pulled for the Connecticut.
One Mr. Swasey was left in charge of
our luckless Greyhound - an officer as
unfit for authority as any who has ever
trodden the deck of a man-of-war. His
subordinates were, I imagine, well
acquainted with his character and abilities;
at all events, they treated his orders not
with respect, but ridicule.
"Now, sergeant," said he, addressing the
sergeant of marines, "look out for your
men, and I will look out for mine. By the
way, though, station one man here to guard
the spirit-room, and don't let any one go
below; the first man I catch doing so I will
blow his brains out, I will; I would not let
my own father have a drink."
He might possibly have resisted the
solicitations of a thirsty parent, but
he proved quite unable to withstand those
of the men. He had hardly finished speaking
when a seaman, whom, by his illigant
brogue, I recognised at once for a true
son of Erin, approached and addressed Mr.
Swasey with all the native eloquence and
pathos of his country -
"Ah, Mr. Swasey, will yees be afther
lettin' me have a small bottle of whiskey
to kape out the could?"
The colloquy that ensued was ludicrous
in the extreme, terminating in a victory of
the Irish sailor over the Federal officer.
This example of successful insubordination
once set was soon followed; and in every
instance Mr. Swasey yielded to the remonstrances,
or rather to the mutinous appeals, of his men.
"Here," suddenly exclaimed he, catching a
glimpse of myself, "sergeant of the guard!
sergeant of the guard! put a man in front
of this door, and give him orders to stab
this women if she dares to attempt to come
This order, so highly becoming an officer
and a gentleman, so courteous in its language,
and withal so necessary to the safety and
preservation of the prize, was given in a
menacing voice and in the very words I
have used. I record them for the purpose
of showing how admirably the Federal
Government has selected its naval officers,
and how punctually and gallantly they
fulfilled the instructions of their superiors.
Parcere subjectis must have been blotted out
from the edition of the ancient poet read
in those schools which had the honour of
Mr. Swasey then came to the cabin door
and introduced himself in these brief but
delicate words: "Now, ain't ye skeared?"
My blood was roused, and I replied, "No,
I am not; I was never frightened at a
Yankee in my life!"
This retort of mine seemed to surprise
him, as he walked away without another
word. The effects of his displeasure, however,
soon made themselves felt. To my ineffable
disgust, the officers, and even the men,
were permitted to walk at pleasure into
my cabin, which I had hoped would
have been respected as the sanctuary of a
modest girl. In this hope, as in so many
others, I calculated far too much upon
the forbearance and humanity of Yankees;
and these qualities were seldom exhibited
when their enemies were defenseless and,
consequently, at their mercy.
Officers and men now proceeded to help
themselves to the private wines of the
captain, in spite of the protest of the
sentry who had been placed in front of
my door, and of whom it is but justice
to say that nature had qualified him to
command when his superiors would have
done well to obey.
While these scenes were being enacted,
my maid, and a coloured woman whom Captain
"Henry" was conveying to a lady in Bermuda,
were subjected to the rude familiarities of
the prize crew.
At this moment one of the Connecticut's
officers, a Mr. Reveille, walked up to me
and said, "Do you know that it was I who
fired the shot that passed close over
"Was it?" replied I. "Should you like to
know what I said of the gunner?"
"I should like to know."
"That man, whoever he may be, is an
arrant coward to fire upon a defenseless
ship after her surrender."
To this rejoinder of mine, more sincere
perhaps than prudent, he made no reply,
but left the cabin with an embarrassed laugh.
An eventful Meeting - A Gentleman at last -
A Wife's Apology - Mr. Hardinge - I am
disappointed - A pleasant Exchange - Farewell
to Mr. Swasey - A ludicrous Incident -
Captain Henry's best Boots - I am
discovered through treachery.
SCARCELY had the discomfited Yankee
betaken himself, to my intense satisfaction,
upon deck, when I noticed a young officer
who had just come over the side.
He crossed the deck by the wheel and
approached the cabin. I saw at a glance he
was made of other stuff than his comrades
who had preceded him; and I confess
my attention was riveted by the presence
of a gentleman - the first, I think my
readers will allow, whom I had met in the
hour of my distress.
A woman and a wife may, perhaps, be
forgiven if, in a work which treats of more
serious adventures than those of love, she
indulges in a very brief reminiscence of
the impression produced upon her by her
future husband. Critics may smile; but I
flatter myself that Englishwomen, so
widely and so justly famed for conjugal
devotion, will forgive me.
His dark brown hair hung down on his
shoulders; his eyes were large and bright.
Those who judge of beauty by regularity of
feature only could not have pronounced
him strictly handsome. Neither Phidias
nor Praxiteles would have chosen the subject
for a model of Grecian grace; but the
fascination of his manner was such, his
every movement was so much that of a
refined gentleman, that my Southern
"proclivities," strong as they were, yielded
for a moment to the impulses of my heart,
and I said to myself, "Oh, what a good
fellow that must be!"
To my secret disappointment, he passed
by the cabin without entering or making
any inquiries about me. I asked one of
the Connecticut's officers who was close
to me the name of the new arrival in this
party of pleasure. "Lieutenant Hardinge,"
was his reply.
Soon afterwards I heard the following
conversation, which I perfectly well
remember, and which I transcribe verbatim,
between Mr. Swasey and Mr. Hardinge: -
Mr. Swasey. - "Hallo Hardinge, anything
up? what is it?"
Mr. Hardinge. - "Yes, sir; by order of
Captain Almy, I have come to relieve you
of the command of this vessel. It is his
order that you proceed forthwith on board
the Connecticut: you will be pleased to hand
over to me the papers you have in relation
to this vessel."
Mr. Swasey. - "It is a lie! it is a lie! it ain't no
such thing! I won't believe it. You have been
lately juggling with the captain. Confound
it! that is the way you always do!"
Mr. Hardinge. - "Mr. Swasey, I am but
obeying my orders; you must not insult me.
If you continue to do so, I shall report
Mr. Swasey cooled at once, I suppose, as
I heard nothing further on his side. He
promptly handed over his orders, as desired
by Mr. Hardinge, jumped into the boat alongside,
and I caught the last sound of his charming
voice as he uttered the word of command, "Give
way there!" to the boat's crew.
He returned to the Connecticut, and so
passes out of this story. If its pages ever
meet his eye, perhaps they may make him
reflect that courtesy to a lady is compatible
with the sternest duties of an officer, and
that forbearance to the vanquished has always
been the attribute of a truly brave man.
Within a few minutes of the departure of
our sometime prizemaster, Mr. Hardinge,
now in command, issued his orders to the
sergeant of marines as to how the men were
to be posted; and I overheard, not without
an emotion of pleasure, the sergeant telling
one of our officers that, although Mr.
Hardinge might be a strict disciplinarian
on duty, there was not a finer young fellow
in the navy and that his men would follow him
Before long Mr. Hardinge came aft, and,
bowing to me, asked permission to enter my
cabin for a moment.
"Certainly," I replied; "I know that I am
"I am now in command of this vessel," said
he; "and I beg you will consider yourself a
passenger, not a prisoner."
With the commencement of Mr. Hardinge's
command - I may safely say, from the
very moment he came on board - the
conduct of the prize crew underwent a
complete change; and one of the Yankee
officers remarked, in my hearing, that,
although Hardinge was young, he knew
how to command other men, and had
learnt early in life the secret and the value
Half an hour, or thereabouts, elapsed,
and I was reconciling myself to my
captivity, when the return on board of
Captain "Henry" was the occasion of a
ludicrous incident which amused me more
than perhaps my readers will suppose. I
despair of describing it as it appeared
to me: perhaps the reaction of my own
feelings (such as we experience after
passing safely through sudden and serious
danger) gave it a zest beyond its real
It was on this wise. Captain "Henry,"
coming on board, caught sight of a Federal
sailor strutting about on the cotton bales in
a pair of his (Captain "Henry's") very best
boots - boots which the captain most
"Here, you fellow, what are you doing
with my boots? Take them off at once, or
I shall report you to the officer in
command for stealing."
"But, sir," said the sailor, loath to part
with his contraband goods, "I bought them
from a messmate of mine, and chucked my
own into the sea."
This subterfuge, however, did not impose
upon Mr. Hardinge's sense of honour and
discipline. The ancient mariner had to
remove the stolen boots and return
barefooted to his ship.
The officers and crew of the Greyhound,
together with my fellow-passengers Mr.
Pollard and Mr. Newell, were taken on
board the Connecticut. The captain,
steward, cook, and cabin-boy, myself and
my maid, remained prisoners on board the
Before we were taken - indeed, when we
sailed from Wilmington - it had been agreed
that "Belle Boyd" should be for the time
ignored, and that "Mrs. Lewis" should take
her place. It was obvious that, in the event
of capture, I should run less risk, suffer
fewer privations, and be exposed to less
indignity under an assumed name. Conceive,
then, my surprise and indignation when I
found that my secret had been revealed
through the treachery of an unworthy
Captain "Henry" told me that the Minnie,
a blockade-runner like the Greyhound, which
had been captured the day before by the
Connecticut, had been the means of our own
mishap. There can be no doubt that one
of her officers was a traitor to the cause
of his country, and had, through fear, or
actuated by some other unworthy motive,
sacrificed those he should have defended
with his life.
It is with reluctance that I record this
instance of dishonour on the part of a
Southerner; but I am resolved to be an
impartial historian, and, although often
severe to the Yankees, by dint of telling
plainly their shortcomings, I will not
shrink from the truth when it is
unfavourable to my countrymen.
Bound North - We are taken in tow - Our
first Evening at Sea - We arrive at Fortress
Monroe - Commodore Guerte Gansevoorte comes
on board in James River - We are paroled by
him - His Indignation against Mr. Hardinge
for flying the English Ensign - The Commodore's
conduct whilst on board - Arrival at New York
- We go on Shore - I visit Niblos' Theatre
- Return aboard and departure for Boston -
BOATS were continually passing to and fro
between the "Prize," as she was designated,
and the Connecticut, with orders and
counter-orders, until the proximity of the
vessels grew wearisome. I was relieved to
hear that we were about to start, and my
pleasure did not diminish when, at 8 p.m.,
the command was given to get under steam
and proceed northward, keeping just astern
of the Connecticut, which would accompany
us. Heart-sick at the turn that the tide
of fortune had taken, I retired to my couch
and endeavoured to sleep. But prison walls
could not be banished from my imagination,
and the attempt was vain.
The next morning, at daylight, I was
aroused by loud hailing from the Yankee
cruiser as she passed close to us, ordering
that we should "heave to" whilst she sent
a boat on board. We presently learned
that our destination was to be Fortress
Monroe, and that we were to be towed
thither behind the Connecticut. Hawsers
were passed to us by means of boats, and,
when these tow-lines had been well
secured, both vessels steamed ahead.
It was the second evening after our
surrender that Captain "Henry," Mr.
Hardinge, and myself were seated together
close by the wheel. The moon shone
beautifully clear, lighting up everything
with a brightness truly magnificent; the
ocean, just agitated by a slight breeze
that swept over its surface, looked like
one vast bed of sparkling diamonds, and
the rippling of the little waves, as they
struck the vessel's side, seemed but the
soft accompaniment to the vocal music with
which Captain "Henry" had been regaling
"Here we sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears: soft stillness, and the night,
Become the touches of sweet harmony."
"Henry" went forward
on the bridge and conversed with Mr. Hall,
the officer on watch. We two were left to
ourselves; and Mr. Hardinge quoted some
beautiful passages from Byron and
Shakespeare. Then, in a decidedly Claude
Melnotte style, he endeavoured to paint
the "home to which, if love could but
fulfil its prayers, this heart would lead
thee!" And from poetry he passed on to
plead an oft-told tale.....
Situated as I was, and having known him
for so short a time, a very practical
thought flitted through my brain. If he
felt all that he professed to feel for me,
he might in future be useful to us; so, when
he asked me "to be his wife," I told him that
"his question involved serious consequences"
and that "he must not expect an answer until
I should arrive at Boston."
During our voyage Mr. Hardinge was so
kind and courteous that Captain "Henry"
took a great fancy to him, and swore
eternal friendship to one of whom he
afterwards spoke as "the most thorough
gentleman from Yankee-land that he had
ever met with."
The morning which succeeded the romantic
episode slightly sketched above beheld
the Connecticut and Greyhound lying to
off the Capes. A fog detained us in
uncertainty as to our whereabouts for some
time; and, when it lifted, we steamed up
I sat on the little deck aft, watching
with interest all that I saw and listened
alternately to the captain and Mr. Hardinge
as they conversed on various topics. From
the latter I ascertained that "Beast Butler"
was in command at Fortress Monroe, and
from him I could expect but little courtesy.
As we neared our anchorage, I made out
distinctly the grim outline of the fortress,
rising in its majesty and strength. I
compared myself to the fly nearing the
cunning old spider, who was eagerly
watching for the moment when it should
become entangled in his intricate web.
My capture had been telegraphed to those
in authority. The Connecticut had cast
off from us about half-way up the river,
and had gone onward to the mouth of the
James, where Admiral Lee then was; but
the Greyhound, when opposite the pier of
the Baltimore steamers, came to an anchor.
Mr. Hardinge went on board the flag-ship
Minnesota to report. He was absent about
two hours, and when he returned we got
under way, proceeding up stream to join
the Connecticut. Mr. Hardinge could tell
me nothing of my probable destination,
and I suspected that I was to be incarcerated
in Fortress Monroe - there to remain I
knew not how long, perhaps for ever!
After about three-quarters of an hour we
again anchored, this time close by the
ironclad Roanoke, Commodore Guerte
Gansevoorte, who was acting in the place
of Admiral Lee.
The Admiral was then up the James River,
ostensibly for the purpose of fighting the
"rebels." But, much to the disgust of his
officers and of the Federal naval department
(if we may believe the journals of the day),
he merely re-enacted the farce of sinking
vessels and driving in spikes across the
river from bank to bank, to prevent the
"cowardly rebels" from doing what he dared
not - giving battle.
Just after we brought up it blew a perfect
hurricane, followed by a drenching rain,
which lasted for some time. Such weather
was, in itself, sufficiently dreary and
discouraging; nor did the sensation that
we were dragging toward a lee-shore of
uninviting appearance greatly comfort me.
I felt, indeed, some pleasure when I thought
that the Federals would, perhaps, lose their
prize - a feeling which Captain "Henry"
fully shared. In this cheerful desire we
were disappointed; for, as the captain
afterwards remarked, "the vessel was
admirably handled by Mr. Hardinge."
Amid whistling wind and pouring rain
an English ensign had been flying from
the stern, and the Federal flag, which
had been hoisted when coming up the bay,
was conspicuous at the fore. This seems
to have excited the ire of the Commodore,
who, when the storm had passed, boarded
us, with solemn displeasure written upon
I am positive that I should have had a
better opinion of the man had he remained
in his own vessel; for I now saw him far
from sober. One of the officers remarked
that "it was after four o'clock," by way
of an apology to the "youngling," as he
was pleased to term Mr. Hardinge.
Commodore Guerte Gansevoorte was not
over-polite, and, upon reaching the
deck, swore roundly and lustily, d-ing
right and left, and was evidently -
"As wild a mannered man
As ever scuttled ship or cut a throat."
But then, as it was a
wet day, he had
evidently been taking something hot within
to guard him from the cold.
When the Commodore approached my
cabin door, I heard Mr. Hardinge say,
"Sir, a lady is dressing there. Will you
be kind enough to wait? She is my
passenger, and I am responsible for her."
I had finished, however; and the coloured
servant, opening the door, said to Mr.
Hardinge, "De lady am ready, massa." On
this the Commodore remarked, "Ugh! got
to that has it?"
His entrée into the cabin was truly
imposing; for, stumbling over piled-up
cotton, he staggered, then slipped, and
made his descent and bow at the same
moment. His aide, Mr. -- (executive
officer, I believe), looked mortified,
and seemed somewhat ashamed whilst
following in the great man's rear with
less of the former's peculiar dignity.
"So," said the Commodore, "this is Miss
Belle Boyd, is it?" Just then Captain
"Henry" came in, and, turning round, he
exclaimed, "What! by --!George, old
fel-;" then, remembering his official
position, stopped suddenly in the midst
of the exclamation. I do not remember much
of the conversation which ensued, but
noticed that the executive officer was
sober and apparently disgusted with the
conduct of his superior.
The Commodore at first would not be
seated, but did so after a few moments'
further conversation. Champagne and
glasses were brought in; and he soon
became exceedingly communicative, and,
with an oath, swore that Captain "Henry"
should have a parole extending as far as
Boston. Asking for pen, ink, and paper,
which I immediately procured, he bade the
executive officer write the required parole,
and signed it with his own hand. Mr
Hardinge asked for the document, or, at
least, a copy of the same; but he would
not comply, declaring that "his orders
As he rose to depart, he turned to me
and said, in answer to a request of mine,
"You, miss, when you arrive at New York,
can go on shore, provided Mr. Hardinge
accompanies you. And," he added,
attempting some compliments, "I will not
enforce a written parole with you, but
will take a verbal promise. Don't be at
all alarmed - you shan't go to prison."
The Commodore then left us. His descent
into the boat was executed in the same
dignified and gentlemanly manner as had
been his entrée into my presence; and I
felt very thankful when Mr. Hall informed
me that the great man had gone.
Half an hour may have passed, when a
boat came from the Roanoke to inform Mr.
Hardinge that the Commodore had ordered
that the Greyhound should be brought under
the lee of the iron-clad. My heart sank,
for it seemed that, after all, he had been
playing with us; still more so when, as
we rounded to under the Roanoke's stern,
I heard the Commodore threatening through
his trumpet to blow us out of the water.
In his condition he might have done anything;
so our anxiety may well be imagined.
Reverting for a moment to the English
ensign before mentioned as flying aboard
the Greyhound, I may describe how the
Commodore, when he saw it, shouted
furiously, "Haul down that -- rag!" Mr.
Hardinge ventured to suggest that this was
a violation of the law regarding neutral
vessels captured in time of war. To which
the Commodore made answer by saying, "I
don't want any -- sea-lawyer's arguments!"
and he afterwards sent a written order to
Mr. Hardinge, forbidding him to fly the
As we lay beside the Roanoke, vague
threats were made and contradictory orders
given. Now we were told to be "off at
once," then "not to think of moving at
present;" until Mr. Hardinge grew restless
at such constant supervision, and, taking
advantage of a command to quit the station,
steamed away, without waiting for anything
more. Right glad were we when the shades
of night hid from our view the monster
iron-clad, and yet, thankful to Captain Almy,
of the Connecticut, who, not being drunk,
stopped us somewhat farther down,
delaying our departure for the very
sensible reason that a gale of wind was
Early the next day a steam-tug from the
fortress went alongside of the Connecticut,
and the officers, passengers, and men of
the Minnie and Greyhound were transferred
to her, with the exception of Mr. Pollard,
who was sent aboard of us to proceed to
Boston. When the tug steamed by, handkerchiefs
and caps were waved; and I was afterwards
informed that they would have cheered me
had they been permitted to do so. Fresh
meat, vegetables, and ice (the latter of
which we esteemed a luxury, as the weather
was very warm) had been procured on shore
for our consumption.
At length we proceeded to sea, bound
for Boston, Massachusetts, via New York,
where it was intended that we should touch
for coal. I will pass over this portion of
the voyage, merely remarking that it was as
pleasant as could be expected under the
circumstances, and that the officers did all
in their power to make things comfortable
As we neared New York thick fog completely
enshrouded the coast, but our speed was
not slackened. We pressed forward, often
passing vessels so near as hardly to give
them breathing room. Part of one night we
lay off Barnegat; for the fog had become
so thick that the pilot did not judge it
safe for us to proceed. But when morning
broke a brisk wind sprang up, enabling
us to see the outline of Sandy Hook. As
we passed on up the harbour the motion
became less disagreeable to me, and, a
comfortable seat having been placed
on the deck-house, I enjoyed a panorama
of sea and shore scarce equalled in beauty
by the approach to any other city in the
Off Quarantine we were boarded by the
health officer, who, after asking several
questions, permitted us to go on our way;
and we came to an anchor off Navy Yard.
Mr. Hardinge went on shore to report his
arrival, while Mr. Hall proceeded to bring
the vessel alongside the coal-hulk. When
Mr. Hardinge returned in the afternoon
the dock was filled with gazers, who,
excited by that morbid curiosity exhibited
by the world in general, had come to
witness, as they supposed, my debarkation.
In this they were somewhat disappointed,
for everything had been arranged so nicely
that not one of the many there assembled
knew when I went on shore. A Navy
Yard tug dropped alongside the
Greyhound, and, with the assistance of
Captain H., I was soon snugly settled in
the tug's wheel-house.
Captain "Henry" and Mr. Hardinge
accompanied me. We crossed to the New
York side of the river, and landed at the
foot of Canal Street. Procuring a carriage,
we drove to a friend's house, where I took
from off my person the money which I had
concealed about me, and the weight of
which at times had almost made me faint.
This money belonged to myself and
Captain "Henry," and was not, as Yankee
papers averred, part of the ship's money
we had thrown overboard previous to our
capture. Captain "Henry" placed our money
in the bank, where it was safe from further
We visited Niblo's Theatre to witness
the performance of "Bel Demonio." What
a contrast did the gay, wealthy city of
New York afford at this period to my own
sorrow-stricken land! Here there was no
sign of want or poverty. No woe-begone
faces could I see in that assemblage: all
was life and animation. Though war raged
within a short distance, its horrors had
little influence on the butterflies of the
empire city; whilst, in my own dear native
country, all was sad and heartrending. We
were sacrificing lives upon the altar of
Liberty; while the North sacrificed hers
upon the altar of Mammon.
Next morning Mr. Hardinge called for me,
and, after having finished my shopping,
we returned to the Greyhound, which
now lay in mid-stream. Captain "Henry"
had gone on board before us, as also had
Mr. Pollard. I forgot to mention that this
gentleman had been paroled by Mr.
Hardinge for the night.
For the rest of the time, above four
hours, that we remained at New York
we were besieged by visitors - old
acquaintances, who were allowed to see
me. Amongst them were several naval and
military officers. About 4 p.m. the pilot
came on board, and, bidding adieu to the
capital of "Shoddy," away we steamed for
The weather was lovely, the water
smooth as glass, and the sky cloudless as
that of Italy. On each side of us, along
the shores of the Sound, were beautiful
residences, whose owners, as they strolled
over their lawns, or sat smoking on terrace
or balcony, appeared to think little, and
care less, about the war. We glided past
many craft, which lay with white sails that
flapped against their masts. I was
melancholy; I hardly knew why. The face
of nature wore its very sweetest smile;
everything was propitious; yet I was not
pleased, and sought the cabin.
Mr. Hardinge, in a few moments, followed
me, and then he repeated a declaration on
which I need not expatiate, as it concerned
ourselves more than anyone else. So
generous and noble was he in everything
that I could not but acknowledge that my
heart was his. I firmly believe that God
intended us to meet and love; and, to make
the story short, I told him that "I would
be his wife." Although our politics differed,
"women," thought I, "can sometimes work
wonders; and may not he, who is of Northern
birth, come by degrees to love, for my sake,
the ill-used South?"
Then Captain "Henry" came into the cabin;
and, when we told him all, he joined our
hands together, saying -
"Hardinge, you are a good fellow, and
I love you, boy! Miss Belle deserves a
good husband; and I know no one more
worthy of her than yourself. May you both
Arrival in Boston - Our plan for recapturing
Greyhound frustrated - Captain "Henry's" Escape
- How it was managed - Marshal Keyes comes
on Board - The Search for the Captain - A
false Report of his Arrest - I communicate
with him - He leaves for New York - I bid
adieu to the Greyhound - My Quarters on Shore
- I am paroled for the City - Newspaper
Rumours - Mr. Hardinge proceeds to Washington
in my behalf - My Mother telegraphs to the
Marshal - She is not permitted to see me -
Politeness of the British Consul - I write a
Letter to the Secretary of the Navy - Am
pronounced insane - I am liberated - Mr.
Hardinge and his Officers are placed under
Arrest - Mr. Pollard is sent to Fort Warren
- I leave for Canada.
WHEN we neared Boston I saw the grim
walls of Fort Warren; and a shudder passed
over me as I inwardly wondered if that
would be my home. All my bright dreams
of "merrie England," of "bonnie Scotland,"
and of a tour on the Continent, were, for
the time, banished. The future lowered dark
and uncertain. Had not some good spirit
whispered hope, I should scarcely have
borne up against these gloomy impressions.
But I was still "Mrs. Lewis," and might
yet escape: -
"For, lo! the heavier Grief weighed down,
The higher Hope was raised."
When we were first
captured it had been
agreed that, on our voyage north, an
attempt should be made to retake the
The project, however, had been abandoned,
not from any lack of zeal, but
from force of circumstances; for Captain
Almy had refused to put on board of us our
chief engineer and first officer, without
whom the attempt could not possibly
Another plan, quietly prepared by us
previously, and which had reference to the
escape of Captain "Henry," had better luck.
Whilst we were coming to an anchor off
the Boston Navy Yard, and Mr. Hardinge
was forward, giving orders to the men,
Captain "Henry," Mr. Pollard, and myself
were aft, seated in the cabin. I asked
the two Yankee pilots if they would join
us and partake of a glass of wine. To this
they of course assented, and drank freely;
for doubtless such wine but seldom passed
their lips. I then nodded to Captain "Henry,"
who, carelessly putting on his hat, and
taking his umbrella in his hand, walked
up on deck and went aft, where he stood
for some moments. Everything seemed to
favour us, for Mr. Hardinge had called a
harbour-boat alongside, that he might go
ashore to report his arrival.
Before starting, Mr. Hardinge came to
me and asked "where his papers were;"
when I replied that I thought they must
be "in the lower cabin, where he had been
dressing himself." He immediately went
down to fetch them; and this was the
golden opportunity for which we had
waited. In less time than it takes me to
write it, Captain "Henry" stepped into the
boat, which dropped slowly astern with the
tide; and, when Mr. Hardinge reappeared,
the captain was safe on land.
The whole scene was amusing in the extreme
to those who understood it, so well
had it been managed. When Mr. Hardinge
found his boat gone, he came to the
conclusion that the waterman had grown tired
of waiting and had pulled off; so, calling
another, he stepped into it and proceeded
to report his prize.
In about three hours he returned, bringing
with him the United States Marshal, Keyes,
and several other gentlemen of position
and influence in Boston, whom he introduced
The Marshal then asked for Captain "Henry."
"I think he is on deck," I replied.
Mr. Hardinge went to find him, leaving
the other gentlemen to converse
with Mr. Pollard and myself. From me,
however, they did not learn much, for I
sustained the supposititious character of
"Mrs. Lewis" with becoming gravity; and
it was not until several days after that
they became quite sure that I was none other
than the celebrated "Belle Boyd."
In a few moments Marshal Keyes, followed
by Mr. Hardinge, entered the cabin, the
Marshal exclaiming, "Captain 'Henry' has
"What!" said I; "it is impossible! only
a few moments ago he was here!" and I
looked very serious, though all the while
I was laughing in my sleeve, saying to
myself, "Again I have got the better of
the Yankees!" The vessel was thoroughly
searched - nay, I believe that it was
fumigated, or "smoked," to get the captain
out; for Marshal Keyes was "positive" that
he was on board - so he informed me on
his way to the hotel.
Captain "Henry's" escape caused much
sensation. Detectives, great and small,
were thrown into a flutter of excitement,
and the Boston police, whom Marshal Keyes
affirmed to be the "best in the world," were
all astir that the fugitive might be lodged
in Fort Warren. These myrmidons of Northern
power were, certainly, not favoured with a
very accurate description of Captain "Henry."
Some declared that he wore a black hat,
others that lie had a white covering to
his head; some that his nose was aquiline,
others that it was decidedly retroussé.
Such contradictions bewildered the police,
whose efforts resulted in a wild-goose
Late on the evening of the escape Marshal
Keyes was jubilant over a supposed
capture at Portland, Maine, whither
he had telegraphed to have any suspicious
character arrested. The Portland captive
proved to be not the gentleman of whom
they were in quest, but a harmless English
tourist, who was, no doubt, much aggrieved
at his unlawful detention.
When the Marshal informed me of the
captain's arrest at Portland, I knew that
there must be some mistake, and could
hardly restrain my laughter; for all this
time Captain "Henry" was lying perdue in
Boston, under an assumed name. I was well
aware of the captain's residence, and
through the medium of a friend received
several communications from him. In my
replies I assured him that he was already
as good as free. For two days he stayed
quietly at the hotel, and then I heard that
he had set off for Canada, viâ New York.
Detectives had been sent all over the
country to intercept him; but it was one of
the best managed escapes from the toils of
the "'cute" Yankees that ever took place.
Captain "Henry" actually remained for some
time at one of the largest hotels in Broadway,
where he saw many of his old friends, who,
fortunately, did not recognise him.
Many and various were the reports of this
affair that found circulation; but,
singularly enough, it was the United States
officers on board the Greyhound, and not
"Mrs. Lewis," who had to bear the brunt
of suspicion, though I was really the one
to blame. I was delighted at being a
non-suspect, by way of a change, and could
thoroughly appreciate the chagrin of
Marshal Keyes. He had prophesied that this
was a case of capture with which Lord Lyons,
at Washington, would not dare to interfere,
as Captain "Henry" - to use the Marshal's
own words - "was an officer of the
Confederate navy, and therefore not an
Englishman." To this view of international
law I politely assented, thinking that, if
Captain "Henry" could only reach a place of
safety, it would matter very little how the
Marshal classified him.
The Greyhound was hauled alongside a wharf,
and an immense concourse of people assembled
to witness my coming ashore; for it had been
telegraphed from New York, and then again from
the station in Boston Bay, that "Belle Boyd"
was aboard the prize. Marshal Keyes was most
courteous, and stated that he had procured a
suite of rooms for me at the Tremont House,
where I was to remain until my fate was
definitely settled. This, he added, would be
in a very few days; when he should either have
the "supreme pleasure" of taking me to Canada,
or the "unpleasant task " of delivering me
over to the tender mercies of the commandant
of Fort Warren.
The public journals were indefatigable in
noticing all my movements. The Sunday-morning
papers informed their readers that "Miss
Belle Boyd would attend Divine service at
the Old -- Church during the forenoon." The
week-day news-sheets gave notice that "Miss
Belle Boyd, in company with her gallant
captor, whose sympathies, no doubt, were
with the South, were seen out driving the
day before;" and, as a climax, the bulletin
boards announced that "Belle Boyd had been
sent to the Fitchburg Gaol!" Such were a few
of the many canards that flew abroad during
my stay in the "modern Athens."
I had been there about ten days, when
Mr. Hardinge, fearing that The "Fitchburg
Gaol" story might be but the shadow of a
coming event, proceeded to Washington, to
procure, if possible, my release. Having
letters of introduction to many of the
leading and influential men there, he
induced them to use their power in
Although I was but thirty-six hours'
railway-journey from my mother, who had
telegraphed to the Marshal to allow her
to come and see me, she was not permitted
to do so; and none of her letters reached
me, they being probably intercepted. But,
if letters of affection were thus stopped,
there were, happily, other channels than
the postal department by which friendly
comfort could arrive. Many Boston ladies
and gentlemen visited me, despite the
Government spies who hovered about
After being kept in suspense for three
weeks, I forwarded, through Marshal Keyes,
a letter to Gideon Welles, Secretary of the
Navy at Washington, telling him that "I
really was Belle Boyd, and wished to go to
Canada that I might communicate with my
The Marshal received a telegram in answer,
saying that "Miss Boyd and her servants
should be escorted beyond the lines into
Canada, and that, if I was again caught
in the United States, or by the United
States authorities, I should be shot." This
was on a Sunday evening; and the Marshal
advised me to depart with all convenient
speed, as I had only twenty-four hours'
grace. I promised to start on Monday, at
5 p.m. It was impossible to go sooner, no
trains running through to Montreal on
The "Washington Republican" got possession
of my letter to Gideon Welles, and published
it in extenso, with the remark that I was
"insane," and had been, on that account,
released by the Government. For this verdict
of lunacy I thank them, if it contributed
in any degree to mitigate my sentence.
There certainly existed sufficient method
in my madness to make me appreciate the
advantage of having the promised shooting
deferred until they caught me again; and I
felt much obliged to members of Congress
and others who used their influence in my
Mr. Hardinge was sent for early on
Monday morning by Admiral Stringham,
but he assured me that he would soon
return. The day passed by, however,
without any sign of him, and I began
to wonder what had happened, when I received
the following letter, in his handwriting: -
"MY DEAR MISS BELLE,
"It is all up with me. Mr. Hall, the
engineers, and myself are prisoners,
charged with complicity in the escape of
Captain H-. The Admiral says that it
looks bad for us; so I have adopted a
very good motto, viz., 'Face the music!'
and, come what may, the officers under
me shall be cleared. I have asked permission
of the Admiral to come and bid you goodbye.
I hope that his answer will be in the
This was written on board the receiving
ship Ohio. Its receipt made me feel very
unhappy, for I feared that circumstantial
evidence was against Mr. Hardinge, and
that, ere long, he would, although perfectly
innocent, share with poor Mr. Pollard a
casemate in Fort Warren. But suddenly
the object of my thoughts made his appearance.
He informed me that the Admiral had allowed
him and his officers to be paroled until
sundown, and that he had availed himself of
this privilege to come instantly to me.
Mr. Pollard, my fellow-passenger from
Wilmington, against whom the Yankee journals
were exceedingly vituperative, had on the
Sunday morning been conveyed to Fort
Warren, and there immured for the crime
of being distasteful to those in authority.
Suffice it to say of Mr. Pollard's subsequent
adventures that he was paroled to the city
of Brooklyn, owing to his very bad health;
since which I have not heard of him.
The time for my departure from Boston
came at last. The Tremont Hotel was left,
and the railway dépôt was reached. Marshal
Keyes endeavoured to make himself
agreeable, and was very busy in getting my
baggage checked and my ticket taken
before the train moved away. The Marshal,
I may add, was my courteous companion
to the boundary-line between Canada and
the United States. With a sad heart I had
bidden good-bye to Mr. Hardinge, although
I trusted that he would soon rejoin me;
and I enjoyed the delightful prospect of
breathing free Canadian air.
Yes, I should be free! Free from prison
bars and irksome confinement; but, alas!
an exile! Each step towards freedom
carried me farther and farther from my
native hold; whilst, did I turn back, a
heavy penalty awaited me. My father
dead, and my dear mother far away!
Truly I was alone in the wide, wide
world! And I had left one generous heart
behind that I knew would miss me sorely.
Arrival at Montreal - Niagara - A System
of Espionage still around me - I depart for
Europe - Passage across the Atlantic -
Arrival in London - I meet Mr. Hardinge
once more - Our Marriage - Comments of
UPON arriving at Montreal, I proceeded
to the "St. Lawrence Hall." Captain
"Henry" and his wife had proposed that
I should join them at Niagara; but, not
having heard from them for some time, I
waited till I could ascertain their exact
whereabouts. In Montreal I met many
Southern families, refugees, and many
Confederate sympathizers. The British
provinces were at this time a haven of rest
for American exiles - much as England has
always been to the victims of persecution
on the European continent. I learnt that my
friends at Niagara were expecting me, and
accordingly set off to join them, the
Guards serenading me just before my
Niagara, with its sublime scenery, I will
not attempt to describe. We were stopping
at the Clifton House, and from my
windows I could plainly see the Yankee
side of the Falls. There, lower down, was
the Suspension Bridge, offering almost
irresistible temptation to cross from
Canada to the States. We heard, on good
authority, that above a hundred thousand
dollars was being expended on the retaking
of Captain "Henry" and myself. Spies were
stationed on the bridge to watch and, if
possible, to entrap us, should we by chance
be foolish enough to venture within their
About a week after our arrival at Niagara
we noticed, at the table d'hôte, two very
foppishly-dressed men, with thin, waxed
mustaches à la Napoléon, and who
apparently took great seeming interest in
the movements of our entire party. We
watched them closely, and were very soon
convinced beyond doubt that they were
Yankee detectives. Shortly after this
discovery we left for Quebec. It was in
the morning, about eight o'clock, that we
quitted Niagara and proceeded by rail to
Toronto, where we arrived about noon.
Imagine our surprise at finding the fair
imitation dandies, whom we had left
quietly at the Clifton House, watching for
us at the Toronto terminus. It transpired
that they had seen us going, and had
quietly entered another car in the same
The Canadian journals commented severely
upon these fellows, and the system of
espionage practiced on us whilst we
remained in the provinces.
The brace of detectives accompanied us
in the steamer that left Toronto a few
hours afterwards, and which plies regularly
during the summer months between that
place and Montreal. We noticed that they
hovered round, eyeing us narrowly; and we
determined to ascertain whether it was
really our party that they were watching.
When, therefore, we arrived at our destination,
Captain "Henry" repaired to the Donegana
Hotel, whilst I went to the St. Lawrence
Hall. In a few hours I learned that one of
these fellows had engaged a room at the
same hotel where I was stopping; and,
when Captain "Henry" called, he told me
that the other detective had taken up his
abode at the Donegana!
When we resumed our journey to Quebec the
spies still dogged us. Captain "Henry"
embarked at once for Halifax. I remained
some time in Quebec, previous to sailing
for Europe; and when, at length, I quitted
the American shores, one of the spies
endeavoured to secure a passage on
board the same vessel! The Canadians,
however, detesting his odious calling,
insisted that he should be denied this
My trip across the Atlantic was, on the
whole, favoured by calm weather and a
smooth sea; so that I did not suffer much
from my enemy the mal de mer. Off the banks
of Newfoundland we were, to make use of a
nautical expression, "tied up" for more
than a week by the fogs, amid fields and
bergs of ice. The latter I had never before
seen; and I gazed upon their majestic grandeur
with feelings of awe and amazement. So near,
at times, did we pass them, that it is no
wonder that I felt somewhat nervous; for,
had we struck, it would have been
instantaneous death to us all. While crossing
the banks we encountered a fearful storm,
and for one entire night the steamer rolled
and plunged with the force of the waves like
some living creature.
"It was midnight on the ocean,
And a storm was on the deep!"
But the storm in our case, though violent,
did not last long. More moderate weather
soon came, and the passengers felt greatly
When, after entering English waters and
passing up channel, and my feet touched
the ground once more, I. thanked God for
our safety. I remember for a long time after,
in imagination, I could hear the whir-r-r,
whir-r-r of the screw, the creaking of
blocks, the flapping of sails, the hoarse,
uncouth cries of the sailors, and the clear,
distinct voices of the captain and his
Arrived in Liverpool, I remained there
for some days at the Washington Hotel,
and then proceeded to London. I soon
ascertained the address of Mr. Hotze, the
Confederate commercial agent, to whom I
had had letters of introduction from the
Secretary of State. I reported to the
Confederate States Commissioner that
the despatches intrusted to me at
Wilmington had been destroyed when the
Greyhound was overhauled, that they
might not fall into our enemy's hands.
This report terminated Belle Boyd's
connection with the Southern Government
for the time being.
"So from the scene where death and anguish reign,
And vice and folly drench with blood the plain,
Mr. Hotze gave me a
letter that had
been left with him until I should reach
London. Upon opening it; I found that it
was from Mr. Hardinge, informing me that
he had come to England, but, not being able
to learn my whereabouts, had proceeded
to Paris, in the faint hope of finding me
there. I was deeply touched at this new
proof of his honest attachment, and
immediately telegraphed a message to him,
stating where he would find me in London.
Gentle reader, you can, perhaps, imagine
for yourself how joyful was our meeting,
and in what manner a courtship which had
in it much of romance was at length happily
Our marriage took place on August 25th,
1864, and journalists were pleased to treat
the world to some portions of the romance
in which we had taken part. The English
press was friendly in its tone, but certain
Yankee editors became marvellously indignant
at the news, and even now they are subject
to periodical returns of indignation.
(Le Moniteur Universel de Paris.)
"UN MARIAGE A LONDRES.
"On écrit de Londres:
Un mariage singulièrement
romantique vient d'avoir lieu anjourd'hui, à
onze heures, à l'église Saint-James.
était la célèbre Belle Boyd,
l'héroïne de tant
d'exploits aventureux pendant la guerre civile
d'Amérique et surtout au moment des brillantes
campagnes du général Stonewall Jackson, dans la
vallée de Shenandoah.
"Mlle Boyd est à
peine âgée de vingt ans, d'un
caractère très-doux, douée de grands avantages
personnels, et liée par la parenté avec
quelques-unes des plus influentes families du Sud.
Il paraît que les scènes de la guerre, dont elle
était témoin, depuis ces dernières années,
avaient développé en elle une énergie et un
courage qui se rencontrent rarement chez une
"Les courses à cheval,
au milieu de la nuit,
à travers marais et forêts, jusque dans les
lignes de l'ennemi, d'où elle rapportait aux
généraux du Sud des renseignements d'une
importance immense, forment le thème de
nombreux récits autour des feux de bivouac
dans toute l'armée confédérée.
"Elle était tombée
entre les mains des fédéraux, mais
un jeune officier lui donna les moyens de s'échapper
et la suivit dans sa fuite. C'est lui qui, après
l'avoir accompagnée en Angleterre, vient
de lui donner sonnom.
"Dans quelques jours, le jeune époux doit
repartir pour les Etats confédérés, où il va
s'enrôler comme simple soldat. Ceci a été une
des conditions du mariage exigées par la
fiancée comme preuve du dévouement de son époux
à une cause qu'il combattait dernièrement encore
l'épée à la main.
"Le mariage a été
célébré sans aucune pompe,
mais ensuite un élégant déjeuner
l'hôtel de Brunswick, rue Jermyn, a réuni les
jeunes mariés et tous les confédérés de
marque et de distinction actuellement à Londres.
les deux époux sont
partis pour Liverpool, oùle futur soldat du
Sud va s'embarquer pour les Etats confédérés.
On assure que les autorités fédérales ont mis
sa tête à prix."
"St. James's Church, Piccadilly, was yesterday
the scene of a romantic episode in the
fratricidal war now raging on the American
continent; as, at the altar of that sacred
edifice, Miss Belle Boyd, whose name and fame
are deservedly cherished in the Southern States,
pledged her troth to Mr. Sam Wylde Hardinge,
formerly an officer in the Federal naval service.
The marriage attracted to the church a
considerable number of English and American
sympathizers in the cause of the South, anxious
to see the lady whose heroism has made her name
so famous, and to witness the result of her
last captivity, the making captive of the
Federal officer under whose guard she was
again being conveyed to prison. Miss Boyd,
it will be remembered, is the Virginian lady
who, during the terrible scenes enacted in
the Valley of the Shenandoah, rendered such
essential service to General Stonewall Jackson,
by procuring for him information of great value
as regards the position and condition of the
Northern forces, and who signalized her
devotion to the cause of her country by so
many other services. Capture and imprisonment
did not damp her adventurous and patriotic
ardour, as she was twice immured, once for
seven months, and once for ten months. She
was again seized, and, while on board a Federal
vessel, on her way to the North, made the
acquaintance of Lieutenant Hardinge, with whom,
having crossed the Atlantic, she has entered
into the bonds of matrimony. Mr. Hardinge
needs no excuse for the step he has taken
in renouncing his allegiance to the Federal
cause and espousing the fair 'rebel,' whom he
has now sworn to love, honour, and cherish.
Though, in obedience to the wishes of his father,
he served for some time in the Federal navy, in
which service he rose to be lieutenant, his
Southern sympathies were notorious in the
North, where it was well known that he had
long tendered his resignation, which Mr.
Secretary Welles refused to accept; and thus
he was forced to continue in a Service which
he would gladly have renounced long since.
Though more than suspected of Southern sympathies,
he kept his word when he promised the executive
of the Federal navy that the name he bore - a
name which had descended to him from a long
line of ancestors in Great Britain and America
- should not be disgraced, and proved his
readiness to perform his duty on many occasions.
"The bride was attended to the altar by Mrs.
Edward Robinson Harvey, the bridegroom by
Mr. Henry Howard Barber, and the marriage
service was read by the Rev. Mr. Paull, of
St. James's Chapel, in a manner which deeply
impressed all present with the solemn nature
of the contract entered into. Amongst the
friends of the bride and bridegroom, and of
the Confederate cause, who attended were the
Hon. General Williams, formerly United States
Minister at Constantinople; the Hon. J.
O'Sullivan, formerly Minister from Washington
at Lisbon; Major Hughes, of the Confederate
army; Captain Fearn, Confederate army; the
Rev. Frederic Kill Harford (who gave the
bride away); Mr. Keen Richards, of Kentucky;
Mr. Henry Hotze, Mr. C. Warren Adams,
Mrs. Paull, Madame Cerbelle, Mr. Reary, &c.
"At the conclusion of the ceremony the bride
and bridegroom and their friends proceeded to
the Brunswick Hotel, Jermyn Street, where
a choice and well-arranged breakfast was
partaken of, and at a fitting moment, towards
the conclusion, Mr. Barber, in a most eloquent
speech, proposed the health of Mr. and Mrs.
Hardinge, eulogizing the services the lady
had performed, and prognosticating that the
bridegroom would soon win fame in the service
on which he is about to enter. The toast, as
may be anticipated, was received with much
delight, and was replied to by both bride and
bridegroom, who expressed their acknowledgments
to the many friends they had found in this
country. The toast of 'The Queen' was afterwards
given by Captain Fearn, who assured the
English portion of his hearers that her Majesty
was greatly revered in all parts of the
Southern States of America - an assertion
which was most warmly corroborated by all
present, who were qualified to speak from
experience. 'President Davis and General Lee,'
and many other toasts, followed in due order,
till the growing hours warned the bride and
bridegroom that it was time to depart for
Liverpool. Mr. Hardinge purposes in a few days
to leave for the South, whither, in spite of
the blockade, he intends to convey a goodly
portion of the wedding-cake, for distribution
amongst his wife's friends."
The journey referred to above was taken by
my husband very shortly after, for the simple
purpose of communicating with my family in
Virginia. Its results will be shown in the
following chapters, in which he will tell
his own story.
Lieutenant Hardinge's Journal - Arrival
at Home - A Surprise - A silent Breakfast -
Visit to Martinsburg - A pleasant little
Excitement - A Negro Welcome - "Miss
Belle's Husband" - A Portent - A Sailor's
Superstition - Capture - Poor Pat in the
Toils - A high-bred General - Lieutenant
Adams - A Yankee Provost-Marshal - The
Guard-house - - The Restaurant - A
Guardsman - Ordered off again - Arrival
LAST November it became necessary for me
to quit the tranquil shores of England, and
make, much to my disgust, a trip across
the Atlantic, rendered doubly disagreeable
to me by the fact that I was parting for an
indefinite period from one whom I loved
fondly - my wife, and to whom I had been
married but two short months. *
On the Monday afternoon after my arrival
I left Boston and proceeded to New York,
where I arrived about 11 p.m., and put up
at the New York Hotel. I did not sleep here,
however, but went over to my mother's
residence in Brooklyn almost immediately.
Gaining admittance to the house, and being,
as you may suppose, thoroughly conversant
with its internal arrangements, I mounted
softly on tip-toe to my parents' room and
entered. My father, aroused by
* These papers were originally intended solely for
the perusal of my wife; but, upon second thought,
they have been somewhat condensed in material, and
have been added to her adventures as an after-piece.
the noise I made - for floors and doors will
invariably creak at such times - called out
as I opened the door, "Who is that?" "Martin,"
I replied; for I wished to surprise them as
much as possible.
As soon as I had lit the gas I turned upon
them and said, "Mother, how do you do?" For
the moment she was struck dumb with
astonishment, but the next she was in my arms,
pressing me to her heart as only a mother can
who loves her son devotedly.
We sat for a long time conversing upon many
topics - my wife, my future prospects, &c.
About three in the morning, however, I left
her and retired to my brother's room, who
was at the time absent in Boston on business.
I do not know why it was, but I felt like a
stranger in a strange land; for my heart was
with you, over the ocean in merrie England.
All the rest of the night I sat framing a
letter to you; and it was late in the
morning, just as the faint glimmering
streaks of dawn were flashing up from the
east, and the distant hum of the city was
becoming more and more audible, that I
threw myself, tired, weary, and heartsick,
on the bed, and fell asleep to dream of
Sleep, did I say? Ay, the sleep that the
dog enjoys in his kennel. I think it was
about nine in the morning when my mother
awakened me. I sprang to my feet, and,
hurriedly completing my toilette, descended
and entered the dining-room. There was very
little said - a monosyllabic breakfast,
one of those dismal feasts where Death
seems to reign supreme. With me it was
soon over; and that same night I
was en route for Baltimore, bound to
Martinsburg, which I reached, after much
delay and detention, after having enjoyed
the nervous excitement of running off the
track only twice, about 6.30 in the evening.
Here I was subjected, with the rest of the
passengers, to a strict examination by the
Provost-Marshal of my passes and travelling-bag;
but finally, after a quarter of an hour's
delay, I was allowed to go on.
After passing several sentries and two
barricades, I at length found myself at
your mother's house. I did not announce my
name to any one; but one of the girls
rushed up to me, and, after gazing intently
at me for a moment, flew out of the room.
Whilst I was revolving over in my mind
this inexplicable, to me, scene, she
returned, and, half laughing, half in doubt,
said, "You's Miss Belle's husband, isn't
I of course assured her that I was. She
again disappeared, but returned accompanied
by the whole sable household, who, crowding
round about me, welcomed me to my home,
inquiring affectionately after you, and
evidently much disappointed at not finding
that you were with me.
Greatly to my chagrin, your mother and
sister were at Kennysville, about ten miles
distant; but Mrs. G., who could not help
shedding tears when she knew who I was,
welcomed me as a son. All that evening
we sat conversing together; and when, at
last, I retired to sleep, it was in your
own room; and, as I entered in at the door,
I uncovered my head and thought of you.
This was your room; here you had been
held a prisoner and had suffered the
torture of an agonizing doubt as to your
fate. Here lay your books just as you had
left them. Writings, quotations, everything
to remind me of you was here; and I do not
know how long a time I should have stood
gazing about me in silence, had it not been
for my reverie being disturbed by the little
negro servant, who broke the silence by
saying, "No one's ever sleep in dis room
since Missy Belle been gone - missus
says you're de only person as should."
So, when I retired to bed that night, and
"Jim" had been dismissed from further
attendance upon me, I lay for a long time
thinking, looking into the fire, that
glimmered and glared about the room,
picturing you here, there, and everywhere
about the chamber, and thinking of you
sadly, far away from me in England - the
exile, lonely and sad.
About midnight I fell asleep, and was
only aroused from my slumbers late
the next morning by Jim, who was making
the fire. When I had finished dressing I
sat down near the fireplace. I hardly know
what persuaded me to do so; but, if you
will recollect, on the evening that we
parted from one another you placed upon
my finger a small diamond-cluster ring, *
telling me that there was a peculiar charm
attached to it - viz., of forewarning the
wearer when in danger by dropping or being
taken off. Without thinking, I did the
Now we sailors are somewhat addicted to
superstition; and I must confess that I
felt a nervous apprehension about myself,
which did not leave me despite the
endeavours that I made to allay my fears.
I told Mrs. G. of the circumstance
* This ring was once the property of an
African princess. - B. B. H.
when I met her at breakfast, and she laughed
at my credulity; but so firmly was I
impressed with the belief, that I already
began to feel that I was doomed - a
And I was. At half-past five - having
previously procured a pass - I left for
Baltimore; but at Monocacy station I was
- judge of my surprise - arrested and
kept confined all night under guard as a
deserter. As a prisoner, I was of course
searched; but, finding nothing upon me,
the officer commanding told me that I
might retire for the night.
"Where?" I asked.
"Oh! on the floor, by all means," was
the response, accompanied with a
The next day, at my earnest entreaty, I
was sent to Point of Rocks, where I was
treated more like a dog than a human
being; but, fortunately for myself, I was
sent on to Harper's Ferry, under a guard
of Irish emigrant soldiers, who were far
kinder to me than their officers. During
the journey they gave me a long history
of their wrongs, asserting upon oath that
they had been entrapped by the oily tongues
of Federal agents in Ireland, who had given
them gold and promised them a farm, and two
hundred pounds apiece more in gold upon their
arrival in the United States, if they would
only emigrate for the purpose of tilling
the land out West. Upon their arrival in New
York, however, they were locked up as prisoners
- not allowed to see any one - and were only,
after an imprisonment of over three weeks, set
free, their liberty having been purchased by
their becoming Federal soldiers.
They were also promised eight hundred
dollars bounty and three months furlough,
which they had never to this day received,
although they had applied for it from time
to time; for no sooner had they taken the
oath of allegiance than they were sent to
At the conclusion of this narration, which
they swore by the "Holy Vargin" was truth
and nothing more or less, one of them informed
me that they had orders to shoot me if I was
impudint to them even. "But we won't do it,
me bye," they chorussed; "and, if yees says
the word, we're yer min to cut over the
border with yees."
This, however, was an utter impossibility,
for the country was full of Yankee cavalry,
looking after Mosby and his men; so I
declined their proffered kindness, much
to their astonishment and fright, for they
begged me for the love of Heaven not to
expose them. This I faithfully promised
and kept; and, as I bade them good day,
just before I was conducted into the
presence of General Stephenson, one of them
remarked to me, sotto voce, "Be my sowl!
young fellow, it's too bad to see ye in
this condition, when ye ought to be afther
mountin' into a saddle."
When ushered into General S.'s room, the
General, a grizzly, gray-haired, bearded
man, scanned me closely for a short time.
After enduring this as long at least as my
patience could stand it, I said, "Is there
anything remarkable about me, or that you
"Yes, sir, your duplicity."
"Duplicity?" I reiterated vaguely,
seemingly unconscious of the meaning of
"Yes, sir, duplicity: you are a spy, and
I interrupted him somewhat sharply, but
recollected myself, and held my tongue.
"Where are your papers, passes, despatches?"
he asked, angrily.
"Papers I have none, except the 'New York
Day-book' and the 'World' of yesterday;
despatches - excuse me, did you say
"Yes, sir, despatches."
"I'll save you a pun," I remarked, savagely:
"I have none. As for my passes, they are
there," pointing to a formidable looking
official document that had been brought on
"Ugh!" was the rejoinder to this.
Lieutenant Adams just then made his
appearance, and a very nice and gentlemanly
fellow he was, too. In striking contrast
with the General was his adjutant, the
"You're the husband of Miss Belle Boyd,
and you ought to be hung. By the way, we
hung one to-day; didn't we, adjutant?"
"What are you going to do?"
"Hang you if you can't prove your innocence
- send you to Washington, perhaps. That will
do, sir;" and I left the room.
In a few moments Lieutenant Adams came out,
and said, and very kindly too, "Now, Mr.
Hardinge, we'll go and get something to eat;
and, if I can manage it, you shall sleep
elsewhere than in a guardhouse. Come into
my office for a short time, until I write
a letter, and then we will go."
Thanking him for his proffered hospitality,
I entered the room and seated myself
near the fire - for it was a rainy day,
and very disagreeable - and listened with
feelings of horror and disgust to the
brutal boasts of a braggadocio Provost-Marshal
(I wish I could recollect his name, for the
sake of humanity), who boasted of having
enacted the part of Jack Ketch to a
Confederate soldier of "White's Battalion"
that very day; remarking, "By! --! didn't
the fellow jump when the rope broke!" and he
added, "Here's a piece of the rope, young
fellow. Wouldn't you like to swing?"
"Not with you, at least, for a hangman,"
I said; and I did not attempt to suppress
my disgust from appearing.
"D-- you! I'll give you a double
allowance of dancing on nothing if I do,"
was the reply.
Shortly after this light and entertaining
conversation, Lieutenant Adams and
myself left them; and, after a good meal
and a short tour about the town, we once
more entered his office. But this time I
did not stay long; for, although Lieutenant
Adams did all in his power to keep me from
the guard-house, to that delectable place
I went, under the tender auspices of the
Provost, who endeavoured to regale me
with stories of men that he had "hung."
As for sleeping there, it was out of the
question. A terrific fire roared and blazed
up the chimney, flinging its heat into a
room whose measurement might have been
ten feet by twelve. In this space were
packed some twenty steaming, drunken
soldiers and citizens; and add to this the
fact that other animals besides rats and
mice were at play in the room, I think
you will admit that I was at least
The next morning, at a later hour, I was
allowed to proceed under guard to a very
seedy-looking cellar rejoicing in the name
of a "Restaurant," where I succeeded in
getting some stale oysters and bean coffee.
Having finished this delectable breakfast,
I was again reminded that I was a prisoner
in the Yankees' hands by the sentinel, who
carried, in addition to his gun, a watch,
and who ostentatiously glanced at it
remarking, as he did so, "Time's up."
"Any news from the front?" I ventured
"Is Mosby in the neighbourhood?"
"I s'pose so."
"How often do the trains go northwards
in the course of a day?"
"Corporal," I said, "I am quite an amateur
in my way. Come, you have excited my
curiosity. Tell me, honestly, now, what you
are; for you are the only one of the many
soldiers that I have met in my intercourse
with the tribe for the last three or four
days who is rightly entitled to the name."
He evidently felt flattered, for it was
the "Open, Sesame," of his tongue, and he
flatly informed me that he was a deserter
from the Guards, who had been stationed in
Canada. "And I wish to the devil I was back
out of the dirty rapscallion set that I've
got into. They say birds of a feather flock
together; but I'm -- if I am a bird of their
Our conversation was brought to a close
at this period by the door of the guard-house
once more being closed upon me. For want
of better amusement, I stood watching the
farmers or their wives from the country
round who came to procure the necessary
passes to return to their homes again;
and I must confess that the brutal
remarks that accompanied the pass, or
oftener its refusal, were enough to make
the blood of any father, brother, or son
boil with indignation.
At 5 p.m., just as I was beginning to
despair of ever being sent away from
Harper's Ferry, a detective came to me and
said, "All humbug; you're the chap, are
yer? Come on!"
To this tender appeal I merely said, "I
am ready; lead on."
As I passed out he significantly pointed
to a six-shooter that was buckled to his
side, and remarked, "None o' yer capers."
I could not but help laughing in the
fellow's face; and I hardly know what
would have been the finale, if Lieutenant
Adams, who was passing in at that moment,
had not said, "Treat him like a gentleman,
--," calling him by his name. And it is to
this remark that I, no doubt, am indebted
for the little kindnesses I received on my
way to Washington.
We arrived in Washington about midnight,
and the detective having visited the
Provost's office, I was relieved of his
further attendance upon me, and at 1 p.m.
on Sunday morning I was consigned to a
horrible hole known as the Forrest Hall,
filled with everything that was infamous,
low, and degraded.
Forrest Hall - A Lesson on Prison Luxury
- The Torture - Close Packing - The
"Neutral Ground" - A good-natured Sentry
- An Aristocrat - "The Gouger" - A tough
Contest - Homage to the Victor - An Honour
declined - The Carroll Prison - Defacing
the Walls - Piety Hall - Unpleasant Tortures
- "The Colonel."
FORREST Hall, or, as it is somewhat significantly
designated by the fellows who board here at
the Government's expense, "The last Ditch," was
without exception the most fearful realization
of a prison that it
was my misfortune ever to have anything to
do with: not that I would have you for one
moment suppose that I am familiar with a
convict's residence; but I have mentioned
it merely from the fact that, until I was
thus thoroughly convinced to the contrary,
I had always entertained the belief that,
in this age of improvements and luxury,
prisons had been converted by science into
luxuriously improvised hotels - watering-
places where roughs and rogues retire for
a while to recruit their wasting energies.
And in this respect I have always entertained
the belief that in America "they know how to
manage these things better than in Europe,
you know;" but this foretaste of St. Giles
and Billingsgate dispelled, and effectively
too, any highly coloured and very romantic
ideas that I had conceived of prison luxury;
and the rose-colour tinting
with which I had in fancy painted such
residences gave way to a most sombre picture
edged with black, that nearly crazed me as
I walked gravely backwards and forwards,
picking my way daintily through dirty groups
of sleeping men or puddles of tobacco-juice
with which the floor of this place was
Situated in Georgetown, on the suburbs of the
city of Washington, Forrest Hall was, before
the commencement of this devilish struggle,
used as a place of public entertainment,
where balls and suppers were held or given.
A large square-shaped room, it had nothing
of beauty to recommend it even then; much
less at the present day, when its walls
are defaced with unseemly pictures, vulgar
writings, or punctured plaster; and even in
its halcyon days it was such a room that
one felt, however warm
one may have been; chilled upon entering.
Four immense windows, reaching from the
top almost to the bottom, bound with iron,
looked forth upon the street; but none of
us ever presumed to gaze from them, for
orders were given to shoot dead the audacious
wretch who should thus defy the laws. Four
others looked out upon what was known as the
"Promenade," a small enclosure where we were
allowed to walk for half an hour daily. One
feature of this "yard," as it was also
called, was the hose; an instrument of torture
which was applied to "suspects," who were
supposed to be deserters from the United
States army. Whether it was so or not it
was almost impossible to say. The manner
of torturing the unfortunate man was after
the most approved method of Yankee invention
and ingenuity. You may doubtless
somewhere have read of the prisoner who
was tortured by being fastened in an
immovable position beneath a faucet, that
permitted to escape, every second, one
drop of water, which fell always in one
spot upon the forehead, producing a most
fearful torture, resulting eventually in
insanity. Well, although it was not exactly
the same thing, nevertheless it approached
it very nearly. For in this instance the
victim was made to stand bound securely
to a post, whilst a steady stream of water,
whose force was thirty pounds to an inch
square, was played upon the small of the
It was often the case that the victim,
unable to endure the torture, would, guilty
or not, give in; and the consequence was,
that the authorities, having witnessed the
acknowledgment of his crime, would remand
him in an exhausted state back to the
Hall, to be led out to execution, or
conducted to the Penitentiary, to which he
would be sentenced for a lifetime.
Again, some, more obdurate and stubborn,
would remain firm and unyielding, however
fearful the torture, until fainting would
ensue, or the medical attendant, who waited
in person and watched closely the victim's
wrist, would say, "Enough"; when he would
be carried back to the room, only to be
brought forth to endure the same torture
when he had sufficiently requited his
energies to be able to appear once more.
But to revert once more to Forrest Hall.
In a space not more than seventy-five feet
square were crowded together over five
hundred dirty, ragged, and filthy wretches,
of all conditions and colour, who had
been immured here for many months with
the consoling remark, "Your case will be
attended to." The dirt that filled the floor
was something awful to reflect upon, and
here they were obliged to live - here sleep.
A space large enough for the promenade of the
guards, who were relieved at the end of every
four hours, was reserved for them; and
whoever the poor wretch was that dared to
invade the neutral ground - for such it was
called by the residents - he was shot like
a dog for his daring; murdered, coolly
and deliberately. Right over the entrance
to this room was a place called "The
Lodge." Here a corporal and three or
four sentries are placed, with the same
humane orders to execute relative to the
shedding of human blood. The place
literally swarmed with vermin, and the
air is corrupt, and vile with odours that are,
at least, to be moderate in one's language,
disgusting and nauseating in the extreme.
It was early on a Sunday morning that I
entered this sink, after having undergone
a rigid examination of my person at the
hands of the officers who were quartered
at the Hall.
This done, I was handed over to a sergeant,
and conducted by him to the room that I
have endeavoured to describe to you above.
It was so late that (fortunately for me)
only some nine or ten out of the whole
number that lay huddled together on the
floor were awake. One or two stared at
me for a short time, but went on again
with their play at cards.
A sentry was once more my friend in
this place. He pitied me. I was glad to
have any one's pity, even, for I felt almost
like the desperate suicide at times, and
the future of my life was enveloped in
gloom, so dark and obscure that it was in
vain that I attempted to penetrate it.
Having passed the spot where I was
standing, wrapped up in my own thoughts,
he stopped suddenly, and said, "You surely
are not a deserter, sir?"
"You have surmised correctly," I replied.
"What are you doing here, then?" he
added, with some surprise.
"That is just what I should like to know
myself; and, if you will inform me, I shall
thank you for the information."
"An' I suppose you are one of those
fellows we call political prisoners; and
if you are, by jove! there's plenty more
of your same stripe that would like to have
the same information you're after wanting;"
and he resumed his beat.
In a short time he came to me, and said,
"Why don't you sleep?"
"Sleep!" I said, in astonishment. He
grinned at the manner in which I spoke the
word sleep, and said -
"By --! there'd only be a clean-picked
skeleton of you in the morning."
"Then I will try to fancy myself on the
quarter-deck for four hours;" and I
commenced to promenade up and down with
the sentry, and it was not until late
the next morning that I gave up, and was
forced to sit down; but I first took my
handkerchief and brushed away the dirt on
the floor as well as I could before I did
As the morning wore on apace, the rascals,
who by this time were thoroughly
awake, came and stared at me, or asked me
questions of myself, business, &c. To the
former I affected a perfect indifference,
but to the latter I kept my tongue, which
brought down innumerable left-handed
blessings from these fellows, who saw in
me, as they did not abstain from informing
their comrades, "a -- aristocrat."
Taking-my silence for fear, they became
bolder. One of them, a wall-eyed,
villainous scoundrel, knocked my hat off.
Picking it up, I replaced it on my head
without apparently noticing the offender.
Growing bolder, the cries of "Toss him!
toss the swell cove! mash him! jam him!"
were raised on all sides. A blanket was
getting stretched for my special benefit,
and I determined to act instantaneously.
Near the stove was a goodly sized stick
of wood, that was used for supporting the
door when opened. I determined to get
possession of it; so I walked up quietly,
and, gaining possession of the instrument
that was soon to decide my fate, I retreated
to a corner, and waited for them.
It was not long. A party advanced, and
then halted, when the wall-eyed man, who
was known as "the Gouger" - a name that
he had won from his prowess in tearing
the eyes from out the sockets of others -
came as near as was prudently safe, for I
swung the stick defiantly as he advanced,
and said -
"Now, young 'un, if yer don't give in,
I'll bite yer nose off. Come, now, are yer
To his tender and merciful intentions as
regarded my nose I paid no attention.
"Oh, yer ain't agoin' to, then, are yer?
Well, I'll have a fresh-meat breakfast, by
--! this morning, at any rate. Come on,
I only remember one thing until the
whole affair was over; and this is the
picture: "the Gouger" and his second
advancing as I swung my trusty weapon in
a circle about me, the pointed edge of the
stick cutting into the bridge of "the
Gouger's" nose, and effectually closing
an eye for him, and the remaining
force of the blow being received by his
second on the temple, who fell like a lump
of lead by his leader. Then it was that
I sprang forward, slashing right and left
as I went; but there was no necessity to
do murder, for they gave way before me;
and the sentry, who had been watching
the battle, received me with the remark,
as I gained his side, panting from the
exertion, "By --! if I hadn't have liked
you, I'd have shot you for mutiny; but you
did that well: they won't trouble you any
more, I'll bet."
Nor did they. On the contrary, a "select
committee," to my great surprise, waited
upon me about 10 a.m., and their spokesman
informed me that by a unanimous vote I had
been chosen their president, and, if I would
accept the leadership of "the Owls," it was
at my command.
To their astonishment, I refused them; but,
not wishing to make them my enemies, for
I had no idea how long I was to remain here,
I did so as politely as possible.
Fortunately for me, in the afternoon I
was sent for; and, under guard, I was
conveyed to the Provost-Marshal's office,
in Washington City. Here I was kept for
over an hour, in a place that was
partitioned off for rebels, a ferocious-
looking aspirant for military honours
guarding me the while. Several of the
clerks, who had ascertained from their
superior who I was, attempted to converse
with me, but in this they failed most
Shortly after this I was taken, under the
surveillance of Captain -- and four of his
satellites, to the Old Capitol. On my way
to that place I was kindly permitted to
partake of some food - the first that I
had eaten for over twenty-four hours at
"Hanmacks," and to the proprietor of that
place I was indebted for much attention.
I then resumed my journey once more,
after running "a muck," so to speak, of
the curious loungers, for the churches were
fast pouring forth their inmates upon the
street, and the terrific fire of conversation
from the Captain, which was by far the worst
torture I had to endure.
On my arrival at the Old Capitol I was
welcomed by a one-armed lieutenant, who had
"seen servin'," but when he did not say,
and whom I ascertained to belong to that
body of men known as the "invalid corps."
I was ordered to sit down, and, after a
running fire of questions, I was sent off
to the Carroll Prison, under the guard of
I was not long in reaching it, for the
political bastile is situated not far from
its prototype, the Old Capitol. I was
received by the under-superintendent, who,
having registered my name, age, occupation,
height, business, ancestry, &c., was good
enough to relieve me of some money - not
all, for I had been deprived of most by "the
gallant knights of the greenwood," through
whose merciless fingers I did not pass
unscathed, and who certainly have a taking
way about them. A diminutive penknife which
was also "captured," although I begged to
retain it as a favour, was refused on the
plea that I might injure myself.
This over, I was conducted to Room No. 35,
to keep company with a spy and a blockade-
runner. On its walls, rudely executed
with a piece of charred wood, I wrote
our names, one day, and drew above them
the English and Confederate flags, which,
coming under notice of the sentinel outside,
drew down upon my devoted head a whole
mouthful of curses, loud and deep. Some
wag, a previous inmate of this room, had
written, a la Jack Sheppard, over the door
the following very curious misnomer: "Piety
Hall!" "Piety Hall" is certainly a most
deplorable spot. Four bunks, filled with
bedding of a most suspicious character,
occupy one-third of the space. I very
foolishly slept in one of these "beds,"
as they are designated here, but I can
assure you that I regretted it exceedingly
long before morning.
It was almost an utter impossibility to
tell the time correctly in this place, for
the window that opened on a passage-way
without is so completely enclosed with
the cell that has evidently been added to
the building since the commencement of the
war, and which is reserved exclusively for
"close confinement," that it is not until a
very late hour in the forenoon that daylight
favours us with its presence at all. A
stove in the centre of the room is used by
us to cook whatever we choose to buy from
the cutler, Mr. Donelly, who has had the
monopoly of this prison since the beginning
of the rebellion.
The morning after my arrival at the Carroll,
in company with the blockade-runner, I
descended into the yard, when, after
refreshing myself with a hearty wash at
the pump, I entered the salle à manger
for my breakfast. I could eat nothing.
The coffee is a mixture of - but I will
not attempt to describe it - whilst the
"hard tack," as the old inmates call it, is
the flintiest kind of flour that was ever
baked and honoured with the appellation of
biscuit. So I walked out into the yard, and
strolled listlessly about, wondering, as
prisoners will, when I should be released.
About 11 a.m. I again went up to my
room, and received from the sentinel a
reprimand for remaining below in the
yard, accompanied with the remark that
"if I didn't mind my eye, I'd have old
Wood after me."
One of my room-mates said, "What was
that old fool saying?"
I repeated the above remark to him, when
they both laughed derisively and said,
"Don't you believe all they tell you:
if you do, you will have a surfeit of
gasconade and a troublesome indigestion."
The second day after my arrival the
"Colonel" entered the room and said, "Ho,
ho, here we are! So you're the husband of
the famous Belle Boyd, are you? Well, we
haven't got her, but we've got her husband,
that's next to it;" and before I had
time to reply he was out of the room;
and this was the way that I first made the
acquaintance of William P. Wood, the
superintendent of the Old Capitol and
Journal continued - Letter to Mr. Stanton
- Visit from Judge Turner - Room 25 - An
Introduction in due form - Pleasant Society
- A Dinner at last - Good Advice - A
clandestine Communication - False Alarm -
"That reminds me of a good Story" A
Massachusetts Officer in Trouble - The
"Smasher's" Sentence - An imprisoned Wife
and Child - Blockade-running.
5th December. - Having procured some
paper from the sutler, I wrote to Mr.
Stanton with a simple statement of my
This document I forwarded to judge
Turner, who attends to all the cases of the
prisoners held here. That gentleman, after
the expiration of three days, sent for me;
and having asked me, in the presence of
witnesses, if I had written it, to which I
answered in the affirmative, then swore me
as to the truthfulness of it, and dismissed
me from his awful presence, with the
assurance that he would attend to it in
the proper course of time.
I shall not readily forget my introduction
to the inmates of Rooms 25 and 26, to which
I was now transferred. I was introduced
into my new quarters by Captain Mark T.
"Gentlemen," he said, "allow me to introduce
to this select and distinguished company,
Lieutenant S. Wilde Hardinge, formerly of the
United States navy, now of England, but just
at present boarding with the freemen of the
city at the Old Carroll Prison." (A
momentary pause.) "Allow me, sir - Captain
McD., of Pennsylvania, a counterfeiter,
sir; brought here not for an attempt to
counterfeit himself, but for the crime of
counterfeiting United States green-backs,
and buying Southern horses with them."
"Mr. Parker, sir" (as I was somewhat
unceremoniously pushed round in front of
him), "a blacksmith, not of anvils, but
of the city of Brotherly Love, a forger by
trade. He was brought up at the forge;
and how could such an apt scholar end
otherwise than in forging the United
States Government?" "Ah, H." (familiarly),
"two distinguished 'colonels' from New York,
charged with ballot-box stuffing, and
having the presumption to vote for
McClellan; a bad case, sir, I assure you,
as they [the authorities] keep
putting their trial off for further evidence,
which they cannot procure. However, they
have an idea that they are sulky, and so
they intend to keep them here. Ah, sir,
this is a glorious country; nothing like
it; in fact, a country whose institutions
one ought to esteem, for they hang you first,
and try you afterwards."
Captain T. having finished his somewhat
lengthy harangue, I ventured to remark,
"And what, sir, may I ask, is your crime?"
"Ah! mine," said he, winking complacently,
"is nothing! but, as out of nothing came
something, I presume they'll make it out
of my case."
Here the introduction suddenly ceased;
for, dinner being announced, every one
rushed for a seat, and devoured, somewhat
ravenously, it must be confessed, everything
excepting what was not eatable, upon the
table; an example which I was not slow to
imitate, for it had been over two weeks
since I had the good fortune to get a
mouthful of anything really eatable.
December 7th. - I woke up very early
this morning, and, having dressed myself,
strolled about the yard below for a while
in conversation with two or three others
incarcerated here - for nothing; at least,
that is the invariable answer.
By way of an explanation of this, one of
them said to me, "It don't do, Mr. H., to
know too much in a place like this. You
are a new comer: let me advise you to ask
no questions, and answer fewer. I don't
mean to say there are spies here, but I
wouldn't trust my own father in here;" and,
having finished his sentence, he left me.
I can see the ladies in the different
rooms in that portion of the building
devoted to them, gazing down, through
their iron bars, into the yard, upon the
prisoners, who are allowed to walk about
here at stated intervals. I accomplished
the prison feat of exchanging notes with
a "close-confined" prisoner, an exploit
which was executed when the Hessian sentry
had his back turned upon us, and which
would have been punished with bread and
water in the guard-house for forty-eight
hours, had it been discovered.
It is quite worthy of notice that one
seems to take an indescribable pleasure in
eluding the vigilance of the sentries at
all times, not so much for any particular
reason, but merely for the purpose of
passing away the time, and proving that
such a thing can be done in spite of the
"Rules and Regulations."
Captain Marsh left Room 26 to-day. He
had been prisoner here for some time, but
eventually was released without a trial
or any satisfaction being accorded to him.
His arrest was very ingeniously managed,
Secretary Stanton ordering him to report
for examination for Colonel at Washington.
Captain M. was "at the front," i.e., before
Richmond, when he received this mandate;
but judge of his surprise when, upon his
arrival, instead of being promoted, he was
ordered to the Carroll, and detained there.
December 9th. - This evening, as we
were seated conversing or playing cards,
for want of some better occupation, we were
somewhat startled by the cry of "Officer
of the keys! corporal of the guard!
Post No. 7!" and almost simultaneously
with it came the report of a musket, that
sent whist-players and every one else to
their feet. Officers and men rushed to
their different stations, and the general
belief, for the moment, was that some one
had been shot in attempting to escape.
Such, however, was not the case; it proving
to be only the accidental discharge of a
fire-arm, through the carelessness of a
sentinel who had just come off post, and
was placing his piece in the rack, when
it fell, the jar causing it to go off. The
ball passed upwards through the floor,
going through a bed in 26, but fortunately
without wounding its inmate. This is not
the first instance of this kind that has
Said Colonel Wood, who at that time
was playing Inspector of the rooms, "That
reminds me of a good story." The good
story was as follows: -
"There was a fellow, an officer in the
Confederate States Army, who received
some money from a lady who was held in
my residence for stubborn people. With
this he bribed the sentinel who was in the
yard beneath to let him attempt an escape.
The sentinel agreed; but I got wind of the
affair an hour before it took place; and,
walking up to the sentinel, I said, 'Now,
you -- --, I've got you in my power;
and, if you don t shoot that -- -- rebel,
I'll have you hung." So when Mr. Rebel gets
out of the window Mr. Sentinel blazes away
at him, and down he drops kerflummuxed."
"What became of him?" asked one of his
"Why, -- him, he died in the hospital
several days afterwards."
December 11th. - A captain in the
Massachusetts 8th was sent into 26 to-day.
He had been arrested and imprisoned in
the Baltimore Gaol for six weeks. In about
an hour after his appearance amongst us
he was ordered out, and put into close
Captain McD., an incarcerated prisoner
in 26, received the news of his sentence
of court-martial through the "Star" of
this evening. He was convicted of passing
counterfeit money, and was sentenced to
ten years' imprisonment in the Clinton
Prison, New Jersey, has been cashiered
the service, and disqualified from holding
any office of honour, trust, and profit
under the United States Government, and
to pay a fine of $5000: this latter item,
fortunately for him, is in "green-backs."
He is a stout-built, thick-set, brawny-
looking man with black eyes and hair, and
has lost a finger in the service of the
Union. I watched his countenance closely
as his eyes met the paragraph containing
his sentence. Every one had seen it, but
none cared to break the intelligence. He
gave a sudden spasmodic start, and sat for
as much as ten minutes gazing at it. How
he must have felt inwardly at that time
none can know but himself. It made one
feel cold and nervous to see him sit there
so quietly. Ten years! a lifetime for him.
His hopes for the future were blighted.
Farewell for him to all life's charms: he
is dead henceforth and for ever to the
world. I would not have been in his place
There he sat, without moving, and Room
26 was very quiet, for the occupants of it
were looking at him. He evidently and
suddenly became aware of this fact, and,
looking up from the fatal "Star," he said,
"I'm in for it. They've done for me. Well,
ten years imprisonment! Humph!" (and he
laughed), "I'm glad of that: I'll get out
sooner." Then he got up and walked out of
the room, and we all of us somehow felt
relieved when he had gone.
December 15th. - Glancing up at the
windows of Room 40, I saw this afternoon,
whilst walking up and down the yard, a poor
little child - a girl - about four years
old, and standing close beside her was her
mother. She clasped the iron bars of the
window with childish glee, and did not
seem to be aware that the cold, repelling
touch of the iron that encircled her present
abode was that of prison bars, that held
her captive from the outer world. Her
merry little laugh was truly painful to
"Aunt Lizzie" was in the cutler's at this
time, so I asked her who it was.
"Who dat lady, massa? Dat's Mrs. K."
"What is her crime?" I asked.
"Oh, her husband was drafted, and she
connived at his escape out ob de country,
so they arrested her; an' now she's drefful
feared that he'll guv hisself up in her
December 17th. - The ladies in Room 42
sent me a note, smuggled by --, in
which they thanked me for presents, at
different times, of wine and delicacies
for the table, that I had procured; for
I have followed the business of blockade-
runner very successfully since I have been
in here: no matter if I have ill-luck for
an attendant outside in that dashing and
very exciting business.
December 20th. - I cannot imagine why I
can hear no news of you. Mr. Wood says,
"You are very foolish, Mr. H., to fret:
everything is fair in love and war;" so I
am forced to construe out of the latter
portion of his sentence that others are
employed in reading my letters. What a
jolly thing military surveillance is!
Introduced to the Ladies' Ward - Colonel
Wood and his "Reminiscence-book" -
Interview with Judge Turner - Sherman's
Officers in Georgia - A hideous Outrage
- Christmas in Prison - Home-sick - A
drunken Sentry - Another Visit to the
Ladies - The Young Girl's Sick Bed - A
Rough Prison Carol.
December 21st. - I was introduced to the
ladies in 42 to-day, and spent a very
pleasant half-hour in their society; and so
quickly did the time slip away, that I was
only reminded that the thirty minutes were
gone by the officer of the keys, who, looking
at his watch, said, "Time's up!" Mrs.
Colonel M. spoke of you, and said "that
you were undeniably the pet of the
Confederacy, and would always be
looked upon as its child as long as the
Confederacy existed and had a name."
December 23rd. - No signs of my being
released yet. Mrs. Colonel M. remarked,
and in the presence of Mr. Wood, to-day,
"I have material enough of Bastile life,
as exemplified in my treatment here, for
"Mrs. M.," said Wood, and he laughed,
"no one will ever be able to write a
truthful account of the Capitol and Carroll
Prisons. I have a reminiscence-book,
where I put everything that occurs of note
within these walls. If published, it would
equal any of Reynolds' novels of the
Tower of London."
Then he spoke of Mrs. Horns. "I did that
girl an injustice. By --! she was no traitor
to the South. It was I who got the papers
that condemned her friends, without her
knowledge and consent; and Mrs. G., when
she went to Richmond, ruined and completely
crushed her." Turning to Mrs. Colonel M.,
he added, "You may believe me or not, but
Mrs. G. used to write me notes, until I
fairly got sick of her, and afterwards she
came out with a vengeance against me. But,
as I rather glory in my origin, it didn't
December 24th. - My poor mother-in-law,
in a letter to me to-day, says, "what
have I done, a weak, defenseless woman,
weighed down with sorrow and care, that
that they will not permit me to come on to
Washington and see you?"
Had an interview with Judge Turner in
the afternoon. Judge Turner, loquitur,
his back to the fire, hat over his eyes
(probably from very shame), a cigar in
his mouth: -
"Good morning, Mr. H."
"Good afternoon, sir."
"Your business, Mr. H.?"
"This, sir: can you inform me when I
am to be released?"
"Oh, one of these days."
"Are there any charges against me?"
"None, sir; that is, perhaps there may
"Then why am I held prisoner here?"
"Because it pleases the Government."
"Ah! but do you call it justice?"
Judge Turner (frowning): - "Be very
careful what you say, sir. You are held
here because it pleases Mr. Stanton; besides,
your wife won't destroy any more of our
army than she has done, Mr. H., if you are
held as a hostage; and Mr. Stanton has an
affectionate regard for your future
What could I do? I was like the mouse,
a prisoner in the cage, and at the mercy
of the lion.
"I repeat my question," I said: "is it
"Justice or not," said that worthy judge,
"we keep you here to make a patriot of
Mr. M. told me to-day two stories: one
of them was of Sherman's march through
Georgia. Mrs. M was tied to her chair
and flogged, her clothes first being
stripped to her waist. Leather straps were
used for the purpose. A negro informed
the officer that her husband had buried
$20,000 in gold, and that she was
aware of its hiding-place; so, finding that
threats could not extort the secret, they
As she stood there writhing in her agony,
she appealed to the fellow, who was a
"Capting," for mercy; but the ruffianly
scoundrel's only reply was, "D-n you:
tell us where the gold is hid, and I'll
let you up." But this she could not do,
and the infuriated wretches continued
until she fainted, and the brutes then
The other story was this, and not the
less worthy of comment as it came from
the lips of a lady, both in position, as
regarded her standing in society, and in
wealth and accomplishments. I have no
reason to urge you not to publish it to
the world. Near the Rio Grande a Mrs. --
lived quietly and undisturbed, though
the civil war raged about her, until a
band of these "patriots for the restoration
of the Union" took possession of the place
for a few hours. Several of them entered her
house in the night-time and ascended to her
room, where she lay sick with rheumatism
and unable to move. Her servant, a young
quadroon, who was waiting upon her,
concealed herself in the bed; but she was
dragged from her hiding-place, and these
less than men, rendered furious with drink,
and in the presence of the agonized and
terrified lady, and in spite of her
protestations and appeals for mercy,
committed upon the unhappy girl the worst
Christmas Eve. - About nine p.m. I sat
down to a game of cards, and I am sorry
to say that it lasted far into the morning
- Sunday morning, and Christmas too; but
you must excuse me, for you know that I
was a prisoner. I retired to my bed about
four a.m., and fell asleep almost immediately,
waking up with the winter sun streaming
into my face, unwell and low-spirited.
In "our room," 25, hangs, suspended from
the ceiling, an evergreen wreath, with two
figures pendant from it, the only thing
here, in this dismal place, to recall
to one's mind Christmas, save that the
bells are already beginning to ring out
merrily. No greetings from those you love
meet your ears. Some few bid you "Merry
Christmas," as you pass them by; but the
look which accompanies it is low and
melancholy, betokening that the one who
gives the "God's greeting" says so
Egg-nog has already commenced to flow
freely in our room. Mr. Donelly's shop is
much patronized this morning for whiskey
and weiss-beer (the latter drink decidedly
doctored, and a late importation, I should
judge), eggs, and other necessaries that
he doles forth for money, to us. A glorious
day, yet every one is down-hearted. I chew
the bitter cud of reflection as I smoke my
Many of my fellow-prisoners have
already drowned their sorrows in drink.
An occasional maudlin carol comes from the
barred window of some caged bird. As
the day wears on apace, so does the state
of intoxication increase. The sentries are
maudlin, the prisoners noisy or sullen as
the liquor which they have drunk may
affect them. Several are insulting. Without,
drunken men and women reel through the
streets. Why should I grumble, after
all? There is misery and sorrow without;
in this world, as well as within. I have
not smiled to-day, but two or three times
my eyes have been filled with tears; for
I have been thinking of you, Belle, a
stranger in a strange land, waiting sad
and lonely for my return.
So the day creeps slowly along. The
sentries are drunk, and many of the
prisoners are dozing off, the effects
of whiskey, made up of morphene and other
A few moments ago one of the sentries
asserted his authority with me.
Sentry (intoxicated): - "Say! where
in the -- are you going to?" crossing his
gun before me at the same moment.
"Are you addressing your conversation
to me?" I ask.
"I don't want none of your --
palaver. Get back into that room, or I'll
I could stand this no longer; but I folded
my arms, and, looking him straight in the
eyes, I said, "I am unarmed. Shoot if you
dare; but, by Heaven! if you miss me, I
shall not you."
The muzzle of his piece dropped, and, as
I walk away, three cheers are given for me
by the prisoners who were witnesses of the
Several of the inmates of Carroll Prison
have been locked up in their rooms for
being noisy; cheering for Jeff. Davis and
the Southern Confederacy, and groaning
for Sherman and Governor Brown, of Georgia.
Dinner is announced at last: goose,
and turkey, and mince-pies for Room 26;
bean-soup and bread for the other
prisoners. The former dinner passed off
in silence. Every mouthful one takes seems
like lead. Nobody laughs or smiles: some
few curse and swear.
The dinner is over. At the latter every
one scowls, grumbles, or swears, and
leaves the room - the salle à manger of
the Carroll Prison - chewing, by way of
dessert, "hard tack."
I ask permission to see the ladies in 42.
Wood is gracious to-day, and the request
is granted, and for a few brief minutes I
feel differently. Suddenly, with a bang,
the door is flung open. In rushes Wood,
utterly regardless of the poor sick girl
who lies writhing with pain upon her bed
- the same bed in which you slept, in the
same room; and fancy made me always picture
you as the sufferer, as you suffered here
months before - and roars out in his
loudest tones as he discourses upon Atheism,
then off, before you are quite sure that
you have not made up your mind to knock him
down, or show him the door.
As I stood in No. 42 this afternoon,
despite myself, the tears sprang to my eyes.
There, on the bed, lay poor Miss Mollie
McDonough, groaning and moaning with pain,
sick and delirious; for close imprisonment
had, with its iron grasp, taken hold upon
her delicate frame, and, after a brief
struggle, she had succumbed before it.
"The doctor says she must be removed,"
whispers Mrs. Colonel M. to me.
"Why, then, is it not done?" I rejoin.
"Because that renegade Virginian
refuses to let it be done."
Poor Mollie! I thought of you, Belle,
as I gazed upon her this evening, and the
blood rushed to my temples, and I clenched
my hands in silent wrath.
Mrs. Colonel M. tells me that Wood rushed
into the room this morning, and yelled
out at the top of his voice, "Hooray,
Mollie! I've got your father a prisoner."
She gave one shriek, and cried out in her
agony, "My God! what will become of my
poor mother now?"
Pretty scene! pretty language was that,
to be used in a sick girl's room! Mrs.
Colonel M., who had stood by, a silent
witness of the scene, said to Mr. Wood,
"For God's sake, sir, do you want to
finish your work by killing her?"
"Madam, you can't ride a high horse
here." "No, sir," said Mrs. M.; "I
leave that for Mr. Wood to do." Bang
went the door, and he was gone, and
in a few minutes he returned with Mr.
It was at muster-roll in the evening I
left for Room 25, where Colonel Wood was,
swearing as usual, and holding forth upon
some argument that was engrossing the
attention of a crowd of tobacco-smokers
lying on the beds in every conceivable
position; a choice party for Sunday
evening; and, in their intercourse with
one another, oaths made up what their
ideas lacked in the formation of their
Finally Wood sang a song. Give him his
due: he sang it well and with feeling.
Then he left us, for which I fervently
thanked Heaven. The moment that he
went out singing commenced. Every one
who could not sing was compelled to make
a speech, and in this manner we managed
to pass the time away quickly. When it
came to my turn to sing, I gave them the
following verses, which I had hastily
written for the occasion; and, as I went
on, one by one, the members who formed
the company of Rooms 25 aloud 26 joined
in the strain, until every one who could
sing had done their part to swell the volume
of song; and, at its conclusion, long
applause greeted me from all sides. The
following was the song, sung to the tune
of "God save the Queen:" -
" 'Land of the Pilgrims' pride,
Land where our fathers died,'
Thy doom is read.
From every hill and glen,
In lowland, marsh, and fen,
Thy fate is written there,
Thy glory fled.
"Ambition holds her sway;
Injustice rules the day.
Us, O God!
Spies, paid by those who reign,
Belie the freeman's fame,
And terror reigns supreme.
Help us, good Lord!
ye men who dare,
Who for your rights 'do care:'
Uphold the laws.
Uphold them as they were,
Not as at present are:
Prove freemen as of yore.
"What! are ye silent still?
Have ye no manly will
To battle them?
Yes, yes! ye will, ye come:
I hear the fife and drum!
Hark to th' increasing hum
Of fearless men.
for the old times
Strike! for your slaughtered sons,
Down with the feudal
Who irritate and
With prison, debt, and sword,
And scoff the dead."
You know that I do not claim to be a
poet; so that should you, in glancing
over these scraps, have your attention
directed for a moment to their errors,
forbear, if you please, from laughing
at them, and recollect that they were
thrown off hastily in my prison home,
and served to while away a few heavy
moments on Christmas evening.
Mr. H's Journal continued - A Visit from
my Parents - The Order for Removal - On
the March - "Do you know Belle Boyd?" -
An abrupt Introduction - Arrival in
Philadelphia - Dismal Night Quarters -
An unpleasant Ordeal - The Menagerie -
En route for Wilmington - An Eight-mile
March - The Osceola - Fort Delaware -
"Fresh Fish" - "Miss Belle Boyd's Husband"
- New Year's Eve - Turned Cook -
Snowballing - Sharp Practice.
ON the 30th day of December, as I was
busily engaged in writing, Mr. Wilson, the
superintendent, called me down into the
office to see my father and mother, who
had come on from New York to visit me.
Previous to their coming to the Old
Carroll they had gone to Secretary Stanton
to procure the necessary pass. That
gentleman expressed himself astonished at
their coming, but, after some considerable
delay, having ascertained that the purport
of their visit was purely such an one as
two fond parents would be supposed to pay
their son in "durance vile," gave them the
necessary order, without which they could
not have seen me.
Whilst we were seated together, conversing
upon various topics, Mr. Wilson entered
the room and said, addressing his remarks
to me -
"Mr. Hardinge, you must get ready, sir."
"For what?" I said. "Is it then indeed
true that I am to be sent to Fort
"I presume so, sir," was the reply to
Of course I was powerless to do aught
for myself to prevent it. The scene that
ensued was very affecting. My poor
mother wept bitterly, and, unable to
endure it unmoved any longer, I hastily
quitted the room.
Whilst engaged in packing together what
few articles of clothing I possessed - I
do not imagine I was more than five minutes
about it - I was again interrupted by Mr.
Wilson with -
"But I have not got my things together
yet," I said.
"Well, if you haven't, there ain't no time
to spare; so come along with you."
Seeing no possible way of obtaining a
brief respite, I hastily bid adieu to
those of my room-mates who were about me,
and, taking my few clothes, I followed my
Down-stairs my poor mother again saw me;
she was still weeping, and at times
sobbed audibly. Near her, my father stood
looking at me sadly.
My mother pressed forward and flung her
arms round my neck, saying as she did so,
"God bless you, my son!" and then, blinded
by her tears, she staggered rather than
walked from the room, my father following.
I was immediately searched, then gruffly
ordered to "Fall in and be d--d to you!"
with the rest of the prisoners, seven in
The orders were then given to "Right
face! Forward, march!" and away we went.
In front of this modern bastile we were
again halted. Guards were then stationed
on each side of us, a lieutenant marching
in front with a drawn sword.
We were, upon our arrival at the dépôt,
again halted and drawn up into line, where
we remained for some time, the rain
descending upon us in torrents, drenching
us to the skin. We asked permission of our
guards to seek shelter under a roof where
they themselves were standing, but we
were gruffly refused.
When the rain had ceased we were marched
into one of the railway carriages.
Lieutenant C., belonging to Major Harry
Gilmore's command, sat on the same seat
with me. He was, as I afterwards found,
very loquacious, and, though a perfect
stranger, entered into a spirited
conversation that was kept up nearly the
whole way. As I have before stated, he
did not, of course, know who I was, nor
my name; and once, during a lull in our
discussions, he said -
"By the way, did you ever hear tell of
Miss Belle Boyd?"
I smilingly assented that I had.
"Well," he said, "there isn't a Southerner
who would not lay down his life for her.
When I was at the battle of Winchester I
was wounded, and she came into the hospital
where I was and inquired if there were
any Maryland boys there. Amongst other
delicacies, she gave me some very nice
peach-brandy. She and Mrs. G. were in the
fort, if I err not, cheering us on when we
made a charge and drove the Yankees back.
When she was in Montgomery
Hall, Alabama, in 1863, she attended a
ball held there, and was the belle. She
stopped a duel between two Frenchmen who
were going to fight in the garden attached
to the hotel. When she came back from her
imprisonment she brought me a splendid
uniform. You have no idea how every one
loves and respects her," he added; "however,
she married a Yankee, so I understand. But
Miss Belle would never marry a Yankee, I am
certain; I'll bet he was a rebel: indeed,
I am confident of it ; and --"
"And the gentleman who sits beside you is
her husband," I added, interrupting him;
"and, like yourself, sir, I am a prisoner
held by the Yankees."
I never in my life saw a person so
thoroughly dumfounded and confused for
the moment; but finally he said -
"Well, I trust that you will pardon me
for what I have said; upon my honour I did
not know who you were, or I would never
have done as I have."
"You have said nothing," I replied, "that
a gentleman could construe into an insult;
and I am happy to make the acquaintance
of one who knew my wife so well." And for
the rest of the way we were the best of
We arrived in Philadelphia about
midnight; the same systematic process
of guarding us was gone through with,
and as we were marched out of the
carriages sleepy passengers rubbed their
eyes and stared at the "Johnnies" as
we passed by them. We were quickly moved
over opposite the station. Here we were
halted for a few moments, the lieutenant
leaving us in charge of the sergeant
whilst he went off to gather further
information in regard to our movements.
He returned, however, in a few moments;
and, again taking up our line of march,
we filed to the left, then to the right,
in through a gateway, under an arch, through
what had once been a doorway, then down
through a long corridor whose sides were
filled with camp bedsteads, and finally
a dismal slave-pen, where there were no
windows, only a narrow grated door. This,
we were informed, was to be our quarters
for the night. Our beds were the hard
boards, our coverings what we stood in,
our pillows knapsacks or valises.
Sleep was out of the question; so, for
the consideration of ten dollars in
"greenbacks" (about two pounds sterling),
I purchased from a calculating specimen of
Yankeedom about tenpence worth of tobacco,
and tried to drown my cares and sorrows
by smoking; but, although the "smoke"
vanished, my woes and sorrows still clung
to me. I felt very sore, stiff, cross,
out of temper, and indisposed every way,
which was in a measure increased the next
morning by a breakfast off tin ware, of
something. I know that I was very hungry,
and ate and drank it.
Could any one be more miserable than
we under the circumstances? Soldiers,
sailors, flunkies, women, &c., came and
stared at us.
"So that is him! oh my!" was the sentiment
of a very stout, red-faced woman, staring
in upon me. "Who'd a-thought it of him?
What a wicked man!"
"What will they do with him?" I heard
one ask of another.
"Oh, hang him," was the fellow's reply.
"Roasting's too good for him," said the
other, with a laugh.
"I wonder if I can get a button or piece
of his coat?" I heard some one else say.
"Ask him," said another.
This species of degrading torture I endured
until noon-time; when we were ordered out,
and conducted, still under guard, to the
cars that we had occupied the night before
on our way from Washington, now on our way
to Wilmington, Delaware, where we arrived
in about two hours' time.
Once more we were ordered out of the
carriage. I obeyed the command with an
apathetic listlessness, for I had lost
all spirit, as had the rest of our party,
two of whom were old gentlemen, men who,
already had one foot in the grave,
political prisoners like myself, men who
had refused to take the oath of allegiance
to the United States Government.
This time we had a journey of eight miles
on foot to make. True, apparently, this was
not long; but to us it was indeed so. The
roads were very bad; and almost all of the
way we were over our ankles in mud and
slushy snow; and it was not until after
three hours of this torture that we marched
into Newcastle. As we passed through the
principal street women and men rushed to
the windows and doors to see us, whilst a
guard of honour (?), extemporized from all
the small boys and girls in the village,
attended us in the front and rear, gazing
at us in wonderment.
Arriving at the steamboat landing, much
to our disappointment and surprise, the
steamer was not to be found, and we were
ordered to right about; and this time, as
if to add insult to injury, we were conducted
to the Newcastle gaol, and confined in a
In this horrid place we were left to our
meditations until far into the evening,
when we were marched out; and this time it
was with a sensation of relief that I passed
on to the deck of the Osceola. About 8 p.m.
the Osceola got under way and proceeded down
the river, en route for the fortress, about
twelve miles distant. Several officers
stationed at that place were on board, and
came aft, questioning us, scanning our
attire, features, &c. and, in fact, doing
everything but poke us with sticks to make
Upon our arrival at the landing (about
10 p.m.) the same routine of guarding was
gone through with as I have before described.
At last we reached the provost-marshal's
office. Here our names were registered,
our age, State, when born, profession,
whether citizen or soldier, &c. and, this
accomplished, it being late, we were
conducted into the "Privates' Barracks,"
and lodged in the Virginia division, in
which were confined some thirteen hundred
privates - a place that a gentleman-farmer
in this country would not have permitted
his pigs to live in, much less human beings.
As we entered the doorway yells and
shouts from every side greeted us of
"Fresh fish! fresh fish!" Men and boys
crowded around us to find out from
"whence we came," "what we were held for,"
"who we were," and last, but not least,
"had they gone through us;" in other words,
and more plainly speaking, "had the
sentries outside searched us."
To this last question I assured my
questioners that the Yankees outside had
done so most effectually.
Several of them proposed "tossing us in a
blanket," by way of diversion to the rest,
and many were evidently in favour of it,
when suddenly Sergeant B of the division
sprang forward and shouted out at the top
of his voice -
"By Jove! boys, this gentleman is Miss
Belle Boyd's husband; you wouldn't wound
her feelings by insulting him, would you?"
In an instant the shout that was raised
was perfectly deafening. I was received
with empressement by the whole body of
In spite of this, however, I passed a
miserable night, and awoke more dead than
alive with the excessive cold, having no
covering to shield me from the weather,
the hard floor for my bed. At 9 a.m I ate
my initiatory meal at Fort Delaware,
consisting of a piece of flinty bread and
the smallest morsel of pork, yellow with
age. The latter delicacy I gave away, not
having been here long enough to appreciate
such dainties and eat anything that was
placed before me.
Jan. 1st, 1865. - I passed a dreadful
New Year's Eve; cowering over the fire
until far into the mid-watch, with
my gloomy thoughts for sole companions
- fitting company, though, for such
a place as this. The floor is my
bed again to-night, and I sleep as the
dogs sleep - half-waking, half-sleeping.
Once I awoke, hearing some one engaged
in prayer; deep silence prevailed round
about; and whoever he was - the speaker
I mean - he spoke impressively. Before
I retired for the night I called upon
General Vance and his staff, and passed
a very pleasant evening.
Jan. 2nd. - Some of the "boys" gave me
a blanket, and another handed me his
overcoat; so that I managed to sleep
warmer than usual. Found several friends
of mine here from Mobile, Alabama. Captain
W. gave me a very good cup of coffee for
my dinner. The days drag wearily by, God
knows. Everybody treats me kindly. I have
found warm friends. Am getting accustomed
to my "feather bed of boards."
Jan. 2nd. - Two letters. Very gloomy,
and dull, and cold. In the evening heard
some very fine singing; Captain -- sang
an aria from "Norma" that he rendered
Jan. 3rd and 4th. - Wrote to my friends
outside the prison to-day. Whilst engaged
in this occupation, one of General Vance's
aides brought me an invitation from the
General to dine with them. Passed a
pleasant afternoon in their society; and
was introduced to Captain M., brother of
General M., the distinguished Kentucky
cavalry officer, and we became very warm
Jan. 5th. - I attempted my first cup of
tea this morning. Just fancy my having
turned cook! My friends laughed heartily
at my handiwork; for I put the tea in the
cup, then the snow upon that, waiting for
that to melt into water and boil. Meanwhile
the tea suffered the natural result of such
stupidity by being burnt.
Jan. 6th. - Saw an account in the paper
of my friend Mrs. Col. -- having been sent
South. Thank God she is free!
Jan. 8th. - Received a letter from one
of my friends outside to-day, smuggled in
by the underground route; there is hope
for me yet in Rome with Nero. Saw an
account of my removal from the Carroll
Prison here, headed -
"THE HUSBAND OF BELLE BOYD. - The
husband of Belle Boyd, the famous Rebel
Spy, took refreshments in the guard-house
of the Citizen's Volunteer Hospital on
Friday afternoon, on his way to Fort Delaware.
Dr. (?) Kenderdine was careful to provide
secure quarters for this noted individual."
Jan. 9th and 10th. - Damp weather.
Afflicted with the "blues." My feet so
swollen that I cannot put my boots on.
Jan. 11th. - Whitewashed our division
to-day. The guard kept us out in the
snow, that had fallen heavily. Passed the
time away by snow-balling one another.
One of these frozen missiles falling near
a sentry, he deliberately fired upon us,
but fortunately without doing any mischief,
although the ball ploughed the snow up
very near one of our party.
The "Pens" - Officers' Barracks -
Privates' Barracks - The "Galvanized"
Barracks - Galvanization and its results
- General T.'s experiment - The Barracks
by Night - A Reckless Sentry - The wrong
THE places where the prisoners are held
here are called "pens;" and they are
correctly designated, for they are nothing
more. Any one who may at any period of his
life have attended a "cattle-show" can
readily portray to himself the places we
inhabit. These habitations, boarded
and roughly put together, remind one very
forcibly of old-fashioned farm-house barns,
where, in the old times, your poor horse
shivered the night through, standing
uneasily in his stall, whilst his master
slept comfortably within the chimney-corner.
Officially and by courtesy they were
denominated "barracks," of which there are
three distinct kinds upon this island;
viz., the Officers' Barracks, the Privates'
Barracks, and last, but not least, the
Allegiance Barracks; or, as they are
commonly termed, the "Whitewashed," or
In, the Officers' Barracks are held some
fifteen or eighteen hundred officers and
political prisoners - about 150 in all
of the latter.
In the Privates' Barracks, which occupy
a little more space, and whose divisions
are somewhat larger than those of the
former, are crowded together, in their
misery, some nine or ten thousand soldiers,
from almost every regiment and command
in the Southern Confederacy. Many of
these poor fellows are but half-clad, and
suffer terribly from the cold, inclement
winter of the North. Many of them, by far
the largest portion, are without friends in
the North to whom they could apply, and
are therefore indebted to the Yankees for
the very little clothing that is at times
given to them, but which is never given
unless every vestige of the original garment
has entirely disappeared, and common
decency demands it. Many of them are
young, scions of some of the noblest and
proudest families in the South; men who
before this war knew naught of want and
trouble; men who had from infancy been
reared in the lap of luxury, and are now
enduring everything - insult, imprisonment,
and starvation - willingly, and without
murmuring; patriots, whose names will yet
live to be handed down to posterity as
noblest among the noble.
And, lastly, the Galvanized Barracks.
These are domiciled by Southern soldiers
who have taken the oath of allegiance to
the United States upon being imprisoned
here. These "patriots" remain in this
delectable spot for one year, and are
made to work for the State, to prove
their devotion to Mr. Lincoln's Government,
by hauling wood and doing the disagreeable
duties of the prison. These fellows are
allowed to draw rations daily, and to
live the same as the garrison in every
respect as regards their food. Moreover,
they are permitted to receive boxes
containing clothing and luxuries,
which those who choose to remain constant;
to their principles cannot, unless they
possess the influence of outside friends.
As regards their love for the "old flag"
and devotion to the Union, I can hardly deem
myself competent to pronounce judgment
correctly. But an excellent story is told
of these individuals, which is not unworthy
of attention, as it may in a measure serve
to show how far these patriots should be
General S-- and his staff once paid them
a visit. Upon entering their abode, the
General stated to them that there was to
be an exchange of prisoners, and that all
those who still desired to go back to the
South might do so.
"Now," he added, "all those who feel
inclined to do so, step over on the left
of the division."
Every one them went over; not a man
remaining of the many who had grown to
love the Federal Government as at present
It is said General S-- laughed, and
remarked, "Well, that will do; I only
wanted to find out whom I could trust -
to ascertain if any of you were really
These barracks or pens are divided into
divisions, each division having a stove,
for the purpose of heating, in a manner,
quarters that would otherwise be untenable.
They range in length from eighty to one
hundred feet, and in breadth measure about
thirty feet. They are separated from one
another by thin partitions of boarding, so
that really they are quite connected, as
conversations carried on in one can be
distinctly heard in the other. On each
side of these places, wide structures of
wood are built, two stories in height,
which are reached by means of wooden chats
nailed to the supports. Upon these elevated
platforms each prisoner is apportioned
off so much space for his sleeping and
At night calcium lights, placed at one
end of the barracks, throw their broad
glare upon the square of something less
than an acre of mud and boards. Delectable
spot in rainy weather, with its ditches
filled with muddy yellow water! Splendid
place in the summer for disease; and many
a poor fellow has looked his last upon
this earth, dying here, far away from his
home, struck down by the small-pox or some
virulent, fearful malady.
Escapes during the sunnier months are
not unfrequent; but in winter all such
attempts are put an end to from the inclemency
of the weather, the floating ice in the
river, and the utter impossibility of any
one, however bold and daring a swimmer he
might be, living any length of time in
The regulations for the prevention of
escape, &c., are rigorous enough, but
they are still more rigorously carried
One of the prisoners in the Privates'
Barracks, rising one morning, carelessly,
and without thinking of the consequences
that might ensue, threw some dirty water
out of the pigeon-hole which answered the
purpose of a window, and served to lighten
up in a manner the gloom within.
The water, splashing on the ground,
attracted the attention of a sentinel
who was standing guard about twenty paces
distant; and, without warning, he brought
his musket to a "ready," and fired
haphazard in the direction from whence
the water was thrown, hitting, not the
aggressor, but an innocent youth who had
just awakened, and was gazing out upon
the dreary scene that presented itself
before him, perfectly unconscious of
his danger, or how near unto death's
door he was passing.
A piteous Spectacle - The Old Men's
Petition - Piety of the Southern Soldiery
- A Young Men's Christian Association -
A Prison Service - Our Guardians -
Colonel Wood - Mr. Wilson - Tom S. the
Toady - How Tom got his Situation - The
Ladies' Attendants - Aunt Lizzie - Mr. L.
- The Spy Discomfited - Our Cuisine -
Scrap Pudding - How the Prison Officers
made their Profit.
ABOUT the middle of January I saw one of
the most piteous spectacles, I think, that
I ever had the misfortune to witness. Four
men, old and decrepit, one of them tottering
on the entrance to the valley of shadows,
men whose gray beards and venerable
aspects ought to have commanded at least
sympathy from the presiding powers at
Washington, were brought in as prisoners.
They were to be held here until exchanged
- men who could not possibly be of any
benefit whatever to either side, North or
South. These men were arrested on the 3rd
of August last by a captain in the United
States navy, who was on shore, in command
of a raiding-party, and who brought them
back prisoners on board his vessel. They
were confined in the hold for five months,
and then transferred to the supply steamer
Massachusetts, and sent to Philadelphia,
and from thence, upon her arrival, were
forwarded to Fort Delaware. Truly if this
was the sole result of the brave captain's
raid, he had nothing to feel proud of.
Upon their arrival here they excited the
"commiseration" even of Adjutant Ahl, who
informed them, if they would take the oath
and draw up a petition to the Secretary
of War, that he himself would forward it
for them to the proper authorities. Below
I subjoin the letter that they had written,
by friends who volunteered their services
in the barracks, and to which they respectively
signed their names. One of them recounted
to me his misfortunes and those of his
comrades, and I confess that, as I sat
listening to his recital, I felt moved.
"We have been treated very badly, very
badly," he said, in conclusion - "confined
in the hold of the vessel for most of the
time; and we are all of us very old men,
sir, and we never did them any harm."
"Jan. 16th, 1865.
"Capt. Geo. H. Ahl, A.A.A. Genl.
with your request, we enclose
you the written petition to the Secretary
of War, and we solicit your kindness to have
it forwarded at your earliest convenience.
You have seen our condition and can appreciate
the truthfulness of our statements. If,
therefore, you find it consistent with your
views of duty and humanity to add thereto
the recommendation of the Commanding General
of this post, or such other good word in
our behalf as you may deem best, you will
add greatly to the obligations we are
already under for your considerate attention.
"Jan. 16th, 1865
"Hon. E M. Stanton, Secretary of War.
"The Petition of the undersigned humbly
sheweth, that they are citizens of the
State of Georgia, and residents of
McIntosh County, whence we were seized
and taken on the 3rd of August last, by a
raiding party under the command of Captain
Colverconerris, of the United States Navy,
and, after five months of close and severe
confinement on board vessel, have been
transferred to the military prison at Fort
Delaware, where we are at the present
writing of this. We were, at the time of
our capture, peaceable citizens, engaged
in the pursuit of our several civil
occupations, non-combatants, having never
been engaged in any military service or
duty to the Confederate authorities, and
are, from our advanced age and physical
disabilities, wholly incapable of such
service as the field, neither of us being
less than fifty, some of us over sixty years
of age, and one of us being deprived of a
leg, which was lost by accident many years
ago. Being thus incapable of contributing
anything towards the continuance of this
war, or the result of this unfortunate
struggle between the sections of our once
common country, and having, in the course
of nature, but few remaining days to look
for on this earth, we indulge the hope,
and appeal to the humanity of the enlightened
Government in whose hands we are placed,
that those days shall not be shortened by
the terrific rigours of an imprisonment
which cannot otherwise be endured. To this
appeal of our extreme age and helplessness,
and our entirely civil and non-combative
character, we have to add that our homes
are now within your military lines as
recently established by the forces under
the command of Major-General Sherman. Under
this state of affairs, we humbly beg to
be, as soon as practicable, released from
confinement and returned to our homes,
where we engage to remain
as heretofore, and, as our physical
condition compels, quiet and peaceable
citizens. To this end we are willing and
ready to subscribe to the usual oath of
allegiance to the United States Government.
Trusting that the petition and appeal may
receive a speedy and favourable response,
we shall, as in duty bound,"
"Ever remain, your obedient Servants,"
"WM JAMES CANNON,
"WM. RILY TOWNSEND,
Yankees generally are very susceptible
to flattery, at least those in authority
at Washington; and let us hope that the few
masterly touches of the ingenious, if not
diplomatic author, will not fail to have
its desired effect upon hearts that are
proverbial for their adamantine qualities.
Since my sojourn here I have had ample
opportunities of observing the spirit of
piety and godliness amongst the Southern
soldiery. A Young Men's Christian Association
was organized some time ago, and prayer
meetings are held nightly in some one of
the divisions, whilst prayers and readings
from the Bible take place in each division
every evening about half an hour before
the lights are put out, either conducted
by some chaplain or Confederate officer.
In their plods regard for the Sabbath day
and God's command to keep it holy, I know
of no nation which approaches nearer to
the marked devotion of the English people
than the Southerners. The Sabbath day
is always passed in a quiet and orderly
manner, service being held in different
parts of the barracks. It was my very good
fortune to attend the meeting held by the
Rev. Mr. Kinsolving, in Division 23. His
service was attended by all grades of
rank and he certainly spoke and read with
- what is very rare with the public
speakers of the present day - much
feeling and pathos, so different from
the rant and fume of a certain sensational
preacher of the word of God that I once
had the misfortune to hear in the "City
of Churches." *
You will like to hear something of our
gaolers. Here they are. Colonel Wood, our
superintendent, could be a gentleman if he
wished. With a mind cultured and at once
deep and penetrating, he appears to have
brutalized himself by contact with those
with whom he has associated. I have watched
the man closely in both phases - in one,
running about the ground like an enraged
tiger, whilst his subordinates clear to
the right and left, fearful of their
tyrannical master. Finally venting his spleen
* Brooklyn, Long Island, State of New York.
upon some unfortunate one, he subsides
into quiet, and his official dignity now
feels half-ashamed of the disturbance he
has succeeded in creating about him!
I have heard him use language that
modest ears would hardly dare to listen
to - not merely commonplace oaths, but
curses both loud and deep, and horrible
to hear. A fit disciple of Tom Payne and
Voltaire! for W. is an Atheist.
Atheism is his hobby. His arguments are
good in the defence of his "creed;" but,
reasoner, and a deep one, though he is,
I do not believe that he has faith in it.
Conversing on this subject one day he said,
"There is my Bible," laying his hand on a
volume of Voltaire!
"And, Colonel Wood," I replied, "like
Voltaire, on your death-bed you will cry
out in your agony, upon God to save you!"
He pondered for a moment, then said,
"Well, I might. Your Bible says, that those
who believe in Christ, even in the eleventh
hour, shall be saved."
Again, the Colonel can be as suave and
polite, as affable and courteous, as any
who have moved in the best society - as
gentle and as tender. It is only, Madame
Rumour whispers, that he is cruel when
under the influence of morphia or opium.
In his movements he is quick and energetic
- a man of medium stature. His is a
peculiar eye - keen and gray; at times
cold and perfectly expressionless, at others
full of shrewdness and keenness. Dressed
in black coat and gray trousers and vest,
his large head covered with a broad-brimmed
black slouched hat, you have W. P. Wood,
the Vidocq, or, better still, perhaps the
Jonathan Wild, of America.
Mr. Wilson, the Colonel's right-hand man,
the under-superintendent, from what little
I saw of him, appeared to be a gentleman,
straightforward in his dealings, and a
man of very few words. He dresses plainly,
and wears a slouched felt hat. Every one
wears felt hats now. "It is only foreigners
and Southerners who carry canes and wear
tall hats," said a friend of mine to me
one day when in conversation with him.
Next to the Colonel, W. is the busiest
man in the prison. He it is who has charge
of the prisoners, and who rules supreme
in the Colonel's absence. Every morning
at eight o'clock he comes round and calls
the muster-roll of the prisoners in their
rooms, and hands them their letters, which,
however, are invariably opened and read
before they leave the office below.
Colonel Colby, the military commandant,
who has charge of this post, I saw but
little of; but we all liked him, for he
was ever courteous and polite, and had
always a good word for us.
Fortunately for myself, I was not under
the tender guardianship of the "officers
of the Keyes," so of them I can say but
little, save that they attended to their
business with punctilious strictness.
Another individual in this modern
Bastille is a decided toady to Colonel
Wood. He rejoices in the name of Tom
Stackpole, and has charge of the beds and
bedding, and he attempts to imitate him
in his every action. In his accomplishment
of swearing he is even a greater proficient
than the Colonel. In his walk he outdoes
him. If there is a man that he hates and
fears more than all others, it is certainly
Colonel Wood. Indeed, I think, like
Jonathan Wild. the Colonel can trust his
menials because he knows a portion of their
life which it would not do to publish to
During the late election in the United
States, Tom made himself conspicuous by
pulling down from the pole upon which it
was hoisted the American flag, and tearing
it because it bore upon its folds the names
of McClellan and Pendleton. For this hardy
act he was promoted to the position that he
The female servants of the prison, with
the exception of "Aunt Lizzie," were the
worst and most degraded beings I ever
had the misfortune of seeing. The Five
Points of New York, or the lowest dens of
infamy, could not produce a worse crowd.
Yet this scum were hired to wait upon
the ladies who were here held - for
Heaven knows what; but prisoners nevertheless.
But "Aunt Lizzie," as she was called by
every one here, stood on her dignity. No
one insulted her; always laughing and good
natured, Aunt Lizzie prided herself upon
belonging formerly to the Snowdon family.
"My name, sah, am Aunt Lizzie Snowdon,
sah, and I'm berry proud of it, sah."
Straightforward and ever scrupulous, in
her Colonel Wood had one faithful attendant.
She was not to be bribed nor cajoled. None
could see her smiling face and feel gloomy:
a good word she had for everybody. She it
was who mended our linen and washed our
clothes. Aunt Lizzie was certainly a good
feature in this prison, and many besides
myself will, I am sure, remember her with
feelings of gratitude.
Mr. L-- is another gentleman who
rejoices in belonging to the corps that
is commanded by Colonel Wood. He is the
"Jerry Sneak " of this institution. His
nose is everywhere, and his eyes are upon
everything. If a visitor comes to see a
friend confined here, Mr. L-- stands
near at hand, noting down in his memory
the conversation, whilst apparently engaged
in trimming his nails, or fixing his eyes
on dreamland, as he notes down their
words. If in the court when the prisoners
are walking about, he is always looking
on and smiling, or has some soft word of
"endearment" to say to new-comers, to
bring against them when their time
comes. I was particularly the object of his
hatred, and our hate was mutual.
I had very grievously offended him. One
day a gentleman called to see me. Upon
entering I seated myself close to the
gentleman. Mr. L-- took a chair, and
placing his legs between us, stretched
himself complacently at full length, and
prepared, as was his custom, to listen.
Of course our hopes of a conversation
were to all appearances at an end. For
some moments I stood it calmly, but at
last I could stand it no longer. "There
are," I said very quietly, "in this prison,
spies; bearers of stories, ever ready for
anything mean and contemptible; but the
meanest and most contemptible of them
all is - I beg your pardon, sir," turning
suddenly to him, "is yourself, Mr L--."
"I can't help it," said that individual,
looking piteously at me. But the shot
had taken effect, Mr. L -- removed his
chair to the fire, and our conversation
Of the cuisine of Fort Delaware there is
not much to be said in praise. Two meals
are served out to us daily, consisting
of one piece of peculiarly constructed
bread, and one ditto of indescribable salt,
yellowish-coloured pork, or meat that has
had its nutriment entirely boiled out of
it in the making of soup for the garrison,
previous to its being apportioned out to
Occasionally a mixture, designated by
our persecutors as soup, and containing
an ample sufficiency of maggots, is doled
out to us in tin pots. It is an indescribable
olla prodrida of soups of every kind, and
in its appearance reminds one irresistibly
of the sty and the trough. Coffee and tea
are luxuries never seen in the shed where
we receive our rations. Only those who
are fortunate enough to have money
are ever enabled to procure these articles
from the Butler, who, although selling a
very good kind, does not forget to charge
a very exorbitant price for his considerate (!)
These meals thus served out to us are
called respectively breakfast and dinner,
misnomers for such luxuries in the outside
world, however poor they may be. What
would our English friends, who are, I
believe, by no means averse to good cheer,
think, if they could try it for a few weeks,
of the nutritious food, the unparalleled
good treatment of the prisoners held here,
of which the Federals boast so loudly?
These pleasant meals are served to us
at nine in the morning and three in the
afternoon. The cook-house, as it is named,
from whence this food is served
out to us by its grinning demons, is a
large room, in length about one hundred
feet, by sixty in width, filled partially with
long and very narrow tables, constructed
of pine-boards. Upon two generally, though
sometimes there were more, are placed at
regular intervals our pieces of bread (by
courtesy) and our ditto of meat. About
half-past eight some subordinate of the
cook-house shouts out the command to "fall
in 28!" or "31!" and whichever portion of
the officers' barracks may be first mentioned,
the inmates immediately respond by coming
forth from their separate divisions, and
falling in by twos or threes, march up
to the entrance of the cook-house.
Here we are generally kept waiting for
several minutes until the door is thrown
open when we enter and file in single
column down the table, taking our allotted
rations as we pass on, until the end of the
table is reached, when on again, we face to
the right about, retracing out steps out of
the room, and are once more fain to return
to our dens or eat in the open air. The
latter alternative, however, is not very
often chosen, as it is winter, and we are
but scantily clothed.
Each division, during the cold weather,
is provided with a stove for the purpose
of heating, in a measure, places that would
have otherwise been untenantable. Over
this some one or more of us are generally
pretty much occupied in cooking sundry
nondescript dishes, composed of odds and
ends, and which I find from experience are
not altogether unsavoury after once
conquering the repugnance felt upon being
brought into contact with such very
unaccustomed food. Coffee-pots, tea-pots,
and oftentimes mugs and dippers, are
piled upon every conceivable spot or
space large enough to admit of such
packing; and in cold weather to approach
anywhere near the stove is a thing utterly
impossible, owing to the numbers surrounding
Political prisoners have the privilege
of procuring their meals from the kitchen,
provided they can make some arrangement
with the heads of that department, and have
the money necessary to back them in such
arrangements. After I had been imprisoned
for two weeks, I managed to have "an
interview" with the presiding dignitary
of this steaming sanctum, which resulted
favourably; and henceforth, instead of
living, as I had for the past fourteen
days, upon bread and water (for I never
ate the pork), I dined regularly upon meat,
potatoes, and coffee for breakfast, dinner,
and supper, having for my comrade and
messmate Major R--, Quartermaster on
General Ramseur's staff.
Several messes of this description were
thus formed, many of them having from
six to eight members. By feeing the
"cookmaster" we managed to get several
extras occasionally, so that, altogether,
we managed to get along better than we
should have done had we been without
money or without friends.
For a consideration, some one of the
lower class of men confined here enacts
the duties of cook, and sets and clears off
the dishes (tin-ware) from the table (in our
case a cheese-box on legs), and announces
the meals when ready for us. We might have
fared better, but Rumour whispers that
the sutler and presiding officials at
the fort are leagued together, and that
the order prohibiting luxuries being
forwarded here by friends was made as
much for the benefit of themselves as for
the irritation that it occasioned to us,
as it is utterly impossible to procure
anything unless through the shark of a
sutler, who charges exorbitantly for his
Miss McDonough - A brutal Outrage -
Treatment of Mr. W. R. Coyner - The
"Court-martial" - Sentence "Tossing in a
Blanket" -The Torture by Fire - Fort
Delaware - A Box of Clothing - A Man of
Consequence - Adjutant and General - The
Blankets at last - The "Softest Plank."
I HAVE already spoken of Poor Miss
McDonough. She was taken prisoner last
summer upon the charge of having murdered
a Federal officer. At the time of this alleged
murder, Miss McDonough was nowhere
in the vicinity, and it was only in
hopes that her brother would be advised of
her arrest, and surrender himself in her stead,
that this shameful seizure was made.
James McDonough was a Lieutenant in
Mosby's command, somewhere in the Valley
of the Shenandoah, and Captain B. was shot by
him (not murdered) when, during a skirmish, he
refused to surrender himself prisoner. It was for
this justifiable act of war she was made to suffer.
Miss McDonough was compelled to remain in a
room * perfectly stifling with noisome smells.
Add to this the fact that she was continually
fretting for fear her brother would deliver himself
up for her. Can it then be wondered at that she
should have died there, far away from her
friends and those she loved?
* The same in which Belle Boyd was held so
During my sojourn in the Carroll Prison,
I one evening called upon Mrs. --, a lady
prisoner from Galveston, Texas, who tended
Miss McDonough with motherly care during
her illness. Poor Mollie was then in a state of
semi-insensibility, and was barely conscious
of what was going on about her, when Colonel
Wood, the superintendent of the prison, burst
into the room, shouting out at the top of his
voice, "Hooray! Jem McDonough's caught,
and will swing, by --! before the week is out."
Miss McDonough slowly raised herself in
the bed until nearly upright, stared wildly
about her for an instant, and, uttering a
piercing shriek, fell insensible upon the floor.
I sprang forward, but Mrs. -- was beside
her before me; and I, turning full upon the
author of this outrage, remarked
excitedly, "By --! Colonel Wood, if I
ever catch you in Virginia when I get a
command, you shall swing for this, sir."
Another instance of Yankee brutality
and vindictiveness was related to me by
the young gentleman himself, Mr. R.
Coyner, a private in the old 7th Virginia
regiment of cavalry.
At the time of his capture he was on
furlough at Moorfields, Virginia. On the
12th of October, 1863, he was taken
prisoner by a force of Federal infantry,
under Captain Jarbon, and conveyed to
Petersburg, Western Virginia, when he
was handed over to Colonel Mulligan, who
not only paroled him, but treated him with
kindness and attention.
Here he remained until the 24th of October,
when he was sent under a strong guard to
New Creek Station, on the Baltimore
and Ohio Railroad, where he arrived
late at night on the 25th. Here his
sufferings began. He was thrown into a
large damp cellar, where were huddled
together about seventy Yankee deserters,
murderers, and bounty pumpers, where he
was kept until the 26th, subsisting upon
hard biscuits and cold water, which were
served to them twice during the day.
On the 26th he was taken from thence
and carried to Baltimore. Upon his arrival
he was placed in Campell's slave-pen, then
under the charge of the infamous Colonel
Fish, who was afterwards sentenced to the
Albany Penitentiary for various crimes.
Early on the morning of the 27th, Mr.
Coyner was again ordered out of his place
of confinement, and conducted, still under
guard, to Fort McHenry, which he reached
about 11 a.m. of the same day, and was
immediately placed in what is known as
the "Solitary Cell."
Here the company was as select as that at
New Creek Station, comprising as it did
murderers, and thieves, and other wretches.
of the deepest dye. In this solitary cell,
where he was doomed to pass a weary
interval of time, no windows admitted the
light of day, no lamp was permitted at night.
The apartment, or rather den, was cold and
noisome; its walls thick with mildew, the
floor covered with filth of every kind, and
literally swarming with insects; none of the
prisoners held here being ever allowed to
leave the place for any purpose whatever.
Here young Coyner upon entering found
two other Confederate soldiers with ball
and chain attached to their legs; the
cause assigned for this treatment by the
Yankee authorities being simply, that they
Young Coyner himself had not remained
here more than an hour when the sergeant
entered, and with the assistance of his men
placed a 42 Por. ball and chain upon his
left ankle, adding that if he attempted to
take it off he would shoot him. He
remained here, and in this condition, for
three months and a half, and his sufferings,
as he related them to me, were certainly
horrible in the extreme.
The first night that he passed in this
"hell upon earth," as he termed it, could
never be obliterated from his memory. A
mock court-martial was held, before which
he was arraigned upon the charge of being
a rebel and guerilla; the remainder of
those in the den looking on, laughing
spectators of the scene.
Of course the result of this court-martial
may be inferred; he was found guilty, and
the court pronounced the following sentence
upon him; viz., "To be tossed in a blanket
until lifeless." This was immediately carried
into effect, the Federal guards looking on,
amused spectators of the scene, taking no heed
of his piteous appeals to them for mercy or
protection, but on the contrary inciting his
persecutors by words and gestures to carry
the sentence into effect.
Handed over to them, he was tossed
thirteen times, each time falling heavily
upon his head or sides; when, finally, more
dead then alive, he was permitted to crawl
off amidst the jeers and laughter of his
tormentors, who were highly elated at the
manner in which they had eventually
succeeded in eliciting groans from their
Thoroughly sick, and feeling like one
more dead than alive, poor Coyner,
bruised and sore, endeavoured to court
sleep, and thus, in a measure, to drive off
the fearful thoughts that were at times
nearly driving him mad. He eventually fell
into an uneasy slumber, and may have slept
for an hour, when he was awakened by fire
being applied to his feet by the "Judge-
Advocate," of this mock court, who gloried
in the name of Kelly, and who exultantly
boasted of having murdered his captain for
This fresh torture of young Coyner was
considered the very acme of pleasure and
amusement by his tormentors, some of
whom held him, whilst others applied the
burning paper to his feet, the fire being
supplied to them for this purpose by the
sentries. He showed me the scars caused
by the severe burns that he had received -
scars that he will take with him to the
It was in vain that he appealed for mercy.
At last wearied out, they permitted him to
go free for the time being. "By these
miserable brutes," said young Coyner, "I
was not permitted to speak in defence of
my country, nor yet assert my rights. If I
remonstrated with them, I was knocked
down and kicked by my brutal persecutors,
"This kind of treatment I endured for a
period of three months and a half, when I
was ordered out of this horrible place by
the Provost-Marshal, whom I found to be
kind and compassionate, and who in my
case was but obeying his superiors. He
placed me in a very nice and comfortable
room which the Confederate officers held,
and removed from my ancle the ball and
chain that had so long been my companions
in my misery.
"Here I remained until the 12th of May,
when I was removed to Fort Delaware to
serve out a sentence of court-martial; viz.,
'Hard labour for the war' - that had been
passed upon me by my tyrannical captors."
It is worthy of remark that, out of those
nine officers who composed one of the most
atrocious military commissions that was
ever assembled, and before whom he was
arraigned, all, with the exception of one of
its members, have already met a violent
death. Eight were killed before the 20th
of June by Southern bullets, and the
remaining one lies already at the point of
death, struck down by consumption's fatal
shaft, which is slowly but surely working
out his fate.
"Here I am for the present," he said, in
concluding his narrative: "how long I am
to remain I know not; but I am willing to
suffer any and every thing for my country
and her cause."
Previous to my incarceration in Fort
Delaware, and whilst I was yet a prisoner
in the Carroll, I received a letter from my
mother, in which she mentioned that she
was about to forward to me a trunk filled
with winter clothing and some few little
articles necessary for my comfort, but before
it came I was sent to the fort.
Here the régime was much stricter, and
prohibited the prisoners from receiving
anything whatsoever in the shape of food,
and it was only by special permit that even
clothing was allowed to be sent here,
the different expresses refusing to accept
parcels unless they had pasted upon the
outside the passport of the fort.
Desirous of keeping myself warm at least,
I wrote to the Assistant Adjutant-General of
the post, George W. Ahl, the following letter: -
"Jan. 4th, 1865,
"Capt. Geo. W. Ahl.
"SIR, -"Will you permit the undersigned
to receive two blankets and a box that has
already been forwarded to him from his
mother's residence, Brooklyn, Long Island?
"And I am, Sir,
"S. WILDE HARDINGE."
This I forwarded to him by mail, although
my friends scouted the idea of my ever
receiving an answer to it; and their conjectures
were correct, for Captain Ahl did
not deign to notice it. Whether it was owing
to the weight of his official duties, or to his
supreme contempt for rebels, I was never
able to ascertain.
Finally, however, one day, as I sat
thinking upon my dreary imprisonment, of
you my wife, and home associations,
affected decidedly with the "blues," - Mr.
J., whose misfortune it was to have been a
Democrat and the editor of a Baltimore
journal, said, "Well, Mr. H., have you
received a reply to the letter you wrote the
"No, sir," I responded, gloomily.
"Well, try the General: he ranks several
grades above an adjutant, and is therefore
not so important as the lesser bird."
"By Jove!" I replied, "the idea is a good
one;" and forthwith I wrote.
Certes, the General was far more
polite and attentive to his prisoners than
his adjutant; for the next day I received by
mail the following order: -
Paste on the outside of the Box.
Anything not mentioned in this Permit will be
Jan. 10th, 1865.
Supt. Old Carroll Prison,
Has permission to send:
(1) One box now in his possession, provided
it contains clothing,
To Sam W. Hardinge,
A Prisoner of War at this Fort.
By command of
Brig.-General A. Schoepf,
G. W. Ahl,
Capt. &; A.A.A. Genl.,
P. S. Hemings.
Of course this was all that was desired; and
in a few days I had the extreme pleasure of
overhauling the contents of this much-coveted
box. And, oh! you of the outside world, who
have never in winter slept without blankets,
nor indulged in that very dubious luxury
"the softest plank," for a bed in some modern
bastile - you, I say, can never conceive the
joy that I felt swelling up within me as "I laid
me down to sleep" that night, wrapping myself
up in this warm embrace. You, doubtless,
would not envy me the luxury; and yet there
were plenty of poor fellows here, without
money and without friends, sleeping calmly
and peacefully around me, as I have slept,
without blankets to cover them, only their
"martial cloaks" - and they are very ragged
- for a covering.
Wanted at the Fort - The Order for Release
- Farewells - Free at last - A cool Reception
- An undignified Costume - No Conveyance -
The Walk to Wilmington - Home once more -
Conclusion of Mr. Hardinge's Journal.
ON the 3rd of February, whilst seated with
Major R. and Adjutant C--, talking of our
anticipated exchange, the sergeant of the
barracks came into the division and inquired
for me. I immediately descended from my
perch and presented myself before him,
inquiring as I did so the purport of his visit.
"You're wanted at the fort - General P--
wants you. Follow me," was the reply.
Half wondering what it was, and drawing
closer about me my apology for a blanket,
for it was a very cold afternoon, I followed
my conductor until I reached the fort, when
I was immediately ushered into the august
presence of the commandant, who stared
hard at me, without, however, saying
One of his aides, evidently a secretary,
handed me, after a few moments had
elapsed, the following document, which
was to be my safe-conduct by sea and
"Fort Delaware, Del.,
"Feb. 3d, 1865.
"S. Wilde Hardinge
is hereby released from confinement at
this Post, in compliance
with the following Telegram from the War
Department, dated Feb. 3d, 1865: -
"Brig.-Genl. A. Schoepf,
"The Secretary of
War directs the release
of S. Wilde Hardinge, a Prisoner at Fort
Delaware. Acknowledge receipt, and inform
me when Mr. Hardinge leaves the island.
(Sgd.) "JAMES A. HARDEE,
"Col. and Insp.-Genl.;
(Seal) "A. SCHOEPF,
The General then
remarked, "Mr. H --,
you have now our permission to leave the
island. Will you go to-night or to-morrow
morning? Do you go to Baltimore or New
York City? I presume you will leave for
Europe by the first
To this I made answer, saying, "I will
go now. My destination is New York;
and I thank God I am free. Rest assured
that I shall not trouble the Government by
remaining longer than I can help. Good
afternoon, sir;" and, turning, I left the
room and walked rapidly back, still
accompanied by the sergeant, to the
barracks, that soldier remarking, "By --!
you're an awfully lucky chap."
I was not long, I can assure you, in packing
up what few things I had; and then came the
final adieus and partings. I confess that I felt
badly as I took Major R -- by the hand and
bade him good-bye, for he had ever been a
good friend and counsellor of mine.
I am not ashamed to confess that my
eyes were filled with tears as one after
another of my friends gathered around,
shaking hands with me, wishing me a
"God speed you, Hardinge," "God bless
you, my boy," "Hope to meet you in
Dixie soon," "Write to me,?" &c.- words
that I shall never forget, for they came
from the lips of some of the bravest spirits
in the Southern Confederacy.
It was very fortunate that I had taken the
precaution to hide my papers carefully
about my person; for, upon reentering the
guard-room previous to leaving the island,
my bundle was first thoroughly inspected,
then my pockets, the lining of my felt hat,
and my boots; but here the soldier employed
for that purpose luckily stopped.
I was then permitted to step on board of a
small steam-tug which lay at the wharf. This
in a few moments cast off from her moorings,
and she slowly glided away from the Château
d'If of America, daintily picking her way
through the miniature bergs that impeded our
progress to the mainland, which, although
only about seven miles distant, we were
nearly two hours in reaching.
It was with feelings of unmistakable
pleasure that I felt my feet pressing once
more terra firma, and experienced the
gratifying sensation awakening itself
within me that I was once more my own
master. So, drawing my tattered blanket
about me, I stepped into the hotel that
stood near the landing, and inquired the
distance to Wilmington.
The proprietor of this country place
eyed me suspiciously; the dog who had
been basking at the fire rose and growled
at me; and the frequenters of the place,
who were seated round the stove smoking
or drinking, by their looks inferred as
plainly as tongue could speak, "He is an
escaped prisoner." And no wonder, when I
describe to you my presentation dress
upon the occasion.
A felt hat, remarkable only for its being
crownless, adorned my head; a ragged
blanket sufficed - only in a measure,
however - to keep the cold from my
coatless body; a pair of "inexpressibles,"
horribly dilapidated, encased my lower
extremities; a boot on one foot, and the
other wrapped up in old rags. Is it a
wonder, then, that I was an object of
Seating myself near the fire, I called for
a glass of wine, which was handed to me
by the bar-tender, who muttered something
about a desire that he had of seeing "the
colour of my money."
To this I replied by drawing out my
pocket-book, and offering him a fifty-dollar
greenback, desiring him to give me small
moneys for it. In an instant the conduct
of those present underwent a complete
change; the bar-tender was all smirks and
bows, and, with an urbanity that was all the
more strikingly apparent from his former
behaviour, desired to know if I wished to
have an apartment.
"No; I wish to go to Wilmington. How
far is it from here?"
"Sixteen miles," was the reply.
"Is there any conveyance that will take
me there to-night?"
There was none.
"Hem! not if I will pay you well for it?"
"I wouldn't let a dog of mine go out this
night," was the answer.
"Then I will walk," I said.
"Walk !" was chorussed simultaneously,
with astonishment depicted on their
"Yes, walk! " I reiterated, desperately.
"Well, if you get to Wilmington safely,
you will do more than I expect you will, in
that garb especially;" and the speaker
looked at my costume with a sneer.
"Nevertheless, I am going," I said; and,
suiting the action to the word, I rose, and,
attended to the door of the hotel by the
group of astonished villagers, I commenced
It had been snowing and raining
alternately throughout the day, and the
roads in this part of the country, never at
any time when I saw them remarkable for
their goodness, were ankle-deep with mud.
I shall never have the recollection of that
night obliterated from my memory. Several
times I was on the point of lying down on
the road-side; but the love of life and the
thought that - God willing - I should soon
be at home, were strong within me, and I
staggered on through the freezing rain and
Twice on the way I inquired at the door
of a farm-house the direction that I was to
take, and once the "gude wife" of the quiet
homestead where I gained admittance
prepared for me with her own white hands
a cup of coffee, and pressed me to stay all
night at her hospitable place - an invitation
in which she was seconded by the rest of
her family. Herself and husband were both
English, and I shall not forget their kindness
to me; and, when I at last rose to depart, the
husband, wife, and children bade me a kind
adieu, the husband accompanying me down
the road some distance.
At last, just as the clock was striking ten,
I staggered into the dépôt at Wilmington,
just in time to catch the train for New York.
I had accomplished the distance in four
hours; but it was fully a week before I was
able to walk or sit even with any degree of
Early in the morning I arrived in New York,
and drove immediately to my brother's place
of business. He was perfectly amazed at
seeing me, and laughed immoderately at the
deplorable figure I cut.
Eventually, having procured a suit of clothes,
and enjoyed the luxury of a bath and the
inexpressible feeling of delight that one feels
in finding his body once more in contact with
clean linen, I bade adieu to the United States,
and started directly for the shores of hospitable
and peaceful England.
Conclusion of Mrs. Hardinge's Narrative.
MY memoirs were written, and a portion
of them already in the hands of the
publishers, when the startling news came
which has thrilled all Europe and filled her
inhabitants with horror - the assassination
of Abraham Lincoln, President of the
It was always the boast of Americans,
were they Northern or Southern in their
sentiments, that theirs was the only history
that could show to the world a clear
untarnished record of successful
Republican rule. But their annals can be no
longer so regarded; for, in the sudden
demise of Mr. Lincoln by the bullet of an
insensate fanatic, that peculiar institution
of Europe, the school of the assassin, has
transferred itself to the shores of America;
and that country can no longer uphold her
former boast that crime such as this had
never been perpetrated under the
Government commenced by George
Personally I had no animosity against
the honourable gentleman who has wielded
the sceptre of Northern power for four
long years. His has been a trying position.
No man probably in the pages of History
took his seat under more inauspicious
circumstances. The Press of the world
warred furious warfare upon him. He was
jeered and scoffed at; he was pronounced
uncouth, vulgar, low, servile, and abject;
disappointed politicians and opposition
cliques vied with each other in calling him
upon every occasion the "rail-splitter," and
wiseacres of soothsaying proclivities
speedily predicted that, with such a man as
Abraham Lincoln at the head of the
Government, the Union would most
assuredly be split with as much precision
and as quickly as Mr. Lincoln had been
known to split rails when a backwoodsman
in the Western wilds.
Although a member of Congress previous
to his elevation to the presidential chair of
all the United States not in rebellion, and
having for his political opponent in his
presidential campaign that great statesman,
the late Mr. Douglas, Mr. Lincoln was
not a forensic success.
His speeches and arguments, teeming with
wit and dry humour, were better calculated
to attract the backwoodsman, by whom he
was looked upon as a leading man, than the
riper and more mature intellects with which
he was in after-days brought into contact.
I can appreciate and admire fully the
character of such men who exemplify the
sentence, "Out of nothing came
something." As such I looked upon
Lincoln, when, month after month, and
then year after year, of his presidential
term rolled by, and I saw how well he
governed the Northern Republic and how
firmly he held the reins of the Federal
cause, which from time to time toppled
upon the verge of a yawning chasm.
Now all is changed. Can any one
believe that Mr. Johnson is the man who
is to restore the Republic to what it was,
save the nation from bankruptcy, and bring
peace and good-will to America? It might
not have been impossible with Mr.
Lincoln; for that gentleman held out the
olive-branch, concealing no deadly weapon
beneath it, to General Lee and his little
band of heroes. With Mr. Johnson at the
head of the Government of the North, who
can foresee anything save anarchy and
dissolution? He will fiddle whilst Rome is
Politically I did not like Mr. Lincoln, for in
him I saw the destroyer. As long as it served
his purpose, Mr. Lincoln boldly advocated
the right of Secession. I trust that the
accusation will not startle my readers; but
such was the case; and I will cite one instance
- when, as a representative, he openly
avowed "that any nation or people in any
portion of the world had a right to rise up
and rebel against the mother-government if
they wanted to."
When the North, in 1860-61, declared
that she would usurp all rights, and have,
whether or no the South wished it, and in
direct violation of the Constitution, a
strictly Northern president, Abraham
Lincoln, still true to his former assertion
of the right of Secession, accepted the
nomination of the Chicago platform, and
by this act inserted the wedge in that log
called the Union. The log was ultimately
split through force of circumstances.
There are those who maintain that in
this world women have no right to interfere
in the affairs of state, in politics, in plots
and counter-plots. Others there are who,
more chivalrous, are willing to
admit that women have as much right to
act, think, and speak as men. I do not set
myself up as an advocate of the woman's
right doctrine, but would rather appear in
the character of a quiet lady expressing her
sentiments, not so much to the public as to
her immediate friends. Therefore I trust
that the former class of gentlemen will
here forgive what to them may appear
presumption; especially as, in the
preceding chapters of my book, I have
endeavoured to avoid politics as much as
But to return to my subject. The North
boldly declared that she did not care much
if the South did secede, and the South,
never doubting the intentions of the North,
took her at her word - seceded; and the
consequence has been a civil war whose
magnitude has never been surpassed, and
whose slain can be counted, not by tens,
but by hundreds of thousands.
Mr. Lincoln, as the representative of his
nation, took the oath of office to uphold
the Union "as it was." Then, after a while,
"as it was" became "as it is." Finally, when
Richmond fell and Lee surrendered,
unwilling to be what Andy Johnson, "Beast"
Butler, or "Jim" Lane of Kansas wanted
him to be, a tyrant, he openly avowed his
intention of effecting, if possible, a speedy
union of North and South on the most
This was sufficient. He was from
henceforth a doomed man; the sands of
his life were numbered; and he slept, little
dreaming of his danger, of the sword
hanging above his head.
Not only was Lincoln doomed, but so
also were all those most in favour of
conciliatory measures towards the South
and her traders.
"The Constitution as it is," said the
notorious "Senator Jim Lane," of Kansas,
"is played out; and I am ready to see any
man shot down who favours the Union as it
was talked of by Mr. Lincoln." And on the
evening of the very next day after Mr.
Lincoln had favoured a conciliatory
treatment towards the South he was shot
Englishmen! I appeal to your impartial
judgment! I look to you for the
discountenancing of the foul charge which
Mr. Stanton has thrown upon the shoulders
of our Southern leaders, that he might
thereby induce the European Powers to
withdraw their recognition of Southern
belligerency. It is not the chivalrous
sons of the South who have done this deed.
The papers, indeed, make the assassin use
the words "Sic semper tyrannis!" But if
this be true, then, as a Virginian woman, I
say, never was the State-motto of Virginia
more unworthily abused.
And, in truth, our people have even more
to regret in the death of President Lincoln
than have the people of the North. When
our noble old chieftain General Lee heard
of the assassination, he covered his face,
and refused to listen to the details of the
murder; whilst, in the Libby Prison, where
a large number of Southern soldiers were
confined, the inmates on one of the floors
held a meeting, and denounced the murder,
passing resolutions that they were soldiers,
and could not therefore applaud assassins.
Yet Mr. Secretary Stanton unblushingly
charges the commission of this deed upon
the South. There are those in the Northern
States who will yet move heaven and earth
to prove that it was the South; and to prove
it money will be spent, bribes given, and,
where money and bribes fail, threats will
But I appeal to Europe to judge discriminately
between North and South. Do not pronounce
too hastily your judgment, nor cast upon a
brave and chivalrous people the stigma of
Many have advised me to suppress these
volumes, urging that their publication will
probably cause my life-long banishment.
But I cannot - I will not recede.
I firmly believe that in this fiery ordeal,
in this suffering, misery, and woe, the
South is but undergoing a purification by
fire and steel that will, in good time, and
by God's decree, work out her own
WILLIAM STEVEN, PRINTER, 37, BELL YARD, TEMPLE BAR.